This book is about Out-of-Body Experiences, or "OBEs" for short. The OBE is also called Astral Projection in much of the literature. I'll use these terms interchangeably in this book. Simply put, an OBE is an experience in which you seem to be consciously apart from your physical body.

This book is not a complete detailed discourse on the OBE; there are dozens of books on out-of-body experiences, with stories, theories, and good information. Rather, this book offers a new perspective on the OBE, based on the author's experience and point of view. My goal is not to reiterate the old theories, but to present new information based on what I've learned and provide tools to induce OBEs.

A good word to describe an OBE is "Escapade," which has the same root as the word "Escape." According to the American Heritage Dictionary, an escapade is:

An adventurous action that usually violates conventional standards of behavior.

It's an escape from our bodies. It is adventurous. And it certainly violates conventional standards of behavior!

Most OBEs have common features. For instance, the subjects often see their own physical body during the experience, like any other object in the room. They usually report having "ghostly" bodies that can pass through solid objects during the experience. Sometimes their ghostly bodies are even seen by others! They also report floating or flying, and often report seeing places or events that were out of eyesight.

There are many books about Out-of-Body Experiences with many different approaches, from scientific to the occult (see the bibliography for more information). Many of these books give the readers stern warnings against trying it themselves, for fear of: death, disease, possession, insanity, heart attack and even the fear of being mistaken for dead and buried alive! I'm writing this book to try to dispel some of these myths.

Is it Scary?

Of course it's scary. Anytime we face the unknown, it is frightening. But approaching anything with fear is harmful. Early European sailors believed the Earth was flat and they could sail off the edge. Because of their fear of the unknown, they concluded it was dangerous to sail too far west. When they conquered their fear and went bravely ahead, not only did they discover a whole new world, they also made the transition from two-dimensional thinking to three-dimensional thinking about their reality. Likewise, if we can conquer our fears, we will also discover a whole new world, and we will make the transition from three-dimensional thinking to four-or-more-dimensional thinking about our reality.

All the great pioneers have set aside their fears, at least temporarily, and gone ahead despite the dangers. Courage is not the ability to walk into danger without fear. Courage is the ability to walk into a dangerous or frightening situation and think to yourself, "Yes, I'm scared--I'm scared to death--but that's not going to stop me." The thing I liked most about the book, Dune by Frank Herbert, is the saying that "Fear is the mind-killer."

"What if it's dangerous?"

Many things in life are dangerous. Driving a car is dangerous. Crossing the street is dangerous. We do those things anyway. Sometimes walking into a dangerous situation is our best course of action. In her book, Out-of-Body Experiences, Janet Mitchell presents the following analogy:

My parents did not keep me from walking or tell me that I couldn't, even though they knew I might accidentally walk in front of a moving vehicle; they did teach me how to cross the street safely. (Pg. 84)

I'm not saying we should walk blindly into the street; I am saying that if we look both ways, we can safely "cross the street" of the out-of-body experience, and add a whole new dimension to our lives. In other words, "No guts, no glory."

"What good is it?"

We can gain immeasurably from the OBE. Almost every book I've read on OBEs says that OBEs have a profound impact on people. People come away with a new attitude toward life and death.

With OBEs we may learn about the conditions after death and what "The great beyond" is really like. We might use it as a spring board for developing psychic abilities. We might discover (for ourselves) the truths and myths behind the world's great religions. If science can reproduce OBEs in the lab, they may discover the scientific laws governing mind and matter that psychic abilities are only hinting at today. Some people have even suggested the possibility of using it for industrial espionage, covert intelligence and similar applications. Above all in importance, I believe astral projection can help us become more spiritual.

I personally believe that true "value" is not to be found in material things, but in spirituality. Whatever "spirituality" means to you is okay in your life, as long as you don't "go off the deep end" with it. Spirituality should not be used as a license to justify immorality, nor should it be forcefully pushed on other people. Spirituality is a personal thing, and it means something different to everyone.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "Spiritual" as:

1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material. 2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul. 3. Of, from, or pertaining to God; deific. 4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred. 5. Pertaining to or having the nature of spirits; supernatural.

What better way is there to learn about spiritual things than to experience directly, "the nature of spirit; not tangible or material?" If you leave your body, you are spirit. You are not tangible or material. You will be concerned with and affecting your soul. And you will have the nature of spirits. You'll actually fit three out of five definitions of "spiritual!"

Having OBEs does not automatically make you spiritual. However, all it took was one good look at my inanimate body for me to realize that we are spiritual beings, and the "next life" is not so far off!

This book has two parts. Part One is the story of how I changed from skeptic to believer, and what you can expect to experience if you attempt to have OBEs yourself. Part Two is informational, with information and techniques based on my out-of- body experiences.

In addition to a chapter on OBE techniques, each chapter will include simple exercises and pointers to help readers who want to achieve OBEs. You can choose to follow or ignore the exercises as you wish. I do, however, recommend that you at least read the exercises because they do provide useful information to supplement the main text.

One last note. Throughout the book, I include excerpts from my out-of-body journals that illustrate key points. Usually the text has been left unchanged from the original, but I have omitted sections that I felt were either irrelevant, or of a personal nature. I also corrected the grammar and spelling. At times I've added small clarifications to the text, which I enclose in square brackets [like this]. In all cases I've strived not to alter the meaning of the text.

Also, throughout the book I have exchanged people's names with their initials to protect their identities.

And now, dear readers, it's time to take the out-of-body experience out of the closet!

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