The Art of Lucid Dreaming
July 11th, 2014
Categories : Blog
Lucid dreaming is a highly sought after state of mind that brings with it a great sense of enrichment and empowerment. Throughout human history, accessing this level of willful exertion over dreams has been a challenging feat - and it has never been easier than today. New technological advancements are fundamentally changing the game. Formerly, influencing one’s dreams required tremendous focus, composure and meditative wisdom. Now, electrical stimulation might replace all that effort.
What Lucid Dreaming is
There is no singular theory that encompasses every niche aspect of lucid dreaming, but practitioners generally agree upon a limited set of requirements that must be met for a dream to reach this state. There are three basic symptoms that must be fulfilled.
The first sign of lucidity during sleep can be noted as simple self-awareness. This can surface as basic introspection or insight. Secondary signals of lucid dreaming involve a level of dissociation that garners a third-person perspective. This manifests in out-of-body experiences and visions of watching oneself. The third and final indicator is control. Initially, this power will arise in noting subtle changes taking place based on thoughts, but it soon transforms into universal domination over dream time occurrences. At this stage, dreamers can alter every aspect of their vision’s setting, cast, actions and reactions.
This generates a series of benefits that range from superficial to revolutionary. Lucid dreamers can fulfill their wildest fantasies with ease, or they can learn to transcend human existence by meditating on dreaming again within the dream. The possibilities are limitless when it comes to operating in a realm that lacks the confines of time and physics.
How Electrical Stimulation Works
A recent clinical study was conducted by J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and it revealed serious effectiveness in procuring lucid dreams by administering minor electric shocks. In total, 27 healthy men and women were zapped by varying degrees of electricity within a few minutes of entering REM sleep, and they were required to immediately describe their dreams upon waking. The specific doses of static current were not disclosed to the test subjects, but researchers collected a ton of data through brain scan imagery and interviews.
Those that were shocked with a certain amount unanimously reported higher levels of awareness while dreaming. The levels of electricity given were between 0Hz and 100Hz, and each dreamer was carefully monitored. Ultimately, effectiveness peaked around 40Hz, and lucid dreaming was seen developing around 25Hz on average. Awareness was the most common occurrence, and control was the most elusive. This signals that further complexities are involved in attaining unfettered dominion over the dreamscape. Using herbs in conjunction might push human physiology over the top.
Overall, wavelength currents work because all activity in the mind is already electrical with neurons firing sparks back and forth all the time. The man-made currents simply imitate the signals that already exist in the brain. These gamma band oscillations have been observed in individuals that attained lucid dreaming through herbal ingestion, so artificially inducing the fields was hypothesized to yield the same outcome.
Luckily, the scientists’ postulation was correct. Soon, the public will have access to these mind-altering treatments. Medical researchers now believe lucid dreams may hold the key to eliminating the nightmares that plague patients with post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.
Different Philosophies and Herbs
Records of lucid dreaming long predate electrical shockwaves. Here are the most important originators of the concepts alongside their herbal allies of choice.
The entire field owes its credit to this man’s documentation of astral projection and its related metaphysical phenomena. His entire belief system focused on nurturing the will, and this directly extending into creating a conscious presence within dreams at all times. His innate goal was to consistently arrive at a place that felt outside any physical body, especially his own. He avidly employed opium to create interactive hallucinations, but his true passion was Alpine Turmeric combined with wild Alpine Galangal. This is considered a prime dreamer’s concoction, and it is still widely consumed in modern times. His occult legacy lives on through his prolifically published memoirs and guides. The height of his notoriety occurred during the first half of the 20th century.
This anthropologist unexpectedly earned worldwide fame during the height of the hippie era. His research on psychoactive plants led him to be immersed in a lifelong tutelage with a Yaqui Indian spiritualist. During his time spent in the Sonora Desert with his teacher, Castaneda consumed a variety of natural herbs that grew wild in the region. For dreaming, his master primarily recommended Datura inoxia (warning; may be fatal!) and psilocybin mushrooms. While under the influence of the former, he found himself searching for omens by dissecting live lizards in the desert as dream time fused with regular reality; meanwhile, mushrooms were used to enable controlled flight during sleep, which taught the student how to move by only using willpower. His accounts of metaphysical dreaming are contained within his detailed guide, which is aptly titled “The Art of Dreaming.”
These aboriginal tribes occupy the same North American region that Castaneda’s work took place in, but they offer a richer history of the practice. These natives of Oaxaca have relied on herbs to enter a lucid dream state for as long as their cultures can recall. They have gained a reputation for their heavy use of mushrooms to reach lucid dream spaces, but they also are the original source for Salvia divinorum. This legendary diviner grants the most intense entry into alternate states of perception during sleep imaginable; in fact, it can cause lucid dreams to start during waking life. This tribe is also responsible for providing the world with Calea zacatechichi, which is an herbal substance that has only one purpose: The plant directly manifests dreams to anyone that properly consumes it. The religious doctrines of these groups declare their collective intent to seek gathering places in physical locations that act as a portal to the unknown metaphysical world. Their herbs simply amplify the potential of finding such a powerful location.
Like all of human history, lucid dreaming can be traced back to Africa. As long as mankind has been around, these cultures have been conducting ceremonies to connect the living with the deceased. Many of these religious settings involve drinking shamanic elixirs. Nowadays, many of the ancient African dream herbs are available. They have an observable force that opens up the cerebral control of dreams to unlock great prophetic wisdom.
Electrical stimulation is potentially transforming an ancient practice into a modern and scientifically controllable method. However, until such devices are becoming available to the public and experiences can be collected, it remains difficult to compare them to the established methods of trained awareness and herbs. There is no reason why the aforementioned techniques cannot be merged into one larger approach. Combining meditation, herbs and electrical stimulation shapes up as the ultimate way - we are looking forward to hear about experiences!