The mystery of the dream world is truly astonishing! From dream journals to coffee talks, we make record and communicate the craziness of what these unique fantasies present; in both visual and scenario wonderment. Most of the time we don’t ever realize we’re asleep when these head trips play out. Somehow we just go through the bizarreness of it all and accept the dream as current reality.
Upon awakening, we can feel a certain rush as from a wild or terrifying experience; and find excitement, or thankfulness, in the fact that it was just a dream. There’re lots of questions about the mind and brain activity in these spectacular spectacles of sleep. One of the most interesting being, “What if you were conscious within the dream?” Many have never been and wonder, “What is lucid dreaming like?”
Lucid dreaming is a moment of having full conscious awareness from within the dream itself; and realizing you’re actually in a dream while it’s unfolding right in front of you.
Eighth century Tibetan Buddhists get credit for being the first to formally instruct on how to lucid dream through Yoga. It wasn’t until 1975 that this ability was officially scientifically proven in a lab. Lucid dreamer, Alan Worsley, was able to intentionally signal from his sleeping state, by eye movement, to awake researcher, Keith Hearne.
There had been studies on symbolism, interpretations, stages of sleep most likely to occur, and theories of why we dream. Now, a whole new aspect of dreams was formally introduced into the science-field of studies.
But practically any experienced lucid dreamer will tell you they don’t care what science administers to the authority of truth on the subject. Through self-attainment, they have already known firsthand that lucid dreams are real (and amazing!). The proof is in their own experience, practice, and ability.
Most likely, these gifted dreamers were researching or pioneering ways to have them MORE OFTEN! Today, there are many books and courses out there to teach you how to lucid dream; or to have them more often. If you’ve never had one of these styles of dreams, I’m about to tell you what it’s like…
It All Started With Frankenstein
I’ve had multiple experiences with lucid dreams on my own accord, most of my life. Starting from early childhood, they naturally occurred. I’d like to explain what induced mine from an early age. This way, from the build up, it will make sense how I came to recognize moments that literally “woke me up” while in the dream.
At around 4 years old, I didn’t have knowledge of a whole lot of things. One thing I was very aware of though, were nightmares. Getting the crap scared out of me in a dream would wake me up in the middle of the night. I’d be so thankful to find out I was home safe in my bed. My imagination and memory were very vivid, and those dreams became imprinted in my mind.
Young, frightened, yet fascinated, I was trying to figure out this whole crazy form of realism. Essentially, like lucid dreams do, certain intense nightmares became part of my memory. They were filed under my life experience category. A short time later, through the use of my memory and the reoccurring dream themes, I started to recognize when I was trapped in a nightmare. Though still afraid in the dreams, I started to realize they weren’t real as they were happening.
I first gained power in a dream around 5 years old when I had a confrontation with Frankenstein. Feeling in near fear paralysis, I was sure he was out to “get me” in the nightmare. After the initial shock of fear, something clicked; and it all just came together and woke me up within the dream. The fear still lingered and the only thing I could think of doing at that age to make it stop, was play dead. So I did. Then something very peculiar happened…
Frankenstein, as he made his approach and saw I was ‘dead,’ started crying! He was sad and worried about my well-being. I felt bad that I had made him cry. We became friends in that moment when I let him know I was alive. First of all, I can’t believe he took the bait! More importantly, at that moment, I had an epiphany that I could control the outcome of my bad dreams.
The intense fear became the initial trigger to wake me up within a dream. Since these extreme levels of emotions never manifested themselves in my waking hours, they became distinguishable to me during sleep and alerted me to what was going on.
I had now made some very impressionable memories that would empower and stay with me through the rest of my years. And at that time, as a kid, I had unwittingly come across the ultimate playground!!
You’re The Star In A Fantasy Movie
Forget Dave And Busters, the ultimate adult playland really exists in your slumber. (We’ll give D&B’s weekend custody.) Lucid dreaming has been compared to, even mistaken for, having an out-of-body experience. In either case, you know that you are not in the waking world. So, what is lucid dreaming like? For one, it’s a lot of fun; and the experience is:
Being in a lucid dream is a crazy sensory explosive overload. It’s a natural high of epic proportions. If you’ve ever traveled to another country, and experienced culture shock, imagine that feeling but being in another dimension, world, or realm.
Culture shock is a feeling of disorientation by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. (Add to the concept of this definition the subjection to an unfamiliar realm, and it becomes culture shock to the 10th power.)
Think in terms of The Wizard Of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, or The Matrix; and how the characters in those stories had you imagining being in their shoes. And just like those characters, you will be the center of everything. You will be the star.
Like surrealism art, a lucid dream is the manifestation of a super-reality. All the dynamics just don’t make sense, and it is counterintuitive to anything you’ve come to expect from this life. Yet, there you are… Being lucid in a dream is like a tripped out adventure. But this unique experience boasts happening without the use of ‘performance enhancing’ drugs; such as the hallucinogenics LSD and DMT.
This style of dreaming, with its surreal nature, is the original virtual reality. Most people have had this taste of the surrealistic nature of being submerged in the digital world of VR. It allows a drug-free way to experiment with surrealistic realities as well, but is only remotely comparable to lucid dreaming.
Virtual reality technology is a good lucid dream starter kit. But lucid dreams are not limited to a computer program, simulation, or restrictive sight and movements. The freedom that you’ll experience in a lucid dream is 2nd to none! Once you’re submerged and awake in the dreamworld, you have the power to orchestrate your world and adventure to any direction you desire.
You Will Know What It’s Like To Have Super Powers!
Movies nowadays have amazing graphics and representations that come close, and at times, even excel past the average person’s dream visuals. These film illustrations display a very fine-tuned interpretation of humans having and using superpowers. Hollywood gives us a good show, but imagine being able to actually experience and use a superpower for real!
Lucid dreaming allows you this ability. There is no need to watch someone else being the hero on a screen. You can choose to fly, walk through walls, breath under water, shoot lightening through your hands, or whatever power you choose to take on while in the dream.
You can visit exotic places on cue, have sexual adventures, even hang out with lost loved ones, a favorite historical figure, or movie star. It can take practice to be able to develop all of these abilities. But, for the most part, all you really have to do is think about it and will it. Having a lucid dream is truly one of the most amazing experiences a person can have. It’s a bit more than you’ve ever experienced being awake.
But that is just scratching the surface
A Nightmare Within A Lucid Dream?
If you bring everyday real world perceptions with you into a lucid dream, and not let them go, you can potentially have a bad experience. More importantly, if you can’t put your waking fears in check, this could also cause a backfire. These include:
- Any insect phobias
Just because you know it is only a dream, doesn’t mean it is always easy to handle. For the most part, the result wouldn’t be any worse than what a typical nightmare’s effect may have on you (other than probably remembering the dream longer and having a stronger emotional relapse from it).
Refusing to suspend logic will go against the grain of the freedom of a lucid dream. If you get overwhelmed, it could end up like a bad acid trip. And just the same, it’s all in your head. Most of our conditioning is based on waking life. It’s understandable that this level of dreaming may freak some people out.
Dream characters can actually be the culprits to instill this anxiety in a lucid dream.
Even though you know you’re in a dream, it still feels SO REAL! These characters, playing their respective roles, are as candid or witty as practically any “real life” people. It just may catch you off guard. When interacting with any of the characters in a lucid dream, there are no hesitations in their reactions and answers from your actions or questions. It truly is a full-on submerged experience.
Lucid dreams, when approached with a sense of power and an open mind, can be a blast and a playground to conquer phobias and self limiting beliefs. A bad lucid dream will most likely be a reflection of your fears.
You can always gain control back. But if you suspend your will of power, or become confused, the lucidity will drift away.
You Have To Maintain Focus
If you’ve never had a lucid dream (even if you have), it can be hard to maintain. These dreams can be quite fleeting. One of the most common triggers that snaps a person out of a lucid dream and wakes them up is an adrenaline rush. The excitement is real, and your body becomes energized and ready to go. Naturally, your heart and brain get amped up. The next thing you know, you’re awake and missing out on the adventure you were participating in.
Then there is the problem of drifting off…
Even though you are conscious in the dream realm, your brain and body are still asleep doing brain and body things. So you have to fight with whatever your brain is doing as it is cycling through normal sleep phases. This means drifting thoughts. If you ride that wave, you lose lucidity. It will require a conscious effort to maintain the focus.
Ironically, it can feel similar to when you’re awake fighting going to sleep.
With practice of consistent focus and learning to control your excitement, you will hold lucidity longer, and improve your abilities within the dream!
A lucid dream experience will add to the wonderment of this life and even the possibilities beyond. Lucid dreams can be enlightening, empowering, and the biggest joy ride you could ever imagine. It is commonly said in the lucid dream community, if you spend one third of life sleeping, why not spend it awake?
To completely know what it’s like, you of course have to experience it for yourself. A woman can tell you what it is like to birth a child, but only through the experience could one completely understand. And like a parent who just had a child, you will want to share this awesome experience with the world.