V

Knowing vs. Psychic Knowing


In the essay entitled The Way, there exists a diagram that attempts to sum up many of the more important stages of a possible path to enlightenment, or as this study of patterns calls it engrayment (see Be Gray Every Day elsewhere on this site). At the very top of that diagram is a representation of The Three Unities, mentioned elsewhere on this site. I drew the "Way" diagram vertically to appease those who want to think that The Absentia is the most exalted of those three unities - the most exalted state of consciousness we could ever hope to achieve (even though it remains theoretically unobtainable by any human means). But, as stated in that essay, I don't view any realm of consciousness as any more exalted than another. To me they all work together - or should (see Stuck in the Mudaphor or Dreams and Dreaming, elsewhere on this site).

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Levels of Consciousness

Below is another diagram, showing just the top portion of the "Way" diagram presented in the essay The Way. This time it is drawn horizontally - i.e. rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise... and drawn with triangles, rather than squares. By viewing the "Way" diagram this way, we can more easily observe, and more intelligently map out the idea of consciousness working across multiple levels as our minds attempt to make sense of our world.

Consciousness Chart

There is Knowing, and then there's Psychic Knowing. For common Human Knowing to become uncommon super-human Knowing, Human Knowing needs to achieve absolute, perfect, impossible symmetry of consciousness. It needs to draw the grey dot of the the gray triangle across a threshold of impossibility, to where it meets the gray dot of the MidConscious mind attempting perfect symmetry of thought.

In this diagram, Human Knowing progresses vertically... Psychic Knowing progresses horizontally. Or... if this diagram is rotated 90 degrees clockwise and returned to the vertically oriented "Way" diagram, Human Knowing progresses horizontally... while Psychic Knowing progresses vertically... to the most exalted realm of paradox and Absentia!

A= The Absentia (projecting into the mortal world)


In this diagram, we consider the possibility of three forms of consciousness working together: Conscious, MidConscious and UnConscious... with Psychic Knowing {PSI} being considered as an impossible fourth SuperConscious, or... perhaps, something beyond human consciousness alltogether. In describing three levels of consciousness, the MidConscious represents an in between state of consciousness - a threshold between what we know of our waking life, and what is hidden beneath, in the dark and mysterious realm of our unconscious. In this schema, communication takes place in both directions: our Conscious minds reach down into the depths of our UnConscious with imagination, and our UnConscious bubbles up to our Conscious through dreams that turn into notions that turn into thoughts, thus allowing our Conscious minds to analyze dreams and express imagination into the world of other waking individuals (see Dreams and Dreaming elsewhere on this site). In this way, our Conscious and UnConscious Self talk to each other through the auspices of the MidConscious... the MidConscious being a level of consciousness our Conscious minds can reach... before passing into the world of the unknown. In this way, the MidConscious is seen as a translator, or liaison between sides of our Self that might otherwise never be introduced, and otherwise not be known to exist (a goal of psychotherapy). Thus, as living individuals awake and alive in the world, we represent a certain degree of human asymmetry - working mostly off the Conscious to MidConscious half of this Consciousness diagram. Beyond the MidConscious, things become "unknown" to a Conscious mind. While, beyond all three levels of consciousness, things become "unknowable" to all levels of consciousness... except... possibly, to those with psychic abilities.

The DARK side of consciousness represents the infinite continuum of space (alchemistic Solve). The LIGHT side represents the individual forms of consciousness and manifestation that breach that continuum with form and presence (alchemistic Coagula). As things that exists in a form separate from other forms, we are most familiar with the LIGHT side of this life and death spectrum - we are beings of light, existing. It is always consciousness throughout, but ultimately we find that our human perceptions begin to fail us, the further into the dark realm of infinity we push them (see the concept of Diminishing Returns elsewhere on this site). In addition to comprehensibility, our individuality also diminishes, the further into the realm of UnConsciousness we go (see The Accordionistic Dovetail Joint elsewhere on this site).

Consciousness Dovetail Chart

By combining the Consciousness diagram with The Accordionistic Dovetail Joint diagram, we illustrate the interdependent dynamics of the relationship between The Conscious, The MidConscious and The UnConscious. In this diagram, those who can extend themselves across the widest vertical swath, to pull the farthest reaches of the UnConscious into an equal awareness of Consciousness, are the most Knowledgeable.

Dictionary definitions of Intuition suggest a one sided encounter with ineffable Truths that is direct. Instinct is defined as innate ability impelled from within. The definition being described here suggsets that intuition is not just a direct encounter with ineffable Truth, but also an equally immediate and instinctual interpretation of the meaning of that encounter. Lots of people have encounters with ineffable Truth, but don't know what it means. Thus Knowing comes from direct encounter AND immediate interpretation... pulling from BOTH sides, which results in "knowing."

To explore this relationship in greater detail, consult the essay The Accordionistic Dovetail Joint elsewhere in this site.


In the dark we are all the same. In the light we are all different. As proposed in numerous locations throughout this site... it is all one reality, just viewed as a whole or in parts. Thus, the MidConscious becomes an important pivotal point in our understanding of consciouness, as it attempts to bring extremes together in a harmonious balance of thought, described by many as "Knowing."

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Intuition, Instinct and Knowing

There are a lot of people in the world who typically work off the Conscious extreme of the Consciousness "Way" diagram shown above. Things like psychotherapy attempt to introduce those people to their UnConscious Self by having them explore the knowable expressions of the MidConscious in behavior and expression. Many tarot enthusiasts will use the symbolic imagery of a tarot card to stimulate this kind of activity and exploration of the MidConscious and the UnConscious beneath. Others use dream analysis for this purpose. Unfortunately, the methods of many tarot enthusiasts include a swing of the pendulum of extremes so far into the UnConscious as to create an unenlightened extreme that is comparable to that of the Conscious extreme they leave behind (see Stuck in the Mudaphor and Imagine a Reason to Believe elsewhere on this site). In many instances, people are taught to not only let go of the Conscious realm, but to despise it for how it afflicts them, and blocks them in their pursuit of enlightenment. But is it really enlightenment, to completely abandon and vilify our Conscious Self and live exclusively in the realm of the UnConscious?

For someone coming from a world dominated by The Conscious realm of logical, analytical reality, explorations into the realm of The UnConscious can be fascinating, and sometimes quite overwhelming. Having discovered a completely new way of thinking, many become so enamoured with dreams, symbolism and the ambiguous ways of mystery, that they never want to go back, and thus don't need much convincing when it comes to vilifying their former ways of thinking. Likewise, others, who were born and raised thinking symbolically, exploring dreams and the ambiguous ways of mystery, often view the logical, analytical ways of The Conscious as stifling to the creativity for which they are known. Because of this, many choose to congregate exclusively as far into the UnConscious realm as they can, reacting with hostility toward any intrusions that might ever threaten to pull them into the world of The Conscious. Is that really healthy?

Many view their UnConscious ways of thinking as being more intuitive than any Conscious method of thinking. Intuition is how many people claim to "know" the unknown and unknowable things of our universe. This is an important concept for those attempting to "know" something unknown about themselves, or another person, while using a deck of tarot cards. But... science has shown that people are most effective when they use BOTH sides of their brain - both the antilytical/conscious - the side that sees things as parts, AND the synthetical/unconscious - the side that sees things as a whole. In the Consciousness part of the "Way" diagram (illustrated above, using triangles), we see this idea clearly mapped out. Except... in this mapping of consciousness, The MidConscious is where we find the idea of "Knowing." In this map, The MidConscious is an in between point that is uniquely shared by both sides of our consciousness. As mentioned already, it is a translator or liaison between such things as... the ambiguity of symbolism, and the certainty of signs. As mentioned in the essay Content + Context = Meaning, a sign and a symbol are the same thing, it being only our perceptions that change one into the other to suit our particular needs at any given moment in time. Thus we see how our MidConscious negotiates this transition, or translation, allowing a multivalent symbol to take on a specific meaning, and thereby produce a degree of "knowing" for which there was previously an incomplete degree.

When people are troubled, they don't look up to the heavens and wish for "a symbol from God." No... they ask for "a sign from God." A sign tells us something specific. A symbol keeps us guessing about multiple possibilities (see The Keys to Understanding elsewhere on this site). When asking for a sign from God, we might only get a symbol anyway, but it is only when our MidConscious brings together what we know with what we don't know that one of those symbolic possibilities passes through the MidConscious level to become a sign of "knowing." Until our Conscious mind draws up a possibility from the multitudes below, possibilities remain just that - possibilities, with no certainty... hence no "knowing" of anything, only the "knowing" of nothing. Isolated in the realm of the UnConscious, a symbol will remain forever multivalent - a moving target, until it is either drawn up and used by the Conscious mind, or bubbles up on its own as spontaneous expressions of the SubConscious, MidConscious and PreConscious through things like The Arts. Likewise, any sign can be tossed back into the ocean of ambiguity to re-emerge another day to mean something else at a later date, to another person. The point being, how ambiguity that remains forever ambiguous does not produce "knowing" any more than the antilytical focusing on parts with no acknowledgment of gestalt. The parts have to come together, and the whole must be dissected - Solve et Coagula. Our MidConscious is where we see the two working together harmoniously, rather than competing for dominance.

It's not "knowing" until it is experienced by both sides of consciousness - the LIGHT and the DARK, the Conscious and the UnConscious, the analytical/parts and the synthetical/whole. It's about MASTERY of opposites, not the hostile exclusion of one half of our Self for another. In the complete diagram of "The Way" found in the essay The Way, the Quintagrams of the All Things Are Numbers approach to tarot trace a path from the Unity of the Self, through the multiple dualities of life that make up the segmented tapestry of living. To experience how these dualities might produce a sign from God, try exploring the Shake the Trees game, or the Dream Analysis Calculator found elsewhere on this site.

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Psychic Knowing

By traversing vertically across the Consciousness part of the "Way" diagram illustrated above, we describe the dynamics of ordinary Human Knowing. Extra-ordinary, paranormal Psychic Knowing, however, (something that is also of great interest and importance to tarot enthusiasts) would be where we don't just see The Conscious and The UnConscious working together harmoniously, but see them impossibly and paradoxically fused as one. In other words: There is Knowing, and then there's Psychic Knowing. Most people are only familiar with common, Human Knowing and how it helps them make educated, resourceful, gut-feeling, instinctual or intuitional guesses about the unknown, as the unknown bubbles up, or is drawn up, to gradually become translated into the known through the MidConscious. Unfortunately, in the course of learning how to be more instinctive and/or intuitive, many confuse common Human Knowing with uncommon, super-human, paranormal Psychic Knowing... which is typically known less for its gut-feeling guesswork of things unknown, and instead, is know more for its abundance of absolute knowing of things considered unknowable or impossible to know.

Instinct and Intuition can make the knowably unknown known. Psychic Knowing makes the seemingly impossible seemingly possible. There is a big difference. Thus we can see from the diagrams above, for common Human Knowing to become uncommon, paranormal, super-human Psychic Knowing, Human Knowing would need to achieve absolute, perfect, impossible symmetry of consciousness (see Be Gray Every Day elsewhere on this site). It would need to draw the gray of The Absentia across a "threshold of impossibility," to where it would meet the gray of the MidConscious mind attempting perfect symmetry of thought. This is a form of Knowing that is much less common than that of ordinary Human Knowing. Thus we see how, in the Consciousness diagram above, Human Knowing progresses vertically... while Psychic Knowing progresses horizontally. Rotate that diagram back 90 degrees clockwise, and return it to its exalted place at the top of the "Way" diagram in the essay The Way, and we illustrate how Psychic Knowing passes from what many would consider the most exalted state of SuperConsciouness... or something beyond consciousness, down, to our mundane acts of Human Knowing.

This idea of Psychic Knowing being paranormal, extra-sensory and super-human, or impossibly beyond anything human, fits well with the idea given in the explanation of The Way, and how the only way to become Divine is to stop being so Human. Thus by mapping consciousness onto the same path, we see how Psychic Knowing transcends ordinary Human Knowing to reach into the realm of the impossible, and the perfect. The question is whether making this traverse can be learned, or whether it is a congenital condition that cannot be learned. Certainly, the spectrum of possibilities that exist between The Conscious and The UnConscious would suggest that the specificity and accuracy of some Human Knowing would be due to the closeness one achieves to this super-human paranormal connection between the possible and the impossible. But can anyone really get there, or can we only get close? Might that connection be reserved exclusively for the omnicience of a Supreme Being, a Super Consciousness... a God? I dunno!

We can make some pretty amazing and accurate guesses about things unknown, with ordinary Human Knowing. And, using a tarot deck to open the pathway between the Conscious and UnConscious realms, shown in the "Way" diagram, can help with making those guesses. But to really and truly "know" with the utmost clarity, specificity, and consistency, a different kind of "traverse of consciousness" is required - a traverse between the impossible and possible. Is this really possible? I dunno! My best guess as to how it all works stands as given here. If you are a psychic, and have a better explanation, send it along. For now, this one fits well with many other ideas put forth elsewhere on this site about the nature of consciousness.

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The Other Self

Anyone who has never been to "the other side" of their Self, should make an effort to get there. I highly recommend it (see The Binary Buddy elsewhere on this site). But once there, they should NOT completely foresake the side they left behind, and look for ways to shut it out forever. Being stuck in either side is not healthy (see Stuck in the Mudaphor elsewhere in this site). Each side of our Self has a purpose, and there are good reasons to shut out one side for another when performing certain mental tasks... or to reach certain levels of experience. But, without balance, what is experienced by forsaking our other side, leads to erroneous forms of thought that can mislead. For one side or another to claim that it has "the answer," without the need for the other, is misguided. One sided answers are NOT complete, and misrepresent nature and reality.

Some suggest that "knowing" (whether psychic or otherwise) comes from leaving our thinking minds behind and immersing ourselves in the realm of feelings and emotions - where we are less straightforward and more subtle, and stop examining parts, and begin seeing the whole. There is some truth to this. And as stated above, I would highly recommend to anyone who has not so immersed themselves in this side of the Self to by all means do so. But... I would also advise them to be very careful to not allow the seduction of mental freedom, found on our less straightforward side, to overtake the psyche to a point of hating the former Self. Instead... I would advise that they explore the emotional, subtle side, get to know it, master it, and then... introduce it to the thinking, straightforward side, so that they can both shake hands and work together in the future.


Consciousness Bar Chart

Reckoning alone produces knowledge of parts. Imagining alone produces sensations of a whole. Reckoning that dips into Imagining produces "knowing." Imagining that employs Reckoning produces "knowing." When the verbal can't visualize and visual can't verbalize "knowing" is incomplete. Some avoid criticism of their incomplete "knowing" by keeping their bias private, allowing them to believe with faith, anything they want. Others, with an interest in contributing to a public awareness of a socially constructed reality, will offer their "knowing" up for public scrutiny.

People with an interest in blending the facts of science with notions of spirituality know how to pull equally from both sides of consciousness to make great leaps of "knowing." People who are stuck to one side or another will often find themselves at odds with those from their opposite side.

However far one pushes in one direction, they should also push equally far into the other direction, otherwise, understanding is not complete.


Above is a variation of the Consciousness diagram described at the beginning of this essay. It is meant to suggest a preference for balance in thought and perception. Like the smallest quanta of existence, there is a Particle Nature and a Wave Nature to everything. It is impossible to only be one. But when it comes to personal perspectives about nature and reality, many un-naturally lock themselves into one form of thought or another. As they are brought up in school, the Aesthetic gravitate to art class and fear the math class where they will be shown to be inadequate, and the Practical gravitate the the math class and fear the art class where they will be shown to be inadequate. As a result, each will end up "functionally illiterate" in the ways of the other. Those who avoid this dilemma, and can craft aesthetically as well as they think practically, are rare.

Even more rare are those who can achieve such balance as to transcend to a level that is truly psychic, on a paranormal level. Thus, this diagram suggests that things like "knowing" are not born exclusively of the UnConscious side, but are the product of a mind that ventures EQUALLY far into both realms with EQUAL measure. Knowing is not just about going into the UnConscious, it is about the magic that results when the UnConscious speaks to the Conscious, and the Conscious speaks back, and they both understand each other. When the aesthetic forms of imagination are seen to correlate with the practical function of things there is a marriage of sides that leads to "knowing" that transcends the ordinary. We can imagine all kinds of impractical things. We can engineer all kinds of uninspired uglyness. But when the Aesthetic and the Practical are in complete harmony, it is magical. This only happens when the Reckoning mind and the Imagining mind work together (see The Vortex of Knowing).

Lots of people have had dreams about flying. The ones who think that dreams are all they need, or do more dreaming than reckoning, are the ones who build flimsy prototypes that don't acknowledge the limitations of reality and fall apart in an instant, hurling the dreamer to her death at the bottom of a cliff, where the only flight she will ever know is in her now permanent dreams. The ones who have gotten the rest of us to the realized dream of flying are the ones who have managed to make their dreams and their reckoning work together. Yes, we have to stretch the imagination to dream that flight could be possible. Then, we need to sober up and build something that actually works amid the tangible reality of manifest things in a real world. Otherwise, the dream remains just a dream. So... however far one pushes in one direction, they should also push equally far into the other direction, otherwise, understanding is not complete, and will only appeal to people with the same lopsided bias.

Lots of tarot enthusiasts describe our Practical side as a kind of "boogieman" that stands at the ready to limit our imagination whenever and wherever possible. We are instructed to push this boogieman aside, to show him the door, to kick him to the curb, if we are ever to have any hope of understanding the symbolism of tarot. As a replacement, we are told to delve exclusively into our imaginative side as far as we can possibly go. As stated above, this is good advice. In addition to understanding the ambiguity of symbols, people with unbridled imagination feel empowered. And the more absolute they can make their thinking toward the imaginal side, the more empowered they feel. Unfortunately, as absolute power corrupts absolutely, it is all too often that we see a certain tyranny over the rational begining to develop in the minds of the more enthusiastic - or zealous. Because of this, their other practical side often ends up banished into exile forever. What their empowered state thinks is "knowing" now becomes any delusional thought that pleases their aesthetic bias and makes them feel empowered. People want what they want, and the empowerment that is found by locking exclusively into the aesthetic, imaginal side, where there are no limits, gets people whatever they want. But is EVERYTHING they believe really "knowing?" Is EVERYTHING they believe to be believed? (see Imagine a Reason to Believe elsewhere on this site). This Consciousness diagram, or mapping of consciousness, suggests that thoughts that can't even survive the scrutiny of one's own Self do not constitute true "knowing."

Suggestive, impressionistic, imaginal notions that can't even survive the scrutiny of one's own Self do not constitute true "knowing." Likewise, analytical, logical, practical reckoning over parts, without any synthesis or gestalt of relationships is not true "knowing." It is only when these opposites sides find common ground that true "knowing" occurs (see The Vortex of Knowing and The Tether elsewhere on this site). In this way, "knowing" is like a two-part epoxy! In a two-part epoxy, each side is ineffective at the task of adhesion. But when mixed in equal parts, they become extremely strong. As we search our Conscious and UnConscious for correlations that wil mix, our mission becomes like a key searching for a keyhole in a door that will unlock a sense of "knowing" and knowledge. We approach from one side, poking around in the DARK - and missing. We approach from the other side, poking around in the LIGHT - and missing. Finally, a perfect symmetrical blend shows the way, and the key finds the hole! - a slightly sexual metaphor that is illustrated in The Lingam and Yoni Mandala seen elsewhere on this site. Thus if a bias exists to either of these sides of consciousness, I recommend immersion in the opposite, but not because either one is superior, but... for the sake of balance and true KNOWING (see Stuck in the Mudaphor elsewhere in this site).

Balance is my bias.

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EXTRA CREDIT

If you would like to explore this idea of Human Knowing vs. Psychic Knowing further, continue on the the essay Signs of Knowing.


All words and images Copyright © 2000 - 2010 by Guy Palm

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