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In the company of demons
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!
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