By Josh Cowden
Lucid Dreaming! Have you ever heard of the phenomenon? Some people report lucid dreams to be very powerful experiences and proof of just how illusionary this world really is. Before we get to much further down the rabbit hole, let’s first define what a lucid dream is.
A Lucid dream is a dream in which a person actively awakens their consciousness while still within the dream. This means that the person has access and control to rational thinking and problem solving skills whilst still inside the infiniteness of the dream world.
Many experienced people report that they can even become so aware that they can control what happens in the dream and travel freely throughout the dream world. Recent research has even shown that the state of consciousness accessed through lucid dreaming is unlike any other form of sleep and almost combines both waking and sleeping brain functions. A study by Dr. Ursla Voss states, “Our data show that lucid dreaming constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal areas.”
So what does this mean to the regular person and how can you take advantage of this amazing experience? There are a few different techniques and ideas that can be used to make this experience easier to obtain and rationalize. Medicinal herbs and/or supplements such as mugwort and melatonin have both been reported to increase brain activity in sleep, thus resulting in easier to obtain lucid dream states. While these herbs can definitely be helpful, the real success won’t come until you work on distinguishing reality from the dream world.
The easiest way to start doing that is to keep a dream journal and to write down everything that you recall from each nights dreams. Another useful practice is of staring at your hands, or another recognizable physical feature, and take a mental image of how it is supposed to look in real life compared to the minor details missing in the dream world.
For many, this all sounds a bit to science fiction and even crazy; however, to others this was one of the first steps in understanding the fundamental workings of the self and its relation to the universe. The power of dreams has been cited in history many times and this is for good reason. A certain knowledge lies within the subconscious, and this comes roaring out when doing practices such as, meditation, lucid dreaming, and even psychedelic states of consciousness. To anyone interested in these ideas are activities, I highly recommend researching the topic further, as well as watching the fantastic film about lucid dreaming called Waking Life. Watch the movie below.