Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Should I Share My OBEs With Friends?

Should I Share My OBEs With Friends?

by Bob Peterson

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

Telling My Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Telling My Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Religious Conservatives

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

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

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


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

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

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

Bob Peterson
27 August 2019

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob - This is a great reminder that some wonders/exceptional experiences/PSI abilities are still avoided/denied/misunderstood until there is a broader consensus view of reality. But there is a very real value in sharing stories for those who have had encounters - intentional and accidental - with nowhere to turn for practical insight. Given the responses I get via my own correspondence, there are many hesitate to confide in their social circle but do appreciate having access to this material. Your work is very much appreciated. Thank you for sharing!