Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. -William James
I remember this quote a bit differently. And I am not going to sully my smeared memory by googling the 'correct' version.
Our normal waking consciousness is but one type of consciousness. Whilst all about us, separated from us by the filmiest of veils lie many other forms of consciousness patiently waiting for us to awaken to them. -William James as remembered by my consciousness
To me the meaning is clear - ordinary reality is not only just one of a myriad of ways of perceiving reality; it does in fact shape the reality we identify as ordinary or waking consciousness. Change your reality, change your perceptions of reality or change your perception of reality, change your actual reality.
Astronomers now believe their are literally hundreds of thousands of potential earth-like planets circling stars near and far (mostly far). I would suggest that there are just as many realities circling each of us, we need only awaken to them. How to do that? How to experience those realities just out of your sight?
Well, meditation comes to mind as a well traversed path. Drugs are clearly another (insert caveats here). But I think one preliminary step is almost a necessity, particularly if your end goal is enlightenment, nirvana, wisdom or growth. You need to honestly embrace the belief that those "filmiest of veils" exist and then examine them to see them for what they are. We construct the veils, the walls, the impediments to the multiverse of realities and, of course, only we can take them down. Step one - recognize your energetic funding of your own limited view of realities.
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in. -Mika--
art by Thor Lange