Some people do not remember any of their dreams and will happily state that they ‘do not dream’. Yet scientists are now clear that we all dream every night. How come then? Well, it simply means that those people do not remember their dreams, not that they do not dream. So there’s a sort of barrier there: the ability to recall a dream is not something automatic and consistent for everyone. That explains why most people remember some of their dreams but rather occasionally.
For some persons however, the dream life is part of their life. They can look forward to going to bed because of yet another amazing series of dreams they may have. They do not see these long hours lying in bed as some wasted time; instead they see it as a moment when their consciousness functions in a different way. I am one of those people.
Since I was a teenager I had a busy dream life. The normality for me is to remember my dreams—and usually several of them, each night. When I do not remember a single thing of the night, this is when I know something is off. Sometimes I recall so many dreams that I have a hard time getting back to the normal world in the morning. That normal world is a consensual reality that we can all agree on, whereas our dreams are something private and subjective.
So what happens when we dream? Scientists—the mainstream ones at least—would have us believe that the mind is just consolidating our memory fragments from the day and doing some sort of housekeeping, while keeping us busy with some random visuals. I can’t help smiling as I write those words because for a time this is what I believed too. That was before I had a different type of dreams: lucid dreams.
A lucid dream is a particular type of dream in which you become aware that you are dreaming. It is not simply a vivid dream that you will remember for years because its content was particularly emotional for you, it is much deeper. In a lucid dream, you will remember that you are dreaming while you are dreaming. Now that is very different from the default dreaming state, in which you are carried along with the narrative—no matter how extravagant it can be—and do not acknowledge the fact that you are in somehow a different space than consensual reality. Yet in a lucid dream you do: you know that you are dreaming, and at the same time you know that you have a physical body somewhere at rest on a bed while you are in this dreamscape. And the implications are far-reaching.
For one thing, you are being offered an undeniable truth that consciousness exists separately from the physical body. The brain, that organ which science believes is generating the illusion of consciousness, is not the source of consciousness at all! This is merely an organ of the physical body. When you have a lucid dream you are confronted with the greater truth: consciousness was there first, before any physical body. Your body is an attribute of consciousness, and not the other way around. As you look through modern science with a spiritual eye, you will find that it is not the only occurence where something taken for granted is actually true only when you swap the supposed cause and effect.
Dreaming is a state of consciousness just like being awake. They both are manifestations of consciousness equally valid, although the mainstream opinion is that being awake is the ‘real deal’ but being asleep is just fantasy. But it’s simply ignorance that leads to such conclusions. Consciousness is the essence of what we are and lucid dreaming, if you ever experience it, is one of the proofs available—alongside NDE (Near Death Experience) or OBE (Out of Body Experience).
Note—the Wikipedia links are provided for your convenience. As much as I like Wikipedia, their position on many topics is very conservative and skeptical especially for anything that involves mind and spirit phenomena. So read from other sources as well.
I’ll never forget my first lucid dream. I was in a familiar setting, a garden. Then I had the realisation that I was inside a dream. At that moment my consciousness expanded with much excitement: I knew I was there in my dream world yet my physical body was at rest in my bedroom, where I had just left it momentarily. It was not scary at all, it was strangely liberating. It was like being in a fully immersive video game, better than anything you can ever buy even with modern VR (Virtual Reality) equipments. I was in the projection of my own mind, contemplating my own creation. I had recreated the garden from memory it seems. But there was more: I had a body, a dream body, and I could see a pair of human-looking hands in front of me just like in the consensual world. Yet that body as I would find it later was not as solid as my physical body, but instead sort of elastic (e.g., I could stretch my finger to a good meter if I wanted). And when I looked around it was eerie: everything seemed imbued with a bright glow. It’s like every single atom had a radiance of its own and it looked so beautiful. As I read other descriptions of lucid dreams I couldn’t help but agree: this indeed looked like a HD (High Definition) version of reality compared to the consensual world and what my five bodily sense could gather. But here I was, seeing beyond the physical reality and contemplating a luminous version of that garden I knew all too well. That scene was just breathtaking. When I woke up I brought back all the memories with me and I have not been the same ever since.
The following weeks and months have been a period of great transformation and I had to upgrade my belief system to fit my new experiences. The consensual world looked like a pale copy of my dream in terms of vividness and aliveness, and I would long for my next occasion to experience a lucid dream. It became clear to me that every night my consciousness was leaving my body and going on some adventures of its own, and occasionally I could become an active player of this adventure. During a lucid dream I was my own self, with all my memories and personality yet I was not on the physical Earth. I got to play a lot, because in a lucid dream you can manifest immediately whatever you bring to your awareness: you can decide to go to some awesome places, create your own landscape, meet people, fly etc. The possibilities are endless. It’s the ultime video game yet it’s so realistic that it can’t be matched by anything. You are living your own dream and shape it in whichever way you’d like. You have a body that can provide you the same type of sensations as in your physical body: sight, touch and hearing are predominant for me but smell and taste can also be experienced. That means you can feel like in a human body and experience pleasure. And in case you wonder, yes, you can have some pretty amazing sex during lucid dreams.
You can read as much as you want about these experiences or watch videos etc. but there’s nothing like having the experience yourself. If you are a skeptic, you should know that this kind of experience is very common nowadays yet many people are not comfortable sharing it because of the reaction it may create. These kind of experiences can be spontaneous or they can be induced. In my case, it had all been triggered by a book on the subject I had acquired just a few days earlier. I wanted badly to have this kind of experience and I knew as I started reading the book that the description of experiences from other people were genuine. So the good news is that if this topic interests you, you can also learn from it with books, online classes, workshops etc. Nowadays it’s become more mainstream and you are likely to hear about it if you start paying attention. But in fact dream work is a very old practice.
Remembering your dreams is the first pre-requisite if you want to explore lucid dreaming—or do any dream work for that matter. Indeed, you can have the most fantastic dreams but if you can’t bring back those memories then it won’t reach your normal daily life consciousness. Lucid dreaming is a skill and like any other skill in life, it can be learned and it will improve with practice. Everyone can do it. Yet some people have some natural predisposition that make them able to do it with little effort—most likely a result of past-lives experience. If you really want to have your own lucid dreaming experience, it will come to you when you are ready for it (you can’t force it).
And I wish it happens to more and more people as humanity awakens from the false beliefs of a limited physical existence where consciousness is a random by-product of the brain chemistry. See for yourself and make your own opinion. But for many people, it brings a tangible proof that you can exist apart from your physical body. Therefore they will sooner or later conclude that death is not the end; thus extinguishing the deepest and darkest fear of men: death and annihilation.