Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Relaxation Techniques for OBEs

Relaxation Techniques for OBEs

by Bob Peterson

To induce an out-of-body experience, you need to turn your focus completely inward, away from the physical senses, and you can't do that if there's any tension in your physical body. So quick and deep relaxation is of paramount importance. Many books ignore or under-emphasize this important step. In this article I will share some relaxation techniques you can use while inducing OBEs.

Progressive Relaxation Technique

Almost all technique-oriented OBE books recommend that you use “progressive relaxation.” It's almost cliche'. With this technique, you systematically work (or progress) from your feet to your head and relax the muscles of each body part, one at a time. Many books recommend that as you focus on each body part, you briefly tense the muscles then let them go. In other words, (optionally tense and) relax your feet, then forget about them. Then (optionally tense and) relax your calves, then forget about them. Then move to your hamstrings, etc. Eventually make your way up your torso, systematically relaxing each body part. Many books spend extra time relaxing the individual muscles in your head and face because we hold so much tension there: separately relax your neck muscles, jaw muscles, cheeks, forehead, and so on. Then go back to the start and verify they're all still relaxed.

It's effective, especially for beginners, but it has a down side: it's slow and it turns your focus, at least temporarily, to the physical body you're trying to exit. I tend to use other methods like these:

"Pseudo-VELO" Relaxation

I think of this as "pseudo-VELO" because it reminds me of the IAC's "VELO" energy movement technique. "VELO" is an acronym that stands for "Voluntary Energetic Longitudinal Oscillation." It's a technique in which you imagine a "plane" (almost like a round cutting board made of psychic energy) or "slice" of soothing, pulsing energy sweeping up and down your body repeatedly. Or imagine your body is enclosed inside a big tube with energy pulsing up and down the entire length, slicing through your body. Eventually you try to build a kind of harmonic resonance with the sweeping energy wave. (Author Nanci Trivellato wrote a nearly 500 page book that devotes a lot of time explaining the technique, so I can't possibly explain all its subtleties here; sorry.)

My "pseudo-VELO" relaxation is similar to VELO, but instead of energy, you imagine a "plane" of soothing relaxation traveling up and down the tube. As the plane slices through your body, it relaxes all the muscles it touches.

Hospital Blankets Technique

If you've ever had surgery, you know the operating rooms are kept cold to prevent bacteria and disease from growing. To keep patients warm, though, the assistants drape them with a comfortable but very warm (or even hot) blanket.

This relaxation technique is similar. I just lie down and imagine a nice warm soothing hospital blanket is being draped over my body, filling it with relaxation. I imagine the blanket pervades and melts into my entire body, like sugar in coffee. As soon as the blanket melts into my body, another blanket is draped on me, followed by another, so I have a continual supply of nice warm blankets of relaxation. This has become my favorite relaxation technique lately. It's fast and effective.

Optimizing Practice Time

The easiest way to achieve complete relaxation is simply to perform your OBE exit techniques when you first wake up, before you move any muscles. At that time you're already completely relaxed and don't need to do anything. This takes advantage of your body's natural state. You can do it when you first wake up in the morning, or take a short nap, then practice when you awaken. It can be difficult to remember not to move your muscles right away, but you can learn it with a little practice.

Although it's uncommon in the literature, another trick--at least if you're a man--is masturbation. Orgasm can cause an instant feeling of relaxation. Author Salvatore Caesar Scordato recommends this in his book You Can Fly. Michael Raduga also gives a "Sex Technique" in his book The Phase that leverages this fact. Although I've never studied it, I suspect that the ancient Indian Kama Sutra also hinges on this fact.

The Importance of "Speedy" Relaxation

The "speed" at which you relax may also be important. In his book Practical Techniques of Astral Projection, Dr. Douglas M. Baker writes that relaxation:
"...must be done rapidly; as rapidly as you might have done at the end of that long drive in your automobile! It is just as if your body is a sack of corn that is suddenly thrown on the floor."
In their book How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain, neuroscientists Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman emphasize that many mystical experiences and "enlightenment experiences" are associated with a rapid drop in neural activity to the brain's prefrontal cortex, and quick relaxation is also associated with it. This need for quick relaxation is also mentioned by Darryl Berry in his book Travel Far in which he gives a technique where you change body positions, or "asanas" (yogic body positions) frequently. With his "Relax-Move" technique you relax then switch positions, then relax again, and repeat. This trains you how to relax as quickly as possible.

Another note about rapid relaxation: Michael Raduga also says you shouldn't waste a lot of time relaxing: the more time you spend on relaxation, the less you can devote to doing the actual OBE exit techniques.

So go out and practice quick and thorough relaxation, and then you'll be ready to perform your preferred OBE exit techniques.

Robert Peterson
18 Feb 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Review: Apprenticeship to a Ghost

Review: Apprenticeship to a Ghost


by Don Sanger

Today I'm reviewing Apprenticeship to a Ghost by Don Sanger. The author was kind enough to send me a copy a while back.

The book features many out-of-body experiences, which makes for a great backdrop. Like all books, there's both good and bad. I always like to start with the bad first so I end on a positive note.

The spelling, grammar and writing were actually very good (except for a few out-of-place commas) and the writing is mature, but the book needed serious proofreading. There are several instances where the wrong word is used, probably due to a lack of proof-readers and a spell-checker that was done in haste. So "might have had" appears as "might have hand." A "pint of lager" is presented as a "pint of larger." And "I was rather hoping" is now "I was rather hopping." Which makes for some interesting visualizations! "Exercise" becomes "Excise." "Morale" becomes "Moral." Even "astral plane" is given as "astral plain" in a couple places.

There were lots of these, and I know how it happens: when authors spend a lot of time editing a book, they get "too close" to the work and stop seeing mistakes that are glaringly obvious to everyone else. I'm as guilty of this as Sanger with every book I've ever written. Even my latest book has several mistakes like this. Authors are human and we make mistakes. Maybe I'm just more sensitive to it than most.

This book is visionary fiction (VF), and I tend to not like that genre in general. Oh, sure, there are a few outstanding VF books. Richard Bach's book Illusions is probably my favorite, and worth every penny, but Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Meh. Thea Alexander's 2150AD was also good. The problem I have with VF books is that there's often no plot, no conflict, and no tension. It's all about the message, not the story. That's what drove me nuts about James Redfield's Celestine Prophecy books: I'm just not a fiction lover, and when I take the time to read a novel, I want heart-pounding, blood-pumping, page-turning, nonstop, action-packed drama. Think Stephen King's Rose Madder or Firestarter. (One of my favorite OBE-oriented novels is The House Between the Worlds by Marion Zimmer Bradley, but it's not VF and it has no underlying spiritual messages. But I digress.)

In Apprenticeship to a Ghost Sanger tries to wrap the inspirational messages around some tension but it was not enough to enthrall me. There just wasn't enough conflict in the story.

There were several lead-ins where Sanger could have blasted the conflict, but didn't. For example, he could have made the out-of-body experiences themselves more tense and fearful (at first), playing on the apprehension of the main character, Don, but he didn't. I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to paint OBEs with a canvas of fear because OBEs are usually not like that.

He could have made the encounters with the ghost more scary and tense (at first). He could have made Don's relationship with his girlfriend, Sharon, more strained with bickering, fighting and threats. His family could have accused him of losing his mind, and threatened to have him committed. He could have heard scary noises, gotten dark alley beatings, and acquired stalkers. His grades could have suffered and his future jeopardized. He could have lost his job. He could have questioned his sanity. But nope. There was not enough tension. It didn't "grab" me with in-your-face "story" I wanted.

Still, I read the whole thing and I did enjoy it. The last third of the book was actually much better than the first two thirds. Sanger's descriptions were rich and colorful, and his musings were deep. You just need to go into it with certain expectations.

Plot or not, a good VF book should inspire you and make you see things in a brand new light. It should open your mind to new ideas and new possibilities. It should be mind-expanding. Apprenticeship to a Ghost does do all that. Much of the book takes the form of inner dialog, where Don is thinking to himself, and he thinks deep philosophical thoughts, and interesting thoughts: Thoughts about God, about communication with the spirit world, about reincarnation of animals and people, planes of existence, vibrations, spirits, over-souls and about the hierarchy of souls. Lots of deep thoughts, and I liked that.

The book has a feeling of honesty and authenticity, and I often paused reading to ponder whether Don Sanger went through some of the things his main character does. It helps that the main character's name is Don.

One of my favorite quotes of the book is:
"Ignorance is the root of all evil." (pg. 150)
Agreed! Another great quote is:
"We are beings living in different worlds. We are living on the same planet of course but living in different worlds." (pg. 233)
I was pleasantly surprised about two thirds of the way into the book when "Don" is taught a valuable energy technique: You hold your hands in front of you and repeatedly push and pull a "chi ball" or "energy ball" between your hands.

For many years I've actually done this exercise in bed while preparing for sleep. Not every night, but many nights. Here's my version: Lying face up, I lift my arms in front of me and push and pull on an imaginary chi ball between my hands. I actually hold my hands so all fingers point at each other, and try to manipulate the energy in the space between them. (This is a variation of an exercise I used to do many years ago in Tai Chi class while standing up). I also circulate the energy around my arms from left to right arm and across my shoulder blades. Then I imagine the energy accelerating. After maybe 30 seconds of this, I put my hands down, roll over to my side and go to sleep. That's what I do.

So imagine my surprise to find a similar technique in this book! In Sanger's version, the hands are held up like in prayer, and the space between them is pushed and pulled. It's a very similar technique, and I was quite surprised to find it here.

I also found another valuable technique in this book that I use regularly. In this one, you try to create an ever-expanding bubble of love that starts out small and grows to encompass the entire universe. I actually gave the details of this in my previous blog article, Raising Your Vibrations before I saw it in this book. The book also stresses the need for developing positive energy, as I did in that article. Funny how the pieces of the puzzle always fit together so nicely!

I resonated with the main character, Don who, like me, is changed because of his experiences. For example, develops a distaste for horror movies, similar to me.

The book is 249 pages with a smallish font and narrow margins, which means there's plenty of content. You'll get your money's worth.

I'll give it 3 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
04 February 2020
---------------------------

If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE/AP advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: Astral Projection by David H. Lewis

Review: Astral Projection

 
 by David H. Lewis

Today I'm reviewing Astral Projection by David H. Lewis.

This is an obscure book, and I doubt you'll find it in any stores, or even amazon. So this review is mostly just for fun. The copyright notice is 1980, but it doesn't even have a proper ISBN. It simply says "Library of Congress number reserved" at the front.

It's probably one of the first astral projection "books" I ever bought, probably in 1980. In fact, it might have been the first AP book I bought, considering that I had only borrowed Robert Monroe's book Journeys Out of the Body from my dad (and later inherited it from him when he died.) I probably picked it up at some obscure new age bookstore in Minneapolis that's long since gone out of business, like "Evenstar."

I'm sure it was self-published before today's "self-publishing" or the Internet even existed. It was self-printed too, as evidenced by the staples holding it together.

The book credits "Grand Marshal Sir Bobby Ferrel and other astute members of science." Who is Bobby Ferrell? I've never heard of him. The book claims:
"Grand Marshal Sir Bobby Farrel is known to possess the highest degree in Astral Projection from its beginning stages to universal travel in all area of the planes. It is the testimony of many astute members of science to be an enlightenment of knowledge that has been long sought in this present day era..." (pg. 1)
Alrighty then. I don't know about you, but my alarm bells went off: either he's trying to artificially bolster his credibility or someone's having a big ego trip. And that makes me lose all respect.

The book is very short: only 23 pages. It contains some solid advice and a few decent "best practices" but there's nothing new or surprising: it can all be found in other (better) books on the subject.

The book contains only one exit technique, and that is the "Target Technique" described in many OBE/AP books. One of the earliest accounts of the Target Technique comes from occultist Edward Peach, AKA "Ophiel," in his 1974 book Astral Projection (which I bought at about the same time as this). My favorite explanation of the target technique appears in William Buhlman's book, Adventures Beyond the Body.


In this technique, you choose a route (usually one you know well) with various stopping points, almost like stations in which you engage the senses. Buhlman recommends starting at the front door of your residence. Raduga recommends your bathroom mirror. Once chosen (while still in your physical body), you perform a "walk through" traveling from station to station. At each station you try to fully engage your senses and commit it to memory: You see the place, listen for any sounds present, touch things, and so forth.

Later, once you've done several of these rehearsals and fully memorized your path, you lie down, relax your body completely, and try to replay the walk-thru in your imagination, aided by your memory. If you're successful, the imaginary walk-thru leads to an actual sense of being at the location in your non-physical/astral body, at which point you can stop using your imagination and start interacting "for real."

Lewis does a good job describing the technique. In fact, most of this book's 23 pages are devoted to it. Lewis recommends you do the target area walk-thru from start to finish, then backward, from finish to start. He says to do this once per day for at least 12 consecutive days, without ever skipping day. He suggests engaging every one of the senses, so create a "sight" station, a "sound" station, a "touch" station, etc. After 12 or more days of physical walk-thrus, you're ready to lie down and try to replay it in your imagination. It's a solid technique.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:
"You will also, for the first time in your life, come to the startling realization of what death is like and that what your minister has taught you is now going to be flushed right down the drain. However, it will take you many years to UNDO their idiotic teachings." (pg. 14)
Lewis recommends you keep complete secrecy about your out-of-body adventures, but not for fear of negative reactions or ridicule. It's because your friends and family might have negative thoughts about OBEs/AP and the telepathic nature of their stray thoughts might work against your progress.

I disagreed with the author on this point:
"As a special note of interest, traveling throughout the entirety of our universe is accomplished in a time equivalent to only several earth minutes, for in this universe, time does not exist nor speeds measured in relation to time." (pg. 17)
That may be true, but I still have a problem with this concept of instantaneous travel of the entire universe. Maybe I'm held back by my own self-limiting belief system, but I'm too science-oriented to accept that.

He also seems very cautious with regard to where you travel on your first attempts. He gives stern, dire warnings that until you've reached advanced stages, you must stay in your home or apartment because of "other forces" that lie beyond your immediate domain. This was just too much fear-mongering for me.

The book has some other strange fear-mongering as well. I found this one both interesting and amusing:
"CAUTION: Do not attempt to visit women of child bearing age until you can do so with a NEUTRAL MIND. There are entities out there that will use your life presence to obtain an incarnation. These entities ARE ALWAYS EVIL though not necessarily demonic (befitting a demon or evil spirit.; mad; violent or frenzied) but I assure you that they will sink their claws into you once they are sparked to life and will never let you go. At this point of your digestive reading, you could think this portion is one big joke but you will only do it once....I assure you." (pg. 21)
Perhaps this goes back to the author's experiences with a succubus: an opportunistic sexual demon that supposedly steals your energy. But those experiences are normally associated with ASP (awareness during sleep paralysis.) This kind of fear mongering is never helpful: don't be afraid to visit anyone, including women, and interact as you would normally. If you're some kind of pervert, sexual deviant, or sex addict, maybe you'll attract some of these kinds of negative experiences, but normal people have nothing to worry about. Just remember this:
  1. Nothing in an out-of-body experience can harm or kill you or your physical body.
  2. If you feel threatened, you can simply abort the OBE at any time.
  3. Fear attracts negative experiences, so just remain positive.
  4. You've got the power to overcome such things, even if you do encounter them. Believe in your own power, and they will cower in fear rather than face you.
The book has some good information and helpful hints and only one OBE technique, all of which may be found in other books. It's way too short, and it has way too much fear mongering and dire warnings. I'll give it 2 and 1/2 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
21 January 2020
---------------------------

If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Raising Your Vibrations

Raising Your Vibrations

by Bob Peterson


Warning: This article leverages new age theories and ideas, not scientific principles, so take it with a grain of salt.

People often ask me how to raise their vibrations. The first question I ask is, do you mean "the vibrations" which are a precursor to an out-of-body experience? Or do you mean your soul's "vibrational level?"

Pre-OBE Vibrations

If you want to know how to induce the pre-OBE vibrations, they usually come rushing in as the result of intense relaxation followed by one of the many exit techniques, such as:

That's a very deep subject, but it's not the topic of this article. What I want to talk about here is the other type: the vibration level of your astral body ("soul," or "spirit" if you prefer).

The Soul's Vibration Level

In his book, Soul Traveler, author Dr. Albert Taylor writes that negative emotions will quash your ability to induce OBEs. He says:
"Any and all negative emotions will likely stifle any attempts you make to achieve a higher state of consciousness." (pg. 90)
If Taylor is right, the converse may also be true: switching from negative emotions (anger, despair, etc.) to positive emotions (love, gratitude, etc.) in general raises your soul's vibration level, and therefore makes OBEs more attainable. But why is that?

Many new age teachers equate your emotional state with your soul's "vibration level." It goes back to the astral body's relationship to the physical body. So let's take a deeper look at the mind/body relationship.

Science says that all atoms of all physical matter vibrate, as do physical molecules. That includes the atoms that make up your physical body. When you heat something, you actually raise its molecular vibration. For example, a microwave oven heats things like food by blasting microwaves at an object; the microwaves excite the water molecules in the food, causing them to vibrate faster, so the food gets hot. In a way, you might say that heat is the physical body's vibration level, or at least one component of it.

Similarly, your astral body also vibrates, but at a much higher rate (wavelength) than physical molecules. The important thing to remember is that it resonates with the vibration level of your physical body. Many new age teachers see the astral body as tightly bound to the physical body under normal circumstances, and it is this resonance that keeps us glued so tightly to it.

You can compare your vibrations to notes (sound vibrations) in different octaves: your physical body might vibrate at a low "C1" on a piano keyboard, and your soul might vibrate at a higher pitch "C8" on the same keyboard. And if you play C1 and C8 at the same time, they sound good together because they resonate with each other: several wave forms of C8 fit perfectly inside the bigger/slower wave form of C1. But if you go up a note and play D8 together with that C1 it will sound horrible because the sound waves don't fit nicely into one another: C1 and D8 don't resonate, so what you hear is a discordant sound.

Some people believe we feel (or hear) the "out of body vibrations" when we increase the vibration level or pitch of the soul: it's like our body is at C1 but we raise our soul from C8 to D8, and what we hear--"the vibrations"--is a similar kind of discord: The waveform of your soul's vibration no longer fits perfectly within the waveform of the physical body's vibration.

Raising Your Body's Vibration Level

This is pure speculation, of course, but perhaps this is why a few OBE experts recommend being just a bit uncomfortably hot when you make OBE attempts. Kensho's book "Out of Body Experiences" recommends using an electric blanket to make your physical body a little bit uncomfortably warm. This raises the temperature of your body a little, and maybe that helps knock your astral body out of alignment with the physical.

It may also explain why it can be easier to induce an OBE when you're sick: when you've got a fever, so your body's vibration rate is higher and therefore a bit out of alignment.
[Bob briefly considers cracking a joke about the many women astral projectors who seem to have "smoking hot bodies" like Jade Shaw, Lu Banyan or Jacki Sidney, but decides it's in poor taste. Ahem.]

Raising Your Soul's Vibrations

Earlier I talked about raising your vibrations by changing your emotions from negative to positive. Here are a few exercises to raise your vibrations:

Exercise 1 - "Increasing Soul Pitch"

This is an OBE induction technique in which you simply relax completely, then imagine the "pitch" or vibration level of your soul increasing steadily until the lack of resonance forces the soul out of alignment with the physical body. Imagine your soul getting higher and higher in pitch until it's ready to shatter glass. But be careful not to let physical tension creep in.

Exercise 2 - "Music"

Another easy way to raise your vibrations is to listen to positive, uplifting music. I've made playlists of positive music on my phone. I wrote about this in this blog article from 2019: My Five Unconventional Meditations. Really, any positive uplifting music will do.

Exercise 3 - "Love meditation."

Imagine yourself encased by a bubble of positive, loving energy. Try to feel love for everyone and everything inside the bubble. Not just physical people, but non-physical entities that might be sharing that space. Not just the people, but the plants, animals and even the inanimate objects.

Slowly increase the size of that bubble to include the people in your house, then your neighbors, then your whole neighborhood.

Keep expanding the bubble until you feel love for the entire region, then the whole continent, then the whole Earth.

Keep expanding until you feel love for the whole solar system, galaxy, and Universe, and finally, All That Is: the totality of everything on all planes of existence.

"Doesn't Lowering Your Vibrations Also Cause Discord?"
Actually, yes, it does. If you lower vibrations on a keyboard from C8 to B8, you'll also hear discord.

Negative emotions like anger and hate will lower your vibrations, and also cause discord with your physical body, but it doesn't often cause OBEs. Occultists believe that the physical plane is comprised of lower vibration matter, so lowering your vibrations tends to anchor you to the physical.

However, fear is one exception: Fear lowers your soul's vibration level, and that kind of discord can lead to a feedback loop of ASP (Awareness during Sleep Paralysis) which can be harnessed to induce OBEs. If you're deathly afraid of sleep paralysis, it's very likely to happen again, and once there, you can turn it into an OBE. I talked about that in the second half of this blog article: Turning the Tables on Fear. However, fear-based OBEs often lead to negative encounters, so that's probably not a good approach.

Eliminate Negativity

You can also raise your vibrations just by eliminating most of the negativity in your life. Here are some things you can do:
  • Stop watching television news.
    The evening news can give you the idea that the world is filled with bad things and bad people. Most of the news programs directly or indirectly tell you who to hate. Don't listen to them. Believe in the inherent goodness of people.
  • Stop watching crime dramas.
    Crime dramas like "Criminal Minds" and "Law and Order" program you to see the bad in life. It's easy to believe that the world is full of rapists and serial killers. In reality, these things are rare. Again, be careful about how you let yourself be programmed by the media.
  • Eliminate negative self-talk / inner dialogue.
    This is important. Don't give yourself unconscious beatings or think negatively about yourself. If you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself (e.g. "I can't do this," "I'll never be good at this," etc.) then counter it with positive self-talk. (e.g. "I'll get this eventually," "I'm determined to get there," etc.) and make sure your positive self-talk outweighs the negative self-talk.
  • Delete negative music from your phone or music player.This is a tough one for me. I'm a music lover, and I like certain kinds of heavy metal music, but the vast majority of that is negative programming. I forced myself to part ways with some of my favorite music. But it's well worth it. If you want to hear the very best example I know of music that portrays negativity and bad self-talk all-in-one, listen to "When" by Megadeth. Delete it, and everything like it.
  • Listen to positive music.
    It doesn't need to be flowery new-age crap-music to raise your vibrations. If you want a good example of heavy metal music that's positive and uplifting, listen to "Spirit Never Die" by Masterplan. But my absolute all-time favorite vibration-raising song is still "Awaken" by Yes because of its long length, ever-increasing crescendos, and uplifting imagery.
  • Give yourself positive affirmations every morning.
    For example, "I am a warrior of Light and my vibrations are high," "I allow only positive energy to enter my aura." And of course, "Out-of-body experiences come naturally and frequently to me."
  • Believe in yourself.
Of course, this article is a gross oversimplification of what's really going on. In reality, your physical body and astral body have multiple levels of vibration. For example, your brain waves are a type of electrical vibration too. Each cell has its own vibration, but they resonate in harmony with one another. Each atom has its own vibation too. And since your body is really a "system" more than a "thing" there's cooperation between the various components. The important thing is to focus on the positive emotions more than the negative.

So go out and raise your vibrations and hopefully that will increase your OBEs.

Bob Peterson
07 January 2020

If you have ideas for blog articles related to OBEs, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my blog articles

 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Harnessing Unfamiliarity for OBEs

Harnessing Unfamiliarity for OBEs

by Bob Peterson

The Problem

I recently got an email from a woman with PLS, a degenerative neurological disease related to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) that causes you to slowly lose control of your body over time. She wanted to learn some out-of-body techniques to experience the incredible freedom outside her disease-ravaged body: a perfect application for OBEs.

She wrote that she recently got the vibrations three times on her vacation ("holiday" in the UK), but now that she was back home, she had no success whatsoever using the same techniques. She asked me why, and how she could solve the problem.

Enter Sandman

The next morning, I was thinking about her question, and oddly, I drew a connection between it and the lyrics of the old Metallica song "Enter Sandman":
"Sleep with one eye open,
Gripping your pillow tight,
Exit Light, Enter Night,
Take my hand: We're off to never-never land"
In case you're wondering, no, I'm not a fan of Metallica. Their music is an expression of anger (or it was when it was good!), and anger, like all negativity, can block your ability to induce OBEs. I listened to them for a brief time (mostly their early music, circa "Master of Puppets"). But in an effort to cut negativity out of my life, I deleted almost all negative from my phone/music player several years ago, and suggest you do the same. For what it's worth, my favorite Metallica song back then was "Through the Never":
"In the dark, see past our eyes,
Pursuit of truth, no matter where it lies,
Gazing up to the breeze of the heavens,
On a quest: meaning, reason..." --Metallica, "Through the Never"

But I digress. The connection to "Enter Sandman" is this: inducing an OBE ("off to never-never land") is often easier when we're in unfamiliar settings (and therefore you tend to "sleep with one eye open").

My point is: familiarity can sometimes block your OBEs, and unfamiliarity can increase them. In my opinion, her problem was too much "familiarity" at home.

We all have that same problem. You can try for months to induce OBEs at home, from your own bed, and just can't do it. But as soon as you get to a hotel or a friend's house--unfamiliar surroundings--they happen naturally.

The bottom line is this: If you become too familiar with your surroundings, OBEs sometimes tend to drop off. But the opposite is also true: Unfamiliarity tends to increase them again, and you can use that concept to increase your OBEs.

The Reason

I tend to think the reason unfamiliarity increases OBEs is subconscious vigilance. Whether you like it or not, when you're in unfamiliar surroundings, your subconscious is more vigilant, more "on guard," while you're sleeping. Even when you seem to be sleeping peacefully, your subconscious pays more attention to what's happening around you. It's a built-in defense mechanism that keeps you a tiny bit closer to consciousness, and therefore quicker to react to unforeseen emergencies, such as hotel fires, intruders, or  in the case of our ancient ancestors, bears or tigers wandering into their cave while they were asleep.

The solution is "non-patterning."

Non-Patterning

Author Ken Eagle Feather wrote several good books that had to do with Shamanism and Shamanic Journeys (like the Carlos Castaneda books, but more down to earth), such as A Toltec Path and Traveling With Power. The thing I liked most about them was his concept of "Non-Patterning."

Non-patterning means deliberately breaking habitual patterns in your life. For example, if you walk, bike, or drive to work every day, take a different route each time. Not only does that keep you out of "ruts," it also makes you more alert and aware. It keeps you on guard. You can apply this to many aspects of your life, transforming daily routine into something less mechanized.

You also can use non-patterning to break habitual patterns of sleep, and that often increases your OBEs. Here are some things you can do to harness non-patterning for OBEs:
  • Sleep on the couch instead of your bed.
  • Sleep with your head at the opposite end of the bed.
  • Move your bed to a different place in the bedroom.
  • Turn your bed 90 degrees left or right.
  • Sleep in a guest bedroom instead of your normal bed. 
  • Go to bed at different times of the night.
  • Switch out your pillow for a different one.
  • Wear a different deodorant.
  • Sleep with a window open to introduce different sounds.
  • Use your phone to play unfamiliar sounds while you sleep.
  • Change your sleep number (for sleep number beds.)
  • Change the smells in the room: light incense, use oil diffuser, essential oils, etc.
You should also:
  • Vary the OBE affirmations you use in the morning.
  • Vary the relaxation method you use when you practice.
  • Vary the time of day that you make your OBE attempts.
  • Vary the OBE exit technique you use.
  • Vary what clothes or pajamas you wear when practicing.
Forcing some unfamiliarity can keep your subconscious more on its guard, so it will hold you slightly closer to consciousness, and that can increase your OBEs.

Re-patterning

Once non-patterning helps you induce an OBE, it will temporarily become easier to induce another OBE, and another. I've found this effect generally only lasts about a week. So once you achieve an OBE, double-down and focus extra effort on producing more. If you get busy and let time slip away, pretty soon you'll find yourself back at square one.

Once you establish good conditions under which you can have an OBE, you can harness the opposite principle: you can make the optimal conditions into an "OBE ritual" that conditions your subconscious to establish that place (those smells, sounds, etc.) as your official "OBE place" and "OBE time."

William Buhlman once told me he produces many of his OBEs by taking naps on his couch / sofa. Now you know why: His bed is "too routine" and the couch is now part of his "OBE ritual."

If your "OBE ritual" stops working, go back to non-patterning and change things up again. Give your subconscious that "sleep with one eye open" attitude adjustment!

The bottom line is that sometimes we get trapped by our own psychological habits and conditioning. Non-patterning helps you break the cycle (think of it as "unlearning") and rituals help us establish new ones more conducive to inducing OBEs (think of it as "re-learning.")

Now go out there and change the recipe, stir the mixture, set your intentions, and practice, practice, practice.

Bob Peterson
10 December 2019

If you have ideas for blog articles related to OBEs, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review: Eyes of an Angel by Paul Elder

Review: Eyes of an Angel

by Paul Elder

Today I'm reviewing Eyes of an Angel: Soul Travel, Spirit Guides, Soul Mates, and the Reality of Love by Paul Elder.

I got this book a few years ago and I can't even remember who sent it to me. It might have been the author himself, but I seem to recall receiving it from a friend. I started reading it and got about a third of the way in, then for some strange reason, I regretfully got distracted, lost track of the book, and never saw it again. Until now.

Fast-forward to 2019 when I contacted an acquaintance who I first met at the Monroe Institute during one of William Buhlman's "Out of Body Intensive" classes. I was organizing a group of friends to take Buhlman's last scheduled class in 2020--a kind of family reunion--and I tried to talk her into joining us.

She said she'd love to go, but already scheduled a week-long seminar that conflicted. I asked her what seminar had enough pull to preempt William Buhlman? She said it was a class given by Paul Elder. Hey, wait-a-minute, I thought. I've got a book by Paul Elder somewhere. I need to track it down and finish reading it! So I did just that. It had been so long, I started it over from the beginning to see it with fresh eyes.

This book is kind of like Kim McCaul's book, Multidimensional Evolution, or even my second book, Lessons Out of the Body, in that it's kind of a spiritual journey: It follows the real-life spiritual adventures of the author, how his OBEs fit into his spiritual path, and the context of his life, and what he learned along the way. And a lot of his experiences are similar to mine. In fact, Elder and I did many of the same out-of-body experiments and had the same frustrations. It's interesting to note that, like me, Elder is pretty resistant to hypnosis (pg. 221).

Elder grew up in a huge family (he was 10th of 11 children! I was 5 of 5), and had two near-death experiences as a child, which makes for a remarkable story. You can tell from his descriptions that his OBEs are genuine. For example, early on I was struck with the accuracy of this description:
"I became aware of a strange vibration gently rocking me. Every molecule in my body seemed about to burst with this bizarre, bubbling electrical energy." (pg. 4)
He also describes the wonder of watching the lightning of a thunderstorm from the out-of-body state.

Like many OBE authors, he went through a phase where he had to find proof that his OBEs were "real":
"You can't imagine how delighted I was with the confirmation. Astral and physical realities had blended perfectly." (pg. 66)
During one of his OBEs, he got some pretty good veridical evidence: He managed to see an "ugly jacket" that had been purchased while he was away n a trip, and he had never seen before his OBE. (pg. 152)

From time to time, when life got too busy, his OBEs faded away. But then he'd visit The Monroe Institute and take one of their courses, and come back all enthused and full of energy. (I heard he now teaches classes at TMI, which seems fitting.)

Also like me, he did lots of experimentation. He recounted how strange it was to look into a mirror and NOT see his own reflection, but just the room behind him. (pg. 67) (FWIW, different people see different things in a mirror. When I tried this, I surprisingly saw the reflection of my friend Brad's face in the mirror, but I was at Brad's house in my OBE. I wrote about it in chapter 26 of my first book. Click here to read my full account.)

Like me, Elder managed to scare the crap out of an in-the-body cat during an OBE. (Pg. 88). (My account is in chapter 21 of my first book: click here to read it.)

But it's not just the OBEs. Elder has valuable life lessons in this book. For example, I loved this quote:
"The message was clear: it didn't matter one bit in life who won or lost, or how rich or successful we became. When we finally pass from this world, the only thing that will matter, the only thing of lasting importance, is how we treated others along the way." (pg. 92)
He has some fabulous OBE narratives. For example, an encounter with Universal Consciousness, or "God:"
"From the mindless destruction of war to the purposefullness of a hummingbird in flight, I experienced and became a part of everything that I touched. It was at the same time an explosion of emotion and a mystical encounter with the love of God. I suddenly understood the perfection of creation." (pg. 98)
I was interested to read this soul rescue OBE that brought up the language issue:
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My thoughts were in English but my words were not. I clearly heard myself speaking Spanish, yet I hadn't a clue how to speak Spanish!" (pg. 155)
In experiences similar to mine, he had trouble trying to contact his mother who had died:
"At various times during the ensuing year I attempted to make contact with my mother while out-of-body, but to no avail." (pg. 119)
Eventually he did meet her in a very touching OBE described on page 120. (I eventually met mine too, but it's not in any book...yet).

About halfway through the book, Elder meets his spirit guide, who calls himself Meldor. He has a series of OBEs in which Meldor gives him discourses on new age philosophy. True or not, this was too preachy for me: this sort of thing is what turned me off in Luiz Roberto Mattos's book Astral Projection As a Bridge to the Spirit World. The philosophy was sound and even has an interesting take on the subjects like Karma and soulmates, but the OBEs just sounded a bit too staged or contrived. If I wanted new age philosophy, I'd reread one of the many Jane Roberts "Seth" books I love. Luckily, Elder doesn't harp on this or push it too far (as I felt Mattos did.) In fact, he eventually loses touch with Meldor and never hears from him again, much to his dismay. Eventually he meets up with a new set of guides, but he never gets lectured by them (thankfully).

Elder also has a long and detailed OBE in which he does something I've never done: apparently visits the library of the Akashic records:
"The structures that I had seen, such as the library, seemed absolutely real. The stone steps leading to the front entry were as solid as anything I had experienced...These things were real, perhaps more real than the structures I was used to on Earth." (pg. 144 - 145)
He also had some very interesting OBEs in which he apparently found himself in another person's physical body:
"I couldn't believe it. For a second time I had somehow ended up in someone else's body. This time I had actually seen his face. He appeared to be much younger than me, perhaps in his early twenties. (pg. 161)
This is extremely rare in OBE literature. The only other account I remember of this was from Robert Monroe's first book, Journeys Out of the Body, and I was more than just a little skeptical about that claim!

Like me, he also had an encounter with Jesus Christ. (You can read my account in this blog article.)

Like me, he also had an experience of "astral sex." His was much more involved than mine, but matches my observations 100 percent. Here are just a few small tantalizing excerpts from his narrative:
"As our bodies flowed together, our energy and molecules seemingly occupying the same space, a growing heat began to vibrate in my heart...Every particle of my being on fire with desire, I couldn't tell whether it was a physical sensation or a spiritual one...Beginning at first as a low rumbling vibration, it hit me like a freight train. From deep within, a wave of tremendous orgasmic energy exploded through every cell in my body...In a frenzy of ecstasy, I hung on for dear life." (pg 185).
You get the picture. It paints a very intense spiritual experience, and the full description is not to be missed! He and I are in complete agreement that astral sex is very different from both physical sex and lucid dream sex:
"Had I just experienced a sample of the spirit world's version of sex? Could I even call it sex? There was certainly nothing in the physical world to compare with it." (pg. 186)
Most surprising of all was that he seems to share everything, including this, with his wife, Candace, who is painted as very loving and understanding, which is another thing Elder and I have in common.

But the real value in this book is not so much the OBEs themselves, as the sentiments and lessons behind them (a point I tried to make in my second book, Lessons Out of the Body). For example, I loved this quote:
"The spirits' thoughts continued to flow through my mind. Nothing in our physical dimension is of any consequence or lasting reality. The only enduring reality is love. To live without opening our hearts denies the most beautiful and enabling aspect of the human experience." (pg. 180)
Here's another gem:
"If there's one thing that I've come to realize over time, it is the more I learn, the more convinced I am how precious little I actually know." (pg. 219)
And I'll close with one last quote:
"The only thing that will truly matter is how we treated others along the way. That's the importance of love." (pg. 227)
There's plenty of content, weighing in at 233 pages with good margins and font. The grammar and spelling were flawless. It is professionally written, which is surprising, given that it was supposedly the first book he's written. This is a wonderful OBE book and I highly recommend it. It's not Jurgen Ziewe good, but it's very good. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It was touching, inspiring, and hopeful, but there are no OBE techniques in the book.

Bob Peterson
26 November 2019

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review: Multidimensional Evolution

Multidimensional Evolution

by Kim McCaul

Today I'm reviewing the book Multidimensional Evolution: Personal Explorations of Consciousness by Kim McCaul.

Author Kim McCaul recently interviewed me for his podcast of the same name, and he was kind enough to send me a copy of his book all the way from Australia. Naturally, I reciprocated and sent him a copy of my book as well.

McCaul won my heart right away when he wrote this:
"Don't believe anything! Experiment and have your own experiences." (pg. 7)
With the title Multidimensional Evolution, I fully expected it to be like Multidimensional Man, by Jurgan Ziewe (my favorite OBE book), but it wasn't anything like it. The book is basically the story of Kim McCaul's spiritual journey, from a materialistic college student who hits rock bottom, igniting his spiritual quest. It's broken into three primary parts:

The first part of his journey deals with his stay at a meditation center in central Java called Shanti Loka, where he meets a spiritual master by the name of Pak Suyono. He has some interesting and powerful experiences. I especially liked this quote:
"I was watching a sunset at the beach and suddenly realized that the rays of the sun that were shining directly at me were actually doing the same for everybody, and that in fact each and every one of us is the center of the universe with infinite unconditional love shining on us, whether we realized it or not." (pg. 39)
My favorite thing about Pak Suyono is that he taught the era of monks and gurus is coming to an end:
"...we are now in a time where consciousnesses will pursue evolution through self-directed and multifaceted avenues while living a productive intraphysical life with partners, families and gainful endeavors." (pg. 177)
Amen to that, and this is a central teaching of this book. Your journey is yours alone. If you like where you are on your spiritual path, shine a light for other travelers to see. But don't fall into the traps of thinking "I know better than everyone else" or "I need to follow this guru because he/she knows better than me." We're all just travelers with the same destination. Be a student and learn, because we all can learn from one another. Be a teacher and teach, because everyone's lessons are unique and valuable.

The second part of his journal is when McCaul met and became part of a group that revolved around a woman named Leia, who claimed to be a "walk-in." In other words, there was a woman named Linda whose time was up (supposedly), but instead of dying, a completely different soul stepped in and assumed ownership of that physical body and assumed a role of spiritual leadership. I must admit, McCaul's description of Leia and her spiritual claims were somewhat hard for me to believe (but I've always been skeptical like this). It involved a multitude of weird spiritual experiences, including experiences with extraterrestrials (ETs) (pg. 91). Still, I've never met the woman and he has. True or not, it was obvious that her effect on him was profound and spiritual. It allowed him to deal with past-life entanglements and karmic bonds. He needed those lessons at that time.
"The point is that past lives have a very real impact, and although their influence may seem subtle, they actually affect all areas of our manifestation and interactions." (pg. 102)
Out-of-body experiences--or projections of consciousness--were an important part of Leia's teachings and she apparently helped McCaul to have them. He does share some tantalizing hints:
"The key point to understand is that we are all surrounded by extraphysical people all the time and that they interact with us more often than we realize. Developing our own energetic and psychic capacity means that we can take greater charge of these interactions. Rather than allowing ourselves to be the unconscious playthings of extraphysical consciousnesses, we can take the energetic initiative, making our interactions deliberate and focused on assistance." (pg. 107)
He carries this thought further much later in the book:
"Once you realize how frequently we are all used as mediums by extraphysical consciousnesses, that is, once you realize how often physical people unconsciously channel the thoughts of extraphysical people, even if only for a few moments, you start listening to the people in your life as potential unconscious mouthpieces for your helpers (but also for your intruders!) (pg. 150)
The third part of McCaul's spiritual journey is when he moved to Brazil and became involved with the International Institute for Projectiology and Conscientiology (IIPC) and International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) where he met Waldo Vieira. If you don't know him, Waldo Vieira was a famous author and teacher in Brazil who started a whole movement revolving around OBEs. He invented a whole nomenclature of pseudo-scientific terms to describe OBEs. I was very surprised to read this:
"For Waldo, meat is not only an essential ingredient for human well-being; its dense energies also play an important role in our ability to be of assistance in other dimensions." (pg. 118)
Wow. I didn't know that. I've only read one of Vieira's books, Projections of the Consciousness, and I was surprised at how good it was. I've been told that his other book, Projectiology, is a fabulous (and very big) wealth of information about his research into OBEs. The problem is, amazon.com wants nearly 100 dollars for the book, and I find that too offensively high.

A big part of IAC's philosophy is energetic assistance. Many practitioners perform an energy channeling meditation called "Penta" which basically provides energy to non-physical entities who use it for soul rescues and non-physical help. Even without performing Penta, there's a strong emphasis on lending help.
"The more we focus our efforts on assistance, the more we will be in harmony with our helpers, and we will increasingly be involved in projects managed by more evolved helpers." (pg. 153)
I loved this quote:
"Paradoxically, it is through delving into the abyss of self-centered suffering that we become able to soar to the heights of compassionate assistance to all other consciousnesses." (pg.  126)
Unlike other Vieira-based books (like Nanci Trivellato's The Vibrational State) this one doesn't really extol the virtues of the VELO technique. McCaul seems to favor a "Closed Loop" energy technique instead, which is much like the Taoist energy exercises I learned in T'ai Chi classes (and appears in my latest book). This is also taught in Daniel Kelley's book, Behind the Veil, and Robert Bruce's book Astral Dynamics.

The last chapter, "The Multidimensional Evolution of Consciousness," was perhaps my favorite. In here, he emphasizes some grounded, down-to-earth principles. For example:
"Yet over the years, I have come to appreciate that we can become 'experience junkies'. In other words, it is very tempting to pursue experiences for their own sake. After all, it feels great to enter an exalted state of consciousness or explore extraphysical dimensions. But then what?" (pg. 176)
I'll give you one last quote from that chapter:
"My experience in this lifetime has been that, rather than achieving new or previously unexplored levels of awareness, most of the evolutionary dynamic seems to be aimed at trying to regain an awareness we already enjoy when we are extra-physical. In other words, as we work towards increasing our multidimensional awareness, we are really just working at becoming more of ourselves, at bring more of our original self into this dimension." (pg. 189)
The book is 206 pages, with a good font and tight margins, which means there's a lot of content. The book was professionally written and edited: I did not find a single mistake in grammar or spelling. It was very easy to read.

Kim McCaul is humble and honest teacher, not boastful or arrogant. The book is well-rounded in its spirituality, and grounded and centered in its approach. Its teachings are diverse and level-headed. Unfortunately, it contains no OBE techniques or instructions. I would have liked more OBE narratives. So this isn't as much an "OBE book" as it is a journey of spirituality.

I recommend this book and give it 3.5 stars out of 5.


Bob Peterson
12 November 2019

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