Inception-- Real?


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The blockbuster hit starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception has rocked everyone's world and successfully stirred up discussions about lucid dreaming.

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What is lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is when you realize you are dreaming when you're in a dream. Usually the dreamer questions reality when something really ludicrous happens in the dream. In 1988, Snyder & Gackenback conducted a scientific survey, which found that 20% of people claimed to lucid dream frequently (every month) while 50% of people had done it at least once in their lives. From this data we can conclude that lucid dreaming is a rare occasion.

I decided I wanted to blog about lucid dreaming because when I first came to Penn State (Fall 2011) I began experiencing lucid dreaming for the first time. At first I was merely aware that I was dreaming and shortly after discovering this, I awoke. I am a very deep sleeper and find myself dreaming almost every night. I have lucid dreams about 3x a month. The lucid dreams have evolved from when I initially began having them. In my lucid dreams now I am to control things in my dreams and make things happen. However, I'm noticing that some days I am unable to wake myself up and I just wait for the dream to end. I wanted to entertain the question the possibility of being trapped in a dream.

While researching this topic I encountered a website named WorldofLucidDreaming.com and was introduced assured that "one cannot be trapped in their dream." They explained the possibility of false awakening, which is when "you are essentially ultra vivid dreams in which you are convinced you have woken up in physical reality. They are most likely to happen when you are excited about a big day ahead - and if you're a lucid dreamer."

While lucid dreaming is "safe drug" or a way to escape reality and experience a world where anything is possible, it is also a addictive. According to Schaum's outline of theory and problems of introduction to psychology, "Lucid dreaming may weaken the borders between waking and dreaming, the conscious and subconscious mind, reality and fantasy. This might lead to problems of a dissociative nature."

What is dissociation?

Dissociation  is mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.

According to Science Daily, "New data affirms the connection by showing that while dreaming lucidly the brain is in a dissociated state, according to Ursula Voss from the University of Frankfurt in Germany. Dissociation involves losing conscious control over mental processes, such as logical thinking or emotional reaction. In some psychiatric conditions this state is also known to occur while people are awake."In the field of psychiatry, the interest in patients' dreams has progressively fallen out of both clinical practice and research. But this new work seems to show that we may be able to make comparisons between lucid dreaming and some psychiatric conditions that involve an abnormal dissociation of consciousness while awake, such as psychosis, depersonalisation and pseudoseizures." said the workshop's convenor Silvio Scarone, from the Università degli Studi di Milano in Milan, Italy." Source:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090728184831.htm

 

Now that we know there IS a connection between dissociation and lucid dreaming, and many people suffer from dissociative disorders - could they be a long-term effect of lucid dreaming? Also, many people train themselves to become lucid dreamers; knowing all this information - would you still try it?

1 Comment

after reading your blog I was intrigued to see just how somebody would go about training themselves to have lucid dreams. So i googled it and came to this website: http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/how-to-have-lucid-dreams.html

It says that the beginning ways to train yourself to have lucid dreams is simply telling yourself that you're are going to have a lucid dream, or keeping a dream journal where you write down what you remember from your dreams, and this is supposed to help you have more and remember more from dreams and increase the intensity of these dreams. I have a hard time believing that simply writing down what you remember can make you have lucid dreams, as most mornings I have no recollection of dreaming at all the night before. Do you think it is really possible to train yourself to be able to have lucid dreams basically on-demand?

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