The Monroe Institute
The Monroe Institute is a non-profit organisation which focuses on the research of human consciousness; its nature, it’s origins and it’s capability. Having dedicated many years into scientific and experiential research into the subject, the institute has developed a very strong reputation as one of the world leaders in its field. Founded by Robert Monroe, a long time out of body experiencer and a radio communications businessman turned consciousness explorer, the organisation created the “Gateway Voyage” program for those interested in adventuring deep into their nature beyond the reach of current scientific discovery. As this program was (and still is) reserved for those who are able to visit the institute itself for a several-day period, the “Gateway Experience” CD-set was developed for use at home to achieve the same goal.
The Out of Body Experience
Of course, due to the nature of the organisation’s processes, it hold’s quite large amount of controversy on the legitimacy of it’s processes. Much of modern science does not accept the implications of its research as it greatly goes beyond our current understandings of materialistic reductionism, and how consciousness and the brain interact. The current consensus states that our consciousness is an emergent feature of the brain,or put simply that the workings of the brain create consciousness itself. However, the findings and personal experiences taken (and still taking) place at the Monroe Institute suggest a very different model. That consciousness is separate from the physical body altogether, and that it can actually be separated during phenomena known as Out-Of-Body-Experiences, or more modernly “Astral Projection”.
This is a difficult concept to grasp when looking at it from a purely logical point of view, applying our current knowledge intellectually, and you will ultimately come to the conclusion that the notion is impossible, ridiculous or at best pseudo scientific. Therefore, the only way it would seem to fully understand the phenomena in its entirety would be to attempt to undergo this exploration oneself. To not do so may be to miss out on a potentially groundbreaking, paradigm shifting experience. Unfortunately many of the members of our society are too firmly set in their beliefs to actually do so, and so will likely never begin to wonder beyond what we currently perceive as fact.
That’s not the way I like to work however, when I hear about something like this, as well as hearing numerous reviews and statements from people who have undergone the “Gateway Voyage” or “Gateway Experience” programs, I get the intense curiosity to try out myself. I find otherwise I only have the choice as to whether to believe the testimonials or to dismiss them as illusions, and either option wouldn’t satisfy me. So I purchased the full set of CDs (consisting of 6 “waves”), which cost me around £500: another cause of skepticism and belief of a scam, and have now begun working my way through Wave 1. As of yet, I have noticed no effect other than the ability to enter a deeply relaxed state, however it is early days and I have a lot of the program to look forward to.
If you are unfamiliar with Binaural Beats, they are a process used in many meditation soundtracks and hypnosis recordings and consist of one frequency played in one ear, and another frequency few hertz less (commonly 4 or 5 hz) than the first in the other ear. This difference in frequency correlates very closely to the frequency produced by the brain, and as such the brain begins to operate at the frequency of this difference, a process known as Frequency Following Response. During this function, allegedly both hemispheres of the brain begin to work together in perfect synchronicity to allow for hugely improved efficiency of information transfer, and the ability to experience different levels of consciousness. This was coined Hemispheric Synchronization, or Hemi-Sync by the institute.
The audio CDs created for the Gateway Experience consists of such frequencies played in both ears alongside various background sounds such as ocean surf, white and pink noise. Robert Monroe himself narrates and instructs the course as you go through, giving clear direction on how to progress through each exercise. Following this with the aid of the Hemi-Sync effect allows for one’s consciousness to begin explore deeper aspects of itself. I personally cannot account for its effectiveness or authenticity at this stage as I am still very much on the early rungs of the ladder, however I am optimistic that the experiences I will hopefully undertake during the program will offer profound information.