Why do I need to attend school at age 81? The answer is simple: at age 81, I want to prepare my consciousness for the time when my five physical senses are no longer available. That is, I want to prepare for my conscious existence after the death of my physical body. For that, I need a special kind of training.
I know, I know. Our indoctrination in the manifest material world teaches us that a post-physical consciousness is simply impossible—that it doesn’t exist. In the prevailing paradigm, the belief in consciousness after death of the physical body is simply an illusion based on the fear of death. Accounts of “near death experiences” (NDE), reincarnation, out of body travel, etc. are simply attempts to still the fear of death. They are dismissed as “fairy tales.” But the evidence continues to mount that there is more to these alternate views than wish fulfillment.
For example, take the case of Dorothy Eady, a 20th century British woman, whose memory of a previous life in ancient Egypt was so accurate that she helped archeologists find the exact placement of the ancient sites in Abydos. Then there is the successful chess match that Viktor Korchnoi, a living Grand Master, played with Grand Master Geza Maroczy, who had died in 1951. Their match took place between 1985 and 1993, with the moves being communicated by a non-chess-playing medium. There are numerous accounts of people undergoing surgery and “watching” the whole procedure from a space above the operating table, typically near the ceiling of the room. A famous near-death experience was recorded by brain surgeon Eben Alexander, whose book Proof of Heaven details his experiences in another dimension while his brain-dead body remained behind in a hospital bed. As I said, the evidence continues to mount for consciousness separate from the physical body.
I want to get post-physical consciousness (PPC) education so I am comfortable negotiating the realm of the afterlife. But how? I can’t simply shut down the input of my five senses. Our experiences in this realm are largely mediated by input from the physical senses. Where do I go to enroll in the PPC elementary school? And where is this PPC elementary school anyway?
I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I have some hints. The hints come from what are called the “imaginal realms.” These are realms that we visit in special states of consciousness that include dreams, visions, meditations, and, sometimes, under the influence of psychotropic drugs. They may still involve the physical senses, but the experiences go beyond those available through sensory input alone.
For example, in a dream we “see” scenes, but these visions are not based on input from our physical eyes, which are closed and not in operation. We touch, taste, and smell things, but these sensations are not based on input from physical sense organs. We have a body, but it is not our physical body, which is asleep in the bed. Likewise, in meditation and that space between sleeping and awake, called the “hypnogogic” state, we can experience sensations that are not the result of external physical input. We typically think of these experiences as being located in the body, but I wonder if that is only the result of our lifetime of experiences in this body. Perhaps they are located in our consciousness. But where is that located?
I have long known that most of my creative work takes place in the imaginal realms (see “My Life as an Imaginaut,” on this blog), and I believe that it is through developing competence in exploring these areas that I can access and develop the PPC (post-physical consciousness).
Through meditation and active dream work, I think I have enrolled in the Post-Physical Primary School. While I am not looking forward to the approach of death, I am intensely curious about what I will experience on the other side. Perhaps I’ll find a way to continue writing this blog from there!