If we accept the idea that supraphysical sight is a latent power of humanity, and not some kind of illusion or otherwise some miraculous special power, then we can seek to understand the conditions under which this power manifests, and show, first, that it is something that is reproducible and verifiable, and second, that it is possible under creation of those conditions needed for it to act, to develop this power in a broader segment of individuals in the society.

We see reports of this power manifesting throughout history and from all around the world, and thus, it meets the basic test of being reproducible and verifiable. The descriptions provided by those who experience it, are similar enough in substance, regardless of differences in language and detail, to validate the truth of this power and its general availability to human beings. We also see that there are methods described in various texts that are said to support the development of this power in an individual who practices these steps. The texts also, in most cases, describe the phases or stages by which this power manifests as it begins to develop in the individual.

Modern day scientists are indeed taking up the challenge to verify and codify results for experimentation in this direction. The human being is in a state of transition, first to fully develop the mental powers, which are still in process of manifesting, and then to move beyond to the next phase beyond the mind, into the ranges of the intuition and the overmind and eventually the supermind, where powers that lie dormant or are not yet evolved have their opportunity to come forward and act under the new conditions of consciousness that progressively develop.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “When one starts yoga, this power is often, though not invariably — for some find it difficult, — one of the first to come out from its latent condition and manifest itself, most often without any effort, intention or previous knowledge on the part of the sadhak. It comes more easily with the eyes shut than with the eyes open, but it does come in both ways. The first sign of its opening in the externalised way is very often that seeing of ‘sparkles’ or small luminous dots, shapes, etc., which was your first introduction to the matter; a second is, often enough, most easily, round luminous objects like a star; seeing of colours is a third initial experience — but they do not always come in that order. The yogis in India very often in order to develop the power use the method of tratak, concentrating the vision on a single point or object — preferably a luminous object. Your looking at the star was precisely an exercise in tratak and had the effect which any yogi in India would have told you is normal. For all this is not fancy or delusion, it is part of an occult science which has been practiced throughout the historic and prehistoric ages in all countries and it has always been known to be not merely auto-suggestive or hallucinatory in its results, but, if one can get the key, veridical and verifiable.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 7, Experiences and Realisations, Supraphysical Vision, Audition, Sensation, pp. 189-193

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.