Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Harnessing Unfamiliarity for OBEs

Harnessing Unfamiliarity for OBEs

by Bob Peterson

The Problem

I recently got an email from a woman with PLS, a degenerative neurological disease related to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) that causes you to slowly lose control of your body over time. She wanted to learn some out-of-body techniques to experience the incredible freedom outside her disease-ravaged body: a perfect application for OBEs.

She wrote that she recently got the vibrations three times on her vacation ("holiday" in the UK), but now that she was back home, she had no success whatsoever using the same techniques. She asked me why, and how she could solve the problem.

Enter Sandman

The next morning, I was thinking about her question, and oddly, I drew a connection between it and the lyrics of the old Metallica song "Enter Sandman":
"Sleep with one eye open,
Gripping your pillow tight,
Exit Light, Enter Night,
Take my hand: We're off to never-never land"
In case you're wondering, no, I'm not a fan of Metallica. Their music is an expression of anger (or it was when it was good!), and anger, like all negativity, can block your ability to induce OBEs. I listened to them for a brief time (mostly their early music, circa "Master of Puppets"). But in an effort to cut negativity out of my life, I deleted almost all negative from my phone/music player several years ago, and suggest you do the same. For what it's worth, my favorite Metallica song back then was "Through the Never":
"In the dark, see past our eyes,
Pursuit of truth, no matter where it lies,
Gazing up to the breeze of the heavens,
On a quest: meaning, reason..." --Metallica, "Through the Never"

But I digress. The connection to "Enter Sandman" is this: inducing an OBE ("off to never-never land") is often easier when we're in unfamiliar settings (and therefore you tend to "sleep with one eye open").

My point is: familiarity can sometimes block your OBEs, and unfamiliarity can increase them. In my opinion, her problem was too much "familiarity" at home.

We all have that same problem. You can try for months to induce OBEs at home, from your own bed, and just can't do it. But as soon as you get to a hotel or a friend's house--unfamiliar surroundings--they happen naturally.

The bottom line is this: If you become too familiar with your surroundings, OBEs sometimes tend to drop off. But the opposite is also true: Unfamiliarity tends to increase them again, and you can use that concept to increase your OBEs.

The Reason

I tend to think the reason unfamiliarity increases OBEs is subconscious vigilance. Whether you like it or not, when you're in unfamiliar surroundings, your subconscious is more vigilant, more "on guard," while you're sleeping. Even when you seem to be sleeping peacefully, your subconscious pays more attention to what's happening around you. It's a built-in defense mechanism that keeps you a tiny bit closer to consciousness, and therefore quicker to react to unforeseen emergencies, such as hotel fires, intruders, or  in the case of our ancient ancestors, bears or tigers wandering into their cave while they were asleep.

The solution is "non-patterning."


Author Ken Eagle Feather wrote several good books that had to do with Shamanism and Shamanic Journeys (like the Carlos Castaneda books, but more down to earth), such as A Toltec Path and Traveling With Power. The thing I liked most about them was his concept of "Non-Patterning."

Non-patterning means deliberately breaking habitual patterns in your life. For example, if you walk, bike, or drive to work every day, take a different route each time. Not only does that keep you out of "ruts," it also makes you more alert and aware. It keeps you on guard. You can apply this to many aspects of your life, transforming daily routine into something less mechanized.

You also can use non-patterning to break habitual patterns of sleep, and that often increases your OBEs. Here are some things you can do to harness non-patterning for OBEs:
  • Sleep on the couch instead of your bed.
  • Sleep with your head at the opposite end of the bed.
  • Move your bed to a different place in the bedroom.
  • Turn your bed 90 degrees left or right.
  • Sleep in a guest bedroom instead of your normal bed. 
  • Go to bed at different times of the night.
  • Switch out your pillow for a different one.
  • Wear a different deodorant.
  • Sleep with a window open to introduce different sounds.
  • Use your phone to play unfamiliar sounds while you sleep.
  • Change your sleep number (for sleep number beds.)
  • Change the smells in the room: light incense, use oil diffuser, essential oils, etc.
You should also:
  • Vary the OBE affirmations you use in the morning.
  • Vary the relaxation method you use when you practice.
  • Vary the time of day that you make your OBE attempts.
  • Vary the OBE exit technique you use.
  • Vary what clothes or pajamas you wear when practicing.
Forcing some unfamiliarity can keep your subconscious more on its guard, so it will hold you slightly closer to consciousness, and that can increase your OBEs.


Once non-patterning helps you induce an OBE, it will temporarily become easier to induce another OBE, and another. I've found this effect generally only lasts about a week. So once you achieve an OBE, double-down and focus extra effort on producing more. If you get busy and let time slip away, pretty soon you'll find yourself back at square one.

Once you establish good conditions under which you can have an OBE, you can harness the opposite principle: you can make the optimal conditions into an "OBE ritual" that conditions your subconscious to establish that place (those smells, sounds, etc.) as your official "OBE place" and "OBE time."

William Buhlman once told me he produces many of his OBEs by taking naps on his couch / sofa. Now you know why: His bed is "too routine" and the couch is now part of his "OBE ritual."

If your "OBE ritual" stops working, go back to non-patterning and change things up again. Give your subconscious that "sleep with one eye open" attitude adjustment!

The bottom line is that sometimes we get trapped by our own psychological habits and conditioning. Non-patterning helps you break the cycle (think of it as "unlearning") and rituals help us establish new ones more conducive to inducing OBEs (think of it as "re-learning.")

Now go out there and change the recipe, stir the mixture, set your intentions, and practice, practice, practice.

Bob Peterson
10 December 2019

If you have ideas for blog articles related to OBEs, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org.

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 blog articles

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review: Eyes of an Angel by Paul Elder

Review: Eyes of an Angel

by Paul Elder

Today I'm reviewing Eyes of an Angel: Soul Travel, Spirit Guides, Soul Mates, and the Reality of Love by Paul Elder.

I got this book a few years ago and I can't even remember who sent it to me. It might have been the author himself, but I seem to recall receiving it from a friend. I started reading it and got about a third of the way in, then for some strange reason, I regretfully got distracted, lost track of the book, and never saw it again. Until now.

Fast-forward to 2019 when I contacted an acquaintance who I first met at the Monroe Institute during one of William Buhlman's "Out of Body Intensive" classes. I was organizing a group of friends to take Buhlman's last scheduled class in 2020--a kind of family reunion--and I tried to talk her into joining us.

She said she'd love to go, but already scheduled a week-long seminar that conflicted. I asked her what seminar had enough pull to preempt William Buhlman? She said it was a class given by Paul Elder. Hey, wait-a-minute, I thought. I've got a book by Paul Elder somewhere. I need to track it down and finish reading it! So I did just that. It had been so long, I started it over from the beginning to see it with fresh eyes.

This book is kind of like Kim McCaul's book, Multidimensional Evolution, or even my second book, Lessons Out of the Body, in that it's kind of a spiritual journey: It follows the real-life spiritual adventures of the author, how his OBEs fit into his spiritual path, and the context of his life, and what he learned along the way. And a lot of his experiences are similar to mine. In fact, Elder and I did many of the same out-of-body experiments and had the same frustrations. It's interesting to note that, like me, Elder is pretty resistant to hypnosis (pg. 221).

Elder grew up in a huge family (he was 10th of 11 children! I was 5 of 5), and had two near-death experiences as a child, which makes for a remarkable story. You can tell from his descriptions that his OBEs are genuine. For example, early on I was struck with the accuracy of this description:
"I became aware of a strange vibration gently rocking me. Every molecule in my body seemed about to burst with this bizarre, bubbling electrical energy." (pg. 4)
He also describes the wonder of watching the lightning of a thunderstorm from the out-of-body state.

Like many OBE authors, he went through a phase where he had to find proof that his OBEs were "real":
"You can't imagine how delighted I was with the confirmation. Astral and physical realities had blended perfectly." (pg. 66)
During one of his OBEs, he got some pretty good veridical evidence: He managed to see an "ugly jacket" that had been purchased while he was away n a trip, and he had never seen before his OBE. (pg. 152)

From time to time, when life got too busy, his OBEs faded away. But then he'd visit The Monroe Institute and take one of their courses, and come back all enthused and full of energy. (I heard he now teaches classes at TMI, which seems fitting.)

Also like me, he did lots of experimentation. He recounted how strange it was to look into a mirror and NOT see his own reflection, but just the room behind him. (pg. 67) (FWIW, different people see different things in a mirror. When I tried this, I surprisingly saw the reflection of my friend Brad's face in the mirror, but I was at Brad's house in my OBE. I wrote about it in chapter 26 of my first book. Click here to read my full account.)

Like me, Elder managed to scare the crap out of an in-the-body cat during an OBE. (Pg. 88). (My account is in chapter 21 of my first book: click here to read it.)

But it's not just the OBEs. Elder has valuable life lessons in this book. For example, I loved this quote:
"The message was clear: it didn't matter one bit in life who won or lost, or how rich or successful we became. When we finally pass from this world, the only thing that will matter, the only thing of lasting importance, is how we treated others along the way." (pg. 92)
He has some fabulous OBE narratives. For example, an encounter with Universal Consciousness, or "God:"
"From the mindless destruction of war to the purposefullness of a hummingbird in flight, I experienced and became a part of everything that I touched. It was at the same time an explosion of emotion and a mystical encounter with the love of God. I suddenly understood the perfection of creation." (pg. 98)
I was interested to read this soul rescue OBE that brought up the language issue:
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My thoughts were in English but my words were not. I clearly heard myself speaking Spanish, yet I hadn't a clue how to speak Spanish!" (pg. 155)
In experiences similar to mine, he had trouble trying to contact his mother who had died:
"At various times during the ensuing year I attempted to make contact with my mother while out-of-body, but to no avail." (pg. 119)
Eventually he did meet her in a very touching OBE described on page 120. (I eventually met mine too, but it's not in any book...yet).

About halfway through the book, Elder meets his spirit guide, who calls himself Meldor. He has a series of OBEs in which Meldor gives him discourses on new age philosophy. True or not, this was too preachy for me: this sort of thing is what turned me off in Luiz Roberto Mattos's book Astral Projection As a Bridge to the Spirit World. The philosophy was sound and even has an interesting take on the subjects like Karma and soulmates, but the OBEs just sounded a bit too staged or contrived. If I wanted new age philosophy, I'd reread one of the many Jane Roberts "Seth" books I love. Luckily, Elder doesn't harp on this or push it too far (as I felt Mattos did.) In fact, he eventually loses touch with Meldor and never hears from him again, much to his dismay. Eventually he meets up with a new set of guides, but he never gets lectured by them (thankfully).

Elder also has a long and detailed OBE in which he does something I've never done: apparently visits the library of the Akashic records:
"The structures that I had seen, such as the library, seemed absolutely real. The stone steps leading to the front entry were as solid as anything I had experienced...These things were real, perhaps more real than the structures I was used to on Earth." (pg. 144 - 145)
He also had some very interesting OBEs in which he apparently found himself in another person's physical body:
"I couldn't believe it. For a second time I had somehow ended up in someone else's body. This time I had actually seen his face. He appeared to be much younger than me, perhaps in his early twenties. (pg. 161)
This is extremely rare in OBE literature. The only other account I remember of this was from Robert Monroe's first book, Journeys Out of the Body, and I was more than just a little skeptical about that claim!

Like me, he also had an encounter with Jesus Christ. (You can read my account in this blog article.)

Like me, he also had an experience of "astral sex." His was much more involved than mine, but matches my observations 100 percent. Here are just a few small tantalizing excerpts from his narrative:
"As our bodies flowed together, our energy and molecules seemingly occupying the same space, a growing heat began to vibrate in my heart...Every particle of my being on fire with desire, I couldn't tell whether it was a physical sensation or a spiritual one...Beginning at first as a low rumbling vibration, it hit me like a freight train. From deep within, a wave of tremendous orgasmic energy exploded through every cell in my body...In a frenzy of ecstasy, I hung on for dear life." (pg 185).
You get the picture. It paints a very intense spiritual experience, and the full description is not to be missed! He and I are in complete agreement that astral sex is very different from both physical sex and lucid dream sex:
"Had I just experienced a sample of the spirit world's version of sex? Could I even call it sex? There was certainly nothing in the physical world to compare with it." (pg. 186)
Most surprising of all was that he seems to share everything, including this, with his wife, Candace, who is painted as very loving and understanding, which is another thing Elder and I have in common.

But the real value in this book is not so much the OBEs themselves, as the sentiments and lessons behind them (a point I tried to make in my second book, Lessons Out of the Body). For example, I loved this quote:
"The spirits' thoughts continued to flow through my mind. Nothing in our physical dimension is of any consequence or lasting reality. The only enduring reality is love. To live without opening our hearts denies the most beautiful and enabling aspect of the human experience." (pg. 180)
Here's another gem:
"If there's one thing that I've come to realize over time, it is the more I learn, the more convinced I am how precious little I actually know." (pg. 219)
And I'll close with one last quote:
"The only thing that will truly matter is how we treated others along the way. That's the importance of love." (pg. 227)
There's plenty of content, weighing in at 233 pages with good margins and font. The grammar and spelling were flawless. It is professionally written, which is surprising, given that it was supposedly the first book he's written. This is a wonderful OBE book and I highly recommend it. It's not Jurgen Ziewe good, but it's very good. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It was touching, inspiring, and hopeful, but there are no OBE techniques in the book.

Bob Peterson
26 November 2019

Return to the OBE Book Review Index


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review: Multidimensional Evolution

Multidimensional Evolution

by Kim McCaul

Today I'm reviewing the book Multidimensional Evolution: Personal Explorations of Consciousness by Kim McCaul.

Author Kim McCaul recently interviewed me for his podcast of the same name, and he was kind enough to send me a copy of his book all the way from Australia. Naturally, I reciprocated and sent him a copy of my book as well.

McCaul won my heart right away when he wrote this:
"Don't believe anything! Experiment and have your own experiences." (pg. 7)
With the title Multidimensional Evolution, I fully expected it to be like Multidimensional Man, by Jurgan Ziewe (my favorite OBE book), but it wasn't anything like it. The book is basically the story of Kim McCaul's spiritual journey, from a materialistic college student who hits rock bottom, igniting his spiritual quest. It's broken into three primary parts:

The first part of his journey deals with his stay at a meditation center in central Java called Shanti Loka, where he meets a spiritual master by the name of Pak Suyono. He has some interesting and powerful experiences. I especially liked this quote:
"I was watching a sunset at the beach and suddenly realized that the rays of the sun that were shining directly at me were actually doing the same for everybody, and that in fact each and every one of us is the center of the universe with infinite unconditional love shining on us, whether we realized it or not." (pg. 39)
My favorite thing about Pak Suyono is that he taught the era of monks and gurus is coming to an end:
"...we are now in a time where consciousnesses will pursue evolution through self-directed and multifaceted avenues while living a productive intraphysical life with partners, families and gainful endeavors." (pg. 177)
Amen to that, and this is a central teaching of this book. Your journey is yours alone. If you like where you are on your spiritual path, shine a light for other travelers to see. But don't fall into the traps of thinking "I know better than everyone else" or "I need to follow this guru because he/she knows better than me." We're all just travelers with the same destination. Be a student and learn, because we all can learn from one another. Be a teacher and teach, because everyone's lessons are unique and valuable.

The second part of his journal is when McCaul met and became part of a group that revolved around a woman named Leia, who claimed to be a "walk-in." In other words, there was a woman named Linda whose time was up (supposedly), but instead of dying, a completely different soul stepped in and assumed ownership of that physical body and assumed a role of spiritual leadership. I must admit, McCaul's description of Leia and her spiritual claims were somewhat hard for me to believe (but I've always been skeptical like this). It involved a multitude of weird spiritual experiences, including experiences with extraterrestrials (ETs) (pg. 91). Still, I've never met the woman and he has. True or not, it was obvious that her effect on him was profound and spiritual. It allowed him to deal with past-life entanglements and karmic bonds. He needed those lessons at that time.
"The point is that past lives have a very real impact, and although their influence may seem subtle, they actually affect all areas of our manifestation and interactions." (pg. 102)
Out-of-body experiences--or projections of consciousness--were an important part of Leia's teachings and she apparently helped McCaul to have them. He does share some tantalizing hints:
"The key point to understand is that we are all surrounded by extraphysical people all the time and that they interact with us more often than we realize. Developing our own energetic and psychic capacity means that we can take greater charge of these interactions. Rather than allowing ourselves to be the unconscious playthings of extraphysical consciousnesses, we can take the energetic initiative, making our interactions deliberate and focused on assistance." (pg. 107)
He carries this thought further much later in the book:
"Once you realize how frequently we are all used as mediums by extraphysical consciousnesses, that is, once you realize how often physical people unconsciously channel the thoughts of extraphysical people, even if only for a few moments, you start listening to the people in your life as potential unconscious mouthpieces for your helpers (but also for your intruders!) (pg. 150)
The third part of McCaul's spiritual journey is when he moved to Brazil and became involved with the International Institute for Projectiology and Conscientiology (IIPC) and International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) where he met Waldo Vieira. If you don't know him, Waldo Vieira was a famous author and teacher in Brazil who started a whole movement revolving around OBEs. He invented a whole nomenclature of pseudo-scientific terms to describe OBEs. I was very surprised to read this:
"For Waldo, meat is not only an essential ingredient for human well-being; its dense energies also play an important role in our ability to be of assistance in other dimensions." (pg. 118)
Wow. I didn't know that. I've only read one of Vieira's books, Projections of the Consciousness, and I was surprised at how good it was. I've been told that his other book, Projectiology, is a fabulous (and very big) wealth of information about his research into OBEs. The problem is, amazon.com wants nearly 100 dollars for the book, and I find that too offensively high.

A big part of IAC's philosophy is energetic assistance. Many practitioners perform an energy channeling meditation called "Penta" which basically provides energy to non-physical entities who use it for soul rescues and non-physical help. Even without performing Penta, there's a strong emphasis on lending help.
"The more we focus our efforts on assistance, the more we will be in harmony with our helpers, and we will increasingly be involved in projects managed by more evolved helpers." (pg. 153)
I loved this quote:
"Paradoxically, it is through delving into the abyss of self-centered suffering that we become able to soar to the heights of compassionate assistance to all other consciousnesses." (pg.  126)
Unlike other Vieira-based books (like Nanci Trivellato's The Vibrational State) this one doesn't really extol the virtues of the VELO technique. McCaul seems to favor a "Closed Loop" energy technique instead, which is much like the Taoist energy exercises I learned in T'ai Chi classes (and appears in my latest book). This is also taught in Daniel Kelley's book, Behind the Veil, and Robert Bruce's book Astral Dynamics.

The last chapter, "The Multidimensional Evolution of Consciousness," was perhaps my favorite. In here, he emphasizes some grounded, down-to-earth principles. For example:
"Yet over the years, I have come to appreciate that we can become 'experience junkies'. In other words, it is very tempting to pursue experiences for their own sake. After all, it feels great to enter an exalted state of consciousness or explore extraphysical dimensions. But then what?" (pg. 176)
I'll give you one last quote from that chapter:
"My experience in this lifetime has been that, rather than achieving new or previously unexplored levels of awareness, most of the evolutionary dynamic seems to be aimed at trying to regain an awareness we already enjoy when we are extra-physical. In other words, as we work towards increasing our multidimensional awareness, we are really just working at becoming more of ourselves, at bring more of our original self into this dimension." (pg. 189)
The book is 206 pages, with a good font and tight margins, which means there's a lot of content. The book was professionally written and edited: I did not find a single mistake in grammar or spelling. It was very easy to read.

Kim McCaul is humble and honest teacher, not boastful or arrogant. The book is well-rounded in its spirituality, and grounded and centered in its approach. Its teachings are diverse and level-headed. Unfortunately, it contains no OBE techniques or instructions. I would have liked more OBE narratives. So this isn't as much an "OBE book" as it is a journey of spirituality.

I recommend this book and give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
12 November 2019

Return to the OBE Book Review Index

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What's Your Scariest OBE?

What's Your Scariest OBE?

by Bob Peterson

Hello all you ghosties and ghoulies! Halloween is just around the corner, so I wrote this article just for fun.

I'm often asked, "What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you in an out-of-body experience?" It's a fair question.

Fear is the biggest barrier to overcome to induce OBEs, so I really hate fear-mongering. It seems so counterproductive. At the same time, I don't want to shield you from the truth; you should know what you're getting into, right?

Just attempting to induce an OBE itself can be a scary business because you're confronting fears that are hardwired into your brain: fear of the unknown and fear of death. While trying to induce OBEs, I've seen strange foreboding shadows and lights that move around the room, felt strange touches on my skin, and of course, heard strange "disembodied" voices. I've experienced many strange things from my article on The Guardian of the Threshold. It's all a bit unnerving. But understand this: I've been afraid during the OBE attempt a lot more than in the experience itself. Once I get into the OBE itself, I'm usually golden.

I recently (Thursday August 22, 2019) did a live Facebook chat where I mentioned my "astral lynch mob" experience, so I thought I should explain that.

When I wrote my second book, Lessons Out of the Body in 1999 (published in 2001), I wrote about my scariest OBEs in a chapter called "Astral Lynch Mobs." It had narratives for all the OBEs I'd had at the time that were even a little bit scary. Since then I've had a few more, but nothing significant. Here's what I wrote in that chapter:

Astral Lynch Mobs

The entities I met out of my body were not always as friendly and benign as they were in the experience with the master and his students. I had an occasional run-in with astral entities who were not so friendly. I want to stress that negative experiences are extremely rare in the literature. The vast majority of OBEs are positive and uplifting. Of the hundreds of OBEs I’ve had, only a few that were negative, and they’re all presented in this chapter.

I had my first OBE encounter with negative entities in October of 1982:
This morning I woke up early.  I planned to go back to sleep, but I found myself in the best state of mind for an OBE. I knew exactly what I needed to do to get out of my body. I visualized that my mid-section was swaying up and down. Then I sort of lifted myself above the scene. By an act of will, I moved into the mid-section of the part that was swaying, and doing so, put my consciousness into my astral body.

Immediately, I came out of my body and was propelled forward. I looked around, but I didn't recognize my surroundings. I seemed to be in a completely astral atmosphere. The surrounding space was completely black, as if I was in deep space, but without stars.

Around me were objects and people. The people I saw didn't look evil, but they didn't look friendly either. One group of these people was to my right and about thirty feet away. There were about five men and women, and they were standing by an object which seemed to be a table of some sort. Their clothes looked awkward compared to today's fashions. They looked dirty. There were two men to my left, about twenty feet from each other. The one toward the rear was looking with anticipation, as if he was waiting for a little “fun.” The nearest man looked like he was prepared to fight me. He looked mean and hostile and I had the distinct feeling that he intended to harm me. I could tell from the people’s postures and facial expressions that I was being accosted by an astral lynch-mob.

There was another man who was close to me, to my right, and I thought he was carrying a weapon, like a sword or a club. Obviously he was holding the weapon in anticipation of using it on me. I thought, “Well, if I take off and fly right between them, I might be able to avoid harm.” Then I thought, “But what if I get caught instead?” I looked at the man to my left. I thought, “I can probably defeat him without any trouble, but there are too many of them.” Finally I just thought, “No way.  I don't want any part of this. I'm not going to mess around. I'm not taking any chances. I'm getting out of here right now.”

Not turning at all, I backed up and allowed myself to fall backward into my body. I blacked out for a second, then I woke up inside my body.
Since that experience, I’ve exercised a little more caution in my OBEs. How far can you trust a spirit? On the positive side, there are religions based on establishing contact with spirits(1), which obviously involves a certain level of trust. Still, the Bible sternly warns people to not get involved with spirits (2) so I’ve always had a general distrust of them.

Someone once asked me if I believed in ghosts. My basic response is, “Believe in ghosts? I am a ghost!” When I have an out-of-body experience, I’m in the same condition as a ghost. My point is this: When someone dies, they leave the body behind, and from that point on they’re permanently a spirit. Dying doesn’t necessarily make a person better (or more knowledgeable) than they were when they were alive. Just as there are living people with good and bad intentions, there are also dead people (spirits) with good and bad intentions. So I always approach spirits with a certain amount of caution, as illustrated by my second negative OBE, which took place in March, 1984.
This morning I was sick, so I had been dozing off and waking up for hours. I woke up, but I didn’t realize I was out of my body. Suddenly, I heard a voice coming from a specific point in the air above my feet.  The voice surprised me a lot. I looked very hard, but I couldn't see any source for the voice. Still, I had heard spirit voices on rare occasions in the past, so it didn’t bother me.
The voice was loud and clear. It was a man's voice, authoritative and commanding. It addressed me: “Robert Peterson, you must do exactly as I say. Speak the following words...” The voice then said a word in a foreign language, and commanded me to repeat it.
I'm not stupid, and I don't trust spirits very much. The voice didn't seem malevolent, but I was leery of it anyway. I was sick, and I didn't feel strong enough to handle a potential danger. Deciding it was better to be polite, I mentally said directly to the voice, “I'm sorry, but there's no way. I don't even know you.” I was still amazed that the voice was so loud and clear coming from nowhere.

Still, I wanted to say something, some words of power. I remembered some words that seemed powerful from a song. [He is Sailing by Jon and Vangelis]  I spoke directly to the unknown voice and said the words from the song: “Cocasaya Tay Toca.” I don't know what the words mean, but it is a spiritual song, so I felt as if they were powerful words of spiritual love. The next thing I knew, I woke up inside my body. It was only then that I realized I had been out of my body.
Here is the third and final OBE from October 1996 where I felt unsafe or threatened:
I induced the OBE state, but my consciousness was not strong. I stood up and felt a pain in my left shoulder. Slightly bewildered, I turned around to see what could have caused the pain. To my surprise, there was an annoying-looking man there with a grin on his face.
I decided to try to get away from him, so I walked away, but he walked after me. He took another poke at my shoulder with his right hand, which sent another painful shock to my shoulder. I yelled at him, “Stop that!” Then I walked away again. I wasn’t afraid at all. This time I tried to get away from him by quite a distance, but he followed me and kept zapping me. I yelled at him again, and used thought power to move to a location outside the house. Unfortunately, he followed me there too, and zapped me again. I decided that this pest would not leave me alone, so I deliberately ended the OBE.
The easiest way to avoid confrontations like this is to return to your body.  Under most circumstances, simply thinking about your body will instantly bring you back to it.

Over time, I got rid of the fear and learned how to protect myself, both physically and astrally. Click this link to read that book's chapter on psychic protection for OBEs. Several years later, I had an “Almost-There Experience” [i.e. an experience in which I'm only semi-lucid] where I was surrounded by another angry mob, but this time I faced them fearlessly, fought them and beat them up. Since that incident, I haven’t been bothered anymore.

Most of my early exploring was done “on my own.” My “general distrust” of spirits usually kept me from interacting with them during my OBEs. Eventually, I learned that they can be very helpful in exploring the OBE world. You can go a lot further with them than without them.

The Startle Factor

There's a big difference between being afraid and being startled. We can all be startled, because that's an automatic defense mechanism built into our brains for survival. We react very quickly to sudden perceived threats without even having to think about it. That's a reaction, and it can't be cured. But "fear" is an emotion that blocks you from moving forward, and that can be eliminated with experience. Horror movies with a big "startle" factor aren't disturbing to me, but psychological "fear" movies can be, if they're done right.

Several times, while attempting an OBE from bed, I went deeper and deeper, ever so close to the border between waking and sleeping, when suddenly I've seen an ugly, horrifying face jump at me, and it's very realistic. It startles me awake. These are startling, but not necessarily frightening. I'm startled, but not afraid. When I open my eyes, my heart is racing, and the OBE attempt is ruined.

The Fear Factor

Different people are afraid of different things, and that may also affect OBEs. For example, some people are afraid of getting lost in an OBE, but rest assured: I've been so far in the deep blackness of space that the nearest star looks light-years away. Still, I wasn't afraid; just awestruck. And I had no problems returning to my body.

Once or twice I've had entities deliberately try to scare me. I see right through their nonsense, and stand my ground, unafraid. When they see I'm not frightened, they seem to be surprised, then alarmed. Then they become afraid of me and make a hasty exit.


Take comfort in the knowledge that in the 40 years I've been doing this, I've only experienced a handful of OBEs in which I felt unsafe, and those were easily handled. 

Just remember that fear is a defense mechanism designed to preserve your physical body, and when you're in an out-of-body experience, your body is safely "elsewhere," so you don't need it.
The prevailing belief is that if you keep your thoughts and emotions positive and high, it will protect you from the vast majority of negative experiences.

Bob Peterson
29 October 2019

Return to the index of my blog articles

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

Return to the OBE Book Review Index


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

Return to the index of my blog articles