Out of Body Experiences
A lot of interest and some intensive research is now being centred on the area of Out of Body Experiences with some quite mind-boggling results. An understanding of the astral body might help make the actual concept of Out of Body Experiences easier to understand. Some believe that apart from our physical body, there is a “spirit” or “soul” which can go on living without the protection of matter.
Many living people have undergone “Out-of-Body-Experiences” and these are not, in any way, unique to the modern world. Through the ages, some famous and well-respected people in history have described OOBE’s, including Aristotle, Plato, Wordsworth, Emily Bronte and D H Lawrence. In Shelley’s essay On a Future State he asked: “Have we existed before birth? Could there exist “a principle or substance which escapes the observation of the chemist and anatomist and pre-exists our birth?”
Astral Projection Around the World
Throughout the world, the “second body” is acknowledged. The Greeks have a name for it, as do the Romans and Ancient Hindus. Whilst in China, the Thankhi is said to leave the physical body while it is sleeping. OOBEs can be a very personal experience, generally occurring when a person is in a relaxed state, often as he or she is falling asleep, or when actually asleep.
The person might either find himself “floating” separately from his physical body, unrestricted by matter (for instance finding no obstacle in a brick wall), or he may become totally awake to find himself out of his body. Marcel Louis Forhan who wrote a book about his OOBEs described how he got up one morning without knowing that his body still remained on the bed until he actually noticed it and realised he had unwittingly projected out of his body.
Near Death Experiences
Now some people can actually project regularly but to others, such an experience may come about through accident or illness. Dr. Michael B Sabom, in his book Recollections of Death puts forward many startling accounts of near death experiences. Most common between these patients was an actual “separation” from the physical body. Seemingly, while floating above the body, patients were able to relate exactly what had been happening whilst actually unconscious.
One patient who had survived a cardiac arrest, accurately described how the doctor had “come up under his right armpit, changed his mind and went to the other side”. And at the time this had happened, the patient who had witnessed this had been ‘legally dead’. In other cases of OOBEs, a person projects to a distant place where he or his spiritual form, is actually seen by another witness.
For instance on the evening of 23rd December, 1935, a bachelor farmer from Indiana had been concerned that his father might be ill. He found himself travelling through the air to eventually arrive in his father’s bedroom. His father regarded him in some surprise and two days later, on Christmas Day, he verified the son’s experience by confirming that he had seen his son that previous evening.
Examples of OOBEs
Another example involves a South London house which was thought to be haunted by a small boy who was heard and seen running around the place during the afternoon. One day, however, an elderly gentleman called at the front door to ask the lady who owned the house if he could have a look around, explaining that he’d lived there as a child. When they entered the nursery (the haunted room) he exclaimed “I frequently dream I am in this room, chasing my little sister round my bed, just as I used to when I was a little boy”.
He was asked if he ever dreamed during the day and replied that he often indulged in an afternoon nap. He then agreed to send the owner of the house a photograph of himself as a boy and on receiving this, she immediately recognised it as the boy-ghost, as did the other occupants of the house. The conclusion agreed on, was that when the old man slept, he had actually projected. His “spiritual” self had separated from his body to visit his childhood home not as an aged man, but as the child he believed himself to be in his dreams.
Belief in the astral-body does not necessarily mean belief in rebirth, for life, the cosmos and the reason for human existence is so complex that there are a huge combination of differing beliefs, religions and explanations. However, in order to accept the idea of Out of Body Experiences or Astral Projection, one has to acknowledge this “spirit” which is a totally separate entity to the physical body.
Highstreet Harry The OOBE File (PublishAmerica 2005) Ophiel The Art and Pracice of Astral Projection (Red Wheel/Weiser 1976)