mind reading

Mind Reading: We all Do It

“The simple forms of telepathic phenomena have received the name ‘Mind Reading’ and by some have been regarded as something not quite within the class of real telepathy. This last impression has been heightened by the fact that there has been offered the public many spectacular exhibitions of pseudo mind-reading, that is to say, imitation or counterfeit mind reading, in which the result has been obtained by trickery, collusion, or clever artifice. But, notwithstanding this fact, genuine mind-reading is actually a phase of true telepathy. …

“I will remind the student that he will learn more by a half-dozen actual experiments at mind-reading than he will by reading a dozen books on the subject. It is very good to read the books in order to get the correct theory fixed in mind, and also in order to learn the best methods as taught by those who have had a wide experience in the subject; but the real ‘how’ of the matter is learned only through actual experimental work.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Psychic and Spiritual

The first thing I want to clear up before getting into the subject of telepathy is the matter of psychic and spiritual matters. They are not the same thing. That needs to be repeated for many. Psychic is not the same as spiritual. If you look at it as climbing up flights of stairs that represent levels of consciousness, psychic activity is one flight above our normal materialistic state, and spiritual is another flight above that. So we do have to climb up to the psychic level before we reach the spiritual. The problem is that many stop at the psychic level and go no further. This is a mistake. That said, let’s get on with exploring Telepathy.

Telepathic Mind Reading

At the time when Mr. Atkinson was writing his books, telepathy was probably defined a little different than today. The simple definition now, according to Merriam-Webster, is: “communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means”. That would clearly include what is often called mind reading. But as Atkinson points out, it only includes real mind-reading, not the many mind-reading stage acts that are done with trickery.

We All Do It

Many people think that telepathy is either a special talent that a small number of people have. Others think it is something that has to be learned and developed like studying most other subjects. While that is true for conscious mind-reading, the truth is most, if not all, of us, do it subconsciously all the time.

I can’t prove that. I haven’t conducted extensive, scientific experiments on it. But I have seen enough evidence of this subconscious mind-reading to accept that it happens all the time. I have written about this before, but let me repeat just one example.

Have you ever been driving down a quiet country road at night and looking ahead, you see something strange just off the road? Perhaps you see a witch standing there. Or maybe a bear. But when you get closer, you laugh when it see that it is just a rock, bush or tree stump. Have you ever had that happen when there is a lot of traffic on the road? I think the answer is no. I certainly haven’t. And the reason for that is this subconscious telepathy that we do all the time without being aware of it. If there is another car a short distance ahead of us, those in that car see the object first. Once they know exactly what it is, their minds broadcast that information. We pick it up and see the correct object right away. We never see the witch or bear because those other minds told us it is just a tree stump or a rock.

If you can except that all of us are communicating telepathically on a subconscious level, it makes it easier to learn to do it consciously and intentionally.

Beyond Human Mind Reading

But if psychic communication is not spiritual, why bother learning it? One reason has already been mentioned. Because the psychic level of consciousness is the first step towards the spiritual. The other, more important reason, is that we use something similar to mind-reading to communicate with spiritual beings: angels and Light Beings. Although telepathy on the physical level is mind-to-mind communication and communicating with spiritual beings is soul-to-soul, I think learning one helps develop the other. Of course, we don’t want to spend to much time and effort on developing psychic abilities such as mind-reading. That is likely to cause us to take root on that level of consciousness (allegorically speaking), and fail to move on to spiritual levels.

Do it Yourself

Mr. Atkinson is correct in saying that we will learn more about mind-reading by practicing it rather than just reading about it. That idea isn’t limited to mind-reading. In fact, it is true of almost everything. It is definitely true of spiritual development. You can read books that teach techniques for spiritual awakening, but you don’t awaken by reading the books. You don’t gain any significant spiritual knowledge by reading books. You have to practice spiritual techniques. You have to practice until you raise your level of consciousness so high that you connect directly with the source of all truth and knowledge. Then you will learn how inadequate any book is at teaching truth and reality.

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dog-like mind

Dog-Like Mind Needs to Become Angelic

“Now if thou hast had an envious [spiteful] dogged mind, and hast grudged everything to others, as a dog does with a bone which himself cannot eat, then there appears such a doggish mind, and according to that source is the worm of the Soul figured ,and such a will it keeps in the Eternity, in the first principle. …

“For the door of the deep to the Light of God appears to thee no more; for thou art a perfect creature of the first principle. And now though thou dost elevate thyself, and would break open the door of the deep, yet that cannot be done. … Thou fliest out aloft over the Kingdom of God, and cannot enter in; and the higher thou fliest, the deeper thou art in the Abyss, and thou seest not God yet, who is so near to thee.

“Therefore, it can only be done here in this life (while the Soul sticks in the Will of the Mind) so that thou breakest open the gate of the deep, and press in to God through a New Birth.” ~Jacob Boehme

A Dog-Like Mind

What people thought of when you mentioned dogs several hundred years ago is quite different than today. So when Boehme talks about someone having a mind like a dog, he doesn’t mean loving, devoted, and well-behaved. He means one who is full of greed, jealousy, and self-importance. In short, a materialist. Perhaps even a narcissist, although I think that word is being overly used these days. So a dog-like mind is not a good thing. At least not according to the way they thought of dogs back then.

Fate of the Materialist

So what Boehme is trying to get across in the first part of the quote is that the materialist has little, if any, change of achieving significant spiritual growth. Because he put so much thought and effort into collecting material goods and wealth beyond what he actually needs, he has trained his mind to follow that path. That he could suddenly stumble upon a path of spiritual enlightenment is highly unlikely. It happens in rare cases, but relying upon it is not a good idea. It’s like relying upon winning the lottery when you retire so you have money to live on. The dog-like mind is stuck in the dark forest of matter and cannot see the spiritual Light.

Door to Deep Light

I think the choice of words Boehme used here is unfortunate. It will likely be interpreted by most spiritual students today as supporting the idea that all truth is found within and the outside world should be completely ignored. But we know that Boehme’s own awakening was triggered from something outside. Specifically, He was awakened when the sun reflecting off a shiny metal bowl he was holding struck him in the eye. Yes, he had been studying religion and spirituality for some time and we can assume he was on the verge of awakening before that happened. Nonetheless, it was an external event that triggered his awakening. It was also not a coincidence that his awakening closely resembles that of St. Francis who awakened while watching a sunrise from his sickbed.

While there is certainly good reason to turn within and explore our inner self, it is the external spiritual sun that most often triggers a true spiritual awakening. And by a spiritual awakening, I don’t mean simply realizing that materialist is a failed system and there is more to reality than matter. That is just the first tiny step towards an actual awakening. A real spiritual awakening happens when the dormant spirit and soul are awakened. That takes more than just positive thought and desire. It also takes a lot of energy. The best source of that spiritual energy is the spiritual sun. That is the door to Deep Light. So forget your dog-like mind, even the spiritual version of it, and explore sun gazing and other techniques beyond simple meditation.

Elevate Yourself

You could interpret what Boehme is saying here as meaning that we have to overcome the ego to develop our spiritual self. While that is true, we don’t need to destroy the ego. It is a useful tool, especially in the world of matter. But we do need to keep it under control and a reasonable size.

Specifically, what Boehme is talking about here are those who elevate themselves by declaring that they are awakened and enlightened with no justification for doing so except an inflated ego. He says that when such people fly up to Heaven and God, allegorically speaking, they will find themselves unable to enter. God is not fooled by dog-like minds and their pretend enlightenment.

Awaken Now

So if you seriously do want to enter heaven and become one with God and the All again, you need to really awaken. And, as Boehme says, you can’t wait until your physical body is dead to do that. It will be too late. You need to awaken and develop your spirit and soul while you still live in a physical body.

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I and ego

I and Ego, Not Perfect, But Necessary

“Let us then begin at the beginning and remind ourselves of a few of the trite and primary facts which all practical persons agree to ignore. That beginning, for human thought, is of course the I, the Ego, the self-conscious subject which is writing this book, or the other self-conscious subject which is reading it; and which declares, in the teeth of all arguments, I AM. Here is a point as to which we all feel quite sure. No metaphysician has yet shaken the ordinary individual’s belief in his own existence. The uncertainties only begin for most of us when when we ask what else is.

“To this ‘I,’ this conscious self ‘imprisoned in the body like an oyster in his shell,’ come, as we know, a constant stream of messages and experiences. Chief among these are the stimulation of the tactile nerves whose result we call touch, the vibrations taken up by the optic nerve which we call light, and those taken up by the ear and perceived as sound.

“What do these experiences mean? The first answer of the unsophisticated Self is, that they indicative of the nature of the external world. …It is immediately apparent, however, that this sense-world, this seemingly real external universe, –though it may be useful and valid in other respects—cannot be the external world, but only the Self’s projected picture of it.” ~Evelyn Underhill

The I and Ego

Underhill has it correct. At least when it comes to physical life on earth. Our first hint of conscious thought is always I. That is to say that when we first start thinking, everything is seen and felt as it relates to us. We have no other point of reference but Self. That ego, which so many silly schools have deemed something superfluous that needs to be destroyed, is something we are born with. It is also something we will die with. It cannot be totally destroyed, and those who waste much time trying to will make little spiritual progress. Yet this concept continues to be promoted. Why? Because it benefits the government, that’s why. It doesn’t benefit the individual who loses all interest in accomplishment of any sort. It doesn’t benefit his spirit and soul if he becomes indifferent to what happens to him. But it does benefit governments. It makes sheep out of people, the so-called sheeple. Governments love sheeple. They don’t rock the boat. They don’t protest. They do what the government tells them to do. They do what the corporations who own the government tell them to do. That is why the destruction of the ego is promoted. It is not a spiritual thing at all.

The World of Senses

Yes, the world of the physical senses is the world of I and Ego. But Ego is more than just interpreting the information coming from the senses. It is also the desire to know, to learn, to grow. Take away ego, or greatly suppress it, and you have no desire to grow, to change yourself, or to make the world a better place.

The world of the physical senses may be limited, yet important. We may not like it, but we do live in the physical world, and we must function in it. That means we have to use the physical senses, even if they are limited. Of course, what we know of the physical world doesn’t come primarily from those senses. It comes from the brain’s interpretation of the senses. It is in those interpretations that many fantasies become reality to us.

Beyond Ego and Senses

But the physical senses are not the only we have. We are also equipped with spiritual senses, though we rarely use them. That is because they don’t communicate with the brain, but with the soul instead. If the soul has not been awakened, then those senses are unused. Even when awakened, what they experience may not be communicated to the conscious mind. Exceptions sometimes occur through intuition. But the development of our spiritual faculties can increase the level of that communication. Of course, it does need that much-maligned ego to communicate with.

I and Ego Summary

I and Ego may be all about the physical world, but in a sense, our spirit and soul live in our physical body. So while we dwell here, I and Ego are necessary. You might be able to do without them if you completely withdraw and become a hermit or a monk. Otherwise, you have to function in the material world as well as the physical. I and Ego make it possible to do so. The ego must be controlled—preferably by your own soul—but it is needed.

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ego

Ego and Soul Work Miracles Together

“Regard not any scorn of the world, as considering that it doth but scorn thy enemy, and that it become a fool to it. Nay, do thou thyself account it thy fool, which Adam caused thee to possess,and made to be thy false heir. Cast out of thy house the Son of the Bond-Woman, that strange child which God did not give to be in the house of life in Adam in the beginning; for the son of the Bond-Woman must not inherit with the son of the Free-Woman.

“The earthly will is but the son of the Bond-Woman. For the four elements should have been man’s servants, but Adam hath brought them into himself, therefore God said to Abraham when He had opened the Covenant of the promise to him, cast out the son of the bond-woman, for he shall not inherit with the son of the free. This son of the free is Christ, which God of His grace hath brought again into flesh for us, namely, a new or renewed mind, wherein … the eternal will of the soul may draw and drink in the water of life, of which Christ speaks. … It shall spring up in him and be a fountain of eternal life. This fountain is the renovation of the mind or will of the Soul.” ~Jacob Boehme

Scorn of the World

This is far more of a problem today than it was in the time of Boehme, several hundred years ago. In those days, people had respect for religion and for those who practiced it fervently. Some may have been unfriendly towards spiritual people who didn’t follow the accepted religious practices, however. We know that Boehme had to be careful with what he wrote because he could have been accused of blasphemy and imprisoned for it.

Today the problem is nearly the reverse, but even more of a problem. It is religious people who are shunned or laughed at, to a large degree. On the other side, those who do follow the major churches laugh at those following more spiritual practices rather than churches. In some cases, it is justified. So many follow self-appointed gurus who make up their teachings with no authority at all. Many of them are only interested in selling books, not saving souls. Still, we all should have the right to follow the path we choose.

Then there are those who call themselves spiritual simply because they are against religion of any sort. This further confuses matter for those who truly are awakening their spiritual selves and are looking for guidance. They won’t find it in the atheists who call themselves spiritual.

Thy Fool Called Ego

What Boehme is calling Adam’s fool is the ego or materialistic mind. The earthly mind concerns itself only with matters of the physical world. Some spiritual writers claim, with ridiculously excessive simplicity, that the path to spiritual truth is to destroy this ego. Yet those authors have not done so themselves or they would never have been able to write a book. Ego gives us drive, the desire to accomplish. It needs to be controlled, not destroyed. We need to continue to function in the physical world at the same time that we develop our spiritual faculties. We can’t do that without ego.

Son of the Bond-Woman

Once again Boehme is talking about the ego. A bond-woman is a slave or indentured servant. This seems to be saying that ego is a slave, but I think it really means to say that we are slaves of ego. Boehme continues on to say that the four elements should have been the servants of man. That is, man should be fully in charge of the physical elements of the planet. I truth, we are, we just don’t know it. Because of our ignorance, we don’t exercise that control of the planet as we should. We fill with angry and violent thoughts. Nature responds with hurricanes and earthquakes. We are jealous of our neighbor’s success, so nature responds with droughts and plagues. We think we have nothing to do with such things, but collectively, we are making them happen. But we are sons of slaves because we don’t know it and don’t control it. Once again, the solution is not to destroy the ego. That would only leave the planet in control of others who still have an ego. The solution is to control the ego and use the powers of the mind wisely.

Will of the Soul

How do we control the Ego? We do it with the will of the soul. The soul is like a spiritual mind. It is superior to the physical brain-mind in many ways. That doesn’t mean it should replace it. It only means that the soul should be controlling the brain-mind. But a sleeping soul can’t do that.

When we are born into the material world, our spirit and soul are with us, but in a dormant state. That is probably because falling into matter is a traumatic experience for our spirit and soul. So they arrive here in a kind of coma. Awakening them is the first and foremost duty of the spiritual student. Only then, can the veil be lifted from the Great illusion that surrounds us. Only then can the soul take control of the ego and keep it in check. The ego and the soul are the yin-yang of humanity. We need both to fully function in this world.

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