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? Will our descendants forgo the challenges faced in attaining lucidity in favour of effortless virtual worlds?
I expect this may be the case for many, however, one fact should keep the flame of lucidity alight, in spite of the growing competition from ever improving digital alternatives:
Our digital worlds are crafted in code, born from man's imagination but limited by a predefined structure. In any software simulation - all that can be known, experienced or discovered within it, already exists. It has already been decided upon and programmed.
Exceptions to this exist, such as the procedurally generated universe of games such as No Man's Sky, but these mathematically generated variations are still constrained by the choices of its human creators.
The dream world, like our universe, contains mysteries that are unknown to any human - true discoveries lay awaiting us. Our dreams have no author beyond the enigmatic workings of our mind, nature and our individuality. Dreams are the ultimate sandbox, one that develops and morphs according to its own nature - programmed not by man, but through the same processes that gave birth to mankind itself.
Whatever the future holds, we now live in exciting times. We are witness to the birth of humanity's first steps into the creation of virtual worlds and experiences - the advent of a true form of 'shared dreaming'. At the same time, we still have a strong motivation to explore our innate, private biological virtual reality - lucid dreaming.
The future is bright for dreamers. Our universe is becoming infinitely larger. New worlds will be spawned not only within our dreams, but in our waking technologies also.
Indeed, it's possible that as we become more at home within our digital virtual worlds, our species may become more inclined to question reality itself. And, perhaps, a side effect of virtual reality will be an increased proclivity towards lucid dreaming. As we already know, those who regularly question reality are inclined to awareness within their dreams.
If nothing else, it is certain that there will be a creative flow between the world of dreams and our virtual worlds. Dreams will undoubtedly inspire virtual artists and, in turn, virtual experiences will offer our minds a unique feast of experiences with which to build new dreams.
It would seem that dreaming is such a profound aspect of humanity that we have been compelled to create technologies that allow us to 'dream' even while we are awake. It is without doubt that with the birth of virtual reality we now stand at the precipice of a new age of human experience. I believe that if we retain a respect for the strengths and weaknesses of both our biological and technological virtual worlds, and if we develop a mutual and creative relationship between them - that humanity has a very exciting and adventurous future ahead of us.
The following 360 video, where you can guide your own viewpoint, is a wonderful taster of what the future of virtual experiences may hold, especially their ability to bring education and the impossible to life.
(It’s best viewed on a phone, or better still, using a virtual reality viewer such as google cardboard. It makes for great lucidity inspiration too!)
About The Guest Author
Daniel Love is a British lucid dreaming expert, whose goal is to share lucid dreaming in an honest and thoughtful manner. His motto is that we become "lucid about lucidity" and he aims to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the subject, with the hope that it will help bring the wonders and benefits of lucid dreaming to a wider audience.
Rebecca Turner is the founder of World of Lucid Dreaming. She is currently studying for a science degree in Auckland and becoming famous as a science writer. Try our free lucid dreaming course and connect with the team on Facebook and the lucid dream forum.
Lucid dreaming, like any advanced skill, requires a considerable investment of time, energy and dedication in order to master. Yet, as a lucidity researcher, I'm regularly asked by those new to the subject, for an easy and low-effort technique. Something that
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
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?