Talk 2 — Extra Senses
Download this talk (right click and "save link as")
Download audio of Lecture Two
02 Extra Senses
Today, we're going to consider some thoughts relative to your extra senses.
There's a great deal of interest today in fields of parapsychology and extrasensory perception and all sorts of paranormal phenomena. Our quest for truth is set in the framework of many unexplained and perhaps unexplainable phenomena. Certain it is that there's more to man than a brain and a body. As Walt Whitman puts it, "Man is not all included between his hat and his boots."
And in our metaphysical studies, we occasionally make reference to thoughts such as sending a thought, expansion of consciousness, perhaps instantaneous healing or absent treatment, and all of these suggest something very unusual, suggest something beyond the normal sensory awareness. So it becomes obvious that is more than simply a sensual creature, that there are areas of perception beyond the senses in which we're involved much more than we know.
In the early days on Earth, man's frame of reference was quite narrow. Life was very simple and basic and primitive. Certainly, the natural things around him were quite obvious. But he was surrounded by a lot of supernatural phenomena, but the supernatural to him were areas that have become quite natural to us. In other words, they were things he didn't understand, such as the movement of the Sun, the darkness of night, total eclipses of Sun and Moon or a shooting star or lightning or thunder or fire. These were all supernatural to primitive man.
Now, as man's knowledge of the universe progressively has expanded, his supernatural world has contracted. In other words, he's become aware of the fundamental involvements of most of the things that he sees and senses.
Until the 19th century, there had been a great deal of phenomena that man didn't understand. But actually, beyond the 19th century, there was a movement within science and within all the quest for knowledge of life to fit everything into a mechanical theory. The whole cosmos from the vast universe to the subatomic particles were composed of building blocks that were all put together in various ways, and everything was totally and completely explainable.
There were a few things that didn't quite fit into this box, of course, dreams and visions and apparitions. In other words, there were still some perceptions that needed sense explanation. But man was still quite committed to a mechanical theory of life. And so his research, for the most part, was in the physical sciences, in physics and medicine and biology. However, as Emerson said, there was always an unanalyzable residuum. There was always something that didn't quite fit into this theory.
Man came to know a great deal about man, but he knew very little about himself. He discovered an awful lot about the processes of the brain, but he knew little or nothing about the mind. He came to know a great deal about and to utilize the expressions of creative thinking, but he didn't have a clue as to what thought really was. And so this led to a lot of often were referred to as offbeat or at least unorthodox searching beyond physics into metaphysics, beyond the study of the senses into various studies of extrasensory perception or parapsychology or the paranormal and so forth.
Now, there was a great deal of resistance to these areas of research by religionists, who referred to them as the work of the devil, and even by psychologists, who were much like the contraries of Galileo when he was talking about what he could see through his telescope. They denied his findings but refused to look into the telescope.
So a great deal of research has been done, and there's an awful lot of undeniable evidence, research in such things as the transference of thought and precognition and prophecy and psychokinetic influences. And in a time when many people are very much enthused about and are glued to the television watching, say, a World Series game, we might think for a moment of a fact that has been given a great deal of study as to what is referred to as the advantage of the home team in a baseball game or a football game or a hockey match or a basketball game. And the evidence is, again, irrefutable as a result of studies over thousands of contests that something actually happens between the tremendous rooting and encouragement of the home audience to the people on the field, and that there is actually a transference of energy which does affect the outcome of the game.
Now, some doubt this, some deny it, but these are the kind of things that have gone on in laboratories and in careful testing, such as the parapsychology laboratories, and there are a number of them, who have studied such things as the role of the dice, indicating that this is not at all the chance thing that we've always thought it to be, that the influence of the fellow who rolls the dice who says, "Come on, baby," actually, his mentality does have an influence over the dice. And this is referred to as psychokinetic energy. But these are aspects of this whole general quest into the so called paranormal that have accumulated a great deal of evidence that is very hard to deny.
Now, from the study of biology, we know that all of our five senses were developed back in the evolutionary process from an original, very general, very basic sensitivity which was much like the sense of touch. So the sense of touch was probably the very first sense that man developed. And then next came a sense of taste, which was basically a specialization of the sense of touch.
Then, gradually on the evolutionary cycle, there came a sense of smell, which simply a refinement of the sense of taste. Now, in the sense of smell, we actually had the first evidence of an extrasensory experience, because now the smell could actually reach across separation where one wasn't actually touching something physically. He could sense something that was even great distances away.
And then there came a wider and remoter world that was revealed through further refinements in the sense of hearing and seeing, which gave even further extrasensory perceptions where man could see many miles and could hear sounds from great distances.
So we see, then, that each of the five senses, so called, is a specialization of some very primal, pervasive psychism or sensitivity. But the question, then, that is so often asked, does this mean, then, that a person should attempt to develop extra sense? Should he make an effort somehow to cultivate this kind of sense awareness so that he can reach out beyond the limitations of his own sense development?
There are many who say yes. There are many who say, "Oh, of course. We should do all sorts of things to cultivate and develop ESP." And against that kind of enthusiasm, perhaps I sound like a wet blanket, but I say no, absolutely not. Man should make no attempt whatever to develop extra sense. The senses have always developed in proportion to the need and the consciousness to handle them. Any kind of premature development creates all sorts of conflicts and all sorts of troubles that man may not be equipped to handle.
Now, we live in a world that is far more complex than that revealed by the senses. First of all, is it possible for one person in this particular plane of life to communicate with another in another plane of life, one who has passed beyond the shadow of death? Is it possible to communicate with the spirits of departed ones?
Now, a further question is usually overlooked. The question, is it advisable? The main concern, I believe, my main concern certainly, is that when we deal with life outside of the context of the whole person that we are, a whole person living in a whole universe, we go on quest for phenomena which is looking for signs and wonders, which is looking for excitement, looking for things that are intriguing. This is the same things that Jesus was disturbed about. He said to the disciples, "Why stand ye looking into the heavens?" In other words, the Spirit comes from within yourself.
Man tends, if he does not begin with himself as a whole creature, he tends to become totally involved in a dualistic universe, so that he may study religion, he may study psychology, he may study psychic involvement, but all the while, he's studying things out here that are separate from himself. So then, he's always looking for windows through which to peer. He's always outside looking in.
Now, the quest for phenomena, now, this is not only true in the extrasensory area, but in one's involvement in religion, which usually, too, out of a sense of insecurity, because a quest for extrasensory behavior, such as miracle healings and instantaneous results of prayer and so forth, this quest is normally motivated out of a sense of lack of meaning. It comes from a person who has questioned or perhaps denied the idea of God out there somewhere. It no longer satisfies him, and so without that kind of a God figure, he's looking about, trying to find some meaning in life. And he looks everywhere and under everything and behind everything. He's looking for God. He's looking for truth.
And this is especially true of the person who gets very much involved in the whole general field of psychic phenomena. And it's a very large ... But as we say so often, the one thing a fish can never find is water, and the one thing a man can never find is God.
Because you see, man is the expression of God. God is not a person. God is a wholeness or an allness of which man is an eachness. Man cannot find God. Man can only get in tune with the depth of himself and let the God process express.
And so if he begins at a point other than the awareness that he is the infinite process expressing as him, then he goes out titillating himself with all sorts of curious experiences and deluding himself that he's on the path of truth, where as a matter of fact, he's always running away from truth, because truth is at the depth of his own inmost self.
Meaning is not to be found out there, and we say that in every area. You can't find meaning in a job. Meaning is only found in the consciousness of the person who does the job. You cannot find meaning in a religion. Meaning only comes when you get still and realize your oneness with the infinite from which all theologies come. Meaning is not to be found in any phenomena. One may get very excited about seeing someone read minds or read fortunes or prophesy future events, but all of this, to a large extent, is an escape. It's a cover. It's a cop out from the need to be still and find meaning within oneself, in one's own unique relationship. And it is out of the consciousness of that meaning that one then, like the circles of a pool widening after one has dropped a stone in it, causes a constant widening and expansion of his own sense awareness and perception so that then he may begin to experience all sorts of added perceptions in the expansion of consciousness, but it comes from within himself, not through looking in a window, watching someone else perform.
You see, the tendency when we deal with life out of a sense of unworthiness, out of a sense of inadequacy, out of a sense of meaningless, the tendency is to be always looking for teachers, for mystics, and for psychic performers, assuming that, "There it is. That's the one. This man can give me all the answers. This book, this teaching, this theology, this whole field of research, this can help me to find all the answers of life."
Certainly, it's good to be on the quest, but I think it's important to remember what Jesus said. "The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation. It's neither here nor there. Lo, the Kingdom of God is within yourself."
We should be on the quest for insight and understanding, but we need a guide and a compass. And the guide and the compass, much as we've deluded ourselves that it is some outer thing, cannot be a holy book or a holy person or a great master or a psychic or some performer or extrasensory feats, exciting as these things can be. The only adequate guide or compass is what Jesus refers to as, "The Holy Spirit within which shall reveal to you all the truth." Infinite intelligence specializing itself in us and as us in an inward realization.
So the need is to contemplate the universe certainly as a vast, infinite process, but instead of standing on the outside looking at the universe, as quite frankly the physical scientist normally does looking through his telescope or his microscope, we need to get a more involved awareness of this and see ourselves at the center of the universe where we can look out in all directions and see the universe as this tremendous, inexhaustible allness which has for some reason beyond my knowing seen fit to manifest itself as me. So I am an eachness within the allness of the universe. I am the universe slowed down in vibration to a point that becomes me.
And now as I look out and study things, I always look from the center. I'm not looking out at the universe out there, but I'm looking out from a consciousness that is rooted in the center of the universe. And whenever I see, I see that which essentially is simply an extension of me in a larger and larger vibration. And that means whether I'm looking through a telescope at some vast galaxy millions of lights years away or whether I'm looking through some extrasensory perception at some kind of spirit communication, I am seeing something that is an extension of my own inner reality. And if I know that, then I will never get lost, and I will never find myself so tied and chained to outer experiences and forces that I lose my sense of meaning and that I lose my own self realization.
So I think we need to have this kind of preconditioning and preparation in any kind of quest, that we see ourselves as an eachness within the allness of the universe, that we begin with meaning rather than seek to find meaning. Even if it's an instinctive or a faith realization that there is meaning. I am here. I'm here. Whatever else I am, whatever else is true, life around me, I am here. I'm a person. And there is more to me than flesh and blood. My body obviously is not me. It is mine. But there is that of me which manifests itself in a body and there is that of me which is a mind that obviously is much more than my brain. And my senses are simply a conduit that allow the flow of that which is greater than sense to pass through.
And so when we have ourselves in the picture of the wholeness of things, then, strangely enough, we find the term extrasensory perception no longer valid, because it is only extrasensory to a limited concept of the senses. It's extrasensory in the same way that the sense of smell was extrasensory to the sense of touch and taste. So it's only in a limited concept that we see the expansion of sense perception as being extra or unusual or paranormal. Suddenly, we realize that there is no paranormal in terms of man as the specialization of an infinite process, that we've accepted a norm far beneath the reality of the whole person.
So the terms extrasensory and paranormal are terms that perhaps are necessary for a theologian with a boxed in theology or a physicist who has a kind of a mechanical concept of the universe. He has to have something to describe and relate to that which is beyond all of this which he can't fit in. But when one becomes a student of metaphysics and breaks out of the box, then he should lose this kind of identification of the paranormal, the extrasensory, the exciting and so forth, and see it as all an expression of an orderly universe.
Now, this is important. It's important because unless we do this, then we spend our whole lives involved in a smorgasbord process of tasting and picking and choosing, and the more we get the more we want and the less we really appreciate, and we're always on this merry-go-round, reaching for every kind of exciting thing with which we can titillate our senses and then kid ourselves, "Oh, I am really on the quest for truth," where as a matter of fact we're spending all of our time running away from it.
In other words, get the feeling that we're not dealing with phenomena, but with a larger insight into the allness of which we are an eachness.
Plotinus gives us a very marvelous insight. And this goes way back 2,000 years ago. But Plotinus had this tremendous awareness of man at the center of the universe. And he said it was important that we get the feeling that the universe is rushing, streaming, pouring into us from all sides while we stand quiet. In other words, instead of getting into something, we want to be still. We're not trying to feel anything. We're not trying to find anything. We're not trying to understand anything. Just be still and know. And as Jesus puts it, "It's the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."
So there is a creative intention to flow into and through you and to manifest as you in a very wonderful way. So let get and think of the self as being at the very center of a marvelous, wonderful universe, almost in a kind of spiritual weightlessness. Get the feeling that this is the true you. And in that kind of consciousness, one begins to sense meaning, sense oneness, and out of that sense of meaning and sense of oneness, then he can look out onto life and he will find that he will see much farther than ever before, and in perhaps in ways much more extrasensory than ever before, but he will not be simply looking curiously at things that are exciting but which he doesn't relate to himself, but he will see only that which is an extension of his own awareness.
Because you see, when one centers his consciousness at the center of his being, where is there to go? You see, we tend to think of life as a constant quest. And of course, horizontally, in life, we move through days and we move through jobs and relationships and we go from place to place, and so we tend to think of life in a time-space sense. But when you are at the center of things, both in time and in space, then where is there to go?
So you see, suddenly even research into such things as reincarnation takes on a whole new dimension, whereas I think most of the research and the consideration about reincarnation has been, "Where was I back then? Where am I going to be up there?" But in that, we lose the real meaning of life. In other words, we're thinking in terms of lifetime and lifetime rather than deeper and deeper dimensions of experience. And so there's a great deal of delusion. One can become so completely confused by trying to know what he was and what he will be that he loses his self realization and his identity right here.
When we know ourself at the center, we know the goal of life is to grow, and it's to grow from within out. And it's an inward out process that has nothing to do with time and space. And we must constantly go through and go through and go through experiences until we grow through, until we gain a greater awareness.
Much more important than being superior to someone else is that one becomes superior to his own previous self. The cause of all of our problems in human experience is that we have become so involved in sensuality and materiality that we do not seriously engage in the process of growth. One cannot really know himself by human form or by psychological developments, not even in terms of developing ESP or other psychic senses. These may be interesting in terms of revealing the periphery of experience, but the really real meaning of life can one come from depth in terms of our own relationship which is inseparable from the infinite.
No one can give it to us or take it away, no matter how spiritually developed the person is. No church or spiritual order can put you in tune with the infinite, because you are always in tune. You're already a part of it. You were already that wholeness expressing itself as you. And you can never lose that. You may lose your awareness of it, but you can never really lose it.
So the need is to re-cultivate the awareness. We may look to greats. We may look to Jesus or Buddha or great masters or healers or psychics, but spiritual hero worshiping tends only to demean oneself, and we may not be aware that that happens to us along the way. And remember that the only way to know the immeasurable mind is to plumb the inmost depths of one's own self.
Copyright 1981 Unity®
Unity Village, MO 64065