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Astral Projection >> Out of Body Experiences
mind boggles, shadow memory, physical brain, levels of consciousness

OBE, Understandability & Memory Download Problems

Author: Robert Bruce

Copyright 2000 - Robert Bruce (In The Land Down-Under = Australia)



The mind boggles at the potential complexities of interdimensional
subtle-body relationships and energetic conflicts created during
OBE; most especially during wake-induced OBE. Consider the memory
compatibility problems that could arise between different levels
of consciousness, and the differences in levels of understandability
between these; and of how thought and memory sharing between
these might work. And lets not forget basic reintegration problems
and the fickle nature of the eventual shadow memory download
into the only permanent storage medium all subtle bodies share,
stretched between all aspects of the mind-split: the old gray
matter of the humble physical brain. Everything experienced during
out-of-body experience must eventually be downloaded into the
physical brain in base-level understandability format, if it
is to generate any kind of recallable and enduring memory at
all that might be accessible to the awake conscious mind.

If you examine any number of OBE case histories, or have experienced
them yourself, you will find that every projection starts fresh,
right from the very beginning, just as if it were the very first
OBE. There are no continuing memories of having any kind of astral
otter type of life available to any projector, ever, even if
they suddenly shift into an astral projection that has apparently
been going on for some time. In this case, the first part of
the astral projection (all that had happened up to the moment
when the projector became conscious in his/her astral body) is
effectively wiped and is unrecallable. The projector will remember
other successful projections they have had in the past, sure,
but absolutely nothing of all their OBE failures, or of all the
nights when they just fell asleep. I consider dreams and overactive
imagination to account for those who believe their experience
is contrary to this scenario.

To be more specific: I do not believe it is possible to remember
(at the base level of consciousness in the normal waking state)
more than a tiny surface fragment of high level projection memories;
including OBE experience memories gained in the mid to high astral
planes. Basically, when it comes to recalling OBE's, it becomes
increasingly difficult anywhere above the real-time zone. Sure
its possible to recall something of mid to high level astral
experiences, but I stand by my earlier statement that a great
deal of what is experienced is lost in the download. And the
higher in the astral you to the more will be lost in the eventual
download when its all converted into base-level (physical brain)
storage format.

So just what happens to all these lost astral and higher level
OBE memories? Do they download into inaccessible levels of subconscious
and/or unconscious mind, hiding in places within us where even
the deepest level of hypnosis cannot dig them out? Why does one
successful wake-induced conscious-exit projection provide vivid
and lasting experience memories, while all other unconscious
(unremembered) OBE's leave nothing at all to show they ever happened?
And why do the words "Memory Fails Me" ring through
my head whenever I think about this subject?

In an attempt to answer some of the above questions, it seems
likely that an intrusion by the base-level of consciousness (as
manifested through the physical brain/mind in its normal waking
state) into the astral double, causes the astral double's level
of consciousness and understandability to drop sharply. This
event causes the astral level of consciousness to revert back
to its lowest form, back to its fully integrated or base-level
of consciousness. The lowest and coarsest level of a consciousness
unit appears, in all cases, to be far stronger (and what it experiences
is far more memorable) than any higher level or aspect of that
same consciousness unit (consciousness unit = a whole person
or being).

When it is present, the base-level replaces any higher level
of consciousness, e.g, astral plane levels of consciousness and
higher. The base level overwrites any experience memories gained
independently by those higher levels of consciousness. This is
what I believe happens when higher and lower levels of consciousness
integrate, on any dimensional level or level of consciousness,
during an OBE. The stronger and more robust base-level simply
replaces and overwrites the higher level. The OBE continues from
that point AT the base-level of consciousness and understandability.
This neatly replaces any higher level experience memories that
might have existed before base-level integration with a higher
aspect of itself occurs.

Higher level memories still exist after this event, but they
are driven into inaccessible levels of the subconscious or unconscious
mind and memory. The overall effect of this event is that a projection
continues from that moment on as if it had just started; often
with a vague feeling of having been doing something, but with
no real memories to support this feeling. This occurs whether
reintegration occurs at the bottom end of the scale in the waking
physical body, or whether this occurs at a higher level, say
in the astral body when the projector suddenly becomes aware
and wakes up inside his/her astral body mid-projection. The lowest
level of consciousness always replaces and overwrites any higher
level of consciousness and effectively wipes out all trace of
its experience memories at the moment of integration.

Higher level intrusion and replacement by the base level does
not allow memories of any continuing astral existence to be recaptured.
This very same thing appears to happen every time during the
integration of the real-time projected double with its physical
counterpart. The real-time double contains the experience memories
of all of its higher aspects within it when it reintegrates with
its physical counterpart. But the majority of its experience
memories of higher levels of existence are usually lost, downloaded
into inaccessible levels of subconscious and unconscious mind
and memory. This shows there is an inherent problem with OBE
reintegration: downloading and storing shadow memories in accessible
levels of the physical brain. To be recallable, shadow memories
must be accessible to the base level of waking consciousness,
and must be stored in base level format, if they are to be recognized
by the physical brain as recallable memories.

While I think it is unlikely as a continually ongoing memory
process, I admit its possible that the projected double and all
of its higher selves could lead something like separate lives
while they are out of their physical body. But the physical brain
at the base level of consciousness could not be totally privy
to these levels of continuing existence. But it may remember
small fragments of possibly linked sequential events gleaned
from a string of OBE's. Higher aspects could be, as is commonly
believed today, continually gathering experience memories that
the base level of consciousness simply cannot be privy to. The
physical brain is not capable of storing and recalling most high
level memories unless they are first converted into base level
format. And unfortunately the vast majority of high level experience
memories do not translate into base level format. At a very rough
guess I'd say that less than one-percent of high-level experience
memories are potentially accessible to the physical brain at
the base level of consciousness in the normal waking state.

Memories from higher levels of consciousness (and/or higher
levels of OBE) do not seem to be in sync with what the physical
brain is capable of recognizing and storing in physical body
memory. This factor may cause the full memories of high-level
experiences to be stored deep within the subconscious and/or
unconscious mind. The only parts of high-level experiences that
are storable as recallable memories are those parts the physical
brain is capable of recognizing and converting into base level

I believe the above conversion factor account for the metaphorical
abstracts, symbols, images and feelings that are sometimes remembered
after high-level OBE's and dreams, instead of more recognizable
types of OBE and dream experience memories. This goes a long
way towards explaining the abstract and metaphorical nature of
OBE's visions and dreams, and why these are so difficult to understand
and interpret at the base level (in the normal waking state).
The physical brain is only capable of storing the surface layer
of high-level experience memories, as highly condensed metaphorical

The thin surface layer download and storage of memories from
high-level experiences (if and when they occur) are the physical
brain's 'interpretation' of higher and more abstract levels of
its own existence in higher dimensional levels. This interpretation
is done through necessity, to store experience memories that
are being downloaded into the physical brain in an unrecognizable
format the brain is not designed to interpret and store, i.e.,
in high level format. The physical brain is incapable of recognizing
and storing complete high level experience memories in base level
format, and therefore cannot make them accessible to the normal
waking state of consciousness. But the bulk of information may
(and I definitely mean maybe here) download into inaccessible
levels of subconscious or unconscious memory. Therefore, when
an attempt is made to store them at base level format, a great
deal of information is effectively misplaced. Only fragments
(the thin surface layer) are stored and are thus recallable as
memories by normal waking consciousness. But these fragments
are abstract, symbolic and metaphorical, as is the nature of
high level memories. In a way the end result of storing this
thin surface layer can be likened to complex hieroglyphics, where
a picturegram tells a thousand words. But if you don't understand
the language, hieroglyphics become a collection of vaguely interesting
but virtually meaningless pictures.

A Geekish Analogy: Another way of describing this, to the
geeks among us (myself included:) is to think of a high level
memory as being something like a five second .mpg motion picture
file. If you view the inside of the .mpg with a file viewer (say
Windows Notepad) you'll see a huge mass of dots and squiggly
lines and symbols that make no sense whatsoever. But if you have
.mpg player software you'll see five seconds of movie you can
see, enjoy and understand. Now you use your imagination and reverse
this process. Let's say someone emails you an .mpg file. The
guts of this .mpg file contain an entire volume of the Encyclopedia
Britannica; really interesting stuff. But your software will
only let you view a highly compressed five second metaphorical
representation, of the huge volume of information actually contained
within the .mpg, when you download and play it. So, you store
this fantastic .mpg on your hard disk drive and wait until you
upgrade your PC (raise your base level of consciousness) and
in effect develop the right software with which to play it.

The higher the level of consciousness attained during an OBE,
and the higher the dimensional level projected into, the more
abstract and metaphorical existence becomes. Theoretically, the
only reliable way to overcome this incompatibility problem is
to raise the level of consciousness the base level of consciousness
is operating on. By this I do not mean to 'temporarily' raise
the base level of consciousness during an OBE, but to 'permanently'
raise the base level (upgrade its high-level OBE interpretation
software) so the normal waking state is operating at a higher
level of consciousness than before. This will allow more, but
not all, of high level experience memories to be downloaded,
remembered and understood. The only way I know of to accomplish
this feat is through long-term spiritual, bio-energetic and consciousness
raising development.

The above string of thought shows that wake-induced conscious-exit
projection causes a shift of the base level of consciousness
(normal waking consciousness) into higher dimensional levels,
neatly replacing the higher levels of consciousness natural to
those levels. This may be the only thing which allows fragments
of high level experience memories to be captured and downloaded
into the physical brain at the base level. As I said, this shift
of the base level of consciousness into a higher aspect of itself,
appears to override and replace the higher level of consciousness
operating at that time, effectively wiping all memories gained
up to that moment by the higher level of consciousness natural
to that level. This event, while infuriating if you aspire to
higher levels of OBE understanding, appears to be necessary.
If the base level of consciousness is to operate at all in higher
and more abstract dimensional levels, and is to return and tell
the tale of it, this event is logically unavoidable.

The base level of consciousness is absolutely 'necessary'
to operate down here in the physical dimension, i.e., to 'live'
and 'exist' successfully within the physical dimension. To hazard
a guess I would say that to do otherwise would cause a type of
high-level autism that would not allow one to function successfully
here in the physical dimension. One would not be able to relate
to the physical dimension, nor to communicate with others operating
at the base level of consciousness. One would live in a quiet
world of highly compressed metaphorical abstracts. Human words
and ways would seem like so much noisy clamor and clatter to
one existing at this level of consciousness. This can be likened
to how a pack of annoying seagulls might seem to a person while
they are trying to read an interesting book. Pretty soon he/she
will likely move elsewhere, or tune out the seagulls and retreat
into his/her own inner space, where he/she can read and think
in peace. And following along these lines, it seems possible
that autistics may indeed be operating at a higher level of consciousness
than the norm. This would help explain the 'savant' abilities
some autistics display. These include great artistic, musical
and mathematical abilities, e.g., see the movie 'Rain Man' starring
Dustin Hoffman as an autistic savant (mathematical genius).

Shadow memories are first cousins to dream memories, which
are themselves extremely delicate and easily lost. How many times
have you woken after a vivid dream and thought "Wow, cool,
that's so clear I'll never forget it!" so you don't bother
writing it down; only to find the memory completely missing a
few moments later. The one thing missing from every seemingly
failed OBE or lucid dream memory is simply the mental recording
of that experience, i.e., the memory of it being stored by the
physical brain; that final wrinkle in the old gray matter. Memory
is 'everything' to successful OBE or lucid dreaming.

Meditation: To allow myself another brief aside: Along these
same lines, the above also explains why meditation experiences
are so difficult to explain and remember; re they share the same
inherent translation and downloading problems as do high level
OBE experiences. Apart from simply falling asleep, this is the
'other' main reason why so many people remember little of what
transpires while they are meditating.

The difficulties understanding and grasping the complexities
of the mind-split, not to mention the enormous difficulties inherent
to explaining all of this, I think, highlights why current theories
on OBE have so far only allowed for a singular perspective and
existence of a projector. Current popular theories therefore
promoted the belief that the conscious mind actually leaves its
physical body during an OBE, leaving an empty husk in its wake:
what I call The Empty-Body Theory. Some people even go so far
as to believe the essential animating soul actually leaves the
physical body during OBE; called Soul Travel. Even the term Out-Of-Body
Experience propagates the empty-body theory. It seems likely
the reasons and needs that sprouted the empty-body theory were
the sheer complexities, and often uncomfortable issues, raised
if any more realistic and workable theory were applied to the
mechanics and dynamics of OBE, i.e., The Mind-Split Theory, which
allows for the simultaneous plural existence of any single consciousness
unit, or person, in multiple subtle bodies.

Unfortunately, the singular empty-body theory also causes
a great deal of needless worry, i.e., about getting lost or not
being able to get back into the physical body during or after
an OBE. But according to my experience and theories this could
never happen. The original copy of mind and memory never leave
the physical body while it still lives. Only a subtle copy leaves
during any OBE. And even if, under circumstances I cannot imaging,
the projected copy were somehow destroyed during an OBE, the
physical body would wake up as usual the next day; albeit maybe
with a slight headache and dizziness due to a minor loss of (replaceable)
etheric matter: nothing a few good meals and a good nights sleep
could not rectify.

If you drop the singularity (empty body during OBE) theory,
you must by default allow for the mind-split and the existence
of multiple copies of the original during OBE. And it would be
logical to suggest that each would have a different perspective,
level of consciousness and understandability. But you must then
allow for the possibility that a plethora of energetic and mental
conflicts may at times exist between these multiple copies; especially
if more than one aspect of the original is functioning at any
one time. You must also then consider how all of this would affect
the original mind and its physical storage medium, the humble
physical brain. And more importantly, how the original mind/brain
would deal with the end result: with the multiple memory streams
it would sometimes experience and have to account for, and how
it would handle and store these during and after OBE.

The mind-split phenomenon is an extraordinarily intricate
phenomenon with far reaching implications. It is fundamental
to the entire field of metaphysics if you seriously examine it.
But its real headache material, especially if an attempt is made
to grasp all its complexities in one bite. I am not surprised
the mind-split and the issues it raises have so far been overlooked;
or maybe even deliberately avoided. However, I believe the mind-split
theory (given fully in Astral Dynamics) provides the only realistic
and workable foundation to explain the nature and dynamics and
intricacies of OBE. Only when it is understood can the complex
nature of humankind's multi-dimensional bio-energetic existence
even begin to be grasped; and maybe understood just a little...

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