To make a very long story short, after 30 years of Christian brainwashing, I spent the next 5 sterilizing myself of all metaphysical beliefs, and effectively became a naturalist atheist. However, the entire time I was going through this process I felt intuitively like higher self was real, that manifestation was real.
After reading the interaction on this post and having re-read your original post, I have arrived at a sense understanding your dilemma. Please bear with me because I am building to my state of mind immediately preceding my first OB as I have not given it any consideration until now. Also, my conclusions to date that align with your issue.
After 30 years of Catholicism, I spent the next 5 years searching for "spirit" then gave up for 10 years after a year of mediation and failed OB attempts, and researching the NPMR phenomena. I then met my devout Christian open minded wife and I renewed my search for spirit.
I was hung up on 2 passages from the Bible: 1) you must accept Jesus in your life for salvation. 2) we are made in the image of God. Then, I found a passage in the Old Testament in Genesis 2: God said after Adam and Eve ate the apple: they are like us
! I asked my wife and others who is us? It was the search for an answer to that statement that led me to my first OB. This is when the "nudges" began (now with hindsight I realize they have always been there). I read Yoganada's autobiography and there it was the Christ Consciousness! I then was nudged to Monroe and read his first book in a day. Monroe provides a step-by-step procedure which I followed 2 days later. By this time I was worked up to a thirst for success and desirous of a positive outcome with shadow of could this be true?
This is what worked for me as Monroe outlined: The best time to attempt this is between 2 and 5 in the morning. The idea is to lull your body asleep and keep your mind in a waking state while in a relaxed meditative state and wait. Allow your mind to drift then pull it back to the waking state. So, my first success of many, at 4:30 am I am alone in a quiet house and begin the procedure. At about 5:50 it began by 6:05 am I was documentating the event in my log book. The shadow of could this be true turned into Holy Sh_t!
Now, the real issue for us is "belief". Is there a God? Is there NPMR? Monroe, Campbell and others provide a theory with scientific support and documentary evidence, both objective and subjective, that NPMR exists. The same evidence indicates that Consciousness is absolute and that everything else is its construct. In other words the subset children of Consciousness are the fragments, the "Christ Consciousness" of the Absolute father Consciousness.
Now, having immersed myself in "NPMR" experiences, I am content accepting that there are alternate densities of the consciousness state. Religion originates from visions, dreams,and the use of hallucinogens, etc. in other words subjective, awareness within a subjective reality, as does MBT and other similar models.
Now, I accept all with open minded skepticism, to include materialism, as they all are in some form or another a reflection of consciousness in action. My wife believes Jesus is Lord. I accept that the Christ Consciousness exists in Jesus name. I have no issues with the teachings. There is no dilemma, conflict or "hand wringing". I could go on but I hope you get the picture.
All the best,