Full title: The Secret of the Soul: Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature
The Secret of the Soul is a great title for beginners who are looking to understand this, sometimes confusing, other times frightening, skill that we all possess. The first half of the book, Buhlman discusses OBEs, why they are important, and gives countless examples of actual OBEs that folks have had. The second part of the book gives concrete techniques and problem solving tips to assist readers in having their own OBEs.
One of my friends is a long distance runner who has had some OBEs during his ultra marathons. I thought of him in the section entitled “Combat and Trauma-Induced Experiences”: “It was while I was running in a marathon last year that I had a very strange experience. I was at about the eighteen-mile marker when I looked beside me and saw myself running. At first I thought it was someone who was my build and wearing the same shoes, but then I realized it was me!” pg 55 Buhlman has story after story like that. If you’ve never had an experience of your own, the sheer variety and number of people who have fills you with confidence that you can.
I also liked Chapter 4, “Transformational Experiences”: For thousands of years spiritual masters have taught that the act of withdrawing from the senses is essential in order to consciously experience our spiritual self. Spiritual texts around the world speak to the importance of transcending the body and embarking on the magnificent journey of the soul into the pure realms of spirit. pg 61 and this testimony from that chapter: “This is bigger then anything I can imagine; how can I tell people without sounding like a nutcase? This changes everything I ever thought I knew or thought was true. I need to know more, see more.” pg 68 That’s the thing about powerful transformational experiences. Until someone has one him or herself, there’s not really anyway to explain it.
Chapter 6, “Extraterrestrial Contact and Abduction,” was the first time that I’ve read about aliens alongside traditional OBEs. Buhlman says: “After reading more than two hundred such letters (from his OBE survey), I noticed a startling similarity: The letters describing extraterrestrial contacts and abductions were almost identical to the thousands of letters I have received describing out of body experiences. In fact, I often could not distinguish between letters.” pg 89
Chapter 7, A Brief History of Out-of-Body Experiences was fascinating in that the reader is given cultures from all time periods, all over the planet, that support and confirm the existence of out of body experiences. It is a “human” experience rather than just a culturally specific one. Take Emanuel Swedenborg’s words: “It has pleased the Lord to… open the interiors of my mind or spirit, whereby I have been permitted to be in the spiritual world with angels, and at the same time in the natural world with people, and this now (has happened for) twenty-seven years.” pg 113 I was surprised at how many of the historical figures presented here were scientists… I guess in my mind I’ve always drawn a line between the artsy/mystic types and the scientists. Line erased. 🙂
I’ll conclude with a few statements from the Appendix of the book, which was compiled from Buhlman’s extensive survey of people who had had OBE’s: “Self-initiated out-of-body exploration is a direct and powerful method to experience our true spiritual essence. It is an effective method to accelerate our personal growth and evolution. In addition, it helps to prepare us for the transition of death by removing our fear and expanding our awareness. We have the ability to obtain the answers to our existence and break free from the shackles of belief and matter. This is achieved by personal spiritual experience and exploration beyond the physical limits.” Appendix pg 253. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thank you for reading!