Perceptions are an interesting thing.
While in university I read expositions on existential crises, but, as with with anything that requires experience, I could only appreciate the condition at an academic level. A few years ago I was able to reach an existential crisis - I won't attempt to describe it though, thats better left to the masters. I will say that I recommend meditational pursuits. It is without doubt a higher state of consciousness.
Which brings me back to higher states of unconsciousness. After writing my entry on Lucid Dreaming I remembered that early last year a friend had sent me an email about his experience with astral projections. He gave me permission to post it, so here it is below:
I seem to have found a really easy method for lucid dreaming. Actually it's the method for astral projections I read but with one change. I set my alarm extra early (to send off an "I'm working from home today" email). Then I immediately went back to bed. This way my body is basically still asleep and I can skip all the medidating and relaxing. I could feel myself 100% craving to sleep but I said to myself "I will not let my mind sleep". Then I imagined/willed the feeling of rising like you feel in an elevator (as if I'm leaving my body - there's tonnes of crap on the Internet of things to visualize).
Sure enough I had crazy intense electric/numbing sensations throughout my body and I felt like I was rising. One difference is that I was so tired I just slumped on to the bed on my stomach and I usually lay on my back to relax.
As soon as I started feeling like I was rising I thought "cool since I'm facing down I get to see my body" and right away I could see it as I rose above it. Except it was in low resolution and angular as if my mind reconstructed it using too few polygons. Then I looked around my room but everything was made of ivory and there wasn't much in common with what is in my real room. I had 100% control and knowledge of what to do. It was way more lucid than a typical dream because I never lost consciousness from the waking state to the dream state so I knew JUST what was going on. I started rotating and flipping just for the run of it and then I remembered I read that if you look at your body you will get drawn back into it and as soon as I remembered that I started getting drawn back in. I fought it for a bit so I could do more flips but then I got pulled back in (and went the hell to regular sleep).
The problem is that afterwards when I try to remember it, it seems exactly like a dream. My memories are vague and I feel like I'm missing pieces. In my memories it doesn't seem exciting at all it just seems like another dream. I'm going to pull this technique off again. When I'm really tired in the morning and I wake up it takes probably 5-10 seconds to fall back asleep. The trick in my opinion is to will your mind to stay awake as your body falls asleep.