Many books about out-of-body experiences say that during an OBE, our thoughts produce instant reality. Well, maybe not instantly. Sometimes it seems as if our subconscious thoughts are more powerful than our conscious thoughts. Our beliefs, expectations and fears also play a large part in what we experience while out of our bodies.
For instance, why do you even have an astral body? While you are out of your body, why should you need a body at all? Why do you need astral hands? If you try to pick something up, your hands will pass right through the object. Why do you need astral eyes? With mind-sensing, you can sense everything around you without even using your eyes. Why do you need astral legs if you can just as easily float or fly wherever you want? The answer is, you don't need an astral body! We have astral bodies because we are so accustomed to operating with a body. It's part of our self-image. We believe in our bodies so strongly that we create astral bodies for ourselves to use during an OBE. Perhaps we also do it as a convenience to others. How would we recognize a friend if he or she didn't have an astral body with their familiar face?
Let's take this one step further. During an OBE, are we naked or do we wear clothes? The answer is, sometimes we are naked, but most of the time we do wear astral clothes. The few people who report being naked during an OBE usually "feel naked" without their body.
Others report that they were wearing white robes, unlike any clothes they own in physical life. These people usually believe that they are dead or they are temporarily spirits, and what else do spirits wear?
There are also many people who find themselves in astral clothes identical to the clothes they were wearing at the time of the OBE. Often these people don't realize at first that they are out of their bodies. One moment they lie down for a nap, and the next moment they find themselves standing up and feeling light on their feet. And of course, they believe they are wearing the same clothes.
More common, however, is the case where the subject doesn't remember whether he or she was wearing clothes. They just don't seem to notice. That is usually the case during my OBEs. I don't even think about the clothes I am wearing, and since I'm not thinking about it, no clothes are created. And I don't even notice the clothes are missing.
The point is, while we are out of the body our beliefs do influence our experience. Our thoughts also influence our experience, but they are subject to our beliefs.
Not only does this law work for astral objects like clothes, but our astral bodies as well. If we believe our astral bodies are malleable, they will be. Some people have reported their astral bodies were not in the shape of a human body, but in another shape. Take the following OBE for example:
11/08/81 Sun - OBE #55
...I separated my head last, and then I felt just like a balloon. I was bouncing up and down but stuck to my body in a way I could not tell. I couldn't turn around. My consciousness was again very clear and concise....If I had an astral body, then it was curled up into a ball-shape. And I was stuck to my body's right side; that is, by the right arm.
After experiencing a few OBEs and reading several books, I came to believe the astral body was not solid. As a result, I started having experiences like the following:
02/23/80 - OBE #9
...Another strange thing about this morning's projection is: I folded my arms around my chest to rest them, but they went right through my chest! They rested on the bed.
This example shows the malleability of the astral body: I folded my arms through my chest instead of on top.
Some people can travel just by thinking of a person or place. But it's not always that simple. It's not just the thought that makes us travel, but our beliefs too. In Journeys Out of the Body, Robert Monroe wasn't always able to travel to a desired person or place. When trying to contact a friend, he often found himself in unexpected, unfamiliar surroundings.
I've also run into these problems. I think the problems stemmed mainly from my beliefs. I couldn't rationalize how people could move from place to place during OBEs, and my doubts and skepticism got in my way. I harbored a belief that it takes more than thoughts to travel. Limiting beliefs such as these can cause us a great deal of trouble. Here is an example:
12/22/85 Sun - OBE #120
...Annoyed, I closed my eyes again, sat up again, turned and stood up again. This time I walked blindly through the door into the living room. I walked across the living room, almost to the door to the apartment. I thought, "I'm far enough away from my body now; It should be safe to open my eyes." I opened my eyes, and again I was transported back to the same position just above the body.
I figured this was happening because of some belief I harbored, so I decided to combat the belief. As I lay there, I thought strongly, "I am the master of my reality, and I control what happens here." With that thought, I felt a strong sensation like a vibration that swept into me, giving me a sense of power.
I thought, "Good. Now, I will raise myself up with the power of my thoughts." I used my mind to pull up, and I started forcefully rising up one half foot...one foot... one and one-half feet. Then I questioned whether it ought to work, since I hadn't had much luck in the past with this method. That doubt caused me to stop rising, and I started gently bobbing up and down, as if my conflicting beliefs were fighting each other, one pulling me up, the other pushing me down. Then I blacked out.
The following experience illustrates further how we can use one set of beliefs to combat another set of beliefs:
04/13/86 Sun - OBE #125
This morning I was trying to sleep but kept thinking about trying to leave my body. As I was heading toward sleep I found myself in a very good condition for OBEs. I was laying on my left side. Very easily I started myself swaying back and forth in my body, as described before. I swayed back and forth and slipped outside my body. I thought, "Well, that was easy enough." I slipped a little bit backward and found myself stuck to the body. I tried to pry myself away, but was unsuccessful. I closed my eyes and said aloud, "I am in complete control of this reality while I am out of my body. If I am stuck, it's because I believe I am stuck. And I no longer want to be stuck." I opened my eyes again and tried once more to pry myself away, also without success.
I decided to try something different. My body was near the edge of the bed. I reasoned that if I were close to the edge of the bed and pushed myself off, I would fall off the bed, thus freeing myself from the body. I was using my own beliefs to free myself: I knew I had a belief that I would fall off the bed. This belief was stronger than my belief that I was stuck to my body. I rolled a little bit until I was laying on my back (my body was still on its left side). I wanted to fall gently, so I gently fell to the ground and I felt a sharp--but not painful--jab in my back caused by hitting something on the floor next to my bed.
The point is, if you are planning to attempt OBEs, it's very helpful, before you set out on your adventure, to examine your desires, beliefs, fears and expectations about the experience.
This exercise is similar to the musical imagination exercise. Relax completely, then try to get to that passive, quiesced frame of mind.
As vividly as you can, imagine there is a course buzzing sound in your head. Pretend the buzzing is just a little bit too quiet to hear, but getting louder. Simultaneously listen intently for the buzzing to become loud enough to hear.
As the buzzing becomes louder, imagine the sound is causing your soul to vibrate. Increase the imaginary sound until you feel like your soul is being rattled and shaken to the core. Hold the imaginary buzzing and vibrating for several minutes.
Repeat the procedure several times if necessary.
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