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:

Hacking the Out of Body Experience Robert Peterson
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.
The Phase
(Review part 2)
(Review part 3)
Michael Raduga
One of the best instructional OBE books out there. A wealth of tips, techniques and good advice.
Astral Dynamics
(Review part 2)
Robert Bruce
Lots of good techniques and advice. Stresses energy work.
Adventures Beyond the Body William Buhlman
A well rounded balance of info, theory and a variety of techniques.
Navigating the Out-of-Body Experience Graham Nicholls
A good assortment of creative OBE techniques and general OBE info.
Leaving the Body D. Scott Rogo
An oldie but goodie. Techniques and OBE advice abound.
Travel Far Darryl E. Berry Jr.
A well-rounded book with general information and techniques. A lost leader.
Out of Body Experiences Akhena
OBE Information, techniques, advice, excellent narratives, plus validation. Hard to find.
Astral Projection Richard Craze
Small and compact but chock full of 22 astral projection techniques.
Experiencing Astral Travel V.M. Beelzebub
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.

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

How I Learned Soul Travel Terrill Willson
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.

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

Traveler's Guide to the Astral Plane Steve Richards
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.

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

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Review: Odysseys of Light

Review: Odysseys of Light

by Marilynn Hughes

Today I'm reviewing Odysseys of Light: Adventures in Out-of-Body Travel by Marilynn Hughes. The copyright is 1991.

Last winter (2021-2022) Kathy and I were in Florida and we took a motorcycle ride to the gulf coast. We found ourselves in the city of Crystal River, Florida. I told Kathy, "I should stop and get a photo of the welcome sign and post it on Facebook because there's a book called Crystal River Flowing by Marilynn Hughes. I've never read it, but I wonder if it's about this town. Seems unlikely, but humorous anyway." Kathy's not into OBEs, so I didn't pursue it, but it seemed like a gentle jab in my ribs from the Universe: I should revisit Marilynn Hughes's books. So when we got back to our home in Minnesota, I dug out my copy of her first book, Odysseys of Light, and started reading.

I had read this book many years ago but I didn't remember it at all. I've been a member of Marilynn Hughes's Facebook group "Out of Body Travel Foundation" for many years but because of its posts I always assumed it was related to some kind of Christian religious group, and I assumed Hughes was somehow devoutly Christian. Boy was I wrong! Re-reading this book brought Marilynn Hughes and her group into a new light and now I think I'd have to reclassify her as devoutely "New Age." That's not to say she isn't God-oriented. She seems deeply devoted to God, but she views God from a new-age perspective, and it's actually refreshing.

Marilynn Hughes has written many books, and as far as I know this is just the first. Since my perspective was a bit jaded, I never bought her other books.

From the beginning Hughes states that this book is just the first in a series of books, each designed to take the reader further away from Earthly reality than the last in a progression toward Oneness, or something like that. In the prologue she won my heart right away with statements like this:

"Out-of-body travel is much more than psychic phenomena, it is the process of reuniting with our higher selves, and ultimately, the Gateway to Ascension." (pg. xi)

Wow, I thought, that sounds more like William Buhlman than it does a devout Christian! A few pages later, she wrote:

"Fear is an illusion, as all there is, is love. You can create whatever reality you desire, and if you are fearful, you may create a very scary illusion. You create them because of your unrealized fears." (pg. 4)

Now I knew for sure I had mis-categorized Marilynn Hughes. In my experience, most Christian groups are fear-based, controlling their followers with fear of damnation, and the whole "Good vs Evil/God vs. Devil/Angels vs. Demons" theme. Hughes just blows that whole concept out of the water.

"Another reason the creation of reality is extremely important is the exposure that many of you may have to beliefs in negative entities. Let me make it as clear as I can that they do not exist, and if you run into a demon or burning fires or lakes, it is only your unconscious or conscious fear that you are responding to. All you need to do is confront the 'entity' or the 'hell' and it will disappear. You must confront your fear or you will never go past it." (pg. 23)

And toward the end of the book, this:

"Your physical world is an illusion. All there is, is unconditional love. You are not judged, and there is no hell. Fear is what allows you to deny this." (pg. 130)

These are more than just her beliefs. Unlike the majority of other OBE / astral projection books, Hughes makes it clear that her book is based on personal experience. And her experiences mesh with mine. For example:

"I feel more rested when I return from an astral visit than I do when I inhabit my body." (pg. 12)

This is unlike the many books that assume the (bad) attitude of "I'm the teacher; you're the student, and this is the truth" so prominent in Paul Twitchell's book Eckankar which I recently reviewed. Instead, Hughes says down-to-earth, sane things like:

"This was a lesson to me that you should never give your power away to a teacher, as the only master of you, is you." (pg. 58)

And later in the book:

"The message in this beautiful experience was to never give your power to the man on the bank (a church, or any person), as truth is your destiny to find!" (pg. 96)

On pages 13-14 she gives some interesting recommendations to help people achieve OBEs. In my opinion, this is all very good advice. In short, she recommends:

  1. Spend one hour a day completely alone with yourself! No television, radio, books, meditation tapes, just YOU.
  2. Every morning upon waking, spend five to ten minutes bringing dreams back consciously...Write down what you can remember... (keep a dream journal)
  3. Talk to your guides throughout the day. They are your constant companions so involve them in everything you do.
  4. After speaking to your guides at night, go to sleep meditating on love or oneness.
  5. Lastly, work on remembering (and resolving) your fears.

Unfortunately, as good as it is, there isn't much more OBE advice than this.

Instead of being Christian, I found Hughes to be more like Jane Roberts/Seth, who I've always liked. For example, she says:

"Remember that everyone creates their own reality, and you cannot be responsible for another's illusion. You will not help them or yourself by taking responsibility for them. In fact, you inhibit their growth by allowing them to avoid their life issues." (pg. 16)

I also loved Hughes's upbeat and positive attitude toward life and toward spirituality. Unlike so many teachers who seem so serious and devoid of humor, Hughes is just the opposite. Many people criticize me for constantly posting funny and/or irreverent memes on Facebook, making fun of our humanness and poking fun at the human condition. Marilynn Hughes gets it!

"HAVE FUN! Do not take your spiritual journey so seriously all the time. Enjoy life, as that is what spirituality is all about. Laughter is the essence of spirituality. Do not shroud yourself in solemnity." (pg. 18)

She also talks about the importance of raising your vibrations.

"Learning to operate in a higher level of vibration is an essential aspect of astral travel, as reaching higher dimensions requires a brighter light. If you enter into a dimension too high for your being, you'll be overwhelmed by the power. You can't be hurt in any way, but you may feel as though the energy I could crush you. This is why these vibrational raisings are so important. They are your key to further enlightenment and understanding." (pg. 39)

So far, this is a great OBE book. Unfortunately, in chapter 6, Hughes contacts an entity named Emmanuel, then she starts channeling Emmanuel, who point-blank claims to be the same channeled entity of Pat Rodegast, who wrote Emmanuel's Book.

From that point on, the book contains several channeling sessions. Now I have nothing against channeling. I've attended many channeling sessions myself including OBE author Kurt Leland and others I've known through the years. I've also spent countless hours studying and comparing different channelers and entities. In fact, I've got a whole shelf of my library dedicated to mediums and channelers like Rodegast (Emmanuel), Jane Roberts (Seth), Lee Carroll (Kryon), John Edwards (Crossing Over), James Van Praagh, Walter Russell (Message of the Divine Illiad), and others. But like I've said many times in the past, that's NOT what I want to see in a book about astral projection/OBEs. That's not to say Marilynn Hughes's channeled teachings aren't good. In fact, they're very good and mesh quite well with Seth and others. But still, for me it was a distraction from the OBE theme.

Hughes channels other entities, and eventually Emmanuel announces his departure, but other entities come through as well. It's interesting. It's fascinating. I'd even venture to say it's important. But again, it's not OBE.

Despite the channeling "distraction" Hughes thankfully keeps returning to the OBE theme. In her out-of-body adventures, she visits other worlds, meets various non-physical teachers, and sometimes "devolves" into teaching discourses direct from the astral plane (which I've always disliked), yet her experiences seem somewhat more authentic than others like it (Luiz Roberto Mattos comes to mind).

In some of her OBEs she deals with her own karma and works toward resolving karmic debt; something she calls "Stockpile encounters".

At some point, her out-of-body adventures start to turn into full-blown past-life encounters. In other words, after she leaves her body she is sometimes dropped into a past life and is taught lessons that way. For example:

"Passing through the vibrational state and the time tunnel, I was dropped into a lifetime during World War II..." (pg. 83)

Like me and a few other authors, Hughes has her own encounter with Jesus Christ, and it's both interesting and touching (page 140).

The book is very experience-based and is mostly OBE narratives, and you know how I love narratives. Unfortunately, the narratives don't always convey that sense of awe and wonder I still feel after every experience. Hughes makes her OBEs sound easy; way too easy. Hughes is like "After I lay down, the vibrations came and I slipped out of my body easily." I wish it was that easy for me. I still need to work hard for every experience, but I guess I still need to raise my vibrations.

If astral projection is really that easy for her, I can't fault her for conveying that to the reader, or sharing what she experienced. But I was still a bit disappointed. Just saying.

The other unfortunate thing is that except for the section described above (which is decent but too short), she doesn't give any actual OBE techniques or practical advice. The reader is left with a sense of loss, like, "Gee, I wish I could do that" instead of new things to try. (She makes channeling sound easy too).

Despite its shortcomings, I did enjoy the book. It's good enough to make me want to buy some of her other books to continue the adventure. After more than 30 years I'm sure she's got a lot more stories to tell.

The book is 142 pages. It's well thought-out, organized and written. My copy has some typos, especially near the end of the book, but it doesn't detract from the overall message. I'm giving it 3 and a half stars, but it would have been 4 if it had some solid OBE techniques and less channeling.

Bob Peterson
07 June 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.

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