Feb 222010

astral Exploring the Fifth Dimension – Parallel Universes, Teleportation and Out-of-Body Travel,  by Dr. Bruce Goldberg . Today’s review is for a much more esoteric book than I usually include on the site, but I’m sure that there are quite a few readers who, like me, will be interested in it. I first heard Dr. Goldberg during a radio interview on the famous Coast-to-Coast program (formerly hosted by Art Bell, currently by George Noory). Goldberg spent hours telling stories of past-life regressions, teleportation, invisibility, parallel universes and the like. He seemed completely at home with all of this, and claimed to be able to teach this to anyone. My enthusiasm made sure that the book ended up under the tree at Christmas.

So how is it? Well, the stories are fascinating and reasonably well researched. Dr. Goldberg’s metaphysical view is well developed and corresponds closely with my own. His views on reincarnation, for example, are nuanced and sophisticated. He manages to squeeze a lot of explanation of higher planes and spiritual concepts into a relatively small book.

The heart of the book, however, are dialogues meant to assist you in exploring these phenomena for yourself. The dialogues are meant to be recorded, with music, and listened to in order to induce teleportaiton, out-of-body travel, visitation of parallel dimensions, etc. Dr. Goldberg is primarily a hypnotherapist, and uses hypnosis as a vehicle for this kind of metaphysical exploration. Reassuringly, he has used it on thousands of subjects with no danger or ill effects.

The catch is that preparing these kinds of dialogue tapes to listen to yourself is a bit of work. Dr. Goldberg probably hopes that this will induce you to buy his CD’s – available on his site: www.drbrucegoldberg.com, which have already done the work for you. But you have to give him credit – he does give you the dialogues so that you at least have the OPTION of doing it yourself, if you have more time than money and need to do your metaphysical exploration on the cheap.

Do these techniques work? Well to tell the truth, I haven’t had the chance to either order the CD’s or record the dialogues. But I see no reason why they wouldn’t. The method and theory is sound. It’s certainly worth a try. The metaphysical information contained in the book is easily worth the price.

Feb 172010

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.. (1 Jn 4:18 NKJV)

While fear is less and less a part of my life, there are still several situations that can cause me to panic. One is hypodermic needles. That’s improving. Another is sudden financial problems. The other day I opened my bank account online expecting to find a healthy balance only to find myself severely overdrawn. It turns out that when I had tried to make an online payment for $100.00 I had instead typed in 100,00 (a comma instead of a period). The company had processed a payment for $10,000.00 instead of $100.00 It took a week to straighten out, and my immediate reaction was panic to the point of having trouble breathing.

Fear is an instinctive reaction designed to make us alert and cautious in the presence of danger. This may be a very useful reaction when crossing a savanna teeming with lions. Unfortunately, our modern minds can create the mental experience of danger when there is no real physical threat. In the case of my mangled bank account, the actual situation was a matter of some pixels on a screen. There was no immediate threat or danger. My fear was the result of mental scenarios that my mind began to construct as it tried to process the implications of the error. Unfortunately, the mental reaction of fear was totally unhelpful in this situation. I needed a sense of perspective, clear objective judgment and cool reason. Instead I got tunnel vision and a body prepared to jump up a tree to escape a lion.

The spiritual roots of fear are even more destructive. Our ego, convinced of its separation from everything and everyone else, and conscious of its own mortality, constantly fears its own annihilation. The mind under the dominion of ego lives with a persistent background noise of existential fear. How do we escape it?

Since fear originates in the mind, practice in quieting the mind is a very helpful discipline to control fear. Meditation has many benefits, and this is one of them. A mind disciplined by meditation, like a well-trained horse, will not panic and throw its rider at the first sudden noise. Even if the horse jumps, like my mind did at the first sight of my negative bank balance, it can quickly be brought under control by the steady hand of consciousness. Meditation also shifts our consciousness away from the fearful ego and toward the greater Self, which is immortal, indestructible and beyond the reach of fear.

The passage from 1st John at the beginning of the article also suggests another spiritual practice that can help us. The way to escape the fear that torments us, says the author of John, is through perfect love. The Greek word for love here is “agape”, which is a rather difficult word to translate. It is not a simple human love. It is a divine, selfless openness and acceptance. It is a complete and total lack of resistance to the reality of the present moment, a surrender to the wisdom of God and the universe. It is a pure love for all that is, including the present situation.

In a post I did earlier, quoting from David Hawkins, I mentioned that this unconditional and universal love and acceptance is the first step to enlightenment. As a side benefit, as you perfect it, fear begins to disappear in your life.

There are other spiritual practices that can help transcend fear. People who have had near-death experiences report that the experience leaves them with a complete lack of fear. While we can’t deliberately have a near-death experience simply to cultivate this benefit, many of the same benefits can occur when we master astral travel, or out-of-body experiences. By having first-hand experience that we are more than just our physical bodies, and that our consciousness transcends our physical life, we lose some of our fear of physical dangers.

For particular phobias, hypnosis and self-hypnosis can also be helpful tools to rearrange our mental wiring.

Have you had good success with a particular method for overcoming fear? Share it with us in the comments.

Jan 232007

astralLet me describe one of my first and most vivid OBE’s (Out of Body Experiences). It is probably so vivid to me because it was such a shock at the time. I was working at a night watchman in college and so I slept during the day. I was staying with my Aunt. My bedroom was in the basement of her home.

I was in the middle of a dream of some kind. I don’t remember exactly what the dream was about, but suddenly I “woke up” only to find myself floating in the kitchen on the first floor! The whole scene was real, but it was even more “real” than reality. Everything vibrated with an intense aliveness. All the colors glowed with crisp intensity. I realized that I must be having an OBE (I’d read a bit about them). With that realization, a kind of excited panic set in, and I found myself being pulled forcefully backwards, like a fish being rapidly reeled in. The pulling seemed to come from the middle of my body somewhere, as if I had a cable hooked to my back. Even though I started flying backwards rapidly, I had time to notice all sorts of interesting details. I noticed several new magazines lying on a table in the living room as I rushed past them. As I was pulled through a wall, I could literally feel the materials of the wall passing through me. I could sense the sheetrock, the grains in the wooden beams. I even remember seeing lettering on the electrical cable conduits in the walls. I was pulled downward into the basement and felt the fibers of the carpeting as I was pulled through the floor. I was then very rapidly pulled backwards onto my bed, and felt myself land on the bed, back into my body, with a sudden jolt, and was instantly wide awake.

I sprang out of bed and went upstairs to check out the details of the experience. Everything in my experience had been in the correct position, down to the new magazines on the coffee table. I did NOT rip open the sheetrock to check the lettering on the electrical conduit 😉

Obviously, this one anecdotal experience is not enough to be scientifically persuasive to an outsider. However, as the one who experienced it, it was real beyond a shadow of a doubt. It was, if anything, MORE real than ordinary consciousness. It was quite literally impossible to entertain any serious doubts about the experience.

Experienced OBEers will tell you that one of the difficulties with in validating the astral world to an objective observer is that the astral is a gateway to all sorts of other worlds that appear to be related to physical reality, but diverge from it to a greater or lesser degree. It appears to require intense concentration and practice to remain in that part of the astral world closest to the physical. If you pass through any windows, mirrors, doorways or walls, the difficulty increases. Each such passage allows you to transit off to some other reality. I have experienced this myself in other OBE’s. In one of the more interesting ones I saw my children downstairs watching a particular movie late at night. When I came back from the OBE, I checked and found all my children sleeping in bed. However, several nights later, they WERE downstairs watching that movie at about the same time (I hadn’t told them about the experience).

Robert Bruce (an experienced OBEer) has suggested that to validate the OBE experience objectively, a test should be designed so that the OBE practitioner can view a target without having to pass through any doors, walls or windows. Even then, only an experienced practitioner would be able to remain close enough to the physical world to read actual targets. So OBE’s are not terribly promising as a way to gather information about the physical world. Or perhaps more specifically, it’s difficult to know, based on an OBE, exactly WHAT world you are gathering information about.

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