Out of Body Experiences & Astral Travel

Many people have had what is known as Out-of-Body (O.O.B.) experiences. Unfortunately few are willing to admit to these let alone discuss them. Fear of being thought of as deranged is the usual reason. Usually the experience is amazing, and is often unwanted. Whoever experiences this will never forget it. For almost all, it will change their perception of life forever and almost certainly any fear of death they had harboured will be dispelled. For many years I didn’t discuss my own experience (described below) except with my family members, and it was for the same reason, I was afraid of being seen as an oddity, or worse a liar. Some ten years passed before I mentioned it one evening at a friend's, and that was because another guest related a story similar to mine.

My experience differed to most in that it happened, not as a result of being in hospital or being ill. Evidence suggests that most O.O.B. experiences happen whilst under anaesthetic. These people usually describe their experience as hovering at ceiling height and looking down on their inert body. They can describe this in the minutest detail. Some who are near to death will continue the journey, which is described as moving at speed through a long dark tunnel. They see a light at the end of the tunnel as they are propelled towards it.

On emerging into the light they are enveloped in an overwhelming sensation of love and peace. Sometimes, at this stage, relatives or friends may welcome them. They are also aware of a glowing figure or immense light and may even be shown the present life they have experienced with all the wrongdoing as well as blessings. In the case of those under anaesthesia it seems that if the operation if successful, this is the point at which they return to their body. Those who have ‘travelled’ as far as this, return and will live their lives with different standards and values than they perhaps once did.

Whilst most people have a variation on the theme, all experience joy and peace. Many, like myself, do not wish to return to their bodies. They are usually given a choice, but some are told, as I was, that their task on earth is not complete. Many people believe that Jesus Christ is seen by them and/or speaks with them. Of course a spiritual being, encompassed in golden light, in such circumstances as these, is likely to prompt this feeling. Without wishing to be pedantic, or disbelieving, I think that it is more likely to be a guide from a higher level. When you consider how many people are at near death or having O.O.B. experiences on a Global level, it is highly unlikely that Christ would appear to every soul, whilst a personal guide or guides almost certainly would.

Long after I experienced my own O.O.B. I heard of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, an international researcher into the paranormal. She is an American doctor, psychiatrist and scientist and lends credence to O.O.B. experiences as she experienced this personally. Kubler-Ross researched some 20,000 cases for corroborative evidence. There are many books which have been written about this subject in great depth.

At midnight, a young couple had taken the last puppy of a litter of ten from Birmingham. Only hours before that, Paul, my husband, had motored hundreds of miles to fetch my parents here-my mother was again extremely ill.

Having had to hand-rear the litter of puppies because their mother had had kidney failure, I was already exhausted when my parent’s arrived. My mother looked dreadfully ill and could not eat solid food, so, having cooked a Sunday lunch, I liquidised her food before feeding her. Once everyone's Sunday lunch had been served up, I couldn't face eating my own. Placing it in the oven I said 'I'll eat later- I must lay down as I feel deathly tired.'

Some ten minutes later I lay down on the bed, fully dressed, but expecting to sleep. It was 1.1Opm. I was trying not to dwell on where I would find the energy to nurse my sick mother, as well as looking after the rest of the family. All I knew was that I was totally out of steam and near cracking up. Then, barely before I’d had time to close my eyes I suddenly found myself hurtling through the tree-tops opposite our home and on, into an azure sky.

I passed into a scene of unimaginable beauty, vivid with colour I’d never seen on Earth. Filled with an indescribable peace and joy, and touched with a sense of awe, realising a strange nirvana betwixt life and death. I knew that I was dying. Whilst I saw no one, I sensed an overwhelming Presence of Love. Then I heard a voice neither male nor female-just a voice, strong and sure. 'It's your choice. You are free to decide, although your tasks on the Earth plane are not complete. Have faith. You will be granted strength.'

I remember weeping tears of joy, whilst begging this 'entity' permission to stay where I was. I wished to stay within this wonderful place of peace and joy. Yet even as I longed for this oblivion from earthly tasks and pain, my mother's face swam into my sub-conscious and I knew that I must return. She was totally dependent upon me.

At the exact instant of the 'knowing thought' from my higher self, my spiritual body zoomed once more into the inert shape, which was the physical me, still lying on the bed. It felt as though a strong elastic band had catapulted me into my own body.

Only twenty minutes had passed since I had entered the room and experienced what felt like a lifetime. I knew I had not been asleep. Brushing away the tears which still clung to my cheeks, I got up from the bed and went back downstairs to the family.

Nor could I hide the peace and joy, which still engulfed my entire being. I was aware of radiance surrounding me. I told my husband was had happened to me and later, my parents. They could all see the radiance for it showed in my eyes and demeanour. The promise of received strength was not in vain. Six months passed of nursing my mother back to health. Just as she returned to her own home, without warning, my husband and finally my daughter succumbed to illness. Both were hospitilised. It was amazing, but I rarely felt tired and my strength continued, as did the feeling of peace and joy for a long time after that out- of- body experience. It remains something I cannot write about without becoming emotional.

It is strange now to realise that for fear of being thought insane I dare not tell other than family-not for years. Now so many people are coming forward to tell of similar experiences. Yet, there will always be those who doubt. But to those who have experienced it there is no doubting, and their lives take on a new maturity, an inner knowledge which confounds fear of death. In a life of many small miracles and strange happenings, my out-of-body experience remains for me perhaps the most joyous and profound spiritual event of my life. It surpassed the joy of becoming a mother and even the delight of discovering my healing gift.

This is something we all do, whilst asleep. Although few are aware of their spirit/soul leaving their physical body to visit people and places. Others remember with great clarity, vivid psychic dreams which strangely ‘come true’ in their waking state. They may wonder how they knew this or that event had taken place. This is usually where a soul has undertaken astral travel. If this happens during the daytime when the sleep time is more of a short, but deep nap, the effect can be rather frightening. The physical body can feel imprisoned, or held down by a great weight and though one is aware of being partially awake, feels powerless to move. This happens when the spirit has not completely returned to the physical.

On holiday in the Canaries I awoke in the early hours having had a vivid ‘dream’. I’d driven back to my childhood village, some 400 miles away and parked the car near one of my parent’s neighbours. Busy locking my car, another neighbour approached me and said ‘You can’t park there…Stan is being buried today.’ I asked her if my mother knew, but she didn’t answer, just looked at me oddly. (My mother had been dead for some years). So I moved the car and went towards my parent’s home where I saw my mother standing outside her gate with Stan. They were bathed in light and smiling. The shock pulled me out of my dream state and I knew that Stan must have passed over. When I returned home a letter was waiting from that neighbour to tell me Stan’s funeral was on the very day I’d dreamt…I could only have ‘known’ this by seeing it during astral travel.

I have had so many dreams concerning close friends in which I have been with them, in my dream state and when I awake, have realised they must be experiencing great problems, illness or near death. When contacting them they have, without fail, confirmed what I’d felt during my dream state.

One patient with whom I enjoy a particularly close friendship has stated that she has been woken up from deep sleep, aware that I was standing by her bed. She said she knew it was me, as she recognised my voice and I’d said to her ‘Don’t worry-you will be all right.’

Scarlett, my Irish Setter was probably my first 'patient'. Though at the time (24 years ago), I did not consciously realise I was giving her healing. She’d succumbed to nephritis when she was pregnant..and we almost lost her.

Twelve years passed and the onset of age brought many problems. The inevitability of having to put Scarlett to sleep could no longer be delayed. For almost a year she had been incontinent, with some paralysis of the back legs and heart problems. She was almost totally blind and, unable to take even a sedate walk, sought dark places as animals do when they know their time on earth is over.

The day I arranged to take her to the vet, our children took her daughter Lara for a walk so that she would not see her mother leave the home and bed they had shared for so many years. Long ago I'd decided that she'd be buried on the common land where we'd been so happy. Here, she had chased skylarks hidden in the heather, and I had been content to watch as she ran hell for leather, her glorious red-burnished coat, shimmering like fire, for then she had glowed with health and love of life.

So it was, that when her time came, loving gentle arms held her. I had lost a wonderful companion, one with a huge heart. We drove her to her final resting-place that day. As my husband dug the grave, I waited, her inert body lying across my lap, growing steadily colder. Finally, when the moment was right, she was buried deep on the land she had loved, amongst the cool ferns.

On arriving back at our home, we were told by our children that Lara, used to taking walks without her mother had howled and howled for ten minutes whilst on the common earlier. It was at the exact time that her mother was being put to sleep. She did not look for her around the house; somehow she knew! The next few days proved crucial as Lara grieved and we thought we might lose her too. Strangely, she only began to settle down after I took her to walk on the common. It was almost as if she needed to be certain her mother was not there and to say a goodbye, although we did not go near the grave.

Three weeks elapsed, then one night I awoke in the early hours, tears streaming down my cheeks at the vivid remembrance of my nightmare. My husband, though alarmed at my obvious distress, dismissed my 'dream' of seeing Scarlett on top of the grave, empty sockets, where once brown eyes had shone...'Impossible', he'd said. 'She was buried far too deep.' But, within forty-eight hours, this terrible nightmare was to be repeated. I awoke hearing her keening and wept, unable to dispel the strong feeling that her spirit was not at peace.

Later that day I took Lara for a walk, visiting Scarlett’s grave for the first time in two weeks. Here my nightmare became grim reality. Fighting nausea, I looked with horror on the scene. Her once beautiful coat, was now handfuls of dull red hair scattered across heather and briars surrounding the grave that had been carefully camouflaged.

Many large stones had been torn away and there, just as I'd foreseen in my nightmares, was the once proud and elegant head of my beloved Irish Setter, cruelly displayed to an uncaring world. Her eyes, sightless sockets taunted me, my nightmare was grim reality.

The shock was total. More devastating than her expected demise. She was re-buried and covered with quick lime and more heavy stones. I did not understand then how I could have had such an accurate dream. It was not even pre-cognitive for it had already happened. It was true that even as a child such inexplicable 'incidents' had often occurred.

Years later, and with more knowledge of the esoteric, I came to the conclusion my own Higher Self had tuned in to the event which I have described, whilst in the dream state. This was a clear case of Astral Travelling.

Many years later we had another dog whom we called Elsa join our family. She never left our side and could be taken anywhere without a lead. However, there was one place she absolutely refused to walk-and that was anywhere near the common where we had always exercised our dogs. I have no explanatin for this, unless she was ‘tuning’ into that past event. Friends looked after her on one occasion and we warned she would go anywhere except the common. Not believing us, they took Elsa for a walk there. Having released her from her lead, she immediately fled back home. After that, we never again tried to persuade her to go near the common.

This article was first published in 1986 in the first edtion of the magazine Beyond Science

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