Lucid Dreaming is Stupid

Many people seem to have an interest in lucid dreaming. I see articles about the topic frequently on many personal development sites, as well as on general blogs. Personally I don't understand the fascination with the process.

How to have Lucid Dreams
The process of learning to have lucid dreams is basically this. Intend to have a vivid lucid dream, that you will realize is just a dream. Keep a dream log. Wake yourself up in the middle of the night and right down the contents of your dream to the degree that you remember them, Keep doing this night after night until you become more cognizant of your dreams and eventually begin to realize when you are dreaming.

Pardon me, but that just seems like too much work to have a fantasy. You see, there's this thing called an imagination. It's really cool. And it's totally simple to use. All you do is take a few minutes and begin to imagine something happening. As you do this, you focus in on what you are fantasizing. The more you focus, the more you see the images clearly, hear the sounds vividly, and even feel the sensations. Your brain and body don't really know the difference between something that is vividly imagined, and something that happens for real.

On the other hand, Lucid dreaming requires you to go to sleep. Then you need to dream, and realize it. Then you need to begin to take control of the dream, and hope that you don't wake up in the middle even though in all the time leading up to the dream you have programmed yourself to wake up every time you dream, so it's unlikely that you will actually succeed.

It all seems a bit stressful to me. I like to go to sleep and have a deep, restful restorative sleep and wake up rejuvenated, re-energized and ready to take on the day. In fact, that is the intention I offer when I go to sleep at night. The last thing I need is to turn sleep into work by making myself need to accomplish some task in the middle of it.

It's not bad enough that everyone structures their lives to say, "I just need to get more things done. If only I could get more done, then I wold really be able to be happy." Now you have to add to it by piling on a list of things to get done during your sleep rather than just letting go at night so the body can recharge, you have to give it more things it is supposed to accomplish.

Then you go and say: "There's not enough time. I never have enough time for myself. If only I could get more done, then I would have some time for myself." So you look at these stupid tips for getting things done until your dead. That way, you can get through your email more efficiently and pile another dozen items on your to do list just to make sure you stay frazzled about not having enough time.

Instead of trying to get more done in less time, it would make more sense to realize that worrying is a task, and it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy too. If you would work on ways to cut out the time you are wasting worrying about things, that would free up plenty of time right there to take 20 minutes and daydream.

Daydreaming is great. It's where ideas come from, and ideas solve problems without taking all that time and energy going:

Well, should I do this, or start with that. I might start with this thing, but that could be the wrong thing, and I only have 769 items on my to do list, and if I pick the wrong one, then I will only have 768 items left when I should have done something else instead, so I thing I should sit here worrying about which thing I should do first so that I can make sure that I pick the right item off the list and don't do the wrong one instead, and now another email came in and I need to do three more things so now I have 772 items to do and there's no time to do it so I REALLY had better pick the right thing to work on or I simply won't have enough time left to do anything for myself. Oh, look. 773 items on the to do list and now I have even less time to get them done, I will never get it all done. I'm fucked.

If you would take a few minutes to daydream, you would KNOW what to do, and what doesn't even need to be done at all. You will find out what can be ignored, what needs to be done first, and what can be outsourced to someone else. And you won't have an ever increasing to do list. And you won't add to it with stupid ideas like Do shit while I sleep because my life just isn't stressful enough.

If that's how you really want to live, go ahead. It's your funeral. I really don't care, but do me a favor and when you're one foot in the grave, just finish the job. Don't go an get heart surgery and take all these medicines to lower your blood pressure, because you've done such a bang up job of killing yourself so far. Why stop now?

Or you could realize that life isn't about feeling stretched too thin, and your actually supposed to be enjoying the adventure of learning, and experiencing. Then you can begin to undo the harm that you've been doing to yourself all this time. Then you won't need the heart surgery.

Lucid dreaming is just another stupid idea in the self help pop culture. You don't usually consciously control you're unconscious processes. And that's what dreaming is. You go to sleep and dreams work out your issues that you need to work through, and offer solutions to problems you need to solve. Unconsciously, you know what needs to be worked out, and how to do it. Consciously, you may think that you would like to do something, but that may not be what you really need.

Daydreaming, on the other hand, is something that you do when you sit down and say, I am going to imagine what it would feel like if this were to happen, and then you do it, and you do get to consciously control it if you want to. You also don't have to not wake up or it's ruined, because you can just pick up where you left off. That's not so easy with lucid dreaming.

Because it's stupid.


  1. I have to say that I agree with this wholeheartedly. As you may or may not know, I've been reading Steve Pavlina's blog since 2005 and while I admire the way he lives his life, it simply is not for me. I have had a few lucid dreams, but they were hardly worth the effort, because they only lasted less than a minute each. But I did keep a dream log for around 2.5 years and it was pretty cool writing my dreams down and trying to figure out where they came from. But now I just don't feel like it is worth my time or effort. It was a novelty, and nobody else cared about it, because who cares about other people's dreams? I'm sorry to see this blog went dormant. Did you run out of things to bash on PD websites, or did you just get lazy? I like your "voice" and think you have something unique, or at least funny, to contribute. I've been keeping a blog for around 5 years now and although it doesn't get much traffic, I truly enjoy it. So...why not come on back and entertain us some more?

  2. Oh my god. You are SO wrong! xD
    As a lucid dreamer of more than 8 months... this is extremely dumb.
    First of all, in daydreaming... gosh. Lucid dreaming is so much more vivid. Sorry you can't sit down at night and close your eyes then, y'know, SLEEP. And perhaps you'll lucid dream. If you wanna have a lucid dream, go use the frickin' WILD technique.
    I'd go on, but... yeah.