If you've been hunting the internet for the very best places to learn lucid dreaming, you might be feeling a little confused. To help you avoid wasting your time, here are the top five WORST places to learn about lucid dreaming...
The following is a Top 5 list of the very WORST lucid dreaming resources online.
Learning how to lucid dream can be a bit of a minefield. If it wasn't already a difficult subject to understand, it is made infinitely more complicated by the overwhelming amount of irrational and misleading resources out there.
Knowing what to avoid has sadly become an absolutely vital skill for those new to the subject.
Thankfully here at The Lucid Guide we have decades of experience with this subject, and have seen the very worst of the worst. In today's article we'll be sharing the worst resources for beginner lucid dreamers.
So buckle up for a brief overview of a menagerie of misinformation...
5 - Overpriced E-Book Courses
You've probably already seen them. The bootcamps, the 30 day "guaranteed" courses, the tantalizing sales pitch with the almost too-good-to-be-true promises. They all come at a steep price (although they almost always have a "sale" whenever you're visiting!).
Sadly, 99.9% of these kinds of courses are pure exaggeration and marketing, and are often written by people with absolutely no legitimate background or training in the subject.
A simple rule of thumb is this: If a product guarantees lucid dreams, it's lying. This subject cannot possibly come with guarantees, the human mind simply doesn't work that way. Save your hard earnt money!
4 - YouTube Gurus
YouTube is an amazing site, allowing anyone to reach a worldwide audience and share their views, knowledge and ideas.
Sadly, the reverse is also true, YouTube is a terrible site, allowing any Tom, Dick or Harry to reach a worldwide audience and share their irrational and incorrect views, knowledge and ideas.
Remember that a large audience is not a sign of authenticity or accuracy. After all, there are HUGE channels promoting flat earth theory.
The same is true for lucid dreaming, there are currently virtually no dedicated lucid dreaming channels run by anyone qualified to teach the subject.
However, you will find some fascinating interviews with expert psychologists and neuroscientists. You'll will also find many entertaining, but not necessarily accurate, personal anecdotes and speculations from enthusiastic members of the public.
Rule of thumb: remember YouTube content is not moderated or fact-checked, anyone can post whatever they like.
3 - TikTok
TikTok is a worldwide phenomenon, with millions of people enjoying it for casual entertainment daily.
But, like YouTube, TikTok allows anyone and everyone to share content with the world. Unfortunately this is generally unfiltered, not well moderated, and lacking in fact-checking.
TikTok is best seen as an entertainment platform, but it can also be a birthplace for misinformation. When it is, bad ideas spread around the globe at a viral rate (take the recent phenomenon of Reality Shifting). And unfortunately the short-form nature of the content lends itself to dumbed-down and hype-based concepts.
Sadly, despite its indisputable popularity, it is virtually impossible to find even a single vaguely accurate lucid dreaming video on TikTok.
As an added concern, TikTok style content can absolutely destroy your attention span -- something that can be detrimental to your psychological wellbeing.
Rule of thumb: Remember that TikTok is a cultural space for Gen Z to share their thoughts and opinions. While it is a vibrant and entertaining space, it's certainly not somewhere you should turn for an accurate account on any subject.
2 - Lucid Dream Discord Servers
Undoubtedly Discord offers an amazing suite of communication tools, unrivalled by virtually any other platform. But even if one ignores the ever-growing privacy concerns regarding Discord itself, be prepared to enter a realm of lucid dream misinformation.
We have yet to have discover a single lucid dream Discord server that isn't awash with anti-scientific and sometimes even potentially dangerous ideas regarding lucid dreaming.
Sadly, the very things that could be seen as benefits of Discord, such as the ability for private individuals to create their own community servers, also lead to its biggest issues.
Communities that are created and moderated by private individuals, rather than businesses and organisations, rarely consider the multitude of data protection, publishing, and health and safety laws and regulations that hold organisations accountable.
As a result, Discord servers are often moderated and guided by the personal whims, beliefs and aims of private individuals (such as social standing, vendettas, need for validation or personal gain), rather than anything resembling a strict code of conduct.
As these communities are rarely if ever staffed by trained professionals, misinformation often runs rife -- regularly becoming part of the established "culture" of the group.
This is not to say that you won't find fascinating well written pieces from intelligent individuals, or anecdotes and insights into the experiences of others, just remember that trusting the word of complete strangers online comes with all the obvious risks you'd imagine.
Remember, this isn't limited to Discord alone. Other online communities such as Reddit suffer from identical issues.
As a rule of thumb: remember that information shared in online communities such as Discord, is anecdote, hearsay, and has no fact-checking mechanisms in place. Treat it with the same skeptical caution you'd treat information shared by strangers at a bar.
1 - New Age Publications and Websites
Lucid dreaming has been largely co-opted by new-age believers. And while personal spiritual exploration is a fascinating pursuit, it is wise to remember that those selling spirituality are part of a booming industry generating millions of dollars.
Unlike academic and scientific publications, new-age or spiritual content has no governing bodies, no accountability, and often believers see such regulation as "closed minded".
As a result, if you find lucid dreaming mixed up with ideas such as spiritual healing, astral projection, or any other anti-scientific ideas, you can be almost 100% certain that your source is unlikely to care for accurate fact-checking.
Personal spirituality is an important aspect of the human journey. But be sure not to make yourself a target for unscrupulous business people who would like to convert your trust into their personal financial gain.
As a rule of thumb, if a source claims authority on multiple subjects for which their expertise and knowledge cannot be tested or proven, or that falls outside established academic or scientific knowledge (spirituality, astral projection, spiritual healing, etc.), then remember you are accepting their claims on nothing but trust. Sadly, history is full of examples of very convincing and charming fraudsters who make a living from exploiting the misplaced trust of others.
Where Should I Look?
With all the above said, you may be thinking that it's almost impossible to find quality information.
But there is a solution.
If you want quality content based on fact, aim for mediums that have at least a modicum of fact-checking and accountability.
A good starting point would be:
Academic papers and publications.
Published works (but not the new-age).
Professionals in the field (psychologists, scientists etc.).
Established media outlets.
Content from teachers that have been trusted by established media outlets.
Whatever source you choose, always be ready and willing to do a little research yourself. Not all journalists are thorough, and even professionals can fail to clearly distinguish between speculation and fact, or even get their facts wrong.
Even more importantly, remember that lucid dreaming and the psychology of sleep are embryonic subjects, with very few hard facts.
To give two clear and dramatic examples:
We cannot even say for certain if lucid dreaming offers a net benefit or loss to personal well-being.
We do not even know if it is a state that can be achieved by all.
These are clearly some fundamentally basic questions for which there is currently simply not enough evidence to answer.
What do we know about lucid dreaming?
We know far less about lucid dreaming and the psychology of sleep than most people would like to admit.
It's an uncomfortable truth, and one that is rarely mentioned, as it greatly undermines those who personally benefit from creating an illusion of authority and certainty.
When it comes to lucid dreaming, virtually everything we know with any certainty is very simplistic.
We know that it exists.
We know that it can occur spontaneously.
We know some people can experience and induce this state.
We know it can be induced (but nobody can be certain exactly how various induction methods work).
It appears to be a state that becomes easier with practice.
We are aware of changes in brain activity during the state.
We are aware that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine plays a role.
Beyond broad observations like these, very few of the claims you'll find online can be substantiated with reliable evidence. Instead, most are pure speculation and/or personal anecdotes.
That is not to say that anecdote and speculation cannot be useful and interesting. All new discoveries require periods in which what is known is greatly outweighed by what is unknown.
The personal experiences of others can offer useful hints as to what might be going on.
But, if you wish to base your understanding of the world on what is factually established or can be repeated and substantiated, it is important to remember that in the realms of anecdote and speculation, most of what you'll stumble across will be noise, misunderstandings, or wishful thinking. Fascinating yes, but factually accurate? Not so much.
As a final rule of thumb, if in doubt search for the source of any claims. If one cannot be found, assume what you've been told is speculation or anecdote.