“Dreams are real while they last, can we say more of life?” Havelock Ellis, psychologist
For the last few months now I’ve been learning about lucid dreaming. For those of you who are unaware of this term, lucid dreaming is when you are in a dream and you know that you are dreaming. This allows the dreamer to control aspects of the dream itself. (Like Inception minus Hollywood). I stumbled into this discussion after discovering a fascinating Kickstarter project called Remee. The Remee device is a sleep mask that flashes a series of red lights to alert you that you are dreaming without waking you up.
To be sure that I wasn’t diving into a pseudo-science, I wanted to read more and see what of this is legit. I’ve always been fascinating by dreams. Both because I experience very vivid dreams myself, and because I’ve noticed how often God spoke to people throughout the Bible through their dreams. To study lucid dreaming, I read Stephen LaBerge’s book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. This is widely regarding as the “bible” of lucid dreaming.
You may wonder why this is worth investing any effort into. Consider that much of your life will be spent behind your eyelids and you’ll quickly see why using this time for growth and development would be worthwhile. What if you could utilize the time you spend dreaming toward the time you are awake?
“By awakening to your dreams, you will add to your experience of life and, if you use these added hours of lucidity to experiment and exercise your mind, you can also improve your enjoyment of your waking hours.”
“Dreams are the most vivid type of mental imagery most people are likely to experience. The more the mental rehearsal of a skill feels like the real thing, the greater the effect it is likely to have on waking performance. Because of this, lucid dreaming, in which we can make conscious use of dream imagery, is likely to be even more useful than waking mental imagery as a tool for learning and practicing skills.”
There are many questions you probably have as a skeptic. I know that I did. In studying this topic it seems that there is a good answer to each of the tough questions. There are also plenty of people who apply this in settings outside of the Christian faith. As with other things, that alone should not cause us to abandon something by itself.
“How tired you feel after a dream depends on what you did in the dream—if you battled endlessly and non lucidly with frustrating situations, you probably will feel more tired than if you realized in the dream that it was a dream and that none of your mundane concerns were relevant.”
“Learning lucid dreaming will not cause you to lose touch with the difference between waking and dreaming. On the contrary, lucid dreaming is for becoming more aware.”
The toughest part of lucid dreaming is that for most of us, it won’t just happen. It is like a muscle that you don’t ever use. (My recent experiences with archery are coming to mind here). Until you learn to build it up it is hard to experience lucidity during dreams. LaBerge’s book discusses a lot of practical tips for this but they also have devices such as the Remee that will help with it.
“Other research has shown that people who recall dreams at least once a night report having at least one lucid dream a month. Therefore, it seems likely that for people who meet the prerequisite of excellent dream recall, light cues are likely to be very helpful for inducing lucid dreams.”
“You can use the relationship between habits in waking and dreaming life to help you induce lucid dreams. One way to become lucid is to ask yourself whether or not you are dreaming while you are dreaming. In order to do this, you should make a habit of asking the question while awake.”
Whether you get a sleep mask or try out some of the techniques yourself, I’d encourage you to check it out. I’d love to hear your experiences from any of you who have had lucid dreams before.