"To fully understand the void, it is important to realize that it does not only occur at the end of the transition process. Rather, the void constitutes a space of nothingness that exists in between all OBE environments. It is the invisible glue that permeates all conceivable environments you could possibly encounter."
--Frederick Aardema, Explorations in Consciousness, p. 276
The 3D Void, also known as the Void or the three-dimensional darkness, is said to be a launch pad into any other state. Why?
Let's think about it in terms of what makes it what it is. Because it's three-dimensional, it's placelike, its 3ness is turned up high. But because it doesn't present itself as being one thing or another, it has no identity, or very little, so we can surmise that its 2ness is turned way down. Those little white dots of light people sometimes see in the void are the vestigial traces of 2ness that barely show up there. And it is this very nothingness that makes it a sponge for anything. As a sort of vacuum, it attracts whatever state you are closest to achieving, intent-wise.
We all have our hopes and dreams and fears and phobias and fantasies and what-not. Well, when you stand in the Nothing (the 3D Void), whatever you have next in line, intent-wise, in your innermost innards, that is the thing that is automatically sucked into the Nothing with you. So, if you're not sure what you have lined up in intent, go stand around in the Nothing and you'll find out.
Naturally the analogy of things getting sucked into a place are incorrect. Nothing travels anywhere. This is good, because it means that results are instantaneous. What you intend... IS. No lag, no travel time. The Nothing is the ultimate sci-fi portal, the Door to Everything.
As the way to everything or anything, the Nothing has as its chief elements two things: connection and motion. Or motility, as they say in digestive science. That means it's high in 3ness and 5ness. The fact that it lacks identity and organization just means it's low in 2ness and 4ness.
As the embodiment of nothingness, the Nothing is easy to miss, easy to pass through without noticing, or to mistake for something mundane. A common thing to mistake it for is a non-existent thing I'll call "OBE blindness". Often when people first experience a state of expanded awareness, they don't see anything. They assume they are blind, habitually interpreting their experience in physical terms. But in fact, they are in the void. Not only does the Nothing lead TO all possible states; it's also where you end up coming FROM on the way out of any state. Sometimes too quickly to notice, but I have experienced it in this way. The other common mistake is to assume that ending up in the void is the end of the expanded awareness experience. You think you're laying in bed with your eyes closed when in fact you're in the Nothing and could theoretically have any experience you want, if you were better prepared. Awareness of the physical should never keep you from trying to unworld.
Mistaking the Nothing for blindness that is common at the beginning or the end of the unworlding experience has made it easy for me to miss the convenient opportunity it affords to experience next anything I want, or more accurately, whatever I happen to have lined up next in intent. One time, my first thought when I ended up in the Nothing was, "Oops I got too excited and it's over," because my lucid dream scene had blinked out when I ecstatically drove my bicycle over a cliff. Seeing nothing but blackness, I opened my eyes and that was that. When I could have chosen to see anything. Live and learn.
Another time I had a classic OBE exit, which began in a blind state. I didn't even know I had woken up in the Nothing. I thought I had awoken sitting up in bed, so I lay down, slid out of the bed like a greased eel but in slow motion, and only then, when I never hit the floor next to my bed, realized I was having an experience of expanded awareness. I couldn't see anything. I was in the Nothing, because I had gone into an expanded state gradually in a relaxed way so I didn't shoot through it. Since I barely had heard of the void at this time, I said, "I need to have vision," according to the Buhlman "clarity now" school, while simultaneously recalling what I had intended to do if I ever found myself in an expanded state, according to the Michael Raduga school. Being in the void, the intent I happened to have lined up perfectly and manifested the first item on my preplanned agenda: looking in a mirror. There was no struggle to make myself see, and I didn't have to walk, fly or float the rest of the way to the mirror; from the Nothing my intent just slid into place and I was looking in the mirror without ever having to struggle with making myself see. Because my well-formed intent involved seeing something specific.
There was no coincidence involved. The blindness of the Nothing easily merged into a mirror because blindness and mirrors are both manifestations of the void.
Another time, I woke up in the Nothing, but again didn't know I was in it. I knew I was wearing a mask in bed, and wondered why I could see a large, fuzzy spot of bright white light. But this time I told myself not to open my eyes, and then by focusing attention on the light, expanding sensations ensued and I went into the next state that happened to be lined up in intent. Which turned out to be nothing at all--a blank intent--so I floated around more or less at random. But it all starts in the Nothing including the physical dream of waking up in bed when it's over. The bed and closed eyes and bad breath and lethargy and that whole scene is just a physical symbol of the Nothing.
Another time, I was involved in a dream brought to me by my duplex 4ness dreambody Nitpicker and Potwatcher, who were building fences and wanted to get paid. When I went inside to find them some money, a party was going on and a very tall man, a guide aspect in the guise of new age guru Bruce Moen, whose hat brushed the ceiling, was trying to get me to look at the Nothing (the blank ceiling) instead of the party state full of people. One of whom managed to get me to look in a mirror by engaging my most reliable aspect--paranoia--and I was shocked to see by my outfit that I was my most relaxed aspect, Limberluck, my 8ness dream body, who worries not and flies a lot.
The intent that the Bruce Moen aspect instilled in me in this way came to fruition when I immediately went outside and decided to pretend I was dreaming. On a lark I hopped into the air and to my great surprise, flew over the top of a building. Of course I remembered who I am (became lucid) and when I got myself calmed down, I started automatically doing the things I happened to have in intent based on all the reading I'd been doing. With no mirror to dive into, as prescribed by my intent-o-genda, I dove into the ground instead. Nothing happened--I had experienced the Nothing and my vision disappeared--so I "closed my eyes" and tried it again, as I'd been taught, and this time when I dove into the ground I got the sensation of motion I was hoping for. This led me to a prolonged experience where I continued manifesting items from my intent-o-genda, items which I'd managed to get lined up in intent somehow.
In this case, where was the Nothing? When I tried to dive, I went into the Nothing but since I didn't know I was at the Door to Everything, I manifested the first thing lined up in intent: doubt. The dive failed; I didn't feel that I'd gone anywhere, just went blind. But I overcame the doubt and got another chance when I closed my blinded eyes and dove into the ground again. No wonder I'd been instructed to close my "astral eyes" before attempting to go through a wall, a window, a mirror, or into the floor or ground. The Nothing is the Door to Everything, and one way into the Nothing from any ongoing dream plotline is to close your eyes and imagine some action that means "travel" to you. From place to place we go, by accessing a variety of states without going anywhere. It is helpful to know that there is no travel needed, and to know that when you close your eyes in a dream, you will be in the Nothing forthwith, with instant access to anything and Everything. I didn't know this, but it worked. After a period of activity which seemed both travel-like and untravel-like, I regained plot vision in a new state and went about manifesting the next item in intent.
And before all that, the mirror. Which deepened and altered the experience even though it didn't quite get my attention engaged all the way.
Another time, I was deeply engrossed in a deeply engrossing plotline state watching my 6ness dream body--a female aspect--demonstrate going up and down on a gymnastics device she'd invented, when everything came together spontaneously and I was unexpectedly catapulted into the Nothing at a high speed, like being shot out of a cannon. I had a strong sensation of movement straight up, got too excited, and had no idea I was in the Nothing, so after indulging in a great deal of excitement and euphoria and feeling the rough vibrations and feeling my cheeks flap in the wind, I forgot who I was (lost lucidity) and woke up in my dream again.
In the above experience, the Nothing resembled the static of a television with no station in tune. The white dots on the black background--which is the classic description of the 3D Void--were smeared into streaks by the sensation of quickly shooting straight up past them. Remember, the Nothing is 3D; they call it the 3D Void or the 3-dimensional blackness for a reason. But I don't like to use terms that imply placeness, as they are limiting.
Another time, a plotline included lucidity from start to finish, starting and ending in the Nothing, not a 3D blackness this time, but a place of solid, billowy, brownish-gray clouds. The clouds gave it that 3D quality while there was no other visual feature to it except for some bland colors and soft light.
The Nothing can also mix into another state, and it doesn't have to be black. White's cool. Or a reflective, shiny layer like a window, mirror, or glossy paint, body of water, or even a glass container or plastic bag, it's all the Nothing shining out at you. The Nothing is absolutely key to our experience and nobody even knows about it yet. Not like they should. This is Fred Aardema's big contribution; even Frank Kepple failed to grasp its key importance to the extent that Fred has done.
Fred Aardema relates experiencing the void as if it were a broken mirror. In other words, he had a scene in his scopes, then the scene literally shattered into big shards like a sheet of glass, with the scene still painted on the glass shards that flew apart, with the area of blackness between the shards growing larger as they flew apart. A graphic display of how the Nothing underlies every state.
Frank Kepple had a favorite approach to the void that involved seeing a closed blind made of rotatable slats, like a Venetian blind. When you open the blind by rotating the slats, the darkness appears between them, growing larger until the thin edges of the slats are facing you and all you see is the blackness that stands perpetually behind everything.
I experienced a slatlike entry into the Nothing just the other day. I had laid down in the afternoon to do some unworlding exercises (Noticing and Beanstalk Climbing, which turned into deep sleep). In a dream that was very close to being lucid, I looked from above at a rectangular screen as a group of young boys marched up to a huge metal slatwork on the ground, yanked it open with military precision, and scrambled down through the resulting black gaps into the darkness below. A bunch of juvenile delinquent chimpanzees followed them down; I merged with the monkeys and found myself in the void, the 3D blackness. Of course seeing only blackness, I thought I had woken up from the dream and opened my eyes, not realizing I had attained lucidity in the Nothing.
This is how lucidity tends to come: before or after a dream segment, mistaken for "waking up". In Michael Raduga's world, you've woken up in the phase, there's nothing to do but get back out there and have another experience. But we tend to think we're in bed awake. I know better since my two classic OBE exits were experiences where I woke up in bed having no idea that I was already "in the phase" but when I "moved my body" I found it was not the body I had expected it to be.
One time the Nothing was a big picture window with a huge aquarium behind it. I didn't get this one at all; the man behind the aquarium who was taking care of his tropical fish was wearing a black eye patch. There's your void. Highly symbolical, but it led to a Big Dream. Starting with a tunnel (a covered sidewalk) pointed out by a guide. OK, by my ex-wife. We dream together all the time.
There's nothing unusual about the Nothing interposing itself symbolically right into plotline content. It will lead from one main portion of a dream to another, or else as usual into or out of the experience altogether. A huge dream I had not long ago involved a big screen blocking the way into the back half of the bank in the mall. It was made of black clouds of exactly zero thickness, it was going to be a movie screen for a movie entitled "Darkness," and it was a time portal, it led to a different day. Best of all, my higher self Whirly (my 9ness dream body) showed up as Curly of the Three Stooges and put on a funny show about being afraid to step through it.
White voids are common. The other day I was in the Library, a place I go when Climbing the Beanstalk, and my 4ness dreambody--which is comprised of two workers who are always found together so I call them the Dichotomous Duo--were helping me apply for official access to the Library (also known as the Akashic Record and thought by Monroeites to be in Focus 27). Then my granny Amelia popped in wearing a long tan coat covered with gridlines, that is, Frank's slatwork. I didn't get it, so she tossed the Nothing onto the Circulation Desk countertop to my left, trying again to show me the void, but all I saw was the little points of light, symbolically, as a plastic bag full of bird seed. Unfortunately due to my non-lucid condition, I mistook the little points of light for kitty litter, and once that feat was accomplished, I was sure I could see big clumps in the bag with the bird food stuck to the outside of the turd-clumps. But being a tough and tenacious granny, she isn't one to give up easy. She tried again, this time asking me if I wanted a drink. That's her main modus operandi, trying to get me to ingest energizing liquid nourishment. I looked at the bottle she'd placed on the countertop. It was a used rum bottle, indicating altered states, and it was full of the little points of light. I again mistook the points of light for bird seed, but gazed long enough at the clear bottle full of little brown seeds and popped into the void this time. It was easy to mistake it for a large sheet of plywood with an obviously very thick (3D) coat of glossy white paint on it. The shiny white object filled my entire visual field. I became engrossed with a three-dimensional ridge of dried paint along the bottom edge that looked like a place where masking tape had been painted over or something. The mind spontaneously creates symbols for things we are not prepared to see.
Such as the so-called real world. What happens when you gaze out in front of you with your eyes open, relax your eyes, and stop talking to yourself? You see the Nothing with the world superimposed on it. This super accessible experience of unworlding is eerie, and cool, and so generically ubiquitous that we don't even notice it. The Nothing--the Door to Everything--is absolutely everywhere. It seems to fit between each of our moments like some kind of glue that holds each succeeding world together, when in fact it is sitting behind those moments and we see pieces of it when we slightly defocus the vision of the world that we normally cling to. The Nothing is the screen upon which threeness creates the world, in pieces like jigsaw puzzle pieces that fit together due to the influence of 4ness, the rules.
One of my favorite unworlding experiences took place when I was Noticing and had an Awakening into a first person perspective wherein the experience became totally self-generating with me as an active participant. I was looking at a black screen with Nothing on it but a small yellow X up at the top right corner, same place as the one we use to turn off a Window on a computer. The X had a way of floating around on the screen instead of being fixed to one spot. It would drift off the screen and I would lose my lucidity, forget who I was, drift into sleep for a second. Then it would drift back onto the screen and I would remember who I was (regain lucidity). This was shortly before one of my conscious separation experiences.
So, after a review of my own experiences both lucid and not, I will have to agree with Fred Aardema that the Nothing is in fact the Door to Everything as well as where you go when leaving any particular state.