In this article I want to show you that consciousness or awareness does not need a body to exist, by way of three examples: my own experience, a similar experience of the famous researcher John Lilly and one of the Hungarian shaman Joska Soos, with whom I was in contact when I still lived in Belgium.
John Lilly, a psycho-analyst and researcher made some breakthrough investigations in LSD experiences, dolphin-human relationships and isolation tank experiments. In his book The Center of the Cyclone, he reports an interesting experience when he had given himself a contaminated antibiotic shot by which he fell into a coma:
“It is very hard to put this experience into words, because there were no words exchanged. Pure thought and feeling was being transmitted and received by me and by these two entities. I will attempt to translate into words what occurred. I am in a large empty place with nothing in any direction except light. There is a golden light permeating the whole space everywhere in all directions, out to infinity. I am a single point of consciousness, of feeling, of knowledge. I know that I am. That is all. It is a very peaceful, awesome, and reverential space that I am in. I have no body, I have no need for a body. There is no body. I am just I. Complete with love, warmth, and radiance.
“Suddenly in the distance appear two similar points of consciousness, sources of radiance, of love, of warmth. I feel their presence. I see their presence, without eyes, without a body. I know they are there, so they are there. As they move toward me, I feel more and more of each of them, interpenetrating my very being. They transmit comforting, reverential, awesome thoughts. I realize that they are beings far greater than I. They begin to teach me. They tell me I can stay in this place, that I have left my body, but that I can return to it if I wish. They then show me what would happen if I left my body back there – an alternative path for me to take. They also show me where I can go if I stay in this place. They tell me that it is not yet time for me to leave my body permanently, that I still have an option to go back to it. They give me total and absolute confidence, total certitude in the truth of my being in this state. I know with absolute certainty that they exist. I have no doubts. There is no longer any need for an act of faith; it just is that way and I accept it.
Their magnificent deep powerful love overwhelms me to a certain extent, but I finally accept it. As they move closer, I find less and less of me and more and more of them in my being. They stop at a critical distance. If they came any closer, they would overwhelm me, and I would lose myself as a cognitive entity, merging with them. They further say that I separated them into two, because that is my way of perceiving them, but that in reality they are one in the space in which I found myself. They say that I insist on still being an individual, forcing a projection onto them, as if they were two. They further communicate to me that if I go back to my body as I developed further, I eventually would perceive the oneness of them and of me, and of many others.
“They say that they are my guardians, that they have been with me before at critical times and that in fact they are with me always, but that I am not usually in a state to perceive them. I am in a state to perceive them when I am close to the death of the body. In this state, there is no time. There is an immediate perception of the past, present and future as if in the present moment. I stayed in this state for many hours in earth time. Then I came back to my body in the hospital.”
What I find interesting in his account is that he found himself “in a large empty place with nothing in any direction except light”. I had a very similar experience in which I found myself, fully conscious, in a space where there were no directions at all: “I was lying in bed not yet asleep when my consciousness shifted and I became aware of another reality. The sense of being in my bedroom and even of being in my body disappeared. I expanded in a spherical way and finally found myself in an unlimited space. Imagine yourself being somewhere in the universe. You can see the stars all around you. Then take the stars away, that was the space I was in. Just me and the unlimited space. It impossible to describe it accurately. I have to resort to our mundane language to give you some idea what it was like. The immenseness of that space is beyond description. My perception was spherical, and there was a strong sense of duality of me and that infinity. There were no directions, there was nothing else. Nothing to grab on to. That made me extremely afraid. I desperately wanted to get back to my body. At least that was something I could grab on to. I needed limitations, I couldn’t deal with the unlimited emptiness. It was a long and hard struggle, requiring all my will power to get to my body.”
I could say that also was a “single point of consciousness” like John Lilly described himself. Although I did not see myself as a point, but maybe John Lilly did not mean it literally. I saw myself as being just me, more like a unit of consciousness. Me was all there was in that vast unlimited space or universe.
This experience repeated itself the next couple of evenings. Although the experience stopped, it did change my consciousness profoundly. Every time I was back into my body, I literally felt the walls of my room, the physicality of it and the enclosure they formed. This was a tremendous, strong feeling. I became aware that I was locked up in my physical body for the rest of my life. It felt like a prison term. I was in a physical body and I could not liberate myself from it whenever I wanted. I had to accept “my time” here on Earth until the moment of death whenever that might come. From that moment on I was different. For the first time in my life I became conscious of myself, an “I” as a single unity, in contrast to the unlimited universe. It was deeply felt. I could not understand the duality of the two. Furthermore I could not understand that there were other “I’s” around, other people who also have a central “I”. Why was I “me” and why was I not somebody else?
The other interesting remark of John Lilly is that he could not approach the beings beyond a certain distance because their energy was too strong for him. The shaman Joska Soos also mentioned a similar boundary. Joska had learned to go into an altered state of consciousness in which he consciously could come into contact with light-sound beings. These are cosmic beings that consist solely out of light and sound. You can find his paintings of these beings on my website. He would see these beings with a dark blue background and at a great distance. In the beginning he wondered why they didn’t come closer, or why he couldn’t get closer to them. When he tried to get closer he would always hit an invisible wall, hard as diamond, at a certain distance. The inner voice of his master told him that diamond is as sand compared with the hardness of this “wall”, which was much harder. The light-sound beings were sending him knowledge and energy. He understood the sense of silence and songs, and why he was not able to approach the beings. One time he did manage to get very close to a light-sound being. Suddenly he was hit in his neck and fell unconscious. He was in a coma for six hours and couldn’t remember what had happened. He could only remember that he was hit in the back and that an extreme heat was running up his spine and leaving his body through the neck. Actually it was not heat, or cold, but something quite different. The next day he shamanized again and saw the same light-sound being. His inner guide told him that it was dangerous for humans to come too close to those beings. They are so powerful that they can be looked at only from a great distance. Even from star-distance they will communicate to humans what they want to convey.