Following Instructions and Going with the Flow
to the repeating word. I became acquainted with the graduate students
in the department and heard many stories about their experiments with
trance and the various effects that take place. Some of them were quite
talented and could have out of body experiences and various other phenomena
of the deep trance. In that laboratory, I learned many of the dimensions
of personal experience that can be programmed into one's biocomputer.
I learned that there are many, many different states and many, many
different phenomena that one can experience, which are subsumed under
the name trance phenomena.
I did not particularly like the temminology of hypnosis because it implied
something special, something removed from one's ordinary experience
and something available only to professionals. In my own experience,
these states are natural, simple, easy, obvious--once one is witting
to go with the flow. The human biocomputer is capable of many, many
different states of consciousness and has a vast panorama of states
that we do not normally allow to happen.
I learned that what I experienced under LSD in isolation and solitude
in the tank was not nearly as far out as I thought it to he at the time.
With relaxation techniques and concentration, one could probably achieve
similar, if not identical, results.
While I was at Stanford, I heard about Esalen Institute and decided
to go down to the Big Sur coast and see what Esalen was like. The particular
weekend I decided to go, there was a symposium on "psychosis as
a self-evolving experience." I went to listen to this symposium
because, in my own thinking, psychosis was defined as something other
than what it had been many years before. In my new way of thinking about
states of consciousness, psychosis was just an unusual state of consciousness
into which one had gone and this somehow
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