Lucid Dreaming for Fun & Profit

Lucid Dreaming for Fun & Profit

I gave a talk at Ignite Boulder 28 last week.  This was my 2nd Ignite talk; my first one was about something very serious and personal, and I wanted to do something that was fun & light the 2nd time around.  It’s on Lucid Dreaming, here it is:

Transcript of the talk is below:

When I was a kid, I used to dream a lot about superpowers.

As an adult, in the year 2002, living in Philadelphia.

was the first time I’d discovered my super powers. I was standing at the ledge of a 3 story building, about to give them a try.

I lept from the building; as I passed the first window, I shot a webby rope from my wrist. I can still remember how visceral the thrill was, swinging down that street in Philadelphia.

But then I’d wake up.

A lucid dream is a dream in which you know that you’re dreaming.

Because you know you are dreaming, you gain the ability to bend your environment to your will because it’s all in your subconscience.

When I’m talking about lucid dreaming, I’m not grasping at some new age phenomena.

The science of lucid dreaming is very real ; emperically tested over the last 30 years.

For that, we owe Dr. Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University.


The breakthrough came when it was discovered moving around in a dream body created eye movements in the physical body.

If I move left in my dream, my eyes move left in my physical body.

In Dr. LaBerge’s experiment, dreamers would signal to a collaborator they were lucid, sort of like a Dream Konami Code.

Before go further, I need to make 1 thing clear.

Most people think of dreams as hazy low-rez approximations of real life.

Lucid dreams can be so hyper-realistic, that many people think they’ve entered another dimension of reality.

So let’s talk brain science for a sec.

We’ve established a repeatable, controlled, basis for experimenting with vivid Lucid Dreams. What are we testing?

Lucid Dreams are a hybrid state of consciousness.

They are created when our two opposing states of consciousness stop opposing each other.

In the waking world, the neural system inhibits the activation of the vividness of memories. And this makes evolutionary sense.

You’d be maladapted for the perceptual image of a predator to be mistaken for the memory of one, and vice-versa.

If the memory of a predator conjured up a perceptual image, we would be running off to the bathroom every time we had a scary thought.


So you have these serotonic neurons that inhibit hallucinations that they themselves are inhibited during REM sleep.

This allows dreams to appear real, while preventing competition from other perceptual processes.

To the functional system of neural activity that experiences our world, there is no difference between dreaming a perception and an action, and actually the waking perception and action.

Dreams can be so vivid they are mistaken for reality.

Hopefully I’ve presented enough science to convince you that this is a real thing. What should we do with it?

What would you do if you could do anything? What would you be if your body was just a mental construct and you could be anything?

We’ve removing the constraints of reality.

You can have superpowers. You can fly around interesting convo with albert einstein visit a dead brother 360 vision — see in all directions any kind of sex you want

Would you use it as a tool for escapism?

Would you intentionally engage the source of your ideas as if they were physically personified & transform your nightmares into spiritual/psycological growth?


Sleep 2/3 of the night, then wake up around REM sleep; thats where the action happens.

Do something active like read a book or drink some coffee, then fall back asleep.


Increase create dream recall.

Write down anything you remember immediately after you wake up. Take note of things that occur often, those are your dream signs.

Dream Signs are recoccuring patterns that signify that you are dreaming.

You can start performing reality checks, a way of testing whether you are dreaming.

I’d like to invite you to perform one with me tonight.

Take your pointy finger and your thumb, and place them on the bridge of your nose.

Try to inhale. If you can inhale you’re dreaming.

You might think to yourself “This is silly, I know I’m awake”. But perform the check anyway;

I’ve lost count of the number of times I was sure I was awake and it turned out I was dreaming.

Before I wrap up, I’d like to leave you with my big idea.

We spend so much of our lives chasing things external to us; relationship; cars, adventures .


If you can combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams, you can test those realities now.

You have superpowers.

All you need to get started is this (point head) and this (point internet),

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