How to overcome Fear in Obe States
Lately the e-mails I received were often dominated by questions about fear. This may cause a wrong view of OBEing. Most of the persons who had problems with fear didn’t have any OBE at all and for that reason didn’t know how to discern OBEs from vivid dreams, near-sleep states (hypnagogic states) and nightmares. Especially nightmares are typical for such misconception, because nightmares can include awareness of sleep paralysis – but in this case in a semi-awake state, so the upcoming fear will cause vivid dream images (see article Sleep Paralysis). People then feel some presence of ghosts or demons and for they are close to a daylike consciousness, they are convinced that all what they experience is real.
I recommend to observe the hypnagogic pre-sleep states in order to get a feeling and understanding for the hallucinatory character of such dream scenery, though in the hypnagogic state the short scenes are less emotional and, for that reason, less dramatic.
The most frequent Sources of OBE Fears
1. Fear of the unknown
Very often OBE beginners are afraid because of the unknown. The best recipe is to get used to it by constant attempts and increasing practice in little experimenting steps. Furthermore, your fear of the unknown can be counteracted by reading OBE literature and OBE experiences as much as possible.
OBE letter 374
"I have been fighting my OBEs for about 7 years now (I am 25), I never ask for this. I sometimes experience paralysis, extreme fear and horrid visions. I have taught myself to wake from them, but throughout the night I fear going back to sleep. I want to learn how to control this experience and feel at ease with this now – seeing that they apparently are not going to stop. I don't know what to do! Currently, I awaken in my sleep and am aware of everything and everybody. I try to speak and scream for help, but no one can hear me. Then a tingling feeling, where I can begin to feel my body leaving, that is when I attempt to stop it. I jerk myself awake. Once awake I am scared, tired, confused and always still tingling. The tingling continues for at least 25 minutes.
Please help. - Kristin"
Start reading the article about Sleep Paralysis.
After you have informed yourself (perhaps by reading some letters as well), you should know that you have encountered a quite natural situation, at least you should accept it intellectually, though it is understandable that the fear which is engraved subconsciously may not be controlled so easily. For that reason, you may do the following imagination:
Take a comfortable seat, relax and imagine the state of paralysis. If fear arises, let the fear come and observe what is happening – nothing is happening, your fear is just a feeling, nothing more. Observe this feeling for some minutes.
Then imagine how different imaginations might arise, caused by the fear. Observe these imaginations and register that they only are imaginations and nothing more.
In this way, all illusions originating in fear can dissolve.
2. The Fear to lose the Physical Body
Very often, beginners report that they are afraid to lose contact with their physical body and, as a consequence, to lose their physical body. Intellectual knowledge about the fact that such occurrences never have been reported does not help them at the moment when they feel lost and alone in that situation. In this case, my opinion is that the best recipe to confront that kind of fear is to get used to the situation by experiencing the OBE initial point more often. By the way, it's curious – this fear is mostly felt when starting an OBE, but is not existent when travelling.
OBE Letter 351
"… By the way, before I forget, while reading through further pages on your site today, I found a letter in which you stated that to the best of your knowledge one's physical can not be harmed unless that are ‘shocked’ awake, as by someone shaking the body. Unfortunately, you did not explain that any further in that letter and I've not yet come across another letter that addresses that matter. Could you therefore, please, take the time to explain that to me? I've tried so hard not to have any fears and I would suppose that it is my ignorance that has kept me from having any fear thus far. I hope that as I gain knowledge, I will not also gain fear. However, if dangers exist I also would suppose it necessary for me to be aware."
Most of the persons who start their OBE experiences have read or heard something about OBE dangers. Certainly there never was spoken about OBEs in such kind of ‘information’ , because the sources have been of hidden character, like statements in fairy tales or stories. One old superstition is the belief that when the soul leaves the body, the body is endangered: the silver cord could be cut, the soul can't find back the way etc. You have to know, in former times they thought crazy people were persons whose soul has left the body and is kept back by demons or is living behind the moon or whatever. Being crazy at those times was a soul problem and not a brain problem as today in medicine.
If you have your first experiences of leaving the physical body, you certainly have existential, instinctive fears of losing your ‘uncontrolled’ body. This kind of fear is or was common to all OBE experimentators including myself, but it vanishes over time.
The most eminent fear of mine was that anyone would shake my body and the silver cord would tear. By now I know that the silver cord can never tear, because it is not of material character and therefore can't be damaged. The source of this kind of fear I had was a story concerning two witches, who were travelling. One of these witches was shaken awake by the farmer, who was the boss, and the witch was so shocked that she died. It was a myth some hundred years old. Maybe something like that once had happened, but it then would have been under totally different circumstances: it was usual for witches to use poisonous herbs or fruits to force their astral travel.
3. Sources of fear hidden in the subconscious
A further source of uncontrolled fear might be found in former horror trips. Your subconscious might remember this and alarm you whenever you approach a similar state. In this case it could be helpful to promote a more positive attitude in your subconscious by using visions in the hypnagogic state ("half asleep state") – visions of landscapes, of colored light etc. You even can counteract such engraved old impressions by calming meditative imagination of lovely landscapes or other imagination of calming content.
These above mentioned techniques have autosuggestive qualities because of the very relaxed or even "half asleep" state. That's the reason why these techniques can influence your subconscious so well. What makes such suggestions working?
- a repeating thread of a suggestion
- reduced outer awareness, increased inner awareness
- positive emotions
4. Ghost intruders
Hypnagogic ghost impressions
OBE letter 350
"I've tried numerous times to astral travel, but everytime I start to come out of my body, I hear spirits calling out and telling me ‘no’. Their voices scare me and I can't continue. Occasionally, their images appear close to my face and I swear I've felt their touch a couple of times. It's almost like they're waiting for me in my bedroom.
I'm not sure how to get over this fear, as I'm now afraid of the dark and I haven't been able to astral travel during the day. Also, my body keeps wanting to astral travel. Sometimes I go to bed and I get the buzzing noise and the spinning sensation in my head, and then I have to force myself to wake up as I hear the voices. Then, as soon as I close my eyes again, the sensation comes back, and this will go on about 10 times in a row, and in the end I have to get up and turn my bedroom light on so I can go to sleep normally.
Are you able to offer any suggestions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. - Thanks "
When hearing voices you are in a dreamlike state – the hypnagogic state. The spirits are not real but self-made by means of your imagination and your subconscious. Because your body is in a dreamlike state, any sensory impression – as you can have them in dreams – may occur, but in contrast to common dreams, you now are fully aware and thus frightened. Push the voices away as if they were objects in your inner world and don't mind them.
- Real ghost visitors
Locked doors cannot shut out astral beings – therefore, every room is public, such as if you would be outside on a street. In normal life, you are not used to have a sudden look at a strange person being present in your living room for instance, you would be afraid – me too. However, with astral sight the situation has changed, but you are still used to the laws of the physical plane: that makes you confused and afraid. But altogether, it is a fact of habit.
Further don't be afraid of spirits! Spirits on astral plane which you may meet are spirits as you yourself – note that moving with a subtle body or seeing with "astral eyes" makes you a spirit yourself. Concerning other spirits around you, they are of human origin and as it is usual for humans, there are kind-hearted and there are bad minded people. They are nothing more powerful than you are, perhaps they are more used to the astral plane. If they are bad minded, perhaps they’ll try to impress you by being tricky – but that's all they can do.
OBE Letter 364
"I believe I OBE'ed once and saw a small black shadowy figure standing at my door. I didn't like it and ever since then, I have been too afraid to try anything more. I dislike the idea that other spirits are around me. And I definitely do not want to see them. Is there a way I could tune these spirits out?"
Don't deceive yourself; if you do not see them this does not mean that they are not around you. To ban them away? It is similar as if you would not like to see people on the street and if you would try to forbid them to use the street – you have no right for that. The spirits live in another dimension where forces and emotions are more important than the surroundings like your living room – thus they are not entering your private sphere, if they are in your living room – they just happen to be there by chance, because a force or something like that has attracted them.
How to overcome this kind of fear? Try to be brave-hearted and get used to the situation (by OBE attempts, by reading OBE books). If you stay calm, nothing can be harmful to you.
5. Fear based on sleep paralysis
The most about sleep paralysis is explained in Sleep Paralysis.
Here some additional aspects: Of course the fact of paralysis in its own is terrifying, if you are not used to it. Sometimes, however, breathing is hindered too, which is an additional source of fear.
OBE Letter 409
"I rolled over, but then noticed I still had the paralysis from the dream. I still had the trouble breathing also. I tried to yell, but couldn't. I struggled to open my eyes and find my door, but everything I could see was like in a disc."
General Hints how to handle Fear and Panic
(quoted from Adavic)
TEN RULES FOR COPING WITH PANIC
The feelings are normal bodily reactions – exaggerated.
They are not harmful – just unpleasant.
Do not add frightening thoughts – negative, unpleasant consequences.
Describe what is happening – notice what IS not what you fear MIGHT.
Wait for fear to pass – do not fight or run away – accept it.
Notice when it fades – when you stop adding frightening thoughts, it fades by itself.
It is an opportunity for progress – use it to learn coping – learn to grow!
Think about progress to date despite the difficulties – think of how pleased you'll be when you succeed this time.
When you begin to feel better, look around you, and start to plan what to do next.
When you are ready to go on, start off in an easy, relaxed way. There is no need for effort or hurry.
15 COPING TIPS
Change "What If's" to "So What".
Stay in the present.
Don't judge your feelings.
Thoughts and feelings are NOT actions.
What am I telling myself that is scaring me?
I am what I tell myself.
The more I do, the more I can do.
I've done it before, I CAN do it again!
I am the same person, here or in my safe place.
I can handle it, nothing terrible will happen.
The feelings are distressing, NOT dangerous.
In reality, there is nothing that can hurt me here.
The anxiety can only go so high and then it comes down.
Take slow, deep breaths.
Accept the feeling, it can't hurt you.
Give yourself permission to feel anxious.
Calm yourself with positive self-talk.
Breathe slowly through your nose.
Let go, float, and flow.
Distract yourself, it is only anxiety.
Use the adrenaline in a positive pursuit.
Don't let a bad day scare you.
Give yourself credit for how far you've come.
Let time pass, IT WILL GO AWAY!
- end of quote -
© Alfred Ballabene (Vienna)