If you were to fast for one week – to have only water and no food – you might have an experience similar to the following:
First, you set the intention to fast for seven days. During the first two or three days, you gradually recede from your physical body, passing through various levels of lower, middle and higher consciousness. After about three to four days without food, you begin to notice moments of intense clarity, which eventually lead to visions where you see your life in a stark reality.
These “visions” stick in your mind’s eye as you continue to retreat from your body. You experience a unique type of out-of-body experience where you feel strongly connected to your body, have acute mental clarity and yet are watching yourself with what seems like total objectivity. As the day approaches for the fast to end, you feel conflicted. Part of you wants to end the fast, return to your normal life and eat, and part of you wants to stay back in what feels like a peaceful, sacred and infinitely safe space.
The most startling spiritual awakenings occur once you eat again and last for about a month afterward. This occurs because the act of eating causes you to rush back into your body carrying the experience and knowledge of your visions and spiritual awakenings. You take this knowledge discovered during your spiritual out of body experiences and look at it from your more human side.
Essentially what happens during the fasting experience is this: the spiritual awakenings are experienced from two sides—from the spiritual side as recession from the body occurs (while fasting) and then from the physical (human) side when the body is re-entered (after food is introduced). This dual perspective enables self-examination from an entirely new dimension of consciousness.
The first month or so after the fast is often difficult emotionally and psychologically because of this radically new way of thinking and feeling. As we continue to question our purpose in life after the fast, we are persistently faced with what is unknown to our conscious mind. What we see is not always pleasant, which creates further opportunity to release our attachment to it.
Fasting opens the door to the unconscious through our dreams as well. The intensity of fasting dreams can bring to the surface hidden meaning that was previously only evolving in pre-fasting dreams. As the fast progresses, ability to hold back painful realities dissipates. When this happens, the floodgates open, and this breach often occurs in a dream state. The result is a dream or set of dreams that are enacted on a semi-conscious plane of thought. During the dream state, the unconscious actually brings the dream into the conscious mind in an attempt to integrate the conflicts that the dream represents. This is why fasting dreams are so vivid, compelling and revealing.