The Mysteries, as they were called in the Egyptian tradition, are experiences where the initiate leaves his body consciously as a soul and travels to a higher level of existence. The purpose of this initiation is for the person to experience and witness that he is a soul, not a body. The initiate will also realise that we continue to live after death and survive the departure from the physical body.
This initiation was one of the ancient Egyptian Mystery schools’ most profound and guarded secrets. Their temples had private sections built for these secret initiations, and the people who were initiated took an oath of secrecy. And this secrecy has continued to our day and time; the sacred knowledge has been kept in secret, and it is only now the veils of secrecy are slowly being lifted.
This type of experience is called astral travel or OBE (Out of Body Experience). During astral travel person’s physical body (which is left behind) goes into sleep paralysis, the breathing becomes slow and shallow, and heartbeats are weak. This state is the magical sleep (Yogic sleep) or the state of catalepsy, which happens to us normally every night when we are in a deep sleep state. This is because our brainwaves go to the Delta band (0.5Hz – 4Hz) while in the deepest part of our sleep. This sleep state is required for the body to repair itself, but also, our mind needs a rest from 3D. If you have ever experienced severe insomnia, you know how badly our minds need a proper break from daytime consciousness.
I remember an incident worth sharing from when I was studying and sharing a room with another student. He had definite magical tendencies and could not be woken up when he slept. One morning he was late to class, and I tried to wake him up, but he kept sleeping no matter how hard I shook his body. He did not respond to rigorous shaking at all, as he was not there. My friend was often seen in other cities while he was sleeping. He seemed to have the skill of bi-locating himself.
I experienced this magical sleep, or sleep paralysis, regularly during my teenage years. Sleep paralysis experience can initially be very frightening. Sometimes, after an astral travel experience, I found myself locked inside my body without being able to operate it. It often took me five or even ten minutes to regain control of my body after a journey. This state can be terrifying for the untrained mind as it is like a prison. One is “stuck” in one’s body without being able to do anything. I remember being entirely conscious, my mind being very active, but I could not open my eyes and speak to alert someone to my condition. I recall several early mornings when I completely panicked about this, and I had to force my body to wake up, which was very difficult.
Interestingly, some yogis can go even further. They can stop their heartbeat and breath entirely for a period and be apparently clinically dead but recovering fully. This state is, I believe, beyond the cataleptic state, as this is like an actual clinical death as the body’s vital signs are no longer there. A friend of mine has seen this take place in India during her recent visit to an ashram. My friend even confirmed that the Yogi did not breathe by using a mirror in front of his mouth to see if any fog would be formed in the mirror. This Yogi had to be woken up from this state by his helpers.
The marvellous book by Paul Brunton, “A Search in Secret Egypt”, includes many stories about yogis and fakirs regularly going into the state of clinical death in front of a paying audience for pure entertainment. Life in India a hundred years ago was undoubtedly different to today’s modern life!
The word twice-born comes from this clinical death experience. When we successfully leave our body consciously and then return, we essentially perform a rebirth. This yogic rebirth is what I believe Jesus did in his lifetime. He departed his body for a day or two and then returned to it as planned. Meanwhile, his body was clinically dead. This was not an uncommon feat in those days, as shared by Paul Brunton in his book. Jesus’s disciples cared for his body while he was in another dimension. The Romans believed he was completely dead (common sense, of course!) and released his body to his disciples. Later Jesus woke up from this sleep as planned and performed a Yogic resurrection. Then he was twice-born.
This, twice-born, is what it means when we say, die before you die. However, it is not just the death of the ego but an actual real resurrection experience. This is the art of taking magical control of one’s body, and then the body becomes a slave rather than a master, and the soul is freed from the chains of the body and reincarnation. This is a major initiation, and the information around this has been kept very secret until our time. One can easily ascend to higher dimensions from this newly awakened state as the body’s limitations have been transcended. When this level of consciousness has been reached, one becomes free.
I believe during Jesus’s “missing years”, he went through yogic training in India to be able to perform this magical feat. I also believe that Jesus returned later to India, lived a “normal life” after that, and died naturally near the mountains of the Himalayas. Before he died, he formed the White Brotherhood on those mountains, which is still active today.
Astral travel is the closest to twice-born experience one can usually achieve (rather than a complete resurrection), but even that is sometimes challenging to experience. Astral travel is not necessarily very safe either. Jason Quitt, for example, does not recommend it, but my view is: have no fear. If you know what you are doing, you can do it.
My first OBE and astral travel experience was very dramatic and traumatic. It took me years to overcome the traumas that this journey’s experience created, so I advise caution. Only recently have I overcome my fears of astral travel and learned how to create a safe environment.
In my first OBE, I left my body through the navel area. When the departure was about to take place, I “heard” powerful cracking sounds around my navel. I had set the intention to do astral travel with some spiritual friends I was staying with that night. We had agreed to meet in New York, in the Empire State Building, and hang out in our astral bodies (we were in Finland then).
I happily went to bed, and a bit later, I woke up to these cracking sounds. It felt that something was breaking up; something strange was indeed happening. Shortly after, there was a big “bang”, and I left my body and hovered near the ceiling of that room. I was looking at my body exactly like the classic stories about astral travel often mentioned.
When I was up there, I thought, wow, this is it, and I was a bit disoriented as everything looked very fuzzy, like in the Lord of the Rings movie when Frodo puts the ring on; it was very much like that. Then I wondered how I go outside, and in an instant, I was out (please note, I asked an open-ended question!).
I was on the street outside the building, and I saw a man walking past me, but he did not make any note of me. Then, I saw the cars parked on the street. Again, I wondered how to get to New York, and instantly, I was in the Empire State Building. I was on the observation deck. I had physically been there a few years earlier, so I knew what it looked like. No one else was around; I was on my own on the observation deck. Then, feeling the excitement of this fantastic achievement, I returned to my body. The entire experience was less than 10 minutes long, but it was very intense.
However, what happened next, was even more intense and somewhat traumatic.
As I had just had an intense experience, I felt I needed to get up even in the middle of the night. The time was about 3 am. I was sitting on the bed, and I felt very strange. I then decided to go kitchen to get a glass of water, and as I stood up, I could feel my etheric body not fully aligned with my physical body. I extended my arms and could feel my etheric arms were not where my physical arms were! This was extremely strange. I was slightly alarmed, but I thought the misalignment would disappear soon.
Then I started walking towards the kitchen, and it was difficult as my etheric feet were not aligned with my physical ones. I had to walk very slowly as I could not coordinate my walking correctly. Then I reached the kitchen and saw the black house cat sitting on the kitchen table and staring at me intensely.
Then the cat, I will never forget this, screamed loudly and ran away as fast as she could. That spooked me a little; not sure what the cat had seen. Then I started hearing a strange clicking sound left to me. I had stopped in front of the kitchen table, the sink was just three-four more steps away, but I was stopped in my tracks by this strange sound. Then I saw it. There was no wall anymore on my left, just a blue spinning vortex. I panicked as this vortex did not have a good feel to it. It instantly dawned on me that if I walked through this vortex, there would be no way for me to come back to Earth, and I was not sure about the dimension this vortex would take me. I decided to go back to my room, even though the energy of this vortex was trying to suck me into it. Slowly and with firm intention, I retreated back to my bed.
When I was lying down, my heart was racing. This experience had undoubtedly been intense and also scary. I was confronted with a multidimensional vortex and a non-aligned etheric body. The whole experience was indeed not something that happens every day.
After this experience, it took me years to be able to do astral travel again due to the fears about unknown dimensions that I had to clear. I have recently experienced astral travel again, and now I can trust in the light of my own being to protect me from whatever happens. When you leave your body behind, it is unprotected unless you have asked for protection. Other entities may want to occupy this body, and they might sneak in while you are away. This is one of the most significant dangers in astral travel. So it is paramount to ask for protection before venturing out of your body.
Astral travel is a challenge to achieve. It requires one’s mind not to fall asleep when the body falls asleep. The easiest trick for me is to sleep normally first and then wake up around 3 am. At this point, the mind has usually gotten the rest it requires, and astral travel becomes possible. Now relax into a dreamlike state where you see and feel your thoughts being separated from you. Remember that you are the observer and not your thoughts. Focus on your breathing or your heart. If you still find it difficult to remain awake, consider using Yoga Nidra tapes, as this may help. Yoga Nidra is the yogic path to this magical sleep. Initially, you might fall asleep doing Yoga Nidra, too, but a disciplined practice and identifying the ideal time of the night (or day) for you to do this exercise is essential.
As good old Stuart Wilde explained, shaking one’s etheric body may also help to prepare. I never needed to do that, but it may be a useful thing to do in preparation. Here you keep your muscles relaxed but visually or mentally shake your etheric body instead. If you shake it right, your soul pops out of the body via your navel. Jason Quitt also talks about focusing energy on the navel area.
You have to find your way to experience an OBE. Ultimately it is not that difficult, but before you get there, you may need to practise the above methods or similar and find your way. Following your intuition is the key. Our inner wisdom always has the keys to it all. It may never happen to you, or it might happen already tonight.
I did have a similar experience to twice-born a few years back completely unexpectedly. I was receiving a healing session from a powerful healer I knew well in Glastonbury. I did lie down on the treatment table, and we aligned the directions for the energy to optimally support me during the treatment. There was a magical carpet also involved and a few other magical tools. Then I do not remember anything more except that I had left my body at some point in the session, and I was floating above the Earth. I looked at the Earth and thought, well, nothing binds me to Earth anymore, so I can as well leave. I remember the serenity of that moment, the feeling of completion.
I was about to go somewhere else but heard my name being called. I was then starting to be pulled back to my physical body, and the pain I began to experience was intense. I was coming down from a higher level of existence to my body, and I could feel the density of my 3D body; the pain was excruciating. I was screaming. It took me a while to adjust to coming back here, I had felt pretty happy to have gone, but I was again breathing and back in this dense dimension. The healer finally got me up, and I had been gone for over 2 hours; the session lasted about 3 hours which is unusual. She had tried to contact me for almost an hour, thinking I was gone. I nearly was. However, something pulled me back here, and I continued my earthly journey.
A Sufi teaching says:
Die before you die
Many spiritual teachers talk about death and the art of dying before you die. This means letting go of all Earthly needs and desires and allowing (instead of controlling) anything that is supposed to happen. It is about letting go of control and ultimately realising that we are not our body and are a being of light having an experience on Earth within a limited body.
The key to self-realisation or God-realisation is to “die before we die”. But, unfortunately, most people cannot do this as they cling to their beliefs about their false selves rather than allowing themselves to realise the truth within. The truth is that we are beings of light, children of God and we are just having a dream of being on Earth. And to be awakened from that dream, we must “die before we die”.