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The Man Who Became a Light Bulb

This article was written by Keith Randolph on May 14, 2002
posted under Creative Visualization

In his Handbook of Astral Projection, Richard A. Greene discusses an OBE-producing visualization exercise calling for the practitioner to "transfer... consciousness into any object and try to see from the object’s point of view."

One person who tried this technique successfully describes how he attempted to transport his consciousness into a light bulb hanging from the ceiling on the opposite side of the room. Initially he had the sensation of "bouncing back and forth between my body and the light bulb." Just as he would feel himself centered in the bulb, he would start to reconstruct the structure and appearance of the room. This "intellectual" effort, which drew on memory rather than direct perception, inevitably put him right back into his body. He assumed all the while, however, that these "events" were occurring solely in his imagination.

Then one day he realized that imagination had fused into reality. As he visualized himself inside the light bulb, he looked down from his vantage point into two boxes. He had known all along that they were there, but he had never bothered to examine their contents. But now he "saw" that one box contained wire and the other scraps of paper. ("The word ‘seeing’ to describe the way I saw these things is not the right word," he says. "They were images which penetrated into my consciousness. Along with the perceptions came a solid feeling of their being totally and completely right.")

He immediately willed his consciousness back into his physical body and went to view what was inside the boxes—to discover what his "imaginary" visualized perception had already told him. Moreover, when he physically positioned himself close to the light bulb, he found that the perspective was exactly correct, down to his being able to detect cracks and scratches in the wall not visible to one standing on the floor looking up. In short, he realized that now he was no longer just pretending to leave his body; he WAS leaving his body.

A psychologist experimenting with visualization had no idea that he would generate real OBEs when, as part of an effort to help his students exercise control over their mental experiences, he directed them to imagine they were traveling into outer space. Several of his students told him that while they were visualizing such a trip, they suddenly left their bodies and underwent classic OBEs. The psychologist, Sandor Brent of Wayne State University, was so impressed that he overhauled his program and made it a formal exercise for inducing group OBEs!

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