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Excerpted from Reaching to Heaven by James Van Praagh. Copyright 1999 by James Van Praagh. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The first step is to close off the outside world of judgment and rationalization so that you can begin to tune in to the inner world of consciousness."

James Van PraaghReaching to Heaven, Part 3

Opening the Door

Whenever I teach a class in psychic development or mediumship, I explain that it's much like taking a journey to a foreign city, such as Rome. In order to get the best out of the journey, we must prepare. To get to Rome, we buy a ticket, pack, go to the airport, find a seat on the plane, and get comfortable. If we don't know the language, we might want to bring along an Italian phrase book to help us communicate. We may also want to get a guidebook or join a guided tour so that we will be sure to see all the famous and historic sights.

In the same way, you must prepare for the journey to your soul. The first step is to close off the outside world of judgment and rationalization so that you can begin to tune in to the inner world of consciousness. This is not a new idea. For centuries, monasteries and nunneries have isolated individuals for this very reason. If individuals were kept away from society, they could not be contaminated by outside influences. Thus they could remain pure and receptive to a higher consciousness.

But how can we do the same when we are constantly being bombarded by outside stimuli? Every day we can't help but hear the latest news stories of violence, destruction, and illness, or gossip about movie stars and political leaders. We worry about the economy, how to save for our retirement. Our consciousness revolves solely around the happenings of a restless physical existence. We are so busy doing daily battle with the challenges that life presents us that we don't have the time to quiet our minds and acknowledge the fact that we are all spirits on personal paths to enlightenment.

To begin your journey, you must attune to an inner world. The visualization that follows will help you do that. After you have read the next few paragraphs, put down the book and visualize the contents. The best way to do this is by closing your eyes, to close off outer distractions and to focus inwardly.

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