For many, lucid dreaming means exploring what it means to be conscious.
Are there different levels of consciousness we can experience in dreams? How does the brain make sense of this information? Who's in control of the experience?
Another philosophical point raised by lucid dreaming is this: if our dreams can be so realistic as so mimic real life, can we even trust our waking senses? How do we know what's real? Are we living in a dream world? How would we know?
This latest section aims to take apart our automatic assumptions of consciousness and reach more meaningful conclusions. Some of these are philosophical questions, and in no way do I attempt to give definitive conclusions, but to help you probe your own beliefs and evolve them for a better understanding of reality and the human mind.
What is the self? Do I have a soul? Am I just a series of biological processes? Comparing bundle theory vs ego theory and their implications for the self.
Is free will an illusion? On the surface, this seems like an odd question to ask. But when you break down the neurological processes, free will is nowhere to be found.
The human mind is very special, but it's not unique in its capacity for self-awareness. Here are 10 animals with self-awareness, proved by the mirror test.
Meditation means emptying the mind to achieve a focused state of awareness. With a few tweaks, it can be used to harness wake induced lucid dreams.
Where do we draw the line between fantasy and reality? Is something real because I imagined it? What if we share the same delusion?
Nick Bostrom's Simulation Argument is a probabilistic theory that states we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation created by future humans.
Scientists and philosophers have long scratched their heads over the origins of consciousness. But this new research strongly suggests we have an answer.
J Timothy Green highlights an intriguing link between Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the time-distorting Near Death Experience of his professor Albert Heim.
The story of Graham, a sufferer of Cotard's Syndrome, who woke up one day thinking he was he was dead... PET scans of his brain showed he wasn't far off.
Thriving in tropical rainforests is a parasitic fungus that creates real life zombie insects. Can humans fall victim too? Can consciousness be controlled?
A look at synesthesia - the ability to see music, taste words and touch time - and how this perceptual anomaly transfers to our dreams and lucid dreams.
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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.
Does this face look familiar? It should. This is the result of image averaging - a technique in which multiple headshots are averaged out into a single face. In this case, our composite guy was generated by psychology student and photography enthusiast, Bill Lytton. Lytton averaged out 32 attractive male celebrity faces. To avoid personal bias, he referred to Maxim's Hot 100 and other opinion polls. He also averaged out a bunch of unattractive male faces for comparison.
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?