Have you ever wondered what Jesus Christ really meant when he said that heaven is within you? He wasn't encouraging people to build a tipsy, tall tower of Babel to reach heaven. Physical structures, after all, have limitations. People who can reach a higher state of consciousness do not.
Dante's epic The Divine Comedy also suggests levels of heaven and hell that could be explored in a state of higher consciousness. This is a personal journey that does not require tall towers, ladders, or secret tunnels. It is not a physical journey, but a journey of spirit.
Countless people everywhere make this journey into the world of spirit almost daily. Shamans, yogis, Zen Buddhists, and Eckists represent but a few of the many groups of people who experience the non-ordinary worlds of higher consciousness. I'm also reminded of Sybil Leek who, in Diary of a Witch, said that future explorers who travel outside the Earth might be surprised to find that a witch had been there first. Of course, she did not mean they'd reach these distant destinations by rocket ship, but by astral travel in a heightened state of consciousness. Now even modern science suggests that there are realities within realities and universes within universes, separated by only the narrowest of folds in space.
There are many very practical applications for the sort of mind-boggling travel that higher consciousness affords. One can access the fabled Akashik Records where all information on all subjects past, present, and future is stored. Psychics and mystics throughout the centuries have explored the Akashik Records. In addition, one can explore the nonphysical world of spirit where angels, devas, saints, and nature spirits live.
Curiously, one of the most practical applications of this sort of astral travel may be healing the physical body. Indeed, there are models for distance healing and also personal aid. We have already seen how people in a heightened state of awareness can heal through the projection of thought forms. Modern physicists are beginning to see thought projections as a form of energy, so even pragmatists with little belief in mysticism or magic must recognize the energized possibilities of thought forms when properly directed. Distance healing is also possible in an out-of-body experience or astral travel that one can establish through heightened perception and a shift to higher consciousness. In that state, a person is not restricted by physical limitations, since this is a nonphysical world.
Dr. Erik Peper, in researching the state of empathic healers who transfer energy to others in therapeutic touch, concluded such healers indeed reach a level of heightened alertness, which he classified as rapid beta brain activity. This is a state of "superalertness" similar to the keen alertness that Zen masters have been observed to reach in closed-eye meditations. In this state, the healer is acutely focused on one thought or activity, tuning out all peripheral distractions.
You can also heal or comfort yourself in this manner. In this heightened state of consciousness, you can focus on any area of pain or injury and send healing energy to that area in thought forms. Similarly, you can use your hands to help or to heal, using your hands to project and conduct that healing energy, as Dr. Dolores Krieger describes in her book The Therapeutic Touch. She used her book to train more than a hundred thousand nurses and other healing professionals around the world.
Many people live in chronic, ceaseless pain or discomfort, however. For them, it's a challenge just to manage their pain. Consider, then, how a shift in perceptive awareness can put them into a state of focused consciousness. In that state, it is possible to tune out all distractions and physical sensations. We have seen, after all, how a person deadens physical sensations to focus perceptive awareness and enter a state of heightened consciousness. Simply meditating for them could be an escape from physical pain, for as long as they can sustain this heightened state of consciousness.
This sort of escape from discomfort would also work for people suffering from confinement. Prisoners can enter a heightened state of consciousness through focused perceptive awareness, and escape their surroundings for a time. They can travel in this state, unrestricted by the physical limitations of their surroundings, and enjoy freedom and mobility through astral projection. There is no limit to where they can go in this nonphysical reality, of course, and no time restrictions, either. There is no time in the nonphysical world. A person can experience a whole vacation in a few seconds. As agents of change in control of our nonphysical reality, we control the duration of events we choose to experience.
Certainly, there are practical and noble applications of time manipulation. All are worth practicing, particularly the selfless acts of compassion and healing.
Personally speaking, however, I prefer to enter a heightened state of awareness in the "here-and-now" of the immediate world around me. This is the way the ancient shamans often used it. Yes, they would enter the spirit world and bring back helpful information to their people. They would also become one with the world of nature around them. They would speak with the raven and listen to what it said. They would talk to the trees, the wind, and the mountains. Like my friend, the children's author in Oregon, I would like to get to know more trees like Omarr, the inspiration for his many stories.
There is more wisdom in the world than the wisdom of people, to be sure, and certainly more to heaven and hell than is written in our philosophies.
* A quiet, secluded room where you can be alone
* Elongated pad for reclining on the floor or a straight-back chair
* Dim lighting
* A watch or clock somewhere in the room, but not near you
Check and record the time when you begin.
Either lie on your back on a pad on the floor, or sit erect on a straight-back chair, with your feet planted firmly on the ground. (In either event, make certain that your shoes are removed and that you are comfortable with loose-fitting clothes. It would be ideal to find a quiet, secluded room or setting where you are neither uncommonly hot nor cold.)
Let your body become numb, as you enter a state of focused awareness. Be quiet and still. Order your mind to cease all other activities and become still without internal dialogue. Tune out all sounds and distractions around you. As you enter a state of heightened consciousness, focus on one specific area of your body that you would like to feel better. Picture that part of your body only. Send healing thoughts to that part. Energize your thoughts with a projection of your will.
Be conscious of the will center in the abdominal area of your body. Picture energy pulsing from your will center toward the area of your body that you are focusing on. Send thoughts of healing green light to surround that area of your body. Energize this green light with your will. Do not stop until you feel this part of your body beginning to tingle, or coming to life from the numbness that has frozen your entire body during this exercise. What does it feel like? Get in touch with that part of your body. Let it talk to you. What does it tell you?
When you have achieved this sensation in that focused part of your body, wait awhile before you get up. Do not get up too suddenly from this heightened state of consciousness. Your body has been fast asleep. Getting up too suddenly can be very unsettling and a little dangerous, somewhat like stumbling half-asleep out of bed.
When you do stand up, check your clock or watch. Note how much time has elapsed since you began. Did it seem that long to you? Did you experience timelessness in this state of heightened consciousness?
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. ©2002. www.llewellyn.com.
Perfect Timing: Mastering Time Perception for Personal Excellence
by Von Braschler.
About the Author
Von Braschler (Minnesota) is a former editor and publisher of community newspapers and magazines. A lifelong Theosophist, he has led workshops on energetic healing, meditation, and Kirlian photography. He is a certified massage therapist who specializes in pet massage. He is donating half of all personal profit from the sale of this book to animal charities.