What is it about flying that makes this the go-to thing when you lucid dream? In a virtual, hyper-realistic world, out of all the hings you could possibly imagine doing, flying is usually number one. That activity in lucid dreams which, if you don't have another plan in mind and remembered, you just have to go do. Well, first...let's get more basic.
Why Do We Fly in (Regular) Dreams, Anyway?
Flying in Dreams is a Special Gift You Can Give Yourself
Some birds do it. Bees do it. I saw some fish sorta do it. But bats are the only mammals that can really do it. Humans have been enjoying flight through technological-augmentation for over a century, but few know what flying unaided would be like (in the waking world). Plenty of people know what falling is like. And hanging from a glider. And looking-out the window of a plane. Wing-suits are the new and closest thing to flying, but this is a rare and scary activity, less "flightful" than a "slightly controlled rapid decent." So, the first thing to do on this quest is learn how to lucid dream. Learn about induction methods and combine a few, and definitely learn how to stabilize, and you barely have to even remember to try flying. Chances are flying will be the first thing you think of, anyway. The catch is this: The more lucid you are, accessing those parts of your frontal meat-computer usually turned down in REM-Sleep, the more difficulties you might encounter with your would-be flying past-time. Although part of you understands "it's just a dream," other logic circuits are telling you that "flying is impossible; there's obviously gravity here - you never just float into space in a dream - and even if you can get off the ground, you won't know what you're doing." And the voices are right. But don't be discouraged.
Spontaneous vs. Lucid Flying Dreams
It wouldn't be correct to say that "gravity" is necessarily absent when flying in a dream. The forces pulling from the center of the earth, again (I make joke), are, by default-mode, still operating in dreams. Flying in dreams, while lucid, is probably harder than you think. Or harder than you thought, for the initiated.
Understand that flying, like many lucid dream objectives can be improved upon through practice and will-power. Your Will-Power, or volitional faculty, is determined by how much adversity you can effectively handle. I say "effectively" because it is not Willing to keep doing the same thing and expect a new result. People call that crazy, or obsessive, and it's not usually a choice. Injurious habits, repetitions of nonsense, are not performed from your Will. The Will operates within the bounds of consciousness. Will requires effort because it is running against another action-command. Your body wants to do one thing, the easy thing, an ingrained, "looks like it will make things go away for now," cowardly thing. But the Will wants to conquer a new task. Climb a new building. Run another lap. Fly. And when there are conflicting action commands and you have decided the newer, less mature one, the more hopeful one is going to win, this operation has to occur within what we experience as consciousness. And it can be uncomfortable. Anyway, some people have an easier go at it. If you have trouble flying at first, stay calm, stay centered in the dream by continuing to stabilize, and know that others have found a way and you will too...
A Few Tips on Flying in Lucid Dreams:
This may sound silly, but changing your hand and arm position can yield different results. If you think about it, there are so many positions you can try to be in when flying in dreams. On your back, head or feet pointed in the direction of travel, looking up; belly-down, moving forward or backward, hands by your sides, or both fists in front of you, or one fist pumped forward and one arm at your side - like Superman when he's being fancy. I found that having one arm forward and one back worked good for me when I was first experimenting. But then one time it actually made me think about Superman and there he was, and I had to fight him. And then he turned into a big cartoon version of himself. And all this was a distraction. But yea, so, try changing your limb positioning. You could also envision energy thrusting from your feet and/or palms, and use this as a propellant. It helps to have some kind of a rational for what you are doing and why it can work. This occupies the doubting, skeptical brain goalies, whom you want keeping vigilant against foolery whilst awake (I never learned how to speak no good). And don't be too serious in the dream. Getting overly-happy will wake you up. Getting too upset or frustrated, or SCARED, and you will fall-out of lucidity and back into a regular dream. So hold your nuts, or your ovaries or whatever, and be brave and at least attempt to maintain equanimity (strong composure). And the best way to stay Zen, is to focus on your breathing while you move about. Deep breathing. The ONLY real thing in the dream is your breath and your heart-beat. Your eyes may be moving around in your physical skull, but they're hallucinating everything you see. So are your ears. But the breath, that's really happening, it's the same in both worlds, and it's the bridge between wherever you are, and where you are going. By manipulating it, at least keeping it rhythmic and moving, you will have an easier time trying to fly like a pro. Here's an advanced technique, but it is gentle and can work for beginners: First, get in the air. You can try slowly bouncing off of the ground, just pushing off with your feet, each time going a little higher into the air and landing a bit slower. Be outdoors or somewhere with little interference to your mobility. Get comfortable with staying in the air for longer and longer moments. Once up - and it doesn't have to be too many feet off the ground) you can try pulling your body forward by imagining that with every inhalation a force is pulling you forward. Forward momentum enters in through your nose or mouth and as it goes through you, you move in the direction of the pull. And with every exhalation, you are ejecting a force to behind yourself, through the heels of your feet, and continue to go forward. Pulling and pushing, working together, all controlled by the rhythm of your breath. There was a time when you had to learn how to sit-up, then to crawl, then to walk and eventually run. This is similar. First float. Then propel, then learn fancier maneuvers. What are the limits? I don't know. I do know that you can fly very high (and that the fear of falling may never fully go away, for me anyway). You can even fly through "space." You can simulate light-speed, or warp-speed. You can fly through a geometric hyper-space, or get creative and go through a worm-hole, or a black-hole, or a blue-hole.
It is typical to see incredible scenery below you, unknown cities and green fields, or bodies of water. You can dive down into the water. You can use flying as a convincing way to travel around and about the entire dream-world. Visit new planets, or dimensions, or go wherever you can think-up to fly yourself to. You could even get lazy and just quantum leap everywhere, but this is about flying. And flying in lucid dreams isn't really about getting anywhere. Anywhere in particular. The feeling itself, that's the allure. It's not the same as being weightless. Flying, as previously stated, is occurring in a simulation that regularly and almost always, you know, simulates gravity. Therefor, what you feel is a kind of energy, either emanating from you or one that works with you. And the energy is delicious. Feels stupid to keep saying 'energy," everything is energy, but you know what I mean - there is a feeling of a force, a power, that both keeps you afloat and moves you around. The dream researcher Patricia Garfield described flying as "orgasmic," more than a few times in her books. To me, it feels like "Will-power manifest." Whatever that means.
So, Why is it Even Possible to Fly in Dreams?
Earlier I mentioned that typical flying dreams may occur in response to having a chasing dream. A get-away tactic. This would make sense for a bird to dream about, if birds had dreams, but why us. In fact, none of our ancestors could fly. The early version of what was to become the mammal-oid and then human brain shouldn't have known about flying? It could be argued that these dreams incorporate media influence. Children know about airplanes, and they've seen flying on the screens. They see birds. But these dreams are not new. Flying drams have been reported for ever, and are more likely to occur when we are young and not so enculturated. To me, the predilection for flying is mysterious. I get the symbology. "Free as a bird." "Floating on air." Everything about flying is romantically glamorized. Could it be built in the DNA, a "potential" for developing under the right environmental pressures into a flying creature. No, that doesn't make sense. DNA doesn't have pre-planned potentials like that. Does it? Probably not. Could just be an idea we develop by experiencing the world. Maybe we remember floating in the womb, and when mom would move around, little-you would also. Virtual flying. I don't know why or how this flying in dreams thing seems so natural. But I do know that the experience is hard to relay to people. Since there's nothing like it, nobody understands. Like much of the incredible happenings you can have in lucid dreams, it's hard for the uninitiated to comprehend. So, let's end this article with a quote from Nietzsche:
The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.