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A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics

September 22, 2013 on 9:36 am | In Dream Types | 2 Comments

Imagine being able to fly. Walk through walls. Shape-shift. Breathe underwater. Conjure loved ones—or total strangers—out of thin air. Imagine experiencing your nighttime dreams with the same awareness you possess right now—fully functioning memory, imagination, and self-awareness. Imagine being able to use this power to be more creative, solve problems, and discover a deep sense of well-being.

This is lucid dreaming—the ability to know you are dreaming while you are in a dream, and then consciously explore and change the elements of the dream. A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming, with its evocative retro illustrations, shows exactly how to do it. Written by three avid, experienced lucid dreamers, this manual for the dream world takes the reader from step one—learning how to reconnect with his or her dreams— through the myriad possibilities of what can happen once the dreamer is lucid and an accomplished oneironaut (a word that comes from the Greek oneira, meaning dreams, and nautis, meaning sailor).

Readers will learn about the powerful REM sleep stage—a window into lucid dreams. Improve dream recall by keeping a journal. The importance of reality checks, such as “The Finger”—during the day, try to pass your finger through your palm; then, when you actually do it successfully, you’ll know that you’re dreaming. And once you become lucid, how to make the most of it. Every time you dream, you are washing up on the shores of your own inner landscape. Learn to explore a strange and thrilling world with A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming.

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  1. Disappointed. Style over substance. I wanted to like this book but I really can’t say I did. I’ll try and keep my review balanced to help others decide if this is a book for them.My first impressions were “This is a really short book!”. The page count listed on Amazon is misleading, while there may be 288 pages the actual amount of text in this book is much less. This is more of a magazine than a book. The font is large and there are space filling pictures and graphics everywhere. I’ll not deny it looks pretty, it just feels like it’s a bit of a cheat. However, if you’re drawn to pretty pictures and simplistic content you may enjoy it, if you’re looking for something with depth and useful new information, you’ll probably feel like me, a little ripped off. I’d consider my reading speed reasonably average but I finished this book in one evening! not because it’s enthralling but just because it is short.As for the content of the book, this is where I really started to dislike the book. I’ve read a lot of lucid dreaming books and have been a lucid dreamer since at least the 90s. Nearly everything written in this book has been reworded and regurgitated from books by established experts. Basically what you are buying here is a rehash of classic books only with about 80% of the content removed and replaced with pictures. Considering this book started life as a kickstarter project by a group of young of 20 year olds, it’s not completely surprising that they don’t have the experience necessary to write with authority or knowledge. I don’t want to be completely harsh here, they have done a good job in making a very simple rewording of older books, just don’t expect anything new. My other problem is that they don’t really admit this, both the book and their website has a slightly self-aggrandizing tone, it seems like they consider themselves the “new lucid dreaming gurus” only they don’t have the background or experience to back this up. I get the feeling they just watched Inception, read a few books and then decided they were experts, not that there is anything wrong with people wanting to say their own views, just maybe less of the “we’re experts” approach would feel more honest.During my read of this book I notice several factual mistakes, kind of unforgivable really considering these guys were given $27,000 of other peoples kickstarter money to write this! For so much money invested in getting this written this should be a hell of a lot better, in reality it seems like just a reworded version of other books only without as much information.On an attempt at a positive side, if you are completely utterly new to lucid dreaming and don’t have regular access to the internet, this book will be a useful very basic guide with lots of pretty pictures. If you’ve read anything else on lucid dreaming at all, have access to the internet and want to expand your mind, you’ll find this book has almost nothing new to offer. I won’t deny it is pretty, the design and layout is very good, I get the feeling this is where most of the effort was spent.All in all, this is basically a huge dumbing down of better books. It’s best to think of it more like a magazine than a book. It has a youthful tone which some may find interesting, I however felt like it was a case of style over content, think of it like an MTV pop video compared to Shakespeare. I can’t say I learnt anything new and I was shocked when there were things written here that are actually just plain wrong.I hate to be negative but really this feels a bit like people cashing in on other peoples research and hard work, not to mention an attempt to try and get even more money after their original $27000 backing. I’d rather support the real experts who are out there doing proper research.It’s not terrible, which is why I gave it two stars, I’d say it’s just fallen into the trap of style over substance. There are many much better books out there, written by people who’ve spent lifetimes working and studying dreams, so unless you’re an absolute beginner or just like pretty pictures, I’d strongly suggest spending your money elsewhere!

    Comment by Starseeker "Starseeker" — September 22, 2013 #

  2. Excellent! I just devoured “A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming” and completely loved it. I’ve read most, if not all, of the legitimate works on lucid dreaming and hastily pre-ordered this book as soon as it was available, putting faith in the three authors and their combined experience. I was not let down! I’d recommend it to anybody as an accessible middle road between the autobiographical chronicle of Robert Waggoner and the methodical approach of LaBerge, my two other favorites and arguably the most popular authorities on lucid dreaming. What I really enjoyed about the Field Guide was its emphasis on treating lucid dreaming as a fascinating exploration into the unknown–it really gets you excited to begin, continue, or master lucid dreaming as a relatively novel field of scientific and personal inquiry. I’d propose that the most important prerequisites to being an active lucid dreamer are passion and consistent effort. This book makes it easy to stay thrilled about dreaming and its potential and for that, it is worth every penny. If you’ve never read anything about lucid dreaming, this is a great place to start; and if you’re experienced or looking to rekindle and revitalize your interest there is plenty of new research and information to satisfy your appetite. A worthy read for any oneironaut!

    Comment by Jeffrey — September 22, 2013 #

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