Dr Cheyne tries the 'Roll Out' Technique

Dr Al Cheyne, a respected scientist who has done a lot of research into ASP, had not had an ASP episode for about 20 years. Then, during the early morning houurs of May 10, 2002, after tossing and turning for a couple hours, he found that he was unable to turn his head and he realized that his body was paralyzed.

I then remembered my determination to experiment with the OBE should I ever have another SP experience. Here was an opportunity try to get out of my body. I tried to do this by simply rolling over as nonchalantly as the circumstances permitted and had immediate success - well almost. I could feel myself separating from the upper half of my body by turning to the right, but felt stuck in my lower torso and legs. I then decided spontaneously to try to spin out of my body and I immediately began to spin around the longitudinal axis of my body and slid out, floating down the bed, and ending up hovering across the foot of the bed - actually just past the foot of the bed - hovering, in a horizontal position, a couple of feet above the bedroom floor.

Now that I was "out," I decided to experiment further. I first tried to levitate my "astral" body - which seemed to be complete. I was unable, however, to rise above about three feet from the floor. I then decided to let myself fall - or rather, sink - into the floor. In this I was successful and I passed through the floor effortlessly, noting the floor joists as I passed, through the next level and the next floor. I then realized that I would next sink into the ground and decided that would be unpleasant and so stopped myself from sinking and found myself once again at the foot of my bed. I next decided to try floating horizontally toward the window. This worked immediately and I awaited, with some anticipation, my passage through the window. I passed through the window quite effortlessly, though I did feel myself brushing aside a few of the slats of the Venetian blinds that really do hang in my bedroom window. Then things began to get truly interesting!

Cheyne began to explore the neighborhood outside his bedroom window. The scene changed and he found himself on an ocean liner. By the time the experience ends it had become a lucid dream, but he doesn't explain how that transition took place.

For the benefit of others who might want to try this technique, Dr Cheyne now tried to describe how he had done it

It is difficult to describe because one has no idea how it is done ... This is also how lucid dreamers do things in their dreams: They simply decide to do them. ... Automatic processes take over ... or sometimes ... not. If they do not there is nothing else to do except to plan on doing something else and hope that the automatic processes for that are ready to hand. The point is that there is no way that one can voluntarily affect the automatic processes except by planning and deciding.

Recall that my fist attempt to roll out of my body was not completely successful. I got stuck halfway out. Had I continued to struggle to get out of my lower body I think I would have been unsuccessful and would have quickly found myself entirely paralyzed within seconds. Rather than trying harder to have the experience of getting out of my body I tried something different. I decided to spin. I do not know how I managed to spin any more than I really know how to sit up or roll over. I just decided to do it and some automatic processes just took over. There was no guarantee that they would do so. I might have got stuck again, though I did not. If I had, I suppose I would have tried to sink out of my body or float out. I am confident something would have worked eventually, as long as I did not start to struggle to force something happen that just was not ready to happen.

Trying to act in as natural and unforced a manner as possible is part of the solution but I do not think that it can be the whole answer. The type of movement seems important. Turning, spinning, rotating seem to work better than simple linear movements like sitting up.

Sources:

  1. This was a greatly condensed version Dr Cheyne's report in the SPAWN Newsletter.