Based on an interview with Nelson Abreu of International Academy of Consciousness
What is an out of body experience?
An out of body experience (obe) is when the consciousness, meaning the individual himself, makes a transition from operating with his – her physical body to operating with the astral. Another way to put it is that person transitions from the physical, everyday reality into a parallel but different dimension. This dimension is more subtle than ours, but always there. It remains invisible to many of us because we lack the psychical perception to see into it.
Projecting into this parallel dimension is temporary, it can last from a few seconds to a couple of hours in rare cases, but inevitably we must return to the physical body. The process of moving into the astral dimension is dependant on the energetic connection between the physical and the astral body. This connection, sometimes called the silver cord, allows us to travel into the astral dimension and keeps our two bodies connected and safe. It also allows energy and information to flow between the two bodies.
Out of body experiences never causes the severing of the silver cord, but physical death is a process that involves the de-activation of the silver cord and could be called a “final projection.”
We tend to think of astral projection or out of body experiences as something supernatural and separate from the physical life. Something that only gifted or psychic people can do, but we all have this ability and go through this separation every night when we sleep and dream.
The major difference is that dreams are illusory creations of the brain, whereas the obe is real, in the sense that it can be objectively shared with others like physical life. The average person goes through a partial disconnection while sleeping. When we dream, our astral body hovers just slightly above the physical body. What is missing is the awareness and intention to fully project out. Even in a lucid dream, there is still a range of lucidity and some people are able to use the lucid dream as a springboard to go into an obe. The realness of the obe experience, makes it self evident that it is different from a dream. Out of body experiences become as real as our daily lives.
What are the benefits, why would somebody want to try this?
One of the most profound benefits is the loss of fear of death, common with near death experience. Fear is easy to manipulate and people that are afraid can be targets for malicious manipulation and influenced. Once we overcome that fear, we are able to make better and more rational decisions.
Attempting and having access to out of body experiences can set us on a journey of trying to understand this physical life. Because we have this glimpse into something unusual, a different world that most people are not aware of, we will come back with questions and a new perspective on life. We will be more curious and will want to share these realizations and experiences with others.
In other dimensions, just like in ours, thoughts and intentions have consequence, they attract things and people. This is sometimes called the law of attraction, and in the astral dimensions we are able to see this much easier and in a more immediate fashion. This is why it is so vital to monitor the quality of our thoughts, intentions.
As a result of out of body experiences, we become more perceptive, more psychic, and able to feel or see energy in ourselves and others. Because we realize the benefits of maintaining a healthy energetic pattern we become more aware of our own energetic and mental state.
We can step out of our physical and solid world and look out through another lens. By doing so, we can see ourselves and our lives from a different perspective and when we come back, our worldview is shifted and changed. The ramifications touch and inform all of our problems on earth. Many of the world’s problems come from the human-centered perspective that nature and life are things; they are to be used and then thrown away. When we see ourselves as consciousness that exists outside the physical body, this continuity and connection between ourselves, our bodies, spirits, and all living things becomes apparent. With this knowledge, life, the environment, and most other things in life become more valuable and precious.
Through out of body travels, we can see ourselves as a multi-dimensional consciousness in the process of evolution along with other beings. With this realization, we become more connected in a cosmic way to our fellow human beings.
What can I expect for my first time?
Beginners should be very motivated but not easily discouraged. On the other hand, you should be prepared to have an experience. Fears and anxieties are common, try to address these beforehand. Excitement may result in reducing the chance of getting an obe because the physical body will not be able to relax enough to allow the separation from the astral body.
Recognize the physical sensations such as tingling, vibrations, or pulsations. These are the first signs of an obe onset. Sometimes you may hear inter-cranial sounds that may appear to be coming from your head. These are actually generated in your non-physical or astral body. A partial or completely paralysis of the body also happens; do not be worried or panic. It is common to feel subtle energy moving or a part of your subtle-astral body to separate – such as an arm, or leg.
Is it dangerous?
No. People have obes nightly and it is quite natural. Becoming lucid of this process makes you safer and increases the connection between the physical and astral body. Because of the silver cord, you are still energetically connected to the body and there is no way for this connection to break or be cut. Your energy body is a perfect fit for your physical body. The terms in and out of body are analogies, and you are energetically still connected to your body at all times.
It is common for people to ask if they can get lost. Most people would like the opposite, they want to explore, but the moment they feel afraid, they are immediately zipped back into their physical body. There are many fears around obes but most of these are unfounded and exist to discourage exploration into the nature of reality and the self.
How do I do it? What types of methods are there?
Continuous consciousness projection is feasible when we allow our bodies to go into a deeply relaxed state – almost numb and heavy. Our emotions are also slowed and focused on the obe. Many people are constantly moving the body and when the physical body is too jittery, complete separation is almost impossible.
The most basic technique is to contract and relax the physical muscles. The intention should be to extend the period of falling asleep, and progressively relaxing the mind and the body, creating opportunities for having a spontaneous out of body experience.
In our daily lives, the energy body is crystallized and aligned with the physical body. Only in the periods before or after sleep does the energy body have a chance to shift out of this alignment. To make it easier to separate, we must be able to control the energy body to the point where we can reach a vibrational state where it is the most vital and energized. To accomplish this, it is helpful to develop our energy body.
There are many techniques but the main emphasis should be on moving the energy resolving any energy blockages in the body. To get to this stage, we must first become aware and sensitive enough to feel the subtle energy.
Another path is breathing techniques that alter the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide allowing us to relax the body completely while keeping our mind awake, focused, and relaxed. This state should not be confused with insomnia. Our energy body reacts to our emotions which is why it is important to go into this practice with calm and peaceful mind.
We may also try to have a target where we wish to travel. A person, an object or place, as long as it does not cross any privacy boundaries. A place that we are familiar with and attached to, will work best and we can wish and will the energy body to go there.
Yet another technique is to separate just one limb of the energy body, attempting to control that limb before attempting the entire body. Hypnotic self suggestions cal also be used.
Is there a good time, position?
For others, on the side or even sitting in a comfortable recliner is preferred. Ask yourself, when and how am I least likely to fall asleep and most likely to relax quickly.
Study these two conditions. As for timing, the most common is right before falling asleep. For others, it is the middle of the night, the afternoon, after work, or immediately after waking up. All of this depends on your profile and life habits.
To find out, it is best to experiment and be our own investigator and researcher.
Is obe related to psychic powers, such as clairvoyance and telepathy?
When people have obes on a regular basis, they tend to become more psychic. These abilities operate and are linked to consciousness and the projection of energy. If we are able to create a partial disconnection of our energy body, we open a channel for clairvoyance and other psychic information to come in. The better we are able to control and understand our subtle energy, the more we will be able to receive this type of information. Unblock stagnant energy in the body and working with chakras will greatly help facilitate the development of psychic powers.
Where can I find out more? Resources, books, etc…?
Projections of the Consciousness: A Diary of Out-of-Body Experiences, by Waldo Vieira
Projection of the Astral Body by Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington
Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce
Journeys out of the body by Robert Monroe
Projectiology: A Panorama Of Experiences Of The Consciousness Outside The Human Body by Waldo Vieira