“The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
A very old word for being psychic is “clairvoyance,” which generally means something akin to “clear seeing.” Because we have learned that different people are psychic in different ways, alternative terms have arisen to distinguish these variations. Clarisentience, for instance, indicates a way of directly, yet mysteriously, knowing psychic information without a visual or tactile component. Clairaudience, on the other hand, indicates the hearing of psychic information, such as the voices of dead souls or messages spoken by spirit allies. There are as many different terms as people can come up with different ways to define their specific talents, and they serve a helpful purpose to clarify the path for each unique person, yet while the word clairvoyance does indicate a “seeing clearly,” the original meaning of this word did not intend the literal idea of visual phenomena.
What is a Psychic Image?
The ancient idea of a “psychic image” (“ikon” in ancient Greek) was a pointer to a vast array of phenomena, an idea which can require one to sit with it for a time, years perhaps before one begins to understand. Seership is not specifically a visual undertaking. True seership is done with the entire body, both its physical and non-physical layers. Each seer will have their own way of apprehending what is “seen,” and it may happen in any way for any practitioner. This can include any combination of senses, the mind, gut feelings, flashes of intuitive knowing, visions, etc. The words seership and clairvoyance are indicating all of these ways. One adept in any of these ways is, therefore a seer and a clairvoyant.
In this expanded sense of the word, what is seen are called “psychic images,” though they need not be visual, as has been clarified. A psychic picture is a rather enigmatic creature to grasp, even though we are swimming, completely submerged even, in them at all times. The complex concepts of our body are psychic images. Our memories of the past are psychic images. Our spontaneous and trapped emotions are psychic images. The lives we want to create are made of psychic images. The marketing projections that dictate relevance and veil us from seeing soul are psychic images. Our dreams are psychic images. Our thoughts, our logic, and our reason are all psychic images. Once we begin to understand the energetic fact of reality, we come to know that all experience is made of psychic images and equally is one big psychic image all at once.
Alchemizing Soul Images
On a practical level, a psychic image is something we work with through the seasons, letting it work on us in equal measure to reveal and cultivate our path of soul. This can be a memory that is trying to return to us a lost part of our energy. This can be a complex image of stored trauma attempting to be felt to be freed. This can be a figment, or more, of a dream or creative inspiration attempting to reorient us to our depth, creativity, and potential as beings made of imagination. The ancients would say the soul speaks in images, and when the soul speaks, it calls us to our path. The soul can be thought of as both a design or intended theme, and the protector of the path of its unfolding. The emergent soul is always a beneficial force to the one and the all, but we have lost our cultures of wisdom that once stood as guardians of such embodiment.
While the soul speaks in images to galvanize becoming, denied aspects of soul also speak in images, though they have very different results. The denied soul is moving to create a further denial of soul, and we live in cultures founded by such denial that are actively attempting to deepen the layering of denial upon our birthright as seers and dreamers of the soul paths. It is a war on soul, on connection, and empowerment. This war is the parent of all other wars, for no struggle in the world arises from anywhere other than within people struggling within themselves. Set upon by an onslaught of psychic images that attempt to lead us astray, we are struggling not only with our becoming but with a palpable dissonance that is both non-personal and incredibly personally defeating.
Clarifying Psychic Dissonance
The psychic images of dissonance would lure us into addiction, affliction, and other soul disorders. They draw upon the voids in us where our pieces of soul are missing and promise to replace them when we opt into one of the approved cultural identities and lifestyles. It uses our longing for wholeness, connection, and empowerment to fuel our pursuit of the imagery it preaches. Where once our elder culture would tend to our soul’s emergence, challenging though that may be even in its most harmonious forms, we are now led by icons and ideologies that push us to adopt their psychic images rather than sit with our own. The images of dissonance are crafted to be louder, brighter, and feel more special than our subtle images that quietly gesture to us from where we would truly flower.
Yet, while such dissonance can be seen as an overpowering and awful aspect of our modern living, we can find a very different relationship to it if we shift our seeing of it. Understanding dissonance as an enemy is only half of the story, useful as it may be to clarify one’s choices of attention. The other half of the story emerges when we learn to see that this dissonance is itself a massive, collective psychic image that has arisen, no matter who or what we may like to blame for it specifically, from the world itself, to work on us all. And what is this work the collective soul is attempting to do on us? I wouldn’t dare to dictate what would or should be the outcome of such a vast alchemical work. But whatever it is, it is a powerful force working against us all, and so by becoming able to defy it, we become more powerful than we might ever imagine we would have been otherwise.
The fire always follows the path of the fuel. May your burning in the shadows ignite your soul.
“The first casualty of war is truth.”