The following is an excerpt from my new 2nd edition of Astral Dynamics. It attempts to explain the differences and relationships that exist between the various types of OBE and lucid dreaming
What are the primary differences between OBE, Astral Projection, and Lucid Dreaming?
(Excerpt from New Edition of Astral Dynamics – released Sept. 2009) by Robert Bruce
I have pondered the difference between OBEs and lucid dreaming for many years and have only recently, at the time of writing this anniversary edition in 2009, come up with a workable explanation. I think lucid dreams are actually projections of the thinking mind, the mental body—a projection of the mind into the mental dimension. This is the only thing that makes any sense to me, given my experience and reasoning.
The mental body is a more refined subtle body than the real-time astral body. The real-time projected double relates more to the substance of the physical body and can be said to be a projection of the physical body and brain. Look at some of the odd things that can occur during the OBE exit, like having partial vibrations, getting stuck at one part of the body, jewelry causing problems, etc. Real time OBE clearly involves a projection that is generated from the substance of the physical body—from the flesh and not just the mind.
Higher levels of astral projection are more refined, contain more of the mind, and are less dependent on the deep physical relaxation and condition of the physical body. These involve higher primary energy centers, particularly the brow and crown chakras. These are known to produce different types of OBE exits, including tube and tunnel type exits, with less heavy OBE-exit sensations such as rapid heart rate, vibrations, etc.
Normal dreaming involves the mind. Lucid dreaming involves projections into a mental level. The mental level, while being technically higher than the astral level on the traditional scale, occupies the same space. The mental dimension is best described as being at a different frequency from the astral dimension. (All subtle dimensions overlap and occupy the same space.)
The astral body is well-known for its volatility and sensuality, particularly the real-time astral double. It is often troubled by the base drives of its more animalistic nature. In this sense, the behavior of the astral projected double is quite different from that of normal awake consciousness. During OBE, it is like half the mind and processing ability and memory have been left behind—and also most moral boundaries. If the astral double is, as I suspect, a projection of the substance of the physical body, this would explain a lot of anomalies inherent to real-time OBE that do not apply to higher astral and mental levels.
The astral and mental dimensions appear to overlap. I say this because some types of astral projections and lucid dreams appear to involve both astral and mental aspects. In this type of experience, projected consciousness exhibits more-normal behavior, morals, memory, and processing abilities. A combination of both astral and mental subtle bodies therefore seems possible. This would explain the clarity and functionality of mind during the higher and more spiritual types of OBEs and lucid dreams. So instead of having a definite subtle body for each dimension or level, there would appear to be a broad spectrum of potential subtle bodies involved.
Food for thought…RB.