Michael Sussna

Senior Thesis

April 1, 1972


          The birth of a relatively omniscient creature appears to be the convergence point for all reality.  It "appears" so because it is not certain that there is a convergence point for reality.  For there to be such a point, reality must be Order.


          It is my belief that if there is any order, then all reality is orderly.  Mathematics, by its very existence, attests to the notion that quantities are orderly, while logic can be said to order qualities.  The natural sciences combine these two orders to formulate laws of nature; laws of nature indicate the Orderliness of all reality.


          The convergence point for all reality would by definition be the nexus of all trends everywhenwhere.  Fortunately, since myriad lesser trends are subsumed under the more salient, general movements of History, it will be sufficient to indicate only the merger of these.


          There are just two major facets to the History described here: " may be said of Universal History, that it is the exhibition of Spirit in the process of working out the knowledge of that which it is potentially."[1]  These two facets are the development of the instruments for perception and the development of the experience of perceiving: "...spiritual energy, by its very nature, increases in 'radial' value, positively, absolutely, and without determinable limits, in step with the increasing chemical complexity of the elements of which it represents the inner lining."[2]  Or: "...the Involution of Spirit runs side by side with the Evolution of Form."[3]


          Paraphysics is a new science which endeavors to continue in the tradition of its more mature sisters.  The unknown realm which paraphysics is going to try to explore is that which opens up once the concept of the two facets to evolution is adopted.


          The immediate ancestors of this infant science are parapsychology and metaphysics.  As parapsychology is the study of psychic (paranormal) phenomena and metaphysics is the art of theory, the synthesis of these, paraphysics, is the theory of paranormal (outside the known) phenomena.


          One of the distinctions between parapsychology and paraphysics is the flexibility in paranormal theory.  With time, the border of the known with the unknown shifts in proportion with our increase in understanding.  At each successive period of time, parapsychology will be closer to maturation and the unknown it studies closer to being known.  Paraphysics, on the other hand, will always remain stationary, like a satellite always above the same spot on the earth's surface, one step beyond the ever-encroaching sphere of the known.


          The culmination of the trend towards complexity in the instruments for perception would be a relatively complete organic receiving apparatus.  This would be relatively complete in that it would be capable of receiving data from every source of emission we know of; that includes electromagnetic, gravitic, nuclear, and subnuclear forces.


          The culmination of the trend towards consciousness complexity would be a relatively omniscient creature.


          These trends seem destined to coincide in the attainment, by the cosmos as we know it, of a state of development barely describable with the term "hyper-lucidity."  In fact, the trends are inseparably twined: "...the more complex the form, the more percipient and active the spirit."[4]


          Thus, it is ample when delineating the course of History to speak of the evolution of perception, for this expression comprehends within it the evolution of both the form, or instrument, of perception, and the content, or experience, of perceiving: "Life is the rise of consciousness..."[5]


          A review of past perception evolution is prerequisite to a study of future perception evolution:


          " from a sort of five-pronged marine animal, rather like a starfish.  This creature would in time specialize one prong for perceiving, four for locomotion...In due season there would arise an erect, intelligent biped, equipped with eyes, nostrils, ears, taste-organs, and sometimes organs of electric perception...The electric organs detected very slight differences of electric charge in relation to the subject's own body...this sense...gave information about the emotional state of one's neighbors.  Beyond this its function was meteorological."[6]


          These electric organs mentioned will be seen shortly to correspond to what is currently termed "bioplasma."


          "I believe I can see a direction and a line of progress for life...In the course of ages...creatures acquire more organs of increased sensibility...from the moment that the measure (or parameter) of the evolving phenomenon is sought in the elaboration of the nervous systems...the countless genera and species fall naturally into place."[7]


          Past evolution can be summed up as the irresistible fluid of life carving channels from which energy may learn that it is learning.


          Life is the evolution of perception.  From the plentiful inorganic matter available to it, life, or perception, arose seemingly spontaneously.  From the organic masses emerged intelligence, reflection, or perception perception.  Someday a new form would be ready to burst forth from the center of the mind to begin the next phase in Spirit's search for itself.


          "As Nature has evolved beyond Matter and manifested Life, beyond life and manifested Mind, so she must evolve beyond Mind and manifest a consciousness and power...of existence free from...imperfection and limitation..., a supramental or Truth-Consciousness..."[8]


          Sri Aurobindo speaks here of the next threshold to evolution.  Is there any evidence to suggest that such a step is about to be taken?


          Parapsychology has shown that there are forces at work all over the world, although of undetermined relationship, which point to something of a conspiracy by life to break out of its present form into some revolutionary mode of existence; myriad data, collected under the strictest empirical settings, document the proof of the existence of paranormal, or simply, new kinds of action.[9]


          As far as parapsychologists themselves are concerned, they are fairly evenly divided over the issue of psi (psychic) phenomena falling in the domain of modern science.  In other words, parapsychologists are not at all certain whether or not psi events follow the laws of life we have held sacred up to the present.  Paraphysics asserts that these phenomena are indeed assimilable by a scheme of life not in contradiction with the laws of nature as we know them.


          If one takes as typical of the new phenomena, with the exception of precognition, the occurrence of telepathy, then it can be displayed that there is no need to overthrow the order we have known.  All that is needed is to postulate some new forms of interactional energies comaparable to the electromagnetic.  Precognition poses a problem of its own.


          Telepathy (hearing another's thoughts), psychokinesis (mind over matter), telegnosis (organic TV, formerly known as clairvoyance), and psychometry (the reliving of events surrounding an object by touching it) are all most likely variations on a single theme; each is probably a new form of communication based on comparable transmission and reception methods to those of traditional communication systems, simply employing new energies.  Telepathy, in particular, falls neatly into the scheme of perception exponentiation touched briefly in the discussion of perception and perception perception.  As telepathy is the reception of thoughts and as thoughts are perceptions, themselves, of lower, somatic perceptions, telepathy can be said to be perception perception perception.  As such, it is the new threshold evolution is about to cross.  But what of precognition, which seemingly defies time to relay information concerning events that haven't happened yet?


          Here are some pertinent statements about time:  "What makes and classifies a 'modern' having become capable of seeing in terms not of space and time alone, but...of biological space-time..."[10]


          "What we need is a method of bringing to mind the time that is out of mind.  This would be a method of first bringing one's own lifetime to mind, of passing from the 'immediate moment' in which one's concerns are extended to one's future and one's past.  Second, it would be a method of bringing what we might call one's 'deathtime' to mind, of passing from the existential moment in which one's concerns are confined to one's own lifetime to the 'historic moment' in which one's concerns are extended to all time, both the future and the past."[11]


          "...the sane man, at every moment, looks, as it were, out of this moment to his larger self, and links this moment with the past and future..."[12]


          In order for precognition to exist, the future must itself exist already.  Can predestination be reality in a universe "uncertain" since Heisenberg's work early in this century?


          "Some 'anticipation authors' try to think in terms of the space-time continuum.  Their efforts resemble those, on a higher plane of research and expressed in theoretical language, of the great mathematical physicists.  But is it possible for a man to think in four dimensions?  For this he would require a special mental structure.  Will these structures be available to the Man of the future...?  And is this Man of the future already among us?  Some fiction-writers have made this claim.  But neither Van Vogt, in his book of phantasy The Slans, nor Sturgeon in his description of the More than Humans have dared to imagine a personage as fabulous as Roger Boscovitch.  A Mutant?  A Time-Traveler?  An inhabitant from another planet...?  Boscovitch, it would seem, was born in 1711 at Dubrovnik...He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in England on 26th June, 1760...Boscovitch was in advance, not only of the science of his time, but of our own.  He proposed a unitary theory of the Universe, a single general and unique equation governing mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, and even psychology.  According to this theory, matter, time and space are not infinitely divisible but composed of points, or grains.  This recalls the recent work of...Heisenberg whom Boscovitch seems to have surpassed."[13]


          Fortunately, although the equation was not presented, there is the clue that his world was composed of grains, or granular.  References to granularity crop up in the most diverse places:


          "You cannot hope to image, as we do, such vast proportions as one in a thousand million, because your sense-organs, and therefore your perceptions, are too coarse-grained to discriminate so small a fraction of their total field."[14]


          "Since the stuff of the universe has an inner aspect at one point of itself, there is necessarily a double aspect to its structure, that is to say in every region of space and time--in the same way, for instance, as it is granular: co-extensive with their Without, there is a Within to things."[15]


          "...we are going to insist on the incurable granularity, the discreteness of space and time...and insist also on the identity of mind and matter..."[16]  These three quotes touch on some relevant points.  First, granularity seems directly related to perception.  Second, space and time may well be composed of ultimate particles.  Third, granularity of space and time may parallel mind-matter monism.


          What all this boils down to is that mind and matter are inextricably entwined in a granular, predestined universe involved in the evolution of perception.  The seemingly fluid energies enabling perception are in actuality composed of minute grains, or particles.  Perception as sophisticated as precognition discriminates the ultra-minute grains of timespace itself.  But one element in the precognitive phenomenon has so far been neglected.  Precognition is deduction.


          The argument for deduction goes thus: the only possible explanation for precognition is the deduction, from capturing all forces and objects in a given situation, of their future relationships; precognition is prediction.  Yet this still does not satisfy all the qualities of precognition.  Presumably there can even exist a precognitive experience in which the vision is so real that it is as if the recipient were actually there.  This may well be the case in a way:


          "It is...pattern rather than substance which a field phenomenon, a pattern in time of inconceivably complex wave form...if a certain majority of the field events the same as the field events in another...a feeling of a personal identity or co-consciousness...would descend upon the pair, separated as they were in time-space."[17]


          "Who am I then at this moment?  I am just this knot of relationships to other moments and to other people."[18]  Granting the possibility that "co-consciousness" could "descend" on a pair, time would still have been bypassed.  Can time be bypassed without our science being overturned?


          If science can assimilate the idea of living in four dimensions instead of the traditional three, it is only one step further to postulating dimensions we can as yet know nothing about, let alone be mobile in; if the next phase in evolution is the coming of awareness and mobility in a fourth dimension, subjective time, is it possible that there is another step to be taken after the next; towards mobility in objective time, a fifth dimension, as well?


          For the moment, the less fantastic precognition, that of deduction, will be treated.  Although there is probably an element of computerlike calculation present in a precognitive deduction, even the fastest computer cannot sort all the data given it, eliminating superfluous vectors which cancel out in forming broader trends.  In other words, in order for a human being to deduce the future, he or she would need, beside an almost instantaneous calculator, a sense of direction, or a truth sense.


          "Wolf Messing was no ordinary mentalist, but a celebrated psychic who'd traveled the world, had been 'tested' by such luminaries as Einstein, Freud, and Gandhi...How does the future come to Messing?  "After an effort of will, I suddenly see the final result of some event flash before me.  The mechanism of "direct knowledge" bypasses the logical cause and effect chain and reveals to the psychic only the final, concluding link of the psychic chain.'"[19]


          This "mechanism" of "direct knowledge" seems akin to instinct.  Is there a connection?


          "'There are things that intelligence alone is able to seek, but which, by itself, it will never find.  These things instinct alone could find; but it will never seek them.'  But intuition can both seek and find them.  Intuition for Bergson was a combination of instinct and intelligence -- it was instinct guided by intelligence..."[20]


          "The only meaning that can be attributed to the word instinct, is any spontaneous impulse in a determinate direction, independently of any foreign influence.  In this primitive sense, the term evidently applies to the proper and direct activity of any faculty whatever, intellectual as well as affective; and it therefore does not conflict with the term intelligence in any way..."[21]


          Intuition, then, would appear a likely candidate for the designation "mechanism" of "direct knowledge," or truth sense.  Let us look a little further into the nature of the faculty known as intuition:


          "Mathematical thought, since Evariste Gallois, has discovered a world which is alien to Man and has nothing in common with human experience or with the Universe as apprehended by our normal waking consciousness. In that world our ordinary Yes-or-No logic is replaced by a super-logic operating on a basis of Yes and No.  This super-logic stems not from reason, but from intuition.  It is in this sense that intuition, which is an 'untamed' faculty, an 'unusual' property of the mind, 'is now a governing principle in the work of a considerable body of mathematicians.'"[22]


          "Most persons and cultures give 'meanings' to their ideas by associating or identifying them with concrete pictures in imagination; when we think of matter as a sea,...perhaps full of waves and blue in color, this is an intuitional concept."[23]


          "'People's thoughts come to me as pictures,' Messing, now in his seventies, explains."[24]  Intuition, then, is a mode of consciousness in which logical leaps are made and in which thoughts are represented by images.


          After more than two millenia, there appears to be a return imminent to intuitionality.  Plato saw to it that intuitional thinking was buried for two thousand years by revolutionarily reforming his culture into one preoccupied with analysis, neglecting synthesis.  What is happening now, in Hegelian terms, is the synthesis of the two world-historical ideas, intuitional culture and intellectual culture, after the latter had become the antithesis to the former.  The emergence of a newer, intellectual form of intuitionality is in the air: "No progress is ever made that is not gained at the cost of some previously possessed faculty, which is later regained in a higher form."[25]  "Plato's philosophy of Forms held within it the germ of its own undoing: the trouble with the word Form is precisely that as it seeks to objectify and separate knowledge from opinion it also tends to make knowledge visual again."[26]


          Is there more to intuition than meets the eyes?  Nietzsche did not believe there was such a truth sense: "...we have not any organ at all for knowing or for 'truth'..."[27]  But there may just be some truth in these thoughts:


          "Charles Hoy Fort...demands...a system of reasoning which is higher than binary and would be, as it were, a third eye for the intelligence.  To express what this third eye perceives, language (which is a binary product...and limitation) not sufficient."[28]


          (Nevertheless such expression shall herein be attempted) "One eye gives two-dimensional resolution; a second eye, through binocular vision, gives three-dimensional resolution.  Three eyes..."[29]


          "The radio-carbon method of dating has shown that six thousand years ago the Indians to the southeast of Mexico used to absorb certain mushrooms to induce a state of hyper-lucidity.  It is always a question of getting the "third eye" to open and of escaping from the ordinary level of consciousness..."[30]


          "THE HIGHEST CENTER OF EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION...The quickening of the Third Eye center is an important developmental clue for all those who seek greater psychic awareness.  As it vibrates in higher frequencies, it attunes one with realities of other dimensions and opens the portal to much advanced knowledge that would otherwise be unrealized...Prophecy also manifests through the Eye of Brahman."[31]


          "The Third Eye has long been a popular bit of symbolism generally understood to refer to the pineal gland."[32]


          "pineal body n: a small usu. conical appendage of the brain of all craniate vertebrates that in a few reptiles has the essential structure of an eye and that is variously postulated to be a vestigial third eye, an endocrine organ, or the seat of the soul"[33]


          "It is a conical reddish-gray body attached, like the pituitary, to the base of the brain.  Because it vaguely resembles a pinecone in shape it is called the pineal gland (pin'-ee-ul)."[34]


          "Galen, writing in the second century A.D., quoted studies of earlier Greek anatomists who were impressed with the fact that the pineal...was perched atop the aqueduct of the cerebrum and was a single rather than a paired structure.  He concluded that it served as a valve to regulate the flow of thought 'out of its storage bin' in the lateral ventricles of the brain.  In the 17th Century, philosopher Rene Descartes believed the pineal housed the 'seat of the rational soul.'  The eyes perceived the events of the real world and transmitted what they saw to the pineal by way of 'strings' in the brain.  The pineal responded by allowing 'humors' to pass down hollow tubes to the muscles, where they produced the appropriate responses.  This is an astonishingly accurate description of the present acceptance of the pineal as a neuro-endocrine transducer -- which directs the information transmitted from the nervous system to an endocrine organ...the pineal appears to be a photo-receptor, a sexual inhibitor, and a bleacher of pigment cells...only the pineal gland can produce melatonin in mammals, whereas in amphibians it is made also by the brain and the eyes!"[35]


          "'...liquid crystals are man-made.  If you cover the body with them, they begin to radiate various colors.  Gauging the radiations at a distance, you can gauge shifting emotions in the person and, more importantly, the illnesses.  This is only the beginning of their usefulness.  The future belongs to these crystals...You know, some people think the brain and the eyes are a form of liquid crystal...'"[36]


          So far it would appear that the pineal gland, common to all creatures with brains and backbones, functions in a perplexing variety of ways.  Is the pineal also, by inference, a liquid crystal, and if so, in what ways does it respond to living organisms so as to inform one of shifting emotions, illnesses, or other phenomena?  Is the fact that it is in all cases found within brains enough to indicate that it is a further step in the centralization of consciousness -- from the perception by the entire surface of a rock, in its rudimentary response to forces directed at it, through the perception of the eye exemplary of organic forms still unintelligent, through the centralized perception of somatic (surface) perceptions by the brain?  Is the pineal indeed the next step?


          "By the 1960s, a distinguished French scientist reported that the Soviets believe they have ample proof the eye does send out rays.  What picks up these rays?  The pineal gland, according to the Soviets.  The pineal gland, deep within the brain, is generally identified with the 'third eye' -- the all-seeing, mystic eye of ancient fame.  Dr. Kajinsky pointed out that Indian yogis say the third eye is one of the physical centers involved with ESP.  According to the Russians, the pineal gland is known to be larger in children than in adults, more developed in women than in men.  Possibly, they say, it retains the undeveloped visual ability of what might be called the third eye, which 'sees' and emits outward magnetic waves like the ordinary organ of vision."[37]


          "Something there is in us or something has to be developed, perhaps a central and still occult part of our being containing forces whose powers in our actual and present makeup are only a fraction of what could be...This might be found in the system of Chakras revealed by Tantric knowledge and accepted in the systems of Yoga, conscious centers and sources of all the dynamic powers of our being...These centers are closed or half-closed within us and have to be opened before their full potentiality can be manifested in our physical nature..."[38]


          "The pituitary body and the pineal gland...are neither evolving nor degenerating, but are dormant.  In the far past, when man was in touch with the 'inner' Worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage.  They were connected with the involuntary or sympathetic nervous system.  Man then saw the inner Worlds...Pictures presented themselves quite independent of his will...In the ages that have passed since the Lemurian Epoch humanity has been gradually building the cerebro-spinal nervous system, which is under the control of the will...Since then, the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebro-spinal nervous system has been slowly building, and is now all but complete.  To regain contact with the inner Worlds, all that remains to be done is the reawakening of the pituitary body and the pineal gland.  When that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of perception in the higher worlds, but on a grander scale than formerly, because it will be in connection with the voluntary nervous system and therefore under the control of his will...When by the increased vibration of the pituitary body, the lines of force have been deflected sufficiently to reach the pineal gland, the object has been accomplished, the gap between these two organs has been bridged.  This is the bridge between the World of Sense and the World of Desire.  From the time it is built, man becomes a clairvoyant and able to direct his gaze where he will.  Solid objects are seen both inside and out...By degrees, the observer learns to control the vibration of the pituitary body in a manner enabling him to get in touch with any of the regions of the inner Worlds which he desires to visit.  The faculty is completely under the control of his will."[39]


          We have arrived at the next threshold to life; a new mode of communication, or information transfer, intuition, is the first approximation to the third threshold.  The third threshold, one rung up from its predecessor, intelligence (perception perception), is perception of thoughts in the form of images: thought perception is perception of the activity at the second threshold, or perception of perception perception.  As telepathy is the full third-threshold mind in action, so intuition is a major fraction of the way towards it.


          Telepathy functions through the opening of the pineal gland.  It is curious that Descartes's predecessor and namesake, Eckhart, also spoke of an organ housing the faculty of conscience and in which a "Divine Birth" of God-consciousness takes place within the human being.  He called it the "Funklein."


          The third threshold, telepathy, or perception cubed, should be crossed in the not too distant future: "Fuller thinks the age of telepathy is just about to begin..."[40]  Paraphysics studies not only the next threshold but its successors as well.  What, then, would the fourth threshold attainment consist of; what new dimension would open for exploration?


          Whatever the cause -- perhaps it was Relativity -- we have become aware of subjective time.  By bringing subjective time "to mind," by extending the moment we are experiencing to encompass all time, we will become mobile in subjective time as well as in three spatial dimensions.  Subjective time mobility, the acquisition of a fourth dimension by experience, falls right in line with image-thinking; telepathy entails timelessness.  In most instructions for achieving telepathic rapport, the admonition to put oneself into a state of attentive relaxation is present.  This is a situation in which all one's worries are set aside; hindrancelessness.  While in this state one loses track of time to the point where it seems time no longer exists; actually one is then in time, thus it appears to have disappeared.  Before the advent of Platonic analysis, intuitional thought was at home in time; since Plato time has become "other."  Now time has once more begun to become one's own; the return of picture thought brings the reunion of man with time.


          What, then, of objective time; where does it fall into this scheme?  The crossing of the fourth threshold will bring mobility in a fifth dimension.  That fifth dimension could well be objective time.  Recall that there are two facets to evolution, the development of the instruments for perception and the development of the experience of perceiving.  Each complements the other.  Now, seen from another perspective, these two facets could be considered exterior and interior evolution.  As subjective time is internal and objective time external, so is subjective time microcosmic and objective time macrocosmic.  At one and the same time evolution seeks to delve deeper within itself and to roam further from itself.  If the third threshold can be said to correspond to mobility in subjective time, perhaps the fourth can be said to be mobility in its other half, objective time.  The reason that these two cannot come at once is that one first needs to become reacquainted with oneself and with the experience of timelessness before one can even begin to think of time travel.  Yes, the fifth dimension explorations would be time travel.


          The two times would, however, not remain apart.  As third-threshold activity is subjective temporal mobility it is also perception cubed.  So fourth-threshold activity, besides being objective temporal mobility, would perceive third-threshold activity and thus be perception-to-the-fourth-power. Now, just as intuition is returning in a higher, intellectual, form, so the fifth threshold would be the return of subjective temporal mobility in a higher, objective temporal, form.  This synthesis would mean a merger of the microcosmic with the macrocosmic.  It would also mean the emergence of perception-to-the-fifth-power.  In general, for each rung climbed on the ladder of perception exponentiation a new dimension is opened for exploration.  This has some far-reaching implications retrospectively.


          What were the dimensions previously opened up and what perception exponentiates were there to see in them?  The second threshold, intelligence, would have been the opening up of a third dimension, as it is perception-to-the-second-power.  Did life become three-dimensionally mobile with the advent of the perception of perception, perception of first-threshold activity?  Animals have locomotion whereas plants do not.  Locomotion is mobility in three dimensions; plants grow from a fixed spot.  Animals, then, must be at the second threshold, and as such, they perceive themselves perceiving.  Perception, or life, although present in plants, is limited to the first threshold; it is rudimentary perception (perception-to-the-first-power) of the kind which animals can perceive in themselves.  All animals, then, are intelligent at least to a primal degree.  But plants themselves are exalted to a degree, in that they are one step above inanimate matter such as rocks.  Plants perceive zeroth-threshold activity, that of mobility in one dimension.  Rocks, immobile except when pushed by outside forces, nevertheless "perceive" to that extent.  They respond to stimuli of only the lowest form, pointed forces, and their responses are pointed (zero-dimensional).  One form of inorganic matter, crystals, however, does "grow," or at least is two-dimensionally mobile in the same way plants are.  Can crystals be prototypes for plants; are crystals the link between inorganic and organic matter?  At any rate, there would seem to be continuity of sorts all the way along the perception ladder, from rocks right on up to the fifth power of perception.  This implies mind-matter monism.


          " has at one and the same time not only a physical, but also an astral, a mental, and a causal body.  Each body is limited in its capacity to apprehend what is going on in the spheres above it because of the higher vibration rates of matter at those levels.[41]


          If these bodies exist, and are differentiated as to the frequency of vibrations they can perceive, and the objects of their perception are said to still be made of matter of a subtle degree, then can it not be said that the mind for ever more refined senses is material but invisible as of yet simply because they themselves vibrate at ultra high frequencies?  What evidence is there to the effect that we have any such bodies?  The discovery of the bioplasma.  The Kirlians, a Russian husband and wife research team, may become in time as well known as the Curies.  By photographing living subjects under high-frequency electrical fields the Kirlians discovered eerie emanations of colored light shooting from the pores of these organic targets.  After extensive experimenting, the Kirlians concluded that what they were capturing in their pictures was the "aura" or astral body spoken of in occult science for thousands of years; their results are already becoming accepted world-wide:


          "It seemed living things had two bodies: the physical body everyone could see, and a secondary 'energy-body' the Kirlians saw in their high frequency photos...'We consider it to be a plasma.'  (In physics, plasma is the fourth state of matter -- streams of masses of ionized particles)...'But at the same time, this energy body is not just particles.  It is not a chaotic system.  It's a whole unified organism in itself.'...This bioplasmic body that we're all supposed to have reacts to thought, emotion, sound, light, color, magnetic forces, any subtle change in the environment from the grass we walk on to the planets we rarely notice.  A fresh slant on astrology?  On biorhythms?  Yes, but perhaps there are also implications...for medicine, psychiatry, even sociology and philosophy.  Here is the almost unexplored world of our subtle interaction with everyone and everything;  this is the world of 'plasma,' of the shifting 'tissue' of the universe connecting all to all, and we, according to the Russians, are part of the tissue."[42]


          The following is a brief description of a school of thought taught by a modern-day Mexican mushroom-eating Indian; under its regime one crosses the third threshold and learns to see the bioplasma by accelerating one's mental processes by means of partaking in certain drugs:


          "'...the smoke can give you the necessary speed to catch a glimpse of that fleeting world'...Don Juan's particular interest in his second cycle of apprenticeship was to teach me to 'see.'  Apparently in his system of knowledge there was the possibility of making a semantic difference between 'seeing' and 'looking' as two distinct manners of perceiving.  'Looking' referred to the ordinary way in which we are accustomed to perceive the world, while 'seeing' entailed a very complex process by virtue of which a man of knowledge allegedly perceives the 'essence' of the things of the world...'Men look different when you see.  The little smoke will help you to see men as fibers of white cobwebs.  Very fine threads that circulate from the head to the navel.  Thus a man looks like an egg of circulating fibers.  And his arms and his legs are like luminous bristles, bursting out in all directions...every man is in touch with everything else, not through his hands, though, but through a bunch of long fibers that shoot out from the center of his abdomen.  Those fibers join a man to his surroundings; they keep his balance; they give him stability.'"[43]


          Closely allied to the bioplasma is the phenomenon called astral projection, or out-of-body experience: "Don Juan explained the profound effects that the mushrooms had on one's perceptual capacities as the 'ally removing one's body.'"[44]  In astral experience one is outside one's physical body, a freeform plasma.  "For those using the astral technique, the soul leaves at the pineal gland, or what is called the spiritual eye."[45]  Plotinus mentions it: " can be disengaged from the body..."[46]  The Czechs have got it pat: "Ryzl tries autoscopic vision.  Eyes closed, entranced subjects are commanded to get up mentally and walk away from themselves...From 'standing outside,' it's an easy step into 'traveling clairvoyance.'"[47]  The Rosicrucians practice it: "...there is a supreme effort of the will; a spiral motion in many directions takes place, and the aspirant stands outside his dense body."[48]  Even Edgar Mitchell has something interesting to say about it:


          "'...this is a long way in the future, but I really think that sometime we will make contact with intelligent life from other solar systems.  And I'm not so sure that you need the space program for that.  This may be extremely far out and hypothetical, but if the phenomenon of astral projection has any validity whatsoever, it might be a perfectly valid form of intergalactic travel, and a lot safer probably than space flight.'"[49]


          Quite a curious statement from one of the very few men who have been to the Moon.


          What of the other bodies mentioned earlier beside the physical and astral -- the mental and causal -- what is known about these?  Eckankar teaches that these four bodies form concentric sheathes for "soul."  Soul itself is composed of four even more tenuous substances, again concentrically arranged around their center, the eighth and innermost body:


          "...the region of divided into four distinct planes...The first of these planes is called "Sach Khand" or "Sat Nam," meaning "true home," or "true name"...This is the world that we know as the fifth plane, or the soul plane...The next plane is "Alakh Lok"...We know that there are many others above this one, but only a few have been able to travel into them."[50]


          For each of the eight planes there is a body.  There are eight worlds for don Juan as well:


          "...making eight points on the ground, he circled the first point.  'You are here...We are all here; this is feeling, and we move from here to here...To move between these two points you call understanding...There are, however, six more points a man is capable of handling...Most men know nothing about them...Each of these six remaining points is a world, just like feeling and understanding are two worlds for you.'"[51]


          In both cases there is no limit set to the number of possible worlds.


          "From the conclusion that there is no essential difference between mind and can be led in two directions of reasoning: to materialize mind or to mentalize matter...Rather than denying that we truly have consciousness, as do the behaviorists, why not assume that everything, including the material universe as an entity, has consciousness?"[52]


          The universe is conscious in the way an embryo is.  The universe as we know it is probably only a tiny piece of the universe as a fifth thresholder would know it, but it can be said of the universe as known by anyone, that it is the sum of all perceptibles.  As such, it is one stage in a progression of stages in the direction of increased complexity.  In other words, assuming that at any one time the universe is as extensive as can be perceived, that all-encompassing container at any point in time, up until its birth as a single unified consciousness, is in embryonic form.  All trends prior to that birth are parts of it, the whole, and all stages of development are included in its background and are comparable in its past to the forms recapitulated in life-forms familiar to us as they go through gestation on their way to birth.


          The universe as we know it will one day awaken and until it does each succeeding stage evolution attains is that future infant's evolutionary recapitulation of its heritage, just as living things such as human beings go through all their species's past changes while they are embryonic; we have gills, for example, for a short time during our prenatal recapitulation of the history of the human race.  It is in the same manner that the universe, as seen in retrospect from the birth of its understanding, will have gone through the various stages of development leading up to itself that existed prior to its birth; in fact, those stages as seen from points in time prior to the birth of the cosmic mind are the very stages leading to its birth.  In order to map the embryonic changes of the universal awareness to be born it is sufficient, then, to only distinguish the various gradations along the path of consciousness complexity that stand between the unit of mind-aggregation, the individual, and the unity of mind-aggregation, the universal consciousness.  The first stage of aggregation is simply the couple, the most basic form of group mind.


          As the unit of society is the couple, so it is the unit of universal mind-union.  The rudimentary group mind composed of two individuals seeks to remain united by means of maintaining rapport, or elementary third-threshold activity.  True love is thus telepathy-catalytic: "Long ago researchers in the West observed that spontaneous telepathy flashes most often between members of a family, people in love, and childhood friends."[53]  Group minds in general would be expected to perceive in a way inconceivable to the individual:  "By means of the harmonious activity of the special organs a true group-mind emerges, with experience far beyond the range of individuals in isolation."[54]  A rough approximation for the group experience would be the verb to "grok": "'Grok' means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed -- to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience."[55]  "Grok" is a word found in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, but it appears in a somewhat altered form, although still recognizable, in Robert Silverberg's Downward to the Earth: "Strands of color emanate from him and link him to all who possess 'g'rakh' in the universe.  He partakes of the biological wisdom of the universe."[56]  Group experience if viewed subjectively appears akin to if not identical to Abraham Maslow's notion of a traumatically happy moment, or "peak experience":


          "B-psychology's description of a healthy person's peak experience sounds very much, of course, like James's description of mystical religious experience, Buber's description of I-Thou experience, the drug cultist's description of psychedelic experience, and the Zen Buddhist's description of 'satori.'"[57]


          There is a hierarchy of group forms stemming from the pair through the family, the tribe, and the nation all the way up to the species.  For each of these succeedingly complex aggregations a new level of awareness would no doubt be attained, but it is probably only with the racial mode of perception that another threshold would have been crossed: "'...if the cooperation of some thousands of millions of cells in our brain can produce our consciousness, the idea becomes vastly more plausible that the cooperation of humanity, or some sections of it, may determine what Comte calls a Great Being.'"[58]


          "The system of radiation which embraces the whole planet, and includes the million million brains of the race, becomes the physical basis of a racial self...He savours in a single intuition all bodily contacts...he perceives at once and as a continuous, variegated sphere, the whole surface of the planet.  But not only so.  He now stands above the group-minds as they above the individuals."[59]


          "Being a collective in the last resort only definable as a mind."[60]  The mind of mankind would quite possibly be able to transcend objective time, being at the fourth threshold, and it might also directly perceive third-threshold rapport in the same way that our eyes see.  Further development would depend on man's encountering another intelligent or even enlightened species.  Although it is not likely that in the near future man will intersect with advanced extraterrestrialities, there may already be another intelligent and possibly even enlightened species sharing our lead:


          "The American neurophysiologist John C. Lilly, of the Communication Research Institute, Coral Gables, Florida, has argued that the dolphins and other cetacea have surprisingly high levels of intelligence.  Their brains are larger than those of human beings.  These brains are as convoluted as our brains, and their neural anatomy is remarkably similar to that of the primates, although the most recent common ancestor of the two groups lived more than twenty million years ago."[61]


          If we are the only species in existence advanced enough to be on the verge of the third threshold, then we are in the lead; we are the head of the body of life: "If the universe is a super-organism which is in the process now of realizing itself, then man is the 'head' of that organism."[62]


          Working with the assumption that man will eventually encounter other advanced species, evolution would continue to unfold toward higher thresholds.  As there are pairs of individual minds linked "en rapport" there could be pairs of worlds (for example, the Earth and the Moon) linked through their planetary (racial or multiracial) minds.  Beyond these couples could be families (solar systems) of linked planetary energies.  Next would be the galactic aggregation.  This nearly inconceivably complex mind would have attained the fifth threshold, where both subjective and objective time are mastered:


          "Each world, peopled with its unique, multitudinous race of sensitive individual intelligences united in true community, was itself a living thing, possessed of a common spirit.  And each system of many populous orbits was itself a communal being.  And the whole galaxy, knit in a single telepathic mesh, was a single intelligent and ardent being, the common spirit, the 'I,' of all its countless, diverse, and ephemeral individuals."[63]


          At the galactic level, mind would unite the macrocosmic with the microcosmic; from this point on mind would be consciously extending its awareness in both the inner planes and in outer groups.  It is likely that even such huge creatures would have their own specific spiritual bodies for inner space exploration -- as many as there are galactic planes galactic consciousness can attain.  Indeed, to digress for a moment, there is a curious pattern within descriptions of peak experiences centered on bioplasma:


          "...the strange, luminous object in front of me had to be don Juan's face; there was a familiarity to it; yet it had no resemblance to what I would call don Juan's 'real' face.  What I was looking at was a round object which had a luminosity of its own.  Every part in it moved.  I perceived a contained, undulatory, rhythmical flow; it was as if the flowing was enclosed within itself, never moving beyond its limits, and yet the object in front of my eyes was oozing with movement at any place on its surface.  The thought that occurred to me was that it oozed life."[64]


          " was far more lovely than any jewel.  Its patterned colouring was more subtle, more ethereal.  It displayed the delicacy and brilliance, the intricacy and harmony of a live thing.  Strange that in my remoteness I seemed to feel, as never before, the vital presence of Earth as of a creature alive but tranced and obscurely yearning to wake."[65]


          " isn't...a cloud.  It seems to have some sort of structure -- I can glimpse a hazy network of lines and bands that keep changing their positions.  It's almost as if the stars are tangled in a ghostly spider's web.  The whole network is beginning to glow, to pulse with light, exactly as if it were alive."[66]


          The last description is of "Overmind": "'We believe -- it is only a theory -- that the Overmind is trying to grow, to extend its powers and its awareness of the universe.  By now it must be the sum of many races, and long ago it left the tyranny of matter behind.  It is conscious of intelligence, everywhere.'"[67]  By saying that "Overmind" has left the tyranny of matter behind, Arthur C. Clarke means only that "Overmind" has disengaged itself from its physical body to fly around in its astral body, or bioplasma.  Thus through the heightening of awareness of a character named Jan Rodricks, the theme of objects becoming transparent and bioplasma becoming visible adds testimony to the picture of third threshold activity so far outlined.


          What, if anything, lies above and beyond the galaxy?  No doubt the sixth threshold, but what physical organization beyond the galaxy is there?  According to many astrophysicists, for example Dr. Gibson Reaves of the University of Southern California, galaxies themselves tend to group in the form of "metagalaxies."  For example, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is said to be a member of a group of nineteen local galaxies.  These galactic groups most likely together comprise a cosmos (as we know it), or galaxy of galaxies.


          The galaxy of galaxies would cross the sixth threshold; this event is the birth of a relatively omniscient creature.  This cosmic mind would have mobility in seven dimensions compared to our three and even four; time for this creature would likely pose no barrier while spaces we cannot imagine would probably weave its environments.  This being would perceive communication of orders zero through five, in other words zero through fifth threshold activity.  At present, the universe is an embryo gestating until the sixth threshold is crossed and its mind awakens.  " organism is embryonic."[68]  "I, the communal mind of a score of galaxies, be the...mind of the cosmos itself...I was the struggling embryo in the cosmical egg."[69]  This "cosmic" mind is by no means the end.


          For any given stage of development it can be said that it is a step towards greater powers of perception, while it cannot be said of any stage that it is final; there need be no limit set to the process of evolution.  The only limit consistent with reality is that as time approaches infinity the function "evolution" tends to omniscience.  Thus, in speaking of a "cosmical" mind, it will be valid to refer to all stages on the path as births when crossed, and to those yet uncrossed as embryonic.  For, as far as one cares to take the extrapolation of future perception evolution, so far also will it be the case that the cosmic mind, the largest imaginable, is still embryonic and will be but the seed of further cosmic growth.


          In a universe in the throes of evolution which nevertheless has patterns within it, and whose patterns form hierarchies of one-to-one correspondences, there are organs within organs latent in our brain, and for each new dimension perception attains there will arise an entirely novel method of information transfer corresponding to the physical organization of the entity.  The pineal gland, now a bud about to bloom, holds within it an unending series of future buds and blooms, each waiting to unfold briefly and then make way for its successor.  By the sixth, and for us final, threshold, the universe itself will awaken to a height of consciousness inadequately approximated by the term "hyper-lucidity."  As in astrophysics there is a boundary to the observable universe and with the advent of increasingly sophisticated perception instruments that boundary is extended, so in paraphysics there is a limit to visibility into the future, and with the progress to new and higher forms of perception instrumentation the limitations on visibility can be reduced and horizons widened.


          The universe, no matter how extensive, can always be said to be an embryonic "God."  That is to say that such an embryo is relatively omniscient.  As far as a transcendant "God" is concerned, there may be a time in which time travel will enable beings to alter the past.  As far as there being a "God" in the sense of an omnipresent perfect principle, there are no absolutes but there are nevertheless universals applicable in any situation. These universals are Truths: statements about the universe as a whole, the broadest generalizations, concerned with the concept of an Orderly universe -- one in which all events are connected and can be expressed in terms of the same reconcilable laws..."Time and space are organically as to weave, together, the stuff of the universe."[70]  Imagine: "...chemistry and physics...conceived in a biological manner, with the electron as the basic organism, and the cosmos as an organic whole."[71]  "The cosmos is a living organism..."[72]  "...the whole Universe is involved in the same movement and is a living organism in which everything reacts on everything else."[73]  "As in Leibniz's all-too-subtle-for-its-time theory of 'monads,' each ultimate particle of world reality has a different face for each number of infinite beholding awarenesses."[74]  "The 'Dharma-dhatu' designates the whole universe as a realm ('dhatu') in which all things and events are mutually interdependent and interpenetrating like a net of jewels, in which each jewel carries the reflection of all the others, and of all the reflections in all the others."[75]  "...our galaxies are the dust in another cosmos, and the dust in our world contains suns and stars -- infinitely..."[76]




Asimov, Isaac.  The Human Brain.  New York: Signet, 1965.

Aurobindo, Sri.  The Mind of Light.  New York: Dutton, 1971.

Braden, Charles S.  These Also Believe.  New York: Macmillan, 1967.

Braden, William.  The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God.  New York: Bantam, 1968.

Brumbaugh, Robert S.  The Philosophers of Greece.  New York: Apollo, 1970.

Carr, Donald E.  The Eternal Return.  New York: Doubleday, 1968.

Castaneda, Carlos.  A Separate Reality.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971.

Clarke, Arthur C.  Childhood's End.  New York: Ballantine, 1971.

Comte, August.  in 19th-Century Philosophy.  Ed. Patrick L. Gardiner.  New York: Free Press, 1969.

Dunne, John.  A Search for God in Time and Memory.  New York: Macmillan, 1970.

Fort, Charles.  The Book of the Damned.  New York: Ace, 1941.

Haldane, J.B.S.  in The Phenomenon of Man.  See Teilhard de Chardin below.

Havelock, Eric A.  Preface to Plato.  New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1967.

Hegel, G.W.F.  in 19th-Century Philosophy.  Ed. Patrick L. Gardiner.  New York: Free Press, 1969.

Heindel, Max.  The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.  Pasadena: Wood and Jones, 1969.

Heinlein, Robert A.  Stranger in a Strange Land.  New York: Berkley, 1969.

Holloway, Gilbert N.  in Psychic Observer.  Washington: ESPress, June, 1971.

McKeever, Evelyn.  in Psychic Observer.  Washington: ESPress, June, 1971.

Mitchell, Edgar D.  in Psychic.  San Francisco: Bolen, October, 1971.

Naumov, Edward.  in Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.  See Ostrander and Schroeder below.

Nietzsche, Friedrich W.  in 19th-Century Philosophy.  Ed. P. L. Gardiner.  New York: Free Press, 1969.

Ostrander, Sheila and Schroeder, Lynn. Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain. N.Y.: Bantam, 1971.

Pauwels, Louis and Bergier, Jacques.  The Morning of the Magicians.  New York: Avon, 1971.

Plotinus.  in Approaches to Ethics.  Ed. W.T. Jones et al.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962.

Plotinus.  The Essential Plotinus.  New York: Mentor, 1964.

Royce, Josiah.  The Spirit of Modern Philosophy.  New York: Norton, 1967.

Shklovskii, I.S. and Sagan, Carl.  Intelligent Life in the Universe.  New York: Delta, 1966.

Silverberg, Robert.  Downward to the Earth.  New York: Signet, 1969.

Stapledon, Olaf.  Last and First Men and Star Maker.  New York: Dover, 1968.

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre.  The Phenomenon of Man.  New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

Twitchell, Paul.  Eckankar.  New York: Lancer, 1969.

Watts, Alan W.  The Two Hands of God.  New York: Collier, 1969.

    [1] G.W.F. Hegel, in 19th-Century Philosophy (New York, 1969), p.78.

    [2] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man (New York, 1965), p. 72.

    [3] Max Heindel, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (Pasadena, 1969), p. 337.

    [4] Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men and Star Maker (New York, 1968), p. 234. (Fiction)

    [5] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ibid., p. 153.

    [6] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 305. (Fiction)

    [7] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ibid., pp. 142-145.

    [8] Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light (New York, 1971), pp. 52, 53.

    [9] See the Proceedings of the Parapsychological Association, especially the ten-year anniversary collection covering the years 1957-'67 (Durham, 1972).

    [10] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ibid., p. 219.

    [11] John Dunne, A Search for God in Time and Memory (New York, 1970), p. 2.

    [12] Josiah Royce, The Spirit of Modern Philosophy (New York, 1967), p. 128.  Paraphrase of I. Kant.

    [13] Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians (New York, 1971), pp. 365, 366.

    [14] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 14.  (Fiction)

    [15] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ibid., p. 56

    [16] Donald E. Carr, The Eternal Return (New York, 1968), p. 140.

    [17] Donald E. Carr, ibid., p. 72.

    [18] Josiah Royce, ibid., p. 210.  Paraphrase of G. Hegel.

    [19] Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain (New York, 1971), pp. 42, 58.

    [20] William Braden, The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God (New York, 1968), pp. 161, 162.

    [21] August Comte, 19th-Century Philosophy (New York, 1969), p. 156.

    [22] Pauwels and Bergier, ibid., p. 330.

    [23] Robert S. Brumbaugh, The Philosophers of Greece (New York, 1970), p. 29.

    [24] Ostrander and Schroeder, ibid., p. 47

    [25] Max Heindel, ibid., p. 300

    [26] Eric A Havelock, Preface to Plato (New York, 1967), p. 268.

    [27] Friedrich W. Nietzsche, 19th-Century Philosophy (New York, 1969), p. 330.

    [28] Pauwels and Bergier, ibid., p. 149.

    [29] I.S. Shklovskii and Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe (New York, 1966), p. 352.

    [30] Pauwels and Bergier, ibid., p. 353.

    [31] Gilbert N. Holloway, Psychic Observer (Washington, June, 1971), p. 17.

    [32] Evelyn McKeever, Psychic Observer (Washington, June, 1971), p. 35.

    [33] Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1967)

    [34] Isaac Asimov, The Human Brain (New York, 1965), p. 85.

    [35] Evelyn McKeever, ibid., pp. 35, 37.

    [36] Edward Naumov, quoted in Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain (New York, 1971), p. 141.

    [37] Ostrander and Schroeder, ibid., p. 140.

    [38] Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light (New York, 1971), pp. 69, 70.

    [39] Max Heindel, ibid., pp. 473-479.

    [40] Ostrander and Schroeder, ibid., p. 157.

    [41] Charles Braden, These Also Believe (New York, 1967), p. 247.

    [42] Ostrander and Schroeder, ibid., pp. 206, 216, 217, 234, 235.

    [43] Carlos Castaneda, A Separate Reality (New York, 1971), pp. 17, 33, 34.

    [44] Carlos Castaneda, ibid., p. 15.

    [45] Paul Twitchell, Eckankar (New York, 1969), p. 46.

    [46] Plotinus, in Approach to Ethics (New York, 1962), p. 93.

    [47] Ostrander and Schroeder, ibid., p. 337.

    [48] Max Heindel, ibid., p. 484.

    [49] Edgar D. Mitchell, in Psychic (San Francisco, October, 1971), p. 32.

    [50] Paul Twitchell, ibid., pp. 200, 201.

    [51] Carlos Castaneda, ibid., p. 310.

    [52] Donald E. Carr, ibid., p. 135.

    [53] Ostrander and Schroeder, ibid., p. 33.

    [54] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 224. (fiction)

    [55] Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (New York, 1969), p. 206. (fiction)

    [56] Robert Silverberg, Downward to the Earth (New York, 1969), p. 168. (fiction)

    [57] William Braden, ibid., pp. 146, 147.

    [58] J.B.S. Haldane, quoted in The Phenomenon of Man (New York, 1965), p. 57.

    [59] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 225. (fiction)

    [60] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ibid., p. 248.

    [61] Shklovskii and Sagan, ibid., p. 411.

    [62] William Braden, ibid., p. 180.

    [63] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 380. (fiction)

    [64] Carlos Castaneda, ibid., p. 192.

    [65] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 260. (fiction)

    [66] Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End (New York, 1971), pp. 214, 215. (fiction)

    [67] Arthur C. Clarke, ibid., p. 183. (fiction)

    [68] Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned (New York, 1941), p. 25.

    [69] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 398. (fiction)

    [70] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ibid., p. 218.

    [71] Olaf Stapledon, ibid., p. 153. (fiction)

    [72] Plotinus, The Essential Plotinus (New York, 1964), p. 53.

    [73] Pauwels and Bergier, ibid., p. 228

    [74] Donald E. Carr, ibid., p. 140.

    [75] Alan W. Watts, The Two Hands of God (New York, 1969), p. 98.

    [76] Alan W. Watts, ibid., p. 69.

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