Review: Out-of-Body Exploring
by Preston Dennett
Not long ago I went into my metaphysical library and spotted an OBE book I couldn't recall ever reading. It was from 2004, a book called Out-of-Body Exploring by Preston Dennett. I just finished it, and here's my review.
First of all, there's a good amount of content. This is not one of those lightweight OBE books. It's 182 pages. The font is a little on the small size, but that's a good thing: there is lots of information packed in, and no wasted space.
I liked Dennett's style and what he was saying right from the start. First, he agreed that OBEs and Lucid Dreams are two distinct things, although they're related. As early as page 2, he states:
"The main difference between the two, I think, is that with out-of- body experiences, you perceive the environment outside of you as being externally created and independent of mental influences. In lucid dreams, your environment is internally created, and is composed of mental projections." (pg. 2)That's very well put and it's what I've been saying for years. Later, he echoes my sentiments exactly:
"In the lucid-dream state, we become aware that we are in fact manifesting our thoughts, and we can manipulate the dream state, thereby exploring the inner world. The out-of-body state is the flip side--you explore the outer world." (pg. 45)Another important point he makes is that it's easy to transition from a lucid dream to an OBE. So one way to have an OBE is to first induce a Lucid Dream, then dispel the self-created hallucination of the dream. He offers solid advice on the first part, inducing the lucid dream:
"I am convinced that critical thinking is essential to becoming lucid and having out-of-body experiences. By keeping a constant awareness of where you are and what you are doing, you carry this attitude into the dream state, and hopefully not only remember what you are doing, but become aware of it while it is happening." (pg. 10)
He also talks about inducing OBEs that don't start as LDs. For example:
"What worked best for me seems to be a combination of intense willpower, desire, focus and intent. Only by obsessing myself with the subject was I able to generate out-of-body events." (pg. 8)This goes back to the subject of motivating the subconscious mind. That's why I like to read so many OBE books: it feeds my obsession and keeps my subconscious mind trained on the idea of leaving my body. It really does help, especially for beginners.
Dennett gives lots of very short OBE narrations to illustrate the points he makes. It's not only effective at driving his point home, it also brings OBE images to your mind that influence and motivate your subconscious. I really appreciate that, and it's uncommon in the genre. I can't stress this point enough: Reading OBE narrations like this makes you imagine yourself in out-of-body scenarios, and that goes straight to your subconscious mind and helps make OBEs more likely.
In the beginning, many of his narrations illustrate the same kind of beginner problems I wrote about, like (1) difficulty maintaining lucidity and control, (2) encountering barriers, (3) learning to control emotions, (4) the almost irresistible joy of flying, and so forth. That gave the book a feeling of genuineness. It was quite amusing to hear about his playfully gobbling up astral food or going berserk and destroying things in a grocery store. At least until he learned control.
The book has many fascinating experiments, ranging from the simple to the complex. Some of his many experiments include trying to sing, making his astral arms melt away, trying to visit the site of the Titanic, flying to the moon, visiting the Akashic library, time travel, talking to his dead mom, trying to meet God, and many many more. They're all very fascinating. It's not simple wish-fulfillment or fantasy, because most of the experiments yielded unexpected results and in many cases, he did not achieve his goal.
One of his experiments had veridical evidence: on page 75, he described flying under a bridge at the L.A. river which has banks lined with concrete. In the out-of-body state, he saw what looked like two feet of dirt lining the banks. After the OBE, he visited the site physically and was shocked to find dirt lining the banks at that exact spot. This seemed to suggest that his OBE was "real" because what he witnessed directly contradicted both his knowledge and his expectations.
Also, I like his style. Dennett isn't dictating facts as an expert. He writes like we're all on the same team, and he often quotes several other OBE authors (William Buhlman, Robert Bruce, Sylvan Muldoon, and much to my surprise, even me!) to explain a point. It makes the discussion seem very homogeneous and not self-centered.
Dennett gives some very good (but basic) advice for achieving OBEs. He crams it in a bit tight, but it's more than most. He includes several basic foundations (such as relaxation) and techniques found in other books, plus a few of his own tricks, such as "The Flash" where you imagine that you are running extremely fast, like the comic book (& movie) character The Flash. It was solid, although it could have been twice as long.
The part I liked best (besides the narrations) was actually the epilogue. It's kind of like an "Oh my God, I almost forgot to say this" section. He tightly crams a lot of spiritual stuff in that one small chapter. Here's just one small example to give you the flavor:
"Today, nearly twenty years of out-of-body experiences has taught me many things. Like most projectors, I learned early on that privacy is an illusion. I learned that the universe is far more vast than I can possibly imagine. I learned that beliefs unsupported by experience can lead to delusion and retard your spiritual growth. I learned that thoughts and emotions have far-reaching effects." (pg. 174)
From the office of the grammar Nazi: this book is very well written, clear, concise, and easy to understand. The flow and organization are professional. Its grammar and spelling at both perfect; I did not find one single mistake or typo, and believe me, that's very rare indeed.
I really enjoyed this OBE book and give it a big thumbs up.
25 November 2014