Every year on April 12th, lucid dreamers around the world unite to celebrate the annual Lucid Dreaming Day.
This exciting opportunity provides a platform for passionate lucid dreamers to meet other oneironauts, take part in dream challenges, win prizes, hear from the experts and introduce the uninitiated to the wonders of dream exploration.
The event is a collaboration of lucid dream experts and researchers which is hosted online - so turn up in your pajamas and join the celebrations!
Join me now in considering the scientific roots of lucid dreaming that make April 12th such a landmark date. Plus, find out how your support of this artistic, entertaining, therapeutic and philosophical tool can benefit oneironauts around the world for generations to come.
Lucid Dreaming Day falls on the historic date of April 12th when, in 1975, lucid dreaming was first scientifically proven by Dr Keith Hearne.
For it was Hearne who first demonstrated a method by which we can communicate to the waking world during a lucid dream.
He exploited the nature of Rapid Eye Movements (REM) to have an experienced lucid dreamer called Alan Worsley perform a pre-defined set of eye movements during his lucid dream.
After a false start (in which Worsley performed the routine but the recording equipment had been shut down for the night), Hearne successfully recorded Worsley's smooth and deliberate eye movements on an electro-oculogram (EOG) at around 8am on the morning of April 12th, 1975:
Hearne's EOG experiment was formally recognized through publication in the journal for The Society for Psychical Research. Unfortunately, this fell short of the required reading material for most relevant experts and his work went widely unknown.
A few years later, in 1983, Dr Stephen LaBerge performed another ocular signaling experiment at Stanford University. He went on to forge a lifelong career in the field of lucid dream research and is a widely known expert on the subject, often credited for being the first to scientifically verify lucid dreaming.
The media fell in love with the romantic idea of lucid dreaming being a real phenomenon and today it frequently hits the headlines - curiously, in both science and paranormal media streams.
Clearly, both Hearne and LaBerge have played significant roles in this field and it's important that we recognize both of their contributions over the years. But on April 12th, we'll remember the Neil Armstrong of lucid dreaming: the humble shop worker, Alan Worsley, and his landmark eye movement signals to Dr Keith Hearne working through the night in his sleep research lab.
Increasingly, "lucid dreaming" is becoming a household term.
To keep raising awareness of lucid dreaming as a regular nocturnal pastime means that more students of tomorrow will:
Not only will greater interest lead directly to new developments in our lucid dream technology (from induction devices, to dream playback machines, and even experiencing shared dreams one day)... it will also afford us huge opportunities to better ourselves as individuals and mankind as a whole.
I believe that if every human being were to start harnessing the power of lucid dreams then our culture, art, technology, medicine, science and beliefs would quickly evolve in a whole new direction. The human race would be enriched as a result, both individually and universally.
That certainly gives us something to strive for on Lucid Dreaming Day.
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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.
I'm half-asleep in bed, aware of fleeting dream images behind my closed eyelids. I start saying "I'm dreaming" in my head and shape the hypnagogia into a view across a lake. I place every detail in my mind's eye: the stillness of the water, the distant trees on the horizon, the twilight of the sky. I imagine my whole body in this space and it soon "pops" into existence and becomes a lucid dream. I cement my lucidity and breathe in the night air. It is beautiful. I must be somewhere in Scandinavia and this gives me the idea to summon the auroras.
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?