Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Review: Beyond Dreaming

Beyond Dreaming

by Gene Hart

Today I'm reviewing Beyond Dreaming: A Guide to Awakening Consciousness through the Path of Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences by Gene Hart.

I really didn't know anything about author Gene Hart until he suddenly appeared in the Facebook Astral Projection groups a couple years ago. He's contributed a lot to those groups, including his favorite astral projection technique. I didn't find out he had written a book about the subject--this book--until much later.

Early in the book Hart won my, well, "Heart," with quotes like this:

"The realization of one's own ignorance is the beginning of authentic self-knowledge." (pg. 11)

Very true.

If you've read my other book reviews you know that one of my pet peeves is authors who claim to know all about astral projection but don't include any credentials or experience. It's like writing a book about having a successful marriage without actually having been married. When it comes to marriage and astral projection, book knowledge, theories, and hearsay are light-years away from firsthand experience. So early on I applauded Hart when he gave a narrative of his first out-of-body experience from June, 2011 on page 19. He writes:

"...I felt blisteringly alive, but at the same time, heavy and more real than anything I had ever experienced before in my waking life, and definitely more palpable and 'physical' than any of the hundreds of lucid dreams I had beforehand." (pp. 19-20)

So yes, Gene Hart writes from experience, and you can tell it's genuine from his descriptions. And makes a clear distinction between OBEs and lucid dreams.

He describes a decent "validation" OBE:

"So, I went back to my physical body and woke up; I immediately got up and walked to the stairway, and to my great pleasure, I saw the exact same scene. She was standing there in the same location, on her phone, in her pyjamas, holding the blue packet of crisps and sitting next to the same friend I saw [in my OBE]. I smiled with an inner knowing and satisfaction." (pg. 35)

One chapter was called "The Dream of Life" and I was a bit confused by statements like this:

"As psychologists notoriously recognize, and what is spilled over into conventional wisdom, is that dreams are usually about the things we did while we were awake. They are simply a reflection of our waking lives. If this is true, one could possibly say it is safe to assume that if you do not dream while awake, then you won't dream while asleep too. In other words, if you are conscious while awake, then you'll be conscious while asleep; this is a cord teaching in this book." (pg. 37)

I could be wrong, but I think what Hart is trying to say is that our conscious experience is a combination of our perceptions, degree of lucidity, and our interpretations of those perceptions, and that dreams are interpretations of false perceptions, and that can happen whether we're awake or asleep. In other words, you can dream while awake, just as you can dream while asleep. And you can have perceptions of an objective reality while awake or asleep. Perhaps it's a new spin on my theory about the Four out-of-body states? I bet Gene and I could have several hours-long conversations about it.

If you want to have out-of-body experiences, Hart says we need to take it very seriously:

"This is why we have to address our lives, and not just astral projection as a sort of separate hobby or casual interest. It is a wholesome practice that it affects us positively and profoundly on every level of our Being. Observe any Kung Fu Master; he does not just partake in his martial arts every now and then for fun, no. He takes it seriously, and he lives his life through the philosophy his martial art teaches just as much as when he is fighting. He grows and builds his character as a result. The path of astral projection is absolutely the same, if not more." (pp 45-46)

I agree. The more seriously you take this, the better your chances of success.

Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes from various spiritual teachers like Carlos Castaneda, H.P. Blavatsky, and surprisingly, Samael Aun Weor, author of one of the worst books I've ever read and reviewed, Dream Yoga. Many of the other quotes were excellent, such as:

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." (Don Juan Matus (via Carlos Castaneda) pg. 98)

Unlike most authors, Hart talks about spiritual classes that we can attend in out-of-body states, whether conscious or unconscious. Like Hart, I have experienced this firsthand:

"A significant thing I learned from this experience was that the way we are influenced at night is not by intellectual learning but by things that make a powerful impression on our consciousness. This is how influential OBEs can be on our subconscious at night and why it can be of great spiritual significance to become aware of what is happening in our sleep. I believe many of us unconsciously attend these sorts of classes during sleep more often than we realise." (pg. 56)

To be quite blunt, the book is not heavy on techniques. In fact, it leans more toward throwing out the techniques to focus instead on other influencing factors. He does, however, give some good solid practical advice, such as:

"Another sort of reality check is a more active one that we can develop in our everyday perception of the world, which I call 'reality-checking awareness'. This can be done by 'looking around corners' or 'opening doors', or looking anywhere really...To do this, whenever you walk around a corner of your house, take a moment in your mind to recall what should be around the corner, remember what it should look like, note details, objects, colours etc. Then when you walk around the corner and examine if everything is the same as you had expected. Is anything different? Are the walls the same color? Does the clock have the correct time on it? Is someone in the room that you didn't expect? If something is out of place, then confirm it with a reality check, hold your nose and try to breathe through it. If you do this enough times daily, you will unquestionably find yourself doing it subconsciously in your dreams out of habit." (pp. 69-70)

One of my favorite chapters was "Meditation as a Prerequisite to Astral Projection." He recommends:

"Just one way to enter a more present way of life is by making a habit of noticing the silence between sounds, and also observing the space between objects; thus, inner silence, and inner space, arise naturally." (pp. 81-82)

Hart doesn't offer many exit techniques, but he does give a few. He gives instructions for Wake Back to Bed (WBTB), and it's a pretty good explanation. He also gives some mantras for OBEs, such as FA RA ON" and "LA RA S" as per V.M. Beelzebub's much older book.

He focuses on key skills more than techniques; skills such as meditation, and to allow it to happen naturally. I loved this analogy:

"Meditation alone is like become [sic--becoming?] an incense stick, and prayer is actually lighting the incense stick--or meditation is like becoming a singing bowl, and prayer is actually singing the bowl." (pg. 83)

Another good example is a section in which he recommends you "Cultivate Unbending Intent." (pg. 110). How do you do that? Well, in part:

"Continue your love, curiosity, passion and interest for astral projection; devote yourself, pray, meditate and penetrate it to every core of your being and leave no room for doubt." (pg. 111)

Before his first OBE, Hart was apparently an avid lucid dreamer, so it's natural that he promotes one of the more popular OBE techniques: induce a Lucid Dream and turn it into an OBE. His technique to convert from LD to OBE is called "The Flying Method" and it's basically flying "intensely" upwards until you feel OBE exit sensations, such as the vibrations (pg. 92).

He does, however, offer good advice about meditation and quieting the mind. I loved this description:

"Eventually, as you meditate and go beyond all the forms and objects in your consciousness, there will come a point amongst the quietude of nothingness, like the cracking of a shell, where you will find yourself in another reality." (pg. 130)

Throughout the book, Hart tries to convince us that we should not focus on exit techniques, but instead work on ourselves.

"My personal; message is that if you genuinely want to experience the reality of the astral in its depths, you must commit to working on the awakening of consciousness every day, not just for yourself but for others...."

"If you work on yourself, you'll eventually have astral projection experiences which are naturally longer and more profound. This is the real art and practice of astral projection; the experience is given to you by grace when you put in the real human work--not by following simple step-by-step experiments as a half-hearted curious individual." (pg. 147)

At the end of the book, Hart has a short list of recommended reading, and he recommends my book, Hacking the Out of Body Experience. I did not expect that, but I'll take it. Thanks for the mention.

So where does Beyond Dreaming lie in the grand scheme of things? My first book, Out of Body Experiences, was geared toward "This is what happened and these are my observations." My second book, Lessons Out of the Body, was more spiritual and geared toward "This is what OBEs can teach us spiritually." Beyond Dreaming is kind of halfway between the two. It's a good balance, often leaning toward the spiritual and philosophical side of things.

He could have given more techniques, tips and suggestions. He could have given more firsthand OBE narratives. He could have doubled the size of the book. I wish he had.

The book is 160 pages and the margins and font is good, meaning there's enough content to satisfy. It's well written, concise, thoughtful and, well, spiritual. There are more technique-heavy books like Hacking. There are "deeper" books like Multidimensional Man. There are more entertaining books like Clary Valentine's An Adjacent Place. But I definitely enjoyed Beyond Dreaming a lot. I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
27 September 2022

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If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

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 OBE Book reviews



Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Bob Peterson Videos

Bob Peterson Videos


by Bob Peterson

I've been doing this blog for almost ten years now, and it seems like people have found some value in it. Still, I believe blogging is a dying art. Today people are more interested in videos than reading. At the end of this year I'll probably stop writing my blog, or at least slow it way down. After that I may look into alternatives like a podcast, vlog, youtube, TikTok or something. We'll see.

Many people don't know that I've already got several videos, most of which are on youtube. Not all of them are about astral projection, but most are. So for this article, I want to give a list of my current videos for you to watch. You'll find hours of material to watch by following the links below.

Bob's Favorite OBE Technique

Bob Peterson explains his favorite OBE Technique.
This was recorded in February, 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2GNaQDGDo&feature=youtu.be

Bob's Favorite OBE/Astral Projection talk:

Bob's OBE lecture from Biloxi, Mississippi, Jan 18, 2020 - part 1. This is a well-rounded and relaxed talk about OBEs.
https://youtu.be/ljowlx6MIfA

Bob's OBE lecture from Biloxi, Mississippi, Jan 18, 2020 - part 2. This is mostly Questions and Answers section from the same event.
https://youtu.be/ES3zr3uuEGQ

Bob's Interview on "Paranormal Case Files"

This is Bob's interview with Brough Perkins, recorded November, 2018:

Bob's Mudpie Podcast interview:

Here is an interview I did for the MudPie podcast in which I talk about out-of-body experiences/Astral Projection, recorded November 2020:

Astral Projection "By the Campfire Development Circle":

This is a casual combination of interview and class I co-taught with authors Tom Llewellyn and Daniel Kelley in March, 2020. My beard is so long here!

OBE Class: Tom Llewellyn, Bob Peterson, Daniel Kelley - Part 1
https://youtu.be/olz-j-7waWE

OBE Class: Tom Llewellyn, Bob Peterson, Daniel Kelley - Part 2
https://youtu.be/-2cyq9eqECI

Bob's AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Some of you may not realize it, but there's a Discord chat channel devoted to astral projection. This is my AMA interview on the Discord Astral Projection channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euYLT-A7CJc

https://youtu.be/euYLT-A7CJc?t=806

Bob's Facebook Interview with Carie Lyn Beetle:

Recorded in September, 2019:

https://www.facebook.com/carie.beetle/videos/10206483069313306

Bob's Astral Projection Library

This is a closeup view of my astral projection library. It's from May, 2018 so it's way out of date. I've got several more Astral Projection/OBE books now!
https://youtu.be/-UqoEHRa4O0

Ten Minute Truth Bombs:

Bob talks about life, spirituality, and the masks we all wear. Recorded from St. Augustine, Florida in 2021. Not to be morbid, but when I eventually die, I hope they play these in the background at my funeral service.

Ten Minute Truth Bombs 1: https://youtu.be/FB4BHU2SqCc
Truth Bombs 2: https://youtu.be/QTsUVUwOksE
Truth Bombs 3: https://youtu.be/H4z6UqIDl74

I wrote a fourth installment to "Truth Bombs" but never recorded it. Maybe someday I will.

Miscellaneous:

Bob rides on an Ultralight part 1, April 2015, Austin, Texas:
https://youtu.be/7nntdN6hFUI

Bob rides on an Ultralight part 2:
https://youtu.be/ysGKA4pV8Yc

I took this short video at Clearwater Lake, Minnesota, in August, 2017:

Watching lion sisters cuddling with their kitties in Tanzania, November, 2017:

Bob visits "Meow Wolf" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 2019. This is one of the most surreal in-the-body experiences you can have:
https://youtu.be/a9ilEuHKp68

"Bear Chaser Bob" chases a black bear off his deck after it wrecks his bird feeder, recorded August, 2018. The two voices on the video are my wife, Kathy, and long-time friend Connie Lee:
 
Favorite OBE Memes set to the song "The Answer" by Ashes of Aires:

I may have other videos out there I've forgotten about. If you find any, let me know!
 
I've also got MANY audio recordings, appearances on various radio shows, such as:
Bob Peterson
30 August 2022

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read

Review: The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read

by Kenneth Diaz

Today I'm reviewing The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read: How to Finally Leave Your Body and Explore the Astral by Kenneth Diaz. The copyright is 2020.

You've got to love the author's enthusiasm and confidence. He says:

"I entitled this book as The Last Astral Projection Book You'll Ever Need to Read because I guarantee that you will be successful in projecting with these methods. In fact, you can do try to do so right this minute by attempting Method 2." (pg. 20)

Needless to say, I was skeptical (or if you're British, sceptical). I was pleasantly surprised.

The whole point of this book is to teach the reader the basics of astral projection and how to induce the out-of-body state, and Diaz does a pretty good job of that. He makes it very clear at the start of the book that his knowledge is based on personal experience, although he doesn't have many narratives or personal stories to back that up. Still, you can tell from his writing that he's legitimately been out-of-body. In other words, he's not just passing on book-knowledge from other authors. Still, he draws on the works of other authors. The only author he mentions by name is Robert Bruce, but you can tell from the book's content that he's read several other books; probably even mine.

I agreed with almost everything he said in the book. The one thing I disagreed with is this curious quote:

"Remote viewing is a different exercise which has been proven to be unsuccessful in practice." (pg. 16)

I'm not sure if that's a typo or if that's what he really meant, but I'm pretty convinced, based on the evidence, that remote viewing is successful. Especially if you do the kind of meta-analysis Dean Radin provides in his books.

What I liked about this book is Diaz's no-nonsense approach to teaching astral projection. For example, he writes:

"Some people use special talismans and go through special diets to achieve astral projection. Some forgo certain foods such as meat to increase their chances, others will use special music to artificially produce certain brain waves in the brain. There will be no need for such things, you do not need to take up a new diet to successfully project. Talismans, amulets, and other equipment are often unnecessary and most of the time, a waste of money." (pg. 20)

Diaz presents three different methods to achieve astral travel:

  • Using sleep to experience OBE.
  • Having an OBE while your mind and body are awake.
  • Turning lucid dreams into OBEs.

Charter 1 is "Method 1: How to Use Sleep to Have an OBE".

His first technique here is pretty much Wake-Back-to-Bed, which he calls "Bed-Wake-Bed" combined with a good variety of exit techniques. He sums it up nicely:

"Deep relaxation + Light Trance = Astral Projection" (pg. 33)

Once you're in the proper trance state, you use an exit technique. He includes:

  • The Gravity Press Method
    I documented this as "Heavy-Light" in chapter 36 of Hacking the Out of Body Experience. Basically, you imagine an enormous gravity field pulling you down below the bed, then alternately, pulling you up into the sky.
  • The Imagined Movement Method
    I gave several variations of this in Hacking too. Movement techniques have always been my favorite.
  • The Rope Method
    The technique made famous by Robert Bruce and parroted by many. Diaz, like almost every author out there, misses the fact that you're supposed use tactile imagination: focus on the feeling of the rope in your hand rather than visualize it.
  • Roll Over Technique
    This was made famous by Robert Monroe as the "Roll Out" technique.
  • Gravity Orb Technique
    This is my favorite technique from my first book, "Out of Body Experiences". I suggested using cubes or octahedrons, but any orb will do.
  • Bounce Method
    This is another Robert Bruce technique, although Bruce suggests it not as an exit technique, but an energy manipulation/body loosening technique.
  • Breathe Method
    Similar to Bounce, but trying to expand your awareness with each breath.
  • Spin Loosening Method
    This is also similar, meant as a body loosening technique.
  • When none of these work, Diaz suggests technique cycling, which is something popularized by Michael Raduga.

Chapter 2 is "How to Astral Projection While You Are Awake." Diaz writes that:

"It is a surefire way to astral project which makes it an excellent method for beginners." (pg. 51)

In this technique, you sit in a not-too-comfortable chair, close your eyes, relax, induce a light trance, then visualize an out-of-body scenario, usually of a familiar place, pretty much like the "Target Technique" taught by William Buhlman and many others. It's like daydreaming, but you keep with it, trying to focus exclusively on the visualized scenario. He says if you keep at it long enough, eventually the experience seems to become real and you find yourself entirely out-of-body, although you never really lose touch with your physical body. He says to expect lapses in focus, but just re-center and re-focus and keep going.

Chapter 3 is "How to Project from a Lucid Dream"

In this chapter, Diaz covers the basics of lucid dreaming (the DILD variety - Dream Induced Lucid Dreaming, not WILD), employing the usual devices:

  • Dream recall (and journaling)
  • Setting intentions
  • Doing reality checks

The advice is all pretty sound.

Chapter 4 is "A Successful Exit"

Here Diaz gives a bunch of random advice, such as don't go near your physical body. One thing I thought was interesting was his technique for getting "unstuck" in situations where you find yourself (astrally) stuck to your physical body. He writes:

"Instead of trying to pull yourself away when things won't budge, create new limbs for your astral self instead." (pg. 69)

In other words, ignore the astral body that's stuck to the physical and focus on a new astral limbs that aren't stuck. This is not too different from the advice I give in my 2002 article about Awareness during Sleep Paralysis, but I like his twist on it.

Diaz also offers a new twist on lengthening your OBEs. If you find your awareness starting to wane, he suggests using an internal monologue. In other words, you say to yourself, "Now I'm walking to the window. Now I'm touching the wall." And so forth. He also gives plenty of classic advice on deeping/lengthening, such as touching everything in sight (from Michael Raduga) and "Clarity Now!" (from William Buhlman).

Chapter 7 is "Astral Projection FAQs. Here Diaz gives a wide variety of miscellaneous advice about astral projection, such as avoiding alcohol and caffeine. His FAQ is better than most, but still a lot smaller than the FAQ I wrote for this blog and I'm not sure I agree with all his recommendations.

The book is 103 pages with good margins and font. There's not a ton of content, but the content is streamlined and well organized. The author knows the difference between its and it's and the grammar is good, but there are actually quite a few small mistakes that would have been caught by a good editor.

I give the book 4 stars out of 5. It's actually very good. There's a lot of solid advice and techniques in there. Is this the last astral projection you'll ever need to read? I don't know if I'd go that far. There's a lot it doesn't cover. But the book is a great place to start for beginners: It provides a really good solid foundation for astral projection.

Bob Peterson
16 August 2022

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If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

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 OBE Book reviews


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Out-of-Body Experiences by Janet Lee Mitchell

Review: Out-of-Body Experiences

by Janet Lee Mitchell

Today I'm reviewing the book Out-of-Body Experiences: How science is helping us to understand the experience of living beyond the body by Janet Lee Mitchell. The copyright is 1981. I'm proud to say that my copy is signed by the author. 

People who know me well know that I only have two heroes I idolize: Leonardo Da Vinci and Charles Tart. Both men attempted to bridge the gap between left brain and right brain, the spiritual and the scientific. Both were (or are) scientists, way ahead of their time. Both yearned to understand the relationship between the physical and the non-physical.

Da Vinci is best known for his priceless paintings, but in fact he was an inventor who wanted to invent and sell weapons, among other things. He only painted to make money.

Tart is famous for having done some of the earliest laboratory experiments on out-of-body experiences with the likes of Robert Monroe, and "Miss Z". As a pioneer in consciousness research, and author of famous books like Altered States of Consciousness, I was speechless when I first learned that Tart wrote the foreword to my first book.

Why do I bring this up? Because if I was pressed for a third name, I would have to list the author of this book, Janet Lee Mitchell, and for the same reasons. With a Ph.D. degree, Mitchell is also author of several books on consciousness, and she's conducted lab studies of out-of-body experiences with famous psychics like (the late) Ingo Swann and Alex Tanous. And that's what this book is all about. The book covers not only her own work, but similar studies done by other scientists (including Tart, Celia Green, and many others).

Regarding Swann, Mitchell writes:

"I was convinced of his ability after about six months of working closely with him 2 or 3 days a week." (pg. 4)

Mitchell notes that Swann could make his physical body speak, even when far away from it. She would send him out on missions to report on distant locations. Later, his targets were compared by impartial judges with double-blind standards. Many of Swann's amazing successes are documented in his book, To Kiss Earth Goodbye (which I haven't reviewed) including photos of some of the targets. It's pretty convincing stuff.

One of the first questions Mitchell had to ask was: Was Swann just using ESP, telepathy, or "remote viewing" to describe the targets, or was he "really there" during his out-of-body experiences? To answer that the scientists devised special optical devices that would display different images through different filters and mirrors. If Swann described the contents of the box, he should describe a bunch of discs, mirrors, prisms, wheels, and such. But if he described the image itself, in the proper color and in the proper quadrant of the device, he must be actually "seeing" the image as through the optical box, and therefore he's more likely to have actually "been there." Well, guess what? He described the images.

The book contains a lot more than stories about Ingo Swann. Mitchell writes about OBE author D. Scott Rogo, who had OBEs himself, and how he manipulated hypnagogic images to induce OBEs. In one example, Rogo saw a hypnagogic image in which he was driving a car, so he took conscious control of the image, intentionally crashed the car, and found himself out-of-body. She also says that Rogo's book, Mind Beyond the Body (which I also haven't reviewed) is required reading for anyone interested in OBEs.

Mitchell covers the history of OBEs, with valuable information, (much like Anthony Peake's book) citing some of the earliest OBE reports in modern times, and referencing OBE books I've never even heard of, like My Experiences While Out of My Body by Cora L.V. Richmond.

She also compares OBEs to other well-documented phenomena in psychology such as autoscopy, lucid dreaming, and various body-boundary disturbances. She also covers references of similar things in folklore like the doppelgänger, fylgje, and vardoger.

But much of the book is devoted to the science. Chapter 5 is Evidence from the Lab, and it's not only her lab but others as well. She spends considerable time analyzing the statistics from various studies done throughout the years. She talks about the studies done by Dr. Karlis Osis and Donna McCormick on Alex Tanous. She talks about the studies done on Stuart "Blue" (Keith) Harary in which they counted the meows of Harary's cat, Spirit. It turns out the cat meowed a lot less when Harary was visiting Spirit in an out-of-body state. The cat meowed 37 times during the eight control periods, and not once during Harary's out-of-body visit.

There are also fabulous OBE narratives. One of my favorites is this:

"Sometimes a person will not only be able to see from another location in space but will actually be able to create an effect at a distance, if we can believe the numerous claims. The Landau case is one of the best examples of this. A Mr. Landau reports that in 1955 his wife-to-be often told him about her OBEs. One night he gave her his diary weighing 38 grams and ask her to transport it to his room in her next OBE. Early dawn the next day he awoke and followed her apparition, which backed out of his room across a landing to her room. There he saw her body asleep in bed and then watched the apparition vanish. When he returned to his room he found her rubber toy dog, which weighed 107.5 grams, lying beside his bed. He had last seen it on a chest of drawers in her room. She said the dog was easier for her to transport despite its additional weight, because she had been taught, as a child, never to handle other people's letters or diaries." (pgs. 45-46)

Best of all, Mitchell cites references. At the end of every chapter, she provides a list of references to back up what she says. This is not fluff. This is science. 

She also goes into a little of the philosophy behind the scientific findings. For example, she questions: if most scientists are convinced that we're nothing but our physical bodies, why do we speak as if our bodies are our possessions? Why, she asks, do we say things like "My head hurts" rather than "I hurt up here"?

One of my favorite quotes from the book is about the potential dangers of OBEs. I remembered this from when I first read the book in the 1980s:

"My parents did not keep me from walking or tell me I couldn't, even though they knew I might accidentally walk in front of a moving vehicle; they did teach me how to cross the street safely." (pg. 84)

Another poignant quote is a solid counter to the question, "Why in the world would you want to have OBE?"

"If our only experience is in a body, we may well continue to believe that we are a body. If one were born and raised entirely in an automobile, it might have its advantages, but one would never know the joys of being outdoors and feeling the cool grass or warm sunlight directly on the skin. It seems certain that granted the ability to get out of the car just once, one would want to do it again and again to exercise new-found experiences and freedom." (pg. 87)

The book is 128 pages, and is professionally written and edited.

I give the book four and a half stars. It's a must read for anyone interested in the scientific study of out-of-body experiences. Unfortunately, it's probably out-of-print and hard to find. I think I wrote to the editor to get my copy, and that was a long time ago.

Bob Peterson
26 July 2022

----------------------------

If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

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 OBE Book reviews



Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Eliminating OBE Roadblocks

Eliminating OBE Roadblocks

by Bob Peterson

Even if you're fairly skilled at astral projection and inducing out-of-body experiences (inward focus, relaxation, visualization, maintaining consciousness while your body falls asleep, etc.) your OBE attempts can be completely undermined and scuttled by roadblocks.

In this article I want to talk about OBE / Astral Projection roadblocks: the little things--known or unknown to you--that may be preventing you from leaving your body, and how to eliminate them.

Limiting Beliefs

This is a biggie. According to Rick Stack, author of Out-of-Body Adventures, the most important thing about inducing an OBE is your belief system. As a student of Jane Roberts (who channeled "Seth"), Stack teaches that "Your beliefs create your reality." I concur and I'm not alone. Many OBE authors and teachers agree.

You don't need to believe OBEs are real and you don't need to believe you can induce an OBE. All you need is suspension of disbelief. When I first started on my OBE adventures, I didn't believe: I thought it was mostly self-deception or misinterpretation of ordinary (or lucid) dreams. But I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Challenging my beliefs, I said, "I'll give it a try and I'll see for myself." In other words, I had my doubts, but I took it seriously.

The bottom line is this: If you believe you cannot induce OBEs--for whatever reason--that can be enough to keep you body-bound. So change your belief system, not necessarily to believe in OBEs, but to believe it can happen to you, at least if the circumstances are right. Affirmations are a good place to start.

Not enough sleep

This is a tough one. Some OBEs are caused by over-tiredness, often coupled with too much stress. But that end of the spectrum isn't very effective for me.

I've always had more OBEs when I over-sleep. I may wake up refreshed and ready to start my day, but I force myself back to sleep another cycle. Burning the candle at both ends, staying up late at night and getting up extra early in the morning can interfere with your ability to induce OBEs. At least they do for me. You've got to get out of the habit of thinking about what you need to get done when you wake up. When you wake up, turn off your mind and make the time to shut out the world and its distractions and practice, practice, practice. Try not to focus on the upcoming day and just let your mind drift in that state between waking and sleeping.

Too much light in the room

Thanks to a million years of evolution, the physical body's natural circadian rhythms are governed largely by the light of the sun. When it gets dark, the darkness triggers our brains to produce melatonin and we naturally become sleepy. When it gets light outside, a tiny bit of light shines through our closed eyelids and tells us to wake up. So one common roadblock is having too much light in your bedroom.

The tiniest bit of light in your bedroom can interfere with your sleep cycles. It can keep you from falling asleep naturally and it can interfere with your ability to induce an OBE in the morning when you first wake up. So minimize the artificial light in your bedroom at night:

  • Turn off the back-lighting on your cellphone or flip your phone face-down to shut off the back-lighting and/or ambient display.
  • Minimize the use of nightlights. I put strips of black electrical tape over some of my nightlights to minimize the amount of light they put out.
  • You can also cover up the tiny red dots that glow from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

In other words, make your bedroom as dark as possible. But most important of all: When the morning comes, if it's too bright in your bedroom you may not be able to oversleep.

  • Use dark dark shades or opaque curtains on windows if you can, to block out as much sunlight as possible.
  • If you can't block out the light from the windows consider wearing a sleep mask to block all the light from your eyes.

Exposing your (closed) eyes to almost no light in the morning can trick your brain into extending your body's sleep cycles into hours when you're more likely to be fully conscious, and thus, makes OBEs more likely.

This doesn't always apply to everybody. Some OBE authors claim they have better luck if they're in a dimly lit room, not a completely dark room. So you may need to experiment and find out what works best for you.

Staring into your phone or tablet's blue light

This is similar to the problems mentioned above. A lot of people, myself included, like to wind down at the end of the day by playing a game or two on your phone before bed. But the blue light emitted by your phone or tablet's display can mess with your body's generation of melatonin and keep you from sleeping properly. So consider playing the game earlier in the evening and minimize the use of unnatural light in the evening.

Another tip: whereas it's always a good idea to read an OBE book before bed, it's best to read printed (paper) books, not a tablet. A small reading light won't interfere significantly with sleep before bed; just make sure the light bulb has a "warm" color temperature that emits more red light and less blue light. Avoid those "Daylight" bulbs that emit a lot of blue light.

Watching too much television

I don't know about you, but when I watch television at night, it numbs my brain and I become a walking zombie. It's a bad combination of unnatural blue-light to your eyes coupled with turning off your analytical thinking, and it can interfere with your OBEs. If you're going to watch TV, do it earlier in the evening and allow ample recovery time before bedtime.

Not enough alone time

This is another common roadblock. The best advice I took from Marilynn Hughes's book Odysseys of Light is to spend at least one hour a day alone with yourself. I'd like to further suggest that it be spent on introspection or other "within" tasks such as:

  • Read a book
  • Meditate
  • Listen to music or binaural beats
  • Use your creative imagination
  • Create art or music
  • Play video games

Just don't stay up too late doing so.

Animals and other distractions

Out-of-body attempts can be spoiled if you have a dog, cat, or other animal that jumps on the bed or make lots of noise in the morning. Authors like Michael Raduga advise you to not move a muscle when you first wake up, and instead go right into your exit technique before you've used any of your muscles. If an animal wakes you it may ruin your entire attempt. So keep these distractions to a minimum.

Conclusions

You still need to make an effort, practice OBE techniques, and walk the edge of consciousness: the thin line between waking consciousness and sleep.

A big part of inducing an OBE is doing the right prep work, and that includes eliminating (or minimizing) the roadblocks that may interfere with the process. Who knows? You may be on the verge of an OBE breakthrough and just need to get some of these roadblocks out of your way.

Can you think of other roadblocks that prevent OBE? I'd love to hear about them.

Bob Peterson,
12 July 2022

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Bob's Best of Breed OBE Books 2022

Bob's Best of Breed OBE Books 2022

by Bob Peterson

The last time I published my "Bob's Best of Breed OBE Books" was in 2017, so after 5 years I thought it would be good to publish an updated list of my favorite Out-of-Body Experience / astral projection books, by category.

This time I've ranked my top ten OBE / astral projection books in these categories:

  • OBE Tips, Techniques & Instructions
  • General
  • Scientific or Analytical
  • OBE Narratives & Story Telling
Click on the links for a full book review of each book.

Disclaimer: Some books fit into multiple categories, and it was sometimes hard to choose, but I only wanted to list one book per author.

 Top 10 OBE books: Tips, Techniques & Instructions

This is what every beginner wants to know--how to do it themselves--right? These are books that have good solid OBE techniques to get you out there exploring:

1
Hacking the Out of Body Experience Robert Peterson
(2019)
I'm biased because I wrote this book. Still, with 351 pages and 77 chapters of tips and techniques I haven't found any better.
2
The Phase
(Review part 2)
(Review part 3)
Michael Raduga
(2015)
One of the best instructional OBE books out there. A wealth of tips, techniques and good advice.
3
Astral Dynamics
(Review part 2)
Robert Bruce
(1999)
Lots of good techniques and advice. Stresses energy work.
4
Adventures Beyond the Body William Buhlman
(1996)
A well rounded balance of info, theory and a variety of techniques.
5
Navigating the Out-of-Body Experience Graham Nicholls
(2012)
A good assortment of creative OBE techniques and general OBE info.
6
Leaving the Body D. Scott Rogo
(1983)
An oldie but goodie. Techniques and OBE advice abound.
7
Travel Far Darryl E. Berry Jr.
(2015)
A well-rounded book with general information and techniques. A lost leader.
8
Out of Body Experiences Akhena
(2013)
OBE Information, techniques, advice, excellent narratives, plus validation. Hard to find.
9
Astral Projection Richard Craze
(1996)
Small and compact but chock full of 22 astral projection techniques.
10
Experiencing Astral Travel V.M. Beelzebub
(2003)
Obscured by occult "cloak and daggar" but actually has lots of good information and techniques.

Top 10 OBE books: General

These books include general information about OBEs, speculation about what is "out there" and often contain some techniques and pointers. The best ones are all based on personal experience and/or observations.

1
Explorations In Consciousness Frederick Aardema
(2012)
One of the best and yet underrated OBE books. Creative and informative.
2
The Projection of the Astral Body Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington
(1929)
A classic from the 1920s, but still very much relevant today.
3
Journeys Out of the Body Robert Monroe
(1971)
The book that got me started. A classic in the field. Powerful.
4
Out-of-Body Exploring Preston Dennett
(2004)
Good solid OBE information.
5
Explorations Out of the Body Eddie Slasher
(1997)
Relatable, fascinating and innovative
6
Astral Projection and Lucid Dreaming Vincent Field
(2022)
Good overall book based on the author's experiences and creative OBE experiments.
7
The Vibrational State Maverick Vardoger
(2019)
Personal observations and techniques based on experience.
8
Exploring Your Inner Reality Jonas Ridgeway
(2013)
Good solid info and OBE advice.
9
Astral Travel for Beginners Richard Webster
(1998)
Based on experience, contains narratives, techniques, references, glossary, index, etc.
10

How I Learned Soul Travel Terrill Willson
(1987)
Follows the author's journey to learn OBEs. Packed with gems.

Top 10 OBE books: Scientific or Analytical

These books were written for the scientific, and often skeptical, person.

1
Out-of-Body Experiences Janet Lee Mitchell, Ph.D.
(1981)
Scientific study of OBEs in the lab, at its best. Think Ingo Swann, Alex Tanous, you name it.
2
The Out of Body Experience Anthony Peake
(2011)
Great. Solid no-nonsense information and history of OBEs with a scientific approach. Very well researched and well written.
3
With The Eyes of the Mind Glenn Gabbard and Stuart Twemlow
(1984)
Two professional psychiatrists compare OBEs to body boundary disturbances like autoscopy, schizophrenia, lucid dreams, etc. Fabulous. Highly recommended.
4
Beyond the Body Susan J. Blackmore
(1992)
A parapsychologist's view of OBEs. Level headed, although she became quite an outspoken skeptic in later years.
5
Flight of Mind H.J. Irwin
(1985)
Scientific and very dry, but very informative.
6
Out-of-the-Body Experiences Celia Green
(1968)
It's been a long time, but I remember it was good.
7
Convergence Barbara Mango & Lynn Miller
(2021)
Scientific comparison of extraordinary experiences, how they connect and how they affect us all.
8
Astral Projection and Psychic Empowerment Joe H. Slate
(1998)
Talks about more modern lab experiments on remote targets.
9
Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience Luis Minero
(2012)
Solid information. Brings the subject down to Earth.
10

Traveler's Guide to the Astral Plane Steve Richards
(1983)
Unlike any OBE/AP book in the genre. Great historical references.

Top 10 OBE books: OBE Narratives & OBE Stories

These books are more geared toward telling the personal stories of those who have had out-of-body experiences, but are often light on OBE techniques.

1
Multi-Dimensional Man Jurgen Ziewe
(2008)
Moving, touching, inspiring. A heart-warming ride into other dimensions. Still my #1 favorite OBE book.
2
An Adjacent Place Clary G. Valentine
(2017)
A wild ride. Chock full of OBE narratives that seem to prove that OBEs are real, written by a friend of the experiencer.
3

Eyes of an Angel Paul Elder
(2005)
Many heart-warming, educational and entertaining OBEs from the author.
4
The Out-of-Body Experience: An Experiential Anthology Edited by Rodrigo Montenegro
(2015)
A great collection of OBE narratives, many of which have validation.
5
Soul Traveler Albert Taylor
(1996)
An engineer and former NASA employee is thrown into the world of OBEs. Very entertaining. Kept me wanting more.
6
Astral Projections Michael Ross
(2010)
Small, but well written and heart warming.
7
The Study and Practice of Astral Projection Dr. Robert Crookall
(1960)
Lots of good stories and speculation about their meaning.
8
The Astral Projection Guidebook Erin Pavlina
(2013)
Amusing and well written, although a little far-out.
9
Persephone's Journey Vicky M. Short
(2010)
A heart warming journal of personal growth and out-of-body travel.
10
Loved Mary Deioma
(2014)
A touching personal journey.

Some people ask why I collect so many OBE / Astral Projection books. The answer is: It's my hobby. Some people collect dolls or figurines; I collect OBE books.

That said, OBE books are like books about flying airplanes. They can only take you so far. They can give you hints and general principles, nothing can ever replace firsthand experience. I hope you explore the state yourself and hopefully use this guide (and my book reviews) to determine which books help you in your adventure.

Bob Peterson
21 June 2022