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Mark R's Experience

Experience description:   

In 1961, I was intrigued by a movie about hypnosis ("The Hypnotic Eye") and so purchased a 35-cent pamphlet on "mesmerism," from the Johnson E. Smith Co., then of Detroit, Mi. This booklet was pretty much what one might expect from a novelty store: "have subject gaze steadily upon an object... a watch or lighted candle..."; however there was included a chapter on "self-hypnosis." 

Almost at once, I referred to the chapter on self-hypnosis, and (I believe) the

very first attempt was met with success, in that I slept VERY SOUNDLY, at that time one of the very best night's sleep I had ever enjoyed. I recall telling my classmates about it, about how well I had slept the night before. I continued to

employ the suggested "self-hypnosis" technique nightly, until the night of my OOBE, a period of perhaps two weeks. 


After about two weeks of "practicing" the suggested form of "self-hypnosis," I enjoyed an OOBE experience... 

I fell into the very deep sleep, which by now was familiar. During the night--I have no idea how long I had been asleep--I "fell" instantly awake, only to find I was paralyzed. I COULD NOT MOVE! However, I COULD FEEL. I began to feel the sensation of my "Life Force" leaving my appendages (fingertips, fingers, toes); then that Life Force leaving my extremities (head, hands, arms, feet, legs). My Life Force was gathering in my solar plexus. The amount of time required for the Life Force to flee my bodily parts and gather in my solar plexus was perhaps one minute. Then my Life Force made to exit my body, through my chest. A baseball-size mass ATTACHED TO A METALLIC, SILVER WIRE, was VERY FORCEFULLY making its way out of my breast, eventually fully emerging, but yet tethered to my body via the silver wire. The one thing that remains to me unclear now, after fifty years, is whether the mass was likewise of silver, or whether it was of something "other." I COULD SEE THE OBJECT AND ITS SILVER WIRE VERY CLEARLY. IT WAS VERY REAL. The mass remained connected to me by its silver wire tether for perhaps ten seconds; then there was a very AUDIBLE "CLICK," as the tether snapped. 

In the instant, I was hovering over my bed, the room bathed in a light such as nothing I have ever known. The light was "there"--as in NOT COMING FROM ANY VISIBLE SOURCE. This light was mottled, fuzzy, inconsistent. It was very much like made of shapes, which drifted slowly about and which I could feel as they brushed against me. I was neither frightened nor "comforted." 

I could see myself, lying eyes closed on my bed, in every appearance sleeping soundly; yet I somehow knew that which I viewed was somehow "empty." 

I then proceeded to travel through my parents' house, making directly for the side door. I experienced zero problem navigating or passing through the closed door(s).  

Outside now, I experienced a familiar landscape but in unfamiliar fashion. Although at night, I could see perfectly, every detail. Perhaps what I was seeing can best be described as "gray," not very much unlike B&W television.  

I was "floating" at about six-feet above the sidewalk. I should add that, at 13, I was then perhaps 64" tall, so that I was floating at a height taller than I otherwise was. 

I soon discovered I could "fly" merely by concentrating on any distant object, at which time I would be drawn to the distant object; a sensation EXACTLY AS HOW ONE MIGHT FEEL REELED IN LIKE A FISH. And this "reeling in" effect was by my solar plexus: I would concentrate on a distant house and be drawn to that house by my solar plexus. I remember priding myself that I had mastered "flight" so quickly. 

I traveled down the block, in a southerly direction, very much at ease. Upon reaching the end of the block, at a cross-street, I found myself perplexed. To the east, a main road, upon which traveled a car. Only one car, which would have been consistent with "midnight" travel time. The car noted had its lights on, but there was NO LIGHT EMANATING FROM THEM, only a very soft glowing.  

To the west, I could see down the cross-street, to infinity. To the south, however--across the cross-street--things were seen as being behind a lampshade.

I could see things--houses, trees, parked cars--but everything perceived as a lighted bulb within a shade. SHROUDED AND INDISTINCT. It was at that moment I SOMEHOW KNEW I HAD TO RETURN. 

Whereas I had "floated" down my block (app 15 houses) in what took perhaps two minutes, I now "flitted" back to my bed (and waiting body) in less than five seconds. And once back inside my body, I "wakened" in a cold sweat, absolutely terrified. 

For the remainder of that school year, I suffered a phobia, believing I would die in my sleep. I would only fall asleep after very lengthy tossing and turning. 

When I was sixteen, I mentioned my experience to a newly-made friend, who suggested to me that, had my body been examined while I was flitting about, I would have been declared dead, as I had enjoyed an OOBE experience. I should note that, prior to that particular conversation, I had never before heard of OOBE. 

I have since come to recognize the "self-hypnosis" technique described in that 35-cent booklet--and employed by me--was "meditation." The booklet suggested one "lie comfortably upon one's back, one's hands folded upon one's torso." Then was one made to "breathe slowly and deeply, visually seeing each breath, taken in and expelled out, as a 'soft and cooling mist.'" 

Draw in slowly a "soft and cooling mist," then expel same. That's all it took.

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience?     No      

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes     The light. The lighting effect was a sensation physically felt, and was neither "solid" nor emanating from a central source; it was of an amber hue, "mottled," and "drifting."

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?          No      

What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience?           wakened from a deep sleep

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   no

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Yes     myself, my body, floating

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            prior to actually leaving my body: total paralysis; after leaving my body, pride in that I had mastered "flying" so quickly.

Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises?           no

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?    No           

Did you see a light?           No response            yes... but not A light. More like a soft amber glowing. No "white" light or being drawn towards a tunnel.

Did you meet or see any other beings?           No      

Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? No      

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No      

Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different?          Yes            everything worked fine. I was able to "fly" by being drawn towards distant objects.

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?   No      

Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?    No      

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?             Yes     a very thin gossamer "veil" (described in my story as being "lampshade" like), which when reached, made me return to my body.

Did you become aware of future events?       No      

Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body?       Yes     at one point ("lampshade"), I KNEW I had to return.

Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience?         Uncertain      very curious. I could write a complete text on this. In short: I somehow "know" of certain pending deaths.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?   Yes     I no longer fear death.

How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices?       nothing comes to mind. Ayn Rand's writings have affected me far more.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         No      

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes     They listened. No one has ever asked me any questions re my OOBE.

What emotions did you experience following your experience?  PURE TERROR. I developed a phobia, believing I would die in my sleep.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      Best part: floating-flying

Worst part: the paralysis

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?        Only that reviewing my OOBE over fifty years has led me to explain a "dream" I had when I was seven years old, which I have now come to recognize as an earlier OOBE.

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?         No      

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?               Yes