Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: Have an Out-of-Body Experience in 30 Days

Review: Have an Out-of-Body Experience in 30 Days

By Keith Harary, Ph.D., and Pamela Weintraub

This time I'm reviewing Have an Out-of-Body Experience in 30 Days: The Free Flight Program by Keith Harary, Ph.D. and Pamela Weintraub. There are several books out there that promise to teach you how to self-induce OBEs in a fixed time frame. This is the first one I remember. It's copyrighted 1989, and I'm pretty sure that's when I bought it.

So rewind to 1989. When I first got the book, the thing that excited me most was the authors: Keith Harary is actually famous in the field of OBEs and parapsychology. In the early 1970s, when he was still in college, he hooked up with the Psychical Research Foundation and did many OBE laboratory experiments at Duke University. He quickly became a star psychic.

Using the name Stuart "Blue" Harary (before he changed it to Keith), his experiments tried to establish veridical proof of OBEs. In some of the experiments, he would travel in OBEs to another room where his cat (Spirit) was filmed. The scientists assessed his ability to remotely affect the cat by counting the number of meow sounds it made. And they got good results. The scientists noted that when Harary was visiting the cat in his out-of-body state, it became much more quiet, which seemed to indicate there actually was a real-world component to his OBEs.

So I was excited when I first cracked open the book in 1989. Unfortunately, I quickly became bored with it and put it down. I tried several times to finish reading it, but always got bored, until it landed back on my bookshelf.

Flash forward to 2014: I decided to try it again. After all, it's a short book; about 100 pages. This is Blue Harary; it's got to be good, right? After all, I loved Ingo Swann's OBE book, To Kiss Earth Goodbye, which has a similar history.

This time I got through it, but man...I was still bored. It just didn't hold my interest. I kept finding excuses to put it down and do something else.

So what is it with this book? It is entirely devoted to teaching the skills of inducing an OBE. That's okay. The problem is: that's all it is. It's just a bunch of instructions of what to do on each of the 30 days. There are no OBE narratives, no theories, no scientific examinations, and no discussions. There are a few suggested experiments, I guess.

One problem is, most of the exercises are geared toward increasing the ability to visualize and the use of imagination. That's not a bad thing, but it felt like paragraph after paragraph of explaining how to accomplish "The Target Technique." The Target Technique, described in a few OBE books, is where you lie down, close your eyes, relax, and then try to visualize a place you are very familiar with, as vividly as possible. For example, visualize standing in your living room, or at the front door to your house, apartment or flat. Try to look around you and see all the details of that location, in your imagination. If necessary, visit that place physically a few times to ingrain it into your memory, and try again. Buhlman describes it quite well, and gives easy instructions. Harary and Weintraub take it further by immersing you in different senses: taking baths, trying to imagine the past or future of a location; all kinds of variations. It's not a bad thing. It's just...tedious.

Each day's exercise builds off the previous, which means there aren't really any new or innovative techniques or approaches. It doesn't mention the vibrations or how to induce them. It doesn't mention binaural beats. It doesn't mention herbs, drugs, crystals or things like that. It doesn't mention mantras, mudras, or chanting. It doesn't mention subconscious conditioning, really. It doesn't mention lucid dreaming. It just seemed like it was geared toward the one (Target Technique-like) approach, rather than giving a variety of techniques (as do books like mine, Buhlman's or D. Scott Rogo's Leaving the Body, for example.)

I only "flagged" two things in the book that interested me. First, they recommended an affirmation, "I'll allow myself to have an out-of-body experience." I liked that for many reasons. Unlike many OBE affirmations, this one can cut through subconscious roadblocks. It seemed...innovative...because I think a lot of people have subconscious reservations about OBEs.

Another innovative idea was an exercise in which you go to sleep at an unusual location, like a hotel, and when you awaken in the morning, you lie still and imagine you're at home in your own bed. That seemed like it was worth a try.

Another interesting thing is that, with many of the exercises, they recommend imagining your own face looking back at you from above. I can't remember other books recommending that, so it struck me as interesting.

The spelling and grammar were professional; I only recall one typo.

This book is alright, but it's not high on my list. It might be good for someone who needs to work on their visualization skills. In my opinion, it just lacks flavor.

Bob Peterson
09 December 2014

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