Seeing the Invisible

—From Rumi’s Poetry to the Fullness of Atoms

By Doug Marman

“Whirling Dervish” by Mitra Shafaei

Last summer I was invited to speak at a talk for “Spiritual Dialogues on Rumi’s Legacy and Teachings,” in Toronto, Canada. It is part of an on-going series of public talks on Rumi and Consciousness. The group has been using my book, “It Is What It Is — The Personal Discourses of Rumi,” along with Rumi’s poetry, to explore the hidden teachings behind Rumi’s teachings. I gave the talk based on a simple lesson I’ve learned:

Something extraordinary takes place when discovering new insights into life through deep discussions with friends. Time seems to stand still as new perspectives suddenly open up before us. In such moments we sense the scope of truth so fully, as a whole, that it alters our experience, giving us the feeling we are touching life itself. This is the magic of spiritual dialogue.

A thirty minute video captures a portion of this talk. It is called, “Seeing the Invisible — From Rumi’s Poetry to the Fullness of Atoms. You can see the video below:

6 thoughts on “Seeing the Invisible

  1. Brown Landone wrote about ”soul travel” before Paul Twitchell was even BORN!

    I mean, he used the term as “SOUL TRAVEL” itself; and yet he was critical of this “activity” and advised against it.

    “to the one who sincerely attempts it, [Soul Travel] often leads to disintegration of the body, of fanaticism, to insanity.”

    • (Note: I’m not sure why this was posted under the topic of Seeking the Invisible. I think this was intended as a comment under my new book, The Spiritual Flow of Life, where I include quite a few quotes from Brown Landone.)

      Yes, Brown Landone used the term, “soul travel” back in the 1930’s, although Landone did not use the term before Paul was born. I ran across Landone’s writings thirty years ago, and I pointed out his use of the term, soul travel, on the Internet almost 10 years ago. Search and you might find what I wrote.

      I also pointed out that Landone did not use the term “soul travel” the same way that Paul Twitchell did. Landone meant something different. Here is what Landone wrote:

      Others have tried to teach man to free his soul from his body by “soul travel,“ as they call it…

      To the one who sincerely attempts it, it often leads to disintegration of body, or fanaticism, or insanity.

      So long as you live on earth in this body, you should keep soul focused in the body, even when you spiritually expand its activity over all of the earth.

      What Brown Landone meant by the term “soul travel” is what is today more often called “astral projection.” This is clear because, as Landone explains, the problem is about trying to project ourselves outside of our bodies. What he goes on to suggest instead is that we should try to expand Soul beyond the limits of the body and the mind. Expansion rather than projection outside of the body. This was exactly what Paul said as well.

      Paul first began his teaching by using the term “bi-location,” or “being in two locations at the same time,” as a way of describing that we can keep ourselves centered in our physical bodies while also moving our awareness to other dimensions of reality at the same time. Later, he switched to calling this “soul travel,” but he continually pointed out that it should not be confused with astral projection, which is when a person projects themselves out of their physical body into their astral body. Paul often explained the limitations and problems with astral projection, which he considered one of the psychic arts, not a true spiritual practice. Expansion of our awareness is the way Soul truly grows.

      Paul went on to say that, even though he called it soul travel, Soul does not actually travel anywhere. We only need to shift our awareness to another state of consciousness and we can be “there,” once we learn how to do it. This is exactly the same point that Brown Landone makes in his book, although he uses the term soul travel to mean astral projection. Here is another quote from Landone:

      No, my friend, this is not soul traveling; your soul is infinite; it does not need to travel, but only to expand.

      Spirit is ever here and there, and while you are conscious of being among the translucent mountains of clouds, you can also be conscious of being here on earth, with your soul center focused in this body of yours.

      Landone gives some great examples of what Paul calls Soul Travel, he only uses different words to describe the same thing. This is one of the challenges of comparing the writings of different spiritual authors. They often use words in different ways. One of the lessons I have learned is that I must be careful to understand what an author is trying to say and not get caught up in the specific words that they use.



  2. Hi Doug…Was trying to follow up on your claim elsewhere here that Kabir was a Mahanta according to Paul Twitchell. Do youhave a direct source of that p.o.v.

    “The guest is inside you, and also inside me; 
    you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed. 
    We are all struggling; none of us has gone far. 
    Let your arrogance go, and look around inside. 

    The blue sky opens out farther and farther, 
    the daily sense of failure goes away, 
    the damage I have done to myself fades, 
    a million suns come forward with light, 
    when I sit firmly in that world. 

    I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken, 
    inside “love” there is more joy than we know of, 
    rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds, 
    there are whole rivers of light. 
    The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love. 
    How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies! 

    Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail. 
    The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love. 
    With the word “reason” you already feel miles away.”
    ― Kabir

    • Thanks for Kabir’s poem. Beautiful.

      I’m not sure Paul Twitchell ever said directly that Kabir was a Mahanta, but he often listed Kabir as one of the great Masters who brought out the teachings of Eckankar that Paul was writing about.

      For example, early in the Introduction of Paul’s book, Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I, he talks about how the teaching was first brought out by Rama, then was hinted at in the writings of Rumi, followed by Kabir. Near the end of chapter 1 in Paul’s book, The Key to Secret Worlds, he talks again how the teachings of Eckankar were first brought out by Rama, and then says, “No instructions were ever written down and distributed until Kabir, a direct descendant in the line of Rama’s spiritual mastership, came here especially for this purpose.” That is his most direct statement that I could find.

      Paul also has some words to say about Kabir, Rumi, and Shams-i-Tabriz, in chapter 5 of his book, Letter’s to a Chela. He also spoke about Rumi and Kabir often in many of his talks, but it would take too long to track those down.

      I have not tried to make any claims about Kabir or Rumi or Shams except to speak from my own understanding. I think that when it comes to Mastership, or the Mahanta Consciousness, we are talking about an inner authority that goes beyond any books or outer records. This is exactly the same thing Paul was saying in his books. He was not trying to set down some outer authority on these things, but to give readers a way of judging for themselves through their own spiritual experiences with these great beings and the teachings they left us. That is the nature of those who carry inner authority. There is no outer proof of it, only our own personal inner experiences.

      Thanks again for Kabir’s poem.


  3. We were truly fortunate to host Doug & his wife Karen in Richmond Hill, Canada. What a pleasure and unforgettable experience to spend time with them. The talk that Doug gave on Sunday afternoon was received very well. The friends who attended the talk left that evening with a no questionable spiritual glow.

    Thank you Doug & Karen for letting us have such an incredible experience!
    We cannot wait to have you and Karen again for another uplifting event in near future.

    Much love,

  4. Dear Doug,
    We were so blessed to have you here.
    Thank you for coming; NOTHING could explain our feeling and joy.
    You planted the spiritual seeds and it’s up to us to water and take care of them. Hopefully we can See the INVISIBLE !
    We look forward to seeing you again
    Thank you and Karen

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