Underlying the vast proliferation of psychic readers, mediums and fortune-tellers, with the confusion, misinterpretation and outright fraud that arises within that milieu, there is a kernal of truth that attaches to some real powers of the consciousness when there is an opening of the psychical sense with a connection to the subliminal being. Those who are able to actually and truly make this connection are able in many cases to get images of events and people, past, present and future, which provide insight or guidance if not over-interpreted by the limited mental faculty, or skewed by the desire-soul’s personal interests. Some have described the experience as akin to going into a deep inner consciousness and becoming aware of a huge vault with drawers, each one holding a specific image or even a “scroll” that can be opened and viewed. They come back from the experience with an intimation or even a fully fleshed-out vision and can recognize places, people and events as they arise in the future based on that earlier experience. The archive, as it may be termed, can also show events of past or present. People who have done much work in this field, such as C.G. Jung, may term this as the “collective unconscious”.
Sri Aurobindo describes the operation of this power of knowledge. He notes that it is not, of itself, a spiritual action, but a psychical one that opens the doorway to the subliminal self: “Its first faculty, that which most readily attracts attention, is its power of seeing by the psychical sense images of all things in time and space. As exercised by clairvoyants, mediums and others this is often, and indeed usually, a specialised faculty limited though often precise and accurate in action, and implies no development of the inner soul or the spiritual being or the higher intelligence. It is a door opened by chance or by an innate gift or by some kind of pressure between the waking and the subliminal mind and admitting only to the surface or the outskirts of the latter. All things in a certain power and action of the secret universal mind are represented by images,– not only visual but, if one may use the phrase, auditory or other images,– and a certain development of the subtle or psychical senses make it possible,– if there is no interference of the constructing mind and its imaginations, if, that is to say, artificial or falsifying mental images do not intervene, if the psychical sense is free, sincere and passive,– to receive these representations or transcriptions with a perfect accuracy and not so much predict as see in its correct images the present beyond the range of the physical sense, the past and the future. The accuracy of this kind of seeing depends on its being confined to a statement of the thing seen and the attempt to infer, interpret or otherwise go beyond the visual knowledge may lead to much error unless there is at the same time a strong psychical intuition fine, subtle and pure or a high development of the luminous intuitive intelligence.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 25, Towards the Supramental Time Vision , pp. 861-862