Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Review: The Traveller's Guide to the Astral Plane

The Traveller's Guide to the Astral Plane

by Steve Richards

Today I'm reviewing The Traveller's Guide to the Astral Plane: The secret realms beyond the body and how to reach them by Steve Richards. The book is copyright 1983.

I know I've said this before, but this book is unlike every other astral projection book in the genre. What makes it unique is that it tells OBE narratives, but from a wide variety of sources across time and many cultures. In fact, it doesn't get any wider scope than this. It draws information about astral projection from modern-era to ancient sources like:

  • Robert Monroe
  • Melita Denning and Osbourne Phillips
  • Cornelius Agrippa
  • Eliphas Levi
  • Golden Dawn (MacGregor Mathers)
  • Israel Regardie
  • Theosophy (Blavatsky, Powell, etc)
  • Rosicrucians (AMORC)
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (which he calls "the most complete manual of occult technique ever written." (pg. 80)--Meh, I read it a long time ago and wasn't impressed. Maybe I need to re-read it though.)
  • And other more obscure sources, all the way back to the ancient Greeks like Herodotus and Plato.

At the end of the book are no less than three appendices covering the most ancient NDE (near-death experience) narratives from ancient Greek times from Plato and Plutarch. One of these is the oldest known historical mention of the famous Silver Cord.

Right from the start, it's self-evident that Richards has studied astral projection a great deal, probably for many years, although he doesn't admit to having any experiences of his own.

Chapter 2, "Are the Experiences Real?," discusses what criteria should be used to assess it:

"The projector must make his presence felt by some naive observer at a distant place, or else he must return from his trip with some knowledge that he could not have acquired except by psychic means. Either of these conditions is considered sufficient to establish veridicality. If neither is met, the experience is a fantasy." (pg. 28)

You know how I love a good OBE narrative, and Richards the gives lots of them, mostly taken from published literature, and they're very interesting indeed. Not from contemporary OBE authors like most of the books I've reviewed, but older sources. Like a narrative from famous philosopher Immanuel Kant.

Chapter 3 is titled "Swedenborg" because it focuses on the life and reputation of the famous 1740s mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg, who was the subject of some of Kant's writing. For many years I've thought I should study Swedenborg, but haven't gotten around to it. Richards' narratives make me want to study him more.

Chapter 4 is titled "Astral Sex." Yep, there's a whole chapter dedicated to the subject, and yep, it has several narratives. It talks about encounters with incubus and succubus, and more. He ends the chapter with words from Robert Monroe:

"Compared to the astral experience, he [Monroe] says, physical sex is a mere shadow." (pg. 49)

Chapter 5, "The Kama Loca" is about astral shells (think astral bodies that were discarded after death, but still manage to keep haunting the living), simulacra, and reincarnation, particularly the reincarnation story of a particular Japanese boy.

Chapter 6, "The World of Boundless Light" is about "heaven-experiences" in NDEs and the lore surrounding heaven. In other words, how "heaven" compares in various spiritual traditions: Christian, Hindu, Theosophy, etc.

Chapter 7, "Descent into Hell" is similar to chapter 6, but follows NDE and OBE narratives of various hellish encounters. Contrary to popular belief, not all NDEs are heavenly. Richards cites Dr. Maurice Rawlings book Beyond Death's Door in which he narrates his trip to "hell" as well as other sources such as Karlis Osis. What's so fascinating here is not the narratives, but how they match up compared to other spiritual traditions. For example:

"The similarities here are more striking, though, and there is a different focus. Whereas Swedenborg's Hell is merely depressing, Plutarch's Hell is genuinely terrifying--and so is the Hell of the Buddhists." (pg. 72)

Chapter 8 is "How to Get There." Richards doesn't give a concrete procedure to achieve astral projection, but he covers the basics and how to recognize that you're close, how to react, etc. He makes it sound downright unpleasant and because of that, questions why anyone would do it: ringing in your ears, sleep paralysis, and the vibrations, which he describes as:

"Gradually, his vital processes begin to start up again, and his muscles, oxygen-starved, go into violent convulsions. It is extremely important to maintain rigid self-control during this phase, since these convulsions can be dangerous. They are, in any event, extraordinarily painful." (pg. 77)

That seems a bit over-the-top fear mongering to me. Yes, the vibrations can feel like you're being electrocuted, especially when you're first starting out, but I'd never call them painful. Some authors, such as Nanci Trivellato, even describe them as pleasurable and compare them to orgasm. And they're certainly not convulsions. (My wife would have screamed bloody hell if they were!)

I found this quite amusing:

"I suspect that one has to be an incorrigible non-conformist to do astral projection successfully, and if you find after your first few 'trips' that you still panic, you may want to discontinue your experiments." (pg. 78)

Incorrigible? Hey, I resemble that remark! This was interesting too:

"Now it might be said that you will never find yourself able to project entirely at will. Psychic abilities are cantankerous, and as Israel Regardie pointed out in The Tree of Life, 'sometimes (the Astral Body) simply will not go.' For what it is worth, this problem is shared even by the Masters." (pg. 78)

I can't argue with that. Even the best of us has dry spells.

He does suggest an OBE technique I'd never heard of from any other source. He cites Vyasa's sutras as going further than Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, suggesting visualizing the Sun (in Wood's translation it's referred to as the "door") as ever-expanding and growing, much like Tattwa symbols are used as an astral doorway, as suggested in other books (like J.H. Brennan's Astral Doorways), then stepping through it (and closing the doorway behind you).

The book was fascinating from a historical point of view, and like I said, unlike any other book on the subject. It's worth it for the unique collection of historical OBE narratives alone. It's an older book, so it may be hard to find.

The book's margins are good and the font is very small, so there's plenty of content despite that fact that it's only 110 pages. I'll give the book 4 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
15 June 2021

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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, May 25, 2021

Top 25 OBE Groups on Facebook

Top 25 OBE Groups on Facebook

by Bob Peterson
 
There are a lot of Facebook groups that focus on astral projection and/or out-of-body experiences; so many it's hard to choose where to focus your attention. One way to judge these groups is by the number of group members and membership growth.

It's been a year and a half since I published my blog article titled Astral Projection Facebook Groups in October 2019 which covered almost all the groups I knew about at the time. Facebook is a fast-moving landscape, so the article quickly became outdated: groups came and went, some grew in popularity while others shrank, and some groups were renamed. So I thought I'd give everyone an update.

This time I'll focus on the top 25 AP/OBE groups with the most members. They all have 3800 members or more. (If I extended it back to 2000 members or more, I'd need to list 39 groups instead of 25.) Since I'm only listing the top 25, I'm unfortunately unable to include some of my favorite smaller groups, like "the William Buhlman group" and Mark Certo's "The Triad Mind." It may be worth searching in Facebook for additional groups not listed below.

My list is ordered by the number of members: most to the least.

  1. Ascending Together (was: Ascension 5th Dimension) - 149200 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/181122809372617/
    This group has grown from 12050 members to almost 150000 since my aforementioned previous article, which is incredible: a 12X growth in membership (unless I got my numbers wrong last time, which is always possible). It dethroned the previous number 1 which is now at number 3.
  2. Inner dimensions - 84900 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/210060139557966

    This is a newcomer. When I wrote the original article above, I didn't even know it existed. Now it rocketed to the number 2 position.
  3. Astral Projection - 66400 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2218501282/
    This is Phil Swain's very successful group, formerly in the #1 position. It's also one of the oldest and most respected groups related to AP/OBE. It has a large team of moderators around the world that filter out the rubbish (and I'm proud to say I'm one of them!)
  4. Astral Projection Lessons - 47000 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/173612009892502/
    This group maintains its #4 position, but it tripled its membership from 15500 members: a huge gain in popularity.
  5. Astral Projection Community - 31900 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AstralProjectionCommunity
    This group has also tripled its membership since the 2019 article.
  6. Sleep Paralysis - 22300 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/52290258063/
    Their group membership grew by 25% since the 2019 article.
  7. Project Consciousness - 21700 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/82182042432/
    Their membership grew 17% since the 2019 article.
  8. Astral Projection - Techniques - 18000 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/495848321095643/
    A relative newcomer to the stage, it's gained a lot of popularity.
  9. The Out-of-Body Travel Foundation! - 16000
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/328357483399/
    A Christian OBE group based on the teachings of author Marilyn Hughes. Knocked down from its #5 spot, it still showed an impressive 19% growth in membership.
  10. Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, Out of Body Experience, Astral Travel - 13900 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/DreamMeaning
    This group was number 17 in the 2019 article, but it's grown its membership almost 4X.
  11. Non-physical Consciousness Family Reunion/ Oneness - 11800 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/745851625508441/
    Their membership actually shrank a bit since the 2019 article, from 12450.
  12. Lucidity 4 ALL - Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, OOBE. Phase & Shift - 11200 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1669937939901175/
    Their membership grew by about 50%, which is impressive.
  13. Astral Projection&Lucid Dreams Teachings And Other Psychic Abilities - 10900 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/526012714646612
    Another newcomer with an impressive membership. It's constantly plagued with "Inbox me for a private reading" and other crap, which results in the poster being dropped from the group.
  14. Inner Cosmos - 10400 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/723736347760344/
    A 13% membership growth.
  15. Astral Explorers - 9000 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/119432314798455/
    Their membership shrank from 9400 members. :(
  16. Astral Projection and Psychic Experience - 8600 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/680083798837546
    A new-comer to the stage.
  17. Astral Projection Third Eye Meditation - 8500 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Astral.Projection.Technique
    Another new-comer. What's interesting is their name, which leads me to believe the group was renamed.
  18. Journey To The Astral World - 7000 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/181128651980482/
    This group was knocked down from its 15th position, despite 39% membership growth. An indication of how popular the subject has become.
  19. ASTRAL PROJECTION - 7000 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/345494594580/
    13 percent membership growth.
  20. Out of Body Explorers - 6300 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/221196514607411/
    Membership only grew a meager 3 percent.
  21. CONSCIOUS EXPLORERS - 5700 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/327952237280976/
    Sadly, this group lost some members.
  22. TMI Out of Body Experience Group - 5000 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/293153980770983/
    Based on The Monroe Institute teachings. They had 23% membership growth.
  23. Astral Projection & Lucid Dreaming group - 4500 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1061578314048618
    Another new-comer.
  24. Out of Body Experiences - 3800 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/531923563559622
    Another new-comer
  25. Lucid Dreaming/OBE Club - 3800 members
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/775498442534686/
    Membership grew from 2450, an impressive 36 percent.

These 25 groups with the largest membership are probably the best sources of astral projection / out-of-body experience information on Facebook. If you haven't joined them all yet, consider it. But please:

  • Read the group rules
  • Answer the group questions (if any)
  • Be respectful, courteous, non-confrontational, and don't self-promote.
  • Stay on-topic

I moderate several of these groups, and as a moderator, I can tell you: If you offer to do free psychic readings or cast spells, you'll probably be kicked out of the group. Let's all help each other achieve this incredible experience. 

Oh, and one more thing: Just for fun I created the group "Astral Projection Memes" which is just for AP meme sharing. In other words, no articles. It will never teach you astral projection, but it's got some great humor, especially if you peruse the "Recent Media" section and look at historical posts.

Bob Peterson
25 May 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Review: Astral Projection by Kimberly Moon

Astral Projection

by Kimberly Moon

Today I'm reviewing the book Astral Projection by Kimberly Moon. The subtitle is a mouthful: Unlocking the Secrets of Astral Travel and Having a Willful Out-of-Body Experience. Including Tips for Entering the Astral Plane and Shifting into Higher Consciousness. The book is copyrighted 2018.

This is another cookie-cutter book similar to many others I've reviewed. It is:

  • Under-credentialed: The author gives no indication where she acquired her knowledge of astral projection.
  • Way too short: only 39 pages long.
  • Not personal: there are no OBE narratives.
  • Only one real astral projection technique given, and it's pretty vague.

My biggest complaint is that the author gives no indication where she acquired her knowledge. Since there are no personal narratives, I can't believe it's from experience. Did she learn from a master, teacher, or guru? If so, she gives no credit. Thus, she has no way to substantiate claims like this one:

"The soul is incapable of leaving the bod[y], as without it, the person would die. This also makes astral projection different from near-death experiences, which occur when the soul actually leaves the body for a short time." (pg. 3)

Hm. I bet authors like Albert Taylor, author of the book Soul Traveler, would beg to differ. But Taylor's knowledge comes from his direct experiences. This also throws the entire religion of Eckankar and their "Soul Travel" under the bus. But I digress.

Here's another unsubstantiated claim:

(Besides the astral plane) "...The other six planes are etheric/physical (this is the plane where human life exists), causal/mental, essential, spiritual, monadic, and "manifestal." (pg. 3)

I'm sorry, but before you make such claims, you better have something to back it up. The author doesn't even explain what these planes are, how you can tell if you're there, how they differ from one another, etc. A hundred years ago, the Theosophists wrote about seven different planes of existence, but at least they claimed to have experiences to back it up.

I did not disagree with the author on many points. For example, she recommends drinking nothing but water. I've been slowly going that direction myself.

"It is important to train yourself to think that water is really the only beverage you should drink. Avoid sugary, caffeinated, and carbonated beverages altogether, and drink water with meals." (pg. 8)

I've never had a problem with sugar or corn syrup. I don't think caffeine is bad. In fact, in one section of his excellent book The Phase, author Michael Raduga recommends WBTB, slamming an energy drink in the middle of the night, and going immediately back to sleep. Aside from an occasional (once a month?) can of Monster, I don't drink carbonated drinks anymore. I am, however, highly suspicious of some artificial sweetners like aspartame.

I found some of her descriptions to be somewhat lacking. For example, when trying to induce an OBE, Moon writes:

"You must work to keep your mind active and engages in the process, or you run the risk of simply falling asleep and missing out on the astral projection experience." (pg. 18)

Well, that's a bit misleading. In my 40 years of experience, you need to focus and clear your mind into a tiny pinpoint of awareness. You need to quiet all thoughts and emotions, yet retain awareness. It's important to maintain that conscious focus, but you definitely don't want to keep your mind active. If you keep your mind active, you'll never enter the vibrational state.

Moon really only gives one astral projection technique, and that is summed up nicely on page 19:

  1. First, simply relax your body and mind.
  2. Relax into a trancelike state of "hypnagogia (somewhere between sleeping and wakefulness). [Note that she never explains the hypnagogic state or how to recognize it]
  3. Encourage, within yourself, the feelings of mental strength and control, rather than feelings from the physical self; engage with your astral self. [She never explains how to do that.]
  4. Be aware of the spiritual plane vibrating all around you; it feels welcoming rather than threatening. [She never explains how you're supposed to be aware of it. How? I can only assume by using your imagination.]
  5. Enter and embrace the vibrational state; your astral body is preparing to join the astral plane. [She never explains how to enter or embrace the vibrational state. How exactly does one do that?]
  6. Concentrate on exiting from the physical body into the astral realm, slowly and with intention; you will pull your spiritual self, part by part, from your physical self. [She never explains how to do this. Again, concentrating won't work. It's a matter of focusing your mind.]
  7. Conclude the process by guiding your astral self out of the body. Just visualize yourself separating, and it will be so.

Oddly, she calls this technique "The Monroe Steps." I don't recall Robert Monroe giving these steps. Monroe gave a few techniques, but I don't recall any that sounded like this. In fact, what this reminds me of is my second book, Lessons Out of the Body, when I bitched about way-too-vague instructions given by many astral projection authors. To quote Lessons:

"Usually, their instructions looked something like this:
1. Relax totally.
2. Imagine floating.
3. Now that you're out of your body, go ahead and explore." (pg. 9)

There are other recommendations and techniques in the book--kind of--but nothing as solid as the steps I listed above.

Moon recommends a 4-7-8 breathing meditation: Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, then exhale through the mouth for 8 counts. This is not an astral projection technique; just a recommended meditation.

While I agree with several of Moon's assertions, the book has a fair amount of misinformation, like this:

"You cannot control your actions in the [lucid] dreams (or the dreams themselves), so that is a different experience than astral projection." (pg. 20)

That contradicts my experience. In most of my lucid dreams, I can completely control my actions and often, I take control of the dream itself, causing objects to appear and disappear with an act of will. With astral projection, I tend to have less control.

Here's more bad advice:

"So, once it is time to return to your physical body and end astral projection, all you have to do is grab hold of your silver cord and take yourself home. It can happen instantaneously, if you so desire." (pg. 25)

Most authors (including me and William Buhlman) say you can end the OBE just by thinking of your physical body or a body part like your little finger. The problem isn't getting back because that will happen automatically when you've been away too long. The problem is staying out as long as possible. Following your silver cord back is bad advice; for one thing, many astral projectors don't see a silver cord, even when they're looking for it. For example, Eddie Slasher's book, Explorations Out of the Body, which is clearly and unequivocally based on the author's personal experiences.

Here's more bad advice:

"It is also a really good idea to set a timer of some sort to remind you when it is time to end your astral projection session." (pg. 25)

In fact, most OBE authors agree it's a really bad idea to set a timer or alarm: setting time limits tend to work against you trying to focus your mind out-of-body no matter how long it takes. If you're concerned about the time, or even mildly thinking about the time ("Have I done this too long? Is my alarm going to go off soon?") it's enough to keep you inside your body. Do yourself a favor: do not set a timer or alarm.

Another thing I found questionable was this:

"There is really nothing to fear in the astral plane or your journeys there, so we would recommend preparing yourself through all of the techniques named here, and don't worry about protecting yourself. You will be just great." (pg. 33)

While it's good to be fearless and have a positive attitude in astral projection, I think the subject should have been addressed more thoroughly. After all, we're dealing with the unknown and it's natural to be scared or cautious. Although rare, scary things can happen. She could have talked about what to do if you encounter something scary: end the experience by thinking about your physical body. Many books instill a sense of safety by saying prayers or rituals, but I've always advocated a sense of fearlessness and to counter force with force.

There were a few things I did like about the book. For example, she wrote:

"In other words, what happens in the astral realm, stays in the astral realm." (pg. 30)

I thought that was clever. She also made the observation that dreams, including lucid dreams, can be interpreted, but astral projections can't, just like real life experiences. I kind of liked that too.

Despite a few doses of misinformation like those above, the book wasn't that bad. In fact, I agreed with a lot of it. The bottom line is that the book is just way too short. It's only 39 pages, which is shorter than the "References" section of the last book I reviewed, Convergence! There's just not enough content.

I'll give it 2 stars out of 5. There are much better AP/OBE books on which to spend your money.

Bob Peterson
11 May 2021

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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, April 27, 2021

10 Best OBE Technique Books 2021

10 Best OBE Technique Books 2021

by Bob Peterson

One of the most frequent questions people ask is: What are the best books on how to achieve astral projection / out-of-body experience? It's been several years since I wrote my "Bob's Best of Breed" OBE book list, so I thought I'd give an updated list, this time focusing on just the books that give good "how to" instructions.

Different people have different needs, and different teachers have different teaching styles, so choosing a good OBE technique is kind of a subjective thing. Not everyone will agree with my picks. Still, it's a lot better than picking one at random or based on sales history. You can click on the links below to read my review of each of these books.

Without further ado ("Hi Shire Horse!") here's my list:

1.Hacking the Out of Body Experience
by Robert Peterson

Okay, I admit I'm biased because I wrote it. Still, I tried really hard to make it the best "how to" book available on the subject, and I've gotten a lot of positive feedback.

2. The Phase
by Michael Raduga

The Phase is chock full of helpful OBE tips and techniques. Raduga is down to Earth and technical, and the book is primarily focused on techniques. Before I wrote Hacking, this was my number one.

3. Astral Dynamics
by Robert Bruce

Although a bit occult-oriented, it's still a great resource. Bruce's "energy bouncing" OBE conditioning techniques are the best in the field. His "Rope" and other tactile OBE techniques are classics, widely imitated and parroted by many other inferior books.

4. Adventures Beyond the Body
by William Buhlman

Buhlman's first book has become many people's go-to book on how to achieve astral projection for many years. When I read this book the first time I kept interrupting my wife, Kathy, who was reading beside me with, "I love this guy! Listen to this quote..."

5. Navigating the Out-of-Body Experience
by Graham Nicholls

Nicholls' book has many solid OBE techniques. When I first reviewed this book in 2012, I undervalued it. Comparing it to other books in the field, this is a gem. I hear Graham is working on a new improved version of this book that's due out sometime in 2021. I can't wait!

6. Leaving the Body
by D. Scott Rogo


Although it's a bit out of date, Rogo's book is full of techniques, coming from several different angles/approaches to induce OBEs. Very insightful. A must read, if you can find a copy.

7. Travel Far
by Darryl Berry


I found Berry's book to be one of the most unassuming, friendly, and helpful "How To" books. This book is a lost leader.

8. Out of Body Experiences
by Akhena


Translated to English from the original French, Akhena's techniques and narratives are epic. The book has some of the best examples of "proof" in the genre. Unfortunately, this book is out-of-print and hard to find and the author passed away. I hope some day this book will be reprinted.

9. Astral Projection
by Richard Craze


Craze's book is small / compact, but chock full of 22 OBE techniques. His techniques are some of the most creative and insightful, especially since it was published in the 1990s. The book is also out-of-print, hard to find, and expensive.

10. Experiencing Astral Travel
by V.M.Beelzebub

If you can get beyond all the mystique and occult "cloak-and-dagger," Beelzebub's book is actually a pretty good technique book.

Honorable Mentions:

These are also very good technique books, and well worth the money:

Out-of-Body Exploring by Preston Dennett 

Behind the Veil by Daniel Kelley

Explorations Out of the Body by Eddie Slasher

How I Learned Soul Travel by Terrill Willson

Many OBE books claim to be the "Ultimate Guide" to inducing astral projection or out-of-body experiences, but few books live up to the claim. The books that actually deliver are few and often hard-to-find.

Before you buy any book on astral projection or out-of-body experiences, check my list of OBE Book Reviews see if I've written a book review for it.

Bob Peterson

27 April 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Convergence

Convergence

by Barbara Mango and Lynn Miller

Today I'm reviewing Convergence: The Interconnection of Extraordinary Experiences by Barbara Mango and Lynn Miller.

I'm Facebook friends with both of the authors, but I've known Lynn Miller for many years. In fact, Lynn asked me to contribute my personal reflections to the book, which I did. It appears on page 213.

As the subtitle implies, this book is all about the interconnectedness of non-ordinary experiences. In my second book, Lessons out of the Body, I wrote a chapter about how "alien abduction experiences" are very similar to out-of-body experiences (OBEs). In fact, except for a few features, they're almost indistinguishable from one another. Convergence takes this concept a step forward: it clearly demonstrates a common connection between out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) related contact", and past-life recall (PLR) experiences (both spontaneous and obtained via past-life regression.)

This is a very "academic" book. In other words, it reads like a guide to not only experiencers, but clinicians, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals. As such, it has tons and tons of references to back up the authors' claims. There's no outlandish claims, just evidence from numerous sources. In fact, the book's references section consumes 53 pages, which is bigger than some OBE books I've read! It makes the book a little "dry" but still very fascinating and insightful.

For example, in chapter 2 the authors describe a personality type, the Anamalously Sensitive Person (ASP) who tends to score higher on the HISS (Holistic Inventory of Stimulus Sensitivities) questionnaire. According to David Ritchey:

"Additionally, they demonstrate an inclination to be creative, curious, insightful, incorruptible, iconoclastic, non-conforming, and anti-authoritarian." (pg. 28)

Doesn't that just describe me to a Tee?

What I loved most about this book is that it gives lots of narratives, not only of OBEs and NDEs, but also UAP (alien abductions) and PLR (past-life recall). And it's not just random "patients" but also the authors, who are themselves experiencers.

Although I've known Lynn Miller for many years, she's a very private person and has never shared her many OBEs with me. It was awesome and refreshing to see this side of her.

Convergence is not written for people who wish to have OBEs, alien abductions and such. There are no induction techniques. It's written for the intellectually curious, the science-oriented, therapists, and other professionals who work with people who've had these experiences. For experiencers it offers a consistent message of "You're definitely not crazy and you're not in this alone." Or to quote Miller:

"The more I accept my inter-dimensional nature, the more I feel alienated from humanity. The most valuable thing I've realized is knowing that I am not alone in this--knowing that there are [other] people like me. I go to work and hide who I truly am, but it's all good, knowing that I have my own "tribe" of like-minded people who share and listen. Let your weird light shine bright so the other weirdos know where to find you." (pg. 42)

The authors put all the cards on the table: all the judgment, ridicule, and misdiagnosis we "experiencers" endure, from professionals, as well as our own friends and families. It also brings up some fascinating scientific insights, such as this: 

"A recent study conducted by Lopez and Elziere, entitled "Out-of-Body Experience in Vestibular Disorders - A prospective study of 210 patients with dizziness," was published in the journal Cortex. It proposed that individuals suffering from vestibular disorders have a "significantly higher occurrence" of OBEs than the general public." (pg. 74)

As far as the "interconnectedness" of the experiences, each chapter addresses symptoms or features that link these non-ordinary experiences. For example, chapter 6 is all about spontaneous healing, and it demonstrates cases in which spontaneous healing has occurred in all of them: NDEs, OBEs, UAP and PLR. This is fascinating stuff!

It also talks about the life-altering effects of these experiences, changes of personality, and so forth. For example, I found this really interesting statistic about relationships:

[After having these experiences] "Separation becomes common-place. Approximately 75% of NDEers divorce within seven to ten years." (pg. 184)

I guess it's a good thing I married my wife Kathy long after my OBEs started, so she knew what she was getting into!

And I absolutely loved this analogy:

"When you're higher in frequency, you're higher in consciousness, your perception is heightened, and you see things more clearly the higher you go. Just as when you ascend in an airplane, you see a larger picture the higher you climb, and the brighter it becomes as you break through the clouds." (pg. 204-205, quoted from Reverend Edwige Bingue)

The book is professionally written. I only found one mistake in the whole book, which is very rare. Weighing in at 323 pages, with good size and margins, there's plenty of content to satisfy. There are no OBE tips or techniques in the book, but good narratives, not only of OBEs but the other subjects as well. I was never bored. I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
13 April 2021

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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, March 30, 2021

Explorations Out of the Body

Explorations Out of the Body

by Eddie Slasher

Today I'm reviewing Explorations Out of the Body: A Beginner's Roadmap to the Universe by Eddie Slasher. The book is copyright 1997.

Eddie Slasher (it seems to be his real name, not a pen name) sets up good expectations and credentials right from the start: the introduction. He comes across as an ordinary guy, a self-described "nerd in every sense of the word" who kind of fell into OBEs by chance. In sixth grade of his school, the class was given assignments to do a research project. Eddie chose the subject of lucid dreaming and started by reading Stephen LaBerge's classic book, Lucid Dreaming. Then he learned to induce lucid dreams. It wasn't long before he discovered he could dispel the illusion of the dream and find himself in an out-of-body environment. From there he started to explore. He quickly discovered "False Awakenings" which he curiously calls "Breakthrough Dreams," in which you wake up and get on with your day, only to discover you're still dreaming.

Years later, when he was 18, Slasher found the book that got me started: Journeys Out of the Body by Robert Monroe, and it reignited his interest in OBEs. So we know where he got his knowledge about OBEs: his own personal experience, which is really the best way. In fact, he brings up several good points about OBEs throughout the book and always follows them with OBE narratives from his journal to show exactly what he encountered and led to his conclusions.

One of his most important conclusions is that some things--even some people--in his OBEs were hallucinations. And if he focused on them too long, they sucked him back into an ordinary dream state. This is something I described in my first book as "The Fantasy Trap." He also discovered he could dispel these hallucinations simply by questioning their reality. For example:

"The teenager looked very familiar to me. Then it struck me that he was a character in a fictional book I was writing. I asked him if he was Lance from my book and watched as he instantly disappeared. A few other people also disappeared. They were other hallucinations." (pg. 8)

He uses this trick in many of his OBE narratives: he asks whether certain things are real or imaginary, and they disappear, leaving him with a more objective OBE environment. He describes being in a room full of people and watching half of them disappear because they were dream characters. The "real" people stuck around.

The writing is unpretentious; it's honest, upfront and not at all conceited or superior. He's not a new age yoga-instructor vegan activist. He's an ordinary guy; sometimes unemployed, sometimes doing odd jobs like car salesman. He says things like:

"Pigs have no great worries, and don't concern themselves with such abstract thoughts as what is the meaning of their lives which, by the way is for the noble cause of great bacon. Incidentally if you're an animal rights activist or vegetarian I don't care. Throw down my book if you don't want to read it. Survival of the fittest is the rule in life, and the fitter eat the less fit both literally and figuratively." (pg. 13)

He doesn't hide or down-play some "less than noble" or morally questionable OBE experiments, such as mind control, which he talks about in chapter 10 (ref: page 151).

He found an easy way to visit any person, a process he calls "Indenting" in which you recall to mind a feeling or image of the person and literally screaming his or her name several times (in the OBE). I don't know where Slasher came up with the term "indent" but I suspect it's a mis-reading of Robert Monroe's "Ident" (short for identity: a mental frequency or address of a person) from Monroe's second book, Far Journeys, which he mentions in passing. Slasher says with a little practice and effort, he learned (and you can learn) to "indent" on places as well as people. (This matches my experience on the matter, but I never scream; I just "pull" myself to the identity of where I want to go.)

Here's one of his more interesting assertions:

"Thought is the Ultimate Reality. If you remember this one key phrase you will never go wrong in your OOB explorations. In simple terms, this is also The Secret To The Universe. Yes, You read it right. I said this is The Secret To The Universe, and no, I'm not on drugs. It's that simple." (pg. 21)

Later, he also asserts:

"Second, the Meaning of Life is that we exist in a physical universe in order to gain more control of our thought processes." (pg. 27)

Where this book shines is the numerous out-of-body experiments Slasher did. In a recent blog article, Are OBEs "Real?" - Part 6, I wrote about some of Slasher's (failed) attempts to prove whether OBEs were real by using his OBEs to predict the Georgia "Pick 3" lottery. But he did several other fascinating experiments. For example, he tried to photograph and even film an OBE while trying to make his non-physical body as dense as possible. (It didn't work; he couldn't see anything on film).

As for OBE techniques, Slasher strongly recommends you keep a dream journal. I agree wholeheartedly, and wrote about it in my blog, here. He also recommends Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) setting your alarm to wake you after 3 or 4 hours of sleep. He advocates a technique he calls "Reach Out" in which you focus on a physical object in the room that's at least 7 feet (2.13 meters) away and pretend to reach out and pull on the object with non-physical arms and hands.

Another technique is "Indenting out" which is basically the same as Micheal Raduga's "immeditate relocation" from his book The Phase.

Another technique is trying to imagine walking through the room and seeing from your non-physical body's perspective. As a visual aid, he talks about the old television show "Tales From the Crypt" in which they would slowly move and pan a first-person point of view. This really isn't too different from the Target Technique.

He also talks about hypnosis and the importance of changing your belief system, much as Rick Stack recommended in his book. Slasher writes:

"If you convince your subconscious that OOBEs are simple to induce and that you will have one, in all probability you will." (pg. 69)

By far his most used technique is upgrading from a lucid dream into an OBE, which he often does just by asserting, "Wow, I'm out of body!" and dispelling the dream hallucinations. He asserts that:

"The mere Act of questioning whether you are out-of-body or not guarantees that you are actually out-of-body." (pg. 60)

As for other tips and techniques, he mentions that a good workout before sleep increases your OBE ability. This matches my experience (as noted in chapter 19 of my first book) as well as a few other authors.

He has some interesting observations about OBEs that aren't found in other books, such as the effects of drugs on his OBE ability. For example, he claims that aspirin interferes with his ability to induce OBEs. 

"Although aspirin isn't a strong drug, it took away a degree of my conscious control making it very difficult to get out of body. When I did finally manage to get out I experienced difficulty in seeing and in controlling my motions." (pg. 71)

He also claims drugs like Ritalin, Phenobarbital, and Tegretol inhibited or neutralized his OBE ability.

His take on the silver cord is pretty simple and straightforward:

"Your silver cord is not going to sever because it doesn't exist. It's only an hallucination created by your mind." (pg. 79)

Like me, he tried several times to visit friends and family in an out-of-body state, talking to their subconscious mind. He writes: 

"I have yet to visit a consciously awake person who later remembered the visit." (pg. 90)

He experimented with using an OBE to do "mind control." For example, he claims to have used an OBE to influence a HR (Human Resources) person to hire him for a job. He writes at length how this is pretty easy and could be abused in the future. He even gives instructions on how to do it, much like the "Jedi Mind Trick" from the Star Wars movies.

In another fascinating experiment, writes about using his OBEs to inject himself into another person's dream, and strangely, he had no control over that persons dream objects. Unlike his own dreams, he couldn't simply dismiss the other person's hallucinations. He even felt "trapped" by the hallucination and unable to get out.

He talks a lot about using OBEs to time travel: to visit both the past (which he says is permanent) and the future (which he says is "probable" and can be changed.)

He also experimented with trying to change physical reality. He did several experiments where he would place an object, like a knife, on a piece of paper and write on the paper "Knife is on the paper" and the date. Then he'd induce an OBE and try to move the object, or knock it off the paper. In his OBE, the object would seem to move, then go zipping back to its original position on the paper. When he woke, the object was in the same place he'd left it. For a long time he was convinced the object was really moving and teleporting back to its original location, and he even tried to capture that on film (it didn't work). Then he tried to push an analog camera's exposure button from an OBE, but that also ended in failure.

He also mentions that his OBEs caused numerous electrical problems. For example, he blamed his OBEs for burning out the electronics of several televisions he bought. He had to return multiple televisions to the same store multiple times because of his OBE experiments were apparently causing their electronics to break. (A similar claim is common among psychic healers and Near-Death Experiencers).

Perhaps the most interesting experiments Slasher did was trying to locate missing children. He mentioned an OBE in which he tried to find "Jacob W. of the Jacob W. Foundation." Because I'm a Minnesota boy, I assume he refers to the famous Jacob Wetterling abduction case. Slasher's OBE took place on January 12, 1994. In his OBE, he was transported to a large field and could tell Jacob was dead, but then he had a moral dilemma: What should he do with the information? The true fate of Jacob Wetterling wasn't known until October, 2015 when authorities learned that the boy had been killed shortly after his abduction, in 1989. So Slasher's OBE observation (again, published in 1997) was, in fact, correct.

The book is 178 pages with good font and margins, so there's plenty of content to satisfy. The spelling and grammar are good. The writing is personable and non-assuming, but there were several typos that should have been caught by the editor.

I loved this book when I first read it, and I love it even more now. I give it 4 and a half stars. This book is a rare gem and well worth the money, if you can find a copy.

Bob Peterson
30 March 2021

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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, March 16, 2021

Lightworker's Guide to the Astral Realm

Lightworker's Guide to the Astral Realm

by Sahvanna Arienta

Today I'm reviewing Lightworker's Guide to the Astral Realm by Sahvanna Arienta. The book is copyright 2019.

One thing I wished Arienta had done differently is this: The epilogue should have been chapter 1, before everything else, not an after-thought. For me it was the best part of the book. In the epilogue, the author explains how she started to have spontaneous "soul travel" as a child, how it was accompanied by loud humming, vibrations, sleep paralysis, and such. She explains how she would leave her house, in her astral body, like a kid who sneaks out the window in the middle of the night to go off with friends. Later in life, she became involved with a Spiritualist church and studied under legendary medium Emily Hewitt. These are the credentials I need to see--and you should demand--in every astral projection / out-of-body book.

She also talks about being influenced by Jane Roberts, author of the "Seth" books, which I like. She even gives a taste of her philosophy:

"So, when you experience soul travel, be open to all possibilities and scenarios. You never know where your soul will carry you. As conscious beings, our abilities are without limitation. The practice of soul travel is an adventure that can show you the limitless potential of the universe and how you share in that potential." (pg. 155)

That really sets the stage for the rest of the book. But since she didn't start out with the epilogue, the reader is instead forced to take her word for everything (or not) without any credentials or hint of where she got her information, at least until the very end.

The book is more about new age philosophy than it is about astral projection or out-of-body traveling. It's good philosophy. I do like it, but it's not quite what I was hoping for.

Part 1 of the book is "The New Age Soul Traveler" and it's pretty much setting up expectations, and yes, new age philosophy. Here's an example:

"As humans, we tend to adopt a bit of an attitude of greatness and power. This feeling of greatness will quickly diminish when you get a glimpse of the higher planes." (pg. 4)

That's true. Traveling out-of-body is exhilarating, but it also kind of puts you in your place. I agreed with most of what she wrote, but I did disagree with this:

"When practicing lucid dreaming, there is no separation of astral body and physical body. Astral projection (or soul travel) is a true out-of-body experience..." (pg. 27)

In my experience, we are in an out-of-body state when we're both dreaming and lucid dreaming, often floating a few inches above the body. The difference is that we're completely trapped in (or focused on) a hallucinated dream environment.

In chapter 4, she gives her one and only "Soul Travel" technique. Unfortunately, it's a simplified version of Robert Bruce's "Rope" technique, but visualizing the rope rather than feeling for the rope. This is so common in OBE books that it's tiresome. If you're looking for out-of-body induction techniques, this book isn't it.

Part 2 is "The Realms." This is where the author describes the various planes of existence, according to her worldview. She lays them out as:

  1. The earth plane (where we all live now)
  2. The astral plane (the buffer zone: the world between the living and the dead)
  3. The third plane (the turning point: where spirits and guides reside)
  4. The fourth plane (leveling up: a place of healers, artists and love)
  5. The fifth plane (divine intelligence: where the akashic records are)
  6. The sixth plane (the multiverse: think celestial beings walking around in crystal cities)
  7. The seventh plane (the power generator: aka "God")

She claims to have visited all of these planes, but the seventh only for a split second.

Part 3 is "Beings of the Realms." This is where she describes what goes on in the various planes. She talks a bit about spirit guides, spirit-guide turn-over, and even her own spirit guides.

Part 4 is "The Lower Realms." I liked her philosophy about this too. For example, she wrote:

"Those of us who subscribe to love and light may not want to acknowledge what I have to say here, but the simple truth is: knowledge is power, and when you have the power, nothing can ever harm you." (pg. 115)

Part 5 is "The Keys to the Multiverse." Here the author focuses on more new age philosophy. For example:

"If you find that you constantly focus on negativity or what you don't want, it starts to dominate your thoughts. Change your focus to something that is much more positive, and your thoughts will be more positive." (pg. 134)

That is coupled with the Seth / Jane Roberts notion that you create your own reality based on your beliefs and thoughts. She even says:

"Through your consciousness and intention, you will seamlessly create your own subjective reality." (pg. 147)

This example hit home for me:

"For example, you can set an intention that you will find a great parking space at the store. If you focus (put thought behind it) on that intention, you will find the best parking space." (pg. 140)

I laughed out loud when I read that because I always do this. My wife and friends constantly shake their heads in wonder at how I always get the best parking spaces; usually the spot next to Handicap parking. They often ask me to drive to crowded events (like parades or Independence Day fireworks) because they know I always get a good parking spot.

She also shares things like:

"Commitment to creating a higher frequency means repetition of practical application of whatever it is you want to commit to. If you want to expand your spirituality, if means committing to a routine of practical exercises that will help you grow spiritually." (pg. 151)

The book is well written and organized. I found no mistakes in grammar or spelling. It's 155 pages with good size, font and margins, which means there's a good amount of content. I expected the book to be more about astral projection and it turned out to be mostly new age philosophy. It's not bad philosophy; it's just not as focused on astral projection as I expected. It only had the one (abbreviated "rope") technique, and very little about actually traveling out-of-body. So I'm only giving it 3 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
16 March 2021

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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