Response to Gackenbach


  • Stephen Laberge


Jayne Gackenbach reports that in conversations with many people in the United States and abroad she has heard voices expressing concern about the potential for "abuse" of lucid dreaming (1987). Gackenbach feels that "it is incumbent upon the leaders of this emerging field to also voice concerns" (p. 4) and claims that "we are at fault if we do not routinely caution audiences about abuse or even dangers in accessing an incredibly powerful state of mind" (p. 6). While I share some of my colleague’s concerns, if not apprehensions, I believe it is premature and inappropriate to "routinely caution audiences" about supposed "dangers" that have not yet been convincingly demonstrated. I do not really believe that there is cause for alarm. I have already discussed my own concerns regarding the proper use of lucid dreaming in my 1985 book, to which I direct readers interested in my views. Here I will limit myself to a few comments on the issues addressed by Gackenbach.