Sirley Marques Bonham is a physicist by education but has a passion for the study of consciousness - making her a neuroscientist at heart. She kindly donated the following scientific article on Consciousness and Hypnagogia, containing a rich source of information on various sleep phenomena.
The article is fairly long so I have broken it down into sections. It is well worth dipping in to the parts that interest you the most - from lucid dreaming, to OBEs, to sleep paralysis - Sirley has collected valuable data and insights on all these altered states in relation to human consciousness.
- Dreams - Hypnagogia: At the Threshold of Sleep and Awakening - Learning to have Out-of-Body Experiences - What to observe? - We are Able to Attract Hypnagogia! - Distorted or Changing Perceived Imagery of Hypnagogia - Brain Correlates - Possible problems: Difficulties with Hypnagogia
- Hypnagogia & Sleep Paralysis - What to do to get out of a Problematic Hypnagogia - Phenomena: There may be overwhelming surprises! What are they? - Do Phenomena Equal Energy-Like Events? - Problems with 'Energetic' Events - What To Do - Developing the Mind
- Mechanisms - List of Methodologies - The Problem of Seeding of The Unconscious - Unusual Outcomes of Intense Learning - Learning and The State of Trance - Putting it all together: Mind Situations - Reviewing the Basic Information on the Unconscious - More on the 'Super-Conscious' Part of the Unconscious Mind - Wisdom and Synchronicity - A Two-Way Interaction with our Unconscious - Reviewing The Process - It is Important to Make it a Habit! - The Format of The Messages From The Unconscious
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?