Down the Rabbit Hole
The other night, I was rereading Robert Monroe’s classic, Journeys Out of the Body which I’d first read in college, and have re-read several times over the years. (The subject has been a fascination of mine since high school.) In his book, he mentions Sylvan Muldoon, author of The Astral Body, written in 1929 and one of the first books written on this subject.
I’d never heard of Muldoon; at least I didn’t note his name on previous readings, probably because last time I read it was pre-internet; before we had access to all the information in the world in the palm of our hands. Now, with a quick Google search my every curiosity could be immediately satisfied. I looked for a copy of his book on Amazon. Alas, it seems to be out of print and the few copies around were relatively expensive. (Even beat up old paperbacks were twenty bucks.)
But in my search for a cheap copy of his guide, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of books on this subject over at Archive.org — these are free e-books and/or pdfs of a wide variety of out of print or out of copyright publications. (Just go to that website and type the subject into the search bar.)
Not only did I find Muldoon’s book (in a pdf format) but I found a whole slew of books on astral projection, remote viewing, lucid dreaming, and more (including the Robert Monroe books I was reading.) I downloaded about fifteen of them. It’s going to take me years to work through them!
I started with the Muldoon. Since it was written nearly 100 years ago, I was a bit concerned that the language would be stilted and it would be boring to read. In fact, it reads as if it were written yesterday. Little Sylvsn started having spontaneous OBEs* in childhood, but as an adult endeavored to find a way to induce them at will. He was successful to the point where he became fairly well-known in his time as a teacher, lecturer, and author. (I’m only one chapter in so I cannot offer up a review at this point.)
Another great find was Astral Projection Secrets Revealed (2012) by Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler, which is set up as a step-by-step how-to book. It’s easy reading, so I quickly skimmed the first several chapters of that, as well. Many of the induction methods she mentions are familiar to me, but there were some I’ve yet to try.
She also mentions salvia divinorum, a plant that grows around Oaxaca, Mexico which supposedly induces powerful OBEs. Naturally, I went searching after that, as well. There was a lot of useful information on Erowid.org. One can grow it oneself from cuttings or seeds, and it’s legal. However before I’d even consider growing or buying some and smoking a bowlful, I’d have to research it quite a bit more.
Dr. Wexler notes that there are different types of OBEs including lucid dreaming and distant viewing. I always imagined a controlled OBE would feel like stepping out of my body and traveling around at will but I suppose it’s possible I am having other kinds of OBEs. She writes that one of the indicators is the sensation that you are able to see clearly even though the eyes are closed. This is a very common sensation for me but is it really some kind of OBE? Or just a vivid visual recollection of my own bedroom? (I assume the latter.)
I wrote a few weeks ago about the sensation of seeing things in my mind’s eye which seemed like snapshots or gifs of people and places I didn’t know, usually doing mundane things. But even if this is, indeed, distant viewing, it’s completely uncontrolled. I’m just watching the hypnagogic images as they flash across my mental screen. I cannot interact with them and they are too short to be interesting.
I long for the ability to leave my body and fly about the world at will. Is that asking so much???
Despite my long-time interest in this subject, I’ve been using the same (unsuccessful) methods for years. It’s time to delve into some new authors and new methods. There is so much to learn on the subject, and at this point, I only have my toes in the water. So my journey continues.
If any of you readers are interested in attempting astral projection, yourself, but don’t know a lot on the subject, I’d recommend starting with Dr. Wexler’s book which, in addition to being well-laid out and easy to follow, is free!
Please do let me know if any of you read these books, try any of the methods, and/or achieve success.