Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Alternating Perception of Inner and Outer Realities
The way of leaving the body that I am least familiar with involves the subtle shift in attention away from the senses and concentration on some non-sensory image or state. The thing that distinguishes this from normal imagination is the uninterrupted or continuous nature of the inner experience and its clarity or three-dimensional quality. In this kind of spiritual travel, the experiencer can instantaneously shift back to the physical senses with no resistance or time required to regain normal waking sensory experience.
This kind of spiritual travel is perhaps a more advanced form since it allows for integration of inner and outer experience. Here the line between spiritual travel and normal waking experience becomes less firm. The shift between the two can take place anywhere. This is perhaps the least dramatic form of spiritual travel, but also the most useful for the purpose of bringing the knowledge of the inner world to the outer world.
This ability the shift back and forth between two completely separate existences, one in the body and one out of the body is sometimes called bilocation. I do not use bilocation to mean having two physical bodies as some authors do, but only to describe the ability to perceive two separate worlds.
- Bilocation at the end of a Spiritual Travel Experience
- This experience illustrates bilocation in the form of only partially returning to the body while mantaining an awareness of the inner world.
- Bilocation at the beginning of the Experience
- This experience shows the difficulty of discussing bilocation. It describes the contradictory feeling of being "in the body" while also being "not in the body".
We should note here that the Catholic Church has a different definition of bilocation. There is a long tradition of saints appearing at distant locations to transact church business, give teachings, or fulfill pledges or vows to others (such as being present to minister to them at the time of their death).
For instance Saint Catherine Del Ricci was the leader of a convent in Prato Italy. Though she had not left her nunnery, she appeared frequently to converse with Saint Philip Neri in Rome and such visitations were witnessed by others.
Similarly Venerable Mary of Agreda, a nun in a convent in Agreda, Spain appeared literally hundreds of times in New Mexico to give teachings to American Indians. She had had a vision where Jesus commanded her to carry Christian teachings to the native peoples in the New World. The Indians called her "the lady in blue" because she wore a blue mantle over her habit. At the Isleta mission in 1629 in New Mexico, Fray Benavides reported that 50 Indians had walked a long distance to the mission after being told about where to find it by the "lady in blue". The Indians had come to ask the friars at the mission to send missionaries to teach the tribe Christianity. When later the missionaries arrived at the tribe, they found them well instructed in Christianity. The Indians told them they had learned about it from a mysterious blue-clad nun.
There are dozens of similar stories that were investigated by the Church over the years and authenticated. However such events required saints to go into a trance and appear to others at a distance. Such objective verification by others however is not a requirement for the author's concept of bilocation.
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