One of the Best Books On Lucid Dreaming… (that you’ve probably never heard of)

12 Nov

Control Your DreamControl Your Dreams takes in a much wider scope than, say, the wonderful books on lucid dreaming written by Stephen LaBerge.

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. Dreaming Buddha

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.

Buy the Control Your Dreams book from

9 Responses to “One of the Best Books On Lucid Dreaming… (that you’ve probably never heard of)”

  1. The Mad Hatter November 14, 2007 at 5:09 am #

    You got me, I’ve never heard of it. It sounds like it might be an interesting read, I’m always looking for more explanations for the unexplainable.

    Not to be too self promoting, but if you were still wondering about those articles on supplements, the introduction and the first one are now up.


  2. Ryan November 19, 2007 at 12:05 am #

    i second that this is a great lucid dreaming classic. word on the street is that Jayne was upset when her editor decided to title the book “control your dreams” because that is definitely not her primary message!

    Jayne also has ALL of the defunct journal “Lucidity Letters” on her website ( which are indispensable primary source material for lucid dreaming research.

    and thanks for the shout-out recently!

  3. Ben November 19, 2007 at 12:27 am #

    Damn, that doesn’t surprise me because the title really does sound like something from the marketing department. It really does not do her book justice, but it probably does capture more attention than a more aptly titled bok would.

    BTW thanks for stopping by Ryan, hope to see you around these parts again!

  4. Ryan November 19, 2007 at 12:35 am #

    oops – just noticed that you already mentioned jayne’s site in the same post as you mentioned mine. well, those resources are worth another mention… i think it’s humbling how much work was done on lucid dreaming in the 1980s, and what a shame that scholarly interest just fell out once the LL was disbanded in 1991. pretty much only Laberge and Gackenbach survived the academic fallout. it comparable to how LSD was rejected once it became too popular. “this can’t be effective – the masses like it!”

    the masses are onto something.

  5. Ben November 19, 2007 at 12:43 am #

    It’s almost shocking to me see just how much research WAS going on. It wasn’t until I actually read Gackenbach’s Control Your Dreams that I was aware of this. What a shame that it ended – and I don’t understand why. You’d think public interest would spur funding right?

    Ironically, I get the feeling lucid dreaming is more popular than ever, and it’s due not to scientific research but the internet. Trust me, I don’t say that to dis the research because I would LOVE to see more of that happen, absolutely!! But it’s great to see people being able to carry on the discussion via blogs and forums on the net with or without the support of a professional structure behind the scenes.

  6. Ryan November 19, 2007 at 12:59 am #

    i totally agree with you – as many indigenous elders are declaring: “the time for secrets is over.”

    and “research” really is moving out of the traditional forums, as more and more people realize that our fractured knowledge systems are no longer enough. those powers that formalize, legitimize and regulate “what is knowledge” are breaking down. blogging – with its tendency towards the democracy of information – is a part of this trend. i sincerely believe that blogging is radical. and blogging about consciousness, cognitive freedom, and mysticism: it doesn’t get more radical than that.

  7. Bill Perry November 23, 2007 at 7:13 am #

    I got a copy of this book a long time ago, and I have to say the part that sticks out most in MY mind is the page where the one lady talked about her dream involving the “Big Blue Penis” or something like that.

    I really did like how this book focused a lot on the stuff of using Transcendental Meditation and other spiritual practices from within the dreams to deepen the experiences.

  8. alex May 27, 2008 at 4:18 am #

    This looks like an interesting book. I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks for posting this.

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