Robert Allen Monroe (October 30, 1915–March 17, 1995) was a New York radio broadcasting executive who became known for his research into altered consciousness. His 1971 book Journeys Out of the Body is credited with popularizing the term “out-of-body experience“.
Monroe achieved world-wide recognition as an explorer of human consciousness. His research, beginning in the 1950s, produced evidence that specific sound patterns have identifiable, beneficial effects on our capabilities. For example, certain combinations of frequencies appeared to enhance alertness; others to induce sleep; and still others to evoke expanded states of consciousness.
Assisted by specialists in psychology, medicine, biochemistry, psychiatry, electrical engineering, physics, and education, Robert Monroe developed Hemi-Sync, a patented audio technology that is claimed to facilitate enhanced performance.
He had an early fascination with flying and music and had great mechanical aptitude. He displayed some ability to read music by age four without having studied the subject, perhaps by listening to his mother and sisters playing piano.
In 1953 Mr. Monroe formed RAM Enterprises, a corporation that produced network radio programs, as many as 28 programs monthly, principally in dramatic and popular quiz shows.
In 1956 the firm created a Research and Development division to study the effects of various sound patterns on human consciousness, including the sleep state. Monroe was especially attracted to the concept of sleep-learning. This was a natural direction to take, applying to this new area the audio production methods used in the firm’s commercial activity. The purpose was to find more constructive uses for such knowledge than was ordinarily available, and the results of this research have become internationally known.
According to his own account, while experimenting with sleep-learning in 1958 Monroe experienced an unusual phenomenon, which he described as sensations of paralysis and vibration accompanied by a bright light that appeared to be shining on him from a shallow angle. Monroe went on to say that this occurred another nine times over the next six weeks, culminating in his first out-of-body experience. Monroe recorded his account in his 1971 book Journeys Out Of The Body and went on to become a prominent researcher in the field of human consciousness. Monroe later authored two more books, Far Journeys (1985) and Ultimate Journey (1994).
In 1962 the company moved to Virginia, and a few years later changed the corporate name to Monroe Industries. In this location it became active in radio station ownership, cable television, and later in the production and sale of audio cassettes. These cassettes were practical expressions of the discoveries made in the earlier and ongoing corporate research program.
In 1985 the company officially changed its name, once again, to Interstate Industries, Inc. This reflected Monroe’s analogy of how the use of Hemi-Sync serves as a ramp from the “local road” to the “interstate” in allowing people to go “full steam ahead” in the exploration of consciousness, avoiding all of the stops and starts.
The research subsidiary was divested and established as an independent non-profit organization, The Monroe Institute, later in 1985. Interstate Industries, Inc. remains a privately-held company, now doing business as Monroe Products.
Robert Monroe’s leadership of the entire program of development were supported for more than 50 years by many specialists who continue their participation to this day. His daughter, Laurie Monroe, continued her father’s research into consciousness and the mind’s potential until her death in 2006. Under the current direction of another of Monroe’s daughters, Maria Monroe Whitehead, Monroe’s stepson, A. J. Honeycutt, and Teresa West, president of Monroe Products, the company’s objective is to continue to expand the Hemi-Sync line of products and their benefits into markets worldwide.
In 1975, Monroe registered the first of several patents concerning audio techniques designed to stimulate brain functions until the left and right hemispheres became synchronized. Monroe held that this state, dubbed Hemi-Sync (hemispherical synchronization), could be used to promote mental well being or to trigger an altered state of consciousness. Monroe’s concept was based on an earlier hypothesis known as binaural beats and has since been expanded upon a commercial basis by the self-help industry.
In the attached Interview given in 1992 he resumes his life in radio, his first out of body experience and how he created the material that became Hemi Sync.
He gained a knowing through experience, as opposed to belief, that we survive physical death. An experienced which took away his fear of death.
He describes how we arrive as an alien vortex of energy to earth, that our purpose here is to learn. We are here to learn a measurement system such as pain and pleasure, and that we need both as to know what the alternative is. We learn to manipulate energy which has a great value both on earth and elsewhere and in the process we acquire an intellect and analytical ability.
He describes how, as humans, we create a belief system that we are purely human and nothing else. His goal became the quest to know what we become once we graduate from living the human experience.