Before I answer the question of what lucid dreaming is, I’d like to say that my first lucid dream not only changed my life forever, it grew into a passion that has completely changed my outlook on myself and what we’re capable of as human beings. The fact that I can experience a reality that is as equally as real as this waking reality is something that, almost 20 years later, I’m still trying to fully wrap my head around.
Having said that, let’s explore what exactly a lucid dream is: In the simplest terms, a lucid dream is when one “wakes up” within a dream but continues to dream. For me, I’ve often woken up within my dream and have had my full consciousness and faculties, making my dream world as vividly real as my waking reality. The only difference, is that whatever I imagine to be real, is as real as me writing this and as you reading it now.
Within lucid dreams, there can be many varying levels of self-awareness and consciousness. There are times I’ve realized I was dreaming, but there was nothing I could do to control the dream. There are other times that I realized I was dreaming, and a few moments later, that realization stopped the dream. And, at other times, I didn’t realize that I had a lucid dream until I woke up the next morning, and recalled that I was awake within my dream at one point.
These concepts can be difficult to truly understand for those who have never experienced a lucid dream with their full consciousness. But, while in that fully-conscious lucid dreaming state, I literally cannot tell the difference between my dream world and my waking world. And that simple fact is what has peaked my interest for so many years now: To my mind, the fact that my waking world and my dream world are identical in almost every way, to me, speaks volumes of what our minds are capable of, and what potential exists within our own consciousness.
In fact, there are times when my world within a lucid dream has felt more real than my waking reality, and far more “natural” in many ways as well, partly because, as John Perkins says; my world is as I dream it. In my lucid dreams, my world can be exactly what I dream it to be, and it can be so real that I need to perform “checks” to see if I’m in my waking world or my dreaming world.
For me, my “check” is whether or not I can fly.
I’ve dreamed of flying like Superman as far back as I can remember. As a result, I often have vivid dreams of flight and of flying, and have, ever since I was a child. So, naturally for me, I often choose to fly within my dreams. Yes, many I have spoken with often immediately choose sex within their lucid dreams, and I can’t deny that I’ve also experimented with the exact same thing, but flying in my dreams has become one of the “checks” or the “dream signs” to let me know if I’m actually dreaming. If I can fly, then I must be dreaming. And often, for me, it’s that realization that has given me the precious gift of waking up within my dream, allowing me to continue that flight. Being able to fly with outstretched arms and having the sensation of flight being so vividly real is something I could never hope to explain in words.
What’s even more extraordinary to me (this is just one example of many), and I don’t know how it’s possible is this: When I first flew over my childhood home, before there was Google Earth to look up a satellite photo, what I saw while flying over my home (like Superman, using only my outstretched arms to steer me) was almost identical to what I later saw on Google Earth. Every detail of my neighborhood matched, tree for tree, street for street, and house for house when I looked it up.
I know that those who have had near-death experiences have been able to describe details of their hospital room down to the detail, I know people who have been able to read the numbers on the top of the ambulance she was in while she was in anaphylactic shock and stopped breathing for 20 seconds, and the list goes on. Regardless of the meaning of any of these, just the fact that identical experiences have been recorded (some by myself) through lucid dreaming, for me, makes it one of the most extraordinary experiences we can have while in these fragile frames.
So, take a look around this blog; I’ve got lots of techniques on how to best induce lucid dreams, entries from my dream journal on lucid dreams I’ve had, as well as a comprehensive list of herbs for dreaming. Yes, there are many herbs that have been used for thousands of years to help dream recall, to help induce vivid dreams, and to help have lucid dreams.
For me, the most powerful tool for lucid dreaming incuduction starts with a Dream Journal. I talk about that in another article on DreamHerbs called “Lucid Dreaming Made Easy”.