Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Affirmations and OBEs

by Bob Peterson

A lot of people talk about affirmations and their importance to out-of-body experiences, but how important are they? In my opinion, very important. I'm not alone. In his groundbreaking book The Projection of the Astral Body, OBE pioneer Sylvan Muldoon, wrote:
"Recall the fundamental law of astral projection: when the subconscious will becomes possessed of the idea to move the body (coinciding bodies) and the physical body is incapacitated, the subconscious will moves the astral body out of the physical."
In other words, if your body is under sleep paralysis, and your subconscious wants to move, your astral body will move away from the physical.

What I've found is that I can consciously try to induce an OBE for hours and get nowhere unless I'm in the right state of mind. But my subconscious can take me out-of-body easily, quickly and efficiently whenever it's motivated to do so. So one important tool for inducing OBE is motivating the subconscious.

It is very easy is it for your subconscious to pull you away from your body, because it's done it your whole life: it pulls you out of your body every night during sleep. Typically, you just hover above the body, watching the illusion of your dream hallucination, and you're completely unaware of the OBE because you're unconscious.

It pulls you out-of-body as soon as you fall asleep. In fact, your subconscious waits passively until it believes your awareness is completely extinguished, then it pulls you out. If you keep your conscious mind completely, totally, utterly blank (quiesced), your subconscious can be fooled into thinking that you're unconscious. Your mind has to be quiet and inactive enough that your subconscious can't tell that you're still aware. Once it pulls you out of your body, you can wrestle conscious control away from it, and voila: you're out of the body.

How do I know this? I've seen it firsthand. I've done it successfully. I've also tried to wrestle control from it too early, with interesting results. My subconscious (which I become very aware of) acts very surprised by this rude intrusion into its normal dealings, as if to say "WTF? How did he manage to slip through?" Then I get forcefully slammed back into my body: wham! Apparently it doesn't like me interfering with its nightly falling asleep routine!

Despite experiences like this, your subconscious can be trained, and it can help you with your OBEs. Not during the falling-asleep process, but during your "normal" OBE practice sessions.

So how do you program your subconscious to give you conscious OBEs? The same way you program your subconscious for anything:
  • Use hypnosis
  • Change your inner dialogue
  • Use Affirmations
I've mostly been resistant to hypnosis my whole life, so it doesn't work for me. Consequently, the OBE hypnosis tapes and CDs don't work on me.

Changing your inner dialogue is a complex subject, and this article's already getting too long, so I'm not going to cover it here.

That leaves affirmations. Affirmations are similar to your inner dialogue. You silently say them to yourself. And while doing it may seem silly, your subconscious hears those inner thoughts and reacts accordingly. So here are some tips on affirmations:

Make affirmations simple

Your subconscious communicates in many ways, but it's not designed for language interpretation or complex linguistic analysis. So a long sentence will just confuse it. Long sentences will just be ignored and do you no good. Imagination and visualizations are better.

Make affirmations positive

Your subconscious is very literal. It will interpret negative sentences negatively. For example, if you affirm "OBEs aren't difficult" your subconscious might only notice two words: "OBEs" and "difficult", and you've just made your job harder. On the other hand, if you affirm it in the positive, your subconscious will interpret it the way you want: "OBEs are easy."

Less is more

Don't try to give yourself too many affirmations at once. One per day (or maybe two) is all it takes. If you start rambling to yourself in a long discourse, your subconscious is going to get confused. Don't say to yourself, "OBEs are easy. I have them all the time. It comes naturally. I want to have OBEs. I slip easily out of my body. I become conscious while I'm asleep..." because it's too much information for your subconscious to handle. Just pick one simple sentence per day. You can use a different affirmation each day.

Do affirmations when you first wake up

When you first wake up, your subconscious and conscious are more closely in communication than at other times of the day. In fact, the groggier you are, the better. Use that to your advantage.

Do affirmations several times throughout the day

Your subconscious is programmed by repetition. Each time you repeat the affirmation to yourself, the more it becomes ingrained. But do NOT just repeat an affirmation twenty times, then let it go for the rest of your day. You have to repeat, but at different times. It's better to affirm once or twice, then do something else and repeat it again later.

For example: When you first wake up in the morning, before you sit up in bed, affirm "I leave my body". Then sit up in bed and say it again to yourself. Then visit the bathroom. When you're finished, affirm it again. Then, go get that first cup of coffee, and while you sip, affirm it again. Affirm it at every meal. Every bathroom break. You get the idea: make it a habit throughout the day. In a way, you're changing your beliefs about yourself.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Your subconscious is much more comfortable with pictures than words. It's much better to do your affirmation as a visual image than a bunch of words. So when you affirm "I leave my body" it's more effective to visualize yourself leaving your body. The idea of leaving your body is much more potent than the words. The words pale by comparison.

Your subconscious is literal, so be careful

When I started using affirmations, I didn't know what I was doing, so I made mistakes. For example, I once used an affirmation like "I can easily slip away from my body." That affirmation seems innocent enough, but I had a core belief that interfered. I had read somewhere that OBEs can happen easier when you are sick: when your body is weak, it has less hold on you, and your subconscious is more apt to pull your astral body out in order to recharge. So my subconscious interpreted this simple affirmation as "I want to get sick, so slipping out-of-body will be easier" and the net result is: I got sick. And this happened multiple times until I figured out what was going on.

The bottom line is: be careful how you formulate your affirmations and make them positive, associating them with healthy, normal behavior.

The Self-Questioning Trick

The self-questioning trick is something I developed for remembering my dreams, but I soon discovered it works for any affirmation. I wrote about this in my latest book, Answers Within. Basically you do this: (1) Affirm what you want, (2) Visualize yourself happily attaining your goal. (3) Ask yourself, "Is that what I really want?" (4) Tell yourself, "Yes, that's what I want." Then repeat these steps at least three more times.

So in the beginning, I learned to remember my dreams by doing this: (1) I'd say to myself, "When I wake up, I'll remember my dreams." (2) I'd imagine waking up and happily recalling my dreams. (3) I'd ask myself, "Is that what I want?", (4) I'd tell myself, "Yes, that's what I want." And I'd do this four or more times.

When I adapted it to OBEs that became, (1) "I have OBEs." (2) Imagine myself leaving my body, (3) "Is that what I want?", (4) "Yes, that's what I want."

Doing versus Wanting

A lot of spiritual teachers warn against stating wants. One theory is this: If you affirm "I want to have OBEs" your subconscious will act on the primary verb in the sentence: You will "want" more effectively. You won't have any OBEs, but you sure will "want" them better.

But if you affirm "I do OBEs" your subconscious will act on the verb "do" and actually help you do the OBEs, not just wanting them.

Avoid the "Wish Trap"

This is similar to the issue of "wanting" above. You should avoid affirm term "I wish" because that is loaded with connotations that your subconscious will interpret literally. If you affirm "I wish I had OBEs" you are implying to your subconscious that you do not currently have them. Even if it's true, don't do it. Your subconscious can interpret this as "OBEs are lacking in my life: I don't have any OBEs" which is the opposite of what you want. So always affirm their presence, not their absence.


OBE affirmations program your subconscious, and that, in turn, makes them more frequent in your life. You probably won't see immediate results. In fact, it may be weeks or months before you make any progress, so be patient and keep your subconscious motivated.

09 January 2013


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have never heard of the self-questioning trick before! I will start working them into my affirmations right away!

  2. Greetings Bob! I had a successful experience using the "Self-Questioning Trick"!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! I hope it's alright that I posted about it in my blog here:

    Love, light, gratitude!!!