Preparing to teach a coming course on metaphysics, I began to contemplate how best to introduce it. I like to unpack knowledge in a way that encourages personal experience. This means I take a person-centred approach, exploring what is the best for each individual. Yet at the same time there are always fundamentals.
So I want to suggest three fundamental skills that are crucial if you want to explore the subtle dimensions of consciousness and cosmos. They are:
• Ability to enter an altered state of consciousness, often called a trance state
• Staying observant, alert and intelligent whilst in the altered state
• Sustaining a good mood that is compassionate, open-minded and open-hearted
Altered States and Trance
The crucial importance of a trance state is that it alters the electrochemistry of your brain, your sensibilities and consciousness. Fields of energy that are normally too subtle for the five physical senses to access, become perceivable.
Some people have involuntary experiences of these states when, for example, they faint or dissociate. They may experience a blur and thinning of the veils.
Many practitioners deliberately take themselves into altered states of consciousness using, for example, plant medicines, ceremony, hypnosis, devotional prayer, mantra and repetitive movement. Others go into these altered states using more contemplative methods such as philosophical study, music, mathematics or meditation.
There is a simple fact here. It is not possible to explore metaphysics and the subtle worlds unless we go into an altered state of consciousness.
Alert and Intelligent
Whichever gateway into the altered state is used, the practitioner can only progress and expand further if they are able to stay observant, alert and intelligent. Watch an experienced shaman facilitating a group in a vision quest. The participants will be fully absorbed by the visions and phenomena. The shaman however is watchful and conscious, centred and grounded, able to lead and guide the experience. This is the difference between a beginner and an adept. The beginner is absorbed in the personal experience. The adept is alert and guiding, respectful of the mystery.
There are many dimensions and pathways in the subtle realms. Without alert and discerning intelligence, people may easily get stuck or lost in delusion.
Good Mood and Love
A good mood is also fundamental.
If the practitioner is over-serious, over-focused and earnest, this constricts the brain, clogs up the electrochemistry and sabotages the expansion of consciousness and altered state. It limits the practitioner to mental fields of energy boundaried by intellectual logic, which are interesting, but there is so much more beyond.
Yes, there are negative energies and what is called evil, but practitioners who are familiar with altered states continuously experience that there is a benevolent essence to the cosmos. You may call it love. To connect with fields and beings of higher energy, it is absolutely necessary to be in harmony with this benevolence and love. And the simple strategy for putting yourself in harmony with this goodness is for you yourself to be in a good mood. Without a good mood, human consciousness is simply blocked off from expansion.
Health and Safety
So there we have three fundamentals for exploring metaphysical dimensions.
• Altered states of consciousness
• Alert and intelligent
• Good mood
Of course, be careful with the method you use for entering your trance states.
There is a middle way here. On the one side you need to be daring and courageous. On the other side you need to wear a health and safety helmet and not put yourself at risk.
It is a path of discernment and wisdom.
Enjoy your psyche and the wonders of exploration.
If you are interested in exploring this area more fully, my course in February may interest you. Click here