Eugene I wrote: ↑Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:14 am
Sure, you can do it if you feel a motivation, there is nothing wrong with that. But I wouldn't. I rather feel a motivation to grow and connect with the Divine on other more subtle layers where its Wisdom, Beauty, Mystery and Love reside, and I'm not so much interested in the astral structures and beings. I don't know how those subtle layers are called, and it does not matter anyway
By the way, in the traditional Christianity any communication with the astral and even angelic hierarchy beings was strongly discouraged and it was even considered quite dangerous because those beings can easily deceive humans ("And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" 2 Cor). The only safe way in this tradition is to communicate with God directly
I fully agree that it's dangerous to step outside the body just for the sake of curiosity. I would never recommend, for example, something like Monroe's system for OBEs. Our focus on the Divine is our sure compass.
Psalm 23 wrote:Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
This is much more than poetic expression of blind trust. When outside the body, when we fill our souls with the deep experience of the above words, it makes the difference between being lost in darkness, feeling prowled by adversarial beings, and finding our stable center through which the Divine Light flows and drives away the shadows. Yes, while in the body with our intellect, such things may seem like a matter of religious fancy. But outside the body these ideas are actual forces
through which we practically support the shape of our subtle organism. This is tremendously important. On Earth it's customary to say "Man is what he eats" but in the spiritual realm "Man is what he thinks". In other words, we must maintain our spiritual being through our own spiritual activity, we're what we're capable of making ourselves into.
In our incarnate life we're much like hermit crabs
. We're 'soft-bodied' spirit which accommodates within a hard bodily shell. The interior of this shell is what gives the impression that we have completely personal consciousness. It's not that our consciousness is separate bubble but it's only that the shell's interior is unique to our perspective. Other than that, the water that fills the shell is part of the ocean water. It's not completely independent. Yes, we form a microclimate in the shell but the outer salinity, contamination, temperature of the water directly influences the interior simply because there's no hard boundary between them.
We must indeed learn to read
the Book of Living Nature. The sensory spectrum is really a highly aliased version of the higher worlds (note that I'm not
saying that the 3D world that we imagine out there
, is aliased version of the higher world. It's our inner sensory-intellectual conscious perspective
that is aliased form of a higher state). It is true that within this aliased version there are dynamics specific to it but nevertheless there are also common things along the gradient. For example, we're used to think of our physical body as a monolithic object but in reality it is in constant intercourse with the environment. We eat, drink, breathe, exchange heat. What was external enters the bounds of our skin and temporarily becomes transformed and dragged along the currents of life. Then it is expelled and spreads in outer nature again. It is quite similar with our subtle organism, although the skin boundary is much more fuzzy.
Our physical body acts as formwork within which conscious fluid is poured. We simply don't stop to investigate how much really the flow of our thinking, feeling and willing are shaped by this formwork. This leads to the naive belief that after we cast away the shell, our consciousness will be pretty much the same, only more free. This is as if we expect that we can break a glass bottle and the water shall remain in the same shape. For modern people, especially those who have led entirely materialistic life, this shattering of the glass is quite dramatic - we completely lose the ground under our feet and we're entirely unfree
, flowing on the streams of the higher worlds, until we take hold of a new shell which gives us the firm ground where our "I" can reflect itself again in intellectual thoughts.
We can have stable existence in the disincarnate state only if we have developed the spiritual force through which we create ourselves anew every instant. This we can only do by working in that direction while on Earth. As long as we depend on the environment to form our life and we simply react to it, we're spiritually impotent. The free spirit must draw the impulses of moral life from with the potential of the spiritual world, with its own forces. These forces build our Light body - they are
that body. This body is not something external, like another hermit shell that we borrow from the environment, only more subtle. It's the form of our spiritual activity, similarly to the way our thoughts, while in the physical body, are the forms of our spiritual activity. That's why it is so important for humans today to take full control over their thinking process. We must clearly realize that in our thinking we express our spiritual being. If we simply go with the flow, simply observe the stream of phenomena, the entering and leaving of thoughts with which we feel no inner connection, we're still expecting the Universe to supply us with the conditions for our existence. When we cross the threshold of death with such habits, we find ourselves in very difficult situation because we no longer have our stable "I"-being which can differentiate itself from the environment. Our bodily shell was unconsciously supporting the shape of our "I" and we took that for granted. In the disincarnate state, if we want to have fully conscious perspective, we need to draw the forces from the Cosmic environment and focus them. The bodily shell does that for us on Earth. It acts as a lens that focuses the Light rays such that it gives us our egohood (in the sense of conscious experience with continuity in time, not in the sense of egoism). Our body gives us the support through which memory integrates together with the metamorphosis of the physical kernel, giving us the "I" experience (memory is the integrative process that gives us experience of time and continuity of consciousness). In certain sense the physical organism is like the helping wheels, the metamorphosing scaffold along which our spirit becomes conscious of the integrative memory process.
In the disincarnate state we need to propel this integrative process with our own forces. Now that the body is gone, we don't have the clock generator, so to speak. In the body we feel time as something external, as relentless rhythm forcing itself upon us. After death the rhythms don't disappear but they become much more elusive, unless we know what to look for. Think of a man who pops into existence and doesn't know about the day cycle, that the Sun rises and sets. This man would move through indeterminateness, completely oblivious of the laws. Such is the state of a soul that crosses the threshold of death without ever internalizing, for example, the idea of repeating Earthly lives. When this idea has become integral part of our "I"-being on Earth, we already have a certain feeling of rhythm after death. We know where we're situated within the temporal spiritual organism. On the other hand, for a materialistic soul, which was expecting the cessation of all existence after death, the sojourn in the spheres takes the character of indeterminate existence, with no direction, no structure, no logic (at least in the first phases).
So we see how mistaken is the attitude "Why should I learn something about the other worlds? We'll see them when we get there!" The problem is that we won't see or understand anything there if we haven't prepared the organs for this while on Earth. If we don't understand the higher worlds on Earth, we won't understand them in the disincarnate state either. We're living in the disincarnate state even in this very moment, it's only that the sensory spectrum is 'on focus'. When the sensory spectrum is cast away together with the body we remain with the inner spiritual kernel. If we haven't grown with this kernel into the spiritual world while in the body, we'll be like aliens in unknown realm when we lose the support of our senses and intellect.
That's why I keep repeating that these things must not simply be glossed over or dogmatically believed but thought through
. When we think them we penetrate with our thought rays the same
spiritual structure in which we live when we lose the support of the body. The better we have probed this structure, the more we have stretched the degrees of freedom of our thinking spiritual activity and the more we know our spiritual environment. We can only understand this in the proper way if we overcome the idea that in our thinking we have only local copies of ideas. Instead, we live and spread our cognizing spirit in the actual structure of spiritual reality. The thought-reflections of this process are truly local phenomena possible only thanks to the reflecting screen of our etheric and physical brain but the Intuitive structure that we experience as meaning is
the actual spiritual world. When the body is gone and the forces invested in it are liberated, they become the inner light which illuminates from within
the probed structure. This is what the Initiate accomplishes while still in the body. Through training we learn to loosen the etheric body and liberate some of the forces engrossed by sensory life and turn them into higher cognition.
Earlier we said that in the disincarnate state we are what we think. This might sound very appealing - it looks like we can imagine ourselves into whatever we want. But this is not at all the case. And we can understand very clearly why this is so if we simply observe our normal life. Regular imagination summons floating pictures on our inner screen, what we call - fantasy. But this is only possible because the etheric brain provides us with convenient 'scratchboard'. In our normal life, what we make ourselves into, is what we allow from imagination to go deep and become deeds. Practically, this is our moral life. Whether we realize it or not, everything we do has moral significance for the World. Today there's very common maxim "As long as I'm not harming anybody, it's all good". But that's not entirely the case. We possess certain potential, energy, knowledge. Through these we can contribute something beneficial for the development of the Whole. If we don't use them, even though it seems we're not hurting physically anybody, we're still hurting the overall World development because we're frittering away the capital that we've been invested with. When the outer shells are cast away, we can't simply imagine pictures within the etheric brain (which is now gone) and naively identify with them. We're in the most real sense the bare moral force
of our being, this is our naked self. On Earth we may cloak ourselves in expensive clothes and jewelry, we might fool some people about our real intentions but when these shells are cast away, we remain with our naked moral being. And here we can witness the most disturbing sights. Humans who may otherwise have been good looking and well received by society but were nevertheless leading life of indulging into passions and taking advantage of others, have very degenerate forms in the spiritual realm. It's like they are constantly struggling to keep themselves from decomposing. They don't have anything of substance that gives them the "I"-kernel of their being and they try in vain to grasp at something from the environment, such that they can patch up some kind of existence. On the other hand, those who have realized their true humanness while on Earth, who have in freedom drawn upon the potential of the Divine Light and spread it lovingly among their brothers and sisters, have the form of radiant suns, conductors of the Divine, spreading vivifying and soothing waves. When I say 'form' here, we should be aware that even that those forms can really be experienced in Imaginative cognition, they are only impressions. The true form is experienced from within, from the first person perspective.
Here it's of no use to mention NDEs. I've explained many times that NDEs are not
authoritative examples of the disincarnate state because the experiences are strongly colored by the etheric and physical bodies with which we're still connected. This is what gives the experiences their distinct flavor, as if we're still our atomic self in these regions. What we don't take into account is that the atomicity that we transpose into the higher worlds, is entirely supported by the physical and life bodies. We can only gain true understanding of the disincarnate state when we gradually work to differentiate the contribution of each spectral band into the flattened totality of consciousness (which gives the impression of atomic soul bubble). Only then we can separate the influence of the physical and life bodies and experience the soul body and the "I" in their own environment.
All of this once again will only make sense if we read the Living Book of Nature rightly and observe that all around us we see constant transformation and development. If we postulate that these things are only true on Earth but not in the spiritual spectrum, we simply make arbitrary choice based on what we dream to be the case. But if we take seriously the only logical thing - that the sensory spectrum is aliased version of the higher order rhythms - it becomes transparently clear that humanity as a whole goes through development.
It was for good reason that in the past the souls were urged to focus on prayer to God and avoid the astral arts. The middle ages were times where the astral atmosphere got incredibly thick. Even Initiates at that time couldn't penetrate it sufficiently. It was truly the dark age of humanity because the "I" was on its own for a period of time. But in later centuries the Light has begun to pierce again through the clouds as the Light of the Thinking Spirit.
When it's said "I don't know how those subtle layers are called, and it does not matter anyway."
we have fundamental misunderstanding of how things stand. The above implicitly assumes the atomicity and self-sufficiency of our soul-bubble, and we imagine we can go through the higher regions and converse with God while being completely uninterested in the environment. There are so many assumptions here.
To suggest that it doesn't matter if we know anything about the higher worlds is like saying "I want to understand how my body works but I don't want to leave its bounds. I want to understand it entirely in itself." But this is simply not possible. We can only understand the body when we understand how it is embedded within the physical environment, how it draws the substances from all around and they are being shaped by the formative forces. In similar sense, we need to know about the astral and higher worlds not to satisfy our vain curiosity in Monroe style exploration but in order to know how our soul and spiritual nature coalesces from the spiritual environment. While we think that our thoughts and desires are our atomic possession, we're like the hermit crab imagining that the water microclimate in the shell its entirely its own. But we're constantly swimming in the astral and higher worlds. We're breathing and drinking these worlds. And these are the reasons of the pity state of humanity today. We're living in astral swamps, deserts, cesspools. We are breathing, drinking, eating this sewage, it enters our hermit shell and leaves its waste deposits there, which then cause disease - both mental and physical. We indeed have to focus on Wisdom, Beauty, Mystery and Love - this is the High Ideal. But we won't go far if we simply dream of these things while biding our time on Earth. These Divine Virtues are living Forces. We must utilize
them and begin transforming our shared world. We can only start from ourselves. It's true we are always dependent on the environment but actually the vast majority of the sewage we ingest can be completely avoided if we could see clearly where we are and what we're doing. So we start with the purification of our own microclimate. Purity is indispensable. It's only attainable if we connect to the sources of fresh Water and Light - the water of life. The kind of water for which it is said "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
We can't produce the pure water of life out of ourselves, any more than we can purify polluted water by simply stirring it more. We can only draw upon it from the Spring of everlasting life, from whence it flows abundantly.
It's time that we shake off our childish religious conceptions. What we're speaking here is not speculations within our shell about things that lie beyond our light cone. Everything here is completely practical knowledge which once internalized becomes real spiritual force
. The greatest task in front of humanity today is to begin sanitizing our inner and outer environment - on all levels. And this can only happen if we learn something about that environment. On the physical plane we more or less agree that laying waste everywhere is not only aesthetically unpleasing but breeds parasites and disease. If we could only read the Book of Living Nature properly, we would also know that the same holds true for the other strata of reality. Just because people don't see them, they imagine that lies, deceit, hatred, lust and so on, are their own personal shell business, while in fact they constantly flow out of the shell and pollute the environment. Then other beings unconsciously breath and swallow these excrements and make them part of their being.
There's so much in front of humanity to learn. We must realize that our YOLO (you only live once) attitude or the New Age attitude (I come from another galaxy with my atom-soul, just visiting the Earth-inn and I'll be off) are nothing but the expression of Holy Egotism. This can only be counterbalanced with true knowledge derived from deepening of our spiritual being. Everything that is being spoken here we can find within ourselves. The astral sewage, the higher Divine words - we are slice of them. So any complaints of the sort of "But these things are so remote and unverifiable" are only excuses for avoiding unprejudiced and healthy thinking. We simply need to follow the facts to their ultimate conclusions and not stop short at our preferred level of comfort (something Ashvin very well addresses in his latest essay).
We need knowledge of the astral and higher worlds if we are to avoid the catastrophe at which we're headed. It must be repeated over and over again - these worlds are not some remote floors of God's Kingdom - they are the very reality our which our thoughts, feelings, will and perceptions are sliced off.
Clearly, when we speak of sewage, we're speaking in symbols. The astral (soul) substance is not something that we perceive in front of us, as we perceive objects in the sensory spectrum. The soul substance is something living it's made of meaningful forces, actual beings, expressing as attraction and repulsion, experienced from within, from the first-person perspective. For example, when we speak in symbols, we can say that seawater with such and such chemical composition enters our shell from the environment. But when we deal with the actual facts we should further explain that when these astral waters enter our being we don't see chemicals in front of us - we experience something of soul nature - urge, desire, emotion, sympathy, antipathy and so on. These are only the most aliased aspects of the astral world, they are only the dream shadows of the processes there. Unless we work on self-mastery and seek clear cognition of everything that passes through our soul, we're not free. We are living the desires of other beings. We're only free if we differentiate our spiritual activity from these blind urges and through our own force draw upon what is beautiful, harmonious, good, wise, beneficial for all, and infuse our micro and outer climate with the fruits of the Spirit. So it's very detrimental to say "it does not matter anyway"
. This practically says "I don't care if I'm breathing and drinking sewage, if I'm fulfilling the desires of a demon or a dead relative." There was a time when focus on the Divine was all we needed, just like a child that depends on the support of its father. But if the child approaches maturity and it still wants to be held by the hand, we're entering abnormal development. Certain spiritual potential remains stunted. This is where we are today as humans. We need to set to work
in this Divine World.