Lucid Dreams could be defined as the art of being aware while you are interacting inside of dreamscape dimension.
Lucid Dream is a term coined by Mr. Frederik Van Eeden. The word lucid is used to express the qualities of mental clarity and awareness. To have Lucid Dreams is to be conscious and responsive to the wide variety of experiences that can be manifested in the dreamscape-dreamtime dimension. The Seeker must be able to perceive these experiences and be completely conscious that they are not happening on the physical reality, but are manifestations of symbols and realities of another intimate dimension.
It is a source of questioning for the seeker on how to define and distinguish between the experiences of Lucid Dreaming and Astral Traveling as both seem to occur on the extra-corporeal level. This is a good question, since both experiences manifest during the period where the physical body is supposedly asleep: both experiences happen when the body is slumbering but the mind is still active.
In Lucid Dreams, the sense of perception is low-grade and may be defined as similar to that in the state of Vigil. In Astral Traveling, the state of awareness touches the super-conscious. In certain ways, it is very much superior to the lucid experiences within dreamtime, and, therefore, the experiences of Astral Projection cannot be confused with any other.
But the difference between them resides only in physical aspects of these occurrences. During dreamtime, we have an increase of cerebral activities and these increased activities are accompanied by REM, or Rapid Eye Movement. When awakened during one of the REM dream stages, the person will recognize they were dreaming.
With Astral Traveling, it is just the opposite. They happen when there are cycles of lower cerebral activities. This is the time when there is a predominance of delta and theta waves in the brain. During these stages, the physical level of activity is at a minimum: even the heartbeat slows down. Some believe that is the main reason many people feel a type of paralysis when they experience Astral Projections. This is called “Projective Catalepsy” and it can be a very scary experience. If this happens, one should try to abort the experience by consciously making a small movement, such as the little finger in one of the hands. This is enough for one to recover the functions of the entire body.
The Conditioning of the Mind
Even though by definition to dream lucidly represents a developed ability to be conscious during occurrences of the dreamtime experiences, Lucid Dreaming falls into two different categories: High Lucid and Low Lucid. The difference between these two categories is the level of awareness the dreamer has during the process that the dreamer and conscious understanding that the elements presented are result of their own unconscious mind expressing itself through symbols, and archetypes.
A typical lucid dreamer that is experiencing dreams at a higher level of lucidity knows that everything is a result and projection of their own mind within their inner planes. The dreamer knows that they are actually dreaming and that there will not be any damage coming from the interactions with the dream. There is a level of independency and detachment in dealing with those elements which does not occur in lower lucid experiences.
In dreaming in the lower lucid stages, the dreamer will not necessarily be aware that all that he is experiencing is a projection of his own mind, and, therefore, some of the occurrences may be felt as threatening and dangerous.
To have a Lucid Dream is to have a very intimate experience that is not necessarily transferable, because it is difficult to explain the existence of an oniric character and relay the level of interaction inside of the dream to others that have not experienced the same level of consciousness inside of themselves.
Why to Practice Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreams open the door for the possibility of a deeper understanding of our psyche and our base of reference. It is also an enlightened way to experience our fears in order to control and overcome them. Through our lucid dreams we can have a direct contact with our shadow aspects in order to exorcise and heal them.
It is an invitation to interact creatively with the limiting aspects of ourselves; both situations and emotions, and can be very useful as an auxiliary practice to deal with the daily challenges in our lives.