COLUMBIA — Missouri’s School of Metaphysics is hosting the “Global Lucid Dreaming Experiment” beginning this month in an effort to learn whether the moon might have any effect on lucid dreaming.
The experiment is part of a series of studies by the School of Metaphysics designed to explore reality in dreams. According to the school’s Web site, dreamschool.org, lucid dreaming is defined as the “conscious perception of one’s state while dreaming.”
The school has been studying dreams for nearly 40 years, but attempts to explore connections between the moon and dreams is rather new.
“We are pioneering the ground,” said Barbara Condron of the school’s headquarters in Windyville. Condron is directing the experiment.
Condron said it makes sense to her that if the moon affects ocean tides it probably affects people, too.
Sheila Benjamin, supervisor of the School of Metaphysics’ Columbia branch, said one element of the dreaming experiment is for people to gain awareness and elevate knowing about themselves to a deeper level.”
The school is calling for potential participants to register by Tuesday. Participants must register and send in descriptions of their dreams by e-mail on designated dates. Twelve researchers, composed of faculty and graduate students from the school, will analyze the data, Condron said. Results should be complete by early summer.
The experiment consists of four phases over two months. Participants will e-mail descriptions of dreams once every two weeks. Condron said it is very important to the research that participants report back by e-mail even if they had no dreams on that day.
The four dates correspond with two full moons and two new moons, following the moon’s 28-day cycle.
“(Participants) pay attention to whether they dream on those days and if they remember. And if they were lucid dreams. And report their findings,” Condron said.
The branch in Columbia is communicating to anyone they can about the experiment and to make people aware of the school itself, Benjamin said.
Condron expects several thousand people to participate in the experiment at the start, but she expects many will not continue through the whole process.
“We are hoping for 500 people to follow all the way through, which is a high number for scientific research,” she said.
Good participants for the study are described as committed, disciplined and dedicated, but also curious and interested in the topic of dreams. Condron said people of all backgrounds are welcome.