AP_05.TXT FILE 5 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994 Astral P

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

AP_05.TXT ------------------------------------------------------------------- FILE 5 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Astral Projection Class on CompuServe by Don DeGracia: 72662,1335 Copyright 1994 None of this material may be reproduced without explicit permission from the author. HOW TO ASTRAL PROJECT - PART 2 2. TRANCE METHODS We have seen how to use dreams as a means for achieving an astral projection. However, we have so ingrained our prejudice about the unreality of dreams, that simply taking your waking mind into the dream world somehow doesn't seem like all that big a deal, even given the fact that very few people actually do this. Becoming lucid during a dream just doesn't seem like the "real thing" to most people in terms of being a bona fide OOBE or astral projection. Well, I will continue to hammer home the point that it is; becoming lucid while dreaming is indistinguishable from other ways of getting your waking mind into the dream world. Still, it would be even more convincing that we were having a "real" astral projection/OOBE if there was some way that we could directly take our consciousness out of the physical plane without having to use dreams as an intermediary device. Well, happily there is such a direct method for getting to the inner planes, and this is a method I have used the most to achieve my astral projection experiences. For lack of a better term, I call this the "trance method", for it entails putting yourself into a trance. Now, what is a trance? Frankly, I'm not sure if there is a precise definition of what a trance is. I know for sure that a trance is a state of consciousness in which you are no longer focused in the physical world. I know that you can achieve trance states through hypnosis and meditation, and the method I shall describe here is much like meditation. Knowing exactly what a trance is isn't very important for our purposes here. What is important for our purposes here is learning how to put yourself in a trance, which we shall discuss below. Now, how is going into a projection from a trance different from going into a projection through a dream? Well, the difference is that, going into a projection through a trance is much more direct than going into a projection through a dream. By "direct" I mean that you do not fall asleep first. Your consciousness remains intact as you cross the border into the nonphysical planes. Thus, the immediate perception on your part will be of "leaving your body". You will be highly conscious of the act of dissociating from your physical body as you take your waking consciousness into the dream world. Once you are there, you will see that the experience is very much like the experience of being lucid in a dream, but it's the "getting there" that is different. In the previous section we saw the connection between astral projections and lucid dreams. Becoming lucid in a dream - which again, means taking your waking mind into the dream state - is, essentially an astral projection. Likewise, in this section you will now appreciate the connection between the term OOBE and astral projection. Again, this is because when you enter the projection state via trance, you literally feel yourself leave your body. The more precise way to say this is that you feel your consciousness *dissociate* from your physical body. I suspect that such a perception is more in line with people's ideas about what an OOBE is. So, recalling what was said back in the section on theory, the difference between calling your trance-induced projection an "OOBE" or an "astral projection" implies mostly your conception of where you go after you "leave" your body. Remember, generally the term OOBE seems to imply that you are still in the physical world as a disembodied awareness, whereas the term astral projection implies you are in one of the nonphysical planes. When you learn to project via trance, you will be in a good position to see that your consciousness is no longer in the physical world. So, if we wanted to be proper about this we should call our experience an astral projection. But again, what you call it doesn't matter. What matters is that you can DO it. Now, let us return to this idea that the trance method allows a continuity of your awareness across the border from the physical to the nonphysical planes. In my experiences with entering a projection through a trance, I have encountered one of two things happening to my consciousness - either: 1. there is no break in my consciousness and I directly enter into the projection experience, or 2. there is a momentary break in my consciousness, lasting only a split second, and then I am in the projection. In either case, the transition is very direct, unlike the dream method where you may be asleep for hours before becoming lucid. In the trance method you pretty much go directly from the physical plane to the projection state. So, for starters, let me give an overview of the trance process, and then we will look at the whole process in great detail and lay out exactly what you need to do to project from a trance. Going into trance starts out just like going to sleep. You lay on your bed and relax deeply. However, you do NOT fall asleep. What you do to go into a trance is KEEP YOUR MIND AWAKE WHILE YOU LET YOUR BODY FALL ASLEEP. We will go into how to do this below. If you are successful at keeping your mind awake while your body falls asleep, you will feel yourself "slip" or "push" out of your body. At that point you will either be somewhere in one of the planes, or you will be in the void. In either case, you are astral projecting (or having an OOBE - whatever you prefer). You will then go through a series of adventures until something causes you to break your trance (such as the phone ringing, the need to go to the bathroom, or any other number of things). On occasion, while you are projecting, you may want to wake yourself up (if for example, you are in a threatening or scary situation), and I will also discuss how to do this. So that's the big picture from start to finish. Let's discuss each step of this process in detail. A. PUTTING YOURSELF INTO A TRANCE Ok, you are laying on your bed with the intent to astral project. So what do you do now? First off, here are some general considerations for the kind of conditions that are best for going into trance: 1. Make sure you have gone to the bathroom first. If your physical body has to clean itself out, this will draw you right out of a projection. 2. It's best to be a little bit tired. You don't want to be super tired because you will just fall asleep! You don't want to be too awake or you will never be able to relax enough to go into trance. 3. Make sure your body is lying comfortably. You don't want your arm to fall asleep, or have your neck get sore because of the way it is cocked. I have found that if I lay on my back, with my head comfortably propped on a couple pillows, and my arms lying stretched alongside my body, or wrapped over my chest, that I am fine. You will discover as you practice that there is one position that you find most comfortable, at least I did. 4. In general, you want to minimize all distractions. I have found that a little bit of noise from outside doesn't prevent me from going into trance. On the other hand, a ringing phone has pulled me from projections a number of times. Also, make sure your body temperature is comfortable. Ok, so now, you are lying in bed, a little tired, you don't have to go to the bathroom, it's quiet and you are comfortable, and you want to astral project. What next? Just relax. What you have to do at this point is begin the process I said above; you have to now try to put your body to sleep but at the same time allow your mind to stay awake. How do you do this? Two things are now critical: concentration and relaxation. You have to do both of these. You have to just stay relaxed, but, as you allow your body to relax, you have to KEEP YOUR MIND ALERT. How do you keep your mind alert? Basically, you can think about anything you want. Some people will tell you that you need to think about specific things, or visualize specific images, and you can do this if you want, but you don't have to. All you have to do is stay alert. When I go into trance I don't meditate on anything specific. Instead I look into the darkness behind my closed eyes and just stare. I tell myself I want to leave my body, not merely just think the idea, but really *feel* that I want to leave. At the same time, I allow myself to relax. The most important thing to think about is to stay aware. KEEP YOUR MIND FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF YOURSELF. That is what is most critical: stay LUCID. It's because you let go of your self-awareness that you eventually just fall asleep and slip unconsciously into the dream world. What you want to do is to move *consciously* into the dream world. Think about whatever you want, but when your mind starts wandering off too far or you start daydreaming too much, bring your awareness of yourself back to the front of your mind. This is really important because, if you watch yourself fall asleep at night, you will notice that your mind just kind of randomly starts wandering through thoughts. The thoughts can be about anything: what happened to you that day, whatever you are worried about, some- one you love, anything. What you will notice going off to sleep is that you get lost in your thoughts. Next thing you know, you are waking up in the morning with maybe a faint memory of the dreams you had as you slept. You DO NOT want to let this happen when you go into trance. It's ok to let your mind wander, but constantly keep bringing your mind back to an awareness of you laying on the bed trying to astral project. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU REMAIN SELF-AWARE. All the while of course, you are continuing to relax. At a certain point you may feel your body become heavy, as if you are beginning to drop off to sleep. This is OK. As a matter of fact this is what you want to happen. At this point, I want to really go in detail about how I go into trance. If not for any other reason, this will be illustrative of one particular way to successfully get into trance (i.e. "monkey see, monkey do"). You may find what I do works for you, or, as you practice, you may discover things that work for you that are different than what I do. That's fine. The bottom line here is: WHATEVER WORKS. There are two things I focus on as I go into trance: 1. I stare into the darkness behind my closed eyes. 2. I stay completely aware of the sensation of my body laying on the bed. What happens when I go into trance is that, as I focus on both of these things, as my relaxation deepens, my perception of both of these things changes. That is to say, the darkness I am staring into transforms, and I will see images in this darkness. And the feeling of my body laying on my bed changes too. I now will discuss each of these in detail. Let me make this perfectly clear: THE CHANGES IN WHAT I SEE AND HOW I FEEL MY BODY ARE WHAT ALLOW ME TO "LEAVE" MY BODY. That is to say, as far as I'm concerned, these next couple topics are the heart and soul of these notes; how to really "leave" your body. This is it gang! Pay attention! As I go through the next few paragraphs, please keep in mind that what I am describing is all occurring at the same time. Just to keep it straight, all of the following things are going on simultaneously as I go into trance: 1. I am staring into the darkness behind my closed eyes. 2. I am aware of the sensations of my body. 3. I am relaxing deeper and deeper. 4. I am thinking to myself "I am going to leave", "I am going to project", and similar thoughts. And I am anticipating certain changes in what I see in the darkness behind my closed eyes and how my body feels. I am waiting for these changes to occur so that I can "project" or "leave" or whatever you want to call it. All this said, let's now discuss the changes in what I see and what I feel as I go into trance. i. Hypnogogic Imagery I stare into the darkness behind my closed eyes. If you stare into this darkness you will soon come to see that it's not just a flat blackness. Not only is it NOT a black nothing in the darkness behind your closed eyes, but if you look closely you will see that there is something moving in the darkness behind your closed eyes! What I see is what looks like zillions of little pin pricks of electric yellow light and these pin pricks seem to be moving in a way that's hard to put into words. And the image itself is faint and not easy to focus on at all. I WANT TO MAKE PERFECTLY CLEAR AT THIS POINT THAT WHEN I SAY I "SEE" ANYTHING FROM THIS POINT OUT, I AM BEING TOTALLY LITERAL. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT MAKING THINGS UP, OR SEEING SOMETHING IN MY IMAGINATION. I AM NOT VISUALIZING ANYTHING IN MY MIND'S EYE. I AM LITERALLY DESCRIBING THINGS I SEE. NONE OF THIS IS FANTASY OR MAKE BELIEVE. I ACTUALLY SEE THINGS BEHIND MY CLOSED EYES. I just want to make sure you understand this. Anyone who has had any experiences with altered states of consciousness knows exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who have never had the kinds of experiences I'm describing here you will just have to accept what I am saying. If you practice the excercises I prescribe, there is a very good chance you will have these same types of experiences and then you too will know what I am talking about. I'm sorry to dwell on this, but let me say it again. Right now, imagine what you look like. Now imagine what your mother looks like. Ok. Now, you just "saw" images didn't you? What you just did was *imagine* your and your mother's face. You created these images in your mind's eye. THIS IS NOT WHAT I AM DESCRIBING HERE. As I said, from here on out when I say I "saw" this or that, I literally mean that I *saw* it. It is totally different from seeing something in my mind's eye. As a matter of fact, for example, while I see these little pinpricks of light, I can imagine whatever I want in my mind's eye. They are two different processes. Ok, I hope this is clear! Now, these little moving pin pricks of light are not just something I am making up. Psychologists have discovered these things and call them "ideoretinal light" (you will also see the terms "eighenlicht" and "entopic lights" - see the reference by Mavromatis in the bibliography). Many people see these little lights and psychologists have recorded many cases of it. Many people can see these little lights superimposed over their normal vision, that is, when their eyes are open. I can. Maybe you can too. Right now, just shut your eyes and stare into the darkness. What do you see? Stare specifically into this darkness, try to focus on it. Shut off the lights in the room or wait until night time, and do this again in the darkness. Try to make sense out of what you see behind your closed eyes. Chances are good that, in staring into the darkness behind your closed eyes, you too can see the ideoretinal lights. Perhaps you can see other things if you stare closely; maybe faint colors moving around in hard to describe ways, maybe even faint outlines of pictures. You might see after-images of what you were looking at right before you closed your eyes. Wait for these after-images to fade and THEN stare behind your closed eyes and try to figure out what you see. Different people see different things behind their closed eyes. What is important is that 1. you learn that you CAN see things behind your closed eyes, and 2. that you stare at whatever you can see behind your closed eyes while you are trying to go into trance. Back to the ideoretinal lights. Most psychologists assume that these little moving lights are some kind of effect of your eye randomly interacting with light. They explain these little dots as the effect of light randomly bouncing around inside your eye and triggering off the retina, thus sending nerve impulses to the brain, where these random bouncing light particles get perceived as this ideoretinal light. Be this as it may, on the basis of my experiences studying this ideoretinal light, I have come to the conclusion that IDEORETINAL LIGHT IS A DOORWAY TO THE ASTRAL PLANE. Quite a different conclusion from the psychologists, eh? Let's get into what I mean. So, back to my trance experiences. I'm staring into the darkness behind my closed eyes and I see the ideoretinal light. I watch it move and wave around in the peculiar way it does. As my body continues to relax, at a certain point, the darkness behind my closed eyes no longer looks "flat". It transforms and now takes on a 3 dimensional appearance. It looks like a space back there now that I could reach into if I wanted to. However, I cannot reach into it, because at this point I can still feel my arms laying against my bed. Nonetheless, I am looking into this space of darkness, and this space is now swirling in a weird, subtle fashion and I can still see the ideoretinal lights swirling in this dark space. It's actually very important to correlate these changes in my vision with the changes in the feeling of my body. That is, these changes happen at the same time. As my relaxation deepens, my breathing becomes very quiet and regular, I start to feel heavy, like one feels as they are falling off to sleep, except I don't fall asleep. As this heaviness comes over me, it is about at this time that the darkness behind my eyes becomes like a dark space that I could reach into. I may feel a wave of relaxation sweep over me. For people out there who know about brain waves, I suspect that I am entering the alpha brain wave state at this point. Alpha brain waves indicate a state of deep relaxation. But I am still conscious of my body laying on the bed, and I can still hear sounds occurring outside or elsewhere in the house. However, it is shortly after this point (i.e. the onset of the alpha state, which corresponds to a feeling of deep relaxation) that really weird things start to happen in the darkness behind my closed eyes. Any number of things have happened to me at this point, so I will only describe a few of them. One thing that is relatively common is that I will see a flash of purple appear in the darkness behind my closed eyes. It's as if one of the little yellow pinpoints flared up into a bright purple flash, but only for a split instant. I see it and it's gone. Another really weird thing I've seen is that one of the little yellow lights will flare up, and *open up* into what looks like a little circular window! Sometimes it just stays open for an instant but I can't see anything in it, and then it shuts. Other times, one of the yellow lights will flare up this way and I can actually see something in it, as if I'm looking through a tiny little window! Once I saw trees through such a little window. Another time I saw an open doorway. When the yellow lights flare in this fashion, the image lasts longer than the purple flashes. The purple flashes come and go, but these little "windows" have stayed open for a number of seconds sometimes. And once I start seeing things like this in the darkness behind my closed eyes, basically this is where the dam breaks, so to speak, and I begin to see all kinds of other amazing things. So, at this point, I have to tangent off and introduce an idea that is very relevant and important here. The name of this section of the notes is "Hypnogogic Imagery". When you see stuff in the darkness behind your closed eyes, it is called "hypnogogic imagery". In the bibliography, I reference a book by Mavromatis, and this book is called "Hypnogogia". This is a whole book about hypnogogic imagery. This is a critical topic to study for anyone interested in astral projection, as will be clear below, and I highly recommend this book for any serious student of astral projection. In a nutshell, YOU WILL SEE HYPNOGOGIC IMAGERY AS YOUR TRANCE DEEPENS. In effect, the hypnogogic imagery is a signpost saying, "astral projection getting close". That is, ONCE YOU START SEEING HYPNOGOGIC IMAGES, IT WILL ONLY BE A SHORT TIME AFTER THIS THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO LEAVE YOUR BODY. Let me digress now. First I will give you some background on what is known and currently thought about hypnogogic images, then I will describe some of the hypnogogic images I have seen. Again, the psychologists have known about hypnogogic images for around 100 years now. The word "hypnogogia" refers to the state of consciousness right at the border between waking and sleeping. I mentioned this state earlier, and that is its name; hypnogogia. Some psychologists refer to hypnogogia as the border state when you are falling asleep, and refer to the border state as you are waking up as "hypnopompic". This distinction really doesn't matter because they both refer to the same state of consciousness; the border between sleeping and being awake. So, I will use the term hypnogia to refer to this state whether you are falling asleep *or* waking up. Now, in terms of astral projection, we are really only concerned about hypnogogia as you fall asleep, because when you "wake up" from an astral projection, it is immediate. When a projection ends, it ends. There is no hypnopomic state in an astral projection. Your consciousness will transfer instantly from the projection back here to the physical plane. Hypnogoia was a phenomenon discovered by people interested in understanding how dreams form. What was discovered in this research was that before people actually start to dream, a large majority of people will see images, very clear images, behind their closed eyes, and while they are still pretty much awake. This "pre-dream" imagery was called hypnogogic imagery. The imagery itself has no pattern. One may see faces, scenes, landscapes, weird colors, colored smoke clouds, twinkling lights, nightmare visions, anything. And for some people, they may even have hypnogogic smells and sounds. That is, not only do some people see images in the hypnogogic state, but they will hear sounds or smell things. In a nutshell, there is no good explanation for what causes hypnogogic images. If you want to see the theories psychologists are kicking around, check out the book by Mavromatis. This is about all I will say here about the study of hypnogogia. It's a fascinating topic for anyone interested in dreams, altered states of consciousness or astral projection. Again, I encourage you to look up Mavromatis' book "Hypnogoia" to learn more about this topic. For our purposes here the important thing to realize is that, as I said, when you induce a trance in yourself, you will pass through the hypnogoic state BEFORE you can leave your body. Again, seeing the hypnogogic images means, "you're almost there". What determines when you are actually ready to leave will be discussed below. Before going into that, I would like to list some of my own experiences in the hypnogogic state so that you have some idea of what it is like if you've never experienced it before. Again, the following quotes are excerpts from my astral projection journal, specifically of hypnogogic images I saw prior to leaving my body. You should note the variety and unpredictability of these images. 1> "...I began to lose my lockmold and felt myself fading away. Could feel myself in my physbod again. Could see hypnogogic images behind my closed eyelids. It looked like a duck staring at me-but I really don't know what it was, it wasn't moving though. What was really unique though is that the image was undulating like: (drawing in my notes). It looked like the undulations produced by dropping two rocks in the water. The bottom undulation was covering some type of landscape. Lost the image and woke up." 2> "Felt myself laying on my bed but I still felt like I could "leave." I began to see hypnogogic images of outdoor scenery; trees, houses, blue sky overhead. I "jumped" into the images and was on a suburban city street..." 3> "Today's experiences consisted solely of hypnogogic imagery. I have no recall of having actually left my body. Through the descriptions that follow, I was conscious of laying on my bed in my physical body. "a. I saw undulations for a brief period. These undulations looked like someone had dropped a rock in the water, except they went backwards, from the periphery to the center. The undulations occurred in the darkness behind my closed eyes." "b. The undulations faded and I was watching the darkness behind my closed eyes. I perceived a circular swirling motion between my eyes and this motion became like an expanding hole. In the hole I saw a woman's face. It was the face of a mature, older woman (maybe late 30s) and she had black hair. The face then transformed into a deformed version of itself. The jaws became grotesque and large and facial hair appeared. The face transformed again to that of an ape-like creature, though it still bore a direct resemblance to the original face. This third face had a rounder skull and less pronounced cheeks and jaw than the first face. These images were in full color and looked like photographic stills." "c. The ape-woman face faded. I then saw the face of a man. He appeared to be engaged in a conversation, though I could not hear anything. He looked to be from the 19th century by his dress. This image was animated though it was in black and white." "d. The image of the talking man faded. I felt a sinking feeling, or a wave of relaxation overtake me. My eyes were closed but my entire visual field was visible. In it there was a beautiful, dynamic panorama of swirling blues before me. It was a little darker than sky blue. It had an amorphous shape. It seemed to be framed by something that I could not identify. This image faded." "I continued concentrating and now a light purple mist, like a thin smoke cloud was before me. This faded." "I continued, though very relaxed, to concentrate on my visual field. A definite pattern appeared before me. It was a very strange image, not easy to describe. It was cartoon textured and colored in various shades of red, gray and off-white. It was slightly reminiscent of an Egyptian hieroglyphics text, but only slightly. It looked like a pattern of glyphs, but there was a woman's face and an outline of a body also in the pattern, though they looked abstract and not literal. The pattern moved three times. When it moved, it looked like "fire" or some molten looking liquid, welling up at one point in the pattern and going to and filling in another point in the pattern, almost like if you had two open pop bottles, one filled and the other empty, and the liquid flowed out of the filled one into the empty one. I really had no idea of what I was seeing here. This then faded and I fell asleep and went through a series of dream sequences, and I was barely bordering on being lucid." Finally, one more: 4> "...I felt myself laying on my bed back in my physbod. I relaxed and stared into the blackness behind my closed eyelids. Almost immediately, hypnogogic imagery began to appear. The images were very vivid and in color. I was seeing faces of dark skinned people. They looked like the painted faces of Native American Indians. There was an unusual effect that I would see a face from one particular angle, then the face would shift its angle and become a different face. After the faces had stopped "rotating", they spun off into the background and I could see all of them balled together, and they were wrapped up in an American flag." "As the image moved further away I tried to push myself out towards it. It worked and I was now standing in my new room in the attic. I floated up through the roof to the outside..." So, that gives you a little taste of the content of these hypnogogic images. There is no apparent rhyme or reason to them as far as I can tell. For a while I tried to figure out if there might be some kind of symbolic meaning to these images, but I gave up on this because a lot of these images are completely abstract and don't even make any sense when you look at them. There is one special type of hypnogogic image I would like to mention, that may occur to you. This is, you will be laying there relaxing and going into trance, and all of a sudden, you are staring at the room you are in clear as day. It's as if you are seeing your room through your closed eyelids! This can happen and has happened to me pretty frequently. It might even be the first hypnogogic image you see during any trance session. What's important to realize is that if this happens to you, you should recognize that it *is* a hypnogogic image, and, like any hypnogogic image, use it as a clue to the fact that you are close to being able to leave your body. Usually when this happens, the image of your room will fade and will be followed by more hypnogogic images. Finally, one last word about hypnogogia. I mentioned above that there are no good explanations about what causes hypnogogia. What I mean by this is that *psychologists* have no good explanations of what causes hypnogogia. On the other hand, occultists do have good explanations of what hypnogogia is, except they do not call it hypnogogia. What a psychologist calls "hypnogogia", an occultist calls "clairvoyance". That is, seeing these images is a form of clairvoyance. What causes clairvoyance, according to occultists, is transferring your consciousness from the physical body to the etheric or astral or mental bodies. The actual explanation gets more involvred and actually involves the theory of the chakras. It is not my intention to explain chakras here. I only mention this so that the interested reader can go explore on his own. Good starting references are two books by C.W. Leadbeater: "The Chakras" and "Clairvoaynce". Both these are listed in the bibliography. For those of you who already know about chakras, in two of the quotes I have above from my journal, I make reference to seeing a spinning thing that looks like the waves made by dropping a rock in the water. I believe these were direct perceptions of my own chakras (specifically, my third-eye chakra). Also, I need to say this: DON'T BE AFRAID OF ANY HYPNOGOGIC IMAGES YOU SEE. It's possible that you might see rotting bodies or something else that is grotesque and disgusting. Don't let it phase you. These images can't hurt you at all. No matter what you see, just remember that what's important is the fact that you are seeing anything at all. Even if the image is weird or ugly, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you are close to leaving your body. And just as important, if you do see something that startles you, RELAX YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY. Stare calmly at anything you see no matter how flipped out it appears. If you get too worked up, you will break your trance. You do NOT want to break your trance. Remember, all the while this is going on, you are trying to go into deeper and deeper states of relaxation. So, to wrap up this discussion of hypnogogia, the important point to drive home is that you will pass through hypnogoia on your way to the astral projection state. Now, this won't always happen, but it will happen more often than not. Now, let's go on to the other important aspect of putting yourself in trance: paying attention to your body sensations. ii. Kinesthetic Sensation Being aware of the sensation of your body is called "kinesthetic sensation". According to the dictionary I'm holding, the definiton of kinesthetics is: "a sense mediated by nervous elements in muscles, tendons and joints and stimulated by body movements and tensions; also: sensory experience derived from these sources." To put this into English; kinesthetic sensation is your awareness of your body and its movements. This is a form of perception too, just like seeing, or hearing, etc. Being aware of where your arm is at, being aware of the feeling of your butt as you sit on a chair, feeling your fingers wiggle, these and other like sensations are kinesthetic sensations. Being aware of the feeling of my body laying on my bed as I try to go into trance is a kinesthetic sensation. Focusing on my kinesthetic perceptions is a critical part of how I go into trance. I said that I focus on the feeling of my body laying on the bed, and that as my trance deepens, my kinesthetic sensations CHANGE. You can use these kinesthetic feelings, not only as a way to keep your awareness focused, but also as a clue as to when you can actually leave your body. As a matter of fact, THE WAY THAT I KNOW I CAN LEAVE MY BODY IS BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES IN MY KINESTHETIC SENSATIONS. The feeling of my body changes, and it is by these changes that I know I can "leave my body". Let me describe these changes for you. At first, you are aware of the feeling of your body laying on the bed. You are a little bit tired, so you are relaxing. As your relaxation deepens, you will feel your body get heavier. As I said above, you may feel a wave of relaxation sweep over your body. You may also feel your skin tingle or you may feel waves like little chills moving through your body. Let me tangent for a moment to discuss something that may have happened to you as you were falling off to sleep. Have you ever gone to bed, felt yourself getting more and more relaxed, and then all of a sudden felt yourself slip? I am not talking about having your arm or leg jerk or anything like that. I am talking about having actually felt your body falling or sliding off the bed. If this has happened to you, chances are good that it startled you and caused you to wake up. If you have ever felt such sensations, then realize that THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR BODY. Again, you are getting more and more relaxed. You feel your body getting heavier and heavier. Finally, all of a sudden, it feels like your body is slipping backwards, or that you are falling, or that your body is slipping forward, or that your body is floating gently downwards. All of these are possible kinesthetic sensations that you may experience. Prior to this you may or may not have been seeing hypnogogic images. Whatever the case, when this happens DO NOT GET STARTLED. Just go with the feeling, because when this happens, YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR BODY. You want to anticipate this happening. When it does start happening, you will be falling, sliding, slipping, or whatever, in complete darkness. Don't worry about the darkness either. This darkness is the void I mentioned. It's ok to be in the void. What will be happening at this point is that you will be falling, slipping, etc., through the void. At this point, YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR BODY. YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR BODY. You are in the void. If you find this happening to you, here's what to do. You can right yourself and "fly" through the void if you want to. You *can* move through the void. There is nothing going on, but you can move through it if you want. Like I said, the void is a nice place to just sit (or fly) and enjoy the quiet. If you want to cause yourself to appear somewhere in one of the planes/subplanes, TRY TO LOOK AT YOUR HANDS. You might find it a little difficult to pull your hands up in front of your face, but just do it anyway. What you will see at first is that you have no hands! Just stare at where it feels like your hands are. Wiggle your fingers, try to flail your arms. What will happen is that you will see your hands and arms form in front of you! At the same time, YOU WILL CAUSE A SCENE TO MATERIALIZE AROUND YOU. In effect, by doing this "hands trick", as I call it, what you are doing is tuning into a subplane, just like tuning into a radio station on the radio. The next thing you know, you will be *somewhere*. At this point, YOU ARE SOMEWHERE IN THE PLANES. We will talk in detail in the next section about what you can expect in terms of where you appear, and what to do once you appear somewhere. Another thing you can do to get out of the void is SPIN YOURSELF AROUND LIKE A TOP. Just spin yourself around as fast as you can, and, just like with the "hands trick", you will cause yourself to appear somewhere. I have used both the spinning trick and the hands trick numerous times to leave the void and enter the subplanes. Now, appearing in the void is NOT the only thing that can happen to you when you leave your body. A number of other things can occur too. These are as follows. It is also very likely that, as your relaxation deepens, and your body gets heavier and heavier, and you may or may not be seeing hypnogogic images, YOU WILL BLACKOUT, but only for a split instant. That is, you will lose your consciousness, but only for a moment. In an instant you will be conscious again, but you will no longer feel your- self laying on your bed, and you will no longer be looking into the darkness behind your closed eyes. You will regain your awareness after this momentary blackout and YOU WILL BE ASTRAL PROJECTING. You will be somewhere in the dream world, fully lucid. You could be anywhere: you may be standing in your room, you may be standing in a foreign house, you could be somewhere you recognize or somewhere that is unfamiliar to you. Whatever the case, you will be somewhere and you will be astral projecting. Now, another thing that can happen to you is that you are laying on your bed getting more and more relaxed, and you begin to see hypnogogic images. It is possible, as one of my journal entries above shows, that YOU CAN JUMP DIRECTLY INTO A HYPNOGOGIC IMAGE. You may be staring at a scene of a city street, or maybe a scene of a forest or, as I mentioned, you may be looking at the room you are in. You can try to "push out" into the scene itself. As your relaxation continues to deepen you will possibly feel other things, as I mentioned above: tingles on your skin, chills moving through your body. Also, you might hear strange sounds like creakings or wooshings or chains rattling. All of these sensations are characteristic of what you will experience as you cross the border from the waking state to the projection state. Don't be alarmed by any of this. It is all perfectly natural. Finally, as you practice and get more used to the kinesthetic sensations associated with leaving your body, what will happen is that eventually you will just *know* that you can "push out" of your body. Sometimes, this "pushing out" sensation will feel like you are squirming out of your body. Other times it will feel like you really are pushing outward. It may also feel like you are falling off your bed. Any number of sensations are possible. The point is, you can ACTIVELY push out of your body. Above I spoke about just letting yourself "fall" into the void, and this method of leaving your body is purely PASSIVE. You can passively leave your body or you can actively push out of your body. Both ways work. As you get better at projecting, you will find that most of the time you will actively push out of your body. To summarize at this point, what you want to do is pay attention to your kinesthetic sensations. These are the clues as to when you have left your body. The dissociation process will occur naturally and spontaneously. It does every night when you go to sleep and dream. The only difference here is that you are attempting to take your waking consciousness across the border with you. And, as time goes on, and you practice, you will eventually get used to the sensation of dissociating from your body, and you will just know when it's the right time to "jump out" into the OOBE. So, let me now summarize this trance method: 1. You will lie down in a comfortable place with the intent to project. 2. You will allow yourself to relax ever more deeply while at the same time, you will keep your mind focused on your self-awareness. 3. You can stare into the darkness behind your closed eyes and wait for hypnogogic images to appear. 4. You should stay very conscious of your kinesthetic sensations. 5. Expect the following to occur: A. Your body will feel more and more heavy as your relaxation deepens. B. You will probably see hypnogogic images. C. You should anticipate any of the following changes in your kinesthetic sensations: 1. Tingles and chills in your body. 2. A feeling of slipping, falling, floating. 3. A possible momentary blackout. 4. Recognition that you can actively push out of your body. Now, I must make very clear that the transition from the feeling of laying in your bed, to the feeling that you are no longer laying in your bed can take on an immense number of forms. There is NO one "correct" set of sensations. Almost anything is possible. What I have described above are the things I feel and perceive when I go into trance and try to leave my body. You may or may not feel and perceive the same things. However, what I have described above gives you something with which to get started. I have given you specific things to look for and expect. Chances are good that you will experience the same things I have described here, or experience something very similar. To wrap up this section on using the trance method to leave your body, I am going to list a number of my actual experiences of this transition. Again, these are actual entries out of my astral projection journal. I want to say that what you can perceive while entering into the astral projection state is completely amazing. I am always totally blown away by what happens in the transition from waking to projecting. And this is just the transition into the projection state - we have not even had our projection yet! But this borderland is completely amazing. I started out saying that it doesn't seem like you are leaving your body when you simply become lucid during a dream (as I described how to do in the previous section of these notes). However, once you've experienced the transition from waking to projecting, that is, once your awareness has directly passed through the borders between waking and projecting, you will be totally convinced that you have really "left your body". What I've described in this section is as real as it gets!!!! I wish you all good luck getting to, and getting across this borderland! With all the above said, let me now present for you some of my adventures on the border between waking and projecting. (continued in FILE 6) ------------------------------------------------------------------- END OF FILE 5 -------------------------------------------------------------------

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank