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Lucid-dreaming What is it? This article is about the phenomenon called lucid dreaming. It will explain what lucid dreaming is; the benefits of lucid-dreaming and the scientific history of it and so on. I hope it will give an in-depth explanation of the phenomenon.

1.What is Lucid Dreaming?
2.History of Lucid Dreaming
3.Scientific History of Lucid Dreaming
4.Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
5.Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous?
6.Can Anyone Lucid Dream?

What is Lucid-Dreaming?

What is lucid dreaming? Lucid dreaming is when you know you are dreaming. Usually, this occurs when the dreamer experiences something bizarre during dreaming. And as soon as the dreamer questions where they are, they realize that they are in an altered state of consciousness, in other words dreaming.

The lucid dreamer can usually manipulate their dream so that they can change their dream’s outcome.

I know from experience that when I have such a dream I can change the outcome of the dream or end it if I do not like it.

Like in everything else, there are some people who are better at lucid dreaming then others. The disbelievers in this phenomenon put forward that it is not a state of sleep but a fleeting state of wakefulness. While others say that no one can really know for sure that someone lucid-dreams other than to ask the dreamer.

History of Lucid-Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is not a new phenomenon it has been around for centuries. Long before it was termed lucid dreaming.

The phenomenon was mentioned in the 4th century BC by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who noted, “Often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.” The practice of lucid dreaming is comparable to that of Yoga nidra.

The difference between Yoga nidra and lucid dreaming is that with the former you are aware of the physical plane whereas with the latter you are aware of the dream plane.

When you dream you are not aware of the physical plane only the dream environment. Yoga nidra is part of Indian customs like Hinduism and Buddhism. In the very old classic ‘Mahabharata‘ Lord Krishna is linked to this yogic practice.

The religious teacher Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the late 20th century experienced Yoga nidra while he was staying in Rishikesh, India. Satyananda Saraswati said that yoga nidra is an altered state of consciousness between restlessness and slumber that unlocks profound stages of the psyche, signifying a linking with the early tantric exercise termed nyasa. Swami Satyananda teaching encompasses eight phases:

  1. Internalisation,
  2. Sankalpa = yogic resolution
  3. Rotation of Consciousness,
  4. Breathe Awareness
  5. Manifestation of Opposites
  6. Creative Visualization
  7. Sankalpa = yogic resolution
  8. Externalisation

Sarvastivada (an early faculty of Buddhism) school’s Sutra on Mindfulness of the Body in the Madhayama agama, says that monastics and sisters under training must be, ‘Understanding in the four postures and states of being asleep or awake.”

Since the 700s AD, Tibetan Buddhists and Bonpos(shamans) were active in a method of dream yoga alleged to keep complete waking consciousness despite the fact that they would still be dreaming.

A significant note in the manuscript is the difference between the Dzogchen (the highest state of enlightenment) thought of consciousness and that of dream yoga. Dzogchen’s method merely accomplishes clear dreaming as a minor result whilst dream yoga’s goals are chiefly to clear dream. Buddhist believe that to experience lucidity will helps individuals comprehend the strangeness of it, which might otherwise be too overwhelming throughout the dream or death phase.

Dzogchen’s method merely accomplishes clear dreaming as a minor result whilst dream yoga’s goals are chiefly to clear dream. Buddhist believe that to experience lucidity will helps individuals comprehend the strangeness of it, which might otherwise be too overwhelming throughout the dream or death phase.

Dzogchen’s method merely accomplishes clear dreaming as a minor result whilst dream yoga’s goals are chiefly to clear dream. Buddhist believe that to experience lucidity will helps individuals comprehend the strangeness of it, which might otherwise be too overwhelming throughout the dream or death phase.

Scientific history of Lucid Dreaming

It is Frederik Willem van Eeden, 1860-1932, a Dutch psychiatrist and writer, who is commonly recognized as having thought up the name lucid dream. And, Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys is one of the first people to claim to have been able to achieve this phenomenon.

And wrote a book on it in the 19th century called ‘Les Reves et Les Moyens de Les Diriger: Observations Pratiques.’ The English translation of the title is, ‘Dreams and the Ways to direct them: practical observations’.

It was the first book to recognize the scientific possibility of clear dreaming. His book tells of his experience with the phenomenon and it is also a comprehensive study of lucid dreams.

In his 1959 manuscript ‘Dreaming’ the philosopher Norman Malcolm claimed it was impossible to check the accurateness of how people dream. Malcolm says “The only criterion of the truth of a statement that someone has had a certain dream is, essentially, his saying so.”

In 1968 Celia Green, a British writer on philosophical skepticism, wrote a study in ‘Lucid Dreams’. The work explored the key features of clear dreams. She had studied earlier printed works on the topic and integrating new facts from her own subjects.

Green decided that such dreams were a type of experience rather separate from normal dreams. She prophesied that the phenomenon would be linked with rapid eye movement sleep. She also linked lucid dreams (the first person to do so) to the occurrence of false awakenings or in other words a dream within a dream.

During the late 1970’s, a British parapsychologist, Keith Hearne studied volunteer, Alan Worsley, and used eye movements to indicate the start of lucidity, which was logged by a polysomnograph machine ( which reads the bio-physiological changes that happen during dreaming). The results of the test were not extensively circulated among his peers.

Psychophysiologist and a leader in the scientific study of lucid dreaming, Stephen LaBerge, in the late 20th century began researching into lucid dreaming for his doctorate in Psychology at Standford University.

He took his findings from Keith Hearne’s 1979 research into lucid dreaming with volunteer, Alan Worsley’s. Laberge established procedures to permit himself and other investigators to go into the state of lucid dreaming at will. His most famous technique is the mnemonic induction of lucid dreams, aka MILD technique, which is essential for various methods of dream testing.

His most famous technique is the mnemonic induction of lucid dreams, aka MILD technique, which is essential for various methods of dream testing.

Lebarge, in the late 1980s, created The Lucidity Institute. The Lucidity Institute endorses study into lucid dreaming. It runs courses for anyone who wants to learn how to lucid dream.

Throughout the 1980s, additional scientific proof of clear dreaming was made by lucid dreamers when they revealed to investigators that they were knowingly conscious that they were dreaming. Furthermore, other methods have been established that have been verified to improve the probability of accomplishing lucid dreaming.

Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Basically, the benefits of lucid dreaming are endless. It can help you free yourself of your worries and hang-ups. Cognizant dreaming is a captivating experience. The reality is profound, knowing you are in a totally benign and manageable atmosphere where you can achieve anything you want to. 

This skill allows you to face your worries, improve your problem resolving abilities, expand your self-confidence, etc.

Also don’t forget the amusement that arises from playing inside your private simulated reality dream realm, and how it communicates to your unconscious psyche.

The bizarre artist Salvador Dali claimed that he consumed a huge amount of Camembert cheese to give himself vivid dreams to aid in the creativeness of his paintings. Though, it is not known whether or not the cheese worked in giving him lucid dreams.

Though he did quote, “Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other twenty-two in dreams.” Another person who had lucidity experiences was the late 19th-century German chemist, Friedrich Kekule who, apparently, discovered the structure of the benzene molecule whilst lucid dreaming. It is known as Kekule’s Dream.

See the Future with Lucid-Dreaming

Many people have also claimed to have dreamt of events that have come true. One of Rome’s most cruel emperors, Caligula, apparently, dreamt of his own murder.

Another infamous character, Adolf Hitler was purportedly saved by his dream. When he was a young soldier in the front line during World War I, whilst sleeping in a trench, he dreamt that he was concealed beneath a landslide of earth and fiery rubble. Hitler awoke from his dream; left the trench, and shortly afterward it was bombed, massacring all his comrades in arms.

Not to mention Abraham Lincoln, the 16th USA president, who, supposedly, in 1865 had a prophetic dream of his own murder. It is a fascinating story and one worth citing. According to Ward Hill Lamon, the President’s former law partner, acquaintance, and one-time bodyguard told him about a strange dream he had.

The dream occurred a few days before his actual assassination. Mary Todd, Lincoln’s wife, was also present when he told his eerie story. In his dream, he strolled into the East Room of the White House to find a covered body protected by soldiers and encircled by a throng of grievers.

When he inquired to one of the soldiers who had passed away, the soldier answered, “The president. He was killed by an assassin.” Though Lincoln, supposedly, later claimed to Lamon that the corpse he saw was not his own, thus, maintaining that he did not believe that the dream was an ill omen of his own assassination.

Lamon wrote about what Lincoln had told him almost twenty years after the tragedy happened so many historians disbelieve his account of the event. Abraham Lincoln was seemingly rather fascinated in the significance of dreams; what they have to say about the future.

Evidence of Lincoln’s interest in dreams is in a communication he wrote to Mary, who was with their youngest son, Tad, in Philadelphia at the time. He wrote that she had better “put Tad’s pistol away” because he “had an ugly dream about him.”

Furthermore, Lincoln’s cabinet recollected that, on the morning of his shooting, the President told them he’d dreamed of cruising across an unidentified body of water at an excessive swiftness.

Lincoln was obviously interested in the prognostic aspects of dreams, though it is no real evidence that he prophesied his own demise. The benefits of lucid dreaming can, as I mentioned earlier, be endless and it is up to you what you get out of the experience. So by learning a few simple techniques, you can also be a lucid dreamer.

Is Lucid-Dreaming Dangerous?

Most lucid dreams are constructive, fulfilling experiences. Furthermore, lucidness in nightmares can alter characteristic anxiety into conscious bravery. In other words, lucidity can help you conquer your fears.

Many people worry about lucidity in dreams because they believe if they die in their dreams they will die in real life. This is something that cannot be proven because if someone died in their dream they would not be alive to tell anyone – they would be dead! Countless people who have died in their dreams survive to tell others of their demise in the dream world.

Many individuals believe that dreams are communications from the unconscious psyche and must not be knowingly changed. Contemporary study on dreams proposes that dreams are not communications, but representations of how we see the world.

Conscious, sensory and perceptual material rules our representations. Our bodies are paralyzed during dreaming; our brain shapes a world representation founded on a secondary source.

This secondary source is our expectations, incentives, and anticipations. These prejudices are hard to recognize when conscious, so the dream world can aid us to identify them.

Therefore, dreams are not communications they are more like signs into the internal mechanisms of our psyche. The great thing about lucid dreaming is that you can consciously interpret your dream while you are having it.

A final thought on lucidity in dreams. Many people believe they will become addicted to lucid dreaming and just sleep their existence away. Basically, there is a natural complication to existing in lucid dreams – rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is limited and is associated with lucid dreaming.

REM sleep in adults characteristically occupies 20–25% of entire sleep – 90–120 minutes of 8 hours sleep. Unless you are as sloth, I don’t think anyone can actually just do nothing else but live in the dream world. Thus, we all dream and the lucky ones who lucid dream should just make the most of them and enjoy the magical experience!

Can Anyone Lucid-Dream?

Yes, I believe anyone can learn to lucid dream. It is an ability anyone can achieve with the help of a few simple techniques. Lucidity comes naturally to some people, and they will assume everyone else can do it as well.

Though, clear dreamers can perform this phenomenon they would also hugely benefit from techniques that will teach them how they can get the most out of their gift.

Numerous other individuals experience lucidity as an uncommon impulsive occurrence so they would need training to really appreciate a lucid dream.  The skill of remembering your dreams is the best way in helping you lucid dream. Through precise methods, you can increase the amount and excellence of your dream memory that will help you be aware of your dreams at will.

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