My first strategy for contacting people from the out-of-body state--using thought power--didn't seem to work. My second strategy--flying--didn't work well either; some distraction always stopped me before I reached my goal. I decided to try a third strategy, walking. At least until I could find a better way to travel. After all, what could go wrong with walking?
That's when I discovered the "silver cord" the books talked about. Most books call it the silver cord, based on a verse in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 12:6). The cord, they said, connects the astral body to the physical and will pull you back inside in case of danger. I soon found out the cord doesn't play fair:
03/08/80 Sat - OBE #11
...I jerked myself out of line of my body, and floated up. I tried to get away from my body by clawing the atmosphere and using my legs to push. I got about five feet away from my body when the cord's pull became stronger and started pulling me back toward my body.
I fought the pull and about one foot away from my bed, I resisted the pull for a few seconds, and then was violently sucked back into my body by my cord. After I was rejoined to my physical body, I woke up and looked around.
I wasn't in danger, or even emotional during the whole OBE, and yet the silver cord pulled me back in the body against my will. Why?
Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington tried to address the cord-problem in their book, The Projection of the Astral Body. They claimed there was a "cord activity range" which was like a fifteen-foot magnetic field all around the physical body. If you're within the cord activity range, they said, the silver cord was likely to pull you back inside. However, once beyond that range, you are free to roam.
I was fairly angry with my silver cord, but what could I do to keep it from pulling me back to my body? Many books on astral projection warned me against tampering with my astral cord. They said if I damaged the cord, my body would suffer great physical harm, and if my cord was broken my body would die.
But what made them the experts? How often have people actually tried playing with their astral cord? I decided to be cautious about my cord, but not cave in to fear and occult superstition. I decided not to accept my limitations, but to fight back!
07/30/81 Thu - OBE #44
...My cord started a gentle tug back, but I responded immediately by resisting and, with a swimming-like motion, propelled myself forward in a southeast direction through the corner of my bedroom and into our kitchen hall. I walked into the kitchen against the tug of my own astral cord.
After struggling all the way to the kitchen, I got very angry at walking with the cord tugging against me. I turned around and grabbed hold of the cord and I yanked it with all my might, to make more slack.
The cord drooped down to the floor and I continued....
In the experience above the astral cord seemed like a glowing piece of garden hose. I soon found out the silver cord can take different shapes, especially when the astral traveler is a somewhat disoriented computer programmer:
How's that for taking your work home with you? Anyway, since my astral cord didn't break during that experience, I decided not to be so "gentle" the next time I was out! No more Mister Nice Guy!
01/31/82 Sun - OBE #63
Last night I stayed up watching a television show until 1:00am. I was very tired. This morning I woke up early once, and went back to sleep.
I started to dream. I dreamed that there was a party going on at our house. Then I woke up. The only thing I remember from that dream was (1) JP and CA were outside when the dream ended, (2) My bedroom door was open and (3) LD and some others were upstairs, in JP and CA's bedroom.
I drifted back toward sleep, but then I realized that I could project very easily; all I had to do was to throw my consciousness forward, and start astrally swaying. I was laying on my right side. So I pushed my whole consciousness forward. At once I was zapped into my astral body, and I started swaying forward and backward. The vibrations had built until they were noticeable, but were getting constantly stronger. I knew I was now partly in and partly out of my body....
On a forward swing (or swaying) I lunged forward, and twisted up to separate the two bodies, in a very sudden and violent manner. In my astral body now, as I made the movement I felt a great tearing sensation coupled with the feeling that my solar plexus had just dropped and I felt a bit sick to my stomach.
I was not seeing, but once again mind-sensing. I was about a foot above my body, and I was in a laying position, pointed perpendicularly away my body and about a foot away from the bed. For a second I worried that I might have torn my astral cord, and made a permanent projection (death). Then I thought, "Well, it's too late to worry about it now. Either I'm okay, or the damage has already been done." So I ignored it and decided to try to contact LD.
I was groggy. I noticed that I seemed to have a computer printout in my hand, and I felt the need to take this printout with me and show it to LD. I still had that last dream in mind. My bedroom door looked open, although the physical door was really shut. And I somehow believed that LD was upstairs in JP and CA's bedroom. So I took the end of my computer printout, and I walked into the dining room. I didn't want my computer printout to tear, so I walked very carefully, and I turned to see how my printout would unfold itself. The other end was sitting on the floor next to my bed--apart from my body.
I walked backwards and I watched it unfold and grow longer with each additional page being unfolded from the main pile. Upon looking back into my room I saw the printout, but not any astral cord, so I realized that the printout that was unfolding WAS my astral cord [in disguise]! That's why there seemed no end to it! It only took the appearance of a printout!
I tried to climb through the ceiling into their apartment, but I was unsuccessful; I blacked out.
02/06/82 Sat - OBE #64
...I was in my astral body, swaying. I struggled, and pulled away [from the body] a little bit, but I felt the resistance of my astral cord.
Last night I had been conditioning myself for these problems. I kept saying the following affirmations to myself: (1) When I am in my astral body, everything is governed by thought whether conscious or unconscious. (2) Nothing on Earth is solid to me, except in my mind. (3) I will feel no resistance, nor any restriction of my freedom. (4) I will be able to go wherever I wish without interruption. (5) I should be able to see through walls and ceilings.
Well, now I felt the resistance of my astral cord, and I thought, "Hey! This isn't fair! I am projecting and I should be free!" But just then I was violently sucked back into my body after having resisted as long as I could. I woke up in my physical body after a short blackout, and without any ill effects.
I said to myself, "I'm not giving up that easily!" and I tried the same procedure. It was relatively easy this time, and I slipped right out. I pulled away from my body on purpose, and I started walking toward my bedroom door. This time I could feel my astral cord taking up the slack, and exerting a greater force. I was three feet from my body on the bed, and I was upright and facing my bedroom door.
When I felt my cord starting to tighten, I turned around and faced my body. I'd like to note here that I was only mind-sensing during the whole projection. And since I was not "seeing," I had to feel where my cord was. I felt it, and it was now joined to my astral self at the bottom of my rib cage, or just a little below my heart, and between where the ribs divide going down.
The cord itself felt smooth but very rigid, like a piece of garden hose. The cord was about one centimeter in diameter.
Anyway, I put my hand just above my cord, so that I would see where it was when I woke up. I somehow thought that my physical hand would be moved to that spot too. I got into a kung fu stance with my weight mostly on my back leg. I was now prepared to play tug-of-war, with my own astral rope!
I yanked at the cord as hard as I could. I started resisting its pull, and I kept trying to reassure myself that I should, by all rights, be free from this menace.
I resisted the cord's pull for a little while, as long as I could, and then I got sucked back in [my body] again.
Apparently my kung fu stance didn't help me resist the cord any better. The cord held up against my most determined effort to pull on it, without any damage.
There has been a lot of discussion about the astral cord, what it is and whether or not it exists. Many people who have had out-of-body experiences or near-death experiences have reported seeing a cord or cable linking their astral body to their physical body. People from all societies and all parts of the world have reported seeing a cord regardless of location, age and religious beliefs.
Just as many people don't see any silver cord, even when they look for one and even when they expect to see one. I've had OBEs in which I have seen a cord, and ones in which there was apparently no cord. I personally believe that the astral cord exists only as a psychological comfort or point of reference. I don't believe it has any actual connection with the physical body. Also, I don't believe it has any function, except as a psychological symbol.
I don't believe that playing with the silver cord can damage the body, and I don't believe the body will die if the cord is severed. However, I caution you against such antics, just to be safe.
Here is another visualization exercise: Get into your favorite OBE practice position, close your eyes and relax as completely as you can. Let yourself fall deeper and deeper toward sleep until you are consciously watching hypnogogic images.
Then visualize that a black box, about three inches on a side, is sitting three feet in front of your eyes and slightly to the left of the center of your imaginary viewing screen. Hold that visualization for about thirty seconds.
Next, visualize a cloud of gray, about the same size, sitting to the right of the box. The cloud has no definite shape, but it is taller than it is wide, looking almost like a snowman. Visualize the two figures side by side for another thirty seconds.
Next, visualize a thread of light slowly reaching from the black box to the gray blob. It reaches closer and closer until it reaches the gray blob, filling it with light. If you feel any strange sensations, remain calm and follow your impulses.
If nothing happens, repeat the visualization again from the beginning a few times. Make sure you do it slowly and as vividly as you can.
What in the world does this do? Well, I once used this visualization to leave my body. During the visualization, I felt a sharp sensation along my spinal column, and I got the urge to physically throw myself backward, into the bed. I followed the impulse and tried to throw myself backward, but only my astral body moved, and I was out of my body. It was a very easy OBE. I don't know how or why it worked, but it did.
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