“If I ever had an out-of-body experience - I’d try to come back to a different one.”" –Tom Wilson
Is astral travel real or fanciful mystical jargon?
There have been countless books and articles written about out-of-body experiences (OBEs), or what some authors term ‘astral travel’. Some of the writers dress up the experience in fanciful mystical jargon. Other writers offer more practical techniques that, they claim, could lead to a conscious OBEs through regular practice, as opposed to uncontrolled nightly travels. I’ve has some instances of OBEs when I was younger, but now I notice that I’m getting little ‘trips’ again in my late sixties.
For clarity, when I’m looking down at my physical body, I’m in my astral body, for want of a better description. I’ll rein in my skepticism for now.
When I was about seven years old I regularly experienced involuntary OBE trips. I use the word ‘trip’ obviously not in relation to drugs, more like going on a very short journey. When I was apparently outside my body I never visited any astral plane. Perhaps the ‘experts’ would say that I’m not ready to understand the wonders of this mysterious universe. At any rate, my trips were confined to my bedroom with about 90% of them having my astral body hover just above my face. Sometimes even with the lights out I could see my own eyes staring back at me. Some illustrations show the astral body looking up as it rises - in all my trips the astral body was always looking down at my physical body. As far as I’m aware, I’ve never experienced an OBE if someone was in the same bed or the same room as me.
Incidently I’ve never been aware of the astral or silver cord, which is supposed to be attached between your astral and physical body and reels the astral body in if there is any danger. It is suggested that waking up because your leg jerked (as if you missed a step when walking) is because while you were in the astral, you were startled by something and were reeled in to your body violently. Occasionally I have experienced those ‘missed steps’, they usually occurred as I was drifting off to sleep. This is called a hypnic jerk, which is an involuntary twitch of the leg muscles as you fall asleep.
I’ve never had members of my dead family, friends, or anyone else come visit me while I was out and about in the astral body. To be honest, nothing has ever happened to me while I was out of my body. Most time I just saw myself on the bed or could move slowly around the room, but not through walls. I tried an experiment and put three playing cards on the table face up every night without looking at them. I never managed to see those cards in my astral body.
It is my personal opinion that what I had experienced was a trick of the mind, but I don’t think it’s a brain malfunction and I dont take recreational drugs, both have been suggested as possible causes of OBEs.
Dr Henrick Ehrsson has been conducting some tests on this subject. He devised a method of inducing an OBE in healthy volunteers and published his results in the journal Science.
“It was quite a vivid experience for most people,” Dr Ehrsson told CNN. “Many of them giggled and said ‘Wow, this is so weird!’. One of the people I tested had experienced an OBE before, and explained that the experiment had produced a very similar sensation.”
(The link above may take a few seconds to load)
If you intend to attempt a conscious OBE, then please heed this warning. In some techniques, especially those espoused by the late Sylvan Muldoon in his book co-authored by Hereward Carrington Projection of the Astral Body. Part of Mr Muldoon’s technique is that you tire out the body after vigorous exercise and abstain from drinking water. The theory is that you are so tired that your body is in a state of exhaustion and cannot move. At the same time you become very thirsty. Earlier, you had placed a glass of your favourite drink in the same room out of arm’s reach. Your body so dehydrated that it moves your astral body out to seek the drink. The question I ask is what can the astral body do to quench the physical body’s thirst? But the real danger I’m warning you about is this - your astral body does not move out to fetch the drink, your physical body does. In other words, if you fell asleep - you sleepwalk.
As you know, sleepwalking can be very dangerous and if you live on your own, you could really hurt yourself. I tried this method of conscious OBE many years ago and on the three occasions I attempted this experiment, I ended up sleepwalking. On the last occasion my landlady was none too pleased when she came downstairs one morning at 2am for a drink and found me dressed only in my Y-fronts drinking milk from the fridge.
An alternative technique to conscious OBEs is Remote Viewing, which, it is claimed, the US military and Russia where experimenting with back in the 1970s.
Remote viewing is the psychic phenomenon of projecting your mind to receive information, without leaving your body. It encompasses an amalgamation of traits of other psychic abilities, such as extrasensory perception, telepathy, and astral projection, without equaling these abilities. In the early days of its discovery, it was also known as ‘telesthesia’ and ‘traveling clairvoyance’. Psychic Gurus website
Is this all a trick of the mind? If you have a powerful imagination and visualisation skills you may achieve some sort of ‘trip’, or a vivid dream. I personally believe that the mind is just playing tricks with me. Now those of you who are seasoned astral travellers may disagree strongly with my opinion and maybe even insult me by saying that I’m not a developed soul and don’t know what I’m writing about. I’m happy to read your comments and your experiences. Just don’t plug any books or your ‘sure-fire’ methods - comments like that will be deleted. I don’t mind fair-minded criticism, it opens up further discussion.
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