What is an OBE and how does it differ from dreaming? An OBE is quite different from any of the other dream experiences. The only difficulties is studying these phenomena, since no one has had one under the study of a dream psychologist. It is similar to lucid dreaming only in the fact that consciousness is present. It is not uncommon to see the body, as we drift upward and out of it, sleeping upon the bed. Most everyone has heard of people who have been clinically pronounced "dead" but then return to their body. This is referred to as a NDE or Near Death Experience. These two are quite similar except for the fact that during an OBE you aren't clinically dead and neither are you even close to death.
Many don't acknowledge that OBE's even exist. Those who do believe in them say there is another part of us called the "astral body." This astral body is an energy that surrounds our body, but during an OBE it separates from the body, although it does not disconnect. If the astral body is disconnected from the physical body altogether it is referred to, a term used more commonly, death.
Now that you know this, don't think you can't ever go to sleep again, very few dreamers are ever able to get to this state, so don't think for a second that you can die from dreaming. In a normal OBE, one not associated to a near death experience, it is said that the spirit simply departs from the body for a short time. The astral body may not even leave the room. However, speed is sudden, thinking of a place you would like to be would cause you to go there almost instantaneously.
Unlike lucid dreams, a person who is experiencing an OBE will sometimes hear a loud roar, described as the sound of a speeding train, a howling wind, or a thundering waterfall. What is happening is that as the astral body lifts from the physical, the energy level is raised suddenly, like a burst of power and since the body is still connected by a thin line of astral matter, this is transferred to the mind as "sound." Nevertheless, once the astral body reaches it's higher vibratory frequency level, the sound disappears, through the sensations of speed, enhanced clarity of vision, sound, and sight take over. The main point is that there is no mistaking a lucid dream for an OBE and you will know, when you wake, if you have had an Out of Body Experience.
To induce a lucid state is to relax while keeping the mind alert and it is necessary that the conscious mind lets go and allows the subconscious mind its freedom to roam. There have been cultures that have used natural herbs to help relax the mind and achieved these altered states of heightened senses while finding the stillness and peacefulness in the mind. There are a number of methods that are practiced, to help the conscious mind to let go of the subconscious, such as concentration, firstly focalizing on a small reflective surface, such as a crystal or a silver coin or alternatively concentrating on and looking into the flame of a candle, while allowing the eyes to eventually go out of focus and the mind to empty while at the same time counting backwards in the mind from 400, by the time one gets to 350 or so, a sense of relaxation and slowly a loosing of the more conscious side of the mind can be achieved, one then closes the eyes and allows himself to feel and concentrate on the breathing, taking in deep revitalizing energy and allowing the conscious mind to slip away while exhaling, by this time there is no need to continue with the counting and when it feels right to stop, then do so. Next begin to sense yourself from within the body, feel your heart beating, then feel yourself becoming smaller and smaller within yourself until you slowly go deeper and deeper within and then slowly expand yourself outward, keeping your eyes closed begin to look through your eyelids out into the room that surrounds you, while remaining relaxed, then expand yourself into the whole room allowing your mind to move out and fill the room, allow the spirit to be free to experience beyond the normal perceptions, you may experience feelings of floating and blissful energies, allow your spirit to glide outward without having any fear as all return safely to the body.
Like dreams, many out of body experiences are not remembered and are far less common than dreams, but there are ways by which we might know if we have ever had a out of body experience and most of us have at some point in our lives. It is far more common for children to have an O.B.E. than it is for many adults, but those adults that have O.B.E. become accustomed to going out and coming back within the body, even if they are not consciously aware of doing so, or of ever having had an O.B.E., whereas children are not so practiced and, although they freely travel out of body, they are sometimes not so practiced at a good re-entry and tend on occasion to come back within the body at too great a velocity and this in is self has an effect that many of us may have experienced especially as children and possible remember. If you can remember ever having the feeling of suddenly being woken up from your sleep with a shock, with the feeling that you have just fallen through or out of your bed, but in fact you have not, then you have most probably had an O.B.E. and experience the spirit returning to quickly. This happens when the spirit comes rushing back within the mortal body at too fast a rate and what happens is that it comes back with a thud and as the spirit comes slamming back in and is stopped by the material being, but the feeling is one where we feel as though we have suddenly fallen and it is the spirit landing with a thud and almost going out the other side of our body that gives us this experience, it has a startling effect on us and usually immediately wakes us up with quite a shock. As time goes on we or the spirit generally learn and become more practiced and controlled in its return to the body, and as we get older we may not venture out of body so frequently as we might as children.
Among those who have had a more conscious lucid experience or vision, there are those who have had O.B.E's, where sometimes they can rise up high into the air or it can be an experience where they are free to roam near to their body. Others can travel further afield and at times find not only loved ones who have passed over, but also they may have contact with their own spiritual guides while out of body. There is no need to ever fear having an O.B.E., we can come to no harm, nor will we get lost and not be able to return to our mortal body, we are all attached to the physical body by an invisible cord which will not break until death occurs, some call this cord the silver thread or cord, and as soon as the mortal body begins to wake or come round within meditation, the spirit is drawn back to the physical body, and as we wake we may experience more consciously the out of body experiences. The silver cord itself has a few functions, firstly it acts as a tether between the mortal body and spirit and maintains a connection between the spirit and mortal host during any form of out-of-body-experience which can also include N.D.E's (Near Death Experiences). Not only will the silver cord assure that we will not get lost and that we will also always return to the mortal body, it also maintains the mortal life while the spirit is out-of-body, as there is no life without spirit being present, we would die instantly the spirit traveled out of body if the silver cord did not exist, as it also serves to keep a small spiritual presence within the mortal body to sustain our mortal life and the cord with not sever until death occurs and even then not until resuscitation is no longer possible. Those who have a NDE's can also find themselves out of body and the cord acts and maintains a link for a time with the deceased body, which allows for resuscitation, if it did not and severed at the instant death occurred no matter what was done to try to resuscitate a life here it would fail as the spirit would not have the connection to return, that connection being the silver cord.
As mentioned in O.B.E's. one does not necessarily have a physical form and it is possible to consciously travel out of body and there are a number that seem to be able to travel out not just into there immediate surroundings but are able to venture out into other more spiritual realities and dimensions, this is in part a coupling of both astral travel and lucid dreaming and generally happens in dream or sleep state. Sometimes it entails going outward into the greater vibration that exists all around us or within the universe or traveling through a vortex or portal into other dimensions. If this happens there is usually a guide of some kind although they may not be seen or noticed and the one thing that spirit guides do need before they can make themselves known to us, is that we ask for their help and that they would come to guide us on our journeys. In these lucid states the mind is able to be set free to experience and as practiced by many cultures in the past many new experiences can be discovered, one thing to make the most of it that one needs is an open mind and willingness to try.
The Indians of North America, traveled out of body on their vision quests and experienced vision and often had experiences of shape shifting and becoming other forms especially animals, as they were an important part of their lives and they often believed that they had animal spirit guides that watched over them often as a helper and protector. Most lucid dreams are thought to happen whilst in stage four of sleep REM (rapid eye movement). More recently there has been a good deal of research in this field, where those who have had regular O.B.E. are tested and ask to view and later describe what they have seen, for instance, a piece of paper might be put on a high shelf, where a set of numbers may be placed on it and the dreamer is asked if they can rise up out of the body and go to the high shelf and see what is there. This has had some success, but it can be hard for those having an out of body experience to control where they wish to go. Remote viewing is another form as astral travel, where it is sometimes possible to travel consciously to other locations, this also has been tested with some success, where individuals are given a map location and asked to describe what they can see there, at times these descriptions have been very accurate.
Those who are more experienced may be able to control their experiences and can find themselves having regular O.B.E's. where they can at times find themselves floating up toward the ceiling, then often turning over to look down on their sleeping body, at other times it is possible to move around one's home from room to room and it is possible that others may be seen that are also out of body or that those already in spirit might be present. Being able to pass through doors and some other solid objects is another thing that is possible. There has also been research into why some fighter pilots, racing drivers and others who are involved in both high speed and high concentration levels do at times seem to move out of body and can find themselves looking in at themselves from outside the cockpit, I would put this down to a number of elements, (1) They are in a very altered state of concentration that takes 100% of their attention; (2) doing such an activity is very exciting and there is an element of extreme danger and the spirit sense of self preservation is very active or what is called the self is very present and aware and the spiritual self is very at one and in harmony with both mind and body, thus allowing for quicker reaction especially to danger; (3) The body is releasing highly levels of endorphins and adrenaline, these three factors together would give an altered state of perception and may well cause an OBE to be possible and at times experienced through completely natural means. Put basically it is the spirit high and excitement along with the oneness with the spiritual self that causes these experiences.
Out of body experiences most frequently occur naturally just before we wake up, but they can happen as we go to sleep and during the night and is thought to be connected with the process and state of the mind while we are in sleep. The truth and it is generally agreed that dreams do have meanings, interpreting them is not always so easy. There have been those in the past that have told of having visions given to them while they sleep foretelling the future, today there are still many that are given premonitions while they sleep of events to come and these premonitions are often coming and being given by spirit interacting with us within our dream state. We do not call these dreams visions so much these days, we call them Lucid Dreams.
Written by Neil Cristopher
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