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Book Review: LSD and the Mind of the Universe

LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven by Christopher Bache is a book which has two titles. The outer title, LSD and the Mind of the Universe, describes what the book is about. The inner title, Diamonds from Heaven, refers to the “Diamond Light” at “the center of the mind of the universe”.

Background

At the end of the 1970s Christopher Bache made a decision that change the course of his life. Between 1979 and 1999, he took LSD 73 times in carefully planned sessions. Bache did this to “explore mind and the mind of the universe as deeply and systematically” as he could. This book is what happened on those 73 days.

As a professor of religious studies, it was primarily the capacity of psychedelics to open us to the deeper landscape of consciousness that interested Bache. He worked as a philosopher to see what LSD might teach him about the universe. Christopher Bache used Stanislav Grof’s methods for working therapeutically with LSD to explore his own consciousness. This journey lasted 20 years.

Given legal issues, it was only in 2019, twenty years after his experiments ended and after retiring from his position as a university professor, that Christopher Bache finally is free to discuss his psychedelic work.

Christopher Bache came to this work as “an atheistically inclined agnostic”. He had studied his “way out of religion altogether. Bache concluded in his dissertation on “the logic of religious metaphor” that “our finite language simply does not allow us to speak with precision about the infinite”.

“Start slow, build strong, and go far.”

The Protocol

The book starts with a description of how Christopher Bache worked with LSD. He decided to lay a strong foundation for how the work was done. When Bache took LSD, he entered a space where he was protected from all interruptions, wearing eyeshades and headphones. The music was carefully selected—”gentle music as the drug comes on, powerful evocative music as it builds momentum, expansive music for the peak hours, and gentle music for the long, slow return”. A sitter, Christopher Bache’s wife, took care of the safety.

The core of the protocol was to allow unconscious patterns to emerge and to completely surrender to the experience. Christopher Bache writes that the “same patterns will keep showing up in a variety of forms until a climax of expression is reached—some inner gestalt is consciously realized or some reservoir of expression is reached—and then they will spontaneously resolve themselves”. The psyche is then free to flow into more expansive states of awareness. If this is repeated many, deeper patterns emerge and new experiences open. It takes time to recognize the logic and structure of the larger whole.

“Part of critical discernment also means being brutally honest with yourself.”

Christopher Bache moved systematically back and forth between amplified states of consciousness and ordinary consciousness, where the experiences could be documented and evaluated. There are two keys to doing this: 1) We must have “the courage to confront whatever negative experiences” we may have. 2) For enduring change, we must also “create a container for holding our experiences” between the sessions. The experiences must be integrated, not only in our minds, but also “into our physical, emotional, and social being”. Mind-opening states are also body-opening states.

Christopher Bache worked at 500–600 mcg. Bache learned to work at these high levels, but “strongly caution” anyone to work with doses this high. It is advisable to stay within doses of 50–200 mcg. This leaves more of “one’s psychological equipment intact”, making it easier to assimilate sessions. In hindsight, Christopher Bache thinks he pushed himself harder than was necessary and perhaps than was wise. The choice to work with high doses had “enormous consequences for what unfolded”.

“Working at these levels changed not only how deep my experiences went but also who or what was actually having these experiences.”

All his life, Christopher Bache, has had a desire all his life to understand how our universe works. In his sessions, Bache experienced things that completely reframed his understanding of existence. He entered into a “love affair” with “the fabric of existence itself”. Bache thinks of it as “the generative intelligence of our universe, the Mind of the Cosmos—…beyond all categories of He or She yet infinitely more than any It”. There is an “energetic momentum” that builds over time and drives you through breakthroughs. It took Christopher Bache years to build sufficient energy to enter the levels of reality that he entered later in his work.

Systematic Recall

While “set and setting” has been much discussed in the literature, less attention has been paid to “systematic recall” after a session. Making “an accurate record of each session” can be challenging. Memory tends to fade if steps are not taken to record the experiences. Preserving the memory of the experiences lays a stronger foundation for the next session.

Part of Christopher Bache’s protocol was to write a detailed account of every session within 24 hours. Bache learned not to wait. Recording each session required writing at the very limits of his understanding. Language had repeatedly to be stretched. By listening to the music used in the session, Christopher Bache found that he was able to “reenter the edges” of his experience. Recall and comprehension improved with repetition.

“With persistence and practice, cognition can be trained to operate in these unusual and novel conditions.”

The heart of the book comes from Christopher Bache’s 400 pages of session accounts. It is the primary text which “comes before all subsequent interpretation and reflection”. Bache didn’t want to oversimplify the complexity of each session, but needed to consolidate what took place. There was “a marked difference between the content of the peak hours of a session and the content of its beginning and ending hours”.

The book is primarily a cosmological narrative. It is when one “enters the ocean of the deep psyche that the larger and more philosophically interesting story begins to emerge”. “Being taken into great depth one step at a time” allowed the cognitive faculties to stabilize at each level before moving into the next. “Different levels of reality operate by different rules.” If an experience is lifted out of its context, its meaning is reduced.

Exploring Consciousness with Consciousness

Consciousness is used to explore consciousness, which means that “a fascinating dance takes place between the mind doing the exploring and the larger mind being explored”. Everything seen and learned is “shaped in subtle ways by what we are at the moment of contact”. Every encounter is participatory. Our being evokes what is experienced. The more “conditioning we have let go of”, the more “open-ended and far-reaching are the experiences that present themselves”.

“[C]onsciousness is an infinite ocean of experiential possibilities.”

When the mind is dropped into the infinite ocean of experiential possibilities it “acts as a seed crystal that catalyzes a certain set of experiences from its infinite potential”. As we are healed and transformed by these experiences, “the seed crystal of our mind is changed”, and still deeper experiences are then catalyzed in subsequent sessions. Each session tends to pick up where the previous session stopped. “Sometimes there is a very tight continuity between sessions, sometimes it is broader”. “An LSD session grinds slow but it grinds fine.”

The story Christopher Bache tells in the book is “a story of entering progressively deeper states of consciousness and through these states experiencing progressively deeper levels of reality”. Each level has “its distinctive characteristics and dynamics”. Bache thinks of them as “platforms of experience”. Over the years, he was systematically moved from one platform to the next.

In the end, Christopher Bache thinks he “drilled deep”, penetrating many levels of the universe, but “certainly not experiencing the complete territory associated with any of them”. Furthermore, in a participatory universe, each of us will experience it somewhat differently. Bache is not interested in “championing one cosmological map over another”.

Awakening

The story Christopher Bache is telling in his book is “not a story of escape into transcendence but one of deepening sacred presence on Earth”. It is about “awakening even more completely inside physical existence and participating in its continuing self-emergence”. We are not exploring a universe “out there”, but are rather “pulling states of higher awareness into our physical being”.

Christopher Bache writes that he might make mistakes in telling his story, but “pledge to give an honest account of what took place” in his sessions. Some of the “suffering” in his journey comes from his “personal decision” to push himself as hard as he did.

“Our natural instinct is to avoid pain.”

Death & Rebirth

In the context of a psychedelic session, pain is something that has to be embraced. Pain is an ally in the work. “Confronting our personal shadow is always challenging work”. In order to understand the deeper suffering that emerges in psychedelic work, it is necessary to understand death and rebirth. Death as “the agonizing loss of everything we know to be real and true”.

“Death comes in many shapes and sizes.” If we want to experience the deeper currents of the universe, we must sooner or later surrender everything we know. “As we are now, we are too small to engage these vast dimensions of existence.” “In deep psychedelic work, one learns by becoming.” To do this, “our smaller sense of self must cease to be the container of our experience”. “Giving up everything is simply the price of inheriting everything else.”

“[T]he universe is infinitely deep with many layers…”

Energy

Each step into the universe is a step into more intense energy. “Deeper states of consciousness are higher states of energy.” This means that to have “stable experience of a given level of reality, one must acclimate to its energy.” There is “a certain suffering inherent in repeatedly shedding our psychological skin in order to enter more deeply into the universe”. Working with LSD triggers an accelerated process that gives “quicker access to these realities, but there is a price to be paid for this”. The price is the intensification of tearing the skin away. Christopher Bache doesn’t wish anyone to undergo some of what he went through.

“LSD unleashes such dramatically different states of awareness” that it is necessary to learn how to work with it. “Not only do our minds have to adjust to the expanded capacities LSD awakens, so do our bodies.” When working with LSD doses this high, Bache quickly crossed the boundary of birth and death. “We get here by being born; we leave by dying.” “In order to enter what lies beyond space-time awareness, we must first break through the membrane of our physical consciousness.” This stage lasted ten sessions.

No Control

Christopher Bache was not able to control what happened. He could not even control his self-memory. The absolute surrender that this required jarred him deeply. “The pattern of crisis followed by resolution would repeat itself in many subsequent sessions.” Music helped Bache to surrender more completely into the psychedelic state and the alternating positive and negative experiences. Although prepared, he was surprised by how violent they were. Bache became familiar with vomiting. He describes it as “the body’s way of throwing off large quantities of physiological stress”.

“As the negative experiences continued to build over the next several sessions, so did the positive experiences that emerged during the ecstatic portion of the sessions.” In one session, Christopher Bache “experienced life as a living fabric of interwoven intelligences—atomic, molecular, cellular, human, societal, and planetary”. This was an early taste of “the deeper experiences of Oneness that would follow later”.

Experience & Reflection

Christopher Bache shares one particular experience from this period because it speaks to the rational for his book as a whole:

I looked at all the disciplines of knowledge I had taken in and saw that many of their conflicts derived from their selectivity. As I surveyed the evolution of Western thought, I was repeatedly struck by its fragmentary nature and the vehemence with which the fragments had been defended as the whole. I knew that my own work shared these limitations.

Going further, I then saw that a purely intellectual approach to philosophy would produce only limited results. I saw that the path I was on represented a fundamentally different approach to philosophy. On this path, experience is first expanded, then critical reflection clarifies and evaluates. … My life was about forging a new path forward in philosophy.

The experiences tend to become older and more basic the deeper you move. At the center is a core experience, or set of experiences, that represents “the seed experience around which later experiences cluster”. Our unresolved and unintegrated experiences are always there, “below the surface and out of view shaping in subtle ways how we experience the world”. Systematically engaging “traumatic material” can remove its “influence from the individual’s behavior”.

Collective Suffering

Christopher Bache takes the reader deep into his suffering. The experiences went into “a vast ocean of fury and pain”. The encounter with the “ocean of suffering” lasted 14 sessions. “How you meet these experiences makes all the difference in how they live in you afterward.” Completion is key. When the suffering has reached its peak and found its resolution, it is followed by an experience of peace. These experiences were so consistent that Christopher Bache felt a deep logic operating in the sessions.

Our personal unconscious organizes its “memories into clusters of experience” that “share a common emotional theme”. The collective unconscious organizes its “vast store of memories” in a similar way. Whatever took place in Christopher Bache’s sessions was part of a larger pattern. The “collective suffering” returned until it completely saturated Bache experience. Bache felt that if he rejected the suffering, he would be turning his back on humanity, on life itself.

“To not care seemed to be the ultimate existential withdrawal from life.”

Deep Time

Each time Christopher Bache emerged from the suffering, he entered “a domain where the rules of time had changed”. “Inside space-time, we divide our experience into past, present, and future.” Inside this other domain, the “rules of linear time have been suspended”. It “is a shift into a different order of time”, which Christopher Bache calls “Deep Time”. This field of experience encompassed Bache’s entire life. Bache has come to believe that there are “many layers to the tissue of time in the cosmos”. As one moves to the limits of space-time, the rules of time change.

Christopher Bache experienced his life as a completed whole, from beginning to end. Through all experiences, “there flowed a deep sense that the circumstance of our lives were being shaped by forces beyond our immediate awareness”.  Our well-being lays in “trusting these circumstances”, responding “as deeply” as we can. The energy “set in motion” through our choices come to “constitute history”. History has “a momentum so large that it must complete itself into tomorrow.” We can’t grasp “the deeper significance of events and the full consequences of the choices” without the larger context.

“Energy started must complete itself.”

We can’t explain how our thoughts and feelings emerge in the moment. Christopher Bache thinks that we need to move beyond our fixation on matter and to “a more complex phenomenology of consciousness and a more subtle, multidimensional metaphysics”. Learning in the psychedelic states takes place “layer by layer, piece by piece”. You can stop anywhere, but more will be given if you continue. The point is to learn.

“The collective sinews that emerge in higher states of awareness represent a deeper pattern in the web of life.”

Deep Reality

Christopher Bache developed “an inner knowing” that the experiences were “authentic” and “trustworthy”. Bache writes:

I have often wished that I had advance training in physics and astronomy, for then I might have been able to retain more of what I was shown… The content…was extraordinarily sophisticated and technical.

In his sessions, Christopher Bache opened up to a “deeper reality” that he felt responsible for structuring his present life. He experienced “the distilled essence” of his entire life and felt that these experiences were important “to ground” him. “It felt like an infinite intelligence was educating me, reminding me of things forgotten long ago but now in need of being remembered.”

As Christopher Bache “spiraled deeper session by session” into what he perceived as “the mind of the universe, certain themes began to repeat themselves in progressively more complex forms”. The full picture didn’t become clear until the sequence of sessions were finished. The story of “our collective evolution became a recurring theme” in Bache’s work. He encountered an intentionality expressing itself in the unfolding universe. Over time this story became the “meta-framework” for his entire journey.

“Theory pales before experience and can feel like a weak postscript, and it is, but in order for me to integrate my experiences, I had to understand them.”

Collective Trauma

The conclusion Christopher Bache came to after great struggle was that the “collective episodes” in his sessions were aimed at the “transformation of the collective psyche as a whole”. Just as trauma can block the healthy functioning of the individual, “similar blockages occur at the collective level”.

If the “conscious engagement of unresolved pain can bring therapeutic relief at the personal level”, the same may occur at the collective level. It seems as an individual can tap into and “facilitate a healing of some portion of the collective psyche”. The individual “dissolves into preexisting fields of collective unconsciousness”.

Christopher Bache sees “death and rebirth as a cycle that repeats many times” as we move into “deeper levels of consciousness”. Death and rebirth repeats itself in “different forms at different levels of consciousness”. It represents a progressive process, a movement whose dynamics are collective.

“Every act of healing, large or small, contributes to healing of the larger whole.”

Deeper Order of Reality

The collective suffering did end for Christopher Bache and a new phase of the journey began. An enormous field of energy had been freed in “healing the ocean of suffering” that moved Bache to new experiential boundaries. He entered a “deeper order of reality”, which required “new concept and new ways of thinking”. “What happened in the ocean of suffering became the energetic foundation for everything that followed.”

Christopher Bache experienced the “deeper order of reality” as the “bridge between the physical universe and the source of existence”. It is the “seed reality of space-time”. There are many intermediate levels on the way to “manifesting physical reality”. In following the “flow of existence” back into the “deeper order of reality”, Christopher Bache had to cease to exist as a human being. This larger “I” was “above” human experience. This “state of consciousness” was “beyond the human species-mind”.

“Being closer to the source of existence…, this level of reality is much more energetically powerful than space-time.” Christopher Bache had to learn to “sustain these high levels of energy”. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to remember his experiences. This was particularly challenging and required practice. Bache experienced “vast living dynamic forces embodying higher orders of intentionality and power and operating on a different order of time”. All moving, all alive.

“The majesty and scale of the intelligence” Christopher Bache was witnessing had “no malicious or manipulative intent”. The encounter with the “Living Forces” of this “deeper order of reality” was extremely challenging for Bache. As his “awareness stabilized at this level”, Bache experienced humanity as a “single organism with intelligent networks running through it”. These “collective networks” didn’t negate each individual’s agency.

Christopher Bache kept witnessing “patterns of connectivity” that weave our minds and bodies into “larger wholes”. Bache experienced “our individual minds as nodes” in the network of the collective mind, each of us mirroring “ selective themes of this larger consciousness”. He saw that “we all carry within us pieces of the physical diseases of our time and that by healing our individual bodies we contribute energetically to healing the collective body of humanity in a larger time frame”. The human body is learning how to be healthy in a changing environment.

“A collective thoughtform is a living construct in the collective psyche…”

Collective Thoughtforms

Christopher Bache thinks that “thoughtforms are genuinely potent forces in the collective psyche”. “Thoughts repeated frequently by large numbers of people and invested with deep emotions generate a kind of living imprint on the collective psyche”. Bache found himself moving beyond the images and beliefs that human history has imprinted on the collective psyche. Cultural forms fell away as “Nature” invited Bache to see it afresh. “All forms…are intermediaries to that which lies beyond form.”

“States of consciousness are also states of body.”

Being moved into a deeper level of reality is also a shift into a higher energetic state. Our reality can be destroyed, but our deeper essence always reemerges. When this process reaches so deep that the structure of our life as we have known it dissolves, a crisis is reached where the old “collapses and we are carried forward into a new level of reality”. When this happens, we “become a different kind of being with new capacities and success to new categories of experience”. There is a continuity of awareness (what is remembered), but a discontinuity of capacity (what can be experienced).

The Web of Life

There are simultaneous truths reflecting “the complex fabric of existence”. Christopher Bache experienced physical existence as “an unbroken tissue”. The “Mind” that coordinates our individual has a logic that “subsumes our individual perspectives”. When physical reality dissolves, the reality of “individual psyches” disappear. There is no distinction between individuals. The web of life operates in a unified manner. This shift form “individual” to “collective” intention expanded Bache’s understanding.

“To actually touch the intelligence of the universe operating at such great depth and breadth changes forever how you experience life.”

New Learning

One of the challenges of entering intense states of consciousness is “learning how to learn” from experiences that “redefine the possible”. The experiential contexts are so extreme that Christopher Bache had to “learn a new way of learning”. He learned to bracket his assumptions. “Anything you believe is true, you may discover is false.” The “unthinkable” may turn out to be natural. “Anything you believe you are, you may discover you are not”.

After Christopher Bache’s exploration of “our collective being” followed “a high point” of the journey that “brought a new understanding and a deeper intimacy with life”. With repetition, Bache “became more familiar with the territory and absorbed its patterns and rules”. There were no separate “things”. Life was the “harmonious expression of a unified whole rippling through life”. “Oneness expressed itself in diversity without itself falling into diversity.” The underlying energy “brings everything into existence, keeps everything alive, and reabsorbs everything at the end”.

From deep within the experiences, Christopher Bache felt that his entire person derived from the collective human field, “like pinching a tightly woven tablecloth and twisting it to a standing shape”. When the separate self dissolves, the “Oneness of life” rises spontaneously in awareness. The falling away of the concerns of Bache’s private life made it easier for him to “regather other layers of energy”. And, while he gathered “wave upon wave of energy”, he entered into “quieter and quieter levels of existence”.

“Matter is the canvas on which we practice and refine the art of creating.”

Wholeness

Christopher Bache’s discoveries were not only an “intellectual exercise” but a series of “experiential realizations”. Our creative capacity is enormous. Our capacity for creating destruction and pain is also enormous. No limit is placed on our learning. Bache felt himself returning to a “condition of undivided wholeness within himself”. The experience was “both personal and collective”. It felt like a “ball of intertwined threads” spreading itself into the “fiber of the collective unconscious”.

The world is whole within itself. And “the logic of wholeness is different from the logic of a world in pieces”. “Oneness is a core truth of life,…but…there are many levels to it…” Christopher Bache had to “twist language” to convey his experience that there are “degrees of Oneness, orders of magnitude within Oneness”.

“Experience always trumps intellectual analysis”. And yet, Christopher Bache felt a responsibility to make sense of his experiences. Some parts may need no analysis at all, while other parts may be helped by being examined. This is especially true of how Bache’s sessions were touching the lives of his students.

Fields of Consciousness

The experiences described in Christopher Bache’s book took place in his home, but a series of experiences also surfaced in his classroom. They became so significant that Bache wrote another book about them, The Living Classroom. It was as if by entering into “communion with the deeper fabric of life”, the “threads of that fabric were being activated in the physical world”.

The synchronicities became more frequent as Christopher Bache entered deeper levels of consciousness. What triggered these effects was not what Bache was “doing”, but what he had “become”. There was a “spontaneous energetic resonance” between him and his students, which was “underneath the exchange of ideas”. These activations became so prominent that Christopher Bache had to pay close attention to them. They showed how “the connective tissue of consciousness works in group settings”.

States of consciousness are “contagious”. “When one person begins to throw off layers of the psychological conditioning…, surrounding people will necessarily be affected.”

“The ecology of consciousness is an inherently collective ecology.”

Fields of consciousness emerge that “reflect the intention and activity” of the group. “The better focused the group’s intention and the longer such activity goes on, the stronger these fields will become.” Christopher Bache began teaching within a new pedagogical “paradigm” that honored the “innate connectivity of consciousness and the existence of localized fields of learning”.

The Future

Christopher Bache thinks the most important chapter of his book is the one which speaks of “our children and our children’s children”. “It speaks of a crossroads humanity is coming to” that will “change us at the deepest levels of our being”. Everyone knows the challenges humanity is facing. “The growing consensus appears to be that we have postponed taking action too many times on too many fronts”. We have “repeatedly failed to heed the ecological warnings and rein our rapacious greed”.

The vision that emerged in Christopher Bache’s sessions is that humanity is approaching a “profound shift” in the “human psyche”, but the old must be emptied before the new can emerge. It will begin with a time “of intense anguish, of loss of control and breakdown” that will “last generations”.

Christopher Bache’s excursions into “personal Deep Time” seemed to pave the way for his excursions into “collective Deep Time”. “The order and design of evolving life is not something that is imposed from without”. “It is a restless churning to become more that burns within life.” Everything that has gone before needs to make room for “new organizational patterns”. The “unified field” of the “entire human family” liberates “new orders of self-expression”.

“We simply see too little to guess what is coming and therefore do not properly understand what has gone before.”

Creative Evolution

Christopher Bache saw that our “scientific knowledge about the origin of life” is deeply incomplete. “The depth of our ignorance is shown in our conviction that the universe is assembling itself by accident.” Evolution is no accident but a creative act. Bache was drawn into a “superordinate level of reality that exposed a deeper organizational pattern”.

The cooperation of the parts with the whole is extraordinary. Christopher Bache experienced evolution as the “systematic growth of a single organism”. “Nothing in our theological or philosophical systems does justice to the facts.” “When an organism is called on from within” it must purge the “residue of its past” in order to “lay the foundation for a more refined level of operation”. The poisons of humanity’s past are brought forward in us. This century is a watershed. The future will not look like the present.

“We are cells in a superorganism intent on rapid change.”

Global Crisis

The “collective convulsions” Christopher Bache entered were driven by a “global ecological crisis”. It took Bache inside the “collective psyche’s experience” of this crisis. “It was like being able to experience a thunderstorm in its totality, with every drop registering individually and the patterns of the storm as a whole simultaneously.” “Like people living on an island who gradually become aware that a hurricane is overtaking them, humanity was gradually waking up in the alarm to events that had overtaken them.” Life as known was shattered at its core.

Though many died, many still survived, and new social units formed. “Everywhere new social institutions sprang into being”, “new ways of thinking,” and “new values”. “Every aspect of our lives was marked by new priorities, new perceptions of the good, new truths.” These new social forms spread among the survivors like a contagion, and “creativity between the “cycle of creativity between the individual and the group spiraled”.

“The whole system was becoming alive at new levels, and this aliveness was expressing itself in previously impossible ways.”

A Unified Psychic Field

“For psychedelics to have their deepest impact”, we must “place them in dialogue with other fields of learning where possible”. For this reason, Christopher Bache unpacked the following assertions in Dark Night, Early Dawn:

  1. The species-mind is a unified psychic field.
  2. This field will be driven into a far-from-equilibrium state by the global ecological crisis.
  3. In this state, the species-mind will exhibit accelerated change, heightened creativity, and higher self-organization.

The “human psyche will come alive at a new levels” under the “pressure of the extreme conditions of our future”. Christopher Bache believes that it is “vital to understand the structural role that the collective psyche will play”.

Christopher Bache believes that “the global systems crisis taking place in the world outside us is deeply connected to the evolutionary metamorphosis taking place inside us”. While the “long and sustained crisis puts enormous pressure on our social institutions to change”, it also puts “pressure on our individual psyches to change and adapt”. Bache doesn’t believe that “we can grow the planet into a greater whole as long as we remain psychologically fragmented ourselves”. We need to “rise above our narrow self-interests and make the political and moral choices that will create a world that works for all”.

“Gestation is long and slow, but birth is sudden and quick.”

Diamond Light

The “Light” is waiting for us as we move “deep into the Universe”. Christopher Bache discovered that the “universe floats in an Ocean of Radiance”. He writes:

As one moves into still deeper levels of transpersonal experience, once encounters fields nested within fields of light. Each step beyond matter, beyond the soul, beyond the collective psyche, and beyond archetypal reality takes us deeper into a living ecology of light.

In Christopher Bache’s experience, “there are many gradations of light”. As one moves deeper into the universe, the quality of light changes. “It becomes clearer, more intense, and more luminous”. When Bache uses the phrase “Diamond Light” to describe the “singularly intense dimension of light” that captivated him completely. “Its clarity was so overwhelming, its energy so pure that returning to it” became his sole focus.

Healing

The strongest pattern in Christopher Bache’s final sessions was a series of personal healings. Eventually, Bache learned that it was his “personal wounding in life” that had allowed him to “connect with the wounds of humanity in the ocean of suffering”. His “personal pain” was an “energetic bridge” between his individual and the collective psyche. Had his “personal wounds” been healed first, “the bridge to the collective psyche might not have been formed”.

Slowly Christopher Bache came to realize that “something was intentionally guiding the integration” of the extreme states into his “embodied awareness”. He was “being fed these states as quickly as” he could manage them. Bache also realized that his system was “accumulating and storing energy across multiple sessions”. There was an “energetic momentum” building across the sessions. “Each new initiation into a deeper level of reality was being underwritten” by years of work.

A shift also took place in the “structural flow” of his experience. In earlier sessions Christopher Bache experience had been “one of expanding outward”. In the later sessions he experienced himself being at the “center of an enormous field of energy and light”. Finally, Bache understood that “no matter how deeply” one enters into Cosmos, there are “always deeper dimensions still”.

There is no final endpoint to this journey. There are many degrees of “Oneness” and even “Formlessness”. And there are “more dimensions of Light” than one can explore in a lifetime. “We are truly children waking in the arms of an infinite cosmos.” This is also why Christopher Bache would be gentler with himself if he were “starting this journey over again”.

“I think the goal of deep work is to make ourselves transparent to this infinity, to let as much of it into our earthly lives as we can skillfully manage, and to be patient with the rest.”

Summary

I have taken in and processed some of the book’s content by writing this review, but there is so much more to unpack that I need to read the book again several times. The “Mind of the Universe” is such a broad and deep topic that there are many more questions than answers. It is a very personal and brutally honest story of an explorer deeply wounded by the beauty he found. I warmly recommend this book. Christopher Bache is a very good writer and a pleasure to read.

Related book review:
Book Review: Dark Night, Early Dawn

By Jan Höglund

I share my reading, book reviews, and learning in my blog.

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