Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies
by George A. Boyd © 2003
The unconscious mind is regularly projecting its desires and wishes on the screen of your perception. You are often not aware of this projective mechanism, however, because these impressions are very subtle and you develop filters for them that hold them out of the field of consciousness.
However, you are more prone to experience these projections when your defenses are down, for example,
Normally, there are a number of filters that block these liminal impressions from entering your awareness.
Physical brain sensory filters - Gating mechanisms in the reticular activating system block selective sensory information from reaching the cortex.
Physical brain limbic system filters - Gating mechanisms in the sub-cortical structure blocks emotional and sexual impressions from the limbic system from reaching the cortex.
Etheric nexus - There is a seal between the unconscious field and the conscious field of the mind. Chakras and their associated network of meridians and nadis that dwell in this unconscious zone are unawakened, so they normally do not produce etheric projective activity. If this unconscious etheric nexus is partially activated, sometimes the impressions it produces will be strong enough so that you will become aware of them, but most of the time you are not.
Astral mind - The fantasy-like, free-associative, symbol-producing, imaginative faculty of the astral brain is operating at all times, but because your attention in not in your astral body in your waking awareness, you may not be aware of this phenomena. In the dreaming state when people are deeply relaxed, they may enter this astral mind and become aware of the impressions arising from this substrate.
Spiritual heart- The spiritual heart is giving you information through the wordless language of feelings. In some people, the nadi connecting with the spirit is plugged, so they only are aware of the sensations in their body, their emotions and thoughts in the Conscious mind, and the reaction of their ego.
Causal mental matrix - Your causal body is the repository of karmic impressions. You normally do not access this vehicle, so you are not aware of the activity of karma working in the deep strata of the unconscious mind.
Superconscious mind - Your Superconscious mind is also projecting intuitive knowledge and understanding. If you have not built a bridge with your Superconscious through meditation and prayer, you may not be aware of this upwelling from the inner fount of wisdom.
Attentional principle gates - Sometimes called the Gates of Initiation, these sealed inner doorways block egress to unconscious areas of the mind. Some of the most common inner gates you may encounter include
Encountering Liminal Projections
You usually experience these liminal projections in states when your defenses are down. They may appear as vivid hallucinations or illusions, as haunting, siren-like voices, or as deep feelings of delusional conviction. They may arise from a number of sources. If you experience these eerie, sometimes frightening phenomena, it is important to determine what may be causing them. For example,
They may occur when you are physically ill, such as during states of delirium during a high fever.
They may occur during states of intoxication from psychoactive substances, particularly hallucinogenic and stimulant drugs. Poisoning from heavy metals or insecticides may also produce these effects.
Hormonal changes, like those that occur during puberty and menopause, may make some individuals more susceptible to these projections.
They may occur if there is damage to your brain, as in states of dementia.
They also occur during states of psychosis, when the normal reality testing mechanisms do not operate properly and there is an ongoing chemical imbalance in your brain.
You may also encounter them while falling asleep, when waking up, or when you are awakened while you are dreaming.
You may experience them when you become extremely physically exhausted from lack of sleep, overwork, or lack of adequate nutrition.
You may experience them if you spend a lot of time in trance-like states of hypnosis, prayer and meditation. Those who remain continually in an altered state of awareness, like people in religious or political cults, may be especially susceptible to these phenomena.
You may experience them spontaneously when you begin to open select bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, such as the Lower Astral Plane and the Psychic Realm. The Materialization Dematerialization Subplane of the Psychic Realm is notorious for producing very vivid hallucinations in those who are passing through its vale.
Working with Liminal Projections
Most people experience these phenomena at least once in their lives, and it does not mean they have brain damage, heavy metal poisoning, or are going insane. In many cases this phenomena can usually be explained by perceptual changes that occur while entering or emerging from sleep, awakening while in the dream state, exhaustion from lack of sleep, or remaining in an altered state of awareness for prolonged periods of time. Febrile conditions and rapid hormonal changes may also produce these phenomena.
(1) Ruling Out Medical and Psychological Causes - If you experience them on a regular basis, it is important to have a medical examination to discover if there is any condition that may be impacting the functioning of your brain. These conditions may arise out of the neurophysiological substrate if something alters the functioning of the gating mechanisms of the reticular activating system or of the sub-cortical limbic system.
If it is a sleep disturbance, sometimes a physician can prescribe medication that will help, or a psychologist that specializes in sleep disorders can teach you to avoid these dream state disruptions.
If you are concerned they may arise from intrapsychic factors, you may also wish to have psychological testing to ensure that your reality testing mechanism is operating properly. Sometimes psychotherapy can be used to explore these troubling visions and trace them back to their source. They commonly arise from traumatic experiences that you may have forgotten.
If you think they may be the result of too much time in altered states of awareness, come back to your normal state of awareness and stay there. If you do choose to continue to pray or meditate, always terminate each session by becoming fully grounded.
If you suspect that your use of alcohol or drugs may be to blame, try stopping the use of drugs and see if these unwanted visions and voices go away. [If you are addicted to a drug, please undergo your withdrawal with medical supervision.]
Once you have determined that medical and psychological factors are not producing these liminal projections, there are several spiritual or intuitive methods that can be used to identify their source and eliminate them. Some of these methods are described below.
(2) Polling or checking in - In this method, you ask each level of your mind whether it is producing the phenomenon. You may use the chart of the Great Continuum of Consciousness in the workbook for the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation if you have taken this class, or get this chart from our web site,
In the polling method, you ask your physical body, "are you creating this phenomena?" Then listen for the response. Thank this level of the mind for its response. If the answer is yes, you can explore this further, If the answer is no, then you go on to the next level. You poll each level of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind, the five Kosas, your form in the Subtle Realm, and your forms of the Biophysical Universe, Abstract Mind Plane, Psychic Realm, Wisdom Plane, your nuclei of identity in the Planetary Initiations, and finally your Soul. If you are working with a Guru or Spiritual Master, you may also wish to poll the centers in the Cosmic, Supracosmic or Transcendental Spheres that are related to the path which you are traversing.
Sometimes when you poll a particular center, there will not be a response. This may indicate that the center is inactive. After 10 to 15 seconds, if there is no response from the center, acknowledge the center and move on to the next.
Write down the centers that have told you they are producing the phenomena. You will use this information to work with the phenomena.
(3) Dialog with inner centers - once you have identified what centers are producing the liminal projections, you can dialog with those centers, and write down their responses. Some of the questions you may ask these inner centers include:
What does this image or symbol mean?
What do you need or want from me? How does this symbol represent this need or desire?
Why is this image appearing at this time in my life?
What event in my life does this image represent?
What emotion is associated with this image?
What person in my life does this image represent? [Or if a voice] Whose voice am I hearing?
What advice or guidance does this symbol hold for me?
What do I need understand about this symbol?
What is the essence of this symbol? What is its core?
You may find that these answers can be quite evocative and bring greater clarity. In other cases, they may be cryptic or vague, and not very useful. If this latter is the case, try another method.
(4) Dialog with the Image or Voice - when you cannot identify the symbol or voice is coming from a particular stratum of your mind, or if the responses from that stratum are not clear, you may wish to dialog directly with the image or voice. Like dialoguing with inner centers, you will ask questions and write down the responses in this method. Unlike dialoguing with inner centers, you will phrase your questions so you are directly interacting with the image or voice. Asking similar questions phrased in a slightly different way, your queries may appear as:
What do you mean or represent?
What do you need or want from me?
Why are you appearing at this time in my life?
With what events in my life are you associated?
What behaviors, emotions, or thoughts are associated with you?
What person in my life are you? [Or if a voice] Whose voice are you?
What advice or guidance do you hold for me?
What do I need understand about you?
What is your essence? What is your core?
Sometimes, when you engage the image, you will develop an ongoing relationship with it. As you continue to work with it, you will eventually find away to re-integrate it back into the field of consciousness, so it is no longer split off and alienated. When you meet the need or solve the problem inherent in this intrapsychic element, it will become re-integrated. Then, rather than having this intrapsychic element taunt you from the sidelines, you can find a way to make it part of your team.
(5) Creation and Destruction of the Image - if you decide that this image is not something that you want to rehabilitate and eventually integrate into consciousness [for example, if you are having recurring images of being an ax murderer], you may wish to create and destroy it using your faculty of imagination.
To use this method, you must first exactly duplicate the image. You must imagine vividly this image, down to its last detail. Now feel that you are creating this image, as it is now.
Once you realize you can create this image, you can also imagine it dissolving into nothingness. Practice dematerializing the image through your intention until you can make it vanish at will.
The Rite of Banishment - If the image is persistent, deeply troubling to you, and will not go away, you may treat it as a malevolent entity and banish it. In the Bible, Jesus' casting out of devils is an example of banishment.
To do this rite, you will need to be able to invoke and attune with an Initiate or Spiritual Master to protect you and empower you as you do this rite. You will also need to create a force field or magic circle to contain the entity. Further, you must have a powerful ability to hold the entity, either by the force of your own will or through the agency of angels. You must also have the ability to decree or affirm with great force and authority. You will also need to identify in advance to which location you intend to send the entity.
Locations for banishment include:
Put on the armor of Light and invoke the Initiate with Whom you work to protect and empower you
Create a force field or magic circle around the entity to contain it. Ask the angels, if you work with them, to help you contain the entity
Once the entity recognizes it is being imprisoned, it will attempt to escape or to attack you. Expect this. Protect yourself.
Address the entity by name. Command it in a loud voice, "I command that you leave this person now and go to [specify location] now! Do not ever return!"
Use the power of the Divine Force flowing through you to send the entity through your intention to the specified location.
Close the psychic space where the entity was, visualizing it is sealed and filled with Light.
Verify that the entity has indeed left.
The rite of banishment is a last resort for dealing with malevolent and destructive entities. It is not to be used unless there is no other recourse available to you. If you do not feel comfortable or competent enough in using this method, you may find a priest who has been trained in the rite of exorcism, consult a shaman or occultist versed in this method, or locate an advanced disciple or Initiate who does this work.
(7) Dissolution by Transformational Method - if you determine by polling that the image arises from either the Lower Astral Plane or the Subplanes of the Psychic Realm, you may find that using a transformation al method such as your bija mantra will burn up the karmic issue that this entity personifies. As you burn the karmic substrate away, the entity will concomitantly dissolve, and you will be troubled with it no longer.
(8) Creativity - sometimes you may find these hallucinations fascinating, and instead of trying to dissolve or banish them, you may use them for creative projects. For example, you may paint them, or use them as characters when you design video games or computer animation for movies. Instead of going to war with them, you may find it much more enjoyable to accept them, tolerate them, and enjoy them.
Hallucinations in Meditation
As a student of meditation, you may at one time or another encounter this hallucinatory phenomena. It is important to recognize from where it arises, and how to deal with it appropriately. We will underscore that two of the most common, and avoidable causes of hallucinatory phenomena seen in meditators are (1) not returning to waking awareness after going within, and (2) use of drugs after beginning a meditation practice. The solution for these problems is simple. First, always return your attention to the grounded, waking state of awareness after meditation. Second, if you have started to meditate, stop using drugs and alcohol to alter your awareness.
We have also stated elsewhere in our writing that hallucinatory phenomena in meditation may also mark one of the symptoms of imbalance. To read more about imbalance, see the article on our web site,
Hallucinations may be frightening when you encounter them in meditation and other altered states of awareness. If you can identify from where they arise, and can find an appropriate way to address them, you can be done with them and move on.
When to seek professional help
One hallucination does not make you a psychotic, as perceptual illusions and sleep emergence phenomena are experienced by many people at one or more times in their lives. The questions you must answer, before you turn yourself in to the psychiatrist, is
Do these hallucinations persist beyond the state in which I experienced them? [Do you hallucinate outside of meditation, or outside of the states of going to sleep, awakening while dreaming, or while awakening?
Do they interfere with my functioning in my job and family life?
Do they interfere with my ability to test reality? Is my reasoning still sound and intact?
Do the visions or voices tell me to do things that don't make sense?
Do I have convictions about things revealed by these visions for which I have no validation? [Am I having delusional beliefs?
Are the hallucinations bizarre or paranoid? [For example, you feel that maggots are boring through your skin and eating your internal organs, or that UFOs are attacking you with telepathy?]
Do I come from a family where one or more members may have had schizophrenia or severe mood disorders?
If the answers to one or more of these questions are yes, you genuinely should consult a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to evaluate your hallucinations. Sometimes they may stem from medical conditions that can be addressed, in which case the hallucinations will stop when the medical condition has been controlled. But they also can result from an ongoing chemical imbalance in your brain. In this latter case, the mental health professional will likely recommend that you take psychotropic medication to counter the symptoms you are experiencing.