I grew up in a hectic house with three brothers and one sister. My dad was a religious man in his own quiet way. He generally kept quiet about his religion. Once or twice I heard him mention Edgar Cayce in passing, but I ignored most of this, dismissing it as either "occult" or "unscientific." As a rule, he never exposed his kids to occult ideas.
My mom was a devout Catholic, and she raised her kids as "good" Catholics, that is, the kind who go to church every Sunday, say their prayers, and pretty much forget about God and religion during the week. At any rate, I grew up with a healthy sense of right and wrong, and never used drugs. I was the only kid in my high school who never tried marijuana. I still haven't tried drugs; drugs are for people who are lazy and lack the will to induce their own, natural altered states of consciousness.
Once I asked my mom if she remembered anything unusual about my childhood. She told me that whenever I got really sick, I would sleepwalk. To be precise, I would get up in the middle of the night and dance around in circles chanting like an Indian shaman. Of course, I wasn't conscious at the time.
When I got sick, I only remember a strange sensation that used to terrify me: When I drifted off to sleep, I had a terrifying "nightmare." I would "dream" that I held a tiny grain of salt in the palm of my hand. Then my consciousness would shrink to a terrifyingly small size until the grain of salt looked like a skyscraper. Terrified of being crushed by the salt, I would wake up screaming.
I didn't consider myself a psychic child. Nonetheless, I had a few experiences worth noting.
One day, when I was perhaps 10 or 12 years old, I was very depressed. I don't even remember why I was depressed, but my depression was so severe that I actually prayed to die. Sometime after I had gone to bed, I awoke to find myself whooshing up, out of my body, escorted by what I thought was an angel. I thought I had died, and I was amazed that I hadn't felt any pain during the separation. I thought that death would be painful, but it wasn't.
Finally I came to a halt before a large, tremendously powerful invisible being, whom I immediately thought was God. The being told me it was time to go, and I understood immediately what that meant: Death.
Then I got a yearning to go back. I was homesick. I felt guilty about wishing to die. And I knew that my parents would be very sad about my death. So I begged and pleaded to be brought back to Earth. "Why?" I was asked. I thought for a moment, searching for an answer. I said, "Everyone there thinks that death is painful and sad. I have to go back to tell everyone that death is painless, and joyful."
After thinking about it, "God" consented and I was escorted back. I awoke amazed at the realism I had experienced. I forced myself to believe it was a dream and nothing more.
Another experience happened when I was a little older, perhaps 14 or 15. I used to have playful wrestling matches with two other boys.
One day we were talking about wrestling, and got on the subject of the world-famous wrestling hold called "the sleeper hold." The hold would knock an opponent out by cutting off blood circulation to the brain. Anyway, we all wondered what it would be like to be knocked out. FD was the strongest of the three and the third boy was afraid, so I agreed to let FD knock me out with a bear-hug.
We went outside and he gave me the strongest bear-hug I've ever experienced. I couldn't breathe and soon became unconscious. It was like waking from a dream; this world was a dream and I awoke to a reality more real and vivid than this world is. I saw the illusion of this existence on Earth dispelled! It faded away and I didn't regret it. Soon I found myself in the "real" world in a huge city that I already knew.
My memory seemed to return--Yes--I had gone to sleep and dreamed of a little place called "Earth" and now I was awake. "That was a silly dream" I thought, and I soon forgot all about "Earth." I continued my life, just like before I fell asleep. I lived in that fantastic city for years and years--centuries it seemed. I lived there so long that I COMPLETELY forgot all about Earth. For hundreds of years I had forgotten Earth. If someone was to ask me about it, I couldn't remember, since it happened so long ago.
Then one day I was walking to a store. Suddenly a confusing loss of direction hit me and I felt myself falling. Suddenly I opened my eyes only to see strange leaves, the sky and FD and the other boy looking at me! Where was I now? How did I get here? What happened? Then I remembered: Hundreds of years ago, I fell asleep and found myself here. This place was called "Earth" and was a part of a weird dream. I must have fallen asleep again. Slowly my Earthly memory returned. I asked the boys how long I had been unconscious. They said only a few minutes. They asked me what happened, and I told them I didn't want to talk about it.
A third psychic experience is as follows: I was riding with my father in his truck and we went under a railroad bridge viaduct. It was near Columbia Park in Columbia Heights Minnesota, only a few blocks from where I lived in Minneapolis. We drove under the bridge, and a train was passing over the track. I got a very uncomfortable feeling and "imagined" the train falling from the track onto the truck and street, crushing us. I said, "I hate this" to my dad. After we had gone through the viaduct I asked my dad, "How often do they jump the track?" My dad (who worked as a clerk for a railroad) said that it was nearly impossible for a train to derail; it was especially rare at a bridge or viaduct. Within a week, a train derailed at that very viaduct. I was about 14 at the time.
Some people may say that these psychic experiences would suggest I was born with some natural abilities. However, I disagree. A couple of unusual events during childhood does not make you "psychic." My childhood was normal.
Once when I was young I overheard my dad talking to my brother and he mentioned a thing called "astral projection." I asked my brother what it was, but I was brushed aside with a simple, "That's where people fly outside their bodies." It sounded interesting to me, but too unscientific--like a fairy tale. I waited patiently until the next time my mom took me to the library, then I tried to find "Astral" in the card catalog. The library didn't have any books on it at the time, so I forgot all about the subject.
Many people from all walks of life believe that we have spiritual guides or guardians of some sort. Christians call them Guardian Angels. Zoroastrians call them the Fervashi. Spiritualists call them spirit guides. Whatever you call them, they can hear our silent thoughts and prayers, and they can help us in many ways. They can even help us have OBEs.
Since our guides are here to help us spiritually, this exercise is to pray to your guides to help you have OBEs. I can't tell you what to pray, but I can give you an example which I sometimes use:
I pray to God, the All That Is, and to my guides, helpers and any other benevolent beings, to please help me achieve my goal of exploring consciously while out of my body. Help me leave my body and become conscious and in return, I will do my best to become more spiritual, and help you with your goals of guidance.
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