In my first book, I tried to answer as many OBE questions as I could imagine. Since that time, I've received OBE questions from all over the world. I will offer my opinions in no particular order.
Mostly, I explore. I experiment. I have an insatiable curiosity, so I just go out and try things. I also love to fly. Still got questions? Look within yourself.?Inner Voice
Hundreds. Possibly more than a thousand. It depends on how you count them. In many of my early OBEs, I would exit and reenter my body several times over the course of a morning. In my journals, I only counted it as one OBE when, in fact, there were several. Ultimately, it doesn?t matter how many OBEs you have. What?s important is what you learn from them.
Yes. In fact, most OBEs happen to normal, ordinary, average people.
Yes. I wasn?t born with any special gifts. I learned everything the hard way. So can you.
I don't think that certain people are more likely to have OBEs than others. OBEs happen to people of all ages, religions, races, cultures and sexes. It happens to spiritual and unspiritual people alike.
Actually, it is common. Conservative estimates indicate that OBEs happen to 25% of the population.
Nobody can possibly rule out the possibility of dying during an OBE, because obviously if anyone has died during an OBE, they haven't been around to warn us; therefore, all we can do is speculate. I think we all chose to come to this Earth for a purpose, and we're not going to die until that purpose is fulfilled; therefore, I don't think it's possible to die before our appointed time. If you die during an OBE, it would only be because it was your time to die, and the OBE would not have changed the time-table of your death.
In my experience, no matter how long you want to stay ?out,? your body will automatically suck you back in when it needs attention. So I don?t even think you can commit suicide by trying to remain outside your body.
If both people agree, it might be possible. We can only speculate until it's been tried. My guess is that, even if it were possible, it wouldn't be a permanent switch. You probably couldn't control the other person's body for very long. It would probably be like traditional mediumship.
Outside of fictional books, movies and television, I?ve only heard of two accounts of people who may have actually switched bodies. The first case was Vincent Turvey?s account of his controlling a spirit medium?s body during a seance.1 Turvey supposedly had signed testimonials to this feat.
The second account was from Robert Monroe who may have temporarily entered the body of a strange man. In an OBE account dated March 11, 1961, he wrote, ?...and I thought I had made a normal return to the physical. I opened my eyes, and I was in a strange bed. A strange woman was beside the bed, and she smiled as she saw me awaken. An older woman stood behind her...They helped me get out of bed...and I knew for sure I wasn?t the person they thought I was. I tried to tell them this, but they only humored me and seemed to think I was still in some form of delirium...?2
The most important factor is the amount of time and energy you spend studying and practicing the techniques and how much time you dedicate to it.
Since I can't be inside your head during practice, I can't tell you what you're doing wrong. Most beginners make the same mistakes: They try too hard, and don?t let go enough. In other words, they don?t let themselves slip close enough to the unconscious state; they remain too ?awake.?
Your eyes should be closed when practicing OBE. How important is chakra development to OBE? When I developed my ability, I did not do any chakra work directly. At the time, I didn't much believe in chakras. However, these days I've decided that chakras are real, since mine have been noticeably very active. Chakra development is probably time well spent, but I learned to leave the body without it, so it's not mandatory.
This happens to a lot of people. I believe that we leave our bodies every night during sleep. I believe that this jolt is caused when we enter the dream state before we are ready for it. I think that this happens because our subconscious or superconscious self realizes that it's mistakenly allowed too much of our conscious personality into that dream state, so it aborts the dream sequence and causes us to awaken with a jolt.
So in a way, yes, this has something to do with OBE, but it's not abnormal or paranormal. My theory is that if you can teach/convince your subconscious ?it's okay to take me with when you go out of body? then this might lead to conscious OBEs instead of jolts.
Most OBE books claim it?s easy to travel during an OBE simply by thinking about a person or place. During my early OBEs, I tried everything I could to travel by thought, but nothing worked. I'm happy to report that eventually I figured out how to travel with a thought. It took a lot of trial and error, and it's not always accurate. Also, it's virtually impossible to explain. I just pull myself to a location.
As far as I can tell, the OBE seems to happen in real time. Although some people report experiences where they seem to be in touch with events of the past or future, it has never happened to me.
I haven't hit any power lines, so I'm not sure.
Believe me, I'd like as much as anyone to prove that OBE is real. Many people have suggested that I try to fly to their house and describe some object in a particular room. There are several problems with these kinds of experiments. I tried to explain some of these in chapter 21.
If it helps, there are some OBEs reported where objective reality has been viewed and later verified. These reside in the OBE books on the market. For instance, Robert Monroe and ?Miss Z? were studied by Charles Tart, and they performed some amazing OBE feats, such as reading off a random five-digit number that was hidden.
The best proof is to try it yourself. That will be proof enough!
This is a well-known phenomenon called ?false awakening.? Many people have it, and most people are afraid of it until they understand what is happening. Basically, your mind wakes up before your body wakes up. Your mind is awake, but your body is still in the middle of the natural sleep paralysis that occurs when we all sleep. It's very difficult to break free of this paralysis, but if you do break free, either your body becomes active and you wake up or else your body stays there, and you have an OBE. It has happened to me many times, and it's nothing to be concerned about.
Not much, really. Usually I get a slight shiver, but other than that, it feels the same as passing through other physical objects.
You can try to manipulate astral matter, but it won't do you much good. I've never been able to affect physical reality during my OBEs. Most of the time, your hands just pass right through the objects you see.
I suppose OBE can possibly be used for wrong doing, but it would be extremely difficult. Just thinking about the wrong-doing would either keep you inside your body, or else cause negative experiences.
There is no such thing as privacy. Privacy is an illusion. You are always surrounded by entities, some in and some out of their body. You can inhibit them to a degree, but that's only temporary. If you are spiritual and have pure thoughts, you will not attract negative entities (they would find you boring) and you would have no secrets from anyone. I've had entities visit me while I was naked in the shower, and so forth, and it can be surprising and unnerving.
To address this question, we have to define the soul and the mind. These are all things that can be described, but not as easily defined. If my OBEs have taught me anything, they've taught me that the soul and consciousness extend way beyond what we experience in everyday life.
I think of the part that travels out-of-body as my consciousness. I think that the astral body only exists because we are so deeply ingrained with our body image. I think that our Higher Self always transcends our physical body and is probably very amused by how trapped we feel inside our birdcage bodies that have a wide-open door. As someone astutely pointed out, whoever said you were in your body at all? We're just so accustomed to carrying the body around with us that we take it for granted. You can call it spirit, or soul, or whatever makes you feel comfortable, but it's all the same thing; the real you that is independent of your physical body.
People who are dead or otherwise out of their bodies can usually see me. I can't always see them, but that's another topic. People who are inside their bodies never seem to see me at all. I remember one OBE where I stood in front of my wife Kathy, trying to get her attention. Despite all my efforts, she didn't see me. Perhaps someone who can see auras could tell when I was visiting them astrally, but I've never been in a position where I could try that.
The bottom line is this: can ordinary people see ghosts? Under ordinary circumstances, no. Maybe once in a while something causes someone to see a ghost. We may be able to see someone having an OBE under those same circumstances.
Act the same way you would behave when you meet a stranger off the street: cautiously. Remember, spirits are just people like you and me. Some are good. Some are not so good.
Yes. For example, you can use astral projection to meet with and speak to your dead wife. However, I caution you that it's extremely difficult. The problem is, you are likely to be very emotional about your wife's death. It will be hard to induce the proper OBE state until you can set aside these emotions completely during the process. That?s easier said than done. After you're out of your body, if you get too emotional, it can also bring you back to your body.
Some people claim that certain drugs can intermittently induce OBEs. For example, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or certain hallucinogens. Since drugs interfere with the brain?s normal functioning, I don?t trust the reality of drug-induced experiences. It?s better to induce OBEs the natural way.
The twentieth century saw amazing advances in our physical reality, and with it, unprecedented materialism. My hope is that the twenty-first century will spark spiritual and psychic development on the same grand scale, and with it, a renaissance of the human spirit.