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A siddhi is defined as "a magickal or spiritual power for the control of self, others and the forces of nature" by a Tantrik glossary. The siddhis described by occultists and yogis are in actuality supernormal perceptual states available to all human beings. These are absolutely natural abilities that can be explained in highly rational terms. There is nothing mysterious or magical about the siddhis.
Just like any other natural human ability, different people display differing abilities towards learning and/or spontaneously displaying siddhis. Some people are born with siddhis that they exercise without being aware that their particular psychic gift is unusual. In such cases, it may come as a traumatic event to the individual when they learn that their ability is not common and that they are considered a "misfit" by other people not possessing the psychic ability.
In other cases, one can practice yoga and actively develop siddhis. According to occult theory, this is the rational and desirable way to go about achieving siddhis.
Another means to trigger off siddhis in an unexpected and uncontrolled manner is by the use of certain drugs. Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, mescaline, peyote and others stimulate siddhis in an uncontrolled fashion. This is a very dangerous way to evoke siddhis and can lead to great psychological trauma.
As well, a variety of other stimuli may cause siddhis spontaneously, such as a fall or a blow to the head.
However the siddhis are produced, the fact is that they exist. The existence of the siddhis is doubted by most people because they have no experience with them. However, the act of dreaming is considered a siddhi. Thus, any one who has dreamed has utilized a siddhi.
Our so-called normal psychological attributes bleed imperceptibly into the perceptual realms (the Planes of Nature) opened up by the awakening of the siddhis, thus it is not clear cut at all as to where "normal" psychological behaviors end, and siddhis begin.
And to further complicate the situation, though academic psychologists see many cases of people experiencing siddhis, the academic psychology community, on the whole, is completely unaware of the nature and existence of the siddhis. Often this leads to the psychologist or psychiatrist treating individuals who are experiencing siddhis in an inappropriate and damaging fashion. Often, cases of so-called insanity or psychosis are cases of people experiencing siddhis who are scared and confused, in which case the individual may be given completely inappropriate treatment that only worsens the individual's condition. Of course there are valid forms of psychosis in which confinement or institutionalization are required. Again, however, the borderline between such cases and cases of people experiencing siddhis is ambiguous and ill defined presently.
In the future, Western academic science will be forced to accept the realities of the siddhis as their nature becomes better understood.
In conclusion, it must be strongly and thoroughly stressed that the siddhis are absolutely natural abilities latent in all humans. If one takes the time to learn and practice the correct yoga exercises, then it is inevitable that one will directly experience the awakening of their own siddhis. Again, there is nothing magical or mysterious going on here, and all claims put forth regarding the siddhis stand open to any type of test of their validity that anyone wishes to pose. However, those skeptical of the siddhis and who wish to challenge the claim to the existence of the siddhis must be prepared to recognize that the nature of the siddhis will not fit easily into biased misconceptions. One who experiences siddhis operates in a greater, more expanded psychological reality than one who does not and therefore the skeptic must be prepared to expand his or her understanding in an attempt to either prove or disprove the existence of the siddhis.