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Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Spiritual Approach to Healing and Well-being

Our biological body is the most complete alchemical laboratory in existence. The human being is able to synthesize thousands of substances in its body. Each element corresponds to a precise process that involves physical, emotive, subtle and spiritual aspects. A complex relationship exists between physical organs, vital energies, the senses and the different essences that comprise our soul. Every part of the human being is essential to all others and each one is at the centre of a complex network of physical, mental and spiritual correspondences. Not only can we ideally be the Master of ourselves but we can also be Healers of our own body.

Natural medicine, in fact, with the aim of re-establishing the indispensible equilibrium for the conservation of health and well-being, considers that treating the individual in his or her entirety and in relation to the environment, produces a better result than merely treating the body as the simple sum of its parts. This approach is defined as ‘holistic’

According to traditional concepts, disease originates from an energetic imbalance caused by different factors: such lack of balance has repercussions on the psychic and nervous spheres and results in influencing  the physical.

From a spiritual point of view – but also psychological - a limited and confused awareness of ourselves and our bodies is already a kind of ‘disease’.

The body and the spirit are part of the same reality. Therefore disease in general terms, putting aside that which is severe, the result of particular circumstances, or of an extraordinary character – is ideally seen as a sign of imbalance and a lack of inner harmony. We can think of disease as the synchronic voice of our ‘inner master’ who provokes us to reflect on ourselves, our lives and values: the process of real healing therefore corresponds to a process of comprehension and personal growth.

According to traditions of ‘spiritual healing’ by ‘channelling Prana’ it is possible to re-establish the equilibrium that is indispensable to the conservation of health and well-being. According to spiritual traditions Prana arrives directly from the cosmos, from the sources of life: it is the archetype of well-being, the matrix of health. It corresponds to a state of vital, intelligent dynamic balance that can be simply identified with the ideal concepts of well-being and ‘feeling good’, without limiting the concept to a lack of disease but referring to it as a more complete sense of realization. Feeling ‘well’ in fact does not simply mean ‘not being ill’ but rather, attaining that cognitive, creative and spiritual potential inherent in human nature.

Prana is an energy that the healer channels in an ‘indifferent’ way, without using conjecture, the mind, or personal energy to interfere and without activating any personal capacity to heal, be it real or presumed.

The concept of ‘well-being’ – and the relative intervention – is more about prevention than therapy: the attention is all on the person, on life, on the expansion of well-being and not on the illness as such. Once having manifested, the illness requires suitable therapeutic measures, as non-invasive as possible, which take into account the type, urgency and severity of each case and the means that are available.

An intelligent integration of cures produces the maximum effect. The ‘healer’ in the guise of a mere ‘therapist’, which he is not really, should work in tandem with the doctor without disturbing the situation so that the process of healing can perfect itself because of the ‘upstream’ energetic intervention. In this way the disease does not reappear in different ways or places but is completely resolved.

The healer must not be a therapist but rather the ‘facilitator’ of a reawakening of consciousness, in which the client must be the responsible protagonist. A new found well-being cannot help but manifest as the natural consequence of this very radical process.

The work of the prana-therapist has therefore to be carried out in such a context and not end up in the plagiarism of diagnostic procedures and conventional medicine. Otherwise it risks only distinguishing itself in terms of the forms and instruments it uses and not from the concept. A concept which is focused on the organ, the symptom and the disease and therefore confirms an approach and therapeutic intervention that is basically physical (although working with bio-psycho-energetic instruments), rather than holistic.

The ‘healer’ – in a shamanic sense and I stand by my argument – is above all a bearer of Consciousness, who is also involved in a pathway of personal spiritual growth and is consequently able to help others to regain a state of harmony and conserve it. The healer acts on a spiritual, energetic and subtle plane, mostly preventative and eventually integrated and complementary, in perfect harmony with conventional therapeutic procedures. He/she does not enter into the merit of the diagnosis, or comment on the frame of mind of the doctor, or offer to specifically cure an illness, which could just be resolved through the natural consequences of a broader consciousness of the self.   

This kind of ‘healer’ does not transmit their own vital energy, but channels the universal energy, to encourage a process of Consciousness: the conscious reawakening in the person of their own energies, of their sense of responsibility, of their ‘inner healer’. It is the process of understanding the self which is true growth and which leads to the well-being of mind, body and spirit. A process that the healer also has to constantly undergo by working on his/herself.

Being a ‘healer’ means becoming a channel for vital energies (Prana) to encourage harmony, vigour and health in oneself and others. ‘Pranic’ energy, or an ideal model of universal balance and holistic well-being, is called upon and projected without using instruments or equipment of any kind, just oneself as a living bearer of energy and well-being.

The Sanskrit term Prana literally means life, and was later seen as breath. It is the archetype of health or better still of existential equilibrium and harmony.

The channelling of Prana therefore does not envisage a diagnosis and does not consist of a specific therapy. It is the flow of vital energy, which through resonance enables the existential equilibriums that preside over the well-being and evolution of mind, body and spirit ‘upstream’, to be maintained (or to re-establish) themselves.

It is important to remember that the aim is to prevent and not to cure, although applications of Prana can, if necessary, be harmonized with all kinds of therapeutic procedures. In such cases the objective is to ‘reawaken the healer’ that each of us has inside and foster a holistic process of understanding, the betterment of life, the relationship with oneself, surrounding reality and others.

Ideally the person is rendered autonomous and in turn becomes a Prana channel by learning and adopting certain meditation and breathing techniques.
In shamanic tradition the medicine-man sustains and transmits his ‘power’ by extolling his personal charisma, with the help of suggestions and expedients. In Africa, I personally attended some very bizarre methods practiced by a tribe of the Cameroon; afterwards the sorcerer confided his real opinion about  the phenomenon of healing to me, describing it as a phenomenon of consciousness: “The healer always lives inside of you, and in each case indirectly triggers a process of understanding in the person who is ill: this is what really happens, all the rest is just theatre”.
And even more interesting from the point of view of our metaphysics is the spiritual concept of ‘reconnection’ when applied to therapy. By removing the causes behind the disease the person moves to a new line of reality which also modifies the past: in this way, it is not that a person is ‘healed’ but rather that they move to a new line of existence in which they were never ill in the first place.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Vital Energies

The complete and controlled expression of our inner faculties cannot be omitted from the reintegration of our identity, the harmonious reawakening of our chakra and the correct and aware use of our vital energies.
Almost the entire sum of our vital and spiritual energies originates in the sexual sphere (a much broader concept than simply ‘having sex’). The sexual energy that I am referring to can express itself directly or indirectly in forms that are more or less controlled and harmonious.

The indirect expression of sexual energy includes all our creative expressions, above all artistic ones, but also expresses itself in relationships which draw on sexual energy as a source.

The direct expression of sexuality, from an esoteric point of view, distinguishes itself for the most part in an active humid path[1]  and a contained dry path[2].
There are different spiritual and operational magic traditions - setting aside evaluations of a moralistic kind, for freely and consciously experimenting – always in the sphere of tradition and magic-mystic discipline – with different forms of individual sexuality, be they hetero/homosexual or in plural contexts, which in turn follow different formulas.

In the context of such traditions, the mature and aware individual is considered free to relate or not, to any partner on any level, thus completely transcending sexuality by fully living it or sublimating it.

Sexual Magic is the most important aspect of the Alchemy of Living Forces.

The energy can be directed inside oneself (for example to reawaken the chakra or Kundalini or to achieve an androgynous state) and outside the self, to create and nourish thought forms or entities, or even to act upon events and synchronicity according to very complex formulas.

The directing of sexual energies is a magical and spiritual possibility of great importance because it corresponds to the conscious use of the great energetic potential that is contained inside each and every one of us.

However, it is important to remember that we are talking about an alchemical discipline that requires seriousness, maturity and elevation in the way that it is lived, not only in terms of sexual relationships but also as regards the emotions and feelings involved. Only in this way can our sexuality, whether it is expressed or contained, be consciously directed towards a spiritual reawakening, the completion of the self, magic, theurgic and generative alchemical operations or the reawakening of subtle, spiritual energies and faculties. These forces, that we nevertheless express in our ordinary lives (even though in an unconscious and casual form), have to be used in a constructive way, or else they suffer from the limits of our conditioning and our more base and egoistic instincts, transforming themselves into deformities of the mind, obsessions and parasitic entities.

In Tantra the realization of the androgen happens through the relationship with a partner, in the context of a relationship that is elevated to priestly dignity (ierogamìa): in woman, man finds a reflection of his own feminine aspects, just as woman finds a point of reference in man to reawaken her masculine aspects. These are operations that above all demand that indispensible premise, the full recovery of ones femininity and masculinity in line with ones current psycho-physical nature, its functions and most authentic virtues. A nature that is often (think of the conditions of women), profoundly repressed or perverted.

In European culture the figure of the androgen first appears in Plato’s description in the ‘Symposium’: in the dialogue, Aristophanes speaks of this third gender, not as a child of the Sun like men, nor a daughter of the Earth like women, but as a son of the Moon, which the nature of both participate in. The myth says that self-sufficient completeness makes androgynous humans arrogant enough to imagine they can scale Mount Olympus, and Zeus (not wanting to destroy them and deprive Olympus of their sacrifices), divides each one in half, reducing them to just masculine and feminine.

That which Elémire Zolla calls the never placated ‘human nostalgia for wholeness’, is the root and in someway the constraint on love (« to the brama and to the pursuit of wholeness, well, touches the name of love»). In Hindu metaphysics, the masculine polarity represented by Śiva (the destroyer) and that of the feminine represented by Shakti (Parvati, the divine energy), need Ardhanarishvara, or the androgen in order to fuse together.

In the West’s platonic narration, the androgen’s persistence and its use in successive culture, such as alchemy, signal the archetype of the ‘coincidentia oppositorum in the androgen. Nourished by Neo-Platonism and alchemical studies, the men of Humanism and the Renaissance turned the figure of the androgen into one of great importance.

The modern image of the androgen aims for completeness and integration, not only on the religious and mystic plane but also on the psychological plane and in terms of image. Such completeness also implies, apart from the integration of essences on alchemical and metaphysical planes, an integration of the perception of the world. This is achieved thanks to the contemporaneous and complete employment of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, that is: rational-masculine processing and intuitive feminine processing. A heightened awareness of our own profound dimensions can then be celebrated along with an integration of the individual personalities of the soul structure.

In certain tantric traditions, but also in those of the Middle East, it is not taken for granted that a man will express his masculine aspect in a predominant manner or that a woman will express her feminine aspect; this does not detract from masculinity or femininity and the value of heterosexual relationships. Theories exist however, in which the rediscovery or the completion of our complementary aspect does not necessarily have to correspond to relations with the opposite sex: it is worth saying that the completion can also occur between individuals of the same sex.

The androgen would be a forewarning of the so-called Alchemical Nuptials: the union of our human aspect with that of the divine.

During sexual relations, at the moment of union, a moment of ‘presence’ can be experienced, an instant in which one intuits a sense of completeness, during which cosmic and divine energies may flow. According to certain schools of thought, the practice of Sexual Magic can be used to achieve a special physical conception. It is employed, in fact, in operations to program incarnations, or to encourage the incarnation of selected and evolved souls in the body of the unborn baby (Avatar Magic) also, directly or indirectly, by means of alien or higher entities.

The ‘dry path’ could be more appropriately considered as the containment or sublimation of sexual expression. The monk, male or female, from an esoteric point of view, has the task of directing their energies through abstinence: the monk aims for the same objectives of spiritual realization and the completion of the self but this does not happen by means of ‘the other’ but through an individual process that is personally guided and or exclusively directed towards higher forces or ideals. Historically many Orders of Knights assumed a monastic investiture to best express their role as defenders or pursue sacred values.

In many Orders a ‘short-term’ or temporary monastic period is practiced in which certain rules typical of monastic life are observed, for example: celibacy, prayer, a vegetarian diet and so on. Often it is a period of reflection and spiritual retreat, or a phase of preparation before assuming a special role in an initiatory context.

From an esoteric point of view, the permanent couple - exclusive and stable – and the path of abstinence correspond to precise sacred pathways, in as much as they are very extraordinary choices, especially if the contract is intended for an indeterminate amount of time (something that is rarely encountered in the esoteric field).  Besides being an authentic sacred pathway, such choices are considered dangerous because – if not channelled by conscious motivation and discipline – they can lead to repressive and restrictive implications that consequently deform human nature[3].

A path of inner search does not have to - and certainly not straightaway - focus on Tantra and sexual magic. They are complex and difficult themes to deal with if the mind has not first been purified of moral taboo and the malice that ensues.

Greatly welcomed however are moments of personal reflection on this theme, with a partner and later perhaps in a group context, with psychological and meta-psychological support, to open the mind and heart to greater equilibrium. It goes without saying that all of this requires great maturity and purity of mind.

Whether or not, we feel inclined towards this Path or particular need, one that many consider a ‘minefield’, in the deepening of our inner relationship with the Self, it must be said that a healthy or serene sex life, that is free but most of all aware, is the basis for an overall harmony that certainly renders the examination, the emancipation, and the expression of the Higher Self, smoother and more effective.

Even though I do not want to enter too much into the merit of traditions and practices for reawakening and consciously managing sexual energies, it is useful at this point to say a couple of words about the so called ‘Left-hand way or path’.


Tantrism and the Left-hand Path

In the Hindu tradition, while the word Yoga means ‘Union’ – with one’s own soul, the cosmos, with God – and includes many different techniques of a physical, mental and spiritual kind (to achieve awareness, meditation, devotion, conscious action, and the truth), Tantra means ‘Loom’, or also ‘thread’, ‘continuity’ and communion. Tantrism consists of many esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy and is considered a sort of ‘short cut’ to the full Realization of Consciousness, Enlightenment.
In Tantra we distinguish between two principal paths: the ‘dakshinachara’ (or ‘samayachara’), the Right-hand Path, and the ‘vamachara’ (or ‘vamamarg’), the Left-hand Path. These terms were adopted and abundantly used by Western occultists, often in the wrong way or distorted by a hinterland of Catholic moralism.

Tantra, in all its different possible expressions, is not to be seen as Vedic tradition. The rituals of the Tantric Left-hand path, in particular, are often rejected or considered extremely dangerous by orthodox Hinduism. However, in Tibetan Buddhism, Tantrism plays a central role and is totally harmonized with Yoga thanks to the Buddhist code whose ethics mitigate the most dangerous aspects of tantric practices.

Certain practitioners search for the union of masculine and feminine principles inside themselves, through paths of sublimination and union with spiritual forces. In other cases the union, or rather the completion, comes through sexual practices, during which the divine union of Shiva and Shakti is celebrated. In tantric practice Mantra (formulas), Yantra (vehicles) and Mandala (patterns) are also used. Sexual practices carried out in a ritual form are not only an aspect of tantric alchemy but are without doubt central to Vama-marg Orders.

The conscious management of sexual energy is the basic element in this practice and there is quite a distinction between working white and working black.

In white work, the energy, in order to be directed towards the reawakening of higher consciousness cannot be discharged by ejaculation while in black work it is achieved through the completion of the sexual act.

In the first case we have a form of separation from desire, in the second its exaltation. In each case the sacred objective remains the same, though neither path is exempt from all kinds of deviance when not sustained by the necessary knowledge and spiritual maturity.
The most important Tantric Schools are the Kaula and Vamachara Circles.

In the West Tantra has been assimilated as the use of sexuality in the context of magic (or mystical) experiences and appears in many different operative and theoretical formulas. For example, what we can learn about Tantra from Crowley, Grant, Reich or Osho, may appear very different and yet the various approaches can and should be reconciled, given that they are all complimentary depending on their path.

The Right-hand Path and the Left-hand Path are two different approaches to achieving the same result. Generically, the Right-hand Path concentrates on the observance of a precise code of ethics, morals and devotion towards one or more divinities, while the Left-hand Path pursues the exploration and evolution of the Self before any other objective.

All in all, from the Thelemic and neo-Gnostic point of view, it is a false dichotomy but one which indicates two very different paths. The second path, with its emphasis on the Super-Conscious Self, has often meant and been wrongly considered as egoistic, therefore associated with ‘Satanism’ or ‘black magic’: the devil, evil, the dark, evil portents, hell and to the overwhelming power of the feminine, that power which has to be – as the sad story of the Inquisition teaches us – subordinated and condemned. Such moral condemnation originates not only in the influence of Judaic-Christian patriarchy and the reactionary culture of Catholicism – and more recently from a certain syncretistic ‘gnosis’ which is rather pretentious abstruse and bigoted – but also from inside the same esoteric movements. This often occurs in a contradictory way as in the case of Blavatsky who described certain practices as immoral, even though in certain of her lesser known works (for example  in the magazine Lucifer), she does not refrain from considering certain magic–mystical aspects of the tantric-sexual tradition of the East. Also Crowley, when he refers to the ‘Black Brothers’ speaks of the Brothers of the Left-hand Path, but with a very different meaning, referring to those who have failed and who have not gone beyond the enticements of the ego. Those whose presumption rather than leading them to Genius, has lead them to Madness and a loss of control, who are engulfed by the profound forces within that they themselves have reawakened. When confronting the Abyss they then do not know how to offer all of themselves in order to be reborn as shinning Stars (image of the Higher Self).

The Left-hand Path is considered as the most direct and rapid path to enlightenment but it is also the most dangerous, given the unexpected potential expressed by the energies involved and reawakened.

Today it is often referred to as the Draconian, Qliphotic or Dark Path of the Kabbalistic Tree although in this case, there are also many different methods and schools of thought.

The Magick of Crowley integrates the two paths into a complete magical-mystical process without placing too much emphasis on their distinction unlike the work of Kenneth Grant which clearly highlights the differences.

[1] As far as this is concerned on the ritual-operational plane we talk about Sexual Magic, while on the more mystical plane we use the term Tantra.
[2] Various forms of monastic life.
[3] In effect, even though commonly accepted (opportunely conditioned by the seats of socio-political and religious powers with the aim of controlling and subjugating), the formula of the couple united in holy matrimony, just as that of priestly celibacy, can often result in hypocrisy and psychological problems or even dangerous perversion.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Inner Faculties & 'Astral Travel'

The five accepted normal senses are not much use for perceiving how to select the frequencies of reality and determine the physical boundaries of our plane of existence. This means that our ability to describe natural phenomena and to understand reality is in fact proportional to the senses and logic we are able to employ.

On average at this level of existence, our current power of perception/determination is considerably reduced in respect to the real possibilities of our senses.

These powers of perception include those ESP faculties that para-psychological studies talked about at great length in the 1970’s – 80’s for example: telepathy, clairvoyance or clairaudience, pre- (or retro) cognition, the sensitivity and the properties of the aura and the astral body, the thaumaturgic and psycho-kinetic faculties of mediums that are part of a lost potency but ideally form part of our natural capacities.
There is nothing ‘paranormal’ about it at all. It is we who now operate below normal capacity, so much so that when we occasionally exercise those faculties or hear them talked about they seem to be something miraculous, if not to be feared and repressed.

Of a different nature though are the faculties that are specifically ‘spiritual’, those that have something to do with an extra-dimensional sensitivity in respect to our plane of psychic and physical existence, even when they are simply considered at their different and more extended vibrational and dimensional levels. Such capacities are linked to mystic phenomena and investigated specifically by magic and shamanism.
The optimum expression of our spiritual faculties, now merely a potential, is strictly related to the esoteric concept of thought, that substantial external entity that is not produced by the activity of our brain.

The human being participates in a multi-dimensional eco-system of energy-thought: it receives thought which has been processed by ‘lower’ species and then processes that thought-food for higher species, inside a real ‘food chain’. In our present condition we not only do not produce thought, we are unable to process reality in real-time.
When we consider that we are perceiving and thinking, we are in fact just remembering the perceptions and the processing of ‘something’ that the mind has already had time to adapt to its limits, or its system of beliefs and prejudices. This places us in the narrow-minded confines of a very convincing illusion.

Taking another look at the fundamental question that Gurdjieff insisted upon, if we live in an illusion of the mind, how can we ‘be’ and therefore ‘act’?

The perception of the present, the border between the memory of the past and the forecast of the future according to preconceived and habitual patterns, is illusory. We live in the distorted memory of ourselves and in a reality that is just as retouched, conventional and restricted. Our system of thought is spoilt even more and distorted further by collective programmes of manipulation both cultural and scientific. Furthermore, as regards the latter, we need to ask ourselves, if apart from the intrinsic damage (medicinal, additive, chemical, vaccines, ELF waves etc...) there isn’t perhaps some conscious planning behind it all which is the fruit of a hidden agenda.

We have to abandon our current system of thinking and completely rebuild our psychic habitat: perhaps phenomena connected to 2012 (and more widely related to the rise of a ‘New Era’) will stimulate our energetic centres, our endocrine system (pineal gland) and upgrade the Matrix, perhaps rendering the present system vulnerable. We could then avail ourselves of a reset in the flow of thought and take the opportunity to renew the layout of reality. An opportunity that will not be automatic but will need to be grasped at an individual level, by being suitably predisposed, emancipating from old patterns and above all mistrusting occasional ‘redeemers’.

Re-adapting to the completeness of our senses we will perceive our world and ourselves more consciously, accessing a reality of a much higher level that we ourselves have determined.

However, even at higher levels we will only be managing the ‘power of maya’, or power over the illusion and not power over the spiritual reality that subtends every manifestation relative to the Absolute Being. To access that higher level of awareness, the so called ‘nagual’ perspective of existence, we have to reawaken our divine identity and its faculties.

Such ‘superior’ faculties are really the prerogative of those beings that host the active spiritual principle: the divine spark. These ‘senses’ are in fact divine attributes which are able to supply us with a holistic vision of the natural and spiritual eco-system in which we are immersed.

In the course of the book I will be briefly describing certain basic faculties that according to esoteric traditions were lost by the earthly human being in the course of a rather intricate epic. The story is told in the chronicles of ‘alternative’ history through the figures of ancient myth: a history that is rich in references and which projects the human being way beyond this dimension.

A real comprehension of spiritual faculties presupposes their reawakening, so for now, we will have to settle for expressing ourselves in metaphor and using limited examples which of necessity lead us back to our current sensorial experience.

If the physical senses filter and determine the hologram-reality that surrounds us, the inner senses extract and project a transcendent meaning which leads human experience back to the divine and absolute source from which everything comes. As Don Juan, the Yaqui sorcerer and protagonist of the tales of Castaneda would say “The first, see things on this side of the bridge; the others see things on the other side: the first, have a tonal perspective while the others, a nagual perspective”.

Nagual contrasts with tonal, which is seen as everything that can be explained and understood through the rational. The Nagual is a reality which transcends the purely intellectual and of which one can only be a witness: it is all that is found outside the dominion of the word and the concept. It is that inexplicable spirit of which one can only have direct experience.

For example, from the shamanistic point of view, dream is the capacity to perceive states of being which are beyond the physical. It is the eye of the transpersonal planes, as described by Ken Wilber in his No Boundary. It is the ‘seeing’ of the shaman.

For example Dream – not to be confused with the functions of dreaming as commonly intended[1] – is the sense that allows us to consciously move on the astral, subtle and spiritual plains. There we enter into contact with a more authentic essence of ourselves and all things, perceiving that their origins and nature are the same and sensing their evolutionary direction.
Dream allows us to explore the intermediate dimension between the material world of Form and the Real, from the dimensions of thought-forms to those of the emotions, from the astral planes to the dimensions of disincarnate souls, from subtle worlds to divine provinces.

But these are also nothing more than conventions for allocating the various possible ‘significances’ of reality value on a scale: from those closest to the material word to those which are more mysterious, ideal and spiritual.

All of this can be represented as transcendent and contemporaneously immanent and beyond, but it is also inside. The rehabilitation of the sense of dream can be encouraged by the use of astral travel, hypnosis and lucid dreaming techniques in a state of profound relaxation (today the subject of study through Reconnection and Theta Healing techniques), aimed at reducing the exercise of the external senses and encouraging the emergence of subtle perceptions[2].

Let’s summarize some of the basic concepts of the phenomenon of astral travel.
The term ‘astral’ – borrowed from Theosophical traditions – is reductive in respect of the concept of out of body experiences or better still, ultra-body because we are not talking about ‘relocation’ as such but rather the extension the self and personal sensitivity.

Here are some useful parameters to focus on:

·          It is not a power in itself, or a faculty, but a way to observe, interpret and describe a determined dynamic, that has something to do with our true nature in as much as it is infinite consciousness.
·          It normally triggers during nocturnal sleep in a spontaneous and unconscious way.
·          The experience is often translated into dreams through common or subjective symbolism, which are sometimes remembered and sometimes not.
·          It can happen in altered states of consciousness caused by trauma, coma, drugs, the taking of psycho-active substances, meditation, fainting, anaesthesia, hypnosis and near-death experiences.
·          Such dynamics are used to energetically regenerate the mind and our subtle bodies and re-order and metabolize experiences and information.
·          Consciously directing the experience of astral travel constitutes an instrument for expanding the senses and the consciousness and for positioning oneself in a broader spiritual scenario.
·          When the dynamic happens spontaneously and we are unaware of it, its energetic management and defences necessary are automatically triggered by our mind. However, when we train ourselves to consciously generate it, we have to re-learn how to direct it; in this case the techniques of relaxation or sleep/dreaming serve to lower the ‘volume’ of the physical senses in such a way as to activate an ‘alternative’ sensitivity that we can focus our attention and awareness on.
·          The fear we experience is that typical of the unknown: besides, it is good to remember that when we find ourselves in ‘alternative’ dimensions, they are not aseptic, therefore if an individual has not worked on their energies, emotions and perceptions they may encounter something unclassifiable, that will then be removed by the conscious mind or clad in projections. What remains, even after the removal has occurred is the sensation of fear, regardless of the nature of the experience.
·          Once the method has been mastered, there are various levels of practice: from the perceptive expansion of our own current dimension to the use of astral travel to explore other dimensions and finally, the expansion of consciousness as a natural extension of the self in the wakened state.

This journey is a moment of attenuation of our incarnation: a moment of re-connecting with our higher Self and therefore with all the parts of our soul, throughout the dimensions and time.  Now is the moment to overturn concepts and move our ‘point of union’ or our centre of gravity towards our real identity and re-formulate the concept of ‘astral travel’ just as we need to reconsider numerous other subjects in the light of new paradigms.

We are already a Consciousness that divides itself up among many planes in order to explore this material dimension and evolve. When we assert ourselves to travel on the astral planes we are doing nothing more than ...returning home a little.

An interesting question we might ask is: which part of us ‘separates’?
Which part ‘exits’ to explore? And as a result, what corresponding dimension is reached? Therefore, which part of ourselves do we have to train to reach precise dimensions, to have this true experience of spiritual growth?

This thought is also valid for mediumistic experiences: it is obvious that we ‘vibrate’ on the frequency of our level of consciousness and we are therefore in tune with the phenomena, events and dimensions that correspond to it. This is the result of the law of attraction - similar attracts similar, or the concordance of complexity (temporal concordance), today referred to as the ‘law of attraction’, a phenomenon much more complex and intriguing than simply attracting positive or negative events to yourself.

We tend to relate to organizations and worlds – to be precise to the teachings – that ‘belong’ to us. But it is not necessary to pursue para-Gnostic explorations, learn mediumistic techniques or various methods for inducing out of body experiences, what we really have to do is reawaken the different levels of our true identity.

If we get used to considering everything that we are the authors or spectators of from an exquisitely spiritual point of view, we will discover in ourselves and what surrounds us, our true divine nature; and on this path we can and must identify with all the infinite possibilities of creation.

Gustavo Adolfo Rol

In Thelemic tradition, which in this case draws on the explorations of John Dee, out of the body journeys lead to the concept of the Aethyr, or the 30 levels of the astral plane positioned between the physical plane and divinity, which have to be re-ascended through complex techniques of a magical-mystical character.

At this point we have to consider a further specific faculty: the sense of dimensions, or the ability to translate a system of laws into something else. Exercising this faculty means being aware of interacting with many dimensions at the same time and of travelling from one world to another, from one possible dimension to another, just as is part of our nature.
This faculty is indispensible for understanding experiences which are very different from our current perceptions.

Our psycho-physical vehicle is not the ‘original model’, just as this reality (which derives from it) is not the one originally attributed to our level of complexity. We currently live in much more limited and conventional lines of reality, passing casually from one to another.

Because of this – according to various psychological and metaphysical models– our soul is described as likewise fragmented into diverse and confused personalities, or into many ‘I’s as was proposed by Gurdjieff. Our soul lacks a complete and unitary sense of the reality that constitutes the scenario of our experience of consciousness and, as a consequence lacks the perception of us as beings that are likewise complete and unitary: it is a vicious circle. But rather than work on the integration of our illusory ‘I’s (a model that still insists on the separation of ourselves), we have to work on the integration of reality and put the concept we have lost back together again. Our soul is unitary and yet infinitely versatile, so much so it has us believe that we are many souls! It is not the personalities in themselves that are separate and move around inside of us, but it is the fluctuation of our vague and confused perceptions on the lines where we have fragmented reality that induces us to perceive ourselves as similarly confused and fragmented, mind based and deceived.

We have already seen that the major part of our ‘unconscious’ corresponds to the universe that we do not ‘see’, because even though we determine it, we are not conscious of the fact nor do we perceive or control it, not being conscious, perceiving or having control of ourselves.

If we let this ‘iceberg’ emerge, then both reality and our soul personalities would reassemble in a linear and coherent dimensional picture: we need a sense of unity, of ‘soul’ to be precise, regardless of the current expressions of our fragmented identity.

Leaving aside theories on the structure of the soul, we have to consider the fragmentation of the spirit throughout the dimensions and time like various facets of an essential unity that needs to be retrieved in order to achieve a more authentic sense of ourselves and life.

Such an objective can be pursued with the use of another inner faculty of fundamental importance which results in an awareness of the self: True Will (or the faculty of Intent).
The sense of True Will is the quality of knowing how to use the power of your own True Will, as Crowley called it, which leads us back to the most authentic part of ourselves, and consciously guides our evolution in harmony with the evolution of everything else.

The ‘Will’, with the exercise of this sense, becomes the ability to define and direct your own plane of existence, namely your own line of evolutionary reality through the conscious use and power of free will, assisted by a progressive knowledge of the authentic mechanisms by which reality functions.

True Will does not limit itself to the expression of choice, but actively creates events and synchronic opportunities. We have to re-appropriate the power of the Will: not the Will tied to the fickle desires of our illusory identities but the True Will that is moved by our divine identity and its evolutionary project.

However, if to do, you need to be, then to will you need to know what it is you really want, or better still, you need to know who you really are and awaken your True Identity which is hidden behind multiform expressions of the ego.

Consciousness of the Divine Self corresponds to the faculty of being fully aware of one’s origins, nature and real essence. Perceiving one’s divine essence is an act of profound awareness and ‘communion’. It coincides with the shifting of the barycentre of our illusory masks to a more authentic and radical expression of the Self.

Whilst the Will is the sense of evolutionary direction which corresponds to the real mission of our Consciousness immersed in time and the material world, the sense of the Divine – another inner faculty – leads us to the natural perception of everything being a part of ourselves. We are actually talking more about a sense of participation than a sense of perception. In fact of communion, of love.

Will and love, metaphorically speaking are the vertical and horizontal axes of our divine centre. We can also interpret the equivalent functions of Yoga and Tantra in the same way: the first means ‘union’, it supplies the sensation of travelling along the vertical axis: the union of the earth with the sky, of the material with the spiritual, of the human self with God. Therefore it represents the evolutionary direction and educates the Will to identify the Principle with the Goal.
However, Tantra, which literally means ‘fabric’, creates an image of the weft of reality, of communion, sharing, or of the extension of the horizontal axis; that sense of union and participation in all things. Although diversified into differing levels of self-awareness, every material Form contains the same divine nature.
‘Feeling’ the divine unity in all things means being ‘in communion’ here and now, just as everywhere and for always. It signifies to love.

Of this sense of the divine, which we could even define as of the sacred because through it we participate in the sacrality of each and every thing, we all conserve a subtle memory, much, much more so than for other inner faculties. This memory manifests as the yearning of every individual for the transcendent, for the absolute, but also to self-questioning, to asking “Who am I?” It is the inexplicable and precious inquietude which persists even though we have absolved our physical, intellectual and emotional necessities. The sense of the divine puts us in tune with higher forces and values inside and outside of ourselves.

Such inquietude is transformed into evolutionary energy by religion, in the most correct meaning of the word, while historical religions have suppressed, if not exploited that yearning often for very grim ends.

The ‘sense of Self’ cannot limit itself to awareness and therefore to the mere contemplation of who it really is, but must be applied to the reality that we are now called upon to explore, or to our reality which is the evolutionary project of that self same Consciousness. The awareness of Self is completed by not forgetting who it is and in the experience of the material world. In fact our experience of being human has to be redirected towards this real identity so that it is not just a vain illusion. This result is achieved through the practice of remembering the self, or the immersed Higher Self, which is adapted to and active in our life.

All this corresponds to the magic significance of Memory defined as the awareness of our real identity and our extension in time.

Through the reawakening of the sense of memory we can perceive our ‘temporal body’, that is our real and simultaneous extension throughout time: in short all our lives, including those that we generically define as ‘previous’, which are in fact parallel or even future lives, given that all lives are contemporaneous.

The sense of memory is awareness or participation. Each one of us is the sum of all the experiences we have lived and will live, in different forms, in different bodies, in different times and dimensions. We are a ‘point of attention’ in which everything is PRESENT. We are a consciousness that incarnated in Time, even before it incarnated in space and all its possible dimensions.
Rather than talking about reincarnation as a process of reawakening we should call it reconnection. Reawakening the sense of memory we will certainly recall previous lives but not because we access a mnemonic recording but because we are living them contemporaneously: we are the essence that accumulates them and employs them as if they were probes in time and matter. These are our lives, our ‘incarnations’: the probes, the tentacles of consciousness that give shape to us.                       
We do not access the memories but the awareness of our life, of its real extension, which transcends its current bodily identification in space-time.

From the moment we remember who we truly are and perceive our true multi-dimensional body; we can finally identify and determine which line of existence corresponds to our mission. It is from that moment that we determine not only the present and the future of our soul personality but also our previous lives. It is therefore necessary to overcome the definitions and the logic that sustain research into past lives, those processes, including regressive hypnosis, that are not based upon the exploration of ourselves in our current life and from there open up to all the rest as a natural consequence of the Reawakening.

Identify with yourself and feel the real extension of yourself, throughout time and in all dimensions where the consciousness-that-you are, is found simultaneously, in the past, present and future.

There is no difference, there is no distance. That is your ‘body’, that is your real identity, in which every life is nothing but a sense, a limb, a window on the worlds of the possible that we are here to discover, in order to discover ourselves.  Use the breath, use all of the body to feel this expansion and to perceive the new awareness.

Other faculties exist which we can conventionally classify in different ways: from the para-telepathic faculties to those of our clairvoyant mind, from the perceptive sensitivity of our aura to the faculty of the heart as en emotional sensor. When dealing with the faculties linked to highly subjective explorations and personal life experiences, the most valid guide for a more in-depth examination is personal sensitivity.

[1] Besides constituting a mental dynamic studied at length by psychoanalysis, from the esoteric point of view it is a gateway to the lower and higher levels of our being. It is very important to learn to dream and practice remembering and guiding dreams with the use of oneiric and interpretive techniques, beginning from a personal perspective and symbolic ability. However, the spiritual faculty of the ‘sense of dream’ is a different level again; it can be considered as one of the soul’s senses.
[2] States of dreaming or relaxation are, however, no longer indispensable for exercising the spiritual faculties once we have complete command over ourselves. In fact, at that point we can participate consciously and contemporaneously in different states of being, simultaneously exercising all our senses. In other words we participate in a more expansive reality in virtue of our increased breadth of Consciousness.