Jade Shaw, author of Author of Mindvalley's The Art of Astral Projection
3 Common Fears of Having an Out-of-Body Experience

3 Common Fears of Having an Out-of-Body Experience


Is an out-of-body experience dangerous? While your fears are real, they aren’t true.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

— Joseph Campbell

Let’s talk about something we all instinctively shy away from… the F word. 


What are your smallest, most trivial day-to-day fears?

Jade Shaw, an out-of-body experience (OBE) teacher and advocate of non-ordinary states of consciousness for personal and collective change, explains that the way we react to fear in our daily lives is how we will respond to an out of body experience.

But your fear is there to help.

Fear Is Your Oldest Friend

Mindvalley's The Art of Astral Projection author Jade Shaw

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

—  Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön, an American Tibetan Buddhist, teacher and author, affirms that we are fearless by nature. She says, “Underneath the exterior habits of fear we can see what we really want. (…) Most of it comes from within, and we are empowered to change by getting to know our fear more personally.”

The first step to overcoming fear is acknowledging that it’s our natural reaction, our survival mechanism, and that’s been there to help you from the beginning of time. 

And, most probably, will remain until the end of it.

It’s not the easiest-going friend to hang out with as it tends to stew over dangers in our environment, both real or imaginary. But it has saved your neck multiple times. So it’s definitely a friend, not a foe.

While fear can spare your hide, it can also spare the truth from you. So don’t avoid fear as it can restrict access to your greater potential. 

Acknowledge it, embrace it, and transcend it.

3 Common Fears of Having an Out-Of-Body Experience

Knowledge is the antidote to fear.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson 

1. Will I ever come back to my physical body? Or will I die?

The underlying fear is the fear of death. The truth is that consciousness is automatically drawn to its physical body. In fact, it’s harder to stay out of your body while you are in it.

Graham Nicholls, an OBE teacher, reckons it takes around 20 minutes when we begin to habitually shift back to our body. Because we experience time differently, it feels much longer or shorter.

After all, you will want to go to pee at some point. And there is no otherworldly experience out there that can compete with your down-to-earth needs. 

2. Will I return altered? Or will I lose my mind?

While the out-of-body experience can be overwhelming, you won’t lose your mind. Why? Because it’s not the mind that leaves your body. What you perceive as self extends far beyond your physical body and the mind. There are five layers of the human energy field

Your physical body is surrounded by the etheric layer – this is your etheric body that leaves your physical body during an OBE.

Will you return altered?

Yes, an OBE will alter you for the better as you return with new insights and perspectives.

The return can be challenging because you learn something new about yourself and the world. So you need to integrate the new aspects to unlock your greatness. 

3. Will I have full control?

Mindvalley's The Art of Astral Projection author Jade Shaw

This is a tricky one. It’s also one of the common fears of lucid dreaming, like getting trapped in a lucid dream.

The short answer is “Yes and No,” and No isn’t a bad thing.

We don’t have control over everything in our lives. In the same way, we cannot possibly have control over everything in the astral plane. But we do have control over our actions. And we can choose to leave at any time we wish.

Just like your mind sails through your waking life, you can steer your ship on the astral plane in any direction.

As long as you have a clear intention and so-called Astral Projection plan, you’re in control over your out-of-body experience. At the end of the day, it’s your experience, not somebody else’s.

Fight Fire With Fire

Although one of the most common fears of having an OBE stems from our primordial fear of death, an OBE can help you overcome it.

Jade Shaw has studied the transformative effects of spontaneous OBEs on those who had those experiences, and they all reported a dramatically decreased fear of death.

They returned with the new life view and sense of identity, greater self-awareness, and inner peace.

You might be fearful of the unknown, but you can only fight it by making it known. So fight your fear with fear, and it will serve your greatness. 

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Written by
Irina Yugay