The following questions -as I came to understand- are very important keys in our journey: what is everything for? what am I like that for?
OBEs are simply another tool to help us on our journey to grow -they can be part of our spiritual practice. And ultimately, one of the keys that I have learned in my experience is to ask myself how every moment serves my growth process. Because I don't know much, but the one thing that I do know is that the system, the universe, God, the invisible worlds, or whatever you want to call it, wants me to succeed in this process -unequivocally. The moment I realized that -in my being- it changed everything for me and it always brings me back to Einstein's famous quote: "The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." The problem is that we interpret this truth in terms of good or bad and that's where we mess up. But that's a whole other subject I will go into another time.
So knowing that I am assisted at all times, I know that everything is placed before me to ensure just that.
It's not easy to go OBE and then to navigate both worlds. It's just not. By both worlds I mean the physical world, which is the one that we know, and the other worlds are what I call the invisible worlds.
OBEs are not necessary and I only talk about them because they are key to my process. And I had no other choice but to follow their guidance. They are important to me because they sustained me on this journey, keeping me anchored to a truth that I now experience at all times, as opposed to reading or hearing about it in comforting stories. That's the concept of "pretty stories" that I often refer to. I don't really mean to be derogatory when I say that, because in fact they were once pretty stories for me too and very helpful ones indeed. But now they are my life. And I crossed that threshold when I learned to understand -the hard way- that wanting to feel good about myself was a huge illusion.
Right at the beginning of my journey I was struck by a statement by the extraordinary Joseph Campbell. Joe explained how the main problem with religion is that people get stuck in their metaphors and they didn't understand the message beyond the image. I'd like to point out here the word "message" and not "meaning"; the message is fundamental but the meaning is personal to each individual -and both have their validity, as I will explain further on.
But back to religion and metaphors: Christ ascending to heaven is a metaphor for going within oneself and finding the divine in us, our true nature. And being stuck in that metaphor is not going beyond what this image depicts -namely the image of ascending to an external heaven above, after death.
Because that statement stuck in my mind I was compelled to draw from it when reflecting on my experiences, over and over. And so it was that after a phase of being overwhelmed by the trips I was taking in the other worlds, I learned to see beyond them, that they were also metaphors and the key was to understand the messages in them and not be entertained or distracted endlessly by the images themselves. And not be stuck in them. I will talk specifically about the concept of metaphor later on, but this is an important point because being stuck in our metaphors is at the root of all the frictions we encounter in life.
I use the word overwhelm a lot because to me it conveys with precision a very important fact about our physical reality and that we better keep in mind: the nature of our reality is overwhelming. And for all that I have experienced and for all that I know, I'm always sucked in before I know to get back to center -no matter what.
When overwhelmed we can't see beyond that circumstance and don't allow for the lessons to come. Using the analogy of a school playground, a child whose toy has been snatched by another will be overwhelmed by that and will not see beyond the pain. The child doesn't know that it's all part of discovering the ways of the world and an opportunity to grow.
But we can learn to understand that we are that child, that we are in the playground and that there is always something to learn. And OBEs are just another one of those ways to receive lessons. But they are not key to learning. Not at all. I just want to make it clear that this blog is not about claiming that OBEs are the thing or even the only thing. It's just part of my personal experience and in fact what I want to talk about is what they have shown me.
It took me a long time to fully understand that the big playground is fundamentally here in this world -the physical world. I say that because this enlightenment goal in the spiritual circles is actually making us blind to what we are here to do. I must say that one of my most astonishing observations was to see that intensifying the spiritual practice here in this world increased my possibilities of exploration in the OBEs. As I will explain further on as well, there is always a hidden truth in everything and that's where our powers lie. In this sense the physical world is the dimension that is to help us boost our growth, and our evolution here will have an impact on our ability to sustain explorations in OBEs -and during the process of death and in-between lives which is the ultimate OBE ride.
It's safe to say that not many people have OBEs and although many more will begin to experience them in the near future, they are not necessary to grow. But if you have them, I think it is helpful to have in mind their real purpose. The problem is that many get stuck in the desire to have them or going back -like I did in the beginning. That's because we get stuck in the metaphors, for as long as we don't understand their message. But there are many tools available to us, like signs, dreams and thoughts, emotions, life, all the frictions we encounter and most of all what we feel at any given time. But we'll talk about that as we go along.
In my case OBEs have taught me to see the invisible worlds that support us and help us expand. And that's why I want to talk about them. So in that sense, don't you get stuck in the idea of OBEs, don't get stuck in any of my metaphors. Because ultimately, your job is to discover, or create your own metaphors and let them guide you, pull you.
Discover or create... you will soon see that it's actually the same.
:) Marina CB - always be brave, be free
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