Introduction to the phenomena of higher psychicism
Vertical telepathy, in its most orthodox sense, is the phenomenon of communication between Ego (higher Self) and lower mind (personality).
This phenomenon is also called «Illumination».
This event is explained in the Commentaries by Master D. K. as follows: "vertical telepathy is possible when the extension of the sense of hearing becomes such to concern the Psyche".
The extension of the sense of hearing above mentioned is the possibility for man, during his evolutionary development, to become aware (or take possession) of the so-called higher psychic powers (in the East known as siddhi). These "powers of the mind" are nothing but the subtlest counterparts of the physical senses; indeed, it is certainly more correct to say that the latter are the lower counterpart (ethereal-physical) of the thinking abilities of the Ego. In the instance we are dealing with, the sense that on the physical plane manifests itself as hearing is present at the astral level as clear-hearing, which, at a higher mental level, is expressed as telepathy.
Ancient Commentaries call the senses that manifest themselves astrally phenomena of "lower psychicism", whilst the senses of "higher psychicism" belong to the subtlest planes of the mind, which is closest to the Ego.
In one of these Commentaries there is a table comparing the differences between higher and lower psychic powers:
Applied with intelligence
Therefore the telepathic process is the communication between two psychic elements of dissimilar quality but that can be somehow connected; this link is perceived by the physical brain as well as the external hearing sense. Such elements can be two different and physically separated individuals; in this case it is called horizontal telepathy. If the two elements are two parts of the same unity of individual conscience we can refer to vertical telepathy. We want to study the latter, introducing some basic aspects of Esoteric Psychology.
Whilst for the physical body there is the distance between oneself and another physical vehicle, for the psyche distance doesn't exist. Try and "imagine" or "remember" a person or an event. Between the action and the image there isn't any "time gap", therefore the immediateness demonstrates the non-distance between receiver and event. When we talk about horizontal and vertical telepathy, we actually describe the same method of communication between two assonant elements (similar but not equal).
The term horizontal telepathy describes the mental contact between two individual psychic elements, viz. two different people; by vertical telepathy we mean the phenomenon of integration (inner communication) between the psychic element immersed in the physiology of the brain (the conscience of the personal self, also called lower ego) and its metaphysical counterpart, viz. the part of the same conscience free from the limits of corporal senses, viz. the super-conscience of the soul that expresses itself in the densest planes below through the Ego.
A man's mind is commonly divided in two psychic units, because of man's inability to feel like an integrated unity. This "disunion of conscience " expresses the (virtual) dualism called lower and higher psychicism.
Lower psychicism originates from the identification of personality (lower self) with passional instincts of the animal nature and with the egocentric desire to "own" (pos-sesso (see note)) or to "obtain" something for oneself.
Ancient people defined this nature as "astralism". But thanks to astralism the so-called lower mind appeared; with time and depending on personal evolution, it became more or less rational. The lower mind is literally the apex of the physical Triad of man. It is the psychic element called personality, which coordinates what derives from the activity of the physical senses determining the action of the denser vehicles such as the physical, energetic-physical (ethereal body) and energetic-emotional (astral body) bodies. The higher or abstract mind is the bridge that links the physical Triad mentioned above and the soul Triad, viz. the metaphysical or spiritual counterpart of man, also made of three elements. For the moment the only element that concerns us is the Ego. As we have already mentioned, in the ordinary man these two levels of "self-conscience" of self are still unlinked and are often in conflict because of the little consciousness that he has of himself, especially of his inner identity.
"The mind is the battlefield of the forces contained in the microcosm… The stage of evolution that we have reached is the starting point of the great fight." – Some thoughts on the Gita
"The deployment of such process is carried out by cultivating what is called the attitude of the Observer. This attitude, conscious, attentive but detached from events themselves, must be the attitude of the scholar. He must take and steadily hold the position of the Observer, detached from the apparatus that allows him to observe and be in contact with the events of the external phenomena (his own personality). He must recognize himself in essence as a spiritual entity, with a different nature, goals and methods than those of the bodies that he temporarily uses, which are the ethereal-physical, astral and lower mental bodies".
And again: "the attitude of the Observer is developed by practicing detachment, the detachment of the Observer from all the desires that belong to the separated self. The reason that drives to observation is the knowledge of fair and beautiful; this consciousness determines the constitution of a pure Aura that can record in itself only what will be necessary to illuminate the understanding of the Divine Plan".
From this perspective, the first goal to be set by the person who wants to travel the "Path of Initiation" is to gain self-consciousness, both as physical existence and as metaphysical and spiritual essence. To acquire consciousness means for man to bring up to the surface of his ordinary conscience the memory called "reminiscence" of the sense of his life. The reminiscence of the "decisions" at the origins of his descent in the matter allows the return to the present memory's surface the answers to: where do I come from, where am I going and why all this?
To remember the Sense of the life of the soul, both as existence (matter) and as essence (energy), mends the "tear" of conscience that, because of the inability of abstraction of the material mind, separated the two "psychic" levels: personal and animic. This process can be accelerated with the constitution of a Point of contact that ancient people called "Bridge" (Ars Pontificia), RainbowBridge or Antahkarana. This is the egoic mind. This point of conscience is a particular mental form that is not only physical any more (linked to the senses of the animal form) but on the other hand it is not yet the animic mind, absolutely hyper-physical, expressed through the Ego (the pure thought of the soul). Otherwise, we can correctly define the constitution of the egoic mind as the densification (concretization) of a "middle point" between physical existence, conscience of self of the ordinary man and metaphysical essence, the higher conscience of Self of the Initiate.
"We deal with the work of the builders of bridges . First of all I can guarantee that the true construction of the Antahkarana starts only when the Disciple starts being focused in a definite way on the mental levels, therefore when his mind works with intelligence and awareness".
"The construction of the bridge through which the conscience can easily work, both in the higher and lower worlds, is obtained especially through a tendency of life directed in a definite way, that constantly drives man to the direction of the world of spiritual realities with movements of re-orientation , directed, prepared and carefully timed".
Therefore the progress of the individual mind occurs through the recognition of different planes of conscience of self, from the lower to the higher levels of the spiritual nature. The recognition of one's own identity must be "acquired" by man with intellectual work addressed to himself (Know Thyself).
With great fairness it is taught that the illumination of the lower mind is the permanent influence of the animic mind on the slowest (densest) planes of the physical mind. This density is the physical brain, mainly made of chemical compounds, which is reactively slower than the nuclear modules that make the Soul. To initiate oneself to the method of the "vertical telepathic contact" means to accelerate the period of integration between the mind of the personality and that of the Ego and obtain the privileged influence called illumination.
In order to "align" the lower mind to the subtle planes of the Ego it is necessary first of all to silence the turbulence of the "emotional vortexes" of the lower nature. For this purpose the "Rule of Silence" is very useful. This Rule is indeed a mental attitude that rules the self-control of the constant emotional fluctuations of personality. The Rule of Silence, with which we will deal elsewhere, is an ancient teaching that tends to inhibit the "emotional thoughts" considered chaotic, futile or undesirable, viz. those based on the passion of the astral nature (emotional clouding).
In order to "regulate" one's own lower nature it is not necessary to repress its emotions. The repression or censorship of emotional impulses, quite common among the youngsters in many exoteric religious orders, leads to mental unbalance, hallucinatory or obsessive states. To regulate means to practice an educative process in order to re-address the sensual energy towards higher goals. This is where the aspirant (aspiration or desire) comes in. To aspire to knowledge, inner elevation, the improvement of one's own life and, most of all, harmonization with life itself, are all symptoms that the forces of desire are heading outside the obscurantism of materiality.
"The beginner doesn't have to consider absolute purity yet … For the majority it is physical and astral purity, and most of all freedom from desires and emotions. This explains the continuous repetition of the precept that, although badly translated, says: "kill the desire". Perhaps the most correct expression would be: re-address the desire because this is the key to any transmutation, this must be a common state of the mind of any Disciple".
Commentaries associate "emotional thoughts" to "mystic fantasies", which characterize the devotional aspect of the ordinary aspirant. Although emotional thoughts and mystic fantasies enjoy the "sympathy" of large groups of devotees (see exoteric religions and cults based on fetishes, idealization and myth of other men's personalities), they are not the result of a superior and unchangeable reality, but they are both interpretations of an individual kind which, given the low degree of knowledge implicit in the levels of the condition of aspirant, are able to obscure most of the mental ability of the neophyte, up to throw in the "limb of good intentions" his determination to embark on a journey of inner elevation and progress.
The alternative to emotional astralism, from which the dogmas of mystic fantasies originate, is represented by the various forms of presumption and arrogance of lesser adepts who, not yet initiatorily weaned, already assume that they know and they can do something in a field that doesn't compete to them; they arrogate themselves the right to affect other people's choices and determine their journey improvising themselves as spiritual ‘leaders' or "guides". Those people are not lit by the Fire of the soul but by the flash in the pan of rushed enthusiasms that are another characteristic of astralism.
The aspirant who wishes to be accepted by a Master and then be introduced as a Member of the "hierarchy of the soul" must start his journey by overcoming the "inebriations" of the instinctive, emotional and astral mind, up to focusing his attention (self-conscience or conscience of himself) in the "construction" of more rational levels of the personal mind. The more and more qualified constitution of mental levels that go from rationality to logics up to intuition, gives shape to what initiatory Teaching call: the magnetic Aura of the Adept . That is a qualified "tank"' of mental energy that makes the "dowry" of substance-thought of the Initiate. It might happen that the aspirant, driven by sudden passion, falls back in the levels below for short periods of time; with time, determination and training, though, he will consolidate the habit to stay on the logical and intuitive levels, in order to direct his attention where ‘he decides' it is more useful in order to achieve his goals and aims. At this point we won't talk about making fortuitous choices any more, but we can finally deal with Free Will.
"The ability to live subjectively, to keep contact with the soul and its world is an inner attitude of the mind, which can head to any direction at will. It can synchronize with the mental world, with the kingdom of ideas and choose among all concepts those that better support his work; the latter is the Service that an accepted Disciple or an Initiate is able to offer in favor of the hierarchic Plane in order to affect the astrality of the field he works in, dissolving delusions, unveiling mistakes and covering the ideals of mental substance suitable to make them recognized in the world of material existence. The attitude to the Service (love, commitment, sacrifice) accelerates in the mind of the Disciple the connection with the world of the soul".
The aspirant faces the first great crisis of his life when he feels the need to disown the astral plane which, a cycle of life after another, has been his usual dwelling. The impossibility to stay any further on the astral levels will cause a kind of "conscience disgust" towards the vibration that arise with low passional and emotional experiences; in esoteric terms this is called sense of detachment. The latter will give the sign that the contact of the material conscience with the most qualified planes of the mind has occurred; these planes are refractory to the attraction of the thought-forms that live on the emotional plane (unconscious and subconscious sub-personalities tend to be dis-integrated by the force of logics and higher intellect). The tank of thought-substance will extend beyond the usual boundaries of the lower (astral) mind and it will start forming and concretizing the higher mind. The higher mind will strengthen the consistency of the individual magnetic Aura and this will excite the "attention of the Ego".
The definition of the magnetic Aura that will be used as a body by the higher mind and as a tank of qualified thought-substance is the only sign that reaches the Soul from its own lower planes. This sign of "maturation" drives the action of the soul towards its shadow, personality, and inspires its interest to illuminate it starting to blend with it. The Aura, as well as the soul, is made of magnetic essence; when the Aura of man, with its development, will emit its first invocative magnetic note, because of the similarity of their nature, the evocative response of the soul will resound on the mental planes of the Ego.
"When the Disciple advances in bringing together the life of personality with the will of the soul in order to pursue his own Project, common to all Souls, the bridge of conscience that links man to his several natures is defined; the differentiation, in actual fact only virtual, between physical and metaphysical conscience, stops existing. The Disciple becomes a "point of invocative tension". This tension, this reserve of living energy that is the Disciple himself, is activated with the projection of his own thought. The result is that the power developed is strong enough to recall a response from the animic Triad. The tension of the lower evokes the attention of the greater".
The planes of the abstract mind are therefore the meeting point (the Bridge) between two psychic levels, the egoic and the personal one. The contacts will be at first irregular and unstable, such to appear fortuitous or a result of chance. When the relationship between personal and egoic mind becomes tighter, it will be hard to find a true difference between them, between their languages and motives. This integration will lead the personality, at first separated by the true Self, to penetrate its Ego so much that it will lose any attraction for material initiatives. This wish to be a Unity with the Soul leads the advanced Disciple to the decision called Renunciation. It is the renunciation to any form of invention that diverges from the so-called "sensual way", the instinct that rules the material world. With Renunciation, which we will not overlook in this occasion, we reach the definitive acquisition of the egoic conscience; this is the ultimate goal of the process of connection called vertical telepathy.
Short treatment of the phenomena of lower psychicism
The clarification of this point should dissolve many doubts about the fable of the easy acquisition of psychic abilities that some people keep spreading, such as the mythical possibility of being chosen as privileged channels or messengers of indefinite spiritual guides without changing anything about oneself and without having to demonstrate any of one's own abilities. In other words, there is nothing that shows a situation different from an ordinary profane. The field of unreality is crowded with alleged "invisible guides" always ready to stand by the side of the most unlikely pupils of the passive nature, so much to "abandon themselves" to astral seductions. If the unlikely disciples and followers, "inspired" by a world that is not there more than a mirage of one's own astrality, bothered studying the biographies of those who have been actually used as spiritual "spokespersons", they wouldn't find any reference that suits what they think they've understood or what they think they are. The gap (in terms of quality and development) that separates telepathy from the so-called lower psychic phenomena should be obvious. To make this distinction even clearer we will take as an example one of the most common manifestations of astralism: mediumism. Lower psychicism is an astral phenomenon mostly associated with phenomena of mediumism. As we will see further on, the medium is not subject to the development of any subtle sense and his gift has nothing to do with telepathy.
The medium is not a telepath; even less his alleged gift is a consequence of some psychic development. No physical sense in its subtlest manifestation is involved in the processes of mediumism.
"The medium and the Disciple are diametrically opposed. The Disciple always acts consciously, except in exceptional circumstances of his development, on which it is not necessary to dwell just now".
The medium is an ordinary person whose only ability consists of allowing that inside his abode (the physical body) live astral entities that are the energetic remains of dead people. Commentaries call such psychic dross "empty shells".
The Ego, or higher Self, is manifested in the three worlds (mental, astral, and ethereal-physical) through a unity that we called physical Triad ruled by personality. In each of the three levels the Ego has a body, or vehicle of expression. Men are commonly still focused on the astral plane; if they don't approach the so-called "Path", they will live there for the duration of their existence. By identifying themselves with this plane, they vitalize their own astral body, transforming it into a powerful dense and concentrated thought-form, which is the sum of all the emotional-thoughts produced during a lifetime. If we add the fear of death and the following desire to live, we have a complete picture of what the Ego leaves when it "detaches" personality from Itself, "abandoning it" with the vehicles it has used during that vital cycle. As it happens for the physical body, the other bodies as well (subtler than the material one) need a certain amount of time to dissolve; therefore on the threshold of the so-called "afterworld" there are the astral thought-forms that can't follow their own higher Ego on the subtle planes where it resides.
Such thought-forms (astral bodies) though, lacking in actual fact of the alleged purity and venerability that men's affection attributes to their dead people to alleviate the pain of their departure (they say "they're going to be in a better world!") up to the moment of their dissolution, will only be "empty shells", deprived of the vital principle but still gifted with a form of ability of thought that emerges from the mnemonic baggage of one's own astrality. If man was always focused on the emotional plane, he would have available all that he has learnt and understood during his physical experience. Therefore the astral shell would still be active and most of all it would still have the desire to be able to "express itself" again on the emotional-physical planes of the material world. The greater was the attachment of personality to material life, the stronger the impulse to the "contact" with the manifested world will be. The medium can open the doors of his dwelling only to this kind of entity.
Mediumism is a totally passive process, it is setting aside one's own conscience to allow the fatuous astral presences to repeat the notions acquired during their lives, to which they add what they can draw from the astral decantation ditch of the humankind that is collective unconsciousness and what they can ‘read' in the desires of the people attending the séances.
"Mediumism is only a symptom of danger. The medium is an inn where disembodied liars dwell".
H. P. Blavatsky, as well as the bishop C. W. Leadbeater, experimentally studied mediumistic phenomena for a long time. Thanks to the faculty of clairvoyance (psychic-mental development of the sense of sight ) they both observed how "empty shells" could fascinate the medium and the bystanders. They easily read the astral body of the people attending the séance, managing to "play" the role of acquaintances, dead relatives or some great character of certain effect. They must use the credulousness of the bystanders, and what they claim must never be checked scientifically.
This is what H. P. B. stated after some time of thorough research: "The more I see genuine and artificial mediums, the more I see the danger that surrounds the humankind".
The instinct of survival is a prerogative of these «empty shells», as well, then. In order to prolong their existence, they look for the contact with the ethereal-physical world that allows them to assimilate the energy of other people's emotions.
Commentaries call this phenomenon psychic vampirism. Basically the medium, during a séance, plays the role of "suction channel" and those who "form the chain" are the tank where the energy is drawn from.
Therefore we reach the paradox of procrastinating indefinitely the permanence of an aggregation of "elementary" entities destined to decomposition. The medium and his followers achieve a kind of "energetic infibulation" of the astral shells.
Again, H. P. B. comments: "These kind of promiscuous séances, with the mediums in the chain, are a proper vortex, a whirl of negative magnetism, during which the so-called spirits feed on us, suck like sponges our vital powers and pull us towards their plane of existence".
"There are documents about the disastrous actions of certain personified ethereal forces (the empty shells of Principle of Life) that reside on the astral plane', and she quotes ‘the obstinate, disobedient disciples of the first degrees of occultism, who mock or disobey the pressing admonishments of the Initiates not to indulge in the forbidden practices of black magic such as séances, necromancy, magic ceremonials, etc…".
It is obvious at this point how spirituality is totally alien to the spiritualistic circles. Mediumism and spiritualism are synonyms and they are the updated version of tribal rites where the genies of Nature, the guiding spirits of the clan, the spirit of the totem or of the dead people were evoked, protection and guide for the components of tribes. Superstition, ignorance (not knowing) and the consequent fearful credulousness lead the ordinary man to define any kind of unusual and not fully comprehensible manifestation as "magic and wondrous". This is how the copper of spiritualism is irremediably confused with the gold of spirituality and psychic dross is proclaimed guide of the humankind.
The Masters, in the few instances where the needs of their Service impose them to manifest themselves in the lower levels, don't equip themselves with an astral vehicle. In particular this is caused by the huge waste of energies that would cost Them to "tolerate" the troublesome emanations which that world is filled with. But even in the astral world it is possible to find some gold wisp of straw. The "best" contents of the astral plane are the thought-forms of the devotional desires of the humankind or the reproductions to the likeness of man of the Masters, just as they are imagined by the non-advanced man, who tends to paint fable pictures of the spiritual reality. They are only distorted reflections of reality, but so full of pure ingenuity that they make devotion almost mystical.
"It is obvious that even on the astral plane there is a thought-form of myself as well as of many other Brothers of yours. All those who have received my instructions in the degree of Disciple, all those that read the books I sent in the world and all those that work in my personal Group have naturally contributed to build this astral thought-form. It is not me, neither is it connected to me or I use it. I am completely separated from it and I don't use it as a means to get in touch with those I instruct, because I work exclusively on mental levels, limiting the amount of my contacts but indeed improving the effectiveness of my work. It is superfluous to add that this astral thought-form is a deformation of myself and my work and that it looks like an animated and galvanized shell… Its validity is such that, like for all the shells we enter in contact with, for example in séances, it takes my mask and when the intuition is not reawaken the illusion is real".
As for any "faculty" manifested by man, the Commentaries foresee a constructive, qualified and advanced use of the mediumistic abilities. The passive attitude of the medium that works as a mediumistic channel can be transmuted into the active ability to play the role of mediating channel. At first it will be as a center of active connection between the physical and astral worlds; later it will be used to introduce the hierarchic Teachings. A suitable instruction can lead the natural medium to definitely close the doors to astralism and open a window on the mental plane. The disowning of the mediumistic process as it is carried out, viz. the disowning of any astral seduction, is the first step to "re-orient the desire" and move the focus of conscience on the rational and analytical mental level, in order to reach the planes of intuitive vision later. From here, through the process that we have described, the medium as well can build his own "Bridge" to make himself available as a "vertical" reception aerial; he then becomes a proper telepath and "psychic transmitter".
"We might ask which field should include this instruction. For the negative (passive) psychic the goal should be the training of the mind and the closing of the solar plexus (going to the lighting of the cardiac one) up to the point when he will be able to operate as a true mediator (between heaven and earth)… This way we will progressively see the birth in the world of a great body of psychics prepared to express the higher psychic powers, viz. spiritual perception and telepathy".
"The mediums must let themselves be trained to talk under the inspiration of the hierarchy of the soul, whose precognition extends far away in the future… But they will be only used under surveillance, after a thorough apprenticeship and only twice a year, in the rituals of the full moon in May and June".