Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Controlling Your Reality in an OBE

by Bob Peterson

Recently, Jess Golden posted a very good question in the Astral Projectors facebook group. She asked:
It is said that the astral realm is controlled by thought processes. I believe that. However I am having troubles. I did a test where I commanded (while I was in the astral) that a series of numbers appear. I said it loud and with conviction. However NOTHING happened!!!!!

What gives?!?!
Later on, she sent me a private message that said, in part:
I don't even know if I could manifest Green Eggs & Ham in the astral!

LOL. Okay, here's my take.

First I have to make clear: I've always maintained that there is a difference between out-of-body experiences and lucid dreams (many authors do not). And unless you've seen the difference, it's hard to tell them apart. In both experiences, you're awake, aware, lucid and out of your body. So what's the difference?

In a lucid dream, you're basically hallucinating (because that's what a dream is), and you're in complete control of your hallucination. So it's easy to create a series of numbers or green eggs and ham or whatever you want. You're probably floating above your physical body, but you're dream hallucination is still going on in front of your eyes.

In an OBE, you aren't hallucinating, so you have much less control over your environment. That's not to say that you're seeing our physical world, or even an echo of it (which some people believe). It does, however, seem to be some kind of objective reality.

Yes, many authors claim you can manipulate astral reality with a thought. I wonder if maybe some of these authors got that idea because they were experiencing lucid dreams rather than OBEs. That's best left for another article.

(By the way, you can transition from a lucid dream to an OBE by dispelling the illusion / hallucination of the dream. When you do, you will see the hallucination dissolve, and you will "wake up" in the out-of-body state.)

I wrote in my first book about how I struggled with these kinds of problems--trying to use thought power--all the time when I was first starting out. I'd try to get to a friend's house, and I'd follow the advice of all the books, and even try my own things. I'd visualize my friend. No movement. I'd think about them. No movement. I'd say their name. No movement. I'd voice my desire. No movement. I'd demand to get there. No movement. Sometimes I'd even try to fly and end up falling on my face in the middle of the street. The books said it was easy: Just think about the person or a place and *poof* you'll be transported there. Wrong. For me it was not that easy.

I often get asked if I've gotten better at out-of-body transportation since that time, and the answer is: a resounding yes. I was like a baby who wants to walk, but whose legs were too weak to do it. I needed practice, patience and I needed to exercise my astral muscles. Like a baby, I learned slowly by doing it, trial and error.

So how do you travel to a person? It's kind of hard to explain. It has a lot to do with intent, exerting your will, and focusing your consciousness. It's almost as if you think of that person, at their remote location, then you place your intent there, then you follow your line of intent to where you put it by exerting your will. I know that sounds cryptic, but like I said, it's hard to explain.

As for commanding things to appear: The fact that you're having trouble doing it is proof enough for me that you're having a genuine OBE and not a lucid dream. If it was a lucid dream, you would be able to easily change it by an act of sheer will.

I remember one lucid dream I had in which I found myself in a (hallucinated dream) hospital. I was walking down the halls, but I decided I wanted to fly. So I started flying down the hall, no problem. I was about to hit a wall, but with an act of will, I commanded the walls of the hospital to open up into a tunnel, then I flew down the tunnel. It was great fun, but eventually I got bored and dispelled the hallucination. After the dream dissolved, I found myself in an OBE state, comfortably floating above my body.

Now let's briefly talk about limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs can and will tie you down and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. In my opinion, this is true not only of the astral world, but the physical world as well. If you think, "I'll never be good at math" then you won't. If you think, "I'll never be rich" then you won't. The concept of "thinking outside the box" is important to your experiences in life, and I do mean that literally.

Likewise, in an OBE if you think, "This is nonsense; I can't fly" then guess what? You won't be able to fly in your OBE. Sometimes you have to combat your own self-doubt to get something to happen. Often all it takes is a suspension of disbelief and self-doubt.

Sometimes all you need is a crutch. One perfect crutch I've found is the invisible helpers. Don't be afraid to ask aloud, "Can I get some help here? I want to do X." Often an invisible helper will accommodate you and give you a helping hand. Sometimes that's quite literally. For example, there have been times when I've asked them to help me fly, and felt their warm hands gently grabbing my wrists and helping me lift off.

Once you prove it to yourself--with their help--that you can do something (like flying), the limiting belief is no longer an issue. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way.

As for manifesting astral things, like green eggs and ham, I'd like to give you a word of warning. It has to do with something I wrote about in my first book, which I called "The fantasy trap." The problem is this: If you try to use your imagination to create an object, it can easily lead you to focus your attention on your imagination. Focusing your attention on your imagination can easily lead you back into another dream hallucination, which in turn, can suck your awareness into the dream state. Pretty soon, you can find yourself dreaming, and it's often not a lucid dream.

So my best advice is to set goals for your OBEs, try to stick to your agenda, try not to get distracted, and don't use your imagination for things like this, because you'll just spoil the OBE when you could be out there exploring.

2013 Jul 30

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review: Astral Travel & Aura Viewing

Book Review: Astral Travel & Aura Viewing

by Yvette LaBlanc
Review by Bob Peterson

Don't judge a book by its cover. Here's why: Yvette LaBlanc's 165 page book Astral Travel & Aura Viewing has a really blah cover, and a blah title, but it's really not bad at all. Like all OBE books, there's good and bad.

What I liked most about this book is its no-nonsense approach. There's almost nothing extraneous. It's all practical. She doesn't waste time or words. She spends almost no time telling stories or touting theories; it's all good information.

The book is divided into four parts.

In part one, she gives OBE definitions and preparation. It's all practical and good information.

Part two, the next 82 pages, is a concise but detailed set of different OBE techniques. It's almost like a recipe book. Very few books in the genre devote that much space to techniques, and I applaud her for that. She details many techniques; lots of things to try.

Some of her techniques were surprisingly new to me (although I doubt many would work on a stubborn mind like mine). I've read almost every book on OBE and studied every OBE technique under the sun, but LeBlanc has some unique new ideas.

My favorite example relates to how breath is used. A few rare OBE books talk about the importance of breath control in regard to OBEs (author Robert Crookall devoted an entire book to the subject), but the subject is largely ignored by the vast majority. But in one of LeBlanc's techniques, she recommends slowing down your breath, then pausing a second or two after you exhale. During this exhale pause, you try to separate your astral from your physical body, and she says sometimes it works. Most people would be deathly afraid that their body would stop breathing.

Many OBE beginners are very much alarmed when they get close to the jumping-off point and lose their awareness of their body's breathing. They think "Oh my God, my body's stopped breathing!" and abort the experience, even though it's really still breathing, but they've just lost awareness of it. Rookie mistake. LeBlanc deliberately tries to use that pause after you exhale to initiate an OBE. Of course, in order for this to work, you have to just blindly trust that your body's autonomic nervous system will take over and continue breathing while you're out-of-body. An interesting concept, and definitely worth trying. Note that you don't want to force your breath to be unnaturally slow; it needs to be a natural progression to slow breathing. It's interesting to note that my breath is naturally very slow to begin with.

Part three of the book is what I didn't like. It's all narratives of the author's OBEs, and in my opinion, they are sorely lacking. Her narratives are way too short and nondescript. Books like Robert Monroe's Journeys Out of the Body, Fred Aardema's Explorations in Consciousness and Jurgen Ziewe's book Multidimensional Man are chock full of amazingly vivid descriptions of astral worlds, breathtaking vistas, and eye-opening adventures. They draw you into the scene and you can feel the excitement of standing in a strange new world. By comparison, most of LeBlanc's narratives are as "blah" as her cover. For example, here's one of her narratives:
I projected to a crystal and moved all around it. I was tiny; it was gigantic. The experience was life altering.
That's it. That's the whole experience. She doesn't say why this particular OBE was life altering. She doesn't describe what she felt or what she saw, the colors or the enormity. She doesn't set the scene or paint the picture. Why was it life altering? The reader is left to wonder.

Most of her OBE accounts are like that: very short and uninspiring. It's almost enough to make me wonder if LeBlanc is the "real deal." You can just tell authors like Monroe, Aardema, Ziewe and many others have genuinely "been there" because of the way they describe the experience. I don't get that warm fuzzy feeling with this book's narratives. Regardless, I still say the book is good, and worth buying for the technique section alone.

Earlier I said that there's nothing extraneous in the book, but some would argue the point because of part four. Part four is about aura viewing. If you're into auras, this is also good, practical information. It has little to do with OBE (even though she makes a good effort at tying the two together), but it's still good information about auras, and it's short enough to not be annoying. The book's title includes "& Aura Viewing" so I can't fault her for including this information. If the book was just called "Astral Travel" I'd complain about extraneous information about aura viewing. But I bought a book on "astral travel AND aura viewing" so part four is definitely fair game. I can't fault her. I'd have a problem if the aura viewing section outweighed the astral travel sections, but it didn't. It was a good size, and good information.

Ms. LeBlanc needs some help with her OBE narratives, but don't let that discourage you from buying her book. I had low expectations, but was actually impressed with it. I liked her no-nonsense, lay-it-on-the-line approach to OBE. Her techniques were solid and her information was good. She doesn't beat around the bush or make you wait for the good stuff. She dives right in and tells you how to approach the OBE. There are better OBE books out there, but I still give it a thumbs up.

2013 July 11

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven

by Bob Peterson

Message number one from the Universe:

A few days ago I heard the classical Led Zeppelin anthem Stairway to Heaven on the radio. And it makes me wonder: Is it about out-of-body experiences? After all, climbing a stairway to heaven wouldn't be much different from the famous rope technique; climbing a rope or a ladder. There's even a ladder pictured on the Astral Projectors group page on facebook. Why not stairs?

Message number two from the Universe:

When I got home I kept thinking about the song. I felt inspired to research an article on how the song might be related to out-of-body experiences. After all, it's well known that Jimmy Page was into new-age stuff. I googled the meaning of Stairway to Heaven, and according to one site:
The lyrics came to Robert Plant in a flash of inspiration when he and Jimmy Page were sitting by the fireplace at Headley Grange with Page strumming the intro chords. Said Plant: "I was holding a pencil and paper, and for some reason I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing out the words, 'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold/And she's buying a stairway to heaven.' I just sat there and looked at the words and then I almost leapt out of my seat."
So clearly this was a case of automatic writing, which is typically viewed as spirit communication. In other words, it sounded like someone from the spirit world reached across the veil to give Robert Plant (and the world) some messages, albeit cryptic ones.

I took a look at the lyrics and I started to believe there wasn't enough material there for a decent article. It seemed like a stretch.

Message number three from the Universe:

Then, early this morning, a new-age radio talk show host, John DeSalvo, not only posted a youtube video of Stairway to Heaven, he also quoted some of the lyrics on facebook. Hm, I wondered, is the Universe trying to tell me something? Getting the same message twice is nothing, and can easily be ignored. Getting it three times is what I call "a coincidence" and I'm well practised in brushing those off too. So no big deal, right?

Message number four from the Universe:

After checking facebook this morning, I turned my attention to other things. First, I fired up my computer's music player in shuffle play mode. There are 6490 songs to choose from--enough to play nonstop for more than 23 consecutive days--but it somehow managed to "randomly" play Stairway to Heaven as its first song!

Hm. Now I knew something was up. When you get the same message from the universe four different ways, you should definitely pay attention. I took another look at those lyrics:
"And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune,
Then the piper will lead us to reason."
I kept getting this song from multiple sources, and I'm not alone: John DeSalvo got it too. Maybe a spirit, reaching across the barrier of death, is trying to "lead us to reason", by making us "call the tune." So for the sake of argument, we should call him (or her) "the piper".

What does this song have to do with out-of-body experience, you ask?
"There's a feeling I get when I look to the West and my spirit is crying for leaving."

I mentioned in my first book, Out of Body Experiences, that I've had my best luck inducing OBEs when my head was pointing to the west. And yes, my spirit is crying for leaving: leaving the body!
"In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, And the voices of those who stand looking."

To me, that sounds an awful lot like hypnagogic imagery, a precursor to OBE. It's very common to see things and hear voices when you get to that stage.
 "And a new day will dawn for those who stand long"
Translation: if you're persistent and keep at it, OBE can change your life and your way of thinking.
"Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven."
Translation: While inducing an OBE, you need to focus. Stray thoughts will interfere and kill your attempt. Stray thoughts lead to other stray thoughts, and pretty soon you're no longer in the right frame of mind.
"Your head is humming and it won't go."
That sounds a lot like the vibrations, doesn't it? It often feels like your head, and sometimes your whole body, is humming.
"In case you don't know: the piper's calling you to join him."

If "the piper" is a spirit with a message, perhaps he is "calling you to join him" in the spirit world. How can that happen? Only in an out-of-body experience.
"And as we wind on down the road, Our shadows taller than our soul."

That reminds me of how our fears can outweigh our ability to leave the body. It's only after conquering our fears that we can start to leave the body.
"Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?"
In other words, the stairway to heaven is not a real stairway, but a stairway in your imagination. It's very common to use intense visualization to achieve OBE.
"And if you listen very hard, The tune will come to you at last."
The act of "listening very hard" is a trick I mentioned in my article "OBE Class Notes". Pretend there is a sound that's about to be played, and just listen for it. It's a trick to "quiesce" or silence your mind.
"To be a rock and not to roll."
Perhaps this is a reference to the stillness required to achieve OBE?

Well, maybe I'm reading too much into the song. 'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. But remember the song Kashmir? "I am a traveler of both time and space to be where I have been." Perhaps that was another hint.

Maybe the song is nothing more than poetry. Still, being reminded of OBE is never a bad thing. It can plant the idea of OBEs into your subconscious. Or should I say "Plant" with a capital P?

2013 July 5