I began writing Otherwhere: A Field Guide to Nonphysical Reality for the Out-of- Body Traveler in 1989 and completed the manuscript in 1992, based on adventures in consciousness experienced over twenty years, starting around 1972. It took me nearly ten years to find a publisher for the book, during which time I added one further adventure from 1997.
Thirteen more years have passed since the first edition was issued in 2001.
Though I’ve recorded hundreds of adventures in consciousness since 1992, these adventures have tended to confirm and enhance the methods I developed in Otherwhere for mapping nonphysical reality and describing its denizens. I published my adventures much as I recorded them, by hand in dream journals, with minor stylistic alterations and some changed names and personal histories.
I cautiously drew conclusions based on the functions of the nonphysical zones and beings I perceived, avoiding the temptation to present a grand synthesis or “theory of everything” that might be replaced later, when I knew more. I considered my task to be mapping nonphysical reality and cataloging its denizens while demonstrating how other astral projectors could duplicate my methods.
I provided few techniques for getting out of body—for which some readers chastised me. But I was more interested in indicating what was possible to the intrepid explorer of nonphysical reality than in describing how to get there. I felt there were enough books on the market dealing with techniques and not enough dealing with the practicalities of being out in the field—especially as that field got further away from our familiar experiences in the world of ordinary waking consciousness.
Furthermore, when I wrote the book, I had no idea how to instruct people in duplicating my adventures. I could offer only a few basic principles. In 2005, as a result of my introduction to theosophical teachings about the subtle bodies and the planes of existence where they operate, I was able to formulate techniques for developing the inner senses required for exploration of nonphysical reality.
I have since described these inner senses and techniques in The Multidimensional Human: Practices for Psychic Development and Astral Projection (2010). There’s no need to recapitulate such techniques in a new edition of “Otherwhere.|”
However, several years of answering questions on online astral projection forums in preparation for writing The Multidimensional Human allowed me to identify two areas of weakness in the first edition of “Otherwhere.” Many online projectors were struggling with scenarios that veteran explorer of nonphysical reality Robert Monroe called simulations. I briefly mentioned simulations in Otherwhere, as learning environments in which people have an opportunity to develop specific astral projection skills, but without enough information for people to identify these scenarios and know what to do about them. Though I address this deficiency to some extent in new endnotes, a fuller exposition must wait for the sequel to “The Multidimensional Human.”
The other area of weakness was the information on so-called negative entities, which I call Creatures here. I rarely encountered such beings in my first twenty years of nonphysical exploration. I found it difficult even to believe they existed, despite witnessing intense online debates about what they were and how they affected people. Experiences of the last twenty years have allowed me to fill in many gaps in my knowledge of negative entities, but the principles for understanding what they are, as described here, remain valid. Because I deal with this subject extensively in “The Multidimensional Human” (195–212), I won’t repeat that material here.
In this new edition, Otherwhere: A Field Guide for Astral Travelers, I maintain the content of the original books with minimal excisions, some updating of style, and some reordering of the sequence of presentation. The two parts of the first edition, “Orientation” and “Field Guide,” have been expanded into four to reflect a further classification of adventures into those that occurred in the “human zones” and those in the “nonhuman zones” of Otherwhere. Because the order in which my adventures occurred has become an increasingly important part of my understanding of how astral projection abilities develop, I provide notes with the date of each adventure and its number in my indexing system (if it has one).
The original chapter 2 was a condensed account of my early development, referring to dozens of adventures from my first ten years of out-of-body exploration, often with hardly more than a phrase. Rather than rewrite this overly hasty presentation, I decided to add extensive notes that fill in details I had left out. In consulting my original accounts of these adventures, I also discovered Preface to the New Edition | xiii some unintentional errors in chronology that I’ve corrected in the text or notes.
Aside from updating information on resources for prospective astral travelers in the final chapter, the primary change in the new edition of Otherwhere is its enlargement with several chapters I held back from publication in the first edition. At the time, I didn’t know what to make of the adventures recounted therein and I hesitated to present material I might change my mind about later.
I’m glad I waited, since the key to understanding these adventures didn’t come until several years after the original publication.
These chapters described how I learned feel/think, the telepathic language of Otherwhere (my name for nonphysical reality, since everything we experience there is quite other from what we’re used to in physical reality). I originally believed that I underwent this training in earth’s oceans under the guidance of dolphins and whales. As a result of my exposure to theosophical literature, I realized that the ocean was a metaphor for the nonhuman zones of Otherwhere and dolphins and whales were metaphors for a type of entity frequently encountered there.
The new chapters and notes reflect this understanding and restore a key portion of my training as an astral projector—since learning to communicate in feel/ think is an essential skill wherever we travel in Otherwhere.
In addition to the general index usually found at the end of nonfiction books, I have also added an “Index of Zones and Beings Encountered in Otherwhere.” This special index serves several purposes: first, it gathers into one place the terms for zones and beings scattered throughout the text; second, like capsulized accounts of flora or fauna in a natural history field guide, it provides a brief description of each nonphysical environment and entity; third, like a regular index, it provides page references to all important occurrences of each term.
Finally, the information included in the descriptions knits together material from the first edition of the book, the newly added chapters, and the endnotes, many of which deal with how my understanding of the adventures recounted here has changed over the years.
When possible, these descriptions include correlations with the theosophical system of planes and subplanes. I wasn’t able to perceive the value of this system when I first encountered it in a watered-down version in a book from my grandfather’s library (as noted in chapter 5). However, it has proved useful as a means of relating nonphysical scenes, dwellers, and phenomena to one another more precisely than the system of loosely connected zones I advocated in the first edition. Thus, this special index is not only a field guide to nonphysical reality, but also a map, summarizing decades of exploration and reflection on my out-of-body travels.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published May 2019
Size: 6 x 9 inches