The standard, pre-reflective impression is that all 7 billion human beings are in the same soup. Let me elaborate. If you want to talk with so and so and if you both speak the same language, then, the standard storyline goes, you can speak with so and so in a way that is communicatively clear to both of you. The message is relayed from one to the other and back again. After all, this story goes on, while there may be superficial differences between this one and you, can’t you simply get your point across in the plainest, clearest, commonest language?
This standard, pre-reflective impression turns out to be incorrect. A short story to illustrate this point: some years ago, I was in the presence of a Himalayan monk, someone who had been meditating very deeply for decades. And I can tell you that he had a power that I couldn’t comprehend. All I could say then was that there was “something about him” or a “presence about him” or an “immense power.”
This was because he was on a much higher wavelength than I was on. Surely, we’ve all had experiences with unidentifiable others, experiences of the sort that left us feeling a sense of mystery or uncanniness or bliss or power. What was that, and what does it signify? We are certainly not alone. In Meetings with Remarkable Men, the mystic George Gurdjieff writes about the esoteric spiritual knowledge that he had long sought and that, perhaps, certain “remarkable men” had already acquired. The book is a strange one, an unparaphrasable one.
I’m tempted to make this post about “remarkable” human beings, but my point, in actuality, is broader than this one. It is rather that the wavelengths that all 7 billion people are on vary greatly and also that some are on much higher wavelengths than others. Here, integral theory is of help since it suggests that someone at a higher level of development (a higher wavelength, in my vocabulary) is able to converse with someone at a lower wavelength by virtue of being able to speak the latter’s language. But to the one on the lower wavelength, everyone at a higher wavelength either (a) is presumed to be on the same wavelength or (b) shows up as “weird,” “uncanny, “mysterious,” or “uncommonly happy.” Usually, the interlocutor holds fast to the presumption that (a) is true.
If this rough-cut theory of wavelengths is correct, then it should give us pause while also humbling our hearts. For what we don’t realize is that when we’re interacting with others, they may know not just more than what we do; they may have acclimatized themselves to a mode of life that, at present, is completely inaccessible to us. In fact, they may be living more and more vibrantly than we can presently imagine, fathom, or conceive of.
Who are they, how is this possible, and what does this tell us?