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What is the inner sense and how do we develop it? This article deals with open eye meditation that imply the concentration on both, material and subtle objects. As subtle objects, I present some entoptic phenomena and provide a short introduction on using them in our daily meditation.
What we know as our weekday is a tide of miscellaneous information which we receive with our five senses and put together to an integral picture in the brain. The sense organs are the gates of our body – they connect the outside world with the inner world and determine, dependent on our state of consciousness, how we experience this world.
But is there more to human sense activity than touching, seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting? There is, according to many cultures and religions where we find the notion of an inner sense. This sense is thought of as a mode of perception which directly and intuitively gives insight to the essence or true nature of the object perceived. Often this subtle or inner sense is linked to the eye as a widespread symbol of light, cognition and truth. It is then addressed as the “inner eye”, “third eye” or “eye of the heart”, common among mystics who experienced the divine light. In Indian mythology, for example, this inner sense is expressed as god Shiva’s frontal eye that gives him unifying vision. Accordingly, tantric yogis try to open this third eye by activating the “Ajna Chakra”, located between the eyebrows. Likewise, the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama received enlightenment through a “celestial eye” (prajnacaksus) which permitted him to understand the forces of existence and their manifestation in the chain of causality. The Greek philosophers spoke of an “Eye of the Spirit” which has to be opened and purified to see the truth. While the Old Testament calls the prophets “seers” and refers to an all-seeing eye or “Eye of Providence” that turns to those who fear God and gives them superior insights or strength, the New Testament takes up the Greek philosopher’s notion of the “Eye of the Soul or Heart”: the eye becomes the object of purity (Matthew, 6.22), and the Eye of the Heart has to be opened in order to see God (Acts 9.18). Over the centuries, Desert Fathers, Gnostics, and Mystics alike further reported experiences of the inner sense as inner eye or eye of the heart or soul. Since the early modern period, Western esoterics and scientists interested in unifying the scientific and spiritual traditions are trying to find a physiological correspondence of this inner sense. In recent years, for example, the inner sense was associated with the pineal gland, based on scientific insights about the light sensitivity of this gland.
Meditation for the development of the inner sense
Developing our inner sense, therefore, is a way to improve our spiritual life. In fact, many of us are doing this already, more or less consciously. For example, while meditating, many have come to experience subjective visual appearances, ecstatic feelings or intuitive insights – first aspects of an inner sense waking up. But if we want to develop that inner sense to its full bloom, years and decades of constant exercise are necessary. In any case, awakening the inner sense means choosing a meditation method which works directly with the inner sense or with its objects and function. Generally, meditation can be carried out on material objects which stimulate the inner sense; or on subtle objects which can be conceived of as objects of this inner sense.
objects are perceived through the eyes, not through the inner sense, but
concentrating on them can stimulate the inner sense and lead to subtle
appearances. Meditation on material objects should support the inner sense
or third eye in its function to mediate between the two brain or consciousness
hemispheres. It should make aware to us our right intuitive emotional
side as well as our left analytical rational side, bringing them into
harmony with each other. This turns out best by means of squinting techniques
which have been developed likewise in Western and Eastern traditions.
Two different types of squinting must be distinguished here, though: the
letting go of the eyes (parallel viewing) in which the concentration point
shifts behind the object looked at, and the concentrative directing inside
the eyes (cross viewing) in which the concentration point is drawn in
front of the object looked at, in the direction of the observer. To distinguish
these two types, we call the second type “doubling”. Doubling
is the type of squinting ideal for meditation.
The Tables of Chartres.
to be continued...
The following question was asked by reader David.
On the other hand, this
opens up a possibility in line with my thinking: if floaters are caused
by eye and mental strain – and if we think of the positive aspects
of „strain“ –, then they also may be generated by
concentration exercises like meditation or yoga. Doing such practices,
we voluntarily and consciously develop strain of mind and body which,
in my experience, will intensify eye floaters. In that case, floaters
would become something „good“ or even spiritually valuable.
Better Eyesight - The Complete Magazines of William H. Bates. (source).
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Bates. And since Bates is the father of many of today’s alternative or holistic visual schools, this doesn’t seem to be the case with these schools either. Generally, they adopt the traditional notion of floaters as a visual dysfunction. But like Bates, they don’t explain them in naturalistic optical terms, but in psychological or even spiritual terms. As a consequence, alternative visual teachers try to cure floaters with gentle, non-invasive methods like relaxation strategies, a cleansing eating regimen, meditation (!!) etc. – but in their view, this phenomenon is still something to be cured.
So yes, there’s been some recent progress in the Western reception history of floaters, but, IMHO, no breakthrough yet. And I don’t dare say we’re halfway, because that would mean another 2.000 years of bobbing up and down
Thank You, David, for your report!
Dear readers, do you have personal experiences with eye floaters or other entoptic phenomena? Or any suggestions what they could be? Send your hints, experiences and/or pictures to me, I am very interested.
Eye floaters and their meaning were interpreted differently depending on the time, culture and personality of the observer. We learn a spiritually meaningful perspective about floaters from Nestor, the seer, with whom I have studied and whose teachings I recorded in the book „Mouches volantes – Eye Floaters. The Shining Structure of Consciousness“. In this new category, a particular statement from the book on floaters shall be presented and explained.
From: Mouches Volantes – Eye Floaters. The Shining Structure of Consciousness, p. 176 et seq. (Source)
In one of our first conversations on floaters, Nestor already held a distinct and seemingly irrational view of these dots and strands. This interpretation lets him act in a way which is in stark conflict with the behavior of most other people. When people start to deal with their floaters, is is often because they want to get rid of them. Nestor on the contrary wants to see them. For him, they are the „basic structure of the picture“, something like a „higher reality“ which can be directly seen. Thus, eye floaters are holding the „picture“ (our sensorially experienceable world) together in the innermost part. Here, Nestor already mentions a central point of his teachings: eye floaters can’t be recognized as „higher reality“ without effort, it needs a visual change. That change takes place along with the „perfect restoration“ (consciousness development) and contains several aspects: the number of eye floaters will increase, as does their luminosity. In addition: this development needs time …
The category "Quarterly Picture" introduces realistic, artistic, and/or spiritual/religious representations from different cultures and times which could show entoptic phenomena, or be inspired by it. In this issue: Spiritual-Religious Art from Giovanni di Paolo.
Giovanni di Paolo: Expulsion from Paradise, 1445, wood, 45 x 52 cm.
In former times, everything was better – that’s what everybody knows. Former times even were paradisiacal, that’s what the Bible knows – and it could still be so today, if Adam and Eve had chosen their meals with a little more respect for the generations to come. Apparently, this was not „in“ back then either, and that’s why we have to carry the can for that faux pas by the sweat of our brow. No wonder, generations of artists tried to grasp that incomprehensibility through depicting, as did the Italian painter Giovanni di Paolo (1403 (?)-1482). His works, stylistically between Gothic and Renaissance, are considered mysterious and visionary. At least, this applies to the scene in „Expulsion from Paradise“: our ancestors have been caught red-handed and banished to the rock desert opening up in the middle of a polycyclic concentric circle. Now, a legion of theologians and historians will make clear that this circle represents the medieval geocentric world view: the Earth in the center, orbited by the sun, the moon, the five planets, the fixed stars, the „prime mover“, and the highest heaven, the empyrean. Visually, however, this nine-spherical „disc world“ has an effect of depth, and it is conceivable that the artist considered it a tunnel which connects our world with Paradise, and which, if found, will lead back there. Anyway, Nestor sees such connections in the floating dots and strands. He speaks of a „source“, a tunnel-like array of spheres in this shining structure, which we may find and enter in our lifetime. What expects us at the other end of the tunnel is uncertain, though, figured and described differently by each religion.
You will find this and other pictures in the gallery. Do you have drawings of eye floaters or other entoptic phenomena (flying corpuscles, afterimages etc.)? Do you know of realistic, artistic, and religious representations of such appearances? Then send me the picture or give me the tip; I would like to publish it in the newsletter and/or in the gallery.
Mouches Volantes – Eye Floaters 2: second book project started
The At the beginning of May, the second book project of Floco Tausin started. „Mouches Volantes – Eye Floaters. The Nine Lights“ – the anticipated title – picks up the thread of the predecessor. The central subject will be the „principle of the basic structure“ which was mentioned, but not explained, by Nestor in the first book. It turns out that this principle is a constellation of spheres which reveals itself to the seer in intensive consciousness states as a universal principle of being. Guided by the seers, Floco is trying to find that constellation of spheres in the left side of consciousness.
After the failed jump into the left side, Floco continues his efforts to overcome the „Bridge“ – in the basic structure as well as on Mari Egli’s secretaire which he tries to restorate „perfectly“. This time, he’s not the only one trying hard to reach that goal: Floco makes acquaintance with further students who look for the same basic constellation of spheres and, thus, for an answer to the existential questions of life. Everyone of these students has got an individual approach to cross the Bridge in the shinings structure – Floco is searching for the universal principle in the cultural and intellectual heritage of mankind. But the students recognize more and more that their further progress on the path in the basic structure is dependent on their acting together. The seers share their mystic and mysterious warmth and wisdom in many unconventional conversations and exceptional acts with the students and, thus, show them the way …
The date of the publication is not determined yet. The writing ideally will be completed within the next three years. But as always it means: the book will be published as soon as it’s done AND mature.
Publications by Floco Tausin
Find a complete list with all previous publications (monographs, anthologies, journals) on Website.