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Lucid Dreaming Article Part 1: Dreaming and the Subconscious

posted Mar 7, 2013, 10:41 PM by Golden Knight   [ updated Mar 16, 2013, 10:49 AM by Golden Knight ]

Posted in Uncategorized 

By Josh Fredette     


   Are you curious about your dreams? Do you wake up at least once a month with a look on your face that just says, "What was that?!" Of course you do. You're human. Of all the odd things that the human body does, dreaming ranks up pretty high.

    Before we delve into your wacky nightmares and fantasies, let's take a look at your brain. In an extremely broad nutshell, you analyze everything in two ways: subconsciously and consciously. Because of your unique ideas and values, the way you perceive reality is much different than the way reality really is. (Or than the reality that someone else experiences)

         In any given day, your brain will reject many topics of conversation that it considers to be unimportant and will consider the topics it feels are more important. (I say "it", but really "it" is you). An excellent example of this is when you are strongly bias on a personal matter. Your brain, to protect the ego, will most likely consider the side of the subject that you agree with. The other side that you do not agree with, or are strongly against, will not be as considered than the opinion that you agree with most. In essence, your brain filters out what it does and does not want to hear. 

            Your daily life is considered your conscious, or waking state. When you are asleep it is considered to be the subconscious, or dream state. Although your brain processes many things subconsciously throughout the day, you are more or less conscious of your actions while you are awake. Anything that is not noted consciously while you're awake will be examined while you dream. Likewise, anything that is specifically noted by you will also be examined in your dreams. All the grey area in between is not of as much value. As a result you might not see it reflected in your dreams.

            So how does your brain choose the events to evaluate while you are dreaming? Well like any decent supercomputer your brain will file away any actions or thoughts that went unevaluated while you were awake. Or, any actions and thoughts that were unexpectedly interrupted. It will get your attention by putting on a very bizarre performance in your dreams that will surely make you consider your actions or thoughts for a second time. This is why your dreams are so strange and horrifying; it is the subconscious brain screaming at the conscious brain trying to get it to examine something it believes to be important. By consciously pondering the event or thought that went unexamined, we can grow mentally and emotionally.

            The subconscious you and the conscious you are two very different things. The conscious you often lies and deceives itself to make a better reality. The subconscious on the other hand is often the stone-cold truth. It is the ugly truths and problems of our lives that we choose to consciously ignore. Indeed, your brain will be dreaming about this later tonight to think this through!

            So do yourself a favor and listen to your dreams more, they're trying to tell you something! The hours of sleep are not just for aimless musings. No! Your brain is still very hard at work while you sleep. It is going over all those details that you never really had a chance to consider throughout all the daily hustle of your life. Dreams can tell us things about ourselves that we normally would not consider. Your mind is more clever than you think    

          Now we move into the phenomena of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is the act of being lucid while you dream. A dream is considered lucid when you can experience the dream in the same way you experience daily life. This means you can consciously choose your actions and thoughts during the dream. Note that being able to remember your dreams and being able to control your dreams are two very different things. Lucid dreaming is the clash of the subconscious and the conscious brain, this is what makes lucid dreaming so special. You can view the subconscious hard at work, while processing it with a more conscious attitude. Through this, you can gain insight to your daily life through a spiritual guru that sits inside your head. This guru is truly your inner you.

            Sadly, this experience isn't a common one. But with much dedicated practice, one can attain lucidity in dreams at will. Experienced lucid dreamers will have at least one lucid dream a night, or every other night; a very profound and freeing spiritual experience. It's an experience that is in a world with infinite possibilities. It is a playground for your mind. It is an experience when you can literally walk up to a character in the dream, and talk with yourself. To put it in vague, simple terms, it makes you question things.

            Not only are your dreams potentially 30-45 minutes long, but on average you have nearly 4-10 of them every night. Why don't we remember our dreams? The answer is simple. Just like any other hobby, you don't become efficient unless you practice. Indeed, lucid dreaming is a hobby; a strange adventure within your inner brain every night.

            Many people report having at least one lucid dream every 1-3 months. It is also important to note most of these incidents are also reported to be very brief; lucidity lasting less than a few minutes. This brief taste of lucidity truly does not do the whole phenomena of lucid dreaming justice. It makes the individual underestimate it's power; having tasted the fruit but not completely eaten it. In my many conversations on this topic, those that dare let me ramble on about it are suspicious that I am exaggerating lucid dreaming's potential and fantastical experiences; I can assure you I am not.

            To describe a lucid dream with it's full potential unlocked, simply look around you. When you are experienced in the art of lucid dreaming, the 'dreamscape' around often feels nearly identical to reality; besides, of course, that eerie feeling that something is off.

            When I had my first successfully induced lucid dream I literally could not tell if I was dreaming. I woke up in my bed, did my normal morning routine, then felt a sudden and very strange feeling as I descended the stairs for breakfast. It was as if I had amnesia and was trying to remember the night before. It occurred to me that something was very off about the world. The way it looked, felt, and sounded was exactly the same as reality. But something was just . . . off! After asking my mother if I was dreaming and getting a response like, "Are you crazy? No!." I walked over to my neighbor's house who then clarified, "Yes you are dreaming." It was that moment when I truly realized the powerful nature of our dreams.