A Hidden Resource Guide

http://rebrn.com/re/minimalist-falling-into-blue-1714149/

by Donny Duke

In my mid twenties to early thirties the inner doors were flung wide open. Especially intense were the 3 and a half years immediately following a spiritual experience that happened when I was 28, and I was able to consciously explore not only dream and transition states between waking and sleeping (hypnagogia and hynopompia) and the trances such as the cataleptic (sleep paralysis) that sometimes accompany them, and consequently too the out of body experience often resulting from such a trance, but also dreamless sleep. There in the deepest most hidden place inside me, in my center, way beyond or behind dream, I entered into the realm of soul, just a short baptismal shock, but in that journey, a very involved inner journey that took a number of stages and a week or so, I took my conscious, that part of me that thinks and feels and dreams, down into my center and connected it to the soul, and why I call it the soul is the spirit of this article.

I understand now that such an opening of the inner consciousness is unusual, where you can consciously explore the inner life with as much conscious awareness and will as you have in waking life, where you have lucid dreams most every night, or frequent cycles of that, can learn to go from waking to dreaming consciously, from dreaming into the states between sleeping and waking (twilight I call them), from twilight into the cataleptic trance, and from there out of the body, but my list isn’t to suggest OBE is the direction of the exploration. For me this opening was temporary, and it slowly closed, not completely, but the unusual degree of opening I’m describing, especially the last two items, cataleptic trance and OBE, were the first things to go and in the ensuing years to become rare events.

I suspect in a future humanity such a metaphysical opening to our inner consciousness will be the norm, a spiritual opening as well, but for now it’s rare to experience even a short period of this, more common to have a smaller opening, where things like lucid dreams and OBE’s happen a couple of times a week, using those two inner experiences because they are now the most talked about net-wise, interest in sleep paralysis notwithstanding, but even this more common smaller opening is not yet common in humanity.

If you find yourself experiencing such an opening, large or small, and many are today, though not enough to light an inner revolution in humanity, not even enough to make the nightly news, you have a rare opportunity to experience firsthand what most everyone else does secondhand. You can know and not only believe that consciousness transcends material process, a knowledge that can transform your life if you understand what it means. To see it firsthand, however, involves conscious inner exploration, which is more than awakening within dream and trying some technique like looking at your hands or some trick to manipulate the dream more. In other articles, such as “The Epic of Man”[i] and “You’re like Wow, That Really Was Enchanted With a Rock”,[ii] I try and give a sense of what inner exploration is and where it can lead to in relation to its transcendence over material process. Here my direction isn’t towards the outer world or inner worlds but inside to the well of soul, our center.

The following inner journey took place around 1989 when I was 28 I believe, some months after the spiritual experience I mention above, before the net I might add, and before I aligned myself with any spiritual tradition or teachers, when I was exploring on my own and not a part of any group involved with spirituality or dreaming. It took place over the course of a week.

It’s night, and I’m alone on the football field I played on in junior high school, and I become lucid. Since I have an avid practice in waking life of meditation and pranayama, I decide to try it in dream, and so I begin to sit down in a meditative posture, but as I do a monster jumps at me out of nowhere, it’s eyes wide gyros spinning madly. It scares the hell out of me, and I wake myself up.

During the next day I got the suspicion that the monster was trying to prevent me from meditating, and so I resolve in my next lucid dream to follow through with it no matter what I may encounter to try and prevent me. I was just exploring dream and didn’t even have a destination in mind, at this point just trying to find doorways of dream to go deeper.

I’m in a huge motor pool, in a part of it where there aren’t many vehicles parked, and I see in the distance the buildings of the motor pool change colors, one color just following another, and the anomaly triggers lucidity, as an anomaly in dream often can. I remember my intention and sit down to meditate, but as I do I hear a blaring horn and seeing coming directly at me a mac truck. I settle into my resolve not to be scared out of the sitting and continue to settle into meditating. When the truck gets to me, up until that point being everything that looks and sounds real enough to run me over, it vanishes, doing that over me, its form rapidly turning into nothing as my eyes close and I see nothing. Instead of going into another dream or waking up in my bed as often happens when a dream goes blank, I remain in the blank but have a sense of falling. This blank falling state I’ve known many times, since it so often occurs in transitions from one dream to another or to waking consciousness. The difference here is that I see I can stay there, am not being captured by another dream image or by waking. I remain in that falling place for perhaps a minute or more, and then I open my eyes and am awake in bed, the falling state itself being so close to waking all you have to do is open your eyes.

I thought about that falling place for a couple of days or so, during which time I encountered a phrase in an English translation (prose) of Hesiod’s Theogony that speaks of a hammer that takes nine days to reach Tartarus, and while I didn’t believe that falling place I had found led to Tartarus, I believed Hesiod talks about inner journeys in-between the lines sometimes, using symbol imagery to describe it. The phrase led me to the idea that the falling place led to a destination, but what that was I had no earthly idea. I made the determination next time I became lucid in dream to get into and remain in that falling place until I arrived somewhere.

I don’t remember the context of the dream the next time I was lucid within one, only that I get into the falling place via meditation and remain there, knowing if I just open my eyes I’m awake in bed. Something happens to my sense of time, and I don’t how long I’ve been falling in that blank space. I almost reflexively open my eyes, and become cross with myself for not continuing onward. I decide next time to count as I travel in that blankness.

The next lucid dream, which doesn’t happen that same night but does the next night, I again get into the falling place and began counting the seconds like I learned to do out loud parachuting out of aircraft in the army, counting then to only 4 seconds until the chute opened, or was supposed to. I count to know how long I’m falling, but here the counting goes on and on, and again I lose the sense of time, losing count as well, and, though I resist the strong sense to open my eyes, I cannot shake the growing sense of terror that’s welling up inside me, like I’m falling into a bottomless pit from which I shall never again return. Then I hear both my mother and sister as though they’re standing over me, pleading with me in voices I know are their most fearful and most sincere, to open my eyes because I’m being tricked, and I’m in the hospital in a coma. The sense is that if I don’t listen to them I will never return to them, or the outer world either for that matter. It so happens that my greatest attachments at that time are my mom and sister, and my greatest fear is going into a coma during inner exploration, not to some never ending dream-state experience but to a blank alone like this darkness. I open my eyes and am not in the hospital in a coma but am simply awake in bed, nobody there but me. I see quickly that I’ve been fooled and resolve next time to go all the way until I get there, still not knowing where there is but more assured it’s somewhere significant because something very smart is trying to keep me from getting there.

Whether it’s the next night I fall again I’m not sure, but it’s very soon after the above dream, though it’s not exactly a dream but inner travel, and I don’t remember the process of becoming lucid or getting into the falling state, only that I’m there and determined to go all the way. I lose sense of time again, but there is no welling terror, or any real fear, and no intelligence trying to stop me. I have no idea how long I fall, but it’s a long time to my notion of time. Suddenly with a great shock I arrive somewhere. It’s like I’m immersed in a limitless ocean of a whole other order of existence, one formless save for identical small objects sparsely floating around that appear somewhat like half-notes or arches, and though they appear to be objects, I feel them as beings. Outer space would be a way to give some picture of what this ocean is like, but there are no celestial bodies or blackness, though it is dim. It’s lit but with a different kind of light than we know here, giving the space a glow that’s now glowing in me, and I feel the warmest and safest I’ve ever felt, and this place is so familiar to me, like I’ve been here many times but only have forgotten about it. An immense force is rushing through me, and I feel its intense vibration in every part of me, but it’s so comfortable I only want to bask in it. It seems there’s a sound to the place, which I feel in me as well as without, but it’s not sound as we know it that you hear with your ears. It’s like the sound silence would make if it made any sound if that makes any sense. I see myself floating towards one of the little arches, and I unwillingly go through it, hoping I don’t harm it by doing that, but I see it on the other side of me unchanged. Then, as abruptly as I found myself there, I find myself out, and I come awake in my bed and marvel at how I could come up immediately from such a deep place, although I am still glowing from its warmth and power.

This experience did not change my life, was only significant in that I knew I’d reached some place of spirit in me because the experience there was so different than anything else I’d ever experienced in existence, making spirit the only word that fit. At the time I didn’t think of it as the soul or its well in us, was not at the time even considering the soul as something that existed in us, didn’t even feel I’d reached the innermost place inside me, my center. That interpretation was to come years later, as this inner journey came to be more important and singular to the results of my inner exploration, the destinations, it taking stages, days,  to complete, wasn’t somewhere I got to in one go, was somewhere I had to overcome my greatest attachments and greatest fears to get to, was somewhere something[iii] very intelligent that knew me like a book, something hostile and tricky, was trying to stop me from going to, was somewhere where I went out of this existence in another kind of being, into spirit.

What put this experience and others I was to have that followed into a context of finding of the soul, were the teachings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo, that I was to encounter and immerse myself in, starting on a visit to Auroville, India, in 1995. I’m not speaking of just the writings and talks they’ve left behind, but of inner contact with them and with my soul (or psychic being, who they point you to more than they point to themselves as your guide) when I’m speaking of their help in putting this inner journey into a context of a stage in the journey of finding the soul, help I’m getting in the writing of this article[iv], which has gone through a major rewrite based on their criticisms of the first draft, which had to do with, among other things, not clouding this journey over with descriptions here of experiences that didn’t happen during it but relate to it, things I’ve written about elsewhere or will write at some point.

In an earlier article, one actually published and not just posted on my blog, I describe other experiences in relation to the soul and put the above journey in the cosmology of the Integral Yoga and as well the cosmology of science if it would ever consent to see beyond the material envelope and the cosmos, but the article’s not just a regurgitation of their teachings. It’s based on descriptions of personal experience that confirm, for me at least, the yoga’s cosmology.[v]

If in this inner journey I describe I did indeed reach my soul center, I by no means experienced its full scope and depth, and I imagine we can go much deeper into it than I did in that very brief baptism. It’s the way with me; I get a taste usually and not a full course dinner. Be that as it may, I didn’t go anywhere anyone else can’t if they have the inner opening to make such journeys, and not everyone does, probably not even most. Though we all have the right to be treated as human beings equally, we are not equal in everything, especially in the most important thing, which is the development of our soul, and we are all at a different stages of soul development, and it depends on  how developed your soul is, your psychic being, as to whether you have an opening of the inner consciousness to make such journeys as I describe. If you don’t, you probably aren’t too interested in making them anyway, since your soul isn’t at that place of contact with your surface self, your ego, and pushing you to.

I will speculate though, whether your soul’s nudging you some from behind the veil or not, whether your psychic being is mature enough to do that, that you’ve made this inner journey many, many times, especially when you were a child, make it now though more rarely, but have no recollection of it at all. It’s difficult enough just to remember our nightly dreams. How much more so what we experience in dreamless sleep. You’ve made the journey when you wake up feeling like you slept like a log, like you’ve been replenished, like you had your batteries recharged. It would stand to reason that, if it’s true we are souls that have put on this material envelope akin to the way a deep sea diver dons a diving suit, or however you want to look at it, we’d need to come up to the surface every so often to get more air and sustenance, what we do when we go down into our center, the well of soul.

When you make journey consciously, however, you connect your conscious with the inmost deeps, make the hard link whereby your soul can come out more from behind the curtain of thoughts and dreams and be your guide on the way. On the way to God the soul would say.

 

[i] https://acollaborationwiththeunknown.wordpress.com/the-epic-of-man/

[ii] https://harms-end.com/2016/07/31/youre-like-wow-that-really-was-enchanted-with-a-rock/

[iii] I was to meet this intelligence face to face some months after, not its true form but one it wore in its manipulations of me as a small child. That experience I describe in an article posted on our blog: https://harms-end.com/2015/11/19/breaking-silence/ I’ll only mention here that it was on that first visit to Auroville that I met its true form, a story I have yet to write.

[iv] Writing this I was reading Notes on the Way, a compilation of talks by Mother. Though perhaps only a disciple would see this as a synchronicity, I feel it’s no accident I read the following immediately after making the revisions: “The other day when Z read to me his article, it was neutral (vague gesture at mid-height), all the while neutral, than all of a sudden, a spark of Ananada; it was this which made me appreciate it.” It might add to the possibility of synchronicity if I said that Douglas had just bought me the book that morning in our weekly sitting at their Samadhi. Notes on the Way, courtesy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1980, 2002.

[v] http://www.shift.is/2015/03/whats-bigger-than-the-universe-hang-on-whats-bigger-than-everything/http://www.shift.is/2015/03/whats-bigger-than-the-universe-hang-on-whats-bigger-than-everything/

You’re Like Wow, That Really Was Enchanted With a Rock

Enchanted Rock image credit:http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock
Enchanted Rock
image credit: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock

Every since mainstream science has admitted the existence of lucid dreaming (as if it needed to say that for it to exist), interest in it has sky rocketed, and there are forums and groups talking about it around the net. Out of body experiences, however, science studies but doesn’t allow into its cannon. It’s considered a sort of a hallucination/dream, not an OBE, because if it were, it would cross the material line that science has drawn and would give consciousness independence from the body.

Any chat or forum about lucid dreaming will show, not only it’s closely related to OBE, but also that line, and the science-minded and the spiritual-minded are arguing over it. I’ve gone out of groups because I just don’t want to argue with the mind that uses science as its sole authority for an investigation of reality, often denying or explaining away their own personal experience so as not to be heretical to their beliefs. The spiritual-minded seems to have a tendency to the opposite, too easily accepting its personal experiences as this and that without rigorously testing the field, and so I stopped commenting in groups.

This present article on OBE, while it doesn’t give proof that I would accept as clear and certain evidence the consciousness is actually leaving the body, it’s one of the most powerful I’ve had, because of the dream experience that ends it, but it’s one of only 3 or 4 OBEs in my life where I’m out of body in outer reality without little or no dream or inner elements present, what I’d call being an independent invisible spirit in the material world.

An article I’ve posted on my personal blog, “The Epic of Man”, is one that I do take as proof I’m going out of the body and not just having a ‘strange dream’, and you would too if you have confidence I’m not lying or exaggerating, but only there time travel is involved, and it’s inner body travel, not a journey in the outer world, though it more substantially shows that the consciousness can leave the body and travel than in a regular OBE. If you chalk it up to ‘coincidence’, then you’re not only grasping at straws to keep your faith in the materialism of science intact, you’ve crossed that line where you put your beliefs over reason itself. Read it.

By Jujutacular (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jujutacular (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Returning to the story of this OBE, I’d gone with some friends to a state natural area in Texas called Enchanted Rock, a dome-shaped “425 foot pink granite batholith”[i] that just juts up out of the landscape almost like something from another world. Local Indians, the Tonkawa, had named it that because of a legend that a Spanish conquistador had cast a spell on it, making ghost fires glow at the top, and because they believed spirits roamed the place, and if you hear the haunting winds whistling around it, you might yourself feel that to be true. Whatever’s the case with why they named it, or the story we have today why they did, I believe the Native Americans knew the place to be a portal, a power spot on the earth where the fence of matter has a hole in it, making it possible to travel ‘elsewhere’.

I’d gone with the intention of inducing an OBE and going to the moon. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’d had many OBEs in my life and had done some experimenting with it, and it’s only natural to want to try and leave the earth eventually, and the moon is the most obvious and natural first target to attempt to reach. I’ve heard others who have honed these skills try the same. I was sleeping with three other people in a tent in the campground of the park, near the foot of the mountain, and I awoke in cataleptic trance, or sleep paralysis as it’s known now that the state is talked about on the net, usually as something to fear and get out of as quickly as possible, because of the ominous presences often felt or seen in that state.[ii] I’ve found it to be a state, where, among other things, it’s easy to leave the body. I’ve only once been able to lay down with the intention of going into cataleptic trance so to leave the body, though many times if I awoke in the night anywhere near the state I could relax and bring on the full McCoy. What killed my mastery over inducing the state was a metaphysical accident I had a few months after this present story I’m telling; I conjured a demon and had to deal with that and learned there really were fearful things lurking in our bed sheets.[iii]

Studying ancient literature about the exploration of consciousness, what I did to get a handle on what I’d experienced with that demon and other inner experiences I was having, I found those presences that present themselves in cataleptic trance and lucid dream to be called guardians of the threshold, what you  have to overcome in order to go further in your exploration, like a test you have to pass, whatever they themselves think they’re doing there, but I never have been able to get back to such mastery as to be able to lay down and induce the state. Now I’m doing sadhana, spiritual practice, and I don’t focus on ‘powers’, as they are called in yoga, and so both my experience of cataleptic trance and OBE have waned, but when it’s called for by my practice, and it seldom is, I leave my body, usually for a specific purpose.

Getting back to that enchanted rock, I had no trouble going out of my body, something you learn if you have enough practice doing it. I simply use my will and rise up out of it. I was just above my body and had a thought about seeing the tent from the outside, and suddenly I found myself well away from the tent up closer to the mountain about 20 meters above the ground. In inner exploration (though here it’s more like being on the inside in outer reality) where you put your will, which might just be thinking about something or someone, is where you will go or attempt to reach, why it takes such focus and concentration to explore consciousness. You really have to have a handle on it.

The moon was nearly full, waxing or waning I don’t remember, and I became excited when I saw that I’d done it, was a free spirit floating in the material world, what I figured I had to be in order to leave the earth. I’d tried to go just into space free of the earth in a lucid dream a couple of years before, and I realized I’d have to do it in an complete OBE. I didn’t make it then. As I got to the outer atmosphere everything disintegrated, and I awoke in my bed.

What I hadn’t yet fully grasped, though, was the threshold matter. There are thresholds other than the hostile powers, and one quite significant one is leaving the room or enclosed space you’re in. If you don’t have enough focus, grasp on your consciousness, you simply go out of there and into a lucid dream. Obviously leaving the earth is a much larger and more difficult threshold to master, and though I’ve had dreams of being in space or on the moon or Mars, I’ve yet to cross that threshold and actually leave the earth intending consciously to do so. I don’t know the difference between dreaming of that and doing that in waking reality while in the dream or inner state, such as an OBE, but I do feel there is a large or small distinction between the two, but I can’t discount the possibility of finding myself off the earth in dream and really being off it. I suspect our view of the matter is too rigid, and that there aren’t clear cut lines between the planes as we believe. Nature, whether inner or outer, doesn’t draw distinct lines between things like we do. Things often sort of blend into something else, though there are definite boundaries too.

full-moon-krittika

The scene before me with that looming moon was fantastic. As a ‘spirit’, the moonlight seemed to be what the scene was about, not what was creating it but its focus. I looked around me and, to my slight disappointment, saw that there was one difference with waking reality. Though my friends in the tent were all sleeping as though the tent was there, curled around its walls, my body too, there was no tent. Other than that I was the free spirit I wanted to be. I looked up at the moon and willed myself up, going up very quickly, faster and faster, and just as had happened in that aforementioned lucid dream, as I got to the threshold of space the scene before me disintegrated, but I don’t think it was a lucid dream I found myself in but a dream experience, what in the integral yoga means you actually go somewhere in the inner fields and don’t just dream you do, intending to or not.

I found myself looking at a clearing in an old growth ancient forest, the full moon shining upon the scene illuminating it with moonlight’s coolness. I didn’t have a physical presence. Sitting in the middle of the clearing was a beautiful middle aged woman. Her hair style was quite distinctive, very intricate braiding that’s too complicated to describe, and she wore simple but adorned natural clothing. She was sitting on some sort of chair or stool I couldn’t see because all around her and on her were the animals of the forest, birds, butterflies, squirrels and things on her body like living decorations, larger animals as near to her as they could get, as it was evident they loved her and she them. The clearing was full of animals, predator and prey alike, but there was no strife. They just wanted close to her, and so did I.

She was smiling the sweetest and wisest smile I’ve ever seen, smiling at me, and with mirth sparkling in her eyes she said simply, and I remember her exact words, “You’re on the right path. Don’t turn to the right or left, and take baby steps.” Then the scene faded suddenly, and I awoke in my body inside the tent.

The path I was on, and still am, though I’m a sadhak of the Integral Yoga of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, was what I called at the time the personal growth process towards wholeness and healing, and my focus was inner exploration. It would bear mentioning that for me I didn’t take up the spiritual path for realization but for healing with an impossible disorder I relate in poems, stories, and articles on my personal blog.

In order to prepare for the moon shot, I just stopped all vital indulgences, rigidly, the vital in our yoga the life-body of the impulses, desires, emotions, and preferences, what usually in a sadhana gives the trouble, more than the mind and body, the two other instruments of the lower being. My main indulgence at that time was grass, and I’d stopped smoking it for the duration of my attempt to reach the moon.

Grass for me has been an indulgence, accelerator, and a medicine. The powerful spiritual experiences I had at the beginning of my sadhana were partly triggered by it, except the finding of the soul, where I wasn’t stoned because I was deep inside a night’s trance. I don’t call it a sleep because, though it’s the same state, there I was conscious. Lucid would neither be what I was because I was no longer in dream but had gone all the way through it via a dark ‘tunnel’ and was no longer in this universe or this type of existence but in spirit, the well of soul, a journey I took some months after this OBE. The story is in the works and will be posted on this blog upon its completion if I do actually complete it.

Lately, pot has only been an indulgence and a medicine, the latter since it stops nausea and vomiting and eases stomach pain, and I’ve have a serious mysterious stomach condition. It also helps accelerate having spiritual experiences, if you know how to use it that way, but not for a permanent realization, though anything is possible in the wide conditions we find ourselves in. I see it now more as an immaturity than as an aid. My muse said, when it first started some 15 years ago, when I was a daily pot smoker, that “pot can take over any nature there is,” and I’ve found that to be true. The Mother doesn’t like it, and so, after not listening to her about it all these years, I’ve stopped using it even for a medicine, learning to rely on inner things as opposed to outer remedies, mainly the Mother’s force, what Douglas inspired me to do, since he’s looking into that for resolution of his chronic pain. It’s not a denial. It’s simply time to do that. When you reach such times with indulgences, you simply know it.

The earth mother, whom I feel that woman was, wasn’t telling me to give up pot at that time, or anything else. She was saying something in very simple language that I can’t explain no matter how many words I use: neither denying your desires nor simply indulging them. My latest story on my personal blog, “Clambers on the Mountaintop,” about posting poems on Mt. Sinai in Egypt, goes into that idea in great detail, but, as much detail as I give, I still can’t put that idea into concrete language, but the attempt, I feel at least, is worth the read. That story  takes place some years after this one, and it was the earth mother that planted the seed that had me planting poems in Jerusalem, Mt. Sinai, and the pyramids at Giza. Now those seeds and poems are flowering, and I understand what she told me, but I can’t give you that understanding. I can only tell you the story, taking my time to do that, 25 years, because the last thing she said is as important as the other two, what I needed to hear because I wanted the moon, and wanted it now. You see I didn’t get it. I may try again at some point, but when and if I do it’ll be the right time.

[i] http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock

[ii] Douglas, who I share this blog with, discusses this on the post “Bed Hopping With the Hostiles”.

[iii] That story’s also related on this blog, “Breaking Silence, Careful to Stay an Apparition”.