From New Dawn magazine No. 74, Sept-Oct. 2002.
THE OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE AS
Pause for a moment and try to imagine four-dimensional space. It is right next to you, but in a direction you can’t point to. No matter how well hidden you may be, a four-dimensional creature can see you perfectly well, inside and outside.
Rudy Rucker -- The Fourth Dimension
How might these beings be even dimly aware of our presence, if we normally don't have an inkling of theirs? Once more, we're treading on extraordinarily thin ice by even thinking about explanations for this phenomenon. The mere need to attempt an understanding shows us how far afield our thinking has come.
Rick Strassman, M.D. -- DMT, The Spirit Molecule
If these men are correct, then physics is the study of the structure of consciousness.
Gary Zukav -- The Dancing Wu Li Masters
Consensus reality in the "real world" is founded upon corporeal entities beholding three-dimensional space. When out-of-body explorers or UFO abductees claim that they passed through solid walls during their experiences, they are contradicting perhaps the most fundamental perception a human observer can have. Scientism condemns such assertions as either fraudulent or hallucinatory because if they were accepted as legitimate, our entire conception of reality would collapse -- an appalling prospect, challenging the credibility of all self-appointed official observers. Nevertheless, when faced with such an abundance of anomalous data any fearless spectator might suggest that our concepts of dimensional location need to be re-evaluated and clarified.
At its simplest, the experience of three-dimensional space is the awareness of three perpendicular axes: North- South, East-West and Up-Down (e.g., a cube). Two-dimensional space (a flat plane) contains only two of these axes, and one-dimensional space consists of only one axis -- a single line.
Time is also a dimension, though not a spatial one; it is a necessary extension to our awareness of space however, and so we normally describe our reality as three dimensions of space, plus one dimension of time -- the so-called "four- dimensional space-time continuum." Even small children can understand this because we spend all our lives living within its confines: it's an experience so commonplace and taken- for-granted that we never really think about it. (It is, after all, our consensus reality.)
Four-dimensional space, on the other hand, though mathematically describable, is a concept virtually impossible to visualize. That's because progression from one spatial dimension to another follows a logical sequence of perpendicular extension: a plane is merely the extension of a line in a direction at right-angles ("perpendicular") to that line's axis; a cube is created when a plane is extended at right-angles to that plane's axis. This is easy enough to portray as long as we're dealing with three dimensions or lower, but in what perpendicular direction would a cube have to move to create four-dimensional space? Even if you know the secret, the mind boggles and goes into spasms while trying to visualize it.
The reason for this is because we are multi-dimensional entities "serving time" in a three-dimensional spatial prison and brainwashed into believing it's a life sentence without parole or any hope of escape.
To switch metaphors, consider for a moment a Zen Koan -- an existential test of your ability to transcend your perceptual situation:
You are standing on a spot where (judging by the rumbling sounds and trembling beneath your feet), a volcano the size of Krakatoa is just about to erupt. Immediately above your head an enormous fireball, a meteor as big as Manhattan, is only seconds away from crashing exactly where you're standing. A few meters to your front, a tidal wave (over a kilometer high!) is cresting and about to break. Six meters behind you (at Ground Zero), a hydrogen bomb test is in its final few seconds of count-down; to your immediate right, the entire Nazi army from World War II is bearing down upon you with distinctly murderous intentions. And finally, coming up fast on the left, a charging herd of ten-thousand enraged bull elephants is about to stomp you into the dirt.
Koan: in what direction lies escape? (Hint: it's the only "perpendicular" direction available to you, and given the above circumstances you are about to take it whether you want to or not!)
There are other ways of visualizing this: consider the "black hole" or "singularity." A black hole is created when a largish star (about 50 times bigger than our sun) consumes all its nuclear fuel and implodes into its own intense gravity. Anything, including light, approaching within a given critical distance of a black hole is sucked into its whirlpool, never to be seen again. Physicists postulate that such imploding singularities depart from our own space-time to create new parallel-universe/space-time dimensions. (The connections between them constitute the familiar "worm holes" so necessary for Captain Kirk's navigation of the Starship Enterprise.) What appears to us as a black hole implosion in this universe becomes a "white hole" explosion somewhere else -- creating a whole new universe, a whole new dimensional reality:
Relativists realized that there is nothing to stop the material that falls into a singularity in our three dimensions of space and one of time from being shunted through a kind of space-time warp and emerging as an expanding singularity in another set of dimensions -- another space-time. Mathematically, this "new" space-time is represented by a set of four dimensions, just like our own, but with all the dimensions at right angles to all the familiar dimensions of our own space- time. Every singularity, on this picture, has its own set of space-time dimensions, forming a bubble universe within the framework of some "super" space-time, which we can refer to simply as "superspace." (1)
Notice that the rule of perpendicular extension is maintained in the creation of these new universes and that any observers within them would perceive an analogy of our own familiar four-dimensional space-time continuum. (Should they be practitioners of Scientism, let us forgive them for believing that theirs is the only reality that exists!)
Now imagine that you are standing outside on a clear summer's night -- all the stars above the horizon are visible to your sight. Assume (for the purpose of illustration) that the hypothetical XYZ-123 galaxy (one-hundred million light years from earth) is shining brightly. The photons (waves or particles, take your pick) which were emitted from the XYZ- 123 galaxy during earth's dinosaur days, are just now arriving on our planet; they implode through the pupils of your eyes to explode within your brain: "Ah-ha -- yes, there it is! Just above Orion, the familiar old XYZ-123 galaxy," says your mind-observer.
Koan: where do these photons (after their exhausting one-hundred million year journey through interstellar space) go upon entering your own personal black holes (eye-pupils)? The radiation from an entire galaxy is instantaneously transformed into a photo-chemical impulse in your brain, is interpreted by your mind, and then what? And then where? Surely those impulse/particles can't just "wink out" after going to all that trouble to get here! Can they? (To say they are “just converted into brain chemicals” attempts to explain one mystery by another mystery, and doesn’t answer the question at the metaphysical level.)
The matter [falling into a black hole] cannot escape back into the universe we know, yet if it does not disappear at a singularity it must pass into a region of space-time that we do not know. Sometimes such unknown regions are called other universes, the effect of gravitational collapse being to establish a bridge or tunnel into these enigmatic "parallel" worlds. The collapsing star, or whatever matter falls in after it, falls on through the tunnel and out into, presumably, a cosmos much like our own. (2)
Look at it another way: Imagine a point existing in some kind of pre-spatial "void" -- the Tao, perhaps, (whatever that is). Mathematically, a point has zero dimensions, but it exists anyway because consciousness defines it that way. A zero-dimensional point existing in "non-space" probably comes as close to "nothing" as we can imagine, but quantum cosmologists say that our universe was created out of just such a "singularity." They also tell us that nothing can take place without an observer:
The universe is supposed to be everything that there is, and if all is quantized, including space-time, what can collapse the cosmos into reality without invoking consciousness? (3)
The implications of this concept are astounding! If the zero-dimensional point is all that exists, and if it "decides" to "extend itself" and become the universe, by the rules of quantum physics it can't be anything but Consciousness itself! Some might be tempted to define this Primordial Awareness as "God," but let's not, since Scientism insists (regardless of the implications of quantum theory), that the concept of "God" is unnecessary to explain the Cosmos. (Whether you regard this as a non sequitur or not depends on which belief system you use to define your illusions.)
Anyway, the rules of dimensional extension tell us that movement in any direction from a point is perpendicular, so one dimension (a line) is created if the point moves at all. Should it turn from there, two dimensional space is defined; and of course all it has to do next is make one more right-angle turn and we have three spatial dimensions. Should all of these movements happen simultaneously, we have a passable description of an explosion:
The evidence suggests that the Universe was born out of a singularity -- a point of infinite density occupying zero volume -- and that in the first split second the tiny seed containing all the mass and energy in the observable Universe went through a period of exponential expansion, known as inflation. (4)
This "inflation" is the Big Bang that became our universe -- a point of infinite density occupying zero volume (a mind-numbing concept!) "explodes," creating space, time, matter, energy, and anything else we haven't discovered yet. Unfortunately, when most people imagine the Big Bang they visualize it as a three-dimensional event, forgetting that all other possible dimensions must also be factored into the equation. Which is to say: the primordial point explodes (the Big Bang), but because this is a multi-dimensional affair, it is also imploding (the Big Whimper, perhaps), creating all of multidimensional space in one event. If our point is indeed conscious, as quantum theory demands, it follows that consciousness is a-priori to any and all phenomena, and anything created by it is by definition part of it: hence everything that exists is in some way conscious, just as the Theosophists tell us.
Our point's simultaneous explosion/implosion would create a bare minimum of six spatial dimensions: three of space and three of hyperspace, and certainly many more than that. What would they look like "objectively?" Wouldn't dimensions created out of Consciousness have to be "Mind Stuff" -- perhaps a Super Collective Unconscious at least as infinite as the physical universe? Out-of-body shamans do indeed describe Locale-II (hyperspace) as a kind of Supermind, a realm where thought (consciousness) creates mass and energy out of itself:
Superseding all appears to be one prime law. Locale-II is a state of being where that which we label thought is the wellspring of existence. It is the vital creative force that produces energy, assembles "matter" into form, and provides channels of perception and communication. I suspect that the very self or soul in Locale-II is no more than an organized vortex or warp in this fundamental. As you think, so you are. (5)
This empirical out-of-body observation is echoed in quantum theory, which of course is based upon solid, self-consistent, repeatable, scientific experimentation:
To the naive realist the universe is a collection of objects. To the quantum physicist it is an inseparable web of vibrating energy patterns in which no one component has reality independently of the entirety; and included in the entirety is the observer ... In the absence of an observation a quantum system will evolve in a certain way. When an observation is made, an entirely different type of change occurs. Just what produces this different behavior is not clear, but at least some physicists insist that it is explicitly caused by the mind itself. (6)
Physicists describe matter at the subatomic level as a "wave function," and tell us that it is more "idea-like" (i.e. related to awareness) than it is "matter-like." In fact, at the subatomic level, there is no substantive physical world at all -- it's just a vibrating dance of energy, or Consciousness, which may be the same thing! We can deduce this as follows:
Einstein's famous E = mc squared equation demonstrates that matter and energy are two versions of a single phenomenon. Unfortunately, Einstein left himself (as observer) out of his equation. It might more accurately be written as: E = mc squared, divided by X -- "X" symbolizing consciousness (i.e., an observer) which is demanded by quantum theory for anything to exist. If this is at all accurate (and the implications of quantum physics seem to require it), then the lowest common denominator to which reality can be reduced is Consciousness itself.
If Consciousness (what else?) created an infinity of four-dimensional space-time "bubble" universes, each of which is perpendicular to (i.e. "perceived by") that Consciousness, then Consciousness has to be the "Super-Space" surrounding and permeating them all. Since time and consciousness can't be separated from each other without logical absurdity, time could be thought of as a one-dimensional function of Consciousness projected into three-dimensional space. (Thus, the four-dimensional space-time continuum.)
This time-consciousness interface is what sets space "in motion" and is the only way a differentiated point-of-view can experience dimensional reality. Outside of the dimensional bubble-universes (i.e. in the super spatial realm of Consciousness-without-an-object), time does not exist, a fact attested to by psychonauts and mystics since "time out of mind." (Pun intended.)
Each differentiated point is a potential "free agent" which may be arbitrarily assigned to any position in any dimension. Being conscious, they become attitudes or points-of-view within multidimensional space ("God's observers," if you will). Your individual human consciousness is essentially the interface of a point-singularity ("you"), linking our particular space-time bubble with Super-Space, or perhaps more accurately, the Objective Psyche: which is Jung's revised, much better, label for the "Collective Unconscious."
What Jung calls the objective psyche may then be likened to an encompassing energy stratum from which arise varying field activities discernable to the experienced observer through the patterning of image, emotion and drive configurations. These psychic field expressions Jung has called complexes and archetypes of the objective psyche ... The objective psyche exists independently of the ego, but can be experienced and comprehended to a limited extent by the ego. (7)
These complexes and archetypes within the Objective Psyche have traditionally been regarded as "gods," but not as "God" (i.e., as the Objective Psyche per se). The difference between you (or any other differentiated point-of-view) and the Objective Psyche, as such, is the difference between man and "God." The purpose of our incarnations as "points-of- view" is to return to the pool from which we emerged with full gnosis of where we've been and what we've done. (We'll examine the traditions informing this concept in our next article.)
Because our unconscious mind is a two-way wormhole connecting subjective perception with the infinite realms of the Objective Psyche, it is not uncommon for profound insights to emerge from those dimensions into human awareness -- often before their time. Figure 1 is taken from Rene Descartes' posthumous 1667 work, Traite de l'Homme, which illustrates his theory of perception. He regarded the pineal gland as the "gateway to the soul," and in this drawing he hypothesizes how visual perception is concentrated therein. Most of Descartes' theories have been disproved by modern research, but his fundamental intuition in this case is still valid. All that is missing is the concept of the DMT-synthesizing pineal gland (discussed in our last article) as a singularity linking space-time awareness with the Objective Psyche to complete the hypothesis being proposed here.
And I hope my hypothesis is beginning to make sense: Since we experience ourselves as a conscious center (a "point") inhabiting a physical body, which perceives itself as part of a three-dimensional "outside" reality, it is obvious that all external sensory input is perpendicular to our subjective awareness. Which, if you follow the right- angle rule, is to say that CONSCIOUSNESS ITSELF MUST BE IN SOME SENSE DIMENSIONAL! The only direction of escape in Koan-1, then is WITHIN. The only place that the radiation from the XYZ-123 galaxy can go after entering the black-holes of your eyes is INSIDE. This mandates that both Locale-I and Locale-II are INNER dimensions which to varying degrees MIRROR our familiar, externalized space-time. We have the empirical testimony of out-of-body explorer William Buhlman that this is so:
For two years I had believed that I was moving laterally from one area to another within the same dimension, but now the startling truth was apparent. I was not moving laterally but inwardly within the universe from one energy environment to another. (8)
Buhlman goes on to describe what can only be a kind of singularity of consciousness imploding into itself, into a dimension of many dimensions. Here he is, out-of-body, in the Locale-I version of his bedroom, about to enter a typical Locale-II environment, perhaps one of Monroe's "upper rings":
Feeling centered, I stand at the foot of my bed and say aloud, "I move inward." I feel an immediate sensation of rapid inner motion -- I'm being drawn into a vacuum deep within myself. The sensation of motion is so intense that I shout "Stop!" Instantly I stop moving and realize that I'm in a new environment. I am outdoors in a beautiful parklike setting. (9)
Although admittedly rare, this perception is neither new nor unique. The Tibetan Book of the Dead tells us explicitly that all of the bardo realms are "inside of us":
O nobly-born, these realms are not come from somewhere outside [thyself]. They come from within the four divisions of thy heart, which, including its center, make the five directions. They issue from within there, and shine upon thee. The deities, too, are not come from somewhere else: they exist from eternity within the faculties of thine own intellect. (10)
Although the idea that "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" (Luke 17: 21) is a cliché familiar to all Christians, when entertained at all, it is usually understood metaphorically. Seldom do we perceive "inside" literally: as a real, honest-to-god dimension of reality. Here's another version of this ancient idea from the Vedic tradition of India:
The seat for the Gods is indeed within, in the inner being which is wider and far greater and subtler and supple and enlightened and distinguished from the physical being. (11)
Come on! Gimmie a break! (The logical mind wants to know how a vessel can be smaller than its contents.) Although an impossibility in any three-dimensional context, four-dimensional space is obviously not bound by such provincial illusions. Actually, instead of an absurdity to be dismissed out of hand, initiated awareness recognizes immediately that it is dealing with a legitimate dimensional interface when such "impossibilities" are depicted. For example, it is not at all uncommon for UFO abductees to describe the inside of the spacecraft as much larger than the outside:
As strange as it sounds, this bigger-on-the-inside-than- out impression is exactly what a three dimensional creature like ... any one of us might expect to experience when confronted with a four dimensional space. An analysis of the geometry by Stan Kulikowski in the MUFON UFO Journal concluded: "Whether this inside- too- big phenomenon is actual alien technology or deliberate fraud or a subconscious psychological trick of perception, it is nevertheless based on good mathematics and related to the fundamental physics of our universe." (12)
All of the confusion surrounding OBEs, NDEs, alien abductions (and life itself, for that matter), is directly attributable to the difficulty that a consciousness hypnotized by three dimensions has in perceiving "beyond" that illusion. Thus, we project these spaces "outside" of ourselves, and regard our bodies as "vessels" which must be "gotten out of" in order to "ascend" to "higher" realms. (Notice that we can't even discuss the subject without using three-dimensional, "external" concepts.)
Because the imploded dimensions are generally believed to be difficult to visualize, authentic mystical (i.e. hyper dimensional) awareness is greatly handicapped in its attempt to translate what it experiences into terms that three-dimensional chauvinists can understand. Here's another description of this interior reality from the Chandogya Upanishad. Note that it describes the "heart" as the center of awareness. That could be poetic license -- the pineal gland might make a better candidate:
As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars. What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm. (13)
THIS IS AN UNAMBIGUOUS DESCRIPTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS AS FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE! If we superimpose our observation of the hypothetical XYZ-123 galaxy onto this picture, we have photons imploding from space-time into mindspace: inner and outer galaxies connecting, interacting and evolving within the matrix of Consciousness itself. Since we know that the pineal gland (a singularity within the human brain) is associated with out-of-body perception, it's a fair hypothesis that some kind of eye-pineal connection constitutes the focal "point" linking these two realms. "External" images implode into our "eye-pupil-wormholes" to instantly explode via the pineal singularity into interior dimensions of infinite Mind Stuff.
The eye is [the Self's] dwelling place while we wake, the mind [pineal gland?] is his dwelling place while we dream, the lotus of the heart is his dwelling place while we sleep the dreamless sleep. (14)
I won't quarrel about where the pineal gland fits into the above scheme, because if Descartes is correct in his intuition, the pineal is the dimensional aperture that processes sensory input from everywhere in the body. In connection with this, it is highly significant that theorists studying our space-time universe postulate the existence of tunnels, tubes, or wormholes, yoking the dimensions together.
Cosmologists have even proposed the startling possibility that our universe is just one among an infinite number of parallel universes. These universes might be compared to a vast collection of soap bubbles suspended in air. Normally, contact between these bubble universes is impossible, but, by analyzing Einstein's equations, cosmologists have shown that there might exist a web of wormholes, or tubes, that connect these parallel universes ... The Einstein-Rosen bridge acts like a tunnel connecting two regions of space-time; it is a wormhole. (15)
By now it shouldn't surprise us that the experience of passing through a "tunnel" is one of the most universally reported characteristics of out-of-body travel. Later in his career, Robert Monroe founded The Monroe Institute, a non- profit corporation, to scientifically study and induce the out-of-body experience in a wide-range of individuals. Here's one of the first things he found:
As the induction of the OBE state was examined further, one key element did repeat consistently ... In slow motion it "felt as if one were going through a tunnel to get to the light," a classic description that has been brought forth by many who performed the OBE inadvertently or in a near-death situation. (16)
"Classical description," indeed! Can there be any doubt that the following accounts are portrayals of interior-dimensional "wormhole-analogs" which mirror their space-time counterparts? Here is Oliver Fox, describing a visit to some indeterminate realm in Locale-II:
And now it seemed to me there was a sort of hole or break formed in the continuity of the astral matter; and through this, in the distance -- as though viewed through a very long tunnel -- I could see something indistinct which might have been the entrance to a temple, with a statue still further away showing through it ... I was falling, with seemingly tremendous velocity, down a dark, narrow tunnel or shaft. (17)
Subjects undergoing a DMT-induced out-of-body experience commonly describe an identical phenomenon. (DMT: N, N- dimethyltryptamine, a product of pineal synthesis, was discussed in the previous article of this series):
First I saw a tunnel or channel of light off to the right. I had to turn to go into it. Then the whole process repeated on the left. It was intentional that way. It was as if it had a source, further away. It got bigger farther away, like a funnel. It was bright and pulsating ... I had a sense of great speed. Everything was unimportant relative to this. Things were flashing, flashing by, as if from a different perspective. It was so much more real than life. The left and right tunnels joined in front of me. (18)
Dr. John Mack, in his study of the UFO Abduction Syndrome, also describes the tunnel as a common experience among his abductee-informants. These are apparently inter-dimensional doorways through which the Aliens both enter our space and convey their victims into hyperspace.
A forty-one year old health care executive spoke to me of large tubes through which he passed during one of his abductions "into the next plane where there was this light" ... Catherine [another abductee] ... also spoke of a tube or tunnel through which she and others passed from a spirit plane outside space/time back to the embodied physical state on earth. (19)
Then of course, there is the Near-Death Experience (NDE) as described by Dr. Raymond Moody, the pioneer investigator of this unique form of out-of-body projection. In fact, the "tunnel phenomenon" is so ubiquitous that he lists it as one of fifteen symptoms considered definitive of an NDE.
Often concurrently with the occurrence of the noise, people have the sensation of being pulled very rapidly through a dark space of some kind. Many different words are used to describe this space. I have heard the space described as a cave, a well, a trough, an enclosure, a tunnel, a funnel, a vacuum, a void, a sewer, a valley, and a cylinder. Although people use different terminology here, it is clear that they are all trying to express some one idea. (20)
In a later article we will examine the phenomenon of "Remote Viewing," a tactic used by both United States and Soviet intelligence agencies to spy on each other during the Cold War. We will then determine if these specially-trained psychics were actually "out-of-body" travelers in the classical sense of the term as we've defined it so far, but for now it is instructive to examine some representative descriptions of Remote Viewing in light of the tunnel phenomenon under discussion. Here are some excerpts from the remote viewings of Captain David Morehouse:
My phantom body fell through the tunnel of light again ... I began plummeting down the tunnel of light ... I made the long fall down the tube of light and passed through the membrane into the target area ... The fall through the tunnel seemed longer this time and I never hit the membrane at all ... I found myself falling into a tunnel of light and passing into another world. (21)
Here is a description by Captain F. Holmes Atwater, the Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) officer who founded the U.S. Army's Remote Viewing unit at Fort Meade, Maryland. (As described in his book, this particular event was almost certainly a classic "astral projection" OBE):
My kinesthetic sense of motion (like the feeling you get when flying in an airplane) was accompanied by a strange visual perception. I seemed to be moving through a white tube or tunnel, its walls lined with crystalline forms. (22)
And finally, here is another observance by William Buhlman, the out-of-body explorer who (even more than Robert Monroe), defined his experiences within the context of modern quantum theory:
The tunnel experience is much more significant than most people recognize. Not only does it provide substantial evidence of a logical transitional method for consciousness after physical death, but it directly relates to the modern physics theories concerning parallel universes and energy wormholes, as well as to my observations concerning the multidimensional universe. (23)
Yeah, but what about Locale-I (the Sidpa Bardo), which Monroe describes as our own familiar world, though perceived while out-of-body? How that could be regarded as an "inside" dimension?
Imagine consciousness as a dimensional "double mirror" with back-to-back reflective surfaces: one facing outward to space-time, the other facing inward to hyperspace. The evidence suggests that when someone goes "out-of-body" into Locale-I, they are not actually interfacing with the physical world that we touch when "in-body," but with the "etheric double" of the physical world on the other side of the mirror. (Technically, of course, we're not going "out-of- body" at all, but "in-our-body," but for now at least, let's not complicate the nomenclature.) Here's Buhlman again:
Slowly I came to understand that the environment I was observing was not the physical world, as I had assumed. I realized that the structures I normally observed when out-of-body were nonphysical structures ... Now I finally understood why there were slight variations between the nonphysical and physical furniture and other objects. For example, the nonphysical walls were often a different color, and the shapes and styles of some of the furniture and rugs were different. Much of this was minor but nevertheless noticeable ... It appears that we are not observing the physical world from a different perspective, as many believe, but are interacting in a separate but parallel dimension of energy. (24)
In the spring of 1902, Oliver Fox had his first out-of- body experience when his consciousness "woke up" within what he called a "dream of knowledge," but what would today be labeled a lucid dream. It was an anomaly such as Buhlman describes above that shifted his awareness from semi- conscious dreaming to conscious perception of Locale-I:
I dreamed that I was standing on the pavement outside my home ... Now the pavement was not of the ordinary type, but consisted of small, bluish-grey rectangular stones, with their long sides at right-angles to the white curb. I was about to enter the house when, on glancing casually at these stones, my attention became riveted by a passing strange phenomenon, so extraordinary that I could not believe my eyes -- they had seemingly all changed their position in the night, and the long sides were now parallel to the curb! Then the solution flashed upon me: though this glorious summer morning seemed as real as real could be, I was dreaming! (25)
If Locale-I is the other side of our space-time looking glass, then further extension of consciousness into Locale-II with its hierarchies of astral and mental matter is even more difficult to visualize except perhaps as a funhouse hallway of imploding-exploding, wormhole mirrors. For the sake of comprehension it is not improper to retain familiar three- dimensional terminology (e.g., "rings," "planes," etc.) as long as we remember that it is probably only accurate in a metaphorical sense. Since OBE explorers perceive these other realms in "external" three-dimensional terms we can assume that any inner differentiated realm appears to awareness as a three-dimensional construct.
What seems clear is that the out-of-body experience is the projection of a subjective observer into the Objective Psyche: mind imploding into Mind. The perpendicular rule of dimensional progression mandates that realms numerically "higher" than the observer are always perceived as "inside" -- which is to say, related to "Consciousness" rather than to "matter" (whatever that is). This explains why entities existing in numerically higher dimensions can always observe those in numerically lower realms, though normally not the other way around -- unless the observer is "out-of-body."
For example we could easily contemplate two-dimensional beings dwelling in a plane. (Imagine flat creatures moving back and forth within a sheet of cellophane.) To them, however (if they became aware of us at all), we would seem to be "supernatural" entities appearing magically within their midst. (Touch the sheet with your finger: they'd regard it as the sudden apparition of a mystery out of "nowhere." Remember, our concept of "above" can only be comprehended by them as "within.")
If this rule holds, we can hypothesize with reasonable certainty that dwellers in numerically higher dimensions are normally experienced by dimensionally lower entities as INNER EPHEMERA: as voices in the head, spirit guides, channeled entities, and so-forth. (The possible exceptions would be temporary fourth-dimensional "holographic inserts" or "shamanic projections" into three-dimensional space -- such as UFOs, apparitions, ghosts, etc.)
Although seemingly ghost-like or discarnate to us, there is no reason to believe that these ephemeral beings don't experience themselves as anything but "physical" within their own space. Since quantum physics tells us that our own seemingly solid reality is actually energetic or "idea-like," it should come as no surprise that the higher dimensions must also be experienced by their inhabitants as "physical." That means that what we regard as "thought" is perceived as "matter" in the higher dimensions.
As Robert Monroe and other out-of-body explorers have attested, the "non-material" realms have an ascending order of abstraction which can be divided into an indeterminate number of levels, planes, rings, spheres, or bubbles. Those closest to our physical earth are most like earth: those further removed fade off into zones so ethereal that they become almost impossible to portray. Denizens of the nearest realms are described as experiencing their environments pretty much the same way that we experience our physical space-time dimension -- some are even said to believe that theirs is the only reality: for them, earth cannot exist.
When we read the monotonously repetitive data on UFO abductions -- how abductees are routinely transported through solid walls, beamed into spaceships, communicate telepathically with aliens, etc., we have to ponder what kinds of dimensional interfaces must be involved. Almost all serious researchers are now in substantial agreement that the UFO phenomenon is trans-dimensional in nature, though how higher-dimensional entities can "physically" introject themselves into three dimensional spaces remains maddeningly unresolved.
I believe that the UFO phenomenon represents evidence for other dimensions beyond space-time; the UFOs may not come from ordinary space, but from a multiverse which is all around us, and of which we have stubbornly refused to consider the disturbing reality in spite of the evidence available to us for centuries ... The UFOs are physical manifestations that simply cannot be understood apart from their psychic and symbolic reality. What we see here is not an alien invasion. It is a spiritual system that acts on humans and uses humans ... They are part of the environment, part of the control system for human evolution. But their effects, instead of being just physical, are also felt in our beliefs. They influence what we call our spiritual life. They affect our politics, our history, our culture. (26)
Everything we have examined so far suggests that these intruders from a fourth-spatial-dimension constitute the "angels, devils, fairies and elves" who've been interfacing with humankind since the dawn of time. The fact that they accommodate themselves to prevailing cultural illusions tells us immediately that (just like us), they are Ideas (spirits, points-of-view) evolving on some frequency within the Objective Psyche. They and we may even be co-creations -- when fairies fade from credence in space-time, the ideas they represent morph into space aliens to keep pace with current belief systems. Who creates whom?
By now it should be clear that the out-of-body experience (including its near-death variant) and the UFO Abduction Syndrome are but two linked components of a larger underlying reality, the structure of which is quite "alien" to anything granted by general cultural consensus. We are now ready to examine these concepts as they are described by the "traditional counter-culture" -- that ancient body of wisdom comprising what is known as the Perennial Philosophy. This will be covered in the next installment of this series.