Kundalini Manifestations, the Lucid-Dreaming, and Out-of-Body Experiences By Sirley Marques Bonham, Ph.D.

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If you wish, you may read this article in Portuguese.


Have you ever seen any kind of lights, either while falling asleep, while awakening, or even while you perform meditation? Or, while in these same situations, have you ever heard strange sounds that seem to happen within your brain? Have you ever felt waves of weird electrical-like vibrations throughout your body in those states?

If you have had those experiences, you are not alone. Lots of common people experience these phenomena while they are falling asleep or even while awakening. Many meditators do see lights, hear sounds, or feel vibrations, as well. Another thing that can happen while falling asleep or awakening is the paralysis. Paralysis is the situation where one is unable to move our body. When this condition happens during the process of falling asleep or awakening it is called “sleep paralysis.” The big problem is that these phenomena can be frightening if not absolutely surprising. If you visit the discussions’ forums of the Sleep Homepages in the Internet [I1], where the public participate with comments and questions, you can find many requests for explanations on how to stop sleep paralysis. Those persons, who didn’t know anything about experiences of paralysis and its relation to either lucid-dreaming or OBE’s (out-of-body experiences), report on how their inability to move in those situations sent them into a panic. Sometimes, as one of the progressions of the paralysis, some of them felt as if floating above their bodies or within their bedrooms. They also reported that this paralysis included the sensation of vibrations moving up and down their backs. They sometimes felt a “presence.” I was appalled when they told about their panic. I can only sympathize with them, as I have gone through this same panic! When vibrations in the paralysis first happened to me, I could only think that it was similar to what I have observed happening with mediuns, when they incorporated a spiritual entity, which was all I knew about “vibrations.” I was frightened, because I didn’t want any foreign spirit entering my body!

When ignorant about these phenomena, we can ask many questions, depending on our background. Yet, we need only the information that all is part of natural phenomena so that we can, if not enjoy it, at least understand and relax, while the phenomena wears itself out. Or, until the phenomena transforms to the next stage: the conscious entering into a dream situation (lucid-dreaming), the sensation of “body separation” (OBE), or just awakening. As related to the sleep paralysis, situations can happen that are excessive by either lasting too long, or producing sleep apnea (the stopping of breathing). Only then we should consider them as abnormal. These conditions suggest the attention of a physician with expertise in sleep treatment. Otherwise, the paralysis, even if very intense, it’s harmless, and the onsets of lucid dreaming or OBE adventures are in general, welcome events.

We now know they are common phenomena, but what could they be? Are they light phenomena produced at random by a sleeping or “sedated” brain? Are they due to nerves shutting on and off? It could be one or the other, or both. However, when we examine the descriptions of oriental Yogis about the characteristic manifestations of “Kundalini” we are dumbfounded to discover that they match those sensations above described. Also, they talk about other much more elaborated types of manifestations, sometimes with striking details. That leave us wondering: “Wouldn’t some of those mental disoriented insane be just victims of Kundalini manifestations?” It could be, and it could not be. Mental problems can have a definite origin in certain brain damage or ill-working conditions.


What is the “Kundalini”?

Oriental Yogis present a veiled description of Kundalini, with images of a goddess, The Goddess Kundalini . They also talk about working centers, “chakras,” and currents flowing through channels that are either straight (the “sushuma”), or intertwined (the “ida” and the “pingala”), like the snakes around a mast, similar to the caduceus — the well known symbol of the medicine [B1,B2,B3,B4]. Here is the interpretation of “Yoga of light,” a translation of the ancient “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” [B2] the Sanscrit text definition of Kundalini:

“The latent force of higher potential, said to lie in three and one-half coils, like the snake in the churning of the ocean of milk, sleeping at the lowest center (muladhara chakra) at the foot of the ‘tree of life,’ the spinal column. This serpent power, Kundalini, cannot be described fully, even by one who has succeeded in awakening it. When it awakens, it shoots through the body like an electric shock, and trembling and amazed, the person realizes that a powerful event has taken place within him. This is only the beginning. The whole body trembles. A door seems to have been pushed open through which a flood of light flows from some unknown world, a light of incomparable radiance. After a long time the trembling body becomes calm, but the flash of light shooting through the spinal column to the crown of the head is unforgettable. This flash of light is not really the Kundalini, however, it is merely a sign of its awakening. The Kundalini itself does not shoot up, but will later rise slowly, passing through the stations (the chakras), each of which creates another new and powerful experience.”

With a modern point of view, we could infer that one possible explanation for the Kundalini manifestations, the channels, and the chakras, might be in the workings between the brain and the nervous system throughout the body. Would that be a relation between certain “nerve-relay” positions within the spinal cord, and the oriental positions for the chakras? While attending my classes of functional neuroanatomy, I carefully searched for anything that could shed light in this issue, but I was unsuccessful! However, when one reads about the oriental descriptions of the Kundalini, one can only obtain a glimpse into the enormity of the cultural differences between the orient and the occident.

Let’s next discuss a topic also related to the oriental philosophy, and that is likewise related to the Kundalini issue: the meditation.



My own experience with meditation in not outstanding, unless the process of waiting for sleep while keeping oneself aware can be considered a similar process. However, from the literature and from acquaintances who practice meditation, I have heard of similar experiences or “lights, sounds, and vibrations.” From the literature there are a few modern books describing those experiences. One of them, the Gopi Krishna’s “Living with Kundalini,” [B3], is an account of a dramatic Kundalini awakening, which happened while he was meditating. Here is his description of his first experience, while doing one of his regular meditation sessions:

“During one such spell of intense concentration [on a shining lotus] I suddenly felt a strange sensation below the base of the spine, at the place touching the seat . . . The sensation extended upwards, growing in intensity . . . Suddenly, with a roar like that of a waterfall, I felt a stream of liquid light entering my brain through the spinal cord . . . The illumination grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder. I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light.”

Less dramatic experiences also appear in other accounts, however still very impressive as related to the intensity of the experiences. Bonnie Greenwell’s “Energies of Transformation,” [B4], presents a modern analysis of those experiences, from the point of view of “Transpersonal Psychology.” This is an out of main stream psychology that is able to treat cases not understood by the common academic psychology. Dr. Greenwell includes twenty three case histories in her book, but the investigated phenomena do not primarily center on instances of “lights and sounds and vibrations,” though they are also included.

We can also report Florence Ghibellini’s article about “the intermediary state” (page 46-59 of the Rever magazine, number 3 (June-July.1997)). There she describes vibratory and light experiences generated by the replaying of sounds by imagination, or simply by an attentive awareness, as related to OBE experiences. [While in a state of meditation, she has observed that, upon “replaying certain sounds by memory,” it is possible to bring about the phenomena of vibrations and lights, then follow with OBE experiences.] Ghibellini was the first French person to have practiced the lucid dream in laboratory.

The fact that Ghibelline is successful in bringing about vibrations and follow with the “leaving of the body,” is significant, principally when we consider that frequently, lights and sounds are present in experiences that also include “vibrations.” Also, that reinforces the fact that — like Gopi Krishna and other meditator’s visualization of a luminous lotus — the “visualization of lights” can also bring about light-phenomena. My own experiences have also demonstrated that other “replays of memory of events,” like that of movements, also work towards the attraction of similar responses, while in deep relaxation or at the sleep/awakening threshold. Robert Bruce also describes in his writings [A3] similar results about the “imagination of movements,” while teaching the OBE to blind people. While a blind person can easily replay sounds in imagination, they can not visualize images or lights. But they can obviously also “replay” movements, and Robert Bruce used this memory to produce the “movement of leaving the physical body,” or the OBE sensation, to the blind people.


Falling Asleep, While Conscious

Let’s describe the conditions that we set upon with the objective to wait for the sleep onset, in an intentional effort to reach the dream state beyond the sleep onset, without losing consciousness. (Notice that all can be achieved unintentionally as well, and that is where the surprises happen.) These conditions are: deep relaxation, then some “mind-activity” to keep awareness. One activity is suggested by Stephen LaBerge in his WILD (wake-initiated lucid dreams) technique [B5], where one repeats in thought our intention to keep awareness, while falling asleep. Personally, I set upon performing brain-exercises, by using the sensations of “movements,” without imagery, but only feeling those movements [A4]. What we next have to look for is for hypnagogic hallucinations (the visions one has, while falling asleep) of any type, dreams’ snippets, images. Or those strange sounds, lights, and vibrations. Or, the sensation of floating, or the sensation of being suddenly repelled from your physical body. This last sensation is extraordinary because you feel yourself moving out, like being repelled. All these sensations can appear independently or mingled together. Sometimes one can also feel a sensation like that of floating in water, where the waves produces slight movements of up and down, or side-ways wavering.

Technique is not important. What matters is that, while attaining this deep relaxation with “awareness,” we may get to a point where a hissing or “swishing” sound might occur, the eyes move upward or make slow movements. A “light” somewhere — centered upwards, or lateral, even moving — might appear and shine brightly as a light point in your visual field. Or it can occur as an image related to light, like flames, candles, that can transform in an intense source or light. Meanwhile we can be brought to full awaken awareness, due to the surprise and the oddity of the phenomena. . . or not! we might be already in the paralysis situation, where our body is already unable to move. We may then move out of our body (the OBE), or just enter a dream situation. We move out of our body by an impulse of “getting up” movement, as if getting up from the bed. Only it will be from our body!


Samples of Experiences

The following illustrate the comments about the experiences of lights, sounds, movements, vibrations, while in the sleep/awakening onsets.

February, 1991:“Last night while doing, as usual, the ‘brain-exercises’ [A4] I was feeling all those vibrations, which were a novelty. Toward the end of these exercises, while I started to ‘rotate the zero,’ I was surprised by a strong spot-light on my forehead, above my eyes! It illuminated my forehead, from above my closed eyes. The light was very bright, and shocking! I tried to control my surprise, trying to avoid my heart to accelerate its beating, as this would take me off my deep relaxation. Thus, I just kept rotating the ‘zero,’ this time with far more interest and intensity. Soon, there again appeared the light: my forehead was again whole illuminated with that light spot! It was not an as clear light as the first time . . . But it still shocked me a second time! By then my heart was too accelerated and with two shocks, I was unable to keep my relaxation the way it was before. . . . I considered myself as out-of-control. So much for that! The only thing to do was to try to pacify myself and go to sleep, which took a while to settle. The night was filled up with dreams, where I could recognize myself as dreaming.”

August 25th, 1990: “At night, after my ‘brain-exercises,’ I slept for a moment. Then, before I awoke, I saw in front of my forehead a kind of ‘shower of light’ irradiating in a circle, making the shape of a rainbow. Then, all of a sudden it ‘exploded’ producing a shower of light droplets! . . . And I awoke.”

January 5th, 1992:“Last night, when I went to sleep, I had just tried to conceal sleep when suddenly, after some kind of ‘clap-clap’ sounds in my head, I became aware of a light. Immediately after becoming conscious, due to the sounds and the light, the light transformed in an enormous rainbow-like picture, with colors emanating from the center out. It opened up, then closed very quickly, as I awoke.”

February 18th, 1992: “At about 3:00 PM I decided to take a nap. Soon I entered sleep onset, and I felt that I could ‘unglue’ myself, and in an upward movement I released myself . . . I went to the street, already floating, but not too high. I did not worry about floating anymore, as I decided to look at the afternoon sun. Then, from above the street, I looked back in the direction to the house, ignoring it, and up to the sun. The sun appeared in its magnificence, bright and warm! It felt so good that, while floating, I opened my arms and smiled, happy at seeing the sun. Suddenly, the sun disappeared. Surprised, I looked around, and I started to feel the vibrations, very slightly but indubitably, of returning back to my body. I awoke. I wanted to go ‘out’ again and succeeded, but not for too long. During the second return, I could feel the slow deposition of myself to my body. A phenomenon of waves appeared in front of my eyes, which produced a grid-like light pattern. I remained quiet in order to give myself the chance to get out again, but all that happened was that the grid-like light pattern changed from grid-like to wave-like pattern, then back to grid-like, then back to waves. Finally, these light patterns disappeared while I reintegrated completely to my body, and all that remained was a yellow oval spot in front of my eyes.”


Leaving aside whichever physical, psychical, or spiritual explanation, let me describe those phenomena in some detail:


Lights are not always of only one type, as we noted above. They can be “point-like,” for example, and if you are able to fix your attention to it, it may open somehow, shining brightly. Lights can also appear as already bright. Lights may appear as images mingled with dreamlets from your hypnagogic imagery. They may appear like a round moon coming up at the horizon, or like the sundown and it can be red-colored, or dark yellow, or sometimes just plain white. Lights can appear also as if a sudden lightning, oddly followed by a “crack-like” sound, like what happens in an electrical spark. Other times lights appear like “flames of fire,” either small or extended. I also have had instances when lights looked like the opening of a sudden fan in a rainbow-range of colors, similar to one of the experiences described above. I had weird instances where the light looked like a “TV-screen,” bluish and sort of vibrating. Lights can be, for example, just an image of a simple candle, which upon being noticed, transforms itself in an intensely bright light! The variations can go on and on.

Another interesting characteristic of lights is what I call “light-mimicking.” I have noticed these phenomena of light-mimicking — in a more obvious way — after I acquired a Nova-Dreamer from the Lucidity Institute [I2]. Nova-Dreamer is a device designed by the Lucidity Institute to help you to awaken your consciousness while in a dream. This happens mainly while we are in REM-sleep, the phase of sleep where we have rapid-eye-movements, and where we are usually dreaming. I had slept with it for a few nights then spent another few nights not wearing it. I then noticed several instances, while at the sleep onset, of seeing “blinking lights” just like the Nova-dreamer does, even though I was not wearing it! However, that was not new to me. It was a common experience for me, since the time I had started to drive a car at night, that I sometimes would have dreamlets of “moving car-head lights,” while falling asleep. In other instances, the dreamlet was as if somebody in the car ahead of me stepped on the brakes, and the brake-lights suddenly become too bright, bringing me back to full awakening. “Light-mimicking” experiences sometimes can happen after night storms with lightning and thundering. For several nights following a storm, I usually have experiences of seeing flashing lights similar to lightning, while in the sleep onset, sometimes even including the noise of thunder. Of course, fire-works’ shows are good seeds for light-mimicking phenomena, as well.

I have also heard people, who were mediuns from Brazil, suggesting these lights might be an experience of seeing spirits of light. They have experiences of seeing spirits of light, and the suggestion might be considered as one possibility, principally if there is at the same time some type of communication.



It was after observing experiences of “lightning and thunder” at sleep onsets, after storms, that I realized I have been awakened from a few dreams after an explosion happened in these dreams. Some of these explosions — with related dream imagery — were quite loud indeed, at the point of shaking me awaken. Sounds that happen in the sleep or awakening onsets also have an enormous variety, as do the lights. One common sound phenomenon is the sound of wind. Another common sound is like that of wind-chimes’ sounds, or that of one or more bells, or like a glass cup falling on the ground or being hit by something. There also is a whole gamut of weird sounds, that are not comparable to any of our daily awaken sound experiences. I also have had many experiences where I hear music, or voices. These may be considered the equivalent of the hypnagogic and hypnopompic images. (Hypnopompic images happen before awakening, as opposed to falling asleep, when they are called hypnagogic.) They can also be considered as the attempt of contact by incorporeal beings, in both, the voices and music. I had many experiences, which were the voices somehow related with what I had experienced in certain special dreams. Once there was an insistent violin player. . . Again, we frequently dismiss them as just part of the hypnagogic and hypnopompic imagery and dreams weaved by our brain.


Vibrations — hard ones, soft ones

Vibrations, as with sounds and lights, also have a wide variety, and we can observe some of them more frequently than others. There are vibrations that are very electrical, and they even give an impression of being somewhat painful. I consider those of the “hard” type, and I believe that is this type that usually frightens the un-warned experiencer. Vibrations seem to vary in amplitude, and frequency. They can be intense, or they can be soft. However, much current thinking is that vibrations can bring about the OBE experience. Others, including myself, seem to think that they are only one of the characteristics of the onset of the OBE. OBE also happens in a variety of other ways with or without vibrations.



Many accounts of paralysis also include descriptions of vibrations. We just have to realize that vibrations happens with or without paralysis, just as paralysis can happen without vibrations. Cases of these last ones happen, for example, in those situations where we believe to have returned to the body, then, becoming confused that we actually didn’t awake. Or we enter a false awakening situation where we believe we have gotten up from the bed. . . Experienced OBEers, who are able to avoid the false-awakening situations, give the suggestion: think strongly to move at least one finger, and that is a good technique to start moving the body, gradually getting out of paralysis. A person experimenting paralysis, who doesn’t know anything about these phenomena can become intensely frightened. Besides, the hypnagogic or hypnopompic images that can be present at this stage, if the person is falling asleep or coming back awaken, can become an elaborated theater of torture, with scary personages. There are folkloric tales of demons, as tales of incubus and sucubus appearing in these instances, with the person at mercy of those awful dreams. However, with a little effort and persistence, anybody would be able to come out of such uncomfortable situation. They are dreams generated by the subconscious mind, perhaps to justify the uncomfortable situation of paralysis and vibrations, [I2].


Development of extra-sensorial perceptions

It is suggested that the Kundalini development, or awakening, should be the responsible for the development of extra-sensorial capabilities. This is important issue when we consider that the one frequent fact mentioned in experiences described by OBEers is that they frequently have instances of extra-sensorial perceptions. When I joined the Internet and began reading about other modern OBEer’s adventures, I had the opportunity to find others who have also noticed that they somehow developed a few extra-sensorial abilities, while they developed their ability to “leave their physical body” consciously [A3, A5, A6]. As an example, consider the following phenomena of seeing outside my closed eyes, from my personal diary.


November 10, 1995:“. . . [while in an instance of split-consciousness between a dream and awakening] I was aware of something vibrating inside my head, at the center of it . . . a continuous buzzing sound, which appeared to have a ‘rotation’ associated to it. At first, it seemed centered in the head, then it moved lower. I then could feel it close to my neck, and at the back of my mouth. . . While this was going on, I noted something different. I seemed to be seeing the ceiling of my bedroom, which has a border with a shape like the top of an emerald-cut stone. It appeared as if I was looking through a window of a giant eye. When that field of vision closed to a point centered on my forehead, I lost my sight of the outside of my head. . . ‘Oh!’ I thought, ‘I was seeing outside [my closed eyes]!’ That attention calling made this field of vision open again, and once again I could observe the ceiling of my bedroom. I was fascinated, and experimented with this ‘eye.’ It opened and closed many times. The field of vision was the same every time it opened — the ceiling of my bedroom — but when it opened wide, I could see well and look around somehow. I did this only to a short extent, noting details of the ceiling. The shape of the field of vision fascinated me, and I even forgot a little about that vibration, which was still going on inside my head . . . However, after a while, this vibration faded, and I couldn’t ‘open that eye’ anymore. . .”


It could be argued that this experience might not be extrasensorial. However, I believe, from my many experiences of observing the imagery of the hypnagogic and hypnopompic periods, that there is a good possibility that it is. It was not only highly unusual, but the repetitions of “opening and closing of the eye-window” would follow with the same image: that of the ceiling of my bedroom. That field of vision appeared exactly from the position I was lying on my bed. Finally, my notes contain one other instance of this unusual “big-eye” window, centered on the forehead, and others of seeing objects or persons from my lying position on bed.


Energy works?

Recently, while learning to deal with gold-smithing at a neighbor’s jewelry workshop, I had observed a combined play of attention, the feeling of impending danger, and the amazing features and light of the flames. The results were intense experiences of light and energy-like phenomena while in the sleep onset. I have noticed, after bouts of extreme feelings of any kind, that I seem to observe lights & sounds of electricity at sleep onset, which seem to increase in frequency and intensity. That is a good example of the influence of intense emotion, plus the focused attention, in reaching the subconscious mind . . . Or, in producing energy-related events that could be related to Kundalini manifestations.

Could those experiences of light, sounds, and vibration reflect “energy works” of a type we can or can not relate to an electro-chemical energy going on within our nervous system? In principle the answer is “yes.” Any event happening within our organic system, obviously, ought to be the result of electro-chemical processes. However, we don’t know the specifics of these processes: the where and how. Presently, we don’t have scientific answers for them, due to the yet little development of our knowledge about the brain and the nervous system. Despite of the overwhealming amount of what has already been done in this area of academic research, unhappily it is not enough known to answer even basic questions like “the causes of the Alzheimer disease, or how to avoid or heal it.” Much is known about other processes, though still a long way to be even enough to answer all the questions we have about the brain, the nervous system, and its processes. And “Kundalini manifestations” are among the questions researchers don’t have a specific interest to investigate, due of its relation to the religious philosophy. Besides, these phenomena are not only very complex, but not well understood even in its basic description. Meanwhile, we can entertain other points of view or conjectures.

Gopi Krishna insists in his writings that the Kundalini, upon reaching the brain, after flowing upwards via the Sushuma-channel (or via the “pingala” or “ida” channels), from its sleeping place at the base of the spine (called the root-chakra by Yoga), it will stimulate both, our physical brain, and the “non-physical brain.” Also, that the Kundalini, on its way to the brain, will stimulate nerves and cells of the physical body, as well as all the “energy centers” of the “energy-body.” He suggests that an “active Kundalini” might be responsible for the “genius” in many people. But that many “crazies” in hospitals’ psychiatric wards might be just victims of a Kundalini development either gone bad, or plainly misunderstood.

After learning about lights, sounds, vibrations, sudden development of extra-sensorial perceptions, all related to the deep state of relaxation and attention while in meditation, or events of consciousness while falling asleep or awakening, it is easy to suspect of a relation between the Kundalini and these “energy” manifestations. To understand and to know what to do and what not to do about them should be an important issue. However, as of now, there is not much information about what do. I am not sure about yogic breathing and postures. Their objectives seem to be directed to the stimulation of the main chakras, and I have heard of certain Yoga schools having trouble on how to deal with Kundalini manifestations, when they happen spontaneously while performing yogic movements, or during meditation. Bonnie Greenwell presented a few suggestions in her book, above mentioned [B4], and presently it is probably the only book published on this subject, from the point of view of a professional related to psychology.

There is a suggestion that OBEs are dependent on our “energies.” Experienced OBEers can give helpful suggestions. I believe they are worthy of trying, as their knowledge stems from their personal attempts and successes. With relation to the workings of OBEs and its relation to “energy and chakra activation” I would suggest the reader to visit Robert Bruce web-page [A3]. He is a skilled OBEer, and knowledgeable of the workings of what he calls the “energy-body.” He has very useful suggestions on both issues: the OBE, or astral-travel, and the workings of the chakras.


Final Comments

Outside the door to the my house’s back-porch, I have a glass-wind-chime. In the mornings the sun strikes it. When it is windy, there is a play of sun-light striking the moving glass pieces that reflect inside the house. Sometimes, while I am working at the computer, I glance at those moments of moving sun-reflexes. . . My stare has a very objective aim, more than just the enjoyment of the light’s reflection. I stare at the reflections with a knowing that the lights might come back, while falling asleep, shining in my mind. Any play of light works for me. I also really enjoy looking at fluffy clouds sliding through the blue-sky. But, I enjoy it even better, when I discover the sun’s shining on and off, while the clouds move on. I also like to see the sunrise and sunset, with the same intent. The feeling of enjoyment with the beauty of these moments plays a role of contact with my subconscious mind, remembering, while in those very special conditions of falling asleep or awakening from the sleep, or in dreams, that “I am there.” The awakening of my awareness in dreams, or sleep/awakening onsets has always happened this way, even during the times when I was not aware of the possibilities of the communication with the subconscious mind, or of the existence of the “energies of the Kundalini.” Since childhood I have done this kind of “light-play,” for pure enjoyment. Later in life, it was the sun-shine, as if at sunset, that happened my first intense vision of light while falling asleep. One night, for a reason that I can’t recall I started to remember my long bus trips from the university to my parents house. There were Eucalyptus trees planted in both sides of the road. In some of these trips at the end of the day I enjoyed observing the sun blinking through the grove of Eucalyptus trees, as the bus slowly moved uphill. That play was a way of killing time, of course, but that night I was remembering that light play, just enjoying the memory. I approached sleep onset while remembering, and I had a vision of a sun, big and reddish, as if going down in the horizon! The vision was so sudden that I came back alert and very surprised. The vision was not like the memory I was recalling, though. It had its own characteristics, ruling out of a vision of my own memory. . . . And that was the beginning. Since then, I have enjoyed many other “plays of lights,” and the “visions of lights,” while falling asleep or awakening.

Should all these phenomena of lights and sounds be explained away as mere “nerves shutting off or on by the brain,” while we approach the threshold between sleep and awake states? Or to the energy of Kundalini? Or perhaps to “electric properties” of an ethereal body that disconnects from the physical body in OBE’s? Or. . . are they all just plain “hallucinations” from the hypnagogic or to the hypnopompic states?

On August/1994 Stephen LaBerge, from the Lucidity Institute, came to San Antonio for a day workshop on Lucid-dreaming at the Mind Science Foundation, which I attended. By the end of the day, when I had an opportunity, I asked a question to LaBerge about these “lights’ phenomena.” His comment was: “Do you know that if we press a finger at the side of the eye we can see a light?” — I said “yes. . .” as it was one of my childhood discoveries. I didn’t discuss this subject further, preferring instead to ask him about his point of view about sounds and voices we hear while in the sleep onset. His point was that lights and sounds, including voices, the sensation of a presence, and bad-dreams, were all hallucinations from the hypnagogic state. . .

So, I stop here and let the readers experiment and observe by themselves the lights, the sounds and voices, of the hypnagogic imagery, and the vibrations, etc., of the sleep onset. Kundalini flares up? Are they due to nerves shutting down or on? Are they only hypnagogic or hypnopompic imagery? Are they “Spirits of light” coming to you? Or are they accidental pressing of the eyes? . . . In my opinion this in an issue to be studied further.


References & Suggested Reading



B1 – Reading suggestions: 1. W. Brugh Joy, “Joy’s Way,” G.P. Putnam’s Sons Pub., 1979; 2. Scott, Mary, “Kundalini in the Physical World,” Arkana, 1989; Sannella, Lee, M.D., “The Kundalini Experience,” Integral Publishing, 1992; Silburn, Lilian, “Kundalini, Energy of the Depths,” State University of New York Press, 1988; Tweedie, Irina, “Daughter of Fire,” Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1986; Avalon, Arthur, “The Serpent Power,” Dover Publications, 1974; Svoboda, Robert E., “Aghora II: Kundalini,” Brotherhood of Life Pubs., 1993; White, John, Ed., “Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment,” Paragon House, 1990; and the folowing books.
B2 – Rieker, “The yoga of light: The classic esoteric handbook of Kundalini yoga,” p. 49, The Dawn Horse pubs., Clearlake, CA, 1971.
B3 – Krishna, Gopi, “Living with Kundalini,” Shambala Dragon Editions, 1993; also see other publications by the same author.
B4 – Greenwell, Bonnie, “Energies of Transformation – A Guide to the Kundalini Process,” Shakti River Press, 1990.
B5 – LaBerge, Stephen, and Rheingold Howard, “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming,” Ballantine Books, 1990.



A1 – Ghibellini, Florence, “Rêves de Didoublement et Meditation,” at EA-ANAHITA, http://www.imaginet.fr/~ghibelli/anahita.html; “L’etat intermediare: experiences de dedoublement entre veille, reve et meditation, Revêr Magazine, No. 3, June-July/1997.
A2 – Rifat, Claude, “Du Rêve Conscient a la Conscience,” Revêr Magazine, No. 2, April-May/1997, Page 20.
A3 – Bruce, Robert, “Treatese on Astral Projection” and “Auric Sight Tutorial,” http://www.tower.com.au/~rsb/
A4 – Marques-Bonham, Sirley, “Lucid Dreaming? Out-of-Body Experience?,” at http://www.eden.com/~sbonham/article.htm
A5 – Petterson, Robert, “Out-of-Body Experiences; How to Have Them, and What Expect,” http://www.winternet.com/~rsp/obebook.html
A6 – Guiden, Alan, “Traveling: An Accidental Expert: How-To Leave Your Body Handbook,” http://www.acadiacom.net/studynet/



Internet Pages:

I1 – Sleep Home Pages:
I2 – The Lucidity Institute:
I3 – The Astral Library:
I4 – Kundalini Research Foundation:
I5 – Kundalini Resource Center:
I6 – The Kundalini Research Network:


[Note: I was able to find within the Sleep Home-Pages in the Internet two very interesting posts. One of them is the announcement of a dedicated web site promoted by the Nocturnal Assault Research Center, located at: http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1700/nocturnal.html. This center develops research into sleep paralysis and night terrors, apparently from the point of view of social, and anthropological sciences. The second announcement came from Jean-Christopher Terrillon(terril@hip.atr.co.jp), Ph.D., from Kyoto, Japan, who is researching the subject of sleep paralysis in a more extended way, both physiologically and psychologically. Dr. Terrillon also announced a discussion group for the exchange of information about what is called as periodic paralysis, and in particular, the Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, which is a condition brought about when there’s Potassium (which was first called as Kalium) deficiency.]



About Sirley Marques-Bonham (*):

Sirley Marques-Bonham was born in the central hills of Brazil, but now lives with her husband and 13 year old daughter in Austin, Texas (USA). She is a theoretical physicist and a bit of a neuroscientist. In physics she has done theoretical nuclear and relativity physics, but her main work was with mathematical modeling in Einstein’s geometrical/unified field theory. In neuroscience she has done statistical modeling in learning and memory. She became involved with learning about the brain and its workings, through her participation with a cognitive-neuroscience discussion group at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UT-HSC), and her later participation in neuroscience research at University of Texas at Austin. She has also knowledge in brain’s imaging, obtained from her training in medical physics at UT-HSC.

In Brazil she has had involvement with spiritual work of two different types: the spiritist, and the esoteric. While a graduate student in Sao Paulo, she has participated in a group of scientists and students especially formed for the discussion of the paranormal phenomena. Since her teens she has had experiences that can be interpreted as either lucid-dreaming or out-of-body experiences. These experiences have inspired her to start a research on the phenomena of lucid-dreaming and OBE’s, using the method of “Grounded theory,” one of the qualitative-research modern methods. It will be included in this research not only her personal experiences, but also the experiences of modern lucid-dreamers and OBEer’s.

Her motto:“To look at any puzzling events in life from different points of views, without prejudice.”


Sirley Marques-Bonham, Ph.D. –
512 Kingfisher Creek Dr.
Austin, TX 78748 (USA)


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