Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Problem 2: I Just Fall Asleep

Problem 2: I Just Fall Asleep

by Bob Peterson

This is the second in a series of articles to help solve problems inducing out-of-body experiences/astral projection. These are "Pre-OBE problems." Later I'll do a series of articles on Post-OBE problem solving.

Here's a link to the previous article: Problem 1: Nothing Happens.

This time I'll address a very common problem: you fall asleep when practicing. It happens to a lot of people, even the best of us. So here are some suggestions to solve it:

Practice in the morning

You're most likely to fall asleep if you practice right before bedtime. It's always best to make your OBE attempts in the morning, preferably right after you wake up from your last sleep cycle. That's when you should be more alert, conscious, and less tired. It's best to make your attempts right after you wake up, even before you even move your physical body.

Many people, myself included, need to get up early and go to work, which restricts the mornings on which you can practice. For that reason, I try to practice on the weekends and holidays.

When I was young and single, I used to spend Saturday and Sunday mornings trying to induce the OBE state: I'd wake up around 7:00 and start my OBE practice. After repeated attempts, I'd often give up and allow myself to drift back into sleep. Then I'd wake again around 8:30 and start practicing again. If that failed, I'd go into another sleep cycle and wake around 10:00, and try again. Some days I'd even go into a fourth cycle. Many days I didn't have that option because a neighbor would start mowing his/her lawn or countless other distractions.

Don't practice from your bed

We are all conditioned through years of habit to fall asleep when we are in our bedroom and in our bed. So you're much less likely to fall asleep when you practice from a couch, recliner, a chair, a hotel bed, or a bed at a friend's house. Some authors suggest setting asleep a special place, like a favorite couch, for your practice. That will condition your subconscious to think of it as your special OBE spot, and give you the right frame of mind.

Practice sitting up instead of lying down

I've had a vast majority of my OBEs lying down, but if falling asleep is a problem, you might be better able to focus if you're sitting up. Buddhist monks and other meditators often meditate sitting up. They often use a special meditation cushion and recommend keeping your back straight. It's worth a try.

Develop single-minded unwavering focus

We fall asleep by letting our minds drift. If you strive to maintain a single-minded unwavering focus, you're less likely to fall asleep. You need to silence the "Monkey Mind" and try to keep the inner thought-chatter to a minimum. The first few times you practice you may notice lots of mind-chatter (same goes for meditation), but the more you practice, the better you get at keeping your mind quiet, still and focused. It may take years or practice before you can keep your mind from its endless chatter.

Consider Caffeine

Author Michael Raduga suggests waking up very early in the morning or even the middle of the night, and slamming (quickly drinking) an energy drink, coffee, green tea or other drink with caffeine, then going back to sleep immediately before it takes effect. He claims to have good success doing this. Caffeine affects different people different ways. It's never kept me from sleeping, except in rare case. So you may want to experiment here.

Vary the amount of light in the room.

Our sleep cycles are greatly affected by the amount of light coming into the room where you practice. The more light, the harder it is to sleep. When people can't sleep at night it's often because they have too much light in their bedroom, and the solution is to make their bedroom as dark as possible by unplugging nightlights, putting black tape over LED charging indicators, turning off their cell phone's ambient display (or turning the phone over).

The opposite is also true when it comes to inducing OBEs: If you keep falling asleep, add more light to your practice area to inhibit sleep.

Don't be afraid to fall asleep

Lastly, don't be afraid to fall asleep. One common "rookie" mistake is to stay too alert and not let yourself get close enough to sleep. You need to carefully walk that knife-edge between awake and asleep. I've fallen off that edge and fallen asleep at least ten times for every successful out-of-body experience I've ever had. If you fall asleep, just chalk it up to experience and try again. Don't get discouraged, never lose hope, and don't stop praciticing.

Bob Peterson,
22 November 2022

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Problem 1: "Nothing Happens"

Problem 1 "Nothing Happens"

by Bob Peterson

Wow, it's hard to believe I've been doing this blog for more than ten years now, having published my first article in November 2012! Time flies whether you're having fun or not.

I'm a problem solver by my nature. In this series of articles I want to help solve some common astral projection/OBE problems. OBE problems can be classified into two types: pre-OBE and post-OBE.

Pre-OBE problems are encountered trying to achieve an out-of-body experience, but before you get there such as when the vibrations fade or when your heart starts beating wildly when you're trying to exit.

Post-OBE problems are problems that occur after you've left your body, like getting sucked back in prematurely or finding yourself glued to your physical body and unable to move.

First I'll focus on pre-OBE problems.

Today's article is about a common problem: You try to leave your physical body but nothing happens. Eventually you get bored and give up in disgust. This is a common problem, but you can take several steps to solve it.

Use your active imagination

If nothing happens, try to engage your active imagination. When we fall asleep, we un-focus. We kind of let our minds wander until our control slips away.

When you try to achieve an out-of-body experience, you still need to approach sleep, but when nothing happens it may help to focus on inner events.

Robert Monroe's "Lines of Force" Technique is just one example in which you learn to focus inward; in this case by imagining a two lines of energy extending from both sides of your head. Focusing on these lines of force engages your active imagination and gives you a focus on inward events. The trick is that you need to keep that inward focus as you approach sleep.

Get closer to sleep: walk that edge

When nothing happens it often means you're too far from the edge of sleep. If you just lie there and expect something to happen, chances are it won't, at least not until you get very close to sleep. One good exercise is to try to watch yourself fall asleep. See how close you can retain awareness of what happens around you before you lose your grip on consciousness.

Wait for hypnagogia

If you get very close to sleep, you will start to naturally hallucinate: you may see visual images called hypnagogic images, like fragments of ordinary objects like a pen or a book. You may hear auditory sounds like people whispering or saying fragments of sentences. This is all normal and natural, and all it means is that you're getting very close to sleep. These hypnagogic hallucinations happen to everyone, but most people are too unconscious to notice they happen. (There are also hallucinations as you come out of sleep called hypnopompic hallucinations and you can use these to your advantage too).

After several years of practice I got to the point where I can see hypnagogic images almost immediately after lying down.

My favorite OBE technique involves taking control and manipulating the hypnagogic images. So if nothing happens, you just need to get closer to sleep.

Don't be afraid to fall asleep

One of the most common problems is that people are afraid of falling asleep during OBE practice. They keep themselves vigilant and alert so they can pay attention to the sensations like the vibrations, or to keep a watchful eye out for those hypnagogic images. The problem is: if you're too alert, it's never going to happen. If you're too wide awake, you'll never see them. So don't be afraid to fall asleep during practice.

I like to tell people I've fallen asleep at least 10 or more times for every successful out-of-body experience I've ever had. Chock it up to experience. And after you fall asleep, you may wake up after the sleep cycle and mentally scold yourself, "Well, damn, that's another attempt wasted." But it's all part of the learning process. It happens to the best of us. Like the Windows operating system: reset, reboot, and restart.

When I was young I used to spend hours trying over and over: walking that edge, falling asleep, waking up and trying again. It's easy to get discouraged, but don't despair: just accept it and try again later.

Again: If you're too alert you'll never get to the OBE state. Nothing will happen. You need to "let go." You need to get very very very close to sleep, and you need to straddle that thin line of sleep. It's a razor's edge, but once you get there, you only need to maintain that "thin line" for a few seconds, like seven or so seconds until the vibrations hit and you're home free (of your body).

Don't be afraid to move

Many people don't realize that you actually need to initiate movement like you do in the physical body. Some astral projection books say to leave your body, just imagine yourself floating and you will float. Maybe that works fine for some people but for me it usually doesn't. I need to initiate movement. Just like Michael Raduga's "Phantom Wiggling" technique, it's more than using your imagination. It's like actually moving your non-physical body.

My rule of thumb is: Wait for the vibrations to reach their peak, then try to either physically get up, physically stand up, physically roll over, or my personal favorite, swing your arms. This is identical to moving your physical body. There is no difference. If your physical body moves, you weren't in a deep enough trance and need to go deeper for your next attempt.

If you don't try to physically move, it's very likely that "nothing will happen." You need to initiate that non-physical movement.

What should happen is that sleep paralysis will keep your physical body frozen. Your physical body should stay put and your non-physical body (astral body, whatever) should move.

Many people just lie there and do nothing, not even realizing they have left their body until they eventually fall asleep. You need to be proactive about this.

In my next article, I'll cover another common pre-OBE problem: "My OBEs are too short."

Bob Peterson,
08 November 2022

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Most Important OBE Skill

The Most Important OBE Skill

by Bob Peterson

Out-of-body experiences can happen spontaneously without any prompting, but to deliberately self-induce OBEs takes a variety of skills, such as relaxation and careful use of the imagination. But if I had to name the most important skill of them all, I'd say it's inward focus.

Many years ago neuroscientists discovered there are "hubs" or sets of interconnected regions of the human brain that communicate with each other. When people focused on performing a task, like solving a puzzle, a certain set of hubs fired neurons to communicate with each other. They named it the Task Positive Network, or TPN. Between tests the scientists told the subjects to stop focusing on the task and let their minds drift. The scientists expected the brain activity to go quiet, but instead they saw something peculiar: when the subjects turned off their TPN, another network activated in its place. They called this the Default Mode Network or DMN, and when it activates, your focus turns from outward tasks to inward tasks. So the brain switches between the TPN and DMN as people change their focus from outward tasks to inward tasks.

As out-of-body travelers, the problem is that our society has become more and more TPN-based: we feel as if we constantly need to focus on something external. We focus on our phones, our televisions, on driving, on our jobs, and a million other things.

To make matters worse, our attention has become more and more fragmented, diverted and stolen: We visit a website and our reading is quickly interrupted by a pop-up that wants us to agree to accept cookies. We're interrupted again by pop-ups that want us to sign up for their newsletter.

Television shows are interrupted by annoying commercials or ads. We get text messages on our phones that interrupt us again. We focus on formulating and sending a reply. The cat jumps on our lap. Sirens interrupt our thoughts as the police pursue their latest crime outside. Even our meetings at work too often devolve into a flurry of rude interruptions with everyone scrambling to voice their opinions. Our TPNs are so badly-fragmented that we give more and more priority to our focus on the external world. We even drink coffee or energy drinks to help us focus more. Some people even resort to more drastic measures like cocaine.

To self-induce OBEs you need inward focus, not outward. You need the DMN, not the TPN. But we're taught from an early age that time spent in the DMN is a waste of time. We need to change our focus: we need to learn to focus on inward events to the exclusion of everything else. We need to shut out the external world and turn our focus inward.

We need to stop the glorification of "busy" because busy only makes us unhappy. There's a well-known quote:

"Happy people build their inner world; unhappy people blame their outer world. —T. Harv Eker

Here are some tips to help you get more focused on inward events:

  • Give yourself "alone time" where you can just be alone with your thoughts: Introspection is an important tool.
  • Meditate at least 20 minutes daily. It strengthens your DMN muscles.
  • Spend some time away from the interruptions, distractions, and temptations of your cell phone and tablet: Put them on airplane mode for a while. Go offline.
  • Use your active imagination more. Do more pretending.
  • Learn martial arts like Qi Gong and Tai Chi which is sometimes called Moving Meditation, or even yoga.
  • Set aside time to simply listen to music and let your mind drift.
  • I especially love to try to visualize music as I listen.
  • Spend time at a beach just listening to the waves.
  • Spend time in nature just listening to the sounds of birds and other animals.
  • Be creative: draw, paint, color, doodle, or create something. Creating things like art are a natural way to focus inward as we conjure up items from our imagination and cast them into the physical world.
  • Do more daydreaming.
  • Try to become more "absorbed" in what you're doing to the exclusion of everything else. Psychologists call that "absorption." Psychologists have known for a long time that people who have a high degree of absorption are more easily hypnotized.
  • Learn to shut out and/or ignore distractions.
  • And of course, practice your OBEs.

Most out-of-body teachers agree it's better to practice OBEs in the early morning when you first wake up. That's because when we come out of sleep, our focus is naturally inward and it's easier to focus on inward events before we drag our focus back to the TPN.

I do believe that inducing OBEs takes more than activating the DMN. If it was that simple, all you'd need to do it daydream. But OBEs are so much more. I once wrote that OBEs may involve activating both the DMN and TPN at the same time, and that's what makes them so difficult for most people.

Still, if you learn to focus your attention completely inward, ignoring the external world, you've won most of the battle and OBEs will be a lot easier.

Bob Peterson
25 October 2022

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Review: Beyond Dreaming

Beyond Dreaming

by Gene Hart

Today I'm reviewing Beyond Dreaming: A Guide to Awakening Consciousness through the Path of Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences by Gene Hart.

I really didn't know anything about author Gene Hart until he suddenly appeared in the Facebook Astral Projection groups a couple years ago. He's contributed a lot to those groups, including his favorite astral projection technique. I didn't find out he had written a book about the subject--this book--until much later.

Early in the book Hart won my, well, "Heart," with quotes like this:

"The realization of one's own ignorance is the beginning of authentic self-knowledge." (pg. 11)

Very true.

If you've read my other book reviews you know that one of my pet peeves is authors who claim to know all about astral projection but don't include any credentials or experience. It's like writing a book about having a successful marriage without actually having been married. When it comes to marriage and astral projection, book knowledge, theories, and hearsay are light-years away from firsthand experience. So early on I applauded Hart when he gave a narrative of his first out-of-body experience from June, 2011 on page 19. He writes:

"...I felt blisteringly alive, but at the same time, heavy and more real than anything I had ever experienced before in my waking life, and definitely more palpable and 'physical' than any of the hundreds of lucid dreams I had beforehand." (pp. 19-20)

So yes, Gene Hart writes from experience, and you can tell it's genuine from his descriptions. And makes a clear distinction between OBEs and lucid dreams.

He describes a decent "validation" OBE:

"So, I went back to my physical body and woke up; I immediately got up and walked to the stairway, and to my great pleasure, I saw the exact same scene. She was standing there in the same location, on her phone, in her pyjamas, holding the blue packet of crisps and sitting next to the same friend I saw [in my OBE]. I smiled with an inner knowing and satisfaction." (pg. 35)

One chapter was called "The Dream of Life" and I was a bit confused by statements like this:

"As psychologists notoriously recognize, and what is spilled over into conventional wisdom, is that dreams are usually about the things we did while we were awake. They are simply a reflection of our waking lives. If this is true, one could possibly say it is safe to assume that if you do not dream while awake, then you won't dream while asleep too. In other words, if you are conscious while awake, then you'll be conscious while asleep; this is a cord teaching in this book." (pg. 37)

I could be wrong, but I think what Hart is trying to say is that our conscious experience is a combination of our perceptions, degree of lucidity, and our interpretations of those perceptions, and that dreams are interpretations of false perceptions, and that can happen whether we're awake or asleep. In other words, you can dream while awake, just as you can dream while asleep. And you can have perceptions of an objective reality while awake or asleep. Perhaps it's a new spin on my theory about the Four out-of-body states? I bet Gene and I could have several hours-long conversations about it.

If you want to have out-of-body experiences, Hart says we need to take it very seriously:

"This is why we have to address our lives, and not just astral projection as a sort of separate hobby or casual interest. It is a wholesome practice that it affects us positively and profoundly on every level of our Being. Observe any Kung Fu Master; he does not just partake in his martial arts every now and then for fun, no. He takes it seriously, and he lives his life through the philosophy his martial art teaches just as much as when he is fighting. He grows and builds his character as a result. The path of astral projection is absolutely the same, if not more." (pp 45-46)

I agree. The more seriously you take this, the better your chances of success.

Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes from various spiritual teachers like Carlos Castaneda, H.P. Blavatsky, and surprisingly, Samael Aun Weor, author of one of the worst books I've ever read and reviewed, Dream Yoga. Many of the other quotes were excellent, such as:

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." (Don Juan Matus (via Carlos Castaneda) pg. 98)

Unlike most authors, Hart talks about spiritual classes that we can attend in out-of-body states, whether conscious or unconscious. Like Hart, I have experienced this firsthand:

"A significant thing I learned from this experience was that the way we are influenced at night is not by intellectual learning but by things that make a powerful impression on our consciousness. This is how influential OBEs can be on our subconscious at night and why it can be of great spiritual significance to become aware of what is happening in our sleep. I believe many of us unconsciously attend these sorts of classes during sleep more often than we realise." (pg. 56)

To be quite blunt, the book is not heavy on techniques. In fact, it leans more toward throwing out the techniques to focus instead on other influencing factors. He does, however, give some good solid practical advice, such as:

"Another sort of reality check is a more active one that we can develop in our everyday perception of the world, which I call 'reality-checking awareness'. This can be done by 'looking around corners' or 'opening doors', or looking anywhere really...To do this, whenever you walk around a corner of your house, take a moment in your mind to recall what should be around the corner, remember what it should look like, note details, objects, colours etc. Then when you walk around the corner and examine if everything is the same as you had expected. Is anything different? Are the walls the same color? Does the clock have the correct time on it? Is someone in the room that you didn't expect? If something is out of place, then confirm it with a reality check, hold your nose and try to breathe through it. If you do this enough times daily, you will unquestionably find yourself doing it subconsciously in your dreams out of habit." (pp. 69-70)

One of my favorite chapters was "Meditation as a Prerequisite to Astral Projection." He recommends:

"Just one way to enter a more present way of life is by making a habit of noticing the silence between sounds, and also observing the space between objects; thus, inner silence, and inner space, arise naturally." (pp. 81-82)

Hart doesn't offer many exit techniques, but he does give a few. He gives instructions for Wake Back to Bed (WBTB), and it's a pretty good explanation. He also gives some mantras for OBEs, such as FA RA ON" and "LA RA S" as per V.M. Beelzebub's much older book.

He focuses on key skills more than techniques; skills such as meditation, and to allow it to happen naturally. I loved this analogy:

"Meditation alone is like become [sic--becoming?] an incense stick, and prayer is actually lighting the incense stick--or meditation is like becoming a singing bowl, and prayer is actually singing the bowl." (pg. 83)

Another good example is a section in which he recommends you "Cultivate Unbending Intent." (pg. 110). How do you do that? Well, in part:

"Continue your love, curiosity, passion and interest for astral projection; devote yourself, pray, meditate and penetrate it to every core of your being and leave no room for doubt." (pg. 111)

Before his first OBE, Hart was apparently an avid lucid dreamer, so it's natural that he promotes one of the more popular OBE techniques: induce a Lucid Dream and turn it into an OBE. His technique to convert from LD to OBE is called "The Flying Method" and it's basically flying "intensely" upwards until you feel OBE exit sensations, such as the vibrations (pg. 92).

He does, however, offer good advice about meditation and quieting the mind. I loved this description:

"Eventually, as you meditate and go beyond all the forms and objects in your consciousness, there will come a point amongst the quietude of nothingness, like the cracking of a shell, where you will find yourself in another reality." (pg. 130)

Throughout the book, Hart tries to convince us that we should not focus on exit techniques, but instead work on ourselves.

"My personal; message is that if you genuinely want to experience the reality of the astral in its depths, you must commit to working on the awakening of consciousness every day, not just for yourself but for others...."

"If you work on yourself, you'll eventually have astral projection experiences which are naturally longer and more profound. This is the real art and practice of astral projection; the experience is given to you by grace when you put in the real human work--not by following simple step-by-step experiments as a half-hearted curious individual." (pg. 147)

At the end of the book, Hart has a short list of recommended reading, and he recommends my book, Hacking the Out of Body Experience. I did not expect that, but I'll take it. Thanks for the mention.

So where does Beyond Dreaming lie in the grand scheme of things? My first book, Out of Body Experiences, was geared toward "This is what happened and these are my observations." My second book, Lessons Out of the Body, was more spiritual and geared toward "This is what OBEs can teach us spiritually." Beyond Dreaming is kind of halfway between the two. It's a good balance, often leaning toward the spiritual and philosophical side of things.

He could have given more techniques, tips and suggestions. He could have given more firsthand OBE narratives. He could have doubled the size of the book. I wish he had.

The book is 160 pages and the margins and font is good, meaning there's enough content to satisfy. It's well written, concise, thoughtful and, well, spiritual. There are more technique-heavy books like Hacking. There are "deeper" books like Multidimensional Man. There are more entertaining books like Clary Valentine's An Adjacent Place. But I definitely enjoyed Beyond Dreaming a lot. I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
27 September 2022

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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, August 30, 2022

Bob Peterson Videos

Bob Peterson Videos


by Bob Peterson

I've been doing this blog for almost ten years now, and it seems like people have found some value in it. Still, I believe blogging is a dying art. Today people are more interested in videos than reading. At the end of this year I'll probably stop writing my blog, or at least slow it way down. After that I may look into alternatives like a podcast, vlog, youtube, TikTok or something. We'll see.

Many people don't know that I've already got several videos, most of which are on youtube. Not all of them are about astral projection, but most are. So for this article, I want to give a list of my current videos for you to watch. You'll find hours of material to watch by following the links below.

Bob's Favorite OBE Technique

Bob Peterson explains his favorite OBE Technique.
This was recorded in February, 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2GNaQDGDo&feature=youtu.be

Bob's Favorite OBE/Astral Projection talk:

Bob's OBE lecture from Biloxi, Mississippi, Jan 18, 2020 - part 1. This is a well-rounded and relaxed talk about OBEs.
https://youtu.be/ljowlx6MIfA

Bob's OBE lecture from Biloxi, Mississippi, Jan 18, 2020 - part 2. This is mostly Questions and Answers section from the same event.
https://youtu.be/ES3zr3uuEGQ

Bob's Interview on "Paranormal Case Files"

This is Bob's interview with Brough Perkins, recorded November, 2018:

Bob's Mudpie Podcast interview:

Here is an interview I did for the MudPie podcast in which I talk about out-of-body experiences/Astral Projection, recorded November 2020:

Astral Projection "By the Campfire Development Circle":

This is a casual combination of interview and class I co-taught with authors Tom Llewellyn and Daniel Kelley in March, 2020. My beard is so long here!

OBE Class: Tom Llewellyn, Bob Peterson, Daniel Kelley - Part 1
https://youtu.be/olz-j-7waWE

OBE Class: Tom Llewellyn, Bob Peterson, Daniel Kelley - Part 2
https://youtu.be/-2cyq9eqECI

Bob's AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Some of you may not realize it, but there's a Discord chat channel devoted to astral projection. This is my AMA interview on the Discord Astral Projection channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euYLT-A7CJc

https://youtu.be/euYLT-A7CJc?t=806

Bob's Facebook Interview with Carie Lyn Beetle:

Recorded in September, 2019:

https://www.facebook.com/carie.beetle/videos/10206483069313306

Bob's Astral Projection Library

This is a closeup view of my astral projection library. It's from May, 2018 so it's way out of date. I've got several more Astral Projection/OBE books now!
https://youtu.be/-UqoEHRa4O0

Ten Minute Truth Bombs:

Bob talks about life, spirituality, and the masks we all wear. Recorded from St. Augustine, Florida in 2021. Not to be morbid, but when I eventually die, I hope they play these in the background at my funeral service.

Ten Minute Truth Bombs 1: https://youtu.be/FB4BHU2SqCc
Truth Bombs 2: https://youtu.be/QTsUVUwOksE
Truth Bombs 3: https://youtu.be/H4z6UqIDl74

I wrote a fourth installment to "Truth Bombs" but never recorded it. Maybe someday I will.

Miscellaneous:

Bob rides on an Ultralight part 1, April 2015, Austin, Texas:
https://youtu.be/7nntdN6hFUI

Bob rides on an Ultralight part 2:
https://youtu.be/ysGKA4pV8Yc

I took this short video at Clearwater Lake, Minnesota, in August, 2017:

Watching lion sisters cuddling with their kitties in Tanzania, November, 2017:

Bob visits "Meow Wolf" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 2019. This is one of the most surreal in-the-body experiences you can have:
https://youtu.be/a9ilEuHKp68

"Bear Chaser Bob" chases a black bear off his deck after it wrecks his bird feeder, recorded August, 2018. The two voices on the video are my wife, Kathy, and long-time friend Connie Lee:
 
Favorite OBE Memes set to the song "The Answer" by Ashes of Aires:

I may have other videos out there I've forgotten about. If you find any, let me know!
 
I've also got MANY audio recordings, appearances on various radio shows, such as:
Bob Peterson
30 August 2022

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read

Review: The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read

by Kenneth Diaz

Today I'm reviewing The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read: How to Finally Leave Your Body and Explore the Astral by Kenneth Diaz. The copyright is 2020.

You've got to love the author's enthusiasm and confidence. He says:

"I entitled this book as The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read because I guarantee that you will be successful in projecting with these methods. In fact, you can do try to do so right this minute by attempting Method 2." (pg. 20)

Needless to say, I was skeptical (or if you're British, sceptical). I was pleasantly surprised.

The whole point of this book is to teach the reader the basics of astral projection and how to induce the out-of-body state, and Diaz does a pretty good job of that. He makes it very clear at the start of the book that his knowledge is based on personal experience, although he doesn't have many narratives or personal stories to back that up. Still, you can tell from his writing that he's legitimately been out-of-body. In other words, he's not just passing on book-knowledge from other authors. Still, he draws on the works of other authors. The only author he mentions by name is Robert Bruce, but you can tell from the book's content that he's read several other books; probably even mine.

I agreed with almost everything he said in the book. The one thing I disagreed with is this curious quote:

"Remote viewing is a different exercise which has been proven to be unsuccessful in practice." (pg. 16)

I'm not sure if that's a typo or if that's what he really meant, but I'm pretty convinced, based on the evidence, that remote viewing is successful. Especially if you do the kind of meta-analysis Dean Radin provides in his books.

What I liked about this book is Diaz's no-nonsense approach to teaching astral projection. For example, he writes:

"Some people use special talismans and go through special diets to achieve astral projection. Some forgo certain foods such as meat to increase their chances, others will use special music to artificially produce certain brain waves in the brain. There will be no need for such things, you do not need to take up a new diet to successfully project. Talismans, amulets, and other equipment are often unnecessary and most of the time, a waste of money." (pg. 20)

Diaz presents three different methods to achieve astral travel:

  • Using sleep to experience OBE.
  • Having an OBE while your mind and body are awake.
  • Turning lucid dreams into OBEs.

Charter 1 is "Method 1: How to Use Sleep to Have an OBE".

His first technique here is pretty much Wake-Back-to-Bed, which he calls "Bed-Wake-Bed" combined with a good variety of exit techniques. He sums it up nicely:

"Deep relaxation + Light Trance = Astral Projection" (pg. 33)

Once you're in the proper trance state, you use an exit technique. He includes:

  • The Gravity Press Method
    I documented this as "Heavy-Light" in chapter 36 of Hacking the Out of Body Experience. Basically, you imagine an enormous gravity field pulling you down below the bed, then alternately, pulling you up into the sky.
  • The Imagined Movement Method
    I gave several variations of this in Hacking too. Movement techniques have always been my favorite.
  • The Rope Method
    The technique made famous by Robert Bruce and parroted by many. Diaz, like almost every author out there, misses the fact that you're supposed use tactile imagination: focus on the feeling of the rope in your hand rather than visualize it.
  • Roll Over Technique
    This was made famous by Robert Monroe as the "Roll Out" technique.
  • Gravity Orb Technique
    This is my favorite technique from my first book, "Out of Body Experiences". I suggested using cubes or octahedrons, but any orb will do.
  • Bounce Method
    This is another Robert Bruce technique, although Bruce suggests it not as an exit technique, but an energy manipulation/body loosening technique.
  • Breathe Method
    Similar to Bounce, but trying to expand your awareness with each breath.
  • Spin Loosening Method
    This is also similar, meant as a body loosening technique.
  • When none of these work, Diaz suggests technique cycling, which is something popularized by Michael Raduga.

Chapter 2 is "How to Astral Projection While You Are Awake." Diaz writes that:

"It is a surefire way to astral project which makes it an excellent method for beginners." (pg. 51)

In this technique, you sit in a not-too-comfortable chair, close your eyes, relax, induce a light trance, then visualize an out-of-body scenario, usually of a familiar place, pretty much like the "Target Technique" taught by William Buhlman and many others. It's like daydreaming, but you keep with it, trying to focus exclusively on the visualized scenario. He says if you keep at it long enough, eventually the experience seems to become real and you find yourself entirely out-of-body, although you never really lose touch with your physical body. He says to expect lapses in focus, but just re-center and re-focus and keep going.

Chapter 3 is "How to Project from a Lucid Dream"

In this chapter, Diaz covers the basics of lucid dreaming (the DILD variety - Dream Induced Lucid Dreaming, not WILD), employing the usual devices:

  • Dream recall (and journaling)
  • Setting intentions
  • Doing reality checks

The advice is all pretty sound.

Chapter 4 is "A Successful Exit"

Here Diaz gives a bunch of random advice, such as don't go near your physical body. One thing I thought was interesting was his technique for getting "unstuck" in situations where you find yourself (astrally) stuck to your physical body. He writes:

"Instead of trying to pull yourself away when things won't budge, create new limbs for your astral self instead." (pg. 69)

In other words, ignore the astral body that's stuck to the physical and focus on a new astral limbs that aren't stuck. This is not too different from the advice I give in my 2002 article about Awareness during Sleep Paralysis, but I like his twist on it.

Diaz also offers a new twist on lengthening your OBEs. If you find your awareness starting to wane, he suggests using an internal monologue. In other words, you say to yourself, "Now I'm walking to the window. Now I'm touching the wall." And so forth. He also gives plenty of classic advice on deeping/lengthening, such as touching everything in sight (from Michael Raduga) and "Clarity Now!" (from William Buhlman).

Chapter 7 is "Astral Projection FAQs. Here Diaz gives a wide variety of miscellaneous advice about astral projection, such as avoiding alcohol and caffeine. His FAQ is better than most, but still a lot smaller than the FAQ I wrote for this blog and I'm not sure I agree with all his recommendations.

The book is 103 pages with good margins and font. There's not a ton of content, but the content is streamlined and well organized. The author knows the difference between its and it's and the grammar is good, but there are actually quite a few small mistakes that would have been caught by a good editor.

I give the book 4 stars out of 5. It's actually very good. There's a lot of solid advice and techniques in there. Is this the last astral projection you'll ever need to read? I don't know if I'd go that far. There's a lot it doesn't cover. But the book is a great place to start for beginners: It provides a really good solid foundation for astral projection.

Bob Peterson
16 August 2022

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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, July 26, 2022

Out-of-Body Experiences by Janet Lee Mitchell

Review: Out-of-Body Experiences

by Janet Lee Mitchell

Today I'm reviewing the book Out-of-Body Experiences: How science is helping us to understand the experience of living beyond the body by Janet Lee Mitchell. The copyright is 1981. I'm proud to say that my copy is signed by the author. 

People who know me well know that I only have two heroes I idolize: Leonardo Da Vinci and Charles Tart. Both men attempted to bridge the gap between left brain and right brain, the spiritual and the scientific. Both were (or are) scientists, way ahead of their time. Both yearned to understand the relationship between the physical and the non-physical.

Da Vinci is best known for his priceless paintings, but in fact he was an inventor who wanted to invent and sell weapons, among other things. He only painted to make money.

Tart is famous for having done some of the earliest laboratory experiments on out-of-body experiences with the likes of Robert Monroe, and "Miss Z". As a pioneer in consciousness research, and author of famous books like Altered States of Consciousness, I was speechless when I first learned that Tart wrote the foreword to my first book.

Why do I bring this up? Because if I was pressed for a third name, I would have to list the author of this book, Janet Lee Mitchell, and for the same reasons. With a Ph.D. degree, Mitchell is also author of several books on consciousness, and she's conducted lab studies of out-of-body experiences with famous psychics like (the late) Ingo Swann and Alex Tanous. And that's what this book is all about. The book covers not only her own work, but similar studies done by other scientists (including Tart, Celia Green, and many others).

Regarding Swann, Mitchell writes:

"I was convinced of his ability after about six months of working closely with him 2 or 3 days a week." (pg. 4)

Mitchell notes that Swann could make his physical body speak, even when far away from it. She would send him out on missions to report on distant locations. Later, his targets were compared by impartial judges with double-blind standards. Many of Swann's amazing successes are documented in his book, To Kiss Earth Goodbye (which I haven't reviewed) including photos of some of the targets. It's pretty convincing stuff.

One of the first questions Mitchell had to ask was: Was Swann just using ESP, telepathy, or "remote viewing" to describe the targets, or was he "really there" during his out-of-body experiences? To answer that the scientists devised special optical devices that would display different images through different filters and mirrors. If Swann described the contents of the box, he should describe a bunch of discs, mirrors, prisms, wheels, and such. But if he described the image itself, in the proper color and in the proper quadrant of the device, he must be actually "seeing" the image as through the optical box, and therefore he's more likely to have actually "been there." Well, guess what? He described the images.

The book contains a lot more than stories about Ingo Swann. Mitchell writes about OBE author D. Scott Rogo, who had OBEs himself, and how he manipulated hypnagogic images to induce OBEs. In one example, Rogo saw a hypnagogic image in which he was driving a car, so he took conscious control of the image, intentionally crashed the car, and found himself out-of-body. She also says that Rogo's book, Mind Beyond the Body (which I also haven't reviewed) is required reading for anyone interested in OBEs.

Mitchell covers the history of OBEs, with valuable information, (much like Anthony Peake's book) citing some of the earliest OBE reports in modern times, and referencing OBE books I've never even heard of, like My Experiences While Out of My Body by Cora L.V. Richmond.

She also compares OBEs to other well-documented phenomena in psychology such as autoscopy, lucid dreaming, and various body-boundary disturbances. She also covers references of similar things in folklore like the doppelgänger, fylgje, and vardoger.

But much of the book is devoted to the science. Chapter 5 is Evidence from the Lab, and it's not only her lab but others as well. She spends considerable time analyzing the statistics from various studies done throughout the years. She talks about the studies done by Dr. Karlis Osis and Donna McCormick on Alex Tanous. She talks about the studies done on Stuart "Blue" (Keith) Harary in which they counted the meows of Harary's cat, Spirit. It turns out the cat meowed a lot less when Harary was visiting Spirit in an out-of-body state. The cat meowed 37 times during the eight control periods, and not once during Harary's out-of-body visit.

There are also fabulous OBE narratives. One of my favorites is this:

"Sometimes a person will not only be able to see from another location in space but will actually be able to create an effect at a distance, if we can believe the numerous claims. The Landau case is one of the best examples of this. A Mr. Landau reports that in 1955 his wife-to-be often told him about her OBEs. One night he gave her his diary weighing 38 grams and ask her to transport it to his room in her next OBE. Early dawn the next day he awoke and followed her apparition, which backed out of his room across a landing to her room. There he saw her body asleep in bed and then watched the apparition vanish. When he returned to his room he found her rubber toy dog, which weighed 107.5 grams, lying beside his bed. He had last seen it on a chest of drawers in her room. She said the dog was easier for her to transport despite its additional weight, because she had been taught, as a child, never to handle other people's letters or diaries." (pgs. 45-46)

Best of all, Mitchell cites references. At the end of every chapter, she provides a list of references to back up what she says. This is not fluff. This is science. 

She also goes into a little of the philosophy behind the scientific findings. For example, she questions: if most scientists are convinced that we're nothing but our physical bodies, why do we speak as if our bodies are our possessions? Why, she asks, do we say things like "My head hurts" rather than "I hurt up here"?

One of my favorite quotes from the book is about the potential dangers of OBEs. I remembered this from when I first read the book in the 1980s:

"My parents did not keep me from walking or tell me I couldn't, even though they knew I might accidentally walk in front of a moving vehicle; they did teach me how to cross the street safely." (pg. 84)

Another poignant quote is a solid counter to the question, "Why in the world would you want to have OBE?"

"If our only experience is in a body, we may well continue to believe that we are a body. If one were born and raised entirely in an automobile, it might have its advantages, but one would never know the joys of being outdoors and feeling the cool grass or warm sunlight directly on the skin. It seems certain that granted the ability to get out of the car just once, one would want to do it again and again to exercise new-found experiences and freedom." (pg. 87)

The book is 128 pages, and is professionally written and edited.

I give the book four and a half stars. It's a must read for anyone interested in the scientific study of out-of-body experiences. Unfortunately, it's probably out-of-print and hard to find. I think I wrote to the editor to get my copy, and that was a long time ago.

Bob Peterson
26 July 2022

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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