Shards of Consciousness

The Out of Body Experience and Lucid Dreaming (Part III)

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.

Sounds, Images, and Sensations

As your body becomes more relaxed, your mind will also enter into an altered state of consciousness - the hypnagogic state that lies between full waking consciousness and sleep. It is in this state that you may see many strange images or hear strange sounds. Your visual field will begin to change colors, most commonly to purple. You may see faces, scenes, or a lightening of the visual field. Most of these are of no meaning - random firing of the optic nerve or visual representations of the contents of your unconscious. They primarily serve as markers of the shift in your state of consciousness.

As you continue you may hear clicking sounds in your head, accompanied by a sensation as if a rubber band has snapped. I have no idea what these mean, but they seem to be related to the loosening between your body and consciousness.

At some point you will experience a physical catalepsy. Your body will be completely rigid and you won't be able to easily move it. When this occurs as you are trying to send your body to sleep, it is a sign that the identification between your body and consciousness is weakening and an act of will or the simple act of sitting up can be enough to get out of your body. If it happens after an OOBE the simplest thing to do is just go to sleep. When you awaken, things will be back to normal. If you don't wish to go to sleep, put every effort into just moving one finger. Eventually you will. Then move your hand, then arm. By this point you will be back in full control.

Occasionally you will wake up from a normal sleep and find yourself cataleptic. Relax. Most of the hard work has been done for you and you can usually get out of your body at this point.

When detailing the Monroe method of projection I talked about the vibrations you are trying to induce. These can be frightening at first as they are similar to an electric shock, but without the pain. They may be localized to your head, or may cover your whole body. Generally they are accompanied by catalepsy. In either case, do as I suggested in the Monroe method and try to induce a smooth, even vibration, then sit up or will yourself out of your body.

At some point you may feel there is something behind you and just above your head that is trying to attack you. This can be extremely frightening. My wife calls it the chompers. As with waking from a nightmare, the best approach to this is often to change position and go to sleep.

You may also become aware that, even though you are completely relaxed and your eyes are closed, you can see the room around you, even if it is night and all the lights are out. Usually things are illuminated by a non-localized green or blue glow. You may, or may not be able to get out of your body at this time.

Experiences Out of the Body

You've gotten out of your body. Now what? That is completely up to you. In the books people talk about flying. I have never been able to do so from a conscious projection, but I have been able to lope along with hundred yard strides. I've been able to fly in lucid dreams, though, so I think some activities depend on the beliefs you take into the state.

From a conscious projection you will normally find yourself in an environment that is a mixture of physical reality and things that don't physically exist. For example, one time when I got out I saw myself as having long, flowing hair even though I was in the military at the time and had a military haircut.

A lucid dream can be completely unreal physically or a mixture of the physical reality and non-physical reality. Once I attain lucidity in a dream and decided to visit my parents. I found my self in their house. It was nighttime and the lights were out, even though everyone was awake. They were having a storm. There was a guitar speaker and amplifier in the living room on which a friend of mine was working. When I talked to my mother the next day she told me they had lost their electricity due to a thunderstorm the previous evening. Later that day my friend talked about working on his head (psychologically speaking). He was a guitarist, and often referred to his amp as the head. The amp in the dream was a symbolic rendition of what he was going through.


I've given some examples of the things - sights, sounds, bodily sensations - you may experience during an OOBE or lucid dream. I've shown how you may experience a mixture of physical surroundings and symbolic representations. What exactly happens differs from individual to individual. The important thing is to work on experiencing out of body travel or a lucid dreams. They are exciting adventures that open a whole new sphere of experience to you, and show as nothing else can that you are not your body, but are much, much more. After you have one OOBE, you will never look at yourself the same again.

9 Responses to The Out of Body Experience and Lucid Dreaming (Part III)

  • Hi, I just thought I'd let you know that this article gave me alot of insight into the experiences I have been attempting to produce. I have been using meditation to try to produce an out of body experience, only sort of modified since I lay down in bed when I do this ( I just find it more comfortable that way) so far I have been able to produce vibrations for the past three nights in a row but I wasnt sure exactly what they were, two nights ago I actually began to go cataleptic although the experience surprised me so much that I almost immediatly fell back to those normal vibrations. I have not yet been able to return to that state but now I am prepared for what to do next upon reaching that point the next time thanks to your articles, hopefully I will be able to achieve an oobe soon!

    thanks again I appreciate it,
    Jesse C

    #2046 | Comment by Jesse on July 15, 2008 12:09pm
  • Jesse,

    I'm glad you found these articles helpful. Books are good for explaining technique, but most of the one's I've read were short on details of the sensations you may experience, so when they happen, you don't know if they're normal, or if you're strange in some way. The practical details are sometimes lacking. :)

    Come visit sometime when you make it out. I may not consciously remember meeting you, but I would appreciate the experience.

  • Hi
    I have always been able to lucid dream ever since i can remember, it is only in the last year or so i have begun to realise what it was i was experiencing. Now i know, i have started to relax and the last few months have been crazy! I have been seeing all sorts of things that i didnt believe possible. This week i experienced my first oobe, i have never looked into this and thought it was very different to lucid dreaming. I have looked up for information but just wanted to tell you your article has really been the key to my understanding. I now believe i have been experiencing these oobe all along just without realising it. I have lucid experiences at least half of every wk and im incredibly excited about my future experiences. Sometimes whilst lucid dreaming spirits have contacted me and i am still not sure if what i see is what is happening. I recently believe to of seen and spoken to a member of the family who is dead and i have no memory of them as a child. It has really opened up a whole new world and completly changed my outlook on life.
    Thanks for the info :)

  • You’re welcome, Charlotte. Lucid dreams and OOBE are a grand adventure upon which I wish you well.

    One thing I would bear in mind is that whether the experience begins as an OOBE or a lucid dream, it often incorporates elements that are a combination of a consensus reality and a private reality (symbolic projections ). For this reason, everything should be looked at with the view of trying to interpret it’s meaning and not accepting it at face value. Of course, this isn’t that different from the waking world. :)

    Enjoy the trip and the expanded awareness it has brought you.

  • Wow, Nice recommendation Richard. Lucid dreaming has always interested me very much but I have only achieved awareness twice. The first time I realized that I must have been asleep so I turned to a light switch and turned it off,(I've read in articles that your mind cannot detect differences of light while dreaming) well that's when I woke up. The second time I had a realization in my dream and got all excited thinking I could fly so I jumped up in the air, arms raised like superman, and guess what happened? Nothing. If anything it was good for a laugh in the morning but I'm wondering if perhaps I've got my mind too strapped down to imagine the aspect of flying. I love the aspect of Lucid dreaming although OOBE's sound like they can be pretty scary.

    #5546 | Comment by Bill on March 27, 2009 5:38am
  • Hi Bill,

    I'm glad you found the recommendation useful. Scary? Yes, they can be. On average, more frightening events have happened to me from an OOBE than a lucid dream. I'm not sure, but I think the reason may be that we take more of our conscious beliefs into the OOB state than the lucid dream state. There has been inadequate research on the states to know if this is true or not.

    Beyond that, the differentiation between an OOBE and a lucid dream that I made in this series may be an artificial one. I have separated the two by the state of consciousness one is in before the experience begins. In one, you begin from normal consciousness. In the other, you begin from dream consciousness. Once self-awareness is achieved, the 'I' is apparently normal, though the surroundings in the OOBE tend to be closer to those one experiences during waking experience.

  • Richard, thank you so much for this article. I would like to share two experience that I had with this.
    The first time, the OBE was a result of trauma. I was riding my bike when the front tire hit a rock and I flew over the handlebars. Just as I started to react, I was suddenly watching myself fly over the handlebars from the other side of the fence I was riding next to. I saw the backside of the fence, and even the plants that were growing. I saw myself fall in slow-motion. As soon as I hit the ground, everything went black, and I was knocked unconscious. I have been told that this was a defense mechanism, but I don't buy it.
    The second time I made a conscience decision to have the OBE. I mediated and moved out of my body. I focused on my cat, and I zoomed out into another room in the house and watched my cat play in the dark. I saw her move and followed her. She was looking at something and I went right into her head and saw thru her eyes. I saw my own profile! Instantly I was back in my body. I turned my head and looked right into my cat's eyes. That was really the freakiest thing that ever happened to me. It was like she sensed me there, and went to find me. She led me back to my own body. Really gave me the willies.
    On lucid dreaming, I have never had any luck. Everytime I dream, everything seems real, and it does not matter how strange, I never realize I'm dreaming.
    Thanks again for the great article.

    #5583 | Comment by Val on March 29, 2009 9:58pm
  • why cant u breath properly when it happens?

    #7059 | Comment by Madge on June 26, 2009 8:02pm
  • Madge,

    What do you mean?

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