Clear dream – Lucid dream
A clear dream or lucid dream is a special kind of dream, i. e. the person in question sleeps, but can control his dream very consciously and remember it even after waking up.
Clear dreams have been researched several times in sleep laboratories. In the EEG, the brain has predominantly an activity of delta waves corresponding to deep sleep. The lucid dream does not take place in the REM phase. The functional MRI (nuclear spin) during the lucid dream is fundamentally different from that during normal sleep, namely, there are areas of the brain that are otherwise active only during the waking state (frontal brain).
Apparently every person can learn to have a lucid dream. There are numerous learning methods and numerous schools. The Monroe Institute in Virginia / USA has researched the lucid dream over years and decades. Robert Monroe has developed the HemiSync method, in which sounds through two headphones in the brain create an interference oscillation, which facilitates the achievement of a lucid dream. In Germany Simon Rausch runs his “School of Oneironautics” (kt-forum.de), in Linz / Austria Marko Huemer runs the “United Academy” and offers a variety of methods which, individually applied to each student, can be used earlier or later to lead to lucid dream. Both have an internet forum with thousands of members.
It is a popular hobby to go on lucid dream travel at night and to experience adventures. This is reported in these forums.
What is an astral travel? It means that you step out of your body and go to another place with your soul or astral body. Originally, the term comes from shamans of different peoples, who can put themselves in a state of trance and then they do far travels in the astral world, for example, from the US to Europe (shamanic journey). “Astral Projection” is an outdated term for “out of body experience”. The term “out-of-body experience” (AKE) is almost synonymous with astral journey, whereby the astral travel is usually done willingly, while you can have an out-of-body experience accidentally.
Advanced lucid dreamers are convinced that during a lucid dream they make similar trips – while sleeping rather than in a trance – and call their experience “astral travel”. Some make no distinction between the terms “clear dream”, “lucid dream” and “astral travel”. It is the same phenomenon with different interpretation: a lucid dream is just a dream and can be considered unreal. An astral travel is a real journey of the soul/ of the astral body to another (usually otherworldly) place.
The first publications about astral travels, at that time still called “astral projection”, come from Oliver Fox (England, 1895-1949) and Sylvan Muldoon (USA, 1903-1969), who together with Hereward Carrington (USA, 1880-1958) has published several papers. Classics who have described for the first time a systematology of their personal astral experiences are Robert Monroe (USA, 1915-1995) and William Buhlman (USA, born 1950) – to whom is interested in astral travels, I can highly recommend their works (Adventures Beyond the Body, Journeys out of the Body).
Clear dream and near-death experience
What is special about the lucid dream? It can serve as a training method for athletes and artists. It has been proven that certain activities or processes, such as the gymnastics of a freestyle on the ingot, which are practiced virtually in a lucid dream, then work better in reality.
What does an astral travel have in common with near-death experiences? Well, there are many similarities: you can fly and see the world from above. Astral travelers can fly to the Moon or through space without a space suit, as is also reported in some NDEs. Astral travelers sometimes talk to the deceased. Astral travelers can go to a place of their choice by willpower without having to travel long distances.
The world of the astral travelers is a world of desire. Beginners first learn how to use it. You have to focus on wanting to fly, otherwise you will walk again with 2 legs, which is just as possible. The world is deformable by your own will, for example, you can extend your arm to better grip an object. It’s a completely different reality than our 3D world, but you can look over from the astral world’s point of view into the real world. The astral world feels real, and special techniques – reality check – are necessary to make even sure if you are “dreaming” or ifyou are awake.
Where are the differences between the astral world and the world of near-death experiences? Usually this feeling of security and being loved is missing. Sometimes there is a lack of guidance from other spirits – however, e.g. Robert Monroe reports of “helpers” during his astral travel. The life review is missing. The tunnel experience lacks. And, of course, there is no confrontation with the threshold, the warning not to move on here, the choice of whether to finally go to the beyond or return to earth. Of course, these differences are related to the particular situation of the NDE.
Some Near-Death Experiencers report that they can go as well as astral travelers through their will to a certain place, this usually happens before the tunnel experience. Or maybe some of the differences result simply because the near-death experience is unique and relatively short, while astral travels keep returning and you have time and opportunity to deal with the new world.
Hallucination or reality?
Now comes the crucial question. Many lucid dreamers are uncertain at first, because they perceive the lucid dream as “real”, even though it is a “dream”. Many then do experiments. For example, there is one case where someone visited a friend’s apartment during his lucid dream, and she just had a visitor the lucid dreamer did not know. He was later able to correctly describe all the visitor’s details to his acquaintance. William Buhlman and Robert Monroe describe numerous experiments with which they have verified the truthfulness in their personal astral travel.
The physicist T. Campbell, as a test person with Robert Monroe, has made numerous experiments related to reality. For example, he had the task of reading in the printing department of a newspaper editors the headlines of the newspaper, which will appear only the next day, and to report on the headlines. These experiments took 2 years. I assume that he reports about it in his work “My Big TOE”. He also made astral travels together with his son at night, and the son reported exactly these experiences to the mother the next day.
Marko Huemer reports that he often meets clear dream friends at night. They get each other out of the body and undertake astral travels. In the awake life they can match the experiences. For him, the world of clear dreams is, of course, a world just as real as our 3D world. Experienced lucid dreamers have hundreds of individual proofs of the truthfulness of their personal experiences. Only someone who is not a lucid dreamer himself has no universal proof.
I assume that one actually leaves his body during the astral travel and goes into otherworldly regions. There are countless individual evidences in the literature. However at present, I do not know a general systematic investigation of this question.
[revised translation 03-Sep-2019]