Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Thursday, October 13, 2011

OBE Adventures

During October SpookFest, we have enjoyed sharing paranormal and folklore books about ghosts, haunted places, zombies, and whatever else goes bump in the night. We all know that disembodied spirits of the dead roam the earth at night in search of some or other spooky thing--at least in ghost fiction. But is it really possible to leave one's physical body and travel the astral plane while still alive? Several authors say so. At least two have books in the Evergreen Indiana catalog (you know where to click to see each of them).

In the field of psychical research, there is an extensive literature discussing out-of-body experiences (OBEs, sometimes OOBEs), or astral projection. This is the purported ability of certain persons to separate their consciousness from their physical bodies. There have been extensive examinations of the available source materials by respected researchers (see, e.g., Crookall, Robert. The Study and Practice of Astral Projection. University Books, 4th ed., 1973; Rogo, D. Scott. Leaving the Body: a Complete Guide to Astral Projection. Fireside, 1983; Sidgwick, Eleanor, Gurney, Edmund, Myers, Frederic W.H., etalPhantasms of the Living. University Books, 1962), and OBEs are a common feature to near-death experiences (NDEs).

There is something to be said, however, for the first-person approach to the subject, and the two books featured in our book trailer provide this insightful perspective. The video showcases two books: The Projection of the Astral Body by Sylvan Muldoon & Hereward Carrington (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc., © 1969, 1973) and Journeys Out of the Body by Robert A. Monroe (New York: Broadway Books, © 1971, updated 1977). 

As William Shakespeare aptly observed,

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

When a cat quotes Shakespeare, it's serious business.

OBE is Easier to Say Than OOBE,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Astral Plane News Beat

P.S.  When Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues wrote "Legend of a Mind," which was included on the album In Search of the Lost Chord (1968), he was, of course, thinking of pioneering humanistic psychologist Timothy Leary, who believed that controlled experimentation with psychedelic drugs could unlock hidden human potentials and might furnish insights into, and ultimately lead to cures for, mental illness.  In his song, however, Thomas was not advocating the use of LSD or any other consciousness-altering substances.  Rather, he was gently poking fun at Leary and the "establishment's" rather severe negative reaction to his teachings.  The song's opening line, "Timothy Leary's Dead," is a simple reference to Leary's philosophical exploration of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.  Thomas playfully imagined Leary running a pilot-for-hire service in San Francisco, offering to take passengers in a World War I-style biplane on sightseeing tours around the Bay.  He thought it was a cute musical joke and was gratified when he learned, years later, that Timothy Leary himself was much amused by the song.  I can't think of a more suitable musical closer for a blog post about two books exploring astral projection.  I'd prefer a video with just the music playing (with maybe a picture of the album cover), rather than all the images somebody else has affixed to the song.  While it's an interesting visual interpretation, I would rather imagine my own visual responses to the music.  But maybe that's just moi.

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