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Accessing Higher Consciousness

In the "Life 101" module, we indicated that "consciousness" is the language of the Higher Self. And we indicated that an important part of our spiritual awakening and transformation involves learning how to access the consciousness of our Higher Self. But we did not discuss how to go about doing that. So let's now explore that in more detail.

The essence of consciousness is Light. It is not physical light such as we experience when we turn on a light switch in our home. But rather, it is a higher dimensional version of Light, which is far above the visible spectrum that we can perceive through our eyes. We will discuss this in more depth later, but let's now move to a discussion of the "chakras". For those who may not be familiar with the chakras, we will provide a brief description of the traditional perspective.

Chakras

Chakras are energy centers that link our energy body with our physical form. They have long been an important element in Eastern religious teachings as well as in esoteric mystical traditions. There are 7 primary chakras, each of which functions in conjunction with one of the glands of our endocrine system. Energies functioning through the chakras are sensed by the receptor cells in the corresponding endocrine gland, which in turn secrete appropriate hormones in response to the energies.

There are additional chakras above our head and at other locations external to our body, and there are also energy centers at other locations throughout our body, but those are beyond the scope of our present consideration.

Each of the 7 primary chakras has a color associated with it, and is most sensitive to energies in that spectral range. The colors related to each chakra are shown in the diagram. The 7 major chakras are as follows:

Crown Chakra

The Crown chakra is like an energy cone that extends upward and outward from the top of the head. It is associated with pure consciousness, and may be considered to be our spiritual connection to the higher realms. The Crown chakra functions in conjunction with the Pineal gland, which is the "master gland" of the endocrine system. Although the Pineal gland functions primarily through the other endocrine glands, it itself secretes melatonin and serotonin which are related to the circadian rhythms of the body.

Brow Chakra

The Brow chakra extends outward toward the front from a point midway between the eye brows. The focal point of this chakra is directed inward toward the photo-receptor cells of the Pituitary gland. The Brow chakra, functioning in conjunction with the Pituitary gland, is traditionally referred to by the mystics as the "third eye", because this is the seat of our inner vision (clairvoyance).

Throat Chakra

The Throat chakra is located in the throat area. It is bi-directional in that it extends out toward the front, and also out toward the back. It is associated with the Thyroid gland. Mystics have long associated the Throat chakra with the function of clairaudience (inner hearing). It also is associated with creative expression.

Heart Chakra

The Heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, in the vicinity of the heart. It can be viewed as a "link-pin", linking the upper three "spiritual" chakras with the lower three "human" chakras. Like the Throat chakra, it is bi-directional, extending both the front and to the rear of the body. It is associated with the Thymus gland, which plays a key role in our immune system.

Solar Plexus Chakra

As the name implies, the Solar Plexus chakra is located at the solar plexus, which is about 2 inches above the naval. It is referred to by the mystics as the "power center" of the body. The solar plexus is also our emotional center. This chakra is associated with the Adrenal glands, a pair of glands with one located just above each Kidney. The Adrenal glands are related to the energy reserve system of the body, and play an active role in the "fight or flight" response.

Sexual Chakra

The Sexual chakra is located in the lower abdomen, and is associated with the gonads (testicles in the male and ovaries in the female). The Sexual chakra plays an important role in our reproductive instincts. And it is also associated with the sexual pleasure centers of the body (penis in the male and clitoris in the female).

Base Chakra

The Base chakra is located at the base of the spine (sacrum). This chakra is a grounding force that enables us to connect to the Earth energies and empower our being. It is closely related to the survival instincts of the body, and also our ability to be "present" in the here and now.

The Role of the Chakras in Accessing Consciousness

The traditional teachings are that it is our Crown chakra that is our primary gateway to higher consciousness. So let's start from that perspective, and explore it in more depth.

The Crown chakra functions in conjunction with the Pineal gland. The Pineal gland is located in the center of the head, at the top of the brain stem, and is connected to the Cerebellum through a "stalk". There are two parts to the Pineal gland. One part is involved with the production and secretion melatonin and serotonin. The other part is associated with sensory aspects . . . the internal layer of this part is heavily populated with photo-receptor cells, similar to those found in the retina of the eyes. The nerve fibers extending from these photo-receptor cells pass down through the connective stalk, and terminate in the Cerebellum. So "information" that we receive through the Crown chakra in the form of encoded Light ends up in the Cerebellum for decoding and processing.

The functioning of the Cerebellum has not been researched nearly as extensively as the Cerebral hemispheres. However, one of the functions of the Cerebellum has to do with the "fine tuning" of motor responses, and another function is related to spatial orientation. Damage to the Cerebellum does not cause muscular paralysis, but it does inhibit smooth and coordinated movements. We believe that the Cerebellum is deeply involved in kinetic memory and precise muscle movements that are used in artistic expression, such as playing a musical instrument, or painting a picture, or sculpting.

Since medical science does not yet acknowledge the existence of the chakras, there seems to have been little or no research done on the what happens within the Cerebellum to the signals received through the nerve fiber that extend from the photo-receptor cells in the Pineal gland. But since these nerve fibers terminate in the Cerebellum, we can only assume that there is part of the Cerebellum that functions similar to the sensory cortex areas in the Cerebrum that processes nerve signals received through the 5 senses. Also, the Cerebellum is connected to each of the Cerebral hemispheres through the Cortico-Ponto Cerebellar Tracts. So information arriving in the Cerebellum via the Crown chakra and Pineal gland may very well be sent on to the Cerebral hemispheres for further interpretation and processing.

So what really happens when a psychically sensitive person "channels" information from within the higher realms? We believe that the "information" is received in the form of encoded Light through the Crown chakra, and is converted to nerve impulses by the photo-receptor cells in the Pineal gland. The nerve impulses are "decoded" within the Cerebellum, and the corresponding "information" is sent on to the Cerebral hemispheres (left-brain and right-brain) for further interpretation and processing . . . for example, converting the information into thoughts and words. And, we believe this "interdimensional" information stream may be supplemented by corresponding information received through the Brow ("third eye") chakra in the form of images (clairvoyance), and the Throat chakra in the form of auditory sensations (clairaudience).

From our perspective, one of the important conclusions that we can draw from all of this is that the information that comes to us through the Crown, Brow and Throat chakras, is all received and processed within the brain and glandular structures in the head.

Listening with Our Heart

But esoteric teachings have always emphasized the importance of listening with our heart. And in the "Life 101" module, we , too, have emphasized the importance of shifting our focus from our head to our heart in order to access the wisdom of our Higher Self. So how does that process work? The discovery of the "heart brain" adds immeasurable to our understanding of this process. But there is much more to the story.

Golden Column

Although it is not yet well known, there is a "Golden Column" that is associated with our soul that extends upward from the top of the spinal column as illustrated in diagram. As we indicated earlier, the essence of consciousness is Light, or more correctly "encoded" or "modulated" Light. The Golden Column serves as an "antenna" for receiving and sending the Light frequencies of consciousness.

We "intuitively know" that the heart-brain plays a key role in the decoding and processing of the modulated Light of consciousness. Unfortunately, with the discovery of the heart-brain being so relatively recent, we do not have the advantage of all of the years of extensive research in the way that we do for the brain in our head. But we believe that there are parallels between the way that Light is received through the Crown chakra, sensed by the Pineal gland, and then and then decoded and processed by the Cerebellum and Cerebrum, and the way that Light is received, sensed, and ultimately processed by the heart-brain. So we are going to explain it from that frame of reference, believing that we understand the concept correctly, and yet knowing that there will be corrections and refinements in the future.

Thymus Gland

As indicated in the information about the chakras, the Endocrine gland that is traditionally associated with the heart chakra is the Thymus gland. Up until about the 1960's, medical science believed that the primary role of the Thymus is related to the growth process in the early stages of the formation of the human body. In fact, if we observe the way the human body is formed starting with the original fertilization of the female egg by the male spermatozoa, the embryo and later the fetus grows outward in all directions from the location in the body where the Thymus is located. The developing Thymus gland is at its largest size in relation to the size of the rest of the body at about the age of two years. And it is at its largest absolute size at about the age of puberty. Historically it was believed that from puberty on, it was normal for the Thymus to gradually diminish in size throughout life. In fact, it was questioned whether or not the Thymus actually had a useful role in the functioning of the human body after puberty.

But then, about 50 years ago, medical science began to discover the crucial role the Thymus plays in the development and active functioning of the immune system. And from that point on, almost all of the research that has been focused on the Thymus has related to the immune system, including the lymphatic system.

But we believe that the Thymus also plays a key role related to the Golden Column, in the same way that the Pineal Gland plays a key role related to the Crown chakra. And we believe that someday it will be discovered that there are photo-receptor cells located in the Thymus very similar to the photo-receptor cells in the Pineal gland.

The diagram below is from Gray's Anatomy. It shows the two lobes of the Thymus gland nestled around the upper part of the heart. But it also shows a sizeable glandular-looking unit at the top of each lobe of the Thymus which is labeled "Cervical extension of the Thymus". But we have found virtually no information anywhere about the nature or the functions of these Thymus extensions. In the skeletal structure of the body these units are located just behind the manubrium, which is the top part of the sternum. In fact, the top part of these Cervical extensions tend to protrude slightly above the manubrium. If we relate this diagram to the previous diagram of the Golden Column, it is evident that these two Cervical extensions are at about the same level as the bottom of the Golden Column. So we are strongly suspicious that it may be within these two units that the photo-receptor cells are located. If this is true, we would expect to find nerve fibers extending from these two units and terminating somewhere in the heart-brain.

Thymus Gland

In the book, Life Energy, by John Diamond, M.D., he states the following:

    "Interestingly enough the word "thymus" is derived from the Greek "thymos" . . . which is untranslatable into modern terms, but denoted life force, soul, and feeling or sensibility. As Onians points out, thymos originally referred to breath. It was the stuff of consciousness, the spirit, the breath-soul, upon which depended a man's energy and courage. Even the earliest origins of the word implied rising into flames, as a cloud, spirit, which relate to the concept of soul and Life Energy."

Intuition

In the module entitled "Life 101", we discussed intuition, and indicated that intuition is the most common way of accessing the consciousness of our Higher Self. And we indicated our belief that intuition is closely associated with the heart-brain, rather than the right-brain of the Cerebral hemispheres. We believe that this information about the Golden Column, and our perspective of how it functions, strongly reinforces the idea that intuition comes to us as an awareness within the heart, or more specifically, within the heart-brain.

In "Life 101" we indicated that one of the most fruitful times for receiving intuitive information is just as we are awakening from sleep, before we have yet returned to full consciousness. There is much more information about this in the sub-section of this present module entitled "Exploring the Richness of Interstitial Zones".

One of the important differences between intuition and cognitive thinking is that we are not in conscious control of the functioning of intuition in the same way we are with our cognitive thinking. So in order to expand our intuitive abilities, we need to pay attention to the times and situations in which our intuition seems to be most potent. And then we can place ourselves in those situations more frequently. One of the keys to an enhanced intuitive flow is to keep our cerebral mind "de-focused".

As an analogy, probably all of us are familiar with the concept of de-focusing our eyes, and just be in a state of a "soft gaze". When we do this, we are often able to see things in our peripheral vision that disappear when we sharpen the focus of our eyes. This is especially true for being able to see with our "psychic vision". For example, an increasing number of people are beginning to see "Orbs" of light within their peripheral vision. But if they shift their focus to look directly at one of the Orbs, the Orb usually disappears from their vision.

Returning to our discussion of intuition, keeping our mind de-focused seems to function in the same way. So at those times when we start to become aware of an intuitive "flash" or "flow", it is best to just allow our mind to stay in a state of "unfocused awareness" for a while so that the flow will continue. There will always be time later to process the information with our cognitive mind. Sometimes it is wise to make a few cryptic notes, even just a key word or two, so that the intuitive information is not lost. But we need to learn to remain in the state of unfocussed awareness while we are jotting down the note.

Multiplexed Information Flow

Our experience has been that bringing through information from interdimensional sources of consciousness usually involves a what might be referred to as a "multiplexed information flow". Usually new ideas or concepts initially come in the form of intuition that we experience as a sense of "knowingness". Then, as we began to ponder the information, questions inevitably begin to form, and the responses to these questions seem to come through the channel that utilizes our Crown chakra. This leads to clarification and expansion of the initial information. Over a period of time, our cognitive processes become engaged, enabling us to see new connections and new possibilities. Then, the next time we awaken from sleep, before our cognitive mind becomes active, additional ideas and concepts arrive in the form of intuitive knowingness, and the whole cycle begins again.

Each person who learns to access higher levels of consciousness seems to develop their own unique approach. But all utilize the interdimensional channels involved with the chakra system along with the channels of the Golden Column in one form or another.

In our discussion of the soul and oversoul, we indicated that many oversouls are going through a consolidation process in which more than one soul merges into the same body. In these situations, the person ends up with multiple Golden Columns, because each soul has its own Golden Column, even though they function through the same human form.

Bands of Consciousness

As we become increasingly adept at accessing the consciousness of our Higher Self, and as we continue to evolve, we have the opportunity to learn to access consciousness beyond that of our Higher Self. An analogy may be helpful. We are probably all somewhat familiar with broadband radio receivers that have the ability to tune into a wide spectrum of radio broadcasting bands, including so-called "short-wave" bands which are at a very high frequency. Tuning into and accessing consciousness works somewhat the same way. Although there is much that we do not yet understand about the nature of consciousness, there seem to be "bands" as shown in this diagram. The most easily accessible band is the consciousness of our Higher Self, shown at the bottom of the diagram. We have already discussed this at some length, so let's move to the next level in the chart, which we have labeled "Inter-Specie & Intra-Specie Consciousness".

For many years, Rupert Sheldrake, a British biologist, has been studying the manner in which individual animals within a particular specie seem to learn behavioral habits from each other even when they are separated from each other by significant distances, and thus have no opportunity to physically observe each other. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the "hundredth monkey effect", based on a story originating in the mid-1970s. In this story, a scientist observed that learned new behavior within a group of monkeys in one part of the world seemed to spread instantaneously to related monkeys in other parts of the world, once a critical number of monkeys have learned the new behavior. In Sheldrake's work, he postulated the concept of a "morphogenetic" field through which animals of a particular specie seem to be in communication with each other. This might also explain how a flock of birds flying together in tight formation seem to maneuver through the air as though they are a single unit.

We believe that Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic field is essentially a field of "consciousness" through which individual animals within a specie are in constant communication with each other. And we would postulate that the manner in which this communication takes place is a process similar to what we have described related to the Golden Column.

We know that certain people seem to be gifted with an uncanny ability to communicate directly with animals. This seems to be particularly common in regard to people communicating with their pets, such as a cat, or a dog, or a horse. But for some people this communication seems to extend to animals such as dolphins, even when no personal relationship exists between the person and the dolphin, such as in the case of dolphins in the wild. And some people seem to be similarly gifted in their ability to communicate with a plant or a tree. Or even a crystal. All living forms have consciousness, and we believe that each person has the potential capacity to tap into this consciousness through the channel of their Golden Column.

The 3rd band up on our chart is labeled "Universal Consciousness". By this we are referring to all consciousness within a Universe. Whether through the perspective of traditional astronomy, or through a more esoteric perspective such as presented by Itzhak Bentov's book, Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, a Universe seems to be a crucially important building block of the Cosmos. We believe that as our awareness expands to more actively extend out into our Universe and beyond, we will find that tapping into all consciousness within a Universe in the next natural step in the progression.

And finally, the ultimate step would be to learn to tap into the consciousness of the "ALLNESS THAT IS", which would be the consciousness of all of Creation.

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