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Observations placeholder

Patricia Garfield - Lucid dreaming as a precursor to OBEs



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

David Scott Rogo - Leaving the Body: A Complete Guide to Astral Projection

Patricia Garfield, who researches dreams …..particularly recommends the use of lucid dreaming for enjoyment and psychological and spiritual growth. (Or, as she puts it, "a kind of learning that is not contained in psychology books.").  However, she experienced a dramatic OBE during the time of her active experimentation.

In her autobiographical Pathway to Ecstasy, Dr. Garfield describes how she was resting one day on her bed just ready to fall asleep. She had been reading a book on the OBE and decided to carry her experiments one step further. She noticed that her body was gently vibrating and she heard whirring sounds fluttering in her ears. Realizing that she might well be in a pre-OBE state, she willed herself to float away from her body. The suggestion worked and soon she found herself hovering over her own body. She lowered herself back down and then induced a second OBE. This time, however, her second self took off on its own, propelling itself away from the body at the speed of light. Garfield found herself in a void and then lost consciousness.

The experience had a strange, almost morbid effect on her, and she was frightened. All that day she felt as if she would have another OBE if she rested and let down her guard. Eventually she went to sleep on her side to inhibit any incipient OBE from manifesting.

Only much later did Dr. Garfield fully understand what had happened to her.

"By assembling my own experience with lucid dreaming and comparing it with the recoded experiences of others," she writes in Pathway to Ecstasy, "l saw that I had been on an inevitable path to the out-of-the-body experience." She had learned that the techniques for inducing lucid dreaming are identical to ways of literally freeing one's self from the body. Learn one skill and you get a bonus!

The source of the experience

Rogo, D Scott

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps