Adapted from Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics (Park Street Press), by David. J. Brown
There are levels of lucidity within the dream state, from what has been described as “pre-lucidity” to “super-lucidity.” In the early stages of lucidity development, one simply suspects that one might be dreaming during the dream, while in the more developed stages, one can become just as aware during the dreaming state as he or she is during the waking state. Sometimes people can become even more aware in their lucid dreams than they are during ordinary waking consciousness, and have life-transforming mystical experiences as a result.
During a low-awareness lucid dream, one may be in only partial control of one’s cognitive skills, and sometimes in this state one can make erroneous judgments that seem to be obvious errors upon awakening. One may also initially have poor impulse control: In many of my early lucid dreams, I immediately rushed off to try and fulfill impulsive desires. It took a fair amount of lucid-dream experience before I was able to progress beyond mere attempts to satisfy my most basic unfulfilled desires, as I often found myself simply doing these things without really thinking. With practice, though, I was able to tame these wild impulses and advance into deeper levels of possibility with lucid dreaming, which became part of a deeper, personal psychological healing.