The following account is of an experience I had more than 20 years ago, but its profound impact on my sense of self has resonated throughout my life since. You may have heard it said that we are not really human beings having spiritual experiences, that we are not really “going out of the body” in an OBE, but really that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. From that perspective this human life is one long "in-body-experience" of a consciousness whose real home is beyond the physical dimension.
The projection of consciousness I describe below made this idea very tangible for me. I truly came to experience my real self as something much vaster and expansive than the personality of my current life. At the same time I came away with a strong sense of the importance of not alienating myself from my current physical life by focusing too much on what I consider my real multidimensional identity. Even if I do not fully understand the purpose of my current life in the scheme of the vastness of existence that I glimpsed, I was given the understanding that the best thing I could do for my own evolution was to live a strongly integrated physical life. After all, that is why we are here. Embodying our consciousness in every aspect of our physical life is a task that can prove to be much more challenging than the pursuit of transcendent states. It is certainly a task that has challenged me ever since, as there always seem to be more areas of life to integrate and it is precisely these challenges that seem to make our lives such amazing opportunities for learning and growth.
To help with understanding the below account, I briefly give an outline of the way I have come to conceptualise our various out-of-body states. The picture below shows the different bodies we, as consciousnesses, use. Of course there is the physical body, which is our densest “vehicle of manifestation”, and consciousness uses it to manifest itself in this physical dimension. When we fall asleep, we normally separate ourselves from the physical body in a more subtle vehicle, designed for more subtle dimensions. This subtle body is known as the astral body, the spirit body, or in conscientiology as the psychosoma or emotional body. It looks pretty much like a replica of the physical body, although this appears to be more a result of our psychological conditioning rather than a fundamental quality of the psychosoma. In fact, the psychosoma is highly suggestible to our thoughts and emotions, and we are in theory able to completely change its appearance. But for the most part we go with what we are familiar with, shaping it from our subconscious according to our self-image.
Beyond the psychoma is the mentalsoma, or mental body. This body is very subtle, and basically formless. It still seems to consist of some kind of energy, but it does not share many other attributes that we normally associate with a “body”. As far as we know, consciousness is beyond the mentalsoma again. So the mentalsoma is another vehicle just like the physical body and the psychosoma. But because the mentalsoma is that much more subtle and that much closer to consciousness it gives us uniquely transcendental experiences. Projections in the mentalsoma are considerably rarer than in the psychosoma, and often accompanied by profound experiences described by terms such as cosmic consciousness, oneness, god experience and so on. This is the kind of experience I share here.
What made this experience especially compelling for me, were the very tangible energetic phenomena that accompanied it and truly set it apart from other projections I have had. The projective experience itself was profound, but also extremely subtle. So the energetic phenomena provided personal corroboration that something out of the ordinary had truly happened.
The following text is as I wrote it down at the time with a few clarifying comments in brackets.
I was taking the second stage of a course in projective techniques at the IIPC’s office in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. The course took place over four consecutive days from May 11-14, 1998. Ever since the course began I had noticed a difference in my nocturnal perceptions, with more lucid projective experiences. During the course itself, although I had had a sense of having been projected, so far I had not had any experiences I could recall. The last lesson was the technique of projecting with the mentalsoma. There had been three or four students in each of the previous classes but today I was alone with the instructor. (This seemed significant to me, because it felt I was getting special attention, not just from the physical instructor, but more importantly from the extraphysical team of helpers supporting the course)
I did not have any expectations and felt calm although with many thoughts relating to my daily life running through my mind. These continued even during the energetic exercises preceding the technique (Basic Mobilization of Energies, which consists of various mental exercises to move our energy (Chi or Qui) throughout our energetic body) . During the absorption of energies, the final exercise before starting the technique itself, I felt a lot of activity in the two superior chakras (frontal and crown) which seemed to form one single chakra, situated more or less half-way between the two. The inside of my head appeared to heat up from the inside out, starting from the pineal gland until the heat focussed itself on this midway point between the chakras. So far I had been sitting and now as I lay down this part of my body remained active. After being talked through the psycho-physiological relaxation (a deep muscle relaxation technique), I put all my attention into this energetic process, knowing (intuitively) that it was the “entrance” to the mentalsoma.
There was no sense of “take off” whatsoever. It merely felt as if the body disappeared and instead, I found myself in a vast space, or rather it was I who was vastly spacious, expanded. This occurred without any great sense of ecstasy or even the feeling that this experience was in any way special. It simply felt like a change of environment or better of perception. I felt as if I was looking at my intraphysical life from the outside. From here I saw that all the hazards of life, and all those events which we might call “intrusions” are nothing other than energetic phenomena. This realization made me feel very calm. I wondered how they managed to appear so “real”.
I understood that I was not the person who was having the projection of the mentalsoma, but rather a mentalsoma who was having the experience of being an intraphysical being. In an inversion of the usual perception which sees the ‘I’ going from the intraphysical to engage in extraphysical experiences I saw that in relation to the infinity of the mentalsoma any experiences of the personality with which I was currently identifying myself were merely ephemeral phenomena.
I attempted to understand how the intraphysical experiences of the intraphysical consciousness related to this timeless state of the mentalsoma, i.e. what is the meaning of life?, without succeeding, but also not really caring too much about the answer.
I had no awareness of any interiorization and no sense of the time that might have passed. When my perception returned to the soma it was rigid, the hands were cold, and balls of hot energy were pulsating at the base of my spine as well as at the top of the head. Now the crown chakra was distinctly active. I spent another ten minutes or so lying there without moving until the instructor gave the command to return to intraphysicality (as the projection time was scheduled for 60 minutes, the whole experience would have lasted about 45 minutes). My mouth was dry and my body felt at the same time rigid and subtle.
The experience had energetic impacts which lasted at least for the subsequent two weeks during which I felt my holochakra expanded and my mind much calmer than usual. It was easy to reestablish an energetic connection with the recently experienced projection and this caused an increase of my intraphysical vibrations. Gradually this faded.
The experience gave me some insights into a problem I had pondered for a while. Why don’t we manage to live more from the perspective of the time-less mentalsoma during our day-to-day life? One possible explanation might be the great difference between its reality and our intraphysical needs. The perception of the mentalsoma, when pure or naked, without the interference of denser energies, is so far removed from the needs of our day to day that bringing it into our life would have to be learnt slowly. Put differently, the intraphysical consciousness must be trained to know its own reality without alienating itself from itself, i.e. causing mental imbalances. When healthily balanced however, experiences of the mentalsoma can have profoundly curative and life enhancing capacities as they allow the intraphysical consciousness to act in knowledge of its actual extraphysical origin, thus providing a source of inner freedom and happiness.
(I have previously published this account on the IAC blog as well as in my book. I know when I first wrote it I felt it's revelatory impact spoke for itself. Reading it now, it actually seems very low key and probably a bit obscure if you have not had a similar experience. But if you have I'd love for you to share in the comments how it came about and how it impacted your life, and of course if you have any questions about it I'd also love those.)
Kim McCaul is an anthropologist with a long term interest in understanding consciousness and personal transformation.
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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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