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Intro to OBEs

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 10:11 AM by Tek
Updated January 11th, 2015 at 3:04 PM by Tek (Minor specifications)

Hey folks! Today, I'm gonna tell ya about OBEs!

What is an out-of-body experience? A myth? A hallucination? A journey of one's spirit through non-physical space? Well, as far as I can tell, there are more questions than answers. But before we get into the technical aspects, I'll do my best to describe what my OBEs this morning were like.


Time: roughly 0500, somewhat before the time I'd been getting up in the mornings. I had been dreaming, so I was probably in the alpha (light sleep) state, or perhaps lower. Sinking into deeper sleep, I began to feel like I was hanging off the edge of my bed. Which I was.

I adjusted my position, and relaxed into sleep without losing awareness of body sensations, as I'd been practicing nightly for many months. I began to feel once more that I was sliding off the bed, only now I knew that I was physically secure. I also began to hear a ringing sound, which reached an almost uncomfortable crescendo in both ears as I felt sleep paralysis fully set in. This was it, the borderline; could I pull it off this time? I tried to slide all the way off the bed without moving my physical body and breaking sleep.

I made it to the floor, except for my arm, which was still stuck upon the bed. Damn, a partial exit. And why did my head feel so groggy, like I'd just been wakened from a heavy sleep? I thought this type of OBE was supposed to be vivid to the point of hyper-realism. Shift around, try again.

On the second attempt I fully exited. I turned around, expecting to see my body laying in bed. But it wasn't. Did I really succeed? I went over to my cats in the darkness of the apartment, and made a silly noise to mess with them. One began to hiss and claw. I reached out to soothe him, expecting pain, and bam! I was back in bed. Holy horseshoe... it really worked. Finally.

I did this half a dozen more times before getting out of bed. It always felt somewhat groggy, like when you're in a dream and you have leaden feet - with the exception of one time when the apartment's heater turned on while I was 'out'. At that point the room became filled with light and warmth and vitality, and for a few moments I felt quite alert.

All of the trips occurred within the same space: the living room in which I slept. I tried to leave the apartment during one outing, because I wanted to talk to someone but didn't want to disturb my roommate again. When I opened the door, nine or ten people I didn't know walked in, ready to party. None of them thought to bring booze, though.

Each excursion was probably no longer than a few minutes. And I was unable to create or destroy anything, but then I can't do that in lucid dreams, either.


Now, I'll present my informed speculations as to what exactly happened this morning.

It's a personal goal of mine to learn to maintain awareness - in other words, conscious presence - not only in waking consciousness, but also through the dreaming and deep sleep states of consciousness. As such, I've familiarized myself with the mental and physical mechanics of lucid dreaming (thanks to the work of Stephen LaBerge), and have even achieved lucidity a few times.

As far as I can tell, my OBEs were basically lucid dreams. Typically, lucidity occurs within a dream after dreaming has started. You notice something odd - perhaps that gravity isn't working like normal - and you realize, "This is a dream!" In this case, however, lucidity was present as the dreaming began.

Now, we know from LaBerge's work that dreaming is not a purely mental/subtle experience; it has physical components as well, tied directly to the human organism. We also know that lucid dreaming is much closer to reality than fantasy in terms of electrical activity in the brain. These facts, along with the fact that the heater kicking on in physical space triggered events within the mental space of the OBE, lead me to conclude that my spirit did not leave my body to travel in a purely astral realm, but instead I was inhabiting a mostly mental domain that was intimately tied to the physical world of consensus reality.

Questions? Comments? Wanna learn how? I will gladly respond to any comments or messages.
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