There’s an interesting phenomena that takes place in the evolution of perception. One that may not make sense in our typical understanding of how the senses work. But if we understand that senses and their forms arise in consciousness, it makes more sense that a change in consciousness may change the process of perception.
When our consciousness flows out through the mind, the senses experience the world of form in a conceptual framework. The world is physical and we relate to it by seeking to explain it. Once the mind has a reason, it is satisfied and we live life on the basis of our often conditioned concepts.
As we step into the less bounded layers of consciousness, other types of perception can unfold. We have for example identified “psychic” versions of the senses that are less constrained than the physical senses. Clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, clairgustance (taste), clairolfaction, and variously described knowingness or intuition, the “6th sense”.
While we may not consider ourselves psychic, everyone has had ‘extrasensory’ experiences of one sort or another. Typically though, if they don’t fall into the concepts of mind, they get quickly forgotten. Or we read way too much into it.
As the nervous system is refined by our practice, there are a series of stages of unfoldment of the senses. First, it will be occasional impressions, then fuller experiences, then a sustained ability to explore with the faculty. As they deepen, whole worlds appear that are unseen by the physical eyes. We discover that the physical world is a small part of a much bigger place.
Of course, this will sound like fairy stories, literally, if it’s not your experience. Compounding this is the muddiness of “personalization“, like giving things wings. Perception at subtler levels is more pliable to thought, so expectations change how it’s seen. Thus, such things are often described less consistently and sometimes more fancifully. Especially if the person experiences a lot of happiness with the opening. For example, angels, which have amorphous bodies best described as fields, are widely portrayed as having clothes, hair, and wings. While there’s nothing wrong with that and it makes such experiences easier to relate to, it’s better if we understand what we’re adding to the equation. They’re about feeling, not form.
This effect of pliability has another quality. If you offhandedly reject such experiences when they come along, they will not be seen. Or if seen, written off as fantasy. I’ve seen people quite surprised when they realized this was part of their experience but they’d chalked it up to daydreams.
There are, of course, a number of ways of dividing what is really just a continuum. Some people talk of other dimensions, but that is the perspective of the person. It is one space, separated only by resolution of perception.
If we look at sight for example, we find:
1 – Physical sight (visible spectrum)
2 – Etheric sight (auras, emotional energy)
3 – Vital Sight (light fields, life flow)
4 – Celestial sight (devas or angels, etc.)
5 – Universal sight (pre-universe)
6 – Cosmic sight (creation)
7 – Spiritual (transparent sight, Self in all)
Of course it’s not as tidy as this. “light beings” may be seen far before 4. Some define many levels of the celestial. Different people have different natural perceptive tendencies so may perceive one level more than others. Other forms of Clairvoyance such as remote sight in time and space, seeing inside the body (common in some healer families), and seeing a life with the aid of objects may develop. Depending on areas of the nervous system that are clearer and history, one may do sound or taste better than sight. Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, documents some of this as abilities, complete with the technique to develop it.
However, he also touches on another key point. All of this can be a trap. The key is to develop spiritual depth, allow for this if it comes up, but focus on our connection to source. When you are grounded in source, what develops naturally will not catch you in desire.
But there’s more. The above is simply the development of what some call the third eye. All of which can be processed with mind. In other words, we are still perceiving via mind. (although we have to be stepping out of individual mind for 5+)
When the divine moves into the heart, it is filled with love. When the upper centers clear, their energy joins love as compassion. When the lower centers clear, they join love as faith.
Gradually, the center of perception shifts from the head to the heart. Those same values of perception, but now seen through love. We begin to see as as God sees. And we gain a new, deeper wisdom, the wisdom of the heart.
That cannot be explained as that takes concepts. But suffice to say, it exponentially exceeds anything the mind can process.