Leaving the Body

"Fables can enable people to absorb ideas which the ordinary patterns of their thinking would prevent them from digesting. Fables have been used . . . to present a picture of life more in harmony with their feelings than is possible by means of intellectual exercises."

Idries Shah, The Sufis

      A student was transported by his teacher to a transcendent realm through a process called Dialectic. This student wore at all times a suit and helmet invisible to him. He had become so accustomed to the suit and helmet that he was unaware of them; you might say that these were his "conditionings." The helmet's visor contained an embedded screen that projected a continual video movie image and an audio soundtrack, allowing only very limited "see through" to the outer reality of the transcendent province. His suit allowed him to feel almost nothing but the tension of the suit and very little of the external reality of the realm.

      The video movie image and sound continually playing in the visor screen were titled "consensus reality." The scenes and tones of the movie were so familiar to the student that he assumed it was the totality of reality.

      At first, the student assumed that the teacher was merely describing metaphysical fantasies and philosophical abstractions. He assumed that the teacher was attempting to train him in how to concoct equally fantastic generalities and chimeras. Since he was not "seeing" what the teacher described of the transcendent domain, he assumed it could not be real. The idea of his being clothed in a suit and helmet as the teacher described didn't make sense to his logic-programmed brain.

      Even though it only appeared and felt like a mystical phantasm, a metaphysical concept-world, the student assumed he was seeing and feeling the "transcendent domain" that his teacher was describing and experiencing. The teacher helped the student to discern that he was wearing a suit and helmet invisible to him by pointing out the divergence of the teacher's descriptions of the transcendent sovereignty from the student's descriptions. And he assisted the student in learning to apprehend the transcendent realm by experiencing specific sights and sensations of a different, at first, and later supersensible type.

      Slowly the student began to "see" and "feel" the helmet and suit and to gain inchoate, incipient awareness of the transcendent realm. He progressively gained the capability of "looking through" the video show in his helmet and "feeling beyond" the sensations inside his suit. He was able to study the helmet and suit and understand how it formed a barrier between him and the higher realm to which he traveled in dialectical interchange.

      By studying the suit and helmet the student learned how to diminish their distorting and obstructive effects, how to place his vision and sensibility "outside" within the transcendent domain. He gained the capability of locating his being and his consciousness in the transcendent domain.