on 19 January 2004
I recently read Robert Monroe's 'Journeys out of the Body' - what a great book!
When you consider that these experiences happened predominantly to him in 50's America, and he was a respected businessman from a pretty traditional background, in that sense he was a real pioneer! He had to overcome a great deal of fears that perhaps do not exist in today's more spiritually open-minded Western culture. In this book he documents his out of body experiences, and the most notable thing is his almost obsessive desire to try and provide proof that these experiences are real, and not just a remarkable variety of dream. I think that anyone reading this book will come away feeling inspired and with a genuine sense of warmth for the author. Perhaps the best tribute I could pay to this book is that the night after reading the first couple of chapters I had my first OBE - thanks Bob! (First in the sense of actually experiencing getting up out of my sleeping physical body.) I would dearly love to find evidence as he appears to have done that this was a 'real' experience.
So it was with great excitement that I began to read the second in the series - 'Far Journeys'. This so far has been a real disappointment - even saddening. It describes how he and a small group of regular members started using technological devices, (largely audio tapes called Hemi-Sync with voiceovers.) To me this starts to sound a lot like hypnotic induction, and together this group begin to experience during the experiments what I guess you could describe as channeling aliens! To me it really seemed to document the descent into a kind of group hysteria, to the point where they even invent an unnecessary 'cultish' kind of language to describe their experiences. Robert's writing style also becomes disjointed and artificial. To be honest, I don't think I can even bring myself to finish the book. But I guess I will, and will probably read 'Ultimate Journey' just to see how the guy ended up.
Still, I suspect if he were alive today he would probably appreciate the gesture of me writing how much I enjoyed the first book, but tell me 'boy are you wrong about the second one'. Who knows.
on 19 April 1999
I was only 17 years old when I first read this book, I had a keen interest in the occult from a very early age much to the dismay of my parents but was becoming rather disheartened with the whole thing, so many questions and very few if any, concrete answers. I am now 33 years old and still cannot forget the overall impact this book and it's author had on my life and my religious understanding. I found this book covered in dust in the back of a friends car 16 years ago and they said I could borrow it. I read it cover to cover, over and over again, it really fascinated me, there was defiantly something different about the way the author conveyed his experiences, somehow you new these things were really happening to him just as he described them and I suppose I must have willed my first out of body experience which started as a very normal dream. I stumbled and knocked my head in this dream which I suppose triggered something.
Suddenly there was a very loud whistling and crackling sound in my ears and a rush of consciousness and I stood up in my dream more awake than I had ever felt before, everything that had been present in my dream was still there, buildings, streets and gardens, none of which I recognised. What the hell was going on? I remember the shire disbelief and shock that this was actually happening to me, I was wide awake in a dream, conscious of all my faculties and able to make conscious decisions about where I would go and what I would do, although something attached to me from behind was definitely pulling me back as if I was wading through Ink. I clearly remember looking down at the clothes I was wearing and then at my hands, I got really scared at that point because I thought I had died in my sleep. Suddenly without warning there was a huge tugging from behind and I was pulled backwards through some lavender bushes, I remember the smell and branches scratching in my face and the loud whistling and crackling sound in my ears again. I was pulled up in to the air and watched the streets and strange gardens pass by under me, I lost my vision and all went dark but I could still hear the whistle and then I felt a definite transition in consciousness from higher to lower, I think? I opened my eyes and was back in my bed at home my night light was still on, my heart was racing and my usually docile cat was going crazy, staring right at me, growling and hissing as if she had seen a ghost.
I think I would have been happy with just one Out of body experience, but that night I opened a door I have never been able to shut and for many years afterwards they continued almost every night sometimes two or three times a night, sometimes beautiful sometimes terrifying but always different. I have many times been turned and guided by the invisible hands he described in his book and talked at length with someone and yet no one, I am not crazy!, I am not a liar!
But who honestly could I tell? I quickly realised that it was not something you can mention in passing conversation, even to ones own parents and at the risk of being branded a nutcase or a fraud, I decided to keep it to myself for many years. Yes! it was a lot for a young lad to carry.
They still happen to me now 16 years on, although they are rare and they don't bring the fear that they used to, I think I have just learnt to live with it now although I still don't really know what was happening to me.
I would give anything to be able to speak to, or send a message to Dr Robert A Monroe the author of this enlightening book, to thank him for the most mind broadening experience a man could ever have and to tell him that he is not alone in this strange world.
I do not know where you are or even if you are still alive but wherever you are,
on 7 December 1999
This is a classic work on out of body travel by Robert Monroe who since then has set up the Monroe Institute to help others discover their true selves beyond the physical body. The book contains his encounters with dimensions beyond the physical realm. Robert never claims to be an expert at out of body travel and this is his attempt to convey what he saw and experienced during his frequent travels beyond the physical dimension. Excellent book for anyone interested in Astral Projection. The other recommended titles to read by the same author are "Far Journeys " and "The Ultimate Journey"
I found this to be an extremely informative and enjoyable book which greatly exceeded my expectations.
Monroe was apparently the first to investigate out-of-body experiences in depth and publish his research.
Monroe defines an OOBE, as he calls it, or OBE, as we now call it, as follows:
"An event where the experiencer 1) seems to perceive some portion of some environment which could not possibly be perceived from where his physical body is known to be at the time and 2) knows at the time that he is not dreaming or fantasizing."
It is a universal human experience and generally a once-in-a-lifetime experience, seemingly experienced by accident. It is sometimes brought about by serious illnesses or emotional stress, and sometimes happens during sleep without our knowing what might have caused it. Very rarely is it brought about by a deliberate attempt.
The experience of an OBE is usually one of the most profound experiences of a person's life, and radically alters his beliefs. The person then knows that he will survive death.
The OBE is generally "extremely joyful" to those who have it.
In some instances the description of what was happening at a distant place proves to be correct and more accurate than we would expect by coincidence.
Monroe terms the OBE state as "Second State", and the body we use when experiencing OBEs as "Second Body". He identified three Second State environments.
Locale 1 is the Here-Now, which consists of people and places that actually do exist in the material, well-known world at the very moment of the experiment. Visits to Locale 1 generally do not contain strange beings, events, or places.
Locale II is a non-material environment with "laws of motion and matter only remotely related to the physical world". "It is an immensity whose bounds are unknown ..., and has depth and dimension incomprehensible to the finite conscious mind. In this vastness lie all of the aspects we attribute to heaven and hell." Time is non-existent and past and future seem to exist "coterminously" with "now". Locale II is a state of being where what we label thought "is the wellspring of existence". "As you think, so you are".
In this environment there are no cars, boats or other means of transportation. You think movement, and it occurs. No telephones, radio or other communication aids exist, communication being instantaneous. There are no farms, gardens, etc, since no food energy needs are indicated. Thought is the force that supplies any need or desire. Like attracts like.
Monroe states that Locale II is the natural environment of the Second Body. Locale II "seems to interpenetrate our physical world, yet spans limitless reaches beyond comprehension". In Locale II reality is composed of "deepest desires" and "frantic fears". Raw emotion is unleashed in full force. For Monroe, fear was the dominant theme - fear of the unknown, of strange (non-physical) beings, of "death", of God, etc.
The areas of Locale II "nearest" the physical world are peopled mostly with insane or near-insane, emotionally driven beings. This near area is not a pleasant place to be, since you meet here all sorts of "disjointed personalities" and animate beings.
There is also Locale III. It is a physical-matter world almost identical to our own, the natural environment being the same. There are trees, houses, cities, etc. There are homes, families, businesses, etc. There are roads travelled by vehicles, and trains. But "the scientific development is inconsistent." There are no electrical devices whatsoever. There is no petrol or oil but mechanical power is used.
Another strange source of power stored in large vat-like containers is used. The streets and roads are different, mainly in size. Their cars are much larger, even the smallest having a single bench seat that will hold 5-6 people abreast. Habits and customs differ from ours.
The people in Locale III were not aware of Monroe's presence and on several occasions he automatically "took over" someone's body.
Locale III and Locale I are not the same. Locale III is not more advanced, perhaps less so. There is no time in our known history where science was at the Locale III stage.
Regarding life after death, Monroe managed to visit younger versions of a few "deceased" persons. Otherwise he has a chapter about prayer, the Bible and the afterlife. On one occasion when speeding back to his body he rammed into a solid wall of impenetrable material and in panic screamed, sobbed and prayed without effect. Eventually, however, he turned back and this led him back to his body. So maybe the prayer had worked all the same.
He writes at the beginning of the chapter that he had found nothing to substantiate the "biblical notions" of God and afterlife in a place called Heaven. If they existed, they must be somewhere in Locale II. The part closest to Here-Now contained beings resembling demons and devils and he felt that this area could be the borders of Hell. At times when visiting Locale II a distant Signal occurred, almost like heraldic trumpets. Everyone stops whatever he is doing. It is the Signal that He is coming through His Kingdom. At the Signal each living being lies down on its back, body arched to expose the abdomen, with head turned to one side so that one does not see Him as He passes. The people form a living road on which He can travel. Occasionally He will select someone from this living bridge, and this person is never seen or heard from again. As He passes, there is "a roaring, musical sound and a feeling of radiant, irresistible living force of ultimate power". Monroe wonders "Is this God? Or God's son?" Three times he went to a place of pure peace, yet exquisite emotion. "The warmth is not merely around you, it is of you and through you. Your perception is dazzled and overwhelmed by the Perfect Environment."
Thus the author contradicts himself, since what he describes does sound like it could be God, God's realm, Heaven. He also states "This is Home" and refers to "choirs of human-sounding voices" echoing in wordless song. I think that the author's description is his version of the wonderful, ecstatic, love experience Anita Moorjani and others describe from their NDEs.
Monroe provides extremely detailed accounts of many of his OBEs. The book contains much, much more valuable information on the subject than I have touched on, including preliminary exercises and advice on how best to exit the body.
I found this book to be the most interesting, informative, exhaustive and enjoyable work on the subject I've read so far (though Greg Doyle's book "Awakening the Giant within" is also excellent). Monroe is wonderfully articulate. Few people in this day and age write so well. I highly recommend that you read the book. Have a great read!
on 26 March 2012
"Journeys out of the body" was the first of three books by Robert Monroe detailing his out-of-body experiences. Monroe have mastered the ability to travel in the astral realm and other realms beyond our everyday consciousness. His soul has left the physical body on innumerable occasions, and traveled to the world of spirits. Apparently, Monroe has the ability to visit three distinct levels of reality: our own physical realm (Locale I), the astral world (Locale II) and a kind of twin world to our own Earth (Locale III). The astral world is spiritual and made out of consciousness, while Locales I and III are physical.
Or so he claims.
Monroe seems to have obtained the ability of "astral travel" spontaneously, against his own will. Later, he learned how to master the technique. He even founded an institute devoted to teach the ability to induce out-of-body experiences in others. The Monroe Institute still exists.
Sceptics will not be amused by this book, apparently a cult phenomenon when first published in 1971. Religious believers (read: Christians) might also be disturbed, since Monroe's findings are often at variance with traditional Christian teachings. Eastern Orthodox writer Seraphim Rose takes on Monroe in his very own cult phenomenon "The Soul After Death".
The astral world supposedly visited by Monroe during his OOB's is virtually teeming with demons, some of whom are threatening, while others are just absurd. His astral double has fought them on a number of occasions. Prayers to Jesus or the Christian God doesn't help. There's also an entire hell realm, completely filled with demonic creatures, a realm the astral traveller has to pass through on his way to and from the material world. Many of these creatures look like remoras who attached themselves to Monroe's astral body. The closest thing to a personal god is a powerful being whose chariot rides on top of the spirits, who form a kind of "human bridge" when He passes. Monroe also found out that the astral beings have electric sex with one another, and on occasion with him!
It's interesting to compare Monroe's experiences with those of Dannion Brinkley and Howard Storm, two other writers on similar subjects. Brinkley met some pretty curious spirit-beings during his near-death experiences, and became a New Age prophet of sorts. Storm experienced the hell realms (similar to those described by Monroe), but was eventually saved by Jesus Christ and converted to Christianity as a result. Monroe mostly encountered the bad guys.
Sometimes, the author's experiences sound like alien abductions, as when his mind was probed by an intelligent beam, apparently against Monroe's wishes. The unknown intelligence was impersonal, cold and very powerful. It disappeared in a UFO-like manner, and was using Monroe as a kind of worker-ant to extract an unknown substance for use on the alien home world, in competition with other aliens. Monroe drew the conclusion that this being was indeed the God of monotheism.
His parting word are worth quoting: "By this time, it was getting light, and I sat down and cried, great deep sobs as I have never cried before, because then I knew without qualification or future hope of change that the God of my childhood, of the churches, of religion throughout the world was not as we worshipped him to be - that for the rest of my life, I would `suffer' the loss of this illusion. Are we, then, just leftover laboratory animals? Or perhaps the experiment is still `in process'."
I tend to be somewhat sceptical to books such as "Journeys out of the body", but had I belived in it, I'd say Robert A. Monroe spent some quality time in the company of the Devil himself!
Recommended - if you absolutely want to get in touch...
on 27 October 2001
This was Monroe's first book on the subject of out of body experiences. It is an interesting book as an introduction to the OBE experiences and the beginning of a long and selfless journey for Monroe. I read this after reading "Far Journeys" and was dissapointed, but only because his second book was so incredibly well written and gave so much food for thought. This will give anyone interested in Monroe an in depth backround on his life and how he ended up starting The Monroe Institute. I reccomend this for people interested in the biography of Monroe.
on 19 March 1997
A true classic, written in a very plain and straightforward manner, this book sheds a huge light on the subject of out of body experiences. Mr. Monroe gives a surprisingly objective look to what has become an extremely subjective topic. Especially notable are the detailed descriptions of the entire process of leaving the body, and the locations to which he traveled, feelings, thoughts, etc. A great book even for the most skeptic people out there. I would recommend it 100%.
on 30 April 2010
As a Medium, I found this detailed account of Astral Travel absolutely riveting, if rather alarming at times. Robert A. Monroe tried to prove to himself that we are far more than we think we are. He literally launched himself into the experiments to find other worlds and other planes of existence but I am not convinced it made him entirely happy. Maybe the reason he 'came across' such frightening worlds among all the wonderful ones was because it was not his time to be there in the first place! He believed that we end up where we are meant to be, where like attracts like. So if you have lived a selfish greed-motivated life, you will find yourself among those sorts of souls. His life wasn't over, so he hadn't learnt all that he was meant to by being part of the Earth Plane.
I enjoyed reading all the stories, and was especially intrigued by the one about the Heaven-like realm, but have been left feeling that he was crashing through the dark forests so he could eventually arrive in the peaceful meadow. Should he have waited until it was 'his time to go' and to 'know'?
Picking Up the Ducks (the Spiritual Awakening of an Everyday Medium)
on 2 May 1997
Robert Monroe writes with a style that is informative without being "preachy." His wit, objectivity, and scientific approach adds to his credibility, and further makes the book exciting and enjoyable. The only fault that I found with this book, is the personal techniques that he gives for inducing conscious projection of the astral body are too vague, and provide too little information for one who desires to experience this phenomenon for themselves. Altogether though, this is a good book, and provides much information that is useful to "newbies" and veteran astral travellers alike.
on 8 August 2010
This book opened up another reality to me. There is no doubt that Monroe's experiences are authentic. This book will give courage to people who are moved to experiment with their astral body. I had a partial belief in the spirit world but after reading this book the spirit world has become a fact. I feel that some of Monroes psychic experiences aren't fully differentiated from his unconscious but that is true for most people on the material plane also. It doesn't invalidate his experiences on the astral plane.
This book is a must read for any one who is seeking more than this mundane existence.