The Trigger of Out-of-Body Journeys:
Robert Monroe's Out-of-Body Research
Monroe (1915-1995) was the pioneer in the investigation
out-of-body experiences (OBEs)
and the author of the ground-breaking books entitled
Journeys Out Of
Far Journeys and
Ultimate Journey. Monroe had a large
number of extensive out-of-body
experiences into the
astral realm - an out-of-body state unbound by time or death.
His testimony of OBE journeys have comforted
millions of people who have had such paranormal
experiences yet not fully understanding
His OBE journeys began spontaneously and without his will
when Monroe would find himself
leaving his physical body and traveling via a second body
(the astral body) to locations far removed from any physical or spiritual reality
he could comprehend. In the ensuing years, Monroe and his
group of researchers began working on methods of inducing and controlling
OBEs and other forms of consciousness in their laboratory.
As an expert in radio technology and in creating patterns of effective sound,
Monroe applied his expertise for their
OBE research. Monroe as his group of
researchers efforts began to
produce significant results, and attracted International
interest among people from all walks of life. In 1974, he
The Monroe Institute and began conducting learning
seminars in self-control of human consciousness. Three patents
were issued to Monroe for the methods and techniques he
developed; and the trademark,
known worldwide. In his book,
Journeys Out Of The Body, Monroe describes a technique
for triggering out-of-body states. The following is a brief description
of his technique:
Technique for Triggering Out-of-Body Experiences
First lie down in a darkened room in a relaxing
Loosen your clothing and remove all jewelry.
Enter into a very relaxing state
and consciously tell yourself that you will remember
everything that happens at this time.
Begin breathing through your half-open mouth.
Concentrate on an object.
When other images start to enter your mind, passively
Try to clear your mind and observe your field of
vision through your closed eyes.
Do nothing more for a while.
Simply look through your closed eyelids at the blackness
in front of you.
After a while, you may notice light patterns.
When these cease, a state of
such relaxation will happen that you lose all awareness
of the body.
You are almost in the state where
your only source of stimulation will be your own
It is this relaxed and refreshed condition where
out-of-body journeys are triggered.
To leave your body, think of
yourself getting lighter and of how nice it would
be to float upwards.
With sufficient practice Monroe claims that a wide
variety of experiences.
There are a wide variety of psychic and
spiritual states that can result from leaving the body consciously.
The traveler can find him or herself in either formed states
(those containing objects) or amorphous states (without
a clearly defined shape) when leaving
the body in this way.
One type of conscious
transition occurs when the traveler simply disconnects the
inner spiritual self from the physical body, and moves out
and away from the physical body consciously. This disconnection
happens frequently in near-death experiences when a
person near-death moves a short distance from the physical body and
This method of slipping out of the body
has little excitement associated with it except for any fear
aroused in the individual who does not understand what is
happening. Robert Monroe described his experience as follows:
"In 1958, without any apparent
cause, I began to float out of my physical body.
It was not voluntary; I was not attempting any mental
feats. It was not during sleep, so I couldn't dismiss
it as simply a dream. I had full, conscious awareness
of what was happening, which of course only made
it worse. I assumed it was some sort of hallucination
caused by something dangerous - a brain tumor, or
impending mental illness. Or imminent death.
"It occurred usually when I would
lie down or relax for rest or preparatory to sleep
- not every time but several times weekly. I would
float up a few feet above my body before I became
aware of what was happening. Terrified, I would
struggle through the air and back into my physical
body. Try as I might, I could not prevent it from
recurring." (Monroe, 2-3)
The out-of-body traveler can also move directly into
a visualized space that is very much like a dream environment
while maintaining continuous awareness of his or
her transition into
this space. Although the experience involves being in a
light sleep, some people have had a
very similar experience while awake when the image
perceived turns into a three-dimensional space via spiritual travel.
OBE traveler's transition to formed environments involves
dynamic movement and the traveler will enter the environment
flying above fields and cities, taking in vast panoramas.
In many cases, the body image of the traveler is more
or less identical to the physical body but this is not always
the case. A common experience is for the traveler to become
a point of consciousness or a unit of awareness with no
sense of a body taking up space. Here travelers identify
themselves as a pure observer - more like a disembodied set of ears and pair of eyes. Sight
and hearing are the two senses that usually dominate during
such spiritual travel.
Moving consciously into amorphous
states is more difficult to describe. These states are usually
areas of intense experience where the dominant reality is
that of light, sound, vibration, motion or emotion.
Going from a waking state or semi-waking state into
an amorphous state is usually the most dramatic kind of
spiritual travel experience. In one type of amorphous transition,
the traveler suddenly senses a powerful vibration or sound
and is caught up in that energy. This is sometimes accompanied
by a feeling of being drawn or propelled by this vibration
at tremendous speed through a dark space. This experience
seems very similar to the descriptions of the tunnel associated
with near-death experiences. Numerous people who came very
close to death (no heartbeat or respiration) have near-death
experiences where they have described different types of
sounds or vibrations which propelled them at seemingly great
speed through a dark tunnel or corridor.
there is a feeling of being catapulted out of the body.
In these cases, the vibrations usually start at a low pitch
and continue gaining in frequency and power until they become
almost explosive in their intensity.
In other cases,
there is the feeling of the inner sounds or vibrations but
not the experience of movement and acceleration. Often,
such static experiences involve hearing spiritual music
or sounds, and can be quite ecstatic.
The above mentioned
inner sounds, along with inner lights, can sometimes act as
a means of transition between the waking state and some
formed inner world.
This transition involving
inner light starts from a waking state, moves initially
to an amorphous state of energy and movement, then to
a formed state of stability. This stable state is usually
a quasi-physical environment.
Sounds occurring during
the conscious transitions out of the body are usually
very powerful and may result in the obliteration of the
body perspective. Monroe discovered that the nerves
which inform the person
of their body's weight, size and position in space, seems to
largely quit functioning when this sound occurs.
of the sounds occurring are of a spiritual or mystical
nature rather than transitional sounds carrying the traveler
to a different location. These higher spiritual sounds are
of a heavenly nature and are ecstatic beyond description.
They are aspects of the final destination of spiritual
travel rather than a phenomenon involving travel to some other
sounds a person may encounter include the sounds similar
to a speeding
train, a loud buzzing, a flute, or sounds of nature
like the roar of a waterfall. These sounds or vibrations
are of such intensity that they seem to pass right through
the body, overpowering the other senses. These are
examples of the transition to ego-loss during spiritual travel where
the person literally merges with the sound.
This illustrates conscious transitions out of the
body which may occur spontaneously. They may
occur due to an
accident or injury, or as a result of deliberate
actions and intentions. The main lesson to be
learned here is that there
is no loss of consciousness during the
transition between the waking state and the
spiritual travel; and consciousness survives
even after bodily death.