Lucid dreams explained
When you are asleep and dreaming, your mind does not recognize that your dream is not real. Although most people never move beyond this state, it is possible to gain increased awareness during a dream and realize that you are really just sleeping in bed. When this epiphany occurs, a lucid dream results.
Lucid dreaming is simply dreaming while you know that you are dreaming. Lucid dreams are more real, more coherent, and less strange than normal dreams. Lucid dreamers can consciously control every aspect of the dream as well. You are limited only by your imagination. Lucid dreaming has many positive applications; this exciting skill can improve not only your dreams during the night, but also your experiences during waking life.
Perhaps the most beneficial reward of lucid dreaming is the increased awareness that you can experience after training to dream lucidly. Learning to attain higher levels of consciousness in the dream state has a parallel effect during the day. As you learn to be more vigilant of your circumstances and of your awareness, you can achieve a better understanding of the way your emotions change, and of the reasons why you react the way that you do in various situations.
During the day, your body is very much like a machine. You process astounding quantities of external information using your five senses, and a considerable number of the tasks that you perform each day are routines that have been practiced repeatedly, internalized, and replicated almost without thought. Having completed this kind of mindless day, most people go to bed, completely lose consciousness for five or six hours, and wake up only to find themselves repeating a routine, like a robot. This daily cycle makes it easy for you to lose both your identity and a true sense of who you are.
While you dream, the external stimuli of the world are ignored, and the dream world is entirely a projection of your own thoughts, fears, and wishes. Thus, it is in dreams that you can obtain the best sense of who and what you really are. Lucid dreaming allows you to bring a conscious awareness and logic to the unconscious and uninhibited world of dreams. In other words, dreaming lucidly enables you to bring the consciousness that you are experiencing right now to each of your dreams.
Instead of having non-lucid dreams and pondering the significance of dream characters after you wake up, you can choose to have long conversations with these characters while the dream is still happening. The dream characters that you encounter are personifications of memories and parts of your psyche; they can reconnect you with aspects of yourself that you have neglected, repressed, forgotten, and ignored.