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Excerpt 9

Email question regarding astral projection and my lengthy response:

>"Is there a block In my mind somewhere stopping me?"

AHhhhhhh!!!!! I asked that same question TOO several years ago! I went through a couple years of self-torment and misconception trying to figure out what my supposed 'problem' was. You'll never guess what I found the answer to be;

I had no real problem, other than my own ways of thinking and viewing reality.

This is what I see in your case: You don't have a problem. The only block to anything spiritual in you is YOUR OWN CURRENT MANNER OF THINKING. Sounds reassuring huh? Heheh I felt the same way after I was told that too. I was told by one of my teachers that I needed to learn to use my mind in a very different way in order to do things with magick/energy/astral type stuff or to perceive any of it. I didn't understand what he meant at the time, and I mistakenly believed that I had to do something on a mental level, but that is NOT the case. The mental types of thought (the same types of thinking you do while performing a math problem etc.) are NOT the same types of thought/thinking that you need to engage in for what you want to do. What is actually needed, is to TURN OFF that type of thinking to some extent. The only block inside you is that common self-imposed block of rational thought that everyone else in the world who isn't into magick currently has. THIS IS A LEARNED THING.

Explanation (try not to get too confused here, I'll be making reference to the works of Castanada in order to explain possible hows and whys of what is happening):

The adults around you when you were very young taught you to think and act as they did, and you learned to do so by emulating their actions. You also learned to emulate their methods and manners of thought AND, whether you were aware of it or not, you learned to hold your personal energy and perceptive facilities in a particular manner and position in order to fit in and perceive the same reality that the rest of the other humans around you were perceiving. Don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian sorcerer (see works of Carlos Castanada) described how perception occurs in humans. While in altered states of consciousness, Shamans see humans as egg-shaped luminous balls of light (and so do most psychics- they're seeing the aura and energy field of the individual). Within your aura/personal energies, there is what Matus called an Assemblage Point. This is a bright spot within the aura where information is 'assembled' or focused so that the entity can make sense out of what it sees; it's a focal point where perception occurs. Holding the assemblage point in different positions within the aura causes different types of perception to occur. What is happening according to him, is that during any form of perception you're lining up your assemblage point on certain particular filaments of energy that pass through your aura and stretch out into infinity around you. By choosing to have certain groupings of filaments of energy pass through your assemblage point you can perceive particular aspects of reality. Most humans do something quite amazing and disappointing with this; they learn to hold their assemblage points in one position allowing only 2 or 3 bands of energy to pass through it. Those particular 2- 3 bands of light/energy correspond to the perception of solids, liquids, and gasses only. That is why they only see those things in our world. It's amazing that people are able to learn to keep their assemblage points so stable around only a limited grouping of energy bands, but it's also disappointing that they mistakenly believe what they see to be all there is. AND, another disappointing bit of perceptive acrobatics that most humans do is to believe that the world is how they think it, rather than how it really is. (Most people have a preconceived set of views about how the world works etc., and they are constantly shaken up and proven wrong whenever the world and reality refuses to conform to their limited views. They should learn to expand their minds to fit reality and not try to shrink reality down to fit their own misconceptions and limited views.)

However, all this is a learned thing. YOU CAN UNLEARN IT. Don't worry too much right now about my previous explanation, I just gave you that in case you were wondering about possible technical explanations, and to cause you to think some. The important thing is that you realize that you're going to have to PRACTICE and WORK to unlearn your current manner of perception. That was the only thing holding me back, and so far it looks like the only thing holding you back. When I look at your energy, I see rigid mental/airy-level energy forms/structures that represent your current 'programming' or common habitual methods of thought. It's hard for someone to realize, but those structures are YOU and parts of YOU. What you're going to have to do is practice sensing your own energy until you can relax those patterns/structures of thought. It's sorta like having muscles clenched that you don't even realize you have, but once you learn to sense that they exist within you, then you can gradually learn to relax them and open up more.

I'll say this again. There is nothing wrong with you. There are no blocks, other than your own current habitual manner of perception and thinking. The only thing to be done, is for you to PRACTICE thinking (or rather 'not thinking') in a new and different way. This is the same common problem that most people have when they first get into magickal study. It has to do with breaking out of the constraints of the self and one's own erroneous and limited learned perceptions of reality.

To practice opening up your psychic facilities and relaxing the rational/mental 'muscle' that you DON'T need for this type of perception, you could try meditation. I recommend just breathing slowly and deeply with your eyes closed while trying to 'feel' as though you are completely calm and open and relaxed and One with All things. Try to feel the universal energy that underlies and flows through all things, flowing through you. See yourself bathed in white universal light and completely relaxed on all levels. Even try to go through and relax all the muscles in your body one at a time (clench them, and then relax them completely afterward- might help). When a mental/verbal/structured thought comes into your mind, push it gently away and refocus on feeling calm and relaxed. The idea is to gradually learn to TURN OFF the mental chattering that you're probably doing inside your mind. Thoughts of day-to-day common things (the world of normal people) and the internal dialogue (mental chattering about stuff- being hungry, what you're going to do later on, what's on TV etc) will PREVENT any success or future development in magick and psychic skills. You'll need to learn to have a calm quiet mind in order to access your psychic parts.

Ego and self-programming (just a few things to think about for the heck of it):

Another problem with unlearning what other people have taught you has to do with the ego and self-programming. Because all of us learn to accept the common view of the world that everyone else has, it becomes a part of our own inner self-programming. That is why I say to avoid thoughts of everyday things during meditation, since that will reaffirm your connection to those things and bring you away from your goal during the meditation.

Each of us believes that he/she is "Joe Smith" (or whatever your name happens to be), and that we have a particular set of attributes. You might say that you're a happy person, or a depressed person, or an opinionated person etc. What you're doing when you do that is creating an ego. Your ego is "a description of who/what you think you are." It is nothing more than a description, and is therefore really nothing of any substance. Unfortunately even though it is really nothing, it limits us in the number of ways in which we can act and think. People around us usually tell us that we are a particular way or that we exhibit a particular set of attributes/mannerisms, and then after a while we start to believe what they think about us and then we start telling ourselves that we are that particular way or attribute. If someone always tells you that you're a kind and generous person, then chances are you'll start to believe it and maybe tell yourself that you are, for example. The problem with this is that this ego which we create (which is nothing and is NOT the real you) limits the way we see the world. Most people compare what they see with what they already know or are familiar with, and then they immediately make a subjective judgment. Example: Someone throws a rock at another person. Most people seeing this would immediately judge the person throwing the rock as a 'bad' person, and compare the event with their own personal mental movie screen about life and the way they think things are. However, someone with a more Objective view of reality, will simply see a person throwing a rock at another person and not judge one way or the other. This point of view allows that individual to look at the motives of the person throwing the rock, and see what sorts of problems are occurring internally with that person. Good and Bad are subjective judgments created by humans living in a limited world. Objectively speaking, good and bad are only 2 sides of one phenomenon, and both are necessary for existence. This doesn't mean you can go out and throw rocks at people of course, but I'm just discussing a way of viewing things without getting trapped and limited immediately by your own ego and personal views. Learning to go beyond them is the real challenge.

Misc. and random final thoughts:

Don't even bother with too much astral stuff (traveling outside of yourself I mean) until you've gone into your own subconscious and worked on KNOWING YOURSELF and resolving issues. If you don't know yourself very well or how your own energy works FIRST then you'll be more likely to end up delusional and seriously messed up possibly beyond repair. Whether studying shamanism, or traditional ceremonial magick, most practitioners recommend the same thing. Know yourself first. With shamanic sorcery, Juan Matus speaks about Recapitulation (a method of remembering completely and almost reliving past experiences so as to resolve issues and understand those events better), and the Buddhists talk about the Sammasati meditation (the process of bringing up all the memories of childhood into consciousness), while psychoanalysts discuss similar methods of regressing the individual back so that he/she can remember the past and resolve those issues. The reason for this, is that if those past issues about yourself are not brought into consciousness and resolved, then you'll be inviting trouble for yourself by trying to by-pass that step of the process. Forgetting the past is not helpful since those past experiences are still having an influence on you whether you remember them or not, and are therefore still alive and powerfully active within you. The only logical choice is to resolve any and all past experiences so that they no longer hold such power over you.

Example: Because I ignored that step of the process (self-exploration and resolution of personal issues) I was constantly under psychic attack every time I went astral or attempted to explore areas outside of myself. I didn't realize that 'like attracts like'. My own inner negativity and personal emotional problems were attracting the disturbances. I was also very prone to manipulation by other entities since I hadn't yet learned to tell the difference between my own energies and those of anything outside of myself. ALSO, my own unconscious interior motives behind magick (and all things) were influencing me in negative ways and limiting my possibilities for advancement. I didn't realize I had a lack of self-confidence or even why I had it, and I didn't know that I had commonly felt inferior due to my childhood and upbringing. I was certainly surprised when these unconscious internal problems manifested as a delusional megalomaniacal episode where I sought out the pursuit of power and control of others for my own pleasure. I am very fortunate to be alive and relatively sane after going through all that crap (I thank my friends for that). If I'd known all the things I'm telling you now beforehand, then none of that probably would've happened.

Are you beginning to see now why I'm stressing this 'self-knowledge' inner exploration thing so much?

By the way, keep in mind that even a simple daydream is a weak form of astral projection. If you can visualize a scene in your mind, then you are already 1/4 the way to a full projection. There will probably not be a definite observable separation of mind and body that occurs at all when you are finally successful. If you worry too much about when your mind will separate from your body, then it never will because THINKING ABOUT YOUR BODY WILL KEEP YOU IN IT during a projection attempt. If you still feel and believe yourself to be in your body, then you're not going to be able to leave it since you haven't convinced yourself that you're anywhere else first. And like I said before, all you need to do is just lay down, put on some music that's hypnotic and close your eyes, and then strongly visualize the room you're in. Imagine yourself walking around the room and try to make yourself 'see' it mentally as vividly as possible. If you can do that, then you're already projecting! (At least in part- especially if your intent is to leave your body during these experiments- intent has a lot to do with it.) With time, you'll be able to visualize things that can later be proven to be correct. You might try visualizing yourself in a friend's house, and then try to 'feel' where all the people are at within the house, or try to see if you can 'see' or 'feel' any life-forms in the house with your mental visualization/astral sight ability. After a while, your guesses like this will become more often correct. You have to be willing to be wrong at first while learning to access those parts of your mind. You'll know when you're correct when the answer just 'feels' unquestionably right. That's probably the best way I can describe how to learn to do this stuff. After you've been practicing for years at it, it'll get more vivid, more correct, and you'll feel less connected to your body and be able to get back into that state of mind necessary for projection much faster.

The way you 'feel' mental and astral visions is the same way you feel things in dreams. You know how some images and objects in dreams give you a certain 'feeling' that goes beyond normal physical sensation? Like when you can look at a dream image and get an emotion or feeling from it? Well, it's very similar to that.

I was very surprised when I first realized that I possessed the ability to project consciously. This realization came from an event that occurred when I wasn't even trying to project. A very psychic friend of mine approached me in college one day several years back and asked me if I remembered being astral the previous night. I asked him where he had seen me, and he gave an account of how I had projected into a neighboring college dorm room where a few of his female friends lived. He had clearly seen my image walking through that area (since he was almost always astral on a nightly basis in that same area), although he didn't think I was conscious of what I was doing at the time since I didn't seem to recognize or take notice of him during the projection. His account shocked me. In truth, on that previous night I was thinking and visualizing very strongly that very same dorm room, having had a (very short-lived) crush on one of the girls that lived there and was interested in seeing her again. I had indeed visualized myself walking through that area in precisely the same way that my friend had relayed in his account, but never thought at the time that part of my mind could be astrally 'there' while doing so. However, my desire (sexual and emotional) was so great during the visualization, that part of my mind went there on its own. This experience also made me think more about issues of personal privacy. I many times had my uncontrolled sexual fantasies intruded upon the minds of innocent women as they slept or while they were in close proximity to me? Knowing how graphically and compulsively I thought about sex every time I came close to an attractive woman, this thought had me a bit concerned. (Gee, maybe that was why some chicks just didn't find my presence too comfortable back then...cuz they could unconsciously sense my extreme lust for them without consideration of them as human beings first.) Up until then, I had not had any control over my internal energies and could have been doing all sorts of unpleasant things to people without even knowing it. After consideration of this, I made a conscious decision to get more control over those parts of my consciousness and to no longer invade the minds of others unaware, lest I end up doing the equivalent of astrally raping or fondling the innocent and unwilling. By the way, I'm normally not too overly concerned about issues of morality regarding sex, but the thought of doing things against the wills of others without even knowing it really bothered me at the time. It also made me wonder about the effects of sexually compulsive individuals masturbating their freakish fantasies either into creation, or causing psychic disturbances in the minds of others, all the while being unaware of the effects of their actions. (Ok, so I think too much sometimes heheh.)