A Beginner’s Guide to the Out-of-Body Experience, Including First-Hand Accounts and Comprehensive Theory and Methods
by Darryl E Berry Jr
14 – TROUBLESHOOTING
If you need to take a medication that causes you to fall asleep quickly you can try focusing more strongly to help yourself remain aware. Frequent practicing of the Concentration and Awareness basics will help with this. If you take a medication that makes it difficult for you to fall asleep or remain asleep you can use a technique that requires strong focus, such as one of the concentration techniques. If you concentrate strongly enough you can push entry into altered states. Or you can focus on relaxation and meditation to counter the drug’s effects.
Losing awareness is a common and natural part of progression at state acquisition and OBE skill. As you practice, accept your progresses. Flashes of light and then losing consciousness is actually good progress if you normally just fall into a dark oblivion when you sleep. You’ve reached an altered state, and with continued practice your conscious awareness will progress further and further into the sleep state. As discussed, concentration and awareness practice will help with this, as well as meditation practice. It’s a matter of training yourself to remain aware during deeper states, through patient regular practice, which develops flexibility of consciousness.
TERROR OF THE THRESHOLD, ET AL
You may want to check the apartment, house, and/or room before you go to sleep or practice, so you can be certain no one is in the home that shouldn’t be there, and no one can get in who shouldn’t enter. I say this because it’s common to perceive someone or something else in the room as you go into an OBE, which can be either an actual entity or a projection of your own mind. Knowing the home is secure can help overcome a knee-jerk reaction – thinking an intruder is physically in the room.
The experience of an entity being there at the onset of an OBE – when perceived as frightening – has been called the “Terror of the Threshold.” Some report this specter as being a gruesome-looking monster. Some call it a test of the would-be OBE explorer. If you will recall, my “Terror of the Threshold” was the Freddy Krueger entity. Eventually I defeated him and was then free to explore the nonphysical unhindered.
In the nonphysical realms your thoughts and intentions are just as physical as physical objects in the physical world. If you experience being attacked you can use your imagination in various ways to defend yourself. I’ve imagined a sword to use as a weapon; I’ve imagined an army of people to swarm my would-be attacker. These have both worked successfully. And of course, you can use your hands and feet and manually beat an entity up. In the end I think it doesn’t matter – like a high school bully if you just stand up for yourself, and know within that you’re safe, negative nonphysical entities will simply leave you alone. Another tactic to avoid any conflict is to simply fly up. If you’re in a nonphysical realm and you fly upward, you’ll enter progressively more light and vibrant realms that negative entities won’t be able to follow you through.
My “Freddy” experience I think is an extreme example. Usually what you’ll perceive in your nonphysical environment as you exit the body is just another entity in the room. Other time it’s usually a good-natured being. You may think it is a physical intruder that you try to get up to do something about – only to realize that you’re paralyzed and can’t move. You can remember and affirm your pre-OBE state and relax and move into an OBE. Or you can try to physically move to address the potential intruder. To help reinitiate physical movement wiggle a single body part, like a pinkie finger. If you find it was a projection or a nonphysical entity you can relax back into trance and re-initiate the OBE to meet your guest; your reintegration will likely dispel any projections. Minor “terrors” can arise as well, for instance my experience of a cat nibbling my fingers. If you know they’re nonphysical you can ignore them. If you fear they’re physical the same process applies – reintegrate, check it out, and reinitiate practice if all is clear.
Some speak of a need to protect oneself by various means when practicing the out-of-body experience. Various reasons may be given, such as negative energies around you, or even fear of being possessed. I don’t see either of these things as a concern. In my experience it’s simply impossible for any other entity to forcibly take over our physical bodies while we’re “out.” They just don’t have that power. I have heard of an instance of two of people consensually switching bodies for a while, though. If you have a concern about negative psychic occurrences, something that helped me early on was to visualize or imagine myself surrounded or enveloped in a shield of brilliant sparkling light. Intend and know that this shield will protect your body and keep it safe from nonphysical intruders while you travel. Such a shield can be so powerful as to keep even well-wishing nonphysical entities away. To accentuate this, you can interlock your fingers in the Interlocking Ring Mudra as you visualize. Simply do this every time before you do any OBE practices, intending, visualizing, and feeling the shield, its radiance, strength, security, and protection, and know that you are safe.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIER
There is a psychological barrier that may play a central role in the failure to achieve the OBE. The basis of this barrier can be different for everyone and can be a combination of things. It could be based upon fear of the experience. It could be based upon fear of dying through the experience. It could be based upon fear of the unknown and could even take the form of internally filtering or screening what we perceive or recall. It could be based upon fear of being strange or weird by engaging in these activities. And it could even be based upon various degrees of fear of success (or fear of failure), or a sense of unworthiness, which would likely be affecting other areas of life as well. I’ve taught people to OBE before, and told them the proper technique to do given what they were experiencing, and so many times they would simply not practice what I’d instruct. Either they simply wouldn’t practice at all, or they would practice something they picked up from some other source that happened to be less efficient. And they would experience failure and then give up. I’ve also experienced doing the same thing at various points in my overall journey – for instance the immediate projection techniques Louis taught me but in the end were just too jarring for me. Fear of success or failure can also take various forms of delay: avoiding OBE practice, skipping basics practices, etc.; in order to avoid succeeding or failing by not trying at all – but that’s the only sure way to ensure you never succeed.
You may not succeed immediately, but if you put forth the time and effort with the techniques and methods herein you will succeed. If you find yourself delaying a lot, or your progress seems slow, one exercise is to question yourself. Look within and investigate if you do have any fears. Just bringing them to light can lessen their affect upon you.
• Fear of the experience – there’s nothing to be afraid of. You OBE regularly but are unconscious of it.
• Fear of injury or death – I had this when I realized what was going on. I eventually decided to go through with it anyway. I’ve found this fear unfounded.
• Fear of the unknown – this one’s a kicker. You’ll no doubt learn things that you didn’t previously know. That’s nothing to fear, just an adventure to enjoy.
• Fear of being strange or weird – the cutting edge of progress is always seen as crazy, strange, or weird by the status quo. You can be an ambassador to a new age of Human existence; embrace it.
• Fear of success (or fear of failure) – fear of success is likely due to one of these points. Fear of failure is unfounded – I’ve taught dozens of people, and by the time you read this maybe hundreds or thousands of people, to their first out-of-body experiences, with these techniques and methodologies. Apply yourself and you’ll succeed.
• Sense of unworthiness – this can be a big one. An easy solution may be to refer to the fact that you OBE regularly anyway each time you hit delta during sleep. So, you must be worthy by natural right.
• Fear of religious conflict – For those who are religious, given that it’s a natural part of our makeup, OBE can’t be against any creator God. There can even be a case made that it’s referenced in the Bible: there’s reference to a “silver cord” breaking at death (Ecclesiastes 12:6) and of John being called up to heaven and suddenly being “in the spirit” and then in heaven (Revelation 4:2).
THE IMAGERY TRAP
The imagery trap is an important concept for the traveler to be aware of. It’s when you think you are experiencing the out-of-body state but perceive instead a vivid nocturnal dream. The out-of-body experience proper is in fact going on with the nonphysical body hovering close to the physical body, while you are engaging the imagined environment believing it’s an OBE. Imagery traps may also take the form of people and entities that we project into our nonphysical environment. If you are unsure if you’re in a true OBE, or whether what you’re seeing is objective, reintegrate and then reinitiate the experience. This resets the experience and clears out any unconscious projections. Try using intent and will to clear your perceptions. Try getting more distance from the body. You can even mentally yell “Clarity Now!” If nothing works, or movement seems strange, or your perceptions are irreparably dreamy, hazy, or unclear, resetting is good to do.