Common steps and sub-activities

Christos method

This technique was described by Gerald Glaskin in his books, along with a number of observations from himself and his friends which showed it was extremely effective.

It uses a mixture of stimulation of trigger points and visualisation.

A little history

The origins of this technique can be traced back to a magazine/book of 70 pages published by Open Mind publications in May/June 1971 in Perth Western Australia, in which appeared an article entitled ‘The Christos Experiment – Introductory principles’. It was classified as a ‘method for remembering past lives’.  It can be accessed via http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/157839951 [please note that this is an unreliable link and takes you to a library which has the work; not to the work itself]

The author of the article was a lady called Jacqueline Parkhurst whose book is mentioned in the references section.  She first tried the techniques in the early 1970s, but even then the idea was not hers.  The original name of this technique is ‘the Swygard procedure’ and was named after William Swygard from Miami USA, who taught the procedure to Jacqueline Parkhurst’s first husband.  See below.

Haptic or visual?

Glaskin discovered that the method which should be used depends on whether you are a visual or haptic person.  In tests done by Lowenfield and Brittain, it appears that about 47% of us are predominantly visual, 23% are haptic and the remaining 30% are difficult to score or are both haptic and visual.

A haptic person is a ‘touchy feely’ person – they rely more on touch and the other 3 senses than they do upon sight.  This technique relies up to a point on visualisation, so if you are haptic you need to replace the preliminary visualisation exercises with something else.

Glaskin found that ‘for a haptic to be forced to observe and experience anything visually can create inhibitions and that such inhibitions frequently created considerable psychological distress’.  So it is important to know what you are.

The stretching and shrinking exercises, however, are ideal for a haptic person as are the stimulation of trigger points. 

Having said this it is possible that the haptic person cannot experience the profound vivid imagery that the visual person gets  - and he or she needs to be constantly reassured that this is because he or she perceives more through the other senses, so any form of recall or replay is only going to be as good as the perception system that recorded it in the first place.

Some findings

There are some findings that are relevant to understanding the two techniques.  Firstly, these techniques in combination work even if there is noise or distraction – bright lights in the room, the noise of traffic, even music.........

At this point on the tape as I write this up now, there is the quite loud sound of a sports car decelerating outside, a sound which, when the tape was played back to her after the experiment was over, she said she could remember having heard at the time but that it hadn’t at all distracted her.  Yet it occurs to me now that it was more than loud enough to suggest some kind of speedboat.  So I asked her what kind of noise had there been where she was over the ocean
‘Absolute silence’

There is no need to fast or cut down on the alcohol ……………

The Christos experience – Windows of the Mind – G M Glaskin
Even before starting, I felt convinced that we would not be able to proceed far with the one volunteer prepared to subject himself to lying supine for so long, when, after a very good dinner in both quality and quantity, with a great deal of wine on top of the drinks beforehand, he proclaimed himself as incapable, in any case, of maintaining any other position for the next hour or so.

But your health seems to matter.  Glaskin found that his poor health – he was in pain from a number of ailments – occasionally affected his ability to ‘fly’ and, as he put it ‘weaken recall’ – ‘the healthier the dreamer, the healthier his recall’.

The two techniques

The stimulation was applied using acupressure to the ankles and the forehead -  the 'third eye' position – at the same time.  And if we take the following into account there are thus three trigger points.

The Christos experience – Windows of the Mind – G M Glaskin
At the same time, the massaging of the forehead particularly in the 'third eye' position between and just above the two actual eyes, automatically applies a certain amount of pressure, and also movement, to the back of the head, especially to that part of it just below the occiput which rests on the cushion. 

As this was proceeding, the ‘experimentee’ was asked to visualise a series of things in turn in order to ‘expand his mind beyond its normal limits in his physical body’. 

  • his own feet as he lies there with his eyes still closed until the experiment is over.
  • himself growing taller (or 'longer', being horizontal), through the bottom of his feet
  • to return to his normal length or height.

This is repeated several times alternating between the feet and the head and growing more each time.  Once well stretched the person is then asked to expand all over, to feel himself growing in all directions, rather like an enormous balloon. This expands him 'out' of himself.  The next step, is to start him seeing things - familiar things at first--so he is now to picture himself as he normally is, but standing outside his own front door.  From there travel can go all sorts of places.

The results

Using relatively crude stimulation by a healer’s standards, the results were rather extraordinary.  He and his experimenters had a great number of visions and a very very small number of possible out of body experiences and they were genuine because he knew how to tell if they were genuine…………….

Worlds within – probing the Christos experience – G M Glaskin
At times, I must admit that I was still suspicious that he was faking a good deal of it. Yet I never seemed to be able to catch him out in any of his details, and most experimentees can easily be caught if they start making things up. Besides, I have only to look closely at the experimentee to verify for myself. 
When such visions are actually being-seen,  the experimentee is subject to what psychologists call Rapid Eye Movements (or REMs) which cannot be faked.  If the experimentee is faking, the eyes invariably remain still, or the lids squeeze with the obvious effort of concoction, or there are only slow movements of the eyes beneath the lids, almost as though the eyes are searching around inside the lids for answers to the questions being plied.

The Christos technique was introduced to Glaskin as a way of ‘seeing past lives’, but it is clear from many of the observations in his books and other papers I have read that these are more properly called ‘composer constructed lessons’.    Glaskin came to much the same conclusion although he fully recognised the value of a lesson…

A Door to Eternity – G M Glaskin
I came… to the conclusion that only some superior being, capable of knowing us better than we do ourselves, would be able to provide dreams which compensate for our frustrations, anxieties or excessive wish fulfilments.  The nature of this superior being soon become apparent as an incredibly omniscient and omnipotent entity that makes us mortals inferior and diminutive in comparison.

The following suggestion from McIntosh tends to support this view of a composer that constructs symbolic lessons………………

A Commentary on the ‘Christos’ Technique - Alastair I. McIntosh
Depth psychology has shown us how the unconscious will usually clad what it has to say about the person in symbols, to avoid the message being censored by the conscious ego which doesn’t want to be hurt.
Perhaps through using the reincarnation motif the unconscious can project secondary, repressed personalities, or ‘complexes’, into the field of consciousness in such a way as to be acceptable to the ego, which thinks there is no harm in a dream about ostensible former incarnations.

This appears to make the technique just a psychotherapy tool – a sort of replacement to lucid dreaming which helps in identifying suppressed problems -  but this is but one type of experience induced by the Christos technique.  It is possible to get out-of-body experiences and perception recall.

References

  • A Commentary on the ‘Christos’ Technique - Alastair I. McIntosh; Founder of the Aberdeen University Parapsychological Society 
  • Windows of the Mind,  - G M Glaskin
  • Door to Eternity  - G M Glaskin 
  • Worlds within  - G M Glaskin

There is also the book that was published by Open Mind publications itself in 1976 called Altered states of consciousness and the Christos experiment by Jacqueline Parkhurst, but this is very hard to get hold of.

The Swyngard books

Awareness techniques books 1-3 by William Swygard (Paperback - 1970) are out of print;  but we have recently been sent pdf versions of the book and the following links you to the pdf versions - with many thanks to Afonso Silva for pointing out their existence.

In addition there are the Waldara Answers books 1 – 3 (William Swygard’s spirit name):

 The Swygard facebook page

William Swygard has a facebook entry .  This has more links than I have listed and has the advantage that it is kept up to date.

The Christos facebook page

A facebook page has been set up for the technique follow the LINK

Observations

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