By: Nelson Correia Abreu
After the typical day struggling for survival, John lies in bed exhausted. He sleeps lightly for a while, and when he regains some awareness, he realizes he is feeling some unusual sensations. He feels very numb and light and is unable to move. Exotic tingling and electricity-like vibrations throughout the body spring up, and he feels like his body is floating and rocking out of control. The vibrations get really intense until John finds a pressure at the back of the head propels him out of the bed accompanied by a strong sinking sensation. The vibration sensations cease and he can see his physical body resting in bed. John feels wonderful with the liberation from matter and from breathing.
He notices a very pleasant and kind presence and gets a strong wish to see his mother at the hospital. He flies out through the wall and finds himself immediately at his mother’s bedside. The guide instructs him to send healing vital energies to his mother. He notices her non-physical body is floating a few inches above her physical body and helps her to awaken in the astral dimension. Soon afterwards, his diseased grandfather comes by to greet them. John misses his grandfather so much that he is unable to control his emotions and feels immediately tugged back into his body. The next day, his mother tells him of a “dream” where she relates the events of the previous night.
An out-of-body experience (OBE) could go something like this account. Also known as astral projection or projection of the consciousness, this is a natural phenomenon that occurs nightly during sleep, though most people do not realize that it is happening. For example, have you ever felt like you were falling while sleeping and awakened with a jerk-awake sensation? Have you found yourself unable to move while you were falling asleep or waking up? Have you ever "awakened" to find yourself floating above your body? Or, have you ever felt yourself awake outside of your physical body? These are normal experiences.
Conscious projectors are able to temporarily leave the restriction of their physical body and access non-physical dimensions where they discover new aspects of the nature of consciousness and life. The OBE is completely different from dreams (ordinary or lucid), and from other altered states of consciousness. It is nor a type of hallucination, neither a creation of the imagination like a daydream.
Everyone has spontaneous, unconscious OBE’s but only about 10% have had at least one conscious projection. Less than 1% of humanity currently projects with awareness and is then able to recall the experience. However, anyone can take the first step towards this goal by overcoming fear and insecurity derived from cultural indoctrinations and ignorance of the phenomena, being ethical, and wanting to use projection to help others. By understanding the mechanisms surrounding these transcendental phenomena, we are able to eliminate the fears, misinformation, romanticism, and mysticism that often surround these phenomena. With some basic information and techniques, motivated individuals can have their own multidimensional experiences and knowledge.
Experience shows that willful control of bioenergies (chi, prana, vital energies) greatly facilitates projections. The out-of-body experience makes it clear that bioenergies play a major role in physical health, our interactions with physical and non-physical people and environments, our level of self-defense, our healing ability, and our level of psychic abilities, communication, awareness and perception. With experience, we can become simultaneously aware of what goes on physically and non-physically (multidimensional awareness).
Benefits of the out-of-body experience / multidimensional awareness include:
- Elimination of the fear of death;
Knowledge and preview of life after death or before birth;
- Increase in psychic abilities;
- Facilitation of recall of past lives or the period between lives;
Recall of planning and preparation for current life;
- Greater understanding of the purpose of life;
Enhanced meditation and consciousness expansion due to reduced physical
- Ability to communicate with diseased loved ones and spiritual guides;
Greater sense of humanity and desire and ability to help others;
- Valuing life more;
- Leading a more purposeful, mature, ethical and humanitarian or assistantial life;
- Fostering a gradual social renovation away from divisiveness and materialism;
- Better preparation for inevitable physical death (less traumatic transition);
- Finding missing persons, surveying distant physical locations (tourism, science, looking for a new house);
- New methods of prevention, diagnosis, and remission of physical ailments;
- Relief from restrictive physical conditions (prison, physical disability);
- More restorative sleep
Accounts of this experience have been recorded by persons from all walks of life for thousands of years. What the new methods and techniques seek to do is to put the phenomenon under the voluntary control of the individual, thus empowering the person to remain lucid during the experience, to reach various chosen extraphysical objectives, and to remember the experience afterwards. Projections accelerate our growth and expand our self-awareness through interactions with non-physical persons and environments. We can better understand our life purpose and the process of individual and collective evolution. The mastering of one's projectability allows the individual to use, over many physical lives, that one-third of his or her life wasted in sleep toward learning and helping others. Continuous consciousness is an essential milestone on the way to exiting the rebirth process.
The out-of-body experience is a phenomenon known since ancient times. Early references to the OBE are found in Ancient Egypt where priests considered the existence of a subtle body (Ka), as well as in Ancient Greece, where it was mentioned in the writings of Plato, and the studies of the historian Herodotus. During the Middle Ages, as a result of the repression and fear imposed by religious ideologies of the time, the out-of-body experience was studied and practiced within secret societies and schools. In the 18th century, the Swedish scientist Emmanuel Swedenborg made early attempts to systematize the study of the out-of-body experience and in the 19th century, the French writer Honoré de Balzac predicted the creation a new science that would study this phenomenon (today called Projectiology).
In the last decades of the 20th century, researchers such as Karlis Osis, Janet Lee Mitchell, and Robert Morris, to name a few, published the results of their scientific investigations of psychic experiences and out-of-body phenomena. From this point on, the out-of-body experience became the subject of more rigorous scientific investigation. Anthropologists have recently identified that 95% of cultures worldwide believe in some sort of extracorporeal experience (Alcock & Otis, 1980). The out-of-body experience is currently considered to be a universal phenomenon, present in all civilizations and described in many philosophical, religious, and literary writings throughout human history.
One of the factors that keeps people from the benefits of OBE’s is fear. Truly, the antidote of fear is knowledge. Studying the massive collection of anecdotal accounts and history from throughout the world helps you realize: you wouldn’t be the first one – far from it! There are over 200 different names from different cultures, languages, and eras for the out-of-body experience, the non-physical body, and bioenergies – this is nothing new!
Many people start exploring the ‘paranormal’ after they have a spontaneous striking experience that defies conventional understanding like a near-death experience (NDE): clearly they live to tell the tale. Apart from dreaming that I was mourning the very night before my father died, I only started having significant parapsychic experiences after inducing out-of-body experiences by will starting in 1999.
I began studying hypnosis and later the OBE simply because it fascinated me, because they were mysterious and could help people. The first time I read about the OBE, I felt giddy with the idea that I too could explore the afterlife and come back to tell about it! Through my own experiments, I can know instead of believing.
I was anxious the first times that I felt the unusual and sometimes very intense pre-projective sensations. However, it was scarier to play out the drama on this physical stage of life, ignorant (and not always blissfully so) of the backstage – where a lot more action goes on. I wanted to be more aware, beyond the tip of the iceberg, to better understand how life works so I can make less mistakes and do more with my life: grow faster by helping more people in ways few people are currently doing. The thought of being limited solely to the “normal,” robotic, animal, materialistic life depresses me before the chance of exploring the unknown, making more sense of life, and sharing new emancipating ideas. This yearning for a more purposeful and exciting life may be behind many cases of depression and deaths (OBE skydiving sounds a lot safer and at least as much of a high), but it’s also a powerful counter to beginner’s fear.
Being raised in Portugal, I valued the courage, honor, and excitement of being a pioneer like the 14th century navigators that expanded the European view of the world by overcoming technical and mystical obstacles. How many of us wanted to be astronauts as kids? How many of us would mind having an out-of-body experience into outer space and look at this beautiful Planet from without?
The longing to meet with a diseased loved one, dissatisfaction with our materialistic reality, the dullness of repeating daily life ad nauseum, even musings of a pre-planned life purpose or life partner… all can overpower fear of the unknown. Lucid projectors, sensitives, and clairvoyants realize that fearing what is “out there” is immature, because the physical and extraphysical realms aren’t separated. Knowing and becoming more aware of what has always been there provides more self-control, liberty, and protection.
Besides, the death of our physical body is inevitable. So, it seems more intelligent to face it, get a glimpse of what’s to come, and learn more so you can have a more fulfilling life and a smoother, better death (unlike most people). Many individuals who have had projections with low or even high awareness but lack information on the issue can mistake projections for vivid or lucid dreams of “flying” or “seeing their dead body” and so on. Lucid projectors also notice that we all project every night – so projecting is not the problem; doing so with lucidity and control is an acquired skill.
The out-of-body experience is an important tool at your disposal to lead a more lucid and purposeful life. Yes, a global paradigm shift will take a very long time… But you have the opportunity (responsibility?) to help it come about sooner. Let’s become the cutting edge and catalyze personal and social change.
Viagem Espiritual II by Wagner Borges – Now available in English (free online book with neat illustrations) at http://www.ippb.org.br/
Sample Related Resources:
Understanding the Fear of Out-of-Body Projection by Alfredo Gutiérrez
Interview with Nanci Trivellato in Soul Travel Magazine.
This article was originally published in Natural Awakenings, North Central Florida edition, January/February 2005.