First real-time communication between researchers and lucid dreamers

in STEMGeeks3 months ago

Motto: 'Magic's just science that we don't understand yet.' (Arthur C. Clarke)


Long time ago i used to write about lucid dreaming. When Stephen LaBerge started to study the phenomenon during the Eighties, many were just thinking that this is some kind of hoax, similar to the astral projection.

But now, 40 years later, we have the technology to prove that this is real, and some researchers did that, according to the research notes published on 18.02.2021 (link here).

What are we talking about? While some of us may be naturally gifted for lucid dreaming, others need to work for it, more or less. I found that 3-6 months of training, using a Dream Journal to write what you remember as soon as you wake up (first 60 seconds when you wake up or the memory is gone), and a Reality Check (ask yourself as often as you can during the time you are awake if you are dreaming, and after a while the habit will make it possible to ask if you a dreaming while you are dreaming, so you will realize that you are aware while dreaming). If you realize that you are in a dream, you are in a world you created, having godlike powers (yes, i sound a bit blasfemous, but it is true), and you can do anything you wish, i may correct myself, anything you intent to do, as intention is the force changing the dream, basically anything and everything. The ultimate virtual game. You can drive your favourite car, meet your favourite person to chat or walk or else, you can even have any superpower you like (teleport, freeze time, anything you wish for, but my favourite by far is flying). I could talk about flying and ramble on many pages, but the short version is this, once you realize you are not in the real world, and you are not bound by the laws of physics, you can fly, like Superman. It is exhilarating and unbelievable transforming. If you were to learn lucid dreaming only for this experience, and it is totally worth it. You can use it for repetitive actions, to master skills faster (like doing 10-100 times same Kata from martial arts or getting better at guitar or violin. Time is relative while dreaming, so one year dream time can be one hour in real life. Just imagine, if you need 10.000 hours to play violin and you do all this hours in 7 nights, you can master violin in one week. Another way to use the lucid dream, as i discovered personally, i call it pogressive exposure to a phobia. You can conquer your phobia bit by bit, creating the trigger and being exposed to it bit by bit. I tried this with public speaking, adding more and more people to crowd listening to me until i was not afraid anymore. Oh, there is so much to talk about lucid dreaming. Once i start i find hard to stop myself talking about it forever. But, let's go back to our bussiness.

The issues with the research where that the memories of a dream are most often distorted and partial. They devised a method to create a two-way dialogue with a person while lucid dreaming. This dialogue was quite complex, using math problems and yes/no answer. The lucid dreamers answered during the REM sleep - while dreaming, using eye movements and facial muscle signals.

So, during this experiment they used a previously learned two-way communication method, during polysomnographically verified rapid eye movement sleep (translation in layman terms: while dreaming) using 36 individuals, each of them having different skills in lucid dreaming. During testing, while dreaming, they proved they can perform veridical perceptual analysis of novel information, maintain information in the working memory, computing simple answers and expressing volitional replies. Meaning they can learn about new things, remember them later, answering questions and telling what they want. To do this, they used distinctive eye movements and selective facial muscle contractions. They answered correctly on 29 occasions with 6 individuals tested, showing not only that lucid dreaming is possible, but also that we can peak behing the courtain and find what it is happening while dreaming.

This is also proof that our awareness can go further than just when we are 'awake', and that we are aware of much more of the reality, even when we are sleeping. Impressive, but nothing new under the stars, as there are similar methods devised by the Indians (Yoga-Nidra) and South Americans shamans (lucid dreaming techniques), some of them being two thousand years older.

Still, we can be only happy when the science is catching up with the old magic.

See you soon,

George





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