Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Psychic Breakthrough

Each of us is more than the everyday contents of our conscious minds.  Our everyday minds are rooted in a deeper mental world.  And we don’t know the limits of that world.  Things going on there can make us neurotic or drive us crazy. But that’s not all; there’s a positive pole to our  hidden mental life.  Call it our creative unconscious, our latent mental powers such as insight, intuition, inspiration.

 

Is there a way to  tap into our latent psychic powers?  There is a definite state of mind that is receptive to these powers.  Paradoxically, it’s a state in which our consciousness is blocked, backed against the wall, so to speak—a feeling that there’s no way out.  But nature loves to surprise us.  Sometimes desperation  triggers an opening  to higher forms of consciousness.

 

This quantum leap can happen spontaneously or as a result of some kind of deliberate practice.    

 

Spontaneous cases abound.  For example, illness.   Matisse was planning on a career as a lawyer but then got sick; by the time he recovered he decided  to try his hand at painting.  Francis of Assisi was a bon vivant before being laid low by illness during which he woke up to a new lifestyle of radical spirituality that spread all over the world.   Something transformative happened during their forced retreat from everyday reality.

 

People who find themselves in dire straits are sometimes helped in ways that point to this other layer of existence, potentials that can apparently be activated. Two examples come to mind, Josh Slocum alone and sick at sea who was helped by a visit from an apparition of Sir Francis Drake and Benvenuto Cellini about to commit suicide in prison but prevented by an apparition that intervenes. 

 

Besides these one-off stories of mysterious intervention, there are spontaneous experiences of high significance that may frequently recur. They demand a place in our inventory of psychic breakthrough, a type of experience that occurs on the boundary between life and death: deathbed visions and near-death experiences.   This type of experience is nothing you would expect, if materialism were true. 

 

A powerful illustration of irruptions from the creative unconscious is the poltergeist, a phenomenon whose exact origins remain elusive.  In many cases, a single young person may be the unwitting agent of the poltergeist and the wild paranormal antics it produces.  Other times several people or just the locale seems to determine all the weird manifestations.

 

Psychosis may sometimes be a vehicle of extraordinary manifestations.  The alliance of genius and madness is a fascinating line of research, and an ancient meme.  See  Chapter 7 (423-492) on Genius in Irreducible Mind by Edward Kelly & Michael Grosso, an extensive analysis of the highest forms of creativity. 

 

Still in the realm of spontaneous cases, there are many instances in which brain traumas unexpectedly release stunning talents that appear suddenly and mature rapidly.  Musicophilia by Oliver Sachs details the case of a man whose brain injury turned him with startling suddenness into a talented, inspired musician. 

  

Another example involves autism savants. Since 1990 there has been a rise in cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the U.S.  (It’s unclear why.)  Autism may involve genetically conditioned brain anomalies.  Looking at the signs of this condition, they might be described as the result of a one-sided, self-absorbed form of  consciousness.  Communication and socialization skills are impaired. Social isolation, obsessive interests, we see a pattern of recoil from contact with the external world and a shift toward the internal self.  Inwardly focused autism may sometimes become a door to genius. Extraordinary capacities for memory, numerical calculation, music and visual art might suddenly manifest. Darold A. Treffert (MD) argues we all have access to this dimension of higher genius.   How to get at it is the challenge.

 

So, the data points to the reality of a deeper stratum of our mental being, a  source of rich creative potentials.  Now and then nature and fate trigger breakthroughs to what’s inside us.   But people have also been more proactive in devising ways to awaken the more creative parts of our inner selves.

 

Voluntary practices may induce breakthroughs. Certain situations somehow result in psychic barriers melting away and people gaining access to their extraordinary powers.   We may all harbor these abilities, which accidents of nature awaken sometimes.  But methods and practices have been devised  to  release our higher mental powers.

 

There is a range of inspired ecstatic dance manias. Perhaps the most famous example from the ancient world is the dance cult of Dionysos.  There is a rich Christian history of dance cults (Backman).  Dance and music are used in group settings with  the aim of contact with the higher aid.

 

 

Most spiritual traditions  center around making contact with the unseen powers of the universe, naming the power in their own way, seeking contact in their own language and culture.  In all forms of Yoga, contemplative and petitionary prayer, indigenous vision quest and mystical moments, all involving practices designed to purify consciousness, reaching toward breakthrough.  

 

To sum up.  There is a normally hidden layer of our mental life that houses extraordinary human potentials.  And there are ways to be in touch with these hidden powers, it happening out of the blue or sometimes by means of special coaxing.

 

The more challenging life on Earth, the greater the need to realize our higher potentials.  It’s about becoming fully human, without getting your head blown off. With all the old rules changing so rapidly,  we may have to improvise every step of the way.   As things break up there is always the chance that we break through.

 

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