Category Archives: psychic phenomena

The Veil Between Worlds

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Externally or physically, the things we know are those that reach the brain. And for most of us, there is a mechanism that keeps us largely focused on things physical, on experiences coming through the five senses. But the threads of our lives run deep into psychic and spiritual worlds, and there is a part of us with other senses, a higher or deeper part of which we, ensconced as we are in the physical brain, remain largely unconscious.

We live our life, so speak, in parallel worlds and in addition to our ordinary waking consciousness, have also a vast and mostly hidden life. It is a life of which we, in our physical brain consciousness, remain mostly ignorant. For most of us that is the design of nature and the way, for the time being, that it should be.

It is as if a one-way mirror stands between our ordinary consciousness and the heights and depths of our life in the psychic and spiritual worlds. Our brain lives on the reflective side of the mirror, and our higher self lives on the transparent side. Usually we are unconscious—at the brain level–of our larger identity and it’s life on the inner planes, and we do not realize to what extent we live this higher life, and do we realize that our “I” is but a small part of a larger deeper consciousness. At all times, the deeper part is an active participants in our life, but while the material world engages most of our attention, our brain registers little of this deeper nature. Most of what we are in our higher nature is hidden behind the one-way mirror so that when we look inward we see only the usual physical and emotional awareness. But there is another part of us that lives on the far side of the mirror, and in that space sees not only down toward physical personality, but outward to the psychic worlds and up to the world of spiritual.

Each of us is structured differently according to our needs and karmic conditions, so not all mirrors are the same. And the matter-energy barrier, of which our “mirror” is symbolic, is not a static veil but a dynamic one, being part of the living etheric-biological structure of our bodies. And sometimes, our mirror, or part of it, becomes more like translucent glass or a transparent window. Then for a time the mirror may no longer act as a barrier between worlds, so that we register part of our inner life in the brain. Then, to some degree, we experience “continuity of consciousness” where our brain registers not only the usual physical existence, but also aspects of spiritual or psychic life.

Brief or tenuous connection between worlds can be disorienting and radical thinning of the veil can be especially difficult, for most of us have trouble enough with the problems of a single level. There are many cautionary stories about magicians who evoke energies they are not yet ready to handle, a theme applicable to meditation practices. There are natural and forced developments that thin the veil between worlds, of which meditation is often cited. There are dangers associated with the premature development of anything, and this is especially true of psychic and spiritual experiences. If a strong energy is poured suddenly, prematurely, and persistently into an unready personality, then we may have a rending of the veil between worlds, with chaotic or pathological effects.

Awakening energies often proves confusing, and in seeking to understand them, a meditator may adopt one of the many schools of metaphysics or seek some teacher or guru to guide them. Unfortunately, the current wave of humanity hasn’t produced many spiritual midwifes who have the knowledge to lead people through such an energy crisis. Nor has it produced large numbers of sane, balanced and healthy souls who are ready for the difficulties of sudden awakenings. Instead, we have many half-right teachers in the world, and sad to say, some will make matters worse rather than better. In some cases crisis is actually precipitated in the first place by dangerous meditation practices taught by a pseudo-guru or drawn from a metaphysical book.

Gopi Krishna, in his book “Kundalini, The Evolutionary Energy in Man.” aptly describes the state of the world in this respect. He writes:

“I consulted other holy men and sought for guidance from many reputed quarters without coming across a single individual who could boldly assert that he actually possessed intimate personal knowledge of the condition and could con­fidently answer my questions. Those who talked with dignified reserve, looking very wise and deep, ultimately turned out to be as wanting in accurate information about the mysterious power rampant in me as those of a more unassuming nature who un­bosomed themselves completely on the very first occasion without in the least pretending to know any more than they really did. And thus in the great country which had given birth to the lofty science of Kundalini thousands of years ago and whose very soil is permeated with its fragrance and whose rich religious lore is full of references to it from cover to cover, I found no one able to help me.”

 

Art by ihave3kids (modified)

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Phenomenal and Spiritual Perception

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The walls of the house may melt away, yet afterward one may question the reality of the phenomena. All sense perceptions and their psychic alloys are rightly subject to the questioning intellect. But there is a consciousness that imbues certain events and is not subject to question–this consciousness contains the answer.

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Physical, Psychic and Mystical Perception

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We can distinguish psychic from spiritual perception in this way: psychic perceptions do not interpret themselves, but spiritual perceptions do. We must seek and question the meaning of a psychic perception, just as we do with any normal sense perception. But in spiritual or intuitive perception, the meaning is given directly, being inherent in the experience.  In the spiritual we may see, hear, or sense something—or more properly expressed, become something, because we apprehend that which is part of our being.  If the spiritual experience is genuine, we do not need to ask, “What does this mean?”  The question does not arise because true spiritual experience takes place in a world of pure meaning, and in this world perceptions contain their own validation, their own seals of authenticity.  Validation is inherent in and inseparable from the experience.  Instead of having to intellectually explain the experience, the experience itself is the explanation and the meaning.  Likewise, in the case of “intuition” which means “direct knowledge,” we find that intuition is the answer, not the question.  Mental or intellectual questioning arises in relation to phenomena, but intuition is the matrix of light that contains the answers. 

Psychic and spiritual or mystical experience may sometimes be combined. For instance, we can have a vision, in the sense of a picture or image of something correspondent with the material world, and we can hear a voice with words that take objective form in our mind. These psychic experiences may be factual, or illusory, or some blend of the two. But the soul of a true mystical experience is real, while the form it may take in words or images is only relatively so, and is never fully adequate to express the spiritual which is formless. Spiritual experience may take a form in the mind or in expression through images or words. We normally give spiritual experience a psychical body either consciously or unconsciously, but these formal expressions are symbols, and are always a relatively limited embodiment and not the reality itself.

Is light form or formless? Even physically considered, it is energy and relatively formless. But “light” is a word adopted by both physical scientists and metaphysicians. We can use the word to point to something physical, psychic, and spiritual, because light is on spiritual as well as material levels. But here we make an intellectual distinction, which though it has some real validity, fails to reflect the continuum of things. We can say that psychic perception relates to form and that spiritual perception relates to formlessness, and this is more or less correct. Yet form and spirit remain a continuum, and our perceptions evolve in the fluid middle ground between material and spiritual material between the finite and the infinite.

For simplicity, I’ve divided the spiritual and personal levels.  But in reality, things are not so sharply divided, and we should blend them because that’s more realistic.  In this way we find that in objective seeing or hearing there can be a spiritual component.  Everywhere, the spiritual transparency is laid over the personal one.  So in every experience, physical-psychic-spiritual, we’re presented with a unified field.  The physical and psychic (emotional-intellectual) components of any experiences may be rightly questioned.  We can examine them and assess them.  But if there is a spiritual component, if our experience has a soul, then that is the self-validating part.  The body of our experience, the form it takes in our sense or psyche (shape, color, words)—these are the external or relative part, the part that intellect can address.  But the spiritual part is transcendent to the intellect and phenomenal perceptions.

External Knowledge and Intuition

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Familiar forms and familiar words

In the psychic, as in the physical, we may see, hear, or sense something and then think about it. The thing that distinguishes the phenomenal or personality-level experience is that it can generally be more or less adequately thought about and expressed in terms of forms. That is, a personality experience can be adequately described in terms of shape, color, or sound. To put it another way, since it takes place in the realm of forms, common word forms provide the natural means of communicating or recording it. We hear a voice and it might say, ”Circle of flowers,” and we may ask what does that mean? Or we see a shape that resembles a circle of flowers or colors and we ask, ”What does that mean?” The key is, when we ask such a question we’re speaking about something phenomenal, something closer to the personality or manifest realms.

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Unified field

In the paragraphs above, I’ve divided life into spiritual and personality levels, but let’s unify them because that is more realistic. So, if we are evolving, our experience of life is moving toward unity. This means that in any seeing or hearing there can be a spiritual component. Everywhere, the spiritual transparency is laid over the personal one, because the worlds and our experience of them overlap in a unified way.

So, in every experience, physical-psychic-spiritual, we’re presented with a unified field. The physical and psychic (emotional-intellectual) components of any experience may be rightly questioned. We can examine these and assess them with the mind. But if there is a spiritual component, that is, if our experience has a soul, then that is the self-validating part. The body of our experience, the form it takes in our sense or psyche (shape, color, words), these are the external or relative part, the part that intellect can address. The spiritual part is transcendent to the intellect, and the mind cannot judge that which is beyond it.

“At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being—the reward he seeks—the only reward he really cares about, without which there is nothing. It is to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic, to make his life prevail through his creation, to wreak the vision of his life, the rude and painful substance of his own experience, into the congruence of blazing and enchanted images that are themselves the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity.”

Time and the Rive, Thomas Wolfe

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