Psychic Research and Basic Religion.
Posted on 13 September 2016, 8:30
Psychic research asks questions like: Is there a spiritual world? Is there an afterlife for each person that lives? What is the afterlife like? More and more wonderful and trustworthy books give us an ever clearer picture what to expect when we pass to the spiritual world.
Basic religion, seen amongst the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic mystics, does need to be aware of what psychic research has revealed. But basic religion looks more toward communion in the Whole, mutual love and service within such a Whole. Even when certain Christians and Buddhists have no belief in the afterlife, they still participate in worship and meditation in order that they may feel this oneness in this whole. Basic religion is much the same everywhere. This fact may explain the surprising lack of interest in psychic research by some Christians… not necessarily due to belief systems, just this other focus.
St Stephen expressed this focus in his prayer, “Lord, let me forget that I am me; Let me know that I am with Thee. Let me not separate myself from thee, Because I am me.”
Many of the most popular hymns follow the same theme:
Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
The spiritual wisdom of divine union is first beautifully expressed in writing in the Vedas (the oldest source of Hinduism, at least three thousand years old). One of its “grand pronouncements” is Tat Tvam Asi in Sanskrit.
This condensed wisdom might be translated in any of these ways:
YOU are That!
You ARE what you seek!
THOU art That!
THAT you are!
You are IT!
In the old Anglican catechism, baptised people are reminded that they are children of God, members of Christ, and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven.
John 14.10: I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.
The perception that the wellspring of the main religious traditions is this sense of union in the One, has been called the Perennial Philosophy.
Agostino Steuco (1497–1548) coined the term “philosophia perennis” “perennial philosophy”; He held that philosophy works in harmony with religion and should lead to knowledge of God, and that truth flows from a single source, more ancient than the Greeks.
It was central to the thinking of the philosopher Leibnitz. (1646-1716)
Aldous Huxley’s 1945 book The Perennial Philosophy, has been very influential. Huxley was profoundly influenced by Vivekananda’s Neo-Vedanta and Universalism. He defined the perennial philosophy as:
[...]” the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical to, divine Reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being;”
Huxley maintained that, “Rudiments of the perennial philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. Here are a few of his quotes:
“He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.“1 John iv
“By love may He be gotten and holden, but by thought never.“The Cloud of Unknowing
“The astrolabe of the mysteries of God is love.“Jalal-uddin Rumi”
Huxley then explains: “We can only love what we know, and we can never know completely what we do not love. Love is a mode of knowledge.
According to Aldous Huxley, in order to apprehend the divine reality, one must choose to fulfil certain conditions: “making themselves loving, pure in heart and poor in spirit.” Huxley argues that very few people can achieve this state. Those who have fulfilled these conditions, grasped the universal truth and interpreted it have generally been given the name of saint, prophet, sage or enlightened one.
Huxley’s words will be true of the great religious leaders over the centuries. But it is very likely that there will have been countless ordinary human beings over the millennia, not necessarily highly intelligent, in humble circumstances in loving selfless relationships filled with the wonder and joy of life. Jesus addressed himself to those of lowly status in society, the outcast and the foreigner, and saw them as candidates for the Kingdom of Heaven. The poor are often more generous with the little they have, than those comfortably off. The holistic view leads us to know that all living beings inextricably belong to each other in this spiritual whole. It does not require us to be clever and highly educated.. it requires simplicity, openness, and love.
In writing thus, I am not of course downplaying the importance of psychic research and afterlife studies which tend to see things from the point of view of the sensory-physical . But the other side to things needs to be presented. That is the fact that all that is, is a psychophysical whole, where all is connected, and this is what religion at its best celebrates. This type of awareness is the holistic. Both sensory-physical and holistic ways of seeing things are equally valid.. they are different modes of focus.
The holistic mode has been called “clairvoyant” , knowledge and events of all times and places are potentially available to all those who constitute it. It has been said that we live in a holographic universe, where each part has information belonging to the whole.
We see this in the US Military Stargate Project , especially the work of Ingo Swann in the field of remote viewing. For successful viewing of distant locations, the remote viewer must operate with the minimum information, to prevent the fabrication of data by his conscious mind. Coordinate Remote Viewing is a method by which coordinates are employed to identify the target to be viewed. The coordinates used, however, needn’t be geographical in nature. They can be, and usually are, completely random numbers. Once a particular target has already been ‘visited’ by a remote viewer, and this target has been assigned a set of random coordinates, it is possible for another remote viewer to ‘visit’ the same location – which could be any point in time and space – simply by focusing on the same set of coordinates. In spite of such minimal information, correct information about the usually military target was often provided.
Very many will be familiar with the phenomenon called the “Library Angel”. Someone consulting this “angel” writes or types a question and listens for a referral to a book, a page and a line. For some it can be a reference to a passage of Scripture. Or the questioner will wait a sense of being drawn to a particular book amongst many others, then drawn blindly to touch a page or line… and be astonished at the accuracy and wisdom of the answer. In my Into the Wider Dream I describe how my daughter was offered the loan of a supposed Stradivarius violin. When I asked the generous person who made the offer whether he knew it was genuine or a copy he said he didn’t know… why didn’t I ask God?
I duly typed my question, and voice sounding not other than that of my own thoughts, said “Percutio”. Looking up at Latin English dictionary I found it meant “forgery.” I typed the question, “What would you have said if it was genuine?” And then I heard “my” voice say “Hypostasis”’ I did recognise this word as standing for each of the three “persons” of the Holy Trinity. But consultation of a Greek lexicon revealed that it also meant “the real thing”! On requesting my inner voice for proof that these answers did not come from my personal memory, “my” voice referred me to a book of poems by Robert Browning, the second volume, a certain page and a certain line, and the information that it was an anagram. I discovered that the line yielded a meaningful sentence containing the name Antonius Stradivarius.
So was it “my” personal voice that answered? Or was it “my” voice at a higher level of consciousness? Or was it the voice of a universal I AM? Who can know? Can we distinguish? Or shall we agree with the Hindu YOU are That! You ARE what you seek! THOU art That! THAT you are! You are IT! ? “Lord let me know that I am with Thee. Let me not separate myself from thee because I am me.”
In psychical research, to avoid contamination by mental processes, a medium or psychic will ask to be given no information, before focusing on what information may come from this…hologram… this quantum entanglement… of energy.. of mind…timeless.. spaceless…this I AM.
In actual fact, for there to be an “afterlife” at all, for communication between the physical and spiritual realms to occur, they must all the parts of this Oneness. For prayer to be possible, for synchronicity to occur, for there to be answers to prayer, for there to be spiritual healing… it must all take place within this Oneness.
When David Bohm describes in the language of physics, the implicate and explicate universe, when we talk of a spiritual world and a physical world, when we say God is love, when Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, it may well be that the varying languages describe the same ultimate reality.
Here is a prayer provided by Richard Rohr:
God for us, we call you “Father.”
God alongside us, we call you “Jesus.”
God within us, we call you “Holy Spirit.”
Together, you are the Eternal Mystery
That enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,
Even us and even me.
Every name falls short of your goodness and greatness.
We can only see who you are in what is.
We ask for such perfect seeing—
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Michael Cocks edits the journal, The Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.
His latest book, Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity in the Witness Box is published by White Crow Books.