I first became a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Techniques (“EFT”) in 2003. I later became a practitioner of a related energy therapy, EmoTrance (“ET”, but now renamed by its originator Silvia Hartmann as EMO). Both of these therapies, and several related ones, are based on the theory that each of us has an energy body, whose ‘circulatory system’ comprises the meridians also used in acupuncture. Energy therapies are designed to clear blockages in the energy body, or the body’s energy system, caused by a wide range of emotional (and physical) conditions.
Because of my scientific background I had some difficulty in accepting the existence of an energy body, but nevertheless I proved many times – with clients and on myself (to the astonishment of a certain medical consultant) – that EFT and ET are very effective indeed. On the whole, I don’t trouble myself too much with how they work, only that they do.
The concept of an energy body has other applications besides therapeutic ones. As I’m also interested in out-of-body experiences (“OBEs”), I recently read Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience by Luis Minero. Mr Minero is the Education Director of the Brazil-based “International Academy of Consciousness” (“IAC”), which runs training courses for controlled OBEs.
The founder of the IAC, Waldo Vieira, developed the new study of ‘Conscientology’. He wanted to avoid occult connotations, such as use of the old term ‘astral projection’ for an OBE, so he invented his own terms. This has had the unfortunate side-effect of making IAC books very difficult to read (although Mr Minero’s book is clearer than some); IAC writers never seem to be able to use a short word when a long one will do.
The first chapter of the book, ‘Fundamental Concepts’, defines the four bodies that make up the whole body (the holosoma):
Soma (physical body)
Energosoma (energetic body)
Psychosoma (emotional body)
Mentalsoma (intellectual body).
The energosoma, also be referred to as the holochakra, is the etheric body of classical literature. It has two main functions. Firstly, it links the physical body (soma) with the astral body (psychosoma). Secondly, it vitalises the physical body. A healthy energosoma promotes general well-being, while numerous issues result from blockages and imbalances. It’s these that we can clear with energy therapies.
The psychosoma is the body in which we can travel during an OBE. Unlike the energosoma, it carries the consciousness. It’s very light and has no bodily organs. It can support itself without a soma, so if we meet a deceased person during an OBE it’s their psychosoma that we’re seeing.
The mentalsoma is “the most sophisticated and complex body of the consciousness”. It has no shape. A rare OBE in the mentalsoma enables us to reach the highest level of awareness.
The next chapter, ‘Bioenergy’, is lengthy and complex, and it defines many new terms that I’m not going to attempt to explain here. It’s worth reading in full if you are interested in the subject. In this chapter, Mr Minero refers to the energosoma as comprising all the body’s chakras and their energies. A chakra is a vortex, a processing centre or gateway for sending and receiving energy. Although most writers concentrate on the seven main chakras, there are apparently about 88,000 of them in all. Chakras feature prominently in some energy therapies, but not in EFT, which concentrates on meridians, or ET, in which energy simply flows freely.
The chapter includes exercises which will be useful to energy practitioners. I personally find the most important one, ‘VELO’, fairly easy, but that may be because I’m used to stimulating energy flows in my body. It involves rapid movement of energy flows up and down the body. VELO stands for ‘Voluntary Energetic Longitudinal Oscillation, and it has a number of benefits including:
unblocking and balancing the energosoma
identifying and diagnosing energy blocks
preventing the onset of energetic blockages or problems
making us physically healthier.
In other words, the benefits of VELO are similar to those of EFT and ET.
The next chapter, ‘Out and About’, is a detailed analysis of the OBE and its phenomena, including characteristics of the psychosoma and mentalsoma. Several cases are reported.
We then come to Chapter 4, ‘How-To’, forty pages of techniques for experiencing an OBE. There are over a dozen of them, including ones involving relaxation and concentration, imagination and creativity, physical control and breathing, energy and imagination, and ‘mental saturation’ (similar to a lucid dreaming techinque).
The next chapter, ‘Extraphysical Consciousnesses’, aims to “clarify the mechanisms of how multidimensional contacts are established and maintained”. After discussing ways of communicating outside the body, the author describes the three stages of deactivation (desoma) of the first three bodies – the mechanisms of death. We are then introduced to other consciousnesses that we may meet during an OBE: ‘helpers’, ‘blind guides’ and ‘intruders’.
Chapter 6 is titled ‘Consciental Maturity’. Holomaturity is given as a synonym, and defined as “Condition of integral maturity within the consciousness – biological, psychological, intellectual, holosomatic, intraconsciental and multidimensional”. Maturity of each of the four bodies is discussed in turn, followed by such topics as altruism, cosmoethics and universalism.
The final chapter, ‘Planning a Life’, gives techniques “to get information about our individual life task”, which may have been preplanned before birth. Along the way, karma or (holokarma) is divided into egokarma, groupkarma and polykarma.
The book is exceptionally well produced. It’s a large format paperback, about 23cm x19cm, roughly 400 pages, printed in a clear font, with subheadings, diagrams, tables and text boxes. Each chapter begins with a detailed contents page and ends with a summary of key points and notes. Appendices include a glossary, bibliography and a comprehensive index.
Although the book is difficult to digest, the ideas put forward do mostly seem quite sensible. I can recommend it if you can live with the obscure terminology and are interested in the phenomena and practice of the OBE.