Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

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Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Xanth » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:32 am

This is, in my opinion, one of my most important posts I've made on my website. It's about why and how we label our non-physical experiences... and why the very act of labeling really isn't important in the grand scheme of things. Lemme know your opinions and thoughts. :)

http://www.unlimitedboundaries.ca/2012/ ... -physical/

I’ve made posts of this nature in the past, but as I’ve re-read them, they’ve seemed confusing, even to myself! And I wrote them! LOL
So I wanted to see if I couldn’t clarify things further.

I want to explain why “labeling” your experience in an attempt to categorize and define them is a bad idea, especially when you’re just starting out.

When I first started attempting to explore the non-physical, 10+ years ago, I had terms like “out of body experience”, “astral projection”, “lucid dream” and more all knocking around my skull. The only experience I had originally known about were lucid dreams, as I’ve been having those for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until I really started putting the puzzle pieces together within the last 2 – 3 years that I figured out the actual nature of those experiences.

I found that there is one constant, one commonality, that linked all of these, supposedly, separate experiences/labels… dreams, lucid dreams, astral projections, out of body experiences, false awakenings, etc… there is one factor which everyone seems to completely ignore: YOU. Well, more to the point, Consciousness! Because you ARE consciousness. This is why these experiences all feel “different” and “separate”, because the “YOU” is different in each case.

YOU are the label. YOU are the definition.

How did I figure this out? What experiences did I have which gave me this conclusion? I have directly experienced the full spectrum of, what I can only describe as, “levels of awareness” within a single non-physical experience. I have started an experience with a dream awareness (normal dream), then become lucidly aware (lucid dream), then initiated a technique and brought forth my full waking awareness bringing me to an astral awareness (full astral projection). “Awareness”, to me, is a point along this spectrum. At each “level”, it feels like a different and completely separate experience. I can completely understand why people feel this way, but these aren’t experiences which you “have”… they’re experiences which you “are”. There is a vast difference between those two statements.

That spectrum looks kind of like this:

(Keep in mind that these are MY metaphors… MY labels. But I ask you to try and identify these labels in comparison to the ones you use. I try to make the comparison as obvious as I can using words and terms which people “mostly” agree upon. LoL)

“Dream Awareness” …… “Lucid Awareness” …… “Astral Awareness”

On the left of this spectrum, you have the experience which you don’t realize you’re in the non-physical. Essentially, it’s you dreaming… it’s you experiencing a reality that isn’t this physical reality, you just don’t realize that fact. It’s you having a dream awareness. You have to have a very base level of awareness in order to experience this, otherwise you won’t directly experience the event, so you’ll have zero chance of remembering it (which would be any experience taking place to the left of this point). If you’ve ever awoken in the morning with brief flashes of symbols and images from the dreams you had during the night, then you had a dream awareness experience, but you were just on the very cusp of having the bare minimum level of awareness in order to remember the experience.

On the far right, you have the experience which you do realize you’re in the non-physical *AND* you have the same awareness which you have right now while reading this post. You’re wide awake and fully aware of who you are with all your memories of such. THIS experience is what most people (and myself) would consider the “holy grail” of projections. It’s what most people refer to as an Astral Projection. It’s you experiencing the non-physical with an astral awareness.

I should point out, too, that your awareness can move both ways along this spectrum. You can gain awareness, and lose awareness.

So far I’ve described the two ends of the spectrum. Where does a “lucid awareness” fit into all this then?

Well, in the middle is the point where we have become “aware” that we’re in the non-physical and experiencing a reality that isn’t this physical reality. Anything to the left of this point is a “dream awareness experience”, or as most people call them, a “normal dream” (it’s important to point out here that the further right you move from the far left, the more “clear” and “vivid” your experience will become until you actually become lucidly aware). It’s at this point that the only thing you have is a base awareness that you’re in the non-physical. At this time, the closer you can bring your awareness to your full waking awareness, the further to the right you’ll move along this spectrum towards the “astral awareness” (aka, full astral projection). I have some techniques I’ve written about on my website to accomplish this. If you can’t find them, please let me know and I’ll provide the links.

So, as you can see, an astral projection is just a “dream” where you have a full waking awareness. However, don’t let the “just” fool you… what most people consider a “dream”, as I mentioned above, doesn’t exist. There is no such fundamental experience called a “dream”. There is only you experiencing the non-physical unknowingly!

This is why labeling an experience is a waste of time, because they’re all the same experience. What differs is only how consciously aware you are during the experience. This is why I don’t really worry too much if I had a lucid awareness experience or an astral awareness experience, because I know that what’s important is that I was consciously aware in the non-physical! I have a set of goals which I always keep solidly in my mind, so even if I’m only lucidly aware, I still remember enough to do them… such as meeting a guide. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t… but as I said, in the end, I’m happy that I had an experience outside this physical reality.

I have a challenge for anyone who can project. Try to experience the full spectrum of awareness in a single non-physical experience. If you manage it, try to take note how each “level” feels compared to the last.
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Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Jack Reacher » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:14 pm

Good read, and an interesting idea that they are all the same thing. However we sorta have to go into what you mean by physical, and what you mean by non physical.

To me, something non physical is just something that is abstract, like an idea, and only exists in your mind. It does not exist outside of your body and never can. I personally think dreams are like a runaway thought, its you just imganing a new world just like you can in waking life, only you get so engrossed in it that it sorta overtakes everything else. You are essentially exploring something your mind created. So for me, from my point of view, it actually is important to label these as different. For me, a dream is a nonphysical experience as you suggest, but it only takes place in our mind, in our own head. You are not really travelling to another plane or something like that. For me astral projection and out of body experiences, you are actually travelling to a new plane, I might even go so far as to say a physical plane because that would make more sense to me, as it connects you to other objects and entities, thats what physics really is to me. However I don't believe such a plane exists, but if it were I would call it the astral plane, and visiting it is called astral projecting.

I think labelling these things is important for discussion for new comers because most tend to think of astral projection as travelling to a new realm or something, and lucid dreaming which most of us are comfortable with, is creating a world inside our own mind and exploring it.
A particle physicist is a collection of atoms that have gotten together to observe themselves.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Xanth » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:29 pm

That's a good point... and I appreciate your descriptions!

To me, physical and non-physical are simply a point of view. That point of view comes from what you're currently experiencing.
So, for example... the environment you experience when you're projecting feels, at least to me, 100% as physical and real as this physical reality experience does. Likewise, while projecting, this physical reality then feels like the dream. It's strange.

I do completely agree that one needs labels when they're first starting out with this stuff. This stuff is too subjective and abstract to make much headway in it unguided.
It definitely helps to have a meter stick of sorts, although, I also feel that *eventually* one has to learn (as I did) to find your own meter stick to measure your experiences.

It's a part of the learning experience I call "emptying your cup". LoL
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Jack Reacher » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:42 pm

Yeah I see what you mean as waking life being nonphysical and you are sort of right in a sense, everything you see and experience while awake is sorta like a dream, its a projection in your mind. However the phyiscal stuff im talking about exists in its own right, and you exist in that phyiscal plane, your body does, and so does your mind. Your body senses the outside world and projects it in your own space, im really not sure what the medium is for that projection its a huge mystery, but I believe the physical universe is a real and distinct thing that is completely unconscious of us. You sorta just have to get outside your own head to realise this by simply doing activities, interacting with the physical environment.
A particle physicist is a collection of atoms that have gotten together to observe themselves.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Bedeekin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:59 pm

Being a proponent of all the popular methods and the results of therein.. phasing/meditation, WBTB/Sleep Paralysis, Lucid dreaming.. I can only say from experience they are different paths to the same destination; The Non-Physical. Each method results in varied degrees of clarity and subconscious content. That is the only distinction I make.

I first called it coming out of my body.. I didn't have a specific label for the first 10 years... then I read Monroe's book 'Journeys Out of the Body' and took on the OOBE label. I never called it the Astral and have always referred to it as Non-Physical. It seems the most apt description. It has no specific location or set of coordinates like the physical objectively has... the main coordinate being 'me'. ;)
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby ChopstickFox » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:19 pm

I didn't start putting labels or anything until a few months ago when I started checking out Astral Pulse.

I wanted to experience the non physical soooooo badly, but as I learned all the different terms and labels I realized that I had already been there. Constantly. Day by day. It's all the non physical, just different clarity while you are there. Certainly the different words are good for pin pointing the amount of clarity you had while there, but the point is that it is all the non physical. I realized that despite not having the exact same experiences, I could still connect with everyone and that's probably the most exciting part of all.

There's my take on it... Same place, different clarity.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Jack Reacher » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:36 pm

I don't think we should be so loose with the term nonphysical though, at least I won't be anyway. The way I see it, nonphysical stuff is basically abstraction, things like concepts, ideas numbers, stuff that doesn't really exist in any physical form at all...hence non physical. To say I want to explore the non physical to me is to delve into a world of abstraction, something you can't ever really experience in any way.

Now whether his dream world is somehing physical in some way is actually an extremely interesting question for me as it sorta breaks the whole Physicalist/Reductionist perspective that many philosophers seem to be assuming in this day.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby ChopstickFox » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:42 pm

Words are stubborn little buggers, aren't they? @_@
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Jack Reacher » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:21 am

This might be slighlty off topic, but heres an interesting idea that I had instead of using words to express a view across.

Imagine you have a blank, A3 piece of paper. You start drawing tiny, discrete/disjoint seperate circles, each one representing some individuals unique belief system (this isnt to scale)

Now you draw slightly bigger circles and some overlap, as some belief systems share properties or ideas, some ideas in those little systems arent shared and are the parts that dont overlap.

Now we are moving on to much bigger circles for religions, huge religions that overlap and mingle, other huge religions that are entirely seperate. Now we have other circles, remember this is all on the same page and all circles are just on random parts of the paper, we have circles for philosophies and ethics, morals and spiritual beliefs.

Right, so we have a pretty messy picture, clearly there are a lot of circles that are seperate so not everyone can be right, too many contradictions to be made. Where is the truth then?

For me, in my opinion, the truth is in the gaps, between the circles. Its all sitting on the truth. So what is this truth? This truth is simply the paper. Thats it. Theres nothing really there except a void for a physical thing. Thats all there is. Everything else, all those circles, are simply ideas that humans came up with and put on the paper. To me, the truth is a pretty boring thing, its almost non existent. We are all sperate, all alone, bounded simply by our own ideas and delusions (but still bounded mind you)

For you, I think what you are saying me is that there is one huge circle that encompasses everything, and thats the truth.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Methiculous » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:30 pm

I think of lucid dreaming as a scale on a continuum too. Perhaps a level from 1 to 10, 1 to 100, or 1,2,3 as Xanth described and there are infinite degrees between the numbers like 1.3 or 2.6. So whatever the scale we use it is just arbitrary, but the two extremes and the middle are the ones to take notice of and label for the sake of understanding it better. And there are many subtle levels of awareness in between.

I think I have experienced the full spectrum in a single dream before, but perhaps not the way you would think. It started non-lucid, I then became aware, but the dream was vague, and then it started to fade. I thought, ah well, I should just probably wake up. When I did, I quickly realized that it was a false awakening and this time it was extremely real and I was fully awoken and conscious in my thinking. And as a result the dream was more vivid and stable too. It was by accident, but I was moving up the scale closer to the right side. And I think we have all had the experience of moving down the left side too during a lucid dream. I sometimes become engrossed in it and lose my awareness and start dreaming non-lucidly again.

So if you find yourself in a lucid dream and it is not stable and vague and you want to make it clear, the best thing to do is find a way to awaken 'you' in the dream with all your current sense of 'self' in the dream. The rest will all fall into place on it's own if you do that. I just realized this now, so I don't know what method works.

(I emphasized 'current' sense of 'self' because even in a non-lucid dream we have a sense of self. However it is not the same as your waking sense of self awareness. Just last night in my non-lucid dream I was 16 years old and believed it. It was very vivid otherwise. And in some lucid dreams I am not fully myself and am ageless without an 'ego' I think it is called (again, just a word and label, but I am not 'my waking self' is what I mean.
BUT in the most vivid type of lucid dream or astral plane or whatever you want to call it, I would be thinking with the same rational thoughts I have now.)

So I agree that the main difference that alters the dream is how aware you are of 'you' in the dream or 'waking self'.
I close my eyes and see what I can see, whatever it may be.
It could be the sea, or I could see a bee.
Don't you see? It doesn't matter to me. Just let it be!
(written by a great poet after a dream... ME!)
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Methiculous » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:28 pm

Jack Reacher wrote:For me astral projection and out of body experiences, you are actually travelling to a new plane,


I disagree and think that it only FEELS that way. We never actually went anywhere.
The circles analogy is a good one. We tend to think of truth or the collective conscious and science as the union of all those circles in a vast venne diagram where each circle represents each person's views. But perhaps the real truth was the empty space. Even if we share knowledge and create a website like Wikipedia that seems to make every person omniscient at a fingertip, we can still be wrong. We use to think the earth was flat and it was common knowledge, but belief and truth are not the same. I have no answer. Just saying it is interesting and makes me think.

Bedeekin wrote:I can only say from experience they are different paths to the same destination

I think so too. What is the difference between a lucid false awakening and an Out of Body experience? Perhaps it was just the words and the way the experience started, but the end result is the same.
I close my eyes and see what I can see, whatever it may be.
It could be the sea, or I could see a bee.
Don't you see? It doesn't matter to me. Just let it be!
(written by a great poet after a dream... ME!)
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Xanth » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:35 pm

Michael Scannell wrote:I think so too. What is the difference between a lucid false awakening and an Out of Body experience? Perhaps it was just the words and the way the experience started, but the end result is the same.

Actually, you can't have a lucid false awakening. You can have a false awakening in which you become lucid in... but not a "lucid false awakening". :)

So if you were comparing a false awakening in which you became lucid in to what most people would refer to as an "OBE"... there is no difference.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby astralzombie » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:31 am

In order for me to have my first intentional OOBE, i had to drop many of the labels. I realized that my old belief system was holding me back because some of the common terms were tied to belief systems of their own. This was a huge no-no for my "salvation" at the time.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Xanth » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:08 am

astralzombie wrote:In order for me to have my first intentional OOBE, i had to drop many of the labels. I realized that my old belief system was holding me back because some of the common terms were tied to belief systems of their own. This was a huge no-no for my "salvation" at the time.

Yes! And that's actually going to be the subject of my next website post...

Your cup runneth over... you must empty it first!

I found that it was the only way for me to actually begin to progress on my own. I had to ditch everything I already thought to be true about projection.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Methiculous » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:29 pm

Xanth wrote:Actually, you can't have a lucid false awakening. You can have a false awakening in which you become lucid in... but not a "lucid false awakening".


Yea, its a contradiction of terms. IT would be a lucid awakening not a false one. But I use that label for myself because I still don't think I am out of body. Even if I look back and see one lying in bed.

Sometimes it takes a little while to realize it is a dream and hence a false awakening that becomes lucid, but I have also experienced this:
I felt the familiar onset of sleep paralysis, body slumps and relaxes like its a rag-doll and falls slightly, vibrations, and all that (and it is different every time). I waited for a dream to start and suddenly all the sensations just stopped. I was laying in bed with my eyes closed and thought, maybe I'm already asleep? (Because I have gotten use to this now. Sometimes a dream scene never starts.) So I get up and sure enough it is just like a false awakening, but I knew it before I even opened my eyes. And it's the same as any false awakening that becomes lucid soon after.

So for my own personal label I have been calling then lucid false awakenings which others would call a genuine out of body experience.
THIS demonstrates why labels are important. Not to learn how to practice this sort of thing (in fact I agree with others that it gets in the way), but to be able to share the experience afterward without confusion.
I close my eyes and see what I can see, whatever it may be.
It could be the sea, or I could see a bee.
Don't you see? It doesn't matter to me. Just let it be!
(written by a great poet after a dream... ME!)
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Xanth » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:36 pm

Michael Scannell wrote:
Xanth wrote:Actually, you can't have a lucid false awakening. You can have a false awakening in which you become lucid in... but not a "lucid false awakening".

THIS demonstrates why labels are important. Not to learn how to practice this sort of thing (in fact I agree with others that it gets in the way), but to be able to share the experience afterward without confusion.

But this only comes after you've had, at least, several of your own experiences. Before that point, it's best to not have any preconceived notions about what something is before you experience it yourself.

It's like asking someone to describe to you what an orange TASTES like. They can tell you using all these descriptive words and labels, yet you'll still not KNOW for yourself. You need to actually taste the orange yourself in order to KNOW. :)
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby ChopstickFox » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:09 am

When it comes to false awakenings, I think all of my conscious exits have been from them. I believe I am awake, but upon actually waking I might realize something was a little different.

The irony that I might be out of body sometimes and not realize it... gah

Now, a lucid false awakening... I guess it would turn into something else at that point. It's usually a "Oh man... I'm not awake" and if that's not enough to wake myself up, I'll just not care and go along my business.
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby Zagadka » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:03 pm

Jack Reacher wrote:To me, something non physical is just something that is abstract, like an idea, and only exists in your mind.

And what if what we consider as an abstraction (thought, emotion, ideas) in the physical reality... can take forms in the non-physical and become physical in there? In a projection, you can think something and that idea will turn into a reality. It's dark? Think "It's sunny and the sky is blue" and the thought will manifest. In both the physical and the non-physical, I think what we percieve are "symbols". I have had countless psychedelics experience where I could not understand what I was seeing and experiencing, it seemed like levels beyond the usual dream symbolism. I believe our normal consciouness tend to communicate with us in a language we speak.

Personally, I believe that "we are the Consciouness experiencing itself through the Consciounness, within the Consciouness and for the Consciounness".
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Re: Labeling Experiences of the Non-Physical

Postby CFTraveler » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:56 pm

Archetypes. I'm just sayin'.
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