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IN THE OOBE REALM - PART 8
8. Getting Into Trouble
During an OOBE, there are two ways to get into trouble:
a. Threatening situations
b. Being a trouble maker
I will not dwell on these at any great length, but I do want to comment
on them. The first way to get into trouble is if you find your-
self in a threatening situation. I've discussed this off and on
throughout these notes, so I will only summarize salient points
you should remember if you feel you are in a threatening situation
What kind of threats can you face during an OOBE? Well, you
can meet hostile entities, or you may find yourself in a region
that feels threatening. In either case, as I have said throughout,
such circumstances are in reality NOT threatening situations.
You must remember that you are basically indestructible during
an OOBE and nothing can harm you. I have found occasion to
remind myself during an OOBE that I too am one of God's creations,
and I personally have a faith that says God doesn't go around
needlessly hurting (its?) creations. God doesn't hurt us, we hurt
ourselves. And more often than not, we hurt ourselves because
we are ignorant of causes and effects. During an OOBE the *causes*
of whatever threatening situation we may find ourselves in are
our own fears, subconscious or conscious. Fear is destroyed
by the light of awareness and understanding. So, the way to
deal with scary situations during an OOBE is to overcome
your fears of things you do not understand. Like I said,
there is a process of growth and maturity involved in the
attempt to learn to astral project, and sooner or later, you
will have to face this. There is nothing wrong with facing this.
It is good to face it. It's called "growing" .
Now, a much more serious possibility of a threatening
situation you may find yourself in has to do with your physical
body. It is possible that you may experience unpleasant
effects in your physical body when trying to project. I, for
example, have a number of times returned from an OOBE and,
upon waking, had a terrible headache. I have always had migraines,
evern before I started projecting, but a number of times after
projecting, I would wake up with a full scale migraine. I
haven't any certainty of why this happens to me, but it does.
I have noticed that if I go without sleep, such as when I
stay up all night studying for an exam, that I will also
get my migraines. I suspect the connection between migraines
and OOBEs in my case has to do with lack of sleep. When
out-of-body, you are NOT sleeping, you are in a trance.
Being in trance is apparently a different physiological condition
than being asleep, and my body *sometimes* treats an OOBE as if I had
gone without sleep.
I want to stress loud and clear that I get migraines whether
I project or not. I believe that getting these headaches is
specific to me. If you do not regularly get migraines, then
you will probably not have this problem.
And on the other hand, I want to stress that very often,
upon waking from an OOBE, I feel great. I feel light and tingly.
I have not counted, but I know I experience this pleasant
feeling upon waking from an OOBE much more often than I experience
the headaches upon waking.
Another thing you have to watch out for involves what
occultists call "kundalini". I do not want to go into a full
scale definition of kundalini here. But for our purposes, we
can define kundalini as a *latent* energy that each of us posesses.
When this energy is "awakened" or brought out of its latent
state, it causes us to have psychic abilites, among other things.
It is the kundalini energy that is in large part responsible
for the ability to project/have an OOBE. The chills and shivers
you may feel as you go deeper into trance are a result of
awakening your kundalini.
Kundalini is a very powerful energy and there is a
possibility that it may affect your physical body. Like I said,
as you go into trance you may feel chills or shivers. You may
feel a pressure at the back of your neck. You may feel a
pressure between your legs at your sex organs. Most of the time,
such sensations are harmless. However, if you feel any kind of
sensations while trying to leave your body that cause pain, then
stop. Don't force yourself. Just stop trying to project and
try again later. Such pain is a result of the kundalini energy
doing things prematurely and, if you force this energy too
soon, you WILL hurt yourself.
I don't want to scare anybody saying these things.
However, it is something you need to be aware of. Chances are
you will NEVER experience any kundalini induced pain. This
is rarely reported by people that project. However, I once felt
a strange pain between my legs and I didn't force it. I just
stopped trying to project for that session. And I was fine.
Nothing bad happened to me, and I have never since experienced
anything similar. Again though, I am pointing this possibility
out to you just in the rare case that you do feel pain in your
body when trying to project. To repeat: you will probably
NOT have to worry about this.
The second aspect of getting into trouble during an OOBE
is by being a trouble maker in the OOBE realm. Robert Monroe
discusses such people and calls them "wild ones". Usually
these are deceased people who have begun to realize that they
can fly, pass through walls, create things (thought-forms) with
their mind, etc. These people will act in ways that we
would consider "mischievious" or maybe even downright belligerent.
Now, once you get into the OOBE realm and start to feel
comfortable there, you will be in a position to be a "wild
one" too. Basically, you can do anything you want in the OOBE
realm and get away with it. As a more benign example, I will
often walk into houses while I am projecting and explore freely,
whether I am invited in or not. This is something I absolutely
would never do here on the physical plane. Once, for example,
I walked into a house and there was a family there. I went
into the kitchen and started exploring their refrigerator.
I found a gallon of milk and drank it (straight out of the jug!)
to see if it had a taste (incidently it tasted and felt like
real milk). Meanwhile, they were staring at me wondering what
I was doing in their house, though they had the typical nonlucidity
that people have over there. I made small talk with them and
then flew out through the door and left. Again, this is
something I would not do here on the physical plane.
If you look back even at the entries I've listed in these
notes you'll see many examples of my being a "wild one": when I
ripped down the wall of the house so I could go out into the rain;
when I ate that Butler's ("Ducheim's") pudding; when I "flattened"
the mean guy I met in the rehab center. All these are examples
of me letting go of the inhibitions I would normally have here in
physical life and doing exactly what I felt like doing with
absolutely no concern for the consequences of my actions.
It's not even that I had no concern for the consequences
of my actions - there were no consequences! The people you
meet during an OOBE are in *usually* no position to challenge your
behavior. You will encounter exceptions to this so don't get
So, all I want to do is point out this facet of the
OOBE/projection experience. It is completely up to your
moral makeup as to how you will behave during an OOBE.
I'll leave it to those of you with deviant imaginations to come
up with other things you could get away with during a projection
that you could never dream of doing here.
Now, maybe what I'm saying here sounds like a complete
contradiction to what I said at the begining of these notes
about the need to have morals if you want to be a successful
astral projector. Now, hear me good: I am NOT saying to
be mean, I am NOT saying to hurt anything or anybody, and I
am NOT saying to be evil during your projections. It will
be on your conscience if you decide to act this way while
out-of-body. What I am saying though is HAVE A SENSE OF
HUMOR. Having morals does not mean you have to be dead
serious all the time. The OOBE realm provides ample opportunity
to act in ways that you simply cannot act here, and provides
a means to lift your inhibitions and experience a type of
freedom of action that is simply impossible in this physical
world. I recommend you explore this freedom.
9. Waking Up - Returning Back To The Physical Realm
The final part of any OOBE consists of your return to this
physical world. I would now like to comment on the process of
waking up from an OOBE. Though I've been using the expression
throughout these notes, it's kind of a misnomer to say "waking
up from an OOBE" because you have been *awake* (i.e. lucid) all
along! Actually, what happens is you come out of your trance.
Let me first describe the nature of the transition from the OOBE
back here to the physical, and then I will summarize the suggestions
I have presented throughout the notes that pertain to the transition
from the OOBE back here to the physical.
There are a two ways that the "waking up" process may occur:
1. It is abrupt.
2. You have a "false awakening".
In actual fact, when your OOBE is finnished, you will abruptly
wake up back here on the physical plane. Coming out of an OOBE is
NOT like waking up from sleep. Usually when we wake up from sleep
we pass through a hypnopomic period (recall that hypnopompic means
hypnogogia during waking up), or at least we lie in bed feeling
dreamy and comfortable and many times do not want to get out of
bed right away. Coming out of a projection is much different
from this. The transition is completely abrupt and you will find
yourself wide awake laying on your bed. As I said, you may even
feel "light and tingly" when you return here to the physical, or
in rare cases you may feel tired and unrested. And to repeat,
in very rare cases you may actually feel perhaps a headache.
And that's it; your OOBE will be over. It's now time to gather
up your memories of your OOBE and record it in your journal.
However, there are certain complications that can arise
which I need to comment on. What can happen many times is that
you will think you are awake back here on the physical, but in
fact you are NOT. This is called a "false awakening" by Oliver
Fox an author on astral projection. Basically, you will come out of
the OOBE and think you are physical again, but you will actually
still be projecting! A number of times I have woken up from an
OOBE, laid gathering my memories and promptly gotten up and started
recording my experience in my journal only to discover I was not
really awake here in the physical!
When you have a false awakening, there are basically two
ways you will respond to it. Either you will realize that
you are still projecting or you will not. If you do not realize
you had a false awakening, it will become like a normal dream
and you may go off and do other things, characteristic of your
dream behavior, only to find yourself waking up *for real* here
in the physical sometime later.
A number of things may serve as clues to help you realize
you have had a false awakening. First, you may be in a completely
unfamiliar environment. That is, you may "wake up" in some
unfamiliar room but be under the impression you have ended your OOBE
and have returned to the physical. If you still have any lucidity,
you will quickly recognize the fact that you are in an unfamiliar
place, and that should trigger in you the realization that you
had a false awakening.
It may be that you have a false awakening, but you are
indeed in your bedroom or wherever you had projected from. In
this case, you may see subtle clues that will retrigger your
lucidity, and help you realize you had a false awakening. One
thing that would happen to me often, and there are examples
of this in a couple of the journal entries I presented is
that I would look at my clock-radio to see what time it was
upon returning from my OOBE. However, when I would look at
the clock, I could literally see the *inside* of the clock with
its gears and such moving around. This was usually enough to
clue me in on the fact that I didn't really wake up but was
So, once you realize that you had a false awakening, you
will realize you are still be projecting and you can continue
to explore the OOBE realm.
Sometimes, during an OOBE, you may *want* to wake yourself
up. For example, you may encounter some threatening monster or
such and decide that you'd rather be awake. So, the question is:
how do you wake yourself up while in the midst of an OOBE? Well,
if you do not spontaneously wake up due to the excitement (i.e.
lose your lockmold), then what you can do is the following:
shake yourself violently. Just shake yourself awake. This is
what I describe in my Darkside episode presented earlier. In
this experience I was terrified. So I jumped back into my body
and started shaking myself and, even though in this case I had
some difficulty, I eventually woke myself back up here to the
Presuming you are really now awake here in the physical
world (i.e. no false awakenings) and just returned from an OOBE,
here are the things you want to do:
1. First thing is to simply lay there and gather
your memories of your OOBE. Do not move or think
about anything else until you have recalled as
much as you can about your OOBE.
2. Next, immediatly record your OOBE in your journal.
Again, this can be simply jotting down a quick
outline, or writing a 10 page narrative. I do,
however, suggest you write down everything you
can remember, no matter how long it is or how
long it takes you. It is too easy to forget
your experiences or distort your memeory of them
as time goes on, and the only way you can guarantee
an accurate account of your OOBE is to record it
while it is still fresh in your mind. Also, put
the date and time of your OOBE in your journal.
10. Astrology and OOBEs
I said earlier that I would discuss using astrology to
determine if one has a propensity towards having OOBEs. Now,
this will be a somewhat specialized discussion as it will
mainly be of interest to astrologers. So basically, if
you know nothing about astrology, you can skip this section.
The information presented in this section has nothing *practical*
to do with having OOBEs. I am presenting these ideas here mainly
because I have a rudimentary ability to read birth-charts, and
I have tried to determine what factors in my chart were related
to the fact that I can astral project. And also, I have never
seen this topic discussed in any astrology book I have read, so
as far as I know, the following is a completely new application
of astrology (if anyone out there knows better, please let me know!).
So, the question to astrologers is: are there factors in a
birthchart that will help indicate if the subject has a propensity
towards having OOBEs? As any astrologer knows, one can deduce a
pretty accurate profile of an indivdual's personality if one
can construct and successfully interpret that individual's birthchart.
What I will do here is give the information necessary to construct
my birthchart, and describe the factors in my chart that seem
to be relevant to my ability to astral project. Afterwards, I
will distill out what may be the major personality characteristics
which facilitate having OOBEs. Then, I would predict that people
having a preponderance of such factors in their chart will have
a greater propensity towards having OOBEs than people who do not have
such factors predominating in their chart.
Before I begin, so you astrologers out there know where I am
coming from, my entire approach to astrology stems exclusively
from Dane Rudhyar's Humanistic Astrology. This is the only approach
towards, and philosophy of, astrology that I know and practice. So,
the basis for my own interpretation of my birthchart derives
from a Humanistic Astrology approach. This said, here is my
birth data to construct my natal birthchart:
Date: November 9, 1965
Time: 5:18 PM EST
Latitute: 42 N 20.0 (Detroit, MI)
Longitude: 83 W 3.0
House System: Campanus
With this data, you can construct my natal birthchart and see
the properties I will now list. The following list of factors
from my birthchart are those that I feel are relevant towards
my ability to astral project relatively easily:
1. 50:50 balance of the planets above and below the Horizon, meaning
a perfect balance of subjective and objective. Or the ability to
objectify subjective realities and subjectify objective realities.
To make one's inner dream life real like the waking experience, to
make ones real outer objective experience into a dream.
2. Sun below Horizon suggesting an emphasis on inner subjective
orientation and experience, i.e. more introverted than extroverted.
3, Retrograde Jupiter in second house, which is also below the
Horizon, suggesting wealth and abundance of my inner psychological
4. Neptune conjunct to natal Sun, suggesting an easy channeling
between my life essence and occult energies, energies possessing
the quality of inclusiveness. Also, the glamour and illusion
of Neptune is associated with the astral plane.
5. Also my retrograde Saturn, along with factors 3 and 4, suggests
an essentially flimsy ego, one not very well grounded in objective
reality. Such a situation would enhance the potential for OOBE.
i.e. a person who lives more in their imagination than in the
objective, outer world.
6. Saturn opposition Pluto, suggesting an identification (Saturn)
with death processes, i.e. the ability to explore the realms
of the (so-called) dead (Hades, of which Pluto is the ruler).
7. The gestalt pattern of 2 in my chart, the so-called "Dumbell
pattern", which is related to the aspect of opposition,
suggesting the ability to be aware of, and thus conceptualize.
And also the balancing of opposites such as inner and outer
realms, subjective and objective realities, ect.
8. Moon in first house, again suggesting an essentially transient
and ephemeral ego.
9. And of course, the fact that my natal sun is in Scorpio
suggesting an interest in things occult.
Now, what can we distill out of this chart analysis as the
key features of a personality prone to the OOBE? Here are the
factors that I see:
1. The ability to balance opposites.
2. More introspective than extroverted, i.e.
factors that point to a rich inner life.
3. Things that indicate a flimsy ego.
4. A natural propensity towards occultism and learning.
5. A propensity towards enhanced awareness or lucidity
of one's environment.
It seems apparent to me that an indivdual who displays these
types of characteristics in their chart will have a greater
propensity for having OOBEs than a person who does not. Of course,
such a profile may apply to mediums as well (i.e. a person who
can be taken over by other consciousnesses easily), and to sensitive
people prone to psychosis. I think the main determinant here is not
any particular individual element (which traditional astrologers
tend to take too far) but is to be found in the overall *gestalt*
of the chart. Of course, Humanistic Astrology insists upon
interpreting individual chart elements solely in terms of the gestalt
pattern of the chart, and that is exactly what I am saying here.
The gestalt of the chart should indicate balance and awareness
(i.e. opposition type aspects) and lean more towards the subjective
than the objective.
Now of course, the type of personality analysis I am suggesting
here need not be confined soley to astrological analysis. We are
actually talking psychology and personality analysis here.
So, in general, given enough information, one should be able to
develop a general profile of the "ideal" personality type that is
especially suited for astral projecting based on the above
characteristics. The advantage of astrology over traditional
psychological analysis however, is the strength of astrology
to construct a unique and objective personality profile based
upon the natal birthchart. In a very real sense, astrology
provides a systematic, and highly effective means for conceptualizing
the elements of human personality, and maybe one day psychologists
will discover this! And again, for those of you reading this,
all my statements are based EXCLUSIVELY on Dane Rudhyar's
ideas about what astrology is and what it can be used for,
a type of astrology called Humanistic Astrology.
11. Wrapping it all up
We are now almost done with these notes. What I want to do here
is very briefly summarize the overall process of the OOBE experience,
and then make some comments about the significance of having OOBEs
and how OOBEs fit into the greater scheme of life.
We have discussed:
1. The theory behind OOBEs/astral projections/lucid dreams.
The take home message to our discussion of theory is that
these 3 terms all refer to the same experience. The
difference in these 3 terms is in the *world-views* that
produced each term. Debating about these terms in not
important. What is important is LEARNING HOW TO HAVE
OOBEs FOR YOURSELF.
2. We discussed two major methods for inducing OOBEs:
becoming lucid in a dream, and putting yourself into
a trance. The message here is that, if you practice
either of these techniques, you are almost assuredly
guaranteed to successfully project.
3. We discussed the major facets of the OOBE: the actual
act of leaving your body, the things you can do during
a projection (fly, etc.), and the regions you will
encounter in the OOBE realm.
4. Finally, I briefly discussed "getting into trouble"
and the "waking up" process.
In general, these discussions have meant to provide a
PRACTICAL introduction to astral projection/OOBEs/lucid dreaming.
Of course, this material was completely slanted and based upon my
own experiences out-of-body and my particular interpretation of occult
teachings. Almost everything I say in these notes may or may not
apply to you. All you can do is practice the suggestions
I put forth and see what happens. It would be nice if OOBEs were
a science. However they are not, and this fact we have to for now
accept. It will be very helpful to you to read as much as you can
about OOBEs/astral projections/lucid dreams. Please look over
the bibliography and go and find the books I have listed there
that interest you.
B. OOBEs: Subjective Or Objective?
So, as we wrap up here, is there any way we can summarize
just exactly *what* the OOBE experience is? Is it truly an
exploration into unseen worlds and planes? Or is it merely
a complex hallucination occurring in your own brain, merely
a subjective fantasy world in which your subconscious mind
exteriorizes seemingly outside of you?
Presently, no one can answer these questions with any certainty.
The methods of modern science have pretty much failed in the quest
to discover the nature and essence of the OOBE. Parapsychologists
and psychologists have produced interesting insights into various
facets of the OOBE, but by no means have defined it or even come
close to understanding the act or its implications. Occultists
also have very interesting and useful things to say about the nature
of the OOBE/astral projection experience. I strongly recommend
that you read the occult literature I have in the bibliography.
There are many useful and PRACTICAL hints scattered throughout the
occult literature. I repeat, the best you can do is
be open-minded to all the various ideas put forth about the
nature of the OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream experience.
As I said at the start, the study of OOBEs does not occur in a
vacuum. The fact of OOBEs relates to many other studies including
occultism, psychology, parapsychology, religion, physiology, history
and a large number of other topics.
However, and I will say this for the last time, you can debate
about definitions of the OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream
experience till you are blue in the face. But all such talk is
only so much hot air. It's easy to speculate and theorize. It's
not as easy to go and learn how to project for yourself. The only
way you can get any sure answers at all about the nature of the
OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream experience is to LEARN TO DO
IT FOR YOURSELF. That's the bottom line: LEARN TO DO IT FOR
YOURSELF. And, if you choose this path, be eclectic, be open
minded, and most of all, in light of everything you learn along
the way, BE PRACTICAL.
C. Maya and Buddhi
We have now come to the end of these notes. To conclude my
lessons on how to achieve an OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream,
I will present the "big picture" presently in my mind by which I
understand what an OOBE is and how it fits into my life. You can
take my philosophy or leave it as you wish. However, these ideas
are the fruition of a tremendous amount of study, reflection, more
study, numerous experiences with altered states of consciousness,
numerous qualities of experience here in my physical life, and more
study and more reflection. There is a cycle: learn, do,
reflect, learn some more, do some more, reflect some more. This
cycle goes on and on for our whole lives.
Presently, one of my major interests centers on understanding
ancient Hindu ideas. I have been led to study Hinduism because,
as far as I can tell, the Hindus probably had the most complete
understanding of altered states of consciousness of any other
culture I know of, even our own. In our culture today, we are
completely preoccupied by physical consciousness, by the experience
of our consciousness here in the physical world. As I already
said, we do not even understand the nature of the fact that we dream.
And it seems that everything we attempt to understand today has
to be fit into physical terms or we consider it irrelevant,
fantasy, mythology, or meaningless.
The ancient Hindus, on the other hand, had developed an
elaborate science of human psychology while our ancestors
were still barbarians in the forests of Europe. This
science they called "yoga", and behind this science is an
elaborate system of philosophy that has been captured in the
Vedas, Upanishads, Tantras and in other ancient Hindu holy
The Hindus were *introspective* and the things they discovered
through the introspective science of yoga are completely amazing.
Millenia ago, the Hindus mapped out the inner planes, and mapped
out the methods and techniques needed to access these inner planes.
The ultimate achievment of Hindu civilization, was, however, to create
methods by which we humans could experience a direct relationship
with the SOURCE of all creation. Hindus called this "becoming
enlightened", and they call this SOURCE "Brahman". Call it God,
call it Brahman, call it whatever you want. It doesn't matter what
name you give it, because the source of all existence is ALL names,
and ALL things. And the Hindus learned how to directly experience
this source through the methods of yoga.
The Hindu outlook is a viewpoint far removed from our every
day life here at the cusp of the twenty-first century. We of the
so-called "modern" world are like naive, rambunctious teenagers
compared to the mature, inclusive outlook of the Hindus. We are
marvelled by the physical world, and marvelled by the mind we
possess that allows us to mold and shape the physical world in
terms of our desires and ideas - even though we haven't the
slightest idea what we are doing. The Hindus, though, understood
what was going on. They understood the nature of Humankind,
and all the invisible layers that appear to separate humans from
These are the ideas I presently use to understand what OOBEs
are and how they fit into the greater scope of our lives as
conscious beings in the cosmos, and these ideas I will
express to end this presentation.
There are two ideas from Hindu thought that we do not
possess in our culture or in our language. These ideas are
"maya" and "buddhi". Understanding these two ideas *as Hindus
understand these ideas* gives us an infinitely powerful framework
to make sense not only of the OOBE, but of our entire life and
I was surprised to read in a book about Hindu culture that the
word "buddhi" translates as "to reflect" or "reflection". In our
culture the word "buddhi" comes to us in the concept of the buddhic
plane, or the idea of a buddha, or in the idea of bodhistava.
All of these words have tremendous *spiritual* connotations, but it
is a type of spirituality that is unknown to us in the
present day of modern techno-mass production culture. To us,
spirituality is a flimsy term or it is an emotion-laden term.
We rarely ever think of spiritual things as being intellectual,
or even more rarely, as being something *greater* than our intellect.
In our modern world, we worship our intellect, which, in occult
terms means that the highest level we tend to operate on is the
mental plane. We understand the world through ideas, symbols,
names, theories and definitions and we are content with this
(if not downright smug about it). In effect, the "God" of our
present-day culture is the intellect and its creations. The
reality is though, in our ignorance, we simply do not know what
we are missing. Only a few of the more daring thinkers of our
age would have suggested that there is something greater than the
human mind, and have the courage to follow such an insight through
to its logical conclusion (see for example, the book by Dane
Rudhyar in the bibliography).
Buddhi is indeed that essence of spirituality which is GREATER
THAN THE HUMAN MIND. But what is buddhi? Why does buddhi mean
"to reflect"? To put it into terms that are meaningful to us
as a people preoccupied by the mind, BUDDI IS THAT ASPECT
OF THE SOURCE OF ALL CREATION WHICH CAN OPERATE IN HUMAN EXPERIENCE.
Buddi is the divine in the mundane, the spirituality of the secular.
Buddi is GOD as God manifests in our everyday lives and in human
history. Dane Rudhyar put it something like this: as a crystal
is a perfect structure which can then reflect the light of the sun
and display the light of the sun in a myriad of multicolored
facets, likewise is the human mind like a crystal that can,
when the mind is made clean and perfect, reflect the light of
the divine into a myriad of multi-colored facets, and these facets
are the sum total of human experience. In other words, buddhi
is when our mind is clean and pure and reflects in the light of
the divine essence that underlies all of creation.
The second Hindu term of relevance here is the idea of
"maya". Maya is translated in a number of ways in our culture,
with each translation capturing a part of the meaning of the word
maya. Maya is: illusion, magic, the power of life, the Great
Mother, transience and change, impermanance, time. The basic idea
behind the Hindu concept of maya is an idea very far removed
from our everyday approach to life here in the late twentieth
century. For the idea of maya means that all that we can
perceive, all that we think, all that we experience, is but
ephemeral and transient. All of phenomenal reality, all of the
manifested universe - both physical AND nonphysical - are
but a momentary shadow of the Divine Source. The closest idea
we have to maya in our collective consciousness is Plato's
allegory of the cave, in which men chained to the back of a cave wall
watch the shadows from the outside world dance before them on the
cave wall. All these chained men can see are the shadows and
have no idea of the world outside that is the source of these
shadows. This, according to Plato, is how the ordinary mind
experiences reality: they see only the *effects* and never once
suspect the Divine Cause beneath the effects of life as we
perceive and experience it.
So, in terms of stressing the idea of illusion, Plato's
allegory is similar to the Hindu concept of maya. However, the
implication of Plato's allegory is that being in such a state
of ignorance of Divine Causes is bad in some sense. Why else
would he present the idea of men chained in the darkness? This
is not one's image of good. However, the Hindu idea of maya
does not have such emotional overtones. It has, as a matter of fact,
quite the opposite implications. For the illusion of reality as we
know and experience it is the joyous expression of the Divine
becoming enmeshed in the Divine Tragi-Comedy of Creation. Maya is
not a sorrowful reality, but a Cosmic Dance of celebration by the
Be this as it may, we today do not accept the possibility that
the entire phenomenal world that we perceive with our senses
and the worlds we perceive in dreams and OOBEs could be all
of Divine Illusion. Today we take things very literally and
very seriously. We believe very strongly that the word we
perceive and experience is *real*. And this is both our strength
as a culture and our folly.
However, as I personally have passed through the cycle of
learning, action, reflection, more learning, more action, more reflection,
I have come to appreciate the relevance of the concepts of buddi
and maya as very PRACTICAL principles for dealing with life.
What we call "reality" is in actuality a multi-layered, multi-
dimensional, ever changing, ever transcient "thing". We ARE maya;
our life and experience and all we take to be so real is maya.
In this incredible Divine Play of maya we have the option of
reflecting the Divine, of allowing buddhi to become a progressively
greater part of our being. We have the choice: we can get
ever deeper enmeshed in the illusion of experience, or we can
turn inwards to the center of our being and discover buddhi.
Once we discover buddhi, we then view maya in a new light;
we know that ALL is but the joyous play of the Divine.
The fact of the matter is, from such a point of view,
the OOBE is us exploring deeper levels of the maya, seeing the
shadows cast by other shadows on the cave wall. Is this "bad"?
No it is not. It is simply what it is. The realm of the OOBE is
a realm one step closer to the Divine Source of Creation than is the
physical, but it is an even more illusory realm than this physical
world. In both the physical and OOBE worlds, our ideas and
desires shape the reality around us, only this process is
greatly enhanced, greatly quickened in the OOBE realm. So,
we may be one step closer to the Divine, but we are potentially
veiled even more from the Divine while in the OOBE realm than
here in the physical realm, veiled from the Divine by illusions
we create in the OOBE realm from our desires and ideas, be these
subconscious or not. But to say the astral is "closer" to the Divine
or not is all only apparent, for the Divine is equally present
in ALL THINGS, physical or otherwise, and discovering the
Divine in our life is always only a heartbeat away.
So, to conclude these lessons in astral projection, I basically
believe at present that, yes, the nonphysical realms exist, that
yes, there is something in us that transcends our physical body,
and yes, you can visit these realms easily if you learn the right
things. But, though the implications of these facts are astounding
from within the materialistic and secular mind-set of our present
culture, from the point of view of the ancient Hindus, this is all
no big deal. You can be as ignorant of the Divine in the OOBE realms
as you are here. In the end, all that matters is to open yourself up
to buddhi. By opening up to buddhi, you will find the maya to be an
infinitely enjoyable place, whether in this world or any other.
I would like to end this presentation with the following
quote from Dane Rudhyar, a man who truly understood buddhi.
"If we do not accept the existence of spirit as
a transpersonal, transcultural, and metabiological
power, the only other possible way of interpreting
with some degree of consistency the obvious facts
of personal and collective human experience is to
adopt a materialistic approach, whether as
developed by Marx or by other materialists; but
such an interpretation excludes many of the most
significant experiences of man. It leads to a most
depressing world-view, essentially devoid of meaning
and purpose. On the other hand, if the existence of
spirit as a creative and transformative power is
accepted, and its action in and through mind is clearly
understood and adequately formulated, the material
facts find their place within an all-inclusive picture
of cosmic activity which takes nothing from them, but
instead endows then with a transphysical and
metabiological significance stimulating human beings
to more conscious, sustained, and eventually more
-Dane Rudyar. "Culture, Crisis and Creativity", (page 106).
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