By Gustavo Vieira © 2014
I look out a window of my house and am surprised to see my sister, who lives several States away, approaching along a sidewalk. I gladly welcome her surprise visit, and let her in. She tells me she’s on her way to a concert, and will only be staying for the night. This seems nice and normal to me in the dream, as if she regularly shows up like this unexpectedly. We sit down together, and she pulls out two bright-blue hand-rolled ‘cigars’.
As we talk, she opens them up, and rolls the contents into one lovely sky-blue smoke.
I’m excited, because somehow I know that William Buhlman, an authority on Out of Body Experiences, will be at the concert she’s going to, where the rock group Queen will be playing. I ask her to interview William for me about the difference between an Out of Body Experience and a Lucid Dream.
I become semi-lucid then as I tell her I incubated a dream yesterday about this debate, a dream I hoped would let me know if I was right or wrong about what I already believe is true—that the only difference between an OBE and a LD is that we are fully aware of the transition into another state of being during an OBE. I urge her to ask William if I’m not only imagining I read, in one of his books, that he believes as I do, that a DILD (Dream Induced Lucid Dream) is a less dramatically obvious OBE.
As I encourage her to do me this favor, I see William sitting before me as though on a vision-screen, ostensibly answering my questions in the near future through my sister, except that I’m already receiving the answers. I somehow understand he is not merely attending the concert, but is in ‘conference’ with the band members, and this is an essential part of the answer to my question. He seems to be in accord with me that an OBE and a LD are essentially the same thing.
My sister gets up, and I follow her into my dark living room, where she indicates she will sit on the couch while smoking, and fall asleep in the process. The couch is comfortable enough, but I assure her it won’t be any trouble to pull down the guest bed in the rec room (which for a long time in waking reality served as my lucid dreaming bed, and probably will do so again in the future). I tell her she will be more comfortable in the guest bed; she will sleep more deeply there. I head into the rec room, and I‘m surprised to see the guest bed is not only already down, it is comfortably made with dark-blue sheets and pillows. My sister’s possessions, the select few she brought with her, are strewn across it. I wonder how the bed got down of its own accord, because it’s very heavy, and safely secured against the wall, but there it clearly is down and ready.
When I woke, I had a strong feeling this dream was an answer to what I went to bed thinking about—is there a difference between an Out of Body Experience and a Lucid Dream? In my personal dream symbol dictionary, my sister often represents my relationship with my physical body. I was pleased by her surprise visit, even if it was only for one night, and I knew that she often showed up unexpectedly—like an OBE or a Lucid Dream, symbolized by her two hand-rolled smokes.
The fact they both contained the same substance, and that she unwrapped them before rolling them up into one mind-altering experience, strikes me as a clear answer to my question: An OBE and a LD are essentially the same phenomena.
The answer to my query was further developed when the dream highlighted the difference between sleeping more shallowly on the couch, and sleeping more deeply in my lucid dreaming bed. I knew my sister (my body) would not fall asleep as easily, which can happen when we’re not completely comfortable. It has been my experience that what feels like an OBE vs. a LD occurs when we manage to catch that elusive wave between waking and sleeping, during which we hear the metaphorical roar of our blood-red ocean as our consciousness rises out of our physical body, and soars like a seagull over the rhythmic tide of our deep breathing.
Traditionally, an OBE is accompanied by certain physical sensations, loud sounds, and other auditory hallucinations, very much like a WILD—a Wake Induced Lucid Dream. Personally, I can’t tell the difference between an OBE and a WILD. In both cases, I’m conscious of the transition. Sometimes, I find myself already in the dream state while believing I’m still awake in bed, and yet this is also a transitional phase because I’m aware of the desire and need to sit up, to rise out of my physical body, a tricky business since I don’t actually want to move and wake myself up.
But whether or not my eyes are closed in my waking reality bed, or whether my dream eyes are open in a dream bed, in both cases I consciously experience the separation of my Mind from my physical body. The main difference I have found between a traditional OBE and a WILD is that the latter is less noisy, and sometimes completely silent as I slip seamlessly into my dream body and a dream scene.
I encouraged my sister to sleep in my lucid dreaming bed, where I knew she would sleep more comfortably and deeply.
I believe a DILD is essentially the same as an OBE, only we are not aware of, or don’t remember, the experience of take-off. Instead, we suddenly ‘wake up’ already deep in the dream space.
I had a very enjoyable time reading the ‘hieroglyphs’ of this dream, in which I truly felt the answer to my question—is there a difference between an OBE and a LD?—had been thoroughly answered. In such dreams, every detail is significant. Less obvious and easy to understand than the two sky-blue smokes—which were the same substance only apparently divided into two separate experiences— was the concert my sister and William Buhlman were attending.
The musical group Queen is a classic rock opera band, and I for one remember how their quiet and sometimes ethereal voices abruptly crested into loud, exhilarating drums and guitars. The striking sensory and auditory qualities of an OBE are not experienced in a DILD, which is far more common than a WILD, and this may be one crucial reason why they appear to be two different phenomena.