Anyone should, in theory, be able to experience for oneself the concepts mentioned in the EBTs.
Therefore, I always find it interesting when similar experiences or theories are found in traditions entirely disconnected from the EBTs; for example the concept of rebirth found in the fascinating ‘Tale of Er’ at the end of Plato’s Republic, c. 375 BC (which is also, I believe, the first account ever of a NDE!).
Robert Monroe 'Last-timer' vs EBT 'Once-returner'
Robert Monroe (1915-1995) was an American who wrote about his out-of-body experiences (also named astral projection) in a series of 3 excellent books between 1971 and 1994.
In his second book, ‘Far Journeys’ (FJ), he talks about what he calls ‘last-timers’, who are beings that were previously humans and will return to Earth for one final physical life:
“Then there’s this third type, the Last-Timers. They make one more recycle, uh, one more physical life as a human, and then they’re gone.”
FJ p. 133
This of course reminds one of the EBT’s once-returner:
With the ending of three fetters, and the weakening of greed, hate, and delusion, they’re a once-returner. They come back to this world once only, then make an end of suffering.
SN 55.24 #SC6
The key characteristics of the last-timers according to Monroe’s account are:
- Before their last rebirth, they reside on the outer ring of the astral rings that surround the Earth (i.e. the highest vibrational rings, most ‘spiritually advanced’ ring.
- They will experience only one more human life on Earth.
- It is not known where they go after they leave their last physical body.
- They have a kind of very powerful radiation and strength and good values and are in control of what they do and where they’ll go on Earth.
- For their last physical life on Earth, they usually choose a simple and modest life.
Here are the extracts from Monroe’s books about the last-timers.
“Now, this outer ring,” Ed was continuing. “They are made of three types. One is the First-Timer, […] then there’s the Old-Timers, who mostly remember after going the route, uh, repeating being human a number of times. These hang around and do what they can to help. They don’t remember quite enough to go home.” […] “Then there’s this third type, the Last-Timers. They make one more recycle, uh, one more physical life as a human, and then they’re gone .”
BB turned. “Where do they go?”
Ed rolled. “I dunno. Home, I guess. They never show up back here. And, oh yeh. There’s this other type we call the Seekers. Don’t get many of them, slippery as eels. Unstable, flick in and out.” (FJ p.133)
In my few stopovers in the outer ring, it had always been utterly fascinating—the mix. Particularly the Last-Timers, those who knowingly were about to make their final recycle. They gave off a radiation that was unforgettable—tremendous vital power that seemed totally under control. Within that strength were all of the values and ideals that humans hold important—not in time-space context, not in external control systems that demanded performance in a specific manner, but something entirely apart, something learned from being human. Most important, all under control , all a cooperating, melding part of the whole. They were completely open . You could get a percept easily of the crucible of human experience that formulated such greatness—if you could handle it. I tried once and it was too much. I returned to the physical and was wistful for days thereafter. The key was that they got that way from being human. They were not that way at First Entry .
But now it was different. Their radiation had a familiar resonance, and I wondered why this was so. In the last time around , they evidently close it all down. Part of the vitality seeps through; it really all can’t be closed off. Yet they don’t select history-making roles in that final run—they’ve probably performed such previously. They are inconspicuous , the mail clerk, the plain dirt farmer, the sailor, the bookkeeper, not gathered as a group , but quietly spotted here and there in both time and place.
If you ask their destination upon completion, most simply respond with a gentle warmth: Home . The percept comes out that way, but there’s an overtone, a flavor, a nuance that is only slightly familiar. (FJ p.147-148)
There are other parallels between his experiences and the EBTs (none-returners, heavenly ‘job positions’ filled by various beings at different times, devas that delight in creation, the psychic powers etc), I might post them later.
One thing that I find interesting about looking at these parallels is that sometimes they shed some light to otherwise cryptic notions in the EBTs, they allow to expand one’s working hypotheses and explanations of certain concepts and to be less dogmatic and narrow-minded about them. I’ll try to give a specific example in a future post.
Anyone with some OBE experiences?