Panel Discussion on Refined (“Celestial”) Perception – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

The iconography and texts of most spiritual traditions depict and describe a realm of physical existence more subtle than ordinary sensory perception reveals. The most commonly portrayed phenomena are halos in paintings of saints. But in addition to this evidence of the human “subtle body”, the traditions are abundant with paintings and stories of subtle beings such angels, gods, devas, demons, etc.

Is this mere mythology or does it suggest that subtle perception is part of spiritual development? So far, the non-dual community has not discussed this at all. The New Age community has, but often in a fanciful way that the non-dual community has, perhaps wisely, chosen to eschew. Yet many who have had abiding awakenings that non-dual traditions predict and respect discover, in time, that subtle perception begins to dawn. They begin to perceive auras, angels, devas, and the like as routinely as most of us see other human beings.

This panel discussion assembled five such people:

Francis Bennett
Harri Aalto
Kristin Kirk
Ruffina Farrokh Anklesaria
Stan Kendz

All, with the exception of Ruffina, have been interviewed on BatGap. (She’ll be interviewed in August.) See alphabetical menu on right to find their interviews.

We discussed. what subtle or “celestial” perception is, its relevance to spiritual awakening, whether it is an inevitable development on the path, or a special aptitude like musical or athletic ability, the nature of our relationship with the beings which reside on subtler levels of creation. Do we and they support each other in some way? whether subtle perception should be intentionally cultivated or whether it will develop on its own if and when it is meant to. If it can be developed, what are the prerequisites to and stages of its development?

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