Experience of the subtle realms: Contents
7. The doctrine of powers
assumption behind the doctrine of powers is that this physical reality emerges
out of the other reality, and that entities in this reality have their matrix,
their eidolon, and their ally in the other reality.
I mean by 'matrix' is the subtle formative field that underlies the genesis,
development and maintenance of a physical entity.
The subtle field is assumed to be the primary locus for the blueprint of
the structure of the physical entity, and for the programme of the processes
that go on in the physical entity. The
secondary locus for the blueprint and the programme will, of course, be in the
physical entity itself, for example, in the bio-chemical code in the genes.
I mean by 'eidolon' is the idea, archetype, living image, that is the source of
the species type, the identity, of the physical entity.
And what I mean by 'ally' is the manifestation of the eidolon
exclusively in subtle reality, in the other world.
So we have the eidolon, the subtle ally, the subtle matrix, and the
physical entity: for example, the generative idea of a tiger, the subtle tiger,
the subtle matrix of the physical tiger, the physical tiger.
the doctrine of powers asserts that we can deal with the physical world not only
by means of explicit physical interventions and transactions - which include
work done by the physical body and by machines that harness various kinds of
physical energy; but also by means of implicit interventions in relation to
eidolons, allies and matrices.
cultures and occult traditions have been interested in subtle allies of an
animal kind: the subtle cat, the subtle jaguar, the subtle eagle - encountered
solely in the other world. It is as
if animal allies in the psi universe, when suitably invoked, become forces
for enhancing human mastery of the physical world, and of social events in that
world. See section 14 for more on allies.
so much for the theory. What
evidence, if any, lends any kind of support for such a view?
There's not much, but there is some, although it does not go very far. I
am referring, of course, only to my own personal experience - which is the
limited scope of this book.
was spending the night in a deserted hotel in Mexico on the north coast of
Yucatan, just to the west of Progreso. In
the very early morning, between sleeping and waking, I saw, clairvoyantly, a
large subtle cat in akashic space, poised in its subtle world and looking 'down'
at me as I lay on my back in the hotel bed.
decided that this cat ally or cat power might be beneficent and helpful to me,
so I opened my being to receive it. No
sooner had I done this, than the subtle cat pounced, and seemed to disappear
into the vulnerable left side of my subtle body, leaving me feeling invaded and
bruised by a disturbing, disruptive kind of energy.
It was as if the cat power had dissolved into me. I was restless,
disoriented, and unable to sleep.
got out of bed, cursing my naivete and ignorance of how to handle 'powers', and
did some energy exercises to try to clean up and close my subtle body.
Then I climbed back into the bed and managed to get to sleep for another
two hours or more. When I finally woke up I still felt a bit psychically bruised
breakfast, I sat upright on a chair in the hotel bedroom meditating on the space
between the worlds. At was as
if some power or presence gave me a clear prompting to go to the next
village to the west, Chelem. I did
around Chelem, I soon met an American Korean war veteran sitting in his garden.
He told me his life story, and I told him I was looking for a villa to rent.
His Mexican wife took me to meet a German-born Canadian from Vancouver,
who wintered every year for three months in Progreso, who knew everybody in
town, and walked the streets with a small parrot on his wrist. His name was
introduced me to a retired Mexican bar-owner, who agreed to rent me his
two-bedroomed villa on the coast at Chicxulub, just east of Progreso, for ten
pounds a week. I felt vaguely
uneasy during my negotiations with the ex-bar-owner, but nevertheless settled
terms and arranged to occupy the villa later in the day after he had cleaned it
up. I drove my hired Volkswagen
beetle back into Progreso and took a table in El Cordes, the best coffee shop in
was sitting there reading a book on the Maya, and making notes, when I spotted a
woman in khaki shorts and jacket standing near me and looking sometimes at me
and sometimes at the chalked-up menu on the wall.
I invited her to join me. It
turned out she had just emerged from a ten day solitary Buddhist retreat in her
rented wooden hut in Chelem, and was in need of social contact.
Hermann, who was at the other end of the coffee shop with his wife,
had sent her over to check me out.
asked her to tell me her name. She
said, 'Cat'. I raised my eyebrows. She
said, 'Yes, that's my name. I'm called Cat, as in 'cat'. It's short for
Catherine.' She was American by
sat at the table and talked for several hours, drank coffee, later had a meal. I
learnt she was forty years old and had been a drop-out since the age of thirty.
After leaving school in California, she had done a degree and
postgraduate work, had taught during her twenties in colleges in the USA and
England. Then she gave it all up
and hit the Katmandu and cannabis trail, wandering the physical world and
drug-induced states of mind. Still
a wanderer, she was now on the spiritual path, having given up drugs two years
previously, and having shifted her allegiance to regular meditation
in the Buddhist tradition.
moved around the physical world on
the basis of psi promptings and hunches, consciously adopted, and always landed
on her feet, with true cat power. I
was intrigued. But the more she talked the more I felt subtly oppessed and
dragged down by her energy, which seemed to have a weight of unresolved
negativity in tow.
now it was time for me to move into my villa.
She asked to see it. We drove out to Chicxulub, I showed her round the
rooms and the spacious courtyard. Then
I drove her home to her hut in Chelem. We
arranged to meet again a few days later, when I would pick her up at dawn and we
would spend the day together visiting a nearby Mayan site.
We parted, uneasy with each other, glad to be separate, yet committed to
meet at least once again.
returned to my villa to settle in. It was dark. Part of the dining/living area
was separated from the courtyard by a wall of perforated concrete blocks,
forming a trellis work of openings from floor to ceiling - an architectural
gesture between the worlds. While
unpacking, I was suddenly disturbed by a sound on this trellis work, and
looked up to see a cat halfway up the outside of the wall, peering in at me
through one of the apertures. We
eyeballed each other for half a minute, both of us absolutely still.
The cat then swiftly continued its climb and
disappeared over the villa roof.
next morning I discovered that this cat was resident with its kittens in one of
the outhouses on the west side of the courtyard of the villa.
It was clear too that it had normally gone through the empty villa to get
from the courtyard to the street. Now
because of my occupation it had to go over the roof.
the space of twenty four hours, I had encountered a subtle cat that had invaded
my psychic space, I had met a human called Cat who had oppressed my
interpersonal space, and an ordinary village cat who was occupying part of my
rented physical space. I had no
real idea of what to make of all this, but it was certainly interesting.
Coincidence and happenstance it was not.
It was as if I was undergoing some very elementary lesson about the
nature of powers; and as if I was a bit too dim to grasp it.
met the human Cat a few days later and we took a picnic lunch to the Maya site
at Dzibilchaltun, halfway between Progreso and Merida. Here, in the limestone
that is the bedrock of the Yucatan plain, there is a very large circular well.
It is a beautiful pool, a true opening between the worlds.
We sat on its edge in the shade of trees, and talked for a long time.
It was for me an instructive talk.
learnt a lot from Cat about the art of wandering the world, about tuning in to
the tacit dimension of the flux of physical and social events. You have an inner
ear tuned to the other world while moving around this world, so that you always
do land on your feet and find your way. I surmised that she was indeed resonating to cat power, to
the subtle ally, identifying with it in her roamings, almost taken over by it.
by surrendering to a cat ally myself, I had
quickly tuned in to the subtle flux of social events, which found me a
villa (occupied by a cat) in very short order.
But I also learnt from Cat that the price I felt she paid for a total
life-style organised by attunement to cat power was for me
unacceptable. For it seemed
to lead to isolation and social alienation, giving birth to psychic and
spiritual experiences in out of the way places, like the cat giving birth to
kittens in the outhouse of my villa.
price, too, seemed to be one of psychological dissociation and buried
negativity: a studied unawareness of what was piling up in the soul behind the
scenes of the cat-powered focus on the life of the wanderer.
seemed clear, however, was that there was a cat power to tap in the other
reality. And whether it was wise to
do so or not, such power could be harnessed as a psychic aid to organising
events in everyday life in this world. Perhaps
I should say that it was as if all
this seemed clear. At any rate, by the end of the day, I did feel I had grasped
an important lesson.
doctrine of animal powers as allies is an old one, found in many occult
traditions of those who live close to nature.
Personally, I do not find it very congenial, since in practice it seems
to involve too much a feeling of the subtle body being invaded.
But then my experience, apart from its ambiguity, is extremely limited;
and I may just be airing my ignorance.
I did once find myself quite unexpectedly using the doctrine of animal powers
in a way that for me at any rate had none of this invasive feeling. So it may
all be a matter of motive, use and context.
But this next experience is very ambiguous in terms of possible
explanations, and is slender evidence indeed for a subtle animal ally effect.
had returned from Mexico to fulfil a contract to run some five day workshops at
the University of Surrey in England. The
first one was on interpersonal skills training, with 19 participants from all
branches of the helping professions. It
ran from Monday to Friday inclusive.
time during the weekend immediately before the workshop, I found a small black
rubber mouse on the floor in the front of my car. I still have no idea where it
came from. I have checked with all the people who were passengers the
previous week, and all disclaim owning a black rubber mouse much less dropping
one on the floor of my car. Perhaps
some child on the street threw it through the open door or window when I was not
put the mouse in my briefcase and decided to take it to the workshop.
At some point on the first day, I placed the mouse in the middle of the
floor, in the centre of the circle of chairs.
I said nothing; the participants were perplexed, intrigued, amused.
I left the mouse there throughout the whole of the day.
I put it there again for the whole of the second day; and each day for
the rest of the week.
the third day, people were starting to do business with the mouse, querying its
role, its relevance and its meaning. I
asked what projections were being put upon the mouse; what people were seeing it
as, symbolically. A considerable
consensus emerged: the mouse stood for the exposure of vulnerability, for
risk-taking in areas where one feels timid and insecure and without power.
It became a paradoxical focus, empowering the acceptance of
powerlessness, hurt and fear.
the fourth day, there was enormous cathartic release in the workshop, many
people working simultaneously on the discharge of pent-up distress, with tears
and sobbing. Of course, this was
because we had reached the part of the programme dealing with cathartic
interventions, following a progressive build-up on confronting interventions;
and because the whole group had together just practised radical breathing and
bodywork techniques. But it was also as
if mouse power was afoot, as if the subtle trembling energy of timorousness,
the mouse ally, was a subtle catalyst behind the psychological scenes.
mislaid the black rubber mouse not longer after the five day workshop.
After two months or so, it turned up briefly somewhere among my things. I
then mislaid it again, and only came across it when packing on the day I was to
fly abroad to run another five day workshop of
exactly the same kind and
title. I decided to take it with me.
I put it in the middle of the circle of participants half way through the first
day and for every day thereafter. And
again on the fourth day there was a spontaneous release of distress among
several members. The sudden
catharsis started with deeply denied and intense pain of bereavment erupting
in one person in the middle of a general discussion on psychodynamic
theory. And while I was working
with this person, others were triggered off.
It was two hours before all the cathartic work was done.
this group, I had dealt much more intentionally with mouse power, explaining to
the group that I was working with the energy of 'tacit symbolic projection'. For
everyone it was a bit of fun, an unusual and slightly bizarre game, to leaven
the concentrated content of the workshop. Some
did a little imaginative business with the mouse, seeing it as this or that. Some retained a friendly intellectual scepticism about its
role and status - for them, it was just a rubber mouse and nothing more.
At a subtler and deeper level, all were intrigued, engaged.
of course some kind of catharsis would almost certainly have occurred at some
point in the workshop without any invocation of mouse power.
All I can say, once again, is that it was as
if the focal symbolism of the mouse added an extra dimension of facilitation
below, beyond, outside the explicit level at which people were coping with the
mouse in their conscious minds. And
that extra dimension, that tacit power, was truly potent in its own mode.
is a footnote to this strange tale. There was a young man at the first workshop
who was much intrigued by my use of the rubber mouse, by the way it became
a focus for such ardent speculation and projection. He came to another five day workshop with a different title
which I ran shortly after the first one. He
inquired where the mouse was, and I explained that I had lost it.
He clearly missed a surrogate for animal power in the middle of the room,
and so turned up on the third morning with a decoy duck that he had bought at a
shop selling sporting goods. It was in the middle of the room for three days,
but it yielded little power.
had rented a small apartment from a surgeon in Veracruz.
It had two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living/dining room.
It was in the back streets well away from the sea, tucked behind another
apartment, which the surgeon had rented out to a handsome young Italian who
ran a downtown discotheque. And
behind my apartment was the surgeon's private operating room.
'I only do minor operations here', he said, as he flung open the door to
let me peer in. The equipment
looked rickety and primitive. I felt anxious for his patients.
But I liked his warmth and friendliness a great deal.
had come to Veracruz because I had stood at the edge of a wood in Emmsland in
West Germany, and had put out mentally a general rhetorical enquiry as to where
to go next to explore the interaction of the two worlds, of inner and outer
space. The name 'Veracruz' came
unexpectedly into my mind. I could
not even remember where it was: Spain, Venezuela, my mind groped with basic
went to the local library and reminded myself that Veracruz was on the east
coast of Mexico, and its principal port. Of
course. It all came back to me.
Thirty years before I had been driving through central Mexico and had
wanted to go to Yucatan - to visit the great centres of the ancient Maya, and to
find their residual power still alive in the land.
peninsula of Yucatan is remote from Mexico City, far to the east, and projecting
north into the Gulf of Mexico. In
those days there were no paved roads to it, only dirt roads.
I had a small English car, and was strongly advised to ship it by boat
from Veracruz to Progreso, the main port on the north coast of Yucatan.
But I did not have the money or the time to make that trip.
Since then my wish to visit Yucatan had become a haunting piece of
Veracruz became once again in my mind the gateway to Yucatan. So I decided to
visit both. I flew to Mexico City
and hired a brand new Volkswagen beetle - they are still being manufactured by
Volkswagen in a factory south-east of the capital.
left Mexico City rather late in the day and drove east toward Veracruz, spending
the first night in Orizaba. I set
off early the next morning. When I
had gone through Cordoba and was within 70 kilometres of Veracruz, I felt a
strong impulse to turn right at a major fork in the road.
I stopped the car and consulted Baedeker's map of Mexico.
The right fork would take me south-east past Palenque, the first great
Maya site and the most westerly one, then on round the southern sweep of the
Gulf of Mexico to Yucatan. After considerable doubt and resistance,
I yielded to the impulse and headed south-east, unsure of what I was
beetle surged forward for long hours. By
mid-afternoon, I was driving in a leisurely way along the side road that leads
to Palenque off highway 186, when my mind was suddenly hit with the force of a
revelation about the doctrine of powers. I
stopped the car, my brain overcome by the energy upon it.
This was not mere conjecture or speculation. It was an opening up of
consciousness to the inner universe, an opening in which archetypal thoughts
themselves were liberating powers. The
reality of the doctrine was evident in the thinking of it. I sat there,
reeling with insight.
was the first great site of Maya
culture that I was to visit. I climbed up temple pyramids, pored over reliefs
and carvings, my mind suffused with the notion of powers. Here immediately I
saw a culture living in two worlds at once, attuned to subtle allies through
ritual, symbol, hierarchy, social structure and architecture.
I did not like all that I saw: a lot of it was oppressive, rigid,
superstitious and abusive. But the
imprint of the inner world of powers on the outer forms of the culture was
continued to explore the Mayan account of the doctrine of powers at the sites of
Kabah, Sayil, Labna, intensively at Uxmal; at Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba; and at
Dzibilchaltun. I reflected that just as the developed nations today abuse
their grasp of technological power in war and nuclear arms and other excesses,
such as the expropriation of profits from the third world; so too the ancient
Maya abused their grasp of subtle powers, of subtle allies and matrices, in
keeping the masses oppressed, in the use of human sacrifice.
And I reflected too, on what a proper use of subtle allies and matrices
weeks, some adventures and 6000 kilometres later I returned to Veracruz to keep
my appointment with that city. It was difficult to be certain exactly what I was
doing in the friendly surgeon's small apartment.
Every day I devoted myself to painting with acrylic paints I had bought
in Germany. In the afternoon I
would wander on the beach, sunbathe and swim.
But was Veracruz just a symbol in my mind, because of past associations,
for an entry into Yucatan? Or did
it have some call upon me as a place in its own right?
day about noon I was lying on my
back on the bed. I opened my inner sight to three beings in front of me and
above me in the other world. They
were impressive and austere, had a great deal of presence, seemed benign, and
wanted to communicate with me. One
of them said, 'One hundred and twenty'.
I lost them. My psychophysical system couldn't handle the subtle energy,
couldn't stay open to it. The
doors of the brain ajar to the other world snapped shut, as if on steel springs
that were released by exposure to too much light.
I went shopping and had a meal.
speculated a good deal on the meaning of 'One
hundred and twenty'. Did this number
refer to days, hours, minutes, years, page numbers in a book (Baedekers guide to
Mexico had information about the towns of Cuautla and Cuernavaca on page 120),
degrees of longitude (longitude 120 degrees west of Greenwich is out in the
Pacific Ocean at the latitudes of Mexico)?
Or was it degrees of arc in some astronomical measurement? None of these hypotheses seemed to lead anywhere, and I
became irritated with the beings who had slipped a number into my head without
giving any kind of clue as to its reference or relevance. I went out again into
the hot sun and drove to the beach for a swim.
next day during the morning I once again lay on my back on the bed.
I decided that 'One hundred and twenty' referred to an angle for opening
awareness. So with my arms
stretched out to the side and my legs splayed, I opened my awareness upwards at
an angle of 120 degrees.
imagined a straight line, a tangent to the earth's surface, running through my
brain and at right angles to my spine. Again in my imagination, from a point on
this line in the centre of my brain, I measured on a vertical plane upwards from
the line two 30 degree angles, one on each side of my brain. Thus was thus a
120 degree angle facing vertically upwards from the centre of my brain - and I
held my awareness within it, letting my mind open up and expand into inner space
at this angle.
it as as if a big subtle engine, rather like an internal combustion
engine, drove through the left side of my chest and out the back.
Then with inner sight I saw a coloured ring of open light above me.
I attended fully to this open ring, and through it a whole sequence of
signs unfolded and tumbled into my clairvoyant
eye. These visions culminated in
a very concentrated, illuminated energy coming down onto my head from above.
was looking up into something like an elongated narrow pyramid of power.
There was no direct perception of any presence; only the reception of
this intensely subtle, exhilarating light.
It was as if not only the
subtle body, but the physical brain itself was being impregnated with enhanced
awareness - which at the same time involved energetic and spatial phenomena - of
the other reality. After the experience faded, I relaxed for a bit, then got up
to take some food.
eating, I speculated on the notion of angles as powers.
I got out my Baedekers map of Mexico.
I noted that my strong impulse, after leaving Mexico City, to turn right
off the Cordoba-Veracruz road and drive south-east, had taken me through an
angle of 120 degrees. And then it
seemed no mere coincidence that this change of direction culminated in a sudden
illumination about the doctrine of powers on the side road leading to Palenque,
the first great Mayan site I was to visit.
remember I had resisted the change of direction, and drove on past the turning
where the impulse had overcome me. But
as I went on, the pull of the angle became more and more irresistible.
Despite the apparent irrationality of the urge, I yielded to it, drove
back to the fork in the road and headed south-east. And it was only after I had
made the turning, gone through the angle and driven all the way to Palenque,
that I started to feel secure about the change of direction.
I made a big 'as if' story out of the whole business. I had originally intended
to go straight from Mexico City to Veracruz.
Instead I had taken a 120 degree turn to the south-east.
This had led me into the doctrine of powers and a long journey, inner and
outer, through Yucatan. When
finally at the conclusion of my travels, I visited Veracruz, the city of the
true cross, I was initiated by three presences into the notion of angles as
powers, in particular the notion of
120 degrees as a critical angle for opening awareness to the other reality.
I thought of the trine aspect in the astrology I had rejected - the
120 degree benign influence of one planet upon another. I thought of myself leading a group standing at an angle of
120 degrees with the persons on
either side of me in the open circle of participants.
I thought of the three times 120 degrees of the three legged symbol of
the Isle of Man, where I had lived as a hermit for a period, going into altered
states. I thought of...
sceptic in me interrupted such reflections, scandalised by the naivete and
credulity of such angle-mongering.
whole idea of geometrical entities as powers is an odd one: it supposes that
such spatial abstractions can have a dynamic influence upon human consciousness
and behaviour. But from the
standpoint of the doctrine of powers, four aspects of reality deeply
interpenetrate: archetypes, space, energy and consciousness.
The archetypal forms of space itself will have a profoundly energetic
effect upon shifts of consciousness.
This, at any rate, is the theory. Let me elaborate it further.
archetypal forms of space comprise, at least, point, line and plane.
Physical reality is very much the world of the point: things with centres
of gravity move from point to point. The other, subtle reality is the domain of
the plane: beings with circumferences of levity move from plane to plane.
physical vision, there is only one perspective from the point of perception. In
psi vision, there can be multiple perspectives from the plane of perception.
this world, the line is a point-to-point connection. And the line of vision is
from the eye to the centre of the visual field; we always look along a line that
goes straight to what we look at. In the other world, the line is a
plane-to-plane intersection. Here
the line of vision, which is at the intersection between the moving plane of the
third eye and the plane of its perceived field, circles the periphery of that
field. We are out there participating in what we look at, with variegated
views of it.
vision, being the more inclusive, subsumes the point-to-point mode.
But the point-to-point psi perspectives are not just from where I am but
from any point on the primary peripheral
line of my psi sight. Psi vision
can contract itself to look out exclusively from the centre where I stand, and
thus become like physical vision; but its supernatural tendency is to function
at and from the periphery, using the centre point as a coordinating reference
for its diverse views from out there.
physical vision, while the central line of sight is from the eye to the focal
point in the visual field, subsidiary lines of sight go from the eye in an
extended cone to the rest of the visual field.
In psi vision, while the main line of sight is along
the intersection of the main moving plane of the third eye and the main
plane of its subtle field, different
but concomitant lines of sight are along the intersections of different planes
through the third eye and different planes
of its subtle field. Hence
the initially baffling, tumbling overlap of diverse perspectives, from
many points on many different
peripheral lines of sight. Hence,
too, the strong sense of participating in the creative generation of what is
may say that it is the structure of the physical eyes that determines the
perspectives of ordinary vision, so how can a perspective be generated from a
point out there on the periphery of the clairvoyant
field, where there is no kind of structured organ of sight of any sort.
One highly speculative answer is that all views are aspects of the
spatial form of universal consciousness: the diversity of the imagination of the
divine in entertaining innumerable vistas of its creation.
third eye, the 'organ' of clairvoyant sight, is a centre of reference that
coordinates a peripheral selection of these perspectives and views that are
inherent in the structure of universal consciousness. And it makes this
selection by pitching its vision at a certain planes of interaction with its
chosen field of view. The physical eyes, by contrast, materialise a very
limited bit of the inherent spatial structure of universal consciousness, providing
a kindergarten of visual grasp entirely in the point-to-point, exclusively
perception, the basic form of consciousness,
whether at the physical or subtle levels, is bound up dynamically with
the archetypal forms of space - point, line and plane. And the simple notion of
lines as intersections of planes leads over into a consideration of somatic
attunement to subtle power lines.
is as if there are lines of power at
intersections between the worlds, between the physical plane and the subtle
planes. Certain lines seem to have
power to liberate consciousness into attunement with the subtle matrix of the
physical body and/or with the wider akashic universe. Hence the importance of alignment.
most accessible alignments are to do with the physical body.
And the simplest of these is to do with the spine.
F.M.Alexander got on to this with his formula 'head forward and up'.
There is a way of elongating the spine, head and neck, of procuring a
subtle vertical alignment of them, that attunes consciousness as
if to a very fine, central current of subtle energy.
This subtle energy line is at the interface between the physical body and
its subtle matrix. It ascends vertically within the subtle space of the spine:
when entered it gives an unmistakable lift. In Chapter 9, I call it the levity line.
work of M. Noro in Paris extends and refines this simple practice. He calls his
art kinomichi, and trains his students to acquire skill in a whole range
of very subtle elongations and stretchings, involving the hands, feet, limbs,
trunk, head and neck. When the alignment of felt physical tension is right, it
is as if physical sensation shifts
over into awareness of fine lines of chi (subtle) energy.
Consciousness of the physical body becomes transformed by, subsumed
within, consciousness of its subtle matrix.
sensation of physical stretching in the domain of gravity shifts over to the
subtler sense of elongation and flow in the domain of levity.
One starts to experience directly the reality of dual incarnation in a
physical body and in a subtle matrix body, and to sensitise and refine the
former by conscious attunement to the latter.
And all this is done by muscular alignment to the lines of power at the
intersection of the subtle matrix and the physical body.
and meditative posture and gesture are concerned with the same phenomenon:
getting the physical body aligned to subtle power lines at its interface with
the other world. In this case, it is as
if these power lines reach out beyond the matrix field of the physical body into the wider reaches of the unseen
universe. Angles as powers may be
involved here too.
these procedures - the elongation of parts
of the physical body into lines of power at the interface with its matrix, and
the ritual alignment of the body to power lines that reach deeper
into inner space - can be practised quite informally and experimentally.
It is just a matter of very fine adjustment of the parts of the muscular
and skeletal system, until it is as if
sensation of bodily tension shifts over into a psi-sense of fine lines of subtle
potency. I could equally well have entered this experience in the chapter on
this work is at the subtle matrix level, it inevitably starts to wake up the subtle
body proper, and thus initiate a person into becoming their own ally. In the
next section, I will briefly clarify these different notions.
the outset of this chapter, I mentioned the view that entities in this reality
have their eidolon, their ally and their matrix in the other reality.
How does this doctrine of powers apply to the human being?
eidolon of a person is rather like Jung's archetype of the self, or the
transpersonal self in Assagioli's psychosynthesis, or Kant's 'intellectus
archetypus', or Blake's 'emanation far within'.
Its the original form of the soul, the archetypal primus of the
developing person, the distinctive transcendental identity within, behind and
beyond the everyday self.
subtle matrix of the human being is the formative field that generates and
sustains the physical body. It's the subtle field that contains the blueprint
and programme for bodily form and process. It's not the same as the subtle body.
subtle body proper is dormant, semi-functional, within the subtle matrix in most
people. It is involved in everyday
life in perception, in touch, in speech, but tacitly - it goes unnoticed. It is
the potential vehicle for the person in the other world. With conscious development it can temporarily depart from
the subtle matrix and physical body, as in out of the body experiences.
subtle ally of a person is that person's subtle body in conscious use. If the
person's subtle body is dormant, and functions only in the tacit, unnoticed
mode, then he or she is 'sleeping on their ally'. Each person, through
cultivating out of the body experiences, has the potential to become their own
ally in the other world. Similarly,
each person, by developing conscious command of the subtle body in everyday
situations, can become their own ally in this world.
And, through ritual and related activities, be their own ally between the
worlds. Figure 7.1 shows the physical body within the matrix body, and the
subtle body developed with heart.
Figure 7.1 The
physical body within the subtle matrix, and the
subtle body developed with heart
persons we are souls, individual centres of reference, with
basic capacities for understanding, feeling and choosing.
We receive and impart, and are distinguished by our ability to learn
and change, develop and grow. We
are also notorious for our refusal to bother.
the next few sections, I relate some experiences that bear on the powers of the
person. And see section 14 below for more on the concept of the ally.
medical friend of mine once gave me a phial of very pure LSD in clear liquid
form, left over from the days when its medical use was officially sanctioned in
the UK. I took it one week-end in
my flat in Hampstead in London.
hours or so after ingestion, I was sitting in my living room, and my daughter,
who was in her early twenties and who had a room in the flat at the time, came
in. We talked for a short period
and then she left to go out.
this talk, my brain registered very extraordinary clairvoyance indeed. For I saw
us both clad in transcendental garments, and bespangled with jewels of great
beauty, which were suspended on the skin of the face and arms, as well as
embroidered into the clothing. But
the jewels and the garments were not mere decoration.
They resonated with awareness, with places of origin and spiritual
acclaim. In this vision, the encounter was archetypal, eidolon to eidolon.
I saw us as if on high, in the first place and in the first time.
is one of the simplest uses of the doctrine of powers.
There are two versions of it, one to do with the subtle matrix blueprint
of the physical body, the other to do with the subtle matrix programme of
do the subtle matrix blueprint meditation, simply lie down on your back on a comfortable
surface, relax all the muscle groups, calm and open the breathing, then empower
the physical body by systematically visualising every aspect of its structure.
scan over all the parts of the skeleton, then all the muscle groups,
then the skin, then the cardiovascular system, then the nervous system, then the
alimentary canal and its associated organs, then the lungs, then the kidneys and
bladder, then the endocrine glands, and so on. All you need is a modest general grasp of basic anatomy: it's
the broad configurations you visualize, not detailed structures.
I do this, it is frequently as if I am
scanning over the systems of the physical body
from a position in subtle space just a few inches above it. The
perspectives I get are as if I am looking down from a
double that is a little outside and above the physical body, facing it.
It is as if, then, my consciousness is in the subtle matrix field, empowering
both it and the physical body it coheres and informs.
And I go on to scan the
structures exclusive to the subtle matrix itself: its energy centres, channels
and power lines.
when I do this exercise, it fades out into deep sleep before I have got half way
through it. And this sleep is usually very refreshing. The exercise has been one
of my primary forms of health care
do the subtle matrix programme meditation, lie down and relax as before.
This time you entertain in your awareness all the temporal rhythms of
your body. Two of these you can immediately hold in mind: your heart beat and
your breathing. Become aware of these two rhythms simultaneously. Now let your temporal imagination reach out to include much
higher frequency metabolic, cellular and molecular rhythms.
Then extend it to include the low frequency rhythms of eating and
excreting, waking and sleeping, sexual arousal and repose.
Expand your consciousness to embrace all these different frequencies at
the same time, sensing their concurrence, vibrating together from birth to
is a well-known exercise for developing conscious use of the subtle body in this
world. I practised it once in Jasper National Park in the Canadian
Rockies. I was vacationing there
with a friend in the late summer, and we had rented a small cabin overlooking
Pyramid Lake - which was set in commanding scenery a mile outside the town of
Jasper itself. Behind the cabin,
the forest stretched away, slowly rising toward the sudden ascent of towering
got in the habit of going out into the forest in order to run through the matrix
space of the forest, with my awareness centred in my subtle body. This meant, of
ocurse, that my physical body was also running through the physical forest.
But that was incidental, at any rate to start with.
main task was at the subtle body level, the physical running being the fall-out
from that level. So I closed my physical eyes, relying on subtle sense or
clairvoyance to grasp the physical lay-out of the forest, and put my energy
forth at the subtle level. Then it became my subtle body 'running' through the
matrix space of the wood, with my physical body following along in its wake, as
in Figure 7.2. I should say that it was as
if this was going on.
reason it was very much an as if
experience was because my fear was too great for me to close my eyes
for more than a few seconds when running.
If I had been able to run at reasonable speed in that rather cluttered
forest for a full minute with my eyes closed, there would, I am sure, have been
much less ambiguity around. For
then psi power could more securely be said to have been guiding my physical body
around trees, rocks and thickets. As it was, the experience was exhilarating and
great fun, and I could keep my fear at bay, and my eyes closed for just long
enough, for me to feel I was on to something.
exhilaration became even greater when I decided to forget about the challenge of
closed eyes. With my psi awareness pitched at a plane just above me to get
an overview of the matrix space of the wood, I let my physical body follow my
subtle body around, effortlessly empowered by its stream of subtle energy.
My eyes were open, but their vision, too, was caught up in a psi sense of
the wood that was much more extensive than my physical perspectives. I was
now running fully and unashamedly in two worlds at once, each enhancing the
vigour and reality of the other; and this was really living. I forgot to
remind myself that it was still only an as
Figure 7.2 Following
in the wake of the subtle body
brown bears around in the forest. And they were known to be sometimes unfriendly
and dangerous, if you suddenly came upon one behind a
tree. My fear of meeting a
bear was noticeable when I just ran in the ordinary physical way.
It was also one of the factors that made it difficult for me to run with
closed eyes for more than a few seconds, when practising two-worlds running.
But when I did two-worlds running full blast with open eyes, my fear of
meeting a brown bear disappeared. I
am not sure what to make of this, except to say I find it interesting.
interesting point is that I never fell over, never banged into anything, acquired
no cuts, scratches or bruises - and, of course, never met a bear.
alone in a quiet room well placed with feet apart. Align your posture at least
with the power lines of your body's subtle matrix, and if possible beyond that
with power lines leading off into inner space.
elbows somewhat bent, hold your hands out, palms upward. Keeping the arms and
hands so, rotate them both in sweeping circles, going in opposite directions to
each other. So the hands come toward each other, sweep upwards together,
then swing outwards away from each other, round and down, coming back towards
each other, then up and out again; and so on.
do these movements in and with the subtle body, in subtle space, simultaneously,
so that the primary intent is in the subtle world surrounding and
interpenetrating and upholding the physical world in which you stand.
you become your own ally, and it is as if
the subtle gestures in subtle space weave
and concentrate together an empowering, vitalising
and scintillating cloud of subtle energy that charges up your subtle
body, your subtle matrix and thence your physical body.
Vary the gestures, their rhythm, their shape, their speed.
Note how you can vary the intensity with which the subtle
energy weaves together around you. Feel the fluctuations in its
uplifting and electrifying force.
my experience there is a supernatural limit to the amount of subtle energy you
can activate and concentrate around you in inner space, by the use of this
method. When I have reached a
certain level of charge, the effect dies down.
Continued activity of the arms becomes counter-productive and seems to
negate the positive charge already acquired.
opposite of consciously being your own ally in this way, is unawarely being your
own enemy. This means you lose a subtle charge. You let it get drained
off you by a combination of psychological inertia and negative thinking.
Also by social interference, when other people blindly yet
inconsiderately tap it, feeding tacitly off its unidentified essence. Worse
still you may compulsively initiate social situations in which you become
disadvantaged, a psi victim. You go
out of your way to give away your power.
seer needs to resist this propensity for lack of assertiveness, for
inappropriate social submission. It
comes from a high degree of what Keats called 'negative capability', by which he
meant the poet's ability to be out there totally absorbed in the object of his
visual contemplation. The seer
understandably longs to meet someone who has the same high degree of negative
capability, for when two people exercise it lovingly and awarely in relation to
each other, they can experience deep harmony and spiritual release.
it is no good going forlornly around acting out the grief of not finding people
of this sort, by unawarely submitting to subtle-energy-devourers.
Put your negative capability on an active social parasite, and you get
what you deserve for such lack of prescience and command.
your own ally in social situations, having appropriate command of
subtle when interacting with other human beings, is, of course, the same
as the practise of presence, which I
discussed in section 10, Chapter 5. It
means, as I explained there, manifesting the
subtle body and its command of energy in inner space, through all the
physical channels of communication: eye contact, touch, posture and gesture,
facial expression, relative position, tone of voice. This gives a massive inner boost to social interactions.
we need are more charismatic interpersonal training courses, where people can
learn to overcome their repression of psi and their psi shyness, and practise
interacting as doubly incarnate beings. At
present, almost all of this practice is cast in the form of the martial arts,
such as Aikido. But the martial arts, or some of them, are at best the backyard
of love, the rearguard arm of care - where your command of subtle enables you to
topple your opponent in a way that has regard for his enlightenment. I describe some basic forms of charismatic training in
there is being your own ally in erotic situations, when making love. I shall discuss
this more fully in the next chapter. Making
love is primarily a subtle body and subtle energy phenomenon, and only
secondarily a physical body experience. But
few sex manuals take account of this fundamental truth, or give any report on
the many psi dimensions of the erotic.
word 'knack' means 'acquired or intuitive faculty of doing a thing adroitly'
(COD), and originally meant, in Middle English, 'sharp blow or sound'.
By 'subtle knack' I mean 'acquired or intuitive faculty of doing a thing
adroitly through command of subtle energy'. This overlaps with several of the
experiences already mentioned, such as being your own ally, running in two
worlds at once, the practice of presence, the practice of alignment.
is the same as projecting chi energy in and with physical movement in order to
throw your opponent, as practised in Aikido.
Some ballet dancers, perhaps, intuitively develop subtle knack in doing
their leaps and bounds, in their ability to appear to 'hover' for a split second
up in the air. Similarly with some
ice skaters. It is as if they command
their physical bodies out of a prior command of their subtle energy and subtle
body in matrix space. In general,
the ability of a human being to appear to function in the mode of levity has, in
my view, something to do with subtle knack.
application of subtle knack is in aligning the body with subtle power
lines and angles, in order to facilitate lifting, levering, manipulating
and carrying physical objects. This may extend on occasion to having some effect
on mechanical parts at a distance: subtle knack exercised in relation to some
external part of a machine, such as a lever or button or key, may produce
effects - which cannot be explained mechanically - on internal parts.
applications of subtle knack are to do with projecting threads, filaments cords
or lines of subtle energy, or of partially projecting the subtle body itself.
One of my favourite exercises for exploring the use of such projection is as
follows. I stand under a tree with a horizontal branch well above me
which will take my weight. The
height of the branch is at the very limit of my ability to grasp it with one
leap upwards from where I stand. Before I leap I project subtle filaments to
hook round the branch. Then I leap
along the filaments. This makes the leaping much more elegant, successful and effortless
than if I do it in the ordinary way.
more all-purpose application of projection is to project the subtle body just in
front of you, and then let it carry you along in its wake, as I described in
running through the forest. This is useful for dealing with gravity, as when
ascending a great
height of steps. There are 97 steps in the spiral staircase at Regents
Park underground station in London. When
the lift is out of use, it is interesting to compare making the ascent in the
wake of my subtle body projected a couple of steps up ahead of me, to making it
by direct physical effort.
an old occult doctrine that the four elements of earth, water, air and fire,
are, in their subtle mode, powers -
that can be called upon to enhance human activity whether in this world, in the
other world, or at the interface between the two.
I will relate two experiences that bear modestly on this doctrine.
years ago, a colleague of mine sold me four microdots of LSD, procured from a
heavyweight boxer in Berlin. I carried one of them with me on a visit with a
friend to Sri Lanka. I wondered
whether I might feel moved to swallow it at some Buddhist shrine.
companion and I hired a chauffeur driven car in Colombo, and crossed the island,
first to Kandy, then on to Trincomalee in the north-east.
On the way, we visited the great rock plateau of Sigiriya, which sticks
up boldly out of the surrounding plain, and on the top of which one of the
ancient Buddhist kings had built a palace and a citadel. Standing on this
massive rock, high up in the sky, in the hot afternoon sun, with a light wind
striking across my face and arms, I was poised for take-off into the other
world. But this too was not to be.
some time in Sri Lanka, we flew via Singapore and Jakarta to Bali.
One day, after we had been in Bali for some time, I made a solitary trip
to the town of Besaki, the religious centre of the island.
It stands, with its numerous temples and temple courtyards, at the foot
of the sacred mountain Agung-agung, which is a sleeping volcano.
reached Besaki at noon. Sitting in
the shade of a food stall on the main street, I swallowed my microdot with a
lunch of Nasi Goreng, the popular Indonesian rice dish.
I reckoned the LSD would release slowly and come through into my nervous
system in about one hour. Meanwhile,
I would walk slowly up the slopes of Agung-agung.
got beyond the first reaches, rising out of the rice fields, and was well up the
lower slopes, with commanding views, and with the main mass of the mountain
towering above me. A few yards to the left of the pathway, I spotted a ruined
and deserted temple courtyard. As I
rested here, the LSD came through.
the edge of the temple courtyard, I could look
down far across the island, I could look up at the rim of Agung-agung's
volcanic cone, and I could look straight out into the sky, face to face with
clouds tumbling around the sun. Now the elements became interfused,
combinatorial: the fire and heat and light of the sun, the warm wind and
my breath blowing in and out, the water of my blood and the sap and juice
of the swaying plants, the footstool of the earth and its surging
configuration from mountain-top to far horizon.
started to dance in the ruined courtyard of that ancient temple.
And I danced a Balinese dance, knees bent and thighs pointed out, arms
angled and wrists upturned, fingers elegantly articulating the rhythm of the
elements - as they swayed and swung and rocked together in the syncopated beat
of all creation. What exhilaration:
the matrix world of earth, air, fire and water, dancing in my soul, dancing in
the physical world and in my perception of it.
dance embodied the continuous creation of what I saw and felt and heard and
smelt, its intertwined mobility of being.
Yet the moving world had also a gem-like prescience in being what it was,
every second, as it pirouetted into form. The
dance of the jewel, I thought; that most stable of substances - the diamond, the
ruby, the amethyst - fraught with the discreet, ecstatic passion of its
started to dance down the mountain-side. As
my arms, wrists and fingers continued to move with spontaneous precision in the
Balinese manner, I noticed how their gestures were at one with the gestures of
form and movement in the plants and grasses alongside the mountain path.
I danced with exact abandon, revelling in the unity of all morphogenesis.
I danced standing on one spot on the edge of the path, looking up at
Agung-agung's volcanic rim. The rim
was in the shade from passing cloud. I
wanted to see the mountain top sublime
in sunlight. So I danced a dance to move the cloud away from the sun.
In immediate and felt response the cloud dissolved to let the sun irradiate
the peak. I knew I was in matrix
command of elemental powers.
was caught up in the sacred dance of creation for a long time.
Then I noticed dusk was falling, and I started to get anxious about
finding my way down the mountain to Besaki before it was completely dark.
By the time I reached the rice fields it was black.
I got lost where the path turned into a narrow ravine between the banks of the fields.
I couldn't see where to go
or which turning to take.
fear was just starting to do disturbing things to my LSD-induced clairvoyance,
when I heard two boys talking nearby. I
called out. They shone a torch to find me, and escorted me back to Besaki. They took me to a small eating place, owned by one of the
leading officials of the temple complex. This man took my order of
chicken and rice and went off behind a screen to instruct his wife.
LSD was winding down its influence, but it was still active. I sat alone at the
wooden table, alive with inner
grace. Then, one by one, from behind
the screen, the small daughters of my host and hostess emerged - dancing.
Each came out, without a word, beaming with delight, performing classic
Balinese dance with exquisite innocence and charm, until four of them were
dancing before me. The youngest was not more than five years old, the oldest
mother came out to shoo them away, embarrassed
that they had presumed to dance for me.
I restrained her and asked her to allow them to continue. Now legitimate,
they really took off. They seemed
to sense my mood, my state of being. They
swung through the ancient repertoire as if they knew they were in my heart and
the heart of all things.
indeed they were. I have never witnessed, either before or since,
such an unqualified account of the universal process.
Like a magic mirror they shone back to me, in enhanced form, the truths
of the dance I had discovered in myself on the slopes of Agung-agung. I
like to think that to this day their aesthetic command of elemental power is
still at work in the temples of Besaki, stunning the soul of every worshipper
with unprecedented grace.
second experience of the elements as powers was altogether more sedate, more
static, more immersed. I was
sunbathing with a friend beside a small lake in Emmsland in Germany.
It was a weekday morning in late autumn. The sun was hot. The only other
people around were a couple lying out on the opposite side of the lake, some
waded into the water to swim. After
swimming about ten 'lengths' out from the bank to a log and back, I came to a
halt where the water was deep enough for my head only to be out of it, with my
feet resting lightly on the soft mud at the bottom of the lake.
I stood upright with my arms out to the side, just below the surface.
There was no wind: the water was still.
I was facing the sun.
now took my awareness inside the heat and fire of the sun, the cool, wet pressure of the
water in the lake, the ooze of the mud around my feet, the air refreshing my
lungs. I tuned in to the harmony of
these elements in their subtle mode. It was as
if I was suspended in the internal, elemental psi matrix of the external
world, at the same time as being suspended intimately in the physical elements
themselves. In my imagination, I
shifted over into feeling like a water-lily - in the physical world, in the
subtle matrix world, and at the interface between the two.
I take Occam's razor to these two experiences, I should, I suppose, not leave
much growth upon them. In the
first, I am just undergoing the effects of an hallucinogenic drug.
And in the second, I am, well, just standing quietly up to my neck in a
from a two worlds point of view, in particular from a doctrine of powers point
of view, LSD itself will have its ally, its subtle form, in the other world. And
the subtle ally of LSD is a power indeed in its transformative effects on
consciousness. Hence when taking
physical LSD, it wise to invoke and get in a healthy, positive relationship with
its subtle ally - otherwise
disorientation and disturbance of mind may follow.
Personally, on the five occasions I have taken LSD or mescalin, I have
always done a little ritual of ingestion, to face my consciousness in the
right direction. Treated with respect,
the ally will offer an impeccable education in altered states of consciousness.
from a doctrine of powers point of view, each element - earth, air, fire and
water - has its ally, its subtle form.
The test is really one of noticing, of discrimination.
Every time you use water, tune in to subtle
water. Is it there, do you
subtle-encounter it? More to the point, every time you breathe, as well as
breathing in air, can you notice also the prana, the subtle air?
If not, why not? Perhaps because it is so obvious to consciousness that you
missed the blatancy of its presence.
is a paradox about the subtle universe: the refined way it infuses our everyday
experience in this world makes it too obvious to notice. It is a necessary
experiential condition of so much about ordinary states of consciousness, that
we take it for granted to such an extreme degree that we cease to attend it.
The main problem with the use of Occam's razor as an epistemological
tool, is that it can become the victim of this restrictive delusion. It rests
so securely on the forgotten obviousness of the subtle, that it slashes away
happily denying that it is there.
have referred several times already to the notion of matrix space and I devote
the remainder of this chapter to saying more about it. In terms of the
doctrine of powers, to enter that form of awareness that is the matrix space of
the physical world, is to start to exercise a special command over that world.
'matrix space' I mean the space of
which physical perspectives give their distorted view.
It is the space which defines the real shape of a material object, the
shape which the geometry of Euclid describes - the geometry we all study at
school. The real, Euclidean shape
we can never perceive with our eyes, we can only grasp it with the imaginative
awareness that helps to make sense of physical perception. So when I look at a wooden cube, I always perceive it in
perspectival form: my visual image of it is a distortion of its true Euclidean
cube shape - which is only present in my awareness.
space is matrix space seen always from one point of view. You can move your
point of view here and there, but you still only have one point of view. Such a
view reveals only the physical object. The very first degree of subtle space -
when I am as it were inside physical
space - is matrix space seen from more than one point of view, by peripheral or
clairvoyant vision. Then the third
eye organises many different and simultaneous views from out there, as I
discussed in section 4 earlier in this chapter.
And such vision reveals not only the physical object, but its subtle
matrix as well.
if you want to see the subtle formative double of a tree, look at the tree
physically from one point of view, and in imagination 'see' the tree simultaneously
from several points of view. This
imaginative act liberates the tacit clairvoyance normally constrained within
in this section I suggested that matrix space is the space of which Euclid's
geometry gives an account. This
is all right for everyday earthly life on the surface of this planet. But
geometries other than Euclid's may better describe matrix space in the wider
reaches of the physical universe.
Matrix space is first and foremost what we experience - as a form or
structure of consciousness. The
geometrical descriptions come second. It
is important not to identify any one geometry with the protean nature of matrix
space. I address these issues in Chapter 10.
space, the space of the real or true shape of physical things, is the most
accessible form of subtle space. It
is that subtle space that is the womb of physical forms and of our one-pointed
perspective on them. It is the
immediate subtle framework of the everyday material domain.
And the third eye can give us access to it independent of visual
perception, by organising a selection of viewpoints inherent in space-and-universal
of course, I only get access to matrix space in and with the use of my eyes.
Thus when I look out of this window across the valley to the distant
hills, my mind is busy making matrix sense of the foreshortened perspective
presented by my physical vision. My
awareness is out there in the matrix space of the landscape correcting and
compensating for the distortions of my physical view. This tacit clairvoyance
goes unnoticed since it is so bound to physical vision.
there is no necessity for my awareness of matrix space to be thus restricted to
complementing the perspectives of ordinary perception.
I can set it free. And I can do this in two stages.
first step to freedom is practised together with everyday sight.
While looking down from this
upstairs window, I actively move my mind around the matrix form of the garden,
extending my awareness throughout its complete spatial gesture, in and with my
physical view of it. It is as if my imagination is out there, getting all kinds of
heterogeneous views which interweave and overlap to create a grasp of the
garden's real shape in space.
So I 'see' the garden from the far corner, from above, from this angle, from that angle. And this alongside my
ordinary looking, buttressing it with many-faceted 'views'. These subtle 'views'
are yielded by my tacit clairvoyance once it is
released from servitude to physical eyesight, and can organise subtle
perspectives from diverse points in the local matrix space.
mental activity is rather close to what Goethe called 'exakte sinnliche
Phantasie', which he recommended - in his study of the metamorphosis of plants
as an essential adjunct to the observation of nature.
It is an activity which liberates
the imaginative awareness that is always present supplementing perception,
acknowledged by Kant as productive imagination, by Coleridge as primary
imagination tends to function in a minimal mode when caught up in ordinary
looking. It yields just enough
grasp of matrix space to make sense of the physical view, then goes to sleep,
doesn't bother any more. My belief,
of course, is that this imagination is not just 'imagination'.
It is, as I have suggested, a mode of tacit clairvoyance in the subtle
in a chair and look at any object. With your physical point-centred vision thus
anchored to just one perspective, now let your mind complement this physical
view with all sorts of different views from various parts of the room.
Note the pull of subtle, planar vision: how
the mind is drawn rapidly to switch from view to view, now from this
angle, now from that. Tacit
clairvoyance, once authorised to function as an independent complement to
physical sight, will quickly assert peripheral command.
it can be liberated from any necessary association with immediate physical
perception at all. So the second
step to freedom is to explore the matrix space of the garden when I am not
looking at it with my physical eyes, but sitting with my back to the window,
eyes closed. Now of course in order
to do this I use my memory images of the garden.
I remember how it looks and use these remembered perspectives for
launching my imagination off into all sorts of other non-remembered views.
'scan' the garden from many different vantage points I have never physically
been in, up in the sky, from the rooftop of the house, from below ground level.
In this way I grasp the real shape, the matrix form, of the garden.
imaginative roaming through the matrix space of the garden is the same as the
imaginative exercise, described above, when actually physically looking at it.
The difference is that when I launch my imagination off from remembered
perspectives, I notice much more fully that it is not 'just imagination' at
work. For when I move from a remembered view to a non-remembered view, up in the
sky, say, over a tree on the side of the garden, it is as if there is that unmistakable tang of reality in the shift: I encounter
the garden, I don't just recall it as in the remembered view.
is the start of explicit, not just tacit, clairvoyant access to the matrix space
of the garden. Of course, it needs a lot of practise, a lot of training.
Remembered physical perspectives are a good basis from which to conduct
this kind of training. The seer has a lot to learn about how to interpret the
cues in this kind of psi viewing of matrix space, and it helps to have a
there is something deeper going on. Behind
all the heterogeneous clairvoyant scanning of matrix space, there is the
luminous fact that matrix space itself is a form of awareness: not your
awareness or my awareness, but awareness-as-such.
Which is why, sometimes, you can get beyond clairvoyant scanning, and
enter that ecstatic awareness which alone encompasses, as it is, the full true
shape and gesture of the garden in space.
is, however, a much more accessible version of being in the matrix shape of
something all at once, without having a physical view or clairvoyant 'views' of
it. This is simply entering with
full awareness the subtle matrix of your physical body as a whole.
You have a four-dimensional grasp of the complete three-dimensional
gesture of your physical body. You
apprehend its matrix shape all at once. This
is an essential part of charismatic training, and I deal with it in Chapter 9.
have used the term 'ally' so far in this chapter in two related senses.
First, there is the subtle form in the other world of the archetype of
something, organic or inorganic, in this world.
Second, there is the consciously functioning subtle body of the human being,
whether that subtle body is at work in and through the physical body, or whether
it is busy with travel in the other world.
rendering of the term 'ally' is different from that sometimes used in necromancy
- where 'ally' may refer to a nonpersonal, quasi-intelligent centre of subtle
force or energy. Such a centre of
force may assume - or may be commanded to assume - any one of a wide variety of
different forms, either in the other world or on occasion in this. 'Elemental'
has been another term used for this kind of entity.
The sorcerer seeks power over and through elemental entities of this
again, 'ally' could also be used to refer simply to a personal presence in the
other world - a discarnate or subtle soul, an ancestor - who has friendly and
supportive intent in relation to a human being.
does not matter very much what terms we use, as long as we are clear about the
difference between the various sorts of being: the subtle form of the
archetype of something organic or inorganic; the consciously used subtle body
of a human being; a nonpersonal centre of subtle force; a subtle soul or
personal presence in the other world. Of course, for the cautious inquirer, it
is only as if there is a difference
among these things. More to the
point, it is only as if any of these
things exist at all.
Experience of the subtle realms: