Tool Module: Lucid Dreaming

Sometimes some people have dreams in which they realize that they are dreaming and can then influence the subsequent course of their dreams. This remarkable mental state is called “lucid dreaming”, an expression first proposed by Dutch psychiatrist Frederik Willem Van Eeden in 1913.

This lucidity–the recognition that one is dreaming–often occurs right in the middle of a dream, when the dreamer suddenly realizes that what he or she is experiencing does not happen in ordinary physical reality. This realization may occur, for example, when someone has a dream in which they suddenly begin to fly through the air, or have a conversation with relatives who died years ago. But lucid dreamers may also realize that they are dreaming even when there are no obvious indications that this is the case. They may then be able to do anything they want in their dreams, such as walk through walls or fly to Mars.

Lucid dreamers recognize their current state of consciousness for what it is. It is not exactly like being awake. It is more like daydreaming. But unlike daydreamers, who are in a diminished state of alertness, lucid dreamers have gone from a state of sleep to a state closer to being awake, in which their conscious mind has taken back some control over their thoughts. The degree of this control–the degree of lucidity–can vary, ranging from the mere impression that they can alter the course of their dreams to the certainty that they are dreaming and that nothing that happens to them in these dreams can really affect them or hurt them.

Some lucid dreams may occur during periods of transition between wakefulness and sleep, such as when someone falls asleep after a micro-awakening during the night, or gradually awakens in the morning. At such times, lucid dreamers may employ a learned skill so as to fall asleep or awaken very gradually, thus enabling a certain degree of consciousness to infiltrate their dream activities.

Dreaming in general is a distinctive, subjective phenomenon, and even though it is very common, scientists still understand it incompletely at best. Hence it is no surprise that they understand even less about a particular variant such as lucid dreaming.

Link : Varieties of Lucid Dreaming ExperienceLink : L'art de diriger ses rêvesLink : Rêver en couleurs : Les rêves lucidesLink : lucid dreamingLink : Lucid Dreaming FAQResearch : A Study of Dreams by Frederik van EedenLink : On ne rêve pas qu'en images


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