“The reports of all religions are filled with accounts of the so-called miraculous occurrences. The Catholic saint reports that he ‘saw the light of God’s countenance,’ and the non-Catholic reports likewise regarding God as he knows him. The Mohammedan reports that he caught a glimpse of the face of Allah, and the Buddhist tells us that he saw Buddha under the tree. …
“These conflicting reports have led to the belief, on the part of those who did not understand the nature of the phenomena, that these things were ‘all imagination’ and fancy, if indeed not rank falsehood and imposture. But the Yogis know better than this. They know that underneath all these varying reports, there is a common ground of truth.” ~William Walker Atkinson
Believing is Seeing
We have all heard the saying, “seeing is believing,” but it more often works the other way around. What we believe affects what we see, especially in the spiritual realm. Even on the material level, we often find ourselves tricked by beliefs intro seeing something different than what is actually there.
I remember once, quite a few years ago, walking into a building in Washing D. C. with a friend where we both worked, and seeing something lying on the hallway floor about ten feet in front of us. Both of us say a large black beetle, but when we got up to it and looked more closely it turned out to be a piece of a black plastic trash bag. The curious thing is that both of us say it as a large beetle. I believe this is because when we are confronted with something we don’t understand, we communicate with others on a sub-conscious mental level and form an opinion. This opinion is based on beliefs.
On a spiritual level, when spirits that may be angels or Light Beings with a true form that is very different from ours, our beliefs override that reality. If we are Christian, we will see Jesus, Mary, or an angel as depicted by artists with silly bird wings (angels don’t weigh anything, they have no need of feathered wings.) A Buddhist might see Buddha instead, a Hindu would see a Hindu God, and so on. We have to remember that when we “see” something, the eye is only the first step, it is the brain that interprets what the eye sees and that is where beliefs enter into it.
Oriental spiritual teachers will say that your cup must be emptied before it can be filled again. Sometimes this means that you must empty the mind completely in order for it to be filled with truth. It can also just mean that you have to free yourself of beliefs that shape everything you see and experience hiding the truth from you.
A Common Truth
Not just Yogis, but many types of spiritual Adepts or Mystics are aware of this problem and know of the common truths behind all these visions. They understand that the Catholic child who sees the Virgin Mary, the Buddhist monk who sees Buddha, and the Muslim who sees Allah are all seeing the same thing which is in all those cases very different than the perception filtered by believing. But when the soul is awakened, it sees the real truth. The soul is not deceived like the mind often is. So trust the soul and your intuition more that mind and vision.