Lucid Study: 5 Things That Happened at Lucidity

Editor’s note: This is a social science research piece conducted by Jordan Hamilton and his colleagues (Somi Aggarwal, Noah Boyd, and Adam Markey). Jordan is an M.A. Candidate for Positive Organizational Psychology & Evaluation at Claremont Graduate University.

During his first trip to Lucidity, he set an intention to study, learn, and share its magic with the world. In his previous article, Hamilton reflects on his experience at the festival and unpacks his discoveries from a participant viewpoint. 

Now, we are fortunate enough to see in greater detail his findings from a perspective that is both delightfully informative and deeply enjoyable

Photo by Conner Coughenour

Hypothesis: Lucidity provides a space and community that facilitates the experience of collective effervescence.

In measuring collective effervescence, the survey used group flow and participants perception of being in an altered state with others to confirm the experience.

The feedback from the survey (N=97) indicates that the majority of the participants who responded seemed to experience qualities of collective effervescence in addition to having a transformational experience in general.

One of the unanticipated findings was the emphasis on service in being a catalyst to having a transformative experience. This will be interesting to look at in future studies and beyond the festival scene, in relation to well-being, and connection to others.

While this survey attempted to measure the experience of lucidity, it failed to do so.

An experience as intense, ethereal, and ancient as Lucidity cannot be described in a survey or in words for that matter.

That being said, the feedback gathered from this survey can be used as a tool to highlight the aspects of the festival experience that were transformative.

Ideally this information can be used to inform participants about how to expand upon their transformation after leaving Lucidity, and be shared with organizations outside of Lucidity in a meaningful way.

Photo by Eric Allen
  1. Transformation happened.

85% of the attendees who responded to the survey perceived Lucidity: Rising Dawn to be a transformative experience. Interpersonal relationships and personal development were the areas in which participants experienced the most growth, followed closely by spiritual development.

It appears that transformation was supported throughout the festival, in workshops, during music events, in rituals and ceremonies, and most of all, by the Lucid community itself.

These transformative experiences led to reported increases in self-awareness, awareness of others, and empathy. For most of those in attendance, it is safe to assume that one did not leave the same as when they entered.

“This experience was a profound landmark in my personal and spiritual growth. I feel reaffirmed that I am on the right path and living in flow. The experiences were even more profound and magical than I knew they would be and I am forever grateful for the shared energy at Lucidity Rising Dawn.”

Photo by Marisa Pfenning
  1. Attendees at Lucidity are there to serve.

A large number of participants at lucidity came with the intention to serve, whether it be in the official capacity as a volunteer or on their own accord, seeking to create loving connections with other dreamers. The result being a space that felt as though you could fly, fall, cry, laugh, and howl all while being supported by the collective.

“I came to Lucidity to share, celebrate, embrace, love, witness, and be of service”

  1. Deep connective experiences occurred between participants.

Group flow, an experience of intense connectivity and heightened awareness, was reported by participants of Lucidity. Some attributes of this experience are loss of sense of time, an experience of oneness, awareness of emotions of others, and feeling as though the group is moving as one.

The state is similar to an experience called collective effervescence which was used to describe the unification of mind, body, and spirit that occurs during rituals and ceremonies.

“The amount of acceptance and love of all people was phenomenal. There was NO violence, just

Photo by @FishMakesPhotos
  1. The Lucid tribe experiences an intimate connection with the natural world.

Lucid respondents scored high on questions related to connection with nature. This combined with examples of devotional acts to nature, such as shrines, firewatchers, and a sustainability committee, led to this conclusion.

Many may have found that simply by existing in the Lucidity environment, a deeper bond between themselves and the natural world was formed.

  1. The lucid community comes from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life with a similar mission: to experience love and joy with one another.

The variety of people who chose to attend Lucidity (or Lucidity chose them) was astounding. Students, carpenters, financial advisors, healers, artists, all were in attendance at Lucidity. Present and lucid together.

An overwhelming response from the survey, interviews, and observations suggest that the communal love and joy were the unifying factors that anchored the lucidity experience. Over 50% of participants had attended a previous Lucidity and with all of the overwhelming response of transformation, experiences of oneness, and strong sense of community, it is easy to see why.

“This festival was an incredible example of how to create transformation and love in an otherwise lost world. This experience was as sacred and meaningful as much as it was fun.”


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