Overcoming Fear

Clearly as long as I continued to try OBEs, strange and frightening things would happen to me. After some serious consideration I decided that I had been playing with fire. This OBE business was just too scary and dangerous. What was it doing to my body? What was it doing to my mind? Was I becoming prone to outside forces, such as spirits? I had begun to worry about my sanity and started to wonder if I were some kind of freak. I decided to quit trying to have OBEs and try to go back to a normal life.

The next two weeks I didn't attempt any altered states of consciousness. I tried my best to go back to my normal life. But although I wasn't trying, weird things still happened to me. I started reading people's minds. I started to "know" what song would be on the radio next. As I was trying to fall asleep at night, I would still feel the same weird sensations: Swaying, pokes and prods, the whole gambit. It was even more alarming because I wasn't even trying to make them happen.

I came to some important conclusions: First, there was no turning back--I couldn't just turn it off. Second, the best way I could deal with these weird experiences was to explore them and try to understand them. I needed to learn how to control them and learn how to control my fear of them.

My first step was to confront my fears. As long as I feared these experiences, they had control over me. If I could eliminate the fear, the experiences would no longer have that power over me. I could be in control of myself and the experiences.

The first step was to organize my thoughts. I listed all the reasons why I wanted to have more out-of-body experiences and why I should not be afraid of them. The list looked like this:

  1. I wanted to have more OBEs. After the first two experiences I couldn't turn away and forget it. I tried that and it didn't work. Besides, my curiosity still motivated me to go on.
  2. I reasoned that some day, when I die, I will be forced out of my body, and I'll have to deal with the issue then. It seems better to learn the rules before I die, so I can handle it better when my time is up. If I explore the out-of-body state while still alive, perhaps my transition to the waiting world will be smoother. When I die, I will be cast into a strange new world, just as an infant is cast into our world. Imagine how wonderful it would be if a fetus could attend some kind of school while it was still in the womb! Imagine a baby that can talk on the day it was born!
  3. When people die, they are all cast out of their bodies. It is our inevitable, inescapable fate. Since billions of people have died since the beginning of time, this new world must be quite safe for human "existence" and not as frightening as I thought.
  4. I had been out of my body twice and nothing terrible had happened to me: I hadn't felt any pain, I hadn't been attacked, and there weren't any demons waiting to possess my body. During the first experience, I was gently floating in the air. I felt completely safe at the time. My fear of the unknown is what stopped both OBEs.
  5. I had recently read several OBE books, many of which had hundreds of OBE narratives. In almost all cases, people described the OBE as beautiful, painless, and even ecstatic. Many people who experienced "near-death experiences" (NDEs) didn't want to get back in their bodies. They were perfectly happy and content to stay out forever!
  6. Despite my distrust of the Catholic religion, I still held some beliefs, like a belief in God. I figured that if I were a good person, God wouldn't let anything bad happen to me while I was out of my body. "After all," I thought, "I'm dealing with God's kingdom."
  7. The OBE books I read claimed the body is equipped with safeguards to pull me back into my body if things got too rough. The books said that many simple things would automatically bring me back to my body, such as poor blood circulation, fear, and thoughts of the physical body.
  8. I believed (and still believe) in "guardian angels" who help me in times of trouble or need.
  9. I also read that if I got into serious trouble, I would faint and my subconscious would take over, bringing me back to safety.

I read over my list and confronted my fears directly. I became determined to learn to face and control my out-of-body experiences and their side effects, even if it meant death. That night I wrote a note in my journal, explaining what I was doing and how I felt about death. I made my apologies in case I died during practice.

Once I faced and conquered my fears, I started attempting OBEs again. This time I took a more serious approach. I developed a simple training schedule: Every Saturday and Sunday morning I would lay around in bed for several hours, trying to leave my body. I was no longer just dabbling with altered states of consciousness; I was on a mission. I was an explorer, determined to discover my own truths.

With practice, I got better at reproducing the conditions necessary to induce the vibrations. I learned to remain calm during my attempts and I found out that staying calm is very important because it helps to prolong the experience.

I eventually learned that fear wears off over time. After you confront the unknown a hundred times, it's no longer as frightening. Conquering my fears was a big step in my spiritual development and it made me a much happier person in daily life. It gave a whole new meaning to the famous quote from The Bible (Psalms 23:4): "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."


Resolving Fears

However frightening OBE-practice might be, the actual OBEs themselves aren't frightening. They are usually very peaceful and happy--not frightening at all. OBEs are only frightening to people who don't understand what's going on. Mostly it is fear of the unknown. Being put into unfamiliar surroundings with new laws, can be terrifying to anyone. But you don't have to be afraid of OBEs if you understand the rules. Rule #1: Your beliefs create your experience. Rule #2: Attitude makes all the difference. If you go into the experience with negative thoughts, your OBE is likely to be unpleasant. If you go into the experience with positive thoughts, your OBE is likely to be wonderful. Rule #3: Your body cannot be possessed by a spirit while you are away. I'll say more about that in chapter 26. Rule #4: There is no such thing as a "demon." I'll say more about that, also in chapter 26. Rule #5: You cannot get lost or lose your body. Rule #6: The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.

The exercise for this chapter is as follows: Write down a list of each desire, belief, fear and expectation you can think of. Of course, if you have a problem with writing, just running through it in your head will help.

First, write down your desires. Do you want to leave your body? Do you want to see higher truths? What do you want from this and other experiences?

Second, write down your beliefs about the out-of-body experience. Do you believe it is wrong? Do you believe it is a trick of the devil? Do you believe it is merely a dream? Do you believe there are demons or spirits out there to harm you? Do you believe hell and heaven are somewhere out there? Do you believe that demons or spirits can take over your body while you are out? Do you believe that the OBE is a sin in the eyes of God?

Third, write down your fears. Are you afraid of getting lost while out of your body? Are you afraid of spirits? Are you afraid of possession? Are you afraid of flying? Are you afraid of heights?

Fourth, write down your expectations. Do you expect to meet angels or spirits? Do you expect to meet other astral travelers? Do you expect to be weightless? Do expect to be wearing clothes?

Fifth, go through your lists and mark each item you don't "like." For instance, if you believe demons can take over your body while you are out, mark that item. When you are done marking your "negative" items, go through each of them and confront them in your own mind. Don't attempt to have an OBE until your negative items are conquered or at least under control. Once you have conquered your negative feelings toward the OBE, your worries are over. If you still believe in demons, you might just meet one. If you don't believe in demons, none can bother you. But until you resolve these fears, your experiences may be influenced by them.

Examining and conquering beliefs isn't easy. I don't know of anyone who is completely free of negative beliefs. But working on them is a step in the right direction. And just knowing that you're working on them, is usually enough to keep your OBEs wonderful and positive.

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