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AlteredStatesofConsciousness

Dreamsthemselvesareanalteredstateofconsciousness.ThetermASCreferstoasignificant
changeinwhatisconsideredanormalwakingawareness.Thereforeadreamisanexcellentexampleof
anASC.Forinstanceindreamsorinastatewherethesenseofselfisdiminished,peoplecan
sometimesdoorexperiencethingstheycannotinnormalwakingconsciousness.Problemscanbe
solvedinanintuitiveway;perceptionisheightened;somepeoplelookaheadtofutureevents,or
experienceaviewofthingsfardistantfromtheirphysicalbody;thereisalsothepossibilityof
generallyimpossiblehealingprocessesreleasedinthebody;memoriesofearlychildhoodorevenlife
inthewombaremorereadilyaccessibleinadreamorASCstatethaninnormallife.Ofcourse,ithas
tobesaidthatalthoughsuchthingsarepossible,therunofthemillalteredstateindreamsoffantasies,
haslittleornothingofthesesplendidpossibilities.ThereforepartofthestudyofASCsistodiscover
howwecan,ashumans,learntouseourownpotentialmoreadequately.See:espindreams;the
definitionsofdreamingunderFreud;o utofbodyexperience;
dreamyoga.

ThestrangeorunusualphenomenametinASCsarenolongerseenassomethingsimplybelievedby
thegullible.Researchershavebeenabletowitnessorrecordmanyofthem,butthereisstillno
commonlyheldtheorytoexplainthemoreradicalphenomenasuchasextraordinaryhealingor
separationofonesselfawarenessfromthebodyslocation.ForinstancetheyogiSwamiRama
demonstratedanalteredstateinthelaboratoryconditionsoftheMenningerFoundation.Whilewiredto
recordalterationsinbrainandbodyheheldhisrighthandinfrontofhimpalmup,andwhileobserved
byseveralscientists,causedtheleftsideofhishandtoturnbrightred,andtherightsidetobecome
ashengrey.Themeasuringinstrumentsshowedthathehadmanagedtocreateatemperaturedifference
of10degreesFahrenheitbetweenthetwosidesofhishand.Inexplainingwhathedoes,yogiRama
saysthatAllofthebodyisinthemind,butnotallofthemindisinthebody.

In1947aDutchman,MirinDajo,demonstratedtoaudiencesintheCorsoTheatreinZurich,thathe
couldallowanassistanttoplungeafencingfoilrightthroughhisbody,eventhroughvitalorgans,
withoutanyapparentharm.Dajodidnotbleedattheremovalofthefoil,andonlyafaintredline
markedwherethefoilhadpierced.ASwissdoctor,HansNaegeliOsjord,hearingofDajosalleged
wildtalent,inducedhimtoallowscientificinvestigationofwhathappenedwhenhewaspierced.Inthe
ZurichCantonalhospitalmanypeople,includingdoctorNaegeliOsjord,doctorWernerBrunner,the
chiefofsurgeryatthehospital,andanumberofotherdoctors,students,andjournalistobservedand
reportedontheexperiment.InfrontofthemDajostrippedtothewaistandafterspendingsometimein
meditation,hadhisassistantoncemoreplungethesteelthroughhim.Thisshouldhavedamagedvital
organs,buttherewasnoapparentharm,althoughthewitnesseswereshocked.Dajowasthenaskedto
allowanxraytobetakenwiththerapierstillinplace.Heagreed,walkedtothexraytheatrewiththe
foilstillinplace.TheresultofthexrayundeniablyshowedDajowaspiercedthroughvitalorgans.At
alaterdateDajowasagainexaminedbyscientistsinBasel,andthistimeallowedthedoctors
themselvestopiercehim.Eachtimetherewasnoapparentharm.Thiscasewasreportedbythe
GermanphysicistAlfredStelterinhisbookPsiHealing.

ManyotherpeoplethanDajohavedemonstratedthesameabilityandothersabilitiesequallystrange.
Inmostcasesthepersonhasfoundawaythroughprayerormeditation,orperhapsthroughthe
excitationcausedbyanextremesituation,toradicallyaltertheirstateofmindandemotion.Whilein
theASCtheirbodyormentalabilitiesareradicallydifferenttowheninaneverydaystateofmind.

ThisisdemonstratedbyawitnessedaccountofASCinSt.BernadetteofLourdes.Dr.Dozous,the
municipalphysicianofLourdeswaspresentwithotherpeoplewhileBernadettewasinanecstasy
broughtonbyprayerandloveofGod.Dr.DozousreportsthathesawBernadetteshandmovewhile
shewasinecstasy,becomingsoclosetoaburningcandletheflamelickedaroundherfingers.Dozous
timedtheeventandsaysitwasafulltenminutesbeforeBernadettecameoutofhertranceASC.
Therewasnoobservabledamagetoherhand.Dr.DozoussaysIsawitwithmyowneyes.ButI
swear,ifanyonehadtriedtomakemebelievesuchastoryIwouldhavelaughedhimtoscorn.
AdreamitselfISanASC.Inmostdreamshowever,wedonotoftendemonstratesuchradicallyaltered
talents.Nevertheless,therearedifferenceswecanallnote.Foremostisthefactthatwitheyesclosed
wehavemanagedtocreateanapparentlyrealworldsurroundinguswhichispurelypersonalandnot
witnessedbyotherpeopleinthesameroom.Inthisworldofourconjuringwefeelourselves
completelyinvolved,capableofexperiencingalltheemotionsandresponseswewouldfeelifinfact
theeventswemeetinthedreamoccurredinthewakingworld.Ifwemakeloveinourdreamwenot
onlyfeelrealpassion,ourbodymayalsoproduceallthesignsofactuallovemaking,suchas
ejaculation,thatwouldoccurifonehadaphysicalpartner.Technicallythisabilitytoseeadreamasan
externalrealityiscalledhallucination.Occasionallythisoccurswhileweareawakeorusingadrug.

Althoughdreamhallucinationistakenforgranted,ithasenormouspotential.Inournightlydreamswe
oftentouchonlyatinypartofthispotential.Thisisunderstandableifoneconsidersthatinthesexual
dreamsmentionedourbodyfullytakespartinwhatisbeingdreamt.Thiscouldmeanthatifwedreamt
ofourbodybeinghotononesideandfreezingontheother,thereisthelikelihoodthatwewould,like
SwamiRama,produceamarkeddifferenceoftemperatureontheoppositesidesofourbody.Infact
peoplewhohavelearnedbiofeedbacktechniquescandothisinsomemeasure.

Makingonepartofourbodyhotandanothercoldmaynotbeofgreatpracticalbenefit,althoughit
probablyhasamarkedhealingeffectiftheextrabloodisdirectedtosickpartsofthebody.Supposing
however,wecoulddreaminawayenablingustoseewhatwashappeninginourbody,torecognise
signsofillnessandhealthem.Thiswouldbeawonderfuladditiontoournaturalhealingprocess.This
isnotafantasy,ithappenswithafewpeople,andunderstandingtheprocesscanhelpusconscious
workwithit.Similarly,peoplehavelearnedtoworkwiththedreamprocesstodreamtraumatic
episodesoftheirbirth,babyhoodorchildhood.Indoingsotheyuncoverthepowerfulreactionsthat
wereexperiencedordecisionsmadewhichhavesubsequentlyinfluencedtheirlivesnegatively.They
alsomanagetomeetthepersonorbabytheywereatthatperiodoftheirlife,andhelpitintegratemore
fullywiththepresentsituation.See:lucidityawakeinsleep;dreamyoga.

RealisticTimeTravel

Thismaysoundstrange.Howdoesonemeetthebabythatonewasallthoseyearsago?Fortunately
presentdaycomputersimulationhashelpedustounderstandsomeofthetalentsweourselveshavebut
seldomuse.Adreamofflyinganaeroplaneisasortofcomputersimulationoftheevent.Itisinfact
farmorerealisticthanthepresentdaysimulators.Wefeeltotallyinvolved.Ourdreamingmindcan
takeallthefactorsandmemoriesithasinstore,ratherlikethecomputerinStarTrekwhichcreates
holographicscenesthecrewcanchoosetoexistwithin,andlikewiseproducesholographicsimulations.
Mostcommonlywedothisnotwithaeroplaneflightbutbysimulatingactualpeople.Withitsown
mysteriousprocesses,ourmindproducesapparentlyexteriorpeopleinourdreams.Thesepeopleofour
dreamshavetheirownindependentactionandidiosyncrasies.Wemightlikethem,lovethemorbe
frightenedofthemwhilewedream.Someofthesepeoplearesimulationsofourownyouth,
childhood,andbabyself.Throughsuchdreamsimulationwehaveafarmoreprofoundexperienceof
thatpartofourlifethanweeverwouldbysimplythinkingaboutourselvesatthatage.Byinteracting
withthesimulationsonecanmorefullylearnaboutthedifficultiesandexperiencesofoneselfatthat
period.Wecandiscoverthesubtletiesofhowwearerelatingtothatpartofourexperiencenow.From
suchknowledgewecanthenreprogramtheresultsofourownpast.SeeProcessingDreams;Acting
onYourDream.

Althoughweareoftennotinthehabitofbelievingthatwecanusefullyinteractwithadreamimage
whichinourcultureisfrequentlyseenasonlyimaginationwecanneverthelessproducepowerful
personalchangesinthisway,andthereareplentyofexamplesinpsychologyandineverydaylifeof
thepowerandrealityofsuchinteraction.Incomputeruseforinstance,itisnowcommonplacetohave
animageonthescreenthatconnectsuseitherwithinformationstoredontheharddisk,orwillevokea
programmedresponselinkedwiththeimage.Sobymovingourcursortoanimageandclickingonit
wecanstartaprogramsuchasawordprocessor;orwecancausetobedisplayedinformationsuchasa
book,musicoraphotograph,thatisstoredontheharddisk.Inasimilarway,bylearningtousean
ASC,suchasthedreamstateoraconditioninwhichyouareengrossedinadirectedfantasysuchas
meditationorprayerandbyusingadreamimageinsuchfantasy,youcanevokeresponsesfromparts
ofyouusuallyinaccessible.

TheWorldBeyondTheSenses

Thecreationofafullydimensionalworld,filledwithvariedandcomplexscenes,objects,plants,
animalsandpeoplewithwhichwecaninteract,isonlyoneoftheaspectsoftheASCwecalldreaming.
Theshuttingdownoftheinputfromthephysicalsensesisequallyimportantandofferinginteresting
possibilities.

Whileawakewearebombardedbyimpressionpouringinfromeyes,ears,tongue,noseandskin.We
knowfromexperiencethatifweignorethesemessagesweplaceourselvesinperilofdirephysical
injuryorsocialmistake.Ifwefailtonoticetheobjectattheheadofthestairs,wemaywellfalland
sufferinjuryaffectingusfortherestofourlife.Suchconsequencesleadustoconsiderwhatthesenses
andourbrainsinterpretativefacultiespresenttousasveryREAL.Sorealthatmanypeoplecannot
believetherecanbeanyotherwaytheuniverseandtheworldcanappear.However,insteadofcalling
theworldasweknowitthroughthesensestherealworld,itwouldbemoreaccuratetocallitthe
worldasitappearsduetooursize,composition,cultureandthesenseswecommonlyuse.Theworld
seenthroughapowerfulmicroscopeortelescopeisverydifferent,andoursensesonlyshowusvery
limitedaspectsoftheuniversethatcanbeenhancedbysuchinstruments.

Ifwewerethesizeofanatom,orevenamoleculeforinstance,realitywouldappearcompletely
differenttous.Theincrediblespeedwithwhichwe,asanatom,interactwithourenvironmentwould
giveusatotallydifferentviewoftimeandspace.Yearsofactivityforouratomicselfwouldbeonlya
secondoftimetoourbodilyself.Thesolidsurfacesofourbodilyviewoftheworld,wouldbecome
easilypenetrablebyouratomicself.Vastlydifferentattractionsandrepulsions,wouldapply.Gravity
andspacewouldbetotallydifferentexperiences.

Again,ifwewerecompletelyawaterbeing,oncemore,surfacesthataresolidtousinourphysical
body,wouldeasilybepenetratedbyourwaterbody.Atreewouldnotbeadenseobjectfromwhichwe
weretotallyseparate.Insteadwewouldparticipateinitslife,flowingthroughitswholestructure,being
anintimatepartofit,thenpassingontootherexperiencesradicallydifferent.

Similarly,theclosingdownofoursensoryimpressionsinsleepanddreams,producesanASCthat
opensustoacompletelydifferentrelationshipwithreality.(ByrealityIheremeantheuniverseasitis,
ratherthanhowweperceiveit.Thisrealitycanberelatedtoinaninfinitenumberofways.)Ifmet
consciouslyratherthanintheunconsciousnessofsleep,theexperienceofsensoryshutdownisso
differenttowakingawarenessthatatfirstourinterpretativefacultiesthefunctionsinthebrainthat
attempttoputmeaningtotheimpressionsreceivedoftenfallbackontoasensoryormaterialistic
viewoftheexperiencesoccurring.SeeTheNextStep.

ThiscanbeillustratedbyanexperienceIhadwhileworkinginJapan.AfterbeinginJapanforsome
weeks,andnotunderstandingthelanguageIwassurroundedby,IhadgonewithagroupofJapanese
studentstoarestaurantforlunch.Asweapproachedthedooritwasopenedbyoneoftherestaurant
staff.IheardhimgreetthefemaleswiththewordsBonjourMadame.Ithoughtitmustbefashionable
tospeakinFrenchintherestaurants.OnlatermentioningittothepeopleIwaswitheveryonewas
mystified.NooneapartfrommyselfhadheardanythingspokeninFrench.Somedayslaterinsimilar
circumstanceswhileactuallysittingattableIheardawaitersaytooneofthewomenMerciMadame.
Iimmediatelysaidtothemsomethinglike,Yousee,theydospeakinFrench.Oncemoreeveryone
wasmystifiedasnoonehadheardanyFrenchspoken.Butnoonewasmoremystifiedthanmyself.I
hadclearlyheardthemanspeakinFrench.
Ibelievetheexplanationisthatsurroundedbyaforeignlanguage,mybrainsinterpretativefacultywas
workingovertimetoputmeaningtothesoundsconstantlydirectedatmebyobviousattemptsto
communicatebytheJapaneseIwasmeeting.Occasionallythesettingandsituationasinevery
conversationweretakenasmajorclues,andmybraininterpretedthesoundsasforeign,andyetones
IunderstoodthereforeputtingthemintoFrench.Iliterallyheardthewordsspoken.

Althoughunusual,thismusthappentomanypeople.Afterall,ourbrainisconstantlycreatingthe
soundswehearandputtingmeaningtothem.Ifthiswerenotsoallspokensoundswouldremain
meaningless.Similarlyweareconstantlyconstructinganimageoftheworldfromtheimpressions
givenbyoursensesorourinnerworkingsofthemind.Inconnectionwiththelossofsensoryinput,the
impressionswegainviasensesotherthanourphysicalones,arelikewiseorderedbyourmindinto
formsofperceptionthatwillhavesomesortofmeaningtous.TheradioandTVsignalsinthe
atmospherearemeaninglesstousuntilweinterpretthemthroughthecircuitofthereceivingset.See
MagicalDreamMachine.

Somethingillustratingthishappenedtomewhileworkingwithafriend,John,whoownedahotel.I
wasmendingsomethingforhimonaflatroofofhisprivatehouse.Meanwhilehehaddrivenawayto
thehotel.AbouttwentyminutesafterhehadgoneIheardhimshoutmynamewithgreaturgency.In
facthecalledmetwice.Iwaspuzzledandthoughthemusthavereturnedwithoutmenoticing.Asthe
toneofvoicecarriedurgencyIclimbedofftheroofandwentinsearchofhim.Momentslaterthe
telephoneranginhishouse.ItwasJohn,stillatthehotel.Hehadjustturnedthewateronforthefirst
timeafteraspellofcoldweather,andbadpipeburstswereapparentalloverthehotel.Hehadrushed
tothephonetocallmeforhelp.InsomewayIhadheardhimcallbeforehereachedthetelephone.

Thehotelwasaboutamileawayontheothersideofthetown.TherewasobviouslynowayIcould
haveheardhisvoicewithmyphysicalears.SowhateversignalJohnsanguisheddesireformy
presencecreated,mymindhadturneditintowhatappearedtobehisactualvoicecallingme.Thatwas
understandabletome,whilethesubtleenergiesgeneratedbyJohnsanguish,althoughobviously
apprehendedbysomepartofmymind,werenotsensibletome.ThatJohnhadnotactuallyspokenmy
nameuntilhereachedthetelephoneisanimportantdetail.Throughitwegainsomeclarityofhowthis
subtlesideofourmindworks.ItwasnotasoundthatIhadinsomewaypsychicallyheardata
distance.ItwasapowerfulemotionandadesiretocontactmeinJohnthatmymindsensedand
presentedastheactualsoundofmynamebeingcalled.IhadexperiencedanASC.SeeTheNextStep.

Forthesakeofcarryingthisintorealmsaboutwhichalotofconfusionexists,letussaythatJohnisno
longeraphysicalbeing.Hehasnobody,andsothereforehasnophysicallyapparentvoice,nohandsto
signal,andnolegstomoveacrossthesurfaceoftheworld.Forthesakeoftheexampleletusdefine
Johnasabodilessselfawarenesswhohasimpulsesandrealisationsaswedo,butwithnomeansof
expressingtheminthedimensionofphysicalityweknowthroughthesize,compositionandsensesof
ourbody.ThereforewecannotseeJohn,wecannothearhimorsensehimwithanyofourfivebody
senses.Hedoesnthaveanyshapeorweight,andhedoesnttakeupanyspaceinthegenerally
acceptedway.Likearadiosignalwithoutanymeansoftranslationintophysicalsound,John
apparentlydoesntexistatleastnotifwelookforhimwithoureyes,ears,nose,touchortaste.This
strangeexperienceofexistingandyetnotbeingseenoccurredtomeonceduringanoutofbody
experienceinwhichIstoodinfrontofmymother.Icouldwitnessallthatshewasdoingandwhatwas
happeningintheroom,butwasdeeplyfrustratedbecausedespitecallinghername,sheappearedto
havenoawarenessofmeatall.See:TalkingWiththeDead.

ConsideringtheexampleofmyhearingJohncallingmewhilehewasamileaway,hisunspokencall
wasknownbyme.SothereisthepossibilitythatJohnasabodilessmindcouldalsobeknownbya
similarprocess.Whateverdesireorcommunicationhegeneratedasapersonalimpulsemightbesensed
bymymindandtranslatedintoasensoryexperience.IntheactualeventIheardhim.Ortoputit
anotherwaythepartofmymindthatcancreateapparentspeechindreamswaspossiblyatworkand
causedawakingexperienceofdreamingorhallucinatingthesound.Sometimestheword
hallucinationisdefined,asintheConciseOxfordDictionary,astheapparentorallegedperceptionof
anobjectnotactuallypresent.Hallucinateisdefinedasproduceillusionsinthemindof(aperson).
AndtheetymologyofthewordsisfromtheLatinhallucinaritowanderinmind,andtheGreek
allusotobeuneasy.Butifweaccepttheexperienceofhearingadistantpersonwhentheycall
silentlybutwithanguish,thenhallucinationdoesnotmeananillusion.Itmeansthecreationofa
consciouslyknowableexperiencefromsomethingthatwasnotperceptiblewithphysicalsenses.It
meansthetranslationintoapparentlyaudiblesound,ofsomethingthatwaspreviouslyintangible
physically.SeeExplainHallucination.

Timehasbeentakentoexplainthisatlengthbecausemanyalteredstatesofconsciousnessproduce
phenomenawhichseemirrationalunlessweunderstandclearlythatwhatweexperienceascommonin
dreamstheproductionofapparentlyrealsounds,sensations,sight,taste,smellandemotionsisthe
simplestanswertowhatisseen,heard,feltorexperiencedduringanASCsuchasoccursinsensory
deprivation.See:TheTwoPowers;lucidityawakeinsleep;yogaanddreams.

Whensensoryinputisdecreased,thereisgreaterlikelihoodwewillbeawareofimpressionsarising
fromthismentalrealm.Thereisquiteabigdifferencehowever,betweenthesensorydeprivation
producedartificiallybyplacingapersoninasoundproofedroomorspecialsensorydeprivation
chamber,thanthereisthroughthedroppingofsensoryimpressionduringsleep.Artificialsensory
deprivationfrequentlyproducesgreatconfusionordeepenedfeelingsofdespairordepression.
Researchershaveoftenthoughtofthisasmeaningthatbeneaththesurfaceofthehumanpsychethere
wasafundamentalchaos,onlyorderedbythephysicalbrainanditsrationalcomponents.Forinstance
individualswhohadexperiencedsomeformofpsychosisbutrecovered,wouldoftenexhibitmarked
worseningoftheirconditionifplacedinsensorydeprivation.Fromtheexperienceofthosewhohave
deeplyexploredtheirownunconsciouscontentshowever,suchstatementsonlysuggestthattheperson
stillcarriesmanyinternaltraumasandunresolvedconflictsperhapsdeeplyetchedmemoriesof
childhood,suchasadifficultbirth.Whenthesehavebeendealtwiththechaoticexperiencesdisappear.
ButIknowfrompersonalexperiencethatastheunconsciousclutterisclearedbsuchmethodsa
LifeStreamthereisnomadnessbutclearconsciousness.SeePeoplesExperienceofLifeStream.

Ihaveseenthatpriortomyowninnerexplorationsandmeetingwithchildhoodtraumas,ifillnessled
metobecomedeliriousIwouldbetotallylostinthewhirlofemotionsandimagerythatarose.Inlater
yearshowever,aftermeetingmanyaspectsofmyselfinahealingway,andagaindelirious,although
theimageryaroseasbefore,itwasnolongerthreateningoroverwhelming.Ifonehasnever
experiencedthismeetingwithonesownchildhoodself,evenifonehastakendrugsorexperienced
hallucinationsthroughothermeans,itisverydifficulttounderstandtheimmenselypowerfulrolesuch
pastexperiencesplayinproducingcurrenthallucinationandmoodswings.Inacertainsense,people
whohavenevercleanedouttheAegeanStablesoftheirownchildhoodoradulttraumaareundera
constantASCcausedbyinternaltrauma.SuchpermanentASCsproduceaviewoftheworldrelatedto
theunderlyingtraumasorhabitpatterns.Acommonexampleisthattheoppositesexmaybeforever
figuresoftensionorthreat;orifnotthat,thenproducinginusenormousdependentlongingsand
desires.

Eventhoughthesleepformofsensorydeprivationisgenerallylessthreateningthantheartificial,in
eithercaseonecomesfacetofacewithonesowninternalcontent.Foranyrealexplorationofself
whichgoesbeyondthelimitsofthephysicalsensesandculturalnorms,theseinternalcontentsour
ownhistoryanditsresultsmustbemetandintegrated.Itisthismeetingthatgivesthefuelor
materialfortheemergenceofawiderawarenessgrowingoutofthelimitationsofeverydayexperience.
See:guardianofthethreshold.

WhatProducesAnASC?

WhenCharlesTart,thewriter/editorofthebookAlteredStatesofConsciousness,investigatedthe
subjectinthe60s,itwasdifficultwhentheevidencewasgatheredin,tosayexactlywhatcan
stimulateanASC.Thereasonbeingthatalmostanythingcanbethetrigger.Ithasbeensaidthattolist
thetriggersbecomescomicinthatonehastoincludealmosteverythingfromscratchingonesearto
takingadrugsuchasalcoholorLSD.Evensomethingascommonasadrinkofcoffeecanproducean
alteredstate.Sometimesthereisapparentlynoobvioustriggeratall.MyexperienceofhearingJohns
voicecallingoccurredwithoutmeevenknowingwhatitwasuntilthetelephonecall.Perhapsmany
experiencesofalteredstatehappeninthiswayandgounnoticed.

HoweverthereareclassicwaysofproducingASCs,andeachculturehasitsowntraditionalmethods.
ButbecausetherearesomanydifferentplacesanASCcantakeuseverythingfromapparenttime
traveltocontactwiththedeadithastobeunderstoodthatsomeofthetechniquesrelatetospecific
areasofexperience.Alcoholforinstancehasageneraltendencytomakeonelesscapablephysically
andtodeadenonessensitivity.Someofthebestknowntechniquesarelistedbelow.

*Meditationandprayerintheirmanyforms.Thesemayuseimageryandfantasy;themental
repetitionofaphrase,questionorprayer;thestillingofthethoughtsandemotions;theevokingoflove
andpassionforagodorGod;thedirectingofattentionalongparticularpathways.Thislattermaybe
donebyconcentratingdeeplyonaquestionorproblem.Inthesewaysonecallsonwhatisoutof
sightwithinthepsychetorespond.OnethatIhavesuccessfullyusediscalledEnlightenment
Intensive.

*Bodypostures,movementsanddance.Experimentswithsomebodyposturesinparticularsetting
haveproducedmarkedchangesinstatesofawareness.SeeBodyPostureandReligiousAlteredStates
ofConsciousnessbyFelicitasD.GoodmanwhichappearedinTheJournalofHumanisticPsychology,
Summer1986.AlsoseeMagnetismandMagicbyBaronDuPotetDeSennevoy.

Allowingspontaneousbodymovements,asoccursinmanyformsofsacredpracticessuchasearly
Pentecostalism,ShaktipatinIndia,SubudinIndonesia,SetaiinJapan,canquicklyleadtopronounced
ASCs.See:movementsduringsleep.Givenmovements,suchasthedanceoftheDervishes,isalsoa
waymanyculturesusetoproduceparticularformsofASC.Inmanyofthesepractices,theresultsmay
beduetothemovementsorposturehelpingthepersontoletgooftheirthinkingandwill,enablingan
easieremergenceofunconsciousmaterialusuallysuppressedbydominantprocesses.Thewhirlingof
theDervishesisparticularlyexpressiveofthis.SeeTheLifeStream.

*Consciouslydirectingthebreathinginsomeway.See:yogaanddreams.Becausethebreathing
issointimatelyconnectedwithbodyprocesses,moodandemotion,consciouslychangingitcanbea
powerfulformofproducinganASC.Ingeneral,fastfullbreathingisanaccelerator.Itspeedsheart,
overoxygenates,andreproducesthesortofphysicalstateofexcitement,highactivityandhigh
emotionsuchaslaughingorcrying.Itreducesthemuscularandpsychologicalbarrierswemay
habituallyholdtopreventourselvesopenlyexpressingemotionsthroughthephysicalmovementsof
sobbingorlaughing.Thisiswhyitisusedagreatdealinpopulartherapymovementssuchas
RebirthingandGrofsHolotropicBreathwork.Itsusemayproducethereleaseoflongheldemotionsor
spontaneousfantasy,includingpowerfulbodymovementsandemotions.Thefantasiesareexplainedin
manyways,suchasmemoriesofpastlives,releaseofchildhoodtrauma.Thisneedscarefulhandling.
See:martialartforthemind.Intheoppositedirectionslowingthebreathbringscontrolofemotions,
aslowingofthementalprocesses,andwhenusedsuccessfullyproducesanASCwherethethoughts
stopandonemovesintoacompletelydifferentexperienceofoneself.

*Useofstress,suchasfasting,isolation,warfare,disorientation,etc.Anyformofstresscan
triggeramarkedASC.Fastingwasoftenusedprobablybecauseitisafairlycontrollableformof
stress,andmightevenproduceasenseofdying.ManypeoplehaveanASCfollowingacaraccident,
orduringanynaturalupheavalsuchasanearthquakeorflood,orafteramedicaloperation.InR.D.
LaingsbookThePoliticsofExperience.theASCofJesseWatkinsisquoted.Thebarriersbetween
Jessesknownself,andwiderselfhadbeenbrokendownbyachangeofjobandlifestyle,overwork,
fatigue,adogbite,andavisittohospital.Jessedescribespartofhisexperienceasfollows:

Ihadafeelingattimesofanenormousjourneyinfront,quite,er,afantasticjourney,anditseemed
thatIhadgotanunderstandingofthingswhichIdbeentryingtounderstandforalongtime,problems
ofgoodandevilandsoon,andthatIhadsolveditinasmuchthatIhadcometotheconclusion,withall
thefeelingsthatIhadatthetime,thatIwasmore,morethanIhadalwaysimaginedmyself,notjust
existingnow,butIhadexistedsincetheverybeginning,fromthelowestformoflifetothepresent
time,andthatthatwasthesumofmyrealexperiences,andthatwhatIwasdoingwasexperiencing
themagain.Andthatthen,occasionallyIhadthissortofvistaaheadofmeaheadofmewaslying
themosthorrificjourney,theonlywayIcandescribeitisajourneytothefinalsortofbusinessof
beingawareofalleverything.Itwassuchahorrifyingexperiencetosuddenlyfeel,thatI
immediatelyshutmyselfofffromitbecauseIcouldntcontemplateit,becauseitsortofshiveredmeup
IwasunabletotakeitSeeJesseWatkinsASC.

*Penetratingonesdreamsthroughlearningtomovebeyondtheirsurfaceimagerytothe
underlyingemotions,pastexperiencesandrealisationsfromwhichtheyemerge,isaclassicwayof
experiencingASCs.Thereasonforthishasalreadybeendescribedaboveintheexamplegivenofthe
imageonthescreenofacomputerwhichlinkstoaprogramontheharddisk.Thedreamimagehas
directlinkswithmemoriesorprocessesthatarenotonthescreenofwakingawarenessuntilaccessed
viatheimage.

Infactdreamscanbethoughtofasacomputergamewithfullsurroundvirtualreality.Insuchgames
youcanbekilledathousandtimesandyetyousurvivetodealwiththemonstersagain.Thatisunless
youlearnawaythroughandgoonthroughthelevels.Butunlikethosegamesindreamsthereisa
wonderfulintelligencebehindthedreamswehave,andifyoulistenandlearnfromityouwillfinda
realmastershipnotafalseoneofdenyinganyfearorrepressinganythingthatthreatensyou.

Example:OnceIhadgotintothedreamimageIwasworkingon,myemotionsstartedflowingeasily
inresponsetowhatIwasconsideringinthedream.Thiswasntlikecryingaboutsomething,butmore
likeastreamoffeelingsthatletmereallyknowwhatmydeepestreactionswere.Thisledmeto
experiencesomethingIwillhavetodescribeinpictures,butwasreallymorelikedirectlyknowing
somethingwithoutanypicturesorfantasy.AlsoIdontknowwhylookingatthedreamledmetothis.
PerhapsitwassimplythatIhadopenedmyeyestoitinsomeway.WhathappenedwasthatIseemed
togothroughthegroundtowhatliesunderneath.Idontliterallymeanundertheearth,butunderneath
people,underneaththeeventsinlife,whatisusuallyhidden,onlyIfeltitaslikegoingintoavastplace
underneatheverythingtheunconscious.

ThefirstthingIsawwasmyyoungestson.Hewascrouchedjustbelowthesurface,unabletobreak
throughtotheoutsidewhatwecalleverydaylife.Thiswasarevelationbecauseitexplainedsomuch
abouthisbehaviour.Itshowedmeexactlywhatdifficultieshewasfacing.Lotsofpeoplenevergetto
evenglimpsethishiddenworldofbeingsandenergies,butmysonhadalwaysknownitandbeenheld
byit,almostlikehehadneverbeenbornfromit.Seeinghimatfirstdeeplyconcernedme.ButI
understoodthatthiswashislife.Althoughitwasdifficulthewouldlearnthingsdeniedtomostpeople.
Hewouldknowtheminstinctivelybecausehewasanativetothisunderneathworld,theplaceinside
us.SoIstoredthememoryandmovedon.

IfoundthatIcouldthinkofanyoneIknewandgaininsightsintowhattheywerelikeinside.Thiswas
becausethisplace,orconditionIwasinwaslikeaspaceunderneathatown.Fromhereyoucouldget
intoanyoneshouse.Youcouldtouchtherootsoftreesandalllivingthings,becausetheyallemerged
fromhere.Myownsenseofmyselfwasdifferenttoo.IknewwithoutdoubtthatIhadexisted
throughoutalltime.IfIaskedaquestionaboutthepast,Iknewjustwhathadhappenedthen,thewhole
struggleofhumanitytogrow,tomeetitself.Iknewbecausemycentralselfhadbeenapartofitall.

ThenIcametowhatIcalledtheTempleofTheAnimals.AgainIhavetodescribeitasapicture,a
scene,butitwasmorelikeadirectknowingorexperience.Hereallthatlivedwasgatheredtogether.
Notonlyasrankuponrankofanimalsinagreatamphitheatre,butgatheredinbeinglinkedasone
mind,onespirit,knowingeachother.SothatwhenIwalkedintothetempleImetthisvastspiritwhich
wasasancientaslife,andhadexperiencedallthatlifehaddoneonthisplanet,andknewallthe
wisdomofitsimmenseexperience.Andthisgreatspiritlookeduponmeandknewme.Itenteredmy
ownspiritlookingtoseeifIknewhowtolovemymateandcareformychildren.Itdidthis,asI
understoodit,becausecentraltoallthatlifehaddoneinitsmanyforms,wasthisgreatthemeofself
givingincaringforoffspringandmate.Ithadlearnedhowtolove,andifIhadnotlearnedthatlesson,
Icouldntreceivetheblessingitcouldgive.Asitwas,itjudgedIhadsufficientlylearnedthelessonof
givingmyself.ThenIreceivedtheblessingofsharingasmallpartofitswisdomandancientlove.A.
T.

*Herbs,drugs,andvariousformsofdiethavebeenassociatedwithalteredstatesofconsciousness
sincethebeginningofhistory.Somepeoplebelievethatdrugssuchaspsilocybinwerethesourceof
manyreligiousvisionaryteachingsanddivineinsights.Thisseemsunlikelyconsideringhowmany
thingscanleadtoanASC.Thereadinesswithwhichsomedrugs,orherbscontaininghallucinatory
drugs,canleadtopowerfulASCs,doeshowever,makethemoneofthemajorpathwaystowardthe
wealthofexperienceprovidedbyASCs.Aswithanythingwhichcanprovokepowerfulhallucinations
andemotions,therearedangersattachedtotheuseofsuchdrugs.Whenwewanttodriveacar,which
isalsoadangerousundertaking,societyprovidesmeansoflearninghowtosafelyhandlethevehicle,
butsuchdrugsareeasilyaccessible,andyetthereisnoschoolingintheirsafeusage.See:
hallucinationsandhallucinogens.

*Excitationofvariousforms,whethersexual,emotional,physicalsuchasdescribedinrapid
breathing,canleadtoexperiencinganASC.Someoftheseformsofexcitationaredescribedinthe
othersectionsabove.

*Notinterferingwiththeworkingsofonespsycheisprobablythesimplestandmostfundamental
formofallowingASCs.ThisapproachistaughtinmanyofthetraditionalschoolssuchasBuddhism,
Christianmysticism,Islamicmysticism,Subud,andmostrecentlybyCarlJunginhismethodsof
accessingtheunconscious.InBuddhismVipassanameditationisthewayofnotinterfering,notgiving
oneselfagoalinmeditation.Onesimplyobserveswhatthemindandemotionsdowhenonestops
forevereditingordirecting.InChristianmysticismthebookTheCloudofUnknowingdescribesa
similarprocess,butfromaverydifferentstandpoint.

CarlJungclearlywritesaboutthisapproach.Indescribingwhatsomeofhispatientsdidtooutgrow
whatappearedtobeinsolubleproblems,hewrites,Whatthendidthesepeopledoinordertoachieve
theprogresswhichfreedthem?AsfarasIcouldseetheydidnothingbutletthingshappenTheart
oflettingthingshappen,actioninnonaction,lettinggoofoneself,astaughtbyMasterEckhart,
becameakeyformeThekeyisthis:wemustbeabletoletthingshappeninthepsyche.Forus,this
becomesarealartofwhichfewpeopleknowanything.Consciousnessisforeverinterfering,helping,
correcting,andnegating,andneverleavingthesimplegrowthofthepsychicprocessesinpeace.It
wouldbeasimpleenoughthingtodoifonlysimplicitywerenotthemostdifficultofallthings.It
consistssolelyinwatchingobjectivelythedevelopmentofanyfragmentoffantasy.Quotedfrom
JungscommentaryinthebookSecretOfTheGoldenFlower,byRichardWilhelm,publishedby
RoutledgeandKeganPaul.

Thepossiblereasonfortheefficacyofthisapproachmaybetwofold.Firstlythroughsimpleself
observationonegraduallyarrivesataformofinsightwhichleadstoatranscendingofonesegoasit
stoodpriortotheinsights.OnemayevenarriveatamassiveASCaninsightintotheimpermanence
oftheego,andtheexperienceofliberationarisingfromit.Also,consideringthatdreamsare
spontaneous,andaccordingtosometheories,selfregulating,anysuccessatnoninterferencewillgive
greaterfreedomtotheprocesswhichproducesdreams.

Myownexperiencewithmanypeoplesuggeststhereisaninbuiltprocessinuswhichattemptstomove
towardaformofselfrealisationbeyondtheboundariesoftheegoandthesenseimpressions.Asthis
pushesonesinnercontenttothesurface,andassuchcontentmayincludeverypainfulinfantile
experience,mostofuspersistininterferingorasJungsays,helping,correcting,andnegating.See
LifeslittleSecrets

WhileASCs,suchasthosearisinginanLSDsession,mayappearstrange,wonderfulorfrightening,
recentattemptstounderstandtheforcesatworkproducingthemsuggeststheyarisefromsomething
otherthanrandomfantasy.Inmostcasesinvestigationusuallylinksthemeitherwithaselfregulating
processinthepsyche,orwiththeoverallprocessofpersonalgrowth,suchaswefacewhenpassing
throughadolescence.WritingofthelatterinJungsbookManandHisSymbols,MarievonFranzsays,
Thusourdreamlifecreatesameanderingpatterninwhichindividualstrandsortendenciesbecome
visible,thenvanish,thenreturnagain.Ifonewatchesthismeanderingdesignoveralongperiodof
time,onecanobserveasortofhiddenregulatingordirectingtendencyatwork,creatingaslow,
imperceptibleprocessofpsychicgrowththeprocessofindividuation.Graduallyawiderandmore
maturepersonalityemerges,andbydegreesbecomeseffectiveandevenvisibletoothers.The
organisingcentrefromwhichtheregulatoryeffectstemsseemstobeasortofnuclearatominour
psychicsystem.Onecouldalsocallittheinventor,organiser,andsourceofdreamimages.Jungcalled
thiscentretheSelfanddescribeditasthetotalityofthewholepsyche,inordertodistinguishitfrom
theego,whichconstitutesonlyasmallpartofthetotalpsyche.

*Spontaneousmentalimageswhileawakewhichlaterprovetoreflectrealityinsomeway
whetherpastpresentorfuture.

Example:WhileatworkIwaswaitingfortheprocessinthephotographictankstorunitscourseand
startedthinkingaboutwhetheronecouldmakethemindreceptive.Itriedandimmediatelyhadaclear
pictureinmymindofafriendsdaughter,Diana.ShewassomeoneIseldomeverthoughtabout,soI
feltitinterestingshewouldcometomindassoonasItriedtobereceptive.Suddenlythepicture
changedandwasreplacedbyababy.Againitchanged,ratherlikeaslideshow,andnowthebabyhad
acrownonitsheadandwasobviouslyaboy.

ThisallimpressedmebecauseIcouldntseeanypersonalassociationallinksbetweenwhatIhadbeen
thinkingandDiana,andthenbetweenDianaandababy.Sowhen,abouttendayslaterIhadreasonto
telephoneDianasmother,andafterdealingwithbusinesstoldherIwantedtochecksomething,and
askedifDianawaspregnant.Shelaughed,andwhenIaskedwhysaid,Wedontknow.Shehasjust
gonetothedoctortodaytofindout.ItturnedoutDianawaspregnantandshelatergavebirthtoason.
JustinE.

*Thehearingofsounds,orpeopletalkingtoone,withoutanyphysicalpresencebeingresponsible
forthesoundsorvoices.

Example:Ihadbeenmeditatingagreatdealwithoutanyapparentresults.Thisledtothequestionof
justhowdidGodmanifestifyouopenedyourlifetothespirit.OnenightIhadwokenbecauseI
neededtogotothetoilet.JustasIwasapproachingmybedagainIheardavoicespeakingtome.It
wasveryclearandseemedtocomefromeverywhereintheroom.Itsaid,YouhaveaskedhowGod
touchesahumanlife.Nowwatchclosely.

Thiswasanextraordinaryexperienceandnothinglikeithadhappenedtomebefore,soIwasnaturally
fascinatedtoseewhathappened.Icouldntsleepthatnight,expectingsomethingelseasdramaticto
occur.Nothingdid,butshortlyafterwardsIbegantoexperiencethereleaseofpainfulemotionsand
memoriesfromyearsback.Itwaslikebeingcleansed.Thiswentonforyearsandledtoafullmeeting
withGod.ItwasmyfirstexperienceofLifeStream

*Experiencingthepastasifitishappening.

*Holdinganobjectandhavinganinnerperceptionofitspast,alongwiththepeopleandeventsit
wasinvolvedwith.Somepeoplewiththisabilityhavebeenworkingwitharchaeologistswithmarked
results.

*Beingacatalystformassivehealingchangeinsomeoneelsesbodyormind.SeethebookI
BelieveInMiraclesbyKathrynKuhlmanforexamples.
*Producingachangeintheseemingrealityofthepresentenvironment.InhisbookThe
HolographicUniverse,MichaelTalbotdescribesanexperienceofhisownwherethishappened,and
givescasesofotherpeople.ThisformofASCinvolvesatransformationofwhatweexperienceas
reality.SoapersonproducingtheASCmightmakeitappearasiftheroomonewassittinginwas
suddenlyameadow.

*Extendingawarenesstoanypointoutsideonesownbody.Reportshavesaidthatboththe
RussianandAmericansecretinvestigationserviceswereusingpeopletoremotelyvieweachothers
activities.ProjectionofconsciousnessOBE,oroutofbodyexperienceissomethingmanypeople
haveatsometime,soisacommonformofASC.See:outofbodyexperience;andthebookThe
FieldbyLynneMcTaggartinwhichshedescribesthisveryfully.

*Realisationofoneselfasanintegralpartoftheuniverse,andashavingexistedinfinitelyand
eternally.See:spirituallifeindreams;spiritualpathindreams.

*Insightintohowpasteventspriortoyourownareintimatelyconnectedwithyourpresentlife.
Thisisoftencalledmemoryofpastlives,butifcarefullyexaminedmightbetterbecalledmemoryof
connectionwithlivespriortothispresentego.

*Abilitytoconnectwithanapparentlyinfinitemind,containingallthathaseverexisted,andthe
potentialofallthatwillexist.Aurobindo,exploringthisformofASChaswrittenthatthislevelof
awarenessisnotasitfirstappearsaninfinitemind,andisnotGod.Ratheritisthesumtotalofallthat
hashappenedsofar.Therefore,astheexampleaboutmusicininspirationindreamsshows,this
collectiveconsciousnessholdsanavailablelivingpresenceofeverybodywhohaseverlived,whichcan
bedrawnuponinfurthercreativityorexpression.

*Goingbeyondparadox.InthisASCastateofconsciousnessisreachedwherealltheoppositesof
lifeareresolved,whereeverythingistrueanduntrueatthesametime.ItiswhatBuddhistscallthe
Void,inwhichthereisnoform,noego,nocertainty,nopast,nofuture,nobeginningtomovefrom
andnogoaltoreach.Althoughitcanbeadisturbingexperiencewhenfirstmet,ithasthepossibilityof
bringingenormousliberation.Thisisbecauseouregoandourusualvaluesareusuallyembeddedin
conceptsthatcanonlyeverbeeitherthisorthat;onlyeverbepartiallytrue;onlyeverbeafragmentof
reality.Onemightforinstancedeveloponesidentityoutofbeingmaleorfemale,outofbeinghonest
oravillain.TheVoidstripsallthisaway.Nothingonecanthink,nothingonecanaimatasastandard,
isanythingmorethananinsignificantmoleculeofinformationinthevastoceanofenergyand
consciousness.Itdoesntmatterwhetherwethinkaboutthesunoramoteofdust,athoughtisnever
evermorethanadefinitionfromaparticularviewpointofsomethingthatismultidimensionaland
beyondanyfinaldefinition.

*Anexperienceofenergyflowingfromthebaseofthetrunk,orthefeet,righttothetopofthe
head.Asthishappensoneisawareofthemindsuddenlyfunctioninginawayonemayneverhave
experiencedbefore.Itisasifwehaveflownhighandnowhaveanoverallviewofthings,therefore
reachinginsightsonecouldneverachievebefore.Thisisbecausealltheinformationisavailableso
easilyandquickly,asifonewereaneagleflyingandtakinginvastareasatthesamemoment.See:
aura.

*MeetingthegreatAUMorAMEN,theessenceoflifeitself,whichmayannounceitselfasIAM
THATIAM.

*Sensingthepresenceofthedead,andperhapsreceivinginformationfromtheminsomeform.
Theinformationmaybeintheformofafeeling,suchasthatweareloved.Oritmaybeintheformof
insightorwords.

*Findinglostobjects,dowsingforwaterorotherminerals,extendingthesenseinavarietyof
ways.
*Experiencinggreatcreativity.Thisissometimeslikebeingpossessedsopowerfullybythe
creativeimpulsethatwhileitisupononethereisnothingelseonewishestodo.Sopeoplemaygofor
longperiodswithouteating,drinkingorsleeping.See:creativitydreamingandproblemsolving.

*Beingabletomeetfirewithoutbeingburnt,injurywithoutbeinginjured,woundswithoutpain,
poisonwithoutreaction,deathwithoutfear.

*Insightintothosearoundyou.Thisislikeonesuddenlyisabletoseenotsimplythephysical
formofpeopleandthecolouroftheirskinandclothes,butinsomestrangewayonealsoseeswhat
theyarethinkingandfeeling,whatqualityofpersontheyare,whatattitudestheycarry,what
relationshiptheyhavewithothers,whatcosmicforceshaveshapedtheirbody,whatdeadpeopleare
connectedtothem,whatthestateoftheirphysicalbodyisi.e.whathealthstatus.Thismayinclude
theseeingoftheauraorenergyfields.SeeTheGiftbyMiaDolan,inwhichshedescribesclearlyher
experienceoftheseabilities.

*Creatinganelectriccurrentoraburningforce,oranenergythatcanmovephysicalobjectsor
healpeopleofillness.

*Causingtoappearononesbodywhatonemeditates.PadrePio,thestigmatist,causedtoappear
onhishandsthenailshemeditateduponinthehandsofhissaviour.Somepeopleareabletomakeany
imagequicklyappearontheirskin.InhisbookMySixConvictschapter16,Dr.DonaldPowell
WilsondescribeshowHadad,oneoftheconvictshestudied,wasabletomakeanyshapeappearasa
weltonhisskin.ButHadadalsodemonstratedtoseveraldoctorsatLeavenworthPenitentiary,howhe
couldcauseathreedayhaltintheseizuressufferedbycasesofsevereepilepsyintheprisons
psychiatricward.

Inoldercultures,ASCswerefrequentlysoughtasapartofthepersonslife;asawaytoheal
psychologicalorphysicalillness;asawayofsolvingaproblem,suchaswheretohuntorwhetherand
wheretofightaninvader.IbelieveitisCharlesTartwhosaysintheearlypartofhisbookAltered
StatesofConsciousness,thatinfactsucholderculturesfeltthatifapersoncouldnotexperiencean
ASCtheywereinsomewaycrippled.ItisagreatmisfortuneormisunderstandingthatinourWestern
culture,peopleseeksuchexperiencesoftenfornootherreasonthananexperienceatrip,something
toprovideadistraction.Itisdangeroustoplaywiththecreativeforcesofonesownpersonality.Butit
isagreatblessingtoapproachthemtoseekonesownessentialspiritandexpandedpossibilities.