Sometimes reality gets too hard to handle. The world becomes a really hostile place with all the stress and responsibilities that threaten to weigh you down. So, naturally you may need a break.
In some occasions, the body might decide to take matters into its own hands instead of waiting for that vacation.
This might manifest itself in special moments where the ‘mind’ detaches itself from the physical realm and wanders free. Many would call this an “Out-of-Body Experience” or OBE.
To be clear, you can decide to do this voluntarily; it doesn’t have to be stress-induced.
However, these experiences can come in a variety of forms which are sometimes confusing because they seem so alike.
One of the most interchanged and often confused experiences are Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projection.
Though they seem quite alike, they are worlds apart – literally. Well, as you read through, we’ll clarify the two – hey, we rhymed!
So, hang in there and stay with us.
LUCID DREAMING AND ASTRAL PROJECTION: WHAT THEY BOTH MEAN
Like we said earlier, the two are quite similar.
They both involve a sort of “leaving your body’ and wandering free kind of sensation. You are definitely not in the physical realm in either of them. And in both of them, time is a mere construct and may not run in the normal way that it would in reality.
But they aren’t the same and actually have distinct features that distinguish one from the other. First, we’ll define the two concepts before we dive into the differences.
When you say that a person is lucid dreaming, it means that though they are in a dream, they are conscious of the fact that they are in that dream and are therefore capable of twisting and manipulating it.
When you sleep, your brain goes through five stages of sleep. They are largely classified into 2 – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM or NREM.
In REM sleep, your heart rate increases, and your brain becomes really active in a way that is quite similar to brain activity during wakefulness. This is the dream stage of sleep, and lucid dreams occur here.
In lucid dreaming, you are aware that you’re dreaming and are capable of controlling your dream experience. Lucid dreaming is useful in reducing nightmares, and anxiety which may be caused by PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) or other stress issues.
Astral projection is an out-of-body experience that requires you detaching your ‘soul’ from your body, forming an astral body, and travelling to another realm called the astral plane whilst you remain connected to your physical body through a silvery cord.
Astral projection can be intentional or may occur in near-death experiences. You may observe that your astral body is hovering over and looking down on your physical body.
However, you cannot control this astral plane and may only observe as it is not an extension of your mind.
Seeing some differences already?
Let’s make it easier by putting them in bullet points.
LUCID DREAMING vs ASTRAL PROJECTION
There are quite a number of similarities between astral projection and lucid dreams:
1. They occur in different realms
This might well be the most obvious reason. The dream world where lucid dreams occur is different from the dimension where the astral plane exists. The realm of a lucid dream can start from anywhere, but an astral projection always starts from where the body lays or your immediate surroundings.
This means it will flow from the familiar to the unfamiliar, unlike most lucid dreams that can start from anywhere.
The astral plane already exists, but the lucid dream is formed from the collaboration of the imaginations of your conscious mind and your unconscious.
2. The issue of control
This is another obvious reason. In a lucid dream, you are aware of and can manipulate your dream. If you feel like sprouting dragon wings and flying over hills made of bubblegum while fighting a fire-breathing centipede, then so be it. Your wish is your command. You can do anything you want to because the lucid dream state is very malleable.
However, in the astral plane, you are more limited and can barely manipulate it. This is because you are a mere traveler and can only observe what is.
3. You do not need sleep in one
Guess which? Astral projection.
In lucid dreaming, you have to be asleep to be able to experience. It is a constant.
This isn’t the same for astral projection which can occur through meditation (which may involve the use of binaural beats) or at the moment when you are teetering at the edge of sleep. You can be conscious before the experience, unlike lucid dreaming.
4. The ability to recall events
In lucid dreams, your conscious part is in the dream with you and is aware of what’s happening, since it’s in charge. This may enable you to recall clearly what you witnessed in your lucid dream. The events and occurrences within your lucid dream realm are vivid and can imprint in your head even when you wake up. Some people even use this technique to practice for tests, interviews and so on.
But in astral projection, you may not even realize that you have travelled in the astral plane. Often times, we may feel a falling sensation right before we wake up from sleep, if this isn’t a non-lucid nightmare, then it is usually involuntary astral projection. You may even wake up feeling fatigued and cannot remember anything about the experience.
However, experienced astral travelers may be able to recall and recount their astral experience.
Well, here we are.
These are the major differences between lucid dreaming and astral projection. We really hope this helps you understand your future otherworldly experiences more.
If you have any questions, need a spiritual guide, or just want to share your psychic experience, please feel free to reach us. Until next time, enjoy your cosmic journey. Safe travels!