As I’ve mentioned a time or two, I have very interesting dreams. Often in the middle of my dream I realize I’m dreaming, sometimes this helps me wake up, other times I just stand in the doorway of a beautiful house staring at a murdered family and sigh, looking around and think, ‘Great another murder mystery dream, at least this one has a beautiful setting, minus the dead and bloody bodies.’
This type of awareness in a dream that one is said dream is called lucid dreaming. Someone in a lucid dream has more of a say in the dream, and can, with practice, exert some measure of control. Lucid dreams are very very vivid and realistic. Some research suggests that lucid dreaming has a hereditary component. And that only a very small percentage of the population has lucid dreams on a regular basis. Some people believe this is more a state of brief wakefulness than actual dreaming, but I wonder if the skeptics actually have lucid dreams or not. Because I know what it’s like to have a dream turn into a day dream as I wake up, and that is nothing like my lucid dreaming.
From my own anecdotal research, I’ve found that very few people have lucid dreams, and if they do it is once or twice in their life time. These people then start to fly when they realize they are dreaming. This intrigued me, so I decided I was going to fly in my next lucid dream. But so far I have failed to do so. Gravity still works in my dreams, and roofs cannot be flown through. But my attempts to exert control in my dream lead to a great revelation. Since I am in a dream I can just walk away from work or the horrible thing that is happening without consequences. Now, I open doors or crawl through windows and get away. Usually this just leads into another bizarre dream. But it is helpful.
I have so many lucid dreams I stopped trying to fly and just tried to change them instead. Then one evening, about two years ago, when Chris and I first stared talking on the phone I found out he had lucid dreams all the time too. This was so exciting. I had never met someone in person who also continuously has lucid dreams. He controls people in his dreams by shooting them…. I decided that was not my style even if I have had to use a gun or two in a dream. It did remind me of that long ago desire to try flying and I was determined to keep on trying in my lucid dreams until I succeeded.
Lo and behold I find myself in a Western half dressed and getting shot at. Two big clues I was in a dream, then the dream turns into a lucid dream once I clue in. (You can read the whole dream here.) I was able to change my dream, kill a version of myself floating around in my unconscious, and have a moment of pure freedom. But I still have never been able to fly in a dream. It remains a hope of mine that one day gravity and worries will not weigh me down and that I will be able to soar into the sky and actually fly.