In waking life, I'm writing a story. The opening scene features a cavewoman giving birth. As part of the writing process I visualized it in detail - and in doing so I accidentally incubated this spooky but oddly touching lucid dream.
In the dream, it is night time. I am part of a small tribe that lives in a cave system set in the mountains. By night it gets extremely cold and so we move into the caves and lay on animal skins to keep warm.
I know that life is hard for us. A fire is already burning in the central cave.
One of the other tribesmen is a sad-looking hunter. He is grieving for something, but he remains silent so I don't understand what's really wrong.
As we sit around the glowing fire it spontaneously occurs to me I'm dreaming and I become lucid. Suddenly my mood changes and I'm happy, but I stay with this gloomy caveman to see if I can probe his mind.
"Why are you sad?" I asked.
"The sadness is in me," he said.
I then got the instinctive feeling he thought sadness was like a physical thing trapped in his body, inhabiting him.
I started to explain that he was not actually possessed by sadness, but as I spoke he moved away from me; he didn't want to hear it. I was trying to teach him a modern day view but he was incapable of seeing it any other way.
I (too quickly) gave up on the caveman and left the system to explore the desert outside. It had turned into daylight with lush fields that sprang with exotic pre-historic flowers.
When I later woke up, the image of the caveman stuck with me. I wish I had spent more time with him and tried to lift him out of that darkness.
If we're completely honest, lucid dreaming isn't really known for being the most social of interests. In fact, often it's a lone pursuit - just you, your dream journal and the landscape of your mind. But this technique called PAL (or Partner Assisted Lucidity) breaks down that wall and turns lucid dream exploration into a social event.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?