The quest to unlock the mysteries of the mind lies at the heart of the documentary The Lucid Dreamer. Following committed Buddhist and teacher Charlie Morley, the film explores our capacity to maintain awareness during our deepest sleeping state, and how this practice may reap enormous benefits that we can then carry into our waking lives.
The focal point of the film follows Morley as he teaches the discipline of lucid dreaming during an intimate four-day retreat, and it's complimented by a series of testimonies from additional pioneers of the practice.
Lucid dreaming was born from the Buddhist tradition over a thousand years ago. In their belief, tapping into your deepest unconscious - in effect, remaining completely self-aware during the process of dreaming - could relieve fear and stress from our lives, instill a feeling of oneness with our surroundings and our fellow man, unlock our most progressive potential, and promote greater harmony between our body, mind and spirit.
Nightmares, in particular, provide perhaps the most desirable opportunity for growth and enlightenment. It is only by facing our fears and phobias with clarity and purpose that we can empower ourselves to overcome them. As detailed in the film, this is exemplified by one of the tenants of the practice known as shadow integration, which is based on concepts originated by philosopher and psychotherapist Carl Jung.
For both committed practitioners and beginners who may feel skeptical of its efficacy, Morley proves to be a convincing and impassioned advocate. He informs us that we spend as much as a third of our lives sleeping. That's up to thirty years of an average life span. Why spend that vast amount of time existing in oblivion? He lays out the steps to mastering the discipline in practical, easily achievable terms.
The power of the mind, and the depth of imagination and potential locked therein, is nothing short of astonishing, yet it remains largely untapped by humans. The Lucid Dreamer gives us hope that we have the capacity within us not only to reach personal breakthroughs through our unconscious, but to contribute to the next evolution of our species as well in the process.