Paranormal Phenomena seen in connection with Mystical Experiences
To begin a spiritual practice is to engage in a process of awakening (see my article Paranormal Phenomena seen in Connection With Spiritual Practice). In Zen, for example, it is said about the process of awakening: ”In the beginning mountains are mountains, and woods are woods. Then mountains no longer are mountains and woods are no longer woods. Finally, mountains are again mountains, woods are again woods.”
This refers to the three states the Wholeness can be in: sleep, dream, awake. When the Wholeness is sleeping, mountains are mountains and woods are woods. This is the reality of the ordinary consciousness (the Ego-consciousness). The ordinary consciousness can sleep in three ways: 1) the dark sleep, which is the Ego´s deep nightly sleep; 2) the grey sleep, which is the Ego´s nightly dreams and other dreams; 3) the light sleep, where the Ego is awake.
The three states in which the Wholeness can be in are also described as personal, collective and universal time. Furthermore, it can be referred to as personal, collective and universal history. Time and history constitute the structure under one’s thinking.
This structure is also called the astral plane, or the astral world. It is a plane of existence postulated both by classical (in particular neo-Platonic), medieval, oriental and esoteric philosophies and mystery religions. It is the world of the planetary spheres, crossed by the soul in its astral body, either through the dream state, on the way to being born or after death. This world is generally said to be populated by angels, demons, spirits or other immaterial beings.
The astral plane is connected with the so-called Akashic records. The Akashic records represent a compendium of mystical knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence. These records are described as containing all knowledge of human experience and the history of the cosmos. They are holding a record of all events, actions, thoughts and feelings that have ever occurred or will ever occur.
The Akasha is an “astral light” containing occult records, which spiritual beings can perceive by their “astral senses” and “astral bodies”. Clairvoyance, spiritual insight, prophecy and many other metaphysical and religious notions are made possible by tapping into the Akashic records. They are metaphorically described as a library. They can be accessed through astral projection, meditation, near-death experience, lucid dreaming, or other means.
The Akashic records are synonymous with the Wholeness, and as mentioned: the Wholeness can be in three states of spiritual awakening - sleep, dream, awake – which again can be described as personal, collective and universal time (or history).
The collective history of the astral plane is, as a matter of fact, creating a subject-field and an object-field, this is not reality since it is based on self-image and world-image, therefore an illusion, a poetic work of mankind, as pointed out both in Buddhist and Indian philosophy. The collective images appear as fragmented sequences in past and future.
The universal history of the astral plane is, contrary to the collective history, an expression of reality itself and it is the Akashic records when not influenced by human thought distortions (see my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions). As such, it is not human made. In Yogacara Buddhism, they use the term Alaya-Vijnana, the common universal storeroom of consciousness, which doesn't consist of anything else than forms, the carrier of all latent possibilities and the store place for all accumulated tendencies. It is the foundation for the activity of the mind, and because it always is changeable, dynamic, and, at the same time, continuous, homogeneous (oneness), it can´t be understood by the thinking.
Nonetheless, the universal history is of linguistic kind, where language is no longer verbal, but expressed as superior, visionary syntheses and Wholeness, that work more in synchronism with the Now than in sequences in past and future. The thoughts of God.
Both the collective, and universal history, are images in time.
We can now talk about symbols and symbolizing. There exist two types of symbols, dependent on whether it is the collective images, or the universal images, which are lying as foundation for the symbol.
A mystical experience is happening when astral energies and content arrive to the consciousness, either from the collective images, or from the universal images.
When energy and content arrive to the consciousness from the collective images, then this energy, and this content, will symbolize itself. This is because the collective images are in a condition of vague, diffuse, astral oneness. Therefore, what is coming from the collective images contains a much greater width and depth than the limited, relatively narrow and clear concepts and classes of the ordinary consciousness. The vague, wide contents and energies from the collective images are therefore growing narrower in the meeting with the consciousness. Here, the symbol is the quintessence, this shortened, condensed form of expression of the vague, wide collective material.
The other types of symbols are coming from the universal images, and therewith from reality and truth itself. All reality, which shall mirror itself in the superficial mind, will automatically symbolize itself. Again the symbol is a telescoping, a representation of the information quantities, and the greater clarity, which are connected with reality.
Symbols originating from the collective images reproduce a more vague, more imprecise, but richer organic astral oneness. Symbols from the universal images reproduce a clearer, more precise and superior astral oneness. The more vague astral oneness, or the more precise astral oneness, shows itself in symbolic form in the dividing, separating structure of consciousness.
Symbols from the collective images are known from the archetypes and primordial images of the dreams, as well as from fantasies, fairy-tales, myths etc.
Symbols from the universal images are formed in the transition from the Wholeness of the observer and the observed, to the separation of the observer and the observed (in my book A Portrait of a Lifeartist the relation between the observer and the observed is a central issue).
What reality in itself contains, is real in this dimension, neither symbolic, nor linguistic; however, when reality becomes unreality in the separation of the observer and the observed, it narrows, looses clarity and light, is being muted to the split consciousness, and that – which in reality was truth – will transmute itself to symbols. That which is truth in reality and presence, is symbolic in unreality and absence. It is therefore very difficult for the universal images to communicate themselves to an ordinary absent consciousness. It requires, that you yourself do your part of the spiritual work.
In summary, there exist symbols both from the collective and universal images of time and they are manifestations of these images.
Symbols from the collective images are, as already mentioned, shortened, condensed modes of expression from a subordinate, vague, diffuse and imprecise astral time unit, which moves in fragmented sequences in past and future; or said differently: in cycles (see my article What is Karma?). This is however not the same as directly experiencing the collective time´s astral images and worlds without the intermediate state of the symbols. Here the consciousness has to be in an astral state.
Symbols (and energies) from the collective images are for example the cause of spiritual crises such as kundalini, para-psychic opening, Hero´s journey, shamanic initiation, channeling, close encounters with UFOs, breakthrough of memories from past lives, near-death experiences, possession states, oneness-consciousness/peak experiences, and many phenomena in relation to alcohol and drug abuse (see my articles Spiritual Crises as the Cause of Paranormal Phenomena, Paranormal Phenomena seen in Connection with Clairvoyance, and Paranormal Phenomena seen in Connection with Channeling).
Symbols from the universal images are of a completely different character. They reproduce a much clearer, more precise and superior astral Wholeness. It is from these symbols you can receive direct teachings about your spiritual development process.
When you have trained in meditation and dream yoga for many years, a so-called divine being can visit you through a symbol from the universal images: Christ, Buddha, masters, teachers, angels. Note that these of course also can come from the collective images – the difference is explained below.
Such a symbol is a quintessence of the information quantities contained in the Wholeness of a universal image. The divine being will in that way convey information to you from the universal image, which, together with the whole of the universal vision, constitutes the dreaming tracks in the artwork of your life. The divine being (or other symbols from the universal images) will in that way help you to compose, to synthesize and interlock, what your inner thinker in the waking state has divided. But it is very important to understand that this has nothing do with the channeling phenomenon, which belongs to the collective images. In order to receive help from a divine being you must be very close to enlightenment yourself.
Our suffering, our painbody is connected, through the inner evaluating ego which the painbody is constructed around, with the more dangerous depths of the astral plane´s collective history. This represents a kind of dark, ancient inertia, which opposes any change of the ego (see my article The Emotional Painbody and why Psychotherapy Can´t Heal It).
That is also the reason why you, through therapy, can´t heal Man from the ground. In order to heal Man from the ground you need to go into a spiritual practice. It is only within the religions and their spiritual traditions that they have knowledge and names for the more dark sides of the astral plane´s collective history. The West has very precisely called this factor the original sin. The East has called it negative karma. The concepts indicate, that the inertia projects beyond the personal history (growing up conditions, traumatic bindings, painful experiences etc.) and far down into the collective inherited backgrounds of history (genes, environment, society-ideals, the archetypes and the primordial images of the dreams, fantasies, fairy-tales, myths, and finally: instincts inherited from the animals). It is a factor, which lies in the evolution itself, in the genes, in the collective subconscious, in the collective history.
Therefore when therapy requires a change, then the instinctive survival-preparedness in us reacts and protests. Man has survived on willfulness and a consciousness-structure, of which mental and psychic sign is Egocentredness. The bigger the Ego, the bigger survival chance.
Seen from a spiritual perspective, this instinctive survival strategy (the Ego) appears as a resistance, an invincible inertia: original sin, negative karma. You can´t, by therapeutic strategies, free the consciousness from its attachment to this inertia. Therefore you cannot dissolve or convert the original sin through therapy. Only the intervention of the Source (God, Christ, the enlightened consciousness) can basically help Man with a transcendence of the negative karma of the original sin. But in order for a human being to be able to receive this help from the Source (gift of grace), this requires an eminently precise and profound preparation. Subsequently, the true spiritual practice within the religions serves as part of this preparation (see my article The Value of Having a Religion in a Spiritual Practice).
So, when you in this way do your part of the work, then you will discover that the enlightened consciousness (God, Christ, Buddha), already have cleansed the negative karma and taken on, and forgiven, the original sin. All enlightened teachers of this Earth (Rumi, Krishna, Francis of Assisi, Rabia, Meera, Yeshe Tsogyel, Teresa of Avila) are doing the same: they take on the original sin and are purifying it for us.
Edited by Lidia Kasprzak
What is Dream Yoga?
Appendix: Updates on shamanism and spirit help:
Table of contents:
1) The Artist as Shaman
2) Base Magic and Higher Magic
3) The World of Spirits
4) Energy and Consciousness
1) The Artist as Shaman
We know that shamans are intermediaries between the spirits/nature and the human world. Also artists speak to and for the spirits. In my article The Connection Between Shamanic Healing and Creative Unfoldment, I quote Mary Silvester, who writes that one theme in Terri Windling´s novel The Wood Wife is that the spirit beings wear shapes given to them; in the novel it is the artists, the painters and poets, who create those shapes. This idea is echoed in other literature. That the artists give the spirits shapes to wear becomes more and more evident as the novel progresses. Silvester writes that it is when the artist becomes a shaman, whether they are aware of it or not, that they gain the power to shape the fairies or spirits, and to shape the perception of others who see the beings.
The collective images should in other words not be understood as Jungian archetypes, but as something in between Plato´s archetypes (objective universal images in the external world), and the personal images. They can have consciousness, and they work bidirectional. They are being given shapes by the personal images, but are also external forces.
In Mary Shutan´s book, The Shamanic Workbook I, she writes, that if you want to work with spirits you need to start with the spirits closest to your conditioned layers of reality, which means family, ancestors, and cultural roots. At the same time, she constantly understates the importance of discernment, which basically means critical thinking.
This is what I try to do in my Shamanic Counseling pratice. I have written about the importance of having a religion in a spiritual practice, a frame of reference which can create direction in your mind, power lines where energy can travel. All religions must have a shamanic root in nature and own culture. From there you can move on to the universal images. In relation to finding you roots and ancestors, I personally use The Ancestral Oracle of the Celts, as a frame of reference. This tool can also be used by people born in another tradition.
In my Ebook, Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien, in Chapter 1, Metaphysics, Part B 2: Ontological Pluralism, I explain how reality is made up of many different kinds of things, and that we must admit this. We may be stuck saying that the world is pluralistic, and, what´s more, we may have to appeal to many different explanations in order to make sense of our very real and everyday complex world. It is necessary to create heart felt symbols (links, dream keys), in which the lines are created where higher energy can travel. The deity needs a form (or many) to communicate. Manifestation is possible in a multitude of ways.
For example: around ethical highly placed spiritual teachers, there seem to be formed existential mandala-structures, which, as great energy-whirls, canalize highly growth-advancing energy and consciousness-waves from the Source (the Now, life itself). These mandala-structures necessarily have to arrange themselves after the collective images´ polarization-patterns in past and future, whereby the lines are formed, which the energy and the transmissions can follow into the personal images, which after all also only work in past and future.
These energy-mandalas are in religious art archetypical portrayed in for example the classic configurations around Christ (the four evangelists and their symbolical power) and Buddha (the Dyani-Buddhas with their esoterical figures). We give them the symbols through which they can express themselves. In the same way with the Gods. The Celts, for example, had many gods as their concept of the divine had many faces. This is another hidden quality in Celtic art and magic: multiple points of views. Let´s remember Joseph Campbell´s masterpiece: The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
I consider the energy aspect of the world to be a sea of stories, and the gods express themselves in the symbols we give them. Ontological pluralism is therefore not relativism, since it admits a bidirectional movement (we are only partly creating the world). We live in a challenge and reaction relationship with the external world, or, as the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber said: An I-Thou relationship.
2) Base Magic and Higher Magic
I consider my book, A Dictionary of Thought Distortions, to be a kind of philosophical diary on how I, during my spiritual crisis, used critical thinking (elenchos, refutation, logic) to distinguish base magic (occultism/shamanism), which leaves everything to chance, and may lead its practitioners to consort with falsity and evil daemons, and higher magic or theurgy. The latter is a guarantor of truth and happiness, combined as it is with the source itself: the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Critical thinking simply rescued me from madness. As a result I came to believe that Socrates represented an ancient path of wisdom, where philosophy in a similar way was used as a navigator through the Spiritual Twilight Zone (the collective images).
A central inspirator for my meditation mentoring practice is Pierre Hadot. Hadot's recurring theme is that philosophy in Antiquity was characterized by a series of spiritual exercises intended to transform the perception, and therefore the being, of those who practice it; that philosophy is best pursued in real conversation and not through written texts and lectures; and that philosophy, as it is taught in universities today, is for the most part a distortion of its original, therapeutic impulse.
So, despite my own many written texts, this is in reality the core of my teaching. It is presented in my first book Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic reader.
The therapeutic impulse is likely to be rooted in traditions going back to immemorial times. The prehistory of spiritual exercises in Greco-Roman philosophy is first of all in Pythagoreanism, and then, beyond Pythagoras, in magico-religious/shamanistic traditions of respiratory techniques and mnemonic exercises. Greco-Roman philosophy was intimately connected to the mystery schools, and their healing practices. My article, Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth (A Shamanic Ritual), describes the relation between philosophy and shamanism.
As far as I can see, then the spiritual exercises developed in, for example Platonism and neo-Platonism, are refinements of those leading to cataleptic trances and other paranormal experiences (psychic abilities, kundalini, shamanic journey, channeling, possession of gods or demons, ecstasy, etc). They respond to a rigorous demand for rational discrimination, a demand which, as far as I´m concerned, emerges with the figure of Socrates. In this you can see precisely the same as what happened in, for example Tibetan Buddhism and Taoism: a refinement of shamanism into a path of enlightenment (Unio Mystica).
In the Upanishads you can find the oldest accounts of philosophy as a spiritual practice. It is very likely that Plato, or maybe Pythagoras, had knowledge about this tradition.
I also believe that we in Plato saw a warning against ending up in (or stopping at) spiritual crises (see my article Spiritual Crises as the Cause of Paranormal Phenomena), and a warning against false teachers, whose teachings (unknowingly) aim at creating spiritual crises.
Today you can find a fall back into practices which exclusively deals with techniques inducing cataleptic trances and other paranormal experiences. In this way philosophical counseling is a reaction to this.
3) The World of Spirits
Central tools in shamanism, or base magic, is the trance and the journey. The Journey can either take place by using imagination, or it can be a so-called astral journey, which means an out-of-the-body journey. The aim is to take contact with the World of Spirits. The spirits are claimed to be our helpers.
Who are these spirits? In New Age they talk about discarnate entities, non-physical beings, ghosts, angels, imaginary friends. Typically for New Age is the removal of evil spirits and demons See my booklet: The Difference Between Plastic Shamanism and the Traditional Shamanic Awakening. New Age shamanism, as for example Michael Harner´s Core Shamanism, consider spirits to be Jungian archetypes, or in other ways a product of the unconsciousness. This also means that the journey only is considered to be happening in the imagination. The external existence of spirits is, often, not always, removed. But common is the denial of dark and evil spirits. However, this is not the case in occultism. But both New Age and occultism are all into subjective idealism
Mary Shutan has, and that´s very unsual today, another approach. In her Shamanic Workbook she is creating a “library” of spirits (page 235-238). Now, if you take my above claims about that the Wholeness can be in three states: sleeping, dreaming and awake, and combine this with the concept of the personal, collective and universal images in time, then you could further combine this with a model of three circles around a human being. The inner circle is the personal history, the middle circle is the collective history, and the outer circle is the universal history. If you for example take Celtic shamanism, then you could call these three circles: The Mundane World, The Way Between the Worlds, and The Otherworld. Again: when we are talking about New Age, then all these worlds are all about light and positivity.
However, if we take Shutan´s library, something else is shown. The following is a short description: Imprints, Base Emotions, Earth Energies, Etheric Energies and Etheric Layer, Dark Energies, Demons, Certain Energy Fields, Collective Loops, Astral Energies, Thought Forms and Thoughts (Mental Layer of Reality), Collective Energies, ETs, Lower Cosmic Energies, Higher Cosmic Energies. It is only the Higher Cosmic Energies which belongs to the third and outer circle: the universal images, or the Otherworld.
Base Magic hasn´t any tools to discriminate between all this. But that´s precisely what Higher Magic has. Higher Magic is aiming at enlightenment. Shamanism, for example, is not an enlightenment path. It is only working with base magic (however, in his book Shamanism, Mircea Eliade talks about a decline of shamanism, and the stories of an golden age, where shamanism was characterized by higher magic).
Now, let´s take the concepts of demons. In my article, The Conspiracy of the Third Eye, I claim that the New Thought movement is a demon-controlled movement. This sounds completely paradoxical, since the movement is all about positive thinking and light. Yes, but it also denies the existence of darkness and evil. And that´s precisely what a demon wants.
Note that demons, in my view, very rarely posseses a single human being (this is in my view a myth in popular culture). Possession states has to do with other kinds of spirits (there are many). Demons work collectively. It is no surprise that demons also are called Titans, similar to, for example the Nordic or Greek gods. They possess an intelligence that goes far beyond the ordinary human being. Instead they are feeding on collective energies.
As Timothy Conway Say:
It's well known to the true sages that powerful but ultimately confused, constricted discarnate entities regarded as "demons" or "titans" (Skt.: asura, rakshasa, etc.) can create such electric energies through human beings as a way of then "feeding" on the aroused emotions and psychic states of the hordes of people who surround the human channel. That's why many Zen masters often warned their students to simply regard all unusual states and energies as makyo, distracting "diabolical phenomena," and instead wake up to the Open, Infinite Awareness, the formless "Big Self" or pristine "Buddha-Nature."
In all briefness, you can say, that higher magic tries to guide people, who wish to learn, to go around the states, which have to do with the collective time, or at least, to shorten the passage through these areas. And if they are lost in them, to lead them back on the right track.
4) Energy and Consciousness
In my own shamanic work (see my page, Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy), I use the Celtic Shaman´s Pack, as a frame of reference. I combine it with the third aspect of critical thinking, which I have described in my article: Storytelling as a Spiritual Exercise. This aspect has to do with poetic imagination (also see my articles: Primordial Meditation and The Philosophical Diary, and My Life as a Vagabond). This shamanic technique was used by the shaman-philosophers in Greco-Roman philosophy, but it is very close to the view of poetry as a shamanic technique which the Celtic bards and Scandinavian scalds used. Note that the bards and scalds actually were shamans. Moreover, I use a combination of dream yoga and Harameditation. I don´t engage in any kind of dream-interpretation (read my article: On The Nature of dreams), or astral travel. Astral travel has to do with an opening of the upper chakras, and this is hazardous without that the lower chakras have been opened in a balanced way first (read my booklet of the chakras: The Nine Gates of Middle-earth). However, at a certain point of development, when the lower chakras have been purified, the alternative technique will develop into lucid and astral states. These states will focus on higher magic.
My experience is that when I have received a question from a guest who is seeking counseling, and I´m studying the theory of The Celtic Shaman´s Pack (and a variety of related topics), and are using the cards in the same way as I´m using Icons (see my article, The Spiritual Practice of Icons), the answer comes by themselves during the Harameditation. The Harameditation is practiced in the morning, where the night´s dreams still are fresh.
In order to understand how the spirits will help you in this work, you must understand the difference between compensatory karma and progressive karma. A human being has two aspects: an energy aspect and a consciousness aspect. The two inner circles in the above-mentioned cosmic model of a human being (personal and collective images, or, the Mundane World and The Way Between the Worlds) have to do with the energy aspect. The third circle, the outer circle, has to do with consciousness (universal images, or the Otherworld). Compensatory karma belongs to the energy aspect (two inner circles). Progressive karma belongs to the consciousness aspect (outer circle). Progressive karma is one and the same as divine providence, and in higher magic this is the help you ought to seek. In my ebook, Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien, I have described progressive karma and divine providence in Chapter 2, Philosophical Theology, Part 2: Divine Providence and Free Will.
Seen from the energy-aspect lawfulness rules: your body is subject to the physical laws of nature (both classical laws and quantum laws); your psychic system is subject to the lawfulness of the energy fields and of the energy transformations: compensatory karma. The psychic system is what I refer to when I talk about thoughts and mind.
Seen from the consciousness-aspect, then a human being seems to be akin to the Wholeness, to be transcendent in relation to these lawfulnesses (also the quantum laws). The Wholeness is one and the same as reality. So, in my view, consciousness, Wholeness and reality is one and the same. Consciousness and mind are therefore two completely different things. Mind is a psychological concept. Consciousness is a metaphysical, cosmological and ontological concept. You could also call it God or the enlightened consciousness, Christ or Buddha. It is complete objectivity and spaciousness. The mind is therefore an altogether different concept.
Energy and consciousness could also be called Shakti and Shiva. Shakti is the divine force flowing through the Universe as a whole. It is considered the feminine force of the Universe along with its mate, Shiva, which is the male counterpart. Shakti becomes Kundalini within the human form. When Kundalini awakens (meaning a rise of consciousness) we are now a part of Shiva and Shakti, and the power that is not only Kundalini energy that has individual formed us but the pure form of energy that infiltrates the Universe and cosmos. When we are able to fully recognize Kundalini and Shakti as no longer being separate forces we can feel the connection and oneness to the divine as well as having the direct realization (rise of consciousness, the awakened Wholeness) of our basic energetic formation.
But in New Age you see a confusion of mind and consciousness, which is resulting in solipsism, a narcissism of unseen dimensions. I have explained this confusion in my Ebook: The Tragic New Age Confusion of Eastern Enlightenment and Western Subjective Idealism. Also see my booklet: Philosophy of Mind.
The shamanic traditions talk about shamanic power. It is necessary to have an awakened power in order to perform shamanic work. In my view this power is kundalini. Let me shortly explain how kundalini can be seen in the light of the cosmology I have depicted in this article.
The Wholeness can, as already explained, either be sleeping, dreaming and awake.
The Now´s lawfulness around the function of a universal negation-power, is due to, that energy works as streams and dividings within a superior Wholeness. And because the Wholeness is a reality, each part will always fit into a correspondent part. This means, that each part only can be understood in relation to its negation; that is: what the part not is. Firstly this implies, that each part comes to appear as part of a polarization-pair, or a pair of opposites – like in the teaching of Yin and Yang. Secondly it implies, that each part only can be understood in relation to everything else; that is: in relation to the Wholeness.
So the more you, through the Ego´s evaluations, isolate these parts from each other, the more the abandoned parts will work stronger and stronger on their polar partners. Therefore these polar partners in their extremes will finally switch over in the opposite extreme. Another aspect of this lawfulness, or another way to describe this lawfulness is: energy returns to its starting point. This is also called compensatory karma, and the lawfulness works as wave movements and pendulum movements.
Seen from the consciousness aspect, however, then a human being seems to be akin to the Wholeness, to be transcendent in relation to these lawfulnesses. The consciousness is the area of progressive karma, spiritual development; it is the area of realization (rise of consciousness), the area of the universal images of time, which work in synchronism with the Now. The Now seems to be a quality of awareness, and therefore also of consciousness and Wholeness. Realization (rise of consciousness) has to do with the three states the Wholeness can be in: sleep, dream, awake. So it is only here you can talk about the spiritual insights of the great mystics. It is only here you can talk about genuine mystical experiences; that is: experiences, which are followed by realization (rise of consciousness). This is basically what higher magic is all about.
When you reduce everything to the energy aspect, there can´t happen any realization (rise of consciousness). Whatever you do within this area, which is the area of base magic - therapy, exercises, use of drugs, stimulation of brain cells, Holotropic breathwork, etc., etc, - then it only will result in experiences without realization. It will also result in absense of awareness, because the consciousness will be distracted by the personal and collective images of time, which work in sequences in past and future, as well as in fragmentation. For example, in her splendid book, Working with Kundalini – An Experiential Guide to the Process of Awakening, the spiritual teacher, Mary Shutan, talks about pre-kundalini and Neuro-kundalini, where you experience rise of energy but no rise of consciousness. When Shutan talks of Kundalini awakening, she means a rise of consciousness, which is the same as my talk of a rise of realization. It is only the latter which is a genuine Kundalini awakening
Experiences (rise of energy) without realization (rise of consciousness) will therefore be characterized by existential categories such as unreality, division, anxiety, stagnation and meaninglessness, no matter how “divine” or “demonical” they occur to the experiencer. And that is actually in direct opposition to the genuine mystical experience, which are followed by realization (rise of consciousness). The mystical experience is namely characterized by the opposite existential categories, such as reality, co-operation, safety, movement and meaning.
So, in a spiritual practice it is the form of the consciousness it is about (realization, rise of consciousness), not its content (experiences, rise of energy).
On the plane of the universal images, and therefore on the Now´s plane, the central is the form of the consciousness - the actual consciousness and its clarity and openness. Not the content of the consciousness. In spiritual practice the spiritual, and spiritual active, is the consciousness´ course towards its source (the Now, the Wholeness, the Otherness). What the consciousness and the mind and the senses are filled by, is of less crucial importance.
So the Ego´s partial consciousness is part of a greater Wholeness, which is the Now, life itself. And life itself is the life in the Now, where you are present and active using the pure awareness, the innermost in you, and using the heartfullness, which is the whole of yourself; what we could call your spiritual essence, because the lifefulfilment, which life itself contains is so absolute, so complete, that there herein is something eternal and endless.
The concept of karma has therefore primarily to do with the development process of your spiritual essence (your soul) - and only secondary and indirectly with the Ego´s process; that is: with your personal time and lifesituation, or with the collective time and lifesituation. Admittedly it is the Ego´s actions out on the scene, which leaves karmic tracks. Karma (compensatory karma, or negative karma) is the subconscious consequences of the Ego´s actions. Each time the Ego acts - and thereby changes the balance in the Wholeness – then the structures and power lines in your spiritual essence changes, in the subconcious.
When your spiritual essence (your soul) is sleeping, karma is automatically. The Ego´s pendulum swings in one life out in an extreme. Hereby gathers in the Wholeness, in your spiritual essence, momentum to, that the pendulum in a future life will swing out in the opposite compensatory extreme. This is the automatic compensatory karma. In one life ascetic, in the next libertine, then inhibited and expelled, thereupon sybarite etc. with no end, because the Ego has freedom continual to give new momentum and new course - within the karmic possible; that is to say: heredity and environment - to the Ego´s pendulum (the same is happening in numerous other ways within one life). That is one reason for that nobody can tell you about your karma.
However, when the Ego decides to use its free energy, its existential option to begin to awake, then the karma structures changes. This is what is happening in Primordial Meditation. Then you begin to use and work with your spiritual dimension. This dimension is not subject to the karmic structure, it is it, or it is over it. The Wholeness is over, is transcendent, in relation to the laws and mechanisms, which regulate the infrastructures of the Wholeness. The Wholeness is not subject to the laws and energy transformations, which rule between the constitutive parts of the Wholeness.
When your spiritual essence (your soul) begins to dream, when the Ego-consciousness begins to bloom, to open itself, to rise, you discover the karmic lawfulnesses and can therefore relate to them. When your consciousness in extended state begins to sense the karmic structures, which after all not only rule between the many life´s of your spiritual essence (your soul), but all the same are known psychological mirrored from the Ego´s dreams and the Ego´s life - then you can change attitude.
Instead of swinging with the laws you can choose to observe. Instead of identifying yourself with impulses and incentives, emotions and thought tendencies, you can separate yourself, become a witness, become alert. And hereby you can break the karmic automatism.
Again, be aware, that your thoughts (the mind) belong to the energy aspect, and not the consciousness aspect. I say this because they in the very popular movement of New Thought, Law of attraction and positive psychology, have confused the consciousness with the mind and therefore the thoughts. They here think that you can produce progressive karma (what they call the law of attraction), with your thoughts. You can´t, because that is not an awakening proces. Actually it would just produce more compensatory (negative) karma. It is only the spiritual awakening (rise) of your consciousness, and its direction in towards the source, the form of consciousness, that will produce progressive karma.
Human beings are in that way, seen from the point of view of the ordinary ego-consciousness, inserted in two dimensions: a continuum, which streams are subject to laws; a discontinuum, for which leaps laws not seem to be effective. Note though, that this must not be confused with any quantum mystical theories about quantum jumping, quantum healing, time travel, etc., etc. As I have shown in my articles Quantum mysticism and its Web of Lies, and Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Niels Bohr, then laws are still effective within quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics, no matter how weird it is, belongs to the energy aspect of human beings.
The Wholeness, your spiritual essence, your soul, is normally the discontinuous aspect; normally, because this is of course seen from the point of view of the ego-continuum. Seen from the point of view of your spiritual essence, then the ego-continuum, with its sleep and awake, life and death, is the discontinous aspect, and the spiritual essence the continuous aspect. But the parts, the Ego and its evaluations, is normally the continuous aspect.
When your spiritual essence (your soul) begins to dream and the continuum of the ego-consciousness breaks and expands in a discontinuum (into the superior continuum of the Wholeness – or your spiritual essence), then the cosmic structure-pattern changes. Instead of mere compensatory karma, a progressive karma will now be effective. That, which you through existential achievement have reached of spiritual contact in one life, will form a progressive karma.
The process of your spiritual essence (your soul), your process of awakening, will leave progressive karma along through the various incarnations. What you spiritual have reached to realize in one life, will in the spiritual energy be there in the next life, or in the dimension of your spiritual essence.
If your spiritual essence (your soul) is sleeping, the spiritual energy is quiet. Without traceable activity. A human being can live a whole life, yes, life after life, in absolute sleep.
If you however existentially begin to seek, to seek the spiritual, the divine, to seek love, if you choose to use your energy and your life in that way, then the spiritual energy will begin to vibrate, to become active. Only the images, which have achieved to imprint themselves in the spiritual energy, will be transferred as progressive karma. Your spiritual essence (your soul) will remember its dreams from life to life. And your spiritual essence will remember and accumulate the glimpses of being awake, it might have experienced. These, the dreams and awake moments of your spiritual essence, of your soul, are the progressive karma.
This is what is meant with, that people are born with different levels of spiritual development.
Concerning the progressive karma it applies, that each new life, in a quintessence, repeats the crucial stations on the development path of the spiritual essence, the soul. The place, where you can find your own progressive karma, if such is available, is therefore in the life, you have lived, in the history of your present life. It lies as an invisible script underneath the history of your actual life. It is the dreaming tracks and songlines in the artwork of your life.
In the inexplicable events in your life, in the rows of moments of spiritual longing, in the fateful incidents and actions - in them are contained the progressive karma. In your spiritual history there is a map. This map shows the dreaming tracks and the songlines in your spiritual work of art. This map is a universal image.
There is no doubt about, that Karen Blixen, though not fully conscious, had a sense of this map. All her books are about destiny seen in this way; they are about people who either live in accordance with this map, or in discordance with it. This map, this universal image was, what she referred to as the ”ancient”, the ”original”, and which she always was seeking as authenticity, autonomy, possibility, freedom and adventure. And a universal image is of a holographic nature, therefore it contains all other images, personal, collective and universal, and therefore it contains the dreaming tracks and songlines in the artwork of your life. It is the universal history of the astral plane; the Akashic records, or the Wholeness, which is awake.
You can live a whole life with this key lying in your own actual, spiritual biography. It requires work to find it. If you through development, through training, expand your consciousness to the spiritual dimension, then this invisible script will be made visible, the dreaming tracks and the songlines in the progressive karma will be found.
Alaya-vijnana is a term used within Yogacara Buddhism to indicate the store-house consciousness, or the great vision, which consists of universal images. It is also called the Akashic records. These universal images are a kind of energetical mandala-structures or yantra-fields. They have a linguistic nature, but it is of a visionary kind. These images are composite by sound and color, symbol and structure. You could also say, that they are what the philosophers call unmoved matter, a world-aspect of sound-colours and symbol-structures, an ocean of vibrant, sound-filled energy-fields, which shimmer in symbols and colours. Altogether filled with information about life. Together the great vision, an information-ocean of holographic nature.
We have historical records about this vision. For example there within Tibetan Buddhism exists a peculiar doctrine about the so-called Tertöns (tib. Gter-bston - the unearthers of the hidden books), people who are born with a special karmic connection to a long ago deceased master, and who, because of the connection to this master´s oneness-consciousness with the universal vision, now can collect treasures of information in from the vision, or the universal images, which after all work in synchronism with the Now, and which therefore lie in the Wholeness, in the Continuum of Eternity. The master was hiding and storing holy “texts” various places in the universal images with that purpose, that a future "Tertön" would be able to find this knowledge again, decipher and publish it.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thödol) is in that way one of the Tibetan texts, which is considered for having been hidden in the universal vision by the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Padma Sambhava, and which was found again by a Tertön with the name Rigzin Karma Ling-pa. Padma Sambhava is considered for having hidden many holy texts, whereafter he gave some of his disciples the yoga ability to become reincarnated in the right time - which were determinated astrologically - for here to find the scriptures again.
(Side remark: I believe concrete archaeological findings (at the right time in history) serves the same function, as for example the Nag Hammadi Library. I also consider the finding of the Gundestrup Cauldron near Rold Forest, as a finding having a specific function for the revival of Celtic Neopaganism, as well as Nordic Neopaganism. Furthermore: the Gundestrup Cauldron has a special place in my own heart since it was my uncle´s grandfather, Jens Sørensen, who found it (read more on my page: Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy). Rold Forest in itself contains a wealth of secrets, since most of the 268 grave mounds haven´t been archaeological investigated).
After an estimated judgment, the spiritual texts, which already have been taken out by Tertöns in the run of the centuries, would form a cyclopedia on around sixtyfive volumes with average around four hundred pages in each volume.
I can see no reason to deny the doctrin of the Tertöns. You can´t just deny people´s experiences (followed by realization) written down through centuries. This would in itself be unscientific, irrational, and besides, deeply arrogant. It is important though, to remember the philosophical aspects of the spiritual journey; that is: the use of rationality and critical thinking, which actually also is a central part of the training of the Tibetan monks. The problem with the alternative environment within the New Age movement, is namely, that precisely because the above mentioned, normal inaccessible, areas, in principle lie outside the area of the Ego-consciousness, yes, then they are open for all sorts of fantasies.
Within the New Age movement there are countless people today, who work egoistic with karmic experiences – that is to say: they earn money as clairvoyants, regression therapists etc. Some of them live on pure make believe, others are direct frauds, but some of them have actually the ability to see into the collective time and its images, and tell about a past and a future which lies outside the area of the personality. But usually they have no philosophical training, no realization training and ethical practice. Therefore they basically do not know what they are doing. They are lost in the area of time where mountains no longer are mountains, and woods no longer are woods. There is in this area of the collective time and its images, with all its “experts” and clients, the possibility for a lot of waffle, a lot of imprecisely guesses and imagination, fiction and speculation.
There are therefore some philosophical principles you ought to hold on to, on the whole of this enormous, and growing market. The so-called compensatory karma will by these experts and clients normal be misunderstood and abused as a kind of legitimation of, that we are as we are or do, as we do. He or she becomes obliged to do this or that in order to equalize old karma, or because it is his “destiny”. He is being told that he is going to meet certain people, are being told about other people, etc., etc. All this is spiritual seen nonsense. Usually the whole thing is about escaping from reality or excuses. It all origin from the collective time, which work in sequences in past and future, and therefore, in deeper sense, not karmic and not in the least spiritual.
Precisely like existential philosophy, the spiritual traditions say that you in your opinion formation and identity formation must be yourself, live in compliance with your own essence, and thereby achieve authenticity, autonomy, decisiveness and power of action.
If you follow clairvoyants´ advices the direct opposite happens: In your opinion formation and identity formation you will strive after becoming something else than what you are, you will imitate (model) others, be a slave of others´ ideas and ideals, and your actions will be characterized by irresoluteness and doubt. Instead of equalizing old karma (compensatory karma is what normally is understood as karma, or negative karma) they will create new compensatory karma.
If a human being in genuine sense experiences (that is: realizes) compensatory karma, then this will precisely cause a separation, a break in relation to the automatic identification with tendencies and circumstances. A human being, who actual realizes its karmic conditions, will precisely, by force of realization, break the automatic process.
Another philosophical principle is to examine, whether the karmic talk and experiences of the “experts” and clients remove their energy-investments in the actual reality. If focus is displaced backwards or forwards in time, then the collective time has taken over and spiritual seen there therefore happens an escape. Such an escape is seen both in Freud, Rank, Grof, Janov, rebirthing, regression. None of these people and theories can therefore be said to work spiritual. If you namely use the karma idea in that way (the idea of a person´s spiritual destiny), it is no longer a spiritual help, it is a collective displacement of the focus backwards or forwards in time and therewith out of reality and into the unreality of the collective time.
The genuine karmic structures do not lie in the collective time, but in the universal time, which work in synchronism with the Now. If the karma idea is used spiritual seen correctly, then the focus, instead of being projected out in something afar (past lives, a guru, birth, the future), will be present in something very near, namely only in the most intensive experiences of this actual life, and after that: in this actual Now with its possibility of realizing your innermost. It is your awareness in the now that will find the progressive karma, and this awareness you can of course only practise yourself.
So the universal images lie as a kind of dreaming tracks and songlines in your actual life here and now. Only here and now they can be discovered. They can manifest themselves in symbols, which contain informations about the development process of your spiritual essence (your soul). Information from the universal images are, contrary to information from the collective images, not contradiction-filled and split, but healing and synthesizing. They are the map, which shows the path from the Ego to your spiritual essence. When they have been discovered, the Ego knows the way to the pure awareness and love of its spiritual essence – the home of the spiritual essence, your soul.
Only Man himself can find the progressive karma (his spiritual destiny; the dreaming tracks and songlines in his spiritual journey; the map that shows his way to enlightenment). Consciousness has the key in its life. It helps nothing, what people through a system may be able to think about the collective time, or fantasize about karmic experiences and spiritual evolution. Nobody can tell you about your karmic structures, or your spiritual evolution (or the world´s spiritual evolution), or what will happen if you use their techniques. All people, models or techniques - clairvoyants, regression therapists, astrologers, shamans, channelers, Ken Wilber´s integral method, Holotropic Breathwork, Human Design system, Law of attraction etc., etc., etc. - who are claiming they can help you karmic – that is: with your spiritual growth - are cognitional and ethical delusional and deceptive.
Only your own realization (rise of consciousness) opens. Whether another person even was able to read the whole of the karmic course (a person´s life-history, destiny) and tell the seeker about it, it would not help. On the contrary it would harm. Only your own inner experience and realization can open the spiritual dimension. Karma in other ways is nonsense. And by the way, that´s the same with all spiritual.
Finally, a few words about meditation, dreams, and spirit help. There are many forms of spiritual practice, but generally, you can discriminate between concentration techniques, where the person sits with closed eyes and concentrates the awareness on one object (for example mantras or prayers), and awareness techniques, where the consciousness – as a witness that sees without judging – only follows the shifting stream of inner images, without that anything particular is retained.
Primordial Meditation has elements of both. Harameditation, for example, is an awareness technique. Tonglen, for example, is a concentration technique. But the primary exercise is Harameditation.
Harameditation directs itself towards the form of consciousness. The form of consciousness can only be reached through awareness techniques (silence, vipassana, witness, thought accept, zazen, etc.). And if the practitioner has decided to awake, to become enlightened (which means that the practitioner is filled with passion, with love of wisdom), then this practice will result in that the progressive karma begin to vibrate, to awake. However, one of the difficult things about this is that the change happens in the outer circle (the universal images, the Otherworld). The cosmic web is beginning to vibrate, order is beginning to show. This is higher magic. But these processes can happen without that they are fully conscious in the practitioner´s inner experience. You can sit in many years – 5 years or more – without knowing that there is happening a progression. This is due to that the training only is leaving tracks in the external world, in the outer circle. It will not even could be seen in the dreams. But the lines from the outer circle will slowly move inwards towards the inner circle. And you will begin to be conscious about the help you are receiving. The dreams, for example, will slowly begin to change character.
In base magic, however, you are using techniques that influence the inner and the middle circle. Here you can quite quickly receive results. But these results imply great danger. Again, you should be using critical thinking. But here base magic really runs into trouble, since it often also is based on metaphysical theories such as relativism and subjectivism, that don´t allow critical thinking.
Within base magic there are two forms of abuses of spiritual practice. One is the abuse of the karma idea, which we already have examined. The other is dreams.
There are numerous techniques which can cause changes in the compensatory karma. Stanislav Grof, for example, seeks to open up for nonordinary experiences, without having been working with realization of the Ego´s nature. He intervenes disruptive in the Ego´s self-regulating structures, or, said differently: he intervenes in how peoples´ karma is working in thinking and time. Therewith he also intervenes in the balancing and development-specific function of karma. Unknowing he creates heavy energetic swings without understanding, that the karmic consequences are being equivalent heavy contrabalances and back-swings. Grof seems himself to be in a possession state, a possession of experiences, which is mirrored in the level of fierceness in his methods, which almost seem to be attempts to rape spirituality. His writings are for example characterized by endlessly using the word “experiences”.
The other is the abuse of dreams, which is related to karma. You can easily create changes in your dreams, and interpret these as you want to. You can eat and drink too much, and you will experience a change in your dreams. Or you can use psychedelics, and have incredible experience. But it is only changes in compensatory karma, and you can use endless interpretations, which again are creating new dreams, etc. There is no realization, no rise of consciousness. And if you take the cosmic web as a whole, you have no idea about what the consequences is on a larger karmic scale.
A bit about dream interpretation. You are analysing them in a Jungian way. Or you are fabulating in a Freudian way. NB! Concerning Jung and Freud. You should be aware that neither of these people made their theories as spiritual practices, and they reduced spiritual practices to psychology. Today, especially Jung, is seen as a great spiritual practitioner with a spiritual practice.
And, in fact, in the start the dream interpretation will actually produce some changes. But at a certain point your psyche will discover the trick. All the liberated energy is being reinvested through the dream channel. Then begins an endless production of dreams. The analyst remembers more and more dreams, greater and greater dreams, shadows, anima and animus, wise men, archetypes. All the energy which gradually is being released through the development, is used for dreaming. Gradually the dreams become as important as life, well, they are even becoming more important. And then the dreams have suddenly turned into a blind road. As Jeffrey Masson shows in his book Against Therapy, Jung, in his interaction with his patients, lost any contact with reality in order to get his theory to fit the patients. It was utterly abusive. And yet this guy is a central figure in almost all New Age practice.
In my article, On the Nature of Dreams, I try to show how you can work with dreams in the context of Dream Yoga, and how the dreams (spirits) will help you if you engage in this practice.
The Connection Between Shamanic Healing and Creative Unfoldment
The Value of Having a Religion in a Spiritual Practice
Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth (A Shamanic Ritual)
Spiritual Crises as the Cause of Paranormal Phenomena
The Conspiracy of the Third Eye
What is Karma?
On The Nature of Dreams
The Difference Between Plastic Shamanism and the Traditional Shamanic Awakening
The Nine Gates of Middle-earth (on the chakra system)
Philosophy of Mind
Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic reader
A Dictionary of Thought Distortions
The Tragic New Age Confusion of Eastern Enlightenment and Western Subjective Idealism.
Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien
In my booklet The Psychedelic Experience versus The Mystical Experience I investigate the mystical experience in its difference from the psychedelic experience.
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