THE MANY WAYS TO A NEW LIFE

 

Chapters

Many Ways To A New Life

The Pilgrims Journey to the West

The Ox Herding Pictures

YOGA

Bhakti Yoga

Karma Koga

Your Body is a Work of Art

Dreams are the Royal Road

The Beginning

My Own Dream Experiences

What Dreams did for Me

A Dream with Everything

Prophecy

Peer Dream Work

Meditation

Lesson 1 – Squatting and Standing

Lesson 2 – My Body as A moving Sea

Lesson 3 – Lhang Tong -Transcendent Insight

Lesson 4 – The Enlightenment Intensive

Martial Art of the Mind

Beliefs

Barbara Meets Her Doom

Imprisoned in Your Mind

Grief and Even Great Pain

How we move beyond killer beliefs

Martial Art in Everyday Life

You Have ‘Died’ a Thousand Times

Learning the Martial Art of the Mind

Now For the Hard Transformations

Martial Art in Everyday Life

You Have Already ‘Died’ a Thousand Times

Steps to learning Martial Art of the Mind

Work through the exercises the same way

Now For the Hard Transformations

Psychedelics

In My Earlier Life

The Next Step

A Man’s Experience Taking Mushrooms

It Takes Time

The next Step

The Details

To Eat or Not to Eat

Diet and Malnutrition

Healthy Eating

Fasting benefits include

Intermittent Fasting

Death

How do we get from not knowing to knowing?

Talking With Your Dead

What is the Life of Death About

 

Creating a Bridge to a Dimension

 

 

 

The Many Ways To A New Life

 

There are many modern and ancient ways to arrive at a better life. I will give some details of them.

 

The Simple Secret of Them All Is

 

Open all of yourself to the unknown and invisible force that Creates You – Life. 

 

That means dropping all you present expectations, beliefs, and ideas – for you are allowing the Unknown to enter your life.

 

 

For the longer explanations. Read on!!

 

But when I was 60 – I’m now in my eighties – I went to Ruskin College in Oxford to study English Literature. I got a good pass and wondered about entering a university to learn Anthropology. I was offered an interview, and the tutor started the interview, but he had a phone call and left, saying he would be back shortly. As I sat waiting I noticed he a book written by him with the titled ‘Buddhist Meditation’. I felt growing interest in being tutored by someone who maybe knew more about the subject than I. When he arrived back I mentioned his book on meditation and asked him what he had experience from the practice, as I really wanted to see if his experiences were similar to my own. Looking rather proud, he said, “I never used meditation.” I was shocked, here was a university lecturer on Anthropology and he hadn’t even dipped his toe in the great ocean of consciousness. I gave up trying to get an entrance to that university. What I am about to write is from years of actually swimming in that ocean.

 

Many of the ways describe a process of personal growth that is possible for many today. Just as humans started their journey as an animal with no speech and no rational mind and moved on into what we know today as self-awareness; so we are ready to take another step in our evolution. This is sometimes seen as a release from suffering and is a growth in awareness as ahead of self-consciousness as self-consciousness is of primal animal consciousness.

 

To properly connect and realise what is being communicated it is necessary to be able to put one’s rational mind aside and able to enter a different level of ourselves. I call it The Keyboard Condition.

 

To achieve it we need to ‘hang loose’. So apart from habitual attitudes, the first step of practice is to learn a form of relaxation in which our body has dropped unnecessary tension and is like a keyboard ready to be played.

 

I find it helps if we create something of this feeling consciously, holding our body, our emotions, our sexuality, your mind, and memories as if they were keys upon which the inner dramatist can play. In a sense we are seeking to create a condition similar to sleep. As we fall asleep we let go of our control over what we think, what we do with our body, and what we fantasy. Our ‘I’, our decision making self has relaxed and left the stage free for the more intuitive level of our awareness to create its realisations. So in approaching our ability to understand and feel the message being communicated we need to take on a similar relaxed state without actually going to sleep.

 

One way was to understand our eating patterns; this way was brought to my attention by my years of being plagued with cold sores – that is until I read the book Let’s Eat Right to Keep fit. The book is now out of print and is highly regarded, so copies of it sell for £200. It is about preventative action, not the present curing action that doctor’s practice. I do not have colds sores any more. Cod Liver Oil is rich in vitamin A which wards off infections and eye problems and helps prevent or kill germs and viruses attacking the mucus membranes it is vital for vision, protection of lungs, throat, eyes and embryonic development, growth and cellular differentiation, and the immune system.

 

Also I have had hypertension for years and take 500 mg of C daily, cod liver oil capsule daily and a multi vitamin and mineral tablet – just to be sure. According to the doctor at my birth who didn’t even get me breathing and threw my lifeless body aside and told my mother I would have died at an early age anyway – but I am long past my sell by date and do not need glasses, a hearing aid and do suffer from arthritis or been made senile by Alzheimer’s. My dad’s death at 62 from blood pressure was warning enough. I am 84 today and well past my sell by date

 

  1. D. Laing, the psychiatrist, in describing the search for one’s fundamental self said, ‘The Life I am trying to grasp is the me that is trying to grasp it.’

 

One of the sites listed has a heading, ‘What you are looking for is what is looking.’

 

This change is not a state of mind you can create or develop. It is something beyond any change, outside of anything you can develop. After all, development suggests change.

 

The frustrating thing about finding this is that the harder one tries to grasp it, the further away from it one gets. The more effort one makes in trying to achieve it, the less one finds of it.

 

It is the ever present, self existent core of yourself that remains when all else drops away. So the question should not be can I develop the state of mind that is sometimes called enlightenment, but how can I realise this fundamental state?

 

A classic statement is, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” It can be seen as a warning, but it is given depth through the words of T. S Elliot:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So, the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Some years ago, I tried to do as Eliot suggested; for weeks I gave up doing my daily yoga postures, the hours of meditation and sat without any expectations so I waited for the unknown. I felt that it was like waiting for a stranger to come and touch me on the shoulder as I stood outside the cinema at the top of Tottenham Court Road in London, then I would know them.

I waited like that for many weeks and then one night I had got out of bed to visit the toilet and was just getting back into bed when I heard a loud voice saying, “You asked how God touches the human soul, now watch closely.”  I had never before had such an experience and so I felt something important had occurred. I did not have to wait long because I was not touched – I was shaken!!!

 

One of the enlightenment experiences someone describes was as follows:

 

The many different paths to the one great ocean of Life can be summarised in a simple way because they all have a common factor. It, like dancing or meditating for extended periods, quietens your normal way of thinking and looking at the world. In a meditation seminar I attended that lasted for several days in which we meditated for 17 hours a day, I observed this with great clarity. After three days of meditation I saw my thinking mind, my personal self-awareness faint. It could no longer sustain the continued concentrated pursuit of the question we were asking – ‘Who Are You’. In the moment of my rational thinking mind fainting there was an experience of divine Life knowing itself as this man people call B. In that state I knew connection with all the people around me, and the birds, trees, and earth. For they and I shared the same essence. I had arrived home at the source of things. I felt I was in the Garden of Eden, and that we had never left it. That experience, as ephemeral as it may sound, has given me something that strengthened me to pass through big life changes, and travel joyfully into old age.

 

While experiencing this state one’s view of things often contradicts everyday thinking and views for it is paradoxical, that is, every fact we believe in this state contradicts itself, for everything is seen as true, only the normal awareness sees things as opposite or contradictory. Therefore the following statement was made from an experience of enlightenment:

 

I am a wave on a shoreless sea.
From no beginning
I travel to no goal,
Making my movements stillness.
Constantly I am arriving
And departing,
Being born and dying.
I am always with you
And yet have never been.

 

There are things to practice that are a great help to let the process start.

 

 

“The Self is the Self and there is no such thing as realising it. For whom is to realise what, and how, when all that exists is the Self and nothing but the Self.” Sri Ramana Maharshi

 

 

“Then I was slowly filled with bliss. The bliss wasn’t about anything, it had always been there, but I had been so full of my searching and hope it hadn’t been apparent. I experienced it now because I had become empty. I realised this was the bliss Buddha spoke about. It was the peace that was beyond understanding mentioned in Christianity. I didn’t feel anything had produced this bliss; it was the self-existent base of me. I could see that it was because I had dared to let go of the things I had felt were so important.”

 

 

 

This life – of enlightenment – is just a describer, and one of the things it sees is that this state does not belong to anyone. It’s not something you can get from someone. It’s who everyone is. From here, the highest volume is the sound of the infinite ocean that we all are. Suzanne Sega.

 

 

Since there is nothing to meditate on, there is no meditation.

Since there is nowhere to go astray, there is no going astray.

Although there is an innumerable variety of profound practices, they do not exist for your mind in its true state.

 

Since there are no two such things as practice and practitioner, if, by those who practice or do not practice, the practitioner of practice is seen to not exist, thereupon the goal of practice is reached and also the end of practice itself.

 

-Padmasambhava

 

Liberation is achieved by the practice of non-activity, say the Masters of the Secret Teachings.

 

What is, according to them, non-activity? — Let us first of all notice that it has nothing in common with the quietism of certain Christian or oriental mystics. Ought one to believe that it consists in inertia and that the disciples of the Master’s who honour it are exhorted to abstain from doing anything whatever? — Certainly not.

 

In the first place, it is impossible for a living being to do nothing. To exist is, in itself, a kind of activity. The doctrine of non-action does not in any way aim at those actions which are habitual in life: eating, sleeping, walking, speaking, reading, studying, etc. In contradistinction to the Taoist mystics who, in general, consider that the practice of non-activity requires complete isolation in a hermitage, the Masters of the Secret Teachings, although prone to appreciate “the joys of solitude”, do not consider them in any way indispensable. As for the practice of non-activity itself, they judge it absolutely necessary for the production of the state of deliverance (tharpa).

 

They never tire of repeating the classic simile of the two chains. Whether one is bound by an iron chain or by a golden chain means, in both cases, to be bound. The activity used in the practice of virtue is the chain of gold while that utilized in evil deeds is the iron chain. Both imprison the doer.

 

What then is this activity from which one ought to abstain? — It is the disordered activity of the mind which, unceasingly, devotes itself to the work of a builder erecting ideas, creating an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in its cocoon. (Quoted from The Secret Oral Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Sects – By Alexandra David Neal and Lama Yongden).

 

The state of deliverance, what is that? Well, it is deliverance from all the enormous anxiety, terrible emotional pain people suffer, the great fear of death that haunts millions, the uncertainty of what one is, what should one do in life.

 

Christopher Hills says in ‘Nuclear Evolution’, when molecules come together to form a cell, a whole new dimension of experience is arrived at. And when cells form a multi-celled body, again there is a leap into a higher consciousness, with expanded abilities. So, when individual men and women reach through from individual awareness to cosmic awareness we begin to have a united world. Just as millions of cells in the body express one will, so the next leap in evolution is towards this unity in diversity, which will expand human awareness as much as multi cellular unity expands from single cell life. See LifeStream dreamhawk.com

 

 

 

 

The Pilgrims Journey to the West

 

 

THE JOURNEY TO THE WEST is based on a true story of a Buddhist monk, Xuan Zang, and his pilgrimage to India to acquire the “true scriptures.” Buddhism had entered China from India during the Han dynasty, mainly as the religion of foreign merchants. It spread amongst the Chinese population after the fall of the Han, during the so-called Period of Division, when China was in a constant state of chaos, war, and misery. “I teach suffering,” said the Buddha, “and how to escape it.” This was very different message from the statecraft of Han Confucianism, or the mixture of mysticism, magic, and local religion Taoism had become, and one which found a deep response in the anarchy China had disintegrated into at that time. Xuan Zang’s youth coincided with the reunification of China under the short-lived Sui dynasty. He was a precocious child and received a scholarship (to use the modern idiom) to study in the Pure Land Monastery.

The Buddhist scriptures in China had been translated at different times and places, by translators of different levels of ability and understanding of Buddhist doctrines, even translations of translations of translations through the various languages of India and Central Asia. Xuan Zang could see that beyond the confusion there was great Truth, but that that Truth could only be found in the original and genuine scriptures of Buddhism. That would entail going to India to get them.

Indian Buddhism and Xuan Zang was particularly interested in acquiring the Sanskrit text of the yoga sastra, which taught that “the outside does not exist, but the inside does. All things are mental activities only.” That was the basis of the Consciousness Only School of Buddhism, founded in China by Xuan Zang. Metaphysical and abstract, it did not become a popular school, but its influence persists.

Xuan Zang was 28 when he started on his pilgrimage to India. It was a pilgrimage with a purpose, altruistic and not personal: to bring the “true scriptures” to China for the salvation of lost souls. He spent sixteen years away, travelling from what is now Xi’an through Gansu, and from there through the oasis cities around the Taklamakan desert, into Central Asia, then through what is now Afghanistan to India. After his return to China he wrote a detailed geographical description of the lands he had passed through, with notes on the peoples, their languages and beliefs. This book is called Record of the Western Regions, in Chinese Xiyuji. The Chinese title of The Monkey King’s Amazing Adventures is Xiyouji, a deliberate and direct reference to Xuan Zang ’s records of his travels.

In the early twentieth century the Record of the Western Regions became a guidebook to many of the “foreign devils on the silk road.” Sir Aurel Stein was one of these, who convinced the curator of the secret library of Dunhuang that Xuan Zang was his patron saint, thus persuading him to hand over large quantities of thousand year old manuscripts. Much in the way of Heinrich Schliemann with Homer in hand looking for Troy, Aurel Stein and the others relied on Xuan Zang ’s Record of the Western Regions as a guide, located long buried cities under the sands of the Taklamakan desert. Xuan Zang, incidentally, visited Dunhuang on his way back to Xi’an—in fact he had been provided with an escort from Khotan, on the emperor’s orders. It is not known if the famous portrait in one of the caves is of Xuan Zang, or another itinerant monk.

The novel – The Journey To The West – is a fictionalized account of the legends that had grown up around Xuan Zang ’s travels. The Record of the Western Regions and The Life of Xuan Zang, a biography of Xuan Zang written by a disciple, Huili, were full of stories of strange kingdoms with even stranger customs, attacks from robbers and pirates, mountains, ravines, wild animals, and dangers of all types. Even demons and devils are mentioned. Stories about Xuan Zang were told by itinerant storytellers in the market places, mixed with various local folk tales and other traditions. Modified history was the stock in trade of the storytellers, other famous stories deriving from the complex history of China during the Three Kingdoms, after the fall of the Han, or the adventures of a group of outlaws living on a mountain during the Song dynasty. Historical details were not important to the storytellers, but the stories were fleshed out with all sorts of fictional mbellishments to attract the interest of the listener, or later the reader. Each “round” would end on a dramatic note, with the words “If you want to know what happened next, you must listen to the next chapter.” So the next chapter would start with a brief synopsis of the story so far, before continuing it. This is the origin of the “episodic novel,” the usual form of traditional Chinese novels.

On one level The Monkey King’s amazing adventures is an adventure story, under a very funny one. On another level it is an allegory in which the pilgrimage to India is a simile for the difficulties and things one would face in meeting oneself – the individual seeking enlightenment.  On the first level, the monkey, the pig, the monk, and the sand spirit, and the innumerable of demons and monsters, are characterisations of us on our own inner adventure, On the second, they are a sign of the personification of our own innate character, and of the pains, the mistaken ideas we hold. The pupils fantasies and their trying to achieve spiritual awareness, their  trying to keep the impetuous mental character that we are in order, the lazy and lustful creature we can become, and the often depressive person we may be, all are being faced in the adventure we are slowly dealt with towards becoming enlightened.

The book is much too long to quote here but is easily available and if read with the realization that it is a symbolic story which is communicating with the very depths of our being, it can be a very wonderful guide. Most of the information was quotes from the book Journey to the West

In the first illustration the horse was shown instead of the traditional Dragon. The Dragon was the symbol used throughout the world to represent the enormous and often primeval power of our own nature at its base – our own physiological and latent energy that can never been tamed, only cooperated with.

 

The Ox Herding Pictures

 

But there are age old ways of regaining our beauty and our wonderful potential. I will explain them as simply as I can, and there is no authority to teach you, because it is all yours if you have the courage to uncover it.

The first is the Way of the Ox Herding shown in ancient Chinese thought. The teaching is shown in a series of pictures. They are from the 12th century and may represent a Zen Buddhist interpretation of the ten stages experienced by a person who seeks enlightenment – a greater ability to express Life.

No. 1 In Search of the Bull (aimless searching, only the sound of cicadas.

 

 

 

 

No. 2 Discovery of the Footprints (a path to follow)

 

This is the first step in awakening. He/She realises that they are not alone within themselves, but a wild animal lives in him and they set out to find it, not knowing what it is or is capable of. He/She is only just becoming aware of the instinctive drives, the untamed hungers, those natural addictions to eating, to sex, to being the winner or being the violent person; all of which they may not be able to do without. Before it was felt they were him or her self and not realising the pain or torment they often caused.

 

 

 

No. 3 Perceiving the Bull (but only its rear, not its head)

 

The bull is of course his own native or natural self, the inner animal, shown as his sexual power, his inner wildness, his natural hungers which he only catches a glimpse of. He/She doesn’t realise what influence it has in life yet.

 

 

 

 

No. 4 Catching the Bull (a great struggle, the bull repeatedly escapes, discipline required)

 

This is where the person becomes really aware of what he is dealing with, the enormous power of the instincts and how they rule one’s life. A new realisation, and one not easily understood, for the person is still under the influence of the inner instinctive animal. It has lived its life from its own instincts without any thought and is a creature of habits. Facing these and the tricks they play on the mind asks a lot. See Habits -https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/habits/

In this period a long struggle to deal with one’s instinctive self, and in fact with one’s personality occurs. He/She must harness these impulses, not repress them, because they are the basic energy and creativity within one. Because these are all instinctive and habitual reactions, they must be slowly redirected.  They involve:

Physical movement, so in traditional use of yoga postures the aim was to be able to sit without movement for three hours, and to do it each day for three months, because it took a long time to retrain the inner wildness.

Sexual expression is another way the instinctive self expresses. Again it should not be harnessed by repression, but by gradually leading up the body into higher forms of energy release. See Energy Sex and Dreams https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/energy-sex-and-dreams/ – Kundalini – https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/kundalini/

Hunger for food or sensual satisfaction is also instinctive. This can be seen when a new born baby wants to do after it starts to breathe is to reconnect and feed from the breast. So regular fasting was an ancient method, but it should not be done from the attitude that one must lose weight. See Fasting Fasting | dreamhawk.com

The emotions and their instinctive expression in humans can be experienced as panic attacks, painful emotional reactions to relationships, suicidal tendencies, and generally being shattered by your emotions. This generally links with disturbed breathing patterns such as breath holding and not be able to breath smoothly. A traditional way of healing this is by using controlled breathing. Ways of doing this are – but remember, it takes time to change lifetime habits.

There is a very necessary lesson we must learn if we do not have it already – the full breath. You can easily see by places your hands on your chest and your abdomen below the rib cage. With your hands there breath deeply in and out a few times. Does just one hand rise on the chest – or do both hand rise alternately? If it is just the hand on the chest it suggests you have a massive tension that stops you breathing fully and also suggests you are unable to fully experience your emotions and feelings. To move beyond it, first learn to move the hand on the abdomen by full expanding your lungs by using your diaphragm muscle. It may at first feel as if you have to force yourself to breath, but you must continue until anew habit of breathing is established. Also see 1-4-2 Breath Control and The Breath Meditation

The voice is another way of instinctive expression. I have met a few people who cannot stop talking, and a way to deal with it is to become aware of it and harness it. Some of the great beings who took this path of the Ox Herding tell their story.

In 1927 Buckminster Fuller stood on the shore of Lake Michigan contemplating suicide. He said to himself: ‘I’ve done the best I know how, and it hasn’t worked.’ He was still grieving the loss of a daughter who had died five years earlier; his business had just failed. He was penniless and 32 years old. He wondered how he could support his wife and newly born baby, but, after struggling with his despair for hours in the dark and the freezing wind, he decided to live the rest of life like an experiment. He wanted to discover whether the golden rule of life was dog eat dog. He would find out by seeing what could be physically demonstrated. To free his mind of conditioned thinking and reflexes he stopped talking for a year. He is now known for many, many achievements.

Fuller said that he had experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. He felt as though he was suspended several feet above the ground enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to Fuller, and declared:

From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.[10]

Mental activity is another escape route. It is a way people sometimes use to prevent them for experience other aspects of the mind or consciousness. Many disciplines tell people to stop thinking, to quieten their mental activity. That is one way but there is also Intuition which leads one past the age old responses. Also try Opening to Life

No. 5 Taming the Bull (less straying, less discipline, bull becomes gentle and obedient)

After a long struggle and much work on oneself one begins to see real changes, and this gives hope of finding liberation from human miseries. See Martial Art of the Mind – Zombies

 

 

 

 

 

No. 6 Riding the Bull Home (great joy)

This is a time when the conscious personality is becoming integrated with the powerful instinctive drives that have caused so much anguish, pain, confusion and even despair often even leading to suicide. The union between the instincts, the unconscious brings the emergence of joy in one’s life. A great deal of struggle was felt when meeting one’s inner traumas and unconscious habits. These like great lumps of rock blocked the flow of joy that was always there. The darkness they caused was the human miseries.

 

 

No. 7 The Bull Transcended (once home, the bull is forgotten, discipline’s whip is idle, stillness)

 

There is no more work to be done on self, but one experiences a lasting silence of all the voices of emotion, pain, ideas, conviction and beliefs which mastered you. It is as if you passed through the unknown into the known. You live in a lasting peace. In the silence one realises so much that had been hidden behind the noise of one’s own mind and emotions. See  Meeting the Unknown

 

 

 

 

No. 8 Both Bull and Self Transcended (all forgotten and empty)

 

This is often called enlightenment, but it is better described as the realisation that you have grown to the point of realising yourself as nothing/everything. It is a paradox, because all life is paradoxical. But it is a blessed state in which there is both a state of striving/non-striving – being/non-being. It is not understood until experienced, like the sound of one hand clapping. See Enlightenment

 

 

 

No. 9 Reaching the Source (unconcerned with or without; the sound of cicadas)

 

You are in touch with your core self, the creator, and so there is a period in which realise you are at the beginning and ending. You know the trees and animals and you are kindred. The river of life flows through you. See River – Core Self

 

 

 

No. 10 Return to Society (crowded marketplace; spreading enlightenment by mingling with humankind)

Now the real end of the journey is upon you where the realisation is lived that you are at the same time everything and everywhere, but also alone and in space and time in your body. You are just an ordinary person who has been on an amazing journey, and all that shows is your experience and wisdom.

Quoted from Wikipedia –

Barefooted and naked of breast,
I mingle with the people of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,
and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees
become alive.

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a man’s experience as he was exploring his inner being that says in a different way the message of the Ox Herding Pictures:

“What I slowly realised was what occurred as humans experienced self-consciousness; That this was different to anything else on our planet. Animals, like humans, are integral parts of the cycles of change and inter-relatedness. Not being self-conscious, however, they are not aware of their situation, their is-ness, their existence, they just are.

Animals live, they procreate as an expression of their cosmic energies. But unconsciously they are part of the wonder of the cosmos. Nothing is their own, not their birth, not the life, not their death. Animals do not suffer uncertainty about who they are, but live their life as part of nature, Life itself.

But we as evolving humans had lived in this state for millions of years where we never had to make decisions but were directed by our instincts. And being conscious and able to look back upon oneself and ask, “What am I?” – We were suddenly naked of this background of support given by instincts and felt exposed and unprotected.

But we still have the animal feelings of fear, anxiety, panic attacks and so suffer incredible confusion and depression. As humans we began to feel the awfulness, the loneliness, the absence of choice, the compulsiveness of their situation. They no longer had the connection with the Whole and the wonderful deep instinctive wisdom that animals have, except for some remarkable women and men.

Many religious doctrines stressed this realisation. In Buddhism it is said that we are bound to the wheel of life and death without really knowing our plight.

In Hinduism it is stated as being lost and blinded by Maya/Illusion, and so chained to existence because we are blind to who or what we are and what we are doing. In Christianity it is stressed we are sinners and have no real existence if we are not saved. We are sheep – that are led to slaughter and eaten by the Shepherd.

For religions talk about eternal life, but of course they are not talking about our body’s life, but there is such a thing as eternal existence, for the original cells of life didn’t become old but are immortal, for they keep on dividing and do not die. In dividing they constantly creates copies of themselves, but as they gather new experience, it changes what is copied, so becomes the ‘seed’ for multi-cellular organism. So, no plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self. This seems to say that our real and eternal self is in the seed our body developed from, and we, our ego our personality and body are ways the eternal life, the cell, can gain new experience, which is all carried in the seed.

Also we believe that ancient self is beyond knowing, but of course many people as their awareness reaches beyond what they feel is their normal self feels scared. Such resistances cause us to create awful dreams and fears as a means of avoiding our own inner world and its wonders. We feel that we will be swallowed up and we will die. It is important to say that when we meet the experience of powerlessness through becoming aware of the hugeness of your Life, which we are usually unaware if, it feels like something alien or attacking and it is a shock.

People run from this realisation in any and every direction. But a few men and women worked out the puzzle of human existence and death. They noticed a factor that was not in itself natural (yet it is not unnatural, as in infinite change, everything is possible). The people noticed that humans were, like animals, locked into compulsive instinctual life patterns but without the coping instincts of their fellow animals. So eating, sleeping, sex, self-seeking, were unconscious compulsive drives in which all humanity were immersed; it was found one in four women in the US are taking a prescription drug for mental health.

Most of us are in fact addicts – addicted to eating too much or too little; addicted to sex as the meaning of life; addicted to get more of everything than others, such as money or power; addicted to seeing themselves as powerless – “life’s a bitch, and then you die”; addiction to killing, hurting and maiming others in war and activity. But having self-consciousness, decisions can be made. One could decide not to live out these compulsive patterns, and through being aware if this they gradually climbed out into a new life. See Life’s Little Secrets

If one actually stopped and simply recognised that we are all a part of Life and so do not need to be victims of our own ‘natural urges’ – something unusual sometimes happened. We are all born victims of circumstance, but we need not remain a victim.”

 

YOGA

In the west we usually see yoga as a series of postures that people try to do perfectly. That is really a form of physical exercise, but yoga as it is described in the classics on the subject, such as Hatha Yoga Pradipka and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describe it as having very different aims. But the Sanskrit word Yoga means Union, the unity is between one’s individual life and the source of our being.

The most important relationship you are in is that with Life itself. People tend to believe their mother created them in her womb – but how does any human mother know the amazing intricate processes of growth and development that is necessary to form a human baby? We tend to think that Life is automatic and without awareness – yet life created you in your mother’s womb. How could it do that if Life were without awareness? Life gave you consciousness. Life loves you enough to keep you breathing and your heart beating even while you sleep. The Native Indians call it Creator. We tend to call it God with a male face – which is ridiculous – for the Creator is behind everything, the plants, the animals the women and men.

You may think that your brain gives you consciousness, but the brain was created by the process of Life, so the Creator gives consciousness. But people’s experience says the same-

Sir Auckland Geddes, an eminent British Anatomist, describes his own OBE, which contains many of these features.

Becoming suddenly and violently ill with gastro-enteritis I quickly became unable to move or phone for help. As this was occurring I noticed I had an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ consciousness. The ‘A’ was my normal awareness, and the ‘B’ was external to my body watching. From the ‘B’ self I could see not only my body, but also the house, garden and surrounds. I need only think of a friend or place and immediately I was there and was later able to find confirmation for my observations. In looking at my body, I noticed that the brain was only an end organ, like a condensing plate, upon which memory and awareness played. The mind was not in the brain, the brain was in the mind, like a radio in the play of signals. He then observed my daughter come in and discover his condition, saw her telephone a doctor friend, and saw the doctor also at the same time.

That is the Yoga view.

To start with there are several different steps in Hatha (physical) Yoga, and they do not even mention the postures at the beginning. The first necessary steps are yama and niyama, that is followed by asanas, the postures. Then comes pranayama, breath control. The following steps are Pratyahara subjugation of senses, Dharana withdrawing the senses from external phenomena, Dhyana remaining unidentified with body or mind), Samadhi transcending the realms of body, mind and intellect, and Samyama knowledge beyond the mind and intellect.

“There is not a single asana that is not intended directly or indirectly for the mind; however, for the advanced meditation practices of there are only two postures that are considered essential. These siddhasana and padmasana. The other asanas have been devised to strengthen different parts of the body and to develop the needed strength required by the rigid physical disciplines imposed upon the student… Posture becomes perfect when effort to that end ceases, so that there may be no more movement of the body. The requirement that the posture must be held for three hours daily for three months is the chief difficulty and makes intelligible why it took so long to achieve it.” Quoted from Hatha Yoga by Theos Bernard

 

The easy posture – siddhasana         The Lotus posture – padmasana

A friend who has been practicing five yoga postures for a fortnight told me today of his progress. The instructions had been to practise each posture for a minute only, making a practice time of ten minutes at the most, then slowly to increase the time.

 

He said, “I am finding it unbelievably difficult. I thought when you told me only to do a minute that it was a ridiculously small routine. But on trying to keep it up I see that even that much is difficult. I think that there are unconscious objections to doing these postures for that length of time.”

Although I followed these steps as fully as I could, I was working full time, being a parent to my children, and I couldn’t keep it up. As Theos Bernard who managed the whole demanding process says, it was usually done in a different culture where one had servants caring for your needs. But as I explained at the beginning I found a way by using a mixture of different approaches that I call LifeStream.

However, from yoga I learnt that things have to be done to strengthen the personality or the ego – in other words you need to strengthen you and your will. For example, many people cannot stop eating because they are ruled by their instincts. So fasting is an excellent way of testing your strength. And by fasting I do not mean like Ramadan where the person simply doesn’t eat during sunrise and sunset, which in Africa was fairly early. Fasting means to not eat anything for several days. I did it for a fortnight when I started in my twenties, and now do it two days a week.

But I suggest controlling the breath – pranayama – for a way of strengthening the will and a preparation for meeting the enormousness of you. Many people feel they do not need to strengthen their will, yet they still cannot control their emotions their appetites or themselves – so it is like having a tiger loose in their house, yet if you were strong enough to hold the tiger it wouldn’t matter if it were loose in your living area.

The question is are you controlling it or is it controlling you. Most people are terribly upset when someone they depend on for love or support leaves them, or if they are lonely or depressed – but they are all your emotions controlling you. Many people became mentally ill when they were confined to their living quarters during the pandemic.

The following is given by Jesse Watkins, a man who went to sea 1916 on a tramp steamer during World War I. His first trip was to North Russia where he faced enormous storms. In the same year he was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. In 1932 he served in a square-rigged sailing ship.

He ended the Second World War (during which he served in the Royal Navy) as a Commander and Commodore of coastal convoys. During his career at sea he encountered shipwreck, mutiny, and murder. So he was not someone who couldn’t face difficulties. Yet later he was out of the navy working seven days a week and as yoga attempts to do, wore down his normal defences that people use to keep them from experiences their own hugeness and said, “Then I started going into this – – real feeling of regression in time. I had quite extraordinary feelings of-living, not only living, but – er – feeling and – er – experi­encing everything relating to something I felt that was – well, something like animal life and so on. At one time I actually seemed to be wandering in a kind of landscape with – um – desert landscape – as if I were an animal, rather – rather a large animal. It sounds absurd to say so, but I felt as if I were a kind of rhinoceros or something like that and emitting sounds like a rhinoceros and being at the same time afraid and at the same time being ag­gressive and on guard. And then -um – going back to further periods of regression and even sort of when I was just struggling like something that had no brain at all and as if I were just struggling for my own existence against other things which were opposing me. And -um – then at times I felt as if I were like a baby – I could even – I – I could even hear myself cry like a child. …

“ But I had a feeling at times of an enormous journey in front, quite, – er – a fantastic journey, and it seemed that I had got an under­standing of things which I’d been trying to understand for a long time, problems of good and evil and so on, and that I had solved it in as much that I had come to the conclusion, with all the feelings that I had at the time, that I was more – more than I had always imagined myself, not just existing now, but I had existed since the very begin­ning – er – in a kind of – from the lowest form of life to the present time, and that that was the sum of my real experiences, and that what I was doing was experiencing them again. And that then, occasionally, I had this sort of vista ahead of me as though I was looking down -looking to an enormous – or rather all the – not looking so much as just feeling – ahead of me was lying the most horrific journey, the only way I can describe it is a journey – a journey to – um – to the final sort of business of – um – being aware of all – everything, and that – and the – and I felt this so strongly, it was such a horrifying experience to suddenly feel that, that I immediately shut myself off from it because I couldn’t contemplate it’ because it sort of shivered me up. I – it drove me into a State of fear, so much – I was unable to take it.” See The Unconsciousreaction to our hugeness

There is no way – there is no path

The strange thing about yoga is that although one may make efforts to gain enlightenment, in fact we all have it and so there is no need to make an effort.

This life – of enlightenment – is just a describer, and one of the things it sees is that this state does not belong to anyone. It’s not something you can get from someone. It’s who everyone is. From here, the highest volume is the sound of the infinite ocean that we all are. Suzanne Sega.

If you stop editing your thoughts and emotions, and let things happen as Jung suggests, material that had been repressed and unconscious starts to emerge. If you are still totally identified with your emotions, your body sensations, your sexual urges and thoughts, then you could be tossed around like a rag doll by a dog. So, ‘Do Nothing but let things Happen’.

  1. D. Laing sums it up in his book `Politics of Experience’ by saying: “This journey is experienced as going further “in”, as going back through one’s personal life. in and back and through and beyond into the experience of all mankind, of the primal man, of Adam and perhaps even further into the being of animals, vegetables and minerals. In this journey there are many occasions to lose one’s way, for confusion, partial failure, even final shipwreck: many terrors, spirits, demons to be encountered, that may or may not be overcome.

He also said, “‘What you are looking for is what is looking.’ Enlightenment is not a state of mind you can create or develop. It is something beyond any change, outside of anything you can develop. After all, development suggests change.

Since there is nothing to meditate on, there is no meditation.

Since there is nowhere to go astray, there is no going astray.

Although there is an innumerable variety of profound practices, they do not exist for your mind in its true state.

Since there are no two such things as practice and practitioner, if, by those who practice or do not practice, the practitioner of practice is seen to not exist, thereupon the goal of practice is reached and also the end of practice itself.

Padmasambhava

Of course the above statements are made from minds free from the restraints most of us live under, for as another Yogi said:

“The disciple is a being whose essential nature is Know­ledge, isn’t he?”

“Yes.”

“Then there is no need to give him knowledge but simply to remove the veil of ignorance that hides the existent Knowledge. This, of course, is not to be done at one stroke, since the disciple is immersed in age-old ignorance and needs repeated instruction, perhaps through life after life. And what is this instruction through speech about that is beyond speech? Isn’t it like removing the cover? Ignorance conceals the pre-existent Knowledge just as water plants cover the surface of a pond. Clear away the plants and you have the water. You don’t have to create it; it is already there. Or take another example—a cataract grows on the eye and prevents a man from seeing; remove the cataract and he sees. Ignorance is the cataract. The universe is the efflorescence of the indescribable Maya, which is ignorance; yet ignorance is needed to illuminate and dissolve ignorance … Jnana is not something to be attained, it is eternal and self-existent. On the other hand, ignorance has a cause and an end. The root of it is the idea that the devotee is a separate being from God. Remove this, and what remains is Jnana. (Jnana refers to pure awareness that is free of conceptual encumbrances – See The way of Mary)”

 The Breath- Pranayama

One of the impressive observations to be found in the literature on yoga practices, yet seldom if at all in Western physiology or psychology, is the connection between the breath and the mind. Such yoga teachings state that there is always a connection between the breath and mental states. It can be observed for instance that when angry a person’s breath is agitated and quite different to when the person is mentally focused on something like a mathematical problem. There is yet another difference in the breathing and the mental state when the person is asleep.

One person who did have a clear understanding on the breath in connection with directing one’s life in present times  was Dr G. R. Heyer in his book Organism of the Mind. He writes in mentioning yoga, “Everyone who is well informed … will confirm my statement that by regulating expiration you can disclose, agitate, mobilise, and bring into or near the upper strata of consciousness, depths of the mind which analytically you could only sound in .. a number of long sittings. A man may come seemingly in fine condition, radiating self confidence, and after ten or twenty minutes breathing exercises he will be lying in front of you a wreck, weeping, wailing, disclosing to you matters he acknowledge to no one. The whole façade has suddenly collapsed, revealing the real personality”.

That was published in 1933, long before the so called new methods of Rebirthing and Holotropic Breathwork became popular. But I am not trying to point you in that direction. Having seen that unless a person has built a strong personality nothing will help to break through to the wonder of themselves. Even when we do manage a breakthrough, it still takes time to really meet all you hold. It is, after all, the natural process of our growth we are working with. Forcing it can produce difficulties like lifting heavy weights without first strengthening the muscles.

So I suggest gentle methods that strengthen you. The methods will give you personal strength without which you will not be able to avoid the resistances we have toward growth. One young woman dreamt of cutting off her breast, suggesting trying to cut out the living process that was moving her into being a full woman. So such resistances can also relate to how we try to dissociate from our own process of growth and ageing, for growth also moves us toward ageing.

The method I suggest is as follows.

The 1-4-2 Method of Breathing

With any method of controlling the breath and holding it, it causes a build up of carbon dioxide. As can be seen in recent videos of ways of controlling anxiety and panic attacks, a breathing in and out of a paper or plastic bag is suggested. This is because we breathe out carbon dioxide and so taking in what we breath out we build up our intake of it. As carbon dioxide decreases anxiety and panic it is very useful to be able to do this.

But a much better way of doing this with much deeper results is the held breath. You must realise that you are gradually changing very deeply seated habits that have been with you a lifetime. Taking hold of the breath and controlling it is like taking hold of your nervous system, or body, and gradually altering the way it responds to events and thoughts. It is a bit like taking a wild animal and gently taming it.

The method is called 1-4-2 because you start with an in-breath that you count. So if you started with an in-breath that took a count of 5 you then hold your breath for a count of 20 – that is four times the length of the in-breath. You then breath out slowly for a count of 10 – which is half the count of the held breath. Therefore a 1-4-2 count. So if your in-breath took a count of 10, four times that is 40, and half of that is 20.

To really get the results from this you must start at a low count until you are used to it, and there should be no struggle to hold your breath, only lengthening the count as you find it easy. Start with 10 minutes of the technique and work up to 20 minutes. It will really work if you do this for twenty minutes day. You will need to keep it up for three months then you will notice real change, you can then stop it and only use it if you feel the need.

This is so far the best way of dealing with stress I have used. In meeting people in the media who face a lot of stress they have told me this is a lifesaver for them. I have noticed that it also lowers blood pressure, and it tames the wild animal in us.

Breaking Through

But if you want a way to break through the powerful hold the conscious personality has over us and can handle the results you could try the Bellows Breathing. This is the technique that Dr. Heyer wrote about – A man may come seemingly in fine condition, radiating self-confidence, and after ten or twenty minutes breathing exercises he will be lying in front of you a wreck, weeping, wailing, disclosing to you matters he acknowledge to no one. The whole façade has suddenly collapsed, revealing the real personality”. See Pandora’s Box

Many people have suggested in in their writings about bellows breathing – bhastrika, but usually it is just a few repetitions. But as Dr. Heyer said, it should be done for twenty minutes non-stop. That was the way classical yoga suggested.

Over the years I have noticed a strange human trait. For example, I came across Ron Hubbard’s writing from the early fifties. This was long before it became Scientology and had a bad name, but at that time he had spelled out a way for people to change their own negative traits and find release. It was revolutionary, for beforehand it had been only the doctors and psychiatrists who were allowed that privileged position – which was often resulted in a terrible attacks on the individual.

Holotropic breathwork is another example. Dr. Heyer never renamed it, but the tendency is to give it a name associated with an individual – happened with Hubbard’s early work and has happened time again with yoga where people take a part of its huge gift and give it another name and often earn quite a living with and charge people to become teachers in it.

“Western Science is approaching a paradigm shift of unprecedented proportions, one that will change our concepts of reality and of human nature, bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, and reconcile the differences between Eastern spirituality and Western pragmatism.” Stanislav Grof

 

 

Bhakti Yoga

Devotional exercises are like the warmth that makes the unwieldy block of ice fit the jug. The water and the jug are the same as before, but the one has melted into the other. So the soul of a man melts into the awaiting presence of the eternal. While with the melting there comes the bliss of yielding to the unseen. Bhakti Yoga is the warmth and the yielding that melts the hardened soul of man into the divine love.

“As I experienced looking at the Big Bang, I realised that everything that exists is a part of that wondrous being that we call Life. There is nothing that is not of its love. So that whatever arises in the universe arises out of, and as, THAT. The human sense of God is a realisation of the very substance of our own existence. The awe we might feel is from an intuition of what has been given us as our own being.

And as that great unity of energy and consciousness died, its very last impulse was for those new beings that might arise from its death. The impulse that flashed out we call love. It flashed through the universe permeating its every particle, in a way that we cannot yet perceive, but which is like a touch upon the pulsating chaotic movements of particles and lives.”

This is the way of the heart, where we seek a loving relationship with Life. Therefore Bhakti is the way of relationship. It is the way for those whose deepest feelings cry out in loneliness for the loving embrace of the Divine, ending in union – the spiritual marriage. But the Bhakti does not seek through thinking of the eternal or trying to understand his fate. Neither does he try to discipline himself in the same way as in Karma or pranayama. For the Bhakti seeks firstly with his feelings of his beloved’s absence. Then he is carried forward to that which he loves by the realisation of his own imperfection standing between their union. The tears and weeping of his repentance soften his heart, and his surrender to the beloved brings the wonderful bliss of (re-union.)

Just as the appetites or disordered condition of the fat man stop him from touching his toes, even though his toes are constantly with him – so the constant living within the thinking mind of humans stops them from feeling the ever present love of God.

So often does the experience of our pain stand between us and God, that it takes the greater pain of our parting to strengthen us, making us willing to bear with the hurt of our fear. Only then, willing to experience suffering, or anything, to be with our beloved, do we run back to the arms that have always been extended. Only then is the pain, its cause, and fear of it, removed by the master’s love. For while clever words may convince us of the reasonableness of Life’s love, in our heart we may yet suspect, and lack understanding. But the Bhakti, through his experiences in life, now sees that only opening to the mystery of Life and living we can open the heart again and bring understanding.

Strange isn’t it that people don’t say, “Do you believe in the Sun?” or “Do you believe in the wind?” But they do say, “Do you believe in God?”

Belief shouldn’t come into such things as fundamental as that. You either know from personal experience or you don’t. And if you don’t know you should say so. Instead of which people assure each other, out of ‘belief’ that there is or isn’t a God. I don’t need to ‘believe’ that I exist – I know through daily experience. I don’t need to ‘believe’ God exists – I know through the same sort of daily experience. Or as Carl Jung said, “The reason we don’t know God is because we don’t know how to bow low enough.”

Perhaps I can explain that through a conversation I witnessed. A man said to a woman he was confronting, “Religion! That’s surely a direction for failures and people who can’t really cope with facing reality?”

And the woman he is accusing of this inability to face reality said, “You poor man! Is your mind or awareness so tiny that you have never realised the forces and processes of your own body and mind are beyond anything you understand? Can’t you see that your very existence is brought about by things so far beyond your knowledge that it is only a statement of your impoverishment to suggest an awareness of God is an expression of some sort of smallness and failure? Have you never understood that?

Have you not seen that religion is not only an acknowledgement of what we fail to understand and yet depend upon, but it is also an opening to it, a willingness to relate to it? It can also be something far more even than that. It can be an active loving relationship with what gives you life. And such love is an exchange, a sharing, a way of merging one with another. It is an exchange – a sharing of bodily fluids – the very substance of life.

Imagine that, a glorious love affair with the very spirit of life! A love affair with the invisible and forever indefinable. Is that something you are afraid of?”

I know God because I don’t define God as some sort of father figure in the sky who is forever wondering whether I am obeying his commands or punishing me if I don’t do as I am told. I define God as the very background to the emergence of our universe, in which we all partake and contribute. I know God because at the core of my being I am that very mystery of life, sprung from the Universe. I know God daily because I am aware of myself. I am willing to bathe in the great depths of my experience, the passions and terrors, the hurts and awfulness of my own past deeds. If you don’t know God from direct experience, it’s because you don’t open yourself wide enough to the glory and the shit, the pain and wonder of life. God isn’t an intellectual idea.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with being hurt. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

But real love cast out fear of abandonment, of other people taking the loved one away, of jealousy and the hurt of loss. For love does not grasp greedily for itself. It does not depend upon another for ‘love’ and so suffer enormous hurt if the ‘loved’ one leaves or dies.

Most of are still existing in infant or childlike love that is totally dependent upon a parent figure, and this is seen in the terrible pain that can erupt in adults who are still in the infant level of love. To actually grow into a divine lover we must first surrender our poor painful conscious self to our core self. See Ages of Love

Core Experience is an everyday part of your life. Without it your heart would not beat, your food would not digest, your immune system would collapse, and the miraculous interplay of transactions and processes that take part within your body and consciousness would cease. Nearly all of us take this for granted without acknowledging or consciously opening to it. It is fundamental to our existence. But mostly we remain unconscious of any real meeting with our core. Many of us have no sense of the wonder and transformation this experience can bring. Also there are many things about our Core that are often not understood or are misunderstood. Sometimes these factors are simply overlooked, or not recognised as being deeply important. See Core

That mysterious and wonderful process of life that brought you to birth occurred quite without your conscious effort or participation and is often shown as your core self.  You share that journey from conception to birth in kinship with all the other life forms that exist with you on this earth.  But unlike most of the other creatures you developed self-awareness and can look back on your origins.  Nevertheless, even though you have attained some level of self-awareness, the process that brought you into being still functions unconsciously within you to continue your existence. So you are in fact An Amazing Animal.

The task before one who writes of Bhakti Yoga is difficult. In so many the heart is padlocked by the opinions, and the fears that lie behind the opinions. Yet, were it not for such fears, many would be fulfilled by worshipping with all their feelings and thoughts, who now only experience a part of themselves – not on their knees but because they can no longer hold back the joy that shouts out of them, “Thank You. Thank You!!”.

How many are there who refrain from devotion due to their fears of being wrong, or being thought a fool, or of being asked more than they can give of themselves? while right or wrong their sentiments cry out for expression. How can one explain to such as these that in devotion one is not worshipping, or re-relating to some -theoretical, improbable and organisation-bound being? Devotion is an earnest and feelingfull recognition of the creative forces that are the warp and woof of one’s own self. Not only is it a recognition, but also an admission of reliance. For just as fire does not exist without oxygen and fuel, neither does our personality and consciousness exist without body and Life.

People ask, “Do you believe in God?” or, “What is God?” But these questions are quite fruitless because they arise from misconceptions and mistakes. They cannot even be answered while such misconceptions from which they arise still seem real to the questioner. What matters is that without any conscious effort at continuing the experience, we exist. What matters is that something, or somethings – beyond our present awareness or understanding cause and uphold our existence. Our existence then is a dependence upon factor(s) – unknown, and very often unacknowledged.

To the practical mind any person is a fool who does not acknowledge a dependence. For instance, a young child who does not acknowledge, even emotionally, its dependence upon parents, will soon find itself lonely, lost, hurt, misused or killed. while an adult who does not acknowledge that his physical body depends upon food, may soon starve.

It does not matter whether we think or feel that we exist because of forces in the material universe, or because of an unseen creative being. Whatever we think – that upon which we depend remains what it is. It is what it is. Our thoughts and opinions do not change it. Neither are our thoughts the thing itself. For there is a saying in Zen that a finger pointing at the moon is not the moon itself. Nor are our thoughts about that upon which our existence depends, the thing itself. So the wise one, under these circumstances, not only acknowledges dependence, but also his ignorance of that upon which he depends. Often in the East it is simply called THAT.

What do we know? For years we were taught that we were just physical beings and light was thought as the fastest one could achieve; but the sub-atomic-particles in quantum physics were seen to be everywhere at once. Also it was seen that a human observer could change the sub-atomic-particles, suggesting that we in some way create the world around us. Also the term ‘quantum ghosts’ was defined, because quantum phenomena can pass through any solid object – just as we can do when experiencing a so called out of body experience.

The implications of the quantum theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought. Our view of the world is not one supported by the facts of physics. Time and space are transcended. David Bohm, an eminent physicist, goes as far as to say that all things in our observable universe are inextricable linked. Nothing has separate existence.

However, while our thoughts and feelings upon That neither alter it or represent an experience of it, they can either place us at variance or in harmony with it. Therefore, the hardened disposition of one who does not admit the dependence of this existence, is softened and changed by the practice of opening to That which he does not understand. In the last analysis, because we are built from and by the very forces to which we pray, we are really praying to those parts of our whole being that at present lie outside of our consciousness. But through Yoga these parts of our being gradually come to be known. For it is said that whatever the Bhakti gives his devotion to, that he becomes. See Opening to Life

It has already been said that the stages of Yoga are four, namely, Preparation-Becoming like an Empty Jar-Knowledge-Consummation. This also applies to the Bhakti Yogi.

Here is a letter from a woman who, when practising a form of Bhakti-Yoga in which she offers her whole life to God, describes the experience that followed:

‘This occurs at any time and any place and the beginning of it make me feel sleepy. It seems, it begins either at the base of the spine, or at the rectum, then travels on to the sex organs accompanied by a burning feeling, and pins and needles on the surface area. From there, it ascends to the point of the navel, then upwards to the solar plexus. One can liken its ascent to a burning hand.

At the solar plexus the heat becomes more intense, it makes my middle feel sick. Still climbing it reaches my chest, around the heart. It seems here to be groping for the very inner-most centre as if the very soul resided there. This brings forth groans. I feel like pouring forth all the love in my being.

It travels on and burns my throat, then upward to the space between my eyebrows and the bridge of my nose seems prickly. For some unknown reason I burst into tears, but as it moves upwards from there and fills a circle on the crown of my head, (and rests there indefinitely) all is peace and light.

She also says, ‘I do not appear to be guiding the power with my mind, as it seems to be strongest if I try to fix my mind on something else’.

Eileen Garratt the famous explorer of the extraordinary echoes the same opinion. She writes: ‘I have heard it said that in supernatural sensing, concentration and meditation are necessary. But this seems contrary to anything which I have learned from my own experience in clairvoyance telepathy and projection. I would say that an ease, a nonchalance about the process, are prerequisites to the production of such states.’

She says later that complete relaxation and surrender of the conscious self, allows the super conscious self to become dynamic and active at a conscious level. This exactly matches what the other woman does in ‘surrendering to God’.

 

Karma Yoga

Mark Twain wrote in his Autobiography, “I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna.”

In brief, karma is the situation of one’s birth, its working out in the present, and the streaming influences from the past that flows into what led to the body you exist in, to what you are and the events you meet in the present. It is the outworking and action of cause and effect. And although if we look around we can see that every observable object, such as a tree, has a cause, and is the result of events in the past, we seldom apply that to our own birth, health, and life.

Most of us can see that cause comes before effect, yet we consistently refuse to see that any problems in our life arise often from long past causes. The ancient Indian culture, which spent enormous amount of time digging deep into the levels of human consciousness and realised that we are always connected with our past. I say this because a single cell, which is a seed from which all life forms evolved from, doesn’t become old or die because it is immortal, for it keeps dividing and doesn’t die. In dividing it constantly creates copies of itself, but as it does so it gathers new experience, it changes what is copied, so becomes the ‘seed’ for multi-cellular organism. We all started from the original one cell, and we, you, and I, are the result of gathered experience. See Dimensions of Human Experience

No plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories, education, and programming you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self.

Finding this very ancient self, hidden as it is by all your personal thinking and opinions, you find you are free from all the painful emotions, suicidal urges and personal hurts. To explore it see Opening to Life

As an example, one morning my wife Brenda woke and told me she had dreamt about the baby of two of our friends. The friends, who I will call Jane and Bob, were living about 200 miles from us. We knew Jane was pregnant, and about a week or so before the dream we had received a short letter saying their baby, a boy, had been born. We didn’t have a telephone at the time, so the letter was our only means of communication.

In the dream Brenda saw the baby and a voice from behind her told her the child was ill. Its illness, she was given to understand, was serious, and would need to be treated with a drug taken every day of the child’s life. The reason for this illness and the drug use, she was told, was because in a past life the being now born as the baby had committed suicide using a drug.

I didn’t take the dream seriously, thinking it was some sort of personally symbolic dream. But we couldn’t seem to extract any personal meaning for Brenda, so just in case I sent an account of the dream to Jane and Bob. About a week later we had a letter from them saying that the letter and dream had crystallised their already existing anxiety about the baby. It had not been feeding well and was fretful. On taking it to the doctor nothing definite could be found but special tests were made in hospital. From these it was discovered the baby was dying. It lacked an enzyme that was needed to digest calcium. To compensate it was given a drug, which it has had to take every day of its life to make up for the lacking enzyme.

It didn’t happen to somebody else who reported it to me. I witnessed every step of it. Recently I met the baby of that dream again. He is now a man of 35, and still needing the daily drug.

This explains the other aspect of Karma – Reincarnation. The cause and the long term effect are there.

In today’s thinking we tend to believe that our DNA is the regulating influence in our life. But that only deals with our physical potential and does not deal with the whole flow of what is covered by the term karma. See ProgrammedThe Nature versus Nurture DebateArchetype of the Paradigm

Karma is a Sanskrit word and Wikipedia defines it as: “Karma is not about retribution, vengeance, punishment or reward. Karma simply deals with what is. The effects of all deeds actively create past, present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain and joy it brings to oneself and others. In religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma extends through one’s present life and all past and future lives as well.”

That spirit, of which you and I only reflect a small part, when we die will absorb the lessons of this life. At some other period that spirit will dip into human life again. But at a practical level people often ask why they cannot remember past lives. The answer is very obvious from many points of view. Firstly our present personality has been formed a great deal by the influences of parents and culture, but also the memories of today’s person are held in the brain, so a great gulf exists between the present and what is held in the unconscious unless one has learnt to transcend such limitations. But we all suffer from enormous amnesia because we cannot remember our babyhood or birth. I believe this is because adult memory is often word or imagery based, but babies have memory that is feeling, and intense emotions based. See Programmed

An example of a man experiencing the effects of premature birth

 

“I cry like a baby. The question burns in me – Why is life like this? I cry again. Then I realise that being born prematurely I was too small and undeveloped even to be able to cry properly, so I couldn’t let out my misery. It is such a relief to cry now and be understood, to have known what I felt at that terrible time.

 

“Now I am aware of my connection with my stream of life having been broken – the umbilical cord. What I realise as the adult watching this, is that because of its proximity to the genitals, there is an unconscious connection made between the genitals and the connection I seek to sustain my life. So even as a baby I am reaching for that connection with my genitals. I want to be fed. I attempt to reconnect through my genitals, but the pain of the separation is so acute even when I do try in adulthood, the pain of the separation turns me back. This is the story of the Garden of Eden. I was in the garden and was cast out. Now when I attempt to return, an angel with a burning sword turns me back. Not only was it painful every time I attempted reconnection, but I had the unconscious expectation to be fed, to be nourished. Instead of that every time I had sex I felt cheated, deceived, and betrayed. I was not fed, but deeply sucked dry of what small nourishment I had managed to build up. I wasn’t fed, I was fed upon by a predator. Each sexual act was a betrayal, a predation, and a torturous pain. Yet I had to find my way to the garden again, because there lay the secret of my genesis and myself. So, I would return, to be wounded once more. It is even painful to look back on those years of misery now. Why is life so painful?”

For all of us, the past influences the present, whether that be in society or personally. So there are aspects of people who lived in the past that influence this life. But there is a way of thinking about this that I believe makes it reasonably straightforward. It doesn’t seem to be a mysterious thing, and I don’t know why people make of it such a mystery.

The picture of the tree is of an oak tree. It has the DNA allowing it to grow into a massive tree, but because it grew on the edge of a cliff where powerful winds hit it, it has adapted to its environment

If you look at a tree, you can see it incorporates many, many past trees. It didn’t suddenly emerge out of a vacuum, out of nothing. It has its present existence out of what existed in the past. Of course, because in our culture we are still labouring under the world view that the atom is the fundamental particle or material in the universe, we still see ourselves and the tree as simply a physical process. All our calculations about this leave out the factor of consciousness. Even trees have a form of sentience. They respond to light, to weather conditions, to their environment.

According to David Attenborough, the famous biologist, “Plants can see…count and communicate with one another…react to touch and estimate time.” These claims are supported by the facts that plants turn towards the light, and even prepare themselves for sunrise by facing east in anticipation; trigger hairs on plants react to touch; there is even a social element in plant behaviour in that they fight enemies for territory and compete for mates in order to ensure the survival of the species.

Did you suddenly gain the type of awareness, perceptions, concepts you have suddenly in the here and now? Of course you didn’t. Thousands of people pre-existed you who gave words, concepts skills that have together formed who you are. There are ideas, longings, weaknesses, and blindness of which you are a very particular mixture. As you gain insight into yourself you begin to see these influences form the past more clearly. You are part of a stream of influence flowing through history.  See Integration – Meeting yourself The Conjuring Trick

Your Body is a Work of Art

In your life, the stream of Life has bubbled up from under the surface again. It carries particular influences, minerals, qualities, from the past. Therefore I don’t believe you are a reincarnation of a particular being. But you are the working out, the continuation of things, experiences from the past.

If we look at a painting, we see certain colours on it. That particular painting exists because of the texture, the minerals, the earth and chemicals that go into the paint or ink used. It is also a result of the movements, the skill the artist has put into it. It is an incorporation of all those things and many other things not mentioned. It is also an expression of the light that falls on it. Without the light it is not apparent. In different lighting conditions it will change its character in some way.

So the painting is partly an expression of a human being and their qualities and skills; it is partly an expression of the chemicals and minerals and surfaces involved. As such it is an extraordinary thing. When we look at it we are witnessing all that goes into it. Maybe we don’t realise it; perhaps we don’t see everything that composes it. Maybe we don’t realise that in its present form it has substances from when the earth was young, that its atoms are from the beginning of time, or that the canvas it is on was formed by the effort t of several people not even consciously known by the artist. And of course, the painting is unique. There will never be a painting exactly like that. A copy might appear on the surface as the same, but there will never be quite the same mixture of minerals, chemicals, movements, human qualities, which entered into the painting. All of this applies to a human person.

Our body is just such a work of art. It is an extraordinary blending of an enormous number of processes, age old elements, past influences, and people. The influence is not just from our parents, but our forebears going back into prehistory. There is also the powerful influence of the time and period in history in which we are born and the periods prior to it that formed the culture we are born into. The culture we live in weaves itself into who and what we become. A child born in today’s world will be influenced by the extraordinary number of chemicals and additives, medicines and drugs, alcohol and nicotine, which are part and parcel of life today. They are all factors that go into the make up of who the person is and becomes. They are the chemicals in the ‘paint’ of personality. And remember that the light falls on a particular surface/painting/you. The personality that shines out if your whole life has been given to drinking alcohol and taking pain killers, or eating machine made foods, would be different to someone who has cared for their body – the painting and all it includes in its materials will be different.

Then there are the unique events and circumstances of that individual’s life. The people met, the relationships encountered, the opportunities and traumas that events bring. All of those factors are like the paint, the surface, the artistry, and skill that go into producing a painting. The uniqueness of those factors reflects very particular colours in the light that is our life. The art is partly your reaction to events and whether you meet them well, for in that is your creation of your karma/today’s experience.

Of course this is an analogy, but I think it is a useful one. Light has in it every conceivable colour. It is the surface that the light falls on that brings out qualities. So it is the uniqueness of our body and mind, our central being, that bring qualities out of the infinite possibilities of life. Innate in the forms of life are all the lessons and experiences it has gathered through unimaginable number of lives and creatures. The surface our body provides draws out of that infinite potential very particular qualities. We are the person we become because of the blending of all those unique factors.

How can anything in the present avoid being influenced and formed out of factors from the past?

Everything in the present, whether it relates to agriculture, politics, religion or art, has arisen out of past influences and things learned. People see that and of course recognise their present life and feelings are connected with their immediate family and culture. What they often fail to see is that there are influences existing in them from the far past. So we can say that the present is an incarnation of the past in a new form. How is it we can’t say that I am an incarnation of the past in a new form? We are not an incarnation of a tiny bit of the past, but a whole spectrum of it.

So the wonder of this is not that you or I are a reincarnation of a particular past personality, but that we are an expression of something that has always existed and carries past experience and possibly wisdom.

Example: It began after a father-son bonding trip to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum outside of Dallas. Bruce picked up a video of the Blue Angels navy flight exhibition team for his 2-year-old son, James, who had become instantly enamoured with the jet fighters in high speed formation.

However, soon afterwards James began to smash his toy airplanes repeatedly into the coffee table screaming that the aircraft was on fire. It was then that the nightmares began. His mother Andrea would find her son thrashing around on the bed letting out blood curdling screams, shouting, ‘Airplane crash on fire! Little man can’t get out!’

The disturbing nightmares were physical too, with James kicking upwards on his bed as if trying to kick open the canopy from inside an aircraft.

It was over a bedtime story that James suddenly began talking to his parents about the nightmares, turning them from night terrors to lucid details and conversations.

James told his staunchly Christian parents, that he was flying a Corsair during the Second World War and that the Japanese shot him down. ‘Mama, before I was born, I was a pilot, and my airplane got shot in the engine and it crashed in the water and that’s how I died.’

He told his parents he flew off a carrier called the USS Natoma Bay, and his name was James and that he had died during in a horrific plane crash. The growing implications of what their son was telling them began to trouble the religious beliefs of Bruce and Andrea. When James was two-and-a-half he was sitting on his father’s knee going through a book on the Battle for Iwo Jima.

Opening the book to a picture of Mount Suribachi, James exclaimed, ‘That’s where my plane was shot down. My airplane got shot down there daddy.’ James began to draw disturbing pictures of fiery plane crashes – Dr Tucker believes this kind of compulsive repetition had all the hallmarks of how children deal with PTSD.

Bruce in particular wanted to get to the bottom of his son’s insistence that he was indeed describing the past lives of a downed pilot named James. He attended a reunion for USS Natoma Bay veterans under the ruse of writing a book and was stunned to discover the only pilot killed during the Iwo Jima operation was a 21-year-old from Pennsylvania named James Huston.

James Leininger with his parents Andrea and Bruce

Further unnerving research revealed that Huston’s plane had been hit in the nose and lost its propeller – exactly where James had intentionally damaged all his toy planes.

As their belief in their son’s extraordinary claims grew, Bruce and Andrea began to take what he said seriously. One night Andrea said that she was told by James that his past-life father was an alcoholic and when James Huston was 13, they put their drunken dad in hospital for six weeks.

By now they had tracked down Huston’s sister Anne, who was in her 80s by now and asked her if these claims were true – which she confirmed. More staggering coincidences began to occur. James knew details that no four-year-old or even 40-year-old would know about the operational details of a Second World War fighter.

He knew that Corsairs were notorious for getting flat tires and when handed a model of the FM-2 planes he would fly aboard the USS Natoma Bay he noted that a small antenna was missing from the side, which research by his father noted to be true.

The most incredible moment though was when James attended his first USS Natoma Bay reunion. There he was stopped in the hallway of the hotel by Bob Greenwalt, a Natoma Bay veteran. When he asked, ‘Do you know who I am?’ James replied, ‘You are Bob Greenwalt.’ Asked how he knew that by his father, James replied that he simply remembered the man’s voice.

Indeed, after that, back at home in Dallas, James was sweeping the front lawn with his dad when Bruce bent down to hug his son and tell him that he loved him. James replied that when he saw Bruce and Andrea eating dinner in Hawaii on Waikiki Beach he knew that these were the right parents for him.

Bruce still has no idea how his son knew about the romantic trip he and his wife went on to start their family – before James was born. After this he was invited to Japan where he was shot down and was honoured by the Japanese officials who said he was obviously a reincarnation because he knew so much about them.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2509769/New-book-reveals-children-believe-reincarnated.html#ixzz2uWJkLKb1 – See: Opening to LifeLife’s Little Secretsreincarnation and dreams.

 

Dreams are the Royal Road to the Unconscious

But also to Wider Awareness

I know because I travelled it and arrived.

Dreams at their base are about integration, about truly finding parts of yourself that are missing. Someone recently told me that in a business exercise a participant felt she was schizophrenic, and it troubled her. Yet the word simply means there is a split in the way we relate to the life that we are. That is quite amusing because most of us are so cut off from knowing who or even what we are, that we are all, according to the definition, schizophrenic.

If you have read the account of Jesse Watkins experience in the chapter ‘Yoga’, you will see that Jesse met his whole self, although it was awful for him. The whole self was the realisation that he, and each one of us, has existed in one form or another from the beginning of life on this Earth. Our dreams introduce us to those many levels, animals, personal aspects of our life but gently, not as happened to Jesse.

Firstly dreams start to show us the barriers in the way of extending our awareness. Our awareness is usually trapped in only being conscious of what our eyes can see, and our ears hear, but our eyes are only sensitive to 1% of visible light, and our ears only 1% of audible sound, so we are almost blind and deaf. In wider awareness you leave the limited view of the three-dimensional world most of us are trapped in and enter a world beyond what we knew before. So, forget the clumsy explanations of telepathy and precognition, for they are explanations arising from only what the body’s limited senses show us.

Travelling into the depths of the mind, which what wider awareness is, is often depicted as climbing a mountain or going into a deep cave, or even diving in the sea, and is not an uncommon experience in dreams, and is described even in ancient myths and folklore. To get some insight into what it can be like to experience it, it is helpful to think of our personality, our experience of being awake and knowing who we are, as being like water in a goldfish bowl.

The water has a shape given it by the restrictions of the bowl. If it had awareness it might say it was round. If we poured the water into the sea or a river however, the person the water knew itself as might feel it was dying as its boundaries melted away. Similarly, like most of us, we only know life through the limitations of our body senses and through the things we had been brought up to believe. We probably believe we ARE the shape of our body, and we can only do what it can do. However, as can be seen from the lives of some of the people who have extended their awareness, our mind can sometimes reach completely beyond the body senses. When we first find the narrow walls of our senses disappearing, most of us feel some panic, and may fear we are dying. Some people having an anaesthetic feel this fear.

Imagine you are going to communicate with a part of yourself that has an unlimited amount of information and influence to share with you. What this dimension of yourself gives you will be in direct response to what you ask. So, the question, interest, or urgent drive in you will be the factor shaping the response. Therefore, it is occasionally worth asking what the right question is to get effective help. Remember that all you receive must pass through your own body, your emotions and your mind. YOU are the instrument that transforms the communication into understandable experience. If your body is full of tensions and drugs there will obviously be interference. If your emotions are taut with anxiety, or your mind is flooded with disbelief, or old beliefs about what you are capable of, there will be blockages. If your mind is rigid in its opinions, locked into habits of thought, you will need to practise listening and receiving. Even if you can be ready to drop these for a few moments the channel can clear.

You can use the keyboard condition or listening skills, which is something that enables us to enter the unconscious and our wider awareness. It is something we have to learn to get into the deeps of our Inner World/unconscious. To do it we need to imagine our body and mind is now like a keyboard and the keys of our body and mind are no longer fixed but are capable of even gentle touches playing the keys. This is a way to allow your huge self to be able to wake you up to a new world. To do this we need to ‘hang loose’. So apart from attitudes, the first step of practice is to learn a form of relaxation in which our body has dropped unnecessary tension and is like a keyboard ready to be played. See Listening Skills

I find it helps if we create something of this feeling consciously, holding our body, our emotions, our sexuality, mind and memories as if they were keys upon which the inner dramatist can play. In a sense we are seeking to create a condition similar to sleep. As we fall asleep we let go of our control over what we think, what we do with our body, and what we fantasy. Our ‘I’, our decision making self has relaxed and left the stage free for the dream maker to create its realisations. So in approaching our Core we need to take on a similar relaxed state without actually going to sleep. Dreams are not as healing as allowing the dream process to work consciously, mostly because we do not consciously co-operate and agree with the dreams. It therefore does not integrate as fully with our waking self.

The Beginning

Dreams are about integrating the many aspects we are. When we integrate or digest something, whether it is an idea, something we have read or learned, it has to be first surrendered to the life process. We can see this in our body – it is first chewed and swallowed, then broken down into parts and the useful stuff, the building stuff, can be taken into us and the rest is passed out. The important thing is that even if it is dead or living food, it is transformed into our own living being – in other words our living understanding. It is the building blocks of you. If it has not been transformed through digestion it is like something dead inside us. But to be capable of such digestion we must swallow the experience and allow our unknown self to do its work

Also few of us realise we have a reptilian and mammalian brain built into us and underlying our human brain, nevertheless we do. The reptilian brain is what give us the fight or flight response, the territorial response that causes so much conflict in some countries, the panic attacks we suffer, and it is also behind our sexual response. See Levels of the Brain

Those responses were not learned in this lifetime, but are there nevertheless, even though we cannot remember them or even talk about them unless we have learnt about them in some way. This suggests we have part of us we call ‘me’ our personality, which only has partial memory, and also an instinctive part of us which we often call the unconscious which has an enormous memory.

But most of us have not recognised these animal drives in us, let alone integrated them. Yet thousands of us are lured by adverts with a sexual agenda to buy, or even are possessed by the idea that they need better sexual equipment or even have massive plastic surgery to keep up with the Jones’s. Then there are the countless millions who are possessed by their animal instinct to eat and are tremendously overweight. But dreams show us that often we are frighten or run from meeting the animal in us, or perhaps suffer ‘panic attacks.’ It shows a conflict we have with our own nature, and how we are denying ourselves valuable abilities.

From this we can see that we are not really a whole person consciously, and so are quite vulnerable. The uncountable number of people on antidepressants, alcoholics and addicts show our vulnerability, as well as the enormous social and international conflicts. We also meet the challenge of and possibility of emerging into some level of adulthood. See The Conjuring TrickAges of Love

In that amazing journey we have collected a lot of personal memories and a lot of experience stimulated by our unconscious, but have we integrated it? Integration means meeting it, becoming aware of it, digesting it and becoming more mature and creative because of it. We become more creative because we have integrated and understood more of ourselves, and therefore more about others and the world. But even the memories we have may not be integrated, because we naturally avoid pain and fear. I am not talking about physical pain which or course is wise to take care of, but emotional pain and fear. See Digest

For years I had a long battle with the effects of the animal aspect of me. I also faced fear and suffered depression, sexual misery, and awful pains in my chest. I went to the doctor to see what these were about and was told there was nothing wrong with me, but that I was working too hard and was prescribed a tranquilliser, which I never used. Instead I wanted to find my way through what was actually causing the problems I had. It took years because I didn’t know the way. But I was persistent and tried all manner of things and succeeded and will try to describe what I found.

What I found transformed my life. It wasn’t easy to find, and it has some difficult stretches to navigate, but even so I felt I had discovered a WONDER – of course people had found it earlier in history, and in different cultures they gave it different names like Shaktipat in India, Pentecost 2000 years ago, Mesmerism in the 17th century, and Seitai in Japan. But many times, looking back, it was quickly stamped out or radically changed making it ineffective. I believe this was because it involved a radical change in themselves and in their approach to life. And such changes are totally beyond belief to many, and the old sick way of life and the world quickly claims them.

My Own Dream Experiences

I will start with my own experience of meeting pain and fear because I do not wish to use second hand experience. My experience might not be what you see in yourself, but there is plenty of common ground. It was a nightmare that started my journey, though at the time I was so terrified I couldn’t face the fear.

A friend had recently visited my wife and I and had asked if the house was haunted. A couple of nights later I dreamt that my wife was asleep beside me, and I was sitting up in bed with my friend’s words in mind. So I challenged any such ghost to show themselves, feeling I could handle them. Nothing happened so I lay down thinking I had solved the problem – there were no ghosts.

Quite soon afterwards, still dreaming, the sound of a door creaking open made me sit up. Then from behind me two black men who looked as if they had risen out of a grave with flesh peeling off them approached me. I quickly made the sign of the cross and said some sort of holy words and the figures disappeared. I lay back again thinking it was a good thing I knew how to get rid of them. But as soon as I settled to sleep again the door creaked open and the two figures appeared once more. This time all my hand waving and words had no effect on their advance, and their hands closed around my throat, and I woke screaming in terror. My wife, feeling my fear, got up and we switched on all the lights.

That was about 1958, and as I knew nothing about exploring dreams I did nothing about it. But soon afterwards I started practicing yoga. I realise looking back that it was the pranayama, the breathing control and fasting that were part of what worked and helped me to meet what was behind the nightmare.  I could see that each of these were ways of struggling with our instinctive drives. The fasting was meeting our drive to constantly eat, the breath control was like taking hold of a deeply seated life process governed by the unconscious.

Using it you can gradually change very deeply seated habits that have been with you a lifetime. Taking hold of the breath and controlling it is like taking hold of your nervous system, or body, and gradually altering the way it responds to events and thoughts. It is a bit like taking a wild animal and gently taming it. There should be no force or conflict involved. Gradually you will see that your way of dealing with, or responding to, difficult emotions, fears and stressful events, is changing. You feel more able to meet difficulties, allowing you to grow as a person, and be more creative. See The Slow Breath

Of course it took me four years to understand that and see the results. The first sign was a dream and by that time I had started exploring my dreams. In the dream I was on an underground train – metro – at the end of a long carriage with no door where I was. But I needed to get off at the next stop. As I started to walk toward the door and there were two black men standing in the way blocking me. I said excuse me and one of them moved to let me pass but the other made no move. So I asked again, explaining that I needed to get off. Still he made no move to let me pass so I pushed past him and arrived at the central doors. But the man I had pushed past rushed me with hands going for my throat. I was quick though and caught his hands and slowly forced them down. As I did this I had the realisation that the strength I now had was because of yoga. I was now stronger than him. But of course I was still suffering the conflict shown by the man reaching for my throat, but I had gained strength to deal with it.

The dream was tremendous feedback. It showed I was still in the unconscious – beneath the ordinary awareness in the underground – but was trying to get out to the surface, but there was still a conflict – fight – in the way. The black men were no longer from the grave and were normal, but one aspect was still going for my throat, an area of self-expression and vulnerability. What had terrified me now I seemed capable of meeting, though I still had a conflict.

At that time I still did not know exactly what had terrified me because I still had not escaped from the unconscious/instinctive influence. But a few years later after finding what I call LifeStream I had another dream that ended the conflict, so it had taken seven years to reach it.  See Life’s Little Secrets

I dreamt I belonged to a Quaker meeting, but the Meeting had lost the contact with God. Three of us decided to practice the out and out surrender handing our being over to the Highest in us. We cleared the chairs out so that things were no longer as of old. Then we sat waiting on the unseen. Almost immediately my hands began to move without my conscious effort, as if blessing me. At this point some of the old members came in, were shocked to see the changes. Suddenly my chair rushed out in front of the group, I thought maybe I would be `moved’ to speak. But the chair, carrying me just kept on circling the group of people at high speed. I relaxed, letting it happen. Then my chair stopped in front of the group, I thought I would now be moved to speak, but still did not. I think I tried to make myself be `moved’ to speak, because I felt there were important things to be said, but I realised I was trying too hard and surrendered. After a while, a voice did boom through me, of me, yet moved from outside my normal consciousness. Then it finished and we all went out. A coloured man, who was a member of the meeting, had witnessed all this, came up to me. He was sincerely impressed, yet doubtful also. He asked me if I had made it all happen, I answered “No”. He said he could not understand how to do it. I said, “Just wait”. He said, “But how will you know it is God etc.?” I explained that he would know as surely as he knows it is me touching him now. He then said that he would come, and we would `wait’ together.

My understanding of ‘waiting’ at the time came from Eliots words:

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope  

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love  

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith  

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.  

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:  

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.  

This dream was my first real experience of integration, for the terror I had screamed myself awake from had now been met, understood, and was dealt with – not as a conqueror, but as one who was ready to learn and love. It had taken me years to meet what were my own terrors. And what I gradually uncovered was that the terror was about my own sexual urges that I had forcefully buried because my mother had screamed at me that if I masturbated I would die – This was in the 1940’s when TB was everywhere, and it was common knowledge that the disease caused the sexual urges to become overwhelming. Those black men were my own natural urges that I had repressed and pushed into the grave of my unconscious; natural urges that I had turned inwards against myself. I even more slowly realised that there is nothing evil in our inner world, but forces in us that have been turned in a direction that is negative causing all manner of ill feelings, depression, and neurosis. All the holy words and magic movements cannot protect us from meeting ourselves and what we have done to ourselves.

We are all mammals that as babies were born natural as wild animals, and these natural creatures – ourselves as babies – were programmed by language, culture and beliefs that have twisted many of us into sick or incomplete and ill creatures – how many are suffering mental illness, depression and anxiety. We have been exposed to cultures of domination of the many by the few, to belief systems that label us all as sinners, and in need of something that is promised but not delivered; to a way of life that makes women and men work all their life to pay off debt for a home that a rabbit can gain for a few hours of work and can be a communal effort. What is wrong with us? See ProgrammedEmployee Ownership

I will try to give a picture in what follows of what dreams did for me.

I started a dream Journal on December 24th, 1966.

A little later I dreamt I went into hospital as a patient. The Sister, as she led me to the ward, explained that in this hospital, they would get me 100 percent fit. The ward into which she led me was mixed – male and female. Once in there, I realised that besides being treated myself, it was my task to treat, through love and interest, the other inmates. That was dreamed on January 24th, 1967. It was a prophetic dream in two ways, the healing and that I would work alongside others in helping them. In 1966 I had no idea of that. And when we did start groups it was all donations only not to earn money. Also I always joined in by doing the techniques myself not being a Leader

In this healing process however, I realised that the sick parts within us need be healed by the understanding and love of my conscious mind and actions. Amazing that my desire to get well was already beginning although a lot was asked of me too.

Just after that on January 25th I dreamt I was on a road and noticed that a magnificent elephant had appeared. It had enormous tusks and ears, the latter being powdered with blue dust and adding tremendously to its impact. As it was coming in my direction I was frightened and began to run. I ran off the road, over a fence into a field. I thought the elephant would be stopped by the fence. It wasn’t. It walked straight through it after me. Then I tried to climb a low bank back to the road. The elephant was drawing nearer, and I was so frightened I could hardly move to climb the bank. The elephant caught hold of me, and I suddenly realised it wasn’t going to destroy me, but wanted, despite it being a magnificent and powerful beast, to sit me on its back. I was still frightened however and ran to a doctor’s surgery. The elephant came and, thrusting its trunk into the surgery, drew me out to it.

This dream has given me a wonderful feeling of expectancy all day. Unlike most of my dreams, I find myself thinking about it most of the time. But a few days later I dreamt I see the elephant fixed by harnessed to other elephants. He catches my scent, and with terrible power charges along a narrow riverbank that is at the back of dwelling houses. Two other elephants are dragged helplessly with him, but all, by some miracle, stay on the ledge, though his rush is frightening to watch.

I notice that he has brushed past a large beer barrel so fast and heavily, that it is smoking from friction. He comes to the rear of the public house and stops. I, with two others, enter the front of the pub. It is old and long out of use, rubbish and rubble lying everywhere. Over the rubble, from the rear, the elephant’s trunk reaches out for me, and we touch with real love, and unafraid.

These dreams may seem unusual for many dreamers who have more mundane or frightening dreams, but it has to be remembered that at 13 I started to attempt to grow psychologically and from 18 years old spent nine years in the Rosicrucian Order.

Here is a great dream experience that was a tremendous influence and guidance.

I was walking across open moorland, followed by a crowd of people. I was their leader and was supposed to be leading them to ‘Salvation/God’. The only thing was, I had no idea in which direction salvation lay. We came to a barbed-wire fence and stopped. I was considering the best place to cross when I noticed a rabbit beyond the fence. My dog was with me and leapt on the rabbit to kill it as in previous dreams, but this time the rabbit fought back and bit his foot, and he stood back respectfully, as he would if a cat clawed him. I now saw that the rabbit had turned into a huge and powerful hare, with four pink furry babies. Then the hare spoke to me, saying, “Where are you going?”

I told him we were looking for salvation. He listened and then quietly said, “Turn back. Go back to whence you came.” At this I became irritable and said, who was he to tell us what to do. There were so many so-called authorities telling people how to discover truth, and yet most of them either disagreed or hadn’t found it themselves.

The hare looked at me and suddenly disappeared. Then, in a few moments it reappeared. This impressed me tremendously. I felt it was a sign of complete self-mastery, and knew the hare was the master. He then said again, “Go back, and carry on with your accustomed tasks. Do not wildly seek the Kingdom of Heaven, for you already have what you seek within you. Your seeking only hides it.”

Then we all turned around and went back to our village, and carried on our usual tasks, knowing that in time, we would realise our heaven – find Self within us and not outwardly but through growing.

I knew what the Hare was because I had grown up in my early years in the countryside and had experiences of hares being completely hidden until you almost step on them and suddenly they leap up – as does any intuitive experience. Also hares were known by other cultures as one’s intuition.

Until this dream I had spent enormous amounts of time doing extreme forms of yoga and meditation. The message was to give up and live a normal life, so it was a very difficult thing to do. It took me many years to learn that life experiences are not trying to hurt or trick us but are there to learn from. For the results you face in the present are all the past events and actions that are the result of what you did, often unknowingly, in the past – it is all cause and effect.

Blaming oneself is as negative as blaming someone else. Seeing that effect follows from a cause is simply a way of learning how to bring about real and satisfying change in your life. It is a way of seeing result as feedback of information as effects are from causes, the unexpected does arise, but if we really trace its details we might still discover the flow of cause and effect. Why do so many people suffer cancer or mental illness or being born with malformed bodies?

Here is an example of cause and effect: I had not been able to eat apples lately, because for the past few months, if I ate apples I suffered strong acid indigestion. Something seems wrong with my digestive system anyway, as I have had acid indigestion, pains, and now piles. As I tried to explore why this was the words then came, “Eat not.” I had a strong feeling this was the forbidden to Eve apple, and in some old way, this was what I felt. As I explored I saw that the indigestion was caused by being offered an apple one day by a woman I was in love with but had a tremendous conflict with because I was married. Realizing the connection rid me of indigestion whenever I eat an apple and have in fact being able to eat them without ill effects since this realisation.

Dreams are much more than strange fantasies of the night. They show us truths we are either too frightened to face, or we have lost the contact we had with our inner world where we have the full ability to see and her – for in daily life we are only capable of seeing 1% of visible light and hearing only 1% of audible sound. See Inner World

Prophecy is another of dreams remarkable functions and can lead you to a fuller and harmonious life.

I dreamt I was with a woman dwarf in a building. The woman dwarf had features that, even in the dream, reminded me of someone. On waking I realise it was the dwarf woman who played the ‘medium’ in the film Poltergeist. Once in the room with her I felt more strongly that I had known her for many years. She told me she was going to look in her crystal ball to tell me what she could see for me. I realise the woman has never been made love to, and I felt compassion and love for her. I pick her up and hold her lovingly. I do not have an awareness of penetrating her sexually, but the charge of sexual feelings flowed into her. She transforms into a beautiful female, and I know she will always love me – be a haven of love. She has a sister or friend in the room, also a dwarf. She is more difficult to love but I manage it. She transforms into a more native woman.

My beautiful friend looks into the crystal. It is not a thing made of glass, but a great dimension of mind which appears to open in the room, hanging in the centre of it, about eight feet across. She tells me I am already touching something that is beginning to happen in the world. My life will become involved in it. I will play my part – by no means, a key person or leader, but one that I will gain great satisfaction and love from.

I now want to describe a dream that has everything in it.

One morning my wife Brenda woke and told me she had dreamt about the baby of two of our friends. The friends, who I will call Jane and Bob, were living about 200 miles from us. We knew Jane was pregnant, and about a week or so before the dream we had received a short letter saying their baby, a boy, had been born. We didn’t have a telephone at the time, so the letter was our only means of communication.

In the dream Brenda saw the baby and a voice from behind her told her the child was ill. Its illness, she was given to understand, was serious, and would need to be treated with a drug taken every day of the child’s life. The reason for this illness and the drug use, she was told, was because in a past life the being now born as the baby had committed suicide using a drug.

I didn’t take the dream seriously, thinking it was some sort of personally symbolic dream. But we couldn’t seem to extract any personal meaning for Brenda, so just in case I sent an account of the dream to Jane and Bob. About a week later we had a letter from them saying that the letter and dream had crystallised their already existing anxiety about the baby. It had not been feeding well and was fretful. On taking it to the doctor nothing definite could be found but special tests were made in hospital. From these it was discovered the baby was dying. It lacked an enzyme that was needed to digest calcium. To compensate it was given a drug, which it has had to take every day of its life to make up for the lacking enzyme.

I don’t think there can be any clearer example than that, of the mind having some level of input other that information gathered through the physical senses and therefore what is already known in the brain. I use the example because it is not hearsay. It didn’t happen to somebody else who reported it to me. I witnessed every step of it. Recently I met the baby of that dream again. He is now a man of 35, and still needing the daily drug.

Memory of Past Lives.

When I experience these they are incredibly intensive. I was standing in the shadows of the huge and ancient house with two companions.  We had walked down deep under the house in our attempts to explore it. The light was dim, but we could see our surroundings, and not very far into the cave like space was a tomb on our right.  It had the form of a low wall about a foot high in an oblong, and the wall surrounded a long stone in the centre, which was roughly body shaped.

As we drew level with the tomb an enormous change occurred in me. Suddenly I became a woman. It was not imagination. I was now completely experiencing myself as a woman whose tomb we had approached. As such I was torn by an immense pain of loss. As my complete identification deepened my body curled up with the pain as I was torn by wretched crying. Suzanne told me my voice changed as I cried out again and again for release from the pain of losing all my children, my husband, even my parents. My hands were clawing my legs in an effort to tear my legs open, and I was screaming that I could not bear to live any longer with such pain. I cried out to God to take me, for there was nothing left for me to live for. “Why? Why did this happen to me? Why has everything I loved been taken from me?”

There was no response to these awful cries and tearing sobs. But slowly a shift began. It seemed to me as an observer witnessing this awful pain that by entering this place the spirit of that woman had woken in me. But as she had died in such unresolved agony of loss, that is what was met when she awoke. But gradually she realised she was alive again in a new way. She began to recognise that I was holding her within me. Because I was not frightened of pain and emotions, the misery could play itself out in me. And because my understanding of what was happening flowed into her awareness, she slowly saw and felt her loss in a different way. In fact, we were both realising she was experiencing resurrection, and that in turn meant there was no final death as believed by many. Therefore, there was no loss as she had originally felt it.

But to remember such you are going beyond your normal mental state. In that state you are entering what I have listed as a Virtual Reality, so what you remember may be symbolised as in dreams.

Working With Your Dreams

If you are scared of your own emotions or as some are, stuck in intellectualism, and so cannot explore the world of dreams because they take you on a voyage into the experience of all that you are afraid of or repress.

How can you find your way through the good dreams and bad dreams you meet while you sleep? What can you do to move on from anxiety dreams and nightmares? How can you open up the possible wonders of dreaming?

Research and human experience over many years have shown ways we can work with the wonder of your dream process. From such research Dr. Nielsen and Levin suggest that dreaming attempts to create ‘fear extinction’ to deal with painful or fearful dream experience. The dream process succeeds at this when we do not wake from a fearful dream. When we wake from a nightmarish dream it has failed. As Dr. Nielsen points out, ‘If you feel yourself falling spread your arms and learn how to fly’. See Example 15 – Life Changes

This is not a crazy suggestion. Dreams are simply feelings put into images. Nothing can actually hurt you while you dream. If you really take that in and decide to confront your dream fears – don’t confuse this with externally dangerous things – you can transform your inner world of anxieties, heal past hurts, and open up the treasure house of your potential. When this happens it flows into confidence and pleasure in daily life.

Remember that in dreams you cannot be hurt or die. Whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen, so that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear; so, all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

Example: An actual example of this is of a woman who wrote telling of a recurring dream in which she discovered a door in her house she had never seen before. Beyond it was a whole apartment she has never known or used. It was obviously an area of her life she had never lived in, but she had no idea what it was. So, the technique of exploring the dream while awake was explained, and she imagined walking into the new apartment and observing what she felt and what memories arose. A soon as she entered the apartment she began to remember and feel again things that had happened in her childhood. Her mother and father had separated when she was very young, and her mother had constantly presented her father as weak and of no value. But the feelings that arose were of the love of beauty and art that her father had shared and helped unfold in her. But she had kept that part of her closed because of what her mother had said. Now it was open to her again and she could allow it to unfold further in her life.  An important point here is that the woman did this working alone on her dream, not with professional help or supervision. See Potential

The steps to doing this are:

While awake and relaxed imagine yourself back in the dream and continue it as fantasy or a daydream and move it toward satisfaction. Alter the dream in any way; experiment with it; play with it, until you find a way to fully feel at ease with it. In doing this you must not ignore the feelings of resistance and spontaneous emotion and fantasy that may occur. Satisfaction comes only when you have found a way of integrating these into your conscious imagining. See Being the Person or Thing

Recognise that every part of your dream is an expression of some aspect of yourself such as sexuality, creativity, ideas, fear, and so on. In the world of dreams our most intimate fears and longings are given an exterior life of their own in the form of the people, objects, and places of our dream. Therefore our sexual drive may be shown as a person and how we relate to them; or given shape and colour as an object; or given mood as a scene. Our feeling of ambition might thus be portrayed as a business person in our dream – our changing emotions as the sea or a river; while the present relationship we have with our ambition or emotions is expressed in the events or plot of the dream. So even the monsters and fears of your dreams are part of you. If you run from them you are actually afraid of yourself, of your own emotions and memories. So, in this step, you gradually meet, change, and even imaginatively become the fearful image. In that way you transform your anxiety into available energy. You overcome your fears.

Your dreams are a unique area of self-expression. They are a safe area to experiment and experience things in any way you wish. Often we introvert, or take into our dream life, rules and fears that have no place there. For example, while dreaming, you may fall into the sea and be terrified you will drown. But that is impossible because you are only experiencing images of your feelings and thoughts. All you can do is to feel fear. You can easily breathe under water in a dream, or fly, or die and be re-born. So remove such limitations from your inner life by visualising such changes into your dreams when awake. Imagine yourself being what you can in your dreams. Even passive people who couldn’t stand up for themselves can change as they do this.

Recent research into how the brain works shows that it creates an interpretation of what you take to be a real external world. We each create our own internal reality in that way. Take time to wonder what reality you have created unconsciously and what your dreams portray of it. In doing so remember that any evil, any good, any demon or any god that you meet in your dreams, is any expression of your own potential to create. They are not externally real. So what world do you want to live in? One dominated by internal fears and demons? A life restricted and imprisoned by old habits and rigid rules of right and wrong? What about moving toward one that allows you to love and unfold your potential? Dream a new life!

See: Masters of Nightmares – Summing Up – Nothing Can Hurt You in Your Dreams – People Animals and Objects of our Dreams are Projections – Life’s Little Secrets – We are Paralysed 

 Method Two

Many people see dreams as nothing more than fanciful imaginings, but dreams are more than ‘dreams’. If you think of dreams as similar to an icon on your computer desktop, you can arrive at a fuller insight. This is because each dream image holds enormous data, emotional response, and created patterns of behaviour. So in considering any dream image you need to remember you are in touch with a full surround data-bank of fantastic information about you, your past and your possibilities through the dimension of dreams. You can interact with this information by exploring it in the right way – you need to ‘click’ on it.

But there are things you must understand before you try. You need to understand that while we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body. So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will is in full operation when we sleep and in fact runs all our important life processes like heartbeat, digestion and also dreams.

So humans live in two very different dimensions. The one most people identify with is the three dimensional physical world of the body. In this world our body is quite vulnerable and can be hurt, damaged, become ill, lost and a thousand other threats. In this dimension or world we appear to be a lone body that is separated from other beings and has to move or travel to achieve things. All it can experience is through our eyes, ears and our other physical senses. But remember that compared with other animals we are almost blind and deaf with hardly any sense of smell. We are also prone to mental breakdown; the number of people using drugs to face the world, or even those who habitually drink alcohol or use other drugs to cope with life are enormous. This may be because we have only recently in biological terms evolved from instinctive animal consciousness to self-awareness. Being Self Aware without the support of instinctive guidance is a huge stress.

The second – dream – dimension is what is important to understand. It is often called the dream or inner world and is totally different and because our senses of hearing, sight and touch are shut down as we sleep, it is experienced in dreams or deep levels of our mind/consciousness. It will surprise many people to realise that in this dimension you have no physical body because our senses have shut down and we are simply consciousness that creates dreams – the body is not needed – although most people are so locked into thinking that their reality is their body, that they create a body image of themselves as they dream. For in sleep our senses are gone, so we cannot see with our eyes, hear with our ears, touch with our fingers, for we are alone in a virtual reality created by our own mind/consciousness.

To quote Gary Zukav, ‘Quantum mechanics is the theory. It has explained everything from subatomic particles to transistors to stellar energy. It has never failed. It has no competition. ’The implications of the theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought. Our view of the world is not one supported by the facts of physics. Time and space are transcended. David Bohm, an eminent physicist, goes as far as to say that all things in our observable universe are inextricably linked. Nothing has separate existence.” See A Huge Change Is Happening

Another thing to remember is that all the images, people, animals, places we see in our dreams, are simply your own feelings, fears, hopes and wonder projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind as images. So, it makes sense to take the image of your dream person, thing or animal back into you and own it. In that way, you are meeting and dealing with the things about yourself you are not owning, are scared of, do not wish to see or be conscious of. That is why dreams are often difficult to understand, because we are hiding things from ourselves.

Lastly, when you think about a lover, a friend, or a person you know, you are only taking in your thoughts, impressions and feelings about them. It is now known that ever second we take in three million bits of information, mostly unconsciously. So many people do not realise that they have an inner person equally as powerful as the external person you know. We all have taken in millions of bits of memory, lessons learnt, life experiences along with all the feelings or problems met by meeting or living with them, and these memories change you and make you the person you are. The memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person or event. Such an inner person can appear in dreams or visions because you still carry the memories or impressions of them, and so they influenced what you hold within you.

Method Three – The Best

Peer Dream Work

Here is wonderful way of really exploring and understanding your dream. I have taught it to many people and groups with remarkable results.

The way of working known as the Peer Dream Group came about from our experience that dreams are largely self-explanatory if approached in the right way. An exterior expert or authority is not necessary for a profound experience of and insight into dreams if certain rules are respected and used. The dreamer is the ultimate expert on their own dream, and when treated as such, and supported in their exploration of their dream drama, they can powerfully explore and manifest the resources of their inner life.

Fundamentals of Practice – The suggestions that follow have arisen from fifty years of dream work. They have been particularly tested with a number of small groups and are usually employed with groups of three to five people, but often with just two people working together.

The foundations of this practice rest on an understanding, or a standpoint accepted or taken by the listener and perhaps the dreamer. It is that the person before you is an expression of Life. Let’s forget anything about dream theory, because the very first step is to form an attitude to what is in front of you. Here is a being, a little chunk of Life, and at the core of this living being, this living process, a process that has developed a sense of self, is the stuff of Life. It is the stuff that makes heroes and saints, mothers, fathers, friends and foes. It is the essence from which arises the whole thrust of life. It is the living core of creative possibilities. If you look around you at what life does, you can see it can be a multitude of things. It can manifest as a lion or a flea, a giraffe or a tree. It is, at the same time, both a galaxy and an amoeba. And here it is in front of you as a living being.

Here is an audio example of Tony exploring a dream: Dream Exploration

At the core is the freedom to choose

At the core of this being is that freedom to choose — that freedom that life expresses in its multiplicity of forms. Another word for that freedom is potential or creativity. So at the core of the person in front of you lies that potential, that creativity, that problem solving ability that life itself expresses. But perhaps with this being in front of you that freedom, that creative ability, that potential, has got lost, forgotten, or buried in some way. So our work as the listener is to help them remember, help them find their way, to rediscover or uncover their creativity and problem solving ability. That creativity and ability to solve problems is always there inside them. That wonderful ability belongs to them. So it is not for us to solve their problem or to find the way for them. It is for us to help them uncover those possibilities within themselves.

Finding a partner

Step One – Find a partner you can relax with who can give sympathetic and non-intrusive support. Agree with the partner that any confidences disclosed during the dream exploration will not be told to others. See listening skills 

Tell The Dream

Step Two – The dreamer tells the dream. It is sometimes helpful for them to tell it in the first person present, as if they were experiencing the dream as they are telling it. The telling of the dream can include any relevant information, such as immediate associations, or events directly linked with the dream. The telling is not simply for the listeners, but for the dreamer. In telling the dream with skill, the dreamer discovers more about the dream and themselves.

Example – This is my dream. I am driving my car, alone. I can see a female friend and stop to offer her a lift. I partly want her to be impressed by my new car. She looks at me. Now she tells me she doesn’t want a lift and I am watching her walk off with a man I do not know. ………………. I have recently bought the car I am driving in the dream. I like it very much and like to have my friends ride in it. (Joel)

Ask Questions

Step Three – The helpers now ask the dreamer questions to clarify for themselves the imagery and drama of the dream. The questions at this point should not be to explore the dream, but simply to gain a clear image of the dream.

Example – Q: You didn’t describe the street you were driving along. Was it a shopping centre or quiet place?

A: It was quite a crowded road, with people, not so many cars. I think this was also connected with my feeling of wanting to be seen in my new car.

Q: Are you attracted to your female friend?

A: Yes.

Explore a Dream Character or Object

Step Four – The dreamer next chooses one of the characters or images in the dream to explore. The character can be themselves as they appear in the dream, or any of the other people or things dreamt about. It is important to realise that it does not matter if the character is someone known or not, or whether they are young or old. The character needs to be treated as an aspect of their dream, and not as if they were the living person exterior to the dream. In choosing an image to work with, such as a tree, cat, place, or an environment like the street in the example dream, it must again be treated as it appears in the dream, not as it may appear in real life.  One can take any image from the dream to work with.

Please do not start telling the person what you think their dream means. In one dream group a woman started telling the person what she felt the dream indicated. When I stopped her she was so sure she understood everyone’s dreams and she was offended and reported me to the owner of the property. Even if you do have insight into dreams to use this technique ask the dream questions that aims to help the dreamer understand the dream themselves.

Standing in the Role of Character or Object

All the images, people, animals, places we see in our dreams, are simply your own feelings, fears, hopes and wonder projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind as images. So, it makes sense to take the image of your dream person, thing or animal back into you and own it. In that way, you are actually meeting and dealing with the things about yourself you are not owning or conscious of. That is why dreams are often difficult to understand, because we are hiding things from ourselves.

One of the most important things about actually understanding your dream rather that interpreting it is to become the dream person or object – to actually completely identify with it. This needs to be practiced as most people feel the dream person or object is something other than themselves and are often hesitant to become it. For instance the Devil in a dream is simply your own emotions and fears given an exterior image. Also a teacher or Mentor is in a dream the highest wisdom in us. In doing this you can step beyond the imagery of the dream into direct experience of yourself in all its variety and wonder.

So to do this the dreamer next chooses one of the characters, images or objects in the dream to explore. The character can be themselves as they appear in the dream, or any of the other people or things. It is important to realise that it does not matter if the character is someone known or not, or whether they are young or old. The character needs to be treated as an aspect of their dream, and not as if they were the living person exterior to the dream. So do not attempt to describe them an outside person, but the dream character.

In choosing an image to work with, such as a person, a tree, cat, place, or an environment like the street in the example dream above, it must again be treated as it appears in the dream, not as it may appear in real life.  One can take any image from the dream to work with. But do not start thinking about the person or thing, imagine yourself as them or it – step into their body. Then wait for any feelings to arise and describe them, avoid trying to understand it by thinking about it – dreams arise from a level that pre-exists thinking.

Below is an example of how this can work.

Example: I dreamt I arrived at a railway station, but instead of a platform it was at the top of an old castle keep. I had to walk down through the castle and then out to a street.

In being the castle I felt a change of feeling, instead of feeling that I needed to defend myself I described myself and the castle by saying, “I am an old castle keep. In the past I was used as a defence, but now people are easily passing through and allowing people to enter me and leave.” As soon as I said that I could see what it meant. I had suffered a lot of shyness and was defended, not allowing people near me. I had built impregnable emotional walls to keep people away. Now I was finding it easier to let people come and go.

Example: I dreamt I entered my living room and things had been thrown everywhere. It was a mess. I realised that it was my wife who had done it.

This is a tricky one because the wife was not in the dream, so if he sticks with the dream character and not his actual wife here is what he felt when being his wife. “I feel I am invisible presence in my husband life, a presence he feels tears his living space to bits. Yet I am invisible and so could not have done this. So I am a feeling in his life that assures him that I am an awful intrusion. You see, I am just a feeling he has, and that makes him irritated with me.” The dreamer admitted that it wasn’t his wife that was messing up his ‘living space’ but his own feelings about her.

Example: And then one day we discovered our “selves.” We had been talking about vulnerability and Hal suggested that I (Sidra) move over to another part of the room and become the vulnerable child instead of talking about it. I trusted Hal and so I left the couch I’d been sitting on, sat on the floor next to the coffee table, put my head down on it and suddenly everything changed. I became absolutely quiet and experienced the world around me differently. Sounds, colors and feelings were more intense than before.

The sophisticated, rational, articulate woman with all the answers was gone and in her place was a very young child. I was extremely quiet and very sensitive to everything in my surroundings. I responded to energies rather than thoughts. I felt things I had not felt in decades and knew things that were not known by my everyday mind. I knew, without question, the realities of my soul. After about an hour, Hal asked me to move to my original seat on the couch and I returned to my previous way of being in the world… but my little girl was still with me, and I would never lose her completely again. Quoted from http://delos-inc.com/articles/Voice_Dialogue-_Discovering_Our_Selves.htm

Step Five – The dreamer stands in the role of the character or image they are using. So if they chose to be the car in the example dream above, they would close their eyes, enter into the feeling sense and imagery of the dream, and describe him or herself as the car. Literally you imagine yourself as that physical shape, as if your awareness has merged with the thing or person. Then let your immediate feelings and associations arise and be described. It is important to step into the image by getting into their body if it is a person or take on the shape if it is an object. As I explained to a friend recently you do not even have to have a clear image of the thing or person, simply think of it as seen in your dream and then watch any thoughts or feeling that might arise – as if listening for a quiet voice or fantasy arising – but give it a minute or so.

Example – I am a car. Joel has recently purchased me, and he is driving me, largely because he feels I will help him gain respect from other people. I am quite a large car and have a lot of power. But even with all this energy I do not make my own decisions. I am directed by Joel’s desires and wishes and enable him to fulfil them more readily.

As can be see, it is important to speak as if you are the chosen thing as Joel did. If it was a person Joel worked on, He should not say, “I am a woman”, or “I am the woman who turned away” but, “I am Mary. I like Joel, but I can see he isn’t really interested in me – except as a trophy in his new car.” From this short description it can already be seen there is a suggestion the car represents Joel’s emotional and physical energy, directed by his desires and decisions. See also Talking As.

Question the Dreamer about the Role He/She is in

Step Six – The helpers now ask questions of the dreamer who stays in the role of the dream character or image. The questions must be directly related to the role the dreamer is in. So Joel, in the role of the car, could be asked – Are you a second-hand or new car? Who was driving you before Joel? Do you feel that Joel handles you well? What does it feel like to be directed where to go all the time? Do you have places you would like to go?

Joel should be helped to remain in role. If he slips out of it and stops describing himself as the car, gently remind him he is speaking as the car. Also the questions should be asked with an awareness of time necessary for the dreamer’s adequate response. So do not hurry the questions to the point where the dreamer cannot properly explore his or her associations and feeling responses. If emotions are stimulated by a question allow the dreamer to discover what the emotion is connected to.

By this is meant that an emotion is usually a response to something, and therefore gives information concerning what is moving us deeply. If a line of questioning is producing promising results, do not lead the dreamer off in another direction. For instance Joel may have been asked if he wants to get out of his car and follow the woman and show some feelings about this. A question such as ‘Are there any shops in this street’? would take him completely away from such feelings.

To help ask relevant questions it is useful to be interested in the dreamer and their dream. Have a questioning mind in relationship to the dream. So do not have already fixed opinions about it. Be like a detective gradually unfolding the information and emotions behind the dream. As the dreamer answering the questions, let your helpers also know what you feel in response to their questions, or what memories or associations occur when a particular part of the dream is being explored.

I used to ask for a volunteer to demonstrate the steps of working. Because it was a demonstration I would interrupt wherever necessary. It took a while to wean some people from interpreting the person’s dream. Also, it takes a while to allow space for the dreamer to explore their feelings rather than just respond verbally. So I would point this out as the helpers worked if they jumped in too soon.

Also if the dreamer had got a strong response often a helper might try to take them off on another direction instead of waiting and then questioning in a way to further what the dreamer was experiencing.

Sometimes the group was as large as twenty, and after the initial demonstration I would put them in groups of about four or five and let them use the steps by themselves. I would wander around the groups or be ready to be called if needed. This was often in Greece at an alternative holiday centre, and I had the group for two hours four times. What was amazing was how wonderfully skillful the groups got within about the second or third day. They did real work as deep as any therapists, and often deeper than many. If possible I restricted the groups to four so each group member could work a dream even if they took the whole session.

At the end of that group work a woman came to me and told me that she was a Jungian therapist and that her Jungian colleagues consistently tore her and her dreams in pieces in their attempts to deal with her dreams. She then said that she was going to return to London and start a Peer type group.

Example – Joel: When you asked me if I want to follow the woman I immediately realised that in real life I am holding myself back from letting my feelings about her show.

Summarise What You Have Learnt

Step Seven – When you have come to the end of what you can ask about the dream image, the dreamer should be asked to summarise what they have understood or gathered from what they have said or felt in response to the questions. To summarise effectively gather the essence of what you have said about the symbol and express it in everyday language. Imagine you are explaining to someone who knows nothing about yourself or the dream. Bring the dream out of its symbols into everyday comments about yourself.  The helpers should reflect back to the dreamer what they have said, not their own opinions of the dream differing from what the dreamer has said. See Dream Processing, attached.

Example – A man dreamt about a grey, dull office. When he looked at what he said about the office, he rephrased it by saying, “The dream depicts the grey unimaginative social environment I grew up in after the second world war. It shaped the way I now think, and I want to change it toward more freedom of imagination and creativity.

Work through each of the symbols in the dream within the available time. A dream that leaves the dreamer unsatisfied, or in a difficult place, can usefully be approached by using the technique of carrying the dream forward.. The three following techniques describe how to carry the dream forward, how to use the body in dream exploration, and how to use dialogue between dream characters. These are extremely useful tools to occasionally use in peer dream work.

Carrying the dream forward

This technique is wonderfully effective, and can change habits and patterns that we may be locked in. It does this by giving our mind/brain a different pathway and experience. In test it was found that imagining a situation is 70% as effective as actually doing it.

So, imagine yourself in the dream and continue it as a fantasy or daydream. Consider what it is that troubles you or is not what you want in your dream. Now take time to think how you would alter it and how to have an ending that would satisfy you. Now you can, in your imagination, enter your dream and alter the dream in any way that satisfies. Experiment with it, play with it, until you find a fuller sense of self expression.

It is very important to note whether any anger or hostility is in the dream but not fully expressed. If so, let yourself imagine a full expression of the anger. It may be that as this is practised more anger is openly expressed in subsequent dreams. This is healthy, allowing such feelings to be vented and redirected into satisfying ways, individually and socially. In doing this do not ignore any feelings of resistance, pleasure or anxiety.

Satisfaction occurs only as we learn to acknowledge and integrate resistances and anxieties into what we express. This is a very important step. It gradually changes those of our habits which trap us in lack of satisfaction, poor creativity or inability to resolve problems.

Dr. Cartwright, who is Director of the Sleep Disorder Center at Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago, recommends the same procedure. She suggests “that you rehearse new endings to disturbing dreams. For example, if your father always degrades you, visualize yourself telling him that you are not going to listen to his abuse any more.

Also imagine yourself stopping the dream while it is in mid-stream and changing the ending to one which is empowering and dignified. Once you have practised these steps while awake, you will soon be able to recognize this bad dream once you are asleep and it recurs.

Dr. Cartwright says that most dreamers are surprised to learn how quickly they can end a bad dream – simply by willing themselves to wake up. Learning to stop a bad dream is an empowering experience in itself. With practice though, she says you will soon learn to change the ending of the dream to one which more closely resembles the ending satisfies you.

But if you simply use it to stop difficult feelings, you are blocking the most important functions of dreaming – to presenting of emotions or traumas that are blocking your creativity or well-being. See Trauma 

Example: When my husband died, for quite a few times I had this funny dream. I was walking along a field and saw a lot of sheep guiding me, and I followed them. Suddenly they disappeared into a cave. I went in the cave and a row of mummies were there. One was wearing a medallion on a chain round its neck. The dream recurred quite often. One day Tony came to me, and I told him the dream. He asked me to sit in a chair and relax, which I did. Then he said for me to go to the cave, and in my relaxed state I went and walked to the mummy with the medallion. Then he said take off the bandage from the top. As I unwound it the face of my husband was uncovered. I screamed and screamed and came out of the relaxation. Tony then said now let him go. I have never had that dream since. Betty E.

Use the body to discover dream power

The brain sends impulses to all the muscles to act on the movements we are making while in the dream. This is observable when we wake ourselves by thrashing about in bed or kicking and shouting. A part of the brain inhibits these movements while we sleep.

The important factor is that a dream is more than a set of images and emotions, it is also frequently a powerful physical activity and self-expression. If we explore a dream sitting quietly talking to a friend, even if we allow emotions to surface, we may miss important aspects of our dream process. Through physical movement the dream process releases tensions and deeply buried memories that are stored in our body. These do not release and heal by simply talking about them. It is often enough to realise this aspect of dream exploration for such spontaneous movements to emerge when necessary.

By being aware of the body’s need to occasionally be involved in expression of dream content, we may catch the cues and let these develop. Frequently all you need to do is to let the body doodle or fantasise while exploring a dream. Jung suggested this technique for times when the person was stuck in intellectual speculation. To practice it you can take a dream image and let the hands spontaneously doodle, watching what is gradually mimed or expressed.

When you have gained skill doing this, let the whole body take part in it. This can unfold aspects of dreams that the other approaches might no help with. See: Life’s Little Secrets. A fuller description of this process is contained in my book Liberating the Body.

Have a dialogue between two characters or objects

Every part of a dream, whether an object, person or animal, is alive with our own intelligence. Each part has been created out of ourselves in some way and depicts some area of our own total being. We can therefore talk with them. Such dialogue is of great importance and very revealing.

To do this, imagine yourself as one of the characters, animals or objects in your dream. It may help at first to have two chairs – one empty and one you are sitting in. The character or object of your dream is in the empty chair. When you are ready to be that character move from your chair, sit in the empty chair and speak as that character. To answer or question the character from your own identity, move to the original chair and speak from your own character.

Be playful and curious in doing this. Question the character, and when you move to that role, let whatever your feelings are as that character motivate what you say and do. Exploring your dream in this way unfolds a great deal of information that would otherwise remain unconscious. It also enables you to make real changes in unconscious attitudes or habits, as you are literally dialoguing with areas of character patterning or programming and can change them.

Example: When I spoke as the new born baby of my dream I really felt as if this was me, newly born. I had had a difficult birth and my reaction was that I wanted nothing to do with life. I wanted to stay curled up like an egg, not getting involved in the exterior world.

The adult observing me could see how this aspect of my inner life had led me to be withdrawn from social activity all my life, so I explained this to the baby me, saying – I need you to be ready to meet the world. You are a part of me and if you continue to withdraw I lack the enthusiasm to get involved with other people. Back as the baby I felt totally vulnerable and didn’t want to take any risks – No I don’t want to come out of the egg. As the adult again I said – Look, if you remain curled up this is more of a gamble than actually getting out and taking risks in life. Just lying there anything can get you. I had recently seen a film about baby turtles hatching and rushing to the sea. Some of them got eaten by seagulls, but the faster they were the less likely to be caught. So I explained this to the baby me. As the baby this really got to me. I felt a change in me and a readiness to begin the journey of meeting life outside the womb. This change really made a difference to my everyday activities. A lifelong habit of being introverted gradually dropped away. Trevor P.

Example of Working with your own ability in the Peer Dream Process

An actual example of this is of a woman who wrote telling of a recurring dream in which she discovered a door in her house she had never seen before. Beyond it was a whole apartment she has never known or used. It was obviously an area of her life she had never lived in, but she had no idea what it was. So, the technique of exploring the dream while awake was explained, and she imagined walking into the new apartment and observing what she felt and what memories arose. A soon as she entered the apartment she began to remember and feel again things that had happened in her childhood. Her mother and father had separated when she was very young, and her mother had constantly presented her father as weak and of no value. But the feelings that arose were of the love of beauty and art that her father had shared and helped unfold in her. But she had kept that part of her closed because of what her mother had said. Now it was open to her again and she could allow it to unfold further in her life.  An important point here is that the woman did this working alone on her dream, not with professional help or supervision. See Dreams – Secrets of Power DreamingPotential

A Group Using Peer Dream Process

I wanted to write and let you know how well the peer dream group went tonight, especially as the feelings we experienced were and are so positive and so powerful. The kind that keeps you up for hours.

There were three women total tonight. Although I had expected a larger group and was disappointed when two people didn’t show, I knew that we could process a dream with the three of us. Writing this is like writing a dream right now – it’s hard to capture the fluidity of the evening, the flow of the feelings, the surfacing of the feelings and the recognition of the life circumstance(s) of the dreamer because she was allowed “to rest” in those feelings.

Two of us had your steps of the peer group process, and its flow was a great help. It seemed natural to move from one step to the next, and I must say the dreamer had little difficulty imagining herself as the two objects she chose to be (she later said it was like being in therapy in that a therapist would be the one to ask the questions to sit with).

We worked on the one dream and had time to work through two of her images in the dream. It was a rich dream, and we know we only were able to touch on those two parts, but those two parts were so meaningful for her. I think the most enriching part of the evening, for me, was to see her gain insight as she was describing herself as an image in the dream. It was watching the change on her face, the way she was suddenly not speaking anymore.  She saw meaning so clearly, so deeply.

In the end, she was comforted by the dream, and knew it “told” her she was ready for this circumstance in her life. She felt at peace. She “felt her depths”. Her whole demeanour relaxed.

After the dream work, we spent a lot of time discussing how we all felt during the process. For none of us had this experience before. Three important points about the process came up for the dreamer. The first was that the asking of the questions was extremely important. The dreamer stated she never would have thought to have asked herself the questions we asked her.

Secondly, the dreamer was grateful for the time she had to be the image in the dream and to stay with it. It enabled her to see it and feel it and learn what it was. And the third comment was the listeners’ reflections back to her as it enabled her to hear what she said, and to hear what she said with someone else using slightly different words than she used. That was powerful for her.

The other listener and I felt under no pressure at all. It was freeing for us to focus on the dreamer and the dream image. For in projective work, as the non-dreamer, it takes time and work to feel the dream as one’s own and to come up with one’s projections.  The two of us as listeners were aware of how much we were not projecting, but I think we did well in not putting our own ideas about the dream into play. It wasn’t necessary to the process.

Finally, we discussed more about how this compared to our experience of projective group work, and we all came away with feeling that it was much more focused for both the dreamer and the listeners. However, as there are plenty of groups in this area that focus on projective work (which some of us will attend from time to time), we made another date to continue and form a dream group using your guidelines, your stuff, or whatever it is to be called. We liked it. For the first try at this, I am very pleased. Assured. Thanks for being there for me and us! LR

 

 

Meditation

To start I need to explain something about what happens when we meditate, or perhaps why we meditate. To make it clear I will describe something I learned while teaching massive yoga classes in the sixties.

In searching for relief from the misery I experienced life to be, I tried many different things, relaxation, yoga, meditation, fasting, and diet among them. They promised to be helpful, but something was missing that I only began to uncover when I started teaching relaxation/surrender to classes. Some of those yoga classes I taught were huge back in the sixties and seventies. To help people I would wander around the class and lift an arm or leg of some of those lying quietly relaxed. I lifted the limb to let the person have an enhanced awareness of their relaxed condition. What amazed me was that often the arm or leg was so rigid with tension it was hard to move. If I let go the limb would remain suspended. On asking the person how they felt they would say, ‘Fine. Really relaxed.’ They didn’t know they were carrying enormous tensions.

It took me a while to realise what that indicated. You could relax surface muscles and feelings, but a mass of tensions were unconscious. Later I learned that such tensions had often arisen from difficult or traumatic past experiences, still locked in the body and emotions. By using relaxation techniques such as dropping the tension of the voluntary muscles or meditating on positive thinking, those inner tensions were being pushed back into the unconscious – undealt with. When left at that point, relaxation and meditation were a method of suppression and control, not of healing. Of course that sort of meditation helped for a while, but the real causes of person tension. misery or depression were left undealt with.

With shock I realised this was true of many things that were supposed to be helpful, such as meditation and positive thinking. What they often did was to calm surface feelings by controlling thoughts and body. They did not deal with the real difficulties that had been pushed into the unconscious. Their purpose was to quieten the conscious mind and the voluntary movements of the body, not release unconscious tensions.

That realisation came in my thirties, I am now 84 with more experience of what can really shift you in meditation. So I will give you four examples of powerful meditative techniques. Of course these techniques will require more of you than meditating on beautiful things. I feel it is important to manage the techniques I am about to explain to be able to use ‘The Keyboard Condition’ explained in the beginning of this book.

Lesson One

After teaching and exploring different methods of meditation, I want to show you that meditation is not just sitting cross legged with closed eyes in silent stillness. That is a silly image put in peoples view by a very limited view of meditation and yoga. For in the West many people see yoga as just postures with a little breath control and sitting crossed legged with thumb and index fingers touching in ‘meditation’. But in classical physical yoga that is only the second part of yoga that has four other necessary levels.

Sitting cross legged in that way is the easy simple expression of the subject. It doesn’t ask much of you as the following method does. So make your body and mind, your sexual feelings, your hungers, your emotions and voice so they are longer fixed but are capable of even gentle touches that can influence and even move you and your body. This is a way to allow your huge self to be able to wake you up to a new world.

The Squatting and Standing Meditation

To use this meditation you need a space to easily move around in or lie full length if necessary. Stand in this space, preferably on a carpet or mat. Create a condition in yourself of relaxed ease, like a keyboard ready to be played. The keyboard in this case is your body’s ability to move, your feelings, imagination, sexuality and memory. When ready take an in-breath and slightly open the head and shoulders backwards. Then on the outbreath drop down into the squatting position, relaxing as much as possible. If the squat is difficult use a block of wood or a book to put your heels on. If it is still difficult use a low chair or stool. Repeat the movement a few times to familiarise yourself with it. When you have done this, take time to become aware of the different way you feel in the up position and the down.

The down and up are opposite poles of how we express ourselves not only physically but psychologically. The down expresses sleep, rest, withdrawal and non-involvement.

The up expresses activity, involvement and confrontation. When we emerge from the womb, our being is confronted by a different world. In the womb there was little change. There was no otherness such as other objects or people to deal with. There was no need to reach out for your needs because food came automatically. In life outside the womb, food does not come automatically, certainly not as we mature. There are other people and objects to deal with. Change is occurring all the time. If as a baby we found no comfort or love when we were born, it could be that we did easily adapt to this new life. Perhaps we did not want to be involved in its change, its opposites, its necessity to find our own needs and to cope with other people. We may have wished to stay in the womb condition because there was no reward in emerging from it. So although our body matured, we might not have developed into an outgoing explorative person. This might lead us to be quiet and unexpressive, not wishing to be involved in what is going on around us.

The squat posture is expressive of this type of non-involvement with the exterior world. But of course there is another side to withdrawal – it is also an aspect of a healthy life. If we do not honour our healthy need to sleep, to have times of privacy or cycles of lessened outer expression, then we suffer stress. So the squat also represents our ability to rest and to allow ourselves the attainment of relaxed, non-active pleasurable feelings. This could be called our warm comfortable place.

The standing position expresses our involvement in the exterior world of change, opposites, and needs which require expenditure of effort.

It would be ideal if each of us could move easily between these antipodes of our being. But we tend to have a greater ease in one or the other, and this is expressed in our feeling sense of each posture. It is because of this the postures can be used as a meditation. Through the postures we can be led to awareness of the feeling sense telling us how we react to squatting or standing. From that you can learn to allow your inner awareness to express what relationship you have with being down or up.

So, from becoming aware of the difference you it is helpful for you either to write down or describe to yourself what the difference is.

Feeling Low – Feeling High

Now, if I were leading you in this meditation, I would say to you:

Okay, we are now going to continue the exercise a little further. When I suggested you do the movement, you were going up and down because you were willing to follow my instructions. Having accepted what I asked you, the movements you made were partly automatic. What I want you to do now is to discover how your feelings respond to the movement. Some of you probably described feeling more comfortable while down, and some of you preferred to be up.

These preferences are part of the way your feelings react to everyday life, often unconsciously. What we are going to do is to honour those feelings and find out what they are telling you. So start from the standing posture, go down into the squat, and this time, if you feel no impulse to get up, stay down. Follow the impulse with your body. In other words, if you feel like going right down onto the floor, do so. It might be that during the time of the exercise, to which we are going to give ten/twenty minutes, you will not feel any feelings to get up at all, in which case stay with whatever position or movement your impulse leads you to. It might be that your feeling changes, and after a while you have an urge to stand. Or perhaps you do not have a nice feeling about being down and have an impulse to stand right away. Therefore, be aware of what we are doing as an exercise in being aware of and expressing your subtle feelings. This is helpful because often we automatically do things without having the full backing of our feelings, and this causes some degree of tension or conflict. In listening to our feelings and giving them an opportunity to express themselves we are reducing the tension, and also learning what our feeling-needs are. Give yourself time now, to explore what you feel about standing and going down.

Everybody has their own personal reaction to this exercise. In general there are three basics: [A] Not wanting to stand. [B] Not wanting to go down. [C] Moving reasonably well between the opposites.

Now take time to clarify or write down your feelings again.

Here is a Man’s feelings About Using This Approach.

I started with the first warm-up exercise suggested in Liberating the Body, but I do not experience relaxation when down in the squat. I feel energized and alive when standing, but collapsed, tired, weak, closed-up, isolated and “down” when in the squat, particularly when I drop my head. It is uncomfortable and I feel like I’m dying. Try as I may, even spending more time in the squat while meditating, there is no improvement. It is a position I do not find relaxing at all. My body extremely dislikes a squat.

It may be that I drop too quickly, but the drop is like a massive letting go and my body likes the feeling of dropping quickly and exhaling strongly. It also likes rising a little slower and relishing in the feeling of being energised – like its batteries are being quick-charged. When standing awhile longer to relish the feeling, the power increases. I feel strong.

The meditation afterwards had exactly the same effect. The feelings seem to be stronger though. It is as if the feelings are more pronounced when the body is stationary. It is almost like the feelings express themselves better or have more energy. I found my body involuntarily responding during the meditation. Shoulders sag forward and down when I relive the drop and straighten up and backwards when I relive the rise. Even if I concentrate on keeping them still, when I get to the rise, I realise my shoulders had dropped because I feel my shoulders and head moving up and backwards.

I do not wish to get stuck at the warm-up exercises, but I also do not want to by-pass what my body is trying to say. Shall I try exercise 2 or stay with the squat until it is cleared of the strong feelings?

To me there is something very primitive – almost pre-historic – about the squat. It fits in well with the authenticity-thing. The exercise feels meaningful, and I hope to do it early every morning while A. and my son are fast asleep.

Okay, I’m back after another session. This time I did it more slowly, deliberately and with more awareness. Both the exercise and the meditation work well. It is as if the slower drop causes less of a shock to the system. The body lets go gradually and more completely too. There is a sense of relaxation too. But I’d like to get behind the feelings aroused by the fast drop.

Phew, it seems that the simple warm-up exercises get one’s being going.

Whatever it is, it will almost certainly be relevant to you own life situation. This is important, so do not think this is merely a loosening up exercise. The meditation is an expression of an inner process that expresses through this method very capably, and although it is gentle, what you meet is a part of your own healing and self-regulatory activity.

At a recent workshop one man found his feelings led him to a rather tense standing position. It seemed to express an attempt to avoid going down. It turned out that he had experienced a loss of self-confidence which he had only recently moved out of, and he was anxious that he might drop back into it. The exercise showed, however, that his anxiety was causing tension, which he needed to move beyond.

A woman in the workshop felt loath to get up. It felt to her as if standing would require a great deal of strength, even aggression. This expressed her sense of difficulty in expressing herself as a woman and her feeling of being in competition with men.

Just these two examples show that the person was facing important issues in their life. This approach to unfolding the best in you can be an available avenue for many people to meet and resolve such difficult feeling areas and aspects of their growth and allow more of their potential. It does not need high intellectual attainment to be of real service in helping them toward such resolution. But it does need the strength of the teacher’s support and their skill in creating an environment where such healing can take place. If you are using this meditation in a group, people should be given an opportunity to discuss the connection between what they experienced during the exercise and its link with their everyday life. The aim is not to find answers to the person’s life situation but to bring greater awareness to it.

 

Okay – I’m listening – See Listening Skills

 

 

My Body As a Moving Sea

Lesson Two

– By Anna Hoser – (Thanks Anna. Tony)

It took me two years to overcome my resistance before I dared to explore what Tony has called Life Stream. To me it is like entering Heaven. In these previous years I have learned a lot from him and more important, I unlearned a lot with him, which I see as one of the reasons why my first experience with “My Body is a Moving Sea” was literally beyond words.

Life began in the sea, at the depths. Our blood is salt in the same degree as the ancient sea, and thus we have an inner sea. In your dreams it represents the universal and fundamental processes of life in you. Awareness of these processes is not easily accessible to your conscious mind but is nevertheless constantly influencing you and what you do. When you do at times have some consciousness of this level of yourself, it is often experienced as a huge ocean of mind, the collective unconscious as Jung called it. It feels like nature’s memory, where all experience is stored. So in your dreams about the sea, you may be accessing some aspect of this immensity. It took me two years to overcome my resistance before I dared to explore what Tony has called Life Stream. To me it is like entering Heaven. In these previous years I have learned a lot from him and more important, I unlearned a lot with him, which I see as one of the reasons why my first experience with “My Body is a Moving Sea” was literally beyond words. I also see – or have chosen to believe – that the other reason why it was beyond anything I have experienced before is that the decision to go for it was based on an inner longing “to be the Sea”, a longing I did not understand for I did not even know WHAT I was longing for. I am still grateful though that I decided to listen to this “Something that came from deep within me” and to which I was able to return “while I was the Ocean”. I remembered I had read this facet of Life Stream in Tony’s book “Liberating the Body” and so I made my way through some of the preparation exercises in the chapter “Letting the body speak” which exercises I decided not to do mainly “because it did not feel right”. “Did not feel right” might as well be intuition mixed with being lazy; anyway it worked out well to just enter the Ocean without any preparations.

Tony had mentioned to listen to music and so I had downloaded an Album which is called “The Healing Power of the Sea” by Edwin Evans.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heali…/dp/B00LK228CA/ref=sr_1_3…

I had also copied part of the session that had spoken to me and before I started I had read it a few times with the intention to become one with the approach in words first, so my mind knew what to do.

“Spontaneous movement was natural to you as a baby. You moved arms and legs in ways that would develop muscles, express feelings and stimulate growth. Your emotions were vented directly and powerfully through such movements. You cried when you were upset, laughed when happy, and when the time was right practised all manner of sounds in preparation for speech. All this without the intervention of any planning or list of exercises to do. In this way you maintained your physical and psychological health. In a similar unselfconscious manner you were able to traverse formidable stages of physical and psychological growth. You still do it every moment of your life as you continue to breath.

Without formal lessons or given exercises you practised what was new from an inner-directed source. You learnt the lessons of language and walking quickly and persisted despite many failures. Without boredom you practised the same movements and sounds endlessly until you were capable in them and could move from them to extended skills. You learnt to walk.

Learning to move spontaneously is relearning how to trust your own innate capability and power again. To trust the life enhancing drives you felt in childhood. It is learning to trust the subtle urges your body has to move and feel, urges arising from the unconscious centre from which your growth and life emerged. Trust, because it takes self-reliance to allow the new, the previously unknown and unplanned to emerge and be felt. We must learn to let ourself play and move without the deadening self-criticism that can cripple expression in adult life. You also learn in some degree to stand outside the social conditioning you acquired as you grew up.”

So stand in your space with eyes closed. Drop unnecessary tensions as you listen to the music. Hold in mind for a moment the idea that you are giving your body space to explore the expression of the quality of water. There is no need to think up what to do. Let your body explore. Trust it to find its own way to expressive movements. Allow yourself about 30 minutes for this.

You will find you have resources of imagination you did not suspect. Aspects of water you hadn’t consciously set out to explore will be expressed in your movements. If you are expressing deep still waters, you will actually feel a deep quietness and power. Or if it is the power of rushing rivers, then a feeling of power will surge through your body as you touch your resources of strength and healing. The flowing feelings that arise are actually healing.

As you learn to trust this process and allow it to grow in expression, you will find unexpected themes will arise. Even though you are expressing water, your expression will have in its feelings that are particular to yourself.

Using the ‘water movements’ has the benefit of toning the body. It brings harmony between the emotions and body. Your feelings are allowed to be active and thereby move to emotional well-being. Areas of your body and mind not usually allowed pleasure are bathed in it.

For practical reasons I had put a hairband (sweatband) on my head so the earphones of my MP3 player would not fall out while making movements.

The moment I had started the music and closed my eyes I lost all thoughts.

I have often read the words “Intention is everything” and this experience I have chosen to accept as a reflection that it must be true.

I immediately dropped in a space where there are no words and no thoughts and for a thinker like me, it felt beyond any description to break free from the tyranny of thoughts and to enter silence, again. I did not know that that was only the beginning of a journey into a different dimension of communication.

I opened my eyes a few times and it was at these moments that I was able to become aware how deep inside my self – my mind? – I must have dropped, for the moment I looked into the room “I” immediately started rising from deep within me to the surface again.

It was like “Something inside me” knew the way back to this world of thoughts as well.

At the first part of this session I enjoyed this bathing in thoughtless movements; not having to decide what to do next.

Freedom from thinking and from taking decisions felt replenishing.

Then “out of the Blue” “I” – “I” was a water drop – entered into a wordless, very “moving” communication with The Sea.

“Moving” because allowing my body to speak moved me to tears; it was new and yet “It” felt so familiar.

Communicating through feelings and movements only is to me a wonder filled means to not edit anything, to allow whatever feeling and movement that arises without judging and without the need to understand it with thoughts, which turned out as I only realised the next day to be a very healing experience for my body.

When I sensed that “everything was communicated” I allowed my being to arise again, and it had turned out that I had needed almost 30 minutes to journey into a state which I like to call Heaven and back again.

The next day I became aware of a change inside my body. While walking I was able to sense and feel how the block between my butt and my upper legs had disappeared and now it felt like one part instead of my legs hanging somewhere under my butt without having a real connection with the upper part of my body.

There was also a clear feeling of strength in my legs that I had not experienced before.

I perceive it as New Worlds opening up on all levels

The next day I allowed my body to speak, the experience was different, which Tony had mentioned as well: “Love – it is LifeStream – for Life streams through you. And Life is so creative it is different for everybody and every time”.

And it WAS different!

At some point I lost more than my thoughts, for I did not perceive it anymore that I was moving my arms; I had become “energy in motion” without an awareness of my body; I WAS energy!

Freedom from thoughts and from having a body!!

I wonder what more there is to explore. See LifeStream

 

Lesson Three

 

Lhang Tong – Transcendent Insight – It is a secret Tibetan way

The way to it has been written about but is almost certainly misunderstood.

Here is a quotation. “The attainment of transcendent insight is the real object of the training advocated in the traditional Tibetan Oral Teachings, which do not consist, as so many imagine, in teaching certain things to the pupil, in revealing to him certain secrets, but rather in showing him the means to learn them and discover them for himself.

The Masters of the secret teachings say that the truth learned from another is of no value, and that the only truth, which is living and effective, which is of value, is the truth which we ourselves discover.

If this were not the case, it would be enough for us to read the innumerable works in which philosopher’s, savants and doctors of the different religions have explained their views and to choose from among them one which agrees with our own ideas and to which we can cleave. This is what is done by most of these individuals whom the Tibetans classify in the intermediate category of the average-minded.

This stage should be surmounted. It is not enough to see with eyes which, according to the words

used in Buddhist Texts, “are only covered with a thin film of dust”, however thin this film may be; it is a question of removing the last trace of dust which interferes with sight.

Literally, lhag thong, means to see “more”, to see “beyond”, to see “extremely”, “supremely”. Thus, not only to see more than that which is seen by the mass of mankind who are crassly ignorant, but to see beyond the bounds limiting the vision of cultivated minds, to bring into being the third eye of Knowledge which the adepts of tantric sect’s place in the centre of the forehead of their symbolic Gods.

An illustration of this last statement is that the very first suggestion they give to the student is to DOUBT! It is only through doubt that one will come to analyse truly and understand those things their attention is directed to. Following this they are given this advice, spoken by the Buddha. “Do not believe on the strength of traditions even if they have been held in honour for many generations and in many places; do not believe anything because many people speak of it; do not believe on the strength of sages of old times; do not believe that which you have yourself imagined, thinking that a god has inspired you. Believe nothing that depends only on the authority of your masters or of priests. After investigation, believe that which you have yourselves tested and found reasonable, and which is for your good, and that of others.”

It is done, they say, through non-activity. This is not to be confused, however, with the quietism of certain Christian or oriental mystics. Nor does it deny one a normal everyday life or demand rigorous disciplines of emotion or body. To exist is a kind of activity, and it is but normal to eat, sleep, walk, read, speak, laugh, love, breathe, etc.

The non-activity they mean is ‘that of the disordered activity of the mind which unceasingly devotes itself to the work of the builder erecting ideas, creating an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in a cocoon’. This is very reminiscent of Jung’s suggestion to patients that they allow fantasies to arise in the mind, and then to watch these fantasies, attempting to see their cause, and the underlying forces at work. It is an attempt to step back from our convictions, ideals and morals; to set them loose, and watch them as a silent watcher, who does not interfere, condemn, or condone.

Masters of the secret oral teachings point out that this Short Path is one that many prefer not to take. The guiding forces of morality and social rights have been removed, and the student may fall into one of the pits of extremity that he was previously fenced from. “It may indeed be foolish to preach to an individual of ordinary mind that there is neither Good nor Evil; that his acts have no importance, and that, moreover, he is not the author of them, because he is moved by causes whose miscellaneous origins are lost in the inscrutable night of eternity.”

True, it may be foolish for the multitude. But for some, these ideas come as a delightful shock of confirmation to intuitions half formed and half sensed within themselves. To some of these latter, if they persist, may come Lhang Tong-Transcendent Insight. As the Masters say, the student may persist for years with no result, and then suddenly, one day, while looking at a stone, or feeling the wind upon his face, he is possessed by Lhang Tong, and from all the ties and chains he has found RELEASE

This method is echoed in the Christian view explained in the book The Cloud of Unknowing.

Also it can be seen in understanding the Void – Fundamental to all experience are the opposites of emptiness and fullness, space and substance, sound and silence, something and nothing, female, and male, light and darkness. We not only meet these polarities at every moment in such things as hearing a sound that is only apparent because it is surrounded by silence – the silence between the sounds – but also all people and objects are only individually identifiable because they exist in empty space. But more important than that in understanding the archetype of the void is that each day we cycle through the alternating experience of existing and not existing – of having focussed personal awareness and then meeting the loss of it in sleep. The midway point between these polarities is dreams.

In dropping into this experience of sleep where there is a void or loss of personal awareness, we lose any sense of self and body and so the transition from waking self awareness to the void is easy. But the archetype of the void is about meeting it with awareness. For many people this can be a difficult or frightening thing. We tend to think of the void as a huge nothingness, a vacuum in which the human personality will disappear. This can seem very frightening, that behind everything is a sort of nothingness. The amusing thing is that this is an everyday human experience. In sleep we have dropped into that void. Our personality has indeed, as far as we are concerned, melted away and disappeared. Yet the next morning we awake, and all is well. We have survived.

When people think of the void they usually see it as a destruction of everything – a death of self. But the nothingness of the void is part of the paradox of existence – for the nothingness is at the same time everything. But everything is all inclusive. As such it cannot have any defined characteristics or shape, otherwise it wouldn’t be everything. This is because if you were to say what a beach is, you could not say the sea was the beach, or the sky, or the land. None of them separately is the beach. The beach is the indefinable amalgam of them all. In just that way the Nothing is the indefinable everything that underlies the particulars of life.

 

 

 

Lesson Four

The Enlightenment Intensive

The state of mind or consciousness that we call normal is simply the one we experience most. In terms of evolution and education it is the one which has arisen because it offers the most survival value, or is culturally created – that is, it enables us to survive in or fit society. None of these factors make normal awareness anything more than one of many possibilities. There is no reason we should maintain this habitual state simply because circumstances have induced it.

During the explosion of new or improved self-help techniques that emerged in the 1960’s, Charles Berner started teaching a modification of an age-old form of Eastern meditation. The approach was very well known, and Kipling describes it in his book Kim. (I am only Kim. Who is Kim?’ He considered his own identity, a thing he had never done before, till his head swam.)

I have been interested in the ‘who am I’ meditation in various ways ever since reading about it in connection with Ramana Maharshi thirty years ago. Then in the early seventies Mike Tanner and I got hold of a booklet from America explaining how it was used in connection with another person. It sounded as if it speeded the process up, and so we decided to try it ourselves, and ran a group with about twenty-five people in. We called it Who Are You? or some such name and having no real idea of the format used in America, made up our own, which was to work for twenty minute periods each way, we found out later that the way Berner used was five minutes each way. We both joined in – as was our way – not sitting out as administrators. I remember that I went through all manner of states of mind and feeling. At one point I felt like I was wrapped in cotton wool and being pulled into sleep. At another I felt like an animal only able to make a noise to express all that I was within. Then on the second day my mind became really frustrated and struggling because it was confronted by the fact it didn’t have an answer to this question – amazing that I didn’t know who I was!

After that my mind gave up and I existed in a sort of mental collapse. Then something wonderful began to happen. Ashram at that time was a commune, so the building was full of people on social security, babies running around the place, somebody playing the grand piano continuously. Outside dogs were barking. There were sounds of people and birds along with traffic noise. I began to hear all these sounds not as separate, but as different parts of one great and wonderful whole. And as I listened I began to hear what it was telling me. I realised it had always been speaking to me, but I had never heard it before. But that was as far as I got. The weekend finished and I had not heard the message, only the voice.

I was so excited about this method actually working we went on to use it many times. Each time I was shown more of who and what I was. The second time I knew myself as ‘A wave on a shoreless sea. From no beginning I travel to no goal,’ The only death is the body which had a beginning and so has an end.

Another time ‘I was sitting opposite someone during an enlightenment intensive workshop. We had been posing the question for days – “Who are you?” Suddenly I realised that it was a silly question, because I was the answer. All thought stopped and I existed as the answer. My being had always been this. In this state there was an awareness of being connected with everything around me, in the beginning of creation. This was the first day.

During another session of Enlightenment Intensive I was doing a walking meditation in the gardens, I looked up and saw the crows flying with twigs in their beaks to build their nests and felt great kinship. I had built a nest for my children with the help of my mate. I had worked hour after hour, week after week, year after year to feed them. I know the struggle I know the joy. I felt kinship with the trees that have toiled to establish themselves from tiny seeds. I too have been a tiny seed, and have braved the journey of growth, of harsh environment, competition and disease. I am a kin. I felt this kinship again when a woman partner was telling me about her children and father. I am a kin.

One of the most wonderful things I met was on the last day of a session. I was with a partner Ken and quite suddenly I had a very clear sense of moving into nearness with the animals. In imagery I expressed this as walking into a wooded garden and being surrounded with natural life and animals. As I drew near I was filled with the most exquisite sense of sharing something with them as an equal. It was that we were all within one great transcendent splendour.

In India such meditation was usually done alone and took possibly years to carry the meditation through the surface layers of self to a direct experience of one’s fundamental nature. Berner discovered that by working with a partner the results of this technique were speeded up to an unbelievable degree. The results were that one uncovered and experienced who one really was, beyond surface doubts and uncertainties. Berner called this technique Enlightenment Intensive. I see the method as a way to reach the next step in evolution. For contact see http://enlightenmentintensives.org.uk/

The Way

Those who support others in using EI, say It is advisable to cut out every day toxins such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes two weeks beforehand. Those who do not do so usually spend an uncomfortable first day enduring withdrawal headaches and physical discomfort.

To really work at the technique, it helps to start early at 6.00am and end late at around 11.00pm and continue for about three days, with an earlier finish on the third day. I didn’t know that and only worked for two days – even so we had results.

It is done with a single partner sitting opposite you    The partner will simply listen silently and receive what they communicate without responding or reacting in any way, either through comments or body language such as frowning or nodding. In this way the silent listening partner creates a completely safe space, giving their partner the freedom to communicate whatever has come up for them without a fear of being judged.

That is very important and sometimes needs learning. Obviously it can be used with a single partner one who for six minutes simple asks occasionally, “Who are you?” or “What is Life?” At the end of the six minutes they change to become the listener. In a large group at the end of six changes you switch for a new partner.

I feel it is very important to stress that as the listener who says whatever their response to the questions are, it really doesn’t work if you stay in your intellectual mode and answer from your thoughts. For instance while I was in the state of being aware of my core and was in this state I sat opposite a large man with glasses. While he was talking, I felt I could see on his body all the pain and tension he was carrying yet not admitting. He was saying he was fine yet his whole body was tight, his face lined with tension, and even the words he was using were telling me of his condition, yet he was not aware/admitting it, even to himself. I had met this in men who are stuck in their thinking intellectual self, which searches for an answer from their learning. But when you find it, it’s beyond description, you are simply IT.

So I feel the best way is to carefully watch any changes in your emotions and body feeling and report them to your partner. The Keyboard Condition already mentioned can be helpful.

Long before the development of language in the human race, or in our childhood, the feeling sense was the urge or means by which the complexities of life were dealt with.

Exercises to develop this skill

A series of exercises I devised which help to define this important feeling sense, is an extension of considering oneself as a screen. With a similar sort of setting as used for the seed exercise, stand and relax unnecessary tension. Take note of what is then happening on one’s ‘screen’. Simply note, do not alter. Then think of a word such as ashamed. Hold the word in mind and note what changes occur on the ‘screen’, and what changes in body posture. Give this some minutes, then change the word to unashamed and note the difference.

Try this with different words such as depressed/happy, failure/success, etc.

Most people, but not everyone, can find an easily noticeable change with the different words. Even the body posture alters. And the exercise not only help us to note the different feeling qualities we have with each word, but also demonstrates how just holding a thought can alter our whole body and feeling situation.

 

 

 

Martial Art of the Mind

There are far greater dangers than being shot, losing all your money, or being injured in a road accident. Statistically that is. Surviving the good, the bad and the ugly that life puts in your way needs real skills, and one of the greatest of them is not the ability to drive safely. It is a master technique hardly known in the West but mastered by many in the East.

Statistically you and I have very little chance of being shot or being crushed by a falling building. But there is every likelihood that we are already imprisoned, even tortured, or manipulated by things we do not even acknowledge as being dangerous or capable of trapping us.

A friend, who is a good driver, manages a car like a professional until she gets to a main road with traffic on it. Then she completely loses control and freezes with fear. Even passing a large truck as a passenger does the same thing, and she often cries out in emotional pain. You might believe she was tortured by her fear, but it is her imagination that is the jailer and torturer. Inside herself she sees the truck crushing her. It is so real she reacts as if it were true.

A 100 year old Zen master – Zen is martial art of the mind   

 

Beliefs

We are all victims or captives of what we believe in. Fundamentalist Christians for instance believe yoga, or anything to do with other religions is not just different, it is evil. The son of a friend was told his mother was satanic because she taught yoga, and the same boy was thrown out of his church when he admitted being gay.

 

People can of course, believe what they wish, but such beliefs not only limit one’s experience, but they also create enormous conflicts, as with religious or political wars. More importantly they act as filters or blocks to a fuller relationship with other people and opportunities. A woman, Barbara, writing about the relationship with her father, says:

 

“I did things that I knew my father would be interested in because I observed that he had a very strong filter: things he wasn’t interested in (e.g., art and music) he completely ignored and didn’t try to be interested in. He had decided that these were not productive uses of time partly because of the puritan work ethic that had been instilled into him by his mother, and partly because those things had never been encouraged in him. Therefore, I felt that if I didn’t do things that fell into his areas of interest I would not get his attention or interest.

 

“The other aspect is that if I did do things differently this would question the fundamental principles on which he had based his life. I feel that part of the shutting off to things like art and music is that they involve emotional involvement. My father experienced his father’s death when he was six. Everything was done to shield him from it. My grandmother showed no emotion (although privately she was devastated) as she thought this was best. My father was therefore not allowed or helped to deal with what he felt, and his strategy was to build a wall. I feel all these emotions are still there walled off. His mother is now dying, and it is interesting to see his reaction. He is very close to her, being the only child. As she gets worse, the wall is getting stronger. He doesn’t like witnessing his family distressed and often I’ve seen that wall come into place when he does, as self protection”.

 

So, Barbara is saying that her father is not only the prisoner of his beliefs, but also is enormously restricted by his inability to meet his emotions. Later in our communications, Barbara described the traps she herself is caught in and beginning to find freedom from.

 

“Most of my demons reside in my head, i.e. I invent the possibility of rejection and abandonment and respond to my own imagination by trying to avoid it happening. The old reflex is to attempt to do what will please those I care for to stop them abandoning me. The other complicating element has been the strategy of cutting off feeling to cope with an emotionally painful situation that I feel powerless to get out of, because that would displease the people who love me and that would mean they might reject/abandon me.”

 

These situations of imagining things we fear, of being trapped by what we feel others will not like about us; of being frightened of dying,  of twisting the nature of who we really are in an attempt to get love or acceptance; being imprisoned by what we are convinced is true about life and the world; denying pain and our own feelings; the awful fight some of us have with our basic drives such as hunger, sex and our need for love, are more prevalent evils than gunmen, terrorism or social upheaval.

 

What we believe or imagine about who we are, or what we are not, is for many people an incredibly potent torturer and jailer. But many of what Barbara calls her demons are unbelievably subtle, and capture us, restrict us, shut out the possibility of a full life, or being able to respond with our own creativity. The real problem is that we often accept this as normal or barely notice them.

 

Barbara Meets Doom

Later Barbara met these feelings.

 

“Then the throat pain became unbearable. I investigated it and I became aware of doom. If I didn’t fight it, doom would take over. I was weary of fighting it, so I let doom take over and sank into the doom and it was then that I found myself at the foot of the great being and total acceptance of my life. Spontaneously, before I knew it I was offering everything as a sacrifice, including past mistakes and cockups, and that I had to do this. And then there were the images again of clefts: the earth, female genitals, undersea-ocean crusts opening and something, as yet formless, emerging. This, I suspect, is my creativity in the world.”

 

If we look at Lisa this becomes understandable. Lisa is in her forties, was married for a few years but felt she received no love or support, so she ended the relationship. She had no children and went through a great many changes of lifestyle and employment after ending her marriage. A few years ago, she had got deeply into debt to credit card companies and sold her small house to pay her debts. In trying to re-establish herself financially and in terms of personal achievement she worked very hard at what seemed to be a promising self-employed opportunity. During this period, she lived on the money left over from the sale of her house, and despite all the promise of what she was doing, after several years she had earned nothing, so survives on a part time job.

Lisa now lives in a state in which she is constantly tortured and put down by seeing that unlike her sisters she has never had a child, has not achieved any lasting success in her life and lives in a tiny bedsit which she might have to leave due to not being able to pay the rent. There is also an inner ghost haunting her through her feelings that she has not lived up to her father’s hopes. She longs to earn enough to own her own house, and to have a loving partner who closely shares her life. The lack of all of these pulls her down to frequent feelings of despair and hopelessness.

 

Imprisoned in Your Mind

 

This is where mental martial arts can make its entry. All of what Lisa feels about her life – no child – no external achievement – no partner – no house of her own – not measuring up to her family – are all true, but only in a certain way. What is devastating is that Lisa believes she is what she feels. It is this point that is the fulcrum, the lever that can shift defeat into release. And that lever has nothing to do with repeating positive affirmations to fight the gloom. It has nothing to do with meditating light flooding her being to dispel the darkness. It has nothing to do with taking a pill or injecting a chemical to deaden the pain. It has everything to do with recognising who we really are, and emerging from the locked cell we have been a prisoner in.

 

Because this is so important we need to step back a little distance to come to the meaning slowly.

We must all at times have seen something or heard something that circumstances assured us shouldn’t be there or should not have happened. One that has occurred to me a few times is that I step into my house and see someone standing in the shadows who shouldn’t be there. My heart speeds up, and for moments I am frozen. Then with relief I see it is a coat hung on a door. All the fear drains away, and my heart slows down again. Or it could be a sound of something or someone in the house when you are not expecting anyone or can’t understand what the sound means. Whatever it is, until you understand the cause – recognising the coat on the door for instance – your whole body and emotions respond as if it is a reality. What you believe to be real is responded to completely as if it IS real. Thus, African and Australian tribesmen would die because they believed the local witch doctor had cursed them. The demon that killed them was not outside them, but in them. The demons that throw Lisa down are not in any of the external events but in her belief that she is a failure, unloved and unlovable. (Please remember what was said at the beginning of the chapter on meditation because it is very important. “What people often did was to calm surface feelings by controlling thoughts and body. They did not deal with the real difficulties that had been pushed into the unconscious. Their purpose was to quieten the conscious mind and the voluntary movements of the body, not release unconscious tensions”)

 

For millennia shamans, witch doctors, priests, and witches, and now the medical fraternity, have tried to cast out these demons in one way or another. If we are to live free of them, free to really express our potential and meet change and opportunity with the best we are, we need to rid ourselves of those demons. And don’t for a moment think you yourself are free of them. They lurk in shadows. They hide even in the positive things you believe about yourself; for they feed on beliefs as well as doubts. Their very energy is the stuff of thoughts and emotions.

 

Recently I sat with a woman, Beth, while she explored her usually unconscious feelings and beliefs saw that she met the Devil. When she dared to face and closely look at this image of evil, what she discovered was that her ancestors had lived in times of great persecution. Being people who had questioning minds, they wondered whether the persecution was in fact justified. Maybe there was something about them that was inferior and detestable.

 

Those self-doubts, and the negative feelings that arose from them, created an open door for what has been called the Devil – destructive emotions and urges, negative comparisons, and feelings of being an outsider. Once this is understood it is easy to see other things that leave a door open for evil to enter. Remember that D[i]evil is Lived spelled backwards, and it is by unknowingly turning your inner energy back inwards that we create an awful inner state.[ii]

 

They are childhood trauma or abuse, the attitudes and standards we often pick up – rather like infections – from others around us, and the cultural attitudes we live amidst. When this ‘devil’ enters us it can lead to self-criticism, the denial of one’s own talents and ‘light’, and in bad cases, crime, murder and the infliction of child abuse and trauma.

 

Knowing this, we can see that much advertising attempts to call these demons into action – Are wrinkles making you look old? – Can you no longer make love like you used to? – Lacking energy, zest, confidence, take this fantastic new formula – What will happen if you die leaving your loved ones uncared for? – What is holding you back – why not completely change your life by signing on this $2000 guaranteed three-day course? Defeat ageing, get rich, have fantastic sex, leave failure behind – you know the story. But what the adverts are reaching for are the beliefs or feelings that you are ageing, you no longer or never did have fantastic sex, you are childless or a failure. They are grabbing hold of the imagination already working in us that tells us we are doomed, failures, unloved and lonely.

 

Another factor in this imprisonment is that many of us believe there is no difference between our body and who we are. If we look awful then it means we are an awful or unattractive person. Along with that it is almost impossible for most of us to gain any distance between what we feel and who we believe we are. We feel a failure – we are a failure. We feel inferior – we are inferior. Others of us have been told things as a child – you idiot, can’t you get anything right; you? – never amount to anything, etc. That stuff sticks, and if we believe it we are trapped by it and live it. It all becomes a habit. If we are to find our way out of its clutches we need a new habit, a new way of dealing with it. Please see this

 

Feeling Grief and Even Great Pain??

In recent years I have been challenging people who are convinced you should feel grief and even great pain when someone you care for dies. I am not going to argue this point here, but when I talk to such people it is evident they are convinced they are right. As I say, I am not going to argue this, but read about the power of belief again. Or change the word belief into conviction. It seems that we live in convictions about who we are, what life means, what is a ‘normal’ response to events, and what is right and wrong. Think about it. What are your convictions? Again, read what belief and imagination can do!

 

Considering what was said about Lisa, the common argument says that Lisa IS in a bad place in life and has every reason to feel a failure and depressed. And that is the argument that in fact leaves many of us in shackles, in a form of imprisonment that holds us back from giving all we’ve got to present needs and relationships. Of course, she is in a bad place, but to BELIEVE she is a failure actually imprisons her in it more firmly.

 

Example: The mother of one man who goes to church every Sunday and labors everyday cooking and sewing for charity. Her eyes are ever lowered in meekness and humility. In time of strife she dissolves into tears, and if things go too badly she has a heart attack. She is the most unfortunate, put-upon woman that ever lived—her face proclaims it. But she has driven her husband to impotence and drunkenness, and rendered her children helpless, dependent slaves to her every whim. Her whole family has literally been destroyed by the guilt she laid in its path.

 

Her son grew up obsessed with the idea of his own wickedness. Not until he realized that his sense of evil was a gift from his mother, not until he had ascertained that what she called evil was simply what displeased her or conflicted with her own beliefs, did the pall of his self-hatred begin to lift. Finally, in one shattering revelation, he saw behind her mask of innocence the hidden monster, saw the transmuted fury and vengeance she had poured upon him, the cruelty of the psychic damage through which she had manipulated him. Only then did he learn to free himself.

 

How we move beyond killer beliefs

 

Now we come to the difficult bit, difficult because beliefs and convictions, our demons, may have such a hold it takes skill to undo the prison doors.

 

Let us start with the body. If you lost an arm or a leg would that diminish you as a person? Of course, it would lessen your ability to physically deal with the events and activities as you once did, but would it take away any of your sense of existing as a unique being? Would it somehow cut out a chunk of your memories or certainty of who you are?

 

Moving on if you lost your hearing would you become less a person than previously? Would losing your sight mean you would cease to exist to yourself or other people?

 

They would all mean you had less equipment to act and move in the physical world, but would they mean you are less equipped to imagine, to think, to know yourself or be aware of your feelings?

 

Well, in recent years I experienced major stroke in which a part of my brain was destroyed. At that time, I lost the ability to speak and the use of the right side of my body. It was a wonderful experience in one aspect because having lost what most people think of as ‘them’, I could see that behind the brain damage I still was whole and happy. I did not identify with my speech or my body. Instead, I saw something so important. I saw that the brain injury had injured the ability for me to express through my body. The brain was not ME.

 

Can you in fact imagine what it would be like if all your senses shut down, so you didn’t even know you have a body, and no longer are aware of the external world?

 

Yes, this is what most people call death. But play with it for a while without brushing it aside with your beliefs or convictions. Try it out to see what you arrive at. It has been done lots of times with sensory deprivation experiments. Although it is unlikely that you will ever be in that situation, it is an important training exercise for mental martial arts.

 

Apart from sensory deprivation experiments in the west, explorers and philosophers of the ancient east gave enormous energy in trying to understand what it is to be human, and what the possibilities are. They explored what was left when all the sensation and experience of the external world was taken away, and they wrote about it at great length and with great clarity. It was what I met after my stroke. A wonderful essence of this is seen in the first paragraph of the Chinese classic The Tao Te Ching:

 

The Dao that is defined ceases to be the Dao.

The name that you can speak is not the actual name.

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth.

Naming is the matrix of ten thousand different things.

Those who live desireless know the mystery at its heart.

Those who live desiring know the separate, surface parts. i

 

Both nameless and named (heart and surface), though named differently, are one.

In those few words are volumes of information, and they give the whole secrets and practice of martial art of the mind. The word Dao indicates what you are behind the flood of impressions and noise arising from your senses, your thoughts, and feelings, and behind all the words and concepts you explain life with.

 

At the same time, it is the very basis of the universe and life.

 

Again, we must stand back a little way and come back to it slowly. So, returning to our experiment in dropping away the body and all its sensory experience, we do this every day when we sleep. Legs, arms, head, sight, hearing, and touch are all left behind, switched off. Our sense of self diminishes almost to zero but returns in dreams in a very special way. What we can learn from this is that in deep sleep all the beliefs, the convictions, the waking personality melt, leaving what might be called imageless, emotionless, existence. This is the Dao. This ‘nameless’ and formless you, existing beyond body and senses, is the origin of all you experience, yet lies beyond it at the same time. See Abyss Black Hole

 

Then in dreams we experience a half-way house between what I call ‘naked awareness’ and waking awareness. In the halfway house of dreams, we clothe ourselves with a body similar to that we know in waking. We meet the hopes, fears, longings and ideas we stimulated or took on in waking life. Most importantly, we take into this dream world much of what is only real and true in waking.

 

Martial Art in Everyday Life

And here we approach the martial art – in waking, if you are shot you could die. In dreams you can get shot a thousand times and still live to be shot again. All that happens – and these next words should be in flashing fluorescent lights – you feel over and over the fear or feelings and thoughts relevant to waking life. But in this virtual reality of dreams, you die a thousand unnecessary deaths. No matter what nightmare you meet in sleep, you still wake, and all that you carry with you are the emotions and fears that are only applicable to waking life. You carry with you what you believe is true. Yet buildings can fall on you and crush you, monsters can ravage and tear your flesh, demons can carry to hell, or angels lift you to heaven, and you survive to dream it all again if you so wish. Underwater there is no need to hold your breath in a dream, for no harm comes to you. But the convictions you carry inwards from physical life torture you, and you may wake struggling for breath, or fighting demons or monsters who threaten to devour your or posses your soul. But all you are dealing with are images and emotions – or perhaps in some extraordinary dreams when you pass beyond the struggle with images and fears, you might move on to wonderful creative ideas and insights. See Masters of Nightmares

 

The martial art of the mind and soul is to recognise that you do not have to live a thousand deaths and fears INSIDE YOURSELF. They are all groundless. Of course, you need to respond to external needs and threats. But it is not helpful to do so out of imagined fear, terror, self-criticism, negative comparisons, rigid beliefs or by deadening what you experience with drink and drugs.

 

As for being possessed, we are already possessed by the fear of death, injury, being unloved, lonely, failure, poverty, depression, terrible or distorted urges, we may be haunted by meaninglessness and being lost in life. Honestly, what else is there to possess us?

 

As for death, our present popular myths, stated by our modern wizards the scientists, tell us when our body dies that is the end of us. The contradictory nature of this statement stands out though. Scientists do not yet know what consciousness is. Whether we survive physical death is not about the body but about consciousness. As scientists presently do not know what that is, how can they say it doesn’t survive?

 

 

You Have Already ‘Died’ a Thousand Times

We are taught that death is the blotting out of our self, and that is fatal. But that is a very strange thing to believe because you have ‘died’ a thousand times already. Let me point it out to you.

 

If we consider death to be the loss of our personal aware, the loss of the ability to see, to hear, to smell and to have a body, the silly thing is we have all done this hundreds or thousands of times.

 

When you go to sleep you lose any sense of yourself, your hearing switches off along with your sight, smell, and touch. Research has shown that we are at the very basis of our self. Even dreaming only occurs when this core self nears waking awareness. So we die in a real sense we die each time we sleep; the ancients called sleep ‘the little death’. But many people have been able to remain lucid in deep sleep.

 

Here is a man’s description, sometimes people experience this as dropping into the black hole or the void: “In 1953, when I was sixteen, and already deeply interested in the possibilities of the human mind, I took a course in deep relaxation. I practiced every day for three months, tensing my muscles, relaxing them, then passing my awareness over and over my body, dropping the feeling of tension, but also my sexual drives, hungers and even my face/personality were all dropped. After three months I was quite proficient. One evening, after coming home from dining out with friends, I went to bed thinking I would not do my usual practice, but in the end decided to practice even though it was late. After going over my body several times I suddenly lost my right arm. I had no sensation of it other than space, hugeness. Then I lost my left arm, and – my whole body. It was like falling through a trap-door into space. I had no sense of having a body but had a strong sense of existing. Thoughts had ceased, except for a murmur apparently a thousand miles away. Yet in blackness, in immensity, in absence of thought I existed vitally as bodiless awareness. We think that we are our body because we have no other experience of our existence. So we identify with our body and so are terrified of dying – which in a sense is what we do every time we go to sleep and leave our sense of a body behind.”

 

Often when people die they often do not immediately experience the bodiless state but have a form of virtual reality as in dreams where they still have a body and go about living and relating to others. Only slowly they may go through further levels if awareness until they reach the Diamond Body, a more permanent body or identity which is formed by the transformation of sensory experience into a body or identity that has connections with the unchanging and eternal. Buddhism calls this the diamond body, the imperishable self. See Dimensions of Human Experience

 

Then we have another impression that we call self, me, or I. This impression of personal existence is made up of many factors; partly cultural and parental programming, partly the language we learn, and partly the way our body and its systems respond to signals such as sight and sound. But like the virtual reality the brain creates, this sense of self isn’t real in the widest way of measuring what actually exists.

 

If one were born into a different historical period, with a different language and social training, our sense of self would have been very different. What we call self can be very variable. Also, given certain drugs our sense of who we are can either be forgotten entirely, or radically changed. So, who are we?

 

What I have named martial art of the mind is a way we can free ourselves from the traps of our sense impressions, beliefs and thoughts. In learning the steps of mental martial art – a way of relating to the world and events that does not trap us, defeat us, or cause more pain than necessary – it must be remembered I am not suggesting denial or repression. Some disciplines of the mind and emotions, such as some religious or ‘spiritual’ practices, promote denial of sex and physical experience. Martial art of the mind is not about any form of denial. It is about recognition. Recognising sexual impulses as arising from instinctive and sometimes socially conditioned responses, does not mean we should then repress or deny them. What happens is that we can in fact enjoy sex more fully, without the heartaches and misery often associated with relationships arising out of it.

 

 

The steps to learning the Martial Art of the Mind are:

Recognise that as much as you have learned about yourself, the world and universe, when you weigh that against what you do not know it amounts to ignorance.

 

  1. Within ourselves we create a world out of beliefs, feelings, and what we have learned or been told is true. This limited understanding can act as a cocoon in which we get trapped if we cling to ideas and information as if they are concrete and absolute truths. So, the first step is to learn how to Label the feelings, emotions, ideas and what is heard or seen. or met within yourself.

 

So, see them for what they are – beliefs, assumptions, speculations. theories, partial information, things read, imagined scenes, experience of virtual reality, memories, etc. Learning to do this is a first and vital step in moving toward freedom.

 

As true’ as a piece of information may be, it is only a tiny fragment of truth – truth being the actual universe, all in it, and its constantly shifting interactions. This must become a constant part of the way you understand and respond to things. “The universe is not only queerer than we can suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” By John Haldane in Possible Worlds.

 

  1. The way you respond to events and relationships is largely from conditioned reflexes or habits. Or if not that then the behavioural patterns gained from your parents, social behaviours or racial forebears. The conditioning firstly arises out of evolutionary responses such as the flight or fight instinct, and there are also many patterns set by early childhood traumas, experiences and cultural and peer group inputs. To think that these responses, responses that occur naturally and spontaneously, are you, and represent who you are, is a mistake. They are what you have learned or been programmed to do, and although such responses are programming set in place in connection with survival, they are usually not your best survival guides, being based on past events or situations. Many of them are infantile or connected with long past physical or social environments. To survive the needs of the moment you need to recognise and gain reasonable freedom from the old programming so you can act freely.

 

  1. It is also important to avoid being passive or a victim of your dream images. Dreams are virtual realities like a computer game in which you can experience being killed or attacked but in fact you are not hurt. You are dealing with holographic images, and you may be terrified of the images you create within you, but it is simply you running away from your own emotions – it has nothing in common with the waking world.  So, you need to learn to fight and attack whatever threatens you – even lions, monsters, spirit and the devil; they are all images you create from what you feel or fear.

 

Example: I turned away from the man and saw just to my right a short distance from the bus an animal that was the ‘haunter’. It was a mammal of no particular type – a bit like a mixture of dog, rat, and guinea pig. It seemed very ordinary and tame, and stood looking at me. I walked toward it and stretched out my hand. It was a tan colour with short fur and gave a feeling of being okay to approach, so I touched it to stroke. This was okay and I was thinking there was no problem when the creature leapt at my throat in a flash of movement and ripped my throat out. Then it dived into my body. I simply formed a new dream body, knowing that in dreams the creature was only attacking an image of myself, not me.

Example: When I arrived at the attic I put the dog down. But now the attic was empty and dark. I could feel my hair stand on end and my skin ‘crawling’. Actually, I feel it all again as I write this. The feeling arose because there was an unformed dark shape creeping around at the far end of the room. The dog was really afraid and came into my arms.

Then the dark creature leapt at me, transforming into a massive mouth with huge fangs and awful demonic face. Immediately I leapt at it in the same way and smashed against its face with my own huge fangs. This utterly disarmed it because it had felt, in its primitive way, to terrify me. It surprised me too that I could so immediately transform into a monster when necessary

 

3.     Our body/mind constantly tries to reprogram itself through the process of dreaming, or by painful experience or by meeting neurotic responses to events and relationships. If we can see dreams, nightmares, and painful/neurotic responses to events as signalling problems to deal with, we can then work with the process of reprogramming. If we sedate the signals, see them as natural and normal, or name them as the real person you are, then they remain undealt with and will recur. Although the reprogramming is inbuilt and natural, we may need help from those practised in working with the process. ii

4.     Identification with the changing aspects of our experience, such as our body and its appearance, external events, organisations, beliefs, thoughts, or emotions, means we have no real stability. Those things are always changing. What does not change is your ability to be conscious of those changes. The ability or quest to know who you are behind the changing world of your senses, your body, thoughts and emotions is what brings stability.

5.     Words, thoughts and emotions are never what they appear to be about. Just as a map is never the territory it depicts, so words and thoughts are never who or what they suggest. To take our thoughts or descriptions to be adequate reflections of a person or thing is to live in a world of illusion. Of course, words and thoughts are part of the world we live in and are useful in dealing with everyday needs, but they are hugely limiting if we take them as real indicators and reflections of life.

 

6.     We may believe we are male, female, heterosexual or homosexual. We may hold on to the identity of being well known, loved, famous or a villain. We may be devastated by the conviction we are doomed to die, that our life is meaningless, that we have never managed love or creativity. Yet when we are in deep sleep we are none of those things. All of them are beliefs or convictions that can act as chains holding us back from the freedom of our own nakedness. See Our Own Nakedness

  1. Those steps are a beginner’s course in the martial art of the mind. If they are applied the freedom they lead to unlocks the wonder of our own creative genius. You will find a new relationship with opportunity, with people and with yourself. Latent or unconscious abilities emerge. Talents that had been buried by past convictions or relationships come to life. A widening awareness of your existence in the midst of an astonishing universe grows, and senses beyond the physical show you a world, often called spiritual, which you are completely part of. In all, an old, outdated personality you have believed yourself to be may die and fall away as a new self emerges.

 

  1. Example: An actual example of this is of a woman who wrote telling of a recurring dream in which she discovered a door in her house she had never seen before. Beyond it was a whole apartment she has never known or used. It was obviously an area of her life she had never lived in, but she had no idea what. So the technique of exploring the dream while awake was explained, and she imagined walking into the new apartment and observing what she felt and what memories arose. A soon as she entered the apartment she began to remember and feel again things that had happened in her childhood. Her mother and father had separated when she was very young, and her mother had constantly presented her father as weak and of no value. But the feelings that arose were of the love of beauty and art that her father had shared and helped unfold in her. But she had kept that part of her closed because of what her mother had said. Now it was open to her again and she could allow it to unfold further in her life.
  2. An important point here is that the woman did this working alone on her dream, not with professional help or supervision.

 

Now take your time to work through these other exercises in the same way.

Now imaging taking off from the ground and fly by willing yourself to fly. At first some people need to run and jump gliding along. But gradually you will be able to take off and soar. Then try floating in mid-air, doing acrobatics while flying etc.

 

Choose a scary animal or things such as a zombie or the devil and see it coming for you. If it attacks you remember it is a dream image and so no harm can come to you. If you can allow it to come into you observing what you feel. If you can, actually completely identify with it.

 

Whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is like an image like on a cinema screen, so that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear; so, all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind. In the early days of moving pictures, a film was shown of a train coming fast toward them; the viewers all fled in terror, fearing the train would crush them. That is exactly the same response if you are terrified of anything you dream of. See Masters of Nightmares

 

This needs to be practiced as most people feel the dream/imagined person or thing is something other than themselves and are often hesitant to become it. When you do this it usually changes the way your body or feelings are experienced. As this is done notice any changes in how you feel as that person – or object – speak as them in the first person. Do not say, “I feel as if this person is …” but say, “I feel I am and am doing ….” As this happens watch any realisations or insights that arise and explore the person or thing. Ask question of this dream character or thing until you feel you have realised what it is of you that is being revealed.

 

Next imagine you are standing on the edge of a massive hole or lip of a volcano, and when ready jump into it. Feel whatever you feel and remember that dreams, and such inner world images are all virtual.

 

You meet a wonderful partner and without any shyness you make friends with them and express yourself fully with them.

 

A wild animal comes toward you and without flinching you welcome it, and it becomes your friend and companion – or at least that is your aim. So, try for it.

 

A strange alien creature or creature from another level of existence stands before and wants to approach you. Can you become a friend of even a pupil and as with number 2 identify with it?

 

A woman or man who appears like a ghostly figure and is slightly see through wants to merge with you. Can you allow it to do so with feelings and not either a frightened or a rigid and unfeeling human?

 

The abyss is the same as a void, suggesting the formless spirit of life lying within and at the core of all physical formed life. Therefore, it might link with the transcendental or the spiritual life of death. Can you surrender and lose yourself in the void or abyss? At some point in your journey beyond dreams and death you will confront it and practice makes perfect. If you are not used to it you may feel it is like dying, but you are dying to your limited self and becoming everything.

When we approach the enormity of what we are, we are often ‘naked’ and unprepared. Genesis explains this wonderfully well, but I have changed the word God which in many people’s mind means a father figure watching over us to the enormity – within us. And to make it understandable in terms of what has already been said I have altered some other pieces. For Genesis is about the genesis (birth of – creation of) of the human self-consciousness, the ego, which was very different to the animal instinctive consciousness it developed from.

Some other things that also might be useful to read: HabitsDream YogaLife’s Little SecretsAvoid Being Victims

 

Example: There was still a current trying to pull me back into the huge black hole, and I began to feel afraid as I felt that if I regressed any more I would cease to exist. Then it came to me that I regressed every day in this way when I went to sleep. I lose any sense of personal existence yet emerge none the worse the next day. But in sleep I regress to whatever lies beneath consciousness without being aware of it. The difference now was in being conscious of what was happening. So, I knew the fear was unnecessary as every time we go to sleep we drop back into this condition.

 

So, I let go and fell. I didn’t go to sleep though. Instead, I fell into an awareness of immensity, of hugeness, and the immensity was full of knowing. Like a raindrop falling back into the ocean, I seemed to merge with that hugeness and yet maintain a sense of my own existence. And between the hugeness and my own sense of being there was communication. I was aware that what held me was the process that had grown me from being a tiny seed in the first place. It is so obvious, but I experienced it like a revelation that I had not created or grown myself. But now this deep part that had caused me to exist and grown me was unfolding me again, like a plant opening. I understood that we each have this force at our centre, and as I watched it working in my body and life, it seemed to communicate with me. I understood from it that if I opened to it each day, if I surrendered to its action, then it would grow me to a fuller life until it realised itself in me. This felt like a holy gift, that the mystery of life would live and know itself in me.

 

 

 

Now For the Hard Transformations

Something that must be included here is that of how in the past many ‘pathways’ to the core left the participant in symbolic understanding of their experiences. This is like looking at a dream in which night is the opening scene, and saying it is about dark feelings. The questions we now need to use are – What is the meaning of dark feelings? How does it manifest in my everyday life? What is causing it? How can I gain insight into it so as to transform it?

 

I see this as an essential part of what the psychotherapeutic tools developed in the last century, an entirely new knowledge about human nature. I can find little or no such tools in past cultures. There are plenty of psychotherapeutic teaching from the past, but none of them, as far as I am aware, has led to the transformation of the birth trauma, of the abandonment trauma, of childhood pains and childhood abuse. This is one of the main features of the new pattern – the clearing out of trauma from one’s present life or from the past.

 

I guess one of the things becoming so clear to me recently is the concept Jung or Marie von Franz presents of the meander. It states that the new individual may not attain a clear blueprint on their personal direction within the whole, as to their work and satisfying “destiny” in one neatly printed diagram and text. It is more like a whole series of communications, intuitions, or realisations, some of which wander in many directions. But when looked at as a whole, there is a clear tendency, assured direction, a defined wisdom.

 

This is a reference to psychotherapy and the many techniques that deal with transforming human nature. But reprogramming usually needs much more than talk therapy. It needs a deep remembering of our history; not just thinking and talking, but also Living it, Feeling and Knowing it. Human beings reprogrammed from tree dwellers to walking upright in open landscape. They reprogrammed from hunter gatherers to farmers, and then to becoming town dwellers. That was done slowly by exposure to outer environment and needs, but these show it is part of our skills. But it seems we are still facing the massive change from hunter gatherers to town dwellers and are not doing it to well with the many murders, rapes, and huge differences between the rich and those who are poverty-stricken. With self-awareness we can speed such changes enormously. See Psychological Vomiting

 

A huge step in this psychological change is the gaining of real independence which is linked with growing self-confidence. It starts at the moment you are born, but that is just the first step, and many do not take many more. The great lessons of love have their beginnings in the womb or at mother’s breast – if she offers it. The lessons are etched into us at our very foundations and colour our whole life. They either lead us to either be a person who is sure of their own value and stands with something of value to share and sure of their independence – or a person who is forever lost in the great emotions of jealousy or fear of abandonment, or blaming their situation on others and wanting to live a life of crime. At this level of love they are completely dependent upon the loved person for their needs, physical, emotional, and social. Great anger, jealousy, or pain if the loved one relates to anyone else, is lost, or threatens to leave. Also not being able to mature beyond this age may lead to men seeking pornography or even being too immature to develop a moral nature and have murderous instincts that are natural to young children.

 

A man come to visit me as a psychotherapist, having driven many miles for the visit. He told me that his wife threatens to end their marriage unless he can stop his enormous jealousy every time she simply looks at or talks to another man. He admitted that in fact he has such reactions. So, I asked him when he remembered having similar feelings. He sat quiet for a while and then said, “When I was five.” I then took time to help him see that such feelings were natural for children of that age because for millions of years any sign if losing one’s mother meant desertion and death. That was why one would madly try to keep the bond intact. If you hadn’t outgrown it you would be driven by the same enormous feelings in any relationship.

 

How can one grow from childhood when you are in your forties? I married again when I was 41. Up until then I had never been able to love except my children. At five I had cut of emotionally from my mother. This had caused me to lack any growth in my relationship with a woman. I remained at the age of five emotionally. So, when I did fall in love I did so with the emotional maturity of a five-year-old. But I had started to work through my childhood miseries and had begun to undo something that had caused me to be so cut off.

 

So, I had to learn to parent myself in way that I could raise myself into a non-dependent, non-grasping and non-jealous adult. To be able to parent oneself you need honesty to see the faults your parents live in, raising you, and also to be capable of seeing your own failures in raising any of your own children. Strange as it may seem, most of us are often terribly judgmental, impatient and angry with ourselves, and so this would be a tragic thing to raise yourself with. Also we are awful at admitting our own faults, all of which make us inadequate parents, and not good at self-parenting. The fundamental needs of childhood are almost never met by modern parenting within the environment of today’s commercial and industrial world.

 

If you are still a physically adult child, if a parent dies you will experience enormous grief, a true sign of your real age emotionally. So even if you are unable to raise yourself as your own parent there are things you can do to make changes.

 

You need to able to see your parents’ death or to kill them to achieve this. Obviously I do not mean physically, but can you imagine seeing their death or killing your parents? To kill them in that way is to be free of the introverted restraints and readymade values gathered from our parents; at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them in our dreams. Although some people are shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. The old myths of killing the chief are ways in the past the tribe can have a new leader, or in some way depict this process. When father or mother is ‘dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship.

 

Seeing parent drunk, incapable or foolish: is another means of gaining independence from internalised values, or stultifying drives to ‘honour’ or admire father or mother.

Dead parent in dream shows either the beginning of independence from parent; the repression of the emotions they engendered in us; and our own emotions regarding our parent’s death. See: dead people.

 

It may take some practise to easily manage it but to gain real emotional and adult independence you need to sit quietly and kill them, and then give them a decent burial.

 

As an example of this, here is a description of a therapy session I was involved in with a young man.

Some years ago, while working as a psychotherapist, a young man asked me to take time while he explored something, he said he was troubled by a feeling about his father. Because we had worked in this way many times before I knew it would be easy for him to simply explore in depth what he felt.  So, I began by asking him to simply report what occurred when he really took time to be aware of what was happening in him.

 

For some time, he lay quietly, but then began to say he was in touch with feelings he had about his father.  After he had been quiet he said that he felt there was something wrong that he needed to take care of.  I watched him as the feeling developed, and he became quite restless.  This developed into him wanting to telephone his father, and he began to get up to do so.  So, I began to ask him to wait and continue to allow what was happening. This led to him to become more restless than ever, again he got up to rush to telephone his father.  Again, I asked him to allow the process of what he was experiencing in him to continue, which he unwillingly did.  He could not rest with this because he felt his father was very ill and needed his attention.  It took a lot of conversation to manage him to stop trying to telephone his father.  Even so he could not rest, and the next thing was that he was sure his father was dying. This was so urgent that he wanted got to him before he died.

 

I do not know exactly how I managed to do it, but he continued to unveil the process that he was experiencing to work, and eventually he said, “My father is dead.” So, I asked him to imagine burying his father, which he did.  After she said, “That is it.  It is finished now.” Somehow I knew it wasn’t finished because in some way I had experienced it before so said to him, “No isn’t, let it go on.”

 

The next part was extraordinary even for me as a witness.  For in great emotion, he explained to me that now his father was buried and dead, somehow it felt as if all the strength and wisdom of his father had was passed to him as his own strength. Of course, he needed to integrate it into what he already had achieved.

 

We usually face a deeply felt experience of death before encountering the archetype of rebirth. Neither the death nor the rebirth or resurrection are things that happen quickly. There may be dreams, waking subjective experiences, or a short period in one’s life when death or rebirth are felt very strongly – but the process as a whole is a psychological one which may take years to unfold and stabilise. With many experiences of archetypal nature, such as entering puberty and meeting the process that unfolds manhood or womanhood, we are working out psychic growth which involves our entire nature. Puberty is an excellent example of how an archetypal human process works in us individually yet is very unique for each of us. At the same time however, while puberty is a well-worn path which virtually everyone travels, some aspects of human possibilities, like death and rebirth, are not universal. Only comparatively few people really manage these points of growth.

 

 

 

 

Psychedelics

 

Drugs such as LSD, cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote, and opium, can produce hallucinations, and for some people hallucinations are felt to be a sign of mental illness. Because they allow the dream process to break through into consciousness with less intervention, they that can be dangerous because many people do not deal well with nightmares, and so can be knocked over by hallucinative/dreams. If this occurs without warning it can be very disturbing. The very real dangers are that unconscious content, which in ordinary dreaming breaks through a threshold in a regulated way, emerges with less regulation, and without the safety factor of calling it a dream. Fears, paranoid feelings, past traumas, can emerge into the consciousness of an individual who has no skill in handling such forces. See Masters of Nightmares – Shaman

 

I have experience of working therapeutically and in exploring ones hidden depths with LSD and primarily with psilocybin. At that time it was talked about as only for dropouts. Yet at that time it was also licensed for therapeutic use, and I experienced it as such with the psychiatrist R. D. Laing. But now it is part of today’s world and big businesses are funding it and researching with it. See Mental Health for an entry into the future.

 

In My Earlier Life

In a more youthful period of my life, I sat with many people as they used the psilocybin mushrooms (magic, or as they were called in the UK west country, ‘liberty caps’), and LSD. What I learned has important repercussions for anyone using or planning to use the mushrooms, ayahuasca, LSD, or any other psychedelic agent.

 

If you haven’t realised that everything you experience when using a psychedelic is a symbol, as in a dream, and if you are not used working with symbols and dreams and learnt to see beyond the symbol to what it represents, then you are entering a half world, a dream world, such as ancient people lived in and understood. But for the western mind it is simply a dream that you do not understand. It will be intriguing even uplifting, but it needs another level to climb to make it useful to you. For the drug opens the possibility of dreaming while awake, which also means the door opens to nightmares where you meet the fears and terrors you have never meet or dealt with. Other hallucinatory substances such as ayahuasca should also be seen as both healing and as stated in the Wall Street Journal, “They can be dangerous. And should be avoided by those who are bipolar or schizophrenic since it has been known to trigger psychotic episodes.” See Pandora’s Box – Waking Lucid Dreaming

 

A young woman who used LSD was in her local pub and witnessed a friend also using LSD, who was sure the Devil came for him there in the pub. He ran from it, not realising that it was a dream image representing his fears, so he ran and the Devil continued chasing him for years.

 

Many ancient and wonderful cultures lived their lives in this symbolic world and their rituals and practices give rise to symbolic statements. Here is a statement from a young Native American undergoing an initiation – “On the eighth night, another big bird appeared to me, and I determined to accept its gift, for I was tired of waiting and of being confined in my little fasting wigwam. In my dream of this bird, he took me far to the north where everything was covered with ice. There I saw many of the same kind of birds. Some were very old. They offered me long life and immunity from disease. It was quite a different blessing from that which the chickadee had offered, so I accepted. Then the bird who had come after me, brought me to my fasting wigwam again. When he left me, he told me to watch him before he was out of sight. I did so and saw that he was a white loon”.

 

Those people were so deeply immersed in their connection and associations with the animals that the vision was understandable. The same applies to Christianity which was all told in symbolic language and so for many people has no meaning today – unless they can meet and take the next step. To do so they will need the strength mentioned already, for I have witnessed people who took double or treble the amount necessary and had no effect for fear of what they were seeing. Or another person who as the drug started working recoiled in horror and begged for it to end. Or others still who took it many times as an interesting pastime, until one day they met something that they felt was a horror and never again used the drug. See Christ – The Inner Path To

 

Because such drugs can produce what people often term hallucinations, they can be experienced through any of the senses singly, or all of them together. So one might have a hallucinatory smell or sound. To understand hallucinations, which are quite common without any use of drugs such as alcohol, LSD, or cannabis, one must remember that everyone has the natural ability to produce such images. One of the definitions of a dream according to Freud is its hallucinatory quality. While asleep we can create full sensory, vocal, motor, and emotional experience in our dream. While dreaming we usually accept what we experience as real. An hallucination is an experience of a ‘dream’ occurring while we have our eyes open. The voices heard, people seen, smells smelt, although appearing to be outside of us, are no more exterior than the things and images of our dreams. With this information one can understand that much classed as psychic phenomena, psychedelic and religious experience is an encounter with the dream process. That does not, of course, deny its importance.

 

Example: ‘I dream insects are dropping either on me from the ceiling of our bedroom, or crawling over my pillow. My long-suffering husband is always woken when I sit bolt upright in bed my eyes wide open and my arm pointing at the ceiling. I try to brush them off. I can still see them – spiders or wood lice. I am now well aware it is a dream. But no matter how hard I stare the insects are there in perfect detail. I am not frightened but wish it would go away.’ Sue D.

 

Sue’s dream only became an hallucination when she opened her eyes and continued to see the insects in perfect clarity.

 

Many people have hallucinations and find them a great addition to their senses and their understanding of themselves and the world. But a number of people who experience them are terrified and experience a mental breakdown. I want to make clear that when they express so devastatingly, it is because the person has lived with tremendous tensions and conflicts and has never learned to deal with them, so enormous inner pressure builds up and they burst through one’s defences like a dam bursting and a flood occurs. See Relax

 

The Next Step

The real heroine or hero of the inward journey comes from meeting the angel’s devils, murderers of our inner world and incorporating them. For them it does not remain in a symbolised version of themselves. They do not accept the Devil as an exterior agent, or Christ as an outer and perhaps historical character. They do not accept their dreams at face value but are ready to face themselves with the courage necessary. For it is an uncomfortable journey to actually see oneself. It is a demanding climb to have one’s awareness stretched and widened beyond one’s personal limitations in order to include a vaster experience of yourself. It is easier to remain at a symbolic level rather than discover the wonderful or uncomfortable truths about oneself.

The journey is one of consciousness/awareness, a journey to the next step of human evolutions – the Upanishads. Consciousness on our planet started in the slime of creation, the slime we return to, to procreate. And from that slime our awareness goes through the whole process of evolution, the dividing of cells, the forming of structure and organs, the creation of a creature with gills, and on to a human type form ready to breathe air. But it hasn’t yet learned language, the huge mental program that gives self awareness. See Programmed

 

What I am suggesting is that in fact we have a whole spectrum of awareness starting from the single cell up to the human personality. Of course many of us pride ourselves as being the high creation, but in fact many of us are simply bubbles floating on a magnificent ocean of consciousness and will soon burst. And unless the bubble becomes aware of where it came from and where it will return, it is in fact a tiny part of what it is capable of and our enormous potential. But awareness starts at the cellular level in the body, and dreams have the origin in the body, and the body has a different level of awareness, one it learned over millions of years of surviving. That is why our personality, is so out of touch with our body’s awareness, and cannot understand dreams.

 

The Details

Today’s way into this inner awareness might be through the use if micro doses of psilocybin. Despite earlier concerns, research has found no link between the use of psychedelics and later mental illness or suicidal actions. In fact, in some reports, these substances were associated with a lower rate of mental health issues. A micro dose could be from 0.2 grams as an experimental dose.

 

The mushrooms – you may be able to Grow Your Own

 

To be able to meet what after all is yourself, but a self you have not yet discovered, is what I have described dream images are, for they are like icons on a computer screen. The images or feeling we experience are not like real life. Because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear.

 

The images in your dreams ARE LIKE ICONS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN – so you have to ‘click’ on your images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. You have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive.

The aim here is to show you how to move through and use the different aspects of YOU – your emotions need to be alive and responsive; your mind need to be open to the new, the VERY new that your dreams present you with; also the dimensions of your dreams occur in. So I am listing some exercises for you to try – use them until they work for you.

As can be seen from the levels described above. dreams are from the very depths or core of you and are to your rational self almost not understandable but are still in symbolic form. So in a sense if you are working at trying to understand your depths and deal with them exploring a dream is a huge help, most of the work has already been done. This can be seen below in this man’s exploration of his dream using psilocybin mushrooms. He had never used them in this way before but had some years of exploring his dreams as described in Peer Dreamwork.

I dreamt that Pete Taylor was in my father’s shop in London. Someone had shot him in the bicep, and I was trying to help him. I had a small box on the counter and there was antiseptic or blood in it, and I put the hurt muscle in it hoping to heal it. When the gunshot flesh was put in the antiseptic the blood bubbled and effervesced, becoming hot. I felt the flesh would not be of any use now but wasn’t sure. In the end though I was considering cleaning away the injured flesh from the arm (left arm I think). All I could see were the sinews with a small amount of flesh on them – no muscle in between. But I began to feel that gradually new cells might grow and develop into a new muscle – granulate.

 

I started working on my dream that evening. I had tried working on another dream already, but it produced nothing. But as soon as I thought of Pete Taylor realisation after realisation began to pour into my mind, and I saw I had found the right key.

 

Interpretation

 

As I began entering the dream I realised I had met Pete on a walk a few days before in a wood with my children, and heard Pete shouting outside the wood I was in. I heard him cry out, “The Lord Jesus Christ,” in a mocking voice. I stood still waiting for Pete and his friends to pass by – Pete being outside of the wood in a field. As I was entering into these feelings from the dream point of view I realised I avoided Pete because of pride. I hadn’t wished to be associated with Pete. Pete, who had a lovely daughter but who had failed at marriage; was a good musician but had failed to do anything with his skill; started businesses but failed at working for himself – failed. Pete, I felt was a failure.

 

Suddenly I realised with shock that I had tried to avoid meeting Pete because pride was my defence against my own failure. I was hiding away from my own sense of failure.

 

But Pete had actually come into the wood, so we met, and I saw he was keenly ‘chasing’ a young French woman, Katerine.

 

I was exploring the dream upstairs in our house, then my wife came up and I explained this, and the talking helped the flow of realisation tremendously. Pete, who failed at marriage but was chasing after young girls, as I had seen him chasing Katerine. Yes, no wonder I didn’t want to associate with that part of me, who couldn’t make it in marriage but chased young women. Pete was living out all the things in me that I despised and tried to keep hidden, even from myself. But now they were out in the open and it was painful.

 

Then a whole mass more came. I saw Katerine as a little pro who was holding herself back but wanted to wag her fanny everywhere, obviously those were my feelings not facts.

 

Pete, the one who was in battle with his father and who constantly fought authority tooth and nail. He had got to make it alone to prove how much better he was then father/authority. What a waste when one could have worked together to accomplish more. Conflict wastes so much effort due to the countless retreats.

 

Now it was coming thick and fast, so I went down to my wife in the kitchen as it was so helpful to talk.

 

Yes, it was my father. The shop was the important point in the dream. It was in that shop my conflict had come to a head. It had been there always. The thing already seen about how my father used to show me his school books. He didn’t praise what I did, just showed me how good his work was, how neat, how few blots. But in the shop, he had set my pattern of behaviour, in fact stamped it out.

 

Because I had never received praise or support from him – my symbol of authority – I had pulled away and gone on along a path of life that he had no understanding of. I went on to my wife about how I had stacked the potatoes in the shop for him as well as I could, but never a word of encouragement – always wrong.

 

What a fucking waste. He was so desperate for success himself he was trying to squeeze out a few drops from me too for the sake of his pride, to prove to England how much better he was. He was still fighting the battle of the school room, because he was too scared to punch the kids on the nose, so he wanted me to be a success to prove his own value. So, from then on I was in conflict with him, trying to prove how good I was, how much better than him, never able to co-operate at school, and work, or in my marriage. I had to keep on at my wife over nothing to prove how good we were. What I did for him was never good enough, never enough. What would get a word of praise? What would suffice? I didn’t understand what he wanted of me. So, I kept on at my kids like he kept on at me. Trying to attain the unattainable instead of a little warmth and love. Dad, you fucking killed me right back then. I sobbed uncontrollable with the pain of experiencing it.

 

What a waste. My schooling ruled by rebellion because I had to make it alone and “differently” not co-operatively. Anything to fight authority, my father. And I had to fail too, even in my efforts to achieve, because if I succeeded dad would fall to pieces, feeling what a failure he was as a man and a father. I needed a Dad, so I dared not succeed. I had to fail if I wanted love. And the reverse side of conflict with authority was the cringing underhand crawling to gain love and approval.

 

Later I succeeded, having faced the pain of not knowing a father’s love.

 

The damage to the bicep, to flesh was the whole area of my life that I was trying to save and heal, but which I needed to let go of, and wait for the new muscle tissue to grow. How does one start again at 40? Is it with patience to let the new tissues and strength grow?

 

My left arm is my support system, my confidence to do things in the world. I am right handed so do things with my right hand, but support everything with my left – hold the paper as I write, hold the nail as I bang it in with my right. So, the damage to the muscle was the injury to my supportive confidence through my relationship with my father. As all this was felt I sobbed uncontrollably. I wept for the lost years, the wasted years of my youth. I was convulsed with the pain of not having been loved by my father. Tears fell from me for the failure of my life. I would never have believed one could feel so much pain about something missing in one’s life. I had always thought to feel that much pain you would have needed to be beaten or abused in childhood. My father was kind, but he showed no warmth. And that was as bad as being beaten, perhaps worse. I had been severely beaten at school, but it hadn’t scarred as this did.

 

It Takes Time

One evening, while using LifeStream, a healing technique, I was led into the experience of being a small child, crying in a cot, feeling abandoned in a hospital. As the experience developed, I realised that I was that boy. I was the child deserted in hospital.

 

At the time the emotions were very real. The sobs shook my whole body. The memory was clear that this had happened to me. So, it led me to believe that somehow, I had released the pain of my child self left in that hospital. This was a complete misjudgment of the depths of misery a child can feel. Ten or more years later, through a series of events, I was led to revisit my three-year-old self.

 

The events leading up to it are fascinating because they were so perfectly tuned to produce the event that followed. So, perfect that I am led to believe such things are not accidental. Also, considering the length of time between the original emergence of my abandoned child feelings, and this new meeting, I believe many such pains cannot be met until we have enough ego strength and skills to sail these rough waters. See Death of Ego – Ego DeathOpening To Life

 

This hell, imprinted in so many of us during our childhood, remains unknown in the majority. It thereby goes on poisoning lives, relationships, and society. The only positive side I can see to it is that if we dare to descend into that hell, and find a way of returning, we gain great strength, we learn great wisdom, we absorb humility and compassion.

 

What I am suggesting is that in fact we have a whole spectrum of awareness starting from the single cell up to the human personality. Of course many of us pride ourselves as being the high creation, but in fact many of us are simply bubbles floating on a magnificent ocean of consciousness and will soon burst. And unless the bubble becomes aware of where it came from and where it will return, it is in fact a tiny part of what it is capable of and our enormous potential. But awareness starts at the cellular level in the body, and dreams have the origin in the body, and the body has a different level of awareness, one it learned over millions of years of surviving. That is why our personality, is so out of touch with our body’s awareness, and cannot understand dreams. So to start using psychedelics, that release the dream process to consciousness, it is wise to learn to meet and conquer your dreams and nightmares first by using/reading Peer Dream Work and also Ego Death

 

As can be seen, there is a spontaneous move toward consciousness, but it is blocked by unconscious tensions, fear, avoidance, or emotional pain. It is seen by those using psychedelics that there is an automatic action taking place in the sessions. It is almost like there are inner situations that are strata that are stored within and when one is dealt with the next appears automatically like self-regulation. See Life’s Little Secrets

 

How do we get from not knowing to knowing?

I am of course still writing about the use of psychedelics. And a person I once dealt with is a good illustration of the difference the approach can make. He was a young man working in an unskilled job in a hotel. His girlfriend had approached my wife because as the girl explained her boyfriend was taking mushrooms every day and she felt he was going mad because he had changed so much. She was frightened for his sanity and asked if we could help him.

As I understood it the drug was continually releasing things from his unconscious which if not met in the right way leads to complete confusion and elements that are fine in the unconscious, shut safely begin the enormous resistances the conscious personality usually has guarding it, but without that protection it was subject to enormous attack. It was exactly these features of my own unconscious that had led to depression and suicidal feelings. Meeting them in the right way had led to their removal. It isn’t that the unconscious is a dangerous place – not at all – but the things that are put into it by parent, culture, media, and even religion can lead to enormous threats. See The Keyboard Condition

The Details

Today’s way into this inner awareness might be through the use if micro doses of psilocybin. Despite earlier concerns, research has found no link between the use of psychedelics and later mental illness or suicidal actions. In fact, in some reports, these substances were associated with a lower rate of mental health issues. A micro dose could be from 0.2 grams as an experimental dose.

The mushrooms – you may be able to Grow Your Own

I have said this several times in this book, but it is vital information. To be able to meet what after all is yourself, but a self you have not yet discovered, is what I have described dream images are, for they are like icons on a computer screen. The images or feeling we experience are not like real life. Because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear. The images ARE LIKE ICONS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN – so you have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. You have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. See Hallucinations and Hallucinogens and Dimensions of Human Experience

The aim here is to show you how to move through and use the different aspects of YOU – your emotions need to be alive and responsive; you mind need to be open to the new, the VERY new that your dreams present you with; also the dimensions of you.

 

 

Death

A huge mistake many people make when considering death is that they are certain the body is them. For centuries we have been taught that the basic part of us is atoms. So as such we were just physical bodies, with a physical brain, and of course as a physical body we know it can be destroyed or die. But in 1900 an amazing new science was born – Quantum Physics. It said that our basic being is not atoms but sub- atomic-particles, energy, and that questioned much of past statements.

 

It is often quoted at funerals, Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” But that is only what was put together by what moved that heap of material substance – Life in the body. But we are that mystery of Life that is not locked or lost with the body’s death and expresses as our consciousness. But there are at least two forms of death. The first is the death of our body, the second is the shifting of our awareness from the physical senses to the inner world experience, which is felt as a death.

 

People usually forget that their body had a beginning and was formed or created by something other than their body or their mother. For no mother could orchestrate the enormous changes a fetus go through from simple cells multiplying, on to a creature with gills as fish use, and again onwards to a human body ready to emerge as an air breather. Only the Life Process has such skill to creative a miracle – for every lifeform even plants are miracles for no human can even create such things, copy, or clone yes, but create no. So what created your body and consciousness?

 

Another example is how we tend to take in information and totally believe it. For generations people thought light was the fastest one could achieve; so the fantasied alien space craft was seen as flying metal containers we named saucers; but later it was discovered that sub-atomic-particles were seen in quantum experiments to be everywhere at once from a source beyond space and time. A diagram of the phases of the Big Bang says that at the very beginning of the creative act, “Time Begins”. It should have said, “Time and Space Begins.” So the possibility of life in a physical three dimensional body existing in time and space could evolve. It also suggests that the original cause was beyond time and space.

 

Also from quantum physics it was seen that a human observer could change the sub-atomic-particles, suggesting that we in some way create the world around us. Also the term quantum ghosts was defined because quantum phenomena can pass through any solid object – just as we can do when experiencing a so called out of body experience. The implications of the theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought. Our view of the world is not one supported by the facts of physics. Time and space are transcended. David Bohm, an eminent physicist, goes as far as to say that all things in our observable universe are inextricable linked. Nothing has separate existence. See This wonderful video talk by a doctor observing many people’s death – https://www.facebook.com/WarpedElements/videos/851300485357019/

 

Death of the body occurs when the body is badly injured, has suffered a bad illness or is dying from old age and so cannot support the intricacies of consciousness, then consciousness can longer function in the body. Consciousness, from what I now understand it to be, was never fully in the body so never left it. That because consciousness exists at another dimension and so simply uses the body, acts through the brain and nervous system to gain experience of the three dimensional world and its joys, pains, and difficulties. And because we see life and death mostly through our three dimension view we believe we ‘leave’ our body in so called ‘out of body experiences’. As I say, simply a three dimensional view.

 

To quote the recent view of quantum physics, “This suggests that the fundamental particles of our body exist beyond time and space, and if a dream touches this level then it expresses a very different experience of time. Yet we still hear scientists talking about the boundary of the speed of light. This difficulty in crossing the boundary of knowing into the unknown is a sort of general blindness most of us suffer. To properly connect and realise what is being communicated it is necessary to be able to put one’s rational mind aside and able to enter a different level of ourselves. I call it The Keyboard Condition.

 

To achieve it we need to ‘hang loose’. So apart from habitual attitudes, the first step of practice is to learn a form of relaxation in which our body has dropped unnecessary tension and is like a keyboard ready to be played.

 

The implications of the theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places or conditions at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought.”

 

After the death of the body you are now fully in the dimension of the dream. As such you experience, as in dreams, surroundings and people and animals that appear as external and solid. You will usually see yourself in the body you experienced in the last life, but it may be younger without any illness, and you may feel as if you have woken for the first time because your mind, your awareness, is super alert. Also, sometimes, people who had never known that you survive after your body has died feel as if they are still alive in a body and create dreams in which those people they know that are still alive in their body are visible to them, but because the living people cannot see or respond to them, which slowly leads the dead person to gradually realises a huge change has happened to them. See

 

We are in the dream world because our physical life is now gone and so we are left with our consciousness – no body. When we lose awareness of our body in sleep we dream. because dreams are the next level of consciousness we have developed apart from our body senses unless we have done so in other ways. We actually have a huge range of levels of awareness, the swing between waking and sleeping can be seen as the extremes within the possibilities of our experience. For in waking awareness we have the sense of being in a body with only a small range of perception, and feel we exist as an individual – quantum physics suggests that we in some way create the world around us. But in sleep, and in dreams, we are now no longer are aware of being an individual with a body but can achieve bodiless consciousness. See Dimensions of Human Experience – Bodiless

 

Are you a stranger in a strange world or an experienced traveller?

 

My own experiences here have something to add too. This happened in 1937 before child care was in force. So, I was two months premature and born dead – not breathing – the doctor threw my lifeless body aside and told my mother that I would be a weak child and she could have more children. However, my grandmother witnessed this and carried my body off and bathed me in hot and cold water and got me breathing. I owe her my life; she was my resurrection. The name of that resurrection was love.

 

What I missed out of my story before was that the gap between my thrown aside body and my grandmothers resurrection was that I had a near death experience. That because my lifeline, my umbilical cord, was cut early, so the delay led to my dying. I know many people cannot believe that a baby can remember such things. Well true they cannot remember as we do with words and images, but all life forms have enormous emotional responses and are known to experience a conditioned reflex. Whatever it was, it caused by my baby self to remember, and the experience left me with the desire to share the experience, to communicate to others about the wonder that we all are, about health of our body and amazing world death reveals to us. See What Lies Under The Surface

 

But usually just after death we often go to the next level of consciousness we have developed during physical life – dream imagery. In this dimension we are in a wider awareness, in this wider awareness you leave the limited view of the three dimensional world most of us are trapped in, and enter a world beyond time and space, but being unused to it we mostly continue as in dreams creating a world we knew in the body. But we are capable of experiencing many other wonders than being trapped either in bodily limitations or bodiless consciousness.

You are a shapeshifter in this realm and can be any of the characters you know or dreamt of. That is how you get their power and wisdom. The femaleness or maleness we usually feel ourselves to be must not be confused with personality. The conscious personality is a very flexible and shape shifting thing. It can be male, female, animals or anything, a tree or just Life itself – for here in shapeshifting we can get to know our whole range of experience. See Archetype of the ShapeshifterDiamond Body

 

At this stage many people see themselves going through a tunnel to the light. I see this as the difficulty many dying people have with bodiless consciousness, so they see themselves still with a body struggling to the light because that is all they have known. They often then see an image of God or a holy figure of light, for they are still in the level of dreams. If they had moved beyond bodily awareness they would know their journey beyond death directly and not in images and directly known their own holiness.

 

In quite a real sense we can say there is nothing beyond what is included in those polarities. For without consciousness there is nothing. There is no world, no love or hate, no body, no activities without consciousness.

 

So, what we are not capable of being personally aware of does not exist for us. In a very real way nothing exists for us unless we can be aware of it in some way. There is nothing outside of consciousness. Or to put it another way, without personal awareness nothing exists for us. If you have no consciousness the world, other people do not exist for you; so death is an exploration of consciousness. If you are still stuck at the physical awareness level of what you are aware of, have never explored the dream world or have broken through to the inner world, then you are missing the amazing depth of your consciousness. For a view of these levels see Rudolph Steiner’s GeniusDimensions of Human Awareness – Exploring Inner Space

But you might be awake in a nightmare world – often called Hell. The reason for this is the same reason people live a hell of a tortured life – they have not managed to deal with their hate, jealousies, traumas, terrors, fears and anxieties. Or some people who died suddenly do not realise they are dead and need help to meet the change. See Masters-Of-Nightmares

But a huge change has occurred at death – because you are living in a world that is created by your own habitual fears or wonder, you carry nightmares or wonder with you. But because your body is now gone and you are in the dream world full time, you have left the physical body behind and are faced by an enormous change. You have entered the universal – in other words you are a creature created by the universal laws or processes of the universe.

 

It is a matter of survival, because to survive the switching from your three dimensional life in a physical body to the full time infinite, universal life of the dream, you could not survive with all the viewpoints many people carry with them. So a form of harvesting takes place – often straight after the experience of dying. It is experienced as a full life review.

 

But as the negative aspects of self are burnt out, there opens depth upon depth of entrance into other beings. From within begins to emerge the flow of direct knowledge and love that we blocked by our dislikes, prejudices and desires. As the ideas of self-being a physical form drops away, as the realisation that lasting pleasure arises from within, and is not dependent upon physical objects or activities, or relating to others dawns, one begins to become and to see others as beings of light and tones. These streaming colours and sounds, one gradually realises, are not separate or distinct from all else. They begin to be seen as flowing from greater beings, or a greater being, than oneself, and flowing through all. But through one’s own activities, loves, and thinking, one has woven these tones and colours in a unique fashion. Barriers of separation between others and ourselves melt away, and real union and love exists at this level. We can then live in each other without that separation which all companionship must experience in the physical world.

 

Talking With Your Dead

While I worked as a psychotherapist for twenty years I witnessed several ordinary people convincingly talk to and with their so called dead.

 

To say or believe, “I am not a medium so I cannot talk with my dead son” is like a brick wall that we have created and cannot get through, for at this level our thoughts or beliefs are equivalent to brick walls.

 

A woman’s dream explained, “All you need to do is to imagine your son and talk to him, explaining. I know it sounds simple but it is. Communication with the dead is easy, but we make such a big thing of it.”

 

Remember that at death we have no physical organs to speak through, so it all has to be done what we think and feel. Also that at the level of thoughts we create huge difficulties. Thoughts and imagination are incredible powerful and are real at the level of dreams and the dead – and of course, also our own inner world. See Opening To Life

 

Example: “For a start, you are making a mistake by going to his grave to be near him, because your son isn’t buried there. It is only his body, which is like shell that can be outgrown. And why do you muddy the water by crying about him instead of being quiet and communicate with him. When we die we go into a very different experience of being, one that gives an enormously enlarged opportunity to them. Unlike older cultures we are not taught how to listen to our loved dead. Also people expect the dead to talk to them as if they were alive – making physical sounds. But the dead contact us though feelings and thoughts, and unless we are quiet enough to listen we cannot hear them. But you obviously you feel something is trying to be communicated, so listen to the spontaneous feelings that arise as you listen to your son.”

 

Here’s is a method you can use to communicate with the loved dead. But you need to be able to move beyond rigid beliefs or thinking into imagination. Imagination changes the shape of the world, penetrates its external solidity to transform its shape and its events into innumerable fresh experiences. Imagination sees the wonderful possibilities in a piece of rock, or some coloured earth, and with them creates art. Imagination discovered the submarine and the motor car long before scientific endeavour developed the technology to manufacture them. Even people who appear to lack this divine power while awake, can in dreams spread wings of fancy and find ingenious dramatic creation while they sleep. See https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclo…/secrets-power-dreaming/

 

So sit quietly in a situation where you will not be disturbed, and to start with imagine you are in the presence of the person you wish to communicate with and want to say to them things you have held back from saying because you thought they were ‘dead and gone’ or whatever was holding you back. So now you have the chance to really speak and tell them. Really let it all out with any feeling as well.

 

If you have spoken in this way, you will have felt you were really communicated with that person so now you can listen to their reply – not in external sounds but in spontaneous words that trickle into your mind – remember the dead have no physical body but are alive as mental awareness, consciousness, so can communicate in that way. Now if you are ‘in the mode’ you can carry on a conversation with them. See Keyboard Condition

 

Here is a conversation I experienced with a dead friend:

 

“So, during a break in my cooking duties I walked up to that wonderful view over the ocean, above Wildpear Beach in Devon, where Shaun’s ashes were scattered and tried to listen to Shaun, so I asked him what he could tell me about what was happening to me because I felt lost. The words that came flowing into my awareness were, “I can see that you are going through a period of rapid growth. Because of this, by the end of the year, you will take a new direction. It will be like looking along a new road that you have never previously taken – quite a new direction for you.”

 

Because I was wondering whether I was making all this up I thought that what had been said might be one of those generalisations that you could never be quite sure whether it was true or not. But then Shaun went on to say, “When that change comes you are going to meet somebody who will be part of the new direction, she is waiting for you to meet her. She has been waiting for some time. In fact, she is here with me now.”

 

That really made me sit up, and so I immediately broke into the conversation and said, “If I am going to meet her, how can she be with you, you’re dead!”

 

That didn’t faze him at all. He said, “She is here because where she lives in the world she’s asleep. While she’s asleep and dreaming her awareness can be wherever she likes.”

 

Later I did meet somebody who changed the direction of my life. Her name is Dakota, and she would have been asleep in her part of the world at the time I was talking with Shaun. She had been trying to meet me.

 

Every part of us, whether an object, person or animal we have seen or met, or a dream character, is alive with our own intelligence. Each part has been created out of ourselves in some way and depicts some area of our own total being. Our dead according to We can therefore talk with them. Such dialogue is of great importance and very revealing.

 

David Bohm, an eminent physicist, goes as far as to say that all things in our observable universe are inextricable linked. Nothing and no-one has separate existence. That links with my statement that we are always linked in consciousness with our dead,

 

To Eat or Not to Eat – That Is the Question

Many years ago, the dental expert, Dr Price, became interested in the causes of tooth decay, and also dental malformations  that is, misplaced, cramped teeth, and narrow mouth.  He began to investigate and his global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures led to the realisation that the modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats) cause nutritional deficiencies that are a cause of many dental issues and health problems. During his many years of research he gradually uncovered far more than he had ever expected, or even looked for. He found that the causes were due to our change of diet, particularly white flour, and white sugar. Remember, I did not just say dental decay; I also said dental and mouth malformation.  See Weston A. Price – Wikipedia

 

Is it not a sobering thought to realise that more and more of our race, through its growing diet of chemicals and manufactured food, are being born with malformations? Joan Grant, during an archaeological dig in the Middle East, collected forty sets of teeth. She says that there were ‘children’s teeth, middle-aged teeth, teeth of men who were so old that the surface of the molars was ground almost smooth  and in none of the forty sets she collected was there a single decayed tooth, nor a jaw abscess, nor a wisdom tooth that had not grown in exact alignment with the rest.’

 

But it is not simply malformations but serious illnesses that are the result of our modern diet. So, in today’s world many, many of us are slowly creating illness in our bodies through our daily diet. For example Dr. Noakes made a statement to the public in South Africa that the ‘normal’ foods they ate are the cause of the many illnesses they experience. The normal foods are those manufactured that we eat. The main ones are all products made with white flour that is highly manufactured and is no longer a natural food. This includes many of our staple dietary floods such white bread, pizzas, pancakes, white sugar and white rice.

This led to the whole medical and social forces turning on him and they put him down, but later he proved his theory in the highest court in South Africa. In February 2014 a registered dietitian complained to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) that Noakes tweeted to a mother that she should wean her baby onto low-carbohydrate, high-fat foods, which he described as real foods. The HPCSA held a hearing about the allegation against Noakes over the next few years.

 

Controversially, on 28 October 2016, the HPSCA incorrectly released a statement announcing that Noakes had been found guilty of misconduct. In a second press release issued over three hours later, the HPSCA apologised for the mistake. Noakes was cleared of misconduct in April 2017.[15][16] The HPSCA lost its appeal in June

 

A decent and ‘everyone’ diet is explained here – HealthierWhat’s the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101 – Bing video

 

Benefits of Fasting

A test-tube study showed that exposing cancer cells to several cycles of fasting was as effective as chemotherapy in delaying tumour growth and increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs on cancer formation. In one study, rats that fasted every other day experienced a delayed rate of aging and lived 83% longer than rats that didn’t fast.

 

Research shows that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies have found that fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health.

 

One study in which 50 healthy adults showed that intermittent fasting (IF) for one month significantly decreased levels of inflammatory markers. Another small study discovered the same effect when people fasted for 12 hours a day for one month.

 

After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters into a state called gluconeogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode. Studies have shown that gluconeogenesis increases the number of calories the body burns. With no carbohydrates coming in, the body creates its own glucose using mainly fat.

 

Eventually, the body runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then becomes the more serious starvation mode. At this point, a person’s metabolism slows down, and their body begins burning muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in dieting culture, true starvation mode only occurs after several consecutive days or even weeks without food. So, for those breaking their fast after 24 hours, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day unless other health conditions are present. See this excellent video – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lxyzc/horizon-20122013-3-eat-fast-and-live-longer It gives full instructions.

 

Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle that will change your life in more ways than you can imagine.

Gin Stephens, in her book. Fast. Feast. Repeat says the following.

 

“In December 2019, the New England Journal of Medicine published a review article about the many health benefits of intermittent fasting that not only solidified my conviction about its benefits, but was very specific in its declaration that IF is NOT just about calorie restriction: “the benefits of IF are dissociated from its effects on weight loss.”

 

Fasting benefits include:

 

  1. Fasting is excellent for brain health. Dr. Mark Mattson is a leader in the world of fasting, and his exciting research into fasting shows many neurological benefits such as improved neural connections in the hippocampus, protection for our brains against the accumulation of amyloid plaques, fewer signs of depression, improved memory, increased production of neurons, and an enhanced ability of our brains to ward off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

 

  1. Increase autophagy. Autophagy is the action in our body that recycles damaged or unwanted cell parts and uses them for energy or for building blocks for new growth.

 

  1. Improvements in glucose regulation.

 

  1. Fasting speeds up all our mitochondrial processes. The mitochondria are often called the powerhouses of the cell because they work as the “digestive system” of the cell, taking in nutrients, breaking them down, and turning them into forms of energy the cell can use.

 

  1. Metabolic Rate – fasting initiates positive hormonal and metabolic changes in our bodies.

 

  1. Reducing blood pressure, and heart rate.

 

  1. The efficacy of endurance training.

 

  1. Abdominal fat loss, the accumulation of which has long been known to be detrimental for health.

 

  1. Lowering blood pressure.
  2. Reducing risk of diabetes/improving diabetes.

 

  1. The benefits related to neurodegenerative disorders.

 

  1. Cancer risk reduction.

 

  1. Recent research has shown that fasting causes the body to start feeding on old cells. To the point where the weight of the liver, other organs and muscles are greatly lowered. Then when we eat normally again the cells are replaced by new healthy ones. A great health benefit.

 

  1. IF can burn up your fat and turn it into muscle, at that time it will seem you are not losing weight. Muscle is heavy.

 

  1. Fasting helps you body to avoid inflammation which is a great help. Chronic inflammation has a serious negative impact on our health. In fact, increased levels of inflammation may lead to the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

 

  1. Living longer.

 

  1. Fasting is beneficial in both preventing and controlling symptoms of many autoimmune diseases, such Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriasis, and Multiple sclerosis.

 

  1. Dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia refers to unhealthy levels of one or more kinds of lipid (fat) in your blood, fasting

 

  1. Insulin resistance, and inflammation.

 

  1. Fasting has cardiovascular benefits. A 2008 study showed that of 4,629 patients in Utah, those who fasted for religious reasons had a significantly lowered risk of coronary artery disease.

 

  1. This means that Intermittent Fasting is the “magic pill.” It is what we’ve all been looking for.

 

Gin Stephens also tells us, “For the first time in my professional life, I’ve been able to regularly de-prescribe medications for my patients. It is no longer unusual to lower or eliminate a patient’s blood pressure medication or diabetes medication or cholesterol medication. If the pharmaceutical or diet industry could do any single one of these things consistently, it’d be a home run in terms of sales and profit. Fortunately for us, Intermittent Fasting is free, and it can do all of these things, not just one!”

 

“Thank you for telling me about intermittent fasting! It is truly life changing!” In my nearly twenty years as a primary care physician, I’ve heard similar enthusiasm on occasion, but since I’ve been advocating for intermittent fasting—specifically Gin Stephens’ Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle—I hear this kind of excitement regularly. Recommending Gin’s first book has been the single most effective intervention that I, as a primary care physician, have ever made. In my patients’ experiences, it has more effective than any medication, program, or diet. It has also become a lifestyle for me, one that has allowed me to lose weight, have more energy, and—in an amazing non-scale victory—erased all joint pain. IF is an exceptionally livable, flexible lifestyle. I have done it while at home and also while I have traveled and celebrated: truly FEASTING and Fasting. I have lived this lifestyle for almost two years now and have no intention of ever going back to “three squares and snacks”! Gin has done it again—building on the science that she presented in her first book, and continuing to instruct readers about how to make Intermittent Fasting a livable lifestyle! Fast. Feast. Repeat. is a highly informative, readable guide to both the science behind intermittent fasting and the methods and tricks that make an intermittent fasting lifestyle both practical and easy. She presents the complex scientific concepts—like the teacher she is—by breaking them down in a way that is very easy to understand.

 

So say, Julie Sandell, DO, Family Medicine Physician, Cedar Falls, Iowa

 

Intermittent Fasting

I am nearly 85 as this book is published. Gin Stephens and Julie Sandell have told their findings, but I want to put my own experiences here too. You see, because I was two months premature and born dead – not breathing – the doctor threw my lifeless body aside and told my mother that I would be a weak child and she could have more children. However, my grandmother witnessed this and carried my body off and bathed me in hot and cold water and got me breathing. I owe her my life; she was my resurrection. The name of that resurrection was love.

 

What I missed out of the story before was that the gap between my thrown aside body and my grandmothers resurrection was that I had a near death experience. That because my lifeline, my umbilical cord, was cut early, so the delay led to my dying. I know many people cannot believe that a baby can remember such things. Well true they cannot remember as we do with words and images, but all life forms have enormous emotional responses and are known to experience a conditioned reflex. Whatever it was caused by my baby self to remember, and the experience left me with the desire to share the experience, to communicate to others about the wonder that we all are, about health of our body and amazing world death reveals to us. See What Lies Under The Surface

 

So, my search to communicate and learn about that led me to try fasting in my twenties. That was in the late 1950’s. At the time the research that Gin and Julie had access to was not known; but what was known was that survivors of the Holocaust who had almost no food started with serious illnesses and afterwards were often found the be cured of that illness. Well, I didn’t have any serious illness, but I had a lifelong trouble with my skin, and not knowing about Intermittent Fasting I went on a two weeks fast.

 

It wasn’t easy, but I finished it. It didn’t cure my skin problems, but I learned an awful lot. At the end I had hardly enough energy to move around, so at work I sat down every opportunity I could. I also saw that energy was behind most of our personal drives such as sex. That led me to realise that the sex drive was produced by a good energy production. Also, I saw that my thinking almost stopped. It was an extraordinary experience to have hardly any thoughts and emotions. It was like the Zen quiet mind. It led me to wonder that if a flow of our energy led to our thinking mind so what was causing sanity and madness?

 

In my later life I watched the BBC TV program Eat, Fast, and Live Longer. It led to the realisation that we only need to do fast two separate days a week. The programme dramatically showed the benefits, so I now fast two days a week. I lost two stones in weight, and it has helps keep my brain able to avoid the Alzheimer plague hitting so many. At 84 I do not need glasses, I need no hearing aids, I do not suffer from rheumatic miseries. But I did have a near fatal stroke which f****d my brain, leaving me unable to move, wetting the bed I was in, I couldn’t speak or respond, but even though my brain was useless I still existed in my downstairs life. See Tony’s Experience of Stroke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating a Bridge to Another Dimension

The four methods of meditation and the paths already given can be ways of learning to enter a different state or dimension of awareness or mind. I gave examples of peoples experience of this, but such examples were not achieved easily, or even if they were, they need to be repeated to establish the amazing or huge changes that are possible. For myself, one of the meditations was extraordinary the fist time I entered it, but it promised such greater change that it was used weekly for twelve years to see it through. If you use any one of those meditations regularly you will enter the shift from one level of experience to the wider awareness. See

 

So, what can be expected by using such techniques?

 

Most people are usually not really aware of two great forces acting on them in life and sleep. But we have two powerful actions working in us. The first is our waking experience based on having a body, its limitations, abilities, vulnerabilities and a particular gender. Our second is the power that gave us life and continues to express as dreams, also as our breathing and heartbeat – our life. This I have given the description as the Life Will or your Inner World.

While we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body, keeps us breathing and tries to heal any things that may have put our system out of harmony. So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second Will takes over when we sleep. See Sleep Paralysis

This Life will can move us to speak, to move our body, and in fact do things that we cannot do with our Conscious Will and in fact runs all our important life processes like heartbeat, digestion and also dreams. It was allowing the conscious action of this Life Wiil to be used for twelve years that produced huge changes in my life. Even so I am still an infant in what is possible, for we have evolved so far, and are capable of enormous further change.

Something that is possible for many is to be able to switch between the Conscious Will and the Life Will. For simplicity I have called this experience, of what is possible the ‘Waking Lucid Dreaming,

To get an understanding of what is possible when open to the Life Will read Edgar Cayce and the Cosmic Mind or his biography There Is A River.

But if you take the journey and succeed you will be able to meet your dead loved ones, to explore the hugeness you are as described in The Dimensions of Human Awareness and be able to realise and experience what is said in Exploring Inner Space. In fact you will find a whole new LIFE.

What is the Life of Death About

And what is that new life about. Well I can only tell where it all led me to as I was exploring my Inner World.

“I had really given up all my efforts to get somewhere! And that was when a quiet bliss grew in me, and I realised that many others had got to the same spot and sat there. I also realised that I had been seeking an external god, and in giving up my search and becoming quiet had found the inner god that we all are.

And in my quiet bliss I turned my head and looked to my left there was a path leading up a mountain and I know that it was a path others had taken after they knew the bliss, and I would take it also. I realised that the bliss I experienced was what many people call enlightenment, and I saw or realised that this was not an end, but the beginning of a climb.

I got to that spot on the hilltop where I just sat, as if there is no way onwards. This path has led me to drop my ambition, let go of my desire to lead or be a creator of something special to bring me acclaim. But it doesn’t stop me seeing the tragedy of the world and wanting to do something about it.

Slowly another possibility clarified – freedom within limitation. An amazing sense and experience of this freedom came upon me. It was more rewarding than Ananda/bliss, and with infinite possibility. Life could begin in an entirely new way. Relationships could be things of depth, variability, and beauty, once freed of the shackles of the eternal buzzing desire to shag.

Yet buzzing is not forbidden. Work can become a joy and a game instead of a struggle and a task. It is Life itself facing experience naked. Was that really it? I could hardly believe it. Surely an anxiety, problem or injury lay underneath. Perhaps I was still defending. I would dwell deeply in the ache and see.

As I did so I saw the colours got lighter and lighter. It felt as if something was going faster and faster. Yes, I could see kaleidoscopic patterns moving and changing faster, speeding up and getting lighter. First of all just colour, movement and intensity, then it burst into a direct awareness of energy in my being vibrating faster and faster. I could feel it moving each side of my spine, actually vibrating. It got more and more intense until suddenly it felt like the energy had cleared all its pathways and was vibrating at tremendous speed without barriers. It was an incredible experience yet at the same time not at all strange.

I had read about this, and expected bliss, strange awareness, entrance into other dimensions, contact with nonphysical intelligences, or a view of life that was goal oriented.

Something like – Aha, so life leads to this wider awareness – or meeting other minds – or fresh worlds – but no. It was all very ordinary in an extraordinary way. There was the energy. It was vibrating in a physically apparent way, just as it does when I sleep, only faster. It had reached a point where it seemed to clear out last remaining obstacles to stream freely. But it didn’t put me in touch with disincarnate entities, other dimensions, bliss, or a hidden life, or divine purpose.

What it did do was to increase what I already had. It gave more. This incredible energy I saw, experienced, that it didn’t do anything in particular, but on the other hand it would do anything. If I turned my energy into fear or self-destructive patterns, then I could be a lot more frightened and self-destructive with that amount of energy. Like a man who drinks and one who paints. With more money or energy they could respectively drink alcohol or paint a lot more. If I used my energy toward creativity and life enhancement, then that’s what the energy would do. It could heal or cause illness, give peace or restlessness, wisdom or folly. It would fill whatever one put before it. In my case it was being used to look at life and myself and cleanse body and consciousness of sickness and limiting painful or anxious attitudes, and that was what it was doing.

In fact it cleared so much pain, darkness and anxiety out of my soul, I felt a peaceful joy shining from me and no longer obstructed by the anxieties I have felt of late. It brought clearness, calm confidence, and open warmth. It brought more, in the same sense light brings more in a dark room.

As for goal orientation, I wondered, is this where man is destined to evolve? Is this where personal transformation leads? But really it was not like that. The energy did not lead anywhere. There was nothing to it or beyond it to reach. There was nowhere else to go. That realisation was repeated over and over. There is no divine purpose, higher world, meaning, or future evolution to escape into. There is only me, here, now. I have to be self-responsible and self-creative or be unconscious, driftwood on the sea of life”.

Years ago, during another exploration, I had an insight that I put into these words –

I am a wave on a shoreless sea.

From no beginning I travel to no goal,

Making my movements stillness.

Constantly I am arriving and departing,

Being born and dying. I am always with you

And yet have never been.

This was all experienced while in a state of waking lucid dreaming – Waking Lucid Dreaming

 

 

 

 

NOTES

 

[ii] But this time, as my mother ironed sheets, I did have an association with bone picking.  It meant I had done something wrong.  Thus the fight or flight reaction shoved my heart into first gear.  “You’ve been playing with yourself haven’t you,” she said.  It was not a question it was a statement. It didn’t mean anything to me anyway.  I knew what bone picking was now, but I didn’t know this one.  I told her so.  “You know what I mean” she said, “I’ve seen the marks on the sheets.”

 

Several things happened.  I put two and two together and they made four. My heart went into second gear, and I tried to swallow something that didn’t want to be swallowed, and made it difficult to talk.  It wasn’t what my mother had said, it was that she was now going into full erupt, and the power behind the words hit me.  “Please don’t do it – Please!  Daddy and I love you. Don’t you understand what you are doing to yourself?  Don’t you understand we don’t want to lose you?  We don’t want you to die? And if you keep on, you’ll die.  Do you understand that?  You’ll die!”

 

My heart had jumped straight into fourth, but my body still had the brake on.  It was a strange feeling to walk slowly out of that room almost paralysed, with a solid lump in my throat.  We never spoke about that again, ever.  It wasn’t necessary.  I had got the message.  It was only many years later that the pieces of the puzzle fell together because of something I heard on the wireless, making my mother’s intensity understandable.  She was obviously frightened I had TB. What I hadn’t understood was that in those days some people with TB had an overactive sexual activity that helped, in their condition, to deteriorate their health.  They died.  My mother was frightened I would kill myself on the old banjo, and from that day on, so was I.  So a battle of wills started, my will against myself. Previously I had never felt sex to be a problem, but it was now.  The fear of premature death had etched itself into my emotions.  Oh well, it was easily avoided.  All I needed to do was give up loving myself.  So I did.

 

But then in my sleep I began to make myself happy again, and would wake to find the act accomplished.  Up until then I had only been frightened, now I was scared stiff.  I had the awful feeling some horrible life-negating power possessed me, so that even in my sleep I was not master of myself.  For a thirteen year old to face the realisation that we are largely only conduits for natural and biological drives to express through, and not individuals in our own right, was heavy going.  I believe this was one of the first steps that led me in later years to an exploration of yoga.  It also eventually led me to realise that when we set ourselves against our own nature as I did, we create a devil, perhaps even the Devil, because of the fear, temptation, struggle and division we create in ourselves.

 

 

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