Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alien abduction OBE?

Yet another book which I found in the Radcliffe Library of the Adelaide Theosophic Society was "More Astral Projections" by author Robert Crookal, published by Aquarian Press in London in 1964. From the number of books published on this topic around the 60's there must have been quite an interest in that era!

From the preface "While many dreams are pure fantasy, some,we maintain are astral projections."

This book is a study of 222 OBE cases drawn from letters to the author and 37 sent in to a newspaper called the "Daily Sketch."

Introduction "By astral projection is meant the belief that people possess a second, non-physical (and therefore invisible and intangible) body.

Here we find personal accounts of both the traditional OBE and of people apparently in more than one place at one time - bio-location.

Some cases, such as the 1954 case number ed 212 on page 27 describe what today would be called sleep paralysis, with associated sense of "presence."

A very interesting case , numbered 261 on page 57 is related to have happened in 1941-42.

"One night I woke up (and I am quite sure I did wake up) and, finding myself flat on my back, made to turn over to my side. To my consternation I found that I could not move at all. My body was paralysed. Then suddenly, I began to slide out of bed feet first..." This OBE experience would not be out of place in the description of the start of an alien abduction experience! On top of this, many years ago I interviewed a person who was having poltergeist like manifestations. They awoke one morning to find themselves being dragged off the bed feet first by an invisible something. here, the witness clearly associated the event with the paranormal, and nothing to do with alien abductions. However, one wonders whether or not all these type of phenomena have some fundamental link?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A personal OBE

This post is a little aside from the book reviews I have been posting.

Some years ago, I was giving a talk at the Astronomical Society of South Australia when I had, what can only be described as an OBE.

I became aware, with no recollection of any discontinuity, that I was behind my physical self, watching and listening to myself, deliver my lecture!

I could see my physical self in front of the position I was observing from.

It felt like ten minutes went by, and then, again with no discontinuity, I was back in my physical form delivering the lecture.

In my 59 years of life, this is the only time I have ever experienced what could be considered an OBE.

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Journeys out of the body" 1

I am coming to realise that there are at least two types of books about OBEs. Firstly, there are the ones written by individuals who have experienced a number of OBEs and have experimented with them, e.g. Oliver Fox. Then there are studies of collections of OBE accounts, e.g. Celia Green.

The Theosophical Society's Radcliffe Library has another of the former type. I am in the process of reading "Journey's out of the body" by Robert A Monroe. Published in New York by Doubleday & Co in 1971. Monroe's institute featured in another book I read recently about Project Stargate, the US military's exploration of remote viewing in the 1980's to 1990's.

It was in 1958 that Robert Monroe's experiences began. He was lying on a couch when what he described as a beam of light came from the sky and struck his body. His body shook violently. He thought at first that it was epilepsy, or a brain tumor, then perhaps hallucinatory. He forced himself to move. He stood up and walked around. The clock showed that only a few seconds had passed. He had not closed his eyes. "I was utterly powerless to move." p 22.

"Within the following six weeks, the same peculiar condition manifested itself nine times." p23. "...The only common factor was that it began just after I had laid down to rest or sleep."

Page 24 gives another example. He lay down to sleep and two minutes later a "feeling" swept his entire body. He tried to remain calm. He could see the room and heard a roaring sound caused by the vibrations. After five minutes the sensation ceased.

One night he was lying in bed and it seemed as if during the vibrations, his hand went through the floor. He was wide awake, lying in bed with an arm through the floor. He pulled the arm back out of the floor. He got up, turned on the light and saw that there was no hole in the floor. He saw his wife sleeping in bed. p 25.

Four weeks later he again experienced vibrations while lying in bed before sleep. He felt something pressing against his shoulder. He touched it and it seemed to be a wall. He then realised that this wall was in fact the ceiling. He looked back at the bed and there were two figures in the bed. His wife and he. He "swooped down to my body and dove in." He opened his eyes and found he was back in bed. p28.

He later spoke to a psychologist and a psychiatrist about his experiences.

Monroe conducted some research and "Simply, I was performing 'astral projection.'"He found out about Oliver Fox and Sylvan Muldoon' books. p40.

He experimented with this OBE state and astrally visited someone; described the events to those he visited and confirmed his observations. You can see why the US military thought that there might be some use in this methodology when it undertook remote viewing experiments.

Monroe's extensive self experimentation with this OBE state led him to describe three locales or worlds in which he could find himself. These were:

Locale 1 - "Here-Now." People and places which exist. "Get out of the physical and into the second, then go visit George and make contact, come back into the physical and report." pp60-61.

Locale 2 - Non material environment.

Local3 - Physical matter world almost the same as our. No electrical devices.

Chapter 5 is about "sexuality in the second state." "It is mentioned here only because the most consistent physical reaction noted when returning from the second state is a penile erection."
To me this is a very interesting observation as it is well known that during REM (rapid eye movement) or dream sleep, in the human male there is a penile erection. This would seem to me to indicate that the OBE was occurring in REM sleep, i.e. he was asleep and dreaming at the time of the experience.

Chapter 6 describes how to have an experience.

1. Relaxation - by auto or self hypnosis; "Borderland sleep state" between sleep and wakefulness; induction by drugs. Then let go of rigid hold on borderland sleep sate. p207.

2. State of vibration. Body along North-South axis, head to magnetic north. Relax. Begin breathing through half open mouth. p210. Look into the darkness. Move your point of concentration further away from you. "From there, turn the point 90 degree upward, on a line parallel to the axis and reaching above the head. Reach for the vibrations at that spot. When you feel them, mentally pull them back into your head." p212.

3. Control the vibrations -get used to the vibrations, your body shakes, pulse them mentally. p213.

(a) Think of getting lighter, of floating. (b) Rotational technique-slowly try to turn over-rotate 180 degree face your own face then think of floating off. p216.

More notes later.

A book by Ralph Shirley

I have just read a book titled "The mystery of the human double" by Ralph Shirley. New York; University Books. 1965 originally published in 1938.

Ralph Shirley was born on 30/12/1865 and between 1892-1925 was director of the book publisher William Rider and Co. He published a number of books about OBEs as well as authoring this one.

My notes follow:

(1) The Society for Psychical research were impressed with "...the frequency of records of the apparent action of the human consciousness at a distance from the place where the physical form was at the time being located." p 15.

Examples are given of someone having been seen somewhere, when in fact they had died at about that time. However, my comment is, is this more along the lines of an apparition of the dead rather than an OBE. Still, I suppose that the title of the book is about the human double and not OBEs.

(2) There is a description of an incident which happened to someone called Goethe which I have read in several other places. "I saw myself coming to meet myself on the same road on horseback, but in clothes such as I have never worn." The author goes on to describe a number of cases where people have seen their own double. In Goethe's case he goes on to say that sometime later he did ride down that same road dressed in the clothes he had seen himself in during this unusual prior experience. This would seem to be a case of precognition-seeing the future?

(3) He then gives examples of what would be regarded as the more classic OBE in which the person saw things in the OBE that they had not previously know. pp71-74. These descriptions seem to indicate the author was suggesting that the astral form must have some awareness to transmit this to the mind back in the physical body of the individual experiencing the OBE. i.e. that the experience was in some sense "real."

(4) Chapter 5 is a recounting of the experiences of Sylvan Muldoon.

(5) "Another common cause leading to astral projection is the use of anaesthetics." p88.

(6) Describes experiences of Oliver Fox. p98.

All in all, the book covers a range of phenomenon which today might be decsribed as apparitions of the dead; precognition and autoscopy - seeing one's self.