SM Kovalinsky; Metro Media Consulting Group, LLC; New York City
The Out of Body Experience: The History and Science of Astral Travel
Watkins Publishing, London, 2011
5 stars/Highly Recommended text
This is British binary-mind theorist and author Anthony Peake's third book ( Is There Life After Death: The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When We Die (Chartwell Books, 2006) and The Daemon: A Guide to Your Extraordinary Secret Self (Arcturus , 2008) were one and two; He is editor of a fourth, a clinician's text guide on near death experience; a fifth on time and precognition is pending.)
As a researcher and author, Peake does not disappoint the reader; His third book is no exception.
He begins with his intriguing experience with the Lucia Light Simulator - a consciousness-altering device - on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. In the presence of Dr.s Engelbert Winkler and neurologist Dirk Proeckl, Peake has a startling out of body experience, facilitated by the LLS device:
I felt like an astronaut sitting at the top of an Apollo launch rocket as it accelerated into space.. . wherever I had journeyed to on that warm Swiss afternoon, it was not in what we call "consensual space". . .
Peake realizes he has been asking the wrong question: It is not whether Out of Body Experience (OBE) is real or not, but the nature of consciousness and perception, and where these reside, which must be explored. And this exploration takes Peake through the vistas of neuroscience, religion, lucid dreaming, and the psychedelia of glutamate/ketamine experiences; within the amazing hypnagogic states; through the works of Robert Monroe, Tom Campbell, and Robert Waggoner; and on to the Cartesian cogito, and across the Akasic field theories of Ervin Laszlo and the Many Worlds Theory of Everett.
One of the most fascinating chapters is Chapter 7, "The Mystery of Lucid Dreaming". A lucid dream is similar to an out of body experience, in that one is aware that one is dreaming, and thus, in an alternate state. Robert Monroe's description - taken from his famous Journeys Out of the Body - of the shock of seeing himself in bed is cited, and the separation of mind and body, experienced by a majority of surveyed lucid dreamers , is at the crux of both the lucid dream and the OBE.
Additionally, in Chapter 8 Peake describes his own pervasive hypnagogic states in a way that pulls the reader in, mirroring one's own experience, or simply making you want to learn more. Hypnagogic states are the visions and sensations which can occur powerfully as one is falling off to sleep. The lack of any sense of self which Peake describes - he terms it as, "I was pure being" - is typical, and parallels the left brain experience of near death experiences.
In Chapter 10, the physics of such experiences, and the manner in which Everett's Many World theory opens up vast vistas of recurrence experiences for individual consciousness and personal life, echoes Peake's first book, on eternal recurrence.
In summation, the mysterious nature of perception and experience is probed intelligently and thoroughly by Peake, who is an eclectic and meticulous thinker and researcher. For all of those who are interested in out of body experience, particularly in its scientific and historical significance, Peake's text is highly recommended, because as usual, he delivers the goods that the 21st century reader expects, but does not give short shrift to the mysterious. Bravo once more, Mr. Peake.