Very simply put, a lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming. So long as you remain conscious of this fact you remain lucid (‘lucid’ is synonomous with ‘aware’ or ‘clarity’.) Lucidity is a sense or more a ‘knowing’ of your participation in dream reality, brought about by the realization that you’re dreaming.
The degree of your lucidity will vary between lucid dreams. You may be dimly aware that this is a dream, you may be consciously participating in a ‘normal dream’, you may have partial recognition and control, or you may be fully aware and awake inside your own dream world. This last is what most lucid dreamers aim for.
You’re likely to experience each of these in stages as you learn lucid dreaming, and each experience is a kind of breakthrough into greater awareness. As you increase this dreaming awareness, the more fully lucid dreams happen more regularly. For this reason lucid dreaming does get easier every time, just as with any practice you can get good at.
Lucid Dreaming implies a certain degree of dream control, though this also develops over time. Mostly because it takes a while for it to sink into your conscious awareness in a usable way that you can do anything, that you actually are control. But once you ‘get’ that, the possibilities are limitless!
It’s actually quite tricky to use words to describe the sense of wonder that comes with a fully lucid dream… Well, let me try to explain anyway…
Once you’re lucid, the whole feeling and experience of your dream reality changes. All the colours become bright and vivid, and the sounds become crisp and clear. Both your mind and body are buzzing with inspiration and energy, and your dream world has amazing detail and clarity! Everything is as real as waking life, or more so.. The transformation is beautiful and instantaneous… The feeling of a lucid dream is nothing short of exciting, empowering and envigorating all at once!
Of course, not all lucid dreams are like this, the quality of lucidity varies, especially for beginners. But the great things is, as you have more and more lucid dreams, your dreaming focus and dreaming attention will improve consistently, which basically means just about every lucid dream you have is better and clearer. This kind of development stays with you, and once developed, will produce awesome lucid dreams on a regular basis!
Imagine the wonder and joy of waking up inside your own dream reality simply by realizing that you’re dreaming – knowing you can consciously create whatever experience you desire… and doing it, instantly. Now that’s what lucid dreaming is all about!
It should really be emphasized that there is quite a difference between the realism of normal dreams and lucid dreams. Many people assume that because their normal dreams are often vague, dim, cryptic, even unpleasant, or otherwise just ‘unreal’ seeming, that lucid dreams are equally as ‘unreal’. This is definitely the wrong conclusion to jump to, and yet how many people dismiss dreaming practices as a result on the basis they are ‘just dreams’?
Fully lucid dreams are as real as waking life. We must simply understand it is a different reality, a different dimension of experience. Imagine if you went through waking life being drugged and were half-asleep like a zombie all the time, would you call your life ‘unreal’? If you stopped being drugged, you’d exclaim how real it is but you just didn’t know it! Can you see the parallel? The point is that no one can call dreaming reality ‘unreal’ until they’ve experienced it for themselves in an aware state.
Consider, all our senses, emotions, thoughts, feelings and responses in a dream are as though the dream were ‘actually’ happening. It is! Only upon later (poor) reflection we may call an experience ‘just a dream’. It’s not less real, but it is a more dynamic and fluid reality. And, when we become lucid, we usually find the acuteness and sensational aspects of the experience increase many times over, similar or beyond peak alertness while awake. Dreams are real, and we find this out directly by becoming aware in them.
“Some dream events are more vivid than waking ones. It is only when the personality passes out of the dream experience that it may seem unreal in retrospect.” – Seth, Seth, Dreams and Projections in Consciousness p.219