This may be answered by another question, “Can an untutored person with musical ability play a tune?”. Certainly some kind of a tune may be produced, particularly where there is great latent talent, and so it is with metaphysical experiences. They can happen spontaneously in the undeveloped, but only to a relatively minor degree. To have a true, significant and understandable mystical experience requires a great degree of metaphysical development and training. That is why such experiences are rare. However, just as a person with latent musical potential but absolutely no tuition will find some kind of outlets, so is it with those having latent metaphysical aptitudes.
It can be dangerous if undertaken irresponsibly and with the wrong intent; also there should be qualified supervision. Unfortunately many who develop their sensitivity do so without complementing this with the proper disciplinary procedures. Metaphysical development must go hand in hand with self-discipline,
otherwise there could be problems.
Define a ‘Mystical Experience’. Is it a supernatural happening in which the receiver will not accept that a natural explanation is a possibility, no matter how unlikely?
There is no such thing as a ‘supernatural event’ in the sense that this question indicates. To a true mystic the ‘supernatural’ is simply a natural
event presently beyond understanding and explanation. Much that we take for grated today, such as magnetic and electrical phenomena, etc., was once deemed to be in the realm of the supernatural. Many people today consider gene manipulation and atomic restructuring to be akin to the supernatural, simply because they cannot comprehend the mechanics behind the phenomena. It is the ignorant and superstitious who use the label ‘supernatural’, no true mystic ever uses it and hence the term ‘mystical experience’ is misleading, like so many other terms in this field. However, the question is “Define a mystical experience” and perhaps the best way to do this is to say that it is an incident associated with the etheric or metaphysical aspect of an individual’s nature, which, if such person has no knowledge of metaphysics, will be inexplicable. In other words it cannot be explained within the limits of his or her comprehension or experience. However, to a metaphysician or someone understanding the laws and principles behind such phenomenon, it will be neither inexplicable nor beyond comprehension. To a primitive New Guinea native many mundane things are ‘supernatural’ insofar as he cannot understand or adequately explain them. The cargo cults of certain New Guinea and Pacific Islands tribes stem from the fact that the natives cannot conceive of most consumer goods being ‘made’ by man. They are convinced that these are produced by ‘magic’, hence the belief that their own ancestors, who in the afterlife must surely be masters of magic, will supply them with ‘cargo’, providing the appropriate rituals are carried out. While we may smile at this form of primitive thinking it is not so far removed, except by degree, from the thought processes of many in our society who cannot comprehend the ‘mystical’. The statement, “There is nothing about me which has any affinity with the supernatural”, made by an educated New Zealander is not so far removed from that of a New Guinea carrier boy who said in effect, “Tell me, what can you show me about myself that will prove that I have the ability to master the magic of writing and reading?”.
The expression ‘trance state’ covers a rather wide field. The mediumistic trance and the self-induced trance, as well as various degrees of awareness expansion, may be classified as ‘trance states’. However, the more common and more spectacular ritual trance, which is probably the trance to which you refer, is achieved through cultural cues, ritual props, incantations, songs and stories. Percussive music, steady musical pulse, is especially important in the transition to altered states in cultures throughout the world. The most effective rhythm is through electrically stimulated acupuncture. It matches the EEG frequency of theta waves, which are produced by the brain during periods of deep meditation but appear only rarely in a normal waking state. Faith Healers have been show to produce continuous theta waves in their patients by the laying on of hands, and the patients; theta waves exactly match the pattern of the Faith Healers’ wave.
What has to be understood is that everyone has the latent capacity to equal anyone else in extra-sensory ability. All the so-called ‘supernatural’ powers are in fact the natural heritage of every human individual. They do not extend beyond the natural, but beyond the presently known, as far as the average individual is concerned. That situation arises because of a lack of interest and understanding. Of course certain person have natural aptitudes for this, just as some take naturally to music or other art or skill. Supersensory powers can be awakened in anyone willing to devote time and effort to doing so. There is no great mystery in the process, all that is required is resolution, patience and perseverance.
Both embrace a wide area of common concern, with a smaller area of specific concern for each. Spirituality contains a greater element of self-discipline.
Yes, Culdians prefer to use the words ‘supersensory’ or ‘metaphysical’ rather than psychic, as the latter has become associated in the minds of many people with gullibility, charlatanism and commercialism. It is unfortunate that it has been so tainted, because many sincere, genuine and non-gullible people have accepted the reality of psychic phenomena.
Is this why so many sensitive people are unstable and experience difficulties with their personal lives and relationships?
Yes, and unfortunately many people, noticing this, will assume that it is the development itself which is at fault; yet in the proper context of its teaching it is certainly not harmful. However, ‘self-developed’ people will almost inevitably run into trouble.
People imagine all kind of things which have no real substance, yet I have heard that imagination is very important in relation to supersensory development. Is this so?
Imagination can be either positive or negative, constructive or useless; as with many things it is what is done with it that matters. A prime law of psychology states that in any contest between the will and imagination the latter always wins. Therefore, developmental systems advocating the use of will-power alone are inferior to those which give pre-eminence to imagination. If you can imagine (strongly enough) that you can do something you will eventually be able to accomplish it. What your imagination tells your subconscious mind is possible becomes possible; similarly, what your subconscious mind is told is impossible become impossible. Take the following as an example. Place a long plank on bricks, just off the ground, and walk across it. You will have no difficulty at all, you can even run across it. However, if you are in a tall building, some stories up and because of a fire below the only escape route is across the same plank placed between a window of the building and a window of a building across the street, you will find it impossible to cross. This is because your imagination comes into play and warns about the hazards of the crossing, so you become dizzy. If you attempted to cross you would certainly sway and if you persisted you would fall. No matter how much will-power you generate you will not be able to accomplish the feat, for your imagination will have told you that it was impossible. If you were capable of properly exercising your imagination, as you would through supersensory development then you could imagine yourself reaching the other side and the crossing could be accomplished. Such a feat has been tried on a number of occasions and is one of the classical examples of the principle involved. This is the principle employed by tight rope walkers and also trick cyclists who cycle across ropes stretched over canyons. They discipline their imagination and use it constructively. Unfortunately the word ‘imagination’ has now come to mean something fanciful, unbelievable or fantastic, but this is only as it manifest in its negative aspect, as undisciplined imagination.
The key lies in the biochemistry of endorphins. The name ‘endorphins’ is a contraction of ‘endogenous morphine-like substances’. These substances work on the nervous system and are generated in the human brain in response to pain, stress or certain kinds of ‘peak experience’. It appears that they are also generated in response to belief. The ability of the body to heal in response to belief has long been recognized. Physicians regularly administer placebos (pharmacologically inert substances) in circumstances that do not indicate an active medication. The patient believes that he has been given effective medication and, in response to this belief, he recovers. One theory is that the body produces chemicals, perhaps endorphins, which alleviate ailments. Placebos have been used to control post-operative pain, relieve anxiety and to cure warts and peptic ulcers. Endorphins may have evolved in order to protect and preserve our species in its struggle for survival. They are not the only chemicals the brain produces. Given the right cues the latter will generate tranquillisers as effective as librium or valium. A growing number of scientists, from biochemists and pharmacologists to psychiatrists, psychologists and anthropologists, have speculated that somehow shamans and witch doctors have hit on ingenious methods for turning on production of the brain’s natural chemicals. This involves a subtle appreciation of the patient’s psychological as well as physical problems. It is a subject dealt with in the Culdian’s Metaphysical Healing Course and the Supersensory Development Course.