Lucidity Institute
The Lucidity Institute was founded in 1987 by Stephen La
Berge, author of Lucid Dreaming (1986), the pioneering work
on the topic. La Berge received his Ph.D. in psychophysiology
from Stanford University, where he began his study of lucid
dreaming while a graduate student working on his dissertation.
Although psychotherapist Frederik von Eeden had used the
term early in the twentieth century, it was only in the 1980s that
lucid dreams received any focused study leading to their use as
a therapeutic tool or a means for gaining self-awareness.
Lucid dreaming refers to the act of dreaming while being
aware that one is dreaming. A lucid dream usually begins as a
normal dream during which the dreamer suddenly realizes that
heshe is dreaming. On occasion the dreamer may encounter
an absurd or irrational phenomenon such as meeting a person
known to be deceased, but as often as not the lucid dream begins
with no noticeable trigger. In the most clear of lucid
dreams, when lucidity is high, the dreamer realizes that what
is being seen and heard is a dream, that heshe is in no danger
from anything in the dream and soon will awaken from it. In
a dream of low lucidity, one may realize that heshe is in a
dream, but believe that some of the elements of the experience
are real. During lucid dreams, one may or may not have control
over the content of the dreams.
At the Lucidity Institute, La Berge and his research associates
have explored a wide range of issues relative to lucid
dreaming from which they have constructed a program to
teach people lucid dreaming and how to use it to overcome
problems or for the sheer entertainment of the resultant
dreams. They have also developed a variety of dream aids that
may enhance the lucidity factor. Lucid dreams have proved
useful in overcoming nightmares, problem solving, and healing.
Learning lucid dreaming has proved to be a matter of motivation
(wanting to have them) and effort. Being able to recall
normal dreams is an additional useful skill. The institute staff
has also developed several machines that function during a
person’s dream cycle. During REM sleep, when dreaming occurs,
they intrude upon the consciousness with a signal that reminds
the person that heshe is experiencing a dream, but does
not awaken them.
La Berge followed his initial work on lucid dreaming with
three additional texts, Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain (1988)
with Jayne Gackenbach, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
(1990) with Howard Rheingold, and A Course in Lucid Dreaming
(1995) with Lynne Levitan. These texts have inspired a number
of additional books, all of which are used at the institute.
The institute, a small business founded by La Berge, provides
information and education concerning lucid dreaming
and its benefits. It sponsors a membership society through
which people many participate in various programs, support
lucid dreaming research, and receive a newsletter. The institute
is located at 2555 Park Blvd., Palo Alto, CA 94306-1919. It supports
an Internet site at
Gackenbach, Jayne, and Stephen La Berge. Conscious Mind,
Sleeping Brain. Weisbaden, Germany Plenum Publishing,
La Berge, Stephen. Lucid Dreaming. N.p., 1986. Reprint,
New York Ballantine, 1998.
La Berge, Stephen, and Howard Rheingold. Exploring the
World of Lucid Dreaming. N.p., 1990. Reprint, New York Ballantine
Books, 1991.
Lucidity Institute. May 20, 2000.