The term “lucid dream” is familiar to many people and many have experienced this somewhat altered state of consciousness. Science has only relatively recently recognized this as a valid experience, but the history of them goes way back.
And even though “proving” the existence of these dreams is difficult, those of us who have had them know they are are real as any other experience we have ever had. May be more so!
Lucid Dream History
According to the research I’ve done, one of the earliest recorded lucid dreams was written by St Augustine in the 5th century BCE. And Buddhists monks refer to this ability in the Tibetan Book of the Dead that reportedly comes from the 8th century. In this book, they describe a type of yoga that allows the participant to remain fully conscious while in the dream state.
Then throughout history, many people have written about their dreams and their awareness of them. Some of those great thinkers include the philosopher and physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682), Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys and Dutch author and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden who is credited with coining the term “lucid dream”.
What Can We Do with the Lucid Dream?
Ignoring for right now the discussion of how to determine what the true dream state is, the fact that we can become aware of our dreams within the dream means that we are conscious, at some level, while we are in what we call the sleep state.
There are some obvious advantages to becoming aware that what we feel we are experiencing is “only” a dream. Some studies have been done with people suffering from frequent nightmares. The results have been positive in both reducing the effects of the nightmares and their frequency.
Another might be to record the experiences in the dream and then use that information to address a problem in the waking state. Since there is only a fine line between what we call “awake” and “dreaming”, then applying what we learn in the dream may indeed benefit us in everyday life.
Everything related to consciousness and states of awareness is purely individual and those experiences will reflect us as individuals. Lucid dreaming is equally so.
I have had many interesting experiences in this state and have found ways to use them which I describe in this blog, “The Lucid Dream – What is It?”
What have your experiences been and how have you used them? We’d love to hear about hem!