Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Review: The Afterlife and Beyond

Review: The Afterlife and Beyond

by Cyrus Kirkpatrick

Today I'm reviewing The Afterlife and Beyond by Cyrus Kirkpatrick. The subtitle is An Examination of Life After Death by an Out-of-Body Explorer. The copyright is 2018.

I have mixed emotions about this book. I really liked the book a lot, but still, it did not meet my expectations.

Why did I like this book so much? For one thing, Kirkpatrick is relatable, at least to me. Like me, he loves to travel and has traveled around the (physical) world and immersed himself in foreign cultures, rejoicing in new experiences, meeting new people, and exploring new ideas. Like me, Kirkpatrick is an accomplished out-of-body explorer. He speaks from experience and his depth of knowledge shows. Like me, he is very logical, analytical, and yet thoughtful. He doesn't jump to conclusions or speak as a guru. He's done his homework and research. He uses big words, some of which forced me to open my dictionary app. He cites numerous references, giving credit to other authors like Jurgen Ziewe, Robert Monroe, and Robert Bruce. He brings plenty of insights and deep thoughts to the table, the likes of which I haven't seen since Frederick Aardema's book Explorations in Consciousness. This book is for intellectuals. 

I once wrote that an unexamined belief is not worth having. Well, Kirkpatrick has given each and every one of his beliefs in the afterlife careful examination and observation. If he believes something, it's safe to assume he's done his homework and has a very good reason for believing it. I absolutely loved this quote:

"It makes me realize that a lot of people repeat information without spending much time to think about what they're saying." (pg. 58)

Kirkpatrick has studied and explored the deepest curiosities related to the afterlife, including mediumship and channeling, after-death communications and the paranormal (as I have), and of course, astral projection / out-of-body experiences. He expertly navigates the pothole-filled road that borders science and the supernatural, and he does it well.

Why did it not meet my expectations? In a nutshell, I expected--no, I wanted really badly--to read all about Kirkpatrick's adventures in the afterlife, what he experienced, his observations about the planes (or sub-planes) of existence, how the non-physical world operates, what non-physical people are like, etc. But instead, he mostly (but not entirely) dismisses all that with blanket statements about how his out-of-body observations line up perfectly with Jurgen Ziewe's many books (and a few other authors) and if that's what you want, you should just go read Ziewe's experiences. Don't get me wrong: Ziewe is still my favorite OBE author, and he's traveled way beyond my own (or possibly anyone else's) capabilities, so this is very good advice. But that's not why my nose is deep inside Kirkpatrick's book.

He does give us some morsels based on personal experience. For example, he affirms, through personal observation, that his non-physical body has genitalia, for example. And if you karate-chop your hands together, you can feel pain. That kind of thing. He's tried unsuccessfully to materialize an object, or change objects greatly. He can, however, levitate or move objects.

He says that the level closest to our own, which he calls Astral Earth, has all the same elements as this physical Earth. In his OBEs he's visited street markets, biker bars, even strip clubs, and the people there generally know they're what we call "dead." He talks about exploring the "astral" version of Los Angeles, and says there seems to be energetic barriers that keep violent or murderous gangs from causing havoc in more civilized parts of the city. (pg. 127) He talks about:

"...vast dark astral realms, filled with malicious inhabitants who love to manipulate us and, when possible, interfere into our dimension." (pg. 136)

He also says that in virtually all astral cities he's visited he's seen the presence of astral police, law enforcement, and/or private security. (pg. 130) (For the record, I've never seen astral police or these vast dark astral realms.)

So he does give a few actual OBE narratives, but it left me hungry for more.

The biggest problem I had with the beginning of the book, believe it or not, was with the manufacturing. For the first fifth of the book, the pages literally fell out of the book like pedals from a flower! Every page I turned literally fell out of the book, which made reading quite difficult. The book's printer needs some lessons on how to manufacture books so they don't fall apart literally in your hands.

The book doesn't really have any out-of-body techniques to contribute, except for one gem I haven't seen before: Setting a soft alarm, which appears on page 38. Basically, you use your phone to record yourself in a very soft voice saying something like William Buhlman's famous "Awareness now." Then you set several alarms for the middle of the night that play the recording so softly that it doesn't wake you up. Instead, it triggers your sleeping self to stir into awareness. Cool idea.

One of the most notable things about this book is that Kirkpatrick disagrees with many new-age and religious authors who say that when we die, we are either absorbed (or re-absorbed) into the collective soul of God, diluted in a sea of greater consciousness, thus losing our unique personality or identity. Kirkpatrick says that, based on his research, evidence, and personal experience, we retain our human personality after death. He disagrees with the notion (mostly in Eastern religions) that we should strive to escape the cycle of reincarnation / rebirth and that we should try to extinguish our ego.

Unlike many books that claim we're either "here" or "there," Kirkpatrick says that we exist in all these planes of existence at the same time. It's just that we're not aware of it most of the time. You're already in your astral body, etheric body, and every other body as well as the physical, all of the time. You might be talking to someone on the astral plane right now as you read this, and not even know it. It's just a matter of where you focus your experiences and memories. Astral Projection, then, is just a convergence of our Earthly and Astral minds.

"Temporarily, we are a whole entity again." (pg. 71)

He gives a very interesting quote from Jurgen Ziewe taken from his Facebook group:

"There's a simple Axiom or rule we can apply if we wish to understand what the afterlife is like and it is this: Consciousness is primary. Physical manifestation is secondary, rising out of primary consciousness. consequently EVERYTHING that exists in this world can also exist in the primary non-physical world of consciousness depending on the state of consciousness we are in. We can smoke tobacco, weed, drink alcohol or have sex when we are dead, no doubt about it. I have seen it, tested it, done it. Everything in all cases takes place in consciousness whether we are dead or alive." (pg. 89)

Kirkpatrick writes:

"Regardless of this controversy, the original presupposition that "naughty" behavior doesn't exist, or my favorite--sex still exists but is sanitized and involves only mental "merging" versus any feeling like desire or orgasm--is silly, contrived by people's hang-ups that are projected onto the astral Earth." (pg. 91)

Well, sorry to break it to you, Cyrus, but I've directly experienced this "sanitized mental merging."

Kirkpatrick has a dig at Tom Campbell, author of "My Big TOE." He writes:

"While Campbell may be an astral projection practitioner, he appears unable to connect on a humanistic level with people from other realms. This is because, in my opinion, there's a high likelihood Tom Campbell is exploring lucid dream states as opposed to real astral domains, as it would explain why the inhabitants he encounters appear to be generated by his own mind." (pg. 92)

I really don't have any exposure to Campbell or his worldview, but I thought it was interesting.

I also thought this was interesting:

"The astral Earth is not a lesser-realm that we all must graduate from to get away. Rather, like this world, it's an arena--a place where a soul reduces its density to share a realm with many other individual souls--to explore, create, and learn valuable lessons amidst conflict and challenge." (pg. 96)

Just to be clear: this book is not so much an "astral projection book." It is exactly what it advertises on the front cover: It's an examination of life after death--the afterlife--but from many sources. The book is colored with (and influenced by) personal observations from his out-of-body experiences, but a lot of it comes from "elsewhere." For example, after his mother died, he started having long talks with her, while he was out-of-body, and she would explain how life on the "other side" compares to life here in the physical world. Fascinating stuff.

He spends a lot of time on Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), mediumship and channeling, after-death communications (ADCs), paranormal investigations, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs) and countless other sources that, for many years, have given us tiny glimpses into the afterlife. Fascinating stuff. Valuable stuff. Stuff I cherish! But not the out-of-body narratives I'm hungry for. So while the book is exactly what it advertises, you can almost forget the "by an out-of-body explorer" part. It spends way too much time for my liking on peripheral topics, and even the philosophy, and not enough on astral projection itself.

For example, he has a long-winded and interesting discussion about cryogenics and the future with regard to life-after-death. Most interesting, he speculates about a distant future in which doctors can 3D-print a new disease-free physical body for you to use rather than to re-animate your frozen corpse.

The book is 253 pages, with a good font, and tight margins, so plenty of content. The writing is professional and I only found a few typos. I'm going to give it 4 stars out of 5, because I loved it, but it strayed too far off the target topic. This is Kirkpatrick's second book, so maybe I should have started with the first book, Understanding Life After Death.

Bob Peterson
04 June 2024

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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.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

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12 comments:

  1. Thank you, Bob, for another review.
    This one sounds interesting. I'd seen C.K. in an interview with Jurgen Ziewe but didn't know, or hadn't noticed, that he also has OBEs and had written books about it.
    While searching for his book at Amazon I also saw his first one plus another one that he co-authored.
    The subject of cryogenics always (at best) amused me. To me it seems that it usually appeals only to wealthy people who want to hang onto their money and lifestyles, and/or those who are terrified of dying. I'm a senior and I look forward to shedding my "mortal coil".

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  2. Not related to this particular book, I just want to comment that I wish that I knew of OBE books that go into much detail about animals, especially pets, in the afterlife. I'd love to read about people's observations of, and shared experiences with, their deceased pets or with others such as cats, dogs, horses, etc. in the afterlife.
    In some books I've read, the authors touched lightly on the subject of having had shared OBEs with their pets that still live with them, but it left me hungering for more info. I wonder if the animals have schools of sorts in the afterlife where they are the teachers, and people can learn from them, via association or whatever means work best for the animals, as to how best to understand them and to help them on Earth, and how best to avoid the terrible mistakes that we make with them when we are their guardians on Earth.

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    Replies
    1. A Soul's Journey (From the Turret) by Peter Richelieu discusses animals in the afterlife. It's a really good book and an easy read.

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  3. If possible, could you review the 1998 book Dream Travel by Terrill Willson. You already reviewed his 1987 book How I learned Soul Travel. Despite the title, the book is about astral projection.

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  4. Had read this review earlier and I intend to get Cyrus's books. In the meantime, just a moment ago when searching for videos & podcasts of yours, Bob P., I also found this video of a Q & A with Cyrus Kirkpatrick. I paused the video only after a minute or so to post the link here where he almost immediately begins describing one of his OBEs:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA5ronXW8uk&list=PLXgYoWR5KN0kjZ4YdddL_9GbaFXc-dNlk&index=6

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  5. I have always been somewhat skeptical of Cyrus Kirkpatrick. This book did not resonate with me, nor does his YouTube channel.

    Another book you might consider reviewing is The Dynamic State: A New Perspective by Brian Slartsani. Like Cyurs, Slartsani also has an interesting YouTube Channel. Also extremely interesting is the 1,187 page PDF that compiles all of Frank Kepple's posts. It would be interesting to hear your opinon on Kepple's ideas, which are derived from those of Robert Monroe.

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    1. Thanks for the book suggestion. I just bought it in Kindle format which is the only version available at Amazon. It sounds very interesting.
      I then looked for Brian S. on YouTube just now, and the only channel with that name contains only 1 video, and it is about the Seth Materials.
      Regarding Cyrus K., I haven't yet read either of the 2 books of his that I recently bought, but after watching several of his YouTube videos I lost interest in his channel because something about him seems "off", and some of his topics don't attract me to them. Will still read the books.

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    2. The channel is very hard to find. He hasn't made a new video in 8 years. Here is the link:

      https://www.youtube.com/@BrianSTheGreatObserver/videos

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    3. I think Brian Slartsani also participates in this Questions and Answers session on Phase Evolution:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdzPa8YNWIU

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  6. Another interesting one is the 1911 book Little Journeys Into the Invisible; a Woman's Actual Experiences in the Fourth Dimension by Mabel Gifford Shine, in which describes the vibrational state:


    I was directed to lie perfectly
    still and relaxed. Then began the sensation of the
    life currents the - same as when practicing
    concentration, but stronger than I had ever
    experienced. The life -essence speeds through
    the mind down to the solar plexus like a
    flash of light, and there enters the circulation and ebbs
    and flows up and down through the whole body in a
    strong tide. The· tide grew stronger and stronger,
    and the up-going tide was so strong I was afraid the
    circulation would become unbalanced and something
    would happen to my head. My companion could read
    my thoughts and feelings without any help of words,
    and as soon as I had formulated this fear and said

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  7. Hi Bob, thank you for the great review. A suggestion: for anything "afterlife" you mention above and that you cherish, subscribe to our very own Sydney Northern Beaches Victor and Wendy Zammit Afterlife newsletter. I am baffled and overjoyed every Friday when it lands in my inbox. Beatrice

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