In the few years I’ve been independently investigating dreams I’ve come across some pretty WILD information. But one of the most interesting and recurring experiences I hear about involve people learning to lucid dream out of fear.
We generally accept that there is some sort of feedback mechanism in the dream that not only knows us, but respond to us. For instance, a nightmare for me would probably include snakes, but for another person a different creature would need to be used. The dream knows what it needs to do in order to scare you.
It’s very very common for people to learn to lucid dream because they have nightmares. My own Sister was taught by our Grandmother in order to alleviate her bed time fears. Now, most people see it in this order: Person has nightmare, Person learns to lucid dream, confronts their fear, and the nightmare never returns. But what if the nightmare only existed in order to force us to gain Lucidity? In some ways we feel like we have conquered the dream, but perhaps it is simply preparing us for something else.
Recently one of the cast members in my show “Lucidity” posted a facebook status that said,
“Rape dreams are the scariest:( Sleep: Take 2.”
I of course commented with,
“Get Lucid and take control!”
This is a common response from anyone who has investigated dreams. I spoke with the cast member later that day and as it turns out she did gain lucidity near the end of the dream, but only enough to purposefully wake up and avoid the nightmare. This is her first remembered lucid experience, and it was born out of fear. In her pose she was also asking “why” in the world she would have a rape dream? One person responded with an answer about dream interpretation and the psychology of rape, and all the different ways to interpret the dream as a metaphor. I on the other hand had a much simpler answer, “Your dream is trying to force you to become lucid.” Instead of looking at the scenerio and relating it to the individual, I simply looked out the outcome. Which was awareness of being a dream.
I’m having trouble articulating my point, but perhaps another example will help. Another female friend of mine told me about a dream she had in a shopping mall. She got into an elevator, but the door shut and wouldn’t open. She began to panic and lose control, but then realized that the elevator she was in was wooden, and wooden elevators don’t exist in shopping malls, so this must be a dream, and the doors opened.
But if the dream world can construct an entirely passable shopping mall, why the wooden elevator? Are we really so naive to believe that this is simply a glitch in the dream? That on a nightly basis it creates completely foreign and comples realities and populates these realities with people and characters, but a simple elevator is just too complex? I tend to lean on the side of no, this is not a glitch.
Try to hang with me on this: If we accept that the Dream knows us and what we will accept as reality and what we will accept as dream, then we must also acknowledge that the subconscious (or whatever you wish to call it) of the girl trapped in the elevator was fully aware that a wooden elevator would be a clue. The dream would have to know that she knew that the wooden elevator was out of place.
Meaning, that she was put in a scenario that the dream knew she would realize as fake. Which leads me to the conclusion that on some level our subconscious is attempting to teach us to become lucid. Rather than lucid dreaming being a skill you pick up to stop nightmares, it may very well be the reason you are having nightmares.
For a long time I’ve speculated that the natural state of dreaming may be lucid, and that we are the ones that are out of synch. I mean is it really natural to play out ridiculous scenarios that are nowhere near real and not question it? It’s difficult to say for sure, and until we have a new cultural wave that really values these experiences from childhood, we may never know. But every time I hear a story about a person gaining lucidity out of fear, I can’t help but smile.
“The inconsistencies in dreams are clues left by you to increase your awareness and control” – Bill (From Bill’s Guide to Lucid Dreaming)
- Sean Oliver
Sean has been independently researching dreams for over three years and creates an original web series about the subject called
“The Lucidity Web Saga”