Lucid Dreaming

What is Lucid Dreaming? This isn't a how to guide, more of an explanation of it's concept, studies and it's relation to consciousness.
Sarah Chumacero
13th February 2019.
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What is a lucid dream?

A Lucid dream is a dream where you are aware that you are dreaming and you are able to control your actions. The term of lucid dreaming was coined by Frederik can Eeden who was a Dutch author and psychiatrist, in an article he published in 1913 called A Study of Dreams. Aristotle once wrote 'often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream' which is thought by some to be a reference to lucid dreaming. In fact there are references made to it throughout history. It is thought by some to be a powerful tool when used in such a way to help people overcome their fears. Some in the medical field even believe that it can help treat conditions such as anxiety and PTSD, however there is not enough research to conclude either way.

When Lucid Dreaming, it is almost like you are in a simulator where you are in the driver's seat controlling what happens. It is even thought by some that Lucid Dreaming means that you are not just willing to accept things as they are. By adapting principles of Lucid Dreaming in your real life means that you are not just accepting the world as it is presented to you (like a regular dream would be). In a Lucid Dream you take action, ask questions and look for answers. It is considered to be a form of a journey. If you do this in your waking life, it can potentially open up other possibilities as you are looking at the world from a different perspective. People report waking up feeling refreshed and renewed after a Lucid Dream and some feel empowered, especially if you have overcome a nightmare. Do you ever have a nightmare and realise you are having a nightmare and you make the decision to fight back? This in a way falls under Lucid Dreaming.This thought process can apply when it comes to the paranormal as well. Most investigators don't just accept the world as it is presented to us. We have seen and experienced too much not to ask any questions. We are actively looking for answers and taking control of our experience and journey and no two journeys are the same, it is highly individual.

What do studies tell us?

The following is information published on the US National Library Of Medicine National Institutes of Health in the following article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737577/

It details a group of 20 undergraduate students of psychology at Bonn University took part in weekly lucidity training sessions. After 4 months, 6 subjects had claimed to be lucid more than 3 times per week. These 6 were invited to the sleep laboratory of the Frankfurt University. The goal of the study was to seek electro physiological correlates of lucid dreaming. The working hypothesis was that the brain must change state if the mind changes state. In order to measure the results, a 19-channel EEG was recorded on up to 5 nights for each participant. The participants had been trained to indicate they were in a state of lucidity by signally with pre determined horizontal eye movements which they had learnt during their training.

Measurements and Results:

Results show lucid dreaming to have REM-like power in frequency bands δ and θ, and higher-than-REM activity in the γ band, the between-states-difference peaking around 40 Hz. Power in the 40 Hz band is strongest in the frontal and frontolateral region. Overall coherence levels are similar in waking and lucid dreaming and significantly higher than in REM sleep, throughout the entire frequency spectrum analyzed. Regarding specific frequency bands, waking is characterized by high coherence in α, and lucid dreaming by increased δ and θ band coherence. In lucid dreaming, coherence is largest in frontolateral and frontal areas.

Conclusions:

Our data show that lucid dreaming constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal areas.

Lucid dreaming and consciousness

Differences between REM sleep and lucid dreaming were most prominent in the 40-Hz frequency band. The increase in 40-Hz power was especially strong at frontolateral and frontal sites. These results suggest that 40-Hz activity holds a functional role in the modulation of conscious awareness across different conscious states.

While Lucid dreaming is used by some as a form of therapy to overcome some kind of trauma, it is used by others for spirit communication. They feel in a lucid dream they can actively communicate with their spirit guides or their loved ones to receive messages. If say Lucid dreaming does in fact allow us to communicate with spirits, does that mean it also allows us to communicate with living people? Is consciousness the door to communication with Lucid Dreaming being one of the keys that helps unlock this door? It certainly makes you think when you look at paranormal activity and communication. Could we be communicating with the consciousness of a living person in a Lucid Dream? If they are picturing themselves at a location, are they potentially making things happen at this location? If they are talking to a person in their dream at a location, does this come across as what some may interpret as a spirit voice at the location? It really makes you wonder what phenomena we are experiencing when out in the field.

This isn't intended to be a how to guide on lucid dreaming and you won't find any instructions here, but more to plant a seed of the thought process and what is all could potentially mean. Have you ever tried Lucid Dreaming? Do you think it allows us to communicate with spirit? Do you think it could allow us to communicate with living people?

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