[caption id="attachment_1290" align="alignleft" width="200"] Graham Nicholls[/caption] Below is a translation of an interview that originally appeared in Diep Magazine in Dutch: Can you explain to our readers: what exactly is an out-of-body experience? I would define an out-of-body experience as our sense of self, or our conscious awareness, being fully liberated from the usual perspective of the physical body. This liberation allows for experiences far from our physical location, perceptions through time, and even journeys into other levels of reality, or consciousness. Some out-of-body experiences also include the sensations of an energy body, or some kind of spirit, while others feel more like a point of awareness able to see and travel anywhere. It seems that there is a continuum of levels to the OBE, starting with glimpses of another location, through to a full separation and journey to meet with relatives who have passed on during near-death experiences. The real power of the OBE, in the way I teach it, is that it allows us to explore all these things from a totally healthy state, and even gain health benefits from the healing aspects of the experience. We can induce these experiences consciously and gain freedom from fear, explore ecstatic states of being, understand who we are at a core level. I can think of no other practice that affords so much to the practitioner, that is why I wrote my books and continue to teach people how to develop these skills. You are an expert on this phenomenon. What happens to you when you leave your body for an out-of-body experience? Where are you going? [caption id="attachment_1045" align="alignright" width="300"] Iapetus, one of the moons of Saturn.[/caption] My experiences can vary widely, some begin in the room my physical body is in, while others take place far away, as far even as space. In one recent experience I found myself over the surface of Iapetus, one of the moons of Saturn. I was able to identify it by its characteristic discolouration, and a large ridge that divides the surface. In another recent experience I visited the cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia, where I spend much of my time. I noticed repair work to the building, which I made notes of and told my partner so we would be able to verify it later. This is an example of the many veridical elements that come through in out-of-body experiences, showing that the experiences are real and objective. But my most powerful experience of this type was an OBE five days into the future to witness a terrorist attack in London. This is a unique experience as it happened when I was with 4 other people, so I could tell them immediately after the OBE what I'd seen. What is the value of out-of-body experiences? And, is it true that when you leave your body, you increase your skills in other areas such as telepathy? I think that out-of-body experiences have huge value to the individual, as well as our wider understanding of consciousness and who we are as human beings. It can open us to an expansive non-dual awareness, benefit our health as mentioned earlier, and also free us from the fear of death. On a more practical level I believe that the veridical perceptions that come through in OBEs have the potential to give us assess to information not normally assessable. I also believe that remote perception can aid archaeology and possibly in missing-person cases etc. I think that OBEs and telepathy are probably elements of the same psychic functioning. Probably elements of what has been called the extended mind, the idea that our consciousness, thoughts and sensory awareness are not limited to the the brain. That they can be extended in space/time and our sensory world is shifted for a second up to a full experience of being somewhere beyond the body. In your book, you describe many techniques a person can use to leave his body and have this experience. However, can anyone experience this? Or are special skills needed? Can for example all our readers have an out-of-body experience? Like all skills people have different levels of innate natural ability, but generally they can learn, especially if they look at all of the factors in their lives and don't just focus on techniques. I feel the process of learning to induce out-of-body experiences is like gaining overall health, it is not just a matter of reducing fat in the diet, it is about looking at the whole diet, incorporating exercise, hydration, making lifestyle changes, as well as avoiding stress, and sleeping enough. Psychic development requires much the same kinds of engagement. It is an immersive process as I explain in my book. I have had many emails from readers of my book, or those who have worked with me in my OBE coaching or events etc., who have had amazing experiences. In one email recently a man in the UK described how he had an OBE on his first attempt using the process in my book. He then tried again a few days later and had another OBE, so it is clear you can learn from my book. If readers want more personal support, or advanced training they can do some one-on-one tuition with me via Skype, or attend one of my events. Again it's about finding the best approach for you as an individual, which is what I focus on in all my work. Can out-of-body experiences explain the afterlife? If so, how? Out-of-Body Experiences certainly suggest that consciousness survives physical death. Exactly how that process works is still one of the great mysteries, but by learning to have OBEs you can explore these levels and possibilities for yourself. Near death experiences often include the out-of-body component and suggest that at the point of death we find ourselves in a state of non-physical awareness. Some researchers into NDEs, including Dr. Pim Van Lommel and Dr. Penny Sartori, theorise that consciousness might actually exist beyond the body and that the brain is more like a receiver than a generator of consciousness. My own out-of-body experiences have led me to think that it's probably a combination of elements, both internally generated and non-local at the same time. The afterlife in that sense would be both a connection with a wider interconnected conscious, and partly aspects of our internal world. It seems from reincarnation research that many of our memories, and elements of the larger consciousness, can continue in the awareness of children, and sometimes be remembered by adults. If this consciousness based understanding of the afterlife is correct, then in a sense both the Eastern and Western concepts could exist at the same time, all possibilities are a reality. Sometimes, you hear about bad experiences while having an OBE. For example, lost souls you may encounter and who may abuse your short trip from your body by taking control of it or otherwise harass you. The same thing with the theory about the silver cord which connects your awareness to your body and when lost, you would be unable to return to your body. What is your exeperience and your opinion? Bad experiences with entities, or the fear of breaking 'the silver cord' are common, and I have a section at the beginning of my book dealing with these kinds of issues in more depth. But I should state clearly here, I am convinced after many hundreds of OBEs that there is nothing to fear and a vast potential for growth and healing within the out-of-body state. I have never encountered a negative entity, or the silver cord that some believe in. I consider both of these things to be more in the realm of folklore, than of solid experience. I have come to view things in this way by paying careful attention to the feedback from my workshop and coaching students, and the insights gleaned from my own experiences. For example I would struggle now to give you a single example of someone who reported to me seeing the silver cord. I'm sure it probably does appear sometimes when someone has learnt that they should see such a thing, or maybe as a projected symbol of safety, but I think that the way out-of-body perceptions work is more complex than the old esoteric literature suggests. It is also a very rare situation (maybe 3 or 4 in 25 years) in which someone reports to me a negative entity experience of the type you refer to. Such occurrences nearly always either reflect assumptions about the nature of OBEs, or deep rooted fears connected with something totally unrelated to out-of-body experiences. There is also the fact that on occasion someone misinterprets a sleep paralysis experience for an OBE. Overall, it seems to me that OBEs do not allow us to simply cover up our inner fears, so they could in some instances be reflected in some form while out-of-body, but the vast majority of experiences are blissful, life affirming, or a fascinating new perspective on the environment around us. I would advise anyone interested in this area to let go of limiting beliefs, approach things with a open heart and embrace one of the most transformative experiences available to you -- there is nothing to fear.