AP_07.TXT FILE 7 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_07.TXT ------------------------------------------------------------------- FILE 7 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. 1. IN THE OOBE REALM - PART 1 We have discussed the theory of astral projection. We have discussed methods and techniques for achieving this altered state of consciousness. Now we are going to discuss what it is like in the realm where the OOBE occurs. To some extent we have touched on the nature of the OOBE realm throughout these notes. We have, for example discussed the occult notions of the planes and the subplanes. I have also presented some of my astral projection journal entries and these give an idea of what it is actually like in the OOBE realm. What we will do in this section is go into much more depth about the various aspects of actually being in the OOBE state. My description of this state will encompass two broad angles. On one hand I will take a kind of "travel brochure" approach to describing the places and inhabitants one encounters during an OOBE. This is the approach one will find in many books about the astral plane (for example, see Leadbeater's "The Astral Plane" listed in the bibliography). Such a "travel brochure" approach describes the astral plane much as if it's a foreign land filled with exotic sights, scenes and inhabitants. On the other hand, I also want to try to convey some sense of what it is *really* like when you are out of your body. One of the problems with the "travel brochure" approach to describing the OOBE realm is that it creates the misleading impression that you have simply just "gone somewhere". That is, "travel brochure" type descriptions of the astral plane make it sound like you just get in your car and drive there and see the sights, as if it's Disneyland or something. However, when you are out of body, it is NOT like getting in your car and driving somewhere new and seeing the sights. You are in a completely different state of consciousness - you are no longer in the physical world - and this creates a million subtle nuances in your awareness that make it much, much different than how your awareness operates while you are here in the physical plane. What I would like to do then is try to convey some of these differences in how your consciousness works when you are in the OOBE realm. So, overall, I will describe the OOBE realm BOTH as a place you go to AND as a state of consciousness very different than (but related to) your normal consciousness. 1. Describing OOBEs with words Before I get too deep in describing the OOBE realm, something has to be said about the limitations of using words to describe experiences in the OOBE realm. In general, our language is very poor at describing astral plane experiences. This is no surprise given that we use language overwhelmingly to describe life here in the physical plane. However, experience is much different in the OOBE state. There are many things that can occur in the OOBE state that our language has no words to describe. Obviously then, this creates quite a problem when we want to write about or speak about our astral projection experiences! So what are we to do? First thing to do is realize that the problems with trying to describe OOBEs in words is very similar to the problems we have describing our dreams in words. Very often strange things happen to us in our dreams and we have a very hard time describing them. For example, we have all had the experience in a dream of being, say, in a house and walking from one part of the house to another but all of a sudden finding ourself in the supermarket or some such thing! We went to walk into the kitchen, but we find ourselves somewhere completely different and no longer in the house! This has happened to me a lot in my dreams and all of you can probably recall such things happening in your own dreams. The thing is, what do you call it when this happens? It's happened to all of us in a dream, but we have no word for it! Shall we say, "I *blipped* from the house to the supermarket"? Or, "I disappeared from the house but suddenly appeared in the supermarket"? Robert Monroe would say he "skipped" from the house to the supermarket. Now, the point is, this is something that has happened to all of us, yet we have no word to describe it. And I picked this particular example of "blipping" because you will find yourself "blipping" quite a bit when you are in the OOBE realm. But, what do we call this? How do we describe it? Basically, we are left with a real problem. Our language has no *consensus* terms to describe such experiences. Thus, our only solution is to make up a word to describe the experience. This is why I use terms like "lockmold", "void" or "blinking on and off" in my journal, because I am making up words to describe experiences for which our language has no word, and even more importantly, for which there is no counterpart in our physical experience. What all this means is that you really have to be careful when reading about people's experiences in the OOBE realm. If you try to interpret these experiences in terms of physical experience or in terms of our normal everyday language, you will get a very INACCURATE picture of what is going on. You also have to be a careful reader when reading of the OOBE realm. You have to really use your imagination and attempt to understand what stange words like "ring" or "lockmold" could mean, and why the author is describing his/her experience in that fashion. Finally, you have to be open to the fact that anything is possible in the OOBE realm. So many strage things can occur there that are completly different than what we know here in physical life, that you just have to keep a very open mind. 2. The State Of Your Mind In The OOBE State So, not only does our language create a barrier to under- standing the nature of the OOBE realm, but we are faced with a second major obstacle in understanding the OOBE state. As I said above, during an OOBE YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS IS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT IS IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD. Remember, I have defined OOBEs/astral projections/lucid dreams as a state in which you take your waking personality into the dream world. However, in actual fact, during any OOBE you never take your waking self 100% into the dream world. Instead you take some PORTION of it into the dream world. In effect, when you project you are MIXING YOUR WAKING PERSONALITY WITH YOUR DREAM PERSONALITY. And this is why your consciousness is not exactly the same as it is when you are awake here in this world. Not only are you in a realm that is completely foreign to you, but you are never wholly you over there. Believe me, this is very true, and it creates very subtle changes in your reactions, thoughts and emotional responses to what you experience in the OOBE realm and how you behave there. This is all I'm going to say about your state of mind during an OOBE for now. As I go more into specific things below, we will have occasion to see the subtle differences in awareness that occur during an OOBE. Right now I am only drawing your attention to this fact. After I go into more detail about other aspects of the OOBE realm, we will at the very end of these notes come back to this topic. For after all, aside from actually learning how to get there, the actual state of your consciousness during an OOBE is the most important thing there is - for this is the meat and potatoes of it all: you are experiencing a completely different state of consciousness! Think about it. 3. The OOBE World: Objective or Subjective? Now, we have one last consideration before I start describing what happens during an OOBE. I've already stated that during an OOBE your personality is "outside" of you and that subjective things can be completely real and objective in the OOBE realm. What this means is we are left with a weird problem when trying to understand experiences in the OOBE realm. Basically, is it real or is it merely subjective fantasy? Well, we could debate whether OOBEs are objective or subjective experiences till we are blue in the face. It doesn't matter if, in some abstract sense, the OOBE realm is objective or subjective. What matters is that when you astral project, it WILL BE COMPLETELY REAL TO YOU. Like I said, it will be YOU, and you will be SOMEWHERE, doing SOMETHING. Whether it's all occurring in your imagination or not is beside the point. However, what is critically important for you to keep in mind when you astral project is that YOU CANNOT ASSUME THAT WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE IS OBJECTIVE AND NEITHER CAN YOU ASSUME IT IS PURELY SUBJECTIVE. Whatever the nature of the OOBE experience, you will be somewhere where the subjective can become objective and the objective can become subjective. 4. The Dweller At The Threshold The above discussion leads me now to share with you information that was very important to me when I first started projecting. I had a book by an author whose name I think was Sepherial. I can't even remember anymore, it's been so long since I've seen this book, which I gave to a friend years ago. At any rate, this book was about how to become an occultist. The first important thing Sepherial said you have to do to become a worthwhile occultist is to overcome fear. He said that you overcome fear by studying it. As you learn what causes you to fear things, you can overcome these fears. He even pointed out that if you carefully observe yourself when you get afraid, you will notice that fear begins as a kind of tighening in your chest by your heart. The tightening begins at your heart and then spreads from there down to your gut and into your arms and legs. Frankly, once I started watching myself get afraid, I was really surprised to see that he was correct. Sepherial went on to explain how it's really important to realize that fear is something we create in our own minds and that if we are to get involved in occult things, we must learn NOT to fear things anymore. You can replace fear with understanding. When you under- stand something, you no longer need to fear it. If it is truly a dangerous thing, but you understand it, you will not fear it, you will avoid and respect it. And there are other things we fear that, in reality, are not dangerous things. These are the worst kinds of fear for an occultist to have. These are fears you have created in your own mind, for whatever reasons. These fears are like weeds that grow in the garden of your mind, and you should eliminate these. Well, this was my first lesson in occultism. I read Sepherial's book at about the same time I started astral projecting. I took Sepherial's advice to heart, and it was a good thing too because my first few times astral projecting were lessons in overcoming fear. There are two types of fear I have experienced astral projecting. It is possible that you may experience these types of fear too, so I will explain them for you. The first type of fear is completely harmless. My very first astral projections occurred spontaneously about 5 years before I even realized they were astral projections. At the time, I thought they were merely strange dreams. In retrospect, they were definitely astral projections. What had happened is that I had laid down to nap. Next thing I knew I was spinning around the ceiling of my bedroom! I was amazed. I didn't have the slightest idea what was happening to me, and what was even weirder was that I was completely terrified. I was scared to death. But it was a very strange sensation; I was afraid, but I had no reason to be afraid, in spite of the fact that I was mysteriously spinning around on my ceiling! Mostly I was extremly curious as to what was happening to me and my experience turned into a contest between my fear and my curiosity. Finally, after about 30 seconds of this, my fear won, and the next thing I knew I was sitting awake in bed. I was not afraid at all when I woke but I was just very curious. My second projection was identical to this and happened around the same time the first one did (I was about 15 years old when this occurred). I promptly forgot these experiences till many years later. I was 22 years old when I learned about astral projecting. Eventually it occurred to me that maybe those experiences I had years before were astral projections. If this was the case, that I had actually astral projected before, then this meant I could probably do it again. And it was then that I consciously started to astral project. When I first started projecting, I used the trance method I described above. Actually, I made up this method as I went along. Originally, I would lay in bed and simply tell myself I was going to astral project as I drifted off to sleep at night. After a number of attempts at this, it worked! I became conscious of myself AFTER I had fallen asleep! And, just like years before, I felt that same feeling of terror, and, as before, there was absolutely no reason for this feeling. I got this same feeling of fear on my next two attempts as well, but on my third attempt, it was gone, and it has never returned. I don't know what this feeling of fear was. As I said, it was just there on my first few attempts, then it went away. I have a friend who is also a competent astral projector and he said a similar thing happened to him. I have always suspected that this feeling of fear had something to do with separating my consciousness from my body, as if it was a purely instinctive response of my awareness to operating without using my physical body. But once I got used to the sensation of being out-of-body, the fear response just went away. Again, I think this may be some type of PURELY HARMLESS instinct that occurs soley because of dissociating your awareness from its body. It's important to point out that you may never experience this type of a fear response. In the time I have been on CompuServe, I have spoken with a number of very good astral projectors and they have never reported this response. Still, I have had it and so has my friend, so I am describing it here so that if it happens to you, you will know what is going on. If, the first time you leave your body, you feel complete terror for no reason at all, then you are having this reaction. Don't let it bother you because it will go away after your first few times out-of-body. Ok, now for the second type of fear that I have had to deal with in my astral projections. Very early in my projection experiences I went through something I call my "Darkside Episodes". These were absolutely terrifying experiences for me too, but unlike those described above, there WAS a reason for my fear and terror. Here are excerpts from my DarkSide experiences: 1> "All I can remember now is that somehow I left my body, or became lucid in the dream state, whichever you prefer... (I went though a number of experiences, then...) ...Somehow that I can't now recall, I was outside my body again. This time I was standing in my bedroom. I was surprised because it seemed to be daytime outside, but I knew it was nighttime and that I was actually sleeping on my bed. I noticed that where my west wall normally was that there was another room beyond it, like the wall had disappeared and there was this room there instead. I floated into the room and could look into my bedroom. I noticed that I had hands and arms and legs and that I was floating a foot or so off the ground. I was moving my body around just marvelling in the sensation of my lucidity. I began to feel elated. I started to call out and experienced the same thing that happened the other night. I could hear my voice in my mind and it sounded perfectly normal, but when I actually tried to talk, it came out in slow motion. I was really feeling great and had been playing with these things for a few moments when all of a sudden I began to feel trepid and a little paranoid. It felt like I was being watched. I looked up into my room and saw a tall dark figure standing in my window. My windows were open as if they were doors and this figure was standing there on the windowsill looking at me. I didn't know what to think at first. The figure was of a male, tall and skinny, and pitch black, more like a silhouette than anything else. I'd have thought it was a shadow except it had these vivid evil looking completely red eyes. It didn't have pupils or anything, just these evil looking eye slits that were totally red. At first I thought it couldn't see me, but as if in response to my thought, it turned and stared directly at me. Then I became afraid. I didn't know what I should do. It slowly seemed to move towards me, and I made my way back to my bed, thinking that I should jump back into my body and wake up. I hovered over to my bed and this thing was slowly coming at me. Then I remembered something from one of the first occult books that I had ever read [This is the Sepherial book I'm referring to here]. In this book the author gave a magic phrase for the student to say to protect himself from evil forces. The author claimed that it was a very potent spell from the times of ancient Atlantis. The spell was in some unknown language and I didn't know what it meant, but at the time I had memorized it [though I no longer remember it], and it seemed like now was as good a time as any to use it! So I repeated the spell in my mind and the wildest things happened. I was surprised as **** that it worked! At least it did something, for now I was laying half way out of my body, the dark figure had disappeared, and now there was this, what seemed to me to be like a very fake looking mannequin up over me. It had the face of a cartoon alligator and I was biting its arm, but it looked just like a mannequin and wasn't doing anything. It had a stupid, goofy look on its face. But I was panicking, attacking its arm and trying like hell to wake myself up. I kept trying to shake myself, thinking that if I could move my body then I'd wake up. The strangest thing happened. As I shook myself, I could feel myself "sink" into my physical body, and weird as this sounds I could see two distinct visual fields at once. They didn't overlap though, one was on top of the other, as if my visual field were cut in two. The top one was my visual field in my projection of my day lit bedroom, and the bottom field was my dark bedroom at night. There was even a definite line of demarcation between the two view fields. My vision was literally split in half! It was the absolutely strangest sensation! And as I struggled to shake myself, I could feel myself pull down to the lower view of my bedroom, and the top view seemed to go up and out of my visual field. But then I would relax momentarily and I would start to rise up, just like when one is under water and starts to float toward the surface, and I was being pulled back up into the top scene. Then I would begin to struggle and shake myself again, and pull back down. This happened about four times; I would think that I was out of the top view and begin to relax and quit shaking and rocking myself, and the moment I would stop, I would feel myself being pulled back into the top visual field. I was scared as hell and thought I was trapped. Finally though, I shook and shook and shook myself and I actually woke up. I was laying still on my bed. For all the shaking and moving I was doing, I thought when I awoke that my body would be moving around as much. But it wasn't; it was very still. I laid there scared as hell. I had the strangest paranoia that at any moment something evil was going to jump out of my walls and stab me to death, the same feeling I felt before. I didn't know what had just happened to me. Who the hell was that dark figure? For some reason it really spooked me bad." (END OF ENTRY) Well, that was my Darkside experience. I was very scared after that. I was afraid to project even. Was that thing going to always come and haunt me in my projections? What was it? Again, I turned to my friend who could also astral project. We discussed my experience. After thinking about it for a week or so, I came to the conclusion that the Darkside was me! I figured that maybe what was happening is that somehow, everything that was bad about me appeared OUTSIDE OF ME in my projections. Maybe this thing was just all my own badness embodied as a being coming to haunt me in the astral projection state. Whether this is true or not, this is what I decided to believe. And since it was me, then I really didn't have to fear it, because that would mean I was afraid of myself! So I decided that what I should do is become more aware of all my badness and quit being that way, then, maybe this thing would go away. And I figured that if I met this Darkside in my projections again, then I would confront it instead of being afraid of it. I would stand up to it, and battle it if I had to. So, that's what I decided. Here's what happened the next time I projected: 2> "I know I went to sleep with the intent to project. Since my "darkside" episode, I was leary to project again, but now I felt that I understood what this being was and I felt confident to face it if I needed to. (I went though some other adventures, then...) I was back in my bedroom again, still lucid in the projection state. I noticed that it was daytime outside, though I also knew I was sleeping in my bed and it was really night on the physical plane. But then I noticed that there was a doorway in my bedroom wall, one that was not there physically. So I went through the door and began to explore. The doorway lead into a castle and I was very surprised by this. I remember thinking to myself that rooms have all these hidden directions in them in the astral plane. It was a huge and elegantly decorated place and the decor looked fairly modern. I wandered about and eventually came to a room that had a window that was overlooking a long shingled roof. I climbed through the window and there was a girl outside on the roof. It was sunny outside and I felt very good. Me and the girl talked, but I do not remember what we talked about. I could see around me outside, what looked like a fairly typical, though completely unfamiliar, neighborhood and I was curious to explore it. I went to fly off the roof but my lockmold began to weaken and I blacked out. I was back in my bedroom again, still lucid in the dream state. The doorway to the castle was still there, but this time there was a pitch black figure sitting crumpled on the floor at the end of my bed. It was the darkside! I became leary and slightly scared, but I remembered my resolve to confront it. Also, this time it looked feeble, sitting in a heap at the foot of my bed, almost like a mannequin. I approached it slowly saying, "What do you want from me? Who are you? Are you me? I love you." My fear was quickly diminishing as I approached it, but it did not move. It seemed dead. I grabbed it by the head and looked directly into its face, all the while telling it "I love you." Its face was utterly lifeless, its eyes dried out gaping holes. I clenched its head and crushed it like a dried out husk, all the while yelling at it, telling it I loved it. I crushed its head completely to dust, knowing that this was only the embodiment of my inability to look squarely at myself. This was all my fear, all my hatred, all my self-hate and I was crushing it to dust and a great joy filled me. I kicked the lifeless heap and felt a triumphant sense run through me. My darkside was dead! I became like a little child and ran through the door into the castle, running about hooting and hollering, excited with the thrill of my victory. I ran back into my bedroom still elated and making much noise. The crumbled figure was still there and I looked at it with utter disregard. "You're dead," I was yelling at it, and I was jumping up and down yahooing...." (END OF ENTRY) So, that's how that situation worked itself out! Reading this now, I almost seem neurotic in this projection. But think of it: how would you feel? You learn to project only to have your new found ability foiled by some pitch black terror? No way! Given the fact that I have never since encountered this Darkside during a projection, or anything like it, I take it to mean that I was correct. This Darkside I encountered in my earliest projections was all the bad in me coming to haunt me while I was out-of-body. THIS is one among a few experiences I have had that makes me warn you that when you project, things that are inside you on the physical plane (i.e. subjective things) appear to be outside of you on the astral plane (i.e. objective things). A year after my darkside experience, I was surprised to read in a Manly Hall book about a thing called "The Dweller on the Threshold". Manly Hall described this "Dweller" as the very first thing waiting on the path to greet the aspiring occultist. He essentially described this Dweller to be exactly what I realized my Darkside to be: all of the badness in ones personality manifested as a being. So, basically, I quite literally met the Dweller on my threshold very shortly after I learned how to leave my body. Manly Hall's book was also a warning to the aspiring occultist that you must overcome fear and ignorance, and seek self-insight and seek the good inside your self and weed out the bad. Now, the important question of course is: will this happen to you? Will you learn to enter the OOBE state only to meet your "Dweller on the Threshold"? Well, again, I have spoken with a number of projectors here on CompuServe who have never had this experience. I do not know if you will encounter such an embodiment of the bad in your personality when you learn to leave your body. We all grow and mature in different ways. It is very easy to realize that not everybody needs to go through such an experience in the OOBE state. But will you? I don't know. You won't know either until you are out there. I share this experience with you just in case it does happen to you. I share this so that you will know what that figure is and how to get rid of it. It is you, and by opening up to what that figure stands for you will get rid of it. Any "Dweller on the Threshold" is that kind of fear I mentioned above, the kind that is not caused by real danger but is created in your imagination, for whatever reason. Look at that fear, try to understand it, and you will have conquered your Dweller on the Threshold. Again, to drive the point home, there is a very strong element of self-therapy to the OOBE state, and the above is a very definite example of this. Like I said, you must appreciate that subjective and objective things turn into each other in the OOBE realm. ------------------------------------------------------------------- END OF FILE 7

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank