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« Medication-induced Weight Gain | Main | Madness and Genius Revisited »

February 25, 2007


Bill Perry

This article is awesome. Kudos on finding the original. I think it gives me ideas for new directions on my own blog.

Lucid Dreaming indeed rocks.

I'm thinking of many applications for lucid dreaming as I type this.

More to write about.

Richard Petty

Dear Bill,

I'm just delighted that you found something that you needed.

I feel in my bones that for the right person at the right time, lucid dreaming can be a spectacularly useful tool.

I shall be interested to see what you come up with!

Kind regards,


Mary Lee LaBay, M.S.

Fascinating and thorough article. Thank you!

I always enjoy my lucid dreaming adventures. Some years ago I developed a method for leading subjects into a "waking" lucid dream through hypnosis. I call the method Reverse Metaphor. While it is carried out while in a trance state, rather during waking or sleeping states, the results can be similar in that the subconscious is allowed to communicate its messages to the conscious mind. So, too, the same method can be employed as the subject falls asleep, allowing them to have that conscious focus carried into the dreamtime.

The method seems to have similarity with the hypnogogic technique you outline above, yet with a few modifications.

The description of the journey into the cave is also similar in nature to hypnotic induction techniques (and other shamanic journey style visualizations) and create wonderful opportunities for metaphorical and dreamlike self-reflection through their interpretation. It is wonderful to see these techniques employed in this way.

I am excited to try out some of your techniques that are new to me.


Mary Lee LaBay

Good morning, Richard,

I am delighted with this post about lucid dreaming, and the fact that a medical doctor is taking such a positive approach to the validity and usefulness of this practice.

I thoroughly enjoy my own experiences with lucid dreams, and strive to experience more of them.

Last night I tried the suggestion in your article to go into the cave and down the stairs. It was a marvelous experience that did indeed lead to a lucid dream. When I found myself awakening a bit, I was able to remind myself that I had been dreaming and to go back into it. At that point, my closed eyes were given quite a vista of patterns that looked like geometric carvings on the cave walls. Continuing, I was able to re-enter the lucid dream state for a while longer. Thank you for the suggestions.

This visualization technique, of going into the cave, is very similar to trance induction techniques frequently used in hypnosis. I use a similar imagery that includes moving down a hallway and choosing a door. This leads to whatever experience has been proscribed at the beginning of the session.

Another technique that I have developed for use in hypnosis for nearly any application, is called Reverse Metaphor. In this way, the subject begins to make up a story. In a short while, perhaps less than a minute, the story is unfolding before them, rather than being created. This, too, can lead a subject into a lucid dream state if accomplished as they are falling asleep.

Thank you, again, for the inspiration to more actively pursue lucid dreaming!


I'm glad our PDF Library was useful, but due to your direct link to the LaBerge book we've had to remove it. Not because of you, but because it was indexed by google and the publisher became aware of it. I still have the PDF, and if anyone wishes to get a copy for personal research purposes, contact me at my email -- [email protected]

I dig the depth of your site and I'll probably be sticking around.


I found your website very interesting and open minded. I did not feel someone in the medical field would recognize the dream experiences you describe. I was diagnosed with MS around 1993 and started to have lucid dreams, dreams of my twinflame, images, and warning dreams. I wonder if changes to my brain may have made it so. I also find it interesting to read of carpal tunnel preceeding diabetes type II. My mother was diabetis (Juvenile diabetes). I'm having so much nerve pain and peripheral neuropathic pain in my wrists and now feet and there is a spinal lesion and much brain lesions and black holes. I wonder, does the brain cause the spinal lesions? It seems the brain is so powerful. A friend with Lupus sees a neuroaccupunturist, which I find to be an amazing form of accupuncture by her description of its concept.
I do see that no one ever gives me the glucose tolerance test for diabetes, and perhaps they should. Is this neuropathy from the spine or something else? It is so hard to come to an answer and doctors want to gloss over my wrist pain. My hands earn me a living ... now I'm filing for disability. Even now I'm hurting from typing all this. Thanks,Debbie

Richard Petty

Thank you all for your comments.

I totally endorse all the insights about the value of lucid dreaming: I am in no doubt that it is an incredibly useful skill to learn. Many years ago one of my teachers told me that if you could learn to lucid dream, it would enable you to control your experiences at and after death.

I am also grateful to have found out the source of the segment that I posted. It looked as if it was from a book, but I could not find the reference.

For people who are interested, I recommend everything that Stephen LaBerge has written about lucid dreaming, and I also very much like Stanley Krippner's "Extraordinary Dreams." I have had a lot of correspondence about this fascinating topic, and I shall put together a short list of books that I have found particularly useful.

The observation about starting to lucid dream after getting a physical illness is absolutely correct. I had my first lucid dream when I had a high fever and over the years I have met and worked with hundreds of people who have had the same experience.

It is one of the reasons for believing that the brain is not the creator of consciousness, but its container. Damage the container and more unusual experiences begin to spill out. Thankfully there are more benign ways of achieving the same thing.

Kind regards,


P.S. The question from Debbie about neuropathy: difficult to be sure without seeing you. It is always wise to be checked for disturbances in glucose and immune function, particularly if you have a family history. I am biased: I have been using acupuncture for 26 years and I have often found it to be helpful with problems that I could not help in any other way. I would discuss the options with you doctor.

I do with you well.


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