Spirit travel is a very old term sometimes used to describe astral projection or out-of-body experiences. The idea that a person’s spirit can travel outside of their physical body and into non-physical realms of the psyche and spirit has formed the basis of spiritual practices in dream yoga, shamanism and other traditions that train practitioners to achieve spirit travel reliably. Many recorded mystical and religious experiences in traditions all over the world up to the present day have out-of-body travel in some kind of spirit realm as a component.
Spirit travel, or astral projection, is categorized differently from dreams and even near-death experiences on two counts, although spiritual travel can share some aspects of lucid dreams. Unlike regular dreams, in spirit travel you often enter a disembodied point of view from a calm waking state, such as that created by deep meditation: the person will find themselves separating from their bodies without any intervening loss of consciousness. In astral projection, the surrounding environment often seems hyper-real and vivid, in contrast to the muddied sensations and distorted perceptions of a mundane (non-lucid) dream.
Spirit travel also differs from near-death experiences in the amount of control the spirit traveler has over the experience: near-death experiences are out-of-body experiences reportedly had by people while their physical bodies were undergoing a medical crisis or clinical death. While near-death experiencers often report the same sensations — rising out of their bodies and perceiving a hyper-real environment— as deliberate spirit travelers, near-death experiences are usually not under the person’s control: they may meet a guide or find themselves being drawn down a tunnel of light. In contrast, during spirit travel you can consciously direct your journey. Also, the kinds of places and things people encounter during deliberate astral projection are often more varied than the elements of the classic near-death experience.
According to many guides and accounts of spirit travel, there are three main realms one can access through astral projection, each one successively less like the waking world and more abstract in form:
-Physical world: also called etheric travel, this is basically spirit travel in our waking world; what you’ll probably see immediately after rising out of your body. Although you won’t be able to manipulate objects in the physical world as a spirit traveler, people who have succeeded in reaching this level of astral projection state that you can teleport anywhere in the world (or even the larger universe) just by thinking about it.
-Psychic world: this is a world that’s very close to the one we visit in dreams, albeit unconsciously. Because you’re not normally consciously aware inside dreams, the psychic world feels very real and unchangeable during a normal dream; however, to the conscious dreamer or spirit traveler, the psychic world is actually very malleable and changeable. You could say that lucid dreaming is a form of conscious travel to this psychic plane where, in the full awareness that you are dreaming, you can practice changing aspects of the dream world and your own dream body. In lucid dreaming and spirit travel, you’re generally much more aware that you’re dreaming or otherwise in a non-waking state, yet you can often achieve the same leaps of logic, free association and non-linear thinking that make lucid dreaming a powerful creative state. Spirit travelers may experience changes in personal identity and instances of noesis (knowing something without knowing how you know it) in the psychic realms, much as we do in ordinary dreams.
-Spiritual world: here we enter the realm of mystical experience, as the spirit traveler enters worlds that are often only describable as realms of pure joy, love, light, peace, emptiness, contentment, etc. These spiritual realms are often seen as the goal of spirit travel, the place any serious practitioner is ultimately trying to get to. Although it’s often impossible for people who have reached the spiritual realm to describe their experience visually, I’ve heard that sometimes people have taken back impressions of things it’s hard to imagine in the waking world: hyper-real, crystalline landscapes, mountains of flowers, oceans of music or emotion that the spiritual traveler finds themselves adrift in. What’s especially intriguing about the spiritual realm is that many of the images and concepts associated with it also appear in anecdotal accounts of things people have seen during near-death experiences.
Spirit travel and lucid dreaming overlap in ways you can use to turn a lucid dream into an astral projection experience. For one thing, the practices that go into successful lucid dreaming, such as meditation, reality checks, and dream journaling, will improve your moment-to-moment awareness and control in your dreams. By becoming aware or “waking up” in your dreams and controlling or altering parts of your dream world, you will be gaining the skills of conscious self direction that also go into successful spirit travel.
Furthermore, both in dreams and spirit travel, your sense of embodiment is often distorted or absent: successful spirit travelers often describe feeling as though their physical bodies have transmuted into pure energy, accounting for the sense of intense vibration that almost always accompanies astral projection. Though you also might find yourself able to shape shift into other forms, more commonly people simply transcend physical form during spirit travel. Many practitioners say this is good practice for accessing the spiritual realms of in which whole worlds of pure emotion, energy and will seem to exist.
No one is quite sure what the connection is between dreams, spirit travel or astral projection, and near-death experiences. Whether these are worlds our minds create, or other dimensions we somehow access through the experiments in consciousness represented by lucid dreaming and spirit travel, what we do know is that anyone can discover how to let their spirit wander with some confident, dedicated practice.
I have had many lucid dreams. I am quite experienced with them. In my dreams I have contacted relatives and told them that it was a dream at the time, and they did not seem to know. I have experienced true enlightenment in my dreams. This is a state of Nirvana where your body glows with a bright yellow light and the feeling of oneness with God is established. The best way to describe it is like a halo. I have also had futuristic dreams. As it would suggest, these were dreams where I actually saw myself in a future event, and then the event actually occurred some time in the future after I had woken up. In other words it was like I was in two places at the same time (i.e. there watching myself as I wondered what I was contemplating at the time). In these dreams, you cannot be seen by anyone around your two selves but your other self can be (obviously since it is you in the future). After years of experiencing various lucid dreams, I began to develop certain abilities in my dreams. I can fly/levitate, use super speed, climb walls like Spider-man, use telekinesis (moving objects with my mind), transfigure another person (i.e. change their appearance completely), and I have also managed to fire electricity out of my hands. I have also burst into flames and then changed back to my normal self. Currently I’m working on Super Strength, and controlling my flying abilities more. I have also experienced a completely new phenomena that I have only encountered in a video game I played. It is like Dr. Strange’s level 14 sorcery (for those of you who are familiar with Marvel Comics). In all my years of experiencing these various dreams, I have concluded that the Spiritual World or Dream Realm is a very real place as real as this world, but not as permanent. It is called the Barzakah in the Arabic language and this is where God takes our souls at night when we dream. In this realm God even visits me on occasion. When we die, we go to this realm and the Angels will guide us to the Garden of Abode. It is a parallel dimension to this one but because the light in this dimension is more condensed than in the Spiritual World, we can’t see what happens in that realm until we become less dense ourselves (i.e. in the dreams we have when only our spirit soars but our bodies remain in this realm). When we die we are finally free from our bodies in this realm and we enter a different body in that realm. Think of it like water. Water can come in three different forms. It can be a liquid, a gas, or ice. If this realm is ice, then the Spiritual World is like Steam or Water Vapor. In its vaporous state water is practically invisible because the molecules are spread too far apart. Remember that everything is the universe is made up of light. An atom is a made up of positive and negative charges of light called ions. These ions come in three categories (i.e protons, electrons, and neutrons). Collectively, when combined various atoms form molecules. These molecules when combined form cells and thus life begins from their. The simplest creature we know of is a single cell ameoba. Anyway, that is off topic a bit, but I only mention it here to explain how everything is made up of light. Even in Star Trek and various science fiction, the idea is that enough condensed light can produce a physical object (like the Holadeck or the beaming aboard a Space craft where the body is converted back and forth from light and beamed from one ship to the next). As interesting as all this may be, I really want to share the new experience I mentioned earlier. I had a dream that I saw a friend of mine’s mother and she saw me and tried to talk to me and I ignored her. When I did I told her that I lived on the top floor in their apt building and that I wasn’t who she thought I was. Well, after that I visited my friend and said hello to his mother and she told me, that she saw a guy in her building who she thought was me and that he lived on the 7th floor in her building, and at first she thought it was me ignoring her but then she looked at me closer and saw that my teeth were different (which in the dream I actually changed my teeth to look different). Basically what I’m talking about is that I had a dream and it seems that what I thought was just a dream maybe be something much more different than I ever would have thought before. I only saw something like this on a video game called “Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven”. Is it possible for a person to astral project themselves to such a degree that they actually clone themselves somewhere else sort of like Naruto or the Multiple Man? Almost like teleporting in a way once the person wakes up. I have seen certain people who I followed into a place and when I did I looked around for them and they were gone as if they vanished into thin air. Is it possible that we do this all the time without realizing it? Well, I would love to hear what some of you out there think about this most recent phenomenon I experienced. On the video game they called it my shadow. Well, let me know what you think.
First off, WOW! Your level of lucid dreaming is quite advanced. And your understanding of how this all works; truly inspiring. I will gladly share your comments.
As far as “cloning” yourself as you described it-I believe this is possible. What we are talking about is using your energy to engage in other levels of consciousness, to punch through to another dimension. And with the skill you have obtained through your years of projecting, I’d say it is likely. And probably even more likely the more you try and do this, as you well know.
If you don’t mind me asking a few questions Dream Herbs, for all your many lucid dreaming experiences have you ever astral projected? I believe that dreams are our subconscious’s way of speaking to us using symbolism. I keep a dream journal myself and use symbolism aid sites to help me understand what my dreams are saying. An I have learned a lot from my subconscious about myself and how to improve and overcome things personally. My question to this is, do you think it wise to take control of your dream state when lucid dreaming and risk messing up what your subconscious is trying to tell you or when in control can you make your subconscious just tell you what it’s saying more clearly and use abilities of your physicky better? I”m a novice at this and have yet to experience a lucid dream but I found it’s always good to ask others so I can be better prepared when I do. Thanks.
I have not ‘astral projected’ in the way that most people seem to discuss it, but I have experienced lucidity in dream states. From my perspective, it is not possible to damage the subconscious by controlling the dream state. From my experience, the dream state is a reflection of the process of the ego. When I am able to control that state I am better able to see the relative nature of my ego, to heal karmic wounds that are being reflected in dream, and to more clearly see any important messages that come across. It is much harder to do this when I allow the dream, and the ego, to be in control. In fact, Tibetan yogis say that when one is able to be fully lucid and in control of the dream, one can visit teachers, both living and from the past, and receive teachings from them in dream. So I don’t believe there is any danger in working towards lucid dreaming. You will still see the right symbols, they will just make more sense.
It has been a while since I came here. I’d like to thank Dream Herbs for their response to my last question. To address your question, what I have found when trying to lucid dream is it helps if you meditate often. Once I was meditating every morning, then I would take a nap during the day. one time I had a futuristic dream of myself at a ticker-tape parade wearing a red wool hat. I noticed that everyone were wearing the colors of my favorite football team and so I figured it must have been because my favorite team was going to win the Superbowl and I would attend the parade after. I was right, and everything I saw in my dream happened. Meditation can help out tremendously. It also helps to be physically active to some degree. I was working out every day too then but just a little bit. It is like when your body and mind are balanced it makes it easier. Sort of liek the Jedi thing, or like Naruto. Back to the subject of lucid dreams. The one I just told you about wasn’t a lucid dream. However, I have found it easier to have a lucid dream or at least to recognize one when you see a celebrity in your dreams. I often have various dreams about celebrities. When I dream I’m in a room full of them, or am surrounded by them I know I MUST be dreaming. lol I actually taught Britney Spears and a bunch of her friends how to fly in one of my dreams. I basically levitated them all and let them fly with me until they got the hang of it. Some time after that a few of them visited me in a dream again and we went flying again then I showed them how I could manipulate the environment. lol Lucid dreaming can be lots of fun. Pleasant dreams. =)