In the last ten years, lucid dreaming has become a familiar word to the society, thanks largely to the work of researchers like Stephen LaBerge, whose findings I am going to focus on in this paper. He has done extensive work in the field of lucid dream research. LaBerge is one of the popular leaders of our era among hundreds of dream researchers studying the science of lucid dreaming.
Dream states are categorized into two main areas; lucid and non-lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is defined as when the person knows that they are in a dream, as opposed to non-lucid dreams where the person has no idea that they are in the middle of a dream. For a long time, it was enough for researchers and psychologists to understand that there were two main dream states. However, in his research study entitled “Varieties of Lucid Dreaming Experience” LaBerge attempts to distinguish between the various kinds of lucid dreams. This study represents a massive contribution to the field of dream research, as it attempts to answer a question that has befuddled many researchers for a long time.
“Varieties of Lucid Dreaming Experience” makes a very persuasive case that based on LaBerge’s research lucid dreaming experiences can be further categorized. After exhaustive research with a huge amount of subjects, LaBerge was able to prove that there are a wide variety of lucid dreaming experiences. His first finding was that over eighty percent of lucid dreams begin as non-lucid dreams; the subject transitions from one to the other, and recognizes that he or she is dreaming while still in a dream state. Furthermore, LaBerge was able to pinpoint why some individuals make the transition to a lucid dream following a non-lucid one. His research focused on the difference between experienced lucid dreamers and non-experienced lucid dreamers. Non-experienced lucid dreamers generally transition to a lucid dream following a non-lucid dream because of a nightmare or anxiety based non-lucid dream. Due to this, novice lucid dreamers often have a terrifying lucid dream experience while more experienced dreamers can have pleasant lucid dreams.
Going further into the findings of the study, LaBerge claimed that he was able to demonstrate several methods that are actually teachable to the average person to cultivate pleasant lucid dreams. He indicated that there were three discernible ways to do this. The first was anomaly recognition, where the subject is conditioned to recognize that a bizarre event in their dream is a cue that it is a dream, which can force the transition from non-lucid to lucid dreaming. Programmed behaviors is the second way that LaBerge claims that subjects can be taught to dream lucidly; programmed behaviors teach individuals to focus on lucid dreaming goals while they are awake. LaBerge proved that this could force the individual to have more pleasant lucid dreams. Finally, the least common way of bringing on a lucid dream is referred to as “Déjà rêvé”; simply...