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

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Out-of-Body Experiences by Gene Schmitz

Review: Out-of-Body Experiences

 by Gene Schmitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Peterson
15 October 2019

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Astral Projection Facebook Groups

Astral Projection Facebook Groups

by Bob Peterson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Peterson
01 October 2019

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