“Expanded abilities can develop in people who’ve had a near-death experience, a traumatic accident, or major surgery. It is as though the dramatic shock to the energy body and the mind cracks them open so more of the soul can flood in, bringing heightened consciousness-and-energy. … The traumatic event acts as an excuse to be new—a sort of shortcut to expanded consciousness. … You’ll find, too, that as one ability opens, it’s tied closely to other abilities, and several may occur in rapid sequence.” ~Penney Peirce
What Ms. Peirce calls “expanded abilities” is mostly expanded consciousness. We can think of consciousness as having many layers like an onion. Reaching a new level doesn’t mean we have learned everything. There are probably even higher levels after that until we finally reach the highest called Cosmic Consciousness or Christ Consciousness.
Traumatic events can help us awaken a higher level of consciousness. It may be a close brush with death, a severe illness, or even being under anesthesia for surgery. This doesn’t mean you need to have such an experience to reach higher levels of consciousness. There is no need to run out into traffic or jump off a cliff.
Sometimes the traumatic experience is mental rather than physical. The trauma of seeing men dying in a war helped trigger St. Francis’ awakening. Nostradamus was changed by the death of his wife and two children during the plague.
Some are fortunate enough that the triggering event, while traumatic, is not undesirable. They may be triggered by meeting a famous holy man, or even reading about one.
Shortcut to Expanded Consciousness
I don’t thing it is truly a shortcut to higher levels of consciousness that is created by such events. It is more like certain doors are forces open, or barriers removed. It is also true that many experience traumatic events without any change in consciousness. So I think that when it does happen, it is probably because that person was ready for it to happen. She was already standing just outside that closed door to the higher level, allegorically speaking.
When Ms. Peirce speaks of newly awakened abilities, expanded abilities, she means those that are generally called “psychic”. Abilities like precognition, flashes of intuition, accident avoidance, and so on. While this does happen, and is a step in the right direction, we should not stop with the awakening of innate psychic abilities. Psychic is not spiritual. There are levels of being, levels of knowledge above the psychic level. Those even higher levels are the spiritual realms. It is those levels that are the goal of all mystics, prophets, and real spiritual students.
The ability to guess correctly whether a coin will be heads or tails four out of five times is cool. An ability to converse with Angels and other Beings of Light is much more cool. The ability to dream about an event that happens a few days later is also nice. An ability to tap into the source of all truth and knowledge, far nicer.
Skipping the Trauma
The best part, though, is that a traumatic event isn’t always necessary. Some can awaken without it.
What really awakens the dormant soul and spirit causing expanded abilities is the Light of the Spiritual Sun. That Light tends to be blocked from more materialistic types, so they need that trauma to remove the barrier. But some can simply turn to the sun, and using the methods taught in a good spiritual school, remove the barriers and absorb that spiritual Light. This “sun gazing” has become popular in recent year. Most schools teaching it, however, are just looking at the physical sun. Spiritual development comes from going beyond that type of sun gazing to looking at the spiritual sun.