As a lucid dreaming teacher, one common issue I encounter is the role of escapism in the lucid dreaming journey.
A not insignificant proportion of those interested in learning how to lucid dream cite reasons such a wish to "escape reality" or a dislike or boredom of their life.
Whether you're a beginner or have some experience, understanding the important relationship between escapist tendencies, motivation, and attention control is absolutely vital for anyone looking to master the art of lucid dreaming.
The Challenge of Escapism in Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming can be incredibly appealing for those who view it as an escape from the challenges of everyday life.
However, it's crucial to understand that lucid dreaming is far from a quick getaway; it's a skill that demands ongoing commitment.
Achieving true lucidity requires the ability to focus your attention on various complex psychological practices, such as reality checks and keeping a dream journal. Equally, it requires an often challenging direct assessment of one's own life and abilities.
For the escapist, this level of focus and self-reflection can be incredibly hard to maintain, as it is in direct opposition to their fundamental intentions.
For the escapist, the allure of effortless dream control often outweighs the desire to invest time in gaining the actual skills needed for lucid dreaming.
The Role of Depression
Interestingly, escapism is commonly a symptom of depression.
Depression itself can be accompanied by a lack of focus and motivation, two critical components for achieving lucidity in dreams.
These symptoms of depression make the already challenging practice of lucid dreaming even more difficult.
When one is depressed, the impulse to escape reality is strong, but the mental tools to (mistakenly) attempt to do so through lucid dreaming are lacking.
Coming to Terms with Reality
Lucid dreaming isn't about avoiding reality but confronting it.
The act of becoming aware within your dreams requires an intimate interaction with your subconscious mind, revealing both pleasant and unsettling truths.
For someone looking to escape, the revelations that come from lucid dream training and lucid dreaming itself may be more discomforting than they are willing to accept.
As the old adage say's "No matter where you go, there you are".
Lucid dreaming is far from escaping your reality, in fact it's a deep dive into the nature of yourself.
For those trying to escape their demons, diving deep into the subconscious mind in which they live, is the exact opposite!
A Realistic Approach
Rather than seeking a fantastical exit from real-world problems, it's more beneficial to understand that lucid dreaming is a tool for self-discovery and understanding.
Importantly, developing the attention skills, diligence, and motivation required for this practice can have a ripple effect, improving your waking life as well.
Lucid dreaming is absolutely not a form of escapism, despite many wishing it were so. Instead it is a transformative journey that demands hard work, especially in the realms of focus and motivation.
Whether or not you're grappling with escapist tendencies or symptoms of depression, recognizing and addressing these challenges will be instrumental in your quest for mastering lucid dreaming.
If today's article resonates with your own feelings of helplessness, escapism, or depression, please seek out the advice of a trained medical professional. There is help available, and you deserve it.