Lucid Dreaming
Roughly one-third of our lives are spent sleeping, and a significant amount
of this time is spent dreaming. You have the ability to be conscious, awake, and
well.. lucid, in your dreams.
Lucid dreaming is dreaming while being aware of being in a dream state.
The term “lucid,” coined by Frederik Van Eeden in 1913, is used in the sense of
mental clarity. The basic definition of lucid dreaming is nothing more than
becoming aware that you are dreaming, of which many people have experience
of.
However, among these people, the amount of control and clarity varies
greatly. A low-level lucid dream is one where you know you’re dreaming, but
that’s it. In experiencing a higher level lucid dream, you have the power to
control, influence, and react to various events and contents of the dream.
For those who achieve the state of lucidity, the benefits are potentially
enormous. It gives you the chance to experience adventures unsurpassed in
everyday life. You can, literally, do anything you wish; the only limits you are
bound to are set by your imagination. Lucid dreaming gives us the ability to tap
the power of the unconscious, and subconscious mind, giving us a valuable insight
into our daily lives. By learning to make the best of the worst situation
imaginable, you can overcame nightmares and fears in the waking world.
(Gackenbach/Bosveld)
There are several techniques for inducing a lucid dream, and The Lucidity
Institute, Inc., founded in 1987 by lucid dreaming researcher Dr. Stephen LaBerge
to support research on lucid dreams and to help people learn to use them to
enhance their lives, has created special devices to assist people in achieving lucid
dreams. Inducing lucid dreams takes concentration, effort, and time, which some
people may not be wanting to sacrifice to learn what they perceive as a “pointless”
skill. The key is perseverance, and you will be successful.
Some people have been able to have lucid dreams on the very first night of
attempting to do so, however, it has taken others up to a few weeks. This varies
greatly from person to person, as people who remember their dreams with
greater ease tend to find it easier to have lucid dreams when compared to those
who remember only a few every month. However, all is not lost if you fall into the
latter category, as increasing dream recall is a fairly easy task to accomplish. One
of the best ways to advance your dream recall ability is to keep a journal of
dreams, and record them when you first awaken, doing so will train yourself to
remember dreams for more than a mere thirty seconds. (LaBerge)
Many people confronted with the chance to learn of lucid dreaming ask
themselves, “Why would I want to lucid dream?”. The most common use of lucid
dreams for those who have achieved the skill is for pure fun and adventure.
Unlike reality, you are not restricted by the laws of physics, or even the
government. There is no need to be afraid of social consequences, because they
are non-existent. You can fly, visit other worlds, other times, or even have sex with
the most desirable partner you can imagine. There are no limit to the possibilities,
except by your imagination.
Entertainment is not the only use of lucid dreaming. Because of the strong
link between the mind and body during dreams, there is evidence to suggest that
dreams can be used for mental and physical healing. (Ziesing)
“Does lucid dreaming interfere with the function of normal dreaming?”
Lucid dreaming is normal dreaming. The body and mind are in the same
physiological state as in “normal” REM sleep. Dreaming is the result of high
activity in the brain, but at the same time exists sleep paralysis, which stops us
from acting out our dreams, or sleepwalking, by paralyzing our muscles. Your
mind creates experiences based solely on your thoughts, fantasies, concerns, and
fears.
Having the knowledge that you are dreaming allows you, simply enough,
to direct the dream experience, like you direct your thoughts while awake. The
thinking of dreams being an unconscious act is a close-minded one. Your
conscious-self is always present in dreams, if it weren’t, you would not be able to
remember your dreams,