Dreaming, Aren’t You? Sure?!
To your head, the next few lines may sound like a sci-fi movie but bet it, it’s surreal. Every night before hitting the pillow, our brain is busy picturing a reality that is distinct from the reality outside, sometimes blissfully vivid and sometimes excruciatingly haunting.
Now imagine yourself being aware of dreaming, dreaming only what soothes you, directing it and consciously controlling your self-generated world. Haunting? Thrilling?! Is it? Wait…hold back, there’s more.
Oh Yes! There are people who dream in awareness and know how to control, observe and manipulate it. Dwelling in the voids of consciousness, this is what Lucid dreaming scientifically is. Everyone doesn’t lucid dreams but dreamers may have hooked up with their favourite celebs, met their heroes, walked through the universe, and ruled the planet and much more before waking up to the real world’s call.
Charlie Morley quoted it brilliantly-
“To lucid dream is to peep behind the magician’s curtain.
We learn how to wake up and smile at the magic.”
Now before you turn up to feel the magic, here are some of the top facts which will surely blow out your minds.
1. The first to experience- Egyptians.
Although unrecognised till 1978, lucid dreaming dates back to as early as the Palaeolithic era. The story of Egyptian civilisation is doing its round since ages. Jeremy Naydler, the author of Temple of the Cosmos revealed that the Egyptians believed in the existence of three spiritual bodies- Shat (the carcass body), Ka (living animal body) and Ba (the hearty soul). Ba, the symbol of human-headed bird, possessed the power to fly and float which is now considered the finest example of lucid dreaming.
(Picture courtesy- paleoglot.blogspot.com)
2. One out of every five humans has experienced it once in life.
A 1988 survey by Synder & Gackenback that 20% of people have experienced least once while 50% have just been through the amazing features of dreams in their lives.
3. Lucid dreaming is the magic of a special part of our brain
Like everything peculiar about this dream, anything else connected to it is deemed well. Cortex is a special part of the brain involved in lucid dreaming. Usually, on night duty, this part of the brain gets active while we sleep and helps demarcate sleep and self-consciousness.
4. Common dreams involve include adventure, sex and orgasm; because WHY NOT!
Isn’t it obvious? Isn’t it wonderful hooking up with the girl of your dreams or the celebrity you always wished you had? Who wouldn’t love to wake up to the best orgasm of their life? This is indeed a great escape for guys who find it hard to ask a girl out.
What more?? You get to rule your choice and wilderness.
(Picture courtesy- pharmacypedia.org
5. Tibetans road to enlightenment
Some serious philosophy is associated as well. Monks in Tibet have been practising the art of enlightenment from as long as 1000 years ago. They have been imbibing their learning meditation into elements of Buddhism, like transmissions, empowerment, visits levitation.
(Picture courtesy- hermandadblanca.org)
6. A lucid dream starts like any normal dream.
Animated stories and memories float around in the unconscious part of the head. The inception is always the same and there’s nothing strange about it. You practice and perfect. According to Martinez-Conde from the Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience at SUNY Medical Center- “Dreams are illusions — we are seeing a reality which doesn’t exist but we also can’t tell the difference between this and actual reality.”
7. Although it isn’t clearly known but being Introspective or having more gray matter in the brain is considered to be a factor behind lucid dreaming.
People with the higher ability to report one’s mental state or with higher meta-cognitive ability tend to have more of lucid dreams. Thoughts, memory, decision-making and self-control are the key areas where gray matter comes to use and so there can be the occurrence of lucid dreams.
8. On inception of lucid dreams, one becomes aware of its fictional existence.
In 1913 a Dutch psychiatrist Frederick Van Eeden recounted a dream in which he acted voluntarily and was fully aware of his waking but deep asleep
to entertain any external stimuli or body sensations. This is what differentiates lucid dream from a hallucination- physical body in deep sleep but no feeling of the happenings, though you’re aware and have control.
9. Mostly starting at young age, half the population has experienced lucid dreams once in a while.
German researchers found about 51% of people experiencing a lucid dream at least once, though the figures may scale high as there are many cases unreported. Though lucid dreaming can occur anytime, most commonly it occurs in children but since a child lacks the cognitive skills it’s hard to study them. Phew! Relax back, you aren’t the only one!
10. What triggers lucid dreams is still unknown.
Scientists have been doing a lot of head itching and mind boggling but are still left with a question mark. According to recent studies, the brain mapping of a person dreaming normally and that of the one doing lucidly have been found to be identical and hence it remains unknown as to what the triggering factor is.
11. Lucid dreaming can be an innate skill as well.
Experts suggest that unlike any other skill, lucid dreaming is also one such innate skill. It isn’t an advantage or a necessity. You either have it or you don’t.
12. Practice makes a man perfect- ideal for lucid dreamers.
Reasons may vary, but lucid dreamers can with practice, learn to dream as an when required. Breus found that lucid dreamers develop their skills to find creative solutions or to act when they need to.
13. The degree of awareness and control varies.
Flying or floating in the outer space sounds so cool, doesn’t it? Well, that’s too dreamy to be true! Martinez-Conde said that there is a varied level of conscious control in people. Just like regular dreams, some tend to be more vivid and intense than others.
“Sometimes by the time you can even take control in your dream, you’ll just wake up, but other times you can have more sophisticated control and make yourself fly or do anything,” Martinez- Conde says.
14. You might never have a lucid dream in your life, and that’s totally normal
It’s completely normal to never have a lucid dream. Blindly following the masses just to fit in isn’t cool. When you’re following the herd, you’re also bound to steep in deep shit.
15. There are no scientifically stated advantages of lucid dreaming than just fun and memorable
Leaving behind the stories that do the rounds on the internet, there has been no scientific explanation to the same. But the least we get to gain is momentary fun and some memorable experiences.
Now that all how, when, why, how has been answered it’s time you get ready for some rigour and vigour. Lucid Dreaming is fun and if you haven’t experienced it yet, get to start it. Fly high, float around with your favourites (in your favourites), satiate yourself and multiply your orgasms.
Good to go! Happy Dreaming.