An Excerpt from the new book
The Journey of Robert Monroe:
From Out of Body Explorer to Consciousness Pioneer
By Ronald Russell
Throughout the years of inquiry, investigation, and experiment at Whistlefield,
Monroes own out-of-body experiences continued quite regularly. However,
he began to feel a sense of frustration; the experiences themselves now seemed
limited, even boring. The question of proof no longer concerned him and he
had lost interest in taking part in controlled tests.
Also, he found it had become very easy for him to move into the out-of-body
state. Refreshed after three or four hours of sleep, he was ready to slip
out, as it were, but what was there to do? Everyone else was asleep and he
saw no point in purposelessly drifting around. So, as he said, he would slip
back in, turn on the light, read until he was sleepy again, and that was
Then, early in 1972, he realized that the limiting factor was his own conscious
mind. To explore further he should stop attempting to control what was happening
and instead remain passive, allowing his total self to take over. When he
awoke on the following night he put this intention into practice.
This is how he described what happened: After waiting for what seemed
only a few seconds, there was a tremendous surge, a movement, an energy in
that familiar spatial blackness, and there began for me an entire new era
in my out-of-body activities. Since that night, my non-physical activities
have been almost totally due to this procedure.1
Unlike his team of Explorers, Monroe did not use his laboratory facilities or the
sound signals he and his associates had designed to induce an out-of-body
experience. Nor did he tape-record what was happening as it occurred. Instead,
as with the episodes described in Journeys Out of the Body, he kept
detailed notes, sometimes including mention of the time that elapsed while
the OBE took place.
Although he does not give the dates, it is apparent from the context that
many of the experiences he describes in his second book occurred after the
Institute moved to its new home on Roberts Mountain in 1979. Most of Far
Journeys, perhaps all of it, was written while the Monroes were living
in the Gate House at the time when their house on the mountaintop was being
planned and built.
Far Journeys was published by Doubleday in 1985. The first part of the
book includes an account of the research at Whistlefield with a description
of the Hemi-Sync technology and extracts from the reports of the Explorers
and some of the participants in the Gateway program. Monroe notes that over
the eight years since the program was launched, 41 percent of participants
were male, double the norm for the typical self-awareness workshop.
The average age of participants was thirty-nine, and 29 percent were professionalsscientists,
educators, doctors, engineers, psychologists, psychiatristsattending
principally to determine how they might use Hemi-Sync in their own areas
of interest. He also noted that 83 percent came to the program with one stated
basic reason, but left with a different, more valuable, result.
Almost all Gateway participants are neophytes as far as the Hemi-Sync experience
is concerned. They may have heard one or two exercises before commencing
the program, but no more than that. What they experience during the program
is generally unpremeditated and relevant only to themselves.
On a very few occasions, however, a shared experience may be reported.
One such report was from a young woman who had become aware that three of
the men on the program were physically attracted to her. Annoyed by this,
which she sensed had been distracting her during her experience of the program,
she wondered how best to deal with it. She decided to ask what she described
as the divine forces if it were possible for her to experience
spiritual love, not to receive it but to learn how to give it to others.
She kept that thought in mind as she commenced the next exercise. Then,
as the exercise continued, she found herself moving out-of-body towards the
one man on the course that she had not had a chance to talk with. Her report
All at once I had a knowing . . . that his vibrations were my vibrations. I had
an overwhelming desire to meld, to feel a part of himto become one
. . . I gave to him both my body and soul until there was this tremendous
energy surge that rocked and exploded in us.
It was an experience that is beyond words, for love, total and absolute,
surrounded us more strongly than can be earthly experienced or imagined.
The more I gave, the greater I received and I didnt want to let go
. . . It was like two energies becoming one at last. I can remember thinking
how physical sex paled in comparison.
When the two participants spoke at the conclusion of the exercise,
it became immediately clear that the experience of spiritual love
had been shared by both of them. Their accounts fitted together like
puzzle pieces, matching perfectly and interlocking. From that time
they began to share their lives, growing and loving together.
Reports of such shared occurrences are very rare, although highly personal experiences
are sometimes kept confidential and not placed in the Institute records.
In contrast, another of the reports that Monroe quotes seems to have a wider
relevance. Reflecting on the possibility of perceiving ultimate realitywhat
he understood Monroe was referring to when he used the word Homethis
participant felt that anything that could be formed into five physical senses,
expressed in language or oriented thought, was an illusion.
All that he was aware of was blankness and bliss. Blankness,
he explains, not because it is blank, but because I attempt to experience
it with mental processes that are geared to the five physical senses and
that are in the habit of perceiving illusion. I am trying to use my biological
illusion computer to perceive beyond the apparent limits of illusion.
Like trying to smell a flower with your ear.
I experience bliss because emotional feeling is the only perceptual tool
that I am able to use to sense beyond illusion. If there are other perceptual
tools that are available to me, they are either atrophied by lack of use,
and must somehow be reactivated, or they must be initially activated.
This is not such an uncommon experience. Many participants in
these programs find that words are inadequate to express what they
have sensed or perceived and that their usual thought processes fall
short of enabling them to get their head round what they have
Monroe was well aware of this. Throughout the published accounts of his own journeys,
for the sake of his readers he seeks to organize and shape the material,
as far as that is possible. In Far Journeys he no longer refers
to Locales I, II, and III, but instead draws a distinction between two main
types of out-of-body experience. One he calls local traffic,
defined as events and activities that relate directly to here-now time-space.
Local traffic includes such excursions as traveling around the neighborhood
calling in on friends to see how they are doing, and he feels he has had
enough of this. The second type he calls interstate, implying
moving from one state to another, with this description applying to experiences
where virtually all the rules, patterns, illusions, and the rest of
local traffic, with few exceptions, are non-existent. It
is a selection of his travels on the interstate that he recounts in this
As a result of his own experiences and the reports of the
Explorer team, by mid-1984 Monroe found it possible to state certain
premises and conclusions. Here they are in outline:
- All humans move into the out-of-body state during sleep.
- A form of dynamic energy, so far unidentified, is present in all carbon-based organic life.
It enters the body before birth and leaves it at death.
- The dominant waking consciousness is only a part of the various forms
of consciousness available to man.
- Human consciousness is a manifestation of the dynamic energy already referred
to. As a highly complex vibrational pattern it responds to and acts upon similar
patterns from external sources.
- All patterns of consciousness are nonphysical and hence not dependent
on time-space. In short, like it or not, youre going to continue to
do and be after you can no longer hang in there physically.
- From the work of the Explorers and their contacts has emanated an underlying
mosaic of action that on examination becomes an astounding potential. It is the
display and application of a scienceor technology that is totally absent
from human culture. To this Monroe adds, the application of this technology
seems totally benevolent.
These are challenging statements. Because they are based on experiences reported
by individuals in the out-of-body state they are open to rejection by those
who have never knowingly entered into that state. With the exception of the
second and third premises, they cannot at this time be scientifically validated.
But in the world that Monroe and his Explorers were investigating, our
present-day science materialist sciencehas no relevance. We have
no warrant to claim that our earthly science is the only science there is
in the whole of the physical Universeor within the immeasurable Universe
of the human mind.
For readers of Far Journeys, and for anyone who seeks to understand Monroes
philosophy, two things need to be accepted, or at least considered. One is
the existence of beings that employ the technology he refers to above. Some
of these beings have never existed in human form, others walked the Earth
hundreds or thousands of years ago, and still others have previously existed
in nonhuman form elsewhere in the Universe.
They seem to have some sort of individuality, but there is no way in which
their numbers can be estimated. Some of them appear to have access to all
knowledge and information. Some are interested in human life on Earth, although
why and to what extent cannot be determined. They have developed a technology
that forms no threat to humankind and is essentially benevolent.
The second requirement is acceptance of the existence of this
technology, through which communication with human beings
becomes possible. This is how Monroe explains it:
This technology can produce a beam of energy, which is first translated as light,
through which the human energy essence can travel back and forth, information can
flow, and the operators of such technology can enter time-space earth environments.
Once properly perceived, they can endow the human mind with the ability to create
(enhance?) such a beam of energy.
From Monroes personal experience and the reports from his laboratory team and the thousands of individuals who had participated in his
courses, experiments, and trials, it became clear, he writes, that all other intelligent species, either in the physical universe or in
other energy systems, use a form of communication that is total and certainly nonverbal. Nonverbal communication (NVC) is direct
instant experience and/or immediate knowing transmitted from one intelligent energy system and received by another.
There is nothing weird about nonverbal communication as such. All of us use it
frequently, through body language, facial expression, and telepathy.2
Saints and mystics especially place the highest value on nonverbal communications
from nonphysical entities. But the nature of the NVC that Monroe and his
Explorers were involved with is far more advanced.
It incorporates the instantaneous transmission of emotions, sensations,
picturesinformation and experience in any imaginable shape or form.
To engage in this type of communication necessitates moving into an altered
state of consciousness. Monroes own technology enabled his Explorers
and Gateway participants to make this transition, while Monroe himself communicated
via NVC while in his out-of-body state.
However, problems arise when it comes to translating NVC into language that others
can understand. This is similar to the difficulty that arises when seeking
to put into words a mystical or transcendent experiencethe type of
deeply felt experience that is essentially ineffable. In the areas that Monroe
and the Explorers were venturing into, the resources of language were often
inadequate, as can be gathered from the hesitancies, pauses, and corrections
on many of the Explorer tapes.
Monroe, with no monitor or recording equipment, could only make notes on
his experiences and do what he could to put them into shape. These recollections
form the major part of Far Journeys, some of them combining several
out-of-body expeditions. But, he says, more than 90 percent of the events
that occurred seemed impossible to translate into ordinary language. Whether
he was successful in solving the problems of describing these events and
translating NVC into everyday language has to be left to the judgment of
Monroe attempted to translate non-time-space events and ambience into replicas
of conscious human physical experience. While this might affect the
accuracy of his account it should, he considered, help others to comprehend
what he was trying to convey.
Also, it was impossible to use terms such as he said, he
walked, or she smiled, as these implied physical activity
that had no relevance. So he devised what he called a replica vocabulary
of expressions that occurred frequently in his accounts, large parts of which
involved passages of dialogue.
For example, in his reports he used the word blank to indicate
failure to understand, vibrate to show emotion, dulled
for loss of interest, and turn in for considering or thinking something
over. Flickered indicates uncertainty, rolled is being
amused or laughing, and smoothed is getting it together, being in
charge of self. It is helpful to have the list of these terms when reading
Some of the terms Monroe invented go further than these approximations. An especially
useful one is Rote, meaning a thought balla packet of thought/mentation,
total memory, involving knowledge, information, experience, and history, an idea
or concept complete in itself. The term Percept indicates a combination
of insight, intuition, and understanding. Ident is a mental name or addressthe
energy pattern of an item. Curl is organized energy, usually intelligent,
and CLICK (printed thus) is an instantaneous change in consciousness.
One expression that occurs for the first time in Far Journeys and became
an essential component in Monroes interpretation of the Universe is the M Band.
This, he says, is part of the energy spectrum surrounding the Earth that is commonly
used for thought. It is not electronic, electric, magnetic, nucleonic, or anything
else. M Band noise is caused by uncontrolled thought. Monroe perceived this as a
sort of chaotic cacophony and learned to hurry through it as fast as he could.
The out-of-body experiences that Monroe describes in Far Journeys have
a remarkable consistency. Although they took place over several years they
fit into a sequence. They were, as he says himself, instructional sessions
under the guidance of what he refers to as an Inspec (short for
intelligent species, with the implication that humans do not
necessarily fit into this category).
Monroe describes the Inspec as an external intelligent energy source,
helping, navigating, doing the driving. Similar entities appeared also
in many OBE accounts from members of the Explorer team. Unlike some Explorers,
however, Monroe never gave his Inspec a name, although he does give names
or labels (idents) to some of the other beings he encountered.
There is Bill, once his flying instructor, now fully integrated into nonphysical
existence, and Lou, whose ident is now Z-55, a musician Monroe once worked
with who died from the effects of diabetes. We are told that Lou has had
two more lifetimes since then and has one more to undergo before becoming
free from the illusion of time and space.
In one experience Monroe receives a Rote and opens it to find himself observing
a tour of Time-Space Illusion (TSI), which encompasses the whole physical
Universe. He follows the experiences of two entities, labeled by him AA and
BB, who come from an area known as KT-95 and who participate in the tour.
AA is attracted by the M Band noise, hearing it not as uncontrolled thought
but as a mixture of resonance, beat frequencies, standing waves, and incalculable
patterns. Suddenly, he feels a strong desire to be human, makes his way to
the Entry Station, and eventually emerges as a newborn baby in
a New York tenement. He lives on Earth for fortyfive years and, despite BBs
remonstration, determines to return to Earth again, but this time as a woman.
Monroe encounters BB many times in subsequent experiences.
AA remains in the physical world, although frequently expressing a strong
desire to rejoin his nonhuman friends. But as the ever-present Inspec says,
he has to stay and perform his designed functionhe has no other choice.
During this episode there is a helpful explanation of phrases that apply to those
living forms who enter, leave, and reenter the Earth Life System. First-Timers
are those, like AA in his manifestation as a newborn New Yorker, who enter
the system for the first time because they want to, and soon forget everything
previous to their life on Earth.3
Old-Timers repeat entering and leaving the physical world several times
and can recall some elements of previous existences there. Last-Timers are
those on their final lifetime and when that terminates they leave foreverthey
go Home. Instances of all three groups are met with in Monroes subsequent
journeys. There is also a small number of Seekers who are able to make visits
to the nonphysical realms while still possessing physical bodies.
A fascinating commentary on Monroes account of these nonphysical realms appears
in Dark Night, Early Dawn, by Christopher Bache, professor of Religious
Studies at Youngstown State University. Bache comments that Monroes
vision of reality assumes the concept of reincarnation, and therefore it
is a vision that sees human beings developing across enormous tracts of time
. . .
According to him, our life before we began incarnating on Earth and after
we stop is largely screened from our awareness by the heavy conditioning
that space-time exerts on us while we are part of this system. The
between-life existence takes place in a series of four rings
that surround space-time, which Monroe learns about in detail from a Rote.
Bache points out that although these rings are described in spatial terms
it is clear that they represent not actual places but states of consciousness.
The geometry of concentric rings is in the final analysis a metaphor for
the different experiential possibilities inherent in different states of
consciousness.4 Monroes descriptions are so vivid
and detailed that it is easy to overlook this and to fall into the error
of treating his far journeys as if they took place in a geographical landscape.
Among Monroes out-of-body experiences are visits to occasions in his own
childhood when significant events took place that helped in his later emergence
into the being he became. There are also snapshots of climactic happenings
in former lifetimesas the father of a family dying in the desert, as
a warrior in battle, as a priest about to perform a human sacrifice but finding
himself unable to do so.
He comes to understand these events as a series of demonstrations of the
power of emotion, the driving force, the creative energy which motivates
human thought and action. A further experience shows him that aloneness
is an illusion, that our idents in one another are indelible.
He is given to understand that it is his curiosity that motivates him in
the search for completion, and he receives a detailed explanation of the
functions of the entities, the Inspecs, who are guiding and informing him.
Some of his experiences resemble episodes from mature science fiction. In these,
often accompanied by BB, he explores other realities and undergoes various
adventures, all the time learning more about the immeasurable areas beyond
the time-space continuum. On one journey he gives BB a tour of humanity,
showing him how human activity is governed by the need to survive by visiting
scenes of slaughtering a deer, cooking and eating, having sex, city life,
and so on.
They observe the behavior of people who are physically dead but are unaware
of their condition. In contrast, Monroe, now much more confident and with
better understanding of the territory beyond time-space, introduces BB to
a friend of his, Charlie, no longer in physical state and totally aware of
his situation, who is happily creating his own reality in a corner of this
nonphysical universe. From there they move outward to an area of religious
buildings and on the steps of a church meet a woman who tells Monroe that
they are at the gates of Heaven.
Finally, they encounter Monroes one-time physical friend Bill, whose
explanation of the massive importance of emotion and love quite stuns BB,
who has never taken on physical form and has failed to understand that this
emotion and love energy stuff is the inspiration for his adventures
with Monroe and his concern for AA.
Occasionally during his journeys Monroe receives a Rote that he later unrolls and
explains. A particularly complex Rote was thrown to him by BB, who described
it as relating to a possible visit to the Time- Space Illusion. It is about
earth and humans, how it got started, what its for . . . all that stuff.
It consists of a lengthy parable with echoes of the Genesis creation story,
moving on to a tightly compressed allegorical account of the history of the
Earth and the creatures inhabiting it. It deals largely with the production
of Loosh, which Monroe explains as an energy generated
by all organic life in varying degrees of purity, the clearest and most potent
coming from humansengendered by human activity which triggers emotion,
the highest of such emotions beinglove? The question mark is
While Loosh may serve as a comprehensive term for everything that grows
or is made, and for the emotions that result from human activity, Monroe
finds it difficult, if not impossible, to fit love into this concept. When
the Inspec suggests that he define love in his own terms, he finds he cannot
do so. A little farther on in this experience he comes up with the expression
a special energy waveform labeled love. He continues, Yet
we dont really know what it is and . . . how to really use it.
Then, towards the end of this particular journey, Monroe is granted a powerful
visionary experience that he understands as revealing the source of the love
energy. This experience leaves him with the indescribable joy of knowing
only that it did take place, and the realization that the echoes
would reverberate in me throughout eternity, whatever my eternity was.
Shortly afterwards he feels pulled back into his physical body, with the
memory of the visionary experience fading as he wonders what would have happened
if there were no signal to return. He ends this account with a passage that
movingly combines the two lives, physical and nonphysical, that he was leading
at the time.
It was then, lying there in the darkness, listening to the whippoorwill and the
night crickets outside, the soft earth-scented breeze flowing in through
the open window, feeling the hot warmth of our little dog Steamboat sleeping
contentedly against the soles of my feet, the even breathing of Nancy sleeping
I felt the wetness of my cheeks and a few remaining tears in my eyes.
And I remembered. Not much, but I remembered! I sat up in bed, wanting to
jump up and shout in incomprehensible joy. Steamboat raised his head and
looked at me curiously, then dropped back. My wife shifted position as I
sat up, then gradually resumed her even breathing rhythm. I would not wake
her, she needed her rest and recharge.
Monroe found that it took him several months to adjust his thinking to the contents
of the Rote, but eventually he was able to accept the concept as an explanation
of total human behavior and history.
In another out-of-body experience, towards the end of the Far Journeys
sequence, Monroe becomes aware that he is reaching a limit beyond which he
cannot move until he has fully released his physical body. However, the Inspec
tells him that he can be taken, as an observer only, to a physical
earth possibility at a point in your time measurement beyond the year 3000.
The inhabitants are known as Humans-Plus, or H-Plus. From deep space he
moves towards the Earth, aware that the rings that once surrounded it are
gone. There is no more random thought clutter. Descending above
the Pacific he is aware that there are no ships or aircraft to be seen. As
he surveys the land he observes that the fields resemble patchworks of bright
colors, but he can see no roads, no buildings, no traffic, no power linesno
With the speed of thought the Inspec takes him three-quarters of the way
around the Earth before bringing him down on a knoll in a field of rich green
grass, with an oak wood behind him and in the distance lines of green-blue
hills, a very familiar place to Monroe. The Inspec energy fades away, leaving
For Monroe, what follows is a remarkable learning experience. The humans he meets
use nonverbal communication. One of them is his old friend BB, appearing
now as a good-looking man in his late twenties. He is with a woman who is
familiar to him, attracting him strongly and becoming more familiar as the
episode develops, but whom he does not name.
These individuals have bodies, but do not inhabit them all the time, storing
them nearby until they need themabout twice a week, they tell him.
They use the Reball the resonant energy balloon that forms an impenetrable
energy fieldto protect their bodies when they are not occupying them.6
They draw energy from the atmosphere and tell him they can create food from
a handful of dirt. He asks for his favorite corn, Silver Queen. The woman
takes a handful of dirt and stares intently at it.
The dirt began to bubble and boil, changing color, re-formed into a small
full-kernelled mature ear of white corn. She handed it to me and I took it.
It was hot to the touch. I carefully put it up to my mouth, took a bite.
It was Silver Queen, the sweetest corn I ever tasted. He comes to understand
that humans have taken over Mother Natures work, with several improvements.
Next Monroe is taken on a tour during which he experiences being a fish, a plant,
a panther, and a condor. Vividly described, this has similarities to a typical
shamanic journey. Then towards the end of the episode he seeks for answers
to questions that have been preoccupying him both in and out of body.
He learns that there is communication with other civilizations
but nothing much is made of this, that there are visits to other nonphysical
energy systems in order to cultivate them, that humans graduate
from this point, never to return, and that the woman herself is shortly to
graduate. He asks her what happens to graduates. She replies that she does
not knowbut that he does. At this he is suddenly aware that he has
all the answersor so he thinks.
But it is time for the journey to end. He reaches out for the grassy knoll
where he landedand finds himself in the year 1982 close to the Monroe
Institute buildings in Virginia. Back in his body and in bed he looks at
the clock. The whole journey, one that has enormous significance to Monroe,
lasted for just eight minutes.
If we can accept the conventional left brain/right brain distinction, it seems
that the right hemisphereemotional, spatial, subjectiveis dominant
in Monroes out-of-body state, while the left hemisphererational,
logical, objectivetakes over when he comes to sort out and interpret
the lessons of the experience itself.
Once he has completed his reports of the out-of-body sessions recounted
in Far Journeys, he turns to a study of the various Rotes he has
received and then to what he calls a crib sheet for the course,
the course being how best to continue and expand ones daily life activities,
physical, mental, and emotional.
As with all three of his books, there are no references to any published
authorities; everything he writes derives from his own experience and the
conclusions he draws from that experience.
The Rote itself, a package of thought, knowledge, information, experience, and
history, emanates from the nonphysical beings encountered in the out-of-body state.
Reading, or rather running a Rote, as Monroe describes it, is like recalling
the memory of a past event but differs because, as the process begins, every detail
becomes immediately clear. You keep your left-brain consciousness in the drivers
The first Rote unrolled (or it may be more than one) deals with the itinerary
of human experience. This Rote describes what happens to those who
are physically dead and who are lodged in one of a number of rings, the particular
ring depending on their degree of awareness of their relationship to physical
Beyond are many more rings spanning an area from Human Time-Space Illusion
on the inner side to Non-Physical Reality on the outer. From here the majority
return to Earth for more lifetimes, while in the outermost ring are those,
the Last-Timers, preparing for the departure into Non-Physical Reality, or
graduation. They are on their way Home.
The second Rote is concerned with human existence on Earth. Life in the physical
is an intense learning experience, a school of a very unusual sort. There
are strict conditions for entry into physical life. The energy form must agree
that time-space truly does exist, as without this agreement it is impossible
to have primary human consciousness. The existence of planet Earth as it is
must be agreed and the nature of human consciousness must also be accepted. Previous
experience has to be blanked out or sublimated so as not to interfere.
Once born, the new entrant (or First-Timer) undergoes a traumatic period while
adjusting to the demands of the physical body and the signals flooding into
it. Then the primary learning system takes over, the focusing of conscious
Input from the five physical senses turns attention to the event
being experienced and such experience is then learned and stored, a
process enhanced if emotion is involved. Secondary learning occurs beyond
our conscious awareness from input received where attention is not focused,
affecting everything we think and do although we are not aware of it. Then
there is a third type of learning that takes place during sleep.
These learning systems are different from and ignored by the unnatural
learning systems devised by human cultures, which are virtually confined
to the knowledge, understanding, control, and application of physical matter
and which, because they operate entirely through input from the physical
senses, may effectively eliminate any last vestiges of originality from the
The Rote continues to deal with the reasons why First-Timers desire to repeat their
human experience time and again. Human physical life is addictive. It is
imprinted with the drive to survive, with the need to protect and maintain
the body no matter what. This leads to a form of distortion. Mere survival
is not enough: luxury food and clothes, fully equipped houses, life-support
systems, medicines, laws, nation-statesall and more distort the survival
Further distortion arises from the sensual emphasis on sexualitythe
original motivating drive to reproduce has long since become secondary to
the temporary sensory peak of the act itself. All of this adds
to the glue that binds the human in low orbit.
The last part of the Rote is concerned with the overwhelming importance of emotion,
the key to and the driving force underlying every thought and action in human
existence. Emotion, especially as it accumulates in and dominates the human
ego, is seen as diffusion of the Prime Energy or Creative Force that is inherent
in everyone. Moreover, it is inextricably involved in time-space physical matter
There is, however, an exception that accurately represents the original Prime Energy
and that is essential if humans are ever to escape from the Time-Space Illusion.
This, for the sake of clarity, may be called Super Love (SL) to distinguish
it from lovea term so broadly used as to have lost any meaning.
Super Love is indestructible, does not depend on physical matter, and has
no object. It is a continuous radiation, totally nondependent upon
like reception or any other form of return whatsoever. Super Love just
is. This is ultimately what we are on Earth to learn.
Monroes crib sheet that concludes Far Journeys is a sequence of
statements and recommendations that he has garnered from his nonphysical experiences.
The four statements provide a baseline for the recommendations, or advice, that follows.
- Reality is that which is perceived.
- Energy does not exist until expressed.
- Energy focused is exponential.
- Consciousness is focused energy.
Each of these statements carries a coherent explanation. The recommendations that
follow are practical and forcefully expressed. Many of them are manifested in the
exercises in the Institutes Gateway program. They conclude with a rare (if
not solitary) reference to Monroes father, the language professor, who used
to quote what he called a famous old French proverb to stimulate his students, some
of whom labored for hours trying to work it out. Pas de Lieu Rhone que Nous
was the proverb. Say it in your mind or speak it with a French accent, Monroe senior
suggestedand listen to what you are saying!
Some of the ideas and concepts elaborated in Far Journeys may not seem
so very different from what can be found in certain esoteric writings or
in various belief systems. As one reviewer wrote: What is unique here
is the attempt to remove the trappings of religious doctrine and mysticism
and to simply describe the adventures of a man who has devoted the last quarter
of a century to inner exploration.
Christopher Bache makes the point that Monroes account of the state
between incarnations resonates deeply with the portrayal of this state in
The Tibetan Book of the Dead. There is, however, no evidence that
Monroe made any close study of this sort of material or that he was noticeably
influenced by anyone in this field, including those he met such as Jane Roberts
or Elmer and Alice Green.
As a reviewer of the book remarked: Monroe differs significantly
from others who may propound such cosmic ideas . . . in that he is a contemporary
American, a pragmatist with an unquenchable curiosity that propels him to
explore the unknown. He became involved not from a philosophical standpoint,
but from the need to make sense of his own experiences with OBEs.7
Among the appendixes in Far Journeys is a paper on The OBE Psychophysiology
of Robert A. Monroe by Dr. Stuart Twemlow and Dr. Glen Gabbard, which
first appeared in their study With the Eyes of the Mind (1984).
The authors seek to find connections between Monroes strong and lifelong
interest in flying and the nature of his OBEsthe travels to distant
locations and through realms which are fantastic and inexplicable.
They also used Rorschach tests (interpretations of inkblots) to analyze
aspects of his personality, suggesting that he has strong defenses
against dealing with sexuality, defensive feelings, and especially aggression,
adding that by transcending the prison of his body, it allows
him to steer clear of such potential conflict areas.
Yet the OBEs recorded in Far Journeys hardly bear this out. In these accounts
he is taking a far more active role than in the experiences described in
Journeys Out of the Body. Sexuality, depression, and aggression
are not avoided, though it could be said that he still journeys through realms
which are fantastic and inexplicable. But he is determined to do his
best to explain what may seem at first to defy any explanation.
If we are looking to his OBEs for insight into his personality, we will
find much evidence of courage and determination as well as a curiositya
desire to knowthat will not be denied. These qualities are often associated
with the young, but as we read this book it is worth bearing in mind (from
our own standing within the Time-Space Illusion) that Monroe was fiftyseven
years old when the experiences recorded in Far Journeys first occurred
and seventy when the book was published.
Far Journeys is not altogether an easy read. For those who have difficulty
with the content of Monroes narratives of his journeys, it helps to
use (in Coleridges phrase) the willing suspension of disbelief
for the time being at least. Moreover, Monroes attempts to put nonverbal
communication into ordinary everyday American sometimes descends into the
banal, and expressions such as Bill opened gently and I
vibrated more may affect the reader in ways that were never intended.
Presumably he came to realize this and in his last book, Ultimate Journey,
his interpretations of NVC are less demotic and he no longer employs his
replica vocabulary. Nevertheless, there is much vivid, explicit
writing, for example, in the chapters entitled Rainbow Route
and Shock Treatment, both of which contain passages of considerable
power and memorable content.
Yet there is more to Far Journeys than a series of accounts of several
extraordinary out-of-body experiences and the information that may be extrapolated
from them. In the final journey, The Gathering, Monroe is brought
to consider from somewhere between the Earth and the Moon a host
of countless numbers of forms glowing in various degrees of expectancy that
have come together to witness what the Inspec describes as a very rare
eventthe conflux of several different and intense energy fields arriving
at the same point in your time-space.
The gathering is to observe the possible birth of a new energy that will,
the Inspec continues, offer human consciousness a rare potential to
emerge rapidly into a unified intelligent energy system that will range far
beyond your time-space illusion, creating, constructing, teaching as only
a human-trained graduate energy is able to do. Should the opportunity
be missed, humans would eventually lose their place as the dominant species
on Earth and, the Inspec says, we would just have to start up some
action on some other planet in time-space with new humans.
There is, says the Inspec, one more process to perform. Following two rapid changes
in consciousness, Monroe, still accompanied by the Inspec and now also by
BB, finds himself in a place on Earth that is very familiar to him. Inside
a small structure in the middle of a grove of trees is a man
lying on a bed. It is, he is certain, the physical form of the nonphysical
being known as AA.
From time to time in his journeys Monroe has been aware of AAs presence
in the vicinity and he feels that AA knows him at least as well as he knows
himself. Now, as he watches, he becomes aware of a resistance emanating from
the man. The Inspec tells BB to help the man separate temporarily from his
physical body, which he succeeds in doing, and asks him to inquire as to
his purpose. Monroe is aware of M Band screeching, indicating strong emotion.
The resistance seems to be intensifying.
Then the Inspec gives the mans response: He stated he wished
to serve humankind. He wants to go with us, says BB. Can
he do that? But Monroe knows the answer before the Inspec expresses
it. Inform him he must stay and perform his designed function. He has
no other choice at this point. As the man sinks to his knees, Monroe,
the Inspec, and BB move away. It is done, says the Inspec. The
pattern is complete.
And here we come to the crucial point of the Heros Journey that other
journey that Robert Monroe had been following unknowingly since those hours he spent
many years before at the bottom of the well. As Joseph Campbell said, The ultimate
aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom
and power to serve others. Now it was clear that the wish to serve humankind
had become the chief motivating principle in Monroes life and work. It was,
in the words ascribed to the Inspec, his designed function. He had no
1. Far Journeys, p. 6. All quotations from Far Journeys by Robert
Monroe, copyright © 1985 by Robert Monroe are used by permission of Doubleday,
a division of Random House, Inc.
2. See The Sense of Being Stared At, by Rupert Sheldrake (Hutchinson,
3. Readers may see a disconnection here between the memory of AA and of the other
First-Timers. I regret that I am unable to resolve this!
4. Dark Night, Early Dawn (SUNY), pp. 12631.
5. A simplified version of this was later introduced into the Institutes
Lifeline course. An interesting comment on Monroes rings from
the Christian standpoint appeared in an article entitled This World
and the Next by the theologian and parapsychologist Crawford Knox in
The Christian Parapsychologist (December 2005):
Though Monroe describes the rings in spatial terms, they represent
not actual places but states or depths of consciousness or awareness. As
we grow into the life of God ... we can become aware of new depths of the
life of God all around us. The geometry of concentric rings seems to be a
metaphor for the different experiential possibilities inherent in different
states of consciousness as people develop and grow deeper into the life of
To think of the next world in spatial terms, therefore, is still to be
under the influence of our space-time conditioning. Technically, one does
not travel in this reality so much as simply shift ones
mode of awareness and attention.
6. The Reball became an essential component in the introductory exercises of the
7. Ann Simpkinson, writing in Common Boundary.