Depths of the Arcane

by Bruce Carley       * Site Map *

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Deep, mystical topics commonly seem to remain as controversial as they are fascinating, perhaps largely because they often do not fit comfortably with the established belief systems of mainstream scientists, theologians, and orthodox thinkers. It seems that some people are reluctant, even yet, to acknowledge that humankind does not, after all, know everything there is to know about the nature of the universe or the complexities of their lives; meanwhile, certain subjects may disrupt in a fundamental way the comfortable complacency of accustomed preconceptions. The topic of psychic phenomena is a case in point and is the focus of this writing. The purpose of these paragraphs has nothing to do with proving anything; it is, rather, to share and to encourage deep, speculative thinking on the profound implications of this vast and much misunderstood topic. Credulous and skeptical attitudes alike would seem conducive to healthy thinking when such orientations are moderated cautiously and founded intelligently. By guarding against the dogmatism of absolute views, each type of outlook actually may tend to hone and to bring out the best in the other, the only truly adversarial mind-set being that which is carried to a smug or dismissively cynical extreme, narrowly resisting any condescension to consider alternative points of view. The concept of "preposterous" arguably may have its place somewhere in the scheme of things; however, some of us prefer to bypass fashionable or consensual paradigms and to work from the humble presumption that no sincere speculation is ever too ridiculous to be considered in an open-minded spirit - a basic precept which perhaps should be understood grantedly without saying.

Creative Energy and Health

The idea that the primal spark of life and consciousness enters the body with the breath seems to constitute a foundation for many principles and phenomena of a mystical nature. The air that we breathe purportedly contains a positive, vital energy that emanates from the sun and that constitutes the source and vibratory essence of life on a subatomic level, in a way that is more elemental than chemical oxygen. It would appear to follow that a reincarnating soul cannot inhabit an infant body until after that body has begun to inhale this energy infused in the air. When we hold a deep breath of fresh air for the better part of a minute, the bloodstream gradually becomes vitalized with this primary energy (sometimes called prana or nous), regardless of the behavior of oxygen atoms, and the longer we hold that breath (without discomfort), the more energy may become absorbed by the blood cells. It is speculated in some schools of thought that a living cell consists of an outer coating and a nucleus that are vibrating respectively with negatively and positively charged energies which correspond generally to worldly and psychic polarities of consciousness, and that a cell with a healthy degree of negative or earthly magnetism attracts its positive, cosmic polarity all the more powerfully. By holding several deep breaths in succession for perhaps a minute each, until one begins to experience peculiar sensations, one may be effectively charging or vitalizing one's system with an excess of energy. This excess would seem to radiate from the body as an aura, most prominently from the dominant fingers of each hand, thus accounting for the occasional effectiveness of contact healings through direct applications of the hands. This energy is said also to emanate prominently from certain other areas of the body (sometimes called chakras), such as the solar plexus and various regions of the head. A psychic area of the brain purportedly resides on the left side of the head just above the ear, where the aura is likely by some accounts to show a reddish hue in psychically developed individuals.

It is purportedly the autonomic nerves which carry and distribute this subtle energy of cosmic consciousness, thus allowing a person to receive and to transmit impressions of a psychic nature and keeping the body healthy and attuned with the harmonies of the universe. It is widely understood that emotional energies come to our realization through the solar plexus, the largest nerve center in the autonomic nervous system. Not only are the major nerve centers connected to each other by way of direct connections to the solar plexus, but so also are all of the major psychic centers of specialized, creative cell consciousness, according to various philosophies. Consequently, it would seem that all emotions which affect the solar plexus must react sympathetically on the psychic centers, and vice versa. The psychic centers within the brain's thalamus, the pineal and pituitary glands, perhaps could be regarded as comprising something of a pivotal point or connecting link through which the main autonomic nerve cords are connected to the brain, and through which the subtle, cosmic energies of the autonomic nervous system are directed intelligently. The autonomic system would seem also to be organized into two sides of oppositely charged polarities, and healing treatments of positive vitality purportedly can be given by holding a few deep breaths in succession for about a minute each, and meanwhile placing the fingers of the right hand on certain autonomic ganglia immediately to the left of a person's spine.

Consciousness need not be regarded as an inherent function of matter, nor as being confined to the senses or to the brain. Many sound-minded schools of thought consider consciousness as being a quality or function attributable to the non-material, psychic side of our beings, entailing forces that flow into our bodies continually from the surrounding universe. Every cell in the body can be viewed reasonably as having its own peculiar form of consciousness and some degree of creative power. The cells comprising each organ would seem to contain the consciousness and subtle intelligence necessary to function as that organ, and the consciousness and intelligence of every cell in the body are believed to combine into a united, collective intelligence, comprising a complete "spirit body," each organ of which is an ethereal replica of the corresponding physical organ. In the same way that a battery can be composed of many smaller batteries, the human consciousness would seem to consist of the combined intelligence and psychic energy hosted by the innumerable cells that compose the human body.

Each cell would seem also to derive its asexual reproductive capacity from the same principle of male-female energy blending that operates in the sexual reproduction of the organism as a whole. That is, our individual cells consist of masculine and feminine energies in more or less equal proportions, giving them complete creative or procreative power to propagate themselves for the growth and repair of tissues. Indeed, the immortality of our psychic beings may be precisely because spiritual essence, being androgynous, possesses the full capacity of self-perpetuation. In this sense, every person is both male and female, albeit not necessarily in balanced proportions, which may explain why people commonly seek mates with a greater percentage of the opposite polarity in order to complete their own essential natures through an attunement and blending of auras. Habitual, deep attunement with universal essence may tend to unite the two polarities in a person and to eliminate gradually the culturally accustomed notions of gender, leading one to view oneself as a genderless spiritual being with complete creative power, rather than as a definite man or woman definable by external anatomy.

The energy of sexuality is believed to consist of the combined metaphysical consciousness and regenerative power of the body's many cells, constituting in effect a psychic force which expresses itself psychically and can be directed for psychic purposes, being fundamentally identical with the spark of life-force that infuses the body with each breath. This primordial energy is considered to be cosmic in nature, rather than chemical - a subtle, intangible essence that is not generated within the physical body, but passes into it gradually through the air we breathe, accumulating as a reserve of regenerative power over a few days. When this incomparably powerful life-giving energy is allowed to accumulate within a person (male or female) without being expelled from the body through unnecessary indulgence, according to Tantric philosophy, the body tends to absorb it and to distribute it for use wherever renewed vitality or health may be needed. That is, when sexual indulgences are moderated intelligently, the energy so retained is said to go a long way toward promoting tissue repair, youthfulness, psychic functioning, and mental creativity. Thus conserved, this power supposedly can be directed consciously through the chakras and psychic centers, which tend to develop and to become stronger in their functioning as they are exercised and as they become accustomed to having more energy channeled through them. Conversely, if one does not moderate indulgences during a time period when important creative or mental work is called for, one perhaps can risk depleting the subtle energies necessary for a high quality of performance, such as the energy to envision and to work creatively with images seen in the mind's eye. Any prolonged, intensive concentration on creative work may draw similarly upon one's reserves of energy and thereby may tax and tend to weaken sexual functioning for the time being.

A healthy person with an abundance of creative vitality may not notice a mild strain upon the energy reserves; yet the reserves become vitally necessary as soon as some form of trauma occurs, and if the necessary degree or quality of energy is not present in such a moment of need, the consequences can be unfortunate. When a person in merely fair health has little regenerative vitality held in reserve, a sudden accident or illness can drain that energy rapidly; however, when one has accumulated a reserve of life's creative force and has not expended it sexually or otherwise, it would seem that nature soon invests much of it in revitalizing the organs and in building the vitality. A person with a large reserve of such power may recover quickly from illnesses or operations and may be able also to heal others, as healing energy radiates abundantly from such individuals. In the body of such a person, cancerous growths and disease germs may be routed quickly by vitalized cells and thus prevented from taking hold nearly as readily as they might otherwise. In general, when a person suffers from such conditions as colds, inflammations, or malignancies, it would seem to be primarily because the creative energies in the body have been so consumed or strained that the body is unable to maintain itself in a healthy quality of electromagnetic energy. While symptoms often can be alleviated by medicines or by sensible practices of dieting, exercise, and sleep, probably the only true cure which actually removes the underlying condition behind the symptoms is a restoration of the psychic vitality to a normal standard by means of improved habits of thinking and living. While many ailments can be cured through medical attention or nature's own devices, some conditions may be impossible to correct unless the vitality is improved through an intelligent adjustment of one's habitual lifestyle.

The reproductive organs and fluids are believed to contain more of this regenerative essence than any other part of the body. In one's youth, an abundance of this power supposedly is concentrated in the sex organs for reproductive processes, whereas later in life much of it may be withdrawn for use elsewhere in the body, where it may be needed for cell regeneration. Inevitably, the body's tissues eventually wear out faster than they can regenerate. When a person has continued to thrive into an extremely old age, often it may be largely because the person has managed regularly to retain a certain amount of recreative energy to fuel the replacement of worn-out cells. When one maintains consistently the habit of conserving one's life-energy and directing it intelligently, it would appear that one can enhance one's youthfulness and vigor remarkably over a few years. If the body is not naturally bound to break down or to contract diseases nearly as early in life as people commonly may suppose, those regenerative processes which keep a person youthful before middle age probably function nearly as effectively later in life when one's understandings and habits are tending to conserve the life-forces within the body. It is noteworthy that people who habitually expend exhaustive amounts of energy in building physical or muscular strength consume their vitality at an extraordinary rate and often do not live to an old age. But if one maintains by one's way of living the creative reserve which a young person ordinarily has, one is likely, it would seem, to have comparable vitality and youthful vigor even in one's eighties or nineties, since the body regenerates itself naturally when there are no problems in its functioning.

The human aura supposedly appears to psychic perception as a delicate haze surrounding the body to a distance of perhaps a meter. Its intensity, color, and quality are said to vary greatly according to such factors as personality type, health, and psychic development, and it may tend to expand when one meditates or lifts one's mind to sublime, spiritual subjects. The aura of someone who is psychically undeveloped supposedly lacks impressive magnetism. If that person is in good health in a purely physical sense, then the aura may be strong in terms of vitality, yet unable to emanate to an appreciable distance from the body, being primarily negative in polarity. On the other hand, a person who is well developed psychically presumably radiates an abundance of positively charged magnetism, in which case the aura may extend widely and brilliantly. Such a person would seem to have strong resistance to disease and may be able also to promote healing in others. The quality of one's aura by some accounts can be tested by holding a glass of cold water in a dark room with all fingertips touching the glass, and meanwhile breathing deeply, with each breath held for about a minute, and gazing with concentration into the water. The radiations from the hands are believed to be attracted to the water, in some cases to the point of causing it to emit a faintly visible haze. After perhaps fifteen minutes of this experiment, drinking the water is supposed to produce, potentially, a soothing or vitalizing effect on the entire system, whether or not one is able to see any hint of an aura around the water.

Our auras are believed to have some functions of basic importance, most notably that of shielding us from various ambient, electromagnetic energies, tending to neutralize them, and thus preventing them from harming us. For example, frequent or prolonged contact with individuals whose personal vibrations are disagreeable to us may cause us much discomfort and may tend to drain our vitality. Often a reliable protection, reportedly, is to hold a deep breath for about a minute while concentrating on the solar plexus, so that the extra energy generated by the deep breath will be directed along the many nerve branches in that region, enabling the energy to reach all of the important psychic centers and to strengthen the aura, thereby preventing another person's aura from influencing us as strongly or readily. In some cases, as in a theater or auditorium, remaining physically close to a neighboring individual whose aura is strongly inharmonious with our own may weaken or disturb us emotionally, and we might best move to another location in such an instance. Psychically sensitive individuals often report that even a handshake with the wrong person can produce an unpleasant, shock-like sensation in the autonomic nervous system. Clothing and pocketed possessions likewise are said to become infused with the energies of those who habitually wear or hold them, and these vibrations may be transferred to those who come into contact with them. To borrow a garment which a person often wears is perhaps to risk borrowing upsetting vibrations, especially if we often feel strongly uncomfortable in the presence of that person.

The Spirit Body and Projection

The true essence of one's conscious being would seem to be primarily a function of the spirit body within, and not of the mortal body which it inhabits, contrary to the suppositions of empirical scientists who tend to be guided strictly by the narrow precepts of academic circles. With sudden illumination, we may realize this postulate acutely as fact when we experience the conscious self manifesting independently of the physical body, in what is sometimes called projection. The metabolic connection between the two bodies is said to remain intact always during any projection of the spirit body from the physical, to be severed only upon bodily death. When we who are incarnated in flesh project our spiritual or psychic bodies to other places, our psychic bodies may draw from our physical bodies a fair amount of primordial, material-like essence, thus potentially enabling a considerable degree of visibility and manipulation of the physical world; whereas a discarnate being might appear, at best, as a faintly visible haze or cloud of light through which we could pass a hand without sensing more than a cold, electrical quality. When visible, a projected spirit body reportedly may appear in the shape of a partial or entire human body, perhaps glowing transparently with a soft light, or it may appear as an oval-shaped haze or ball of light.

It is probably the dominant quality or polarity of magnetism as reflected in one's aura that determines whether or not the spirit body is able to free itself from the grip of the physical body at any given moment. It seems to be the nature of negatively charged, earthly magnetism to remain close to its source, whereas positively charged, psychic magnetism may radiate from its source much more widely and freely. It would seem to be the attraction of their opposite polarities that allows one's physical and psychic bodies to remain connected; as such, the positively charged, psychic aura of the spirit body at times may be unable to break through the negative aura of the physical body, for the simple reason that its charge does not have a suitable degree or quality of positive polarity at that particular moment. But the quality of one's aura would seem to vary considerably from hour to hour, and we probably can influence strongly which polarity will tend to dominate at any given time. When we lift our minds to spiritual attunements without permitting ourselves to be bound by unwholesome or profane thoughts or by worldly conditions, the positive aura of the spirit body probably tends to become much stronger. The idea that the more spiritually evolved and compassionate among us may be thereby more capable of literally transcending worldly limitations may suggest a deeper perspective on the statement by Jesus, "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:32).

For the spirit body to separate from the physical body and to express itself independently, it would seem that the physical body first must be sufficiently relaxed and subdued in its activity. The spirit body is believed to project from the physical body gradually, even in instances where the process feels instantaneous. Whether it happens consciously or unconsciously, the process of projecting is initiated supposedly through the solar plexus, where one may realize incoming impressions of psychic feeling, and where contact between the projected psychic self and the physical body is believed to be maintained. Visual impressions may not necessarily accompany the subjective experience of projecting; but once projected, the spirit body reportedly tends to become more attuned gradually, thus allowing for better perception of visual imagery. A dream is perhaps inherently an experience of the spirit body, realized to whatever degree of intensity. A powerfully psychic experience generally may be distinguishable from an ordinary dream in that the events realized subjectively are intensely vivid, connected, and coherently logical, and in that one tends to realize instantly any incongruous occurrences, to analyze them, and later to remember them in vivid detail. Moreover, in a vividly psychic experience, one may be conscious of one's physical and psychic situations simultaneously, as though living in two worlds, in two bodies, at the same time.

By creating lucid, realistic impressions in one's mind through proper visualization, and by feeling those impressions vividly to the point of living them with all the sensations of actual experience, one supposedly can learn to attune at will with the place of one's choice in a complete way, and thereby to project to it. That is, by concentrating on a psychic scene in the mind's eye and realizing that scene lucidly and acutely in a realistic, lifelike way, one potentially can transmute that realization into the experience of actuality so that it effectively becomes an actuality as far as one's consciousness and experience are concerned, just as a person under hypnosis may be living a subjective experience in a true sense. Even collective realizations supposedly can be affected in this same way, under the right conditions; since we are all psychically connected, much like the cells which collectively comprise a bodily organ, it stands to reason that the realizations of the one may affect the realities of the many. The true, mystical art of visualization is not, however, synonymous with fanciful musing; it is probably best regarded as a refined, artistic skill that requires practice and deep meditation.

Since all psychic attunement presumably uses the whole of the cosmic consciousness as its medium, we may experience in any attunement impressions that have no relevance to an intended contact which we have in mind. If a strange scene appears unexpectedly while we are trying to make a psychic contact, it seems prudent to forget our intentions for the moment and to accept whatever we are experiencing, rather than resisting it. If we allow that unanticipated scene to develop, we may find ourselves immersed in an interesting story, the content of which may pertain as easily to the past or future as the present, though it feels like the present. The impressions that we receive may be intended for us no matter how unimportant they may seem, and if we keep notes of the words and visions which come, we may find over time that we are collecting prophetic truths. Such unsolicited psychic stories reportedly fade when they are completed, whereupon the person or place which we originally had hoped to contact may grow clear with little effort. The ability to attune with the cosmic consciousness supposedly can be developed easily through practice, to a point where it is easily done. Sometimes a voice in one's inner mind may seem to be speaking, offering a solution or an answer to a question. In some cases, the subconscious mind may continue to work on a problem upon which one had concentrated, even though one subsequently had dropped the matter, and later one may sense an answer without even realizing its relevance to earlier meditations. The most common obstacle to this process probably arises from doubting the ability, regarding the impressions that are received as reflecting nothing more than fanciful, everyday imagination.

One's physical appearance reportedly does not manifest with one's projected psychic self, in most instances. When it does, however rarely, it supposedly tends to look somewhat different from one's worldly self unless one has taken care, consciously, to visualize oneself as one wishes to appear. If one visualizes one's intended presentation and actions clearly before proceeding and then clears the mind of all thoughts, projection may tend to proceed more readily and fully. It would seem that one potentially can incorporate into a projection, through the use of will, such words or gestures as one wishes, as well as visual thought forms, sounds, or odors. What actually comes through to another person in some cases may take the form of a telepathic message from within, instead of a visual projection, and a message received telepathically probably can be mistaken easily for an idea of one's own. Supposedly, another way of reaching a person psychically is by assuming that person's personality vividly for a moment, such as a stage actor might do, feeling and living the person's very identity to the point of effectively becoming the person, and then thinking or doing mentally what we want that person to think or do. It is perhaps through this process of assumption that spirit-guides commune with us to influence our lives for the better.

We may not always recall consciously what we have done psychically, as the conscious, rational mind is not always aware of the actions of the subconscious, psychic mind; however, it would appear from many accounts that in emergency situations, in which there is perhaps an urgent message to convey to someone, projection often happens with startling completeness and efficiency and is realized keenly by the everyday, waking consciousness. The ability to attune with the universal mind seems to be closely related to the flow of emotional energies; thus, one's heightened psychic condition in a moment of immediate crisis may tend to attune itself with extraordinary facility. When one projects to another person in such a moment, one's spirit body would seem to be in a quickened emotional state which, with meditative practice, we perhaps could learn to induce in ourselves without the anguish that we might experience in an actual emergency. Some schools of philosophy purport that the thoughts which we are sending forth with intensity at such a time of heightened attunement may tend, under the right conditions, to gather substance and to generate actual thought forms of relatively dense, material-like essence, forms which may be projected and perceived vividly by one whom we have in mind at that moment. Since projections arising from moments of crisis generally seem to be far more complete and actualized than anything experienced in casual experimentation, one's ability to project may be best measured not solely by the results of experiments, but by the ability to collect one's composure and to remain calmly poised during actual situations which cause frantic alarm in others, meanwhile concentrating with singleminded determination on the challenge at hand. When we are seasoned and practiced in such mystical arts as projection, we are thereby better prepared, it would seem, for life's unexpected developments.

Reportedly, any attempt to visit another person psychically during a moment when that person is engaged in some private activity is halted automatically by natural mechanics, suggesting that universal wisdom fundamentally guarantees us the sanctity of absolute privacy when we require it for any intimate or otherwise wholesome purpose. As soon as we find ourselves in the presence of one whom we are trying to reach psychically, it may be prudent to pause for a moment, in order to give the inner mind a chance to warn us if we perhaps should postpone the contact to a later time. It is said to be impossible and precluded by natural law for any conduct to occur psychically that we would not tolerate in our everyday, waking lives, as immoral or profane thoughts tend to bind the consciousness to the negatively charged vibrations of the physical body, shattering any cosmic attunement. Nor would it seem possible for any psychic process to compel a person to act contrary to principles of conscience that the person already has accepted with conviction. Higher intelligence, it would seem, responds to our appeals according to our intentions and lends us power only to the extent that we genuinely need the help for important, beneficial purposes. The sublime powers of nature reportedly fail to manifest when we treat mystical laws lightly or attempt to use them for mere amusement or ego gratification. It would appear that the universal essence does not submit to trifling curiosity or doubtful challenge, but insists that if we would have nature's assistance, our need must be sincere, humble, and for the constructive benefit of at least one besides ourselves, without bringing unnecessary harm to anyone. Nature would seem to require also that we work in earnest for what we need, to the full extent of our everyday capacity, rather than depending solely on assistance from a higher power. When we have a genuine, soulfully urgent need which we cannot meet through common resources, and then seek with confidence and sincerity to call upon universal laws or mystical principles, we potentially may be startled by the fullness of the results.

Clairvoyance and Lucid Dreaming

The faculty of psychic seeing is believed to be centered in a small area within the middle of the forehead, a region which apparently is sensitive to impressions that are experienced as almost visual in nature. When psychics concentrate for visual impressions that they wish to perceive clairvoyantly, the imagery which they receive reportedly seems to be focused in this area. Dizziness, nausea, and eye strain apparently are felt in this region as well, and certain illnesses may tend to inhibit its functioning temporarily. This psychic center is believed to function only at a high, spiritual frequency and to constitute a primary focal point at which one's psychic intelligence and consciousness are concentrated, and from which they emanate most readily. Supposedly, one can stimulate the functioning of this psychic center to some degree by sensing its activity within this part of the forehead and concentrating upon it for a few minutes. Regular concentration upon this center is considered to be a primary means of developing the psychic sight, although the psychic senses also are believed to develop most rapidly and effectively when the spirit body becomes practiced at attuning itself as a whole, as opposed to particular psychic senses developing separately.

This "third eye," unlike most other parts of the body, seemingly has an inherent tendency to attract our focused attention and awareness naturally, especially when we are concentrating the physical vision on a particular point in space. When our attention is well focused in this psychic center, supposedly we tend to cease being identified personally with thoughts and emotions and to become instead something of a detached observer or ego-free witness to them, almost as though they were appearing before us on a screen. The functioning of this psychic area is considered to be the vehicle which provides the spiritual perspective in connection with any aspect of life, the deep wisdom or universal orientation without which all dimensions of living would be almost flat or mechanical, lacking a sense of meaningful relevance to the whole. During a hypnotic trance, when the whole of one's attention is concentrated in this center of mystical awareness, suggestions tend to be fulfilled immediately, even if it is commanded by suggestion that a disease is disappearing, and this phenomenon is perhaps because thoughts and manifestations, from a spiritual point of view, are essentially one and the same.

The pineal gland is broadly associated with psychic perception and is often considered to be that very seat of the mind's eye. It would appear that the psychic functioning of this organ serves to deepen one's awareness of the nature of objects, effectively translating the finer, psychic frequencies of the surroundings into coarser impressions understandable to the conscious mind, thus allowing a person to perceive intuitively the inherent, vibratory essence of a spiritual phenomenon. It is believed to be through the psychic functioning of the pineal gland that a projected spirit body may be visible at times, as such a manifestation generally lacks form and is composed wholly of vibrations. Although misguided forms of education tend to discourage psychic development at an early age, causing the psychic faculties in countless people to become more or less dormant, the pineal gland and other psychic centers probably can be reawakened gradually by consistent exercise over time, just as a muscle can be restored progressively to normal activity after it has been in a cast for months.

In a lucid dream, an uncommonly vivid dream in which one is fully conscious that one is experiencing a dreamscape, one is afforded a singularly powerful opportunity to experiment with what may amount to psychic seeing, or to gain practice in the voluntary exercise of this faculty through influencing the lifelike images or subjective realities that come realistically before the mind's eye. In his book, You Are Psychic, Pete A. Sanders describes the nature of dream imagery as follows: "Dream images are a form of psychic vision everyone has experienced. Although science cannot yet say for certain how or why we dream, it is a fact that in a dream you see without using your eyes. All dreaming uses the psychic screen of the mind's eye, whether the dream is nothing more than a random image, a mental review of the day's events, or a timely signal about the future." Thus, all dreams would seem to be clairvoyant experiences in the sense that they involve the functioning of the same faculties or processes that operate in psychic seeing. Just as Sigmund Freud had called the ordinary dream the "royal road to the unconscious," the lucid dream may be something of a royal road to psychic awareness, as this unique experience allows us effectively to realize our conscious existence independently of the body's physical senses, and to work with inner, psychic realizations in an immediate, interactive contact with the subconscious mind. Considered in this light, dreams would seem to offer us potentially the most powerful means of exploring reality, far from being domains of lofty or aimless illusion.

When one has such immediate, conscious access to vivid images arising from one's inner mind, one is potentially more creative than at any other time and may be able to direct one's subjective realities by command, to some degree, increasing their clarity or introducing whatever element one may wish. Commands and suggestions spoken confidently to oneself within a lucid dream often tend to be realized within seconds if we wait passively without excessive mental focus. One interesting command which perhaps merits some experimentation within the lucid dreamscape might be, "Locate the physical body; avoid becoming trapped within it, and get ready for a vivid out-of-body experience." The distinction between a lucid dream and a genuine experience of psychic projection perhaps cannot be made in black and white terms and may boil down to a question of the degree of vividness or wakeful alertness experienced within a dreamscape. Some philosophies contend that even the most ordinary dream is an adventure of the projected spirit body apart from the physical, regardless of the vagueness or idle quality of the experience. Because of the vividness of lucid dream images, a lucid dream would seem to be potentially the ideal stage in which to gain practice in the creation of sharply defined prophetic or healing imagery, or in which to rehearse any difficult skill or act that needs to be carried out in waking life. Furthermore, since we all know on a subconscious level much more than we commonly realize, including the solutions to most of our problems, asking key questions within a lucid dream would seem to constitute an incomparable strategy for leading ourselves to valuable, psychic clues that may suggest possible answers.

Through a straightforward process of redistributing one's sleep time and setting one's intentions, one can encourage lucid dreaming to occur frequently. Lucid dreams are inclined to occur with greater frequency when one concentrates often on the intention to recognize that one is dreaming, and when one makes the effort to distribute one's sleep time in a particular way. When we have no less than eight hours of sleep at a time, we generally have about six intervals of "REM sleep" (the phase of the sleep cycle characterized by rapid eye movement and the experience of dreaming), each interval being usually of greater duration than the last. In a normal eight-hour sleep, at least half of the time spent in REM sleep occurs during the last two hours. Therefore, if we awaken by alarm after perhaps six hours of sleep, proceed with some mentally alert activity for an hour or two, and then catch up on a final two hours of delayed sleep, focusing on the intention to experience lucid dreaming, we will tend to have much more REM sleep and likelihood of "waking up in a dream" during these last two hours than we would have had in a six-hour sleep, or in an unbroken eight-hour sleep. Lucid dreams also tend to happen relatively readily during afternoon naps, probably because such interludes commonly are sought more as reprieves from stimulation than as gratifications of the call of drowsiness.

In the right moment, lucid dreaming even can be induced directly from the waking state, either by concentrating on the hypnogogic imagery that appears before the mind's eye in moments of drowsiness and passively allowing it to develop until one feels one's consciousness almost merging into it, or by working with the sensation of the bodily paralysis that often accompanies REM sleep. When one experiences the peculiar vibrations or distortions of body image that characterize sleep paralysis, one is on the threshold of REM sleep and can allow these sensations to develop more completely. When the body is in a full-blown state of REM sleep paralysis, one is sometimes able to lapse consciously and directly from the material world into the world of lucid dreaming, sometimes with a vivid sensation of jolting or twisting out of one's body. Whenever we suspect that we may be dreaming, reliable ways of testing our situation include jumping up from the ground and trying to stay airborne longer than normal, or glancing at a digital time display or some other type of writing, looking away, and then reading it again; in a dream, written figures usually do not read the same way twice.

Usually the most stable elements in a dream are the feel of the dream body and of the ground upon which one appears to be standing, which is why being passively mindful of these factors often tends to stabilize a dreamscape, preventing a sudden loss of the attunement and a reawakening in the physical body. Concentrating on a thought or otherwise permitting one's attention to wander away from the perceived sensory experience of a dream often causes the scene to fade, as does prolonged staring at a stationary point within a dream. In their book, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold recommend spinning the dream body like a top, as a singularly powerful means of preventing a premature awakening from a lucid dream. According to these authors, all techniques for preventing premature awakening "involve carrying out some form of dream action as soon as the visual part of the dream begins to fade.... They are based on the idea of loading the perceptual system so it cannot change its focus from the dream world to the waking world.... Thus, if the brain is fully engaged in producing the vivid, internally generated sensory experience of spinning, it will be more difficult for it to construct a contradictory sensation based on external sensory input." If one wishes to visit a particular place or person in a dream, one can use this spinning technique while repeating the command that one is about to find oneself within the scene of one's choosing. If premature awakening does occur, we need only keep ourselves utterly motionless, as though dead, and soon REM sleep likely will resume, hopefully allowing us to resume the lucid dream state consciously.

Psychokinesis and the Power of Thought

It is thought to be the power of mind that condenses the primary energies of the universe into definite, subatomic particles which interact to form material substances. Metaphysical philosophies conceive of the universal mind as forming such particles continually in accordance with natural law, and of the human mind as generating them similarly by its thoughts and emotions. It would appear that we can direct some of nature's processes by our thinking, as the psychic dimension of the human mind is connected with the universal mind and has access to its powers. Through gazing passively, we supposedly can influence the particles of energy in our surroundings, potentially causing them to gather into a cumulous state and to manifest visibly as hazy, shadowy or fog-like masses that seem to darken or to blot out objects, making them appear less defined. We may notice such a haze of energy when we witness a psychic projection or spectral phenomenon, and we may feel a sensation of cold electricity when we come into physical contact with such an apparition. These subatomic particles or primordial elements of energy are conceived as interacting with one another by natural laws of attraction and repulsion to form atoms and molecules of the dense matter which we find in nature. The particles of energy which our minds supposedly create are said to vibrate perpetually with our own intelligence and effectively to carry our thoughts into the infinity of the universe to form manifestations according to what we have in mind; whereas the particles that are generated automatically by the workings of nature are considered as vibrating strictly with nature's intelligence and behaving solely in accordance with the natural laws of the universal mind.

Our thoughts necessarily must generate particles of corresponding character within our own blood and nerve energy, particles which then can affect us profoundly for better or worse. Most matters of health and disease probably pertain ultimately to our underlying spiritual vibrations, and few diseases presumably can take hold within us when we are fully healthy and attuned in the energetic sense. When we willfully direct vivid images of healthful vigor to an ailing part of our own or someone else's body, our minds thereby may be transmitting constructive energy particles to that area which revitalize it and promote more efficient healing. Medicines are often entirely inadequate for treating diseases; but by using the power of mind to direct high-frequency, psychic energies to the affected parts, we perhaps can create an improvement more rapidly, as our thoughts may influence those energies to assemble into material forms or substances which help to create the conditions necessary for improved health. It could be speculated that particles of bitter or hurtful energy, consuming as they can be to the person generating them, are generally unable to travel far to affect others, as nature cannot carry dark vibrations to any appreciable distance. Such particles could be considered as incapable of creating anything in any true sense, because it is their nature to destroy, and they are neutralized when they meet and interact with the ordinary, constructive vibrations of the natural world around them. When generated within an enclosed space, however, such earth-bound vibrations may continue for years to have a depressing effect upon those who enter the immediate area in which they had been formed. On the other hand, if within some room we habitually think peaceful, healthful thoughts and avoid harboring any thought of a painful or grudging nature, we may be charging that room with particles of wholesome energy and subsequently may notice a corresponding effect upon ourselves when we are immersed in such surroundings.

According to some philosophies, we potentially can create in actual, physical form anything that we can conceive and visualize in the mind's eye. When we concentrate on some object or event frequently or intensely enough and have a lucid mental picture of it, a thought form may be sent forth into the universe, with the result that sooner or later, in some form, what we have visualized is created in physical actuality, - even if it is someone else who actually assembles the creation, having attuned with the thought. To express a prediction may be to create its potential, since the very act of describing a predicted scenario involves visualizing and generating living, vitalized thoughts, thoughts which conceivably may create that scenario within the intangible realm of metaphysical energy, whereupon the vibrations may condense unexpectedly into substance. It seems prudent to avoid predicting casually that some event will occur, especially if we seem to have a sense of something that may be about to happen, unless we are prepared to see that very outcome created and to bear some karmic responsibility for it. The powers involved in mystic mastership are considered to be incomparably potent, which is why one who has come to understand universal laws supposedly can be held more accountable karmically than any other class of people, if one is less than constructive in one's acts. Interestingly, past Soviet experiments using delicate instruments have seemed to suggest that when psychics move or otherwise influence physical objects through psychokinetic exertion alone, they are in a heightened emotional state equivalent to one of controlled rage, with various metabolic processes quickened, and they often have reported feeling emotionally spent and exhausted after such exertions.

The process of creating something through mind power involves more than mere wishing or praying. While it is well to seek divine assistance in obtaining what we need in our lives, we probably help greatly in creating what we need when we participate actively in that creation, notwithstanding any archaic scripture that would have us assume the posture of passive sheep looking to an omnipotent shepherd. The effective way to concentrate for the purpose of creating something mentally is to visualize it vividly, just as an artist begins the creative process by envisioning some conception or theme, causing the inner mind to become obsessed with that vision or idea to the point of living it and willing it into being. The initial conception is always the essential element of any mental creation, which is why it is best to focus primarily on the central idea itself, without dwelling upon or paying undue attention to seeming necessities that may appear to be logistical obstacles. Regardless of the nature of any challenge, thinking of seeming limitations can create limitation, whereas confidently determining and daring to attempt some accomplishment in spite of all supposed obstacles often leads to unexpected opportunities or developments which enable us to fulfill our intentions. We may actualize wishes that never would be fulfilled otherwise, if we simply visualize and develop plans with the confident assumption that we already have at hand, somehow, every necessity that may be entailed. When the creative process is completed, dismissing from the mind all thought of the matter at hand, with the inner confidence that the matter is accomplished, allows the principles to work smoothly, without the interference of afterthoughts.

When encouraged to proceed naturally, the gradual awakening of one's psychic consciousness may culminate at a special moment in one's life, as determined perhaps by planetary cycles, bringing a sudden, extraordinary influx of the regenerative, divine essence, and thereby empowering a person to create mystical results as never before. It could be speculated that this type of experience may be more or less what happened to Jesus at the moment of his legendary baptism, after which he was able to perform the miracles for which he would become famous. Such sublime energy, presumably synonymous with the holy spirit referenced in scripture, is perhaps an uncommonly refined or concentrated form of the same life-force which enters through the breath and operates in all metabolic processes. A violet-colored haze appearing frequently in one's aura or surroundings is thought by some to be a strong indication that one's psychic development has progressed to an advanced degree. Purportedly, when one willfully directs energy of this quality so that it seems to form a veil-like cloud in front of oneself, the resulting haze can alter the energies in the surrounding space in such a way that light waves passing to and from one's body do not refract in the usual manner, but dissipate in a way that allows a person potentially to be invisible to others, even on a photograph. Perhaps one is in an unusually spiritual state when surrounded by such a rare quality of energy, having immediate access to forces of an extraordinary nature, by means of which one may create psychokinetic marvels that never would be possible otherwise. At the very least, however provocative some notions may be of the concept of "preposterous," even the most seemingly outlandish idea may qualify eminently as refreshing food for thought that richly deserves to be expressed and shared, in a world starving for inspiration.

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From 2001 to 2003, I composed and rendered with quality sound fonts the following short pieces of music, listed here with titles followed by subtitles:

Expiration: Somber nostalgia and departure from Earth
Relativity: Timeless voyage through the dimensions
Absolution: Healing magnanimity at the end of the tunnel
Prophecy: Sinister wonders at the edge of the abyss
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(c) 2003 by Bruce Carley. These music files may be shared privately, but please do not post or alter them in any way.

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(c) 2004 by Bruce Carley. The text of this article may be shared freely in its entirety if it is left unaltered.