A few days into this routine, while preparing to enter the relaxed state and carry out the mental activity of “uploading” to the thought-cloud, Peter idly wondered if there would be any difference in the process if he carried it out while lying down. To this end he lay down on his bed, flat on his back, with his arms at his side, and proceeded to relax while in that orientation. Appreciating that the relaxation instructions in the book were put there as a guide, rather than being “set in stone”, Peter applied his own variation to the routine, and was soon astounded at the effect.
Lying flat on his back, with his feet apart and pointing slightly outward, he focused his mind on his feet, imagining that the energy held within them was draining away. To heighten the effect further, he imagined that they were made of lead; lifeless appendages that were a “dead weight”. Rather apprehensively at first, Peter found that his feet felt as though they were becoming heavy and sinking into the bed; almost as though they had ceased to exist. Establishing a regular breathing pattern heightened this sensation and he maintained this as he moved his focus to his ankles, calves, knees and thighs, visualizing his legs as being leaden and sinking into the bed.
The sensation resulting from this mental exercise, combined with his regular breathing, produced a pleasurable sensation, and Peter began to feel what he could only describe as an altered state of consciousness. Closing his eyes, he found that his awareness was totally focused in the space within his head; he had ceased to entertain any of the thoughts that would normally be passing through his mind, during his waking hours. This, he concluded, was what was meant by “clearing the mind”. Proceeding further, Peter used the same technique to relax his torso, arms, shoulders, neck and head, visualizing his entire body being made of lead. The feeling this produced was indescribably pleasurable, and he appreciated that he now had a way to retire from the stresses of everyday living, albeit temporarily.
Getting back to the exercise as described in the book, Peter brought to mind the day he decided that he had suffered enough ridicule at the hands of his high-school PE instructor. Feeling intense anger, he had tested his limits in a two-mile cross country run and, incredibly, had finished second, whereas he was used to being one of the last stragglers. He vividly remembered the PE instructor jumping with excitement and shouting encouragement to him as he crossed the finish line. That event resulted in such a feeling of accomplishment and a surge of self-confidence that it marked a definite turning-point in Peter’s self-image. It was one of the most satisfying moments he could remember, in terms of achievement.
In his totally relaxed state, Peter focused on this thought, to the extent that he could actually recreate the feeling of accomplishment that he had felt that day. He had read somewhere that the mind does not distinguish between real events and vividly-imagined ones, and his present, positive feeling of victory certainly supported this. As directed in Chapter 10, he visualized energy flowing from his body to the crown of his head, where it illuminated the green laser beam, sending these positive thoughts into t-cloud storage. Peter resolved that if ever he was feeling low, or suffering from self-doubt, he would, by an effort of will, focus on this subject and make a connection to this state of mind, which he had just stored in the thought cloud.
Some hours after having concluded his relaxation exercise, Peter experimented by focusing on the joyous feeling he had experienced after completing that life-changing cross-country run, all those years ago. Although he realized that the thought cloud model was simply that, a model for representing habitual thought patterns, he could actually feel an increase in energy and confidence when he actively downloaded this state of mind. By imagining a green laser beam downloading the appropriate software into his mind, he once again experienced an incredible sense of achievement and power.