“No one in this world, so far as I know—
and I have searched the record for years,
and employed agents to help me—
has ever lost money by underestimating
the intelligence of the great masses
of the plain people.”
When I was fifteen years of age, I first heard of the Third Eye, reading an infamous book of the same title “The Third Eye”, followed soon by “Doctor From Lasha” and many other titles, by a British author named Cyril Henry Hoskins, otherwise known for his name de plume as Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, it was my introduction to the mysterious secret kingdom of Tibet and the miraculous, all powerful Lamas. I swallowed hook, line and sinker! Rampa’s two or three first books, even if I got some doubts about his flying in a kite, the opening of his third eye, by the literal perforation of his forehead! Described here as fallows:
“The instrument penetrated the bone. A very hard, clean sliver of wood had been treated by fire and herbs and was slid down so that it just entered the hole in my head. I felt a stinging, tickling sensation apparently in the bridge of my nose. It subsided and I became aware of subtle scents which I could not identify. Suddenly there was a blinding flash. For a moment the pain was intense. It diminished, died and was replaced by spirals of color. As the projecting sliver was being bound into place so that it could not move, the Lama Mingyar Dondup turned to me and said:” You are now one of us, Lobsang. For the rest of your life you will see people as they are and not as they pretend to be.”
And his future adventures in China fighting the Japanese, to his taking in to the body of Cyril Hoskins, and his pet cat dictating books to him, were the straws that broke the camel’s back, and made me consider the whole thing as a big hoax, well, well, surprise surprise!
Look what some critics say now of him:
I was suspicious before I opened the wrapper: the “third eye” smacked of Blavatskyan and post-Blavatskyan hogwash. The first two pages convinced me the writer was not a Tibetan, the next ten that he had never been either in Tibet or India, and that he knew absolutely nothing about Buddhism of any form, Tibetan or other. The cat was out of the bag very soon, when the “Lama”, reflecting on some cataclysmic situation in his invented past, mused, “for we know there is a God [sic].” A Buddhist makes many statements of a puzzling order at times, and he may utter many contradictions; but this statement he will not make, unless perhaps — I am trying hard to find a possible exception — he is a nominal Nisei Buddhist in Seattle, Washington, who somehow gets into Sunday school at age eleven and doesn’t really know what he is talking about. (Bharati 1974)
Every page bespeaks the utter ignorance of the author of anything that has to do with Buddhism as practiced and Buddhism as a belief system in Tibet or elsewhere. But the book also shows a shrewd intuition into what millions of people want to hear. Monks and neophytes flying through the mysterious breeze on enormous kites; golden images in hidden cells, representing earlier incarnations of the man who views them; arcane surgery in the skull to open up the eye of wisdom; tales about the dangers of mystical training and initiation — in a Western world so desperately seeking for the mysterious….”
My excuse I was fifteen, and gullible, but since I was already launched in to a study of Occultism, Yoga, Astrology, and related subjects, I found myself assaulted by the many obstacles that present themselves to the serious student of Real Spiritual issues, I was confronted by what Rene Guenon describe as the Pseudo Initiation, or Counter Initiation, or better known as the New Age myriad of groups, and subgroups claiming to posses Real Knowledge, but that give us in the best cases a mellow, watered down versions of Spirituality, and on the worst, con artist preying in the credibility, and good will of the uninformed, for gaining money, power, sex, etc..
The Miraculous has a hold in us because we recognize our impotence, and nothingness, against the forces of Nature, Life, and Fate, a Higher Power that can break if for a moment, and provide respite, and consolation from the monolithic, and inflexible forces, and laws of Matter, that reduce our existence to mere happenstance, or that at least make us realize the Impermanence of Life. So miracles belong exclusively to the realm of the Divine, and therefore excerpts a powerful role in our imaginations.
The number of people that have a general understanding what astral projection is more than most would initially assume. Those who are familiar with this once esoteric term understand that it entails an out of body experience. An out of body experience can be deﬁned as the ability to remove one’s consciousness from the human form and modify it when you do the astral plane. Once it has arrived at this astral plane, the potential to view the world (its past,present, and future) may be possible. Again, many people have a vague understanding of the process but their knowledge of its tradition through history may be somewhat limited.
In parapsychology and many forms of spiritual practice, an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object (like the halo or areola in religious art). The depiction of such an aura often connotes a person of particular power or holiness. Sometimes, however, it is said that all living things (including humans) and all objects manifest such an aura. Often it is held to be perceptible, whether spontaneously or with practice: such perception is at times linked with the third eye of Indian spirituality.
In the classical western mysticism of Neo-Platonism and Kabbalah the aura is associated with the lustre of the astral body, a subtle body identified with the planetary heavens, which were in turn associated with various mental faculties in an elaborate system of correspondences with colors, shapes, sounds, perfumes etc..
The symbolism of light found in the Bible is at times associated with the idea of the aura or “body of light”: similar interpretations are found in Islamic traditions.
The term clairvoyance (from French clair meaning “clear” and voyance meaning “vision”) is used to refer to the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses, a form of extra-sensory perception. A person said to have the ability of clairvoyance is referred to as a clairvoyant (“one who sees clearly”).
Telepathy (from the Greek τηλε, telemeaning “distant” and πάθη, pathe meaning “affliction, experience”),is the transmission of information from one person to another without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference.
According to Jain belief Siddha are liberated souls who have destroyed all the karma bondings. Siddha do not have any kind of body, they are soul at its purest form. They reside in Siddha-shila which is situated at the top of the Universe.
A siddha has also been defined to refer to one who has attained a siddhi. The siddhis as paranormal abilities are considered emergent abilities of an individual that is on the path to siddhahood, and do not define a siddha, who is established in the Pranav or Aum – the spiritual substrate of creation. The siddhi in its pure form means:
“the attainment of flawless identity with Reality (Brahman); perfection of Spirit.”
In the Hindu philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism (Hindu tantra), siddha also refers to a Siddha Guru who can by way of Shaktipat initiate disciples into Yoga.
In Patanjali’s Yoga SutrasIV.1 it is stated (rendered in IAST):
- janma auṣadhi mantra tapaḥ samādhijāḥ siddhayaḥ
where janma (“birth”), auṣadhi (“medicinal plant, herb, drug, incense, elixir”), mantra(“incantation, charm, spell”), tapaḥ (“heat, burning, shining, as ascetic devotional practice, burning desire to reach perfection, that which burns all impurities”), samādhi (“profound meditation, total absorption”), jāḥ (“born”) and siddhayaḥ (“perfections, accomplishments, fulfillments, attainments”) thus:
- Accomplishments may be attained through birth, the use of herbs, incantations, self-discipline or samadhi
In the Bhagavata Purana, the five siddhis of Yoga and meditation are described as below:
tri-kāla-jñatvam: knowing the past, present and future
advandvam: tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities
para citta ādi abhijñatā: knowing the minds of others and so on
agni arka ambu viṣa ādīnām pratiṣṭambhaḥ: checking the influence of fire, sun, water, poison, and so on
aparājayah: remaining unconquered by others
There is the concept of the Ashta Siddhi (eight siddhis) in Hinduism. These are:
Aṇimā: reducing one’s body even to the size of an atom
Mahima: expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size
Garima: becoming infinitely heavy
Laghima: becoming almost weightless
Prāpti: having unrestricted access to all places
Prākāmya: realizing whatever one desires
Iṣṭva: possessing absolute lordship
Vaśtva: the power to subjugate all
The building of the Ego
“Your being on the lookout for the vices hidden within you is better than your being on the lookout for the invisible.”
“Passion encompasses all those tendencies within us which seek to acquire. These acquisitive predispositions are directed toward procuring more and more: material possessions, power, money, fame, status, and physical gratification of one description or another.
Anger includes all the inclinations within each of us which are directed toward defending the passions against anything constituting a threat to past, present or future acquisitions. Hostility, antagonism, malice, conflict and rebellion are all expressions of anger in action. If one looks carefully at the situations in which these different modalities of anger arise, one will detect the existence of one or more vested interests of passion at the heart of the issue.
By dominating consciousness, intentions, motivations, thinking, attitudes, evaluations, judgments and behavior, the activities of anger and passion create the illusion of a self which is being served by such activity. In other words, our awareness is mesmerized, or a state of hypnosis is induced in consciousness, by the activities of anger and passion. As a result, awareness identifies with them as being possessions of, and acting on behalf of, consciousness.
Over time, a history of experiences, decisions and behaviors is generated. Memories are recorded and used by passion and anger to serve their respective agendas.
This entire ensemble of passion, anger, mesmerized awareness and remembered life history are the primary forces which underwrite the existence of the false self or ego. All aspirations which arise in the context of this ensemble are seen as aspirations of the illusory self.
This “self” has no substantive reality per se. In other words, this self had no existence prior to its invention or construction.
The false self or ego is merely an arrangement of convenience and circumstance. It is an artificial business arrangement which has been organized by our various modalities of passion and anger for purposes of carrying on different kinds of commercial transactions with the world.
Our God-given capacity for choice is usurped by the false-self conglomerate. Due to the state of hypnotic trance of ordinary consciousness, the process of exercising free will, within our capacity to do so, is arrogated to the false self through the manipulations, seductions and pressure tactics of passion and anger.”
Auras, Astral traveling, telepathy, clairvoyance, and the look for hidden powers, or Siddhis, are clear sign of Spiritual immaturity, this doesn’t mean Saints, Holy men of different beliefs may exhibit this paranormal powers denied to the common men, and even some few common men may know a trick, or two, but Siddhis it is not the goal of the Path, but Virtue, and Truth. The Siddhis are but a natural consequence of the virtues of the Siddha, just like the Sun rays bring forth light, warmth, and life on Earth!
Sri Ramana Maharshi:
The force of his Self-realization is far more powerful than the use of all other powers. Though Siddhis are said to be many and different, Jnana (knowledge) alone is the highest of those many different Siddhis, because those who have attained other Siddhis will desire Jnana. Those who have attained Jnana will not desire other Siddhis. Therefore aspire only for Jnana. Although the powers appear to be wonderful to those who do not possess them, yet they are only transient. All these wonders are contained in the one changeless Self. Greedily begging for worthless occult powers (Siddhis) from God, who will readily give Himself, who is everything, is like begging for worthless stale gruel from a generous natured philanthropist who will readily give everything. In the Heart, which catches fire with the blazing flame of supreme devotion, all the occult powers will gather together. However, with a heart that has become a complete prey to the feet of the Lord, the devotee will not have any desire for those Siddhis. Know that if aspirants who are making efforts on the path to liberation set their heart upon occult powers, their dense bondage will be strengthened more and more, and hence the luster of their ego will wax more and more. The attainment (Siddhi) of Self, which is the perfect whole, the radiance of liberation, alone is the attainment of true knowledge, whereas the other kinds of Siddhi, beginning with Anima (the ability to become as small as an atom) belong to the delusion of the power of imagination of the foolish mind. People see many things which are far more miraculous than the so-called Siddhis, yet do not wonder at them simply because they occur every day. When a man is born he is no bigger than this electric bulb, but then he grows up and becomes a giant wrestler, or a world-famed artist, orator, politician or sage. People do not view this as a miracle but they are wonder struck if a corpse is made to speak.
Ibn Arabi on Himmah:
a ‘knower’ … (arif) … Perfect man … can, if he likes, affect any object by … concentrating all his spiritual energy upon it; he can even bring into existence a thing which is not actually existent … This extraordinary power is known as himmah, meaning a concentrated spiritual energy … [an] object … created by himmah continues to exist only so long as the himmah maintains it … In brief, a ‘knower’ is … endowed with the power of taskhir …[Ibn Arabi says]… A true “knowledge” does not allow himmah to be freely exercised. And the higher the knowledge, the less possibility there is for a free exercise of himmah …
… even the most perfect of all Apostles (akmal al-rusul), Muhammad, did not exercise himmah … For, being the highest ‘knower’, he knew better than anybody else that ‘miracles’ were, in truth, ineffective …
Concerning Jesus Miracles Ibn Arabi explain in his Fusus Al Hakim:
He was manifested from the water of Maryam and the breath of Jibril in the form of man existing from clay.
The spirit was in an essence purified of nature
which it called prison.
For that reason, the spirit stayed in it
for more a thousand years in the designation of time.
A spirit from Allah, no other.
For that reason, he revived the dead and formed the bird from clay.
Since his relation with his Lord is proven,
by it he has effective action in both the higher and lower worlds.
Allah purified his body, and made his spirit pure,
and He made him a model of taking-form.
Know that among the special qualities of the spirits (arwah) is whenever they touch anything
life flows into it. This is why the Samiri seized a handful of dust from the track of the
messenger, who was Jibril, (Gabriel) and he is the Spirit. The Samiri had knowledge of this matter.
When he recognised that it was Jibril, he knew that life would flow into whatever he had
walked on, so he took a handful of dust from the track of the messenger or he filled his
hand or the ends of his fingers, and threw it into the Calf. The Calf made a noise like the
sound of a cow mooing. If it had been in another form, the name of that form’s sound would
have been ascribed to it – as grumbling to the camel, baa-ing to rams, bleating to sheep, and
voice or articulation and speech to man. That power from the life which flows in things is
called lâhût. The nâsût is the locus on which the spirit is based. The nâsût may be called a
spirit by what is based on it.
And will make him a messenger unto the Children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers. (Surah 3:49)
When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic; And when I inspired the disciples, (saying): Believe in Me and in My messenger, they said: We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered (unto Thee) “we are muslims”.Surah 5: 110-111
‘Isa (Jesus) brought the dead to life because he is the Divine Spirit, and bringing to life belongs to
Allah. The breath which ‘Isa has is like the breath which Jibril has. The word belongs to
Allah. The bringing the dead to life by ‘Isa is an actual revival inasmuch as it was manifested
from his breath as he was manifested from the form of his mother. His bringing to life is also
imagined to be from him, but it actually belongs to Allah. He joined the two by the reality on
which he is based even as we said that he is created from imaginary water and actual water.
Bringing-to-life is ascribed to him by means of actualization in one aspect, and by
imagination in another aspect. In respect to actualization, it is said of him that he brings the
dead to life. In respect to imagination (tawahhum), it is said that he breathes into it and it
becomes a bird by the leave of Allah. The agent is in the prepositional phrase “by Allah’s
permission”, even though He did not breathe into it. It is also possible that the agent is the
one who breathes into it. It became a bird as regards physical form. In the same way, ‘Isa
healed the blind and the lepers.
The English term charisma is from the Greek χάρισμα, which means “favor freely given” or “gift of grace.” The term and its plural χαρίσματα (charismata) derive fromχάρις (charis), which means “grace.”
Theologians and social scientists have expanded and modified the original Greek meaning into the two distinct senses above. For ease of reference, we will call the first sense personality charisma and the second divinely conferred charisma.
The Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible record the development of divinely conferred charisma. In the Hebrew text the idea of charismatic leadership is generally signaled by the use of the noun hen (favor) or the verb hanan (to show favor). The Greek term for charisma (grace or favor), and its root charis (grace) replaced the Hebrew terms in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (the 3rd century BC Septuagint). Throughout, “the paradigmatic image of the charismatic hero is the figure who has received God’s favor.” In other words, divinely conferred charisma applied to highly revered figures.
Thus, Eastern Mediterranean Jews in the 1st century CE had notions of charis and charisma that embraced the range of meanings found in Greek culture and the spiritual meanings from the Hebrew Bible. From this linguistic legacy of fused cultures, in 1 Corinthians, Paul the Apostle introduced the meaning that the Holy Spirit bestowed charism and charismata, “the gift of God’s grace,” upon individuals or groups. For Paul, “[t]here is a clear distinction between charisma and charis; charisma is the direct result of divine charis or grace.”
In the New Testament Epistles, Paul refers to charisma or its plural charismata seven times in 1 Corinthians, written in Koine (or common) Greek around 54 CE. He elaborates on his concepts with six references in Romans (c. 56). He makes 3 individual references in 2 Corinthians (c. 26), 1 Timothy, and 2 Timothy (c. 62 – c. 67). The seventeenth and only other mention of charisma is in 1 Peter.
The gospels, written in the late first century, apply divinely conferred charisma to revered figures. Examples are accounts of Jesus’ baptism and of his transfiguration, in which disciples see him as radiant with light, appearing together with Moses and Elijah. Another example is Gabriel’s greeting to Mary as “full of grace”. In these and other instances early Christians designated certain individuals as possessing “spiritual gifts,” and these gifts included “the ability to penetrate the neighbor to the bottom of his heart and spirit and to recognize whether he is dominated by a good or by an evil spirit and the gift to help him to freedom from his demon.”