The term "lucid dreaming" was coined by a psychologist named
Frederik van Eeden in the late 1960s. It refers to those dreams in which
you realize that you are dreaming and begin to alter the events in the
dream. Several things may give you clues into the fact that you’re
dreaming. You may realize that something in your dream is just not
possible in waking life or a negative situation will cause you to search
for a way out. At this point of realization, you may tell yourself,
"I wish this was a dream!" and suddenly discover that it is,
in fact, a dream. From this point on, you may have varying degrees of
control over the events in the dream.
Some researchers believe that all dreams are astral projections.
However, most believe that lucid dreams are more likely to be
projections into the astral plane instead, because in both, you are
conscious of being in another realm. I have read some books that say
lucid dreams are astral projections, and others that state that though
they share some similarities, they are different experiences. Those who
take up the latter viewpoint believe that if you do not experience a
conscious departure from your physical body, then you are having a lucid
dream, not an astral projection.
Out of Body Experiences
The term "out- of- body experience," otherwise known as OBE or
OOBE, is a term coined by parapsychologists. Many people use the terms
OBE and astral projection interchangeably, but there are some basic
differences between them. Parapsychologists believe that OBE’s happen
only on the physical plane, while astral projection can take place on
either the astral or physical plane. This is due to the larger amount of
etheric matter held by the body during an OBE; it is significantly more
than that used during astral projection.
Another difference is that OBEs seem to happen in real time, while in
astral projections there is often a distortion of time and reality. You
may be in the astral for what seems like minutes and discover that a few
hours have passed on the physical plane. Usually when a person is having
an OBE, he or she is aware of the events going on around his or her
physical body. Most OBEs are reported during a near death experience,
and those who have had this happen to them are often able to report the
conversations that went on around them while they were "out".
We would consider that fantasies are present in an astral projection and
during an OBE, everything is objective or real.