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.

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