critical faculty

The degree of lucidity you have in a lucid dream can vary according to a number of different factors. We must always remember that lucidity is awareness and it is not something that is ‘on’ or ‘off’, it varies as much as your waking consciousness does and often more so.

First, what is the strength of your conscious focus? Are you brightly aware or dimly? Do you feel tired or groggy, or have you never been more awake in your life? Both of these can happen and anywhere in between in a lucid dream, and can affect your ability to make lucid decisions. The sharpness of your focus can be affected by your mental energy.

Second, is the dream stable? If you are having to spend your time and attention on stabilizing a lucid dream rather than doing anything, it can be quite distracting. That said, it is undoubtably a necessary distraction if you want to stay in the lucid dream! Training your dream stability also trains your lucidity as you stay focussed on the fact you’re dreaming while using stabilizing techniques.

Third, how present is your critical faculty? Do you accept things at face value, or do they engage your curiosity and attention? Are you aware of what is possible in a dream? Are you able to form logical or complex thoughts? It is all very well to be aware that you’re dreaming sometimes, but when you want to use it for more indepth applications, learning to awaken your critical faculty more can be important too.

Fourth, how is your memory? Can you remember who you are in waking life? How you got where you are in the dream? Perhaps even what other dreams you’ve had recently. If you consciously exercise your memory while in a lucid dream, this will help you increase later recall by opening memory channels to your waking memory from the ‘other side’.

Finally, what is your ability to take control of the dream itself? Can you do ‘anything’ or are there things you don’t believe you can do. These beliefs can affect your dreaming abilities and dream control. What, you can float but you can’t fly? How strange. You can lift that trashcan with your mind, but you can’t lift that building? Hmmm… Maybe you aren’t as lucid as you think then… Remind yourself it’s a dream and you can do anything!