Tag Archives: out of body experience

Just a Bag of Bones

What is this body that we are so attached to but a mere bag of bones. When the life force leaves a body, what is left is just that, a bag of bones. Yet we spend our lives and our energy totally attached to the bag of bones that we identify as “Me.”

We are, in reality, so much more than that. As Robert Monroe has taught so many explorers of higher consciousness: “You are more than your physical body.”

Our life force, our spirit energy, though it resides inside our bag of bones finds ways to also leave it, to go beyond it and explore. Exploits outside of our bag of bones happen most naturally and most familiarly at night, when we dream. We all dream, even if we can’t remember doing so. Thus, we’ve all had experiences of our selves as spirit energy alone, sans bag of bones.

So many things can hold us back from uninhibitedly experiencing our spirit energy. To fully appreciate such experiences, to be able to engage in them with our full awareness, we need to be freed of our fears, our incessant internal dialogue, our traumas, our sexual abuse, our judgments, and anything else that might hold us back from further exploration of the many and varied spiritual possibilities we all hold within us.

Recapitulation is one means by which to rid ourselves of the things that hold us back from greater enjoyment of life, from spiritual exploration, and from understanding the knowledge and wisdom that our spirit might present us with.

During recapitulation, our spirit helps us to recall and relive past events while simultaneously keeping us grounded in our bodies, that bag of bones that we love so much, or hate so much, or just can’t seem to reconcile with.

As we recapitulate, old beliefs about ourselves are stripped away. Our energy is freed from where it has been stuck; in memories, in all those old beliefs about ourselves, in entanglements with the energy of others, in pains, regrets, resentments, self-pity, judgments, etc.; the list is endless.

In the process we learn to trust our spirit, that part of ourselves that is so eager to explore beyond the physical body, that just can’t wait to show us what we are really made of—energy! Our own spirit then becomes our greatest teacher and guide, and we come into our wholeness.

As we lose our fears and discover that we are really energetic beings, we become fluid and fearless explorers, in-body and out-of-body. But best of all, we become loving beings, fully happy in our bag of bones.

Sending you love,

J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Published simultaneously on The Recapitulation Diaries Facebook page.

Chuck’s Place: Relativity and Dream Space

What Einstein proposed, and proved, is that time is relative. When matter moves at great velocity it ages slower than it ages on Earth. Time is relative to the velocity we travel at. It is not constant under all conditions.

Frozen leaf energy body?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

This is most noticeable in dreaming. One might drop into a REM dream state for but a few real-time moments and then awaken. As  dreams experienced just moments before are recalled and recorded, one might find oneself writing for an hour or more, as one documents the many adventures from the just dreamed dreams.

The time it would have required to actually experience these adventures in real time would have taken hours. Nonetheless, as dream recall proves, they were fully experienced, almost instantaneously, in dream time. This is an example of how consciousness can travel and live in different, even very elongated timezones. Consciousness, the active force of the soul, lives and travels in different dimensions.

As Einstein discovered, the significant variable in shifting time dimensions is velocity. In dream state terms, this is experienced vibrationally. When we go to sleep our soul energy body prepares to leave the timezone of waking life by revving up the velocity of its vibrations to a very high frequency.

This increased vibrational state normally occurs when we fall asleep. If, however, one remains conscious during this process it is frequently experienced as increasingly higher vibrations sweeping over the physical body, as the soul energy body prepares and then launches out of the sleeping physical body. Energy body dimensions then experienced are increasingly subtle, with their own different timezones.

The first energy body timezone is actually the real-time zone of waking life, where out-of-body explorers travel our world and solar system in real time. More subtle dimensions—where time is elongated and many dream adventures occur in very few real-time minutes—reflect energy-body adventures beyond this real-time dimension.

The ancient Hindus called these more subtle dimensions the astral dimensions, where one engages in interactions with deeper parts of one’s own soul, as well as with guides and teachers intent on supporting life in this densest energy region, that of real-time waking life in the physical body.

In the truest sense, the soul never sleeps. When the physical body goes into deep sleep it enters a state known as REM sleep paralysis, where the motor cells of the body are switched off, as the soul ventures in infinity. Basic logic explains the need for this temporary paralysis, as without it the downloads of dream energy-body experiences to the sleeping physical body would result in physical movement that might be both awkward and potentially hazardous. In fact, sleepwalking is an example of what happens when the normal shutting down of motor activity in the body does not occur and the physical body acts out the energy body’s movements.

Normally, the body is completely still and asleep in unconscious semi-paralysis while the soul ventures in infinity, both processing the previous day’s waking life experiences, as well as being schooled and guided in spiritual advancement by the higher self and guides that live in the higher astral dimensions.

If you successfully meet a challenge in a dream, it is likely to reflect in similar success the next day. It matters little if we remember the actual dream, the lesson has been learned and will unconsciously benefit the ego’s knowing in the challenges of the day ahead. Sometimes the experience of deja vu reflects this awareness, that I have been here before; yes, in my dreams!

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, such as simply having to pee, our soul may be called abruptly back to the body before a dream is complete, or before the body is ready for reintegration with its soul. This is often experienced as a powerful waking vibrational state in the consciousness of the energy body, as it is confronted with the physical body’s inability to move.

This is a very temporary out-of-phase experience that quickly passes, as we are restored to full body motility. Should this happen, simply realize what is happening, stay calm, and await the transition into familiar normalcy. It may take a few moments. It simply reflects the recalibration of soul with physical body.

Whether we are aware that we are in our soul state when physically sleeping or not, our soul has its rich experiences, which both rejuvenate mind and body from the prior day’s activity and present guidance and exercises to prepare us for the coming day’s challenges. We can enhance and more volitionally participate in these journeys if we cultivate the intent to remain conscious in our dream and out-of-body states.

As the outer world continues its major transformational activity at this time, relativity and dream space offer us avenues of exploration and preparation to meet the challenges of oncoming time in waking reality. Intend awareness in your energy body and see what happens! The soul offers many blessings.

Pleasant dreams,


A Day in a Life: Going Out Of My Mind & Loving It!

Once, a long time ago, when I was explaining to Chuck how I had gone out of my body, frightened that I was losing my mind, he blurted out with a big laugh: “It’s good to go out of your mind!” Anyone who works with Chuck will hear him say this at some point.

Every time he said this, it shook me. Every time I had another out-of-body, out-of-mind experience, I’d hear his voice telling me that it was good, that I should just let it happen, as often as possible. I could hear him telling me to keep training myself, in a shamanic sense: to let go of the constructs of this world by releasing my mind from attaching to them.

Like the frozen pond through the woods, our spirit lies waiting...

I knew he was right, but it took me a long time to be comfortable with letting myself go out of my mind. Now I can’t wait. Each day, as I sit and meditate, I await the moment of release from the things my mind grasps at. Sometimes I’m able to easily free myself, at other times I must sit for a long time as I work through the cogitations of my mind.

So what does that really mean, to lose the mind? In a shamanic sense, it means letting go of our judgments, our critical voices that tell us we cannot possibly be having this experience. It means shutting down our attachments to the known world and allowing ourselves to experience something outside of our body and our brain, momentarily forgetting everything our scientists, our religions, our parents, our teachers have told us is possible. It means freeing ourselves, even momentarily, from all that we perceive as real, tangible, and solid, and just letting ourselves have the experience.

Losing the mind in this way is a very sought after shamanic move, as Chuck always taught me. When Chuck suggested that I lose my mind as often as possible, he was asking me to face the dissolution of this world, this reality, and everything that I had been attached to my whole life. This went far beyond thoughts and perceptions. In fact, it extended even to letting go of the experiences themselves as anything to attach to. It took me a long time to understand this as well. Why wouldn’t I want to attach to those most amazing and transformative experiences?

Where are we caught? What are we attached to? What is attached to us?

In fact, Chuck was suggesting that, rather than seek out the experiences themselves, what I wanted was the enhanced awareness they offered. When we allow ourselves to lose our minds, we offer ourselves glimpses into infinity, glimpses of greater awareness. As we allow ourselves to have experiences that are out of the ordinary, we allow ourselves freedom from the attachments that hold us back in our daily lives too.

I had always had magical experiences in my life, but they got dismissed because of course they could not be true. They just could not happen in the world I lived in. But once I learned of the mystical experiences of the saints of my Catholic school upbringing, I had an inkling that in certain circles such phenomena were totally acceptable. But how would I ever be in a position to discuss such things? Even the Catholic Church, though it reveres such experiences, does not do so easily. It was in talking to Chuck about the shamanic view of the world that I finally found such experiences valued. What he described offered explanations for everything I had experienced, allowing me to release my lifelong fears that I was just plain crazy.

Under Chuck’s tutelage, I learned to balance the mystical experiences of my spirit while living in a world of solid objects and solid declarations of reality. In my inner world, I knew that reality did not work the way I had been taught. My spirit had always sought a far greater worldview. It had already experienced a world without boundaries, without limitations, without judgments. However, greater acceptance that such a world was actually a viable reality and fully accessible was not a process that happened overnight. It took a lot of work and incremental acceptance of a new sense of reality, based on my personal experiences.

In learning shamanic concepts, my psychic experiences, my meditation experiences, my magical, out-of-body experiences found a home, in a place of deep resonance. And that is when I learned that the experiences alone are not meant to be attached to, as Chuck had once suggested. For a time they were deeply meaningful—present and necessary to aid in growing—though eventually they wore thin. And then, the only thing that mattered was what came next to challenge me. It was in this manner that I began to understand that it was not the experiences themselves that were important in the long run, but just how open I could be to keep going, to keep changing myself, and to keep breaking through my attachments to a known world.

Grasping self pecks away, challenging us to change, to keep going...

Every day I ask the universe to lead me, to teach me, to show me something important, to challenge me to let go of my mind, my self-importance, my grasping, needy, ignorant self. I ask that I learn from my experiences, and then I ask that I be freed from those experiences so that I can be open to another, and another, and another, with the intent that I never cease growing.

What am I to learn today? What am I to be shown; what gift of experience will I be offered? And can I accept it? Can I use it to go to a new level of my life on this earth, and enhance my spiritual awareness as well?

The world is now a far larger place, extending far beyond the mind and body, beyond what is real, as I have embraced a new idea of self as energy driven by a spirit that does not want to return to slumber. Real, to me, is no longer restricted to what others have taught me is real, but is open to interpretation. Real is what I experience. And that kind of real is enough for me.

To those who seek greater awareness, I humbly pass on what I have learned, as I ask myself to constantly face my ignorance and continue on this same path of enlightenment: Be open. Let your experiences come to you and, without judgment, release yourself from the cogitations of the mind. Come back to the world you live in more firmly grounded, more balanced in spirit and body, with a greater awareness of the possibilities that exist for you.

Your experiences will be uniquely yours, as mine are mine. But remember, the possibilities in this world are endless. Seek without grasping; experience will seek you.

Offered most humbly,

A Day in a Life: I Asked For It

It seems that this blog, which I began in an effort to highlight how Jeanne’s messages relate and intersect with everyday life, is more or less turning into a blog about setting and awaiting outcome of unbending intent, as the seers call it, at least for now. Over the past twelve weeks I’ve been exploring dreaming intent, in which I had sent out a proposal to the women seers of don Juan’s generation of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico, to come and teach me in dreaming. I was utterly amazed as the nights unfolded and I did, in fact, learn invaluable lessons from those women. That process took place last fall and since then I have continued setting dreaming intent each night that I feel I want to go exploring, and although I do not specifically intend to dream with those women, I know they have continued to lead me on some pretty cool adventures. Some nights I may just want to sleep soundly and dreamlessly and that, too, becomes my intent. On the night of June 2, 2010, right before midnight, I had a most profound out-of-body experience (OBE). It was more vivid than any other OBE I have ever had. Clearly, the shamanic work I am doing and the books I have been reading are major factors in how the experience unfolded and how I reacted to what was happening.

In keeping with Jeanne’s message on Monday of this week, to not hold back, I write today about that experience, sharing it with you not only because it was so profound, but also because it is perhaps the thirteenth step in learning a shamanic practice. Before I describe the experience, I quote a paragraph from The Second Ring of Power, the book I was reading just before going to bed that night. Carlos Castaneda is talking to la Gorda and the women of his own generation of seers about the various stages of learning dreaming from the nagual, don Juan. On pages 269-270 Carlos says:

The final stage was drawing the “attention of the nagual” to focus on the total self. Don Juan said that that final stage was usually ushered in by a dream that many of us have had at one time or another, in which one is looking at oneself sleeping in bed. By the time the sorcerer has had such a dream, his attention has been developed to such a degree that instead of waking himself up, as most of us would do in a similar situation, he turns on his heels and engages himself in activity, as if he were acting in the world of everyday life. From that moment on there is a breakage, a division of sorts in the otherwise unified personality. The result of engaging the “attention of the nagual” and developing it to the height and sophistication of our daily attention of the world was, in don Juan’s scheme, the other self, an identical being as oneself, but made in “dreaming.”

Don Juan went on to encourage Carlos to practice, saying that there are no definite steps for teaching that double, or dreaming self, just as there are no definite steps to teaching ourselves how to be aware in our daily lives; we do it by practicing it from the time we are born. Don Juan also encouraged Carlos to practice without fear getting the best of him. After reading the above quote, I recalled how other out-of-body explorers generally suggest that looking at the self asleep is to be avoided because when attention is drawn back to the physical body it may arouse fear, causing us to snap out of the experience and land right back into that sleeping self. In contrast, I saw that don Juan was actually suggesting that looking at the sleeping self was part of the process in learning to fully “dream.” When I fell asleep that night I merely put out my intent to “see” and to “dream.” Here is my experience, which I will attempt to capture in as much detail as possible:

I wake up and look outside through the sliding glass door of the bedroom. I see what I perceive as an airplane blinking behind the trees in the distance; it blinks quickly and then swings sharply to the left, low on the horizon. As I watch this unusually strange maneuver, I think that perhaps it’s not an airplane after all, but a shooting star. But even that idea does not fit what I’m seeing, because the light doesn’t shoot and burn out, but flies directly towards the deck, which is right outside the sliding door. The light flits about and I wonder if it’s a firefly, but I’ve never seen one this big nor one that zips about so happily, bouncing in the air, its fat body large and bright, a luminous elongated egg-shape, and not blinking on and off like the light of a firefly.

During all of this I am partially sitting up in bed, feeling extremely uncomfortable and awkward, blinking my eyes over and over again in order to clear them so I can see better. I feel very heavy, drugged by sleep, and it’s a struggle to stay sitting up, but something is drawing me to the window. With great effort I get out of bed, still feeling clumsy, as if very intoxicated; my legs don’t work right and yet, somehow, I step over the sleeping dog lying on the floor next to me and make it over to the sliding glass door. From this vantage point, I see that not only one bright light is fluttering and swooping outside in the darkness above the backyard, but more are starting to come from the same spot in the sky. Suddenly, but without fear, I realize that this may relate to what I’d been reading before I fell asleep, that I am “seeing” as the seers see. With that thought I wonder if I’m out-of-body. I recall what I’d just read, that when one can tolerate seeing one’s body lying asleep then one is truly “seeing and “dreaming.” I decide that I’ll turn and see if my body is lying in bed, as don Juan suggested, reminding myself not to be frightened if I see my body lying there, because I don’t want to snap back into it.

I am still feeling very clumsy and think that normally I’d turn slightly and glance over my right shoulder, but that doesn’t feel right in the state I’m in. As soon as I think that thought, I feel myself swing effortlessly around, counterclockwise, in a sweeping 360 degree turn, though I don’t actually move; only my “seeing” moves, as if my eyes can see in all directions. Halfway around, I quickly take in the darkness of the room, that the covers are pulled up, and I see my legs and Chuck’s sleeping form under the blankets, but the top of the bed is in such darkness that I cannot see our heads. When I finish the turn, when I finish seeing the room, I am facing right back out toward the deck and the yard again. I sense my “body” flattened against the sliding door, as if I’m but a thin sheet of cellophane stuck to it.

At that moment, I realize that I’m in my “double,” that I am indeed “dreaming,” and as soon as that thought crosses my awareness the first light-being flies right up to the deck and dances before me. A large egg-shaped luminous creature, about ten or twelve inches in length, it comes right up to the window. Flitting about, it twirls and loops in front of me and, as it begins to fly off to the right, I am struck by how similar it appears to the way I have always perceived Jeanne’s energy, a luminous being with white wings and body, butterfly-like more than firefly-like. As soon as I have that thought, the being flies back in front of me and seems to show me that, yes, it is exactly Jeanne’s energy. It pirouettes before me, flutters its wings and seems to laugh with delight, happy that I’m now perceiving it correctly. I feel its energy, so alive and so vibrant.

As I watch this show taking place, I blink repeatedly, constantly trying to clear my vision so that I don’t miss anything. My mind, however, is still trying to place what I’m seeing, to make sense of what these creatures might be. I have one final thought that perhaps they are luna moths, and just as I settle on that idea, I let it go and pay greater attention to what is happening outside the window. I see the light-beings still coming towards me, pouring out of the same point on the horizon behind the trees, their fat bellies luminously glowing, getting brighter and brighter and bigger and bigger, as they bounce through the air, swooping and dancing towards me.

I stand and watch this beautiful show for a long time, pressed up against the window, blinking and taking in, with a sense of wonder, delight, and amazement, the absolutely serene silent beauty of these creatures, these luminous beings, as they dance and float before me. I’m able to turn and “see” the show to the right and to the left, as well as straight ahead, without actually turning. I’m simply able to “see” in all directions.

As the show continues, I’m fully aware that I’m being given a gift of not only “seeing” and “dreaming,” but also of interpreting energy, that these creatures are showing me what energy looks like, and somehow I understand this. I know that I look like that too, that we are all luminous egg-shaped beings. I know that we are all full of such vigor, potent with energy, that we are energy, that we are incredibly luminescent. I know that we are all magical beings.

I don’t know how long I actually stand there pressed against the window, but somehow I get back into my body, though I don’t remember actually traveling back over to the bed. The next thing I do know is that I wake up, still feeling that drowsy soporific heaviness and I write down in my journal a cryptic description of what I’ve just experienced, not wanting to forget it, but already knowing that I’ll never forget it.

The next morning, the experience remained as fresh and real as it had been the night before. I puzzled over what had actually happened, my mind conjuring up the idea of luna moths again, wanting to settle on some rational explanation for what I’d experienced, but I knew those were not creatures of this world. I still held the truer feeling of having experienced pure energy, coming in a form I could handle, and that truth and that energy has lasted to this day.

This was a turning point. I’ve never doubted what I “saw” and what I felt. My awareness was totally intact, my thoughts were mine; I was always me throughout the entire episode. I truly believe that I received something energetically from those luminous beings during this experience, that I was invited into experiencing my own boundless energy body. I can truthfully say that since that night my personal energy, my physical energy has remained steadily vibrant and glowing. My fears have vanished and I am no longer holding back. This is the world I have worked so hard to enter and I know that I can’t turn back. I can no longer experience or interpret reality in the old way. I humbly report that I learned to “see.”

Try some dreaming. Might I recommend reading a little Castaneda beforehand, or a little Buhlman, then set unbending intent, go to sleep, and see what happens?

Until next week, I send love and energy,

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