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Chapter 1: A Concept of Consciousness

Afterlife Knowledge Guidebook: A Manual for the Art of Retrieval and Afterlife Exploration
Bruce Moen

A university professor friend of mine says that when academics discuss the survival of consciousness beyond death they make little progress because they get stuck trying to define consciousness. As an engineer I'm more interested in the practical side of things. If a simplified concept makes progress possible, it can be used as a tool to complete a task.

Believers in the religion of science accept that the origin of consciousness lies within the physical brain. When the brain dies, there is no longer a place for consciousness to exist, so for such scientists, when your brain dies, you cease to exist. Most religions claim that consciousness continues to exist after death in a state dictated by their own rules and beliefs. In other words, you continue to exist in their version of eternal Heaven or eternal Hell.

In my view, neither science nor religion has much to offer regarding a useful concept of consciousness. To simplify your exploration, I'd like to share a concept of consciousness I find practical. Our physical universe is said to be very large. Astronomers say that the farthest reaches of our physical universe are at least 15 billion light years--about 8,790,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles--from the Earth. The number is incomprehensible. It's a very large physical universe.

I suggest that everything that exists within our physical universe is a form, or manifestation, of whatever consciousness is. Whatever consciousness is, it must be at least as large as our physical universe just to contain it all. And by this concept, every object within our physical universe--the Earth, the Moon, the planets, the Sun, the stars, and galaxies--can be thought of as small areas of consciousness within one larger Consciousness. Likewise, a rock, a tree, a squirrel, a lake, a human being, or a mountain within our universe can be conceptualized as small areas of consciousness within Consciousness.

My own explorations beyond physical reality suggest that ours is not the only universe that exists, though it may be more accurate to define these other universes as nonphysical dimensions. To their inhabitants these dimensions are just as real as our universe is to us. My concept of consciousness would say that all of these other dimensions and everything in them are also small areas of consciousness within the same, single, larger Consciousness that contains our physical universe. My concept of Consciousness is now much bigger than our physical universe, and each of these nonphysical dimensions and all objects and occupants can be thought of as areas of consciousness within a single, larger Consciousness. I find this concept useful because I don't have to precisely define what consciousness is. Instead, I am free to explore whatever consciousness might be and let my discoveries build a clearer understanding of what it actually is. Besides, it allows me to talk about how it is that we can explore beyond physical reality.

If we wanted to know about an area of consciousness within our physical universe--say, the Moon--we could observe it through a telescope. We could send a rocket with cameras and sensors to make observations. We could land humans to walk on it, gather samples, observe it, and experience it. Each of these methods of exploring can be thought of as shifting our focus of attention to the area of consciousness called the Moon. Once our focus of attention is shifted to the Moon we can gather information about it by observing our surroundings within this area of consciousness called the Moon. The way in which this Afterlife Knowledge Guidebook teaches exploration beyond physical reality is, conceptually, the very same.

All that we need do to explore nonphysical realities is to first learn how to shift our focus of attention from one area of consciousness to a different area of consciousness within one all-encompassing Consciousness. Then we need to understand how to observe our surroundings from within that nonphysical area of Consciousness. That might sound simplistic to some readers, but that?s an engineer's concept. It's a simplified way of thinking about something that can be used to make progress toward a goal.

Throughout this guidebook we'll use this concept of shifting one's focus of attention as a means of exploring beyond physical reality. I use Focused Attention as the label for the method of exploration I'm teaching. You can use what you learn in this book to explore those areas of consciousness called our afterlife. You can also use what you learn here to explore areas of consciousness beyond our human afterlife--way beyond.

A word about trust. As you begin learning to explore our afterlife you face the most basic trust issue all human beings must face:

Can I trust that the information my senses bring into my awareness from my surroundings is real?

Learning to explore our afterlife requires that we learn to use what might be called our nonphysical senses. As I learned to use them, trust was a continuing issue.

Early in life every human being went through this process of learning to trust the information our senses bring. Perhaps thinking about how we made it through this process before can serve as a model for how we can do it again. Think of your physical birth as entry into an unfamiliar reality, in a body equipped with unknown, unfamiliar senses. Before we could use physical senses to explore and interact, we had to first realize that we had them. We had to then find ways to determine if what these senses told us about the physical world surrounding us was real or fantasy. I got insight into that process by watching my infant daughter learn to become aware of and trust her physical senses.

When I first shook a baby rattle close to her, its sound didn't get much of a reaction from her. She just continued waving her arms, sucking her toes, or whatever she was doing. But with repeated experience, I noticed the look on her face change to a quizzical, wide-eyed look that expressed the feeling of "What's that?" That look was my first indication that the rattle's physical reality sound was entering my daughter's awareness. It was the beginning of her realization that she had the physical sense we call hearing. Her physical sense of hearing was bringing her into connection with physical reality. With repeated experience, the look on my daughter's face acquired that quizzical, wide-eyed look just by my bringing the rattle where she could see it. I could move the rattle slowly back and forth in front of her and watch her eyes follow its motion. That showed me that she was becoming aware of the rattle by using her physical sense of sight. Now, her physical sense of sight too was bringing her into connection with physical reality. Shaking the rattle enough that it made its sound, where she could see it, I watched her begin to associate the sight and sound of the rattle as being connected to the physical world object.

As my daughter grew and gained enough control of her physical body to move it where she wanted it to go, bringing the rattle into her view brought an interesting response. She'd grab the rattle in her tiny little hand and shake it. Then I'd see a huge smile of satisfaction form on her cute, tiny little face. Reaching for the rattle expressed her trust in her sense of sight. Shaking the rattle to hear its noise was her verification that what her sight and hearing were bringing into her awareness was real.

Our afterlife exists within a nonphysical reality in which our physical world senses are completely useless. To explore and learn about our afterlife, you first need to realize that you have nonphysical senses. Ultimately, you will need to trust these senses enough to try to verify and validate what these senses bring into your awareness.

One of my earliest, biggest mistakes was to expect that perception within nonphysical realities, using nonphysical senses, would be the same as perception within physical reality using physical senses. Like my daughter with her baby rattle, only through repeated experiences did I develop these nonphysical senses to a useful, reliable level and develop trust in what my new nonphysical senses were telling me. I had to find a way to grab the baby rattle and shake it. I had to find ways to verify what my nonphysical senses were telling me.

For the first three and a half years of my exploration of our afterlife, I was more than half convinced that at some point I'd realize that I was subconsciously creating some grand, self-deceptive fantasy. As you learn to explore our afterlife, don't be surprised if you find yourself asking, "Am I making this all up? Is this just my imagination?" My intent in writing this Afterlife Knowledge Guidebook is to help you answer these questions far more quickly than I did.

The Hemi-Sync Model of Consciousness
My basic nonphysical-reality navigation tool I learned while participating in programs at The Monroe Institute (TMI). I call it a Hemi-Sync Model of Consciousness:

Once you can identify the feeling of any area within consciousness, merely remembering and reexperiencing that feeling will automatically shift your awareness back to that area of consciousness.

Hemi-Sync is a patented audio technology using specific sound patterns that have been demonstrated to automatically shift one's awareness to specific areas of consciousness. Robert Monroe, out-of-body traveler, author, founder of The Monroe Institute, and the inventor of Hemi-Sync, labeled various areas of consciousness Focus 10, Focus 12, etc. Program participants shift their awareness to various focus levels using Hemi-Sync sounds, and then they learn to do so without the sounds. The trainers told us that each focus level has a specific feeling and that after the Hemi-Sync sound patterns guide you to experience the feeling, remembering that specific feeling automatically shifts your awareness to that specific area of consciousness, or focus level. Of course I did not believe the trainers. I was certain that without the magic Hemi-Sync sound patterns I would never get to any of the focus levels. But in time, experience taught me the TMI trainers were right, which resulted in what I call the Hemi-Sync Model of Consciousness.

Each state of consciousness has specific feelings associated with it, and you will learn to return to any area of consciousness by remembering its feeling. As you focus your attention on sensing any feeling associated with the exercises in this book, you learn to shift your focus of attention to specific areas of consciousness. People exist, in our afterlife, in specific areas of consciousness. The Hemi-Sync Model of Consciousness is a tool you learn to use to go There. ...

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