Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: The Phase by Michael Raduga - Part 3 of 3

Review: The Phase - Part 3 of 3

by Michael Raduga

This is part 3 of my review of Michael Raduga's book The Phase. Click here for part 1. Click here to read part 2.

In part 1, I talked a lot about the book's "story" and shortcomings. In Part 2 I talked about Raduga's OBE induction techniques. In part 3, I'll cover other important points made in the book.

Tips and Helpful Hints

The book is chock full of Raduga's advice, tips and helpful hints. Such as:

Frequency of OBE attempts
"Never try these techniques every day, otherwise the success rate of your attempts will drop drastically! Spend no more than 2 to 3 days of the week on it, preferably only on days off." (pg. 64)
Remaining passive vs. aggressive

One thing I found interesting is Raduga's discussion about aggression and passivity. I always need to remain completely passive to gain any ground. For example, if the vibrations come, I personally need to remain totally passive and blank my mind before they increase. If I try to be active and manipulate them in any way, they fade away. Raduga calls for striking a balance:
"Balance between passivity and aggression is imperative; the phase state is easily attained by those practitioners who find a stable medium between passivity and aggression." (pg. 121)
A lot of the book is just explaining "rookie mistakes": what many beginners get wrong and how to do it the right way. In one of these, he seems to actually discourage being passive:
[One mistake is] "Passively performing techniques instead of being determined and aggressive." (pg. 127)
Perhaps the key is trying to remain completely passive while encouraging your subconscious to keep acting toward the OBE on your behalf. In other words, try to be consciously passive but subconsciously aggressive. For example, I often induce a floating or rocking sensation in my body, and then "set it and forget it." In other words, I try to hold a resolve to keep floating or rocking while I consciously force my mind down into a completely passive state.

Forced Falling Asleep

Raduga talks about a "trick" technique he calls "forced falling asleep."
"What the practitioner does is try to fall asleep as decidedly and as quickly as possible, but while maintaining the intention of not losing consciousness. The most important thing is to not get caught up in how to do it...You need only to get pulled in to a wave of sleepiness and catch it at the last second. It's quite similar to real life situations when there is very little time to sleep, and one nevertheless has to catch some rest." (pg. 124)
This reminded me of Dr. Douglas M. Baker's advice in chapter 6 of his book Practical Techniques of Astral Projection from my previous book review: "This must be done rapidly." Later Raduga says:
"This is used in-between any techniques or in-between full cycles of techniques. In this case, the idea is that 3 to 5 seconds of credibly imitating falling asleep can not only conjure the phase all on its own, but also cause a kind of throwback to a more transitional state, thus increasing the effectiveness of all subsequent actions." (pg. 124)
That quote reminded me of my own technique of Sneaking Past The Gatekeeper. Basically, you do such a credible/believable imitation of being asleep that your subconscious thinks it's "lights out," and literally pulls you out of body.


The idea here is to strengthen or deepen your "phase" experience. The primary reason to do this is to prolong the experience and make it more stable:
"Resisting the gravity of the physical body is paramount to remaining in the phase. The result of willful resistance is directly proportional to the degree of applied effort." (pg. 161)
But then, according to Raduga, the deeper the phase, the less control you have over the experience:
"All methods for controlling the phase space stem from a primary law: the degree of changeability of the phase space is inversely proportionate to the depth of the phase. That is, the deeper the phase, the more difficult it is to perform something unusual in it because in a deep, stable phase, the laws of it begin to closely resemble those of the physical world." (pg. 194)
I'm not sure I buy it. I've always believed that Lucid Dreams (LDs) were different from out-of-body experiences (OBEs). I believe LDs are more life-like and more closely mimic physical reality because they are self-created hallucinations. I believe OBEs are non-hallucinated events; perceptions of some kind of non-physical environment, and therefore, they don't translate as well into terms of our human-based sense perceptions. My lucid dreams tend to be more controllable, whereas my OBEs tend to be more out-of-control. In a lucid dream, I can make things appear or disappear, or change a hallway into a tunnel by an act of will. In an OBE, I cannot. But I digress. More about control later.

Raduga's primary two methods of deepening your experience are:
  • Palpation - Touch and feel anything in your immediate surroundings.
  • Peering - Look closely and deeply at the details of objects around you.
Secondary deepening techniques are:
  • Vibration - Try to induce vibrations
  • Straining the Brain - Try to strain your brain (without using muscles) 
  • Aggressive Action - Try waving your arms or legs, swimming motions, etc.
  • Imagining Reality - Aggressively imagine being somewhere in the physical world.
  • Use Phase Objects - Convince yourself that some object, like a pocket watch, is in your pocket, and is a "deepener."
  • Diving Headfirst - Dive into the ground.



The subject of maintaining is, in a nutshell, how to make the experience last as long as possible. How long does a "phase" experience typically last? Usually a very short amount of time. Sometimes just a few seconds to a minute. According to Raduga:
"It is physically impossible to remain in the phase forever because even a 20-minute phase is unheard of. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep serves as the main limiting factor, since it normally lasts no longer than 10 to 20 minutes. However, in some cases it may last many times longer, like toward the end of sleeping in very late. However, even a 5 minute phase can seem to last forever in terms of time perception." (pg. 169)
I disagree. I hardly think longer OBEs are "unheard of." Although I've always been skeptical of such claims, some people claim to have had multiple-day OBEs. I personally have had OBEs that lasted about an hour and a half. Now was that my flawed perception of time, or real clock time? Since I was inside the experience itself, I can't say for sure. In most cases, I check the time when I start my OBE attempt, and check it afterward, and they seem to coincide. In almost all my OBEs, time seems to pass somewhat normally.

Techniques for Maintaining

Here are some of Raduga's techniques for maintaining a phase experience. Many of these are basically the same as his "deepening" techniques. Here's what you can do if you feel like you're losing the experience:
  • Sensory Amplification - touch and examine things.
  • Constant Vibration/Strengthening - try to reconnect with and strengthen "the vibrations" during the experience.
  • Diving Headfirst - Dive headfirst with your eyes shut.
  • Forced Falling Asleep (3 to 5 seconds) - Try to force yourself to sleep, but resist actually falling asleep. This is like making an OBE attempt inside the OBE.
  • Rotation - Try to rotate.
  • Counting - Try to count.
  • Listening In - Listen intently for noises such as buzzing.
  • Hooking onto the phase - Grab an object and try to squeeze it.
  • Using Phase Objects - Find a "phase stabilizer" in your pocket.
  • Vocal Maintaining - Try to sing or recite poetry.


Best Practices for Maintaining

Here are more of Raduga's recommendations for maintaining:
"There is another important rule related to resisting falling asleep: no practitioner should engage or participate in spontaneous events occurring in the phase. Events that are not planned or deliberate lead to a high probability of being immersed in the side action, which results in a loss of concentrated awareness." (pg. 173)
I wrote about this in my first book; I called it "The Fantasy Trap." If you get distracted by something in the experience and start to participate in it, or fantasize about it, you'll get sucked back into a dream state. Resist the temptation. He also recommends:
"The practitioner should not look into the distance. If faraway objects are observed for a long period of time, a foul [premature return to body] may occur, or one may be translocated towards these objects." (pg. 175)
"The less internal dialogue (ID) and reflection that occurs in the phase, the longer it lasts. Talking to oneself is completely prohibited." (pg. 175)
I disagree with that too. I often use my internal dialog to help remember what happened. "Oooh, I've got to remember that I saw this!"

Personal Protection and Controlling the Dream

The subject of psychic protection against hostile entities (or "astral wildlife" as Robert Bruce calls it) comes up in a lot of OBE books, including this one. Here's a small excerpt of what Raduga has to say:
"The first thing to know in this regard is: no thing and no person in the phase presents any real threat. The practitioner himself is able to control everything that occurs." (pg. 183)
This contradicts what Lucid Dreaming expert Robert Waggoner says: that you can't really control the dream all that much, although I usually seem to have plenty of control in mine. Later, Raduga repeats this sentiment:
"In other words, if there is something a practitioner can't do in the phase, that means he hasn't reached a high level of control over it, and has something to work on." (pg. 267)
He continues:
"The second thing to know is: the only thing that can and does attack is the practitioner's own fear, be it conscious or unconscious fear." (pg. 183)
Well, yes, I think that almost everything negative we encounter is self-created from our fear. Still, I'm not 100% convinced. I still think at least a small percentage may be from external non-physical entities.

Sight / Vision

The subject is vision is an important one. So important that I dedicated an entire chapter of my first book to the subject. We often find ourselves in a void and completely unable to see. Here is Raduga's advice:
"To create vision, a practitioner needs to bring the hands four to six inches in front of the eyes and try to detect them through the grayness or darkness. Peering aggressively and attentively at the minute details of the palms will cause them to become visible..." (pg. 183)
What I always recommend is this: if you're too close to your physical body (Muldoon's "cord activity range"), close your eyes and keep them closed until you're at least 15 feet (5 meters) away, then make an effort to open them. If you try to open them when you're close to your body, your body's eyes might open, at best causing confusion, or, at worst, you'll be driven back inside your body.

Practical Uses of the Phase

Raduga has a lot of information regarding practical uses of the phase. Here's just a few:

Communicating With the Subconscious

Raduga doesn't say much about the subconscious. But he does say this:
"Communication with the subconscious mind on a conscious level is only possible within the phase." (pg. 205)
I strongly disagree with this. The ability to consciously communicate with the subconscious is not only possible, it's the entire basis for my fourth book, Answers Within.

Using The Phase for Healing

Robert Waggoner talked about using Lucid Dreams for healing. Raduga also has some interesting techniques for practical applications using the phase. For example:
"It is possible to find a well-known healer in the phase and ask about personal health problems or the problems of a friend or family member. A clarified answer may be used in the assistance of traditional medical treatment." (pg. 211)
He makes it clear that the phase should never be used as a substitute for professional medical help, but it can often offer incredible insight and aid to healing.

Art and Creative Development

The phase has an unparalleled potential for artistic development. The best part?
"They are preserved there forever, and can always be found there again. In other words, any and all information can be stored with perfect fidelity." (pg. 225)
Learning Foreign Languages
"While in the phase, it's easy to observe that general knowledge of foreign languages in it is at a much higher level than in everyday life. If a person is interested in foreign languages, then they usually immediately set themselves the task of using the phase to become more proficient in them in real life." (pg. 227)
Well, I guess that about covers it, from my outlook. As I said before, the book is well written and informative. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to self-induce OBEs. I give it five stars.

Bob Peterson
25 April 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: The Phase by Michael Raduga - Part 2 of 3

Review: The Phase - Part 2 of 3

by Michael Raduga

This is part 2 of my review of Michael Raduga's book The Phase. Due to the length, I had to split the review into 3 parts. Click here to read part 1.

In part 1, I talked a lot about the book's content and its shortcomings. In this review I cover his OBE induction techniques. Fittingly, part 2 of the book is called "How to Enter the Phase Today." This is the technique section, where the book really shines. This includes:
  • The Indirect Method
  • The Direct Method
  • Becoming Conscious While Dreaming
  • Non-Autonomous Methods
So forget Robert Bruce's 90-day guide. Forget Keith Harary and Pamela Weintraub's 30-day guide. Raduga claims:
"The instructions laid out in this section will help most people to experience this amazing state within only 1 to 3 days of trying." (pg. 57)
So what does Raduga bring to the table that isn't in other OBE technique books? Actually, plenty. As far as I know, his "technique cycling" is unique. No other OBE book I've encountered recommends it. And it's good. Let's break it down:

The Indirect Method

Raduga says the indirect method is the most effective technique, and the only one beginners should use.

Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) with Exit Technique Cycling

First, let's talk about Raduga's starting point, the Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB) technique. Other books talk about WBTB which, as I understand it, was largely invented by Stephen LaBerge for inducing lucid dreams. I don't want to get sidetracked giving subtleties of the technique (it's all in the book), but I did want to give you the basics. This isn't quite how the author breaks it down, but as a computer guy, it's what I took home:
  1. Choose 2 or 3 "exit techniques" to be used in step 10
    Select two or three exit techniques from the list given below.
  2. Set an alarm clock for six hours after you go to bed.
    Since normal dream cycles are about 90 minutes long, six hours is timed to coincide with the end of the fourth sleep cycle. This maximizes the chance of maintaining lucidity when you drift back down.
  3. Wake up with the alarm. It's best to have your sleep interrupted, not to wake naturally (not critical, but recommended).
  4. Stay awake 3 to 50 minutes.
    Stay awake more time if you're a heavy sleeper, less time if you're a light sleeper.
  5. Set the intention not to move when you wake.
    As you drift back to sleep, hold the intention that when you wake up again, you will not move your physical body. If you do move, don't worry; it's not critical.
  6. Go back to sleep another full sleep cycle
    Because your body is mostly well rested, you may also have several short (abbreviated) sleep cycles rather than a full 90 minute cycle. But be prepared to spend the next 2 to 4 hours in bed.
  7. Allow yourself to wake up naturally this time.
    Remember: Try not to move when you wake up.
  8. Try for immediate relocation: to your mirror.
    Imagine you are standing at your bathroom mirror. Try to imagine yourself there. This is pretty much the "target technique" described by Buhlman and others. It doesn't have to be your mirror, but that's Raduga's first choice. Don't spend much time on this; only a few seconds. If that doesn't get you out of body, go on to step 9.
  9. Try for immediate separation from your body.
    Try levitating, standing up, or rolling out, with your astral body only (but be careful not to move your physical body). Again, don't spend more than a few seconds on this. If that doesn't work, go on to step 10.
  10.  Start "technique cycling."
    Try each of the techniques you chose in step 1 for three to five seconds, then move on to the next one. If a technique it gets results, focus on it a bit longer and try to encourage those results. For example, if you feel vibrations, or feel like your astral body is moving, keep working that technique. If it doesn't get results after three to five seconds, switch to the next technique. If none of these exit techniques get results, repeat the process again, starting with the first technique. Cycle through them regardless of whether you moved or didn't move your body.
  11. Perform at least 4 complete technique cycles.
    Don't give up until you've spent a full minute cycling through all pre-chosen exit techniques, for 4 complete cycles (or until you're out of body).
  12. After a minute, go back to step 5
    If you didn't get out of body within a minute of trying, go back to step 5. Go back to sleep for another short period, with the intention of not moving when you wake up, then repeat the process.
Exit Techniques To Cycle Through 

Raduga says you don't want a long laundry list of techniques to have to remember. Don't waste time thinking, "Gee, which technique should I try next?" Don't think about it; just act. Just pick two or three ahead of time, and then cycle through them repeatedly. Choose from the following:
  • Rotation
    Imagine that you are spinning around inside your body.
  • Observing images
    Try to watch hypnagogic images that appear before you.
  • Hand visualization
    Visualize your hands.
  • Swimmer technique
    Pretend you're in the water, swimming.
  • Phantom wiggling
    Try to imagine a part of your astral body is moving; a little at first, but then it increases. He recommends your little finger.
My belief is: it's also okay to use other exit techniques here. Don't be afraid to invent your own. For example, some people may want to use Robert Bruce's "rope" technique. I often imagine I'm rocking back and forth or forcefully swinging my arms from above my head in a downward motion. The key here, in my opinion, is to trick your awareness into focusing more on an imaginary or nonphysical body image than the actual physical body.

The Direct Method

Raduga's "direct method" is similar to the indirect method, but he emphasizes that this should not be attempted by beginners or anyone without considerable experience using the Indirect Method. You still ride the cycles of sleep, but can also use nap time to induce "micro-sleeps".

What time of day should you practice the direct method?

Raduga's not exactly clear when it should be done.
"Naturally, the best method for finding the right time to perform direct techniques is the same as indirect techniques - the deferred method. However, there are some serious differences here. First of all, one may interrupt one's sleep at practically anytime of the night or early morning (much better). Second, after having woken up (3-50 min.), one should not fall back asleep, but should immediately proceed to the techniques." (pg. 132)
Hey, wait a minute. Doesn't that make it the same as the Indirect Method? Not exactly, he says, but others have apparently thought so:
"There is a theory that there is no such thing as a direct phase entrance method, and that all direct methods are actually a subcategory of the indirect method. The only difference would be that direct techniques involve inducing micro-sleep, which authentically mimics falling asleep, creating a physiological state close to natural awakening, when it is easy to enter the phase." (pg. 138)
Later he says you can practice this during the day, when your body no longer needs REM sleep. Then he seems to contradict the earlier statement:
"Since the most effective window of time for using direct techniques occurs before sleep and at night, and lasts only 10 to 20 minutes in any case, additional time should not be wasted on trying to relax, nor should time for relaxation be subtracted from the requisite 10 to 20 minutes." (pg. 135)
Strangely, he then seems to contradict himself again:
"The second most effective window of time is before falling asleep at night. During this period of time, the brain needs to shut down the body and mind in order to renew its strength, which has been expended over the course of the day. This natural process can be taken advantage of by introducing certain adjustments to it." (pg. 133)
First "before bed" is the most effective time, and then it's the second most effective? I've always discouraged people from making OBE attempts at night before bed because your "consciousness" brain chemicals are too depleted and the subconscious is too pre-programmed to pull you into sleep. In other words, it's too easy to lose focus then. I recommend early morning when your "consciousness" brain chemicals are regenerated and you are not sleepy (which is compatible with Raduga's preferred method, the Indirect Method). He does say:
"The key to the successful use of direct techniques rests in achieving a free-floating state of consciousness." (pg. 131)

Body Position

Raduga also says that body position is very important with direct techniques (and unimportant with indirect, since you're coming out of natural sleep). Whereas most OBE books recommend a "wand" or "corpse" position (facing up, arms at your side), he contradicts conventional wisdom:
"...this position seriously impairs the efforts of the majority of practitioners." (pg. 134)
I disagree. Facing straight up can pose some difficulties (like if your body starts snoring), but can help keep you from falling asleep. Instead, he recommends:
"If a practitioner experiences difficulty falling asleep and is constantly awake while performing direct techniques, then the most comfortable position for the individual should be used." (pg. 134)
"If sleep comes quite easily to a practitioner, a less natural position should be taken." (pg. 134)
I personally think a slightly uncomfortable position is the way to go.


In my opinion, Raduga doesn't stress the importance of relaxation enough. He does, however, say things like this:
"Complete, peaceful relaxation may only be coerced by those with specialized, in-depth experience. Generally, these are people who have spent a great amount of time and effort mastering trance and meditative states. Relaxation in these cases should take no more than 1 to 3 minutes and no longer, as when a practitioner is expert at relaxation it is sufficient to just think about it, and it occurs." (pg. 135)


Although Raduga doesn't say much about programming the subconscious, nor self-conditioning, he does talk about desire:
"For more practitioners, a key piece of advice is to let go of a burning desire to enter the phase no matter what when using the direct method." (pg. 139)
Given the context in which it was written, I think what he's trying to say is: it's good to have a burning desire to have OBEs in general, but while you're actually trying to induce it, let go of that desire (and everything else on your mind, I might add).

Quiescing the Mind

In my first book, I talked about how important it is to quiesce the mind, or force it to a completely stopped or empty state, while attempting to separate. Raduga seems to agree somewhat:
"Until a practitioner learns to have stillness in his approach to the direct phase entrance methods, he cannot hope to obtain any real practical experience." (pg. 139)

Becoming Conscious While Dreaming

Raduga's third major way to induce "the phase" is through lucid dreaming. I don't think he adequately covers the techniques of lucid dreaming. He gives some of the basics, but you'll get much more depth from books like Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple by Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready. He does mention a cool idea I'd never heard before:
"Another way of remembering dreams is to create a map of the dream world. This is called dream cartography and is similar to keeping a journal, through an enhanced level of awareness is developed by connecting dream episodes on a map." (pg. 147)
The trick to lucid dreaming, he says, is properly forming the intention:
"Once again, everything depends on correctly forming an intention. An experienced practitioner forms an intention in a fundamentally different way than a novice." (pg. 264)

Non-Autonomous Methods

Raduga mentions non-autonomous (i.e. assisted) methods of achieving "the phase," but like the section on lucid dreaming, these are not given much attention. They include:
  • Cueing Technologies.
    For example, sound and light machines that detect REM sleep and signal the dreamer with flashing lights.
  • Working in Pairs.
    For example, a partner waits for you to fall asleep, then they whisper in your ear.
  • Hypnosis and Suggestion.
    For example, the Christos Technique.
  • Physiological Signals.
  • The Coffee Method.
    For example, sleep for 6 hours, drink coffee, then go back to sleep with the intention of having an OBE when you awaken.
And as I said last time, he strongly discourages the use of drugs and supplements (other than coffee).

Again, this is a world class OBE technique book. Don't take my word for it. You'll gain a lot more insight by reading the book than just reading my review of it.

In part 3, I'll cover some of Raduga's tips and hints for inducing the phase, techniques for deepening (improving the experience), maintaining (making it last longer), and lots of other things.

Bob Peterson
11 April 2017