Robert Monroe 'Journeys out of the Body' book review

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There aren’t many books in European and North American Literature that explore and discuss how a person’s spirit and mind might actually leave their body. There seem to be three possible reasons for this. Firstly, that such an ability is impossible. Secondly, that it is possible but no one has achieved it or thirdly, that it is possible, many people can achieve it but no one's allowed to talk about it. This third possibility does fit with our history. In the last two-thousand years, the institutions that dominated us, in particular the Catholic Church, have regarded any investigation of non-physical behaviour as witchcraft. Anyone who practiced such witchcraft faced the punishment of excruciating death.

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The medieval and Renaissance periods of such intolerance were followed by our current period, beginning roughly in the eighteenth century. This period has been better in some ways for us, simply because our major religions don’t burn investigators at the stake. But it has also been worse in another way because our secular, scientific establishment, who supposedly really understands how the universe works, keeps telling everyone that non-physical phenomena, such as spirits, ghosts, astral travel, telepathy etc are impossible. Because of this, anyone who might be able to 'astrally travel' would still think twice about talking about it, both from a religious and secular perspective.

But in fact, scientific evidence clearly shows that 'astral travel' is possible. All living creatures must exist as non-physical minds, with spirit bodies, ones that positively influence their physical bodies, because this is the only way that Life can exist. This is because Life always increases organisation in the universe. This magical phenomena is in direct opposition to entropy, which should govern all physical matter in the universe. Therefore, the only way to resolve this Life-Entropy paradox is to conclude that there is a non-physical, organising presence positively influencing all living things. Without an organising influence originating from outside physical reality, Life would collapse in the face of entropy’s disorganising effect. For more on that subject, do please check out my book, 'how science shows…' and my influence idea article.

Therefore, science actually makes it clear that astral travel is perfectly possible. All of us must be, primarily, minds with ‘astral bodies’, inhabiting our physical bodies and giving them the positive organising influence they need to counter the effects of entropy. Since we are an outside influence, we must not originate in physical reality. Instead, we only function in it during our physical lives. As a result, our moment of physical death is simply when we abandon our physical bodies and leave physical reality, leaving our physical bodies suffer entropy’s effects.

If all this is correct, then it is perfectly logical to expect that we can partly leave our physical bodies during our lives, temporarily, without completely severing our connection to them. Since many of us are curious, inquisitive people, it's also reasonable to expect that some people in our history have actually investigated this possibility. Of course, as mentioned earlier. two-thousand years of violent intolerance, ridicule and indoctrination in the Western World has made it difficult for anyone to talk about what they've found.

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Fortunately, a few writers have written about their personal experiences of consciously leaving their physical bodies. In the seventeenth century, Johann Swedenborg talked at length of his experiences in his book 'Heaven and Hell'. In the early twentieth century, Sylvain Muldoon and Hereward Carrington wrote a book together about astral projection entitled ‘projections of the astral body’ and more recently, Robert A. Monroe, an American businessman and teacher, described his experiences in his book ‘Journeys out of the Body’.

I’ve recently finished reading Monroe’s book and I very much enjoyed it. I had read his second book ‘Far Journeys’ fifteen years ago and found it extremely hard to believe. In truth, I would have been much better off reading his first book first, as it is a more grounded, practical and believable account of astral travel.

In his book, Monroe explains what caused him to begin experimenting with astral travel, a process that consists simply of his mind and ‘spirit body’ leaving his physical body and moving around, without entirely severing the connection to that physical body. Monroe talks through the techniques he used to get his mind-spirit-body to separate from his physical body while he stayed conscious. He makes it clear that all of us actually perform this act when we are sleeping. We simply don’t remember doing it, or if we do remember it, it comes to us as a strange dream. Effectively, all Monroe was therefore trying to do, as recounted in his book, was to consciously perform the action of separation rather than unconsciously performing it.

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It’s worth noting that Monroe makes it very clear that such a conscious separation of one’s mind and spirit body from one’s physical body is a very difficult skill to master. It takes much practice and mental focus. The learned people of Tibet, Ancient Egypt and other cultures back up this view. But Monroe also makes it clear that such an ability is achievable by many, many people if they put in sufficient time and effort.

Towards the end of his book, Monroe ponders several consequences of what he discovered. Here is a long excerpt, starting on page 265:

Many if not all living human beings have a Second Body. For reasons yet unknown, many if not all human beings temporarily separate from their physical bodies via this Second Body during sleep. This is done without conscious memory, except in rare instances. Far more rare are those instances when separation is obtained with conscious intent.

However, the latter case poses some startling statistics and probabilities. It is inconceivable that one experimental ‘ability’ is unique. If one person can perform this dissociative action, there must be others now living who can do the same, probably more efficiently. But how many others are there? Can one person in a thousand do it? In ten thousand? In a hundred thousand? In a million? Let us assume that only one person in a million can perform in the Second Body consistently and consciously. This means that as of this moment, there are more than thirty-five hundred humans now living who can operate in the Second Body, probably better than I can. Such a group, if organised, could control the destiny of Mankind. Which leads to the question; Are any of them organised now, and do they now control our destiny?

Before dismissing this as an absurdity, consider that I was able to affect another living human being physically, in the ‘pinching’ episode. If one can do this, so can others. Nothing more than a pinch at the right time in the right place in the physical body of another human being could change the world. It takes little imagination to visualise a pinched cerebral artery in the brain as the cause of the stroke in a world leader. Or a lifesaving pinch in a haemorrhaging brain artery of another. All that is needed is the ability and the intent. If there are restraints or deterrents to such possible action, they are not apparent.

Further, a person operating in the Second Body can affect other beings mentally. How much and in what manner is still uncertain. However, the experiments show that it can be done. Such effects may show in nothing more than sleep disturbances. They could result in unaccounted-for compulsions, fears, neuroses, or irrational actions. From the data, it would seem that no more is needed than perfected techniques to systematically accomplish this at will. Perhaps this too has already been done.

Wilful use of the Second Body, then, potentially yields power so great that other means are helpless against it. People wielding this power might well be able to suppress or divert any serious expanded study into this area of knowledge. If history is any indication, something has already retarded growth in this direction. First, it was a wall of ignorance. Next came a veil of superstition. Today, a double barrier exists; the suspicion of organised religion and the derision of recognised science.


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I completely agree with Bob Monroe’s comments. I thought along these same lines while I wrote my non-fiction, science book ‘How science shows’. The idea also came into sharp focus when I was investigating remote viewing. I wrote about this matter in my ‘psi-eartharticles. These articles describe a world where an elite group of people are in control of the Western World, a group that understand and use the psi-powers that all of us potentially can master. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this adept-group don't pass on this knowledge and education to the rest of us. Instead, they actively promulgate the belief that such abilities are impossible. They encourage and manipulate the leaders of our society, our supposed wise elders, to reinforce an erroneous and materialist view. In this set-up, these overlords therefore have abilities that give them a huge advantage over us and we don't even believe that such abilities are possible, making their advantage even more unsurmountable. Such a scenario, sadly, does seem to fit our current situation. What's more, history seems to indicate that it has probably been going on for at least two-thousand years, all the way back to the era of Ancient Greece and the Eleusinian Mysteries, or even before, to the priest-and-followers world of Ancient Egypt. It is an idea that reeks of paranoia, but as I've explained, it is a logically sound idea that fits with true scientific evidence, history and human psychology.

If the theory just described is correct, then Western Civilisation is a cult, all the way back from its roots in Sumer, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. As in many cults, the overlord-leaders have indoctrinated us into an irrational belief system that serves their interests, while leaving us in a state of self-restrictive delusion. It is a dark and despairing situation. However true it is, we do have the negative consequences of such a cult-like strategy. In particular, we have climate change, the most severe and palpable result of our irrational and delusional obsession with material wealth and status, carried out to the detriment of our environment. Climate change is accelerating and it will collapse our Western World in the next century, and as with all cults, the collapse will probably trigger our leaders to do a runner with what they’ve conned out of us, while we are left with the mess and the awful realisation of our catastrophic foolishness.

Interestingly, a book was written a very long time ago explaining exactly that idea, that human civilisation was a shallow, deluded, materialist cult, created by overlords to fool and manipulate their human subjects. I’ll write about it in my next blog.