Tholey, Paul and LaBerge, Stephen - Mirror Technique for OBE Induction
Type of Spiritual Experience
This was first done by Sylvan Muldoon
It is also used for therapeutic purposes by Dr V S Ramachandran - both on the site
A description of the experience
Conversation Between Stephen LaBerge and Paul Tholey in July of 1989 - STEPHEN LABERGE, PAUL THOLEY, and BRIGITTE HOLZINGER (Editor)
Mirror Technique for OBE Induction
LaBerge: Let’s turn to a different topic. I would like to know more about your "mirror technique" for inducing out-of-body type lucid dreams.
Tholey: The first use of mirror technique is described in an article I wrote—the very first one. There are also some pictures. The pictures aren’t very precise.
LaBerge: I think I understand the idea. When you look in the mirror and see the back of your head, it is easier to transfer your awareness into the mirror, as if you were there.
Tholey: It is better to lie down. You look into the mirror. You are not supposed to see anything except the reflection in the mirror.
LaBerge: Is this supposed to help enter a lucid dream state?
Tholey: At the beginning it is sort of an in-between state; the lights are down. You should be able to see your reflection in the mirror; it’s the same setup as in the work of Klaus Stich (1983; 1989). Later I close my eyes and imagine my head and the sensation of rubbing the back of my head. These sensations are projected into the mirror.
LaBerge: That much is described clearly in the article by Nossack (1989). So I un-derstand that. Are you lying down when you are doing this, so you have the mirror above your bed? Do you rub the back of your head looking in the mirror and pro-jecting the sensation as if it were there? And you do that for how long?
Tholey: At the very beginning it takes very long, at least half an hour. I want to add, that that article is all wrong—that’s journalism!
LaBerge: You mean the picture is upside down?
Tholey: That’s right! There is also another practice. You look at a point in the far distance, then put your two thumbs up in front of you and move them towards you until they merge and you perceive only one thumb.
LaBerge: What’s the purpose of this?
Tholey: With this practice I can stabilize the dream. I can keep my eyes from moving. I look into the space around me and not at a figure in order not to wake up. I can see everything—though slightly blurred—the periphery, front and back.
LaBerge: By doing this in the dream?
Tholey: By using this way of looking in the dream. I am doing it right now. Can you see it? [Editor’s Note: Tholey looks cross-eyed.
LaBerge: So you are saying that you learned to do that in the waking state.
Tholey: Yes, and I can do the same with closed eyes.
LaBerge: You practice in the waking state so you can do it in the dream?
Tholey: Yes. It is also useful while doing sports. The other day I was snowboarding. I jumped and watched what happened with and under my feet and, at the same time, saw the environment and landscape around me. I saw the whole space, not as distinctly as if I had focused on something, but at the same time I was aware of the entire space. Perception is transferred into intuitive thinking and I am not afraid anymore. The same is true in the dream experience. It can also be done in activities like touching a table. I can concentrate my attention on the sensations in my finger tips, but then I don’t feel the table.
LaBerge: Which is normally exactly the opposite.
Tholey: If I look like this, I’m not afraid, the fear is not in me, but I can see the danger outside of me.
LaBerge: OK. Back to the mirror technique. So you lie in bed looking at the mirror above the bed until you feel yourself as if in the mirror, and then you shut your eyes.
Tholey: Yes, I shut my eyes and imagine my head in the mirror. The more I do this, the more my imagination becomes like perception. It becomes more and more real.
LaBerge: But if you have already seen yourself as in the image, it should be relatively easy for that image to be seen as real.
Tholey: Yes, that is why I do it. This technique has its origin in magic. This is a further development. This technique is described very well by Klaus Stich (1983; 1989).
LaBerge: Would this be a good technique to do in the morning or during an afternoon nap?
Tholey: Usually we did it during the afternoon nap or in the morning. But not at night. This technique will be described more precisely in one of the following issues of Bewusst Sein. [Editor’s Note: A journal published by the recently founded Inter-national Association for Consciousness Research and its Applications (CORA), the European counterpart of Lucidity Association; see the December, 1989 issue of Lucidity Letter for more details. The remainder of the conversation took place the next day.]