This book provides the ancient mind-training techniques that will allow you to access the wisdom and guidance of your own soul. These techniques, once taught in the ancient mystery schools come from a body of knowledge called the Ageless Wisdom.
The Wisdom teachings tell us that the soul is our gateway to the higher worlds. Through the soul, we have access to the universal or divine mind where information on all subjects can be found. In the past, it's been only the "special" peopleour saints, shamans and spiritual leaderswho have had access to the higher worlds. Colleen assures us that we can all gain access to that universal wellspring of inspiration and knowledge.
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Ancient Techniques to Access the Wisdom of Your Soul
By Colleen Mauro
Theosophical Publishing HouseCopyright © 2015 Colleen Mauro
All rights reserved.
The Evolutionary Journey
If men and women have come up from the beasts, then they will likely end up with the gods.
As I mentioned in the introduction, many spiritual leaders, philosophers, and scientists tell us that we stand at the threshold of an evolutionary shift, one as profound as our emergence from animal to human. Our next evolutionary breakthrough is not a change in form, but the emergence of a new type of human, the soul-aligned human being. When we align the lower self, or personality, with the higher self, or soul, an evolutionary step is taken. We take our first steps out of the human kingdom and into the superhuman worlds.
According to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, this development is part of a planned evolutionary sequence, our slow, step-by-step journey from human to divine. This journey takes us from the primitive life of the caveman to the superhuman state symbolized by the Christ, the Buddha, and other great spiritual leaders. This journey is illustrated by two biblical stories: the story of Adam and Eve in the Old Testament and the New Testament story of the Prodigal Son. The unfolding miracle begins when the divine spark in each of us descends into the physical world. This descent of spirit into matter is called the "involutionary" journey, or in the Hindu texts, the pravritti marga, the "path of outgoing."
In the Old Testament story, Adam and Eve are cast out of the Garden of Eden, a state of communion and bliss, into the physical world of space and time. This journey creates our illusion of separateness as we lose our conscious connection to the Divine. Once on earth, through a long cycle of rebirth, we undergo a process of gradual awakening. It is then that our evolutionary journey, our climb from dust to the stars, begins.
The evolutionary journey, the path of return, is illustrated by the New Testament story of the Prodigal Son. In this tale, the son leaves his father's house for a journey to "the far country." He squanders his inheritance on wild living and soon finds himself broke and alone. Eventually, after much suffering, he "comes to himself" and makes the decision to "arise and go" back to his father's house—a concise description of the classic spiritual journey.
We are living in a time of accelerated opening, and it is now possible to take the next step up the evolutionary ladder. As I've mentioned, the higher self, or soul, our spark of the Divine, is our portal to the superhuman worlds. The soul is neither spirit nor matter but our link between the two. The soul stands midway between the personality and the world of pure spirit.
When we build our bridge to the soul, we enlarge our horizons and expand our consciousness beyond the boundaries of the physical world. We become aware of a new kingdom in nature: the fifth kingdom, the kingdom of the soul. When we gain access to this higher realm, a new world opens before us. Our history books are full of stories about our most famous explorers—from Christopher Columbus's journey to the Americas, to Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon. The next frontier is our exploration of the subtle world, a world once accessible only to mystics, seers, and spiritual leaders.
In the next three chapters, as I cover the key principles of the Wisdom tradition, I will describe the steps on this journey. I will introduce you to the worlds beyond the physical realm and describe our subtle anatomy—what the Wisdom teachings call the "spiritual constitution of man." This will give you the necessary framework to understand the teachings and practices presented in this book.
You'll see how, as we move up the evolutionary ladder, our perceptual abilities evolve from the instinct of the animal to the intellect of modern man, to the pure intuitive knowing of the soul-aligned human being. You'll see how each aspect of this teaching fits together like a piece of a larger puzzle—a wisdom "that God hid in a mystery"; one that "an eye has not seen, an ear has not heard and no human mind has conceived"; a wisdom that "God destined for our glory before time began" (1 Cor. 2:9). We begin with a look at the sacred number seven.
The Sacred Number Seven
Pythagoras, said to be the world's first philosopher, was born in Greece in the sixth century BCE. After studying in the mystery schools of Egypt and Babylon, he settled in Croton, in Southern Italy, where he created a mystery school of his own. Pythagoras, who believed geometry to be one of the three sciences essential to the understanding of God, taught spiritual principles through the study of numbers. For Pythagoras, Number was "the principle of rational order in the universe, the source and the root of all things, both universal and divine." According to Pythagoras, seven is the number of religion and spiritual law, as man is controlled by "the seven celestial spirits," the biblical "Seven Spirits before the Throne."
Pick up any book on the Wisdom tradition and you're sure to come across the number seven. In the Wisdom teachings there are seven planes of consciousness; seven kingdoms in nature; seven senses; seven sacraments; seven initiations; seven energy centers, or chakras; and seven "races," or stages of human development. This number is also repeated in the material world, where we have seven continents, seven seas, seven days of the week, seven elements, seven notes in an octave, seven major glands in the human body—even seven colors in a rainbow.
Like so many others, I was curious about the significance of this number and finally found an explanation in Helena Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine. As Blavatsky points out, the square has long been the symbol of the material world. It symbolizes the four directions (east, west, north, and south) and the four races of man (black, white, red, and yellow). The three-sided triangle is symbolic of the trinity—a concept found in every religion—and of the spiritual world. Spirit combined with matter equals consciousness or life. When the triangle is merged with the square, a seven-pointed star is created, symbolizing the alignment of heaven and earth. Blavatsky writes that "the number seven is the perfect and sacred number of this solar system. Everything in the metaphysical and physical universe is septenary." She also writes that we are "seven-fold beings," the universe in miniature, "the septenary microcosm, to the septenary macrocosm." The seven planes are key to understanding our seven-fold nature.
The Seven Planes
According to the Ageless Wisdom, our universe consists of seven planes, or frequencies, often referred to as planes of consciousness. These planes correspond to seven levels of spiritual awareness. Each plane represents a more advanced state of consciousness.
The seven planes include the physical, emotional, mental, buddhic, spiritual, monadic, and divine planes. Usually depicted with seven horizontal lines superimposed one above the other, these planes interpenetrate. Each plane is divided into seven subplanes, which correspond to the higher sevenfold division.
Also called chambers, palaces, gates, or [heavens, these planes are gradations of energy from pure spirit to dense matter. The three top planes are the formless worlds of spirit. The three lowest planes are the three worlds of the human being. The fourth, or buddhic, plane is the plane where spirit and matter meet. Our evolutionary journey extends to the first five planes: the three human planes and the two superhuman planes above.
This teaching may seem esoteric, but, as you will see below, it can be found in all our spiritual traditions.
Hinduism teaches that there are seven stages or states of consciousness on the path to illumination. In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, mention is made of the seven worlds that correspond to the seven states of being. The Hindu texts also include mention of the fourteen lokas, the Sanskrit word for "spheres" or "planes." The seven superior lokas are the seven "heavens," and the seven inferior lokas are the seven hells.
This concept of seven heavens is also found in Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and Shamanism. According to Islamic tradition, the Prophet Mohammed made contact with Allah only after his journey through the seven heavens. During their pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims honor this event by circling the Kaaba, Islam's holiest building, seven times. The merkavah, the earliest Jewish mystics, used meditation practices to ascend through seven heavens, or "palaces," in their attempt to experience "the glory of the Lord."
For the early Taoists, the seven heavens were symbolized by the seven stars of the Big Dipper. In a meditation ritual they called "pacing the Dipper," they imagined these stars as a ladder to the seventh heaven—what they called "the garden of the immortals." The Siberian shamans used a birch tree with seven notches or branches to represent the seven heavens. This tree, used in their initiation ceremonies, symbolized their journey to the higher realms.
Initiation into the mysteries of Mithras, a Persian pre-Christian religious cult, involved seven stages that represented the soul's journey through the seven "gates of heaven." The soul's journey through seven gates is also described in an ancient Egyptian funereal text called the Book of Gates.
In the Cherokee tradition, the seven states of consciousness are represented by the seven spokes on their medicine wheel. Each spoke represents one of seven paths of spiritual initiation: the North, South, East, and West paths, the above and below paths, and the final "within" path.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus stands with seven stars in his right hand, and the number seven is woven throughout this symbolic book. As I'll show you in the next chapter, the seven seals, seven candlesticks, and seven churches all represent the seven stages of spiritual awakening.
The Physical Plane
Our five senses have equipped us to function on the physical plane. As we move up the evolutionary ladder, we develop the subtle senses we need to experience the higher worlds.
The first plane is home to both our physical and etheric bodies. Our physical bodies are composed of the substances found on the lower three subplanes—solid, liquid, and gaseous. These substances, perceptible to our five senses, make up our bones, blood system, nervous system, brain, and endocrine glands. Symbolized by the earth element, this three-dimensional world is called Bhu in the Hindu tradition, Assiyah in the kabbalah, and the "world of nature and the body" by the Sufis.
Our etheric bodies are composed of the finer matter of the top four subplanes. The etheric or energy body, perceptible only to our subtle senses, is made up of a network of fine energy currents. Called the "golden bowl" in the Bible, this energy body extends beyond and interpenetrates our physical form.10 These energy currents, emanating from one or more of the seven planes, circulate through and energize our physical bodies. When these lines of energy intersect, an energy center, or chakra, is formed.
Everything that exists in our solar system has an etheric form, and it is through our etheric bodies that we are connected to the web of all life. Our etheric bodies form part of the "universal ether" that connects everything in our world—rocks, plants, animals, planets, and stars. Our etheric bodies link the physical body with the subtle bodies described below. It is also the means by which we receive and transmit telepathic information. It is easy to understand how we can be affected by thought currents, distant healing—even the movement of the planets above us—when we realize we are connected through this energetic web to everyone and everything on our planet and beyond.
Our etheric bodies are also a part of the etheric body of the planet itself. As Chief Seattle, chief of the Suquamish Indians, wrote in his famous letter to the American Government in the 1800s, "All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
The experience of unity—when we suddenly have "eyes to see" this finer grade of matter—has been reported by mystics from the beginning of time. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell had this experience when he gazed at the earth from the window of the Kittyhawk as he and his fellow astronauts returned from the Apollo 14 lunar mission:
As I looked at the earth ... I felt an extraordinary personal connectedness with it. I experienced what has been described as an ecstasy of unity. I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it and experienced it sentiently. I was overwhelmed with the sensation of physically and mentally extending out in the cosmos. The restraints and boundaries of flesh and bone fell away.
Mario Beauregard, author of The Spiritual Brain, had a similar experience while lying in bed during a bout with chronic fatigue syndrome. As Beauregard relates,
The experience began with a sensation of heat and a tingling in the spine and chest areas. Suddenly, I merged with the infinitely loving Cosmic Intelligence and became united with everything in the cosmos. This unitary state of being ... was timeless and accompanied by intense bliss and ecstasy. In this state, I experienced the basic interconnectedness of all things in the cosmos, this infinite ocean of life.
In A Mythic Life, Jean Houston describes the sense of interconnection she experienced while staring out the window as a child:
Everything around me, including myself, suddenly became part of a single Unity, a glorious symphonic resonance in which every part of the universe was a part of and illuminated every other part, and I knew that in some way it all worked together...the utter interpenetration and union of everything with the All That Is.
As Above, so Below
As the early pioneers of quantum science discovered, the interconnection that exists in the subtle world is duplicated in the physical world. When these scientists investigated matter at the subatomic level, they made a surprising discovery. They discovered that matter, at its most fundamental level, is not solid or separate; it is instead a web of interconnected particles capable of exchanging information across space and time. They also discovered, as Lynne McTaggart recounts in The Field, that energy exists in the space between particles—what they call the "Zero Point Field." McTaggart points out that many of these pioneering scientists explored the Eastern spiritual traditions in an attempt to understand the deeper meaning of these startling new discoveries. Erwin Schrödinger, one of the main contributors to quantum theory, studied the Vedas and other Hindu spiritual texts. According to Larry Dossey, Schrödinger, who believed science to be incapable of providing direct insight into the "nature of spirit," wrote of the need for a "blood transfusion" between Western science and the Eastern traditions. A true understanding of our interconnected universe, Schrödinger wrote, will come only when Eastern teachings are assimilated into Western science.
The Astral/Emotional Plane
The sixth, or emotional, plane forms a bridge between the mind and the physical body. Our emotional bodies are made up of the matter of all its seven subplanes. This is the plane of emotion and desire. Here, physical sensation is transmuted into feeling. It is through our emotional bodies that we become sensitive to moods and feelings—both our own and those around us. Our emotional bodies permeate and surround our physical bodies. This is the luminous energy body, or "aura," seen by clairvoyants. Our emotional state creates the variety of colors seen by psychics—black for hatred and malice, red for anger, blue for spiritual devotion.
On this plane we find a more subtle version of our physical senses. Physical sight becomes clairvoyance, or "clear seeing," the abilty to see at a distance; hearing becomes clairaudience, or "clear hearing," the ability to hear beyond the range of normal perception; and touch becomes psychometry, the ability to receive psychic impressions by touching an object. Patanjali called these abilities the lower siddhis, or "psychic powers."
Due to the force of human emotion and desire, this dreamlike realm, long symbolized by water, is called the plane of illusion. Here, psychic impressions are often distorted and unreliable. Strong, uncontrolled emotions—anger, resentment, hate, or jealousy—can create congestion in the emotional body. This congestion filters down to the physical body and can lead to a variety of diseases, including cancer and lung, liver, and heart problems.
Our emotional bodies can separate from the physical body while we sleep and move to distant locations with lightening speed, a phenomenon known as "astral travel." This four-dimensional world is called Antariksa in the Vedas, Yetzirah in the kabbalah, and the "realm of the senses" by the Sufis.
Excerpted from Spiritual Telepathy by Colleen Mauro. Copyright © 2015 Colleen Mauro. Excerpted by permission of Theosophical Publishing House.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. The Evolutionary Journey,
2. The Universal Human,
3. The Three Minds,
4. The Three Types of Telepathy,
5. Refining Your Physical, Emotional, and Mental Bodies,
6. Building the Rainbow Bridge,
7. The Soul: The Kingdom of God,
8. Become a World Server,