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 disagree.
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)
In 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.
Robert Peterson’s web site is: http://www.robertpeterson.org/.
You can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org