I read a book in the mid-1970s. I was told at the time it was an underground book. I don't know what that, means but it sounds like a joke now.

The book was about karma, telekinesis and other mind powers. The main character went to sleep at night and while sleeping traveled out of body and had to try to advance to a higher level of thinking, for example by not interfering when someone was being hurt as this was their karma that needed to be fulfilled so they could move to the next level of existence.

Does any one remember this? I think there was a year date in the title (for example 2010___).

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    What language did you read it in? Could it have been a translation? And you did a good job of keeping the main character's gender out of the question, but why? Do you simply not remember, or was it not mentioned in the book? And these tasks ("had to try to...") were these assigned by people or by higher powers? – Mr Lister Dec 29 '13 at 8:40

2150 A.D. by Thea Alexander (Don and Thea Plym).

From Wikipedia:

The story concerns the character of Jon, who travels between his world of 1976 and the future world of 2150, where the Macro Society dominates the Earth. [...] The story starts with Jon having an astral dream. [...] Jon will attempt to learn some of the Macro Powers practiced by the people in 2150, and demonstrate them in 1976. [...] Jon decides to use the powers he learns in 2150 to improve the world in 1976. [...] The result of all this is that he is unable to make it to 2150 that night, because he was selfish in the use of his powers. He must resolve this problem before he can return to 2150. [...] Back in 1976, Jon realizes that he has learned all he can in this lifetime and decides to evolate[.]

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    Please add a sentence or two explaining why you think this fits the question. Don't rely only on your link, as links have a tendency to change over time, leaving this answer without context. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Dec 29 '13 at 11:37

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