Lucid Dreaming VS Astral Projection: What’s The Actual Difference?


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I’m going to dig into this highly controversial topic. The DIFFERENCE between astral projection and lucid dreaming. Aren’t they the same? Let’s explore lucid dreaming vs astral travel.

Many people think they are, and many people also think they’re very different.

What Is Lucid Dreaming?

A lucid dream is when you are dreaming and know that you are dreaming. A common way to have a lucid dream is by recognizing your dreams signs, which is know as the MILD technique. This technique requires you to remember your last waking experience before falling asleep.

You can fly, do things that are impossible in real life, or become the person that you want to be.

What Is Astral Projection?

Astral projection is the experience of separating the spirit from the body. The technique for this separation involves using meditations to clear your mind, so you can focus on being in a place you have never been before. It is important to maintain an open mind when it comes to this experience, because there are many principles that need to be followed in order for it to work properly.

I’ll use an analogy to talk about this phenomenon. Imagine you are looking at a car on a TV screen so you can see both sides of it at once.

If you were in that position, then one side of the car would be your physical self and the other side would be your spiritual self.

Similarities And Differences Between Lucid Dreaming And Astral Projection

I’ll share my beliefs and thoughts on this but please bare in mind that these are of course only my opinions. Don’t take them as the law, and don’t get offended if they don’t match your own. I’ve done a lot of thinking on this subject and this article is the result.

So, firstly, what’s astral projection?

Well, it’s the experience you have when your ‘spirit’ or ‘astral’ boy leaves your physical body and explores the astral plane or the astral realm. I’ve written a guide about how to astral travel but bare in mind that after reading this, you might be skeptical if it’s real or not.

(The guide I wrote explains how to astral project for beginners but it doesn’t actually claim anywhere in the guide that it’s real. I’ll explain more in a moment).

Connection between lucid dreaming and astral projection

So astral travel involves leaving your physical body and traveling around in the astral realm. A realm apparently separate from the physical, where REAL spirits, demons, entities and energies (and other astral travellers) are all able to interact with one another. This realm has been known to be scary, dangerous and even troubling for some people who claim to have experienced it.

Scientific Proof Or Evidence

So, let’s start with an easy one. Scientific proof. Is there any real, tangible proof that lucid dreaming or astral projection exists, and is an experience we can all achieve?

Lucid dreaming – YES (See this article or this one for the proof, and how the experiments are conducted)

Astral projection – NO (Nothing to link to!)

So, in terms of proof, there is no real proof that astral projection exists. If there were, maybe my opinion would change slightly. There is no ‘lab study’ proof. Lucid dreaming however, has been proven several times by tracking peoples eye movements in their REM sleep. It also make sense scientifically, and can be logically explained.

Astral projection however is much more difficult to explain, and relies purely on subjective experience and people telling you how it felt. The people that tell you how it felt could very well have been (And I believe they are) just describing a type of lucid dream. There’s no real way of knowing.

Proving astral projection isn’t real?

While we can prove that lucid dreaming is real, we can ALSO prove that astral projection ISN’T.

It’s simple, get a bunch of astral travellers to get together in a room. Have one person write a long number on a bit of paper, and place the paper in another room, separate to the one the astral travellers are in.

If astral projection is as real as people say it is, they should be able to remotely view the number in the other room, and recall it when they exit the astral realm in the first room. The basis of astral travel is that you can apparently visit REAL physical places in the real world (And other worlds) and experience things there. So they should in theory be able to experience and take in some sensory information from rooms they’re not physical in, in the real world. But can they?

No. They can have an EXPERIENCE of entering the other room, (Read, lucid dream about the other room) and IMAGINE or dream about what COULD be in the other room on that bit of paper, but it can’t be replicated, and they certainly won’t be able to recall the actual number.

The lucid dreaming vs astral projection debate

I realise that writing this may offend some, as astral projection is a personal thing that lots of people truly believe is real, and happens. I’m okay with that, because my opinions don’t need to be validated, I’m merely showing what I think and why I think it.

This is a huge debate in this niche, with both sides clearly set in their ways and beliefs. There are a few who remain open minded and I like that! I’m open minded also, and if there’s ever an experiment proving that astral travel is real I’ll listen up and change my tune.

Right now however, from where I’m sitting astral projection is merely lucid dreaming and I’ll explain why and how in the rest of this post.

What’s the connection between lucid dreaming and astral travel?

Let’s consider what defines a lucid dream, and what defines astral travel.

 – Lucid dreaming involves experiencing an internal in your own mind for the most part) dreaming experience and being partially conscious while doing so.

 – Astral travel involves experiencing an EXTERNAL world which can be the same as the real physical world, OR different (different realms, worlds, planes) and being partially conscious while doing so.

Does it not seem likely then, that if the METHOD used to induce astral travel is almost EXACTLY the same as the method used to induce a lucid dream, that they’re just one and the same thing? The technique used to have an astral projection experience involves keeping your MIND awake while your body can’t move and goes to sleep. (Sounds like the WILD technique to me!)

Going to sleep for a lucid dream

So therefore, what makes it different? Why do people experience (apparently) different things such as demons, spirits, energies, and report not being able to control their actions and the actions of those around them while in this state?


Your expectations and thoughts decide what you see (Lucid dreaming!)

If astral travel were real, then people would be able to experience the exact same things, like I mentioned with the ‘number on the paper in the other room’ experiment. But what REALLY happens?

People have different experiences based on what the expect to happen. (Again, this is lucid dreaming 101; what you expect to experience, you will). People experience things like demons, spirits and other astral travellers because they’re EXPECTING to find them there! They go into the state (read; Wake induced lucid dream) with the belief that they’ll experience other astral travellers, and demons)

Now let’s consider the very method that’s used for astral projection. It usually involves sitting somewhere or lying down and not moving. Then you let your body become paralyzed, and you experience a buzzing sensation, vibrations, and sometimes it feels like a weight is pressing down on you.

Sounds a lot like sleep paralysis?

That is what sleep paralysis feels like. Sleep paralysis as you may know is what happens to us even night as we go to sleep. The mind freezes all our muscles and stops us from being able to act out our dreams in the night.

The experience you get JUST before you enter a wake induced lucid dream IS sleep paralysis and the feelings that astral travellers describe.

Heck, even the reports of feeling like you’re being crushed and seeing a dark figure? Sleep paralysis! I don’t know about you, but I think we’ve covered most of the reasons why astral projection = lucid dreaming.

Are lucidity and astral travel the same?

No. They’re not the same.

That’s right, I’m saying lucid dreaming and astral projection are NOT the same. Why? Why would the man who JUST said that astral projection is simply lucid dreaming be then saying that they’re NOT the same?

Well, it’s about the belief and expectation that go into it. When someone TRIES to astral travel, they’ll have expectations that it’s a REAL place and that they CAN’T control it. This means they’re crippling themselves from the very start, and will in fact experience something more like a lucid nightmare, where they’re aware of the fact they’re dreaming, but they can’t control it.

I think this is a bit dangerous. It’s asking for trouble. When you become lucid or conscious in your dreams, it’s always good to back yourself up with the belief that you’re in control. That you can end the dream when you want. That YOU decide what happens (to some degree).

When you enter the lucid state (or the ‘astral’ state, if you believe that way) you’re setting yourself up to experience a dream that you’re ‘awake’ and aware in, but CAN’T control, and for that reason, astral project and lucid dreaming are NOT the same thing.

So OBEs (Out of body experiences) aren’t real?

This is where the lines get blurred. An OBE means an ‘out of body experience’ and can refer to anything from astral projection to the experience people report when they die but are brought back to life. This is something that I just don’t think we know enough about.

There are reports of people that die and experience their ‘spirit body’ rising up from their physical body, and SEEING themselves lying on the operating table, or on the street. These experiences are too many to ignore, and on that note I’ll say that I simply don’t know enough about that side of things.

I’m not saying that OBES aren’t real, I’m just saying here that astral travel and astral projection is NOT the same as lucid dreaming, BUT it IS likely to BE lucid dreaming. I know that sounds confusing but if you’ve been reading carefully, you’ll understand what I mean by that.

Final Thoughts

Let’s conclude this lucid dreaming VS astral projection debate here.

Sure, I’ve created a guide on how to astral travel, but please be aware that this is only for those people who believe it’s real, and want to learn how to do it. If you follow the guide, you will experience what seems like astral projection, but in reality, (I believe, at least) is just a WILD lucid dream.

The guide is there for people who want to believe it’s real, and learn how to experience it, but in my opinion, it’s just another form of a lucid dream with different expectations. I believe that people wanting to learn astral projection should instead focus their efforts and interests on lucid dreaming, as lucid dreaming can offer much more in terms of mental, emotional, and spiritual development.

Again, these are only my personal opinions, please don’t be offended if they don’t match yours, and please feel free to share this article and let people know your thoughts on it. If you know someone who this might interest, please, pass it along to them. I won’t be mad, in fact, I’ll be quite happy knowing that this is sparking some thought and debate.

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