Lucid Dreaming Essay, Research Paper
Ever have the feeling where you don’t really know if you are dreaming or awake? That feeling of conscious awaking in you dreams where you are able to control yourself, your movements, and your wishes. This can be defined as lucid dreams.
Roughly one-third of our lives we spend on sleeping, and significant amount of this time is spent on dreaming. So why not enjoy our dreams by controlling them, instead of letting dreams controlling us. The term “lucid”, came from Frederik Van Eeden in 1913, he used it to define the sense of mental clarity. The definition of lucid dreaming is nothing more than becoming aware that you are dreaming, while you are dreaming.
There are different levels of control among people where you are able to control your lucid dreams. A low-level lucid dream is one where you know you’re dreaming, but that’s it. In experiencing a higher level of lucid dream, you have the power to control, influence, and react to various events and contents of the dream. For those who have mastered the state of lucidity, the benefits are enormous. It gives a person a chance to experience adventures unsurpassed in everyday life, like that vacation on the moon. You can literally do anything you wish; the only limits are the limits bound my your imagination. Having the ability to tap to our unconscious, and subconscious mind, it also gives us a valuable insight into our daily lives. “By learning to make the best of the worst situation imaginable, you can overcome nightmare’s and fears in the waking world” Gackenback/Bosveld 1989)
There are several techniques for inducing a lucid dream, and the Lucidity Institute, Inc., founded in 1987 by lucid dreaming researcher Dr. Stephen LaBerge to support research on lucid dreams and to help people learn to use them to enhance their lives. This has created special devices to assist people in achieving lucid dreams. Inducing lucid dreams takes concentration, effort, and time. Some people have been able to have lucid dreams on the very first night of attempting to do so, however it may take others up to weeks. This varies greatly from person to person. It seems, as people who remember their dreams with greater ease tend to find it easier to have lucid dreams when compared to those who remember only a few every month (LaBerge).
Many people seem to confront with the chance to learn of lucid dreaming asking themselves, “Why would I want to lucid dream?” The most common use of lucid dream is for those who have achieved the skill for pure fun and adventure. Unlike reality the laws of physics or even the rules of government do not restrict you. There is no need to be afraid of social consequences, because they are non-existent. You can fly, glide, touch, taste, whatever your heart desires. The limits are limitless.
“Entertainment is not the only use of lucid dreaming, because of the strong link between the mind and body during dreams, there is evidence to suggest that dreams can be used for mental and physical healing” (Ziesing).
Many have failed trying to induce lucid dreams, yet often people start having a lucid dream after giving up. So do not push to have one, trying too hard would only end up in frustration.
After one has accomplished with the task of inducing lucid dreams to the max, reality testing is the assurance, and a constant question. Whether or not what one is experiencing is indeed reality, several times a day one may ask him/her self, “Am I dreaming?” The answer to that question might surprise the inducer of lucid dreams in time (Van de Castle 42).
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) is a technique developed by Dr. Stephen Laberge, and is used by him to induce lucid dreams at will during his study. The steps to lucid dreaming via MILD are to set you mind to awaken from dreams and recall them as completely as possible. After one has recalled it, concentrating single-mindedly on its intention to remember to realize that he/she was only dreaming. One may say, “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember I’m dreaming.” By trying to really put this really in your mind and through your emotions recalling the idea of dreaming will awake you from a dream to conscious awareness. At the same time imagining and recalling another dream and by understand that idea of it being only dream will be helpful. Repeat these until you intention firmly is set in your mind, and it is the last thing on your mind before you fall asleep (LaBerge).
Another way of inducing a lucid dream can be achieved through lucid dream induction devices. Developed through laboratory research at Stanford University, the basis of these devices is to remind someone of their intentions while dreaming. It has been observed that some sensory events are incorporated into ongoing dreams. On occasion such as a radio, or noise around your house appear to disguise itself onto a dream, rather than awakening you. For example a device could be a tape recording of a voice saying “You’re dreaming” played while a person is in REM sleep will on occasion come through and remind a person to become lucid, aware. The Lucidity Institute developed flashing lights as a lucidity cue. They seem to have fewer tendencies to awaken people, and were easily applied. The DreamLight and NovaDreamer work by detecting the rapid eye movements of REM sleep, and by altering the wearer with a light cue it brings the dreamer to a lucid state. ” There has been much discussion, but tests have consistently show that these devices give a 73% higher success rate into lucid dream induction”(LaBerge).
What an adventure to travel the unseen lands, to imagine what one cannot possibly achieve in life. To see the unseen to taste, feel, hear, and touch with the power to control ones destiny in dreams. It is better then any adventurous book, or movies. It can be the ultimate vacation for the mind. But there comes a question in mind, what would a person choose? To live in a dream state with all his dreams coming true, or to live a life with boundaries, rules, reality.