Learning exactly how to control your dreams is a crucial part of lucid dreaming. It is not enough to merely recognize when you are dreaming - you must learn the laws of the dream world! This is the really fun part...
You can learn how to do anything in your virtual reality dream world by using certain techniques and playing with what works best for you. So, without further delay, let's look at some of the most popular lucid dream themes.
When they first learn how to lucid dream, most people go flying. It's a very common desire and I'm sure every lucid dreamer has done it at some point.
However, flying dreams are not always easy to control. It's not normal to fly in real life so when you try to have flying dreams, the conscious brain can have trouble believing it.
You might find you can only get so high - or you convince yourself you will fall. This is not a physical problem, but a mental one.
Think of the movie The Matrix, when Morpheus asks Neo how he beat him in a virtual reality fight. Was it because he was stronger, faster, or fitter in the simulated world? No. It was because he truly believed he was better. It's the same concept in lucid dreams!
To nurture this belief and have wonderful flying dreams, start by hopping or bouncing along the dreamscape, gradually allowing yourself to get higher. Remember that it's a dream and you can't get hurt. With practice, you will soon be soaring above the clouds and flying over cities like Superman!
If you want, you can use a flying aid. This can be anything from a jet pack to giant wings, or even sitting on the back of a dragon!
Making a dream scene morph in front of your eyes can be difficult - mainly because you don't expect it to happen.
Of course, when it comes to knowing how to control your dreams, there is always another way. Lucid dream research has revealed various ways to change the scenery in conscious dreams.
Once, I wanted to eat while lucid but I was in the middle of a field. So I applied some lucid dream logic. I imagined a restaurant standing behind me, and when I turned around a second later, there it was. I went in and ordered a delicious meal for free!
Sometimes, I find a dream door (a door which stands randomly in the middle of the dreamscape) and step through it. Visualize your destination on the other side, or let the dream take you wherever it wants to. You can also try this trick with mirrors, as they often lead to other places in dreams, acting as portals to alternate realities.
The most important thing is to truly believe that the scenery will change. Otherwise you could end up in a battle of logic with your conscious brain. Make it a habit to say to yourself "this is a dream" every now and then so you don't lose lucidity, and you will soon learn that anything is possible.
This is a really easy way to learn how to control your dreams and time travel. Fly up above the clouds so you can no longer see the ground below. Visualize the time and place you want to arrive at, then descend back through the cloud cover. Instant time travel!
Or, step into your own personal time machine. Press all the buttons and tweak all the levers you need to convince yourself you are traveling through time, then step outside again.
Both of these methods also work for changing the scenery and moving to a different point in space - whether you want to travel to a new country, a new planet, or a new universe.
Dream research has found dozens of ways to find new objects in a dream. The key is visualization. Objects are unlikely to materialize in front of your eyes, but you can turn around and find things that weren't there before.
Find dream objects in your pocket, behind you, under a rock, in a drawer, behind a tree, in a box... you can pretty much improvise as you go!
If you are more practical, try going to a place where you would find that kind of object (such as a restaurant to find food, or a zoo to find monkeys). You should find a way that works best for you.
~ William Dement
When you know how to lucid dream, you have easy access to your unconscious mind. You can communicate directly with it to gain deeper insights about yourself and how you perceive the world. It is definitely something worth trying when you are awake in dreams.
Once you become lucid, the simplest way to communicate with your unconscious mind is to personify it. Create a dream character (human or animal) that you are happy to talk to, and then ask them open and direct questions. You may be surprised by some of the answers you get straight from the horses mouth.
As you can see, knowing how to control your dreams is a matter of talking the same language as your unconscious mind. It is not always a literal translation.
Many impossible feats are perfectly acceptable in the dreamworld - while other seemingly logical things may escape you. It's your goal to decipher the rules and discover new ways to control your dreams.
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?