Consciousness seems to me to be like a small house in a primitive forest. Within this house there is light but outside there is only darkness, the darkness of the Great Unknown. It is out of this Great Unknown that everything happens to us that can change our lives: strokes of fate, unexpected meetings and their serious consequences, illness, accidents, good fortune, illumination – and death. It is not human to simply accept the Unknown. We want to know what determines our fate and the fate of the world.
What do you see when you leave a lit house and step out into the darkness? Almost nothing. You cannot even see what you are standing on. Only after several minutes do you manage to make out a strip under your feet and you realize that it is the path. There are areas to your right and left which are darker than the sky and you guess that those must be trees.
Something also shines through the darkness of the Great Unknown, but – contrary to the darkness of the walk in the countryside – we have absolutely no references here by which we can recognize the forms which are outlined. Yet we do it nonetheless. If somebody expects, consciously or unconsciously, to see beings then that person sees beings. Another, who has heard something about godly light sees a luminescence. Consciousness wishes to link its observations with its content, that is what consciousness always does. In this way the various stories about the Great Unknown are created.
Sometimes you are unable to see the link and you think, that cannot be mine. Or not be hers or his. What, for instance, are you supposed to think about The Secret Doctrine by Helena Blavatsky? Did she simply think up the detailed esoteric model of the universe outlined in this book? The things told when individuals are under hypnosis can also be bewildering. The functioning of the human brain has been understood only to a small degree up until now. The unconscious is just as obscure as the cosmos. How are we to know where our insights come from? Are we truly capable of discerning which of the voices we hear within come from us and which come from something else? Wouldn’t realistic caution concerning the ‘source of reference’ do mysticism good?
Mysticism comes from the Greek word mystikos, which means secret. The mystic actually reveals a secret. He tells a secret which nobody could know, not even himself. But what does secret mean?