The Dangers Of Lucid Dreaming

Ryan Hurd recounts a strange tale of lucid dreaming and mass murder, at Reality Sandwich:

I got the weirdest phone call last week. The editor of Gawker, A.J. Daulerio, contacted me, requesting information on lucid dreaming.  (Lucid dreaming is knowing you’re dreaming while firmly in the dreamstate). He said he’s doing a new piece on lucid dreaming and Jared Loughner, who was sentenced yesterday with life in prison without parole for his deadly rampage in Tuscon, AZ in January 2011.

Turns out, Gawker had got a hold of some emails from Jared Loughner, and Daulerio has been going through them looking for new insights in the horrendous mass shooting that left six dead and wounded 14, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. It got weird when Daulerio asked, “So, you talked to Jared, right?”

“Nope, never spoke with him,” I replied.

“But you emailed with him, right?”

“No, never did. Uh…why?”

“Because we have an email from him to you.”

That’s when my nervous laughter began. Good to know that I laugh when I’m freaking out, it must be my Irish heritage.  “Um, do you have a reply from me?” I asked, cringing.

No reply, he says… but maybe I have it?

I have no recollection so I tell him I’ll get back to him. I got home and did a search for Loughner in my email database. Ping. With an increasingly icky feeling, I saw that not only had he emailed me, but I had responded…

[continues at Reality Sandwich]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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32 Comments on "The Dangers Of Lucid Dreaming"

  1. Tried melantonin to regulate my sleep cycle as mentioned in the article with no idea that it induces lucid dreaming. Dropped it because apparently, I’m one of the people it doesn’t work on. No lucid dreams, either.

    I might try building a set of DIY light-induction goggles (if you can handle a soldering pencil, google for plans) one of these days.

    Article cited shows the author regards the practice is safe with minor precautions referenced in the article. biggest danger of lucid dreaming is that it might reinforce pre-existing psychological problems.

    • try the RnA drops……….
      i’ve had fantasic results with them, since “lucid dreaming” is actually “focused nonphysical activity”. Some of the “chemical body” fixes (like melatonin) don’t work for nonphysical activities. They are usually just marketing ploys for underselling pharmaceutical products. You need something that actually stimulates the “astral body” or nonphysical part of you. Ayahuasca is pretty dangerous…i don’t recommend it……… A better word for “lucid dreaming” is parallel-worlding or portalling. Only the “little man” can’t handle the nonphysical worlds…….they should stay at home and watch TV and take their antidepressants! Maybe try reading a bit of Carlos Castaneda’s “The Art of Dreaming” to give you some ideas on how to navigate the nonphysical………

  2. antiamerikan | Nov 21, 2012 at 1:47 am |

    once while dreaming i flew acros the other side of the world and killed an american.. flew home and woke up again.

    i hate americans.. asleep or awake.

    • BuzzCoastin | Nov 21, 2012 at 4:34 am |

      no one hates amerikans more than amerikans
      their government proves it

    • Matt Staggs | Nov 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |

      You sound like a charming person of great nuance…asleep or awake.

    • I’m an american and I hate Americans, sometimes I wish it were easier to get into other countries so I could escape this cluster of stupidity.

      • Matt Staggs | Nov 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

        Do you hate Americans or America’s policies? I suspect that “stupidity” is a human thing, rather than an exclusively American thing. I’ve not done a ton of traveling, though, so I’ll defer to the experience of those who have done so. My suspicion, however, is that statements like these are similar to things like “All New Yorkers are rude” and “All Canadians are polite”: blanket statements that aren’t really true. It’s not that different from saying “Muslims are terrorists” or defining other countries as part of an “Axis of Evil.” There are a great many things that I despise about the American political system, but I’d never describe the people of my country (or anyone else’s) as stupid or evil. They’re human beings, for God’s sake, not orcs.

        @mannyfurious and I had a great chat the other day about the difference between “stupid people” and “stupid ideas.” This conversation reminds me of that. Interesting things to think about.

        • BuzzCoastin | Nov 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm |

          > I suspect that “stupidity” is a human thing, rather than an exclusively American thing.

          True but, American stupidity is particularly egregious
          because it kills, injures and displaces so many people
          in the name of Freedom & Security

          Are all American’s to blame for this?
          Should they be hated for their complicity?
          No more than they hate their various fictitious enemies.

  3. mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    I’ve had lucid dreams for as long as I can remember (not every night or even often, but probably several times/month). It’s always odd to me that people make a big deal out of it. I don’t think it’s great or terrible. Sometimes it’s fun and you can be the master of your own universe, sometimes you get stuck in a dream you really would rather wake up from and can’t. I don’t think it’s “mystical” or “healing” or all that exciting.

    • Have you heard of the reflecting ether? Astral planes? entity contact? telepathic communication ? Qaballistic pathworking? If not, then you may not believe it’s “mystical” because you don’t know what “mystical” is.

      • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

        Did I hurt your feelings? Yeah I actually have heard of those things–except for Qaballistic pathworking. So what’s your point?

        • Yeah, plebs hurt his feelings.

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

            Well, not all of us can be patricians like you, Ted. But, please, don’t judge us too harshly. It’s not our fault we’re just a bunch of frothing, unwashed neanderthals, lacking the keen mind and killer jawline of superior beings such as yourself and kokolan….

          • Matt Staggs | Nov 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

            All y’all behave or I’ll summon the Annunaki early and we won’t have anything to look forward to on 12/21. 😉

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

            That’s quite a plebeian, unsophisticated piece of snark, my friend….

          • Ha! You must have just looked up Pleb on Wikipedia! Too funny!

            My point is not that I consider myself a Roman Patrician, but that the attitude that “nothing is sacred nor mysterious” is really not all that sophisticated

          • Matt Staggs | Nov 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

            It’s easy to get wrapped up into semantic issues regarding terms like “sacred”, too.

          • I’ve been rereading some Nietzsche. (Beyond Good and Evil and Genealogy of Morals) Very interesting person. Very prescient too about modern people’s attitudes. He had some things to say about “Modern skeptics” He has a character study of them fleshed out in B, G, and E. That resembles the attitudes seen today in “internet skeptics” debunkers etc.

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

            Are you fucking kidding me? So because someone other than Ted Heistman knows the history of the term “pleb” and uses that knowledge to extend an analogy, that means that person must’ve looked it up on wikipedia?

            Fuck off.

            And I never said “nothing is sacred or mysterious.” If I did, you should really point it out to me, because I don’t remember typing it, and according to my disqus feed, I never did type it. In fact, I’ve been in numerous arguments on this very site because I’ve dared to say things like that the existence of Wal-Mart is no less sacred than the top of a big ass mountain. <—Not a sophisticated way of expressing that idea, I know. Good thing I don't go around the internet begging for recognition from people named Ted Heistman…

          • Why get that upset? You just hurt yourself. Maybe I felt it was arrogant to say that there is nothing mystical about lucid dreaming and that if anyone disagrees it could only be because you hurt their feelings (with your strong minded objectivity.)

            Anyway, I see that attitude as plebeian. This reductionistic materialist attitude. I guess it is snobby to call people plebs, though. So sorry if I hurt your feelings.

          • I guess I don’t get what is sacred about Walmart, unless your point is that the term “sacred” has no meaning and that you actually are basically saying that “nothing is sacred”

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm |

            Well, now, that’s not a very “sophisticated” idea, is it? That’s my only real problem with new-agers and all the others who believe the “answers” are “out there” somewhere in some new “astral plane” waiting to be discovered with the help of reptilian “entities” or “elves” or whatever other dumb-fuck idea you guys come up with. If you cannot see that the miracle of existence is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING WAL-MART WITH ALL THE PETTY, GREEDY LITTLE CRETINS WITH THEIR EMPTY EYES AND DROOLING NARCISSISM, then you’re a long way from being home,

            Anyhow, not that you’d understand at this point in your life, but Wal-Mart, though you may want to look down on it with your smug self-satisfaction and delusions of superiority, is a direct expression of the Universe. Each and every rotten little shopping center is a major fucking miracle that should not exist. Not because they’re miserable little places to be, but because the thought of every thing that had to go right in the universe in order for Wal-Mart’s existence to occur is mind-boggling to such a degree that it makes my brain want to annihilate itself. In short, it’s an expression of a “non-materialist” principle that is the basis for all existence and without which existence–in the Heidegger-ian sense (since you want to keep dropping names)– would not be possible. And it’s right there, under your fucking nose. Hell, it IS YOUR FUCKING NOSE and you can’t even see it because you’re too busy jacking off with thoughts of telepathy, or trying to find excuses all over the internet to drop the names of famous philosophers or other such nonsense.

          • Yeah,sound like a Taoist. Very sangfroid.

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm |

            I’m not a reductionist-materialist. But I also don’t believe in things just because I want to.

          • I don’t think lucid dreaming is something you “believe in” or don’t. So its interesting what it means to say that you find it mystical or not mystical.

            It seems to be a matter of taste. It doesn’t say anything about lucid dreaming, per se but may say something about you. Some people like to use “mysticism” as a pejorative meaning “bullshit” They also seem to see it as a synonym for “faith” which generally its not.

            So basically to see “mysticism” as a synonym for “faith” when its not being used as one reveals a misunderstanding.

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |

            How fucking dense are you? How can I say in one post that I’ve experienced lucid dreaming regularly for years and then say it’s something someone believes in or not?

            I’m saying “astral planes” and telepathy and “entity contact” are things people believe in or don’t. In my hundreds of experiences of lucid dreaming, I’ve never experienced a single one of these things.

          • Maybe this will interest you Chapter 6 entitled “We Scholars”

            I was thinking of “Pleb” in the context of how Nietzsche would use it. For example “debunking the Bible” would be something a rather plebby internet skeptic would be interested in. Whereas a more sophisticated atheist may look at the Bible in terms of its literary, cultural and historical influence.

            So the fact that lucid dreaming has an extensive history, in ancient cultures and also psychology among influential researchers like Jung etc. all the way to indy movies like “waking Life” means that its an important subject, even though you have declared that you do it all the time and that its no big deal.

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

            Dude, I have a pretty good idea about what you meant by pleb. It was a term you used to imply that I wasn’t sophisticated. I get it. I simply referred to you as a “patrician” because that is the simplest way I could think of of being condescending to you. I know you weren’t using “pleb” literally, as I am by no means a “lower” member of the roman society. I get that. I really do. But it’s a term that only survives to this day because it’s used as an analogy. “Plebs” of today are not members of Roman society, but they share similar attributes, such as lacking “sophistication.” See, it’s an analogy. It’s a comparison. That is why it’s still used. Now, perhaps I stretched the analogy too far by referring to you as a patrician. But I really didn’t think it was that complicated to understand why I would choose to do so.

            And, by the way, while I’m not a student of the “lucid dreaming” movement, I have read Jung, and if you lump in Jung with the contemporary lucid dreaming mystical movement, you have misread him.

          • You don’t seem to use the term “mystical” the way Jung would.

          • mannyfurious | Nov 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

            In general, there are two ways I personally use the word. One, I use it to reference new-agey bullshit. Two, I use it in reference to certain experiences or insights or perceptions that are in line with things described in Zen/Taoist literature, or by people like Meister Eckhart.

            Jung did seem to play fast and loose with the term, and I suppose depending on context, we both are using it in conjunction with his definitions, and we both aren’t doing so.

  4. Disappointing that this article is titled “The Dangers of Lucid Dreaming” when both the story itself and those referenced/linked off to from it clearly and repeatedly state that, far from being dangerous, lucid dreaming is both safe and beneficial…

    Did the story really need a misleadingly sensationalist headline to ensure anyone would read it?

  5. I don’t understand the connection of the title to the story. Any help here?

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