The normal way we perceive and interpret information is through the five senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. Our ordinary modes of mentation, those we consider “normal” ways of processing, include analysis, logic, feeling, and lower modes of instinct.
Beyond these, there are what we might call magical states of consciousness. In these states, we are able perceive things beyond the normal ranges of human senses, and we process these perceptions through the mode of intuition. In expanded range of sensation, one can see, hear, smell, taste and touch things that cannot normally be perceived, or one may receive full “downloads” of information in the form of inner knowing which can be unpacked through language.
Widening the Range of Perception
Experiences like psychism, out-of-body travel, remote viewing, lucid dreaming, clairvoyance or prophesy fall into the category of magical states of consciousness. These are called “supernatural”, yet these experiences are only the result of expanding the range or scope of the faculties we use every day. Magical states of consciousness involve a widening of perception, in which the veils placed upon the mind are moved back, revealing more of what is and has always been there, but had not been previously apprehended.
Nothing is added to the mind in a magical state of consciousness which is not a fundamental part of its essential constitution. Just as an Olympic bodybuilder can train his body to perform feats which are miraculous compared to those of the average person, so is an individual capable of training the faculties of his mind to accomplish extraordinary feats of mentation and perception.
Indeed, once we begin to explore the lesser-known capabilities of the human mind, we discover that the parameters of what we consider the “normal” or “ordinary” world are rather arbitrary, having much more to do with the limits of our faculties of perception and much less to do with any intrinsic being-ness of the so-called material world.
We tend to define “reality” by what we can perceive— yet we are only able to perceive within a certain frequency range. Widen the scope of perception and much, much more of existence comes into view. How much has our definition of “reality” changed since the invention of the microscope? How many aspects of reality are experienced by animals which lie totally outside of our range of hearing, smelling or seeing? Yet we cannot say these phenomena do not exist just because we do not experience them.
Thus, we see it is difficult to separate what-is from our perception or experience of what is; where does matter start and mind end? The more we look, the more we come to find that matter behaves much more like mind than it does like matter. More things become real, then, as we refine this instrument of the mind, and we begin to directly witness and experience what we would have once considered “unmanifest”. These are the states of consciousness we call magical, even as a better word would be expanded.
What Are You Looking At?
There are many different kinds of magical states of consciousness; all of them involve expanding the scope of your perception and strengthening the muscles of the mind. If you wish to experience out-of-body experiences like astral projection or lucid dreaming, you must be able to remain awake in mind while your body goes to sleep. If you wish to be a medical empath, you must be able to see beyond the frequency band of the dense physical body into the fainter layers of the auric field. If you wish to channel information from higher realms, you must learn how to withdraw the ego from the body and allow another entity to take its place temporarily.
This requires a radical level of command over your attention. We are all familiar with the therapeutic benefit of “looking on the bright side,” or of placing one’s attention purposefully in alignment with what is wanted and withdrawing it from what is unwanted. Magical states of consciousness require similar self-discipline, though in this case one is training oneself to look beyond that which impresses itself most forcefully upon the physical senses into more subjective realms of light.
Once you have widened your perception, you have the choice of where to look and in what frequency band. Are you looking at the physical body, or are you feeling the emotions of the person before you? Are you writing a poem based on your concrete lived experience, or are you letting inspiration from the Universe move through you and express itself? Where do you choose to place your attention, and in what resolution will you see?
Another way of conceiving of widened perception is that it is the eradication of apparent boundaries. We may consider an analogy of a lit candle. We normally identify ourselves as a body (wax and wick) with a consciousness (flame). But when we enter a state of expanded consciousness, we ask, where exactly does the flame end? Is the flame not also the light which comes off the flame? Thus, we must perceive ourselves also as the light coming off of the flame. But then, where does the light of the room interpenetrate the light of the flame? Where does the light coming off of the flame cease?
The higher the magical state of consciousness, the fewer boundaries appear. Instead, there are only layers: the layer of flame, the layer of the flame’s light, then the light of the room. Each layer is harder to distinguish, for as we move away from the dense level of material world into the more delicate planes of vibration, impressions become infinitely more subtle.
The perception of each outer layer requires a more expanded state of consciousness and heightened perception. But as your state of consciousness expands, the light that previously appeared as dim brightens and becomes more sharply defined. The world becomes richer, more detailed and we see life teeming everywhere we had never noticed it before. We also see and feel the interconnectedness of all that is.
We could say that the entire quest of life is an expansion of perception. Fatigue and entropy develop when information is squeezed into a channel of perception that is too narrow. What must we do when we are overwhelmed by circumstances? We must expand our awareness. We must refine our perception. We must shift where we are looking. We must notice with more subtlety.
When we do this, not only do we solve our immediate issue; our successes in the future are far deeper and more profound, because we are alive on more levels of being. The natural has become supernatural, the ordinary has shown itself to be extraordinary, and more of the Universe is manifest to us. This is a magical state of consciousness.