Hardcover: 468 pages
Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain, the title of this book gives a vivid image of the phenomenon of lucid dreaming, where dreamers are consciously aware that they are dreaming even though they are sleeping. Lucid dreamers can be said to be awake to their inner worlds while they are sleeping. Of the many questions that this singular phenomenon may raise, two are foremost: What is consciousness? And what is sleep? Although we can't provide complete answers to the questions here, we can at least explain the sense in which we are using the two terms. We say lucid dreamers are conscious because they are completely aware of the fact that they are asleep and dreaming; in other words, they are conscious of themselves, basically awake in their sleep. We say lucid dreamers are asleep mainly because they are not in sensory contact with the external world, and because research shows physiological signs of what is REM sleep. The evidence presented in this book-preliminary as it is-still makes it clear that lucid dreaming is an experiential and physiological reality. Whether we should consider it a paradoxical form of sleep or a paradoxical form of waking or something else entirely, it seems too early to tell.