Notes to Transformation - Chapter 8 - THE
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There are many events and states which cannot be recorded by our
five senses. Some can be measured if not sensed, like ultra-violet
light and gamma radiation. Others can neither be measured nor sensed,
but are acknowledged by a large part of mankind. We call experiences
that cannot be comprehended directly by our five senses transpersonal.
There is one common understanding about them: they form a hierarchical
structure of increasing power and diversity which approaches ever
nearer to being one with the universe itself. Paranormal psychic
phenomena, seeing auras, clairvoyance and clairvision, prescience
and so on are only minor parts of the transpersonal. The higher
levels embrace the soul and the Self, intimacy with supreme presences
and spiritual guides, archetypes, archangels, access to divine wisdom
and ultimately, we hope, transcendence into Oneness.
We have no direct means of communicating with any of these levels.
Nor do they have our physical senses for communicating with us.
If we see a strange phenomenon what do our eyes register? We know
only too well that when faced with the unexpected the eye calls
in the enormous facilities of the brain and interprets it so that
whatever was sensed will be output as recognizable fantasies such
as ghosts, symbols or tribal shibboleths like flying saucers.
In truth, for many phenomena we do not know whether they have come
from outside us or from within. Did Seth speak from the spiritual
realm through Jane Roberts or is this how she interpreted something
appearing within her? Does the shaman draw down the powers of the
gods or does he harness the concerted energies of his tribal followers?
At root, the spiritual realm cannot be labeled. Channellers are
picking up something, but when we get it, it has been censored and
filtered through the emotional nodes and mental images of the medium.
As the experience is indescribable, its truth gets distorted to
fit into what we can conceive.
The cultural background creates much of this, for Christian mystics
will record journeys quite differently to Tibetans or Sufis. When
Saint John wrote his vision in the Book of Revelations, his mind
naturally expressed it through the end-of-world imagery then current
among his fellow Jews. His analogy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse
became anchored into western culture so that later Christians would
often give their visions an apocalyptic setting. The images used
by Tibetans and Christians are but poor symbolic pointers to mysteries
that are incomprehensible to the mind. Mind cannot grasp the fullness
that underlies them. So, if they cannot be rendered into language,
how can we be sure they have any external validity beyond fancifulness?
A significant proportion of dreams, visions and transpersonal experiences
come in a similar way to everyone on this planet. Symbols and myth
are a secret language we all share from the collective unconscious.
They are universal in time, place and culture, showing they are
innate to humanity. They keep giving us the same two messages: that
there was, in the past, a descent or fall from some higher state,
and that we have a spiritual destiny to return to its glory and
grace. In details that vary from culture to culture, they signpost
an ongoing pathway for inner development which creates an indwelling
sense of our destiny and wholeness.
When a community concentrates on the material outer world, contact
with symbol and myth is lessened. A malaise is growing in this world
full of people without hope or purpose beyond their immediate needs.
We need once more to listen to our dreams and to recall the messages.
They are confirming that the spiritual realm is an organic part
of the psyche. It is born with us and is as much part of our heritage
as our bodies, our essence and lifeforce. The messages tell us,
again in universal symbols, that the goal of life is neither happiness
nor perfection for their own sake, but wholeness so the Self may
live in us - a Self that has all the qualities of power, value and
holiness which religions attribute to God.
Except for this, from our biographical point of view the messages
may seem mere consequences of our birth. We could translate them
as confirming our primal longing to reverse our separation from
mother so we might reenter the womb as the garden of Eden. The journey
may be little more than a reflection of babys nostalgia except
for one undeniable fact: the consciousness we bring to the journey
profoundly alters the situation.
When we meet someone who has wholeness we recognise that he has
serenity, powers and a universal wisdom denied to the rest of us.
In exercising these qualities consciously he shows he has not returned
to the unconscious oneness of the womb, but has moved to a higher
level of being. That we recognise these qualities of serenity and
wisdom shows they lie within us as potentials.
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