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Lucid Dreaming

A "lucid" dream is one in which the dreamer becomes aware of the fact that they are dreaming, but doesn't wake up. It is possible to enter a converse state while going to sleep:- to be in a dream while still conscious, but under the impression one is still awake. This is called a hypnogogic hallucination.
Lucid dreams and hypnogogic hallucinations can be frightening, but are perfectly normal. They are more likely to happen to people who are extremely tired, suffer from disturbed sleep, or have irregular sleep patterns.
Many people are fascinated by their lucid dreams, and when enquiring about dream groups, ask me if I work with Lucid Dreams and Dream Control. The answer is “No”: although the subject is very interesting, and lucid dreaming can be fun to do, it is at best a recreational activity, and at worst can be self-harming [at least, in my experience].
Writers such as Carlos Castaneda and Kilton Stewart have written at length on the possibilities of “action at a distance” through lucid dreaming, claiming that once you have conscious control of a dream you can “dream” yourself into a real situation, and then what you do in your dream actually happens in waking reality.
Both authors have written in the traditional style of the American supernatural, founded on such works as Washington Irving's "Rip van Winkle", and William Austin's "Peter Rugg, the Missing Man". The style includes the device of beginning the story with the insistence that all of what follows is true ... many such stories are wonderful allegories, but to treat them as fact will only lead the reader up the garden path and back again.
Although action at a distance is to some extent possible through ritual magic or astral projection (which can happen involuntarily while asleep), it is quite impossible in lucid dreaming: the dream state is a window onto the unconscious, not a window onto the world. To see the world, we must be awake. Actions performed in the dream state are actions performed in the unconscious.
Dream Control is about changing the outcome of dreams, typically to avoid nightmares such as falling. The idea is to gain lucidity in such nightmares habitually, and then consciously intervene to change the course of the nightmare.
Although re-entering a dream consciously, and rehearsing different outcomes, is a useful tool of dreamwork, dreams bring messages from the unconscious for a reason, and if a message becomes blocked by the dreamer training themselves not to dream a particular dream, then the unconscious will present that message another way, often through sabotaging things in waking reality. This is why I do not recommend or use Dream Control.

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