History of Out-of-body experiences

Wagner Alegretti

From: http://www.iacworld.org/English/Resources/Articles/HistoryOfOBE.asp

We are always reflecting upon astral projections, its benefits, techniques, and consequences, but we find it important to emphasize that this phenomenon, also known as astral travel, out-of-body experience, or conscious projection, is as natural as being human, and as old as humanity – perhaps even more ancient than this. Leaving the body is as natural as breathing or sleeping. It is part of life, and also of the less evolved life forms.

Many people that leave their body, or have left their body, relate that they see their domestic animals, like dogs, projected and active outside their bodies. If an animal today is able to leave its body, we can conclude that primitive men living in caves experimented with the same phenomenon.

Throughout history, there is diverse documentation of astral projections. These relations give us an idea of the universal character of this capacity of leaving the body. We will give some examples of cases, to expand the knowledge regarding this topic.

For example, we will find that the more remote evidences appear in Ancient Egypt, between 5,000 and 3,000 years ago. The Egyptian priests knew of the existence of the astral body. They called it the Kha and they left inscriptions and drawings on the rock walls of many temples and buildings, representing it as something subtle and light abandoning the physical body. During this time, the initiations were created, which were in fact trials of the individual and its capacity to leave the body and present him/herself partially or totally materialized in front of a group of persons.

In Ancient Greece, we see references in the Temple of Eleusis, in the writings of the philosophers Plato, Hermotimus of Clazomene, Herodotus, and in some reports of the historian Plutarch of Queroneia. Plutarch tells us of the story of Arisdeu, which took place in the 79th year of the first century. Arisdeu was a dishonest individual with a bad reputation in his community. He suffered an accident where he fell and hit his head against a rock, resulting in a coma which lasted a couple of days. During this coma, Arisdeu perceived himself outside his body. He found himself with his helper, or spiritual guide, and talked to her. During this experience, Arisdeu also saw another dimension which was inhabited by consciousnesses with little equilibrium and stayed to examine them. Then, at a certain moment, he felt a force pulling him back inside his body. Arisdeu woke up in the physical plane at the moment in which he was about to be buried. One can imagine the reaction of the community. Nevertheless, since this experience, Arisdeu changed his ethics, values, and behavior, transforming himself into a respected citizen valued in his community. Today we can clearly understand that he had a near-death-experience, which is actually becoming more and more common now.

It is worthwhile to state that in the Bible there are various evidences of cases of conscious projections such as in Ezequiel, III:14; Apocalypse of Juan, 1:10 and 11; 4:2; as well as in Epistles of Pablo of Tarsus (II Corynthios, 12:2).

Continuing our history, we see that during the Middle Ages, due to the great repression of the Inquisition, the conscious projection was practiced, studied, and known only within certain schools or secret societies. Likewise, after the end of the Inquisition, these esoteric and occult movements continued to hide information from the population, inclusively creating the basis for current myths and lies about the dangers of astral projections, maintaining the old structure of power and hierarchy.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, we had three great pioneers of this study that made the first efforts in popularizing astral travel, even publishing books on the subject. They were the Swedish philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg; the French writer and novelist Honore de Balzac, with his story “Louis Lambert”; and the Frenchman Allan Kardec, creator of spiritism. Other names throughout history are: Apollonius of Tyana, Antonio of Padua, Padre Pío and Sai Baba.

In truth, the most serious thing this discussion reveals to us is that the phenomenon of the out-of-body experience is ancient and universal. We observe that different persons throughout history had experiences and continue to have them more and more. These experiences occur in persons independently of their culture, education, financial situation, religion, credo, sex, or age. The out-of-body experience is positive and beneficial. Thus, it is important to stop the brain washings that have been done throughout the ages due to ignorance on the topic. Today there is a science, Projectiology, for the purpose of studying this phenomenon. Any person can develop its capacities, perceptions and self control, getting to the point of having a conscious astral projection.