Dreams, Astral Projection, and Lucid Dreaming
Is dreaming a byproduct of a bodily process or something more?
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” Edgar Allen Poe
“Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.” Cobb, Inception by Christopher Nolan
Dreams are images, emotions, sensations or ideas that occur during the stages of sleep. They have been widely studied by scientists, psychologists, religion, philosophers and psychics. There is no definitive view of what dreams are, overall purpose or deeper meaning. Research shows that the average person dreams between three and six times a night, lasting between five and 20 minutes. Often people do not remember their dreams, and most dreams are forgotten upon waking.
Astral projection permeates many mystical traditions of the major world religions. Egyptian manuscripts spoke of the Ka, or double that is able to separate from the physical body and travel at will. Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BCE) spoke of astral travel in discussing the Music of the Heavens. Pythagoreans assumed that the space between heavenly bodies and the earth corresponded to musical intervals. It would b possible to rise to astral spheres and commune with the diving by allowing consciousness to be uplifted by philosophy. Shamans are individuals who appear to transcend the concept of space-time and related conditioning. Astral projection is a strong component of shamanistic traditions. In Tantric Buddhism, there is evidence of astral projection as a form of devotion to the Buddha. Other branches of Buddhism believe that this ability is accessible to all people.
The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology. Dreams occur in the rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep stage. That is when brain activity is at its highest. It is believed that dreaming during this sleep phase produces dreams that are less vivid and not always remembered. Many scientists believe that dreams are merely the result of electrical impulses in the brain that join random thoughts and images from our subconscious.
Jungian View of Dreams (Dream Psychology)
Carl Jung (1875-1961) believed that dreams reveal what we are integrating into our unconscious and conscious lives. He called this process individuation. Jung’s Dreams, Myths, and Reflections, his autobiography. Jung rejected Freud’s views of dreams as secret and the result of taboo sexual impulses. Jung spoke of archetypes, the universal energies of every human, and how they emerge through dream states and how we can understand and bring into balance these needs to live with ease. Another book that gives insight into Jung’s view of dreams is his personal dream journals. Known as the Red Book, this is the journal that Jung kept during his “encounter with the unconscious” during WWI, in which he holed up in his studio. He later stated that many of his ideas were represented in these journals, which is full of ornate drawings and calligraphy.
Dream Interpretation is the science of studying the meaning of dreams. It is loosely associated with some forms of psychotherapy but there is no reliable source of credibility for this work. There are many books and resources that reference what various symbols mean in dreams, however, the truest source is your own reflection and intuitive awareness.
Vivid Dreams and Precognition
Vivid dreams are said to be the result of the subconscious revealing emotional states of the dreamer. They may be related to issues facing someone in daily life, They may represent an unconscious desire or wish to bring into reality. Vivid dreams can sometimes feel more real than waking. During these intense dream states, it is possible to have moments of precognition, which is an indicator of psychic awareness.
Abraham Lincoln – Two weeks before he was shot dead, Abraham Lincoln had a psychic dream about a funeral at the White House. He asked someone who was in the casket and they told him “The president of the United States”. He told his wife but thought nothing of it. The date of his assassination, he gave his bodyguard leave for the day.
Mark Twain – An American writer, he used to work with his brother on riverboats in Mississippi. He had a dream where he saw his brother’s corpse lying in a metal coffin in his sister’s living room. It was placed on two chairs and there was a crimson flower in the center. His brother was killed a few weeks later in an explosion on a riverboat. At his funeral, Twain came to view the coffin and it was exactly as in his dream. A woman placed a bouquet with a single crimson rose in the center of the casket.
The Titanic – When the Titanic sunk in 1912, hundreds of people came forward saying that they had experienced psychic dreams about the demise of the great ship. 19 of the individuals had their claims validated, including one who had a stamped letter predating the sinking.
Subtle Bodies, Astral Travel, and Lucid Dreaming
There are seven subtle bodies, working like carriers for the soul. They are:
1st -The Etheric Body
2nd -The Emotional Body
3rd -The Mental Body
4th -The Astral Level
5th -The Etheric Template Body
6th -The Celestial Body
7th -The Casual Body or Ketheric Template
Astral travel, also called astral projection is an intentional out-of-body experience (OBE). It is believed that our souls have a consciousness called an Astral Body and is capable of traveling throughout the universe and multiple dimensions. People can be completely conscious while traveling. It may happen during sleep or in certain meditative states. There is a scientific view that believes astral projection to be a sensation produced as a result of sleep paralysis, as your mind shuts off awareness of the physical body. In other words, Astral Travel is being aware of the entire transition of consciousness from the physical body to the dreaming body. Like falling asleep with conscious awareness.
The Astral Body is one of the subtle and lies between the intelligent soul and the mental body. The astral body travels in a space called the Astral Plane. Plato was one of the first to discuss this state of being. He philosophized “How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state? ”(Plato 428 B.C.E- 348 B.C.E.)
Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. It is believed that the dreamer may possibly have control over interactions, narrative, environments, and outcomes. Usually, the surroundings are not your room but rather the dream world. In other words, Lucid Dreaming is becoming conscious while already dreaming.
Lucid Dreaming or Astral Dreaming?
The main difference between Lucid Dreaming and Astral Dreaming is that lucid dreaming occurs in a dream, whereas astral projection occurs in a non-physical world. Lucid dreaming is more like a state of awareness in a dream, whereas astral projection is an apparently real experience of consciousness in another realm. There are techniques that may be learned to increase the quality of lucid dreams, and many believe that astral travel requires a degree of training in order to perform safely and effectively.
Nightmares and Visitations
In the transition between sleeping and waking, there is a phenomenon called sleep paralysis. During R.E.M. sleep, the body becomes paralyzed. This is where the dream state mainly occurs. It will stop as the body wakes up but sometimes a person will wake up before the body can move. It can be terrifying and some people report a sensation of being visited by entities during this time. David Hufford, Professor of Behavioural Science at Penn State University, coined this as ‘paralysis attacks’ and has been extensively studied by scientists, psychologists, and paranormal researchers. Hufford has identified 30 main traits that are similar among people and has many theories as to the origins and reasons behind it. You may learn more about his work in his book The Terror That Comes in the Night. Another book that addresses this topic is Ryan Hurd’s Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors in the Night.
Common traits of ‘Paralysis Attacks’
David Hufford compiled several common traits among those who experience ‘paralysis attacks’.
- Waking up in bed and realizing one can’t move
- The person can move their eyes, maybe scream, but the body is paralyzed
- Hearing footsteps
- A figure enters the room (often described as a shadow, not human, possibly harmful)
- A feeling of weight or pressure upon the chest or other areas
- A feeling that if they don’t move they will die
- The experience feels real
- Hufford theorized that there may be other reasons for these attacks, such as alien, however it is not proven and only anecdotal
Ways to Increase the Quality and Memory of Dreams
Here are some ways you may improve the quality and experiences of dreams are to create a solid bedtime routine.
- Try not to do overly active or stimulating activities around bedtime
- Limit consumption of food and certain beverages well before you rest
- Turn off tech earlier
- Create an ambiance of relaxation and rest
- Meditate before bed and set an intention for your sleep
- Try breathing techniques or a relaxing yoga sequence
- Listen to relaxing music, such as music at a specific frequency or ‘hemi-sync’ style sounds
- Keep a journal or record a memo before you get out of bed to track themes and write a stream of consciousness to ‘dump out’ thoughts before getting out. You can draw inspiration by looking at the Red Book of Carl Jung.
- Meditate, put up a rose and ground your dream space. You may set it to an intention or vibration of what or how you want to dream
A Psychic Perspective
From a psychic perspective, dreams are associated with the 3rd chakra and related aura layer. Dreams can be a way for spirits messages to be given or to interact with other living people. They may allow you to work out problems and stresses or work on manifesting or ‘mocking-up’ goals and desires you have for your life. It is possible to learn and consolidate new concepts and ideas, including psychic skills, in the dream state. You may link in with the akashic records in dream states. Dreams are one doorway through which you may tap into your emerging psychic awareness. Precognitive messages (knowing or seeing things before they happen) may come through your dreams.
Dreams may be a way for guides, angels, and spirits to communicate with you. Using psychic tools in mediation is a way to improve your rest, relaxation and create the space for potent dreaming. You may also receive a clairvoyant reading on your dream space to gain further insights and inspiration on what dreams mean to you personally.
If you want to explore meditation and psychic development, sign up for our Clairvoyant Meditation Free Open House to learn about course offerings. Book a student or professional psychic reading through The Psychic School