Spiritual Seeing into a Hidden Reality

Illusion or Reality?

WHAT we usually call ‘reality’ may actually be completely subjective, as it is filtered through our ordinary physical senses, according to Theosophy.

Yet, “every one of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, that is known by the name of intuition,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her article The Beacon-Light of the Unknown,but how rare are those who know how to develop it!

“It is an instinct of the soul, which grows in us in proportion to the employment we give it, and which helps us to perceive and understand the realities of things with far more certainty than can the simple use of our senses and exercise of our reason.”

It is only by the aid of this faculty that men can ever see things in their true colors.

“What are called good sense and logic enable us to see only the appearances of things, that which is evident to everyone. 


“The instinct of which I speak, being a projection of our perceptive consciousness, a projection

which acts from the subjective to the objective, and not vice versa, awakens in us spiritual senses and power to act.

These senses assimilate to themselves the essence of the object or of the action under examination, and represent it to us as it really is, not as it appears to our physical senses and to our cold reason.” 


Plato’s Cave

In a related article “The Subjective and the Objective,” William Q. Judge refers to the Plato’s Cave metaphor:

Socrates: “Imagine the enlightenment and ignorance of our nature in a figure: Behold! human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth opening towards the light, and reaching all across the den;

they have been here from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them;

“for the chains are arranged in such a manner as to prevent them from turning their heads. At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, . . . There can be no question, that the truth would be to them just nothing but the shadows of the images.”

Plato’s Cave

W. Q. Judge: “Theosophy recognizes a continuous gradation of powers, faculties, states, principles — call them what you will — from the highest or most spiritual to the lowest or most material. In this whole gamut of states or conditions, no chasm is found; there is nothing to bridge; consciousness is the necessary substratum and presupposition of the most material, and consciousness is the noumenon or essential reality of the most spiritual.”

We know of nothing more material or external than the physical, material, visible body–the world of matter, so-called …. of the cave which Socrates describes in Plato’s dialogue — the wall upon which fall the shadows supposed by the prisoners to be the only realities.


Disappearing into an illusion.

The Bhagavad-Gita

The Hindu poem, a dialogue between Master Krishna and his disciple Arjuna, in the Bhagavad-Gita, is set metaphorically on a ‘battlefield.’ This chosen venue symbolizes “the war within,” which each of us continually faces, an inner struggle we must eventually wage.

(The Theosophy of the Bhagavad Gita)

In Chapter 11, Krishna challenges Arjuna to exercise his spiritual sight in a specially induced vision of “the Divine Form as including all forms.” To enforce the lesson, and in answer to Arjuna’s request, Krishna temporarily awakens his “Divine Eye.” The rest is the drama of the awakening soul.

Read Chapter 11 online:

The Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 11,
The Vision of the Divine Form as Including All Forms

Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield.

Temporary Illusions

“Gautama, the Buddha, only remained in solitude long enough to achieve self-awareness, and enable him to arrive at the truth, to which he devoted himself from that time on to promulgate, begging his bread, and living for humanity.”

If, in the words of the dying Buddha, ‘all compounds are perishable,’ then all collections of atoms must be considered but temporary ‘illusions.’

They are such, according to The Secret Doctrine (1:329), because they are the very personal creations “of the perceiving Ego.” But this must not be considered a solipsistic argument. If we only knew how to get past our five material senses would be able to contact the underlying ‘reality’ of physical things. But never in an isolated ‘Me’ universe.

The Me Universe

The term “Ego” here must ultimately refer to a personal state, and as such must always relate to specific ‘states’ of consciousness.  But this is only from our plane of perception. According to The Secret Doctrine (1:330), once we have gotten past that plane, and scaled the “peak of Omniscience,” the “knowledge of things-in-themselves” is immediately available to us.


Real motion or the illusion of motion?

Progressive Awakenings

“Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.

“As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached “reality;” but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya.”


A Musical Thought Image

One of the best ways to describe what Theosophy is, arts reporter Ali Snow remarked on a Utah Public Radio show, “is to think of it as a kind of fusion of religion and science.”

A desire to prove or to explore some of the mystical forces that made religion work and make the spiritual world work.

A striking example of this kind of fusion is H. P. Blavatsky’s description of how “the sense of sound is the first thing that manifests itself in the universe … in  correspondence with colors or sight.”


Colors and Sound

About this sensory synesthetic power Blavatsky wrote:

If you could only see clairvoyantly a person playing a piano, you would see the sound as plainly as you hear it.

“You can even put cotton in your ears—you will see the sound and every little note and modulation that you could not do otherwise. You cannot hear at a distance, but you can see at a distance.”

“You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact. There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.”


Making reference to this sensory merging (known today as “synesthesia”) she explained: “One would merge into the other. You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact.” 

There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.

(The Secret Doctrine Dialogues p. 86)

Alexander Scriabin, a Russian pianist, and composer who was deeply influenced by Theosophy visualized a grand magnum opus which he titled “Mysterium.”

Click the link here or the link below to listen to Nora Eccles, Harrison Museum of Art as three curators describe the exhibit, Painting Music: Enchanted Modernities, and who gives us a personalized tour of the Theosophy promoted power (click below the photo):

Elisabeth Sulser

Synesthete Elisabeth Sulser

Click to start below:

This interesting phenomenon is demonstrated practically by the multiple senses of a unique synesthete from Zurich, Switzerland named Elizabeth Sulser. A psi investigator writes:

Her particular combination of senses is so unique that she is the only person in the world documented to have it.

The Astral Senses

Musical notes prompt different shapes and colors to appear in Sulser’s direct field of vision, while intervals induce various flavors on her tongue.

Elizabeth has an extremely rare neurological condition — the involuntary fusion of sound, sight, and taste. Says Elizabeth: “I didn’t know what it was, I was very frightened of myself, and I thought I would get crazy.”

Blind Man Sees

A clinically blind man who clearly saw what he should not have seen. surprised science writer, Andrea Gawrylewski, reporting in The Scientist. As she described the experiment she had to wonder:

How much can you see with a non-functioning visual cortex?

“With lesions on both sides of his visual cortex,” reports a paper published in Current Biology, Intact navigation skills after bilateral loss of striate cortex“he was able to flawlessly navigate an obstacle course.” Biologists and neurologists are still searching for the hardware (neurons) responsible for this seeming impossibility.”

Hopelessly searching on a materialistic foundation, according to Theosophy, because the sense organs responsible for the effect are astral, and not discoverable on the physical brain neurons.

Material Brain

“It remains to be determined which of the several extra-striate pathways,” the article comments, “account for this patient’s intact navigation skills.” According to the paper:

It is not fully understood how this is possible.  

This event may be one of modern science’s many stubborn puzzles. As noted Theosophy readily sees an answer, i.e. explaining the “extra-striate pathways” as “astral,” an unaccepted explanation in modern science.

Indeed, it is by virtue of this inner power, when developed to its fullest unerring potential, H. P. Blavatsky explained, is how the ancients achieved their Gnosis or true spiritual insights.

How’d He Do That?

Mainstream Science is still myopic to the emerging cognitive evidence that consciousness may not be dependent on the physical brain. As Blavatsky points out in The Secret Doctrine (2:149):

“The whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and esoteric sciences:

…depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.

The Secret Doctrine (2:149)

Sensory Brain Map

The Real Senses

The real organs of sense are in what is called the astral body, W. Q. Judge says in The Ocean of Theosophy, not in the physical brain: “These [inner] organs of sight, touch, hearing and tasting…

“are interior, and their outer organs are but mediators between the visible universe and the real perceiver within.

Science and the Sacred

—Suspending Our Sense of Awe

In her first book, Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky speaks of how the source of this individualized astral pattern in humans, and all other kingdoms, is a subdivision of a universal information field.

This astral pattern or matrix plan is referred to by biologist Rupert Sheldrake in this video clip, as the “morphogenetic field,” a term coined by him. Agreeing with Blavatsky, Sheldrake asserts:

The dominant orthodoxy of materialism is crumbling.

The Astral Body Field

All the ancient occultists and yogis knew about the existence of this field, also called the invisible (to ordinary persons) “astral body.”

Among may other functions and divisions, this field is the substratum or design pattern for our bodies and their organs of sense.

Astral Vision

“The astral body has in it the real organs of the outer sense organs,” W. Q. Judge writes in Body and Astral Body, and “in it are the sight, hearing, power to smell, and the sense of touch.” The Astral, he wrote:

has a complete system of nerves and arteries of its own for the conveyance of the astral fluid which is to that body as our blood is to the physical. It is the real personal man.

“There are located the subconscious perception and the latent memory, which the hypnotizers of the day are dealing with and being baffled by. So when the body dies the astral man is released, and as at death the immortal man — the Triad — flies away to another state, the astral becomes a shell of the once living man and requires time to dissipate. It retains all the memories of the life lived by the man, and thus reflexly and automatically can repeat what the dead man knew, said, thought, and saw. It remains near the deserted physical body nearly all the time until that is completely dissipated, for it has to go through its own process of dying. It may become visible under certain conditions.” 

(From The Ocean of Theosophy by W. Q. Judge)

Fields R Fundamental


The Astral Perispirit

H. P. Blavatsky

“The astral perisprit is contained and confined within the physical body as ether in a bottle, or magnetism in magnetized iron,” wrote Mme. Blavatsky in The Veil of Isis Vol. 1, page 198:

Its inherent activity causes the incessant physical operations of the animal organism and ultimately results in the destruction of the latter by overuse and its own escape.

“It is a centre and engine of force, fed from the universal supply of force, and moved by the same general laws which pervade all nature and produce all cosmical phenomena.”

“It is the prisoner, not the voluntary tenant, of the body.”

Thus the magnetism of the magnet is indistinguishable from the iron filings, Blavatsky concludes, which are ‘dancing’ in perfect synchrony with their invisible partner.

The Iron Will

Picture the analogy of a handful of iron filings scattered randomly on a piece of paper. Hold a magnet (Experiments with Magnets)  beneath the paper. Then, watch how the presence of the magnet causes the hundreds of little bits of iron to instantly arrange themselves in perfect symmetry, matching the pattern of the magnetic field.

A Magnetic Field

In this simple grade school experiment, you have the principle of how the human form, or any form in nature, is assembled in lockstep uniformity with its bioelectric astral model — its subtle, invisible “pattern body.”

Mango Tango

In his foundational article Culture of ConcentrationTheosophical Founder William Q. Judge wrote:

“This inner being [astral entity] is, so to say, inextricably entangled in the body, cell for cell and fibre for fibre.”

The Mango

And, using the analogy of a mango, Judge describes the astral entanglement as “the way the fibre of the mango fruit exists in the mango…

…we have the inside nut with thousands of fine fibres spreading out from it through the yellow pulp around…there is great difficulty in distinguishing the pulp from the fibre.

Proof Positive 

Seeing, measuring and interpreting the colors of auras, or the bio-fields of individuals. Auras and Aura Imaging are shown on the SciFi Network TV program, “Proof Positive”. Auras were the one story that was “proof positive”! Guy Coggins, president of Aura Imaging and inventor of WinAura and the Aura Camera is interviewed in this broadcast.

Inner Rulers

“Now, this ethereal body has its own organs,” Judge explains, “which are the essence or real basis of the senses described by men. The outer eye is only the instrument

by which the real power of sight experiences that which relates to sight; the ear has its inner master – the power of hearing, and so on with every organ.

Viewing the Matrix

There are cases, Judge writes, “where certain parts of this inner body have by some means

developed beyond the rest… and we have one who can see or hear clairvoyantly or clairaudiently.

Presumably, such was the case of the clinically blind man. He may have possessed an inherent natural clairvoyant ability that manifested with the loss of his physical sight. His astral eyes, the matrix of the physical sight, took over the business of seeing.

Astral Colors

Astral effects suggest a most intriguing topic: synesthesia’. This involves “an experience by one sensory system while encountering stimuli through another sensory system.

“For instance, some synesthetics experience colors when they hear sounds or music. Others see distinct colors when they see letters and numbers.” (Greg Clayton)

Wassily Kandinsky

Sometimes painting in response to music, Theosophy inspired synesthete artist Wassily Kandinsky sought to create a visual representation of musical sounds, instruments, melodies, and rhythms. Click here to view his work.

Kandinsky wrote a manifesto for abstract art, called Concerning the Spiritual in Art (Uber das Geistige in der Kunst). “All art students are advised to read [this] short masterpiece by Wassily Kandinsky,” a reviewer notes. “This classic best explains the concepts that lead to abstract painting in the modern era. Kandinsky recognized the connection between music and painting.”

… he showed something of the influence Theosophy had on him by a reference to both Theosophy and H.P. Blavatsky.

Click below for more info:

Wassily Kandinsky 82 Most Important Paintings and Artworks

Blavatsky News:

Centenary of ‘Concerning the Spiritual in Art’

Wassily Kandinsky II by Jacques Moitoret

Wassily Kandinsky II by Jacques Moitoret

Beware, Lanoo, lest dazzled by illusive radiance thy Soul should linger and be caught in its deceptive light.

This light shines from the jewel of the Great Ensnarer, (Mara). The senses it bewitches, blinds the mind, and leaves the unwary an abandoned wreck.

J.S. Bach, “Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.”

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