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Lucid Dreaming Kicks On

Lucid dreaming is on the rise, according to recent studies:

Inception is a fantasy, but Britain’s leading authority on dreaming said that the incidence of lucid dreaming seems to have increased over the last few years.

Professor Mark Blagrove, a psychologist who runs a sleep laboratory at the University of Swansea, said that according to studies the number of people in Western societies who experienced a lucid dream had increased by between 10 and 40 per cent since the 1980s. The most recent research suggests that about eight out of ten people will have a lucid dream in their lives.

It appears that “people’s abilities during dreaming are altering” as they become more adept at recognising that they are able to control their dreams, Professor Blagrove said. Work at centres such as Swansea is slowly building a picture of what might be happening during these dreams and what secrets about the uncharted subconscious they could yield.

Although lucid dreams were identified and named by the Dutch psychologist Frederik van Eeden in 1913 and dreaming groups have been springing up for years, they are still controversial among scientists because they are difficult to monitor and evaluate.

However, in response to recent progress in the field, The New Scientist said in a June editorial that “the study of lucid dreaming has been seen as a fringe activity for too long”.

We here at TDG are more than happy to embrace fringe activities though, and I’m happy to report that Daily Grail Publishing will soon be issuing a revised and updated edition of Paul Devereux’s excellent book on the topic, The Lucid Dreaming Handbook. If you’re looking to learn more about lucid dreaming, and how to do it yourself, make sure you wait for this one…it’s definitely one for any Grailer’s bookshelf.

  1. drawbacks
    I actually see a drawback to an increase in the percentage of people controlling their dreams.

    Dreams can be enlightening, revealing and plain informative. They reveal to a person some parts of their own minds that they are not aware of.

    Some spiritually oriented folks would say that dreams reveal other realms of existence, and conciousness other than one’s own. While I personally don’t believe that, it is a quality of the same type – insight can be gained into something other than plain old, directly observed, plain activity.

    Controlling this kind of thing from waking conciousness would turn dreaming into an entertainment activity. Waking conciousness is not all there is to thinking, whether thinking takes place entirely within our brains or not.

    Wanting to control one of the generative processes of thinking, for the benefit of immediate gratification, seems short sighted.

    1. It’s not like that
      It’s not quite like that, my friend.

      From my personal experiences, you never acquire absolute control of your dream world. There’s still plenty of room for your subconscious to fool around with you.

      Some time ago I had my last bonafide lucid dream. I was with a couple (young couple I think, about my age); and right when my dream became lucid, which was kind of right in the middle of a regular dream —which feels almost like being in a play where everybody has its own line, and suddenly they forget or throw the script and start improvising— I started engaging in a conversation with the young man. He asked me a question, and it was kind of startling —won’t go into details since it was kind of intimate.

      So don’t worry about people mastering the dream world. Maybe your fears are as unfounded as the fear of people into researching the neurochemical activity of the brain. Sure we’re entering uncharted territory, and we might make mistakes, but that’s been the story of our race since we got out of Africa —and I’m sure there was a lot of dissenting voices (or grunts) against that move too 😉

    2. Conditioning to dream vs. controlling
      As someone who studied lucid dreaming (due to my own experiences with it), it’s fair to say that gaining access to the lucid dream-state is a skill that can be easily attained through practice and conditioning – much like running a marathon. That said, learning how to control the dream-state is not so easy – more like running a marathon to the Moon (unlikely).

      As long as people dream, it’s going to be uncontrollable– unless Freddy Krueger starts regulating again 😉

  2. Lucid Dreams and Messages
    All through my teens in the 80’s I experienced lucid dreaming almost nightly. The dream would begin as normal, then suddenly I’d realize I was in a dream – either I’d remember going to sleep, or I’d recognize something wasn’t right in the dream, or I’d simply awaken in the dream. It seemed to be a natural ability for me that faded over time, likely as I took it for granted and did not cultivate it. I’m sure with proper suggestions to my subconscious prior to going to sleep I could reactivate the ability. I wouldn’t be concerned about lucid dreams replacing other dreams involving problem solving, messages, etc… – they are simply to infrequent compared to the total volume of dreaming we have nightly.

    One particularly symbolic message dream that was non-lucid but intensely burned into my memory involved me standing at my art table. There was change spilled all over it with cigarette buttes (I don’t smoke) and debris mixed in. I attempted in vain to use a ruler to drag the money into a jar failing to do so and growing frustrated. Then an epiphany – I put the ruler down and picked up each coin individually to drop in the jar and as I lifted each coin into my palm it transformed into beautiful water lily type flower that filled me with awe and joy. I woke up and intuitively knew the message was to slow down (I tend to be in a hurry) go through each step with patience (I tend to be impatient and want to skip steps) and I will be rewarded with beauty and satisfaction. A secondary message was that my hurry to obtain wealth and prosperity (represented by the money on the art table) while ignoring and neglecting my innate artistic abilities (I’m a gifted artist recognized all through school & the dream occurred on my art table) will only lead to frustration, while the pursuit of artistic endeavors with patience will lead to emotional satisfaction and fulfillment illustrated by the awe and peace I felt at seeing the coins transform into the flowers…

    Yes, dreams are remarkable tools in many ways – whether they are your subconscious working out problems or are messages being received from higher sources to guide your actions – did I mention that night I said a short prayer/request for guidance before going to sleep…

  3. Lucid media
    Is it a case of more people are lucid dreaming than they have in the past, or just that our awareness of lucid dreaming is increasing through global media & social contact, particularly the internet? I put my dream money on the latter.

  4. Lucid dreaming is not the same as dream control
    you can have metacognition without the ability to manipulate dream content and you can have control dreams without self-awareness. We tend to think of them together, in my opinion, because lucid dreaming was scientifically validated through the use of control, and also for deeper reasons: we tend to equate awareness with manipulation. the dream witnessing traditions of dream yoga, Sufism and Hinduism have been working with these ideas for a lot longer than the scientific west. Although I doubt that lucid dreaming is on the rise due to movies like Inception. Rather, it’s a fruition of fifty years of cross-cultural studies of other cultures that still work with dreams, value them, and use them shamanically.

    1. Virtual reality
      Not long ago I linked a news abut the probable link between lucid dreaming and virtual reality. Basically, it was the theory that gamers might be more proficient at manipulating their dreams because they already have a knack for manipulating a digital avatar.

      If so, that might explain the rise of lucid dreaming —since we’ve enjoyed videogames for a full generation.

  5. Talk about a bummer…
    For some odd reason my lucid dream experiences almost always occur during nightmares. I have that moment when I suddenly become aware that what is going on around me is not real, and I try to force myself to wake up to end the chase and the feeling of terror. Sometimes I do wake up. But other times, the nightmare continues – only now it’s worse. Being trapped in a nightmare you can’t wake up from is the ULTIMATE nightmare.

  6. Lucid dreaming
    Hi all:
    This is NOT spam:

    In November I published a novel called Lucid. It’s a cautionary tale of lucid dreaming in which the main character also suffers from undiagnosed schizophrenia. Science tells us that lucid dreaming and psychosis are inherently linked.

    Since I’m also a dreaming enthusiast, I’ll talk with anyone anytime about lucid dreaming.

    Please also see :


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