THE ARCHETYPES - THE GODS ON THE TREE
The energy, concentrated, takes on form (image) in Yetzirah and that is how inner vision (either in dream or clairvoyant sight) arrests the frequency. "As above, so below," so the inner senses function very much the same as the physical senses do, in respect to the registry of frequency. We know, for instance, that we do not, even in the objective world (the World of Assiah) live in a world of `Things": tables, chairs, etc. Whether we accept the quantum theory of physics or the wave theory, this world is a dynamic energy system and "things" are in an ever changing state of flux. I need not labor the fact that our physical senses only register in a limited band of frequencies. Beyond, or below the band of a given sense, that sense breaks down and registers the frequency as a "Thing": something solid, smooth, etc. So, if I "see" an angel with my inner vision or in a dream, I am not "seeing" a Being of that shape and form. The force field labeled "angel" is registered by my inner eye as having shape and form. Now the angel does have pattern. God geometrizes, of course! This is obvious. But when we consider the pattern, we are in the World of Briah, the prototypal world. So, with this all too brief consideration of archetypes as "centers and fields of force" let us try to keep from falling into the trap of thingifying, while we consider Jung’s archetypes.
An archetype functions as an instinct with its energy (libido) within Man’s psyche. The libido, the Life, is "caught" within the archetype in the same way that atoms and atomic energy are "caught" within the pattern of a pencil. These atoms cannot escape and fly into space or dribble out all over the floor, as long as they are caught within the field (pattern) of "pencil," which only goes to show how potent is a mere idea! So while it is true that the Life Breath (libido) moves in and through all, once it becomes locked into some kind of form, it is difficult to disengage it! In the case of archetypes, only the Last Judgment will dissolve them. Not all of these instincts are functional in average man; that is, average man is not aware of them. The whole purpose of psychic development is to awaken and come into control of these archetypes (instincts). Because they are instincts we see that they are autonomous, as Jung says. Just as autonomous as the instincts that we call the will to live, the sex instinct, hunger, etc., are the potential archetypes autonomous. If one of these potential archetypes suddenly becomes actual, we are powerless to act against its will! (For the best account of why this is so, read Dr. M. Esther Harding’s book, Journey Into Self)
This autonomy makes the archetypes objective to us, in the sense that they are pre-existent and are more powerful than we are. They are in control of us and that is why the ancients and the Qabalists considered them to be objective to man. Objective does not mean that they are out there walking around on the street; it means rather that they are not personal fantasies that will vanish on command. We do not need to meet them in fantasy for them to wield their powers. In fact, most of us are unconscious of them most of the time, and any archetype above the veil Paroketh on the Tree we are unconscious of all of the time, if we have not developed to where those deeper (higher) archetypes have become functional instincts in the psyche. Occasionally we may be aware of them in visions or dreams, or just in insightful recognition of their power. But just a moment’s registry of their frequency can be a very powerful and provoking experience with effects that resonate throughout one’s life. Anyone who has met a collective archetype (a god) in his own psyche will not forget it.
It is this spontaneous eruption of these unconscious contents into consciousness, that occupied much of Jung’s interest throughout his life. One reason for his interest was his own personal experience of having been assaulted by the contents of the unconscious. If and when the archetypes emerge into consciousness, it usually happens at their choice of time and place. But for most of the time most of us are not even aware of their presence. Chinmayananda was once asked why India, supposed by the West to be a peaceful nation, had attacked Goa with great military force to drive out the Portuguese. He replied that it was true.. .India had been very peaceful until one day "this Kali came out" and started a war. He did not blame India, or the Indian people. To him, it was just that the great Goddess of Destruction wanted to express Herself. But we in the West would call that a cheap excuse. After all, we go to war rationally. Or do we? We are in fact irrational enough to seek for answers in astrology for why certain things happen to us, and we even sometimes agree that mundane affairs are ruled by planetary influences, but then if our nation goes to war we blame the government, or big business interests, or just anything except the planets. But if we have a bad day and feel emotionally out of sorts, we say that Mars is doing it to us. We expect nations to be rational enough not to become embroiled in wars, and at the same time we find it difficult to control our tempers in respect to something that irks us. But a nation is made up of millions of unconscious people just like ourselves.
The gods can have such effects on us precisely because we are unaware (unconscious) of them. If we were conscious of their presence and intent we might be able to refuse them their desires, or to cooperate consciously with them. We also might not be able to cooperate with them under all circumstances. It isn’t exactly easy to cooperate with an earthquake, whether it is rearranging the earth’s crust or rearranging the psyche. It is, however, not at all possible to cooperate with an instinct that we are not aware of. The Practical Qabalah contains methods for deliberately seeking out the archetypes and invoking them. For the serious aspirant to consciousness, this is the only way to proceed. He does not wait in fear and trembling for some onslaught from the unknown, but consciously and purposefully searches for them. This is a significant point of difference in technique between Jung and the Qabalah, `for the practical Qabalist actively assaults the unknown. That is his duty, to strip the veils, one by one, from the images that conceal the powers. Jung did develop the technique of "active imagination" for exploring the unconscious, but this is a fairly simple method compared to the highly controlled and ritualized methods of the Practical Qabalah.
Dr. Jung says that we "get lived" and we "get dreamed," so another reason for trying to gain an understanding of these matters is to be able to learn to sublimate, or properly cooperate with these archetypes so that they do not autonomously take advantage of us! We are trying to be masters in our own houses (bodies and minds) without having to build up over differentiated minds (cortical function) that merely repress these archetypes. If the over differentiated mind smothers one of the deeper archetypes in the psyche, after it is ready to become a natural function of consciousness, this archetype may turn ugly in the psyche and cause all manner of psychosomatic illnesses, emotional disturbances, etc. Proper analysis and/or Alchemical development allows these archetypes to become functional aspects of consciousness without swamping consciousness and thereby acting on their own against our conscious will. In other words, we try to integrate them into consciousness. We learn to cooperate with them; with these energies remember, not with these images.
Paradoxically, for us to deal with them as energies, we must think of them as Beings. As referred to before, if we meditate on force alone it can use us, whereas if we meditate on the form (image) we can use it! In the Qabalistic method the practitioner assumes the attitude that the "archetypes" are objective beings-gods or angels or autonomous entities of some sort, rather than components of his own psyche. By taking this attitude, he establishes a one-to-one relationship with them, and this has effects that are quite different than it would be if he tried to deal with them as instinctive forces in his own psyche. Each such "Being" such as Zeus or Kali has its images and its own complex history. This technique is one of the tools in the armory of the occult arts, in Magic, and therefore beyond the scope of this book. The imagination is a far more powerful tool than we know! One reason we are not aware of this is because of the negative connotation put on fantasy by most Western psychiatrists, especially of the Freudian school. It is true, too, that there is a great difference between indolent fantasy and controlled imagination.
The controversy over the objectivity and subjectivity of phenomena has been mentioned earlier. The different opinions about this may be found in the writings of several good schools so there is no need to take the reader’s time with the subject here. It is enough to say that either point of view rests on opinion based on subjective apprehension and both points of view work well enough to make it possible for their separate adherents to deal with the phenomenal world.
If we read Aleister Crowley on this subject we discover that he sometimes writes as though he held to the theory of objectivism. He refers to Tiphareth, for example, as Self, independent of the mind (conscious or unconscious) of the individual. At other times he refers to Tiphareth as a subjective entity (state, quality). I have heard my own teacher say of the Higher Self, "I have seen Him and He is a Being of such grandeur and beauty as to defy description." But when questioned about the objectivity of this statement, my teacher argued in terms of General Semantics to prove that all "things" whatsoever in the world of outer or inner space are "in" consciousness; that this world, whether subjective or objective, is a dynamic energy system that is in fact a Light World appearing substantive to the senses and that therefore only seems to be objective to the individual. On the other hand, he did concede that when the cosmic tides (tattvas) rise and fall they also rise and fall in the individual; implying that these cosmic tides, planetary tides, etc., must in some way be objective to us. The immediate question then must be, is their effect subjective or objective? A Jnana Yogin would no doubt explain this in terms of the lokas: the invisible or inner constituent of man. He would say that the real nature of the Self (Atman, Qabalistically referred to as Tiphareth) has its Oneness with the supreme Self (Paramatman; Qabalistic Kether). The lokas are regions or levels of existence which include our physical world which seems to be objective or external to us, and also the subtle worlds that also seem to be external to us when we are "traveling" in these invisible worlds. We do not live in our physical bodies. The physical body is held in consciousness. We seem to be in anything that is held in consciousness so we seem to be in the world, too, but. we do not live in the world anymore than we live in our physical bodies. Or so would be the argument of those who embrace subjectivism.
Our difficulty here in the West with such an idea is that when we think of a center we think of it as being a some thing in the middle of other something's that are around it. Like the atom, with its nuclear center, protons, neutrons, etc. We even find it difficult to conceive of an omnipresent supreme being so it is impossible for us to think of ourselves as centers of consciousness not limited by body or world. The lokas of the Hindus, and the planes of the Astral World, and Dr. Jung’s layers of the Collective Unconscious are, according to monism, referring to the same thing: states of consciousness within man himself. We deal with these by acting as though they are outside of consciousness. Being limited by the five physical senses there is no other way we can deal with them.
Jung says that we inherit the Collective
Unconscious, or the ancestral images thereof, and that these "engrams"
(as Dr. Pullen-Burry, the noted Qabalist, called them) are not only latent in
the subconscious but also in the very structure of the brain. His entire method
of "active imagination" is based upon this theory. If, as Jung says,
Man is a psychological being, then this method will work for him, just as the
Qabalistic method has worked in the past and works today. What any good
psychologist or good teacher wants is good results, regardless of the theory
accepted. We could split hairs over these theories ad infinitum and not arrive
at any definite conclusion until, one-by-one, inner realization reveals the
truth of the matter to us. Man is not a static being, so what will work for one
man will not work for another. Jung’s method works well for many people. The
Qabalistic method of analysis also works well for many people, and, in the East
the various forms of Yoga work well for many people. Eastern methods do not work
any better for people in the West than Western methods do for people in the
East, but with the loss of faith in our religious forms here in the West we are
turning to Eastern disciplines and we are finding them to be rewarding in an
individual sense, too. The dharma of Western nations is distinctly different
than for Eastern nations, however, so we do find that "a native converted
is a native spoiled" in respect to aiding the evolution of his own national
spirit. The group mind of a given nation is not as obstinate as it may seem at
first glance. It really does not take very much infiltration from a foreign
culture to effect some serious change in that nation. The destiny of the West is
to build the concrete mind. What has happened, however, is that along with our
Western business suit we have taken our concrete attitudes to the entire East.
We deceive ourselves however, if we think that the Eastern man wearing our
business suit has entirely the same attitudes toward life that we do. It is the
same with Westerners wearing saffron robes and holding out their begging bowls
in our large airports. A change of dress and a change of concepts does not put
one in touch with the forces resident in the unconscious of another culture.
Under rare circumstances individuals from different cultures do meet
now-and-then and bridge the gap between their respective psyches. Such a
coalition enriches the minds of both, as it did between my teacher and his
teacher. For the most part, however, Western students would do better to stick
to Western disciplines. To this end Jung’s techniques are best suited for
Western man unless the seeker can find a good school using the practical
Qabalistic techniques. The best schools of the Qabalah for non-Jews, however,
are only to be found in Europe, so Jung’s method becomes even more valuable to
those of us here in the Western Hemisphere.
Jung has referred to the Collective Unconscious as the Objective Psyche. I find that students coming across this idea for the first time invariably ask, "Objective to what?" When we dream are we in this objective sphere, or are we dreaming off of the personal unconscious? But we may ask the same about waking visions. Is the vision coming from the reflecting ethers of the Astral Planes, or is it coming from my own unconscious? In either case if enough ectoplasm is released by letting energy flow out to the images, we can get some startling physical phenomena. This is not as uncommon as one may think, and the phenomena are not confined to the spiritualists’ séance room. If one is using active imagination in the presence of heavy incense smoke it is quite easy to get physical phenomena. It is not quite as easy to banish it however! I therefore do not recommend the indiscriminate use of active imagination. Dr. Jung did not recommend an indiscriminate use of it either. He very carefully warns about the unfavorable results one may obtain. It depends on who is using it, under what controls, etc. When we find occult techniques such as this one, coming into use by psychologists who may, but also may not know exactly how occult anatomy functions (or even that we have such an anatomy!) we cannot help but regret the unfortunate circumstances that drove our Western Tradition underground in the Third Century.
Anyone who deals with the Magical Images, by any method, will in time have to come to the conclusion that all is not as simple as the psychologists make it appear to be. In one of her excellent books, Madam David-Ned tells about the thought-form she deliberately made when on one of her journeys to Tibet, and how it became exteriorized and visible and tangible to not only herself, but to anyone who was with her. One should have considerable understanding of the "making of thought forms" before one lets one’s energy flow out to images by means of the imagination. In Madam David-Neel’s case it took her many months and a great deal of very grave trouble to banish the little monk she had "made" by means of active imagination. The little monk she had made took on a life of its own and eventually became quite ugly and disagreeable with her. I know many people who have read her account of this and without exception, all of them have taken it as being a curious and interesting bit of psychic phenomena, but none of them has questioned the seriousness of it. I doubt that many of us are quite this good at making magical images come true, as it were, but the images we unconsciously make do contain some of the emotional energy we pour into them, and these "live" within the psyche, acting therein much the same as foreign bodies do in the physical body. A psychic complex of this order is something real to deal with! But here again we need to know as much about our occult anatomy as our doctors do about our physical anatomy. My teacher objected to any use of "seed meditation" (as it is called in the East) for novices. Instead he kept the student’s attention held on the forces, by referring always to the frequency state of "things." In private discussions I have heard him refer to the power of the imagination to bring about desired ends, but he did not teach this publicly.
Where man formerly sublimated his libido by projecting it through worship into the forms of the gods, which resulted in a participation mystique with the forces of nature, his present so-called enlightenment has caused him to discard this belief. This results in his libido regressing into the subconscious where it animates the archaic pictures which, by inheritance from the past, are potentially latent not only in the subconscious, but also in the very structure of the brain. An understanding of the awakening of the psychic centers in the brain will bear this out, for as each center is animated by the raised Kundalini (the deeper levels of libido), the archaic pictures (the god archetypes, which Dr. Pullen-Burry called engrams) will rise to consciousness. Something similar, only without consciously controlled results, will 6ccur under the influence of certain mind-altering drugs and herbs that act on the centers of consciousness in the brain. Not that consciousness is centered in the brain anymore than it is in the solar plexus or any other nerve plexus in the body. All of the endocrines contain grey matter and, occultly understood, each endocrine serves as a brain for the inner body its corresponding chakra (center) rules, but this concerns occult anatomy and we are not prepared to go into the subject of "inner" bodies in this book. I mention it in passing to call attention to the fact that the brain is not the only instrument that serves the Mind. ESP and all extended senses operate as much off of the endocrines as off of the centers in the brain.
These archaic images do today shape the plot and fortuitous events of analysis, and therefore Jung takes these archetypal symbols as being of profound psycho-analytical significance, whether induced by "active imagination" or as images in one’s dreams, or as visions (waking dreams). In the Qabalistic method of analysis these images are caused to rise to consciousness by a controlled system consciously directed. In this way, by using a proven system for evoking the images, one knows which world one is trying to come to grips with, so to speak. And we had better come to grips with it, or it will grip us! In Qabalistic terminology, and according to how this is done, it is sometimes called Skrying in the Astral visions, or Rising on the Planes. In either case, one knows exactly "where" one is in consciousness, and therefore how to control the visions, voices, etc. One is able to turn them on or shut them off at will. What one cannot do however, is to change them. But isn’t this the way it should be with any sensitive sense function? Suppose we opened our eyes and could no longer shut them? This is what sometimes happens with involuntary visions or voices: they come to us uncalled and we cannot turn them off. About the only thing psychiatry can do for a person in such a predicament is to try to convince him that he is not really seeing or hearing anything, or he can be given electric shock treatments or medications that act on the brain and nervous system, or he can just be committed to an insane institution. I knew a minister’s wife who, for no apparent reason, started seeing things "that were not there." Her husband finally had to have her committed to the state insane asylum. After lengthy treatment she was released as "cured." She came to visit me not long after her release and the first thing she said to me in answer to my question as to how she was doing was, "Now I know I am not seeing anything because the doctors have told me I am not, but it still seems that I am." I was acquainted with a young woman who, for no apparent reason, started hearing a voice that told her she should kill herself. Her family put her in a private mental institution. After six months she was released as "cured." She was only home a few days when she said to her mother, `The doctor told me I am not hearing any voices so I know now that I am not, but it still seems that I am." A short time later she committed suicide. Neither of these women had ever taken any mind-altering drugs nor had they ever heard of Yoga practices, which medicine sometimes blames for causing "hallucinations." The limits of our five physical senses are more of a blessing than we know, even though there are times when we feel it would be handy to be able to register more than we normally do.
Inner control gives us the same conscious control of mental functions that we have toward our limbs: being able to raise and lower our arms at will. Inner control gives us the same conscious control of mental functions that we have toward sight: being able to open or close our eyelids at will. By being able to consciously call up and control the inner images, the force represented by the images, or the revelations from the voices, may be integrated with the conscious mind. If one is trying to deal with a complex or a neurosis, he may, by integrating the energy ("grounding it" as the Alchemists say), come eventually to control the disturbing element in his psyche. It may no longer trouble his mind and/or body as an unknown quality calling from the depths of the unconscious. If he is not troubled by a neurosis of any serious nature, he may just be seeking a more meaningful understanding of life and of himself, and he can achieve this by the same means.
Much of this material, as explained by Jung, represents the phenomena of our unconscious that harbors a whole menagerie of were-wolves, demons, malefic and beneficent gods. These are, as Jung says, "things which have affected man most profoundly." These produce the numinosum (from the Latin numen: a divine or presiding spirit). When these images rise to consciousness without conscious control the mind may be swamped by them and so one is unable to integrate the energy content thereof. In that case one has, at best, merely been to an astral picture show, though there may be some benefit derived from the drama, even as we have all come away from a movie with a deeper appreciation of some aspect of life portrayed. In a catharsis, however, the energy is thrown off in the emotional upheaval and serves no good in respect to integrating the energy. But if one only wants a mental understanding, then this will serve well enough, and because a portion of the energy bound up in the unconscious complex has been spent, one may feel relieved, or maybe empty and let down. Some of the inner pressure will be off, at any rate, even though the energy is gone. This is the best way for someone who is not seeking integration for the purposes of psychic development or psychic powers. One cannot put new wine in old bottles without expecting something to have to give, so a period of psychic purification is required by a teacher or school before teaching the student how to integrate energy. To this end analytical psychology serves the Western student best for purposes of harmonious co.-ordination of the personality with the unconscious psyche.
The aspirant seeking to develop by means of the Hermetic Art, however, will also be interested in integrating the energy. It is not enough to him to merely understand what the images signify, and, by having his dreams and visions analyzed come to peace with his inner conflicts. It is not enough to him to undergo a catharsis and be able to throw off the energy and thus be relieved of the pressure from the unconscious. It is here that there is some difference in Jung’s analytical method and the methodology of the practical (i.e., magical) Qabalah. But Jung must have also understood the process of integration of energy, as is well documented by him in his thorough research into Alchemy. One of the best books one can read on psychic energy is Psychic Energy, Its Source and Goal by Dr. M. Esther Harding, who was a student of Jung’s. Outside of Dion Fortune’s books, I have found nothing written in occult circles (nor in those schools that do not identify with occultism) in regard to the integration of energy, to equal this book of Dr. Harding’s. In this book is a chapter on Alchemy that is the best I have read, save for The Philosopher’s Stone by Dr. Israel Regardie.
I must add here that because Jung has said that the psyche is a closed system, with the energy sometimes flowing from the unconscious to the conscious and vice versa, one may assume a wrong impression about the displacement of energy in a catharsis. The Qabalah can help to explain this more clearly. Malkuth is not included in any triad. If energy is flowing from Kether to Malkuth, it (the energy) must round Malkuth to be effective. They say in Qabalistic terminology that Malkuth is the fallen sphere. The play The Dybbuk reminds us, however, that:
Wherefore, 0 wherefore
So it is the last step that counts (or costs) in Malkuth. "The Fall contains the Ascension" providing the apotheosis is kept in mind. In other words, we must know what to do with the "fallen" energy. It must be kept in circuit. If we cast the energy off in an emotional abreaction the energy is not lost, because it cannot leave the universe, but it has not been caused to circulate back into one’s own psyche, after having been purified in Yesod. Yesod purifies the Emanations. It proves and corrects the designing of their representations, and disposes the unity with which they are designed without diminution or division. As Dion Fortune pointed out, these old archaic texts say a great deal to the mind if one meditates upon them long enough. However, this one is clear enough that it should not have to be contemplated for very long to reveal its hidden meaning. What it says is that proper application of this sphere will dissipate the tension in a complex, etc., but it is at Malkuth that the final grounding of the energy must be achieved, so that it can round the nadir and return back "up" the Tree. That is to say, transmutation of energy before it has passed through the sphere of the mediator and been harmonized merely represses a type of energy applying to one of the side pillars (Ida-Pingala). As a "type" of energy it will then change type again, as it is transmuted on that pillar. For energy to be harmonized the two aspects of energy (positive and negative) must equal each other and thus be canceled out, but, if this "third" force known as the harmonizing force, is not integrated (grounded) the energy has merely scattered off into space where it returns to its universal source. Thus humanity, when not repressed, serves the universal good. When repressed, the energy of humanity goes into the culture (Church, State, art, etc.) or may, under very repressive circumstances, go to feed the Qlipoth side of the Tree, thus quickening the powers of "organized evil." I realize, too, that I am going to get a lot of argument from many quarters for having stated this so clearly in a book meant for public consumption, but so be it! Criticism of anyone who takes a stand on such matters derives from quarters that claim a corner on truth. It has ever been thus, so what cannot be cured must be endured. Today I will not be burned at the stake for having said so much, but my book may be burned as were Wilhelm Reich’s books burned, and in the United States, too, as recently as 1963! The books of Wilhelm Reich contained a wealth of information that could be useful to those of us who seek truth today. One example: an "armor block" in the Reichean sense becomes the "form" or "pattern" in Briah that I spoke of earlier: a pattern which contains force locked in it. The dissolution of these forms and the release of the energy contained therein was the aim of Reichean therapy, as it also is of Tantric Yoga and Alchemy. In our Christian Bible man is admonished to save his soul, and if we had not been morally conditioned about this idea, we might have been able to see this in terms of the conservation of energy, or even of the conservation of mass (which is the same thing) as the Alchemists were wont to do. Physics at any rate, shows us that matter and energy are the same. That is, they are the same in a theoretical sense. In a practical sense they are convertible, one into the other. The subject of Alchemy is the study of the techniques of this type of transformation, seen in its most broadly philosophical and its most painfully mundane aspects.
Alchemy as a practice has been underground (esoteric) throughout most of Western history. Jung has revived some interest in its philosophical aspects through his lengthy studies on the subject: Alchemical Studies, Psychology and Alchemy, Mysterium Coniunctionis, and Aion. For the most part he explained Alchemy in terms of psychology, and though this is not all of Alchemy by any means, he at least upgraded our approach to the subject. In his commentary to Wilhelm’s translation of the Chinese treatise on Alchemy, The Secret of the Golden Flower, Jung made some more or less pointed references to the psycho-somatic process thereof. He also stated that Chinese Alchemy would not work very well for a Westerner, and we might say that this is quite true of most of the practices of Eastern Tantra also.
Alchemy is Western Tantra. It may be more meaningful to say that Eastern Tantra and Western Alchemy give us two different attitudes for dealing with the same fundamental principle. Aleister Crowley wrote a chapter on Alchemy in his book Magick. It is the most beautiful treatise on Alchemy that anyone has ever written, and it tells not a thing! At the end of the chapter Crowley says, "now we may not know what Alchemy is, but we certainly know what it is not." In Jung’s works on Alchemy one knows exactly what it is. He has not told how, but he has very clearly explained what it is. He leaves it up to the reader to figure out how. But this is a great deal more than any other author on the subject has ever done. Most of them tell us what Crowley told us: what it is not. Alchemy is often classified with Black Magic by those who would keep a corner on truth. In some ways it is tantamount to "the short path" of Tibetan Magic. But Black and White Magic do not differ in practice, they differ in intentions.