Dreams are pure creative energy. The visions experienced in dreams are multi-sensory, three-dimensional, and emotionally charged. They can change as fast as thought, and in response to thought.
In lucid dreams, we wake up inside this hyper-realistic, naturally creative environment. Imagine swooping down a ski-slope at breakneck speed, knowing you can’t hurt yourself as this is a dream, and then bringing this experience to life on the page of your novel-in-progress. Or sitting in a dream bar with one of your screen idols and getting acting tips and advice from them. Or becoming lucid and asking the dream for help with your business plan, exam question or scientific invention. The deep creativity of dreams, combined with lucidity and after-the-dream techniques such as Lucid Writing, can lead to new ideas, astonishing leaps in understanding, and problem-solving.
“The act of lucid dreaming takes you to another space, another reality, where there is freedom to create what you want – and in a dream state it is much easier to accomplish than when facing a keyboard and screen.”
– Marlene King, interview excerpt in ‘The Role of Lucid Dreaming in the Creative Writing Process,’ by Clare Johnson
Freedom unlocks creativity, and so does the delicate balance of conscious and unconscious in lucid dreaming. Lucid dreamers can tap into the teeming creativity of the unconscious and guide this creative source to help them in specific ways: a sculptor might ask the dream to take them to a garden filled with original sculpture; a surgeon might practice operations in lucid dreams, while a fiction writer could choose to invent a story:
“In a building I become lucid and remember that I want to explore plot development… It might be fun to invent a fairy tale in which I’m a princess. As soon as the thought is formed, the scene morphs and I am flying through the skies in a long dragging silk dress; an airborne princess. I realise that I am not only producing and directing this play, but also starring in it, even though I have no idea of how it’s going to develop. This must be what they call ‘improvised theatre’, I think…”
Recent research has shown that physical skills can be improved by practising them in a lucid dream. Athletes can practise anything from swim strokes and kickboxing moves to snowboarding in lucid dreams and see an improvement in their actual physical skills when they wake up. Time can be speeded up or slowed down in lucid dreams so that movements can be practised at different speeds, and the lucid dreamer can have fun playing with different environments in which to practise – one swimmer created a pool full of sweets to swim through in a lucid dream, and also tried swimming through honey to experience the effect of a glutinous liquid on the movements involved with swim strokes.
There are no limits to what can be done in lucid dreams! This is a big part of their creative power.
We can learn to harness this creativity by becoming lucid and facing our fears, as described in this video where I share my experiences: