The Ways to Control Dreaming
In 2008, Isaac Katz, a civil service officer, passed away just before reaching his 78th birthday. He had been struggling with cardiovascular problems for some time. His son, Arnon Katz, now a 47-year-old tech entrepreneur, was beside himself with grief, and frustrated by the fact that he would never speak to his father again.
At the time, the younger Katz had been training himself to lucid dream—a phenomenon in which the dreamer becomes aware they are dreaming and can potentially control their actions as well as the content and context of the dream. But despite keeping a dream journal and diligently practicing other techniques, hadn’t had any success. All that changed, though, a year after his father’s death.
Katz recalled in a recent phone interview that he was mid-dream when his mother suddenly warned him in a voiceover, “Hey, you’re dreaming right now, so don’t take what your father is saying too seriously.”
Katz told me, “Suddenly everything slowed down and became incredibly vivid and real. I knew I was dreaming, but I felt I was with my father and could choose what to say as if I was awake. When I woke up, I realized that our brains are capable of creating an entire reality apart from waking life.” Many other lucid dreamers have said something similar.
Katz said the experience allowed him to finally “close the circle.” The frustration he felt in the year following his father’s death was gone.