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
Here's a good question. If a lucid dream is any dream in which you know you're dreaming, then why aren't we always lucid in dreams? Why doesn't it just become the default state of dreaming? Why do we accept our dreams of flying pigs and dinosaurs as an extension of waking life? What is the mechanism for defaulting to non-lucid dreams? Intriguingly, scientists have approached this question from three different angles./p>
What do blind people dream about? Can they "see" in their dreams? Take a look at scientific studies into the dreams of the blind, colorblind, and black-and-white dreamers. In 1999, dream researchers at the University of Hartford analyzed 372 dreams of 15 blind people. They found that both the congenitally blind and those who went blind before five years old did not have any visual dreams at all. That's because our dreams are made up of real world experiences and our innermost thoughts, anxieties and desires. So for someone who has never perceived images or light (or can't remember any) their dreams simply can't manifest visually.
Not long ago, scientists at Frankfurt University discovered how to produce lucid dreams with electronic stimulation. It was a world first. And - astonishingly - it worked in non-lucid dreamers 77% of the time. Now you can buy the same technology for yourself. The foc.us V2 - which delivers the proven optimum 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - was originally developed to increase working memory in video gamers and improve sleep.
As technology continues to move us towards more immersive dreamlike experiences, one can only wonder what digital wonders lay just beyond the horizon of tomorrow. We may also question just how the future of virtual reality will impact the study and practice of lucid dreaming. Are we, perhaps, the last generation to whom lucid dreaming will maintain an appeal?
Jeremiah Morelli is a whimsical fantasy artist and visual storyteller. He places conceptual fairytale creatures in vivid dreamscapes to capture the imagination. He's also a school teacher, and amazingly finds the time and motivation to create this huge gallery of artwork. Such light and dark fairytale paintings make beautiful places to visit in your lucid dreams.
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?