We can define lucid dreaming as a state in which the dreamer is aware that he is having a dream. Sometimes the person that is dreaming is able to take control over the dream, he can carefully select the characters and events or only to decide when this dream should stop. The dreamer can determine the way in which the dream will flow.
This phenomenon was present in the past and was known for the old civilizations. Sometimes it was used as a therapy and sometimes was explored as something supernatural appearance. This was familiar even to Aristotel who stated: ‘often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream’.
Some philosophers and scientists describe this state as a kind of ability or special way to experience the dream. Some practical observations offer us information about the dreams and the ways in which we can direct them. The scientists think that this can be learned and can help us to dream consciously, in other words this phenomenon can help us to select carefully our dreams.
Lucid dreams can be associated with the REM dreaming and can be defined as false awakening. That’s why lucid dreams represent a different category of experience that is distinct from the ordinary dreams.
Some scientists created experiments in which a person had a task to perform predetermined physical responses during the sleeping. This includes eye movements when something specific happens or when a thought comes on his mind. While the person is dreaming eye movements can be noticed. It is proved that the functions of our organism are nearly on the same level like when we are awake. If the person has task to count he will do it at nearly the same way and the same speed like when he is awake.
Lucid dreams begin in the REM stage and the dreamer must be conscious that he experiences a dream, that it is not real situation and to remember that dream. Lucid dreaming is described as brief wakefulness or “micro-awakening” too, because is considered that the person in this stage creates “perception of the outside world” as a criterion for wakefulness while studying lucid dreamers.
We can categorize one dream as a lucid only if:
- the dreamer is conscious that he is dreaming;
- the objects are not present when the dreamer wakes up;
- the dreamer has orientation and is conscious about the dream state;
- the person that is having a lucid dream is able to make decisions;
- he is self-conscious;
- the ability to memorize the dream is very important;
- if he is able to explain the meaning of the dream and if the mental state is normal;
- god concentration and focus are very important factors too;
Lucid dream can’t be compared with a vivid dream that stays in our mind when we wake up in the morning, you can’t encounter future or past events in the dream or connect it with astral projection. In the case with lucid dreams, you are aware what is happening while you are dreaming.
Lucid dreams usually occur while a person is in the middle of a normal dream and suddenly realizes that he is dreaming. This is called a dream-initiated lucid dream. A wake-initiated lucid dream can occur when you go from a normal waking state directly into a dream state, with no apparent period of consciousness. In either case, the dreams tend to be more bizarre and emotional than regular dreams. The most important thing is that you will have at least some ability to control your “dream self” and the surrounding dream.
We can relate lucid dreams with out-of-body experience, a phenomenon when the person has the feeling that is out of his body, floating outside. This can be defined as separation from your physical body. Some people consider this state as a type of hallucination or only a fake feeling that your soul is separated from your body. The state can be named as a ‘mental event’ that can occur even to healthy people. This stage begins when the person loses contact with sensory input of the body, but is still conscious. The person is conscious observing the body from other point, floating somewhere over the body and he can’t make connection between the body and his soul.
OBE can be linked to sleep paralysis, because in this state nearly the same things happen. The person is aware about everything. The lucid dream can be experienced in any form of resting your mind. Many patients who were talking about the lucid dreams they revealed that you can experience them in many ways.
Feelings can play a big role in the process of lucid dreaming. In which way your dream will move, depends on your mental state, wishes, events that you experienced through the day, people and objects that surround you, the grade of fulfillment of your human needs and the most important thing – your biggest fears.
Don’t be afraid if you experience a type of lucid dream – that is an extra experience in your life. The only thing that you need to do is to know how to control it.