Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: Astral Projection by David H. Lewis

Review: Astral Projection

 by David H. Lewis

Today I'm reviewing Astral Projection by David H. Lewis.

This is an obscure book, and I doubt you'll find it in any stores, or even amazon. So this review is mostly just for fun. The copyright notice is 1980, but it doesn't even have a proper ISBN. It simply says "Library of Congress number reserved" at the front.

It's probably one of the first astral projection "books" I ever bought, probably in 1980. In fact, it might have been the first AP book I bought, considering that I had only borrowed Robert Monroe's book Journeys Out of the Body from my dad (and later inherited it from him when he died.) I probably picked it up at some obscure new age bookstore in Minneapolis that's long since gone out of business, like "Evenstar."

I'm sure it was self-published before today's "self-publishing" or the Internet even existed. It was self-printed too, as evidenced by the staples holding it together.

The book credits "Grand Marshal Sir Bobby Ferrel and other astute members of science." Who is Bobby Ferrell? I've never heard of him. The book claims:
"Grand Marshal Sir Bobby Farrel is known to possess the highest degree in Astral Projection from its beginning stages to universal travel in all area of the planes. It is the testimony of many astute members of science to be an enlightenment of knowledge that has been long sought in this present day era..." (pg. 1)
Alrighty then. I don't know about you, but my alarm bells went off: either he's trying to artificially bolster his credibility or someone's having a big ego trip. And that makes me lose all respect.

The book is very short: only 23 pages. It contains some solid advice and a few decent "best practices" but there's nothing new or surprising: it can all be found in other (better) books on the subject.

The book contains only one exit technique, and that is the "Target Technique" described in many OBE/AP books. One of the earliest accounts of the Target Technique comes from occultist Edward Peach, AKA "Ophiel," in his 1974 book Astral Projection (which I bought at about the same time as this). My favorite explanation of the target technique appears in William Buhlman's book, Adventures Beyond the Body.

In this technique, you choose a route (usually one you know well) with various stopping points, almost like stations in which you engage the senses. Buhlman recommends starting at the front door of your residence. Raduga recommends your bathroom mirror. Once chosen (while still in your physical body), you perform a "walk through" traveling from station to station. At each station you try to fully engage your senses and commit it to memory: You see the place, listen for any sounds present, touch things, and so forth.

Later, once you've done several of these rehearsals and fully memorized your path, you lie down, relax your body completely, and try to replay the walk-thru in your imagination, aided by your memory. If you're successful, the imaginary walk-thru leads to an actual sense of being at the location in your non-physical/astral body, at which point you can stop using your imagination and start interacting "for real."

Lewis does a good job describing the technique. In fact, most of this book's 23 pages are devoted to it. Lewis recommends you do the target area walk-thru from start to finish, then backward, from finish to start. He says to do this once per day for at least 12 consecutive days, without ever skipping day. He suggests engaging every one of the senses, so create a "sight" station, a "sound" station, a "touch" station, etc. After 12 or more days of physical walk-thrus, you're ready to lie down and try to replay it in your imagination. It's a solid technique.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:
"You will also, for the first time in your life, come to the startling realization of what death is like and that what your minister has taught you is now going to be flushed right down the drain. However, it will take you many years to UNDO their idiotic teachings." (pg. 14)
Lewis recommends you keep complete secrecy about your out-of-body adventures, but not for fear of negative reactions or ridicule. It's because your friends and family might have negative thoughts about OBEs/AP and the telepathic nature of their stray thoughts might work against your progress.

I disagreed with the author on this point:
"As a special note of interest, traveling throughout the entirety of our universe is accomplished in a time equivalent to only several earth minutes, for in this universe, time does not exist nor speeds measured in relation to time." (pg. 17)
That may be true, but I still have a problem with this concept of instantaneous travel of the entire universe. Maybe I'm held back by my own self-limiting belief system, but I'm too science-oriented to accept that.

He also seems very cautious with regard to where you travel on your first attempts. He gives stern, dire warnings that until you've reached advanced stages, you must stay in your home or apartment because of "other forces" that lie beyond your immediate domain. This was just too much fear-mongering for me.

The book has some other strange fear-mongering as well. I found this one both interesting and amusing:
"CAUTION: Do not attempt to visit women of child bearing age until you can do so with a NEUTRAL MIND. There are entities out there that will use your life presence to obtain an incarnation. These entities ARE ALWAYS EVIL though not necessarily demonic (befitting a demon or evil spirit.; mad; violent or frenzied) but I assure you that they will sink their claws into you once they are sparked to life and will never let you go. At this point of your digestive reading, you could think this portion is one big joke but you will only do it once....I assure you." (pg. 21)
Perhaps this goes back to the author's experiences with a succubus: an opportunistic sexual demon that supposedly steals your energy. But those experiences are normally associated with ASP (awareness during sleep paralysis.) This kind of fear mongering is never helpful: don't be afraid to visit anyone, including women, and interact as you would normally. If you're some kind of pervert, sexual deviant, or sex addict, maybe you'll attract some of these kinds of negative experiences, but normal people have nothing to worry about. Just remember this:
  1. Nothing in an out-of-body experience can harm or kill you or your physical body.
  2. If you feel threatened, you can simply abort the OBE at any time.
  3. Fear attracts negative experiences, so just remain positive.
  4. You've got the power to overcome such things, even if you do encounter them. Believe in your own power, and they will cower in fear rather than face you.
The book has some good information and helpful hints and only one OBE technique, all of which may be found in other books. It's way too short, and it has way too much fear mongering and dire warnings. I'll give it 2 and 1/2 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
21 January 2020

If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

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