Lucid Dreaming
Preferred modern term for ‘‘dreaming true,’’ indicating the
experience of dreaming with consciousness that one is dreaming,
i.e., experiencing a dream with waking consciousness. The
condition is often associated with out-of-the-body travel, as it
often happens that some incongruity in a dream stimulates the
dreamer to conclude ‘‘Why, I must be dreaming!’’ and this
awareness sometimes precedes an out-of-the-body event.
The term ‘‘lucid dreaming’’ was introduced by Frederick
van Eeden in 1913 and was subsequently used by Celia E.
Green in her study Lucid Dreams (1968). Early classic studies on
out-of-the-body experience, such as S. J. Muldoon’s and Hereward
Carrington’s The Projection of the Astral Body (1929), relied
upon anecdotal evidence by dreamers of the lucid state, after
awakening. In modern times, parapsychologists have endeavored
to clarify the lucid state and its relationship to extrasensory
perception by controlled experiments.
In his work on lucid dreams, Keith M. T. Hearne of the Department
of Psychology of the University of Liverpool described
a technique of identifying the lucid dream in a polygraphic
record by instructing the subject to signal information
by predetermined ocular movements. This avoided the massive
bodily paralysis of Stage REM sleep, which affects the rest of
the musculature. The ocular signaling technique provided a
channel of communication from the sleeping and dreaming
subject to the outer world, by means of which physiological and
psychological information on the dreams was obtained. The
general investigation included simple testing of the subject, in
a lucid dream state, for any ESP ability.
Another promising method of investigating lucid dreams
that has been tried by other experimenters is the artificial inducing
of lucidity and control of the dream through guided instruction
on the part of the experimenter. This involves verbal
communication with the dreamer to ascertain the nature of the
dream imagery and the making of suggestions to guide the
course of the dream.
Sleep researcher Stephen LaBerge had lucid dreams from
an early age, and in 1977 started a dream journal, continued
over a number of years, covering over 900 lucid dreams. In his
own research at Stanford University, he concluded that the
ability to dream lucidly could be important to humanity and a
tool in solving problems of waking life.
The Lucidity Association, concerned with education and
research into lucid dreaming and related phenomena, may be
contacted co Department of Psychology, University of Northern
Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614.
Green, Celia E. Lucid Dreams. London Hamish Hamilton,
Hearne, Keith M. T. ‘‘‘Lucid’ Dreams and ESP An Initial
Experiment Using One Subject.’’ Journal of the Society for Psychic
Research 51, no. 787 (1981).
Kelzer, Kenneth. The Sun and the Shadow My Experiment with
Lucid Dreaming. Virginia Beach, Va. A.R.E. Press, 1987.
LaBerge, Steven. Lucid Dreaming The Power of Being Awake
and Aware in Your Dreams. Los Angeles Jeremy P. Tarcher,
Lubin Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
Muldoon, Sylvan J., and Hereward Carrington. The Projection
of the Astral Body. London Rider, 1929. Reprint, New York
Samuel Weiser, 1967.
Ullman, Montague, Stanley Krippner, and Alan Vaughan.
Dream Telepathy. London Turnstone Books, 1973. New York
Macmillan, 1973.
van Eeden, Frederick. ‘‘A Study of Dreams.’’ Proceedings of
the Society for Psychic Research 26 (1913).