By SYLVAN J. MULDOON AND HEREWARD CARRINGTON
“In my opinion, it is this notion of a subtle body, which for so many centuries has played the dominant rile in the traditional psychology of both the East and the West, that is most deserving of being retried, reviewed and revised, to serve as a working hypothesis to co-ordinate and explain a very large number of these puzzling psychical phenomena.”
- R. S. Mead, in The Subtle Body.
“These self-projections represent the most extraordinary achievements of the human will, and are perhaps acts which a man might perform equally well before and after death.”
- W. H. Myers, in Human Personality
WHEN my first out-of-the-body experiences occurred I was but twelve, so young and immature in mind that I did not realize their magnitude. The occurrences came about involuntarily and repeated themselves frequently, until I became so accustomed to them that, as a matter of fact, I soon regarded them as nothing extraordinary and seldom mentioned them even to members of my own family, to say nothing of keeping a record of them, although I had been urged to do so by many interested persons. I had been told, by persons professing to know, that conscious projection of the astral body was nothing unusual, and that many psychics could produce it at will. I, too, wanted to be able to produce it at will, and I admit that I was envious of those who (I had heard) could do so. So I began a search for some one who could produce the phenomenon voluntarily. But my search proved fruitless, and eventually I concluded that I could not find that “someone.” Thus I began to experiment with the phenomenon myself, and in this book you will find the results of my experiments.
Although we are living in the twentieth century we still have with us the intolerance of the Middle Ages, and I am not optimistic enough to believe that a great many will read without prejudice what I have to say, I have written this work with the idea of giving the results of my findings to other students of the occult. Unfortunately many occultists are of the belief that what is claimed to be conscious astral projection is nothing more nor less than a dream. I am well aware of the fact that one must first experience conscious astral projection before he can believe in it, and I confess that I should not accept it as true myself, perhaps, had I not experienced it and know it to be true. The sceptic says, “I want the proof, the objective proof, then I will believe it! “ And the projector replies, “You cannot have objective proof. You must experience, it, then you will have the proof.” The argument that the projector cannot prove to the sceptic that it is not a dream is of no avail; for neither can the sceptic prove to the projector that it is a dream. Thus argument is useless; as useless as arguing the matter of a first cause or a last effect! I stand on a clear-cut issue. I say experience it. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” I have not tried to conceal anything nor resorted to pseudo-arguments about the “dangers “involved, which is a common characteristic of most writers on this subject. I have given the specific methods for bringing about , as I know them, and I am willing to have the truth of my statements judged squarely by the results obtained through the practice of these methods. You want proof, and I say you can have it – but you must experience it. You want to know how you can experience it, and I tell you how to go about it. I can do no more. In this volume I have related many of my experiences; however, the experiences I have given do not in any way represent all which I have had; a book this size could scarcely hold the accounts of all of them. I could never have gleaned the information which is contained herein by the few experiences which I have quoted. The average human being is not interested in the experiences of others – he is interested in his own experiences; and I have presupposed, in writing this book, that the reader wishes to know just how the phenomenon is produced, and not merely to read experiences. Although, as I have stated, I am not optimistic enough to believe that many will read what I have to say without prejudice, I am optimistic enough to believe that no one can give the methods which I have outlined a conscientious and thorough trial, and not obtain results. Do not try to judge the book by reason alone. Judge it by experiment. I want no one to accept my word for what I have written. I say experience it! Follow the formulae and judge the merits of my statements afterwards. That is the time to judge afterwards; not in advance! I have been accused of being “superstitious,” because of my belief in astral bodys of the living and astral bodys of the dead. Usually I find that my accusers are themselves superstitious on other subjects! Recently a churchgoer told me that he did not understand how I, or any other person, could believe that he had a “ghost” inside him. Yet this same critic professed to believe the Bible from cover to cover – even that “Christ gave up the ghost “at death. On the other hand the Materialist believes that it is superstition if anyone believes that the mind can exist apart from the brain. His theory is that the brain ‘‘oozes” thoughts, just as the liver oozes bile. And the Materialist (who cannot prove that the brain oozes thoughts) forgets that he cannot prove his argument – and demands proof of the spiritist! If you press the Materialist for proof, he will tell you that by experiment (by experiment, remember) it becomes evident that the brain produces thought. And that is about the very thing the spiritist will tell you, viz., by experiment it is evident that the brain does not produce thought! Both Materialist and Spiritist must throw away “reason” and resort to experiment. And that is all I ask the reader to do, to convince himself of the merits of what I have written: throw away reason and try experi- ment. It is my hope that all who are successful, even those who produce minor results (by following the methods contained herein), will make those results known to me: for I wish to collect the evidence! I take this opportunity to express my thanks to Mr. Carrington for his valuable co-operation and assistance; and to my fiancee, Miss Goodrich, for her help in typing the manuscript. S. M.