Institute for the Study of Peak States
"Methods for Fundamental Change in the Human Psyche"
Support Newsletter #4, July 2006
"Seeing and Perceiving"
From the Editor Paula Courteau…
Registering for Teleclasses
Seeing and Believing
An example of 'different modes of seeing'
How do you know it's real? Clarifying inner vision
From the Editor Paula Courteau...
Funny how these newsletters tend to coalesce around a theme. I thought this one would be a collection of odds and ends, but then all this interesting material cropped up on the mailing lists, catching my eye because my personal work had been following the same thread. It all revolved around perception: seeing and not seeing, believing and not believing.
This is a huge issue for many of us. It's still a largely unanswered question: how do we see, what do we see? How can we sort delusion and wishful thinking from reality, unreal as it all seems?
Part of the solution is to go back to basics, to a beginner's mind. To round out that perspective, I referred back to my notes from shamanic training, seeking some basic wisdom from an old tradition. Nothing terribly esoteric here, just some good strong principles, a restatement of the obvious in words that make me stop and think.
Then there's good old Image Streaming. It works as an exercise, to help develop our inner vision, but it also works in the fire of the action, in the middle of a session when you don't know where you are and nothing seems to move.
I was very intrigued by Grant Horsfall's recent posting on epigenetics (his email to the WHH group, dated July 11, is titled "The Ghost in your Genes': http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/ghostgenes.shtml). This was the first time I ever saw even the term 'epigenetics', but the concepts certainly match (and validate!) my experiences with healing ancestors. This one is worth watching closely.
Speaking of going back to basics: that simple 15-Minute Miracle is sure working for me! My summer work assignment turns out to be absolutely marvelous. I'm back in the wilderness I love, and well paid to boot! A reader asked me for details: what do you do at sea? Well, I do have a day job that's got nothing to do with healing or writing. I'm a deckhand and first aid attendant on a tiny ferry (30 metres long) that does an island-hopping run along a very isolated stretch of coast. The hours are long, the work is demanding physically, intellectually and emotionally, and I love every minute of it.
Please keep on sending me your stories and questions. These form the backbone of these newsletters, and, since the newsletters are now archived and coupled with a search function, they become a teaching resource for the ones who will follow in your tracks. (And that's another reason to value your perceptions, all of them.) Email your questions and stories to
. Please make sure to let us know whether you'd prefer to stay anonymous of to be quoted by name.
Until next time...
- Paula Courteau
The next teleclass (July 22/23) will apply the new Inner Peace process that Grant and Tal discovered during the workshops in Poland. The former versions of the Inner Peace process fostered fusion of the Heart and Mind brains by healing some key moments of conception.
The new process targets an earlier event, in the egg and sperm, hopefully resulting in a more stable state in a greater proportion of people. Tal also discovered that she could confirm whether someone has the Inner Peace state by looking at the Primary cell.
So if you're interested in this class, there are two steps:
First, if you haven't already done so, make sure you've gotten an assessment of whether or not you already have the Inner Peace state by requesting a short appointment with Evertt Edstrom. Email , and please be sure to include your email address, phone number (including country code if you're outside North America) and time zone. There is no charge for the assessment.
Next, if you do not have the full Inner Peace state, register (i.e., RSVP) for this class. With the new revisions to the process, it looks like we'll need two weeks to complete it, so please make yourself available for the next Saturday (July 29 - Sunday July 30 in Australia) to finish up.
THIS CLASS IS OPEN TO EVERYONE WHO HAS TAKEN AT LEAST ONE PEAK STATE WORKSHOP. The maximum attendance is 20; if it's needed, we will rerun the class again at a later date.
Following this, we will take a recess for the month of August and resume teleclasses the first week of September. School is out!
Registering for Teleclasses
Invitations to participate in Conference Call Teleclasses are sent to students who have asked to be on the mailing list. These short classes are available for students who have already taken our Basic Peak States Therapist training and want to keep up to date on new or updated peak states processes, or hear lectures useful for ISPS certification. If you would like to be added to the list please email us with the following details:
Email Subject: INVITE REQUEST - ISPS TeleClass
Your Email Address:
Your Location/Time Zone:
If you are unsure about your time zone you may find the following website useful, http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html follow your location right down and you will end up with your time zone information and its reference to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) - email those.
Once a process begins, it can take one to three weeks for the students to complete. Only students who enroll at the beginning of the Teleclass are invited to continue the process. When the process is complete, we will announce the next Teleclass, which will be open to all eligible students.
Teleclass cost is $30.00US per 2 hour phone class (you also pay for the long distance charges to call Iowa in the USA). You will receive payment instructions after you reply to the email invitation. A class is typically two phone sessions spread a week apart. If you attend 4 classes, the fifth one is only $5.00US, making every five calls cost a total of $125.00US. The class is at 6PM EST, 3PM PST in the US, and 8am in Sydney , Australia.
In addition we ask each participant to provide our Student Relations Coordinator with the name and contact information for a “buddy,” who understands the type of work you are doing, agrees to monitor your emotional and physical well-being, and knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Email or call Monti at 843-588-1305.
Seeing and Believing
In my last few solo sessions, I started addressing, as a side issue, my frustration at 'not seeing what I'm supposed to see.' For a year, I've been hovering on the edge of the Primary Cell state without being able to use it reliably. I decided to simply accept the images or the absence of images and any perception I have, and to honor myself for my creativity when what I see are obvious metaphors. Returning to basics, I used the Image Streaming approach - "you see nothing? All right. What kind of a nothing is it? Is it a dark nothing, a grey one, a bright one, does it have depth, are there boundaries, where?" I strove to do away with labels, with theories and with expectations.
The results were eminently satisfying. A black wedge shape, like a shark's fin, that seemed to embed itself into my solar plexus from the rear, transformed, incrementally with the healing, into a very long, silvery, slithery shape; one element in the perceptions was about being in 'a man's world.' Then, some dots appeared, that seemed like ancestors. But when I asked myself, which way in this chain is towards the past? I couldn't tell. So I asked, what is the honest answer? If I let go of the idea that it's a chain of ancestors, what do I perceive? And the answer was, there's no past or future here. So I merged with the whole chain, understood that each bead was me but came from ancestors, and, again by increments, it transformed into a very long, golden, complex coil of coiled elements... which got thicker and brighter as the healing progressed... So it turned out I was probably seeing and healing genes after all.
So, it was with great interest that I read the discussion string titled 'Sperm Development' on the Applied Deep Healing email group. The discussion turned to the fact that this Institute had had, over time, two drastically different theories of sperm development. Initially, we thought that the sperm's consciousness began a few weeks before conception, then this got revised to a much earlier time, as our students and teachers made new discoveries. Grant Horsfall wrote:
"I initiated some discussion about this in our Australian training due to the contradictions between different versions of [sperm development] documentation at the time. I subsequently found it really interesting that some (...) who were introduced to the work before the change in the theory still seem to habitually "go" to the event where they have been conditioned to think it is, whereas others who came later "go" to where they have been told the event is.
" This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the potential for auto-suggestion in this work as far as I can see. I have related issues with the imagery that is sometimes put forth as "the" way things are for a particular event or characteristic. I can certainly see the value in working to a suggested way of how things are. It creates a set of "images" or "metaphors" or even "visual language" that may enable us to communicate with aspects of our consciousness that are otherwise difficult to connect with, and in a way that we seem to be confirming each others’ experiences.... and hence the model. However, that also seems to have the potential to limit our acceptance or even awareness of other aspects that fall outside of the "described" way things are. And yes, maybe it is just sour grapes because I don't tend to easily fall into "seeing" things that match up to a set up description. (I must do some more tapping on that!)”
Robert Vibert's reply read, in part, "What I have observed in the various healing and "enlightening" methods is guru-bias. If the guru thinks the best way is X, all other ways are ignored, discarded or dismissed and anything supporting X is praised and brought forth as "proof"." This is a pretty common human trait, which probably has a book or two about it."
This is a very important point. It's crucial that, in this work, we maintain our sense of skepticism and accept and honor our perceptions as they are. All this theory is new, some of it could be wrong, and it is our daily work on ourselves that brings up either confirmation of the theory, or at other times inconsistencies and contradictions. Some of our most important discoveries came about when students and researchers reported experiences that flew in the face of the day's theory.
We use a standard imagery to trigger regression to a precise event for the purpose of gaining specific peak states and abilities. We also use it, during a guided regression, to make sure we stay in this one aspect of one event instead of drifting further into the past or future, or drifting to a different brain's perspective. And, yes, as Grant H. pointed out, the standard imagery also helps us communicate our experiences to each other and make sense of the strange world we see. But each of us has different states and abilities, different histories that color our perceptions; some of us are more visual, some more tactile, some more auditory. I find that if I pay very detailed attention to my physical sensations, I paradoxically get a sense of knowing that has a very visual element to it. There are also, as we will see below, several 'modes' of seeing, each corresponding to a different peak ability or state. Do not dismiss anything. Keep healing until you are calm, peaceful, light, large and bright. Note the perceptual changes as the session progresses.
In the Awareness 2 workshop with Wes Gietz, we learned about the three 'sacred questions' from Native American tradition. The first one is, "What do I perceive?" The second, "What does it mean?" and the third: "What does it teach me?" This reinforces that perception is what comes first, interpretation later. In the thick of a session, it's time to perceive. To filter and critique and even interpret our perceptions while we're deep in regression is to cheat ourselves of large chunks of experience. After the session, after we have written down as much as possible of what we remember, that is the time to interpret, and question, and form theories.
An example of 'different modes of seeing'
I reprint here a section of Georg Parlow's recent posting to the WHH list, as an illustration of the different perceptual modes that can be experienced at different times, or, as in this example, simultaneously. Sometimes two different modes of perception appear with a 'split screen' effect; at other times they overlap. I would tell Georg not to automatically dismiss the 'foggy-blurry inner vision' out of hand, either, because it may also hold important information, one picture completing the other, as two views of the same reality. Whenever you have different modes of perception available at the same time, play and experiment with them to find out what each one does best.
We've identified several 'places' we perceive inner vision from. As beginners, we often try to see from inside our closed eyes. At other times, we also can 'see' by looking inwards from our Centre of Awareness. Then there also seems to be a 'viewing' function associated with the third eye (for someone with his CoA in his head, it would be very difficult to tell the difference between those three). Add to that the different levels of reality we perceive from different peak states... No wonder we can't find a universal "switch"!
"(...) For the most part my inner vision is quite blurry and sometime absent altogether. Luckily I am good at kinaesthetic perception, and manage to intend myself into the original viewpoint most of the time anyway (resulting pain and final CPL being my proof). One interesting experience along this line I would like to share here, for it gives me hopes about the future of my perceptions:
"On two occasions so far I noticed (in retrospect, in the situation I took it for granted), that I had, aside from my usually dense and blurry inner vision, the crystal clear view of the brain I was starting to work with (once buddha, once heart I think), seeing it embedded (or overlaid) in the see-through physical body, noticing the brain's size and coloration and its two-sidedness. When this happened with my CoA in the location of the buddha brain, I could also note in my peripheral vision the rest of the body with the various brains and lots of other sorts of transparent structures in it - all of pristine clarity.
"Quite interesting to me is the 'aside-ness' of this vision and the foggy-blurry inner vision I am used to - it is like the two are on separate screens, and this time they were right next to each other while at the same time being an overlay to each other. The trick seems to be to focus my attention on the one while ignoring the other one - but mostly I do it the wrong way around.
"Since then I have been playing around with this a bit, and I can sort of 'imagine' to perceive my various brains this way - I guess I would need a feedback session at some point to sort out perception from deception. Currently the good/evil appears to me not in shades of grey, but there is black matter and white matter mixed with a kind of shiny transparency - and there is something in between black and white - the neutral, I guess - where the brain (or its half) is invisible, a shiny transparent cloud, for there are neither black nor white particles mixed into it."
How do you know it’s real? Clarifying inner vision
All the above reminds me of another angle we discussed in Awareness class. (For those of you unfamiliar with them, these classes teach spiritual awareness from a North American Shamanic perspective. The instructor, Wes Gietz, is one of the very few legitimate teachers of this material, and is familiar with Peak States work. He participated in the early ISPS research and some of his experiences are recorded in Grant McFetridge's book Peak States of Consciousness: theory and applications.)
We talked about clarifying our inner vision and learning to differentiate between what Georg elegantly calls 'perception and deception'. Here are the markers tradition identifies as confirming real inner vision:
-Surprise. You know it's real when you perceive something completely unexpected, something you couldn't have possibly thought to make up.
-Absolute knowing. Sometimes you just know that you know. It hits you like a ton of bricks, and whether or not it makes logical sense you know it's real.
-Clarity. The information is exquisitely detailed, again in a way you would have been hard put to make up.
-Repetition. What you see is a continuation or a confirmation of what others have seen before. (This one's subject to what Robert called the 'guru-bias' and is more convincing when it is combined with some of the other elements.) The most convincing examples of repetition, for me, are of two types: either I see, but in my own intrinsic visual vocabulary, something that fits perfectly with the theory, or else I see images that expand or explain myths from my own background, which is the Christian tradition. An example of all of the above together was the first time I saw the Earth as a giant ship or Ark, in cut-out view, sailing through space. It was totally unexpected. It felt exquisitely real. Others from the Institute had seen it as an apartment building with compartments for each species (same vision, different metaphor), and of course my ancestors' tradition always represented Noah's Ark in cut-out view, without anyone ever questioning why.
-Independent verification. You work with a buddy and share experiences in a way that will not influence each other's perceptions. You look up things in books after a session and find images of gestational or cellular or genetic processes that match what you saw in regression. You compare notes with other students after a group session and find overlaps. In shamanic training, we did a 'spirit-walking' exercise (deliberate out-of-body experience) with a buddy and compared notes.
Copyright 2006 by Grant McFetridge
We welcome your questions and comments, email: .