Offtopic to APM
This article is NOT speculative.
Anyone having the opportunity to learn lucid dreaming (old enough and time enough) should do so. It's an experience well worth the effort and there is zero risk involved.
Lucid dreaming is when one consciously gains control of ones dream with full access to functions of the mind that are normally only available when awake. In case the reader wonders, lucid dreaming is real and proven. It is repeatably testable via previously agreed on eye movement patterns that a test person makes when in a sleep state with brain waves that are known to only occur when people are dreaming. Also lucid dreaming is something that cannot be mistaken with normal dreams. Everyone who ever had one, including the writer of these lines, knows it was not a normal dream. Ones first lucid dream can be a world-view shattering experience. There are exploding emotions of fascination freedom and weightlessness. In the first such experience the emotion, being so strong and uncontrollable, tend to shoot one right back out of this paradise, which causes even more complementary emotions like feeling totally robbed and too mightless for (futile) anger. Lucid dreams (especially first ones) are so intense that they are often mistaken with supernatural or religious stuff - ahem nonsense.
- No, there are absolutely no substances (drugs) are involved here.
Many drugs would even likely destroy the capacity for lucid dreams.
- No, this can't be abused as a drug.
(1) It is pretty hard to learn.
(2) Lucid dreams are pretty hard to sustain per dream.
(3) The capability for lucid dreaming is pretty hard to sustain on the long run.
It seems the brain tries to trick ones consciousness back into normal dreaming with increasingly devious tricks. Almost like an arms race. (Maybe the brain wants back its data compression time: see the purpose of dreams).
- Yes no one but the one dreaming can (directly) gain from this. Making some people frown on other people who are talking about this.
But then again the practitioners mental growth can benefit others.
- In regards of intangibility lucid dreaming is like radioactivity or pollen allergies before these things where widely known to exist.
Since unaffected people (the majority) do not experience it they are oblivious of it. Often not believing in despite hard (but abstract) evidence.
- In regards to effect on health its the polar opposite to exposure to radiation or pollen. It is:
(1) voluntary and
(2) has absolutely no detrimental effects. None have ever been reported.
- Wikipedia: lucid dreaming