We cannot hope to understand NDEs or OBEs until we have understood correctly the more familiar elephant in the lounge of consciousness, which is nocturnal dreams. Unfortunately, dreams are not so easily understood. Occult explanations of them are hopelessly far fetched, while mechanistic explanations (filing away the day’s experiences) seem trite and unequal to both their sheer strangeness and complexity. There is a great deal of similarity between dreams, OBEs, and NDEs. They share a significant number of similar dynamics, such that the suspicion has to be that they are a spectrum of the same phenomenon. The first similarity is that NDEs and dreams are, above all else, a private experiential space. There are similarities between NDEs to be sure, but the differences are telling. They are very akin to the differences between dreamers who nonetheless dream of similar things. There seems little justification for claiming that in NDEs, a “common” experiential space or world is entered, as in the physical world. The same is true of the dreamworld. There are common themes, but then, we are exposed to common themes in life, we have similar brains, and we react to dramatic experiences in (broadly ) similar ways. To say that NDEs are a form of dreaming is not to reduce them to nocturnal dreams, especially since we don’t rightly know what nocturnal dreams are anyway. But it *does* highlight that they share the same modus operandi. Both have no traction upon real world, physical events, both exhibit forms and shapes that are clearly derived from the physical world in terms of content, both share the same fluid laws of the imagination. Both have no clear relation at all to physical space, but are some kind of private, experiential space. It is said that on rare occasion NDEs can be shared. But “on rare occasion” dreams can also be shared, as has been reported in the lucid dream literature. It is said that people “know” NDEs to be real, unlike dreams, but in fact this is an issue of degree. When dreams are ongoing it is *rare* for the person to appreciate that it is not real. The disjunction between real and not real can only come when there is a sufficient reality test with the physical world that clearly shows up the discrepancy. Consider the following OBE reported by Keith Harary. One night I awoke in an out-of-body state floating just above my physical body which lay below me on the bed. A candle had been left burning on the other end of the room during the evening. I dove for the candle head first from a sitting position and gently floated down toward it with the intention of blowing out the flame to conserve wax. I put my "face" up close to the candle and had some difficulty in putting out the flame. I had to blow on it several times before it finally seemed to extinguish. I turned around, saw my body lying on the bed and gently floated back and back into it. Once in the physical (body) I immediately turned over and went back to sleep. The next morning I awoke and found that the candle had completely burned down. It seemed as if my out-of-the-body efforts had affected only a non-physical candle." But clearly, this is a lucid dream. He thought he was “out of body,” he thought he blew out an actual candle…but he was dreaming, based on his knowledge and awareness of the room he was in. It is said that OBEs or NDEs can contain “veridical” information. However, dreams can also do this, and it seems redundant to suggest that these must be happening by two different processes. I propose that NDEs are a kind of “deep dreaming.” That they take of the same essential quality and character as dreams. Out of body experiences such as the above show that the essence of the experience appears to be a dream construction. The only debate of importance should revolve around whether that construction ever makes use of nonsensory information. However, even if it does, this does not establish that it is sensible or correct to speak of something “leaving the body.” Looked at closely, an out of body experience is a dream (of varying lucidity) in which the dream imagery takes on the aspect of the person’s familiar environment, and in which the position of the body is included as (usually) the place where last authentic sensory information concerning its location was obtained before onset of REM and thus the shutdown of proprioception form the limbs. However, this still leaves the question of what dreams actually are, of whether they could in principle be a consensus reality with a consensus of one….very rarely increasing to two or three. Sheldrake has argued that if there is a semi-stable experience of “afterlife” that extends beyond the time frame of an NDE, then it could be akin to a kind of dreamstate from which it is not possible to awaken. I think there is something to that. The trouble is that nocturnal dreams and OBEs are causally tied to the physiology of the body and brain, so it would seem that even this semi-stable afterlife “dream” if it is really there, would also need to be causally tied to the world in some sense, possibly a deeper sort of nonlocality at work between physical brains. “Awaking” from that deep dream, if it is possible, might involve once more manifesting in the physical world as a newborn human. Of course when we normally reawaken from a dream, we retain the memory of who we were before the dream, but this may not be so for a “deep dream” from which we emerge again as a new birth, if this is the way it works. If you imagine for a moment that we did NOT retain memory of who we were before each sleep cycle, when we next awoke, the situation would now have very strong similarities with the scenario I am suggesting, except of course on a much shorter cycle.