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Are You a Lucid Dreamer?
Meet Me Tonight in Lucid Dream Land
What are Lucid Dreams?
The famed Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once wrote: "Often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream." A lucid dream in layman's terms is dreaming and knowing you are dreaming inside the dream. Much has been written about these kinds of dreams. At the start of the 1960s, that age of self-awareness and massive movements of change, Lucid Dreams were quite well known. In order to understand the true concept of Lucid Dreams, it's necessary to be more keenly in touch with our subconscious minds and the parts of our human brains we use less frequently. In these less used parts of the brain, dreams are spawned.
All in a Day's Dream
During the course of a single, ordinary day, humans often store "data" they are unaware of. For example, a child in the park playing in a sand box we only casually glance past. Like a computer's RAM memory, the subconscious mind stores the picture of the child. Months later, when the child has disappeared, our subconscious mind might be jogged by the color of the sand or the box and the child's face comes instantly flooding back in memory. The magical world of the human mind is a vast universe of mysteries. How many things have you stored in your memory banks today unintentionally? When you are under a great deal of stress, that stress level has the impetus to invent dreams. It may be as simple as a momentary thought unfinished or interrupted in your conscious mind that plays out in your subconscious with a full cast of characters and a complex plot. Much has been written about dreams. Yet, the subject of Lucid Dreams has been barely explored over the years. In a lucid dream, you know you are dreaming. Your dream state produces an overwhelming feeling of being separated from the dream inside the dream.
The Possibilities of the Lucid Dream State
The similarity between clinical hypnosis and lucid dream suggestions is striking. It is therefore, possible to bring forth long forgotten memories while in a lucid dream? Most individuals know when they are dreaming...as they are dreaming. This is usually due to the fragmentation that occurs in dream state thought patterns. It's the dreams that seem all too real and are remembered with acute clarity while awake that portend the possibility of a lucid dream. The possibilities of the lucid dream state could be endless since the vast channels of the mind have yet to be fully uncovered consciously, unconsciously, psychologically or metaphysically.
How much attention do you pay to your dreams? Dream states have an origin. Most individuals don't take the time to study the origins. The dream in the wakened states is quickly forgotten. Or, is it stored in your subconscious memory banks to be recalled while asleep? This gives individuals an idea of the value of these subconscious memory banks and the possibilities and potential usefulness.
Exercise Your Memory Bank
As humans age, their short memory becomes less reliable. Yet, many older individuals have clear memories of their childhood. To exercise your memory banks to fullest use, always keep a journal of your dreams even if they are fragmented or seem to make no sense. To build a greater sense of the dream state create habits that inspire lucid dream states. For example, read a sentence from a book. Close the book. After an hour, try to remember the sentence in entirety.
Another tip for creating lucid dreams is to plan to dream about a person, place or thing in the hours preceding sleep. This might be a special vacation place, a friend or relative with whom you have lost contact or a favorite childhood toy. Creating lucid dreams depends heavily on an individual's intense concentration skills. Try using a photograph or picture as a mechanism to evoke thoughts before you sleep. When you concentrate on a photograph or picture, you will find a multitude of thoughts inspired by your focus. Write down the experience. In most cases, a photograph may begin with just gazing at the image. But, it may become a long road of thoughts that divert from the image. These exercise are known as Mnemonic Induction that helps to create lucid dreams.
Lucid Dreams vs. Reality
It's extremely important to develop a keen sense of reality and the dream state in order to produce lucid dreams. Practice verifying reality in the conscious state and the subsconscious realm of the dream state. When you keep a dream journal, you can differentiate between common dreams and lucid dreams more easily. There are hundreds of common dreams like being chased, loss of a valuable person or object and sensing danger.
Very often, when we dream in REM deep sleep, we have dreams that cause us to awaken in the middle of the night. In the initial moments of waking, we are unsure of whether we are awake or still asleep. When we are able to return to sleep, this is when lucid dreams are most likely to occur.
Evaluating Lucid Dreams
Depending on what each individual hopes to achieve by increasing the ability to evoke lucid dreams, evaluating lucid dreams can resolve long ago unresolved issues. Those issues that have been unresolved due to interruption or loss are stored in memory banks. By practicing the art of lucid dreaming, keeping a dream journal and developing a keen sense of concentration, the human mind benefits by allowing the subconscious to assist with the need to resolve disturbing or unresolved issues.
Where Do We Go When We Dream?
The state of unconsciousness of "sleep" is like traveling in an out of body experience. Many lucid dreamers find their dreams take them to places they might never travel in the course of their lifetimes. Others find that their mind is still actively involved in the day's activities, albeit with a far different resolution. What of the dreams that feel like deja vu or are intuitive? When you keep a dream journal for more than a decade, reread your journal entries at the end of each year. How many of the dreams are intuitive? How many caused deja vu in the awakened state? Why we dream is just as important as where we go when we dream. The feeling of unlimited freedom that some in the lucid dream state enjoy reaffirms their truest sense of courage to "go where no man has gone before." Since lucid dreams are dreams within a dream, the dreamer has a sense of predilection and empowerment over the outcomes of dreams if they have prepared their minds prior to sleep. Learning to develop the lucid dream state takes diligent practice. Take note of your physical state before you retire for the night. If you are too tired, your body will demand sound sleep nearly immediately. Lucid dreams occur while the body is in a relatively relaxed, prepared state. This encourages mental concentration of the subject of the lucid dream you prepare your mind to accept.
Study Lucid Dreams
If you have been unaware of lucid dreaming, seek additional information on the subject from sources like "Psychology Today" magazine or discuss it with a trained psychologist. The human mind functions most productively when it is free of subconscious thoughts that should be released through lucid dreams. This is similar to emptying the "cache" and "prefetch" files on a computer hard drive. When these thoughts and memories are released from the mind, other, more valuable thoughts replace them.