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Imagine a world that you could modify by simple will.

A world were just thinking about something would make it a reality. Imagine you are driving to work and you suddenly decide that the car you are driving is to boring, you then take a second and with the power of your thoughts you find yourselve driving that red lamborgini you always wish you had. Or what if instead of driving to work you could simply fly there. And why go to work? Why not fly to the Alpes or Sydney or Machupichu? The state of mind in which this can be achieved is called Lucid Dreaming. Lucid dreaming is defined by Celia Green as dreaming while knowing that one is dreaming (Green 1968). In other words, it is a state in which the subject is asleep and aware that the world he is currently perceiving is a product of his mind. Lucid dreaming is, as Hobson puts it, a state of conciousness in which [the] subjects regain many aspects of waiking while continuing to dream (Hobson 2009). As simple as this idea is, lucid dreaming is a state of the mind that is not always achieved by every individual that goes to bed. Lucid dreaming is a skill that can be learned by any individuals and, like many other skills, requires constant practice. As a matter of fact, Tibetean Budism have been practicing lucid dreaming for more than 1,000 years. They practice a technique known as Dream Yoga whose ultimate goal is to take full, conscious control of the dream in order to harness the potential power of dreaming and observe the purest form of conscious awareness (Truner xxx). In the following essay I will explain what modern science has learned about lucid dreaming. I will then attempt to explore different uses lucid dreaming might have while at the same time give an introduction on how to learn this technique. In order to understand how a lucid dream is even a posibility, it is important to understand the differemt levels and stages of conciousness. Allan Hobson, a Harvard Medical School professor explains how the brain cycles through three conciousness stages: waking, NREM and REM. The first stage (waking conciousness) is defined as the awareness of the external world, our bodies and our selves (including the awareness of our awareness) that humans experience when awake (Hobson 2009). Waiking conciusness is very similar to dream conciousness and they can be very difficult to distinguish. The second and third conciousness stages occours while we are asleep. These two stages are distinguished by how active the brain is. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is characterized by rapid periodic twiching of the eyes, muscule relaxation and increased brain activity. It has been prooven that most dreams occoure while on REM sleep (LaBerage 1993). NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep is the period of sleep during which the subject is not in REM. NREM sleep takes 80% of the sleeping time and while in it, the brain has low levels of activity (Aserinsky & Kleitman xxx ). Hobson also talkes about two levels of conciousness, primary and seconday conciousness. Primary conciousness consists of perception and emotion while seconday conciousness has the same characteristics as primary conciousness with the addition of asbtract thinking and metacognitive thinking. Hobson claims that while we dream we tend to be in a primary conciousness state. In contrast, while waking we are mostly in a secondary coincious state. To Hobson, lucid dreaming is when the subject achieves a secondary level of conciousness in his dreams (Hobson 2009). That is to say, the subject is concious of his conciousness while dreaming. The topic of lucid dreaming has been studied by many. However, it was not until 1968 that the first study of the topic was published. The biritish psychologys Celia Green published a book entitled Lucid Dreamin in which she predicted (but not prooved) the correletion between REM sleep and lucid dreams. Green also suggested that a two way communication system could be created between the dreamer and the scientist. Green's idea of a two way communication system was fundamental in creating a solid fundation for further research (Green 1968). Stephan LaBerge understoon Green's idea and created a system during which the subject under study would move their eyes in a specific pattern

in order to signal the scientist that a state of lucid dream had been entered. This simple technique has been the basis of many lucid dream studies. LaBerge has been one of the leading researchers in the topic of lucid dreaming. He has been a Professor at Standford University for many years and was the funder of the Lucidity Institute in 1987. LaBerge believes in the study of lucid dreaming because it allows dream scientist to have more control on their subjects. Some of Laberge's first research was concerned with the way time floews during a dream. It has previously been speculated that dreams could last less than a second of real life. By instructing the subject to count to ten in their dream and to signal the begining and the end of the sequence, LaBerge was able to prove that during a dream, time appears to flow at the same speed as while awake (LaBerge xxx). Figure 1 showes the results of LaBerge's work take from his disertation (LaBerge 1980).

LaBerge also conducted a study that prooved respiration control was a posibility while in a lucid dream. By asking three subjects to either hold their breath or breath rapidly while signaling with eye movments the starting or the end of the exerzise. The subjects succeded in ther excersize a total of nine times and in each case a judge was sucessfully able to predict (using a polygraph) which of the two breath patterns had been exectued the two breathing patterns. (LaBerge xxx TNSD). Further research by LaBerge prooved that while in a dream, the brain actually signals the body how to move. For example, if you dream you are walking, your brain actually attempts to send signals to you legs in order to make them move (LaBerge xxx). However, during REM sleep and aminergic inhibition takes place which inables the body from actually moving. This inhibition is excluded from vital fuction like heart reate and respiration. This is the reason why subject were capable of controling their breath while asleep (Hobson 2009). EEG studies. Left and right hemesphires. Brain activity. Look at TNSD and ReasPastAndFut. Include? Lastly, lucid dreaming has been associated with some related phenomena. This phenomena include but are not limited to false awakening, and out-of-body experiences. False awakening occours when a subject believes to have awaken from a dream while in reality he is still asleep. False awakening was related to lucid dreaming by Harvard psychologyst Deirdre Barret in a study that prooved that false awakenings were more likley to occours in a night in which the subject had had a lucid dream (Barret 1991). Out-of-body experiences (OBE) are a phenomena in which the subject appears to perceive his self floating away from his body. OBE have been related throught history to the existance of a soul or spirit. However, certain modern scientist believe that OBE are in fact hallucinations that can be caused by different phenomena. OBE has been related to lucid dreams because they usually occoure while the subject is asleep. Hoewever, OBE have shown very different wave patterns than lucid dreams and their exact relation has not yet been prooven (Hufford 1989).

The next section of the essay will cover: an overview of LD techniques. My experience learning to LD. Why people would be interested in LD ( as science and for personal use).