The Ultimate Tool for Spiritual Growth
by Robert Peterson
February 28, 2004
If you visit any big bookstore and
peruse the “New Age,” “Self-Help” or “Religion” sections, you are likely to
find books with titles like Michael Newton’s “Journey of Souls,” Sylvia
Browne’s “Life on the Other Side,” or Gregg Braden’s “Walking Between the
Worlds.” What do these books have in common? They all have titles that evoke
images of out-of-body experiences (also known as OBEs
or Astral Projection), yet they have nothing to do with them. The fact is, otherworldly titles are catchy. They sell books. Yet
despite all that, most people who believe in out-of-body experience consider it
a waste of time, or worse, an undesirable diversion to spiritual growth. I
As an avid astral projector and
author of two books on the subject, I get questions by e-mail daily. One of the
most common questions is “What good is it?” Behind that simple question lie
several more that are unspoken: “So you can leave your body, float around, walk
through walls or snoop on your neighbors...so what? Why are you wasting your
time? Aren’t things like faith, prayer, service and meditation more important
to spiritual growth?” They’re important, but I believe OBEs
are superior, and I’ll tell you why.
Although faith is important, it is a
form of belief. But knowledge is better than belief, and OBEs
provide direct access to spiritual knowledge. Once freed from your bodily
bonds, you can move unfettered through time and space or explore the afterlife.
With access to nonphysical realms, you don’t need faith in spiritually advanced
beings like Jesus Christ, angels, or spirit guides, because you can meet them
in person, shake their hands, even hug them. Why settle for faith when you can
see for yourself?
Prayer is important too, but let’s
face it: it’s one-way communication. You pray, and
then hope someone’s listening. OBEs provide a means
of direct two-way communication, and that’s better. Without the limitations of
the physical body, you can ask questions and get straight answers.
Rendering service on Earth is vital
to spiritual growth, but why limit it to the physical
realm? Some people are already using OBEs to guide Earthbound spirits to higher realms. Others use it to
perform remote healing. There is even a group called Child Finders who try to
locate missing children.
Meditation is undoubtedly one of the
most important tools in spiritual development, and I won’t downplay its
importance. The fact is, initiating an OBE is a form
of meditation, but it is more active, whereas traditional meditation is more
passive. One of the major proponents of meditation in the modern era was the
late Paramahansa Yogananda,
founder of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) and
author of several books including best-selling Autobiography of a Yogi.
Although SRF initiates are taught Kriya
Yoga meditation as a means of attaining unity with God, Yogananda
explains a vital part of this process in his book God Talks With
Arjuna (a translation of the Hindu holy book The Bhagavad Gita):
“When the yogi is able to withdraw
his life force from the senses, not only does he see his astral body but he can
disconnect his mind from the outer world.”
“The benefit of seeing
the astral body is that the experience helps the yogi to ascend–to lift his
soul, as the body-identified ego–from the fleshly prison. Afterward, the
devotee learns how to take his ego out of the astral and ideational bodies and
commingle it with the pure soul. The yogi is then able to unite his soul with
the Omnipresent, Ever Blessed Spirit.” (pp. 595-596)
other words, OBE is an important step in the process.
Learning to achieve OBE opens up a world of spiritual possibilities. In
addition to expanding our knowledge of who we are, where we came from, and
where we’re going, it also alleviates the fear of death and dispels the
shortsighted delusions of Earthly life (such as prejudices, since Spirit
transcends color, gender and sexual orientation). It can also be used for
exploration, meeting with spiritually advanced beings, and even direct contact
with the Creator.
The possibilities are endless, but
it would be unfair if I didn’t explain some of the drawbacks. First, learning
to induce OBEs can be difficult. For most
people–myself included–it takes a lot of time, patience and practice (i.e. hard
work) to learn the skill, let alone master it. Second, OBEs
tend to threaten your boundaries, and that’s terrifying. You’ll have to face
and conquer humankind’s biggest fears: fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear
of possession, fear of getting lost, etc. Third, OBEs
tend to be short in duration, especially for beginners. Hours of setup are
sometimes spent for a few precious minutes of out-of-body freedom. It may take
years of practice before you’re good enough to stay out for an hour or more.
I strongly believe that the benefits
of astral projection far outweigh the costs and I encourage people to embark on
this strange but rewarding journey.
Peterson’s web site is: http://www.robertpeterson.org/.
can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org