No less than art, lucid dreaming. After all, it’s dreaming with your mind wide awake. Although you’re asleep, you’re awake and the remote to your dreams lies in your control. Sounds complex? Well, it is.
Everyone has different understandings of lucid dreaming. Let’s tone to one that makes sense to everyone. Lucid means ‘clear’ and to summarise it in simple terms, lucid dreaming is doing so consciously and being in charge of what you see in your dream. Now, that’s easy to understand. What’s hard is to understand and adopt the process involved in that art.
According to psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge, lucid dreaming involves the dreamer being aware of the fact that they are dreaming. Dreamers can remember their identities, their thoughts and ideas while they are dreaming. They can think clearly and act intentionally within the dream.
As the term suggests, the dreaming experience can be so clear sometimes, it’s almost lifelike and real.
Lucidity occurs during altered states of consciousness when you realize you are dreaming in the REM stage of your sleep. It transforms your confined dream world into a virtual alternate reality where every perception is worth substituting reality. While your usual night dreams come with certain vagueness since the conscious awareness stays down in that period; in lucid dreaming, on the other hand, the conscious brain is awake and working.
Owing to the otherworldly experience that lucid dreaming infuses; there are misconceptions of the practice being paranormal. However, the state is something that’s been incorporated by people since centuries and is extremely safe and natural. One can dream when they want to and can also snap out of it on one’s will. If anything, lucid dreaming is enlightening. But, where’s art here?
Well, lucid dreaming isn’t just the ability to dream or being aware of it. It’s a lot more than that. We’d say the process of learning how to do it, actually experiencing it and making positive changes in one’s life using it isn’t any less than art.
Experienced lucid dreamers believe it all starts by having a keen eye and being aware of everything around you, the minuscule details. It starts by observing the little things in your surrounding. When you’re fully aware of your surroundings, you can consciously differentiate a dream from reality.
And, once you’re able to recognise your dreams, you can take an action to control them. Simple, basic, everyday mental habits form the basis of your lucid dreaming experience. One can also adopt habitual dream recognition using meditation, visualization and dream journaling to name a few.
Now, this artful practice isn’t just confined to escapism. The art of lucid dreaming can have multiple benefits to personal growth. Besides pushing one’s creativity, confidence and self-realization, lucid dreaming can help in problem-solving and facing one’s fears. You can use it to explore your boundaries, your unconscious mind and beyond that.
Lucid dreaming is a powerful mental tool and boosts your conscious experience. Although tricky, it’s definitely worth experiencing. After all, who wouldn’t want to plunge into a virtual escape while also gaining spiritual and mental clarity?
Crafted with brevity for select stories to make certain you see what others don't; sent every Friday
Two exclusive fortnightly newsletters, sent on Saturday alternately
a) Reel and Real with Rony Patra
b) Mixer with Ayush Garg