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    Thread: Astral projection vs lucid dreaming

    1. #1
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      Astral projection vs lucid dreaming

      Revisiting the argument about whether astral projection is a type of lucid dream....

      I think that astral projection a lucid dream just as a matter of semantics, even if it is also somehow more than that. However, I noticed something when thinking about it this morning that I might not have noticed before. In my other lucid dreams, I've been awake in the sense of being fully conscious, with a visual experience which is as vivid as waking life. However, my environment still feels like a cartoon environment, even if it looks real. Its like being inside something, the dream has boundaries. In contrast, with the astral projection experience, it feels like the strange astral world is a hyperspectral view of the real world, it feels expansive and uninsulated. The childhood lucid nightmares I mentioned in the 'first lucid dream' thread were like that also: the dream of my room didn't seem like a private, holo-deck-like creation, it was like being awake in the real world, but with something else added that's not usually visible in the real world.
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      Have you read "Explorations in Consciousness" by Frederick Aardema? It's a book on OBE's, but I would call it one of the better lucid dreaming books I've read. I think it ends up being a matter of experience, and whether or not you "felt" that this particular experience was different from others. Either way, I am more of the mind that what the vast majority of people are experiencing is lucid dreaming. I think OBE is definitely possible, and whether or not AP is I'm not sure, but I am guessing there is something there. I think it is a matter of determining whether or not you are actually projecting, and furthermore, whether or not it is even necessary to know for sure. Other than the knowledge one might gain ("Ah, yes, that was astral projection"), I'm not sure the quality of the experience is any different or the information obtained worth more or less.
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      To me this is a immensely complicated issue, the complication starts in that there is no clear demarcation between the two terms, the fundamental properties which make up a Lucid Dream or a 'Astral Projection' have never to my knowledge been definitively explained, so the task of comparison in a logical manner quickly stops for a lack of any universal definitions.

      Then there is the problem that the most common factors given to distinguish the two states are feelings or 'intuitions' of a certain quality inherent in the experience, which can never be properly put into words, so if a person could notice that singular quality or collection of qualities which distinguish one state from another, they could never impart that knowledge to another person in the form of words or any linear explanation. There are some distinct phenomena which seem to be specifically associated with AP, like the experience of leaving ones body, but one could make the case this is a illusion created by a brain trying to make sense of what is happening to it, so even tho the experience is vivid it does not necessarily prove anything.

      Another problem is that the methods used to induce each state are interchangeable, there is no specific injunction singularly associated with Lucid dreaming or 'Astral projection', one method it seems can be applied to both, a lucid dream method is distinguished from a AP technique primarily by the book it appears in, dictated by the philosophical inclination of the author.

      From my knowledge there has never been any scientific studies done to evaluate and determine the unique physiological or neurological correlates associated with each experiential state. Perhaps they are distinguished by their dependence on and association with a particular constellations of neural systems, brain wave states, and levels of neurotransmitters, and not their physical or metaphysical foundations. This idea is common to those who do not agree with the assertion that Astral projections occur in a novel metaphysical realm separate and independent from the physical universe. They say then that where these experiences differ is quality and not the source of the sensory data, these people most often say AP is just a extremely vivid lucid dream.

      Next there is the lack of evidence from the AP group, the kind of information or evidence which seemingly should be available to them if things are as they say. Maybe there is a person out there who could read a letter in a desk from a thousand miles away, but if there is such a person one has to wonder why one has never heard of him. I suppose this is not necessarily a death blow to the AP perspective, there are reasonable explanations why people capable of such feats are not often come by.

      Some reasons cold be.
      1. The mind of the astral projectionist skews the data, so even tho the person is genuinely out of the body his perception is always severally mixed up. The amount of people with enough control over their unconscious processes (I suppose even the subtle or astral brain has a unconscious) are severely limited.
      2. Those people who are mentally evolved enough to actually have perfect 'astral sight' and thus capable of proving it to the world at large do not wish to draw attention to themselves or are living in a cave somewhere.
      3. Conspiracy i.e. Evil reptilian aliens, shady government organisations in league with interdenominational entities bent on keeping the mass of mankind ignorant of the truth, and so on.

      In my mind the most credible evidence that AP is a real out of body experience are the many accounts of very intelligent and spiritually developed individuals, who in their minds all tho unable to give objective truth are convinced of its reality. Then again even highly developed and honest people could be confused, mistaking the intensity of the sensory phenomena with it being 'really real' in the objective sense.

      In conclusion, I have no idea what the truth is.
      Last edited by Valis1; 09-02-2016 at 09:55 AM.
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    4. #4
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      Hello, thanks for your thoughts, here are a few more from past discussions....

      To me, 'Astral Projection' and 'Out of Body Experiences' can be distinguished as follows:

      Nearly all of us, consciously or unconsciously, have a mental model of how we're perceived by other people. For example, a good basketball player has a sense of how he is perceived at the moment by the other players on the court, and he hesitates and feints in relation to that. In an 'OBE', a person projects his own first person perspective to such a third person perspective, and imagines seeing himself. It is primarily a visual experience, with an audial component, because that's how other people perceive us. Although the OBE is from a first person perspective, the mental machinery, so to speak, is already there from that other kind of thinking about how one appears from a nearby perspective.

      In Astral Projection, in contrast, a person stays in one's usual first person perspective, but moves or warps it so that it no longer corresponds to the actual physical location of one's body. Since one's experience of one's body has mostly to do with feeling, its a very tactile experience, in contrast to the OBE experience.

      There are a lot of variations of or gradiations to both kinds of experiences, different people experience them differently, and the same person may not experience it the same way every time. The touch sensation during Astral Projection, for example, can be remarkable, it feels like every bit of you has been peeled away from your body. But its not always like that, a person can be more aware of one's sense of presence and buoyancy, for instance, and not so much about feeling in one's nerves.

      Viewed strictly in terms of manipulating a mental model, there's nothing supernatural about either experience, and it is definitely a form of lucid dream if you do it while 'asleep'. Nothing about the 'mental model' understanding says that's necessarily all that's going on though. I think this is a common mistake of a scientific perspective, to be able to describe the most mechanical aspect of something, then just wave away anything subtler as if it doesn't exist. I have not personally gained any extra-sensory knowledge during astral projection or OBE. However, I believe that other people have, because I have in other kinds of dreams. I suspect that their extrasensory perception is only vaguely connected to their OBE or astral projection experience, and that the experience is mostly a way of explaining a more subtle and confusing experience to themselves. But of course I can't judge that fully.

      As I see it, the idea of astral projection is a thought, consciously and subconsciously embraced by the people who have such experiences. The overwhelming majority don't recognize their experience to be an experience of a thought, they imagine it to be a direct and experience of a more fundamental reality. And those that do recognize it to be a thought don't recognize the full extent of what that implies. Available writings on astral projection are a mess of plagiarisms, confused intuitions, and outright fabrications. From what I see, the general agreement between the different descriptions has very much to do with plagiarism, either consciously or psychically, and does not say very much about what is 'true'. In some books there is a lot of talk about controlled and uncontrolled psychism. From what I see, the 'real', supernatural aspect of the experience is mostly uncontrolled for everybody, and its the more superficially imagined aspect of the experience that's controlled. So mostly it hasn't been 'proven' because it can't be reliably repeated in any substantially real way. But it also hasn't been 'proven' because not everyone can replicate a result, so there's no way a referee can defend themselves against accusations of fraud. It doesn't lend itself well to scientific validation for that reason. And of course there's no obvious way to monetize it, and all scientific research requires funding.

      I think that some people are afraid to let go of the thought of astral projection, its almost as if they feel their astral experience connects to a fundamental part of themselves, and are scared to lose themselves. Or maybe they've staked their ego on their psychic abilities and are afraid to lose that. In any case, I would like to strip away some of the pretend aspect of the experience, if possible, and find a less limited and more true way of describing it.
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    5. #5
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      this type of stuff can be only known by personal experience. im learning how to obe/AP from online class so ill share whatever that contributes to this thread. but like you said - that difference between 'cartoony' LD and super real LD that doesnt feel like personal definitely has some paradoxes, at least to the regular dreamers' experiences here at DV.

      I also had very similar experiences when I WILDed by rolling off from my body but the gravity felt super realistic and everything was vivid as hell I was even confused if this was really dream or not. The other thing is my awareness peaked so high without any 'effort'. it just came naturally. Also my dream control never worked, no matter how I tried.
      This coincided with few anecdotes of other skilled dreamers I heard that they sometimes can't make dream control to work cuz the dreams feel too real.

      Another paradox was a certain barrier existing between those 2 dreams. One regular kinda 'foggy' LD/non-LD and SUPER REAL MERMORABLE LD/non-LD. The latter one happened to me a lot when I tried to attemp share dream with others. Like my dreams would become suddenly reeeaaaaal and so memorable without a single effort. It feels the former one is somehow located somewhere else 'lower' than the latter one, the latter would be in some higher dimension out of physical reality.

      Another paradox which is quite intriguing one. The 'void' space. I asked ppl at DV a while ago about this space but no one answered cuz no one knew. The experiences varies a bit depending on person, but generally if you go to this void space, your dream body doesn't exist at all, just your consciousness floating in completely black void (sometimes it's pure white). Your awareness/lucidity is very high you immediately start wondering what is going on. Sometimes you hear subtle/strong 'tinnitus' sound or see strange sparkling geometrical shapes. No dream control works either except if you just intend to go back to the previous dream, you can. This is NOT same as sleep paralysis...
      in my exerience, I had hit the void on these occasions:
      1. when I tried to find others in LD (to share dream)
      2. when I attempted to astral project in LD
      3. when I astral project 'inside' my body (heart)
      4. once, when I made my body full of light in LD

      If one of these occasions is attempted once, I'm immediately transferred to the Void.

      I could never figure out this place since I didn't know what to do, until I recently took OBE class. The teacher said this space is supposed to be the 'gateway' to higher dimension from inner private dreams. Once utilized you can project your non-physical body to whatever-u-call-it - higher astral plane, shared realms, angelic realms, parallel reality, etc.
      A LOT of others there also experienced the same void as I did, kinda feeling relieved that I wasn't the only one.

      What they claim including the teacher is that there's no difference between OBE/AP vs. LD except that LD is when you just know you're dreaming(shift of consciousness) but OBE is you project yourself out of physical body to get out of inner dreams. So I realized WILD was pretty much just as same as OBE. that's why it caused some confusions among the ppl at DV. but now I'm getting the feeling that even if you WILD you can still end up in inner dream, so what separates OBE from WILD is that what 'kind' of body you intend to project out... sometimes we project different type of body unconsciously while sleeping, and it can happen in regular dreams, so we end up in places that feels 'strange' so we get confused...

      anyway can't really claim/ describe anything myself either about OBE until I have lucid-OBE haha. One thing I'm sure is, what matters is not obe or LDing but the 'place' you intend to go to. If you believe nothing exists outside your own private inner dream, then you'll get stuck there. period. If you believe there's other world outside the dream, which can be shared and co-created, which is also quite real , then you'll have amazing experiences. so imho it's pointless to 'prove' something like this to general public... only those who are interested in it will experience it and join with us. that way is the only way to 'prove' to yourself... no need to tell anyone..

      it's very meaningful experience once you have it though. and then you feel the strong urge to bring significant change to modern dreamers' perspective, but it can happen only thru inspiration, like how WakingNomad did years ago about shared dreaming.
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      Ooo Windhover, I'm so pleased to read that as I'm really trying to find some info on what I'm experiencing.... that sounds like it!

      I was also starting to feel quite alone in experiencing it It's so nice to hear someone else who dreams about inside there body too.

      Can I ask about the course you did please? Is it online?
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      Yes Dreammouse its online its not entirely about OBE, but controlling energy. If youre still interested ,pm me. U will benefit much with LDing as well
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      International Oneironaut Shared Dreaming Project

      "Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure it was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world... and the real world?" - The Matrix

      "From the perspective of others I am part of the world, but when I observe the world from my perspective I am nowhere to be found. To observe is to create perspective. I can never cease to be the point of origin from my perspective. I observe that which is not myself. This is the first principle to find." - Ergo Proxy

      "It's not about believing, it's about knowing. There's no escape from what you know. To know, you have to seek and find the answer by yourself." - Keara Crevan

      "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we're bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, rebirth our future." - Cloud Atlas

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