Lucid Living Topic - part II

This is Part II of the BIG “Lucid Living Topic”
Part I

One of the outcomes of my posting on dreaming boards has been defining and describing the state of awareness that I experience in Lucid Dreams. After doing it several times I got a good feel of what lucidity was for me, and I began trying to re-create that feeling as much as possible in my waking life. And I coined the term Lucid Living. This topic already has two threads devoted to it and pasQuale was kind enough to make part II a sticky again.

I am personally convinced that defining and describing lucidity along with the practice of Lucid Living is invaluable both for dreaming and daily living. I have demonstrated it for myself and have had some positive feedback from others on this board.

In the past 6 months I took up the study of Quantum Physics; strictly as an amateur and involving no math. That study lead me to many an interesting place, including a new look at Lucid Living.

In the book “The Self-Aware Universe” by Amit Goswami he made reference to a psychology experiment that shed some light on the idea of unconscious perception. Excluding (for the moment) perception thru the 5 senses, the experiment tested human conscious activity regarding ‘thought’ ‘feeling’ and ‘choice’. Using subliminal images (pictures flashed too fast to see) they test to see if “unconscious perception” had any effect on these three aspects of consciousness.

It was found that the subliminal images had an effect on both thoughts and feelings. In other word the “unconscious perception” produced thoughts and feelings that couldn’t be explained by the people being tested. But in the case of choice there was no effect.

I think that these results show that the vast majority of our behavior is stimulus/response, like Pavolovian dogs. I think the unconscious/sub-conscious etc. is nothing more that a memory bank of our past experiences that get re-activated when our perception of the environment approximates something stored there. If you are allergic to cats and you see a cat, you sneeze, even if the cat is across the street. You might even sneeze at the picture of a cat. There is of course a great deal of subtlety and complexity to this idea, but I think if you take a close look at all the thoughts and feelings you have during the day you will find that there aren’t too many that you actually choose to have. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and deciding: “Today I’m going to sneeze at cats, get angry at my boss, feel embarrassed talking to the waitress, and depressed when I open the mail.” Yet this is the kind of day most of us have. We don’t choose our thoughts and feelings, they ‘just happen’.

Now for the good part; using our power of choice, our free will. I believe this is the only time we are truly alive, and truly in control of our lives. And this is what Lucid Living is all about. It’s living in the moment, and creating your life experience by choosing, rather than going unconscious and letting routines dictate your experience. I know that when I am Lucid Dreaming I must constantly work at staying in the moment, maintaining a level of awareness that could almost be defined as “free will”.

I was reading in Lucid Dreaming: Chapter 5 - The Experience of Lucid Dreaming, specificaly the authors comment; “Normally, awareness focuses on objects outside ourselves, but sometimes it turns in on itself. If you focus your attention on who is focusing your attention, it is like standing in front of a mirror face to face with your own reflection. This inner state of self-reflection is called consciousness. I am warning innocent readers that I intend to use this word exclusively to mean reflective awareness, as just described.”

Upon reflection of the above, I thought to myself, hey, maybe I should actively pursue more of a “conscious” life on a moment by moment basis…maybe this will help me to dream lucidly more.

And then here is your great post on just that! I’ll have to read parts one and two and check out the “Lucid Living” concept. Love the name.


Dust mode, there is actually already a discussion going on on the topic of free will in the lucid lounge, i think you should read that if you havent done so yet.
And as to your conclusion that the life we live much of the time is mostly a kind of pavlov’s reaction, this is very true in my opinion. This doesnt nececarrily have to mean it is stupid behavior though. I mean, if we are hungry, why not eat :smile:
The only way to break free of your pavlovian nature is to break with all your standard reactions nature and culture have learned to you, which isnt easy and in many cases undesirable and inpossible. But i think Lucid Living and a higher awareness of your conciousness can help you to break out of some of the matrixes in your head.

hey Dust Mote have your ever read Merleau-Ponty’s work or did some ‘Mindfulness meditation’?

I have looked around for a good definition of LL but I can’t find one that explains it properly. I kind of understand the basics (IMHO), being aware of your environment and living with full choice over your feelings (is this right :shrug: ?) Can anyone point me to a thread that explains it all nicely??

Also, I fell that I am often fairly aware of what is happening around me… I am always staring out of the window to see whats happening, looking at stuff around me (and taking these things in without ignoring them). Is this a first step to LL?

Thanks a lot,

do you mean looking at the scenery outside or observing your own behavior (internal and external)? The former is not lw. Just ask your self ‘WHY am i diong this’ with every thought or movement, and if you find an answer ask why again and again :roll:. This way you can discover a lot of the meta structure of your own behavior.

Hmmm, so it is questioning everything you do to see the fundemetal reasons behind why we do things. I think I get it now (ish :happy: )

And yes, not only do I just look at things, I note how I feel wheen I see something or someone doing something. I look outside now and see the sun shining through the clouds and notice how it makes me feel (like there is some new revelation in me, trying to break through the clouds of my own ignorance (hey, where did that come from??!)) I also notice the greenery outside the window, for some reason I find green a very relaxing colour… I am aware of both myself and the external world, so I suppose I do understand something of what you mean.

Having not yet had a LD I don’t have anything to compare this to, hopefully soon I will get the idea. LL seems like a very interesting concept to me. I’ll go away and think about these things carefully.

Sam :smile:

I dont’t think ‘Lucid Living’ has a fixed definition at the moment.

Yeah, I noticed :content:

Yes, I don´t think we all mean the same when saying LL, but similiar things (it´s allways about an increase in awareness while waking).

When I say LL, I mean that I try to feel how unreal waking world can be.Basically it is just changing my perception.When I do so, things really look different in a way, like when you are high on nicotione or something


Subjectivity is relativity, there is an infinite number of ways to interpret the world. If LL is increasing awareness then awareness of what? I think the structure of your subjective world compared to the objective world (if there is such a thing).

I´d say LL is increasing the awareness of all perceptions that “come in”.

Usually, you have those filter that keep all the “useless” information out of your counciousness.The information that comes through those filters gets compared to and adjusted to memories of similiar things.

So, LL means (imho!) that you try to “deactivate” the filters and associations.You pay attention to all perceptions coming in, without simply adjusting them to your memories.
This way you notice many things you haven´t seen before, and everything get´s some alien feeling to it, since it isn´t matched with the things you already know.

Ok, that´d be my theory to explain LL at the moments, feel free to add something, change it or develop one of your own :wink:


Something to back this up a little, or give an example:

I wear glasses all day.I usually don´t see them, sometimes I don´t even know wether I wear them at the moment or not.I am just so used to it that it´s always “blacked out” from my filters.
When I do LL, I see the glasses in front of my eyes all the time

Lucid living… to me, is acutally controlling those emotional feelings in the waking world. If you can controll your emotions over something, then you are definately aware of your emotions over that certain thing, and therefore more self aware.

LL is about being able to fully controll yourself and the experiences you have in the waking world, just as LD is fully controling yourself and the experiences you have in the dream world.

You can control the experiences that you have about certain things, by controling (changeing) your thought about it. For example, if you say “today i will not get angry at my boss even though he is an asshole, i will continue to be happy no matter what the fuk he does”…
so what im tryin to say is… you dont HAVE to be angry, you can feel whatever emotion you want. But you have to be self aware in order to do this…
so then… could another word for Lucid Livng be Self Awareness :eh: ??¿¿?¿

SpiritualMaster, I know what you are talking about.I also try to do this, although I find it pretty difficult sometimes (but I am getting better).
I agree, the word LL seems to fit, kinda.
I just never used it in that context myself, so we probably should talk about what the relatively new term LL should mean.

How about you others, in which way do you use LL now, and how would you like to define it for further use?


Sorry I’m late. I took a small vacation. I’m very pleased to see what has happened with this thread.

First, the definition of Lucid Living. I put one up about a year ago and I have recently been thinking about rewording it (all of this board’s definitions are on the “Lucidity Intro” forum). The concept is: whatever feeling you get when you are Lucid Dreaming should be recreated in waking life. (It may be that the feeling is so varied from one person to the next that a precise definition isn’t possible.)

In trying to define and understand lucidity I’ve found it very valuable to try and understand exactly what it is that I am doing in an LD. And for me it seems to always come down to a unique control of my awareness/attention/consciousness/perception. The more I understand it the more exactly I can duplicate it in waking life. For me it isn’t anything vague. I know exactly how it feels and I know how closely I am duplicating it.

Xetrov: As far as “free will” goes, I am going to assume that it exists. Some people who haven’t had a Lucid Dream don’t believe LDs exist. I’ve used my free will so I know it exists (I really like that psychology experiment I talked about in my opening post that suggest the power of choice is different from our thoughts and feelings).

Æzen: No, not read the book, but will check it out. I like the title.

foolish: Since you haven’t had an LD yet you’ll just have to work with the descriptions that everyone else gives. One of them will give you that “ah Ha”. (you will find mine in Part I of this topic).


Exactly, when you are controlling your emotions you are deciding what to feel or not feel. That is power of choice, free will. I am finding more and more that most of the thoughts and feelings I have are pretty useless. As I’m worrying about how much money I have in the bank I find myself asking: “Do I really need to be thinking about this?” (ps. I really like your user name!)

For me a very critical component of lucidity is maintaining a level of self-awareness, and by that I literally mean that I am aware of myself as I am doing whatever. One of the exercises that I like to do is look in a mirror (that’s me, looking at me, looking at me). I get a strong sense of pure “self” when I do that, I’m aware of myself but without thoughts or feelings. In my recent LL practice I’ve found that this sense of self is more important than I had first thought. Originally, as a rough estimation, I felt about 10% of my awareness was focused on myself with the remainder focused on the environment. It seems more like a 50/50 split now (but that may be because I haven’t been working at it for a while).

Another factor that may come into play is “levels”. There is a general consensus that there are different levels of lucidity in dreaming and this should also be true for LL. It may be that as different levels are experienced the components and the definition may change. Something to think about.

Nice defintion DustMote, it covers quite a lot different “styles” of doning LL.I think I´ll use it in the future :smile:


To me, Lucid Living (I sure like that term :happy: ), is the process of knowing that you are in a dream, RIGHT NOW and at every moment. To me, an LD is a dream within the dream. Being aware that all that you see and feel and say and do is one giant dream in waking life, would sure do well to make you aware in a “sleeping” dream.

So I say feed your imagination and so-called, “waking” consciousness with that possibility. Who knows, if enough of us do it, we might just all wake ourselves up. :peek:

I agree, there are different alteratons in our sense in a dream as opposed to waking life.

Especially after having at least 1LD, one person can differentiate the dream from the waking life, and then compares those as a way for a quick reality check.

Are you aware of the fact that lucid living is pretty much the same thing as “Enlightenment” ? :eek:
Lucid dreams, dream yoga and sleep yoga are used in some tibetan traditions to progress towards enlightenment (Tenzin Wangyal : THE TIBETAN YOGAS OF DREAM AND SLEEP )

Lucid living is alot like mindfullness meditation, used by many people. Good idea to use it for lucid dreaming, it can only help