I can’t say how this began.
In one early unknowing attempt to rewire what life was disarranging I snarled at my boss that I was going to bed. “Alright!” he said, puzzled at my accusatory tone. I too was puzzled since apart from a mild temperature I had no idea why I was going to bed nor why I sounded so accusatory. I spent all day in my room without eating. I was working in Holland at the time. I can’t remember if it was then, although I think the time after, when during the hours in bed I became simultaneously so hot and so cold and also so confused that I had the window wide open to cool me off and the heating fan on maximum to warm me up.
Anyone who wishes to explain this by Darwinian adaptational advantage can feel free to speak up. It is clearly shamanic illness/spiritual emergence etc. But I had never heard of shamanism and was brought up to assume that it was a fictional category some unfortunates chose to pretend was real. After a day or two at most it would subside. I said nothing about it even to myself. (That wasn’t so wise but I just had no transpersonal interests.)
The process became stronger and more interesting. In one episode in my twenties I again took to my room, knowing this time that I was searching for something. I thought it must have to do with fantasy or myth. I began pulling out books, thumbing them for images. Each one was ‘obviously not it’. They ended up in a pile on the bed with me.
I didn’t know what I was searching for — “something to complete me”, it seemed. But these things did not complete me and I seemed to know that; how? What in me knew this? What was pushing me to seek?
I realised that something in me could actually “see” what I was looking for. I decided to look “where” this thing was looking. I discovered that it was seeing a great light. I don’t think this light was at all external (some can be of course) — it was an inner illumination. I went up into it. Some interesting stuff happened. When the day ended I was chuckling to myself in delight and breathing quite obviously through the soles of my feet, which was odd because I’d never been taught pore breathing or indeed any transpersonal techniques at all; not even so much as the idea of them existed in me consciously.
That light was a good thing to discover. Although it’s not that bad I don’t like the term ‘Higher Self’. Superconscious Light is a term I will use to myself. The light does have content and even form in a way but is not… describable. The older terminology in the West was genius (Latin) or daimôn (Greek). (Inspiration denies mechanism. There is not some mechanism here. Tell anyone who thinks you are a machine to go wrench themselves; they are just trying to control you.) This is all about aliveness but in a massive key. It’s also about love and strength and inspiration, vivification and destination and — yes superconsciousness, consciousness in a higher and more intense key. There are problems with “higher self” because of the word ‘self’ since most people mistake self-concept for self, whereas this light is something which cannot be entered whilst maintaining the self-concept.
The overhead space is The Place You Get To in both Yogic and Taoist Inner Alchemical systems — after a long while of previous opening and harmonising though. It is “where the story really starts”. I’ve learned a lot more down-to-earth stuff to help with the accessing.
Using Ericksonian trance in this highly non-Ericksonian context, I like to join the subconscious mind (which in this form of hypnosis is solution-generating) to the superconscious. In this way I think of first getting into the body below and then getting out of it above, which fits with the Yoga/Taoist stuff again. First you go down then you go up. Trancework is an incredible way to change in preparation because you often don’t even notice it happening. You just find you have changed, and you see that ‘it’ has been creative behind the scenes. Plus ‘it’ can tap into abilities you didn’t know you had. I’ve used this to smooth out the differences between the Taoist qigong stuff and what I do naturally — psychology in general offers a viewpoint from which you can see both things. Cross-cultural confusions can be avoided.
It was nice to discover the Huna 3-selves diagram which shows the “first down then up” formula.
What is important though is to see this as mapped on the body in the Eastern style. Victor Anderson’s Etheric Anatomy adapts it, β-body being the conscious, α-body the subconscious, and γ-body superconscious. As you can see he’s relating it to auric layers — also to different substances. His Feri tradition was very Huna-influenced. The subconscious starts around the diaphragm area which is nice to play with if one is not literalist. Anderson calls the γ-body the ‘personal god’ — that’ll do but thinking about badocelot’s comment last week I like to use the g-word as little as I can. It’s just played out, little left of its cultural carcass for the theological hyenas. (Daimonic could also = angelic if that interests you.)
Can I just say how weird it is that this is right there, all the time, and we all have it? It is ordinary but so far removed from the ordinary. It’s said to be immortal — maybe it is but I don’t quite know what that means. (What happens when the universe ends?) Anyway longer than you can count. And yet unaging. Although transpersonal in the sense of being beyond what most would think of as themselves, I am not talking about anything cosmic here. Haloes cross cultures and are related to getting that light entrained to the rest of the energy body.
I’ll give later some very easy ways to use trance with this, but wouldn’t want to tell anyone to “have faith” in some light they can’t see. Nothing I write is about faith — only evidence and experience interests me. I would rather give people stuff they can test for themselves (the subconscious is easy to test) and would never have used the light if I didn’t know about it first. Since it is there all the time there is no point in my pretending otherwise.
The episode where I was first conscious of the light as an adult was in retrospect a Breakout — but with no conscious priming, only subconscious processes pushing. There’s quite a lot of that in my life. There’s a lesson there although it may not do many that much good — simply that because I didn’t talk and think about these experiences they remained separate from my identity. In fact having learned what the word means I can say quite certainly I was dissociated from them, with all that implies about the potential of actual Dissociative Identity Disorder (what used to be called multiple personality disorder).
It’s no wonder one is ‘attracted’ to this or that practice, because the culture squashes things and one is not allowed to think about them, but they are pushing to get out. Often I see that people squash themselves. I can recall that before I knew about kriyas I really thought I had a nervous system problem — but at the same time “I” didn’t, because “I” as normal social mind didn’t choose to know about those funny twitches with any particular clarity. I guess on some level I was sure I was ok, but that level was far from “me”. Maybe there’s a reader or two that can relate.
This also meant I never noticed the synchronisms between altered states and my regular life. In our culture it is actually possible to be dissociated from one’s own soul.
Still it’s nice to have in definite and clear “view” the staggering limitlessness of what underlies even one human being! I don’t know how the anatomy works in non-human beings. I might try to find out sometime… this has unfortunately been the wettest English April in a century. I hope your May has begun well…