The Mentalist’s Handbook

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On a recent stop to one of my favorite indoor locales, the library (nerd alert!)  I came across the book, “The Mentalist’s Handbook” pretty randomly while I was trying to find a good beginner’s book about meditation for a friend.  As I laid my eyes on the picture that was on the front of the book, which was a girl with eyes connected to a light bulb (as seen above), I was intrigued.  The picture looked eerily familiar to a collage that I had made almost ten years ago.  I thumbed through the first few pages and was instantly hooked when I read the author’s introduction.  It almost felt as if I was reading my own words.

I’d been fascinated with the power of the human mind and it’s purported ability for astral projection, communication with the spirit world, and psychic feats for as long as I could remember, reading any related books I got my hands on and talking to whomever would share with me stories of their own experiences.  I was sure there was a reason for such phenomena to exist, and I had a sense that it was all related somehow.  But no one could explain any of it to my satisfaction.  Could this all be true?  I was insecure too, about being called a fool for questioning the limits of human knowledge in the rational world that we live in today.”  —Excerpt from “The Mentalist’s Handbook.”

As I stood there in the library reading parts out of the book, I lost track of time.  I was so eager to get started on the exercises that the author shares to help you reach the “aetheric” plane (yep, the author spells it with an ‘a’ in front of it, as they did in the 18th and 19th centuries), which the author explains as: “There is another world beyond, yet inside, the material world you and I know and inhabit.  This place is at once different from and the same as ours.  Everything in this other world looks as though it is made of light.  In fact, all things on the aetheric plane are made of a superfine substance known as aether.”   To me, the word “aetheric” is synonymous with “astral” (see definition below) which is the term I am going to use from now on when the author states “aetheric” because to me ,that’s just easier.  What can I say, old habits die hard!

The meaning of the word “Astral” per Oxford Dictionary:

1. {attributive} Relating to or resembling the stars. ‘astral navigation’

1.1 Relating to a supposed non-physical realm of existence to which various psychic and paranormal phenomena are ascribed, and in which the physical human body is said to have a counterpart.  ‘spiritual beings from the astral plane’

After I brought the book home, it stayed on my book shelf for weeks, staring me down.  One rainy afternoon, after moving into a new place that doesn’t have a T.V. or anything else to distract me, I finally took the book down off the shelf and started reading it as eagerly as I had when I first looked at in the library.  I completed the first three exercises that the author recommends, but I didn’t record any of them.  Then I placed the book back on the shelf and another two weeks went by until I picked it up again.  Picking it up this time, I decided that I would actually take the author’s recommendations and record what happened for me doing the exercises.  I downloaded a free recording app on my phone and started the book all over again.

For the first exercise in the book, I recorded what happened for me, I did one recording before the initial exercise and one recording after I performed the exercise.  If you’re interested to hear the recordings, just click the two icons at the bottom of this blog post, they are just a couple minutes each.  In this first exercise the author basically asks that you find a quiet space in your home to sit and strictly focus on nothing except for your breathing as it enters, fills, and exits your body.  The author also recommends that for each documentation that you do for each exercise, you should record a brief play-by-play of your general state of mind, your diet for the past twenty-four hours, any thoughts weighing heavily on your mind, and any abnormal external conditions that may affect your session.

For me, this first exercise was fortunately pretty easy because meditation is something that I try to practice every morning for about twenty minutes.  I had ate a pretty healthy diet for the twenty-four hours leading up to the meditation, although I still wasn’t feeling completely 100% myself because I had drank too much wine the night before.  I notice that when I am slightly hungover or tired when I meditate, my mind constantly wanders and can’t seem to stay focused on the breath.  I had a couple distinct things occur for me in the fifteen minute meditation, the first one was a strong tonal change that I felt on my right ear about ten minutes into the meditation.  The second thing that happened for me was that I felt a ton of activity on the crown of my skull, it felt as if it had opened up and was merging with the air in the room.

I am excited to check out more of this book and see how I do with it.  I understand that me posting about this might come up as controversial to some, but this excites me and I have learned to follow excitement without reservation.  The author asks in the beginning of the book to record what happens for you in the exercises and then to send him your recordings afterwards.  So between my recordings and blogging I plan to eventually send this all in to him.  I plan to still write my regular blog posts in between this, but plan to see more postings about this book in the future and thanks so much for following my journey!

Peace!  🙂  Ohhhhhhh and P.S.  If you do listen to the audio below, I am just warming up to this whole audio thing, so I’m hoping the recordings will get better as I do them more! 🙂

2 comments on “The Mentalist’s Handbook

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