Levels Of Lucidity
People typically say that they're lucid dreaming when they are consciously aware of and/or consciously controlling the dream. By observing closely, we find that there are many levels of lucidity.
Lucidity is found in layers. These layers of lucidity can dictate:
- How long your dream lasts
- How much control over the dream you have
- How strongly you perceive events
- How clearly you can think/remember
Below are some general classifications of the different levels or layers of lucidity.
Level 0: Non-Lucid
This is your typical dream. The dreamer is absolutely unaware that this is a dream and for some reason believes everything in the dream is real, such as a flying spaghetti monster.
The dream could be fuzzy, illogical, or highly vivid and engaging. Either way you are not aware of the dream and are not lucid. Novice lucid dreamers at this level often experience having dreams about lucid dreaming without actually becoming lucid.
Level 1: Semi-Lucid
Novice lucid dreamers also commonly experience semi-lucid dreams These are the lowest level of lucid dreams, which are typically the result of Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILD). So you could be dreaming of talking to some multidimensional being name Shleemypants on a distant planet, recognize the incongruity, and suddenly realize that you're dreaming.
A common occurrence at this level of lucidity is becoming lucid and immediately waking up, not comprehending the full implications of what this dream is. For example, realizing you're dreaming but at the same time not realizing that dream characters aren't real, or you may actually be trying to tell other characters that you're dreaming.
For many, during a first time experiencing a completely new reality, unlike your waking life, it can be hard to think or focus clearly. You may think to yourself, "Forget Shleemypants!" and decide to fly away, but quickly find that nothing happens. Shleempypants laughs at you, and you're not able to go anywhere.
The reason you're not able to control your dream environment is because you are only half-aware. You may not have done a reality check, stabilized your dream, and are not in the pattern of mind to be highly self-aware. Something you would also have to do is gain more dream control.
So, you could be roaming around the dream, semi aware that you are dreaming, but be so captivated by the realistic and spontaneous nature of the dream that you are overpowered by it and are unable to become fully lucid.
The sliver of awareness you have is so thin that if something else were to grab your attention at this moment you could completely forget that you were dreaming and become lost in the dreamscape. The solution for this is to increase awareness right as you become lucid and to continue to do reality checks throughout dream to maintain it.
As you heighten your awareness you will become more observant and in control of the dream world. Your conscious mind will begin to take shape of and influence the dream. Then you could tell Shleemypants to leave you alone and fly away.
Level 2: Fully Lucid
Full lucidity occurs when you become lucid and realize the full potential of the dream. You are thinking as clearly and have as much awareness as you would in waking life. Even though you are fully aware, there may not be complete dream control.
A fully lucid dream also means having absolutely no doubt consciously or subconsciously that you are dreaming. You understand that literally everything you perceive is a manifestation of yourself and your own mind, and that you can manipulate anything at will.
Lucid dreaming isn't just about dream control though. The benefit of being fully lucid is that you can exist in an alternate reality in which you can experience things in a much richer context.
Level 3: Absolute Lucidity
In this state you have absolute control of the dream world. Every detail is at your command. Your awareness expands beyond the dream state into deep sleep and your waking state as well. Absolute lucidity is common when entering a lucid dream through the Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD) technique. Or going from the waking state directly into the dream state.
Tibetan Buddhist, through Tibetan Dream Yoga are documented as being the first to describe accomplished wake induced lucid dreams through meditation. Their goal is to become so aware that one doesn't lose awareness in waking, sleeping, or dreaming states of consciousness.
The ultimate goal in Tibetan dream yoga is to attain absolute lucidity and then dissolve the dream state.
This doesn't mean waking up though. The goal is to move beyond all sensory stimulation and sensation. To be fully aware and conscious without any physical or conceptual dream sensory data, so that one can enter and experience pure awareness or consciousness.
This is a great goal for every lucid dreamer to achieve, so that on all levels you can continue Livin' Lucid Dreams... ;)