By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., (Ballantine, 1986; ISBN 0-345-33355-1)
This is the seminal work that first brought lucid dreaming to the attention of the general public and legitimized it as a valuable field of scientific inquiry. It is still the best general reference on lucid dreaming and a pleasure to read. The phenomenon of lucid dreaming is explored from many angles, beginning with the history of the practice in human cultures. LaBerge describes the early days of the scientific research and tells the story of his successful challenge of the established school of thought in sleep research, which held that awareness while dreaming was impossible. He discusses many methods of lucid dream induction, including the way he taught himself to have several lucid dreams per night. Other topics covered include: contemporary theories of the function of dreaming "Dreaming, Function, and Meaning", applications of lucid dreaming, the relationship of lucid dreaming to out-of-body and near-death experiences, and the possibility of using lucid dreaming as a gateway or stepping stone on the path to spiritual enlightenment.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of lucidity can vary greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you are aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring in your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are asleep in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity, you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming, perhaps enough to fly or alter what you are doing, but not enough to realize that the people are dream representations, or that you can suffer no physical damage, or that you are actually in bed.