Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Introduction to the Phase - Part 2


After my last post, I decided it was a bit rude to give you a glimpse into the end state I was able to accidentally achieve while withholding all the details of how I actually got there.  Fortunately, my friends, I care a great deal for manners so I will spend this post entirely on the "wheres", "whats", and "hows" of my first Phase experience.

I first came across the term Astral Projection while searching YouTube for videos on Lucid Dreaming. (also a great topic, but we will get to that another time).  In January of 2014, if you were to type "Astral Projection" into the search box on YouTube, the top videos slots were home to a series produced by a man named Nicholas Newport.  He calls his series "Lucidology". Watching his videos, he described a method that he deemed "the underachiever method". This method of achieving mystical experiences was  meant for those who are not interested in putting forth a great deal of effort. Bingo! That was the technique for me! In a single night, I could quickly employ this technique, debunk Astral Projection and go back to my studies on Lucid Dreaming.

This method requires the use of what Nicholas calls a "ramp timer".  A ramp timer is nothing more than a series of beeps that are set to play in your ear while you sleep at predefined intervals.  The instructions were to sleep for 4 to 6 hours, at which point, the ramp timer should be set to beep, wake you up, and your only job is to go back to sleep.  Easy enough right? I have always prided myself on my ability to sleep .  Being the party animal that I am, I typically hit the sack about 9:00 PM.  I set the ramp timer to go off at about 3:00 AM, laid down on my back, put my earbuds in, and quickly did what I do best, drifted off to sleep.

At 3:00 AM, as planned, the first interval of beeps went off in my ears.  I woke up slightly annoyed, a little confused, very groggy, and then remembered my experiment. Sticking to the plan was a piece of cake at 3:00 AM.  I simply laid back and went back to sleep.  Here is where things began to get unexpectedly bizarre. I almost immediately entered a lucid dream. I was enjoying the wind in my face as I soared over the rooftops of my neighborhood when the next round of beeps went off in my ear.  I sat up in bed, excited about what had just occurred.  Sure, I didn't get out of body, but I did have a lucid dream, which you may recall, was my real goal to begin with anyhow. I walked to my dresser, picked up my dream journal and began to write.  I looked up and noticed something out of place.  My mattress was hanging half way off of my bed and onto the floor.  "That's odd", I thought. How on earth did that happen?  Noticing other irregularities in my room,  it didn't take me long to realize I was not really awake.  I had read about these, but never experienced one.  This was a false awakening.  No sooner did I get my bearings, then the next interval of beeps sounded in my ear.

I woke up, sat up in bed, thinking about my lucid dream followed by my false awakening.  This had truly been an eventful night.  I was on my way to write down my experiences in my dream journal when it occurred to me that I  wasn't sure how long I had been listening to the ramp timer.  It felt like morning, so I skipped the dream journal, saying to myself that I would write in it later and headed to the bathroom to shower and get ready for work. I walked into the bathroom, but when I walked through the door, I wasn't in the bathroom.  I was outside standing on a grassy hill.  Here we go again. This was another false awakening.  Just as I realized I was still sleeping, the ramp timer began its next interval of beeps in my ears.  I had six false awakenings in all.  Over and over again I thought I was awake, started my day, only to wake up again. Near the end, I started immediately questioning my state of consciousness each time I awoke. It was the final beep that woke me finally back to reality and to an overwhelmingly intense flood of auditory hallucinations and uncontrollable electrical vibrations that were coursing through my body.

Oddly enough, I have only had a small handful of ramp timer induced successes. The saying "beginner's luck" definitely applies here.  The challenges I have found with the ramp timer method are threefold.  First, once I had experienced its potential, I had an incredibly hard time going back to sleep when it first sounded in my ear.  My adrenaline would start pumping and I would be filled with excitement at the prospect of another astral adventure. This emotion never failed to ruin the state.  Second, the morning after a night of experimentation, successful or otherwise is never an easy morning.  You have just endured a night of disrupted sleep and will spend the following day catching yourself dozing off at the keyboard in your cubicle, and quite possibly, a bit cranky if your attempts lead to nothing fruitful.  Finally, most the time it just doesn't work. Maybe the time of night is wrong, maybe I am not relaxed enough, maybe the volume is too loud or too soft, or maybe there is just a certain amount of luck when it comes to employing this method.

Despite the difficulties that this method presents, it did provide me with my first experience, and in that, it changed my life and I will never be the same.

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