|Theurgical Dialectic||Evoking Higher Spiritual Powers||Contact with Spiritual Substance|
| Spiritual Contact
|| Realizing the Unitive State
|| Locating Consciousness in the Higher Self
|| Creative Inspiration
|| Expanding Human Consciousness
Communing With Kindred Souls|
"There exists a faculty in the human mind which is immeasurably superior to all those which are grafted or engendered in us. By it we can attain to union with superior intelligences, finding ourselves raised above the scenes of this earthly life, and partaking of the higher existence and superhuman powers of the inhabitants of the celestial spheres." Iamblicus (250-325 CE), The Egyptian Mysteries
A genuine human is in essence a manifestation of the Divine. Our purpose--both during life and after--is to purify the channel of our being so that the Divine can express through us.In this essay we'll focus on three subjects:
The end for which man was created, Plato said, was to achieve communion with the Higher Powers above this terrestrial realm, through "the light and spirit of the Divine, the wings of the soul. That ought to be man's aim in the acquisition of knowledge."
| "The spiritual world is not at the behest of our desires and intentions. Quite the contrary: it is always a gift: not a generic gift, but a gift given by a specific giver, a spiritual being. For the spiritual world is a world of beings--from the highest angelic hierarchies to the so-called dead. Spiritual knowing is not something we can take. It must be received. Therefore, to approach such knowing-receiving, we must silence our desires, purposes, and intentions and present ourselves in devoted, expectant, sensitive waiting. Whatever comes originates in the spiritual world, not in us."|
Inner Reading and Inner Hearing, by Rudolf Steiner
We must first realize that "contact" with higher beings involves awakening our spiritual body and all its senses: spiritual seeing, spiritual hearing, spiritual discerning, and spiritual doing. We must, in the time intervals we devote to learning how to awaken these capabilities, die to the physical realm and begin to experience rebirth in the spiritual dimension.
"The only way we can experience anything from the spiritual world is to understand that we must take what it offers us as letters and words, which we must learn to read. That is it. And not to learn, to believe that we can spare ourselves learning to read the esoteric script, would be just as clever as someone taking a book and saying, 'There are fools who say that something is expressed in this book. I thumb from page to page in it and see only pretty letters.' Those who cannot read the letters absorb only what they see and are unconcerned about what is expressed." 1
We learn to "read" the spiritual world's letters and words by gaining the capacity to "read" the physical world in the same way.
"The physical world is nothing more than a written page that lies before us. If we only gape at it, we don't understand what it is all about. We must learn to read. We know equally little about the world when we regard it only with what physical perception provides and do not become aware that we must decode it and penetrate into it. We must read it to understand its meaning." 2
We learn to "read" both the physical and spiritual world's letters and words--comprehend their inner meanings--by first distinguishing between intellectual-conceptual understanding and personal, experiential understanding.
"One has to distinguish between an elementary level of development leading to comprehension of an experienced spiritual teacher's statements, following them as it were in thought and feeling and acknowledging them as truth within certain limits, and an advanced level on which one attains the personal experiences in soul and spirit realm." 3 Our effort to make contact with Higher Beings is directed especially toward those connected with the Perennial Tradition. Our purpose is to discover with them what are our individual purposes and learn how to bring these objectives into manifestation with the assistance of these spiritual beings.
"Spiritual researchers must enter into the training and use what is used in ordinary life in the service of external knowledge to make the intellectual powers more agile, more supple. For when, instead of applying these powers to usefulness and advantage in the physical world, we use them in the service of self-education, as happens in meditation, concentration, and the exercises received, then we are preparing ourselves to penetrate into the spiritual world. . . . We can only prepare ourselves, so that when the things of the spiritual world approach us they do not escape our notice, but rather really make an impression on us. " Rudolph Steiner, Inner Reading and Inner Hearing A. Contact With The Divine
We must take seriously the reality of attaining contact with Divinity. This does not refer to some scholastic pretence; it signifies a tangible experience of unity--oneness--with Divinity, an entering into God's essence, an identity and participation in the Divine Life. This is a discernible experience of merging with our Higher Consciousness, in which God is literally manifesting through us and we through Him.
Contact with the Divine requires self-abnegation and preparation.
We make contact with the Divine by learning to see human life from the perspective of the Divine.
"God is close by. He draws his worshipper near and engulfs him in His Presence. He personally elects His worshipper and endows him with superhuman force to reach Him. He Himself acts in him to bring difference to nought and to bridge the gap."
Hujwiri, The Revelation of the Veiled Mysteries, 1040 CE
B. Contact With Spiritual Guardians and Guides
In this area of thought we find a wide variety of disparate concepts of spiritual guardian-guides, quite a number of which are the products of self-appointed experts and "teachers," who have no genuine experience with such Higher Beings. So it's necessary to separate the spurious concepts concerning spiritual guides from the genuine.
Positive teachers and teachings:|
1. Ibn Arabi
2. Paul Brunton
4. Elmer Green: Director of the
psychobiological lab at the Menninger Clinic
• At age three experienced spiritual guides
• Elmer's wife, Alyce, could inform him about
• His wife could speak to him as a soul
• Higher Beings as main agents of history
I find unacceptable the sources listed under the term "questionable" because they exhibit these characteristics:
- Speaking ex-cathedra (claimed by the person to be infallible and to be accepted without question)
- Speaking in a dogmatic fashion--no reference to personal experience or proof
- Speaking in a pedantic manner--talking "down" to the reader
The sources I list as "acceptable" and the sources I refer to in the section on contact with the divine make reference to personal experience, speak in a more balanced manner, and offer explication and proof when possible. These sources also share these themes:
- Awakening the spiritual body in order to make contact with Higher Beings
- Unity and identity with the Higher Self
- Recognizing contact with Higher Beings as extraordinary "gifts" to the seeker
". . . The highest types existing in the spiritual world are not waiting momentarily, hourly, and daily for contacts from anyone with any kind of a motive and for any purpose. If contact with these highly evolved spiritual beings is possible at all, it is possible only because of a high motive and because the person seeking the contact is able to spiritualize himself or inwardly attune himself to the same noble, beautiful, spiritual standard possessed by the one being sought.
"We cannot conceive of a spiritual realm in which the most noble and beautifully evolved beings of all times, devoted to a great and noble work, place themselves in such a position as to be available to any person who calls for them through any professional medium, or through any simple process of concentration. We do not find the noble persons of this earth plane or the highly evolved, intellectual, spiritual beings of our earthly surroundings constantly available to everyone who seeks their words of advice or help, nor do we find these wonderful characters ready to answer foolish and nonsensical questions relating to the most idiotic incidents of life."
H. Spencer Lewis, "Contacting the Spiritual World,"
The Rosicrucian Digest, December 1931
2. How Specific Persons Made Contact with Higher Beings
In this section, we'll examine the experiences and writings of four persons who made contact with advanced discarnate beings:
- Betty White:
- Margaret Cameron: The Seven Purposes (summary)
- Ruth Finley: Our Unseen Guest
3. How Transformative Contact with Higher Spiritual Beings Is Achieved
For most of us, our subconscious is an almost totally unknown phenomenon. If we attempt to achieve contact with what we believe to be discarnate or higher beings, we can unintentionally tap into elements within our subconscious--or entities within the supersensible dimension--that are negative or regressive. We can experience dangerous or harmful effects.
Our purpose must be to achieve contact that is:
- Not merely "interesting " or amusing
- That assists in our personal and social intellectual and spiritual development
- Progressive: for the improvement of our world and the betterment of humankind
One of the primary means of distinguishing the Perennial Tradition from degraded and corrupted systems is its understanding of and exclusive beneficent use of spiritual power. In such aberrant systems as shamanism, black magic, witchcraft, metallic alchemy, and sorcery, a species of extra-normal power is invoked to be used for personal--often negative--purposes.
The purpose of Progress is first and greatest, because it moves all the others toward the Great Purpose. . . Co-operation is the basic principle of all progress, and the point at which it stops is the measure of strength of man or nation. The nation that refuses to co-operate for progress is a nation confessing itself deterrent." Margaret Cameron, The Seven Purposes, 1918
Higher spiritual powers, as we are here exploring this phenomenon, only appear to the uninformed and ignorant to be similar to the forces which are invoked in debased systems. We must distinguish higher spiritual powers from lower, debilitating forces which depraved persons can learn to summon and utilize.
The essential difference between higher spiritual powers and black magical or occult forces is that a person learning to contact and cooperate with higher dynamism must of necessity attain advanced moral understanding and rectitude. It is simply impossible to contact or work with higher spiritual forces unless one has attained the state of high moral purpose and discernment. Higher powers, by their very nature, are indiscernible, incomprehensible, and thus unavailable to persons who seek to use them for negative purposes.
"The deeper secrets and laws of our being are self-protected; to learn them requires an adaptation of character and purpose, and a humility of mind and spirit, inconsistent with those displayed by the perverse or merely curious enquirer. To understand, let alone practically to explore, the Hermetic Mystery is not for every one--at least, at his present state of evolutional unfolding . . . Only to those whose spiritual destiny has already equipped them with a certain high measure of moral and intellectual fitness will even a rough notional apprehension of it be practicable."
Walter Leslie Wilmhurst, Introduction to M. A. Atwood,
Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy, 1850
In seeking contact with forces outside ourselves, we must gain the ability to determine if we're dealing with higher beings, not regressive, lower beings. As with all spiritual activities, we're able to make effective determination of the nature of advanced forces in direct proportion to our own understanding and development. A person with limited or no spiritual development will judge negative or deleterious "extraneous forces" to be harmless or even beneficent.
We can use as our criteria of judging outside forces or entities the two elements we explored above: transformative and progressive. Plus, we know that advanced or higher beings or forces will, by their very nature, possess these qualities and characteristics:
- "The purpose of Progress is first and greatest, because it moves all the others toward the Great Purpose. The other constructive purposes are these, divided and subdivided: Light, Justice, Truth, Production, Healing, Building. . . Eternal purpose is perfect justice, perfect fearlessness, perfect understanding, perfect honesty, perfect sympathy, perfect unity, and eternal growth, which is progress perfectly expressed." 4
- Goodwill toward humans: a demonstrated interest in enhancing the betterment of humankind
- Virtuous, 5 just, 6 and wise 7
"A man should make all haste to escape from earth to attain unity with God. We escape by becoming as like God as possible. We attain unity with God by becoming virtuous, just, and wise. The man who desires assimilation with the divine must possess the wisdom of virtue."
Plato, Theaetetus, (176b)
Different Kinds of Contact with Higher Beings
In regard to the many different kinds of contact with higher or advanced beings, we can order them according to their similarity or dissimilarity to ordinary life and consciousness:
1. Ordinary: contacting advanced beings through reading their writings or attending to their compositions (musical, literary, artistic, etc.)
". . . God takes their ordinary state of consciousness from artists and savants when he communicates through them, as He does with prophets and diviners, so that we who hear should know they are not the ones who speak those verses that are of such high value . . . that God himself is the one who speaks through them to us."2. Less ordinary (and potentially dangerous)
A. Attempting to contact discarnate beings through or with others:B. Perennialist meditation:
- a. With a Ouija Board
b. Through a trance medium
- c. Through occult means (witchcraft, sorcery)
B. Attempting to contact discarnate beings through
- your own efforts:
- a. By trying to become a witch or warlock
- b. By trying to become a medium
- c. By trying to become a sorcerer or shaman
3. Somewhat extraordinary (and less potentially dangerous):
A. Recognition of the constant presence and activity of higher forces and beings
"These higher planes are actually at every moment acting upon and in communication with our own plane of being, although this action is naturally not present to our ordinary waking or outer consciousness, because that is for the most part limited to a reception and utilisation of the contacts of the physical world. . ."The moment we either go back into our subliminal being or enlarge our waking consciousness beyond the scope of the physical contacts, we become aware of something of this higher action. We find even that the human being can project himself partially into these higher planes under certain conditions, even while in the body. . .
"The consequences of this relation and this power of transference . . . immediately justify . . . the ancient tradition of at least a temporary sojourn of the human consciousness being in other worlds than the physical. . ." Aurobindo, The Life Divine
"The 'invisible world' is at all times, at various places, interpenetrating ordinary reality. Things which we take to be inexplicable are in fact due to this intervention. People do not recognize the participation of this 'world' in our own, because they believe that they know the real cause of events. They do not. . . It is only when you can hold in your mind the possibility of another dimension sometimes impinging upon the ordinary experiences that this dimension can become available to you." Idries Shah, The Sufis
As we develop mastery of Perennialist meditation, our communion with Higher Realities results in inspired knowledge which guides and enriches our contemplation:
- "Just as you receive inspired knowledge when you write, you can receive inspired knowledge during meditational interchange."
- "As you're able to receive inspiration when writing, without understanding how this occurs, so you receive inspired knowledge in meditation without knowing how it happens."
"It is through communicating with higher spiritual beings by means of Theurgical Dialectic that advanced humans come to true realization of what they are in essence: eternal spiritual entities."
Iamblicus, On the Mysteries
C. Dialectical Interchange:
Reading as dialectical interchange involves Higher Intelligence speaking to us through our experience of reading illuminating material. The material expands our consciousness, allowing us to comprehend elements and entities we had not understood before. This form of dialectic involves the material acting on our consciousness to produce new meanings and new awareness. Our consciousness interacts with the material to arrive at new concepts. The new understanding is a joint creation of a previously unknown reality--the meanings immanent in the material--and the ability we have previously gained in achieving deeper comprehension.
We realize the newly created understanding is only partially the creation of our consciousness, because it is something we were previously unaware of--and grasp its meanings progressively through repeated subsequent readings. And it has the reality of a "message" expressed through us which we then can, if we attain the proper altitude of mind, "interpret" to others through precise thought and exact phrasing: expressing the new awareness in appropriate and cogent terms. It is the experience of a mystical uniting of separate realities or modalities into a common, creative manifestation.
A few rather more broad-minded Christian contemplatives such as Isaac of Nineveh, an East Syrian writer of the seventh century, held that the reading of Scripture is not so much study of the Biblical text for cognitive purposes, but rather as a means for direct converse and mystical encounter with God and insight into the depths of the divine reality. Isaac spoke of the reading of Scripture as the means of contact with Higher Beings and the primary means of spiritual transformation.
"The dialectic method endeavors to arrive at the One itself, always employing for this purpose steps of ascent, and at last, beautifully ends in the nature of the good."
Proclus (411-485 CE), The Theology of Plato
"Dialectic is the only philosophical process which seeks for wisdom by anagogically uplifting our Intellectual foundations so that our Higher Self ascends to the Origin."
Plato, The Commonwealth VII, 533d
"It is the life that is lived in accordance with Higher Intellect and that cleaves to spiritual beings that we must train ourselves to live; for this is the only life which admits of the untrammeled endowment of the soul, frees us from the bonds of necessity, and allows us to live a life no longer mortal, but one that is divine and filled by the will of spiritual beings with divine benefits." Iamblicus, Letter to Macedonius (On Fate)
1 Rudolph Steiner, Inner Reading and Inner Hearing
3 Rudolph Steiner, The Inner Development of Man
4 Margaret Cameron, The Seven Purposes
5 Virtue: moral excellence, concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles
6 Just: Honorable, equitable, and fair in one's dealings and actions, consistent with what is morally right
7 Wisdom: Plato, who originated the disclosure of the Perennial Tradition titled philosophy [Filosofia: fileo: love of sofia: wisdom], taught select students how to attain a state of higher discernment called Wisdom through dialectical interchange. Instruction in attaining this state was named philosophia, the love of and the search for Wisdom.
References and Updates
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