By Gregory Hebb
One of the most effective forms of self improvement in health psychology is visual imagery. One of my professors in university was a health psychologist and used this technique everyday. After ten years she was able to throw away her glasses. She had actually reformed the lenses of her eyes to the point she did not need glasses anymore! Astral Projection is one of the oldest forms of visual imagery and its applications are endless when it comes to finding happiness and love through knowledge of the Self in relationship with the rest of the world.
In my journey of self discovery I have studied many different forms of Self exploration. This usually was a masculine practice of stilling the mind, emptying the thoughts as completely as possible so as to rest in the witness position and watch the feminine movement of life force untainted by the distortion of intention, expectation and opinion. Although this is a great way to understand the difference between the witness and that which is being witnessed, it did not help me to understand how they function together to create what I have come to know as reality.
After trying many different forms of meditation I found one of the most profound tools I have ever come across was astral projection. This form of meditation entailed being able to project yourself onto another plane of existence where there is no time or restriction. The mind was free from the body to open in ways that could shift the framework of the universe. Here lies the connection between the conscious and the subconscious, all the tiny little fibers that connect everything in the cosmos together.
My great friend Aha introduced me to this form of meditation at the age of about thirteen. I had no idea at the time what a profound effect it would have on my psychological work in the field of Emotional Intelligence. The first experience I had, Aha guided me through the process.
I started by finding my center, aligning myself was easy even at this point as even at this early age I had practiced other forms of meditation. Deep breaths into the stomach, expanding outward with each exhalation I drifted deeper and deeper into a relaxed state.
Aha guided me at first asking me to picture a door, I found the door easily enough. Then he told me to put a symbol onto the door that consisted of three lines in any sequence or form, solid or broken, vertical or horizontal. The symbol could be either a symbol I may have seen before or the first one to come into my mind. I simply put three vertical lines upon the door. Aha then instructed me to open the door.
I opened the door and I saw the most beautiful meadow with rolling hills, I could see something that looked like a tree on a distant hill, I went inside. As I went through the door I noticed that to my right there was a black wall reaching as high and as far as I could see. Upon further examination I realized that it contained stars and looked much like a night sky, maybe it was the definitive line between night and day.
After I entered through the door Ahas' roll was simple, he asked me to describe to him what I saw and what I felt as I navigated through this unfamiliar place, never did he make a suggestion or interpretation, just simply asked about my experience as I went.
I remember walking through the field; it was that incredible almost lime green color that grass is after days of rain. The further that I walked and the more I described things to Aha the more authentic it became; I could eventually feel the cool soft grass beneath my feet.
I stumbled down a hill that ended at a crystal clear stream escorting a small fence on the other side through the knoll. The sound of the stream gently gliding over the polished stones was invoking a sense of peace, the kind of which I had never known before. I walked through the stream and felt the cold crisp water send a slight chill up my body. I could feel the wood under my hands as I grasped the fence to climb over it. It was as if I was in a dream but I could control everything around me, the feeling of mastery over this dominion was almost intoxicating.
After climbing the fence I slowly made my way up the hill toward the tree I had seen when I first walked in. The tree was much bigger than I had thought but the size contributed to the incredible beauty it cast within its shadow. I remember the vivid feeling of the coarse bark as I ran my hands over the trunk. I circled the tree to see an enormous sun in the sky on the other side. I was surprised, as I had not seen it up to this point. Within the sun held the face of Aleister Crowley, who later on in my life played a big role in my quest for understanding.
I knew that in the beginning of this experience it was me that was telling my mind what to see but quickly the mind slipped a split second ahead to the point that I felt as if I was chasing my thoughts and grasping at them one by one, I did not know where they were coming from but I felt I had control when I reached one as long as I had already let last go. Thoughts soon became very fluid.
The thing that amazed me the most through this first experience was that I felt an inner peace that when I came back helped me understand better the relationships around me. It was as if the murky water through which I saw life had settled and I could see clearly now.
The more I explored this state of mind the more I realized that when I was there I could see my conflicts in terms that I understood. Here all thoughts and emotions appeared as physical manifestations that are far easier to relate to. It is the way we are conditioned, to see and control energetic interactions in terms of cause and effect in the physical world; it is all we know and can identify with.
When we take complicated concepts such as emotional and psychological conflict, things that have such a profound effect on us but they are not physically tangible, and teach ourselves to see them in terms that we can understand, we see relationships and interactions in a far simpler manner. When these things get simplified it becomes a lot easier to deal with them.
Everything in this astral-plane is in your subconscious, but good or bad you face your greatest emotions, love, happiness, jealousy, hate or even fear as they manifest themselves in physical form, the key is they can change form in this place. We soon find that emotions do not have any form besides what we bestow upon them, in this moment you feel love with your partner but your partner is not this love, if they devastate you they become that which takes you away from love.
Too many people like to average these feelings and call it my mother or father or husband or wife but then you are conditioning yourself to limit the depth of emotion available in the moment. A piece of wood that is burnt becomes ashes, but we should not take the view that what was formerly wood is now ashes because although it progressed from one stage to the next the stages are clearly cut. What is wood is wood, what is ashes are ashes.
Astral projection is a perfect tool to help us understand the difference between a thought and an emotion because although emotions are the building blocks of our physical reality and how we create our thoughts they are not the same. Thoughts in fact are limitations we place upon our emotions. We must ask ourselves what were these emotions before we name them love, anger, frustration? And why must we then put them in terms of cause and effect?
A very good friend said once "You have the right to refuse anyone sex or anything else at any time, but you do not have the right to refuse them love because love is understanding.
Understand one another. Love one another. Not just in this community but in the world.
You don't have to associate with a fool, with a foolish man or someone that aggravates you or gets on your nerves. Someone that causes the vibrations around you become static and ridiculous. But don't fail to love him! Understand him and carry on" Frank Morton.
Read more about the unfolding of the self in my new book Io Pan! At gregoryphoenix.info
Gregory Hebb has dedicated his life to helping people pursue the only question worth asking, "who am I"
With an extensive background in Psychology as well as many forms of spiritual practice he has made groundbreaking advances in self improvement through his unique perception and practices that find their roots in Emotional Intelligence.
He is the author of such books as Io Pan, Awakening through the wisdom of the Heart, and The Science of Happiness.
Find out more at http://gregoryphoenix.info
Monday, March 8, 2010
By Gregory Hebb