Shakespeare once told us through his character Hamlet that, ” … nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so”. Is that the case with lucid dreams? Are lucid dreams good or bad?
Lucid dreams are neither good nor bad, they are just dreams. The only difference between a lucid dream and a normal dream is that you are fully conscious and aware in a lucid dream. Just as normal dreams are neither good nor bad, so too are lucid dreams. There are religious connotations to how you use lucid dreaming however, that some people could view as bad.
In the spirit of fairness we should look at both sides of the argument. We will start with ways in which lucid dreaming is good before we touch on the bad aspects of this skill.
How lucid dreams can be viewed as good
Lucid dreaming offers the sleeper a ton of benefits. Apart from the obvious ability to fulfill your deepest desires and experience your fantasies in a safe, controlled, yet lifelike world, there are also real world benefits that can be derived from lucid dreaming. What are those real world benefits?
The overall advantages and benefits of lucid dreaming are still being investigated today even thousands of years after it was first discovered and decades after mainstream science started to investigate it. But we do know many of the benefits that lucid dreaming offers because this amazing science of the mind was being used as far back as ancient Egypt and ancient Greece and thee cultures documented lucid dreams. Even the Bible has stories about lucid dreams.
From anecdotal evidence to scientific studies we can see that lucid dreaming can be a very good thing when it is used for good purposes. It can literally be a life-changing tool if you use it in the correct way as it has been proven to be a very powerful goal-achievement tool.
You may not be aware but many people who are interested in shifting use lucid dreaming to help them achieve their real-world goals. Through a clever lucid dreaming shifting method experienced lucid dreamers can program their mind for future success and even “try out” different goal-achievement scenarios to see which life path is best for them to pursue.
Then there are practical dream applications of lucid dreaming. Contrary to popular opinion, lucid dreaming does not give you nightmares but is actually a very effective tool for stopping them! Learning how to lucid dream is one way to eliminate nightmares for good.
On the rare occasion that you may experience a lucid nightmare (when you become lucid in the middle of a nightmare) being a lucid dreamer you will have the skills to instantly change the dream or even use it as a personal growth opportunity to delve deep into your own psyche.
Good points of lucid dreaming
Here are just a few of the many advantages and benefits of lucid dreaming in bullet list format.
Lucid dreaming allows you to:
- Experience your fantasies.
- Meet anyone you want.
- Go anywhere you want.
- Stop nightmares.
- Improve you real world skills.
- Study better.
- Become smarter.
- Program your mind for success and goal-achievement.
- Try-out different possible future scenarios, if you were to go down a certain path.
So you can see that lucid dreaming can be viewed as a very good tool that can be used in many beneficial ways. But what about the flip side? We live in a dualistic universe after all. For up there is down. For forward there is back. And for good there is bad.
There is always another side of every story, so let’s look into the bad side of lucid dreaming now.
How lucid dreams can be viewed as bad
On the most fundamental level lucid dreaming can be viewed as bad by people who experience disruptive sleep because of it.
People who experience disrupted sleep due to lucid dreaming are those who are untrained in the skill. This is usually the case with people who naturally lucid dream, often they will lucid dream every night without trying. These lucid dreamers have not trained themselves to take control over the timing and frequency of their lucid dreams and so are at the mercy of when their lucid dreams happen, how long they last and how frequent they are.
It is actually very easy to stop a lucid dream in its tracks no matter when it happens and it is also possible to stop having lucid dreams altogether, or control their frequency. So this disadvantage does not have to be experienced as proper lucid dreaming training can teach you to control all aspects of lucid dreaming including when you have them.
One aspect of lucid dreaming that is a real concern to some lucid dreamers however, is sleep paralysis.
It is true that lucid dreaming can cause sleep paralysis but it is a very rare occurrence and is in fact controllable with the right training (see the aforementioned linked article).
How does sleep paralysis happen to lucid dreamers?
Sleep paralysis will usually only occur with a lucid dreamer when they wake themselves up deliberately while still in a lucid dream, or if they get abruptly woken from one. Sleep paralysis is a totally normal phenomenon that we all experience every time we sleep. It is just we are unaware of it.
You see when we dream our bodies are temporarily paralyzed so we cannot act out our dream. People who do not experience this, who have a medical condition known as somnambulism, will sleep walk with sometimes amusing, and other times horrific, consequences.
Due to the nature of the sleep cycles and the way we loop through the 3 stages of sleep (see this) we end each cycle when we come out of REM sleep naturally. This is at the end of a dream. At this stage will actually physically wake up. This happen several times per night. Most people forget this simply because they fall back into sleep almost immediately.
At this point in the sleep cycle, when you come out of REM and end one sleep cycle ready to start another one, your body is still temporarily paralyzed. As you waken from REM sleep you actually can’t move for anywhere between several seconds to several minutes.We usually just fall back into sleep or if we are waking to get up, then we will usually lie in bed as we reorientate to the world around us.
However, whether you fall back into sleep or wake up fully, before either happens you will be in a hazy state of consciousness somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. While in this hazy state you therefore do not really notice that your body is paralyzed and cannot move. It takes just enough time to become orientated to the waking world for your sleep paralysis to wear off.
This is not the case with lucid dreamers however.
Because a lucid dreamer is fully conscious during the REM dream stage, when it ends and they wake up they can stay fully conscious and thus become immediately aware that their body is paralyzed.
This sleep paralysis can cause some distress the first time it happens after a lucid dream if you don’t know how to deal with. Luckily though, most times lucid dreamers will fall into unconsciousness just before a lucid dream ends thus avoiding sleep paralysis.
Another potential bad aspect of lucid dreaming regards spiritual and religious issues.
Although lucid dreaming is not evil, in and of itself as it is a completely natural phenomenon with natural scientific causes, it can be a somewhat double-edged sword for those with a spiritual leaning.
Now before we continue I should state clearly that I am a Christian having been born again, and therefore can say categorically that lucid dreaming is not a sin. However, this is only the case if you use it within the boundaries of your own spiritual beliefs. Let me explain.
Because you can do anything in a lucid dream this leaves you with a lot of options – some of which may be less savory than others. Lucid dreaming gives you opportunities that you would never have the real world and it lets you do things that you would never do in the real world, especially if you fear repercussions both physical and spiritual.
Can you see where this is going?
Jesus told us in the Bible that sinful thoughts are just as bad as the actual sinful act (see this example) so how much more sinful would it be to act out those desires in an environment that is just as vivid, clear and real as the real world?
The simple truth is that if you use your lucid dreams to go against your own spiritual and religious beliefs just so you can commit sin without anyone knowing about it, then you have committed a sin.
The good news is, of course, all you have to do to avoid this is to not do anything in a lucid dream that you consider to be wrong if you did it in the real world.
The last potential bad aspect to lucid dreaming concerns an extremely rare phenomenon that almost never happens. However, it is real and therefore it would be remiss of me not to mention it. It is false memory syndrome.
Because a fully controlled lucid dream tends to look, feel and behave like the real world (it even smells the same) it is possible to develop false memories. Because you can do things is a world that feels just as real as reality, I’m sure you can see how it is possible to get confused in your memories between what happened in real life and what happened in a lucid dream.
Having said that, it is extremely rare to develop false memories from lucid dreaming because of the very nature of lucid dreams. After all, how can you mix up real world memories from lucid dream memories when you can fly like superman or fight The Empire in the Millennium Falcon?!
The only time you run the risk of developing false memories from your lucid dreaming experiences if you deliberately and consistently have similar lucid dreams that mimic reality so closely that there is barely a difference between the two. This would mean exerting zero control over the dreamworld and just living out normal everyday experiences like you would in real life.
As you can see, developing false memories is unlikely to happen to you as you would need to forego your natural inclination to control your dreamworld and make it bend to your will.
However, as this is a real, albeit extremely rare, phenomenon I have outlined ways to ensure you never fall into the trap of developing false memories here and I advise you to read that if this phenomenon in any way worries you.
Bad points of lucid dreaming
Here ares some of the potential disadvantages of lucid dreaming in bullet list format.
Lucid dreaming can lead to:
- Sleep disruption.
- Sleep paralysis.
- The opportunity to commit sin.
- Developing false memories.
How to get all the good and none of the bad from your lucid dreams
By far the best way to ensure you get all the benefits that lucid dreaming has to offer and none of the disadvantages is to get training from a reputable source.
As well as teaching you how to induce lucid dreams whenever you want a really good course, like this one, will also teach you dream-control techniques that allow you to become a truly omnipotent power within your dreams. The aforementioned course also has the added advantage of offering access to a community of other lucid dreamers. This community shares tips, techniques and new discoveries in the world of lucid dreaming on a daily basis.
So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you started to experience all those many good benefits by trying lucid dreaming for yourself?!