Lucid dreaming is the art of becoming conscious while in the dream state. In this day and age if you want to do anything, there's probably an app for it; but with lucid dreaming, YOU are the app. Want to have a conversation with Albert Einstein? No problem. Fly to the moon? Go for it. When it comes to lucid dreaming, you are limited by nothing but your own imagination.
We believe that lucid dreaming is an infinitely invaluable tool and could be the catalyst for a shift in consciousness toward creating a Heaven on Earth. (In fact, most of the concept for Time-Peace is based on a fascination and study of lucid dreaming.) Since the primary purpose of Time-Peace is to spread awareness, we thought it would be a good idea to interview an expert in the field of lucid dreaming.
Robert Waggoner is the president of the International Association of Dreams, Co-editor of the Lucid Dream Exchange, and author of the groundbreaking book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self.
How do you define lucid dreaming and how is it different from a regular dream?
Lucid dreaming means that you become consciously aware of dreaming, while still in the dream. It’s when you suddenly realize, “Hey, this is a dream!” At that point, you have access to the Magic Kingdom of the mind. You can fly around the dream-space like Harry Potter, make things appear or disappear, walk on water (dream water, that is) and converse with dream figures.
But you do have to take care to not get too excited! Lucid dreamers learn that if they get too euphoric, they will wake up. So once you become lucid, you need to modulate your emotions, and focus on things briefly, while maintaining the knowledge that “This is a dream.”
Lucid dreaming differs from regular dreaming in numerous ways. For example, in most dreams, you just accept things that happen; you live in a new house by the sea and ride a camel to work – you just accept it! In lucid dreaming though, you critically look at the dream, and think, “Wait a second, I don’t live by the sea and ride a camel to work. This must be a dream!” And you carry that conscious knowledge with you.
In regular dreams, you also go along with the plot. In lucid dreams, however, you can consciously direct the dream. If you want to fly through a wall to see what is on the other side, you fly through it. So you can think about what you want to do, question dream figures, and manipulate the dream realm. Moreover, you can explore deeply important issues like the nature of time and space, unknown information, spiritual concepts and more.
When I think about the relationship between reality and the dream world, there's a quote that always comes to mind: "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." Do you agree?
A beautiful thing about lucid dreaming is that you can experiment with dreaming with others, or what people call mutual or shared dreaming. It takes some time and some ability to get to that stage, but it definitely seems possible.
You might ask, “Well, how do you prove it? It might be all in your mind.” And that’s an excellent point. I remember years ago, Ian wrote me about this basic question, and whether lucid dreaming occurred in one’s own brain or allowed access to a larger awareness. Since he is a good lucid dreamer, I encouraged him to devise his own experiment. Amazingly, he did!
Here’s what happened: In the dorm, he knew a young woman who had lucid dreams and was interested in the “true” nature of dream figures. So they made an agreement. Ian was to become lucid in a dream, find her, and discover the “weird freckle” on her back. Then when he woke up, he could point to where it was located. To make a long story short – on his second lucid dream attempt, she came into his dorm room, and showed him the weird freckle. He felt surprised to see it, since it was not where he expected. But he woke with that information, went down to her room, and placed his finger on her t-shirt. When she pulled it up, his finger was touching her weird freckle!
So did they meet in a shared dream space, while Ian was lucid? Or did he telepathically pick up the information and create a lucid dream drama that visually expressed it? Is so-called reality, just a type of consensus? And if so, then what does that mean when we begin to share a consensus in dreams? These are some of the questions that make lucid dreaming so exciting.
If reality is a shared dream, what do you think we would be capable of if we all became lucid? Do you think this is our next evolutionary step?
Lucid dreaming has so much potential to “awaken” each of us, and it may be the next step in our evolution. The reason I say this is that lucid dreaming also allows us “Access to the Muse” or our inner creativity. Artists, songwriters, software writers and engineers have sought out creativity in the lucid dream state with wonderful results. Similarly, spiritual minded people have become aware and explored spiritual concepts and practices (like meditating in a lucid dream), and had mind-blowing experiences.
Historically, it is interesting that the Egyptian word for ‘dream’ resut translates to ‘awakening.’ There are some people who believe that the ancient Egyptians used these inner techniques to explore inner reality. Also, the Indian Buddhist yogi, Naropa, long ago claimed that dream yoga (which uses lucid dreaming as a primary practice) was one of the six paths to Enlightenment.
When you become consciously aware in a dream, you have access to the beauty and richness of your inner self. By exploring inner reality, you come to see how you help create the reality that you experience, both in waking and dreaming. Lucidly aware, you consciously utilize those reality creating principles. Those lessons are timeless.
How do the Time-Peace principles hold up in the lucid dream world? (Time is an illusion, Your perception creates your reality, Everything is interconnected, The Universe is in alignment).
Great question. Throughout history, people have talked about precognitive dreaming, but it is largely ignored by science (since the reports normally come “after the fact”). Consider this, though – you could do experiments in which a lucid dreamer consciously seeks out future information or telepathic information in the dream state, and wakes up with it. Then they hand it to the scientist and wait to see if that information has validity. So lucid dreaming could help validate these Time-Peace Principles, and show that “time” is not linear, and that things seem interconnected (which explains telepathy and synchronicity).
To a large degree, we have to expand our expectations of what is possible. The “Expectation Effect” is something that all experienced lucid dreamers realize. Basically, you get what you expect – to the degree that you expect it at that moment. If you expect to lucidly fly through a wall with ease, you do so. But if you expect to have trouble, then you bounce off the wall. Or in my case when I expected just a little bit of trouble, you get stuck halfway in and out! In your waking life, your expectations go before you, and structure what you will experience. By changing your expectations, you can change your reality.
When you look at it, waking life shares many commonalities with dreaming life. We all need to “awaken” and see through it to the more true reality.
What advice do you have for someone interested in becoming an oneironaut?
Have fun while you practice! Lucid dreaming should be a joy. At the links section on my website www.lucidadvice.com I link to my paper on techniques that I have successfully used. If you remember your dreams and try these lucid dreaming practices, you will begin to become consciously aware in the dream state, and realize, “Whoa – this is a lucid dream!” It is so much fun.
Do you think lucid dreaming should be taught in elementary schools?
Many little kids are already becoming lucid to deal with nightmare figures. I think educated parents (educated about lucid dreaming) know the answer to that one.
What would you do RIGHT NOW if you realized you were dreaming?
Wrap this up, and go deeper into the conscious dream.
If you had to tell us one last thing before you left, what would it be?
You have the ability to awaken within the dream. So you need to decide: Would you like to have a lucid dream tonight? Or next week? It’s your choice.