A Short History Of Lucid Dreaming

Important People In Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming has a long and interesting past, are you surprised? We can’t really know how long people have been using lucid dreaming because it wasn’t something that was written about until the fifth century.  But there’s no doubt it has been something that people have been experiencing since the beginning of time. But until we find cave paintings with lucid dreamers depicted, we won’t really be sure.

Virtually every culture on earth has a form of lucid dreaming and in the last thirty years the practice has had a resurgence in interest from the mainstream. In the current time frame scientists have taken the idea of lucid dreaming into labs, taking studies to a new level. The bottom line is that we have a lot to figure out about the human mind.

St. Augustine The Lucid Dreamer

One of the earliest found written recordings about lucid dreaming was written in the fifth century by St. Augustine. In the letter, he referred to an experience he had of dreaming and being awake at the same time. In the eighth century, the Tibetan Buddhists started to record about their own practices around consciousness while in dream states. In Buddhism, lucid dreaming is a yoga practice that should only been attempted by advanced practitioners.

The Scientist That Discovered Lucid Dreaming

As time went on, people started to develop a more scientific approach to the study of lucid dreaming. In 1867 Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys was one of these scientists. He wrote a book on the subject of lucid dreaming called Dreams and How to Guide Them. In the book he laid out the steps that were required to control the dream state.

Many years later, in 1913 Frederick Van Eeden coined the term “lucid dreaming”. Initially he wrote a book and published it as a work of fiction because at the time it was pretty old-fashioned thinking. Back then you didn’t even talk about sex openly so I can’t blame the guy for saying it was fiction. Eventually he presented a lengthy paper, called A Study of Dreams, to the academic community, at the Society of Psychical Research.

In 1968 Celia Green published a book called Lucid Dreams where she discussed her previous research into the arena of lucid dreaming. Her conclusion was that lucid dreams were scientifically different from traditional dreams and she ended up being the first to link these occurrences to rapid eye movement sleep patterns.

It wasn’t until 1977 when Stephen LaBerge applied to Stanford with a desire to study lucid dreaming did the practice get mainstream attention. His grant was approved and he was given access to the Stanford sleep labs where he did major research on what was considered a phenomena. LaBerge later went on to open The Lucidity Institute in 1987 with the goal to discover the true potential behind human dreaming. He has made a lot of progress in the science of lucid dreaming and offers lucid dreaming training for people who are very interested in the world of lucid dreaming. His training doesn’t come cheap though and it can get really pricey.

Stephen Laberge’s, “Exploring The World Of Lucid Dreaming” was the first book I read on lucid dreaming as a teen. The content of his book was excellent but his writing was very academic so I was forced to read it around 6 times before I started to understand his principles.

Now that you have a short cliff notes version of the history of lucid dreaming we are going to talk about some of the benefits of lucid dreaming. Just a few though because an entire website could be devoted just to the benefits! Yeah, there are that many benefits!


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