Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
RETURNING TO THE
The Ease of Getting Back to the Physical Body
One fear of those considering spiritual travel is that once one's consciousness is outside the body, the traveler may not be able to return.
My experience with respect to this concern is that it is quite difficult to leave the body but very easy to return. I have never had difficulty returning. Once out of the body, it is difficult to stay out since there seems to be a kind of gravitational pull to return.
Two ways of intentionally returning are either to have a strong emotional reaction, whether to some event or consciously induced, or to simply tense up one's being, which reasserts the natural connection to the physical body. One of the reasons I call it travel, is that the individual has gone somewhere new, and therefore must make the return trip. Both actions usually involve time. It usually only takes a few seconds to return to the body.
In dream travel however, this ability to return usually requires that the spiritual traveler be fully lucid in the dream. Partial lucidity can prevent the dreamer from being able to take the initiative to wake up and this explains intense dreams where the dreamer sometimes feels trapped in a dream and unable to awaken.
The experience of returning is akin to using a camera to unfocus on a distant object while refocusing on a much closer one. The distant object blurs out at first and eventually disappears completely as the new one comes into focus. The non-physical body image seems to slowly evaporate like water on hot pavement, as the normal physical body image coalesces and takes its place. Anyone who has developed pictures in a darkroom (prior to the advent of digital photography) has seen the white photographic paper slowly change as the image appears first as a dull shadow. It then slowly gains strength, resolution, and detail until the image is complete and clear. This is similar to how the physical body image comes into focus when returning from a lucid dream.
Returning to the physical body is a unique experience because it challenges our normal concept of reality since the traveler becomes aware of multiple worlds and can closely study the transition from one world to another. Such experience marks a kind of awakening to a alternate version of reality as a layered or multidimensional object that one can "travel" through spiritually. Though the two states mentioned (the waking state and the lucid dream) are common, the presumption is that there are many more less common states to explore. However the experience of transition between the less common states may be similar to the example given.
The Hierarchy of Dreams page describes how the act of waking up from a dream occurs in a similar way at many levels of awareness, and links different spiritual travel states together in a multi-level hierarchy of worlds.
One of the peculiar things that occurs on rare occasions is that upon return from a spiritual travel experience, the traveler is unable to move any part of the physical body for up to thirty seconds. The term used to describe this experience in the literature is sleep paralysis. On these occasions, the sensory nerves seem to work as usual and the traveler can feel every part of his or her body. However, the motor nerves which carry nerve impulses to the muscles seem to take longer to readjust to the return. This can be disconcerting while it is occurring. However, it is short-lived and the traveler usually regains control of the muscles in less than thirty seconds.
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