Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: Astral Projection, by Sylvia Jacobs

Review: Astral Projection, by Sylvia Jacobs

Book review by Bob Peterson

I finished reading the book Astral Projection: How To Have An Out-Of-Body Experience In 30 Days by Sylvia Jacobs, and I wanted to give my thoughts and observations about the book.

The first thing to note is that this book is small. It's only 113 pages long, its font is big and there's lot of white space, so it only took a couple hours to read. Compare that with my previous review of D. Scott Rogo's Leaving the Body: that was 190 pages but took me a month to read, in several carved out blocks of time (I'm a busy guy). Although Rogo's book is not even twice as many pages, it took me at least ten times longer to read, due to the small font. What this means is: Rogo's book has ten times the information.

The book makes a lot of assumptions, primarily related to occult beliefs about the out-of-body experiences. The author echoes what many of the other books say regarding vibrations, the astral body, chakras, spirit guides, Akashic records, etc. I can't say I disagree with what she wrote, but I think that many of these subjects aren't treated as in-depth as they deserve. For example, in the Questions and Answers section, she addresses the question "Why do I only see darkness in my astral body?" Her answer is:
"It is common to see darkness when you exit your physical body. This is called astral blindness. Most people are not used to their astral bodies at first, so this can happen during your first few projections.
First try opening your eyes just as you would in your physical body. Sometimes that is all it takes to start seeing with your astral eyes. Moving away from your physical body also helps to get rid of astral blindness."
While I don't disagree with any of this, there's a lot more that can (and should) be said. First, there's the whole discussion of the "cord activity range" proposed by Sylvan Muldoon, which affects astral sight. Second, there's the whole discussion of the different kinds of eyesight people experience in an OBE: I documented four in my first book and had several paragraphs to talk about it. Third, there's another whole discussion regarding the darkness and/or blackness experienced by a lot of people (such as author Frederick Aardema) described as "the void," a jumping off point for different realms of experience. So the bottom line is that the information is good, but it's "light reading." It's not in-depth, at least not for me (but I'm admittedly biased).

Jacobs does, however, give lots of good OBE advice and several solid techniques for inducing OBEs. There's nothing new or innovative as far as I'm concerned, but she does give the basics of many good OBE techniques. Some would argue she should have gone into more depth on each of these (like D. Scott Rogo did).

The subtitle is "How To Have An Out-Of-Body Experience in 30 Days". Do I think that's possible? Well, yes, the author seems pretty focused and gives a lot of techniques, and she does set reasonable expectations: to accomplish it, you need to stay focused, be persistent, follow directions, etc. It's not an unreasonable subtitle.

One problem I had with the book is this: Except for two small paragraphs on page 4 and 5, there are no personal stories, which means it's not as entertaining as some of the other OBE books out there. She speaks with the voice of authority, but she doesn't give much for credentials to say where her knowledge comes from, where she learned it, who her teachers were and what her level of experience is. However, the book is informational and concise. It is a bit dry and therefore a little flat, without a lot of personality.

You can tell that this book is self-published. The font, spacing and overall experience just aren't professional quality. On the positive side, the cover is better than a lot of them in the genre; kudos there. It's also well organized and the author stays on track. The grammar is very good (she's a good writer) but I found several typos; she could have used a proof-reader/ grammar Nazi like me to review it. These are mostly things a spell-checker wouldn't have caught. Having self-published two of my own books, I know how this works: As an author, you get too close to the work. As you proof-read your own work, you mentally read back what the book should say, not what it actually does say. That's why it's always good to get an impartial third party to review it.

This is an entry-level OBE book: "OBE 101". The information is basic, but solid. I would have liked more content: stories based on personal experience, some justification for her occult-based beliefs, better credentials, and more "personality." It's a good place to start if you're a beginner, but if you're already knee deep in OBE literature, other books may better satisfy your quest for knowledge. If you're only in it for the OBE techniques, it's a good place to start (but that's a dangerous attitude; there's a lot more to consider than the techniques).

29 March 2014

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. I would just point out that the easiest way I've found of combating darkness is to hold out my hands in front of me and simply stare at them until they come into focus. When they do (belief is obviously important) an increased amount of light invariably follows. I also find William Buhlmann's spoken aloud mantra "I demand awareness now"while in the phase state an effective way of inducing more clarity and detail (therefore light) to the quality of the experience. While I find the occult aspects of OBE interesting in terms of Sylvia's book I do wonder if they are potentially off-putting for the layman. They are certainly equatable in my experience to the science and technique of modern-day consciousness studies which allow much the same access to the OBE experience. Love your own book, by the way, with its wealth of practical exercises. Most useful.