Lucid dreamer David L. Kahn has recently completed a book about dream
interpretation, "A Dream Come True", which recognizes the value of
precognitive material and lucid dreams. The book is currently being
reviewed by some publishers for possible publication. (You can purchase the
self-published version on-line at
David has been a lucid dreamer for nearly thirty years. He lives near
Minneapolis with his wife Chris, son Jacob, and daughters Kristin, Amanda
Robert: When did you first learn about conscious dreaming or lucid dreaming?
David: I was around ten or eleven years old. I saw a television show that
had a piece on lucid dreams, explaining what they are and how you can make
conscious choices in them, including to do things that would not be possible
in real life. I was glued to the TV. The show had an example of a girl that
was running on a beach while being chased by a person on a horse. She could
not see who the person was, because the rider was wearing a black hood. She
realized that this was a dream, stopped running, and turned to face the
person on the horse. The horse stopped running and the rider took of her
hood. She saw that the person on the horse was herself.
Robert: Can you recall your first lucid dream experience? Please, tell us
David: The very first time that I realized that I was dreaming while the
dream was occurring, I was perhaps 8 or 9. At that time I had never heard of
a lucid dream and I wasn't aware that I could change the dream. My first
true lucid dream was the same night that I watched the TV show. In the dream
I was at school with my friends when I realized that I was dreaming. I took
off and flew very fast over the school yard for a couple of minutes until I
Robert: What about that lucid dreaming experience (or those early
experiences) did you find interesting?
David: I was surprised by how real the dreams felt. The dreams seemed as
real as waking life, sometimes even more so. The colors became very rich and
images became sharper. Sometimes I was surprised to find out that I didn't
have total control. How can I know that I'm dreaming, but be unable to walk
through this wall? There were also times that I recall telling my friends in
the dream that they too were dreaming, so quickly I realized that there are
different levels of lucidity.
Robert: At that time, what methods did you use to bring conscious awareness
into the dream state? Has that changed over the years?
David: I did a lot of work with lucid dreams during my teen years. I was
fascinated by Stephen LaBerge's work. I read his books and had an audiotape
of his at the time. I had some success with MILD, but mostly I found
incubation to be something that worked for me if I put enough effort into
it. I also experimented with reality checks during the day, and I even
bought a subliminal message tape. Mostly I just tried to keep lucid dreams
on my mind, often with books or tapes. That made a big impact on the
frequency of my lucid dreams. I recall one night as a teen having a lucid
dream, waking up, then going back to sleep and having another lucid dream.
In both dreams I attempted to fly my way out of my body. I didn't succeed,
but I did have strange circular flights. These days I still tend to use
dream incubation as my main method of inducing lucid dreams.
Robert: As you had more lucid dreams, were there any lucid dreams that made
a deep impression on you? Tell us about them.
David: Nearly all of my lucid dreams have made a major impact on me, but
there is one that was a major turning point in my life. I had this dream
about twenty years ago, when I was in my later teens. I was in an empty
room. There was a window on one of the walls. Nothing caused me to question
my reality, but I became lucid. The colors became very rich. I walked over
to the window and looked out onto an open meadow with a single tree in the
middle of the meadow. My vision focused in so that I could clearly see fine
details of the individual leaves. Each leaf was luminescent, glowing with a
bright green color. I realized at that moment that each leaf was alive, but
so too was the entire tree. I felt the connection between all living things.
Robert: Interesting! What did you take from this lucid dream experience?
What did it come to mean to you?
David: I remember that dream as though it happened last night. It had a
major impact on my life in subtle ways that may be hard to quantify. I see
the world and the people in it differently. I am reminded of the Native
American saying, "No tree is so foolish as to have branches fight amongst
themselves." In addition to the metaphoric meaning, I literally have never
looked at trees the same since. I notice the individual leaves, not just a
single tree. When I hear the sound of wind blowing through the leaves, it
has a calming affect on me. It is much like the peace you might feel while
taking a walk on a beach listening to the crashing sound of waves.
Robert: What experiments have you tried when lucid in the dream state?
Please describe and tell us about some of those?
David: One experiment that has stuck with me over the years took place in
another of my teenage lucid dreams. I decided that I wanted to hear what
music sounded like in a dream, so when I became lucid I made my stereo
appear in front of me. I had a cassette tape in my hand and tried to put it
in the tape player. For some reason the tape wouldn't fit, so I just jammed
it into the tape deck and forced it shut. Then out of nowhere I heard music.
It was unbelievable. The sound was coming from everywhere, as though it came
out of the air itself. It was the most crystal clear sound that I have ever
heard. Interestingly, prior to having this dream I had a few nights of
failed attempts at having a lucid dream. In one of those dreams I was
hearing music. The name of the song in that dream was called "Dreaming
Again." It is as though my mind was attempting to help me achieve my goal.
Robert: Have you ever tried "surrendering to the dream" or letting the dream
show you something unexpected or unknown? Or have you had lucid dream
experiences that were totally unexpected? What happened?
David: It is interesting that you ask this. I had a recent lucid dream that
was perhaps the longest lucid dream that I've ever had. It lasted several
minutes. After becoming lucid, I repeated nearly identically the events of
an out of body experience that I had many years ago. I walked through the
same window and began floating up above the same house and trees. I then
felt that I wasn't just floating, but I was being lifted under my arms by
something that I could not see. I had a brief moment of doubt and began to
drop, with a feeling in my stomach like being on a roller coaster. I
realized that I had to let go of my doubt, and I continued to float. I then
turned my arms so that my hands were facing up. I repeated several times,
"Show me what I need to see." As I was saying these words, I felt myself
being quickly turned in different directions. In one direction I saw a
silhouette of a large tree in a sunset. Eventually I went over the ocean and
was dropped on an island, where my lucidity continued as I explored the
I realized a couple of interesting things after this dream. One is that I
recognized the tree silhouette inside of a sunset as the wallpaper image
that I have on my computer. Later that day I took a look at my computer
screen wallpaper, which hadn't changed in months, and I noticed something
that I had never seen before. I saw something very small next to the tree. I
zoomed in on it and saw that it was a headstone. It wasn't scary. The
feeling that I had is that something has been in front of my eyes all this
time and I didn't see it until now. The other realization that I made is why
I kept repeating the words, "Show me what I need to see." I had recently
written a poem into a chapter about spiritual dreams in my book. My dream
was telling me to listen to my own words. Here they are...
Enlighten me to all I see
The storm at night, the sun by day
The black, the white, the shades of grey
The waves, the serenity of a calm sea
Dead branches for firewood, the living tree
The garden flower that smells so sweet
The cigarette butt tossed on the street
The house, the cars, the money you've made
The piles of bills you've left unpaid
Your friends, your family, the people who care
Those whose presence you cannot bear
Are you trapped or are you free?
Enlighten all it is you see
Robert: Have you experienced lucid dreams that made you question the nature
David: I have precognitive dreams fairly often in both lucid and non-lucid
dreams. No matter how often that happens, I still find myself with a sense
of awe. In a recent lucid dream, I had a very bizarre experience unlike any
other dream that I've had. I was standing in front of a bathroom mirror when
I became lucid. I noticed that the shower curtain was blue, and I also
noticed geometric shapes on the shower curtain. I knew that I would be blue
when I looked back at the mirror. Indeed my skin was very blue, except for
my neck in the area that I recently had surgery. I looked away from the
mirror for a few seconds, and when I looked back something very strange
happened. I became the color blue. It wasn't just my skin color. I was
actually the color, as though without me blue would not exist. This is one
of my most difficult dreams to express in words, because it is hard to
describe what it feels like to be a color.
Robert: What questions did this bring forward about lucid dreaming and the
nature of consciousness?
David: More than ever I feel as though we have only touched the surface of
what reality is, and where we can go with our minds. I have no doubt about
precognitive dreams. I think anyone that experiences them has a knowing that
they are real, even if it can't be proven scientifically (yet). I also have
this sense that there is something guiding me that is beyond my own
subconscious. There are too many synchronicities, and somehow they have
never steered me wrong. If it was just coincidence, I would think that I'd
be steered wrong at least on occasion.
Robert: I understand that you have almost finished a book on dreaming, and
have a chapter on lucid dreaming. Tell us about the book.
David: The book is called A Dream Come True. It discusses many different
interpretation techniques that I believe would be affective for both
experienced and non-experienced dreamers. My belief is that many, perhaps
most, dreams include some precognitive material and that the dream cannot be
fully interpreted without seeing the past, present and future aspects of the
issue you are dreaming about. I also discuss recognizing angles and
3-dimensional space within dreams as a means of recognizing what may be
precognitive material. The more basic interpretation sections of my book
include such topics as understanding why your dream takes place in your
childhood bedroom, recognizing oversized objects, etc.
Robert: On the chapter on lucid dreaming, tell us a bit about your
viewpoint; what are you trying to get across to readers?
David: The information that I provide about lucid dreaming is something that
experienced lucid dreamers would easily understand. I felt it was important
to include a chapter on lucid dreams early in the book, because I have
included various lucid dream examples in other chapters ranging from
spiritual dreams to precognitive dreams. I think experienced lucid dreamers
would find some similarities in their dreams and gain further ideas about
what they can do with their own lucid dreams, while less experienced lucid
dreamers would gain a better understanding of the value of lucid dreaming.
In an example that I use in a chapter on "Actions and Figures of Speech", I
tell a story of a series of synchronistic events that occurred both in and
out of my dreams. An interesting part of a lucid dream is included in which
I ask a dream character for help in dealing with a financial issue that I
was having. The character replied, "Ask the old man." I don't know why, but
I awoke with the thought that "ask the old man" could be an acronym (ATOM).
I thought about atoms, and realized that the night before I had been reading
about molecules in a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have a lot of respect for Dr.
Dyer's work, and he happens to be nearly the same age as my father. I
realized that he is "the old man." With this I knew that my answer was to
ask myself what Wayne Dyer would do in this situation. Instantly I heard
myself say, "Surrender and trust that the universe will take care of this."
So, my dream wasn't so much giving me financial advice as attitude advice.
Although in the end, the synchronistic events mentioned in this chapter of
my book did end up manifesting some real life solutions.
Robert: It seems like nowadays many people have heard about lucid dreaming,
and have a basic conceptual understanding. Does it seem odd that individuals
that are used to having individual dream experiences would have so many
similar common lucid experiences? What might that suggest?
David: Non-lucid dreams certainly seem to have a lot of common themes, as
indicated in Patricia Garfield's book The Universal Dream Key: The 12 Most
Common Dream Themes Around the World. It would make sense that there is at
least some commonality among lucid dreams as well. What I find interesting
is that lucid dreams seem to have their own similar experiences, often
different from those of non-lucid dreams. Flying dreams, dreams of light,
deceased family or friends, the richness of colors, and so forth don't seem
to fit into the standard mold of dreams. It seems that many of the
differences between standard and lucid dreams are spiritual in nature, as
though by reaching certain levels of consciousness we become more open to
those experiences. The most spiritual of lucid dreams have a feeling of
coming from someplace other than my own mind, and I have heard this
described by others.
Robert: What kind of lucid dream experiments could move forward the
understanding of the potentials of the dream state and lucid dreaming? What
would you like to see?
David: It would be interesting to look at precognitive dreams or remote
viewing dreams by two or more people simultaneously having lucid dreams (or
at least in the same night) in order to see if there is a difference in the
degree of accuracy. On a personal level, I am interested in dreams of light.
I am curious about experiences of others that may be similar to my tree of
life dream. Perhaps next time I should try to communicate with the tree, or
even to become the tree. Also, after my experience of becoming the color
blue, I am curious as to what else we might become. I think many of us have
become animals, different people, or even floating consciousness in our
dreams. What would it be like to become a beam of light, water, gravity, or
a geometric shape?
Robert: Thanks David, for your observations into lucid dreaming. Any parting
David: Trust the guidance of your dreams and then manifest their messages
into reality. That is how my book, articles and this interview came into
being. I felt guided, and over time I began to rid myself of doubt as my
dreams had shown me. Also, realize that sometimes there are signs right in
front of your face...
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