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Non-Corporeal Orienteering

by on May 22, 2014

Non-Corporeal Orienteering
by Marco M. Pardi

“After the game, the king and pawn go into the same box.” Italian proverb.

Hamlet: “The dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of.”
Shakespeare. (1564 – 1616) Hamlet, 3.1.78 1600

If I have the answer, I think I do not yet know it. I do have the wonder, and the questions which flow there from.

Early on we learn we have five senses: Sight; hearing; touch; smell; and taste. Later, we learn that as Primates humans primarily rely on vision. We also learn the loci for the sensory nerves of the hand and the sensory nerves in and around the mouth are proximal on the brain; this explains why babies pick up objects, including their thumbs and hold them to or in their mouths. The sensory nerves of touch are also critical in developing locomotion; one feels the supporting surface of ground or floor and orients one’s actions to it. This is coordinated with visual reinforcement that the surface is continuous, we are not walking off a cliff. Auditory cues may also support the idea we are traversing something solid. We hear our steps as well as feel them.

Our first good head cold informs us that taste and smell are related. A totally stuffed nose means a totally tasteless meal. This knowledge becomes important for those who are ceremoniously welcomed in Central Asia with a glass of Koumiss – fermented mare’s milk. Surreptitious deep breathe, hold it, toss Koumiss to back of throat using back of tongue to block nasal passages and swallow, exhale forcefully through mouth. Or, just vomit your guts out. A former colleague of mine got a head injury so severe he permanently lost all ability to taste and smell. He judged meals by texture.

We also learn to distinguish the inner chatter from the outer information; we admit to hearing our thoughts, but not to hearing things.

So living in a body means constant adjustments, like a gyroscope on gimbals, using our sense to orient to what we sense is our reality. Other than through drugs, how can we flex that reality? Free fall parachuting is interesting. Unlike using a static line with which you have only a few seconds before the line pulls open the chute, free fall, especially at high altitude, gives you time to sense more than the initial turbulence of the outside wind, the noise of the engine or engines, and the fumes from the engines. In a moment you are free of all that and, if you wear an ear covering helmet you barely hear the wind, if that. Smooth, tight clothing barely ripples, if at all. And if you are high enough the ground does not rush up at you, much less so if at night. No moon, or a cloud cover, and it’s a numbers game to determine when to open the chute. Eerie silence. You may have a mild pressure sensation on your ventral side. Floating. At some point, reach over, grasp the D Ring, and pull in an outward arc.

SCUBA diving gives a more prolonged experience with even the least experienced diver learning buoyancy and “straight and level” travel. Once the desired depth is reached and there are no cross currents maintenance is relatively easy, especially in salt water. Again, no sense of body weight. Go where you want. Fresh water, not as dense, is more difficult for a beginner. For example, diving in natural cenotes in the Yucatan one can descend through fresh water to deeper salt water intrusions. Buoyancy differences are immediately obvious, and the cline – or meeting line of the two waters (fresh above, salt below), is obvious as it looks like a narrow band of heat shimmer. Still, the light from above and the dark from below give orientation. Diving at night in an open ocean, no moon, water temperature about 60F, I used my luminous depth gauge to descend to about 85′ before turning on my light – so as not to be seen from above. Everything was fine until a hairline crack in my light allowed in water to short it out. Now what? Check my luminous dive watch for elapsed time. Do what I needed to do in absolute blackness. Check watch. Find pressure valve on BCD (Buoyancy Control Device – a vest with air bladders to which the tank is attached). Pop a small burst of air from tank to BCD. Check ascent rate on depth gauge. Reach decompression staging area and release air from BCD. Hover. Check watch. Pop more air in. Proceed by protocol. Simple, except for all those tractor-trailer sized sharks I imagined looking for where that light was.

Oh, by the way, if your parachute fails and your reserve is inoperable just smile and look your best.

So what’s this all about? In the thousands of reports of Near Death Experiences all the reporters claim to see, some claim a sensation of movement – although this is based on seeing things such as the sides of a tunnel go by and not a feeling of G force pressure, and some claim a sensation of hearing – seemingly outside as in air rushing by or inside as in mind to mind communication. I have not read or heard a report of tasting or smelling something, though flowers may look good enough to eat. And, reported tactile feelings appear most often, if not always internal. Nonetheless, almost all reporters claim that descriptions appropriate to corporeal sensations are utterly inappropriate to the NDE.

What about those who did not come back, those that are “in the spirit”? Having been below and watched “cattle boats” discharge large groups of amateur divers, arms and legs thrashing and some divers descending too quickly, I can just imagine the chaos going on in The Great Cosmic Wherever as hundreds of thousands of non-corporeal spirits who have never had so much as a swimming pool check-out dive (read NDE) are daily being discharged to find their bliss.

There is an overabundance of articles and books purporting to arise from “channeling” a disincarnate or through automatic writing directed by a disincarnate. Many of these are obviously cash products. Some few are evidential; they provide veridical evidence that, for many, confirms their authenticity. Of these few, fewer still address the phenomenological issues we are usually asked to take for granted.

For example, if the mind is freed from the body, how is it located? That is, does it simply float around as a sphere of energy, and if so does that mean it has territorial limits? These limits would work two ways: Two minds coming in close proximity could, unless careful, do a Vulcan Mind Meld. If so, who’s who? Is there really meaning to the saying, “Stop getting into my head”? How do we draw close to each other without making a mash up? Are we on different frequencies? If so, how do we communicate?

At the other end (acknowledging there are no ends in a non-corporeal dimension), what’s my MER, Maximum Effective Range? Some people say you have only to imagine a place and SHAZAM you’re there. Cool. Travel can be such a bore. But, if this doesn’t call for some flight training I don’t know what does. I can think of all kinds of places I do not want to be. Am I to be a prisoner of my mind, strapped to my recliner while a drug addled chimpanzee fingers the television remote? There ought to at least be a Ground School. No wonder so many spirits hang around places they lived. They need a burly NCO Jump Master to kick their asses out the door.

There are other implications embedded here. If I can “be” somewhere just by imagining it, does that mean being with someone is only imagination too?

Two ancient pieces of literature come close to being manuals, especially for avoiding the trap of attachment to what or whom you loved in life: The Book of Coming Forth by Day (Papyrus of Ani, or Egyptian Book of the Dead) and the Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead). Each is at least a two millennia old predecessor of the modern literature on the experience of death and the “afterlife”. But each guides us through the process without telling us much of anything about what happens when the tuna casserole is all gone.

Sure, I would love to be re-united with my horses, dogs, and cat – even with a special loved one. But, the more I read and think about all this the more I dread one day saying, “What, you mean FOREVER?”

“Eternity’s a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it all going to end?” Tom Stoppard. (1937-) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. 2, 1967.

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  1. Dana permalink

    Vulcan mind meld might not be such a bad idea if I could choose the mind. If possible, I would gravitate toward yours and/or Benjamin Franklin’s. Of course, I would not want to force anyone into melding with my mind. That’s something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.


  2. I could go for that, Dana. And, I can keep a secret. Of course, if everything’s an open book, we’ve got problems.


  3. This was very interesting for me to read because i can relate to some of those `astral travel` (NDE or OBE) tips.
    Many of the more advanced OBErs in some of my FB groups talk of experience of `astral sex`, a word that i dont like in particulare because i think it can be misleading.

    From what i understand and from just one experience i had of this (or maybe it was not exactly this ?? still not sure) it is more like the merging and melting of one mind into the other, or rather spirit ?? or essence ?? or maybe better, a merging of our life energies.
    I know it can be very beautiful but I also know we`d better choose our patners well ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for imagining (or focusing) being in one place and being there in a nano second, i have personally experienced this at least three times.

    Sometimes i have felt a sense of extreme speed, other times i dont recall any speed at all, just being there in a literal blink of the eye.

    I always still wonder at these `astral peculiarities or phenomena`.
    They can be very personal and different one from the other, because at the end of the day it is possibly all about what i call `Consciousness Travels` (forgive me for having coined a new word ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
    (And this could reaaaally make a good name for a next generation Travel Agency ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL! )

    Some of the big OBE authors are recently saying that more than going out of body, it is rather a going inside the body, inside other dimensions of awareness.
    This makes sense to me , although it is such an un-explored field that , as far as i know, any theory could be the right one… ( and by the way, pls dont ask for further explanation ๐Ÿ˜‰ !! )

    Thank you as always Marco (and Dana!) for making me think !


  4. FOAL, You hit on the issues that people often dismiss with the excuse that corporeal concepts such as measurable time/space do not apply to non-corporeal existence. While I can see that, it still does not resolve the fundamental question of how I can go on being me, as distinct from you or anyone else. How can I be “here” and not “there” – a question which addresses the issue of, Oh, I’m not there, and want to be there, so I think of there and it happens. In other words, self identity implies location. And, location is by definition fixed in time and place. In order to continue being me, and being “here” I have to exclude being you and being “there”. So, we’re back to the fundamentals. Of course, the solution is implied in the philosophy that ultimate liberation is the merging into ALLNESS. Okay, but this presents the problem alluded to by Siddhartha when he said, “When you are sure you are enlightened, you can be sure you are not.”


  5. Among the many things I have failed as yet to accomplish in my lifetime, three are sky diving, scuba diving, and astral travel. I can but imagine that the sensations you so eloquently describe for the first two might find themselves matched by wandering about on the astral plane.

    I can see you leaping fearlessly into that night sky and getting lost in a feeling of complete freedom. I can feel you deep beneath that ocean, relying only on your own skills to accomplish the task at hand and return safely to the surface.

    My brother, who has been a diver for many years, has told me about negative buoyancy. It is his favorite sensation. Do you suppose it is at all similar to floating about on the astral; moving from spot to spot with no discernible effort?

    All of this reminds me of an experiment in sensory deprivation in which I participated many years ago. Seemingly floating around in the nothingness without sight, sound, or feeling to mark where my body began or ended; you might imagine a sense of freedom. Surprisingly, it was the most terrified I have ever been. In that silent darkness, I was visited by demons; and no amount of reminders by my sentient mind could convince me that they were not there; not real.

    I’ve since then had an NDE, and it was more wonderful than any corporeal experience imaginable. Like so many others, I saw, heard, and moved toward that light. I sincerely believe that is what awaits me at the end of my days; but if you ask me if I wanted to wander around in that darkness forever, I’d have to say no. That just doesn’t make sense.


  6. Hi, Rose. I remember the first sensory deprivation chamber experiments at Harvard in the late ’60’s. Your report of your experience fits right in. Most of the volunteers lasted under a minute and could not be coaxed back. As you may know, I’ve had many OBEs, usually in association with the death of someone. I do not recall a single moment of disorientation after the very first one in which I was startled that I had no body. I also don’t recall any difficulty with “direction” or speed of travel. On more mundane OBEs I have had a bit of disorientation, and once the sensation that I could not continue further through the roof without getting stuck in the rafters. That was an off night.

    I’m anxious to read of your progress with Lory on this. Marco


    • Dana permalink

      Rose, I would be interested in hearing more about your NDE.


  7. Marco, I`d love to hear about your OBEs !!!! and Rose ! I`d love to hear about your NDE too !!


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