No, shifting is not just a dream, lucid dreaming, or astral projecting – though these are all related. To better explain, let’s take a look at the differences between each.
Dreams are hazy and uncontrolled. You won’t be aware that it’s a dream as you dream, and reality checks may fail. Eventually, you’ll either wake up or be awoken somehow.
Lucid dreaming is a bit different – it can be hazy and begin as a regular dream. However, at some point, you’ll realize that you’re dreaming and gain control. You can mold your entire dream to be whatever you want, whenever you want. Like regular dreams, reality checks may fail, and you will eventually wake up or be awoken.
Astral projection, AKA out-of-body experiences, is an even more complex concept. Here, you enter the astral realm, and can’t easily manipulate your environment like in a lucid dream. If you’re interested in this, you can learn more about it on Reddit.
Finally, shifting is when you gain consciousness in a reality that you have subconsciously specified. The environment will be as clear as your CR, and you’ll have all five senses. Unlike lucid dreaming, you won’t be able to instantly mold the reality or will for your surroundings to change. Bizarre, dream-like events won’t happen, and the experience won’t turn into a dream the longer you stay. Reality checks will pass.