CHAPTER 13 - Once Upon a Time, a Long, Long Time Ago

Author: Tom Campbell. Link to original: (English).
Tags: astral, Campbell, meditation, reality, Tom Campbell Submitted by kostyazen 14.09.2012. Public material.
Tom Campbell about the tests he had taken as a kid

Translations of this material:

into Russian: ГЛАВА 13 - Однажды, давным-давно. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by kostyazen 14.09.2012


I have often told people who were inquiring about the possibility of learning what I have learned that if a bone-headed physicist like me could do it, anybody could. I would point out that I began from a cold start with no particular natural talent and learned everything from scratch the hard way. If I could, they could – and probably with less trouble. Dragging Spock from the deck of the Enterprise into the Twilight Zone, with logic fully intact and uncompromised, was a slow and tedious process. Most people could probably learn more quickly than I, even if they did not have the time or inclination to thoroughly immerse themselves as I did.

The point made above remains fundamentally true – anyone can learn what I have learned – but the picky fact is the previous statements contain one little white lie. My start wasn’t as cold as I first thought. After I became familiar with the out-of-the-body experience and familiar with NPMR, I realized that I had done this sort of thing before. Old memories returned clear as crystal now that I had the knowledge and perspective to understand them.

When I was between five and eight years old, some friendly nonphysical beings helped me get out-of-body. It was not a random prank. They had a purpose. At first I played with it, slipping out through the wall of my second story bedroom and whooshing around the yard. They would get me out and I would play and soar. I well remember the first time I found myself outside floating a foot or two above the yard, gliding toward this monstrously thick hedge and realizing that I did not know how to steer or stop. I grabbed my head and curled up into a ball expecting a terrible and painful crash. To my utter amazement, I glided right through it and out the other side without interacting with it. Wow! Neat-o! That was fun!

# A short aside follows to help you find the proper perspective. Most children, particularly those younger than seven, have spontaneous, fully conscious out-of-body-experiences. Their parents tell them it is just a meaningless dream and they forget about it. These experiences are usually non-threatening and fun for the kids. You may recall some of your out-of-body-experiences if your memory is good and the experiences were dramatic.

Most adults have spontaneous out-of-body voyages as well, but they are typically not fully conscious and therefore do not qualify as experiences. Out-of-body, as a phenomenon or happening, is much more mundane and common than it is strange. OOBE seems strange because the limitations we place on our concepts of consciousness and reality force us to reject many of mental functions that are naturally available to our species and to misunderstand the purpose of the mental activities that take place while we are asleep. It is as if we are born with two good legs, but never learned to walk because the ability to crawl precedes the ability to walk, and because everybody is completely adapted to crawling around within a social structure that stigmatizes non-crawling non-conformists as wackos. *

Eventually these helpful beings and I became conversant. “How can I do that (get out-of-body) whenever I want to?” I wanted to know. They taught me several techniques. I practiced diligently and got results. Each time I would lose consciousness for a few seconds, regaining consciousness in the out-of-the-body state. “I want to be conscious the entire time,” I complained, thinking that I would prefer to be more self-sufficient.

“You will not like it,” they said, “We black you out for a short time during the transition to make the process more comfortable.”

“I want to do it anyway,” I protested.

They finally agreed. I immediately started applying one of the techniques they had taught me. As the here and now began to fade away into oblivion, a much fuller and richer awareness took root and began to blossom. Abruptly my body began to vibrate. The amplitude of the vibrations steadily grew larger and larger – my body had become plastic and was being shaken like a loose canvas awning flapping in a strong wind. Whoa! The violence of the oscillations had startled me. I immediately returned to a normal physical reality lying still in my bed. “OK,” I said, “let’s try that again.” The same sequence repeated itself several times – I would pop back into physical reality after the oscillations became large, fast, and violent. “OK,” I said, “you do it.” I was almost instantly awake in the out-of-body state.

They won. I never bothered them anymore about doing it my way. Now I realize that I had been had. Those violent oscillations were not necessary. They simply did not want me to become too independent. I noticed that when I was out-of-body, I was an adult, not a little kid. That was neat. When I came back, I was a kid again. I hung out with my nonphysical mentors almost every night. They loved to teach and I loved to learn – we had a great time.

One night my adventures in inner-space took an unexpected turn that subsequently left nothing the same. Unknown to me, phase one was over and phase two was about to begin. Without forewarning, I was set up to begin a battery of exams that would determine the quality of my being. How evolved an entity was I? How much had I learned and grown with the help of my mentors? What was the limit of my understanding? The questions, or more accurately situations, presented me with multiple choices that became progressively more difficult. The first question was mostly verbal. “Would you rather have this treasure (I got a picture) or learn something new?” The answer was obvious; knowledge was far more valuable than goods. It was so blatantly obvious in fact that I decided to make a joke. “Just gimmee the loot,” I said sarcastically in my best gangster voice, “I can always learn something new on my own.” At the time, I did not realize that this was the first question on a long and especially serious test. My world exploded.

BZZZZZT!! Wrong! I was instantly transported to an entirely different place.

“He failed the first question!”

“He is not ready!” I heard someone exclaim with surprise and disappointment.

“Send him back!” someone else shouted, “he failed the test.”

“Test?” I said, feeling a little like Alice at the Queen’s castle. “I didn’t know this was a test. I was joking, I knew the answer, I thought someone was playing around with me – making up goofy choices – so I was being goofy to get them back.” The panel of judges that were to administer and evaluate my exam slipped back in time, inspected my mind for my true motivations – they evidently weren’t expecting a smart aleck.

My advocates approached the bench vouching for my readiness. I was relieved that somebody was taking my side. I did not know who they were, but I was glad they were there. The tone had suddenly become heavy as if something terribly important was going on. Two judges said “Failed is failed – send him home,” while the other three said “Continue the test, let’s see what he can do.” A higher-level judge was consulted. It was decided. I was to be given a second chance. It was obvious there were some serious hardball politics involved that I did not understand.

The tension was thick as tar; these judges did not like each other and there was a strong competitive hostility between the two groups. I knew this was very serious business, but I didn’t know what I was doing in the middle of it. It was clear that whatever was going on was important to me and important to others for reasons I did not understand. I was thankful for the chance to show what I actually knew. My advocates who had evidently been working with me for a long time to get me ready for this first test were almost apoplectic. Their relief at my second chance was immense but they remained worried. It was as if their most important plans, careers, and reputations hung in the balance – and there I was, a somewhat unpredictable embodied bone-headed human.

Instantly, I was back in test-space. The first question was repeated – it was a precise replay of what I had previously experienced. I surmised that this was a fixed or standardized set of questions and that they had to restart the series from the beginning even though the first question and its answer had been revealed. Question after question, situation after situation, was put before me. I evidently did well because when you get one wrong, it’s over. There were problems that tested ego and desire with sexual enticements – some of which were bizarre. There were choices between helping others and pursuing your personal path. They played to my emotions and ego, tried to instill fear, and probed how well I truly understood love.

Eventually, I was clueless as to how to approach the problem – I went with my best guess and the test abruptly ended. I was back in my body, turning into a young kid again though my mental space retained its adult nature while in the altered state. “Jeez,” I thought, “what was that about?” As a kid, I often retained a clear memory of what happened, for a short while at least. But, I did not relate to it. At least five times since then I have been hauled in front of panels of judges because of my unpredictable quirky human nature. Thus far, I have prevailed. I must, as they say, have a rap sheet a mile long.

Some twenty-three years later, the event that had jogged this childhood memory occurred. I was at Bob’s house one weekend afternoon when he began to comment on a training exercise I had been involved in the night before. Regular training sessions designed to develop my effectiveness within NPMR began again in earnest shortly after I resumed sentience within the larger reality. Bob had been in the audience watching my performance. He was telling me about what I had done. I was surprised, not that he could know, but because usually he was not involved in my OOBEs.

He knew every move I made and started kidding me about a show-off display I had performed at the successful end of a particularly difficult series – the way football players sometimes dance in the end zone. We were laughing about it, when he told me about an especially difficult test he himself had recently been given. He started to describe it. After he described the third test in this long series, I stopped him. He knew something was up. Now it was my opportunity to puzzle him.

My experiences of twenty-three years ago had come flooding back in a gushing torrent as he described the first three tests. I made him wait until I had collected my thoughts. I told him what the fourth test was. His jaw dropped. I had never seen Bob speechless before. I described the fifth test. He was dumbfounded. We went through the rest of the test, alternating who would give the description of the presented problems. Oddly enough, we had bombed out at the same place but with different answers. Evidently neither one was right, or that was the last question. Without a doubt, that was a standardized test. Since that time I have run into several others who have experienced some sequence of events while in NPMR that were identical in form, function, and content to events I experienced.

Back to the early 1950s. Immediately after that first big test, I was put in regular training classes. Every night for most of a year I was run through situations, given jobs to do, and further tested by my trainers. I was never told what I was being trained for. I worked hard. After that first major evaluation almost turned catastrophic, I was serious. It was more work than fun. I was learning to control my mind, to manipulate nonphysical energy, to make the right choices for the right reasons, to think fast, and act fast. I was learning to follow directions and to break old PMR conceptual habits. I was becoming effective and efficient in NPMR – I was learning focus and control. Eventually, after much practice, I began to feel competent and strong, like an athlete ready to walk into the arena.

One night there was no more training. I would not resume the effort until some twenty years later, but I didn’t know that then.

© Tom Campbell, 09-09-2002. License: All rights reserved