Letters & Essays
Lucid dreaming
Charles McCreery
Fabian Tassano
Founders of the IPR

‘State education should be abolished.
If it could ruin my education and my life,
it could ruin anybody’s.’

from Howard Robinson
University Professor in Philosophy, Central European University

I supervised Celia Green from 1992 to 1994, and have discussed her work regularly with her since then, whenever I have been in England. Her doctorate was examined and accepted in December 1996. It was a very interesting discussion of how the problem of mind-body interactionism is affected by different conceptions of causation. In particular, she argued that modern physics is, in a sense, 'post causal' and that this removes many of the standard difficulties which interaction is supposed to face, for these rest on a traditional understanding of causation. The thesis included a variety of discussions relevant to the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, and general metaphysics. It has since been published as a book to which I contributed a Foreword.

Dr Green's published work on lucid dreaming and 'out of the body' experiences is concerned with abnormal psychological states. It is not about the 'paranormal', in the sense of that term which is often taken as pejorative. Rather it is about forms of hallucinatory condition, and links closely with both empirical psychology and the philosophy of mind. Her work on these subjects was ground-breaking, and has been taken up by others in a variety of university psychology departments. It is philosophically interesting because of its consequences for our understanding of sense-experience.

Dr Green has an unusual history, but she is someone with a very powerful and original intelligence, as her influential published work on abnormal perceptual states shows. I believe that Dr Green has not so far received from the official academic community the recognition that either her ability or achievements merit. In response to this, she is attempting to develop an independent academic institution. This, of course, is an enormous financial challenge and shows extreme fortitude and determination. In this endeavour she is supported by a small group of committed and well qualified colleagues. I think that she merits support in her attempt to develop her research activity and to realize more of her potential.

from Professor Harry Hunt,
Department of Psychology, Brock University

As a researcher and writer in the fields of dreaming and transpersonal psychology, I can strongly endorse the importance of financial support for the deeply innovative and pioneering research of Celia Green and her associates.

The considerable research done in the past fifteen years on lucid dreaming and related states rests almost entirely on the meticulous descriptions and original classifications of types and subtypes put forward by Green in her initial publications. Her work guided this burgeoning research area into a fruitful empirical mould and away from the sensationalism that so often blights research into states of consciousness. All of us 'second generation' researchers have found ourselves continuously in her debt. There is wide agreement among us in how unfortunate it is that the continuing development of her work has been slowed, but thankfully not stopped, by the lack of the sort of financial support appropriate to such originality.

New financial support is fully and obviously warranted for the extension of these studies into out-of-body experience, near-death experience, and related states. The possibility that her meticulous classifications and sensitivity to relations between seemingly disparate experiences could be further extended would help to prevent these newer studies from being taken over by media hype. Properly supported, her new work will doubtless inspire the next generation of serious researchers to further develop a genuine science of consciousness.

The need for monies for research assistants and electrophysiological equipment is obvious. Any person or organization that can offer support for this work is truly extending the frontiers of modern science. It is high time that Green be enabled to pursue her work at the pace and extent of others with far less originality and perseverance.

from the late H.J. Eysenck,
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of London

In my recent book Genius: A Natural History of Creativity, I reviewed the history of scientific and artistic genius, and discovered that society frowns on originality, and does its best to prevent a creative person from achieving success. I should imagine that recognition a hundred years later is not of any great consolation to those suffering from this lack of recognition. Lack of financial support is one of the major drawbacks of being creative, and I would like to suggest the importance of such financial sponsorship for the very original and creative research of Celia Green. She has made a breakthrough in the important field of dream investigation, beginning with her early book on lucid dreams, and in her more recent publications all based on descriptive analyses of such dreams, which are defined as dreams in which the dreamer is aware of the fact that he or she is dreaming. Stimulated by her earlier investigations many serious academic researchers have taken up the study of these phenomena, all essentially basing their work on Green's original system of classification.

To enable her to continue this work, and make more original contributions to the field, some financial support is urgently required; it is very unlikely that recognised funding agencies will support truly original work in this day and age! Celia Green has always been interested in areas that present great difficulties to serious researchers, or who require new and original but nevertheless rigorous approaches to make an apparently odd type of phenomenon respectable and safe for academic workers. I feel that she deserves recognition of her pioneering ventures, and also believe that adequate financial and professional sponsorship is fully justified in view of her past record.