Easy Instant Astral Projection by Alan Marx – 3/5 Meh
It does what it says it does. It will tell you one easy way to get into the astral. No muss, no fuss. However, it has three major problems I’ll elaborate on below but most readers won’t be put off by the issues.
I’m going to be flat out honest. I didn’t expect much from this book. I only read it because I had it free on the Kindle app and I had some time to kill while waiting for water to boil.
That’s right. I read this book in the time it took to boil water. It’s a short, easy read. I know I’ve written book reviews and posts longer than this book. And that’s OK. I like concise.
The book opens with a little warning that “the images that you see might affect your mood or emotional stability in reality” and “…Messages learned and encountered…might, in fact, interfere with one’s reality” (it’s a wordy sentence.) Props for the warning but I could give the exact same warning for a TV show. A few pages later there’s additional warnings that are actually useful except….
The author is clearly a positive, clean-living sort of person. There’s a slight rhetoric that enlightenment is the reason why you should be astral traveling. And you know what? Fine. Believe that. Whatever. It is said every six pages or so at least (which is a lot in such a short book) which gets boring and repetitive.
The author also goes out of their way to be dismissive of religion entirely. There’s no reason for this low-level disparaging of religion in such a short text. Take six words out and it would be truly secular – no mentioning of religion at all. There’s also the implied idea that religious people can’t believe in science or need to put aside religion in order to think scientifically. And that’s not a thing? Like, there are scientists who are religious? The chairman of anthropology department in one of my universities was a devout Christian and wrote a book on evolution. Our textbook. So it’s clearly a thing? The author later on in the book tries to back up astral travel with science! but does kind of a poor job of it, to be honest. There are studies out there on this sort of thing but the author didn’t tap even one.
(By this point I was scowling at the slowly heating water on my stove. I had decided that the author is likely one of those atheists or at least a bigot and I didn’t like him as a person.)
He then covers, in less than half a page, entheogens. He doesn’t recommend them or hallucinogenics at all. Again fine. Go for it. You do you. But let’s not ignore the history of entheogens OK? I think I would have preferred completely ignoring the topic to the complete low-key shaming going on. “This is not a preferred and enlightened way, opinions may vary.” Then “But who likes easy when one’s health has to be compromised?” The assumption here is that you cannot achieve enlightenment (if that’s even your goal) through entheogens and that taking entheogens can compromise your health. Don’t get me wrong, most entheogens are dangerous. But why not say “there is a history of entheogens but that is not the topic of this book?” That’s so much easier. I get downplaying drugs, I do, but I feel like shaming them isn’t the way of going about it. Plus, there’s this slight undertone that you might not have valid results under the influence. And that just… Look, I have a rant about that kind of thinking OK? Your experiences are valid. No matter how they’re achieved. Sheesh.
The rest is pretty solid as a brief intro to astral travel via meditation. I have issues with the idea that you have to connect with your higher self, forgive yourself, accept yourself, blah blah blah. That might be useful but it’s not a requirement (and it’s billed as one).
What really got my goat was the “simple precautions” paragraph. It’s just one paragraph that says “This scientific/religious notion has been rumored to have so-called demons that lurk nearby” First off, the sentence doesn’t even make sense. Demons (or spirits) haven’t been scientifically proven so I don’t know what the hell he’s even talking about here. He goes on to say that according to WikiHow (because Wikipedia is totally a scientific source right?) “astral projection can sure get creepy”. Every single sentence in the paragraph has adjectives that make things supposition. He flat out says hearsay which is funny because ALL astral travel is hearsay. I do not think that word means what you think it means. He finishes off this delightful yet rage inducing paragraph with “According to some fanatics, this is valid [being possessed by a demon], but this fact can simply be subjective as well, if you believe in this kind of stuff it can be true. Boo!” Again. The sentence doesn’t even make sense. Is he saying that it only works if you believe in it? Or is he saying that the belief is you need to believe in demons possessing people? And what the FUCK is with calling people fanatics? Why was that even necessary? Why can’t he just say “some people believe there are spirits and demons in the astral and that you might want to be cautious if you believe in these beings”. That is a very nice, neutral sentence that gives the warning he wanted without calling people fanatics. UGH.
That’s it. That’s the book. It’s short enough to read while boiling water. The book does exactly what it says on the tin. It gives clear instructions on how to astral travel, meditation style. If you skip the (thin) ethics and low-key bullshit, you’re golden. I find it difficult to skip that kind of stuff because it shows the the personality of the person who wrote the book just as much as tainting otherwise good content. So it gets a 3/5 for being a decent place to start but having issues with… well, apparently, not seeing this exactly the author’s way.
Ah, well. C’est la vie.