Sensing My Mystic Chord (Etheric Body)AC 245: June 12, 2005 (Boston)
After a bike ride on a very warm afternoon, I took a shower, drank lots of water, and stretched out on top of my bed for a nap.
I've made it a practice to take a twenty-minute nap every day for over twenty years. I usually lie with my head at the foot of the bed, to distinguish naps from ordinary sleep. This puts my head to the south.
I rarely fall asleep. This is inner playtime, an opportunity for hypnagogic imagery, sometimes a platform for OBEs, or deep restful meditation.
This time I stretched out on my back, spreadeagled, arms above my head, legs supported at the knees by a pillow. There was a fan on in the room, although the earplugs I always wear when I nap blocked out the sound. I live in a very noisy urban neighborhood--kids, dogs, trains, buses, airplanes, you name it. But the afternoon was quiet.
Almost immediately after closing my eyes, I felt my consciousness drifting downward into what Bob Monroe calls Focus 10 (Mind Awake/Body Asleep), which I learned many years ago from a set of tapes from the Monroe Institute, but which I haven't practiced in a long time.
In this state, I felt an incredible sense of well-being, completely calm and empty inside, an unrippled consciousness, mind and body both feeling completely in harmony with themselves, each other, and the world.
Beneath this unrippled state of consciousness, I could feel the layer of vibrations. I'd forgotten this effect, which was something that was very common in my observations about out-of-body states back in the 1980s.
The sense was that there were distinct bands or levels of consciousness, like layers of water of different temperatures. Usually, I sense two bands beneath the unrippled state: a set of light vibrations moving like a current in a left to right direction and a set of heavy vibrations moving in the opposite direction below that. These directions are probably personal reference points, or representations, and may not have universal significance.
Sometimes I'm unable to cross over the interface between the surface level of consciousness and the vibrations. Sometimes I cross into the band of light vibrations and bounce back at the interface between that level and the heavy vibrations. Sometimes I cross over into the heavy vibrations and get so bounced around that I wake up. And sometimes I'm able to cross both layers into full separation from the body.
In this experience, I remained in the surface layer. However, I was aware of a beautiful harmonious hum, something like the sound described in certain meditation practices as the sound of the ground of creation. It didn't sound like OM, as in yoga, but had the same effect--all is well in the inner and outer worlds, it seemed to say: Peace.
There were several levels of sound, a thick complex chord-like sonority in the center of my awareness, and some very high pitches on top of that, seeming to extend upward, infinitely high. I've sometimes focused on those pitches to carry me out of body. This time I was simply aware of them.
Several sounds came and went, independent of the chord, like individual notes in a symphony (non-melodic). I've come to associate these sounds with adjustments to my state of consciousness. Something was out of whack, causing the individual sounds to increase in volume, and when it was properly adjusted, the sounds would decrease in volume and return to their place in the chord.
In the meantime, there were gentle fluctuations in volume of the base chord, although not in any rhythmic pattern. I remember from the past that when the volume swells, I can dive into the sound by focusing my attention on it and that can become a gateway to the vibrational state.
There were several louder pulsations of this sound that I tried to dive into, but without success.
Overall, the experience seems to be a reminder of past experiments and discoveries that I never got around to writing down at the time they occurred, many years ago. More recently, I've gotten very lazy about my naps, seeing them as rest more than opportunities for exploration. I've tended to take them immediately after lunch, and the full stomach doesn't help when it comes to alterations of consciousness.
Typically, I've had the most success with OBEs from naps between 3 and 5 PM in the afternoon. I'm sure that the physical exertion of the bike ride before this one helped create the state that I was in.
I was deeply relaxed, with a paradoxical sense of physical well-being and no awareness of my body. There was a point when I moved my physical arms from above my head to my sides. This seemed to signal the end of the experience. After that I continued in a very relaxed state with mild hypnagogic imagery, but nothing out of the ordinary. I also lost awareness of the chord.
[Some time after this adventure, I came across a passage in The Inner Life, by Charles W. Leadbeater in which he speaks of a "mystic chord." This chord reflects the vibrations of our energy bodies.
Man's various forces and qualities, manifesting in his bodies as vibrations, send out for each vehicle what may be called a keynote. Take his astral body as an example. From the number of different vibrations which are habitual to that astral body there emerges a sort of average tone, which we may call the keynote of the man on the astral plane. It is obviously conceivable that there may be a considerable number of ordinary men whose astral keynote is practically the same, so that this alone would not suffice to distinguish them with certainty. But there is a similar average tone for each man's mental body, for his causal body, and even for the etheric part of his physical body; and there have never yet been found two persons whose keynotes were identical at all these levels, so as to make exactly the same chord when struck simultaneously. [1917 ed., vol. 2, p. 311.]I was perceiving my own mystic chord, probably because all of my energy bodies were in harmony with each other after my bicycle ride. I now understand that the different vibrational layers I encountered in early OBEs represented the layers of my energy field and moving from one energy body to another, probably etheric to astral. In the present adenture, I was in the etheric body layer, which deals with health and life force flow, but sensing the harmony of the other layers resonating with it.]