A very simple method to leave your body, with some explanations
To save the reader from having to slog through this whole post to get to the good part, I will first describe the technique that works best for me, followed by a lot of related info that some may find interesting. I need to stress that these are my experiences. You mileage may vary. In dealing with subjects like consciousness, altered-states, etc., subjectivity plays a far more important role than in traditional science, so the traditional concept of "proof" does not always apply (i.e. we need a expanded definition of "proof").
Basically, I do the following:
1) induce a form of sleep paralysis
2) focus on a tingling in my hands
3) move that tingling to my entire body
4) increase the tingling until I can literally push myself out of my body.
Now I will elaborate on each of these steps.,
Sleep paralysis has a long history. In the past, it was associated with an "evil" presence of demons and spirits. Today I suspect that has been replaced with "evil" abducting aliens. In general, it is common for sleep paralysis to be accompanied with a feeling of terror, understandably so for someone who has never experienced it before or has no idea of why it is happening.
There are two types of sleep paralysis, hypnagogic or predormital, which happens as you are falling asleep, and hypnopompic or postdormital, which happens as you are waking up. Here I am only referring to the hypnagogic.
A more serious form is called Locked-in syndrome, but this is usually the result of a physical problem such as cerebromedullospinal disconnection or the side effects of a stroke.
There are a number of articles, this one, for example, on how to induce hypnagogic sleep paralysis , so I am not going to repeat them here.
As the body goes into a disconnected state it is very common to feel a numbness in your fingertips. This numbness also has a faint tingling, but even if it does not, you'll find some sensation that is a bit different. Focus on that sensation. Feel it as something pleasant and healthy (which it is). Get used to it. Enjoy it.
Then begin to identify that sensation a bit further up your fingers to your hand, then wrist, forearm, etc. Feel it take over your entire body. You will find you have some degree of control as to where and how it expands.
For me, once the whole body is in this state, it is quite easy to let it slip away, which is usually associated with a tingling or sensation in the entire body increasing as it does. They, simply "leave" your body, which takes little more than focused intention or act of will. Sometimes it doesn't even require that, it is so easy.
The one thing that will always hold you back is fear or apprehension. It's kind of like standing at the edge of a diving board, but some part of you is afraid because you have no idea how deep the pool is, at least the first time. You have to just be fearless. It's fun, so don't worry.
The rest of this post is about various techniques and states that I briefly touch upon. I am sure there are many more than this, but these are the ones I can personally attest to.
There seems to be a number of ways one can initiate the OOB experience, the manner in which they actually exit the body, and the state they find themselves in after they have left the body. Below are brief descriptions of the above based on my experiences.
I must first state that there has been quite a lot of work on OOBE states that provide much better research on the subject. I share this here merely to give the reader a very broad overview of the many different types OOBE experiences that exist.
A mild form of this is what is experienced in the technique mentioned above. However, if the experience begin at the top of your head, this is the most intense, exciting, 'real', and initially, frightening manner of leaving the body. It usually starts by feeling a vibrational energy that causes a mild vibration entering in through the top of the head and filling the body and intensifying to the point where it becomes extreme. The best way to explain it is it feels like you are getting electrocuted but without any pain. As the intensity increases, so does a loud roaring sound until it sounds like you are standing inside a jet engine. At the most extreme point of vibration, your well-defined astral body leaves your physical body. I say “well-defined” because it is only via this exit technique that your out-of-body body looks exactly like your physical body. It seems to be a low astral (as in, closest to the physical plane) form of projection, and the vibrational experience seems to dislodge the astral body from the physical body. This dislodging feels like it is accomplished by the very corporeal technique of shaking the astral body faster than the physical body can support, thereby breaking the trillions of tiny energetic connections that bind the low astral body to the physical body on a cellular level. I explain it this way because in one experience this is exactly what I saw. It may have been completely symbolic, but then, everything is.
This technique is more common for an experienced OOBEer. It involves connecting with your astral body (after one has become familiar with it) and then making an effort, not unlike a sit-up, but exerted by your astral body through conscious will and intention.
Lucid dreaming might be considered a form of OOBE, the major difference being the reality you are in is one mainly of your own construct. However, there are many anecdotal stories of lucid dreamers that show how even in such a subjective reality there can be interaction with the shared reality.
Lucid dreaming is a well-known and common experience. Many researchers disregard lucid dreaming as a true form of OOBEs primarily because it is a “dream” and cannot be “verified” like many OOBE experiences can be. I do not feel the same way for the reason that no reality can be verified outside of that reality. We can’t even prove that this reality is not simply a dream, for every test we can think of requires we validate the existence of this reality for the test to work in the first place. It's a circular argument. However, lucid dreaming can, and often does, lead into the more traditional OOBE type of experiences.
In addition, and far more importantly, the only thing that does matter, in this reality, or any other, is the experience we are having. Everyone knows that when experiencing fear or joy in a dream that it is no less real in that moment than when we experience it in the physical. In fact, it is often far more intense in the dream state. There is no argument that the experience was not real, and as experience is the only thing that makes anything real, even in this reality, then experiencing it alone is enough to claim it is real. The “it’s just a dream” argument is not an argument at all; it is only an admittance that one cannot see beyond the walls of their impenetrable beliefs.
A “flashback” can happen at any moment. It is most likely the result of new neural pathways that have been strengthened by use. When one continues to exercise these neural networks, eventually one can perceive an almost persistent state of OOBE-ness even when performing physical tasks. One way to explain this is that one’s awareness becomes more centered in one’s nonphysical existence, and that using the physical body is no different from using the astral body, or any other body. This is not really an OOBE as we have come to understand that term, but rather a shift in consciousness that moves the awareness into more of a “we are all spirit” understanding. I add this here to raise the idea that the entire concept of OOBEs comes from backwards thinking because it implies we have a body that we leave, when in fact, we have a greater existence that the body temporarily forms within. It would be more accurate to call life an IBE (in-body-experience).
This is when you simply find yourself outside your body. I have only experienced this a couple of times, at the most unlikely moments, and for only a short period of time. The state of being (see "Various States of Being While OOB" below for definitions) resulting from this type of initiation is similar to those from the Push exit. Based on this I assume that spontaneous initiation is basically a very fast Push initiation that was not consciously directed.
Although this could be a form of a “flashback,” this can also happen as a survival mechanism. This is supported by the fact that many POWs during the Vietnam War reported OOBEs while in captivity under stressful and brutal conditions. Psychological stress can cause this, as in when one can no longer see a way to escape from what they believe to be unsolvable, overwhelming problems. It seems that the body has a built-in intelligence that can be activated when called upon in such situations, and is perhaps what is behind the “miraculous” feats of such people as Vim Hof, the man who defies medical understanding by not only staying submerged in ice for two hours, a feat that would kill normal human in 30 minutes, but running a marathon in the Namib Desert and allowing himself to get injected with toxins with no side-effects, all, he claims, made possible by connecting to the primordial areas of the body and brain, such as the amygdala or Reptilian Complex, though simple breathing techniques and exposing one’s self to freezing conditions.
In general, it appears that we have lost some connection to our own wisdom and knowledge that exists in our more animal brain. With all the attention in the world on personal growth, as well as psychotherapy, to find the “higher brain” we may have forgotten about the abilities of the “lower brain.”
There seems to be another type of spontaneous OOBE, and that is when you are “taken” from your body by another entity. This has only happened to me once, and in the most unlikely of places: a crowded NYC subway. I was sitting with my eyes closed, and all of a sudden I saw the face of a teacher, a guru that I knew, and then I felt myself being “pulled” out of my body. It was not forceful or threatening, but I definitely responded with a “No way!” vibe, as the idea of having an OOBE in a subway seems a bit repulsive to me. I can barely be next to people when they are neatly contained in the fleshbot suits. The pull was instantly released. I suspect that this is a similar experience to the alien abduction experience, and it is easy to understand why many might respond or remember that experience with fear.
There is a very narrow window as we fall asleep where our consciousness is not so strongly connected to our body awareness. Sometimes we can catch this moment and easily initiate a Push exit. In my experience, 99.9 percent of the time trying to find this window fails and I just fall asleep.
One technique that is said to help is to go to bed but keep one arm (from the elbow) in an upright position. As the body consciousness fades the arm will fall or move enough to bring your consciousness back. With the arm balanced perfectly vertical it takes very little effort to maintain, allowing your body to continue to slip into sleep. It is also a good idea to have a pillow to support the arm when it falls so that it does not awaken your body consciousness. For the record, this has never worked for me.
One way that has worked for me is to expand this window of opportunity buy first sleeping for some hours, then wake yourself up before you are fully rested. Get out of bed, wake up completely, and then go back to bed. Now you will be drifting off to sleep much slower as the body is no longer as “determined” to sleep.
Many times we have OOBEs in our sleep and remember them as dreams. There is a clear difference between a dream memory and an OOBE memory. Dream memories, at least for me, tend to focus on the details or issues of my life, they follow a path that seems like random thinking, jumping from one concept to another and full of symbolism that relates to your waking life (friends, work, locations, etc.). OOBEs tend to be much more linear and coherent, often with experiences of meeting or learning something new.
Homer referred to these two types of dreams as well in The Odyssey when he said:
“For two are the gates of shadowy dreams, and one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory. Those dreams that pass through the gate of sawn ivory deceive men, bringing words that find no fulfillment. But those that come forth through the gate of polished horn bring true issues to pass when any mortal sees them.”
Near Death Experiences are like a Push experience but without the pushing. The same separation experience but without any will or intention or desire. This may sound like a “spontaneous” event, but it feels much different, more organic, like a “letting go” sensation. It is something that inevitably must happen as part of the physical experience of dying. I have had one experience that was clearly an NDE, and another that was almost identical but it seems unlikely at the time I was actually dying. The first time was when I was in the mountains alone on an extremely cold day. I was underdressed. At first, the cold was annoying, then painful, then my body began to shake uncontrollably and then I became too tired to walk. I lay down. The shaking stopped, and I began to slip into a very deep feeling of peace and tranquility that was unspeakably beautiful.
I just laid there in this beautiful state, feeling my body less and less until I could not feel it anymore. At that point, I began to slowly drift away from my body. I was blissfully happy! It was not like I was “going” anywhere; I was simply becoming more blissful and whole. There was a warmth and a love that I could feel grow from inside. All was inside me, and the “me” that identified with the body was becoming more undefined.
I was definitely out of my body, but unlike a normal OOBE, I had no sense or desire to keep the body around for later use. It was in this state that I was abruptly snapped back into my body by two hikers who had discovered me. They got me on my feet, but I could barely walk. Not so much because of the cold but because whatever had left me was still not completely integrated back into my half-frozen physical reality space suit. They brought me to a cabin where they put me in a room that was around freezing temperature, and they took my gloves and shoes off and told me to sit there for about twenty minutes. My feet and hands began to hurt. After twenty minutes they took me into a warmer room, and quickly my feet and hands began to experience excruciating pain! It felt like they were being pounded with a hammer! My extremities were mottled with white and red blotches of various shades. This was frostbite, and the thawing out was perhaps one of the most physically acutely painful experiences I can remember.
It was clear to me that I was suffering from hypothermia, but it was so wonderful that I can understand why some cultures, like the Inuit, see freezing to death as the way to go.
I did not see any tunnel of light or Jesus or Muhammad or Buddha or dead family or friends or angels or anything. I just felt perfectly free and blissful. It is quite possible that this was not actually an NDE because when the body freezes, it does some amazing things to stay alive and drops the metabolism down to a point where it only needs one or two breaths per minutes, and as OOBEs are also brought on by intense stress, physical or psychological, it is possible that I was having an OOBE as a survival mechanism. These are details, however, and the important point here is that some physical processes will automatically induce OOBEs.
Sometimes our body is so tired and weak, it begins to kind of “fall away” from the larger bodies that it lives in. This is a point worth elaborating on. The physical body does not have astral and etheric bodies “within” it. Rather, the astral body is within the etheric, and the physical body is within the astral. When we leave our bodies, what we are really doing is shifting our awareness into our “greater” body. This is one of the reasons why when we are in the OOB state we feel like our reality is a lot more real than the one we experience in our physical body. It’s not more real, but it is more encompassing, deeper, richer, and more complete because we are more integrated with a broader existence.
When our physical body gets extremely fatigued or weak, the higher body more easily becomes the natural grounding rod for our consciousness. This can result in a transcendent exit or a push if you want to take advantage of the body’s weakness.
Induced in this sense means using external tools to help invoke OOBEs. For example, headphones and binaural beats, transdermal cranial stimulation, bio-feedback devices, etc. The experience of leaving the body with these tools is usually similar to an NDE/Push experience, probably because you are compelling your body and mind to complete a process, bringing you to a point where you can push out quite easily. Chemical tools also fall into this category, but depending on the chemical, the results can vary wildly. In this case, I am not referring to the strong consciousness-altering drugs like LSD or psilocybin or drugs that completely blur the lines of where reality begins or ends. I am referring to drugs like Mandrake Root, which I have used successfully.
Mandrake root had a similar effect on my body to that of freezing, in that I lost consciousness of my body, and in that state could easily push out. However, it is very important to know the risks involved with chemical inductions as plants like jimson weed, mandrake, thorn apple, datura, locoweed and others contain tropane alkaloids that can be dangerous and even lethal. More gentle, easily accessible and over-the-counter drugs, such as galantamine, calea zacatechichi, and silene capensis can also be used.
Meditation might be considered a form of induction. If meditation is used to bring the mind/body into a trance state, then once in that state OOBEs become easier to attain. Meditative induction can result in push, vibrational, or transcendent OOBEs.
One technique that is less for leaving the body, but more for preparing to separate your astral body from your physical body, is a simple technique I call (perhaps erroneously), Ch’I-Swinging. While laying down, imagine you are in a hammock, and that the hammock is swinging ever so slightly, maybe just a centimeter back and forth. In my experiences, it is quite easy to begin to feel your body slightly swinging. Obviously, it is not your physical body that you feel moving. Exactly what “body “it is I can’t say, but by focusing your attention on the feeling of movement you are training your brain to recognize a nonphysical aspect of your body.
I have managed to feel the swing as large as perhaps one foot left-to-right, and I assume that if I could extend the far enough I could just “toss” myself out of my body. Although I have yet to do that, I attribute my failure to the fact that I keep forgetting to do this exercise on a regular basis.
About a year ago I started hanging upside down, mainly to help reduce my back pain (which it did very effectively). While hanging upside down, I found that if I took a deep breath and then exhaled I could very distinctly feel that "Ch'I body" moves in the most unpredictable ways.
The ghost state exists in the level of reality that is very close, and to some degree overlapping, with this physical reality. This state, in my experience, is the result of a vibrational exit from the body.
Because this vibrational exit is the same experience reported by many people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, this leads some credence to the idea that some entities live more in the low astral than the hard physical…so close that they can cross the boundary between them. This also supports the idea that what many people claim to be aliens may not be aliens at all, but other forms of consciousness that live close by, and probably the same family of beings that we once called angels and demons.
When leaving the body in this state, and thereby being in your low astral body, you are on the same level as many of the energies that can interact with the physical reality. In this state, one can see and interact with ghosts, spirits, and even some types of thought forms. The representation of the physical reality is quite close to physical reality as we know it when we are in-body, with an added layer or two of astral “stuff.” It is in this state that one could perform verifiable experiments regarding OOBE’s., It is also this level that is being explored by the more secretive, nefarious organizations that would like to exploit it for their own ends. The U.S. government, by their own admission in official government documents, funded projects in this area that include Sun Streak, Grill Flame, Center Lane, and Stargate. The former Soviet Union did a tremendous amount of research in this area and there are anecdotal stories of Tibetan monks adept at OOBE used as astral spies during WWII.
The low astral is where we can also experience collective thought forms, like heaven and hell.
This high astral state is where the real magic happens, where the real mechanics of physical reality operate. This is the where the dualities begin to interact in accordance to the fundamental laws of creation to begin manifestation. For example, it is on this level that we can see how the dualities interact to create the patterns of energy that will ultimately manifest as atoms and galaxies, and how they are both based on the same laws. It is clear to see at this level that the changing of one atom changes the entire spectrum of not just this physical reality, but all the realities of manifestation. Every “piece” of the whole is connected to every other piece.
It is here one sees the machinery of existence is “nothing” but a collection of laws and relationships. It is godless, lifeless, dead, and meaningless, like a universal multidimensional robot or computer program. The laws of creation have no consciousness, no compassion, no judgment. These laws are inconceivably impressive in their elegance, beauty, and simplicity, and it is impossible to imagine what consciousness was/is capable of creating something of such perfection, but it is the energy that moves through this machine, the spirit of its creator, which accounts for the existence of Life. Of course, this mechanistic, godless aspect of existence is but one of the many facets of creation, and no less divine or sacred than the most holy concept of divinity, for the true face of the Creator can be seen in every creation, including the merciless, barbarous, ugly, and cruel.
This may not even belong here as it is worthy of examination on its own. It appears that there are some OOBE’s that are not only disconnected from the physical body, and the life it identifies with, but rather seem to be connected to another life, possibly in another time, future or past. It is difficult to call these OOBEs because the concept of an OOBE depends on the belief that one body has one spirit. Were that not so we would see ourselves as expressions of each other, and that would have bizarre and comical, it not ultimately wonderful, consequences.
This is nothing new, as evidenced by the somewhat unceremonious eviction of a spirit of a body by Seth, the third child of Adam and the replacement seed of “good” after Abel was killed, who wanted to use someone else’s body (in order to infiltrate the archons, as the story goes) :
“I visited a bodily dwelling. I cast out the one who was in it first, and I went in.”
Perhaps this should be called ISEBE (In Someone Else’s Body Experience). Occasionally, in an OOBE state, one might find themselves being another person but still being themselves. This is potentially mind-blowing as you became aware that you are not just you, but many “yous” spread out over time and space. When this first happened to me something even more strange happened that made me think I was really losing my mind; in my physical existence as Duncan, during work or making dinner or whatever, I began remembering things that were not from my life! I am not talking about past lives. I am referring to memories that were in real time, current, today… even if the other “source” was from another time. The only model I can use to explain this is that we do have spiritual brothers and sisters, those with whom we share close connections with, as if they were another “leaf” on the same “branch” of life from which we sprung. If we stop being the “leaf” and start being the “branch,” we become aware of all “our” “leaves.” Yeah, I am using a lot of quotes… our language is not so great for expressing these ideas.
In my case, the most dramatically clear memories came from an older black mother living with her grown boys in a rural shack on a small farm in the deep American south, perhaps in the fifties or sixties. I would be living my life as Duncan, doing something Duncan would be doing, and then “realize” I was worrying about one of my boys because of a problem he was having, or I'd “remember” that I had to tend to the animals… stuff like that.
Another set of memories came from a fairly middle-class young wife. As soon as I caught myself having these memories I would recoil and snap back to myself… but after a while, I thought that rather than recoil I should respond with as much understanding, love, support, and light as I could.
The idea was that, if I was picking up their life in real-time, then maybe they were picking up mine, so the best thing I could do was respond with love. This, I concluded, was my responsibility to myself, as their health and happiness affected the other leaves on the same branch, including me.
Eventually, these foreign memories faded away, after about a year. I believe this happened because it was during the time I was not only going out of my body a lot but exploring a lot… and I think I may have gone somewhere that connected me with these folks, and it took a little time for that connection to fade.
In this state, there is no body identity. This is a rare state if for no other reason that is it under-reported because we often don’t remember it when we have it. In this state, there are few experiences that our human brain can grab onto in order to record the event. There are no amazing lights, miraculous colors, bizarre beings. Everything is rather formless and vague, and to the human brain, pretty boring and meaningless. It is more of a state of simply "being."