Kenneth L. Moss
Jayne Gackenbach, Jill Walling, and Stephen LaBerge
Joseph R. Dane and Robert L. Van de Castle
6. Book Review - 112
7. News and Notes Vol. 3, No. 4 - 114
8. Letter to the Editor - 116
Lawrence B. Earl
Kenneth L. Moss
Wayne State University
During hospital on—call nights over the course of my medical residency I have found an increase in the frequency of lucid dreams. The time span of this experiment includes twelve months of a medical residency (July, 1983 — June, 198k) and the first three months of a psychiatry residency (July, 198k — September, 1984). These on— call nights occurred at the frequence of 1—3 times a week and covered a working period between 5:00 pm — 8:00 am. From about 1:00 am to 8:00 am I would attempt to sleep, however, this would be frequently interrupted by telephone calls or more serious problems that required an on—site visit. As a result of these factors I would have a disrupted sleep ranging in accumulated time of 0—k hours with interruptions ranging between a few minutes to hours. Lucid dreams typically occurred in the early morning hours during a sleep period of at .least 20 minutes which was preceded by a period of wakefulness of at least 20 minutes from the last sleep period. The3e periods of wakefulness (lucid intervals) were characterized by the need for alert activity, decision making and potentially emotional situations. Although I have been a lucid dreamer over the last five years and frequently study the subject during the day I made no effort to induce lucid dreams during on—call nights. I was in fact preoccupied with other issues and viewed the lucid intervals as undesirable interruptions. Hence, the primary immediate lucidagogic factor was a preceding alertful period of wakefulness.
On those nights in which I attained at least 20 minutes of sleep successful induction (at least of one lucid dream following a lucid interval) occurred 39 out of 64 nights (60.9%). This compares with a 35.9% for non—experimental nights. Furthermore, by selecting on—call nights that I received at least 3.5 hours of sleep the induction rate was 81.8% (18/22). There was not dramatic increase in the total number of lucid dreams occurring on a given successful induction night. In tact the total number of non— lucid dreams was decreased. Those nights following on—call nights had an induction rate roughly equal to that of regular nights. There was no apparent increase in the quality of the lucid dreams occurring during the experimental nights.
These results once again confirm the ability of an alertful period of wakefulness in the sleep cycle to increase the frequency of lucid dreams in a preexistent lucid dreamer even if specific induction techniques are not attempted providing a certain minimal amount of sleep is attained. This may encourage lucid dreamers to take advantage of possible adverse conditions which involve sleep cycle disruptions.
Taken in part from: Moss, K.L., 1980-1984 Dream—Research Journals. Unpublished.
Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 3, No. 4, December, 1984, page 99.
Department of Oriental Studies
University of Pennsylvania
All visual images in a dream consist of light. We do not, as when awake, see objects onto which light shines from elsewhere making them visible. In dreams, whether we see a ‘source’ of light, such as a lamp, or ‘reflected’ light making an object visible, we are experiencing only images made of light. At any moment, there is only what is sensed. There is nothing out of view.
Even in ordinary dreams we see some areas of light brighter than others, but lucid dreams, that is dreams in which I know I am dreaming, include or lead to experiences of light not found in ordinary dreams. In my experience these tall into tour categories:
areas of bright light; disks of light; patterns of light; and fullness of light.
Areas of Bright Light
Occasionally a particular section of the dream environment is exceptionally bright. It has been a crack of light in the darkness or a bright section in a field through which birds were running. Until I got used to the phenomenon, my common reaction to seeing a bright light off to the side was that I was waking up and seeing the light of my room. But it never proved to be the light of my room. More than once the light appeared as though in the left corner of my left eye.
While passing a stone wall on which the carvings look Babylonian, I realized I was dreaming. Then, remembering my plan, I began to concentrate my attention on the entrance to a room ahead of me. There was a bright light to my left. I wondered at first whether I was waking up, but then recalled that it need not mean that. The light seemed to be coming from a stairway going down. It disturbed my concentration. I shut my eyes a little, blurring my vision, but the light was still visible. So I walked forward and then no longer had the light in view.
Disks of Light
A disk of light can be any size, appearing like anything from a star to a large moon. It gives the appearance of three dimensional sphere. It is a clear light through which nothing is seen. It is not an overwhelming light like the sun. Its perimeter is well defined, as is a burning light bulb’s. It looks like a source of light, though nothing around it has its light shine upon it. It seems to be more of a gap in the environment than a part of it. However, I tend to interpret it according to its context. Once I saw it as a small bole in the wall through which a light shone. I was going to look through the hole, but do not remember doing
I have more commonly seen the disk of light in darkness. In a dream I stepped down into a bright yellow basement. I realized I was dreaming. As was my practice, I closed my eyes to concentrate in darkness. I was still aware of standing on the floor. As I concentrated, I rose up and remained with no non-body dream environment. To the left of my area of concentration appeared a ball of light. I began to feel I was spinning, although my area of concentration and the light next to it remained still before me to the end. Although Iknew it to be the light, it did not occur to me to change my concentration to the light. The light was as though about ten inches from me, about four inches in diameter, and about three or four inches to the left of my area of concentration. That was only appearance. No such distances were involved.
Patterns of Light
Sometimes I experience lights in patterns, colors and movements, often accompanied by feeling swift movements of my dreamed body. Only the patterns are visible. There are no other images. Once I saw a cluster of six. or seven brilliant suns with rays spreading in all directions. In another dream I was continually tossed as I saw a multitude of colors in constant change. I remember one sudden movement back from light, during which it seemed I was seeing the light through ice. Through the ice, the light dispersed in a pattern of colors and quickly changed as I moved.
Fullness of Light
The fullness of light is light that fills my vision. There are no outer edges to it, nor areas of darkness. The light is extraordinarily bright, like the sun, though it is not difficult to look at. It normally appears from above my dreamed head looking like the sun and remains high before me. As it tills my vision with light, I no longer discern the sun’s circumference. As I watch it I feel varying degrees of devotion and
In my first experience I was in front of my childhood home demonstrating high jumps and flying. While in the air, I realized I was dreaming. I descended and it became a fall. I remembered that I could fall in a dream without fear. Without expecting to land on the ground, I just stopped falling. Then I flew again. I closed my eyes and remained aware of my body floating. I became aware of a bright light to my left. I remembered that a light does not need to mean I am waking up. I was suddenly surrounded by light. I felt that I was floating in light. I felt prayerful and called ‘Father,’ meaning God. I remained for some time in an attitude of worship, then woke up.
The experience has happened most often after closing my eyes in a dream or in a context in which I see nothing because I am looking into the sky or am floating in the air. Once it happened while I dreamed it was night and I was seeing only darkness. Twice it happened during active visual dream experiences. In both cases I was in the center of a significant room. In one the sun came from above me as I danced in the middle of a large room, empty except for three statues at one end.
In the other, I realized I was dreaming as I entered the room. I tried to recall what I had planned to do, but I was too interested in the dream to think of something else. In the back of the room a number of Christian tea garden laborers of Assam were waiting. We were glad to see each other. Still realizing it was a dream, I suggested we sing “Amazing Grace.” We all then heartily sang the hymn in English. I directed them with my hand. I knew it didn’t matter whether I led them correctly or not. I had no trouble remembering the words, since it was rote memory. I noticed that the movement of their mouths was not well coordinated with the articulation of the hymn’s words. We sang only the first verse. As I thought of what to do next I noticed the light above me like a brilliant sun. Nothing else could then be seen. I knew it was the light. I shouted a couple of times, “God is love.’ Gradually I felt lifted up a little. The light remained the same. This was a true worship experience lasting for some time.
The light is seen as dreams are seen. It covers as much visual area as I have when awake. It is only an assumption that the light extends beyond the bounds of sight. There is only the light that I see; it cannot surround me. When I feel that I am standing on the ground, it is only my assumption that the light extends in all directions and stops at the ground. When I feel that I am, floating in light, there is only the light that I see and the feeling of floating. I do not have a dream body, so to speak, which can be surrounded by light. There is only that much of a dreamed body as
I experience. The fullness of light, having no form, is not an image of anything. It is light, not an image of light.
In the fullness of light, I am “aware” of God’s presence. I do not think of the light itself as God. My awareness, my joy and devotional feelings are dream phenomena. We often“know” things in a dream-- that we are in Hong Kong, that the children have arrived, or that there is an exam tomorrow-- though these things may not really be so. In such a way I “know” that God is present in the light. In a dream, we also have feelings (fear, humor, awe) unaccounted for by reality or by what is experienced in the dream. In such a way I feel real devotion and real joy of unknown cause. Though this experience can be seen in terms of dreaming, this does little to explain it or even to negate the reality of the experience of God.. And though devotional feelings happen as feelings happen in dreams, I am consciously worshipping and enjoying God in the fullness of light to a greater degree than ever happens while awake.
There are experiences that have some resemblance to the fullness of light, but which I do not consider to be so. At times, all is light, but without the brilliance of the sun, and without uncontrollable devotion and intense joy. This often happens after thinking of light. Sometimes I feel I am in the presence of the light, but upon awakening recall no full light. Twice I saw the sun, but with an object in front of it, once an airplane, and once an unfamiliar symbol.
Lucidity Letter back Issues, Vol. 3, No. 4, December, 1984, page 99.
Jayne Gackenbach, Jill Walling, and
University of Northern Iowa
The thesis of the present inquiry is that superiority in parasympathetic functioning, especially in women, will be related to lucid dreaming. The hypothesis is based on several lines of evidence. First, age leads to a progressive decrease in sympathetic reactivity and an increase in parasympathetic reactivity (Gelhorn & Loofburrow, 1963). Correspondingly, Gackenbach (in press) reports that among adults, older women were more likely to report experiencing lucidity of dreams. Sympathetic functioning as evidenced by the release of adrenaline has been associated with feelings of anxiety (Cohen & Silverman, 1959). The data on anxiety for women is consistent with the hypothesis whereas for men data are mixed. Specifically, adult women who frequently have lucid dreams reported less covert and overt anxiety (Gackenbach, in press) and less social anxiety (Gackenbach, et al., 1983) while men reported less overt anxiety (Gackenbach, in press) but moresocial anxiety (Gackenbach, et al., 1983). Finally, the lack of neuroticism has also been related to parasympathetic functioning (Lester, 1980) and the lucid dreaming quality (Gackenbach, in press).
Subjects. Of the 724 individuals contacted, 389 agreed to take part in this project. One hundred and ninety—nine subjects returned questionnaires, 81 males and 102 females.
Instruments. Dream Log (Gackenbach, in press)--Subjects were asked to keep a daily log of their dreams. Twenty-four aspects of each dream were evaluated by the dreamer, including the amount of recall per dream and the type of dream.
Lucid Dreaming Questionnaire (Gackenbach, in press)--The LDQ is a series of questions developed from information already known about lucid dreams. An explanation of lucid dreaming with a question about the subject’& history with this dream experience was included. Subjects were asked to indicate the frequency with which they dream lucidly and to provide a lucid dream so that it would be verified that they understood the concept of dream lucidity. The key for identifying a dream as lucid was the inclusion of some kind of recognition phrase in the dream transcript (i.e., “then I realized it was only a dream”). Self-report of frequency of dream recall was also obtained on a likert—type scale. Average number of dreams per day recorded in the dream log correlated significantly (r = .25, p < .02) with self-reported recall reports obtained from the questionnaire.
Social Desirability Scale (Crown & Marlowe, 1964)--This 33-item true/false questionnaire was designed to measure need for social approval.
Sympathetic-Parasympathetic Test (Plutchick & Conte, 1974)--This test is an 18-item scale designed to measure autonomic nervous system balance by the subjective report of peripheral sensations. Sample items include: (1) Usually my hands are A. cool B. warm and (2) When I get very angry I feel like A. blowing my top B. weeping.
Procedure. Potential research participants were obtained from individuals who had read about lucid dreaming. They were asked to participate in a two-part mall survey on dream lucidity. With the initial letter of inquiry, potential subjects were sent an informed consent, a brief demographic information questionnaire, and the LDQ.
Within two months of receiving their first packet, those who expressed an interest were sent the second packet which contained the dream log, the social desirability scale (SOC), and the sympathetic-parasympathetic test (S—P). General instructions, an informed consent form, a postpaid return envelope, and an explanatory cover letter were also included. Other instruments administered but not reported on here included measures of intelligence, creativity, spatial abilities and several personality traits. There were two major portions of this phase of the research project. The first was completing various questionnaires, some of which were self-timed, and the second was keeping a dream log for 7 to 10 days.
Results and Discussion
Of the subjects who returned the second packet of materials at least partially completed (n = 183), 135 respondents were selected for inclusion in the analysis based on the respondents’ demonstration of understanding of the concept of lucidity through their lucid dream transcript. The frequency with which these subjects experienced lucidity was ascertained in two ways. In the first part of the study subjects reported on the LDQ their perception of how frequently they have had lucid dreams during the last six months. The number of lucid dreams recorded on the dream log provided the second estimate of lucidity frequency and was significantly correlated with self—reported lucidity frequency (r =.42, p < .0001). Two estimates of frequency of dream recall were also obtained and used as controls in subsequent analyses: self—reported frequency of dreaming and total number of dreams recorded in the dream logs.
The S-P scale was scored in two ways. All 18 items were scored, as was Plutchick and Conte’s (1974) original intent, and seven items identified by Lester (1981) as most clearly representing sympathetic-parasympathetic peripheral functions in the autonomic system, constituted a subscale score. High scores indicated a prevalence of parasympathetic functioning. These two scores were correlated separately for each sex with the lucidity estimates. Dream recall, as noted, and social desirability were control variables in these partial correlations. The latter was introduced because some items on the S-P scale are highly susceptible to cultural expectations. The partial correlation coefficients are presented in Table 1.
As predicted, parasympathetic functioning was significantly positively associated with the frequency of lucid dreaming for women but not for men when both social desirability and dream recall frequency were controlled. The magnitude of these partial correlations was slightly less for frequency based on dream logs than for self-reported lucidity.
Related to this sex difference in sympathetic-parasympathetic dominance, as associated with the lucidity, Broverman, et al. (1968), argue for sympathetic dominance in women and the opposite in men, with the latter accounting for the male superiority in complex information-processing skills. In other work women who frequently report lucid dreams have evidenced skills and characteristics typically associated with men. For instance, Gackenbach and Snyder (in press) have shown that women who frequently experience lucid dreams, regardless of their handedness, have greater unilateral cerebral speech organization than do women who never or infrequently experience such dreams. Also, they report that women who frequently have lucid dreams also score field independent, masculine, and -are more skilled on a three-dimensional mental-rotation task.
Consequently, consistent with the Broverman, et al. position, frequently lucid women, like the men in their sample, have evidenced superiority in various complex information-processing skills implying a parasympathetic dominance.
Broverman, D. M., Klaiber, E. L., Kobayashi, Y., & Vogel, W. (1968). Roles of activation and inhibition in sex
differences in cognitive abilities. Psychological Review, 75, 23-50.
Cohen, S. I. & Silverman, A. T. (1959). Psychophysiological investigation of vascular response variability. Journal
91: Psvchophysiological Research, 3, 185-210.
Crowne, D. P., & Marlow, D. (1964). The approval motive. New York: John Wiley.
Gackenbach, J. I. (in press). Personality differences between individuals varying in lucid dreaming frequency.
Journal of Communication Therapy.
Gackenbach, J. I., Curren, R., LaBerge, S., Davidson, D., & Maxwell, P. (1983). Intelligence, creativity and
personality differences between individuals who vary in self-reported lucid dreaming frequency. Paper presented
at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery, Vancouver, British
Gackenbach, J. I., & Snyder, T. J. (in press). A consideration of individuals who differ in spontaneously
experiencing dream lucidity. In J. I. Gackenbach & S. LaBerge (Eds.), Lucid dreaming: New research on
consciousness during sleep. New York: Plenum.
Gellhorn, E., & Lootburrow, G. G. (1963). Emotions and emotional disorders. New York: Harper.
Lester, D. (1981). Neuroticism, psychotism, and autonomic nervous system balance. Biological Psychiatry, 16, 683-
Plutchick, R., & Conte, H. (1974). Sex differences in reported psychophysiological reactivity. Psychological
Reports, 35, 1221—1222.
Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 3, No. 4, December, 1984, page 101.
Department of Oriental Studies
University of Pennsylvania
I have compiled statistics on the lucid dreams I had through July 25, 1981. The number of lucid dreams I had per year were:
I normally woke up after a lucid dream. In ten of the 282 dreams I had false awakenings, but woke up soon afterward. I have the recorded time for 207 awakenings. My earliest awakening from a lucid dream was recorded at 12:15 am, and the latest at 8:45 am, after normally going to sleep soon after 10:00 pm. Two were recorded after afternoon naps. The times for waking up after lucid dreams were:
Did not wake up or probably did not wake up 22 dreams
Dreams for which time was not recorded 53
Woke within the hr after 12 am 1
“ “ “ “ “ 1 7
“ “ “ “ “ 2 19
“ “ “ “ “ 3 25
“ “ “ “ “ 4 33
“ “ “ “ “ 5 40
“ “ “ “ “ 6 49
“ “ “ “ “ 7 25
“ “ “ “ “ 8 6
After afternoon naps 2
The median time for waking up after a lucid dream was in the hour after 5:00 am. Forty-seven of my lucid dreams occurred on nights in which I had more than one. On 22 nights I had two lucid dreams, and on one night three. This leave 235 nights with single lucid dreams. The time between awakenings from multiple lucid dreams was as little as 55 minutes to as great as six hours. The first multiple dream occurred as early as 12:15 am or as late as 7:05 am. The ten false awakenings happened at such diverse times as just before 1:50 am and just before 8:00 am.
Initiation of Lucid Dreams
It was not clear to me, upon later reflection, how I came to know I was dreaming in some of the dreams. For 174 dreams I can give some account of how the realization came. Sometimes it dawned upon me slowly. Sometimes it came suddenly. The statistics for how I discovered I was dreaming are:
No obvious reason or I forget the reason 108 dreams (38%)
I noticed a dream element was not possible,
or was inconsistent or false 76 (27%)
I recognized my activity as common to
dreaming 70 (25%)
Realization came apparently upon an act 15 (5%)
I fell asleep knowingly into a dream 5 (2%)
I knew by testing 4 (1%)
I decided by false reasoning 4 (1%)
(X2 = 279.54, p < .01; percentages are rounded off)
That a dream element was not possible I reasoned 55 times. As when I was looking at a picture of a tree and I saw the tree slide down a hill. That a dream had an inconsistency was the reason 13 times. For instance, a pile of photographs didn’t appear to be the same size the second time I saw it. That something in the dream area was false I realized eight times. As when I saw my uncle alive, but knew he had died. These three categories overlap, so I put them together.
At times, without thinking through the possibility or reasonableness of my dream activity, I would suddenly realize that what I was doing I do in dreams. Thus, while flying (21 times), while looking and not being able to find something (5), while roaming from room to room (4) and upon finding myself running away (2), I realized that I was repeating certain dream themes and realized I was dreaming. Other dreams I saw to be dreamlike when I found people unresponsive, or I was not able to read some writing, or I was not able to figure out where I was.
At times, without any reason clear to me, I suddenly knew I was dreaming the moment I redirected my look. Such happened upon looking up, looking down, seeing an object, looking out of awindow, looking across fields, seeing trees, looking through an arch and turning left.
The five occasions when I fell asleep knowingly were all on one night when I was investigating falling asleep. Another time I thought I had fallen asleep knowingly, but upon later reflection decided that I had dreamed doing so.
When I needed to teat whether I was dreaming, I would try to fly or pull someone in half. My judgment being poor in dreams, occasionally testing didn’t work, as when I stomped on the ground to see whether it felt real, and since it did, I decided I was not dreaming.
Four times I realized I was dreaming by false reasoning. When I felt the book store didn’t have as many books in it as it had the last time I had been there, I thought that was an inconsistency and realized I was dreaming. However, upon waking reflection I realized that I had not been in the book store earlier in the dream.
Experiments While Lucid
From the time that I started having lucid dreams I planned experiments to carry through when I knew I was dreaming. I planned them while awake when I had my normal rationality and judgment. For example, two experiments that I planned while awake and carried through a number of times each while dreaming were to put five objects I saw in the dream in alphabetical order, and to make dream objects alternately solid and non-solid. Recalling the experiment normally meant my being able to bring to mind some key word or a phrase, such as “alphabetize” or “test solidity” which I often repeated while falling asleep.
Upon bringing such a word or words to mind I remembered usually quite well what I was to do, and there was no problem with proceeding with the experiment.
At times, when I could not recall the planned experiment, I thought of an alternate experiment spontaneously. Of fifty-five alternate experiments planned while dreaming, seventeen actually made no sense and had no value, as when I sawmy mother leave the house in a car and I decided to examine the oar so that when I woke up I could compare it to the car she “really” left in. Even the experiments that I thought of spontaneously that did make sense were rarely clever. They were normally simple tests such as trying to make someone appear, or tests that I had done before.
Among the 277 dreams for which I had planned experiments ahead, in 122 of them (411%) I remembered the correct experiment at least partially. If I add to this number those in which, lacking the proper experiment, I thought of a reasonable alternate experiment, the figure goes to 150 (511%; successful dreams in Table 1). These accomplishments of remembering one fact or thinking of a sensible experiment do not at all indicate full lucid thinking, but do otter a contrast with my ability in the rest of the dreams (46%; non-successful. dreams in Table 1) in which it never occurred to me to make an experiment of any, or I knew I should but I couldn’t think of any, or all the ones I thought of made no sense. If in a dream I could not think of the right experiment, then I tried to carry out one after another that made no sense, and then finally thought of the right experiment partially, that dream would be considered successful.
As can be seen in Table 1, dreams in which I remember the correct experiment do not tend toward either end of the night. Likewise dreams in which I do not remember the correct experiment do not tend toward either end of the night. Of the 93 dreams in which I remembered the correct experiment for which I have a recorded waking up time, the median time is within the hour after 5:00 am, as is the median time for all lucid dreams.
There were 22 lucid dreams from which I either did not wake up immediately (16 cases) or probably did not wake up (six cases). When I did not wake up or probably did not wake up immediately, I remembered the correct experiment or thought of a reasonable alternative only in nine cases or 41% of the time, and did not in 13 cases. This difference is not significant.
As I was frequently in a high position in a dream upon discovering I was dreaming, such as upstairs or on a hill, I studied such dreams separately. I call them up—high dreams. I found a tendency to improvement in mental ability, which I had not suspected, if I were upstairs or uphill in a dream. Of 27 dreams in which I was upstairs or was going upstairs when I discovered I was dreaming, in 22 I thought of the experiment or a reasonable alternative. This was significantly more than non-successful attempts (see Table 1). In 12 of the hill dreams (60%) I thought of the correct experiment or a reasonable alternative. Up-high dreams did not tend toward early or late night. Their median time was in the hour after 5:00 am. Their high percentage rate of success (72% compared with 54% for all dreams; x2 (1) = 44.03, p < .01) indicates that in dreams taking place upstairs or on hills, my mind worked better (see Table 1).
Flying Lucid Dreams
When I was first gathering these statistics, I grouped dreams in which I was flying with the up-high dreams. They together accounted for 27% of all lucid dreams. I considered that flying dreams, by their very nature, were in the same category as upstairs or hill dreams. However, in 28 flying dreams I was successful only 14 times or 50% or the time, just below the average for all lucid dreams (54%) and compared with 72% for up-high dreams and 81% for upstairs dreams alone. Thus I saw flying dreams as a separate phenomenon from up—high dreams. The median time of flying dreams was in the hour after 5:00 am.
Multiple and Unclear Dreams
In the 23 cases of multiple dreams, my mental ability tended to be better in the last dream (see Table 1). As better mental ability is not particularly associated with the time of night, once one is lucid, it appears to be related to the fact of being the latest of my multiple dreams.
There were 17 dreams that I considered especially unclear. They were less realistic, more confused, and difficult to remember. They did not belong to any particular time of night. Among them, in only five (29%) did I remember the experiment or think of a reasonable alternate experiment. Confused ordinary dreams are common any night. The fact that I noted only 17 of the 282 lucid dreams (6%) as unclear or confused would indicate that it is the more clear dreams that tend to become lucid.
Lucidity Followed by False Awakening
Among the ten dreams followed by a false awakening, I was successful eight times (80%), whereas I was successful in only 41% of dreams after which I did not wake up immediately. In either case I did not really awaken from the lucid dream. After dreams in which the mind functions better, I may revert to ordinary dreaming by means of a false awakening. After dreams in which the mind is more limited, I do not have a false awakening, but I forget I am dreaming and continue to sleep. A false awakening never followed a dream I considered confused, but neither did one follow an up-high dream. A false awakening followed one flying dream.
In terms of a practice effect, in the first hundred dreams for which I planned experiments, I recalled the experiment or thought of a reasonable alternative 63 times (63%). In the last hundred dreams I was successful 46 times (46%). Despite the difference in percentage, chi-square analysis indicates no significant difference in success rate from the first to the last 100 lucid dreams. The first and last hundred do have differences in type of dreams. There were 20 up-high dreams in the first hundred and 11 in the last hundred. There were four flying dreams in the first hundred and 15 in the last. On the other hand, 11 of the first hundred were dreams from which I did not wake up or probably did not wake up immediately, as were only four in the last hundred. If there has been a practice effect, it could as soon be that I have become more practiced in coming to know I am dreaming, while being in fact less lucid.
Although the statistics are instructive, in some cases the samples are quite few. These figures reflect only one person’s lucid dreams.
*Adapted from Dreamer’s Progress: A Record of Experiments Made While Dreaming. Unpublished.
Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 3, No. 4, December, 1984, page 104.
Joseph H. Dane and Robert L. Van de Castle
University of Virginia Medical School
The following is a summary of the methodology, results and conclusions of a recently completed dissertation. More extensive explanation and discussion will be submitted for future publication here and in appropriate journals. The complete dissertation is available through University Microfilms.
The original purpose of this study was to evaluate two techniques for lucid dream induction in formerly non-lucid dreamers during one night in the sleep laboratory. However, efforts to correct a suspected flaw in one of these techniques fortuitously led to the development and comparison of tour experimental conditions.
Subjects were 15 pairs of matched hypnotically susceptible females (ages 18-32) reporting recall of at least one dream a month and no prior experience with lucid dreaming. Only females were used since lucid dreaming appears to be more frequent among females than males (Gackenbach, in press; Hearne, 1978). All subjects were in the upper fiftieth percentile of hypnotic susceptibility as indicated by a score of 5 or above on the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (SHSS:C).
The initial methodology called for comparing the effects of lucid dream induction capacity via Waking Instructions (WI) with that of Waking Instructions plus Posthypnotic Suggestion (WI + PHS) (N = 15 per group). Posthypnotic Suggestion included generalized reinforcement of Waking Instruction and was individually administered by the experimenter the night of each subject’s participation in the lab. PHS also provided a hypnotic encounter with a personalized “dream symbol” before going to sleep in the laboratory. During this encounter, subjects were instructed to ask for their symbol’s help in becoming lucid during their dreams that night.
Personal Symbols were developed based on discussion of the subject’s imagery which had occurred in response to item 6 of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (viz., “go to sleep and have a dream about hypnosis”). The rationale given for development and use of this symbol was twofold. First, lucid dream induction was described as a process of enhancing cooperation between “waking” consciousness and “dream” consciousness, such that dream consciousness would be willing to allow the ‘intrusion’ of waking consciousness into its presence. Second, it was explained that the imagery being discussed reflected the subject’s individualized view of her own dream consciousness, and that symbols based on this imagery could provide a useful “ally” in eliciting the desired cooperation. Other than differences in the dream symbols themselves, hypnotic procedures and suggestions were the same for all participants.
The Original Waking Instructions (Owl) were likewise administered by the experimenters on the night of each woman’s participation in the lab. Owl focused on maintaining an inquisitive attitude toward one’s experience and on evaluating that experience throughout the night by constantly asking, “Am I dreaming now? Is this a dream?” In order to reinforce this focus, and to establish a habit of communication with the experimenter, OWl also directed subjects to give a prearranged ocular signal whenever they found themselves asking this question, regardless of how they themselves might answer the question. The intent was that the sleepers could then be wakened by the experimenters and receive feedback about whether or not they had indeed been dreaming, thus gradually increasing their awareness of subtle alterations in subjective experience as they approached the dream state. Subjects were also told to continue signaling every minute to a minute and a half for as long as they remained lucid, and that they would be wakened for a dream report about a minute and a half after what appeared to be their final signal.
Efforts to correct a suspected flaw in OWl (i.e., research participants’ frequently reported failure to signal when uncertain whether they were awake or asleep) led to development of the Revised Waking Instructions (RWI). RWI consisted essentially of’ the following stepwise procedure:
1) Signal whenever you think you might be asleep (as opposed to “asleep and dreaming”)
2) Signal only when you are asleep and are experiencing “imagery” of any sort (e.g., random or
3) Signal only when you are asleep and truly “dreaming”.
The Revised Waking Instructions thus constituted a sort of biofeedback-like procedure wherein verbal feedback from the experimenter at the time of waking the women from their signaling served to guide the subjects’ progression from one stage of learning to the next. Considerable attention was given to teaching the distinction between random, isolated imagery and true ‘dreams’, which were defined as the presence of an ongoing, ‘hallucinated’ scenario consisting a more or less linked series of events or experiences which the subject subjectively experienced as “real” rather than consciously made up or imagined.
Ultimately, four experimental conditions were established and compared in this study:
A. PHS + Owl (N = 8)
B. PHS + Mix (N = 7)
C. OWl only (N = 8)
D. RWI only (N = 7)
There was no significant difference in the average level of hypnotic susceptibility between any of these conditions (A = 8.6, B = 9.3, C = 8.1, D = 8.7), nor were there any differences between these conditions with respect to age or level of’ dream recall reported prior to the experiment.
The majority of participants in all conditions reported more than one lucid dream, and many subjects signaled more than once from each lucid dream. A complex measure of interrater reliability of signal detection between the experimenters and blind raters was found to be comparable to that reported in earlier studies by Hearne (1978) and LaBerge (1980).
Lucid dreams which were reported during the study were divided into three types, based upon when ocular signaling actually occurred:
Unambiguous REM LD (UREMLD)--Lucidity and ocular signaling occurredduring unambiguous REM sleep;
Ambiguous REM LD (AREMLD)--Lucidity apparently occurred during unambiguous REM sleep, but ocular signaling occurred immediately after arousal from REM sleep;
Non-REM LD (NREMLD)--Lucidity and ocular signaling occurred during non-REM sleep.
Substantiation and discussion of the above classification system, especially that of ‘non-REM’ lucid dreams, will be discussed elsewhere. It should be emphasized that all reports of random, isolated (hypnogogic) imagery were excluded from Analysis.
Table 1 indicated the number of each type of lucid dream reported in the various conditions, with the number of subjects reporting each type indicated in parentheses. Note that since moat subjects reported more than one lucid dream, the total number of subjects indicated in Table 1 is greater than the total number of subjects in the study (n= 30).
The basic unit of measure for analysis was the number of subjects in each condition who reported a lucid dream (only two lucid dream reports were not verified by ocular signaling). Table 2 indicates the number of subjects in each condition who reported at least one lucid dream of one or more of the three types.
When compared to the effects of Original Waking Instructions (Condition C) (binomial test and Fisher’s exact test), each of the three other conditions were independently significant at the .05 level or better (it should be stressed that these three conditions all remain significant even if non-REM lucid dreams are excluded from analysis). Thus, since OWI alone (Condition C) was not successful, PHS (Condition A), PHS + RWI (Condition B) and RWI alone (Condition D), were all independently successful with these formerly non-lucid dreamers.
No statistically significant difference was found between any pairwise combination of these three techniques. That is, PHS, 11111 and their combination were all equally effective with respect to the number of subjects who reported lucid dreams. However, the five measures which are discussed below suggested that results associated with PHS (Conditions A and B) were qualitatively superior to those obtained with either form of Waking Instruction alone (Conditions C and D).
First, remember that participants sometimes signaled and were wakened prior to signaling from their first lucid dream. In what amounts to primarily the ‘PHS only’ condition (Condition A), the first signal given by all successful subjects occurred
during their first lucid dream. However, four of the six successful subjects using RWI only (Condition D), and all of the seven successful subjects using PHS + RWI (Condition B) signaled one or more times from non-lucid dream states (e.g., during hypnogogic imagery at sleep onset after initially going to sleep but prior to signaling from their first lucid dream. Thus PHS tended to require less ‘priming’ than did RWI. That is, PHS tended to establish dream awareness directly, without ongoing intervention from the experimenter in the form of verbal feedback over the course of several wakenings. RWI, on the other hand, tended to first establish and refine subjects’ sensitivity to the subjective changes which occurred during sleep onset and to then ‘extend’ this sensitivity into the ongoing awareness of dreaming.
Second, all REM—associated lucidity (i.e., UREMLDs and AREMLDs) in the non-PHS condition (Conditions C and D) occurred prior to three A.M. and no later than the third REM period of the night. Yet 6 of the 14 REM-associated lucid dreams in two PHS conditions (Conditions A and B) occurred between 3 AM and 7 AM and during the fourth to the sixth REM periods of the night. This was true despite the greater frequency of four or more REM periods having occurred in the non-PHS conditions than in the PHS-related conditions. It is thought that most spontaneous lucid dreaming occurs during the later REM periods of the night (Garfield, 19711; Hearne, 1978; LaBerge, 1980; VanEeden, 1969). Since late REM periods are typically more emotionally involved than early REM periods, it may be “easier” to have a lucid dream during an early, less emotionally distracting REM period. PHS-induced lucidity may therefore be more ‘potent’ than that induced via involvement with effective (i.e., “Revised”) waking instructions.
In this connection, it was also noted that when compared with either PHS ‘alone’ (Condition A) or RWI alone (Condition D), the combination of PHS and RWI (Condition C) tended to produce fewer REMLDs and to produce more NREMLDs. Thus the combination of PHS and RWI appeared to restrict or localize lucid dreaming to NREM sleep. This finding was attributed to the reinforcing effect of PHS on increased awareness of sleep onset phenomena which was so strongly emphasised in the Revised Waking Instructions. This emphasis may have tended to narrow the dreamer’s focus to NREM dreams.
A third measure of qualitative difference between PHS and non-PHS effects was that post experimental levels of lucid dream frequency were higher in the PHS related conditions (Conditions A and B) than in the non-PHS related conditions (Conditions C and D). This was true both in terms of the number of subjects reporting lucid dreams at various follow-up times and in terms of the number of post experimental lucid dreams reported per person.
Fourth, as indicated by the participants subjective reports and by the length of time between multiple ocular signals (when they occurred), lucidity tended to last longer within a given dream in the PHS related conditions than in the non-PHS related conditions.
And fifth, the lucid dreams of the PHS related conditions showed higher levels of intensity, personal relevance and personal involvement than did those of the non-PHS conditions. That is, affect and visual imagery tended to be more vivid and intense, experimentation within the dream and manipulation of dream content occurred more frequently, and dream content had more personal relevance and immediacy than was typically the ease in the lucid dreams of those not exposed to PHS.
Nonetheless, it should be emphasized that with all three successful induction techniques (PHS, RWI and PHS + enduring benefits of lucidity were demonstrated on nightmares and other forms of negative affect within dreams. For example, one PHS subject was able to end a life history of recurrent nightmares through independent use of her lucidity training at home.
One final qualitative difference of note between PHS and WI related conditions was the manner in which lucidity was usually triggered. PHS tended to induce lucidity by altering dream content in a form which the individual was trained to recognize (e.g. inclusion of the dream symbol), while WI tended to alter the dreamer’s tendency to be critically aware of ongoing experience in general.
It is important to remember that the results of this study may not be widely generalizable, since the study sample represents only females in the upper fiftieth percentile of hypnotic susceptibility. Nonetheless, it is now apparent that dream lucidity is not simply an innate ability. Some hypnotically susceptible subjects can learn to dream lucidly within one night in the sleep laboratory and can maintain and even extend this learning well beyond the laboratory experience.
It also now appears that the range of sleep physiology which can accompany lucid dreaming includes NREM sleep. While NREM lucid dreams have not been prevalent in earlier laboratory studies, their presence in this study was probably due to the focus in Revised Waking Instructions on sleep onset phenomena combined with the experimenters’ clear communication to subjects that dreaming can occur in both REM and NREM sleep. Non-REM lucid dreams are clearly possible, and in some instances, their level of intensity and emotional involvement is comparable to or even exceeds that typically experienced in REM lucid dreams.
With respect to specific techniques, both Posthypnotic Suggestion and Revised Waking Instructions can produce lucid dreams in equal numbers of subjects, but PHS in conjunction with personal symbols appears to induce a more clinically potent and enduring form of lucid dreaming. Combining PHS and RWI appears to interfere with the optimal performance of both techniques.
It should also be remembered that signaling played a significant role in eliciting and sometimes even maintaining lucidity. Since signaling was also reported to help reactivate lucidity at home following the experiment, efforts to communicate with the waking world from the dream state may be an important key to eliciting dream lucidity.
And finally, with respect to clinical and personal applications, the induction of lucid dreaming shows considerable promise, since it can establish and enhance a new level of active cooperation between waking and dreaming consciousness. Given the apparent occurrence of ocular signaling in immediate proximity to “delta wave” (stage 3 and 4) sleep, lucidity training may even have potential for the treatment of night terrors and sleep walking.
Gackenbach, J. I. (in press). Personality differences between individuals varying in lucid dream frequency. Journal
of Communications Therapy.
Garfield, P. (19Th). Creative dreaming. New York: Ballentine.
Hearne, K. (1978). Lucid dreaming: An electrophvsiological study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of
LaBerge, S. F. (1980). Lucid dreaming: An exploratory study of consciousness during sleep. Doctoral Dissertation,
Stanford University. (University Microfilms International, 8024691).
VanEeden, F. A. (1913). A study of dreams. In C. T. Tarrt (Ed.), Altered-states of consciousness. Garden City, New
York: Anchor Books, Doubleday & Co., Inc.
Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 3, No. 4, December, 1984, page 108.
Olivier Clerc (1984). Vivre Ses Reves (Living One’s Dreams), Geneve: Jean-Luc de
The purpose of this book, states the author, is practical; to help the reader make the most efficacious use of his dreams, a goal which can be achieved by interpretation, programming and expertise in dream lucidity.
A first background chapter describes the physiology and workings of the brain. This portion, based on the work of Roger Sperry, includes much of the now—familiar material on the functions of the left and right brain.
The latter, Clerc points out, expresses itself by such means as dreams, body language and psychosomatic illness. Many of its traits, in fact, resemble Freud’s description of the unconscious (which might more accurately be thought of as a nonverbal consciousness).
We should learn, Clerc says, to use both brain halves in a balanced fashion. He closes the chapter with a survey of the sleep research of the fifties.
He then offers advice on the improvement of dream recall (by such means as self— suggestion and Gestalt techniques), and on how best to keep a dream journal.
His own ‘relative” method of dream interpretation includes elements from the works of many writers, including Freud, Jung, Perls Garfield, and Faraday.
For most dreams, Clerc believes, three interpretations are possible. They may refer to:
1. Actual persons and situations
2. The dreamer’s attitudes to actual persons or situations
3. To the dreamer himself and his inner world
As an example of the first, a person who dreams of losing control of a car because the steering mechanism gives way, should have the car checked; it is possible that the car is actual, not symbolic, and that the right brain has picked up information as to its condition.
To illustrate the second type of dream, Clerc uses one of his own dreams by means of which he discovers his actual feelings (hitherto not conscious) about two persons of his acquaintance.
An example of the third type of dream (again Clerc’s own) is one through which he learns about his tears in connection with a task he has undertaken.
The author gives a step by step description of how he arrived at these interpretations, stressing the important role of intuition.
A dream that resists interpretation, he suggests, might be explained by Jung’s archetype theory. Or later dreams may be “asked’ to throw light on earlier ones, a form of programming.
Premonitory dreams, Clerc thinks, have a subjective meaning also; it is possible that the unconscious ‘utilizes’ the future, just as it does the past to manufacture a dream. Such dreams need not necessarily be paranormal; Clerc points out, and stresses the need for more research in this area.
This portion of the book closes with a brief account of Dunne’s writings.
Clerc next takes up the programmed dream, which be compares to adolescence, the normal dream representing infancy and the lucid dream maturity.
Re describes the means of inducing programmed dreams, but points out that if the aim is merely pleasure, the dream may not be easily achieved. If there are urgent personal problems to be dealt with, the dream may be “busy’ with its more primal psychological functions.
Problem-solving programming is discussed. Clerc remarks that most western world adults do not evolve in their dream lives, The fact that many continue to have nightmares as adults indicates our culture’s neglect of the right brain.
Programming is especially efficacious with nightmares in that it deals with the problem during its manifestation; interpretation can be deferred. Clerc refers to Maltz’s work on Pyschocybernetics to account for the fact that attitudes and skills practiced in dreams can carry over into day life.
Interpretation and programming are tools which can aid in the harmonizing and integration of the personality.
Clerc then lists the principal traits of the lucid dream, referring to such writers as Green, Fox, St. Denys and Casteneda. He points out that the lucid dream is chiefly the domain of the right brain, which accounts for certain deficiencies of memory and reasoning power during the experience. With growing expertise, many of these may be overcome.
Lucid dreams, as compared to normal ones with their bizarre aspects, respect physical reality, and the figures encountered in them have their day-life traits. In spite of this, there is a certain “non reality” aspect to the lucid dream. Surroundings tend to be vivid, and the dreamer may choose to alter these, or to perform “impossible” tasks, rather than letting the dream unfold.
Like the programmed dream, the lucid dream may be used for pleasure, for discharge of resentments, for acting out fantasies, or for practicing skills or success.
A lucid dreamer is simultaneously the hypnotist and the hypnotized in that his “I” has access to his right brain.
Clerc suggests that perhaps the lucid dream represents the partial awakening of the left brain, pointing out that it takes place in the two hours before waking, when the left brain does play more role. Also, the fact that we recall lucid dreams may suggest that memory is functioning in both hemispheres.
In other words, the lucid dream may represent an equilibrium in which the right brain is supplying surroundings, feelings and persons, and the left full consciousness of identity, will and decisions.
Clerc then discusses pre-lucid states, lists Hearne’s lucid dream activities, and describes his own method of inducing lucid dreams.
Starting with the premise that we are not usually truly conscious during the day, Clerc inscribed a large “C’ on the back of his hand where he would be sure to see it often during the day and remind himself to be genuinely conscious. This soon resulted in his having one to one-and-a-half lucid dreams per week. He also remembered to be conscious each time a negative emotion arose, with the effect that these began to disappear. He also practiced Leonard’s method of viewing the world as an extension of oneself. Lucidity began to come spontaneously without the use of the “C”.
Clerc remarks that we can program the type of dream that will lead to lucidity, a dream of flying, or even a nightmare. The connection between flight dreams and lucidity, he feels, is a close one but as yet not clearly understood.
He describes the false-awakening phenomenon, and gives an outline line of Hearne’s research and his dream machine.
This is followed with an account of the lives of four lucid dreamers with the intention of giving the reader a better comprehension of the lucid dream and also of the connection between such dreams and parapsychological experiences.
1. St. Denys, Clerc thinks, may well have had such experiences though the references in his work which suggest this are ambiguous. He was the first writer to have carried out rigorous experiments based on a large number of dreams.
2. Clerc describes Van Eeden’s dream categories, his interest in communication with the dead and his theory of “demons” as originators of certain dreams.
3. Fox is important as having established the connection between lucid dreams and out of body experiences.
4. Clere regards Garfield’s work as extremely important in that it establishes connections between western and eastern thought, especially with Oriental conceptions of energy centers and flow, as illustrated by Garfield’s experiences with acupuncture and meditation.
Clerc goes on to describe his own dream experiences; how he learned to fly, to move objects at will, to pass through walls and ceilings, and refers to his attempts to use the lucid dream experience as a “springboard” for out of body flights. He believes that lucid dreams often use images that indicate the location of the energy flow, and that we need to learn to control the energy flow rather than be controlled by
He reports that he is currently using lucid dreams for three purposes: 1. out of body experience; 2. experiments in telepathy; 3. research on the connections between certain dream images and Jung’s archetypes.
He sums up by saying that he feels it is now clear that the lucid dream has certain psychic-spiritual aspects, psychic in that one can learn to control use of psychic energy and spiritual in that the lucid dream is a microcosm of mystical experience. Furthermore, he concludes, the out of body flight can give us access to a realm of superior reality.
He gives steps to follow for psychological and spiritual development.
The novice should begin to keep a journal, to interpret his dreams, which will resolve major personality problems; to program dreams, which will facilitate interpretation and set up a dialogue. He is then ready to venture on the lucid dream.
Programming for pleasure only will soon cause the person to “stagnate,” whereas the lucidity experience, though It will bring problems, will soon provide incentive for continuing.
The experimenter should learn to prolong lucid dreams, to carry out projects in them, to alter the environment, to fly faster and higher (which may lead to out bf body flight) and to use his voice, which will function like autosuggestion and also establish a dialogue with oneself. The dreamer will learn to control energy flow in order to experience, or if wished, to avoid out of body flights. (It is important that he be in a good state of psychic equilibrium before venturing on these.)
There is no reason, Clerc finally suggests, to assume that the out of body experience is a “final” stage in the development; others, as yet unknown, may lie before us.
Clerc is of the opinion that though the lucid dream may facilitate spiritual advancement, and that the out of body flight can give us answers to fundamental questions, it is a path that must be taken by the individual step by step; a dream machine or a drug is useful only to give us a glimpse of the goal which we must attain by our own efforts.
Two appendices give a survey of the basic work of Freud, Jung, Hall, Perls and Casteneda.
This is a very useful volume for a lay person, assembling in very readable torn much material that is otherwise rather widely scattered. It should be of interest to professionals also, as containing original material and theory. Clerc deals with parapsychological concepts and possibilities in a fashion that is neither blindly credulous nor intrinsically hostile, and is very open and receptive to what is valuable in the work of many others.
Lucidity Letter Back Issues, Vol. 3, No. 3, December, 1984, page 112.
SCIENTIST SHARES KNOWLEDGE OF
HUMAN MIND WITH PUBLIC
In July of 1983, a new kind of periodical appeared. “THE OPEN MIND’ is an experiment in directly sharing knowledge about the furthest reaches of the human mind with the public, instead of through the usual indirect route of scientific articles that are later popularized by others. Written by Charles T. Tart, internationally famous for his research on altered states of consciousness, physic abilities, and human potentials, ‘THE OPEN MIND’ is a unique venture by a leading scientist in directly communicating his understandings of our personal evolutionary possibilities to people interested in psychological and spiritual growth.
The first four issues of Tart’s bimonthly newsletter have included several articles on “lucid dreams.” Further information on THE OPEN MIND is available from Psychological Processes Inc., P.O. Box 371, El Cerrito, CA 9k 530
Lucid dreamers interested in sharing their experiences upon reaching the lucid state are invited to participate in the Lucidity Project of the Seth Dream Network. Questionnaires can be obtained from
1083 Harvest Meadow Court San Jose, CA. 95136
The volume number was incorrect on the last issue. It should read Vol. 3, No. 2 & 3.
GERMAN TRANSLATOR NEEDED
Ihave obtained the reprints of an important body of work on dream lucidity (see bibliography). Unfortunately, this work by Paul Tholey is still largely in German. Someone fluent in German is needed to volunteer to translate all or some of these articles. If interested please contact; Dr. Jayne Gackenbach, Department of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614.
Three translations of lucid dreaming articles are available from the editor:
1. Havlicek, Z. (1966) Prispevek K. Dynamice “Lucidnich” Snu (A contribution to the dynamics of Lucid dreams).
Ceskoslovenaka Psvchiatrie, 62(5), 309-315. Thanks to Stephen Knorles, University of New England,
Australia for translating the articles. It is available for $3 to cover handling and a small translators fee.
2. Thanks also 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;
von Moers-Messmer, H. Dreaming while knowing about the dream state. Archiv fur die Gesamte Psvchologie,
1938, 102, 291-318.
Copies of these two are also available for $3.00. Send check and request to Dr. Jayne Gackenbach, Department of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614.
LUCID DREAMING BIBLIOGRAPHY: UPDATES
Fenwick, P., Schatzman, M., Worsley, A., Adams, J.,Stone, S. & Baker, A. (1984). Lucid dreaming:
Correspondence between dreamed and actual events in one subject during REM sleep. Biological Psychology,
Gackenbach, J.I. & Hammons, S. (1983). Lucid dreaming ability and verbal creativity. Dreamworks, 3 (3), 219-
Below is a list of papers on lucid dreaming based on the work of Dr. Paul Tholey. All papers are in German and are followed by a brief note from Dr. Tholey.
Tholey, P. (1980). Klartraume als Gegenstand empirischer Untersuchungen. Gestalt Theory, 2, 175191. In the first
part of this paper I have gone into philosophical and methodological problems of lucid dreaming. In the second
part the reflection technique is described. Also the criteria for the recognition of the dream states are discussed.
Tholey, p. (1981). Empirische Untersuchungen uber Klartraume. Gestalt Theory, 3, 21-62. In this paper a review of
numerous individual studies is given. In relation to psychotherapy, it is important, that several hypotheses of
Ann Faraday have been tested. Furthermore, a comparison of lucid dreaming with the “guided affective
imagery” of Hans-Carl Leuner is presented.
The next two papers are popularised science. In these papers a detailed explication of the concept of lucid dreams can be found. These articles are mainly concerned with psychotherapeutic principles of lucid dreaming--P. Tholey.
Tholey, P. (1982). Wach’ ich oder traum’ ich? Psvchologie Heute, 68-78.
Tholey, P. (1984). Der Klartraum-Hohe Schule des Traums. In K. Schnelting (Ed.), Hilfe, ich trauma. Munchen:
Tholey, P. & Krist (in press). Klartraumen. This paper contains a brief description of our apparatus for the induction
of lucid dreams. In the meantime, however, we have developed a new apparatus, which shall allow us a two-
way communication between the lucid dreamer and the “outside” investigator.
Tholey, P. (in press). Haben Traumgestalten ein eigenes Bewubtsein? —Eine experimentell-phanomologische
Klartraumstudie. Gestalt Theory. (Editors Note: This paper has an English summary.) This paper is an
elaborated version of my primary paper “Cognitive Abilities of Dream Figures in Lucid Dreams”. The results of
this research are the ones that puzzle me most.
Tholey, P. & Holbe, R. (1982). Unglaubliche Geschichten. This is a transcription of a radio interview, in which
Several problems of lucid dreaming are broaded, including parapsychological ones.
The last three references, also in German, were kindly provided by Dr. Tholey and are also followed by a brief note from him.
Jurgens, H. (1925). Traumexerzitien. Pfullingen; Baum Verlay, 3-38. In this paper an autosuggestion technique for
the induction of lucid dreams is described.
Schriever, W. (1935). Einige Traumbeobachdungen. Zeitschrift fur Psychologie, 134, 349-377. In this paper several
kinds of “Ego” in lucid dreams are differentiated.
Stephan, C. (1982). Klartraume. Esotera, 33, 1090-1099. This paper is written by a young German author and
contains a brief review on the research of lucid dreams.
Dear Dr. Gackenbach,
Here are some comments on George Gillespie’s article on problems related to experimentation while dreaming lucidly.
I have been dreaming lucidly for about thirty four years. I picked it up in a book about dreaming when I was in high school. The author said why waste all that time just lying there when you could be dreaming lucidly instead. That sounded like a good idea so I gave it a try. It took me about a week to create my first lucid dream. His method was to start going through your favorite dream as you were going to sleep and sooner or later the dream would continue as a lucid dream after you fell asleep. I had been meditating several years at that time so I credit that with the speed with which I had my first lucid dream. His whole point in having lucid dreams was because you could control them. Since that was the idea I started out with I have always had complete control of my lucid dreams.
I can never recall having had the spliced film effect where I am suddenly dreaming something else. Although I have had many false awakenings in dreams. It has little effect however as I always know I am dreaming. How can I have a false awakening if I am always in control? A lot of times I don’t mess with a dream, I just let it go. Since I know it is a dream, how heavy my lead shoes or and how close the fire breathing monster is has no emotional impact on me.
The occurrence of what is anticipated is certainly the way it happens for me. Nothing unplanned ever happens to me unless I am not planning the dream but just letting it run its course.
I have never put in too much time experimenting in a dream as almost anything seems to be possible. My dreams are the same as reality or at least what we call reality. The only way I can tell them from reality is that I “know” they are dreams. I also jumped off a building in one of my first dreams. It took me about five tries on five different nights to work up nerve enough to jump since it was so real. The first time I bounced on the sidewalk, the second time I put a hole in the sidewalk that was an exact outline of me and about two feet deep just like in the comics.
However, I never tell on any pedestrians. As far as I can remember my intellectual faculties are the same in a lucid dream as when I am awake although I never worried too much about it. I was always too busy doing something illegal, immoral, or fattening. Flying dreams are one of my favorite type as long as I don’t get too high off of the ground. As heights are not my favorite thing, I usually do my flying about a foot off the ground. I can handle that!
Edith Gillmore suggested one time that maybe you could be psychic in a lucid dream. So I tried it. I started on a lucid dream and I happened to think of it so I stopped everything and tried to psych up something. I did not try for any particular thing like the future or any thing like that, just any old thing. What happened was I stood there about ten seconds and drew a blank and then suddenly woke up. And waking up in the middle of the night is not exactly my favorite thing either.
The reason I never tried to conduct many experiments is the dream state seems to be in the “near subconscious” and the conduct or making of the dream seems to be taken care of for us by a deeper part of the subconscious. I believe that the reason I never have any trouble in a dream is due to the subconscious control meditation allows. Everything always comes out as I expect it to when I am running the dream. I always get the results I want, in a way that seems to be a perfect duplication of reality.
Lawrence B. Earl