RE: Anthropic dreams

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 17:27:17 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote,
> There is also the phenomenon of lucid dreaming where one is
> partially awake in
> the sense of being aware within a dream and being able to
> direct it.

I am one of those rare people who have lucid dreams regularly. A lucid
dream is when you recognize that you are asleep while you dream. Once you
realize that you are dreaming, you can try to change the items in your

I developed this ability because my parents allowed me to watch horror films
at a very young age. I would regularly have nightmares about the movies
after I had seen them. After seeing so many reruns and having so many
recurring nightmares, I began to recognize the monsters. Specifically, I
would recognize which monster came from which movie. I would remember which
actors were in the movie, or which remake of the movie my particular monster
was emulating. I knew the monsters were fictional and therefore I must be

After a while, I began to recognize other dreams as well. Dreams just
seemed different than waking life. I would just suddenly realize, oh I am
asleep and dreaming this. Even though it looks real to me, it is a dream.
Usually, people wake up as soon as they realize that they are dreaming. I
think their mental focus goes away from the dream image and they start
trying to pay attention to physical sensations of lying in bed, or they try
to open their eyes to see where they are. It is difficult to stay relaxed
and asleep.

While one is asleep and dreaming, it is possible to change the dream.
Visualizations can seem to become real. The subconscious dream process
creates and maintains the image with no conscious effort on the part of the
dreamer. If the dreamer writes a large mathematical equation on paper in a
dream, it is easier to see it and work out the problem longhand than trying
to do it in your head. While the conscious mind can't keep all the numbers
straight, the dream visualization can. I have performed large mathematical
equations and memorized the results to demonstrate that I could do real math
"on paper" in a dream. I have also developed plans and checklists while
asleep and woken up with memories of actual accomplishments that I could use
in real life. It really works like a Star Trek holodeck within one's own
mind. I expect future computer/human interfaces to be able to make use of
this ability of the human mind to run simulations.

Certified InfoSec Manager, Certified IS Security Pro, Certified IS Auditor, 
NSA Cert. Infosec Assessor, IBM Cert. Security Consultant, SANS Cert. GSEC 
<> <> 

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:42 MDT