Clinical and Transpersonal Concerns With Lucid Dreaming Voiced


  • Jayne Gackenbach


Because the phenomenon of dream lucidity has become a field of inquiry for scientists, clinicians, philosophers, and dreamers, I would like to highlight a few concerns which have been mounting in my mind with regard to widespread access to lucid dreaming. We so often experience the lucid dream as pleasant and so seldom hear about "bad" experiences. Therefore it is easy for those interested in dream lucidity to gloss over potential problems. During my sabbatical year from the University of Northern Iowa, I have had the opportunity to talk to many people both in the United States and abroad about lucidity. Although there is much excitement about its potential, those who voice concern about its abuse are also being heard. This excitement is normal and often accompanies the "discovery" (in this case rediscovery) of any new state of consciousness. However, it is incumbent on the leaders of this emerging field to also voice concerns. My concerns with this field include clinical or personal experiential applications of working with parts of the self in the dream, as well as issues regarding the transpersonal nature of the experience.