Astral projection (OOBE, out of the body experience)

is a popular area of occult literature; for traveling to see

other worlds and places while the physical body sleeps or is

entranced is an exciting notion. Astral projection is not

dangerous. It is as safe as sleeping. Most dreams are probably

unconscious astral projections, anyway. Although there has

been quite a bit written on the subject, astral projection

is difficult for many people. The main difficulty is the

tendency to forget dream consciousness upon awakening.

Accordingly, the successful practice of astral projection

requires work.

Modern psychology discounts the idea of actual OOBE

(that the spirit temporarily vacates the physical body).

However, the idea is very ancient. The Tibetans have an

entire system of yoga (dream yoga) based upon astral

projection. And here we have an important assumption: you are

involved in an OOBE (at least to a degree) whenever you

dream. What sets it apart from a full OOBE is your hazy

consciousness during the experience and poor recall

afterwards. Many people forget most of their dreams

completely. Learning astral projection requires a kind of

inner mental clarity and alertness.

Dreams are a door to the subconscious which can be

used for psychological and spiritual insight, and sometimes

for precognition. Dream content is influenced by external

sounds and sensations. For example, a loud external noise

(such as a train) will likely appear in your dream (if it

doesn’t wake you up!). Dreams are also influenced by events

of the previous day, by your moods, and by suggestion.

Everyone normally dreams 4 or 5 times a night (about every 2

hours). The longest dreams occur in the morning. Everyone

dreams. You are more likely to remember the details of your

dream when you first wake up. By keeping a dream diary you

will improve dream recall. Have writing equipment or a tape

recorder at your bedside for this purpose; also a light

which isn’t too bright. Suggest to yourself several times

before you go to sleep, “I will awaken with the knowledge of

a dream.” Then when you do awaken, move quietly (sometimes

just turning over drives the idea away). Remember first,

then write the dream down, and then add as many details as

possible. The next day check for objective facts and expand

if you can (by remembering ‘what happened before that’). Once

you start remembering your dreams in this way, it will

become easier to do so. (If you are unsuccessful at this,

and *really* want to remember your dreams, you could

arrange for someone to sit by your bedside all night long

with a dim light on. Then when he sees your eyes moving back

and forth — rapid eye movements, a sign you are dreaming —

he can wake you and ask for a dream report.)