Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

An aspirant is usually helped by a Perfect Master through ordinary means, and the Master prefers to take him veiled along the spiritual path. But when there are specific indications, he may also use occult techniques to help the aspirant. Special types of dreams are among the common methods used for touching the deeper life of the aspirant. Masters have not infrequently first contacted aspirants by appearing in their dreams. Such dreams, however, have to be carefully distinguished from ordinary dreams.

In ordinary dreams the subtle body is active in exercising its functions of seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing; but the soul is not using the subtle body with full consciousness. As these experiences in ordinary dreams are received subconsciously, they are in most cases purely subjective, relating to physical activities and concerning the gross world, and are the creations of nascent sanskaras stored in the mind. In some cases, however, a dream that is indistinguishable from ordinary dreams may be the reflection of the subconscious of some objective experience of the subtle body and not merely a product of fancy.

Most dreams are purely subjective and subconscious experiences of the subtle body. They have no special spiritual significance, except that they can be occasions for forging new sanskaras or spending up old ones and that occasionally they shed light upon the hidden complexes and unfaced problems of one's personality. Such dreams can never include something that is not in some way a part of the past experience of the person. They allow scope for novelty only in respect to new combinations of items that have already appeared in past experience.

The rare types of dreams are those about persons and things unknown in this life but known in some past life or lives. Still more rare are the dreams of persons and things that have never appeared in this life or former lives but are going to appear in the future. Ordinary dreams are thus utterly different from dreams that have occult significance.

Very often, when the aspirant is undergoing psychic unfoldment, he has occasional mystic experiences of the subtle world in the form of significant visions, lights, colors, sounds, smells, or contacts. At first these experiences are fitful, and the aspirant is likely to treat them as hallucinations. But even when he treats them as hallucinations, he finds it impossible to resist their directive influence because of their intrinsic potency.

The spiritual journey, however, becomes more smooth if the aspirant learns to cultivate the right attitude toward occult experiences, which consists in taking them for what they are worth. This balanced attitude is just what the aspirant in the initial states finds difficult to maintain.


DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 180-181
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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