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если интересует кузня, кованые изделия за разумные деньги в Киеве



                           COPYRIGHT 1994





    You are now reading the README file which accompanys 15
other files (AP_01.txt - AP_15.txt).  These files contain relatively
comprehensive lessons on how to achieve astral projections/OOBEs.  
These files were written as notes for an on-line class I gave in
the New Age forum on CompuServe during May and June of 1994.
    If you are reading this file, then you did NOT obtain this
package from CompuServe's New Age forum.  What you are reading is the
version I have released everywhere else in cyberspace.  The only
difference between this package and the original class notes is this
README file.  The text in AP_01.TXT through AP_15.TXT is unchanged.
    I am releasing these notes to the Public Domain essentially
as a free book on how to astral project.  Please note however that
all of the material is copyrighted.  
    I hope you will find this material useful and enjoyable.  I
have stressed a practical approach to inducing astral projections/OOBEs
while at the same time trying to provide a reasonable balance
between differing views of this phenomena.


    There's really not much to say.  If you are reading this
file, then you have already unziped the archive DO_OBE.ZIP.  
The reason for packaging this material as 15 relatively
small ASCII files is so that you can easily read these files
using the DOS EDIT program or Windows Notepad. The files are
sequentially numbered and all you have to do is read them in
sequence!  At the end of this README file is the table of contents.
You may want to keep these 16 files in their own subdirectory.


    Please feel free to upload DO-OBE.ZIP to your favorite BBS
or FTP sites.  Do NOT upload the individual files. Distribute
only the full archive.  Thanks.


I can be reached at the following e-mail addresses:

 CompuServe:   72662,1335  (72662.1335@compuserve.com) [PREFERED]
 CompuServe:   71331,3516  (71331.3516@compuserve.com) [Rarely used]
 Internet:     ddegrac@cms.cc.wayne.edu  [Very rarely used]

If you send me e-mail and do not hear from me within a few
days, try one of the alternative addresses listed here.
Please feel free to write me with questions, comments,
criticisms or anything else.  I will try my best to give
a quick reply back to any mail I receive.


Since 1987, Donald DeGracia has had numerous out-of-body experiences.
He is an avid student of occultism, science, history, social science,
and philosophy.  His whole orientation towards the OOBE involves
a point of view that seeks to synthesize scientific and occult
knowledge.  Donald has a Bachelors of Science degree in chemistry,
and is currently obtaining a Ph.D. in physiology.  He presently
works as a biochemical researcher in the field of cerebral
ischemia and reperfusion, and has published a number of papers
in this area.  Donald and his lovely wife Kathy are currently
situated in Detroit, MI.  

Special Thanks

Special thanks goes to my wonderful wife Kathy, who had the
patience and excellent grammar skills to proof and edit these notes.
Thanks also goes out to Jeff Wiley, a fellow traveler/dreamer for
his helpful suggestions, and to Rilla Muldon for giving me the impetus
to write these notes.


1. AP_01.TXT

1. What Is Astral Projection?
2. Different views of astral projections.
 A. Occult views

2. AP_02.TXT
        A. Occult Views (continued from file 1)
            i. Occult Anatomy
        B. Scientific Views
     i. Parapsychology - OOBEs
     ii. Psychology - Lucid Dreaming

3. AP_03.TXT

3. Tying It All Together
4. Radio Station theory of consciousness - The Subplanes
5. Mystical view of consciousness

4. AP_04.TXT


5. AP_05.TXT

     i. Hypnogogic Imagery
     ii. Kinesthetic Sensation

6. AP_06.TXT

3. Don's Actual Experiences On The Border Between
   Waking And Projecting
4. Other Techniques For Getting Out Of Body
 A. Visualization Methods
 B. Drugs, Tapes And Other Devices

7. AP_07.TXT

1.  Describing OOBEs with words
2.  The State Of Your Mind In The OOBE State
3.  The OOBE world: objective or subjective?
4.  The Dweller at the Threshold

8. AP_08.TXT

5.  Things You Can Do There That You Can't Do Here
 A. Moving, Flying and the "Wind"
 B. Moving through walls
 C. Exercising psychic powers

9. AP_09.TXT

 C. Exercising psychic powers (continued from FILE 8)
6.  Places you can go: Sights and vistas
 A. Life in the void
 B. Life on the planes
            i.  The Lower Realms
     ii. The Middle Realms

10. AP_10.TXT

     ii. The Middle Realms (continued from FILE 9)
     iii. The Higher Realms
     iv.  The Surreal Regions

11. AP_11.TXT

7.  Things And People You Meet
 A. Nonhuman Denizens Of The Planes

12. AP_12.TXT

 B. Meeting People: Dead Verses Dreamers
     i.  The Character of People In OOBEs

13. AP_13.TXT

 B. Meeting People (continued from FILE 12)

14. AP_14.TXT

8. Getting into trouble
9. Waking up - Returning Back To The Physical Realm
10. Astrology and OOBEs
11. Wrapping it all up
 A. Review.
 B. OOBEs: Subjective Or Objective?
 C. Maya and Buddhi

15. AP_15.TXT
[FILE 15] ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY-Recommended Reading List

FILE 1 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994

    Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.

                   WHAT IS ASTRAL PROJECTION? PART 1


   Before saying anything else I would like to thank and congratulate
everyone who is taking this class.  Whether you know it or not, by taking
an interest in achieving the types of experience we will discuss here,
you are opening yourself up to a greatly expanded view of yourself and
the life and world around you.  Hopefully, by the end of this class you
will have a deep appreciation of what I mean in saying this. I wish
everyone the best of luck!

1. What Is Astral Projection? Part 1

    Just what exactly is astral projection?  Well, we can get very
academic and erudite about this, and we will do this to some extent below.
But for now, for starters, what we want to do is lay out a definition
of astral projection that is *practical*.  There are numerous ways
we can view and define astral projection, but the most central point is that
it is an *experience*, a special type of experience.  No matter how you
look at it, astral projection is an *altered state of consciousness*.
    So, what is an altered state of consciousness?  Well, it is a state
of consciousness that is NOT our normal waking state of consciousness.
There is one altered state with which we are all very, very familiar and
that is the dreams we experience when we sleep at night. Dreaming itself
is an altered state of consciousness. And, as we will see as we progress,
dreaming and astral projection are very closely related states of
   Now, astral projection goes under a variety of names. Some other
names for the astral projection experience are the following: 1. lucid
dreaming, and 2. out-of-body experiences (OOBEs). Some people will debate
that astral projections, lucid dreams and OOBEs are different things. We
will discuss these distinctions below. However, I want to stress that such
distinctions amount to splitting hairs, and are not that important. For
our purposes, I will use these 3 terms interchangeably. That is, whether I
say "astral projection", "lucid dream" or "OOBE", I am refering to the same
thing. Actually, I will probably use OOBE a lot since it is the easist
to type. What is really important is not what we call the experience, but
I will stress here is geared to this all important end.
    So, for the sake of gearing all this to helping you actually
have an OOBE, there are two main things we will focus on: theory and
practice. You need to understand both. Either alone is useless.  Theory
by itself is just empty talk. Practice without theory just leads to
confusion, and in the case of OOBEs, it can lead to real psychological
danger as well. By themselves, OOBEs are NOT dangerous. However, if
you don't know what you are doing, they can be. So, you need the theory
to understand what is going on, and you need the practice to put the theory
into action.   So, in this course, we will cover both: theory and practice.
However, as you will see, I personally lean much more towards the practical,
and this is what I will stress throughout.  We will pay lip service to
theory, but again, theory is useless without putting action behind the
  Finally, I want to say this: I will attempt in these lessons to make
the information I provide as self-contained as I can. That is, I want
to really try to provide a comprehensive overview of OOBEs and really
give you your money's worth.  However, there is just a tremendous amount
of information related to OOBEs. For example, some related topics are the
following: human psychology, dreams, occultism, religion, mysticism and
science.  I hope, that after reading these notes, you will get some idea
that all of these topics are related to OOBEs. I am providing an annotated
bibliography of books that I feel provide useful study. And I really
encourage everyone to look through this bibliography and to actually
read some of the books listed there.  The more you know about OOBEs, the
better. That's all there is to it!

2. Different views of astral projections.

    So, having said my introductory remarks, let's look at the various ways
people define astral projections/OOBEs/lucid dreams.  Basically, we can
divide up the various viewpoints as follows: 1. occult views, and
2. scientific views. Within each of these broad views are a number of sub-
viewpoints, and we will mention each of these at least briefly.
A. Occult views

    Within the camp of occult views, we can divide this into Western
and Eastern occult views. However, what is nice here is that Eastern
and Western occultism are very similar. One may find differences in
small details, but the general viewpoints are very similar.
     Now, the term "astral projection" comes from occult views
of this expereince. This term implies that what the experience is is
the projection of one's self to the astral *plane*.  Occultists teach
that the universe is a series of planes of matter and that the physical
world we perceive with our senses is but one of a series of, usually seven,
planes.  This is one assumption of the occult view of the world. Here
is a list of the important ideas in the occult world-view that will allow
us to understand what the term "astral projection" means:

1. Occultists teach that our consciousness transcends our physical body.

2. Occultists teach that each of us is an immortal soul who has
temporarily incarnated into the physical world.

3. Occultists teach that the universe is a series of planes.  Each
plane is a world unto itself.

4. Occultists teach that each of us has facilities for interacting with
at least 4 of these planes.  These facilities are called "vehicles" or
"bodies" and we have four of them: a physical body for interacting with
the physical world (or plane), an astral body for interacting with the
astral world/plane, a mental body for interacting with the mental
world/plane and a buddhic body for interacting with the buddhic

    Before we go into these ideas in more detail, let me say this. To
an occultist, the act of astral projecting entails transferring ones
consciousness to the astral body and exploring the astral plane. And
also let me say that, as far as theory goes, this is the theory I
ascribe to. Generally speaking, the occult ideas are the most practical
ideas you can use to understand what is happening to you when you have
an OOBE.  So, let's go into these ideas a little deeper and spell out
their implications.  For further reading on these topics, see the books
by Charles Leadbeater and Annie Besant in the bibliography.

    First thing that needs to be said: the occult ideas fly in the
face of everything we've been taught about what it is to be a human
being here in America in the late 20th century. According to our *common*
social beliefs, we are either atheists/materialists who do not think
there is any such thing as a "soul", or we were raised with simple-minded
ideas about God, Heaven and Hell.  Occult ideas challenge both of these
viewpoints, and the beauty of learning to astral project is that you
put yourself in a position to determine who is right and wrong on these
issues.  So, if the following ideas are unfamiliar to you, please
be prepared to have your concepts about reality greatly expanded!

The basis of occult teachings is this: the senses of our physical body; our
ears, eyes, taste, feeling, senses of heat and balance, smell, these
senses define for us the physical world.  That is to say, our physical
senses, *by definition*, only allow us to perceive the physical world.
However, according to occult teachings, THERE ARE ENERGIES THAT EXIST
idea underlies all of occultism, including whatever particular school
of thought you like best (i.e. Theosophy, Hermitics, Paganism, Alchemy,
etc., etc.).

Now, the idea that energies exist that we cannot perceive is no big news.
Everyone knows about x-rays, about radioactivity, about ultra-violet
radiation.  These energies we can detect with machines, but not with our
physical senses.   However, where the occultist "goes over the edge",
so to speak, is with the claim that WE HUMANS CAN PERCEIVE THESE ENERGIES
WITHOUT THE AID OF MACHINES.  However, to understand this we need to
go into the ideas of the vehicles/bodies, ideas that fall under the
heading of "occult anatomy".

Occult anatomy is the idea stated above, that we humans have more bodies
than we can directly perceive: that we have, not only a physical body, but
an astral body, a mental body and a buddhic body, as well.  Each of these
bodies exists on its respective plane.  So, before we can go off about the
bodies, we must discuss the idea of the planes.

The occult planes of nature can be thought of as occult physics.  For
the idea of the planes posits that there are whole worlds of energies
beyond the ken of our perception, energies of which modern scientists are
completely ignorant.  

Again, we are flying in the face of common knowledge. Sure, scientists
grant that there are x-rays, radioactivity, ultraviolet radiation, and
even infinitely minute worlds of subatomic particles and neutrinos. But
to say that there are whole worlds, full of life and activity and strange
creatures, that exist beyond the ken of our physical senses is a complete
absurdity to the modern scientist.  However, this is exactly what the
planes are. Each plane is a world, a giant world full of all kinds of
strange and exotic places and creatures with sights and sounds that
dwarf anything we know of here in the physical world.

I should point out too that there are other names you might hear
of that refer to the planes. Such terms are: "dimensions", "aethyrs",
"lokas". "realms".  Each of these terms essentially means "plane"
or "world".

Now, again, and to keep your interest at this point, let me remind you
that once you learn to astral project for yourself, then you can determine
whether or not this is all so much fantasy and bs. Keeping this
in mind, let's define these planes a little better.

In the most commonly accepted schemes of the planes, it is taught that
there are seven planes and that we humans can access the 4 lowest planes.
The common names of the seven planes are:

1. Physical Plane (which includes the Etheric Plane)
2. Astral Plane
3. Mental Plane
4. Buddhic Plane
5. Atmic Plane
6. Anupadaka Plane
7. Adi Plane

Now, let's define each of these planes.

1. Physical Plane. This is the world you are sitting in right now.  The
physical plane is the familiar world of our everyday life. In the occult
scheme, there are aspects of the physical worl that are invisible to our
senses, and these invisible aspects of the physical plane are called
the "etheric plane".  Above I mentioned x-rays, radioactivity, ultra-
violet radiation and subatomic particles. In the occult world-view, these
energies are "etheric" energies, and again, this simply means these
are energies of the physical plane that we cannot perceive with the
senses of our physical body.  As we will discuss below, and is actually
quite important to the endeavor of astral projecting, occultists
claim we have a body made of etheric energies and they call this our
"etheric body".  It is very likely that many of you will actually
have experiences in your etheric body once you start attempting to project.
Again, this will all be explained in due course.

2. The Astral Plane. The astral plane is described of as a world of
emotion and desire. On this plane our emotions and desires are actually
*living creatures*. Also, according to occultists, the astral plane
is where people go immediately after they die.  "Dead people" (actually,
"discarnate" people) do not stay forever on the astral plane, it is only
a temporary stop after death. In this regard, the idea of "purgatory" is
related to the idea of the astral plane.
    Also on the astral plane are a whole host of creatures and inhabitants
that are native to that plane, such as faires, devas, and other such things.
    Believe it or not, according to occultists, the astral plane is also
where we go at night when we dream. When you are in a dream, you are
quite literally in the astral plane. This is a very important idea, and
later on, when we begin discussing techniques for astral projecting, you
will see how important this idea is.

3. The Mental Plane. The mental plane is the world of all thoughts and ideas.
On the mental plane, thoughts are *REAL OBJECTS*, and these objects are
called "THOUGHT-FORMS". "Thoughts are things" is a common idea in occultism,
and this idea refers to the fact that thought-forms exist as real live
things on the mental plane.  The mental plane is a dynamically brilliant
world of ever-shifting abstract landscapes of color, sound and sights that
would probably make the ordinary person go stark raving mad if they could
actually see the mental plane for what it is.  
    The mental plane overlaps substantially with the astral plane, and
there is every good chance you will see numerous thought-forms as you
learn to astral project. However, chances are very good that you will NOT
ever perceive the mental plane as distinct from the astral plane, so
chances are good you will never see the stuff that could make you lose
your mind. The reason this is so is because it takes a lot of talent to get
to the mental plane. I personally have never been there and am only
describing to you what I have read about it. Again, we will say more about
this throughout these notes.

4. The Buddhic Plane. According to occult ideas, this is the highest
plane that we can access as humans, within the context of what we
understand as a "human being".  In effect, the buddhic plane is the
realm of our soul. The energies of the buddhic plane that we use in
our daily life are the following: inspiration, great creativity, compassion,
wisdom, will-power. It is by these types of behaviors that the buddhic
plane "leaks" into our regular physical lives.  
  In and of itself, the buddhic plane is supremely abstract and extremely
powerful.  Just like the mental plane, it is very unlikely that you will
ever go to the buddhic plane in a projection. It takes even more talent
to focus your consciousness exclusively on the buddhic plane than it does
for the mental plane.
  However, learning to access the energies of the buddhic plane will be
critical for your continued success astral projecting. In a nutshell,
the buddhic plane represents everything that makes human life good. The
more of this you have in your aura (we will discuss aura below), the
"lighter" you will be in your consciousness, and therefore, you will be
able to travle through a broader range of the planes than otherwise.  On
the other hand, the less buddhic energy you have in your aura, the harder
it will be for you to astral project, and as well, you will project into
ugly regions of the planes, and in general, probably hurt yourself in the
attempt to project. Maybe not hurt yourself physically, but emotionally
and mentally.
    Before going on about the "highest" three planes, I want to digress
on what will be an important theme throughout these notes, and this is
the place to do it; in the context of the buddhic plane. In effect, the
buddhic plane is related to morals, wisdom and creativity. These are
very important qualities no matter what activity you want to undertake. In
this regard, astral projection is no exception.
  Now, above, I said astral projection is only dangerous if you are
ignorant about what is going on. Now it is time to explain what this means.
You have to realize straight up that astral projection takes you into realms
where the subjective becomes *ABSOLUTELY REAL*.  All your ideas, fears,
fantasies, become real things outside of you when you project.  See, when
you project, you will be somewhere, and in this somewhere (whether we call
it a "plane" or whatever) all the things you think are subjective will
become *objective*!  What this means in practical terms is that, when
you astral project, you will confront yourself, your own personality,
in ways that are totally different than how you relate to yourself when
awake here in the physical plane. For example, if you have phobias in
your personality, these may become monsters that try to attack you in your
astral projection.  Such an experience will more likely than not scare
the **** out of you, and, if you don't understand what's going on, such
an experience may completely scare you away from astral projecting ever
again.  So, its EXTREMELY important that you understand that, in a sense,
during a projection, your personality is "outside" of you, and not
"inside" of you as it appears to be here in the physical world. In a very
strong sense, astral projecting is a form of therapy, of self-therapy.

When you intitially begin to project, the first things you will encounter
will be things of your own creation. Some authors refer to this as
meeting the "dweller on the threshold". Again, this "Dweller" is all the
petty, all the bad, all the fear that you have in you. I'm not lying about
this either - it has happened to me. It's a stage you very likely will
encounter. In a sense, all these negative elements of your personality
are like a wall or room in the astral plane, that you will go to when
you first begin to project.  It is imperative that you realize that
this is YOU. There is nothing to be afraid of because it IS you. You
have complete control over these elements. YOU CAN BANISH THEM
your self is like a healing fire that can burn away these negative elements
by understanding them. Once you confront these negative aspects of your
self, they will disappear and you will have grown with new self-insight.
This growing is called "maturing", and occurs because of buddhic plane
energies. It takes will-power to confront these things in yourself, and it
takes wisdom and compassion to see them for what they are and to accept

So, one way or another, anyone aspiring to astral project will very
likely be confronted with this "dweller on the threshold".  By dealing
with it, you get past it, and you grow.  And then, after this first stage
is passed, your experiences on the planes will not be as contaminated
by personal factors. As the personal factors become less a part of your
astral projection experiences, then your experiences there will reflect
more clearly these planes as they objectively exist, uncontaminated
by your subconscious influences. This process is like cleaning off a
window. The cleaner the window is, the better you can see through it.
Likewise, when you project, the cleaner your personality is, the
better you will be able to see through it into the planes.

Which leads me to state an important idea I have not stated yet, and that
is that the planes are extremely plastic. They are moulded by your
slightest emotion, desire or thought. The second you think something,
a little piece of the mental plane is shaped exactly into your thought
pattern, making a thought-form. This is exactly why your initial
experiences projecting will be so extremly colored by your personality.  

So, that's it for an introduction to the moral side of astral projecting.
Unlike almost any other activity we humans know of, you CANNOT be a moral
retard and succeed at projecting. You can be a moral retard (i.e. have no
moral values whatsoever) in art, science, buisness (where you actually have
an advantage!) or other activities of life, but you cannot if you want to
succeed astral projecting. If you DO try to project and at the same time
stay morally poverty stricken, well, it is then that astral projection
*can* be dangerous.  It is just built like this.  

Though morals seem like subjective gobbly goop in our physical life,
they are, in reality, the laws upon which our entire human existence
is based.  Just as we need to know the laws of gravity to build a
spaceship, we likewise need to know the laws of moral behavior to
succeed at ANY occult task.  The only time occultism is dangerous
is if you use it in an amoral fashion.

And don't worry, you don't need to follow a particular creed or dogma or
anything like that. The beauty of astral projecting is that you will find
out EXACTLY what YOU need to grow. You are unique, your needs are unique
and so will be your projections. The messages they will contain will be
EXACTLY what YOU need at whatever stage you are at in your life. Simply
trust the process, go with it, and it will work fine. All you have to do
is be honest with yourself.

So, that said, let's get back to describing the planes:

5. Atmic plane. On this plane, what we think of as "human" no longer
makes any sense. There are no indivdual personalities on this plane.
Seth, from the Seth material by Jane Roberts, reflects what the atmic
plane is like. Here, consciousness exists as the simultaneous experience
of a number of incarnations. Sure, we can say the concept easy enough,
and even understand intellectually the idea. However, the actual direct
experience of this state of consciousness is totally outside of our scope.
Over our head!  If you can get your consciousness to focus on this level,
then "you" will no longer exist! Good Luck!

6. Anupadaka Plane. Even more abstact than the atmic plane. Here everything
bleeds into everything else. Extraordinarily abstract! Again, we might
conceptualize the idea of everything being a part of everything else,
but on this plane, that's the way it *is*!  No dualisms either -
all the contradictions are inside of each other!  Mind Candy! Overload!!!!!
Again, good luck out here!

7. Adi plane. God is here. If atmic and anupadaka were weird, well,
this is the weirdest of 'em all. Completely beyond anything we humans
can say, do, feel, think, etc. Yet, adi is the very essence of everything.
Look for the billboards with all the great mystic's names on them! I
can say this though, the more buddhic energy you have in your aura, the
better a feel you get for adi.

So, that's a rough run down of the 7 major planes of our universe according
to occult doctrine. Again, if you've not heard these ideas before, then
its quite a mindful to swallow all at once - and what's worse, I'm
not done with the occult ideas yet!  For those of you familiar with
these ideas, forgive me if I've left out a detail or two from your favorite
schemata.  It was not my intention to be all encompassing here, but simply
to provide enough background for later discussions.  And I'd like to
quickly say that I've included attempts at defining the atmic, anupadaka
and adi planes simply because I'm sick of seeing lists of the planes that
state simply "we cannot understand these last 3 planes" or "beyond human
comprehension".  Sure, in terms of our direct experience, these statements
about the 3 highest planes are true. However, as my experience with occult
matters has progressed, I have developed the above intuitions about the
nature of these planes, and, you can take them for what they are worth
to you.

So, according to occult ideas, there are these 7 planes. We can't see
them, but they are there nonetheless. And, to repeat, occultists use
these ideas to explain the nature of both death and dreams, as well
as astral projection and all other psychic powers, including
clairvoyance, psychometry and whatever other favorite psychic
powers you want to add to the list.

(discussion continued in FILE 2)

FILE 2 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
    Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.



A. Occult Views (continued from file 1)

           i. Occult Anatomy

    So, we have defined the planes. Now let us define the vehicles or
"bodies" we possess for interacting with the planes.
    According to occult theory, we have 5 bodies. These are:

1. The Physical Body
2. The Etheric Body
3. The Astral Body
4. The Mental Body
5. The Buddhic Body

Now, when we define these bodies, we must define them from two
perspectives at the same time. The first perspective is how these
different bodies manifest in our normal waking life, and the second
perspective is to define these bodies in terms of focusing your
consciousness exclusively in that body and using it as a vehicle
for perceiving its respective plane.

Also, it's important to say at the start that, in all reality, these five
bodies are one body. These bodies operate simultaneously and are highly
integrated.  While we are awake here in the physical plane, we haven't the
slightest clue that we have these five bodies because they each work
so smoothly together that all we recognize is our unified perception
and experience.  In actuality, these 5 bodies represent the major FUNCTIONS
we have as human beings.  From the standpoint of our normal waking life,
it is almost arbitrary to define the human being in terms of these 5 bodies.
However, it is in their utility for explaining altered states of
consciousness that the definitions of these bodies will be found to be
very useful.  Thus, once we get more into the specifics of astral
projecting, we will see how useful this scheme of 5 bodies is.
And what we will see too is that defining human nature
in terms of these 5 bodies will put us in an excellent position to
understand very clearly our normal life here in the physical world.
So, having said this, let's discuss each body in turn.

1. The Physical Body. This is the body that we know. This is the body
with eyes and ears, hands and feet, internal organs, a brain and nervous
system. This is our organic body made of molecules and electricity,
pulsating with the living energies of the Earth and Sun.
    The best way to think of your physical body is that it is like
a TV set. As a TV set allows you to tune into specific channels, likewise
your physical body allows you (i.e your consciousness) to tune into the
physical world. As a matter of fact, this is how you should think of
all 5 bodies. Each body is a "tuner" that allows us to tune into the
plane corresponding to that body.  So, your physical body perceives
the physical world of 3-D space and 1 dimensional time.
  I said above that we need to view each body from two perspectives:
1. in terms of normal waking experience, and 2. in terms of altered
states of consciousness. For the physical body, it is the only body
we directly perceive while awake in the physical world. And when
we are in an altered state of consciousness (such as dreams), we no
longer perceive the physical body. There are exceptions to this last
statement, but in general, it is true. Once we get into techniques
for inducing astral projections, you will see that one way to
"leave" your body entails losing consciousness of your physical body
while at the same time gaining consciousness of your astral or etheric

2. The Etheric Body. As was stated above, occultists consider the etheric
plane to be the invisible aspects of the physical plane. So then, it
follows that our etheric body is then the invisible parts of our
physical body. To give you an idea of what our etheric body may look
like consider this. Hopefully you have seen how grains of iron will line
up around a magnet, aligning with the magnetic field lines.  Well, both
our hearts and our brains are very electrical organs which are constantly
emitting electrical fields. These fields emitted by the heart and brain
are invisible to our senses, but are easily measured by machines (which
is what the EKGs and EEGs used by doctors are). If you could literally
perceive these electrical fields that come from your brain and heart, you
would be seeing part of your etheric body.
    Also, there is electricity constantly pulsing along the nerves
throughout our entire body. Again, we cannot directly perceive these
flowing nerve energies, but they are there nonetheless. And again, these
nerve energies are a part of our etheric body.  As a matter of fact, though
some may debate this, the acupuncture charts of Tantra traditions are charts
of the flowing of energies through the etheric body.
  Some occult teachings describe the etheric body as being made of a
blue glowing substance.  
   Now, from our the point of view of our waking experience, the etheric
body is the basis of all sensation and perception. When you feel something
with your hand, smell something, see something or whatever, these sensations
are registering in your etheric body.  This is why you do not perceive
things happening in the physical plane when you are asleep or unconscious.
See, it is a mistake to think that your physical/organic body perceives
things. Your organic body is like a lens that *focuses* sensations. These
focused sensations then register in your etheric body, which means they
are brought into your awareness.  The physical/organic body is a machine
that *conveys* sensation. The etheric body is the body that *registers
and interprets* sensation.
  Those of you who are expert enough in physiology to argue with me about
these ideas can feel free to do so.
   Now, from the point of view of altered states of consciousness, it
is possible to move about in the etheric body independently from your
physical/organic body. This is very difficult to do though. You can
always tell that you are in your etheric body because you feel very heavy
and it is very hard to move. Also, it is likely that if you are in your
etheric body, then you will be in a dark, and sometimes, scary subplane.
(More on this point below). Robert Monroe describes moving in his etheric
body, but does not call it such.
  Also, it is likely that you have experienced having your consciousness
focused in your etheric body, but did not know it.  This usually happens
right when you are waking up or falling asleep.  Have you ever had the
experience of waking up in bed and trying to move, or trying to talk but
not being able to do so? If so, you might have even felt scared. If this
has ever happened to you, what is actually going on here is that you
are actually *not* awake. Instead, you have "woken up" on the etheric
plane in your etheric body by accident.  For those of you that have had
such experiences, be happy, because these were actually etheric projections!
We will learn below how to cultivate the ability to do this, and also
what to do when you find yourself in this position.

3. The Astral Body.  From the point of view of being awake here in the
physical world, your astral body is the emotions and desires you feel.
You know how sometimes you get real distinct "vibes" from people?  Maybe
someone makes you feel creepy, or another person uplifts you and
makes you feel good, and yet other people seem to drain you of your energy?
Well these "vibes" are in actuality you sensing that person's astral body.
    When you get angry, or sad, happy or feel any emotion, you are feeling
your own astral body.  When you sense these emotions in another person
(which is called "empathy") you are feeling that person's astral body.
  Now, again, some people will argue with this, saying that emotions
are a part of the brain, contained in the nerves of the limbic system.
However, I again will say that these brain regions that relate to emotion
are gateways between the physical body and the astral body. Feeling emotion
is not dependent upon having a physical/organic body.  After you die you
will continue to feel emotions because emotions originate in your astral
  Now, in terms of altered states of consciousness, when we start getting
into the meat of astral projection, the vast majority of your OOBEs will
occur in your astral body. This is the body you use at night when you are
dreaming and your physical body is asleep. Thus, the world you will be in
when you astral project will be extremely similar to the world you are in
when you dream at night.  We will have much more to say about the
astral body and its properties as we proceed.

4. The Mental Body. During normal waking life, you perceive your mental
body as your mind. You think thoughts, see images in your imagination
(your "mind's eye"), can hear songs and voices "in your head".  All of these
phenomena are occuring in your mental body.  Again, you can argue and
say that all of these things occur in your brain, and that, if you did
not have a brain, then you would not think thoughts, see things in your
"mind's eye" or hear things in your head. And again, I will counter and
say that the brain is a CHANNEL, a "machine" that allows these mental
events to manifest on the physical plane. If you have no brain, you
cannot express your mental behavior on the physical plane. However, having
no physical brain does not prevent you from expressing your thoughts
and ideas on the astral and mental planes.
  And to repeat again, once you learn to project for yourself, you can
decide who is right in these kinds of debates. Below we will discuss
these types of debates a little more, but for now, all I'm trying to do
is convey occult ideas about human anatomy.
   From the point of view of altered states of consciousness, shifting
the focus of your consciousness to your mental body will allow you to
directly perceive the mental plane. I've already stated that this is very
difficult, and that I have never done it. In the bibliography I reference
books by people who describe what the mental plane looks like.  It is
supposedly extremely beautiful, but I suppose this depends on what
level of the mental plane you perceive.

5. The Buddhic Body.  We've discussed the buddhic body already in the
statements I made about morals and astral projecting. To repeat here:
In our normal waking life, buddhic energy manifests as: creativity,
novelty, spontaneity, wisdom, compassion, will power, sudden insight,
great genius, great leadership abilities, deep spirituality. Other times,
buddhic energy may manifest as death, disease and decay (this is
the Hindu image of Shiva the Destroyer).  Whatever your situation
demands for growth, this is what the buddhic energy will manifest as.
 Ideas such as "God", "Tao", etc. refer to buddhic energy. However,
religion is not buddhic energy, though it may be a channel for it.
One very powerful source of buddhic energy is the Grateful Dead.
Buddhic energy is the underlying essence of LIFE. It is everywhere
and permeates everything we know. As far as being human goes, there
is nothing more powerful than buddhic energy.  We can think of buddhic
energy however we please. It does not matter what we call it or what we
think of it. Buddhic energy is the energy that moves our very minds.
Mystics speak of the ineffable essence that underlies and unifies all
reality. This ineffable essence is buddhic plane energy.
    In terms of altered states of consciousness, it is extremely
unlikely that anyone reading this will learn to focus their consciousness
onto the buddhic plane. It is simply too subtle to do so. It IS possible
to take LSD and feel the buddhic energy while you are awake here in the
physical world.  However, though this is not as difficult as focusing
directly onto the buddhic plane, it takes great mastery over the LSD
experience to be able to use it to perceive the buddhic energy that
fills every nook and cranny of all life.  
   Now, ironically, though it seems the buddhic energy is the
hardest to attain, it turns out to be the energy you should most desire
to attain. Frankly, astral projecting is nothing compared to attaining
buddi, or learning how to have buddhic energies play through your being.
Earlier I mentioned that there were Eastern and Western views of
occultism, and till now have made no attempt to distinguish between
them. However, when it comes to opening yourself up to buddhic energy,
Eastern occultism has always been crystal clear about this, whereas
Western occultism is not always so clear. Eastern occultism is yoga, and
the purpose of yoga is to become enlightened. Becoming enlightened is
exactly the same as opening up to the buddhic energies.  This process
goes under many names: enlightenment, samasamadi, mysticism, cosmic
consciousness, satori.  All these words refer to the same thing.  
 However, it is not my purpose in these notes to digress on mysticism.
For the interested reader, see the reference by van der Leeuww in the

To conclude this brief overview of occult anatomy, I would like to define
the word "aura", which I used above and will have occasion to use
throughout these notes. The word "aura" is a generic term and can refer
to any one of the nonphysical bodies by itself or in combination with
the other nonphysical bodies. I use the term to refer to all the non-
physical bodies at once.  Some people use the term to refer specifically
to the astral body.  "Aura" is a vague term. I prefer, when speaking,
to call a specific body by its proper name. And again, if I want to
refer to the four nonphysical bodies (i.e. etheric, astral, mental
and buddhic) simultaneously, I will use the word "aura".    

So, we have gone over occult physics and occult anatomy. All of this to
give some idea of the occult interpretation of the astral projection/OOBE
experience!  What I have done above it to lay out in a barebones outline
the elements of the occult *worldview*.  And a barebones outline it is.
Again, readers that want more detail should consult the bibliography.  
What I have covered above, though, is sufficient for our purposes here.  

To summarize, occultists teach that there are 7 planes and that we have
bodies for perceiving 4 of these planes. By this view, altered states
of consciousness are explained by the fact that we shift our conscious
awareness from the physical plane/body to one of our other, nonphysical
bodies and perceive events occuring on the respective plane.  This is
indeed one of the valid theoretical approaches to explaining astral
projection.  And, as I've already said, we will find this is the most
useful view to take. Below I will go into other theories of what
astral projection is, but, when we start attempting to be practical
and put the various theories to the test of practice, we will find our-
selves returning to the occult theory again and again to explain what
happens to us when we are "out of body".

       B. Scientific Views

    Other ideas exist about astral projection besides the occult ideas
expressed above.  I classify these other views under the heading
"scientific" because these views mainly stem from the attempts of
scientists of various persuasions to understand the OOBE experience.  
The persuasions of scientists of interest here are psychologists and
parapsychologists.  These are the folks, other than occultists, who
have given us ideas about the astral projection experience.  What I will
do is explain some of these nonoccult ideas, then afterward make some
attempt to compare the occult and nonoccult views of the projection
experience. After that I will then try to tie everything together
and provide the theoretical framework we will use throughout the rest
of these notes.

    i. Parapsychology - OOBEs

    At begining I said I would use the terms "astral projection" and
"OOBE" (which stands for "out-of-body experience") interchangeably.
Hopefully, you now understand what the term "astral projection" means
and where it comes from.  Now we are going to look at the term "OOBE".
The term "OOBE" is a word coined by parapsychologists. Parapsychology,
as a science, began with the work of a man named J.B. Rhine who did
statistical experiments on psychic powers at Duke University in the
1930s.  Rhine's application of statistics to psychic phenomena gave
rise to the tradition of parapsychology, a "science" which has had
a questionable and spotted reputation from its inception.  Generally
speaking, parapsychologists have been interested in displaying the
existence of so-called psychic abilities, or "psi" as they term it,
using statistics and other props such as dice, or the relatively
famous ESP cards that you may have seen.
   What can be said about parapsychology? Not very much actually.
Frankly, other fields of science don't take parapsychologists very
seriously.  And because parapsychologists have been so preoccupied
with proving that psychic powers exist by statistical tests, they
have done little to offer real explanations of psychic phenomena.
We saw above that occultists explain psychic powers with the theory
of the planes and nonphysical bodies, and that psychic powers are the
result of shifting the focus of our consciousness from the physical
plane to one of the other planes. Basically, parapsychologists have
not been able to provide a competing explanation of psychic powers.  
And what's even worse, parapsychologists, on the whole, have completely
ignored the ideas of occultists.
  What parapsychologists have done over the 60 or so years that they've
been around is to coin a bunch of new words like "psi", "ESP", "OOBE",
"remote viewing" and many other jargons, without having any really clear
meaning of these words.  The result of this is that parapsychologists
have created more confusion than clarity. Many of the terms they have coined
(such as "ESP" or "OOBE") are now common in our language, yet these
terms have no precise meaning.  Earlier, I said that theory without
practice is just empty talk. Unfortunately, this is what parapsychology
is: a lot of talk and very little action.
    For example, the term OOBE was coined in the 1960s. Apparently, the
older term "astral projection", and its occult implications, was to be
ignored.  What does the term OOBE mean?  Well, "out of body experience"
seems to mean that you leave your body. But the questions immediately
come up: *What* leaves? and *Where* does it go?  I guess it's nice, at least,
that parapsychologists recognize that the OOBE phenomena exists.
Unfortunately, the work by parapsychologists on the OOBE have produced
results that parapsychologists did not expect.
    The type of experiments parapsychologists have done on OOBEs are
things such as putting a person in a room to project, and in an adjacent,
locked room, putting a piece of paper with something written on it, and then
expecting the projector to "leave his body", go into the locked room, and
read what's on the paper.  These types of experiments have prodced very
mixed results which are by no means easy to interpret. Mostly they have been
unsuccessful because the person projecting could not project, or, if the
person did project, then they did not accurately read the message in the
locked room, or never even made it into the locked room!  
   What are we to make of the results of these parapsycholgoy experiments?
Well, first, let's look under the hood, so to speak, at the implications
inherent in the designs of these parapsychology experiments. Unlike
occultists, who very clearly state their premises, parapsychologists never
clearly lay out their intentions. Thus we are forced to second guess them
to some extent. So, let's do this.
   So, we asked: what leaves the body and where does it go? Well, the
experimental design above does not directly address the question of *what*
leaves the body. Yet, the fact that the parapsychologist expects the
projector to bring back information implies that at least the para-
psychologist knows that it is the person's awareness that is "leaving
the body".
  Of much more importance though is the question: *where* does this
disembodied awareness go?  Well, the answer to this question is very obvious
from the experimental design above.  The parapsychologist obviously
expects the projecting person to go into the adjacent room. What this
means is that the parapsychologist assumes that *whatever is leaving
the body stays in the physical world*.  This is a key point for
understanding the meaning of the term OOBE.  That is to say, the term
"OOBE", as used by parapsychologists, implies that there is only a
physical world, and that there are not any planes as occultists
describe. Obviously, when I use the term OOBE in these notes, I do not
mean this.
  Now, the lack of success that parapsychologists have encountered in
the type of experiments described above has forced some parapsychologists
to rethink their ideas. In the past few years, certain parapsychologists
have begun to recognize the possibility that the OOBE subject does NOT
project into the physical world, and that there must be some non-
physical world in which the OOBE occurs.  In particular, these ideas
have been stated by both D. Scott Rogo and Lawrence LeShan, who are both
noted parapsychologists. However, only D. Scott Rogo has gone so far as
to suggest that occult ideas might be the correct explanation of the
OOBE experience. Rogo himself learned how to have OOBEs, and came to this
conclusion based on his own first hand experience. Again, if all goes well,
then you too can be like Rogo and go and see for yourself.  To read
about Rogo's experiences, look for his book listed in the bibiography.
Rogo's book, which is called "Leaving The Body", is actually an
important reference and all of you are highly encouraged to read this
  However, Rogo's view is not widely held by the few parapsychologists
who are around today, and generally speaking, parapsychologists still
cling to the notion that psychic powers (or "psi" as they call it),
including OOBEs, are purely physical phenomena.
  So, this is what the term OOBE really means: it implies a purely
physical view of the projection experience.  As I said, I don't use the
term OOBE in this fashion, but parapsychologists do.  
  This is all I will say about the parapsychological view at this point.
We will return to it below when we compare occult and nonoccult views
later in the discussion.

    ii. Psychology - Lucid Dreaming

    The next nonoccult view we shall discuss is the view that comes
to us from the science of psychology. Now, anyone familiar with academic
psychology knows that there are many schools of thought in psychology
including: Freudian views, the views of Carl Jung, the psychology of
Abraham Maslow, behavioralist psychology, cognitive psychology, psychiatry,
physiological psychology and neurology - just to name a few!  I do not
plan on discussing all of these different schools of thought here. If the
reader has enough interest in these topics, you can go read up on them
for yourself. What I want to do here is outline the broad features of
the ideas in psychology relevant to the astral projection experience,
and outline these in enough detail so that 1. you at least know that
such ideas exist, and 2. you are able to compare these ideas to the occult
and parapsychological ideas of the projection experience.

In general, psychologists are not stupid. They have observed many
altered states of consciousness and come up with a number of theories
to account for these altered states of consciousness.  Psychologists
recognize astral projection under a vareity of names: lucid dreams,
dissociative experiences, near death experiences, hypnogogia (of which we
will have much to say about later).  From what I've seen
in the psychological literature, no one has really tied all these
experiences together under one unified theory. Each of these phenomena
is thought of in different terms.  Even the fact of dreaming has not
been clearly tied into the fact of astral projection by any psychologists
as far as I know.

Now, in the last few years, there have been a number of books published
by psychologists involving lucid dreams (one such book is called "Have
a Lucid Dream in 30 Days" - but I do not remember the author).  These
books are "how to do it" books for having lucid dreams, and are quite
effective as it goes. However, where they lack is in having a good
understanding of what the lucid dream experience is. One such book that
I read said something to the effect "No one knows what a lucid dreams is..."
and I thought to myself, "*YOU* don't know what a lucid dream is!".
So, for those of you that read these types of books, what I'm saying
here is that these books may show you how to actually have a lucid
dream, but the theory they teach you about the nature of lucid dreaming
is not very good, and, as I've already stated, the theory is important
for helping you understand what is happening to you once you start
projecting.  The more powerful the theory, the more effective will be
your projection experiences. The flimsy theories of psychologists will
aid you only so far, and there are many things you will experience
when you project that these theories cannot explain.

Lucid dreams ARE astral projections. When we get into techniques below,
we will use this idea in one of our techniques.  The idea of a lucid dream
is that it is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming.  As I
said earlier, occultists teach that the place where we go dream is the
astral plane. However, this idea is not accepted in modern psychology.
The psychologists have a much "softer" view of the projection experience,
calling it a lucid dream.  Interestingly, psychologists have no explanation
of what dreams are!  Some work under the idea that dreams are a vivid
hallucination created in your brain while you sleep. Others have more
nebulous ideas about collective unconsciousnesses and similar stuff.
Freudians look upon dreams as a symbolic realm where repressions are
stored up. To some extent each of these views is correct - correct that is,
but highly incomplete. Taken together, the ideas in psychology about
dreams and lucid dreams, at best, paint a somewhat confusing mosaic of
sometimes conflicting ideas about the nature of dream and lucid dream
experiences.   At their worst, the ideas in psychology about dreams and
lucid dreaming can lead you into an intellectual maze of jargon and
speculation that will only confuse you and not help you one iota
in your quest to actually project!  If this happens, you are wasting
your time and energy.

So basically, we have seen that "astral projection" is an occult term.
"OOBE" is a term from parapsychology.  The term "lucid dreaming"
is a term from psychology. A lucid dream is a dream in which you are
aware that you are dreaming. However, psychologists offer no really
convincing and complete idea of how dreams work or exactly what their
nature is.  

And again, I am fully open to debate the ideas I present here. If any
of you do not like what I have to say, or if you think I am wrong in
the ideas I am presenting, please feel free to challenge me on any point
you wish.

FILE 3 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
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        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.

                   WHAT IS ASTRAL PROJECTION? PART 3

3. Tying It All Together

So, we have discussed the three main terms used to describe the
experience I hope to teach you, and the origins of these terms.
What is important to realize is that EACH OF THESE TERMS STEMS
FROM A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE WORLD.  Many beginners in astral
projection ask "what is the difference between an astral projection
and an OOBE?" or "what is the difference between an OOBE and a
lucid dream?"  Well, the answer to this is that each of these
words stems from a group of people with different views about
Nature and Humankind.  *That* is the difference between these words.
In terms of the phenomena to which they refer, they all refer to the
exact same thing.  Each of these words represents a DIFFERENT
INTERPRETATION of this phenomena, which is the experience of
projecting.  Debating about the meaning of these 3 terms is useless
unless the debating is based on experience.  What is important is learning
HOW TO PROJECT, and that is what we shall focus on here. However,
all of this introductory material is provided so that you students
have some understanding of the different interpretations that exist.  
You are, of course, completely free to pick the interpretation you like
best.  However, I think it is more important to be open minded than
to be of strong opinions.

We are now going to compare these three terms.  To summarize:

              Term                    Associated World View
         Astral Projection                Occultism
         Out-of-body Experience           Parapsychology
         Lucid Dream                      Psychology

   What we want to do at this point is come up with some way to understand
how these three views of the astral projection experience are related
to each other. First off, as I said, it is my opinion, based on my
experiences with altered states of consciousness, that these three terms
refer to the exact same phenomena.  Lucid dreams, OOBEs, and
astral projections are all identical experiences.  Again, it is
my opinion that to attempt to define these three terms as referring to 3
different phenomena is like spiltting hairs - in other words, a waste
of time.  
   Perhaps the most important distinction one can make amongst the
*viewpoints* represented by these three terms is the following.  Basically,
the difference in these 3 terms gets down to different ways to view the
nature of our consciousness and our definitions of what it is to be a
human being. And, after having thought about this for a long time, it
is now clear to me that there are essentially two, mutually exclusive
ways to view the nature of human consciousness.  These two views can
be stated thus:

1. Human consciousness is soley and completely a product of the brain.
Which is to say, our existence is purely physical. All of the underlying
causes of our consciousness are grounded in the laws of chemistry,
physics and biology. In other words, physical causes underlie human
consciousness, period. For simplicity's sake, we will call this the
"materialistic view" of human consciousness.

2. Human consciousness in NOT physical. Human consciousness, in its
fundamental essence is NONPHYSICAL. Our physical body is not the cause of
our consciousness, but is instead a vehicle by which to express our
consciousness in the physical world.  This view we will call the "occult
view", because it is the view that occultists teach. It does not matter
what particular brand of occultism we subscribe to. All branches of
occult thought share this underlying axiom, as do most religious teachings.

So, this is the vital dichotomy we are faced with: either our physical-
organic body is the cause of our consciousness, or our physical-organic
body is a vehicle for allowing our consciousness to access the physical

That's it. It boils down to these two simple alternatives.

Now, with regard to the 3 terms listed above, and their corresponding
world views, we can say that, in general, parapsychologists and
psychologists share the materialistic view and that occultists possess
the occult view of the nature of human consciousness.  

Now, these generalizations must be qualified by the following statements.
First, all psychologists and parapsychologists may not be materialists as
I have defined this term above. Each person, of course, will have their
individual beliefs that may or may not see human consciousness in some
framework other than in purely physical terms. I am not trying to say
that all people who are psychologists and parapsychologists believe
that consciousness is purely physical. What I am saying however is
the traditions of both psychology and parapsychology - in their
official (or psuedo-official in the case of parapsychology) stances
as academic institutions of learning and science, have traditionally
NOT accepted the occult ideas that consciousness is nonphysical. And further,
both psychology and parapsychology have at times been blatant materialists
(as is behavioralist psychology or the typical statistical parapsychology).

And most importantly, the idea that the physical body CAUSES consciousness
is indeed the official platform of higher learning in our Universities
today.   This is the basis by which modern medical science operates,
it is the basis of all academic forms of science from anthropology
to sociology to physics to evolutionary biology.  Nothing could be more
foreign in the context of modern university learning than the occult
ideas of human consciousness.  

So, that's it. Two different views of consciousness, three different
terms to describe the experience of projecting. All that I've said
above, taken together, forms the basic outline of the theory behind
astral projection.  My main intention here is simply to expose you to
these ideas. I do not really care to debate about the relative merit of
these ideas any further than in terms of their utility at helping us
astral project.  There are a lot of open questions that surround astral
projecting.  Anyone that tries to sell you on one particular
interpretation of the astral projection experience is pulling your leg.
None of the three terms above does any more than capture
facets of the experience.  If you are so inclined, feel free to pick
your favorite views and go with them. Personally, it is my opinion that
the best you can do is be aware of the variety of viewpoints that exist
(whether it's about astral projecting or anything else), and eclectically
draw upon these different views as circumstances demand.  Being open to
things is much more important than anything else, especially in this
business of altered states of consciousness.

4. Radio Station theory of consciousness - The Subplanes

Well, we're almost done with the theory stuff!  What I'm going to do
now is to present the theory I personally use to explain my own
projections. In doing so, we will also start to make the transition
between me talking about other people's ideas and me talking about
my actual experiences.  The "radio station theory of consciousness" has
come from my need to have a unified way to think about all the things that
have happened to me in my projections. Basically, this "radio station view
of consciousness" is a take-off on the occult ideas I outlined above.
It posits that there are nonphysical places we can take our consciousness;
in other words, planes.  The reason I believe this is because, in a
number of my projections, I have been in places that *looked like* places
I know on the physical plane (my own bedroom and house mostly). However,
when I explore these environments in my projections, and then wake-up
back here on the physical plane and go and study the exact same place,
I always observe numerous differences.  So, my conclusion is that, where
ever I'm at during my projection, it is definately NOT the physical world
I am in when I am awake.

Another thing I have consistently experienced in my projections is the
fact that sometimes when I project I am *somewhere* but other times I am
*nowhere*.  In the journal I keep of my experiences, I call the
"somewhere" "episodes", and I call the "nowhere" I go the "void".

When I am in an episode I can be anywhere - for there are a lot of places
to be in the planes! It may be a sunny meadow, a strange abstract colored
landscape, a dark scary place full of zombies, a mall, house, suburb (yes,
all these things exist on the astral plane!).  Any time I am anywhere in
a projection, I call it an "episode".

The void is altogether different. Imagine being in a completely
dark, completely silent place with nothing in it. This is what the void
is.  I go to the void almost as frequently as I'm in an episode during
my projections.  Often, as soon as I "leave" my body, I am in the void.
Or, I may be in an episode and I will "fade-out" and disappear from
wherever I am at, and I will appear in the void.  As well, I've
discovered ways to get out of the void into an episode, and I will share
these techniques with you below, just in case you find yourself in the
void.  Now, there is nothing wrong with being in the void. It is actually
very peaceful there - extremely quiet. However, chances are you will
be like me and be much more interested in exploring the things going on
on the planes, in which case you'd rather be somewhere than nowhere!

About episodes:  Like I said, I can be anywhere - and I've seen some
strange stuff! For example, once I stood on a cloud and played guitar
with a friendly spirit. Another time, a talking rhino gave me a ride
through a forest. On another occasion I kissed a beautiful girl in
a lovely soft world of pastel reds and yellows.  Once I saw a ghost
with a Jack-O-Lantern head in an underground passage. Once I was in a
strange house, and the floor of the kitchen was made of little, rainbow
colored squirming human bodies! Another time, I saw an abstractly colored
field of dancing shifting colors.  On many occasions, I've found myself
in these absolutely creepy places popluated by rotting bodies and
other grotesque creatures.  Sometimes I am in places I recognize,
like my house or my neighborhood, or my old college. Other times I'm
in places I've never seen before. Buildings are very strange on the planes -
they seem to go on forever! One hall leads to another leads to another
leads to another seemingly forever. I will go into some of my experiences
in much more detail below. Right now all I'm trying to do is give you an
idea of the incredibly rich variety of places to explore and discover
in the planes.

There is an occult idea I want to mention at this point that I did not
mention above and that is the idea that each plane is subdivided into
subplanes. In Theosophy, it is taught that each plane consists of 7
subplanes.  Just like there are different grades or types of matter on
the physical plane - solids, liquids, gases, fire, heat and light - well,
occultists teach that the planes have similar gradations of the matter of
which each plane is composed, and these gradations in the matter of any
plane are called subplanes. That is one way to look at the idea at least.
And there is merit to this idea too. Imagine the spectrum colors of a
rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (which
you can easily remember by the acronym ROY G BIV). Red is the lowest of the
spectrum and violet is the highest. You can use the idea of a rainbow's
colors as a rough MAP of the subplanes. For each plane there are lower
subplanes (I will also use the word "region" to mean subplane at times)
that bleed into intermediate subplanes that bleed into higher subplanes.
So, lower subplanes of a plane are like red in the rainbow, intermediate
subplanes like green, and higher subplanes like violet, and of course,
with all the intervening shades between these.

In terms of the astral plane, the "rainbow" of subplanes forms a
spectrum of emotion. At the "red" end of the spectrum are the lowest
and worst of human emotions: hate, anger, greed, lust, envy.  Up
at the higher end of the spectum (the violet end) are the best of
human emotions: kindness, happiness, warmth, caring and so on. And
again, there is every combination possible between these two ends
of the spectrum.

Why is this idea important? Like I said, it helps provide a map
that will give you some idea of where you are at during a projection.
This is because, no matter where you find yourself, there will always
be a "vibe" present, some distinct feeling you get from the place
where you are at.  Some places may scare you, others may make you feel
very light and happy, others may make you horny, and some may feel
quite normal to you (in terms of whatever "normal" is to you). These
vibes that you get, these feelings, give you an indication of what
subplane you are on.

Having the ability to "map" out where you are at during a projection
is actually a practical thing, and this is not simply just an intellectual
exercise.  For example, there would be times that I would project and
appear in a place that gave me a bad vibe. I would then realize I was
on a lower subplane and then leave it. Of course, if you want, you
can stay and explore the lower subplanes, which is a useful excercise.

How do you leave a lower subplane? More on this in a later lesson!

So, that is one useful view of the subplanes. There is a second view
of the subplanes we need to discuss too. This is the view presented
by Robert Monroe who is a very excellent projector.  His three books are
listed in the bibliography, and Monroe is essential reading for any student
of astral projection.  Monroe speaks of the "rings" and by this he
means basically a subplane. But the connotations are not the same as
the theosophical idea. Monroe, in his second book "Far Journeys"
actually has a map of the rings and what you can expect to find on the
different levels.  THE RINGS CORRESPOND TO STATES OF MIND. And the
correspondence is like that which I stated above with the rainbow metaphor.
The scummiest states of mind are on the lowest rings. Average people,
people not especially bad, but not especially good, are on the rings a
little farther out. Beyond these are rings that correspond to people
who are strongly devoted to upholding ideals -be these religious,
political or intellectual. And farther out are rings that correspond to
states of mind of the highest nobility and intellect and spirtuality.
And beyond these rings are quiet rings where you won't find human states
of mind.

It should be apparent that Monroe's rings sound an awful lot like
the planes described by occultists. As a matter of fact, they are. Don't
let the fact that Monroe uses different words fool you - he is describing
basically the exact same thing that occultists have described. However,
what is important is that Monroe's descriptions of the rings are BASED
ON HIS OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. Monroe does not claim to be an occultist,
so, he made up his own words to describe his experiences. This only makes

Again, the point of this digression is that there is an order to where
you will go and what you will experience in your OOBEs.  Whether you
use the theosophical idea of the subplanes, or Monroe's idea of rings,
the bottom line is the same: "lower" corresponds to that which we humans
consider bad and "higher" corresponds to that which we humans consider good.
And this spectrum from bad places to good places is the map, the
organization you will encounter in the places you will find yourself
during your projections.

You're probably wondering: so what does all this have to do with Don's
"radio station theory of consciousness"?  Well, basically, this "radio
station theory of consciousness" is my description of the organization
of the subplanes, or rings, based on my actual experiences projecting.
The reason I use an analogy with a radio is because I experience episodes
(which is being on a subplane or ring) and I also experience being in the
void.  The idea of my radio station metaphor is this: we all know
that on the radio there are radio stations you can tune into up and
down the dial. And what is in between these radio stations? Nothing is, and
when you tune into a place on the dial where there is no radio station you
get STATIC.  The way I figure it, when I'm in an episode, this is just like
tuning into a radio station, and when I'm in the void, this is just like
tuning into the static between radio stations where nothing exists.
Note that we are adopting the occult viewpoint that explains
altered states of consciousness as a shift of focus of ones
consciousness away from the physical world and towards the planes.
Shifting the focus of your consciousness into the nonphysical planes
is the same as tuning into that plane.  So, that's it, that's the model
I use to describe my projection experiences. And I should add that this
"radio dial" of consciousness does indeed follow the order described
above for subplanes/rings. That is, there really does appear to be a
gradation in these "radio stations" of consciousness from the most
horrible and ugly to the most incredibly beautiful and noble.

Now, there is one last remark I have to make about this radio station idea
that relates to my actual experiences when I project. Up above I made
the comment of "fading out" of an episode and appearing in the void. What
I am referring to here is actually a very important aspect of my projection
experiences that I call the "lock-mold".   To understand what I mean by
lock-mold, again imagine a radio. Now, we have all had the experience
that sometimes when we try to tune into a station on the radio we don't
get very good reception and there is a lot of static mixed in with the
broadcast of the station.  We might fiddle with the dial to try to get
a better reception of the radio station. Well, this is exactly what
happens to me when I am in an episode. I am extremely literal about this.
When I am in an episode, I am actually TUNED INTO the subplane I am
on to some degree from worse to good. I have characterized every single
projection I have ever had in terms of how good my lockmold is.  When
my lockmold is good that means that I feel very stable and I am
perceiving wherever I am at very well. When my lockmold is bad, which
is analogous to getting a lot of static over the radio station, I feel
very unstable and my perception of the subplane I am on is very poor.
When I have a bad lockmold during a projection, usually what happens
is that my vision, hearing and sense of touch on that subplane "blink"
on and off. Usually, I lose the sense of sight first, touch second, and
hearing is the last to go. In other words, when I have a bad lockmold
my vision will blink on and off - I will literally be able to see for a
moment and then lose it and be blind. I have, over the course of
my experiences found a number of tricks to stablize my lockmold, and
these I will discuss ahead.

Now, I bring this idea of lockmold up because - and I really want to
stress this - it has been a central feature of my projection experiences.
Like I said, in every single projection I have had I am aware of how
good or bad my lockmold is. I very strongly suspect that once you
start projecting, you will also encounter this lockmold feeling, so I
am telling you about lockmolds, and will tell you the things I've learned
to control my lockmold, so you will then know what to do when you project
and start to lose your lockmold.

Really, I am very serious about this. Again, your lockmold is a feeling
you will have of how well you are tuned into wherever you happen to
be in your projection. Let me go off on some of my personal
experiences a bit just to drive this idea of lockmold home to you. Below
are listed some excerpts from my personal astral projection journal
which highlight this lockmold phenomena:

"...The doorway led into a castle and I was very surprised by this.  I
remember thinking to myself that rooms have all these hidden directions
in them in the astral plane.  It was a huge and elegantly decorated place
and the decor looked fairly modern.  I wandered about and eventually came
to a room that had a window that was overlooking a long shingled roof.  
I climbed through the window and there was a girl outside on the roof.  
It was sunny outside and I felt very good.  Me and the girl talked, but
I do not remember what we talked about.  I could see around me outside,
what looked like a fairly typical, though completely unfamiliar,
neighborhood and I was curious to explore it.  I went to fly off the roof
but my lockmold began to weaken and I blacked out...."

"...Somehow, I was back in my bedroom, half conscious of the physical [my
eyes were closed but I could hear sounds outside].  I could then see my
room as if I was awake (even though my eyes were closed) and there was
this thing floating in front of me.  I stared at it and it seemed to be
staring at me.  It very much reminded me of an insect, but it was a
foot and a half high.  It had a spherical base with what looked like thin
legs protruding out in all directions.  From the base rose a long
slender neck, and at the top of the neck was a head.  The face on the
head reminded me of a praying mantis, or a nun in a habit. It was very
curious how it seemed to be studying me.  At first I didn't
know what to think; was it some astral demon? Some kind of astral plane
creature?  Then I felt myself losing grip of the lockmold, and the scene
of my room and the floating creature faded out slowly.  I laid there
feeling my body on the bed thinking "damn, too much physical."  Could
hear noises outside, etc.... "

Note: Number 3 here is a very good example:
"...Was back on my bed, conscious, and I wanted to project again.  Went
up and out of my body, flew through the ceiling, and then through another
ceiling, but was back in my body.  Jumped out again, and was standing
in my room, but my lockmold was very shaky.  There seemed to be another
window in my room, one that didn't exist on the physical plane.  I
jumped through this window and seemed to be in a restaurant.  At least
that is what it sounded like.  My lockmold was very shakey and I could
not see at all, I could only hear.  My vision blinked on long enough for
me to see that there was another window in front of me, and I could sense
that outside this window was immense, as if the room I was presently
in was way up in the sky, and if I were to look out the window, I would
only see the vastness of the sky all around me.  I thought that I was
where dead people are, and for some reason, the association was made
between "heaven" and the "sky".  My vision was gone again, but I jumped
out the window anyway.  I got the impression, from the sounds around me,
that I was in an outdoor mall or bazaar.  I heard all kinds of things
going on, people selling stuff, conversations, etc.. I thought, "I'm
in a mall in the sky".  This whole time I had been clinging to the window
ledge being afraid of the height.  For a moment my vision locked on
and I saw stalls with goods floating everywhere and no ground at all
around me.  I remembered that I could fly, so I let go of the ledge and
jumped forward.  I fell down about 30 feet and just floated there.  My
vision was gone again, but I heard people who seemed to be a able to
see me, and they were laughing at me as if I was behaving in an
unusual way.  I stumbled to pull myself back to the wall I had just
jumped from. I found the ledge and sat there blind, but I distinctly
heard a radio playing and I listened to a commercial on the radio.  
Then I lost my lockmold and was back in my body...."

So, these above three examples give you some idea of what a lockmold
is.  You will see this idea of the lockmold feeling expressed in
every personal account of my projections I describe for you. So,
by no means have you heard the last about lockmolds!

At this point however, that about wraps up my presentation of this
radio station theory of consciousness I use to think of my own
projections. To summarize, the important points about this idea are:

1. Like tuning into a radio station, the subplanes are "stations"
   that you can tune into with your consciousness.

2. The void is like the static that exists between radio stations,
   and when you tune into the void, you perceive nothing at
   all outside of you.

3. Your lockmold is the feeling you get of how well you are
   tuned into wherever you are at in your projection.

5. Mystical view of consciousness
Finally, I want to end the introductory theory section of these notes
with what I believe are ideas to tie all the stuff I said above together.

As you see, we can take any number of views of the projection experience.
You can debate the relative merit of any of these views till you are
blue in the face. It should be apparent that I discourage such
semantic arguing, but at the same time I strongly advocate that you
be as familiar with as many viewpoints as you can, again, not
only about astral projecting, but about everything in life.

Now, I've already stated that, even though astral projecting is an
extremely dramatic experience within the context of our society's accepted
ideas about reality, compared to learning how to be in touch with
the buddhic plane, astral projection is nothing.  In other words,
astral projecting is not the end all be all of life.  Bringing buddhic
plane energies into your life *IS* the end all be all of life.

There is another member of the New Age forum who is an excellent
astral projector, and that is Jeff Wiley, the section leader of
section 13 (DREAMS) and Jeff has a philosophy that he and I both share,
which kind of sets a bottom line to what all this astral projection stuff
means.  Most people make the distinction that, in some sense, their
physical life is real, but their dream life is not real. Learning to
astral project blows this idea right out the door. But even more
importantly, once you start to project, you realize that, in some
sense, your dream/projection life is equal to your waking physical
life.  Then, a new insight kind of hits you. And that is, all of our
conscious experience is more like dreaming than not. Our physical life
is actually a strange kind of dream, that, like all dreams, is destined
to end one day.  What becomes apparent when you've expanded the horizons
of your personal experience enough is that THERE IS JUST CONSCIOUSNESS.
It really doesn't matter what form the consciousness takes, or what plane
the consciousness manifests on. Such things are merely relative. The
absolute in life is CONSCIOUSNESS: mine, yours, a tree's, a dog's, a
planet's, a god's - all just consciousness.

It kind of comes down to the old cliche "life's a dream". What you are
really looking for here is experiences that can catalyze in you a
transformation - a transformation of attitudes, of your outlook, of
your perceptions of yourself and life; a transformation that will bring
you to the conscious knowledge of your place in the scheme of things. I
call this "opening up to the buddhic plane", Jeff calls this "realizing
the Big Dream".  In either case it's the same thing. And it is definately
where you should set your sights.

FILE 4 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994

    Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.

                      HOW TO ASTRAL PROJECT - PART 1


Well, we've gone through the theory, now it's time to get to the
practice.  The $10,000 question is: how do you astral project?
There are two main methods I will discuss: 1. becoming lucid in a
dream, and 2. by putting yourself into a trance. We will discuss
each of these methods in some detail because these are the methods I
have used successfully time and time again.  There is also a third
method you will find which I will mention, though I do not use this
method. This third method involves visualization excercises.  We will
discuss dream methods first, trance methods second, and then end this
section with a discussion of visualization methods.  Also, I will
mention briefly tapes and other devices that people use to achieve OOBEs.

Before getting to specific methods, I want to lay out one important
thing that you should do:

 *-------> KEEP A JOURNAL! <--------*

    This is *very* important.  You want to keep some kind of concrete
record of all of your experiences with altered states of consciousness.
Why? Because it is very easy to forget the details of these experiences.
You may think you will remember something, but, just as is the case
with our normal dreams, you will forget as time goes on. If you have a
record of your experiences you can always refer back to it at any time.
I'm not kidding either; it's very easy to forget the details of specific
projections. Even now I will recount an old projection to someone, then
go look the actual entry up in my journal and realize I have forgotten
important parts of the projection or have confused two different

Another reason for keeping records of your experiences is that, as
these records accumulate over time, you can go back periodically
and read through them. What you may then discover are similarities
and regularities in your experiences that you may not have
found otherwise.  For example, after I had been projecting for
a few months I read over my journal and discovered a recurring
pattern in my projections. What I  discovered is that, often, I
would attempt to fly in my projection but, once I would start
to ascend, my way would be blocked by tree branches.  Now, this
didn't happen all the time, only once in a while. It occurred
infrequently enough that I didn't realize that it was a pattern.
It was only by looking at my accumulated records over a period
of about 6 months that I realized this was occurring often enough that
it might mean something.  And mean something it did. I have since
come to realize that these tree branches blocking me from flying
away were a message from my subconscious mind.  Every time this occurred
in my projections - the trees preventing me from flying -  it was a
symbol of a serious defect in my personality.  It took me some time
to figure this symbolism out, but once I did I started working on this
problem.  And over time, as I've overcome this problem in my
personality, I have not been plagued by the occurrence of trees
blocking me from flying in my projections.  

So, not only is the above an example of why you should keep good records,
but it's also an example of what I said earlier about how your personality
appears to be *outside* of you during a projection and how projections
are a form of self-therapy.  

Back to note keeping: In my case, for a long time I simply kept a
notebook close to my bed. Everytime I had a projection the very first
thing I would do when I returned here to the physical plane is write
down as much as I could remember of my projection.  The entries I've
made have been as long as 10 pages (in the case where I remembered
the projection well), or may have only been a quick outline of notes
that I later (usually the same day) went back and filled in. Sometimes,
I have gone one or two days before recording the experience, but I
don't recommend this.  I've also made notes on whatever scrap paper
was available to me. Eventually, I've transfered all my notes to the
computer.  Now I keep my astral projection journal through my word
processor.  But still, I often write it down on paper before typing it
into the computer. The bottom line is to do whatever is convenient for
you, but definately keep records of your expereinces!

Keeping a journal takes discipline.  Astral projecting, just like any
other skill, requires discipline, and keeping good notes is a part of
the discipline you need to be succesful.

Another thing I want to say at the begining of this section on methods
is that astral projection is a SKILL.  As such it is like any other
skill that humans have; some people pick it up easily, others do not.
I like to draw the analogy between learning to astral project and
learning to play a musical instrument.  Some people are born with
the talent to play a musical instrument. A very few people are born
musical geniuses.  For most of us, however, the only way to learn a
musical instrument is by *practice*.  And for those of us who have to
practice, our learning may come easily or it may only come with much
work and dedication. Well, learning to astral project is the exact same
thing. A very few people are born with the talent to astral project.
For some, the learning process comes easily. For most of us, learning
to astral project requires work and effort.  THERE IS NOTHING MAGICAL
ABOUT LEARNING TO ASTRAL PROJECT.  Like anything else, you need to
learn the right theory, the right techniques and PRACTICE them. And
like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it.
The more you practice, the more you attempt to learn, the better you
will be.

And, unlike other skills we learn here in the physical world, such
as the example I gave for learning to play a musical instrument,
the factors that underlie your ability to project are primarily
*psychological*.   Factors such as intelligence, personality,
emotional make-up, social upbringing, and your belief system are all
going to be determinants in how hard or how easy it is for you to
project.  So, for example, you don't really have to change your beliefs
to learn to play an instrument or to learn to play baseball. However,
when you learn to astral project, your beliefs are critical.  If
you hold certain beliefs it will be impossible for you to astral project
(i.e. if you are a totally cynical materialist). Other beliefs could
potentially lead you to harm when you learn to astral project (i.e.
if you are a staunch Christian who believes in Hell - you just
might find yourself in Hell during a projection and scare the ****
out of yourself!).   So, this is just another way to say what I
said earlier; when you learn to astral project, you are embarking
on a journey of *self-transformation* to some extent or another.

Now, there is no easy way to determine if you are a person to whom
astral projection comes easily or if you are the kind of person who
has to work hard at achieving a projection.  At the very end of these
notes I will discuss how you can use astrology to determine your
propensity towards having an OOBE. But these astrological methods of
determing how likely you are to have a projection are only indicators.
And furthermore, these astrological methods are limited by the
accuracy of astrology, and in particular by the accuracy of the
interpretation of your chart (reading charts isn't easy to start with,
let alone using a chart to determine if you can astral project
or not.) Even if your chart predicts that it would be easy for you
to project, this is still no substitute for learning the right
methods and for honest practice and work.  So, until you can prove
otherwise, it's best not to glamorize your potential skills at
astral projection.  It's best just to assume that, as an average person,
you will have to put some work and effort into your attempts to
astral project.  

So, this said, let's get into the "how to" of astral projection.

I suppose it takes some of the mystique and excitement out of astral
projecting when we realize that we very instinctively, and *unconsciously*
astral project all the time.  Except in this case we don't call the
activity "astral projecting". What I am referring to, of course, is the
very common process that we call "dreaming". As I said above, DREAMS
dreams are UNCONSCIOUS (or you could say "instinctive") astral
projections, and astral projections are CONSCIOUS dreams. Let us now
explore this notion in detail.

Every one of us dreams every night. We may not remember our dreams
the following morning, but this does not mean that we did not dream.
You can take it for granted that you dream at night, whether you
remember it or not.

When I discussed theory above, I said a couple of things about dreams.
First I said that psychologists do not have a good explanation of what
dreams are. It was also stated that occultists claim that the act of
dreaming is a transfer of our consciousness from the physical plane
to the astral plane. The bottom line is, NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE WHAT
DREAMS ARE. But the nice thing about this is that it doesn't matter if
no one knows what dreams are, because we EXPERIENCE dreams for our-
selves. So, we can explore and study our own dreams directly, and
from these explorations come to our own conclusions about what our
dreams are are not.

Now, part of the problem is attitude. In our society in general
dreams aren't given much credence.  We generally associate dreams
with fantasy and unreality. We definately do NOT take dreams as
seriously as our physical waking life. Or, if we do take dreams
seriously it's usually at the level of those dream interpretation
books you see in the supermarket checkout lines which provide
you with pat, simple-minded explanations of what your dreams mean.

On more "intellectual" levels, we run into Freudian or Jungian-based ideas,
nebulous ideas that do little to address the concrete fact that
we all dream.  These types of ideas, that focus on the symbolism
or meaning of dreams, important though these views are in some respects,
implicitly deny the concrete reality of the fact that our dreams
are real experiences that happen to our consciousness.  It's ironic
when you think about it. Our society, with its physical sciences,
has incredible knowledge and control over the physical forces of
Nature (albeit a tenuous and perhaps deluded sense of control), yet,
with our practical and literal mentalilty, we don't take the fact
that we dream literally.  Dreams, are "symbolic", "subjective",
"psychological", which implies they are not real, not objective events.  

So, right from the start we pretty much have built into us by our
very society a bad attitude about our dream experiences.  Since
society as a whole doesn't take dreams too seriously this creates
a situation where we are, basically, completely ignorant of the nature
of our dream experience. Thus, the first thing you, as a potential astral
projector, need to do is to CHANGE YOUR IDEAS AND ATTITUDES ABOUT

Consider this:  When you dream, *you* are *somewhere* doing *something*.
Right?  Wherever you are when you dream, you definately EXIST, right?
Things are going on in your dreams: you are doing things, interacting
with other people, being involved in situations, etc. So, to say dreams
aren't real flys right in the face of your direct experience. For, when
you dream, you are experiencing *something*.  What you have to realize

Basically, we all live a dichotomous life. We live two lives. One life
we live here in the physical plane. The second life we live in the world
where our dreams occur. They are both REAL.  They are very different from
each other, but each life is totally and completely real IN ITS OWN
TERMS.  See, the problem with how we look at our dream life stems from the
fact that we try to interpret it in terms of our physical life.

Our physical life has certain characteristics, the most basic and
important of which is our experience of SPACE and TIME.  Both space
and time have very definite properties in our normal waking life, and
our entire mind and perception are conditioned by the properties of
space and time as we know them here in the physical world.  For
example, we cannot see around a corner here in the physical world.
Nor can we go backwards in time.  Time is an overpowering factor in
our waking experience. We were all born, we are all aging, and we shall
all grow old and die; Time.  These things are so fundamental, we take
them completely for granted.

Now, given how fundamental time and space are, and given the fact that
we take time and space so for granted, what we do then is interpret
our dreams in terms of our physical experience with space and time. And
of course, as each and everyone of us knows FROM OUR DIRECT EXPERIENCE,
our dreams make no sense whatsoever if we think of them in terms of our
experiences here in the physical world.  So, the normal "knee jerk"
reaction is to conclude that dreams are NOT real, since, obviously,
our physical experience IS real.

Well, this attitude assumes too much and takes way too much for granted.
Isn't it completely possible that there is a logic to our experience
in the world of dreams, a logic of its own that could be DIFFERENT
from our physical waking experience? Could it be that, in the world
of dreams, space and time behave DIFFERENTLY than they do here in the
physical world? Could it be, perhaps, that the place where dreams
occur is indeed a world of its own, a completely natural world with its
own laws of space and time?

Such thinking takes us right back to the occult idea of the planes. The
astral plane is the world in which dreams occur, and it is a world
DIFFERENT from this physical world, which operates according to
laws of Nature different from (but related to) the laws of Nature that
operate here on the physical plane.  I do not want to go off on this
too deeply.  What I am trying to do here is to expose attitudes that
we all possess and take for granted.  The bottom line of what I'm
getting at is trying to help you, the reader, realize that it IS very
possible to think of your dreams as objective experiences occurring
somewhere. Whether you buy into occult ideas or not doesn't matter.
What matters is that you start to take your dreams seriously, that
you begin to appreciate that, when you dream, YOU ARE HAVING EXPERIENCES

This last statement you need to internalize, especially to be able
to see the intimate connection between your dreams and your astral

So, whether you want to believe that your dreams are experiences just
as real as your experience of reading these words or not, I'm going to
have to assume you will at least pretend for the time being that this is
the case so I can go on with the discussion.

Having established that our dreams are real and objective experiences
like our physical experiences, we need to look closely at the
relationship between these dual lives that we all live.  Let's now
look at some facts about dreaming.

There are two facts that we need to consider, and each of these is
something we have directly experienced. Most importantly,
we will see that the key here is memory.

First fact: we do not, as a rule, remember our dreams as well as we
remember our physical experiences.

Second fact:  When we are dreaming we generally do not remember the
facts of our physical life, nor do we even realize we are dreaming and
that we even live a physical life.  

Both of these are absolutely true. I have experienced this, and so have
you, as has every other human on this planet.  These are both very common
facts about our existence. What we need to ask is: What do these
facts *mean*?

First off, these two facts are two of the main reasons we don't
treat our dream life as being equal to our waking life.  There is no
*continuity* between our dream and waking lives.  For the average
person, the dream and waking lives are mostly separate from each other.
Sure, one may dream of events which occurred when awake, and even
rarer, one may remember dream events that are relevant to one's waking
life (such as deja vu for example, or maybe a dream premonition).
Generally speaking though, this discontinuity between our dream and
waking life is the main thing that prevents our physical pesonality
from IDENTIFYING with his or her dream personality.

We can look at these two facts from another angle though, and that is
in terms of the relationship between our waking and dream selves. What
is the one thing that can relate our waking personality with our dream
personality?  That thing is MEMORY.  Memory is all important in this
astral projection buisness.  As far as I have discovered to this point

Look at those two facts I listed above. What do they have in common?
Memory. We cannot remember our dream experiences when we are here in
the physical world, nor do we remember our physical experiences when
we are in the dream world.  Learning to astral project will change all
this for you.  Here now is a very functional definition of what
astral projection *really* is: ASTRAL PROJECTION IS A CONTINUITY OF

This is a big time practical statement, folks!  If you come to learn the
truth of this statement by direct experience, then you *will* be a
bona fide astral projector!

Now, for the first time in these notes we are ready to define what an
astral projection is. It is a dream, but AN ASTRAL PROJECTION IS A
term "lucid dream" normally refers to a dream in which you are aware
that you are dreaming.  Well, this is fine and all, but realizing
that you are dreaming doesn't mean you realize your self-identity to
the same extent you do while you are awake. In a full-scale projection
experience, your self-identity in the projection is identical to your
self-identity when awake here in the physical world.  This is what
I am trying to teach you how to achieve here: how to take your waking
identity into the world where dreams occur. You can call this an
OOBE if you want, or an astral projection, or a lucid dream. I don't
care what you call it, I only care that you understand what it is
you are trying to do. And again WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO IS TAKE

With this understanding you are now in a position to realize
PROJECTIONS.  An astral projection is NOT a cut and dry thing.
It is NOT a thing completely different from dreaming.  Dreams
bleed imperceptibly into astral projections. The criteria to determine
if your experience is more a dream or more an astral projection is:
to what extent have you brought your waking identity into the dream
world?  You can do this more or less.  For me personally, I have
conditioned myself to recognize when I am in the dream world.
Once I recognize I am in the dream world, then I consider myself
"lucid", and I record the experience in my astral projection
journal.  That is to say, I draw the line between my dreams
and my astral projections when I consciously recognize I am
in the dream world during a dream.  Rarely, I may not even remember my
name, but if I remember that I'm "in that place again", then that is
my criteria to say I have had a projection (or OOBE or whatever
you want to call it).

When I project, I remember very cleary who I am in THIS physical world.
I recognize that it is me, Don, but I realize to some extent or another
that Don is no longer in the physical world.  I realize that I am in
some other world. To be absolutely honest with all of you, when I
am in a projection I am completely amazed. That is the main thing I
feel while projecting: amazement. I'm amazed that I am me, but I am
not in the familiar world I know. I stand there (or float, or fly) and
often, with intense curiosity just wonder where the hell I am at.
It is my curiosity about where I am at that drives my behavior in
my astral projections (most of the time at least).  I will wander
about and explore my environment. I will talk to the people I meet and
ask them questions. If I see books I will try to read them (reading
is actually very difficult for me in a projection).  I will study where I
am at as closely as I can. That is what I do in projections, and it is
because it is me, Don, the guy writing these words right now, but I'm
not in this world - I'm somewhere else. And it just amazes the hell
out of me.

Also, often in my projections, I remember what I've read in various books
about astral projection and I'll try to do the things I've read about.
This is one really important reason for reading as much as you can
about projecting: it gives you ideas for things to do. In the next
section I will offer some suggestions of what you can do once you
are lucid in the dream world.

To tie all this together at this point, what you are trying to
accomplish is to take your waking personality into your dreams.
What this means is you want to build bridges between your
waking and dream personalities. Basically, anything that will help you
strengthen the connection between your waking personality and your
dream personality will help you become an astral projector.  And, as
this section of the notes is entitled "Using Dreams As A Springboard
To Astral Projecting", let's now look at what you can do in this regard.

Basically, all of your efforts will start with your physical personality.
That is, YOU, the person reading these words, has to make the effort to
break down the barrier that currently exists between you and the other you
that lives in the dream world when the waking you sleeps.  There is really
only one being underlying these two lives, and that being is the
greater "you" in which the waking and dream personalities dwell.


1. Remember your dreams.

This is really an important first step.  You might want to keep a
dream journal (as distinct from keeping an astral projection journal)
just because of the simple fact that writting dreams down will help
you remember them better.

Another excersise to do is this: when you wake up in the morning, before
you do anything at all, just lay there in bed, relax and try to remember
as much as you can about your dreams from that night. Block out
any other thoughts that come into your mind. Often when you wake up
you immediately start thinking about what you are going to do that day.
Well, don't do that. Block those thoughts out. Instead, just relax
and concentrate on your dreams. Usually when we wake up we have at least
a trace of rememberance of that night's dreams. If you just relax and
focus on what little you do remember, you'll be surprised to discover
that automatically you will begin to recall other parts of the dream.

Both of these exercises will help strengthen the memory connection
between your waking and dream personalities. This is very important,
for when you start projecting, it is critical that you remember what
you did during the projection once you return here to the physical plane.
It's no good if you project, but forget all about your projection
once your consciousness is back in the physical plane. If this happens,
you've basically wasted your time.  Take my word for it, it is very
easy to forget your projections once you have returned back here to the
physical world.  It has happened to me a number of times.

Above I said that once you return from a projection you will want
to record what happened to you during the projection. Well, the all-
important prelude to recording your projections is remembering them.
If you don't remember your projections, you cannot write them down.
Once you start projecting, not only do you want to get in the habit
of recording your experiences, you also want to get into the habit
of trying to remember your projection as completely as possible
once you return to the physical plane.

What will happen is that the end of your projection will be marked
by you returning to your body. You will know you have returned to
your body because you will feel your body lying in bed, or however
your body happens to be situated. Once you feel yourself back in your
body, the absolute first thing you want to do is exactly what I said to
do when you wake up in the morning: relax and try to remember as much
as you can about what occurred during the projection. This may take up to
5 minutes.  Then, once you've remembered as much as you can, you
will want to get right up and write down everything you remember.
And again, just like with dreaming, if you take these first few moments
to relax and try remembering your astral projection, you will be amazed
at how easily you can remember what happened to you. The details
of the projection will just pour into your mind. But you have to allow
this to happen. If you just wake right up and make no attempt to
remember, then chances are very good that you will forget many things
that you could have otherwise remembered easily.  Again, this is
necessary disipline for being sucessful with astral projecting.

I really want to stress how easy it is to forget your projections once
you've returned here to the physical world.  Over time, as I became
better at projecting, and after having completely forgotten a few
really good projections almost upon waking, I actually got into the
habit of remembering my projection while I was still in it!  There
have been a number of times when I was projecting that I would
just sit in the projection and make a mental note of everything
that had happened to me up to that point in the projection with the
explicit purpose of remembering it once I was back in the physical.  
I have even had projections where I literally wrote down what was
happening to me during the projection!  I'm serious about this; I
would find paper and pencil in the dream world and write down what
was happening to me right in the middle of my projection!  Needless
to say, making such effort to remember my projection while I am
actually in it makes it easier to remember once I am back here in
the physical world.

So, this is something you may want to try once you find yourself
lucid in the dream world: make very clear mental notes to yourself
of what is happening to you with the explicit purpose of recording
this information once you return here to the physical plane.

2. Self-conditioning excercises.

There are other excercises you can do to strenghthen the memory
connection between your dream and waking self.  I will now discuss
what I call "self-conditioning" excercises. These are very important
and form the basic technique for becoming lucid in a dream.  What
I am about to say now are the common ideas you will find in
technique books about astral projection (e.g., see Rogo, Ophiel,
and Fox in the bibilography) for using dreams as a means to
astral project.

"Self-conditioning excercise" means you are to plant suggestions
in your mind.  The idea is that if you keep telling yourself these
things long enough, then they will happen.  There are two suggestions
you want to convince yourself of:

1. You *will* become lucid in a dream.
2. You will find clues in the dream itself to trigger off your

Let's discuss each of these in turn.

You must convince yourself that you will project. Only in rare
cases will a person spontaneously project. For most of us, it
requires a strong desire to want to achieve the projection
experience for it to happen. In Rogo's book "Leaving the Body"
he calls this the "Desire Method", and bases this method
on ideas described in another astral projection book by a
Frenchman named Yram.  What this method entails is constantly
desiring to astral project. You want to think about projecting
as much as possible during your waking hours. You want to tell
yourself such things as, "I *will* project", "I am going to learn
how to project", etc. And what's more, you can't just say these
things to yourself half-heartedly, you have to really work yourself
up into believing these statements. You have to develop an almost
stubborn persistence that, come hell or high water, you *will*

There are two things you are doing here. First, you are admitting
to yourself that astral projection is a real thing. This is very
important because any scepticism you have will only prevent you
from projecting. By telling yourself that astral projecting *is*
possible and that you *will* do it, you are opening up the possibility
in your mind.  Like anything else, you have to believe a thing
is possible to do it.

The other thing you are doing here is mustering up the power of
desire.  As we all know, when we truly desire a thing, we obtain
it much more readily than the things we don't care about.  Desire is
a very strong power in human affairs. Occultism teaches how to control
desire to achieve your ends (this is also an important part of
ritual magic).  What you are doing by building up the desire to
astral project is putting the power of desire behind your efforts.
In a sense this is like a booster rocket on a space ship. Desire
adds extra power to your attempts to project. Desiring
to really achieve a projection can make the difference between
being successful or being unsuccessful in your attempts to project.

I know the truth of this from personal experience.  In my own case,
during the times I have projected the most frequently, I had an almost
one track mind.  All I would think about was projecting. During the day
I would read as many books as I could find about projecting and
just desire more than anything else in the world to project.  As I would
go off to sleep at night (or when I would take a nap during the day)
I would think about nothing but desiring to leave my body as I fell
off to sleep.  I hate to say it, but you just won't be able to astral
project if you have a half-ass attitude about it.  Astral projecting
is not achieved by the half-hearted or the casual.  Along with practicing
the right exercises and developing the right attitudes and understanding,
you have to *really* want to achieve the experience.

I can say with much certainty that the stronger your will to achieve
a projection, the more likely you will actually project.

Now, let's consider the second suggestion you want to plant in your mind:

You will find clues in the dream itself to trigger off your lucidity.

This is the heart and soul of using dreams as a means to astral
project. Again, this idea is taught in many books that explain how to
astral project. The essence of this idea is as follows.  We all know
that things occur in dreams that are absolutely impossible in our
waking life.  It could be anything: maybe in your dream you know some-
one who you do not know in physical life. Maybe you are in a familiar
environment in your dream, but things are out of place.  For example,
you may be in your house in your dream, but the furniture is different
in the dream, or there is something obviously different about your house
in your dream.  Or it may be something even more spectacular. Maybe
in your dream you are seeing animals fly - or even talk! Or you are
seeing something occur in your dream that is simply impossible as
far as physical life goes.

Now, here's the trick:


Again, you have to think of your normal dreams and the fact that
in your normal dreams, these odd circumstances usually do not
even phase you.  You need to begin by *remembering*
these odd occurrences from your dreams.  I'm sure all of you can
think of something odd you saw in a dream that didn't phase you
at all. As you remember such weird dream events, think to yourself,
"the next time I see something like that happening in a dream, I
will become aware that I am dreaming".  If you work on this over and
over, eventually it will happen: you will be in a dream, see something
weird that could never happen in your waking life, and all of a sudden
realize that you are dreaming.  

When this actually happens, it is possible that you may actually *feel*
something happen to you in the dream.  For example, we all know the
feeling you get when you have been sitting in a chair for a long time
and then quickly get up. You experience a "headrush", where your skin
becomes tingly, your vision may even disappear for an instant, and you
hear a whoshing sound in your ears.  On many occasions, when I have
become lucid during a dream, I feel this exact sensation. I don't have
the slightest idea why this happens, but it happens to me fairly

Another thing that may happen the first few times you recognize that
you are in a dream is that you might wake up!  You will see something
weird going on in your dream, this will trigger you to become lucid,
and all of a sudden you are awake lying in your bed!  If this happens,
don't become discouraged. This is very likely to occur to most of you.
It is not bad when this happens, it is good. It is a sure-fire sign
that you had your waking mind in the dream world, even if it was
only for an instant.  I have discovered that it is like a balancing
act keeping your waking mind in the dream world. In a sense, your
waking mind is "heavier" than your dream mind. I don't know how
else to say this so just bear with me. Your dream mind is much more
nimble at being in the dream world, which only makes sense. When you
take your waking mind into the dream world, it is like trying to
balance a quarter on the head of a pin. The slightest disturbance
can cause your waking consciousness to fade out of the dream world.
It will take some practice to get used to having your waking mind
in the dream world. I mentioned lockmolds above, and this is
what the lockmold is all about; keeping the right balance that
allows your waking mind to stay in the dream world for any amount of

Finally, it is very possible that the first time you become lucid
in a dream (i.e. bring your waking mind into the dream world)
that you will be perfectly stable. In this case YOU'RE THERE!!
You made it! You are astral projecting. What to do at this
point will be the subject of the next main section of these notes.

So, to wrap up this section on using dreams as a springboard
for astral projecting, I will summarize the key points of this section
and as well assign you specific exercises to do.

In summary, these are the key points of this section:

A. You have to change your ideas about what your dreams are.  
You have to learn to accept dreams as a real and valid part
of your experience as a living being.

B. You need to start a journal of your experiences. If you want
to have one journal for recording both dreams and astral
projections, that is fine. If you want a separate journal
for each, that is fine too. What ever you decide, you have
to start writing down your experiences in the dream world.

C.  You have to appreciate that dreams and astral projections
form a continous spectrum of states of consciousness.  A dream
is when you are oblivious to your life here in the physical
plane, an astral projection is a dream in which you are highly
conscious of your life here in the physical plane.  Your consciousness
can be anywhere between these two extremes in actual practice.

D.  You need to strenthen your ability to remember what happens to
you during dreams. This means you have to use your memory as a BRIDGE
between your waking and dreaming experiences.

E.  The more desire you have to project, the more likely it is that
you *will* project.

F. You want to condition yourself to recognize when you are dreaming.
This is most easily accomplished using the strange and weird events
that occur in dreams as a trigger to becoming aware that you are in
the dream world.

Finally, to end this section, here is a list of exercises:

1. When you wake up in the morning, before you think of anything
else, try to remember as much about your dreams as you can.

2. Write down everything you remember about your dreams.

3. Write down a list of all the weird things you've seen happen in
your dreams. (Not necessarily based on what you do for exercises 1
and 2, but write down *any* weird dream occurrences you remember.
Don't forget, any "weird" dream occurrence is something that cannot
happen, or is different from the way things are, in your physical life).

4. Throughout the day, stop and be aware of yourself.  Think of who you
are, where you live, and where you are at (i.e. home, school, work, etc.).
When you do this, tell yourself you are going to do the exact same
thing when you are dreaming.  Do this as often as you can throughout the

5. When you go to sleep at night, meditate on the following thought:
"Tonight I will become aware that I am dreaming while I am dreaming.
If I see anything weird happening in my dreams, then I will become
aware that I am dreaming".

If you do these exercises, as well as the other exercises mentioned
throughout the text, you will greatly enhance your chances
of having an OOBE.

FILE 5 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
    Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

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        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.

                     HOW TO ASTRAL PROJECT - PART 2


We have seen how to use dreams as a means for achieving an
astral projection.   However, we have so ingrained our prejudice about
the unreality of dreams, that simply taking your waking mind into
the dream world somehow doesn't seem like all that big a deal, even
given the fact that very few people actually do this.  Becoming
lucid during a dream just doesn't seem like the "real thing" to
most people in terms of being a bona fide OOBE or astral
projection.  Well, I will continue to hammer home the point
that it is; becoming lucid while dreaming is indistinguishable
from other ways of getting your waking mind into the dream world.
Still, it would be even more convincing that we were having a
"real" astral projection/OOBE if there was some way that we could
directly take our consciousness out of the physical plane without
having to use dreams as an intermediary device.  Well, happily
there is such a direct method for getting to the inner planes,
and this is a method I have used the most to achieve my astral projection
experiences.  For lack of a better term, I call this the
"trance method", for it entails putting yourself into a trance.

Now, what is a trance?  Frankly, I'm not sure if there is a precise
definition of what a trance is.  I know for sure that a trance is a
state of consciousness in which you are no longer focused in the
physical world.  I know that you can achieve trance states through
hypnosis and meditation, and the method I shall describe here is much
like meditation.  Knowing exactly what a trance is isn't
very important for our purposes here.  What is important for our
purposes here is learning how to put yourself in a trance, which we
shall  discuss below.

Now, how is going into a projection from a trance different from
going into a projection through a dream?  Well, the difference is
that, going into a projection through a trance is much more direct
than going into a projection through a dream. By "direct" I mean
that you do not fall asleep first. Your consciousness remains
intact as you cross the border into the nonphysical planes.  Thus,
the immediate perception on your part will be of "leaving your body".
You will be highly conscious of the act of dissociating from your
physical body as you take your waking consciousness into the
dream world.  Once you are there, you will see that the experience
is very much like the experience of being lucid in a dream, but it's the
"getting there" that is different.

In the previous section we saw the connection between astral projections
and lucid dreams.  Becoming lucid in a dream - which again, means
taking your waking mind into the dream state - is, essentially
an astral projection. Likewise, in this section you will now
appreciate the connection between the term OOBE and astral
projection.  Again, this is because when you enter the projection
state via trance, you literally feel yourself leave your body. The
more precise way to say this is that you feel your consciousness
*dissociate* from your physical body. I suspect that such a perception
is more in line with people's ideas about what an OOBE is.  So,
recalling what was said back in the section on theory, the difference
between calling your trance-induced projection an "OOBE" or an "astral
projection"  implies mostly your conception of where you go after
you "leave" your body.  Remember, generally the term OOBE seems to imply
that you are still in the physical world as a disembodied awareness,
whereas the term astral projection implies you are in one of the
nonphysical planes.  When you learn to project via trance, you
will be in a good position to see that your consciousness is no
longer in the physical world. So, if we wanted to be proper about this
we should call our experience an astral projection. But again, what
you call it doesn't matter. What matters is that you can DO it.

Now, let us return to this idea that the trance method allows
a continuity of your awareness across the border from the physical
to the nonphysical planes.  In my experiences with entering a
projection through a trance, I have encountered one of two things
happening to my consciousness - either: 1. there is no break in my
consciousness and I directly enter into the projection experience,
or 2. there is a momentary break in my consciousness, lasting only a
split second, and then I am in the projection.   In either case, the
transition is very direct, unlike the dream method where you may be
asleep for hours before becoming lucid. In the trance method you
pretty much go directly from the physical plane to the projection

So, for starters, let me give an overview of the trance process,
and then we will look at the whole process in great detail and lay
out exactly what you need to do to project from a trance.

Going into trance starts out just like going to sleep. You lay on
your bed and relax deeply. However, you do NOT fall asleep.  What
you do to go into a trance is KEEP YOUR MIND AWAKE WHILE YOU LET
YOUR BODY FALL ASLEEP. We will go into how to do this below.  If
you are successful at keeping your mind awake while your body falls
asleep, you will feel yourself "slip" or "push" out of your body. At
that point you will either be somewhere in one of the planes, or you
will be in the void.  In either case, you are astral projecting (or
having an OOBE - whatever you prefer).  You will then go through a
series of adventures until something causes you to break your trance
(such as the phone ringing, the need to go to the bathroom, or any
other number of things).  On occasion, while you are projecting, you
may want to wake yourself up (if for example, you are in a threatening
or scary situation), and I will also discuss how to do this.  So
that's the big picture from start to finish.  Let's discuss each
step of this process in detail.


Ok, you are laying on your bed with the intent to astral project. So
what do you do now?  First off, here are some general considerations
for the kind of conditions that are best for going into trance:

1. Make sure you have gone to the bathroom first. If your physical body
has to clean itself out, this will draw you right out of a projection.

2. It's best to be a little bit tired. You don't want to be super tired
because you will just fall asleep! You don't want to be too awake or
you will never be able to relax enough to go into trance.

3. Make sure your body is lying comfortably.  You don't want your
arm to fall asleep, or have your neck get sore because of the way
it is cocked.  I have found that if I lay on my back, with my head
comfortably propped on a couple pillows, and my arms lying stretched
alongside my body, or wrapped over my chest, that I am fine. You
will discover as you practice that there is one position that you
find most comfortable, at least I did.

4. In general, you want to minimize all distractions.  I have found
that a little bit of noise from outside doesn't prevent me from going
into trance. On the other hand, a ringing phone has pulled me from
projections a number of times.  Also, make sure your body temperature
is comfortable.

Ok, so now, you are lying in bed, a little tired, you don't have to
go to the bathroom, it's quiet and you are comfortable, and you want
to astral project. What next?  Just relax.  What you have to
do at this point is begin the process I said above; you have to now
try to put your body to sleep but at the same time allow your mind
to stay awake. How do you do this?

Two things are now critical: concentration and relaxation.
You have to do both of these. You have to just stay relaxed, but,
as you allow your body to relax, you have to KEEP YOUR MIND ALERT.
How do you keep your mind alert?  Basically, you can think about
anything you want. Some people will tell you that you need to
think about specific things, or visualize specific images, and
you can do this if you want, but you don't have to.  All you
have to do is stay alert.  

When I go into trance I don't meditate on anything specific. Instead
I look into the darkness behind my closed eyes and just stare.  I  
tell myself I want to leave my body, not merely just think the idea,
but really *feel* that I want to leave. At the same time, I allow myself
to relax.

The most important thing to think about is to stay aware. KEEP YOUR
is what is most critical: stay LUCID.  It's because you let go of your
self-awareness that you eventually just fall asleep and slip
unconsciously into the dream world. What you want to do is to move
*consciously* into the dream world.  Think about whatever you want, but
when your mind starts wandering off too far or you start daydreaming
too much, bring your awareness of yourself back to the front of your mind.
This is really important because, if you watch yourself fall asleep
at night, you will notice that your mind just kind of randomly
starts wandering through thoughts.  The thoughts can be about anything:
what happened to you that day, whatever you are worried about, some-
one you love, anything.  What you will notice going off to sleep is
that you get lost in your thoughts.  Next thing you know, you
are waking up in the morning with maybe a faint memory of the dreams you
had as you slept.  You DO NOT want to let this happen when you go
into trance.  It's ok to let your mind wander, but constantly keep
bringing your mind back to an awareness of you laying on the bed trying

All the while of course, you are continuing to relax.  At a
certain point you may feel your body become heavy, as if you
are beginning to drop off to sleep. This is OK. As a matter of fact
this is what you want to happen.

At this point, I want to really go in detail about how I go into
trance. If not for any other reason, this will be illustrative of
one particular way to successfully get into trance (i.e. "monkey
see, monkey do"). You may find what I do works for you, or, as
you practice, you may discover things that work for you that are
different than what I do. That's fine. The bottom line here

There are two things I focus on as I go into trance:

1. I stare into the darkness behind my closed eyes.
2. I stay completely aware of the sensation of my body laying on the bed.

What happens when I go into trance is that, as I focus on both of these
things, as my relaxation deepens, my perception of both of these things
changes. That is to say, the darkness I am staring into transforms, and
I will see images in this darkness.  And the feeling of my body laying
on my bed changes too. I now will discuss each of these in detail. Let
me make this perfectly clear: THE CHANGES IN WHAT I SEE AND HOW
as far as I'm concerned, these next couple topics are the heart and
soul of these notes; how to really "leave" your body.

This is it gang! Pay attention!

As I go through the next few paragraphs, please keep in mind that what I
am describing is all occurring at the same time.  Just to keep it straight,
all of the following things are going on simultaneously as I go into

1. I am staring into the darkness behind my closed eyes.
2. I am aware of the sensations of my body.
3. I am relaxing deeper and deeper.
4. I am thinking to myself "I am going to leave", "I am going to project",
and similar thoughts.  And I am anticipating certain changes in what
I see in the darkness behind my closed eyes and how my body feels. I
am waiting for these changes to occur so that I can "project" or "leave"
or whatever you want to call it.

All this said, let's now discuss the changes in what I see and what I feel
as I go into trance.

    i. Hypnogogic Imagery

I stare into the darkness behind my closed eyes.  If you stare into
this darkness you will soon come to see that it's not just a flat
blackness.  Not only is it NOT a black nothing in the darkness behind
your closed eyes, but if you look closely you will see that there is
something moving in the darkness behind your closed eyes!  What I see
is what looks like zillions of little pin pricks of electric yellow
light and these pin pricks seem to be moving in a way that's hard
to put into words.  And the image itself is faint and not easy to
focus on at all.


I just want to make sure you understand this. Anyone who has
had any experiences with altered states of consciousness knows
exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who have never
had the kinds of experiences I'm describing here you will just
have to accept what I am saying. If you practice the excercises
I prescribe, there is a very good chance you will have these
same types of experiences and then you too will know what I am
talking about.  

I'm sorry to dwell on this, but let me say it again. Right now, imagine
what you look like. Now imagine what your mother looks like. Ok. Now,
you just "saw" images didn't you?  What you just did was *imagine*
your and your mother's face. You created these images in your mind's eye.
THIS IS NOT WHAT I AM DESCRIBING HERE.  As I said, from here on out
when I say I "saw" this or that, I literally mean that I *saw* it.  It
is totally different from seeing something in my mind's eye. As a
matter of fact, for example, while I see these little pinpricks
of light, I can imagine whatever I want in my mind's eye. They are
two different processes.

Ok, I hope this is clear!

Now, these little moving pin pricks of light are not just something I am
making up. Psychologists have discovered these things and call them
"ideoretinal light" (you will also see the terms "eighenlicht" and
"entopic lights" - see the reference by Mavromatis in the bibliography).
Many people see these little lights and psychologists have recorded
many cases of it.  Many people can see these little lights
superimposed over their normal vision, that is, when their eyes
are open. I can. Maybe you can too.

Right now, just shut your eyes and stare into the darkness. What do you
see?  Stare specifically into this darkness, try to focus on it.  Shut
off the lights in the room or wait until night time, and do this again
in the darkness.  Try to make sense out of what you see behind your
closed eyes.

Chances are good that, in staring into the darkness behind your closed
eyes, you too can see the ideoretinal lights. Perhaps you can see other
things if you stare closely; maybe faint colors moving around in hard
to describe ways, maybe even faint outlines of pictures.  You might
see after-images of what you were looking at right before you
closed your eyes. Wait for these after-images to fade and THEN
stare behind your closed eyes and try to figure out what you see.
Different people see different things behind their closed eyes.  What
is important is that 1. you learn that you CAN see things behind your
closed eyes, and 2. that you stare at whatever you can see behind your
closed eyes while you are trying to go into trance.

Back to the ideoretinal lights. Most psychologists assume that these
little moving lights are some kind of effect of your eye randomly
interacting with light.  They explain these little dots as the effect
of light randomly bouncing around inside your eye and triggering off
the retina, thus sending nerve impulses to the brain, where these
random bouncing light particles get perceived as this ideoretinal
light.  Be this as it may, on the basis of my experiences studying
this ideoretinal light, I have come to the conclusion that IDEORETINAL
LIGHT IS A DOORWAY TO THE ASTRAL PLANE. Quite a different conclusion
from the psychologists, eh?  Let's get into what I mean.

So, back to my trance experiences.  I'm staring into the darkness
behind my closed eyes and I see the ideoretinal light. I watch it move
and wave around in the peculiar way it does. As my body continues to
relax, at a certain point, the darkness behind my closed eyes
no longer looks "flat".  It transforms and now takes on a 3 dimensional
appearance. It looks like a space back there now that I could reach
into if I wanted to. However, I cannot reach into it, because at this
point I can still feel my arms laying against my bed. Nonetheless,
I am looking into this space of darkness, and this space is now
swirling in a weird, subtle fashion and I can still see the ideoretinal
lights swirling in this dark space.

It's actually very important to correlate these changes in my vision
with the changes in the feeling of my body. That is, these changes
happen at the same time. As my relaxation deepens, my breathing
becomes very quiet and regular, I start to feel heavy, like one
feels as they are falling off to sleep, except I don't fall asleep.
As this heaviness comes over me, it is about at this time that the darkness
behind my eyes becomes like a dark space that I could reach into.
I may feel a wave of relaxation sweep over me.  For people out there
who know about brain waves, I suspect that I am entering the alpha
brain wave state at this point. Alpha brain waves indicate a
state of deep relaxation. But I am still conscious of my body laying
on the bed, and I can still hear sounds occurring outside or elsewhere
in the house.

However, it is shortly after this point (i.e. the onset of the alpha
state, which corresponds to a feeling of deep relaxation) that really
weird things start to happen in the darkness behind my closed eyes.  
Any number of things have happened to me at this point, so I will only
describe a few of them.

One thing that is relatively common is that I will see a flash of
purple appear in the darkness behind my closed eyes. It's as if one
of the little yellow pinpoints flared up into a bright purple flash,
but only for a split instant. I see it and it's gone.

Another really weird thing I've seen is that one of the little
yellow lights will flare up, and *open up* into what looks
like a little circular window!  Sometimes it just stays open for an
instant but I can't see anything in it, and then it shuts. Other
times, one of the yellow lights will flare up this way and I can
actually see something in it, as if I'm looking through a
tiny little window!  Once I saw trees through such a little window.
Another time I saw an open doorway. When the yellow lights flare in
this fashion, the image lasts longer than the purple flashes. The
purple flashes come and go, but these little "windows" have stayed
open for a number of seconds sometimes.  

And once I start seeing things like this in the darkness behind my
closed eyes, basically this is where the dam breaks, so to speak,
and I begin to see all kinds of other amazing things.  So, at this
point, I have to tangent off and introduce an idea that is
very relevant and important here.

The name of this section of the notes is "Hypnogogic Imagery". When
you see stuff in the darkness behind your closed eyes, it is called
"hypnogogic imagery".  In the bibliography, I reference a book
by Mavromatis, and this book is called "Hypnogogia". This is a
whole book about hypnogogic imagery.  This is a critical topic to
study for anyone interested in astral projection, as will be clear
below, and I highly recommend this book for any serious student
of astral projection.

In effect, the hypnogogic imagery is a signpost saying, "astral
projection getting close".  That is, ONCE YOU START SEEING HYPNOGOGIC

Let me digress now. First I will give you some background on what
is known and currently thought about hypnogogic images, then I
will describe some of the hypnogogic images I have seen.

Again, the psychologists have known about hypnogogic images for
around 100 years now. The word "hypnogogia" refers to the state
of consciousness right at the border between waking and sleeping.
I mentioned this state earlier, and that is its name; hypnogogia.
Some psychologists refer to hypnogogia as the border state when you
are falling asleep, and refer to the border state as you are waking up
as "hypnopompic".  This distinction really doesn't matter because
they both refer to the same state of consciousness; the border
between sleeping and being awake. So, I will use the term hypnogia to
refer to this state whether you are falling asleep *or* waking up.
Now, in terms of astral projection, we are really only concerned
about hypnogogia as you fall asleep, because when you "wake up"
from an astral projection, it is immediate. When a projection ends,
it ends. There is no hypnopomic state in an astral projection. Your
consciousness will transfer instantly from the projection back here
to the physical plane.

Hypnogoia was a phenomenon discovered by people interested in understanding
how dreams form. What was discovered in this research was that before
people actually start to dream, a large majority of people will see
images, very clear images, behind their closed eyes, and while they are
still pretty much awake.  This "pre-dream" imagery was called hypnogogic
imagery.  The imagery itself has no pattern. One may see faces, scenes,
landscapes, weird colors, colored smoke clouds, twinkling lights,
nightmare visions, anything. And for some people, they may even have
hypnogogic smells and sounds. That is, not only do some people see
images in the hypnogogic state, but they will hear sounds or smell things.
In a nutshell, there is no good explanation for what causes hypnogogic
images. If you want to see the theories psychologists are kicking
around, check out the book by Mavromatis.

This is about all I will say here about the study of hypnogogia. It's
a fascinating topic for anyone interested in dreams, altered states of
consciousness or astral projection. Again, I encourage you to look
up Mavromatis' book "Hypnogoia" to learn more about this topic.

For our purposes here the important thing to realize is that, as
I said, when you induce a trance in yourself, you will pass
through the hypnogoic state BEFORE you can leave your body. Again,
seeing the hypnogogic images means, "you're almost there". What
determines when you are actually ready to leave will be discussed
below.  Before going into that, I would like to list some of my
own experiences in the hypnogogic state so that you have some idea
of what it is like if you've never experienced it before. Again,
the following quotes are excerpts from my astral projection journal,
specifically of hypnogogic images I saw prior to leaving my body.
You should note the variety and unpredictability of these images.

"...I began to lose my lockmold and felt myself fading away.  Could
feel myself in my physbod again.  Could see hypnogogic images behind
my closed eyelids.  It looked like a duck staring at me-but I really
don't know what it was, it wasn't moving though.  What was really
unique though is that the image was undulating like: (drawing in my
notes).  It looked like the undulations produced by dropping two rocks
in the water.  The bottom undulation was covering some type of
landscape.  Lost the image and woke up."

"Felt myself laying on my bed but I still felt like I could "leave."  
I began to see hypnogogic images of outdoor scenery; trees, houses,
blue sky overhead.  I "jumped" into the images and was on a suburban
city street..."  

"Today's experiences consisted solely of hypnogogic imagery.  I have
no recall of having actually left my body.  Through the descriptions
that follow, I was conscious of laying on my bed in my physical body.

    "a.  I saw undulations for a brief period.  These undulations looked
like someone had dropped a rock in the water, except they went backwards,
from the periphery to the center.  The undulations occurred in the darkness
behind my closed eyes."
    "b.  The undulations faded and I was watching the darkness behind my
closed eyes.  I perceived a circular swirling motion between my eyes and
this motion became like an expanding hole.  In the hole I saw a woman's
face.  It was the face of a mature, older woman (maybe late 30s) and she
had black hair.  The face then transformed into a deformed version of
itself.  The jaws became grotesque and large and facial hair appeared.  
The face transformed again to that of an ape-like creature, though it
still bore a direct resemblance to the original face.  This third face
had a rounder skull and less pronounced cheeks and jaw than the first
face.  These images were in full color and looked like photographic
    "c.  The ape-woman face faded.  I then saw the face of a man.  He
appeared to be engaged in a conversation, though I could not hear
anything.  He looked to be from the 19th century by his dress.  This
image was animated though it was in black and white."
    "d.  The image of the talking man faded.  I felt a sinking feeling,
or a wave of relaxation overtake me.  My eyes were closed but my entire
visual field was visible.  In it there was a beautiful, dynamic panorama
of swirling blues before me.  It was a little darker than sky blue.  
It had an amorphous shape.  It seemed to be framed by something that
I could not identify.  This image faded."
    "I continued concentrating and now a light purple mist, like a thin
smoke cloud was before me.  This faded."
    "I continued, though very relaxed, to concentrate on my visual field.  
A definite pattern appeared before me.   It was a very strange image,
not easy to describe.  It was cartoon textured and colored in various
shades of red, gray and off-white.  It was slightly reminiscent of an
Egyptian hieroglyphics text, but only slightly.  It looked like a
pattern of glyphs, but there was a woman's face and an outline of a body
also in the pattern, though they looked abstract and not literal.  The
pattern moved three times.  When it moved, it looked like "fire" or some
molten looking liquid, welling up at one point in the pattern  and going
to and filling in another point in the pattern, almost like if you had
two open pop bottles, one filled and the other empty, and the liquid
flowed out of the filled one into the empty one.  I really had no idea
of what I was seeing here.  This then faded and I fell asleep and went
through a series of dream sequences, and I was barely bordering on being

Finally, one more:
"...I felt myself laying on my bed back in my physbod.  I relaxed and
stared into the blackness behind my closed eyelids.  Almost
immediately, hypnogogic imagery began to appear.  The images were
very vivid and in color.  I was seeing faces of dark skinned people.  
They looked like the painted faces of Native American Indians.  There
was an unusual effect that I would see a face from one particular angle,
then the face would shift its angle and become a different face.  
After the faces had stopped "rotating", they spun off into the
background and I could see all of them balled together, and they were
wrapped up in an American flag."
    "As the image moved further away I tried to push myself out towards it.  
It worked and I was now standing in my new room in the attic.  I floated
up through the roof to the outside..."

So, that gives you a little taste of the content of these hypnogogic
images. There is no apparent rhyme or reason to them as far as I can tell.
For a while I tried to figure out if there might be some kind of
symbolic meaning to these images, but I gave up on this because
a lot of these images are completely abstract and don't even make any
sense when you look at them.

There is one special type of hypnogogic image I would like to mention,
that may occur to you. This is, you will be laying there relaxing and
going into trance, and all of a sudden, you are staring at the room
you are in clear as day.  It's as if you are seeing your room
through your closed eyelids!  This can happen and has happened to
me pretty frequently. It might even be the first hypnogogic image
you see during any trance session.  What's important to realize is that
if this happens to you, you should recognize that it *is* a hypnogogic
image, and, like any hypnogogic image, use it as a clue to the fact
that you are close to being able to leave your body.  Usually when
this happens, the image of your room will fade and will be
followed by more hypnogogic images.

Finally, one last word about hypnogogia.  I mentioned above that there
are no good explanations about what causes hypnogogia.  What I mean by
this is that *psychologists* have no good explanations of what
causes hypnogogia.  On the other hand, occultists do have good
explanations of what hypnogogia is, except they do not call it
hypnogogia.  What a psychologist calls "hypnogogia", an occultist
calls "clairvoyance".  That is, seeing these images is a form
of clairvoyance.  What causes clairvoyance, according to occultists,
is transferring your consciousness from the physical body to the
etheric or astral or mental bodies.  The actual explanation gets
more involvred and actually involves the theory of the chakras.
It is not my intention to explain chakras here. I only mention
this so that the interested reader can go explore on his own.
Good starting references are two books by C.W. Leadbeater:
"The Chakras" and "Clairvoaynce".  Both these are listed in the
bibliography.  For those of you who already know about chakras,
in two of the quotes I have above from my journal, I make reference
to seeing a spinning thing that looks like the waves made by
dropping a rock in the water. I believe these were direct perceptions
of my own chakras (specifically, my third-eye chakra).

SEE. It's possible that you might see rotting bodies or something
else that is grotesque and disgusting. Don't let it phase you. These
images can't hurt you at all.  No matter what you see, just remember
that what's important is the fact that you are seeing anything at
all.  Even if the image is weird or ugly, it doesn't matter.  What
matters is that you are close to leaving your body.  And just as
important, if you do see something that startles you, RELAX YOURSELF
IMMEDIATELY. Stare calmly at anything you see no matter how flipped
out it appears. If you get too worked up, you will break your trance.
You do NOT want to break your trance. Remember, all the while this is
going on, you are trying to go into deeper and deeper states of

So, to wrap up this discussion of hypnogogia, the important point to
drive home is that you will pass through hypnogoia on your way
to the astral projection state.  Now, this won't always happen, but it
will happen more often than not.

Now, let's go on to the other important aspect of putting yourself in
trance: paying attention to your body sensations.

    ii. Kinesthetic Sensation

Being aware of the sensation of your body is called "kinesthetic
sensation".  According to the dictionary I'm holding, the definiton
of kinesthetics is:

"a sense mediated by nervous elements in muscles, tendons
and joints and stimulated by body movements and tensions;
also: sensory experience derived from these sources."

To put this into English; kinesthetic sensation is your awareness of
your body and its movements. This is a form of perception too, just
like seeing, or hearing, etc.  Being aware of where your arm is at,
being aware of the feeling of your butt as you sit on a chair, feeling
your fingers wiggle, these and other like sensations are kinesthetic
sensations.  Being aware of the feeling of my body laying on my bed as
I try to go into trance is a kinesthetic sensation.  Focusing
on my kinesthetic perceptions is a critical part of how I go into trance.

I said that I focus on the feeling of my body laying on the bed, and
that as my trance deepens, my kinesthetic sensations CHANGE. You can
use these kinesthetic feelings, not only as a way to keep your awareness
focused, but also as a clue as to when you can actually leave your body.
of my body changes, and it is by these changes that I know I can "leave
my body".  Let me describe these changes for you.

At first, you are aware of the feeling of your body laying on the bed.
You are a little bit tired, so you are relaxing.  As your relaxation
deepens, you will feel your body get heavier.  As I said above, you may
feel a wave of relaxation sweep over your body.  You may also feel your
skin tingle or you may feel waves like little chills moving through
your body.  

Let me tangent for a moment to discuss something that may have happened
to you as you were falling off to sleep.  Have you ever gone to bed,
felt yourself getting more and more relaxed, and then all of a sudden
felt yourself slip?  I am not talking about having your arm or leg jerk
or anything like that.  I am talking about having actually felt your
body falling or sliding off the bed. If this has happened to you, chances
are good that it startled you and caused you to wake up.  If you have
ever felt such sensations, then realize that THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE

Again, you are getting more and more relaxed.  You feel your body
getting heavier and heavier. Finally, all of a sudden, it feels like
your body is slipping backwards, or that you are falling, or that
your body is slipping forward, or that your body is floating gently
downwards.  All of these are possible kinesthetic sensations that
you may experience.  Prior to this you may or may not have been
seeing hypnogogic images.  Whatever the case, when this happens
DO NOT GET STARTLED. Just go with the feeling, because when this
happens, YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR BODY.  You want to anticipate this
happening. When it does start happening, you will be falling, sliding,
slipping, or whatever, in complete darkness. Don't worry about
the darkness either.  This darkness is the void I mentioned. It's
ok to be in the void.  What will be happening at this point is that
you will be falling, slipping, etc., through the void.  At this point,

If you find this happening to you, here's what to do.  You can
right yourself and "fly" through the void if you want to.  You *can*
move through the void. There is nothing going on, but you can move
through it if you want.  Like I said, the void is a nice place to
just sit (or fly) and enjoy the quiet.

If you want to cause yourself to appear somewhere in one of the
planes/subplanes, TRY TO LOOK AT YOUR HANDS.  You might find it
a little difficult to pull your hands up in front of your face, but
just do it anyway. What you will see at first is that you have no
hands!  Just stare at where it feels like your hands are. Wiggle
your fingers, try to flail your arms. What will happen is that
you will see your hands and arms form in front of you!  At the
by doing this "hands trick", as I call it, what you are doing is
tuning into a subplane, just like tuning into a radio station
on the radio.   The next thing you know, you will be *somewhere*.
At this point, YOU ARE SOMEWHERE IN THE PLANES.  We will talk
in detail in the next section about what you can expect in terms
of where you appear, and what to do once you appear somewhere.

Another thing you can do to get out of the void is SPIN YOURSELF
AROUND LIKE A TOP.  Just spin yourself around as fast as you can,
and, just like with the "hands trick", you will cause yourself
to appear somewhere.  I have used both the spinning trick and the
hands trick numerous times to leave the void and enter the subplanes.

Now, appearing in the void is NOT the only thing that can happen to
you when you leave your body. A number of other things can occur too.  
These are as follows.

It is also very likely that, as your relaxation deepens, and your body
gets heavier and heavier, and you may or may not be seeing hypnogogic
images,  YOU WILL BLACKOUT, but only for a split instant. That is,
you will lose your consciousness, but only for a moment. In an
instant you will be conscious again, but you will no longer feel your-
self laying on your bed, and you will no longer be looking into
the darkness behind your closed eyes. You will regain your awareness
after this momentary blackout and YOU WILL BE ASTRAL PROJECTING. You
will be somewhere in the dream world, fully lucid.  You could be
anywhere: you may be standing in your room, you may be standing in
a foreign house, you could be somewhere you recognize or somewhere
that is unfamiliar to you. Whatever the case, you will be somewhere
and you will be astral projecting.

Now, another thing that can happen to you is that you are laying
on your bed getting more and more relaxed, and you begin to see
hypnogogic images.  It is possible, as one of my journal entries
You may be staring at a scene of a city street, or maybe a scene of
a forest or, as I mentioned, you may be looking at the room you are in.  
You can try to "push out" into the scene itself.

As your relaxation continues to deepen you will possibly feel other
things, as I mentioned above: tingles on your skin, chills moving
through your body.  Also, you might hear strange sounds like creakings
or wooshings or chains rattling.  All of these sensations are
characteristic of what you will experience as you cross the border
from the waking state to the projection state. Don't be alarmed
by any of this. It is all perfectly natural.

Finally, as you practice and get more used to the kinesthetic sensations
associated with leaving your body, what will happen is that eventually
you will just *know* that you can "push out" of your body. Sometimes,
this "pushing out" sensation will feel like you are squirming out of your
body.  Other times it will feel like you really are pushing outward. It
may also feel like you are falling off your bed. Any number of sensations
are possible.  The point is, you can ACTIVELY push out of your body.
Above I spoke about just letting yourself "fall" into the void, and
this method of leaving your body is purely PASSIVE.  You can
passively leave your body or you can actively push out of your body.
Both ways work.  As you get better at projecting, you will find that
most of the time you will actively push out of your body.

To summarize at this point, what you want to do is pay attention
to your kinesthetic sensations. These are the clues as to when you
have left your body. The dissociation process will occur naturally and
spontaneously. It does every night when you go to sleep and dream. The
only difference here is that you are attempting to take your waking
consciousness across the border with you.  And, as time goes on, and you
practice, you will eventually get used to the sensation of dissociating
from your body, and you will just know when it's the right time to
"jump out" into the OOBE.

So, let me now summarize this trance method:

1. You will lie down in a comfortable place with the intent
  to project.

2. You will allow yourself to relax ever more deeply while at the
  same time, you will keep your mind focused on your self-awareness.

3. You can stare into the darkness behind your closed eyes and
  wait for hypnogogic images to appear.

4. You should stay very conscious of your kinesthetic sensations.

5. Expect the following to occur:
A. Your body will feel more and more heavy as your
   relaxation deepens.
B. You will probably see hypnogogic images.
C. You should anticipate any of the following
   changes in your kinesthetic sensations:
 1. Tingles and chills in your body.
 2. A feeling of slipping, falling, floating.
 3. A possible momentary blackout.
 4. Recognition that you can actively push out  of
    your body.

Now, I must make very clear that the transition from the feeling
of laying in your bed, to the feeling that you are no longer laying
in your bed can take on an immense number of forms.  There is NO one
"correct" set of sensations. Almost anything is possible. What I have
described above are the things I feel and perceive when I go into trance
and try to leave my body. You may or may not feel and perceive the same
things.  However, what I have described above gives you something with
which to get started.  I have given you specific things to look for and
expect.   Chances are good that you will experience the same things I
have described here, or experience something very similar.  

To wrap up this section on using the trance method to leave your body,
I am going to list a number of my actual experiences of this transition.
Again, these are actual entries out of my astral projection journal.
I want to say that what you can perceive while entering into the astral
projection state is completely amazing. I am always totally blown away
by what happens in the transition from waking to projecting.  And this
is just the transition into the projection state - we have not even
had our projection yet!  But this borderland is completely amazing.
I started out saying that it doesn't seem like you are leaving your
body when you simply become lucid during a dream (as I described how to
do in the previous section of these notes).  However, once you've
experienced the transition from waking to projecting, that is, once
your awareness has directly passed through the borders between waking
and projecting, you will be totally convinced that you have really
"left your body".  What I've described in this section is as real as it
gets!!!!  I wish you all good luck getting to, and getting across
this borderland!

With all the above said, let me now present for you some of my adventures
on the border between waking and projecting.

(continued in FILE 6)


FILE 6 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
    Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.

                      HOW TO ASTRAL PROJECT - PART 3

3. Don's Actual Experiences On The Border Between
  Waking And Projecting

So, here they are, right from my astral projection journal. Remember,
these are all just excerpts of my experiences with the *transition*
from being awake to being in a projection.  I have purposely left
out the description of my subsequent projections from these entries.
We will discuss what it's like during an astral projection in the
next section of these notes.  

As you read the following entries, try to keep in mind what I described
in the previous file. You will see every possible combination of the
sensations you can expect as you enter the projection state.  You
will also see in these notes some things I did not mention in File 5.

Also, the parenthetical remarks are comments I have added to high-
light certain features of each entry to which you should pay attention.

(This was my very first projection experience back in 1987.)

"All I remember about my first willed projection is that I had gone
to bed with the intent to project.  After dozing off, at some point
I became aware of the fact that I was looking at my bedroom, though
I could feel that my eyes were closed.  I was also very afraid, and
the fear was of the quality that I had experienced years earlier:  I
was afraid but I didn't know why, and there was no apparent reason
for my fear.  I remember that something that seemed like a
paper-machй snake was sticking out of my wall and biting my hands.  
But I could not feel anything except the fear sensation.  I struggled
and tried to pull away from the snake creature.  Eventually, the fear
response became so great that I could no longer bear it and I woke up."


"I awoke and attempted to travel.  Felt my body falling back to sleep.  
In my third eye I felt myself sliding down a gigantic cliff.  When I
let go I was outside of my body.  It seemed like I slid out through
my feet.  I flew out of my bedroom into the back yard..."

   (Note here how I saw hypnogogic images prior to leaving my body.
   This is also an example of blacking out before leaving)

"Looking at an aura from on the inside of it that looked like the modern
one in Master D.K.'s book.  Grey background, orange red and black pictures
in it, but more like glyphs than photos.  I felt uncomfortable looking at
it because of what I thought the colors meant.  Then as I was looking, a
jet  or spray of red particles in a fine mist seemed to emit from me!  
The aura seemed to be either revolving around me or it was changing its
appearance as I looked at it.  It appeared like it was on a concave wall,
like the inside of a bowl.  I saw other "weird" things while I was
stationary on my bed but can't remember them.  A large featureless fish
seemed to swim past me.  I blacked out.
    When I regained my vision I was standing on steps leading down
into what appeared to be a basement laundry mat..."

  (Here is an example of me using the hands trick. This occurred
   during the middle of a projection though.  Notice that I ended
   up tuning into one of the lower subplanes)

"Then I faded out of the lockmold and was back in the void again.  
    I tried my newly discovered hand trick again.  This time I got
strange results.  I saw my hand appear, kind of ghost like and
transparent, then disappear as I withdrew my immediate attention from
trying to feel/move it.  I re-concentrated on feeling it.  Now I was
looking at my palm, thumb and about 1/2 of one finger.  This kind of
grossed me out cause it looked like melted wax or something where the
rest of my hand should have been.  Then I watched my other fingers
"grow" or materialize, first as stumps, then they formed into my
fingers.  Then I got the idea to try to feel both hands, then my legs
and feet.  I was literally wiggling my whole body.  This seemed to
cause the void to disappear and make me phase in to a new lockmold.
    Again, wherever I was felt desolate and dingy..."

(Here is an active, "push out" example)

"Laid concentrating, felt myself escape.  I was in a purple cocoon,
plastic like, surrounding me.  I shut my eyes and flew/pushed my way
through it. Went upwards.  I was in an unfamiliar small bedroom on the
second story.  I got the impression I was up over my bedroom, but
everything was unfamiliar..."

(Here's an example of the problems you may encounter
 when trying to push out of your body. In this case
 I pushed out into the void, but used the hands trick
 to cause myself to materialize. There is another
 trick here which I use to keep my lockmold strong.
 Note that this occurred during the middle of a projection,
 but the ideas are the same as at the beginning of a projection.)

"Was back in my physbod, very close to being awake.  I could hear sounds
outside, feel the bed under me, etc.  But I didn't want it to end yet so
I laid there trying to fall back into it.  As my trance was deepening,
or my concentration was getting stronger, I had the momentary experience
of simultaneously being in my physical body lying on my bed, but also of
floating half way out of my physical body.  I tried to jump out.  I
could only see the void, but it didn't feel like I went anywhere.  I
jumped out 4 or 5 times but, even though I felt myself jump, it didn't
seem like I was "out".  Finally though I felt "out".  I was in the void,
but I could definitely see the silhouette of my bedroom around me.  
I tried intensely to materialize.  I achieved a partial materialization.  
I was standing there in my room, looking at my arms.  My hands weren't
there, there were only stumps that looked melted.  But I could "feel"
my hands.  I tried wiggling my fingers and they appeared, but only
slightly.  My hands looked like melted stumps with barely visible,
practically transparent fingers wiggling around on them.  And I was
having a difficult time maintaining my lockmold.  I remembered how
hugging the counter in that bar had helped stabilize my lockmold, so
I grabbed my chair with my transparent hands, and I could feel
myself stabilize.  I hugged the chair with my body trying to be as
conscious as I could of the sensation of my body up against the chair.  
I stayed like this until I felt confident to move.  Once my lockmold
stabilized, I was surprised by how lucid I felt.  I felt completely
awake and lucid and I was in awe at how real everything seemed around
me.  My mind began to race.  What should I do with my lucidity, what
can I explore?..."  


(Here's an example of me becoming lucid in a dream)

"I was in a dream, walking down an unfamiliar street in an unfamiliar
neighborhood, and for no apparent reason, it dawned on me that I was
dreaming.  I figured it was best to stay cool about the fact and not
get excited, so I kept walking and stayed casual.  Yet now I was
completely aware of my environment.  It was very vivid.  I was on a
boulevard walking past a rather large school...."


(Here's an example of no break in consciousness
 while entering the projection)

"Totally conscious transfer to projection, there was no break in
my consciousness.  I was laying on my bed.  Felt that "sinking"
feeling of relaxation.  Saw a grey pattern and "swam" into it.  
The pattern took on a more geometric form around me, like a checker
board, but it was like moving static as well.  When the static
cleared I was flying about a department store..."

(A nice illustration of entering the projection state)

" Was very tired and went into trance easily.  Laid concentrating
for a bit and eventually scenes began forming in my third eye (i.e.
hypnogogic images).  I relaxed and pushed myself out, actually I
kind of "fell" out.  I was in the void but it was only a very light
grey smoky mist this time.  I stared into it and it formed into a
nicely colored pattern.  I thought to myself, "now this is the
astral plane."  What I saw was an orange-yellow light centered and
somewhat off in the distance.  Surrounding this, or emanating from
it was a blueish-purple mist that faded into black at the periphery.  
The scene eventually faded.  
    I was back in my physbod and pushed myself out again.  This time I
was standing in my new bedroom..."

(Another example of being at the border. This also illustrates
 how you may be somewhere that is familiar but it is also

"I remember standing at the edge of some kind of "opening", in what
I don't know.  The opening was surrounded by clouds and darkness.  
Through the opening I could see dancing color patterns that looked
like a lightning storm.  The only colors I remember were flashing
yellows and whites, on a dark background.  I stood there watching
for a moment but I don't recall what happened next.  I had the
realization I could leave my body.  I jumped out and was in a room
that resembled my room at Dad's house, except none of my stuff was
there and the walls were white plaster..."


(Here's an example of how confusing it can be sometimes.)

"Woke at 9 AM, went back to sleep and dreamed.  Woke again at 11:30 AM.
I decided to go back to sleep.  Laid there concentrating on the space
behind my closed eyes.  I had to go to the bathroom, and John had left
the door of our room open.  I could hear my roommates downstairs.  Saw
pictures in my third eye; a couple of different views of my face, some
landscapes, and some unidentifiable figurines.  Then my roommate Drew
came up the steps and he threw a crumpled up bag at me.
    "You ***hole, get outta here!" I said to him.
     He said, "No way, man, I'm gonna bug you."
     He came over by my bed and I reached out to strike at him.  When
I swung my arm forward, it was then that I felt like I was pulling out
of my body.  Drew was trying to bug me and it dawned on me that I was in
trance.  I was curious because there was no break in my consciousness
at all.  I then faded back into my body.  I tried to go back to the
projection.  A rift formed in the space behind my eyes, and in this
rift, a blurry figure was trying to grab at me.  Lost this lockmold.
Woke up completely.  Heard Drew downstairs playing his guitar."


(This is a nice description of some kinesthetic sensations.)

" Laid there in bed a while paying attention to my physiology as I
was falling back asleep.  Felt streams of warmth shooting through
my body and vibrations thru my arms, legs and torso.  I saw a picture
form in my third eye, it was unrecognizable.  Must have broke
consciousness because the next I knew I was in the state where I
felt I could dissociate.  Laid there struggling to get out.  I wiggled
out.  I ran to the front window here in the attic..."  

(Here's an example of stepping into a hypnogogic image, also
 note what I say about being startled and keeping myself

" I woke from sleep.  Had fleeting glimpses of my dream memories then
they were gone.  Laid observing my physiology.  I had an aspirin the
night before and now I felt it burning in my stomach.  I felt better
than I did before I fell asleep.  I shut my eyes and could see into
(through?) my third eye.  As is common for me, whenever a picture would
form I would feel a tightening in my heart, which would always cause
the image to fade from my third eye.  I tried to still this and relax
and just calmly watch the pictures form in my third eye.  A few scenes
formed and faded but I don't recall what they were.  Finally I managed
to coordinate my heart and third eye chakras.  The scene of a street
formed vividly in front of my closed eyes.  There was a river off to
my left, 50-100 yards from the road.  On the left seemed to be a
construction site.  There were buildings on my right.  I was trying
to observe details and I felt my foot step forward!  Surprised the
hell out of me! Next thing I knew, I was walking along the street...."  

(Another example of leaving.)

"Woke around 1:00 AM.  Within about 1 hour, I felt a throb at the
back of my head.  Wondered if it had anything to do with my pineal
gland.  Tried to fall back to sleep but I was too uncomfortable
from the pain.  Was up for a little while, took some aspirin and
went back to bed.
    I laid in bed waiting for the aspirin to hit me.  Soon I could see
the swirling motion moving through the darkness behind my closed
eyes.  I thought of the motion as "my friend".  I tried to sense if
there was any connection between the throbbing and the motion.  Next
I knew, the aspirin took effect and the throb was numbed away.  I
continued to watch in my third eye.  I started to be able to see
the meme bacteria and the imagery was surprisingly clear.  However,
whenever I achieved a good clear focus, I would become too excited
and the images would fade.  Laid thinking about some material I had
read earlier about microtubule transport and diffusion c-AMP networks
in the brain and what this might have to do with the meme bacteria
that I could see.  
    I must have drifted off cause the next thing I realized, I could
leave my body.  But I was laying in a bed in a totally unfamiliar
room.  I flew out through the wall and was in an unfamiliar suburb..."


(Here's a nice description of watching the hypnogogic images,
 also in this experience I appear on the etheric plane.)

"Laid down to project.  Was very relaxed.  Laid watching images form in my
third eye (the so-called hypnogogic images).  I watched this process
carefully.  At first the images could be seen to appear in the grainy
milieu behind my closed eyes.  They would be the graininess in the form
suggestive of a face.  They did not have color to them.  Soon though I
would be observing an image in full color, but it would only last an
instant.  The instant I would be aware of a vivid and distinct image,
my heart chakra would tense and the image would disappear.  Also, I'd
feel myself "slip" closer to being wide awake when I'd lose an image.  
Soon the images were forming rapidly and in color.  They were very subtle.
Once I became relaxed enough that I would not "tense" the pictures away,
I noticed that the images would blend imperceptibly with my visual memory.
That is, one instant I would be observing a hypnogogic image, the next
instant I was remembering the image.  At times this would occur so quickly
that I almost couldn't tell if I was just conjuring up an image in my
imagination.  Finally, one particular image clicked in and I felt very
stable.  I thought to myself, "This is it.  Leave now."

I looked around and saw I was lying on a bed in a room that looked like
my bedroom (at my Dad's house, which is where I am at right now), except
there was no furniture in this room.  I could hear "haunted house" sounds:
wind blowing, shrieking and clanking and howling sounds.  They were not
loud but they were audible.  I tried to levitate but I could not.  I
could feel my body and it was paralyzed.  I realized that I was on the
etheric plane.  I could hear my step mother talking very clearly in the
next room.  I tried to get up.  It was very difficult to move but I
pulled myself up.  I pulled my covers off of me and tried to stand up.  
I felt very heavy and knew I was in my etheric (ectoplasm) body...."  


"Went to take a nap after classes.  Been frustrated lately cause I
haven't traveled in about a month.  Was determined to do it now.  Laid
in bed trying to focus, but my mind kept wandering.  Finally I made
a strong determined effort.  A couple hypnogogic images came and went.  
One of them was sexual and it caused me to wake.  I began to concentrate
on the lights behind my closed eyes (entopic light) and the "whooshing"
sounds in my ear (the blood circulating in the ear).  Some time passed,
yet I kept concentrating.  Finally it hit.  I felt the "headrush" feeling,
but at that moment its significance escaped me.  But I tried to jump
out anyway.  It worked! I was in my bedroom, lockmold blinking on and
off badly...."

(Here's an example of a passive exit, and apparently here
 I "fell" into my hypnogogic images!  Note too that this
 entry occurred in the middle of a projection, but again, the
 same thing could easily happen when you first try to leave.
 Note too how I am trying to remember my projection while it
 is occurring.)

"Laid trying to remember all that has been recorded to this point
before I attempted to leave again.  Soon I felt as if I was reclined
backwards, with my feet up about 2 feet up in the air, though I was
still stretched out on my bed.  I stared into the "stars" (ideoretinal
light) behind my closed eyes and I could see green and purple shapes
of the meme bacteria moving in a way that looked like unicellular
creatures moving under a microscope (like the motion one sees when
looking at pond water under a microscope).  I could see this quite
clearly.  I mentally kept tipping myself steeper backwards.  Then
suddenly I slid backwards right into the midst of the meme bacteria!  
This made me scared.  But I could see helical tubes of green and
purple moving and spiraling around me.  I knew that I must be in
my brain somewhere.  I can't remember now (as I'm recording this)
exactly what I saw.  However I had continued to fall backwards, and
it was as if I slid backwards through the green and purple spirals.  
When I stopped falling backwards, I had landed in a rather large room
that seemed familiar to me, though I couldn't place why..."

(Here I apparently feel lighter instead of heavy
 as my trance gets deeper. See, this is why you write the
 stuff down! I never would have remembered this!)

"Woke about 7:00 AM.  Went and pissed and came back to bed intent
upon leaving.  Laid down feeling "stiff-tired".  As I relaxed and
concentrated I felt myself get lighter and lighter.  Saw the "stars"
("ideoretinal light") transform into a balloon-like cocoon surrounding
me.  I turned around and pushed backwards through it.  I think I
appeared in a forest, but I can't remember now for sure.  I recall
walking along a muddy dirt road...."  

(The following rather long entry was written about 1
 year after I started astral projecting. You will note
 many of the familiar themes I have described above, but
 also note my more detailed description of them.  As
 these elements became more familiar to me, I would
 take more time to study them carefully.)

"The most exciting thing today was my hypnogogic imagery I saw before
I left my body.  I am most definitely getting better at allowing third
eye images to form. I don't seem to need to go into as deep a trance
as I used to before the imagery starts.  Today I was only very relaxed,
not even in trance yet, and the first image formed.  It lasted in
full proportions for maybe 5 seconds then weakened a bit and lingered
for maybe another 20 seconds.  After the image weakened a bit, I
could actually open my eyes and still see the hypnogogic image at
the same time!  The heart chakra jerk that usually accompanies my
recognition of a hypnogogic image was weaker today.  When I felt it,
it did not cause the image to fade.  I'm beginning to suspect that
the perceiving of these hypnogogic images is related to brain wave
states (i.e. EEG patterns), because there is a very distinct change
in the "carrier wave" of my consciousness before these images begin
to arise.  
    What was the image?  (picture in notebook)  It was a circle that was
divided up like a pie and it looked to have rivets in it.  I wondered
if it was some type of image of one of my chakras.  It had a yellowish
white cast to it.  In the "stronger image" the upper left quadrant of
the circle seemed to be open revealing a view of a cloudy blue sky.  
There were also little neon green springs that flitted in and out of my
vision.  When the image became "weaker" the region showing the sky
disappeared, it closed up, and all I could see was an image of the
circle, though it seemed more transparent, the colors were more pale.
    After the image deteriorated, I could see lots of "neon motion" in
the darkness behind my closed eyes superimposed over the imagery of
the drifting entopic light.  I desired to leave.  Soon, the
Kundalini vibrations started up and took over my body.  These felt
like chills whipping gently up and down my whole body.  I laid there
feeling this for some time.  At some point I attempted to leave,
to push up and out, and it worked.
    I was in my bedroom and it looked extremely physical - so much so
that I wasn't even sure if I had left or if I had woken up.  But
when I tried to move, my motion was sluggish and lethargic and the
farther I moved from my bed the more difficult it was to continue,
and I knew then that I was in my etheric body.  Couldn't pass through
the ceiling, wall or behind bookshelf.  Then I "snapped" back into my
    Layed there drifting off in my thoughts.  Finally, I refocused on
leaving again.  My consciousness seems to have broken and next thing I
knew, I was flying in the void.  Flew for a distance then tried the
hands trick.  It took some time for me to focus myself in, but it
worked well this time.  As soon as I could see/feel my body, my
bedroom had materialized around me as well.  My room appeared different
though now...."  


Well, I hope you didn't mind all those entries. The reason I put so many
in these notes is because getting out of your body is obviously the
most crucial part of this whole experience!  I wanted to illustrate to
you just how variable this is and how many different ways it can manifest.
And also, as you can see from the above entries, leaving your body
is by no means a cut and dry thing.  Sometimes I was not sure if I was
still awake or if I was in trance yet. Of course, eventually I'd
figure it out, but it's not always obvious.  Also, you can see
that there is no regular pattern to what happens as you go deeper
into trance.  Sometimes you may see hypnogogic images, other times
you may fall into them!  Sometimes you might not even see them.  

In spite of all this complexity, I really hope I have at least given you
some idea of what it is like to go into trance and what it is like
to leave your body.

4. Other Techniques For Getting Out Of Body    

    Before I start the topic of what it is actually like in a projection,
I want to briefly mention some other methods that people use to
get into the projection state. I have saved these techniques for last
because I don't use them and don't really know too much about them.
I suspect that if you want more information about the following
techniques you can go enquire on the message boards here in the CompuServe
New Age forum. There are many people here in the forum who know
more about these techniques than I do.  As well, there are references
provided in the bibliography that specify in much more detail than I do
here how to achieve projctions using these other methods (see
especially Rogo's "Leaving The Body").  The techniques I'd like to
mention now are: 1. visualization methods, and 2. using electronic
devices such as tapes and other gadgets and using drugs.

A. Visualization Methods

    The basic idea of visualization methods for projecting entails
creating an image in your mind's eye and then stepping into this image.
Above, in my discussion about the trance method, I went to great
effort to make clear that hypnogogic images are different than
images created in your visual imagination (i.e. your mind's eye).  
What we now want to discuss are the images you create in your visual
imagination, and we are NOT discussing hypnogogic images.

   Like the trance method, visualization methods require concentration.
You create an image in your mind's eye and you must concentrate on
this image, which means you must hold this image uninterrupted in
your mind's eye.  Such a thing is not easy to do.  If you can hold
on to one thought for longer than 5 seconds you are doing really good.
This type of concentration is also a basic technique of yoga meditation.
In yoga, one may concentrate on a mandala or a chant as a meditation
exercise.  Concentrating on a mandala is a visualization exercise.

So, to achieve a projection through visualization, one must first be
very good at concentrating on visual images.  If you are not good at
this, it will require much preliminary practice before you ever
see your first projection.  You will have to practice daily on
holding an image uninterrupted in your mind's eye.  It is only when
you can hold an image in your mind's eye for an extended period of time
- perhaps 15 to 30 minutes - that you will then be able to enter
into this image.  

Next, what does it mean to "enter an image in your imagination"?
Now, since I do not use this method, I can only go by what I have
read.  From these sources, it appears that the act of stepping
into a visual image is similar to pushing out of your body as is
done in the trance method.  Frankly, I can't imagine that this is very
easy to do. Stepping into an image in your mind's eye is a different
process than stepping into a hypnogogic image or pushing out of
your body while in trance.  I suspect that very few people find it easy
to *literally* step into their thoughts. Sure, we all day-dream to
some extent or another, but how many of us *physically feel
ourselves* in the day-dream?  I know I do not.  When I day-dream,
I am fully aware that I am making up a story in my mind, and my
kinesthetic sensations are firmly fixed here in the physical world.  
Yet, it seems to me that this is what visualization methods entail;
stepping into a day-dream.

I suspect that the ability to literally step into your thoughts
must be a talent possessed by a small fraction of the human population.
For most of us, there is a very rigid distinction between our
perception of ourself in the physical world and in our thoughts.  
For example, when we are sitting in a classroom day-dreaming, we
are still (painfully? ) aware of the fact that we are sitting
in the classroom, and that we are NOT inside our day-dream.
For some people however, this must not be the case.  Perhaps for
a small percentage of people, they have the ability to literally
feel themselves inside of their day-dreams! And it seems to me
that this is the essential gist of the visualization methods for
achieving astral projection; in effect, you create a daydream,
and you shift your awareness from the physical plane into this
day-dream.  That is to say, you shift your kinesthetic
sensations from yur physical environment to the made-up environment
in your imagination.  Having never done this, I obviously don't know what
it is like to step into a day-dream.  

    If the idea of becoming lucid in a dream seems like an
"artificial" way to astral project (which, again, it is NOT),
then it seems to me that stepping into a day-dream, or
an image you have concocted in your imagination is even more
artificial.  By "artificial" I mean lacking spontaneity.  The
trance method is by far the most spontaneous method of astral
projecting in that you are creating nothing in your imagination
when you do the techniques I outlined above.  Everything is
spontaneous in the trance state: the hypnogogic images,
the sensations you feel, and where you eventually appear
once you leave your body.  The dream method is less spontaneous
in that you never directly perceive your consciousness dissociating
from your physical body.  Yet, there is no question that the
content of your dreams is highly spontaneous and unpredictable.  
In the case of visualization methods, it appears that one perceives
themself entering into the visualization, but, you are then in
an environment created by your own imagination, which is about the
most predictable thing there is.  

    However, the one book I have read that really advocates
the visualization method (see Brennan, "Astral Doorways") refers
to these visualized (i.e. imagined) environments as "astral doorways".
So, I suspect that what this means is that the place you have
visualized in your imagination, which you want to be standing within,
simply gets you to the astral plane. Once you are there, you can
then leave this artificial place of your own creation and go
explore the planes.  This is what Brennan and others who advocate
visualization describe.

    That's about all I have to say about visualization methods.
My intenton here is not to teach you visualizatiuon methods
but to simply expose you to the fact that this method exists.
The idea of a visualization method is that you make up an image
in your mind's eye, and then you step into this image as a means
of to getting to the astral plane. As I said, there is nothing easy
about this technique.  Not only do you have to have the ability
to concentrate on one thought for long periods of time (15
minutes is an eternity when you are holding one thought in your
mind), but you as well have to have the rare ability to be
able to step into your thoughts.  The ability to step into
your thoughts is apparently the ability to transfer, or displace,
your kinesthetic sensations from your physical environment to
the image in your mind.  Again, I cannot do this, so I am obviously
in no position to tell you how to do it.  Like I said, I suspect
that a few rare individuals can naturally do this, but for most of
us, cultivating this ability would take a LOT of work.  And given
how easy the trance method I described above is, and how effective
it is for getting you to the astral plane, I don't think you
need to waste time learning how to do visualization exercises.
However, if you are into ritual magic, yoga and meditation, then
visualization exercises are right up your alley and you may
find this a suitable method for getting to the astral plane.

B. Drugs, Tapes And Other Devices

    Finally, I want to address methods that rely on some kind
of external gadget to help you get to the astral plane. Such
gadgets could be listening to tapes, wearing goggles, and
possibly even taking drugs.  In general, all of these gadgets
are designed to put you into a state of mind that will make it
easy for you to leave your body.  

Let me discuss drugs first.  In my experiences, common street
drugs do NOT help you achieve astral projection.  Street drugs
such as alcohol, marijuana, LSD, and cocaine create conditions
inside your body that will PREVENT you from astral projecting.
This at least has been my personal experience.  Perhaps there
are people who have been able to project by using street drugs
but I do not know any of them.  And in all of the books I have
read about astral projection, not one of them mentions using
drugs as a means to achieve OOBEs.  So, based on what I have read
and based on my own personal experience, street drugs CANNOT
help you achieve an astral projection. Again, street drugs
PREVENT you from astral projecting.

Now, I was careful in the previous paragraph to discuss only
street drugs.  There are medications that doctors use that
seem to put you in a state that induces OOBEs. Most notably,
there is a drug called ketamine (sometimes called "K" or
"vitamin K" on the streets) which can put you in an OOBE.
Doctors *used to* use ketamine as an anesthetic, mainly on children
getting their tonsils out and on pregnant women in labor.
Doctors call Ketamine a "dissociative anesthetic" because
the drug doesn't simply put you to sleep as an anesthetic is supposed
to do, but it causes your consciousness to separate from your body.
Not only this, but patients given ketamine often reported very
unpleasant experiences such as nightmares or weird visions.  
Because of this, doctors do not use ketamine anymore as an
anesthetic, at least here in the United States. In Europe, doctors
still use ketamine.  

Aside from its legitamate usage as an anesthetic, because of the fact
that ketamine produces such weird psychological effects, its use
as a street drug has become popular.  You will find in underground
literature, or in magazines such as "High Times" descriptions
of people using ketamine as a mind altering substance.  The
descriptions that people give are actually quite intriguing
and fascinating.  On the basis of what is known medically about
ketamine, I suspect that ketamine produces a state similar
to hypnogogia, and can even induce OOBEs, and this is the basis
for the amazing reports of "K" that you will hear on the streets.

So, should you try to use ketamine to achieve OOBEs?  Frankly, I
for this is two-fold. First, you DON'T need a drug to achieve OOBEs.
The trance method I describe above is easy enough and effective
enough.  In light of this, why waste time with a drug?  Furthermore,
you have to INJECT ketamine, there is no pill form.  The
idea of sticking a needle in ones arm is not very pleasing. Second,
I once actually tried ketamine, and you know what? It IS an
anesthetic! All I wanted to do was go to sleep!  Nothing happened
to me at all.  I got no weird psychological effects - nothing.
It was a completely disappointing experience.   So, besides the
fact that you have to stick a needle in your arm to do ketamine, it
doesn't seem to be as much of a panacea as its advocates make
it out to be.  My recommendation: stay away from ALL drugs when
trying to astral project. DRUGS WILL NOT HELP YOU ASTRAL PROJECT.

Now, what about things like tapes or other electronic gadgets
that are supposed to help you astral project?  Again, there are
many New Age forum members interested in this topic. You can
get more information on the message boards in the New Age forums
than I can give you here. Essentially though, the idea behind
these gadgets, from tapes to whatever, is that they manipulate
or affect your brain waves in such a way as to help you achieve
an astral projection.  Do they work?  I'm sure they do for some people.
There are probably people for whom the dream and trance methods,
or any other non-gadget methods simply do not work. These kind of
people can benefit from the use of electronic gadgets to help
them achieve an OOBE.

Tapes that help you astral project are very common. One source of such
tapes is the Monroe Institute in Faber, Viginia.  Robert Monroe is a
well known astral projector (his books are listed in the bibliography).  
Monroe has since gone into the business of offering tapes and retreats,
not so much for learning how to astral project, but for learning how to
become a more integrated person.  He does claim that some of his tapes
can help "facilitate" OOBEs.  He claims to have discovered a method,
which he has patented, called the "Hemi Sync" method. The hemi sync
method entails putting different frequency sound waves in each ear,
which then are supposed to result in making a standing wave in your
brain that supposedly makes it easier to astral project.

Frankly, I don't know if this is what his hemi sync method really does.
The actual physiology of brain waves is much more complex than Monroe's
simplistic explanation of hemi sync.  But still, whether his explanation
of his hemi sync method is believable or not, the bottom line is:
do his tapes work?  

I have actually tried one of Monroe's tapes.  What is on the tape is
some rather low budget New Age music with sounds like ocean waves
underneath the music.  Apparently, the ocean wave-like sounds are
the hemi sync frequencies.  Now, what is very interesting is that
I actually did have a projection after listening to the tape!  However,
I want to stress, I used his tape ONE TIME ONLY.  I do not know if
his tape caused me to project or not.  I project all the time
without using tapes, so just because I projected after
listening to Monroe's tape does not mean the tape caused my projection.

Basically, I have not tested Monroe's product well enough to
say definately that it does or does not work.  Should you go
buy one of Monroe's tapes and test it for yourself?  I only
recommend doing this if you have tried the dream and trance methods
but have gotten NO RESULT WHATSOEVER.   I don't think you need
to go using tapes unless you know for sure that non-gadget
methods will not work for you.  As I said, I've had way over 100
OOBEs and I NEVER use tapes or other gadgets.  I DO NOT THINK
been astral projecting just fine for centuries without the use
of tapes or other electronic gadgets. And the methods that have
been developed based on dreams, trance and visualization work
very well.  I recommend strongly that you try the traditional
methods of astral projecting before you go and buy tapes
or other gadgets that are supposed to help you astral project.

Now, are there other kinds of electronic gadgets that are
supposed to help you astral project?  I've heard talk here
in the New Age forum about "dream goggles".  I don't
know what these are or what they are supposed to do.  You might
want to ask around on the message board if you are interested in
anything like this.

In some respects it is good that people are experimenting with
electronic means to achieve altered states of consciousness.  
However, virtual reality is nothing compared to a REAL astral
projection.  I personally am not into any of these electronic
ways of achieving altered states.  I prefer more "natural"
methods like trance or dream methods.  In the end, your
choice of trying these electronic methods is completely up to
you.  If you want to spend money on these gadgets or tapes,
that is your buisness.  However, I want to make it perfectly
clear that you have built right into you all the tools you
*need* to astral project.  Again, astral projection is a
natural ability just like dreaming.  You can do it without
recourse to electronic devices of any kind.  

So that's it.  This now ends my presentation of methods used
for astral projection.  Again, check out the bibliography
for information on books that describe other methods besides
the dream and trance methods I have emphasized here.


FILE 7 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
                   Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.


    We have discussed the theory of astral projection.  We have
discussed methods and techniques for achieving this altered state
of consciousness.  Now we are going to discuss what it is like in the
realm where the OOBE occurs.   To some extent we have touched on
the nature of the OOBE realm throughout these notes.  We have, for
example discussed the occult notions of the planes and the subplanes.
I have also presented some of my astral projection journal entries
and these give an idea of what it is actually like in the OOBE realm.

    What we will do in this section is go into much more depth
about the various aspects of actually being in the OOBE state.
My description of this state will encompass two broad angles.
On one hand I will take a kind of "travel brochure" approach to
describing the places and inhabitants one encounters during an
OOBE.  This is the approach one will find in many books about the
astral plane (for example, see Leadbeater's "The Astral Plane"
listed in the bibliography).  Such a "travel brochure" approach
describes the astral plane much as if it's a foreign land filled
with exotic sights, scenes and inhabitants.  On the other hand, I
also want to try to convey some sense of what it is *really* like
when you are out of your body.  One of the problems with the "travel
brochure" approach to describing the OOBE realm is that it
creates the misleading impression that you have simply just
"gone somewhere".   That is, "travel brochure" type descriptions
of the astral plane make it sound like you just get in your car and
drive there and see the sights, as if it's Disneyland or something.
However, when you are out of body, it is NOT like getting in your
car and driving somewhere new and seeing the sights.  You are
in a completely different state of consciousness - you are
no longer in the physical world - and this creates a million
subtle nuances in your awareness that make it much, much different
than how your awareness operates while you are here in the
physical plane.  What I would like to do then is try to convey
some of these differences in how your consciousness works when
you are in the OOBE realm.   So, overall, I will describe the OOBE
realm BOTH as a place you go to AND as a state of consciousness very
different than (but related to) your normal consciousness.

1.  Describing OOBEs with words

    Before I get too deep in describing the OOBE realm, something
has to be said about the limitations of using words to describe
experiences in the OOBE realm.  In general, our language is very
poor at describing astral plane experiences.  This is no surprise
given that we use language overwhelmingly to describe life here in
the physical plane.  However, experience is much different in the
OOBE state.  There are many things that can occur in the OOBE state
that our language has no words to describe. Obviously then, this
creates quite a problem when we want to write about or speak
about our astral projection experiences!  So what are we to do?

    First thing to do is realize that the problems with trying
to describe OOBEs in words is very similar to the problems we have
describing our dreams in words.   Very often strange things happen
to us in our dreams and we have a very hard time describing them.
For example, we have all had the experience in a dream of being, say,
in a house and walking from one part of the house to another but
all of a sudden finding ourself in the supermarket or some such thing!
We went to walk into the kitchen, but we find ourselves somewhere
completely different and no longer in the house! This has happened to
me a lot in my dreams and all of you can probably recall such
things happening in your own dreams.  The thing is, what do you
call it when this happens?  It's happened to all of us in a dream,
but we have no word for it!  Shall we say, "I *blipped* from the
house to the supermarket"?  Or, "I disappeared from the house but
suddenly appeared in the supermarket"? Robert Monroe would say
he "skipped" from the house to the supermarket.

Now, the point is, this is something that has happened to all of
us, yet we have no word to describe it.  And I picked this particular
example of "blipping" because you will find yourself "blipping"
quite a bit when you are in the OOBE realm.  But, what do we call
this? How do we describe it?  

Basically, we are left with a real problem.  Our language has
no *consensus* terms to describe such experiences.  Thus, our
only solution is to make up a word to describe the experience.
This is why I use terms like "lockmold", "void" or "blinking
on and off" in my journal, because I am making up words to
describe experiences for which our language has no word, and
even more importantly, for which there is no counterpart
in our physical experience.  

What all this means is that you really have to be careful when
reading about people's experiences in the OOBE realm.  If you
try to interpret these experiences in terms of physical experience
or in terms of our normal everyday language, you will get a very
INACCURATE picture of what is going on.  You also have to be a
careful reader when reading of the OOBE realm.  You have to
really use your imagination and attempt to understand what
stange words like "ring" or "lockmold" could mean, and why the
author is describing his/her experience in that fashion.   Finally,
you have to be open to the fact that anything is possible in the OOBE
realm. So many strage things can occur there that are completly
different than what we know here in physical life, that you just
have to keep a very open mind.  

2.  The State Of Your Mind In The OOBE State

So, not only does our language create a barrier to under-
standing the nature of the OOBE realm, but we are faced with a second
major obstacle in understanding the OOBE state.  As I said above,
IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD.  Remember, I have defined OOBEs/astral
projections/lucid dreams as a state in which you take your waking
personality into the dream world.  However, in actual fact, during
any OOBE you never take your waking self 100% into the dream world.
Instead you take some PORTION of it into the dream world.  In effect,
PERSONALITY.  And this is why your consciousness is not exactly the same
as it is when you are awake here in this world.  Not only are you
in a realm that is completely foreign to you, but you are never
wholly you over there.  Believe me, this is very true, and it creates
very subtle changes in your reactions, thoughts and emotional responses
to what you experience in the OOBE realm and how you behave there.
    This is all I'm going to say about your state of mind during
an OOBE for now.  As I go more into specific things below, we
will have occasion to see the subtle differences in awareness
that occur during an OOBE.  Right now I am only drawing your
attention to this fact.  After I go into more detail about
other aspects of the OOBE realm, we will at the very end of these
notes come back to this topic.  For after all, aside from actually
learning how to get there, the actual state of your consciousness
during an OOBE is the most important thing there is - for this is
the meat and potatoes of it all: you are experiencing a completely
different state of consciousness!  Think about it.

3.  The OOBE World: Objective or Subjective?

    Now, we have one last consideration before I start describing
what happens during an OOBE.  I've already stated that during an
OOBE your personality is "outside" of you and that subjective
things can be completely real and objective in the OOBE realm.  
What this means is we are left with a weird problem when trying
to understand experiences in the OOBE realm.  Basically, is it real
or is it merely subjective fantasy?  Well, we could debate whether
OOBEs are objective or subjective experiences till we are blue
in the face.  It doesn't matter if, in some abstract sense, the
OOBE realm is objective or subjective.  What matters is that when
you astral project, it WILL BE COMPLETELY REAL TO YOU.  Like I said,
it will be YOU, and you will be SOMEWHERE, doing SOMETHING.  Whether
it's all occurring in your imagination or not is beside the point.

    However, what is critically important for you to keep in mind
when you astral project is that YOU CANNOT ASSUME THAT WHAT YOU
SUBJECTIVE.  Whatever the nature of the OOBE experience, you
will be somewhere where the subjective can become objective and the
objective can become subjective.  

4.  The Dweller At The Threshold

   The above discussion leads me now to share with you information
that was very important to me when I first started projecting. I
had a book by an author whose name I think was Sepherial. I can't
even remember anymore, it's been so long since I've seen this book,
which I gave to a friend years ago.  At any rate, this book was about
how to become an occultist.  The first important thing Sepherial said
you have to do to become a worthwhile occultist is to overcome fear.
He said that you overcome fear by studying it.  As you learn what
causes you to fear things, you can overcome these fears.  He even
pointed out that if you carefully observe yourself when you get
afraid, you will notice that fear begins as a kind of tighening in
your chest by your heart.  The tightening begins at your heart
and then spreads from there down to your gut and into your arms and
legs.  Frankly, once I started watching myself get afraid, I was
really surprised to see that he was correct.
   Sepherial went on to explain how it's really important to realize
that fear is something we create in our own minds and that if we are
to get involved in occult things, we must learn NOT to fear things
anymore.  You can replace fear with understanding.  When you under-
stand something, you no longer need to fear it. If it is truly a
dangerous thing, but you understand it, you will not fear it, you
will avoid and respect it.  And there are other things we fear that,
in reality, are not dangerous things.  These are the worst kinds
of fear for an occultist to have.  These are fears you have created
in your own mind, for whatever reasons.  These fears are like weeds
that grow in the garden of your mind, and you should eliminate these.
  Well, this was my first lesson in occultism.  I read Sepherial's
book at about the same time I started astral projecting.   I took
Sepherial's advice to heart, and it was a good thing too because my
first few times astral projecting were lessons in overcoming

  There are two types of fear I have experienced astral projecting.
It is possible that you may experience these types of fear too, so I
will explain them for you.
    The first type of fear is completely harmless.  My very first
astral projections occurred spontaneously about 5 years before I
even realized they were astral projections.  At the time, I thought
they were merely strange dreams.  In retrospect, they were
definitely astral projections.  What had happened is that I had
laid down to nap.  Next thing I knew I was spinning around the
ceiling of my bedroom!  I was amazed.  I didn't have the slightest
idea what was happening to me, and what was even weirder was that
I was completely terrified.  I was scared to death.  But it was a
very strange sensation; I was afraid, but I had no reason to be afraid,
in spite of the fact that I was mysteriously spinning around on
my ceiling!  Mostly I was extremly curious as to what was happening
to me and my experience turned into a contest between my fear
and my curiosity.  Finally, after about 30 seconds of this, my fear
won, and the next thing I knew I was sitting awake in bed. I was
not afraid at all when I woke but I was just very curious.  My second
projection was identical to this and happened around the same
time the first one did (I was about 15 years old when this occurred).
I promptly forgot these experiences till many years later.
   I was 22 years old when I learned about astral projecting.
Eventually it occurred to me that maybe those experiences I had years
before were astral projections. If this was the case, that I had
actually astral projected before, then this meant I could probably do it
again.  And it was then that I consciously started to astral project.
When I first started projecting, I used the trance method I described
above.  Actually, I made up this method as I went along.  Originally,
I would lay in bed and simply tell myself I was going to astral
project as I drifted off to sleep at night.  After a number of
attempts at this, it worked!  I became conscious of myself AFTER
I had fallen asleep!  And, just like years before, I felt that same
feeling of terror, and, as before, there was absolutely no reason
for this feeling.  I got this same feeling of fear on my next two
attempts as well, but on my third attempt, it was gone, and it has
never returned.
    I don't know what this feeling of fear was.  As I said,
it was just there on my first few attempts, then it went away.  I
have a friend who is also a competent astral projector and he said a
similar thing happened to him.   I have always suspected that this
feeling of fear had something to do with separating my consciousness
from my body, as if it was a purely instinctive response of my awareness
to operating without using my physical body.  But once I got used
to the sensation of being out-of-body, the fear response just went away.  
Again, I think this may be some type of PURELY HARMLESS instinct
that occurs soley because of dissociating your awareness from its
    It's important to point out that you may never experience this
type of a fear response. In the time I have been on CompuServe, I have
spoken with a number of very good astral projectors and they have never
reported this response. Still, I have had it and so has my friend,
so I am describing it here so that if it happens to you, you will
know what is going on.  If, the first time you leave your body,
you feel complete terror for no reason at all, then you are having
this reaction.  Don't let it bother you because it will go away
after your first few times out-of-body.

   Ok, now for the second type of fear that I have had to deal
with in my astral projections.  Very early in my projection experiences
I went through something I call my "Darkside Episodes".  These were
absolutely terrifying experiences for me too, but unlike those
described above, there WAS a reason for my fear and terror.
Here are excerpts from my DarkSide experiences:


    "All I can remember now is that somehow I left my body, or
became lucid in the dream state, whichever you prefer...
(I went though a number of experiences, then...)
    ...Somehow that I can't now recall, I was outside my body again.  
This time I was standing in my bedroom.  I was surprised because
it seemed to be daytime outside, but I knew it was nighttime and
that I was actually sleeping on my bed.  I noticed that where my
west wall normally was that there was another room beyond it,
like the wall had disappeared and there was this room there
instead.  I floated into the room and could look into my bedroom.  
I noticed that I had hands and arms and legs and that I was
floating a foot or so off the ground.  I was moving my body around
just marvelling in the sensation of my lucidity.  I began to feel
elated.  I started to call out and experienced the same thing that
happened the other night.  I could hear my voice in my mind and it
sounded perfectly normal, but when I actually tried to talk, it
came out in slow motion.
    I was really feeling great and had been playing with these things
for a few moments when all of a sudden I began to feel trepid and
a little paranoid.  It felt like I was being watched.  I looked up
into my room and saw a tall dark figure standing in my window.  My
windows were open as if they were doors and this figure was standing
there on the windowsill looking at me.  I didn't know what to think
at first.  The figure was of a male, tall and skinny, and pitch black,
more like a silhouette than anything else. I'd have thought it was a
shadow except it had these vivid evil looking completely red eyes.  
It didn't have pupils or anything, just these evil looking eye slits
that were totally red.  At first I thought it couldn't see me, but as
if in response to my thought, it turned and stared directly at me.  
Then I became afraid.  I didn't know what I should do.  It slowly
seemed to move towards me, and I made my way back to my bed,
thinking that I should jump back into my body and wake up.  I
hovered over to my bed and this thing was slowly coming at me.  
    Then I remembered something from one of the first occult books that
I had ever read [This is the Sepherial book I'm referring to here].  
In this book the author gave a magic phrase for the student to say
to protect himself from evil forces.  The author claimed that it
was a very potent spell from the times of ancient Atlantis.  The
spell was in some unknown language and I didn't know what it meant,
but at the time I had memorized it [though I no longer remember
it], and it seemed like now was as good a time as any to use it!
So I repeated the spell in my mind and the wildest things happened.  
I was surprised as **** that it worked!  At least it did something,
for now I was laying half way out of my body, the dark figure had
disappeared, and now there was this, what seemed to me to be like
a very fake looking mannequin up over me.  It had the face of a
cartoon alligator and I was biting its arm, but it looked just like
a mannequin and wasn't doing anything.  It had a stupid, goofy look
on its face.  
    But  I was panicking, attacking its arm and trying like hell to
wake myself up.  I kept trying to shake myself, thinking that if
I could move my body then I'd wake up.  The strangest thing happened.  
As I shook myself, I could feel myself "sink" into my physical body,
and weird as this sounds I could see two distinct visual fields at
once.  They didn't overlap though, one was on top of the other, as
if my visual field were cut in two.  The top one was my visual field
in my projection of my day lit bedroom, and the bottom field was my
dark bedroom at night.  There was even a definite line of demarcation
between the two view fields.  My vision was literally split in
half!  It was the absolutely strangest sensation!  And as I struggled
to shake myself, I could feel myself pull down to the lower view of
my bedroom, and the top view seemed to go up and out of my visual
field.   But then I would relax momentarily and I would start to rise
up, just like when one is under water and starts to float toward the
surface, and I was being pulled back up into the top scene.  Then
I would begin to struggle and shake myself again, and pull back down.  
This happened about four times; I would think that I was out of the
top view and begin to relax and quit shaking and rocking myself, and
the moment I would stop, I would feel myself being pulled back into
the top visual field.  I was scared as hell and thought I was
trapped.  Finally though, I shook and shook and shook myself and
I actually woke up.  
    I was laying still on my bed.  For all the shaking and moving I was
doing, I thought when I awoke that my body would be moving around as
much.  But it wasn't; it was very still.  I laid there scared as hell.  
I had the strangest paranoia that at any moment something evil was
going to jump out of my walls and stab me to death, the same feeling
I felt before.  I didn't know what had just happened to me.  Who the
hell was that dark figure?  For some reason it really spooked me bad."

    Well, that was my Darkside experience.  I was very scared after
that.  I was afraid to project even. Was that thing going to always
come and haunt me in my projections? What was it?
    Again, I turned to my friend who could also astral project.
We discussed my experience.  After thinking about it for a week
or so, I came to the conclusion that the Darkside was me!  I
figured that maybe what was happening is that somehow, everything
that was bad about me appeared OUTSIDE OF ME in my projections.
Maybe this thing was just all my own badness embodied as a being
coming to haunt me in the astral projection state.  Whether this
is true or not, this is what I decided to believe.  And since it
was me, then I really didn't have to fear it, because that would
mean I was afraid of myself!  So I decided that what I should do
is become more aware of all my badness and quit being that way,
then, maybe this thing would go away.  And I figured that if I
met this Darkside in my projections again, then I would confront
it instead of being afraid of it.  I would stand up to it, and
battle it if I had to.  
   So, that's what I decided.  Here's what happened the next time
I projected:


   "I know I went to sleep with the intent to project.  Since
my "darkside" episode, I was leary to project again, but now I
felt that I understood what this being was and I felt confident
to face it if I needed to.  
    (I went though some other adventures, then...)
    I was back in my bedroom again, still lucid in the projection
state.  I noticed that it was daytime outside, though I also knew I
was sleeping in my bed and it was really night on the physical plane.  
But then I noticed that there was a doorway in my bedroom wall, one
that was not there physically.  So I went through the door and
began to explore.  
    The doorway lead into a castle and I was very surprised by this.  
I remember thinking to myself that rooms have all these hidden
directions in them in the astral plane.  It was a huge and elegantly
decorated place and the decor looked fairly modern.  I wandered
about and eventually came to a room that had a window that was
overlooking a long shingled roof.  I climbed through the window
and there was a girl outside on the roof.  It was sunny outside
and I felt very good.  Me and the girl talked, but I do not remember
what we talked about.  I could see around me outside, what
looked like a fairly typical, though completely unfamiliar,
neighborhood and I was curious to explore it.  I went to fly off
the roof but my lockmold began to weaken and I blacked out.
    I was back in my bedroom again, still lucid in the dream state.  
The doorway to the castle was still there, but this time there
was a pitch black figure sitting crumpled on the floor at the
end of my bed.  It was the darkside!  I became leary and slightly
scared, but I remembered my resolve to confront it.  Also, this
time it looked feeble, sitting in a heap at the foot of my bed,
almost like a mannequin.  I approached it slowly saying, "What do you
want from me?  Who are you? Are you me? I love you."  My fear was
quickly diminishing as I approached it, but it did not move.  It
seemed dead.  I grabbed it by the head and looked directly into
its face, all the while telling it "I love you."  Its face was
utterly lifeless, its eyes dried out gaping holes.  I clenched
its head and crushed it like a dried out husk, all the while
yelling at it, telling it I loved it.  I crushed its head
completely to dust, knowing that this was only the embodiment
of my inability to look squarely at myself.  This was all my
fear, all my hatred, all my self-hate and I was crushing it to
dust and a great joy filled me.  I kicked the lifeless heap and
felt a triumphant sense run through me.  My darkside was dead!  
I became like a little child and ran through the door into the
castle, running about hooting and hollering, excited with the
thrill of my victory.
    I ran back into my bedroom still elated and making much noise.  
The crumbled figure was still there and I looked at it with utter
disregard.  "You're dead," I was yelling at it, and I was jumping
up and down yahooing...."


    So, that's how that situation worked itself out! Reading this
now, I almost seem neurotic in this projection.  But think of it:
how would you feel?  You learn to project only to have your new found
ability foiled by some pitch black terror?  No way!  
    Given the fact that I have never since encountered this
Darkside during a projection, or anything like it, I take it to
mean that I was correct.  This Darkside I encountered in my earliest
projections was all the bad in me coming to haunt me while I was
out-of-body.  THIS is one among a few experiences I have had
that makes me warn you that when you project, things that are
inside you on the physical plane (i.e. subjective things) appear
to be outside of you on the astral plane (i.e. objective things).  
    A year after my darkside experience, I was surprised to
read in a Manly Hall book about a thing called "The Dweller
on the Threshold".  Manly Hall described this "Dweller" as the
very first thing waiting on the path to greet the aspiring
occultist.  He essentially described this Dweller to be exactly
what I realized my Darkside to be: all of the badness in ones
personality manifested as a being.   So, basically, I quite
literally met the Dweller on my threshold very shortly after
I learned how to leave my body.  Manly Hall's book was also
a warning to the aspiring occultist that you must overcome fear
and ignorance, and seek self-insight and seek the good inside your
self and weed out the bad.  
    Now, the important question of course is: will this happen to
you?  Will you learn to enter the OOBE state only to meet your
"Dweller on the Threshold"?  Well, again, I have spoken with a
number of projectors here on CompuServe who have never had this
experience.   I do not know if you will encounter such an
embodiment of the bad in your personality when you learn to
leave your body.  We all grow and mature in different ways.
It is very easy to realize that not everybody needs to go through
such an experience in the OOBE state.  But will you?  I don't know.
You won't know either until you are out there.  I share this
experience with you just in case it does happen to you.  I share
this so that you will know what that figure is and how to get rid
of it.  It is you, and by opening up to what that figure stands
for you will get rid of it.   Any "Dweller on the Threshold"
is that kind of fear I mentioned above, the kind that is not
caused by real danger but is created in your imagination, for
whatever reason.   Look at that fear, try to understand it, and
you will have conquered your Dweller on the Threshold.
   Again, to drive the point home, there is a very strong
element of self-therapy to the OOBE state, and the above is
a very definite example of this.  Like I said, you must appreciate
that subjective and objective things turn into each other
in the OOBE realm.

FILE 8 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
                   Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
          the author.

                       IN THE OOBE REALM - PART 2

    Ok, at this point, we are going to begin the "travel
brochure" description of the OOBE realm.  As I said very early
in these notes, once you begin to overcome the influence of
your subconscious impinging on your projections, you will indeed
discover a vast world of things to see and explore.  There are
many, many places to go in the planes and many inhabitants you
can meet and interact with.  I will write this section,
by providing an overview of a topic and then giving some examples
out of my journal to illustrate whatever I am discussing.  As
well, I will intersperse helpful hints and suggestions about what
to do in particular cases throughout the following discussions.

5.  Things You Can Do There That You Can't Do Here

    The first thing I want to discuss about being in the OOBE
realm is what you can do there that you cannot do here in
the physical plane.  This includes such things as flying, moving
through walls and using psychic powers.  Throughout the following
discussions, though I will not explicitly say "do this or do that",
you should keep in mind that anything I describe is fair game for
things you too can try once you are out-of-body.  Feel free
to imitate anything you read about here or in any astral
projection book.  This is how I learned; by trying to do what
authors described or suggested in their writings, or by copying
what they did.

A. Moving, Flying and the "Wind"

    One thing you can do during an OOBE is fly.  You can also
float.  Moving around during an OOBE is much different than
moving around in the physical plane.  When I first started
projecting I just kind of floated around, mostly unaware
of any body sensations at all.  My first sense of movement
in my earliest projections was that I *willed* myself to move
by pushing forward.  The pushing sensation seemed to originate
from my heart region.  Here is an exerpt from my journal of how this
motion felt:

    (Note: this projection occurred before my Darkside projections)

    "I woke into the dream state, after laying awake for about two
hours convincing myself that I would wake up in my dream.  When I
became lucid I could see my room in front of me perfectly, as if
my eyes were open, but I knew they were not.  I thought, "Oh my
God, here it is!  I'm gonna go up to J.C.'s room."   The first
thing I noticed was that there was no fear response in me.  This
made me very happy and I had a feeling very much like "dive head
first into the situation", "go for it!", "push on through".  The
result was that I pushed myself up out of my body.  

I was absolutely startled at how clear my perceptions were and
at how much my dream bedroom was exactly like my "real" bedroom,
right down to the books on my bookshelf!  I tried to turn around
and look at my body but it wouldn't work.  The part of my room
where I was laying on my bed defied my attempts to turn in that
direction.  As I tried to turn around, this direction would turn
with me and constantly stay behind me.  I found this confusing,
but in my enthusiasm gave up the attempt and went on to other

I remembered to try to go to John's room as we had planned.  I
turned and looked at my door.  It was closed.  I turned away
and looked again, and now it was open. Happy and surprised, I
pushed through.  By now I had become quite aware of my mode of
locomotion and it was clear that I was not walking.  I seemed
to be floating, without legs or feet.  Movement seemed to result
simply by me thinking of moving.  And the source of the force
for the motion seemed to emanate from my heart or thoracic region.  
I even looked for a silver cord but saw none (and never have to
this day)...."


    If you recall from my Darkside journal entries, I was excited
because I discovered I had arms, legs, hands and feet during this
projection.  From then on out I quit using the pushing motion
described above.  
    Of course, you CAN walk during a projection, presuming you feel
a body, but floating and flying become the preferred method of getting
around.  Now, there are some weird things about moving during
an OOBE that you should be aware of.  Whether you are walking or
flying sometimes you will find that it is very hard to move.
You have probably actually experienced the sensation I am
about to describe in your dreams.  Have you ever had a dream where
you were running but, no matter how hard you tried, it was
very difficult to move your body?  Maybe you were being
chased by something threatening, but it felt as if you were
moving in slow motion.  If you have ever felt this kind of
sensation during a dream, well, it also occurs during OOBEs.
You may see somewhere that you want to go in your OOBE, but
as you move towards it, you will find it harder and harder to
move.  There is a chance that you may even lose your lockmold
and fade out of the projection if you try to force it too far.
    There is a classic book on astral projection by Ophiel called
"The Art and Practice of Astral Projection" where Ophiel describes
this same thing of how it may be hard to move sometimes.  Ophiel
puts forth the idea that what is happening to cause your
movement to become more difficult is that you are transferring
your consciousness from one subplane to another.  Now, I don't
necessarily know if this is what is happening or not, and I
really don't know why this happens.  My point here is to simply
point out that it DOES happen during an OOBE.   What should you do
if this happens?  Below I will have some journal entries that address
this issue.
    Another thing you will encounter in the OOBE realm has to
with flying.   Simply stated, you cannot always fly whenever
you want to.  Sometimes you will go to fly and zoom right up
into the air.  Other times you may only float a couple feet upwards
but stop.  Still other times, you may try to fly but nothing at all
happens.  Again, I don't have the slightest idea why this is the case.
Sometimes you can do things that will help you fly when you are having
trouble launching yourself, and I will provide some journal entries
illustrating what you can do.  
    Now, presuming you can fly, what should you do?  One good suggestion
is try to fly into outerspace.  One author (Greene) describes how he
has visited all the planets in the Solar System while out-of-body.
Personally, I have only gotten into outerspace a couple times and I
will list one of these entries below.  Often, I will fly up into the
air (if there is air in the OOBE realm!) just to get a good look at
where I am at.  Sometimes, very strange things happen when you fly.
Once for example, I flew up into the sky, and the sky itself seemed
to turn into a room.  I could have flown into this room, but did not.
This entry will be listed below.
    Finally, there is one last thing to mention about moving during
your OOBE.  This is something I have encountered many, many times.
What happens is it seems like a gust of wind will grab you and pull
you along.  It is almost as if some kind of magnetic force or
something has captured you and is pulling you.  I will list entries
describing this too.
    To summarize, here is a list of what you can expect when it
comes to locomotion during your OOBE:

    1. You CAN move without a body, as in the entry I listed

    2. You can walk, fly or float during an OOBE.  Sometimes
       you may experience difficulty in moving.

    3. You might experience a wind force pulling you along.

Now, here are some journal entries illustrating these things:

(An example of the wind force - this entry is part of
        my Darkside projection.)

"...I remember becoming lucid and jumping out of my body.  I stood
in my bedroom wondering what I should do, where I should try to
go.  I decided I wanted to see if I could make it all the way to
Detroit and visit a girlfriend of mine.  As soon as I thought this,
and made up my mind that I was going to do it, a strong wind came
out of nowhere and began to drag me along.  I was thoroughly
baffled and had no idea what was going on.  Yet this wind pulled
me along, backwards, and I remember moving very quickly through
the walls of the house outside.  I passed houses for a short while
and then was being pulled through the forest, passing mostly pine
trees.  I was wondering if this wind was going to take me all the
way to Detroit.  For a while I relaxed and let it drag me along..."

(Here is an example of finding it hard to move.)

"...Went back into it and jumped out of my body again.  I flew
outside through the wall and went by my window.  I looked in the
window and saw myself lying there on the bed!  My fan was
conspicuously missing from the window, but the me on the bed stared
back and waved at the me outside the window.  I wasn't too taken
aback by this because Greene mentioned that one could see one's
other bodies.  I flew up onto the roof.  It was bumpy, and I had
a hard time climbing onto it (like when it becomes difficult
running in a dream).  I finally managed to pull myself up onto
it and I stood there looking out over the backyard.  Everything
looked quite normal, but then these pillar like things seemed to
fade into appearance..."

(Here's an example of flying into outerspace. Note too
 that in this entry I meet a "friendly spirit". Meeting
 spirits will be discussed ahead.)

    "...I was outside again, me and invisible John and the idea
occurred to me to fly into outer space. (a suggestion from Greene's
book).  I raced upwards calling after John to follow.  I sped
upwards rapidly and it seemed J.C. couldn't keep up.  As I rose I
looked down hoping to see the terrain unfold below me.  What I saw
was not what I expected.  Below me was a globe but it was not the
Earth that we see in pictures.  The surface of the globe was covered
with strange and complex geometric patterns of various colors and
the whole scene had the texture of a cartoon.  A vast light seemed
to be sweeping across the surface.  As I rose higher and higher, I
soon lost control and blacked out.  I was back on the ground again,
by the fort, and decided to try again.  I shot upwards and at an
incredible speed and soon felt myself "blinking on and off" again.  
But much to my surprise, a large hand reached out to me and I
grabbed onto it.  Suddenly I felt myself being pulled upwards
though my vision was fading in and out.
    Though I couldn't see who was pulling me, I had the impression
that it was some friendly spirit helping me out.  In moments I
stopped moving up and struggled to regain my vision.  I felt like
I was very high up and, when I could see it seemed that I was standing
on a cloud.  I couldn't see well around me but I remember managing to
look downward.  There only seemed to be clouds below, but my vision
was fading in and out badly now.  It seemed as if my spirit friend
was behind me.  At one point I caught a glimpse of my friend and I.  
We were standing on a cloud and we were both playing guitar and
smiling.  Finally I lost control and felt myself in bed.  I laid
gathering the memories of this experience together.  My lucidity was
not as great as it has been but I had never experienced such a variety
of travels in one projection before.  I felt very light when I got out
of bed. The feeling lasted for maybe 10 minutes."

(Another example of finding it hard to move. This entry
        illustrates one solution when you find it hard to move-
        just MOVE SLOWELY)

    "...I climbed out.  Saw my physical body laying on my bed.  
Went outside.  Flew upwards.  Lost vision.  Woke up.
    Relaxed.  Climbed back out.  Went out through my bedroom
door.  It was nice and sunny outside.  I remember noticing that
I was naked.  Climbed up onto the roof like Spiderman, I thought.  
When I got on the roof over my bedroom, I looked out across the
street (which does not exist on the physical plane).  There was
a row of very quaint houses of a typically American design.  One
in particular had a very bright blue roof that caught my attention.  
I remember now that if I tried to proceed too quickly I lost my
lock mold.  So I slowly jumped off the roof and slowly walked
across the street.  It was "topsey turvey" when I moved  like there
were little hills where there were none in sight.  This made it
difficult to move and my movements felt slow and sluggish.  Still,
I just plodded on very carefully and slowly.  I made it across the
street and I went up the driveway of the above mentioned house..."

(Another example of the wind force. Note here also some
        things we will discuss ahead: first, where I go, and second
        how I make some mischief.  Where I went here was I believe,
        a place where people go when they die.  I will discuss this
        ahead.  I will also discuss making mischief ahead.)

    "...I flew through the wall into a second room and this room was
darker but there was a neon purple color filling the room.  I landed
on the floor and there was someone there.  A woman and a dwarf (or
a child), if I recall  correctly.  I spoke with them for a few moments
but I don't remember what was said.  All of a sudden, a strong
astral current grabbed me and started pulling me along backwards.  I
went passive and let it pull me.  I wondered if maybe it would
take me to Joey.  But I knew she was in California and I didn't
really think the force would pull me that far.  I wanted to try
to turn myself around to try to see what was pulling me, then I
thought better of doing this cause I figured I'd wake myself up.  
    The force was pulling me backwards and I was in a sitting
position facing the opposite direction in which I was being pulled.  
Soon I saw that I was passing through walls, one after another,
very quickly.  From what glimpses I could catch, it seemed like
I was passing through apartments, as if I was being pulled along
through an apartment building.  I passed through many apartments and
saw many people doing many things.  I recall in particular zipping
through a kitchen and a man and woman were there either preparing
food or putting away groceries.  As I zipped by, they both saw me
and had startled looks on their faces and the guy dropped whatever
he was holding on to.  I thought this was funny.
    Soon, the images of apartments stopped though I was still being
dragged along.  I went through a big wall and it now seemed that I
was in a dormitory.  The force pulling me was weakening and I
suspected that I was reaching my destination, whatever that might
be.  The dorm rooms I was being pulled through were very big, like
gymnasiums and there were giant bunk-beds, a few in each room.  
There were young people about my age (22) all about, some laying
reading on their huge beds, others involved in other activities.
    The force was weak enough now that I could turn around.  I
saw two guys sitting on a bed eating candy.  I yelled out to them,
"Hey, watch this!", and I swooped down, as I was still being pulled
along, and grabbed a handful or their candy.  They seemed very
miffed about this, but I quickly disappeared through a wall and was
out of their sight.  I remember that all of the young people I saw
looked very avante garde with punk rock haircuts, wearing "trendy"
clothes, like the New York art scene or something.  
    Finally, I felt the current really weaken and it stopped
pulling me along, and I glided to the ground.  I was standing in a
smaller room and there was another room off to my side with big
picture windows along the wall, looking outside...."


    So, those are some examples of locomotion during an OOBE.
Now, as I said above, if you find it hard to move, just go slowly.
Also, if you find it difficult to fly, that is, say you go to fly
away but instead only drift up a couple feet, here is what you can
do; PRETEND YOU ARE WALKING UP STAIRS.  I have found that this
works for me.  If I take big steps upward, I will continue to
ascend.  This works good when you can fly a little bit, but not
very well.

B. Moving through walls

    Next of course, is the well known trick of passing through
walls.  Often during your OOBEs you do not need to use doors to
exit from a place, you can pass right through the wall.  However,
just like with flying, this only works sometimes.  Again, I don't
know why it only works sometimes, but that is what I have discovered.
One thing to try to do if you cannot pass through a wall is to
turn around and try to pass through backwards.  This is what Greene
recommends and I have found it to work on a number of occasions.
However, sometimes even this does not work and all you can do
is smash the wall down, which is what the following entries


    "...All  I could see as an escape route were the windows to our
left.  The windows were sunk back and about 7 feet off the ground.  
There were a series of pipes blocking the way so I hovered up into
the air.  The children seemed amazed to watch me fly.  I turned and
flew between the pipes up to the window.  I tried to pass through
the window but could not.  I tried turning around and doing the same,  
it didn't work.  I tried to lunge through the adjacent wall, and that
didn't work either.  So I smashed the window with my hand and broke
it.  It took about 4 or 5 smashes till I made a safe hole to climb
through.  Nothing happened to my hand when I smashed the glass.
I climbed with some trouble out the window..."

(This example illustrates the "blipping" I spoke of earlier.
        You don't always go where you want to during an OOBE as you
        can see from this example.)

   "...I made my way into the adjacent kitchen.  I saw through
a window up over the sink that it was raining outside, and I could
feel that pleasant fresh feeling that one feels on warm and sunny
rainy days.  I was really surprised that it rained on the astral
plane and that it felt so similar to what it's like on the physical
plane.  I really wanted to go outside and feel the rain for myself.  
I tried to pass through the wall to get outside but I couldn't.  I
tried to go forward and backward, but just couldn't pass through
the wall.  The window was open, but there was a screen blocking
my way.  I tried to open the screen but couldn't, so I decided to
tear the window out.  I smashed through it but the hole was too
small to crawl through, so I tore away the wall around the window.  
But the hole was still too small to pass through!  So I tore down
the whole kitchen wall!  I figured, hell, it was just somebody's
thought-form anyway, and they could reconstruct it easy enough!  
Now the hole was big enough to climb through and I jumped through
it.  But I wasn't outside!  Instead, I was in a strange and unfamiliar
hallway.  I turned around and the kitchen with the hole in the wall
was gone!  There was just a door there now..."

    You can also see from this last example how space does NOT
always behave in the OOBE realm the way it behaves here in the
physical plane.  I had ripped the whole window out, and you'd have
thought I'd be able to climb through the hole, but I could not!
I really did end up tearing down the whole kitchen wall before
I could get through the hole I made!   Of course, this doesn't make
any sense when we think of it in physical terms, and I was confused
about this during my projection.  We can also see here another example
of making mischief during an OOBE.  It's not very common to go
destroying walls in strange houses here on the physical plane!
Yet, during an OOBE, there is a carefree sense that you can get
away with anything you want.  Monroe calls such behavior "being
a Wild One".  We will talk more about this later.
    So, that's it about moving through walls.

C. Exercising psychic powers

    Aside from the locomotion tricks discussed above,
perhaps the most amazing thing you can do during your OOBEs
is use psychic powers.  Almost all the psychic powers described
can be performed extrodinarily easily during an OOBE.  As a matter
of fact, you will find yourself automatically using psychic powers
during your projections.  What you want to do is RECOGNIZE when
this is happening, and that is why I am pointing out here that
this will happen automatically during your OOBEs. Some of the psychic
powers you will find yourself using during an OOBE are the
following: seeing visions (or using clairvoaynce), reading minds,
psychokinesis (moving things with your mind), and even experiencing
memories of past (and future) lives.  Also, strange as this sounds,
you can have an OOBE while you are having an OOBE!  That is, you can
leave your body while you are projecting!  I will give an example
of this below.
    I had found myself automatically doing some of these things
but not really understanding what was happening.  The first book
I found that described this possibility was a Seth book called
"Dreams and Projections of Consciousness" where Seth says flat
out that you can use psychic abilites while out-of-body.
After reading this, it was completely clear to me that this was
indeed true and that I had automatically been doing this all along.
Since that time I have had many occasions to experiment with these
abilities while out-of-body.  
    And also very important is the fact that you use psychic abilities
all the time in your dreams.  Very often you will mind-read or have
memories of past lives in dreams, but, since you are not lucid,
it seems like no big deal during the dream.  If however, you make
the attempt to remember your dreams as I prescribed earlier in the
notes, you will find yourself remembering occurrences of you using
psychic abilites during your dreams.  I will also list here an
example of me using psychic abilities in one of my dreams.
    Finally, I should also say that, once you start astral projecting
you will find that you will astral project from within your dreams.
You will be in a dream, and in the dream you will get the idea to astral
project.  This is a different phenomena from becoming lucid during
a dream that we have already discussed.  When you become lucid
during a dream, you will still be in the same dream, only now
you will be lucid.  When you astral project from a dream you will
LEAVE the dream you were in and enter a projection.  Often, when you
wake up from the projection you will be back in the dream that you
had left and you will NOT realize that you are dreaming.  This is
a weird situation to be in, but it has happened to me many times.
Two of my entries below will illustrate doing this.
    Here are some examples from my journal:

    (Note, this example also illustrates the kinds of denizins
     you will meet in your projections. In this case I meet
     a talking rhinosorous!  Here, I am only using this entry
     to illustrate that there seemed to be telepathy between
     me and the rhino.  I will discuss meetings the denizins
     of the OOBE realm in the next section.)

"...Suddenly, the suburbs ended and I was at a field.  There was a dirt
road winding through it, and woods off in the distance.  I landed
and began walking along the dirt path.  There was a fork in the
path ahead of me, and standing there was a little rhinoceros.  
It was about four feet tall and was wearing a french barrette
on its head.  I approached the rhino, and it looked at me and
said "Do you need a ride?"  I was surprised that it talked but
was pleased with its congeniality.  I said, "sure."  So I climbed
on its back and we trotted off into the woods.  I began to sing
and the rhino sang with me. I was singing a Led Zeppelin song
("You need coolin', baby I'm not fooling...), and the rhino was
singing along with me.  It was interesting, as if the rhino could
read my thoughts, and pick the words and melody out of my mind to
sing along..."

   (This is an example of me using telepathy in a dream)

    "This experience was a dream.  I'm including it here because, in
this dream, I unquestionably utilized telepathy.  Telepathy is the
direct reading of another person's mind.  Seth says in his books
(those books produced by Jane Roberts and Robert Butts) that we
all very naturally use psychic abilities in our dreams, abilities
that we do not normally use in our waking life.  He says that we
usually aren't aware that we are using these psychic abilities
because we make no reasonable attempts to remember our dream life,
let alone pay attention well enough when we are actually dreaming
to recognize that we are doing something that would seem very
abnormal if we were to be doing it while we were awake here in
the physical plane.  This dream is a perfect illustration of the
utilization of psychic abilities in a dream, and, and such, it is
also wonderful confirmation of Seth's ideas.
    I had been at a picnic.  I walked into the house where the picnic
was at, and upon entering the door I was now in the laboratory.
(an example of blipping!).
    Blaine (who is my boss)  was asking me if I had completed the
experiment yet.  I told him I had just set it up.  Now, from my
standpoint as a chemist, the "reaction" I was running in the dream
was extremely interesting.  What I was doing in the dream involved
taking a sample of brain DNA (from a dog that had been given a
heart attack) and placing this DNA on a little machine.  This
machine had on it a screen that magnified the chemical reactions
taking place and allowed us to directly view what the molecules
were doing.  
    There is no such machine here on the physical plane.  I
often sit here on the physplane and wonder how to make such a
machine.  The one who does will not only become very famous,
but very rich as well.  
    At any rate, Blaine was standing on the other side of the
lab bench from me watching as I was viewing the screen.  Looking
at the screen I began to realize what was going on in the reaction.  
What I saw was that the DNA was damaged and that it looked like
fish DNA, not dog DNA.  This I was thinking to myself, but Blaine
literally and directly read this out of my mind.  Then I felt
him think, "It's not the base pairs, it's the structure of the
entire chromosome."  I heard him think this as if it was in my
head.  Then I started thinking, "That's right!  It's the
chromosomes, and the molecules are struggling to reassemble
themselves.  The damage has caused the chromosomes to degenerate
into that of a fish.  But these are dog chromosomes, and they
are struggling like hell in there to reconstruct themselves into
dog chromosomes."  Then I felt a deep and very sincere sympathy
come over me for these poor molecules that were in there
struggling to put themselves back together again, but simply
couldn't.  It was a very strong emotion that I felt.  Blaine
didn't say anything, but it was obvious that he again felt
directly what I was feeling and thinking.  Then I felt his
thoughts.  He was realizing that I was right and then he,
who is a doctor and sees many suffering heart attack victims,
realized, or perhaps actually felt for a second, exactly the
true suffering of people who have had heart attacks.  And I
very clearly felt in my mind and emotions what Blaine was
feeling and thinking and an overwhelming pity and sorrow
came over me as I read Blaine's sense of the profound tragedy
suffered by his heart attack patients.  It was with this
feeling that I woke up."  

     (Here was a short, but what I consider to be an extrodinary
      projection.  Here I tried an experiment based on what
      I had read in the Seth books.  Note also that
      illustrated here are many other ideas we have discussed.
      Also note that this is an example of astral projecting
      while in a dream, except here, after the projection, I
      actually woke up here on the physical plane and did
      not return to my dream.  Also, I use telekinesis in this
      projection to open a window.)

    "Seth's ideas guided my thoughts in this one.  
     Laid down to nap at 7 PM, tried to leave.  Fell asleep and
dreamed I was playing music.  In the dream I decided to go to bed
and try to project.  I had that "headrush" feeling.  Then I
thought to myself, "maybe I'm already here."  I opened my eyes
and was laying on a couch in an unfamiliar living room.  It seemed
my little brother Jim was sleeping in a chair.  I stood up looking
around.  I realized, "I *am* here!"  I became aware and concerned
about my stability.  Went and looked out the window, considering
flying outside to explore.  Outside it was a windy and chilly
gray day.  I pulled back the window with my mind and climbed out
on the outer ledge.
    I began recalling some stuff I had read in a Seth book.  He
said we live different lives over here, and that our dream mind
has memories of its own, distinct from the memories belonging to
our physical personality.  I noticed that I didn't seem to have a
body. I flew from the window, but then saw a reflection of my body
in the window.  I landed in the front yard but my lockmold was
wavering.  I struggled to hold it.  
    Outside reminded me of my brother's house by the lake.  When
I felt sufficiently stable I stood there in the front yard searching
my memory for memories from my dream mind.  I heard a girl say
something.  Then my vision began to fade and in the darkness
before my eyes I thought I saw outer space.  I was fighting to
keep my lockmold, and I was still searching for dream memories.  
I was thinking to myself, "I want to integrate my waking and dream
minds."  I went to go to hitch hike along the road but faded out.  
    Felt myself entering into my body.  Felt my awareness of the
physical plane take over, overwhelming my projection memories. I
fought to recall this experience.  Gathered up the memories then
laid in bed reflecting on Seth's ideas.  His is a very powerful
approach to understanding.  I wonder if the reason I'm "stupider"
over there has to do with a blurring of waking and dream minds.  
Got out of bed, went and ate, then recorded this."

    (Here is an example of me using clairvoaynce during an OOBE)

    "At some point I stopped whatever I had been doing and tried to
meditate with the intent to see my chakras.  I sat down (with my
eyes open, looking at myself) and began concentrating on trying
to see the spectrum of my chakras.  Initially, nothing happened.  
But after a few moments, very faint colors appeared at the various
centers.  Then I shut my eyes, and my sight clicked in with my eyes
closed.  I was wearing what I thought was a blue gown with
golden flowers etched into it, or hanging from it.  There were
very complex etchings throughout the whole robe.  There was one
big flower that was distinctly noticeable, the stem coming out
from my waist (which I had originally thought was a belt) and
lying on the floor between my legs.  When I saw all this I thought,
"What's this robe?  I wanted to see my chakras!"  Then it dawned
on me that these *were* my chakras.  Then I lost consciousness and
went off into other adventures.  
    As I sit here and write, I wonder if that robe was some type
of representation of my etheric body, displaying the more active
chakras as flowers, and the complex etchings being the nadis.  
However, I'm not sure."

(This discussion continues in FILE 9)

FILE 9 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.


C. Exercising psychic powers (continued from FILE 8)

    (Here is another example of me astral projecting from a
     dream.  What is also interesting here was that during this
     projection I had an amazing clairvoyant vision. After
     the projection, I indeed "woke-up" back in my dream,
     unaware that I was dreaming!)

    "...My dream involved me, JC and a bunch of other people.  
We were all roommates in a big house.  I was unaware that I was
dreaming.  There was a party going on or something.  We were
down in the basement hanging out.  However, at some point in
the dream I looked at JC and told him I'd be back in a little
bit because I was going to go up to my room and try to project!
    I went up to my bedroom in this dream house.  Again, at this
point I thought everything was normal and had no idea I was dreaming.  
I laid down on my bed and started concentrating to leave just
exactly like I always do on the physical plane.  However, when
I laid down, shut my eyes and began concentrating, the effect was
intensely more dramatic than it is on the physical plane.  I got
results almost as soon as I shut my eyes (compared to the 15 to
30 minutes it usually seems to take on the physical plane).  Still
I was unaware that I was projecting out of a dream.  Instead of
seeing the "stars" (entopic light) filling the darkness behind
my closed eyes, the effect was more like when I'm in the void
during a projection.  But, again, at the time I didn't recognize
this, I only remember it now as I write this entry.    
    Then, practically immediately, imagery began to form.  What I saw
looked like a hole forming in the fog.  What I thought at the
moment was that a gateway to the astral plane was forming.  I laid
there trying to transfer my consciousness from my body into this
gate.  The "gate" imagery itself was vivid and well focused,
kind of a blue swirling mist with stars (little pinpoints of
light) blinking on and off in it.  After a few moments of
concentration, I was standing at the gate.
    I was floating off the ground in what seemed to be a mist
filled cave.  There was lots of light to see by, and I was
definitely not in the void.  I was standing at the back wall
of this cave facing the entrance which was about 50 feet ahead
of me.  Beyond the entrance all I could see was mist.  Under
me to my right, was a table with little objects lined up on it.  
Also to my right were objects dangling from strings.  Behind
me were shelves with objects on them.  My first impression of these
thing is that they reminded me of a souvenir stand.  I wondered if
I was in some type of store.  
    I landed on the cave floor, which was also covered in mist.  I was
looking about the cave, but I got the feeling of some invisible
presence.  It dawned on my to try something new.  I thought to
myself, "Try to visually focus in the way you do when you are
hallucinating on acid" (this type of focusing involves a relaxation
of ones vision, an intentional blurring of the normal visual field
and a focusing on the entire visual field as opposed to simply
looking at individual points within this field).  I did this and
immediately got dramatic effects.  What I saw was incredible.  As
the image of the cave blurred, I began to perceive images behind,
or within the cave.  The image only lasted for a split second for it was
difficult to maintain, and worse, what I saw startled me so much
that, in sheer surprise, I "dropped" my focus (just like how someone
can drop what they are holding in their hands when they get
sufficiently startled).
    What I saw was that now I was standing and looking out over a vast
plateau that seemed to stretch to infinity in all directions.  And
on this plateau there was the most inordinate amount of activity
and motion that I had ever seen.  What I saw were creatures and
crowds of beings in all directions.  And everything had that
electric, neon self-glowing quality about it.  Things that I did
not know how to conceptualize were moving about in every direction,
even passing through me!  There were herds of things I could
not recognize, and things that looked like swarms flying about.  
There was an undescribable dance of colors bathing the sky.  
Something as big as a horse seemed to pass right through me!  
It seemed that huge beings were battling in front of me.  Even
to this day I have never seen anything so incredible and
spectacular.  All I could think the moment I had some faint
glimmer of what I was seeing was "Oh my God! This is *the* Astral
Plane!" But like I said, the scene was so overwhelming that I
lost it almost the instant I had some small sense of what
I was seeing.  
    I was standing back in the mist filled cave wondering what
I had just saw....
   (I then went met a monster in the cave, which lunged
    at me and caused me to lose my lockmold...)
    The shock of its impact was enough to cause my lockmold to
break.  I was back on my bed.  But I wasn't on the physical plane.  
I awoke back on my bed in the dream from which I had started.  I
still wasn't in the least bit aware that I was in a dream.  At the
moment, I was laying there pissed at myself for letting that
monster scare me out of such a dramatic episode.  I decided I was
going to try to leave again.   I relaxed and began to concentrate.  
Again, a misty hole broke through the darkness behind my closed eyes.  
This time the gate was of an amorphorous shape, about 5 feet in
front of me.  It looked different than the first one, and was
colored differently too.  It was blackish orange with stars in
it - like I was looking into outer space (it looked, as a matter
of fact, like the cover to Carl Sagan's book Cosmos).  I tried
to transfer my consciousness into it like I had done before, but
it didn't work.  After trying for a few moments, the gate faded
and I thought to myself, "Goddamn that monster got me too worked up!"
    I decided I was done for the time being, so I got up out
of bed.  I was still in the dream house and still unaware that
I was dreaming.  I went looking for some paper to record my
experience.  I ended up going back into the basement where everyone
was still hanging out.  JC was there and the others and I
told them all about the projection I had just had.   Meanwhile,
I was getting very concerned that I couldn't find any paper.
    Then I woke up for real, here on the physical plane.  
For a moment I was totally disoriented (didn't know where I
was at or what was going on), and then I realized what had
just happened.  And so, as is my wont, I recorded it here."

   So, there you have it; using psychic powers during astral
projections.  This is an extremely dramatic thing to attempt
while you are projecting and I encourage everybody to try
and remeber that you CAN do these kinds of things while
out-of-body.  And don't forget, watch for yourself using
psychic powers in your dreams too!

6.  Places you can go: Sights and vistas

    We are now going to get into the "travel brochure" part
of this presentation.  What I will discuss are the places
that you can visit in the OOBE realm.  As was stated earlier, the
most useful generalization about the regions of the OOBE state is
the idea that these regions are divided into "rings" (as Monroe
calls them) or "subplanes (as occultists call them).   To repeat,
these subplanes form a spectrum that loosely corresponds to the
spectrum of human emotions and states of mind.  As human thought
and feeling can range from the most lowly and debased to the most
noble and inspirational, so too is it with the subplanes.  Thus, I
will break my description of the OOBE realm down roughly along such
lines.   I will break the regions of the subplanes down into three
broad categories: the lowest, the middle and the highest, and
discuss each of these in turn.  
    I will also discuss two other aspects of the OOBE realm,
and these are 1. the void and 2. what I will call, for lack
of a better term, the "surreal" regions.  The surreal regions
are those places that you may find yourself that barely fit
the description of being called a "place".  These surreal regions
are often very abstract and tend to be spaces of color, sound
and feeling, though there are others I will describe.  
    Generally speaking, what I am about to describe are ideas
that are very common in the astral plane literature.  What is
amazing to me is that my own experiences in the OOBE state support
quite strongly the common reports of the astral plane (i.e.
see Fox, Monroe, Leadbeater).   This could be taken in two ways.
You could say I was highly influenced by other people's reports
of the nature of the astral plane, and thus saw what they described
based on subconscious expectation.  Or we could take the fact
that much of my OOBE experience is like what others report to
indicate that the astral world is an (in some sense) "objective"
world complete with its own sights, sounds and inhabitants.
Throughout these notes I tend to go with the latter interpretation, but
that does not preclude the former idea from having some degree of
truth also.  Generally, in my explorations of the OOBE realm I
have tried to stay as far away from biasing my interpretations of
my experiences as I could.  I have found other people's ideas as
useful *guides* and have never accepted other people's reports
without some degree of scepticism.   And, as we shall see below,
I believe I have observed a number of "realms" in the OOBE state
that are not commonly encountered, or have interpreted my
experiences differently than how others have.  This is
particularly true with regard to the nature of the "surreal"
regions which I will describe below.
    So, the basic idea here is that the astral plane does, to
a large extent, appear to be a common reality that we can all
visit.  Subjective factors definately do enter into our
observations in the nonphysical realms.  My general advice is
to always be skeptical of what you read and do not blindly
accept what others say. This advice holds even for what I have
written in these notes.  Other people's observations are useful
*guides* for your own activity, but, as I keep stressing, the bottom
line is your own personal experience.  If a thing works for you
then that is what is important.  If you discover that other
people have expereinced what you have, then that is fine.
However, do not make the mistake of trying to mold your
experiences to the reports of others.
    So, this all said, let us begin our description of the
OOBE regions by first considering the void.

A. Life in the void

    If you will recall, the void is a great dark space that
I often find myself in.  Recall that, when we use the
"radio station" theory of consciousness I presented earlier,
the void is like the empty space between radio stations on
the radio dial.  Now, it would seem like there isn't
really too much you can say about a great big space of utter
nothingness.  In actuality though, being in the void takes
up a great deal of my time during astral projections - some-
times much more than I'd like!  I will not dwell at too great
lenghth on what it's like in the void, but I do want to describe
it enough so that if you end up there you will know what to do.
   Strangely enough, the void is not simply a homogeneous
dark nothingness.  There is actually a subtle type of variety
to the different times I have been in the void.  Sometimes it
*is* simply a dark empty space.  Other times though there is a
hazy or smoky quality to it.  Still other times I seem to see
hazy ghost images of things.  In this latter case, I suspect that
I am very close to a subplane and am seeing ghost images of that
subplane.  Once I even met a being in the void! It was the only
time I ever saw any kind of creature in the void. I will present
this episode below because, at the very least, it is funny.
   The general circumstances in which I find myself in the void
are as follows.  I sometimes appear in the void as soon as I
leave my body. I have presented examples of this already. I will
also appear in the void if I lose my lockmold on a subplane
(you will recall that the lockmold is how well you are tuned in
on a subplane).  If I lose my lockmold, I usually do not wake up,
but instead appear in the void.
   Again, I am presenting these experiences here in case you find
yourself in the void.

    (Seeing ghost images in the void.)

    "(Had lost my lockmold and)...Then I was flying through the
void.  This time, though I was in the darkness of the void, I
could perceive faint, but distinct silhouette images around me,
and it seemed that I was flying through them.  I thought to myself
that I must be right on the border of some definite frequency or
plane, not locked well enough to actually be there, but right next
door to it so to speak.  I kept flying on, and the silhouettes were
very reminiscent of buildings, cars and city objects.  As I flew on,
at one point I got the impression that I had entered the water and
was under the water, though I was still in the void.  The
silhouettes reminded me of fishes swimming around.  They were not
static images, they were moving too.  Even though it seemed like
I was under water, my movement through the void was no different,
but I was afraid to materialize myself for fear of being under
water.  The silhouettes were interesting though.  Some were of
very large fish, at least 10 feet long.   One looked like a shark
and I passed close by it.  Another one was a round squat shape
about five feet in diameter.  A school of swimming creatures
passed me by.  I remember too that when I would look upwards
that I got the same effect that one observes swimming under water
and looking up at the surface.  But I kept flying forward and soon
it seemed like I had passed out of the water cause now the
silhouettes I was passing through looked much different, less
organic, like vertical strips.  So now I tried to materialize
myself.  To materialize I stopped my forward motion and simply
began to spin round and round.  Also I began to concentrate on
my hands, trying to lift them up and look at them.  Then I began
to see the neatest thing.  As my hands began to form and I could
start to see them, the silhouettes around me began to take on
color and form.  It was slow at first so I concentrated harder,
and I watched an environment form around me.  I was now out of
the void and somewhere.  I was standing in a forest, surrounded
by all kinds of plants...."


    (A short description of the void.)

    "Dream-awoke laying in my old bedroom at Ma's house.  I
"flopped" out of my body.  Flew downstairs.  Flew to front door,
tried to pass through but went into void.  Stayed in void for
some time wondering what it is.  There were no recognizable
silhouettes, but there were distinct qualities or feelings.  
At first the darkness was very "electric."  Eventually the void
seemed like a heavy fog.  I got the idea to try to look at my
hands.  Watched my body and a red tile floor materialize around
me as the fogginess of the void faded away.  I was in an empty
room with a red tile floor, it seemed like a small gymnasium or

    (Here is when I met a strange creature in the void.)

    "...I was in the void.  Was floating listlessly, enjoying
     then peace and quiet, figuring out what I was going to
     do next.  I looked off in the darkness before me and
     was absolutely amazed at what I saw, for coming towards
     me far off in the distance was a creature of some kind!
     I was totally startled.  I had never seen another being
     in the void before!  I slowly started to fly towards
     the creature, curiously studying it, as it moved towards
     me.  At first, all I could see was that it was some type
     of humanoid, but as I got closer to it I could make out more
     detail.  It had a human body, but its face resembled
     that of a wolf.  It had a hairy face, long snout, and
     dark eyes.  It was wearing an outfit that reminded me of
     the Green Goblin from the Spiderman comic books.  As it
     got closer I could hear it mumbling to itself.  I was
     about 10 feet in front of it, but it acted as if I was not
     there and simply kept mumbling to itself and kept moving
     towards me.  I asked it what it was doing and, all
     of a sudden it was on top of me!  The thing grabbed me
     and started to carry me off!  I couldn't believe it!
     I was not scared at all, but suprised.  I started to
     struggle and was telling it to let me go.  I said
     "you can't do anything to me, I'm astral projecting!".
     It continued to ignore me and simply kept carrying me
     through the void.  It mumbled something to itself about
     "a specimen for the bioleum".  I heard this and realized
     that this thing intended to make me a specimen in some
     kind of museum!  I couldn't believe this was happening to
     me.  I kept yelling at it telling it I was astral projecting
     and I could wake up at any moment.  It ignored me and kept
     carrying me forward.  In the excitment of my struggling,
     I lost my lockmold and woke up in my physbod.
          Upon waking, I felt stupid for acting the way I did.
     I should have let it carry me to wherever it was going so
     I could have learned where this creature came from.  Still,
     this was the first time I ever saw a creature of any kind
     in the void!"

B. Life on the planes

    Let's now go onto the scenic elements of the OOBE realm.
Again, I will divide these up into four major realms: the lower,
the middle (or "normal"), the higher and the surreal realms.  
And again, each of these broad realms corresponds to states
of mind and emotion.  Let's discuss each of these realms in

    i.  The Lower Realms
    The lower realms of the subplanes are easily identified.
They are often dark as if it is nighttime outside.  There is also
an eerie feel to the lower subplanes.  They just feel creepy.  Often,
it is hard to move on the lower subplanes, similar to being on
the etheric plane, where your movement seems to be retarded and
in slow motion.  And of course, you will encounter ghoulish
creatures on these subplanes.  
    You don't need to fear anything you encounter on these subplanes.
First, it is unlikely you will spend any amount of time on these
subplanes.   I always have a bad lockmold on these planes, and
thus, often "fade-out" of these lower subplanes within minutes.
Since they do correspond to the worst of human existance, you'd
have to be pretty evil yourself to be in tune with these subplanes.
Second, it's actually kind of theraputic and eye opening to see these
planes.  Part of the goal of overcoming fear means opening up to
the aspects of life revealed by these lower subplanes.  By understanding
these kinds of energies you transform them into something better.
If you repress these energies, they only continue to ferment into
something even worse.  So, my advice is, if you find yourself
on the lower subplanes, don't be afraid of what you encounter there.
Take it as a learning experience.  
    Now, if you are on a lower subplane, how to you get out of it?
One trick I learned is the following: fly through the ceiling of
wherever you are at.  When you do this, you will go through the
ceiling and come up through the floor of the same room you just
left!  But actually, it will not be the exact same room; it will
be the room but on a higher subplane.  Do this a few times until
you see light outside and do not feel the heavy, eerie feeling
anymore. You will then be on a higher subplane.  This does not
always work, but it does work sometimes, so it's worth giving
it a try.  
    Your other alternative is to just wait it out.  As I said,
it is unlikely, if you are a average, normal person, that you
will be able to keep your lockmold stable on these subplanes for
any extended period of time.  If you just wait it out, you will
probably disappear from that subplane within a couple of minutes
anyway.  If you choose this option, just explore your environment.
Like I said, and you have to always keep this in mind when you
project, nothing can hurt you when you are out of body.  You
are literally indestructible.  YOU are the only thing that can
hurt you, and the only way this can happen is by letting your
own fears take you over.  If you learn to control your fear,
you will ALWAYS be safe out of body.
    This said, let me give a couple examples of what the lower
subplanes are like.

(A typical lower subplane experience.)

    "Felt myself wake up on the physical.  Tried to remember
my dream but it faded quickly.  That made me mad.  Plus I hadn't
projected for several days, and that sucked too.  I thought "go for
it" and pretended I was jumping out of my body - and I did!  
Surprised, I floated in my room for a brief instant and then
faded.  At first I thought I was in the void, but then I saw all
kinds of humanoid silhouettes around me.  There were all kinds of
them marching like sleep walkers.  It was a dark and eerie
environment.  I couldn't fly well and I felt like I was zipping
along like a balloon.  I shot past a silhouette and it bent out
of my way in a distorted and unnatural manner-like it bent sideways
or something.  I tried to look at my hands, but it was very
difficult.  Woke up.
    This was a very short projection - less than a minute.  
I bet I was on the lowest astral plane.  I think I saw a bunch
of "lost souls".  It was very much like Leadbeater described
it - dark, heavy, hard to control one's movements.  The
silhouettes were like zombies; no self-consciousness, they
just marched like a herd."

(Another typical lower suplane experience.)

    "...Drifted off to sleep again, imagining I was in the living room
downstairs.  In the next instant, I was downstairs!  I was floating
by the ceiling in the living room.  It was dark, like nighttime.  
This time I could move, but it was very difficult.  I pulled myself
to the floor.  I looked at the front door.  The dimensions of the
room were distorted and enlarged.  The door looked far away, like
in a telescope.  I walked toward the door with great difficulty.  
I felt a small sense of triumph when I finally reached the door.  
I opened the door and walked out onto the porch.  My movement
became a little easier.  I looked outside to the street.  It seemed
to be just before dawn.  In the street, I saw two figures running
carrying something looking like sacks over their shoulders.  They
seemed to be wearing what looked like long underwear.  They were
hunched over as they ran.  I don't know what they were, though
they were humanoid.  My first impression is that they were thieves
running from the scene of the crime.  
     But the way they moved, all hunched and distorted made me
think that they might be demons or some lowly astral creatures.
At any rate, they disappeared across the street.  They didn't
notice me at all.  I wanted to follow them but I knew I couldn't
move as fast as they were.  Then I flew out through the porch
window around to the side of the house.  Once outside, everything
seemed really dark and murky, and distorted.  I realized I was on
the lowest astral plane and got scared.  I wanted to leave and
felt myself back in my body..."

(This entry illustrates some of the denizens of the
 lower subplanes, a topic to which we will return.)

    Was in one of those scary brown heavy regions.  
    Thought I had woke up.  Was laying in bed and I heard soft
but threatening hissing voices.  It made me scared.  Had my back
to the voices but it sounded like they were getting closer.  
Realized I was in the nasty etheric levels and tried to wake
myself up.  It backfired and I went into a higher dream level
for a moment but lost lucidity and had a false awakening.  Thought
I had woke onto the physical but actually was in some dream
facsimile of my room at Dad's.  Saw a clear blue sky through
crack in the curtains and it made me feel great; couldn't believe
I let those stupid etheric ghouls get to me.  Went back to sleep
    Next I knew I was in the etheric again and heard the voices.  
This time I was irked and determined to confront them.  I got up,
with difficulty and said, also with much difficulty, "Whoever you
are, come out and face me, I demand it!"  Looking forward with it
still appearing that I was in my Dads (actually it didn't feel
like Dads in the episode, more like my own place but very
comfortable), my brown curtains seemed to marshmallow out and it
seemed this pack of strange humanoid creatures stepped through.  
My vision was very bad and I was having a difficult lockmold but
I thought I saw about four of em.  They had on long dingy robes
and had strange distorted features.  It seemed like they were
yelling at me or something.  I lashed out at them and stepped
into them best I could.  They seemed to disappear into the other
    Fell back asleep more happy than before.  Mold was terrible
the whole time, everything had a brown cast to it.  I could barely
move or speak.  As I was falling off to sleep, kept thinking about
how Leadbeater says that the initiate has a hard time moving on
the lower planes.   Boy he was right."

(This is an example of using the "flying through
 the ceiling trick to get out of a lower subplane.)

    " I struggled to get out.  I flopped out of my body and
rolled onto the floor.  My vision was blinking but I quickly
realized where I was at and thought, "Shit! I gotta get outta
here!"  I saw I was on the lowest astral plane.  I felt that
dark, heavy uncomfortable feeling.  Everything was in greys
and browns.  And worst of all, there were ghoulies all over
my bedroom!  They were broken and twisted bodies, moving about
in their lethargic fashion.  At least I didn't get frightened
this time.  I stayed level headed.  My first thought was to wake
myself up, but then I thought, "no, I'll just go to a higher
plane."  So I flew upwards through the ceiling, passed through
the ceiling and came up through my floor.  I did this a second
time.  Now there was sun shinning through my window and the
ghoulies were gone, and everything was in normal colors.  I was
quite pleased with myself.
    I flew through the ceiling, this time going outside the
house.  It was sunny and beautiful outside..."

    ii. The Middle Realms
    The middle planes are very much like our physical world.
Here you will find houses, schools, cities and buildings,
forests and rivers and pretty much all the things you
find on the physical plane.  Remember though, we are NOT on
the physical plane.  These middle regions have a very ethereal
feel to them compared to the physical plane.
    One place you will often go in these middle subplanes
is the room you are in when you project.  In my case, this is
always my bedroom.  That fact that you will project into your
bedroom will afford you many opportunities to compare what
your bedroom is like in your projection to what it is like on
the physical plane.  When you study these differences, you will
quickly realize that, when you project, you are NOT in the
physical world.   So, if you do find yourself projecting into the
room that you are in, I highly encourage you to study the details
of your astral bedroom and, as soon as you wake up, pay close
attention to how what you saw in your projection was similar to
or different from how your room is on the physical plane. I will
give an example of this below.
    One of the most interesting aspects of the middle subplanes
is that many authors claim that in this region you will find
discarnate people.  In other words, these middle regions are
where so-called "dead" people dwell, at least for a certain amount
of time after their passing away.  Thus, what you can find on these
regions are places specifically designed for the recently dead.
Such places take the form of hospitals or dormitories.  Robert
Monroe clearly describes such places.  Monroe calls these "Rehab
Centers", and I have visited them (or happened across them as the
case may be) on many occasions.   "Rehab Centers" exists in the
astral world supposedly to provide a safe and confortable environment
for the recently deceased, to allow them to get used to their new
surroundings and new condition.  As a matter of fact, entry number
6, in file 8, where I describe being dragged by the wind force,
is a description of one of these "Rehab Centers".  In this case
it was for younger people; older teenagers and people
in their early and mid twenties.  I will put another such
description below.  And, if I was ever skeptical of the idea
of these  "Rehab Centers", this sceptism was laid
to rest when I actually MET a deceased friend of mine in one of
my projections.  I will describe this encounter later when I
discuss interacting with the people you meet in your
    In general, you will find that the majority of your OOBEs
occur in the middle regions of the subplanes.  I recommend that
you explore these regions carefully.  Observe the construction of
the buildings and houses.  Feel free to go into strange houses
and just look around.  You will actually observe many interesting
things that are much different from the physical plane.  For
example, I was once in a shopping mall in one of my projections, and
it seemed to go on and on forever.  There was no exit that I
could find.  I had a similar experience in a school once.
    Also, you will find many people here to talk to and communicate
with.  In a later section I will give suggestions for interacting with
the people you meet in your projections.  Here we are mainly interested
in conveying some idea of what the middle regions of the subplanes
are like.  Let me now present a few of my journal entries of
projections occurring on these middle subplanes which illustrate
what is discussed above.

(Here is an example of me projecting into my
        backyard and then waking up immediately and
 comparing my astral backyard to my physical

    "...I could feel myself laying on my bed in my physbod.  Wanted
to leave again.  Began to relax and concentrated on staying
dream-awake.  Felt myself fall back into it.  I jumped out and was
in my bedroom.  Turned and looked at my curtains.  I tried to pass
through them but couldn't.  So I flew out my window -  through
the screen.  I noticed that I was naked so I thought myself into
some shorts.  I flew out into the backyard, landed and sat on the
grass.  I wanted to fly off and explore but I thought that I
should just sit there and observe details.  I sat there and looked
around trying to figure out how this environment was different
from the one on the physical.  Things looked normal.  It looked
like my backyard.  The house next door looked like my neighbor's
house.  I even saw some of my neighbors in their yard down the
    [ Right now I'm awake on the physical and I just went
outside and sat in the same spot I did in my projection to
compare the two scenes, and there were many noticeable
differences.  First, where I saw my neighbors, there was no one
there. I could not even see the house from where I was sitting
in the backyard on the physical, the perspective was a lot broader
in the projection.  Second, in the projection, our backyard
appeared much bigger and more open than it really is.  Things
seemed to be located in the same relative positions though.  
Third, the whole back yard was neater or tidier in the projection,
and also "lighter".  Just now when I was outside in the physical,
the backyard had a "heavy", lush feeling that wasn't present in
the projection.  The grass needs to be cut in the physical but was
short and neat in the projection. ]
    As I was sitting in my projection in the backyard the most
unusual thing I noticed was that I could "see" the air.  I've never
seen anything like this on the physical.  The air around me was
moving like transparent sheets wrapping around and around one another.  
Also, these "sheets" were made of what looked like a fine mist of
this white particulate matter that seemed to be graded from higher
concentration to lower.  The effect was something like when you see
sunlight shinning through a fine mist of water.  I only got to
observe this effect for a moment because after I noticed it, my
lockmold started to slip and I began to fade out.  This "air
effect" was the most significant thing I saw when I was actually
sitting there in my projection.  I was very fascinated while I
was looking at it.  Obviously, no such thing existed on the

(continued in File 10)

FILE 10 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.


    ii. The Middle Realms (continued from FILE 9)

(This is an example of me discovering a "Rehab
 Center".  In this case, it was a place for the elderly,
 and it was very much like a nursing home.  Also, though
 it is somewhat premature in the notes, in the following
 entry I met what seemed to me during the projection to
 be a deceased person, a young child.  I have
 decided to include this here for the sake of keeping
 the journal entry intact.  Later I will discuss meeting
 deceased people in more detail.)

    "Laid down.  Broke consciousness.  Was out of my body in my
bedroom here at Dad's house.  Passed out my window into the
backyard but nothing looked familiar.  Went around to the front
and still didn't recognize anything.  I can't recall any of the
details.  I wanted to fly away and explore so I shot upwards.  I
was afraid I'd blackout.  I remember seeing suburb and city
streets spread out below me.  The scene below me looked like a
bluish-green microchip.  Then I blacked out.  I was in the void
and I tried like hell to fly downwards.  I managed to go downwards
somewhat and my vision faded back in and I saw the microchip
looking city below me.  There was a force tugging me back upward,
but I resisted, broke it, and hovered back downwards.  I watched
the microchip scene turn back into city streets as I lowered myself.
    But now I was somewhere totally different than where I started
and I still didn't recognize anything.  I was standing in front of a
building that had an official looking appearance.  I went inside.  
There was a group of older women inside the doorway.  I tried to speak
with the one who looked the youngest (she looked to be maybe 50).  I
got her name, but she was basically ignoring me as if I was a
bother to her.  She was wearing a nurse outfit.  I noticed that
there were only old people around.  I continued trying to talk
to this nurse.  I told her that I had a physical body at home,
and that I was projecting and I wanted to know if she was aware
of the fact that she was not in the physical world.  Yet she
continued to ignore me as she was too busy with the older folks.  
When I was talking to her, at some point a little blond boy with
glasses, kind of nerdy looking, maybe 10 years old, appeared.  He
was hanging around me but I ignored him cause I was trying to talk
to Kate or Katherine (the nurse).  After the nurse left pushing
someone in a wheel chair, I walked into what appeared to be a TV
room.  There was a TV on and a few old men sitting around watching
it.  I saw a bulletin board and went and tried to read it.  I
managed to read, with great difficulty, one line of what looked
like a flyer announcing a party.  I tried to reread the line so
as to memorize it, but it now read something completely different.  
Familiar with this kind of a thing, I gave up on trying to read.  The
little boy was still following me around.  I decided to leave.  As
I walked out, it dawned on me that this was probably an old folks
home for recently dead people, like the kind that Robert Monroe
describes.  When I realized this, I really wanted to scram.
    The little boy followed me outside, then he took off running
in front of me and indicated that I should follow him.  He ran
across the street to an old abandoned house.  He ran around to
the back and "stepped" up this ten foot step onto a platform of
some kind, that looked like a scaffold.  The whole while I was
following this kid I told him to slow down or that I'd disappear.  
When we got around back, it took me a bit of trouble to climb up
onto the platform that he got onto with merely one step.  But I
managed to pull myself up there.  When I got up on this platform
he told me that "this was the funnest place with the best toys."  
He was playing with a few broken wooden soldiers.  I had the strange
feeling that this child was dead and was simply running around
unsupervised and uncontrolled on the astral plane.  I started to
fade and I held onto the child to stabilize myself.  I tried to
talk to him.  I got that his name was Steven and he was from
Illinois.  He said his address was 1717 High Hill.  Then he seemed
to read my mind, cause I was going to ask him his zip code, but
before I could he started mumbling a string of numbers.  He didn't
seem too intelligent.  He seemed like a normal 10 year old.  I
asked him if he knew whether he was dead or if he was just
dreaming.  He told me he knew that his Dad was dead.  As it
was that my lockmold was unstable anyway, I faded out and awoke
back in my physbod."

(Here is the excerpt from the infinite shopping mall
 I mentioned above.)

    "...Very dramatic and very very conscious. I was somewhere,
don't remember where, or how I got there.  I know I didn't like it
though.  It was a big place inside a building, high walls and giant
rooms.  It seemed like a giant shopping mall. Not giant in the
sense of proportions, but giant in that it went on forever.
Actually, I got both senses from the place.  I felt claustrophobic.  
The escalators looked more like roller coaster cars and I couldn't
figure out how they went round like an actual escalator.  I asked
someone where the exit was, and they pointed down to a lower level.  
I flew down that way.  My perceptions were strange, very 4 d.  No
matter how I moved, the front always stayed in front of me.  
Somehow I ended up in a big room.  There were people in a queue
for what I thought was a ticket window.  I tried to pass through
the wall but couldn't.  It was kind of funny cause I was bouncing
rapidly against the wall  but not going through it.  Someone in
the queue pointed up at me saying something to the effect "the nerve
of some people".  I thought to myself "fuck you".  I landed
frustrated .  Stood there wondering how I was going to get out of
this place.  Then my vision blacked out..."

    This is all I am going to say about the middle regions of the
OOBE realm.  Again, I want to stress that the majority of typical
OOBEs occur in these realms.

    iii. The Higher Realms

There are higher realms in the astral plane.  I have
not visited these as much as I have the lower and middle realms,
which, given the psychological correspondence between the OOBE
realms and one's personality, could be construed as a not too
pleasant situation.  Still, my few visits to the higher realms
are characterized by the  following.  The higher realms
appear much more ethereal than the middle realms.  Colors are
very delicate and "light" (i.e. the opposite of heavy).  Colors
and things can also appear very much like sparkling jewels.
In general, the higher regions still have buildings and
recognizable landscapes.  The most important clue that you are
in a higher region is *how it feels*.  When in a higher region,
everything feels really, really good.  It is peaceful and
satisfying and makes you feel light, relaxed and content.  
    It is my suspicion that here too, as with the middle realms,
you will find regions where deceased people dwell.  These are
likely the regions people pass into after they have worn out their
earthy desires which bind them to the middle regions.  According
to occultists, and other authors (Monroe, for example) these
higher regions are NOT the final resting place for the departed.
They are still intermediate stages in the long soujurn that occurs
after the death of the physical body.
   Another thing that differentiates the middle from the higher
regions is something I forgot to mention in the discussion of the
middle regions.  This is the fact that you may sometimes encounter
dreaming people in the middle regions.  How you can tell
dreaming people from dead people will be discussed ahead.  Here I
just want to say that you rarely encounter dreamers in the
higher OOBE regions.  Let me now give a couple journal
entries that I believe were visits to the higher
OOBE regions.


(Here is an excerpt of what I feel was a projection
 to a higher subplane.  It was a beautiful place.
 Note too the potential romance.)

    "....I faded in alongside a pink house that reminded me of my
old place on Houghton Ave. - which is one of the reasons I thought
I was in Houghton.  Standing on the lawn I saw a white picket fence
running up the walk to the front door.  Across the street was a lake
and beyond the lake an amazing horizon of sun and colors.  Everything
seemed to have a pinkish red tint to it.  The colors were like
soft delicate pastels.  A warm breeze was blowing.  
    My movements were like slow motion as I walked through the
front yard (not the slow motion kind of movement that makes it difficult
to move, but a slow motion in the sense of being very dream like).  
My thoughts seemed very removed from my situation.  The whole
thing seemed to be beautifully unreal (but not contrived,
like I feel when I'm in a thought-form.  This feeling was different,
what one might call a "sense of surrealism").   These feeling were
compounded by a deep realization of the novelty of these feelings
in the context of the fact that I was projecting.  I was trying to
figure out what to do next.  Should I fly into the colored sky-scape?
Should I walk about and explore?  I dreamily went up and leaned on
the picket fence in awe of the serene beauty that was filling me at
the moment.  
    Then, from across the street came a very beautiful blond
girl.  She was wearing a black sleeveless top and a plaid skirt of
greens, yellows and reds.  Her beauty fit in exquisitely with this
place.  She ran across the street towards the house I was at.  She
walked up the front walk past me apparently not noticing me.
    "Hey, Blonde," I called to her.  My voice was distorted and
in slow motion.  I waved at her and my motions were in slow motion.  
She turned and saw me.  I tried to say `come here', but the words
wouldn't come out.  But she could tell what I wanted for she
walked over to me.  Up close she was even more beautiful than I
first thought.  Straight blond hair draped over her elfin features,
thin high cheek bones, slender green eyes, cute upturned nose.  I
was irresistibly drawn to her.  We hugged.  I caressed her breast
which felt so soft and real.  She responded to me erotically and
sensuously.  We kissed and I felt myself begin to fade.  I pressed
my entire body against hers trying to stabilize myself.  I rubbed
my face, arms, legs, torso and groin against hers.  Still clutching
her I faded out..."  


(Here is another episode in which I believe I was
 in a higher region.  The place in the following
 entry is very much like a place described by
 spiritualists called "Summer Land", which is
 a beautiful meadow strewn region where the
 deceased rest.  Note that this occurred in the same
 projection where I was in the infinite mall.)
    "(after I had escaped the shopping mall and was in the void
for a while)...I materialized somewhere else! I was now standing outside,
in what seemed to be a pleasant countryside.  There was a guy and a
girl standing near me looking at me.  They looked like hippies to
me.  Both were wearing loose white tops and white skirts, with
sandals on their feet.  She was blond and cute, he had a beard.  
I asked them where I was at.  They seemed to be paying attention
to me.  I asked them what was this place and what their names were.  
They didn't respond to my questions but we did talk.  The girl
said something to me but I thought she was just speaking nonsense.  
Yet it didn't seem to matter.  There was an incredible happiness
that filled me and I wanted to make love to her. She took me by
the hand and I walked with them.  I saw wood shacks dotted about
and other people around the shacks.  The area seemed to be a
beautiful meadowland of rolling hills of green and yellow.  I
remember fighting to hold my lock mold, and they seemed to sense
this and we moved slowly and cautiously.  We ended up on a hill
under a tree.  I flew up into the tree, and they flew with me,
still holding my hand.  We frolicked about the tree in the air.  
The tree seemed very 4-d, as if I could see many perspectives
simultaneously, and the tree looked as if it was weightless.  
I remember looking in her face as she was suspended above me,
and I lost the lock mold.  I felt it coming though because we
were moving rapidly , dancing in the air around the tree.  Then
I was in blackness again..."

    iv.  The Surreal Regions

    Finally, I want to end this survey of the places you
may go by describing what I will call the "surreal" regions.
As I said, these are realms of dancing sounds and colors.  They are
not really "places" in the sense we normally think of the word
"place".  I have actually been in these surreal regions quite a bit.
Getting to them has a lot to do with the void.  Often, I will
be in the void and it will transform into a surreal region.
    What are the surreal regions?  There are a couple answers
to this question as far as I can tell.  Some of the surreal regions
are related to the physical plane or how the physical plane
affects the etheric plane.  That is, such regions have
something to do with perceiving the physical plane from a viewpoint
we normally cannot.  Many times I have seen what look to me like
biological structures in my projections, and I wonder if I may
be actually seeing my brain or my own body from on the inside.
That is, sometimes it seems like my perception "shrinks" and I
can see things that normally one would need a microscope to see.
This is one class of surreal region.
    Now, the idea of perceiving minute things that we cannot
see with our normal vision is not new.  Yogis have described this
ability for centuries.  The earliest known description of this
psychic ability is in Patanjali's Yoga sutras, which dates
back to 500 B.C..  At the turn of the century Annie Besant and
C.W. Leadbeater used this psychic ability, which they called
"magnifying clairvoyance" to literally see atoms and molecules,
and they published these observations in a book called Occult Chemistry.
In 1980, this ability was dubbed "micro-psi" by Stephen Phillips,
a physicist who studied Besant and Leadbeater's descriptions of atoms.
The Hindu name for this ability is "anima" and anima is this name
I will use.
    What I am saying is that you will be able to use this ability,
anima, when out-of-body.  This will occur in two contexts. In
the first case, this may be the basis for some of the hypnogogic
images you see.  That is, during hypnogogia, some of what you may see
may actually be you using anima, shrinking down your perception
and actually seeing the cellular and molecular structures of
which your body is composed.  I will give examples of this below.
The other context in which you may find yourself using the
anima ability is that you will seem to be in a PLACE that is
very "biological" looking.  In this case you are not merely
viewing biological structures, but are actually *inside* of them.
    Now, in both cases, I do NOT believe you are literally
viewing your physical body.  I feel that these perceptions
exist on the etheric plane.  So what you are seeing is etheric
plane images that correspond to biological structures inside
your body.  This is very similar to when you see your bedroom
during a projections; it is not your physical bedroom, but its
etheric counterpart.  Whatever the truth behind these biological
appearing images, there is no question that you may see them.  
    The second type of surreal regions you may visit falls into
a different category than the anima images. This second
category of surreal regions is closely related to the void.
Sometimes you may be in the void and it will transform into
a space of abstract colors and shapes.  You will have a hard time
putting what you see in such spaces into words.  The shapes and colors
will also move and be very dynamic.  When you are in such a surreal
space, it may either transform back into the void, or you may
transform into one of the middle or higher regions of the astral
    What is going on here is the following.  When you move from
the void to a subplane (using the hands trick, for example), what
you are doing is phasing into that subplane.  Again, using our
"radio station theory of consciousness", this is analogous
to moving from a region of static on the radio to tuning into a
radio station.  Now, tuning into a subplane, though it is
*analogous* to tuning into a radio station on your radio, is
by no means the same process.  When you are tuning into a subplane
during an OOBE, it is possible to PARTIALLY tune into a subplane
and perceive that subplane from a completely different angle
or perspective than if you have completely tuned into the subplane.
When you percieve a subplane from such a partial angle, it
looks TOTALLY DIFFERENT than it does if you tune into it
completely.   What you see during a partial tuning into a
subplane is a weird space of moving colors and geometric
patterns.  In other words, you appear to be in a surreal region.
    Now, this idea is not speculation on my part.  I have
literally observed this to be the case.  I will give an example
below showing how this works.  
    So, in summary, I have discovered two types of surreal regions
encountered during OOBEs.  The first results from anima and these
are perceptions of biological and molecular spaces.  The second
results from partially tuning into a subplane.  Both types of
surreal space are perceived as very abstract looking "places"
of moving colors and geometric images.  I have made minor references
to these types of perceptions in some of the entries I have listed
so far.  In one I speak of falling through the "meme bacteria" and
this is a description of using anima to see biological structures.
These "meme bacteria" are green and purple neonish colored images,
and they may appear as green tubes with purple liquid flowing
through them (which I think my be me seeing my blood flowing
through my veins or arteries), but they may also appear
as swirling vortexes of green and purple. or as a wall of
green and purple patterns.  I also have referred to seeing the
"green and purple" images during hypnogogia and these also
refer to using anima.
    Finally, to close I want to say that the two categories
of surreal space I describe here by no means exhaust the possible
causes of surreal spaces in the OOBE realm.  According to reports by
occultists, yogis and other OOBE authors, there are many types of
surreal spaces including planes beyond the astral.  The reader
interested in further information is referred to the bibliography.
This said, let me list some of my experiences in surreal regions
while out-of-body.

(Earlier in these notes I presented an entry in which
 I was being dragged along by the wind force, in
 FILE 8, entry 2 under the heading "a. Moving, Flying
 and the "Wind".  While I was being dragged backwards
 by this wind force, I decided to turn around
 and see if I could see what was dragging me.  When
 I turned around I saw a surreal landscape.  The
 following is the continuation of the entry from
 FILE 8, and I believe this was an anima based

    " ...For a while I relaxed and let it drag me along.
     Soon though I became impatient and wanted to see if I could
turn myself around and see what was dragging me.  I struggled very
hard to pull myself around, and it felt like I was trying to pull
myself against hurricane winds. When I had my back to the
direction of this wind force, I remember seeing trees pass me
by at high velocity.  But I managed to turn around and what I
saw was unbelievable and utterly amazing.  I don't even really
know how to describe it! When, after great effort, I turned
myself around, I was no longer seeing the forest.  Instead I was
looking onto this unbelievable colored field and there were three
spheres ahead of me and they had something that looked like
butterflies dancing in each of them.  But they were not
butterflies, though they looked a little like them.  Whatever
they were, there was one each inside of the three spheres and
these "butterflies" were spinning and rotating within the sphere
and constantly changing color.  The way they changed color was
strange, it was as if colors were welling into them from
somewhere I could not see, like a liquid, and flowing around inside
of these butterfly creatures.  
    I was both awed and confused; confused that the forest was
gone, and confused at what I was looking at, awed because whatever
I was looking at was very, very beautiful.
    My first thought was, "God, this looks like what Leadbeater
describes the astral plane to look like."  But there was a
peculiar quality to the scene that reminded me of looking under
a microscope.  I began to wonder if I was seeing the inside of
my brain somehow.  The "butterfly" things were extremely
reminiscent of cellular appearances.  The background behind
the three spheres looked like a landscape, somewhat reminiscent
of a garden, but it was strangely and complexly colored, most of
the details escaping me now except the preponderance of pink
colors, and the effect of sunset-like colors.
    Also, I experienced another unique sensation after I had
turned around.  I still felt like I was being pulled forward by
the wind, though that was weakening.  I could see nothing in
front of me that seemed to be pulling me.  And the strange field
of colors with its dancing "butterflies", though appearing three
dimensional, looked like it was very close to my face.  But
strangest of all was a very weird feeling that I could pull off
the top of my head.  This was the first time I had felt this
sensation though it would not be the last.  The feeling is that,
at the very top line of my visual field, I can reach underneath
and pull upwards, and the top of my head would rip off.  Obviously,
this is not a pleasant feeling, but I was very curious as to what
it was and why I felt it, and if the feeling had any connection to
the scene before me, which I was thinking more and more was some
inner view of some type of cells and biological structures.  
    Yet in short order, the pulling of the wind died away, I felt
myself slowing down, and the scene before me faded away.  I was
back in my bedroom again, still lucid in the projection


(Here is the first time I had been to a surreal
 region resulting from partially tuning into a
 subplane.  You can see below that I suspected
 my perceptions were due to partially tuning into
 a subplane, but I was not certain at this point.)

    "I was back in the void again.  This time though it was
different from the last time.  I was seeing really complex
geometrical patterns come spinning past me.  It's hard to remember
exact details, but every now and then I'd see these really
intense color patterns.  It was hard to conceptualize what I was
looking at in this "void".  I'd be zipping along checking out
these spiro-graph patterns then all of a sudden I'd see a color
pattern.  It wasn't that these color patterns would appear before
me in the void like the black and white spirograph patterns, it
was more like I would "fall" backwards, see these intense color
patterns, then "slip forward" back into the void.  I was wondering
if I was bordering on some deeper, more abstract plane and was
blinking in and out of it or something.  I do remember seeing
these really intense lime-green cones that were embedded in some
type of complicated geometrical patter.  I remember yellow and
purple too.   At some point I did my spinning trick and my hand
trick and cause myself to materialize again.
    Now I was in what seemed like an upstairs flat or apartment..."

(In this projection, I literally saw first hand how
 the surreal space I was in resulted from seeing a
 subplane from a different perspective, so to speak.
 In other words, it was during this projection that
 I saw absolutely that my perception of a surreal
 space was related to a definite subplane.)

    "Had been up all night studying for an exam and gabbing with
John.  Went to bed about 5:00 AM.  I fell asleep almost immediately.  
Next thing I knew I was walking thru a dance club, very reminiscent
of the Detroit dance club scene.  The place was large and dark,
and there was a huge dance floor filled with very underground
looking people.  I was not lucid at this point, but I had a very
strong feeling that something was up.  I walked off of the dance
floor into another room that was a bar.  Sitting at the bar was
my good friend Eric, with whom I had jammed in a band.  When I
saw Eric it dawned on me - I was in the dream world!  And also,
at this realization, I most definitely experienced the "headrush"
feeling.  My lucidity was incredible.  Everything was absolutely
clear and vivid.  I felt exactly like I do when I'm awake.  Once
my lucidity clicked in though, I became very aware of my potential
to fade out so I moved very slowly and carefully...
    (I spoke to Eric, then faded out into the void)
    ...I seemed to now be floating in the void.  However, there
were what seemed to be colored triangles moving around, crossing
and spinning over one another making distinctly geometric patterns
in front of me.  The colors were mainly a yellowish green with red,
orange and pink hues and they had the texture of clear and smoky,
but smooth glass.  "This is a weird view of the void," I thought
to myself.  I stared at these patterns wondering what the hell I
was looking at.  I began to focus harder and harder on these
patterns, trying to discern some detail in them.  Then, as I was
focusing, the most incredible thing happened.  I watched these
patterns "solidify" and transform into the scene on the dance
floor of the club I had just left.  The spinning triangles were
actually the dancing people in the club! I was amazed.  I relaxed
my focus and the scene faded back to the spinning triangles.  I
was thinking, "Wow! This is amazing!"  I tightened my focus again
and the triangles again transformed into the dancers on the dance
floor.  This time I tightened my  focus so much that the entire
bar scene faded in around me!  I was back in the bar again!  
    My lockmold was again very strong, but again, I moved slowly
and cautiously so as not to get too excited and fade out.  I
wondered if Eric was still here.  I walked off the dance floor,  
through a neon lit hallway, back into the bar where I had seen
Eric.  And no shit - there he was in the same room!  I was
extremely lucid and I really had to fight to keep myself calm
because I knew I would fade if I got too excited..."  


(The final example I will give of a surreal space
 is perhaps the most dramatic I have ever experienced.
 However, I failed fully to record this experience until
 4 years after it had happend. Here is what I wrote
 in my journal the day I had the experience in 1988:)

    ""Laid there thinking/talking to myself, did hands trick and
skipped/fell down/backwards.  Landed by a gymnasium.  Skipped to
an acting stage (i.e. artificial, like it was a stage set) looking
city.  Got bored and left.  Voided a bit.  Explored four levels of
physiological structure: 1. the meme bacteria, 2. swirling colors,
eddy fluxes, 3. cells and proteins, 4. rock plateau with embedded
gems and atom lattice.  Skipped to 5th level and was in a city.  
Skipped into a room and talked to a girl.  Various other things
that I can't remember.  Laid in focus 10 remembering then
fell asleep."

(This is all I wrote originally in my journal.
 It was 4 years later that I elaborated on
 these brief notes when typing my journal into the
 computer.  Below is what I remembered of this
 experience four years later.  What we have here
 is a lesson in being lazy.  I was too lazy to
 record this experience in detail, and, as you will
 see, I forgot significant parts of the experience.
 This is, in my mind, one of the most significant
 uses of anima that I ever have done.  I was a fool
 to not record it in more detail.  What I could remember
 when I entered my journal into the computer is:)

    "...What I do recall very clearly is that, while I was in the midst
of the meme bacteria level, I got the idea to shut my eyes, spin around
rapidly, and pretend that I was shrinking.  When I did this and
opened my eyes up I was quite surprised to see that I was actually
somewhere else!  That I had or had not shrunk down I don't know
absolutely, but then again, there is not one thing described in
this journal that I have any absolute understanding of (other than
the fact that this stuff did occur!).  And what I saw when I opened
my eyes was amazing.  I was in the midst of a spectacular panorama
of swirling activity and spiraling colors. In the entry above I
refer to this as "swirling colors, eddy fluxes".  Even now I can
remember some of the images of what I saw.  At the time my
impression was that I was watching the biochemical cycles inside
my cells, but I was seeing them up close.  The scene was
staggering in its complexity.  In this projection, I was floating
amongst the images, floating surrounded by these color patterns.  
I remember that I was amazed, but baffled, and didn't understand
in the least what I was looking at, other than that it was very
beautiful and moving around too much to make out any definite
    At the time, during the projection, the main thing going
through my mind was the new travel/skip technique I had just
devised.  Since, at this second level, which I had assumed to
be nested inside of the meme bacteria level, I didn't really
know how to make much sense of what I was seeing, I decided
to try the same technique again.  So, in the midst of all these
swirling colors, I shut my eyes, started spinning around and
once again pretended I was shrinking.  Then I opened my eyes and
again I was somewhere else!  In the entry above I have the
description of this third level as "cells and proteins".  
Unfortunately, at this point I don't remember a single image
I saw at this level.  Whatever it was though, it must have been
things that reminded me of protein structure, which would mean
coils and loops, or I wouldn't have written this in my journal.  
    I do remember clearly though what I was thinking at this level.  
I remember thinking to myself something along the lines of the
following logic, "if I'm really looking at proteins, then I
should be able to shrink down and actually see the individual
atoms that the proteins are composed of."  So I shut my eyes,
spun around rapidly, and pretended to shrink even further.  When
I opened my eyes I was again at a new level and this I remember
clearly even now as I type.  I opened my eyes and I was standing
on a rock ledge, and in this ledge were embedded little glistening
jewels.  I looked up and in front of me as far as I could see were
little dots of light all lined up in a lattice pattern.  "Are
those atoms?" I wondered, "if they are, then why aren't they
moving?"  The ledge that was overlooking this lattice work was
only about three feet high and I stepped off of it into the lattice
sea of lights.  I floated out into it, mostly confounded by what I
was looking at.  It was very still and quiet.  The lights were
simply embedded in the darkness, and they were not moving or
anything, only sitting in place glowing softly.  I remember these
images clear as day.  I floated through this panorama and became
bored because it was the same thing in every direction I looked.  
I know I was trying to see things like Besant and Leadbeater
described in Occult Chemistry.  So I shut my eyes, spun around
again, and pretended to shrink.
    And again, I opened my eyes and was somewhere else!  This
time though I was standing in a city, and it felt very gloomy
to me.  It was misty and kind of dark.  Things were colored,
but pale, and mostly shadowy.  I felt a little scared by this
place.  Far off in the distance I saw a creature running and it
seemed to me to look like a wolf running like a man.  I remember
at this point thinking to myself, "I wonder if I'm on the lowest
astral plane now?  Maybe what happened is I started out at the
meme level, shrunk deeper and deeper into the physical level,
until I finally popped right out of the physical level into the
astral plane."  That's what I thought when I was actually
there seeing it first hand, and this is what I believe today."

So there you have it.  We've now gone through a survey of
what it's like on the other side of the veil, in the OOBE
realm.  By any standard, what I have described here is only
a fraction of what has been described.  And moreover, what has
been described here is obviously slanted by and limited by my own
experiences in the OOBE realm and my own interpretations of these
experiences. I do, by all means, encourage everyone
to read as much as they can about what life is like in the planes.  
You may find contradictory reports, you may find differing
interpretations, but this is to be expected.   The realm where
OOBEs occur is vast beyond anything we know or understand here
in the physical world.  It is truly important if you want to
have as full an understanding as possible that you expose your-
self to as many views as possible about the OOBE/astral projection/
lucid dream experience.  And, as always, you want to use YOUR OWN
EXPERIENCE IN THESE REALMS, as your basis for interpreting the reports
of others.   Other people's reports are great for giving us ideas
and for exposing us to possibilities, and for corroborating the
things we experience out-of-body, but in the end, there is
no substitute for personal, direct experience.  I try here to show
you doors.  It is you who must pass through these doors.

FILE 11 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.

                       IN THE OOBE REALM - PART 5

7.  Things And People You Meet

    We've discussed the things you can do and places you can go
during an OOBE, now I'd like to discuss the creatures you can meet
during an OOBE.   In general you can break this topic down into
two parts: 1. the nonhuman things you meet, and 2. the human
things you meet.  I will now discuss each of these in turn,
beginning with the nonhuman things first.

A. Nonhuman Denizins Of The Planes

    A number of the entries I have presented so far are
examples of meeting nonhuman entities.  I have described
meeting the following "creatures": a talking rhino (FILE 8, entry
9 under the heading "Exercising psychic powers"), a friendly
spirit (FILE 8, entry 4 under "Moving, Flying and the "Wind"),
numerous ghouls, and describe meeting a number of people as well.
    Basically, and this is commonly reported in the astral plane
literature, there are any number of nonhuman entities you may meet.
Such entities include "intelligent" animals, spirits of all types,
fairy folk, strange monsters, ghouls, zombies, rotting bodies
and pretty much anything else you can imagine.  These entities
may be friendly, hostile or anything in between.  They may be
completely indifferent to your presence.  
   About all I can say in terms of meeting nonhuman entities
is that you want to try to ascertain a number of factors.
First, you want to try to determine if the entitiy displays
volition.  That is, does the entity act of its own accord?  If
it does not, then it is possible you are seeing a thought-form.
I will give an example of meeting a thought-form below.  Second,
try to communicate with the entity if you can.  It can't hurt you
to try.  Finally, if the entity appears hostile, don't worry about
it, as we saw with the creature that tried to capture me in the
void (FILE 9, entry 3 under "Life in the void"), the situation
was basically harmless.  I will also present entries below where
I confront hostile nonhuman entities so you can see what I have
done in such circumstances.  
   Let me now present some entries.

(Note that this is part of the entry in FILE 9,
 number 13 under "Excercising psychic powers".  Here
 I merely said: (I then met a monster in the cave,
  which lunged at me and caused me to lose my lockmold...).
 I will now present this meeting with the monster.  This
 is a good example of illustrating how a threatening
 encounter, though startling, is harmless.)

    "I was standing back in the mist filled cave wondering what the
heck I had just seen (as described in entry 13, FILE 9).  The
dangling objects caught my attention and I hovered up to get
a closer look at them.  They appeared to be highly
colored paper mache tubes suspended from strings, real reminiscent
of Chinese artwork.  I focused on them in the same fashion I did
above and their appearance changed.  Now they looked like little
creatures dangling from strings!  They had bodies that were small
in proportion to their heads.  They had little bead-like eyes and
long tube-like beaks.  They had short little dangling arms with
little detailed hands that reminded me of mice hands.  I figured
that they must be some kind of elementals. I touched them and felt
them.  But the focus broke again and they reverted back to colored
paper-mache tubes.
    I looked around wondering if there was a mirror.  Inspecting
the shelves against the cave wall, I saw a mirror about 10 feet up
on the cave wall!  (No real surprise, huh?)  I flew up to it and
looked at myself.  What I saw looked like a horror story version
of myself.  It was me , but my skin was all white and flaked, my
eyes were completely white and chalky looking, and my eye sockets
were deep as if my face was just a skull.  I thought to myself,
"Oh my!".  But I wasn't unusually startled.  This is not the first
time I had seen weird images of myself in astral mirrors.  I
continued staring at the image and it then transformed into a
normal image of myself.  I thought that that was interesting.  I
turned and looked around the cave, then turned back to the mirror.  
I saw the same thing; first the horror image, which then transformed
to the normal image.  I hovered down to land on the cave floor
wondering if there was any significance to these mirror images.
    I was staring forward into the mists at the cave entrance and
saw an outline of a humanoid form there.  "What the hell is that?"
I wondered.  I became a bit trepid.  The image was moving towards
me and I focused on it with my new focusing method.  And boy, did
I get a surprise again!  What I saw was a ghastly looking monster
ready to lunge at me!  I got a good glimpse of what it looked
like.  Its face had the same quality as my horror mirror image;
white chalky skin, pure white eyes.  Its mouth was agape, fangs
protruding from its jaws.  It seemed to be over 6 feet tall,
humanoid, and was unquestionably bigger than me.  It had its
arms extended to grab at me, and it had huge claws on its hands.  
It seemed to be wrapped up like a mummy.  
    I backed up into the air, more disturbed than scared, and tried
to pass through the back of the cave wall, but to no avail.  There
was no way I could shoot past it, it was too close and would grab
me.  And then, it also shot up in the air and was coming at me.  I
at least wasn't panicking and the thing lunged at me with a loud
growl.  At the last moment it dawned on me, "What the hell can
this thing do to me anyway?  After all, I'm in my astral body.  
It can't hurt me."  The monster bounced on me and grabbed me.  The
shock of its impact was enough to cause my lockmold to break.  I was
back on my bed...."

(Here's another example of a monster lunging at me.
 This time it's a ghoul.  Again, you don't have to fear
 these things.)

    "...I turned away from the mirror wondering what my appearance
meant and I noticed that my window which has a fan in it on the
physical plane did not have a fan in it now.  But then I noticed
that there was somebody or something standing out in the backyard.  
I looked and it was a ghoul!  There was a ghoul creature standing
outside my room!  It was wearing a ragged yellow shirt and ripped
red shorts.  It had long stringy, dirty gray hair, and looked like
a corpse in an advanced state of decay.  God, now I was really
wondering what the hell was going on! Not only did I look weird,
but now there was some astral slime in my very own backyard.
    It didn't strike me during the projection, but what was weird was
how the ghoul was positioned in my backyard and the angle I was
viewing him from out my window.  He was standing at the corner
of my room on the outside, with its side facing in my direction and
its front facing towards the street and its back facing into the
backyard.  What I didn't realize until I woke up and wrote this
is that there is no way I could see someone if they were standing
in this position on the physical plane.  I just tried to look out
my window from where I was standing in my room in the projection,
and you simply can't see that corner of the house. I have to put
my face right up to the screen and turn my head to see that position
from my window.  But in the projection I could see that position
perfectly standing back a few feet from the window.  Geometrically,
this would mean that the corner of my room was less than 90
degrees in my projection on whatever plane I was on.  Either
this or that I could very naturally see around a 90 degree corner!  
And I know that I was NOT seeing through the wall.  I saw the
zombie through the window.  Whatever the case, the geometry of
space was definitely very different in my projection than it is
on the physical plane.
    So there I was looking at the ghoul wondering what I should
do.  It was just standing there at the corner of the house and I
didn't know if it was conscious, or if it knew I was looking at
it or what.  But my curiosity got the best of me and I figured I'd
dive out my other window that was up over its head and see just
what it looked like up close.  I figured, hell, this is the astral
plane, and the thing can't hurt me anyway so what have I got to
lose?  So I dove through my window.  I passed through the window
and there I was in front of it.  I tried to look at its face, but
its face was just a blur and I couldn`t focus on it.  But it looked
like a dried up corpse with long dirty, stringy hair and its ripped
up clothes.  Then an instant after I jumped out the window, it lunged
at me.  I remember that the thing growled as it lunged.  It startled
the shit out of me and I pulled myself awake.  I sat there in bed
wondering what it all meant.  Was that thing still outside on
another plane?  Did it wander off again?  Why was something like
that in our backyard?  Was it just passing through?  Did this
household emit vibes that attracted it?  Why did my body materialize
into such a deformed shape?  I didn't know what to think.  After
I awoke, I wasn't scared or spooked or anything like that, just
very curious.  I've know enough about this projecting now to realize
that nothing can hurt me out there except myself and I never need
to fear anything.  Wrote this entry."

(Here's a description of some strange creatures I
 met that seemed to have their own volition, but
 didn't seem too intelligent.  It is my suspicion
 that these were some type of fairy-folk.)

    "Was dreaming in my old room at Ma's house.  I knew I was
going to go into it.  I fell off my bed and flew up.  I was looking
out my (old) bedroom window over Ma's backyard.  I flew through
the window effortlessly.  I was up over Ma's backyard.  I could
feel the wind whipping past me.  I was glad to be back.  Flew
around a bit then went straight up.  Blacked out at about one quarter
mile up.  Was in the void, but I flew downward anyway.  I regained
my sight but didn't recognize where I was.  I wanted to experiment
so I hovered in the air and imagined I was at Dad's house.  I
wanted to materialize there.  It didn't work, or if it did I
couldn't tell because I blacked out again.  I remembered what I
had read in Greene's book about going into space, so I decided I
was going to try to fly to the moon.  I flew upwards and imagined
I was at the moon.  I was still in the void, and I didn't really
know where I was, or where I was going, but after flying upwards
for some time I tried to regain my lockmold.  I concentrated on
trying to perceive around me in the void, and I started to
materialize somewhere.  I was standing in a clearing in a misty
old forest.  I thought to myself, "This is the moon? It doesn't
look like the moon."  I remember a moss covered fallen tree at my
feet, mist creeping across the ground, yellow dead grass.  My
vision wasn't perfect, the lockmold was shaky, I couldn't see
into my peripheral vision.  I heard a weird gooing noise in
front of me.  It sounded like little babies laughing in a
demented way.  I looked up and saw little people coming at me.  
I became frightened a little bit, but I was as equally curious.  
The gooing noises were coming from them and it was creepy.  
They were ugly little creatures- grey purple skin, black matted
hair on the tops of their heads, about 1 and 1/2 feet tall,
stout little bodies with pudgy arms and legs, and pitch black eyes.  
They were wearing what looked like rags about their groins.  
They approached me with their arms outstretched trying to touch
me.  I was frightened as much as I was repulsed.  I said "let
me go!", as they were now grabbing at me.  They weren't hostile
though, they only seemed to be curious.  I looked one of them
distinctly in the face and it stared back up at me and seemed
to smile- though it was an empty and nonintelligent smile.  I
began to lose my lockmold and felt myself fading away.  Could
feel myself in my physbod again.  Could see hypnogogic images  
behind my closed eyelids.  It looked like a duck staring at
me-but I really don't know what it was, it wasn't moving though.  
What was really unique though is that the image was undulating
like: (drawing in my notes).  It looked like the undulations
produced by dropping two rocks in the water.  The bottom
undulation was covering some type of landscape.  Lost the
image and woke up."

(Here's an example of meeting a thought-form.
 In this case, it was a thought-form of Superman!
 Thought-forms have no volition at all and often
 look like mannikins.)

    "...I was laying on my bed again, but I still felt my feet
tipped upwards higher than my head.  I was still a little afraid
but I began tipping and sliding backwards again.  I saw the green
and purple spiral motion again, but this time I slid quickly though
it.  Next I recall, I was floating in a great darkness, but before
me was a structure that looked to be made up of passages of flags
or curtains draping downwards.  As I got closer the passages seemed
to form a maze.  There was a figure floating at the entrance to
this maze and as I got closer, I realized it was Superman!  But
Superman looked like a toy doll, or a manikin and he didn't look
real at all.  The expression on his face was completely immobile
and looked like it was made out of plastic.  I asked him if he was
real, but I got no answer.  Then I figured it was probably just
a thought-form.  I drifted past Superman into the maze of hanging
flags.  I noticed that the Superman thought-form was following me,
but I didn't really care.  I studied these flags and noticed that
each one was of very specific colors.  The colors seemed to be laid
out on a black velvet background.  Then it dawned on me that the
colors that each flag was made up of was identical to the colors
of a particular superhero's costume!  I saw one that was mostly
blue and red with a little yellow; that was Superman.  Then there
was one of red and blue with black in it; that was Spiderman.  
There was another one of yellow and red - and that was Ironman.  
As I stared at these I realized that they weren't really flags
like I had supposed.  They were more like strips of black velvet
with colors laid out on them.  The texture of the colors was very
similar to the texture of colors on a flag (i.e. like  dyed cloth)..."

(Here is an interesting encounter I had with a giant
 minotaur.  I do not know if this creature was a thought-
 form or not.  It seemed to display volition, but
 its behavior was highly repetitious, which makes me
 suspect this creature may have been a creation of
 my subconscious mind. At any rate, the following
 adventure is kind of comical.  I suspect there is
 a lot of personal symbolism in this projection.)

    "...I had a false awakening.  I awoke in bed, not realizing
that I wasn't in my real bedroom.  I was very excited about this
adventure and my first thought was, "Wow! I have to call Rob and
Joey and tell them about this projection."  For some reason I
thought it was mid-afternoon and I could get a hold of them on the
phone.  Then I looked over at the digital clock to see what time it
was.  But I couldn't read what time it was because I could see about
twenty different times displayed at once, fading successively
backwards.  And I could also see the gears spinning around inside of
the clock.  "Goddamn!" I thought to myself, "I'm still projecting!"
    Still, I tried to read the time anyway.  It seemed to say 6:47,
but I was simply seeing too many numbers at once to be sure.  But I
knew for sure I was still projecting.  I looked around.  I was in a
bare bedroom, with only my mattress and the clock.  I seemed to be
in an apartment.  The door was open and went off into a hallway,
and there was a window on the wall of the hall.
    I got up out of the bed and realized that my lockmold still felt
incredibly stable, solid and wide awake.  I walked out into the
hall and looked out the window.  Through the window I saw that I
was quite a few stories off the ground, and there was an unfamiliar
city off in the distance.  I decided to fly about and explore.  I
passed very easily through the window and could even feel that
weak tugging feeling as I passed through the window.
    I was now hovering in the air just outside.  I could see that
I was definitely about five stories up.  It felt like sunset was just
around the corner and the city lights were sparkling off into the
distance.  Beyond the city I could see countryside.  Then I looked
directly below me and got an incredible shock.  Here I am hovering
five stories up in the air, but down below me on the ground is a
gigantic creature that looks like a centaur!  It was easily three
stories high.  I freaked out!  I was just gonna fly away and hope
that it didn't see me.  I tried to fly but I couldn't, it felt like
I was locked in place.
    And then, as if in response to my desire to split, it saw me.  
It looked up at me and pointed at me and said in a low, deep,
rumbling voice, "Excuse, me.  Oh excuse me, sir, but I must ask
a favor of you."  I couldn't believe it, the thing's voice sounded
like a low thunder filling the air.
    "Oh my God!" I thought to myself, "this is like something
out of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Wait till everyone hears about
this one!"  I was actually quite excited about the prospect of
being able to brag about having met this creature.  Still, I
tried to ignore the thing and jet away, but I couldn't seem to
get any leverage to move.   As I was trying to pull myself away,
the creature yelled up at me again, "Excuse me, sir, but I must
ask a most important favor.  Could you please assist me?"
    At this point, a gust of wind came along and grabbed me and
carried me up, away from the creature, and around to the other
side of the building.  As I went higher up, I got an even better
view of my surroundings, and I was much more interested in exploring
these than in dealing with this unknown giant below me.  Then I
heard it yell again, "Sir, I said I need your assistance."  I
couldn't see it at this point, but its voice was like thunder.  
Then it riveted up into the air and spiraled around the building
and began to follow me through the air.
    I wasn't scared by this creature.  I actually felt bothered
by it.  I didn't have any sense that it wanted to hurt me.  But I
was actually being pulled by many desires - what should I do?  
All the while I was looking around at where I was at and I was
in awe of the incredible beauty of the place I was in.  The sun
seemed to be coming up over the horizon behind the city, and the
city itself glistened like so many jewels far below me.  And once
I got around to the other side of the building, off in the
distance the sky was filled by huge billowing clouds draped
across the sky in wave after wave.  And if things hadn't been
dramatic and spectacular enough to this point in the projection,
I realized as I was looking at the clouds that there was a city
built right into the clouds!  It was like a fairy tale - a castle
built into the clouds!
    My mind was spinning.  I was attempting to assess what
actual subplane I was on to encounter so many fantastic things.  
And I was wondering what this giant creature wanted from me, and
how I could just get away from it.  And once I saw the castle on
the clouds, I decided that that was where I wanted to go.  The
wind was carrying me in that direction.  The clouds themselves
seemed to be getting bigger and bigger, dwarfing everything else
in my view.  They were beautiful as the rising (setting?) sun was
shinning off them, making them look like some gorgeous pastel
painting.  There was an incredible vividness to everything; very
real, but not like the physical plane.  Everything seemed almost
like claymation.  But paradoxically, even though I was moving in the
direction of the city in the clouds, it didn't seem like I was
getting any closer to it.  I began feeling frustrated that the
wind wouldn't have enough power to get me to the city in the clouds.
    Then the creature, which had been flying after me, caught up
to me and was now following alongside me in the air.  "Shit, I
guess there's no way I can avoid dealing with this guy," I
thought, resigning myself to my obvious fate.
    "Sir," it said, rather impatiently, "I asked if you may assist
me on a rather important matter."  It was funny how formally and
fairy-tale like it spoke.  The centaur, flying along side me now,
looked smaller up close, about twice as big as a horse.  And it
didn't really look like a centaur anymore.  It seemed to be some
type of a giant that was riding on a headless horse.
    Staring ahead towards the beautiful city on the clouds, I
spoke to it, "Ok?  What do you want?"
    It replied, "Sir, I need to find the whereabouts of a very
important person."
    "Ok.  Who is it?  Tell me who you are looking for, and I'll
help you find them," I answered.
    But it kept rambling in its thunder voice, "Sir, would you
please give me your assistance?"
    Now I was getting impatient with it.  "Who are you looking
for?" I kept asking.  But he just kept asking for my assistance,
and all the while, as I was getting closer to the clouds, I was
getting no closer to the beautiful city on the clouds.  Next
thing I knew, I was back in my physical body, laying in my bed.
    This time I was awake for real.  I looked at the clock.  It
was 6:00.  Only an hour had passed.  I laid quite in awe at this
unexpected adventure while I was gathering up my memories."

(Here is an example of me meeting strange fish
 creatures.  I do not know what these creatures were,
 but I was afraid of them and responded accordingly.)

    "...When I stopped falling backwards, I had landed in a
rather large room that seemed familiar to me, though I couldn't
place why.  The floor looked like it was made up of piles of long
(5-10 feet) bean bag chairs and they were colored in blue and
white, green and white, or red and white swirl patterns.  This floor
was lumpy, not at all smooth.  When I had stopped from sliding
backwards, I had stopped with my face pushed up against some kind of
transparent wall that reminded me of an aquarium.  I was looking
through this wall into what seemed like a dark, watery medium.  
Then, something on the other side seemed to get up from the mud
and swim away off into the darkness.  This startled me and I pulled
myself up.  I stood up and stepped backwards away from the wall,
but the colored "beanbag" that I had stepped on got up and swam out
from underneath me!  The floor was alive!  This really scared me and
I started to feel claustrophobic.  I hovered up into the air, and
this "beanbag' was actually a fish-like creature, maybe about 7
feet long, colored in red and white swirls, and it was now swimming
around through the air in the room.  I hovered around trying to
avoid it.  It swam up to me as if to investigate me and it circled
around me.  I was too afraid to move.  But then it got close
enough to me and I punched its face.  It swam over towards the other
side of the room.  I looked around me trying to get a better sense
of where I was at and it was then I really noticed that the whole
floor was made of these creatures!  I was very afraid that they
were all going to awake and start swimming around.  Then another
one did get up and start swimming around in the room.  I flew up
and hit this one too, but my movements were slow and jerky.  I was
very scared.  I got a good look at the room I was in.  It was
circular, with a diameter of maybe 50 feet.  The walls were
transparent and there was a lot of motion and activity going on
beyond the walls.  I couldn't make out anything definite beyond
the transparent walls, but it all seemed very biological.  The two
fish were swimming about, though keeping their distance from me.  
Then I faded and was back in my physical body...."

   Well, looking at the above entries, I wonder how justified
I am in telling you not be scared, given that I *was* frightened
in many of the episodes I reported above!  Still, in the years I have
been projecting, I have obviously survived all of these encounters,
and during this time have learned not to be scared of the nonhuman
entities I meet.  Perhaps the scariest aspect of all this is the
fact of the unknown.  We are always scared in the face of the un-
known, and most of my above reactions reflect this reflex.  I
can assure you though that as you get more proficient at
projecting, and more familiar with the OOBE realm, you will
become less and less afraid of what you encounter there.  So, if
you like, you can build on my experience and simply accept
that you do not have to fear things you encounter in the OOBE
realm.  Otherwise, you can go through the same learning process
I did.  Whatever the case, the bottom line is never be discouraged
and try to keep an explorer's attitude about your projections.
When you project, you are entering the unknown and there is
nothing you can do about this fact.  As you transform the unknown
into the known, your responses to the OOBE realm will transform

FILE 12 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.


B. Meeting People: Dead Verses Dreamers

    Meeting people in the OOBE realm is one of the most fascinating
and eye-opening aspects of the projection experience.  Now, there are
a variety of aspects when it comes to meeting people during
your OOBEs.  First, some authors report that you can observe
people who are on the physical plane while you are out-of-body.
Monroe for example makes this claim.  In my own personal
experiences I have never been able to do this, except perhaps
once during my very first astral projection and a couple other
times that were, however, very ambiguous.  So, if it is your
intention to spy on people while you are out-of-body, good luck
cause you're on your own - I have no experience with this to
share with you!
    When I meet people during my projections, they are actually
on the subplane I am on.   And, like nonhuman entities, people you
meet in the planes will respond to you in all manner of ways, from
friendly to hostile to ignoring you.  
    Now, theoretically, if you accept the occult viewpoint, there
are two main classes of people you can meet during an OOBE:
dreamers and deceased or "discarnate" humans.   I think I
have met both during different projections.  Of course,
it is very difficult to verify if someone you meet during an OOBE
is a dreamer or a discarnate person.  If you can get a name or
address or phone number from the person, then you are doing very
well and have some kind of evidence to determine if the person
you met does or ever existed here on our physical plane.  I will
get more into the idea of questioning the people you meet during
an OOBE below.
    Now, I suspect that there are different subplanes for dreamers
and discarnate humans.  I think that there is a "dreamers current"
in the subplanes close to our physical plane, and it is on this
"dream current" that most of us go every night when we dream.  On
the other hand, I think that the regions inhabited by discarnate
people are "farther away" from the physical plane.  Living people
exude a different type of energy than do discarnate people, and
as oil does not mix with water, I think that living people (i.e.
dreamers) tend not to mix with the deceased, except under certain
special conditions.  For example, we have all heard stories
of people meeting deceased relatives in their dreams.  In this
case, a strong emotional tie between the individuals either "pulls"
the dreamer to the regions where discarnate humans dwell, or
"pulls" the deceased person to the regions where dreamers dwell.
If a strong enough force, or emotional resonance, is exerted, one
could conceivably bring the deceased person's aura very close
to the physical plane, in which case one may see ghosts.  This
latter idea is the basis of seances and spiritualism where, 100
years ago, it was fashionable to attempt to communicate with
deceased relatives.
    Now, how can you tell a deceased person from a dreamer?  Again,
there is no sure method to do so.  It is only in extreme cases
that you might be able to make a reasonable guess.  You might
think that by becoming lucid during a dream that the people
around you are dreamers too, and this is a reasonable presumption.
If you meet people in your OOBEs who are dressed in fashions from
another era, this may be a clue that it is a deceased person.
Likewise, if you find yourself in a region that looks like a
past era, it is conceivable that the people there (if there are
people there) are the deceased who lived in that era.  However,
there are simply no guarantees about this.  
    The only way you can be sure you met a dreamer is by getting
their name, phone number or address, remembering these upon waking
and contacting the person here on the physical plane. Next, you
will have to find out what this person looks like. If you can
actually do this, and the person you contact here on the physical
plane is indeed the person you met in your OOBE, then you can
say pretty much for sure that this person was a dreamer.  Actually,
if you can bring a valid name and phone number back from a
projection with you, you've done something quite amazing.  I've
never succeeded at doing this though I try every chance I get.
I have never done this for reasons I will get to shortly.  
    To be sure you met a deceased person you will have to go through
a similar process; get the person's name, the general era in which
they lived, where they lived, and if you can, some facts about
their life.  Then, again, presuming you can remember all this
information upon waking, if you can verify this information, then
you can say with a high degree of certainty that you met a deceased
    Now, the above methods are only valid for people that are
strangers.  Different factors seem to be operating if you
meet someone you know during an OOBE.  In many of my
projections I have seen and interacted with my close friends.
Throughout these notes I refer to a fellow named J.C., or John, and
this is a close friend of mine who answers to both names.  
Numerous times I have met J.C. in my projections, yet I don't know
what to make of my having met him during an OOBE.  In some cases
he was awake here on the physical plane when I met him in my OOBE.
In other cases he was sleeping here on the physical plane when I
met him in one of my OOBEs.  I don't understand what is going on
when I meet J.C. during an OOBE while he is awake here on the
physical plane.  Am I only conjuring up his image in my OOBEs
(i.e. creating a thought-form of him)?  That is, when I meet J.C. is
he merely a hallucination within my OOBE?  Alternatively, am I
meeting a part of his subconscious mind in my OOBEs?  I do not
know the answers to these questions.  I know that there is no
apparent correlation between what he is doing while he is awake
and what he was doing, apparently at the same time when I have
met him in my OOBEs.  Likewise, the times I've met him when he was
in bed sleeping here on the physical plane, he has never once
woken up and remembered meeting me in my OOBE.  
    So, unlike other authors who claim to meet people they
know during their OOBEs and later get confirmation of this meeting
from the person here on the physical plane, I have never had
such confirmation.  I do not have the slightest clue what is
going on when I meet people I know within one of my OOBEs.  This
is why I said above that the methods I suggest to use if you
want to prove a person is a dreamer or deceased person will
only work with strangers.  If you can meet a stranger during an
OOBE, then later, here in the physical world, actually confirm
that that person does or did exist here in the physical plane,
then you have gotten very strong evidence of meeting a bona fide
person during your OOBE.  
    However, I have had three experiences that are very close to
being confirmations that I really did interact with a specific
person during one of my OOBEs.  In the first case, I had
a long OOBE in one of those resting places for deceased
people that I mentioned earlier.  While I was in this
"Rehab Center", I found a friend of mine who I knew
from about 10 years prior.  This frind of mine, whose name
was Steve, had muscular dystrophy (and was confined to a wheelchair)
and we were very good friends in junior high school.  I lost
contact with Steve during high school because I moved away and
have never contacted him since.  The only time I have seen
Steve since junior high was in a projection I had in 1987.  
When I saw Steve in the projection, he was completely
dazed. He was in a complete stupor (I will talk more about people
being in a stupor immediatly below), and he did not recognize
me.  But it was Steve, in his wheelchair, looking very much like
I remembered him.  In the projection, I told him that he didn't
need to be in a wheelchair because he was in the astral plane, and
he could do anything he wanted, but he didn't seem to hear me.
I then introduced him to a couple other guys that were in the
room with us who were in wheelchairs too.  These guys were
much more lucid that Steve and they took to him.  The three
of them then wheeled off out of the room and I went on to
other adventures in the projection.
    Well, it was maybe a year after this projection (1988) that I
had found out that Steve had died in 1983.  All I could
figure is I found Steve in the after-death state.
    A second instance that I had during a projection that seemed to
possess an uncanny validity also involved a deceased friend
of mine.  One of my very close musician friends committed suicide
in 1987.  About 6 months after his death, I saw him in a projection.
He was complaining about how much the world sucked.  He and I
got in a big argument and I told him that just because he was dead
didn't mean anything, he was still being an asshole and that he'd
better quit feeling so sorry for himself and get his act together.
In my mind, this was a very legitimate meeting.  My friend, who obviously
was so desolate that he took his life, had the same attitudes after
death.   For whatever reason, I was drawn to him in one of my
projections, and I gave him my two cents worth!  Whatever the case,
I feel I really did meet him in the after-death state while I
was out-of-body.
    Finally, my third close call was when I met one of my best
friends during a projection.  I came upon this friend, whose name
is Tim, while I was flying through a strange city.  Tim was sitting
on the ledge of a building and naturally I was surprised to see him.
I went over to him and started to talk to him.  I knew that it was
early Sunday morning and chances were good that Tim was home sleeping
on the physical plane.  I decided I would see if I could help him
become lucid so that when he woke, he would recall our meeting.
I told him that we were projecting and that we were in the world
of dreams.  At first he responded as if in a daze, but I started
shaking him and kept telling him to wake up (i.e become lucid).  
Finally, he seemed to become himself, which is to say, he started
to act lucid.  I then showed him how to fly and we proceeded to explore
the city we were in.  I kept pointing things out to him, telling him
to remember all we were seeing so that when he woke up he would
remember it.  I also kept telling him to call me as soon as he woke
up.  Well, we were together for a long time in the projection
and I kept reminding him to call me when he woke up.  Eventually,
I lost him and continued with my projection.  I woke up straight
from my projection and it was about 11:00 AM.  And then,
within minutes of waking up from my projection, Tim called
me!  For real - on the physical plane!  I was very excited, but
didn't say anything to him about the projection.  I asked him
how long he had been awake, and he said he just woke up, which
meant that he really had been sleeping at the same time I was projecting.
I then asked him if he had had any dreams that he could remember.
He couldn't remember anything though, but he said he had an urge
to call me!  
    So, these three episodes were the closest I have ever come to
having a meeting with a specific person during an OOBE verified.  Now,
if you were a hardcore skeptic, you'd probably think I was grasping
at straws, but, then again, if you are a hardcore skeptic, you have
never even astral projected, so I'd ignore you.  
    Still, in spite of these three provocative episodes,
the fact that I have never been able, with any absolute
certainty, to confirm the meetings I have with people during
my OOBEs makes me leery of people who make such claims, and
also makes me question just how far we can take the projection
experience as occurring in some kind of "objective" world.  However,
because I have not done this does not mean it is impossible. To
think such a thing would be completely foolish.  Lots of people can
do things I cannot do.   So, the bottom line here is that I am
in no position to pass judgement on people's claims of meeting
and verifying meetings with other living (or deceased) people.
I still remain open minded that it is possible to interact
with other people (living or not) during an OOBE, and am constantly
testing and looking for ways to verify the validity of my
meetings with people, friends or strangers, during my own OOBEs.

    i.  The Character of People In OOBEs

    Now, to explain what I was saying above about these friends
of mine being in a daze, one of the most interesting things I have
observed when meeting other humans in my OOBEs is generally how
completely out of it they are.  What I mean by this is that, when
I meet people in my OOBEs, these people, more often than not, act like
they are in a daze.  In other words, they are NOT lucid.  I will
present a number of examples of this from my journal.  In fact,
when I meet a person who responds to me the way a person would
respond to me here on the physical plane, I am very surprised.
Let me elaborate on what I am saying here in more detail.
    When I meet people during an OOBE I ask them a number of
questions.  This has become a habit with me and I strongly recommend
that you do this also.  Here are some of the questions I will
ask people I meet during my OOBEs:

    1. What is your name?
    2. Where are we?  What city is this?
    3. Did you know we are in the dream world right now?
    4. What year is it?
    5. Are you dead or are you dreaming?

    You have to imagine what you would think if someone came
up to you out of the blue and just started asking you these
questions.  If someone came up to you and said, "Hey, we are
dreaming right now", you'd think they were nuts or just being
silly at the least.  If someone asked you your name, or the date,
or what city you were in, you would be able to answer this
immediately.  Well, the people I have met in my projections
generally CANNOT answer these simple questions.  I think this
is one of the most amazing discoveries I have made in my OOBE
explorations.  That is to say, PEOPLE IN THE OOBE REALM ARE
will be doing very well if you get yourself into a postion
where you can either confirm or refute this statement.
    A typical scenario of me meeting a person in one of my OOBEs
is as follows: I approach the person and they may or may not
respond to my presence.  If they do respond, it is a rather feeble
recognition that I am there.  I will then talk to the person, and,
more often than not, ask the questions I listed above.  And,
more often than not, the person will NOT know their name, will NOT
know where they are at, and generally speaking, will respond to
me as if they are in a daze.  Examples of this are below.
    Now, another thing I've learned to do is the following, and
I will give examples if this below too.  Sometimes I will be SLY with
the person and not let on that I know I am astral projecting. I
will approach the person and interact with them in a matter of
fact way, without any indication that I know I am projecting.
Whatever is going on, I will just go along with it.  Then, out of
the blue I will say something to the effect, "Hey, wake up,
we are in the dream world; This is all a dream."  Often, in such
circumstances, the person looks at me as if I am joking or I am
a nut.  And then, I will float up about five feet off the ground
and say, "Ha! Can you do this in the physical world?".  When I do
this, I often elicit a reaction of surprise from the person I am
talking to.  They no longer think I am joking!  Often they are
genuinely surprised.  However, depending on the circumstances,
they will either fall back into their catatonic stupor,
or I will bring them into some kind of adventure or another.
    Another thing I do when I meet people during my projections
is to teach them how to fly.  The overwhelming majority of
people you meet in your projections have no idea where they
are at and what they can do.  When you meet someone during an
OOBE, you can teach them to fly.  It's easy, it's fun, and, to
some extent or another, you are helping that person out.
    Also, you will find situations where you can console
people.  You will find people who are scared or angry and violent,
and, simply because you are lucid and know your "powers", you
can often help mellow out both types of people.  I will give examples
of this kind of behavior too.
    Finally, before I start presenting journal entries, I want
to comment about one last aspect of meeting people during your
OOBEs. This involves trying to tell a person you meet that
you are NOT in the physical world.  This is the strangest thing
to try to do.  A number of times in my projections, while I
am trying to tell someone that we are in the astral plane, it
dawns on me how weird it really is to try to communicate this
idea to someone else DURING A PROJECTION.  See, we don't have such
a problem here in the physical world.  It's totally trivial if I come
up to you and say, "Hey, we are in the physical world right now,
and we are NOT in the dream world".  You'd look at me and say,
"yea, so what? big deal!"  I mean, it is so obvious to us that
we ARE in this physical world that we don't even think of any
other possible way it could be.  But imagine you are standing in
the world of dreams trying to tell somebody that you are in the
dream world and NOT in the physical world.  It's almost
paradoxical trying to do this.  Don't forget, most of the people
you meet out-of-body are NOT lucid.  They have no idea where
they are at in the first place, and then you come along and
try to tell them that there is this place called the "physical
plane" and that is where you come from, but that is not where
you and this other person happen to be at at the moment.  They
generally do not get it.  All I can say is, if you get the chance,
try to tell someone you meet in a projection that you are not in
the physical world.
    So, let me summarize this section:

    1.  People you meet during OOBEs can potentially be: in
 the physical plane, or dreamers, or deceased.  However,
 it is very difficult to determine which is the case.

    2.  People you meet during OOBEs are generally in a catatonic
 daze.  YOU will be lucid, but they will NOT be lucid.

    3.  Question people for as much information as you can.
 Ask the kinds of questions I have listed above; simple
 questions.  This will get you two types of information:
 you will get information that could help verify if
 the person you meet exists on the physical plane, and
 you will get information that will allow you to gauge
 how lucid this person is.

    4.  Teach people how to fly, or help them if they need help.

    5.  Try to tell the people you meet during a projection that
 you are not in the physical world.

     Ok, let me give you some examples from my journal
illustrating what I've said above.

(In this episode, from my very first full-scale
 projection, I had planned to go to J.C.'s room
 if I actually left my body.  Our plan was that
 whoever got out-of-body first would go to the
 other's room and see what they were doing.  And
 that's exactly what I did.  Turns out in this case,
 what I saw actually happened, only my projection
 occurred about 3 hours after the events I saw.
 This was a fourth case that was a type of
 confirmation of the validity of what I saw,
 though this case too, like the other three,
 is ambiguous.)

    "...I remembered to try to go to John's room as we had
planned... I stepped out into the hallway.  It felt a little
eerie, but familiar recognition made me feel good and only fed my
enthusiasm to push on.  I pushed forward about two feet, and
instantly appeared going up the stairs to the third floor. I didn't
quite think this at that point, but basically I quantized through
space!  I was three or so steps from the top so I made my way up.  
There was John's closet which was in the hallway in front of his
room.  Again the recognition filled me with enthusiasm.  I turned
and looked at his door and it was closed. I did my new trick and
looked away, then looked back, and it was open.  
    And there was John standing there facing toward me talking,
and Gregor sitting on John's bed staring at the wall.  I was so
surprised that our experiment had worked that I very
enthusiastically rushed into the room shouting, "J.C., Hey
J.C.!  I did it!".  This was very strange because, as I yelled,
my voice seemed to come out of me in slow motion as if someone
were playing a 78 record at 16 speed.  But at the same time, I
was hearing this, I was hearing another "me" actually shouting
out these things normally.  But this voice sounded far in the
background and behind the slower voice.  As I'm realizing all
this, meanwhile I'm rushing into the room trying desperately to
get J.C.'s attention.  But he doesn't notice me.  I'm talking
and shouting at him and trying to grab and shake him.  But to
my surprise my arms pass right through him as I try to grab him.  
I notice that John seems to be talking about something that quite
enthuses him but his back is to Gregor, and Gregor doesn't seem
to be interested anyway, he's just sitting on John's bed, smoking
a cigarette  and staring up at the wall.  
    It occurs to me to try to look at the clock and see what time
it is.  The clock seemed to read 12:56, but I wasn't sure because
it was blurry and not quite legible, no matter how hard I would
try to focus on it.  Then, I seemed, for no apparent reason at
all, to completely lose interest in the situation. I turned and
left the room.  
    When I went back out into the hall, I looked into John's
closet.  There was now a window right in the middle of his closet.  
In the window was a pink rainbow swirling mist that enchanted me
enough to want to dive right into it.  I thought to myself, "Well,
I've only gotten this far by pushin' on ahead!" And so I plunged
into this glimmering, enchanting window. I really don't recall
well what happened to me after this point, other than it really
freaked me out in a very pleasant way..."

(Earlier, I presented me trying to pass through a wall
 [FILE 8, entry 7 under "b. Moving through walls"].
 Here are the events leading to that.  This was the
 first time I met a "dazed" person during a projection
 and it was a little child.  Note here also how I forgot
 the children's names upon waking.  It is NOT easy
 carrying information from the OOBE state back to the
 waking state.)

    "...When I regained my vision I was standing on steps leading
down into what appeared to be a basement laundry mat.
    It was very distinct - a perfect lockmold, and I felt
very conscious.  Yellow painted walls, pipes on the ceiling  
washing machines and wash tubs up and down the room.  It was a
corridor extending for about 300 feet.  There were various other
turns to my right but I did not explore these.  To my left was a
wall with windows at the top which seemed to be at ground level.
    All of a sudden, a little colored boy about 10 comes walking
out of nowhere.  He's wearing a blue parka but looks quite normal
otherwise.  I said "Hello.  I love you"  but he didn't seem to hear
me.  I thought "Wow! He must be sleeping" (that he was dead never
entered my mind).  I said "Who are you?  What are you doing?"  He
still didn't seem to hear me even though he was looking right at
me.  I said "Who are you?" quite loudly in his face.  He turned
dazedly and started walking away from me and he was mumbling his
name.  I don't remember what he said, I forgot since I woke up.  
During the projection I heard it and it seemed to be quite important
to me at that point. But he seemed uninterested in me and he
disappeared into what I thought was a bathroom.  I stood waiting
for him and out of the same door comes a little white boy, about
10 or 11 years old.  He had reddish brown hair in a bowl cut,
wearing a green shirt and blue jeans.  He was much more receptive.  
He came out and saw me and said "Where am I?  I'm scared here".  I
said "Don't worry, you are only sleeping and you'll wake up soon.  
I asked him his name and he told me right away.  But it seemed
to "blend" with the other boy's name and I just can't remember.
    Then the little colored boy comes out with us.  "How can we
get out of here seems to be the mutual thought of all of us.  All  
I could see as an escape route were the windows to our left.  The
windows were sunk back and about 7 feet off the ground.  There
were a series of pipes blocking the way so I hovered up into
the air..."


(Another dramatic example of how UNLUCID people
 are that you meet in projections.  Notice too here
 in this entry something I have found; that it is
 very difficult for me to read things during projections.)

    "...(I was flying through a sea of faces) As I was flying
through the faces, I passed the face of a very beautiful woman and
her beauty caught my attention so much that I reversed my motion
until I came upon her face again.  I stared very hard trying to
focus my lockmold and I began to materialize again!  And there she
was standing in front of me, in the flesh!  We seemed to be in the
middle of an old west town and she was in line at the theatre or
something.  She was wearing a dark business outfit with green eye
shadow and deep red lipstick.  She didn't look as beautiful now as
her face appeared in the sea of faces.  I was standing there staring
at her intensely and she looked at me and asked "Can I help you?"  
I asked her what city we were in, what is her name, what State
is this.  She looked at me pensively, then a look of confusion
swept her features.  Then, as a couple of policemen entered the
street, she pointed to them and said "Why don't you ask them"?  And
she hurried off into the building we were in front of.  I seem to
recall her asking "Do you think I'm beautiful?" either when I first
saw her or as she was leaving. At any rate, I went up to the
policemen and asked them the same questions.  And I got the same
response!  The cop I was addressing looked at his partner and
they both shrugged their shoulders.  I noticed a sign in front of
a building and got the idea to go try to read it so I thanked the
cops and hurried off. The sign was on some steps leading into a
building and I got the sense that it was some kind of official
sign.  I tried to read it but had a very difficult time.  I could
not get it into focus that easily.  All I could make out were
the letters "OR", which for some reason I interpreted to mean
Oregon, and the statement "Cheyan Country".  At that moment I
thought to myself "This sign is senseless.  These dead people
decorate their landscape, but there is no function for this sign  
it's just a decoration".  I gave up my attempt to read the sign
and walked back down the steps somewhat shaken up.  I noticed my
hand were in my pockets and thought to myself that I was glad I
had materialized with clothes on this time.  I wondered if the
cops would have noticed had I been naked.  
    I walked into the street again and tried to survey my
surroundings.  The sign gave me a definite impression of the
Old West.  The cops looked thoroughly modern  though.  The
woman in green looked like someone from the late nineteen
hundreds.   The city itself seemed to be a cross between the
1920's and the 1950's in terms of the appearances of the
buildings.  The buildings were at most 5 stories high, some
of yellow or red (like a rose) brick, others of the usual brick
red color.  I noticed I was on a dirt road. Then that flimsy
feeling came over me again and I felt my lockmold fade.
I was now in the void again..."  

(Here is an example of teaching someone how to fly
 as well as being an example of my being "sly"
 with the person I meet.  Again, by "sly" I mean
 going along with the person and whatever they are
 doing, even though I know I am projecting.)

    "...(I had become lucid during a dream. I was in a typical
looking suburb...)  Then I felt the heaviness come over me that
indicated my lockmold was getting weak.  I was afraid that if I
just kept walking I would lose my lockmold, so I turned and walked
back by the school.  
    I met up with a young fellow who was walking home from school.  
I was really feeling my lockmold slip and I caught up with this kid.  
He was maybe a few years younger than me, heavyset and had greasy
blond short hair and was wearing blue jean overalls.  I approached
him and asked if I could hold onto him because I was going to
disappear otherwise.  He was quite casual about it and said ok.  So
as we walked for a few yards, I clung on to him and I felt my
lockmold return.  It was stable but shaky and I knew I had to go
along slow and not get too excited or I would lose it.  We
started talking and he asked me if I would like to go hunting or
fishing with him.  I really didn't want to, but I said ya anyway
just to keep things smooth.  I thought the hunting was to take
place over a small hill that we were walking up and I ran forward
to the top of the hill.  The scenery had changed from suburban
streets to a country-like environment and there were woods about
and I saw a small lake about a quarter mile down beyond and
through the trees.  My friend laughed and said the fishing spot was
over the ridge and that we had to stop at his house first.
    We took a turn down another road into the woods, past what
I thought was a garage and came to a shack that was his house.  
We went inside and the place was very small.  My friend's brother
was there but he went into the bathroom.  My friend told him to
hurry because we were going to go fishing.  While waiting I
started talking some more.
    "What's your name?" I asked.
    "Cameron," he said.
    "Where you from?"
    "Cleveland," he said.
    I told him my name was Don.  But I started getting bored
and decided I was going to fly away and explore, so I went outside.  
I was about to fly off and Cameron came out.
    "Aren't we going to wait for my brother?" he asked.
    I told him I was going to fly away.  He looked at me and
started laughing as if I was joking, and he told me that I couldn't
do that.  I was ignoring him and ready to fly away.  I jumped up to
go but a tree got in my way and I only went up about 10 feet, so I
smoothly landed back on my feet.  Cameron looked at me in awe,
his mouth open and eyes wide.  I told him not to be so surprised,
he could do it too if he wanted to.  "Try it," I told him, "but
first let's go into some open space."  So we walked over to a gravel
lot that was adjacent to his house.  I encouraged him to go on and
try to fly.  So he took a long running start, like an airplane on
a runway, and lifted off into the air with his arms flapping
like a bird's wings.  He went up about 5 feet off the ground and
coasted a few feet before landing.  I was standing there laughing
cause he looked so funny flapping his arms.  But I was still
enthusiastic with the fact that he had got off the ground.
    "All right!" I said, "I knew you could do it!"
    Cameron was quite surprised and happy about his first flight.  
Now I decided I was going to be a show-off and show him how it was
really done.  "Watch this!" I said, and I shot straight up into
the air, at least about 100 feet up.  Cameron was down below me
telling me something, but I couldn't make out what he was saying.  
I shouted back to him:  "You should see the scenery from up here!"
    It was really quite beautiful.  I could see for miles around me
in all directions and I realized that this was one of the best
lockmolds I had ever had while I was flying.  I could see the
landscape spread out below me.  It was a large forest area dotted
by numerous little lakes.  It also looked like winter because
everything seemed to have a thin layer of snow covering, though the
water was sparkling blue where ever it was to be seen.  I circled
around in the air currents a few times to get a good view, as it
seemed like I was now quite a few hundred feet up.  I wanted to go
explore, so I tried to make some direction with the wind, and I
had began to drift away from Cameron and his house.  Cameron was
below me running and trying to stay up with me, and he was shouting
at me telling me to come back.  I could tell he didn't want me
to leave and the wind was forcing me lower anyway.  I began to
circle downwards towards a small field next to the gravel lot
where we started out.  Cameron was running towards where I thought
I was going to land, but as I got within 20 feet or so of the ground,
I completely lost my lockmold and was laying in my bed wide
awake.  I felt very refreshed upon waking."


FILE 13 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.


B. Meeting People (continued from FILE 12)

(Apparently, sometimes we astral projectors must
 look like ghosts to the people we meet in the
 planes.  This is a cute episode where *I* ended
 up scaring instead of being scared!)

    "...At first the darkness was very "electric."  Eventually
the void seemed like a heavy fog.  I got the idea to try to look
at my hands.  Watched my body and a red tile floor materialize
around me as the fogginess of the void faded away.  I was in an
empty room with a red tile floor, it seemed like a small gymnasium
or something.  I started walking and noticed that my footsteps were
very noisy.  There were two open doors.  One led out to a hallway,
the other led to a storage closet.  There was a light on in the
storage closet and I heard someone moving and stacking chairs..  
I approached the lit closet nervously and a little scared, not
knowing what to expect.  There was another entrance to the storage
closet out in the main hallway, and as I walked by I saw a pile of
chairs go crashing out into the hall.  Then I heard grumbling and
complaining come from the storage closet.  I became a little
amused and hovered out near the door to peek into the storage
closet and see who was in there.  Then, a guy dressed like a
janitor walked out of the storage closet.  He looked up and saw
me floating there and I obviously startled him because he gasped
at me.  The whole situation was becoming very amusing to me so
I flew down closer towards him.  He ran scared back into the
storage closet.  I hovered for a second outside the door to the
closet and the janitor reappeared, this time carrying a large
garbage can, which he then proceeded to throw at me.  He missed
me and the garbage can struck the wall next to me, but I was
surprised nonetheless.  He ran back into the storage closet and
I flew up towards a vent by the ceiling.  I pulled the vent
open and tried to climb into it, but I lost my lockmold and was
back in my physbod."


(Here's one time when John and I, who shared a
 room at college were both sleeping. I projected
 and saw him sleeping on his bed and I tried to
 wake him while I was out-of-body.)

    "...Having some kind of dream.  Had a false awakening, except
I figured I was either awake, or maybe I could project.  Tried to push
out of my body.  I was gyrating wildly.  I flopped out sideways, like
a fish, onto the floor next to my bed.  I was in my bedroom.  Stood up
and went over to where J.C.'s bed was (he was sleeping there for real on
the physical plane).  
  I nudged him, "John, wake up."
  He rolled over, half awake, looking up at me.
  "John, it's me," I said, "Can you see me?"
  He said, still half asleep, "Ya, I know it's you."
  He didn't seemed too thrilled.  
  "Can you see me?  I'm projecting right now.  I'm in my astral body."
  He said, "You look like a haze."
  I asked him, "Can you see my physical body lying on my bed?"
  He said he couldn't.  But it was dark in the room and I figured he
couldn't see my physbod in my bed because there was no light.  So I
stood up and told him to watch me.  And I shot up through the ceiling.  
I felt myself pass outside, but at the same time I completely lost
my lock-mold..."

(The following is an interesting episode. I
 met a stranger, a woman, and I think she may
 have been a deceased person.  This, I feel, is
 an example of consoling a person.)

    "...Felt myself laying on my bed again.  I didn't make any
attempt to "push out" though, I just started flying forward through
the void.  Almost instantly, a scene materialized around me.
    It seemed to be dusk, and I was standing on the front lawn of
a house overlooking an unfamiliar neighborhood.  It reminded me
somewhat of the older and bigger houses in Detroit.  There were
a few people walking about on the sidewalks.  I noticed a woman
coming up the sidewalk that passed in front of where I was at.  
Without really thinking, I ran across the lawn, jumped the row
of bushes separating the lawn from the sidewalk, and stood there
on the sidewalk waiting for this woman to approach.  She was an
older woman with graying blond hair, wearing a long brown coat.  
She was acting scared as if she wanted to avoid me.  She was
only a few feet from me and I asked her, "What's your name?"  
    She stopped, but turned away from me and said, "I don't
look at faces."  
    I could sense her fear and caution and I said, "Don't worry,
I know how people are up here."
    Then she turned back towards me, brightened up with interest
and said, "You do?"
    I was glad to have gotten her attention.  But then I noticed
as I was staring at her face, that her features kept shifting from
that of an old lady to that of a beautiful young woman.  Looking
into her eyes I said, "You're very beautiful."
    She giggled embarrassed.  I didn't know if I should make a
sexual move on her or not.  I decided against it cause it was
obvious that she had been afraid, but now I had her confidence.  
I realized that she seemed scared and lonely and I figured she
simply needed to be consoled.  I hugged her and we began walking
off.  Then I faded out..."

(This is one of the most interesting times I've met
 someone I knew during an OOBE.  The fellow I meet,
 Eric, was a good friend I jammed with in a band.
 He had left school, but I was still at school. I
 met Eric while I was projecting.  It seems very
 reasonable to conclude that where I ended up going
 in my projection was where Eric happened to go that
 night in his dreams.  I tried to get him to call me.
 Notice how little lucidity he has.  Also, note how
 I am "sly" in interacting with Eric.)

    "...Had been up all night studying for an exam and gabbing
with John.  Went to bed about 5:00 AM.  I fell asleep almost
immediately.  Next thing I knew I was walking thru a dance club,
very reminiscent of the Detroit dance club scene.  The place was
large and dark, and there was a huge dance floor filled with very
underground looking people.  I was not lucid at this point, but I
had a very strong feeling that something was up.  I walked off of
the dance floor into another room that was a bar.  Sitting at
the bar was my good friend Eric, with whom I had jammed in a band.  
When I saw Eric it dawned on me - I was in the dream world!  And
also, at this realization, I most definitely experienced the
"headrush" feeling.  My lucidity was incredible.  Everything was
absolutely clear and vivid.  I felt exactly like I do when I'm
awake.  Once my lucidity clicked in though, I became very aware of
my potential to fade out so I moved very slowly and carefully.
    I approached Eric, vividly aware that we were in the dream
plane.  I decided not to say anything to him about this fact at
first.  I wanted to experiment and play with the situation.  I
approached him exactly as I would have done if I really had
unexpectedly run into him in a club on the physical plane.  I
casually walked up to the bar and nudged him.
    "Eric, what's up?" I said, extending my hand in greeting.
    He turned and recognized me and showed the typical surprise
one would show when seeing a friend one hasn't seen for a while.  
We hadn't seen each other for over a year.
    "Don!, How are you?" We were shaking hands.  Eric had a
drink in his hand and he was acting as if he was slightly drunk,
which I found quite novel knowing that we were in the dream world
and one's dream body simply cannot get drunk!
    We gabbed about what we had each been doing since we last
saw each other.  Eric told me that he was working at a radio
station (which was true, and I knew this anyway).  I told him I
was still in school working towards graduation.  I kept up this
small talk, but I was trying to figure out what I should do next.  
Finally, right in the middle of our small talk, I looked at Eric
and very casually, but seriously said, "By the way, Eric, we're
dreaming right now."
    He looked at me and started laughing as if I was joking.  
I responded, "Look, Eric, I'm totally serious.  I'm in Houghton
right now, and my body is sleeping in my bed.  You and I are on
the astral plane right now."  
    Eric said something about me always having been a great kidder.
    There was a young woman sitting next to Eric at the bar and
she was listening to us.  She looked at me very snidely in response
to what I was saying.  I looked at her and said, "Look, woman,
We're dreaming right now.  Just wake yourself up, then you'll
believe me."  Then I made some nasty remark to her about the fact
that she was just another typically stupid dreamer.  Meanwhile,
Eric was watching this getting a big kick out of it.
    Then I felt myself begin to fade out. I grabbed Eric and
said, "Uh oh! Look, Eric! I'm gonna disappear right before your
eyes, then you'll know that this is a dream!"  And I was gone.

{At this point read, FILE 10 , entry 3 under "iv.  The Surreal Regions"}

    ...This time I tightened my focus so much that the entire bar
scene faded in around me!  I was back in the bar again!  
    My lockmold was again very strong, but again, I moved slowly
and cautiously so as not to get too excited and fade out.  I
wondered if Eric was still here.  I walked off the dance floor,  
through a neon lit hallway, back into the bar where I had seen
Eric.  And no shit - there he was in the same room!  I was
extremely lucid and I really had to fight to keep myself calm
because I knew I would fade if I got too excited.  
    This time Eric was standing next to the wall and he seemed
much drunker than before.  Not only that, he was acting incredibly
unlucid, just like any other ordinary dreamer.  This time, I
decided, I wouldn't waste time with small talk.  An idea occurred
to me.  I went up to him, grabbed him and said, "Hey, Eric, I'm
    "Hey, Don, where'd you go?" he said smiling and slurring
his speech.  Just that I got this response from him was amazing
because it implied an interesting memory continuity.
    Very seriously I said to him, "Look, Eric, we are dreaming.  
Didn't you see me disappear?  Can't you understand?  This is a
    His attention, however, was wavering.  I didn't seem to
be getting through to him.  I shook him and continued, "Look,
Eric, I'm in Houghton right now sleeping.  I want you to wake
up and call me on the telephone right now.  My number is 7449.  
Do you understand?  7449.  Wake up and call me."
    For an instant it seemed that he had come out of his dreamer
mind and seemed to be understanding what I was saying.  A glint
of recognition passed over his features.  I repeated my phone
number and told him to wake up and call me.
    He said, "7447."  I corrected him, but he just kept getting
the phone number more and more wrong.  At this point now, we
were both floating about five feet off the ground, and we were
in front of a long mirror up over the bar.  I turned Eric towards
the mirror.  
    "Look," I said pointing into the mirror, "We're floating,
Eric.  You can only do stuff like this in a dream.  Don't you
get it?  We're dreaming Eric!"
    Again, a definite glint of recognition passed through
his eyes.  For a second he seemed to understand the situation.  
I started shaking him violently, telling him to wake up while I
was repeating my phone number to him.  
    As we were floating, I looked over on the wall and saw a
flyer posted there that said something about Ferndale.  I
thought, "he knows I'm from Ferndale".  I pointed it out to
him, but continued pleading to him to wake up and call me.  
    But by now he was acting, not only like a typical
dreamer, but like he was very drunk as well, and I gave
up on him.  He began to float away from me, what little
lucidity he did display was completely gone.  "This is
futile," I thought, and I let him float away..."

{I then went on, in this same projection to meet the flying minotaur
which is described in FILE 11, entry 5, under "Nonhuman Denizins
Of The Planes "}

(Sometimes you will encounter a person who appears
 highly lucid.  The following entry is such an example.
 As you will see, I was surprised by this woman's
 lucidity and actually had a somewhat meaningful
 conversation with her.  I think she was a dead
 person from the past.)

    "...(I had been in a surreal space, the...) I "bent" out of
the crystal  and was standing in a relatively large, very beautiful
room.  It looked Victorian in its decor.  There was a butler
standing there shinning shoes and staring at me.  I ignored him,
and looked about the room.  It was very elegant.  Intricately
etched wood lined the contours of the wall and a large beautiful
tapestry covered most of the wall next to me.  A large glistening
chandelier hung from the ceiling.  Large windows on the opposite
wall revealed a court yard outside and beyond this, a mansion-like
building with stained glass windows.  I was very impressed.  I
haven't been in such a beautiful place out here in the planes
for a while.  There was a smaller room cut off from the first
by intricately carved wood dividers.  I looked into this smaller
room and saw that it was a dining room.  Then I felt myself
begin to fade.  I quickly clung to the wooden divider and
concentrated on stabilizing myself.
    Luckily, I restabilized myself.  I went back around to where
the butler was shinning shoes.  He was an older man, bald on top,
curly gray hair around the sides.  He was wearing spectacles and a
typical butler outfit.  He seemed to be slightly attentive to my
presence and he looked at me with a leer.  On a small table next
to the butler was a dish of brown pudding with little bits of
chocolate in it.  I went up, completely disregarding the butler,
figuring he was at best half conscious anyway, and took a handful
of the pudding.  It tasted great!  I proceeded to eat most of it.  
The butler seemed irritated but I continued to disregard him.  
Beyond him I saw a group of women sitting in front of the big
windows on the opposite wall.  I rudely and purposely climbed
over the butler (with an attitude akin to what Monroe calls a
"wild one") and approached the women.
    There were four women sitting there in front of the window.  
One was seated in the center in what looked like a throne and
she appeared to be in her 30s.  She had a sophisticated beauty
about her.  She was dressed in Victorian finery and I thought
that she might be nobility.  Surrounding her were three older
women and they looked to be in their 50s.  They looked like old
maids.  As I neared the window I was captured by the beauty of
the building across the courtyard.  As the women noticed I was
approaching I spoke out:
    "This is some great pudding."
    The younger woman in the middle addressed me immediately,
"Oh my," she said, "you seem to have eaten all of Ducheme's
(pronounced "due shames") pudding!"
    She spoke with confidence and surety and I was very
surprised by this.  Usually the people I speak with in my
projections are idiots.  This woman was not.  She seemed
as lucid as I was.  Meanwhile, the three older women eyed me
with suspicion but said nothing.
    "That's a beautiful building over there," I said, pointing
out the window across the courtyard, "What is it?"
    "Oh yes, it is very beautiful," she agreed, "It is our
clothes palace."
    I was not sure what she said, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand
    It is our clothes palace," she repeated.
    "Wow! A whole palace just to store their wardrobe", is what
I thought.  I was surprised and taken aback by this woman's
lucidity, the quickness and relevance of her responses.  Such
communication is rare for me out here.  I thought that she must
be a dead person still living out her astral life.  I struggled
for a moment trying to think how best to respond to this unique
circumstance.  All I figured to ask her is "What year is this?"
    "1890," she said.
    "Wow! She is dead!" I thought.  There wasn't the least
indication she was constructing her responses from my thoughts.  
Her responses were too natural for that.  Besides, I would have
felt it if she was pulling concepts out of my mind.  Also, I
asked her this question in total sincerity, with no preconceived
notion of what answer I would get.
    "Wow!" i exclaimed, "I'm from the future.  I've come from
the year..."  For the life of me I couldn't remember what year
it was back on the physical plane!  I was stymied.  I struggled
trying to remember.  I knew it was 19 something, but what?  All
I could blurt out was, "the nineteen eighties."  But the whole
situation was making me too excited.  My lockmold began fading
and so did I.  My vision was gone, but I heard her say, "My how
interesting..."  Then my hearing was gone too.  I awoke back in
my physbod frustrated by losing the opportunity to converse
further with her, but also happy that I had encountered her.  
I don't think I ever had such a natural and meaningful conversation
with anyone in a projection before this."

(Here's an example of a time I was at a "rehab center"
 which is one of the places that recently deceased
 people go.  The following excerpt is from a very
 long projection.  I was in this place for a long
 time.  Here I am only presenting one particular
 meeting from this projection.  I met a man who I
 suspect had just died (of course I have no way
 to confirm this, though you will see I tried to
 get information from him).  He was in bad shape
 and needed help of sorts, as you will see.)

    "...I was in the void and I struggled immediately to fade back
in.  I spun round and round, and faded in again at the place I had
just left.  It was apparent to me by now that I must be at some
tremendous rehab center, like the type Robert Monroe described
in his books.  I was standing outside by the entrance I had seen
moments ago.  Through the door I could see the bar I was just at.  
When I actually faded in, I found myself flopping around on the
ground like a fish out of water.  When I had completely
materialized, I pulled myself to my feet and jumped through an
open window next to the entrance doors.  I found myself in a
room adjacent to the bar, and I saw the bar in the next room over.
    This room was little, with pasty green walls and a wooden table
in the middle of the room.  There was a steam radiator against the
wall and a wooden bench next to this, and a bum was sleeping on the
bench.  There were two doors; one leading back to the bar, the other,
opposite this, closed.  There was a hospital push cart sitting in
front of the closed door and there was a guy wrapped in bandages
sitting on this cart.  He was staring at me and I started to say
something to him.  He seemed angry at me and then he lunged at me
and attacked me.  Needless to say, I was surprised.  I said
something to him to the effect, "That was the wrong move buddy, I
know more about what's going on around here than you do.  There ain't
no way you can hurt me.  And I know that you don't know I can't
hurt you."  Actually I wasn't in the least bit angry or mad at him
cause I'm sure he had no idea what was going on.  Still, I felt
like being macho, and I had to do something to settle him down.  
I flipped him to the floor and started pounding him into the
ground.  I literally flattened him out like a pancake!  It was
like a cartoon.  But when I saw that he wasn't being aggressive
anymore, I stopped thrashing and helped him "pop" back out to
3-D , and helped him to his feet.  
    He seemed surprised that neither of us was in the least
bit scathed after our scuffle.  His attitude was significantly
different.  He was more submissive and friendly.  He got back on
his cart and I started to push him out towards the bar.  I asked
him if he was dead (seeing that he was on the hospital stretcher
and all).  Quite to my surprise, he said he had died the night
before.  I asked if maybe it's that he's been dead for a year (As
I write this entry I don't remember what my logic was in asking
him this).  He said something about getting into a fight with his
Dad.  I asked him where he was from and he said "the Land-O-Lakes,
from Idaho."  I asked for his address but he mumbled nonsense.  
He told me his name but I can't remember it now.  His demeanor
was interesting.  He seemed contemplative, quite absorbed in his
thoughts.  He had responded more intelligently to me than anyone
had to this point in the projection.  I wheeled him up to another
door and faded out..."

(Here is an example of how paradoxical it is to try to
 tell someone you meet that you are in the astral plane.)

   "...What the situation was was that, during an episode I had
met an unfamiliar girl.  We fell in love immediately and became
lovers (and the feelings were quite sincere, I should add).  I knew
I was projecting, but everything was extremely real and I even felt
that I did not have to go back. I felt that, if I chose, I could  
simply forget entirely about my physical plane life and stay right
where I was at, and it wouldn't have bothered my soul in the least.  
I knew I could do this if I really wanted, and I was tempted by
the possibility, but I ultimately decided that I would go back.  
    At any rate, my lover and I had gone through some adventures
together.  We were coming out of a movie, and I felt I would have
to spring the truth on her.  I told her that I couldn't stay with
her because I was from another plane of existence.  She didn't
follow me at first, so I elaborated and told her how I had a
physical body and that it was sleeping back in the physical world,
and that I'd soon have to go back there.  She looked at me, with
so much love in her eyes, and she thought I was joking with her.  
She said as much and gave me a hug and a kiss.  I was completely
lost for words and just left it at that.  As it turns out, we
started getting sexual shortly thereafter, and naturally, once I
started getting sexually excited, I faded out.
    Now what was significant about this particular episode was
when I was trying to explain to her that I was from the physical
world.  Here we are, her and I, walking arm in arm, down a sidewalk
in the middle of the city.  And I'm trying to tell her I'm
from the physical world.  But where I was standing at that moment
felt just as real, if not more real than anything in my physical
experience.  To say that where I was standing at that moment was
not real, not physical, sounded absurd even as I was trying to
explain to her.  I realized that it is impossible to really
convey to these people in the astral world that they are not in
the "physical world".  To them, where they are at is completely
real - to them.  They don't have physical bodies to go back to.  
And dead people forget very quickly their physical lives.  I knew
I was in a realm of "dead people" - I just knew, instinctively.  
Dreamers act stupid - they do all the things that we, you and I,
the people who dream, know we do in our dreams.  Where I was at
in this experience was simply life as usual.  I was in some
astral town where astral people (who we would call "dead people")
were simply living out their astral lives, completely unaware
that our physical plane exists.
    This was not to be the last time that I would confuse
an astral person by telling them that they were not in
a "physical" world."

(This final entry I shall present about meeting people
 was actually posted here on CompuServe the day after
 the projection occured (Dec. 14, 1992).  In this
 projection I met someone who was aware that he was
 dreaming.  This was a most astonding experience on my
 part and the first time anything like this has ever
 happened to me.  You will notice, first, that I tried
 to get verifyable information from this person, and
 second, how difficult it was for him to concentrate.)

    "...The final episode I recall was the most dramatic. I was
moving in the void and somehow locked into an episode. I seemed to
be on an outdoor patio in a park or something. There was a group
of people sitting at a picnic table and a few feet away another
group sitting at one of thoses round, white metal patio tables.
They seemed to all be together. I approached them with my standard
question of the evening: I asked them if anyone knew the date. I
got a bunch of nonsensical answers from the people at the round
table, things like "Its the 2nd". I'd say "the 2nd of what?" and
get no reasonable response. But then one of the guys at the picnic
table said "There is no date, this is a dream". I heard this and
was startled like I haven't been in a long time. I turned around
and began talking to this guy. He was looking at all his friends
as if to say 'you dummys, there can't be any date now because we
are dreaming'.  He looked to be about 35, brown hair, had on
preppy clothes and looked about as modern American as you can get.  
I became very excited. I asked "you know we are dreaming?" He
acknowledged this. I couldn't believe how lucid *he* was. He
seemed confused a bit, as if he was not used to being so lucid
while he was dreaming. I assured him he was correct.  
    I said "That's right we are dreaming right now." Then I
asked him where he was from. He said Minneapolis, Minnesota, and
made some little joke about the town and chuckled. Again, I was
overwhelmed by his lucidity. His answers were quick and succinct,
though he had that subtle confusion that comes with being lucid
in the dream world when you are not used to doing so.  He looked
as if he was surprised by his own responses as much as I was. I
told him that I too was dreaming and that I was from Detroit,
Michigan.  I told him that we were both dreaming right now and
then I asked him again what was the date. He thought about it
for a second and said "The 21st, no, no, the 2nd of December".
I sh*t my pants! He *was real*. I couldn't believe it! This had
never happened to me before. I immediately said, "Look, tell me
your name and phone number and I am going to wake myself up right
now and call you in Minneapolis". He told me his name, which I
do not remember now. He was sitting there trying to recall his
phone number. I could tell he was having difficulty in doing so,
which is not uncommon for me even when I project. And then,
almost without warning, I faded out and was lying awake in my
bed. As I felt myself fading I became infinitely disappointed. I
awoke thinking "So close, yet so far". Yet, at the same time, I
was very excited. This is the first time I ever met and talked
to anyone in a projection that was so lucid and had a grip over
physical memories like this guy did.  I laid in bed for a few
moments trying to gather the memories together, then I fell
asleep for the night."


   To wrap up this section on meeting people during OOBEs, I
would like to make a couple of closing comments.  At the start of
this section I discussed ways to verify your meetings with
people you encounter while in the OOBE realm.  However, after
reading through the excerpts from my journal, I hope you can
appreciate just how difficult acquiring such information is.
There are two factors that make this a difficult endeavor.
First, as we have seen, is the fact that people are usually
in a daze when you meet them in a projection.  You ask them
a simple question like "What is your name?" and you get
a garbage answer, or mumbo jumbo, or they say "I don't know".
Thus, if you can't get any information from them in the
first place, you are obviously in no position to verify this
person's identity, whether they were dreaming or were deceased.
    Now, the second reason it is so difficult acquiring verifyable
information during an OOBE has to do with retaining the information
you get.  For, as is illustrated in the above entries, it is
very difficult to remember simple facts or details that you
learn in a projection.  Many times someone would tell me their
name or some other simple data, and I would forget what they
said almost as soon as it was said.  Or, perhaps I would remember
during the projection, but once I awoke I would forget the
information before recording it in my journal.  And because
I forget this information so easily does not mean I have a bad
memory.  Whatever is going on here is just not that simple.
There is something about being lucid in the OOBE realm
that makes it inherently difficult to remember stuff. And
further, the process of carrying the information back here
to the physical plane is also another factor that can cause
one to forget what occurred during the projection.  This is
why I stressed early on the need to strengthen your ability
to remember dreams and to always lay and try to remember
as much of your projection as you can as soon as you wake up,
or to make mental notes to yourself while IN the projection; all
of these things help strengthen your memories so you can carry
them across the border between the physical and the dream realms.
    So, the bottom line is that getting verifyable information
during an OOBE is no easy task.  Some people (especially
parapsychology types) have simplistic and naive
notions about acquiring information during an OOBE, as if
memorizing a fact while out-of-body is the same as memorizing
a fact while in your body.  This just isn't what's going on.
To repeat: it is hard to get simple facts out of the people
you meet during an OOBE and, it is also abnormally difficult
to retain these facts if you get them.  If they are not immediately
forgotten during the OOBE, then they can easily be forgotten as
one's consciousness passes from the OOBE realm back to the physical
realm.   And again, these factors have nothing to do with how
good or bad your memory skills are here on the physical plane
when you are awake.  These memory problems seem to be inherent
to the OOBE state itself and to the nature of the transition
from being lucid in the OOBE to returning here to the physical
world.  This fact is probably a vital clue to the nature of the
OOBE state and its relationship to our waking consciousness.
    So, what can you do about this?  I cannot stress enough
how important the memory exercises I prescribed are.  You
have to do everything in your power to strengthen the memory
connection between your waking and your dream mind, and you have
to very conscientiously work to remember both your dreams and
your OOBEs.  You have to work to develop habits that will ensure
that you can successfully carry your memories back and forth
between this physical world and the world in which OOBEs and
dreams occur.  Obviously, these memory problems are not insurmountable
barriers as my recorded experiences attest to.  Once again,
practice makes perfect and the more you practice, the more
likely you will be successful.

FILE 14 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.


8.  Getting Into Trouble

    During an OOBE, there are two ways to get into trouble:

a. Threatening situations
b. Being a trouble maker

I will not dwell on these at any great length, but I do want to comment
on them.  The first way to get into trouble is if you find your-
self in a threatening situation.  I've discussed this off and on
throughout these notes, so I will only summarize salient points
you should remember if you feel you are in a threatening situation
while out-of-body.
    What kind of threats can you face during an OOBE?  Well, you
can meet hostile entities, or you may find yourself in a region
that feels threatening.  In either case, as I have said throughout,
such circumstances are in reality NOT threatening situations.
You must remember that you are basically indestructible during
an OOBE and nothing can harm you.  I have found occasion to
remind myself during an OOBE that I too am one of God's creations,
and I personally have a faith that says God doesn't go around
needlessly hurting (its?) creations.  God doesn't hurt us, we hurt
ourselves.  And more often than not, we hurt ourselves because
we are ignorant of causes and effects.  During an OOBE the *causes*
of whatever threatening situation we may find ourselves in are
our own fears, subconscious or conscious.  Fear is destroyed
by the light of awareness and understanding.  So, the way to
deal with scary situations during an OOBE is to overcome
your fears of things you do not understand.  Like I said,
there is a process of growth and maturity involved in the
attempt to learn to astral project, and sooner or later, you
will have to face this.  There is nothing wrong with facing this.
It is good to face it. It's called "growing" .
    Now, a much more serious possibility of a threatening
situation you may find yourself in has to do with your physical
body.  It is possible that you may experience unpleasant
effects in your physical body when trying to project.  I, for
example, have a number of times returned from an OOBE and,
upon waking, had a terrible headache.  I have always had migraines,
evern before I started projecting, but a number of times after
projecting, I would wake up with a full scale migraine.  I
haven't any certainty of why this happens to me, but it does.
I have noticed that if I go without sleep, such as when I
stay up all night studying for an exam, that I will also
get my migraines.  I suspect the connection between migraines
and OOBEs in my case has to do with lack of sleep.  When
out-of-body, you are NOT sleeping, you are in a trance.  
Being in trance is apparently a different physiological condition
than being asleep, and my body *sometimes* treats an OOBE as if I had
gone without sleep.
   I want to stress loud and clear that I get migraines whether
I project or not.  I believe that getting these headaches is
specific to me.  If you do not regularly get migraines, then
you will probably not have this problem.
    And on the other hand, I want to stress that very often,
upon waking from an OOBE, I feel great. I feel light and tingly.
I have not counted, but I know I experience this pleasant
feeling upon waking from an OOBE much more often than I experience
the headaches upon waking.
    Another thing you have to watch out for involves what
occultists call "kundalini".  I do not want to go into a full
scale definition of kundalini here.  But for our purposes, we
can define kundalini as a *latent* energy that each of us posesses.
When this energy is "awakened" or brought out of its latent
state, it causes us to have psychic abilites, among other things.
It is the kundalini energy that is in large part responsible
for the ability to project/have an OOBE.  The chills and shivers
you may feel as you go deeper into trance are a result of
awakening your kundalini.  
    Kundalini is a very powerful energy and there is a
possibility that it may affect your physical body.  Like I said,
as you go into trance you may feel chills or shivers.  You may
feel a pressure at the back of your neck.  You may feel a
pressure between your legs at your sex organs.  Most of the time,
such sensations are harmless.  However, if you feel any kind of
sensations while trying to leave your body that cause pain, then
stop.  Don't force yourself.  Just stop trying to project and
try again later.  Such pain is a result of the kundalini energy
doing things prematurely and, if you force this energy too
soon, you WILL hurt yourself.
   I don't want to scare anybody saying these things.
However, it is something you need to be aware of.  Chances are
you will NEVER experience any kundalini induced pain.  This
is rarely reported by people that project.  However, I once felt
a strange pain between my legs and I didn't force it. I just
stopped trying to project for that session.  And I was fine.
Nothing bad happened to me, and I have never since experienced
anything similar.  Again though, I am pointing this possibility
out to you just in the rare case that you do feel pain in your
body when trying to project.  To repeat: you will probably
NOT have to worry about this.

   The second aspect of getting into trouble during an OOBE
is by being a trouble maker in the OOBE realm.  Robert Monroe
discusses such people and calls them "wild ones".  Usually
these are deceased people who have begun to realize that they
can fly, pass through walls, create things (thought-forms) with
their mind, etc.  These people will act in ways that we
would consider "mischievious" or maybe even downright belligerent.
    Now, once you get into the OOBE realm and start to feel
comfortable there, you will be in a position to be a "wild
one" too.  Basically, you can do anything you want in the OOBE
realm and get away with it.  As a more benign example, I will
often walk into houses while I am projecting and explore freely,
whether I am invited in or not.  This is something I absolutely
would never do here on the physical plane.  Once, for example,
I walked into a house and there was a family there. I went
into the kitchen and started exploring their refrigerator.  
I found a gallon of milk and drank it (straight out of the jug!)
to see if it had a taste (incidently it tasted and felt like
real milk).  Meanwhile, they were staring at me wondering what
I was doing in their house, though they had the typical nonlucidity
that people have over there.  I made small talk with them and
then flew out through the door and left.  Again, this is
something I would not do here on the physical plane.
    If you look back even at the entries I've listed in these
notes you'll see many examples of my being a "wild one": when I
ripped down the wall of the house so I could go out into the rain;
when I ate that Butler's ("Ducheim's") pudding; when I "flattened"
the mean guy I met in the rehab center.  All these are examples
of me letting go of the inhibitions I would normally have here in
physical life and doing exactly what I felt like doing with
absolutely no concern for the consequences of my actions.
It's not even that I had no concern for the consequences
of my actions - there were no consequences!  The people you
meet during an OOBE are in *usually* no position to challenge your
behavior.   You will encounter exceptions to this so don't get
    So, all I want to do is point out this facet of the
OOBE/projection experience.  It is completely up to your
moral makeup as to how you will behave during an OOBE.
I'll leave it to those of you with deviant imaginations to come
up with other things you could get away with during a projection
that you could never dream of doing here.
    Now, maybe what I'm saying here sounds like a complete
contradiction to what I said at the begining of these notes
about the need to have morals if you want to be a successful
astral projector.  Now, hear me good: I am NOT saying to
be mean, I am NOT saying to hurt anything or anybody, and I
am NOT saying to be evil during your projections.  It will
be on your conscience if you decide to act this way while
out-of-body.  What I am saying though is HAVE A SENSE OF
HUMOR.  Having morals does not mean you have to be dead
serious all the time.  The OOBE realm provides ample opportunity
to act in ways that you simply cannot act here, and provides
a means to lift your inhibitions and experience a type of
freedom of action that is simply impossible in this physical
world.  I recommend you explore this freedom.

9. Waking Up - Returning Back To The Physical Realm

    The final part of any OOBE consists of your return to this
physical world.  I would now like to comment on the process of
waking up from an OOBE.  Though I've been using the expression
throughout these notes, it's kind of a misnomer to say "waking
up from an OOBE" because you have been *awake* (i.e. lucid) all
along!  Actually, what happens is you come out of your trance.  
Let me first describe the nature of the transition from the OOBE
back here to the physical, and then I will summarize the suggestions
I have presented throughout the notes that pertain to the transition
from the OOBE back here to the physical.
    There are a two ways that the "waking up" process may occur:

1.  It is abrupt.
2.  You have a "false awakening".

    In actual fact, when your OOBE is finnished, you will abruptly
wake up back here on the physical plane.  Coming out of an OOBE is
NOT like waking up from sleep.  Usually when we wake up from sleep
we pass through a hypnopomic period (recall that hypnopompic means
hypnogogia during waking up), or at least we lie in bed feeling
dreamy and comfortable and many times do not want to get out of
bed right away.   Coming out of a projection is much different
from this.  The transition is completely abrupt and you will find
yourself wide awake laying on your bed.  As I said, you may even
feel "light and tingly" when you return here to the physical, or
in rare cases you may feel tired and unrested.  And to repeat,
in very rare cases you may actually feel perhaps a headache.
And that's it; your OOBE will be over.  It's now time to gather
up your memories of your OOBE and record it in your journal.
    However, there are certain complications that can arise
which I need to comment on.  What can happen many times is that
you will think you are awake back here on the physical, but in
fact you are NOT.  This is called a "false awakening" by Oliver
Fox an author on astral projection.  Basically, you will come out of
the OOBE and think you are physical again, but you will actually
still be projecting!  A number of times I have woken up from an
OOBE, laid gathering my memories and promptly gotten up and started
recording my experience in my journal only to discover I was not
really awake here in the physical!  
    When you have a false awakening, there are basically two
ways you will respond to it.  Either you will realize that
you are still projecting or you will not.  If you do not realize
you had a false awakening, it will become like a normal dream
and you may go off and do other things, characteristic of your
dream behavior, only to find yourself waking up *for real* here
in the physical sometime later.  
    A number of things may serve as clues to help you realize
you have had a false awakening.  First, you may be in a completely
unfamiliar environment.  That is, you may "wake up" in some
unfamiliar room but be under the impression you have ended your OOBE
and have returned to the physical.  If you still have any lucidity,
you will quickly recognize the fact that you are in an unfamiliar
place, and that should trigger in you the realization that you
had a false awakening.  
    It may be that you have a false awakening, but you are
indeed in your bedroom or wherever you had projected from.  In
this case, you may see subtle clues that will retrigger your
lucidity, and help you realize you had a false awakening.  One
thing that would happen to me often, and there are examples
of this in a couple of the journal entries I presented is
that I would look at my clock-radio to see what time it was
upon returning from my OOBE.  However, when I would look at
the clock, I could literally see the *inside* of the clock with
its gears and such moving around.  This was usually enough to
clue me in on the fact that I didn't really wake up but was
still projecting.
    So, once you realize that you had a false awakening, you
will realize you are still be projecting and you can continue
to explore the OOBE realm.
    Sometimes, during an OOBE, you may *want* to wake yourself
up.  For example, you may encounter some threatening monster or
such and decide that you'd rather be awake.  So, the question is:
how do you wake yourself up while in the midst of an OOBE?  Well,
if you do not spontaneously wake up due to the excitement (i.e.
lose your lockmold), then what you can do is the following:
shake yourself violently.  Just shake yourself awake.  This is
what I describe in my Darkside episode presented earlier.  In
this experience I was terrified.  So I jumped back into my body
and started shaking myself and, even though in this case I had
some difficulty, I eventually woke myself back up here to the
physical world.  
    Presuming you are really now awake here in the physical
world (i.e. no false awakenings) and just returned from an OOBE,
here are the things you want to do:

1. First thing is to simply lay there and gather
 your memories of your OOBE.  Do not move or think
 about anything else until you have recalled as
 much as you can about your OOBE.

2. Next, immediatly record your OOBE in your journal.
 Again, this can be simply jotting down a quick
 outline, or writing a 10 page narrative.  I do,
 however, suggest you write down everything you
 can remember, no matter how long it is or how
 long it takes you.  It is too easy to forget
 your experiences or distort your memeory of them
 as time goes on, and the only way you can guarantee
 an accurate account of your OOBE is to record it
 while it is still fresh in your mind.  Also, put
 the date and time of your OOBE in your journal.

10. Astrology and OOBEs

    I said earlier that I would discuss using astrology to
determine if one has a propensity towards having OOBEs.  Now,
this will be a somewhat specialized discussion as it will
mainly be of interest to astrologers.  So basically, if
you know nothing about astrology, you can skip this section.
The information presented in this section has nothing *practical*
to do with having OOBEs.  I am presenting these ideas here mainly
because I have a rudimentary ability to read birth-charts, and
I have tried to determine what factors in my chart were related
to the fact that I can astral project.  And also, I have never
seen this topic discussed in any astrology book I have read, so
as far as I know, the following is a completely new application
of astrology (if anyone out there knows better, please let me know!).  
    So, the question to astrologers is: are there factors in a
birthchart that will help indicate if the subject has a propensity
towards having OOBEs?   As any astrologer knows, one can deduce a
pretty accurate profile of an indivdual's personality if one
can construct and successfully interpret that individual's birthchart.
What I will do here is give the information necessary to construct
my birthchart, and describe the factors in my chart that seem
to be relevant to my ability to astral project.  Afterwards, I
will distill out what may be the major personality characteristics
which facilitate having OOBEs.  Then, I would predict that people
having a preponderance of such factors in their chart will have
a greater propensity towards having OOBEs than people who do not have
such factors predominating in their chart.  
    Before I begin, so you astrologers out there know where I am
coming from, my entire approach to astrology stems exclusively
from Dane Rudhyar's Humanistic Astrology.  This is the only approach
towards, and philosophy of, astrology that I know and practice.  So,
the basis for my own interpretation of my birthchart derives
from a Humanistic Astrology approach.  This said, here is my
birth data to construct my natal birthchart:

Date: November 9, 1965
Time: 5:18 PM EST
Latitute: 42 N 20.0   (Detroit, MI)
Longitude: 83 W 3.0
House System: Campanus

   With this data, you can construct my natal birthchart and see
the properties I will now list.  The following list of factors
from my birthchart are those that I feel are relevant towards
my ability to astral project relatively easily:

1.  50:50 balance of the planets above and below the Horizon, meaning
   a perfect balance of subjective and objective. Or the ability to
   objectify subjective realities and subjectify objective realities.  
   To make one's inner dream life real like the waking experience, to
   make ones real outer objective experience into a dream.

2.  Sun below Horizon suggesting an emphasis on inner subjective
   orientation and experience, i.e. more introverted than extroverted.

3,  Retrograde Jupiter in second house, which is also below the
   Horizon, suggesting wealth and abundance of my inner psychological

4.  Neptune conjunct to natal Sun, suggesting an easy channeling
   between my life essence and occult energies, energies possessing
   the quality of inclusiveness.  Also, the glamour and illusion
   of Neptune is associated with the astral plane.

5.  Also my retrograde Saturn, along with factors 3 and 4, suggests
   an essentially flimsy ego, one not very well grounded in objective
   reality.  Such a situation would enhance the potential for OOBE.
   i.e. a person who lives more in their imagination than in the
   objective, outer world.

6.  Saturn opposition Pluto, suggesting an identification (Saturn)
   with death processes, i.e. the ability to explore the realms
   of the (so-called) dead (Hades, of which Pluto is the ruler).

7.  The gestalt pattern of 2 in my chart, the so-called "Dumbell  
   pattern", which is related to the aspect of opposition,
   suggesting the ability to be aware of, and thus conceptualize.
   And also the balancing of opposites such as inner and outer
   realms, subjective and objective realities, ect.

8.  Moon in first house, again suggesting an essentially transient
   and ephemeral ego.  

9.  And of course, the fact that my natal sun is in Scorpio
   suggesting an interest in things occult.

    Now, what can we distill out of this chart analysis as the
key features of a personality prone to the OOBE?  Here are the
factors that I see:

1.  The ability to balance opposites.
2.  More introspective than extroverted, i.e.
    factors that point to a rich inner life.
3.  Things that indicate a flimsy ego.
4.  A natural propensity towards occultism and learning.
5.  A propensity towards enhanced awareness or lucidity
    of one's environment.

    It seems apparent to me that an indivdual who displays these
types of characteristics in their chart will have a greater
propensity for having OOBEs than a person who does not.  Of course,
such a profile may apply to mediums as well (i.e. a person who
can be taken over by other consciousnesses easily), and to sensitive
people prone to psychosis.  I think the main determinant here is not
any particular individual element (which traditional astrologers
tend to take too far) but is to be found in the overall *gestalt*
of the chart.  Of course, Humanistic Astrology insists upon
interpreting individual chart elements solely in terms of the gestalt
pattern of the chart, and that is exactly what I am saying here.
The gestalt of the chart should indicate balance and awareness
(i.e. opposition type aspects) and lean more towards the subjective
than the objective.  
    Now of course, the type of personality analysis I am suggesting
here need not be confined soley to astrological analysis.  We are
actually talking psychology and personality analysis here.  
So, in general, given enough information, one should be able to
develop a general profile of the "ideal" personality type that is
especially suited for astral projecting based on the above
characteristics.  The advantage of astrology over traditional
psychological analysis however, is the strength of astrology
to construct a unique and objective personality profile based
upon the natal birthchart.  In a very real sense, astrology
provides a systematic, and highly effective means for conceptualizing
the elements of human personality, and maybe one day psychologists
will discover this!  And again, for those of you reading this,
all my statements are based EXCLUSIVELY on Dane Rudhyar's
ideas about what astrology is and what it can be used for,
a type of astrology called Humanistic Astrology.

11. Wrapping it all up

  We are now almost done with these notes.  What I want to do here
is very briefly summarize the overall process of the OOBE experience,
and then make some comments about the significance of having OOBEs
and how OOBEs fit into the greater scheme of life.

A. Review.
    We have discussed:

1. The theory behind OOBEs/astral projections/lucid dreams.
   The take home message to our discussion of theory is that
   these 3 terms all refer to the same experience.  The
   difference in these 3 terms is in the *world-views* that
   produced each term.  Debating about these terms in not
   important. What is important is LEARNING HOW TO HAVE

2. We discussed two major methods for inducing OOBEs:
   becoming lucid in a dream, and putting yourself into
   a trance.  The message here is that, if you practice
   either of these techniques, you are almost assuredly
   guaranteed to successfully project.

3. We discussed the major facets of the OOBE: the actual
   act of leaving your body, the things you can do during
   a projection (fly, etc.), and the regions you will
   encounter in the OOBE realm.

4.  Finally, I briefly discussed "getting into trouble"
    and the "waking up" process.

    In general, these discussions have meant to provide a
PRACTICAL introduction to astral projection/OOBEs/lucid dreaming.
Of course, this material was completely slanted and based upon my
own experiences out-of-body and my particular interpretation of occult
teachings.  Almost everything I say in these notes may or may not
apply to you.  All you can do is practice the suggestions
I put forth and see what happens.  It would be nice if OOBEs were
a science.  However they are not, and this fact we have to for now
accept.  It will be very helpful to you to read as much as you can
about OOBEs/astral projections/lucid dreams.  Please look over
the bibliography and go and find the books I have listed there
that interest you.  

B. OOBEs: Subjective Or Objective?
    So, as we wrap up here, is there any way we can summarize
just exactly *what* the OOBE experience is?  Is it truly an
exploration into unseen worlds and planes?  Or is it merely
a complex hallucination occurring in your own brain, merely
a subjective fantasy world in which your subconscious mind
exteriorizes seemingly outside of you?
    Presently, no one can answer these questions with any certainty.
The methods of modern science have pretty much failed in the quest
to discover the nature and essence of the OOBE.  Parapsychologists
and psychologists have produced interesting insights into various
facets of the OOBE, but by no means have defined it or even come
close to understanding the act or its implications.  Occultists
also have very interesting and useful things to say about the nature
of the OOBE/astral projection experience.  I strongly recommend
that you read the occult literature I have in the bibliography.
There are many useful and PRACTICAL hints scattered throughout the
occult literature.  I repeat, the best you can do is
be open-minded to all the various ideas put forth about the
nature of the OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream experience.  
As I said at the start, the study of OOBEs does not occur in a
vacuum.  The fact of OOBEs relates to many other studies including
occultism, psychology, parapsychology, religion, physiology, history
and a large number of other topics.
    However, and I will say this for the last time, you can debate
about definitions of the OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream
experience till you are blue in the face.  But all such talk is
only so much hot air.  It's easy to speculate and theorize.  It's
not as easy to go and learn how to project for yourself.  The only
way you can get any sure answers at all about the nature of the
OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream experience is to LEARN TO DO
IT FOR YOURSELF.  That's the bottom line: LEARN TO DO IT FOR
YOURSELF.  And, if you choose this path, be eclectic, be open
minded, and most of all, in light of everything you learn along
the way, BE PRACTICAL.

C. Maya and Buddhi

    We have now come to the end of these notes.  To conclude my
lessons on how to achieve an OOBE/astral projection/lucid dream,
I will present the "big picture" presently in my mind by which I
understand what an OOBE is and how it fits into my life.  You can
take my philosophy or leave it as you wish.  However, these ideas
are the fruition of a tremendous amount of study, reflection, more
study, numerous experiences with altered states of consciousness,
numerous qualities of experience here in my physical life, and more
study and more reflection.  There is a cycle: learn, do,
reflect, learn some more, do some more, reflect some more. This
cycle goes on and on for our whole lives.  
     Presently, one of my major interests centers on understanding
ancient Hindu ideas.  I have been led to study Hinduism because,
as far as I can tell, the Hindus probably had the most complete
understanding of altered states of consciousness of any other
culture I know of, even our own.  In our culture today, we are
completely preoccupied by physical consciousness, by the experience
of our consciousness here in the physical world.  As I already
said, we do not even understand the nature of the fact that we dream.
And it seems that everything we attempt to understand today has
to be fit into physical terms or we consider it irrelevant,
fantasy, mythology, or meaningless.
    The ancient Hindus, on the other hand, had developed an
elaborate science of human psychology while our ancestors
were still barbarians in the forests of Europe.  This
science they called "yoga", and behind this science is an
elaborate system of philosophy that has been captured in the
Vedas, Upanishads, Tantras and in other ancient Hindu holy
    The Hindus were *introspective* and the things they discovered
through the introspective science of yoga are completely amazing.
Millenia ago, the Hindus mapped out the inner planes, and mapped
out the methods and techniques needed to access these inner planes.
The ultimate achievment of Hindu civilization, was, however, to create
methods by which we humans could experience a direct relationship
with the SOURCE of all creation.  Hindus called this "becoming
enlightened", and they call this SOURCE "Brahman".  Call it God,
call it Brahman, call it whatever you want.  It doesn't matter what
name you give it, because the source of all existence is ALL names,
and ALL things.  And the Hindus learned how to directly experience
this source through the methods of yoga.
    The Hindu outlook is a viewpoint far removed from our every
day life here at the cusp of the twenty-first century.  We of the
so-called "modern" world are like naive, rambunctious teenagers
compared to the mature, inclusive outlook of the Hindus.  We are
marvelled by the physical world, and marvelled by the mind we
possess that allows us to mold and shape the physical world in
terms of our desires and ideas - even though we haven't the
slightest idea what we are doing.  The Hindus, though, understood
what was going on.  They understood the nature of Humankind,
and all the invisible layers that appear to separate humans from
    These are the ideas I presently use to understand what OOBEs
are and how they fit into the greater scope of our lives as
conscious beings in the cosmos, and these ideas I will
express to end this presentation.
    There are two ideas from Hindu thought that we do not
possess in our culture or in our language.  These ideas are
"maya" and "buddhi".   Understanding these two ideas *as Hindus
understand these ideas* gives us an infinitely powerful framework
to make sense not only of the OOBE, but of our entire life and
    I was surprised to read in a book about Hindu culture that the
word "buddhi" translates as "to reflect" or "reflection".  In our
culture the word "buddhi" comes to us in the concept of the buddhic
plane, or the idea of a buddha, or in the idea of bodhistava.  
All of these words have tremendous *spiritual* connotations, but it
is a type of spirituality that is unknown to us in the
present day of modern techno-mass production culture.  To us,
spirituality is a flimsy term or it is an emotion-laden term.
We rarely ever think of spiritual things as being intellectual,
or even more rarely, as being something *greater* than our intellect.
In our modern world, we worship our intellect, which, in occult
terms means that the highest level we tend to operate on is the
mental plane.  We understand the world through ideas, symbols,
names, theories and definitions and we are content with this
(if not downright smug about it).  In effect, the "God" of our
present-day culture is the intellect and its creations.  The
reality is though, in our ignorance, we simply do not know what
we are missing.  Only a few of the more daring thinkers of our
age would have suggested that there is something greater than the
human mind, and have the courage to follow such an insight through
to its logical conclusion (see for example, the book by Dane
Rudhyar in the bibliography).
   Buddhi is indeed that essence of spirituality which is GREATER
THAN THE HUMAN MIND.  But what is buddhi?  Why does buddhi mean
"to reflect"?   To put it into terms that are meaningful to us
as a people preoccupied by the mind, BUDDI IS THAT ASPECT
Buddi is the divine in the mundane, the spirituality of the secular.
Buddi is GOD as God manifests in our everyday lives and in human
history.  Dane Rudhyar put it something like this: as a crystal
is a perfect structure which can then reflect the light of the sun
and display the light of the sun in a myriad of multicolored
facets, likewise is the human mind like a crystal that can,
when the mind is made clean and perfect, reflect the light of
the divine into a myriad of multi-colored facets, and these facets
are the sum total of human experience.  In other words, buddhi
is when our mind is clean and pure and reflects in the light of
the divine essence that underlies all of creation.
    The second Hindu term of relevance here is the idea of
"maya".  Maya is translated in a number of ways in our culture,
with each translation capturing a part of the meaning of the word
maya.  Maya is: illusion, magic, the power of life, the Great
Mother, transience and change, impermanance, time.  The basic idea
behind the Hindu concept of maya is an idea very far removed
from our everyday approach to life here in the late twentieth
century.  For the idea of maya means that all that we can
perceive, all that we think, all that we experience, is but
ephemeral and transient.  All of phenomenal reality, all of the
manifested universe - both physical AND nonphysical - are
but a momentary shadow of the Divine Source.  The closest idea
we have to maya in our collective consciousness is Plato's
allegory of the cave, in which men chained to the back of a cave wall
watch the shadows from the outside world dance before them on the
cave wall.  All these chained men can see are the shadows and
have no idea of the world outside that is the source of these
shadows.  This, according to Plato, is how the ordinary mind
experiences reality: they see only the *effects* and never once
suspect the Divine Cause beneath the effects of life as we
perceive and experience it.  
    So, in terms of stressing the idea of illusion, Plato's
allegory is similar to the Hindu concept of maya.  However, the
implication of Plato's allegory is that being in such a state
of ignorance of Divine Causes is bad in some sense.  Why else
would he present the idea of men chained in the darkness?  This
is not one's image of good.  However, the Hindu idea of maya
does not have such emotional overtones.  It has, as a matter of fact,
quite the opposite implications.  For the illusion of reality as we
know and experience it is the joyous expression of the Divine
becoming enmeshed in the Divine Tragi-Comedy of Creation.  Maya is
not a sorrowful reality, but a Cosmic Dance of celebration by the
  Be this as it may, we today do not accept the possibility that
the entire phenomenal world that we perceive with our senses
and the worlds we perceive in dreams and OOBEs could be all
of Divine Illusion.  Today we take things very literally and
very seriously.  We believe very strongly that the word we
perceive and experience is *real*.  And this is both our strength
as a culture and our folly.  
  However, as I personally have passed through the cycle of
learning, action, reflection, more learning, more action, more reflection,
I have come to appreciate the relevance of the concepts of buddi
and maya as very PRACTICAL principles for dealing with life.
What we call "reality" is in actuality a multi-layered, multi-
dimensional, ever changing, ever transcient "thing".  We ARE maya;
our life and experience and all we take to be so real is maya.
In this incredible Divine Play of maya we have the option of
reflecting the Divine, of allowing buddhi to become a progressively
greater part of our being.  We have the choice: we can get
ever deeper enmeshed in the illusion of experience, or we can
turn inwards to the center of our being and discover buddhi.
Once we discover buddhi, we then view maya in a new light;
we know that ALL is but the joyous play of the Divine.
  The fact of the matter is, from such a point of view,
the OOBE is us exploring deeper levels of the maya, seeing the
shadows cast by other shadows on the cave wall.  Is this "bad"?
No it is not.  It is simply what it is.  The realm of the OOBE is
a realm one step closer to the Divine Source of Creation than is the
physical, but it is an even more illusory realm than this physical
world.  In both the physical and OOBE worlds, our ideas and
desires shape the reality around us, only this process is
greatly enhanced, greatly quickened in the OOBE realm.  So,
we may be one step closer to the Divine, but we are potentially
veiled even more from the Divine while in the OOBE realm than
here in the physical realm, veiled from the Divine by illusions
we create in the OOBE realm from our desires and ideas, be these
subconscious or not.  But to say the astral is "closer" to the Divine
or not is all only apparent, for the Divine is equally present
in ALL THINGS, physical or otherwise, and discovering the
Divine in our life is always only a heartbeat away.  
   So, to conclude these lessons in astral projection, I basically
believe at present that, yes, the nonphysical realms exist, that
yes, there is something in us that transcends our physical body,
and yes, you can visit these realms easily if you learn the right
things.  But, though the implications of these facts are astounding
from within the materialistic and secular mind-set of our present
culture, from the point of view of the ancient Hindus, this is all
no big deal.  You can be as ignorant of the Divine in the OOBE realms
as you are here. In the end, all that matters is to open yourself up
to buddhi.  By opening up to buddhi, you will find the maya to be an
infinitely enjoyable place, whether in this world or any other.

  I would like to end this presentation with the following
quote from Dane Rudhyar, a man who truly understood buddhi.

"If we do not accept the existence of spirit as
a transpersonal, transcultural, and metabiological
power, the only other possible way of interpreting
with some degree of consistency the obvious facts
of personal and collective human experience is to
adopt a materialistic approach, whether as
developed by Marx or by other materialists; but
such an interpretation excludes many of the most
significant experiences of man.  It leads to a most
depressing world-view, essentially devoid of meaning
and purpose.  On the other hand, if the existence of
spirit as a creative and transformative power is
accepted, and its action in and through mind is clearly
understood and adequately formulated, the material
facts find their place within an all-inclusive picture
of cosmic activity which takes nothing from them, but
instead endows then with a transphysical and
metabiological significance stimulating human beings
to more conscious, sustained, and eventually more
radiant endeavors."  
    -Dane Rudyar. "Culture, Crisis and Creativity", (page 106).

FILE 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994
     Astral Projection Class on CompuServe

  by Don DeGracia:  72662,1335

        Copyright 1994
     None of this material
    may be reproduced without
    explicit permission from
   the author.

                          ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
                         Recommended Reading List

    There are basically 3 different types of books in this list.

1. Books about HOW TO astral project, which give techniques.

2. Books about people's experiences in the OOBE realm.
   These are written in the first person and are

3. Books not specifically about astral projection but
   that provide background information on topics
   related to astral projection.
    For each book on this list I will specify which category(ies)
it falls under, and then say a few words about the book.  The list is
simply in alphabetical order according to the author's name.  By no
means is this a complete list.  It is only meant to give you a
starting exposure to literature relevant to astral projection/OOBEs/
lucid dreaming.  The books listed here are, however, those I
have found to be particularly useful.  


Besant, A.  A Study In Consciousness, Madras: Theosophical
Publishing House, 8th edition, 1980.

This book is not about astral projection.  This
book is an excellent and profound introduction to
theosophical occultism.  

Besant, A., and Leadbeater, C.W. Occult Chemistry.
London: Theosophical Publishing House, 2nd edition, 1919.

This book is not about astral projection.  This book
describes Besant and Leadbeater's clairvoyant
investigations into the structure of the atom. The
reason this book is relevant is because Besant
and Leadbeater use the little known psychic ability
anima (called also "magnifying clairvoyance" or "micro-
psi) which I discussed under the section of the notes
titled "Surreal Spaces".   As you can excersise the
ability of anima during your projections, this book
gives you some idea of what is possible to see
using this psychic ability.

Besant, A. and Leadbeater, C.W.  Thought-Forms.  
Wheaton, IL: Quest, 5th edition, 1986.  
(Originally published in 1901).

This book is not about astral projection.  Again,
this book provides important background information
relevant to the OOBE.  This is a classic book, the first
ever to describe thought-forms.  You will encounter
thought-forms when out-of-body and this book will
give you a good understanding of the nature of thought-forms,
what they are and how they behave.

Fox, Oliver. Astral Projection A Record of Out-of-the Body Experiences.
Citadel Press, Secaucus, N.J., 1975.

This is one of the classic first person accounts of
the OOBE.  Oliver Fox was highly influenced by
theosophical ideas, so his accounts generally fall
under the occult world-view.  There are many useful
tips in this book as well.  For example, this is
the book that first described "False Awakenings".

Hall, Manly P.  Unseen Forces.  Los Angeles, CA. Philosophical
Research Society, Inc.  1978.

This book is not about astral projection.  Again, this
book provides excellent background material about the
forces and inhabitants of the inner planes.  It is
written from the occult perspective.  Most important
this book discusses the "Dweller on the Threshold".
I highly recommend any of the books by Manly Hall.
He is a highly infomative and intellignet speaker.
His material contains a vast wealth of useful

Leadbeater, C.W.  Man Visible And Invisible.
Wheaton, IL: Quest, 3rd Quest printing, abridged, 1980.

This book is not about astral projection.  This book
is about occult anatomy.  Here, the various bodies
(astral, mental and buddhic) are described in detail.
Leadbeater claimed to be able to percieve these bodies
using clairvoyance.  Again, this is important
background information.  I also strongly recommend
reading any and all Leadbeater books you can get
your hands on.  Of all the authors I have read,
Leadbeater has been by far the most useful for
understanding the nature of the OOBE.  Many
things I have directly experienced during my OOBEs
are described in Leadbeater's books and Leadbeater
present many useful ideas I never seen published
anywhere else.  

Leadbeater, C.W.  The Astral Plane. Madras: Vasanta Press,
twelfth reprint, 1984.

This is *the* classic book on the astral plane.
Written in 1895, it is still relevant in many
respects today.   Of course, just as the physical
world and society changes, so too do the astral
realms transform.  Nonetheless, this book will
introduce you to many of the important principles
operating on the astral plane.

Leadbeater, C.W.  Dreams. Adyar, Madras India: Theosophical
Publishing House, 12th reprint, 1984.

Here we have the theosophical conception of
dreams.  This is a very PRATICAL book for the
astral projector.  This book will help you
understand the nature of your projections and how
they relate to your dreams better than any other
book available.  This is a MUST read for anybody
learning astral projection/OOBEs/lucid dreaming.

Leadbeater, C.W.  The Chakras. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical
Publishing House, 4th Quest edition, 1985.

This book is not about astral projection.  Again,
this is another classic book in the field of occultism,
and explains the chakras; how they function and what they
do.  Again, this is important background information
and will help you better understand the nature of
things you percieve while in the out-of-body state.

Leadbeater, C.W.  Clairvoyance.  Wheaton: TPH, 1986, 15th reprint.

This book is not about astral projection.  This book is
another important source of background information.  Here
Leadbeater defines the various types of clairvoyance.
This book is also a MUST read because you will find yourself
using the different types of clairvoyance Leadbeater
defines while you are out-of-body.  Agin, this book will
help you make sense of perceptions you will have while
out-of-body that you could not understand otherwise.

Mavromatis, A.   Hypnogogia.  London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.

This book is about hypnogogic imagery.  This book
presents numerous reports of hypnogogic imagery and
also presents a number of theories to explain
hypnogogia.  It is an academic book, but it is highly
informative.  My favorite aspect of this book is that
it is the only academic type book about altered states
of consciousness I have ever read that suggests that
the theories of Besant and Leadbeater may be the most
suitable theories for explaining altered states of

Monroe, R.  Journeys Out Of The Body.  New York:  Doubleday, 1971.

This book too is a classic in the astral projection
literature.  Here, Robert Monroe presents his
personal experiences out-of-body.  This is a first person,
autobiographical book, but it also has some technique
described in it.  The important thing about Monroe's books
are that they are NOT based on occult ideas, nor strickly
on parapsychological ideas, nor on psychology ideas.
Monroe has his own personal style of understanding his
OOBEs.  Nonetheless, Monroe clearly describes and supports
many of the claims of occultists.

Monroe, R.  Far Journeys.  New York: Doubleday, 1985.

This is Robert Monroe's second book.  In my opinion,
this book is perhaps the most "modern" of any book
about OOBEs.  In Far Journeys, Monroe paints a picture
of the OOBE realms that is absolutely stunning.  This
book is a MUST read book.  Again, what is very clear is that
Monore is desribing the planes that occultists have
described.  However, Monroe's approach is different in that,
unlike occult ideas, Monroe's attitude is that the reality
of the planes is open to everybody.  Traditional occultism
tends to reserve traveling in the planes for special initiates,
Masters and other supposedly "advanced" humans.  Monroe
severly challenges this view by showing that anybody
can travel in the planes (or "rings" as Monroe calls them).
This change in attitude is very important, and it is an attitude
that I share with Monroe.  Also in this book, Monroe
describes the activity and researches of the Monroe
Institute in Faber Virginia, a research organization
established by Monroe for studying the OOBE.  As I said
in the notes, the Monroe institute furnishes tapes
and programs for learning how to have OOBEs.

Monroe, R.  Ultimate Journey.  New York, Doubleday, 1994.

This is Robert Monroe's third book about OOBEs and is
hot off the press as I sit here and write these words.
In this third book, Monroe describes how he has discovered
his past lives, and also gets a faint glimmer of something
mystics have described for centuries, which is the fact
that our psyches touch God.  Actually, I am dissapointed
with this book.  It is not as useful a book as is Far Journeys.
You would think that, after 30 years of having OOBEs,
Monroe would have somewhere come across the fact that what
he has experienced in the out-of-body state is very similar
to what others have described.  However, he comes across
in this book as if he is the only one in humanity that has
ever experienced the realities he describes.  This is just
not a good attitude to have in the OOBE buisness.  Also
dissapointing in this book is that Monroe gets kind of
"preachy" (as one New Age forum member put it), as if
his particular viewpoint on the universe is the ONLY
viewpoint.  Again, this kind of closed minded approach
is not good in the OOBE buisness.  

OOBEFAQ.ZIP - OOBE FAQ file by Jouni Smed, 1994.

This is NOT a book!  OOBEFAQ.ZIP is a compressed file
which contains the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file
for the Internet newsgroup alt.out-of-body.  This file
is available in the Compuserve New Age forum Library.
If you are not on Compuserve, you can send e-mail to the
Internet address jounsmes@utu.fi and request information
for obtaining this file.  This FAQ file is an excellent
source of information on the OOBE.  It includes techniques
for inducing OOBEs, information about numerous surveys and
studies of the OOBE and much other useful information.
It also has a large reference section which can lead you to
many other sources of information about OOBEs.  This FAQ
file is written mainly from a parapsychology perspective
and quite obviously attempts to discredit occult views
of the OOBE.  Nonetheless, the author at least presents
occult views side by side with nonoccult views, which is
much more than most parapsychology presentations do.  I
highly recommend this file for reading.  Though it is
slanted with a bias I do not share, it is a veritable
storehouse of information.  Reading this file will
expose you to the variety of ideas that exist regarding
the nature of the OOBE.  In effect, this file is a more
advanced approach to the theory behind OOBEs than I
have attempted to present in these notes.

Ophiel.   The Art And Practice Of Astral Projection.  
  York Beach, Maine: Samuel Wiser, Inc., 1982.

This is a HOW TO astral projection book and is another
classic in the field.  Ophiel outlines specific methods
for achieving OOBEs and also describes many helpful
hints.  This is one in a series of "The Art and Practice
of..." books by Ophiel.  Generally, all of Ophiel's
books are practical introductions to traditional occultism,
and are fun reading too.  Unlike most occultists, Ophiel
does not have a "holier than thou" attitude and he also
presents the view that OOBEs and other occult gifts are
meant for everyone, not just Masters.  This book is
highly recommended.

Powel, A.E.  The Etheric Double.  Wheaton IL. Quest Books (TPH), 1969.
Powel, A.E.  The Astral Body.  Wheaton IL. Quest Books (TPH), 1972.
Powel, A.E.  The Mental Body.  Wheaton IL. Quest Books (TPH), 1972.
Powel, A.E.  The Buddhic Body.  Wheaton IL. Quest Books (TPH), 1972.

A.E. Powel undertook the extrordinary task of compiling
the writings of Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and
H.P. Blavatsky on the topics of the etheric, astral
mental and buddhic bodies.  Each of the four books
listed above is a complete compilation of these three
authors thoughts on each of the bodies.  These four
volumes compiled by Powel provide a very compact and
convinient source of information about occult anatomy
as defined by Besant, Leadbeater and Blavatsky.
These volumes make a nice addition to any library.

Rogo, D.S.  Leaving The Body.  New York: Prentice Hall, 1986.

This is a HOW TO book on astral projection and is
a MUST read book.  If there is one book in this list
that you should read, it is this one.  Rogo has done
us all an increadible service in this book by collecting
all of the known methods of achieving OOBEs in one book.
He covers Monroe's methods, Ophiel's methods, Fox's methods,
the methods of Yram, and others as well.  For the beginner
in astral projection/OOBEs/Lucid dreaming, this is the
book you want.  My only reservation about this book is
that Rogo's ideas about the nature of the OOBE are not
very sophisticated.  Rogo was a parapsychologist who
came eventually to realize that occult ideas are more
uesful than not.  But he was not informed enough about
occult theory to really give a coherent picture of the
OOBE.  Nonetheless, this is *the* most useful HOW TO book
on astral projection available today.

Roberts, Jane.  The Nature Of The Psyche.  New York: Prentice Hall,  1979.

This is not a book about astral projection.
however, the Seth books are MUST READ books. The
ideas that Seth presents go one step beyond traditional
occultism to what we can call "modern occultism".  In
this book, Seth discusses the nature of human psychology.
The ideas he presents in this book are highly relevant
to the idea that what we percieve in dreams and OOBEs
are, in some sense, symbolic expressions of our
"higher self" (or whatever term you prefer here).  
Seth helps us realize the greater contexts in which our
physical, dream and OOBE experience fit.  This book
is especially useful for understanding the differences
and the overlap between waking and dreaming.

Roberts, Jane.  Dreams, "Evolution", And Value Fulfillment, A Seth
Book.  New York: Prentice Hall, 1986.

Another Seth book.  Actually, this is two books:
volumes I and II.  Here, Seth presents a concept of
what dreams are that is completely unique.  Nowhere else
can you find concepts of the nature of dreams that are
described in this book.  I will not even pretend here
to capture Seth's ideas.  All I can say is I highly
recommend this book.

Roberts, Jane.  Seth - Dreams And Projections Of Consciousness.
New York: Bantam, 1989.

This Seth book goes into the nature of OOBEs and their
relationship to dreams and our waking experience.  Again,
this Seth book helps us understand the personal symbolism
that is always present in our life, whether waking, dreaming
or out-of-body.  This is a very good book.

Rudhyar, D.  Culture, Crisis and Creativity.  Wheaton: Quest, 1977.

This book is not about astral projection.  I list this book
here in the bibliography because it is an excellent
example of how sublime occult thought can be.  For
secular intellectuals and academic types who think
occultism is for raving loonies by raving loonies,
I strongly suggest they check out this book.  Rudyar
presents a view of human history, evolution and
spirtuality that dwarfs any of the feeble minded
misconceptions that proliferate in secular academic
circles today.

Sparrow, G. Scott.  Lucid Dreaming, Dawning Of The Clear Lights.
Virginia Beach, VA. A.R.E. Press (The Edgar Casey Foundation),

This book is about lucid dreams.  It is written primarily
from a psychology perspective.  For those of you interested
in this perspective, here's a book.  There is not much
practical material in this book.  It is mostly case
studies and a lot of speculation about the nature and
meaning of lucid dreams and how lucid dreams are
different from OOBEs.  

van der Leeuw, J.J.  In Conquest Of Illusion.  Wheaton,
IL: Quest Books, 2nd paperback edition, 1968.  
Original edition 1928.

This book is not about astral projection.  This
book is about enlightenment, it is about mysticism.  
I have advocated in these notes that enlightenment
(or buddhi) is the perspective and state of consciousness
you should seek.  This book is one man's experience of
achieving this state.  van der Leeuw does an elegant job of
displaying how becoming enlightened alters forever ones
view of oneself and the world.  He also does a great job
of showing how the intellect is *inferior* when not
illuminated by the light of buddhi.  For those of you
who seek the ultimate, and desire to overcome the limitations
of the mind, this book is a MUST READ.

Zimmer, Heinrich.  Philosophies Of India.  New York, Meridian Books, 1956.

This book is not about astral projection.  For those
interested, this book is an extensive survey of the
ideas of Indian civilization, including Hinduism, Yoga
Jainism, Buddhism, Tantra and Brahmanism.  It is a beautifully
written book by one of the foremost modern scholars on Indian
thought.  Any of Zimmer's works are highly recommended;
he is a brilliant, articulate and sensitive writer. One
might even suspect Zimmer was a reincarnated Hindu!


Please note:  Any of the above books that are published by
      Quest Books or the Theosophical Publishing
      House can be ordered directly from the Publisher.
      Almost all of the above TPH books are still in print.
      To order books or get more information about the
      Theosophical Society, please write:

 Theosophical Society in America
 P.O. Box 270
 1926 N. Main Street
 Wheaton, IL  60189-0270

      Or call toll free at:  1-800-669-1571

END OF FILE 15 of 15

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