Lucidity Letter - April 1983 - Vol. 2, No. 2

Lucidity Letter

1.   Physiological Characteristics of Three Types of Lucid Dream - 49

       Stephen LaBerge, Lynne Levitan, Matthew Gordon and William C. Dement

2.   Lucid Dreams and the Arousal Continuum - 49

       R. Ogilvie, H. Hunt, A. Kushniruk arid J. Newman

3.   Migraine, Out—of—Body Experiences and Lucid Dreams - 50

       Harvey J. Irwin

4.   Intelligence, Creativity and Personality Differences Between Individuals Who Vary in Self—Reported Lucid Dream Frequency - 52

       Jayne Gackenbach, Robert Curren, Stephen LaBerge, Douglas Davidson and Pamela Maxwell

5.   Presleep Determinants and Postsleep Results of Lucid Versus Vivid Dreams - 52

       Jayne Gackenbach, Robert Curren and Gregory Cutler

6.   Negative Air Ions and Lucidity Induction: Additional Data - 53

       Thomas Adler, Jayne Gackenbach and Stephen LaBerge

7.   Review of Dreams and How to Guide Them - 54

       Harvey de Saint-Denys

8.   Objective vs. SubjectiveApproaches to Investigating Dream Lucidity: A Case for the Subjective - 55

       Alan Worsley

9.   Lucid Dreaming: Personal Observations - 56

       Joseph Sharcoff

10.  Problem Solving and Dream Lucidity: An Unpleasant Experience - 57

       Ruth Haak

11.  Letters to the Editor - 58

       Ann Wiseman

12.  News and Notes - 58


Physiological Characteristics of Three

Types of Lucid Dream


Stephen LaBerge,1 Lynne Levitan,

Matthew Gordon and William C. Dement

Sleep Research Center

Stanford University


In a previous report2 we proposed a classification of modes of lucid dream (LD)

initiation into three distinct types. This preliminary analysis suggested that

lucid dreams occured either a) within two minutes of the onset of REM periods (Onset

or 0—LDs); b) after an awakening briefly interrupting a REM period (wake initiated

or W—LDs); or c) in association with elevated REM activity (Phasic— P—LDs). Here

we report further characteristics of these three types of REM lucid dreams.



Sixty-one signal verified3’4 lucid dreams derived from seven subjects provided the

data base. Analysis of the polysomnograms revealed 30% W—LDs, and 49% P—LDs. P—LDs

occurred significantly later in REM periods than W-Lds and (obviously) 0—LDs. 0—LDs

occurred significantly earlier in the night than P-LDs. W—LDs showed no significant

time of night effect.


For all three types of LD, the initiation of lucidity was frequently marked by indications orientation responses including respirations, skin potential responses (SPR) and biphasic heart rate responses. For the P-Lds, REM burst time, SPR rate, and respiration rate showed significant elevations in the 30 seconds immediately before the initiation of lucidity (as marked by the signals) compared to the preceding portions of the REM periods. The same was true for the 30 seconds immediately before the transitory arousals preceding W-LDs.


The foregoing results are all in accord with our original impression that the initiation of lucid dreams is dependent upon a suffi­ciently high level of cerebral activation, attained only in REM sleep and under the three conditions described above.


1These results will be presented as part of a paper, “The Psychophysiology of Lucid Dream­ing,” to be read by Stephen LaBerge at a symposium on “Mental Processes During Sleep” at the 4th International Congress of Sleep Research, Bologna, Italy, July, 1983.

2S.P. LaBerge, L.E. Nagel, W.B. Taylor, W.C. Dement and V.P. Zarcone, “Physiological correlates of the initiation of lucid dream­ing.” Sleep Research, 1981, 10, 149.

3S.P. LaBerge, L.E. Nagel, W.C. Dement and V.P. Zarcone, “Lucid dreaming verified

by volitional communication during REM sleep.” Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1981,

52, 727—732.

4S.P. Lafierge, L.E. Nagel, W.C. Dement and Zarcone, “Evidence for lucid dreaming

during REM sleep.” Sleep Research, 1981, 10, 148.


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 49.


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Lucid Dreams and the Arousal Continuum


R.Ogilvie,1 H. Hunt,

A. Kushniruk and J. Newman

Psychology Dept., Brock University St. Catharines, Canada


Eight lucid dreamers slept one to four nights in the sleep lab where they were awakened by REM sleep following spontaneous or cued signals (3 sets of horizontal EMs). The cue buzzer sounded after 15 min. of REM in the presence of either high or low REM activity.


Ss were to signal immediately after the cue and again about 30 sec. later if in a LD. Arousals were made 30 sec. to 1 min. after cued signals or from earlier in REM if spon­taneous signals were seen.



Table 1


Electrophysiological Data

Dream Reports

Presignal state (%)

Postsignal prearousal state (%)




REM     A    R-> A

REM     A    R->A   R->II

% Lucid

% Pre LD

%Non LD

X Cloud

X Hallucination

Spontaneous Signal


86         7        7

   86         14






Cued hi


88         6        6

   19         44    31        6






Cued low



   20         27    47        6






Spontaneous arousal















Present Study Ogilvie et al. (1982)









Almost all spontaneous signaling occurred  in REM and the dreamer usually

remained in REM until awakened. However, cued arousals often disrupted the REM

state but lucid and nonlucid dreaming continued whether the subject was

physiologically awake or asleep.


Cues in low α elicited high lucidity while for cued high α arousals the picture was less clear. Spontaneous signaling episodes show a lucidity and content rating

pattern similar to cued low α arousals. Consistent with our precious work, high

α was associated with dream bizarreness.


In contrast to our earlier studies, this experiment involved cues and signaling

and newspaper—recruited high lucidity subjects (in contrast to good recallers

given lucidity instructions). The effects of these changes were: (1) considerably

enhanced lucidity ratings (57% versus 24%, with fewer of the prelucid episodes

that were previously assoc­iated with highest and bizarreness; (2) cued as opposed

to spontaneous lucidity was characterized by mixed and fragmented waking and REM

indices. The broader range of lucid­ity, like research on meditation, is a mixed

or transitional state with respect to both psychological and physiological

measures. One is reminded of the disassociation between polygraphic and

subjective assessment of sleep and wakefulness at sleep onset.



This work descriptively locates lucidity within a broader context than has been seen in previous laboratory studies. LaBerge has shown that lucidity is an inherent potential of the REM state, while Green’s accounts emphasize a more transitional, shifting state. By examining both cued and spontaneous arousals, the present study captured the natural range of the phenomenon.


1This is an abstract of a paper to be presented at the 4th International Congress of Sleep Research, Bologna, Italy, July, 1983.



Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 49.


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Migraine, Out—of—Body Experiences, and Lucid Dreams


Harvey J. Irwin

                 Department of Psychology

                University of New England

                              Armidale, Australia


In some of the literature on out—of—body experiences (OBEs) a relationship between the experiences and migraine has been suggested. This notion seems to have its origin Lippman’s1 paper on sensations of “physical duality” evoked during various phases of a migraine attack. Several writers including Black2 have implied that the link between these two states is not limited temporally to the period of the migraine; rather mi­grainuers generally are susceptible to the OBE at other times too, so that there is a realtively high frequency of migraineurs among out—of—body experimenters (OBErs). Apart from informal impressions gleaned from personal contact with OBErs there is scant published empirical evidence of a statistical association between OBEs and a history of migrainuers.  Nevertheless in surveys of University St. New England psychology classes in the period 1980 to 1982, I established a significant trend in this direction for three of four independent samples. Thus for the four groups combined, 50 percent of OBErs reported a history of migraine whereas only 24 percent of nonexperients did so. The association while statistically significant is not a particularly strong one, with φ = .234.


Given that OBEs statistically are associated also with the occurrence of lucid dreams it is pertinent to look at the incidence of migraine among lucid dreamers. This was one of the  objectives of a study conducted last year as a supervised class project by four of my students (Carolyn Anderson, Carmen Avendano, Cathy Hackett, and Ellen Knight). The sample comprised 40 male and 49 female university students. In a questionnaire survey of  this group the measure of migraine history was an item in a self—report instrument ,viz. “I suffer, or have suffered, migraine headaches.” The relationship between OBEs and lucid dreams [X2(l) = 10.39, φ = .342, p < .005] was again evidenced, while that between OBEs and migraine was not strong and of borderline significance [X2(l) 3.78, φ = .206, p < .052]. Most interestingly, however, lucid dreaming did exhibit a clear association with migraine, as shown below.










Lucid dreamers



Non-lucid dreamers




X2(1) = 14.44, φ = .403, p < .0005




Although, there may well have been some ten­dency to confuse tension headaches with

mi­graine (further research to clarify this point would require the assistance of

biomed­ical personnel) these data immediately raise two fundamental questions.

First, were pre­vious observations and informal impressions of an ORE—migraine

relationship an artifact of the “lucid dreams” variable? It would seem that this

largely is the case. Canonical cor­relation of lucid dreams and OREs with mi­graine

yields coefficients of .90 for lucid dreams and only .22 for OREs. Evidently the

association between OREs and migraine is due almost entirely to the tendency of

people who do not have lucid dreams to be both non—OBErs and free from attacks of



A second issue posed by the survey findings is the basis of the link between

the lucidity of one’s dreams and a personal history of mi­graine. This relationship appears a substan­tial one: in a canonical correlation of lucid dreams with migraine, sex, practice of medi­tation, religiosity, and belief in post—mortem survival, migraine yielded a coefficient of .92. The association may be artifactual in that both lucidity and migraine may be re­lated independently to a third variable, without there being a direct causal link be­tween migraine history and proneness to lucid dreaming. One possibility here is that indi­viduals with a particular personality profile are more open to both lucid dreaming’ and a migraine attack. This is worthy of further empirical scrutiny, although research into migraine has yet to identify a “migraine per­sonality” (contrary to popular assumption)4 and to this extent such a line of investiga­tion perhaps does not look promising. If there is a direct causal relationship between lucid dreaming and migraine it probably will best be understood in neuropsychological terms. For example perhaps migraineurs periodically are subject to certain neurophysiological disturbances which are subclinical in the sense of not evoking an actual headache with which nonetheless are responsible for increasing cerebral activation to the relatively high level necessary to initiate lucidity during a dream.5 In any event migraine is a variable of which cogni­zance might be taken in future investigations of lucid dreams.




1Lippman, C.W. (1953) Hallucinations of physical duality in migraine. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 117:345—350.

2Black, D. (1975) Ekstasy: Out—of—the—body experiences. New York: Bobbs—Merrill.

3Gackenbach, J.I. (1978) A personality and cognitive style analysis of lucid dreaming. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Virginia Commonwealth University.

4Adams, H.E., Feuerstein, M. & Fowler, J.L. (1980) Migraine headache: Review of para­meters, etiology, and intervention. Psycho­logical Bulletin, 87:217—237.

5LaBerge, S.P.,  Nagel, L.E., Taylor, W.B., Dement, W.C. & Zarcone, V.P. (1981) Psy­chophysiological correlates of the initia­tion of lucid dreaming. Sleep  Research, 10:149.

Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 50.


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Intelligence, Creativity and Personality Differences Between Individuals Who Vary in Self—Reported Lucid Dreaming Frequency


Jayne Gackenbach,1 Robert Curren,

Stephen LaBerge,* Douglas Davidson

and Pamela Maxwell

University of Northern Iowa

*Stanford University


Well—educated, predominately white adults with incomes averaging $20,000 a year (males 81; females 102) responded to a two—phase mail survey project due to their interest in dream lucidity. Intellectual, creative and personality differences between individuals who differed in the frequency with which they reported spontaneously experiencing this type of dream were the focus of this inquiry. Four scales (i.e., verbal, numerical, spatial, and perceptual completion) from the Comprehensive Ability Battery (CM) were used to assess intellectual differences. The Remote Associa­tions Test (RAT) and four scores (i.e., flu­ency, flexibility, originality and elabora­tion) from the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) constituted the creativity measures. Personality characteristics as­sessed included: masculinity, femininity, and androgyny scores from the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ), public and private self— consciousness and social anxiety from the Self—Consciousness Scale (SCS) and internal and external risk from the Dane Risk Scale (DRS).


Respondents were classified as either frequent lucid dreamers (more than one per month) or rarely lucid dreamers (once in a lifetime to several times per year) based on their self—reported lucidity frequency.  Only those dreamers who demonstrated an understanding of the concept by supplying a lucid dream transcript were included in subsequent analyses. Sex (male and female) by dreamer type (frequent and rare) analyses of covariance where self—reported dream recall, which correlated significantly with mean daily call from dream logs kept as another aspect of this project, served as a covariate for all analyses (for the personality analyses social desirability was a second covariate) were computed on all the aforementioned dependent variables. Frequent lucid dreamers were found to be more intelligent and non verbally creative across all subscale scores the CAB and the TTCT. The former was predominately accounted for by females. Additionally, frequently lucid dreamer preferred externally risky situations more so than their dreamer counterparts while this was only for females in terms of internal risk situations. In subsequent step—wise multiple regressions, high private self—consciousness was the best predictor, followed by high femininity, for self—reported lucid dreaming frequency among males. For females low social anxiety and high perceptual completion scores

were the best two predictors of lucid dreaming frequency.


1This is an abstract of a paper which has been submitted for presentation at the fifth annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery, Vancouver B.C., June, 1983.


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 52.


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Presleep Determinants and Postsleep ResultsLucid Versus Vivid Dreams


Jayne Gackenbach,1 Robert Curren,

and Gregory Cutler

University of Northern Iowa


The effects of three types of waking situational variables on the emergence of awareness of dreaming while dreaming or dream lucidity as well as the relative waking effects of having had this dream, experience were considered in the present inquiry. That is, 320 psychology students provided dream content and pre—post sleep situational information about at least one dream over a 16— week, once weekly, data gathering period. Of the 1601 dreams collected 1252 were classified as vivid or highly recallable and 211 as verifiably lucid. Pre— and post—sleep in— non was gathered on the research participants  activities; such as tests, extracurricular events, homework, work for pay and household chores; interpersonal interaction with friends, lovers, family members and coworkers; and emotions, including anxiety, hostility, happiness, pleasantness, rejection feelings, fearfulness, and arousal. Dream content information collected and analyzed herein included type of dream, amount of recall, visual perceptions, color perceptions, positive emotions, negative emotions, perceptions, voices, taste—smell perceptions, palpable sensations, control over dream content, and verbal behaviors.


Sex of subject by type of dream analyses of covariance with dream recall as the covariate computed on pre— and post—sleep composite activity, interaction and emotions scores and on the dream content variables. Lucid dreams were more likely to occur following active days where unpleasant interpersonal interactions and unhappy emotions prevailed than vivid dreams. These lucid dreams had the characteristic left hemisphere (i.e., sound, voices, control) and balance (i.e., sound, voice in conjunction with touch—body sensations) components often noted in the literature. These data suggest that dream lucidity serves a psychological compensatory function emerging out of stressful conditions. This is similar to reports of out—of—the—body experience, an experientially related phenomenon, occurring due to waking stress.


This is an abstract of a paper which has been submitted for presentation at the fifth annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery, Vancouver, B.C., June, 1983.


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 52.


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Negative Air Ions and Lucidity Induction: Additional Data


Thomas Adler, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Jayne Gackenbach, Univ. of Northern Iowa

Stephen LaBerge, Stanford University


It has been reported that using a negative ion generator in ones bedrooms may be detri­mental to falling asleep. The general influ­ence of negative air ions on the brain may be a lower arousal threshold. Too much arousal keeps us awake; but by controlling the nega­tive ion concentration individuals may find that they are able to sleep while retaining a tendency for heightened arousal in dreams. In this way negative ions may be conducive to lucidity. Adler reports that the frequent appearance of rain in his dreams in an ion­ized environment may also express this arousal effect. Sometimes this “rain” assumes bizarre forms: emeralds falling out of the sky, thousands of birds descending, but usu­ally it is ordinary rain. Falling water and rainstorms are the natural source of negative air ions.


Relatedly, Adler notes that the results from exposure to 105 negative air ions/cc. given below do not reach conventional significance levels but was in the expected direction and indicates that further experiments would be worthwhile.




















X2 = 1.15, df = 1, p = 0.30



As a further test of the aforementioned hypothesis, Gackenbach and LaBerge gathered 1006 dreams from 183 adults in an at home dream survey project. The amount of rain and cloudiness (i.e., times when negative ions would occur spontaneously in greater density in the atmosphere) on the days preceding their dreams were recorded on their dream logs. Only lucid dreams from subjects who demonstrated an understanding of the concept by providing a lucid dream transcript were included in subsequent analyses.


Simple correlations between type of dream and cloudiness and raininess of the previous day calculated separately for each sex resulted in nonsignificant correlations for males and a very small and marginally significant cor­relation for females (r = 0.06, n = .605,  p < .098). This was in the expected direction, the more lucid a dream (lucid dreams were assigned 1 point, prelucid dreams such as false awakenings were assigned 0.5 points and nonlucid dreams were assigned 0 points) the more likely it was to have rained the day before. However, this was attenuated by a small but significant correlation between the amount of recall of the dream and the raini­ness of the day before for females (r =  0.08, n = 605, p < .037). This association was not found for males. When partial correlations were computed controlling for dream recall and attempts at lucidity induction the corre­lation between degree of lucidity and raini­ness dropped (r = 0.047, n = 603, p = .249) and was nonsignificant.


Support from these two studies is weak, at best, for the hypothesized relationship be­tween the presence of negative ions and the emergence of lucidity in the dream. Nonetheless this provocative notion deserves further investigation.


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 53.



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Review of Dreams and How to Guide Them

Hervey de Saint-Denys. Translated by Nicholas

Fry; edited and with an introduction by Morton

Schatzman. London: Duckworth, 1982.

by Judith R. Malamud

New York City


We are fortunate finally to have an English translation of the major portion of Hervey de Saint—Denys’ extraordinary account, origi­nally published in French in 1867, of more than twenty years of experimentation with his own lucid dreams.


St. Denys’ ability to recall an unbroken sequence of images no matter when he was awakened, an ability rarely observed in even the modern sleep laboratory, provided him with unusually complete data from which he formulated hypotheses about how dreams are constructed--hypotheses which are still provocative today. Saint—Denys’ work with dreams pre—dated Freud’s and he was apparently not attuned to the self—revelatory potential of dreams. Nevertheless, he did maintain, in contrast to the then—dominant and still widely held materialist viewpoint, that dream images are not random neurological events, but are the immediate result of one’s own thoughts during sleep. His success, with certain dreams, in tracing every image and transition to associatively linked waking memories and his observation that creative processes and conscious volition can be part of even ordinary dreams, as well as lucid dreams, convinced him that all dreams could theoretically be understood as essentially continuous with waking thought, although different in form.


Saint—Denys’ provision of numerous hypotheses and examples concerning links between seemingly bizarre images and ordinary thought processes may help deepen the reader’s realization that dreams are not alien phenomena but, in fact, our own creations--a major step toward lucid awareness. Further, St. Denys noted many of the characteristics, intensified in the dream state, that make dreams worth attending to: heightened imagination, creativity, powers of performance and sensory acuteness; access to remote memories, spontaneity, and emotional intensity.


As Schatzman points out in his interesting introduction, Saint—Denys occasionally over generalized from his own experience concerning the supposed limits of dream experience. For example, he formed the misconceptions that it is invariably impossible to have an imageless dream, to experience physical pain in a dream or to dream of one’s own death. Contemporary dream researchers who assert that there are limits to what can occur in dreams could take a warning from this: no matter how many dreamers report an inability to experience a certain phenomenon, one can never actually prove that the phenomenon is impossible.


Saint—Denys offered numerous instances of volitional control of dream content during lucid dreams, but noted that it is difficult to dream to order using only pre—sleep suggestion because of the tendency of the associative train of thought to stray rapidly and far from the original intended idea. His preferred techniques were based on conditioning, i.e., he repeatedly paired, during his waking hours, a particular situation with a simple stimulus which he then arranged to have presented to him while he was asleep in order to evoke images from the waking situation in his dream. For example, he took a certain perfume with him on a vacation in the Country and used it constantly. Upon his return, he had someone place a few drops of the scent on his pillow while he was asleep, and thereby succeeded, not just once but in repeatedd experiments, in stimulating dream images linked with impressions from the vacations. He found that he was able to use up to seven or eight different fragrances as stimuli to evoke associated ideas in his dreams, using this procedure. He even speculated that if one wishes to have pleasant dreams, one should take care to intersperse one’s daily activities with pleasant impressions, which would then naturally occur in dreams due to their associative linkages!


I found this translation a pleasure to read. Morton Schatzman and Nicholas Fry have performed a real service to both novice dreamers seeking inspiration and researchers who would be interested in the wealth of hypotheses contained in this valuable work. It can be purchased from Duckworth, The Old Piano Factory, 43 Gloucester Crescent, London NW1, $20.00 postpaid.


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 54.


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Objective Vs. Subjective Approaches to Investigating Dream Lucidity: A Case for the Subjective


Alan Worsley, EEG Department

St. Thomas’s Hospital, London


In lucid dreams we are dealing very much with images and ideas, feelings and imagination, desire and will. Although, obviously, statistics can be applied there is much scope for discussion on a literary rather than a mathematical level though it is harder to appear scientific in some contexts unless figures can be quoted. I do realize that the phenomenon of lucid dreams is one which is particularly susceptible to suggestion and that objective verification is even more im­portant than usual but at the same time we are at the beginning of the exploration of the subject and provided reported observa­tions are suitably qualified the stimulating effect of exciting discoveries can be re­tained without embedding a whole collection of misguided preconceptions into the lore of lucid dreams as seems to be the case with astral projection and ritual magic.


In this connection I would mention 2 arti­cles, one by Roger Sperry in the 24th Septem­ber edition of SCIENCE (1982) about the split brain work (Some Effects of Disconnecting the Cerebral Hemispheres) in which on the last page (1226) under the heading ‘Progress on the Mind—Brain Problem’ he has several paragraphs about the new role of inner experience as a now increasingly accepted valid causal factor in brain function, i.e., that as he says, ‘The events of inner experience, as emergent properties of brain processes, become them­selves explanatory causal constructs in their own right, interacting at their own level with their own laws and dynamics.’ This seems to lend support to the view that in many cases the events in dreams can on]>’ be treated verbally and cannot be adequately dealt with by measurement and that co re­strict investigation to those aspects that can be measured would stifle valuable explo­ration.


The other article appeared in NEW SOCIETY in 1974 (May 23, p. 438) ‘Psychology: Towards a Science of Fiction’ by Richard Gregory. Sub­titled “People live by their internal ‘fic­tions’ at least as much as by ‘fact.’ Should psychology focus on this rather than on di­rect imitation of natural science.”, it puts forward much the same new paradigm as Sperry though he admits that, at the time, it is ‘an issue too hot to be handled safely.’ He says that to move towards this new approach re­quires ‘an act of faith that adequate scien­tific methods can be devised for discovering and describing the fiction that controls organisms — and is their perception of the world.’ I do think that the study of lucid dreams may be able to contribute signifi­cantly to this new but fundamental branch of psychology. The events in LDs seem to depend very much on what is expected and on the variations of expectations which happen either ‘spontaneously’ in accordance with moods and feelings or can be deliberately controlled with greater or lesser degrees of success depending on how skilled the dreamer is at modifying his beliefs at a moment’s notice. This is clearly a matter of ‘internal fictions’ as referred to by Gregory and the ‘mental forces/explanatory causal constructs’ which Sperry puts forward. Gregory goes on to say, “If, indeed, much of behaviour is given from internal, largely inaccessible “brain fiction,” then the hope of finding simple re­lations (transfer functions) between inputs and outputs, or stimuli and responses is destroyed.” There is much room and need for basic philosophical analysis in connection with LDs.



Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 55.


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Lucid Dreaming:  Personal Observations


Joseph Sharcoff

Deer Park, New York


To dream lucidly is to be consciously aware that one is dreaming while one is still a— sleep and actively dreaming. For myself, as a lucid dreamer, I experience a world having familiar characteristics yet one that is, at the same time, profoundly unlike what I know while awake. Gradually, I have learned some­thing of the nature of my dreamer’s universe, and what follows below are observations based upon 91 nights of lucid dreaming, covering a 52—week period.


It has been my experience that…


1.         Lucidity is not an all—or—none affair. Mine has varied in duration (from “spark” to full—length dream), and naturalness (from “forced” to self—supporting). I have also had instances of “indirect” lucidity, where verbal awareness of dreaming was not central, yet a nonverbal part of me did know, and behaved as if, I was aware.


2.         My best lucid dreams have been in the morning (approximately 5:00 to 8:30 a.m.) following a full night’s sleep. Sleeping supine is also generally facilitative.


3. For inducing lucid dreams, the spontaneity or “genuineness” of my nightly

   meditative induction seems to be more important than the sheer bulk of induction

measures (al­though the latter certainly has worked). Apparently, I can, at times,            “try too hard” to lucid—dream, and I am presently experimenting with induction on an “on­-off” schedule.


4.         Induced/excessive lucidity appears to be “low man on the totem pole.” That is, if there is something more immediate my dreaming process needs work on, that will take precedence over lucidity. For exam­ple, I am now looking for work, so my dreams are geared more for helping me deal with financial stress rather than allowing me lucid indulgence. What I do once I am lucid, though, is important, for I have used “natural”/spontaneous awareness to enhance the dreaming process. Forced lucidity, on the other hand, is more of a hindrance, requiring a disproportional amount of my concentration. It feels like a dam in the flow of the dream.


5. Related to the above, lucidity permits me to control dream content, as opposed

to dream process. There are overall dream themes which must be allowed to run their course, and any undue or excessive interference results in either loss of lucidity or waking up. I have to “go with the dream flow,” though I can, to some extent, “play along the way.”


6.  Lucidity is triggered either by noting something “not right’ (e.g., seeing a

    dead relative, or flying), or is preceded by a very pleasant feeling, something

    like “Ahhh…I’m dreaming.” My body feels relaxed, fluid, and “wonderfully free.”

    I maintain lucidity through self—reminding the more natural the lucidity, the

    “softer” and more infrequent the reminders.


7.  Dreaming lucidly has brought to my awareness the felt realization that there

    are no legitimate distinctions between myself and my environment. All is Felt

    to be One. Powerful/natural lucid dreaming allows me to “feel the world” from

    within, and the stronger this awareness the purer and more direct my influence

over my environment (affecting things with the merest of whims). With less intense lucid dreaming (sensing things with only parts of, instead of my entire body), whims usually need be enhanced or reinforced with dream vocalizations or gestures. At present, I am trying to discern what body part feels what and what the feeling is like (so far: numb—tingling”). At its worst, lucid awareness has been extremely cognitive, and control--if at all possible--involves a great deal of concentration.


I have also noted a peculiar tension in my eyes once I become lucid, as if an “unsualfocus were being held. It is similar to what I experience while meditating.


8.   Close visual examination of my dream environment (during a “good” lucid dream)

    reveals that things are constantly becoming, “always new.” Each and every

    point of focus is continually “blossoming into it’s own being” (not unlike a

    hallucinogenic “trip”). It is Always Now.


9.   Lucidity between dreams: The feeling is as if I were a “cork riding the waves

    of awareness,” each crest being a dream—picture. Visually, I have noted a Gray

    Void, a “sparkling/particulate nothing­ness” from which—the dream—pictures

    form. This “sparkling” does not appear to be all that different from the

    “constantly becoming” that is going on during the dream itself.


Let me repeat that the above observations are intended to necessarily hold for all individuals. Nor should it be inferred that new insights will not, in time, be revealed. It is my opinion ‘that the lucid experience must be very similar to what it must be like to be “Enlightened,” This is based somewhat on personal meditation experience, but mainly on literary knowledge. In any event, lucid dreaming apparently provides a unique and fabulous environment in which to learn, in which to play, and through which one may explore, the depths of consciousness; indeed, grandest of all ventures.




Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 56.


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Problem Solving and Dream Lucidity:

An Unpleasant Experience


Ruth Haak

Ealcones Special Services Cooperative

Austin, Texas


When I first read about lucid dreaming, I felt the process being described was essen­tially rational thought while asleep. After reading subsequent material, I don’t think this is exactly what is meant. I was inter­ested because on several occasions, usually while under stress from extremely heavy work loads, I have experienced nights in which I essentially kept solving the day’s problems while asleep. This was extremely annoying since (a) sleep should have been a refuge from these problems, (b) this was exhausting. I am not talking about normal disturbed sleep from stress, etc. During these episodes, my mental processes were as rational as while awake. I was often  aware I was asleep but could not stop my brain from continuing its activities. Some of the solutions were good—— but I could have reached the same ones at 10 a.m. and gotten some rest.


If I were a naive person who doesn’t know better, I’d say I almost never dream. I am a very heavy sleeper. I come from a family whose energy output is higher than average. I never nap (and get “drunk” if I do). I like to put my head down and go immediately off to sleep——and do. I’m very reality oriented, despised books like Alice—in—wonderland as a kid, still seldom read fiction but do read everything else in sight. In short, I don’t want to dream! (This does not mean I have no fantasy life——actually I’m quite creative and have musical ability and creative writing abilities.) I am a high—energy person who handles much complexity.


One exception to my “negative” reaction to dreaming is the case, which has happened several times, of going to bed worried and confused about which of several courses to take——and waking up quite sure of what to do, but certainly not able to articulate the process by which my brain arrived at that conclusion while I slept. I have followed these “decisions” each time with confidence and found they were correct. (That, of course, if the opposite of lucidity!)


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 57.


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Dear Lucid dreamers,


I think what if... LUCID DREAMS are the con­tainers of the great secret to the question mankind has been asking since the revelation of mortality:


is there a part of us that lives on beyond the death of the body?


what if the answer has been told us a million times in lucid dreams and out—of—body experi­ences... we can and do leave the body——some nameless part flies around and watches, people who come back from being considered clinically dead tell us it is so. What if our present lucid dream research provides us a way to communicate while in this state after the body is gone by using some thought wave rather than the foot or eye blink. We will kick ourselves for being so dense as to have spent all these milieu looking at rocks, germs, atoms and space when the answer was in our very bed nests, 90 minutes into sleep just a REM away.


While all the high paid technologists and scientists are probing you and I humble dream explorers may be on the verge of reaching the Moon of the Unconscious. I see that thought waves can now operate computer prosthesis contraptions... what are we waiting for why are the sleep labs still using body signals?


Good luck,


                                     c/o Ann Wiseman

                                  Dream Space Research Explorer

                                      Box 452, Provincetown, MA 02657


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 58.  


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Editorial Policy and Financial Status of Lucidity Letter


This is the sixth issue of a quarterly news­letter designed to serve as a professional forum for discussion on dream lucidity. Past issues are available upon request. Assuming the continued availability of funding, Lucid­ity Letter will be published in January, April, July and October. Deadlines for submission of materials are Dec. 15 for the January issue, March 15 for the April issue June 15 for the July issue and September for the October issue. Copy should be submitted in duplicate, double spaced and in style of the American Psychological Association. In addition to data—based articles sections entitled: Theoretical and Personal Observations, Reviews, Letters to the Editor and News and Notes are contained in the newsletter.


Production and postage costs are paid for by contributions from the readers while personal costs are covered by the University of  Northern Iowa. Duplicating charges for the last issue (Vol. 2, No. 1) were $59.08 while postage charges were $44.54, totaling $103.62. All but $2.62 was paid for by contributions. For this issue contributions totaling $189.00 have been received from:


1.         Thomas Adler, California;

2.         Deirdre Barrett, North Carolina;

3.         Jenelyn Block, New Jersey;

4.         Steve Balme, California;

5.         Andrew Brylowski, Texas;

6.         Kevin Drab, F.P.O. San Francisco;

7.         Robert Dunn, California;

8.         Edith Gilmore, Massachusetts;

9.         Diane Hollingdale, Canada

10.       Harvey Irwin, Australia;

ii.          Suzanne Keyes, Virginia;

12.       Vera LaFarge, New York;

13.       Kenneth Ring, Connecticut;

14.       Morton Schatzman, England;

15.       Hal Seeley, F.P.O San Francisco;

16.       Meryle Wieder, California; and

17.       Alan Worsley, England


Contributions not used in Vol. 2, No. 2 will be applied toward the production and postage costs of Vol. 2, No. 3 due out in July. I’d like to thank the contributors who made this issue and part of the summer issue possible.


                                                    --Jayne Gackenbach, Editor

                                                   University of Northern Iowa



Publications Available


1.  Thanks to Stephen Knorles of U.N.E. Armidale, Autralia, who is currently

    translating Z. Hauliuek’s “Contribution to the dynamics of ‘lucid’ dreams,” from Ceskoslovenska Psychiatrie. It should be available this summer. Look for an announcement in the next issue of Lucidity Letter.



2.   Thanks to Dr. Edith Gilmore for translating two German articles dealing with dream lucidity:


    Schieing, K. Dreams of flying and excursions of the ego. Archiv fur die Gesamte

      Psychologie, 1938, 100, 541—554;




    van Moers—Messmer, H. Dreaming while know­ing about the dream state. Archiv fur

      die  Gesamte  Psychologie, 1938, 102, 91—3 18.


Copies are available for the cost of postage and handling and a small translators

fee. Send $3.00 to Dr. Jayne Gackenbach, Department of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614.



Information Requested


Iam currently beginning work on my Masters Thesis, “Patterns of Hallucinatory Scenery Associated With Psychophysiological Stress Conditions,” (Behavioral Science, University of Guam) and am soliciting the advice and ideas of researchers whose areas of study relate to my research topic.


The study will try to categorize the scenery found in experiences associated with stress conditions — from minor stress to clinical death — and will examine correlations between the categories and their medical and demographic variables. I am proposing the null          hypothesis that no significant correlations will be found between the variables examined. This would, of course, lean toward the findings or workers such as Ring, and Osis and Haraldsson, which suggests that the examined characteristics of the NDE are independent of psychological and physiological factors.


I would welcome any observations or suggestions on this project. I am willing to explore any “hunch” or theory if it can be fitted into the general framework of my re­search.

Kevin J. Drab

101 N Street

NAS Agana

FP0 San Francisco

California 96637, USA




The response to the lucid dreaming bibliogra­phy published in the last newsletter was quite good. Several people have suggested ex­panding it to include references from pre— 1968. Therefore I am in the process of com­piling a historical bibliography on dream lucidity which I plan to publish in the sum­mer issue of Lucidity Letter. If you know of any articles, books, chapters, papers or whatever from pre—1968 dealing with dream lucidity, please send the reference to me by June 15 for inclusion in this historical bibliography.


Dr. Jayne Gackenbach

Department of Psychology


Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1983, page 58.


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