SearchWithin Book Review
Gates of the Mind
by Joseph A. Sadony
~ On the development of intuitive abilities
Obedience to the promptings of intuition removes by prevention all problems that disobedience would create. —Joseph Sadony
Two groups of readers will gravitate toward Joseph Sadony's Gates of the Mind. The first group involves those who are fascinated by unusual mental abilities—psychic phenomena," for lack of a better description. Sadony's startling experiences with intuition and his uncanny abilities are weaved throughout the book, and his stories are both compelling and convincing. The following excerpt sets the tone for the reader, where Sadony provides an account of predicting the precise time and location of a lightning strike:
And one time, before eleven witnesses who are all still living as I write this (this was later in life), I said, in the midst of a storm. "Look at that tree, if you want to see something. Suppose I told you that I could make the lightning strike that tree; would you believe me? Of course not. But watch it. One, two, three."
And no one was more astonished than I when a bolt of lightning split the tree before our eyes; for I was in a "waking dream" at the time, having abandoned myself to the spirit and enjoyment of the storm.
How can I, the reader, improve my intuitive abilities and sensitivities to the "Great Broadcaster of Life"?
Sadony's uncommon attitude quickly becomes apparent, as he takes no credit for such an event and even elaborates on several plausible explanations. And this brings us to the second group of readers who will be attracted to Gates of the Mind. These readers will ask how. How did Sadony enlist such talents? How can I, the reader, improve my intuitive abilities and sensitivities to the "Great Broadcaster of Life" as he calls it? The reviewers at searchwithin.org sought an answer to this latter question when delving into Gates of the Mind. Here's what we found...
With the caveat that Sadony was disinclined to label intuitive qualities, four main elements or themes are apparent throughout the book:
Let's take a closer look at each of these areas.
This is the most elusive element. Sadony admits that the feeling is a great mystery, and to explore it is the highest endeavor of humans. It "is the source of all inspiration, the fountainhead of all spiritual gifts, the heart and life of all religion." He fastidiously demystifies this feeling by refraining from labeling it as anything occult. Rather, he says, the feeling has neurological and physiological origins, not in the brain alone, but electrochemically through "the coordinated activity of the entire nervous organization." The feeler receives something through the nervous system and instantly pieces it together with previous memories and experiences. The feeler must suspend the intellect until after the feeling wraps itself in our imagination. Feeling shapes the thought.
Admittedly, the above description isn't quite hitting the center of the target. Here's what Sadony wrote:
It requires not the use of some mysterious faculty you do not possess, but rather the suspension of the use of your "intellect" (verbal memory, reason, etc.) until after your feeling of intuition has clothed itself imaginatively. Then harness it by "logic and reason," by all means, if you can. But you must first learn how to stop thinking at will. You must learn how to "deconcentrate" instead of concentrating. You must make no strenuous "effort." You can't "force" it. You can't "play" with it. You can't "practice" it. Spontaneity is its most essential characteristic. It cannot manifest in the realm of habit or "conditioned reflexes," as in the case of instinct.
But what exactly is it we are feeling? The conventional idea of an intuition or hunch is that it solves a problem—a eureka experience that might even change the course of history. On a grand scale, such a description may hold true. But on a more practical level, intuition has a place in our everyday experience. A frequent reader of searchwithin.org describes intuition as "A direct knowing of a person, place, thing, or situation that comes of its own accord. When experienced, it fills the mind and spirit with a certainty that only comes with a direct experience of events. It comes in a flash—as a vision or a voice—and if we're caught up in illusion, we'll miss it."
You've probably experienced something unusual in your own life but on a much smaller scale. Perhaps you have experienced a vague hunch about what to do or where to go at certain moments, not really understanding why but acting on it nonetheless. Often, such actions only become clear in retrospect. Or you might resonate with Sadony's description:
Some "feel" things without seeing any mental "pictures." ... Some visualize their ideals in all, then carry them out one by one, prophesying for themselves without realizing it. And some sense things only through symbols, which constitute a universal language of understanding based on memory elements of sensory experience in nature. The intuitive dreams and "imaginings" of this type of person will seldom be literally true. The truth is embodied in symbols that must be interpreted.
In any event, it seems that one of the keys is having a nervous system that may be more sensitive to a feeling. Likewise, spontaneity is a meaningful ingredient. Which brings us to our second element...
Down through the ages, some of history's greatest thinkers have debated humanity's predicament of "free will" vs. "determinism." Shall we allow events to unfold of their own accord, or shall we exert effort to bend events to our will? With regard to the feeling, Sadony squarely falls in the former camp. It isn't propitious to force a feeling, he says, or force a conclusion. In fact, attempts to artificially assemble thoughts or use intellectual activity will mislead the feeler. Instead, the feeler must suspend all internal thought activity, which in turn provides a blank slate for the feeling to write. Sadony's description follows:
I found that my imagination provided the truth in one instance and deceived me in another. It deceived me when I used my own reason and memory to speculate on things I didn't know enough about. It deceived me when I concentrated or "tried." It never deceived me when I didn't try, and didn't care, and had a "feeling" first that started my imagination going to piece together in a flash what was aroused from my memory by the feeling.
Another example involves his attempts in arriving at answers to his own questions. Have you ever asked yourself a question, forgotten about it, and then received your answer a few days or weeks later? Often, Sadony found that when he asked questions "mentally"—in his own mind without putting them in words—he would receive strange but direct answers at a later time, frequently in conversation with others.
Essentially, "allow" means a person truly understands the language of feeling, and is able to "blank" his or her mind and allow the feeling to arrive of its own accord. It is not of us, and thus we take no credit for it. It arrives and crystallizes in its own shape. As a sidebar, Sadony's "didn't try, didn't care" statement is interesting, as it reflects one part of a formula for accomplishment that is often repeated by mystics1.
What else is required for accomplishment? Let's find out...
Like most accomplishments in life, results are proportional to energy applied. In the case of intuition, a feeler must learn to trust it and act on it. The feeler doesn't hold a half-hearted attitude about the feeling. In other words, when a feeling of certainty arises, and the feeler is able to distinguish such formation from his or her own thoughts, action must occur. Sadony writes:
The bargain that intuition seems to drive is that it will serve you if you serve it. You must obey your intuition to cultivate it, to develop it, and to retain the use of it. This is a voluntary act. In colloquial language, you have a hunch, and the hunch is an involuntary experience. Whether or not you obey it is up to you. If it is a real hunch, or intuition, you will inevitably regret it if you do not. These experiences will increase in frequency if you obey them; and if you don't they will cease altogether. This is evident from case histories.
But to complete the transaction one must go further than that. One must recondition the entire system of reflexes that constitute habit, so that neither habit nor sensory stimuli nor the influence or suggestions of environments, thoughts, desires, or purposes of other people can interfere with the function or execution of your intuition of your relation between your inner self and that universal "something else." That must come before all else—"or else," in the final transaction.
Beyond question, Sadony was serious about intuition. If he could not immediately execute on the hunch, he painstakingly kept notes on pen and paper, which was at his fingertips at all times, even by his bedside. If an intuition arrived, even with hammer raised to strike a nail, he would set aside the hammer to jot down the intuition. He wrote, "I stood guard at the 'wireless' receiver of my brain night and day, save when unconscious from sleep or sheer exhaustion, and even then could not escape the position I had assumed." Indeed, Sadony sensitized his nerves and mental clearinghouse to encourage intuition, and then become wholly absorbed in waiting for the thoughts and feelings that played through his mind throughout the day.
Attempts to force intuition are a fool's endeavor. By all means coax it to perform if you must, Sadony says, but accept what comes to you, even if it is nothing.
"Prayer" as Sadony describes it is not what you think. It doesn't mean petitioning the universe, a higher power, Awareness, Truth—or God. In fact, Sadony never tried to label or identify who or what was doing the broadcasting of the feeling. Nor did he try to locate its source. So, why was prayer so important to Sadony?
The reality is the energy that cannot be destroyed. What we know as "life" is but an echo and shadow, the organic reflex of the radiant energy that sustains the Great Broadcasting Program of Nature. If we attempt to attune ourselves more completely in accord with the Great Central Broadcasting Station of this mammoth program of life, the act of so doing is called "prayer." The vibration that chills our spine when we make the attunement. Why should we not regard it as a "holy spirit" and the source of the energy, the "something else"? What does it matter what we call it?
He eloquently pens the depth of his lifelong experience with prayer in the last chapter of the book:
And this is the truth that I learned in the desert, and proved to myself through the passing years: the flesh cannot pray. A sincere prayer is but an echo of God's voice. God manifests Himself in our thoughts. He but whispers, and it becomes an echo in our prayers. Long before we ask for anything we have a right to ask, it is known and answered by an order that constitutes our faith. Thus faith is the sanction that our prayers are prophetic. And thus we reach the fulfillment of the intuitive life.
Prayer is what tunes us to the Silence within. And this tuning is not a sporadic endeavor, nor is it accomplished through ritual or brute effort. Instead, prayer is a continuous reminder to turn our attention inward to accept the immensity of the Silence that is neither flesh nor mind. "When we do not pray we have lost faith in our soul; our 'radio' is silenced..." Enough said.
When reading Gates of the Mind, the reviewers at searchwithin.org charted a course to discover how Sadony was able to cultivate and improve his intuition. Seekers of wisdom will quickly discover that aspiring to be a feeler means sensitizing the "mental clearinghouse" by remaining aware of the mind's activities. And we must be open to the prospect of receiving something—a feeling—that isn't easily defined with the intellect.
Intuition is alive when our mind is acting more like a receiver than a generator, and perhaps heightened further when body and mind are absorbed in creativity or exhausted with fatigue. We do not shape things. We allow the shape to form of its own accord and only then attempt to figure out what has been cast. Above all, we must experience it for ourselves rather than rely on another's words.
What was Sadony's overall purpose for writing Gates of the Mind? He wanted to "rescue the truth," as he puts it, by exposing the charlatans and psychic racketeers who deceive us with tricks. He diligently demystified clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, precognition, telepathy, etc. by explaining and illustrating such phenomena in ordinary terms, and through personal examples in his life. Most of all, he wanted to show that inspiration and feeling compose the core of our heart, without which humanity would be but uninspired automatons with no purpose.
Joseph A. Sadony completed Gates of the Mind in 1948, but the wisdom of his words is timeless. We'll end our review with a poignant excerpt…
It is like radio antennae with which you may attempt to tune in, to "seek, knock and ask." Then—who knows?—you may receive a beautiful program that will illuminate and bless the rest of your life. But beware of this: if you tune in to the world of human thoughts, you shall be a slave to other men who dominate by forceful, positive thinking.
If, however, you use your "human radio" to tune in to the Great Broadcaster of Life, you will serve the purpose of life by responding, not to the skeptical intellectual demands of men, but to those who also tuned in to the Central Broadcasting station of Mankind.
This is the foundation of human brotherhood—the brotherhood that is impossible save between intuitive men, men who know each other before they meet, and who cannot be separated even by death.
» Read Gates of the Mind in its entirety.
» Read more about Joseph Sadony.
1For the complete formula on "accomplishment," search the Web with your favorite search engine for "betweenness" and either "Richard Rose" or "Bart Marshall."
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