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No. 18: Nov-Dec 1981

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Dreams More Real Than Reality

Those people who experience so-called lucid dreams say that they are not only vivid in all human senses but completely under the control of the dreamer. Specifically, individuals can be commanded to appear and the action controlled to please the dreamer. As Keith Hearne, a dream researcher, remarks with tongue-in-cheek, the entertainment possibilities are endless if lucid dreaming could be induced in everyone!

Lucid dreams are so real that the dreamer will sometimes believe that he has awakened and answered questions from the researcher, when nothing like that has happened. Lucid dreaming occurs only during periods of REM (Rapid Eye Movements) sleep. The lucid dream-er, however, can signal the dream researcher that lucid dreaming has begun with agreed-upon eye movements and changes in the rate of breathing.

(Hearne, Keith; "Control Your Own Dreams," New Scientist, 91:783, 1981.)

Comment. The fact of lucid dreaming encourages many questions. How is it related to out-of-the-body experiences and hallucinations? Pertinent once more is that old philosophical teaser: How do we know that reality is not a dream from which we shall soon awaken? It turns out that lucid dreamers have to devise special tests to ascertain whether they are dreaming or awake!

From Science Frontiers #18, NOV-DEC 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987