In the beginning you may fantasize what higher consciousness is like and then suffer when practices toward higher consciousness do not yield the hoped-for fantasies. Or, to make the agony of ignorance even worse, sometimes you get “psychic experiences.”
Psychic sights or sounds generally come into the mind during periods where you are not concentrating or giving attention to your meditation practices. Usually, psychic experiences occur when you are sitting back with your mind blank, perhaps feeling lazy or too tired to pay attention. Suddenly you experience lights, sounds, perhaps even visions of some strange or very celestial beings.
Psychic originally referred to the soul or spiritual realities but came to mean, in modern times: “1) of or having to do with the psyche, or mind; 2) beyond natural or known physical processes; 3) apparently sensitive to forces beyond the physical world,” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary.
Based on common usage today, psychic generally refers to “the psyche, or mind” and is distinguished — perhaps unfortunately or unfairly — from the spiritual. That is, some people do have genuine spiritual experiences but call them psychic. Or, often people who have no knowledge of higher levels of awareness brand all spiritual experiences as psychic, or mental, and dismiss them as imaginings.
In dealing with problems of terminology then, most modern yogis, mystics, and metaphysicians accept psychic to mean “of the mind.” They place “psychic” awareness between the levels of regular objective/subjective consciousness and the higher level of spiritual awareness. Based on this usage of the word psychic, most adepts, gurus, and teachers urge their students not to indulge or encourage these intermediate, often incorrect, mental impressions from their psychic nature. The reasons for strong warnings and cautions about psychic experiences are the catastrophes which have often occurred in the lives of once-aspiring students. Students who become enamored with psychic experiences often rely on psychic impressions, which they don’t understand, or which they misinterpret, to guide their lives. They base all their important decisions on these experiences — many times disastrously. Since these mental impressions are sometimes correct, students often become convinced their impressions are always right so they ignore both reality and the helpful instructions of those who could extricate them from slavery to mental and emotional impressions.
Often students’ psychic visions and other phenomena are triggered by their own subconscious desires to be great or especially important to others. Such students have often throughout history become arrogant and, too many times, mentally ill. Also, as they often become convinced they are great leaders, or the Messiah, they attract small bands of like-minded people — especially where heavy drug use is also involved — and often become paranoid in the fear that an unreceptive world is “out to get them.” And sometimes they do outright harm to their children, friends and strangers, about whom they get a negative impression.
On the other side of this extremely important issue, there are millions of people in the world who are, or learn to be, more sensitive than the majority of humanity. Their psychic perception is more accurate. They, because of their greater appreciation for others and life itself, often receive psychic images about future events, hints to help others be happier, or to help ill people get well. It’s a shame that these more-sensitive-than-normal individuals have often been tortured, burned as witches, or live in ignorant condemnation even today.
Go Beyond the Psychic
If you should have a psychic experience — i.e., see ethereal forms, hear voices, have tactile sensations about people beyond range of normal touch, smell fragrances others can’t, see departed souls, glimpse possible future events — write it down. Don’t try to interpret or understand it right away. Examine it in the light of your normal consciousness and scriptural writings. If you think it’s important or affects you emotionally, discuss it with someone you know to be spiritually attuned. You see, the problem with psychic impressions is that sometimes they’re right, other times they’re wrong. Sometimes these impressions are only partial and woefully incomplete. Sometimes, too, your psychic experience is a vivid reflection of what you want to experience — a vivid fantasy. Gain a calm insight about your psychic impressions while pushing forward as fast as you can into higher consciousness. Go beyond the psychic. Consider it a transitional level of awareness through which you are moving.
It’s also true that you should not totally disregard your psychic experiences. Consider the foreman of a crew deep within an African diamond mine who suddenly received the psychic impression that the mine shaft was about to collapse on all his crew. He ordered immediate evacuation. As soon as his men were safely outside, the shaft collapsed into rock and rubble. Was the impression from higher consciousness or an intermediate psychic level? It could have been either. Fortunately, the foreman didn’t file away his impression for later study. He acted on his “intuition.”
For the most part, examine your psychic experiences in the light of day. Act on them only if they seem appropriate while benefiting others as well as yourself. Always strive to distinguish between your psychic and spiritual impressions. And don’t, if you would know higher consciousness, encourage psychic activity. Avoid making — or letting — your mind go blank. Don’t seek psychic impressions of others or of events. Go beyond, seek your own reliable higher consciousness.
Mainly, keep in mind that psychic experiences — when encouraged — can lead you into a fantasy world, away from reality. If you rely on fantasy and direct your life based on what may be delusive impressions, you will gradually develop a weak will and mind. Acting mainly on psychic information you will lose control of your own life. You won’t be able to know a true life-transforming vision from a psychic experience, even if your life depends on it. Your “misguided life” will, within a year or two, become a living hell. Another agony.
Main Differences Between Psychic Experience and Higher Consciousness
The point is, don’t fear psychic experiences but don’t rely on them. They may be wrong or right, which is really not much genuine help to you. However, the more pure the mind and subconscious are, that is the more free they are from egocentricity, and the more closely you draw to the higher consciousness, the more true intuition — “the voice of the soul” — will develop. Much protection in and of itself will be afforded you. For if you truly live in love, who can harm you? The universe itself will move — with all its powers — to save you.
The main differences, by the way, between psychic experience and higher consciousness are:
There’s another form of agony which is important: the ecstasies that don’t last. At times, especially in the life of the beginning and intermediate seeker, there is splendid life-enrichment. Your being is flooded with rapture and joy. You feel you could live in this rush of delight forever. Every phase of your life improves. But then, inexplicably, your precious ecstasy dies down and withdraws. Nothing you can do brings it back. You feel bereft. The ecstasy, the wonder of life, the sense of harmony, the fresh perceptions, vanish. You feel stranded, more than a little lost.
The main reasons your ecstasies come and go are:
But there is much more to be learned: the two great techniques that deal with all the agonies and which will increase the duration and beauty of your ecstasies, two priceless skills that will further change your life!
Somehow, again and again, I delude myself that I know what I’m doing. I limit myself and oppose, with my unenlightened will, the mystery of my awakening. Therefore, once more I remind myself to love, to respond, and to receive.
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