Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Out-of-Body Experiences by Gene Schmitz

Review: Out-of-Body Experiences

 by Gene Schmitz

Today I'm reviewing Out-of-Body Experiences by Gene Schmitz.

I admit it: The cover of this book gave me a bad first impression and I don't really know why. Maybe it reminded me too much of a "YA" (Young Adult fiction) book cover. So I immediately thought it would be yet another shallow 49-page "manual" written by a 23-year-old with no personal experiences who self-publishes dozens of similar "fluff" books. I was dead wrong on all accounts. It was nothing of the kind. It was actually pretty good.

This book is Schmitz's life story, and it kept me interested the whole way through. The author, Gene Schmitz, is a 70-year-old man from Oklahoma with very humble roots. He grew up on a farm and raised horses. He sold cars and trucks most of his life. And he's had lots of out-of-body experiences. He calls his OBEs "Soul Travels" although he doesn't say where he got that term. He never mentions Eckankar or Albert Taylor, so who knows.

Although he doesn't share many actual OBE narratives, he does talk about his various OBEs and he speaks from experience, which I really respect. He says some interesting things about his OBEs. For example:
"Another reason that I hated these experiences was that it was always painful when my soul reentered my body. I didn't want to go through that ordeal again, either. Many times when I woke up the next morning, my body would feel like someone had beaten me up badly." (pg. 8)
My OBEs are never painful. Well, there have been a few rare exceptions, but almost none of them are painful, even when I'm forcefully slammed back into my body, it is never painful. When I return to my body, it sometimes feels a bit stiff and...I don't know...atrophied?...but definitely not painful.

Another interesting quote:
"I have never had a clue as to why soul travel takes so much energy from my physical body, which always remains in bed in a sleep-like state. Talking with other experienced soul travelers and also reading everything that I could find on the subject, I still have no explanation." (pg. 46)
Well, that's odd. I always come back feeling refreshed, excited, and energized. I've never once felt drained by my OBEs, and I've never felt I needed an abundance of energy to have them. Although some people might say I often have a lot of excess nervous energy. I've heard a few other people report that their OBEs require a lot of energy and they feel drained afterward, but it's very uncommon in the literature.

Schmitz's OBEs were always spontaneous, and the book contains no OBE induction techniques whatsoever. When he was young, they scared him a lot, and he was afraid to leave his bedroom and explore or do anything. So he just sat (or, rather, floated) there and waited patiently for them to end.
"While in a floating state, I would not be able to move any part of my body. I couldn't talk or do anything that would entice my soul to come down from the ceiling and get back into my body. It seems to want to stay floating around the room, scared almost to death" (pg. 9)
For the first several years, he has lots and lots of OBEs, but they were all pretty mundane. No aliens. No entities. Just floating around his bedroom:
"However, once I'd grown a bit used to the strangeness of the mere fact that I was floating outside of my own body, nothing earthshattering [sic] or even particularly memorable happened during any of these hundreds of soul travels. Essentially, the same experiences that I've already described were repeated over and over again." (pg. 15)
Like many other authors, he notes that his OBEs were all while lying on his back (which is how most people have success):
"If I'm not on my back, soul travel can't happen." (pg. 16)
For what it's worth, I've had OBEs in every body position: front, back and both sides, but it's easiest on my back.

At some point Schmitz became curious about his OBEs and read Robert Monroe's first book, Journeys Out of the Body. Then he branched out into other non-OBE books in the new-age section. He got involved in a couple local metaphysical groups. Then he started to have more interesting OBEs, and they all had the air of authenticity. You can just tell from his narratives that it's the voice of experience. There's no cockiness or arrogance. Just curiosity and wonder.

At one point, Schmitz's favorite dog, Honey, died. Later, he has an OBE in which he saw her again.
"I did not see any other beings around her nor did I travel through a long tunnel to meet her. This was the first times [sic] in my life that I realized animals have souls that live on forever, just as human souls do." (pg. 47)
That's interesting because it's rare in the literature for people to see animals during OBEs. I've seen in-the-body animals during OBEs, but not any of my pets who have passed away.

I was really quite amused when he wrote about the beings who I call the "invisible helpers." He'd be flying along side them and try to engage them in conversation, but they'd act all stoic and businesslike:
"Whenever I would inquire who they were and what their intentions for me were, my guides either maintained a stony silence or told me that they weren't here to answer my questions." (pg. 57)
That hits close to home. On 30 July, 2019, I had an OBE in which I was flying and my eyesight wasn't clear, but I felt someone holding my left arm. I looked down and saw a helper's hand gently holding my arm as we flew. I said, "This is cool. Who are you? Are you my guide?" No answer. I asked, "Can you speak?" No answer. I said, "Okay, no worries. Let's just fly then."

Schmitz gives some interesting narratives, like when he passes along a message from his dead grandpa to his mother. (pg. 51) Or when he is brought before a strange "Council of Elders" who proceed to talk about him while he's standing there, and finally they decide "No, we do not want him at this time." and he's dismissed. (pg. 60)

Another interesting thing is that he notes how, except for the "Council of Elders" experience, everyone he meets in his OBEs seems to be about 50 years old, even if he knew them as much older (like grandparents):
"Another somewhat strange aspect of these spirits was that almost every single one I ever saw appeared to be adults of about fifty years of age. I never once saw any children." (pg. 105)
Interesting indeed. For what it's worth: I've seen children in my OBEs: both spirit children and in-the-body children.

In all his 70 or so years, he only had two encounters with something he describes as "evil." In the first case, he simply aborted the OBE and that's that.

The second encounter was much more intense and scary. A monstrous entity tried to trap him in some kind of tornado-like vortex. Once again, he escaped by aborting the OBE, only to find out--to his horror--that the entity hung around near a utility building outside his house. He went outside, faced down this hideous demon, and kept repeating over and over "God made me, God made you, and he is more powerful than you are. I am a part of God and I am a child of the light, so you cannot harm me." The beast stood his ground, but so did Schmitz, until finally the entity exploded into a million pieces like dust. He was so scared that he never set foot on that spot in his yard again.

In chapter 25, Schmitz has a face-to-face meeting with Jesus Christ. Again, it's rare in the literature, but it's not unheard of. In fact, I recall more of these than animal encounters. Click here for my blog article on the subject.

Toward the end of the book, he gives some philosophy based on both his experiences and the other books he read. For example, he states:
"There is no devil, there is no hell, and there is no purgatory. We're all going to the same place, but we're not all going to be that happy with ourselves when we get there." (pg. 115)
It's all pretty basic new-age stuff, for example, his belief in reincarnation. But it's very humble and not preachy at all.

Starting on page 119 there's a "Part Two" which is a channeled commentary and explanations from some guy named Robert Shapiro. I've read tons and tons of channeled books (Seth, Michael, Betty, Lazarus, you name it; I've got a whole book shelf dedicated to it) and I didn't find this section interesting at all. Just saying.

The biggest problem I had with this book is that Schmitz wrote too much about his in-the-body life and not enough about his OBEs. He wrote about his kids, his divorce, finding and marrying his second wife/soulmate, his starting a multi-million dollar business, his losing everything and having to start over, his moving to different states. The book even has several photos from his life, like his dog, Honey, his wife barrel-riding atop her horse, his truck, his speedboat, and a photo of him in when he was 21, tuning up an old 1932 Ford Coupe. It was an interesting biography, but it wasn't focused enough on the actual OBEs. That would have made it better.

It's about 150 pages with slim margins and smallish-font, so there's plenty of content. The book's organization was good. The writing was mature and well-thought-out. The stories were interesting and genuine. I didn't find many typos or grammar problems. This was much better than I expected. I'll give it 3 and 1/2 stars out of 5. There are better OBE books in my opinion, but this one is enjoyable and really down to Earth. Well, given this subject!

Bob Peterson
15 October 2019

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Astral Projection Facebook Groups

Astral Projection Facebook Groups

by Bob Peterson

Astral projection / out-of-body travel can be a lonely path. It's natural to feel isolated and alone. Sometimes it feels like no one can relate and nobody understands what you do. So it's important to connect with like-minded travelers.

Although you may still not find any friends locally who can relate, there are more than 50 Facebook groups devoted to astral projection, out-of-body experiences and related topics. Many of them have a slightly different focus. All of them have a wide range of travelers, from beginning to advanced. Many of them have lots of free information to help the would-be traveler get started.

I thought it might be good to share a bunch of these in my blog so people can join the various groups and gain insights from other like-minded people.

Many of these groups are "closed" or "private" and therefore you need to request membership and agree to abide by their rules. In some cases, you need to prove that you are serious about the topic and promise to be respectful. Many of them have moderators that need to approve posts before they appear.

Here's the list, sorted by the approximate number of members:

# Group Name Link to the group Members
1 Astral Projection https://www.facebook.com/groups/2218501282/ 44480
2 Project Consciousness https://www.facebook.com/groups/82182042432/ 18150
3 Sleep Paralysis https://www.facebook.com/groups/52290258063/ 16850
4 Astral Projection Lessons https://www.facebook.com/groups/173612009892502/ 15500
5 The Out-of-Body Travel Foundation! https://www.facebook.com/groups/328357483399/ 13000
6 Non-physical Consciousness Family Reunion/ Oneness https://www.facebook.com/groups/745851625508441/ 12450
7 Ascension 5th Dimension https://www.facebook.com/groups/181122809372617/ 12050
8 Astral Explorers https://www.facebook.com/groups/119432314798455/ 9400
9 Astral Projection Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/1119438621452466/ 9300
10 Inner Cosmos https://www.facebook.com/groups/723736347760344/ 9150
11 Lucidity 4 ALL - Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, OOBE. Phase & Shift https://www.facebook.com/groups/1669937939901175/ 7500
12 CONSCIOUS EXPLORERS https://www.facebook.com/groups/327952237280976/ 6550
13 Out of Body Explorers https://www.facebook.com/groups/221196514607411/ 6150
14 ASTRAL PROJECTION https://www.facebook.com/groups/345494594580/ 6100
15 Journey To The Astral World https://www.facebook.com/groups/181128651980482/ 4300
16 TMI Out of Body Experience Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/293153980770983/ 3850
17 Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, Out of Body Experience, Astral Travel https://www.facebook.com/groups/DreamMeaning/permalink/2227497004038184/ 3600
18 Astral Projectors https://www.facebook.com/groups/AstralBeings/ 2700
19 OOBE (Out of body experience) https://www.facebook.com/groups/16714167492/ 2650
20 Lucid Dreaming/OBE Club https://www.facebook.com/groups/775498442534686/ 2450
21 Astral Projection / Out Of Body Travel Discussion Group / Jon Wesley https://www.facebook.com/groups/106994719825412/ 1900
22 William Buhlman Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/420183204661463/ 1400
23 Astral Projection Lounge https://www.facebook.com/groups/169302370119388/ 1350
24 Phase Evolution https://www.facebook.com/groups/141856903050292/ 1250
25 Consciousness and Anomalous Cognition https://www.facebook.com/groups/665792706947558/ 1150
26 The Triad Mind https://www.facebook.com/groups/1020609284616917/ 1100
27 Astral Projection Help Page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1914976178740092/ 900
28 Astral Projection Forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/116692493892/ 650
29 Sleep Paralysis and Astral Travel https://www.facebook.com/groups/1799372927047839/ 650
30 Astral Projection, Dreams & Divination https://www.facebook.com/groups/349721692266223/ 600
31 Lucid Dreams, OBEs, & Sleep Paralysis https://www.facebook.com/groups/643793445765744/ 525
32 TAILEATERS https://www.facebook.com/groups/154440701961711/ 500
33 Astral Projection Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/432308410668840/ 500
34 ASTRAL PROJECTION AND SOUL TRAVEL https://www.facebook.com/groups/2221510994775136/ 480
35 ASTRAL PROJECTION AND SOUL TRAVEL https://www.facebook.com/groups/2221510994775136/ 450
36 Unworlding (Dreaming, Lucid Living, OBE, Astral Travel, Nature of Reality) https://www.facebook.com/groups/134003434069369/ 400
37 ASTRAL TRAVEL/PROJECTION ENTHUSIASTS! https://www.facebook.com/groups/144134799013177/ 400
38 Astral Meet-up Club https://www.facebook.com/groups/1894593340767772/ 300
39 Non-physical Explorers, Researchers and Inquirers https://www.facebook.com/groups/157354997667125/ 300
40 Astral projection https://www.facebook.com/groups/328541980624391/ 300
41 ASTRAL PROJECTION https://www.facebook.com/groups/1119851784876069/ 280
42 Sleep Paralysis/Astral Projection Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/379785422722046/ 260
43 Sleep Paralysis/Astral Projection Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/193225931340357/ 250
44 OBEX Out of Body Explorers https://www.facebook.com/groups/183624065333060/ 250
45 The 1111 Project: Awake, Aware and Alive in America https://www.facebook.com/groups/797560177006161/ 230
46 The Astral Realm https://www.facebook.com/groups/137233030364481/ 150
47 Christos Technique https://www.facebook.com/groups/1433296560261085/ 150
48 astral projection and psychic development https://www.facebook.com/groups/564190710734071/ 140
49 theGalactic.Travel.Channel https://www.facebook.com/groups/2006238793023505/ 125
50 The Astral Pulse https://www.facebook.com/groups/136821443053885/ 125
51 Non Physical Reality Records Project https://www.facebook.com/groups/323063961213631/ 60
52 Other Worlds Forum Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/304522463045941/ 55
53 The Shifter https://www.facebook.com/groups/450981815286370/ 50
54 OBE/LD Practitioners https://www.facebook.com/groups/1507112579500930/ 35
55 Lucid Dreaming, OBE, & RV etc Teachers, Authors, Bloggers and Promoters https://www.facebook.com/groups/1620838418179612/ 25
56 Astral Adventures https://www.facebook.com/groups/332115350205802/ 15

There are a few more groups I didn't include, but you get the idea. Many of these groups have associated websites filled with useful information. Check out their group descriptions. Check out their "Files" section. Looks for links to OBE and astral projection related websites.

Don't live in isolation. Join some good OBE/AP groups and share with like-minded people.

Bob Peterson
01 October 2019

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review: Out of the Body Experiences

Review: Out of the Body Experiences

by Robert Alvery

Today I'm reviewing the book Out of the Body Experiences by Robert Alvery.

This is a very obscure and hard-to-find OBE book that is copyright 1975.

The author, Robert Alvery, was a salesman in the UK who grew up in the early 1910s or so. In 1933, he became a spiritual healer, eventually joining the Spiritualist Church. He hooked up with his teacher, a spirit medium by the name of Estelle Roberts, and received much of his OBE training from her spirit guide, Red Cloud.

He had many out-of-body experiences, some of which are in the book. A few of them involved him meeting with dead loved ones, like his brother who had died several years prior. He makes some interesting observations. For example, he looked for his silver cord and never found it, even though he fully expected it to be there. Unfortunately, most of his OBEs were not very interesting, at least to me.

At the time this book was written, there weren't many books about astral projection. He didn't get around to reading Sylvan Muldoon's book until around 1965, but he was unclear which of Muldoon's three books he read. Alvery simply calls it "Astral Projection" but it could have been any of the three Muldoon books:
  • The Projection of the Astral Body
  • The Case for Astral Projection
  • The Phenomena of Astral Projection
But before all that, Alvery became part of a Spiritualist healing circle, and decided to try some interesting experiments. Using hypnosis, he started putting his patients into a deep trance, then he would instruct them to go out-of-body and explore while the circle did their healing. Some of the patients came back with interesting stories of being out-of-body, many of which are in the book. Some of these OBEs had veridical evidence to suggest the OBEs were "real" although more modern books have better evidence (Graham Nicholls' books come to mind).

I found this quote interesting:
"These Laws [of being able to leave the body] must not be misused and it is for safety's sake most necessary that intelligences in the next world should control all out of the body experiences for us amateurs." (pg. 99)
In other words, Alvery thinks OBEs should always be controlled by spirits, not by us. Unfortunately, I didn't find much else of interest.

The book seems somewhat disorganized and rambling. It reads almost like some kind of strange manifesto. He goes from saying logical things like:
"Make no mistake about the fact that what stupid people call magic and miracles are but the operation of laws they do not yet understand." (pg. 97)
But then he randomly cites references in the Bible related to dreams, visions, and spirit visitations, which I didn't think were relevant.

The book is 118 pages long with small margins and tiny font, so there's actually a lot of content packed into a small package. The spelling and grammar are top-notch, although I did find one mistake. His British English is somewhat encumbered and hard to read, although I've seen much worse. I only had to look up two words in the dictionary. One of them was "groyne" which is apparently an alternate spelling of "groin."

There are absolutely no OBE techniques, tips or suggestions in there. It's simply a collection of OBE narratives from both him and patients of his healing circle. And not very interesting narratives at that. But it is interesting from a historical perspective, given the book's age.

If you're looking for OBE narratives, I recommend Jurgen Ziewe's book Multidimensional Man instead.

I'll give the book 3 out of 5 stars.

Bob Peterson
10 September 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Should I Share My OBEs With Friends?

Should I Share My OBEs With Friends?

by Bob Peterson

I recently saw a very good question on one of the astral projection Facebook groups:
"Should I share my astral projections / out-of-body experiences with friends or family?"
Let me tell you what happened to me.

Telling My Family

In my first book, I wrote about how I got into OBEs when my brother, Joe, bought Robert Monroe's first book, Journeys Out of the Body for my dad in 1979. My dad didn't talk about the book, but I borrowed it from him and read it. To say it profoundly impacted my life is certainly an understatement! It shook my entire world view to the core and my life was never the same again. I was only 18; just out of high school and into college.

I felt like I had literally just set foot in an undiscovered new non-physical world, so naturally, I wanted to share my new profound discovery.

I knew I couldn't share my OBEs with my mom. She was Catholic, and went to church every Sunday. I figured she'd think I was playing with fire, putting my soul at risk, or dancing with the Devil. And at that point, I had had some pretty scary things happen, so my stories would only scare her more, and she didn't need that.

At one point, I tried to tell my dad. He had read Monroe's book, and books on Edgar Cayce, so he leaned toward the metaphysical. Unfortunately, he really didn't seem interested. He kind of brushed me off. I was the youngest of five kids, and his life was busy, so he really didn't seem to want to talk about it.

I knew Joe would be more receptive to the concept; he had studied (but not practiced) Esoterica and occultism all his life (and hey, he still does: visit esotericarchives.com if this interests you.), so I told him and his wife about my first few OBEs.

At first, they seemed to believe me. They acted excited and wanted to try it themselves. They tried a lot of techniques, but didn't get the results I had. To their credit, they even leveled up and built a full-sized working flotation tank in the spare bedroom of their apartment. In the end I think they may have induced one or two OBEs, but it was a struggle. Eventually they gave up, and at that point, I didn't have enough experience or know-how to help them.

After sharing a few of my OBEs with them, they started giving me "the look." They never actually said anything negative, of course. It was all non-verbal communication. Maybe it meant they didn't believe me, they doubted my sanity, or worse, they thought I was hallucinating or losing touch with reality. It's more likely just that they thought I was just making it all up to get attention. Either way, it was a negative reaction, so I vowed to shut up and keep my experiences to myself. I never shared another OBE with them.

My other brothers were out of state and I thought my sister wouldn't be receptive to it at all. I knew I could only tell one person: myself. I wrote my OBEs down in a spiritual journal. When that was full, I filled another, then another, and another. And I vowed not to talk about it unless I knew for sure the person was receptive to it.
Even when my first book was published many years later, I was still afraid of "the look" and how my family would react. I never told them about the book, but eventually they found out anyway. Surprisingly, my mom was very supportive. She didn't talk about my OBEs, but she said she was proud of me for writing a book, and hugged me.

It's still hard for me to talk about my OBEs with my family.

Telling My Friends

As the months passed, I became more and more desperate to talk to someone--anyone--about my OBEs, which were piling up rapidly.

One day I was walking through the University of Minnesota campus toward my Physics 1001 class with my best buddy in college; a blunt, smart, and crude man named John Fitzsimmons. He had a brilliant mind, but he disrespected all women and referred to them all (including his sister and mother) as c*nts. In a moment of fool-hearted bravery, I mustered all my courage and told him about my OBEs as we walked.

At first, John listened patiently, then he stopped abruptly. He spun me around, put his hands on my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes. He didn't say a word. He just looked into my eyes. I asked, "What are you doing?" He said, "Trying to figure out if you're serious." Then he looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. Then we continued walking in an uncomfortable silence.

Finally I said, "You know me, Fitz. You're my best friend. I'd never lie to you. Do you believe me?" He stopped and stared into my eyes again. Then, after an uncomfortable pause, he said, "You know I don't believe in all that crap. But I believe that you believe it happened."

That was basically when our friendship ended. I wasn't hurt that John didn't believe me. I wasn't even looking for his support. I just needed to tell someone. But at that point I had to face the stark fact that John are I were just too different: He was a staunch materialist, and like it or not, I was becoming more and more spiritual. By force, it seemed. He was a stubborn student of physics, and I had seen firsthand proof of a non-physical world with my own non-physical eyes.

At that point a light bulb came on. I realized I didn't have to put up with his misogynistic rants and negativity. I asked myself, What do we have in common? Not much. Thus ended our friendship. John and I didn't have a fight or a falling-out; it's just that I got busy, he got busy, and we never went out of our way to hang out together anymore.

It was about that time I joined a student-organization called MSPR: the Minnesota Society for Parapsychological Research. There I met good friends who were more receptive to my OBEs. When one door closes, another one opens, right?


Many years ago I got an email from a woman who told me her story. She said she made the mistake of talking to her family about her out-of-body experiences. To make a long story short, her family did an "intervention" and had her committed to an insane asylum where she was forcibly held and over-medicated. She remained in captivity for more than five years until they finally decided she was not a danger to herself or anyone else. She deeply regretted having told anyone about her experiences and gave me a stern warning to keep my mouth shut and never share any stories with anyone. It would have saved her five years of her life.

Robert Monroe's doctors found him quite sane, so I wasn't too worried about my mental health. It wasn't for another few years that I obtained Gabbard and Twemlow's book With the Eyes of the Mind which analyzed in detail just how "sane" OBEs are [I had to write to the publisher to buy a copy. And in case you're wondering: No, OBEs have nothing to do with insanity. But that topic is beyond the scope of this article.] Still, her warning was a stark reminder not to go blabbing about them to just anyone.

Of course, that didn't stop me from publishing a damn book about it and telling the whole world, right? But by then, times had changed and people were a little more receptive to the idea. And by then, I didn't give a crap what people thought of me. Talk about facing fears! But I digress...

Religious Conservatives

Obviously, if you were raised by religious conservatives, you should probably keep your experiences to yourself and not share. You can almost guarantee they're going to judge you and try to tell you it's a sin, or the work of Satan, despite the fact that there's absolutely no evidence to back up that statement. It doesn't matter if they're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or any other religion. A closed mind is a closed mind, so don't waste your time.

Of course, I make one exception to the rule, and that is for Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and any other religious zealots who come to my door to peddle their religion. That's when I let the crazy out! I tell those...ahem...bastards... everything!
"Let me ask you something: Would you rather watch a ball game on television or live at a stadium? Would you rather hear your favorite artist on the radio or at a live concert? Okay...So would you rather read about Jesus Christ in the Bible or meet him in person? Have faith in him, or shake his hand and give him a hug?"

"When it comes to building your house, whose advice would you trust more: a guy at Home Depot who's done it themselves, or a guy who wrote a book about it two thousand years ago? Okay...Now what about a religious experience?..."
You get the idea. Have fun with those guys! Don't hold back. You may just open their minds. Just be sure you know the Bible better than they do. (I almost always do, and I often send them home with Bible homework!)


So if you feel like sharing your out-of-body stories, my advice is: be cautious and know your audience. Make sure they'll be receptive. Most people are still not ready for the truth.

It's frustrating not being able to tell anyone about your OBEs. It can be lonely as hell. As someone recently pointed out, it's not a good conversation starter for a first date!

Sometimes it reminds me of the old Black Sabbath song, "Lonely Is the Word" from the Ronnie James Dio era:
"I've been higher than stardust
I've been seen upon the sun
I used to count in millions then
But now I only count in one
Come on, join the traveler
If you got nowhere to go
Hang your head and take my hand
It's the only road I know
Yeah, lonely is the word"

Bob Peterson
27 August 2019

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Review: Fast Astral Projection for Beginners

Review: Fast Astral Projection for Beginners

by Didi Clarke

Today I'm reviewing the book Fast Astral Projection for Beginners: Your Guidebook of Astral Traveling Techniques by Didi Clarke.

In my opinion, this is a run-of-the-mill self-published astral projection book with nothing to distinguish itself and nothing significant to add to the genre. I have the same gripes about this book as I have many others like it:
  • It's way too short, at just 58 pages, although the last 10 are just promotion of her other books.
  • She doesn't seem to speak from personal experience and gives no narratives or examples of her experiences in astral projection.
  • Her techniques are basically a parroting of other techniques, and not explained as well as the original versions.
  • There are no unique new ideas or techniques.
Clarke gives four astral projection techniques:
  • The rope technique, but a poorly implemented visualization-oriented version, unlike Robert Bruce's original technique that uses only "tactile imagination." Clarke actually asserts that the "rope" you use to escape your body is the "silver cord" so many talk about. Well...as far as I know, that's pure fabrication. I don't recall anyone else in the genre who asserts this. As far as I'm concerned, the rope itself is pure imagination: a device to trick your mind out of it normal physical paradigm and into the OBE paradigm.
  • The Monroe Method, but again, not explained as well as Monroe did. This is not Monroe's "Lines of Force" technique that I've talked about in the past, but another.
  • The Point-Shift Method, which is just trying to shift your point of view to a slightly relocated point of view.
  • The Self-Visualization Method, which is a poor take on an old staple of Occult astral projection techniques: creating and using a "simulacrum" or imaginary double to focus your consciousness. Clarke writes this about the technique:
    "I've found that this method works best when you're standing up, as opposed to sitting or lying down." (pg. 26)
Seriously? Standing up? If your body has enough muscle tension to keep you standing, you're not really out-of-body, right? And if you're standing, your body will hold too much tension to allow you to let go. If you induce an OBE from a standing position, your body would probably collapse in a heap. Mine would, anyway. Yes, there have been cases in which people have left their body and it keeps right on walking and such. Mary Deioma's book, Loved comes to mind. It's even happened to me, but purely by accident. Still, it certainly seems like an odd thing to recommend. I would recommend total relaxation instead.

Clarke also dedicates a chapter to remote viewing, and one to lucid dreaming, but neither is given proper attention, and neither is an OBE.

She also gives her own variant of Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) which she calls the REM Disruption, but unlike the conventional 6 hours of sleep, she recommends setting an alarm for 4 hours of sleep. Maybe she got this from Albert Taylor's book, Soul Traveler?

Curiously, she offers instructions on how to return to your body when you're done. Well, that right there sounds like the voice of inexperience to me: OBEs end automatically, and usually way too early. The trick is staying out as long as you can before you get automatically sucked back in. In other words, getting back in your body is not something you should ever need to worry about.

Clarke does give some sound advice with regard to practice. For example, she warns against practicing halfheartedly (pg. 40). This is very true. But advice like this is scant.

She seems to be yet another author trying to make a living from writing lots of tiny books on a lot of topics. I can't fault her (or anyone) for wanting to make money from writing, but it demonstrates that astral projection is not the primary focus in her life. You'd do better to get a book that displays passion for Astral Projection / OBEs from someone who has made it their life's work, like William Buhlman, Robert Bruce, or Graham Nicholls.

On the plus side, the book is well written and organized. I didn't find any glaring grammar or spelling problems.

I'm sorry, but I just can't recommend this book. It's better than some, but it's way too short, and doesn't go into enough depth on any topic. And as far as I can tell, the author doesn't write from experience. It's just a restating of what other people have written on the subject, but better.

I'll give it 2 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
13 Aug 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Hacking the Out of Body Experience

Hacking the Out of Body Experience

by Bob Peterson

I just wanted to let everyone know that my new book, Hacking the Out of Body Experience: Leveraging Science to Induce OBEs, is now available to purchase on amazon, both in print and for Kindle. I tried very hard to make this the best OBE "How-To" book ever written.

The paperback version is available in the United States by Clicking on this link but it's also available in the U.K., Canada and elsewhere.

The Kindle version is available by Clicking on this link.

Instead of reviewing my own book, which seems kind of lame and self-serving, I'll let the book stand on its own. I will, however, provide a table of contents so you can see the variety of techniques in the book. It should be no surprise that several of the books chapters have appeared in my blog already, because I've shared a lot of the information here first.

Table of Contents
Introduction 11

Part 1 - Out-of-body Basics 17
1. So Many Questions 19
2. Becoming an Ideal Candidate for OBEs 31
3. The Science of OBEs, the PFC, and the TPJ 41
4. Robert Monroe’s Lines of Force Technique 53
5. The Vibrations 59
6. OBEs, Sleep Cycles, and Brain Waves 101 63
7. Sleep Paralysis and OBEs 69
8. Overcoming Fear 79
9. The Guardian of the Threshold 87
10. The Four OBE States 93
11. The Three Strategies to OBE Induction 101

Part 2 - The Direct OBE Induction Strategy 103
12. Harnessing the Hypnagogic (Pre-Sleep) State 105
13. Harnessing the Hypnopompic (Post-Sleep) State 111
14. The Five Approaches to the Direct OBE Induction 115
15. Preparing For Liftoff: Mental Preparation 123
16. Preparing For Liftoff: Physical Preparation 131
17. How to Focus Your Mind for an OBE 149
18. The Cloud or I Am Elsewhere Technique 153
19. The Target Technique 155
20. Simulacrum, Cube and Black Box Techniques 159
21. The Spinning Disc Technique 161
22. The Floating Beach Ball / Sphere Technique 163
23. The Pineal Doorway Technique 165
24. Rocking and Swaying Techniques 167
25. The Yoyo Technique 169
26. The Falling In A Well and Cone Techniques 171
27. The Feet Zoom Technique 173
28. The Swinging Arms Technique 175
29. Ab Crunch, Tai Chi and Exercise Techniques 177
30. The Almost Move Technique 179
31. The Flash or Running Technique 181
32. Rolling, Spinning, and Tornado Technique 183
33. The Rope Technique 185
34. The Washing Hands Technique 187
35. The Feel for Buzzing Technique 189
36. Heavy / Light Technique 191
37. Brain Crush and Straining the Brain Techniques 193
38. The High Pitch Whine Technique 195
39. The Song Replay Technique 197
40. Imaginary Shouting for OBE 199
41. Mantras for OBE 201
42. The Heartbeat Technique 203
43. The Candle Flame Technique 205
44. The Orange Peel Technique 207
45. The Swinging Hypnagogic Image Technique 209
46. Problem Solving for the Direct Strategy 213

Part 3 - The Indirect OBE Induction Strategy 221
47. Introduction to the Indirect OBE Strategy 223
48. Chi Circulation, Energy Bouncing, and Chakras 227
49. Hypnosis and the Christos Technique for OBEs 237
50. The Desire Factor and the Thirst Technique 239
51. OBE Affirmations and Prayers 243
52. Self-Labeling and Self-Talk 247
53. OBEs and Music 251
54. OBE Narratives and Walk-Throughs 255
55. Sneaking Past the Gatekeeper 257
56. The Sleep Directive Technique 261
57. The Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) Technique 263
58. WBTB and Technique Cycling 267

Part 4 - Turning Lucid Dreams into OBEs 271
59. Lucid Dreaming 273
60. Keeping Dream and OBE Journals 275
61. Appointments, Trigger Mechanisms and Anchors 283
62. Turning Lucid Dreams into OBEs 289

Part 5 - Brain hacks and Assisting Technologies 291
63. Introduction to Brain Hacking 293
64. Breath Work and Proper Breathing 297
65. Sound Technologies and Binaural Beats 301
66. Sound and Light Machines 303
67. Vitamins, Supplements and Probiotics 305
68. Aromatherapy and Scented Oils for OBEs 315
69. The Pineal Gland, Contaminants, and Boron 317
70. OBEs, Celibacy, Masturbation and the Sex Drive 321
71. Dietary Considerations 325
72. OBEs and the Default Mode Network 331
73. Odds and Ends and Superstitions 335
74. Putting It All Together 339
75. When All Else Fails: A Formula for OBE Success 345
76. The Future of OBE research 349
77. Conclusions 351

Bob Peterson
01 August 2019