Introduction – Our Other Mind
A Handbook for the Mastery of Consciousness

“The mind determines what is possible. The heart surpasses it.” – Jacek Rafał Tatko

“You have the answer.  Just get quiet enough to hear it.” – Pat Obuchowski

"For those who understand, no words are necessary.
And for those who do not, no words are possible." – Angelis Amor

“[The] building materials for the universe are Love, Intent, Power and Dream.
The whole Creation is always right here, NOW, with 'me'.” – anonymous

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

“Words are exactly what get in the way.
The whole question of ‘What is the meaning of life?’ is just because of words.
Even to say ‘all are one’ is illusory, based on concepts.
So silence your mind and just let your heart perceive in its own way,
just let whatever-is embrace you in its own way,
and let yourself be transported, with no meaning whatsoever.” – my teachers

USUALLY, THIS SORT OF BOOK takes the form of a fable or an autobiographical story about an author’s sojourns with his master, guru or shamanic teacher.  Rumi tells us how he was illuminated by Shams of Tabriz, Ouspensky by Gurdjieff, Castaneda by don Juan by his whole lineage of gurus and paramgurus, Perkins by certain shamans in both Peru and Indonesia – these sorts of handed-down accounts are how we normally learn of esoteric teachings about the divine and supernatural realms, hidden secrets of human nature, and higher consciousness -  their narrative format allows the reader to select whichever of the recounted lessons seem most apropos at a given reading.  Books which simply lay out a particular teaching (e.g., A Course in Miracles, John of God are offered as works channeled from spirit, or as research authored by an expert in the given field, although these latter are generally filled with attributions.

I have certainly had my share of gurus, guides, workshops, lineage teachings and esoteric doctrines – so many that I often cannot tell you where or when I was taught some particular idea or method – so I decided to just tell you what I’ve learned, and offered as many resources as possible for you to learn it for yourself, or at least to challenge what I am offering.  After all, a lively argument can bring about as much transformation as the obedience or discipline that was central to many of my own lineage apprenticeships.

It would be fair to ask, “How are the teachings and disciplines of this book different from the lasting spiritual traditions of the world?”  Answer: They are not different from all of those.  I spent my life studying many of the reliable traditions (along with much of the new material), and virtually all I have done here is to dispense with the outer forms and simply present the essential ideas and methods that I have extracted from them.  By all means, enjoy the tradition that makes your heart happy; I’m only trying to save everyone some time and trouble, as well as to make my final “Mork-to-Ork” report on what I’ve been finding here on planet Earth.

I suppose there is one thing that might be a little different.  Having been raised in a family of psychiatric patients (myself probably included), I have always seen the world differently from most people (even spiritual or psychedelic people), so I believe you will find my alternate perspective refreshing (or annoying).  Aside from pursuing my spiritual studies to find “the remedy against death,” my struggle has been to find a path through life consistent with my particular psychological features, and I hope that this perspective will be helpful for many of you who are sincerely seeking some comfort as well as ‘answers’.

My sincere hope is that, by reading this book, you will benefit from the eight cumulative years I spent learning the meditational disciplines of Self-Realization Fellowship and of the Shivananda Meditation Society, my twelve years working in the Gurdjieff Foundation, three years learning teachings of the Movement for Spiritual Inner-Awareness, another three years learning Jungian-Gestalt-Senoi lucid dreamwork, a year of Neuro-Linguistic Programming training, twenty years practicing channeling methods based on Teachings of the Inner Christ, several years’ worth of encounter workshops and New Age trainings, three years of psychedelic studies with the Phoenix Research Society (based in Colorado, not Arizona), another three years learning the twisted-hair meti-medicine teachings of the Deer Tribe, more than 30 years trying out Castaneda’s ideas and methods, several initiations in the Umbanda spiritist movement of Brazil, and seventeen years (as of the present time) loyally practicing the doctrine of the Santo Daime church of spiritual awakening (originating in the Amazon region, but now world-wide).  All in addition to my scientific-research education in Computer Science for my Master’s degree and Psychological-Research/Consciousness-Studies toward my doctorate.

Not that I want you to sit around with your nose in a book (even this one!) or passively absorbing someone else’s insights.  For this reason I have included an escalating set of exercises and practices at the end of each chapter; these will allow your instincts, emotions and subconscious to get involved with your transformation, and those are all that ever changed anything in a seeker.  I recommend that you look over the exercises before you read the actual chapter, and pick something from them to try out right from the start – it doesn’t too much matter what you choose.  Doing pretty much anything, intentionally, with the non-intellect parts of yourself will illuminate your understanding and, for the later chapters, it will become indispensable.

I especially recommend that you read the chapters in order – each subsequent chapter refers back to previous chapters, and either you won’t know what I am talking about, or you might form conclusions which could prevent you from understanding the essential ideas and methods.  Even if you are already a wizard or a master of some lineage, the book will make more sense in the order in which I’ve written it. I did work from a synopsis that I started out with, but which I revised after writing virtually every chapter (with the perspective of having written that much more).  The Table of Contents shows the final version of the synopsis.

You’ll notice that each chapter begins with several quotations from spiritual teachers and famous authors.  These quotations are intended to give you a helpful framework for the subject of the chapter, but I have also found that deep meditation on these quotations tends to illuminate us without our even reading or listening to the main text or sermon.  So please don’t just glance at them – try to let them get under your skin.

Another recommendation concerns my copious footnotes.  Those who have sufficient patience should stop to read each footnote, on the first reading of a chapter, for background information, and then reread the chapter without referring to the footnotes.  Other people might do the opposite, and some might skip the footnotes entirely, but please never skip the exercises, even if you select only a couple of them to try.  But do try to vary the types of practices from one chapter to another.

Finally, please do not be dismayed at the total number of ideas and exercises I recommend for you, nor how many years (decades!) it took me to reach the embarrassingly imperfect state in which I now find myself – I can almost guarantee that it doesn’t need to take you that long if you are sincere, persistent and systematic about using these tools and ideas – but don’t rush it or take short-cuts.  This system has been described as both evolutionary and revolutionary – you make seemingly vain efforts for long enough, but then you get sudden transformations; or you simply notice, one day, that you are somehow different from before.  And then, at some point, your emerging spiritual power reveals itself to you.  My hope and blessing for you is that this work will joyfully transform your entire life.

References for the Introduction

I actually have read them all, some as many as ten times each if they were foundational for a particular discipline I was studying. I must confess that I myself did not know, in any detail, what I would be writing in each chapter until I got to it.  Some chapters took me two years each to decide what would be in them.

Castaneda, Carlos.  (1974).  Tales of Power.  New York, NY: Washington Square Press.

Cumming, Heather, Karen Leffler, & Amit Goswami. (2007).  John of God: The Brazilian Healer Who's Touched the Lives of Millions.  Simon & Schuster: Beyond Words: Atria.

Ouspensky, P. D. (1977).  In Search of the Miraculous.  Harcourt.

Perkins, John (1997).  Shapeshifting: Shamanic Techniques for Global and Personal Transformation.  Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.

Rumi, Jalal al-Din, Coleman Barks, & John Moyne (2004).  The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition.  New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Schucman, Helen. (2007).  A Course in Miracles.  Mill Valley, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace.

Yogananda, Paramahansa (1998).  Autobiography of a Yogi.  Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship.