Have you ever found yourself drifting off into a daydream and starting to see images filtering slowly into your consciousness? Were they a rerun of a long-forgotten life event that has suddenly come up for review? Or perhaps you cannot identify even one thing that you are looking at. Where has your mind gone?
I think the first time this subject confronted me was in the Spirit Horse Camp in North Wales back in 2000. Howard was rattling while we were in the bear trance posture and I shape-shifted into a huge black bear. I thought to look down at my hands and was astonished to see that my fingers had been replaced by long black claws. I wanted to swipe at something. The vision and feeling were very clear, yet I was aware I was in a darkened kiva in the UK. How could I still be in my body and yet be seeing myself as a bear?
Through the years, I have engaged in all sorts of methods to achieve altered states of consciousness including hypnosis, sonic driving, visionary substances, shamanic journeying and more. Some experiences didn’t seem to produce clear results or ones that made sense, while others were like being in a 3D Technicolor version of an alternate life.
Sure, we can discuss the chemical and neurological reactions in the brain and body when we ingest something like LSD or mushrooms. But how can just altered brain chemicals explain visits with departed loved ones, remote viewing, traveling to other worlds or incredible physical healing?
Being a shamanic practitioner with years of experience navigating altered reality, I’ve been asked where we “go” in these journeys. My answer is that I don’t believe we go anywhere.
The Appliance of Science
In order to explain my point of view I have to talk a little about how I see the universe. We hear a lot of talk about how everything is nothing more than energy, and if you study advanced physics or yoga you can get an understanding of how this could be a possibility.
Without channeling my inner scientific geek too much, let’s just accept that this might be true. For me, this is a great way to then explain things like our different energy bodies, parallel universes and things like ghosts and advanced master spirits.
Having a science degree, I had a pretty good understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum. Everything vibrates at different frequencies, some of which the human physical body cannot perceive. Have you ever heard or felt a really low sort of rumbling? In wave form on a graph, that’d look like a very long, stretched out inverted S.
How about a skull-piercing, high-pitched whistle? On a graph, its wave form would likely look like a zipper with the waves jammed right up next to each other Simply put, this means that these two sounds are operating at different places on the spectrum.
So what if, beyond where we can see and hear, there are other things that exist? There are: sounds and light that are outside of our perception but can affect a physical body. Think of ultra-violet light or a dog whistle.
So taking this idea even farther, what if outside the energy bands that we consider to encompass the known universe, there are still more bands with seemingly imperceptible “life?”
From a shamanic point of view, these bands are populated with all sorts of beings, from low-level entities to the angelic realm. This is where ghosts reside, although their energy is much lower than what we would consider master healing spirits. There are dimensions full of beings you wouldn’t want anything to do with, and others so heavenly that they make you feel as though you could remain there forever.
A Small Turn of the Dial
Think of all this like the old dials on analog radios. Each small turn takes you to a different place: a new channel playing music different than the one you just left. We turn the knob until we find our favorite station or music that we like, and we leave it there.
So to me, the chosen station represents where we go during a journey. We don’t actually move our physical body elsewhere, but through the trance state we start turning the knob until we find a station that we can perceive. We use our energy bodies to perceive those other worlds and move around in them at times.
Someone who starts their journey with intent will usually end up where they wish. For instance, if I am taking a classic shamanic journey to the Lower World to meet with my animal guides, this specific intent will take me there. However, if I am taking a substance or trancing without intent, I may see a series of unrelated or unrecognizable things.
One example I can give of this is watching what I call the jungle TV after an ayahuasca ceremony has been closed. I will go back to my hut, crawl under the mosquito net, and more visions will start seeping in. Time and again, I lie there thinking, “What on earth am I looking at? I don’t recognize a thing!”
But what if I’m not looking at anything earthly? One night, in frustration I asked this same question again and heard the answer: “What makes you think you are looking at anything on earth?” I think that made me sit up straight as the dominoes fell. Of course I didn’t recognize anything because it wasn’t anywhere that I’d seen before. Once I was able to let go of the need to classify and make sense of what I saw in my visions, I was able to just explore and feel into those strange new scene.
In conclusion, we stand with one foot in ordinary reality – what we perceive as this physical world, and non-ordinary reality; the other dimensions that we access through our spirit bodies. Somewhere in between is the bridge between the worlds.
How will you find yours?