Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lucid Dreaming and Jared Loughner

It hit ABC news last night (currently viewable here), Jared Loughner as an avid Lucid dreamer and his experiences in lucid dreaming led him to possibly believe that, when he wasn't dreaming, that he may have thought he was, pulling the trigger in real life.

ABC went well and explained the basic concept of lucid dreaming fairly accurately, going so far as to capture a quote from Dr. Stephen LaBerge, an illustrious researcher in lucidity and dream studies.

However, they missed a very large point: Lucid dreaming is not easy, and not for everyone. Most people can be taught how, few people can do it naturally, and the news presented it as a very real threat that everyone should be concerned about. This is a gross exaggeration.

I'm going to say it again: Most people can be taught how to lucid dream, many can teach themselves, few can do it naturally.

I have no insight as to which pool Loughner fell into, but the news reported that his dream journal, a very vital part of every dreamer's journey, will play a large role in the investigation.

To all those lucid dreamers and regular dreamers out there: while your dream journal can be a window into your psychology, it is far from a doorway. If you are concerned that yours might be used against you, some way, somehow, set your fears aside and keep working on it.

There is nothing illegal about performing illegal or illict activities in your dreams. As much as you can think about shooting up your school or cheating on your significant other, as long as you do not act on these desires, you are not doing anything wrong (unless you're in violation of your religion, which is a moral dilemma, not a legal one). Just be certain to always check for dream signs if you ever feel something might be wrong, going too well, or appearing too visibly. A well practiced dreamer should be able to recognize dream signs and realize they are dreaming without being rousted from the dream. (Just please don't confuse dream signs with totems.)

This isn't Inception, there's no intravenous drip that's keeping you asleep, no third party controlling the dream. You are in full control.