by Brian Mercer
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
During my first conscious out-of-body experience, I encountered the woman I would one day marry.
It was the Saturday night before my final semester in college, and I was enjoying some personal reading time before being inundated by next week’s wave of classes and homework. The book I was perusing was Dreams and the Projection of Consciousness by Jane Roberts, which explores altered states of consciousness, including out-of-body experiences (a phenomenon sometimes abbreviated as “OBE“).
As it grew late, I began to get drowsy, then to doze on my back, a posture I would later learn is ideal for remembering your out-of-body projections. The next thing I remember, I was flying back and forth in front of my house, just above street level. It was a bit disorienting, but only for a moment, when I realized I was having an OBE.
I’d read before that, in order to preserve the clarity of your projections, it’s best to be a certain distance from your physical body. I wanted to get the most out of my experience, but panicked. Instead of gradually gliding over the neighborhood, I launched myself at a forty-five degree angle into the night sky; a proven technique, I would later learn, for getting into the astral planes.
My next memory was gliding through what seemed to be outer space. Strangely, I was moving through a tube made of stars—circles of six equidistant points of light through which I flew, one after the next. The trouble was, I didn’t seem to be moving particularly fast, nor did I seem to be getting anywhere. I called out to the universe, “Show me my soulmate!” by which I meant I wanted to see my future wife.
An instant later something resembling pea soup splattered and ran down my field of vision. As it cleared, I found myself hovering in a bedroom looking down on a young woman. I examined her carefully—her hair, the way she was lying in the bed, the furniture in the room and its relationship to the window, hoping to remember it later. Not long thereafter, I returned to my body, having glimpsed a hint of my future.
I had, in fact, been trying to produce an OBE since high school, before this without any remembered success. I had always been interested in paranormal subjects, ghost encounters, and near-death experiences in particular, because they seemed to me the most tangible evidence of the survival of the soul beyond death. When I learned that we all have OBEs nightly, but usually just don’t remember them (or don’t recognize them for what they are), I grew intrigued by the idea that I could make it happen on purpose.
As my research into OBE continued, I compiled a list of the advantages of learning to project: One could enjoy the power of flight and travel without limits, tap into higher forms of guidance and healing, and confront and transcend personal fears. Further, there was the possibility of visiting loved ones who had passed into the afterlife, answering personal questions about one’s past, present, and future (as I had in my first OBE), and exploring the physical world and beyond.
By far the best reason I’d come across for learning OBE was written by Rick Stack, author of Out-of-body Adventures:
“It was only when I understood that the ballgame is going to go into extra innings that I was able to look death in the face, so to speak, and really listen to its teaching. Since I am no longer afraid of or uncomfortable about death, I am more inclined to focus on the reality of life’s temporariness and use it for inspiration. This focus makes me want to maximize my life in every way. It helps me understand that the moments I spend with the people I love are completely unique, and even if I will know them in other times or other universes, things will never again be quite the same. It helps me cut through all the nonsense and pettiness that is so easy to think is important. It helps me savor and use my energy instead of squandering it. It helps me give up worry and enjoy my day.”1
The biggest difficulty I found with learning to have conscious OBEs was this: It usually isn’t easy. It takes skill, some hint of natural ability, and a whole lot of practice and know-how. I started with informational books about out-of-body experiences, which usually devoted a chapter to “how to” techniques. These usually didn’t give much guidance and I quickly grew discouraged. I tried at least three books that promised an out-of-body experience in thirty days, but these, too, fell short of a regimen I could follow. For example, an exercise from one of these books called for examining yourself naked in a mirror for twenty minutes. On another day, the same book recommends having a friend blindfold you and take you to a park where you could experience reality without your sense of sight. While there might be a profound spiritual reason for doing these things, I failed to connect how it would help me achieve an out-of-body experience.
I thought the most promising method for learning OBE came in the form of hypnosis and various forms of altered state sound tapes and CDs. I had some success with the latter at getting into altered states, but I found that both these methods didn’t provide the key information one needs just prior to making a conscious exit out-of-body experience. For instance, none of them explicitly explained that you have to be utterly relaxed to project, that you can’t tense up even a little bit, or that you have to remain perfectly still. More importantly, the sessions either provided too much voice direction or not enough.
My first big success came after I bought Robert Bruce’s landmark book on OBE, Astral Dynamics: A NEW Approach to Out-of-body Experiences. I was only halfway through it when I read one of the more advanced OBE exit techniques. When I returned home that day, I immediately tried the technique without any preparation or even getting properly relaxed. I immediately felt my being turn to liquid as huge waves of energy ran from my head to my feet and past the borders of my physical body. For the first time after all these years I had just been casually playing around and had nearly projected. If this is what can happen casually, I thought, just think what could happen if I made a serious effort at it?
A week later I was making the first of what would be many revisions to my ninety-day OBE program based on Robert’s extensive advice in Astral Dynamics. I emailed it to Robert and the end result was our collaborated book, Mastering Astral Projection: 90-day Guide to Out-of-body Experience, a program that has helped people all over the world enjoy the profound, life-changing experience of OBE.
The book comes with a CD-ROM that allows you to listen to altered state sounds to help induce the ideal state for OBE. After the book’s release, there was a lot of interest in creating a new audio tool that was more robust, one that could be used by more people without needing to be tied to a computer: Mastering Astral Projection CD Companion, a six-CD album for learning how to have an out-of-body experience, is the result. The CD provides just enough voice direction to help listeners get into the proper state for the OBE exit, then quiets to allow them to proceed through the final steps at their own pace. The fifty-page illustrated instruction booklet provides all the critical information on what to do and what not to do, so everything you need is there in one package.
The key to designing the album was to allow readers of the ninety-day Mastering Astral Projection guide to use it to supplement and enhance their experience, while simultaneously being a stand-alone program that would allow new comers a chance to stretch their astral wings. Since it’s progressive, users of the CDs have time to become comfortable and accomplished with each step in the process, paving the way for a pleasant first out-of-body experience.
What ultimately makes the album so effective is the efficient use of night-time sleep practice. This takes advantage of optimal periods in the sleep cycle—for consistent practice time, something that’s all-important when learning to consciously exit and remember your out-of-body experiences.
Together, the book and the album make a powerful combination for learning OBE. The potential for personal spiritual exploration thereafter is almost limitless.
1Stack, Rick Out-of-body Adventures: 30 Days to the Most Exciting Experience of Your Life; McGraw-Hill, 1988. P. 22.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007. All rights reserved.