Questions such as "What is the dream saying? Such an approach can be reductionistic to the extent that dreams are thought to tell us only about what we already know or have experienced. Freud's theory fits this description, because he believed that dreams refer only to the past, that is to what we have experienced and forgotten.
How would this approach distill the meaning of the dream that I just shared with you? The theory of mimesis would support a focus on the compelling images of the dream and explore their relationship to the dreamer's past and present life experiences——that is, it would support what most dream analysts usually do. Knowing that the dreamer was sexually abused by her stepfather until she was an adolescent would certainly influence the direction of our interpretation of the imagery.
The bed is a place where we sleep, but it's also the traditional setting for sexual activity. The rats coming through the ceiling convey the sense of an unwelcome intrusion through compromised boundaries, alluding to the stepfather's violation of her, do they not?
The dreamer tries to flee fruitlessly, conveying the powerlessness of the young girl. The fur may represent the dreamer's own sexuality, or sexuality in general, which even in the context of her historical violation, holds the dreamer's fascination. And the snow leopard? Beneath the disgust over her own violated sexuality, it may be seen as the beauty and power of her undefiled instinctual nature. Jung might take this analysis further. He certainly disputed Plato's idea that dreams merely refer to, or represent the real world.
Dreams, especially those that Jung referred to as "big dreams," are potentially closer to ultimate truth than physical reality, not further away, and point to what is possible, but as yet not manifest. This does not rule out the retrospective function of dreams that Freud espoused, but simply expands dreaming to encompass our unacknowledged future, as well as our nebulous past.
Because the dream imagery embodies what we cannot yet fully understand, the dream's message, while enriching our lives with a more complete understanding of what we do know, is ultimately mysterious. While this approach differs significantly from the implicit reductionism of mimesis, its aim is similar; that is, to discern what the dream content is saying or communicating, while allowing ourselves to be stretched by what cannot be reduced to the familiar. Interpreting the dream's content is still the primary goal, but dream images are not merely representative of our waking lives.
They are also symbolic of what awaits us along the path of individuation. And so, a Jungian might approach the riveting image of the snow leopard as an intimation of future wholeness——a reconciliation of opposites that may have no parallel in the dreamer's conscious experience. Jung might even have referred to the leopard as a symbol of the self with all of its instinctual power at home in the highest reaches of consciousness. As Jung once said, if you reach to the depths of our instinctual natures, there you will find Brahma, divinity itself, the creator of all things.
Since the theory of mimesis focuses on interpreting what the dream's visual content means, or is saying, the dreamer's moment-to-moment awareness, feelings, and responses are largely overlooked in the analysis. Overlooking the dreamer is easy to do, because in most dreams the dreamer's awareness and response capability are so negligible that the dreamer seems entirely "scripted" or determined in his or her role. Some dream theorists, such as Kramer, even assert that the manifest dream is "strictly determined," implying that the dreamer's feelings and reactions are determined, as well.
This convenient treatment of the manifest dream permits an analysis of the dream as a static, determined text, and produces interpretations accordingly as messages that are produced by some other source and delivered prepackaged via the dreamer's imperfect recollection.
But such a fixed view overlooks the possibility——no, the easily observable fact -- of the dreamer's moment-to-moment responsiveness and impact on the dream experience. The Lucid Dreaming Paradigm The phenomenon of lucid dreaming challenges the traditional view of the dreamer as necessarily a passive and unaware participant who is part of a determined narrative. Suddenly, with the mighty accomplishment of lucidity, the dream revolves around the dreamer rather than the visual content.
The dreamer has choices, and can set about to accomplish whatever he or she wishes. The lucid dream pioneers have emphasized the self-created nature of the dream imagery and have cited Tibetan Buddhist texts in which the aspirant is encouraged to destroy and to create dream imagery at will. By implication, the interpretation of the dream's content ceases to have as much value if the dreamer can create, modify, or destroy the dream imagery at will. By emphasizing the dreamer's capabilities without incorporating the traditional view that the spontaneously generated dream imagery has value and meaning, lucid dreamers have, intentionally or otherwise, effectively downplayed the importance of dream imagery and its analysis, as well as the relationship between the dreamer and the particular imagery that arises.
If dreams are only representative of the physical world, as Plato asserted, then manipulating or destroying the imagery can have no drastic consequences. However, if as Jung believed, the dream imagery also alludes retrospectively to unresolved "autonomous complexes" and prospectively to unrealized potentials that allude to the emergence of the Self, then dismissing the specific symbolic content is tantamount to suppressing an awareness of one's internal conflicts and unrevealed wholeness.
From this perspective, we are not sufficiently healed of our past, nor complete in our evolution to justify disregarding the spontaneous utterances of the dream. Jungians, in particular, have tended to be critical of those who have extolled the freedom conferred by lucidity, believing that such apparent hubris could have untold consequences. For instance, as a young man, I shared the fact that I was having frequent lucid dreams with a Jungian analyst from the Northeast. Instead of praising me for my accomplishment, she said, with concern, "I hope you are surrounded by a circle of fire.
While I, too, extolled the benefits of lucidity in my early writing, and went on to complete a master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation on the subject, I also encountered along the way the power of my own autonomous complexes and archetypal forces in the lucid state.
While the dream imagery itself may be self created, the energy and the agenda which drive them have not, at least in my experience, presented itself as illusory or unimportant. At that time, I wrote: LaBerge, who has done more to pioneer lucid dream induction than anyone else, is known for unreserved enthusiasm for lucid dream induction, and his criticism for those who have urged caution. Indeed, he analyzed a lucid dream of mine in one of his works, and criticized me for not being able to overcome my fear of a powerful black panther, which would not go away when asked.
In extolling the possibilities of lucidity, he has said: "If fully lucid, you would realize that the entire dream world was your own creation, and with this realization might come the exhilarating feeling of freedom. Nothing external, no laws of society or physics, you could do anything your mind could conceive" LaBerge and Rheingold, To be fair, LaBerge espouses the importance of changing one's responses to the dream imagery rather than manipulating the imagery itself. However, in light of his many statements supporting the dreamer's freedom to do whatever he or she wishes, the lucid dream model as it has been popularly perceived emphasizes exploiting the powers inherent in lucid dreaming, rather than fostering a closer relationship with the spontaneous imagery of the dream, or exploring the interactive process leading to integration and synthesis.
So, what would the lucid dream paradigm contribute to the dream of the rats and snow leopard. Well, first of all, the model might contrast the consciousness of the dreamer with that of a fully lucid dreamer. The dreamer's belief that the rats are real give rise to understandable revulsion and fear, but if she had been able to become lucid, the dreamer would have realized that the rats were not real at all, but part of the dreamer's self created dream. Overcoming the illusion that the dream images were real would have conferred a fearless capacity to deal with the imagery in any way the dream so desired.
She could have immediately dismissed the rats, stomped on them, or merely turned away and pursued other objectives. Or she could have done exactly what she did——engage the imagery rather than avoid it. Regardless of what the dreamer does or doesn't do, from the lucid dream paradigm, the locus of power and change resides fully within the dreamer's free choices. While LaBerge acknowledges that the interpretation of content in the lucid dream can still be useful, it becomes secondary in importance to the dreamer's level of consciousness and self-directed activity.
Also, as I've noted already, the dreamer's capacity to respond to the dream imagery in non-lucid dreams is not emphasized in the lucid dream model. Unfortunately, perhaps, the focus on lucidity per se has unwittingly obscured the continuum of awareness that seems to exist in ordinary dreams. Indeed, as early as , Ernest Rossi declared that there is a continuum of all possible balances between the control of the dreamer and the autonomous creation of the dream imagery. This statement challenges the uniqueness of lucid dreaming, and instead treats every dream as an arena for the expression of awareness and responsiveness regardless of whether the dreamer ever achieves full lucidity.
In the dream of the rats and the snow leopard, the dreamer clearly exercises a significant degree of self reflection, to the extent that it precipitates and transforms her experience, even from a non-lucid state of awareness. In summary, if traditional dream analysis places too much emphasis on the content without regard to the dreamer, then the lucid dream paradigm extolls the dreamer's capabilities without evidencing a commensurate respect for the importance of the unique imagery that arises in dream.
Both the theory of mimesis and the lucid dream model emphasize one dimension of the dream at the expense of the other, and thus overlook or downplay the potential for a deeper relationship between the dreamer and the specific, spontaneously generated imagery of the dream. Also, by focusing on lucidity per se, the lucid dream model overlooks the wide range of dreamer capabilities that are already evident, and which potentially can be fostered, in non-lucid dreams.
The Integrative Paradigm Largely as a result of research into the physiological functions of REM sleep, dream theorists have marshaled impressive evidence that dreaming facilitates the integration of new or distressing experiences into the dominant structure of consciousness. Hartmann argues that dreams, especially those that are intense and memorable, involve the "contextualization," or picturing of emotions that have yet to be integrated. He describes a process in which the contextualized emotion is effectively linked to earlier, similar experiences through an associative process that is much more extensive and wide ranging than is possible in the waking state.
The arousal of various metaphorical imagery in the dream which, on the surface, has little direct relationship to the experience that precipitated the emotion and the necessity of the dream, allows the experience to be linked to, and informed by all similar experiences in memory. The integrative paradigm assumes a temporary disconnect between new, troubling experiences, and the dreamer, who represents the status quo structure of consciousness.
Thus, in this paradigm, the dream is an encounter between two separate forces——the dreamer and the intrusive emotion expressed by the imagery. However, Hartmann does not delineate the mechanisms for accelerating or inhibiting the integrative process, nor comment on whether responding differently to the imagery can facilitate its integration. And yet we know that this process is not always an easy one.
Indeed, repetitive nightmares suggest that the integrative process does not proceed as smoothly or as rapidly as one might hope. Research has shown that reliving a dream with a new, more pleasant ending, can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of PTSD, as well as effective in inducing lucidity in subsequent dreams.
This suggests that by actively engaging the dream, the waking person can pick up where the dream left off, and effectively facilitate an integrative process that has been arrested in its development. In addition to engaging the dream in waking fantasy, it makes sense that the dreamer can accomplish an acceleration of the integrative process by interacting with the dream imagery in the dream itself in such a way as to co-create or codetermine a more pleasant outcome.
How would the integrative paradigm as it is articulated by Hartmann approach the dream of the rats and snow leopard? Certainly the rats would be seen as the picturing, or contextualizing of an as-yet unintegrated fear of being overwhelmed or attacked. The latest incident of this experience might have been a recent verbal assault by a neighbor, a rear-ending auto accident, or any number of events that could have provoked a "storm" of emotion that had not been integrated.
The image of the rats, according to Hartmann, might metaphorically embody a wide range of similar experiences, including the sexual abuse, in which similar emotions had arisen and——to some extent——been dealt with. Hartmann argues that the dream process draws widely upon memories of similar experiences to assist the individual in putting the latest event into a larger context, effectively linking it to a variety of earlier events that have since become less troublesome, if not completely integrated into the dominant structure of consciousness.
How would the integrative paradigm, as articulated by Hartmann, explain the change from the rat to the snow leopard? He might say that the associative processes involved in the dream experience had succeeded in reaching more widely into the dreamer's experience than the dreamer's conscious analysis, effectively linking the latest upset to experiences in which the dreamer may have felt differently in the face of power, or dealt with it more effectively. Perhaps the snow leopard links the dreamer to an array of experiences that have already been integrated and resolved, and thus may "inform" the dreamer that she can, once again, deal effectively with the latest version of the old theme.
I don't think, from my reading of Hartmann, that the dreamer's actions in the dream would come into focus within the integrative paradigm, which assumes that the process of integration is carried out regardless of whether the dreamer reacts to the contextualized emotion or not.
Once subjects reported that they were conscious of when they were dreaming the next stage of the experiment would begin. The subjects would be asked to move their eyes in such a manner as to alert the researchers that they had entered the lucid stage. The people in a lucid dream state would be conscious of what actions they are taking. In one experiment with researchers Morton Schatzman and Peter Fenwick, in London, it was shown that actions taken in dreams created small muscle movements. If eye and muscle movements made during lucid dreaming matched what the subjects were asked to do it would suggest that there is factual basis behind lucid dreaming.
I choose the topic because it intrests me 2. Hypothesis: it is possible to dream and be aware of dream satte 3. Method: Test a population have them demonstrate lucidity during Rem sleep. Population: Different levels of american society.
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OK - I'm a bit of a campaigner against Pseudoscience in the Wikipedia. But I won't argue with valid scientific resarch, if it exists. If there is "no scientific doubt" as to the existence of lucid dreaming, please put in some web links to some published articles validating the research and claims. Currently your links are only to un-referenced names. Otherwise your claims will come under some intense heat around here.
Much of the earlier info on lucid dreaming in the literature has been discredited. I think the phenomenon exists as an occasional and idiosyncratic experience like deja vu , but is of little practical importance. I've now seen two research papers from academic journals. I've even put a dissociating note about lucid dreaming in the pseudoscience article.
I cut the link to the above because after reading it, we are in danger of showing bias by citing it as a proper reference in this case. The SkepDic entry does not dispute any of the findings aprt from quoting a paper which the later papers invalidate , it only criticises the fact that LaBerge has made a lucrative cottage industry out of his research.
This commercial activity does not change the validity of the research, and hence is irrelevant.
To report this means that we need to start questioning the commercially-related activities of all scientific research, eg. Just because lucid dreaming is associated with the new age movement, doesn't meaning we can dismiss it. There are at least 2 articles in known and respected neurophysiology journals I read Dreaming during my med school days , and hence it meets ALL the critieria for valid scientific research and evidence. How can lucid dreaming be an explanation of alien abductions?
Isn't knowing that you're dreaming one of the main characteristics of lucid dreaming? If you know you're dreaming, how can you think that you've really been abducted by aliens? I'm guessing that it's probably because the dream state is so intensely real, that the dreamer refuses to acknowledge that the events did not happen in reality. It's certainly a lot more plausible that actually being abducted by aliens.
It's only a theory as noted. In many alien abduction stories, the abductee claims to have been sleeping, then have woken up and been abducted. After the abduction, this person supposedly awakens in bed as if nothing happened. Most likely, the person dreamed that they woke up, then and dreamed they were abducted. I dream lucidly on a regular basis. I'm as far from New Age-ish as one can get and still be permitted to live in California ha ha.
I must confess that I never knew that this was rare or controversial. I don't understand how this issue is controversial at all.
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Why does it matter if it's science or pseudoscience? It exists. I have had a handful of lucid dreams in my life my first wasn't until I was over In my most extreme case, I even did an experiment: I thought to myself, if this is a dream, I should be able to morph something in this case a fishtank and I successfully morphed it from a retangular to spherical fishtank. The other occcasions were sexual dreams lucky me. I am not hippie and I am very skeptical.
But this phenomena is real. I also lucid dream regularly but it's not something I can induce or that I tried to induce. The sexual thing is a recurring theme for me, as even non sexual dreams frequently end up becoming sexual. What would a psichologist think of this? I removed this quote from the end of the first section: "If I wanted, I could visit the Shaolin Temple of ancient China while within a lucid dream state.
I could have a Shaolin monk lay his hands upon my dream body, surging all of the knowledge surrounding Kung Fu into my brain-- the philosophies and the techniques. When I awaken, I will be just as good or perhaps even better than any serious student of the martial arts who has practiced for decades even though prior to my lucid dream, I had no previous knowledge of Kung Fu. I'll let someone else decide whether it merits inclusion, but it needs to be attributed if it is to be put back in.
It's obvious from context who must have said it, but where? Is it taken from some publication? Aranel , 14 Aug UTC. I've removed the following paragraph as I couldn't find any reference on the web to this Mr. I suspect it's a joke. Please restore this if I'm wrong. Shantavira , 27 Nov UTC. I wrote the above bit but I am not certain this research was first done in the 's or much later. Certainly research like this has taken place much more recently since the 's , however I recall when I read Norman Malcolm's book Dreaming some years ago that it made reference to recent i.
But I may be mistaken. If anyone knows better, please correct. I've added this as it pops up quite often — perhaps Frederik van Eeden misunderstood the meaning of "lucid" in English. Also I found quite a few references stating that Frederik van Eeden was a psychiatrist. I worry about people "abusing" the ability to experience anything they want to.
What if a pedophile or serial killer starts lucid dreaming?
Of course, purposefully dreaming about performing heinous acts is preferable to doing them in real life, but the thought of it turns my stomach. I realize that lucid dreaming can seem more real than reality, so that even the notion that lucid dreaming might induce people to try things in real life is not what worries me. And I am not worried about myself doing anything I'd consider immoral. Probably I would just fly or stand up for myself.
But just the idea that it seems real and yet is so I've never come upon this fear, though I have, over the years, perused sites about lucid dreaming many times. Any comments would be appreciated! I find that lucid dreams don't feel more real than non-lucid dreams. In fact when I am having a lucid dream, it often seems less real, as I am more able to notice strangeness and inconsistencies.
What I am actually paying attention to can seem real, but other things are often quite strange. Usually, I don't notice the strangeness until I wake up. I think of the mind in a dream like an overworked stagehand trying to set up for an improvised show. It can't get everything right. Often, my moments of lucidity don't last, I forget that I am dreaming, and the dream becomes non-lucid. I am a regular Lucid Dreamer, and an occasional victim of night terrors, and I was wondering if there is any evidence supporting the psychosomatic tendencies of some lucid dreamers.
I know for a fact that I will be dreaming Lucidly, and I may hurt my self in the dream and when I finally actually awake the injures are sustained in reality. If there is any evidence of this out there, I think it would make an interesting addition to the article. Iorek, I'm very interested to hear your story. I'm also a lucid dreamer, and if what you say is true then I'll be doing experiments on that very soon here. Ive had very vivd lucid dreams where i was beaten severly, i awoke and had sustained a broken arm, and my body was buised all over.
My docter didnt belife that it had happend to me in a dream, and a criminal investigation against my parents followed. No evidence was found the the investigation ended, rulling that i suffered from phsycosomaitic issues as well as mild parinoid shizophrenia. In particular, in surveying the experiences of lucid dreams, many have noticed that the brain, at least while in dreaming, has the feature whereby it is possible for a single individual thought, memory, definition, belief, etc.
This is contrary to normal experience of brain malfunctions, which are usually more general, such as wholesale memory loss, or broad emotional imbalance. That's kinda clunky. What does "incorrect" mean in this context? How is a memory incorrect? Or a definition? What is "working normally"? Or a belief? My beliefs are frequently incorrect, and I'm living a mostly non-psychotic life.
As there are no sources provided and the section is indeed ambigious I guess we should move the whole paragraph here for consideration:. I'd like to answer anyone's question about, "How do you know you're not just dreaming about being lucid? Firstly, I have had a couple of dreams I can remember where I was just dreaming about lucid dreaming. That was a little strange, but it's only happened a couple of times. Normally, in a lucid dream, I go, "Oh, I'm dreaming. What was it that I was planning on doing next time I had a lucid dream? I can remember waking life as well as I can right now, in fact.
I mean, if you want to say that someone was just dreaming lucidity during a dream, you might as well question your awareness right now. I'm only as confident that I've had hundreds of lucid dreams as I am confident that I've had thousands of awake days. I mean, where does the skepticism end?
I experience Lucid Dreams commonly, without even trying. I stumble upon that I actually am in a dream. While I'm in my dream, I think to myself; "Hey I'm dreaming! It's pretty fun. I've only had two before.
Free lucid dreams Essays and Papers
I can remember the second one much, but in the first ijust flew around like most people who've had one do. A lot of times when people dream, they are unable to control their own actions, as if they were playing a part in a movie or play going through whatever actions or saying whatever things the dream requires to get from point A to point B.
Recently I had one such dream, in which I was merely "going through the motions" and unable to control anything I said or did, yet I was fully aware that I was having a dream. Likewise, the people in the dream understood they were not the real-life people they appeared to be, but that they were merely part of the dream. At one point, one of them even said to me something to the effect of, "too bad this isn't a lucid dream, or you could ask me anything you wanted".
Is there a word for this kind of experience? I was looking at lucid dreaming and I know that there are medicine and food that contain a certain chemical that helps enable lucid dreaming. I know that one of the foods that has the chemical that helps enable lucid dreaming is corn. Actually, I think that foods and things that tell you they help enable lucid dreaming are stretching the truth a little bit. Many of these things only give you more Vivid and intense dreams.
Individual Differences Associated with Lucid Dreaming
Granted, these vivid dreams are usually a little easier to recognize as being dreams, but people turn to lucid dreaming aids as if they'll help you get lucid, without realizing that all they do is make your dreams more vivid. It still takes a large bit of responsibility by the dreamer to Recognize that what is going on around them is just a dream. Prometheuspan , 8 February UTC Kava Kava, amongst other Entheogens, can produce a situation in which sleeping Beta conditions arise far more easilly.
The current definition reads "Lucid dreaming is the act of consciously perceiving and recognizing that one is dreaming while such experience befalls one during sleep, enabling a more cogent "lucid" control over the content and quality of the experience. I feel the definition needs to include the control over the [dream] content part more proeminently, and not just as a "result" of recognizing that one is dreaming, since I feel that a state where you dream while you recognize that you're dreaming doesn't necessarily lead to control over content; also, when you know you're dreaming but do not control the dream does not qualify as lucid dreaming IMHO.
Please note that I'm no expert on the topic, so I might be wrong -- but even if I am wrong, and a dream you're aware of but don't control qualifies for lucid dreaming, the definition still needs a change to include that situation as well. I'd like to explain what I mean with the "control" part. Personally, I occasionally find myself in very discomforting situations while dreaming; at that point, I do an internal reality check. While that usually fails I don't realize I'm dreaming , on occasion it succeeds -- and the dream typically ends.
I wouldn't qualify that as lucid dreaming.