Exercise of Retrospection – A Powerful Tool That Can Change Your Life

An exercise of retrospection is a powerful tool. With it we gain self-knowledge, insights, and understanding about our behavior and subconscious defects or egos (things such as anger, fear, pride, lust etc.) that have manifested during the day but have gone unnoticed, and as they go unseen they are controlling our lives. As it is said, ‘Life is a series of events’. The flow of the day sets out various events that we go through, most of which bring about egos within us, regardless if we notice them or not. Sometimes we go through difficult or intense situations, a chaotic development of events where it is very hard to be in the present moment and detached from our egos. These types of events can easily pull us in and drag us along, which means that we act unconsciously. Even if the flow of events is ordinary, there are still emotions, thoughts, and/or impulses that manifest within us.

From an outburst of anger, to a subtle surging of envy, in the retrospective exercise we can see all of that and get knowledge about the egotistic state (ego) and how it controls us. This then can change our lives, simply because, in the exercise of retrospection, we are looking at the events from the perspective of the observer, rather than the participant. Continue reading

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Potentials of Astral Travel

Astral travel, the ability to travel outside of the physical body, is an amazing thing to experience and develop. It is said that every person experience this at least once in a lifetime. It seems it is very common for children to experience it, some of them even frequently. Unfortunately, this natural ability for children is lost as we get older. The reason for this is that as children we still do not have all the layers of psychological energies which develop and/or become active as we grow up. Those energies are the multiple inner subjective states, and also the formation of the personality with its conditioned behavioral patterns which then cloud our perception even more. I don’t remember having a conscious out of body experience as a child, but I do know that my dreams were extremely vivid and meaningful.

There are several terms related to astral travel. I will start with astral projection, which is commonly known as projection of our astral body (with our consciousness inside it) out of the physical body and into the 5th dimension, also known as the astral plane. Once out of the physical body in this conscious manner, we can explore this higher dimension, which is referred to as the astral travel.

The astral plane has many levels, separated from one another by their vibrational frequency. All of these levels occupy the same space, just as all dimensions occupy the same space. So for example, our three dimensional world is actually occupying the same space as the 5th dimension. The reason why we don’t see the 5th dimension is because we are on a lower frequency vibration. When we are outside of our physical body and in our astral bodies, we are automatically in the 5th dimension because the frequency of our astral body corresponds to the frequency of the astral plane. There are also higher types of spiritual bodies with which we can travel higher up, like the mental and causal bodies.

Our astral body is part of our spiritual make up; it’s a body which we can use and which we do use every night when we go to sleep. Each night when we fall asleep, our consciousness leaves the physical body and enters the lower astral levels where the dreamers from all around the planet go every night. The subconscious projects images in front of dreamers minds and they see it as a 3D reality. However, it’s not really a 3D reality but a mask of hallucinations projected by our subconscious. If we would become aware that we are dreaming, this mask would dissolve and we would see the reality of the astral world. The difference between usual falling asleep and astral projection is in being conscious/unconscious at the moment when the astral body is detaching from the physical.

The process of astral projection is very simple. One basically needs to lie down in a comfortable position and thoroughly relax the body, which is followed by concentration on one single thing, like for example a heartbeat, third eye, breathing etc. If one manages to maintain concentration at the time when the physical body falls asleep, then one will astral project because that is the moment when astral body detaches from the physical body. The astral and physical body are connected by the so-called silver cord, so there is no need to worry that you will not be able to find your way back. As we always get back after unconsciously venturing the astral world every night, so too we get back when we are out there consciously.

The astral body, as well as our consciousness/soul in it, is indestructible. Physical laws do not apply to it because the astral world has different dimensional laws. You cannot be harmed by falling on the ground from a great height or by flying through the sun etc. The astral world has much fewer laws than the physical world, and because of that we can fly, we can pass the solid objects, we can teleport and much more. Besides, we (the consciousness/soul) are immortal.

The potentials of the astral world are great, some even say “infinite”. You can travel to wherever you wish. You can explore far away places on Earth, our solar system and beyond. It’s a spiritual ability, so it is best to use it for spiritual purposes and ones own spiritual progress. It’s sad to see how many people are keen to use it to fulfill their own selfish desires, such as spying on people, having astral sex, creating ones own fantasy world etc. It is much better to use it to discover your own spiritual purpose, to know why you are here on Earth, where were you before you were born, and where you are going after your physical body dies. You can talk to beings of light, visit sacred temples and advanced extraterrestrial cities and receiving knowledge about things you have never dreamt of. To use it for the purpose of  spiritual awakening is the most productive use of it. You can be guided in this manner by Higher beings who want that you liberate your potential and get to know the Truth about Life.

Self-observation for knoweldge of the self

This exercise is a continuation of the awareness of the present moment exercise which you can find here. Once you are aware of your external world, you gently and in a relaxed way bring your attention to your internal world. You observe emotions, thoughts and any other sensations that manifest within you. If you do that consistently, you will not only notice that those thoughts, emotions, sensations etc. are separate energies from who you really are, but you will also see how they are affecting and controlling your life.

Those inner states are in esoteric terminology known as “egos” (and more and more contemporary psychologists are using this term too). Egos are the inferior part of us – energies such as anger, pride, fear, lust, greed, gluttony, jealousy etc. They manifest in what is known as the five inferior centers of the body – intellectual, emotional, motor, instinctual and sexual center. These energies are part of the subconscious, and the spiritual work deals with transforming the subconscious into consciousness.

In the intellectual center they manifest as subconscious thoughts, which are thoughts not consciously conjured. The majority of the time it is these kinds of thoughts that go through our mind.

In the emotional center they manifest as emotions, and it is easy to notice them there. Emotions which we can feel can vary greatly. There is an enormous range of them, much more then those most commonly known. Usually it’s easy to notice big outbursts of emotions, but there are also subtle ones which can eventually snowball into outbursts or just keep us in low states without us realizing why we feel so low. Emotional center is covering big part of torso.

The motor center is located on the upper part of the back. Egos manifesting in the motor center can take control over our entire body. For example, a person is walking down the street and they hear some unusual sound in the distance. The person might suddenly turn around to see what is happening. This action will happen without the person really consciously deciding to do it. Another example is tapping your foot when waiting.

The instinctual center is a very basic one and is located in the lower part of your back. Usually this center keeps us out of danger, but egos that use it can cause a lot of trouble. The instinctual center can react with fear when there is no danger around, like for example when walking through a dark forest and imagining scary scenarios. Crippling fear then enters into the instinctive center and causes paralyzing sensations. Another manifestation is when you burn your finger on a stove and suddenly pull the finger back. Even though this instinct is a useful thing to have, it is much better when egos in the instinctual center are replaced by consciousness.

The last center is the sexual center and the ego that manifest there is lust. Sensations of lust can be easily observed and noticed, especially when an attractive person of opposite sex is seen. However, lust in the sexual center can also be triggered by fantasizing.

To be aware of what is going on within you and outside of you is really the complete practice of awareness. If you will only practice awareness of the external world, then your inner states will eventually pull you back into a daydream. The consciousness that we are is still very small and undeveloped, and it is like a piece of driftwood in a stormy sea – it is just a matter of time until it will be overridden by the waves of egos. To not allow that to happen you have to guard it by being aware of your egos and in this way you prevent from taking control. Buddha said how consciousness is like a candle flame amidst fiery winds – we need to surround that flame with our hands (self-observation) so that it doesn’t extinguish.

Similarly, like the previous exercise of awareness of the present moment, this one is also simple and after a period of time it becomes a natural way of living. It is the second foundational step towards the First Key for Awakening – elimination of the egos and their transformation into consciousness.

Awareness of the present moment

Being aware of the present moment is a very simple exercise, and it is a fundamental beginning of spiritual transformation. By being aware of the present moment, we activate our consciousness, which is what we are beyond our body, personality, thoughts and emotions. By activating it we step outside of constant stream of thoughts and emotions. Most often we are not aware of the present moment, so it’s necessary to apply an effort to be aware. Being in constant daydreams and thinking about the past or the future is much more common state to be in during daily life. There are many thoughts which pass through our mind without us intentionally thinking about them. Those thoughts then activate corresponding emotions which holds us even more in a state of unawareness.

To be aware of the present moment, you have to use your senses. You can start by becoming aware of what you see and observing the environment in which you are. Then start hearing sounds around you. If you are walking – feel the ground under your feet, clothes on your body, feel the heat or cold. Then notice smells and taste.

To be aware of all the five senses at the same time can be difficult, so just try and use senses that you can. Gradually you will be able to use more of them. Someone once said something that helped me to better understand awareness practice, and that was: “Just surrender yourself to the present moment.” So, feel yourself being in the here and now, and use the senses to ground yourself in this eternal moment. It’s very enjoyable to  have separete awareness practices, such as going for walks (preferably in nature) where you can put all your attention to this practice.

Being aware of the present moment doesn’t mean that one should stop thinking. Using the mind to think is necessary and we could not live our life without it. However, there is a difference between consciously using our mind to think, and having involuntary random thoughts racing through our mind at every second.

The awareness practice is the beginning of a spiritual journey to become more conscious and more in tune with the spiritual side of us. As such, it improves our system on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It benefits us in all spheres of life, regardless of our cultural background or occupation. By being aware, out attention is placed on the outside world and we do things more efficiently and more quickly; it improves all our relationships and we start to understand other people more; dreams get more clear and meaningful, which opens us more for teachings from the astral world.

If we make of this practice a normal way of living, then regerdless of how mundane situations can be, life will never again get boring.

The Water We Seek

Not long ago I found one of poem by Rumi which I found to be inspiring and insightful.  It’s called The Water We Seek

The eye or the spirit that focuses on the transient
falls on its face wherever it goes.
Someone who focuses on the distance,
without knowledge, may see far,
but just as we do in a dream.

Asleep on the bank of a river, lips parched,
you dream you are running toward water.
In the distance you see the water of your desire
and, caught by your seeing, you run toward it.

In the dream you boast,
“I am the one whose heart can see through the veils.”
Yet every step carries you further away
toward the perilous mirage.

From the moment you dreamed you set out
you created the distance
from that which had been near to you.
Many set out on a journey
that leads them farther away from their goal.

The intuitive claims of the sleeper are a fantasy.
You, too, are sleepy; But for God’s sake,
if you must sleep, sleep on the Way of God,
and maybe some other seeker on the Way
will awaken you from your fantasies and slumber.

No matter how subtle the sleeper’s thought becomes,
his dreams will not guide him Home.
Whether the sleeper’s thought is twofold or threefold,
it is error multiplying error.

While he dreams of running through the wilderness,

the waves are lapping so near.

While he dreams of the pangs of thirst,

the water is nearer than his jugular vein.

Gnosis means knowledge

Gnosis means knowledge in Greek. I will say something about my understanding of Gnosis in the way I came to know this concept in the last several years.

“Know thyself and you will know the Universe and the gods.”

This is written on the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delhi, Greece. This phrase in short says what Gnosis is about. It’s about attaining the knowledge of the Universe through the knowledge of oneself. It is not a type of knowledge that we can get by reading it in a book – that is not knowledge, it is information we read. Rather, knowledge is something we directly experience.

Self-knowledge is a knowledge we get by observing our inner world of thoughts, emotions, drives, impulses and all other subconscious elements that we can perceive. This is done by self-observation, a technique taught in Gnostic teachings. With it we start seeing things that are happening within us, things that are driving our actions and which we are not even aware of. We start seeing dark elements of subconscious, such as anger, jealousy, negativity, fear, greed, pride etc. Usually those aspects are thought of as being a part of human nature, something that we just happen to have and need to learn how to live with it. However, that is not so. These elements are not permanent part of who we are. The core of who we are is the consciousness, a spiritual spark.

When we are aware of the present moment, being free from thoughts and emotions, without any worry or concern, just being here and now and simply existing, then we get a glimpse on who we are. It is that awareness that is us.

So the emotions and thoughts are just things stuck to our psyche, and they are things that we can change. We can change the nature of our psyche by transforming those negative aspects of ourselves. Within them are parts of our consciousness, and by eliminating the negative aspects we set those parts of consciousness free and in this way the consciousness grows. That changes everything. The way we perceive world is different, our understanding increases, we see deeper into things, we see more, we get more power to detach from negative states when they manifest, we start seeing that same divine spark in others, we start feeling more compassion and love for others etc.

In this way then, by applying techniques such as self-observation and elimination of the negative inner states (and later on alchemy), we start getting self-knowledge. We start to know about the enslaving negative forces within us, and we also gradually know the core of who we are. And then, according to esoteric teachings,  we start to know “the Universe and the gods”, because all life in its core is of the same substance. But to truly know who we are is a great quest, and it takes a long time of dedicated effort to attain this great knowledge.