As I progress in the studies of Mastering Alchemy (5th year at the time of writing this article) I would like to share with you the concept of the 7 Layers of Thought by Jim Self - Founder of Mastering Alchemy which I believe are very insightful to our connection and being with our horses.
First, I would like to share Jim Self's teaching about the 7 Layers of Thoughts. Then I would like to share with you what I have experienced using this "7 Layers of Thoughts" with my horses.
What are the 7 Layers of Thought as taught by Jim Self - Mastering Alchemy and how do they relate to our connection to horses?
Please note: There are no distinct layers, there is no line between 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 etc, it is much more like looking at the colours of the rainbow, you look and you really can't define where red turns into orange and so forth, it is kind of an overlap. To help the brain understand we put them into 1, 2, 3 and so forth.
One of the most important aspects of being able to shift between the layers is noticing where you are. And then it is as simple as making a decision to step into another vibration. Without knowing where you are, you don't know where to step into next.
First Layer of Thought - Chatter
In the 1st Layer of Thought is where you experience people that start talking and never stop. They talk all the time, they have something to say about everything. A great portion of what they have to say is of no significant value and it is not even particularly interesting except they are your friend, so you listen and listen. You try to engage with them and they just continue on and on and on.
This is not a bad or good person, it is just a person who plays in this 1st Layer of Thought. Interesting is that they never say: What do you think? How was your day? What is going on with you?
There is no pause, no real recognition. It is interesting because if you were to interrupt them asking them where they had this information from, they would say ... what??? And then you say, I am sorry I interrupted you where were you, they don't remember more often than not rembering what they just said or what they were just talking about.
How do you feel your horse is responding when people are operating the the first Layer of Thought? If the horse has a choice, it simply would leave... if it has no choice, have you noticed how horses can fall into a space that feels vacant, the eyes are withdrawn and so is also the energy of the body, withdrawing because it can not leave.
Is there any connection possible? Maybe not. If a horse is trained, it will go through the motions but will not make any attempt to connect to you. It is isolated and alone with itself.
Second Layer of Thought - The chatting continues but in your mind
The Second Layer of Thought is not a whole lot different except there are some times when people stop talking. They stop from the standpoint of uttering words.
What happened? Maybe something happened and they get offended, or annoyed or disappointed and they stop talking but they don't stop talking in their head. There is this noise in their head: Why did she say that? Why did he do that? They are still talking in their head.
One can see that it is really disruptive to their well being, it is non productive, eats up an enourmous amount of energy and the person is leaning, out of their natural balance. People worry about something in the past or the future.
If you were look at the physical body you would notice that they either leaning forward or leaning backwards. Their energy field gets very disrupted. If you would look at their aura, for example if somebody is contantly leaning into the future, their energetic field is very much in front of them, exposing their back and vice versa.
Off balance and instability is what happens in this first two layers of thought.
If a person is in this space there is not much difference to the first Layer of Thought, well, yes, there might be no noise uttered but a horse being a sentient being does not need sound in particular to read energies.
I have no proof but I would guess that a lot of accidents might occur as well because we are operating in the first two layers of thought. We are not present, neither to us or our environment hence little signals are simply overlooked.
Again, off balance and instability is what happens in this first two layers of thought. There is no glue between human and horse that bonds them together because unlike the horse a person is not operating in the present moment.
Third Layer of Thought - The rational mind keeps you safe
In this Third Layer of Thought we have a tendency to hold on to things and talk to ourselves. Again, there is nothing good or bad here. It is almost if we are leaning into our next action. "Well, I am going to go to the store, should I go to this store first or should I go to that store first?"
The person is talking to themself trying to make a set of decisions.
The 3rd Layer of Thought is in a way designed to communicate with yourself, engage yourself about things, figure things out. A lot of times this is a place where we worry and we are uncertain. And out of those two vibrations of worry and uncertainty we begin to create a lot of attention and engagement into this 3rd Layer of Thought.
One of the things about one of the aspects of yourself is that we play in the rational mind. Now the rational mind is a really interesting part of you.
The rational mind's job is keep you safe and have you fit in. The rational mind does not live in the head, it doesn't live in the brain, it actually lives in the 1st chakra. The rational mind wants to make sure you are safe and you don't upset the world.
So, the 3rd Layer of Thought is very engaged with the rational mind.
Every so often when you have a thought that is very freeing you are reaching into the 4th Layer of Thought. You also drop out of the 4th Layer of Thought quite fast, saying well maybe this won't be right, I should think about this. This is really about the rational mind engaging with itself again telling you might want to think about that again!
We don't even pay much attention to the rational mind as another function of ourselves, we don't know it any better and this is how we move through life making sure we are safe and we fit in. How many times have you thought - oh I might like to do this and then say no no no, back up. That is very much the rational mind.
One of the things this layer is all about is a lot of uncertainty. You are in it, a tremendous amount of the time. Over time we created this concepts and have given permission to our rational mind to protect you, keep you safe, make sure you don't get in trouble. There is a lot of engagement that is going on in this 3rd Layer of Thought. Nothing good or bad. It is a place when an emotion like uncertainty gets involved we get tentative, we are not sure.
This is the space where we interact with our horses using learned techniques. We keep within what we have learned and what is "proven" to work as it seems safe and secure. We are trying to fortify what we have learned and get better at it.
We are in the space of requesting and reaction. There is a set space for interaction and what we think should happen. Right and wrong sets th boundaries of our interaction with our horses. We are moving within a certain status quo and are efforting to achieve desired outcomes.
When we are learning something new (a new method) we feel we need to understand it all with our mind and practise through it.
We are still moving within a box. Security is important!
Fourth Layer of Thought - Curiosity
The Fourth Layer of Thought is a place were you are quiet, there is nothing really going on, you are sitting down, you are comfortable, you don't have to be somewhere, you are really not holding a lot of attention in the future nor the past. You are just sitting here in present time.
In this space you might be curious, be wondering. "I wonder how this works?" Now this thought is in present time and it does not really needs an answer as in trying to figure something out or leaning like - I really need to know this now. You pretty much sitting there being curious and you might be playing in your mind but you are very present in that thought.
Now understand, these layers overlap, you move in and out in a split second. If something distracts you based on the attention point you are holding, you move into a different Layer of Thought.
As you become masterful in being grounded, defining the edge of your personal space, being in present time you have choice, where in the 3rd Layer of Thought, you find yourself in reaction. "Choices" when you are in reaction are very different.
This 4th Layer of Thought experiencing yourself grounded, present and senior in your space is a lot quieter. It is a consideration and not a worry - oh my God what is going to happen. In the fourth layer you can be concerned but you are not leaning or running away.
Now here is where the magic can start. Curiosity becomes a new ingredient in this mix. We can see this in our horses, there is an enquiring, a new possibility on the horizon.
The energies are still somewhat tensed and are leaning towards security (3rd layer) but there is an openess and with that come new choices. There is a flow and movement starting, an interest and consideration of the partner. How can we do this together? How can we start this, approach this? Would you like to play? What are you telling me?
Here is where the connection starts to build, no past, no future, in the poresent moment without expectations, investigating. Responding rather than reaction.
This is the space where a horse can start to truly learn and develop. You both are on the way to expressing yourselves.
The Fifth Layer of Thought - Ease, Grace & Seniority
This 5th Layer of Thought, to just give you a reference for those of you who do a lot of meditation and you found yourself in a really great space, is a very quiet space. A space where you can sit for an hour or two and you are calm and saying to yourself: I could do this every minute of the day, this really feels so good."
Well, those words are so differently placed - think back - you are not really talking to yourself, you are not really hearing yourself thinking in your head. This is as if there is a voice - you - but it's seems like it is a little bit in the back of the head, it is not really engaged it is just observing. It's simply making a statement.
This Layer of Thought which is beginning to be very engaged with an aspect of you that is in the etheric body. Here a little piece of information: What most people call the astral body is actually the etheric body. And the etheric body is the blue print to the physical body. The etheric body is a spiritual body, it is where the chakra system lives, it is where the Higher Self communicates with you, it is where the mental / emotional body lives - they don't live in the physical body - the glands live in the physical body, chakras live in the etheric body. And a lot of time the etheric body and the physical body when they were created they were like two mirrors. Over eons of time and the drama of the third dimension, the mirrors got a little smudged or knocked out of alignment, so they do not reflect each other perfectly.
When you get into this 5th Layer of Thought, it is the Layer of Thought where you and the Higher Self begin to be very much engaged with each other. And that Higher Self doesn't exactly talk to you as: "Well you, have you thought about this?"
Most of the time as you get into a space of well being, space of happy, very quiet, very present, that Higher Self vibrates through the feelings, it vibrates through the knowingness.
So in a way you are sitting there going: "This is really good." It's that voice, it's a layer of you who is engaged with the Higher Self kind of communing on well being. And so the 5th Layer of Thought is a really delightful place, is really nothing going on there, you are not thinking about your problems, you are observing well being.
When you start to engage in problems you fall back into the 4th layer where you are still very quiet, wondering: How am I going to manage for that vacation that I want? Pondering, it's concerned but it is not a drama.
Now this 5th Layer of Thought is very interesting to horses as they seem to be able to connect to you through their feelings. They will give you their knowing about well being and happiness.
This is a space where they start to want to interact with you and a lot of them simply rip down any barriers that have been between the two of you.
This is maybe a space children are in when they play and forget the world and themselves, simply following what they feel and respond accordingly to their environment. Or you all of a sudden hear/feel/see your horse giving you an insight to what is going on in your life and how to change that.
There are no questions about safety, security, there is only flow, graciousness and well being.
How beautiful would it be to interact out of this space with your horse?
The Sixth Layer of Thought
As you begin to play in the 6th Layer of Thought and now it is not just an occasional meditation there is a lot of reconfiguring yourself going on. It is in present time, in a place where you are very capable of discerning of what is appropriate for you and what is not appropriate for you.
You are in a place where you observe and you can allow the noise pass you by without engaging in it, you can allow people to have their growth period, their own journeys without having to judge them or throw rocks. You are able to sit and observe them even in their dramas and their pain, recognising that they are unravelling themselves on their journey.
There are occasions where you see opportunities to nurture, uplift, assist but it is a place where they are asking, it is not a place where you are chosing to fix them.
So this 6th Layer of Thought is very interesting because in the 6th layer there is no talking in your head. You don't hear: How are you doing today - in the back of your head. It is quiet. You look at something, a tree and you don't say to yourself - tree - you know it is a tree and there is no reason to identify it or simply go to it or draw it back to you.
It is a space that is in the fields of knowingness. You start to have a question and the answer arrives where the question is asked. Time and space are moving through you. You are beginning to recognise the full capacity, the expanded capacity of feminine and masculine applications to creation.
It is here in the 6th layer that you begin to hold out the hand and the apple appears. It is not done with a lot of thought but it is done from drawing from the fields of knowingness. It is a skill, it is not a Layer of Thought that is available in the noise of the lower layers. It is a place that requires a focussed awareness.
Here is where true magic lies between human and horse. Woven in an invisible energy grid two beings recognise each other. No words or thoughts are in this space.
This is where the true revelations are happening, you are seeing with different eyes. Seemingly unfitting pieces all of a sudden slot together like puzzle pieces and a new world emerges.
Interaction in this new world is done in authenticity, truth and joy. To master being in this 6th Layer of Thought takes some reconfiguration of yourself and often your life.
The Seventh Layer of Thought
This is the layer where the thought that thought you into existense and you think together. There is no words, there is no English, French or Spanish. You begin to have awarenesses in a much fuller aspect of yourself and that aspect simply is a knowingness.
That 7th layer is a little bit of a journey to get to. Sixth layer is a state of mastering, it is a state of deciding this is where I would like to begin to perceive from. 7th layer is not a difficult place to get however it is a journey to get there - some assembly required in reconfiguring yourself, the mental and the emotional body that are beginning to have a heightened expansion, rearranging the chakra system.
Mastering Alchemy does all that but that is what is required to play in even that 5th, 6th and 7th layer but very accessible on the journey.
I can not comment on this as yet. More practise required on my part.