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What are Lucid Dreams? This page is an extract from my book The Hidden Meaning of Dreams (1999) ISBN 0-8069-7773-6
How to Have a Lucid Dream
Mr George P from Kansas, USA, wrote to my Internet column to say “I was dreaming that I was directing a new film of the classic movie Rebecca. Suddenly the characters, the set, the landscape all seemed to burst into life. Everything became amazingly vivid. It was then that I realised ‘I’m dreaming’. The film Rebecca, as you may know, has a tragic ending but now I recognised that I was the director and could make the movie end anyway I pleased.
“As the ‘film’ progressed I understood that the dream was my way of sorting out my uncertainties over a new relationship in my life with a girl called Becky.” continues George “I realised that I was behaving badly and woke up with a resolve to completely change my attitude.”
Lucidity – Dreaming while still awake
George became conscious that he was dreaming while the dream was in progress. In other words he ‘woke up’ in the dream. His ordinary dream became an incredibly vivid and George discovered that he could not only change the content of the dream but was also consciously resolving his feelings at a very deep level.
The Dutchman van Eeden called these dreams ‘lucid dreams’ and recognised that they were not only extraordinarily vivid but could be controlled. It has been reported that 73 per cent of the population have had at least one lucid dream and lucid dreaming comes naturally to between 5 and 10 per cent.
Lucid Dreams have been described for centuries but are only recently being taken seriously by modern day dream researchers. Freud, Adler and Jung, although aware of them, virtually ignored them in their theories. Yet references to them are found in the writings of the fourth century philosopher Aristotle, Saint Augustine records a lucid dream of his friend Gennadius, and Saint Thomas Aquinas also reports them.
How to have Lucid Dreams – Techniques
One of the first systematic studies of Lucid Dreams was made by the ancient yogis of Tibet who are well known for their extraordinary psychic, physical and mental abilities. According to the esteemed Oxford scholar Evans-Wentz, who edited ‘Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines’ the Tibetan adepts mastered the lucid dream state. “The yogin learns by actual experience, resulting from psychic experimentation, that the character of any dream can be changed or transformed by willing that it shall be.”
The Tibetan adepts mastered the lucid dream state and used them as a means to realising that all things perceived through the senses are illusory and that the only reality is Nirvana. “The Universal Creation, with its many mansions of existence, from the lowest to the highest Buddha paradise, and every phenomenal thing therein… are but the content of the Supreme Dream.”
A fascinating discovery of the Tibetans, and a theme that we will explore in detail later, is how lucid dreams can be used to trigger extra sensory perception ESP and as a means to travel in other dimensions outside of the body.