Is your lucid-dream self really yourself?

I’m fascinated with the idea of personal identity and if your self changes over time, whether we should care about ourselves in the future etc.

So the question is, ‘Is the person who you feel to be yourself in a lucid dream, the person that feels and has many of your attributes, really the same person that you are in reality?’

I guess I could ask the same question applying to non-lucid dreams but LDs are more closely linked to reality, more vivid and as you are meant to be in control of them and (most of us) actively strive to experience them, it would be more troubling to realise that the dream self and the real self aren’t identical.

I ask this because often in lucid dreams (and very often in normal dreams) I am not exactly the same as I am in real life. Physically I can be very different, but that is not very interesting, it is mentally that I mean. The things that I say I will do when I LD, I don’t actually do and I just ‘think’ differently. Partly, this will be because of the excitement/anxiety that you are realising the unreality of your surroundings but I feel it is more than this. Possibly, it is because parts of your brain that are active in waking life are not active in dreams, or perhaps they are over-active. This would have the effect that you have an altered mind in the dream.

Sorry for such a long post, what do you think?

Your LD self is your mind, in an ever changing body. No matter what happens to the body, the mind never changes. So in a way, your LD self is you.

I was wondering the exact same question, but in some dreams I actexactly like myself, remember things I want to do in an LD etc. I came to the conclusion that it really was me after that.

I think that in my dreams I’m the same person but like another version ,like a transformation of my personality .

Mm, I believe my dream self is me. One of my main reasons to want to LD is so I can be everything that I want to be but can’t IRL. Even in NDs I can sometimes end up as those forms or people that I want to be. I love dreams because then I can be a person I don’t get to be in my waking life, whether I’m conscious it’s a dream or not. So yes, those sides are still me, I believe, just a different part of me.

There are some big differences.

I do notice that I can’t remember or think as clearly in a LD as in WL, but that’s just like being very tired, drunk or have just woken up. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s stll me. I do notice that i have less bounderies in dreams,but also that’s just because you know nothing can harm you.

This depends largely on what you mean by “identity” and “your self”. I usually do not try to define myself. For one thing it is difficult, and also it is not much more than a way to set limits for yourself(It is literally what you are doing). I see myself as my consciousness, and that is what I am when I am dreaming, because if “I” wasn’t, I wouldn’t have any experience of it.

But if we are talking more about personality traits, and how they would be different when dreaming as opposed to when awake I am not sure. Is it not still you if you are in an altered state of consciousness? Is it not you, only feeling different and acting different? What’s to say a person cannot be different at different times and still be the same person?

But if I am different in a dream, and I am not myself, then whose self am I? Seeing as it is something happening in my brain, I say that the self that is present in the dream belongs to me. Since that personality is the one I have at that time it must be who I am, and so: I am, a self, that is mine. In other words, I am myself.

In normal dreams i can be alot different from the person i am in WL, and my personality can be totally changed. But i think that most people experience this, as the “logical” allways seems to fail, you(atleast I do) response different to situations in dreams v.s WL etc.? In LD I am more like my self like I am in WL just that i act very different because i know it is just a dream and i can do whatever i feel like without any unwanted consequences. But ofcourse it is me, it just depends on the circumstances.

Mm, but now that I think about this more, I think the question is not necessarily psychological. Is it your “body”, just without limitations? Your body is part of who you are, so is your dream body “you?” I myself would prefer to think of it as my dream body is whoever I want to be but can’t in WL, so no, I’m not the same in that respect, and I like that. I don’t know how much different that is though from what I’ve said before…

When I think of myself, I’m mainly focused on personality, the mind. The body changes throughout life, but the mind, besides maturing and growing, is usually about the same after awhile.

Thanks for all the responses.
Note that I’m not saying that our dream selves magically jump into someone else’s consciousness when we are dreaming. Obviously, it is our mind that dreams but I wondered why it seems to be quite changed in dreams, to the point where you might legitimately ask whether it is still ourself.
I think I am inclined to agree with the people that have said that the dream self seems like a transformation of our normal self.

I feel less inclined to try and LD recently because of this fact that in the dream, I seem very different. When I’m waking I want to LD to enjoy myself but then I am in the dream and it doesn’t seem exactly “myself” I am pleasing. This may just be because my lucid dreams haven’t been very clear but rather opaque. Hopefully this is the reason and I’ll keep on trying.

Sometimes in LD its like If I have multiple personalities in one body the first one is the original and the second one is a character in a movie or something .

I dont think that our whole brain works the same as it does when we are dreaming vs as it does when we are awake. When we are awake we have an explanation for everything. If we see an elephant in a city then we must be at a zoo. When we are dreaming if we see a pink elephant at the zoo that is flying, then we might think that the elephant got some magical paint all over himself that made him fly.

So I believe that we are not 100% our true self in our dreams. Maybe more like what our mind views our self as, or we are a certain “self” that is appropriate for what situation we are in.

Also what if a non-voilent person has a dream where he/she is a mass murder. Is that there true self?

Also I usually never can see my body in my dream, if you are reffering to your physical self, so I cannot comment on that.

Actually, whole dreamworld is you. Only your mind, your memories, your thoughts. So its you, no mather how similar it is to real world.

Then, maybe our LD selves are closer to “us” than our real-life selves.
Is you real-life self really yourself ?

Hm, from much thought whilst in LDs and observation of my dreams, it would appear that when you become lucid, you possess your dream body from your subconscious. As your subconscious is almost like a different person, an alter-ego. When in a normal dream, you do not really have full control of your dream body, as your mind is not in the lucid mindset, therefore your subconscious controls you. Meaning that in a ND you may not be yourself, but when lucid, you are. I can imagine your subconscious still has some influence on you whilst you are lucid, as you are stepping through its world after all.

This is such a reductionist way of looking at the question. Obviously the dream world is made from your mind and only your mind. However, that doesn’t entail that who you believe to be yourself in a dream is the same person you believe to be yourself IRL. Your ‘mind’ isn’t necessarily synonymous with ‘you’. ‘You’ is created from different parts of your brain/mind working together. As other posters have said, the power your subconscious has is greater in dreams.

This is an excellent point, and also quite a disturbing one as I don’t find myself to be as morally sound in (lucid) dreams as I am in waking life.

I am not talking about your brain, I’m talking about your mind. Brain is the physical part. I believe that the mind is a collective mass of thoughts and memories. And I believe there is nothing else. So your mind, for me, is you. Think of anything that is not a memory nor a thought. You probably won’t be able to do that. Which would lead to a conclusion that dreams are you. Because they are only your mind, your thoughts.