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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Should we Pursue Psychic Development?

 Recently I have had some extraordinary experiences. I will relate one or two of them here. But the more important question is, should we pursue psychic experiences for their own sake?

If you have read a few of my blog entries here, especially those about Integrated Intelligence, you might be forgiven for thinking that I am an advocate of psychic development. After all, Integrated Intelligence is basically harnessing certain cognitive functions that would normally be classified as psychic or paranormal by mainstream science and media. And I have referred to some rather extraordinary experiences I have had over the years, including sightings of UFOs, out of body experiences, precognitions and so on. These experiences can be useful, and point us toward the destination, but they shouldn’t be confused for the goal.

Many popular spiritual and New Age books also use references to paranormal events as a means to entice their readers/viewers. On the back of one of Stuart Wilde’s recent books, for example, there is a reference to someone dematerialising and walking through a wall.

In fact Stuart Wilde is a classic example of a teacher who appears to have confused psychic and spiritual development. They are not the same thing. Genuine “progress” in spiritual development is indicated by the capacity to bring the mind into presence, and come into the right relationship with the mind or ego. It is typified by increasing periods of silence, or at least an enhanced ability to witness the endless babble of the mind, and recognising it for what it is – nonsense.

The problem with the psychic is that it can easily become a distraction from true spiritual development. 

The ego tends to be in a state of constant restlessness, and it likes to seek out exciting experiences to distract and to amuse itself. The seeking of psychic experiences may thus become a kind of addiction.

An important consideration is that epiphanies and extraordinary experiences are an inevitable part of the spiritual journey - but they are not the goal. The ego tends to want to claim them as “mine”, or use them to elevate its sense of specialness. In this way the mind locks itself into the illusion of separation, using psychic experiences to concretise its sense of control.

Having said this, Integrated Intelligence can be harnessed as means to develop a meaningful life, and in numerous ways, as I outlined in Sage of Synchronicity. The key is to be humble about these capacities. They are extraordinary in the sense that most people don’t even know they exist, yet they are ordinary in that they are just part of the evolutionary process of consciousness.

In a sense the psychic realm and Integrated Intelligence are most useful for spiritual journeymen and women who are just moving beyond the “rational” level of cognitive development. At this stage, the ego still tends to be in control, and the sense of separation between self and world remains strong. As rationally-inclined individual relaxes the hold of the ego and begins to allow deeper parts of the mind to surface, it is inevitable that the boundaries between self and others, and with the world itself will begin to break down. In this phase of personal development a person can then use the intuitive information that begins to come his/her way, and apply it to life. In the higher stages of spiritual development the way that Integrated Intelligence is used changes, and (I suspect) at the very final stages of enlightenment, it is really not needed, as the ego has largely lost its power and there is no requirement to implement personal will. The seeker and the sought become one.

Recently I have noticed a change in my own mental structuring, and it appears to be an “elevation” into the next stage of my own journey. I became aware of this possibility about a week ago, via a dream (and dreams can tell you a lot about your journey). In the dream I was in a large library, full of books. There was a rather bookish woman in there – perhaps the librarian - and it was obvious that she had what I can only describe as a crush on me - i.e. she was in love with me (don’t tell my wife about this dream, please!). Then I walked outside, and was on a black tar road at night. It appeared to be somewhere in northern, inland USA. It was quite brisk, and I looked up into the night sky and saw some sheets of white light, shimmering like the aurora borealis (but only white). I was full of wonder at the sheer beauty of it.

My ability to relax into presence has been markedly better during this time too.

Then last night I walked down to the beach near where I live in Discovery Bay, on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. I was with my wife. She did some yoga, while I did the manly thing, doing a few chin ups and resistance exercises on the bars of the children’s playground there.

After finishing my exercises, I sat down behind my wife, as she was sitting in a yoga position on the sand. I have always found that dusk is an ideal time to sense energy, and as I quieted my mind, I immediately noticed some energy radiating from her body. I see light around people from time to time, but to be honest I never really tried to investigate the experience. Yet last night I felt a “desire” to explore it, so I allowed myself to fall into a light trance state - or perhaps more accurately, I just silenced my mind and took careful note of the thing I was looking at – my wife’s back as she sat before me. Almost immediately the energy surrounding her entire body appeared to radiate out. It was more pronounced in certain areas than others. The more I relaxed, the more clear and colorful it became. The light around the top of her head, for example was dark bluish.

Suddenly a very bright light shone through my head and into my mind. This is hard to explain, but it is like the light was there, but was not seen through the eyes. It is as if there was a brilliant moon right above the head, but I was actually not able to see it, just it’s light pouring in. Then the whole of my vision seemed to catch fire, and the light irradiated me from within. I “saw” a great circle of purplish light, seeming to enter my heart. It was slightly frightening, and I was not quite sure what attitude to take with it. I just sat with it, and noted my ego’s attempts to personalise it, possess it, and expand it.

After a while, as best I could, I told my wife what I was perceiving. My wife is rather a sceptic of the spiritual, but to her credit, acquiesced to my request to remain still and not get up (despite muttering something about falun dafa – the falun gong! – she’s mainland Chinese!).

The whole experience was a just a few minutes. I didn’t attempt to prolong it. My wife asked me to explain what I’d seen. I tried my best, but in the end I had to confess I didn’t really have words for it, and that I didn’t really understand it. We got up and walked back home.

One thing that did strike me, though, was that the experience felt very much like the dream I’d had a few days before, when I saw the aurora borealis in the sky. That dream was a precognition of an energy that was “descending” upon me.

What was just as interesting for me though, was that when I went to sleep last night, I dreamt of being in a house fire. The entire house was burning, and I was frightened at the loss of everything that I owned. I was filled with anxiety about what would happen when all that I had was gone. There was a cupboard where I kept some books and papers from my childhood school years, and I was trying desperately to save them, even as they burned.

This was an obvious communication of the resistance of ego, when it is asked to shed part of its identity. It reacts with fear. As higher levels or stages of the journey unfold, one is required to let go of the ego and its constructs of self, which are impermanent and an illusion. This is not easy.

Shortly after this first dream, there then followed a dream/vision sequence where I saw that in order to actualise my recent shift in consciousness, there is a need to acknowledge, integrate and heal three relationships from my childhood. The first part of the vision was quite clear, where I saw my childhood best friend sitting in a bedroom. He was projecting some shaming and mocking energy at me. In the second part of the vision I opened a door and saw a tennis player, and the letters “MLB” were written above his head. I knew immediately that it referred to another childhood friend of mine, who was obsessed with tennis. I have no idea what his middle name was but his initials were MB, and there are some lingering issues with him, as he could be quite demeaning at times. The final person in the vision was merely represented by a flag – the Union Jack. There was no information on that, so its cryptic nature suggests that I will be asked to work on it in the coming period of time.

Dreams, visions and psychic experiences can be extremely useful on your journey. You can learn much from them. They can be powerful, even life-changing, but they should not be confused with the destination. My recent experiences are simply to point me in the right direction, and to correct the illusions of the ego.



  1. Great post, Marcus. I especially like the experience with your wife on the beach, followed by the intriguing dreams. - Trish

  2. Strange, I got an email from Blogger saying Trish had posted a comment, but it seems to have disappeared! The email says Trish wrote:

    "Great post, Marcus. I especially like the experience with your wife on the beach, followed by the intriguing dreams. - Trish "

    Anyway, glad you liked the beach anecdote, Trish. It was certainly interesting. This light is now coming and going. It seems to be consistent with what others such as Leonard Jacobson have reported. It's great that we have these maps now, put down by people such as Leonard and David Hawkins. It makes it so much easier for the modern spiritual journeyman/woman. If I'd had that experience on the beach without any understanding of these things I might have thought I was losing it. My wife still thinks I've lost it, though... :-)

  3. I've been having problems with Blogger comments, too.

    Good post, Marcus. Your psychic event with your wife sounds like energy emanating from the chakra centers.

  4. Yes, Nancy, the chakras are definitely involved. I have noted for some time that if I go out at dusk there is the strange, recurring experience of there being a radiant moon shining in the sky, which I can "see" and feel when I am looking straight ahead, but when I look up there is no moon in the sky. I can see the light with my eyes open, radiating strongly from above, seemingly straight through my skull and into my eyes, but there is no physical source. This latest experience involved the opening of the heart chakra as well, which made it especially powerful.

    The truth is that this stuff is not really in direct control. One just opens up, and relaxes, and the rest is the divine. You can't force it, and desiring it means you are not ready for it, paradoxically. A bit of a catch 22.