Multi-Dimensional Man, by Jurgen Ziewe
book review by Bob Peterson
Wow! Just...wow. Where do I begin?
This book doesn't follow the patterns of a typical OBE book. It doesn't try to train you to have out-of-body experiences. It doesn't try to tell you "this is how things work." The author is not out to convince you, win you over, teach you, or sell you anything. He doesn't even give you any OBE history. This is the story of one man's many journeys into the afterlife. Not in the Monroe-Institute- Focus-Level meaning of the word like authors Bruce Moen or Rosalind McKnight, but true out-of-body experiences, as I define them (where your body is just another inanimate object in the room). And his attitude is [in my words] "Here's what I saw: take it or leave it." (And I applaud him for that attitude.)
Unlike other OBE authors, Jurgen Ziewe (he's German, so it's likely pronounced Zee-Vay), wasn't even trying to induce OBEs. He was just practicing very deep meditation (for hours every day), and the OBEs were simply a bi-product. The reader almost gets the feeling that, for the author, the OBEs were a let-down; he was after much loftier goals, akin to Nirvana. He wasn't going to settle for anything less than God Him/Herself, but many times he got out-of-body experiences instead.
Several things impressed me about this book. First and foremost, the author makes it clear in nearly every OBE narrative that these were very conscious experiences. In many cases, he describes his awareness as hyper-conscious or super-conscious; his awareness was brighter and he was more alert than in waking life. He describes his experiences as having extreme clarity, even to the point of examining tiny scratches on surfaces. Like some of the OBEs in my own books, it's so realistic that at times he actually questions whether he's in-the-body. He has to do some gravity-defying feat to prove to himself that it's an OBE and not waking life. Clearly, these were not dreams.
Although he reiterated it with nearly every OBE narrative, the book really needed the repeated "reality" message: If it wasn't for the extreme level of clarity and focused conscious awareness, I would start to wonder if these experiences were lucid dreams (which tend to be more fantastic than typical OBEs.)
While we're on the subject, let's talk about lucid dreams for a minute. I've always maintained that the difference between an OBE and a lucid dream is that during a lucid dream, the scenery is a hallucinated construct of your own mind and you have complete control (in OBEs, it's not hallucinated and you have less control). Although Ziewe tries not to make such distinctions and lumps his experiences together, he can clearly tell when the scenery he's witnessing is "fake" or "real" and he notes it in his journal. And in his OBEs, he makes it absolutely clear that he's describing "real" places and events, not dream images. At times, it's so real that he worries he's invested too much of his consciousness in these places and won't be able to get back to his body.
While other pretentious authors might write authoritatively about visiting the third level of the astral plane, Ziewe's descriptions better match my experiences: There aren't any signs hanging over the doors (or pearly gates) that say "Astral Plane, Level 4, World 9, Continent 2, Section 8;" you just find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings and have to figure out where you are. I was particularly amused at some of his OBEs in which he goes around asking people, "What level is this?" And people look at him like he's crazy. These experiences give an air of credibility: Jurgen Ziewe is the real deal.
I might also describe Jurgen Ziewe as the "Eckhart Tolle" of the OBE world. Let me explain.
The first book I ever read by Eckhart Tolle was A New Earth, and when I describe that book to my friends, here's what I say: You have to give yourself time to absorb it because as you read the book, little coins of wisdom spill out all around you, almost as if by accident. It's like the author has pockets full of gold, and a hole in his pocket causes them to spill out as he walks, leaving you to pluck them off the street. It's like he's not even aware of the coins spilling out; like the wisdom is a completely unintentional bi-product of where he's going.
So when I say that Jurgen Ziewe is the Eckhart Tolle of OBEs, what I mean is: He describes these breathtaking, ecstatic experiences as if they're nothing special; just coins dropping to the floor. I can imagine myself having a comfortable conversation with Jurgen:
Bob: "Jurgen, if average people could just see what you've seen, it would open their eyes. It would change the world. It could end all wars. It could unite the religions. It could change the world!"And he'd change the subject. It's comfortable, approachable and valuable.
Jurgen: "Meh. Wasn't my intention. But wouldn't it be cool if..."
How ecstatic are his experiences? Mind-blowing doesn't even begin to cover it. He pretty much runs himself out of adjectives and superlatives. Sometimes he describes the ecstasy or joy as crushing or shattering, using words like "unbearable glory." Here's an example:
"Curiously, the most challenging feeling to bear was the intensity of the joy I felt. I was unprepared for it. It was a joy synonymous with a blinding light, which became more intense and closer to pain the further I travelled inland, until I could not bear it any longer."His first major experience, which led him to start meditating, was so touching I actually cried. The contrast between his OBEs and our ordinary waking life was like day and night. When this first major event ended, his:
"...room descended into the darkness of the bright summer daylight."
How's that for contrast? And that's just the out-of-body experiences; at the end of the book, he does get that Nirvana experience he was after.
He also does something else no other OBE book has: he travels back to past lives and actually experiences pieces of past lives from an OBE.
If this book had been written two thousand years ago, religion would have changed. People would have a completely different picture of heaven and the afterlife. Oh, people were having OBEs back then, and their descriptions live on in texts like the book of Revelation (of John), but the thing is, they were interpreted through a relatively primitive understanding of reality.
I'd say Ziewe's book is no less important than those religious texts. The problem is: people today are more jaded when it comes to religious experiences. For some strange reason, they disregard contemporary firsthand accounts as nonsense. They're more inclined to believe dogmatic religious accounts that have been altered by two thousand years of historical distortion and two languages of interpreter-distortion. Most people prefer ignorance over truth, and faith over knowledge. Go figure. I tend to think Ziewe's descriptions are much more accurate, and it does fit well with my experiences.
As for the writing: aside from a few typos, it's flawless; very well written.
The only think I didn't like about this book is that he didn't give any directions, tips or pointers for doing it yourself. He does, however, give some suggestions in an appendix regarding meditation and OBEs.
Thumbs way up. I highly recommend this book.
2013 Apr 08