While learning to explore Belsebuub’s reality check astral projection method, I had a series of slightly amusing experiences in the astral that showed me how mechanical or “heartless” reality checks weren’t going to cut it in terms of having meaningful experiences. These experiences were also a good exercise in exploring just how much the mind and different ideas influence my daily “reality”.
The Endless Finger Stretch
I was making efforts to astral project for many months without a lot of result when one day finally I had a clear astral experience. It came at a time when myself and a group of friends decided to try waking up in the mornings (independently, in our own homes) before sunrise to do a meditation practice and then go back to sleep for a bit and rest and try to astral project again. I’m not naturally a morning person, so making an effort to get through a decent meditation practice so early on in the day was a challenge.
I recall one day I had a big resistance to waking up for my meditation (reinforced by the fact I hadn’t seen results in previous days from this exercise routine), but I made an effort to get up out of bed anyways and do my meditation. The thought of having a chance to sleep in afterwards was a comforting idea at that moment… :). It wasn’t the best of practices (I was sleepy and drifted mentally a fair bit), but I felt it was a good thing I made the effort anyways. At the very worst, I thought, it wouldn’t set me back because I know from experience that for me one missed practice just leads to another…Anyways, when that practice finished I went back to bed. Nearly as soon as I lied down I felt myself float up out of my body. Effortless. So effortless I was in disbelief — I haven’t experienced anything like that up to that point. I didn’t need to seek out something to do — there was an innate knowing that I wanted to go to a place of knowledge. I felt a pull in a certain direction and my body followed, floating through the air, outdoors, and a little while later I arrived at a familiar lodge. I was greeted at the door by a door keeper who allowed me to enter. The lodge was full of people I knew in real life and who I somehow knew were also “pulled” to gather there as I have been.
I found myself amidst a special gathering in the astral, and I have never been a part of anything like that before. Somehow intuitively I knew what was happening and what we were all awaiting. I just stood, observing as much of what was going on as I could, absorbing the experience.
That waiting wasn’t long in actuality, but somehow time felt stretched, expanded. As I stood there I began to think this is all too good to be true, too clear, too special. I doubted if perhaps I was dreaming after all? Maybe I never even came out of body? (that’s how real it felt). I decided to do the finger pulling reality check technique I learned from Belsebuub to be sure.
And here is where my mind played a trick on me, and also taught me a lesson. In the class when I learned the finger stretching technique the instructor did a casual demonstration of how that looks while he was speaking. He pulled his finger and made a mock motioning in the air of it “stretching” a few inches. In Belsebuub’s astral projection book there was also a drawing of the finger stretching technique showing the same thing — an illustration of a lady pulling her finger and it stretched a few inches as she seemingly became lucid in the astral. It seems these memories left a subtle impression on me that when you use this technique that your finger should stretch only a little, just those few inches — no more, no less.
The key here is that this impression was something completely off my radar — I never actively thought how much the finger should stretch, just as one wouldn’t think how much weight he should put on his foot while walking. I just knew to give the stretching technique a try, just as I’d seen in the book illustration and the classroom demo. So in this particular astral experience I finally had the opportunity of being conscious enough to test out that technique.
Standing amidst that gathering in the lodge, I pulled at the tip of my index finger on the right hand with my left hand. My finger stretched. A LOT. It seemed to have been made of rubber or like a string of melted cheese and stretched as far as my left hand could pull it while my arm was fully extended to the left. But, instead of this rubber-like quality my finger was displaying being interpreted as “yes, this is the astral! I can’t do that in waking life obviously” my mind interpreted the experience as “oh no, this isn’t right. It stretched too far; it didn’t work / it can’t be the astral” and with that awkward realization I put my finger back into its natural state and the experience ended.
I couldn’t believe what an awkward ending that was to an otherwise amazing experience. What was I thinking?! But I could see through that that having expectations about astral travel, what the astral should be like, etc., can be a hindrance to experiencing the astral dimension properly — even if the expectation is completely benign it could still taint my perception.
My Newly Gained Ability to Fly
On a few separate occasions I found myself becoming very lucid in a dream — I decided to use a reality check technique to try and become even more conscious and leave the dream behind completely. I used Belsebuub’s astral technique of taking a jump to float / fly. I floated up way high into the air and then landed back down. I repeated the process, leaping up and down along a pathway. I imagine for an observer from the side I might have looked like an incredibly light bouncing ball, springing up and down from earth to sky. Instead of “waking up” out of the dream though based on this physically impossible action, I mentally thought “oh, cool — I can leap like this now. This will make things so much more fun!” ..and back into a dream I fell.
On another occasion I pretty much experienced the exact same thing. I was becoming lucid in a dream, did the reality check technique to see if I could fly — I flew up into the air above my house overlooking the city and thought “oh wow, I can fly now — awesome!” … and again back into a dream I went.
In both instances upon waking up I was shocked that these things happened — of course I can’t fly or bounce into the air in real life… why did I so readily accept that I could in those lucid dream scenarios?? In reflecting on it I could see the correlation with how I was practicing these “reality checks” in daily life — pausing a moment in my day here and there to do one on autopilot, then rushing straight back into whatever I was doing beforehand, often with some kind of subtle / barely-there thought or quick mental justification of why I should get back to whatever it is I was doing. I could see I needed to learn to do the exercise more sincerely and be a bit more mindful of each check I did — autopilot behaviour wasn’t leading to anything meaningful.
One More Example
When I first discovered these techniques many years ago I used to drink a particular type of soda. In embarrassingly indecent quantities. I won’t even say how many cans I’d go through a day, but let’s just say it was entirely too many. At the same time I used to really hate the taste of the same drink by a competitor brand and so I never drank it.
One day I was dreaming that I was in my kitchen and wanted to grab a drink. I open my fridge. It was fairly empty (not atypical in those days), and on the centre shelf there was a giant GLOWING can of the competitor version of the soda. It was big, bright, very colorful, and practically shining — almost hyper-real like those commercials enticing you to crack open a cold can on a hot day to quench your thirst. Despite the atypical size / product choice, the experience felt incredibly vivid and real at that point. I thought, “oh weird, I don’t recall purchasing that… Oh well.” And the dream went on. It didn’t occur to me to question what on earth this unrealistically massive can of a drink I never liked was doing in my fridge…
When I woke up I laughed. It was very clear to me that I was being helped in that experience to wake up out of a dream. An “elephant” was placed in the room and I failed to notice it; totally missed the boat. The failure to question when faced with something absurdly unrealistic like that seemed comical, and I saw that I really needed to fine-tune my approach with this technique if I was to succeed.