Agonies & Ecstasies
In the beginning you may fantasize what higher consciousness is like and then suffer when practices toward higher consciousness do not yield the hoped-for fantasies. Or, to make the agony of ignorance even worse, sometimes you get "psychic experiences." Psychic sights or sounds generally come into the mind during periods where you are not concentrating or giving attention to your meditation practices. Usually, psychic experiences occur when you are sitting back with your mind blank, perhaps feeling lazy or too tired to pay attention. Suddenly you experience lights, sounds, perhaps even visions of some strange or very celestial beings.
Psychic originally referred to the soul or spiritual realities but came to mean, in modern times: "1) of or having to do with the psyche, or mind; 2) beyond natural or known physical processes; 3) apparently sensitive to forces beyond the physical world," according to Webster’s New World Dictionary.
Based on common usage today, psychic generally refers to "the psyche, or mind" and is distinguished — perhaps unfortunately or unfairly — from the spiritual. That is, some people do have genuine spiritual experiences but call them psychic. Or, often people who have no knowledge of higher levels of awareness brand all spiritual experiences as psychic, or mental, and dismiss them as imaginings.
In dealing with problems of terminology then, most modern yogis, mystics, and metaphysicians accept psychic to mean "of the mind." They place "psychic" awareness between the levels of regular objective/subjective consciousness and the higher level of spiritual awareness. Based on this usage of the word psychic, most adepts, gurus, and teachers urge their students not to indulge or encourage these intermediate, often incorrect, mental impressions from their psychic nature. The reasons for strong warnings and cautions about psychic experiences are the catastrophes which have often occurred in the lives of once-aspiring students. Students who become enamored with psychic experiences often rely on psychic impressions, which they don’t understand, or which they misinterpret, to guide their lives. They base all their important decisions on these experiences — many times disastrously. Since these mental impressions are sometimes correct, students often become convinced their impressions are always right so they ignore both reality and the helpful instructions of those who could extricate them from slavery to mental and emotional impressions.
On the other side of this extremely important issue, there are millions of people in the world who are, or learn to be, more sensitive than the majority of humanity. Their psychic perception is more accurate. They, because of their greater appreciation for others and life itself, often receive psychic images about future events, hints to help others be happier, or to help ill people get well. It’s a shame that these more-sensitive-than-normal individuals have often been tortured, burned as witches, or live in ignorant condemnation even today.
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