Only Somewhat Real: Front matter

The materials to be presented here comprise a manuscript that has yet to see publication. But the dedication and acknowledgements shouldn’t have to wait for that, so I include them here.



To the memory of Bob Friedman, who kept publishing my interim reports,

and to the memory of Colin Wilson, whose work encouraged and inspired me for 25 years before we finally met,

and to Nancy Ford, who has accompanied me in my mental journeys for more than ten years.



I think I could scarcely have persevered for so long on which is necessarily a solitary path, if I had not been accompanied by kindred spirits:

The Monroe Institute (TMI), and its staff, and my fellow participants in so many residential programs, and the trainers and participants in so many Guidelines groups who have shared their own experiences with me;

The Explorers internet group, who accompanied me on so many inner journeys and reported on journeys of their own;

Readers of my blog, and of my Facebook page, who similarly, who have listened, responded, and suggested.

To all of you, my profound gratitude and thanks. Alone we do little or nothing.



This book is the latest of several books compiled from more than 25 years of exploration into the nature of reality. After so much time and effort, naturally you come to see some things more clearly, more deeply. But the more your world diverges from mainstream assumptions, the harder it becomes to communicate with those still in the mainstream. It isn’t impossible to bridge the gap, but it requires certain things of the reader:

  • Be open to new ideas. That means not being unwilling to be convinced. You don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) start by believing; it is only necessary that you start by not adamantly dis-believing.
  • Reserve judgment until those ideas are fully understood. Resist jumping to conclusions. Don’t allow yourself to brush aside an unfamiliar argument as “nothing but” something more familiar. Wait and see where it goes.
  • Wrestle with the ideas presented, to see whether they ring true. It would be as bad to automatically accept what you read as to automatically reject it. Neither reaction can change your life. Test what is said here; think about it; question whether your own life-experience supports it. Only when you wrestle with it will you know how much of it is relevant to the life you are making.

But communication requires things of the author too. It’s up to the author to provide a precis of any necessary background information, including specialized terms, so that the reader can dive right in. That’s the purpose of this prologue.

* * *

Years of explanations have left me with the following understanding of the reality behind our lives. This is not the place to explain or justify these ideas, only to set them forth clearly so that you may understand where we’re coming from.

The world is constructed of consciousness. Before matter, before energy (and, after all, matter is only energy bound into relatively stable forms), comes consciousness. All the world is alive, even the things we think of as dead. Animals, vegetables, minerals; all made of consciousness. That includes synthetic fibers, radioactive waste, and even Congressmen.

Our familiar world of three dimensions is only a subset of a larger reality which we call the non-3D world. Although we speak of them as separate, and usually experience them that way, they together form one thing. Call it the All-D.

The 3D aspect of All-D experiences three very distinctive conditions: separation in time and in place, delayed consequences, and one ever-moving present-moment. It was created (out of the All-D) specifically to provide that combination of conditions; together they constitute a crucible in which new souls may be forged, developed, matured, and passed along to the non-3D.

The non-3D aspect, by contrast, is much more fluid in its movement through time and place, experiences immediate (and immediately malleable) consequences, and allows one to range in time in the way we in 3D range in space. In other words, its prevailing characteristic is non-locality (both in time and space) and extensive inter-communication.

The two realms are usually seen as separate, but they interpenetrate, being indivisible. Together they constitute our outer and inner reality, the 3D world being experienced through the senses, the non-3D world through intuition.

Humans are souls animated by spirit; that is, we are structured intelligence animated by vast impersonal forces. Although we experience ourselves as individuals, it is equally true to describe us as communities of other threads of being, some of which some call “past lives.”

Finally, in investigating both the visible and invisible properties of the world, we find it useful to remember the ancient adage, “as above, so below.” Apparently reality is constructed to scale, with similar architecture at all levels.

Together this view of the world explains many things.


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