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October 25, 2010 at 2:43 am #139957AtticusModerator
Cross-posted from my training journal.
I chose Robert Bruce’s Astral Dynamics as my next outside reading after seeing several recommandations. I’m aware that not everyone likes this book — and I think I have a few ideas why that is — but I found it to be extraordinarily informative.
First a caveat: I may never actually experiment with astral projection (dunno yet, don’t think I’m adequately advanced to think that far ahead), and I can’t recall ever having experienced anything like a spontaneous exit. So if you’re like me, you’re my target audience for this review. If, on the other hand, you’ve actually given OBE a try, or can’t wait to . . . well, odds are you’ve already read this book anyway, right?
The book is divided into six parts. The first part introduces you to the simplest concepts: the overarching theory behind the concept of OBE, the “projectable double” or energy body that actually projects during OBE, the mind-split theory which explains the actual mechanics of where one’s consciousness resides during OBE and why the real trick to OBE is not projecting but remembering that you projected once the projectable double is reintegrated into the physical body. Right off the bat, Bruce is candid about one of the major complaints people have with his work: he refuses for the most part to use the vocabulary that most experienced practitioners are accustomed to, in part because the double-translation (most of these concepts come, after all, from Eastern philosophy) leads to misunderstanding, or at least reduced comprehension. So instead of referring to the dantien, for example, he’ll discuss the “sub-navel energy storage center.” This didn’t bother me so much, probably because I’m a relative neophyte — I actually appreciated the reduction of terms to conversational English, most of the time.
If you read only this far, you’ll discover that Bruce has extensive theories applicable to the study of the Force, and manages to convey them in a fairly straightforward, non-mystical fashion. Even if OBE is not in your future.
Part 2 is a detailed explanation of Bruce’s New Energy Ways (NEW) system for training and developing the body’s energy systems, as well as a reasonably easy-to-understand discussion of the “physiology” of these systems. (Here, Bruce actually relents and allows himself to use a few Eastern terms like “chakra”.) There is a fairly robust training program laid out here, although guidance on how much and how often to train is a little obscure — it’s there, just feels like it’s been double-talked around until it’s next to meaningless. I found it interesting that Bruce suggests avoiding any sort of direct chakra work until the secondary energy systems have been stimulated and developed — to draw an exercise metaphor, it’s like training the core and erector spinae in preparation for pulling 1RM on the squat rack. This section also helped me understand the quasi-physical sensations I have experienced since I began training in the Force.
If you read only this far, you’ll understand how your body has been deliberately designed to facilitate working with the Force, and exactly how it does so. Even if OBE is not in your future.
Part 3 is concerned with three additional “core skills” to be gained while the energy systems are under development: deep relaxation, mental focus, and trance. Again, a fairly robust training regimen that I think could have been improved by a little more guidance on how much to train and how quickly to progress.
If you read only this far, you’ll come away with some new routines to incorporate into your meditation and/or Force studies to make your training more effective and efficient. Even if OBE is not in your future.
The remainder of the book covers, basically, how to project, how the planar connections work, and what you might encounter once you do. Like I said, I’m not there yet, but the descriptions were vivid and thought-provoking nonetheless. Based upon what I have read, however, I think people who actually plan to put the “how-to” section into practice would benefit more from Bruce’s Mastering Astral Projection, which seems to be more of a daily action plan-based system of teaching most of the same material (and which probably addresses many of my concerns about lack of plug-and-play guidance regarding the NEW and core skills training regimen).
Anyway, highly recommended, especially the first half. Even if OBE is not in your future.October 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm #156395JaxKeymaster
Thank you for posting this. I think what I most often here is “Why is astral projection important?” I have two perspectives on that. First, everyone already astral projects, but few consciously so it’s a tool that we can gain that we already have in essence. Conscious projection can be very useful. For instance, there are people who meet up in the astral, taking away any hindrance that comes from living far away. I think that’s pretty darn handy! Also, the astral space allows us to work on things without the restriction of a physical body, which can allow for some interesting training. But in the end, a person can satisfactorily live without conscious astral projection. Where I think Robert Bruce is particularly useful for everyone is in the first two parts of the book, as you mentioned. Mastering Astral Projection lays out a structured, well paced method of integrating energy work with progressively deeper meditation. And as a byproduct I found people tend to awaken other Force skills even if they never astral project. I haven’t gotten the new version of this book, I don’t believe mine includes the NEW stuff, but I got that all from his website. Perhaps we should try going through Mastering Astral Projection as a group next spring or summer. It would be good for me to do it and maybe make it all the way through finally.
And thank you for posting your perspective. You are making me want to train. But first I have to haul up a lot of boxes to the upstairs and figure out where to put the book shelves. I guess that’s good too – physical training so I can have energy training. haha!October 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm #156396MemnoichParticipant
I would be up for that Jax, I’ve tried going through it on my own, but have had problems with reality getting in the way. I’ve been debating on trying to start it again now that most things in life have calmed down for me.October 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm #156398JaxKeymaster
Yeah, that’s always the issue, especially since the book is 90 days if you do it daily.October 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm #156400AtticusModerator
I would be down with that too, assuming it was indeed next spring or so. I have Mastering AP but haven’t cracked it open yet, a few other things in the queue first.
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