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Kate Devlin

July 24th, 2011

A Couple of Guys @ 12:50 pm

For a complicated series of reasons I've recently become interested in aspects of parapsychology.This has been something of an interest of mine for years but it has mostly been on the "back burner".

There are three guys I've been reading about and intrigued by. These are Robert A. Monroe, Joe McMoneagle and Tom Campbell. Their work or pursuits are inter-related. Robert Monroe was a US business man and cable TV executive. He claimed that in the late 1950s he had an experience where he felt he left his body. This began happening to him numerous times and he eventually found he could induce this experience at will. This is of course the "astral projection" phenomena claimed by mystics for centuries and which has been a facet of spiritual and New Age movements for decades. Monroe shied away from the term "astral projection" because of it's occult connotations and preferred to call his experience an "OOBE" or "out of the body experience.

Monroe wrote a book about this in the 1970s, "Journeys Out of The Body". This was a semi-underground New Age /counterculture classic for decades. Monroe described his experiences traveling around the world, to the moon and Mars,encounters with "astral beings" including astral sex.

Mainstream researchers do not know what actually happens in an OOBE. Thousands of people around the world claim to have experienced this. It does not appear they have literally "left their body". The reports of people experiencing an OOBE do not correlate with observable reality. People reported incorrectly the placement of objects, the time on a clock face, etc.It appears that people during an OOBE are experiencing some sort of internal mental construct of the outside world.

Robert Monroe set up a research institute in Virginia, the Monroe Institute to study the OOBE. He and collaborators designed  a system of rhythmic acoustic  "binaural beats", "Hemi-Sync" designed to facilitate an OOBE and other paranormal phenomena. The theory is that the brain will mimic  these beats through rhythmic entrainment and will facilitate states such as Theta or Alpha which are conducive to these experiences. Monroe was careful to avoid his institute turning into a new age or druggy ashram type affair. He was anti-drug and tried to keep an appearance of scientific credibility.

The Monroe Institute offers high priced workshops and classes for people interested in this. According to what I've read the majority of participants do not experience an OOBE while there (perhaps because they try to hard, according to the MI) but often do have such an experience several weeks later.

In the 1980s Monroe wrote "Far Journeys". This detailed his continuing  (and increasingly baroque) OOBE experiences.Monroe developed a cosmology of sorts. Its a bit complicated and difficult to give a summation. Basically Monroe found validation of the idea of reincarnation. There is a "region" , an "energy band" inhabited by people who have recently died. Monroe met deceased people waiting for their next rebirth. Some recently dead people were in a state of confusion or terror. Others did not want to let go of the "material plane". Other people were locked into a tight knit belief system concerning life after death.  Monroe says are beings in this "region" who seek to help give guidance to confused people in the immediate afterlife state. This is similar to the system of "bardos" discussed in the famous "Tibetan Book of the Dead". Often one's "afterlife" experience is structured according to expectations. A Muslim will enter the Gehenna (I guess with all the virgins), a Christian will enter Heaven, etc.In one experience Monroe encountered a "colony" or  a region inhabited by recently deceased Christian fundamentalists who had very specific expectations of the afterlife.

Monroe said he encountered a few people in this region who try to "suss" or con the system, not without some success. He said he met a deceased friend of his, a jazz musician whom Monroe managed in the early 1950s, who had "constructed" a beautiful seaside house for himself in this "region". Sometime later Monroe found this abandoned, for some reason.

The purpose of our lifetimes, according to what Monroe found, is to learn. People (as well as animals) are "recycled" according to what they need to learn. There are beings ready to help us.

Monroe found more. Our world, as intriguing as it is, is only a small aspect of what's out there. Monroe says he visited other "universes" similar to ours but with somewhat different physical properties. According to Monroe there is intelligent life in "our" universe but its rare. On other "planes" though are teeming with intelligent life, some of it much different from us.The intelligent beings and developed civilizations in these "regions"are not nightmare worlds but Monroe said he had some bad experiences due to cultural misunderstandings. Beyond this there are regions and beings far evolved beyond present day humanity.

Fitting in with occult and Gnostic lore Monroe said he encountered beings who feed off human emotional energy, which he termed "loosh". Unlike other representations of this  from occult literature Monroe sees these "energy vampires" as benevolent beings, essentially a highly evolved future version of ourselves.The highest form of energy  these beings feed off of is love.

The last book Monroe wrote is "Ultimate Journey" which I'm currently reading. Its quite interesting and so far expands on the cosmology discussed in "Far Journeys".

Joe McMoneagle is a parapsychology researcher and is a specialist in "remote viewing", that is observing objects and events non-visually and from far distances.He was a collaborator of Robert Monroe. In the 1970s/80s he worked for a US Army/CIA parapsychology project, the Stargate Project (I assume the science fiction TV series was at least partly inspired by this). The movie "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (which I haven't seen yet) was based on this.

McMoneagle claims to use rigid scientific protocol in his remote viewing.He does not seem like a crackpot. My interest in McNeagle came from an interest in futurology, I've long been intrigued by what the future will be like. What will the world be like in 2020 or 2050? I've read "The Ultimate Time Machine" by him in which he discusses what he sees up to 2075. He stresses in the introductory chapters where he talks about his theory of time,  that he does not make hard and fast predictions. Its not possible to predict the future simply because it hasn't happened yet. It is possible to pick up probabilities. He stresses that what he "saw" was always somewhat vague and he had to fill in his future with educated guess work.

Okay, what did he see? His book came out in 1998.He saw another US-Iraq war starting in 2003. It would be much larger and destabilizing than "Operation Desert Storm". In 2006 connected to this war there would be a financial crisis and something like a depression. There would be a civil war in Libya and a huge amount of instability in the Arab world with every Arab government eventually being overthrown. There would not be stability in this region until 2030.

Check, the rough outlines seem very accurate

In the US mainline Protestant denominations and Catholicism will dramatically shrink while fundamentalist and pentecostalist groups will grow.There will be a new and very influential religion which combines science and mysticism. This will be persecuted and discriminated against by Christians. Taoism will grow to huge proportions in China and become very influential.


Global climate change will become very serious. By around 2050 parts of the US Southwest, Midwest and Florida will have to be abandoned. There will be a major crisis in food production with much US agriculture transferred to the Northwestern states.

Sounds plausible.

Tom Campbell was another collaborator of Robert Monroe and apparently largely designed the "Hemi-Sync system.He also claims to be a cosmic explorer and has had many OOBEs. He is the author of "My Big Toe", essentially his theory of spiritual cosmology. He takes Monroe's ideas and expands on it. His idea is explained in a series of 18 Youtube videos. He comes off as a hard headed physicist and tries for a scientific approach.I am very mistrustful of New Age people who drop the word "quantum" into every other sentence, insist the wave/particle duality and the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment "proves" eastern wisdom but it seems Campbell knows what he's talking about.

By the way, I have not done any of this exploring myself, at least consciously. I am dabbling in it.

I can't resist one more guy. this is Steven Schwartz.(not to be confused with the neocon journalist and convert to Islam of the same name) Schwartz is a futurist and is another expert in remote viewing. He's not a New Ager. His politics weem to be liberal-left, similar to that of Iraq expert Juan Cole and he works as a corporate consultant. He and a team did an interesting "trip" to the year 2050 in the 1980s. Contrary to the zeitgeist of that time what they saw was not apocalyptic or at least not as apocalyptic as many had thought. The early 1980s was the height of the nuclear freeze movement.Schwartzs team told him that  you shouldn't be worried about nukes. You should be worried about a series of epidemics and pandemics. Schwartz went on to say that by 2050 there will be a different energy system and some type of  decentralized, almost utopian socioeconomic system.

Schwartz has interesting things to ay about the 2012 phenomena. He thinks that people are picking up something from the future, from the next few decades. Climate change is real and will change the life of everyone on the planet. People are picking up on this and interpreting it in their own, socially acceptable way.



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Date:June 27th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
So nice to find another person interested in this stuff. So far I've been diving into Tom Campbell's view on things from his MBT books, but I just ordered all of Robert Monroe's books as well; I believe I can relate to him more. I too was going about a normal life until, after a dramatic event, I found myself looking down at my body from my bedroom ceiling. I had never in my life heard of Out of Body at that point, coming from a strictly closed minded christian family. I was convinced that I was out of my mind just as Monroe did, but at the same time, it was the most real feeling I had ever experienced. Then it happened again later that same evening. I'm excited to learn more about Robert Monroe through completing all of his books, and am anxious to see if Tom Campbell's view lines up with Monroe's;since they experimented with Out of Body together for so many years. Did your complete outlook on life change after reading these books?
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Date:August 19th, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
Its always cool to find someone else who doesn't instantly dismiss this branch of parapsychology as rubbish. Sorry for my very late reply-I don't keep up withy this blog as much as I should, despite promises to the contrary.I haven't read Tom Campbell's books. His youtube series looks interesting. As I understand he seems to have a kind of radical idealism-"things" literally don't exist until we perceive them. I don't know, this doesn't work for me.

I wouldn't say my outlook on life radically changed, it was more of a gradual process. My outlook did change somewhat when, years ago, I "experimented" with hallucinogens. I went through an intense reading stage-read everything I could find out Buddhism, Taoism, Sufiism, and some Western occult stuff. Somewhere along the line I stumbled on Monroe's OOBE stuff, which at the time I only half read.

My interest in this area was reawakened last June, after my father passed away. My interest in cosmology was reawakened and I went bavck to the Monroe canon and related stuff.The "Judeo-Christian" tradition and idea of the "afterlife" has never appealed to me but I do like to think that our particular incarnation of the Cosmic Pudding which we are an expression of does continue, somewhere, somehow.

Kate Devlin