Article by Justin Norris

I found myself in an unfamiliar public place. The environment was busy and bright. It all seemed quite real, similar to scenes I would normally visit in the physical world.

I stepped inside a large public washroom and found another person there. We started a discussion,  which somehow turned to the outcome of a major historical world event. The man insisted that this event would end in a way that contradicted recorded history. He was speaking as if this event was happening currently, instead of 50 years ago, and as if the outcome was still uncertain.

With my knowledge of the actual outcome, I tried to convince him he was wrong. Eventually, perhaps out of sheer exasperation or a desire to win the argument, I shouted out: “I know you’re wrong – it’s already happened, and we’re in the astral plane right now!”

At that moment, everything clicked. My mind consciously recognized what I had subtly known all along in an underlying way: I was not actually in a physical place. I was dreaming. My body was asleep.

This was a moment I had been awaiting patiently for several months. I now, at long last, had an opportunity to consciously experience what happened while I was asleep – to experience life outside the physical body.

Using Belsebuub’s Method for OBEs

I had recently discovered a course on astral travel and dreams that was written by Mark Pritchard, a spiritual author who writes with the name Belsebuub.

I was focusing on learning to wake up in dreams by doing reality checks and making an effort during the day to pay more attention to my environment. I would look around me and examine where I was, inspect the scenes and objects around me, and try to seriously ask myself whether I was actually awake or dreaming at that moment.

It felt strange at first to wonder whether I was asleep and out of the body in the middle of the day, when in my mind I felt I “knew” that I was actually wide awake. But then after looking closely at the dreams I could remember, I saw that I had that seem sense of being “sure” that I was awake when in them. It never occurred to me to question whether I was dreaming even when I really was.

I reasoned that if I couldn’t trust my conviction of being awake when I was dreaming, my conviction of being awake at any time might be open to question. At any moment that I felt certain of being awake, it might in fact be one of those times that I was dreaming.

With this in mind, I tried to ask myself more deeply and intensely whether I was actually sleeping.

It may sound strange but I could reach a point even during the daytime when I really wasn’t sure. That deep sense of questioning created a strong focus on the present moment, as I looked around me and wondered whether the physical scene I was in might in fact be a dream.

I worked up a good rhythm with this approach, and I was able to do my checks dozens of times in a day. It wasn’t actually that hard to get to this frequency.

All this led up to that moment when I finally had the realization of being asleep while I was actually dreaming. Strangely enough it didn’t come through directly questioning but was brought about by the ultimately helpful interaction I had with the strange figure in my dream.

Waking up out of the Dream

The moment I shouted out that I was in the astral plane, I realized that I had in fact known it all along on some level. I had allowed myself to become submerged in the dream, but the dream scenario (the dispute with the man in the washroom) had prompted me to recognize that I was in fact sleeping.

Once I had stated it aloud, I was hit with the full significance of what it meant. All my efforts and desire to achieve such an experience came back to me.

The environment I was in – the bright, seemingly real public place – all disappeared before my eyes. It was as though the scene burst like a balloon being pricked by a pin.

What I saw around me in its place was near-darkness. I was back in a night-time environment. In fact, I was in a washroom, but it was the one that was in my house, perhaps 10 feet away from the bed where I lay sleeping. I could feel myself being present in that room and could see myself dimly in the mirror of the washroom.

Despite being prepared for such an experience, the whole thing was incredibly shocking. I actually saw my own jaw drop open in surprise as I looked at the reflection of myself in the mirror – knowing that I lay asleep in bed and yet seeing myself in another room.

The entire experience felt real and substantial. Although the previous dream scenario had also felt “real” in its way, this was quite different. It was just like being in the room physically, except that I felt lighter somehow.

A Short Flight

I didn’t want to miss my chance to try flying, something Belsebuub had described doing in the astral, so I quickly jumped up into the air, not quite knowing what would happen. I found myself shooting upwards and hurtling towards the ceiling.

At that moment, the excitement overwhelmed me, and I felt myself rushing back towards my bed and somehow “merging” back into my physically-sleeping body, which I was once again conscious of.

I was back in bed, but very much aware of the experience I’d just had. I picked up the phone to call someone to tell them about it, and found myself engaged again in conversation….

Later on I woke up for real, after realizing I had slipped back into another dream.

The Experience of the Astral Plane

It was a short first experience, but I was happy and grateful that I had seen some success from the efforts I had been making.

I realized how different it was to be conscious while out-of-body as compared to being in a dream. The experience of being in the public place and arguing with the other person had a semblance of reality, but it was still somewhat cartoonish and dreamlike, something that seemed shaped in large part by my own mental images. The experience I had when I slipped into a dream after becoming conscious – excitedly calling someone to tell them about my success – had felt similar.

In contrast, those brief moments when I had been consciously aware of being asleep, I felt lucid and clear. My state of awareness was similar to being fully alert and perceptive in the physical world during waking life. The environment seemed similar to the physical world as well, and had a feeling of tangible reality that dreams usually lack. I would no more question the reality of that experience than I would question the reality of any physical experience I have had.

I felt certain at that point that there was something very real out there, but also that I couldn’t explore it easily. I saw that hard work was required both to have experiences over there and to gain value from them. And I realized that a big part of that hard work is to increase one’s level of awareness – to learn how to break out of the daydreaming of the mind and to see reality clearly.

Photo Credit: Copyright felixtsao and licensed under CC BY 2.0.