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..:: Illuminations ::..


Alan Schneider


             In this article, I will discuss another feature of my 1997 Ascension experience, predominantly from the perspective of Jungian psychodynamics, but also from the perspective of optical brain neurology in the optical cortex. I have come to believe that this is the final enabling component of my Ascension on that date, and would like to share this with you all. 

            My experience of Ascension on this occasion was somewhat unusual – which goes without saying that any experience of Ascension could be considered unusual – the archetypal symbolism present was not predominantly Hindu or Tantric per se, as Kundalini theorists say it should be. To recap the experience, the first perception that I had after waking and entering my living room was of slightly opening the blinds early in the morning on a sunny Christmas Day, and stepping back to the center of the room as I gazed on the brightly sunlit lake outside. Within seconds, my perception of the large tree outside my window had shifted to the perception of an Astral image of the Tree of Life, having, however, many more glowing Sephira than the normal ten. Although I do not necessarily trust my time perception of subsequent events, I would say that within a few more seconds, an Astral Doe walked past the Tree, and stopped to look at me. My perception became focused on the face of the Doe, and her Eyes. I had the distinct impression that I was being examined by an Astral intelligence, or some extra-personal intelligence, represented by, or present within, the Doe. It was as if this Entity was literally looking into my Soul.

            The following experience was disorienting, to say the least, but seemed to involve transport Astrally, or perhaps post-Astrally, to another, higher level of manifestation – I had the sense of moving up and away from the Astral Plane into another manifestation of consciousness through a field or tunnel of golden light, although this is still not quite an accurate depiction of the transitional journey involved. Suffice it to say that my consciousness eventually reconvened on another level in which I was viewing a radiant structure exactly like Sahasrara, the Seventh Chakra, in appearance, but composed of light, not concrete form. This structure occupied my entire consciousness – nothing else seemed to be present. 

            I am very cognizant of the events that followed my perception of Sahasrara, frequently referred to in Hinduism as the Divine Lotus. I have portrayed this perception in my Doors In Disguise chapter, Samadhi, as a kaleidoscope of brilliant color and form that seemed to be Supremely Intelligent as well as visually apparent – a collective Awareness in whose Presence I was somehow located. I moved sequentially through this structure encountering a progression of color from the red exterior “petals” of the Lotus, to more orange tinted Petals, and then yellow ones, toward the White core of the structure, all the while with the sensation that I was encountering higher and higher Beings existing in some celestial sphere of influence. I heard a chorus of unnumbered voices singing in some tonal progression of chords that was exquisitely beautiful, but not lingual, apparently emanating from the extensive complex of Petals, and sensed that this was the chorus of the Voices of the Host singing in adoration of the Logos. Upon entering the Core, or Heart, of the Lotus, I found myself enveloped in an omnipresent field of pure Love and White Light, a delightful sensation. Although I am not quite sure, I believe that this sensation eventually dissolved into Buddhist non-dual Pure Awareness, or Satori – I say that I am unsure, because there is not really a frame of reference from which this condition can be described. I seemed to pass into a state of profound and complete relaxation in which I was simultaneously aware of nothing and everything at the same time, and as the same condition. This makes no sense whatsoever from the perspective of the ego, but still constitutes an accurate description of the perception experienced. And then, at some point, I simply found myself standing back in my living room, looking at the lake! 

            I have since become aware of the Hindu esoteric practice of Sun Gazing as a method of approaching Ascension. I believe that this practice was somehow enabled in my perception through a series of Synchronicities that I experienced that Christmas morning. The process unfolded as follows. I opened the horizontal blinds to about half way to full capacity after rising. The sun was shinning on the lake outside my window brilliantly, but not directly reflected into my eyes – the angle of reflection was somewhat oblique. The surface of the lake was agitated by a slight wind into wavelets that acted like an optical grating that served to further soften the effect of the sunlight. So I was exposed to exactly the correct intensity of natural light that is sought for in Sun Gazing practice! I believe that this moderate intensity of natural illumination floods the optical cortex of the brain with a sustained condition of neural stimuli that is capable of opening the Astral Gateway to higher perception, and that this was the final causative factor enabling the sequence of visions that constituted my Ascension that morning. As I have observed in previous articles, I was already in a much more receptive state of consciousness that was initiated the previous evening in meditation, and apparently never dissipated completely overnight. Meditation represents a powerful form of self-hypnosis when practiced extensively, and the long term goal of this practice is constant communion with higher consciousness states of experience – essentially permanent Samadhi. Tantra teaches this, and all the real Yogis know of and strive for this condition. I believe that my inadvertent Sun Gazing practice dramatically enhanced my Astral Perception that morning, catapulting me into a full Ascension experience. 

            Optical stimulation is very important in the grand scheme of the nervous system. Five of the Major Cranial Nerves are concerned with optical control and processing functions – more than is seen in any other grouping of the Major nerves and attendant nerve clusters. The optical cortex itself is located at the back of the head – something that would seem to be counter-indicated from the perspective of the location of the eyes at the front of the head, until the relatively protected status of this area at the rear is considered. The fact of binocular vision is also an indication of the powerful evolutionary significance of sight for survival. Even if one eye is lost, there remains another to enable at least partial visual competence for the individual. It is perhaps not surprising that the practitioners of ancient Hinduism discovered that they could attain trance states through Sun Gazing. A correctly trained Sun Gazer can even forsake food for extended periods of time – many months, in fact – without apparent ill effect, so powerful is this technique.  

            The archetypal images of my Ascension are not entirely consistent with any conceptual system of thought on higher conscious. On one hand, there were five more or less clearly defined stages through which I passed, which suggests a Cabala Middle Pillar experience – there are arguably five Sephira that lie on a direct vertical line from Malkuth to Kether. And I did perceive a supernatural Tree that seemed to have glowing spheres suspended from its branches, although there were far too many of these to be considered Sephira in any conventional sense. I have frequently felt that the Astral Doe was a Native American equivalent expression for the familiar Judeo-Christian Lamb of God – the Christ Consciousness archetype. But why the shift to Native American archetypes? Why not simply perceive an Astral Lamb? And why so many spheres on the Astral Tree? The significance of the Golden Light is more clear – this implies a condition of great value and spiritual clarity. The presence of the Doe and the Tree can be understood as personal/cultural intrusions coloring the expression of the archetypal symbolism that emerged, but then why the abrupt shift to such a clearly Eastern, Hindu image of the Logos appearing as Sahasrara, one that was also tinged with Cabalistic features – the Voices of the Host, and my sensed perception of Angelic Presences? Was this experience actually solely Kundalini-driven, or were the many other factors present also critical enablers, without which the experience could not have taken place? 

            I believe that the old adage that the answer to the multiple choice question of life is usually choice “D”, “All of the above” is also correct here. I apparently managed to be in the right place, at exactly the right time, performing the exactly the right procedures, and in the presence of all the necessary auspicious environmental conditions. What if the Sun had not been out that morning? What if I had been ill, or disabled, or had chosen a different apartment home without the proximity of the lake being present? Probably of the greatest importance was and is my mindset – I am a life long spiritual researcher and practitioner who was involved in exactly the correct set of mental circumstances to allow an Ascension experience to manifest – profoundly curious without the slightest  attachment to any kind of outcome whatsoever. If no Ascension had occurred, this would have been fine with me! If a partial Ascension had occurred, this also would have been acceptable. In a word, I went into the experience expectation-free. I believe that it was this absence of any preference that enabled in particular the final stage of the experience – the perception of Sahasrara. I believe that this was what the Astral Doe was examining me for – the presence of any corrupt or prejudicial attitude on any level. When none was found, the next phase of the experience was initialized in my consciousness according to some predetermined archetypal sequence. I didn’t even necessarily want the experience to continue – I simply went along for the ride in a mildly interested, but profoundly detached, consciousness, one typical of meditation. It turned out to be the ride of a lifetime! 

            As physical beings living on a physical, sensory plane of existence, we tend to seek material explanations for phenomena, and pursue material sources of gratification to maintain personal homeostasis. Ultimately, this materialistic process is a psychological dead end that leaves us feeling empty and isolated from each other, and from all other modes of conscious experience – many of which we may very well not be aware of at all, even as possibilities. If we are to truly experience the fullest extent of this life that we find ourselves in, then we must freely and boldly conduct spiritual investigations into the nature of who and what we are as conscious beings.  Inner space is outer space – the real final frontier of exploration lies within each of us. It is no further away than our imagination, and personal motivation to take the first step!


                                          - With Love, Alan -

                                  (CR2008, Alan Schneider)


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