Mystics and spiritual teachers throughout time have referred to or described a subtle body that survives the death process which permeates the physical body that gives rise to our innate sense of inner being, aliveness and our conscious awareness or perhaps referencing the witness part of the sum of our external and inner experiences. The saying “I think therefore I am…” is not accurate and following the logic of having an inner being it might be more the case “I am, therefore I think” and this correction to philosophy was first introduced to me by Eckart Tolle.
During my Kundalini awakening something profound happened that enabled a separation of something from my physical body that temporarily allowed me to inhabit a subtle body and observe myself from a different physical perspective. Many people commonly report about this in the more widely known phenomena of astral projection or ‘near death experience’, which seems to enable a subtle self to separate from the physical body. One can experience a NDE often whilst heavily sedated or anaesthetised and people can train themselves to perform astral projection, however this later method is usually very difficult to achieve and I believe comparatively few have actually mastered how to do this regularly or have no conscious awareness of it taking place.
This story begins as I fell asleep on my sofa-bed one Saturday afternoon, after a short time, I felt something pulling and tugging on my left ankle, almost like a dog had bitten my jean hem at the ankle and was tugging on it trying to get my attention. Moments later it felt like my leg was actually hanging outside of my body somehow; and shortly after this my whole subtle self-had become completely separated from my physical body, where it was then tossed aside to the other end of the sofa bed by something I still couldn’t see.
This very fine subtle body I was now inhabiting, seeing and perceiving through was a very pale white coloured translucent vessel outlined almost like an illuminated piece of glass and it seemed to be comprised of nothing but a subtle energy field resembling light in the shape of a human body. It didn’t appear to interact with any physical light from the window or cast any sort of shadow onto the surroundings at all. However it was still capable of physically interacting and making contact with physical materials such as the furniture as I didn’t simply fall through the sofa or through the floor beneath. This body was incredibly flexible and dextrous by comparison probably due to not having the support from any sort of bones, muscles or skeletal structure and finding myself paralysed and with no motor control to speak of this newly separated body flopped over itself in a very awkward position at the waist like a rag doll. It looked and felt a bit like the simple character models that game designers use to test simulated game physics engines and it is this which you see in the cover photo.
This separation enabled me to peer back at my physical body still lying undisturbed and asleep on the sofa and which still seemed unconscious and very much unaware of anything. In this new state of awareness, I had no sense of mind or thoughts at all, I could feel very little, nothing in the way of any stress or bodily muscular tension and no audible ego to perceive as my own mind. It was quite disconcerting, whilst I couldn’t express what I ordinarily thought of as thinking I felt largely helpless to think of or form any sort solution to my predicament, but yet I felt a constant steady sense of presence and alertness that just perceived. I couldn’t speak or call for help, I had no vocal cords and I couldn’t move my mouth and I was no longer aware of whether or not I could hear sounds anymore. I did not feel any sort of awkward gut feelings, organs, hairs on my body or any other sort of emotional response from within myself associated with stress or perhaps fear in response to what felt to me at the time was some sort of possible intrusive and unwelcome abduction attempt of what might have been my soul or astral body or an attempt of possession or entity interference with my physical body for reasons I didn’t understand.
I seemed to sense that this raw and stripped back part of myself was inwardly bemused by what was happening and was either not putting up any resistance or it was powerless to do anything about what was happening. Despite how invasive and vulnerable this seemed to be I never felt any sort of existential dread as if my life was being threatened in any way. I simply didn’t feel afraid, or could not feel afraid, no thoughts or stress to cause worry or concern and yet I felt just as sentient, intelligent and alive as I normally would. I laid folded over myself resting precariously on the edge of the sofa for some time, but after a while I either fell off onto the floor under my own steam or something had again gone to effort to exert force and push me off just as I had been pushed aside before as if I were getting in the way of whatever ‘it’ was doing to me.
Inhabiting this subtle body, I only had the faintest felt sense of an outline and body shape and only the faintest sense of resistance between the outer edge of this subtle light body as it touched the sofa. Rather than processing any bodily senses from the brain, nervous system and physical body as you might normally expect, this time I was experiencing and processing reality from only the subtle body which was something quite new and alien to me, and yet at the same time I felt quite safe, peaceful and at home as if this was already so familiar to me. In this state, I realised that this separated part of me was as responsible for my inner sense of self and was still as much a part of me as when I am physically embodied, alert and able to move around per normal.
During the transition from being on the side of the sofa to rolling about on the floor carpet, I finally found my neck and line of sight briefly positioned by chance in a way that I could see something rather sinister and ominous looking standing over me like some sort of spectre. This entity had a loosely defined humanoid shape, except it didn’t appear to have any legs holding him up and its body, face and clothing were made from a substance that flickered vertically into the air like white fire, except it didn’t give off any sort of smoke, odour or leave anything behind separate from itself.
Shortly after being able to see what this was, I found myself blacking out and going dark and totally unaware or unconscious and eventually I woke up on the sofa where I had always been feeling groggy, but to my relief I found my inner self seemingly reconnected with my physical body and I retained all the memories of what had just taken place which was still fresh in my mind as if it were a recently lived experience rather than it being like attempting to recall a hard to remember dream that had taken place in some other space or time. This was quite a disturbing experience for me at this point, it revealed a new level of vulnerability I hadn’t been aware of before and whilst I didn’t panic or go into shock immediately after waking up I was never the less left in a somewhat confused and disorientated state and left wondering and contemplating what was all this about?
A year or so after this event occurred I wrote about this experience on my blog where I initially chose to focus on the shadowy being or entity that had seemed to have caused this separation for its own reasons in the first instance. Around this time it still felt quite exciting in some sense because of the validity and experience of interacting with other spiritual beings such as this and other more divine beings like angels, which seem to normally exist beyond ordinary sight and can function independently of our laws of physics governing matter and yet still interact with us on a physical or subtle energetic level. What you’re reading here is a re-write of this original post along with my latest personal observations, however this time I would like the focus of attention to be on this subtle body and its implications as it comes to things like psycho-spiritual health and spiritual development such as knowing the realised self.
Rupert Sheldrake having travelled to India and meeting and discussing spirituality and biology with various yogis and gurus came back with the term ‘morphogenetic field’ to describe something that organises the shape and structure of body cells and I pondered myself whether this subtle body maintains the form and shape of our appearance. Other spiritually adept people write and the astral body, and sometimes a mental and emotional body also being one of several subtle layers where we experience these different subtle aspects of our self that work together to create the totality and wholeness of the physical human being and our felt experience, a part of us that cannot exist or be created from physical biology alone, we also represent a hybrid of physical and meta-physical being.
At the present time, it’s very difficult to discuss this and other types of rare and unusual spiritual phenomena with other more materialist focused scientists who I find are very quick and willing to scorn, ridicule or attempt to rebuff such stories and claims as either purely in the realms of imagination, fiction, fantasy, hallucination or delusion and at best much of the wider mainstream health services merely believe such things to be a type of mentally induced hallucinatory experience created by the brain itself. assuming they even bother to ask or listen at all. However, after everything I’ve seen and experienced to date, I don’t buy into these simple arguments and I think and feel it is incredibly unscientific and dismissive of something credible and instead of expanding human knowledge it is limiting the scope of further human growth, potential and understanding and I believe many others are now coming to share similar conclusions as myself due to their own transcendental spiritual experiences either through meditation, prayer, yoga or other types of spiritual practice and this is frequently what I hear others talk about in spiritual groups.
I want to leave this short story here as my own anecdotal proof and evidence of a deeper aspect of self or an innate sentient consciousness that exists at an unseen and unexplored subtle level which presently we can’t penetrate or examine with our existing tools of electron microscopes or methods of dissecting the body. My overwhelming conclusion based on this is that individualised consciousness may not exist in the physical brain at all, but that it, in fact, may exist within us and permeates our whole body as a subtle energetic field. Is this subtle energy field capable of being interacted with through the mind and is this what spiritual healers know and use to interface with us during some of their therapies? What about these hidden layers of reality, what are their purpose and is this a sign that other frequencies of energy exist waiting to be discovered? Does this convincingly prove that something more exists beyond the scope of the material world, a part of us survives the process of physical death?
What other people normally only see or visualise through computer-generated imagery, I take for granted having seen this with my physical eyes as third-eye intuition and spiritual sight showing subtle energy vibrations arranged as a light body overlapping what we ordinarily all see and perceive as dense matter or material world. One day in the future I believe we will have answers to these questions and much more will become much clearer to many people and eventually have profound implications to how we live, treat certain illnesses and diseases in society and further the research of spiritually integrative sciences, healing modalities and philosophies. For more articles and information like this please visit my other psychospiritual health blog.