The blockbuster movie Inception combines breathtaking and highly innovative action with a complex psychological plot. Its focus is a team of mercenaries who specialise in entering people’s subconscious through ‘joint dreaming’ for the purpose of stealing valuable information – an advanced form of industrial espionage. This mental theft is called ‘extraction.’ Then, they are given a task most think is impossible. Rather than extract information from a subject’s mind, they are supposed to plant an idea that will lead to particular business decisions. This form of mental manipulation is what’s called ‘inception.’
The movie does not seek to make a particular psychological or spiritual point, but the subject matter is fascinating and the movie touches on many issues relevant to both psychology and spirituality. At one level, the approach of the film is purely materialistic. Dreams are the creations of people’s subconscious, and the many people who inhabit the places visited on dream journeys are merely ‘projections’ of the dreamers mind. They are not real, independent consciousnesses. This is good because they get slaughtered in large numbers. As the inceptors try and crack their target’s subconscious, the projections sense their intrusive presence and seek to defend their mental space by the fairly mundane means of guns and fists. Where the movie does move into the metaphysical is the way that dreamers increasingly question the nature of the real world. Is the waking state real or is it the dream state with all its creative potential?
The way in which it is possible for people to share each other’s dreams is not really explored. From a conscientiological perspective a ‘shared dream’ is never a dream, but a shared projection of consciousness. Projection, here of course, does not have the psychological meaning it has in Inception, but refers to consciousness projecting out of the physical body in another, more subtle body (also known as astral projection, out-of-body experience). Dreams are inter-neural events, and while we might be able to track them on CT-scans we cannot share them the same way we share going for a walk together. Projections of consciousness can be shared in just that way. They are extracorporeal events that take to us to non-physical dimensions, populated by real, non-physical, people. Interestingly, there are numerous parallels between the dream experiences of the characters in Inception and the extraphysical experiences of consciousness.
Just like the people representing subconscious projections in the movie, so the real non-physical people in the extraphysical dimensions may sense the difference of the person who is having an out-of-body experience and become curious about them. And just as the dreamers in the movie have the ability to create the dreamscape, and sometimes involuntarily introduce unresolved psychological issues, so when we are projected outside the body our thoughts can turn into tangible creations and our conditionings, beliefs and fantasies can influence our experience and distort our perception of the extraphysical reality in which we manifest. Just as some of the dreamers in Inception don’t realise that they are dreaming, so many of us don’t realise when we are projected.
A key premise of the movie is that inception, the planting of an idea in someone’s mind, is a highly difficult undertaking. Yet we know that this is not really the case. From a purely physical and psychological perspective there is an extensive literature on propaganda, advertising and brain-washing. Many of the ideas we might most closely identify with as our own were planted there by others: our parents, our peer-group, our culture. From a multidimensional perspective it goes further. It is possible, and indeed common for non-physical consciousnesses to give us ideas that then appear to us to be ours. This can happen while we are projected at night; we may wake up with new insights without realising where they come from (this is why people often like to sleep on things). It can also happen while we are awake, as most of us are unaware of the non-physical people who surround us at all times and may “whisper something into our ear” (telepathically). Such implanted ideas can be negative, or intrusive. But they can also be positive or assistential, such as when a depressed person suddenly glimpses a new mental vista of possibility and future that removes the haze of depression and instils new hope and optimism. Helpers can sow great seeds of inspiration.
I thoroughly enjoyed Inception, but the real world of multidimensional consciousness is much more elaborate and complex than that of the dreamscapes portrayed in the movie and yet awaits a film maker to truly tackle it.
I watched What Dreams May Come in the cinema when it was first released in 1998. At the time I thought it was revolutionary. I had been studying life beyond the physical dimension for the previous two years or so, and the movie conveyed many powerful insights about death and consciousness beyond the physical that corresponded with my newly found understanding. In my youthful naivety I felt sure the movie was the beginning of a mainstream embrace of life after death, and I recall leaving the cinema feeling very exited about this inevitable enlightened future.
Almost 20 years later, the revolution has not come; understanding or even acceptance of life after death is still not commonplace. But there have been definite shifts in the mainstream approach to spiritual matters, with people moving away from conventional religious dogmas and instead exploring experience-based understandings of multidimensional life. And I can only imagine popular movies like What Dreams May Come and others since (e.g. Sixth Sense, Ghost Town, Passengers, The Others) have played some role in getting us thinking and talking about what might lie beyond our current life.
Recently I shared this movie with my children. I still enjoyed it, but I now notice some aspects that leave me feeling a bit uncomfortable and that is what prompted this review. Before I get to that here is a quick synopsis.
Robin Williams plays Chris, a medical doctor who falls in love with Annie (Annabella Sciorra) against the romantic backdrop of the Alps. A jump in time takes us to the US with Chris and Annie now married with a teenage son and daughter. Tragically their children are killed in a car crash. Some years later Chris too dies in an accident. And this is where the story introduces us to the non-physical dimensions of experience.
Chris’s difficulties in adjusting to life after death are powerfully and tangibly conveyed. He struggles to accept that he has died and does not want to let go of Annie who is in deep mourning. So he remains close to home trying to make her notice him. Even though she cannot see him, she senses his energies. But not having an understanding of the survival of consciousness this does not comfort her, as Chris would wish, but only increases her grief and makes her feel like she is going crazy. Supported by his helper Albert (Cuba Gooding Jnr), Chris eventually leaves her and finally finds himself in the actual extraphysical dimension. At first he is in his own personal dimension, created by his thoughts. This, Albert explains, is to allow him to adjust. Slowly he learns that physical laws don't apply to him anymore, that he can fly and travel at the speed of his thoughts. Eventually, Albert helps Chris to go beyond and meet some other old friends who had died before him. None of these people appear as they did on earth, a fact that accurately reflects the ability of our extraphysical body (psychosoma) to assume forms based on our intentions, and is cleverly used to dramatic effect in the movie.
Meanwhile the trauma of losing both children and husband has become too great for Annie and she kills herself. When Albert informs Chris of this he is excited, believing that he will now get to see her. He is outraged to learn that suicides do not come to the same dimensions as everybody else. Instead, Albert informs him, they end up in their own private hells, created by their self-centred obsessive thoughts that cut them off from contact with others for an eternity.
Inspired by his love for Annie, Chris is determined to track her done in this hell of hers and bring her back to the shared extraphysical reality.
It is this key part of the story line, the rescue of Annie, that misrepresents extraphysical reality enough to have inspired this review. In the movie, Albert explains emphatically that suicides are different, they cannot be saved. No one has ever brought one back. Chris stubbornly responds that no one has ever shared the bond that he and Annie share. Ultimately the rescue only takes place because of Chris’s insistence, against the advice of not only Albert but another helper he meets, and because Chris is prepared to sacrifice himself to meet Annie, that is he is ready to fully enter into her hellish mental states, to lose himself so he can stay with her for ever. This act of deep compassion is a powerful part of the story and a moving example of self-less service by meeting another in their deepest suffering. But the focus on this deeply personal and individualised love does a disservice to the profound system of love and support that exists in the extraphysical dimensions. This system is completely independent of personal romantic attachments. There are many extraphysical dimensions set up entirely to provide support to extraphysical consciousnesses in deep suffering and myriads of non-physical consciousnesses who dedicate their energies to retrieving “suicides” and others caught in their own mental hells. What drives them is not personalised romantic love, but the more impersonal love that is inspired by an awareness of the unity of consciousness and a deep yearning to contribute to the evolutionary processes that guide all actions in the more evolved dimensions of existence.
Perhaps by focusing on the romantic connection between Chris and Annie, What Dreams May Come is using a relationship dynamic that many can relate to and therefore makes the story more accessible. But in doing so the movie short-changes the audience by depriving them of connecting with the extensive network of love and support that exists in the extraphysical dimensions. This network acts ceaselessly to try and support every single consciousness however lost they might seem at a given moment and what ever dimension they may find themselves in. The intricacies and compassion of this network, to me, are far more inspiring than reliance on individualised and “special” romantic love. It is something that encourages my active participation and at the same time leaves me feeling supported and motivates to become a better person so I can make my own contribution to this multidimensional system of service.
On the other hand, The movie’s presentation of suicides as largely “lost causes” unfairly stigmatises a section of the multidimensional population that is already caught in deep suffering.
The depiction of the personalised hells experienced by suicides, but also by many others caught in torturous processes created by their own minds, corresponds closely with eye witness accounts of those who have visited non-physical dimensions through projections of consciousness. But the suggestion that those people are doomed forever, or only retrievable if they are the beneficiaries of exceptionally powerful romantic love is misleading.
Far from being “lost causes”, suicides and others who have experienced exceptional suffering are likely candidates for future roles as unusually insightful healers and helpers, because they have delved deeply into the suffering we can experience and for that reason are capable of great compassion and understanding of the suffering of others. As such they can be assured of the tireless commitment by helpers to “retrieve them from hell”.
I still consider What Dreams May come a good movie, with many moving and enlightening depictions of human interconnections and their persistence beyond this single life-time. But it could have been a great movie had it broadened its approach to the dynamics of multidimensional assistance, avoided further stigmatising suicide and not bought into the cliché of soul mates at the expense of universal love.
This is an edited extract from the final chapter of my book Multidimensional Evolution: Personal Explorations of Consciousness
One way of looking at the evolution of consciousness is that it moves ahead in units we call “lifetimes”. Each of our physical lives is a new chapter in the journey, and with each physical lifetime, we start with a new game plan and a new set of targets and goals to achieve. In conscientiology, we call this game plan our “existential program”. This existential program is what we designed during our intermissive period prior to this current life, when our awareness was greater and we had a clearer perspective of where we came from and what we wanted to accomplish in the next physical life. We all have an existential program that is tailor-made to our circumstances, needs and abilities, and whatever your existential program may be, it is perfectly achievable by you.
The important thing to remember is that our existential programs are highly personal. What is right for one person may not be right for the next. We really need to go into ourselves and find our own answers for what is right for each of us. But there are some key principles that generally apply. Our existential program will involve overcoming or transforming at least some of our weak traits. These are aspects of ourselves that we have neglected in our evolutionary journeys so far and that we now need to address. In my case, this includes being closely and intimately involved with other people, such as my family. In most of my retrocognitions (memories of past lives), I saw myself as somewhat detached from others: aloof, distant, self-absorbed, sometimes downright cruel. In this lifetime, it has taken ongoing work both by me and my partner to maintain my emotional and mental presence within the relationship and my family life. That is my story. The things you will need to address will be different.
Another aspect of our existential programs, to one degree or another, is making a difference in the lives of others. Again, how this looks in practice will be highly individual. Just consider the contributions of the three main teachers I discuss in this book. For Waldo, helping others has meant creating landmark publications and innovative methodologies that have given rise to new ways of understanding and conceptualizing consciousness, and then establishing organizations through which to make this understanding available around the world. Leia and Pak Suyono have made less obvious of an external impact, but all three have provided direct assistance through words and energies both within and outside the body to countless numbers of people. Then there are people like Mandela and Ghandi, whose actions changed the course of nations, or like Rosa Parks, whose refusal to move to the back of the bus heralded the end of racial segregation in the USA. But actions do not have to be on that scale. For one person, raising children in a loving and supportive family home may be the main focus; for another, it might be bringing neighbors together in communal action or working with disadvantaged youth, the elderly, indigenous peoples or some other group of people in need of support. The scale and nature of our work is highly personal, but some form of reaching out beyond our individual egos to support other evolving consciousnesses will be an aspect of our existential program. Again, for some running a soup kitchen for homeless people might be part of their existential program, while for others that would be a deviation from their program, because really their task was the creation of high-level policies or systems aimed at addressing the more fundamental causes of homelessness. Only you and your helpers can know what is right for you and what is an accommodation or even a downright deviation.
Our existential programs are unlikely to involve Hollywood-style heroics, but they will involve a kind of internal heroism, of confronting ourselves and standing up for things we believe are important, even if they challenge general community standards or social expectations. There is really nothing more important in our physical lives than completing our existential program. It is the whole point of why we are here. When we eventually deactivate our current bodies, we alone will be measuring our own success. There will be no external judgment. We will judge ourselves, and we will naturally respond by either feeling very content with our achievements or by being deeply frustrated and unhappy at a job poorly done.
It is not hard to relate this to our everyday experiences. Think of how you feel when you are aware of things that you need to do but so far have left undone. What might start with a subtle sense of gnawing dissatisfaction can easily grow into negative self-talk and a sense of frustration. Contrast this with how you feel after you have completed something. In my experience, there is an inner sense of satisfaction, and if it was something really important, even passing euphoria. Now multiply those feelings a hundredfold. If we complete our life task we are utterly euphoric, on a profound inner level. If we don’t, we become depressed, melancholy, and regretful. Those states of mind will then accompany us beyond this current life, and will not only influence our subsequent experience of the extraphysical dimension but can also impact on our next physical existence. And self-mimicry applies even here! All the choices and habits that led us to not complete our existential program in one lifetime are just as likely to catch up with us again, as are the choices and habits that helped us to complete our program.
If a physical lifetime is a unit in the evolution of consciousness, a day is a unit in the execution of our existential program. The only time to adjust our course and make sure that we are on track is now, the most fundamental evolutionary moment of all. Right now is the time to work with energy, to learn something new, to deepen our understanding through research and writing, to make sure we address something we have left undone, to confront an inner weakness or make a difference in the life of another. If we do all we can every day, we can be sure to leave this life with a smile on our face.
Our journey through physical life will invariably end and our focus of awareness will shift to other dimensions. Commonly we call this transition "death" and most of us hold a range of fears regarding this experience, including fearing the unknown, fearing the loss of everything that is known and that is important to us, and fearing the actual process itself. To free us from these deep seated fears, meditating on death is a fundamental practice in Buddhism and other more experiential religious traditions. Contemplating death is the ultimate way of confronting the reality of impermanence; that everything changes and comes to an end. Confronting the impermanence of our body can also be a great incentive to connect with our real essence and ask ourselves: Who am I when my body dies? Who am I beyond the body? Simply holding that question in mind can expand our consciousness as we strip away the illusory parts of our current personality: our body, name, profession, accomplishments and so on. Truly embracing the reality of death can paradoxically greatly enhance our involvement in life, as we cease to be held back by our fears and insecurities and seek to make the most of the limited time we have in this life.
Here I would like to suggest another productive angle on contemplating death, namely to consider what comes afterwards. What will my life after death be like?
A common misconception is that life after death is the great unknown. Actually there are some very consistent and reliable sources that give us an insight into the reality that awaits us: accounts from those who have had out-of-body and near-death experiences and those from mediums who relay descriptions from people already on the other side. The book Projectiology by veteran projector Waldo Vieira provides a broad outline of the experiences of consciousness based on the author's personal projections and the evaluation of thousands of accounts by other researchers.
The following are some of the well established features of life in the extraphysical dimensions that I have found it beneficial to reflect on at different times.
It is quite literally breathless. After death we will no longer be breathing. As you focus your awareness on your breath right now, realize that YOU do not breath. The part of you that is thinking and feeling does not need breath. Your body is "the breather", a term that according to Waldo Vieira is used as a slang expression for intraphysical consciousnesses in some non-physical dimensions. Resting your awareness in your breathless self can be a mind expanding and joyous experience and is something you can do while engaged in formal meditation or while walking along or simply sitting at your desk or on your couch.
Thoughts cause immediate action. One of the challenges of studying projections of consciousness (out-of-body experiences) to standards acceptable to hard science is the difficulty of obtaining replicable and consistent data. Two projectors aiming for the same target location rarely report it identically and a single projector can rarely repeat multiple visits to defined targets. A key factor for this seems to be the impact of people's thoughts and emotions on their actions while projected. As they are moving towards their target something takes their attention or comes to their mind and off they go towards that new "goal". Imagine your whole self actually responding to all your passing thoughts and emotions (“I think I am going to go to the kitchen and have something to eat”, “man that guy was so annoying, I want to give him a piece of my mind”, “I am bored, I want to be at the beach”, “that girl is hot”, “God I hate this job, I wish I could be in the pub”, “she is such a bitch”, “he is cute”, and so on). Or imagine yourself fixated on a singular thought, as often happens to people who are stuck on anger, revenge or resentment for people in their lives. People who die with these unresolved fixations often continue with those fixations for long periods outside of the body, possibly even turning themselves into extraphysical intruders of the people they feel the resentment and hatred for. Taking regular stock of our state of mind while still alive, working towards a calmed and controlled mind and resolving our difficult relationships, even if only in our own mind, are invaluable in preparing us for the other side.
Thoughts can interfere with perceptions. There are other reasons why paying attention to our mind is important in preparing us for the extraphysical dimension. The extraphysical environment is highly plastic, i.e. it responds to people's thoughts. In the extraphysical dimensions our thoughts literally create realities. Assume you are outside of the body and meet someone who reminds you of an old friend, you may overlay an image of the old friend over the person you are actually meeting, or introduce things that you associate with your friend, perhaps their car, or their pet into the environment. They are not really there, but to your mind they are. The movie What Dreams May Come contains some powerful representations of people who have died and are caught in their own minds. During our nightly projections to the extraphysical dimensions, usually unconscious, many of us are literally sleep walking, wondering around in creations of our own minds (we call them "dreams") and quite unconscious to the extraphysical reality in which we are moving about. Again a great incentive to pay attention to the wanderings of our mind.
Like minded consciousnesses group together, i.e. dimensions are composed of groups of people who share the same fundamental frequency, which is determined by their underlying patterns of thoughts and emotions. All the hells and heavens we can possibly imagine, and everything in between, exists in the form of extraphysical dimensions. Because these environments are created through the collective patterns of thoughts and emotions of their inhabitants, it is more precise to think of extraphysical dimensions as states of consciousness rather that places. In other words, a hell is a dimension occupied by consciousnesses caught in their own suffering and the heavens are only as exalted as our state of consciousness allows. People with fixed beliefs, about what to expect when they die will often find just that. This may seem appealing to the faithful, but from the perspective of the evolution of consciousness it is very limiting, because such consciousnesses often spend very long periods in their "heavenly" consensus realities. These environments are very conservative, with any deviance of the accepted norms frowned upon and inhibited by the inhabitants, perpetuating the mental fossilisation that was inculcated during physical life. And of course this does not only affect those of us with religious indoctrination. The more wide-spread materialist indoctrination means that vast numbers of extraphysical consciousnesses continue to live as if they had a body, "eating" and "drinking", sleeping, and moving about like humans, rather than flying and enjoying the full extent of options on offer in extraphysical life. Our state of consciousness will determine our extraphysical destination, and so we can change our destination by changing our state of consciousness. The preparation for a rich and joyous extraphysical life starts now, while still in the body, by doing all we can to expand our mind, by challenging our fixed beliefs and preconceived ideas, by engaging with new and transcendental ideas and by looking beyond human conventions and beliefs.
The period after death will be a stage in our preparation for the following life. The cycle of rebirth is not a period of toil in the physical dimension followed by a holiday in the extraphysical dimension. Nor will our subsequent existence merely consist of some kind of blissed out heavenly enlightenment. We may celebrate our reconnection with old friends and loved ones, but we will also be busy taking stock of our past physical existence: what mistakes can we learn from? What did we do splendidly? What did we forget to do altogether? And so on. And then we will be planning the next existence, which will in some way be connected with our current one. If we make lots of mistakes now we will try to do better next time and make up for our stuff ups. If we are highly "productive" in the sense of dealing with our baggage and working towards a goal that is bigger than our self, we will be working towards a bigger goal next time. So why wait for death to plan the next life. We can start now and work towards goals that transcend our one physical life, goals that we can work towards now, continue with in the extraphysical dimension and reconnect with once we return to the physical dimension. From this perspective it becomes clear that it is never too late to start something new. It is never too late, because at whatever point we start something, we are setting an intention that will continue beyond this physical life. It is much better to spend the last few years of our life taking actions on something or starting to learn something new, then to regret never having done it. If we do the latter we are likely to die depressed and frustrated at ourselves and take that reality into the next dimension, but if we start taking actions now this drive is equally likely to carry forward and leave us feeling much more positive. Many of us have spent innumerable life-times drifting through the cycle of rebirth passively following the karmic currents we generate. Once we begin to see the connection between our current life and our own future existences we are truly starting to live life from a multidimensional perspective and take a proactive approach to both our current life and those to follow, in this and other dimensions.
If you have come to his article because you have experienced either of the sensations referred to in the title and you were worried about them, the first thing to know is that they are perfectly natural. The trail blazing OBE researcher Robert Monroe spontaneously began experiencing unusual vibrations when he laid down to rest or sleep. He spent some time worrying about his health, both physical and mental, until he realized that the vibrations simply related to the process of separation from his physical body. If you are in that position, you can stop worrying and start exploring the subtle dimensions of life that these sensations relate to.
I started meditating without any desire to explore multidimensionality. I didn’t even realize life was multidimensional. I just wanted to calm my mind. Yet within a very short period of time I experienced vibrations all over my body while in meditation, and developed a pulsation around my third eye that persisted even when I was just going about my daily business.
Eventually I came to understand that both those sensations relate to our energetic body. This body is comprised of the energy Eastern traditions refer to as Chi / Qui / Ki. It permeates our physical body, and extends just a bit beyond the limits of our skin. It comprises a complex system that includes channels, like the veins in our body, and distribution or circulation centers known as chakras.
Like air this energy is essential to our survival, it is our life force. It has been given a range of English names such as vital energy and etheric energy; in conscientiology it is called bioenergy, the energy of life. Because it is so much subtler than our physical body, we are rarely aware of this part of us. But when we become still and tune into it, or when we take actions to move and develop that body, then we can start to perceive it in a range of ways, including as intense vibrations and pulsations, or subtle tinglings and pinpricks.
When I started to study conscientiology, I learned a technique by which to deliberately induce the vibrational state even when I wasn’t meditating. This technique, called the closed circulation of energy, is essentially an exercise of the mind and involves mentally inducing ever-accelerating movement of the energetic body. You start at the top of your head and move the energy all the way down to your feet before returning back to the top, continuing and accelerating that cycle until reaching the vibrational state (you can find a nice illustration of this here). You can do this while laying in your bed, sitting in a restaurant or standing in a cue.
I have now practiced this technique for years. Throughout that period my third eye kept pulsating most of time, regardless as to whether I was doing the closed circulation regularly or not. I could be sitting at my desk working, playing in the park with my kids or practicing a meditation, the pulsation of energy around my third eye remained an almost constant companion. Initially I thought it was something really significant, an opening of clairvoyance for example and that any time soon I would become permanently attuned to non-physical dimensions. But a decade and a half later it appears that these pulsations have nothing to do with clairvoyance, and my abilities in that regard remain as haphazard as they ever were.
However, I have recently begun to gain a new appreciation of the role of the third eye chakra in our wider energetic system. A meditation technique taught by the Clairvision School works very deliberately with the third-eye chakra, using it as a focus point in exploring our inner world of consciousness. In the course of my still fledgling studies of the Clairvision School’s approach, I decided to combine the focus on the third-eye with the deliberate induction of the vibrational state. Instead of moving energy up and down through my energetic system in the broad sweep of the closed circulation of energies, I have started focusing my full awareness on the pulsations of my third-eye chakra and then extending that pulsation throughout my energetic body. It appears to be a very effective way of inducing the vibrational state. Before long I start to perceive the pulsation in the crown chakra at the top of my head, and the planto-chakras at the centers of my feet and then my entire energetic system enters a subtle but tangible vibrational state. The third-eye chakra has become a switch with which to crank up the volume of the whole energetic body.
And if you are wondering why you may want to do that, there are many reasons. If you are an energetically sensitive person, the vibrational state is an excellent technique to balance yourself when you have to deal with dense or challenging environments. It is a technique that helps you reclaim your energetic space and thereby also your mental and emotional space. If you are pursuing out-of-body travels, inducing the vibrational state while lying down in a relaxed position can cause the separation of your subtle psychosoma (astral body) from the physical body. And if you are interested in working more closely with non-physical helpers, regular vibrational states will help you develop an energetic micro-climate in which helpers can provide greater assistance to both physical and non-physical people in need who cross your path.
So if you are already experiencing the subtle sensations of your energetic body I encourage you to explore and develop them. And if all of this seems very abstract to you because you don’t think you have ever experienced any of the things I am talking about, but you are still reading this, I encourage you to try working with your energy and experience it for yourself.
The therapeutic use of the projection of consciousness and other psychic phenomena among the shamans of Central AustraliaRead Now
The texts below are direct translations of accounts provided in their own language by three Central Australian shamans, referred to commonly as “traditional healers” or “clever people” in Aboriginal English and as ngangkari in the native Pitjantjatjara of the authors. In these accounts the three healers explain their conscious use of the projection of consciousness and clairvoyance in their healing work. They explain the multidimensional aspects of their healing work; how they fly around at night (OBEs) helping their community, and how much of their work focuses on the spirit (psychosoma) of their patient.
Australian Aboriginal culture is often described as the oldest living culture on Earth. Before European colonization 200 years ago, the people on the continent had been largely isolated from other cultures for thousands of years. The archaeological record agrees conservatively that Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for at least 50,000 years, seemingly with little cultural change. In most parts, the last 200 years of colonization have caused substantial cultural loss. But in some of the more remote areas, English is still a second (or third or fourth) language and people still live in accordance with their own cultural priorities.
The Pitjantjatjara people of the central deserts of Australia are one such remote group. The texts give us a glimpse into a multidimensional understanding that has existed for thousands of years, long before the canonical texts of the Judeo-Christian religions, the European esoteric traditions, the “New Age” movement, or the technical explorations of OBEs that started last century. As such they are a powerful piece of evidence for the universal nature of the projection of consciousness.
The texts originally appeared in The Australian newspaper and are extracts from a book about the ngangkari called Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari published by the NPY Women’s Council.
FLYING spirits, sacred tools, treatment by touch ... the traditional healers of central australia explain their extraordinary skills.
I was only a teenager when I received the gift, which initially scared me! This power just came to me alone. I'd wander around at night with my powers, and return to my camp early in the morning. All I could think was that I must have become a ngangkari [traditional healer] for some reason. I asked my mother, "Mother, why do I drift around at night so much?" and she replied, "You must be a ngangkari then." My reaction was, "What?" and she said, "Yes, it seems that you have become a ngangkari all by yourself!"
We say wirunymankula waninyi - which means, to declare someone well and to banish the illness. The illness, or pain, can take the form of phlegm, or back pain, and this is what I specialise in. My work was as a healer, mostly helping women and children. Very often they didn't need to tell me what was going on, because I'd know already. So I'd give the appropriate treatment and I know they were good. Women and children were healed by me countless times, especially children.
In Ernabella [mission, in far northwest South Australia], people would go and see the white doctors after they'd seen a ngangkari. They'd tell the doctor they'd seen a ngangkari already and the doctors encouraged this, because it made people stronger. The white nurses would be happy as well. The only difference was, they were on a salary and I was not. I would tell them that I didn't get paid for my work. Ngangkari have always worked for free.
The touch of my hands has a healing effect. I give a firm, strong touch, and remove the pain and sickness, and throw it away from the sufferer. After their treatment they will stand up and tell me how they feel and, of course, there is always an improvement.
At night I see spirits. The kurunpa spirits talk to me. Spirits separate from the body when someone is unwell or suffering and I see them. This is how I find out they are not well. I have dog friends that help me, as well. These dogs are my friends. At night I travel around by myself to make sure the women are all right. I see everyone at night, how they are, if they are all right. Sometimes it scares me but it is my work, I have to do it. I travel alone and that is what I do.
Depressed people can feel a lot better within themselves after a ngangkari treatment. That's one of our specialities. Their spirits are out-of-sorts, and not positioned correctly within their bodies. The ngangkari's job is to reposition their spirits and to reinstate it to where it is happiest.
Some people ask me how I do the treatments that I do. I tell them that I have unique skills that are not easily explained, which I developed by myself. After a treatment, it is our task to ensure the sickness doesn't return and pain doesn't return. So we have to dispose of the pain in our special way. Ngangkari know how to do this. We have special powers in our hands. Our work is to mould the shape of the body so that it can accommodate the spirit properly. In that way, people are well. I ask people afterwards, "Are you feeling better now?" and they tell me, "Yes, I am feeling great!" Ngangkari touch people. We touch, and that is our special art and our skill.
When I was growing up I had three grandfathers who were all ngangkari: my mother's father, my father's father and my grandfather's brother. So I lived with these three ngangkari. Well, actually there were four, because my father was a ngangkari as well. One day my grandfather asked me, "Do you want us to give you ngangkari power, so that you can live your life as a ngangkari? You'll have to help sick people, and heal them, whether they are men, women or children. If you do become a ngangkari, the power will stay with you all your life and you'll never lose it, or be able to throw it away."
My father was observing all of this. He told me that the way I would have to heal people would be to pull the sickness out of their bodies in the form of pieces of wood, or sticks, or stones, things like that. This is so that people can actually see with their own eyes the sickness that is removed from their bodies. This is the commonly accepted way we ngangkari do our work. It is so that people can see us taking their sickness away from their bodies, which gives them a sense of removal. My father told me I'd have to make sure I showed them what I took out, so they could see it, before I disposed of it.
I said to my father, "But how? How am I supposed to do that? I don't understand how ngangkari work. How could I ever be able to do that?" He replied, "Don't worry, we'll show you. It won't be hard once you know how." So I was shown. I was given the power of a ngangkari by all my grandfathers, and I still have that power today. They taught me everything I know. They didn't tell me how to do it. They showed me. They also placed inside me the sacred objects I would need to be my tools for working as a ngangkari. These are called mapanpa.
In the past, many children became ngangkari at a very early age. Children who took an interest in the healing arts often asked to be given power and to receive training. Often this training took place, as it did for me, at a distance from camp. The ngangkari would light fires at a separate camp and they would wait for the spirits to bring them special powerful tools. During the night, when they were all asleep, all the ngangkari people's spirit bodies would start to rise up from their sleeping bodies and soar upwards. Now you know how people fly around in aeroplanes and drive around in cars? Well, for Anangu [people of the Western Desert], and for ngangkari, when they are asleep at night, their spirits move around in a similar kind of way. The ngangkaris' spirit bodies begin to fly around and to visit the sleeping spirits of other people to make sure all is well.
The spirit of a sick person is usually too sick to fly properly, and often crashes into trees. This is when the ngangkari's night time work is very useful, because they will see the injured spirit holding onto the trunk of the tree, or fallen on the ground. The ngangkari will rescue the spirit. In doing so, he is able to recognise who it is and will say, "Oh, this is such-and-such. He is not well. Poor thing, he needs help here." So he'll pick up the spirit and take him to the body and ask the sleeping person to wake up. "Wake up. Your spirit is not well. Sit up and I'll put you to rights." The person will sit up, the ngangkari will replace the stricken spirit, and all will be well again very soon. By the next day, he will be quite better. This is a very special skill which we ngangkari alone have.
While all the ngangkari are gathered in the special camps, hundreds of mapanpa will come flying in. Mapanpa are special, powerful tools. They hit the ground with small explosions, "boom, boom, boom!" The ngangkari dash around collecting up the objects: kanti that look like sharp stone blades, kuuti that resemble black shiny round tektites, and tarka - slivers of bone. Each ngangkari gathers up the pieces he wants. These pieces become his own property.
I realise all this sounds very different to all you doctors and nurses who worked so hard at university to get where you are today. You have studied so many books. But we are working towards the same goal of healing sick people and making them feel better in themselves, as you are. In that way we are equal.
My father had been a ngangkari his whole life, and his mapanpa had been given to him by his father. When he finally did give me the mapanpa, I became mara ala - meaning, my hands became open, my forehead became open, and I could see everything differently. I was able to travel into the skies with other ngangkari, soaring around in the sky, travelling great distances, and coming back home in time for breakfast. Ngangkari travel around in the sky, just our spirits travelling, while our bodies remain sleeping on earth. My father taught me that. He taught me everything, carefully and slowly.
We used to go for holidays a long way from the communities, and the white people used to follow us with the ration truck to give us our food ration in exchange for dingo scalps. All that flour and food! Sugar, sweet tinned milk, golden syrup and tins of meat. I know that a lot of our people are on dialysis now. It is from that sugar we ate back then. We all know this now. It is a shame because we have always had wonderful traditional bush foods. We had all the bush medicines that were used by everybody, it wasn't part of the ngangkari's specialised work. We used the bark on the roots of the wakalpuka bush for a splint if a child broke their leg or arm. We'd put the skin of the nest of the itchy caterpillar onto burns and itchy sores; you take the nest and remove all of the droppings from the inside of the nest and wash it and then you put it on the skin. It was a fantastically good treatment for burns, rather like doing a skin graft! If somebody scratched and itched, we'd put it on that as well.
My mapanpa live in my body. I am a painter, and when I paint, my mapanpa move right up into my shoulder and sit up there, out of the way. If somebody comes to me, needing help, I would have to ease my mapanpa back into my hands again. Sometimes I would push them from one arm to the other. When I am giving a healing treatment, I push with my left hand and I extract with my right.
I work on the head a lot and I heal people if they've got a headache. If there is something serious like a car accident and we are called to attend, we go straight there without delay. People have been hurt and the terrible shock of an accident shakes the kurunpa [spirit] out of a person and so we go there to find the kurunpa and we bring it back and replace it. Without the spirit any bodily healing takes much longer. Afterwards we attend the clinics, and when they call us, we do our work courageously without fear.
In the past non-Aboriginal doctors would do their work, yet they didn't know about us traditional healers. Our traditional healers were always busy healing people at home, looking after the entire community, while the doctors did their work in their clinics. But neither knew how the other one worked. We are unable to do too much work with renal patients; we never touch their kidneys, they are too vulnerable. But we do help with pain and discomfort.
Dealing with the deceased, sometimes we can capture the spirit of the deceased and place it into the living spouse, which is a really caring and strengthening thing to do. Sometimes if a son passes away, and the mother is really sick and bereaved, the dead son's spirit is placed inside the mother. In that way everybody is happier and it ensures that they get back to their normal health more quickly and are happier and healthier during their time of grief, because it is really terrible if somebody is too sad for too long.
Sometimes I can call a spirit with a branch. Using the branch I can usher it along, into the burial place, where the spirit should be. Sometimes the spirit will leave the body and leave the burial ceremony and travel around and make people sick. Sometimes, if I see that, I use a branch to brush it along, to brush it along so it goes back to the cemetery.
See here on my elbow? That's where my mapanpa sits. I've got openings in my hand and an opening in the forehead. We say that ngangkari people are mara ala and ngalya ala, which means open hands and open mind. When you hear someone say, "Oh, he's mara ala," that just tells you instantly that she's a healer, a traditional healer, a ngangkari.
Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari (NPY Women's Council) is out now, $49.95.
There seems to be a range of ways in which people use the concepts of lucid dreaming and what I call “projection of consciousness” but others may refer to as “astral projection” or “out-of-body experience” (OBE). In this post I explain how those terms are used from the perspective of projectiology (the study of the projection of consciousness).
First, it is good to be aware that there are two fundamentally different approaches to understanding these kinds of experiences. One is the “psychological model”. According to this model any experiences we have, whether we call them “lucid dream” or “astral projection”, are only taking place within our own psyche. Basically, this model has the underlying assumption that consciousness is a product of matter and all our experiences take place in the brain. This model dominates most mainstream scientific research into dreams and is also the starting point for some lucid dream researchers. The other is the “projection model”. This model assumes that we can actually leave the physical body in some other body and experience ourselves on another dimension of manifestation. According to this model, consciousness is something beyond matter; consciousness is not created by matter, it simply uses matter to manifest in this dimension.
If our basic starting point is the psychological model then it makes sense to use the term “lucid dreaming” for any conscious experience that we have during our sleep state. After all, no matter how aware we are the experience has to be a subjective dream of sorts, because in our model it is not possible to have experiences beyond our physical body during sleep. From the view point of the psychological model there is no such thing as a projection of consciousness (astral projection etc.).
If our basic starting point is the projective model, however, we can start to think more carefully about the range of experiences that we can have while our body is asleep. From the perspective of projectiology, leaving the physical body happens to all of us every night. It is simply a result of our multidimensional physiology (para-physiology). As our physical body goes to sleep, our subtle body (the psychosoma in projectiology) floats out. But that does not mean that we all then have out-of-body experiences, because most of us don’t experience anything. We sleep in our psychosoma (astral body). There is no lucidity. In the projective model, the lucid dream is a particular state of consciousness that sits between an unconscious or sleep state on the one hand and the fully lucid projection of consciousness on the other.
Once we realize that every human being projects every night, we come to understand that the challenge of the out-of-body experience is not getting “out of” the body. It is maintaining our consciousness in a state of awareness during our regular slip into multidimensionality. We leave the physical body, but we sleep and dream in our extraphysical, subtle body. To paraphrase from Waldo Vieira’s comprehensive Projectiology treatise: Many people are awake in the extraphysical dimension, but most are not awake to the extraphysical dimension.
Lucid projectors regularly report encountering friends and family out of the body who are sleeping or “sleep walking” in their psychosoma.
The movie What Dreams May Come provides a great illustration of the process by which a consciousness can be in the extraphysical dimensions, but essentially confined to a world of its own creation. After the main character, played by Robin Williams, “dies” he finds himself in a beautiful world of paintings. These are paintings like those his wife used to produce. It is a familiar comforting space and he remains there until his helper (or extraphysical guide) decides that he has adjusted well enough to confront the extraphysical reality. At that point the paintings fall away and a whole world shared with many other consciousnesses becomes apparent (what William Buhlman calls a “consensus reality”). The vast majority of us move through our natural nightly projections in the same way that Robin Williams’ character did after his death; surrounded by images of our own creation.
But as we look more carefully we realize that our dreams can have different qualities to them. Some are purely psychological. For example, we may be floating just centimeters above our physical body while having a dream based purely on the inner content of our mind (fears, desires, unexpressed emotions etc.), without any external influences. In other cases we are actually projected some distance from our body, floating along and our dream involves us flying as our mind taps into the external experience and incorporates it into the dream. Such a subtle, extraphysical stimulus can be incorporated in the same way that that external physical stimuli sometimes are. For example, when the blanket has fallen off and our feet start getting cold, or when birds begin to sing early in the morning these things can become woven into our dreams as well. Clearly, the physical and extraphysical are not completely separate, as is also apparent from the fact that there appears to be a correlation between dreaming and certain physiological changes (Rapid-Eye-Movement, particular brain wave activity, etc.). From a bioenergetic perspective we know that the physical body and the psychosoma are in continuous connection through the so-called silver cord of energy. This connection appears to involve the transmission of information between the two vehicles in ways that we do not yet fully understand.
From this multidimensional perspective, a lucid dream is still a dream, i.e. an experience dominated by images created by our own mind, but one in which we become aware that we are dreaming. Something triggers our awareness, whether it is the absurdity of a given scenario – “Hang on, why am I walking around in a video game?”, or a sudden recall of our actual situation – “Hey why am I in my office? I am in bed sleeping!” Or perhaps it is simply something we have willed ourselves to do prior to going to sleep. Whatever the trigger, we become aware of the fact that we are dreaming; we become lucid in our dream. But if this is all that happens we are still dreaming. We may realize that we can create our own environment, for example by changing an unpleasant scenario into something more appealing, and start taking conscious control over our actions, but our experience is still dominated by our own thought-form creations (called morphothosenes in projectiology). In other words, we are still cut off from the extraphysical reality that surrounds us, moving about in a mental world of our creation. If we do not accept the possibility of multidimensional life, it is entirely possible that this is where we will leave it.
Being lucid in our dreams is already a great accomplishment. It feels good and can have psychological benefits and we may think that we have reached the pinnacle of our nocturnal awareness. But from a multidimensional point of view, the next step is that we break through our own mental creations and start to see the more objective aspects of extraphysical life; the next step it to actually awaken to the extraphysical dimensions. It is at this point that we start talking about a projection of consciousness. If we are open to the existence of other dimensions, then the lucid dream can represent a great springboard for our exploration. Once we gain awareness of the fact that we are dreaming, rather than focusing on creating more dream images, we can set our intention on gaining awareness of the underlying extraphysical reality (e.g. through affirmations such as “Awareness now” or “See reality now”, but also through ongoing practice and conditioning of our mind in our daily life).
So in summary, lucid dreams and conscious projections are distinct experiences. They are both on a continuum that begins with complete unconsciousness and ends with the incredible expansion of cosmic consciousness. Lucid dreams still see us essentially caught within our own mental creations, but they represent a final threshold between our own subjective inner world and potential entry into the vastness of extraphysical life. While lucid dreaming can teach us about our creative potential in all areas of our life, and thereby be of great psychological benefit, the conscious projection connects us to our sense of immortality and can be the portal to deep self-knowledge and understanding of our evolutionary journey.
My publisher will be running a promotion on the ebook version of Multidimensional Evolution, which will be available for 0.99 (in any currency) for the last two weeks of November. This is a great opportunity to check out this book. I am told that this price will apply to all ebook outlets in any country although the exact date at which the promotion becomes available may vary.
I had a number of goals for this book. I wanted it to be accessible to people who are new to exploring multidimensional aspects of their being and are perhaps struggling to understand some of the things that are happening to them. At the same time, I did not just want to focus on phenomena, but explore what these phenomena mean to us on our evolutionary journey. As a result it should be of interest to those with lots of experience in these matters, but who like to keep exploring and thinking about the bigger picture of our evolution.
I wanted it to be clear and logical in its approach, but also warm, personal and accessible. That is why it is largely autobiographical rather than a more abstract “text book”, which at times would have seemed a much safer option.
The book includes some techniques: a meditation technique, a guided visualization, and a set of energy techniques. It includes accounts of projections of consciousness, of managing past-life influences and of the impact non-physical people can have on us right here and now. It also touches on the use of entheogens (or hallucinogens), on extraterrestrial consciousness and on the spiritual hierarchies that seem to have a significant influence on life on planet earth. Ultimately, it explores how we as individuals can contribute to the evolution of this planet, regardless of where we are at right now, by becoming more conscious of ourselves as multidimensional beings.
So if you are interested in any of these topics, the last 2 weeks of November 2013 are a great time to pick up this book at a bargain. (If you are reading this after that date you may have to fork out a few extra dollars, but it’s still not going to break the bank .)
Brazil is a country of stunning natural beauty and exhilarating cultural diversity. Some people refer to Brazil as the India of the west in reference to its deep spirituality and diversity of religious traditions. Catholicism is the official and dominant religion. The African inspired religions of Umbanda and Candomble are evidenced by the ubiquitous presence of roadside offerings to diverse deities and spirits, who may be benign or malign depending on the intended result of the faithful. Psychic surgery is practiced in football stadiums before thousands of people. Millions follow Spiritualism, based on the work of Frenchman Allen Kardec, which includes spiritual healing sessions, mediumship and a prolific literature about the role of spirits and personal spirit journeys (projections of consciousness, astral projection).
It is from this background that the 1980s saw the arising of a new approach to understanding the spiritual experience in the shape of projectiology, the study of the projection of consciousness or out-of-body experience, and conscientiology, the study of consciousness. Founded by a previously prominent Spiritualist, the medium and medical doctor Waldo Vieira, projectiology and conscientiology were created to approach the spiritual experience without any religious reference. Their foundation is experimental, i.e. people are urged to pursue projections of consciousness, work with their energetic body and develop and analyze psychic experiences. It is also academic, in the sense of being a technical and research based approach to understanding consciousness and pursuing personal growth. Since the 1980s, projectiology and conscientiology have spread from Waldo Vieira’s living room, where it started through a series of lectures, to most major cities and towns across Brazil.
In Brazil today, there are many different organizations devoted to teaching and further developing this experiential approach to consciousness research and a substantial campus has been developed at a town called Iguassu Falls. At the so-called Center for Higher Studies of Conscientiology people can take a vast array of workshops to develop their psychic awareness, attend regular lectures with Dr Vieira and other experienced instructors, access one of the world’s largest libraries on psychic phenomena and spiritual growth and conduct self-research in the numerous laboratories designed to facilitate psychic development.
Beyond the shores of the spiritual melting pot of Brazil, conscientiology is still in its infancy, but the remarkable success it has enjoyed at home is a direct result of the positive impact it has had on people’s lives. This suggests that it will eventually find its place as a new tool for personal growth and self-understanding in the rest of the world.
You can access educational opportunities in conscientiology in many countries and online from anywhere in the world through the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC). Courses offered through the IAC focus on practical skills, such as mastering your bioenergy and inducing projections of consciousness (OBEs, astral projection), and provide in-depth information on topics such as non-physical dimensions, life before birth and after death, the different bodies in which we manifest and our evolutionary journey across life-times. For more information check out their website http://www.iacworld.org/english/courses/courses-events
On 14 September I gave a talk at the Cosmic Pages Bookstore (Adelaide) about some of the concepts discussed in my new book. The talk touched on projections of consciousness, the impact of pathological karmic relationships and ways of healing them, the benefits of providing assistance and other ideas. While I followed some key themes I also responded to numerous questions and comments so the talk moves across topics a fair bit. The recording does not capture the sound of all of the questions, so below is a brief summary of the main topics discussed and the questions asked. I have noted the times on the recording so you can skip to points of interest.
0 min -1:20 min Opening and definition of multidimensional evolution
@ 1:25 min Question as to whether evolution results in a loss of individual consciousness and an assumption or merging with some form of collective consciousness
@ 2:20min Discussion of the concept of universalism
4:12min - 5:00min Question about how the concept of universalism sits with the need for division of labour
@ 5:00 Thinking about how past lives change our perspective, seeing this moment both as the result of our past and the beginning of our future beyond this life
@ 7:50 Briefly explain a meditation technique and the effects I experienced when first applying it, including profound energetic clearing and perceptions of non-physical beings.
@ 11:55 Question asked whether the experiences I was having were a form of energetic clearing
@ 12:40min Challenge of bringing new energetic sensitivity into everyday life
@ 13:55min -16:40min Introduction of the idea of a "walk-in"
@ 17:40min - 18:55 Account of experiencing intrusion during a projection
@19:00min Realisation that I was experiencing intrusion relating to a previous life and the process of healing
Question at 19:20min whether I thought the intrusion was by a version of myself from a previous life
@21:10min Introducing a Buddhist meditation on death
@24:00min Introducing the concept of karmic groups, ego-karma, group-karma and poly-karma
@26:05min Question about children being part of ones karmic group
@28:50min Question whether I would have suffered the same kind of intrusion of the consciousness in question had forgiven me at the time.
@30:05min Question whether the intruder who I detached from might now latch onto someone else.
@31:20min Comment on the importance of combining inner work and outer work
@32:05min Question as to whether some very successful people who started from humble and difficult beginnings might be walk-ins
@34:30min discuss process by which we recuperate our awareness after re-birth every life
@37.10min discuss how an unhealthy death can turn us into unconscious intruders
@38:10min Question as to whether it is possible for a consciousness to be in several locations at the same time and a follow up question about bilocation
@40:40min Comment made about someone who does distant healing and was seen energetically by a patient in their bedroom. Someone else makes a comment about parateleportation (see my previous blog article on that topic)
@42:20min Question as to why a soul would want to occupy a body that does really bad and cruel things
@43:50min Question about how things done in accordance with a particular cultural norm can be evil (the example was human sacrifices in mesoamerican cultures)
@45:10min Question about my views on self-destructive behaviour and destructive behaviour generally
@49:20min In response to a question about changes happening on planet earth I discuss the concept of multidimensional reurbanization. I mention an article on the topic which you can access here
Kim McCaul is an anthropologist with a long term interest in understanding consciousness and personal transformation.
About this blog
This blog is about my interests in consciousness, energy, evolution and personal growth. My understanding of consciousness is strongly influenced by the discipline of conscientiology and I have a deep interest in exploring the relationship between culture and consciousness.
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