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Astral travel and lucid dreaming
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." - Corinthians 15:44
It began as a lucid dream when I was a teenager.
I was in a small middle eastern temple made of white marble. In the centre of the floor was a pond with lily-pads floating on the surface, shaped like a mandala, from which came this pulsating multi-coloured light. The temple was octagonal, with columns dividing the walls, spanned by arches, and draped over the wall opposite was a diaphanous, white curtain. The curtain began to rise, and I saw that there was a painting beneath. The painting was of Jesus. As the curtain lifted I could see Jesus’ feet.
It was like a sudden burst of excitement in all of my senses. I was about to see Jesus! My head began to pound, my heart began to thump, and there was a sense of rising excitement in my loins.
And then it was as if each part of me had become nothing more than a rhythmic pulse: the three distinct rhythms, in my head, my heart and my loins, pounding out their insistent, syncopated beat, until I was overwhelmed by the sensation, and found that this is all I was, this rhythmical triple sine wave in an ocean of bliss, this floating energy pulse of joyful absorption, without name, without form, without identity - without a body even - but utterly and distinctly myself, conscious and alive.
I woke up with a sudden start, all my senses tingling.
It was my first experience of astral travel, the first time I left my body.
As the years have gone by I have had this experience a number of times.
It usually involves me waking up in my sleep and knowing that I am asleep. What happens then is that I realise that I can fly. It’s a dream, so I can do anything. It is at this point that I launch myself from my body, and begin floating around the room.
The last time this happened there was an image of a chair, but the chair was made of flesh and had hands and feet. There was a distinct sensation, like a small tingling rip, as I passed through the chair. Later I realised that the “chair” was my body, and the “rip” as I passed through it was me leaving it.
Whenever this happens I have a feeling of exaltation and of infinite freedom, as if all the constraints of physical life are lifted from me, and I am free to explore the universe at my pleasure.
The trouble is, it never lasts.
As soon as I realise I am no longer in my body, I come down with a clatter like pots and pans, and wake myself up.
Of course some scientific observers would say that this was impossible. In the materialist version of reality there is only matter. Mind is an accidental by-product. It is no more than electrical impulses in the brain. It cannot be separated from the body because it is a product of the body. If I experience something different from this then it must be because I am deceiving myself.
The problem is that science demands objectivity, and the experience of astral travel is an entirely subjective one.
Actually, when I say “scientific observers” I am not referring to all scientists.
True science means keeping an open mind.
A million subjective experiences don’t add up to one objective fact. You cannot test a subjective experience in the laboratory. But if millions of people report the same experience, then it clearly must mean something. And if people have been reporting this experience for thousands of years, then it must mean something more.
Personally I don’t need to be a scientist to know what I know.
And I know that I can leave my body.