They say that every twenty or so years, a major discovery is made—something that seems to appear out of the blue. And yet, the raw materials for such a breakthrough are already present at least ten years before such a discovery is made.
What we understand as new is the unique reconfiguration of these building blocks into something whose result is greater than the sum of the parts.
I was fortunate to be invited to co-train the new “OBE Spectrum” program at the Monroe Institute in February. In all honesty, I’m not really sure what guided me into the passenger seat in this inaugural edition, perhaps it was divine providence, but I was deeply humbled by the experience. When I heard the name of the program, I immediately knew that this was going to be something special. Why? Because as well as following my gut feeling or inner self helper (or ISH, as Robert A. Monroe called it), there was something that resonated in the word “Spectrum.” Also, it’s a program that specifically targets the subjective experience of leaving one’s physical body in a multitude of ways.
For years, there’s been confusion in discussions about nonordinary states of consciousness about the nature of such experiences. These confusions are usually based on the archaic notion that there’s something nonphysical (spirit or soul, if you like) that resides within the physical body and separates to go somewhere else in exceptional circumstances. Hence, the OBE is literally an out-of-body experience where one leaves the container of the body and floats around the universe, talking with nonphysical beings.
The subjective quality of the experience is exactly that, but then lines become blurred at the edges, suggesting a flaw in this simplistic notion. For instance, some experiences blend: OBEs become lucid dreams and vice versa, we can bi- or tri-locate our consciousness, we move in and out of linear time and space (remote viewing distant targets with eyes open or obtain presentient information), and we can experience pure conscious events which defy subject-object duality.
The nonphysical soul does not leave the physical body because it’s made of the same stuff. It’s our limited science and philosophy that creates the distinction.
Monroe Institute has been providing techniques and tools for exploring such states for decades, but as a trainer, what I felt was missing was an experiential approach that unified these experiences into a cohesive whole. I believe that Patty Ray Avalon and the team have achieved this with "OBE Spectrum." Bob Monroe had suggested the Phasing Model of Consciousness years ago to explain that conscious experience is akin to turning the radio dial. Where you place your focused awareness and intent is where your energy flows, and consequently, what you experience.
The nonphysical soul does not leave the physical body because it’s made of the same stuff. It’s our limited science and philosophy that creates the distinction. Instead, we can free ourselves from the competing and constraining information, that huge and continuous data stream arriving through our typical physical senses, so that we can perceive other information that was already there. We turn the radio dial and we tune into different perceptions, different realities, safe in the knowledge that our sense of physical reality is just a thought away. The other radio stations don’t stop transmitting just because we turned the dial.
If before, Monroe Institute used a radio analogy, “OBE Spectrum” gives us a digital streaming perspective ...
The radio analogy is a useful one, but just as consciousness evolves, so do metaphors. For instance, we cannot smoothly listen to two radio channels simultaneously, but we can easily tune into a remote viewing target and be present in physical reality at the same time. The original Explorers were able to verbally communicate their journeys in real time as Bob Monroe monitored them in the lab. We can learn to quickly and comfortably shift perspectives to different phases of conscious experience. If before, Monroe Institute used a radio analogy, “OBE Spectrum” gives us a digital streaming perspective—instant and open access to different facets of conscious experience, including picture-in-picture!
The “OBE Spectrum” program itself offers what you’d expect from an OBE course—a rich and dense assortment of guided techniques designed for different sensory preferences. No one is left behind because they can’t imagine something vividly and visually. One thing we’ve learned over the years is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Everyone is unique, and even within the individual, preferences can change over time. A technique which worked flawlessly yesterday can lose its spark today. We constantly move from stasis to flux; new becomes old as we search again for the new. To paraphrase Carl Rogers, we are in a constant process of becoming.
Exquisitely crafted frequencies, which include gamma states, provide a scaffolding experience for reaching the more rarefied states of consciousness. In “Spectrum,” the result was that more people were able to consciously access these states, to know—not just believe—that they are more than their physical bodies.
Having the knowledge of a variety of techniques means that many more options are available to us through this process of change. Most importantly, rather than blindly following a technique, we can understand why such techniques work. In the program, we learn about activating the energy body; sensing, managing and expanding the boundaries of Self. We learn to release limiting beliefs and fears, which are the ultimate barriers against any useful technique and desire to develop.
The audio technology itself is evolving. Exquisitely crafted frequencies, which include gamma states, provide a scaffolding experience for reaching the more rarefied states of consciousness. In “Spectrum,” the result was that more people were able to consciously access these states, to know—not just believe—that they are more than their physical bodies. After completing the program in February, I remember turning to Patty in the control room and saying, “I think that went too well!,” as so many of the group members had had profound experiences. Somewhere in the combination of the energy work, discussions and practice of OBEs (Locale I and II separation techniques), Lucid Dreams, Remote Sensing and NDEs, the technology, and the contributions from the group, we struck a harmonious chord.
... one participant who hadn’t had a conscious OBE during the week informed us of their first classic lift-out OBE experience [at home] and was mind-blown. How interesting, then, to have ... all of our participants ... at home, in their familiar surroundings, while taking part in this virtual retreat.
I’m therefore excited to put this to the test with the new “OBE Spectrum Virtual Retreat!” Sometimes a participant will say that they didn’t achieve the experience they most deeply desired during the program. I usually advise patience and practice since new habits and neuronal connections are being formed. But I also suggest that when they return to their familiar surroundings, it’s possible that they’ll be more relaxed, that they’ll place less pressure on themselves to perform, and this makes it more likely that the results will come. A few weeks after the February program, one participant who hadn’t had a conscious OBE during the week informed us of their first classic lift-out OBE experience and was mind-blown.
How interesting, then, to have the situation where all of our participants will be at home, in their familiar surroundings, while taking part in this virtual retreat. I wonder just how deeply, just how far they will allow themselves to journey. And I’m looking forward to helping them to discover their own maps as they uncover new territories.
OBE Spectrum Virtual Retreat