Mark Pritchard, who writes with his spiritual name Belsebuub, is a British-born author and spiritual practitioner. He is best known for his influential works on the subjects of self-knowledge and out-of-body experiences, but has also written widely on dreams, personal transformation and the journey to enlightenment.
Over the last twenty-five years, Belsebuub has explored these subjects in-depth in his own life. He has also explained them to hundreds of thousands of people through course systems and websites he established for this purpose.
Beginning in the early 2000s, Belsebuub pioneered a free online course system to share spiritual knowledge. His courses were also presented in person at study centers in many major cities around the world. These courses were attended by a total of over 90,000 people from over 100 countries. Belsebuub also wrote countless articles and books on spiritual subjects, of which one became a best-seller.
Self-knowledge and understanding oneself for the purpose of spiritual growth have always been at the heart of Belsebuub’s work. He describes this as a process of spiritual transformation that ultimately leads a person to reunite with the divine source of creation. This process is at the heart of many ancient spiritual traditions and teachings, and is often referred to as spiritual awakening or reaching enlightenment.
For this spiritual process to take place, Belsebuub explains that it’s vital to understand ourselves and to study our own inner world of thoughts and emotions in daily life. He shares that in its basic form consciousness is limited in what it can perceive, and that as we progress spiritually we can grow and develop our consciousness:
“Consciousness exists not simply to perceive, but to acquire knowledge of its own existence as an individual part of the source consciousness. If consciousness stays as it is, it will be impossible to do much more than occasionally be aware and feel peace on certain occasions when we make the effort to be aware. […] But the capacity and amount of consciousness can increase and it can be merged with higher consciousness, such as the Being and the Cosmic Son, on its way to return to the source as a self-realized consciousness.”
~ Belsebuub, The Awakening of Perception
The consciousness, Belsebuub explains throughout his works, is the source of inner peace, wisdom, psychic faculties and mystical experiences. He explains that by studying ourselves, understanding and overcoming negative inner states such as anger, fear, greed, negativity, and so on, we can bring about profound changes in our lives.
Belsebuub’s Early Life Experiences and Initial Interest in Self-Knowledge
Beginning in his childhood and carrying through to his early adult years Mark (Belsebuub) held a deep interest in spiritual subjects. He attended various groups, visiting sacred sites, and frequenting lectures by Jiddu Krishnamurti where he first learned about practices to experience the present moment. Mark was deeply inspired by these practices, however, despite having a profound respect for Krishnamurti, he found his teachings to be circular and therefore unable to lead to profound inner change.
In the early 1990s Mark came across another spiritual school explaining how a person could follow the process that leads to enlightenment in a practical sense. Through this school he began exploring exercises for awareness and self-knowledge more deeply which led him to begin an inward journey to enlightenment, a process in which he has now reached the latter stages.
Belsebuub’s biography website explains how he began to train himself diligently with various self-knowledge exercises and details some of the experiences he had as a result. He mentions how as part of exploring self-knowledge he:
- went on walks and spent time in nature exploring how to be aware of his surroundings and internal states, thoughts and emotions
- did meditation exercises to explore his psyche and consciousness in greater detail
- studied dreams to gain self-knowledge
- explored the personal connection of an individual to higher spiritual forces; and
- learned about the true purpose of life.
Belsebuub also talks about how he trained himself to use every opportunity, event, and routine activity in daily life for the purpose of self-study. As a result, he explains that self-knowledge and spiritual transformation became his primary focus and objective in life. In his biography, Belsebuub provides a glimpse into this period of learning and inner growth:
“I focused most upon observing myself during the day, being aware, and in the evening or for longer sessions in the centre, analyzing the different inner states to get more knowledge of them. I loved how I could at last change and see all these things that had trapped me for so long, and held me back in so many different ways. Now I had a way to be free of them potentially and to be aware in the present moment, when my consciousness, through sustained attempts would be aware and in silence, perceiving the present moment, watching the thoughts and breaking out of them.”
~ Training in Spiritual Exercises, Belsebuub Biography site.
Having begun to gain many profound experiences with the exercises he was being taught, Belsebuub started running groups and study centers in multiple cities in the UK and later in Australia, where he explained self-knowledge information and practices as well as other spiritual topics free of charge. His extensive practical exploration of spirituality over the last two decades put him at the forefront of personal spiritual research and meant he had become a leading expert in the field of self-discovery. He used this expertise to share the tools he was using in his own journey of inner transformation with others so that they could gain the same experiences he was having if they were interested.
Creating Courses to Teach Others about Self-Knowledge
In 2001, after years of freely teaching spirituality and self-knowledge in study groups he had established across multiple continents, Belsebuub began to publish free online courses focused on three different subject areas, self-knowledge, out-of-body experiences and the journey to enlightenment. His course on self-knowledge, which has been known variously as the Searching Within course, the Self-Knowledge course, and the Self-Discovery course, became very popular, and was run both on and offline around the world.
When first introduced, the Searching Within course was written and presented by Belsebuub as an eight week series of downloadable PDFs, with each weekly download containing information about a new self-knowledge topic, and a self-knowledge technique that allowed course participants to explore what they were learning in a practical way in their lives. This course was organized and presented through an online course system especially created for that purpose. This course system — which included course forums where participants could have their questions answered — was created at a time when the internet was still in relative infancy and e-learning was uncommon, and was therefore quite revolutionary in its approach.
Information explained in the Searching Within course included information on:
- learning to be aware in the present moment
- learning to observe and understand the origins of various inner states, thoughts, and emotions (which Belsebuub refers to as “ego” states or “egos”) and ultimately to overcome them
- how to improve relationships through greater understanding of ourselves and others
- how to increase our level of consciousness
- how to overcome addictions and harmful behaviors
- studying dreams to gain a greater understanding of ourselves
- learning to tap into the higher qualities of consciousness, such as inner peace, empathy and happiness
- using life as a school for self-growth and spiritual exploration; and
- many other related topics.
These different topics addressed various aspects of self-knowledge that could be explored by participants through reflection, observation in daily life, and through the practical exercises that accompanied each weekly download — all with the final aim of enabling course participants to understand themselves and their lives deeply and to live in a more fulfilling way.
Due to the course’s popularity and success online, many requests were made for a face-to-face version of the Searching Within course. As a result of these requests Belsebuub also began running the Searching Within course in-person. The physical version of the course followed the same structure as the online course. Searching Within and its later variations went on to be run in eighteen cities around the world.
Belsebuub’s self-knowledge methods as taught both online and in-person have proven to be very effective. They have been used by people from all ages, ethnicities and from all walks of life, with many people citing the powerful impact his self-knowledge work has had on their lives.
Practitioners of this work have explained how, using Belsebuub’s techniques, they were able to:
- overcome addictions, fears and anxiety
- free themselves from anger or depression
- overcome compulsive thoughts
- experience psychic faculties
- remember and interpret their dreams
- improve relationships with their loved ones, friends and colleagues; and
- ultimately gain inner peace and develop a more spiritual focus for their lives.
Belsebuub’s Books on Self-Knowledge
Due to extensive plagiarism, the contents of Belsebuub’s Searching Within course stopped being delivered in the digital PDF format. Instead, the content of the course was revised and published as the paperback book The Peace of the Spirit Within in 2006.
The Peace of the Spirit Within was later revised and released as a free eBook titled Self-Knowledge for Spiritual Awakening in 2011. After again experiencing problems with plagiarism because of the vulnerabilities of a digital format, the eBook was withdrawn and instead released as a printed book titled Searching Within: Taking the Way of Self-Discovery for the Journey to Source in 2017.
Belsebuub has never profited from the sale of any of his books, choosing to include a clause in his author contract stipulating that he not receive any royalties from their sale.
The contents of the original PDFs from the 2001 Searching Within course have recently been made available as an eBook that can be viewed on the eBook page on this website.
Belsebuub’s Approach to Self-Discovery
Belsebuub writes about self-knowledge and explains the work of spiritual awakening from his own experience and exploration of this subject over many years, and through his own spiritual journey. He expresses that the process is simple for anyone to undertake, but requires thoroughness, perseverance, and a dedicated approach, as well as a willingness to sincerely use the events of life as an opportunity for spiritual development.
He describes the development of consciousness, the integral “real us” or the human essence, as essential to spiritual growth:
“For spiritual change, we need to see and understand ourselves. What sees is consciousness, it is what perceives, and is essentially what we are. To understand ourselves we need to look within and study how we think and feel, and doing that is called self-observation.”
~ Belsebuub, The Awakening of Perception
Belsebuub explains that consciousness can be developed by learning to place oneself in the present moment and by observing and understanding the various elements of the subconscious in order to eventually remove them. He states that when we are within egos we are unable to fully and objectively experience life in the present moment.
The starting point to expanding our consciousness and experiencing it more fully, Belsebuub says, is the ability to be aware of our external environment, while simultaneously looking inwardly to understand the kinds of thoughts, emotions, and reactions that we experience as we go through our day. This process enables the consciousness to become active and perceptive, allowing an individual to learn more about themselves and to clearly see and interact appropriately with the world around them.
Belsebuub explains that the subconscious states we experience are the cause and source of many problems, negativity, and unfavorable circumstances in our lives, which affect how we perceive both our internal world and the world around us, and dictate how we interact and react in the situations we are faced with in daily living.
“Daily life tends to get lived in a subconscious dream, in psychological sleep, and it doesn’t allow consciousness, the spiritual part which we essentially are, to experience. A life lived in a daydream is at the mercy of ego states and the program of nature which controls its destiny. In this there is no meaningful change, only the passing of time.”
~ Belsebuub, The Awakening of Perception
Belsebuub explains that by observing the different inner states, thoughts, and emotions within our mind and body, we can gain an understanding of them — not only of their source, but also of their outcome and impact upon our lives. By seeing and understanding these states, we can begin to gradually reduce them, which in turns allows the consciousness to grow stronger, and makes room for spiritual faculties and inner peace to develop within.
In The Awakening of Perception Belsebuub stresses that “peace is a natural state of consciousness” whereas “thoughts, feelings, and emotions are passing and temporary”. He explains that finding peace within oneself can only be achieved through enabling the consciousness to be more active as inner peace is an innate quality of each person’s consciousness.
Getting free of the subconscious and difficult inner states can be very liberating, Belsebuub explains, because these egos ultimately bring much suffering, inner conflict, and misery. In their absence the consciousness flourishes and we are able to experience the spiritual qualities that exist deep down within because they cease to be smothered by the egos.
Belsebuub describes how living life through consciousness enables feelings of true love, empathy, care, and peace to emerge, which ultimately improves the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us. Being aware of the egos and staying grounded in consciousness helps us respond to life with more wisdom and intelligence. But beyond even this, Belsebuub explains that our consciousness — and through it perception of the present moment — can eventually allow us to reunite with divinity, and to fulfill our purpose as human beings through meaningful spiritual progress.
Using Self-Knowledge for Meaningful Spiritual Development
The underpinning objective within all of Belsebuub’s works is to provide information about the opportunity all individuals have to undertake a process of true spiritual awakening. His work provides a practical roadmap that not only explains the process of transforming ordinary human consciousness and merging it with divinity, but that ultimately gives the tools to enable an individual to get free of nature’s process and to return to the source of all creation.
Belsebuub explains that this process takes place in an ordinary life lived wisely, where the events of daily living are used as a source of self-knowledge and an opportunity for fundamental inner change. He explains that walking the spiritual path and reaching enlightenment is not simply the result of advanced meditation, awareness on its own, or some form of realization. Instead, he states that it is an internal work with self-knowledge at its core which is completed over a period of many years. This work also requires spiritual alchemy and the understanding and removal of the ego states in order to undertake a challenging, but ultimately very rewarding process.
Consciousness however is fundamental to this process. Belsebuub explains that, “Human consciousness itself is the substance of the universe and it is you and is everything else, but it is smothered in its perception from reality by ego states.” The starting point and foundation upon which fundamental change and true spiritual development are built therefore, is gaining self-knowledge, and activating and developing our consciousness as much as possible:
“The perception of the present moment is a thread to hold on to, which can eventually lead the way through the process of enlightenment. It is consciousness that perceives and it is the spiritual within. It has the potential to unite with divinity and become a treasure the world has no value in comparison to. It becomes part of you permanently and is the ultimate purpose of living. It’s much better than living an ordinary, mundane life, to be born and grown, reproduce and die in the sleep of nature.”
Belsebuub’s Consciousness and Personal Development Resources
As well as accessing the Searching Within course as an eBook on this site, Belsebuub has created many resources including books, articles and videos that explain the most effective information and techniques an individual can use to experience self-knowledge, inner change and awareness.