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Posts Tagged ‘out-of-body experience’

Written by:
Wendi Friend 

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re falling and just as you are about to hit the ground, you wake up in your bed, your body poised for landing? Or perhaps you felt as though you were landing back into your own body? You’re not quite lying down, and not quite sitting up, but somewhere in mid “crunch” as if a great blow had been delivered to your abdomen. Have you ever had a dream that felt so real you swore it had to be – where you were simultaneously an observer and an unseen participant? What about dreams that carry you into the past and re-paint events so crystal clear that even the scents and sounds convince you that you’ve traveled back in time to the very moment? If you’ve ever had such dreams, there’s a good chance you’ve delved into the astral realm, knowingly, or in many cases, unknowingly.

My brother used to tell me stories about how he’d get up in the middle of the night to get a drink. This is back when we were kids. He’d climb down from his bunk bed carefully and quietly as not to disturb the sleeping body of our little brother on the bottom bunk. He’d tiptoe down the hallway, taking care to not alert the grown ups he was awake. But something would stop him before he ever reached his glass of water. Something drew his attention to himself, asking him why he didn’t open his bedroom door before going into the hallway, or why he couldn’t feel his feet planted firmly on the old shag carpet.

Looking down, he realized his feet were not on the ground. Looking behind him he became aware that the bedroom door had never been opened – and yet, somehow, there he was – in the middle of the hallway, no longer aware he’d been thirsty. The moment he became aware that he was “ghostly” he panicked, rushing back toward his room. Not knowing how he did it, he returned through the closed door to find his body sound asleep in the top bunk where he’d left it. Then, he felt a magnetic pull, or a strange “suction” sensation, and the reunion between body and soul took place.

Quite frankly, I thought he was pulling my leg, choking my chain, busting my chops to scare me since that had been of his favorite childhood pastimes. But, alas, another experience would force me to come to terms with the fact that there may be an inkling of truth in his tall, intricately woven tales.

In childhood, I shared a room with my older sister. Our beds were located parallel on opposite ends of the room – mine on the left, hers on the right, but we slept in opposite positions – my head nearest the windows, hers nearest the door. I think I was around the age of twelve or thirteen at the time. Late one night, I woke up with the feeling of someone watching me.

Rubbing my eyes to adjust to the darkness, I looked toward my sister’s bed, and there she was – sitting upright, her posture graceful, spine perfectly straight, hands resting in her lap. She looked like she was concentrating hard on something, but she wasn’t looking at me. In the dark, I studied her for a moment, and then began seeing a few peculiarities.

First, I noticed her nightgown. This was not the same set of pajamas she’d gone to sleep in and, to my recollection, was not a nightgown she owned. I’d never seen it before. Next, I noticed the length and style of her hair. My sister’s hair was always worn long – often what my mom would describe as “stringy” when it went uncombed for more than two hours. But now, her hair was cropped at shoulder length – shiny, well groomed — full of volume – and even more strange, bound with a blue silk ribbon that tied in a bow just above the bangs. My sister wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a blue silk bow in her hair, I said to myself. Then the thought frightened me – if this wasn’t my sister, who was it? And if it was my sister, was she dead?

Taking a chance, I whispered her name into the dark. She heard me. Slowly, almost eerily, she cricked her neck to look in my direction. Eye contact was made and she issued a grin that I couldn’t begin to describe and have never seen since. Without a word, she began to recline, and that’s when I saw the second version of her, the version I’d grown up with, lying asleep in the bed. Once the two parts had fully merged, my sister’s body sprang to life and she said, “Did you call me?”

My father, a man we’d never known in childhood, was able to clarify much for me once I’d grown to adulthood and met him for the first time. By this time, I had my first child who was nearing a year old and learning to utter small words. My father had arranged to visit my apartment in Las Vegas and was looking forward to seeing his grandson for the first time. When my father pulled into the driveway, and I, carrying my infant son went to greet him, my son excitedly squealed, “Hi, Papa Paul!” as though they’d been friends for lifetimes. I looked at my father, dazed. “It’s okay,” he assured, “I’ve visited him before. He knows me.” And with that, my son reached out for my father.

During that visit, my father explained to me that my ancestors have been astral traveling for many moons. It was a gift not many could understand, much less explain, but it was something I’d have to adjust to and accept – not for the sake of having an open mind, but because it was happening to me as well! He went on to tell story after story about how he’d learned to control his gift and could now travel at will to select locations, rather than doing it by accident and feeling lost and confused all the while. I had no idea these “accidental separations of soul and body” could be controlled.

What exactly is astral travel? Who does this, and why? Can it be done, or better yet, should it be done with intent and practiced precision? Could a person die from astral traveling? Could another traveling soul “kidnap” the body of an unattended astral traveler? Can other people see you visually when your soul is traveling out of body? Do we mistake astral travelers as ghosts? The questions were many. Some were answered by my father, some were learned through experience, and some – well, some of the questions linger still today, more than 20 years after my first experience with astral travel.

There is a theory presented by The Skeptic’s Dictionary that each of us actually has a total of seven “bodies”, one for each of the seven realms of reality. It’s not actually the spirit or soul that detaches from the body, but instead is the astral body. The Skeptic’s Dictionary states, “The astral body, according to Madame Blavatsky, is the one that has an aura. It is also the seat of feeling and desire, and is generally described as being connected to the physical body during astral projection by an infinitely elastic and very fine silver cord, a kind of cosmic umbilical cord or Ariadne’s thread.” However, to be fair, this source also clearly states there is little or no scientific proof that astral travel exists.

Can others see our “astral selves” when we’re traveling out of body? The answer, according to some, is yes – and the term for it is Astral Projection, where the practitioner consciously chooses to project their appearance to another. If more than one person is familiar and experienced in astral travel, two or more can even arrange to meet on the astral realm – anywhere the imagination can carry them. A meeting on the moon, perhaps? A joy ride on the Milky Way? Is that really possible? Perhaps, but if so, science cannot prove that it is. Because science has no hard evidence, the subject is often viewed with skepticism and the occasional scoff. However, there’s another form of astral travel that even the government is said to have dabbled with, and that is known as Remote Viewing.

Remote Viewing can be described, in essence, as a really sneaky way to spy on someone or something without being caught because you were never “really” there in the first place. According to the International Remote Viewing Association (IRVA) website, “Remote viewing is not used to give ‘psychic readings,’ ‘tell fortunes,’ ‘read auras,’ or other sorts of popular activities of this nature, but is rather a means of doing serious science research and for performing operational-type tasks in criminal investigations, government intelligence work, commercial applications, etc.”

Some people suggest that each and every one of us astral travels every time we sleep. Yet, this raises the eyebrows of skeptics who claim astral travel is nothing more than a dream. If we only astral travel while asleep, can it be assumed, as the skeptics suggest, that astral travel is nothing more than our subconscious minds painting pictures real enough for us to believe, or can it be argued that the dream state takes us into other dimensions without our conscious mind being aware?

Many people who still practice the “old ways” work consciously and willingly with astral travel. There are herbs, books, spells, charms, enchantments, methods, and meditations provided to help one learn to harness the ability to fly to any heights of the imagination and beyond, but more importantly, to do this safely and with a full account of responsibility.

One way I can tell the difference, personally, between “just a dream” and “astral travel” is a term I’ve coined as the “astral hangover”. I’ve discussed this with a few other people and have found it something we have in common. When we dream a dream that feels like astral travel, where we’ve felt like we “left” and “returned”, there’s a sense of disconnect from the body. For a small amount of time after waking, there’s clumsiness – an inability to hold an object without dropping it, a tendency to walk into walls rather than down the hallway unobstructed, slurred speech, unfocused thoughts. It’s a “twilight-zone” feeling that holds on for around an hour after waking, and then there’s a feeling of “sinking wholly back in” to my own skin.

So are these experiences just dreams or flights of fanciful imaginations – or is it really possible for the mind or spirit to separate from the body? Since there is no hard, scientific evidence, all we can do, really, is speculate.

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