Observing an Astral Plane SimulationAC 456: August 23, 2011 (Franconia Notch State Park, NH)
[I intend to write a new chapter for the second edition of Otherwhere about simulations. I didn’t explain the topic sufficiently in the first edition of the book. Later, when answering questions on astral projection forums, I learned just how confusing the concept is for most beginning projectors.]
In this adventure, which took place within the dream state while I was on vacation, I had a chance to look in on a simulation in progress. The person undergoing the simulation was a female Ranger–someone currently alive in physical reality who was able to explore nonphysical reality with some degree of conscious awareness of what she was doing and an ability to recall what she experienced there. This Ranger was earnest and somewhat dour, a loner. It would be difficult to tell her age, since I might have seen her soul age rather than her physical age. She seemed to be in her sixties, which could be a metaphor for her being a transcendental soul (the sixth soul age).
The space in which the simulation took place was made of field stone. It appeared to be a large single room with a high peaked roof, like an assembly room. The roof was supported by exposed wooden beams, creating an empty, cavernous feel. It was steeply sloped to shed rain and snow. The floor was made of flagstones and was somewhat uneven. There was a large open stone hearth in the center of one wall. Otherwise, the room was devoid of furniture.
There were no visible entrances or exits. The walls were solid stone on all sides. A little light came in from windows where the top of the walls met the eaves of the roof. But the room wasn’t dark. There must have been a chimney, but I couldn’t see it from within the room.
I had the feeling of being in a castle in the far north of Scotland, along a coastline of crags, tumultuous waves, and dense fogs. The inside of the castle, though dreary, was well-protected from the weather.
I watched the Ranger whose working space this was as she tried to build a fire. It was a small collection of split wood set up in a square pattern in the center of the stone hearth. It looked tiny in comparison with the size of the hearth.
The Ranger was intensely focused on her work, purposeful, precise, and economical in her movements. She knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish and went about it in the most efficient way. Her actions seemed to be part ritual, part routine–as if she were ambivalent about whether the procedure would work. On the ritual side, she was trying to evoke or invoke an experience. On the routine side, she was merely going through the motions, hoping that something would happen. She was skeptical about whether it would do so and whether her results were anything more than dreams or self-deceiving imaginative imagery.
The Ranger’s attitude was one of extreme devotion. She prayed fervently that what she was doing would be helpful to herself and to others, both living and dead. She had strength of will, perseverance, and a stubborn streak that sometimes got in her way.
The hearth wall was on the east side of the assembly hall, which meant that when she faced it, as she was doing now, she was oriented toward the Source. But there was no fire as yet. She was only making preparations for it. She would have to realize her own direct connection to the Source before the fire could develop. She had to know that she was a part of the Source, that the fire behind and within all creation also existed in her.
When she was operating from devotion, that fire flared up in her. But such flare-ups were immediately counterbalanced–if not canceled out–by skepticism and doubt.
Her inner senses told her the direction she needed to work in so she could get closer to the Source. But there was too much pride and stubbornness in her character to make her truly humble.
Her devotion was that of someone who felt worthless and thought that by saving the world she could somehow prove her value to it (and to herself). At the same time, she judged herself for believing she could save the world along spiritual lines because she had a well-developed intellect that looked down on “silly” New Age beliefs and didn’t want to be associated with them.
She trusted too much in her own experience and stubbornly refused to consider the example and the help of others in doing the spiritual work she had chosen to do. She had to do it all herself, her own way, beginning with what she knew and building out from there–even if she only half believed in it.
The size of the hearth indicated that her capacity to open her heart to Source and channel its energy in the service of others was very large, having been built up in past lives. But her personality in the present lifetime was bound up in issues of self-importance and self-valuation. She vacillated between feelings of superiority (as a transcendental soul) and worthlessness (having failed to find happiness or to fit in with the expectations and motivations of the rest of the world). Such vacillation hindered her process of self-remembering.
Life was dreary and her reaction to it dour–except in this one area of hope to be of spiritual service, which was the key to self-remembering. She was stuck in what the yoga philosophy calls vairagya (dispassion), the state of spiritual numbness in which all desire for the things of the material and social world falls away. The only motivation that remained to her was to overcome her own suffering by alleviating that of others. In so doing, she would initiated the self-remembering process that would allow her to get closer to Source and to channel Source energy for the greater good of all, including herself.
Though there was no entrance or exit, people were coming and going within the room. The Ranger had her back to them. Becoming aware of this movement, she turned away from her attempts to start the fire. She became absorbed in watching the people passing in and out. She then moved into the center of the room to interact with them, like a hostess.
I could see through these people, but the Ranger herself seemed to be solid. I could also perceive the others from her perspective–to her, they were solid and real.
The people were of various ranks, as in a royal court. It was one of the challenges of the Ranger who hosted them to differentiate between their ranks. Who was higher up than she, who was her equal in status, who was lower down than she? The measure of status, however, was spiritual rather than social. Those higher than she were Teachers, those at her level were Guides, those below her were Shades. She wasn’t always able to make these distinctions correctly.
The Ranger often felt frustrated because there seemed to be rules she was expected to obey but of which she was unaware. She had to learn them by experience. Thus the room became brighter, lighter, more congenial when she did the right thing. It became darker, denser, more oppressive when she did not. She was learning how to be an agent of the flow–which is to say, which of her actions brought her closer to the Source and which distanced her from it.
The actions that brought her closer involved the process of self-remembering, integrating the things she knew from between lifetimes when she worked as a Facilitator helping Shades make their way through the Afterlife. The actions that took her farther away from Source came from the ego, the personality of the present lifetime, and often derived from a stubborn desire to prove to herself the rightness of a certain intellectually derived theory about what was going on.
Sometimes she felt resentful. She knew she was working to free herself from the castle (simulation) that seemed to imprison her, but she was as yet unaware of the mechanism. She had to warm up the room by getting so close to the Source that the fire she kept trying to start finally burst into flame. Then the spark of the Source within her was active and the process of self-remembering could proceed apace. The walls would dissolve and the simulation would be completed.
Most of the time, however, she thought of herself as an indentured servant to the people in the room. She knew some form of service was required of her and would do what she thought they expected of her in a mechanical, unconscious way, due to social conditioning about being kind and polite. Yet her attitude toward them was not at all kind or polite. She was constantly judging them to make herself feel superior.
When, as part of the simulation, she encountered Shades who needed help, she rolled her eyes over how stupid and incommunicative they could be. She didn’t realize that her theories about what they needed from her prevented them from communicating their needs in a way she could understand. She would spend hours trying to figure out what was required of her–but she was really just creating elaborate theories and stories about who and what they were.
Such notions often had nothing to do with perceiving the essence of suffering Shades with her inner senses to discover the status of their relation to the Source. They were somehow blocking the flow of energy from the Source. They were suffering because of their loss of a sense of connection with it. They needed help to restore that connection. When that connection had been restored, they would once again feel Source energy flowing through them and would know from within what the next step in their growth should be.
The Ranger often found them irritating and inconvenient because they didn’t behave as her theories predicted they should. She wanted to be right. She wanted to make a name for herself for having discovered the truth about how nonphysical reality operates. She wanted to prove the “silly” New Agers wrong. Yet her only tool was the notion of recovering lost and confused souls who needed to be reoriented to what she called “the Light”–even though for her this light had no inner sense reality. It was merely a concept, an image, a metaphor.
When Teachers and Guides showed up to educate her, they distinguished themselves from Shades by not cooperating with her theories about how they were lost and confused and needed to be sent to the Light. All she needed to do was to ask them who they were and what they needed from her–and she from them–and they would have explained everything. But she was too proud to do so.
When the Ranger did recognize them as Guides and attempted to interact with them, she was never sure whether they were merely the embodiment of wishful thinking telling her what she already knew. In reality, they were trying to build out from what she knew to what she didn’t know by affirming what she knew.
The Ranger was impatient with such procedures because she wanted to be famous for some dramatically different exposition of nonphysical reality. If her Teachers told her what she already knew or felt to be true, they had no authority for her. If they did nothing to confirm or deny her more baroque theories of what she experienced in nonphysical reality, they were “clearly” less developed and misleading spirits or figments conjured by her imagination. When they were silent because they weren’t being allowed to teach her, she tried to send them to the Light as confused souls.
Yet the simulation within which the Ranger found herself was intended to teach the simplest of the laws of nonphysical reality–the difference between stuckness and flow. Stuckness meant she had lost her connection to Source. Flow meant discovering the flame of the Source within herself and allowing it to kindle a complete understanding of who she was in relation to it. She would then know her life purpose, her mission in the present lifetime, as well as her soul’s function within the larger scheme of human evolution of which this lifetime was a part.
As I observed the Ranger’s struggles with this simulation, I realized its function. It stood at the transition point between being locked into an overdeveloped and confining mental body (in which she saw everything in terms of problems to be fixed) to and being liberated into the partially developed but more expansive causal body (in which she would see everything in terms of flows to be reestablished). Thus the Ranger’s experience represented her personal struggle with an archetypal stage in human development.
Suddenly, I understood why I perceived the simulation as I did. The field stone walls represented the beliefs the Ranger had developed from all the reading she had done in the field of out-of-body experiences and astral projection. She had conceptualized what she read instead of feeling it with her inner senses, so these beliefs had no life in them. They were as heavy as stones–walling her in and weighing down her progress.
There was no entry or exit from this belief system. Everything had to agree with everything else and affirm its correctness. Yet the intellectual pride that built and sustained it actually blocked what she really wanted–a closer connection to Source, including intelligible interactions with reliable Teachers and Guides.
The uneven floor represented differing levels of lucidity within, and later comprehension of, her nonphysical adventures. The peaked roof represented her tendency to allow all outside interpretations of her nonphysical experiences to slide off this belief structure like rain or snow.
Nevertheless, some illuminative light from the causal level of being got through to her (from the high windows). Also, the chimney of the hearth represented her direct connection to the Source through the so-called thread soul. It was the one and only exit from the room that represented her beliefs.
The outside weather represented the fog of confusion and the waves of emotional turbulence generated by her frustrated progress, her inability to get beyond this simulation. Charles says that confusion is the result of holding on to pictures of what reality should be offering us rather than going with what it is actually offering us. So it was with this Ranger, who would only accept interpretations of her experience that proved her theories were correct. She got confused when the data or the explanations received from Teachers or Guides didn’t match the theories.
The isolated northern seacoast setting represented the Ranger’s loneliness as a transcendental soul. I understood that her loss of connection with the Source had resulted from feeling cut off from other people because they couldn’t understand her. She wanted to rescue other people from their suffering to save herself from her loneliness by reconnecting to them. For her, saving the world meant bringing some new and brilliant theory of how nonphysical reality operates to people’s attention, thereby explaining their suffering and demonstrating how to alleviate it.
But most people don’t believe in the existence of nonphysical reality. If she were to present them with such a theory, she would only prove to herself yet again how different she was from them. She would then be in danger of accepting as fact her fear that there was no connection between herself and them and likely never would be. There would be nothing left to live for.
Only a sense of direct inner connection with the Source could resolve these issues. Having established it by transcending the mental body and establishing herself in the causal body, the Ranger would no longer feel lonely. There would no longer be any desire to prove anything to herself or anybody else, or any need to be understood by others. There would only be her awareness of what needed to be done next to further the evolution of herself, others, and the universe, by moving from stuckness into flow–and the ecstasy that develops from getting ever closer to Source.
The wooden roof beams represented the naturally evolving, organic developmental process that would point her upward (like an upwardly pointing roof) to the causal body. She would have to allow this process to unfold, instead of blocking it with routine, quasi-ritualistic explorations of Otherwhere that had to conform to her beliefs–and during which she was inaccessible to teaching and guidance by her nonphysical equals or superiors because of intellectual pride.
She would then be able to transcend the dreary gray mood of vairagya, in which the mind gets sick of itself, its experiences and explanations. The fire of true devotion would burn in her and the walls of the mental body would dissolve.
This simulation, designed to teach her the difference between stuckness and flow, would also disappear. She would then have passed a major initiation–the one that would allow her to establish her consciousness in the causal body. The result would be full access to her transcendental soul self and all it knows from its past lives and from its training and work while between lifetimes.
Having achieved this essential stage in the process of self-remembering, she would no longer direct her life along the lines dictated by her personality, but along those dictated by her soul. In fact, she would be one with her soul.