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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Inner Faculties & 'Astral Travel'

The five accepted normal senses are not much use for perceiving how to select the frequencies of reality and determine the physical boundaries of our plane of existence. This means that our ability to describe natural phenomena and to understand reality is in fact proportional to the senses and logic we are able to employ.

On average at this level of existence, our current power of perception/determination is considerably reduced in respect to the real possibilities of our senses.

These powers of perception include those ESP faculties that para-psychological studies talked about at great length in the 1970’s – 80’s for example: telepathy, clairvoyance or clairaudience, pre- (or retro) cognition, the sensitivity and the properties of the aura and the astral body, the thaumaturgic and psycho-kinetic faculties of mediums that are part of a lost potency but ideally form part of our natural capacities.
There is nothing ‘paranormal’ about it at all. It is we who now operate below normal capacity, so much so that when we occasionally exercise those faculties or hear them talked about they seem to be something miraculous, if not to be feared and repressed.

Of a different nature though are the faculties that are specifically ‘spiritual’, those that have something to do with an extra-dimensional sensitivity in respect to our plane of psychic and physical existence, even when they are simply considered at their different and more extended vibrational and dimensional levels. Such capacities are linked to mystic phenomena and investigated specifically by magic and shamanism.
The optimum expression of our spiritual faculties, now merely a potential, is strictly related to the esoteric concept of thought, that substantial external entity that is not produced by the activity of our brain.

The human being participates in a multi-dimensional eco-system of energy-thought: it receives thought which has been processed by ‘lower’ species and then processes that thought-food for higher species, inside a real ‘food chain’. In our present condition we not only do not produce thought, we are unable to process reality in real-time.
When we consider that we are perceiving and thinking, we are in fact just remembering the perceptions and the processing of ‘something’ that the mind has already had time to adapt to its limits, or its system of beliefs and prejudices. This places us in the narrow-minded confines of a very convincing illusion.

Taking another look at the fundamental question that Gurdjieff insisted upon, if we live in an illusion of the mind, how can we ‘be’ and therefore ‘act’?

The perception of the present, the border between the memory of the past and the forecast of the future according to preconceived and habitual patterns, is illusory. We live in the distorted memory of ourselves and in a reality that is just as retouched, conventional and restricted. Our system of thought is spoilt even more and distorted further by collective programmes of manipulation both cultural and scientific. Furthermore, as regards the latter, we need to ask ourselves, if apart from the intrinsic damage (medicinal, additive, chemical, vaccines, ELF waves etc...) there isn’t perhaps some conscious planning behind it all which is the fruit of a hidden agenda.

We have to abandon our current system of thinking and completely rebuild our psychic habitat: perhaps phenomena connected to 2012 (and more widely related to the rise of a ‘New Era’) will stimulate our energetic centres, our endocrine system (pineal gland) and upgrade the Matrix, perhaps rendering the present system vulnerable. We could then avail ourselves of a reset in the flow of thought and take the opportunity to renew the layout of reality. An opportunity that will not be automatic but will need to be grasped at an individual level, by being suitably predisposed, emancipating from old patterns and above all mistrusting occasional ‘redeemers’.

Re-adapting to the completeness of our senses we will perceive our world and ourselves more consciously, accessing a reality of a much higher level that we ourselves have determined.

However, even at higher levels we will only be managing the ‘power of maya’, or power over the illusion and not power over the spiritual reality that subtends every manifestation relative to the Absolute Being. To access that higher level of awareness, the so called ‘nagual’ perspective of existence, we have to reawaken our divine identity and its faculties.

Such ‘superior’ faculties are really the prerogative of those beings that host the active spiritual principle: the divine spark. These ‘senses’ are in fact divine attributes which are able to supply us with a holistic vision of the natural and spiritual eco-system in which we are immersed.

In the course of the book I will be briefly describing certain basic faculties that according to esoteric traditions were lost by the earthly human being in the course of a rather intricate epic. The story is told in the chronicles of ‘alternative’ history through the figures of ancient myth: a history that is rich in references and which projects the human being way beyond this dimension.

A real comprehension of spiritual faculties presupposes their reawakening, so for now, we will have to settle for expressing ourselves in metaphor and using limited examples which of necessity lead us back to our current sensorial experience.

If the physical senses filter and determine the hologram-reality that surrounds us, the inner senses extract and project a transcendent meaning which leads human experience back to the divine and absolute source from which everything comes. As Don Juan, the Yaqui sorcerer and protagonist of the tales of Castaneda would say “The first, see things on this side of the bridge; the others see things on the other side: the first, have a tonal perspective while the others, a nagual perspective”.

Nagual contrasts with tonal, which is seen as everything that can be explained and understood through the rational. The Nagual is a reality which transcends the purely intellectual and of which one can only be a witness: it is all that is found outside the dominion of the word and the concept. It is that inexplicable spirit of which one can only have direct experience.

For example, from the shamanistic point of view, dream is the capacity to perceive states of being which are beyond the physical. It is the eye of the transpersonal planes, as described by Ken Wilber in his No Boundary. It is the ‘seeing’ of the shaman.

For example Dream – not to be confused with the functions of dreaming as commonly intended[1] – is the sense that allows us to consciously move on the astral, subtle and spiritual plains. There we enter into contact with a more authentic essence of ourselves and all things, perceiving that their origins and nature are the same and sensing their evolutionary direction.
Dream allows us to explore the intermediate dimension between the material world of Form and the Real, from the dimensions of thought-forms to those of the emotions, from the astral planes to the dimensions of disincarnate souls, from subtle worlds to divine provinces.

But these are also nothing more than conventions for allocating the various possible ‘significances’ of reality value on a scale: from those closest to the material word to those which are more mysterious, ideal and spiritual.

All of this can be represented as transcendent and contemporaneously immanent and beyond, but it is also inside. The rehabilitation of the sense of dream can be encouraged by the use of astral travel, hypnosis and lucid dreaming techniques in a state of profound relaxation (today the subject of study through Reconnection and Theta Healing techniques), aimed at reducing the exercise of the external senses and encouraging the emergence of subtle perceptions[2].

Let’s summarize some of the basic concepts of the phenomenon of astral travel.
The term ‘astral’ – borrowed from Theosophical traditions – is reductive in respect of the concept of out of body experiences or better still, ultra-body because we are not talking about ‘relocation’ as such but rather the extension the self and personal sensitivity.

Here are some useful parameters to focus on:

·          It is not a power in itself, or a faculty, but a way to observe, interpret and describe a determined dynamic, that has something to do with our true nature in as much as it is infinite consciousness.
·          It normally triggers during nocturnal sleep in a spontaneous and unconscious way.
·          The experience is often translated into dreams through common or subjective symbolism, which are sometimes remembered and sometimes not.
·          It can happen in altered states of consciousness caused by trauma, coma, drugs, the taking of psycho-active substances, meditation, fainting, anaesthesia, hypnosis and near-death experiences.
·          Such dynamics are used to energetically regenerate the mind and our subtle bodies and re-order and metabolize experiences and information.
·          Consciously directing the experience of astral travel constitutes an instrument for expanding the senses and the consciousness and for positioning oneself in a broader spiritual scenario.
·          When the dynamic happens spontaneously and we are unaware of it, its energetic management and defences necessary are automatically triggered by our mind. However, when we train ourselves to consciously generate it, we have to re-learn how to direct it; in this case the techniques of relaxation or sleep/dreaming serve to lower the ‘volume’ of the physical senses in such a way as to activate an ‘alternative’ sensitivity that we can focus our attention and awareness on.
·          The fear we experience is that typical of the unknown: besides, it is good to remember that when we find ourselves in ‘alternative’ dimensions, they are not aseptic, therefore if an individual has not worked on their energies, emotions and perceptions they may encounter something unclassifiable, that will then be removed by the conscious mind or clad in projections. What remains, even after the removal has occurred is the sensation of fear, regardless of the nature of the experience.
·          Once the method has been mastered, there are various levels of practice: from the perceptive expansion of our own current dimension to the use of astral travel to explore other dimensions and finally, the expansion of consciousness as a natural extension of the self in the wakened state.

This journey is a moment of attenuation of our incarnation: a moment of re-connecting with our higher Self and therefore with all the parts of our soul, throughout the dimensions and time.  Now is the moment to overturn concepts and move our ‘point of union’ or our centre of gravity towards our real identity and re-formulate the concept of ‘astral travel’ just as we need to reconsider numerous other subjects in the light of new paradigms.

We are already a Consciousness that divides itself up among many planes in order to explore this material dimension and evolve. When we assert ourselves to travel on the astral planes we are doing nothing more than ...returning home a little.

An interesting question we might ask is: which part of us ‘separates’?
Which part ‘exits’ to explore? And as a result, what corresponding dimension is reached? Therefore, which part of ourselves do we have to train to reach precise dimensions, to have this true experience of spiritual growth?

This thought is also valid for mediumistic experiences: it is obvious that we ‘vibrate’ on the frequency of our level of consciousness and we are therefore in tune with the phenomena, events and dimensions that correspond to it. This is the result of the law of attraction - similar attracts similar, or the concordance of complexity (temporal concordance), today referred to as the ‘law of attraction’, a phenomenon much more complex and intriguing than simply attracting positive or negative events to yourself.

We tend to relate to organizations and worlds – to be precise to the teachings – that ‘belong’ to us. But it is not necessary to pursue para-Gnostic explorations, learn mediumistic techniques or various methods for inducing out of body experiences, what we really have to do is reawaken the different levels of our true identity.

If we get used to considering everything that we are the authors or spectators of from an exquisitely spiritual point of view, we will discover in ourselves and what surrounds us, our true divine nature; and on this path we can and must identify with all the infinite possibilities of creation.

Gustavo Adolfo Rol

In Thelemic tradition, which in this case draws on the explorations of John Dee, out of the body journeys lead to the concept of the Aethyr, or the 30 levels of the astral plane positioned between the physical plane and divinity, which have to be re-ascended through complex techniques of a magical-mystical character.

At this point we have to consider a further specific faculty: the sense of dimensions, or the ability to translate a system of laws into something else. Exercising this faculty means being aware of interacting with many dimensions at the same time and of travelling from one world to another, from one possible dimension to another, just as is part of our nature.
This faculty is indispensible for understanding experiences which are very different from our current perceptions.

Our psycho-physical vehicle is not the ‘original model’, just as this reality (which derives from it) is not the one originally attributed to our level of complexity. We currently live in much more limited and conventional lines of reality, passing casually from one to another.

Because of this – according to various psychological and metaphysical models– our soul is described as likewise fragmented into diverse and confused personalities, or into many ‘I’s as was proposed by Gurdjieff. Our soul lacks a complete and unitary sense of the reality that constitutes the scenario of our experience of consciousness and, as a consequence lacks the perception of us as beings that are likewise complete and unitary: it is a vicious circle. But rather than work on the integration of our illusory ‘I’s (a model that still insists on the separation of ourselves), we have to work on the integration of reality and put the concept we have lost back together again. Our soul is unitary and yet infinitely versatile, so much so it has us believe that we are many souls! It is not the personalities in themselves that are separate and move around inside of us, but it is the fluctuation of our vague and confused perceptions on the lines where we have fragmented reality that induces us to perceive ourselves as similarly confused and fragmented, mind based and deceived.

We have already seen that the major part of our ‘unconscious’ corresponds to the universe that we do not ‘see’, because even though we determine it, we are not conscious of the fact nor do we perceive or control it, not being conscious, perceiving or having control of ourselves.

If we let this ‘iceberg’ emerge, then both reality and our soul personalities would reassemble in a linear and coherent dimensional picture: we need a sense of unity, of ‘soul’ to be precise, regardless of the current expressions of our fragmented identity.

Leaving aside theories on the structure of the soul, we have to consider the fragmentation of the spirit throughout the dimensions and time like various facets of an essential unity that needs to be retrieved in order to achieve a more authentic sense of ourselves and life.

Such an objective can be pursued with the use of another inner faculty of fundamental importance which results in an awareness of the self: True Will (or the faculty of Intent).
The sense of True Will is the quality of knowing how to use the power of your own True Will, as Crowley called it, which leads us back to the most authentic part of ourselves, and consciously guides our evolution in harmony with the evolution of everything else.

The ‘Will’, with the exercise of this sense, becomes the ability to define and direct your own plane of existence, namely your own line of evolutionary reality through the conscious use and power of free will, assisted by a progressive knowledge of the authentic mechanisms by which reality functions.

True Will does not limit itself to the expression of choice, but actively creates events and synchronic opportunities. We have to re-appropriate the power of the Will: not the Will tied to the fickle desires of our illusory identities but the True Will that is moved by our divine identity and its evolutionary project.

However, if to do, you need to be, then to will you need to know what it is you really want, or better still, you need to know who you really are and awaken your True Identity which is hidden behind multiform expressions of the ego.

Consciousness of the Divine Self corresponds to the faculty of being fully aware of one’s origins, nature and real essence. Perceiving one’s divine essence is an act of profound awareness and ‘communion’. It coincides with the shifting of the barycentre of our illusory masks to a more authentic and radical expression of the Self.

Whilst the Will is the sense of evolutionary direction which corresponds to the real mission of our Consciousness immersed in time and the material world, the sense of the Divine – another inner faculty – leads us to the natural perception of everything being a part of ourselves. We are actually talking more about a sense of participation than a sense of perception. In fact of communion, of love.

Will and love, metaphorically speaking are the vertical and horizontal axes of our divine centre. We can also interpret the equivalent functions of Yoga and Tantra in the same way: the first means ‘union’, it supplies the sensation of travelling along the vertical axis: the union of the earth with the sky, of the material with the spiritual, of the human self with God. Therefore it represents the evolutionary direction and educates the Will to identify the Principle with the Goal.
However, Tantra, which literally means ‘fabric’, creates an image of the weft of reality, of communion, sharing, or of the extension of the horizontal axis; that sense of union and participation in all things. Although diversified into differing levels of self-awareness, every material Form contains the same divine nature.
‘Feeling’ the divine unity in all things means being ‘in communion’ here and now, just as everywhere and for always. It signifies to love.

Of this sense of the divine, which we could even define as of the sacred because through it we participate in the sacrality of each and every thing, we all conserve a subtle memory, much, much more so than for other inner faculties. This memory manifests as the yearning of every individual for the transcendent, for the absolute, but also to self-questioning, to asking “Who am I?” It is the inexplicable and precious inquietude which persists even though we have absolved our physical, intellectual and emotional necessities. The sense of the divine puts us in tune with higher forces and values inside and outside of ourselves.

Such inquietude is transformed into evolutionary energy by religion, in the most correct meaning of the word, while historical religions have suppressed, if not exploited that yearning often for very grim ends.

The ‘sense of Self’ cannot limit itself to awareness and therefore to the mere contemplation of who it really is, but must be applied to the reality that we are now called upon to explore, or to our reality which is the evolutionary project of that self same Consciousness. The awareness of Self is completed by not forgetting who it is and in the experience of the material world. In fact our experience of being human has to be redirected towards this real identity so that it is not just a vain illusion. This result is achieved through the practice of remembering the self, or the immersed Higher Self, which is adapted to and active in our life.

All this corresponds to the magic significance of Memory defined as the awareness of our real identity and our extension in time.

Through the reawakening of the sense of memory we can perceive our ‘temporal body’, that is our real and simultaneous extension throughout time: in short all our lives, including those that we generically define as ‘previous’, which are in fact parallel or even future lives, given that all lives are contemporaneous.

The sense of memory is awareness or participation. Each one of us is the sum of all the experiences we have lived and will live, in different forms, in different bodies, in different times and dimensions. We are a ‘point of attention’ in which everything is PRESENT. We are a consciousness that incarnated in Time, even before it incarnated in space and all its possible dimensions.
Rather than talking about reincarnation as a process of reawakening we should call it reconnection. Reawakening the sense of memory we will certainly recall previous lives but not because we access a mnemonic recording but because we are living them contemporaneously: we are the essence that accumulates them and employs them as if they were probes in time and matter. These are our lives, our ‘incarnations’: the probes, the tentacles of consciousness that give shape to us.                       
We do not access the memories but the awareness of our life, of its real extension, which transcends its current bodily identification in space-time.

From the moment we remember who we truly are and perceive our true multi-dimensional body; we can finally identify and determine which line of existence corresponds to our mission. It is from that moment that we determine not only the present and the future of our soul personality but also our previous lives. It is therefore necessary to overcome the definitions and the logic that sustain research into past lives, those processes, including regressive hypnosis, that are not based upon the exploration of ourselves in our current life and from there open up to all the rest as a natural consequence of the Reawakening.

Identify with yourself and feel the real extension of yourself, throughout time and in all dimensions where the consciousness-that-you are, is found simultaneously, in the past, present and future.

There is no difference, there is no distance. That is your ‘body’, that is your real identity, in which every life is nothing but a sense, a limb, a window on the worlds of the possible that we are here to discover, in order to discover ourselves.  Use the breath, use all of the body to feel this expansion and to perceive the new awareness.

Other faculties exist which we can conventionally classify in different ways: from the para-telepathic faculties to those of our clairvoyant mind, from the perceptive sensitivity of our aura to the faculty of the heart as en emotional sensor. When dealing with the faculties linked to highly subjective explorations and personal life experiences, the most valid guide for a more in-depth examination is personal sensitivity.

[1] Besides constituting a mental dynamic studied at length by psychoanalysis, from the esoteric point of view it is a gateway to the lower and higher levels of our being. It is very important to learn to dream and practice remembering and guiding dreams with the use of oneiric and interpretive techniques, beginning from a personal perspective and symbolic ability. However, the spiritual faculty of the ‘sense of dream’ is a different level again; it can be considered as one of the soul’s senses.
[2] States of dreaming or relaxation are, however, no longer indispensable for exercising the spiritual faculties once we have complete command over ourselves. In fact, at that point we can participate consciously and contemporaneously in different states of being, simultaneously exercising all our senses. In other words we participate in a more expansive reality in virtue of our increased breadth of Consciousness.

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