The Gateway Experience: Introduction

The Gateway Experience is a program developed by Robert Monroe, famed Astral Projectionist who wrote the books Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, and Ultimate Journey about his travels.

It uses a form of binaural audio called Hemi-Sync to induce a frequency following response in the listener’s brain, similar to how you naturally want to tap your foot to a beat, creating specific intentional mental states.

From these states, it guides you through many exercises designed to give you particular skills in navigating the mental world you will find yourself in. It has been the subject of many studies, and even an exploration by the CIA.

Within it, Monroe defines a cosmology based upon what he calls “Focus Levels”, in which the traveler counts from 0 to the desired numerical level while listening to the proper recording. This is with the intention that the user would eventually not need the audio recordings to access these locals.

From his writings and interviews, I have compiled the following list of the Focus Levels based on his understanding of them:

Focus Level - Description
1 - Normal Consciousness.
10 - Mind Awake, Body Asleep.
11 - the "Access Channel", a stepping stone on your way to Focus 12.
12 - Expanded Awareness, the Astral starts here.
15 - Removal of Linear Time.
21 - Edge of Time/Space Perception.
22 - Border Between Physical/Non-Physical Space. Possibly the state of a person in a coma.
23 - Immediately After Physical Death, Full Astral Projection.
24 - Start of the Belief System Territories (Afterlives).
25 - Middle of the Belief System Territories.
26 - Belief System Territories For Those Who Have Connected With Their Higher-Selves.
27 - Edge of Human Thought Capacity, the "Waystation for Rest and Recovery"
34/35 - Gathering Place of Others that Observer Our Universe.
42 - Location of What Monroe Calls the "I-There", Essentially the Location of the Holy Guardian Angel in Hermetic Traditions.
49 - Where All the "I-Theres" Gather and Merge
50+ - Divine Mystery

If these do not yet make any sense fear not, we will explore them in subsequent blogs.

Early in my magical career I went through the entire program. It recently came to my attention again and I have decided to rerun through it with my current perspective on things and see what may have changed and what is the same.

Before that however, I’d like to share a few experiences I had from the first time I went through it.

I lay on an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar city, headphones in and eyes closed, listening to the recording.

The blackness behind my eyes is illuminated with the world around me. It is as if my eyes were wide open and able to see the room I am in. Looking around, I realize I have a much larger field of view than in regular life. I have no awareness of any body, just free-floating perception.

Looking in this strange manner, I move my view towards the window, then through the glass and out of it. I remember seeing a red truck parked up the road a few doors to the left, so I will my view to flow up the street.

There is no red truck.

Confused, I look a bit further up the road, but do not see it. There is, however, a blue car near the end of the street that I don’t remember noticing. I make a mental note to get up and check when I open my eyes, as I didn’t think it would have driven away since I last saw it.

Turning back to return to the house I realize I’m on the wrong side of the street from where I thought I was. Looking up the road in the other direction I see the red truck, and I suddenly understand why I went the wrong way.

I had not been to this place before, and did not know the landscape, so I did not realize that when I went through the window the world outside was mirrored.

Everything was flipped backwards from the way it would have been in real life. Left was right, right was left. It was almost like I had turned myself inside out and was looking at the world from the wrong perspective.

Returning to the bed, I open my eyes and head outside.

The red truck was parked in the same spot, and the same spot as it was in the vision accounting for the mirroring. The blue car, which I had not seen except in the vision, was also there.

I lay on my bed, blindfold on and headphones in, listening to the recording.

I am going deep this time. Deeper than the recording is intended to take you. I feel myself sinking into it and simultaneously rising up and expanding.

The blackness behind my closed eyes has taken on a three dimensional quality, as if I’m looking out into a vast void of nothing.

The void is huge and infinite, but I am larger than it.

I feel myself spreading out further and further, filling up the void.

And then

All at once

I dissolve.

Every little bit of me fades away into the nothing. It is a perfect state of rest.

From somewhere below my perspective a spark of light rises into view. Another follows, and another.

Soon thousands, millions, of tiny gold sparks fill the blackness.

They dance around in seemingly random ways, but in a clear-to-me intentional pattern.

I am simultaneously aware of every spark. I am every spark. I am the dance they perform. I am the conductor, choreographer, dancers, musicians, and stage. I move each individually in the same way I would move my physical hands to play an instrument, knowing what each is doing at every moment.

The dance continues an infinite time until I am no longer aware of it.

The recording ended long ago.

I open my eyes and take off the blindfold.

I lay on my couch and close my eyes. I am not listening to a recording, I did that hours ago. I simply intend to relax and take a nap after a long day.

My eyes are open.

When did I open my eyes?

When did I stand up?

I look down and see my legs are currently going through my coffee table.

Looking back at the couch, I see myself laying on it. I don’t feel like I am asleep. I can physically feel my body. I feel my eyes moving around in my head behind my closed eyelids. I feel myself breathing. I lift my arm, feel it physically lift, and see myself on the couch lift my arm.

I realize I’m not only seeing myself on the couch, I can see the entire room around me. A full 360 degree view. It is disorienting for a moment until I designate a direction as “front”.

I step out of the table and into the room. I walk to a light switch and flick it on. My hand passes directly though it.

I walk into the next room and see my pets laying on the carpet. I walk to and through my front door and see a large brown paper bag sitting on the stoop.

My dogs bark at a knock on my front door, which causes the me-on-the-couch to open my eyes. I rush to the door and see a friend waving from his car. He had left a batch of donuts on the porch for me as a gift while he was in the neighborhood. It was in a regular donut box, not a bag.

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