As we evolve beyond the acceptable and approved norms of our society and class, risking criticism, mockery and outright rejection every step of the way, we collect various wounds along the path, those slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and we learn to deflect the blows, even as we come to recognize the old wounds they reactivate.  We become careful as to what we say and to whom.  Many are uncomfortable with such maverick adventuring, suspecting that maybe bantering with ghosts, flying through the clouds and intimately connecting with the departed, is more injurious than beneficial to the soul and might even be dangerous to one’s stability and mental health.  Others will quote that biblical maxim about ‘testing the spirits that they be of god’, often with the insinuation that the entire enterprise is fraught with deception and sinfulness. 

This atmosphere of excessive caution conflicts with the actual courage and inner conviction that it takes to consciously explore the hidden depths of spirit and its many inhabitants.  And in doing so we are often poised between accepting the gifts of more elevated spirits and passing our own along to those more blighted by ignorance than ourselves, and so spiritual discernment soon becomes an active part of our skills. To say our intuition is constantly sharpened is no exaggeration.

     In polishing those skills, whether consciously in lucidity or unconsciously in snapshots of ‘dream’ recall the next day, we come to see our abilities as real and ready to be stretched beyond what we assumed was within our powers.  We acquire an insight into our perceived limitations, seeing the holes we plugged up with our doubts and just how they can be turned into opening doors.  And once through those doors another world of experience becomes viable.  Activities you thought the preserve of guides, teachers and the seemingly angelic move slowly towards a new norm.

      When not overwhelmed in astonishment with these new gifts one can sometimes slip into the unconscious superiority of spiritual pride.  One is more evolved than many one meets, one ‘gets’ the illusions they are operating under, one sees through their cherished personas – the self-pitying victim, the fearful braggart, the pious believer, the smooth operator, the angry resenter, the seductive temptress, the cool dude, – and one can tamper with their fantasies and create the change in consciousness one senses bubbling below the surface.  And in so doing one can feel ever so clever, something of a champion, the one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.  Even the epithet ‘in service to humanity’ can induce a shiver of pride.  The pride of the pious to be sure, but still pride.

      Such developments can create yet another persona for yourself, one that will require destruction later on, if one even sees it for what it is.  The best defense I have found is usually self-mocking chuckles, the kind one can share with friends after a drink or two.  You know, those apprentice mystics who see the mad glittery chaos of it all, the millions of souls all spoiling for some kind of struggle that will make sense of the multi-dimensional maze.  Those who wish to be chess players and not chess pieces.  And those who have given up trying to tell the difference.