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O nobly-born, the dhyani and other deities are born of the power of Samadhi [or meditation]. Pretas [or unhappy spirits or shades] and malignant spirits of certain orders are those who by changing their feeling [or mental attitude] while in the Intermediate State assumed that very shape which they thereafter retained, and became pretas, evil spirits, and rakshasas, possessed of the power of shape shifting. All pretas, who exist in space, who traverse the sky, and the eighty thousand species of mischievious sprites, have become so by changing their feelings [while] in the mental body [on the Bardo-plane]. 1.
1. Owing to having arrived at the false concept of the Intermediate State is a desirable or fixable state of existence, all dwellers therein, -sprites, pretas, demons, and deceased human entities, -becoming thereby habituated to the Bardo, their normal evolution is retarded. According to the most enlightened of the lamas, whenever a spirit is called up, as in such spirit invocations as are nowadays common throughout the West, that spirit, through contact with this world and the prevailing animistic beliefs concerning the hereafter, being strengthened in the illusion that the Bardo is a sate where real spiritual progress is possible, makes no attempt to quit it. The spirit called up ordinarily describes the Bardo (which is pre-eminately the realm of illusion), in which it is a dweller, more or less as after what it beleived whilst still in the fleshly body concerning the hereafter; for just as a dreamer in the human world lives over again in the dream-state the experience of the waking state, so the inhabitant of the Bardo experiences hallucinations in karmic accord with the content of his consciousness created in the human world. His symbolic visions, as the Bardo Thodol repeatedly emphasizes, are but the psychic reflexes of thought forms carried over from earth-life as mental deposits or seeds of karma...This is said why none but very exceptional spirits when evoked have any rational philosophy to offer concerning the world in thich they exist; they are generally regarded as being the mere playthings of karma, lacking in mental coherence and stability of personality -more often thatn not,as being senseless ghosts, or psychic 'shells' which have been cast off by the consciousness- principle, and which, when coming into rapport with a human 'medium', are galvanized into automaton-like life.
It is true that spirit-evocation of a kind is practiced in Tibet, as throughtout Mongolia and China, by lamas who form a class of oracular priests, consulted on important problems of political policy even by the Dalai Lama himself. But the spirits called up are tutelary deities of a low order called the 'executive order' (Tib. bkah-dod -pron. ka-dot, meaning 'one awaiting orders') and never intentionally the spirits or ghosts of men and women recently deceased. Some of these bkahdods are, so the Tibetans believe, the spirits of lamas and devotees who have failed -often through the practice of black magic -to obtain enlightenment when in the human world, or who otherwise,in the manner described in the text here, have been diverted from the normal path of progress. Thus, in many instances, they have become demoniacal and malignant spirits, whose progress has been arrested not by being called up by 'mediums' so soon after being decease, but naturally through very evil karma, Such bkahdods, thus often presenting themselves with ordinary spirits of the dead, are, as obsessing demons, said to do much harm mentally and psychically to the untrained 'medium' and clients, insanity and moral irresponsibity not frequently resulting. For these reasons, the lamas maintain that psychic research should not be conducted only by masters of the occult, or magical sciences, and not indescriminately by the guru-less masses.
( p. 187.)