The other night, I had my second experience with "lucid dreaming". A lucid dream is a dream where you realize you're dreaming while you're still in the dream.
I dreamed that I woke up, looked at my clock radio and it was 1 o'clock. But I could tell by the daylight streaming through my window that it was afternoon and I had overslept. I bolted upright (still dreaming) and anxiously started pacing the floor, wondering how I could have overslept, why hadn't anyone called me and how I could possibly explain myelf to my missed appointments. Then suddenly (still dreaming), I realized that this was very strange and that for me to have slept for over 15 straight hours was highly improbable. Then I thought, "his must be a dream" at which point, I began to wake up. A few seconds later (mostly awake), I looked at the clock and it was 5:30 AM - time to get up and get ready to head for the gym. I was so happy!
However, this is supposedly only the first step in lucid dreaming - realizing in the dream, that you're dreaming. After that, you're supposed to be able to take control of the dream. For instance, I could have had Justin Timberlake knocking on my front door with a fresh pizza, or something. Or like in my recurring nightmare, where I'm on stage to perform a recital for which I hadn't practiced, I could take control, perform it brilliantly and receive a standing ovation!
That's one of the reasons I'm so intrigued by the lucid dream phenomenon. I think it could be used to reduce performance anxiety and build confidence, not just in music, but also in several other areas of life as well. However, some experts don't believe lucid dreams are even possible. They think people who claim to have them are simply misremembering their dream experience after waking. They claim that dreaming requires control by the subconscious and that consciousness would disrupt the dream (which would explain why I woke up). Currently, there is no technology that can prove that someone is having a lucid dream while they're having it. So, we can only take people's word for it or not.
Still, I'm hopeful and can hardly wait until my next experience where I'll try to stay asleep and take control. Then maybe I could have Emmanuel Pahud come over and play flute duets (and he'd bring a pizza, of course).
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