Sunday, October 27, 2019

Everything depends upon our ability to transpose ourselves into different states of consciousness which open up to us new worlds


True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation. Lecture 3.
Rudolf Steiner, August 13, 1924:

Yesterday I attempted to give some idea of the inner experiences of the soul when, through spiritual training and meditation, man develops higher levels of consciousness. At the same time I indicated that the chaotic, uncoordinated experiences of dream life during sleep, typical of normal consciousness, can be transformed into the fully conscious, concrete experiences of waking life. We can thus attain a level of consciousness which, to some extent, is sequential to normal consciousness. We then perceive, for example, the animal kingdom in its totality which is in touch with a higher world of soul, the astral plane. Then I tried to show how the plant-cover appears in its totality when, in full waking consciousness that is divested of sensory impressions, we attain to the world of stars with this second level of consciousness and there for the first time learn the truth about the plant-cover of the Earth. We then realize that the plants we see growing out of the Earth are a reflected image of that majesty and grandeur which sparkle out amongst the world of stars like the dewdrops upon the plants. Indeed, the firmament and all that therein is, takes on substantial reality, form, colour and even resonance when we apprehend it with this higher consciousness that is divested of sensory impressions. Then we can look back upon the Earth and perceive that the world of plants in reality is a reflected image of cosmic beings, of cosmic deeds.
I should like to draw your attention to a peculiar phenomenon when we observe the world of stars on the one hand and the world of plants on the other. I should like to describe these things entirely from the point of view of inner experience, exactly as they occur, as they are revealed to direct spiritual experience and investigation. My description will not be supported by any tradition, literary or otherwise. But first of all I should like to point out a peculiarity that is familiar to anyone who explores the spiritual in the way I have described.
Let us visualize the following picture: above us is the world of stars, below is the Earth. The point from which we start our enquiry we call our point of observation. At the second level of consciousness, a consciousness that sees the world of the stars and of plants in the manner already described, we are able to confirm that the archetypal forms are present in the Cosmos, that they are mirrored in the Earth, not as reflected images but in the form of living plants. These plants do not appear as lifeless, unreal, nebulous images, but as concrete reflections created by the Earth. One feels that the Earth must be there to act as a mirror, so that the plant-beings in the Cosmos can spring up out of this terrestrial mirror.
Without the solid Earth there could be no plants. And just as a mirror intercepts the light and acts as resistance — for otherwise it could not reflect — so the Earth must act as a reflecting medium in order that the plants may come into being.
We can now pursue the matter further. Having developed this second level of consciousness, a waking consciousness independent of sensory impressions, we can take the next step towards the development of an inner strength of soul, of the spirit of love towards all created things and all living beings. The acquisition of these new powers is seldom recognized as a positive force for knowledge. If, after entering into this realm that is so differently constituted, where the Cosmos no longer appears bright with stars but is the abode of spiritual beings, this power of love fills our heart and soul, if, after embarking, so to speak, on the spiritual ocean of the universe, we can preserve our spiritual, psychic and physical identity and extend the infinite power of love and devotion to all beings, then we progressively perfect our insight and understanding. We then develop the capacity to perceive clairvoyantly not only the animal and plant kingdoms, but also the mineral kingdom and especially that part of the mineral kingdom which is crystalline in structure. For those who wish to investigate the higher worlds, mineral crystals offer an excellent field for observation and study.
When we are fully acquainted with the animal and plant kingdoms we are then in a position to investigate the mineral-crystal world. As on the previous occasion, we feel impelled to turn our attention from the mineral kingdom on Earth to the contemplation of the Cosmos. And again we find there a living reality, the archetypes akin to those of the plant kingdom. But the picture now presented to us is totally different. We become aware of a living reality in the Cosmos; the mineral-crystal world that we see on Earth is the creation of an active, spiritual principle in the Cosmos. In its progressive descent to the Earth, it is not reflected in the Earth or by means of the Earth. That is the crucial point. When we raise our consciousness from contemplation of the mineral-crystal kingdom to the Cosmos and look back to Earth again, the Earth no longer acts as a mirror; one has the impression that the Earth has vanished from our sight. We cannot, however, say, as we said of the plants, that the Earth below us reflects the higher beings. On the contrary, the Earth does not act as a reflecting medium; it has seemingly vanished. When we have meditated upon the spiritual vista evoked by the mineral-crystal kingdom, when we direct our spiritual eye from cosmic space to the Earth, we appear to be suspended over a terrifying abyss, over a void. We must remain in a waiting attitude. We must keep a firm hand on ourselves, we must preserve our presence of mind. The period of waiting should not be too prolonged, otherwise our fear is magnified; we are terrified because there is no ground under our feet. This sensation, which is wholly foreign to us, reduces us to a state of panic if we do not preserve our self-control, the necessary presence of mind which enables us to take active steps to see beyond this void. For this reason we must look beyond the Earth which is no longer present to our spiritual vision. Then we are obliged to contemplate, not only that aspect of the mineral kingdom which is associated with the Cosmos, but also its relationship to the total environment. The Earth ceases to exist for us. We must see the mineral kingdom as a total whole.
We then experience a current of cosmic energy from below, in contrast to the cosmic energy of the plants which streams down from above. We see everywhere currents and counter-currents, converging currents of cosmic energy from all directions. In the case of the plants this stream of cosmic energy flows down from above, the Earth offers resistance and the plants grow up out of the Earth. In the case of the mineral kingdom we are aware that through the free interplay of these currents from the cosmic All, the mineral kingdom is created. In the case of the mineral-crystal kingdom nothing is reflected back from the Earth. Everything is mirrored in its own element.
If you discover a quartz crystal in the mountains, it is usually found in a vertical position. Its base is embedded in the rock. This is accounted for by the intervention of terrestrial, Ahrimanic forces which act as a disruptive factor. In reality, the quartz is formed by the pressure of a spiritual element from all sides; there is an interplay of reflecting facets and you see the crystal free in cosmic space. Each single crystal whose every facet is perfectly fashioned, is a little world unto itself.
Now there are many types of crystal formation — cubes, octahedrons, tetrahedrons, rhomboids, dodekahedrons, monoklinics, triklinics, every conceivable kind of structure in fact. When we examine them, we note how the currents of cosmic energy converge and interact to form the quartz crystal, a hexagonal prism terminating in a hexagonal pyramid, or a salt crystal possibly in the shape of a cube, or a pyrites crystal in the shape of a dodekahedron. Each of these crystals is formed in the way I have described. And there are as many different cosmic forces, indeed, as many worlds in cosmic space as there are crystals in the Earth. We begin to have insight into an infinitude of worlds.
As we look at the salt crystal, we realize that a spiritual principle is active in the universe. The salt crystal is a manifestation of that spiritual reality which permeates the whole universe; it is a world unto itself. Then, from an examination of the dodekahedron, we discover that there exists in the universe something that permeates the world of space; the crystal is the impress, the manifestation of a whole world. We are gazing on countless beings, each of which is a world unto itself. As human beings here on Earth, we conclude that the Earth-sphere is the focal point of the activities of many worlds. In all that we think and do here on Earth are reflected the thoughts and deeds of a wide diversity of beings. The infinite variety of crystal forms reveals the multitude of beings whose activities find consummation in the mathematical-spatial forms of the crystals. In the crystals we recognize the presence of the Gods. As an expression of reverence, of adoration even towards the universe, it is far more important to allow the sublime secrets of this universe to possess our souls than to gather theoretical knowledge on a purely intellectual basis.
Anthroposophy should lead to this feeling of at-one-ment with the universe. Through Anthroposophy man shall be able to perceive in every crystal the weaving and working of a divine Being. Then cosmic knowledge and understanding begins to flood man's whole soul. The task of Anthroposophy is not to appeal to the intellectual faculty alone, but to enlighten the whole man and show his total involvement in the universe and to inspire him with reverence and devotion towards it. Every object and every event in the world shall be invested with a spirit of selfless service proceeding from the heart and soul of man. And this selfless service will be rewarded by knowledge and understanding.
When we are in contact with the cosmic All and see the emergence of the crystals out of the manifestations of the crystal-mineral kingdom, we feel a sense of satisfaction. But very soon that state of anxiety and fear which I have already mentioned, returns again. Before discovering the divinely ordered world of crystals, we had been filled with fear. When we are aware of that divinely inspired world, this feeling of uncertainty vanishes; but after a time a strange sensation overtakes us and the fear returns, the feeling that the whole process of crystal formation is unsubstantial and provides only partial support.
Let us take the example of the two kinds of crystal already mentioned, a salt crystal and a pyrite, a metal crystal. The pyrites gives the impression that it can provide us with solid support, that it is firm and durable. The salt crystal, on the other hand, appears to offer no support; it seems unsubstantial and we feel as if we might fall through it.
In brief then: in relation to certain forms, the fear that once possessed us, the fear that we are suspended over an abyss because the Earth has become a void, has not finally been overcome. This sensation of fear has definite moral implications. When we feel a recurrence of this fear, then, at that moment, we become aware, not only of all our past sins, but of those of which we are potentially capable.
All this acts upon us like a leaden weight that drags us down and threatens to plunge us into the abyss which the mineral crystals open up before us and which is ready to engulf us. At this point we must be prepared for an additional experience. We realize that the sum of our experiences demands of us courage and we confidently proclaim: I am firmly anchored, I cannot drift from my moorings; the centre of gravity of my own being now lies within myself.
Never in the whole course of life do we need more confidence, more moral courage than at the moment when, confronted with the crystal world, the leaden weight of egotism — and egotism is always a sin — weighs upon the soul. That transparent void over which we are suspended now holds a terrible warning for us. If we stand firm and remain self-reliant, we can say: a spark of the divine is within me; I cannot perish, for I partake of the divine essence. If this becomes a concrete experience and not mere theoretical belief, then we have the courage to be self-sufficient, to stand on our own feet. We are now ready and determined to press on further.
We now learn something further about the mineral kingdom. Hitherto we have heard about the crystal being of the minerals. We have already discussed their external form; now we become aware of their composition and structure, their substantiality and metallity. And we discover how certain basic metals in their different ways act as a stabilizing factor. For the first time we begin to understand how man is related to the Cosmos. We learn of the different characteristics of the metals, of the substantiality of the mineral being and we really begin to feel in ourselves that centre of gravity which I have just mentioned.
In what I am about to say I must perforce use a terminology that describes the material world; it should not be accepted in its literal meaning only. When we speak of the heart or head, the commonsense view conjures up a picture of a physical heart or head. But they are, of course, spiritual in origin. And so when we look at man in his totality, as an entity consisting of body, soul and spirit, we have the clear impression that his centre of gravity lies in the heart. This centre guards him against extremes, prevents him from being the plaything of external circumstances and lends him stability. If we retain that courageous spirit which I have just mentioned, we shall ultimately find ourselves firmly anchored in the universe.
When a person loses consciousness he is not firmly anchored. If he suffers a psychic shock — for under these conditions he is more susceptible to pain than normally and after all, pain is an intensification of inner feeling — then he is not in a normal state of consciousness. Under conditions of pain normal consciousness is expelled. Between birth and death man lives in a kind of intermediate state of consciousness. This may well serve for the normal purposes of daily life. But if this consciousness becomes too weak, too tenuous, he loses consciousness. If it becomes too dense, too concentrated, pain ensues. The loss of consciousness in a state of swoon, and the state of tension under the influence of pain, are polarities which illustrate the aberrations of consciousness. This describes exactly our reactions to the world of mineral crystals before we become aware of their substantiality — on the one hand, the feeling that in a state of swoon we might at any moment be dissolved in the universe, and on the other hand that under the influence of pain we might collapse.
Then we feel that everything that provides stability is centred in the cardiac region. And if we have developed our consciousness to the level already indicated, we then perceive that everything that sustains our ordinary waking consciousness, all that keeps it ‘normal,’ if I may use this somewhat crude expression, is gold, aurum, which is finely distributed over the Earth and works with greater immediacy upon the heart than upon any other organ.
Previously we became acquainted with the formation, the crystallization of minerals. We now become aware of their substantiality, of their metallity. We realize in what manner this metallic nature works upon man himself.
Outwardly we see the crystal formations of the metals in the mineral world. But we know inwardly that the forces of gold which are finely distributed over the Earth sustain our heart and maintain the normal consciousness of our daily life. And so we can say, gold works upon the heart centre of man. On the basis of this information we are now in a position to start our investigations. If, taking the metal gold as we know it, we concentrate upon its colour, its hardness and all aspects of its composition and structure and then transform the experience into inner reality, we find that gold is related to the heart. By concentrating on other metals, on iron and its properties, for example, we discover what effect iron has upon us. Gold has a harmonizing influence, it resolves tension and conflict and man is thereby restored to a state of inner equilibrium. If, after becoming familiar with all its aspects, we concentrate intently on iron, forgetting the entire universe and concentrating solely upon the metal itself, so that we become, as it were, inwardly merged with iron, become identified with iron, then we feel as if our consciousness were rising up from the regions of the heart. We are still fully conscious as we follow this consciousness as it ascends from the heart to the larynx. If we have carried out our spiritual exercises adequately, no harm can result; otherwise a slight feeling of faintness overtakes us. As our consciousness ascends we recognize this condition from the fact that we have developed an intense inner activity, a heightened consciousness. Then we gradually transpose ourselves into this ascending consciousness and contact the world where we see the group-soul of the animals. By concentrating on the metallity of iron we have now entered the astral world.
When we become acquainted with the form of the metals we reach the realm of the higher spiritual beings; when we become acquainted with their substantiality and metallity we enter the astral world, the world of souls. We feel our consciousness rising upward to the larynx and we emerge into a new sphere. We owe this shift of consciousness to our concentration upon iron and we feel that we are no longer the same person as before. If we attain this state in full, clear consciousness, we are sensible of having transcended our former self; we have entered into the etheric world. The Earth has vanished, it no longer holds any interest for us. We have ascended into the planetary spheres which, as it were, have become our abode. Thus we gradually withdraw from the body and become integrated into the universe. The path from gold to iron is the path leading into the universe.
After gold and iron we next concentrate upon tin, upon its metallity, its colour and substantiality, with the result that our consciousness becomes wholly identified with tin. We feel that our consciousness is now rising to still higher levels. But if we undertake this step without adequate preparation, we suffer a near total swoon, scarcely any sign of consciousness remains. If we have prepared ourselves in advance, we can hold ourselves in this state of diminished consciousness; but we feel that our consciousness is withdrawing still further from the body and ultimately reaches the region between the eyes. Though the vast expanse of the universe encompasses us, we are still within the realm of stars. The Earth, however, begins to appear as a distant star. And we conclude that we have left our body on Earth, that we have ascended into the Cosmos and share the life of the stars.
All this is by no means as simple as it sounds. What I have described to you, what we experience when we follow the path of Initiation, namely, that consciousness is situated in the larynx, the base of the skull or the forehead, is an indication that all these various states of consciousness are permanently present in man. All of you sitting here have within you these states of consciousness, but you are not aware of it. Why is this so? Now man is a complex being. If, at the moment when you were conscious of the whole laryngeal organization, you could dispense with your brain and sense organs, you would never be free of this slight subconscious feeling of faintness. And in effect this is so; it is simply overlaid by the ordinary heart consciousness, the gold consciousness. It is common to all of you, it is part of your human make-up. A part of you that shares this consciousness is situated in the stars and does not exist on Earth at all.
The tin consciousness lies further out in the Cosmos. It would be untrue to state that the Earth is your sole habitat. It is the heart that anchors your consciousness to the Earth. That which has its centre in the larynx is out in the Cosmos and, situated still further out, is that which has its centre in the forehead (tin). The iron consciousness embraces the Mars sphere, tin the Jupiter sphere. Only in the gold consciousness do you belong to the Earth. You are always interwoven with the universe, but the heart consciousness conceals this from you.
If you meditate on lead or some similar metal and again concentrate on its substantiality and metallity, you relinquish the body completely. You are left in no doubt that your physical body and etheric body are left behind on Earth. They appear strange and remote. They concern you as little as the stone concerns the rock on which it rests. Consciousness has left the body through the crown (the sagittal suture) of the head. Wherever we turn, a minute quantity, a tincture of lead is always to be found in the universe. This form of consciousness reaches far out into space; with the consciousness that is centred in the cranium man always remains in a state of complete insensibility.
Picture to yourselves the state of illusion in which man habitually lives. When he is sitting at his desk making up his accounts or writing articles he fondly imagines that he is thinking with his head. That is not the reality. It is not the head as such, but its physical aspect, that belongs to the Earth. The head consciousness extends from the larynx upwards far out into the universe. The universe reveals itself solely in the head centre. What determines your human condition between birth and death is the heart centre. Whether you write good or bad articles, whether your accounts mayor may not be to your neighbour's disadvantage — this is determined by the heart centre. It is pure illusion to imagine that man's head consciousness is confined to the Earth alone, for, in effect, it is in a permanent state of insensibility. And that is why it is also peculiarly subject to pain from which other organs are free. Let me take this point a little further. When, in our present state, we try to find the reasons for this situation we are continually threatened from the spirit with the annihilation of our intellectual consciousness, with a breakdown of the whole consciousness and a collapse into total insensibility.
Our picture of man is then as follows: in the larynx (iron) man develops the consciousness that reaches to the archetypes of the animal kingdom. It is the consciousness that belongs to the stars, but we are unaware of it in ordinary life. Higher still, in the region of the eyes (tin) is the consciousness of the archetypes of the plant kingdom and below are their reflected images. Crowning all is the centre of the lead consciousness which reaches to the Saturn sphere; our head centre is oblivious of the articles we write, they are the product of the heart centre. But the head is fully aware of the happenings in cosmic space. Our description of terrestrial events and activities proceeds from the heart; the head, meanwhile, can concentrate on the manner in which a divine being manifests himself in a pyrites, in a crystal of salt or of quartz.
When Initiate consciousness surveys the audience present here, it is evident that you are listening to what I am saying with your hearts, whilst your three higher levels of consciousness are out in the Cosmos. The Cosmos is the scene of activities of an order wholly different from those known to ordinary earthly consciousness. In the Cosmos, especially in what is enacted there and radiates far and wide, is woven for all of us the web of our destiny, our karma.
Thus we have gradually come to understand man through his relationship with the universe — how fundamentally he is associated with the external world, is continually under the threat of annihilation from without, of reduction to insensibility and is ultimately sustained by the heart.
When we meditate on other kinds of metals our spiritual approach is different. We can follow the same procedure with copper as we have done with iron, tin and lead. When we meditate on the metallic nature of copper, we become, as it were, merged with, one with copper; our whole soul is permeated with copper, with its colour and consistency, its curiously ribbed surface. In brief, we become wholly identified with our psychic response to the metallity of copper. Then we do not experience a gradual transition towards insensibility, but rather the reverse. We have the sensation that something floods our whole inner being; our response grows more sensitive. We have a definite impression that when we meditate on copper it pervades our whole being. It radiates from the centre below the heart and is diffused over the whole body.
It is as though we had a second body, a second man within us. We have a sensation of inner pressure. This sets up a slight pain that gradually increases. Everything seems to be in a state of inner tension.
When we invest this condition with Initiate consciousness we feel the presence of a second man within us. And this experience has important implications, for we can say to ourselves: the normal self, the legacy of birth and education the instrument through which we apprehend the world, accompanies us through life; but, through training and meditation, we awaken in this second man who now takes over his potentiality for perception. This second man is indeed a remarkable being. He does not possess separate eyes and ears, but is at one and the same time eyes and ears together. He resembles a sense organ with delicate powers of perception; he perceives things that we do not normally perceive. Our world becomes suddenly enriched.
Just as a snake can slough its skin, so it is possible for a short time — and much can be experienced in the course of a few seconds — for this second man, the “copper” man, to withdraw from the body and move about freely in the spiritual world. He can be separated from the body, though at the cost of increasing pain. When we are dissociated from the body we have a wider range of experiences. When we have reached the point when we can relinquish the body, we are then able to follow a person who has passed through the gate of death.
In that case all our terrestrial associations with the deceased are now ended. He has been buried or cremated, he has severed his connection with the Earth. When we relinquish the body with the second man, that is with clairvoyant perception, we are able to follow the journey of the soul after death. And then we learn that the soul in the first years or decades after death relives in reverse order its life on Earth. This is a fact that can be observed since we accompany the soul through the gate of death. The time taken to recapitulate our life experiences is a third of our life span. A man who dies at sixty will recapitulate his life experiences over twenty years approximately. We can follow his soul throughout this period. We can now learn much about man's experiences after death. In recapitulating his life the experiences are of a different order. Forgive me if I give a somewhat crude example. Let us assume that three years before your death you gave someone a box on the ear. You were annoyed with him and you exploded with anger; you caused him physical and moral pain. You derived a certain satisfaction from punishing him for having offended you. Now, when you recapitulate your life in reverse order and come upon this episode after a year, you do not experience your original outburst of anger, but the physical and moral pain of your victim. You live right into his feelings and experience psychically the box on the ear; you re-experience the pain you have inflicted. And the same applies to all actions. You experience them exactly as others who were involved experienced them. It is possible to follow man's soul after death through all such experiences.
The ancient Chaldeans who owed their cultural impulses to the Mystery teachings had deeper insight into these matters than the men of today. The remarkable fact is that in those days these ancient Chaldeans actually lived in the larynx consciousness, whereas we today live in the heart consciousness. The consciousness natural to them was a kind of iron consciousness; their experience was associated with the universe; for them the Earth did not have the solid consistency it holds for us. When, under particularly favourable conditions they lived, for example, in communion with the beings of Mars, there came a moment of time when beings came over from the Moon and brought with them other beings such as those we perceive with the consciousness of the second man. And thus indirectly the Chaldeans learned of sublime truths relating to life after death. They received their instruction in these truths from the universe without.
This is no longer necessary for us today when we can follow the dead without intermediary help. We can follow them as they live through their experiences in reverse sequence and each experience in reverse. And the strange thing is that when we are identified with this second man we find ourselves in a world that is infinitely more real than the phenomenal world. This present world and the sum of our experiences there appear unsubstantial in comparison with the solid, exacting world ~of reality which we have now entered.
In accompanying the dead in the way described we experience everything on a magnified scale; everything appears to be more intensely real. By comparison, the phenomenal world leaves a nebulous impression. To anyone who is associated with the world of the dead through Initiate consciousness, the physical world appears like a painted masquerade and an Initiate who, through meditation, has been closely associated with the dead in this way would say: You are all painted masks. There is no reality about you; you are simply painted masks sitting on your chairs.
True reality is only found beyond the realm of physical existence and this reality can be experienced here and now. Perhaps some of you can recall the figure of Strader in my Mystery Plays. This character is drawn from life. Strader is a poetic, non-realistic portrait of a personality who lived in the last third of the nineteenth century and on into the twentieth century. In real life he was a man who interested me deeply. He began life as a Capuchin novice, abandoned his vocation in favour of philosophy and stayed for a time in the monastery at Dornach. I recast him as Strader in the Mystery Plays. It was not a faithful portrait, but bore a certain likeness to him. In the fourth Mystery Play, you will remember, Strader dies. I had to let him die as I had exhausted all possibilities of developing his character further. Had I attempted to do so I could not have put pen to paper. He could not possibly have appeared again in the fifth Mystery Play. What is the reason for this?
In the meantime the real person who had changed his rôle from monk to philosopher had died. And because I was deeply interested in him I was able to follow his journey through the spiritual world. There the impression created by his personality was far more real. His life and activities on Earth ceased to evoke the same interest now that one could share his experiences in the life after death.
Then a strange thing happened. A few anthroposophists tumbled to the state of affairs. They discovered — the ingenuity of man knows no bounds — that Strader was to some extent a portrait of the historical person. In the course of their investigations they discovered his unpublished manuscripts and all sorts of interesting documents which he had left behind. They brought them to me expecting that I would be overjoyed at the discovery. I had not the slightest interest in them. What did interest me, on the other hand, was what he was doing after his death. This was far more real. In comparison with this, everything related to the external world which he had left behind, was of no significance.
People were surprised that I showed so little interest after they had been at such pains to gather information. I had no use for it then, nor do I need it now. The fact is that the reality of this world is illusory in comparison with that sublime reality which is revealed to us when we follow a soul beyond the gate of death. There the soul endures in a world that we can experience ourselves when we are identified with the second man who can relinquish the physical body, if only for a short time. But in that short space of time much can be experienced.
The existence of this world whose frontiers border directly on those of the phenomenal world is never in doubt. It is a world in which the deceased are living more abundantly. We apprehend them through this second man who relinquishes the physical body. We have suffered no loss of consciousness, rather is our consciousness more deeply interfused.
If we rise above the heart centre, our consciousness becomes more dimmed, we are near to a state of unconsciousness. If we descend below the heart centre our consciousness is intensified. We enter a world of reality, but we must learn to bear the pain and suffering this entails. But if we breach the walls surrounding this world with courage and determination our entry is assured.
We have now arrived at an understanding of the ordinary day consciousness, of a second consciousness in the larynx, a third in the region of the eyes, a fourth, that reaches out into the universe, at the crown of the head, and a fifth that is unrelated to the worlds of space and leads us back into the world of time. We travel through time; when we attain this fifth level of consciousness we share the same time-scale in reverse as the deceased. We have stepped out of space into time.
Everything therefore depends upon our ability to transpose ourselves into different states of consciousness which open up to us new worlds. On Earth man is the prisoner of a single, insulated world because he knows only one state of consciousness; in all other states of consciousness he is asleep. If we awaken them and develop them, we can experience the other worlds.
The secret of spiritual investigation is that through transmutation of his consciousness man transforms himself. We cannot penetrate into other worlds by adopting the orthodox methods of research and investigation; we must undergo metamorphosis, transform our consciousness into new and different forms.


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