Lucid dreaming means exploring what it means to be conscious.
Are there different levels of consciousness in dreams? How does the brain make sense of this information? Who or what is in control of the experience?
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 section aims to take apart our automatic assumptions of consciousness and reach more meaningful conclusions. My goal is to help you probe your own beliefs and evolve them for a better understanding of reality.
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.
Humans are unique in our ability for imagination. But how did we evolve this free-thinking ability over all other apes?
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.
What's it like to live without a visual imagination? With no mind's eye to see your daydreams and replay memories? This is aphantasia.
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.
Inspired and named for the notion of Flatland, artist and photographer Aydin Buyuktas has created a series of works where "a space of surprises creates a space that creates surprises." Based on photos of Istanbul, Buyuktas explains: "We live in places that most of the times don't draw our attention, places that transform our memories, places that the artist gives another dimension; where the perceptions that generally crosses our minds will be demolished and new ones will arise. These works aim to leave the viewer alone with a surprising visuality, ironic as well as a multidimensional romantic point of view."
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?