The so-called extracorporeal experiences, also known as astral travel or OBE (Out of Body Experience), can be considered extraordinary events thanks to which an individual consciously perceives himself/herself outside his own physical body. Astral projection vs lucid dreaming – what’s the difference?
This phenomenon is not restricted to a select few but occurs naturally in the sleep of every human being, even if often in an unconscious and confused way because of the interpretation that is given to it upon awakening.
However, thanks to the experiences gathered in different studies, some situations could activate a “lucid variant” such as an extreme physical or emotional stress, a particular state of trance induced by deep relaxation techniques, the use of powerful psychotropic substances such as ayahuasca, and the perception of specific stimuli during the REM phase.
Astral projection is a phenomenon where individuals believe their consciousness leaves their physical body and enters a separate plane of existence, often associated with spiritual experiences, while lucid dreaming is the state in which a dreamer becomes aware they are dreaming and can consciously control their dream environment.
Scientific studies on out-of-body experiences (OBEs), often linked to astral projection, have shown mixed results, with some suggesting they may be a product of altered brain states and others pointing to possible paranormal or metaphysical explanations.
Lucid dreaming is a well-documented and scientifically studied phenomenon, with techniques like reality checks and dream journaling helping individuals induce and enhance lucid dream experiences.
Astral Projection vs Lucid Dreaming: Key Differences
|Conscious separation of the astral body from the physical body
|Awareness and control within a dream state
|Real-time perception of non-physical realms and dimensions
|Exploring the astral plane, spiritual growth
|Personal exploration, creativity, self-discovery
|Limited control over the astral experience
|Variable control over dream scenarios and dream environment
|Meditation, energy work, visualization, astral travel methods
|Reality checks, dream journaling, lucidity induction techniques
|Spiritual exploration, psychic development
|Personal growth, self-exploration, creative expression, problem-solving
|May not be influenced by external stimuli
|Can be influenced by external dream triggers, dream characters, or events
|Perception of Reality
|Often perceived as more vivid and “real” than dreams
|Subjective experience influenced by dream environment and stability
Studies of OBE
Although objectively, it is complex to explain them due to the different nuances with which they are perceived, OBEs have been the subject of many analyzes.
Although not exhaustive, some discoveries have been sensational enough to arouse considerable interest among professionals.
Studies show that at least 5% of people have had a conscious experience outside the body, but it is very likely an underestimated figure.
To consider OBEs a real phenomenon in all respects, it is not essential to do a significant study with thousands of people.
They are phenomena with ancestral origins, and that’s a fact.
What is a lucid dream?
Lucid dreams are not like the usual dreams.
They are experiences in which you are aware that you are dreaming.
The clarity of the wakefulness is maintained and, therefore, you know that you are dreaming.
And since you are aware of everything, you can intervene and change something.
Lucid dreaming is an excellent tool to lose your fear of nightmares because if you stay lucid during sleep, you can change everything that happens in it.
But you have to make one thing clear, your experiences in the lucid dream are not real; they are still dreamlike and, therefore, the product of your imagination.
Taking into account that the interpretation of dreams serves to detect problems when you have a lucid dream, you can even solve that problem that appears in your dreams.
It is a way of working on a solution in the dream world and then transfer it to reality.
Lucid dreams are also essential for improving creativity since everything is possible in the world of dreams, and you can live surreal adventures and fantasies created by yourself.
One more thing – people who have lucid dreams usually demonstrate a greater capacity for reflection and self-analysis during the day.
What is the astral projection?
So what about the astral projection?
It is not a matter of witchcraft or some kind of black magic spells, and it is not supernatural phenomena, but instead, it is a natural phenomenon accessible to all.
The astral journey is an extracorporeal experience in which the body unfolds, or so it seems.
What happens is that consciousness temporarily abandons the physical body and uses the astral body to move in another dimension.
The time to experience an astral projection is just before falling asleep. If you retain consciousness one more moment, your astral body can unfold from the physical body.
It is not a definitive separation of the two bodies, so it can be returned.
And be careful, because a trip or an astral projection does not always occur in an induced or voluntary way, sometimes it occurs spontaneously, and that is when you think something supernatural is happening to you.
Although not all people who experience astral projection refer to the same sensations, there are some quite frequent.
The first thing you feel is that just before falling asleep, you seem to fall.
At that moment, do not worry. Let yourself fall because it is your astral body trying to separate from your physical body.
You also notice that you cannot wake up, although you are not completely asleep.
And you can’t move either, have you ever dreamed that you were paralyzed and couldn’t move? Maybe it was not a dream but the beginning of an astral journey.
If you manage to let yourself go, it will seem to you that you float on your own body, you can even see yourself lying in bed and sleeping while your conscience travels to another plane.
And don’t be surprised if you notice vibrations throughout your body and even sounds that you cannot recognize. At that time you are already traveling, so allow your vibration to move forward to discover that new dimension that is no longer unknown.
Astral projection vs lucid dreaming
Now that we know what a lucid dream and an astral projection really are, we can begin to intuit its differences.
Both are indeed experiences that are perceived from a different place to the body and that both are altered states of consciousness, but from there, everything is different.
- The place where both experiences occur is different. While in the lucid dream, everything happens in the dream world, in the case of the astral journey, everything happens in a different dimension, outside the physical world, precisely in the astral plane.
- When you have a lucid dream, you are more aware than in your usual dreams, and you can do what you want, but that’s still in your dreams. That is not in your reality. On the other hand, in the astral trip or projection you are in reality, even if it is a different reality, and in a different dimension.
- In a lucid dream you can change what is happening and manipulate the actions of the people that appear in it. You are the architect of the lucid dream of everything that happens in it. However, on the astral journey, you can also create, but since it is a reality and not a dream, you cannot make things happen at your will.
- It seems that during the astral journey if you look down, you can see yourself sleeping, you can see your body asleep. This does not happen in the lucid dream, and you cannot see your reality from outside. You can see your fantasy from within.
Whatever you experience, a lucid dream or an astral projection, enjoy the experience.
And take note when you wake up or when you return to the physical dimension. Maybe these notes will tell you something.