Poet, author, mystic

What – and where – is ‘the crystal sea’? And is it worth visiting?

Theolyn Cortens – The Crystal Sea

Many ancient mystical texts describe visits to heavenly halls, where the floors or pavements are shining like crystal. The Victorian hymn which inspired the title of my novel, Across the Crystal Sea, tells us the songs of the ‘sinless’ will sweep across an ocean made of crystal. What can this ‘crystal’ experience be describing?

The old visions  have a lot in common with modern experiences induced by psychedelic drugs. Seeing repeating crystal or fractal patterns with glowing or sparkling intensity are often reported. ‘Psychedelic’ actually means ‘mind manifesting’, and any spiritual practice, such as fasting, sensory deprivation, whirling, repetitive chanting, meditations, and so on, can be ‘psychedelic’ – not just magic mushrooms or LSD! We know that biblical prophets, like Daniel, fasted for several days when they wanted to enter a state of awareness that would allow visions to manifest. The prophet Mahomet was in a cave, probably with a cloak over him in order to achieve sensory deprivation, when he received a visitation from the Archangel Gabriel who delivered The Koran. Other mystics describe their experiences manifesting during a physical illness.

So, when a person has an experience of mind manifesting, their consciousness is wide open to perceptions of worlds or dimensions beyond the scope of day-to-day sensory input via the usual five senses, which deliver our general perception of the world we count as being ‘real’. During a mind manifestation session, the mystic or visionary can receive information and wisdom that will be valuable to them personally, or to their tribe or community, or to humanity in general. The old biblical reports have had a profound effect on Western culture, and have influenced our understanding of spiritual potential, as well as the ethical and moral foundations of our social orders. Even people who do not follow any particular spiritual practice can experience valuable visionary insights. For instance, the scientist Francis Crick (who was extremely critical of religion) was taking LSD when he had a vision of the DNA double-helix, a discovery that revolutionised our understanding of biology. While the use of mind manifestation for practical purposes has been common in indigenous cultures for millennia, there are a surprising number of Westerners who have brought new wisdom and technology as a direct result of experiencing altered states. Such experiences don’t have to be drug-induced: there is the fascinating story of Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine needle with the hole at the pointed end, as a direct result of a dream. (Read the account on Wikipedia here).

The experience of moving from a limited, three-dimensional, ordinary perception, into another dimension, provokes a shifting awareness of reality, and we experience the underlying patterning of Creation. Think of water turning to ice: at one point in this transformation we experience the quality of the water. Then subtle changes develop and crystals start to form, at first loosely, then gradually settling into a new structure, which is ice. In the opposite direction, the ice can start melting and we see the crystal before we experience the water. So, with our consciousness,  when we meditate, or open our mind in some way, we let go of the rigid structures of our daily perceptions and begin to experience the underlying patterns, which will be seen as fractal or crystalline – these are the mathematical under-structures of visible Creation forming and re-forming constantly, sustaining the manifested Creation we experience with our everyday senses. You could say we are getting to see behind the scenes! So, the ‘crystal sea’ is a subtle landscape, or arena, of existence, below the concrete, three dimensions of our non-mystical experience.

The question is, would it be useful to experience this? If this is so – so what? Does this awareness help us? Are mystical or religious experiences good for us, as individuals and as a collective humanity?

As you can guess (and see from the examples I give above) my answer to these questions is a resounding YES! The experience of subtle layers of Creation, and of other dimensions, encourages a holistic, empathic relationship with Creation. People who experience a deeper connection with Creation are more likely to honour and respect nature, be more loving and kind towards their neighbours, and less likely to feel that other nationalities are ‘enemies’. More than that, during these experiences, whether in ‘heavenly halls’ or across a ‘crystal sea’, the visionary can receive insights and new knowledge that can enhance life for everyone.

You too have access to these astonishing and useful dimensions – all you need is a reliable and safe method for accessing them. My recommendation is to start with Zera Meditation, but however you get there, you must make it your priority to visit these dimensions regularly.

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The Crystal Sea


Sunday 29 October, 2017

Across the Crystal Sea

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This is the first in a series of blogs sharing the stories and research behind the story in my forthcoming book Across the Crystal Sea – my first published fiction. In the 1970’s I was a regular attender at St.Mary Magdalene church in Oxford. The services there are ‘High Anglican’ – rather like Roman Catholic […]

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