Lucid dreams and sin


hey all,

I had an erotic dream last night in which I was being tempted to commit adultery with females that were in the dream (anonymous, nobody recognizable). I recall resisting the temptation in the dream. I know that we are not guilty of sins when we dream them, but it got me to thinking when I woke up. What if a person knows they are dreaming and can control the dream (i.e. lucid dreaming). If they engage in sinful acts in the dream, knowing fully that they are dreaming and the acts are sinful, would they be guilty of sin or not?

This is just a curiosity type of question. I have no intention of learning to control my dreams and committing sin while doing so.

Glory to God!



A person in that case would be guilty of sin against the 9th commandment.


I actually once read a mystic who claimed that dreams are realities in different realms. So what we do in dreams somehow applies to our souls which would mean that we have to be virteous both while dreaming or awake.


A dream is a dream! Even in a lucid dream your free will is somehow impaired. Look for the early fathers’ writings about sex in dreams.

However, when you are awake and you state that you do not want to avoid sin or the possibility of sin, that in itself is a sin.


I really doubt it… one just does not have recourse to all the information, inhibitions, and the full power of the conscience even when one knows he is dreaming.

Most moral theology manuals I’ve looked at even believe that when we are half awake our culpability is often mitigated to a greater or lesser degree.


The OP was asking if the person had learned to lucid dream and had full knowledge they were dreaming and could control the dream - to use that ability to indulge in sinful fantasies in the dream would be sinful.

Generally we do not have control of what we do in our dreams, so there is no sin.


After thinking about this some more today and reading the responses here I’ve begun to believe this: if I were to become expert at lucid dreaming and could control my dreams, and I proceeded to call into the dream women to have dream-sex with and actually went through with the act in the dream (maybe culminating in a nocturnal emission, maybe not), then that alone shows my heart is not fully with God, that my mind certainly is not fully with God and, thus, I, as a Christian, am not fully committed to God. If not a mortal sin, it at least venial and shows a soul in serious trouble!

Again, I’m not doing this, just got curious about the whole thing.

God be praised!!



I don’t believe in “lucid” dreams. Either you are awake or not.


No, because even if we are controlling what we do in our dreams, the will is not fully informed by the intellect and memory operating at their normal capacity and thus deprived of all the helps it would need (and in waking states has access to) to avoid committing a sin.


I would think something has gone awry if the person, while fully conscious before going to sleep, even has the intent to engage in such a thing in his/her dreams.


How about, say, a repentant sex offender who still has these “urges,” but in waking hours is able to avoid/banish the thoughts because his will is fully informed by his intellect – e.g., his reason is fully engaged and tells him clearly that delighting in these thoughts is gravely wrong. His conscience, fully engaged, tells him that they are wrong.

Without these helps being fully engaged, while dreaming, the warnings are dulled or not present at all.

We all experience temptations and, most of us, bad thoughts, which we try to banish as much as we can.

The presence or absence of bad thoughts or temptations is not the measure of our moral rectitude, but whether we give in to them, and without the full assistance of all our faculties fully employed resisting them is difficult.

No one has shown that “lucid dreaming” involves the full engagement of the faculties, only that one is aware he is dreaming and controls his own actions in the dream (to some extent, though he is reacting to fantastical situations and stimuli.)


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