In describing Super-Consciousness or Mystical Vision, I always thoroughly weigh every word that I use, as somehow I feel myself under a solemn obligation to give expression to what is the strictest truth.
But, even so, my whole story is so incredible that doubt is natural unless direct proof is provided to substantiate it. I and my friends are seriously occupied, at this moment, in finding methods for an objective verification of this almost unbelievable mental state.
From the point of view of a psychologist, I am a freak or a victim to a permanently fixed delusory state. He is not to blame. There are no documentaries of cases of this kind. I myself disbelieved the evidence of my own senses and mind for as long as twelve years, when, suddenly, an objective fact brought it home to me that the transformation I was undergoing was not a delusion but a concrete reality to which I had to reconcile myself.
The incredible nature of my transformation lies in this, that every moment of my life I live in two worlds. One is the sensory world which we all share together-the world of sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. My reactions to this world are the same as of other human beings. The other is an amazing Super-Sensory world to which I first found entrance in 1937, and which, to the best of my knowledge, I share alone, or, perhaps, with extremely few others unknown to me.
I do not say this to claim singularity, but only as a statement of fact, because to this day I have not come across any individual claiming the same peculiarity. I have critically observed myself, my thoughts, my actions, my feelings and my dreams, to make sure that the transformation experienced is not an abnormality or an aberration, but the normal outcome of a peculiar activity of my cerebrospinal system, unknown to modern science.
I have talked about my condition with many scores of eminent scientists and scholars in different parts of the world. But the mystery and wonder still remain.
There is no explanation for my extraordinary mental condition. I am always conscious of a luminous glow not only in my interior, but pervading the whole field of my vision during the hours of my wakefulness.
I literally live in a world of light. It is as if a light were burning in my interior, filling me with a luster so beautiful and so ravishing that my attention is again and again drawn towards it. In fact, it is the normal state of my perception now. Light, both within and without, and a distinct music in my ears, are the two prominent features of my transformed being.
It is as if, in my interior, I live in a charming, radiant and melodious world. A sense of its fascination is always present in me. The harmony is disturbed, more or less, in unhealthy states of the body in the same way as sickness disturbs the poise of the normal mind. The luster and the sounds continue, but are no longer as fascinating as in the healthy state. This disturbance is only occasional.
Normally an indwelling joy and harmony make my life much more happy and serene than it was before the transformation. Experience of light is a prominent feature of mystical vision. This is sometimes described as a supernatural glow, ghostly light, celestial radiance, golden luster, living splendor, and the like.
There is hardly any narrative of a mystical experience in which the glory, the brightness or the splendor of the vision is not mentioned at one place or the other. On the basis of my own experience, I can safely assert that the mystical vision, whether of a short or long duration, invariably denotes the operation of an altered form of psychic energy which is luminous, lending a brightness to every object perceived outside and every image evoked within.
To sum up briefly, mystical experience represents, in my view, the activity of a luminous form of thought-energy which bathes everything in its luster. I believe that by a slow process of evolution this illuminated state of the mind, in course of time, will become the natural state of every man and woman on the earth.
The reason why the sun and the moon are used as symbols of illumination or of the attainment of miraculous powers in almost all the spiritual, esoteric, occult or hermetic traditions, is because of the resemblance of this inner radiance with the sources of light which illumine the earth.
The current confusion about the real nature of mystical experience rests on the fact that there is no awareness about the biological factors responsible for this extraordinary state of cognition.
As soon as it is confirmed by experiment that a transformation does occur in the brain as also in the bioenergy which fuels the activity of thought, the speculations and controversies, circling round the subject at present, will cease, giving a new direction to the investigation of the phenomenon.
Mystical experience is the perception of this celestial lustre as a crown of glory round the soul. This is what the Hymn of the Robe of Glory aims to convey in the song beginning with the words:
“When a quiet little child, I was dwelling In the House of my Father's Kingdom, And in the wealth and the glories Of my Upbringers I was delighting . . .”
The soul is deprived of this Robe of Glory on its embodiment as a human being. But it recovers this Mantle of Light with noble striving, when it attains the Illuminated State.
The Chinese sage, Wei-Lang, in his sutra about the indwelling Buddha, expresses the same idea in these lines:
“Within the domain of our mind there is a Tathagata of Enlightenment who sends forth a powerful light which illumines externally the six gates (of sensation) and purifies them. This light is strong enough to pierce through the six heavens of desire, and when it is turned inwardly to the Essence of Mind it eliminates at once the three poisonous elements, purges away our sins which lead us to the hells, and enlightens us thoroughly within and without.”
I do not claim that I see God, but I am conscious of a Living Radiance both within and outside of myself. In other words, I have gained a new power of perception, not present before. The luminosity does not end with my waking time. It persists even in my dreams.
In every state of being---eating, drinking, talking, working, laughing, grieving, walking or sleeping---I always dwell in a rapturous world of light. It is obvious that the self or observer in me has experienced a change and a new being has been born who is always enwrapped in a sheath of alluring light.
If my experience were confined to the state of luminosity alone, I would, in all probability, have kept the secret to myself and not divulged it far and wide as something exceptional that deserved attention. But this inner radiance is attended by another even more incredible feature which, from my point of view, is of utmost importance and provides a possible solution to, at least, four still unsolved riddles of the human mind, namely:
1. mystical experience or illumination, 2. inspiration and genius,
3. psychic faculties, such as clairvoyance, telepathy, prophesy, etc., and 4. a whole gamut of mental and nervous disorders which can be defined and classified through a scientific study of the phenomenon.
The link between genius and insanity is well known. We have also a class of psychics, known as mastanas in Persian and avadhoots in Sanskrit, who are highly clairvoyant with abnormal behavior patterns. They can be found in mental clinics, if carefully looked for. This shows that the transformation that occurred in me could also go awry, as it did for some time.
This has an awesome significance. It means that human evolution, if not supported by a harmonious inner and outer environment, can result in malformations of the mind and intellect. This is the tragedy of our day.
The more amazing feature of my experience consists in this: The enchanting light I perceive, both internally and outside, is alive. It pulsates with life and intelligence. It is like an infinite Ocean of Awareness pervading my own small pool of consciousness within and the whole universe I perceive with my senses, outside. It is as if a radiant living Presence encompasses everything that exists both within and outside of me.
Much as I wish to do so, it is extremely difficult for me to draw a clear picture of this aspect of my experience. For me the universe is alive. A stupendous Intelligence, which I can sense but never fathom, looms behind every object and every event in the universe, silent, still, serene and, in the words of Bullah Shah, the Sufi of Punjab, immovable like a mountain.
It is a staggering spectacle. I can describe it only by a distant analogy. Imagine the universe as a gigantic movie, unfolding scene after scene, in time and space, on an infinitely vast, intensely alive ethereal screen, which remains entirely unaffected by the action of the drama, and you will have a dim picture of what I mean.
Mystics have likened this visionary experience of the behind-the-scenes Cosmic Intelligence to the motionless bed of an ocean supporting all the movement, fury and flurry of its agitated surface layer, which is the phenomenal world.
It would be a serious error to suppose that this all-pervading, behind-the-scenes Cosmic Intelligence is of the nature of human consciousness and human reason. It is not. It is something so remote from our conception and so extraordinary that nothing of this earth can provide an analogy to explain it. It is for this reason that the phrase "Neti, Neti:" not this, not this, has been repeatedly used by the seers of the Upanishads to emphasize the utterly incommunicable nature of this experience.
The Sufis, too, have a graphic story to illustrate this point. The story runs that in a certain village there was a walled enclosure hiding a mystery. Whoever climbed the wall and looked on the other side jumped into the enclosure and never returned. This made the villagers curious and they decided to try an experiment to prevent the climber from jumping over without revealing to them what he had seen.
When the next candidate volunteered to climb, they firmly held him by the legs and pulled him back the moment he attempted to jump and disappear for ever. But he had lost the power of speech and stared from one to the other without being able to utter a word. The moral is that mystical vision dumbfounds the keenest intellect.
[This brief description of Super-Consciousness was taken from The Real Nature of Mystical Experience.]
Written by: Gopi Krishna
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