Quintessence of the Loon

Out-Of-Body Experiences
November 1999
A Quintessence Special Report

The motivation for this special report can be found at the bottom of the page.

Go where you wanna go, be what you wanna be, yeah!AstralNauts
Here's a really handy place to meet some of the astral travellers, find out what getting outside your body means, and even getting some tips and techniques for travelling. I particularly like the method where you keep hitting the "snooze" button on your alarm clock and go back to sleep. You keep doing this until you can roll out of the bed and leave your real  body behind (connected by a silver cord through which you draw energy). You might be concerned that you could keep doing this and miss the bus to work. Don't worry - just tell the boss that you clocked on in ethereal form. Most bosses will understand (mine does), but if you get fired you can always project over to the union office.

The silver thread broke! The AstralNauts are now AstralNaughts.
PB March 2002

A synchronised brainThe Monroe Institute
Why get something for free when you can pay for it? The Monroe Institute does not promise out-of-body travel, but the Hemi-Sync® process can apparently get you ready for it by realigning your brain activity. All of this takes place in a lovely sylvan setting where you can relax, meditate and focus your states of consciousness by shifting phases.

Lots of good stuff here.Reice Sosoe's Metaphysical Website
Reice's place not only has out-of-body stuff, but you can find ESP, chakras, auras, pyramids and all sorts of other interesting subjects. There is a comprehensive set of instructions for learning how to project your astral self, and also for meditation. I would like to point out to Reice that calling a meditation technique "simpleton" may give people the wrong idea about the practitioner. I do like the coloured chakras, though, and I am managing to control my spleen.

Zing go the strings of my brain.BrainWave Generator
Another brain aligner. These people say that this is not really for out-of-bodying, but everyone else seems to mention the thing so it is here by popular demand.

Why a rose? Why not?The Astral Pulse
There is something about the name "Robert" which seems to attract people to the OBE business. Here is another example, Robert Bruce, who has written a book all about the subject. A feel for the book can be gained from the following passage: "The real key lies, I believe, in understanding the relationship between OBE and physical body/brain memory storage. To be more precise, it is the downloading of the projected double’s delicate shadow memories into more accessible levels of the physical brain than normally occurs during the reintegration of the projected double with its physical counterpart.

"After an OBE, the only enduring part of the experience is the memory of it. If that memory becomes lost, then there is nothing left to indicate a projection ever occurred. Therein lie both the problem and the solution."

Precisely. Mind-body problem solved!

Up she goes!International Institute of Projectiology and Conscientiology
I love the name of this institution. As at other sites, there are instructions on how to achieve OBE, and much information about research into the phenomenon. Again, I will quote from the site to give a feel for its contents: "The conventional science discarded the concept of the consciousness approximately 300 years ago, when it embraced the materialist-reductionist-newtonian-cartesian-physicalist paradigm - recognized by many as being outdated. Conscientiology and Projectiology offer the consciential paradigm as the inevitable contemporary successor".

Precisely. Mind-body problem revived!

In November 1999, a challenge was issued to the newsgroup alt.out-of-body by a skeptic, Garrison Hilliard. The challenge was simply stated as: "Please provide evidence that oobe's are anything other than delusions, hallucinations, or outright lies". You can see that this request does not deny the possibility that out-of-body experiences (oobe) happen. There is no doubt that some people have subjective experiences which seem like they have left their physical bodies and travelled to somewhere else. There are other people, however, who claim that actual travel takes place - that something really leaves the physical body and goes elsewhere. We all have dreams. This challenge was not to the dreamers, but to those who claim that sometimes what look like dreams are memories of real events.

Not much was decided, and the debate quickly descended into name-calling and ad hominem attack. Personal offence was taken and much "proof" of the "it happened to me!!" kind was offered (although proof had not been requested, only evidence). Mr Hilliard was accused, among other things, of cloning himself everywhere on the Internet, being a pornographer, and using some kind of spiritual vampirism to suck out people's souls. You can follow the story at Google Groups, but as of this writing (5 December 1999) no evidence had been offered and no agreement on what could constitute evidence had been reached. In fact, the word "evidence" is never used, as there seems to be an absolute and unquenchable refusal to recognise that the words "evidence" and "proof" are not synonymous.

My interest was piqued when I looked at some of the web sites where "proof" could be found, because they looked a lot like Quintessence candidates. I finally decided to bring a collection of them together. Spreading them over the coming months would have been unfair to other potential Loon of the Month candidates.

(Someone suggested that I should post some of the madder statements from the newsgroup here. I won't do this for three reasons. First, this site is about what people say and do on their web sites, not what they do elsewhere on the Internet or in real life. Secondly, the sheer volume of nonsense made selection of a representative sample difficult. Thirdly, I did not want to stand accused of selective quoting to make people look even sillier than they are. The whole thing is archived at Google Groups where everything is in context.)

Some of the newsgroup regulars tried to simultaneously project and meet at the Taj Mahal on the night of the coincidence of December solstice, full moon and lunar perigee (see December 1999). I went along to meet them, and here is my report.

I am there. It shines before me in brilliant moonlight against an ink-dark sky. Figures stand silhouetted against the marble backdrop, but I cannot make out their features from this distance.

I move towards the first silhouette and gradually it takes on form. I see the cloven hooves, the tail, the horns. I detect a smell of brimstone and see the vague outline of letters on the apparition's garment. It looks like "GH", but I can't be sure - it seems to change from time to time. I hear a voice and then the words become clearer. It is a riddle, repeated over and over. I can only catch the first few words: "Please provide evidence ...".

I move back from the sight and towards the second silhouette. It assumes the form of a teacher in academic gown. The teacher is closely examining the entrails of a small animal while muttering incantations in a language with such long words that I cannot understand them, yet somehow I know that they are the correct words. I, too, have the spirit of pedantry and I sense that we have met elsewhere.

I move towards the third silhouette. It is a woman. She holds a long object in her hand. I feel desire rising as I approach closer, yet I can make out nothing clearly. I see that she has her back towards me and is performing some operation on the object in her hand. At last she turns her head towards me, but her face is a blur. She turns away again and I can see that she is carving a notch on a bedpost. I realise that I am too late, and slowly recede as my desire abates.

The fourth figure is now in shadow, but as I approach I can hear the tinkling of tiny bells. At last I can make out the form of someone wearing a jester's motley hat of black and gold, with bells on its extremities. The figure points, points and points again. I hear vague words which suggest that the figure is pointing towards the follies of others. Suddenly, moonlight strikes the face of the apparition and I know that I have seen this face before, reflected in the glass.

A bell chimes. Once. Twice. Three times. I am lying in my bed and through the window I can see a full moon of such size and brightness that at first I think I must be dreaming. I am home.

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