21 day water fast: day 15

out of body experiencePhysically, no changes to speak of.  I slept more last night – a good five or six hours.  Maybe in the end I really have been sleeping too little.  One more thought on that.  The nights when I caught no more than literally two or three hours tended to follow the days I was working long hours on the computer.  It’s true that my mind has been flying with complete and effortless focus, but I wonder whether it’s also started to wind up my energy levels more than otherwise.  Compared to our everyday carbohydrate-based metabolism, I’ve always found ketosis to be slower reacting to the body’s changing energy requirements: slower to fire up in the morning and slower to fire down at night.  Perhaps it’s possible that the higher daily energy levels demanded by my work were also continuing afterwards, into and even through the night.  Anyway, I’m glad there’s no longer a need for any more craziness.  Things are calming down again, so that the remaining days will increasingly stretch out without any demands for work, deadlines and the like.  Lots of time to be.

I did some more gardening today, digging up a couple of wheelbarrow’s worth of soil for a herb garden.  Whether the physical labour took it out of me or whether I’m just tired, the result has been that I’ve felt rather slow and heavy since.

In the afternoon, I lay down on the sunbed to flop in the sun, and something extremely interesting happened: an O.B.E. (Out of Body Experience).  What’s more, it happened in a way I’ve never experienced before.  I dozed off, as I’ve done on previous occasions in the afternoon, but then soon became aware of myself in an additional, second consciousness.  I had started dreaming (which, in a way, is nothing more than an unconscious OBE).  The dream was nothing special: I was lying on the sunbed and, having pulled out a weed which was brushing against my body, threw it aside.  It was then that I also became aware of myself existing simultaneously in my physical body, which was lying motionless on the sunbed, still asleep.  For a moment or two the two entirely different realities continued to exist in parallel, with my conscious awareness simultaneously inhabiting two bodies.  I’ve had lucid dreams and O.B.E.’s before, but have never experienced my consciousness in two bodies in two dimensions at the same time!  I must have just missed the point of separation when you begin to exit or ‘peel off’ the physical body, because most of my energy body (also known as ‘etheric / dream body’ or ‘O.B.E. consciousness’) was still occupying the same space as my physical body.  Only the hands and arms of my energy body were moving, in order to get the weed out of the way.  I could clearly feel both physical and energy bodies as separate entities, and, simultaneously conscious of both realities, continued to live in them both for a few more seconds before the out-of-body ‘body’ dissolved back into the physical body, leaving a subtle vibrating sensation resonating throughout the core of my being.

The whole process repeated a couple of more times, as I straddled the border between sleep and wakefulness.  I would become conscious of my energy body – in one case, up and about, walking around my sleeping physical body – before I realised that my physical ‘me’ was still there lying asleep on the sunbed.  Then, I would continue to exist briefly in both realities, before the energy body dissolved back again.  Interestingly, the garden I experienced through my O.B.E. consciousness was in each case identical to the physical garden – again suggestive of how close these two dimensions are to each other.  The only difference was that (as I’ve experienced in other O.B.E.’s and lucid dreams) the light in the O.B.E. garden was more intense and sparkly – actually more ‘alive’ than the light here in 3D.

I wonder whether this heightened awareness brought on through the fast – something always present in the background, even during sleep – is also one reason why I’m waking up at night after only a couple of hours.  I catch myself at the end of a dream, which brings me back into waking awareness.

A couple of days ago I caught myself thinking for the first time: ‘I really don’t feel any attraction towards a return to eating food again after the fast… I don’t need food.’  Years ago, at the end of my first weeklong fast, there was even a sense of let-down at having to return to food afterwards.  It was like coming off a high.  Fair enough, that was my first deep experience of fasting, and to begin giving up the primal addiction to eating released deep feelings of liberation: freedom from a habit we’ve all carried since birth.  Now, with more experience, I hope I see things in a more objective light.  Now, it was simply a thought: neither attraction to food, nor any repulsion.  So I checked myself by bringing to mind that perfect avocado with fresh coriander leaves and lime juice squirted over it – the one I’d craved back on Day Six and Seven.  Now, nothing.  I really tried to conjure it up in all its sensuality, but now, in my mind, it was just food in the end, nothing more, nothing less.

I caught sight of my reflection in one of the windows while working outside today.  No shirt as usual, and I saw how I’ve lost weight.  My ribs especially are beginning to protrude a little, with my belly sunk inwards more than I’ve ever seen.  It made me wonder where all this weight is being lost from – because I’ve not noticed a huge difference visually in the bathroom mirror which shows only my face, shoulders  and chest.  Yes, maybe I’ve lost a little weight from the surface fat of my body, but from what I saw now in my full body reflection, it made me think that the further contraction of my belly can only be due to the internal organs shrinking.  After all, the digestive system has long been empty.  I’ve read about this in connection with longer fasts, but I never really stopped to think what this means.  Do the internal organs themselves contain fat, or is the body slowly consuming the organs themselves?  I know that most organs, except for the heart and brain, can lose quite a high percentage of their original weight, all of which of course is regained after the fast.  Nevertheless, if I have been losing weight from deep within, I need to take care not to start up any serious physical training for a while, to give them time to rebuild after the fast.  I once read that, after the fast, the body’s priority is always to rebuild the inner organs first and then move on to the muscles and surface fat.  This makes perfect sense, and it seems to me that to stress the body through training while it’s rebuilding the inner organs can only do damage.

Having said this, I’ve been losing less weight over the last few days, down from the original .5 kg per day to what is now about half of that.

I’ve noticed that the slow tempo and wider, more open perception of the fast no longer feel special.  It’s become the ‘new norm’.  I still sit outside in the garden watching the trees grow, the clouds slowly sliding through the sky, the light gradually shifting its palette, the song of the birds gradually changing as the day evolves, but it no longer evokes an extra emotional response from me.  All these things simply are.

Usually at some point during all this, the old woman from next door says hello from over the fence.  It’s been impossible to hide the reason why I’ve come here for three weeks.  She’s highly dubious about this fasting business.  Before returning indoors, she invariably repeats the same phrase: ‘don’t get ill!’  I think she’s genuinely concerned about me!

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