I’ve spoken to plenty of people about lucid dreaming, and it’s interesting to hear how many people have had lucid dream experiences spontaneously. It’s a lot more common than one might think, simply because it’s not something everyone talks about that often. Not many people realize it’s something you can learn to do intentionally and regularly, mostly these short lucid dreams get passed off as curiosities and aren’t very well developed.
There is usually a brief recognition that you’re dreaming, and without knowing what to do with it, you often end up just falling back into ‘normal dream’ mode. It doesn’t seem all that significant in the dream itself, and as a result is not always a very clear lucid moment when one wakes up. It’s really an unfortunate thing that we are taught dreams are not really important or significant. Most people don’t know what they’re missing out on because their ‘lucid moment’ didn’t result in anything particularly special.
So whether you arrive at that lucid moment in your dreams spontaneously or intentionally, the thing to remember is that it is *significant*. It’s *highly* important! You are doing something amazing, and you need to realize how amazing it is while you’re doing it, so you stay lucid, aware and conscious. You are experiencing a new form of consciousness! It isn’t every day you get to blend your dreaming and waking selves into a new identity that can be so self-aware inside a dream you know. Well, it isn’t every day to begin with, but it can be, and if you make it your quest, it will be.
This is why the attitude of ‘it’s just a dream’ will ruin your chances of becoming an expert dreamer. It makes dreaming seem unimportant. It derides the value of your own consciousness and makes a mockery of your own direct experience. You wouldn’t take half your waking life and say ‘nah, it doesn’t matter what I do so I think I’ll just wander around like a zombie’ (plastic people aside.) But this is exactly what one does to one’s dreaming life if it simply isn’t *valued*. Start valuing it and it will take you a long way..
What are currently recognized as dreaming periods are the REM (rapid eye movement) portions of sleep. What is generally not known however is that we dream and have other experiences at deeper levels of the psyche that aren’t usually fully consciously remembered. Some of these are formless or imageless interactions. The information and experiences we have on these levels is translated into dream imagery at levels closer to our waking consciousness, and this is what is recognized as REM dreaming.
In other words, we still dream in non-REM periods, but these dreams are trickier to remember directly the deeper we go, because there the information we receive is usually too vast for our conscious minds to contain. So we translate it in symbolic form through the image-laden medium of REM dreams. And yet, as we stretch our dreaming attention and conscious capacity, we are more likely to remember more information from these levels, which is more akin to a direct knowing.
The confusion that REM periods and dreaming periods are exactly synonymous is one that has come about through the scientific study of dreaming from outside observation. But by recognizing that REM is associated with the scanning of dream imagery, it is easier to see that those non-REM periods of sleep are not necessarily ones of ‘unconsciousness’ but quite the opposite, they are periods of superconscious activity that escape our conscious focus, imageless ‘dreams’ of a magnitude that is mind-blowing to glimpse!
Came across this one awhile ago… Wish I could remember where now. But it still cracks me up! And it makes the point so well too… how can we be taught to so flippantly ignore or devalue a huge portion of our inner experience? Should we continue to let the uninformed beliefs of society about dreaming influence the way in which we treat our private or public dreams? If that is considered ‘normal’, I’d rather be considered a raving lunatic! It seems a little backwards though, don’t you think..? Perhaps as this comic satirically suggests, the way in which people ‘usually’ treat dreams is just a little wacko.. At the very least, we might want to know a little more about what we’ve been experiencing in the period we know as ‘sleep’ before we write it off. Well, that’s what I think anyways. 🙂
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
There is a major difference between normal dreams and lucid ones. Normal dreams are usually something that ‘happens to you’ while lucid dreams are dreams that you are making happen. It is really a direct parallel to waking life. Is waking life ‘something that happens to you while you’re making other plans’? Or are you choosing to be aware of the choices you’re making to create that life how you choose?
Lucid dreams aren’t just for fun or entertainment (even though they’re some of the most fun you’ll even have!) They have many practical applications, and they are also a tool for increasing your spiritual awareness in day to day life. The sense of freedom and self-empowerment you experience through lucid dreaming carries over into waking life, where you find yourself making conscious decisions with greater confidence and clarity.
Becoming lucid is not just a skill or a hobby. It can be a path of awareness too, a path that is available to all people regardless of any other beliefs they may hold; scientific, religious or otherwise. Because everyone dreams! Dreams are a common reference point between all people, and thus lucid dreaming is an accessible practice that can truly help anyone improve or enjoy their life.
Or should I say lives..? We have both a waking and a dreaming life, but how aware are we being in either? Most of us don’t even remember much of our dreaming life… and when we think about it, our memory of waking life often isn’t up to scratch either. When we don’t remember something, it’s like it didn’t happen at all! What is a waste of our awareness. The choice is clear. GET LUCID!