6. Waking Paralysis

Waking paralysis (also called sleep paralysis) is extremely common: you wake up paralyzed, or suddenly become paralyzed while relaxing or trying to get to sleep - but while still awake. Most people will probably experience it at some time.


This can be terrifying, as the cause is always unknown at the time.


Paralysis is a well-known symptom associated with out-of-body experience; natural projectors will, more often than not, be found to suffer frequent bouts of waking paralysis throughout their lives, especially during their teens and twenties. I was plagued by it during my childhood, teens, and twenties. It slowly lessened in frequency over the years, but only after I began regular energetic development and learned how to project in my early twenties.


I still get it occasionally, a couple of times a year. Waking paralysis is extremely complex and no single explanation can really explain its causes. The two most popular theories are dissociation and spontaneous projection.

  • Dissociation: The general scientific explanation is that the brain dissociates itself from its physical body during sleep, as it enters the dream state, ostensibly to stop the physical body from thrashing about, mimicking its dream actions and injuring itself. Waking paralysis is said to occur when the mind accidentally wakes up inside its dissociated sleeping body. This explanation does have merit, as the physical body does progressively dissociate itself from its mind during sleep, and during the trance state. However, I do not believe this explanation holds all the answers.

    Entering the trance state brings the first symptoms of dissociation; the deeper the trance state attained, the more difficult movement becomes. But dissociation brought on by the trance state comes on slowly, in degrees, over many minutes. Waking paralysis, on the other hand, comes on very swiftly, usually within only a couple of seconds. And I have never experienced full waking paralysis during trance, not even during the virtual catalepsy of the deep-trance state.


  • Spontaneous projection: The popular New Age explanation is that waking paralysis is caused solely by spontaneous projection, more specifically by a projection that is about to occur or is trying to occur. Many people recommend, because of this, that waking-paralysis victims relax and go along with the experience, so they can convert their waking-paralysis episode into a full OBE. This explanation also has merit, as paralysis definitely appears related to some aspects of projection.

However, in my opinion, waking paralysis is a complication of consciousness with many contributing factors. I think it is more complex than is commonly believed.

Waking paralysis is often not accompanied by vibrations or other projection-related exit sensations. Very often, for no apparent reason, people will either suddenly become paralyzed while relaxing, or while trying to fall asleep, or they will wake up to find themselves paralyzed. Everything is quiet and they have no major projection-related sensations (vibrations or rapid heartbeat); they just find themselves suddenly and inexplicably paralyzed.

Many people (myself included) can detect the onset of a waking-paralysis episode, especially when it comes on during a relaxed but awake state. They feel an almost irresistible sinking sensation moments before the onset of paralysis. This happens very quickly, with only a couple of seconds' warning. While the sinking feeling can be called a projection-related symptom, this is often the only sensation experienced during the entire paralysis episode.

Most paralysis episodes, in my opinion, happen after the projection exit has occurred. Full waking paralysis cannot occur before the projection exit. So, why are no projection-related exit sensations usually experienced during waking paralysis? The most logical answer is that spontaneous natural projection has already occurred, and the exit sensations have already passed, or have been missed altogether due to the mind-split effect.


The paralysis victim either sleeps through them and wakes up paralyzed, while an OBE is in progress, or the symptoms are so swift and mild they go unnoticed, as with remote-eye projection (see chapter 5). The physical/etheric mind awakes inside its dissociated, mind-split, paralyzed physical body during an OBE, while its projected double is out and about.

When projection exit symptoms are experienced only at the beginning of a waking-paralysis episode, it is a fairly safe bet that a spontaneous projection was taking place at that time. The projection exit has been missed due to the mind-split effect. This has left the projector's physical/etheric mind (original copy) fully awake and paralyzed during the remainder of that projection. The projection itself is causing the waking paralysis.

While some waking-paralysis victims claim to succeed at converting it into a projection, the vast majority fails to do so. Most people are too afraid at the time to even contemplate a conversion. Those who do try for a conversion usually fail, even if they completely give in to it and genuinely go along with the whole experience.


They usually lie there paralyzed until it ends on its own accord, or until they manage to move a part of their physical body and thus break out of it. In this case, they have succeeded in aborting the projection and forcing their projected double to reenter and reintegrate. This ends the paralysis, but causes their projected double's shadow memories to be lost in the process.

If paralysis is caused by a projection already in progress, as I suggest, then it would obviously not be possible to have another projection at that same time. This may account for the extremely high failure rate of attempts to convert waking paralysis to OBE.

If an episode of waking paralysis has no projection-related symptoms during its onset, but is later converted successfully into an OBE, I would suggest that the projected double has been reeled in after an unnoticed exit (the one that caused the waking paralysis), but with only partial reintegration taking place. It has then been immediately projected out again, but this time produces normal projection-related symptoms because of the presence of awake consciousness during the second exit. Memories of the first exit (the cause of the waking paralysis episode) are not downloaded into the physical brain.


These are automatically overwritten during the second exit, leaving no trace of what really caused the waking paralysis in the first place.

I would suggest that when an entire episode of waking paralysis is accompanied by vibrations, plus other exit-related sensations, internal energetic mind-split conflicts (most likely caused by the presence of awake consciousness during the projection process) are stalling the spontaneous-projection mechanism. This is another complication of consciousness. Actual projection may or may not occur. In this case, attempting to convert waking paralysis into an OBE by relaxing and going with the experience, or by using a projection technique to aid it, will have much more success.

I have experienced waking-paralysis episodes literally hundreds of times, but have never managed to convert one into an OBE. I have had hundreds of spontaneous projections from the waking state, or have wakened in the middle of them, but these always result in either a partial or full OBE. I perceive a marked difference between spontaneous projections and waking-paralysis episodes. Each feels quite different and, while spontaneous projection is quite acceptable to me, I absolutely loathe waking paralysis.

I consider spontaneous projection and waking paralysis to be two different sides of the same coin. Sometimes spontaneous projection is experienced and remembered, but at other times waking paralysis is experienced and remembered. These are two different aspects of spontaneous projection, caused by the mind-split effect, providing two totally different experiences.


Only one side of a spontaneous paralysis-cum-projection episode is usually remembered - the side perceived and remembered by the physical/etheric mind. The other side, that of the projected double, is neither perceived at the time nor remembered after the event. Shadow memories are completely lost because of the trauma or excitement waking paralysis always causes. This trauma firmly cements the physical/etheric side of the experience into physical memory, totally disallowing any shadow memories.

With certain types of projection, exit symptoms can be extremely mild, often not noticed at all. This is most common with projections involving the brow or crown centers. This indicates natural clairvoyant potential, often unsuspected. It also means the projector has the potential for high-level projections, because clairvoyance and high-level projection are intimately related. It is possible, therefore, that some types of waking paralysis are caused by brow- or crown-center projections in progress, where the exit has been missed.

Fear and dread accompany many waking-paralysis episodes, often with a tangible feeling of presence coming from a particular direction. Fear may be caused by mind-split effects combined with emotional feedback (fear and anxiety) between the physical/etheric body and its projected double during a real-time projection.

Other kinds of projections may also contribute incidences of waking paralysis and spontaneous projection. There is a strong possibility, for example, that akashic pulse episodes - astral wind - may prove to be a major contributing factor in some waking-paralysis episodes. An akashic pulse episode could, conceivably, force projection on people who are deeply relaxed, even though they are technically still wide awake.


They could then experience waking paralysis while left awake inside their physical/etheric mind, until their projected double is released and allowed to reenter and reintegrate after the akashic pulse episode is over.


We will look at the akashic pulse in part 5.

Related Factors
The physical/etheric mind on its own does not usually have the power to animate its physical body during an OBE. To awaken even partially and restore some degree of physical movement, the reintegration of the physical/etheric with its real-time double appears to be the minimum requirement. To restore full waking consciousness and functionality, the complete reintegration of all subtle bodies is required.

Another contributing factor may be that the state of energetic development of paralysis sufferers may not allow conscious-exit projection to occur easily. This creates internal energetic conflicts that stall the projection mechanism, causing waking paralysis to occur more easily than projection.

Early conscious projection exits are usually marked by extremely heavy vibrations, rapid heartbeat, and other heavy energy-movement sensations. These heavy sensations always reduce in severity during subsequent projections. Logically, there must be a reason for this progressive lessening of sensation. The answer, I think, is that increased energetic development reduces internal energetic conflicts.


Attempts at conscious-exit projection involve a lot of primary-center activity, and a great deal of energy flows throughout the etheric body, which forces some degree of energetic development to take place. This forced development appears to account for progressively milder exit sensations being experienced during subsequent projections.

If you add energetic underdevelopment to potential conflicts caused by mind-split, and take into consideration shadow memory download problems and other complications caused by the presence of waking consciousness, you have a recipe for disaster. Waking paralysis can thus occur at any time and for many reasons, because of the delicate interactions between these potential complications. In most cases, the waking-paralysis victims remain none the wiser before, during, or after the fact, because of the nature of the mind-split effect.

The following two scenarios may explain some other types of waking paralysis, in particular those where strong feelings of fear and dread and a tangible sense of presence are involved. Both of the following scenarios involve strong emotional feedback between the physical/etheric body and its projected double, interfering with and stalling a projection in progress.


Emotional feedback has many similarities to astral feedback, but happens on the emotional level only.


It is, therefore, only felt, not realized.

Paralysis and the Physical Body:

The mind awakens inside its paralyzed physical body. It may or may not have felt any projection-related exit sensations earlier. It has awakened for a very good reason: Something has just scared the daylights out of its projected double! It has no way of knowing this has happened, though, or that it is actually in the middle of a projection. It just wakes up paralyzed and scared, sensing a tangible presence somewhere nearby in the room. It cannot move to see what it is sensing, so its fear steadily increases, and floods along the silver cord and into its projected double, as it fights to break free of the paralysis.

The projected double keenly feels this new surge of fear. It has no apparent cause or source, but is sensed as coming from a particular direction - from its body, although the projected double does not know it. The projected double now begins to feel a strange pressure dragging upon it, a pressure coming from its own physical/etheric counterpart as it desperately struggles to break free of its paralysis. This struggle has the effect of dragging the projected double back toward its physical body. The projected double does not recognize this dragging force for what it is, and so fights against it with everything it has.

Fear escalates quickly on both sides, as both aspects feed and compound the emotional feedback problem. Both sides of the mind-split - physical/etheric and projected double - are scared to death; each senses a tangible dread presence coming from a particular direction - coming from each other, but neither side knows this. The tug of war continues until either the physical/etheric side succeeds in dragging back its terrified projected double (which is usually the case), or until the physical side faints or gives up and falls back to sleep again in exhaustion.

Paralysis and the Projected Double: The following scenario again relates to emotional feedback, but in this case a conflict between the dream mind and its projected double, where the dream mind has not actually awakened inside its physical/ etheric body.

A projected double is floating about in real time, having fun and minding its own business, when it suddenly has a fright. It sees some bushes moving in the shadows and its imagination plays tricks on it: an ominous shape reaching for it. It freezes, not knowing quite what the shape is or what to do about it. It tries to flee, and suddenly senses a very tangible fearsome presence right behind it. An irresistible force starts dragging it backward. It tries to move away, but suddenly feels weak, as if its very life force were being drained. It now feels trapped and has extreme difficulty moving.

The dream mind, throughout this, feels the initial fear surge from its projected double, but does not know the cause. The fluid dream state changes at this point and takes on a more sinister aspect. The dream mind may even slip into a nightmare. The dream mind does not awaken inside its physical/etheric body, so it doesn't actually experience true waking paralysis. It will, however, experience a dream-state version of waking paralysis or a slow-motion type of bad dream.

The projected double feels trapped, snared by some powerful unseen evil foe. Now so weak it can barely move, it feels like it is wading through rapidly setting concrete. No matter how hard it tries, it cannot seem to break the grip of its unseen assailant. Weak, trapped, and afraid, it moves one step closer toward absolute terror.

The fear increases and the projected double fights in vain, growing steadily weaker. The sense of dread increases, and fear builds into mindless, paralyzing terror. It cannot move at all now and feels a cold weight spreading through its chest. The dreadful thing behind it is getting closer and closer, dragging it heartlessly backward toward its evil clutches. The monster almost has it now and is ... just... about... to ... grab it! The projected double can almost feel the monster's fetid breath on the back of its neck.


The unseen monster has it now, and is raising its dreadful ax, when, suddenly, the projector wakes up in a pool of sweat, heart pounding, gasping for breath, and shaking with terror. Memories of the projection (just a bad dream?) flood the projector's terrified mind.

Paralysis Memories
The dominant memories retained after any waking-paralysis episode always come from the strongest and most memorable side of the experience, the side most traumatized. This is usually the physical/etheric side, as that side of the mind-split has a much more direct effect on the physical brain than shadow memories generally do.


If the dream mind does not awaken inside its physical/etheric aspect before the end of the paralysis episode, these memories will be from the projected double's side of the mind-split instead. Sometimes, because of the complex and unreliable nature of shadow memory downloading during reintegration, these memories will become mixed.


Memories of a bad dream, plus a terrifying projection experience, plus waking up paralyzed and terrified, blend into a uniquely compounded shadow memory download.

Ways to Break Paralysis
Learning and practicing conscious-exit projection reduces the frequency of paralysis episodes. Projection attempts encourage the energetic development of the projection mechanism within the etheric body.


If projection is unacceptable due to fear of OBE, short daytime projection attempts are advised. Energetic development work, like meditation and energy work, as well as developing other core skills, will also help resolve projection-related energetic and mind-split conflicts, which are the underlying causes of waking paralysis.

Many people advocate giving into waking paralysis and attempting to convert it into an OBE. I would advise doing this only if vibrations or other projection symptoms are present; otherwise it seems a pointless exercise. If paralysis is frequent, this would definitely be worth a shot at least once. If the conversion continually fails, and no reliable way is found to stop paralysis episodes, a progressive course of energetic development and meditation becomes the most viable option.

The simplest and most direct approach, the one most people prefer, is to clear the mind (refuse to fear) and concentrate on moving a single big toe. For some reason, a big toe is the easiest body part to reanimate during a waking-paralysis episode. Once a big toe moves, even slightly, waking paralysis will end.

To increase the effectiveness of the above technique, I also recommend using the brushing awareness action (see chapter 12) on the big toe to break paralysis. This helps by strengthening body awareness there, making it easier to force movement.

Paralysis, like spontaneous projection, is more likely to occur in certain resting and sleeping positions. Lying on the back, for example, tends to promote both projection and waking paralysis for most people. It is worthwhile checking to see if the resting position is a factor, and avoid those positions most likely to promote waking paralysis.

When waking paralysis strikes a deeply relaxed but still-awake person, or one trying to fall asleep, it usually comes on with a noticeable sinking sensation, giving a few moments of warning. That is the prime time to fight off paralysis. Rolling out of bed as quickly as possible (you have to be really, really quick) stops waking paralysis before it can take hold. I recommend getting up and taking a short walk, or raiding the refrigerator at this time, as eating helps. It is not advisable to return to bed for at least ten minutes, or waking paralysis will usually happen again immediately.

Keeping a clear mind and refusing to fear during a paralysis episode will, in most cases, reduce emotional feedback. If both the physical/etheric mind and its projected double stay calm, the severity and duration of paralysis episodes can be greatly reduced.

Overtiredness and sleep deficit are, more often than not, contributing factors with frequent waking paralysis, as well as with frequent spontaneous OBE. Avoiding overtiredness, especially during the week surrounding the full moon, when spontaneous OBE and waking paralysis are more likely to occur, is strongly advised.

Food can also play a part with waking paralysis. An empty stomach tends to increase energetic activity within the etheric body, thereby increasing the likelihood of waking-paralysis and spontaneous-projection episodes.


A heavy meal can make projection more difficult, as it significantly slows energetic activity in the etheric body and promotes sleep.

Unwanted Projection Symptoms
Frequent bouts of waking paralysis and spontaneous projection are a big problem for some people. Most people prone to this cannot stop it from happening and do not like the experience one little bit. Often, they dislike the idea of any kind of deliberate projection. They just want to be left alone so they can sleep in peace.

This condition will normally happen to those prone to this condition only a couple of times a year, in clusters of a few days or so at a time, usually around the full moon. In rarer cases, however, this problem can be much more pronounced. If this continues overlong, it can develop into a severely debilitating health problem. Many people try to avoid sleep entirely to avoid the disturbing symptoms.


This is the very worst thing anyone could do! Avoiding sleep has the opposite effect and will greatly worsen the overall condition. Lack of sleep also causes a loss of appetite, which, in itself, further aggravates the underlying causes of the condition. An empty stomach heightens energetic activity in the etheric body (raising its vibrations), which greatly increases the likelihood of waking-paralysis and spontaneous-projection episodes.

Frequent waking-paralysis and unwanted spontaneous-projection episodes, especially if involving great fear, can generate an extremely unpleasant psychological condition that can become more and more debilitating the longer it is allowed to continue. Long-term sleep deprivation plus a profound loss of appetite can be extremely debilitating and even physically damaging.


Combined with other serious health problems, this condition could even be fatal if left unattended for too long.

The first thing to address with this type of problem is the sleep deficit, which is the major underlying cause of the whole problem. This is also the factor most easily rectified. I strongly urge people with this condition to seek prompt medical advice and to tell their doctor exactly what is happening. Sleep disorders like this, regardless of their actual cause, are well known to medical science, and doctors are thus well versed in their treatment. A doctor will usually prescribe a specific type of sleeping medication designed to promote long-lasting, dreamless sleep.


This can also stop spontaneous OBEs and waking paralysis.

As the sleep deficit is overcome and the normal sleep pattern returns, appetite will return and the projection-related symptoms will begin to ease. Keep in mind that any medication must be taken regularly, as prescribed, until the sleep deficit is completely overcome, before it can be stopped, or the problem may recur.

Sleeping in a well-lit room with a TV or radio on low, plus napping during daylight hours, will also help with the fear problems that can be caused by repeated spontaneous projections. If the presence of light inhibits sleep, wearing a sleep mask will help. Also, if spontaneous projections are unavoidable, daylight ones are much less intimidating.


Even the most timid of reluctant projectors will usually find daylight projections enjoyable, or at the very least bearable.

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