Art & Culture

Off-World in Inner Space: The ‘Hidden Kingdom’ is closer than you think

Off-World in Inner Space: The ‘Hidden Kingdom’ is closer than you think

Astronomers recently discovered a planet where winds howl at 1,000 miles per hour, rocks rain down from the sky and the seas smolder with lava. It was called the most extreme planet ever found, and, as K2-141b isn’t a very catchy name, the distant inferno was quickly nicknamed “Hell Planet.” 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: you thought that moniker belonged to Earth in 2020. Which is why if you perpetually find yourself saying “Get me off this planet,” know that it’s really not that difficult. Seekers, sages, shamans and spiritualists have been doing it for eons. All it takes is a crafty escape to your own private kingdom-not-of-this-world. 

Imaginary fiefdoms are notoriously difficult to find. Parsifal, one of the knights of the Round Table, stumbled into the secret Grail Castle, said the wrong thing, and was shot back into harsh reality. He searched for 20 years before he found it again. 

But here are a few tips to get started. First, find a familiar spot—say, the edge of a park or a town square—with cars, people and buildings on the one hand, and trees, flowers, birds and bees on the other. See these two realms as separate from each other, with living things in each one almost entirely oblivious to the activity in the other. Holding both in your consciousness simultaneously, note that these are indeed two different, but overlapping, worlds: one is the planet with its fine-tuned perfection, and the other is what we call human civilization. There’s nothing wrong with the “world,” or material reality. The source of your angst is the other part. Hell, as Jean-Paul Sartre said, after all, “is other people.” This gestalt shift should clarify that the world of human events is far different from the timeless realm of nature, with its eternal cycle of the seasons, day and night, life and death.

You’re now on the path to the hidden kingdom. For the next step, find yourself a lazy afternoon when you can lie down and close your eyes while you listen to your favorite music. As you slip into a meditative state bordering on a snooze, the music will lead you to your heart’s resonant frequency, the inner vibratory channel where all your memories are stored. It’s where every person, place and thing you’ve ever loved is saved; an inner radio station broadcasting wake or sleep, whether you listen or not, with fact and fiction all mixed together beyond all rationality. As you reach the hypnagogic state that precedes sleep, that favorite music you’re playing will conjure up beautifully illogical images, as friends and family and fictional characters all blend together in an archetypal reality beyond time and space. You’ll notice how all the things that vex and roil you in everyday life have magically been edited out, left on the cutting room floor by the higher intelligence operating as editor of this great narrative. 

This is the soul’s record of its earthly journey. And this is all that really matters. This is what will play when your life flashes before your eyes, when the pineal gland releases DMT as you exit this realm and head off on the next great adventure. 

You’ve now spent a few precious moments inside the inner kingdom—what in esoteric traditions is often referred to as the subtle plane. You actually go in and out of this realm all the time, you just don’t realize it. It’s where you go when you dream at night. It’s also where your sunlit daydreams emanate from, the kinds of things that blossom in your mind presenting a vision of your heart’s desires, of the things that are most important to you. It’s the place of imagination, the source of all creative fertility when it comes to building and painting your life. Before anything was ever created in the physical realm, it began as an idea in someone’s inner kingdom. And where was it before that? Perhaps higher up still, hence the concepts of divine inspiration and the Greek muses who filled the hearts of poets with words and melodies. 

According to the eminent 19th-century mage Eliphas Levi, magic is essentially a psychological process, based on the combination of imagination and will, capable of manifesting fantasy into reality. Escaping into nature makes it easier to find this inner kingdom of tranquility, for in nature we discover that the outer world of sunsets and forests, and our inner world of feelings, memories  and imagination, are united in a higher, invisible reality joined by consciousness. So heed the call and embark on the great journey in search of the mysterious and hidden kingdom. You may be surprised what you find, for you might just run into yourself.

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