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 book entitled
Journeys Out Of
The Body. His record of out of body
experiences in places unbound by time or death has comforted
millions of people who have encountered paranormal incidents.
Unpredictably and without his willing it, Monroe found himself
leaving his physical body and traveling via a second body
to locales far removed from any physical or spiritual reality
he could comprehend. In the ensuing years, Monroe and his
group began work on means and methods of inducing and controlling
this and other forms of consciousness in their laboratory.
As specialists in creating patterns of effective sound,
they used this base for their research. Their efforts gradually
produced significant results, and attracted International
interest among people from all walks of life. In 1974, he
founded 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 so
generated, and the trademark,
HEMI-SYNC, also became broad public knowledge. Other
works by Monroe are
Far Journeys, and
Ultimate Journey. In his book,
Journeys Out Of The Body, Monroe describes a technique
for triggering out-of-body states. Here is a brief description
of the 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 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 experience where the injured
person moves a short distance from the physical body and
This method of slipping out of the body
has little drama associated with it except for the fear
aroused in the individual who does not understand what is
happening. Robert Monroe describes his experiences 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 traveler can also move directly into
a visualized space that is very much like a dream environment
maintaining continuous awareness of the transition into
this space. Though the experience talks about being in a
light sleep when the transition took place, I have had a
very similar experience where I was awake when the image
I was perceiving turned into a three-dimensional space which
I then entered via spiritual travel.
traveler's transition to formed environments will involve
dynamic movement, and the traveler will enter the environment
soaring above fields and cities, taking in vast panoramas.
In many cases, the body image of the traveler is more
or less identical to his 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 which takes up space. Here the traveler
identifies him or herself as pure observer or witness, and
is more of a disembodied set of ears and pair of eyes. Sight
and hearing are the two senses that usually dominate during
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 experience. 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 waking experience and some
formed inner world.
Here is a transition involving
inner light which starts from a waking state, moves initially
to an amorphous state of energy and movement, and then to
a formed state of stability. This stable state is usually
a quasi-physical environment.
occur during conscious transitions out of the body are usually
very powerful, and may result in the obliteration of the
body image. I have found the nerves which inform the person
of his body's weight, size and position in space seem to
largely quit functioning when the sound occurs.
of the sounds which occur are of a spiritual or mystical
nature rather than transitional sounds that carry the traveler
to a different place. These higher spiritual sounds are
of a heavenly nature and are ecstatic beyond description.
They are therefore one of the final destinations of spiritual
travel rather than a means to some other place.
sample sounds one may encounter are the sounds of a speeding
train, a loud buzzing, a flute, or the 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. Here we have an
example of change of identity during spiritual travel where
the individual literally merges with the sound.
illustrates conscious transitions out of the
body which may occur spontaneously, due to an
accident or injury, or as a result of deliberate
action and intention. The key here is that there
is no loss of consciousness during the
transition between the waking state and the