Douglas De Long's primer on "ancient teachings" is a grab-bag of spiritual
techniques and theories. The book gives a broad overview of current New
Age thinking and practice, as well as practical suggestions for how to
meditate, open your chakras and get in touch with past lives--and how to
do so quickly, without devoting a whole life to spiritual training. There
are chapters on the "human aura" and how to visualize it, and how to
channel your angels and spirit guides, and astral projection, including
the suggestion that if you drink a glass of water before going to sleep,
you will be more likely to remember your astral journeys.
De Long portrays his hybrid mystical philosophy as "the original true
teachings of Jesus Christ," and the book ends with an
amazing description of De Long's own "vivid remembrance" of his past life
at the time of Jesus' death. Jesus tells "a follower" that he never
intended his teachings to be codified as a "religion," that he thinks Paul
is sexist, and, most amazingly of all, that Jesus sent his twin, Judah
Iscariot, to be crucified in his place.
It's not for nothing that De Long
implores readers to keep an open mind; this final passage may well strike
them as not only bizarre but sacreligious.