Fred Aardema -- Explorations of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Consciousness & Science' started by chuck.drake, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. chuck.drake

    chuck.drake Guest

    I am rereading Fred Aardema's fine book Explorations in Consciousness: A New Approach to Out-of-Body Experiences

    I read it the first time on its release in mid-2012 as the end cap to a feverish exploration of all things OBE. It was the book that put me over the top and led me to my first fully consciously induced OBEs.

    Reading it this second time is almost more interesting, because this time I am really reading it, instead of gulping it down like a fudge sunday on a hot day. And interestingly also, Fred's book echoes (or perhaps unknowingly guided) the more skeptical view of the OBE that I hold today.

    Having read most of the books written on the OBE in the last decades (there is a lot of older stuff that I have not gone back and tried to obtain) I can safely say that Fred's book is the most carefully considered examination of the OBE phenomena available in print anywhere. Fred dissects each facet of the OBE with a questioning eye and intersperses the text with enlightening examples from his own OBE experiences.

    I'm only about a third of the way through this second read as I just picked it up again yesterday. But if anyone is looking for a honest and open-eyed appraisal of the facts behind the OBE, I would highly recommend them picking up Fred's book.

  2. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Home Page:
    I have ordered my copy (subsidized by my Amazon ebook settlement!)
  3. manjit

    manjit New

    Jan 30, 2014
    Hi Chuck,

    This was a great book, thanks for higlighting it here.

    I didn't really come away from reading it thinking that Aardema was entirely "skeptical" (of the veridical nature?) of OBEs? I think he at least left a crack open into some kind of shared or consensual reality there?

    Anyways, maybe unlike yourself, my interest in OBEs, astral projection, lucid dreams, pathworking, occult projections etc started around the mid to late 80s (when there was no internet or Amazon, how did we ever survive! :) to the late 90s, and I read absolutely everything that was available written in english, either from libraries, or from a wonderful iconic bookshop in Leicester Square, London called Watkins Books (now closed). I really do believe I have read everything published (or at least 95% :) on the subject in the West. Post 2000, I kind of lost interest in that approach, and more or less had mastered the "art" :)

    Since then, I have purchased around say, half a dozen books on the specific subject of OBE, astral projection or lucid dreaming - kind of out of nostalgia or mild interest, as oppossed to my youthful obssession. Half of them were terrible, easily forgotten (and I have), and only 3 I considered excellent, perhaps even better than all things I had read previously on the subject, and I envied today's readers! They were; Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner (not a "how to" book, but a book for those who already can "do", but excellent insights), Explorations in Consciousness by Aardema, and another book I haven't finished but did start called "Are you Dreaming" by David Love, which seemed like an excellent summary of everything that has come before.

    However, I just wanted to mention, whilst Aardema's book is absolutely fantastic, and he has the core mechanics down perfectly (basically, maintain awareness from the waking to sleep state), I have to interject and say there are quite a variety of "states" which through the years and various traditions have come under the umbrella "astral projection". I don't personally believe they are all the same experience, or all occur under the REM state; quite certain actually.

    You may get a different "flavour" of experience if you approach the whole thing from different perspectives not mentioned in Aardema's excellent book....

    As to veridical information from "OBE" inability to do so in my late teens sent me on a long "dark night of the soul" I've grown older, and perhaps a little wiser (one hopes :). I have found reality to not be so straightforward, and perhaps limitations are put in place for those so inclined to "scientifically" prove things.....but in other circumstances, and perhaps more symbolically than literally??....

    Things may be stranger than we can even imagine :)
  4. chuck.drake

    chuck.drake Guest

    I use the term skeptical in it's true meaning, not as a term to describe someone who has already made up their mind.

    I have a hard time distinguishing between many non-physical experiences including dreaming, lucid dreaming, the OBE, some alien abduction experiences, etc. For me there comes a point where experiences in the non-physical all share some commonality--it is consciousness doing something that consciousness does.

    I found it interesting to read about Baba Faqir Chand in David Lane's book. After spending a lifetime practicing the out of body state, Chand couldn't state definitively that there was any relation between the physical world and the non-physical planes he frequented.

    I accept the phenomena of non-local information transfer, as in precognitive dreams, or in ESP, using Upton Sinclair's book, Mental Radio as an example. But I wouldn't claim to understand how that phenomena relates to the non-physical consciousness.

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