Astral Travel, Lucid Dreaming, Altered States and Brain Waves

Going Up

Evan Bortnick

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been into some pretty weird stuff over the years. Before I seriously got involved in the study, practice and teaching of Neuro-Linguistic-Programming, my explanations of my experiences tended MUCH more towards the esoteric. One summer, pre-NLP, I got fascinated by the phenomenon called “Astral Travel”. In the pre-modern ‘esoteric tradition, there are a whole slew of exercises to induce the experience. After reading the literature, I probably tried them all. At first it was only frustrating, then it got to be routine, then it got to be pure ecstasy. The night in which I first “awoke in my astral body” (as the esoteric literature might put it), it felt like I entered into a new world. For a while that summer the experience was repeatable. Out of laziness or distraction or both, it’s become something of a random experience.

Some time later I began reading and enjoying the books of Stephen LaBerge, who’s become an expert on Lucid Dreaming. What EXACTLY the difference is between Astral Travel and Lucid Dreaming is difficult to describe exactly. Procedurally Astral Travel is entered into from a waking state using a specific exercise and Lucid Dreaming is entered into through a quickening of consciousness DURING a dream. In Lucid Dreaming, you become aware that you’re dreaming and enter into a more conscious, aware dream state. Both have an ecstatic quality which sounds truly unbelievable until you’ve done it.

What exactly happens to the brain during such states has, thanks to the research of LaBerge and others, been documented in many modern studies. Here’s the most recent one I just read:

My sense of it is that it is our birthright. It feels to me each time like this is what human maturity is meant to be; a state of highly charged, highly illuminated, highly aware consciousness. Both in their Astral Travel and Lucid Dreaming variations, it always reminded me of the “FLOW”-state we enter into when singing well. I’ve heard other musicians describe this state. I’ve certainly experienced a variety of it while listening to music masterfully performed. It’s not that they’re one to one, but the state in performing or listening to music and the state in Astral Travel – Lucid Dreaming do seem to mirror each other. That means an increase and practice in one precipitates more intensity in the other. At least that’s how I experience it.

A positive side effect of entering regularly into such states is the reduction and/or disappearance of fear, anxiety, worry, pre-occupation, negative thoughts and the many forms of self-involvement. And from someone who’s been known to….ahem….be as self-involved as I have, that’s not a small statement!

One thing’s for sure; however you get there, through contemplation, prayer, meditation, music, white magic ritual, yoga, breath work, lucid dreaming, astral travel or any combination of these and so much more, the repeatability of these inner states has a profound effect on attitude, behavior and the ‘being’ in Human Being!


Evan Bortnick

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden


About evanb54

I'm a passionate, curious learning junkie--- an X-Opera Singer turned Voice Teacher, Voice Teachers Teacher, NLP Lehrtrainer, Off-Path Coach, Cranio-Sacral worker and a few other even less mainstream things. Everything I've learned or taught revolves around THE VOICE. The Voice as a tool of artistic expression. The Voice as a tool of emotional transparency. The voice as a tool of flexible communication. If you're interested in voice lessons or vocal pedagogy, please visit this site: There's an English and a German version. If you're interested in voice coaching, public speaking, trainer skills or presentation skills, please visit me here: ..and feel free to send any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you! More information can be found at my Institute Site: The Wiesbaden Academy of the Vocal Muse Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden, Coaching, Voice Pedagogy
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