For me the journey to lucid dreaming begins when you start recording your dreams in a journal. Dream journals not only help me fine tune my dream state awareness but also serve to help me focus more intently while I am dreaming.
Drafting as a physical artistic process and psychological experience has been practiced by enlightened greats like Nostradamus, Isaac Newton and William Blake. One of the most talked about dream journals today is the Red Book which was first drafted by renowned psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung in 1914. As stated in the Harper's Magazine article titled Inside Jung's Red Book, Carl Jung labored on his dream diary for 16 years. During that time it endured multiple edits and transcriptions as he worried it might appear like madness to the superficial observer. Even long after Jung's death it took Professor Sonu Shamdasani three years to convince Jung's family to publish the Red Book.
I cross-examined the traits of Nostradamus, Newton, Blake and Jung and made an interesting observation. They all shared an avid interest in alchemy and were vegetarians.
Over the years various scientific breakthroughs that originated from dreams have made their way into many scholarly analyses and debates.
For instance, chemist August Kekulé was trying to figure out how the atoms in benzene were arranged. The fact that benzene molecules were made up of rings of carbon atoms actually came to him in a dream around 1861-1862. Kekulé himself recounted his dream during a speech at a benzene symposium in 1890.
In 1869 another chemist, Dmitri Mendeleev, was obsessing for months over finding a logical way to organize the chemical elements. One night in a dream he saw a table where all of the elements fell into place. When he woke up he immediately drew the chart from his dream on a piece of paper and the periodic table of elements was born.
In 1919 mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan caught the eye of G.H. Hardy with his production of almost 4,000 proofs and equations in pure mathematics. On Ramanujan's death bed he wrote down functions he said came to him in dreams. On Dec. 28, 2012 the Business Insider published an article titled Researchers Unlock Formula Written By Brilliant Indian Mathematician On His Death Bed. Finally 100 years later, researchers from Emory University stated they were able to prove Ramanujan was right.
The importance of sleep and dreaming is unquestionable and the expansion of consciousness through our dreams is essential to our development as sentient beings.
Today's discoveries are happening at an accelerated pace. With the increasing interest in lucid dreaming, one can speculate this pace could very well increase exponentially.