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There has been a bit of discussion lately about lucid dreaming. This results from a state of consciousness in which the person dreaming is aware that they are asleep and can now control every aspect of their dream. With the proliferation of augmented- and virtual-reality software, there are now devices that purport to induce this state.

From an aggadic perspective, an opinion is brought in the gemara that dreams are one sixtieth of prophecy (Berakhot 57b), and the gemara proceeds (throughout that perek) to delineate the meaning behind different things that a person might see or do when they are dreaming. If this is so, then what of a person who is experiencing a lucid dream? If they were to deliberately manipulate their dream, would that prophecy still take effect?

Furthermore, if dreams are one sixtieth of prophecy, does that preclude a person from deliberately tampering with them? Are there any sources that discuss this issue?

  • It is definitely aggadic. At the top of the page it calls dreaming 'immature prophecy' without defining how immature. But that relationship is characterized in the other four examples (sleep to death, honey to manna, fire to gehinnom and Shabbat to Olam HaBa). They are not close. Prophecy is dependent upon 'bittul' (nullification of self). Lucid dreaming is the opposite idea. It is not true dreaming as discussed on the page folio you cite. – Yaacov Deane Dec 2 '16 at 19:20
  • Where do you see prophecy as being dependent upon nullification of self? Wouldn't it have more to do with a heightened state of consciousness within which one receives communication with God? – Chaim Dec 2 '16 at 21:28

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