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October 2017
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Control your own dreams

‘’It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through!’’ – Elsa (Disney’s Frozen)

Imagine a world where you can do everything. Every single action that was impossible before is possible and without the scary or dangerous consequences these actions normally bring along. A world easy to access for everyone; a world where dreams literally come true. Robert Waggoner, president-elect of the International Association for the Study of Dreams says: ’’Lucid dreaming was like my own, personal ‘magic kingdom.’ Flying through the sky, playing with dream figures, creating adventures – it felt fascinating to do this while aware in the dream state. Lucid dreaming became a free ticket to a kind of Hogwarts School of Wizardry.’’

Lucid dreaming is about you being in control of your own dreams and by this the ability to use your imagination and do whatever you like. Some scientists call it conscious dreaming, as you are aware of the fact that you are not awake. Having the ability to do things in your dreams that are normally not possible make lucid dreaming extraordinary and special. Many studies prove that lucid dreaming does exist, however, many scientists have different opinions about the ethical and medical sides of it. One scientist stated: ‘‘it can become very difficult to tell the difference between dreams and reality. Not in a literal sense, but for example, forgetting whether a memory was in a dream or, in fact, real.’’ This could be a problem if people have a busy life and forget about the important issues of life. However, this is not the main concern scientist have. The main concern is not being able to control your dreams in a positive way anymore; scientists are afraid that people will not be able to do the fun and engaging activities within their dreams, but instead create an antipathy on going to sleep. In 2013, a 17-year-old American guy named James, developed insomnia because of, as he states, lucid dreaming. He was not able to stop lucid dreaming and could not tell whether he woke up in real life or he experienced false awakening. This caused him to be unsure if he was really alive, which eventually affected his personal life as he suffered from severe depressions. The scientists that are against lucid dreaming state that lucid dreaming can be fun if you can control it, but if you can’t, it can be a ticket to hell.

Nevertheless, Ryan Hurd, master degree in Conscious Studies and a certificate in Dream studies from J.F.K. University, does mention that lucid dreaming has some opponents who claim that it can cause mental illnesses and even psychical problems. However, Hurd, and a lot of other scientists along with him, say that there is no evidence to support the claim that lucid dreaming is dangerous. It is not said that the American boy did not suffer from mental issues before. Dreaming itself is not dangerous; it is the media and the stories around it that create fear.

It is important to keep in mind that lucid dreaming is like practicing a particular kind of sport; you need to train in order to get better. To train lucid dreaming and to, again, show that lucid dreaming is not dangerous or scary at all, you need to do particular actions (trainings) in order to get a lucid dream. Rebecca Turner, blogger and specialist of lucid dreaming, states that it is important to keep in mind that you need to be completely comfortable with the fact that you are able to decide what you are going to do within your dreams. On her blog, she teaches people how to get a lucid dream and how to react if you are having one. She wants to emphasize that lucid dreaming is not scary or dangerous at all. However, she can imagine that some people consider it scary, as it is something quite odd to experience. She states: ’’You were not able to cycle at once; you are not able to become worlds champion swimming by not training hard; you need to practice, practice and practice, in order to get better at lucid dreaming.’’

People are not aware of the existence of lucid dreaming, which causes them to either consider it nonsense or consider it as dangerous and scary. Of course, if you Google ‘lucid dreaming’, negative stories will pop up, but isn’t this with every single thing you type into Google? Try typing in ‘severe headache’ and Google will probably tell you that you are suffering from a dangerous illness and maybe die within a few weeks. What I am trying to say is that there are many different stories about lucid dreaming, but this does not necessarily mean that they are all true. After all those years of researching, researchers were still not able to make a clear and strong statement that states that lucid dreaming is so called dangerous and should not be promoted. Therefore, there is no reason of not trying to get into your own fantasy world while you are asleep.

So as we all enriched ourselves with this information, we can start entering our own imaginary worlds. Enjoy flying around and do things you only dreamed of before. I am heading off to my own station now, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite!

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