Developing Empathic Sensitivity
Lesson three you learned about Beta and Beta
messages. You learned that your mind/body is your primary Empathic instrument
and that all activity around you are Beta messages. You speak with Beta
through your body and your movements.
Each Beta message contains potential Empathic information and how you
respond to that Empathic information depends upon how you view your
world. Life itself is a flow of Beta activity and you yourself can generate
Beta energy to heal and shape the life around you.
In short, you have learned your first Empathic letter and are now ready
for your second. Be patient with yourself as you move through this material.
What you learn in each stage will expand as you move through the stage
following it. Progress at your own rate and relax into the experience.
You are now entering stage four of your preliminary training as an
empath. As far as the information part goes, we are leaving the familiar
waking world of Beta and are entering into the classical domain of "the
Empathic." If I were to discuss Beta and Alpha as territories I
would describe Beta as the outermost rim of the territory, the external
world, and Alpha as the vast expanse of your interior landscape.
is the internal world of your psyche. It is the place of dreams, imagery,
memory, myth, emotion, and shadows. Where Beta is the bright yellow
light of the Sun enclosed by the four sides of a square,
Alpha is the light reflected from the surface of the Moon,
symbolized in a silver crescent. The silver crescent is an excellent
symbol for Alpha the unconscious.
The Moon reflects the light of the Sun but is covered in partial darkness
from a shadow. The partial Moon light of the crescent represents the
partial consciousness of Alpha and the shadow over the Moon suggests
the presence of the unconscious.
An Alpha state occurs when you slow your brain waves down to around
8 to 13 cycles per second. This can be done by closing your eyes and
relaxing. Visualizing a peaceful scene and taking a few deep breaths
will take you even deeper into Alpha. Alpha is just under the surface
of your waking mind and is always available to you.
A common, yet outdated , term for Empathic ability is "the sixth
sense." This implies one more sense past the five primary senses.
In fact we really have more than five primary senses. In addition to
sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, we have a kinesthetic sense
which detects movement and body orientation.
There are even subtler senses within the body. All of these senses
form a ladder that extends down into the unconscious levels of the mind.
For now, I will keep the primary senses lumped into the first five of
Beta and refer to Alpha as the sixth sense.
Alpha as the sixth sense acts like a compass or divining rod
within your body/mind. It generates vague or undefined information
that can create a sense of a push or a pull within you. A pull
would be a desire to move toward something, a push
would be a reaction to move back from something or someone.
Remember my story about the bank robber? In Dreamtongue the Beta message
was " a man in the Laundromat," but within that Beta signal
was an Alpha message as well. The Alpha message was a pushing away,
a desire to get away from that man. It was an Alpha message because
it did not come with explicit instructions or explanations.
I did not get a Empathic news flash saying, "Attention. Attention.
That man has a gun and is dangerous. He is about to rob the bank next
door." Instead my body translated the Alpha message of something
wrong into a Beta message of a sense of heaviness and constriction in
my body. Here you can see how Beta and Alpha work together.
As you advance through this training you will learn how all five levels
are not at all separate and distinct. They are really a continuum,
a ladder of consciousness. You are learning each one separately in order
to strengthen your understanding of each level.
In the language of Dreamtongue Alphas are hunches, intuitions, general
feelings, inclinations, unexplained reactions/responses. If an Alpha
message is strong enough it will push its way up (or out) through the
body and become a Beta message.
Whether a Empathic message is heard as an Alpha or a Beta depends upon
(1) You as an individual. Are you more aware of your feelings or your
body states, or both?
(2) The intensity and importance of the message.
You are continuously receiving Alpha messages throughout your day.
Not all of them are important enough to signal you through your body,
unless you are an extremely sensitive to your body states. If you are
a person who tends to not really pay attention to your body states or
feelings, then you may not be noticing Alpha or Beta messages.
Have you ever walked in to a place and thought, "I have a bad
feeling about this?", or , " I have a good feeling about this?"
If so, then you were acknowledging an Alpha message.
Alpha is the level of Empathic impressions. These
impressions are usually not very clear or distinctive and therefore
require interpretation. It is in the process of interpreting Empathic
impressions that many people lose the message or reach inaccurate conclusions.
In this chapter I will provide you with information that will help
you work in a focused way with Alpha messages. Some of this information
will require that you practice certain skills. How often you practice
will be determined by your desire and your schedule. Needless to say,
the more you practice the better the results.
Alpha is also the "emotional level," in the same
way that Beta is the "physical level." Empathic messages
come in through emotional responses. The distinction between a normal
emotional reaction and an Alpha message depends on what is occurring
If you get upset because someone is yelling at you then that is a normal
emotional reaction. If you think of something upsetting and then you
get upset, that is a normal emotional reaction. If you are talking to
friend and enjoying yourself, and then for no apparent reason you get
upset - that could be an Alpha message.
Here's an example: Several years ago, I was walking
through the mall doing some shopping. It was a nice day and I was feeling
carefree. As I was walking, thinking about different stores and getting
a bite to eat, a feeling of intense sadness "fell" over me.
It was sudden and strong. I had to sit on a bench to try to figure out
what was happening.
I reviewed everything that I could think of: was there something worrying
me- no, was there a problem I was putting off - no, could I think of
anything that was making me sad - no. So I decided I should go home
to see if I could determine what was wrong. When I got home I could
not find my cat Leto, one of a set of twins. I was very fond of my twin
kitties Leto and Ghanima. Eventually I found him dead under the bushes
by my house.
There was no evidence of what had killed him. He had been fine before
I left that morning. I had felt the time of his death when I was at
the mall. The sadness that came over me, unprovoked, was a strong Alpha
message. Unfortunately, Alpha messages are not usually clear enough
to know what to do. It will be through Theta and Delta that you will
learn about the direct and distinctive Empathic messages.
The Alpha level relates to overall Empathic sensitivity.
Here I would like to give you a working definition for Empathic sensitivity.
This part is a little complicated but very useful to learn. Learning
about the nature of Empathic sensitivity will help anyone who feels
they have trouble accessing Empathic information.
Normal sensitivity is measured in thresholds. Sensitivity to touch,
to temperature, and to pain is measured by how much of each stimulus
is needed before a person can feel that stimulus. The point where there
is enough pressure or stimulation to feel the touch, heat, pain, etc.,
is the threshold.
Alpha messages originate from within you due to some distant or unapparent
stimulation or pressure. The amount of "internal pressure"
required in order for you to recognize a Empathic message is your Alpha
threshold. It is your Alpha threshold that determines your level of
Empathic sensitivity. This threshold varies throughout the day and can
vary from day to day.
Empathic sensitivity can be developed as a skill.
You can expand your Alpha threshold which, in turn, increases your Empathic
sensitivity. This is the essence of stage four of your training. To
expand your Empathic sensitivity you must first learn how to compare
Alpha with Beta states.
Beta and Alpha act as mirror images of each other. They are like the
Sun and the Moon, with the Moon reflecting the light of the Sun. Beta
takes signals in to your body/mind and Alpha receives
signals internally from within your unconscious. Beta
information is encoded by your senses but Alpha is information not perceived
by your senses.
The lack of sensory input is what makes Alpha messages difficult
to recognize and interpret. If you cannot see it, hear it,
or touch it, how can you know what it is? What is missing is the means
for the Alpha message to get encoded into some usable form.
Alpha messages are encoded by associations. Remember
from chapter two: the associational centers form the channel between
the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. This is the place where
the small still voice within originates. The dialogue inside this channel
is the dream voice, the place where Dreamtongue occurs. Alpha is the
whisper of your dream voice. Alpha messages are harnessed by forming
associations to other information, especially symbolic imagery.
Forming associations to Empathic impressions is the key skill
of the empath. When an Alpha message arises within you and
you do not immediately recognize it's purpose, you can make associations
with it and discover its meaning. This is done much like the process
of what is called "free association." Free association works
by having someone present words to you one at a time and you say whatever
comes to mind without censoring.
I have used the free association method with students for over thirty
years now and have found it to be very effective for developing Empathic
sensitivity. I have students stand one at a time before the class. The
students remaining in their seats have the task of focusing on the person
in the front of the room and allowing whatever impressions to form.
The actual exercise involves speaking out loud, calling out any imagery
that forms without censoring. Of course, I recommend some common courtesy
and common sense here. I discourage statements of impending doom or
statements that are embarrassingly intimate.
What normally happens is people call out one word responses and someone
writes these associations down into a list. Occasionally, a sentence,
a description, or an image comes through. Then the person who patiently
stood in front of the room while everyone "read" them gets
to review the list and make comments about the associations/impressions.
This is a practice I recommend in Dreamtongue study groups called "echos"
Here is the vital point: the purpose of the exercise
is not to extract Empathic information, although that certainly does
happen. The purpose is to learn how to make associations readily and
at will. You simply open your thoughts up by allowing images, words,
descriptors, to come to mind without censoring them.
Here are the guidelines for developing your Empathic sensitivity
by practicing Alpha associations.
Alpha Associating Exercise
1. Sit in a comfortable position so that you are reasonably
relaxed. Remember, relaxing slows down your brain to an Alpha level.
2. Focus on an object or person. If the object or person is in front
of you, then you look at the target without paying attention to details.
You simply take in the overall image without focusing on a specific
part of the target. Remember you are not looking for information with
your eyes. Some people prefer to close their eyes during this part but
that is a matter of personal preference. You can even hold an object
in your hand to practice associating. When you Alpha associate while
holding or touching something it is called "psychometry."
3. Allow thoughts, words, pictures, etc. to come to mind without censoring
them. Do not decide which thoughts are Empathic and which ones are not.
If you do that, then you are censoring and that impedes the process.
Just let whatever pops into your mind to come forward. The skill of
Alpha associating develops by actually speaking the associations out
loud or by writing them down. To keep from being slowed down you might
want to use a tape recorder or have someone write your associations
4. The "knack" or skill comes by catching the very first
impressions, the more immediate the associations the better. Any
time spent on analyzing or judging the associations cuts off the Alpha
message. Receiving and interpreting Empathic
information are two different functions. For the beginner it
is very difficult to perform these two functions at the same time. For
the sake of practice, do your receiving and your interpreting separately.
Do not strain to "get" information. Empathic information is
immediate. It's already there. Your only work is to retrieve it.
5. Do not spend too long on any one target. Do your focusing and associating
for a period of five to ten minutes at the very most.
6. After you are done associating then review your list of impressions.
It is at this point that you can evaluate or analyze the information
for content. If there is no Empathic content then do not worry, the
purpose of the exercise is to develop the skill of Alpha associating.
When there is a Empathic message that needs to come through then this
skill will be invaluable.
You are successful with Alpha associating when you allow impressions
to form without censoring them. As you increase your
ability to make Alpha associations your Empathic sensitivity increases.
Your Empathic sensitivity is measured by the extent of your ability
to make Alpha associations.
Alpha messages normally come to you when there is a need for you to
know something. That need is determined by your interest in the information
and the seriousness of the information. If someone you know really wants
or needs to get in touch with you, their feelings will generate a Beta
message (remember: Empathic energy generated and sent out is a form
Your reception of that message can occur at any level. If the person
sending you the signal is in distress, then you might receive the message
at a Beta level, with a physical reaction - let's say, a constriction
in the chest. If the signal is not that strong, the emotions are not
that intense, then you might receive the message at the Alpha level.
As an Alpha message it might come as a vague feeling of "something
you need to do," or a general feeling that pulls you in the direction
of that person.
One woman told me about the time when a friend of hers was in town,
but her friend could not reach her by phone. She said that she decided
that day to go out to lunch to a restaurant that she had never gone
to before. She didn't know why but she really wanted to go there. When
she got there she saw her out of town friend and they connected. The
feeling or desire to go to that restaurant was the Alpha message. The
out of town friend sent out a signal by wanting to make contact and
the receiver responded by going to the same restaurant on the same day.
By contrast, if someone just says to you, "If you're Empathic,
then read my mind," or something to the equivalent, there may not
be a real need which generates Empathic activity. For some, the need
to prove themselves may be strong enough, and sometimes the person making
the challenge may actually have a need that is coming through in that
moment. Empathic connections can be very intimate and not everyone will
allow that intimacy - either consciously or unconsciously.
Alpha messages are the most common Empathic events.
They occur all day and every day. Most of them are minor and never really
surface into your awareness. Some are very useful and make developing
your Alpha skills a practical matter. Alpha as your whispering dream
voice is usually trying to tell you something that you can use.
Many times have I been searching for an address while in my car and
I come to an intersection not sure of which way to turn. At that point
I get a feeling of a pull to turn left. My dream voice is saying,"
turn left, turn left." My intellect is saying, "no turn right,
the information that I have suggests that I turn right."
How many times have you been in that situation? The intellect is usually
loud and clear. The dream voice is soft and easily drowned out. I have
learned many lessons the hard way by ignoring the Alpha message and
going the wrong direction.
There is what I call a cliché in psychic development classes
about teaching the act of "creating parking spaces." As I
mentioned earlier, I do not think you want to take on the formidable
task of psychically lifting and moving an automobile. Instead, you can
let your Alpha sense guide you to an area where someone is getting ready
to leave and take that space. Your Alpha sense will guide you and pull
you in a desired direction if you let it. Let's keep ourselves grounded.
Alphas can also guide you in decision making of all types.
It is at this point that I instruct students to keep in mind that Empathic
ability is merely one of their many abilities. Empathic ability
is not to be your sole resource and method of operations.
You can gather facts through your waking mind, to analyze, evaluate,
and use those facts through your intellect. Your Empathic nature can
greatly enhance your intellectual skills but should not be used as a
replacement for them. The most effective Empaths are the ones who integrate
empathic ability with all of their other cognitive functions.
Alpha messages can guide you in communicating with others,
either through speaking or writing. When you are talking with
someone, pay attention to the Alpha messages you are getting during
the conversation. Keep in mind that Alphas are not clear messages but
instead are inclinations, pushes, and pulls.
Your skill at using Alphas will be influenced by your ability to recognize
your own emotional states and needs. If you are talking with someone
who you are angry with, regarding a specific situation, then the anger
that you might feel during the conversation is not an Alpha message.
Being unclear about what is and what is not an Alpha message leads
to many wrong conclusions. If you relax while you are talking to that
person you can open up your Alpha sensitivity to them and get the signals
you need to communicate more effectively. I will teach you an empathic
breathing technique in the next lesson which will help you move into
a relaxed Alpha state no matter where you are.
Your understanding of Beta and Alpha will expand as you learn the deeper
Empathic senses in the following lessons. In order to complete your
fourth stage of training and to prepare for the following stages you
need to start a journal. Get a notebook or blank book of some sort.
Label it "Dreamtongue Journal."
After you finish this chapter make your first entry into the journal.
Write in it what you have learned so far about Dreamtongue, about Beta
and Alpha. As you do this, do not write the words Beta and Alpha, instead
use the Empathic alphabet:
for Beta use
for Alpha use
If you can turn these "thoughts" into NONVERBAL thoughts
by using symbols instead of words, then you are already developing the
ability to speak and understand Dreamtongue.
Begin to record times when you experience or have experienced Beta
messages through your body, have generated healing or mental influence,
and Alpha messages of all types.
Practice Alpha associating and record the experience in your Dreamtongue
journal. Pay attention to your dreams and enter them in the journal.
Observe the world with its many wonders and problems, and record your
observations and responses. This is your journal as an empath.
Even though you will complete the ninth stage of your preliminary training
as you complete the ninth lesson, keep this journal for at least a year's
time. Treat it as an important part of your development.
It will become a mirror of your growth and as well as a source of additional
information from hidden levels. Information that you may not be aware
of during your writing will become apparent when you read back over
your journal later on. Now let's review.
Stage Four Review
1. The Alpha level is the beginning of the classical psychic domain.
The goal of this stage is to increase your Empathic sensitivity.
2. Alpha acts like an inner compass or divining rod, guiding you with
feelings, hunches, inner pushes and pulls.
3. Alpha is the level of Empathic impressions. These Empathic impressions
are not clear and distinctive at this level of reception.
4. Alpha is more the emotional level, in the same way that Beta is
more the physical level of Empathic functioning.
5. Empathic sensitivity can be measured by the extent to which you
make Alpha associations.
6. Empathic sensitivity can be developed as a skill.
7. The Alpha associating exercise is described in this chapter. Regular
practice with this exercise can lead to greater degrees of Empathic
8. Alpha messages are more likely to occur when there is a need for
9. Alpha messages can be used in decision making and in communicating,
along with other intellectual abilities and sound judgment.
10. Completing stage four of empath training includes beginning a Dreamtongue
journal for at least a year.