Updated: Dec 30, 2020
I recently wrote about my encounter with the snake and how it helped me to have the precious experience of being 'out of the box of the mind' ( My Sister Snake ). There are many experiences people have with this throughout their lives, but sometimes just don't' realise or recognise it for what it is. And unless they are involved with arts, others around them may dismiss and not validate their 'out of mind' experiences.
Being out of mind is generally not considered a good thing by the mainstream anyway and we are actively encouraged to stay firmly within the accepted and very strongly defined parameters. Children are taught to fear and feel shame about the out of mind experiences and as adults, people often feels shame and fear that they may be going crazy. So they often don't discuss or talk about them.
And it is not the outside that really is the issue. The nature of inner personal reality means that as the individual internalises those parameters, they construct the inner walls that keep the person within a very small space of their inner self. Their inner world then consists of the 'tried and tested' and approved of routes and spaces within which they move and reside. All this time ignoring the quiet voice of the 'larger' self, and fearing and denying everything that does not conform to this idea that they are small and predictable. The psychology recognises and can not deny that a person is much more and this is described by the image of an iceberg - they claim one can only know a small portion that floats above the water and the rest is unconscious. And so it is, it is unknowable while in the box of the mind. In this state, the non-physical world is also considered to be unknowable and denied, even though the science does admit that we can only perceive a tiny fraction of the light spectrum.
Majority of people move within those small mind walls all their lives. For others, a big event happens in their life which sets them of on the awakening journey, the journey where they open up to their larger self. And for others there is an underlying nagging feeling that there is more to life which inspires them to open up. During the awakening process, we deconstruct and melt the inner walls that created the artificial separation from our greater self, our soul. The walls of separation are constructed out of our own energy, they are shaped by our of beliefs, fears, shame, guilt, trauma, uncomfortable emotions etc.
The arts and creativity of course operate outside of the walls of the mind to various degrees. The artist is familiar with the spaces outside the mind, it is where their creative ideas are born. The new, fresh ideas that the artist then transforms into physical expression whether through music, dance, painting, poetry, novel.... Great scientists, including Einstein and Tesla, are very familiar with these spaces outside of the mind. They are the science artists.
Besides the experiences with the snake, I had other very clear 'out of mind' experiences before my awakening.
I used to scuba dive quite a bit and I was on a 6 day diving trip. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go on a marine research vessel few times visiting remote parts of Great Barrier Reef. This particular trip included rift diving along the reef wall that was nearly 1 km deep. I was on the morning dive on the third day. This was a third day of very deep diving (45 m / 145 feet) and must have started to experience Nitrogen Narcosis. Narcosis while diving is a reversible alteration in consciousness that occurs while diving at depth. It is caused by the anesthetic effect of certain gases at high pressure. What it means that it often causes divers to make fatal mistakes because their perception changes.
Imagine drifting on the current alongside this massive wall. There is no end to the ocean as you look below you, or to one side. Just a big blue. The big schools of fish come into view as you slowly drift by them, first like a mirage and then they come into clearer view, then they drift out of sight again. Schools of Tuna. Barracuda. Trevally. Giant groupers. Colourful basslets. Yellow tails. It is very hard to judge the size of the fish and the morning dives are always special. The sunrays hit the water at a certain angle and the day fish are just waking up. Many species spend nights in the big schools hanging out for safety. The sharks are out and active. The gigantic soft corals grow out of the side wall, all shapes and colours. The sounds of the depth are quite mesmerizing. The ocean is not quiet.
So here I am admiring the scenery as I float by when the Narcosis hits it. All of a sudden I was attracted by the depth and wanted to just swim deeper and deeper. And it was then that I had my first clear experience of having different parts of myself. It was like a part of me 'stepped out of me' and started talking with me clearly..." Look up, slowly step up, and again, and again...", this voice was saying. At first it was an effort to choose to follow the instructions of this quiet but strong voice. I just wanted to give in and float into the depths of the ocean. But somehow I knew it was important to listen to this voice... "Step up", it said... "step up". The water is so pressurized at that depth that going up does feel almost like you could be walking up the stairs. In reality I was not in danger because I was not alone. My diving buddy would notice something was off. And once I was on my way up the voice disappeared back into the background, but it had left a big impression on me. I pondered about and remembered what it felt like for months. I didn't know it at that time, but it was such a clear experience of my soul speaking to me. It was a clear experience of other parts of me, outside the ego, the every day mind. And its consciousness was quite different than the daily me I was used to.
I used to play Djembe drum and did many performances when I was a band member for few years. We had some amazing practices and performances when the energy, heightened feelings, excitement and everything just comes together so beautifully. It was during one of my first public performances that I had a beautiful synergy happening inside of me. My body was trained, my hands could play the rhythm, I was in sync with other band members and the audience energy was awesome.
The speeds at which your hands work is such that there comes a point in the rhythm where your mind just can not follow the speeds and what is going on any more, and it just steps back and lets go. You have to trust that your hands and your body know what they are doing. So here I was enjoying the music we were playing, my body moving with the rhythm. Adrenalin, excitement and the dance of the audience. It is so pleasurable when the rhythm starts singing and musicians know what I mean. There is a point where it just becomes sweet. It is such an amazing experience in itself. Then my perception changed, my mind stepped back even more and became quiet. It felt like I only one or two thoughts in few minutes. I have never experienced my mind being so quiet before. And it was like the rhythm became alive and my body was its tool. The rhythm was playing itself. I was there in the middle of the concert with drumming all around me, rhythm flowing through me, my hands moving faster than ever playing the instrument. And yet I experienced so much silence, so much peace. So much pleasure. I was an instrument, the player, the observer. And the mind so quiet.
Dreams became so vivid during the awakening and often I would experience something I have not been able to during the day. In this dream I found myself in space. I could see the Earth globe becoming smaller as I was speedily flying deeper into the space. I perceived myself as cute little spirit, kind of like a happy white ghost icon on your phone. Then all of a sudden I got stopped and pulled back by some kind of thick elastic string. It whooshed me half way back to the Earth. I noticed that I was firmly attached to the Earth with this string. I tried to restart something within myself to see if it could travel with me deeper into space and tried to fly off again. But at a certain point this elastic string was outstretched to its limit and it whooshed me backwards. I tried this few times until I realised that the elastic string could not stretch any further even after I restarted it a few times. Somehow I knew that the string was my mind and if I wanted to travel further, I would have to let it go. I said yes and and the elastic band released but as I traveled past its furthest point, I also realised that I had to release another thing - fear. I knew that the space beyond the reach of mind didn't include fear and that the fear only existed within the realms of the mind. Somehow I was still aware of myself and even though I was not thinking I knew what I was knowing. I was amazed at that and wondered for a second whether I will be ok without the fear. I have lived in a reality where fear is present for so long that I wasn't sure whether I could even exist in a reality where it isn't. All of this happened so quickly but it was too late for anything to stop me. So off I went deep into space, where no fear exists, where no thought exists, and yet I was more fully me than ever before. And then I woke up.
I would encourage you to remember your own experience of being outside of the confines of the mind and to welcome the awareness of those spaces and allow them. You are allowing yourself to experience your own larger self not some stranger. You invite the awareness to be part of your own daily life. You realise that the borders or boundaries of the mind are very small, very limited. And very boring too. Your own larger consciousness in not restricted to the rules of the mind and has freedom of movement but the mind blocks the awareness of that. It is in those spaces outside where all the solutions exist, for your personal issues as well as the global ones.