Thursday, February 21, 2013



 by Robert Peterson

Last night Kathy and I went to the Phoenix Exploration of Consciousness group for the third time. This is a great group of people. For the first hour, they just eat and socialize. After that, they do a group meditation, and often it's with binaural beat technology, typically the Monroe Institute's hemi-sync technology. The goal is to induce Monroe's "focus level" experiences.

I've never had much luck with the hemi-sync courses, and I've never taken a class at the Monroe Institute. It's probably because focus level experiences have never been my primary goal in meditation, which has always been out-of-body experiences. Typically, the instructor or guide's voice does more to interrupt my journey than to guide me there. Nonetheless, I've been using the meetup as a chance to do some meditation and connect with friends.

The group meets at 7:00pm, socializes and snacks for about an hour, then everybody plugs their headphones into splitters and FM receivers, and goes through the hemi-sync meditation.

Last night I did not have an OBE, but I did get some interesting results. I was meditating, eyes closed, staring into the blackness in front of me. I was trying my best to ignore the voice on the recording, and do my own thing. I had visualized a vertical slit in the fabric of the blackness. It was kind of like a one-dimensional doorway, and I was trying to narrow my consciousness to the point where I could fit through that narrow slit-doorway.

Unexpectedly, the doorway started to bend so that it was no longer a straight line. It bent into a semicircle. I wasn't consciously manipulating it, so it surprised me. Then the slit, now a semicircle, formed the outside profile of an eyeball. Slowly, my visualization panned back and I could see more of the eye. At the same time, it rotated so it was looking right at me. Somehow, it seemed alive.

They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. As I looked at the eye, it seemed without gender; like a young child's eye. I saw so many things in that one eye: innocence, joy, laughter, boundless energy, playfulness, unconditional love. The best word I could come up with was: mirth. In this child's eye I saw unbridled bubbly mirth. But who was the owner? What child was this, and why was I seeing it now during my meditation?

To answer those questions, I wanted to see more of the child's face. I wanted to pan out to see more. As I backed up, I started to see a mischievous smile. Then I had an intuitive understanding: I was not seeing a child. I was seeing God! Or maybe a representation of God.

The realization hit me: I could never see all of God from this human form because God encompasses all of creation. I could only see as much as God cared to reveal to me.

Then I also realized: God has all this unconditional love, all this boundless energy, all this mirth. We all exist in the eye of God, and God has nothing but love for us. There is no angry, vengeful, judging Old Man with a long white beard. The seriousness and heaviness is all in the eyes of mankind. It's all child's play.

21 Feb 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spiritual But Not Religious 

by Robert Peterson

Okay, I know this blog article may offend some people, especially religious people. If you're defensive about your religion, stop reading right now. 

On Monday, a facebook friend posted a photo of an iceberg. Above the surface, the iceberg showed one word: love. Below the surface were many words with negative connotations: Hate, greed, bigotry, misogyny, submission, homophobia, anachronism, indoctrination, child abuse, repression, genocide, slavery, murder, racism, fear, and lies. 

The photo didn't bother me. I interpret it this way: Many of the "religious right" purport to love everyone on the surface, but beneath the surface they harbour many of those negative traits. Jesus taught us to love. In fact, love is integral to the only two commandments he gave us: (1) love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind, and (2) love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37). Yet many so-called Christians are more focused on discriminating against gay people or other groups than they are focused on God. But that's not what this article is about.

The facebook friend I mentioned obviously interpreted the photo differently because what he posted with the photo was:

Why there's a growing population of "spiritual but not religious" group.

And that really bothered me.

If I understand him correctly, he's saying that the group "spiritual but not religious" is growing because they have love on the surface but all these negative things on the inside? Boy, did he ever get it wrong.

Fighting the urge to speak my mind, and trying my hardest not to start a religious name-calling fistfight, I posted a simple reply to his statement:

No, it's because people are starting to see the truth and the truth doesn't fit the old religious paradigms.

Today, people in general are more scientific. As much as they are mostly still in the dark regarding religious topics, they at least have a better understanding of basic science, physics and anatomy. Science had trained them to look at things analytically, and some are starting to look at their religion with the same critical eye. And what they're seeing often doesn't jibe with what religious authorities are teaching. As much as they're told to "have faith", many don't accept religious stories blindly anymore. Nowadays you question when your thirteen-year-old daughter turns up pregnant and claims she wasn't having sex. You're skeptical when she gives you some wild story about an angel named Gabriel who allegedly said she's been selected by God to give birth to a special boy whose name means God Is With Us. You question that "miracle" a little bit more than you did two thousand years ago and wonder if it's covering up a deeper truth.

When the scientific method is applied to religion, you start to see through the misinformation. You can either ignore the evidence and desperately cling to the belief that people were better observers two thousands of years ago, or take a closer look. When you find a discrepancy, your choices are to lose faith, white-wash the data to fit your beliefs (as so many scientists today do), or to do your own homework. Sadly, out of laziness, most people take the first option, leaving us with a Godless society. But the evidence of God, the afterlife and a spiritual realm are abundant if you look for them.

It's only in the last 300 years or so that people have been free to share their own theories and observations, whether spiritual or scientific. Before that, you'd typically be excommunicated, condemned as a heretic, burned as a witch or otherwise tortured and executed (unless everything you said about your experiences perfectly matched the religious dogma of the dominant religion, in which case they made you a saint).

Case in point, Giodano Bruno, who was burned at the stake for insisting on something we now know is scientific fact: that the Earth travels around the sun. Better known Galileo Galilei said the same thing, and was also condemned as a heretic, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Organized religion has done more to quash scientific discovery than any other force on the planet, but tragically, it's done even more to quash religious discovery. It's systematically destroyed anyone who dares to share what they've learned through their own personal experiences and communion with God.

Isn't it ironic, then, that all the world's great religions were born from the religious observations--based on personal experiences--of people who contradicted their culture's prevalent religion? Great religious leaders like Jesus Christ, Moses, Mohammad, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Zoroaster, Patanjali and the like, all followed the same pattern. They all meditated. They all communed with God. They all had religious experiences. They all went through the door and saw the other side. They all fought the religious paradigms of their culture and were brave enough to tell people what they saw. Some, like Jesus Christ, got killed for it.

After their deaths, their disciples took over. Full of good intentions, they spread the word. Not the original, but a twisted version of their master's words, morphed into self-serving political organizations. Without going through the door themselves, they tried to interpret the light coming through the keyhole, and make definitive statements about what is on the other side. Without that direct communion with God, they were lost trying to put physical interpretations on nonphysical events. And in most cases, they failed miserably. So they focused on herding their sheep rather than on God.

We all know why organized religions suppress the religious experiences of their followers: because at the core, they're political organizations. Maintaining power, control and self-preservation are more important to them than "the truth." But you know what? The truth has a way of getting out, despite their best efforts to hide it or keep it for themselves.

As technology advances, religious experiences are becoming more commonplace. Modern medicine has saved thousands from the brink of death, and these survivors have incredible stories to tell about what they saw in their Near-Death Experiences. And their observations don't fit the old religious paradigms.

At the same time, more people today are meditating, going within, becoming self-aware, learning to induce out-of-body and other mystical experiences. They're learning new techniques and sharing what they find. More importantly: they're developing their own personal relationship with God.

What they're finding is that their relationship with God and Spirit have very little to do with the religious organizations: the churches, synagogues, mosques and temples, and the people who control them. I believe God is within everyone's grasp and you don't need organized religions to show you the way. The information is out there. Maybe too much, in fact. Information--both good and bad--is available at our fingertips on our cell phones, tablets and computers through the Internet.

A hundred years ago, you never questioned your doctor. Today it's absolutely essential. People need to take personal responsibility for their health and question everything, not because health care is getting worse, but because the information--and misinformation--is getting out of control. 

It's the same way with priests, rabbis, imams and gurus: people must take personal responsibility for their spirituality, their religion and their relationship with God. They need to start questioning time-honoured religious traditions. If for no other reason, because knowledge trumps faith.

To aid them on their journey, the technology is also improving. Now, ordinary people--not just the religious fanatics--are employing Ganzfeld setups, mind machines, flotation tanks, infra-liminal technology, biofeedback, neurofeedback, and hemi-sync to explore the outer reaches of the mind. And what they're finding isn't much like what you find in the pages of the Bible, Talmud, Koran, Avesta or Bhagavad Gita.

That is why more people are becoming "spiritual but not religious."

There's nothing "supernatural" in this life. Nothing is defying the laws of physics. Any theories about reality must make room for everything we experience, both religious and scientific. A science that denies religious observations is just as absurd as a religion that denies the observations of science. Experience is experience and truth is truth.

I like to think that eventually, science and spirituality will meet in the middle. I hope that through direct observations like out-of-body experiences, they will both arrive at a unified view of reality that includes God and spirit as well as physics and biology.

I like to think that one day, we can all directly experience God and see things as Jesus and the others did. And I look forward to that day.
08 Feb 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

What's In A Name?

What's In A Name?

By Robert Peterson

Does having the name Robert increase your ability to have out-of-body experiences? For some reason, many of the people associated with out-of-body experiences have the name Robert. Some have speculated (in jest) that it's because "Robert" actually contains the letters OBE: R-OBE-rt.

Robert Monroe is probably the most famous OBE expert of the 20th century. He founded the Monroe Institute and wrote three books on the subject: Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys and Ultimate Journey.

Robert Crookall studied OBEs for many years and wrote many books on the subject, including The Study and Practice of Astral Projection and Out of Body Experiences: A Fourth Analysis.

Let's not forget our favorite Aussie, Robert Bruce, who wrote Astral Dynamics and Mastering Astral Projection.

Robert ("Bob") Moser wrote a book called Mental and Astral Projection.

Robert Cornelius has an OBE book Astral Projection: Break Free in 16 Different Ways.

Then there are my (Robert Peterson's) books, Out of Body Experiences: How to have them and what to expect and Lessons Out of the Body.

Robert Bushman compiled a comprehensive OBE bibliography at

And let's not forget Robert Moss, author of books on lucid dreaming and shared dreaming like Dreamgates and Conscious Dreaming.

Okay, there are lots of OBE books out there. I own more than 150, and that's just books on out-of-body experiences. It doesn't include the many books I own on peripheral topics like Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), Lucid Dreaming. That's just OBEs. So yes, there are plenty of famous OBE authors who aren't named Robert: William Buhlman, Fred Aardema, Albert Taylor, Graham Nichols, Sylvan Muldoon, Oliver Fox (Hugh Calloway), Ophiel (Marcel L Forhan), Joe Slate and many many more.

I suspect it's all just a coincidence. But then again, many of us believe there are no such thing as coincidences.