Johannes Eriunega, an Irish theologian and philosopher who lived in the 800s, said, “All that is, is light.” Niels Bohr (1885-1962), a Danish theoretical physicist who developed the foundation mathematics for Quantum Mechanics, said, “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
In between the 800s and today, sages and physicists have said many things about the illusory nature of the reality we perceive with our physical senses. Goodness knows, those of us whose writing is characterized variously as science fiction, fantasy, or magical realism have put our spin on the large gap between consensual reality and the actuality behind the veil.
I used the NASA photo above in the header of my Facebook author’s page because it not only fits the fiction of a writer of fantasy and magical realism, but defines the belief behind my stories. I am not only a star gazer, but am also graced with occasional glimpses of our shimmering, star-spangled crystal-colored world as it actually is.
You can be, too, if you haven’t already discovered that the vision of the Large Magellanic Cloud in the NASA photograph–or the night sky when the gods allow you to see it without interference from man-made light–is very much the same as an atomistic view of a rock or a person or a table, play with the exercise below.
Matter is mostly empty space. When I was young and still an adamant believer in a materialistic view of matter and logic, a minister at an alternative church told me that there’s no such thing as matter. What we believed was solid, wasn’t really solid. While he was a good friend, I thought his view was absurd.
Now that I’m the age he was when he told me that, I meet with the same “are you off your rocker” comments when I say he was right.
We need our physical senses to navigate the world as we believe it to be. If your physical eyes showed you a Magellanic Cloud in front of your face, it would be impossible for you to function. However, with a bit of practice, you can see that the structure of the table in your room or the mountain outside your window–at their basic levels–looks like that cloud.
Instead of taking a journey from the Earth to the Moon, you’ll be taking a journey from the illusory world of “physical matter” to the actual star-spangled realm inside the world your physical eyes have convinced you is there.
Unlike the law of attraction and other practices that require you to believe they’ll work before your experience tells you they’ll work, you can see the stars inside your table without having to be certain there are stars inside your table.
- Sit in a comfortable chair and stare at your table and consider what it might be like to shrink yourself to a creature much smaller than an electron and fly over, under and through that table. How would it appear?
- Relax and then silence the constant chatter in your mind about the chores waiting for you, what you had for dinner yesterday, and everything else your inner dialogue is constantly focused upon.
- Close your eyes and imagine you will soon become an a very small firefly sitting on the back of your chair.
- If you don’t already have a preferred meditation technique, you can use a modified form of self-hypnosis or a biofeedback process to reduce the frequency of your brainwaves and slow down your pulse rate.
- Think to yourself, “I am going to a deeper level of consciousness, 10…9…deeper and deeper…8…7…6…with each descending number I am deeper than before. . .5…4…3…deeper. . .2…1…I am now at a deeper, healthier level of consciousness.” You can vary the words you think depending on what makes you the most relaxed.
- With your eyes closed, pretend you’re a very tiny firefly. Imagine yourself flying around the room to take a look at the objects in it. What do the chairs, curtains, books, TV set, and pictures on the wall look like from this perspective?
- Once you’ve explored the room, consider the table. Fly around it and see what it looks like from all sides. When you are ready, think something like the following, “I’ about to fly inside the table.”
- Fly up to it and stare at its “surface,” just covering there. While doing this, imagine that it’s an impressionist painter’s table, composed of flickers of paint and light. See it growing larger the way a JPG grows larger when you increase its size slowly to the point where the pixels get farther and farther apart.
- Now, when the table is so large that it’s component “pixels” are so far apart you can easily fit between them. fly inside it. How does it feel? What do the different “colors” of the table appear to be when you examine them closely?
- Hover in place and until everything you see appears like the night sky, shimmering and crystal colored and radiant.
- Assuming you haven’t fallen asleep, fly outside the table and–in your firefly form–sit or stand on the chair you chose before you did your meditation countdown.
- Think to yourself, “At the count of three, I’ll awake into my everyday reality feeling happier and healthier than before…1…2…3.” Open your eyes.
The first time I successfully did this journey, I stood up too soon and as I took my first step away from the chair, I fell. Why? The floor wasn’t there. I was still seeing things with my firefly’s eyes. So wait there a moment and make sure everything looks “normal” before you leave your chair.
Does this journey work the first time? I can’t say. Does one “see” more clearly each time they do it? I can’t say, because it’s better if you have no preconceived ideas about whether of not this exercise is easy or difficult or whether or not it takes practice or it doesn’t.
Becoming a sparkling firefly and fluttering around the living room requires a sense of play. Or, if you don’t like flying, become an ant (or whatever you prefer). This is a game of “let’s pretend” that should be relaxing in and of itself. Have fun. Sooner or later, you will realize that your let’s pretend has become real at a deeper level of consciousness.