“And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) (2 Corinthians 12:3)
The map, the territory
These are my thoughts on the matter filtered through the writings of Paul and the other authors of the varying books that make up The Holy Bible. God knows. How much is God and how much is us? And how come Paul was unable to tell the reader for a certainty whether or not what he had experienced and what he was referring to had actually taken place the way we normally experience our day-to-day, humdrum life? He even goes so far to preface his statement (the verse prior) with “I knew a man in Christ”. Jesus is indeed the focal point for all this stuff and certainly all of life. Life spent “in the body, or out of the body”.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:8-9)
We’re human, that’s a given. God wanted a certain class of being and therefore we get to experience life as a bipedal hominid inhabiting more-or-less the same spatial dimensions as most others (at least when once we attain adulthood). And living in this body and therefore looking out our two eyeballs is pretty much the only perspective we might be able to enjoy here on this plane. Barring, that is, some augmented or accessorized window (read: cellphone screen, etc.). So how then does one explain out-of-the-body experiences?
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
John the Baptist had the right idea. He saw his cousin Jesus for who He rightfully was. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Inspiring something more than hero-worship, Jesus’s presence and personality (assuming you seek it out and allow the light to shine to the depth of your being, as opposed to mere mental ascent) touches the very core of your being. It is such a comfort to know that He and the Father and the Holy Spirit are out there awaiting our acknowledgement. I say all this to say that when once you see Him, you cannot help but live in the light He’s shown you. And the price you pay to enjoy this, now new, perspective is simply the laying down of our own will, our own self. Our own body (see 1 Corinthians 15:41-44).
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he (and she) that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Think about it. You have this weight and this substance. A life more-or-less mundane and ordinary and perhaps you’d rather be doing more than where you’re at (this applies to me, no doubt). But when touching the out-of-body experience, may I suggest looking at it in light of allowing God more free rein with the container that is your body? If, as John suggested “[Christ] must increase” (yes, I’m equating Christ with God), look into letting Him take over your hands and feet. Let your hands and feet be His, ask what His will is for your life—knowing first that He loves you more than you could ever imagine—and then act accordingly.
“I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)
Tell Him the same. Believe that He has more for you than you can attain where you’re at. It isn’t about receiving more and more stuff, it’s about letting the Father work in you and then work you into the narrative He’s writing over humanity. The good thing about this kind of experience is it never ends but only grows (glows) brighter and doesn’t have any harsh side-effects or extreme crashes.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Whatever you want is covered under the banner of “life…more abundantly”. Vehicle, vocation, avocation, etc. Just know that you may have to be moved out of the way for a little bit in order for the Father to work you back into His (surely better than anything we could work out for ourselves) version of your day-to-day, humdrum existence. All you have to do is ask.