Robert Monroe was born in the United States in 1915. In 1937, he graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Engineering. He worked for some time as a radio program producer and director until he established his own radio company in New York, which rapidly expanded.
In 1956, his company also conducted a study about the effect of sound waves on the abilities of the mind.
In 1958, Monroe had an accidental personal experience with lucid dreaming phenomenon, which strongly stoked his interest in the subject to which he would devote his entire career. In 1974, he founded the Monroe Institute, which was entirely devoted to studying unusual states of consciousness and the ability to influence them through audio stimulation and other technologies. One of its main achievements was the creation of the Hemi-Sync system, which was designed to help a person reach altered states of consciousness, including out-of-body states, by synchronizing the two hemispheres of the brain.
His first book, Journeys Out of the Body, was published in 1971. Two books then followed: Far Journeys (1985) and Ultimate Journey (1994).
Robert Monroe has, so far, made the largest contribution toward popularizing lucid dreaming state. However, he understood lucid dreaming more as an actual exit of the mind from the body, which is why the term “out-of-body experience” (OBE) was introduced. The book Journeys Out of the Body was such a massive success that Monroe quickly became an undisputed authority in the field.
However, the large influence of mysticism on Monroe’s work and views cannot be ignored. This is especially apparent after his second book. The majority of phenomena described in the book have not been verified in practice. The only attempt at conducting a full-fledged scientific experiment proving that the mind left the body was unsuccessful. In the end, typical misconceptions about lucid dreaming became widespread, as did awareness of the existence of out-of-body experiences.
Robert Monroe passed away in 1995.