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OUT of BODY EXPERIENCES
How to Have Them and What to Expect
By Robert Peterson
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Robert Peterson
All rights reserved.
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and spent the first twenty-four years of my life there. My childhood was normal except for a few unusual experiences that will be described later.
Before I started kindergarten, I met a boy named Brian, who was about three years older, and we became friends. Brian was a good friend, but he had a bad habit of lying. Brian felt that lying made him seem more knowledgeable and important than other kids, and he loved to be in that position of power. At that young age, I was naive and always asking questions, but I had no concept of dishonesty. Hanging around Brian, it didn't take me long to find out what a lie was. Before long, I didn't trust anything that Brian said to me. Still, Brian was my only friend and there were no other kids my age in the area. Instead of abandoning our friendship, I took it as a challenge. I still valued his friendship, but I had to learn to separate fact from fiction. I was forced to use logic to tell when he was lying and when he was telling the truth. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't. But I got better at it by verifying some of the facts with grownups I knew I could trust.
Before too long, my parents intervened and told me I couldn't see Brian again because he was a "bad influence." They were right. But Brian's friendship taught me some valuable lessons when I was at an impressionable age. First, I learned that you can't believe everything you hear or read. I gained a real appreciation for the "truth," and I learned to question everything. Second, I learned how to use reason, deduction, and logic. My love of the truth turned into a love for scientific knowledge, an insatiable curiosity, and a thirst for knowledge and exploration.
When I entered grade school, I made my first important discovery: the school library. Most of the kids would run to the fiction section to grab the storybooks. I would run to the shelf marked "science" and I'd read textbooks. I would read any book as long as it was scientific: books on dinosaurs, biology, lasers, botany, archeology, astronomy, and anything else that crossed my curious mind in a particular week. Even before I could read, I would learn by looking at the pictures.
My mom used to take me to the public library and let me wander around while she picked out books. Of course, I'd go straight for the science books there too. But in the public library, children's books were mostly storybooks. So I would wander around the adult section and look for science books. I remember one day when I stumbled into the anatomy section of the adult books. I wonder what my parents would have said if they found out I knew all about sex and the reproductive system at the age of six! I remember arguing with other six-year-olds about where babies came from. They insisted on storks and cabbage patches, and I just couldn't talk any sense into them.
I got a reputation for being a "know-it-all" or a "brain." I didn't care for that status at all because people couldn't relate to a "brain" and everyone resents a "know-it-all." I did my best to fight against my reputation and stuck to a small group of friends.
In high school I became interested in the field of computers and my curiosity led me to study computers in my spare time. After taking every short-course the University of Minnesota had to offer, I spent my free time reading computer manuals and writing computer games. My face became well known in the university computer labs. I often chuckled when people twice my age would ask me for help on their programming class assignments.
After high school, I entered the University of Minnesota, majoring in the field of Computer Science. During that time I started having out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and it changed the course of my life. Perhaps it can change your life too!
This "exercise" section, which appears at the end of each chapter, is designed to present exercises and pointers to readers who are interested in learning to have out-of-body experiences. The exercises will be simple in the early chapters and get more complicated in later chapters.
This particular exercise is an affirmation. An affirmation is like a New Year's resolution: something you say to yourself to strengthen your ability to do something. It's not enough just to say the affirmation; you should think about it first, then say it slowly to yourself a few times. Each time you say an affirmation, you should try to put emotion behind your words and actually believe what you are saying.
Using affirmations works for many reasons. First, it's a way to clearly communicate with your subconscious, and we all know how powerful the subconscious is from hypnosis studies.
Second, many people in metaphysics believe in a higher consciousness, sometimes called your "Higher Self," or "Oversoul," which is even more powerful than your subconscious. Affirmations also allow you to communicate your intentions to your oversoul which can help you reach your goals. I also believe that your oversoul has its own goals that are tied to your spiritual growth, and that it is more likely to help you if you agree to help it accomplish its goals.
Third, many people in metaphysics believe that your beliefs directly affect your experience. Affirmations make it easier to change your belief system and make positive changes in your life.
Because affirmations are such a powerful influence on your subconscious mind, you should carefully avoid sending yourself negative messages. One of the first affirmations I ever used was, "I am very loose from my body." The message seemed innocent enough, but I discovered I had an underlying negative belief that being loose from my body meant that I was not quite healthy. After a few days of using this affirmation, I started feeling disoriented, dizzy, and on the verge of becoming sick. Luckily, I figured out what was happening and changed my affirmation!
The most effective affirmations are the kind you make for yourself. They should be short, succinct, and stated in a positive way. State the changes you want in your life, as if they are already yours. For example, use "I can" messages instead of "I don't want" messages. Also, affirm what you are willing to do to make it real. For this exercise, do affirmations based on your desire to have OBEs. You can either create your own affirmation or use the one given below.
I can easily leave my body. Out-of-body experiences come naturally to me. To prepare, I will practice OBE exercises, cooperate with the universe, follow my impulses, act on my intuitions, share my knowledge, spread my love, and cooperate with my own Higher Self.CHAPTER 2
I grew up in a hectic house with three brothers and one sister. My dad was a religious man in his own quiet way. He generally kept quiet about his religion. Once or twice I heard him mention Edgar Cayce in passing, but I ignored most of this, dismissing it as either "occult" or "unscientific." As a rule, he never exposed his kids to occult ideas.
My mom was a devout Catholic, and she raised her kids as "good" Catholics, that is, the kind who go to church every Sunday, say their prayers, and pretty much forget about God and religion during the week. At any rate, I grew up with a healthy sense of right and wrong, and never used drugs. I was the only kid in my high school who never tried marijuana. I still haven't tried drugs; drugs are for people who are uninformed about OBEs or lack the will to induce their own, natural altered states of consciousness.
Once I asked my mom if she remembered anything unusual about my childhood. She told me that whenever I got really sick, I would sleepwalk. To be precise, I would get up in the middle of the night and dance around in circles chanting like an Indian shaman. Of course, I wasn't conscious at the time.
I only remember that when I got sick, a strange sensation used to terrify me: when I drifted off to sleep, I had a terrifying "nightmare." I would "dream" that I held a tiny grain of salt in the palm of my hand. Then my consciousness would shrink to an incredibly small size until the grain of salt looked like a skyscraper. Terrified of being crushed by the salt, I would wake up screaming.
I didn't consider myself a psychic child. Nonetheless, I had a few experiences worth noting.
One day, when I was perhaps ten or twelve years old, I was very depressed. I don't even remember why, but my depression was so severe that I actually prayed to die. Sometime after I had gone to bed, I awoke to find myself whooshing up, out of my body, escorted by what I thought was an angel. I thought I had died, and I was amazed that I hadn't felt any pain during the separation. I thought that death would be painful, but it wasn't.
Finally I came to a halt before a large, tremendously powerful, invisible being, who I immediately thought was God. The being told me it was time to go, and I understood immediately what that meant: death.
Then I got a yearning to go back. I was homesick. I felt guilty about wishing to die. And I knew that my parents would be very sad about my death. So I begged and pleaded to be brought back to earth. "Why?" I was asked. I thought for a moment, searching for an answer. I said, "Everyone there thinks that death is painful and sad. I have to go back to tell everyone that death is painless and joyful."
After thinking about it, "God" consented and I was escorted back. I awoke amazed at the realism of my experience. I forced myself to believe it was a dream and nothing more.
Another experience happened when I was a little older, perhaps fourteen or fifteen. I used to have playful wrestling matches with two other boys. One day we were talking about wrestling and got on the subject of the world-famous wrestling hold called "the sleeper hold." The hold would knock an opponent out by cutting off blood circulation to the brain. Anyway, we all wondered what it would be like to be knocked out. FD was the strongest of the three and the third boy was afraid, so I agreed to let FD knock me out with a bear-hug.
We went outside and he gave me the strongest bearhug I've ever experienced. I couldn't breathe and soon became unconscious. It was like waking from a dream; this world was a dream and I awoke to a reality more real and vivid than this world was. I saw the illusion of this existence on earth dispelled! It faded away and I didn't regret it. Soon I found myself in the "real" world in a huge city that I already knew.
My memory seemed to return—yes, I had gone to sleep and dreamed of a little place called "earth" and now I was awake. "That was a silly dream," I thought, and I soon forgot all about "earth." I continued my life, just like it was before I fell asleep. I lived in that fantastic city for years and years—centuries it seemed. I lived there so long that I completely forgot about earth. For hundreds of years I had forgotten earth. If someone asked me about it, I couldn't remember, since I had left it so long ago.
Then one day I was walking to a store. Suddenly I became confused, losing my sense of direction, and I felt myself falling. Abruptly I opened my eyes only to see strange leaves, the sky, and FD and the other boy looking at me! Where was I now? How did I get here? What happened? Then I remembered: hundreds of years ago, I fell asleep and found myself here. This place was called "earth" and was a part of a weird dream. I must have fallen asleep again. Slowly my earthly memory returned. I asked the boys how long I had been unconscious. They said only a few minutes. They asked me what happened, and I told them I didn't want to talk about it.
A third psychic experience was as follows: I was riding with my father in his truck, and we went under a railroad bridge viaduct in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, only a few blocks from where I lived in Minneapolis. As we drove under the bridge, a train was passing over the track. I got a very uncomfortable feeling and "imagined" the train falling from the track onto the truck and street, crushing us. "I hate this," I said to my dad. After we had gone through the viaduct I asked him, "How often do they jump the track?" My dad (who worked as a clerk for a railroad) said that it was nearly impossible for a train to derail; it was especially rare at a bridge or viaduct. Within a week, a train derailed at that very viaduct. I was about fourteen at the time.
Some people may say that these psychic experiences would suggest I was born with some natural abilities. However, I disagree. A couple of unusual events during childhood does not make you "psychic." My childhood was normal.
Once when I was young, I overheard my dad talking to my brother, and he mentioned something called "astral projection." I asked my brother what it was, but he brushed me aside with a simple, "That's where people fly outside their bodies." It sounded interesting to me, but too unscientific—like a fairy tale. I waited patiently until the next time my mom took me to the library, then I tried to find "astral" in the card catalog. The library didn't have any books on it at the time, so I forgot all about it.
Many people from all walks of life believe that we have spiritual guides or guardians of some sort. Christians call them guardian angels. Zoroastrians call them the Fervashi. Spiritualists call them spirit guides. Whatever we call them, they can hear our silent thoughts and prayers, and they can help us in many ways. They can even help us have OBEs.
Since our guides are here to help us spiritually, this exercise is to pray to your guides to help you have OBEs. I can't tell you what to pray, but I can give you an example that I sometimes use:
I pray to God, the All That Is, and to my guides, helpers, and any other benevolent beings, to please help me achieve my goal of exploring consciously while out of my body. Help me to leave my body and become conscious, and in return, I will do my best to become more spiritual and help you with your goals of guidance.CHAPTER 3
It wasn't until September 9, 1979 that the subject of out-of-body experiences came up again. My brother Joe knew my dad was interested in the occult, so for Father's Day, Joe gave him the book, Journeys Out of the Body, by Robert A. Monroe. I remembered searching the card catalog for books on this topic as a child, so after my dad had finished reading it, I asked him if I could borrow it, and he said yes.
Monroe explained his OBEs in such a logical, scientific manner that I read the book faster than I'd ever read before. I didn't really believe Monroe's claims, but I liked his approach. His book urged me not to take his word for it, but to try it myself.
I decided to take Monroe up on his offer, and follow his techniques to see for myself if these experiences were real or just hype, fantasy, or dreams. That night, before I went to bed, I attempted astral projection for the first time. I had memorized Monroe's method earlier, and I decided to close my eyes and try it.
The first step was to relax. I spent a long time relaxing completely. The next step, which was quite a bit harder, was to drift between waking and sleeping consciousness. I found myself drifting into sleep once or twice, and I yanked myself back to full consciousness each time, being careful not to move my fully relaxed body. It took quite awhile before I felt comfortable enough to go on to the next step: clearing my mind of all thoughts.
This was harder yet. Every time I heard a noise I would be distracted, and my mind would start to wander. Then my body started itching in the most distracting way. As soon as I'd scratch an itch, another new itch would take its place. Even after I conquered most of my itches (and ignored the rest), it was hard to keep my mind from wandering.
At one point, I found I could hold my mind blank for several minutes, and I decided that would be long enough to go on to the next step: using imaginary lines of force to call "the vibrations." I followed Monroe's method to the letter, carefully pausing between each step in the process. I was just about to give up when I felt a heavy "twang" in my head. It felt as if the lines of force had somehow become real and had touched a 110-volt power line. I thought, "Oops. Maybe this isn't such a good idea." I tried to pull myself back to normal consciousness by retracting my imaginary lines of force.
Excerpted from OUT of BODY EXPERIENCES by Robert Peterson. Copyright © 2013 Robert Peterson. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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