Is this the segment you were referring to? Or could you quote it yourself? I wasn't able to see where "communicating with devas," is expressed in the passage. And at any rate, I have communicated with worldly devas to some extent in my life--directly--without at all achieving the fourth jhana. However to communicate with brahmas, the jhanic achievements are of course necessary. This much is obvious.
Here, Udàyi, the bhikkhu secluded from sensual desires and thoughts of demerit abides in the first jhana: Overcoming thoughts and thought processs and the mind in one point internally appeased, without thoughts and thought processes abides in the second jhana. Again with equanimuity to joy and detachment, feeling pleasant with the body too, abides in the third jhana. To this the noble ones say abiding in pleasantness with equanimity. Udàyi, this is the course of actions, for realising the world of only pleasant feelings. `
ßVenerable sir, isn't there another course of actions, for realising the world of pleasant feelings, is this the only course of action?'
ßUdàyi, this is not the only course of actions, for realising the world of pleasant feelings only. There are other courses of action, for realising the world of pleasant feelings only. `
Even this segment deserves a lot of clarification. Does realization here mean "to perceive" that world? Is the world of pleasant feelings the sensual heavens, the meditative heavens, or is it both? In any case, he goes on to say that morality and wisdom is enough, even without meditation, to "realize the world of pleasant feelings."
I don't know if I have ever achieve the first jhana, but I'm confident that I have achieved the subtle jhana that is said to proceed the jhanas. However I repeat that I wasn't able to see the gods clearly until after I had begun intense meditation. After study, I learned this was quite normal among some practitioners, and the previous lives of the individual--I think--do influence this phenomenon.
No, I haven't tried taken photographs. I'll ask about it.
A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.