Lucid Dreaming Day (April 12th) originated as the brainchild of lucid dream educator, Daniel Love, who first suggested the idea in his bestselling lucid dream guidebook: Are You Dreaming?
It was Love's goal to bring lucid dreaming to a wider audience through celebration and community action.
Since these simple beginnings, Lucid Dreaming Day has become a worldwide celebration; an event run by lucid dreamers, for lucid dreamers. Today, dream experts around the world gather to host and support the event, helping to bring the wider community together in celebration of the fascinating state that is lucid dreaming.
As an independent and organic event, Lucid Dreaming Day really can be as unpredictable and
colourful as any dream. Each year, new surprises are in store as dreamers around the globe share their own unique and inventive ways to promote, educate and party!
There were plenty of historically notable days that could have been chosen to celebrate Lucid Dreaming Day. However, we picked April 12th to show our appreciation of the pioneering research by Dr Keith Hearne who, on April 12th 1975, was the first to scientifically validate lucid dreaming.
If lucid dreaming were to be compared to space exploration, then the achievements of English psychologist Keith Hearne could be considered comparable in magnitude to those of NASA during the time of the first moon landing." ~ Daniel Love
In 1975, Dr. Hearne had the fantastic idea to exploit the nature of Rapid Eye Movements (REM) to allow a dreamer to send a message directly from dreams to the waking world.
Working with an experienced lucid dreamer (Alan Worsley), he eventually succeeded in recording (via the use of an electro-oculogram or EOG) a pre-defined set of eye movements signaled from within Worsley's lucid dream. This occurred at around 8am on the morning of April 12th, 1975:
"Suddenly, out of the jumbled senseless tos and fros of the two eye-movement recording channels, a regular set of large zigzags appeared on the chart. Instantly, I was alert and felt the greatest exhilaration on realizing that I was observing the first ever deliberate signals sent from within a dream to the outside. The signals were coming from another world - the world of dreams - and they were as exciting as if they were emanating from some other solar system in space." Dr. Keith Hearne
Hearne's EOG experiment was formally recognized through publication in the journal for The Society for Psychical Research. Unfortunately, due to the obscure nature of this publication, his work went widely unknown.
The media, however, fell in love with the romantic idea of lucid dreaming being a real, measurable phenomenon and whipped up a lucid frenzy.
A few years later, in 1983, Dr. Stephen LaBerge performed the same ocular signaling experiment at Stanford University. On this occasion, LaBerge got the desired scientific exposure and went on to forge a lifelong career in the field of lucid dream research. To this day, he is often mistakenly credited for being the first to scientifically verify the existence of lucid dreaming.
Clearly, both researchers have played significant roles in this field and it's important that we recognize all their contributions over the years. However, the choice of April 12th to mark Lucid Dreaming Day is a nod of appreciation towards that early research by Dr. Hearne.
However, it's important to remember that Lucid Dreaming Day is more than a historic date, individual or single piece of research; above everything else, it’s an event for lucid dreamers to celebrate their passion. We're proud of our date's connection to the man who built the first bridge between worlds, but the day is much more than that...
The Bigger Picture - Lucid Dreaming Day and the Future!
While Lucid Dreaming Day has interesting origins, the most important aspect is the mobilization of the dream community to come together to celebrate, share, raise awareness, educate and enjoy the wonders of lucid dreaming.
Lucid Dreaming Day is YOUR day. It’s a celebration of lucid dreaming, by lucid dreamers.
While none of us can see the future, we can safely assume that an increased awareness of lucid dreaming could work wonders in the world.
Increasingly, "lucid dreaming" is becoming a household term.
Musical albums, Hollywood movies and science fiction novels have all contributed to its presence in our popular culture in the last decade. We already have great momentum behind us.
To keep raising awareness of lucid dreaming as a regular nocturnal pastime means that more students of tomorrow will:
Launch their own quest for lucid dreaming
Enter the field of sleep and dream research
Develop lucidity induction technologies
Explore lucid dreams as a therapeutic tool
Use dreams to create lucid music, art and literature
Solve problems and invent technologies in their dreams
Not only will greater interest lead directly to new developments in our lucid dream technology (from induction devices, to dream playback machines, and even experiencing shared dreams one day),
it will also afford us huge opportunities to better ourselves as individuals and mankind as a whole.
We believe that, if every human being were to start harnessing the power of lucid dreams, then our culture, art, technology, medicine, science and beliefs would quickly evolve in a whole new direction. The human race would be enriched as a result, both individually and universally.
That certainly gives us something to strive for on Lucid Dreaming Day.
The future is in your hands!