Garry B's Experience
I was lying on my bed when I was suddenly floating above my body. There were no weird sensations as I left, however when I was outside my body, I did feel really alive, free, weightless, worry-less. I floated up out of the house into the sky and became aware of everything around me. Then suddenly, I could perceive all time and in particular the whole of my life. I could see clearly that everything that seemed real and solid was just an illusion of mind. Time and space did not exist.
Out of interest I wanted to see where and when I was born and so I just thought that wish and I was immediately transported to our house. It was a beautiful 1953 spring day. I could see the doctor at the window of our home, looking out the window and at the same time I seemed to be inside the room. I was lying on the bed beside my mother who was only 29 years old. Dr. H signed 'It's a pet day!' and suddenly I was whooshed back into my body. If I didn't feel my leaving, I certainly felt the re-entry.
The two things that remain to this day from that experience is (i) the illusory nature of this world. I felt strangely reassured that this world was definitely not real - merely a world of shadows. Every experience, however, is real because we feel it but what causes the experience and what around us looks solid is only a fiction. For example, buying a lot of real-estate is similar to obtaining large areas of cyberspace. What we physically possess in this world are mind-projections; and (ii) the reason we are here is clearly to become aware - nothing more. I suppose I knew this intellectually but after the OBE I realised it deep in my inner being.
There are two Buddhist tales which best sum up what this OBE revealed to me:
Firstly, there is a lovely tale of Gautama (the Buddha) after he has reached a state of enlightenment meeting a man who asks him if he is a god? To which the Buddha replies 'no'. Then the man enquires if he is a magician. To which the Buddha also replies 'no'. Finally the man asks: 'Then what are you?' 'I am awake.', replies the Buddha.
Buddhist story which this OBE always brings to mind is the tale of the man in a
moored boat who sees a larger boat approaching on a direct collision course with
his own small boat. He shouts out 'Stop!' - but there is no reply. He screams
'You're going to crash into me!' But there is still no reply. In fits of anger
at the stupidity of this action he works himself up into a dreadful state of
disquiet. The larger boat eventually crashes into his small boat and then he
notices that there is no one at all in the larger boat. Immediately his anger
dissipates because there is no one in the big boat to be angry with. So getting
angry with anything is merely living out the illusion, and to what end? Stepping
out of the illusion in the OBE has taught me to enjoy participating and to keep
a sharper focus on what is real and what is not.
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? Much more aware - it felt like waking up from a sleep.
Was the experience dream like in any way? definitely not. This life is dream-like but consciousness outside the body is very real and an enduring experience.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes
What emotions did you feel during the experience? joy
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? everything was as clear as a bell - I was aware of the sound of the breeze in the grass and every individual birdsong...
LOCATION DESCRIPTION: Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or amazing creatures? Yes the house where I was born, my mother, myself as a baby...
Did you see a light? No
Did you meet or see any other beings? No But I was aware that I could have been with anyone if I so chose.. There was no separation between 'the living' and 'the dead' - there was only being.
Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? Yes as I explained above.
Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different? Yes more alive - more real
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes as I explained above
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes All knowledge is waiting outside the limitations placed upon us in this physical world
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? Yes but I forgot them when I returned to this body. I could see everything and I remember seeing everything and being aware of knowing what would happen but I couldn't rememeber anything when I returned
Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? No
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes as I explained above...
How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices? much more positive attitude to people, friends. I try to build bridges to those with whom I have diagreements. Fighting and being upset with people is being the 'owner of the small boat'. Loving your 'enemies' is not being 'good' - it's seeing that there are no enemies - all is the illusion created by my own limited vision and mind.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes more joyful - less worry - most times no worry at all.
Have you shared this experience with others? No
What emotions did you experience following your experience? joy
What was the best and worst part of your experience? realization that nothing in this world is 'real' - was the funniest part. I laughed for days after the OBE.
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. It was a bit long... don't you think!