part 2: Sphere 6, Tiphareth, cont.
b. Ritual: Knowledge & Conversation with the Transcendent Function; Coniunctio;
The Royal Marriage and Sex Magick
c. Practical QBL: A Description of Meditative and Exalted States; The Body of Light,
Part 2: the Causal Body
[see following files, part 3 and part 4, for below]
a. Psychological Model: Self-Actualization and Well-Being
(1). The Heroic Quest for Self Development
(2). The Syntaxic Mode and Creativity
(3). Varieties of Spiritual Rebirth
(4). Androgyny and Individual Wholeness
b. Archetypal Encounters:
(2). The Divine or Magickal Child
(3). The Puer/Senex Archetype
(4). Puella and the Wise Old Woman
(5). Puer/Puella Relationships of Perpetual Adolescence
(6). The Wounded Healer and the Mana Personality
c. Mythic Correspondence:
(1). Solar Gods: Ra, Osiris, Apollo, Mithras, Christ
(2). The Vegetation Mysteries of Dionysus and Attis
(3). Eros and Psyche, an Archetype of Relationship
(4). Ulysses or Odysseus, Wounding and Healing
3. ASTROLOGY AND ALCHEMY
a. The Meaning of the Progressed Sun in Astrology
b. The Alchemical Mode of Imagination (Unus Mundus/Holistic Worldview)
c. The Diamond Body and Circulation of the Light (Vector Equilibrium)
a. Re-Visioning Middle Pillar Exercise: Torus/Twistor Model
b. Psi Physiology, "Meditation and Resonance Effects"
c. Magical Use of Standing Waves and Geometrical Matrices
Part 1: Knowledge & Conversation with the Transcendent FunctionThus, then, having overcome the World of the Elements, does the Adept stand equilibrated in Tiphareth. In that equilibrium he must set forth upon the greatest magical adventure which has yet befallen him, to win the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, otherwise called his holy Genius. Equilibrium is vitally necessary to him in this quest, for the fulfillment which he seeks will not come about unless in accordance with the aphorism, "As Above, so below." ...The Holy Guardian Angel is a beam transmitted from...that Supernal region which even in symbolic representation defies dimension...this Being of living light and love whom the Adept, and he alone, is to know as his Angel. ...the Reality which is named in occult doctrine as the Holy Guardian Angel is the same which underlies the pale abstraction, Grace.--Denning & Phillips/The Magical Philosophy, Vol. IVApuleius describes Socrates' genius (daimonion) as follows: He is "a private patron and individual guide, an observer of what takes place in the inner person, guardian of one's welfare, he who knows one most intimately, one's most alert and constant observer, individual judge, irrefutable and inescapable witness, who frowns on evil and exalts what is good." If one 'watches him in the right way, seeks ardently to know him, honors him religiously," then he shows himself to be "the one who can see to the bottom of uncertain situations and can give warning in desperate situations, can protect us in dangerous situations, and can come out to rescue when we ar in need." He can intervene "now through a dream and now through a sign [synchronistic event], or he can even step in by appearing personally to fend off evil, to reinforce the good, to lift up the soul in defeat, to steady our inconstancy, to lighten our darkness, to direct what is favorable toward us and to compensate what is called evil.--Marie Louise vonFranz/Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian Psychology
Before the transforming power of the higher Self is personified on the Causal Plane as one's Angel, Guide or Guru, it is known as a symbol-forming function. In Jungian Psychology, this symbol-forming power of the psyche is called the transcendent function. Its purpose is to mediate between that which is unknown and that which is manifest. It performs its function by creating unifying symbols from pairs of opposites.
Thus, the Spheres of the Middle Pillar on the Tree of Life all represent the transcendent function, since they synthesize the qualities of the right and left hand pillars. They express a higher perspective which unites both qualities. On the Path of Return, Tiphareth is the first sphere to reconcile the opposites in a higher synthesis.
By synthesizing pairs of opposites into a symbol, the transcendent mode creates a method of transition from one set of attitudes to the next. An individual ego may work more effectively with subconscious processes by consciously attaching value to these symbols presented by the transcendent function.
Symbols ultimately must be transcended. They are fingers pointing at the Moon...or the Sun, but not the experiences themselves. One must use great discrimination in regard to one's own experiences as well as reports of others. Even mystical experiences, much less powers, are not the goal. Spirituality is Way of life, a practice. Just because someone believes they have met an angel, or channeled a higher being, or engaged in astral travel doesn't mean it is so. Even confabulated or imagined experiences can seem very real, just as they do when drug-induced. There is no enlightenment within the realm of duality, however, and they may simply be expansions of the ego.
Our task is to discover their transpersonal meaning, whether they are presented to us through dreams, attitudes, or behavior patterns. If the meaning were consciously understood, it would not be presented as a symbol. Therefore, once its meaning is realized over a period of time, another symbol appears to take its place, reflecting the new situation.
The transcendent function, seen as one's inner guide, angel, or guru, embodies the transmuting power of the symbol. The personification of the higher Self allows us to take up a relationship with the inner Self, and encourages dialogue and the development of feelings of loving devotion.
All the symbols and archetypal figures in which the transformative process are embodied are vehicles of the transcendent function. It is the union of different pairs of psychic opposites in a synthesis which transcends them both. The uniting symbol only appears when the inner psychic life is experienced as just as valid, effective, and psychologically "real" as the world of daily life.
The transcendent function, seen as one's inner guide, angel, or guru embodies the transmuting power of the symbol. The personification of the higher Self allows us to take up a relationship with the inner Self, and encourages dialogue and the development of feelings of loving devotion.
All the symbols and archetypal figures in which the transformative process are embodied are vehicles of the transcendent function. It is the union of different pairs of psychic opposites in a synthesis which transcends them both. The uniting symbols only appears when the inner psychic life is experienced as just as valid, effective, and psychologically "real" as the world of daily life.
The transcendent function, or inner Guide, restores the balance between the ego and the unconscious. It belongs to neither, yet possesses access to each. It forms a bridge for the soul to ascend, by lying in-between and participating in both inner and outer life. By relating to each independently, it unites ego and the unconscious.
The first glimmerings of Knowledge and Conversations with One's Angel are very similar to the descriptions of "peak experience" developed by Abraham Maslow. A peak experience is the result of the drive of the spirit in search of itself. The experience is self-validation, self-justified, and has intrinsic value of a unique nature for each individual.
There is an intense experience of the nearness of God, or divinity. This is the first state of grace, or mind-expansion. It is a response experience where one feels a sense of Presence. The true mystic takes this experience as his point of departure and grows in grace from it. The poet or artist uses this recurrent experience as a basis for artistic production (or inspiration) and personal euphoria.
When the contact is stabilized, the Guide can take the soul up to the heights of mystic rapture. A by-product of this contact is that the adept may consult at will with his guide for directions in any matter. This contact is known in Eastern systems as "getting the radiant form of the Master." It occurs only after one penetrates the lower Astral Plane through meditation.
One is able to see the radiant form, one sees the archetype of the Self in its pure form, uncontaminated by the personal complexes which would contaminate and denigrate its refulgence. Carl Jung describes this process of unfolding relationship in terms of the alchemical form of meditation.What I call coming to terms with the unconscious the alchemists called "meditation." Ruland says of this: "Meditation: The name of an Internal Talk of one person with another who is invisible as in the invocation of the Deity, or communion with one's self, or with one's good angel." This somewhat optimistic definition must immediately be qualified by reference to the adept's relations with his spiritus familiaris, who we can only hope was a good one. . .Confrontation with the shadow produces at first a dead balance, a standstill that hampers moral decisions and makes convictions ineffective or even impossible. . .the nigredo...It is right that the magnum opus should begin at this point, for it is indeed a well-nigh unanswerable question how one is to confront reality in this torn and divided state. ...almost nobody hits on the idea of using the objective hints given by dreams as a theme for meditation. ...When meditation is concerned with the objective products of the unconscious that reach consciousness spontaneously, it unites the conscious with contents that proceed not from a conscious causal chain but from an essentially unconscious process.Knowledge of one's Self, which is identical with one's image of God, is the idea behind the east Indian idea of the purusha, Brahm or atman. This transcendental self constantly appears in cross-cultural appraisals of philosophical systems.
We cannot know what the unconscious psyche is, otherwise it would be conscious. We can only conjecture its existence, though there are good enough grounds for this. Part of the unconscious content is projected, but the projection as such is not recognized. Meditation or critical introspection of the object are needed in order to establish the existence of projections. If the individual is to take stock of himself it is essential that his projections should be recognized, because they falsify the nature of the object and besides this contain items which belong to his own personality and should be integrated with it. This is one of the most important phases in the wearisome process of self-knowledge. And since projections involve one in an inadmissible way in externalities, Dorn rightly recommends an almost ascetic attitude to the world, so that the soul may be freed from its involvement in the world of the body. Here only the "spirit" can help it, that is, the drive for knowledge of the self, on a place beyond all the illusion and bemusement caused by projection (Mysterium Coniunctionis, p. 497-499).
Translations of ancient Egyptian texts reveals that these people also had the experience of the Self.In contradistinction to the Ka, which represented the world-creating power of a god or king and the life force in every human being, the Ba stands for an aspect of the soul, connected to the uniqueness of the individual. . .the Ba is an immanent component of every man, comparable to the concept Atman also representing the innermost center of the individual and as Atman Purusha -- the all-embracing Deity. The Ba, or soul is a power to be reckoned with even during this life, a power that men cannot escape by any conscious act of will and cannot entirely grasp by conscious understanding. The Ba has something to do with the incarnation of a god -- his individual forms of appearance on earth -- or represents an immanent component of a human individual. The Ba is prepared to witness against consciousness; it voices a personal, individual truth. It is a real power with claims of its own, capable of opposing the conscious intentions of those who take for granted that one is united with it. Ba is not interested in what is conventionally considered good; it obviously wants something else. Ba chooses the symbol of unborn children to express still unrealized potentialities. Ba cautiously leads the world-weary man to the real goal: the sense of at-one-ment with the Ba, newly gained through self-knowledge -- restoration of the wholeness of personality, now consciously experienced as the result of transformation. (Jacobsohn, "Dialogue of a World-Weary Man with his Ba").Neumann has commented on the various soul-parts in Egyptian religion in his classic, The Origins and History of Consciousness. He links Osiris with the heart-soul, or Ba, and notes that the hieroglyph for "hear" and 'thought" are identical. He further asserts that,The ka soul has a particularly important part to play in this process [of transformation and unification of soul parts]. It is extraordinarily difficult for us to understand what is meant by the ka...the Egyptians conceived it a man's double, as his genius or guardian angel, as his name and as that which nourished him.The Ba represents paradoxically, both the unconscious personality complexes of an individual, but also the indwelling of the Self. On the other hand, the ka describes the pranas, or vitality of the life force, genetic heritage, and environmental effects on personality.
When the ka and the body are purified and united -- the king -- like Osiris before him and every individual after him -- is a complete being who achieves perfection. Through this union of soul parts the king becomes a ba, a heart-soul who dwells with the gods and possesses the breath of life; he is now akhu, a perfect spiritual being.According to Plutarch, Isis and Osiris are very great "daimons" but they are not gods. Therefore they represent something which is trans-subjective but which is closer to the human than to the gods, something which can be experienced inwardly in certain states of strong emotion. (Von Franz, Projection and Recollection in Jungian Psychology)Images of the Self appear spontaneously throughout the entire transformative process. It appears in all symbols from the highest to the lowest. At the beginning of the great work it appears in animal forms, such as snakes, birds, fish, horses, or beetles. It shows through the plant forms of flowers and tree symbolism. It progresses through metaphors of sexual union into human and mandala forms.
The symbols of the Self in human forms may be contaminated with other archetypes, since pure forms are rarely seen outside of mystical meditation. For example, if one's image of the Self were contaminated with the anima/animus, the vision would be of a vibrant, solar woman whose aura radiates like the sun. Contaminated by the shadow, one might experience a magical creature like Mephistopheles.
The inner daimon was an important component of early Greek Philosophy.In the Timaeus (90B-90C), Plato sets forth his theory that every human being has a divine daimon that is the noblest component of the psyche. Whoever seeks wisdom and seriously concerns himself with divine and eternal things nourishes his daimon, whereas worldly trivialities abase and mortify him.Denning and Phillips (The Magical Philosophy, Vol. IV) speak about the relationship between the Adept and the Holy Guardian Angel, as practiced in their Order, the Aurum Solis.
Some of the Stoics taught the existence of such a daimon in double form: one is a divine component of the psyche (Nous), but the other is a spark of the fiery-world-soul that has migrated into human beings; this latter daimon -- or this part of the daimon -- guides a man from without through his whole life. In the opinion of Plutarch (died A.D. 125), only a pure man can hear the voice of this daimon, a completely bodiless being who is the mediator of the supernatural, "parapsychological" knowledge to the human being he watches over. Neoplatonists thought of this genius-daimon as immortal, as one who becomes an actual divinity after his mortal sojourn.
As a result of the Stoa's spiritual-ascetic orientation in late antiquity, and of Neoplatonism, the Italic genius lost his earlier component of physical vitality, the pleasure principle, which originally had been innate to him. In De genio Socratis, a work by Apuleis, there is mention of two genii who live in human beings; one is the immortal ethical guardian and inner friend of a specific person, and the other (who live sin the genua, "knees) embodies sensual desire and covetousness and is evaluated negatively.
The daimon knows the future and is at all times in touch with the world-spirit, with the Logos or spermatic pneuma of the universe. In him masculine and feminine are merged, so that he is thus an androgynous symbol of wholeness, ...an archetypal image that, like the lapis in alchemy, unites the opposites of masculine and feminine in one figure (Von Franz).Of such a meeting what can be written? -- but it takes place in the Sphere of Tiphareth, and little by little it unfolds the fulfillment of that sphere. Gradually does he come to understand that what he perceives is not the Universal Plan, but only that fragment of it which represents his own life-work: he could not perform it alone, but neither will this be expected of him.
Regardless of what we have said of the origin of this Being, the Adept's experience here is of an Angel of Tiphareth: for he is bounded by the Sphere of his attainment. Here, characteristically of Tiphareth, is all brought to harmony: or rather, with his new perception the Adept sees the underlying harmony, which is a greater and more potent condition than mere equilibrium, ever subsisting between higher and lower, between the things of Mercy and also the things of Severity (p. 99-100).
The soul may indeed rise towards Spirit, but has no means of transferring itself into the mode of existence of Spirit, since the latter comes from the Divine and thus partakes of the nature of pure Deed or Act.
Man in his lower consciousness is unable to apprehend directly the Atziluthic noumena, the pure Archetypes, without the assistance of his Intuitive Mind. This, then, is a problem to which no merely exoteric solution either in religion or philosophy is possible.
The descent of the Intuitive Mind is into that level of the Ruach which is named the Briatic Intelligence. ...the Briatic Intelligence awakens, and the Adept sees his Angel. (The epiphany of the Angel will be unique to the Briatic level of each individual psyche.) In response to the stimulus of the Angel, the Ruach grows to its fullness and the Adept learns to control and direct his new faculty. Many things, now, he will perceive "through the unknown, remembered gate" of Briatic consciousness, but the Ruach even in its highest development remains incapable of intuiting truth directly.. This is but one aspect of the matter, however, when the Adept, in the company of his Angel, grows from his child-state to maturity, when "realization of selfhood" is induced by the Holy Guardian, the Not-Self. (Ibid. p. 102-3).
In other words, Denning and Phillips are saying that even the higher mind does not contain the capacity to transcend itself, within itself. It must rely on Grace, or the function of the Angel to attain the next change of plane onto the level of the Supernal Triad. When this transition, or penetration, is accomplished the soul unties its knot with the mind, and the liberated soul realizes itself in its pristine condition. This ability marks a spiritual maturity which is a form of Self-Realization which transcends the level of Tiphareth, but comes before the unitive stage of God-Realization (Kether). Here, the soul realizes that "I am that," but in a stage beyond merging with Universal Mind. The soul can realize itself, unfettered, as the mind has merged in its source on the Causal Plane.
Now, the mind of the Adept will not, as we have said, be universalized, but it will be vastly expanded and inspired. Again, this quality of inspiration is proper to the Sphere of Tiphareth, which is the reason why that Sphere must be attained before the fullness of inspiration can be sought: but the fullness of inspiration is not found even in Tiphareth until one's Angel is one's Dionysus. Under this inspiration the Adept develops, until at last he knows the Gate of Daath wellnigh as his Angel knows it (p. 103).
Here, they are intimating about mystic rapture, a very exalted aspect of the Lord of Intoxication, Dionysus (Greek equivalent of Osiris). Mystic poets often write of the intoxicating qualities of the Beloved and contact bliss. Daath is a very peculiar point on the initiatory path, in that it is analogous to a gateway to another dimension. It means "Knowledge" in the sense of merging together. But this Sphere has both an upward and downward tendency; therefore, it can be a spiritual waystation or rest stop, or it may be a devastating experience of the "subconscious" mind of God (in which case, it is like a spiritual "black hole" with no escape).
Because of the danger of crossing the Abyss alone, Knowledge and Conversation very frequently means that one's Angel suggests acquiring a living Master in order to proceed further in spiritual development. It prevents going off in idiosyncratic directions which are fruitless, keeps one humble in the face of greatness, and provides all the other benefits of mentorship. A true master connects us with the higher planes. A living teacher, who is connected with the highest region, guarantees spiritual safety in crossing the Abyss.
Contacting your personal inner guide:
One begins the training for contacting the inner guide in the first stages of magickal training on the Path of Return. Taking the first step of initiation on the return journey up the Tree of Life implies that the soul seeks knowledge of, and union with the inner guiding principle.
All of the lower Spheres, or phases of personality transformation are designed to foster the attainment of Knowledge and Conversation with one's higher Self, Angel, or Guide. In the lower stages, this guide may appear in many forms. In fact, all of the symbolism of these planes are contained within, and coordinated by the Self.
It is simply that the level of consciousness of the aspirant requires that the Self only reveal certain of its aspects. Therefore, in Malkuth the guide appears as the "shadow," in Yesod as the "anima/animus," and in Tiphareth as the Guru or Angel. As consciousness develops, communication improves and the reliability of advice becomes better due to the lessened interference by interpretations and doubts of the ego.
All of the preliminary mental training of the lower spheres is designed to train and discipline the mind as a preparation for meditation. When one becomes able to meditate consistently and has a program for doing so, rituals of transformation are no longer necessary. Then the entire life is devoted and consecrated to the Great Work in a 24 hours-a-day program.
Training in pathworking and active imagination is all preliminary to the magician's major purpose, invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel (see Book VI, Art, "The Retirement Ritual"). Information and practice experience concerning archetypes and their influence designed to give one practical experience on the Astral Plane, but also to burn out the fascination with the inner movies of this lower level of experience of inner life.
When speaking of Tiphareth initiation, the student should be warned regarding the calling up of the Angel outside of a school of mystical practice. While it may seem a simple task to "get in touch with oneself," in practice it requires a great deal of direction. Consider the value of the psychologist in analysis to the client. In spiritual matters, the need for guidance and peer review is even more dramatic. In Zen Buddhism, the experiences of the meditator are always subject to critique.
Remember, a teacher can take you no further than he or she has gone. So, if an order teaches up to the level of Tiphareth only, they will be offering no further assistance. Nevertheless, "when the student is ready, the teacher appears." If one is truly at Tiphareth-level, help should be forthcoming spontaneously.
The danger of proceeding on one's own comes from the fact that the mind and active imagination are very tricky, and other entities can appear disguised as one's guide or Angel. Only a mystical school of inner development can teach the manner of testing and banishing these tricks of imagination.
Only the true guide can withstand the tests of discriminating among the spirits. And only a teacher who can penetrate past the realm of the mind, at will, can initiate on this level. Most magickal teachers, and Gurus have no training past the point of Tiphareth. Therefore, they consider the highest experience to be merging in the Universal Mind. Those who go further are known as Masters, Saints, or Param Sant Sat Gurus.
So-called "Ascended Masters" are of limited use at this stage, since they cannot initiate any souls from the higher levels. In order to gain spiritual benefit from a Master, both teacher and disciple need to be in a physical body at the same time, at least at the time of initiation.
Again, these visions of Ascended Masters are most frequently figments of the imagination or mind, intriguing through they may be. They are neither to be sought out, nor relied upon, since they cannot help the soul to liberate itself from the Causal Plane.
This may leave the reader somewhat bewildered regarding further progress. Therefore, it is recommended that one seek "professional" spiritual help, by contacting a living Master on a mystical path of God-Realization, if the highest union is desired.
In this case the Master (or Sat Guru) takes upon himself complete responsibility for the soul of the initiate, assuring it will reach its goal through the most efficient means. The Master becomes a composite symbol for the initiate. Ever-after his vision of the Self will be in the form of the master, and he will learn to contact his master's radiant form within. The Master is a living role model, and his directions and teachings, obeyed implicitly will provide the aspirant with the only shortcut available -- a bona fide program of mystical meditation.
There are always such living Masters on the physical plane, and we needn't have recourse to ascended master who are of no further practical value. Ultimately, of course, all Masters are One, since they are equally Son of the Father, and come from the highest spiritual regions to do their work of collecting souls.
However, if one has no luck in finding or acquiring initiation from a living Master, one must deal only with the resources at hand. Masters, after all, choose us, we do not choose them. They claim only certain souls are marked for their direction. It doesn't mean one is unworthy, just that they are not your designated teacher. This leaves some seekers dealing with the mind through active imagination, doing meditation for contacting one's inner guide.
One should begin this exercise in a condition of psychological equilibrium, or stability, not in any times of crisis. Adopt both a relaxed attitude and position, but one in which you will not fall asleep. Close the eyes and drop into a reverie state. Using the symbolism of Tiphareth as a take-off point let impressions begin to guide your attention. Take an active role in the unfolding drama, rather than just watching yourself go through the motions. Preserve the feeling of looking out from your own eyes, feeling the sensations of the astral body.
If you are ready for this experience, you should have gained enough training to formulate your own "entrance" to the Causal Plane, using appropriate symbolism. None will be given here, since each aspirant should create his own unique method of access. Perhaps, in past meditations you have been given your Angel's "name", as revealed through intuition. If this is the case, keep the name firmly in mind, repeating it while maintaining a sense of expectancy. Properly done, the Angel's countenance will appear spontaneously from the darkness, preceded by faint glimmerings of light and possibly some sounds such as the roar of the sea, or distant thundering.
If you hear any entity speaking to you, but can't see it, demand that it appear before you, then banish to make sure it is not a lower level apparition. If the entity withstands the banishing (pass a flaming pentagram through it), you may begin to ask questions. True inner guides will appear in human-like form on the Causal, though they may seen to have wings or radiant auras. They project a life-giving healing, rejuvenating warmth, and give a feeling of absolute peace and serenity.
The inner guide may not speak spontaneously. You must question it directly, and you will only obtain answers if the ego is willing to accept the information. Do not spend too much time on frivolous questions about your love life, desires, the future, etc. The guide will function as your bridge to higher levels of awareness providing you don't succumb to egoic desires.
Since high magick or mystical meditation is the only course left open for further soul growth and connection with the Neschamah, one might ask the Angel how to contact a teacher who is qualified to initiate the soul on these levels. Or in other words, ask the Angel, "How may I proceed further on my quest?"
At this point the Angel may offer suggestions, or the image of the Angel may be replaced by the vision of one's future teacher. This face may not be recognized until a much later time, when the master is met on the physical plane. If one continues to enjoin the Angel concerning further progress, the answer will inevitably be forthcoming. It is not even a matter of time, but inevitable, since we are speaking of a timeless/spaceless realm of actualized potential.
Remember, if you feel you have gotten a true contact with your Angel, you must apply its advice in your daily life. If you do not make the advice practical, you may lose the contact, and be unable to re-establish it. But be very careful that the advice you have gotten comes from the higher mind, or you may be led irretrievably astray into a low level of psychism and stuck in the Astral.
We are not speaking about a vague psychic awareness of direction, but a face to face meeting on the inner planes, the nature of which is unimpeachable. The dynamics should be such that it is an irresistible impulse to fulfill one's True Will. Similarly, initiations should be forestalled until it is impossible to resist, and the mind is completely satisfied or it will thwart the spiritual current with lack of practice, hesitation and doubt.
Your inner guide isn't about to volunteer any information at all, so always be prepared to ask your questions during the overwhelming inspiration which the angel brings. It is a good idea to formulate the questions beforehand, though they are subject to revision during the illuminative period.
Should you enter the inner planes at a lower level, getting say an animal form, be kind and gentle with it. Then ask who its superior is, and how to contact that being. Imagine you are rising on the planes of awareness and penetrating a higher level, and wait for that superior entity to contact you. Do not be lulled into an astral experience by becoming fascinated with the local color. For example, Hawaii can be an interesting place to visit, but is merely a way-station in the ocean if we are heading to India, China or Tibet to meet a great spiritual teacher.
Warning Note: Never attempt any work on the inner planes with the use of intoxicants, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroine, etc. Psychedelics may seem to free up the imagination for a rise in consciousness, but in reality they cloud the mind, and inhibit the higher faculties of discrimination. They may produce a seeming mind-expansion, but even psychologists call them false-ego states -- a trick of the mind. The experience is different for everyone and is never repeatable like true spiritual growth which is fully integrated into the personality.
We should be able to use imagination and meditation to enter these regions and withdraw from them at will, rather than being carried away on a trip in a regressive dissolution of consciousness. Remember, Causal-Plane-awareness means the mental faculties are fully present, not diminished through intoxicants which return us to the most primitive mode (prototaxic). Ken Wilber has spoken of this distinction as the "pre-, trans- fallacy"; The regression to pre-conscious aspects, though it appears similar in some ways, is certainly not equivalent to the transcendental nature of conscious development let alone Grace (syntaxic) which comes through consistent meditative practice. High Magick is not a shamanistic pursuit. When one enters "holy ground" the mind should be cleansed and pure.
When the attention is concentrated within in a focused manner, archetypal forces are awakened, or revealed to the aspirant. Awareness of daily life and sensory impulses is suspended during the meditation for contacting one's angel.
Upon completion of your session, be sure to write any results in your magickal journal. If the contact is poorly defined, watch your dreams for the next couple of days for further insight, or guidance. If these seem consistent with correct spiritual principles, work with these suggestions in your next meditation period.
This creative Archetypal Imagination is a stage up from the practice of simple Active Imagination. It is designed for an experience of the higher mind, through which we can perceive the pure form of the archetypes as they appear in the mind, uncontaminated by our personal ego-complexes. They are more themselves, and less colored by our personal bias, or prejudice. This does not mean they will not appear in a culturally-programmed form. A good Christian is likely to have a vision of the higher Self, which he would call "Christ," his ascended master. The mind seeks out that vision of Realization which the ego can comprehend. It is automatic. For example, you don't find people having NDEs where Jesus appears in the tunnel of light, in India.
By personifying the higher self, we can develop feelings of living devotion which open the heart. This "heart-chakra" activation is frequently felt in the camaraderie of a religious or spiritual group, and is quite supportive in that it forms a conducive atmosphere for further growth. That atmosphere fosters and supports consistency in meditation. Opening of the heart-center, through whatever means, shifts emphasis from an analytical mode into that which is spontaneously uplifting.
The image of the heart -- "l'immagine del cuor" -- was an important idea in the work of Michaelangelo who was strongly influenced by the Platonist tradition. Imagining with the heart refers to a mode of perception that penetrates through names and physical appearances to a personified interior image, from the heart to the heart. ...By imagining through and beyond what the eyes see, the imagination envisions primordial images. And these represent themselves in personified forms.
...Loving is a way of knowing, and for loving to know, it must personify. Personifying is thus a way of knowing, especially knowing what is invisible, hidden in the heart.
In this perspective personifying is not a lesser, primitive mode of apprehending but a finer one. It presents in psychological theory the attempt to integrate heart into method and to return abstract thoughts and dead matter to their human shapes. ...personifying is an epistemology of the heart, a thought mode of feeling.
...My soul is not the result of objective facts that require explanation; rather it reflects subjective experiences that require understanding. To understand anything at all, we must envision it as having an independent subjective interior existence, capable of experience, obliged to a history, motivated by purposes and intentions. We must always think anthropomorphically, even personally.
...we do not actually personify at all. Mythical consciousness is a mode of being in the world that brings with it imaginal persons...where imagination reigns, personifying happens...The persons present themselves as existing prior to any effort of ours to personify. To mythic consciousness, the persons of the imagination are real.
(James Hillman/Re-Visioning Psychology, p. 13-22).
The Angel is a personified soul-image in the tradition of the alchemical Anima Mundi, the Shekinah or the eastern Gurus and Sat Gurus. It is the magickal version of daimon or muse, in its most exalted aspect.
Hillman speaks further on personifying in reference to the Anima or World Soul, which is his personified equivalent of magick's Holy Guardian Angel.
She teaches personifying, and the very first lesson of her teaching is the reality of her independent personality over and against the habitual modes of experiencing with which we are so identified that they are called ego, I. The second lesson is love; she comes to life through love and insists on it, just as Psyche in the old tale is paired forever with Eros.
Perhaps the loving comes first. Perhaps only through love is it possible to recognize the person of the soul. And this connection between love and psyche means a love for everything psychological, every symptom or habit, finding place for it within the heart of imagination, finding a mythical person who is its supportive ground.
...Whether we conceive of this interior person as Anima or as an Angel, a Daemon, a Genius, or a paredros, or one of the personified souls in the traditions of ancient China and Egypt, this figure is indispensable to the notion of human personality. Some traditions, in fact have asserted that an individual without his soul figure is not a human being. Such a one has lost soul. (Ibid, p. 43-44).
Do not be overly concerned about the sex of your inner guide. It can appear in many forms. Most typically the inner Self of man is male, while the innermost aspect of a woman is female. The being most frequently appears as androgynous, or asexual. A woman who has a master who happens to be male will experience the higher self as this male form, without hampering her feminine progress. A female teacher for a male enhances his ability to perceive his soul in female form as Anima.
Hillman's description of the Anima, for example, corresponds in many ways to the Tarot Trump II, the High Priestess. Therefore, for him she appears to be functioning as a bridge from the heart-center to Kether, but he has no access past the Briatic, or Causal level, of psychological awareness, (at least from this description).
Part 2: CONIUNCTIO: The Royal Marriage and Sex Magick
Mystic marriage is ascribed exquisitely in the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Solomon means the Wisdom of the Sun; Sheba means Seven, which has reference to the seven mystical degrees of the Temple.
1. The Quest
2. The Awakening of Love
3. The Attainment of Knowledge (many are called but few are chosen, for few pass beyond here).
4. Detachment (path begins to narrow);
5. Unification or Blending (mystic marriage);
6. Annihilation (become lost in God);
7. Divine Consummation.
The coming of Solomon represents the beginning of the Quest, and the arrival of the Queen the entrance into the second degree, or passage through the veil of Love. The blending of the two poles constitutes the Mystic Marriage.
In some of the verses King Solomon sings to his beloved, while in others the loved one sings to him. In this antiphonic arrangement is indicated the interaction of the two poles of spirit which express as Will...and Imagination (image-building faculty) whose interaction bring new creations into being; blending of two poles, interior balance. (Corine Heline/The Bible and the Tarot).
Coniunctio is an alchemical term symbolizing the unification of opposites. When the opposites to be united are the masculine consciousness and the feminine unconscious, the union is termed The Royal Marriage. This Royal Marriage is a transcendent symbol of the Self, and embodies psychic totality.
Jung describes the relationship of male and female aspects as they relate to internal spiritual life in The Psychology of the Transference.
"the queen stands for the body, the king for the spirit...the soul bonds them together...psyche is 1/2 bodily, 1/2 spiritual substance, an hermaphroditic being capable of uniting opposites, but who is never complete in the individual unless related to another individual.
This describes an intrapsychic process, where spiritual marriage is an inner experience which is not projected onto another living individual. Tiphareth is the Royal marriage of the soul and the self. The projections of anima or animus have been returned to their proper level in the unconscious. The King and Queen are united, or conjoined, synthesizing the opposites. But this cannot happen until one masters the problem of unconscious desirousness.
Ram Dass has spoken about Westerners misunderstandings about Tantric sex in Grist for the Mill:
The issue of Tantra is often played with by people who desire sexual gratification. And they try to have their cake and eat it too. But in truth, when you desire to have a sexual relationship with another person, the arousal process and the gratification is reinforcing that desire. The only kind of truly Tantric sexuality that is possible is between two human beings who are so rooted in God that there is no preoccupying desire for the other person as 'other.' Then you may use the physiological process of body interaction in order to awaken the energy to move it up through the chakras. But that is only when there is no preoccupying desire whatsoever in either partner. Short of that, just be honest with yourself, sexuality is sexuality, but it not Tantra. The true Tantra is basically the relationship between Radha and Krishna, between the seeker and Mother where you open your soul and become both the lingham and the yoni; you are both penetrating the universe and drawing it into yourself. Because the soul is neither male nor female. And when you have identified yourself as a soul going to God, the sexual dance starts to lose its pull.
The Jews also have a long tradition concerning the sanctity of sex in married life. While the tradition differs from that of Tantra, the spiritual aspects of sex form an integral part of Jewish spiritual life. These views are summarized by Gershom Scholem in Zohar -- The Book of Splendor (1949, Schoken Books).
When is 'one' said of a man? When he is male together with female and is highly sanctified and zealous for sanctification; then and only then he is designated one without mar of any kind. hence a man and his wife should have a single inclination at the hour of their union, and the man should be glad with his wife, attaching her to himself in affection. So conjoined, they make one soul and one body; whereas, and this we have learned, if a man is not wedded, he is, we may say, divided in two. But when male and female are joined, God abides upon "one" and endows it with a holy spirit; and, as was said, these are called the children of the Holy One, be blessed.
These statements needn't be confused with erroneous notions concerning the so-called "soul-mate." Each individual has a complete soul, and is a divine spark. But when we choose to cast our lot with a lifemate, there is a synergetic effect which transcends the qualities of the individuals involved, bringing a portion of the divine into manifestation. It is not that a long lost mate is rediscovered after separation on a higher plane. But, rather, that two compatible souls commit themselves to furthering the development of loving compassion in one another and the world. The whole object of marriage is to reach God. Thus marriage is seen as a creative process of love, where two souls care for one another in a reciprocal manner, furthering mutual spirituality.
What the coniunctio does mean is the psychological resolution of the brother-sister duality, which is represented in QBL by the path 25, Trump XIV, ART.
Imagery of the magical potency of sexual union expresses a psychological truth which has existed in mankind from the beginning. Coniunctio expresses the union of opposites, be they masculine and feminine, sun and moon, or other variations on the theme ("dry-moist," hot-cold, gold-silver, mercury-sulpher, round-square, water-fire, volatile-solid, physical-spiritual, and so on") as described by Jung.
The Romans described their genii, or Genius in relation to the verb gignere -- to "beget" or "engender" -- so that the genius represented first of all the reproductive power of the father of the family and of the son and heir, much like the Egyptian Ka-soul of the Pharaoh. The marriage bed was called genialis lactus; this referred not only to sexual potency but also to the qualities that today we would call psychic vitality, temperament, resourcefulness, and a lively imagination. The genius rejoiced when those who honored him ate and drank well and when their sexual experience was good (indulgere genio), but homosexuality and sexual perversions put him out of humor. Miserly and dry people allow their genius to waste away." (Von Franz, Proj. and Recollection in Jungian Psych). The Roman genius eventually took on a more exalted meaning.
Jung has commented on the appearance of the Self in sexual imagery in Aion. He says,
Where there is an underevaluation of sexuality the self is symbolized as a phallus. Underevaluation can consist in an ordinary repression or in overt devaluation. In certain differentiated persons a purely biological interpretation and evaluation of sexuality can also have this effect. Any such conception overlooks the spiritual and "mystical" implications of the sexual instinct. These have existed from time immemorial as psychic facts, but are devalued and repressed on rationalistic and philosophical grounds. In all such cases one can expect an unconscious phallicism by way of compensation. A good example of this is the mainly sexualistic approach to the psyche that is to be found in Freud. (Aion, p. 226).
An example from Magick of this same phallic approach to life is found in Aleister Crowley, with his emphatically sexual approach to magick. He was, in fact, a contemporary of Freud and Jung and cultural repression doubtlessly concerned them all. Crowley's stern, fundamentalist Christian background was quite puritanical. Perhaps, the liberalization of mores within such groups as The Golden Dawn and Ordo Templi Orientis prefigured the larger cultural revolution. These Adepts were not merely seeking "free love," however. Sex magick, for the invocation of one's Angel, had a higher goal, symbolizing the union of opposites.
The male partner in this sacred marriage is always the hero as higher man. As in myth and ritual, the marriage is "cause" and "prototype" of the world's fertility, that is, of creative life in the world. This fertility of the creative, epitomized in the injunction "Be fruitful and multiply," applies to all phases of life, but presupposes split and differentiation, a polarization of opposites, both without and within. Only a masculine consciousness, an established ego, can be fruitful with the anima; only a male principle which has attained its "higher" form by initiation can be fruitful with the female (Erich Neumann, "Mystical Man," Eranos Yearbook, p. 391).
One must be extremely careful in employing sex magick: The criteria for all other rituals of transformation apply, including "is it absolutely necessary?" Usually this is not the case, and the impulsive aspirant bites off more than he can chew. In any case, literal sex magick on the physical plane is a gross misunderstanding and probably represents a confusion of the planes. Remember, you will get what you ask for (i.e. the bud will), but you may get a great deal which you hadn't bargained for in karmic repercussions and unforeseen consequences! Sex magick is best left, therefore, to the "experts," and its description is only included herein for the sake of completeness and metaphorical interpretation.
Man is dual. He carries a woman inside him. Man's soul is feminine and woman's masculine. An initiate of either sex should not need the other; each should be capable of fulfilling himself. Perhaps you've forgotten what the magic wedding means. The only wedding that counts is with oneself. All warriors of our Order function on an exalted level. We are not concerned with doctrines or legends. Our warfare is on a plane beyond human feeling; it is a struggle with oneself to attain the totality of being a man-magician... (Miguel Serrano, El/Ella: Book of Magic Love, p. 55).
Love does not relate to two but to four. One, two, three...First your love with your physical body: the man you are loving, the woman I am. Then the woman inside you, your soul loves my soul, the man within me. This love may be externally sterile, but it gives birth to an eternal son, a being with wings. And so we have four within, and the fifth is our son, the winged man who is also the son of death (Ibid, p. 60).
This describes the production of the magickal child from the union of opposites in interpsychic and intrapsychic relationships, with other and within ourselves. It is easy to see that, although sex magick might be misapplied to manifest one's desires, there is no possibility of sex magick "for fun and profit." Dire consequences can be the only result of such misappropriation of psychological assets.
Sex magick is described metaphorically in alchemical terms in Israel Regardie's classic The Tree of Life, Chapter 16. He learned of sex magic in his work with the Golden Dawn and as Crowley's colleague from the Ordo Templi Orientis. OTO rites reflect their ancestry in Tantric Buddhism, and contain great power. Crowley expounded his complete formula for sex magick in both Liber Samekh, and in Liber Aleph, The Book of Wisdom or Folly (p. 86). Restated in more common terms, it involves the following steps. Presupposed are active magickal pathworking, an oath, banishing rites, etc.
1. Discover your True Will. What is the purpose of this magickal operation. Is it absolutely necessary? Are you at a psychological impasse; is your personality stable or unstable?
2. Personify your intent by naming it and constructing its imaginal form with the QBL correspondence system.
3. Purify and consecrate this entity, i.e. make sure it is a pure archetypal form, uncontaminated by your complexes and prejudices. As a "child" it is all potential. This is the phase of generating Desire through foreplay, while constantly keeping the attention on the purpose of the magical operation.
4. Visualize the image of the magickal child upon entry. This visualization might be the actualization of your own potential, your own authenticity, or a vision of yourself in the future. The union of opposites offers the "child" a vehicle for manifestation, once the gestation period is full. There is a synergetic effect here as both partners contemplate the creation of the child. Their visualizations should be as identical as possible for best results. this invocation creates a living entity.
5. "Consummate the marriage with a golden ring" is a euphemism for climax or orgasm. This moment just before orgasm is a very open, oceanic psychological state, and a potent time for reprogramming and suggestibility for the subconscious. Careful control of the attention at this moment is vital to success. Don't let the thoughts wander at this time even in regular sexual relations, as the thought held at this moment tends to manifest!
6. Consuming the eucharist or eating the sexual fluids means that one assimilates and digests, or integrates the qualities represented by the magickal child as the union of opposites. It is a part of oneself, united with its opposites, and made one's Self, again. It is love, reborn.
There are greater and lesser forms of coniunctio. In the early stages comes the union with the shadow which is the reunion of mind and body. Later comes the reunification with anima/animus, then union with the Self, which produces the unus mundus, or experience of the "One World" where body, soul and spirit are reunited.
The greatest coniunctio is a high mystery, according to Jung in Aion.
The coniunctio oppositorum engaged the speculation of the alchemists in the form of the "Chymical Wedding," and those of the cabalists in the form of Tifereth and Malchuth or God and the Shekinah, not to speak of the marriage of the Lamb.
The dual being born of the alchemical union of opposites, the Rebis or Lapis Philosophorum, is so distinctively marked in the literature that we have no difficulty in recognizing it as a symbol of the self. Psychologically the self is a union of conscious (masculine) and unconscious (feminine). It stands for the psychic totality. So formulated, it is a psychological concept. Empirically, however, the self appear spontaneously in the shape of specific symbols, and its totality is discernible above all in the mandala and its countless variants. Historically, these symbols are authenticated as God-images (Jung, Aion, p. 268).
The three classic stages of the coniunctio may be defined even more closely in terms of QBL, to reveal their essence in regards to psychological and spiritual development. A few quotes from Jung's descriptions of these phases is enough to classify their relationship with the spheres of the Middle Pillar.
Phase 1 = YESOD = Unio Mentalis. In this phase, one's spiritual self confronts the shadow which is composed of contaminated elements of both spirit and soul. Through withdrawal from sensuous reality and withdrawal of projections from the environment, insight is gained. This insight comes from "introversion, introspection, and meditation on desires and motives..."(Jung). It corresponds with Yesod since it implies overcoming the turbulence of emotions.
Phase 2 = TIPHARETH = Royal Marriage. This phase of objective cognition reunites spirit, soul and body under the symbolism of the Chymical Wedding. It means "full knowledge of the heights and depths of one's own character." After reunion of spirit and body through the irrational symbolic process, insights must be applied in practice. Spirit unites with material reality. Self-realization.
Phase 3 = KETHER = Mysterium Coniunctionis. This phase is also termed Unus Mundus, or Unio Mystica, (the Tao in Asia). It means the union of a whole man (microcosm) with the Macrocosm. Here a stable inner security is built and rebuilt. This phase represents synchronous union with "all potential" or the realm of archetypal patterns. Soul merges in Spirit or higher Self in mystic experience forming a "spiritual body." "Seeing through" to the identity between psychic and physical reality; that the "multiplicity of the empirical world rest on an underlying unity." The Qabalists speak of this phase in their axiom, "Kether is in Malkuth." God-realization.
In The Psychology of the Transference, Jung provides an interesting quote from Nicholas of Cusa, an alchemist. The gist of it is that man is an analogy of God.
"Man is God, but not in an absolute sense, since he is man. He is therefore God in a human way. Man is also a world, but he is not all things at once in contracted form, since he is man. He is therefore a microcosm." Hence the complexio oppositorum proves to be not only a possibility but an ethical duty: "In these most profound matters every endeavor of our human intelligence should be bent to the achieving of that simplicity where contradictions are reconciled.
If we apply our insight into these prescriptions for alchemical development, we can see that the requirement for Yesod is to channel sex in marriage through individuation, rather than repressing it. Tiphareth symbolizes the fact that the Royal Marriage of anima/animus in self-actualization, prefigures the spiritual marriage of God-Realization. Reintegration of the royal couple in Tiphareth means self-realization in that the partner is no longer required to live one's unlived potential. Through withdrawal of projections onto the partner, one actualizes one's own potential.
The mystery of the reunion of God and his Shekinah, referred to by Jung in Aion, is that of the mystic reaching Kether on the Path of Return. This exalted experience is rising on the Path 13, II, The High Priestess, which symbolizes this Shekinah on the Tree of Life.
Shekinah literally means the indwelling presence of God, or His Radiance. It is analogous to the Neo-Platonic idea of the Logos, or "the Word," introduced to Jewish though by Philo of Alexandria. It is also called "Holy Spirit", "Holy Ghost", or "the Comforter." Other appellations include "the Daughter of the Voice" which means "God's Voice."
The blessing of Shekinah comes not only to the husband and wife who live in peace and harmony (meaning they are living a psychologically mature love), but also to those mystics who are pious and righteous. It is the illumination and bliss of the tzaddikim, or Hebrew saints.
The nature of the Shekinah is described more fully in The Book of Jewish Knowledge, by Nathan Ausubel.
Some Talmudic Sages conceived of the Shechinah as a spiritual essence of indescribable beauty and exalting effect. Their more literal-minded colleagues translated it into physical terms as a light and radiance. Its approach, they averred, was announced by a tinkling sound, like that of some ethereal bell. One legend even described the dying Moses as being lovingly enfolded in the "wings" of the Shechinah.
Shekinah's relationship to Kether is implicit in the symbolism of the Halo, or "Crown of Glory," when God's radiance rests on the righteous. This is mystic illumination. This is the peak experience of the mystic mountain, or the Path of Return.
Coming back down to the more immediately relevant level of Tiphareth, the Royal Marriage can be described or imagined as the puer-psyche marriage. James Hillman discussed this phase in the article "Peaks and Vales: the Soul/Spirit Distinction as Basis for the Differences between Psychotherapy and Spiritual Discipline." He suggests we get access to this level by using personification of the alchemical substances. "Then we can feel the different needs within us as volitions of distinct persons, where puer is the Who in our spiritual flight, and anima (or psyche) is the Who in our soul." He adds that,
This mess of psyche is what puer consciousness needs to marry so as to undertake "the battle of the sexes." The opponents of the spirit are first of all the hassles under its own skin: the morning moods, the symptoms, the prevarications in which it gets entangled, and the vanity. the puer needs to battle the irritability of this inner "woman," her passive laziness, her fancies for sweets and flatteries -- all that which analysis calls "autoeroticism." This fighting is a fighting with, rather than a fighting off or fighting against, the anima, a close, tense, devoted embracing in many positions of intercourse, where puer madness is met with psychic confusion and deviation, and where this madness is reflected in a distorted mirror. ...Reflection in the mirror of the soul lets one see the madness of one's spiritual drive, and the importance of this madness.
Precisely this is what the struggles with the anima, and what psychotherapy as the place of this struggle is all about: to discover one's madness, one's unique spirit, and to see the relationship between one's spirit and one's madness, that there is madness in one's spirit, and there is spirit in one's madness.
...The spirit needs to witness this madness. Or to put it another way, the puer take sits drive and goal literally unless there is reflection, which makes possible a metaphorical understanding of its drive and goal. By bearing witness as the receptive experiencer and imager of the spirit's actions, the soul can contain, nourish, and elaborate in fantasy the puer impulse, bring it sensuousness and depth, involve it in life's delusions, care for it for better or worse. Then the individual in whom these two components are marrying begins to carry with him his own reflective mirror and echo. He becomes aware of what his spiritual actions mean in terms of psyche. The spirit turned toward psyche, rather than deserting it for high places and cosmic love, finds ever further possibilities of seeing through the opacities and obfuscations of the valley. Sunlight enters the vale. The Word participates in gossip and chatter.
The spirit asks that the psyche help it, not break it or yoke it or put it away as a peculiarity or insanity. And it asks the analyst who acts in psyche's name not to turn the soul against the puer adventure but rather to prepare the desire of both for each other.
...Not for the sake of learning love only, or for community, or for better marriages and better families, or for independence does the psyche present symptoms and neurotic claims. Rather these demands are asking also for inspiration, for long-distance vision, for ascending eros, for vivification and intensification (not relaxation), for radicality, transcendence, and meaning -- in short, the psyche has spiritual needs, which the puer part of us can fulfill [emphasis mine--Ed]. Soul asks that its preoccupations be not dismissed as trivia but seen through in terms of higher and deeper perspectives, the verticalities of the spirit. When we realize that tour psychic malaise points to a spiritual hunger beyond what psychology offers and that our spiritual dryness points to a need for psychic waters beyond what spiritual discipline offers, then we are beginning to move both therapy and discipline.
The puer-psyche marriage results first of all in increased interiority. It constructs a walled space, the thalamus of the bridal chamber, neither peak nor vale, but rather a place where both can be looked at...
The puer-psyche marriage finally implies taking our complexes both out of the world and out of the realm of spiritual systems. It means that the search and questing go through a psychological search and questing, an exploration of soul by spirit for psychic fecundations. (James Hillman, Puer Papers, Spring Pub., p. 54-73).
At this point "in-between," or the center, Tiphareth represents the arena for this Royal Marriage of spirit and soul.
The perfect man is present at all times under different names; in him, all divine attributes are manifested. He is illumined by divine names and in his turn illumines the world with life and virtue. He is the divine copy, or image, a mirror in which divine attributes are fully attributed. He is intermediate between the Creator and creatures...The perfect man, in brief, is the life and soul of the world. He need not make himself known to the people of the world but his very existence brings virtue and harmony in the world (N.P. Archer, ed. The Sufi Mystery, Octagon Press, 1980, p. 124).
Heart is the throne of God in man. It is the temple of Ka'aba, the receptacle of His reflection, the faculty by which the human being is distinguished from other creatures. (Ibid. p. 125).
c. Practical QBL 1: A Description of Meditative and Exalted States;This original article has been amalgamated with "The Alchemy of the Central Nervous System" and is in BOOK VI, Art. To link to that chapter, click here.
3. Path 25, ASTROLOGY AND ALCHEMY
a. The Meaning of Sagittarius in Astrology and Pathworking
b. The Alchemy of the Central Nervous System (Neurotransmitters)
c. The Alchemical Formula "Solve et Coagula"
Practical QBL 2: The Body of Light, Part 2:
The Causal Body, the Self in Transcendence
The preceding descriptors of the experience of the merging of the "I" with the Self leads to the immediate necessity to define more closely what is meant by the "Self." When the soul mirrors its own meaning, or sees through itself, it is a very profound experience. One penetrates to the Causal Plane in the Body of Light by becoming one with the inner Light. This is the supreme, wonderful, and perfect Samadhi of Transcendental Consciousness, known as the "Diamond Samadhi" in Buddhism.
Whatever we term it, the Self, or Atman, or Universal Mind is considered the basis of conscious life in the perennial philosophy. This tenet has been adopted by Jungian psychology, and is embraced in magick under the form of the Holy Guardian Angel. When our finite mind merges with Universal Mind, it experiences a higher level of Reality, which transcends the limitations of the realm of cause and effect. What is Real is not subject to change; it is Absolute, timeless because it is beyond time. Self is the essential nature of all individuals, and is eternal and immutable. We can only comprehend the Self while merged in the Self.
The Self has been described as pure Awareness, or Eternal Knowledge, and is characterized as the pure, Clear Light of the Void. It is neither active nor passive, but embodies the paradox of pure existence. Individual consciousness is related to it as a bubble or wave is related to the depths of the ocean. True knowledge of the Self comes to the soul independent of the sense organs in mystical meditation.
Since the Self is pure awareness, it cannot be known objectively. It comes only through the self-validating experience of the soul merged in Unity with the Self. The Self is known variously as the Logos, Word, Holy Spirit, or Shabd and symbolizes the immanence of God pervading the creation. Thus the plurality pf phenomena in the creation is an illusion concealing One Truth.
The mystic ecstasy of Tiphareth on the Causal Plane (identity with Universal Mind), comes from the attainment of the state where the individual consciousness (atman) realizes it is nothing but Universal Mind (Brahman). This realization comes only through the practice of mystical meditation, not merely from embracing the philosophy of yoga. It is more than just a concept.
When the individual looses his identity in the Brahman he reaches Nirvikalp Samadhi, the highest Buddhist state which liberates one in this life. This state, known as True Knowledge, is actually the experience of the anomolous sphere Daath, but is the aspiration of the adept at Tiphareth. In other words, the adept's normal day-to-day consciousness resides in Tiphareth, but the destination of his daily meditation time is the mystic rapture of Daath, diving into the Light of the Void and merging in that Light.
Thus, over a period of time, it may be said that the Causal Body of Light becomes crystallized as we can enter this state at will. The more adapted one becomes to this vehicle, the more fully stabilized this mode of existence becomes. The seat of one's soul begins to reside in this domain and all other experiences are witnessed and considered from its elevated perspective.
Tiphareth represents the still center around which the other spheres of the Tree revolve, just as the various archetypes revolve around, and are coordinated by the archetype of the Self. The inner Sun represents our perfection in human life, and symbolizes the divine indwelling Presence of God in each individual. No single person can ever realize its full scope. It signifies our individual portion of the Great White Light, that portion of divinity we embody. When we find this inner Light within us, we may follow it back to its source in meditation. The Self helps us strike the vital balance in life which makes this possible. The Self initiates the psychic healing process, as shown in mandala forms.
Many spiritual teachers have taught forms of meditation on the Self. Ramana Maharshi taught the aspirant to repeatedly ask "Who am I?" The answer is a continuation realization that "I" am not this and not that -- not bodily desires, nor personality traits, nor a myriad of attachments.
Swami Muktananda also counsels us to contemplate on the Self during meditation for direct knowledge. He considers the inner Self the best object of meditation since this Self is what we desire to become, and the mind tends to manifest that upon which it contemplates. By understanding the nature of the restless mind, we come to know pure Consciousness. We realize that all objects and thoughts are different forms of the Self.
The answer to "Who am I" thus becomes that Self which witnesses all phenomena. Muktananda describes the causal body as the point when one's small self retires into the universal Self, losing consciousness of who or what it is. This is the "void," which does not mean oblivion, but deliverance from the eternal play of opposites.
Muktananda describes a fourth plane, or transcendent state. He calls it the light of the Self, or the Blue Pearl, and calls it the most intimate body of the soul. Qabalists might note the obvious correspondence of Path 13, High Priestess with both the color Blue and the symbolism of the Pearl. Muktananda says this subtle body is the size of a sesame seed, but contains the vastness of the entire universe within itself.
Transpersonal psychology has also developed a concept of what an experience of the Self entails. Ken Wilber's description invites us to
Notice first of all the broad, distinguishing marks of the transcendent self: it is a center and expanse of awareness which is creatively detached from one's personal mind, body, emotions, thoughts and feelings. ...I am what remains, a pure center of awareness, an unmoved witness of all these thoughts, emotions, feelings and desires. ...Here we are talking of the transpersonal self or witness -- we are not yet discussing pure unity consciousness. In unity consciousness, the transpersonal witness itself collapses into everything witnessed. Before that can occur, however, one must first discover that transpersonal witness, which then acts as an easier "jumping off point" for unity consciousness (No Boundary, p. 128).
He invites us to give up our anxieties and attachments in a radical dis-identification. The individual self becomes transparent, and the Self is revealed as a Seer, or "see-er." We deny our higher Self when we identify with our persona, body or other attachments exclusively. In meditation, therefore, we are to let-go of our purely personal problems, by simply witnessing them.
Distress is caused by our attachment to our problems, which are essentially conflicts of opposites -- we must break through to the realm where opposites are united, including "I" and "Not-I." Unification of Self and environment creates a form of universal compassion and love. It enhances brotherly love, since we come to realize we all partake of the same ocean of consciousness. This ocean of consciousness is eternal and remains untouched by the passage of time.
Wilber concludes his incisive discourse by noting that, (p. 137-138)
You needn't try to see your transcendent self, which is not possible anyway. Can your eye see itself? You need only begin by persistently dropping your false identifications with your memories, mind, body, emotions and thoughts. And this dropping entails nothing by way of a super-human effort or theoretical comprehension. All that is required, primarily, is but one understanding: whatever you can see cannot be the Seer. Everything you know about yourself is precisely not your Self, the Knower, the inner I-ness that can neither be perceived, defined, or made an object of any sort. Bondage is nothing but the mis-identification of the Seer with all these things which can be seen. And liberation begins with the simple reversal of this mistake.
...This, then, is the message of Jung; and more, of the saints, sages, and mystics, whether Amerindian, Taoist, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, or Christian: At the bottom of your soul is the soul of humanity itself, but a divine transcendent soul, leading from bondage to liberation, from enchantment to awakening, from time to eternity, from death to immortality.
Thus, the causal body, and its level of experience may be thought of as a spiritual "half-way house" on the path to God-Realization. Self-realization gives one a base of awareness in the transpersonal levels of consciousness, from which to proceed in meditation. Our journey on the spiritual path is never really completed.
Mariana Caplan has written an excellent book, Halfway Up the Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment (1999, Hohm Press), which can further help you distinguish what this level does and doesn't mean. Caplan's work is a comprehensive and exhaustive examination of the path of enlightenment and all the myriad pitfalls, dead ends, cul de sacs, and dangers, including power trips, ego inflation, spiritual emergency, and spiritual materialism.
The point is that "Fool's gold exists because there is real gold," as mystic poet Rumi wrote. The Enlightenment of the Sun, or Tiphareth, is only the beginning. Ego-death results in radical nonduality of the egoless awareness, the veil of the illusion of duality is pierced. Thus, the mini-abyss before Tiphareth, The Gulf, is crossed. This awakening can be mistaken for the end of the path, the journey, because it comes with a sense of ending and completion.
"When ordinary things become extraordinary, and extraordinary things become ordinary, then enlightenment has been glimpsed." --Lee Louwick
But this Tiphareth awakening to the divine center and true self is also the birth of an entirely new potential with God's Grace. Our practice becomes to live in this egoless condition to its fullest unitive potential. Thus our spiritual journey can finally begin in earnest.
We have graduated from spiritual college, only to become living demonstrations of the dynamics of transformation through Grace. We realize with great humility that we remain simply candidates for discipleship. Enlightenment is not perfection; it simply highlights our imperfections. But, enlightenment and grace give us a strong desire to purify further and for surrender and service. Integration or integrity means our behavior eventually is congruent with our spiritual understanding.
Continue with Sphere 6, part 3.
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