Shards of Consciousness

The Out of Body Experience And Lucid Dreaming (Part I)

In We Are Forever I mentioned that if you have ever gotten out of your body, you know you are not your body. This is all fine and good to read, but what good does it do you to take someone else's word for it. This will be the first in a series of articles on out of body experiences, or astral projection as some people call it, and lucid dreaming.

What Is An Out Of Body Experience?

What do I mean by an out of body experience (OOBE) and a lucid dream. In lucid dreams you come awake in a dream. Your normal ego consciousness suddenly becomes aware, and you realize you are dreaming, but continue to be able to interact with the dream but are no longer a passive participant. You can be active, and even change it. In an OOBE you never loose awareness. From the start of the experience to it's end you retain your normal ego consciousness. The world you experience can be the normal physical world, a dream world, or some combination of the two.

How I Became Interested

I have been fascinated by dreams and sleep for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest sleep memories is a recurring dream I had as a child. In the dream I am on a hillside in the middle of the woods in the fall. I'm alone. There are no animals, buildings, or people anywhere in sight. Suddenly I am shot in my stomach. The wound hurts, but doesn't knock me down or kill me. I wake up, and often still feel the pain. I had this dream for four or five years several times a year. It wasn't a nightmare in the usual sense of the word, but as I got older it made me wonder how we could experience things in dreams that we had never experienced in waking life.

Another thing I thought from the time I was a teenager was that sleep is a terrible waste, especially sleep in which we have dreams that we can't remember. What good is it, I thought, to experience something and not remember it? I felt there had to be some way to maintain consciousness from sleeping to waking and back again.

As a result of this fascination with dreams I read all I could about the sleep process and dreams. I kept dream journals faithfully, working to understand my dreams and relate them to my daily life. Eventually I was remembering three to five dreams every night. At that point, I stopped keeping the journal. It just got to be too time intensive. Looking back later I decided this was a mistake and started working with my dreams again. While I don't spend as much time on it, dreamwork is still an important part of my life.

Eventually I found out about out of body travel. Great! A way to go to sleep while still remaining conscious! I assiduously worked on having an OOBE until I succeeded in finally getting out. Such a sense of freedom!

How Will An OOBE Help Me?

Learning to get out of your body has two major benefits. The first and most important of these is, as I said above, you know from personal experience that you are not your body. You don't know that you are immortal (though it is hard to not believe you will survive the death of your body), but you do know that you are not the byproduct of a few gray neurons that seems to live in your eyes. This knowledge has a profound effect on your belief structures and sense of self.

The second major benefit learning to get out of your body is the increased freedom of consciousness that is your reward. You no longer identify with your body. You can travel in a world that has nothing to do with daily reality, going on a nightly adventure, or you can make the effort to go somewhere in this world and maintain contact with the people you love who are far away. While your body sleeps you can do some of the things you just don't have the time to do during the press of the minutia of daily life.

Can I Learn To Get Out of My Body?

Yes! Approximately one in ten people have had a spontaneous OOBE, ninety-five percent of whom would like to repeat it. Out of body travel isn't necessary for biological survival the way being able to walk is, so if ten percent of the population has spontaneously gone OOB, the chances are it is an innate ability we all have. With work, you will be able to do so. It may take months, but it is like learning to ride a bike. You practice and practice, until one day things just click into focus and you are out of your body.

In my next article in this series I will give some methods of learning to get out of your body and also to increase your chances of having a lucid dream. In the meantime, you can read the OOBE Faq for further information.

2 Pingbacks to The Out of Body Experience And Lucid Dreaming (Part I)

  • [...] In Part I of this series I defined out of body experiences and discussed how they can help you in your personal development. In Part II I detailed techniques I have used to get out of my body and to induce lucid dreaming. This last article in this series will show some of the things I have experienced in my efforts, and what may happen to you. Not all of these things happen all the time, and not all people experience the same thing. [...]
  • [...] Part I of this series I defined out of body experiences and discussed how they can help you in your [...]

7 Responses to The Out of Body Experience And Lucid Dreaming (Part I)

  • I don't know if this counts as an OOBE or not, but I've had this happen to me at school once:

    I was in (I think) 10th grade and didn't sleep at all the night before...maybe like 25 minutes. I remember walking down the hallway talking to my friend and I closed my eyes. As soon as I opened them up, I was seriously looking down at me and my friend and didn't know what was going on. All of a sudden, he was like "Mike...MIKE...are you listening to me?" I closed my eyes and reopened them and was back to myself again. This seriously happened and I have never understood it.

  • Hi Mike!

    Yes, I would say this would probably count as an OOBE. You hadn't slept much the night before, so you weren't in your normal state of consciousness. As I'll say in my next post, the first step of a conscious OOBE is to put the body to sleep while keeping the ego consciousness awake. Experiences such as yours count towards a large percentage of the spontaneous OOBEs that people have reported. Such experiences have been reported as occuring during all sorts of activities - walking, driving, riding a motorcycle, working, watching TV, etc. The body is relaxed. The mind is in altered state. The conditions are right for an OOBE to occur.

    #265 | Comment by Rick on July 30, 2006 9:12am
  • I have not fully read your blog, however I have also experienced, first lucid dreaming, and also OOBE's.

    I managed first, lucid dreaming, as I often had nightmares as a child and could not stop them from occuring. One night, fed up with the nightmares I suppose, I realised in my dream that I had control of what was around me. Initially I developed the skill to dissappear when in trouble, then reappear behind my assailant or in another location to either attack him or run away. In later dreams, when in trouble, I would simply turn to my in dream TV and change the channel, and my dream would randomly change to something else. This was my favourite feature.

    I later stumbled across OOBE's, when One happened to me by accident and I had no idea what it was. I researched possibilities and discovered it was an OBE. I then tried to re-create one, which took about 3 months of practice. My first OBE was while lying in bed. I had managed to turn off all my body parts and just my mind was active. In a sense I felt paralised. Then it happened. I felt a shift, and then I fell out of my body and landed on the floor (or so it seems) looking up at the bottom of my bed. At the same time I could see the ceiling above my bed from my body's point of view, as well as my whole body, even though the bedspread covered it.

    The first thing I noticed was a big tear in the material lining the bottom of my bed. Then my mind shifted back up into my body. I was looking down (from my head's point of view) at my body. I thought that I was back in my body until I tried to move my arms, and a ghostly looking arm rose up out of my body. I started to freak out. I moved my leags and my head and the same thing happened. I ended up flinging everything around, I was so scared. Then the shift happened again, but this time with a loud creaking noise, as I was pulled back to consciousness. I knew instantly that I was back in my body, and quickly got out of bed to check the lining underneath. Sure enough the tear was there. I was so wide awake, I knew it was not a dream. I can still remember the unbelievable joy I felt. A freedom un-comparable to anything on earth, while I was out of my body (and still calm). I've had a different outlook on life ever since.

  • I'm glad you could stop by, exquisite-destiny. Your experience of having first lucid dreams, then a conscious OBE, isn't unusual. Oliver Fox says in his book that he started the same way. Personally I think the two are very strongly related, if not the same thing. The only difference being that one begins from the dream state while the other begins from the waking state.

    Evidential material like your seeing the rip in the bottom of the bed is why I believe we really do get out of our bodies and they are not a hallucination. Such evidence doesn't prove anything to an outsider, but it does reassure us that what we experienced really happened, and such an extraordinary experience does benefit from evidence in the physical world!

    The "different outlook on life" that you mention is, to me, the most important effect of having an OOBE. To perceive, think, and be from a viewpoint outside of your physical body ends forever the belief that we are our bodies.

    Thank you for coming by and sharing your story. Come back anytime.

    #310 | Comment by Rick on August 14, 2006 3:52am
  • hey, i'm not sure if i had an out of body or a lucid dream but i went to bed one night and stoped thinking. i just stared into my eyelids for quite some time (or atleast tried to)but after 25 minutes or so i started to feel like i was shaking in my bed like it was in a boat and all that stuff i read about when you are just about to go out of body but i didn't feel thes vibrations everyone is talking about but i still had a lucid dream. now i want to have an OBE if you could help me that would be great

  • Hi Corey!

    I'm not sure there is any real difference between an OBE and a lucid dream. Personally I think they are the same state reached through two different avenues. Obviously, the environment will be different between the two, but the mental state is not. In both you feel your normal sense of identity.

    Don't get hung up on the vibrations. Many people don't feel them. In my OBEs, which have been fairly rare, especially as I've gotten older, sometimes I have experienced the vibrations and other times I have not. The only thing I can positively say about the vibrations is, if they do start, I can be guaranteed of having an OBE. They are not necessary to do so, though.

    Read the articles I have written here. They tell you everything I know about how to induce an OBE. Google astral projection, OBE, and OOBE. You will find many sites dedicated to the experience. Robert Monroe's books are good, as is the Oliver Fox book I mentioned. There is a book online at by Robert Bruce that gives the technique he has developed.

    I hope this helps.

  • hello,
    two night ago, while trying to fall asleep in my bed.
    I kept falling in and out of being awake and starting to fall asleep.
    -once i hit the stage that i was extremely groggy and sleep (just like anyone thats about to go to sleep). this time it was strange for me because i felt this stage hit me harder then anytime before. anyways, it was as if something was waiting for me to hit this stage and it then inserted itself into my mind- it felt like an energy (i guess). Once in my mind i felt like i had to put my mind to it and concentrate on it (like when a women climax's or is just right about to). Once i did this i felt like i was going through i time warp. I was still very much conscious of what was going on and of my body. Seconds later i felt it run through my body (tingly) and my hands got a bit numb or atleast felt like it. my mind was running on full drive (i wasnt dreaming anything at all i was just conscious) everything felt fast like my mind was going as fast as speed of light. I was a bit frightened because nothing like this had ever happen to me before although, i fully aware that i was incontrol of my body. so, i tried to see if i could talk while being on this stage. Im not sure why--- i wasnt trying to call for help i just wanted to see if i could but instead mumbled my words. I was really scared so i forced my body to come back in complete control and i woke up. JUST to make sure this wasnt a dream even though i was fully aware it wasnt. I wanted to make sure i could do this when i wanted. i closed my eyes for a second time and tapped into that source of energy which was still lying there (weaker) then before. I then stopped myself from going deep as i did those seconds earlier. All of this happened in a matter of seconds i didnt allow myself to go any deeper since i was really afraid of what had just happened.

    maybe you could help me?

    thank you

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