There are many types of conscious awareness. However, modern Western society recognizes only one type of awareness as “normal.” This normal type of awareness is governed by rational thinking and is based on the physical world of form, time, and space. Any other state of awareness is commonly referred to as an “altered” state.
Most people experience altered states of awareness every day.
The spectrum of altered states is broad, and includes extreme experiences at one end of the spectrum (such as an out of body experience) and subtle experiences at the other end (such as feelings, thoughts, or images that emerge as we begin to awaken from sleep). Included in the spectrum of altered states of awareness are emotions, moods, dreams and daydreams, and imaginative thinking.