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Musings on Pain and Astral Travel

18 Sep

Imagine, if you will, that between the Seen and the Unseen, this world and the astral, lies a barrier. A membrane that helps to keep both worlds separate and functioning. This membrane, for the most part, is translucent- so sometimes we can see through it and look into the Unseen, and the people on the other side can see through to our world as well. This membrane is thick. We need it to keep us separated, so that both worlds can continue to function properly. It’s thick, but if you and another entity, such as a god, stands on either side of the membrane- you can sort of yell back and forth at one another- loud enough to be heard through the membrane. And if that doesn’t work, sometimes you can play charades or draw some big pictures on a piece of paper and show one another- to try and get your point across.

But sometimes. Sometimes that doesn’t work. Sometimes a god gets tired of playing charades and pictionary with someone via this membrane. Sometimes a person gets tired of this life and wants to escape to the other side of the membrane.

Sometimes things just happen.

And when things happen, this membrane gets punctured. Or perhaps in that moment, when you push against the membrane, it tenses up and instead of being punctured, it more accurately gets smashed. And everything from the Unseen comes rushing in around you. You stand there, dazed and confused, and your life is never quite the same again.

This, in my experience, is what it’s like to gain a high functioning god phone or gain regular access to the astral.

And based off of what I’ve read in Carmen Blacker’s book, this notion is not a new one. According to her, traditionally, Shamans, ascetics, mediums, and other spirit workers by the very nature of the beast needed to be broken before they would be able to gain their skills. As per her book:

Such people usually begin from a state of despair or disgust with their ordinary human life. A succession of miseries and calamities reduce them to the condition known in Japanese as happōfusagari, all eight directions blocked, or yukizumari, the feeling that you are up against a brick wall. The death of a husband or a child, a long and debilitating illness, hopeless alcoholism and its attendant financial ruin, miseries such as these are often cited as the dōki or motive which convinced them that their lives as hitherto lived were inadequate and meaningless and drove them to seek another kind of life in religion.

Whether the impulse comes from his own will, however, or from some apparently external spiritual being … he can only acquire the special powers he needs to bridge the gap between the two worlds by certain ascetic practices. These measures are known in general as gyō. In so far as they are painful, exhausting or wearisomely repetitive, in so far as they remove both body and mind from their accustomed habits, in so far as they require very great strength of will to accomplish, they may properly be described as ascetic. … They are the means of building up a store of power, which can then be channelled into the required direction. Continuous application to these disciplines is needed, moreover, if this store of power is to be maintained. Once let the shaman relax his ascetic effort and his power will dwindle, grow flabby and eventually disappear. These disciplines can be broadly classified into three: fasting, cold water and the recitation of words of power.

In addition to this, there are even situations where the primary kami responsible for bringing the person into this type of lifestyle requests that they give up their possessions or house, or that they live their lives wandering from place to place, etc.

In truth, it’s not all that uncommon of what some of our gods and guides ask us in this day and age (Blacker’s book was written back in the 70’s).

But in truth, this brings an interesting point to my mind: the notion that it’s very uncommon (if not to some extent- impossible/improbable) to be able to access the astral regularly, do spirit work, or have a functioning god phone without some portion of you being broken. This concept is often presented as “no such thing as a free lunch”, but I think its so much more than that.

I think it’s that membrane that needs to be broken in order for you to hear or see or access those parts that our human minds and our physical world blocks off for us. I think that membrane is there for a good reason- but sometimes it needs to be eradicated. And when that plexiglass in your mind shatters, something is usually taken out as collateral.

Many people learn to access the astral on their own because they ran “into their minds” to get away from abusive parents or depression or what have you. I learned how to run away from the physical realms because I suffer from debilitating migraines and stomach/intestinal pain. And when it came time to gain a more stable connection to the astral, my associate made me dance until my feet bled and I could no longer breath. And when that wasn’t enough, I was run through an emotional mine field to give me the extra “push” that I needed to finally break through to the other side.

Everything has a price.

And the more you run into your mind, the more that you play pictionary with some non-physical entity- the more you beat on that membrane, the more it tenses up.

And then one day- poof! it shatters and you’re left with a gaping hole. And through that hole will flow in any number of entities, gods, spirits and crack laden donkeys. These things will settle into your mind and brain space, into your bones and flesh until one day, you’re not really you anymore, and your life isn’t what it once was.

And because you shattered the membrane, it’s very difficult to close it back up again, to fill the hole that now stands where the plexiglass membrane once was. Even if you manage to successfully patch the hole, you will find it difficult to live as you did before. Your life and your person are changed by such experiences and its almost impossible to go back to the way it was before (think Frodo trying to return to the Shire).

The astral, the gods, non-physical contact and entities- they demand a price by their very nature. Everything comes at a cost, and when it comes to things of this nature, that cost usually is exacted in the form of pain. Many astral walkers and spirit workers have medical issues and physical ailments. Their health suffers, and so their jobs, relationships and general life suffer. This sort of work demands a fee from you that will not be exacted once, but annually. And even after you have tried to close up the hole and effectively shut down your account, you will still have a maintenance fee taken out every so often because the astral bank likes to nickel and dime you.

Now, this post isn’t meant to “fear monger”. This post isn’t meant to tell people not to try to access the astral. This post is trying to tell you how it is and what to expect if you intend on doing this regularly. Much like any mundane situation- where if you want to be a professional weight lifter you will need to expect some pain, sweat and tears as you strength train, you can expect that this type of work requires much of the same. You can’t expect to break through to the other side of the membrane without some heavy lifting and possible damage to your person (whether mentally or physically or both). There seems to be an unspoken trend (and to some extent, a long history) of people who get pulled into these type of experiences and end up effectively “broken” because that’s how the whole thing works.

No pain. No gain.

Whether the gain is worth the pain is a decision that you’ll have to determine on your own. But it is something you should consider before you start pounding on the membrane, because once its broken there is no going back. And once you open an account in the Unseen’s bank, its only a matter of time before the fees start rolling in. And if you’re trying to open an account with the Bank, and they won’t give you a loan to do so- maybe there is a good reason for it.

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19 Comments

Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Astral, Crack, Hypnosis & Inner Work, Rambles

 

Tags: , , , ,

19 responses to “Musings on Pain and Astral Travel

  1. Sunstone

    September 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve read a lot of posts about astral shenanigans, including several waves of the “Don’t go there guys, it’s dangerous!” stuff on Tumblr. But this is the first one to impress upon me the cost of crossing over, and the prerequisites…which I do not have, and nor do I wish to have. Thank you.

     
  2. darkbookworm13

    September 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    This is brilliant, and so apt about my own life. I have been working on a post of my own about Astral travelling and pain, but you brought up many things I hadn’t thought of, thank you. I struggle with my health and chronic Fibro-related symptoms, which I fully believe is in part because I have been yanked into the service of the Gods I worship, and the Spirits who want my attention.

    The part about it happening regularly makes sense for me too, because it is to keep the lines open, or like fuel in a car, you can’t let the gas tank run dry and expect it to run fine. You can’t have a relationship with the Unseen if you never push yourself outside your ordinary life to interact with it.

     
  3. baronessagisele

    September 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Adventures of a Baby Pagan and commented:
    I have absolutely nothing else to add to this amazing article. Read and enjoy. 🙂
    (For what it’s worth, I completely agree and have seen this in my own life. Just in case you wanted to know.)

     
  4. urbanpooka

    September 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    ‘Many people learn to access the astral on their own because they ran “into their minds” to get away from abusive parents or depression or what have you.’ — I appreciated this quote. I often see it mentioned that people get pulled into astral without any choice because of a god or spirit’s insistence. It is rarely mentioned that people visit the astral because it is sometimes a better alternative that what they are currently experiencing on a regular basis, as dangerous as the astral may be. I know this tendency can lead to a very unhealthy way of living, one where the practitioner almost gives up Here for There. Balance is key once safety is gained, but safety needs to be personally defined.

     
    • von186

      September 20, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I have periods where I want to give up Here for There.
      All the time.
      I really feel like I don’t belong here, and it can be a challenge to remember that I have duties Here and things that can’t be ignored HEre.
      Can be very very very hard.

       
  5. Alicia

    September 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for this post and others.

    I’m going through some kind of crisis here, I can’t stop wondering why do people want to interact with beings like that, including myself,

    While I agree that is dangerous I completely understand the appeal of believing the gods and spirits are good, that they can be trusted, not necessarily perfect but good people who care and are honest, I wish things were like that, because I just don’t know anymore why interact with beings who have the worse flaws I see in humans, who murder, lie, always have hidden agendas, rape, etc.

    I would never interact with a human who did any of those things or had this kind of personality and the way people talk about it seems all Others are like that or have some hidden side like that, I don’t believe in making exceptions for them.

    I really hate this kind of crisis and I wish other people discussed this. Sorry about rambling off topic on your comments.

    Great post, I could really relate to it since my interest on this all started when surviving abuse and now I live with chronic illness. I do worry about it, since my life Here already left me broken what would happen if I keep trying to deal with anything from There?

    I read some of your posts, if you don’t mind could I ask something here? You talk about how mythology is important and not to immediately trust someone and about hidden agendas of the Others, I wonder where that leaves beings that in remaining mythology are described as almost all goodness and perfection and nice intentions like for example Kuan Yin or beings that represent in myths only good things, what about those cases?

     
    • von186

      September 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

      I think people interact with Others for a variety of reasons. Usually, it fills a hole or they help you and that can override some of the problems that you might ahve with them. On the by and large, NTR are pretty mellow and relatively moral (if such a word can be used) in comparison to a lot of other deities I”ve read about- but even then, yes, its possible that they are also jerks and that they have plans for you that you don’t agree with, etc. So they “why” behind it varies for many people. I interact with astral entities because they fill a hole for me. Mind you, I’m trading out one sort of pain for another sort of pain- but the pain I have now is more tolerable than the pain without those people in my life, if that makes sense.
      In regards to the mythology- I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. I think that there are some entities/beings/deities that are pretty much always good and nice, or at least will always start off that way (another story if you piss them off). So to me, it would be a decently safe place to start, likely. Esp in the case of Kuan Yin, who was originally human, and knows what its like to be human.
      I mean, I’ll be honest in that I approach almost all deities the same – I’m trusting of them, until they show signs that I shouldn’t be. When a NTR leads me to a random lake and throws me in it, I allow them to. When another NTR shows up and says “Take this twice a day for a week” I nod and do so with minimal fuss. So even though I know gods can be jerks, I still am pretty trusting of them, and I try to give the benefit of the doubt to most entities I meet with on the astral (fwiw, ofc). But I always try to warn people that not everyone is nice- not because I want to cause problems, but because I don’t want to see people hurt because they didn’t know any better.
      Hopefully that makes sense.
      And feel free to ramble in my comments any time :3

       
  6. Tom

    September 21, 2013 at 6:32 am

    This post helped me realize that I have, well, “paid the price” so to say for my ability to reach the astral even though I didn’t actually think of said event as such previously. But the thing is, my life still feels normal to me, so it’s kinda hard to feel like I’ve suffered for it.

    (And yes, I was one of those people who spent a lot of time in their head to get away from things.)

     
    • von186

      September 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

      I’m sure there are people out there who travel there and don’t end up with their lives consumed by it. I just think its a case by case situation. Same issue that I’ve met some people who astral travel and never ever end up having someone going after them trying to kill them.
      I think the circumstances will largely depend on what type of astral past you have, where you pop up on the astral, and wether you live both lives at once, or only visit the astral from time to time :3

       
      • Tom

        September 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

        My life is never going to be the same and “normal” compared to other people, to be honest. It does influence me daily, but I think I just…became used to living this way and forgot how weird it would be to someone else.

        (However, my history is weird and I have to admit that right now is far more calm than it was in previous lives for example. So, it’s more of a “this doesn’t suck as much as before” situation.)

         
      • von186

        September 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

        ““this doesn’t suck as much as before” situation.”
        I can relate to that on many levels 😛

         

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