Not least of the resources The Monroe Institute has offered me are sessions in its isolation chamber, which I call the black box. After December, 1992, when I did the Institute’s Gateway Voyage, many things opened up, as I described in some detail in my book Muddy Tracks. In 2000, after I had moved to the New Land (where the Institute is located), I did a session of 10 PREP sessions in the box with lab director Skip Atwater as monitor. Week by week, I transcribed the audio record of the sessions and posted the transcriptions on the institute’s Voyager’s Mailing List. The postings met response, and it does seem to me that these transcripts provide a taste of what it is like when you begin to learn how to communicate with the other side.
So I intend to post those transcripts here. But first (stealing from and silently editing the Muddy Tracks description), this account of the session that took place in 1993, also with Skip, three months after my Gateway, at another Monroe program called Guidelines.
That morning, somewhat nervous, I ask the guys [by writing in my journal]:
“Gentlemen, any advice on how to use the experience?”
“Keep your intensity high while yet being relaxed. If you can live at a higher vibratory rate while not living at tension’s breaking point, you can do anything any reasonable person would want to do.”
“Is there something I should ask that I haven’t thought of?”
“Much, but nothing that will hinder.”
So I go to the lab. Skip leads me into the black box, a sound- and vibration-insulated chamber, and he helps me to climb carefully onto the waterbed. I get the earphones on, and he lowers a microphone to within inches of my face. He attaches three wires to the fingers of my right hand, then shuts the two doors (one inside the other), leaving me in darkness. After a moment he is talking to me from the control room through the earphones.
When well into Focus 10, I asked what was the most appropriate thing for me to do. I immediately got a sense of a lot of bare trees, a wintertime forest. Woods. It felt connected to the John and Clara lifetime in the 1700s. I wondered: Why was I looking at forests? There came a sentence saying that I can’t see the trees for the forest.
After we moved on to Focus 12, and then 15 and then [after other things] to Focus 21, I asked: “Gentlemen, what’s on your minds this morning?” The words came to me, sometimes haltingly, sometimes a few at a time, sometimes fluently. I spoke them as they came, and I suppose this was my first conscious conversation with The Gentlemen Upstairs.
They said it was a point of departure. I was going to see what the rest of my life looked like, “and what it looks like will be a lot like the previous except that the point of view will have totally changed and therefore the whole thing will totally change.” They said that living out a conscious intention to give love and demonstrate love totally colors what you see and what you get. “It is true that you have everything you need and that all you need to do is concentrate on how to use it, why to use it, when to use it, rather than `will I have it, will I get it, does it exist’ and so forth.”
Gently they reminded me that “there is such a thing as over-reliance even on higher powers”–meaning over-reliance on right-brain rather than using it in partnership with left-brain functioning. “We can guide, but you can act. Part of acting is thinking and analyzing and dissecting. It isn’t all perception of patterns. Which is the initial message: You can’t see the trees for the forest.” They said, “You like trees, take your time with individual trees,” meaning, spend less attention on what went on in the CHEC units and more on my fellow participants.
I asked for information about past-life stuff, trying unsuccessfully for specifics about a book title. (I’d see that pattern again!) After a few detours, they said: “The feeling of the book is more important than the title and we want you to look more. If you had the title right now that would be an easy confirmation and if you could find the book then you would say `aha, it works.’ On the other hand you already know it works and if you found the book too fast perhaps there would be a certain amount of inflation, and perhaps that wouldn’t be good for what’s going on.”
At which point I felt a sort of spinning feeling, and when I asked (at Skip’s suggestion) what it is I should be learning from it, I described it as “an access of more energy because I just opened something up.” I had just realized that I didn’t need the book as an objective outside proof. “I realized that what I am is the proof of what I know.”
I asked about focus levels left undescribed in the Monroe system. I asked first about Focus 18, and as soon as I asked if I could go to 18, I got a headache right behind my eyes. Skip said calmly, “Welcome this energy in and ask what is the meaning of this.” As he did, the headache went away, so I concluded it had been to get my attention. I asked what they were trying to tell me. I got a vision of a very pale blue neon light, between solid planes above and underneath. “It’s really like it [the picture] opens up into interstellar space,” I said, and in the desperate grammar that follows perhaps you can get a sense of what I felt as I attempted to express the words and, mostly, feelings, that flowed through me.
“It’s like it’s saying you’ve been living here for long long time. And that relates to the outer-space thing, sort of. You’ve been living here for a long time. Like, oh, it’s like home, you know? And I’m getting the sense that they’re talking about level 18. Is that what you mean, gentlemen? Level 18 is a natural plateau for me, where I have been more than once in writing. That I will go to 18 not knowing really what it is or why it is, but that when I write poetry or sometimes — the part of Messenger that Mary thought was channeled was written from 18 and it is my one of my, it is been, it is my accustomed, my most something home. Oldest home. Which I hear as meaning that I was in 18 a lot as a kid, not knowing it….
“How can I find out what 18 specifically, what kind of abilities or more like what kind of point of view 18– [I laughed.] Ha, ha, ha, they’re laughing at me! The question was going to be, how can I find out what kind of a point of view it gives you, and of course that’s the point of view that I had! Okay.” I laughed again. “That’s the point of view that’s inclined to see the forest and not see the trees. [pause] When I was a boy I saw patterns more than I could see the real things in front of me. I wondered about all kinds of things, because nobody saw it the same way. And, that’s very interesting. [Focus]18 is the well of my creativity this particular lifetime. That’s where I should be going. That’s very satisfying.”
They remind me of the times that I spent in the nearby woods as a little boy. “The woods were my home, too. I’d actually forgotten there was a time before books. Well, Skip, you said [In our pre-briefing session] something might come in out of left field, and it certainly did. Very useful.”
These interactions, and others unrecorded here, had used up almost all the time we had. But Skip suggested that I “ask if there isn’t a special message for you just today.” I went to Focus 21, and after a pause quoted them to this effect: “The message is the same message that you’ve been hearing more than once and have been hearing and we recognize that you’ve been hearing it: Love and persevere and continue and just keep on. With endurance comes success.”
As Skip was counting me down, I suddenly got a great headache on the right side. When I asked them what was going on, I got a sense that the message was, “the experiment’s not over yet!” Skip counted me back to C1–normal consciousness–and I returned to the program feeling half in another world. And in a very real sense I never went back to the world I’d left that morning, for I never have left the newer world I entered.