Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ask IAC: Are Lucid Dreams the same as Out-of-Body Experiences?

Question from Slovenia: Are Lucid Dreams the same as OBE's?

A:

The lucid dream could be said to be a type of semi-conscious OBE in the sense that we typically find ourselves already projected, floating slightly above the physical body, when we transition from a conscious dream state to the conscious projection. On the other hand, the imagery of lucid dreams is imaginary, subjective, or oneric, whereas with projections of the consciousness, we perceive a shared reality like during our waking physical lives. In this respect, they are not the same. We cover this subject in Module 2 of our Consciousness Development Program (now available in an online format), when we discuss a variety of altered states and psychical phenomena of the consciousness.

Lucid dreaming is an altered state of consciousness when you are aware that you are dreaming while you are still in the dream state. Typically, we realize that we were dreaming after the fact, when we wake up and regain more lucidity. Often, we find the sequence of mental events quite preposterous and wonder how come we did not realize it was a dream. When we have severely limited awareness, we tend to have a more instinctual and emotional and less rational behavior, which is reflected in many of our dreams. However, there are times when we enjoy a bit more of awareness and realize that we are dreaming before we wake up. 

When we realize this, sometimes we end up waking, but sometimes we can manage to remain in the dream state but now we significant control over what we experience since it is our very own subjective stage. One may, however, succeed in triggering a projection of the consciousness (OBE), whereby the dream or oneiric imagery "melts away," "evaporates," or "dissipates" giving way to non-material perceptions: typically of being in the process of "taking off" from the body. You might notice your "astral body" (psychosoma, body of emotions) was already floating above the body, but you had not been aware of it prior to this transition of awareness. Sometimes the person simply ends up waking up, sometimes finding him or herself in the state of temporary projective catalysis (sleep paralysis).

Experiencing this transition and also observing others do so from the out-of-body perspective (such as, when you wake up a friend to an OBE who is currently dreaming) has led many projectiologists (researchers of the OBE or projections) to the conclusion that lucid dreams are more likely to take place while one is already projected, floating a few centimeters above the physical body, as it often does throughout periods of the natural sleep cycle. With the consciousness less restricted by the physical brain, it can more easily experience additional lucidity and hence be more likely to question nonsensical aspects of a dream. 

As such, lucid dreams could be viewed as another effective way to have more lucid projections or OBE's, since one can transition from being more awake but still dreaming (still "in your own head") to transitioning to the consensus reality of OBE's (whereby you could visit actual extraphysical locales, make observations of physical events at a distance, or even meet other lucid projectors). There are numerous techniques to induce more frequent lucid dreams.


Many of them involve training oneself to perform frequent "reality checks," checking whether or not one is awake or asleep (or projected). For example, if you check your mobile phone or wrist watch often, this could be the moment you use to condition yourself to do these checks. A common reality check is flipping a light switch like in the movie Waking Life (2001). Another, is looking at one's own hands and maybe rubbing them together or attempting to traverse a physical object. If one was already projected, noticing translucent hands that can go through the wall would likely trigger an increase in lucidity. If one was dreaming, the very act of checking if one is awake, trying to trace back one's steps should trigger the realization that one is currently asleep. 

You may even combine this with other practices (IAC students will recognize this as an opportune moment to also do bioenergetic techniques such as the
VELO, which may culminate in the vibrational state). In fact, it is well known to practioners that the VELO technique enhances one's attention and lucidity: in and out of the body.

Nelson Abreu
IAC California


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