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Topics - Re

I'm sure you've heard a thousand times the expression "being of light". I'm quite the skeptic, so I tend to have a materialistic, scientific point of view, but I'm also open minded (and have had my share of "meta" experiences anyway). And thus something quite baffling has just dawned on me.

Quantum electrodynamics views electromagnetism as an interchange of virtual photons (creation and annihilation of photon/anti-photon pairs) as a way to effect electromagnetic force between two particles (you can read up Wikipedia on that if you want). At the same time, electromagnetic forces are what keep molecules together (high-school chemistry), and to some extent atoms themselves (here come into play other subatomic forces without which solid matter could not exist though, propagated by other bosons. Photons are a type of boson). The conclusion being, (expressed in a very simplified manner) that we (and all matter we see around us) are being held together by photons. Thus, if not made of, we are certainly put together using light. 8-)

Could it be this knowledge was discovered intuitively (if not empirically) long ago and remained in our cultures as that vague mystic expression? I'd love to hear some speculation and discussion on this. And to those with a scientific training in physics (formal or not), please do come forward and expose the holes in my rationale.
PS (pre scriptum):I'm terribly drunk and I apologize for disrupting the forum, if that's what I'm doing. I can't even tell what time it is.

Why am I writing in here? I'm watching Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (it's ending now, but I've watched it at least a couple times). I've texted old mates, watched a couple or two other movies, felt self-pity, played piano after a long while, felt self-undervalued and self-overvalued... The thing is this forum is where I've least interacted in, but where I feel I'm understood the most. I drafted this post a couple of hours back and I'm now re-watching The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Awesome.

I quit smoking in February and for the first time I'm craving it like never before, but at the same time I've never been so sure I wouldn't even touch another cigarette in my life (why am I talking so much about the smoking? Oh nicotine you b1tch. Tonight I also watched 500 Days of Summer, which makes me think about other "bitches", or maybe *I* was the b1tch, whatever, I'm drunk so I'm entitled to thinking I'm sinless and perfect. Yes? The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). But what's the real reason for this post (and I do apologize if I'm making you read a damn drunkard who doesn't even know what he's saying)? It's that I often ask myself, and it's never until I get this drunk that I really ask, really hard, myself, what the purpose of our lives is (oh, crap, here comes the cliché). Not in a transcendental sense, but rather in a down-to-earth, almost-30-crisis sense. I don't have a girlfriend (hell, I don't even have a love interest), and I know most people don't either (boyfriend or girlfriend), my job sucks and I struggle to reach end of month with my dirty salary. I'm just like most people. And even if I had a super-10.000 $ (that was a drunk web developer's joke) a month-salary I would not know what to do with it and would probably spend it drinking, drugging myself (never been a huge fan of that) and hookering (is that even a word?).

End of prologue. I'm sure all of you have been as drunk as I am and are now feeling rather embarrassed for me, or feeling what's called Spanish shame (ironically enough, I'm from Spain, and rather educated in obscure English). How is that when we reach this level of drunkenness, that some of us, if not all of us, start wondering how come we have no frakking clue what we are here for? Or even better, how come we start assuming we are here for any reason at all? How come it's always something as beautiful as Zooey Deschanel (or dude equivalent) that gets our minds going about this (with a little, or a lot, of help from alcohol)? Girls, post a dude equivalent and I'll add a link. I really wished anyone could relate to this. In fact, go drink 2 liters of beers and come back. You'll relate to this much better then.

Navigate the mist back there. A perceived beautiful member of the opposite (or not opposite, but preferred) gender is what makes me wonder my place in the world. What the heck? Isn't that supposed to be transcendental stuff that's sprouting from the back of my mind? Well, it's actually the most animal, biological stuff, what's sprouting there. How come? Well, I have no idea. And I feel I losing it, so anyone who wants to, please hijack this thread and make it about whatever you think it's relevant. I'll try to come back when I'm sober and refocus.
That was a mouthful of a title!

First of all, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so... apologies in advance.

Anyway, I have been experiencing hypnagogic imagery and sounds all my life since I was a kid. It always comes when I'm about to fall asleep. Usual stuff. Sometimes I used to get (not anymore) feelings related to touch, although not focused to any part of my body. I would feel "rugged" (not myself, mind you, but "it", "it" was rugged), or "soft", or "dense", "pointy"... you get the idea. I used to have these a lot as a child, but not that much nowadays.

Then there's another kind of stuff, which is proprioceptive (related to the positioning of your body in relation to your environment or to itself). I know, this sounds a lot like projection, but not quite. It can happen with my eyes open, while reading a book with the light on even. Sometimes I feel my body is huge, and I'm looking down from my face as if I was myself a huge towering mountain. Sometimes it's the opposite. My body is really small, and my point of view is huge, I feel like I could fit my whole bed in my mouth (weird image right there). Sometimes (more often with my eyes closed), I feel as if I had a wall just inches from my face.

It's fascinating, but opposed to regular hypnagogic stuff, which you can kind of interact with and control to a certain extent (in my case this is specially true with sounds/music), this is completely out of my hands. And the thing is I don't even need to be in an altered state of consciousness. As I said, I can be reading a book. I have noted though, that I only get these feelings lying down and being relaxed. But in any case, at that point I'm as far as one can be from falling asleep.

Have you experienced anything like this? I'm really eager to know more about it, but it's so sporadic that I can't really conduct any kind of research on it...
Xanth explained to me the basics of phasing a couple years ago on IRC. I eventually read his PDF book and I thought I had understood the concepts. However, as I have come to expect, once you experience it by yourself, you realize the actual thing is much more complex and difficult to describe. In spite of Xanth's great advice, I still find myself lost in some aspects.

I have found that the method that best works for me is to just let all the hypnagogic stuff converge until I have completely phased away from my physical sensory inputs. At that point I find myself somewhere else. Sometimes I lack color vision, and most commonly sense of touch and smell. I usually have good sight and hearing, which is how my non-lucid dreams usually are. This, however, is a very delicate state. I'm completely unaware of my body and my physical surroundings, but as soon as the scene gets to a certain level of complexity I unvoluntarily try to focus on it, my physical eyes move and I lose it. I sometimes get a sudden falling sensation which is also very difficult to ignore (my body reflexes just react to it), and completely impossible to predict whether it's going to happen or not.

I have no trouble at all keeping the "noticing" mental state for almost an hour when I meditate, but when I "phase" like this, by "going to sleep" without going to sleep, I just can't control it past a certain point. The scene gets engaging to a point I just react, and I feel it's not even me reacting, but my dream self (which I understand as a sign that I'm doing well with respect to "letting stuff just happen"). Often I'm just like "Whoa! What did just happen? I didn't do anything! Why did I get kicked out?!". I find it difficult to describe, but I hope someone with experience on this will recognize what I'm talking about.

Am I doing something right? What am I doing wrong? The falling sensation and the "shifting" sensation on my eyes are the key to what I'm trying to describe.

Thank you for your thoughts guys!
Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / RTZ interference
September 11, 2013, 11:31:39
Today I had an OBE during my lunch break. For the sake of illustration I will briefly explain how it came about. I decided to lay down for a little bit at the office during my lunch break hour and after a little while I fell half-asleep and had a false awakening (I guess I was anxious about oversleeping), and when I realized that it had happened, almost waking up for real, I mentally told myself: "next time I wake up, I'm going to walk through the closed door" in preparation for the next false awakening, sure it that it could come.

And so I "woke up" again, and with the realization that I was not awake, but lucid, I snapped back to my paralyzed body. A side note here: I know my body was paralyzed because I've had this experience before, but I also know that if I had tested whether it was or not, I would have instantly become "trapped" trying to move my body and would have ruined the experience. A humble tip to those who still struggle with this (like we all do from time to time), is to notice how that state feels besides the fact that your body is paralyzed and learn to recognize it without testing whether you can move. As soon as you start ignoring the fact that your physical body is paralyzed, you might start to unconsciously focus on your non-physical body instead and this state will become nothing else than another milestone you may or may not notice in your way out of your body.

In any case, as soon as I passed the "paralysis" phase, I was able to move out of my body. I rolled to the floor, tentatively dragged myself out of the couch, fearing I would twitch my physical body and wake up, but in the end I simply stood up, always in total darkness. For some reason I get this a lot, and the only thing I can do about it is get away from my physical body to gain "sight". If I try to "open my eyes", I open my physical ones instead...

Realtime Zone interference
As this OBE was not planned in the best conditions, I was laying on my side the whole time, and the weight of my own body on that side was actually noticeable out of body from time to time. There was also a lot of light in the room and I sometimes got interference from my eyes (also some sounds from time to time).

In my experience, this kind of interference helps me attain the right state in order to OBE. If I'm in total darkness and silence, laying perfectly still in my bed, I might get perfectly clear experiences, but those are rare, as I frequently fall in a deep sleep instead. On the other hand, once the experience has started, the interference is obviously detrimental as sensory data gets mixed in.

What are your experiences in this regard and how can I use this to my advantage? Or should I just focus on refining my ability to achieve OBEs in proper environmental conditions?

I once read it's good practice to have clear goals before trying to go out of body. It is true that in this particular experience, once I got out and away from my body, I found myself in the street constantly distracted by what was going on around me. I visited a couple of nearby locations just because something or someone picked my interest. I felt myself losing focus and conjuring dreamscapes a couple of times and had to refocus. All in all the only "productive" thing I did while OBEing was making a mental note to come here and ask about this while wandering the streets.

Part of the problem was again the interference. Specially sound from the physical "spawned" mental images that kept intruding my non-physical environment (through the process of making me think about what they were, and thus subsequently making them "real"). This had the effect of me being unable to get out of the RTZ without risking transitioning into a dream.

A note on sharing experiences and learning
While writing this and re-reading passages, I noticed how different it all sounds in comparison with the real experience. This is specially true in regards to the first bit about paralysis, which I intend to give as an example case for anyone who might be trying to get their first OBE. It might be possible that my experiences start in a somewhat chaotic way, they sure do feel that way, but trying to explain an experience as detached to the physical and even mental world of our everyday life as this one is much harder than it seems. I guess language is not really suited for this. Or I haven't found the way to explain myself. In any case, I'm sure the only people to whom I can get my point across is those who have similar experiences, rather than the people for whom I'm speaking.

What I'm trying to say is that all this feels and "is" incredibly simple, but trying to explain it to someone that has not experienced it or may have experienced it in a different way is the real challenge. And in the same way, trying to understand what all this babble really means is really difficult. At least it was for me when I started reading about OBEs, projections and all that.

Random bit out of nowhere...
I've recently started practicing martial arts again. One of the side-effects of learning to make my body and my mind work together is that I find it much easier to control my thoughts and actions while out of body. I guess any kind of sport or exercise that requires mind-body coordination would be equally beneficial.
Well, I think I may have finally made some progress trying to OBE. Actually it was while NOT trying to, but whatever.

I usually become conscious during sleep paralysis, specially during naps or in the morning. It is something I've been used to since I was a child. It's no longer scary, just plain annoying, and every time it happened I would start struggling without further consideration and finally wake up completely.

I have been thinking lately that I might be able to use that state to my advantage, and this morning it happened again. At first, I followed my habit and tried to shake it off. I stopped, however, when I realised it was an opportunity, so I stopped fighting and thought "OK embrace this, c'mon".

It was late morning. I relaxed, "eyes" fully open, and started to feel a gentle wavy sensation right away. Then it stopped. I tried to move my arms and surprisingly I could. Only I would not see them moving in front of me, just a faint after-image of them. Time to leave my body, I thought.

OK, what techniques do I know? At first I tried the rope thing. I've been told you have to be determined and just do it. The thing is, to be laying down and start climbing a rope just with your arms is not something I would just "do" without some mental preparation. It's a fairly intense physical activity, rope climbing. In short, it did not work. I tried the "ladder" variation, but I still wouldn't convince myself I was doing it.

So I tried rolling. I rolled all the way to the edge of the bed and my body dropped to the floor. But not the head. It stayed as a pivotal point around which I could roll all I wanted, but I wouldn't separate. Somehow I "snapped" back to my original position.

Now what? I couldn't just float away no matter what, but I remembered something about sliding yourself along the length of your body and come out through your feet. I started to try and "slide" using the power of my mind, just as if I was laying on ice and someone pushed me. To no avail. So I tried the power of my limbs instead. Using arms and legs, I dragged myself on my back all the way to the end of the bed. I could feel a tingle in the back of my neck as I dragged my head around. I thought it was my hair against the sheets, naturally :roll:

Finally! I got my feet on the ground. I'm usually uncomfortable with the thought of seeing yourself lying on the bed, but I think is something I just HAVE to do, at least in my first OBE. I was also expecting a "dweller" messing around with me. And just as I was expecting, before I could turn around, a 2-feet tall white bunny bite my hand and wouldn't let go. I knew my mind was doing this because I was expecting it, but there was nothing I could do. "Damn dweller!", I thought as I grabbed its mandible and tried to fight it. Big mistake, I woke up all excited. I realised I had one of my hands under the pillow, hurting because of the weight of my head on it :x

It didn't feel like a dream at the time, but the more I think about it, the more I suspect it could have been. What do you think about it?

Also this is my first post, so hello everyone!