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Tonu Soidla Interview - Part 1 - July 20, 2010

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— Hi Tonu! We are very grateful that you gave us your permission to film an interview with you and have a few minutes of your free time in order to get answers to a few questions for the website on altered states of consciousness []. — Thank you, Zhenya. I am very glad to attempt to say something intelligible; will I succeed, that's another question. — The interview is being filmed somewhat spontaneously; well, it seems to be that in the field we are working in spontaneity plays a very major role. So the first question, if you don't mind, is what role do altered states of consciousness play in your current work? — In the work… Since I work as a professional geneticist it's probably limited to the necessity to propose different hypotheses that would explain the obtained results. There are, indeed, some moments that are quite transpersonal, even though people rarely pay attention to them. For instance, for several times when my mind received a correct (as appeared later) solution to a problem there had been a certain wave that hit earlier. That is, at first I understood that I UNDERSTOOD and only later a specific formulation of what I understood came. That is as if a kind of package with a picture came; and already while seeing this package I felt: that's the picture I need. Then you could unpack the package; and then the picture itself would appear to your sight. Quite a funny phenomenon but I don't claim it's universal—it's personal. — At the International Transpersonal Conference which was held in Moscow Dr. Stanley Krippner spoke about so-called transformative transpersonal experiences; and the question is related to this topic: what transformative transpersonal experiences could you emphasize in your life that could have influenced your career and, perhaps, inner path? — I have those but it is difficult, indeed, to describe them within a reasonable time frame, for each such an event grows out of a certain context; and if we cut off all roots that led to this event, then, of course, they would appear as scarce, and you wouldn't understand what was all that buzz about. But as for me, perhaps, I could remember a few such stories. The first story happened when I was friends with one young Kabbalah practitioner who later on became a famous avant-gardist writer… but I still was quite a rational person and even when I read mystical literature I understood everything in a somewhat "wooden," fragmented variant rather than in terms of the life which mystical experience in fact has. In particular, I absolutely didn't understand what does it mean when in all kinds of mystical poems it is written that a Man owns a spirit. What does it mean? …And when a Man knows some kind of formulation that allows to invoke a spirit so that the spirit would perform some kind of work. That was a wonderful silliness that I had in my head; and once I had a dream where I talked with this Kabbalah practitioner; and he gave me a certain secret formula so as to invoke and overmaster a spirit. And — believe it or not — I had absolutely no idea what it was; and I was very surprised at the moment when it appeared that I — the moment I pronounced the formula — I soared to a completely different energetic level. I wasn't me anymore; it was a kind of energetic monster with enormous powers where it was impossible to differentiate the spirit from me. It was a lesson that I learned in a non-ordinary consciousness; and, of course, the tricky spirit showed me the way to invoke a spirit that was even more powerful— which I did; and here I was struck like an electric insulator by a lightning. It was a very powerful experience; but that's already about the dangers of such experiments. That is one story. The second story which is probably reasonable to tell was when I did Yogic exercises so as to open my "third eye"; and it triggered a powerful activity in my dreams: they became lucid, very colorful and very significant for me; and little by little these experiences were climbing out into the ordinary reality, too, which wasn't very pleasant because when they so quickly start to manifest in the waking reality without control it is very difficult to send them back. So, with having such a limited luggage behind my soul once at Moksa, near an old mill, on the Baptist's day I saw two birches growing close to each other; and in me a romantic idea emerged about that there is some mystical and beautiful story that is related to these trees. "Mystical" in very big quotes… and so on, as I realized later. Well, I knew a little bit how to do something… and I attempted to turn on my special vision— and I succeeded. And what happened next was that I opened myself to a very primordial terror and horrible actions which happened both in my imagination and at the same time in the real world; as a result I was almost thrown into quite a deep abyss which was full of sharp-edged stones; and it was a miracle that I didn't fall down there—and it quickly healed me from any kind of romantic mystics for good. I felt that phenomena that exist in such places of nature are very different from that which I understood and knew…

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 20 seconds
Country: Russia
Language: Russian
Views: 89
Posted by: on Aug 14, 2010

Part 1 of the interview with Tonu Soidla, Ph. D., D. Sc., leading scientist of the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia. Filmed on July 20, 2010 for

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