The Hostile On Top Of Me

predator cloak

In my last blog I gave an example of a dream where I feel I had an actual encounter with a hostile being, that is, a being of conscious darkness. I have another example I wanted to share in this post.

This dream happened quite a number of years ago when Donny and I were living in Cusco Peru. We stayed there for a span of months and shortly after arriving we befriended a group of holistic doctors there. Two of these doctors, Carlos and Luis, had a small apartment in Cusco, but on the weekends went to their homes and families in the small town of Urubamba nearby. Donny was a frequent weekend guest at Carlos’ house, and I went less frequently to stay with Luis. Luis had four children who were all teenagers or in their early twenties. One of them was a daughter, Chani, if I remember her name correctly.

The first few times I stayed with Luis and his family, I slept on the floor in an unused dental examination room. On one of those early visits I had a dream I was there on the floor in that room and Chani was on top of me, but fully clothed. She lowered her face to mine and we started kissing, but the experience was rather unpleasant, as she was moving her tongue around rapidly and violently in a circle. I opened my eyes and instead of Chani there was a being like the alien from the movie Predator in the sense that it was transparent, but I could still make it out and see its features to some extent. It was humanoid, but more bizarre and alien looking than anything Hollywood has ever managed to come up with. What I remember most clearly about it though was a small beak like thing it had for a mouth that had a tongue like thing that was circling around the outside of the beak the same way it had been doing in my mouth just few seconds before. Then I woke up and it was either still dark out or dawn was just beginning while in the dream the room had been fully lit.

If I remember correctly I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that the being I was kissing and that had appeared to me in Chani’s form was a hostile vital being. I also realized I had probably been in the cataleptic state back in my body, yet still in the dream state when the encounter occurred. The whole thing made a strong impression on me and I’ve never forgotten it over the years. I’ve also had other dreams where I was kissing someone and there was something unpleasant about it, -usually it’s something they’re doing with their tongue, but sometimes their mouth has a really gross taste- and I’ve wondered if at those times I was kissing another one of these beings in disguise. I honestly don’t know though nor do I know if it’s possible to have intimacy in a dream with one of these beings and have it be marvelous. I just know what I experienced that one time.

Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have spoken at length about these types of vital beings in their talks and writings. According to their experience there seems to be a whole spectrum of them from fallen divine beings to small mischievous entities that like to cause accidents. And some classes of these beings it appears are actually spawned from our own lower desires while we’re still alive or from parts of our own vital makeup after we die.1 And for all these types of vital beings their food is the energy we give off during lower vital movements such as lust, anger, depression etc., and they’re pushing our buttons and setting up situations both in dream and waking life to get us to give off these types of energies. My feeling on the matter is that if our eyes were suddenly unsealed and we saw how pervasive their influence is, how much they’re pulling our strings, not just individually but collectively, we’d all be in for one hell of a shock. In his epic Savitri, Sri Aurobindo speaks about their pervasiveness in a very striking passage. He tells us:

Their whispers come, an inarticulate force,
Awake in mind an echoing thought or word,
To their sting of impulse the heart’s sanction draw,
And in that little Nature do their work
And fill its powers and creatures with unease.
Its seed of joy they curse with sorrow’s fruit,
Put out with error’s breath its scanty lights
And turn its surface truths to falsehood’s ends,
Its small emotions spur, its passions drive
To the abyss or through the bog and mire:
Or else with a goad of hard dry lusts they prick,
While jogs on devious ways that nowhere lead
Life’s cart finding no issue from ignorance.
To sport with good and evil is their law;
Luring to failure and meaningless success,
All models they corrupt, all measures cheat,
Make knowledge a poison, virtue a pattern dull
And lead the endless cycles of desire
Through semblances of sad or happy chance
To an inescapable fatality.
All by their influence is enacted there.2

Now I think it’s necessary to point out that in this passage he’s describing their action and influence in the vital planes or the ‘Kingdoms of the Little Life’ as he puts it. As the passage continues however he goes on to point out they’re doing the same thing here in our material world.

Nor there alone is their empire or their role:
Wherever are soulless minds and guideless lives
And in a small body self is all that counts,
Wherever love and light and largeness lack,
These crooked fashioners take up their task.
To all half-conscious worlds they extend their reign.
Here too these godlings drive our human hearts,
Our nature’s twilight is their lurking-place:
Here too the darkened primitive heart obeys
The veiled suggestions of a hidden Mind
That dogs our knowledge with misleading light
And stands between us and the Truth that saves.
It speaks to us with the voices of the Night:
Our darkened lives to greater darkness move;
Our seekings listen to calamitous hopes.
A structure of unseeing thoughts is built
And reason used by an irrational Force.3

Discussing this article with Donny, he pointed out again something we’ve talked about before, and that’s how the knowledge of how much these ‘crooked fashioners’ are involved in our lives and in all the harm that’s done on this planet is something that has to come out on a societal level and be looked at squarely in the face if we’re going to effectively deal with human wrongdoing and evolve to a state beyond these hostile influences. In science fiction there’s the common theme of humanity uniting to face a common alien invasion, and I can see how this knowledge of hostile forces and beings manipulating and controlling us could serve as a catalyst, or one of them at least, that will give humanity a reason to unite and a common enemy to fight against. This would be a battle of a different kind though since the fight would to free ourselves from their influence, the kingdom conquered our own purified nature and we would all be allies trying to help each other win that personal and at the same time collective war. I honestly don’t expect to see this sort of shift in my lifetime, but I do think it’s coming. How it will all be played out though remains to be seen.

Notes and References

  1. One place where the Mother discusses this particular type of vital entity is in Questions and Answers 1950-51, pg 192
  2. Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, pg 152-153
  3. Ibid, pg 153

My Mind Relief From Madness

About a month ago my mind and vital was in the grip of something. I don’t remember what now exactly, but it was something that had been troubling the  mind and holding it under siege for a couple of days. I wanted to get free of the movement but was having trouble doing so. Then I received these lines from the muse in the morning:

Don’t muddy the mind courts (Came at the end of a dream where I was watching a performance of the hip hop group Run DMC)
My mind relief from madness
Mooning.

The first line’s advice was pretty clear, and motivated me to really try and throw the disturbing thoughts out of my mind, but I was having only limited success. Then all of the sudden, in the evening, I noticed my mind got abnormally clear, and it didn’t take much effort to keep it clear. There was no peace or joy or anything, just a quiet, fairly focused mind. Still it was a welcome respite.

Sri Aurobindo says, among other things, that the moon is a symbol of the spiritual consciousness which is above our normal human mind. One of the main movements in the integral yoga is for the sadhak to not only ascend to this level (or levels I should say) of consciousness, but also for it to descend and transform these lower levels of mind, life and body as well with its peace, silence, light and bliss. So what happened here I think is I got ‘mooned’ by a descent from the spiritual consciousness which quieted my mind and gave me relief from the mind’s madness. It didn’t last and was gone the next morning, but it broke the momentum of the disturbing thoughts, and I was able to move past them. I imagine it was important that, prompted by the muse, I was making a strong effort to throw out the thoughts myself. That I feel opened the door to the descent from the spiritual consciousness.

Now as the reader has no doubt noticed, the first line came at the end of a dream. This is a fairly common occurrence, but I have to admit I often can’t make any connection between the lines that come at the end of a dream and the dream itself. A lot of the time the lines don’t seem to have anything to do with the dream.  Here though I can see a correlation between mud in the mind and hip hop music, which overall has a pretty low vibration, one that appeals to the less enlightened parts of the human vital.

Does anybody else see anything in these lines that they want to share in the comments?

Experience on the Summer Solstice

 

I feel there’s a reason why ancient cultures gave such importance to astrological events like equinoxes, solstices, full moons and such things as planetary alignments. Basically they’re days of power, a day you can get a boost for your sadhana or your dream life if you’re receptive. Usually for me, if there’s any effect at all during these times (and a lot of times there isn’t), it’s on the level of dreams. I’ll have a powerful dream or a lucid dream. However during the last summer solstice, which was paired with a full moon, I had a little spiritual uplift that I think was shown in a dream I’d had the night before. The part I’m going to share however is just the end of a much longer dream since it’s only the end that’s really relevant as far as the spiritual uplift that day was concerned.

I put my backpack on and walk down the street and eventually find myself in some woods.  There’s a stream there and in the water I can see these birds, about twenty of them, that have the heads of peacocks but bodies more like an ostrich’s. They’re about as tall as a man and in the dream I regard them as peacocks.  One of them comes up and peers at me curiously though a gap in the trees.  I can see that we’re at a delta where this stream meets the ocean.  I go down into the water which is only about a foot deep and a very beautiful bluish green.  The whole scene is very beautiful as well. The peacock/ostrich birds are moving out into the ocean, and I’m walking with them.  Though the birds are big they don’t seem aggressive nor do they seem to be bothered by me.  If I remember correctly their ostrich-like bodies are black or greyish black.  It’s getting close to sunset and I want to watch the sunset with the peacock/ostrich birds.

One thing I’ve started to notice recently and have shown in a couple of recent blog posts is how a beautiful natural scene in a dream seems to be showing a nice ‘scene’ trying to manifest inside you in your waking life that day or a day or so afterwards. I believe that was the case here. So let me tell you what happened. On the day of the solstice, in the late morning, I went for a ride in my kayak. While I was out, I encountered one of my favorite water birds around here, a roseate spoonbill, roosting in a mangrove tree. I don’t often see them when I’m kayaking so I just sat there for a while admiring the bird and its beautiful pink plumage. When I returned home I noticed I felt cleared out as I often do after a spin in the kayak, since I can get fully immersed in nature. I noticed also that my thinking was elevated, and I found myself naturally pondering some things I’d recently read by Medhananda and Nolini Kanta Gupta and was looking at the world through the lens of those ideas. It didn’t require any hard mental effort or tapasya though. It was just happening naturally and spontaneously. For the most part I can’t remember exactly what I was reading at the time, but I do recall one little aphorism by Medhananda that was on my mind:

Spirit is tremendously solid.
It is like diamond.
In comparison
matter is only a cloud
of probabilities.1  

A little later I took our dog Rosie for a walk. As we walked I was really feeling the stillness in the plants, and while that’s not a common experience for me it wasn’t the first time that’s happened, and I’m sure a lot of people have felt the stillness in plants. This time though, I could also feel the joy that was in the plants, and I caught it a bit by contagion and was feeling joy inside me as well as I walked. I was also appreciating how beautiful and unique the plants were, seeing them the way you might when tripping on psychedelics but to a much much lesser extent. There was one group of plants I encountered that were nothing but huge leaves on stalks which had been planted to hide a fire hydrant. When I looked at those plants, there was something so delightful about those big leaves that I couldn’t resist the urge to go over and touch one, giving a little laugh as I did so and feeling delight similar to what I think a small child does when they do something like that. That delight continued on the walk, and the uplift continued after that. It might have still been there a little bit when I went to bed. I honestly don’t remember now. It wasn’t there the next day when I woke up though.

So what I think happened here was I was able to open to the amplified energy that was available that day and benefit from it in this altered state of consciousness, which was foreshadowed by the beautiful sunset scene in my dream. This idea that a beautiful dream scene is symbolic of a beautiful uplift in waking life is still a working hypothesis for me, but one I’m getting more and more evidence to support. Recently, I had another dream where I was looking at a beautiful blue lake ringed by breathtaking mountains on the far side, and two days later there was a definite shift in consciousness in the evening, a state of peace and quiet. It wasn’t as strong as other experiences like that I’ve had, but it was definitely there.

One thing that I feel is important to point out is the beauty of these dream scenes is beyond the greatest beauty you can see in the physical world or even in normal dreams. I can’t really explain it any better than that, but if you start to have dreams like this I think you’ll see what I mean, see that it’s a certain class of dream or has a certain type of dream substance that can embody that beauty. It might be a glimpse of what Sri Aurobindo calls the subtle physical, but I can’t say for sure.

Regarding the peacock/ostrich birds in the dream I should point out that Sri Aurobindo has said that a peacock is a symbol of spiritual victory and that fits with the fact that I had a little spiritual opening. The fact that the rest of the body was like an ostrich is interesting since the thing that most quickly comes to mind when I think of the symbolic meaning of an ostrich is sticking your head in the ground. If I’m remembering correctly that the color was black that would indicate a hostile force. So I’d guess the element of spiritual victory is still marred by an element of sticking my head in the ground and maybe also a hostile influence. I think the birds in the dream were also connected to the encounter I had with the roseate spoonbill even though the dream birds were completely different. I always enjoy the sight of a roseate spoonbill because pink is the color that symbolizes the psychic being or soul in the integral yoga.

So in closing I think it’s important to try and keep yourself clear every day and not just on days like full moons and solstices. Knowing, however, that you can get a little boost on days like that is a good motivator for keeping yourself clear especially on those occasions.

References

  1. On the threshold of a new age with Medhananda, pg 165 by Medhananda

I Want Struggles To Be Light

A few days ago this line from the muse came to me in the morning.

I want struggles to be light.

You can definitely play around with multiple interpretations of a line like this because of the different meanings for the word ‘light’. One interpretation jumps out right away if you take ‘light’ in the sense of something being not heavy or not dark in color. Read this way the line is saying that I want a lighter load of struggles.  There’s no doubt I feel that way often, and I’m sure most people reading this can relate to that sentiment. Another idea though along these lines has to do with my belief that what really makes struggles and pain so dark and heavy is this consciousness we live in which is a state of identification with this mind and body. But as many spiritual teachers have said throughout the ages, if you can enter into a consciousness where you’re identified with the divine, or oneness or whatever you want to call it then you realize that this mind and body isn’t you, is more like a shirt you’ve put on, and you don’t take what happens to them so seriously anymore. Then, even though life’s challenges are still there, they’ve lost their heaviness, and you no longer suffer from them. You deal with them from a state of Light or Knowledge and not a state of Ignorance.  Hand in hand with that idea is a complementary take on the line where ‘light’ means spiritual illumination. This gives the sense to me of struggles being spiritually illumined and transmuted.

Another interpretation that occurred to me takes ‘light’ in the sense of a ‘means of igniting something’ as in “Hey buddy, you got a light?”. It’s a less obvious reading of the line and one that probably wouldn’t have occurred to me if I hadn’t been thinking a lot about something I’d read in the Mother’s Questions and Answers a few days before. I’ll share the quote first before I get into the interpretation.

Quite naturally we ask ourselves what this secret is, towards which pain leads us. For a superficial and imperfect understanding, one could believe that it is pain which the soul is seeking. Nothing of the kind. The very nature of the soul is divine Delight, constant, unvarying, unconditioned, ecstatic; but it is true that if one can face suffering with courage, endurance, an unshakable faith in the divine Grace, if one can, instead of shunning suffering when it comes, enter into it with this will, this aspiration to go through it and find the luminous truth, the unvarying delight which is at the core of all things, the door of pain is often more direct, more immediate than that of satisfaction or contentment.1

So like the Mother says here I think the line could be interpreted in the sense of changing my attitude so that struggles and pain become more a means of advancing on the spiritual path, more a means of igniting my aspiration to go through them in order to reach that ‘unvarying delight’ than something that holds me back when I have  resistance to the pain or depression about the pain. Backing up this idea, I feel, is an experience I had with Medhanada’s Eternity Game two nights before I received this line and a few hours after I’d read the above quote from the Mother. That quote is part of a longer passage where she says a number of things one of which is “When pain comes, it comes to teach us something.”2 As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, probably my biggest difficulty is contending with the constant chronic pain in my back and knees. So that night after reading the Mother’s words I asked the Eternity Game, “What’s the purpose of this pain?” The card I drew was ‘Dwarf’.

Europe 1997.3 25

In the Eternity Game this card represents the mental being, and as you can see its aspects are ‘Quest’, ‘Next Step’ and ‘Intelligence’. Medhananda gives detailed commentary on all the cards in the game, but he also gives short one sentence descriptions.  The short one he gives for the ‘Dwarf’ card is ‘advance, take the next step.’3 I took this as confirmation that I have to try and take the mental attitude the Mother recommends towards the pain so it becomes more a means of progress. I should point out that for me the fact that my reading of the  Mother’s words was followed by synchronicities with both the Eternity Game and my own inner guidance in just a matter of a few days stresses the need for this change in attitude. It’s not easy to do, and to truly surrender this pain is something I’ve been aspiring for for a while. Hopefully this will help me to take the ‘next step’ with that.

So that’s my take on things. Please feel free to share other ideas in the comments!

References

  1. Questions and Answers 1957-1958  by the Mother pg 41
  2. Ibid pg 42
  3. The Eternity Game by Medhananda pg 133

 

 

Bed Hopping With The Hostiles

About a week ago I had a dream where I was taking in a very beautiful mountain setting. When I awoke the next morning I felt a strong desire to get myself together and focused on the sadhana, which for me largely revolves around rejecting the unwanted thoughts and trying to keep the mind quiet.  I was able to build up a little momentum over the course of two days, and on the late evening of the second day I felt a little bit of calm and clearness open up inside me. It was nice because I haven’t had anything happen like that in a while, and it may have been what that mountain scene in my dream represented. A beautiful scene in nature can also have that effect of clearing you out on the inside.

Anyway I sat with the feeling  for a while, and then something odd happened before I went to bed.  Over the course of say 10 minutes there were around seven quick flickers of the power going out, but so fast it didn’t reset any of the clocks in the house. At first I wondered if was just my lamp, but on the third time or so I noticed my lava lamp was going out too. Now I know this isn’t some odd paranormal event I’m describing, but there was something queer about it, something that ‘tingled my spider sense’ so to speak.

So I went to bed and probably fell asleep around 11pm. I awoke a little after midnight to the sound of the smoke detector in my room chirping about every 30 seconds.  It does that when the battery gets low, and though it isn’t loud, it’s enough to keep you from falling asleep. I knew the detector would keep it up until the battery got changed, but rather than going to the garage and getting the ladder so I could change the battery, I decided to move to the guest bedroom for the night.  Once I got in there I  could still hear the chirping of the detector a little bit, but I figured if I put a pillow over my head that would muffle it enough that I could go back to sleep. Then strangely enough the chirping suddenly stopped. I decided though to stay in the guest bedroom in case it started doing it again and was able to fall asleep.

About an hour later I woke up from a rather obscure dream where I think I had been in bed in cataleptic trance (sleep paralysis), but not lucidly aware of that.  In the dream I could hear my parents outside the room fixing the smoke detector.  I was feeling a sense of unease and fear as I lay there, but without any specific cause.   At the end of the dream my mother came in and stood by the bed, and, still feeling the fear, I reached out and grabbed her arm for comfort.  I think it was right after that that I woke up.

Upon awakening I was still feeling the fear and didn’t want to open my eyes.  I figured a hostile force was trying to rattle me, and since the smoke detector was still keeping quiet, I went back to my room.  I really wanted to be back in my bed and next to the altar I have on my nightstand.  As I was getting back in bed I was thinking about my second altar on my computer desk as well as my collection of spiritual books, and how all three of those things added to the spiritual and protective atmosphere of the room.  I also thought about how in the guest room I’d been sleeping on top of the 3,000 plus comic books I’d collected as a teenager that are stored under the bed.  I realized those densely packed comic books we’re giving off a pretty low vital vibration.  Not as low perhaps as 3,000 porno magazines, but low enough that they degraded the atmosphere of the room and probably made things more conducive to a hostile influence.  That may sound far-fetched to some people, but allow me to share a quote that forever changed the way I look at books.  It’s from the book Nirvana: An Occult Experience by the Theosophist George Arundale.  He tells us:

I went the other day into one of our largest bookshops, and I found myself amidst a weird babel of sounds.  Every volume was vocal.  In each book was its author speaking his message – in some cases powerfully, clearly, upliftingly; in other cases, at the other extreme, vaguely, purposelessly, vulgarly, perhaps, often sordidly, or sometime with a well-chiseled form distressingly empty of purpose.  Each work was a sound-scheme, often a jarring sound-scheme, but sometimes a beautiful symphony.  Each book too, was a light-scheme, a dull light-scheme, a lurid light-scheme, a bright, clear light-scheme, now and then a gorgeous light-scheme.  I was not able to follow up this discovery, but I knew that books are alive, that some are in the savage state, and thence there is graded ascent in evolution to God-books, as the Scriptures, and others less than these, yet great.  I cannot pursue further this fascinating theme, but it will be realized that books are no longer mere tomes, they are living beings, for which their creators have serious responsibility, which speak and shed their influence around them.  A book in a room is a factor with which we have to reckon; a library is a potent force.1

Sri Aurobindo has pointed out in his letters that there are hostile forces standing ready to try and spoil any positive movement in the sadhana as well as the existence of mischievous vital physical entities that can do things like cause accidents to happen. In light of that, there does seem to be something to this idea of a gremlin which can cause mechanical or electronic problems, and I imagine a lot of people could relate a strange or bizarre occurrence with a mechanical or electronic device.  In fact, I just read a column the other day in one of our local papers where the writer talked about how her washing machine had been acting up but then went back to functioning normally after she prayed for it to start working again.  And the strangeness continued at our house too the following day with another smoke detector chirping for a few minutes before suddenly stopping.

Now to some people my theories about what happened here will just look like paranoid hogwash, but if you’re the type of person that is open to these ideas, and if I’ve communicated all this effectively, I think you’ll be able to see the possibility that something got into the atmosphere of the house and then set things up so I would retreat to the guest bedroom.  Whether it was something mischievous or hostile, or some combination of the two, I can’t say for sure, but the element of fear in my dream suggests something hostile to me. Why that hostile being or force didn’t try to attack me in my own room I don’t know, since I’ve had my share of brushes with the hostiles while sleeping in my own bed.  Maybe for some reason that night I wasn’t as vulnerable in my room.

Regardless I guess I got out of the guest bedroom before too much damage was done, since the next day I still had the strong urge to press on with the sadhana. Nothing really noteworthy happened on that day, but then on the fourth day after the mountain scene dream something else nice happened, and I found myself quite easily and spontaneously making the movement inwardly of remembering the divine and offering my work to the divine throughout the day.  It was so simple though; there were no bells and whistles about it, just a quiet and uncomplicated movement of devotion. It was a small opening of the heart chakra I believe and fit perfectly with the card I had drawn that day from Medhananda’s Eternity Game,2 which was ‘Heart’. That card represents the heart chakra, and like each card in the game it has four aspects. I usually pay attention to the aspect that is upright, and that day that aspect was ‘Simplicity.’  

The Heart Card
The Heart Card

Getting back to our main topic here I think I should point out the fact that most of the time nothing bad or scary happens to me when I find myself in cataleptic trance. While it’s true that hostile forces can come along and try to scare us or trick us in that state, the state itself is nothing to dread or be afraid of.  These hostile forces want us to be afraid of this state because you can have an out of body experience from there or, as I’ve found, very easily enter into a lucid dream. Now I can only speculate, but I think what happened in this case was hostile forces could see what was going on with me that day I experienced the calmness and clearness, perhaps saw that I was ripe to enter cataleptic trance or maybe even have a lucid dream, and they wanted to spoil any nice or uplifting dream experience I might have had. Or maybe the goal was to get me in the guest bedroom on top of those comic books and give me some bad dream experiences in an attempt to stifle the opening that was happening sadhana-wise. Or maybe they had both objectives.  How much they might have succeeded is impossible for me to say.  All I know is after my day of simplicity my four day sadhana rally came to an end, but that may not have been primarily due to hostile influences.  I feel these surges in the sadhana come from within, are cyclical and peter out or withdraw due to inner causes.  It’s natural part of the process, but at the same time not an excuse to be lax and just wait for the next sadhana rally to come.

So in closing I think the main lesson of this article is the hostiles are craftily standing by to throw a wrench in the works when they see any glimmer of light.  I don’t want to encourage anyone to obsess about this, but to just be aware of it and on one’s guard.  And if it comes to pass that they do knock you down, just get up, try to learn whatever lesson is there, and carry on.

Notes and References

  1. Nirvana An Occult Experience by G.S. Arundale pgs 174-175
  2. The Eternity Game is an oracle I use frequently that was created by Medhananda for the Integral Yoga.

 

Breaking Down A Dream Feeling

Even though I’ve been reading about and trying to dedicate my life to what you might call the advent of a divine life (or heaven on earth if you prefer) for years, it’s not yet something my vital can get greatly excited about. I don’t think I’m unique in this, but rather the rule and not the exception. This inability I feel comes from the limitations of the little mind and vital that I and most everyone else live in. I think it’s possible for that little mind and vital to get more excited and comprehending about the prospect of a divine life than mine do. In fact, the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo aims at ultimately converting and transforming these parts (as well as the body) into willing and able instruments of the divine life.

There’s another part of us though referred to in the Integral Yoga as the psychic being or in more common language the soul. It’s a part of us which is “already given to the Divine”1 and just naturally possesses an ardent fire and aspiration for the divine life which can also spread to the other parts of the being. Now both the words soul and psychic get a lot of usage and can mean a lot of different things to different people. So before I go on, let me allow the Mother to explain in more detail what she’s pointing to with the terms ‘psychic being’ or ‘soul.’

It is the seat of the Divine Consciousness, the Divine Self in the individual being. It is a centre of light and truth and knowledge and beauty and harmony which the Divine Self in each of you creates by his presence, little by little; it is influenced, formed and moved by the Divine Consciousness of which it is a part and parcel. It is in each of you the deep inner being which you have to find in order that you may come in contact with the Divine in you. It is the intermediary between the Divine Consciousness and your external consciousness; it is the builder of the inner life, it is that which manifests in the outer nature the order and rule of the Divine Will. If you become aware in your outer consciousness of the psychic being within you and unite with it, you can find the pure Eternal Consciousness and live in it; instead of being moved by the Ignorance as the human being constantly is, you grow aware of the presence of an eternal light and knowledge within you, and to it you surrender and are integrally consecrated to it and moved by it in all things.2

Though I am not united with my psychic being nor even yet had a really definitive experience of it, I had a smaller experience recently that I believe was the result of an influence or contact with the psychic being and which was connected with a dream. So having set the scene, I’ll now get into what happened.

A few weeks ago I was getting out of bed in the morning and suddenly remembered something that seemed to come from a dream. The memory though was a feeling; there was no picture or image content to it. I wish at the time I had recorded what that feeling felt like on my voice recorder, because now I can’t really conjure it up, whereas it was quite concrete at the time. I do recall though that the feeling somehow grasped what you could call infinity or eternity for lack of a better word. It didn’t bowl me over though. I felt it faintly but distinctly on the left side of my chest for a few seconds and then it sunk back down out of my awareness. I knew it was something significant, figured it came from some kind of experience during the night, but didn’t give it much more thought than that. The whole thing kind of caught me off guard.

So I went about my day and in the afternoon I picked up one of the books I was reading, a book of short stories called Guardians of Oneness by a German disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who went by the name of Medhananda. The story I was currently reading was called ‘One Million A.D.’ It’s the story of an astronaut who returns to earth after a long tour of the galaxy. However, since the astronaut spent most of his time away “traveling on a G-beam in a galactic slipstream”3 only 10 years have passed for him, whereas a million have passed on the earth. A lot has changed. The earth, he discovers, has again become a forest clad Eden populated by self-conscious animals and one remaining man. This man, who introduces himself as homo ultimus, is evolved far beyond what we would call human and has remained behind to foster and oversee the evolution of the animals. The rest of humanity has gone to live and continue their evolution in the suns, where, as homo ultimus explains, they take part in “those higher intensities of life and love which are possible in a sun.’’4 After that initial meeting most of the story is dedicated to showing the life of peace, harmony and joy of creation and discovery that the animals enjoy. Toward the end of the story though, homo ultimus gives the astronaut and us a glimpse of the life man is now living in the suns, through a link between their minds. This is what the astronaut experiences:

all I could see was the stars. But as I looked through his eyes and vibration receptors they were not merely stars any more, they were my fellow beings: friends, comrades, brothers – each one speaking to me, singing his particular and eternal hydrogen song which vibrated directly by molecular resonance in my DNA chains. Each had its own message, each was a guardian of a whole solar system, each was telling me about his adventure in evolution on the planets with which he was surrounded. Each one was singing his paean of cosmic love, of encouragement, of bliss, of victory, of triumph over the difficulties and obstacles of life and evolution. For hours I lay there listening, learning by memory-absorption all this news of the universe, of solar adventures and experiences.5

This was I believe the third time I’ve read this story, and like the other two times, I was struck and somewhat awed by the what this passage implies. This time though it went a little further in me, somehow made me really see the reality of this greater life and helped trigger a little inner opening. Later on as I sat on the front porch and was thinking about what I’d read a strong excitement and yearning for that greater life arose as well as a sort of knowing that this divine life of splendors we can’t even hardly conceive was really waiting for us. This knowing though wasn’t an intellectual thing, but rather a feeling, a confidence. My mind in fact had gotten fairly quiet as this state came to the foreground. In addition, there was joy in the experience as well as calm and a feeling of purity   A further boon was that the chronic pain I constantly experience was significantly diminished.

The yearning and excitement waned after I got up from the porch rocker and had to start actively doing things, but the joy and calm hung around and diminished over the course of a few hours. There was still a touch of it when I went to bed, but upon awakening the next day it was gone. It was just a little glimpse that came and went much like the one I referred to in my last blog post, and like that experience I feel it was a promise of something that could become permanent. One of the reasons I think this was a psychic contact is because the experience was mainly on the level of the heart which is where the psychic being has its nexus with the outer nature. Others things about the experience that for me are indicative of the psychic are the element of aspiration as well as the element of feeling/knowing. As the Mother points out the psychic being:

has the true knowledge, an intuitive instinctive knowledge. It says, “I know; I cannot give reasons, but I know.” For its knowledge is not mental, based on experience or proved true. It does not believe after proofs are given: faith is the movement of the soul whose knowledge is spontaneous and direct. Even if the whole world denies and brings forward a thousand proofs to the contrary, still it knows by an inner knowledge, a direct perception that can stand against everything, a perception by identity. The knowledge of the psychic is something which is concrete and tangible, a solid mass. You can also bring it into your mental, your vital and your physical; and then you have an integral faith—a faith which can really move mountains.6

Now I think I should point out that this wasn’t some exalted state. It all happened within the confines of normal human consciousness and was basically a temporary uplift. Regardless I think any sane person would find it much more preferable to exist in that state if they once had a taste of it. The requirement for that though it seems would be to unite with one’s psychic being, otherwise experiences like this will remain transient.

It also bears mentioning that this memory from the dream and the experience in the waking state were not identical. The essence of the dream memory was something more profound, but more subtle. Regardless, for me the link between the two is clear, and what I think happened was that there was an inner experience during sleep that spilled over a bit into my waking life first as the dream memory and then later as the waking experience. And even though reading Medhananda’s story helped trigger the state, the mostly unrecalled sleep experience was the primary thing in my opinion. I’m also of the opinion that things like this happen with some frequency during our sleep hours, but most of the time we’re unable to bring back any memory of them. In one of her talks on dreams the Mother explained why this is:

Some people do not have a passage between one state and another, there is a little gap and so they leap from one to the other; there is no highway passing through all the states of being with no break of the consciousness. A small dark hole, and you do not remember. It is like a precipice across which one has to extend the consciousness. To build a bridge takes a very long time; it takes much longer than building a physical bridge…. Very few people want to and know how to do it. They may have had magnificent activities, they do not remember them or sometimes only the last, the nearest, the most physical activity, with an uncoordinated movement—dreams having no sense.7

So the lesson here is that with the right development a conscious bridge can be built between all the regions we visit in sleep and our waking state. Then we can more easily recall these things upon awakening. I’m sure there are occult disciplines that have been laid out for building that bridge, but I haven’t come across them with the exception of Tibetan dream yoga. And while I’ve done a lot over the years to improve my dream recall and also my ability to lucid dream, the main thing I rely on now in dream work (other than keeping a journal of dreams I feel are important) is just trying to do the sadhana and asking the Mother to help me reach my psychic being as well as the higher levels of consciousness above the normal human mind while I’m in the dream state. In addition, I’ve asked her to take charge of my lucid dreams and to help me remember to call on her when I find myself lucid. When I do remember to call on her, usually a force takes me and I travel in blackness for a while. A few times I’ve reached another dream, but normally I find I either can’t hold the concentration and fully wake up or am back in my body in the cataleptic state.

I had some dreams though that came about three weeks before the experiences I relate in this article which I feel offer some encouragement that the process of building that bridge is moving forward. The reader should know that both of these dreams happened in the same night. I should also mention to the reader that Sam, who appears in the first dream, was a professor of mine and later a friend. More importantly though he was the first person I ever met who talked openly about how he was on a spiritual path.

In the first dream I’m in a car with Sam going down a country road and he’s driving. As we drive I’m reading a little book someone gave me that was written by Sam. I’m telling Sam the story of how I got the book, which had something to do with how I kept trying to bring someone’s business cards into the chamber of commerce where I work, and they kept blowing out of my hand. I’m reading something in the book, and the gist of it was that you keep up your practices until the zero hour, or maybe it said the third hour. It’s implying that grace eventually intervenes. It says something too about how the grace came for Sri Aurobindo. When I look back at that part of the text again, it’s changed now to say Sir Richmond and not Sri Aurobindo. I know that Sir Richmond is a name Sam uses to refer to himself in the book. Then Sam pulls over and stops the car because he thinks it’s acting up. I tell him we better turn around and head back. Instead though he pulls up a little side road, and we pass through a bit of forest until we get to a wooden bridge that is too narrow for the car. The bridge has some plants on it which are draping it with beautiful flowers. One was like a bougainvillea with purple or pinkish purple flowers. I believe there were light blue flowers too. On the other side of the bridge is a beautiful big stone house landscaped also with the purple flowers and also blue ones too if I remember correctly. The stones are cut and are about the size of cinder blocks. They fit together perfectly and are a dark grey. It’s almost like a fortress or castle in style, but it doesn’t have a sense of foreboding about it. On the contrary, it looks very cool and inviting the way a shady spot next to a cool stream would be. We’re both admiring the beauty, and I tell Sam that the house must be 5,000 square feet at least.

In the second dream, as the observer, I’m looking at a bridge that is being built from both sides to meet in the middle. The bridge is about 50 feet long and is an arch or at least slopes up toward the middle. It’s almost done and there is just a few feet more until the two sides connect. I’m semi lucid and remembering the bridge from the earlier dream with Sam as well as another bridge from another dream from that night, and I’m remembering them both as almost ready to meet in the middle too. I’m thinking this must have something to do with making the connection to the psychic being, and I’m repeating “Mother I must have this.”

Now in one dream the bridge was too narrow, and in the other it wasn’t complete, but I think it’s just two ways of saying the same thing. Namely that there’s some work to go to complete the bridge to whatever is represented by the beautiful stone house with all the flowers. My guess is that the house symbolizes the sanctuary of the psychic being, and the presence of flowers would seem to support that since flowers can represent things psychic. Another thing in favor of this idea is the intuition I had in the second dream that the bridge represented making the connection to the psychic being. I think I will trust that intuition for now until I feel I have good reason not to or I discover in time that the bridge represented something else. I should point out though that while in the Integral Yoga pink is a psychic color, blue is more of a spiritual color and purple a color corresponding to the vital. So maybe there’s more represented here than just the psychic change [or transformation] .

Another interesting point about the bridge in the second dream that was raised by my collaborator Donny, is the fact that it’s being built from both ends to meet in the middle. He suggested that could mean that the one end represents my own personal effort and aspiration in the sadhana while the other end represents the answering grace, and that both are needed to make that connection. I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes enough intuitive sense that I thought it worth putting forward for consideration.

In conclusion, I think that regardless of what the house in the first dream symbolizes, it’s clear the bridge to something good is nearing completion. How near to completion is hard to say. There were feet left to go and not inches, so it may not be something imminent. Being shown though that the bridge is being built has given a boost to my faith, and perhaps that was the primary purpose of these dreams. The first dream also gives some good advice, which I’ll try to take, which is to carry on with the sadhana keeping frustration at bay and with the faith that when the zero hour is reached the grace will take care of the rest.

Notes

1.Question and Answers 1929-1931 by the Mother pg 62
2.Question and Answers 1929-1931 by the Mother pg 62
3.Guardians of Oneness ‘One Million A.D.’ by Medhananda pg 45
4.Guardians of Oneness ‘One Million A.D.’ by Medhananda pg 53
5.Guardians of Oneness ‘One Million A.D.’ by Medhananda pg 63-64
6.Question and Answers 1929-1931 by the Mother pg 152
7.Question and Answers 1953 by the Mother pg 38

 

The Strength is on the Distant

This line of guidance from the inner voice came to me some months back:

The strength is on the distant

The first interpretation that jumped out at me was the yogic technique of distancing yourself from undesirable lower movements, looking at them as not oneself and detaching rather than struggling with them. Looking at the line that way helped me to free myself from the weakened but lingering siege of a strong vital reaction that had gotten in the day before the line came.  Do any other interpretations jump out at anyone?