- lucid dream
- Also known as 'dreaming true'. The term lucid dream is indebted to the Latin adjective lucidus, which means shining, luminescent, clear. It was introduced in or shortly before 1913 by the Dutch psychiatrist and author Frederik van Eeden (1860-1932) to denote a "dream during which the dreamer realizes that he or she is dreaming. As van Eeden maintains, "In these lucid dreams the reintegration of the psychic functions is so complete that the sleeper remembers day-life and his own condition, reaches a state of perfect awareness, and is able to direct his attention, and to attempt different acts of free volition." Using the state of consciousness at the start of the lucid dream as a guiding principle, the group of lucid dreams has been divided into dream-initiated lucid dreams or DILDs (i.e. a regular dream during which the dreamer eventually discovers that he or she is dreaming) and wake-initiated lucid dreams or WILDs (which progress from a normal waking state directly into a dream state). As a phenomenon, lucid dreaming was described long before van Eeden's day. As the British surgeon Walter Cooper Dendy (1794-1871) wrote in 1847, "It has been asserted, especially by two profound metaphysicians, Beattie and Reid, that they persuaded themselves in their dreams that they were dreaming, and would then attempt to throw themselves off a precipice; this awoke them, and proved the impression a fiction." The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC)has been credited with providing one of the earliest written references to lucid dreams: "If the sleeper perceives that he is asleep, and is conscious of the sleeping state during which the perception comes before his mind, it presents itself still, but something within him speaks to this effect: 'the image of Coriscus presents itself, but the real Coriscus is not present'; for often, when one is asleep, there is something in the soul which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream." In 1968 the British author Celia Elizabeth Green (b. 1935) distinguished four different psychological causes or mechanisms that can initiate the awareness that one is dreaming. She designates these as emotional stress within the dream (as in a " nightmare, for example), the recognition of an incongruity within the dream, the initiation of analytical thought, and the recognition of the "dreamlike quality" of the experience. The term lucid dream is also used to denote a hypnotically induced " scenic hallucination. The mental state characteristic of both types of lucid dreaming is called " double consciousness. Van Eeden uses the term lucid dreaming in opposition to six other terms: initial dreaming, pathological dreaming, ordinary dreaming, vivid dreaming, symbolic or mocking dreaming, and general dream sensation. Seen from a different vantage point, the term lucid dream is also used in opposition to the terms " false awakening (i.e. the subjective feeling of awakening while one continues to dream) and " pre-lucid dream. A person intentionally employing lucid dreaming for the purpose of exploring the psyche may be called a " psychonaut.ReferencesAristotle (1984). On dreams.In: The complete works of Aristotle. The revised Oxford translation. Volume 1. Edited by Barnes, J. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Dendy, W.C. (1847). The philosophy of mystery. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.Van Eeden, F. (1913). A study of dreams. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 26, 431-461.Green, C.E. (1968). Lucid dreams. Oxford: Institute of Psychophysical Research.Watkins, M. (2003). Waking dreams. Third edition. Putnam, CT: Spring Publications.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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