Dream Theories: Lucid Dreaming Techniques Behind the Legacy

What do you dream? How much do you know about what you know, when you’re dreaming? And if you know…does that mean you’re still really dreaming?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t, on a regular basis, conscious on some level when I was dreaming. Maybe it’s because all my life my imagination has crossed easily from the not-quite-there into my reality and back again. Maybe it’s that sometimes my dreams seemed more real than my awake–like my novels do when I’m heavy into plotting and drafting and revising them. Maybe it’s just that when I was little and began learning how to see the world, I was too young to know that seeing that way wasn’t normal. That everyone doesn’t so enthusiastically embrace the same escape from the here and now.

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I’ve always remembered flashes of dreams, some more than others. And the ones I could remember, I’ve at times found myself slipping back into again and again.

Cool?

Odd?

Either way, that’s not really lucid dreaming. That’s not bringing conscious intention into a dream, the way my psychics do in the first two books of my Legacy Series.

It’s nowhere near the techniques dream scientists like the Stephen LaBerge, Ph. D. have developed (using relaxation and autosuggestion and hypnosis) to target the mind to be aware and focused on predetermined concepts, and then to empower the mind to remember what has been dreamed. If you’re truly intent on knowing more about your dream world and interacting more with that reflection of your waking life, I highly recommend checking out his book,  Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.

Of course I took creative license with the science behind the world building I did for Secret Legacy and Dark Legacy, creating their Psychic Realm. I had to, to solve some of the trickier challenges I faced with the dream modeling my characters do (targeting and projecting dreams). Otherwise, I’d have had to get too technical explaining the science everything was based on.

But I was able to work in some of the really cool stuff I learned along the way as I researched lucid dream science.

Things like:

Choosing that the projected dreams would begin as DILD (Dream Induced Lucid Dreams). And then as the Center’s fictitious Dream Weaver program progressed the dream “host” whose mind was being targeted would be programmed to perform behavior in a daydream state–a variation of WILD (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams) that I took creative license with. Both terms, WILD and DILD, are based in scientific reality, then I let my imagination take a stroll while not getting too technical within the boundaries of my fictional world–though setting up the basics in Dark Legacy without losing the reader was definitely a challenge.

Playing with the basic principles of muscular paralysis, sensory stimuli blockage and activation of the key areas of the brain while dreaming in REM state: the fact that you shouldn’t be able to move while dreaming that you’re falling or whatever; that what’s happening around you when you sleep shouldn’t be breaking through to a conscious state; and that you should break free of the dreaming world’s model once you leave REM state. But, of course we all know people who sleep walk, we’ve probably all had something from our environment bleed through into a dream, and who hasn’t jerked himself from a dream a time or two, limbs flailing, or woken suddenly and been unable to move for a few terrifying seconds (something known as sleep paralysis, where your mind is on the verge of REM sleep and ripped away)? I had fun with all of these, doing my own thing with real scientific concepts.

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Working with the brain’s body model–which became a key part of Maddie Temple’s discovery in Dark Legacy that she could use her empathic abilities to heal. She, I discovered one day while plotting, could assimilate another person’s body image into her own lucid dream state and in that altered reality direct the host body to heal itself. That all started with lucid dream research.

Manipulating the guidelines about how damage done to the body in a dream doesn’t correlate to real-world injury, though psychological impact can be experienced from the shock and fear of a particularly horrible dream. Then, of course, as soon as I set this principle up as a guideline for my Psychic Realm I went about planning how to blow that constant out of the water once Sarah Temple and the secret child she’s hunting in Secret Legacy reach the height of their psychic power and mania.

There’s so much more, behind the “real” science that feeds my make believe. There always has been, since I was that little girl who craved both fantasy and complex reality. Both dreams and cold-hard science. My logical mind and creativity crave both as I write.

And so far, the Legacy series has been my most exciting adventure yet!

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