How often have you heard people say: “I’ll only believe it if I can see it with my own two eyes!”  Yet, the ancient wisdom talks about the actual existence of invisible worlds. More than this, it says that the visible world is actually based on these invisible worlds and what happens in these subtle and fiery realms has the controlling influence on the physical world of our eyes – a little bit like all action in the physical world being  preceded by thoughts.

So, who is right? Is this physical world the only reality? Are things not what they seem? How reliable are our eyes and senses to tell us what’s out there? Was Shakespeare right when he said:

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  – Hamlet.

Our Senses: Our senses filter out an enormous amount of reality as well as allowing us to function in the world as far as our consciousness is developed to understand it, eg. we can only see about 0.0035% of the total electromagnetic spectrum!

As you can see, from the diagram, the visible portion makes up an incredibly small fraction of the total electromagnetic spectrum. Less than 1% of all light that reaches us is in the visible spectrum. By most estimates it comes out to about 0.0035% of the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Also, the average human brain can only process 30-60 frames  of vision per second. What if some realities are operating at much faster or slower vibration?

So because the human eye is incredibly limited in its range, we see only that one tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum. We see amazingly well within that tiny band, but beyond that – nothing. If we could see in all wavelengths, the night sky would be almost as bright as the daytime sky!

So, there may well be whole worlds and beings just as functional and conscious as us living in other wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can’t see, passing their whole lives in the same space as us but in a different reality!  Our world would be empty space to them, as theirs is to us!

The ancient wisdom affirms that this is the case and that there are people who have a wider sensory awareness: and can ‘see’ music, and ‘feel’ colour, or see energy fields, or ‘auras’, around other people, or see ‘dead people’ as portrayed in the film The Sixth Sense.

As famous inventor, Nicholas Tesla, once said:

“The gift of mental power comes from God, divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.”

Dark Matter and Dark Energy: Further, modern physics affirms that we live in, and are aware of, maybe 5% of the mass of the Universe: The rest is composed of ‘Dark Matter’ 27% and ‘Dark Energy’ – 68%.

Dark Matter barely interacts with ordinary baryonic, ie. normal matter with which we are familiar which contains ‘Baryons’, ie Protons and Neutrons. This is the stuff you think of as ‘real’ matter’. So Dark Matter hardly interacts with normal matter and radiation except through Gravity.  Dark Matter, unseen and unknown until relatively recently, is enormously important for our reality of baryonic matter as dark matter is the mass that keeps our galaxy of 100-400 billion stars (including our own) from flying apart!

Most dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic; it may be composed of some as-yet-undiscovered subatomic particles. The primary candidate for dark matter is some new kind off elementary particle hat has not yet been discovered, particularly, ‘Weakly Interacting Massive Particles.’(WIMPs).

Dark Energy is an unknown form of energy that affects the universe on the largest scales. The universe is actually accelerating apart instead of cooling and falling back on itself as one would imagine to be the case billions of years after the ‘Big Bang’ which brought our reality into being 14 billion years ago. 

Without introducing a new form of energy, there was no way to explain how scientists could measure an accelerating universe. Since the 1990s, Dark Energy has been the most accepted premise to account for the accelerated expansion.

So, if anyone says that they only believe what they can see and touch, then what about the 95% of the mass of the Universe they cannot see or touch?

The Many Worlds Theory: Quantum physics has found that electrons can exist in different states at the same time, so there may be many different versions of the same world existing at the same time the ‘Many Worlds Theory.’

In the mid-1990s Joseph Polchinski discovered that String Theory (string theory uses a model of one-dimensional strings in place of the particles of quantum physics as the basic building blocks of matter) requires the inclusion of higher dimensional objects, called ‘membranes’ or ‘branes’ for short.

This theory opens the possibility that there are many dimensions of reality. Perhaps aspects of ourselves can exist in many dimensions at the same time. Our unique and eternal consciousness is simultaneously at the centre of our present existence as well as all other dimensions where our consciousness resides.

The theory suggests that the universe consists of the same matter at every level, the large and the small are the same. Perhaps we have our own personal universe that connects us to the cosmos itself!

Science Says: Things Are Not Quite What They Seem: All of this takes quite a leap of imagination to understand what Einstein and  Quantum Physics tell us about the nature of reality and our limited capacity to see and experience what’s  really ‘out there’. Let’s try and summarize the last 150 years of physics research on this subject:

  • Everything is in motion and therefore time is relative to movement;
  • The material universe floats on a sea or ‘fabric’ of space/time;
  • Dense objects can actually bend space-time and suspend time if you can get near enough to them;
  • Our common understanding of the world and therefore Newtonian and Einsteinian physics seem to be OK if we look at macrostructures in the universe, but strangely different laws of physics apply in the world of sub-atomic particles, the world of ‘Quantum Mechanics’:
  • Here particles can become waves and then revert to particles,
  • Matter seems to behave like it is conscious,
  • Reality seems conditional on whether it is being observed, and by the nature of the expectations of the observer.

All very similar to the teachings of The Ancient Wisdom so let’s take a closer look at what it has to teach us!

Comparison To Ancient Wisdom: Our experience of reality reflects our individual level of conscious awareness. The laws of physics as we know them relate to our level of reality. They may be quite different in other dimensions or levels of vibration. As our awareness increases, we understand our world in different ways as we have seen in the discoveries of modern physics.

Ralph Waldo Trine, a writer on esoteric philosophy puts it this way:

“Each (person) is building his own world.  We both build from within and we attract from without. Thought is the force with which we build, for thoughts are forces. Like builds like, and like attracts like.  In the degree that thought is spiritualized does it become more subtle and powerful in its workings. This spiritualizing is in accordance with law and is within the power of all.

Everything is first worked out in the unseen before it is manifested in the seen, in the ideal before it is realized in the real, in the spiritual before it shows forth in the material.  The realm of the seen is the realm of effect. The nature of effect is always determined and conditioned by the nature of its cause.”

Truth and Relative Truth: Our understanding of the real nature of the universe as it really is in Itself is relative to our level of spiritual understanding, eg a human understands the universe quite differently from an animal, and a ‘God’ presumably has a much greater understanding of the nature of reality than a human.

The Secret Doctrine teaches that “whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

“Only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from delusions.”

“As we rise in the scale of development, we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities.

… and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’—”

There is No Such Thing as Empty Space: The Ancient Wisdom traditions of many cultures say that there is no such thing as ‘empty space’. Instead, it speaks of space as a complete ‘fullness’ with every mathematical point a vibrant living ‘god-spark’ at various stages of spiritual evolution – including us humans!

Where the evolutionary development approximates our own, then we have the faculties to see them and their worlds and our instruments can probe the mystery of their being to some extent.

Spaces of Space: However, space is literally filled with world’s invisible to our senses because they are higher (ie more ‘spiritual’) or lower (ie more material) in the grand march of evolution than our own present station in Nature’s grand plan.

Teachers of the ancient wisdom speak of space as the totality of all things, a complete ‘fullness’ in manifestation with an infinitude of spiritual worlds on the inner planes.

Paradoxically a ‘void’ and a ‘fullness’ at the same time – depending upon your ability to perceive! Rather than space as a container for all the fascinating suns and planets catalogued by science, the ancient wisdom’s perspective is that there are literally ‘spaces of space’ in an endless hierarchy of being.

Space is All That Is: One teacher refers to this fact as follows:

“Space, as understood in true occultism, means all that is, is a fullness, perfect and continuous absolutely, endless and beginningless; not a mere receptacle, not a mere container, nothing finite, but the boundless All. Further, Space IS; it is not merely on and in seven planes, the seven kosmic planes of our universe, besides penetrating inwards infinitely, endlessly, and also outward endlessly.”

– The Fundamentals of the Esoteric Tradition, 2nd ed. Pp: 382-3  ; G de Purucker.

Invisible Worlds in Many Traditions: The reality of invisible worlds was and is taught in different ways in the Mystery Schools of the world. Of those traditions we know, the ancient Greeks spoke of space as an infinite ‘Pleroma’ meaning, ‘Fullness’.

The Buddhist teachings of ‘Sunyata’ , meaning the ‘Void’, being at the same time a ‘Fullness’ express the same concept.

In traditional societies such as in  Australia and Africa, the Universe is understood to be composed of two aspects or realms – the physical and spiritual realms which are in constant interchange with one another and what happens in one realm can have an impact in the other. The invisible is a constant and real presence. All things are connected and have an impact on each other. Negative experiences are here to teach us that something is out of balance and we have to set it right through ritual , consultation with religious practitioners, and changes of our behaviour.

Heavens and Hells in World Traditions: Invisible worlds in world traditions are often described as various Heavens or Hells depending on whether they are more or less spiritual than our own visible world.

They all have their own symbology in those various traditions, but they set out to describe broadly similar themes in the language and metaphor of their own peoples.

This is because of the difficulty we always face in describing in human terms matters relating to the invisible worlds beyond the everyday experience of most of us.

Imagine, if you will, that you are in heaven in a pre-birth state with a good friend who is about to take birth on Earth.

Your friend asks you: “What will life on Earth in a physical body be like?” How would you answer? No one answer is likely to cover all possibilities. The same is true in discussing the invisible worlds which are so intimately related to the question of heavens and hells. – the invisible worlds.

What Makes a Man/Woman is What Is Invisible: If you have ever been to a ‘viewing’ before a funeral then you will know that the essence of the human being you once knew as a living and vital person lies in their invisible qualities –  spirit, thoughts, emotions – and not just the physical remains we can see in the coffin!  The essence of your departed loved one have gone into the invisible worlds. Many traditions around the world celebrate the fact that what makes a man/woman is mostly what’s invisible.

The ancient Egyptians held man to be a composite of nine parts ranging from the physical body khat to the habitation of the spiritual nature, the sahu.

The ancient Jewish teachings of the Qabbalah speak of man as a tenfold entity, and the esoteric traditions of India, which provide much of the terminology of modern theosophy, teach variously of four, five, or seven aspects or parts.

All of these traditions agree that it is only the deathless essence of man’s nature which continues eternally, while the more material “bodies” fall apart at death, when the life force is withdrawn.

Lokas and Talas: Perhaps the clearest concept of the invisible worlds, comes from Hinduism which taught that every state has a spiritual aspect which they call ‘Loka’, and a material manifestation, ‘Tala’. On the lowest, or most material ‘Loka-Tala’ of our Earth’s being in its present incarnation is the visible Earth with all its kingdoms of life with which we are familiar.

The other Lokas and Talas are filled with, to us at least, invisible beings of various classes, ‘Rakshasas’ (Demons), ‘Gandharas’ (Divine ‘musicians’), ‘Vairajas’ (A class of intellectual Gods), etc… who inhabit worlds as real to them as the mountains, seas, and green fields of mother Earth are to us humans.

As expressed in the Hindu sacred book the Vishnu Purana:

“This universe, composed of seven zones, with its seven sub-terrestrial regions, and seven spheres…is everywhere swarming with living creatures, large and small, with smaller and smallest, and larger and largest; so that there is not an eighth part of an inch in which they do not abound.” – Vishnu Purana: Book III, Chapter VII)

Invisible Worlds in Popular Culture: Modern popular culture has adopted this idea of parallel universes in science fiction movies and television series such as  ‘Thor’ and other Marvel  series films, Pacific Rim, Star Trek, Star Wars, and even in popular music by modern mystically inclined musicians such as the British rock band the Moody Blues, who say in one of their songs:

“This garden universe vibrates complete.  Some make of it a sound so sweet. Vibrations reach up to become light, then through gamma and out of sight. Between the eyes and ears there lie, the sound of colour and the light of a sigh. To hear the sun what a thing to believe, but it’s all around if we could but perceive. To know ultra-violet, intra-red and x-rays, beauty to find in so many ways….” – from Aum by Graeme Edge.

Pioneering Scientists: As we have seen, some modern scientists are beginning to appreciate the inadequacy of understanding nature’s laws based purely on observation of the visible universe. Pioneering scientists in the 1990s such as Arthur Zajonc argued that our basic understanding of what constitutes ‘light’ and therefore the visible universe needs questioning. Theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku in 1994 spoke of the possible 10 dimensions of space instead of the three we ordinary mortals can see.

Other mystically inclined scientists are beginning to appreciate what initiates and clairvoyants have known for ages, that consciousness is fundamental to the operations of  nature, eg. Pioneering Australian scientist, Daryl Reaney in his book, The Death of Tomorrow (1993).

The Only Proof of Invisible Worlds is Your Own Experience of Them: The ancient wisdom speaks of cosmic and divine intelligences inhabiting the invisible worlds whose ‘habits’ are behind the laws of nature scientists observe in the manifest universe.

In the final analysis, we shall only know the reality of invisible worlds by personal experience. Let us always spare a thought and a little vitality for those ‘Great Ones’ who undertake the journey of initiation through the invisible worlds, which shall be our fate too one day if we run the evolutionary journey successfully.

As on writer on the ancient wisdom said:

“Prepare yourselves continually, for every day is a new chance, is a new doorway, a new opportunity.

Lose not the days of your lives, for the time will come, fatally come, when it will be your turn to undertake this sublimest of adventures…

Turn your backs on the Pit, and turn your faces to the Sun!”

– G de Purucker: The Four Seasons: page 19.

Special thanks to Stefan Carey for some of the information in this article.