In the Sophian Gnostic tradition the Transference of Consciousness is an essential practice. It is a practice to shift of our center of consciousness from the physical body to a spiritual body, a body of light. Although in our tradition and indeed in the Tibetan traditions it is most often a practice given for conscious dying, it is also a practice for conscious living, representing an esoteric or mystical understanding of resurrection and ascension. To experience a shift of our center of consciousness into a body of light, whether astral, spiritual or supernal light, is to experience a very different view of name and form, and personal history, a very different vision of this body and this life – one that is transcendental. Even a glimpse of this greater reality of our being on an energetic level can be empowering and transforming.
Although this practice may appear to be a very lofty practice, I believe that the essence of this practice is also, and have always been essential in the evolution of consciousness in humanity. If we feel ourselves attached to name, form and history, it is very difficult to change our consciousness because we will feel ourselves trapped in our present form. Although we would like to change our consciousness we would time and again find ourselves up against the wall of what we think our limitations are.
Although we are quite capable of thinking alternatively, we have no way into it, because we have had no experience of it. What we actually learn and see is contained within our social and environmental parameters. What we do is also determined by what we can do and need to do in order to survive, given the environmental, technological and social context. What we do determines a particular sort of relationship with our environment. We participate in our environment, in a particular way, to achieve particular objectives. The outcome is a human being that has a particular way of relating to their environment and pays attention to particular phenomenon in the world depending upon social and physical context.
In our minds the form of something both gives it its power and restricts its power. In our minds, the form of something defines the potency or strength and innate nature of something. “An elephant is big and strong, it therefore does big and strong things.” A way of thinking about this link between form and potency is identity; some people or things do certain things and others different things.
Now, ironically that which I have written in the last two paragraphs is actually exact quotes used by anthropologists to explain primitive modes of thinking. All I changed in the texts was to replace “them” with “we” and took out “so and so postulated”. I did this to show how little we have actually changed in mode of thinking from the so-called primitive way of thinking. The reason for this is exactly the reasons outlined in the above texts.
This sort of thinking, involving the body as our insertion point into life, underlies the
phenomenological studies of Husserl, and later Merleau Ponty, that contributed to contemporary
considerations of embodiment and cognition. In 1967 Horton suggested: ‘In evolving a theoretical scheme, the human mind seems constrained to draw inspiration from analogy between the puzzling observations to be explained and certain already familiar phenomena.” We therefore look towards the familiar to explain the unfamiliar and because we do this we are actually stuck in a loop of consciousness. What really differentiate us from past cultures are our skills, also explained in Anthropological context as; development, in hand with practice and training in a particular environment, generates the skills apparent in different cultures.(Ref)
“Mode of thought is more resilient than mode of production,” according to Philip Duke in “The Foraging Mode of Thought” where he introduced the notions “that certain phenomena have different rhythms of change and that these rhythms have different effects on society and the individuals in it.” In other words although we now live in a society where we are no longer foraging hunter gatherers, we still think in that way. Today our hunting grounds are malls and the world of business.
New thinking have always originated in the visionaries among us. In tribal societies these visionaries were the Shamans and medicine men. In the West the visionaries are philosophers, mystics and artists. What they all have in common is that they are able to transfer their consciousness into a body of consciousness that is beyond the bound body of consciousness of the times in which they lived, which is exactly what the practice of Transference of Consciousness is.
Most Anthropologists agrees with an idea of Lévy-Bruhl that what really distinguished our present day thinking from so-called primitive cultures was, that primitive people lived in a world that had no distinction between the natural and the supernatural. “In this world that ties people into relationships with phenomena, it is possible to exchange abilities or powers.” It is in the sense of taking on an ability that Lévy-Bruhl recognized that Bhororo people of Brazil can actually become parrots. Similarly, Khoesan can become lions and that this was, not a metaphor but a reality in their minds. (This will also be an accurate description of what is achieved in the Transference of Consciousness.)
This concept was called by Lévy-Bruhl, “Participation mystique”, or mystical participation, and refers to the instinctive human tie to symbolic fantasy emanations. This symbolic life precedes or accompanies all mental and intellectual differentiation. (Ref) Jung used the term throughout his writings and the concept is closely tied to that of projection, although the Jungian “projection” is an unconscious projection rather than a conscious projection as is done in transference of consciousness or the techniques used by Shamans to transfer their persona into other planes of being or to access the spirit realm to transfer power. We may well ask why we unconsciously project our feelings; could it not be that we instinctive are already aware of the potential of transference of consciousness?
At the outset, of practicing the transference of consciousness, gathering our consciousness as light within our heart, envisioning the image of a holy and enlightened being in a body of light, and projecting our consciousness as light into that light-presence, and merging ourselves with them, is nothing more than a flight of fantasy – an imaginative exercise. However, over time, with continued practice, it can become more than fantasy. We may actually experience a shift of our center of consciousness into a body of light, whether astral, spiritual or supernal light, and in this experience we will discover a very different view of name and form, and personal history, a very different vision of this body and this life – one that is transcendental. – Tau Malachi
Dying and death are very similar to going to sleep and dreamless sleep – according to the Zohar sleep and dream are 1/60th the power of death, and is the same basic process in consciousness, although the vital connection between the body and soul are not severed in sleep as in death. Therefore, this very same practice of the transference of consciousness can be used as we are going to sleep, as a practice of “dream union,” or an invocation of luminous and lucid dreams.
This in itself reflects what was called “primitive thinking” – “making no distinction between the natural and the supernatural.” Life is a Dream” therefore we can transfer our consciousness into “bodies” that is beyond what we are at present.
The place of this transference of consciousness is at the top of the head, the top of the skull, hence the “Place of the Crossing on Mount Golgotha,” the skull.
This same center is also called the center or star of the Divine I Am, which becomes an interesting contemplation when the nature of this center as a point of transition is known and understood.
Although the practice of the transference of consciousness may seem like a very lofty and advanced practice, and on some level it is, nevertheless it is a practice any of us can take up and benefit from, even if nothing more than used as a visualization of what we can become. It is especially useful during times of crisis where we have to cross boundaries of transitions.
Transference of Consciousness is the way through which we can transcend the event horizon of our current physical limitation, which transcends thinking only from what we know to what we consider beyond the horizon of our imagination. In a sense it is exactly dying consciously in order to live consciously. For in order to move beyond our current limitations in consciousness we need to die to our former way of thinking through the process of resurrection and ascension. In order to make a radical leap in consciousness we need to go beyond the present event horizon of our mode of thinking.