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.

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