Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
Thanks for posting. My attitude towards these things is purely pragmatic--my sole concern currently is whether the techniques work or not and to determine their limits. Do you think that the value of "mind power" is purely motivational?
I think that "mind power" represents a particular stage in inner development. I see it as far, far beyond the traditional approaches of faith and blind allegiance to some overlord deity, but I see it as stopping short of embracing a total understanding of reality.
In the integral view of spirituality, there are what could be said to be three distinct realms or levels...
1 -- body
2 -- mind (thought)
3 -- consciousness (spirit)
These also roughly correspond to
1 -- pre-rational
2 -- rational
3 -- trans-rational
1 -- pre-ego
2 -- ego
3 -- post-ego
You find these three stage represented or allegorized in most spiritual traditions. For example in Christianity, there is Eden, Adam and Eve in the pre-ego state (prior to rebellion), then they are in the ego state (the rebellion and expulsion) and then finally there is the redemption via Christ that represents the third level, salvation. In Buddhism, they refer to this as "vidya" (ignorance, not knowing, pre-ego), then "atta" (self, ego, conscious suffering), and finally "anatta" (no-self, transcendence, enlightenment).
The problem with current Western civilization is a stagnation at the second level -- mind, ego, rebelliousness, obsession with individuality, etc. There is plenty of ignorance about the third level. Worse, there is something that Wilber, for example, calls the "pre-trans" fallacy, where the first level, the pre-ego stage, is confused with the third level, the enlightenment stage (this happens in many New Age teachings, though not all. This is where "God" is seen as some pantheistic entity, some amorphous soup to simply be returned to, losing all sense of individuality in doing so).
When a society stagnates at the second level, the mind level, it's related to many factors such as the devotion to scientific materialism, or religious fundamentalism, neither of which promotes a critical approach to the spiritual realm, relying instead on the "voice of authority", either in the form of "scientific experts" who write the college texts and publish the papers, or religious authorities like priestly intermediaries and their texts which are not to be questioned. This is all well and good (or not), but in both cases there is no suggestion that anything lies beyond the level of mind that the individual can access on their own. They either have to conform to the dictates and established views of the "authorities", or break out of the box on their own.
The "box" is really the second level of human experience -- the mind, the ego, individuality. It's a kind of disharmonic level, out of synch with Nature, which is why humanity has managed to have wrought so much damage to planet Earth and its species. Part of the problem with remaining stuck at this level is ignorance of how thought works, unawareness of its power to shape our reality. Esoteric groups have long understood this, but the teachings have never really penetrated the mainstream until recently, and only barely at that. And small wonder, as a society of people who have fully harnessed their mind power are much less dependent on "authorities" to tell them how to live and what to believe in. So the control operatives of society throughout history have had good reason to keep these teachings secret, or somewhat repressed.
But I still don't see mind-power teachings are breaching the third level, because they still work with the idea that the individual ego is controlling the show. They can
be used for very positive changes in one's life, to move into the realm of spirit, consciousness, but this seems to require close guidance so that the ego doesn't use the mind power technology to simply reinforce its separate identity. In Buddhist teachings, they refer to this as the realm of the "Titans", god-like beings who have harnessed the power of their minds but are still somewhat dangerous because they operate out of ego, not attunement to universal Spirit.
Ceremonial magic is based on the work of joining the mind-power to a full attunement to universal spirit, sometimes referred to as the "Holy Guardian Angel". Taoist yoga also addresses this, via the Taoist adepts deepening surrender to the Tao itself. Other systems like Zen simply bypass the whole mind-power level, referring to as "makyo", subtle distractions from full enlightenment.