Training For Lucid Awareness in Dreams, Fantasy, and Waking Life


  • Judith Malamud


In this paper, I would like to focus on lucidity as a concept, and on lucidity training as a means of fostering psychological growth. What makes dreams seem so strange? My work with lucidity grew out of my desire to overcome, in myself, first of all, that paradoxical split in consciousness wherein I "know" that my dreaming is uniquely self-expressive and reflects my deepest personal concerns, yet I frequently do not understand my own dreams. Many of us who are mystified and fascinated by dreams like to think of dreams as precious gifts to be opened, sacred texts to be faithfully recorded and analyzed, or secret coded messages, sent from one "part" of the self to another "part" of the self, to be decoded and
translated. These metaphors, though enchanting, are misleading, because they make dreams seem like things we receive from elsewhere, rather than creative action (Schafer, 1976) that we undertake as unified beings. My approach to lucidity training aims to overcome this kind of alienation from self by fostering awareness of ourselves as active dream-creators, of the cognitive and emotional processes by which we create
dreams, and of the unique safety of the imagination as space for acquainting ourselves with all of our human psychological potentials. What would it mean to be able to dream consciously? It would mean being at one with oneself, fusing spontaneity with purpose, and acting freely with full awareness.