As I have previously pointed out on this website most dreams, and especially lucid dreams, are usually experienced in first person. There are a ton of benefits to lucid dreaming from a first person perspective but can you lucid dream in third person?
You can lucid dream in third person just as easily as you can lucid dream in first person. Lucid dreaming in third person will only rarely happen naturally but it can be induced through lucid dreaming techniques. It has many benefits especially when dealing with emotionally charged issues and dealing with recurring nightmares.
How does lucid dreaming in third person work?
As I covered in detail in the article about first person lucid dreaming, there are much more benefits to lucid dreaming in first person but having a lucid dream from a third person perspective does have its advantages which I will cover those later in this article. First we look at at how third person point of view lucid dreaming happens.
Lucid dreaming in third person works slightly different to lucid dreaming in first person. Remember, when you dream from a first person perspective you interact with everything in the dream the same way that you interact with the everyday waking world. You see from your own eyes, hear from your own ears, smell from your own nose and taste with your own mouth.
Third person lucid dreaming is a completely different experience.
Lucid dreaming, in third person can be experienced in 3 basic ways:
- You watch the dreamworld from a detached disembodied point of view like you would watch a movie.
- You see your own body in the dream while you remain apart from and witness it from a disembodied point of view.
- You experience the dreamworld and/or seeing your dream body from the point of view of an unidentified witness or point of awareness (i.e. you are someone or something else but still not engaging with the dream).
Third person dreams, and third person lucid dreams are much less common than first person ones. We have seen that this is normal because we view the everyday world from a first person point of view so it is only natural that we would continue that point of view when we dream. So why do we sometimes dream in the third person?
Let’s look at why that is.
What does dreaming in third person mean?
The meaning behind a third person point of view dream, will usually be an indication to why you are experiencing the dream from a witness perspective instead of from first person point of view. What is that meaning?
There is no generic meaning behind dreaming in third person. Each third person dream will have a specific meaning to the dreamer. When you dream in third person you should look to the context of the dream in order to try to determine what the dream represents to you on an emotional and symbolic level (the language of the subconscious mind).
You must remember that every part of the dream is you. Everything within the entire dreamworld only exists in your mind. Therefore dreaming in third person, although it may seem strange, is no different than dreaming in first person. Only your perspective has changed.
Only you can determine why you are witnessing a dream from a third person perspective instead of participating in it from a first person perspective. But you may find that your subconscious mind is trying to communicate something to you, usually through the symbolism of the dream.
Review the symbols in the dream and pay close attention to how you felt in the dream and how specific aspects of the dream made you think and feel. Some honest introspection is usually enough to point you in the right direction about the dream’s meaning.
If you are interested in the science of third person dreaming you can read this report by Melanie Rosen and John Sutton from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
It may seem like a waste of a lucid dream to witness it rather than participate in it but, believe it or not, it is sometimes beneficial to lucid dream in third person.
What are the benefits of lucid dreaming in third person?
There are a two main benefits to lucid dreaming in third person.
Benefits of lucid dreaming in third person:
- You can deal with emotional issues without anxiety or overwhelming emotional responses.
- You can eliminate recurring nightmares without fear or panic.
You can use lucid dreams for anything you want and that includes dealing with some tough and painful emotional issues. Let’s look at how lucid dreaming in third person can help you better deal with emotionally charged issues.
I have covered before how lucid dreaming is a useful tool for study and skill improvement, not to mention fantasy fulfillment, but it is also a great tool for self discovery, self improvement and personal growth. Because the subconscious mind retains every piece of information that you have ever encountered, the solution to most dilemmas and the resolution to most emotional issues often already exists in your mind. Your conscious mind just has trouble accessing and processing those solutions and/or performing the necessary actions needed for a successful resolution.
Your subconscious mind has no such restrictions.
Within lucid dreams it is possible to meet with famous psychologists to discuss your issues and allow them to guide to towards emotional healing. As everything in the dream is just a representation of your own psyche these dream psychologists have all the answers you need to facilitate fast and easy healing.
However, although this type of approach is used often within the lucid dreaming community there are some issues which are just too painful to deal with in this frank and head-on manner, even in a lucid dream.
Using third person detachment for emotional healing
Many lucid dreamers use some of their lucid dreaming time to deal with painful or emotional issues from their past so they can eliminate the pain and grow emotionally. But, instead of doing it in the traditional way from a first person perspective they take a different approach.
Rather than approaching your emotional issue from your own point of view, which can stir-up some strong and unwanted emotional responses, it can be very helpful to view the issue from a detached perspective as a witness rather than a participant.
By reviewing your issue from a third person point of view, and seeking out an alternative meaning to the entire drama, you can investigate ways of dealing with your trauma in a safe and totally detached way.
Third person detachment for nightmare elimination
Third person lucid dreaming is also a great way to eliminate nightmares. Although lucid nightmares are rare, and are fairly easy to deal with when you are trained properly, some nightmares are a little too scary to deal with head-on from a first person perspective. Having the ability to view a nightmare from a witness point of view can eliminate the fear and anxiety that usually accompanies the dream freeing you to deal with the nightmare effectively and even learn from it.
Once we place ourselves in third person within a nightmare it is then much easier to alter the dream from an experience that is scary to something that is more pleasant. After all, it can be difficult to change a dream when you are being faced by your worst fear.
I don’t like spiders. I never have and I never will. They creep me out! So, when I had a nightmare about a giant spider attacking me and suddenly became lucid in the dream I was instantly terrified.
In the lucid dream, the more I wanted to get away from the dream scene the more spider would attack me. I found that as my focus remained firmly on defending myself the fear would grow inside me and this fear numbed my mind and restricted me from thinking clearly enough to change the dream.
All my focus was on the spider, which of course in true lucid dreaming style this heightened focus resulted in me getting more of what I focused on – it made the spider that much more formidable and real.
Then I had a moment of clarity/inspiration.
I just removed my focus from the scene and willed/intended myself to view the entire scene from a third person point of view. At that very moment I suddenly found myself disembodied and viewing the entire scene from a fairly far off, and safe, distance. I seen my dream-self battling the spider and realized that, because you can do anything you want in a lucid dream, I was free to alter this situation in any way I wanted.
I then simply shrunk the spider while simultaneously making my dream body bigger. The spider went scuttling away in fear and never returned to my dreams again. Since then I try to learn what the nightmare is trying to teach me though the opportunities are very scarce as I rarely have nightmare since mastering lucid dreaming.
Once the situation was resolved and there was no more spider I returned my focus to my dream body, found that I snapped back into it and then I went on with my lucid dream.
Now, you should be aware that dealing with strong emotional issues usually requires advanced training, and you may want to talk to your health specialist about it before embarking on this course of action. It is therefore often a good idea to join a community of other lucid dreamers who can help you with any challenging issues you have. The community I have linked to also includes a full lucid dreaming course designed to teach you how to induce lucid dreams and then take full control over them.