NOTE: Here is an interview with yours truly, Ken Korczak, conducted by a fellow journalist Sasha Spilman. This interview originally appeared in the now defunct Rural Road Press. Sasha asked me about how I got into the strange “hobby” of astral travel.
SASHA: How did you first get interested in out-of-body travel, or OBEs as they are called for short?
Ken: I had a serious accident when I was 10 years old that caused me to have a near-death experience. I experienced myself leaving my body, among other things. Since then, I have been compelled to learn more about what is beyond the physical body.
SASHA: So you have been having OBEs since you were ten?
KEN: No. I only learned to travel outside my body in a controlled way years later when I was in my mid-twenties. It was at that time that I made a conscious decision to study this phenomenon more deeply, and see if I could induce an out-of-body experience without needing to almost die.
SASHA: So basically you decided one day to teach yourself how to have out-of-body experiences?
KEN: Exactly right.
SASHA: How does one go about doing that?
KEN: I began with reading everything I could find about the topic. There are dozens of books about out-of-body travel. This is nothing new, you know. People have been experiencing and writing about out-of-body travel since ancient times. Even Plato wrote about what he called “soul travel.” There’s plenty of information out there to show you the way.
SASHA: How long did it take you to induce your first OBE?
KEN: Not long. I studied a number of different techniques, many of which were just crazy nonsense, but others had merit. I eventually stumbled into something that worked for me.
SASHA: Tell me about your first successful OBE.
KEN: Sure. I was living in Minneapolis at the time. I was lying flat on my back on the floor of my apartment. I was just relaxing and not really trying to do anything when I suddenly felt myself lift off the ground and float toward the ceiling. At first, I thought my whole physical body was floating up, but then I looked back down and saw myself—my physical body—on the floor! It was a wild experience!
SASHA: I bet! Weren’t you afraid, or freaked out, or something?
KEN: I would describe it as a totally stunning and exhilarating experience, but I wasn’t scared because I had done my homework. I knew that out-of-body travel was safe… no one has ever died from having an OBE, just like no one has ever died by having a dream about flying.
SASHA: What happened next?
KEN: I floated up to the ceiling and bounced right off of it! Once again, this was a truly bizarre experience. I found that I was able to move in any direction I wanted to simply by willing myself to do so. I floated to the wall on the right, bounced off, and hit the opposite wall. I bounced back and forth between the walls … kind of like a weightless astronaut in the space shuttle, just bouncing around, free of gravity.
SASHA: What were you thinking while this was happening?
KEN: (Laughing) I was screaming inwardly to myself: “Yippee!! Yahoo!!! This is fantastic!!!” I mean, it’s difficult to describe the feeling of utter and complete freedom and breathless exhilaration that hits you when you realize for the first time that you are — or might be — more than just a physical body… that there is another greater part of yourself that has tremendous abilities and freedom.”
SASHA: Well, I’ve heard that people can pass through walls and other physical objects while out-of-body, but you say you bounced off the walls?
KEN: Yes, but let me explain. In the out-of-body state, physical objects are what you decide them to be. If you think a wall is solid, then it will be solid. But if I tell myself I can pass right through a wall, and believe it, then I can pass right through a wall.
SASHA: So have you done this?
KEN: Oh yes, hundreds of times. I took me a while to develop the ability, though. It’s hard to overcome your belief that a wall is wall—you know, something solid. You just have to relax and tell yourself that a wall is not something that can limit or hinder you. I’ve many times experienced the ceiling and even the rafters passing right through my head and body—it’s a wild experience at first, but then you get used to it.
SASHA: Hard to believe you could get used to something like that!
KEN: Yes, but melting through the rafters is only the beginning. There’s no end to the amazement of out-of-body travel. I can tell you about flying into outer space, back in time, into other dimensions, through tunnels or star vortexes, meeting beings from other world and dimensions … it’s endless.
SASHA: I’d like to hear a lot more about all of these things.
KEN: I’d be glad to tell you about them.
PART II — INTERVIEW
SASHA: So your first OBE took place within the confines of your living room. When did you start to go further?
KEN: Very soon. It wasn’t long after I learned to leave my body somewhat frequently that a phenomena I call the “starry tunnel” appeared.
SASHA: What is the starry tunnel?
KEN: One night I was in bed attempting to induce an OBE. I felt myself swaying from side to side while my physical body was completely still and asleep, although my mind was awake. Suddenly, I detached from my body, and was stunned to see, in the floor next to my bed, a whirling vortex—a kind of black whirlpool filled with bits of light which looked to me like distant stars in outer space.
SASHA: That sounds frightening! What happened next? Did you panic?
KEN: No. To be honest, I was not afraid. That’s because part of the training I underwent to develop this ability dealt with handling and controlling fear… I looked at the vortex with wonderment and awe. Rather than be afraid of it, I plunged toward it.
SASHA: Yikes! What happened then?
KEN: I was sucked right into it and immediately found myself being pulled along at an enormous rate of speed. There was a whining sound all around me, and also around me were bits of light that looked like sparks from a camp fire. These were blurring past at enormous speed. I hate to say it, but the effect was very much like the “worm hole” you see in some science fiction shows.
SASHA: How long were you in this tunnel?
KEN: Well, I have traveled the starry tunnel many times. The trip usually lasts just seconds, but sometimes as long as several minutes.
SASHA: And does it go somewhere?
KEN: Yes, it usually goes someplace weird or wonderful, but oddly, there have been many times that I have traveled the tunnel for several minutes, only to pop out right back in my bedroom… like a feedback loop, or something.
SASHA: Tell us about one or two of the more “weird” tunnel destinations, to use your word.
KEN: Yes, well, the first time I traveled the Starry Tunnel I ended up in the middle of vast, empty outer space. I assumed I was far from Earth. I could see no bright stars, or sun, or moon. There were millions of stars, but all a huge distance away from me. I was just floating there.
SASHA: That’s it?
KEN: No. In a few minutes two white energy forms—they looked like large glowing snowflakes, appeared out in the upper left quadrant of my field of view. They hovered out there in space with me, and I felt that they were intelligent and were trying to communicate with me. It was almost as if they were wondering what I was doing there.
The trouble was, at the time, I was very new to OBEs, and I had yet to learn the kind of communication techniques that can be helpful in that situation. I had read much about others who has encountered such “energy beings,” and I assumed that’s what these things were. What I tried to do was project feelings of love and friendship toward them with my mind. Just as I did this, I felt myself yanked… as if a rubber band was tied to my waste… and I was suddenly sent screaming back through the tunnel again, and I ended up back home in bed… back to normal reality.
SASHA: You must admit, all this is pretty hard to believe. I’m sure a lot of readers by now are thinking, “Yeah, right!” How do you know you are not simply having vivid dreams, and not actual out-of-body experiences?
KEN: That’s an excellent question, but the answer is complex. OBEs may be dreams, as you say, but if they are, they represent a special category of dream event. Some scientists have studied people who claim the ability to leave the body in a laboratory setting. One of the best examples is the late Robert Monroe of Faber, Virginia, who was tested by the famous psychologist, Charles Tart. In some cases, the scientific results seem to support the reality of the OBE, while others support the idea that what is actually happening is a form of dreaming called “lucid dreaming.”
Sleep researchers at Stanford University are on the cutting edge of this kind of research today. One scientist there, Stephen LeBerge, is convinced that OBEs are really extremely vivid lucid dreams. Others disagree, and the debate goes on.
SASHA: But perhaps you are just making all this up?
KEN: That’s the most obvious question, and I think a journalist like you needs to ask it. My honest answer is that I am not making any of this up, but at the same time, I willing to admit that all this could be only dream experiences on my part, and not actual OBEs. The bottom line is, I don’t know.
I do know that my out-of-body experiences seem real and they truly don’t have the “feel” of dreams. I ultimately don’t care. I’m interested mainly in the experience. I let the scientists and philosophers wrangle about the nature of the reality of it all.
My attitude is this: You don’t need to be a Chrysler engineer to know how to drive a car, and you don’t have to be an expert in the out-of-body experience to make it happen for you. I just do it and have fun.
SASHA: Now, you have also said that you have traveled to other planets, and have learned to communicate with “strange beings,” among a lot of other far out things.
KEN: Yes, and I think some of the most amazing experiences of out-of-body travel involve travel to other dimensions, or parallel universes as some would call them. Time travel is also a somewhat common experience… the possibilities are endless when you are involved in this kind of experience.
SASHA: Could you tell describe a few of these, perhaps one of your parallel universe experiences?
<>KEN: Yes, I’d be glad to.
<>NEXT POST: THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW!