You can see yourself in a dream. And it be a dream.
But you can see yourself while "dreaming" (the practice I've been preaching) and actually be in your energy body, outside, looking at yourself in bed, that's the 3rd gate, if you try hard enough, you can get your sleeping body to move, and watch yourself kick, or roll, or twitch.
I think the difference is only in location.
But this is all speculation, naturally.
I should say, for clarity's sake, that I haven't went that far in my dreaming practices yet. I've gotten as far as the second gate, and encountered scouts. (They matched the form and feeling of descriptions that I read after I encountered them, not merely a projection of my imagination)
There are sentient beings you can encounter in your dreaming, energy projections of awareness from other worlds. (or other strings, if you wanna be specific) It's easy to call them out, i've discovered, but the safety in doing this is unknown. So you can't say I didn't warn you.
Simply achieve lucidity, hold the dreamscape steady, and scream. "ANYTHING THAT IS NOT A PART OF MY DREAM, SHOW YOURSELF"
They will appear as candle flames, or torch flames, or flames, period. these are scouts. There are several different kinds of inorganic beings, but the most common, and the ones who's "job" is to look for dreamers, appear like candle flames.
You can be certain that in any lucid dream you have, there is at least one near by, hiding being the guise of something unfamiliar and out of place. (which is why you practice softly gazing over parts of a dream, systematically. You control your dream though, and you can force them to show themselves. Once you call out to your dream, finding them will be simple. You won't be able to miss them. And worst case, once you see them, you won't be able to look away. And then they can "pull you into the details" (like I said in my guide).
that's getting off on the wrong subject. long story short, never follow them (or not until you're confident that your dream-self can handle them on their home turf), and if you do, never voice that you want to stay with them.
I'm beginning to suspect that, through different techniques, everyone experiencing oobes, and everyone into astral projection, and lucid dreams, are all doing, more or less, the same thing -reaching and developing the energy body. Dreaming is from the ground up. Astral projection...I really have no idea. I have a feeling it's just wake induced lucid dreaming, where you let your assemblage point float freely and you go on a field trip through worlds. Or to a specific one, if you have enough control to repeat the experience. In which case that can also be called stalking of the assemblage point, and deserves a post of it's own. And obe's are "simply" skipping the dreaming part of lucid dreaming, and going straight to the energy body. I say simply, but that's anything but a simple task. And I'm hesitant to attempt it until I can act in my dreams with 100% of my mind, without letting whims and emotions rule my actions.
I think starting with lucid dreaming is the safest, because you begin building discipline in a (moderately) safe realm, a play pen of your minds making, instead of letting a baby walk down 5th avenue.
love and light, like always.
and I know, I know, I always run off topic. This was about obe. But they're all different ways to achieve it. I've never went further with the vibration then just the vibration. Meditating till my hands are shaking. I've been able to control the tempo of my heart beat the same way, I'll turn on a song (there goes my hero, by foo fighters was the first one) and letting my head spin and my hands shake, and going with it, my heart beat matched the drums in the chorus. Which is faster then normal. I ended up getting too dizzy, and getting sick. But still. wild.
/sigh, idk, I need to stop running off on tangents. Love you guys.