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Customer Review

285 of 288 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable - until it's not., June 27, 2005
This review is from: The Journey to Wild Divine Biofeedback Software & Hardware for PC & Mac: The Passage (Software)
(UPDATED 25 August 2008, via a Comment - please click "Comments" below for more.)

I'm noticing wildly divergent reviews of this product. In my opinion, this is due to two factors: 1) expectations going in and 2) sincerity in one's goal to accomplish what the Wild Divine (WD) is trying to help one accomplish.

I hesitate in calling WD a "game," because that word brings to mind other words, like "score," "plot," "goal," and "winning." WD does NOT meet the definition of a conventional video game. Rather, it is a biofeedback tool designed to aid in the learning of relaxation and meditation.

I see WD as the perfect mix of Eastern teachings and the Western desire for instant gratification - when sitting alone silently in meditation, one cannot see the changes happening in one's body as they are happening; it is only weeks later that a culmination of small changes might be noticed. WD provides that instant feedback so many of us desire to stay motivated in pursuing this important journey; it also provides external proof that the way one breathes can affect the rest of the body. And from there, we can expand into other methods of exploring the journey.

Yes, a lot of the activities seem the same and can be "won" by using the same three breathing exercises (the peaceful breath, high energy, and the heart breath) over and over. I am not an experienced meditator (indeed, I'm just barely beginning), but as I understand it at this point in time, this is because those three breaths or states of energy are the primary building blocks. The "point" is to learn to control your energy, so that YOU - and not your environment or external stress - are the force controlling your energy. (I will never forget one day when I was trying to calm myself and relax, to make the falcon feather float to the bottom of the screen. I'd made it a few inches when my cell phone went off with my sister's ringtone. Opening my eyes to take the call, I saw the feather, pointed straight up, swinging wildly from side to side at the top of the screen. I knew my sister could affect my state of mind, but I didn't expect that! LOL)

The secondary point is to open your heart and mind to compassion, to see all of us as members of what WD calls The Blue Tribe, despite our perceived differences. These kinds of changes do not happen overnight or by practicing a certain breath once - one must practice the breath frequently, and incorporate it into daily life, away from the computer; perhaps it was my imagination, but each "identical" exercise as the program progressed seemed to expect a bit more of me - to hold the peaceful state of mind a bit longer or deepen my heart breath... I bought WD almost a month ago and worked my way through it slowly, often reverting to a previous save when I came back the next day so that I retraced some of my steps, to reinforce what I was learning. I just finished the program last week (working with it almost daily), and yet we are not finished with each other.

I imagine the point of different visuals for what may be seen as essentially the same goal is to prevent boredom - can you imagine what the program would be like if ALL there was to see was birds flying in circles? Also, different visuals speak to different people - some people may go back to those birds day after day, others may rather see the ball levitating. I personally find the visual aspect very helpful; out in the real world, I've been practicing adjusting my breath to cope when I start feeling stressed - more often than not, my mind's eye will conjure one of the visuals from WD (like the bellows from the Lady of the Woods's fireplace) to guide the timing and flow of my breath.

Regarding navigation, I had no troubles. The icon on the bottom left of the screen has stars at its top that point in the directions of all possible movements and activities for the current screen - just move your mouse until one of those stars is indicated on the icon, and click!

If you haven't read the companion guide, do so. WD has a very loose structure, leaving the individual to explore and learn in his/her own way; but if you absolutely must know "what comes next," the companion guide can provide a storyline to follow, as well as a bit of insight into what the creator, Corwin Bell, was imagining as he created WD; his "message," if you will.

To reap the most rewards from the program, WD needs to be experienced slowly, bit by bit, as the mind needs to be allowed time to absorb what it is learning. This is not an instantaneous process, and those who race through the 10 hours of "gameplay" in 10 hours or less are probably not getting all the benefit they could if they took the time to take this seriously.

So if you are looking for a "game" you can play with your thoughts, try "Inner Tube" - a new game designed to work with WD's hardware. I haven't tried it, but it may be more what you're looking for.

But if you are looking for a modern, useful tool to use as a way to begin or deepen your mediation practice - or just want to learn how to relax (at the computer and away from it, in Real Life) - give WD a try.

At the risk of using a cliche, WD is one of those things where you get back what you put into it.

I am eagerly awaiting "The Journey to Wild Divine: Wisdom Quest," to see what it will hold in terms of deepening and building on the skills I'm learning from "The Passage."

The only criticism I have right now for the program (and the reason I didn't give it 5 stars) is that my installation took hours and was fraught with problems; judging from posts I saw on the WD message board, I'm not the only one - apparently, one issue occurred repeatedly with those of us who have DVD-ROM drives. I kept thinking, "I bought this to help learn to relax, and the installation is stressing me out!" ;-) Word to the wise: DEFRAG your hard drive! I was having problems with a few of the videos that make up the program, and when I analyzed my drive, one of them was fragmented into over 400 pieces. Now that they're reassembled, the program runs much smoother.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 25, 2008 2:48:44 PM PDT
ButMadNNW says:
(One review per customer, so I must resort to commenting on my own review...)

As you can see, I bought and reviewed "Journey to Wild Divine: The Passage" (TP) over three years ago, and first off, I want to thank everyone who voted my initial review as helpful. This is the first time one of my reviews has been featured as one of the most helpful! :-)

Now, if I'm going to be honest, it has also been around three years since I last used TP. I never did get around to using "Wisdom Quest" (WQ), despite buying it when it first came out.

So why am I back? Because I have been somewhat active in speaking out against the DRM and limited installations on games like EA/Maxis's "Spore," and I was delighted to experience the complete opposite with TP a couple of nights ago. I also learned a thing or two that I wanted to share with other Mac users.

You see, two months ago, I had to get a new computer, and I decided to switch from PC to Mac to avoid Vista. I've been meaning to introduce my roommate to the Wild Divine (WD), so two nights ago, I pulled out my WD discs and installed them on the Mac partition of my MacBook, as I don't have much Mac software yet (and I adore the makers of WD for providing BOTH sets of install discs in the same package).

My stats: MacBook, OS X 10.5.4 (Leopard), 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. I also have WinXP installed in a Boot Camp partition, but as I said, I installed WD on the Mac side.

Firstly, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my three-year-old activation code from my TP Windows installation worked for the Mac install! I had to get a new activation code for WQ, but it was a no-muss, no-fuss process through an automated page on the WD website (same name, new email address, new physical address, new computer, but I was granted a new activation code with no questions asked or accusations of piracy made; granted, the specialized hardware [the "Light Stone"] and its serial number probably helped here, but still).

I did experience some issues with the installation of TP (version 1.0.2): annoyingly, the install program wouldn't acknowledge that I'd inserted the second disc the first few times and I had to quit installation and begin again, but it eventually worked. The biggest problem would have to be with the 3ivx video decoder (which you need to see all the videos in the program) installation - it's a bit disheartening to double-click on an installer, have it not launch, and have to read the ReadMe to be told "this doesn't work for OS X 10.4 or higher" (or whatever that message was). A bit of hunting on the WD forum found a workaround, however!:

Mister Noggin (Site Admin) said: '...you can pull the 3ivx video decoder out of the installer bundle and install it manually. Here's how:

1. Put Disk 2 in the computer.
2. Open the disk, "Installers" [folder] and then "3ivx Installer" [folder].
3. Hold the Ctrl key and click "Install 3ivx D4 4.5.1 Decoder".
4. Select "Show Package Contents".
5. Open the "Contents" folder, "Resources" and "Installer Items".
6. Open [your] Macintosh HD, "Library" [folder], and then "QuickTime" [folder].
7. Drag the file, "3ivx D4 4.5.a Decoder OSX" from the "Installer Items" folder into the "QuickTime" folder.'

Once I'd done that (which turned out to be a lot easier to do than to explain) and restarted TP, the program worked just fine.

Installation of WQ was much simpler (once I worked out that I was thinking in terms of Windows and not Mac and was myself doing it wrong), but I do recommend installing the updates/patches available on the WD website before attempting to activate the product. Without that update, WQ wouldn't recognize that my "Light Stone" was indeed plugged in and therefore wouldn't start.

I strongly encourage anyone who has gotten frustrated by the installation of the product (or other issues) to make use of The Wild Divine Project's excellent customer service and community forum before you give up and return the program. Mister Noggin's answer quoted above was posted in January 2008. Three years after initial release, they are still actively assisting their customers. That kind of attention deserves to be rewarded in the face of the software industry's current mentality.

As an aside, I did venture a bit into the Sun Realm to make sure everything was working after the installation, and was pleased to *see* that the past year of working with the excellent programs at HypnosisDownloads.com has indeed improved my abilities to control my energy. The visual confirmation via the biofeedback has always been WD's strongest point. Yes, you can spend less money on a book or a tape and notice results weeks later if you keep at it, but for many people, the instant gratification of *seeing* results can be the motivator they need to continue on in this exploration. WD is a jumping off point, not the final destination.

I look forward to revisiting the Sun Realm on this new computer and exploring all over again.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2013 2:28:42 PM PST
pepperminty says:
You mention Message Boards on the Wild Divine site--these seem to have been eliminated. Amazon reviews seem to be the closest thing to a discussion by actual users out there. Anybody know of any other online spot to discuss issues and experiences and exchange help?
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