I stumbled upon the Searching Within course in a remarkable and unforgettable way. Back in late 2002, I learned that Belsebuub’s 9-week course in Self-Discovery was finishing off with a group walk in Toronto, Canada. My friends and I took the opportunity to join.
Without having any prior knowledge about the course and its subject matter I was introduced into what I would later discover would be one of the most essential practices of the course – Awareness of the Present Moment.
What was special about this introduction for me was that while I thought I knew a few things about spirituality, this walk presented a most practical approach to the spiritual that I had never personally considered prior. The information and methodology I received was new to me, but beyond that was the exploratory approach that suggested an entirely different way of processing information, which was through personal effort, discovery and experience.
Thus in this walk, I was trying out one of the Searching Within course’s primary exercises and learning about it in a very personal way. It became alive through my own efforts, taking its simple explanation into practice. It was mine to discover and experience. Something that I had never come across in any of my previous philosophical, educational, or spiritual studies.
On that particular walk, I explored the method outlined by the instructor, learning to see my own thoughts and daydreams and trying to not become absorbed in them. As a result, I experienced a blissful and elevated state of consciousness where I was left with immense joy and happiness – something I never felt in my life before.
This experience sent a chill to my bones (in a good way!), telling me that there was something real and profound about the practical methodology that Belsebuub was creating in his courses.
Enrolling in the Searching Within Course
At the next available opportunity I signed up for the free Searching Within course. While I had experienced such powerful feelings from the walk, I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a nine week course which was run in a library in the city.
After having such a seemingly other-worldly personal experience from the course’s awareness walk event, I arrived to a very calm, down to earth set up at a local library.
The instructor gave a 30 minute lecture each week using a flip chart, answered some questions and guided a group practice that was usually going to be the take-home for that week. The information presented was very practical and easy to understand, the course was based on the simple approaches and methodology created by Belsebuub (Mark Pritchard).
Every week, I would receive a PDF by email that accompanied the course program that I could read at home and in my own time. It was the weekly topic of the course written by Belsebuub, and what the information provided at the library was based on.
Every week a new component would be introduced and built up upon. I found the gradual progression of topics very helpful, especially how they began with a very basic overview of the subconscious and consciousness before moving to an in-depth study of egos and other techniques for psychological training and personal development.
The whole set up I thought was very well organised and intuitive to what a beginner like me could need to begin learning about the psychological nature of spirituality.
The information was going to be life changing. I just didn’t know it yet. For some reason, while I listened carefully to the simple instructions and explanations there was a part of me that didn’t fully grasp the message at first – like a small blockage.
I felt that there was something very profound about the information in the course, but at the same time, I remember occasionally drawing a blank when considering how the information was going to be part of my life.
But it was here where I began my own personal process to learn how to apply this kind of information into my own life – because without this personal-effort-driven application – the information would have no effect on me beyond being interesting.
In this way I came to realise that the Searching Within course was very much a two part experience. First of all was the listening and becoming aware of new methods and approaches to life, and second, and most effective of all, was the application of those methods where the real learning and personal life changes took off.
It was in this two fold approach that the Searching Within course finally made sense to me. I began to appreciate how valuable the take-home exercises were, as it was these that ultimately allowed me to break through certain barriers of understanding and enable me to actively learn through my own personal experience.
Belsebuub made a huge emphasis on personal experience in the course as mentioned in the following quote, but it was only after I actually thoroughly pursued my own personal experience did I truly understand why.
“The spiritual must be found to know what it is. It cannot be found by thinking about it; only by experiencing it. It is as it always was: for individuals to discover the answers themselves by their own personal experience.” ~ Belsebuub
Exploring the Topics
An Inward Psychological Work
The Searching Within course would go on to explain how to look into one’s own psychological world, to see egos and all the subconscious inner states that reside in our own psychology.
Growing up I recognized that I experienced various emotional states quite often, but beginning to observe within and see psychological aspects for myself was a new beginning of self-discovery. It was very interesting to me to closely see certain psychological traits that were very dominant such as fear and worry.
Having the ability to understand my own fears and heavy emotional states was life-changing to say the least. I really and sincerely did not know that I was going to be able to dig into problematic areas of my personal inner-life, but this course gave me the tools to look inside and better understand psychological elements such as anxiety and fear that I previously did not know how to cope with.
By applying the techniques for inner change that I learned in the course, such as self-observation and retrospection, I was able to delve deeper into the subconscious layers of the psychological states that were existing inside me. For example, I struggled with fear and previously thought there was nothing I could do about it. But the course encouraged us to use the practice of self-observation in all aspects of life, and I began to see and understand it.
I used this technique as much as I could remember to and eventually saw how certain thought patterns and lingering feelings throughout the day were connected to a stronger component of fear that I struggled with. I was therefore able to become more mindful of this state throughout the day and use awareness and self-observation to be much more detached from the grips of fear in my life. This greater perception and watchfulness eventually enabled a gradual separation from this fear and I began to feel much freer.
This practical ability to take action on an internal emotional obstacle such as fear began to significantly improve the way I lived my life. I was able to address and fix internal problems, and to find answers to difficulties that caused psychological reactions of pain, hurt and suffering. In short, I was better prepared to deal with life, and to understand myself in the process as a result of the course information.
Using Dreams for Self-Knowledge
I also learned on the course how dreams could be used to better understand my psychology and even offer profound personal teachings about my own life.
In the course there were techniques given to help remember dreams and to study them as a way to uncover personal insight into our egos and spiritual development. I used these methods to look more closely into my dreams and increasingly became more and more interested in learning from them.
Many times I would see myself in dreams acting a certain way and I began to realise how certain egos or attitudes were being highlighted as the Searching Within course explained would occur.
Other dreams that would have left me perplexed many years before knowing about the spiritual methods that Belsebuub talked about, gave me new meaning if I approached them with self-knowledge.
I remember one time being very upset at another person that I felt was treating me unfairly. I was generally quite angry at this person and had been struggling to overcome these feelings. I then had a dream that showed me this person looking beautiful and being cared for, and through it I was drawn to a much lighter perception of interaction by seeing the possibility of separation from the negative influence of ego states.
As a result of this dream I found a way where I had a choice to express myself more consciously and lovingly, and this gave some insight into the previous angry states as well as inspiration and understanding that helped me improve my behaviour. I found it was therefore extremely helpful to pay attention to my dreams, and the course encouraged and inspired students to seek out learning in this way.
Learning from Relationships
A very memorable and impactful part of the course was the world of relationships, where it was taught how our interactions with others can be influenced by our own psychological states.
Relationships with other people were always a very important part of my life, but the Searching Within course provided insight on how our relationships could also be used as opportunities for self-knowledge. In the course it was explained how so many egos, emotions and thoughts arise when we are with other people. These insights allowed me to approach my time with others in a different way, learning about myself and improving my relationships by looking within.
In situations with others that were emotionally difficult, I used the techniques I learned from the Searching Within course to observe myself and change the compulsion to feel upset by trying to be conscious and aware. Challenging times became opportunities to learn about myself and become less reactionary.
In this way, I had many interactions where instead of getting upset, I was left feeling love and compassion for the other person. This to me was a remarkable change to the way I normally experienced life, and I was extremely happy to have this knowledge in order to have more meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
Living through Consciousness
While I will always remember the psychological study component of the Searching Within course, experiencing states of consciousness was by no means less important.
Experiencing moments of peace, beauty and stillness was definitely a goal of the Searching Within course – and something that I had directly experienced on my first encounter with Belsebuub’s methodology some months before, during the walk.
Being able to experience qualities of the spiritual within was something that always gave me a lot of hope. It proved to me that the methods taught by Belsebuub in this course had wide reaching capabilities. It also showed me that little feelings of bliss could lead to many more if I kept applying the effort to detach myself from the psychological barriers that blocked my consciousness.
I learned also about mantras for intuition and was able to discover how to use intuition in my own personal life, such as through the study of dreams, finding my way after getting lost, following a gut feeling in order to make a better decision and so much more.
Without the Searching Within course, I would have never imagined that I could experience such higher ways of living. The arrangement of the course topics, exercises and practices with other participants provided an environment where the spiritual part within me could be discovered as part of a fuller life experience that I never dreamed was possible.
Preparation for Future Courses and Spiritual Development
The Searching Within course created a foundation for future courses and spiritual exercises that were yet to come, introducing a fundamental understanding of the human psyche – something I found incredibly vital to grasp before exploring further, more advanced spiritual matters.
For example, understanding the influence of my psychology and subconscious when exploring astral projection and meditation allowed me to be better prepared when I approached these techniques.
In some instances my mind was very active with inner chatter, other times very excited and anticipating results. I saw that both these inner states could interfere in varying degrees in my approach with various spiritual methods.
The understanding from the Searching Within course and being able to observe how my subconscious works however, has helped me to work out problems in my practices and to gain more objective mystical experiences. This is something Belsebuub himself encouraged a lot in his course writings which also confirmed my own experience.
Experiences from Students
It has also been very uplifting to witness the benefits of this course for others.
I remember speaking to a student of the course who was profoundly moved by an experience he had with self-observation and the ability to see an ego as it was coming into his perception. It left him amazed that the information was real and effective and I could perceive how meaningful the experience was for him.
The memory I have with that encounter left me very hopeful of how deeply Belsebuub’s techniques could impact people’s lives positively. It’s also been inspiring to meet many people from different parts of the world making real breakthroughs through their efforts with the tools taught in this course. It goes to show how far reaching Belsebuub’s course on self-knowledge has been upon people in the world.
Doing the Searching Within course was a really ground breaking experience for me. It gave me tools that I have been able to use time and time again. Its message of inner change, self-discovery and lasting peace have always stayed with me and allowed me to bring about a dramatic and positive difference in my life.
It’s been many years since I first did the course. I feel very much like I am the same person on the outside, but remembering who I was as an adolescent and young adult, where my life rolled with the emotional outbursts that were roaring within – my inner life is now drastically improved.
Today I try to incorporate as much of the message in Belsebuub’s self-knowledge course as possible into my life, where I am continuously interested in learning more about the way my psyche works. It’s become a way of life to continue to expand upon what I have learned in this course, and I feel like I owe a lot to its author.
Self-knowledge, a subject that was once a bit of a blur, has become something I yearn for through new experiences each day. Belsebuub’s course has given me a way to see life in an entirely new way – conscious of the world around me and the internal workings of my own psychology.
I would like to finally finish with some words from Belsebuub on the importance of self-knowledge that I feel are apt to the learning I found through the Searching Within course.
“To live without self-knowledge is to walk through life blindly. A blind person misses much of the activity of life around them; a psychologically blind person misses most of the activity taking place inside them.” ~ Belsebuub
Indeed Belsebuub’s Searching Within course offered me the much needed light and guidance to walk through life with self-knowledge.
~ Olga Grapsas