I fought to breathe, swinging my arms in a windmill-like pattern while slowly feeling myself slipping out of consciousness. The room had been spinning for what felt like an hour. Gravity seemed to weigh a ton and then some. I managed to unravel the hand that clenched my throat so firmly, so spitefully, and so intentionally, allowing myself one last gulp of air before I braced for the blow that knocked me out cold —
“Meow!” Rolling over, I managed to fall on top of my hostile cat, Felix, in the soft rolls of my duvet, which in turn resulted in a loud shriek that pierced the walls and windows of my crippled two-story apartment accompanied with a minor scratch across the nose. Batting Felix to the floor, I nustled into my pillow for a brief moment more.
If you could park a house, mine would surely come with a handicap sticker. Peeling paint, warping floorboards, broken faucets, clogged drains — there wasn’t much beauty left in the establishment. I’d lived here for no more than a year and it was clear that the previous resident took no pride in their living quarters. Dust had clumped, rust accumulated, and strange residue dripped from the ceiling in the basement.
I opened my eyes (barely) and with a great deal of effort managed to shift my weight from the spring mattress to my pathetic excuse for legs. Shuffling across the soft, carpeted floor, I started heading for the staircase. Flailing for the handrail to find my balance, slowly I descended to the first level.
The wooden platform at the bottom of the steps was cold on my bare feet. I performed a dance of sorts in order to keep my feet off the icy slate. Hopping and skipping in a strange fashion, I made my way to the coffee pot and brewed a fresh batch, I knew I needed something to stimulate my senses for the next hour or so without throwing me into some ridiculous caffeine overdrive. Coffee never did a whole lot for me, but it was enough to keep my Mondays rolling at six in the morning.
However, today was not Monday. It was Saturday. A day meant for relaxation, potential yard work, and my favorite pastime, meditation.
Meditation isn’t exactly what they glorify it as in strange movies about 80’s kungfu techniques, at least, not the form that I practice. No — what I do requires immense concentration. A silent mind with complete attention to your surroundings all the time. I practice this about an hour after waking up every weekend, and I could only feel myself getting stronger with each attempt that I made. Subconsciously, I felt empowered by my actions. Consciously, I was terrified.
My process was pretty simple. I’d start by laying on my back, arms rested to my sides. One pillow for neck support but not to cause damage to my neck or back, or disorient my concentration. I’d lay still for about twenty minutes, completely emptying my mind of anything negative and positive, focusing solely on the fact that I wanted to empty my mind. Once I am sure that everything but that thought has been cleared, I let that thought go and hold onto nothing but silence.
I’m no longer focusing on thoughts at all. I concentrate everything on my breathing. My heart rate. The sound of my blood flowing through my body. As crazy as it sounds, it’s there. It’s complex. You can’t think to yourself, “Wow, my heartbeat is really fast” or, “My blood is flowing so quickly.” You have to simply acknowledge that you are aware that it is there, and control it. Slow everything down. Feel your body sink in to the blankets and sheets beneath your body. Visualize yourself being consumed by the bed.
You’ll start to feel still. Paralyzed really. If you feel this sensation you can’t break focus. You can’t lose concentration. You’re doing it right. Keep going. Keep slowing everything down. Count to ten if you must, but focus solely on the numbers as you inhale and exhale. Nothing more, nothing less. If you break focus now, it’ll take you forever to return to this state.
As I continue my lengthy, nearly tortuous process, I start to regain the fear that’s come with every experience prior. The things I’d read online always seemed far-fetched and I didn’t believe much of it, but I knew the meditation practices had been helping me with my anger management. That was until I knew what I was truly doing. I’d taken things one step further, one step further into there was a weekend when things went too far. Voices started echoing from the back of my mind. I’d read on one of my many searched websites that this was common within the practice and was merely your body beginning its ascent into the lucid dream world. Most know these practices as, “Out of body experiences” or OBE’s.
They say OBE’s take your spiritual being and place it on the astral plane of our universe, allowing you to lie lucid in your bed while seeing yourself and everything around you in first person from your third eye’s extensive leash into the astral world. Bizarre concept, and I didn’t believe any of it. Not until the voices came.
They were horrific. Nightmare inducing. Mind piercing. They said no foul words, they spoke only in tongues and languages of sacred texts that I couldn’t even begin to identify. I could hear one voice speaking English, but it was distant, quiet, as if it wasn’t even relatively important. I focused hard to hear this voice above all others, but this sequence in my meditative state I seemed to have no control over. The first few times I attempted this, I couldn’t conquer the voices. They scared me plain shit-less, for lack of better words. I’d hesitate or over-think the situation and break focus nearly every time. It was without fail 45 minutes in to my session each time I came back to my true senses.
Today was different. I wasn’t letting these voices of unknown nature hinder my ability to travel beyond our world. What an amazing feat it would be to conquer the physical and enter the astral dimension. Why let a few sacred voices stop such an extraordinary experience?
I had already laid under my covers, as to provide extra weight to my subconscious mind, allowing the feeling of sinking into the bed to come more natural. I’d practiced the sequence so much, I had the initial actions of my process mastered and it took me but 10 minutes to become numb and fall into my subconscious.
Faint, and nearly present, the voices slowly leaked into my head. Demonic tongues and foreign language rattled in my brain, it caused a bit of a headache really, but I held focus. Focusing simply on my breathing and the calmness that was my bodily relaxation, I dropped the astral rope from above me. Performing the last set of the sequence was deemed the hardest. Once the voices trespassed your serenity, these guide sites stated that in order to leave your body, you need but imagine a rope. A heavy rope like you’d climb in high school gym class. That rope was your freedom. You are to simply reach for the rope with your astral arms. Feel them lift from your physical body, envision them on your own. Once you make contact, use all of your mental strength to escape your body. Lift and pull as hard and as thoughtfully as you can.
I stood in my room once more. It was silent as ever. No birds at the window, Felix no where to be fou — oh, there he is. I called his name, beckoning him over. He stared at me with a crooked look of confusion. As I investigated his inquiries, I realized he wasn’t looking at me, but rather looking through me. I froze. I turned to look at the bed and saw myself lying there motionless.
Had I died? Had everything I’d known to come and love been obliterated? Was I damned to life on Earth as a harmless spirit for all eternity? I took a step forward. A light glistened beneath my feet. I tried to squeal in excitement, but nothing came out. I was voiceless. I knew I had to transmit anything and everything with my thoughts, but this was my first time and I was so new to the experience. How far could I go? Who would I encounter?
I realized on the astral plane you could really bend through anything. I sank through my glass window and took to the skies above my house looking at the land beneath. No other spirits were in the area, so I took a brief second to enjoy the natural silence. I wanted to go higher, but my lack of experience kept me bound pretty close to my house. I didn’t have the mind power to stretch my leash any further. I circled my home a few times, looking out and over, seeing the silent night that fell so innocently over my quaint neighborhood. Nobody was stirring, no one except the neighbors. I glanced for a mere second to see shadows and silhouettes moving about their windows.
I couldn’t move any closer, so I stared inquisitively for a few moments. Five minutes past, and nothing else had caught my interest in that time. Knowing I’d be weak after waking from such a glorifying experience, I sunk back through my window to my room.
Taking a final glance around my room, I slowly positioned my back to the bed as to align my astral body with my physical self. I attempted to line my right arm, but nearly destroyed my astral body with my inability to collect the information that lied before me.
…my body was gone.
I’d practiced the sequence a thousand times. I knew I had left my body in the bed, there was no where else that I could have started this whole process. I frantically searched the house for what seemed again like hours. To my complete confusion and total dismay, I found nothing until I, for reasons I still don’t know to this day, searched the bathroom. There I was, lying in the bathtub.
Water had dripped from the edge of the tub to the floor beneath. Blood was scattered among the walls and on the rungs that held the curtain in place, as well as the curtain itself. I forced my astral body up with the little energy I had left and flew down the stairs. As I hit the platform, I began feeling dizzy and excruciatingly weak. I managed to glance at my wipe-board where I normally hosted my chores for the week. Written in thick black marker were words I didn’t understand.
“What a beautiful vessel.”
I felt myself being pulled back to my body. The astral chain was being broken by a force I hadn’t read about. I snapped and with a heavy click I heard my astral body snap.
I woke under water in my bathtub. My eyes had shot open from the pain I had just felt as my mental body snapped from drifting unconscious. Water splashed among the room as I struggled to stand up. I was so weak. I ran back downstairs to see if I could collect any more information from my journey.
….Everything was as I had left it.
No change in scenery. Furniture still together, the wipe-board hosting my goals for the week, but the blood still remained in the bathroom. I didn’t understand. “What a beautiful vessel.” What did it mean? Clueless, I ran back to the bathroom to see if there was any additional information. I opened the cabinets beneath the sink and everything was still in order. I opened the lid to the toilet and screamed louder and more shrill than I ever thought possible. A knock had hit the wall behind me. It was the neighbor.
“Are you alright?”
“HELP!” “SOMEONE HELP!” I started crying, bawling really. What I saw was simply something not meant for the eyes of a human being. In the bowl of the toilet, laid the head of my cat, drifting in a circular pattern while I noticed the body lay behind the neck of the white waste dispenser. I sobbed, and with these cries came a sharp pain to my side — but it wasn’t internal.
Scratches. Scratches from my Felix. They literally had covered my body. From the top of my torso down to my lower pelvic region, and the layover of my skin over these scars caused a searing amount of pain. I had only thought I hadn’t noticed them at first due to the extensive amount of adrenaline surging through my body as I had awoken.
I now heard my neighbor banging at my door pleading for me to let them in. I couldn’t bring myself around to do so. I just sat kneeling in front of my toilet crying. As I did so, things started lining up.
Those voices as I meditated. They weren’t warnings, they weren’t simply sacred tongues, they were demons. Pure, relentless, demons; and in exiting my body, I let one of them in, and forced one out upon my re-entry. It used my body for a sinful deed to fulfill it’s demonic desires. I must of kicked it out, and in that right it wouldn’t be happy. I had to tell my someone. My first instinct was my neighbor, still banging at the door, but she was a devoted Christian woman who wouldn’t take kindly to such a story. I knew she’d see it as a sick joke and simply take it as a poor excuse for me decapitating my own cat.
In shock with no viable way to address the issue, I did what anyone would least expect. Walking back to my room, I grabbed a change of clothes from my closet and laid back down on my bed. This had to be a drastic nightmare, right? An extensive taken on a lucid dream that I was having. A dream within a dream, those do happen from time to time.
…but only when you’re close to death.
I shot up, only to be greeted by a grim stare. Eyes filled with hatred and lust for torment and pain. I swung myself to the left in an attempt to throw myself from my bed, but the ravenous hand met my throat before I could make another move. The creature that looked down upon on was massive. A small titan really. It was as black as night with spikes stretching from every inch of it’s rotting flesh.
I fought to breathe, swinging my arms in a windmill-like pattern while slowly feeling myself slipping out of consciousness. The room had been spinning for what felt like an hour. Gravity seemed to weigh a ton and then some. I managed to unravel the hand that clenched my throat so firmly, so spitefully, and so intentionally, allowing myself one last gulp of air before I braced for the blow that knocked me out cold.
The cold side of the pillow had never met my body so welcoming. I managed to turn and see the clock sitting on the nightstand. “5:07pm” I gazed around the room and saw a nurse flicking the end of yet another IV needle. I knew it was for me.
“A present for me?” I asked playfully.
“If that’s how you want to look at it, I guess.” The nurse smiled akwardly while acknowledging my attempt to lighten the mood.
“Did you sleep well?” she asked.
“I did, but I definitely had some crazy dreams.”
The nurse chuckled, inserted the IV slowly and with great precision, but left the room immediately. I scanned the room. I couldn’t remember much but the vivid dream I had had whilst laying in the hospital bed. To be honest, my recollection of arriving at Jude’s Hospital was non-existent. Switching on the TV, flipping through the channels and realizing that nothing worth my time was on, I took my attention from the television to the hospitals wipe-board to see who was taking care of me.
Rather than names, I saw something that only clarified that I wasn’t as crazy as everyone claimed I was. I rattled my bed, I called for help, and I started shaking violently. The room began spinning and I lost control of my senses. Doctors and nurses had flooded the room to see my actions take place, but no one expected the outcome.
That board left me with a sense of realism and it only confirmed my, “crazy dreams.” Written quite legibly, in the thickest marker they had, left words that donated information to what happened after I was knocked out cold. I had a heart-attack, and my body was left empty. Doctors couldn’t diagnose the cause, but I knew all along, even as I had left the physical world.
The demon had visited the hospital that night. He left me but four words to remember him by.
“What a beautiful soul.”
Credit To – Tanner M. Bailey