What is the Lucid Dream?
Many people have heard the term “lucid dream”, but haven’t really understood what that is. Here is one definition from the internet:
“A lucid dream is a dream in which the sleeper is aware that she or he is dreaming. When the dreamer is lucid, she or he can actively participate in and often manipulate the imaginary experiences in the dream environment.”
So now you have a definition. But what does it really mean to “actively participate in” or “manipulate” the dream? If you are asleep, how do you do anything in your dream? Is this doubletalk, or is it really possible?
The confusion comes from the way we tend to think of “awake” and “asleep”. There is a tendency to view these as two completely separate states of being, and unrelated. The things I do when I’m awake are “real”; what I “do” when I’m asleep is un-real.
But when we begin to understand consciousness (not just being conscious, or aware), but in a state where we are aware of ourselves all the time, then we realize that “all the time” also includes the sleep and dream states. And if we can become aware in the dream state, then we can indeed participate or manipulate the situation just like we can do it when we are what we call awake.
The Dream State and How to Use It
The dream state is often when our consciousness presents us with information to process, or deal with, that it knows we will ignore when we are awake. Our awake mind has lots of filters and they often are set by us to keep unpleasant things out of the way, so to speak. These can be simple day-to-day issues we need to address; or they can be really deep seated issues that need resolution for us to be able to move forward.
I went through a stage where I had many dreams that included dangerous situations that I found myself in. They usually included someone else who was trying to harm me, or where I was sure the situation would get out of hand. As I got better at being aware of my dreams, in other words I began to be lucid in my dreams, I began to do the following:
I would wake up during the dream and remember it vividly. I would close my eyes again. I would “watch” the dream like as a video, hit the “rewind button”, play back to the beginning of the danger scene, rewrite it, and then re-play it with a “happy ending”.
Lucid Dream – A Message from the Sub-Conscious
Somewhere in my sub-conscious was an area that was dealing with anger, violence, danger, or whatever. The dreams were simply bringing that to my attention. These dreams we would normally call nightmares. But, when you are aware of what you are dreaming, and know that you are in control of them, you can manipulate them like I did.
Keeping in mind that the sleep state and the activities there may be reflecting the awake state; then resolving things in the sleep state will resolve them in the other state. And doing it while we’re dreaming may be easier for us since we control the whole situation. And when we have addressed the issue in the dream, and resolved it, we may never have to address it in what might be a more uncomfortable situation in the awake state.
The Lucid Dream and the OOBE
One other aspect of the lucid dream is that it can be confused with an out of body experience. Since the dream can seem so real, as an OOBE does, we have to figure out which is which. One of the guest bloggers and Gateway Experience affiliates talks about recording her dream and realizing there were many signals she overlooked that could have helped her. She puts it this way:
“It was at that point I woke and recorded as much information as I could remember. In reviewing this account, there were many times I should have picked up on a ‘dream sign’ or signal, yet I know with continued practice, I shall be able to become more lucid more often and turn more of my ‘dreams’ into a full OOBs.”
Whether you stay in the lucid dream state or transition into an OOBE, you are exploring new states of awareness and new levels of consciousness, this is what The Gateway Experience is all about.