Robert Allan Monroe, also known as Bob Monroe (October 30, 1915 – March 17, 1995), achieved worldwide recognition as an explorer of human consciousness. His 1971 book Journeys Out of the Body is credited with popularizing the term "out-of-body experience".
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Journeys Out of the Body (1971)
- It was an interesting experience, to say the least.. The publication of the book quite thoroughly “blew my cover” as a reasonably orthodox business executive. However, a good many of the results were totally unexpected, and some of the serious trepidations were unfounded... I was greatly concerned about the reaction to the book of the board of directors of the corporation of which I was president... At the first board meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after the book publication, no one mentioned it... However, as we cruised up the canal in the board chairman's yacht, on our way to dinner at the country club, the chairman's wife came up from below deck with a copy of Journeys in her hand, “Bob, will you autograph this for me?” she asked. I complied, more than a little self-conscious and surprised. I should not have been. “Interesting stuff,” the chairman called over his shoulder as he steered for the yacht club dock. “My wife is a real psychic. I never make a major business deal without a reading from her. It works, too”... I was not asked to resign. Actually, I found little or no adverse effect on my business relationships as a result of the public disclosure of this “private” side of my life. Instead, many broad new avenues opened up to me, totally unexpected. Who could have guessed that I would speak on out-of-body experiences at such an august and conservative body as the Smithsonian Institution!
- For the most part, I would set up the conscious out-of-body state, then turn the action over to my total self (soul?). My present consciousness would go along for the ride, as a part of the whole. The results have been: ecstatic, illuminating, confusing, awe-inspiring, humbling, reassuring—experience and exploration far beyond my ability to conceive of, most of it an apparent educational program that I am absorbing bit by bit.
- Our work has attracted the interest and cooperation of physicists, psychologists, biochemists, engineers, educators, psychiatrists, corporate presidents, statisticians, many of whom serve on our board of advisers. Among the eleven thousand plus pieces of mail received to date, many sighs of relief were reported. The secret could be talked about without the need for sanity hearings. Thus the book is serving its primary purpose.
Chapter 1. Not With a Wand, Nor Lightly
- The following ordinarily would appear in a foreword or preface. It is placed here on the assumption that most readers skip such preliminaries to get to the meat of the matter. In this case, the following is the crux of it all.
- The primary purposes for the release and publication of the material contained here are (i) that through dissemination as widely as possible, some other human being—perhaps just one—may be saved from the agony and terror of trial and error in an area where there have been no concrete answers; that he may have comfort in the knowledge that others have had the same experiences; that he will recognize in himself the phenomenon and thus avoid the trauma of psychotherapy, or at the worst, mental breakdown and commitment to a mental institution; and (2) that tomorrow or in the years to come, the formal, accepted sciences of our culture will expand their horizons, concepts, postulates, and research to open wide the avenues and doorways intimated herein to the great enrichment of man's knowledge and understanding of himself and his complete environment. If one or both of these aims are served, whenever and wherever it may be, this is sufficient reward indeed.
- The presentation of such material is not designed for any particular scientific group. Rather, the principal attempt is to be as specific as possible in language understandable to scientists and laymen alike, with avoidance of ambiguous generalities. The physicist, chemist, life scientist, psychiatrist, and philosopher may each use more technical or specialized terminology to state the same premise. Such interpretation is expected. It will indicate that the plan of communication is workable, that the "plain" talk does convey the proper meaning to a wide base rather than to a narrow pinnacle of specialists. It is expected, too, that many interpretations will be contradictory.
- The most difficult mental process of all is to consider objectively any concept which, if accepted as fact, will toss into discard a lifetime of training and experience. Yet much has already been accepted as fact on far less direct evidence than that presented here, and is now "accepted."
- In the spring of 1958 I was living a reasonably normal life with a reasonably normal family. Because we appreciated nature and quiet, ours was a country environment. The only unorthodox activity was my experimentation with techniques of data learning during sleep—with myself as the chief subject.
Chapter 2. Search and Research
- What does one do when faced with an unknown? Turn away and forget about it? In this case, two factors negated that possibility.
- There was no question that I was deeply afraid of what might happen to me if the "condition" continued. I was much more concerned about the possibility of a growing mental illness than a physical deterioration. I had studied enough psychology and had enough psychologist and psychiatrist friends to compound such fears. Moreover, I was afraid to discuss the matter with these friends. I was afraid that I would then be classified as their "patients," and lose the closeness that equality (normalcy) brings. Non-professional friends in business and community would be worse. I would be labeled a freak or psychotic, which could seriously affect my life and the lives of those close to me. Finally, it seemed to be something to keep from my family. It seemed unnecessary that they worry along with me.
- It was only the definite need to explain odd actions that forced the disclosure to my wife. She accepted it reluctantly because there was no other real choice, and thus she became a worried witness to incidents and events much in contradiction to her religious training.
- Away at college, my older daughter reported that after she and her roommate had looked around the empty dorm room one night, she said, "Daddy, if you're here, I think you better go now. We want to get undressed for bed." Actually, I was two hundred miles away at the time, both physically and otherwise.
- Gradually I became more accustomed to this strange addition in my life. More and more, I was slowly able to control its movements. In a few ways it had actually become helpful. I had become reluctant to part with it. The mystery of its very presence had aroused my curiosity.
- Even after I had determined that there was no physiological cause, and that I was no more insane than most of my fellow men, the fears persisted. It was a defect, illness, or deformity that had to be hidden from "normal" people.
- Finally, I began to experiment with this strange aberration, keeping notes of each event. I also began to read in areas of study long neglected in my life pattern. Religion had not greatly influenced my thinking, yet it seemed that this was the only remaining body of the writings and knowledge of man in which I could look for answers. Beyond childhood churchgoing and rare attendance with a friend, God and church and religion had meant little to me. In fact, I hadn't given the matter much thought one way or another, as it simply didn't evoke my interest.
- The best advice seemed to be to pray, meditate, fast, go to church, absolve my sins, accept the Trinity, believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, resist Evil, or resist not Evil, and give myself to God. All of this did nothing but add to the conflict.
- In the Eastern religions I found more acceptance of the idea, as Dr. Bradshaw had indicated. There was much talk of the existence of a non-physical body. Again, such a condition of being was the product of great spiritual development Only Masters, Gurus, and other long-trained Holy Men had the ability to leave their physical bodies temporarily to achieve indescribable mystical insights. There were no details, and no pragmatic explanation of what was meant by spiritual development. Implied was that in the practices of secret cults, sects, lamaseries, etc., such details were common knowledge. If this were true, what or who was I? Certainly too old to start life anew in Tibetan monastery. The loneliness became acute. Evidently, there were no answers. Not in our culture.
- I discovered the existence of an underground... This underground only occasionally intermingles in part with the worlds of business, science, politics, academia, and the so-called arts... it definitely...infiltrates all of Western civilization.... one thing is usually certain: members of this underground who are respected in their communities don't talk about the interest or beliefs that qualify them for membership unless they know you too are in the club. They have learned from experience that to be outspoken brings censure —from their ministers, customers, employers, or even friends... They are found in all walks of life: scientists, psychiatrists, physicians, housewives, college students, businessmen, teenagers, and at least a few ministers in formal religions... They gather in small groups, quietly and often semi-secretly... usually discuss affairs of the underground only with other members... All are to some degree emotionally and intellectually dedicated to a cause. Finally, the underground has its own literature, language, technology, and to some extent demigods.
- The common bond or cause that draws them together is simple. All have a belief that (1) man's Inner Self is neither understood nor fully expressed in our contemporary society; and (2) this Inner Self has capabilities to act and perform mentally and materially to a degree unknown and unrecognized by modem science.
- According to the literature of the psychic underground, the religious-mystical history of man constantly makes reference to this Second Body. Long before Christianity and the Bible appeared, cultures in Egypt, India, and China, to name a few, held the Second Body idea as standard operating procedure. Historians have found these references again and again, but evidently consigned them to the mythology of the times.
If one reads the Bible from this point of view, the belief is confirmed many times in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Catholic Church are found consistent reports of saints and other religious figures having such experiences, some of them willfully. Even in Protestantism, devout followers have reported the out-of-body experience during some form of religious ecstasy.
In the Orient, the concept of a Second Body has long held a natural and accepted position of reality.
Chapter 3. On the Evidence
- In the fall of 1964 an interesting meeting was held one evening in Los Angeles. It was composed of some twenty assorted psychiatrists, psychologists, scientists, et al—and myself. It was a most rewarding evening. The purpose of the meeting was to examine with sincerity and seriousness tje experiences and experiments which have been condensed herein. After several hours of interrogation by the group, it was my turn. I asked two simple questions of each of them:
"If you were going through what I have been experiencing, what would you do?"...It was the definite opinion of the majority—more than two thirds—that every effort should be made to continue, such experimentation in the hope of enlightening and expanding man's knowledge of himself. Several half seriously stated that I should run, not walk, to the nearest psychiatrist. (None present offered his services.)
The second question: "Would you, personally, take part in experiments that would lead to the creation of such unusual activity in yourself?"
- Here, the pattern changed somewhat. About half stated their willingness to participate. Oddly, in this group were some of those who were most skeptical of the reality of such experiences. Of course, this gave me the opportunity to nudge gently those who were in favor of continued experiments.
- Some of the key reports from the notes, which aroused their interest. 9/10/58 Afternoon. Again, I floated upward, with the intent of visiting Dr. Bradshaw... ill in bed with a cold... I would visit him in the bedroom, which was a room I had not seen in his house and if I could describe it later, could thus document my visit../Momentarily, I saw (in the sky?) a figure of a rounded human form, seemingly dressed in robes and a headpiece on his head (an oriental concept remains), sitting, arms in lap, perhaps cross-legged a la Buddha; then it faded... I had the feeling that the energy was leaving, and I felt I wouldn't make it. With this thought, an amazing thing happened. It felt precisely as if someone had placed a hand under each arm and lifted me... I came upon Dr. and Mrs. Brad-show. They were outside the house... I floated around in front of them, waving, trying to get their attention without result...
- Important aftermath: We phoned Dr. and Mrs, Bradshaw that evening...With Mrs. Bradshaw on the phone, I asked the simple question. She stated that roughly at four twenty-five they were walking out of the house toward the garage... The coincidences involved were too much. It was not important to prove this to anyone else... It proves to me—truly for the first time—that there might well be more to this than normal science and psychology and psychiatry allow—more than an aberration, trauma, or hallucination— and I needed some form of proof more than anyone else... It is a simple incident, but unforgettable.
Chapter 4. The Here-Now
- One of the most common questions that arises during any discussion of the Second Body and the Second State is: Where do you go? In evaluation of all experiments, there evolved what seemed to be three Second State environments. The first of these was identified as Locale I, for lack of a better nomenclature. More appropriately, it could be called the "Here-Now."
- On a sunny afternoon, you start off. Naturally, you rise high in the air so as to avoid obstacles of trees, buildings, etc. Uncertain, you don't go too high. You want to be able to recognize landmarks which might be difficult to see from five thousand feet. Therefore, you stay low, about a hundred feet off the ground. Now, which way to go. You look for points of familiarity. It is at that moment you realize you have a problem. You don't have a compass course to George's house, and it wouldn't do you any good if you did. You don't have a compass. Undaunted, you decide to cut across the city, using the familiar buildings and streets as guideposts. You have driven the route many times, so you should find your way easily.
- 11/27/62...Went into relaxation countdown... Used peel-off to get out of body, just as if outer layer of physical were being removed, then free and floating in room...Went slowly through west wall, feeling texture of each layer of material... Stiff concentrating on Mr. Bahnson, finally stopped. Was in normal-sized room, bedroom, with three people in it. There was a large bed to the right, and two adults lay on it. A little girl, about five or six, was sitting on the floor beside the bed, to the left of it. The little girl looked directly at me and said excitedly, "1 know what you are!' I turned to her, as gently and warmly as I could so as not to frighten her, and said, "You do? Good! What am I?" She was not at all afraid when she said, "You're an astral projection!" (She may have used another term such as "ghost," but it was definite understanding on her part, one way or another.)...I sensed a need to return to the physical, and turned back to the three people. I asked if they would like to see me "take off" and the little girl was eager, and the two adults appeared relieved. I used stretch technique, shot up through the ceiling, and returned to the physical without problems.
Chapter 5. Infinity, Eternity
- The best introduction to Locale II is to suggest a room with a sign over the door saying, "Please Check All Physical Concepts Here." If getting accustomed to the idea of a Second Body was an uneasy experience, Locale II may be hard to take.
- It is an immensity whose bounds are unknown (to this experimenter), 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 (See Chapter VIII), which are but part of Locale II, It is inhabited, if that is the word, by entities with various degrees of intelligence with whom communication is possible.
- As you think, so you are. In this environment, no mechanical supplements are found. No cars, boats, airplanes, or rockets are needed for transportation. You think movement, and it is fact. No telephones, radio, television, and other communication aids have value. Communication is instantaneous. No farms, gardens, cattle ranches, processing plants, or retail outlets are in evidence. In all experimental visits, no food energy needs were indicated. How energy is replaced—if it is truly spent—is not known. "Mere" thought is the force that supplies any need or desire, and what you think is the matrix of your action, situation, and position in this greater reality. This is essentially the message that religion and philosophy have been attempting to convey throughout the ages, although perhaps less bluntly and often distorted.
- Just as various wave frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum can simultaneously occupy space, with a minimum of interaction, so might the world or worlds of Locale II be interspersed in our physical-matter world. Except for rare or unusual conditions, our "natural" senses and our instruments which are extensions thereof are completely unable to perceive and report this potential. If we consider this premise, the "where" is answered neatly. "Where" is "here." The history of man's sciences supports this premise.
- We had no idea that sounds existed beyond the range of human hearing until we developed instruments to detect, measure, and create them. Until comparatively recently, those who claimed they could hear what others could not were considered insane or persecuted as witches and sorcerers. We were able to perceive the electromagnetic spectrum only in terms of heat and light until the last century. We are still unaware of the capacity of the human brain, an electrochemical organism, in terms of transmission and reception of electromagnetic radiation. With this gap unbridged, it is easy to understand why modern science has not begun to consider the ability of the human mind to penetrate an area where no serious theory has been promulgated.
- My first visits to Locale II brought out all the repressed emotional patterns I even remotely considered I had—plus many I didn't know existed. They so dominated my actions that I returned completely abashed and embarrassed at their enormity and my inability to control them. Fear was the dominant theme—fear of the unknown, of strange beings (non-physical), of "death," of God, of rule-breaking, of discovery, and of pain, to name only a few. Such fears were stronger than the sexual drive for union, which, as noted which, as noted elsewhere, was in itself a tremendous obstacle.
Chapter 6. Reverse Image
- Paradoxically, the scientist today can conceive far more easily of the possibility of the area here labeled Locale III than that of Locale II. Why? Because it fits his latest discoveries in physics, small bits of evidence he has uncovered in his experiments with matter bombardment, accelerators, cyclotrons, etc. The best way to get acquainted with Locale III is to take the significant experiments leading up to it directly from the notes.
- 11/18/58 Night
The vibrations came in strong, but nothing more. Again, I thought to try the rotation. When I did, it worked, and I rotated slowly into the 180° position. There was the wall and the hole and the blackness beyond. This time I was more cautious. Carefully, I reached a hand through into the blackness. I was astounded when a hand took mine and shook it! It felt like a human hand, normally warm to the touch. After the handshake, I withdrew my hand quickly. Slowly, I reached into the hole again. The hand shook mine again, and placed a card in it. I withdrew my hand and "looked" at the card. It gave a specific address. I returned the card through the hole, shook hands again, withdrew my hand, rotated back to normal, merged with the physical, and sat up. Most unusual. I will have to investigate this address on Broadway, if it is in New York.
- 12/5/58 Morning
I rotated again, and again found the hole. Still with a note of caution, I approached the hole, and this time reached through with both hands. Instantly, both were grasped by two other hands. Then for the first time in all my experimentation, my name was called. A voice—feminine, soft, low-pitched, and urgent (just as if someone were trying to wake me up from sleep without startling me too much)— called, "Bob! Bob!" I was startled at first, then recovered and asked, "What is your name?"..
Chapter 7. Post Mortem
- Any acknowledgment of the existence of the Second Body immediately demands the question mankind has pondered since the day he learned to think: Do we live on? Is there life beyond the grave? Our religions say believe, have faith. This is not quite enough for the syllogistic thinker who seeks valid premises that are clear-cut, leading to an inescapable conclusion.
- To date, in twelve years of non-physical activities, I find no evidence to substantiate the biblical notions of God and afterlife in a place called heaven. Perhaps I have found this and simply haven't recognized it. It is quite possible. It may be that I am not "qualified." On the other hand, much of what I have encountered could be some basics which have been distorted through hundreds of years... Somewhere, someone knew how to pray. He tried to teach others. A few learned the methodology. Others absorbed only the words, and the words themselves became altered and changed over the years. Gradually, the technique was lost, until accidentally (?) rediscovered periodically through the ages. In the latter cases, only rarely has the rediscoverer been able to convince others that the Old, Established Way is not quite right.
- This is all I can report. The Old, Established Way is not enough. Or as I say, perhaps I am not qualified. Worse still, it may be that my prayer training was insufficient or improper. At any rate, it didn't work for me.
- The moment I left the physical, I became aware of three beings in the room. I stayed cautiously close to my physical body as they came nearer. They started to pull at me, not hard, but deliberately as if to see what I would do. They were having a good time at it. I tried to stay calm, but there were three of them. I wasn't sure I could get back into the physical quickly enough before they pulled me away. So I prayed. Again, I used every prayer I knew. I asked God to help me. I prayed in the name of Jesus Christ for help. I tried a few saints I had heard of through my Catholic wife. The result? My tormentors laughed loudly and worked me over more enthusiastically. "Listen to him pray to his gods," one chuckled, most contemptuously. "Listen to him!" I think I got a little angry after that. I began to push back, got close to my physical body, and dove in. I wasn't exactly fighting back, but I certainly didn't remain passive.
- In non-physical trips to Locale II, often there is a "layer" or area which one must pass through...It is a gray-black hungry ocean where the slightest motion attracts nibbling and tormenting beings... If you move slowly and do not react to the curious "fish" who come to investigate, you pass through without much incident. Move violently and fight back, then more excited denizens come rushing in to bite, pull, push, shove.
Could this be the borders of hell? It is easy to conclude that a momentary penetration of this nearby layer would bring "demons" and "devils" to mind as the chief inhabitants. They seem subhuman, yet have an evident ability to act and think independently. Who and what are they? I don't know. I haven't taken the trouble to stay there long enough to find out. Only by terrified trial and error did I find the method to pass through in reasonable peace.
- In these worlds where thoughts are not only things, but are everything, including you, your poison or perfection is of your own making. If you are a remorseless killer, you may end up in that part of Locale II where all are of the same design. This truly would be hell for such people, for there would be no innocent, defenseless victims. Project this outward, and you can begin to perceive the myriad variations. Your destination in the heaven or hell of Locale II seems to be grounded completely within the framework of your deepest constant (and perhaps non-conscious) motivations, emotions, and personality drives. The most consistent and strongest of these act as your "homing" device when you enter this realm. I am sure of this because it always works this way when I have traveled non-physically in Locale II. It works this way whether I want it to or not. The least stray desire at the wrong time, or a deep-seated emotion I wasn't aware of, diverts my trip in that 'like" direction. Some of the resulting destinations have had all the aspects of hell to me. Others might possibly be construed as heaven...
Chapter 8. Because the Bible Tells Me So
- In the midst of normal activity, whatever it may be, there is a distant Signal, almost like heraldic trumpets. Everyone takes the Signal calmly, and with it, everyone stops speaking or whatever he may be doing. It is the Signal that He (or They) is coming through His Kingdom. There is no awestruck prostration or falling down on one's knees. Rather, the attitude is most matter-of-fact It is an occurrence to which all are accustomed and to comply takes absolute precedence over everything. There are no exceptions.
- At the Signal, each living thing lies down—my impression is on their backs... with head turned to one side so that one does not see Him as He passes by. The purpose seems to be to form a living road over which He can travel...The purpose of the abdominal exposure is an expression of faith and complete submissiveness...There is no movement, not even thought, as He passes by. Everything has come to a momentary standstill, full and complete, while He passes. In the several times that I have experienced this, I lay down with the others. At the time, the thought of doing otherwise was inconceivable. As He passes, there is a roaring musical sound and a feeling of radiant, irresistible living force of ultimate power that peaks overhead and fades in the distance... After His passing, everyone gets up again and resumes their activities. There is no comment or mention of the incident, no further thought of it There is complete acceptance of the event as an ordinary part of their lives, and this is the great yet subtle difference. It is an action as casual as halting for a traffic light at a busy intersection, or waiting at the railroad crossing when the signal indicates that a train is coming; you are unconcerned and yet feel unspoken respect for the power represented in the passing train. The event is also impersonal.
- Three times I have "gone" to a place that I cannot find words to describe accurately. Again, it is this vision, this interpretation, the temporary visitation to this "place" or state of being that brings the message we have heard so often throughout the history of man. I am sure that this may be part of the ultimate heaven as our religions conceive it It must also be the nirvana, the Samadhi, the supreme experience related to us by the mystics of the ages.
- To me, it was a place or condition of pure peace, yet exquisite emotion. It was as if you were floating in warm soft clouds where there is no up or down, where nothing exists as a separate piece of matter. The warmth is not merely around you, it is of you and through you. Your perception is dazzled and overwhelmed by the Perfect Environment. The cloud in which you float is swept by rays of light in shapes and hues that are constantly changing, and each is good as you bathe in them as they pass over you. Ruby-red rays of light, or something beyond what we know as light, because no light ever felt this meaningful. All the colors of the spectrum come and go constantly, never harshly, and each brings a different soothing or restful happiness... You respond and drink into you the eternity of the blues, yellows, greens, and reds, and the complexities of the intermediates. All are familiar to you. This is where you belong. This is Home... The mundane is missing. Choirs of human-sounding voices echo in wordless song. Infinite patterns of strings in all shades of subtle harmony interweave in cyclical yet developing themes, and you resonate with them. There is no source from which the Music comes. It is there, all around you, in you, you are a part of it, and it is you.
- It is the purity of a truth of which you have had only a glimpse. This is the feast, and the tiny tidbits you tasted before, back there, had made you hope for the existence of the Whole. The nameless emotion, longing, nostalgia, sense of destiny that you felt back there when you stared at the cloud layered sunset in Hawaii, when you stood quietly among the tall, waving trees in the silent forest, when a musical selection, passage, or song recalled memories of the past or brought forth a longing for which there was no associated memory, when you longed for the place where you belonged, whether city, town, country, nation, or family—these are now fulfilled. You are Home. You are where you belong. Where you always should have been.
- Most important, you are not alone. With you, beside you, interlocked in you are others. They do not have names, nor are you aware of them as shapes, but you know them and you are bonded to them with a great single knowledge. They are exactly like you, they are you, and like you, they are Home. You feel with them, like gentle waves of electricity passing between you, a completeness of love, of which all the facets you have experienced are but segments and incomplete portions. Only here, the emotion is without need of intense display or demonstration. You give and receive as an automatic action, with no deliberate effort. It is not something you need or that needs you. The "reaching out" is gone. The interchange flows naturally. You are unaware of differences in sex, you yourself as a part of the whole are both male and female, positive and negative, electron and proton. Man-woman love moves to you and from you, parent-child-sibling-idol and idyll and ideal—all interplay in soft waves about you, in you, and through you. You are in perfect balance because you are where you belong. You are Home.
- Each of the three times I went There, I did not return voluntarily. I came back sadly, reluctantly. Someone helped me return. Each time after I returned, I suffered intense nostalgia and loneliness for days. I felt as an alien might among strangers in a land where things were not "right," where everything and everyone was so different and so "wrong" when compared with where you belonged. Acute loneliness, nostalgia, and something akin to homesickness. So great was it that I have not tried to go There again. Was this heaven?
Chapter 9. Angels and Archetypes
- One of the greatest enigmas of this whole affair is that someone—or more than one—has been helping me from time to time in such experimentation. Perhaps they are with me every time, and I am just not aware of them. I do not know who these helpers are or why they are helping me. They certainly do not seem to be guardian angels, although a more conventionally oriented personality might so interpret them. They do not always respond when I need help, nor are they always responsive to prayer. Mental anguish and screaming have sometimes brought one of them. More often, they help me when I do not ask for help—or again, when I am not aware of asking. Their assistance seems to be more of their choosing and deliberation than mine. They are rarely "friendly" in the sense that we understand the term. Yet there is a definite sense of understanding, knowledge, and purposefulness in their actions toward me. I feel no intent on their part to bring harm to me and I trust their directions.
- I did not see who was assisting me. However, just prior to the assistance, I saw someone sitting yoga-fashion, with robes and headpiece... Of all the helpers from whom I have obtained some repeatable identification, only one have I been able to identify a second time.
- In my visit to Agnew Bahnson in Locale II, someone held me in position to see him. The feeling of gentle but firm hands on each side of me was very strong. The same hands, turning me around to leave, much as one steers a blind person, could not have been more vivid. It was another case of a helper responding to a specific desire on my part.
- When I panicked, screamed, and prayed against the barrier on my way back, no help came. When I was being teased and tormented by the entities, no help came. When I was attacked by the beings so savagely, no help came. More accurately, if it did, I was not aware of it.
- Most of all, who quietly insisted that I return to the physical when I drifted in that seemingly eternal bliss? I don't know whether to be grateful or sad for that particular help.
- I was about to lift out when two hands held a book in front of my closed eyes. The book was riffled, turned around on all sides so that I could see that it was a book. The book was then opened, and I started to read. The gist of what I read was that in order willfully to bring back a condition, it was necessary to recreate the feeling of a similar experience that had occurred in the past (i.e., was a part of your memory). I took this to mean that one should think of the "feeling," rather than the details of the incident. Several illustrations were given, then gradually the book went out of focus as the vibrations faded, and try as I might, I could not continue reading. Finally, I sat up physically and made notes.
Chapter 10. Intelligent Animals
- Throughout man's history, the reports have been consistent. There are demons, spirits, goblins, gremlins, and assorted subhuman entities always hanging around humanity to make life miserable. Are these myths? Hallucinations?
- After some twenty minutes of calming myself down, I returned to bed. I was naturally reluctant immediately to try to sleep again. I did not want a recurrence of the fight. I knew of no way to prevent it. I tried what seemed to be the only answer. (The alternative was to stay awake all night, and I was much too tired.) I lay there and repeated, "My mind and body are open only to constructive forces; in the name of God and good, I am going into normal restful sleep." I did, and awoke at my usual time in the morning. Before sleep came I had repeated the phrase at least twenty times.
- In retrospect, I still cannot find an alternative, nor do I know of any method, place, person, religious practice (that I would be sure of), drug, or anything else in my fund of knowledge, experience, and information that would absolutely guarantee protection against whatever attacked me. However, there must be something other than the pure "fighting back" in self-defense, even if you don't know what you are fighting. It was the same defense mechanism you would use if you were attacked by an animal at night in the jungle. You don't stop to find a way to fight in the middle of the fight. You don't stop to find out what attacked you. You fight to save yourself, with what you have now, the moment the animal attacks. You fight desperately, not thinking at the time how to fight, why you fight, whom you fight. You have been attacked; the unprovoked attack in itself seems to indicate to you that whatever is attacking you is not good, or else it would not attack you in this manner.
Chapter 11. Gift or Burden
- Early in the experimentation, a side effect began to manifest itself. It was not an out-of-body activity as such, but took place in states of deep relaxation prior to any separation. It is evidently called in the trade "precognition." As I was lying down, my mind stilled and body relaxed, without my volition, the "vision" would occur.
- I would see and semiexperience an event or incident like a dream, except that I retained all of my consciousness and sense awareness. The dream would be superimposed directly over outside stimuli. I could perceive both quite readily. I could not and cannot produce the effect at will. It merely happened or was triggered by some non-conscious mechanism. At first, I paid no particular attention to the phenomenon, attributing the dream visions to release of material from the unconscious. A major event brought it strongly to my attention.
- My family and I are in a situation where the whole population of the city we live in is trying to leave. Gasoline is unavailable, electric power has been shut off. There is a great sense of fatality among everyone. It doesn't seem to be the product of atomic war, and there is no concern as to radioactive fallout. There is principally a feeling of doom and the breakup of civilization as we know it due to something momentous having taken place, a factor beyond human ability to control.
Chapter 12. Round Holes and Square Pegs
- The man who was my host looked at me and smiled, then took me over to the other side of the house overlooking the valley, indicating that he would show me another thing the device could do... A small fire was burning brightly on the hillside some three hundred yards away, with smoke curling up into the sky. He told me to use the narrow beam, and aim at the fire. I did, and immediately the fire went out. The flame shut off as if suddenly extinguished. The smoke held for a moment or so longer, then it too was gone.
Chapter 13. The Second Body
- The basic characteristics noted have been confirmed many other times in various ways. Still, there appears to be no method to validate such evidence except by personal experience and observation by others. Perhaps this will come, in time.
- This Second Body has weight as we understand it. It is subject to gravitational attraction, although much less than the physical body. The physicist might explain this, of course, by saying that it is a question of mass, and anything that can interpenetrate a wall must have so little density as to be able to sift through the space between the molecular matter structure. Such little density implies very little mass—but it still may be matter. This is further supported by the half-out experiment, where the legs and hips were separated, then allowed to drift downward and drape over the bed. The low-density mass fell as a feather would fall. Pushing through the wall may be an example also.
Chapter 14. Mind and Supermind
- Having described the "physical" aspects of the Second Body, it would seem most important to examine how the mind apparently operates in reaction to the Second Body experience.
- The question posed most often is: How do you know you aren't dreaming, that what you experience is nothing more than a vivid dream or a hallucination of some sort?
- As reported elsewhere, I was certain that these experiences were dreams or hallucinations for a long period in the early stages. They were seriously considered as something more only when evidential data began to accumulate.
- The experiences differ from the typical dream state principally in the following ways: (1) Continuity of some sort of conscious awareness; (2) Intellectual or emotional (or blends of the two) decisions made during the experiences; (3) Multivalued perception via sensory inputs or their equivalents; (4) Non-recurrence of identical patterns; and (5) Development of events in sequence that seem to indicate a time lapse.
- The duality of existence is completely contradictory to all available scientific training and human experience. Again, the ultimate proof of such affirmation is to experience one's self in this state of being.
Chapter 15. Sexuality in the Second State
- First and most obvious, there is no evidence of the male-female interpenetration. Attempts to express the need in such a functional manner become pathetic in retrospect. One discovers in frustration that it just doesn't happen that way in the Second State. Next, sensuality produced by the physical form of the sex counterpart is entirely absent. There is no distinct pattern of physical shape, either visually or by touch.
- There is an acute awareness of "difference," which is like radiation (as it may well be) from the sun, or a fire as felt by one shivering with cold. It is dynamically attractive and needed. This attraction varies in intensity with the individual... The "act" itself is not an act at all, but an immobile, rigid state of shock where the two truly intermingle, not just at a surface level and at one or two specific body parts, but in full dimension, atom for atom, throughout the entire Second Body. There is a short, sustained electron (?) flow one to another. The moment reaches unbearable ecstasy, and then tranquillity, equalization, and it is over.
- Why this takes place, why it is needed, I do not know, any more than the north pole of a magnet understands its "need" for the south pole of another magnet. Unlike the magnet, however, we can perceive objectively and ask "why." One fact is certain: as in the physical state, the act is equally needed in the Second. In some parts of Locale II, it is as ordinary as shaking hands.
Chapter 16. Preliminary Exercises
- Throughout this writing, I have made many references to one evident fact; the only possible way for an individual to appreciate the reality of this Second Body and existence within it is to experience it himself.
- The experimenter will want to proceed in a manner that will produce consistent results, perhaps not every time, but often enough to validate the evidence to his own satisfaction. I believe that anyone can experience existence in a Second Body if the desire is great enough. Whether or not anyone should is beyond the scope of my judgment.
Chapter 19. Statistical Classification
- The first step in making some kind of sense out of this mass of raw data was to set up standards for measurement and analysis. After several attempts, it became apparent that only a few of the typical yardsticks could be applied. Therefore, assumptions or premises were made to permit identification in the sorting process, and the conclusions brought forth are only as valid as the premises on which they are based.
- It will be very tempting to dismiss Robert Monroe as a madman. I would suggest that you not do that. Neither would I suggest that you take everything he says as absolute truth. He is a good reporter, a man I have immense respect for, but he is one man, brought up in a particular culture at a particular time, and therefore his powers of observation are limited. If you bear this in mind, but pay serious attention to the experiences he describes, you may be disturbed, but you may learn some very important things.
- Charles T. Tart, Journeys Out of the Body, Introduction (10 January 1971)
- In 1958, Robert Monroe floated out of his body for the first time. It began “without any apparent cause,” he wrote. His doctor, finding no physical ailment, prescribed tranquilizers. A psychologist friend, meanwhile, told me him to try leaving his body again. After all, the friend said, “some of the fellows who practice yoga and those Eastern religions claim they can do it whenever they want to.” Monroe did try it again—and again and again. He recalls these experiences in his classic 1971 book Journeys out of the Body, which launched the phrase “out-of-body experiences” into the public conversation. Monroe died in 1995, but the fascination with out-of-body experiences endures.