Lucid dreaming offers a lot of benefits not least of which is having fun in a real-world type environment. It seems that the only limits imposed upon a lucid dreamer are those they hold in their own mind. But does this omnipotent dream power apply to everything. For instance, can you go back in time in a lucid dream?
You can go back in time in a lucid dream but there are caveats. You are not really time traveling. The past-world dream environment is a representation of what you think it would have been like back then, rather than the reality of it. Although everything will look and feel real, the entire experience is only happening in your brain.
What lucid dreams can and cannot do
To understand why we can experience the past in a lucid dream but why we cannot actually travel in time we need to look at the strengths and limitations of lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming a powerful tool. It can be used for some truly amazing things that go far beyond mere fantasy-fulfilment (though that is pretty cool as well).
For example, are you aware that you can use your lucid dreams to help you study, improve sports skills and you can even use them to make you smarter? In fact, you may not be aware that lucid dreaming is such a powerful mental tool that many lucid dreamers claim you can use it to help you manifest, shift realities and even visit parallel realities.
So, if you can do anything you want in a lucid dream is it such a stretch to think that you might be able to time travel?
Well, it isn’t possible to time travel in a lucid dream but that doesn’t mean you can’t go back in time. I know that’s an oxymoron, which I will explain in detail shortly but before I do that let’s look at why you can use lucid dreams to affect your everyday reality but you can’t use it to travel in time.
When you use lucid dreaming to affect the everyday real world, such as in the examples given above, all you are doing is programming your subconscious mind to help you achieve specific goals. By using lucid dreaming to manifest a new reality for example, you are not using magic nor new age techniques. All you are actually doing is programming your mind for success in a way that will make your daily automatic actions lead you towards your goal. It is a bit like visualization (or as NASA calls it – Visual Motor Rehearsal).
You are not using the law of attraction or some esoteric formula that will magically alter your reality to attract to you what you want. Lucid dreaming doesn’t work that way. By using your lucid dreams in specific way you can literally program your mind for success and goal-attainment. If you want to know how to do that follow the links above.
So lucid dreaming can be used as a mind programming tool in the same hypnosis and visualization can (though it is much more powerful).
With that in mind let’s look at how lucid dreaming can be used to travel to the past.
The lucid dreaming time traveler
As we have seen lucid dreaming is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to affect reality in some very tangible ways. However, it is not magical.
Lucid dreaming has some very mundane and normal causes liked to how we think and interact with the world while we are awake. It is actually a fairly common occurrence among the population and not nearly as rare as you might think.
Lucid dreaming is also not in any way mystical or magical. nor is it evil or a sin. Lucid Dreaming is a perfectly normal function of the brain and is something that everyone can do. Therefore, not being mystical or magically itself, it cannot be used for mystical or magical purposes and this includes actual real-life time travel.
If it were truly possible to travel back in time then we can assume it would be equally possible to travel forward in time. If you could do that then I would have already won Powerball, at least twice!
However, this is not to say that you cannot visit the past, or the future, in your lucid dreams. It is just that you will not actually be time travelling in reality. You will merely be experiencing an extremely lifelike representation of what you think that time period was like.
Imagine being able to race a chariot in the Circus Maximus in ancient Rome or have a bath with Cleopatra at Alexandria in ancient Egypt. Perhaps you would prefer to see the thousand ships that launched to get Helen of Troy, or maybe stand with the 300 Spartans against the Persians. Or, if that isn’t far back enough what about taking a ride through prehistoric skies on the back of a Pterodactyl?
All of these and so much more are possible … but there are caveats.
Because you will not really be time traveling and will only be experiencing a representation of the past (albeit one that feels just as real as real life) your lucid dream environment may be very different from the way the real thing was.
Let’s look at how you can use your lucid dreams to travel back in time.
How to time travel in a lucid dream
Time traveling in a lucid dream is extremely easy. The first step is to ensure you are able to induce lucid dreams at will. Experienced lucid dreamers, and untrained lucid dreamers, often encounter difficulties gaining full control over the dreamworld – which is necessary to step back in time due to the specific nature of the dream.
Therefore it is a good idea to complete the type of lucid dreaming training that guarantees you have omnipotent power over the dreamworld.
You see, as I pointed out in a previous article not all lucid dreams are controlled dreams. Many people must learn how to control their dreams even after they have learned how to induce them. In the early stages of a person’s lucid dreaming journey it is very common to have mostly uncontrolled lucid dreams especially if the person isn’t using proper dream-control techniques as taught in a good advanced course.
When you are experienced enough at lucid dreaming, traveling into the past in a lucid dream is as simple as willing or intending it to happen once you become lucid. You can also pre-program the dream before you fall asleep by telling yourself “tonight when I dream I will become lucid and go back in time [state your time period and location]”.
Now to get the most out of your time traveling experiences it is best to thoroughly acquaint yourself with that time period. For example if you are interested in visiting industrial 18th Century London you will want to scour the internet for images from that time period and you may also want to read some literature about it and from that time.
I’m sure though that if you have an interest in a specific time period you are probably already somewhat familiar with it or you wouldn’t have a desire to experience it. But if you want the experience to be authentic, the more information you give yourself about that time time period, while awake, the closer will be the representation of it when you dream.
Now sometimes you will not want your lucid dream to be a 100% reflection of the reality of that time period. In our example of 18th Century London you may want to skip the grime, smoke and the smell that was a part of life back then and instead visit somewhere that feels a bit more like the 1968 film Oliver or Assassin’s Creed syndicate.
When I visit the past I usually use a movie or game as my template for creating the lucid dream world. Of course I don’t consciously create the dreamworld but instead hold in mind the type of environment I want to go to. Before I fall asleep, or once I become lucid in the dream, I make the intention to go to my desired location. This will be enough for my subconscious mind to create an ideal dreamworld for me that best represents my intention.
Why you shouldn’t always make the dream completely realistic
The only time I had a lucid dream in a relatively realistic representation of an ancient time was when I visited ancient Rome for the first time. I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome and have visited both in my lucid dreams. But, when I visited ancient Rome I made the mistake of wanting it to be as realistic as possible. I wanted to feel what it was like to experience it as the ancient Romans did.
Now, as I said, I have always be fascinated by ancient Rome so I have read dozens of books about, hundreds of articles, watched 100s of hours of documentaries and films about and listened to hundreds of hours of audio books and lectures on it. Although I am far from an expert in this time period I am very well acquainted with it.
As far as my first Roman lucid dream went I was too well acquainted with it!
Before I retired to bed I made the intention of having a lucid dream where I would be in ancient Rome. I made the intention that the lucid dream would be as accurate to the reality of the ancient city as my subconscious mind was capable of producing. This was a mistake.
You may or may not be aware that ancient Rome stank! It was a smelly city with pungent and strong disgusting odours. And of course, so was the one in my lucid dream. As soon as I became lucid I also became aware of the rotting smell. It was so bad that rather than change the dream I woke myself up. I woke up gagging. I should note that everyone was speaking latin (or what sounded like latin to me) which I didn’t understand but that is another story.
Needless to say my adventures into the past are now much more sanitised and the people are a lot easier to understand.
So, when you intend to visit a specific period in the past within a lucid dream you don’t always have to make it completely accurate. Allow your subconscious mind to create a representation of your ideal for that period. After all lucid dreaming is about having fun.