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Topics - personalreality

I don't know if I am the only one here with this particular predicament, but I want to share it with others in case someone is going through something similar and because I would like to hear other opinions on the matter.

I know that discussion of the use of drugs for achieving OBEs and other altered states is prohibited on this forum, and I want to make it clear that I AM NOT here to talk about using drugs to AP.  I am here to talk about the difficulties/successes I've had as a recovering heroin addict who is also trying to become proficient at AP and other OBEs.  

Allow me to share a little back story (just a little).  I had been a heroin addict (and all around drug abuser) for about 6-7 years, and since I'm only 23 (24 in a couple weeks), that was a big chunk of my life.  A little less than 2 years ago I entered into a Suboxone Maintenance program.  Suboxone is an alternative to the popular detox drug, Methadone.  Suboxone is derived from a different opiod source than methadone (which came from morphine, which came from heroin, which came from opium - what's funny is that they were all made to help people break an addiction from the one before it; heroin to get people off opium, morphine to get them off heroin, etc.) and it also contains a drug called Naltrexone which blocks the opiate receptors in the brain, thereby preventing opiates from connecting to those receptors.  (Naltrexone is given to opiate users who overdose as it induces a rapid detox).  

While this maintenance medication  is an opiate, it generally does not get you high and effectively removes withdrawal symptoms and cravings (until you stop it too, detox is never easy no matter how you do it).  And, I am ever grateful for all the people that helped me get into this program.  However!  There are some side effects, which is what I want to talk about.  

Like I said, I've been taking Suboxone for a little less than 2 years and one of the biggest side effects is sleepiness.  Some people are familiar with this sleepiness as "nodding out" or "the nods".  If you've ever been so tired to the point of dosing off no matter where you are or what you're doing, that's what its like.  Doctors, nurses, counselors, etc. say that if you're sleepy then your dose is to high, but I'm on almost no dose right now (I'm currently in the process of tapering off of the medication) and I still get sleepy.  As you could imagine, this has caused some serious problems when it comes to AP/OBE practice.  

There are plenty of ways for people to try to stay awake when they have trouble falling asleep, but the problem is a little different than normal sleepiness.  You are sleepy (which helps relax a little) but you're also mentally foggy.  Your awareness is sleepy too, like when you're really tired and just crash when you hit the bed.  It's sometimes really difficult to un-groggy your consciousness.  For the longest time I was unable to focus, unable to maintain awareness, unable to keep control of my mind.  This compounded into a slightly larger problem because all the effort I was putting into staying awake and aware was preventing me from being able to let go and allow myself to just drift (like in phasing).  I've learned that one of the biggest set backs in AP work is "trying too hard", meaning focusing too much on the technique that you're using which keeps you closely connected to your body.  

As well as sleepiness, a new problem has arisen now that I am beginning to taper off of the medication.  Now some slight withdrawal symptoms are beginning to appear.  Some of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal include things like high blood pressure, anxiety, "antsyness", restless leg syndrome, insomnia, hot flashes, chills, clammy skin, muscle aches and pains, etc.  All of these make AP practice very difficult as laying still is nearly impossible.  

So how would one remedy this situation??  Well, I've discovered a few things that help.  When it comes to posture/position, believe it or not, laying down seems to be better than sitting up to combat the sleepiness.  I know it seems counter intuitive but it's true.  There is a lot of recommendation to sit in a position with slight discomfort which will help you stay awake.  For a normal sleep problems, this is a great method, but for sleepiness induced by opiate replacement medication the problem is a little different.  Somehow, laying down helps bring mental focus.  Perhaps it is a conditioned response to "let go" because normally we would be going to sleep when we lay down.  Whatever the reason, I used to only practice sitting up because I knew that I was always drowsy and I always had a lot of trouble focusing and creating a quiescent state of mind.  Once I started practicing while laying down it all got a lot easier.  Some other things that help the sleepiness are some common remedies, like having a cup of coffee, doing some yoga (this is one of the best ways I've discovered to stretch and relax those awkward muscle groups that are difficult to control and it brings great focus), and my favorite, taking a power nap (20min) and then practice immediately upon waking before moving.  

That's all well and good, but what about the other end of the spectrum?  How do you deal with over-activity in the body?  Well, some of these reactions you just can't overcome until the process is over.  So, if you're in the process of detoxing you may just to take a break from AP practice until its all done.  But, for some of the more mild symptoms there are ways around it.  Some of these practices may even be helpful for "normal" people who have difficulty relaxing.  One of the best remedies I've found for relaxing better is taking an herbal supplement called Valerian Root.  This is the root that the anti-anxiety prescription medication Valium was derived from (though Valium has other things in it that make it a very unhealthy, dangerous, and unnatural medication that is highly addictive).  The natural root form is a very mild "sedative" that you can buy in health food stores, vitamin/supplement stores, sometimes even at your local drug store.  People often use Valerian Root to help them with occasional insomnia.  If you take the recommended dosage a little while before your practice it can help you relax very effectively and helps achieve the perfect state of mind for practice.  Another nice herbal supplement that is often used for relaxation and insomnia is Kava Kava Tea.  It's kind of like getting that sleepy time tea.  

I hope this information can be somewhat helpful if there happens to be anyone else out there that is in a similar situation as me.  But there is another, more important reason that I bring up addiction relative to AP and OBE work.  Obviously the actual drug is something that needs to be dealt with.  But that's only 95% of the problem.  The real issue is, why were you using in the first place?  This is something that needs to be dealt with in order to have a successful recovery.  Aside from that, there is one other thing that I've discovered to be an important aspect of recovery.  One of the things you're warned about when you go into some kind of treatment program is to be careful not to just replace your drug of choice with another drug or even with a program like AA/NA or church.  Not to say that programs like AA/NA or a religious practice are bad things, but if you allow yourself to be consumed then you've just traded one addiction for another and the real issue is never dealt with.  This is why I believe that in order to successfully "kick the habit" you would need to find some experience that is as powerful to your being as drugs are to your body and mind.  But that alone isn't enough.  Whatever it is that you find that is equally powerful also needs to provide you with an opportunity to meet your subconscious and work with it through the wounds that led you to where you are.  And what is one of the things you can do through AP/OBEs?  Work with your subconscious!  So it seems that AP/OBE is an ideal method of addiction recovery.  

All of this is based on the notion that addiction IS NOT a disease, but rather a learned behavior that exists because we are unable to deal with emotional wounds and therefore the behavior of our "inner child".  But there is another point I would like to interject.  Its not just drug users who are addicts.  In fact, I think that nearly everyone on the planet is horribly addicted to many things that are just as detrimental to the spirit as heroin is to the body; most of these are addictions to emotional behaviors, one of the most prevalent being "victim consciousness".   There are very few people on earth these days that developed emotional maturity in a healthy way.  We are then left with emotional wounds that we don't know how to heal and so (at the demand of our society/culture) we bury them which manifests in our lives as addiction and disharmony.  Our live become a reflection of the damaged shadow self, but we don't seem to recognize ourselves in the mirror.  In this regard, everyone can benefit from the work accomplished during AP/OBE work.  One of the primary achievements of AP/OBE work is a strong connection with the subconscious which can then allow each of us to discover our own hidden secrets that manifest as addictions.

My point is that through AP/OBE practice & work, we can all learn how to be shamans and healers that are capable of "curing" all of the diseases and disorders whose symptoms we treat but whose root is never dealt with.  I have an extensive theory on addiction and recovery that I can share if anyone is interested.  But the major point is that the problem is usually an emotional one (even people who started out taking Rx pills for legitimate problems and just "became addicted") and unfortunately our society doesn't think its important to teach us how to heal ourselves emotionally.  Once we can learn to observe the reflection of our shadow we can see the wounds and begin healing them.  Doing work with AP/OBEs provides not only a strong enough experience to supplant the experience of the addiction, but it also opens a doorway to the inner workings of you.  It shows you how to be who you want to be.  

Thanks for letting me share my experience.

I would like to post this under an Astral Projection heading as well but I will leave that decision up to the moderators. 

The use of Affirmations in AP practice has been supported by many authors.  It seems that a lot of us have difficulty with projection because we have subconscious beliefs or programs that tell us we can't project, or we're afraid, or we don't really believe that a non-physical reality exists, etc. etc.  So, a very helpful way of by-passing these limiting thought patterns is to give the subconscious a different command.  This is where affirmations come into play.  By using a appropriately formed affirmation we are telling our subconscious how we want it to react when presented with certain situations.  Beyond that, using an affirmation is also forming an intention, which is essentially telling [the universe/higher self/oversoul/spirit guides/God/etc.] that this is something you want.  Working with intentions is also a way of focusing your personal energy and moving it around reality. 

For many people, working with affirmations has made a big difference in their practice, but sometimes we need a little more kick, a method that is a little more direct.  This is where Sigilry can help.  We know that the language of the subconscious is symbolism.  That's why your dreams don't always make sense, because they are often messages from realms of reality where conversations take place on a telepathic level (which means sharing entire perceptions instead of just words).  When these messages filter down to your mind your subconscious scours your memory to find images that are symbolic of the original message, things that could be interpreted in a way that would most accurately express the content of the original message.  So then wouldn't it make more sense to give your subconscious commands in its own language?  Well, that's what Sigilry does.  A Sigil is essentially a magickal symbol that has been imbued with an intention and charged with your personal power. 

The formation of a Sigil starts much the same way as the formation of an Affirmation does, you start with your intention.  Like Affirmations, you want to create an intention that is positive, present tense, meaning you don't want to include any negative words (no, not, won't, can't, etc.) and you want to write it as if what you're intending has already happened (so instead of "I will easily project out of my body" you would write "I easily project out of my body").  And, as with affirmations, you want the intention to be short and to the point without any unnecessary words.  The most important part is to make sure that your intention is completely unambiguous, you don't want to leave any room for misinterpretation.  It's somewhat of a cosmic joke that you get what you ask for (like wanting to grow spiritually but leaving that spiritual bit out and wind up gaining 3 inches on your waist line).  So write and rewrite your intention a number of times to make sure that it says exactly what you want it to.   

From here, things move away from typical Affirmation formation, so I will include a short tutorial.

I was a member here a little less than a year ago under a different username.  A few months back I met with one of the psychic readers that I work with and she helped me confirm some intuitive information I was receiving in regard to myself.  Basically that I needed to take a break from all pursuits "metaphysical" and with good reason.  At the time I was coming up on almost 7 months of intense psychic/spiritual/energetic training.  My guidance had been trying to tell me to take a break.  I didn't quite get the message and this need to stop and reflect manifested as a very dissociated and unfocused practice.  I pretty much started to branch off in too many directions at once and spread myself way too thin.  When I spoke to the reader I work with she told me that energetically I had shifted my frequency up, but my body and mind hadn't caught up yet.  

So, I took a break from my work, which included AP work.  AP was one of the first practices that I really undertook seriously. I have been practicing for about 3 years off and on, but its been just recently that I have started to REALLY work at it.

I have been practicing almost everyday (sometimes class and work won't allow it....time) for a couple of weeks (it was my new years' resolution).  I've also been studying magickal practice and the other day I decided to create a Sigil (kind of like an advanced/complex method of using affirmations) to show me the next step to take in order to achieve conscious exit AP.  The next day (yesterday) I got an urge to Google AP eBooks and I was somehow lead to Astral Pulse, specifically the Frank Kepple posts. I read through his "walkthrough" of the gateway disc and I got a great big kick in the head (it literally felt like it) from one of my power animals (a jack-rabbit....thus the kick). I stopped to listen and she yelled, "that's it!! this is the way you need to practice!"  

Later last night I went and spoke to her in our usual setting and she told me that she had been trying to find a way to show me that I wasn't really letting my body fall to the background when I practice and that I needed to find a way to work that would engage my mind more.  I had used Monroe's discs before but I think incorrectly.  She said my Sigil gave her a good opening to lead me in the right direction.  

Needless to say, I'm excited to be working toward conscious exit AP again and I look toward to further interaction with the forum.

Also. Thank everyone here who makes this possible. I really do appreciate it.