The Quick-Switch Method
Copyright © 2012 by Frederick Aardema
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work in any form whatsoever, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.
The quick-switch method of transportation through the void was initially defined by Robert Monroe.1 While his early experiences were strongly characterized by geographic metaphors, they took a different turn when he discovered a new mode of transportation.
Initially, he described this method as stretching his awareness like an elastic band to his intended destination, letting go, and then being catapulted toward it. Over time, however, this process began to increasingly resemble a change in attention, and he came to use the phasing metaphor to describe his experiences.
Using the quick-switch or phasing mode of transportation is as close as any projector can come to experiencing travel in consciousness in a nonsymbolic, direct manner. During the switch itself, there is no body awareness involved, at least not until you arrive at your destination. Rather than moving your phantom body to get there, you move your attention from one place to another. This is relatively easy to accomplish under less-than-lucid circumstances, but quite difficult when highly lucid and aware. The method can be learned, however, and once fully controlled, it extends your reach in consciousness considerably.
Phasing in is the process by which you connect to an out-of-body environment. This process is best initiated from the void, which therefore begins with very little perception and in complete darkness.
If you have body awareness inside of the void, which is typically the case following a parasomatic transition, phasing in will be a little more difficult to accomplish. The presence of a second body will tempt you to fly to a destination rather than merely changing your attention.
Even so, phasing into an out-of-body environment from the void can also be accomplished with body awareness. You will just have to forget about your phantom body as you phase into the environment. This will usually happen automatically.
Keep in mind that imagination in combination with outward engagement toward the void is a very powerful tool in the navigation of consciousness. You may become part of an OBE environment in the blink of an eye.
However, it is still worthwhile to practice slowing down the process of phasing in to increase your overall level of proficiency in the navigation of consciousness. This is rather like learning how to fly a fighter jet at near-stalling speed. The activity may seem at odds with the purpose of a jet, but being able to do so makes you a much better pilot.
The process of phasing in starts with moving some of your attention away from the blackness surrounding you. Focus on your own thoughts and inner life. Meanwhile, maintain a relaxed outlook toward the void as if watching it out of the corner of your eye.
Next, actively imagine your destination, or state your intent as to where you wish to go, while simultaneously reaching out with part of your attention as if there is something behind the veil of darkness. It may take some practice before you are able to do both at the same time, but if properly applied, vague forms and shapes will begin to appear in the void.
You may, for example, perceive small patches of gray or perhaps several streaks of light and color intermixed with the blackness of the void. There might be a sense of movement or emanation, as if there is some sort of activity behind the veil of darkness. Whatever your perceptions might be, initially maintain a relaxed outlook toward them. Then, as these perceptions begin to increase in complexity, focus more of your attention toward them until the movie-screen effect occurs.
The movie-screen effect is rather like sitting in a movie theater in which you watch the screen in living color with darkness surrounding you. You are watching the screen from a distance, with most of you remaining inside of the void. If you were to completely focus on the scenery, however, you would forget about the void surrounding you, and you would become part of the environment, similar to the process of becoming engrossed in a movie.
The benefit of the movie-screen effect is that it allows you to preview out-of-body environments. If an environment is not to your liking, you only have to remove your attention from the movie screen and return it back to the void surrounding you. Conversely, if the environment seems interesting and you wish to become part of it, all that is required is to allow yourself to become captivated by it.
In some cases, there might be a sense of mental movement before you become part of the environment, but in most instances, it will happen quite naturally. If you did not already have a body, you will generally have one as soon as you are part of the environment. Environments tend to impose body awareness.
Journal Entry, Sunday, February 8, 2004, 3:00 am
…I decided to trigger some imagery in the void above me. I relaxed my awareness while reaching out with my mind at the same time. A scene popped up almost immediately. Two dogs were fighting, one of them quite viciously.
I berated myself for not having reached out further. It seemed like some lower-level phenomenon playing itself out in front of me. One of the dogs was my own. She was only a little pug. Luckily, she seemed to handle herself quite well against the much bigger, vicious dog.
So far, I had been observing all of this from a distance. I had no intention of putting myself in the middle of the fight and broke the connection before I got immersed in it. The scenery promptly disappeared as I turned my attention away from it.
I was still lying in bed, staring up into the void, and decided to try to reach out a second time. This time, however, I reached as far as I could. Almost immediately, my entire perceptual field was filled with an imposing scene.
A huge golden chariot surrounded by white light raced toward me. Inside the chariot was a tall, larger-than-life individual. He had long white hair and a wild white beard.
The chariot came at me fast, and while I was only observing, the white surroundings had already almost enveloped my position inside of the void. It would not take long for the chariot to reach my position and for me to become part of the environment.
I decided to break the connection yet again. I did not want to end up under the chariot's wheels. This time, I found myself back in my real body.
Phasing out is the process by which you disconnect from an out-of-body environment back into the void-that is, by leaving any environment without returning back to the body and without having to start the transition process all over again. As such, phasing out is a practice that has the potential to significantly extend the duration of your projections.
Phasing out essentially consists of phasing in, in reverse. So the first step involves not being an active participant in the out-of-body environment. You cease all interaction with events occurring in the environment, which is best accomplished by finding a quiet corner somewhere.
Next, observe the scenery as if you were watching an unimpressive B movie. This detached stance will result in a destabilization of the environment, often accompanied by "special effects."
For example, it is not uncommon for the environment to start to shake and tremble. Then, once a crescendo is reached, the environment disappears from view. Alternatively, your entire perceptual field may shatter into separate pieces as if it were made of glass. Yet another effect is a misalignment of the environment with your visual field, wherein only part of the environment remains visible while the other has fallen out of view. This is similar to the effect that used to occur in movie theaters now and again when the film got misaligned with the projector track.
There are as many variations of phasing out as there are special effects in movies, and the manner in which it occurs is not very important. The primary thing to remember about phasing out is to focus your attention on any blackness that occurs as a result of the environment beginning to break up. Meanwhile, it is vital that you allow the environment to dissolve naturally, without too much focus on any of the remnants of the perceptual environment. Then, as you divert an increasing amount of attention toward the void, empty blackness will slowly fill up your field of vision until you are once again "in between" worlds.
Journal Entry, Monday, November 6, 2006, 4:30 am
…I found myself sitting on a chair in a theater. There were many other attendees, most of them facing the podium up ahead. Apparently, however, the "show" had not yet started. There were still a lot of people walking around, not yet having taken their seats.
I then noticed someone trying to get my attention. It was my father running up to me. He told me that the gathering was a special event organized for our family-a celebration of some kind. This all seemed rather odd to me, which was good because I regained some of the lucidity I had lost earlier.
I walked to the back of the theater, leaving my father and everyone else behind. From the back, I had a better view of the entire place. On the stage, someone was telling a story or perhaps reciting a poem. I was too far away from the podium to be able to hear anything.
I quickly lost interest as I remembered my original intent. I had to leave the dream and return to the void. No sooner had I realized this when the entire dream environment began to dissolve, quite literally breaking up into shattered pieces of mirrored glass as the darkness of the void became evident in between the pieces. It was a spectacular effect.
For a moment, I was captivated by the implications of a coherent dream unfolding in separate pieces. I could actually see dream fragments continuing to play out on the separate pieces! I had no time to waste, however.
I quickly focused my attention toward the blackness that appeared in between the pieces of glass, which then soon disappeared entirely from view. I once again found myself back in the void…
1. Monroe. R.A. (1985). Far journeys. New York: Doubleday.