The subtitle is 'A New Approach to Out-Of-Body Experiences', but in my opinion, this book really blends well the out-of-body experience with the lucid dreaming experience, which is why I am posting here.
I was also pleasantly surprised that the author did some experimentation similar to what we discussed here, for instance trying to find out what a hidden card is (BTW, he also got negative results). I find this book to be grounded, based on common sense, and the author seems to have a scientifically-minded yet unlimited approach to exploring.
It contains four parts:
Part 1 - Basic Issues and Controversies
Part 2 - Explorations in the Physical
Part 3 - The Human Spectrum of Consciousness
Part 4 - Theory and Practice
A few extracts:
P. 8: 'Even so, as convincing as the experience may be, I still cannot be certain I am really out of my body. I may merely be looking down at a replication of my physical body, produced by my own expectations and lacking any real significance. Does it end with my imagination - the inner experienced as if coming from outside - or is there something else about the out-of-body state that makes it real? We will have to make up our minds as we go along, with all our expectations, and beliefs and their confounding influence on everything we encounter in the out-of-body state.'
P. 153: 'Clearly, however, it does not appear to be very natural for consciousness to reconstruct physical reality accurately, at least not in the absence of sensory input. This obviously makes a lot of sense since why else would we need a physical body? Indeed, all these difficulties with perception may simply represent a natural push outward toward another field of consciousness altogether. This brings us to the personal field of consciousness.'
P. 158-9: 'You will be inside a world of your own making that is largely cut off from any other influences. Indeed, the subjective nature of the personal field can make experiences in the personal field often appear dreamlike, even if perceived under conditions of high lucidity. ... In fact, you never entirely escape the personal field of consciousness, regardless of where your main focus lies. For example, the personal field of consciousness is not only responsible for 'distortions' in the physical field; it allows for accurate perception as well. It provides you with an impression of physical reality - a picture that 'floats out there' to provide you with the illusion of existing in a three-dimensional reality.'
I was also pleasantly surprised to find in this book an exact description of the 'void' that I encountered in my second LD. And he calls it 'the void' too:
P. 57: 'The void is a truly remarkable state of consciousness in which practically all contact with the physical senses is severed. ... Aptly, the void has also been referred to as a minimum perceptual environment. In general, very little is ever perceived inside of the void. It is often completely dark. ... it is not uncommon to perceive various pinpoints of lights in the void... '
Last but not least, I love this view:
P. 8: 'As noted by Charles Tart, we already live in a virtual world in which our perception is a simulation of reality rather than reality itself. We do not perceive reality directly, but instead, energies of sound and light travel down our sensory apparatus and through our central nervous system, eventually resulting in the conscious perception of physical reality. So physical reality, as we perceive it, is internally generated as well. Senses obviously function as senses, but ultimately, what you perceive as the world comes from within, not from the outside. We do not really know what is 'out there' on an objective level. In Tart's words: 'We sit, as it were, in a movie theatre of our own, lost in the show created by the usually hidden mechanisms of the World Simulation Process'.