Astral Travel

17 Reasons Lucid Dreams and OBEs are Different.

todayNovember 14, 2019

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The question “are OBEs a form of lucid dream?” is a common one, so in this article, I will explore the differences I see, and by so doing I hope to help to clarify the situation.

To begin with the example of my experiences, OBEs and lucid dreams differ in every way I can think of, from sensations experienced, the information gained, to the scenario that OBEs arise from (in my case a relaxed fully conscious state, not sleep).

The problem of defining the difference only arises when we try to translate an experience into words and the difference can become harder to outline.

It seems the confusion can also be increased if someone has their OBEs from a sleep state or experiences sleep paralysis, or they simply confuse OBEs and dreams.

I have put together a list of the key differences, and while some of the elements here can be related to both lucid dreams and OBEs in the experiences of some people, it is important to look at this list as a whole, rather than at each point in isolation.

For me, the issue is as clear as the difference between waking awareness and lucid dreaming. There are some who would argue the point, how do we know for sure waking reality is not a lucid dream?

If it is the case that they are one and the same, then defining a lucid dream would become meaningless. We use waking consensus reality as a reference point, and most of us can agree, on a more pragmatic level at least, that the difference is clear.

We also build an empirical (meaning from experience) basis for our conviction that reality is in-fact real, at least as far as that word has any meaning. It is the same with OBEs, we can build a body of empirical evidence that reveals certain factors about the nature of an OBE, and they appear to be distinct from dream states.

Of course, we should also remember that everything regarding consciousness is on a continuum, from lucid dreams, remote viewing, hypnosis, OBEs, and just being normally conscious in the world, are all states of consciousness. We seek to define things to allow a greater understanding of how to enter these states and to learn and understand more about them.

That is why it is important to be careful when saying an OBE is the same as a lucid dream in my opinion. So here is the list of key points that show a difference between OBEs and lucid dreams:

1. My OBEs virtually never occur during sleep.

And my body remains in a trance state distinct from sleep (related to Alpha State brain waves). I have on at least one occasion begun to enter the OBE state when walking around my home under normal conditions. It is clear that in the general population OBEs occur from a range of states not just sleep and the majority (78%), according to research by G. O. Gabbard & S. W. Twemlow, take place from a physically relaxed waking state.


Written by: Joe Rupe

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