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Lucid dreaming, witnessing dreaming. and the Transcendental Meditation technique: a developmental relationship

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lucid dreams, lucidity, unbounded awareness, self-referral witnessing, Transcendental Meditation, psychological development, dreamer type, fluid intelligence, dream experience, absorption in imagery

Abstract (summary)

The recent growth of interest in dream lucidity, reflected in descriptive and experimental research, has led to a consideration of the theoretical and practical significance this type of dream experience might have. Whereas some researchers have suggested that lucidity offers an important phenomenological tool for the investigation of dreaming processes (LaBerge, 1985), others have emphasized the similarities between lucidity and certain types of meditative states and have suggested that they may promote psychological development in related ways (e.g., Hunt, 1985; Hunt & Ogilvie, in press).Alexander, Boyer and Orme-Johnson (1985) have recently postulated a theoretical model placing dream lucidity as a bridge between formal operations and "post-conceptual or post-language" development. They argue that the Maharishi Technology of the Unified field manifested by the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) promotes development of consciousness beyond symbolic thought. Specifically, they say, "We speculate that lucidity as typically experienced may reflect the further developmental de-embedding and generalization of higher order self-reflective thought such that it can function in some form during the dream state. It is our impression that many if not most lucid dreams may result from activation of such functions of the intellect and ego .Nevertheless, some lucid experiences which have been reported may be of the purely self-referral witnessing type described by Vedic psychology (p. 82)".Dream witnessing is similar to dream lucidity in that there is awareness of dreaming while dreaming. However, there seems also to be clear conceptual differences in that witnessing the dream also involves an "unbounded awareness," which is quiet, peaceful and nonparticipative.

Publication Information

Gackenbach, J.I., Cranson, R. & Alexander, C. (1986). Lucid dreaming, witnessing dreaming. and the Transcendental Meditation technique: A developmental relationship. Lucidity Letter, 5(2), 34-40.



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