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Archive for October, 2008

Quote:

“Anyone’s intellectual system may be very respectable, but any system has its opposing one. And neither one nor the other are the Truth. It is better to explore ourselves in order to know ourselves so that one day we directly experience what is real – the TRUTH.

Samael Aun Weor

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This question has always fascinated me, “what happens when we die?” I don’t know why it has, but it is something I have deeply contemplated since I can remember.

My Mum was killed on April 15, 1995. It was Easter Saturday. When someone close to you dies then you really contemplate death profoundly.

I had a lot of theories about it, and I had a lot of beliefs. But I never really knew. But through astral travel this is something I have begun to personally investigate, and I’ve verified at least part of what happens when we die.

When I first took the Astral Travel and Dreams Course in 2006, I was taught that our psyche is made up of 3 components;

  1. The Consciousness which is who we really are, the spiritual part within – it is the part that is ‘aware’. This makes up 3% of our psyche. This is the eternal part of us that goes on from lifetime to lifetime; it never dies.

  2. The subconscious or ‘egos’ which are our multitude of thoughts and emotions, which comprises 97% of our psyche. These egos also carry on through multiple lifetimes unless we eliminate them with the spiritual work.

  3. The personality, which is the vehicle through which both the consciousness and subconscious can manifest. It is made up of mental matter, and is formed by the age of 7 years old. It is essentially everything we acquire over the course of our lifetime; it is formed by our experiences and contains all the skills we learn. Like the physical body it is only used for one lifetime, and upon death it is discarded in the astral plane and gradually disappears. When people see ghosts, they are generally seeing the personalities of deceased people.

This last part really grabbed my interest… personalities of deceased people… if what they were saying was true then I would be able to find my Mum’s personality in the astral! I was SO excited by this – something I could actually investigate for myself!! (If you don’t know what astral travel is, read this post).

This was my driving force for learning how to project. Not only did I attend the lectures in person at the Melbourne Gnostic Center, but I simultaneously took the course on-line and followed the book. And I practiced every technique they taught me with vigor. I had a goal and I was determined to get there.

About 6 weeks into the course I projected for the first time. However to my dismay I found it terribly difficult to even stay in the astral, let alone find Mum there. But I didn’t give up. I kept practicing and practicing and slowly learning. I realized I had to start small and work my way up, so I temporarily put my mission to find Mum aside and focused on learning how to astral travel and to explore the astral realm.

A few months later I had a number of astral experiences under my belt. I was practicing really hard; in addition to the projection exercises at night I was being aware during the day, doing mantras, concentration practices and awareness walks. I focused all my energy day and night to astral travel, and I was getting some great results (no doubt I was also getting a lot of spiritual help too on account of my tremendous efforts).

By this stage I had gone on to more advanced courses with The Gnostic Movement, when the topic of death was covered in greater depth. I decided to pursue my original goal once more.

After several failed attempts I was determined to find her, and one night I did just that! I projected into my bedroom, then I asked my Divine Mother (the feminine aspect of my own inner Being) to take me to see Mum and I took a little jump. As I did so I felt myself being pulled backwards at tremendous speed – faster than you can comprehend, and within a second or two I was standing in front of Mum.

When I say I was standing in front of Mum, it was her personality that was before me. The real Mum, her essence or ‘awareness’ (the eternal spiritual part), had moved on. But her personality from this life was before me – she looked exactly the same as she did when she was alive! She knew who I was and I could talk to her, but it was as though she was in a deep day-dream. I walked up to her and hugged her, and it felt so good to hold her. I asked her how she was, and she said she was okay.

I had read in the course material that personalities of deceased people aren’t able to process any new information, they are stuck in the past. So if you were to ask them questions like ‘do they know they are dead’ they get very confused. I didn’t want to distress her, so I didn’t ask her anything like that. I didn’t need to, I could tell that she was unaware, it was as though she was in a Valium haze or something. It was just so good to see her and hold her, and I told her so.

I was so focused on finding her that I didn’t really have a plan of what to do once I had found her. Then I thought about how much my brother would love to see her, and I decided I would take her to him. I told her we were going on a little trip, put my arm around her, and holding onto her I flew up into the sky.

I remember looking down at the houses and streets below me, thinking ‘Gosh I have no idea of the direction to get to Ben’s house from up here’, and I was terribly frightened that I would fall into a dream so I was focusing with all my might to stay aware and conscious. Eventually somehow we made it to Ben’s house and we landed at the bottom of his driveway. His car was parked in the drive with the trailer attached to the back of it, so we walked around this and I led her up to the house.

Everything looked exactly the same as in the physical, only what is normally the front window of the house in the physical was to me the door. I left Mum outside and went in to find my brother. He was on the couch in the lounge room, and excitedly I told him Mum was here! To my dismay he was angry and upset that I had brought her there and started yelling at me, and he didn’t want me to bring her inside. I couldn’t understand and tried to reason with him but he was totally irrational. I looked at Mum outside and she was standing there with a terribly confused look on her face, and I didn’t know what to do…

That’s all I can remember, I must have fallen into a dream at that point and lost consciousness.

When I woke up I remembered the experience – it was crystal clear as though it had happened while I was awake. I was confused about the window of my brother’s house being the door, but everything else was like a day-time experience. I called him on the phone and asked if he remembered seeing me but he didn’t remember a thing, he was obviously in a dream himself at the time. Although he did tell me he had fallen asleep on the couch where I found him. He also confirmed his car was parked in the driveway with the trailer attached as I had seen it in the astral. Interestingly, when he enters or leaves the house in the astral, he does so through that same window.

So I was able to verify that part of what happens when we die in the astral. Now I want to verify what happens to the consciousness (the ‘awareness’) after death, which is the real ‘us’; the spiritual part that continues to live. I learned the theory of what happens to the consciousness in the advanced courses offered by the Gnostic Movement (and so far the theory has checked out to be correct) but until I can verify that part of it for myself it will remain a theory. I also want to verify reincarnation by investigating past lives in the astral.

I’m just SO glad to have been given the tools and ability to do so!

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Concentration is the key to astral projection; if you can focus your concentrated mind on one thing at the moment sleep arrives you will consciously split from your body, it’s that simple.

Actually it’s not simple at all, it just sounds simple! Being able to concentrate and focus on one thing is harder than it sounds, and being able to hold that concentration as you fall to sleep is even more of a challenge. The good news is it is a skill that can be learned and gets better with practice. And being a learned skill means anyone can do it, even you!

One of my favorite practices to project is concentration on the heart, and I projected with this practice earlier this week. Not only does the heart provide a steady, rhythmic beat which you can anchor your attention upon, the heart is said to have a special esoteric significance as well (which I will get to a bit later).

When I first began this practice I found it very difficult to perceive my heart beating at all, but with perseverance it now comes easily to me. If you have difficulty yourself, here are some techniques that may help:

  1. Make sure you begin with a really thorough relaxation. The more relaxed I am the easier it is to perceive my heart, so I make sure to really focus on relaxing my body and removing any tension before I begin the practice.

  2. If you can’t perceive your heart at first, take a few deep breaths – this stimulates the heart and increases the intensity of the beats.

  3. If you still can’t perceive the heart, then simply imagine the heart beating inside your chest until you begin to actually perceive the beats.

  4. Look for the pulse in other areas of the body such as the finger-tips. When you become aware of your pulse, combine this with your imagination of your heart beating until they become one.

Once you detect the beating of your heart, focus your full attention on the rhythmic beats. Gently hold your attention there and if thoughts arise then let them go and return to the rhythmic beating. This is a soothing, relaxing practice.

There are some variations to this practice. You can either focus just on the heart itself, or you can focus on the pulse in different areas of the body. You can keep moving your attention all around the body detecting the pulse as you go, until you can feel your whole body pulsing.

You can also combine this practice with a visualization of the heart, exploring what the heart looks like, it’s color, its texture, its various chambers, arteries and veins and how it works (you may like to study some pictures of the heart to assist with the visualization). Keep your focus squarely on your heart until you project.

The Heart Chakra.

The heart chakra is one of 7 major chakras (or energy centers) of the astral body, and each have their own corresponding psychic faculty.

As the name suggests, the heart chakra is located in the center of your chest in the area of the heart. The psychic faculty related to this chakra is intuition, the faculty more familiar to the majority of people, and certainly a handy faculty to have! Intuition is that hunch you get, that subtle feeling that tells us information that is beyond the rational mind. Intuition is also essential to correctly interpret dream symbolism and to understand what dreams mean.

The heart chakra and its faculty of intuition can be temporarily activated with the use of the mantra ‘O’. A mantra is a series of sounds, vowels or words that have a vibrational affect upon us. Just think about the affects various sounds can play on our psyche – consider the soothing sound of a meandering stream, compared to the agitating sound of a car alarm!

The Mantra ‘O’ is pronounced as ‘oh’, only elongated; ‘Ooooooooooo’. You gently inhale through the nose, and as you exhale through the mouth you pronounce the mantra. You generally start out loud, and gradually take the mantra internally. (If you are practicing this in a group you don’t need to be in time with each other).

At the same time as you pronounce the mantra, you can visualize the chakra spinning. It spins in clockwise direction, lying flat like a plate on a table. You can either visualize it as a glowing disc, or as a lotus flower with 12 petals. It is represented by the color green, so you may like to incorporate this into your visualization also.

To permanently activate this and other chakras, a serious spiritual work must be undertaken (more about this gnostic work can be found at Gnosticweb).

The Esoteric Significance of the heart.

God as Father is Wisdom. God as Mother is Love.
God as Father resides in the eye of Wisdom…
God as Love is found in the Heart-Temple…
Love is infinite tenderness… love is the life that beats in every Atom as it beats in every sun.
…Love is felt in the depths of the heart.
– Samael Aun Weor

We get assistance with our spiritual work from spiritual beings, and the ones that work most closely with us are our own Divine Parents, our Divine Mother and Divine Father (the female and male aspects of our being). Our Divine Mother teaches and guides us, helping us through the psychological gymnasium of life, while our Divine Father offers us protection. It is also our Divine Mother that has the power to destroy egos.

We can see numerous depictions of the Divine Mother in the various religions – the Virgin Mary in Roman Catholicism, the Goddess Kali in Hinduism, Isis in ancient Egyptian religions, and many Pagan religions have a Mother Goddess, just to name a few.

When in the astral, you can ask your Divine Mother for a spiritual teaching as She knows what we most urgently need to learn. If I want to travel somewhere, I usually ask my Divine Mother to take me, and as I do so I take a little jump. When I do this it feels like I am being pulled backwards at great speed and *poof* I am instantly there.

An atom of one’s Divine Mother is said to be located in the heart. I like to use a visualization of the heart as a spiritual place to get touch with my Divine Mother.

There are two variations on this practice. One is to visualize the heart as a temple that you can explore and inside find your Divine Mother. The other is to visualize it as a beautiful garden, and in the middle of the garden a Divine Lady is seated on a throne. I like to incorporate these visualizations together; I begin by focusing on the beating of my heart. Once my mind begins to slow and I go deeper into the practice I visualize my physical heart. I explore my heart in detail, then I make myself very small and go inside my heart. As I get to the center there is a spark of bright white light, and I go into the light and find myself in a bright, beautiful garden, and at the center of the garden is a temple where I can find my Divine Mother and speak with Her. It is important to incorporate all your senses while doing this visualization.

While I have successfully projected by concentrating on my heart itself, I have yet to project while visualizing my heart as a spiritual place. However there is much to be said about this practice even if you don’t actually project – aside from this being an amazingly beautiful practice, in deep meditation I have been able to connect with my Divine Mother and gain valuable information. It has also helped to build my relationship with Her.

But I think it would be AMAZING to actually go there in the astral, so this is something I am going to keep working on!

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I thought this 6 minute video was simply mind-blowing! This universe we live in is so HUGE and we are so tiny that you can hardly get your head around it!

When I am feeling overwhelmed by something, I like to remember this video to give me some perspective to help me deal with it appropriately. In the scheme of things whatever it is, is nothing.

“If you consider how long the world existed [before] you, and how long it will exist after you, you will find that your life is one single day, and your sufferings one single hour”.
Jesus
‘The Nag Hammadi Library’

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I recently found out that a dear friend of mine is dying of cancer. He has been given 6-12 months to live.

He said something to me today that was deeply profound…

This cancer has really opened my eyes. Life is now, not the future or past, but now. You can’t pick your future and you can’t change the past. I am doing all I can NOW so when I am on my death bed, I wont have ANY regrets. My point is, live in the now. It is really hard to do, but once you realize nothing else matters but now, it is a breeze”.

Why is it that it is so hard to live in the present moment? Why does it take something like cancer to really drive it home that nothing else matters outside of right now? If you don’t live in the present moment then you aren’t really living at all.

I’ve been studying Gnosis for 2 years now, trying to be aware of the present moment and continually forgetting myself, becoming fascinated and struggling to maintain that awareness. I’ve listened to Belsebuub say so many times how important it is to make use of every opportunity and not to waste the moment. But when my friend said this to me today, it held more truth than ever before.

Look at life from the perspective of my friend, imagine you only had 6-12 months to live. It’s a shame it takes cancer to truly understand the value of now and to make living in the present moment a breeze.

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What is Gnosis?

Gnosis or ‘Gnostic’ is not to be confused with ‘Agnostic’. An ‘Agnostic’ is someone who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God, and to whom the ultimate reality of things is unknown.

A ‘Gnostic’ on the other hand, is someone who possesses esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters through direct experience. Gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge”, specifically referring to experiential knowledge, rather than intellectual or conceptual knowledge.

Gnostic teachings are not intended to be an intellectual affair; true understanding is acquired though direct experience. As such the cornerstone of Gnosis is the practical application of the teachings. The gnostic student must verify the teachings for themselves as opposed to believing or disbelieving them. This personal verification leads to true knowledge.

It is knowledge gained through awareness and self-observation. Awareness of the present moment is achieved by observing the world around us through the physical senses, and at the same time observing inwardly our thoughts and emotions. It is through this observation that we can gain an understanding of our psyche; an understanding which leads to change.

That is the whole point of Gnosis, to acquire self-knowledge so as to change; to eliminate negative subconscious drives and impulses such as anger, hatred, greed, lust etc and to increase our consciousness, leading to liberation and enlightenment. That is, to transform ourselves from an animal with an intellect, to a truly spiritual being.

There are three key Gnostic practices that are essential for this transformation;

  1. The elimination of the egos (these subconscious drives and impulses),
  2. Alchemy, which is a practice where the energies in a person are transformed, and
  3. Helping others spiritually, for which one receives direct spiritual help in return.
“My advice to you, whoever you may be.
Oh! You who desire to explore the mysteries of nature.
If you do not discover within yourself what you seek,
neither will you find it without.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house,
how can you aspire to find excellencies elsewhere?
Within you is hidden the treasure of treasures.
Oh! Man, know thyself and you will know the Universe and the Gods.”
(Inscription at the entrance of the Temple of Delphi in Greece)

Learn more about what Gnosis is here

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Astral Travel

When I tell people about astral travel (otherwise known as out-of-body experiences or OBEs) I get mixed reactions. Some people react with open-minded skepticism, where as others flat-out disbelieve it, putting it down to some trick of the mind. But then you speak to those who have experienced it – as I have – and they will tell you the phenomenon is just as real as the reality you find yourself in right now.

If you’ve not had an OBE yourself, the concept may sound like something from a bizarre science fiction movie. But in actual fact it is something that is very natural, very normal, and something we do every single night when we go to sleep, only we usually aren’t aware that we are doing it!

Astral projection is when your consciousness leaves your physical body and goes into the astral plane. When we do this consciously it is called astral travel, or an out-of-body experience.

We are multi-dimensional beings. Our physical body resides in the physical plane, which is the 3rd dimension (length, width and height). We are subject to time, which is of the 4th dimension. But our psyche resides in higher dimensions, with the 5th dimension being the realm of our thoughts and emotions. It is in this 5th dimension that we find the astral plane.

The 5th dimension is not some far away place – all these dimensions exist simultaneously right now, as though they over-lap each other. And the various parts of us reside in these various dimensions, all at once.

There are 3 ways you can have an out-of-body experience. I have only ever experienced the first way, and that is when you go to sleep. Every time we go to sleep our conscious leaves our physical body and goes into the astral plane, but I will explain about this in much more detail in a moment.

The second way is to have a near-death experience, and by this I mean when a person is either close to death or is clinically dead, but is later revived. There are numerous accounts from all over the world of people who have found themselves outside of their body after experiencing some severe trauma. Often these include descriptions of a white light or tunnel. I have never experienced this for myself so I won’t comment about it any further.

The third way to have an OBE is at death itself, as the astral plane is where we initially go after we die. I will talk more about the astral and death in another post as it relates to an astral experience I had with my deceased mother, but for now I want to talk about the astral and sleep.

From the moment you wake up, there is a constant stream of thoughts going on in your head. You go from your bed to the shower thinking all sorts of things, like what you have planned for the day, what you are going to wear, what you are going to have for breakfast, revisiting conversations you had the day before etc. This constant stream of thoughts continues the entire day, and the vast majority of our waking moments are spent in a perpetual day-dream.

This process continues when we go to sleep at night, and our day-dreams become our night dreams. At the moment of sleep our consciousness leaves our physical body and enters the astral plane, but usually we are not aware of this because our thoughts project as images onto the astral plane and instead of seeing what is really there, we find ourselves in a dream – lost in these subconscious projections of the mind.

But the astral is a very real place, just as real as the physical. And you can learn to experience the process of astral travel consciously, just as I have.

Astral travel is perfectly safe, it is as safe as sleeping – after all as it is part of the naturally occurring process of sleep. Every morning you wake up safe and sound in your bed, so being conscious of the process doesn’t change this.

And it is an amazing place too. The laws that govern the astral are different than the laws that govern the physical, for example there we can fly and go through walls etc. We can also get teachings from spiritual beings and investigate amazing things.

I had my first conscious OBE in 2006, after taking a free course in ‘Astral Travel and Dreams‘ run by The Gnostic Movement. Since then I have had many OBEs, and they have changed my life in the most profound way.

To actually experience yourself outside of your body, to know you exist independently of your body, completely changes the way you perceive life. It is one thing to believe something, but it is a whole other thing to actually experience it.

Maybe you don’t believe me, maybe you think it is all in my head. Or maybe you are open-minded to the possibility. Either way you will never know for sure unless you experience it for yourself. And I really encourage you to do so, no doubt it will change your life too!

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