I had started to read a little bit here and there. A creepy book with a collection of psychic phenomena. A book or two of one or the other psychic, more texts about yogi’s and some on Buddhism. However, I was not willing to simply switch my world view for another without real understanding.
I picked up something of interest, though. Carlos Castaneda in his first book The Lessons of Don Juan, had been asked by his teacher in the Toltec tradition, to find the best spot for him to sit on the porch. He had worked at it for an entire night and wrote that he eventually fell asleep at the proper spot without knowing that he had found it. That idea clicked with me. Several years before anything of psychic significance happened, I would sense in rooms and spaces where to sit. I would almost instantly know where the nicest place for me would be, or which chair to sit. There could be a distinct difference in the quality or the feel of a spot. I never even considered it much, I just did so because it was nice. Nowadays I will have to say a lot about sensing energetic qualities and the often remarkable effects on us, and I will do so later on.
Another thing I tried as a part of my research was mostly a game and not too precise either. At parties and in bars, any now and then, I would lay out a set of say nine or sixteen cards and tried to guess which card someone else had in mind. I had been successful sometimes and very unsuccessful at other times. The practice stuck with me, because at least one of the times I had correctly guessed the card. Not simple guessing, it had felt warmer, as if an energy was present on the paper card. I could never quite repeat that, it never felt the same, and I almost always guessed wrong, confident I did not have a clue.
One night, early in the evening, in the middle of a smoky bar I frequented, I sat at a table waiting for the evening to start. A whole deck of cards was spread out over the table, left like that by whoever played with them. I sat across someone I hardly knew and to drive away the boredom, I suggested that I guess cards. After several unsuccessful attempts I got the idea to make the game harder, to help me focus and find out if there was anything to learn or if maybe I should drop the exercise altogether.
I suggested that he held up one card and focused on it, while I would stare at the back. My idea was, that if my unconsciousness knew the right card, II had to make room for it to show me. Based on an experience with my visual perception, when I stared for some time at the same spot, I found my eyes would stop to see clearly and my vision blur. When I was younger I had played with it and I could make my whole vision disappear in whiteness. During my studies at university I learned what that effect was. The eyes and in fact the brains, need change to register anything. The brain will simply ignore or lose track of anything that does not change. It is called sensory adaptation. Convenient, because I am therefor able to ignore the croaking of the frogs while I write this on the front porch of our rented villa in the rice fields of Bali. The eyes however have adopted a neat trick to avoid that the brains do not register things that do not change. During prolonged fixation of the eyes, they start making small involuntary movements, called micro-saccades to keep the image changing and thus the brain registering. However, as I found, that was not enough to compensate for a highly focused deliberate fixation. The world will simply disappear, some say into black and others see white.
So I focused intently at the back of the playing card to create a projection screen for my mind, if it had anything to tell me. Before that indeed happened in a much more convincing way than just a hunch, I felt a physical sensation as if my head sunk at least twenty centimeters and I looked out of the area of my heart. As if I looked from in a basin of water, all wobbly. Yet, totally clear where the guy held the playing card, I saw a two of spades. When I told him he yelled “yes” and showed me the card, a two of spades. Quite significant don’t you think, especially because I did not have to guess and some odd sensations occurred just before my mind had projected the correct playing card. Strike one. For me. Several years later I saw him again but he had never thought about it.