Authors Jayne Gackenbach and Jane Bosveld tackle lucid dreaming at many, many different angles. While they explore the basic concepts of dreaming, what dreams are, interpretation, and techniques for working with your dreams on up to controlling your dreams via lucid dreaming, they go far beyond this.
The authors talk extensively on the connection between dreams and lucid dreaming to positive visualization, the power of the mind to heal the body, the similarities between meditation and the dream state, near-death and out of body experiences, and even the dreaded UFO abduction story. It is the discussion of all these additional subjects in relation to dreams that makes this book worth reading.
If you have an aversion to relate lucid dreaming with eastern mysticism or meditation, than steer clear of this book! It becomes apparent early on that the authors are fascinated by meditation and they relate its practice to lucid dreaming constantly throughout the book, more than any other subject mentioned above.
This culminates in the chapter entitled “Dreaming Buddhas” where we are given an in depth analysis of meditative practices, techniques, the results and the meditation experience itself as it relates to the higher states of consciousness present in both lucid dreaming and meditation.
One aspect of this book I’ve not seen in others is the citation of so many studies and research programs on lucid dreaming! The writing is liberally sprinkled again and again with stories of people using of lucid dreaming in many contexts I had never heard much about before. This includes the skater who used his lucidity to perfect his skating moves or people who used the lucid experience to focus on healing their bodies, which led to a corresponding change in their actual physical body.
I commend the authors for citing dozens of scientific studies and research projects on lucid dreaming as a basis for much of the material in this book. It’s great to see this in a book on dreams – and rare too, as most of the books on dreams are just…well, don’t get me started on that subject!
Yet it drives me crazy that they’re paradoxically and simultaneously guilty of referring to uncited sources throughout the book. I don’t see how you can get away with writing lines like “Two studies have found that people who have near death experience’s are more likely experience dream lucidity,” and then note cite the source or give any further informationon the study. I saw examples of this throughout the book, side by side with cited examples. What gives?
ULTIMATELY, this book is about more than lucid dreaming. It’s about taking in our experience of reality and trying to make sense of it. Lucid dreaming then becomes just one piece of a bigger puzzle the authors navigate through in trying to solve the biggest questions of them all.