P1. Let’s get back to Lucid Dreaming proper for now because it’s fun.
Lucid dream researcher Beverly D’Urso was asked how lucid dream fantasies compared to similar events in real life. Her reply was,
“dream fantasies are usually much more exciting. There are so many things you can do in dreams that you cannot do in waking life. You cannot taste fire or fly to the sun or have sex with strangers without potentially serious consequences.”
She went on to talk about a more spiritual aspect of lucid dreaming saying,
“You learn to be in the present moment and to notice your surroundings and take in things without being sidetracked by random thoughts or the past or the future. That’s what all big spiritual teachers teach you now: The importance of being in the present moment.”
These quotes are motivational for me, but let’s just list some of the most mundane benefits as well below.
Solving problems in lucid dreams has been documented with some success, but it seems to be limited in its range of instances. However, there is quite a lot of evidence that frequent lucid dreamers do have better problem-solving abilities in general. Such task as solving puzzles have been tested with better outcomes for frequent lucid dreamers.
Also, it has been found that practicing tasks in lucid dreams do improve one’s abilities in the waking state.
There is even some evidence to suggest that lucid dreaming can relieve the symptoms of depression sometimes.
Being Less Tired After Sleeping
My own experience is that I frequently feel tired in the mornings when I wake up and especially when I need to go to work or the office.
However, if I have been lucid dreaming shortly before I wake up, then I actually wake up more refreshed and with more energy than usual.
It is definitely the case that my mood is better when I wake up from a lucid dream than from a normal dream. I guess this is because my lucid dreams are more fun!
Deciding the Plot of Your Lucid Dream
I find the most fun about lucid dreaming is that I can create the most amazing happenings in my dream. This makes them much more exciting and fun compared to normal dreams.
Most lucid dreamers talk of flying and fun filled holidays as being the best things to do during dreams. But other people like to pose deep questions such as “Who am I?” or “What is the meaning of Life?” The answers here can be quite cryptic!
As a once trained mathematician, I have enjoyed traveling in space and time and passing into other dimensions. Lucid dreams allow you to construct these weird ideas and develop interesting plots around them.
Black Holes and inter-galactic travel have been fun experiences after hearing lectures by theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking or Brian Greene.
Meet Interesting People
It is particularly wonderful to meet interesting people in lucid dreams.3 – Lucid dreamers meet and interact with their heroes.
These may be much loved deceased relatives, or living people who you are never likely to bump into, or famous notables from long ago, such as Beethoven or Einstein, or maybe your heroes of today.
All is possible.
Talking to Yourself
Since everything in a dream is, in a sense, an aspect of you, I have found talking to myself rather fun. Trying to decide what each of these articles are in a dream is a mind-bending experience.
Carlos Castaneda, the shamanic explorer, writer, and anthropologist, mentions being spoken to by various voices during lucid dreams. These voices would describe what is happening and answer questions that you asked almost before you ask them.
However, it is for you, you can gain valuable insights by exploring your lucid dreams by talking to yourself.
Overcoming Fears in Nightmares
Stephen Laberge is very explicit in his discussions about lucid dreaming to show how you can overcome your fears in nightmares. His method is to stand and recognize the fear or monster or whatever is bothering you in the dream. Don’t run away.
Then he describes showing love and compassion for this fear or object. He then describes how the fearsome focus of your attention simply melts away or transforms into something benign.
I have had similar experiences, but you do have to hold your nerve!
I have discussed this aspect of lucid dreaming, or indeed, ordinary dreaming too, elsewhere (See Helping Dreams). But the fact is that lucid dreaming is a wonderful canvas for applying your creativity because it is real-time, 3-dimensional and infinitely flexible.
It also allows you to see the results of integrating your conscious mind with your unconscious mind in making all the details of what goes into your lucid dream.
Stephen LaBerge, founder of the California-based Lucidity Institute, himself has said that lucid dreaming,
“has considerable potential for promoting personal growth and self-development, enhancing self-confidence, improving mental and physical health, facilitating creative problem solving and helping people progress on the path of self-mastery.”