One of the major stumbling blocks to astral projection or out of body experience is fear. And the dangers of Astral projection seems to be one of the most common questions asked about the subject.
In 1983 the CIA went to the Monroe Institute and working with the Gateway Programme. Like an episode out of the X Files, they worked on developing a system for using Astral Projection by the American Government for covert operations. The recently released papers prove that even the high ranking scientists in the Organisation recognised the proof and truth of the out of body experience
Highly recommended reading by the Astral Institute. For many years Jonas Ridgeway has being the guiding light to many astral projection researchers with his lively and honest help on his own website and the many astral projection forums that sprung up over the years. For this reason, Jonas has been considered an expert on out of body experiences to a multitude on people around the world
This book is being written for the beginner practitioner. Assuming your knowledge of the subject is limited and will thus offer a simple, step-by-step guide to leaving the body. Although ‘astral projection’ is often used as a catch-all term for any conscious activity occurring outside the body, throughout this work Jonas makes a clear distinction between etheric projections and astral projections.
“By applying the same techniques I use, I believe that anyone can achieve the out-of-body state on a regular basis and with their full critical faculties intact. Surely if I can do it, you can do it (if you really want it). It is only a matter of conditioning, allowing yourself to see the ‘door’ that you never noticed, to realize the freedom that you never knew you had — to edge pass the threshold and beyond matter.”
Within the inner circles of research into out of body states Jonas Ridgeway is a respected contributor to the field.
Lynn K. Russell share with the Astral Institute her thoughts on the Near Death Experience. Lynn is the author of an excellent book called The Wonder of You.
THE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE
Near-death experiences is a very large area of study. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to research 2500 NDEs for NDERF (Near-Death Experiences Research Foundation) and was so thrilled by the information that I wrote the book, The Wonder of You, What the Near-Death Experience Tells You About Yourself. Since then, I’ve learned much more and would like to share a bit of that new knowledge with you.
Marilynn Hughes has experienced, researched, written and taught about Out-of-Body Travel and Mysticism since 1987 and has appeared on innumerable radio and television programs to discuss her thousands of out-of-body experiences. She is featured in the documentary film ‘The Road to Armageddon’ which was released in the Fall of 2012 and has been included in ‘The Encyclopedia of the Unseen World,’ Marilynn was invited to speak at the 2014 Conference for Consciousness and Human Evolution nine Global Scientists, Humanitarians and Mystics are invited to London to speak about the evolution of human consciousness; Marilynn has been the object of a Scientific Study on Out-of-Body Experiences and a subject in a Scientific Study on XPE, Extra-Planetary Experiences.
Q: How did you become interested in Astral Projection?
A: When I was nine years old, I had a mind opening experience and was told that later in my life these experiences would return and God had a mission for me to fulfill. The experiences returned shortly after the birth of my first daughter at the age of 22, and have continued since, I am now 50 years old. I have written over 75 books and 40 magazines on the subject.
Q: Did you have an out of body experience before knowing they existed?
A: Yes, I always had a devout faith, but what happened when I was nine was unprecedented to me. Since I had read the bible and read about other people’s visions in such contexts, I was able to define it in a way for myself although I did not have this terminology at that time.
Q: What do you recall of your first intentional astral projection? Anything odd, unusual, or unexpected?
A: The sheer consciousness of it, it was so beautiful, life-affirming, so clear, so real, so beyond normal daily experience, I knew there would never ever be a way to deny it in my entire life. I woke up in awe of the Lord. My mother thought I was imagining things when I told her, and this had been the most important moment of my life to date. I realized very quickly that these experiences would be something I would not be able to share as openly as I would like. And I realized with great sorrow that at that time, so much of reality is cut off to most of humankind because of their closure to the spirit world. And because of its vast beauty, wonder and knowledge, I considered this tragic.
Q: Can you describe any pivotal early astral projection that really blew your mind? What happened? What questions did those experiences create for you?
A: There really are so many, so I will describe a pivotal experience that I had which was not early on but perhaps a couple of decades into the process. The pivotalness of this experience is in the fact that I shown the secrets of the Catholic Holy Mass and this occurred before my conversion to the faith.
Q: What are the benefits of learning to astral projection?
A: The Out-of-Body Travel Process begins a process of purification within the soul which is essential to our achieving the goal of our incarnation upon this earth.
Q: What do you see as dangers in astral projection and how can people deal with them?
A: The greatest dangers involve wandering spirits, lost souls, dark spirits, evil spirits and actual battles which can occur between principalities and powers. I’d like to recommend that you view the documentary ‘The Road to Armageddon: A Spiritual Documentary’ – http://outofbodytravel.org/theroadtoarmageddon.html – and we also have books on these subjects to help the traveler to learn about these very serious and important pitfalls which can happen: Ghosts and Lost Souls – http://outofbodytravel.org/ghostsandlostsouls.html
Spiritual Warfare, Angels and Demons – http://outofbodytravel.org/spiritualwarfareangelsanddemons.html
Q: After so many years do you find it easier to enter the out of body state?
A: Absolutely, it begins very slowly, but after about 28 years, it comes very much of its own accord.
Q:What does astral projection tell us about the nature of consciousness?
A:That we are infinite, eternal beings, and even more so – because of the simple fact that our lives here remain mortal – that there is a reason and purpose for our existence here which we don’t want to miss. We don’t want to waste time.
Q:Can somebody get caught out of the body and if so, how does one deal with it?
A:If anything goes awry, you call on Jesus Christ for deliverance. Call on his name repetitively. You can also call out ‘Jesus Crucified, Jesus Crucified.’ Recite the ‘Our Father’ prayer which is very powerful, but ASK and it shall be given to you.
Q: Has astral projection ever created a paranormal experience during the normal waking state?
A:Yes, this is a very natural part of all paranormal processes in that they all lead to one another. For a very detailed answer, please read ‘Out-of-Body Travel and Mysticism: A Primer on the Basics of Out-of-Body Experiences and Energetic Law in Out-of-Body Travel and Mysticism – http://outofbodytravel.org/outofbodyhowtobooks/outofbodyandmysticism.html
Q: What are the top things you would recommend to do when out of body?
A:First and foremost, can’t stress this enough . . . ask God to show you the truth regardless of what your previous view of reality may be . . . this gives God permission to teach you.
Q:Can Astral Projection be used to deal with personal development and if so how?
A:In every possible way . . . it is the path of purification, discrimination and discipline. This is the fast track to spiritual awakening, enlightenment, self-evaluation, the overcoming of vice and the embrace of virtue. . . in every possible way. It is the fast track.
Q:Why have you devoted so much time to Astral Projection? What motivates you?
A:I have been instructed to do so in my out-of-body travels, it is my mission in this life to spread as much of the truth about this subject as God makes possible. It is the mission of ‘The Out-of-Body Travel Foundation’ to reduce spiritual and physical hunger worldwide and I will do that until the day I die.
Q:What are the cutting-edge issues in Astral Projection today?
A:My own view of this is that purification is the cutting edge issue. Too many people view this as a phenomena, something to be experimented with, sometimes played with . . .out-of-body travel is a spiritiual practice of the highestcaliber. Spiritual practice requires something of us. We can’t create our own spirituality based on
what we believe to be true and expect it to be fruitful.
Many people will wish to have a spirituality but not require change within themselves. This is not possible. Oftentimes, you will see people actually create their own doctrine around their primary vice.
By so doing, they allow themselves the opportunity to practice a certain sense of ‘spirituality’ which requires nothing of them. They can continue to engage in those things which they know are hindering their path. If you can recognize that the very simple nature of the fact that you are incarnate here in this mortal realm indicates something to you, this can be overcome. You are here, therefore, you’re not done. Now you’re ready . . . allow God to tell you His truth, and detach yourself from what you believe to be true. Thus, truth will emerge of itself.
Q:What do you see as the future of Astral Projection?
A:This process will accelerate the evolutionary progress of the human race if we can reach enough people to begin the actual process for which we were made incarnate here. The possibilities are astronomical in terms of accelerating the actual potential development of the human race into a higher race which would have the possibility of eventually joining the galactic council. We would become Galactic beings. To learn more about this, please read my interview in ‘Extra-Planetary Experiences: Alien Human Contact and the Expansion of Human Consciousness’ –
Highly recommended reading by the Astral Institute. Ever wanted to have an Out-of-Body Experience? An Out-of-Body Travel Experiences Book. Finally, a comprehensive guide to having an Out-of-Body Experiences by someone who has had thousands of them. Never before has the path to having out-of-body experiences been laid out in such an easy to understand and implement fashion. Spiritual Seekers, Out-of-Body Travel . . . this one’s for you!
Find out more about Marilynn by visiting her website at http://outofbodytravel.org
Astral projection, or the ability to separate from the physical body has evolved from a spiritual practice to one which has been researched by modern experimentors, why is science not is taking a more active and serious interest in the subject. Thanks to many main stream movies such as Dr Strange, the term has become quite common in the public domain. Dr Strange explored this in spectacular fashion onscreen, enhanced by cutting-edge computer generated effects.
Astral projection is fun and fascinating — but is it real?
The idea that humans can leave their bodies during dream states is ancient. Countless people, from New Agers to shamans around the world, believe that it is possible to commune with cosmic intelligence through visions, vivid dreams and experienced during astral projection, also known as out-of-body experiences. Surveys suggest that between 8 and 20 percent of people claim to have had something like an out-of-body experience at some point in their lives — a sensation of the consciousness, spirit, or “astral body” leaving the physical body. While most experiences occur during sleep or under hypnosis, some people claim to do it while merely relaxing.
With the work of Robert Monroe the work and techniques to acheive out of body states are becoming more and more refined. Though originally a private, quasi-religious meditative practice it has — like many New Age beliefs — been commercialized. Astral travel can be big business, and there are many books, seminars, DVDs and other materials that promise to teach students how to leave their physical bodies and access other dimensions.
It may be a profound experience, but the fundamental problem is that there’s really no way to scientifically measure whether or not a person’s spirit “leaves” or “enters” the body. The simplest and best explanation for out-of-body experiences is that the person is merely fantasizing and dreaming. Because there is no scientific evidence that consciousness can exist outside of the brain, astral projection is rejected by scientists.
Proving the existence of psychic powers, astral projection or alternative dimensions would earn the dissenting scientists a place in the history books, if not a Nobel Prize. So why has this ability not been accepted as yet.
Science is dogmatic
Alas, science has evolved along with the growth of the enlightenment movement, where science was preceived as a war on superstitions and religion. The new church of science had as one of its tenents a belief in materialism. A vast structure from which any idealogies concerning spiritual or extra-material beliefs had to be violently rejected. The process of scientific study favours a strong atheistic mindset. This mindset filters out open minded researchers in main stream universities and halls of learning. In order to progress in a career in the sciences you have to align to the group think of the community.
The burden of Proof
The simple reply to why out of bodies states have not been proven is mainly due to the fact the all evidence has been rejected out of hand. The work of Charles Tart has gathered enough scientific evidence for these experience, but work by para-psychologists are on the main ignored. The simply response to all research is, it can’t be true, therefore it is not so to give credence to the research is an insult to science. This is called cognitive dissonance, if it does not fit into a person’s beliefs he simply will not believe the evidence.
If you come at the subject with a open mind, then the proof needed comes directly through experience. Graham Hancock requested that Richard Dawkins tried DMT to experience for himself the possibility of other extra sensory states. His paradyme, his career depends on his refusal to accept to change his viewpoint, so he will do anything needed to remain in the bubble he lives in. Stop looking to science to validate what you know from experience. Become a vehicle for your own evolution and leave the scientists to their own.
And happy travels
Denise Linn’s personal journey began as a result of a near-death experience at age 17. Her life-changing experiences and remarkable recovery set her on a spiritual quest that led her to explore the healing traditions of many cultures, including those of her own Cherokee ancestors, the Aborigines in the Australian bush, and the Zulus in Bophuthatswana. She trained with a Hawaiian kahuna (shaman), and Reiki Master Hawayo Takata. She was also adopted into a New Zealand Maori tribe. In addition, Denise lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery for more than two years.
Denise is an internationally renowned teacher in the field of self-development. She’s the author of the bestseller ‘Sacred Space’ and the award-winning ‘Feng Shui for the Soul,’ and has written 18 books, which are available in 29 languages. Denise has appeared in numerous documentaries and television shows worldwide, and gives seminars throughout the world. For information about Denise’s certification programs and other lectures, please visit her Website: www.DeniseLinn.com
Almost all native cultures have traditions of astral travel, which is sometimes referred to as an out-of-body experience. Astral travel is when your spirit is literally separated from your physical body, and it usually occurs during sleep. It’s different from dreaming, as it’s thought to be a tangible experience and not simply an image emerging in your mind during REM sleep. In addition to a sense of separation from the physical body, there’s a self-awareness that’s extremely vivid that accompanies astral travel. Some recount a kind of silver-colored cord attaching the physical body to the astral body during nocturnal sojourns.
There appears to be no research indicating that damage results from consciously leaving your body. In truth, it’s a very natural occurrence. It’s interesting to note that when you’re having an out-of-body experience, you don’t experience time or space as you generally do. You may find yourself slightly ahead or behind of temporal space.
Another unique phenomenon you may notice—when you first leave your body—is that you seem to remain very much in your present physical form. However, the longer you’re separated from your physical body, the less delineated the boundaries of the body become, and your “being” appears to transcend into a cloudlike vapor or some other amorphous substance.
One of the biggest blockages to astral travel is fear. Even the most intrepid of us will discover, upon deeper examination, that at some time we’ve come face-to-face with the wall of fear regarding separating from our body. First and foremost is the fear of death—the frightening notion that if we’re separated from our physical body, perhaps we’ll die. Our automatic reaction may be to get back within the physical body quickly because this is where our life is, in the physical.
We tend to have this reaction in spite of our emotional attitudes and intellectual thought processes. Only after repeating the experience many times can we hope to release the fear of death. It’s much like beginning to swim and eventually realizing that your body will float—that you won’t drown.
Another common fear is “Will I be able to get back into my body?” or “Will something occupy my body while I’m traveling?” I can say with absolute certainty that you will return to your body. There’s abundant evidence that those who experience astral travel are always able to return safely. Also, if you are concerned about entities and your body (which are almost never a problem), imagine an egg-like shield surrounding your body before you go to sleep. This simple visualization makes sure that all is well.
Astral travel isn’t uncommon in Westernized countries. We often have out-of-body experiences yet fail to recall them. (In fact, during sleep, the sensation of a quick jerk may be indicative of a rapid astral reentry into your body.) However, native tribes take out-of-body experiences for granted.
After I gave a lecture about dreams and astral travel in Australia I met with a revered Aborigine elder. When I first saw him, he was wearing traditional kangaroo-skin clothing. Part of his upper body was exposed,showing long, deep scars across his chest made during the ceremony that marked a young boy’s transition to manhood. (Ash had been rubbed in the scars as they were healing to make the scars more pronounced.)
“I heard there was a white woman here from the States talking about dreams and astral travel. I wanted to hear what she had to say,” he said.
“Well, what did you think?” I asked, curious about his opinion.
He replied, “Everything you said was accurate, especially what you said about astral travel. All the old fellas travel in this way; it’s how we stay in touch with each other over the long distances that we live. In fact, we can tell who visited us in the night because we each leave a dusting of the earth from our area. Every area has a different type of soil, so it’s easy to tell where the dust came from. But the young folks have forgotten the old ways.”
He went on to explain that as the senior elder of his tribe, he visited young Aboriginal men in prison and taught them astral traveling. “I teach them how to travel, so even though their bodies are imprisoned, their spirits are free,” he said.
Australian Aboriginal elders, Native American shamans, African sangomas, and many healers in native cultures throughout the world practice astral traveling. Numerous esoteric religions and philosophies are based on this experience.
When I was chatting with Shkotay Maingun (Light of the Wolf), a Cherokee/Ojibwa from Manitoba, Canada, she said that if a traditional healer was not able to physically travel to someone who was in need of healing, he would “travel by clouds.” She said the journey was often arduous and even exhausting to the medicine person, and they needed substantial training to be skilled at this ability.
The pipe carrier would travel in a ceremonial way and enter via the sacred spirit tree in the center of the home. They could not get into the home if they didn’t enter through the tree. (Every home is said to have an invisible, yet very real spirit tree at its center.) Also, the patient needed to prepare for the visit by sleeping with tobacco under their pillow for four days.
Additionally, tobacco and feast food must be laid out as a gift to the spirits who accompany the healer. Shkotay explained that powerful healings could occur in this manner.
The astral body has various names in different cultures:
- The Hebrews call it ruach.
- In Egypt, it’s known as ka.
- The Greeks knew it as eidolon.
- The Romans called it larva.
- In Tibet, it’s referred to as the bardo body.
- Ancient Hindus called it pranamayakosha.
- Buddhists referred to it as the rupa.
- In Germany, it is Jüdel, Doppel-gänger, or fylgja.
- Ancient Britons gave it various terms: fetch, waft, tisk, or fye.
- In Ancient China, it was thankhi.
Some in the scientific community explain astral travel as an ancestral memory from the days when—according to Darwin’s theory—our predecessors were either aquatic or airborne creatures. Psychologists refer to astral dreams as a type of depersonalization, or a means of avoiding being grounded in normal reality. However, anthropologists have found that astral travel is a common event, deeply rooted in indigenous cultures.
The beliefs of the astral traveler determine the pattern of his or her experience. For example, in Eastern Peru, the shaman imagines he’s leaving his body in the form of a bird. Whereas some Asian tribesmen view the silver cord as a ribbon, thread, or a rainbow. Africans perceive it as a rope, the natives of Borneo, as a ladder.
Regardless of how the phenomenon is defined, it appears common among astral travelers that a type of cord is viewed as a connection between the astral and physical body.
Denise Linn’s new book, Kindling The Native Spirit was released last month and is full of ancient sacred practices to enhance your connection to the mysterious forces around you.
Two Varieties of Projection
There are two types or varieties of astral projection: the spontaneous and the experimental. In the former, the individual undergoing the experience merely finds himself projected without knowing how or why; he finds himself outside his own physical body – which he can clearly see – but how he got there he does not know. This usually happens during a traumatic stock or illness.
In the latter, the experimenter makes a determined and voluntary effort to project usually to some definite locality and wakes up, to find himself there, or en route. Of course, the vast majority of such attempts end in failure; successes are extremely rare. Or the subject may be seen by some individual at the locality in question, and remain quite unconscious of his apparent success. Examples of all types or varieties of projection are to be found, together with an analysis of the modus operandi involved, and an explanation of the success or failure, as the case may be.
Let us consider, first of all, a few typical cases of spontaneous projection. This may occur, theoretically, when the subject is asleep, in trance, while under the influence of an anaesthetic, etc. Or it may occur when the subject is awake and conscious, but merely relaxed – at least at the beginning of the experience. A good illustration of this may be found in a book entitled My Travels in the Spirit World, by Caroline D. Larsen, where we read:
Suddenly I underwent a very strange experience. A feeling of deep oppression and apprehension came over me, not unlike that which precedes a fainting-spell. I braced myself against it, but to no avail. The overpowering oppression deepened, and soon numbness crept over me until every muscle became paralyzed. In this condition I remained for some time. My mind, however, was still working as clearly as ever. At first I heard the music (downstairs) plainly, but soon the sounds began to slip away from me by degrees until finally everything became a blank, and I was unconscious to the world. How long this state lasted I do not know. What happened during this period I am also unable to relate. The next thing I knew was that I, myself, was standing on the floor beside my bed looking down attentively at my own physical body lying in it. I recognized every line of that familiar face, pale and still as in death, the eyes tightly closed and the mouth partly open. The arms and hands rested limp and lifeless beside the body. I turned and walked slowly towards the door, passed through it and into a hall that led to the bathroom. Through force of habit I went through the motions of turning on the electric light, which, of course, I did not actually turn on. But there was no need for illumination, for from my body and face emanated a strong whitish light that lighted up the room brilliantly.
This example of a spontaneous out of body experience parallels the early experiences of Robert Monroe when it started to project without any control over the experience. Also we must note the similar reaction to many when to look upon their sleeping body. The stock of being mildly disgusted by their sleeping body is a key point to remember should you ever find yourself looking upon your sleeping self.
One of my own early experiences as I left my body was the moment I was floating over my body and my brother, with whom I shared a room, awoke in the the semi sleep state and looked at my floating body and started to scream. I quickly returned to my body at which point my parent came into the room and asked what happened. My brother sat up and apparently believed he must have had a bad dream, as he could not remember what had frightened him.
In the case published by Dr. I. K. Funk, in his Psychic Riddle, the writer describes how he lost control of his body by reason of a cold stiffness which spread over it, on a number of occasions before having his first conscious projection. On the occasion in question, after these preliminary symptoms, he first of all became momentarily unconscious:
“There came a flashing of lights in my eyes and a ringing in my ears, and it seemed for an instant as though I had become unconscious. When I came out of this state, I seemed to be walking in the air. No words can describe the exhilaration and freedom that I experienced. No words can describe the clearness of mental vision. At no time in my life had my mind been so clear or so free. I became conscious of being in a room and looking down on a body propped-up in bed, which I recognized as my own. I cannot tell what strange feelings came over me; I, this body, to all intents and purposes, looked to be dead. There was no indication of life about it, and yet here I was, apart from the body, with my mind thoroughly clear and alert, and the consciousness of another body to which matter of any kind offered no resistance. After what might have been a minute or two, looking at the body, I began to try and control it, and in a very short time all sense of separation from the physical body ceased, and I was only conscious of a directed effort toward its use. After what seemed to be quite a long time, I was able to move, got up from the bed and dress myself, and went down to breakfast. As to the criticism invariably advanced – that this was a mere vivid dream, the writer says: “I know that many people may think that the statements recorded here are simply the result of an active imagination or perhaps a dream, but they are neither the one nor the other. If the whole world were to rise up it would not make one particle of difference in my mind, as I am absolutely certain that I have been as free from my physical body as I ever will be, and that my life apart from it was far more wonderful than any life I have ever experienced in it.”
The case of Dr, Wiltse is very well known. It was first printed in the St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal, November, 1889, and afterwards in Vol. VIII of the S.P.R. Proceedings. It was also published, in part, in Human Personality. In view of this, only a few brief extracts from this most interesting case will be given referring the reader to the above sources for the full account. After a few preliminary remarks and descriptions, Dr. Wiltse goes on to say:
“With all the interest of a physician I beheld the wonders of my bodily anatomy, intimately interwoven with which, even tissue for tissue, was I, the living soul of that dead body. I watched the interesting process of the separation of soul and body. By some power, apparently not my own, the Ego was rocked to an fro, laterally, as a cradle is rocked, by which process its connection with the tissues of the body was broken up. After a little time, the latter motion ceased, and along the souls of the feet, beginning at the toes, passing rapidly to the heels, I felt and heard, as it seemed, the snapping of innumerable small cords. When this was accomplished I began slowly to retreat from the feet, towards the head, as a rubber cord shortens. As I emerged from the head I floated up and down and laterally like a soap bubble attached to the bowl of a pipe until I at last broke loose from the body and fell lightly to the floor, where I slowly rose and expanded into the full stature of a man. I seemed to be translucent, of a bluish cast and perfectly naked. I directed my gaze (to the bed) and saw my own dead body. It was lying just as I had taken so much pains to place it, partially upon the right side, the feet close together, and the hands clasped across the breast. I was surprised at the paleness of the face. I turned and passed out of the open door.”
Dr. Wiltse then relates a number of mental experiences which he had during his extended trip including the perception of certain things which he did not know existed, but which were subsequently verified and found correct and, at the conclusion of his astral journey, he was suddenly arrested by what appeared to be a dense, black cloud: “A small, densely black cloud appeared in front of me and advanced toward my face. I knew that I was to be stopped. I felt the power to move or to think leaving me. My hands fell powerless to my sides, my shoulders and head dropped forward, the cloud touched my face and I knew no more”
When he regained consciousness, he was in his own physical body.
The case of the Rev. L. J. Bertrand, also given in Proceedings, Vol. VIII, p. 194, is thus summarized by Mr. Myers:
“During a dangerous ascent of the Titlis, Mr. Bertrand separated from his companions, sat down to rest, and became paralyzed by the cold. His head, however, remained clear, and he experienced the sensation described by Dr. Wiltse of passing out of his body and remained attached to it by a kind of elastic string. While in this condition, he had clairvoyant impressions about his absent companions, and much astonished them on their return by describing their doings to them. . . .”
Why some people have these experiences while the majority of people can go through life without any clear remembrance of similar events in their own lives, is, I believe, a reflection of the level of consciousness. The level of consciousness can be developed, thankfully, using many techniques of introspection, mindfulness and focussed exercises.
A Rare Account of Liberation from Prison
Many people believe that the subject of astral projection can be highly influenced by media and expectations, so when Jack London, the author of White Fang and the Call of the Wild is introduced to a man who discovers the ability to leave his body while in prison with no previous knowledge on the subject. We feel we are given a rare glimpse at a person whose raw experiences in the out of body states are an amazing validation of the experiences.
Jack London’s last published novel before his death tells the story of a prisoner in solitary confinement who escapes the pain of a straitjacket by astral travels. Despite some critics’ assertions that it’s his greatest book, The Star Rover has never been very popular. It was written in 1913-14, when London was probably the most famous writer in America. Yet when published in 1915, it sold fewer copies than any of his previous works and eventually went out of print. It was republished in England in 1967 under the title The Jacket, and appears to only recently have been reprinted in America.
From Prison Reform to Astral Travel
The two main themes are prison reform and astral travel through past lives. When London was 16 years old he was imprisoned for 30 days for vagrancy, “an experience he found so traumatic that he vowed that thenceforward instead of actually living the hobo life which had left him friendless and terrified behind bars, he would only write about it—and doing so get rich and famous.
A reader might think London himself had practiced, or at least was interested in, reincarnation and astral travel. However, it appears London’s mother, a spiritualist who conducted séances, may have been an initial inspiration. “London consciously seems to have felt that these practices were a sham,” wrote Stewart Gabel.
Fiedler relates that London never had an out-of-body experience himself, but learned about it from Ed Morrell, a convicted felon on whom the story is based. While in California’s San Quentin State Prison, Morrell was accused of having a secret stash of dynamite and spent five years in solitary confinement, much of in the jacket, due to the false accusation (the same story as in London’s novel). Morrell inadvertently learned etheric projection while in the jacket, and was able to walk around San Francisco and confirm his experiences were real. (One time he witnessed a shipwreck just off the coast that he later read about in the papers.) His journeys are recounted in his memoirs, The 25th Man – The Strange Story of Ed Morrell, the Hero of Jack London’s Star Rover. Eventually Morrell was released from prison and became an outspoken prison reformer. The words of London’s protagonist Darrell Standing could have been spoken by him:
Solitary confinement, they call it. Men who endure it, call it living death. But through these five years of death-in-life I managed to attain freedom such as few men have ever known. Closest-confined of prisoners, not only did I range the world, but I ranged time. They who immured me for petty years gave to me, all unwittingly, the largess of centuries.
A Quick Guide to Astral Travel
When Standing first starts to have out-of-body experiences (OBOEs), his method is to put his conscious mind to sleep and then let loose his subconscious mind. At first his subconscious was undisciplined and incoherent. Then Ed Morrell—whom London made a character in The Star Rover—teaches him a method that could be straight out of a book on self-hypnosis or astral projection.
In the novel, Morrell is a few cells away from Standing, also in solitary confinement. Unable to talk to each other due to the watchful eye of guards, he teaches Standing how to have a more intense OBO via their secret language of knuckle-rapping on the cell bars. Morrell tells him to will himself to die: Lying on your back, you start with a toe and use your will to make it die, and work your way up the body until your body is completely dead and only the consciousness remains:
The thing you must think and believe is that your body is one thing and your spirit is another thing. You are you, and your body is something else that don’t amount to shucks. Your body don’t count. You’re the boss. You don’t need any body. And thinking and believing all this you proceed to prove it by using your will. You make your body die.
Using this method Standing feels his mind enlarging and time and space expanding until he knows without opening his eyes that he’s no longer in his cell. His heart slows so much he can no longer count the space between its beats. His first experience is among the stars. He then journeys through numerous past lives, which he writes down later on Murderer’s Row. Time passes so quickly in the jacket, he’s no longer afraid of the warden’s constant threats to make him reveal his nonexistent stash of explosives: “Dynamite or curtains!”
The Star Rover Through Time
Many of Standing’s past life experiences are based on actual historical figures. He relives the life of Daniel Foss, who was shipwrecked on a barren island in 1809, lived off seal meat for five years, and later wrote A journal of the shipwreck and sufferings of Daniel Foss. In another life, Standing is a young boy involved in the Mountain Meadows massacre in Utah in 1857, when Mormon settlers conspired with members of the Paiute Indian tribe to slaughter a group of pioneers in covered wagons. Another past life is based on an account written by Hendrick Hamel, who was shipwrecked with other Dutchmen in Korea in the mid-seventeenth century. He was also a friend of Pilate in Rome who discusses divergent views of the afterlife with a devotee of Jesus. Standing eventually concludes Memory is only thing that remains after death—similar to the views of experienced astral traveler Aleister Crowley.
An Ode to the Eternal Feminine
A sense of peace and quiet joy comes at the end of the sometimes-depressing novel, when Standing realizes that in all of his lives, for all the times he fought, risked his life, and even died, it was for the love of woman. It has been for woman that man has tamed the horse, slew the mammoth, and harvested rice and wheat. Even in his heavens, “Valkyrie or houri, man has fain made place for her, for he could see no heaven without her.” Standing continues his praise of the eternal woman:
I conclude that the greatest thing in life, in all lives, to me and to all men, has been woman, is woman, and will be woman so long as the stars drift in the sky and the heavens flux eternal change. Greater than our toil and endeavour, the play of invention and fancy, battle and star-gazing and mystery—greatest of all has been woman.
The Star Rover should have a place on lists of top American novels and top occult novels. Some have said it’s like a collection of short stories delving into all of London’s interests, and each past life is quite fascinating for a general historical overview. Others have compared it to The Count of Monte Cristo. London’s last novel before his untimely death in 1916 at age 40, The Star Rover weaves together social reform, men’s rights, reincarnation, and historical drama, and will be a riveting read to anyone interested in astral travel or past life regression.
The Star Rover is highly recommended reading from the Astral Institute.
Wired magazine cofounder Kevin Kelly joins screenwriter Casey McCabe and comic book veteran Steve Masseroni to lead this project. The rest of the 20-person team was assembled from writers and artists drawn from Pixar and Lucasfilm, as well as new rising talent from the comics world. What they created was a graphic novel about Astral Projection.