by  Philo Stone (aka Richard and Iona Miller), ©1982


Sphere 6: TIPHARETH, the Sun


TIPHARETH: Table of Contents

(Syntaxic Mode or Self-Realization; the Causal Body; Alpha Training; the Ruach;
Universal Mind; I-Thou Relationship; Meditation and Peak Experience)

PART III, BRIAH, Causal Plane of the Mind


TIPHARETH, Sphere of the Sun

        a. Initiation: Minor Adept
        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

        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:
            (1). Hero/Heroine
            (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

        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

TIPHARETH, Sphere of the Sun

Tiphareth is the Sphere of Beauty, and Perfect Equilibrium.  It is the gateway to the Causal Plane of Universal Mind, or the Self.  The translation from the Astral to the Causal Plane is as dramatic as that between Physical and Astral.  It requires the development of a more subtle aspect of the Body of Light, so the soul may experience that level of awareness.  The Causal Body is called a Diamond Body, or the Ruach -- the moral soul.

Tiphareth represents a comparatively high initiation for religious, or mystical man.  Here the entire life is dedicated to spiritual devotion, in a 24 hour-a-day ritual.  This initiation to a Way of Life is experienced as a death for the ego.  It leads to spiritual rebirth and ascension to higher imaginal realms in mystic ecstasy.  The Great Work becomes the priority of one's existence.

The spiritual bud formed in Yesod, flowers in Tiphareth in Enlightenment.  Many systems describe this grade through various images; Self, Holy Guardian Angel, Philosopher's Stone, Universal Mind, Brahm.

1. Physical Plane:  Tiphareth represents the Vision of the Harmony of Things, and is the point on the Tree of Life of maximum equilibration.  This same formula is represented in mathematics as the Vector Equilibrium Matrix.  The Cube is a magickal symbol for Tiphareth.  The VEM is an octahedron-within-a-cube, which is also the atomic structure of the diamond.

2. Astral Plane: A contemplative life in harmony with spiritual principles becomes the primary ritual.  The magical images for Tiphareth include a magickal or divine child; a resplendent king, and a sacrificed God.  These represent stages in the Mystery of Death and Rebirth.  Tiphareth also corresponds with the Egyptian god, Osiris.  Initiation on the path to God-Realization turns one's attitudes upside-down.  Devotion to the Great Work; Pride.

3.  Causal Plane: In the Causal, the Vision of Harmony indicates that all spiritual progress comes through the principle of Love.  It implies the highest ethical standards in both behavior and thought.  The Syntaxic Mode means one has a precise cognitive awareness concerning the relative value of mystical experiences, and has the verbal creativity for expression.  Thus psychology can express in words what mystics experience through intuition.  Syntaxic Mode includes Tantric sex, creativity, alpha states, etc.  It verges of knowledge Ecstasy, but is mainly inspirational in quality.

4. Archetypal Plane:  Tiphareth is the Royal Marriage of the Soul and the Lord.  The projections of anima or animus have been returned to their proper level in the unconscious.  The King and Queen are united: Spirit and Soul, distinct but conjoined.  The aspirant enters a period of exploration of soul by spirit for psychic fecundation.  This union with the Self, uniting all opposites is an illumined lunacy.

Tiphareth represents the halfway point on the continuum of spiritual development.  It indicates the ability to withdraw the attention from outside to inside and hold it there.  One contemplates the "radiant form" internally.  Self-Realization opens the beginning of the path to God-Realization through Grace, along Path 13.

III.  BRIAH, the Causal Plane of Universal Mind

Drawing by Robert Avalon, 1976

The transition from the Astral to Causal plane of awareness is as distinctive as that between Physical and Astral (or Imaginal).  It is, however, a bit tricky to define since it contains "normal ego consciousness" as its point-of-departure.

Mystical and occult literature speaks frequently of astral experience in its various forms, but tends to jump dramatically from the beginnings of Causal experience to the final goal of unification.  The Causal is known since ancient times as the realm of Universal Mind, Brahm, or that which binds our soul in spacetime.

The Causal Plane marks the boundary where true mystical meditation may be begun with profit for the aspirant.  The path is no longer just a desire (Yesod), a concept (Hod), nor a passion (Netzach), but a Way.  In a manner of speaking, our culture has geared us to keep our expectations of realizing full human potential quite low.  Through meditation, we can optimize our potential.

The transition to the Causal Plane unites the temporal with the eternal, in as a steady rather than sporadic or emergent state.  The Causal is the plane of great archetypal images or religious symbols.  In the Causal, these tend to manifest to the aspirant in a very clear manner, rather than in muddled signs and misinterpreted forms of the Astral Plane.  This is the fist glimmering of contact with divine spiritual forces of a higher nature.

This contact comes through the mind, first in the form of creativity and later in a series of grace-states.  We can experience a personalized knowledge and conversation with Gods and Archangels.  Psychologically speaking, this means that we learn to discern the archetype at the core of situations or thought-patterns and meaningfully dialogue with it.  Particular archetypes, or godforms, are clearly seen as animating experience.  Causal-consciousness then means being able to determine their significance and interconnectedness and have a relationship with them.

The Briatic Plane, with its representative sphere, Tiphareth, symbolizes the central essence of manifest creation -- the Higher Self.  This Self represents the fullest extension and potential of an individual, and provides transcendent experiences of the highest spiritual value which come from beyond one's own personal powers.  To gain access to the Causal Plane means to transcend one's individual personality level and contact the inner, spiritual resources of the Self.  Therefore, "self" acquires a double meaning for the aspirant which is both personal and transcendent.

How do we gain access to this increased potential and inner guiding principle?  Just as experience on the Astral required technique and practice, conscious experience eon the Causal Plane requires the building of a "Causal Body" through meditation.  This Causal, or spirit-body is built of crystallized Light in the form of a "heavenly heart."

The building of the causal body requires that the mystic consciously attempt to find release from the triple-illusions of time, space and personality (or ego), through meditation -- or alternatively come to see that all existence is in fact the body of God.  Meditation takes the place of ritual or ceremony which gave access to the Astral Plane.  There is no further need for the rituals of the astral or visionary mode to stabilize contact with the archetype of Self.  Rather, the entire life is consecrated and devoted to mystical philosophy and practice.  At this level, philosophy implies ethics and moral living, and practice means meditation.  The mystic is he who is "in the world, but not of it."

The Causal Plane marks the transition from procedures which we use to reach toward and contact the divine to the reception of grace.  Grace is that which pulls the soul toward Kether.  That which pulls the attention is grace.  Mystic meditation is fruitless without Grace.

In describing the soul of man, the Qabalists have divided the soul into three distinct aspects, corresponding with levels of access or awareness.  The astral body or personality is known as the Nepesch or emotional soul.  The causal body is called the Ruach, or higher mind.  The Neschamah or Intuition through understanding, has the ability to pierce through the Abyss to the archetypal plane which is the origin of divinity.

Israel Regardie describes the faculties of the Causal Body in The Garden of Pomegranates:

Below the Abyss is the Ruach, or Intellect, that part of one's individual consciousness which becomes aware of things, desires them, and tries to attain them.  It is a "machine" created, evolved, or invented by the Self for investigating the nature of the Universe.  It is that portion of oneself consisting of sensation, perceptions, and thoughts, emotions, and desires.

The Ruach comprises the fourth, fifth, sixth, seven, and eighth Sephiros, whose attributions are respectively Memory, Will, Imagination, Desire and Reason.

If this fantasy doe snot sound terribly altruistic, it is because this is the description of our old friend, the ego.  The desires of the ego, must not only be sublimated toward spiritual goals, but must be abolished at the top end of the Causal Plane where it is annihilated through the crossing of the Abyss.

The Ruach is the false or empirical ego.  It is that part of us which names itself "I", and it is just that principle which is not "I".  Its moods change with the passing of the years.  More, its contents are never the same from one minute to another.  The destruction of the glamorous bondage which the Ruach exerts over us, thus permitting the light of the Neschamah and the higher principles to shine through to illumine our minds and our daily lives, is one of the all-important tasks of Mysticism.  In fact, the abnegation of this false ego. . .is the essential accomplishment of all spiritual development (1).

The conscious ego performs its function as an integral part of the human soul when it awakens to its task of meditation.  Then it may make contact with divine forces of sufficient purity to become a channel for the spirit.  This channel is formed by the human mind's perception of an Archetype of divinity.  These archetypes are most commonly experienced at this level as the Self (psychology), the Holy Guardian Angel (Magick), or the Guru (mysticism).  At this stage the aspirant does not become divinity, but actively begins to seek unity with it, through regular practice.  By evolution to causal awareness, the aspirant doe snot lose access to the more ordinary levels of human experience.  Rather, understanding of the relative values of the these levels is enhanced by discrimination.

The aspirant leans to distinguish the level of access state by the nature of the experiences encountered when going "inside."

Briah is the "World of Creation" when considered in its relationship to the Plane of Atziluth, but its relationship to the plane immediately below is expressed by another name.

Since Yetzirah is the World of Emotion, Briah is the Intellectual World.  This distinction is important, since Yetzirah the Astral Light, also has its images, which are extremely numerous in view of the fact that to Yetzirah belong most of the forms whose origin is on the material level.  Most of the images in Yetzirah are activated by emotions arising from the material world, and frequently these are of so confused a character that, although we may ascribe them in a general way to one or another Sephirah, they cannot be completely drawn into the sphere of that Sephirah and so cannot rise higher.  The images in Briah, however, are truly oriented and have become linked to the Archetypes which give them a new impulse.  Thereafter, they are known and contemplated by the higher human faculties. (Denning and Phillips/Magical Philosophy) (2).

In Magick, causal plane images are quite distinctively defined.  The Archetypes are represented in Briah by the "Magickal Images," which are generic representations of godforms.  The images are so broad-based that they may be filled our by various gods or goddesses exemplifying the particular dynamic.  When we meditate, we run across the whole panoply of images which are 'contained' in this inner landscape.

For example, the magickal image for Tiphareth is the triple form of God-Incarnate.  Son of God is a composite archetype which includes three phases: 1) "Divine Child"; 2) "King of Heaven," or "Solar King," and 3) "Sacrificed God."  These generic forms could be filled out by Krishna, Jesus Christ, Mithras, Osiris, or a contemporary Guru, etc.

The cult-form, or specific god or goddess is a special-case event patterned after the generic magickal image.  They share the same quality.  There are some variations, however.  For example, Isis does not correspond in every respect with the Blessed Virgin Mary, though they are derived from the common theme of "Celestial Queen."

Magickal Images are the primary, or most fundamental, pictorial depictions of the qualities of the various Spheres of the Tree of Life.  These images allow us to personify each sphere with a figure appropriate to our personal, cultural and psychological background.

Further rarefication into non-anthropomorphic depictions of the Spheres moves toward mathematical concepts such as sacred geometry and numerical equivalents.  For example, Kether is know as #1, and is visualized as a brilliant point, while Tiphareth is #6 and represented by the six-sided cube.

Personification through the magickal images opens the possibility of internal dialogues with the forces of the causal plane.  After all, you can't talk with the number 6, nor the color yellow.  One alternative is to "become" those essences in imagination.  Or, imagination obliges by offering an entity with a "human" appearance, but distinctive divine qualities.

For example, in Carl Jung's personal spiritual journey, he encountered an entity he named Philemon.  he was Jung's inner spiritual guide and a personified form of the Wise Man of Tiphareth.  Philemon embodied Jung's higher self on the causal level of experience.  By contemplating Philemon and dialoguing with him in his imagination, Jung learned things he didn't know he knew, he actualized the qualities of this noble Being in his daily life.  he did not become Philemon, but he became related to him consciously and began to integrate the potentials he expressed.  Basically, our higher Self ia vision of ourselves in the future actualizing our spiritual potential.

The magickal images for the entire Tree of Life include the following:

1.  Kether.....Dazzling brilliant Light
2.  Chokmah.....Bearded Patriarch, or Wise Old Man
3.  Binah.....Celestial Queen, Wise Grandmother
4.  Chesed.....Enthroned Priestly King (Philosopher)
5.  Geburah.....Armed Warrior-King (or Judge)
6.  Tiphareth.....Divine or Magickal Child, Solar King, Sacrificed God
7.  Netzach.....Naked, Beautiful Woman
8.  Hod.....Hermaphrodite
9.  Yesod.....Viril Youth
10.  Malkuth.....Veiled Maiden

Qabalists associated distinct corresponding members of the spiritual hierarchy to the four planes.  Each may be invoked through its Name to form an open channel of energy which descends down through the planes from above.

1).  The Divine God Name corresponds with the Archetypal level of each sphere.
2).  Corresponding Archangels are the entities called up on the Causal Plane.
3).  Choirs of Angels are invoked on the Astral.
4).  The physical planets correspond with the gross material level.

Each Sphere contains all four aspects of the spiritual hierarchy.  These four aspects correspond in character for each Sphere and are channels of Divine energy, which may be tapped.

At the causal level, the seeker's mind is able to tap channels at will and transform both himself and his environment.  He does this through a correct understanding of the nature of existence and its relationship to man's mind.  The human mind is a powerful creative tool when attention and visualization are applied under the direction of spiritual guidance.  Mircea Eliade states that,

To the degree that you understand a religious fact (myth, ritual, symbol, divine figure, etc.) you change, you are modified -- and this change is equivalent to a step forward in the process of self-liberation.

This ability of the mind to influence reality at this level makes high ethical standards a mandatory requirement.  The causal body is  a moral soul.  We can develop this strong ethical stand with good role models.  Otherwise as seekers we never rise above personal ego-desires and this is the primary purpose for seeking access to causal plane awareness.

The change of plane from astral to causal is explained as symbolic Death and Rebirth.  This means discipline of the mind, through with drawl of the attention from sensory perception each day through meditation.  Through this method, the mind is assigned its proper place in consciousness.  Its direction passes from "control" by the ego to the higher spiritual awareness in man -- he embodies the power of the true Self.

Intellect can participate in Spirit, but is not identical with it.  Mind must adhere to spiritual principles and disciplines despite personal pain-pleasure cycles.  Consistency of effort helps develop integration of the personality with the higher Self.

The mystic creates this integrated subtle body by concentrating attention at the eye center.  The energy normally is flowing outward into the senses or world.  It must be withdrawn or made to 'flow backward'.  This is the 'death" of the senses.  Then comes the eternal moment of enlightenment when thoughts cease.  This is the "death of the mind."  The aspirant is "reborn" when his attention goes sin and the radiant Light is perceived.  He merges with this Light in enlightenment of the causal level.  The causal body is formed by the fixation and crystallization of this living Light.

This symbol of the Self is an undivided point which is present in every man, but realized in spiritual persons.  Surrounding the point with a circle symbolizing wholeness yields the glyph of the Sun, symbol of Tiphareth as representative of the causal plane.  Tiphareth is the spiritual-gate to the causal plane, and the soul's method of transportation is the causal, or "Diamond-Body."

M. Esther Harding describes this causal, or heart-level development in The I and the Not-I:

This is the stage in the development of consciousness depicted in Tantric Yoga as the heart level, where for the first time a light is lighted in the heart, so that one is no longer dependent only on reflected light, but can at last see directly; that is, one sees through the projections to the reality of the other person and at the same time becomes aware, dimly and fleetingly, at first, of the god within, whose guiding light makes it possible for one to see beyond one's own ego, to see the other as from the inside, that is, to see him/her as also a whole person.

Of course, this is a psychological interpretation of the heart-level, which is directed toward interpersonal relationships, rather than intrapsychic ones.

Many modes of personal development allow us to realize the meaning and potential represented by the Spheres of the Tree of Life with its Four Planes of Consciousness.  Eliade put it succinctly in his journal, No Souvenirs.

If, due to one's desiring a woman (man), one begins to live more intensely, if one becomes a poet, or if one rises to a level inaccessible up to then, etc -- it is a matter of indifference to know that all this is due to physiological or psycho-mental processes.  What is of interest is to be able to rise to a level never attained, to live as a mature and responsible man, to write poems, in a word, to participate in the life of the Spirit.  The "causes" which have helped us to open ourselves to the Spirit are unimportant.

A.  Tiphareth, Sphere of the Sun and the Son

Full Consciousness

You are carrying me, full consciousness,
god that has desired all through the world.
Here, in this third sea,
I almost hear your voice; your voice, the wind,
freeing entirely all movements;
eternal colors and eternal lights,
sea colors and sea lights.

Your voice of white fire
in the universe of water, the ship, the sky,
marking out the roads with delight,
engraving for me with a blazing light my firm orbit:
a black body
with glowing diamond in its center.

--Juan Ramon Jimenez

Tiphareth, as the Sphere of the Sun, means different experiences on differing levels of awareness.  In summary, they might be seen as the following:

1).  Tiphareth of the Physical Plane is "normal" ego consciousness;
2).  Tiphareth of the Astral Plane is a vision of the radiant form of the Self;
3).  Tiphareth of the Causal Plane means crystallization of the subtle Diamond Body, Self-Realization, Individuation, or creation of the Philosopher's Stone;
4).  Tiphareth of the Archetypal Plane means nothing less than the incarnation of a Son of God, in the form of a spiritual Master.

The states of consciousness which Tiphareth corresponds with range from normal ego consciousness to the beginning of mystical practice in meditation (with its altered state of time transcendence).  There are three distinct levels in the domain of the Syntaxic Mode or "Creativity".  Tiphareth is the lowest level of this mode of consciousness.  It expresses more cognitive awareness; the mind apprehends directly, rather than having bodily reactions or imaginal lapses where the ego dissociates.  The ego can now participate in the soul's relationship to the Divine.

Tiphareth means Divine Beauty, Equilibrium, Compassion and Creativity.  Taken together, these qualities imply harmony or rhythm of proportions such as those expressed in the geometrical form of the Golden Mean, and the ethical dictum known as the Golden Rule.  Both suggest balance and the application of proper force and form.  These rules express a ratio of appropriateness.

Tiphareth is the qabalistic equivalent of the Self, or the divinity of the Macrocosm made manifest.  Tiphareth is a divine microcosm, the mythical heaven of many religions.  It represents the return of a sense of wholeness and holiness.  Since it is the only Sphere which has direct access to all other Spheres of the Tree of Eternal Life, Tiphareth forms its heart, or sacred center.

Consciousness states "follow" one another in an ascending hierarchy of increasing integration.  There is steady increase in control of one's environment through increased visualization ability.  This power must be used with wisdom and restraint or it will become a major stumbling block to further progress.

There are two higher stages of the Syntaxic Mode.  If Tiphareth is characterized as Creativity, Daath is characterized as Psychedelia or Mystic Ecstasy, and Kether is the Unitive Stage.

One's encounters with the Divine or collective unconscious become more inspirational and uplifting and less frightening or awesome.  There is still a great sense of awe; one just doesn't go into a trance state to experience it.  There is, nevertheless, a profound metamorphosis of the soul.  Tiphareth is the beginning of the mind's expansion from normal awareness to the Infinite.  The degrees of this expansion, as the soul liberates itself from the mind, may be broken down into various procedures and grace states.

According to Gowan (1975), the Creative level of the Syntaxic Mode includes five procedures:

1.  Tantric Sex: level of intimacy
2.  Creativity: level of generation and Individuation
3.  Biofeedback: level of generating Alpha Waves at will
4.  Orthocognition: level of consciously willing potential to manifest, creative visualization, ego integrity
5.  Meditation: level of disciplined consistency and time transcendence.

Each of these may be examined in turn to determine their role in the growth of spirituality or transformation of the individual.

     1. Tantric Sex does not necessarily mean you must become a Buddhist monk.  Tantra is used here as the spiritual bliss of losing oneself in the unity of love.  The union of Shiva and Shakti is a metaphor expressing the most sacred aspect of marriage (as does that of Krishna and Radha).  It is a mere hint of the ecstasies of higher mystical experiences.  Sex is holy, in that while embracing, the lovers achieve a wholeness, a union of opposites, in which they share on the most primordial psychophysical levels.  The ego is dissolved in the bliss of merging, prefiguring the union of the personal with the Divine.  In this manner, sex functions as an aspect of development toward individuation, or realizing and embodying one's highest nature.  Sexual activity, motivated by unselfish love is an ordinary act with the unsuspected benefit of contributing to the self-actualization of the marriage partners.  Their act embodies the masculine and feminine polarities of the Universe embracing one another.

     2.  Creativity.  Since there was obviously creativity in the Parataxic Mode of Art, what distinguishes this stage from that?  Art is the level of intuitive apprehension of pictorial images.  This level means verbal creativity, which is an intuitive form of the next level of Psychedelia (Daath).  Creativity is verbal because the information coming from the preconscious is understood by the mind.

At this stage, we not only understand our own psychology pretty well, we can also verbalize about our condition.  Having named our demons (mother complex, puer complex, negative senex, etc.) we win to a certain stage of conscious realization in the process of individuation.  When such a degree of mental health is achieved through one method or another, creativity will inevitably emerge.  Freed from the stress of an overemotional reactivism, a person flowers through various modes of self-expression.  This indicates a fluid relationship between the individual's ego and preconscious.

Verbal creativity is marked by proficiency at analogy and metaphor.  To be able to create these implies the ability to see through to underlying similarities in the dissimilar.

The beginnings of the creative process lie in introspection on information previously assimilated.  This may take many forms, such as focusing on a problem and studying all angles of it, with various repercussions.  After preparation and incubation, an illumination, or answer to the problem may suddenly occur.  Its application will show if it is a true answer, or can be verified as useful.  Creativity is part of the basis of philosophy in that it raises problems or questions, which it seeks to resolve through verbal creativity.

Gowan lists several theories concerning creativity, and the powers and virtues of verbal and mathematical creativity.  He asserts that creativity has cognitive, rational and semantic aspects.  Other aspects of creativity are personal or environmental, or stem from a certain psychological openness.  The inspiration for creativity comes from the ability of the ego to access the contents of the collective preconscious.

Activity directed in this manner leads to high well-being and self-actualization.  Understanding increases along with creative organization.  One gains in ability to combine the familiar in new and innovative ways.  To be truly creative requires at least four traits according to Fromm: "capacity to be puzzled, ability to concentrate, capacity to accept conflict, and willingness to be reborn everyday."

Maslow extended creative traits to include "spontaneous, expressive, effortless, innocent, unfrightened by the unknown or ambiguous, able to accept tentativeness and uncertainty, able to tolerate bipolarity, able to integrate opposites."  Whelan (1965) added, "energy, autonomy, confidence, openness, preference for complexity," etc.  Creativity also brings a sense of destiny and personal worth.  This brings a sense of joy, contentment and acceptance of self, which show its transformative ability.  Creative people, who accept themselves, also have the further ability for compassion or brotherly love, (agape).

Gowan concludes that "creativity has a holistic quality, which restores the balance between right and left hemisphere function, between analog and digital computer aspects of thinking...Man's mind is a device for bringing infinite mind into manifestation in time;  creativity is the commencement of this actualization."

     3.  Biofeedback (Alpha Wave Training) has become fairly common in recent years as a medical tool to teach patients to regulate blood pressure, for stress reduction, migraines, etc.  Through perception of tones or lights the participant learns to enter a particular subjective state which is associated with the production of brain waves in the 8-13 hertz region.  These brain waves are called Alpha Waves.  A more relaxed state produces theta waves in 4-8 hertz frequencies.

This training appears to simulate the meditative state of yogis and Zen masters.  Through the use of the biofeedback apparatus, the technique is more quickly learned, through application of concentration and will.  What is required is a passive attention coupled with physical relaxation.  Then one achieves a feeling of harmony between inner and outer worlds.

Biofeedback is linked to creativity, in that, through this technique one may gain access to a reverie state or waking dream where there is vivid perceptual imagery.  Yet one retains enough awareness to bring back these images coming out of this reverie or Theta state.  In dream research, this phase of consciousness is termed hypnogogic imagery.  The ability to visualize is directly related to creativity.  In this state one may go into a mode which is a sort of "internal scanning," finding creative solutions to problems or stimulating imagery.

Very advanced forms of biofeedback training are available now for the home computer.  The effective range of these programs includes stress management, balancing the personality, changing habits and behavior patterns, auto-hypnosis, and self-transformation.

Application of programs to Qabalistic purposes has been called "Yogatronics" or "Electro-Magick" by Miller & Miller.  This new generation of video games could include pre-programmed pathworking designed to help the aspirant internalize the symbolism presented in QBL, while developing the visualization ability. We have all the potential of experiencing certain types of 'astral journeys" using the medium of "the temple of living light."  The monitor has the capacity to hold the visualization until the aspirant can learn to internalize the symbols and visualize them at will.  In this case, hardware may be dispensed with.  The interface is merely a teaching tool.

In this way, classical mind-control techniques can be used to fine-tune oneself, in the same sense as self-hypnosis.  This is the basis of effectiveness of biofeedback and other elementary forms of meditation.  It allows access to states of awareness without the interference and side-effects of drugs, or the years of intensive practice in yoga.

Meditation, in its elementary form, is described as an altered state of awareness that is induced by repetitive action of some constant stimulation.  This stimulation may be of three types:  1) external, such as a chant or drum beat or visual display; 2) internal, such as mental repetition of a word or group of words; or, 3) physical, such as an electronic stimulus, etc.

Even without religious intent, an individual, under the influence of this constant stimulation, is able to achieve varying degrees of relaxation and learn a degree of control over autonomic nervous system functions.  This enhances the quality of life and widens the spectrum of human experiences available on the psychological level.  We can create the conditions necessary for personal creativity by providing a daily "incubation" period. We appear to also gain a better understanding of ourselves.  Many feel they experience an expansion of consciousness and gain access to higher levels of awareness.  This equilibrium produces the experience of oneness with the universe, or contact with the divine.

There are many styles of meditation from different philosophical schools, but they all share certain elements in common.  The active techniques employ concentration prior to contemplation, and are quite similar to self-hypnosis in the induction phase.  Most are designed primarily to create a light alpha brain-wave state, with deeper meditation stages producing Theta patterns (ideal conditions for rejuvenation).

Our Videographics program of meditation begins with the eyes open.  At this stage, meditation is effective with the eyes either opened or closed.  The goal of the Videographics program is to teach us the matrix pattern of optimal equilibrium, so it may be internalized eventually.  Once the pattern is learned, the states recognizable, it is possible to visualize anywhere at any time.

When an individual concentrates on an external object, it is called contemplative meditation.  In Eastern systems of Yoga, the object of concentration is known as a Yantra.  If the object is a circular design radiating from a center, it is called a mandala.  Variations on the theme used throughout the world include the crucifix, the Star of David, flowers, candle flames, etc.  Eventually, the symbol is mentally fixed on a spot inside the center of the forehead, known as the "third eye" (i.e. the pineal gland).

Simultaneously with the visualization, one mentally repeats a word or phrase used in a repetitive manner to induce a meditative state.  This word is known as a mantra.  The "meaning" of this word has been scientifically "proven" to be arbitrary, but some feel it is best to use a mantra which is a symbol of one's chosen deity.  In the qabalistic tradition, mantra meditation was practiced using permutations of the Hebrew letters of the Name of God.  This relates the mystical meaning of the mantra to the individual and contains more power to influence the soul.

Mantra meditation is similar to self-hypnotic suggestion, since it provides an internally-originating method of repetitive stimulation to the central nervous system.  It encourages the development of a hypnotic trance, where one is more suggestible.  It is at this point you can re-program yourself out of undesirable habit patterns.  Some techniques suggest it is necessary to repeat the mantra only upon exhalation of the breath, to induce the relaxation response.

Expected results of this technique include a deep state of physical and mental relaxation.  Faster reaction times, greater self-sufficiency, stability and happiness have also been shown as results of regular meditation practice.  There are no inherent dangers for the "normal" individual.  However, for a highly neurotic person unstressing might release pent up emotional problems, precipitating psychosomatic symptoms or inappropriate behavior.  Marathon meditation periods are discouraged as they can lead to a loss of the sense of reality.  Furthermore, the mind will later rebel and be even harder to calm.  On the plus side, meditation reduces anxiety and negative self-image which can reduce psychosomatic disorders.  It is a natural high.

     4.  Orthocognition.  Gowan has termed the next stage of expansion of ability orthocognition, which he defines as an understanding of the illusions of time, space, and personality and their relationship to the divine element.  It represents "the first dawning of complete cognitive understanding" of the processes of the psyche.  For this to happen, the mind needs "a map of the psychic terrain, and an awareness that such relationships exist."

The effectiveness of Qabalistic theory in this regard is clear.  QBL is not only a correct map of the psychic terrain, it prevents us from confusing the levels of experience and getting lost in fruitless tangents.  Pathworking prevents us from getting lost in endless mazes of psychological confusion concerning the relative value of different experiences.  We stay on the right track or path of the Tree by correctly visualizing our relationship to it.  QBL is a variation on the theme of the Perennial Philosophy, which recognizes all-powerful, impersonal forces which exist independent of time, space and human will, and are beneficient and concerned with human welfare and spiritual development.

Orthocognition is a low stage of syntaxic mode conceptualization and still contains an element of selfish personal desire.  Therefore, we should be extremely careful to limit visualization to those embodying the highest standards.  The power to visualize means we have the ability to manifest our ideal self-concept, and this is the main purpose of orthocognition when it is used in conjunction with meditation.  We should seek to actualize the Lord's Will, not our person will.  Remember, the personal ego is an illusion to begin with, and personal desires just compound the distortion of reality.  If this realization does not come, one is hung up at this stage for an indefinite period of time.

Thoughts are things, or may become manifest, and the human mind is a powerful tool for shaping reality on several levels.  Since every intentional act is a magickal act, we must learn to use emergent powers wisely and with restraint, or we bleed off motivational energy to experience higher states of awareness.  Visualization releases or taps the flow of psychic energy, transforming potential into being.  Several philosophies hold that our imagination and perception is responsible for the maintenance of the universe; our presence is a necessary part of its realization.

According to Gowan, "orthocognition is a form of mental dimensional orientation" which "is related to the structure of intellect factor of spatial visualization.  The ability to orient oneself in three dimensional space can be developed into the ability to orient oneself outside space and time, and hence to possess the means for transcending the illusion they present." (see 'The Diamond Body and Circulation of the Light,' this Volume).

The orthocognitive person would have an effective working knowledge of physics, physiology, psychology and metaphysics.  This philosophical basis provides a cognitive capacity which keeps pace with affective experience.  In other words, one understands the meaning of various states of consciousness or mystical experience, as well as apprehending them intuitively.  This is why psychology can describe states of consciousness in words.  Below the grace states of ecstasy and unification, they may be very precisely defined by those with verbal creativity..

Healing, whether mental or physical (actually psychophysical) is a special case of orthocognition.  Gowan describes three kinds of healers:

1.  Those who lay on hands work in prototaxic mode or 'trance."

2.  Those who form images in the right hemisphere, or visualizers, work parataxically.

3.  Syntaxic healers operate through the word.  Though separated by degrees of ability and swiftness of cure, these include masters like Jesus, or modern day psychologists with their talking and experiential therapies.

He concludes that, "the essence of psychic healing is a speed-up in time of what would normally be accomplished in a much longer period.  What we are really witnessing, therefore, is the acceleration of chemical reactions.  If ultimate reality exists outside of time, and if orthocognition is the dawning recognition of this fact, the consequent psychic healing, as an accelerated physical process would follow immediately upon this principle." (TAC, pg. 332).

Elsewhere (Psychoenergetic Systems, Krippner, 1979), Gowan draws parallels between creativity, healing, and illumination (or peak experiences).  All three procedures share common traits.  These include a prelude ritual which includes a withdrawal to internal solitude, an altered state of consciousness during the peak of the experience, and an emotional "afterglow" after the experience.

These three states apply to all the procedures of Tiphareth.  Briefly these are characterized as follows:

     1.  Prelude Ritual.  "This consists of a number of steps, some of which may be left out or practiced unconsciously in any given case.  First, there is a trigger (a physical problem in the case of healing, an unsolved issue in the case of creativity).  The protagonist seeks solitude undisturbed; one concentrates on one's thought with a fixed purpose, calling or invoking some transpersonal power or must with full expectation of results.  The peak-experience illumination differs only in that the entire process is largely unconscious."

     2.  Altered State.  "It is far from trance even in the "wild" (or spontaneous) peak-experience.  It is, in the other two modes, far more within conscious control, but it is still not your ordinary state of consciousness, for one is in some measure conscious of the Absolute -- outside time and space.  Once the prototype of the solution is sensed there, it is experienced as vibrations, which grow into mental images, ideas instantaneously flow ("rhea-ceptivity"), they are clothed in a form which must be committed to paper at once lest they vanish, and finally, suddenly, the altered state ends.  In healing, having been visualized by the healer, the perfect conditions is manifested in the patient: in creativity the new products has been "realized" in verbal or artistic form; in illumination the experience is ineffable and hence is felt only as overload on the emotions."

     3.  Postlude.  "The postlude experience is one of beneficient emotions, joy, reassurance, exaltation, oneness, and goodness. or more of the steps may be unconscious or omitted altogether in any given circumstance.  Some of these events are more intense than others, and the spontaneous ones tend to be more ecstatic than those "on demand," but these statements are equally true of sexual intercourse, for experience breeds equanimity."

     5. Mystical Meditation.  This is the final procedure of Syntaxic Mode.  Paradoxically, this is a fully cognitive exercise, but it stills the mind, preparing it for the influx of grace states (Daath).  meditation with a religious or spiritual goal marks the upper limit of mankind's mental efforts.  From this point on, further progress depends on the downflowing of the Grace of Divine higher power.  One can make the conscious effort to establish this condition, but its manifestation requires the activation of processes beyond conscious control.

The mind must be tranquilized, stilled or made silent.  In other words, this type of meditation is an attempt by the aspirant to transcend the limitations of even the highest possibilities of the mind.  By consciously cooperating, the mind seeks to transcend itself, but it cannot do this without aid from that which is Beyond itself.

The "I-Not I" split expresses the essential duality of man in his alienation from his Divine Origin.  The entire process of transformation along the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life is an attempt to heal this split through the medium of an I-Self dialogue.  this interchange is brought into increasing conscious awareness as one ascend the spheres, path and planes of the Tree.  This duality enabled man to experience the birth of consciousness, but on the Way of Return, the mind must be stilled to quietness for the primordial reunion to occur.  The mind must merge back into its source, Universal Mind, in order to free the soul for greater glories.

In QBL, the I-Self duality, with its resulting fragmentation of qualities into spheres, is resolved by consistent ascent up the Middle Pillar.  As One unites or harmonizes the various opposite spheres on the Tree, awareness gains access to higher levels.  A similar process occurs in alchemy, where the opposites must be united to produce the supreme symbol, the Philosopher's Stone.  The process required is a dialogue between the conscious-I and the unconscious-Self.  This is known in psychology as the process of self-analysis.  It has its own analogy in yogic training.

In the modes of "trance" and "art," man has an I-It relationship with the subconscious.  Upon entering the mental dimension, however, the subconscious is spontaneously perceived in a personified form, making possible the I-Self dialogue, on a conscious level.  In Magick, this phase is the Knowledge and Conversation with one's Holy Guardian Angel.  In contact with this inner radiant form of the Self, one may put direct questions to it and receive direct answers, guiding life and the growth process.  The Self of the I-Thou relationship is perceived as Divine Guidance.

The Self is another name for the Absolute, which is seen at Tiphareth, though one cannot merge with it until Kether.  Instead, the absolute is seen reflected in the manifestations of the physical world.  The goal of the dialogue is to infuse the personal self with the infinite depth of the greater Self.  this produces feelings of bliss and expansion in understanding and wisdom.  According to most philosophical systems, the original purpose of the "I" or ego-consciousness is to know the universe.  Ultimately,, the knower merges with the known in the realm of the Self.  The Self is the ordering and unifying principle which guides the process of spiritual development.  The dialogue cannot begin until the conscious I perceives the Self as a separate center, or essence of manifest reality.

Initiation of the I-Self dialogue manifests a connection between the two which is analogous to Middle Pillar.  This connection is known in psychology as the "I-Self axis," as termed by Edward Edinger in his book on the subject, Ego and Archetype.

There is another type of union with the Self, which is more pertinent to meditation than psychology.  This is the method of "transcendence," where a clear distinction between ego and self is not required.  Instead, the boundaries of the personality are gradually expanded, merging with the infinite boundaries, formed by the Self perceived as an infinite circumference.

These two different modes of experiencing Self, dialogue and transcendence, function through different physiological systems.  Dialogue includes psychology and magick and involves the enflamment or arousal system.  Transcendence comes through diffusion and stilling of the body.  Enflamment works through noradrenaline production, while transcendence is associated with the neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Either technique can lead to the fulfillment of Tiphareth, which is Self-Realization or Individuation.  This phase marks the culmination of the process of self-analysis, and returns the soul to its pristine state of self-luminosity.  This is the feeling of oneness with God, but this is only an illusion for it is merely the halfway house on the road to spiritual fulfillment, half way up the mountain.  But, in and of itself, it is a great spiritual accomplishment, and can mark the beginning of the second half of the journey to God-Realization or knowledge of God.  Both spirit and God share a common essence.

Perfected consciousness means no less that the synthesis of I and Self which results in bliss.  Without this union, the soul remains in an ever-restless condition, feeling the pain of its separation.  What is required at this stage is for mind to realize itself as pure, undifferentiated Essence.  When no thoughts arise and the mind is fixed on pure Essence, there can be no lingering notion of an individual ego.  Ego doe snot even experience itself having the realization, nor doe sit perceive the phenomena occurring.  One simply is...not becoming, but Being.

Psychological realization comes with the repetition of the psychic life cycle.  When one is freed from the compulsive repetition, a sense of wholeness is achieved.  This sense of wholeness is symbolized by Tiphareth, however, Perfection is known as Kether.

Edinger defines three phases in I-Self relations.  In the first, the I becomes inflated (ego trip) due to identification with the powers and potencies of Self.  By amassing personal power and asserting its independence, the ego falls out of harmony with the subconscious.  This stage is alienation.  Alienation brings the ego pain and remorse, coupled with a sacrificial attitude ("I'll never do THAT again.")  It seeks reconnection to the previous harmonious condition, a reconciliation or reacceptance.  Repeating the cycle brings increased awareness until the process is conscious, and becomes obsolete, since the I merges with Self in meditation daily.

Methods of transcendence include relaxing the body and withdrawing attention from the senses.  One must sit in a position where it is easy to relax but hard to fall asleep.  undisturbed, with eyes closed, one may begin the process o relaxing the mind and removing the constant babble of distracting thoughts.  The mind constantly repeats scenes and stories of its attachment to the outer world.

To overcome this tendency, a mantra, or repetition of the divine names is used to control the mind.  A sound or tone may also be employed for this purpose, of eliminating distracting thoughts.  To fix the attention one uses contemplation.  The form of contemplation is usually a symbol of the Self (one's Guru, mandala, Holy Guardian Angel, or Wise Old Man or Woman).  These are imaging techniques which hold the mind on the proper thought.   All these forms ultimately merge into mystical perception of inner Light, and then this Light is contemplated effortlessly because it automatically holds the attention.  Sounds may also be heart at this time with the inner healing.  This sound and the light are of the same essence, they are one in the same as your attention.

This process unfolds over time, and meditation, as other magickal procedures, must be carried our without "lust for results" or expectations.  You must walk before you can run.  In the lower level of meditation, one must battle the distractions, but in the higher level meditation is sheer bliss for the inner pull drives the process.  The bliss which one accesses through the bridge of meditation can become as habitual or addictive as self-destructive behaviors.  Meditation allows an individual direct access to his higher nature with all of its concomitant benefits.  This process of unfoldment continues at even higher levels of consciousness.. (i.e. Daath and Kether).

Some techniques of meditation include Transcendental meditation, Zen, Vedanta, Integral Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Surat Shabd Yoga, union of the soul with the sound current.  Each has a slightly different  motivation, and some have different goals, in that the goals of some yogas are higher than those of others.  Some seek to united with Universal Mind, while others transcend it.  Stilling the mind is a rewarding experience since it brings feelings of tranquility.  But, it is merely preparation for something greater to come.  One may continually clean a chalice, but it will get dirty again if it isn't filled with the life-giving water.  Tiphareth is the stage of purification or rebirth.

Gowan points our that "unlike creativity which seeks a social response to solve a problem, and orthocognition, which seeks some personal relief or benefit, meditation seeks no product beyond itself.  It therefore is the only procedure to gain independence from the ego."  It is, however, as far as man can go through his own efforts.  Meditation is man's invitation to God -- a silent plea for Grace.

Gowan feels that the Syntaxic Mode has great relevance for personal and cultural growth.  "The whole stage with its five procedures is therefore of intense interest to the intelligent, educated adult.  It forms an indispensable bridge to growth and self-actualization for our culture, and constitutes the only method of making ready for, or, understanding the phenomena of the psychedelic stage." (Daath).

Gowan concludes that, "It is the business of the ego to attend to ordinary reality; it is the business of other parts of the psyche to relate to non-ordinary reality, that is, the noumenon outside our space and time.  While we may look at our ordinary reality as "real," it is actually the other way around, for it is non-ordinary reality that is the ultimate real."

[table: properties of syntaxic procedures and graces]


A. INITIATION: Minor Adept

Adeptus Minor corresponds to Tiphareth.  This ceremony is the death and resurrection rite of the Sun.  It is generally held that Tiphareth is the highest attainment in earthly life; it is certainly the highest recognized Grade, since whatever further progress an Adept may make is by his private work.  Furthermore, the Grades 6=5 and 7=4 represent such a degree of spiritual attainment, and the sense of responsibility pertaining thereto is so great, that such Exalted Ones have no wish to be known and  proclaimed.

                                          --Denning & Phillips/The Magickal Philosophy, Vol. III

Integration, the final attribute of escalation, synthesizes the others.  It is in some respects the mathematical integral of the previous aspects.  A mathematical integral of an algebraic function is a related function of the next higher degree with the addition of a constant which must be determined by observation, thus giving two sources of extra freedom and one of greater complexity.  It is not surprising that a higher synthesis, greater complexity and new degrees of freedom are characteristic properties of the concept of integration. ...The tasks of a stage are not simple accretions of the previous stages, but are interconnected to form a meaningful unit...which unites into a gestalt. ...Integration also embraces a higher synthesis of already delineated elements; hence it summates the concept of escalation. ...This top efficiency at any stage of development is reached only through a harmonious psychic-biologic relationship resulting from excellent mental health on the part of the individual which enables him to integrate his total potential, or as we say in current slang, to "put it all together."

                                      --John Curtis Gowan/Development of the Psychedelic Individual

The grade of Minor Adept might be considered analogous to completion of an under-graduate program in a four-year college, and entrance into a graduate program.  When one enters the Ph.D. program of spirituality, the one has still only an awakened realization of potential godhood.  When one first attain the Tiphareth initiation, one exemplifies the archetype of the Divine Child, who must learn to walk before he can run.  The vital ingredient is a conscious realization of one's distress, which activates the archetype of unity, providing an increasing sense of centeredness.

Having undergone the previous phases of personality development and integration, the adept has gained self-knowledge which has extended the boundaries of the ego-personality.  He must now implement his new attitudes in practice as a synthesis of his training.  In this manner, one is able to embody the solar glory of the archetype of the Resplendent King, the self-actualized, or individuated person.  By transforming oneself into a purified personality, one is redeemed from the dictates of the senses and the lower mind.

The individual whose personality is so purified and redeemed has become an altogether different creature than homo sapien.  These individuals foreshadow mankind's next evolutionary change, and might be termed homo mysticus, or mystical man (Neumann).  Alternatively, they might be termed homo novus, or new man (Richards and Richards), or homo lumen (Philo Stone).  The term, homo lumen would indicate those individuals actively engaged in the crystallization of the "body of light," on the Causal Plane.

The "homo lumen" represents a consciousness which actualizes the divine nature of the Macrocosm in the Microcosm.  This does not mean that the ego will no longer confront problems which challenge one's moral courage.  In fact, the battle with the downward pull of the mind is enjoined on an even more intense level.  Rationalizations and conflicts will arise to deter one's progress in defiance of one's heart-felt will.  Only consistency of effort will overcome this extraordinary difficulty.

This phase frequently involves actual strengthening of the will-power or ego which has a weak sense of responsibility.  This is why the individuation process up to Tiphareth is characterized as being "heroic" in nature.  We all need some ego strength to survive in the world, and without it we would be overpowered by the awesome strength of the unconscious Self at this stage.  What is required is an integration of consciousness and Self.  By making the conflict conscious, the ego assumes a heavy responsibility.  This problem is impossible to solve without divine guidance.

There are certain indicators of progress at this stage, as delineated by john Gowan (1974) in his Northridge Developmental Scale.  He determined a series of mini-tasks which are considered "requirement" or results of self-actualization, using criteria other than intelligence testing.  Some of these include creativity, self-reliance, self acceptance, problem-solving ability, a sense of destiny, and a strong inward tendency toward meditation.  (For a more complete description of these stages, see "Psychological Models," this volume, on developmental theory, or Syntaxic Mode).  An individual at this stage understands the phenomena of projection, and realizes that heavens and hells originate within himself.

Mystical meditation is a fundamental category of human experience.  Mystical types of experience can manifest whenever the ego defers to the unconscious, giving up its illusion of occupying the center of human awareness.  There are stages of mystical-type experiences, depending on one's conscious awareness.

The mystical experience of the most primitive sort (prototaxic) is called participation mystique.  Here the ego identifies itself unconsciously with the divine.  This produces a feeling of paradisiacal wholeness.  Further development of a heroic ego leads to greater clarity of the relationship of the ego to the Self.  Formerly unconscious aspects of the non-ego are raised to conceptual understanding.  The worldview is transformed.

The dynamism of this process comes from the Self, not the ego.  The creative Self is a mystical force which lives within us all, but to realize it requires a personal encounter.  At the Tiphareth stage this personal encounter occurs in meditation.  This means mystical meditation (not elementary meditation), which seeks God-realization as its goal.

Prior to consistent mystical meditation, the dynamic aspect of the creative Self may manifest with the hint of a religious aura in ideas, inspirations, or even with the power of revelations.  These ideas and inspirations may contain great spiritual truths, but since they originate in the mind, they may also be contaminated, or inclined to lead one astray through misinterpretation.  In spiritual practice, all images or directions experienced during meditation must be tested or dismissed.  Only that which ultimately remains is Truth.  All others are mere products of the mind, and can capture the attention if allowed to do so.

Mystical meditation is a method of producing metamorphosis in both the ego and the Self.  When the ego is attentive and devoted to the Self, the mystical encounter may occur.  This yields a lasting transformation of the personality.  The mystic seeks to be freed from the imprisonment of a rigid ego, and isolation in time and space.  Depending upon one's level of awareness, there are early, high, and ultimate levels of mystical experience.  They reflect stages of human development.

According to Erich Neumann ("Mystical Man", Eranos Yearbook, Princeton Univ. Press, p. 375-415):

The final and mature phase of human and personal development, which reaches beyond the zenith of the dominant ego-consciousness, is characterized by metamorphosis and integration of the personality, such as we see in the process of individuation.  This too, is prefigured in myth, in the archetypal figure of Osiris.  As the sun rises and falls in its path across the sky, so does consciousness develop in every individual as the ages of life unfold, and individuation is the end of its diurnal arc.  The metamorphosis of the Horus = sun = ego of this phase, stands under the sign of Osiris, the "First of the Westerly gods."  At the end and death of the sun's course, Osiris, the self, receives and Osirifies the ego = Horus = son and transforms him into the self.  The mythology and king ritual of the Egyptians contain many accounts of the paradoxical relation between ego and self, Horus and Osiris.   The mystery of mysteries: "I and the Father are one," also presides over this final phase of the transformation that is called individuation and which culminates in the death of the ego and the end of life.

The mystery of Death and Rebirth is the stage of Tiphareth.  It may intimate not only the transmigration of the soul through several personalities, but also be a mystical prescription to "Die Daily" in mystical meditation, as the ego merges with the greater whole.  One must have certain qualities of a minor adept in order to do this.  One needs some degree of ego integration, or one's mystical practice is a timid fleeing from the world.  This is a regression of the ego, no progression towards consummation in spiritual marriage.  The myth of the hero culminates in a divinely strengthened ego, which manifests some qualities of the divine.

The hero has a calling or mission, or a sense of his or her own destiny, as does the minor adept.  He forms and transforms his/her own worldview, constantly widening the parameters of experience.  The hero is the rising son-sun or divine child.  When the son/sun reaches the zenith point, there is a stabilization of consciousness or self-actualization.

Then begins the path of ecstatic, or high mysticism, where the sacrifice of the ego or individuality is enacted in the archetype of the sacrificed god.  The ego willingly participates in its own destruction through transcendence.  It acknowledges the Self as the directing center.  Creativity is entirely directed inwardly and upwardly.  The direction is inward in terms of attention, and upwards in terms of planes of awareness as described in Qabala.

A high mystic is not concerned with transforming the world, per se, but this is a natural by product of his teachings.  Both high magick or high mysticism are roads for the redemption of the soul, and the realization of the macrocosm in the microcosm of human life.  Great individuals act as role models for humility and the spiritual development of mankind.  The personal and spiritual integrity which they embody links them with the westernmost portion of the solar journey.  Their personal integrity, first hand knowledge of the borderline of death, and their after-death mysticism links them with the archetype of Osiris, the dying and resurrecting god.

In these illumined individuals, the reality of the self shines through transparently.  Even though we have a role model for wholeness, each individual soul needs to confront the task of redeeming his soul.  This requires personal effort, and this is the work of the minor adept in mystical meditation.  magickal transformation of the personality into living light is a continuous creative process, and is the main work of this phase.  The integrated person is attached to his or her own creative center, and that core is represented as Tiphareth, the center of the mandala, or the heavenly heart.

The minor adept seeks to consolidate discontinuous encounters with the self into a mystical transparence which "resembles and all-embracing radiation of the self, and the ego encounters the numinous everywhere and at all times."  He engages in mystical meditation which includes a dialogue between the ego and Self, in some form of spiritual practice on a regular basis.  This dialogue provides guidance for the ego, which then transforms itself into an embodiment of the self.

Again from Neumann (p. 415):

Thus from it earliest beginnings the human personality is in constant mystical motion.  Reaching inwardly toward the self and outwardly toward the world in ever-new encounters, forever changing, man from childhood onward passes through all the stages of transformation mysticism.  And just as the beginning of source mysticism extends back into an unknown sphere prior to the emergence of the ego, so does the end of immortality mysticism extend into an unknown realm beyond the extinction of the ego.  The inexplicable fact that man's very center is an unknown creative force which lives within him and molds him in ever-new forms and transformations, this mystery which accompanies him throughout his life, follows him even into death and beyond.  So the circle closes, and man ends as he began, a homo mysticus.


Continue with Sphere 6, part 2.

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