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 Am I On The Right Track?, Or am I frying my brains?
Dooley
post Jan 25 2010, 10:27 PM
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I recently started a topic in the Eastern Tradition section that eventually came around to OOBEs.

The discussion got me interested in the opinions of the forum, but I wanted to move the discussion here so as to remain on topic.

To briefly summarize: One night I was relaxing before sleep. I worked into my trance state, and when my body was all good and completely numb I started going through a little routine of mine where I focus on (what I think are) my chakras and moving energy. After opening/clearing/charging my chakra I feel exceptionally great about everything and decide to try to go OOB.

Now, I've been trying to go OOB for about three months now, and I've had extremely limited success. I believe I'm at least vaguely able to do what you might call 'astral projection', in that I can get my body completely relaxed, visualize and feel a separate body for myself, completely forget about my actual body, and then move it about and interact with people/place/things in a semi-realistic way. (Of course, what happens is usually determined by my brain, but sometimes things seem to slip in when I'm not looking.) But what I'm going for is what I've seen termed 'ethereal projection', as in my soul disconnects from my body and I'm able to move it about the actual, physical world. I don't know if this is actually possible, but that hasn't stopped me from trying like hell.

(So much for brief): Well, on this particular night, I feel pretty powerful and very confident in myself, and I feel my whole body like it's some form of 'energy' and I try to move that out of my physical body. I am, as always, met with resistance in that I just can't seem to really do it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/doh.gif)

I keep at it, though, and eventually I get deep into a state of trance I've never known before. I lost control of my breathing and I started taking extremely deep, rapid breaths without meaning to. My heart started hammering away in my chest. I think I heard a faint buzzing noise in my ears, but alas this could just be because what I've read about OOBEs tells me to expect that.

I go on in this state for the better part of two minutes before giving up focus, opening my eyes, and moving around.

Now, if it were a story, here's where I'd be like, "And I was in my etheric body without even realizing it, lolz!" Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was very much in my physical body, and I very much felt the effects of my new trance state. My body was trembling and my vision was blurry for half a minute or so. This didn't concern me at the time, as I'd read that such reactions were also normal when OOBing, however now I'm worried that might not be the case after all.

Here's a couple quotes from the other thread that sparked my interest and will help explain my question:

QUOTE
Also, although it is appropriate to meditate on the chakras and become sensitive to the sensation of energy in the body, be very carefull about playing around with this to get " interesting" effects. The so-called chakras are related to a neurochemical loop in the brain. You are priming that loop when you do chakra meditation. You can also cause an epileptic or psychiatric problems to occur if you mess up with what you are doing. I'm not sure whether what you are describing is an effect of untoward nervous reactions or if you are describing the beginnings of kriya or shaktipat. What can happen is that you experience spontaneous movement while in a trance or ecstatic mind state or else you may suddenly feel an intense heat welling up through the body that may be accompanied by the rapid heartbeat and breatthing you described, but you do not have blurred vision or disorientation when it is over (although you would have blurred vision and disorientation after a seizure).


QUOTE
OBEs are caused by wonky things going on in the parietal lobes of the brain. People can train themselves to have OBEs and are normal etc. but OBEs also commonly occur in people who have schizophrenia and epilepsy. You don't pop out of your body. Your brain disassociates from self and place. It involves strongly visualizing a mirror double and then transfering the experience of physical sensation and orientation from yourself to the visualized double. This has been studied in clinical laboratories. OBEs are useful for exploring the "Inner Plane"in occultism. You have an opportunity to meet archetypes and guides and getting teaching, which comes from the storehouse of consciousness to which your are linked.


So, basically, am I on the right track to going OOB, or am I doing the complete wrong thing and accidentally pushing random neuro-chemical buttons? Or, alternatively, is ethereal projection just impossible in your experience?

Tl;dr: Am I nearly OOBing or am I giving myself mini-seizures?

This post has been edited by Dooley: Jan 25 2010, 10:31 PM


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bym
post Jan 25 2010, 11:51 PM
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I can certainly understand your quandry. You'll find those of a more 'scientific' bent and those who are blowing alot of smoke up your ass.
in the last thread you were exchanging ideas that were, IMHO, partially correct as far as information goes but, unless you have alot of experience, you will find yourself with just more questions and some very serious doubts. We're walking a fine line here...there is a point in Magic when the only possible avenue of thought is one in which the practioner believes in what they set out to do. Skepticism is, alas, the ultimate buzz-kill. LOL! There are things that cannot be conveniently 'dismissed' as neural misfirings. For this to happen one has to be affected by a non-normal 'stimulus' (ie drugs, pre-existing problem, poisoning,outside trauma...something!) Hence the ofttimes belabored "Know Thyself". In defense of the scientific bent, they may not be considering the fact that you experienced a blood sugar imbalance whilst performing your meditations...or whatever. It has been known to happen! I have experienced OBE's in the past and I will in the future. This is an area of study that I'm currently exploring...more in-depth than previously in my life. I've literally read dozens of books on the subject and will never grow cold for lack of fuel! This does not mean that it is all crap....far from it! To take the next 'scientific' step would be to examine the very idea that your conciousness is/can control the multitudes of neural ganglioa...down to even producing endorphins , etc. that cause some very specific perceptions to occur! In the Institute for Shamanic Studies we have performed any numbers of trance-journeys, comparing notes and were very surprised (and heartened) to find that those 'inner plane' landscapes are fairly common amongst people of different ethnical backgrounds and root-race divisions (ie Australian aborigines and Norsemen)! They were/are MAPABLE! Quite a leap from mere neural chemicals to chartable vistas!

I reread a book called Astral Dynamics the other day...by Robert Bruce. He tends to be fairly straightforward and pragmatic in outlook. He makes no mystical titles nor does he adopt any. He gives a number of exercises that are said to be quite good and simple to perform for anyone interested in listening. Perhaps he could give you some ideas? Interesting to note...I'm almost blind. I read with my nose touching the written page and I leave nose-prints on my computer screen! When I'm in a heavy trance-state my 'eyesight' is perfect. No glasses necessary. The times that I believe that I've had OBE's, I wasn't wearing glasses, at all! (I"ve worn them since I was very small) The last OBE I had was getting up from my chair to answer the door. I reached the door and realized that my legs weren't in pain. I turned around and found myself staring at myself slumped over in my recliner! The next thing I realized was that it wasd light in my room...yet it was at night and all the lights were off! My hand went to my face to see if I was wearing my glasses....nope! And neither was the form in my chair!

I cannot counsel you about doing chakra work before attempting OBE's, I just don't know enough...but I would think that energizing your chakras prior to an OBE may not be the right thing (mere supposition)...much like trying to get restful sleep after eating a very heavy meal. Sure you can sleep, but your body is trying to digest all this food! Ever notice that you tend to dream alot after eating? There are many cases of reported OBE's out there. Of course there will be those that are spurious and some that can be dismissed as either indigestion or neural misfirings. Can you imagine all the tales Columbus listened to when he was looking for the shorter passage to the Spice Islands? No! You'll fall off the edge of the world! You may or may not reach your destination...but the journey there will be memorable! Otherwise...why magic? Why not just Anthropology and Sociology? To what purpose? The scientific community is slowly coming around in their ponderous way...string theory, quantum mechanics, branes, fractiles...they're having a field day with 11 dimensions (shades of the Tree of Life!). Conciousness exists, inside and outside the box! (sorry for the pun)


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SororZSD23
post Jan 28 2010, 11:26 AM
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Hey Dooley. I'm not dismissing your expeirence. I'm just trying to figure out what is happening to you and giving you some food for thought . If your goal is OBE, you ought to find a good primer or two about how to do it and be patient with yourself about it. I do know people who have OBEs often--completely normal people who do not "do" anything to have an OBE. It just happens. I had a yoga student who, to look at him, was doing yoga--but was experiencing watching himself do it from the ceiling. (I've also had experiences like OBEs but not intentionally. I'd find myself roaming around the house, trying to turn on lights or faucets and stuff and would freak out because I couldn't.)

While trying, you will experience "vestibular effects" that is feelings of floating and turning while the body is still and this might be a sign that you are getting closer to a full OBE. I once read a case study of a young girl who explained the "popping out" experience as feeling wave-like. She said she would feel breathless for a moment and then be outside and free to float around as she pleased. She was a completely normal, happy, and eloquent child. Although the case worker diagnosed her experience as a kind of childhood epilepsy, the authors of the case also thought that the girl gave good guidance about how to pop out.. I have a copy of the article somewhere but cannot find it. I think you would appreciate it so I will keep looking for it.

Bym, you may be interested in looking into the work of Olaf Blanke --a Swedish researcher (neuroscientist, I think) who is dedicated to studying OBEs and related phenomenon. I think you can download complete papers by him for free through Medscape. Okay. A very sciencey perspective but it might be a nice addittion to your research compendium on the subject..

IAO131 --of the Journal of Thelemic Studies -- also writes about OBEs and recently put up an article about it on his Live Journal blog.


Worlking with chakras is a completely other thing. As mentioned, what you are describing-excluding the blurriness and dizziness--is shaktipat--the ascent of Kundalini (which yogic adepts often do now explain as a neuroelectrochemical loop in the brain). I have experienced what you are describing and know others who have as well. Sorry. When people mention blurriness or words that imply disorientation, confusion, dullness, or anxiety especially for an extended time in relation to chakra work, OBEs, deja vu, etc. it's a red flag for me--because it suggests that something may be "off" neurochemically speaking. It's just a caveat--not a diagnosis.



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bym
post Jan 28 2010, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the tip! I'll add this to my expanding list...Thankfully I sleep less than when I was younger, about 3-4 hours/night. *sigh* there are draw backs... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)


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http://www.sacred-magick.org/index.php?showtopic=7662

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Dooley
post Jan 28 2010, 07:17 PM
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I do sometimes feel things that very well might be the 'vestibular effects' you described. I'm starting to think I'm simply going about this the wrong way.

I appreciate all the advice, both of you! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)


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