There is evidence to suggest that other worlds or dimensions exist just beyond the range of our normal perception, but we remain unaware of them because our minds are not objectively conscious at these higher levels. Our normal level of consciousness is restricted in some way, preventing us from tuning in to these subtler realms. If you have young children you might have noticed them looking a things that don’t appear to be there or talking to “imaginary friends”. Very young children can actually see into these hidden worlds, but they lose the ability as they grow older.
In altered states of consciousness the censorship of the physical mind ceases. Altered states can be induced by certain drugs, holotrophic breathing techniques and meditation, but they also occur naturally every night in the hypnogogic state when we are not quite asleep but not quite awake. Several years ago I woke up in the middle of the night to see a ghostly image of my partner sitting in a chair next to our bed. It was translucent white, dimly glowing and perfectly detailed. It was definitely Sarah, but her physical body was lying next to me asleep. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. My “fight or flight” response immediately kicked in and I had a fraction of a second to decide whether to hide under the covers or make a grab for it. I must have been feeling brave that night because I decided to make a panicky grab for it, but it vanished as soon as I “touched” it (my perception returned to normal). I didn’t actually feel anything and I only saw it for about two seconds but I was definitely awake (the adrenaline and fear saw to that). I immediately woke Sarah to tell her what I had seen and ask her if she was aware of anything – but she was just aware of being asleep, and then being woken up! At the time I had no explanation for what I had seen, but it turned out to be one of the key events in my life which fuelled my desire to uncover the truth about our so-called “reality”. I now know this ghostly image was her emotional (or astral) body, and what it was doing away from her physical body will be described in Chapter 12.
What Am “I”?
Dr Evan Harris Walker, author of The Physics of Consciousness, is regarded as one the pioneers of the modern consciousness research. Walker rejects the conventional physical explanations of consciousness and believes that consciousness is something outside the physical world and does not depend on the brain. He believes that consciousness transcends time and space, that our minds are all interconnected, that we are all part of the one quantum mind, and that our consciousness survives physical death.
In his book World of Psychic Research, Hereward Carrington describes how Dutch scientists succeeded in weighing the physical body before, during and after out-of-body experiences. They measured an average weight loss of 2¼ ounces (63g) during out of body experiences, which is due to the self and the subtle bodies leaving the physical body. This is objective proof that we are more than just our physical bodies and brains.
Here is a simple exercise you can use right now to determine who you really are: Just sit down, close your eyes and become aware of everything within you. Start off by noticing your physical body – the fact that you are aware of it means that you must be more than your body. Then become aware of your emotions – the fact that you are aware of how you feel means that you are more than your emotions. Finally turn your attention to your thoughts – you will notice that thoughts just pop in and out of your mind without you actively thinking them. Because you are objectively aware of the thoughts in your mind, you must be more than your mind. You will realise that whatever part of yourself you focus on there will always be a sense of awareness that is somehow above and beyond everything else. This inner awareness or inner essence is the real “you”. It is the basis of all your experiences: asleep or awake, “dead” or “alive” – it is eternal.
The Human Experience
You may have heard the expression “we are spiritual beings having a human experience” – it means that we are more than just our physical bodies. It means that we are pure awareness temporarily inhabiting a human body in order to develop our consciousness. Think of your inner essence as the pure white light of a movie projector and your life as the reel of film. The white light becomes coloured by its interaction with the film – giving it new depth. We develop new dimensions of consciousness from our interactions with life in just the same way.
In order to operate in a multi-dimensional universe we require a multi-dimensional body – or more accurately a series of bodies which enable us to operate in all the “realms” of human endeavour. These bodies are all inter-linked and inter-penetrate each other because each one is more subtle (or less physical) than the previous. Our subtle bodies are integrated enough so that the average person considers himself to be a single being. For example, we consider our minds, our emotions and our physical bodies as integral parts of our being. Our persona is composed of a monad (source of awareness), a causal body (field of awareness), a mental body (intellect and creativity), an emotional body (emotions and desires) and an etheric body (life energy), all of which operate through a physical body. As we develop, the focus of our consciousness rises higher and higher through these bodies.
The physical body allows us to move around and interact with things in this physical world. They are like virtual-reality suits that convert everything we touch, see, hear, taste or smell into electrical impulses that can be perceived by our other subtle bodies.
The etheric body or energy body largely determines our physical health and well being. Just as blood circulates through our physical body, subtle energy (chi or prana) circulates through our etheric body. The energy body is the template around which the physical body grows, so treating the cause in the energy body can be more effective than treating the symptoms in the physical body – this is how alternative therapies such as acupuncture and reiki work.
The emotional body is the home of our emotions and desires, and its aura allows us to subjectively sense our environment. For example: when we walk into a room soon after people have been arguing we can sense the tension. Our emotional bodies emit emotions into the atmosphere and can sense those emitted by other people. This explains the shared feelings and emotions we often experience in group situations, such as supporting our favourite sports team or protesting in a rally. The effect can be so strong that normally pleasant people can end up doing some very unpleasant things.
The mental body is the home of the intellectual and rational mind. Thoughts, like emotions, are “objects”, which our mental bodies create and transmit into the environment, or receive and interpret from others. The physical brain is not the source of our intellect; it is merely the organ that allows the intellect to operate through the physical body. In fact, the brain is more like a relay station which links the mental body to the physical world.
The causal body is what differentiates humans from animals – we have them and animals don’t. The causal body performs four main functions in human beings:
- It is the true home of the human self – where the monad “sleeps” between incarnations.
- It is our personal storehouse of experiences and memories from all our incarnations.
- It is the source of our abstract, conceptual and intuitive thoughts.
- It constructs a link between our persona (lower self) and soul (higher self).
The causal body is commonly called the soul, but it is not commonly known that it divides in two at the start of each new life and only a small piece actually incarnates. In simple terms, a piece of the causal body detaches itself from the main causal body and incarnates into a persona and a physical body in order to experience life as a human being. The lesser causal body collects life experiences and, after physical death, returns to the greater causal body to add its haul to the storehouse.