How are Dreams Created?

Dreams are created naturally by the subconscious mind. Although once you are lucid it is possible to make changes to your current dream and direct the creation of new dream worlds consciously, the majority of the work here is still carried out by the subconscious mind.

For example you might choose to make a red sports car appear in front of you, but that’s pretty much all the direction you would consciously give. The exact shape of the car, the feel of the materials, the controls and displays on the dashboard, in fact all the details of the car have been created automatically for you by your subconscious.

Your subconscious creates dreams from Schemata you have built up from your experience and understanding of the world. A Schema is an abstract mental structure, like a set of rules, which functions to organize our knowledge and represents our understanding of the world. They are your expectations of what things are and what things should be.

This process begins with a single idea or image coming into your mind, what this image will be can be fairly random, but will usually be linked to whatever thought was in your mind as you were falling asleep. In this example let’s say this image was a pencil.

Now your mind will begin to build a dream, using the set of schemata that you unconsciously associate with a pencil:
- When you think of a pencil your schema says you most commonly use a pencil when sitting at a desk, so this detail is added into the dream.
- When you think of sitting at a desk you think of being at school.
- When you think of being at school, you think of being in an exam, and feeling anxious, and like you just want to run away.

Using the above schemata and starting from that one idea of a pencil your mind has created a dream (or a nightmare), where you are back in your first school, where you are feeling anxious, running around the building trying to escape.

This is how all our dreams are created, and governs much of how the dream evolves and progresses. Your mind simply adds in the content of rich visual images and a storyline to your inbuilt expectations of what ‘should be’.

Now see how the Schema your mind has created for Lucid Dreams might be hampering your progress: The Lucid Dream Schema


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