I have just finished reading William Buhlman’s excellent classic book on out-of-body experiences, “Adventures Beyond the Body”. His amazing descriptions of his out of body experiences have inspired me to try out-of-body travel for a period of 30 nights. When I was a teenager, (before the internet) information on what my library classified as ‘Occult’ topics were limited; I happened upon one book on Astral Travel that was pretty limited in terms of instruction. I lied down a few times, attempting to will myself out of my body and of course, got nowhere.
William Buhlman a decade before in the early 70’s had the same lack of information, but he kept at it for weeks, coming up with his own techniques to lure his consciousness into an etheric energy body. Using visualization techniques, which would later become the Target Technique, he was eventually able to shift his consciousness to his energy body and explore the many layers of reality beyond the dense, physical world of our everyday existence. I had wrongly thought that beyond our physical world was simply the Astral Plane, sort of an intermediary place close to the physical world that was visited by astral travelers and the odd assortment of other entities and spirits. I realize now that it was a very naive view, a remnant of early metaphysical viewpoints resting on scant evidence from actual experiencers.
According to Buhlman, all environments, including our every-day waking world, are thought constructs. We happen to live in a very dense construct, resistant to change except by incredible focus. However, when we shed our dense body, we begin to rise through the levels (for lack of a better description) of less density into thought-responsive worlds. These thought-responsive worlds are composed of energy and come in two types: consensus realities, and non-consensus realities. Consensus realities make up most of what we would consider the afterlife. Based on what we believe when we die, we go to a reality that has been crafted and moulded based on the thoughts and expectations of the inhabitants for time beyond measure. Because these realities are created based on the thoughts and beliefs of many souls, they are old, stable and resistant to change. For example, my Catholic step-father will likely die, meet Jesus, be judged in front of a huge book of his life, enter through pearly gates, stroll down golden streets and be presented with a mansion of his very own in which to live out his eternity in worship of God. That is certainly not the afterlife I will end up in, however, because those are not my beliefs. Bulman suggests that there are millions of consensus realities of this nature and it is likely the first place we will find ourselves when we die.
The other type of reality is a non-consensus reality. It is extremely thought-responsive, what you think can and will manifest. We train to control our thoughts in order to be able to explore these environments without causing complete havoc with our fears and emotions running wild.
Buhlman frequently moves from one energy body to the next, getting progressively less dense and enjoying more thought responsive realities as he travels deeper into consciousness. Eventually, you lose your energy body all together, existing soley as a point of consciousness in a reality without matter or form. Supposedly, this is where we want to end up – closer to the source and apart from our addiction to form.
I must be a young soul, because I’m not sure I’m ready to give up form. I certainly wouldn’t want a boring afterlife, but there is so much I’d love to explore and learn. My ideal afterlife would be very similar to earth, but enhanced, and contain libraries, schools and centers for learning. I would be very content to spend my time learning and my free time exploring all that I never had time to explore while on the real earth, including do things I’ll never do in this life: fly, become an animal, climb mountains, be a world-class skiier, etc. I suppose that’s my ego talking. Maybe when out of the body, I’ll think differently.
Buhlman said something in his book that really struck me: why rely on hope and belief to know truly if an afterlife exists? When you successfully have an out of body experience, you will know for sure that your consciousness exists apart from the body and brain. Obviously, here at ‘The Search for Life after Death”, this is a very attractive prospect; I have spent my life appraising the experiences and testimonies of others to try to discern the truth of the afterlife, but if I can achieve an out of body experience, I would hope that I could truly verify it for myself through my own first hand experience.
Perhaps a guide would meet me so I could ask questions about the various realities that exist beyond the one we are familiar with. If I could be so lucky, perhaps I could meet my deceased grandfather who can give me a verifiable message to prove to the rest of my family that the afterlife exists. I suppose if I were extraordinarily lucky, I might be able to visit my Grandfather’s consensus reality. He was a devout Christian, so I suppose I will simply have to enjoy those fluffy clouds and angels singing with harps for a little while. I think I can manage. 😛
I can’t imagine a more wondrous experience to report to my loved ones than to tell them that my grandfather, so sick and pained at the end of his life, was whole, hale and healthy and enjoying life in his own personal Christian Heaven. But even if I’m not able to meet deceased relatives, having an out of body experience, with full consciousness control that feels just as real as waking life would be a powerful life-changing event indeed. I just hope that it doesn’t turn out to be dreamlike in anyway. If I wake up and my recollection is similar to when waking from a dream, I’ll be truly disappointed and nothing about the experience will prove that this wasn’t a quirk of my own mind.
I have faith though – I am going into this with an open mind. After all, would William Buhlman devote 40 years and several books to something that can be confused with a particularly vivid dream?
UPDATE: About a week later
Well, my friends. I’ll cut to the chase. I haven’t had much luck so far. I haven’t yet had an out of body experience. I simply seem to fall asleep before being able to finish my visualizations. However, that’s not to say that nothing has happened.
For a very long time, I could not remember my dreams. I would fall asleep very quickly, and simply remain completely unconscious until waking. If I dreampt, I didn’t recall anything.
Now that I’ve attempted the techniques associated with out of body consciousness, I have begin to have very vivid dreams. Actually, there was a dream I had just last night that was very interesting because in that dream, I was at a party and someone asked me to explain how to have an out of body experience. I began to explain the same techniques that I use in the waking world, but the people at the party weren’t interested and I was shooed away.
Last week I had another dream where I was asked something, but my response was “I can’t. I can’t have an out of body experience right now. I have to get up for work.”
The rest of my dreams have been extremely detailed and very complex, sometimes filled with anxieties.
Anyway, that’s the long boring non-story of my progress so far. I will continue trying. I do feel that increased dream recall and vividness is a step in the right direction. I read that even the famed William Buhlman had a few weeks of increased dream intensity and recall before his first out of body experience. Perhaps I will be as lucky.
Update #2: – Two Months
Well, I am ashamed to admit that I’ve totally fallen down on the job. Life got in the way and I was so tired at night, that I fell asleep my favorite way: putting a space documentary on youtube and falling asleep in about 30 seconds.
One thing that hasn’t left me, however, is the increased dreaming and recall. I do want to try again though. I want to try to do the visualization techniques and attempt to have an out of body experience. Apparently, it’s the best way to have a direct experience with realms similar to the afterlife.
I used to have quite a few night terrors – in fact, they would happen several times a week, although they weren’t scary at all for me. I found myself one night wandering around my bedroom, annoyed that I was asleep and paralyzed and couldn’t wake myself up. I remember looking up at the stairs hoping someone would come down and wake me up, but I also realized that I wasn’t in my body. Apparently, I could have used that experience to explore my out of body state, but at that moment, all I wanted to do was wake up. In fact, anytime I find myself ‘awake’ consciously and my body asleep, I can’t concentrate on anything other than waking myself up. It’s almost as if I don’t have full control of my logical mind.