"Thoughts by day. Dreams by night."
We are all familiar with the surreal landscapes of the dream world, where subconscious symbols and images re-awaken us to our past, present, and sometimes future experiences. These dream thoughts, feelings, sensations, objects, characters, and places, mix and intermingle. When we dream, our physical bodies are immobilized, but our minds continue to think and explore this world beyond space and time. The unconscious reality. While the conscious mind rests, the sub-conscious mind takes over the thinking-feeling-doing process.
Mental images and thoughts occurring during sleep can be considered "the dream". Mental thoughts and images occurring while you are awake can be thought of as "the imagination." Just like our night dreams, our imagination, daydreams, fantasies and visualization consist of images,thoughts and feelings.
While we are fully conscious and awake, we navigate the external and internal world through our five physical senses, and through our thoughts, memories and fantasies. When we daydream, we can get so hypnotized by these inner thoughts and images that we can momentarily lose track of whats going on around us. Our sense of time seems to stop while we are daydreaming. Is in this timeless/spaceless moment our subconscious mind is in control, similar to when we are night dreaming.
Lucid dreaming involves being consciously aware that you are dreaming, while you are still within the dream. Needless to say, being aware of a dream, during a dream is a lot of fun. In a vivid lucid dream you can participate in the dream creation, and effect the dream reality. You can use your intentions to effect the future conditions of the dream world that you are experiencing.
When awake, you can use visualization to do the same thing you can do in a lucid dream. You can become aware of your thoughts and you can shape them at will depending on your intentions. You can change and create reality in your mind, by using your minds eye (inner vision). Your inner world comes alive.
When you visualize, the concept of time and space can be forgotten. You can be fully aware and present within the moment. The past, and the future are all still accessible to you in various ways at the moment you are visualizing. The past can be brought into the present awareness (through memory) and so can the future (through your hopes,fears,desires,intuitions and intentions). They can manifest within your mind in a subconscious way (such as through a daydream), or through a deliberate, lucid, and intentional awareness such as within creative visualization.
See also: All About Sleep