A stunning and vital idea, this collective
cyberdream! As a long time lucid dreamer and writer, I'm excited about this new
opportunity for the exchange of information about my favorite
"topic-within-a-topic" in this corner of Electric Dreams.
Lucid dreaming has been part of my life for many years, and particularly in
the last couple of years has been my primary interest as a subject.
* * * * *
WHAT IS LUCID DREAMING? There are a lot of definitions of Lucid Dreaming
floating around out there, most of them being wide of the mark. Lucid Dreaming
means knowing that you're dreaming WHILE you are asleep and dreaming. This is
usually in REM sleep. Lucidity affords the dreamer conscious choice and
awareness in the dream state for a variety of purposes. It is a mental technique
that can be learned, and is enjoyed by more and more people every day... better
than the best Virtual Reality there is. (What computer has anything close to the
potential of the human brain-mind?) My basic thesis is that Lucid Dreaming is a
valuable adjunct to any kind of approach to understanding and/or enjoying dreams
you may currently employ.
* * * * *
Here's what I think is a vivid example of how Lucidity changed a dream--
dramatically-- for the better.
MY DREAM, MY SISTER, MY SELF
My week had been one of long work hours and little time to myself. Sure, I
had some personal concerns that needed addressing sooner or later, but thinking
about such things was a luxury that would clearly have to wait. It wasn't like
they were earth-shattering problems or anything. Like most people, I had my
hands full sometimes just taking care of the logistical details of modern
It was another late night... I dragged myself into bed and fell to sleep
almost immediately. My need for REM sleep was apparently accumulating that week
because in well under an hour I was already dreaming away. I found myself
standing in a darkened room, and since I couldn't remember how I had gotten
there, I realized I was dreaming: always a delightful realization for me when it
happens! But what to do in this lucid dream? Since I hadn't deliberately induced
it, I had no agenda. The first thing that occurred to me was an erotic
encounter. Sure; why not? After all, It was my dream. But first, I would check
in a mirror and make sure I was suitably groomed for such an event (or at least
to see if it was me in the mirror!) Stepping into my convincingly real bathroom,
I saw an equally convincing image of myself.
The next step would be to conjure my dream companion for that night's
adventure. Hmm; that shouldn't be a problem.
Soon I had something in mind...
Suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, my (nice-person-in- waking-life) sister
came screaming at me in what seemed a nearly psychotic rage. My first impulse
was to create a door against the attack and keep her away, which I did, feeling
all her strength pounding against that door. No one wants to be attacked or
injured, and I'm no exception. How absolutely maddening this turn of events was!
Why on earth was this suddenly happening?
Almost as soon as these thoughts formed, I realized their inherent absurdity.
It was a dream, after all, and as such I had nothing to fear from an attack by a
chimerical representation of my sister. Then it occurred to me I could go a step
further, and I released my resistance to the door, stepping back.
Into the bathroom my dream-sister came, eyes shining in rage and fists
clenched, screaming wordlessly at me. It still was bothering me that this was
happening. This was wasting valuable dream time when I had, well. . . other
plans! But clearly something else was afoot here.
It took great effort, but I relaxed my dream-ego's arms to my sides and
stared into her face, offering no resistance.
Then I spoke, saying, "You are my sister, and this may be happening in
my dream for a reason." She stopped, relaxing her arms as well. Without
waiting for anything else to happen I went forward to her, and gave her a strong
hug. As I did so, I felt all her rage drain away, and was filled with a powerful
unifying and peaceful sensation. As I did so, I felt a new set of interpretive
ideas in my consciousness, after which the dream faded and I woke up.
Although the personal details of my interpretation are important to me, their
specifics are unimportant to this discussion. Suffice to say the experience left
me with two important things: a deeply satisfied emotional state, and some
provocative new thoughts to ponder about my current life.
* * *
It seems pretty clear to me that my lucidity played a really important role
in what I feel was an unusually powerful dream experience. The dream would have
been psychologically important and interesting to me if it had been non-lucid
(in other words, if I'd never figured out I was dreaming). But as it happened,
the dream was even more valuable. Not only did I have some highly personal
symbolism and personal issue ideas to work with, but I had a deeply satisfying
and even integrating experience. Non-lucidly I would have fought with my
dream-sister in all likelihood, eventually waking up from a highly unpleasant
dream. Lucidity elevated the dream into an opportunity to connect with a part of
myself-- in an almost profound way-- that had clear significance for me in my
life at the time. The key difference was my knowledge I was dreaming, and using
that knowledge to make choices in the dream.
I think of this dream now whenever I listen to people voice concerns about
Lucid Dreaming when they are new to the idea, as it sometimes happens. Lucid
Dreaming is a learnable technique that can be an incredible tool regardless of
how you like to explore your dreams, but it can make dreamwork people nervous.
It's that word "control". But as you see, you can make useful choices,
and as you can also see, the dream can still surprise you! Over and over again,
I'm glad I have Lucid Dreaming available to me to put my mind right there where
the dream is. . . and in real time, too. Lucid Dreaming presents diverse
possibilities from hedonistic to spiritual, and everything in between!
All the Best Dreams...
Want to talk about Lucid Dreaming? That's mainly why I'm here. As for all
other dream material sent to ELECTRIC DREAMS, you should send your Lucid Dream
comments, questions, and experiences to Cathy, INDICATING that they relate to
Lucid Dreaming. Her address is:
I also want to mention a terrific resource. There is an organization I dearly
love called the LUCIDITY INSTITUTE that focuses on Lucid Dreaming. I do not work
for them and am not here because of them, but I personally urge anyone
interested in the subject to consider contacting these delightful and educated
people for more information. They publish a newsletter, do research projects on
Lucid Dreaming, have workshops, and more.
The LUCIDITY Institute's phone number is:
Or in the CA. BAY AREA: (415) 321-9969
Their web site, with lots of great info, is: