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
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The evolutionary biologist Robin Dunbar once said: "What sets us apart is a life in the mind, the ability to imagine." What, then, is it like to live without any trace of visual imagination? With no mind's eye to "see" your daydreams and memories? No way to recall the tastes of your favorite foods, summon mental images of loved ones, or visualize landscapes and characters described in novels? This is the arguably disturbing reality for 1 in 50 people who are coming to terms with the fact that they suffer from a newly named condition called aphantasia.
On the surface, this seems like an odd question to ask. Everybody feels like they have their own free will - whether it's a big decision like choosing their life partner, or a minor call like whether to keep reading this article. But when you break down the neurological process of conscious decision making, there is a distinct lack of evidence for free will. Scientific theories on cause and effect - and philosophical theories about the self - frequently rule out any need for a conscious decision maker at all.
If you saw the Christmas edition of Charlie Brooker's awesome Black Mirror [spoiler alert] you would have watched Jon Hamm mentally and emotionally torture an innocent woman living inside an egg. Ok, back up a bit. She wasn't really a woman. She just thought she was. One week earlier, Hamm's technical team implanted a 'cookie' into a real woman's eyeball. The cookie was an artifically intelligent computer chip. And over the next seven days it learned the personal preferences, thoughts and emotions of its female host. It even took on her life's memories.
Dream herbs are used to induce lucid dreaming, which, most accurately is described as an awareness that you are dreaming to the point that you can control dreams. But, on a more basic level, dream herbs also seem to be linked to increased dream recall or simply an awareness that you are dreaming even if you cannot control the dream. Today I'm going to summarize the best dream herbs for lucidity - as well as where to buy the seeds, how to grow and cultivate them, and what effects that have on your dreams.
My dream life is pretty intense. It always has been. And over the years I've categorized my dreams into five broad types. Here's how to identify the nature of your dreams and how you can turn any of them into lucid dreams. Studies reveal that the average person daydreams for a whopping 70-120 minutes of their waking day. Daydreaming is an important part of dream research. As with all types of dreams, you enter a kind of hypnotic trance and allow your unconscious thoughts to rise to the surface.
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?