Experience of the subtle realms: Contents
9. Charismatic training
purpose of charismatic training is the cultivation of presence
in interaction with other persons. I referred to the idea of such training in
Chapter 7, section 10, and now wish to take it up in more detail. It is relevant
for living generally, and in particular for training group facilitators - who
need to acquire distress-free authority, and to emanate a quality which
liberates those who are seeking to learn within its ambience.
training simply involves learning to live consciously and intentionally in two
worlds at once. It means manifesting personhood simultaneously in subtle space
and physical space. The subtle body
wakes up within the subtle matrix of the physical body.
A person starts to become their own ally in this world, as I mentioned in
section 6 of Chapter 7.
subtle space is a form of the energy of consciousness, when I enter it I command
the attention of other human beings within it: I set going a current of
invisible energy that embraces and nourishes them at a subliminal level.
For I am active where they are passive in a universal medium of energetic
awareness. When we are all asleep
together in conventional ignorance of this medium, we lack presence for each
other. When one person is awake
within it, the others will notice that a presence is stirring their slumber. And
when we are all awake within it, we share presence with each other.
will now refer to a series of training exercises.
I describe them separately, but they are not mutually exclusive in
practice, and can be used in a variety of combinations. I invite people to use
them, in training workshops, in a spirit of inquiry and experiment.
So you do the exercises as if
they are doing what they claim to do, in order to find out through experience if
they do seem to be doing it. And you adopt the belief-system on which the
exercises are based as if it is valid,
in order to see whether it holds up in the context of its application. The
approach is non-dogmatic, the exploration of working hypotheses.
actual training, the ambiguity of two worlds experience is owned and faced, and
indeed used as a tool of inquiry and learning.
And this prevents us all from getting improperly earnest about the
enterprise. However, I shall present the exercises here assertively, dropping
the use of the parenthetical as if.
up and align the spine, head and neck in such a way that you find the secret current
of energy drawing you upward and inward into subtle space. This is the levity
line. The spine is upright and vertical but not rigid, the head and neck are
forward and up in an unobtrusive lift-off position. As you gently adjust the
alignment, you will find within the
physical sensations the liberating uplift of the levity line - subtle,
sustaining, and unmistakable. I
introduced this notion in Chapter 7, section 5.
levity line is a line of power between the physical body and its subtle matrix,
and it gives immediate conscious access to matrix space - out of which physical
space emerges, as I discussed in Chapter 7, section 13.
you enter the levity line, you boost your own awareness with the awareness inherent
in that line, and your presence to those around you is subtly increased.
Remember that in the subtle domain, energy, space and consciousness all
go together. If you are asleep to
that domain, the energetic awareness of its space rolls off you or minimally
dribbles through you. When you are
awake to it, it charges your presence to others with charisma.
levity line becomes your line of reference for instant entry into the other
world, an entry which, at the same moment, enhances your presence and standing
in this world. At any time you can choose to live in it and act out of it. The
challenge in daily life is to stay awake within it, not fall asleep around it;
to maintain inner alertness rather than drift into forgetfulness.
is also like the upright trunk of an energy tree. Its branches reach up and out
into inner space in all directions, offering potential connection with
manifold domains. It is rooted in the awareness of gravity, with the energy of
the legs well grounded through the soles of the feet. This grounding of feet and
legs can be achieved most readily if the knees are very slightly bent.
the subtle uplift of levity in your posture is most exhilarating in the context
of feeling the polarity of gravity and levity.
Once you are aware of your feet firmly planted on the earth by gravity,
then you can more easily find the contrasting lift of levity. Grounded in one
world you are raised up by the subtle energies of another.
can be aware of your physical body in physical space simply by looking down at
it, so that you get a foreshortened view of your trunk, arms and legs. Or, of
course, you can look at yourself in a mirror. You can also be aware of your
physical body by proprioception, that is, by internal sensations coming from
your muscles and ligaments, telling
you what is going on in them, whence and whither and at what speed your limbs
there is also something that includes this
proprioception but is wider than it. This is an awareness of the total
gesture of your form in matrix space. It
is a comprehensive internal grasp of your body image.
Now there is nothing at all perspectival about such grasp. You are not
having a view of your form from this, that or the other perspective. Rather you
are inside the Euclidean or matrix space of your body. You
inhabit its whole three dimensional gesture in all directions all at the
same time. Your awareness and your spatial form are one.
You awaken your subtle body.
are not perceiving in physical
space, but being and moving in
matrix space. And a ready mode of access to this being in matrix space is via
the levity line. So stand up,
ground the feet and legs thoroughly with the energy of gravity, then enter the
levity line through those subtle adjustments of spine, head and neck. And now
from within the levity line, expand your awareness to include all at the same
time your whole posture in space. This
establishes your conscious bearing. Then
start to move.
first, keep the feet stationary and apart.
Let the knees bend a little, the pelvis roll, the trunk gyrate, the arms
and forearms move around in all directions, the head and neck turn and stretch. Let the movements be born out of the levity line. Now let the
feet and legs carry you round the room. And
all the while, practise being alert to the total dynamic gesture of your form in
this movement, feel the air on your back and try moving back to back with another
person without touching - so that you extend consciousness to the rear.
Otherwise you may have frontal bias in your awareness of your form in
is this form? Strictly speaking, of course, it is your subtle body moving in
matrix space in and with your physical body moving in physical space.
Looked at from within, the subtle body in matrix space carries the
physical body which emerges, when looked at from without, into various shifting
perspectives in physical space.
this movement does is to give you a sense of the effortless dance of generative
form in matrix space. But there is
no need to move around to get the effect. So
the facilitator standing in front of a group - indeed anyone anywhere - can
enhance their presence in this
world by first entering the levity line from a well-grounded stance, and thence
encompassing as a whole the subtle
matrix form of their physical posture.
just a question of being in all the space within the body all at once, and
knowing how your form is everywhere awarely coming out of it.
Then you have conscious bearing, you energise and command subtle space
around you - and have presence. The
subtle body becomes determinate within the subtle matrix of the physical body.
It shifts from tacit to explicit functioning.
us suppose that the subtle body, with the subtle matrix of the physical body,
is not only in matrix space but also in matrix time. I shall say more
about matrix time later in this chapter. It
is the time in which sequences in physical or clock time occur all at once.
What is serial in clock time is concurrent in matrix time.
It is womb-like, a subtle NOW in an inner time embracing outer time,
giving birth to developing form and rhythm in the physical world.
if your physical body is walking, running, climbing, leaping or jumping,
pitch your intention into matrix time. Then you are aware at each
physical moment of the whole subtle temporal form which embraces past and future
movements in your physical sequence. Such
awareness can be put to fruitful work. And in a way that intensifies your
for example, you are running up a hill, you feel your subtle form a few paces
ahead of you - and follow in its wake. Your psi grasp of your future steps empowers
your present steps. Matrix time awareness of the immediate future
has a sort of turbo-charging effect on your physical motion now.
any physical activity, then, you can simply imagine your subtle body doing the
next part of the sequence, in order to enhance and facilitate the current part
of the sequence. This is easiest to do with forward motion of the physical body
because what is next in time is also in front of you in space. As a training
exercise, compare walking on the street, or climbing stairs, in the ordinary way
with doing the same in the wake of the subtle body.
when running down a very steep hill try holding your awareness in matrix time at
the moment just before you start the descent. This image of yourself at the top
of the hill acts like a brake as you descend, and helps to prevent you from
going helter-skelter. In general, casting your awareness well back in a sequence
helps to slow down movement in the physical present.
any complex series of physical movements, cast you awareness into matrix time
and grasp the whole sequence all-at-once in order to empower your physical
mastery. This knack is exercised intuitively by dancers, divers, gymnasts,
ice-skaters and others who engage in elaborate combinations of movement.
car drivers know all about expanding the spatial matrix of the physical body -
at any rate at the level of knowing how, of the knack of doing it.
When you drive a car through a narrow alley, or reverse it to park in a
limited space between two other parked cars, you have simultaneous awareness of
the total form of the car. So when
you are craning your head back as you reverse to get a perspectival view, you
also have matrix grasp.
grasp is a sense of where all the car's extremities are in non-perspectival
space. The driver has thus expanded his awareness of the matrix space out of
which his body appears to the matrix space out of which his car appears. And
this expansion is born out of an important need for accuracy of manoeuvre in
does give car drivers an odd and rather limited kind of presence, especially
when they handle their vehicle confidently out of matrix awareness.
By contrast, when through anxiety they lose such awareness and try to
manoeuvre entirely from their limited physical perspectives, they become
frenetic, diminished and phobic.
and skaters who fling themselves around within the limited space of a stage or
skating rink, also need to expand their grasp of the matrix space within which
their bodily gyrations occur, to include the matrix space of the whole stage or
rink. When they dance or skate out
of this total integrated
consciousness, then they have the most elegance, impact and sheer presence.
This is also because they are giving birth to their movements out of
all this can be put to the immediate experiential test. When in a social situation
indoors, enter your levity line, open out to your matrix body,
and then expand your awareness beyond the matrix space out of which
your body appears to the matrix space out of which the room, its furniture and
all those in it appear. Embrace all this in one global act of spatial
realisation, while continuing to interact socially.
subtle body now commands the matrix space of the room. Notice your own increased
sense of presence, and notice how others notice it too. Their noticing is not
necessarily made explicit by them - although on occasion it may be - it is
more often a tacit shift in their level of response to you.
This heightened reaction may be a good thing, leading to richer learning
it may be a bad thing, leading to interference and intrusion. Then it is better
to practise subtle absence rather
than subtle presence. So there is
an important caveat: it is not always wise or prudent to become a being of
expansive levity among people of contracted gravity. A lot depends on the social
context, and what your role is.
practise subtle absence, don't project any subtle energy outside yourself.
Adopt movements and postures that keep it veiled and contained within
you. Retreat awarely into an inner
centre and be passive there, so that your physical presence becomes
unremarkable, unnoticeable. You achieve a sort of psychological invisibility.
however, it is appropriate to emerge again, there are various devices to sustain
the practice of presence through an extended awareness of matrix space, and to
prevent oneself falling back to sleep within perspectival, physical space.
I will mention them in the next few numbered items.
simple way of expanding your awareness into the matrix space of a crowded room
is to extend your consciousness simultaneously
into its eight corners, four at the ceiling, four at the floor - assuming the
room is rectangular. You can never stand inside a room and physically perceive
its eight corners directly in one and the same perspective. You could get them
all into one view with specially placed mirrors. But even then, in terms of
actual eye focus, you would still have rapidly to scan the eight corners, so
that in effect you would perceive them serially.
the eight corners in matrix space are grasped in one and the same act of awareness,
all at the same time, wherever you are inside the room.
Such awareness transcends yet includes any limited physical perspective
ofthe room. This practice can lock your mind onto the matrix space of the room
in a way that does not let you get too distracted by the shifting perspectives
that cover so many views of people and things.
useful training exercise with the eight corners, is to move slowly in a room and
circle around yourself turning with elevated
steps and sweeping gestures of the arms. During
these gradual gyrations, you practise holding your attention on the eight corners.
The challenge is to integrate static matrix grasp of the room as a whole, with
dynamic matrix grasp of your circling movements within it.
parasol is a simple exercise that puts the spatial archetypes of point, line and
plane to alert, experiential work. The
parasol is erected on your centre of gravity in the lower abdomen, on the
reference point that grounds your mass through your legs and feet upon the
earth. The stem of the parasol is
your levity line, the subtle uplift of energy you can find by adjusments of the
spine, head and neck, explained above.
umbrella of your parasol is a plane of inner vision at right angles to your
levity line and above your head, spreading out and away on all sides. From this plane
of vision, you survey the matrix space of the
room in which your physical body is present. You can explore the effects
of pitching the parasol at different distances above your head, from a few
inches to a few feet.
course, this is just a device, but an interesting one.
It is intriguing to look simultaneously - both upwards and downwards and from all points of the plane - into the matrix space of a room
where you are socially active. More
accessibly, at the peripheral line where the plane intersects the walls of the
room, there are innumerable complementary viewpoints of what is going on
a training exercise, try rotating your physical body slowly under the parasol
once you have set it up in your extended consciousness.
As your physical perspectives of the room change with your turning, keep
your attention primarily spread out on the plane of the parasol, looking down on
the room from the plane as a whole. I
find this easier if the parasol is some distance above the head.
of the most socially intimate ways in which to expand into matrix space is to
dwell in the matrix form of the other person you are talking to. So your
awareness inhabits the matrix space of the two of you. This is particularly
pertinent for a facilitator doing one-to-one counselling or working intensively
with one person in front of a group.
non-perspectival awareness of the matrix space out of which we are both emerging,
in which our forms are suspended, is a simple foundation for entering the
dual-unity experience. In this experience, we are one, I am you and you are me,
yet I have a distinct identity and you have a distinct identity; and we
celebrate our differences, our otherness, at the same time as we celebrate our
mystically, my being aware in the matrix space of the other is a good ground for
the practice of active empathy, especially when I am working as a facilitator
in a personal development session. So
it heightens my ability to attend not just to the meaning of what you are
saying, but also to how you are saying it - your tone of voice, emotional
emphases and inflections, redundancies and slips of the tongue.
And it enables me to notice all your bodily cues - your rate and depth of
breathing, your use of eye contact, your facial expression, your rigidities or
labilities of gesture and posture.
holistic grasp of what you are saying, how you are saying it, and above all of
how you are being and doing while you are saying it, is enormously aided by my awareness dwelling in your matrix
form - both in matrix space and matrix time.
general purpose exercise, for all kinds of social interaction, is simply to
extend your awareness to include a full
grasp, in matrix space, of the relative positions of yourself and the other
persons you are now interacting with face to face.
For this immediate social group become aware of how you are all
standing, your respective gestures and postures, whether you are close or not
so close, opposite or beside, above or below (standing or seated).
And get the feel of this spatial arrangement as a whole, not just from
any one viewpoint. And keep this
awareness going when you or others in the group move round within it.
are a variety of simple training exercises here.
One is for two people to move slowly around each other: each becomes
conscious in the matrix space that includes the total forms and relative
positions of both of them. And they
practise sustaining this matrix grasp while facing and looking at the other,
while side by side and catching only a glimpse of the other in the corner of the
visual field, and while they are back to back and cannot see each other.
exercise is for two people to approach each other, shake hands and say 'Hello',
all the while having matrix grasp of the whole two person interaction. Often the
handshake and the 'Hello' will throw them out of matrix space awareness.
So they keep practising until their consciousness is no longer distracted
and contracted by the social convention.
extension of this is for three people to have a conversation on some topic of
common interest, perhaps while drinking tea, and at the same time practise
matrix awareness of the spatial configuration of the whole grouping and
of each person in it. These exercises are important, because ordinary social
interaction has built into it hidden norms of contracted spatial awareness.
And these norms severely limit what it is that people say and do
way of expanding into matrix space is simply to enlarge your awareness to include
the matrix space of the whole locality in which the house you are in is set.
And you can go on to include the matrix space of the planet: in which
case you are standing and talking
with spatial awareness of this room and of the earth as a whole.
Matrix awareness of the locality, or of the planet, is tacit, its content
somewhat sketchy, in parts vague and unfocussed; but it is none the less real
exercises so far considered are about overall physical presence.
They seek holistically to increase the subtle charge of the way in
which you are present in some social context.
The next set of exercises are for the occult gymnasium: by building up
awareness of the subtle matrix of the physical body, they also at the same
time start to awaken and strengthen
the subtle body as a focus of conscious intent.
are various simple ways of overcoming the illusion of exclusive physicality, and
of becoming aware of the subtle potency of the matrix on which the physical body
depends and out of which it emerges. The
following exercises build up matrix awareness and subtle body competence. Note
that each exercise shifts you over
into matrix space and matrix time.
Hold your arms out in front of you with the elbows somewhat bent, fingers
splayed and palms facing inwards. Now
move both arms in an expansive opening out gesture as
slowly as you can. This very, very slow movement will reveal the pleasing
elegant energy lines and filaments of the subtle matrix, the form that is your
primary incarnation - within, embracing, containing and upholding the
secondary incarnation of your physical body.
Any sustained, almost
imperceptible, opening out movement will effect this subtle shift of awareness.
Conversely, although less accessible for many people, rapid leaps,
tumbles, somersaults, complex juggling acts, manifold rotations in the air,
shift attention into the matrix form. They
can only really be done when command is centred in matrix space and matrix time.
Hence the exhilaration of watching them, as well as doing them, because we sense
the power of a doubly incarnate being at liberating work in the matrix
Elongation will shift you over into the subtle matrix.
And it is not the same as stretching.
Lift your arms to the side well above shoulder level so you reach up to
the heavens with an open angle. Now
if you stretch you arms at this angle, you will try to extend them out in a
straight line as far as they will go. But
to elongate them, let the shoulders
drop, keep the elbows a little bent throughout the exercise, the wrists and
fingers too, then from deep within the torso draw out and lengthen the back,
shoulders, arms and hands by a continuous unfolding in an almost imperceptible
spiral movement, sustained indefinitely without any forcing or thrusting.
how you awareness finds its subtle home in the subtle matrix of the arms and
torso. Any sustained
and unforced very gradual, slightly spiral elongation along the length of any
muscle will transfer attention from felt physical tension to awareness of fine
lines of subtle energy within the muscle fibres.
You can explore this further with a tall, stout staff.
Standing or kneeling, hold on to the staff with you hands, placing it in
relation to your body so that some particular length of muscle can be elongated
gently and continuously to reveal its subtle matrix.
A related exercise combines slow movement with alternation and small increments.
Rest a long staff across your shoulders behind your neck, and raise your outstretched
arms so that your hands take hold of the staff from behind.
Now very slowly move the staff with the left hand a tiny distance toward
the front, then do the same with the right hand. Continue the alternation, each
time moving the staff a little bit further forward than
the previous time on that side. Watch
for the shift into subtle matrix awareness.
Command of subtle energy in the matrix body can dramatically alter muscle tonus
and sense of mass in the physical body. Here
are some simple exercises well known in the martial arts.
Hold one arm up horizontally with the elbow minimally bent. Invite a friend to
pull the arm down against your resistance under two different conditions. In one
case, you hold the arm up in the ordinary physical way.
In the other case, you project subtle energy along it to the horizon.
Notice the greatly superior resistance to downward pressure in the
second case. Another version of
this exercise is to try to resist your friend pushing your forearm up - under
the same two conditions.
Stand upright with your knees minimally bent, your feet side by side and a
little apart. Invite your friend to push against your chest in order to
topple you against your resistance, and this also under two different
conditions. In the first, you stand in the ordinary physical way, and put your
attention on your forehead. In the
second, you direct your subtle energy down through your legs and feet to the
centre of the earth. Again, notice
how in this second condition you have much greater resistance to being toppled.
Lie on your back on the floor with legs closed and arms to your sides.
Invite a group of friends to lift you up off the floor under two
different conditions. In one you
lie there in the everyday physical way. In
the other you focus all your subtle energy at your centre of gravity in the
abdomen and direct it down to the centre of the earth. In the latter case you
are more difficult to lift. Another version of this exercise is to stand and
have two friends lift you by your arms held firmly at your sides, firstly when
you just stand there; and secondly, when you project subtle energy from your
abdomen down through your legs toward the centre of the earth.
Practise mudras, that is, ritual postures. Create gestures of the arms,
fingers, head, trunk and legs that cast your consciousness into the matrix mode.
Hold the total posture and notice whether it takes you out beyond your subtle
body into the further reaches of subtle space. If it doesn't, then rearrange it
until it does. Enjoy the liberating
have referred to the gaze in several earlier chapters.
To enter the gaze-light, meet the gaze of the other, let go of emotional
agitation and anxiety, then disclose in your own gaze the energetic light of
consciousness - a consciousness that includes, but is not distracted or
deflected by, whatever you are both saying or doing.
This consciousness that you are disclosing appears to be yours, but is
not really yours. It has a universal backdrop.
It is supercharged with a subtle force that unites you to the other in a
potent way - a way that liberates and empowers, and does not bind and block,
the other. You notice that you
participate with the other in an awareness that is greater than both of you.
charismatic potency of a gaze that has this unrestricted awareness within it is
central in facilitative work with people.
In co-counselling we train the counsellor in the practise of 'free
attention', by which we mean a deep and wide awareness focussed on the other,
free from the counsellor's own distress, sensitive to all that is going on in
the other but never getting lost in it. It is a sustained, buoyant affirmation
of the client. Entering the gaze-light is a potent way of mediating such free
course, in everyday life, the gaze gets hijacked in all sorts of ways. It can't
shine out fully because the use of
the eyes is taken over by the social protocol of conversation, by the content of
what is being said, by distracting inner thoughts and feelings. But a person
can practise to rescue the
archetypal potency of the gaze-light from being obscured by all these busy
shadows. Then you invite the other
to join you in the subtle space of an expanded consciousness.
Aikido, the trainee learns to project chi energy - or subtle energy, as I call
it. By projecting this energy and
then, as it were, letting the physical body follow after it, the trainee becomes
much more potent in throwing his opponent.
the last chapter, I suggested that human touch always involves the subtle energy
of the subtle body. If a person is unaware of this dimension of touch, then it
will be put to very limited use, blindly servicing a preoccupation with physical
touch. If a person is aware of
it, then it can be intentionally projected out, as in Aikido.
while the physical body cannot extend itself, once it is fully grown, beyond its
set limits, the subtle body appears to have no such restriction.
It can expand and contract itself, project itself and extend beams,
filaments and cords of energy from itself.
And the energy which you can project from the subtle body can have
qualitatively different impacts on the other person - depending on the sort of
concentrated intention with which you project it (Gunther, 1983).
the projected touch can be healing, affirming, enlightening, reassuring, or
comforting in its intention and its impact. You can practise an affirming
projection, by shaking the hand of someone as a form of greeting, while imaging,
feeling and intending a flow of subtle energy
from your hand into theirs
and thence into their heart, a flow that affirms their worth and excellence.
you can go on to practise all kinds of qualitatively different projections of
subtle energy as you have appropriate occasion to touch or hold other people in
different social contexts. In
training workshops, we also practise identifying the impact of a projected
touch: the recipient divines what sort of dynamic quality the subtle energy
carries as it reaches them from someone else.
gestures can be used to project subtle energy with different kinds of intent.
The hand that beckons, invites, applauds, affirms, restrains, reproves,
silences, commands, draws out, can consciously send out a subtle beam or signal
that empowers the meaning of the physical gesture.
simple facilitative application of this is where the group leader needs to
manage verbal contribution rates. This
can be done by subtle gesture with the hands, drawing a speaker out, drawing a
new speaker in, shutting out someone who is talking too much.
view, of course, is that there is a subtle component in any and every gesture
made by us as doubly incarnate beings. But when that component is tacit only,
that is, not fully owned or noticed by the person gesturing, then it is
underpowered. Charismatic potential is latent, dormant, buried in unawareness.
training workshops, we have people send and receive subtle signals through gestures,
noticing whether it is as if they are
giving them out or taking them in. Then
they start to actualise the latent potential. Some of the exercises are modestly
stringent. Thus a row of people stand with their backs to a person who is making
a strong subtle gesture of beckoning to one of them.
Those in the row try to sense which of them is being beckoned; and that
one turns around. Or a person is blindfolded, stands in the middle of the room,
and moves toward the one person, among all those around the walls, who is
beckoning with subtle energy.
beckoning - the psi gesture of invitation and drawing someone in - is wave-like,
free and flexible; it is not grasping, possessing, demanding or controlling in
its motion of hand and arm. And when beckoning someone, let your subtle energy
reach out beyond where they are, so your gesture puts them in the middle
of an energy stream, rather than at the end of it.
your consciousness oscillates between the worlds continually, but the effect is
subliminal. You don't really notice it because ordinary perception is so
dominant: you remain unaware of the intermittent subtle and fractional shift to
and fro between the physical foreground and its subtle background. But you can
bring this effect fully above the threshold of your conscious attention.
Then you intentionally come and go between the physical and the subtle.
You oscillate in and out of subtle awareness.
And so a natural process becomes a training aid.
can shift to and fro with a steady pulsing: from ordinary body posture to
awareness of the levity line and the subtle body; from physical perspectives to
all-at-once awareness of matrix space; from present physical movement to the
whole or to part of the sequence in matrix time; from ordinary physical effort
to effortlessness when projecting subtle energy; from looking at the other's
eyes to taking up the other's gaze; from physical touch to subtle touch; from
physical gesture to subtle gesture; from being absent-from-subtle-energy to
being present-with-subtle-energy; from awareness of the physical world to
awareness of the subtle worlds within and beyond. Thus you go in and out, in and
out, from one state of awareness to the other and back again.
you may try combining this oscillation with the breath. The exercise is
similar to the soham breath
in Siddha yoga. Shift to subtle
awareness on the in-breath, and to physical awareness on the out-breath.
invocations are ordinary greetings, farewells, pleasantries, appreciations,
congratulations, which are spoken with charismatic intent - that is, with
conscious subtle tone. The energy
of speech resonates in subtle space as well as in physical space. The utterance
is from the inner world as well as from the outer.
I wrote of this effect in section 12, Chapter 5.
concern here is not so much what you are saying, which is part of normal social
intercourse, but with how you are saying it, specifically with the tone and
intent. And it is not the physical tone of voice that is at issue, although of
course this needs to be clear and audible.
It is the emotional or soul tone and what might be called its spiritual
resonance. There is a powerful projection of subtle energy too.
the external social level, a certain convention is being observed.
At a deeper level, there is a loving charge of energy going from one
doubly incarnate being to another. I
worked with a group of doctors in London a few years ago, who practised tacit
invocations in relating to their patients, when greeting them as they entered
the surgery, and in other quite normal utterances.
It was one part of a plan discreetly to affirm the spiritual principle
in the practice of medicine in the context of the National Health Service.
explicit invocations, as with tacit, there is the same commitment to the use of
subtle tone of voice, but what is said is now a quite overt invocation. The
content and grammatical structure of the statement take it out of the range of
ordinary discourse. Such statements
include benedictions, commands and affirmations. And each of these may be
implicitly or explicitly spiritual. I
will give some examples of the six possible forms.
you be whole' (an implicitly spiritual benediction: it implies whole in spirit).
'May the spirit make you whole' (an explicitly spiritual benediction).
'Be whole' (an implicitly spiritual command: it implies whole in spirit).
'Be whole in spirit' (an explicitly spiritual command). 'You are whole'
(an implicitly spiritual affirmation: it implies whole in spirit). 'You are
whole in spirit' (an explicitly spiritual affirmation).
of this sort have, of course, been part of traditional religious ritual for centuries.
In the past their use has been beset by unctuousness, a false and modish piety,
which makes them extremely offensive. But
they can be used in the midst of everyday life, personal and professional, when
the social context provides an opening for them, and when the are uttered with
simplicity of heart.
whether tacit or explicit, can also be spoken out of matrix time, and into
section 3 of this chapter I
describe a way of enhancing presence by consciously entering matrix time when
doing a sequence of physical movements. I wish now to say more about matrix
time, especially in relation to the use of the voice.
time is clock time - based on the regular recurrence of natural phenomena.
The primary time unit is the period of the earth's rotation, employed to
measure our perception of the succession of physical events, of matter in motion
in the physical world. Matrix time
is the time within which sequences in physical time occur. It might also be
called programme time: the time in which the composition of events in clock time
is manifest. Then again it could be referred to as morphogenetic time, or
if I am watching a dancer on the stage, I apprehend the total sequence
of steps. And my
appreciation of the dance rests on this grasp of the whole temporal form of it.
Now this grasp of temporal form is itself in time, but in a time that is
necessarily more inclusive and extensive than the time whose serial form is
being grasped. My awareness is
necessarily to some degree in matrix time
in order to encompass an unfolding sequence in physical time.
may say that it is just memory at work: I grasp the sequence of dance movements
because while I see this movement now, I remember the
past movements that have occurred. But the critical word here is 'while'. This 'while' is in matrix time.
I have sufficient awareness in matrix time to make sequential sense of
remembered past movements, perceived present
movements, and intended future movements.
business of having sufficient awareness in matrix time is the same as what psychologists
have called the specious present: that unmistakable sense of the present moment
overflowing its boundaries to encompass some of the immediate past, and a bit of
the immediate future. It is
equivalent, in spatial awareness, to being aware of the real shape of the whole
object while having only a limited and distorting perspectival view of it.
just as our awareness of matrix space is underdeveloped and sufficient only to
make sense of visual perspectives by correcting for shape, size and relative
position; so too our awareness of matrix time is underdeveloped and sufficient
only to make sense of relatively short temporal sequences.
And, unless we are trained, we can only produce rather limited sets of
are many sorts of entry into matrix time, and the one I want to consider here is
through speech. This brings us into
the domain of 'timing' - fundamental in charismatic training, and in the
cultivation of presence. It is
fundamental, too, in the expessive arts.
the theatre, and in the work of the comedian, timing is to do with the control
of what is said and how it is said in such a way as to make maximum impact upon
the audience. How it is said includes:
the placing of inflection or emphasis; fluctuations of emotional tone;
variations of volume, pitch and speed; the use of pauses and their length.
Putting all these things together effectively is related to what is being
said, and to the context in which it is being said.
it is also a function of command in matrix time. The actor or comedian is
speaking out of matrix time: their awareness is laid back in that psi time in
which whole sequences in physical time are compounded, marshalled and
organised. Once the actor knows his
lines and what he has to say is secure, then he can attend fully to how
he says it out of matrix time mastery.
can practise to attain this mastery. Take
some of your favourite stanzas, say from the English romantic poets - Blake,
Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, Keats. Choose one stanza and make sure you know the
lines thoroughly, by heart. Now declaim it aloud, and let the whole manner of
your delivery be formulated in matrix time.
This means you have a sense or feel for the whole sequence or temporal
pattern of your delivery while (the matrix time 'while') you are engaged with
any one part of it in physical time.
way of saying all this is in terms of soul.
The soul is at home in matrix time.
It deals in wholes, in patterns, in temporal sequences, in dramatic
unfoldment. The passion of the
soul, its creativity, its engagement with destiny, is formulated in matrix time.
So when reciting the stanza, recite it with heart and soul.
Then we can equally talk of inner time or soul time, the womb-like
enlarged and extended present, in which passion of being is modulated to rise
and fall and rise again in a whole temporal form of expression. In workshops I
also call it charismatic time.
expression of soul in speech is also to do with emotional tone, or subtle tone,
which I have already discussed. Subtle
tone is naturally intensified when you speak out of matrix time. Soul speech
also organises the use of pauses, variations of volume, pitch and speed, the
placing of inflection and emphasis. The
result is the drama of presence in and through the voice.
use of pauses is a noticeable component of charismatic speech.
The pauses are non-anxious, pregnant with inner time; and the speaker
sustains eye contact which is also soul contact - with the listener. Speakers who are shy of their charismatic potential rattle on
in clock time, without pauses, without significant variations in volume or
speed, and without fluctuations in emotional tone.
And their eye contact with their listeners is insecure.
enemy of presence is anxiety. Actors
often have a lot of fear before going onto the stage. It usually goes once they
are out front, with the secure content of rehearsed lines which they can fill
with presence. But extempore speech
in everyday life may often generate a lot of subtle anxiety.
Can I express properly what I need to say? Will I be understood?
How will the other respond? And so on.
On the stage of life we are writing the script as we go along.
anxiety drags speech over into physical or clock time, making it more mechanical,
like a fast metronome. When training facilitators, through role-play and other
techniques of practice, you can see their fear reduce their speech to the
repetitiveness of matter in motion. They
talk with the frequency of agitated neurones, rather than with resonance of
soul. The tendency of anxiety to
cast speech into rapid clock time is unmistakable; and it debars access to
way of dealing with all this interpersonal tension is to centre yourself and
enter the levity line and the subtle body, in the ways I described earlier.
Breathe easily, and open up your gaze-light with
relaxed attention. In this state, there is perfectly valid continuum of
speech rhythms between physical time and matrix or soul time.
This is the speech mastery of a doubly incarnate being. For some content
of speech and some social contexts, it is appropriate to talk more in clock
time, be less soulful. In other
situations, moving in and out of clock time and matrix time may be fitting.
And then again, there are occasions when all speech is best expressed out of
charismatic, matrix time.
is enhanced when you talk out of matrix time, in the sense of talking out of an
awareness of the whole temporal form of what you are saying - its past, present
and future content and manner of delivery.
But this degree of realisation in matrix time is relatively limited. It covers only a short sequence in clock time.
can expand your awareness into matrix time beyond this short sequence and talk
out of a sense of the whole temporal form of the social occasion, or of the
day, or the month or the year. And
there is one extension that is particularly potent: speaking out of a cognizance
of your life as a whole, from birth to death.
course, these expansions yield only a tacit grasp of the
greater temporal form. It is
a feeling, an intuitive sense: the details of the
sequence are inchoate and vague. And such extensions are not manifest in
the content of what you are saying, but they subtly affect its manner of
delivery and your presence.
we have two degrees of matrix time awareness.
The first encompasses the temporal form of what you are saying and how
you are saying it. The second
encompasses some larger sequence of
your life, or even your whole life - which enhances in a subtle way the social
impact of the first.
whole is present in the part in a tacit mode. The whole temporal form of a
person's life is tacit in each moment of it.
Why not extend your awareness into the tacit dimension, in order to
enhance your expression in the explicit dimension of daily life?
make a spatial analogy, physical time gives a limiting and distorting
perspective on matrix time. In physical time we apprehend in succession what in matrix
time is present as a total sequence, as the temporal form of our everyday
life. When we are present in matrix time we can master our sequencing of
as well as speaking out of matrix time, we can also speak into it, as I mentioned at the very end of the two sections on
invocations above. When speaking
into matrix time, you feel that what you are saying at this moment in clock time
is resonating simultaneously both in the past and in the future.
on, in Chapter 12, I suggest that space itself is an expression of the archetypal
speech of the Logos, of the creative Word of universal consciousness.
Human speech, too, with the conceptual framework embedded in its use,
creates our version of physical space. And the internal monologue of ordinary
consciousness - the restless, inner, tacit speech of the everyday mind -
sustains this version. By consciously rewriting the monologue, we can recreate
and extend our grasp of space and spaces (see section 8 of Chapter 5).
out loud, from matrix time and with subtle tone, with content that reshapes the
belief-systems embedded in ordinary perception, will remould physical space
around the speaker, and generate an opening between the worlds, so that matrix
space and vistas of the other world unfold in the awareness of both the speaker
and any listener who is fully attentive.
conventional assumption is that how you say something is a function of who you
want to say it to and of what you want to say.
In other words, manner of speech is determined by the direction and the
content of speech. The
social context determines the content, and both together determine the manner.
training is concerned to affirm an influence in the reverse direction; so that
the manner of speech influences the content of speech and its social context.
But first let's get clear what these three things include.
social context of speech defines who is speaking to whom, what their roles are,
what norms and expectations defines these roles, and what the purposes of the
verbal interaction are. The content
of speech refers to the meaning the speaker intends to convey, to what it is he
wants to say.
manner of speech includes linguistic manner, vocal manner, and behavioural
manner. Linguistic manner is to do
with diction and grammar or syntax: what sorts of words we use, and how we
string them together to make statements. The
same basic content or intent to convey a certain thought can be expressed in
several different linguistic forms. Words
can be short or long, Anglo-saxon or romance; sentences can be short or more
elaborate. There are many different verbal ways of stating the same
manner includes the use of emphasis and inflection, variations of emotional or
subtle tone, changes in speed and
volume and pitch, the use of pauses and their length. Behavioural manner includes eye contact, facial expression,
use of hand and arm gesture, posture, movement and position relative to the
other or others - how near or far, whether above or below or at the same level,
whether opposite or beside or behind.
Chapter 5, section 10, I suggested that to have total presence these elements of
vocal and behavioural manner are generated out of command of the subtle
body. In this chapter I have
suggested how such command can be more fully understood in terms of matrix
space, matrix time, and subtle energy. Now
I think there is a certain order of influence in exercising this command.
organise your behavioural manner (posture, gesture, etc.) out of matrix space -
by entering the levity line and the subtle body, by expanding into matrix space,
and so on. Second, organise your
vocal manner (tone, inflection, pauses, etc.) out of matrix time.
Third, let these two kinds of subtle command work their influence on your
linguistic manner, that is, your choice of words and the grammatical
organisation of what it is you want to say. Figure 9.1 illustrates the
up-hierarchy from bearing to voice to language.
9.1 Subtle command from bearing to
voice to language
is noticeable in charismatic training how people simplify their language, get
down to basic utterance, when they start to manifest physical, then vocal
presence. And this then can start
to influence what they say, the content; and the whole social context, the way
they relate to the other person or persons involved, the nature of the
there is an up-hierarchy at work here, in which influence proceeds from postural
presence and bearing, to vocal presence, to linguistic selection, to ideas
conveyed and thence to the dynamic of relating to the other. This is a powerful
antidote to the cultural bias which seeks to work in the reverse direction.
Using this up-hierarchy in training facilitators in my workshops has been
immensely liberating for them.
concept of an intermental field is a useful working hypothesis, especially in
charismatic training of facilitators. What
I mean by such a field is the shared awareness between two or more persons.
Such shared awareness is often tacit, a kind of penumbra of
togetherness, an undertow of mutual participation. At a subtle level it involves a real interpenetration of
minds: each of us is an idiosyncratic eddy in the totality of universal
the intermental field is behind the scenes: we cannot normally access it to
communicate mentally or read each other's thoughts or engage in concerted and
unspoken mental endeavour. It seems as though the brain keeps us focussed on
personal thoughts, and tends to shut out the full influence and impact of the
intermental field. This is probably
a biologically necessary condition of developing human individuality and
competence at the physical level.
it isn't shut out fully. It is as if
all sorts of flotsam and jetsam drift into the ordinary, brain-restricted mind,
from many different (and ultimately inerpenetrating) intermental fields, both
in this world and in the other world.
creative generation of the content of speech, of what it is you want to say, is
greatly enabled by tuning in awarely to the intermental field of the group you
are talking to or working with. If you are a facilitator addressing your
group, scan the circle, make eye contact and enter the gaze-light, be inwardly
relaxed, expand into the matrix space of the room.
Then tune in to that subtle background field of shared awareness, which
is tacit, not fully noticed or acknowledged by those who are in it,
because they are preoccupied with the surface texture of their apparently
isolated everyday selves.
the content of your thought and speech be formulated out of this intermental
field in which you too participate. Of
course, you may have prepared the gist of what you want to say and do before
arriving at your group. Nevertheless, directly organise and express your thought
and action out of the immediate intermental field in which you and your group
helps to give the content of what you say and do presence. It becomes geared to the souls of those who are receiving it.
It goes through the back door of the mind at the same time as it is going
through the front door. What you
say acquires a subtle intellectual and personal resonance that defies analysis
but bestows synthesis. You speak to
the incarnate condition of souls at one and the same time from within that
condition and from a state of unity around and beyond it.
you may notice that the more you tune in to the intermental aura of your human
group, it is as if there is another intermental field interacting with it that is
to do with presences in the other world. Of
course, you can ignore or sceptically reject such premonitions of the beyond.
Or you can use it to generate extra dimensions of creativity, human
relevance and awareness in what you are about.
oracular use of both human and other-worldly intermental fields is a powerful
aid to the cultivation of presence. Creativity in the context of other-world
intermental fields is another way of talking about creative passive hierarchies
of the second kind (Chapter 2, sections 2, 3 and 4).
intermental field of a group provides a potent context for re-thinking the whole
body of thought and practice which is being shared with that group.
I have many times most fruitfully extended, amended, revised, added to,
basic workshop material in the context of an intermental field to whose members
I have been presenting that material. On
two or three occasions, I have generated the whole first draft of a
comprehensive manual in that highly productive setting.
There is a tacit dimension of co-authorship in what is written in this
a person is practising the fulness of presence in a social situation, what is
going on? Without putting in everything that I have covered above, a reasonably
comprehensive answer is provided by the following.
subtle body awareness and projection of subtle energy are manifest through:
their conscious postural bearing in matrix space,
their awareness of the matrix space of the immediate environment,
their awareness of the matrix of the immediate other, their matrix grasp
of relative positions within the group of which they are a part, their conscious
use of gaze and gesture, their conscious use of personal tone of voice and other
aspects of voice, their mastery of matrix time in sequencing speech and other behaviour,
their participation in the local intermental field.
it out like this makes it sound cumbersome.
But it is not so in practice. For
all human beings by the time they are adult have impressive skills in
integrating simultaneously many different modes of awareness - sensory,
perceptual, emotional, cognitive, and conative. And within each of these there
are several different sub-modalities.
the ordinary consciousness of human beings is already multi-modal to a most sophisticated
degree. And the soul, it seems, yearns to extend its multi-modal range. For human
consciousness is intrinsically holistic, thriving on the integration of comprehensive
sets of interconnections and relations. The
more it subsumes in the synthesis the more it feels exhilarated and empowered.
it is still the case that being aware and alert to this degree is not everybody's
cup of tea. Nor is it appropriate in many contexts.
Nor is it desirable in any context unless it is an extension of
authentic person-to-person relationships founded on mutual respect.
many people have found it liberating to have the option, when they choose, to
live more fully and awarely in two worlds at once, and this in the heart of
human society. Charismatic training alerts people to this option and to what is
involved in taking it up.
Experience of the subtle realms: