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Commentary on Christos Technique

A Commentary on the ‘Christos’ Technique

 

Alastair I. McIntosh

Founder of the Aberdeen University Parapsychological Society

 

Published in the Arrow paperback edition of Worlds Within by G. M. Glaskin, London, 1978, pp. 227-244. This was my first published paper, and I was paid the astonishing sum of £30 for writing it. The publisher subsequently invited me down to the book launch and booked me into an expensive London hotel, but failed to pick up the tab. My princely £30 was therefore unwittingly blown no sooner than it had been earned! 

 

For a synopsis of the induction technique, please click here to see my other paper on the Christos technique, published in Psychoenergetic Systems.

 

 

Introduction

 

Having just studied Gerald Glaskin’s second book on this remarkable topic, I would be surprised if many readers do not find themselves in that same bewildered state of scepti­cism laced with excitement, such as I too experienced on encountering Glaskin’s first Christos book, Windows of the Mind, which was published late in 1974. If the author really has come across a technique which allows subjects to ‘dream’ consciously and about such bizarre topics in some cases then the boost to parapsychology, and in particular the study of ASCs (altered states of conscious­ness), could be very considerable. However, as the critical side of our nature looms up, we inevitably and rightly ask ourselves if it is not more likely that a highly gifted novelist has merely employed a bit of literary license, and with his skill in using language has succeeded in making a few rather unusual daydreams look like vivid ASC experiences, which mislead us into thinking that they are worthy of scientific investigation.

 

Not having met or communicated with Glaskin at the time when Windows of the Mind came out, the only way I could answer these questions was to try out the Christos technique on student friends, and see if they experienced anything similar which would validate his claims. Needless to say, these claims have been fully corroborated by my experiments and those of others over the past couple of years. But still more exciting than this is that the Christos technique has proved to be a key which with suitable subjects is capable of prying open the trapdoors to about as many different major ASCs as are known to man.

 

Our ordinary waking state of consciousness (the NSC, or normal state of consciousness) is just the first of our three most familiar major states; the others are dreaming and deep dreamless sleep. A large area of psychology and especially parapsychology is concerned with the study of other states of consciousness: ASCs such as drunkenness, lucid dreams, out-of-the-body experiences (OBEs), medium­istic trance, ‘peak’ and mystical experience, etc. They are valued by relevant and often different groups in society, with various methods being used to induce them, ranging from alcoholic intoxication (specific to the first mentioned), through hypnosis which can produce some of the major ASCs if adapted, and on to meditation, psychedelic drugs and specific procedures which are aimed at inducing the higher states of consciousness.

 

Professor Charles Tart (1969) says that a person has experienced an ASC when he ‘feels a qualitative shift in his pattern of mental functioning, (in that) mental processes are different (and) mental functions operate that do not operate at all ordinarily (and) perceptual qualities appear that have no normal counterparts’. He employs Dr van Eeden’s (1913) term, ‘lucid dream’, to designate that ASC ‘in which the dreamer knows he is dreaming and feels fully conscious in the dream itself’. Most Christos experiences which both my own and Glaskin’s subjects have had are of this nature - they are lucid dreams. In general subjects had ‘dual­consciousness’, meaning that they were aware of both their dream ‘world’ and the real world, though sometimes awareness of the latter was lost as the dream sequence became more and more absorbing.

 

One problem with many ASC induction techniques is that they either tend to involve processes which take a long time to bear fruit, such as meditation to attain mystical consciousness, or they are illegal and hard to regulate for experimental purposes, as is the use of psychedelic drugs like LSD. The Christos technique, though, seems to fill a much needed requirement in ASC research, in that it is capable of inducing lucid dreams complete with two-way experimenter/subject communication in nearly everybody who can usually remember their nocturnal dreams. Further­more, I have discovered that in some people[1] it provides a platform ASC from which to induce OBEs (out-of-the-body experiences), and in rare subjects, ASCs involving what are felt to be ‘super-conscious’ states, which the distinguished American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, has called ‘peak’ experiences.

 

My intention in this paper is to back up what Glaskin has described, by relating a very small number of my own subjects’ ASC experiences. However, I shall start with a brief discussion of the Christos induction procedure in order to give the reader some ideas as regards why it is so effective.

 

The Induction Procedure

 

Clearly the massage is the most unusual feature of this, and one modification which I have made of the original technique is to cease the foot massage after a couple of minutes when it has helped the subject’s body to relax, then concentrate on a fairly vigorous forehead massage alone. I would suggest that the effect of this is akin to the effect of contemplative meditation in which the percipient has to concentrate on a stimulus such as a mantra (sacred word) or an imaginary spot of light. This exercise, when perfected by much practice, leads to a condition which Ornstein (1972) calls ‘one-pointedness’, meaning that the senses are focused upon only the one percept, with a corresponding ‘turning off’ of perception of the external world.

 

Now, while it is not easy for a novice meditator to sustain concentration on his meditation mantra, it is very hard for a Christos subject to avoid concentrating upon the corn­pelling stimulus which forehead massage provides. I suggest, therefore, that Christos subjects enter a state akin to that of one-pointed awareness very rapidly, and my good subjects have described certain experiences which support this view.

 

As already stated, most subjects will retain some aware­ness of the outside environment particularly of the guide’s (i.e., experimenter’s) voice but this awareness tends to be reduced unless the pcrson is specifically asked about it. Occasionally withdrawal of the senses is selective and very pronounced; for example, one of my subjects found that my voice was ‘crystal clear’ as she could hear it perfectly, but she could not hear music playing at full volume out of my cassette recorder at the same time. This is a classic example of selective sensory perception brought about by intense concentration, and it leads on to two other factors which are very important for ASC induction. The first is a turning of the mind towards inner, subjective experience, rather than to outer sensory impression. The second, and most important of all, is a break-down in the ordinary structure of consciousness.

 

It is obvious that in order to survive, people cannot be equally aware of everything in their environment at the same time. It is therefore necessary for them to filter out all unnecessary information, and also to learn to process certain sorts of information automatically below the threshold of consciousness so that they can interact with the world more efficiently. While this processing or ‘auto­matization’ is necessary for us to live normal lives, it does restrict our view of reality very greatly particularly where aesthetic appreciation of the world is concerned. We have all had the experience, no doubt, of listening to a favourite piece of music so often that we get bored with it. What probably happens is that as we get to know it better we produce a mental model of it we ‘automatize’ it so that it is no longer necessary to attune ourselves to the direct sensory experience and to listen carefully to every note in order to be aware of what is happening in the auditory environment. Rather, the brain can say to itself, as it were, ‘I know what that is; it fits the model for Beethoven’s Ninth, so I needn’t bother remaining conscious of it to a very high extent.’ In other words, we replace the direct experience of reality by an abstract category, and sadly this results in a correspondingly decreased awareness of such qualities as beauty, goodness, wholeness, etc., which can only be had when one is conscious of the direct experience to a very high degree.

 

Now then, it seems to be fact that if one reduces awareness to levels approaching that of ‘one-pointedness’, the re­strictively automatized NSC begins to break down, so an after-effect is that reality is temporarily experienced at a more direct level and the potential to enter certain ASCs is greatly enhanced. Arthur Deikmann (1966, 111 Tart, 1969) refers to this process as a ‘de-automatization’. If, when in this state, people turn their senses back towards the outside world, they will see it in a very different way probably in much the same way as somebody using psychedelic drugs might see it. But if the attention remains subjectively orientated, then the experience of one’s inner self will also have an enhanced sense of reality and depth about it, and the imagination might flower with a creativity previously unthought of.

 

Perceptual changes experienced by some of my best subjects shows that they are in a strongly de-automatized state, and so I would suggest that the average lucid-dream­ing subject is in a slightly de-automatized condition this is what makes the dreams so vivid and bizarre in many cases.

 

The stretching/balloon expansion exercises help to liberate the subject from feeling restricted to his bodily environment alone. As a matter of interest, techniques similar to this are sometimes recommended to those trying to induce an OBE in themselves (e.g. Monroe, 1972), and there is much evidence to suppose that lucid dreams and OBEs merge gradually into one another on an ASC continuum.

 

The set of exercises which start with trying to visualize a house door are very cleverly designed in order to teach the subject to visualize complex and unusual things, having learnt to do so by practising with simple and familiar objects. A whole environment is gradually built up until the subject is essentially having a controlled lucid dream about his or her house as it would appear from high up in the air. Finally, in order to undergo a spontaneous lucid dream originating from the unconscious, it is necessary to dis­engage from the familiar environment, and hence the exercise which makes the subject concentrate on alternating the time of day between day and night.

 

Lucid Dreams

 

The most shallow type of dreams were ones relating to everyday circumstances of life, and were often experienced prior to deeper inner experience rather as if the superficial worries, predominant thoughts and so on had to be waded through in order to get at the underlying motive.

 

At the deeper level dreams could often be correlated with some major upset (trauma) in the person’s life, or with their general outlook and philosophy of life. Let me give an example of the latter sort.

 

Stephen, a Communist student, had what initially appeared to be a reincarnative-type dream. However, on analysis he agreed with me that psychologically it could be seen as being highly relevant by way of giving inner justifica­tion for his political views which are more extreme than most.

 

After the visualization exercises, Stephen landed in a field through which he found himself walking home having just completed the day’s ploughing. He felt that he was back in nineteenth-century north-east Scotland, and had been adopted by a farmer after his parents’ death at an early age. As the following extract shows, he was treated harshly:

at the age of twenty-four he received no wages, and lived in a barn getting food but little else.

 

(S=Stephen; G=guide in all cases me.

 

G. Who is the man that lives in the farmhouse?

S. Hç’s the boss.

G. A good one?

S. No he makes you work too hard and doesn’t do any work himself He does go out to the fields, but hardly does anything.

G. Does he employ many people?

S. No, just me. His wife calls him Archie.

G. Where do you live?

S. Usually just in the barn when not working.

G.  How many hours a day do you work?

S. I get up early, come back to eat something, then I work till evening. I’m now going into the barn. . . sit down.. . I think I’m going to eat something but I don’t know what it is. The woman in the house is old and has a harsh voice. She never speaks to me (gives full description of her).

G. How do you pass your time?

S. Just with the horses.

G. Are you literate?

S. No, I’ve never written.

G.  Are you religious?

S. No, I can’t remember church.

G. What’s your name?

S. I think he (the boss) calls me Jimmy.

G. Do you think you’ll ever get married?

S.   I’ll never meet anybody there’s nowhere to go.

 

I think the reason why many subjects have reincarnative­-type dreams during Christos experiences is due to the role played by suggestion, rather than to an unearthing of past life experience lying deep within the psyche. Both Glaskin and I were introduced to the technique as ‘a method to remember past incarnations’, and have consequently mentioned this aspect when telling potential new subjects what they may be about to let themselves in for. Even if the possibility of reincarnative dreams is not specifically men­tioned beforehand, it is really necessary to tell subjects that they may find themselves in a different place at a different time when ‘landing’, so they don’t just go back down to the home’s surroundings again. To the highly suggestible un­conscious mind this could be sufficient to provide the theme of reincarnation as a nucleus round which to build a dream which relates to the subject’s psychological disposition and status quo. Depth psychology has shown us how the un­conscious will usually clad what it has to say about the person in symbols, to avoid the message being censored by the conscious ego which doesn’t want to be hurt. Perhaps through using the reincarnation motif the unconscious can project secondary, repressed personalities, or ‘complexes’, into the field of consciousness in such a way as to be accept­able to the ego, which thinks there is no harm in a dream about ostensible former incarnations.

 

Thus, in the above case, we postulate that Stephen couldn’t accept consciously that he felt misunderstood and perhaps unloved by the world. He could, however, accept and identify with this feeling as ‘Jimmy’, a ‘previously incarnated’ farmer’s lad, in a story which bore no relation­ship to the facts of his real life as a student. In this way the unconscious was able to express its contents, while the ego could remain, relatively unpreturbed, yet learn from the dream over the ensuing weeks.

 

I should like to mention just one other dream (out of the many), which was so strange and emotionally powerful that one is forced to think in terms of reincarnation much more seriously. This was one of the very few instances in which one of my subjects experienced strong fear and unfortun­ately became oblivious of my presence at one point so I was unable to guide her out of the experience. The subject, Mary, was a second-year student of psychology and physiology at the time, and was undergoing her third Christos run. Like those experienced by one two of the, Parkhursts’ subjects (see pp. 2 10—211), her dream consisted of a violent death motif. The condensed account of our dialogue starts after the visualization exercises had been completed, and she found herself ‘floating in light’ with spears thrust up against her body. (M=Mary; G=guide.)

 

M.   . . . (The spears) are not really hurting, but I’m physically transfixed, being unable to move because of the light. I’m sort of suspended right away from every­thing.

G. What do you look like?

M.   Like a man with a leather and brass plate — sort of armour. I am something, I know what it is but I can’t remember. I feel as though I’m set in a stained glass window. That’s what it is! That’s why I can’t move and there’s so much light. I’m in a sitting position with spears round me which are just touching, and I can feel the difference between what’s behind and in front of me —one’s outside and the other (spear) is inside me.

I’m looking down — I think it’s a church — reddish tyles on the floor. It’s peculiar being forced to be so rigid. Sandstone pillars, fan vaulting on ceiling — Gothic? No, early English I think. My eyes are fixed looking upwards so it is easier to see the ceiling than the floor. (Further detailed ‘description of the church given. No rapid eye movements which was unusual.)

G. What are you doing there?

M.   I’m not doing anything — I’m just part of the structure in my window.

G. How did you get there?

M.   (After a long pause, and starting to show signs of distress — muscular tenseness, movement and heavy breathing.) There was a battle. Noise, shouting and screaming, and there was just me on a horse with hundreds of people thrusting with swords and spears at me. I tried to turn everywhere to keep them off. I think

— blood — despair. I know they’ll get me. (Much tossing and turning, heavy breathing and crying out. Suddenly she stopped crying and went limp.)

G. What’s happening now?

M.   — Floating — silence.

G. Can you see anything?

M.   Light. So peaceful. I feel as though I’m moving towards something — getting more and more solid. I’m compact, developing into something.’ (Sudden breath and muscular jerk made.)

G. What’s happening now?

M.   I’m back in the centre of the window — suddenly transfixed with light again..

G. How did you get back to it?

M.   I was just floating towards it when suddenly I was sucked into it and became it. It was very very beautiful —the feeling of having a new physical’ being. Being one with the light and having my own substance is so peaceful after the noise, so comfortable after the pain, and so safe after the danger.

   There’s something written under my feet. I can’t see it, but I can almost feel what it says. I think it says two words — it’s Latin. It says, pro mobis (sp?) — it means ‘on our behalf’. I don’t know why it says that but it does.

G. What’s your name?

M.   Lawrence, I think.

G. Surname?

M.   I don’t know. I can’t remember.

G. Where do you live?

M.   I don’t know, I can’t remember. I’ll try and remem­ber, but I can’t get back past the battle.

G. What exactly happened to you at the battle?

M.   I was killed with a spear. (She then went through the killing again, this time even more vividly, behaving just as if she really had been stabbed on the bed in front of me. Pulse rate shot up to just over zoo, and she was unaware of attempts I made to communicate and help. After she had gone limp again, I waited a while before asking where she was.) I’m just floating in blackness.

G. Towards what?

M.   I don’t know where I am or who I am.

G. You’re Mary X, up in Hilihead doing an experi­ment with dreams. You’re quite safe, it’s just that you’ve had a bad dream.

M.   Oh, that’s right. I thought I was lying on the ground with a spear through me.

G. No, you’re quite safe, and there’s nothing wrong with you.

M. Not now, but there was! It was through my chest —just below the sternum. I can still feel the place now, It feels different than the rest of me, but it’s all right now. . . . I’m just lying here relaxed, and can hear the music you’ve put on. . . . Can I get up now, as I might go straight back to the stained glass window again, which I don’t want to do because of the battle which I’d probably go through again.

 

Although Mary had found the experience as painful and frightening as it seemed real, it also intellectually fascinated her on reflection which was at least some compensation for having gone through it. When discussing her physical reaction during the dream, two days later in their flat, her flatmate said she sometimes had to wake Mary up at night because she occasionally tossed, turned and cried out so      much while dreaming. Seen in this light, it is reassuring to note that the Christos technique had not produced anything particularly abnormal relative to her normal sleeping habits.

 

Wishing to invoke the reincarnation hypothesis only as a last resort, there are tentative ways in which this dream might be interpreted. For example, it could be seen as a dream about the theoretical principle of reincarnation. How­ever, as this would hardly account for the manifestly powerful affective or emotional element, it might be better understood as possibly resulting from the symbolic re­enactment of a repressed real-life trauma, which with a touch of Freudian thought could be considered as the birth trauma. Thus we might account for the very strong feelings of pain, distress and confusion, followed by an impression of bright light and ‘new physical being’.

 

In this short paper it is not possible to discuss dream analysis in any depth. However, it should be clear from the dreams cited by both Glaskin and me in this book that some interpretation could be of considerable help to people who wish to understand themselves and their lives better. In fact, it is seldom that subjects feel that they have not learnt from their dream. The Christos method may find valuable application in the hands of those psychotherapists working with such techniques as dream interpretation, free as­sociation, cathartic procedures, guided imagery, and so on.

 

Out-of-the-Body Experiences

 

This ASC is characterized by the subject feeling that his centre of consciousness (i.e. ‘self’, ‘soul’, ‘the me’, etc..) has been freed from the physical body, and is capable of moving around in and perceiving both the physical ‘real world’, and sometimes other ‘mental’, ‘spiritual’, ‘astral’, etc., worlds which might seem just as real, if not more so than the normal physical world. An older name for the OBE is ‘astral projection’.

 

OBEs can have their onset under a very wide range of circumstances, and there is much debate as to whether or not they provide proof of a spiritual existence. I feel that analysis of specific OBE features such as Dr Robert Crookall (see reading list) has carried out provides very strong evidence to show that OBEs are qualitatively different from dreams~ and thus provide ‘objective’ evidence for a spiritual reality. Experiences of some half dozen or so out of the two dozen (half male, half female) subjects on whom I have experimented convince me that Crookall’s work is amply corroborated, and it is also important in being what Professor Hornell Hart described as ‘a master-pattern into which can be fitted many of the data which have puzzled and perplexed’ psychical researchers’ (Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1962).

 

Briefly, I found that my best lucid dream subjects could be brought into OBE or OBE-like states, simply by asking them to ‘come back’ from their dream, ‘re-enter’ the room, and try to see their physical bodies lying on the bed. Further exercises such as getting them to somersault helped to intensify the OBE sensation and, of course, it was necessary to employ certain criteria in order to avoid confusing poor subjects’ non-realistic ‘imaginary’ experiences with the very realistic and typical OBEs of the best subjects.

 

Four subjects demonstrated a degree of ostensible extra­sensory perception ‘while in OBE states, and here I shall describe one such case the finest which my best subject, Ann, described occurences in another room on a different floor of a hail of residence in Aberdeen.

 

In her fifth run (out of a total of seventeen) I asked Ann to think hard when in the OBE state of our mutual friend, Paula, so as to move towards her, locate her, and describe what she was doing (none of us knew this information at the time).

 

‘Ah,’ Ann replied after a minute’s silence, ‘Paula’s sitting in her room on the hard-backed chair (wrong, she was on the bed, but the hard-backed chair was in line with that and Ann’s viewpoint), and she’s talking to a girl who I’ve never seen before. I’m watching them through the window from outside (we later found that the curtains had actually been open, although it was pitch dark outside), and the girl to whom she’s talking is about five feet, four inches tall, with light red hair down to her shoulders and she has a roundish, slightly freckled face’ (condensed not verbatim).

 

Ann continued to watch them, telling us that she was looking through the window from outside, and tapping on the glass in order to try and attract the couple’s attention, but not surprisingly they were unable to hear her.

 

While this was going on I asked Sarah, an observer who was present, to go up to Paula’s room and see if Ann’s observation could be substantiated. She went out quietly and Ann later stated that she was not” conscious of her departure, although she must have subconsciously heard me telling Sarah what to do. A couple of minutes later Ann announced that she could see somebody else entering Paula’s room. She gave a full physical description of Sarah, then suddenly exclaimed, ‘Oh, it’s Sarah!’ somewhat surprised since she had believed that Sarah was still with us. ‘And’, she added, ‘all three of them are killing themselves with laughter. They’re in hysterics!’

 

A few minutes later Sarah came back down together with Paul and a girl, Jill, who exactly fitted the description given. Apparently Sarah had gone into Paula’s room and was so amazed to see this girl there that she burst out laughing with surprise. The other two joined in, despite the fact that they didn’t know what was so funny, thus explain­ing why they were all seen to be ‘in hysterics’. Neither Ann nor I had ever seen Jill beforehand, and none of us had known that Paula would be in her room with a visitor at that time either.

 

Both Ann and other subjects experienced many fasci­nating things while in OBEs and similar states of conscious­ness, but they go far beyond the scope of this paper. We shall therefore finish off with a brief look at the most highly valued ASCs known to man — ‘peak experiences’ as Professor Abraham Maslow (1962) has called them — such as three of my subjects have had to varying degrees of intensity and depth.

 

Transcendence and Peak Experiences

 

Peak experience is a blanket term used to cover a wide range of ASCs which may show such features as being over­whelmingly intense and positively valued or ecstatic beyond the normal range of emotions, enlightening, and so on. Values can be generated from the ASC which are commonly described by such terms as goodness, truth, essence, whole­ness, beauty, etc. As a sensation of fundamental unity is often felt with percepts, it would seem that lesser peak experiences are closely related to the ultimate ASC full mystical experience in which the percipient, amongst other things, feels at one with all which is in existence.

 

My subject and close friend, Ann, has entered ASOs which fulfil all of the ncessary criteria (set out by Pahnke in Tart, 1969) to be deemed full mystical experience. Another subject, Mimi, went into a non-mystical peak state which started with an OBE-like lucid dream. This dream was not unlike that of Glaskin’s fascinating subject, Kathryn McNaughton. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miss McNaughton could actually have a peak experience given the right conditions and Glaskin’s expert guidance.

 

In all cases the ASC was induced by my asking subjects in fairly well-developed OBE or similar states to see what might happen if they tried to radiate the strongest possible thoughts of ‘being values’ such as goodness, truth, wholeness• oneness, and, above all, unconditional love for all things. While they did this, I started a tape, playing what might be called ‘transcendental music’ music which rouses within one higher emotions and sentiments such as are not usually experienced in the NSC.

 

Here is a slightly adapted account of my dialogue with Mary as she entered into a semi-mystical peak experience during her fourth Christos run. The transcription starts after she has passed through the lucid dream phase with restricted awareness and has entered into the OBE state, whereupon I set part one of Mike Oldfield’s highly con­ducive work, ‘Ommadawn’, playing at low volume.[2]

 

(M=Mary; G=Guide.)

 

M.  I feel back to normal now.

G.  Who are you now?

M.  Nobody, just a lump of consciousness. (This loss of ego and/or dream identity seems to be a prerequisite before going into higher states of consciousness.) I feel more capable of just perceiving (i.e. experiencing things), rather than thinking. (Suggestive of a de-automatized state.)

G.  Can you perceive beauty and love?

M.  Yes. It’s too big for me to actually see, but I can see what love does.

G.  Can you experience love?

M.  I feel as though I’m inside it rather than it being inside of me, so in a sense I’m experiencing it just now, but not really feeling it.

G.   Try sending out strong thoughts of beauty, goodness, love, and so on.

M.  I feel as though I’m being untied I’m no longer a small, solid being of consciousness floating around. It’s as if I’ve become much more diffuse becoming part of love and beauty instead of being inside them. It’s like being unravelled breaking up into little particles of dust a slow, gentle explosion.

G.   To what end?

M.  No end, just going outwards to infinity. Embracing everything.

G.   What’s your relationship to everything?

M.  I’m just being part of it, being dispersed into it. I’m diffusing into a gas which is everything solid, physical and spiritual. I’m dispersed amongst the all orwhatever it is. It means that I’m in it, and it’s in me… I feel aware of my closeness to God, but I’m no closer than I normally am. It’s not so much a matter of getting closer, but more like turning the light on something that’s already there.

 

As with Ann during her full mystical experience, the ASC gradually terminated when Mary became more and more intellectually active through having to answer the overload of questions which I fired at her. In future experiments I shall probably remain silent during such states. In any case, subjects usually complain that ordinary language is in­adequate to convey their experience in states of conscious­ness other than the NSC and the usual type of lucid dreams.

 

Conclusion

 

In this paper I have tried to complement and partly explain Glaskin’s discoveries about lucid dreaming, in addition to giving a very sketchy account of the other states of con­sciousness with which the bulk of my own work is concerned. This, I hope, offers the reader a glimpse of the vast variety of human potential which can be temporarily liberated in suitable people, using the simple procedure which the Parkhursts and Glaskin have unearthed and pioneered.

 

As is the case in any discipline where we stand on that hazy boundary which separates the known from the un­known, work with ASCs is not without certain dangers. Therefore please follow the warning issued at the start of this book, and don’t treat the Christos procedure as a party game. Although it seems that nightmare-type experiences are very rare with induced lucid dreams, subjects entering the more ‘far out’ ASCs may become frightened and have potentially dangerous experiences unless you have learnt enough to reassure and guide them properly.

 

In the Western world we have just recently come to terms         with the very concept of ASCs, and while much work is now being carried out, only tentative attempts have been made to map the seemingly infinite geography of inner space. Just as the explorer does not fool around in little-known lands, so anyone trying to effect changes in consciousness with the Christos, or any other technique, should do so only in a prudent spirit of rational enquiry. To help with this I include a short reading list one which could do with many more additions, but which will suffice in serving as a basic introduction to those aspects of psychology and parapsychology which deal with ASCs and the full potential of man.

 

Finally, I think we must all thank our remarkable Australian novelist friend, G. M. Glaskin, for risking and, indeed, receiving a certain amount of ridicule in order to tell us about the Christos technique as he was introduced to it through the Parkhursts’ commendable endeavours. It          is largely through people like these, who are not afraid to state what they have discovered and think, that man is able to make any progress at all towards digging himself out of the existential ruts in which ignorance and cultural taboos hold him rigidly. So to those who have a genuine wish to learn and develop, whether through their own experiments, or by studying the work of others, may I add my voice to that of Glaskin in wishing you a most exciting time while exploring the world of worlds within.

 

Commendable Reading

 

Crookall, R. The Study and Practice of Astral Projection. Aquarian Press, 1961. The Techniques of Astral Projection. Aquarian, 1964. The Interpretation of Cosmic and Mystical Experiences. James Clarke, 1969.

 

Glaskin, G. M. Windows of the Mind. Wildwood House, 1974; Arrow, 1976.

 

Green, C. B. Lucid Dreams. Hamish Hamilton, 1968. Out-of-the-Body Experiences. Hamish Hamilton, 1968.

 

Jacobi, J. The Psychology of C. G. Jung. 7th ed., Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968.

 

Jung, C. G. Collected Works, vol. 8 The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (includes ‘Synchronicity”). Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960.

 

Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. Distributed in the UK by Aleph One Ltd.

 

Lilly, J. C. The Centre of the Cyclone. Paladin, 1973.

 

Maslow, A. H. Toward a Psycholology of Being. Van Nostrand, New York, 1962.

 

Masters, R. E. L. and Houston, J.. The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience. Turnstone Books, 1966.

 

Monroe, R. A. Journeys out of the Body. Corgi, 1974.

 

Muldoon, S. J. and Carrington. The Projection of the Astral Body. Rider, 1968.

 

Ornstein, R. E. The Psychology of Consciousness. Pelican, 1972.

 

 Pearce-Higgins, J. D. and Whitby, G.S., eds.. Life, Death and Psychical Research. Rider, 1973.

 

Tart, C. T., ed. Altered States of Consciousness. Wiley, New York, 1969.

 

Yogananda, P. Autobiography of a Yogi. Rider, 1969.

 



[1] Over time I have learned to select good subjects, since they often show certain common psychological characteristics. They always remember nocturnal dreams vividly and in colour, are usually women, have strong emotions and feelings and, often, good memories. They are sensitive towards their environment and others; creative, artistic, intuitive, often altruistic and self-actualizing/realizing.

 

[2] I generally used Oldfield’s composition for this, though with Ann I felt that the Moody Blues album, ‘In Search of the Lost Chord’, was more appropriate. It was composed to guide psyche­delic drug users into mystical states of conciousness, and the lyrics give it obvious spiritual overtones to supplement the evocative Eastern instrumentation.

 

 

 

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