Ancient Trail on Mountain Ridge


   Once, after I had scrambled down a trail about five hundred feet into a secluded foothill valley and then had hiked about a mile and a half along a creek in search of Native American artifacts, I suddenly knew, without a doubt, that someone was breaking into my car--even though the car was parked far beyond the range of my physical senses. Alone in the woods and helpless to stop the crime, I plopped down on a rock and lamented for at least twenty minutes about all the evil in the world--without any evidence at all that anyone had even touched my car. I just simply knew, in a way that no one could explain--or explain away.
   When I returned to the car about an hour and a half later, I found that someone had smashed a window on the passenger side of the car and had opened the glove box. On the way home, I was furious as the cold air blasted me. I soon forgot my intuition.
   Like many others, I have experienced inner voices, visions, and intuitions that transcend space and time, wise inner voices as clear as the voice of another person, symbolic visions that have revealed spiritual principles, and powerful intuitions about people and events. Since these voices, visions, and intuitions have occurred sporadically over a period of forty years, and since they are not scientifically explainable nor even socially acceptable, they have tended to become lost in daily concerns. Long-ago predictions of the guardian angel, however, have come true, the cumulative impact of the various communications creating, for me at least, an undeniable gestalt.
   The Greeks called the inner voice of intuition and enlightenment a person's “daimon.” Some believe, like Plato, that the daimon is a kind of spirit that is separate from us, a spirit that adopts a person at birth and follows that person even after death. Plato calls it “the daimon which has received us as its portionment.” The ancient idea of the daimon, therefore, appears to be analogous to the guardian angel, which has been described as either a hidden dimension of the soul or separate from the soul, an intermediate power of divine order, or a god of the second rank, as characterized by Maximus of Tyre.
   This god or angel, I believe, is the highest dimension of the psyche, an unpredictable intermediary between the human personality and the divine Source.
   The Romans translated the word daimon as “genius,” from which we get the word “genie.” The Romans also viewed the genie as a personal guide whom one can contact through prayer, trance states, visions, and dreams, or experience as an inner voice, intuition or compulsion. The higher powers and abilities of each human being are attributed to his genius.
   Each organized unit of nature, moreover, has a genius, known as a genius loci, or “spirit of place.” Believing that the genius is the unique spirit which exists in every living thing, the Romans worshiped the genius of the river, the tree, the family. For the Romans, each and every God had a unique genius, which was how the Gods could be distinguished from each other. Sacrificing to the genius of a god or local deity was a way of appeasing it and harnessing its power.
   Each person, moreover, has a unique genius--a kind of driving force which must fulfill its own destiny--forcing an individual to become that which he or she is really meant to be. Ignoring the genius means not only denying the power within but also denying the ability to realize one’s potential. The daimon often creates the inner compulsion to do things seemingly without concern for the consequences. It might compel a person, for instance, to give up a career to become an artist or sacrifice his life as a martyr. The daimon doesn’t care what kind of money a person makes or what kind of reputation a person develops. A person who heeds his or her daimon sometimes feels pulled this way and that--even deeply violated. Heeding the daimon can lead to a life of poverty in pursuance of a dream. Choosing not to heed the daimon can lead to a worse fate, however: a sense of failure accompanied by feelings of emptiness or regret--no matter how successful a person has become in a worldly sense.
   Another time, even though my hikes were almost always focused on finding artifacts, I had an overwhelming urge to climb a mountain that I knew was probably not connected to any Native American village site. As I climbed higher, the slope became steeper and clouds grew darker. A thunderstorm was on the way. I was also worried about rattlesnakes in the tall grass and the rocks since I had seen several on the road. Yet whenever I paused to ask myself if I should climb higher or go down, a voice in my head always replied, “Higher.” Finally, my way blocked by a tall outcrop of rocks covered by poison oak, I sat down to rest on a smooth stone at a vantage point that enabled me to see the mountains for miles. Suddenly, I was totally overwhelmed by a sense of the spirit of the place and recognized that the aborted hike up the treacherous slope was simply for the purpose of connecting with the genius loci of the watershed. After feeling that powerful connection, I felt no need to go higher, so I flew down the hill as rain soaked me to the bone.
   I, of course, have no way of measuring the experience or in any way proving that I connected with the spirit of place. Western societies tend to ignore or dismiss as fantasy or psychosis the mysterious compulsions and communications of the daimon, or guardian angel. However, according to a Theosophical source,

       The belief in daimones as mediating spirits between gods and men was customary
        in ancient Athens and sacrosanct in Vedic India. Socrates regarded the
        intervention of the daimon – what Gandhi called his 'inner voice', which
        sometimes spoke to him and remained silent at other times to his deep despair –
        not so much as a command laid down on the human spirit by an external power as
        "an absolute law of the spirit itself,” to quote Hegel's terms for the sacred task of
        the Delphic oracle. To make this interior voice wholly subjective is to destroy its
        spiritual character and distort the position claimed by Socrates and Gandhi. For a
        few pre-Socratic writers and for some Indian mystics, the daimon or devata was
        no more than the genius or overbrooding spirit unique to each person. If we adopt
        a facile rationalist attitude and take the daimon merely as an inflated metaphor for
        a familiar psychological process, thus denying it all transcendence and regarding it
        simply as a pathological oddity, a hallucination or a paranoid or hysterical
        symptom, we are, in fact, denying that it is an instrument of any meaningful
        communication and leaving Gandhi and Socrates, and many of the great
        mystics, enclosed in themselves….
                        (the Avatar, Copyright©2011 Theosophy Trust
   The Qabalists believe that each person has a Holy Guardian Angel, a higher self in touch with divine knowledge that transcends our limited physical senses. For the Qabalists, the supreme spiritual experience of The Kingdom, the material plane, is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This simply means that the higher self communicates with the conscious mind through intuitions, inner voices, and symbolic visions.
   Why is it important to connect with your daimon, your guardian angel? For one thing, it can save your life. It can lead to a state of optimum physical and mental health and a sense of connection with the divine.
   My connection with the holy guardian angel began when I started meditating, purely to relieve stress, at the age of forty-two. I did not believe in a spiritual dimension and knew nothing about the daimon or the Tarot or the Tree of Life, or anything else considered occult, or “hidden.” The last thing I expected at the time was a spiritual experience; in fact, for several decades before then I had doubted the existence of the soul. But I started to meditate, usually when I woke up from my nap, emptying my mind completely. Unexpectedly in my mind’s eye, I started envisioning pearls in the joints of my fingers and a rainbow of wheels, known as chakras, spinning in front of me along my spinal cord. I noticed impurities in the vortices and mentally wiped them clean. Some of the spinning wheels were harder to keep clean than others, however. I kept mentally draining the blackness from my heart and emptying trash from my crown chakra, for instance, but the blackness and the trash kept returning, so for a long time--in fact, until this day--I continue to purify my aura.
   One day when I finally felt purified, I began having visions of symbols, such as a simple mandala comprised of a golden, equal-armed cross with angels at each end, each angel in a differently colored robe; a gray figure-eight on its side above my head; and a pure, white flower with countless petals above my head. (I had thought at first that the flower was a rose, but a voice in my head whispered, “Lotus.”)
   I continued meditating and noticed in my mind’s eye a patch of black under my right arm. I mentally drained the black energy from my body and filled the area with blue, yellow and brilliant white energy. Several days later I pressed a round ball of white flesh, the size of a musket ball, painlessly through a slit under my arm. Weeks later I envisioned another black streak, this time under my left arm. After doing the same visualization, mentally draining the negative energy and filling the underarm with positive energy, a large round boil surfaced under my arm. Several days later another round ball of flesh, along with a teaspoon of puss, painfully oozed out. The same process occurred two more times over the period of a year, my left underarm forming a boil and white growths oozing out--after I had drained the black energy from my aura.
   From then on whenever I envisioned a streak of black anywhere in my aura, I mentally drained it away into magma and engulfed my aura with blue, yellow and white energy, and soon I began to feel healthier than I have ever felt before even though I was almost fifty years old. The black energy continued to appear in my heart, which caused me concern not only for my physical and spiritual well-being since the heart, I realized, is where the spiritual and physical energies of the self meet, but for the well-being of society, which is deluged by negative energies. I continued to drain the black energy from my heart whenever I envisioned it there and slowly felt more and more joyful, experiencing a radical innocence that I have not experienced since childhood, and rarely even then.
   If one goes through a process of mental self-purification in meditation to clear negative energy from the subconscious mind, the higher self can then reveal to the conscious mind problems with the mental, astral, and etheric energy “sheaths” in the aura surrounding the physical body, just as the higher self can then also communicate to the conscious mind profound spiritual principles through archetypal symbols, inner voices and intuitions. The idea of connecting with the guardian angel or daimon is ancient, but I believe that the “knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel” has potential applications in terms of mental and physical health that make it more than a spiritual achievement: It is a way to heal oneself on all levels of the psyche (which is suggested also by placing the caduceus on the Tree of Life), as well as a way to “clear a path” to the divine.

Take the next path.
Take a spiritual path.