on 23 May 2014
As I begin to write this review, I wish to say that it is written out of a concern for those who may be drawn in by the New Age and Spiritism reflected in this story. I appreciate that not everyone will share my view, but I will try to be as gracious and yet candid about this short book that I have just read.
The author describes having an OBE (Out of body experience) as a gift, and when speaking about astral projection, he writes of his own spirit guide, "Can you not almost feel his warm, tender hands caressing you?" He soon moves on to the precise methods of astral projection, and tells us that, "The universe wanted you to buy this book ... this book is your guide, instruction manual and astral map." So from early on, we discover that the author wants us to understand that this fictional story (that reflects New Age and Spiritualism teachings) is a guide, manual and map.
The main character of the story, Dr. Eric Swell, has apparently been having out of body experiences (OBE's) for over 30 years and has networked with many other 'astral carpet-flyers'. He has used meditation and visualisation techniques to get there, and explains that while drugs (LSD, magic mushrooms) will get you on to the lower astral plane, you should however, keep your astral travel experience "as natural as possible" and steer clear of drugs ... "UNTIL you have mastered the basic art of astral travel. Only then will you be able to use the magic dust (drugs) with skill and expertise."
Now you may say, 'but hang on a minute. This book is fiction and is only intended as fiction.' The problem I have with that conclusion is that this book's 'fictional' accounts are far from fictional for those who practise New Age or Spiritism. I know this first hand, because sadly, I spent the first 20 years of my life following such beliefs. My nan was a medium, the other a faith healer, my mum was into just about everything going, my uncle into Black Magic, and we had our own fair share of dodgy experiences from the séance, indian spirit guides, psychic healing, tarot cards, runestones, OBE's and much more. I am glad by God's good grace that He showed me and my family the way out of darkness, and toward Christ, who revealed himself as, 'The Way, The Truth and The Life'. Obviously my review is written with an understanding of 'both sides of the fence,' so to speak.
Now back to this short story. The main character, Dr Eric Swell, links NDE's (Near Death Experiences) to astral travelling, and says that lucid dreaming is a gateway to an OBE. He says that one should use this method to induce your OBE and tells us that there are few accounts of negative OBE's. He goes on to say: "...take note! The 'demons' don't exist! There are only benevolent genies, intent only on the betterment of their masters or mistresses!' Apparently, we are their masters, and these spirit guides are only there for our good! This is the lie that Satan wants us to swallow; That there is no such thing as the devil or demons, according to this author.
The bible tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light, and his servants (demons) as angels of righteousness. It also tells us that these demons are called 'familiar spirits' and can imitate our loved ones, appearing as aunt Sally, when it is in fact, a highly intelligent demon masquerading as a loved one. I have seen this first hand in my family, so when a writer tells me that there's no such thing as a demon and that these spirit guides are only there for our good, my alarm bells go off. Not only does it fly in the face of what the bible teaches, but also what I experienced as a young man, affected by all of these issues. It's not just my experience, but the experience of many others who also find faith in Christ and have come out of such practises.
The writer goes on to tell us that, "The value judgments of the Judeo-Christian culture from which we dwell are not necessarily so," and that "the astral plane is a place of goodness and light," so anything negative is not some malevolent evil spirit, but "other astral travellers that we bump into, who are acting like bullies!" He goes on to write that these 'beings' are only interested in our well being and growth, and there are only genies and spirit guides. No demons!"
To further his point, the writer tells us that it is fear that is a barrier to growth: "It is fear, which has been indoctrinated, for many, from a young age through dogmatic religious instruction. There is only a heaven and an afterlife. They have misled us all!" So at this stage in the review, we learn that the author wants us to reject any notion of evil, judgment, punishment and hell.
What further bothered me from this book is that the astral traveller is advised to dim the light, wear comfortable clothing, lie down on your bed, place a crystal beneath your pillow and breathe deeply, while repeating a mantra, ten times! This method is classic new age teaching and extremely dangerous. Following such advice can open us up to a world of spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, according to the Apostle Paul.
Further on in the book, we are told that a person is unenlightened spiritually if they don't have OBE's! It is only for the enlightened, and the average person is a fool for only having one or two lucid dreams. We are constantly reminded in this book that in fact, fear is the enemy and there are no demons, just spirit guides. Apparently, these are folk who've decided to stay behind and help other folks who seek OBE's! The author writes, "One of my friends has a spirit guide in the form of an Ethiopian princess." His own experience describes his spirit guide or genie as feeling like he was with one of his closest and intimate friends.
You may wish to remind me that this is a fictional story. My response is that the content is so didactic and blatantly unbiblical, even dangerous, that I felt I had to write this review. This in my opinion, is not fantasy, neither parody, but reality that taps into Satan's realm, while dressing itself up as fiction.
I wish the author, no ill, and hope that in the light of my comments, he will take my perspective, seriously.