Practices with Light – Pir Vilayat

Practices with Light – Pir Vilayat

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his morning we’re going to do practices with light. I’d like you to remember the sequence of the practices. I think these are amongst the most important ones that everybody could do every morning. As a matter of fact, when people are initiated in the Sufi Order, we say that you may find the purpose of your life—illumination. Now, illumination might mean two things; one is, of course, being full of light, being radiant, and the other is when a realization has been incubating for some time, and all of a sudden there’s a breakthrough, one caused at the moment of illumination.


I’d like to preface what we say and what we should be doing this morning by saying that we must know that … well, to put it in a simplistic way, the body radiates light, and can be measured. But what is much more interesting is that, if one … it suffices that one should concentrate on light, for one to radiate more light. Mind over body. That, of course, is very encouraging for us, because we cannot be accused, as in the early days, of hallucinating, drawing people into imaginary light, when in fact, it’s just purely, as they call it, imagination.


Of course, little do we realize that when we are perceiving objects, we think we are perceiving objects, but what we’re doing is … well, our retina is sensitive to the light that is transmitted or emitted or reflected or refracted by the object. So, in fact, and what is more, our retina is radiating light, so that, in fact, perception is communion between the light emitted by our being and the light emitted by the universe. And another remark that is maybe even more important, and that is, that the universe, the physical universe, started as radiation, and crystallized into what we call matter, which is … of course, light is also part of matter. And at the end of the cycle of this particular cosmos, matter will, electrons will, again be transformed into photons. There’s a continual shift from photons to electrons in the universe. And so with our body. After death, I said, electrons scatter in the universe, but what is more, there is a conversion of a large number of electrons into photons, and so, we continue to exist as a being of light. That’s perfectly true – scientifically.


Now, of course, the word light is used in a very special sense by physicists, and the early church fathers used the word “uncreated” light to describe light that I think physicists would not recognize as being light – cannot be measured – and it’s probably not what we understand by photons. And there’s a whole graduation until one gets to what the Sufis call “the light of pure intelligence.” So when we’re talking about light, in the realm of spirituality, we don’t want to simply reduce the aura to a phenomenon of light,  light, as we understand physical light.


And furthermore, I want to say that the human being exhibits at least three of the phenomena of light that you … that one finds in a number of organisms. One is what one finds in plants. That’s photosynthesis, the ability to draw light from the environment, and that light in the plants is used to power the whole machinery of metabolism. Then, few rishis, who I met very high up in the mountains, were able to do this … live entirely on light, for there was no food there. Years, and years, and years living entirely on their ability to process the light of the sun and use that for …  as an energy, a source of solar energy. We don’t have chlorophyll but we do have carotene in our hemoglobins of our blood and there’s a way in which we … In any case, we are certainly processing a certain amount of the light of the sun in the form of vitamin D, for example. Many other functions in the body are related to the radiation of light, of these frequencies, including cosmic rays, that we don’t know very much about.


Secondly, we activate the ability of the firefly or deep sea fish to phosphoresce. That is, the ability to transform matter into radiation, and that’s like burning the body very intensely, and some of the Tibetan yogis and, of course, Hindu yogis, learn how to work with what they call tummo, that is, enhance the temperature of the body, and then the temperature of the infrared is then transmuted into ultraviolet, all the frequency range of light. And that’s one of the practices that we’re going to do, and the other is florescence, which is what you find in a crystal. And some of you know perhaps, that the crystal does not simply reflect light, light of the sun or let the light pass through it, which means refract it, but … the electrons actually transmit light and emit light. And what that means is that the electrons absorb lights of a certain frequency by … they use that light as a sort of energy, to free themselves from their orbitals and start dancing. And then when they have spent all the energy that they were able to draw from the light and they fall back into their original orbitals again, and any extra energy is radiated as what they call florescence, is fluoresced. And so, in principle, you should be able to place a crystal in the light of the sun or expose it to a mercury vapor lamp, for example, and then snatch it into the dark, and it should be able … it depends upon the latency period, but it should … then it would radiate light for some time in the dark. You see? We have that ability too. As a matter of fact, according to Schwinger, the physical cells of the body have something of the nature of crystals, aphasic crystals. That means that they can change their frequencies, whereas minerals are locked in a certain frequency and they can’t change their frequency.


And the last thing I want to say is that we’ve been thinking in terms of, like, the body being the core … may have been the fundamental reality, and then the body radiates light, and so on, but it may well be the other way around. It may very well be that the body is simply a hard core within the body of light, and that, in fact, the electromagnetic field is formed … I mean, the physical body is formed within the electromagnetic field … electromagnetic field is formed within the aura … maybe the other way around, you see?


And one might envision also the aura as being … I think the word vortex is well applied here … as a vortex within the whole light field or the whole aura of the universe. That is, a formation within that larger aura, and which means that we can draw more and more of the life of the universe into our aura.


And I want to terminate by talking about the rishi who was in an ashram very close to that of Sivananda, from Rishikesh, and he was hundred and four years old. He used to do jogging every morning. He couldn’t walk, but he could run. And he was a muni … that means silent … and he just sat there and one could come and just look into his eyes. And you could come and you could sit there for hours, if you wanted, just looking into his eyes. And his eyes were, just like, sparkling. They were just like … it was just like looking into a heaven. And one would come out of that totally transformed, and walking on air, and … I mean, what more does one want?


Now, he had, of course, practiced all his life working a lot with light, and they often start by simply the practice of what is called Ekagrata, which is concentrating on one point, for example, the nail in the wall. Well, should you do that, you’d find that it gives, of course, a lot of focus to the light of the eyes, and see the eyes are … one can do the same thing … of course the Zen masters do the same thing, looking at a vase, for example, for half an hour or longer, of course. Now the eyes are programmed in such a way as to pick up a moving object. So, for example, a falcon is able to check on the motion of a little mouse at tremendous altitude, whereas maybe we don’t know just to what extent the falcon is able to apprise the details of objects that are not moving, but objects that are moving, it does. Now, when the objects are stationary, then we move our eyes. If you’re looking at a vase, for example, we move our eyes on different areas of the vase. But supposing that we did not move our eyes, and just kept on encompassing the whole vase in its wholeness. Then all of a sudden, the vase seemed to stand out in comparison to the rest of the environment, with a realness about it, which one has no idea about, unless one would do it, and see what that … really … what happens. It’s quite miraculous.


Now supposing that instead of just concentrating on a nail, one should produce one’s own point of light and concentrate on that point of light. And so that’s the method that I advocate myself.


What I mean is, of all the parts of the body, the nerves, of course, are the ones that emit the most light. And among … and you know, the retina of the eyes is an extension of the brain. Alright, so now we’ll start our practices.


Yes, I want to say one more thing, and that is, I often say that in order to become what you are, you have to discover yourself in another yourself, who is, perhaps, more able to manifest what you are than yourself. And so I find that in order to become aware of one’s aura, it is good to expose oneself to a bright light. A lot of people protect themselves against a bright light, like the light of the headlamps of a car, whereas, one gets to a point when one enjoys being exposed to the headlamps of a car. I do. Or the TV lights, in the TV room. I mean broadcasting station. And there’s a saying of Plotinus who said … says, to look into the sun, you have to have eyes like the sun. We, sometimes in our camps, we do a practice, which you can do today. And that’s looking into the sun at dawn. And for a few, let’s say, an hour after dawn, for during that period. Now the rishis who look into the sun the whole day, in the high mountains, normally … in case of most people, the retina would be burnt within a few, even a few, seconds, looking into the sun. So, the method that we use is to protect the eyes, and by forming a kind of … we call it a filter. It’s really a frame that you, with your hands, you make a kind of frame and then you circumambulate the sun, so that you never expose the center of your retina to the light of the sun. Or then you make .. .you motion like crosswise across the sun, so that the eyes are only exposed to the sun during a very short time, during the sweep of your head across the sun. Left-right and then right-left and then up-down, down-up. Now, the fact is that, of course, as I say, that one can develop a lot of power into looking, fixing, the sun for hours and hours and hours. How on earth is it possible, since, as I say, normally the retina would be burnt, totally scorched? Well the answer is in those words of Plotinus. You see, if you yourself radiate a lot of light towards the sun, then you are immune from the scalding, or the scorching of the sun, and so you are able to look into the sun. But of course, if you lose your concentration then, of course, you’ve lost it, and it’s very dangerous.


You see we are aware of the … we think of, for example, the amount of thousands of light years that light might take to reach us from a star. But we realize that the light that we radiate from our eyes also hits the star, and maybe in a hundred thousand light years from now, the light that we … by looking at the star the light that we thrust upon the star may reach that star a hundred thousand light years from now when … or may not reach the star, because by that time, the star may have dissolved. A hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second! That’s the speed of light. So it takes eight minutes for the light of our eyes to reach the sun.


So I would like us … what I suggest, then, is that we start by consciously drawing … let’s say, converging, the light of the universe into the vortex, let’s say, of our being as we inhale. And consciously radiating the light of our aura, that has been enhanced by the light that we have converged from the universe, as we exhale. And I dare say that if one is consciously … if one is conscious of drawing light into, let’s say, towards the axis of the vortex one … and you may notice that one tends to open up the pores of one’s skin. There’s more to it than that, because that’s just the feeling one gets, in fact, one can have a kind of goose flesh, rather like you feel when you’re sunbathing, possibly. Then … but it’s deeper than that. In fact, the sun blazes trails within our flesh, nervous system, within the cells of the body, and the cells of the body themselves act like crystals, in that they draw the light of the sun. They use that light in order to start, let’s say, the electrons start dancing. So if you could experience, if we could experience, like, the dance of ourselves, of the electrons within ourselves, as we become receptive to the light of the universe, and you don’t have to sit in the sun for that. Light, even in the dark, there’s cosmic rays,  light of very high frequency that is reaching one, crosses … it breaks through the walls. In fact, the whole universe is a network of light of different frequencies. Wave interference pattern is a more correct word. And instead of thinking that you’re drawing light into your body, that’s one thing, it’s true, that the body is reacting to this light and energized by it, but you may think of yourself as being an aura. That means a vortex of light, which is fluctuating as you exhale and inhale, or you inhale and exhale.


So, the forces of light build up as one inhales. So, the aura burns more brightly, and, as I said, the cells themselves burn more brightly. Then, as you exhale, as we exhale, that we may consciously radiate light, which is not the same thing as radioactive decay. I mean, the fact is that the body is continually dissolving in the environment. That’s called bio plasma. In fact, the heat of the body is a result of the decay of the cells. It’s entropy, and heat is released. But, what I’m saying is that instead of simply just letting go to the process of dissolution as one exhales, one is consciously radiating light. So, one is processing the light of the universe and something is gained by it. There’s a plus for the universe in the radiation that we emit, and it’s possible that, it should be true to say that there are certain plants which thrive in our radiation. That we contribute towards the radiation of the universe, by processing it.


Now remember, this light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles a second, and consequently, in a sense, one could say that when you approach the speed of light like that, that you can…you’re simultaneously in all corners of the world at the same time. And should you, at that particular moment, as you’re exhaling, concentrate on a person who is ill, for example, the effect of mind on body has the effect of giving them an extra … an extra dose of energy.


Remember those words of Buddha: “With a thought of love I want to contemplate the world, and may this love extend to it’s four horizons. And then, with the thought of love increasing beyond measure let me encompass the whole world up to its confines.” And then it goes on with compassion and then joy and peace. Well, one could add light. With the thought of light, let me contemplate the world, and may this light increase beyond measure and then, with the light reaching to the four horizons, let me encompass the whole universe up to its confines.


Maybe the term to “radiate” is not quite correct. Maybe one could say that one is extending oneself. The radiation IS oneself. So one is … it’s a gift of light to the universe. One is reaching out into the universe as a being of light, as one exhales.


Now we could work with the, let’s call it the vertical access, axis, with (sorry), the conversion of infrared into the visible spectrum and also ultraviolet–that’s the practice of tummo. So, as you exhale, you could concentrate very intensely on the bottom of the spine, Muladhara Chakra. And then, as you inhale, transfer your attention from one chakra to the next along the spine. That is first … and represent the color of each chakra. This is a classical method. So the Manipura … the Svadhistana, the second chakra, is more like a kind of a vermilion, I suppose. Pink. And then the Manipura, which is the Solar Plexus, is an orange, and then the Anahata Chakra which is the heart chakra is a golden hue. And then, the throat center is green, and then you get into the blue of the physical eyes, and the violet of your third eye, the Ajana Chakra. And then you get into kind of a colorless light at the top of the crown center, which is the Sahasrara. It’s like the lotus of a thousand petals, or a million petals. Although it’s colorless light, there are reflections in it of the various hues in the light spectrum and they’re like a rainbow.


So you’re starting with the infra red with its heat effect and you’re moving to the ultraviolet which is of course, very high frequency. And by the power of mind over body, one is transmuting the rather grosser energy of heat into that very fine form of energy, which is high frequency light.


I advise you to hold your breath at the end of the upward sweep as you reach the crown center, and turn your eyeballs upwards. And also press the … curl your tongue upwards and press the bottom of the tongue against the palate. And then relax, of course, the tongue and also the eyeballs as you exhale. As you exhale you have to thrust all the energy of your magnetic field into the bottom of the spine.


We’re talking about the electromagnetic field of the body, and the bottom of the spine is where the electromagnetic field of the body meets the electromagnetic field of the earth. At least that’s the point, a very important point of junction. And of course, why it’s much more powerful if one is sitting on the actual earth. And so you should feel the temperature in your body. You could perhaps even increase the temperature of your body as you exhale. There’s also a tensing of the muscles of the whole body.


Imagine the color red, a hot braze … brazier, hot to cold. Keep on exhaling. So, this is the scorch effect that is, actually has, burnt the Shroud of Turin of Jesus. The scorch effect—extreme temperature. At the exhaling, the energy of the body is transmuted into infrared radiation.


Now, as you move up, I mean, you transfer your attention up the spine, your representation of the colors will adjust the frequency of your … the light that you emit, and you may experience coolness, a cooling off from that terrible heat, until you reach the immaculate landscape of the soul, and the snow and ice as you reach the higher chakras, particularly the crown center—pure spirit.


It’s all energy but it’s … this is … it’s like high voltage, low wattage as compared with high wattage, low voltage.


Of course what we like to do is to, as you hold your breath, remember your condition, prior to the birth of the body, as a being of light. And this is maybe what we mean by uncreated light. But, as I say, it’s … one does not want to apply to this very high realization the limitation of one’s concept of oneself as being an entity. So, maybe the concept of being a vortex of light is helpful to avoid going into an ego trip.


So, being a being of light is not tantamount to being an aura of light. The aura is a formation with a definite structure. I mean, it’s not a … it doesn’t have an outline, borderline, profile. But still, let’s say, a kind of organization, even differences of frequencies and some of the light is centrifugal and others is more like concentric radiation. So, being a being of light, when one means by that uncreated light, does not have any structure. It is not located in space, and maybe not subjected to time – to the arrow of time. So what I’d like you to do is just to, for the moment, just for a moment, to radiate intensely, irrespective of inhaling or exhaling and enjoy the ecstasy of light, and at the same time be conscious of being a being of light beyond that formation that is the aura.


Now you may notice the very intense radiation of the heart. It appears to be like the pole of the whole aura, the center of the aura, the heart. And it’s like … it’s rather like the sun. We … I remember describing it as golden. And so, you’ll find it, if one concentrates very intensely on the heart chakra, and, at the same time, on the radiation around the shoulders. One is burning very intensely.


And now I’d like to draw your attention to the crown center, which is above the skull. It has it’s center within the brain, but most of the radiation is above the skull. In one sense it’s a little bit different from the radiation of the heart, in that it appears rather like a fountain of light that is rising and some of the…in the center of the fountain, light reaches much higher than on the sides. But you find that the more you go into it, the more you realize that there’s no … it doesn’t … there’s no borderline to it, there’s no limit to the reach of light in the crown center, and it fuses eventually with the aura of the whole … of the planet, and eventually of the whole universe.


Now one can use that kind of ascending light, as the Sufis describe it, as a lift to propulse one, or propel one, catapult one, right up into … I say up, but I think we should think in terms of different universes of different degrees of subtlety with one within other, like Chinese boxes. And so one is reaching into other universes of light, and then the physical universe that is familiar to one, that are … that interpenetrate the present universe, and intermesh with it. That’s where you find it useful to turn your eyeballs upwards.


Okay now, what we want to do is this, as we exhale, I try to thread all that light energy down, by focusing it, first of all like a beam of light the descends into the … actually, into the pineal gland, and then is refracted forward into what is called the third eye. Now, much of the light is also threaded into the optic nerves. So, I’d say perhaps … you see, there are two things, there’s the light of the … that is thrust upon the environment by the third eye, and there’s a light that is thrust upon the environment by the physical eyes. I think it’s simpler to … I would consider the physical eyes as the rails upon which that locomotive, which is the third eye, moves … gives it at least some direction, although the light of the third eye, like, rather like the lightning, the energy of lightning, will never brook of any limitation. So, for the moment I would simply concentrate all your energy upon the beams of light cast forward by your eyes, forward into space just like the headlamps of a car, and then you put all your energy into it.


Now rather than concentrating on a nail, you could converge those two beams upon a point, say, about six feet ahead of you, and then those two beams of light … imagine two laser beams…would, as they meet, they would form a spotlight, suspended in the middle of the dark. Now, if that spotlight is unstable and, of course, it means that you’re … you don’t have very much concentration. So, you should work on this practice, to get it, that point, absolutely stationary. The second thing is, of course, if the spot is not very bright and you are not using a lot of light, you’re not, let’s say, processing a lot of light. So I would, as I say, place all your energy into making that spark of light, very, very bright, and hold it in one place, and be very conscious of the extension of your eyes, of the optical nerve, as a matter of fact, forward into space. I mean the light traveling along your optic nerve is cast forward into space.


In fact, when you’re doing, working, with the astral body, the astral hand extends beyond the physical hand. And you have to place, you have to kind of … how can I say … transfer your being into that beam of light, into those beams of light, and ultimately into that spotlight. So you are more there, let’s say, then in your body, somehow. And this, you will notice, if you displace this point a little bit forward as you exhale, like, now it could be 12 feet instead of six feet, or it could be even a hundred feet, or even way out into space. Now you’ll notice that as you displace this point of light, you get a kind of vertigo. It is as though you’re being pulled out of your body by the lure of this point of light, because, as I say, you’re building it out of your own energy field, and so it’s your … it’s part of yourself. And so, a part of yourself is moving forward, and has a kind of way of drawing you into that place.


Now, as you inhale, reverse. Turn your eyeballs upwards and get into that fountain of light at the top the head, and reach right up and hold your breath, and once more experience yourself as a being of light. It’s … in one sense, it’s like remembering having been a being of light before one had a body, but it’s also … one is still a being of light now.


Okay, now what I suggest is that as you exhale, forming the spotlight of light, you open your eyes, and do not allow your eyes to be forced into focus by the objects in the room. So, you cast light forward into the room and beyond the room, through the wall, and so on. Ultraviolet light will go through the wall, of course. And if you’re moving to start focusing on the objects then, of course, you’ve lost your concentration. So close your eyes, turn your eyeballs upwards. Inhale. Envision yourself as a being of light. And exhale now, with the eyes open, and don’t let yourself be forced into focus by the objects.


The objects will seem like a blur, and, I would say, concentrate on the third eye, which will help you to keep your … on the beam of the third eye, which will help you to avoid allowing your physical eyes to get into focus. Now, when I say your third eye, it is really the Divine Light descending, as the Sufis call it, being … how can I say… threaded into a particular channel. So, one must not think that it is one’s own glance. That would … that is the danger of … one goes into a real ego trip, hypnotic … develops a kind of hypnotic gaze. It’s … the only way to do these practices, really, is to become pure spirit. And we don’t want to develop occult powers, or hypnotic gaze, or try to influence people by one’s glance, or anything like that. You see, one has to be very careful about that, and the only way to avoid it, is to return, as Jesus said, to the innocence of a child.


Now one would really have to purify oneself before one had access into these practices. These are very advanced practices, but our way is the way of selfless dedication to the divine service. And that’s why, much as some of you might think it’s rather naive to concentrate on the angel … angelic worlds … but, it is a guarantee against the Luciferian tendency in the human being, to want to impose his will by using occult forces.


In fact, the great beings have the simplicity of a child, and, at the same time, the wisdom of a sage, of a mature person. That’s why, in actually working with light, one should also work with pure spirit. That’s a concept that is, of course, very difficult to grasp.


Let us think of the story of St. Seraphim, who was a hermit, living in the forest. Hesychast, and he used to shun humans, so when people used to come to see him, he used to hide behind the trees. But he loved children, so when … so what they used to do …they used to send children. Then he would come out of… from behind the tree, and then the grown ups used to come. And someone said to him, St. Seraphim, could you tell me, what is the Spirit? They’re talking about it in the church, but what does it mean – Holy Spirit? And he dropped his hatchet and he took the man by the shoulders and shook him. And he said, there was so much light coming out, coming through his eyes, and then he realized what was the spirit. You see, it’s like … it’s not in the mind. It’s a real experience of a being who had become pure spirit. And so, there’s some link, you see, being pure spirit, and one can begin to radiate a lot of light. But if you don’t, then you can radiate light, but it becomes Luciferian light, which is, as I say, an occult phenomenon. Just what we want to avoid.


That means that one has to become absolutely selfless. That’s really it. So all that we did about, you know, getting over our anger, and our despondency and guilt, and so on, is absolutely essential, as a preparation to doing these practices with light.

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