Article Nine -
Heavenly Light and our ability to perceive it -
by Julia Woodman
Aldous Huxley wrote in Heaven and Hell about the preternatural light that seems to pervade things when ones perceptions are heightened by whatever means, making places, objects, etc seem heaven-like.
He states that he himself does not have such experiences without the use of substances, but is aware that many others do. I seem to possess the ability to see this light naturally, but not in all the objects he mentions. For me it seems that some of what he speaks of is a false glitter rather than the real thing.
I see it shine through genuine art, I see it in an artists hands as he paints, or in a guitar players hands as he plays a wonderful piece of music. I also hear it as a vibrant or raw essence in the music, or birdsong, or bubbling stream, or crashing wave. I see it, and feel it, in the still hills or swaying trees. I feel it in the wind and in deep river pools, and taste and smell it in the salty oceans.
I see it in the grace of a body dancing, or an animal playing or hunting. I see it in patterns, and shapes, and spaces how one object relates to another for example, the juxtaposition of shapes and sizes and textures, the contrasts or blends of colours of the vases or flower arrangements in a room, or the lines and curves of a piece of furniture, or in a building.
Under certain circumstances I see the outside edges of things waver and split into multiple soft edges so that normal boundaries are not so clear. Under other circumstances I sometimes perceive things that I can only suggest might stem from different dimensions or frequencies of light, sound, texture, or matter. Again I see, hear, feel, and sometimes smell, these things, but the sense of them seems to arrive more internally rather than resulting from external signals.
Sometimes I see a spiritual light in a person, as a holistic sense or feeling, if they are filled with love, peace, humility, serenity, or if they are doing something that they feel is their true calling.
I do not have the same fascinated reaction to shiny things or jewels as Huxley writes of. Yes, I do often see stones or crystals as pretty but more due to their shape, and graduations or contrasts of colour, such as in agates, or many beach pebbles. I think that what I respond to is the natural beauty that reflects the circumstances of their creation (such as pressure or heat), and their interaction with other influences (such as wind, water, or chemicals) which might show up say as erosion (natural carving). This natural beauty reflects the amazing processes of creation and interaction between various elements, and I think this brings a sense of significance into their existence, which the viewer apprehends through their witnessing and understanding of the details.
I do not seem to have the hypnotic response to bright things, glossy paint jobs, or gold coins that some do. Yes, I like the colour gold (after all, I am a Leo) but I prefer it in a dress than in a piece of jewellery. I like certain colours because they make me feel soothed or warm in a room, or because they enhance my natural complexion and sense of well-being.
I wonder if there are a certain type of people who are like magpies, attracted and seduced by flashy things, who tend to pursue riches and collect more than they need because they cant help their attraction, or addiction, rather than necessarily through what we call greed per se.
Power is another thing altogether the ability to manipulate people and events, as well as the capacity to hoard objects of overly manufactured value. It is an abstract, a concept, rather than a thing. Power obtained through wealth is only power so long as other people bow to it. It is possible to not allow it that elevation to live a life away from such influence. In a person who does not share that love of flashy things it seems sensible to keep away, as one tends to be disgusted by the sway such people can have over others and feel trapped by any obligation towards it such as having to stay in a job working for such people because one has to pay a mortgage. No matter how hard it may seem to give up a cushy job, it is often much better for the soul to do something more earthy, even if it pays less. There are many people who do make the choice to break free in order to live happier lives. Often this decision is prompted by a health scare or a near fatal accident, or it can be the result of being backed into an unacceptable corner - but if we are aware of our deeper needs, we can and do seek to move towards a more meaningful existence without such huge prompting.
I did once years ago reprogram my own subconscious to get rid of the belief that being rich was bad and I got a job earning quite a lot of money. That was fine for a bit until I moved to a different team stupidly against my intuitive judgement and then I realised (again) that working with people and systems I didnt like really was just no good, so I left the job and returned to being self-employed.
I have also since realised that certain rich people whom I had persuaded myself (as part of this reprogramming) were okay because of all the charitable work they did, were actually all as bad as, or perhaps even worse than, the other rich people after all, because they were making it look as if they were doing good works when they really had very sinister ulterior motives.
So I was right in the first place excessive richness is either just plain obscene, or it probably derives from, or results in, twisted plans to control things to fit their own needs or beliefs, with no compassion for others or the natural world. I am beginning to think that this is simply because such people cannot comprehend the true heavenly light, and thus go desperately looking for it in the wrong places.
However, I do not think there is anything wrong with making a decent living and even enough to be able to help those around you, if you do it with balance. I think it needs to be done by doing what one really loves and holds to be meaningful, and not by selling yourself out to people or systems that do not resonate with you. We should try to find a way to make a living on our own terms, as well as live according to our own codes and values, or it will make our souls sick in the long run. It is only by living in a way that is true to our deepest selves that we can hope to experience a sense of being imbued with that heavenly preternatural light, or vital essence of life.
I am well aware that other people often cannot visualize in the same way I can. It is easy for me to imagine a beautiful hillside or forest and to feel both calmed and inspired by exploring it in my head. So, I think that both artistic and natural beauty appeal to me much more than glitz. I would far rather sit by a stream than in a cathedral decorated with gold and stained glass, in fact the cool slow smell of stone walls is more likely to impress me.
I would also far rather be in the presence of a person who holds natural power through the grace of their being, and so has no need to try to control anything or collect shiny objects or false idols, than go anywhere near people who buy influence with gold coinage and superficial pomp and ceremony. I am far more impressed by humble natural food than by pretentious feasts. I would choose music, paintings, books, and a walk in the valley every time rather than attend a ball. Of course my choice of music, art, and books, would be different from the ones chosen by those who wish to hoard things in an attempt to display power. I much prefer wild gardens to the tamed straight hedges and paths of those struck by grandeur. The false power seeks always to control people and nature alike which to my sensibility tends to completely obliterate that heavenly preternatural light.
Yes, I suppose that people who pursue wealth may well not have the faculty to perceive the heavenly preternatural light at all, so their collections of shiny objects are probably a vain attempt to find or replace that. Their seeking out of power and control is probably also a similar attempt to acquire something they cannot naturally apprehend or even really comprehend. I suppose that they are in a kind of hellish darkness really with darkness simply being a total lack of such light not the darkness of night with all its stars, but the darkness of a life devoid of this heavenly preternatural or spiritual light that no amount of treasure can emulate. I wonder if any of them know what love really is, or if they think that can be bought and controlled too. I wonder if they see jewels in their dreams, or if they sometimes see the flesh and bones of those they use and deceive peeling off and disintegrating. I wonder if any of them consciously grasp the torture that their souls must be experiencing.
surely any human being can
learn to connect with at first glimpse, and then
more steadily feel the deeper symbolic universe
beneath the surface of ourselves and everything. This
is the ground of being, or root dimension, where the
magic light or essence of being that heals and
creates - arises, ready to shine forth for anyone who