Q: I don’t want to try lucid dreaming because I don’t want my ego to interfere with the natural flow of wisdom and information from my dreams.
A: Many people shy away from lucid dreaming, and some people even wake themselves out of lucid dreams, rather than “risk” imposing their ego’s desires onto the dream.
Technically speaking lucid dreaming occurs when you are consciously aware that you are dreaming. Trying to take control of your actions in the dream is optional (but often very enjoyable!) while in the lucid state. But to say the lucid dreamer controls the dream is a vast overstatement.
In lucid dreams, unlike ordinary dreams, the dreamer has some agency over their actions within the dream. Robert Waggoner in his excellent book on the subject uses this analogy: The lucid dreamer doesn’t control the dream any more than the sailor controls the sea.
However, in both cases it is wise to become skillful at navigating the terrain.
This is true both awake and asleep. Think about it: In your wake life you may decide to go on a picnic, but you can’t control whether it rains. There is not harm in setting the intention to eat outdoors, but circumstances beyond your control might well alter the outcome. i.e., you might end up eating your sandwiches in you kitchen, instead.
We don’t hesitate to “impose” our will on our wake life, but we do use our will as skillfully as we can to navigate and make the most of our experiences. Awake and asleep, too much ego-driven will and a lack of acceptance of situations that are beyond our control is unhealthy. However, it is also unhealthy to abandon any responsibility for directing our lives. Awake we see merit in choosing one path over another, and making decisions based on our values, goals, and desires.
So it is in dreaming, too. When lucid in a dream you might decide you’d like to fly. Give it a try and maybe you’ll take off and maybe you won’t be able to get your feet off the ground. You can decide to visit China, but you might just end up in Japan. Some of your plans and designs will be successful in your dreams, others won’t.
But lucid dreaming is much more than the dream world equivalent of playing around. Sure, it’s fun while lucid to have romantic encounters, travel to exotic locales, do back flips, or climb a mountain in a minute. You can also choose to use this hybrid state of consciousness to request guidance, healing, and information to help in your creative, business and/or personal life. Again, the choice is yours.
Lucid dreaming is a powerful mind state that offers access to amazing stores of wisdom, beauty, and extraordinary experience. I encourage you to be open to the possibilities it contains, and to bring your best self to the experience – and then enjoy!
To learn more about lucid dreams or to learn what your dreams mean,schedule an individual dreamwork consultation.
To read more about Lucid Dreaming, check out these posts:
Many Ways to Achieve Lucidity—And Not
Awake and Alive in the Dream
Joyful Dreaming (Lucidly)
Female Forebear in Lucid Dreams