THE PROCESS OF INDIVIDUATION
We have been looking at, the psychology of Jung and the Qabalah as systems of thought, or as "pictures" of the world-process. Although Jung repeatedly warned readers that his psychology was his own, that is, based within his own personal framework of reference, we have seen nevertheless that it fits surprisingly well within the framework of the Qabalah, which is a system developed over thousands of years by a multitude of contributors. Thus his psychology has the air of something universal and timeless. Of course Jungís theories were not developed in the ivory tower of isolation, but came from daily toil in the midst of human suffering. In this sense we could list all his patients, his students and their patients, as contributors who each provided some aspect 1 of the whole. This may be what he meant when he spoke of psychology an "empirical" science. Jung is usually considered for the average lay mind to be extremely difficult to read and understand; it is not, however, because his theories are deep and complex, but because his works are filled to the brim with data collected from his patients, from historical works, and from his own experience. He himself agrees that his works are mostly catalogs of collected data, not unlike a botanistís field notes. Indeed it is difficult to find much theory in his own works. It has remained for his students- Jacobi, Neumann, and Harding in particular-to delineate the major points of his work and to give some general sense of unity to his thought. He himself said that for a detailed clarification of his work it would remain up to his first, second and third generation students to provide this; that he, himself, was more like an archeologist who discovered the "diggings" and uncovered the "shards" but that it remained up to his students to restore the broken relics. Also, most of Jungís writings were couched in the terms of his profession so we can assume that he did not intend to write very much for the lay mind. Nevertheless, Jungís writings contain great insight and deep philosophical concepts for anyone who will exert the patience to read them. As is also true with the writings of the ancient Alchemists, it is necessary to have patience and persistence to discover these gems and to recognize them among the mountains of apparent trivia of psychological data which he catalogs. One also cannot bring to Jungís writings or to the works of the Alchemists, a preconceived prejudicial notion of what constitutes sound language. A writer writes in the language style of his age, for one thing. He also may be using metaphor and symbols to cover up his tracks, which was most certainly the case with the Alchemists, many of whom paid with their lives for having tried to leave a record of their art for future generations. Anyone who is critical of the terms in which the Alchemists framed their ideas, displays a lack of sympathy with their task.
Jungís statement that Manís subconscious is a vast storehouse of good and evil, fits well with Qabalistic teachings. Every sephirah has a negative as well as a positive aspect. The negative aspect may not in every instance be evil; sometimes evil is merely the vice of our virtues. Take the vice of someone with a strong Jupiterian (benevolent) nature. We find it difficult to see that the parent, for instance, who over-indulges his child, is being evil to that child. Too much generosity may be a sign that we just have not got what it takes to say no, when no would be best for the other person. We see, then, that Virtue carried to extremes can be a very serious vice. If we want to know something about the various aspects of organized evil (which is considerably different to the negative principle) we can learn a great deal about it by reading what the Qabalists have written about the Qlipoth side of the Tree of Life. This is itself a whole Tree, and deserves more exposition than we can give here. It is enough to call attention to the fact, that, as Westerners, we are all more or less conditioned by Christian bias, a religion that has no devil, and therefore, as Jung so aptly puts it, we do not have sufficient imagination in evil to be able to recognize it when we see it. This is one reason why it is extremely dangerous to dig too deeply into the unconscious without first having a thorough understanding of these matters. It is more often better, and safer, to keep the lid on Pandoraís box, even if that lid happens to be a troublesome neurosis. A neurosis does sometimes cover up a serious psychosis, and we need a psychiatrist to handle this type of mental disorder. It is also impossible to separate the mind from the body, or the psyche from the mind and body, so we should all be medical doctors as well as psychologists if we hope to do justice to the whole man. We realize, however, that psychosomatic medicine has not really come of age yet, so in the meantime we all cripple along as best we may.
When force rises up the spine from the deeper layers of Kundalini it brings with it the contamination of the fourth function, but the contamination does not belong to the fourth function. It is just that when the fourth function becomes active it lets some of the complexes of the Qlipoth rise to consciousness. Dion Fortune said that every time we deal, or hope to deal with the obverse side of the Tree we must be prepared to deal with the energy in the averse side of the Tree too. These averse energies must be dealt with in the course of psychic development, just as the world Qlipoth must be dealt with at the close of every cycle or age in world history. We might think of the Qlipothic powers as the powers of chaos and old Night, or as the apocalyptic dragon; the dragon that will rule the world for a thousand years. Anyway, "behind" any sphere on the Tree is the averse side of-that sphere- the Qlipoth side. If you touch one side you touch the other.
Besides giving us the Collective Unconscious, Jung gave us the psyche. Something we had all along, but, among the psychologists it took Dr. Jung to recognize it. He said that we cannot have psychology without a psyche. Furthermore, he reminded us that all psychological processes, conscious and unconscious, reside in the psyche, that man is not a physical being, he is a psychological being. We do not find this idea at all difficult to accept when we discover that the psyche is not an epiphenomenon of the biological connection, that it is, as Jung said, a phenomenon in itself. However, the psyche as we know it, is, in some manner not understood by us or by medical science, apparently connected with our physical bodies. Psychology therefore associates it with the brain. The word `psycheí has taken on a poor connotation in those Western schools that do not claim association with occultism, but actually the psyche is the etheric body of occult science and a great deal is known about it and has been written about it. The Etheric Double by A. F. Powell is one of the better accounts of this, and is a good introduction for the beginning student. At any rate, it is simply a foregone conclusion to a Qabalist or an occultist that we do not live in our physiological organism. One reason we donít is probably because it is all wet in there! Imagine living in the physical body with all of those slippery organs, the intestines, brains, etc! There are those who still believe, however, that we live in the physical body, or worse, that we are the physical body. I was never able to overcome my amazement when my motherís widowed neighbor would say to us, "I am going out to the cemetery to see my husband." We are not our physical bodies any more than we are our automobiles! We do not live in the physiological organism any more than we live in our automobiles! We use the physical body, but we live in the psyche (the etheric body). The Cosmic Doctrine implores us to look down on our dead bodies and galvanize them with our life, but not to make the mistake of living in them. So it is a case of not being identified with the physical body, but of using it as a fine instrument for a ground for the higher forces of the mind. This is exactly how the Alchemists thought of the body, too, as we can see from their many references to the body as being the Cup, the Holy Grail, the Triangle of Art, the Magic Circle, etc.
Jung has said that the deepest, most obscure center of oneís unconscious can never be made wholly conscious as far as concerns man being able to contact this autonomous field by his will. The Qabalah shows us why it would hardly be possible for man to fully contact this source and still remain man, because the supernals on the Tree depict the depth of the unconscious as being that which is the root of all manifest life of atom, man, or a universe. The man who comes into full realization of Kether on the Tree becomes as Enoch who "Walked with God and was no more, because God had taken him." Even the slightest registery of this depth causes one to lose interest in life below the abyss and it takes considerable will to make a return. Even Daath, which bridges the abyss of this over-all or Collective Unconscious brings a realization that disrupts normal consciousness. At Daath consciousness is all-inclusive, so at Daath one becomes conscious of consciousness itself. Men like Dr. Walter Russell have tried, unsuccessfully, to describe their experience of this state, but the unspeakable levels of existence cannot be caged in words. Knowing, at this depth, is all-knowing, and the human mind cannot contain it but breaks down from the shock and must be carefully guided to a return to normal human function. The mystic, seeking union with the All, does not try to return from Tiphareth but goes on "up" the Tree and enters Nirvana at Kether. Should the human mind become open to this depth prematurely it would merely result in insanity or death. This may be the basis for the fear and dread of the Qabalah which is common among Jews. At any rate, there is a great danger of loss of body or mind at this critical stage. Whether or not this is "bad" can really only be answered by a person who has experienced it, and he isnít around to tell us! So we can only presume and theorize about such an event. Such fear of death and pain and suffering deters many from Qabalistic study but death is a fact of life, and is certainly one event which we cannot avoid. If eternal union with the All can only be bought at the price of loss of body, then seeing that death of body stands across the path of every one of us without any assurance of eternal bliss, Union with the All is a goal worth seeking. This is the way some aspirants after "our holy art" feel about it anyway. Union with Kether is the Seventh Death referred to in the Cosmic Doctrine, where it is pointed out that in rare instances the individual who experiences this union does not give up his physical body. But who can say that just because he retains the same physical body that he is not dead? The personality change is so great anyway, that even his closest friends would not recognize him were it not that physically he looks the same as before the event. The only account we have of this experience that I know of, as it occurred to someone in our times, is Dr. Walter Russellís account of what happened to him. In such an experience we are dealing with a psychic "explosion" wherein force and form unite. Generally form (body) has to give ("you cannot put new wine in old bottles") and in some cases recorded in old Alchemical texts, we find that the force of the experience incinerated the body. But that is a sure way to "go to oneís own place" in a hurry! Chokmah (the Hindu Purusha) is the force side and Binah (the Hindu Prakriti) is the form side of the supernals. We have just considered why that, together, these two archetypes represent the extraordinarily effective Mana personalities. Their union results in Kether, an orgasm that is all-consuming. No wonder the non-canonical bible says "My God is a consuming fire."
Something which Jung understands, but that is not understood by many psychologists, nor by all occult teachers, either, is that withdrawal from interest in objective life is not a one-time process. In the popular glyph of the Tree of Life two abysses are shown, but in reality there are three, just as there are three crossings in the Greek Gnostic system. There is an abyss between each two sephirah on the middle pillar, and if we draw these as horizontal lines, this cuts the Tree into the four parts: the three triads and the final sphere, Malkuth. In personal development these four regions represent four major states of Being. In occult lodges, there is a separate grade (and subgrades) assigned to each sphere, but all of this can be simplified into four basic classes. The Western Tradition calls these four grades, the "Aspirant," the "Initiate," the "Adept," and the "Master" (from the bottom to the top of the Tree).
The three abysses are called, respectively, the thirty-second path (between Malkuth and Yesod), the veil Paroketh or the personal abyss (between Yesod and Tiphareth), and the Great Abyss (between Tiphareth and Kether). My teacher calls them simply the "First Crossing," the "Second Crossing," and the "Third Crossing." There is not space here to describe these in detail, so only a brief description will be given. My teacherís writings deal almost exclusively with these crossings and the process of individual enlightenment, so the reader is referred to his writings for more detail (some of these will be given in the bibliography).
Each abyss or crossing represents a major shift in consciousness. In ancient times (and in modern occult lodges) these events were called Initiations. Today, such initiations can happen "automatically" to people who know nothing of the Western Mystery Tradition, and they are diagnosed by medical men and are even experienced by the patient, as nervous breakdowns or temporary psychosis. Not all nervous breakdowns are recapitulations of initiations taken in former lives, but some tiny number of them are. An ordinary psychiatrist will interpret one of these recapitulations as an ordinary run of -the-mill neurosis, and may try to adjust the person "back" to his previous level of functioning, when in fact the impulse of the Self is to transcend the old state. These are the casualties of our age of ignorance, the Era Vulgari as Crowley called it. If the person can be "adjusted" back to his previous level of functioning, then contrary to psychologyís belief that he is "cured," the bottom will have fallen out of that personís life. He may be able to go through the motions of living, but the world will be a pretty grey place to him. He will be living below his basic state, which was what he was trying to do before he was "adjusted," so we do not have to be psychologists or psychiatrists to know that personís "cure" is not going to stick. Furthermore, the next time he comes undone he is going to be in a far worse condition than he was the first time. If we live below or above our basic state, as I have heard my teacher say at least a hundred times, we can expect to be ill.
The experience of the First Crossing is the transition from the level of brute instinctual animal awareness into a state of psychic awareness, in which the person is aware of himself as a psychological being with more-or-less refined feelings, thoughts, and emotions. One usually becomes attracted to art at this stage. Today, this First Crossing usually just "happens" to a person and is sparked by some internal or external events in his life, rather than being prompted by deliberate intention on his part. The first experience of being aware of psychic contents causes tremendous emotional and mental upheaval, and it is this experience which causes him to seek help from religious or psychiatric sources. Thus some people who come under psychiatric care are people who are stuck in the First Abyss and who canít get out. Whether or not they are helped by psychiatry is another matter. Such people may or may not be "cured;" they may be hospitalized, and they may recover spontaneously without any help. Psychiatrists and mental health workers will admit this in private.
If the person recovers, and if he has indeed crossed the abyss and not fallen back or been "adjusted" back, it will take him a long time to stabilize himself in his new way of functioning. It will perhaps take him the rest of his life. But a few people may start on the next stage of the journey, the "Journey into Self," as Esther Harding called it. The Second Crossing is traditionally called the initiation into Adepthood, or "Union with the Higher Self," and is called by Jung "the process of Individuation." My teacher referred to it by somewhat the same term. The description of this process occupies the vast bulk of mythology, of Jungís writings, and of works on which men such as my teacher spent their lives. The Third Crossing (the Great Abyss) occurs so rarely for anyone that it is seldom mentioned in any literature of any age. Nevertheless, both the Qabalah and the Greek Gnostic system have marked it in their systems, as a major transition point. My own teacher gave very detailed descriptions of the first two crossings, but when he would come to the place in his series of lectures that led on to the Great Abyss, he always ended the class there and went back and started at the beginning again. This was not to imply that he did not personally know of the experiences and of the powers of the Great Abyss, or of what lie beyond, but, as he pointed out, there was no need to try to talk about a state that transcended language. He knew that we have a difficult enough time with language anyway. This was why he put his teaching in the framework of General Semantics. If we get the orders of abstraction established in our way of thinking, we may, according to him, be able to at least abstract to the higher levels of consciousness. Not that a verbalistic level abstraction can take the place of the reality of experience itself, but we cannot really talk clearly about anything we have not experienced unless we can mentally abstract to the level of that experience. The student of the Qabalah uses a similar way of abstracting when he draws a veil between himself and the abstract idea he is trying to contemplate. Because he knows that "that which is below is like that which is above," he then "sees" that what lies on this side of that veil is a reflection of that which is on the other side of it. In that way he may not know exactly what is on the other side, but he has some idea of it anyway. Korzybski may have known something about how Qabalists think. Whether he did or not, any Qabalist who has read his Science and Sanity would have to say that he would have made a great Qabalist.
This all too brief summary of the process of growth has been presented merely to place modern psychology in perspective with ancient knowledge. Placing it thus on the Tree, we see that Jungís "Process of Individuation" is quite different from common psychological malfunction, and we see, too, that some cases of neurosis or "nervous breakdown" may be the same as what the ancients called Initiation. We do know that the symptoms of a psychosis are all present to some degree in the crisis stages of occult development. The difference in results is that the occult teacher does not diagnose the symptoms as being indications of mental derangement. When oneís "insanity" is found to be the result of living below oneís basic state, all it takes is a change in oneís way of life to effect a "cure." The "cure" may not be instantaneous but I have even seen that happen.
The Third Crossing is not considered by any of our modern psychologists. A major withdrawal occurs at the Great Abyss where Daath bisects the thirteenth path (the path from Tiphareth to Kether) between Chokmah and Binah. There is very little that can be said about function at this level, as has been mentioned before. The best that can perhaps be said about it is that the shift in unconsciousness at the veil Paroketh (just back of Tiphareth) reflects this state. A reflection is not that which it reflects, but under the right circumstances it can be a perfect reflection. As for example: A very calm still lake surface will perfectly reflect the heavens above it, and so a perfectly calm and still lower mind will perfectly reflect the higher mind. This is why the great Yoga teachers stress the stilling of the mind. Man, they say, is a reverse reflection of God, and therefore the lowest center in man is the highest center in God. Meditation on this idea will reveal a great deal to the mind. If we hold a table fork tines end up over a mirror that has been placed on a table and then look in the mirror, we will see the tines reflected at the deepest point "in" the mirror. This should show us where the highest center of God is in Man! But of course: the secret of regeneration does lie in generation.
We must remember, however, that a reflection is just that, a reflection. It may be like a reflection of an image in a mirror, or it may be the reflection of the red end of the spectrum, as in a red apple. In the case of the apple, if we eat the red skin we eat that quality (red) that is not absorbed by the apple. In the case of the mirror, or the reflected heavens in a calm lake, there is no way for us to get hold of the reflection, no way to make that which is reflected a permanent state of mind. We hear a great deal about the state of ecstasy, bliss, ananda, samaddhi, or satori. The state thus signified is reflected in manís orgasm, and even an out-of-the-body samaddhi is a reflection in the still mind-body of a yet higher state. We read about the four states of samaddhi being four states of trance. In orgasm the mind is in a state of trance for a brief moment. However, unless we ground a reflection so that it is permanently "fixed" in consciousness, it is, like the heavens reflected in a calm lake, something we see periodically, when the circumstances are right for producing the phenomenon. There is an esthetic reward for the moment, but in between times life is pretty dull. What Alchemy is all about is the art of "fixing" (integrating) the philosophical aspects of man that are not absorbed by the everyday exercises of his mind. The Philosopherís Stone reflects his gold. By availing himself of the reflection he "makes gold." This is an art not understood by the chemists, so, in trying to unravel the "secrets" of Alchemy the chemists were unable to make gold. Thus being scientists and not artisans, they relegated the Alchemists to the category of charlatans.
It takes a great deal of time and effort to perfectly reflect (merely reflect) the higher states, and the average Westerner does not have the kind of time nor the patience to exert the necessary effort. Is there some way that we as Westerners, living within the style dictated by the Western Businessman, can achieve the same results as the Easterner does in long periods of meditation or other forms of Yoga practice? Western Yoga discipline is to be found in our business world, if we will make use of the discipline required in the business world for psychic development, and this has been referred to by one of the great Eastern masters as being the best Yoga practice for a Westerner. As mentioned before, we are fulfilling, or trying to fulfill, a totally different destiny than Eastern Dharma. We do damage to ourselves by trying to escape our discipline. We also shirk our dharma (dharma: Law of Nature, or destiny; that which is right for a given race, species, etc.).
So yes, there is a way for the Western businessman to achieve the same goals as the Easterner does in his meditations and his concentration exercises. Having to earn a living in the Western business world is a lesson in concentration and meditation, but unfortunately, so very unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to psychology that is a relic of its origins in psychiatric medicine; that it (psychology) is the thing to use to turn mental illness into mental health. For this reason we avoid the psychologist (and psychology) as long as we are mentally healthy (or think we are). Jung, however, intended his psychology to be a study of the normal mind, not the abnormal mind. If we were not conditioned against "bad-tasting medicine" we would be able to see it for what it is: psychology, the science of the soul. Perhaps some future generations may see psychology with more objectivity-as a branch of physics, for example. But I wonder. Platoís works are now well respected but little understood, and seldom studied. Who among us reads and studies Plato on a daily basis? His work is acceptable, but not influential. The same fate may await Jung, although we would wish it to be better.
This is not a commentary on these men, but on the state of humanity, which in all its strivings and travails has not yet risen to carry the flame delivered by those couriers of mental liberty. A good Qabalist would not worry about that however. He would not suffer for the race, or for humanity. His hopes would lie in the potentials of Individuals to transcend humanness, or rather to utilize their human condition as they pass through it, going from here to there. Humanity is a condition, an environment, through which a Being (a soul, if you prefer) travels in its quest. For all our glorification of Man as "Godís noblest creation," he is not so considered by others not of human lineage. Such beings consider that being human is like being in Hell. Many humans also think so. In fact, until we are sick and tired of Hell we are not really ready to be out of it. Perhaps Humanity (or the Earth) is like the bowels of a huge city, filled with incredible horror and beauty, filth and luxury, excitement and danger. To get from here to there we must pass through this place. Some of us are intrigued by the neon, and stop awhile; others are murdered in the streets; and others, shaking their heads, say to themselves, "Iíd rather not spend the night here," and pass through quickly. However we may speculate about this, if we can accept what the Zohar says about it, then before entering the Human Race the soul already knew everything it puts into practice in the Human Race. Man is not really trying to get through school then. He is trying to put into practice what he already had learned about before he came into the Human Race. A man just starting to practice his profession after graduation from college, does make a lot of mistakes. It is assumed that with experience he will learn better, but by the time he knows not to make mistakes he is ready to "pass on." Others coming out of college enter the profession and make their mistakes. Thus the soul puts into practice what it knows intrinsically. The difference between performance and essence, however, is the difference between the actual and the ideal.
The Qabalah shows the Earth as one sphere, and one sphere only, in a ten-fold Universe. Ironically, it is the bottom sphere, "the end of the beginning, and the beginning of the end." If we can learn only that our condition is but one of ten possibilities, and learn to search out and become familiar with the other modes of existence we will have gone a long way in freeing ourselves from personal identity. Study of the Qabalah will teach us something about cosmogony and cosmology from the Western point of view, without having to plow through tomes of Theosophical literature (which is Eastern anyway) to learn something about the nature of the Universe, because the Qabalah gives us a simple little glyph upon which we can place anything soever that comes to mind and thus see what part of the universe it belongs to. This alone will save the Westerner a lot of his precious time. Of course, we all know that we can do no better than to follow the advice of the oracle at Delphi, because to know All, Man must first know Himself. So what can we do with either Jungís system, or the system of the Qabalah, or any other Western oriented system (the Greek Gnostic system, for instance) to better understand ourselves?
We should, for one thing, understand the cyclic flow of libido. Carl Jung and Dion Fortune both had a great deal to say about this. We do not find the cyclic flow of libido very well described in the Eastern Yoga systems, though they have a great deal to say about this in respect to the tattvas (Cosmic Tides) and the great cycles of manifestation known as the Manvantras and Pralayas (Days and Nights of God). But if Man can experience these tides in himself he will immediately understand how they operate in the universe, so the place to start is in the psyche of Man. In the Qabalah we see that force will sometimes be flowing from Malkuth to Kether, and sometimes from Kether to Malkuth. This agrees with Jungís premise about the inward and outward flow of libido, and shows us that there is a time for withdrawal and a time for return to the world of activity. Not that we can elect these times by our conscious will; it is a matter of knowing how and when to cooperate with the unconscious. The charting of these tides remains even today one of the secrets of the great Western lodges. Anyone who does not come within the pylon gates of one of these great orders can, however, record the rise and fall of these tides (tattvas) by making note of them as he registers their effect in his own psyche. In time he will thus have a record of these five great impulses to which the five elements of the alchemists correspond. Knowing these by direct experience, he can then consciously cooperate with the "times and seasons" of these tides. Only the most rashly careless pilot, for example, would think of taking his plane off the ground if the weather bureau reported unsafe weather conditions for a safe flight. But today hopeful but uninformed alchemists take flight with the Phoenix without ever taking notice whether the tides are with them or against them. There is nothing to be gained, in other words, by trying to ground a tide that is waning, and it can amount to a disaster to ground a tide that is not agreeable to oneís intentions or needs at the time.
As noted elsewere herein, the secret of regeneration lies in generation, and it has to do with the tides of the moon (especially in women). This is well described by Dr. M. Esther Harding in her book Womanís Mysteries. If there is any man reader of this book who does not think that he needs to know about the womenís mysteries he just isnít very well acquainted with his own anima! Furthermore, he will be guilty of neglecting the development of his own submerged personality if he refuses to think that the womenís mysteries have anything to do with him. An Eastern Yogin will spend a lifetime trying to develop the Mother aspect of his own nature.
We will understand better how to cooperate with the tides if we understand [he sephirah Hod. The Qabalah tells us that we can deliberately reverse the flow of libido (kundalini) by "an operation of Hod;" that, by "shortening the force" it will be available on the inner planes to build up the magical images, and for various magical (so-called) purposes. An operation of Hod is not merely a decision to repress energy that one might otherwise use in objective pursuits. The decision is essential because the mind (which belongs to the sphere of Hod) has to be in agreement with the practice in order to avoid the bad effects of repression. In repressing force, though, if you get your results on another plane, and these are consciously perceived, then there will be no psychological reaction. (One could say that psychological reactions are inevitable if the results are unconscious.) Perhaps this is the distinction between Freudian repression and sublimation. If the act of repression is unconscious, that is, if I am repressed but am not aware that I am repressed, or even if I am aware of it, then the energy boils around in the unconscious and activates the contents therein and I am under continual assault by these contents (i.e., I am psychologically disturbed). However, if I am aware of the reason for the repression and have myself deliberately suppressed it in favor of a greater value into which I wish to channel the energy, then I can deal with the aggravation, though that still does not stop the irritation.
The teacher who perhaps best understood the principle of using friction to generate energy was Gurdjieff. My own teacher was pretty good at this, too. Not all teachers act on the psyche as a catalyzing instrument but those who do are rough on rats" on the personalities of their students. Were it not that an accelerating agent is not appreciated in the field of psychology as it is in chemistry, the astringent conduct of such a teacher to his students would not produce the negative effect it sometimes has on the student and nearly always has on those who are looking at the situation from outside. Enough books have been written about this type of teacher, however, by students who did have the readiness of thought (presence of mind) to fully appreciate such soul training, that I need not labor the point here. What such teachers know is that escaping emotional irritation is not conducive to development because it is the tension caused by lifeís irritating moments that produce the energy to drive the psychic machinery. To "cease upon the midnight clear" is not the way into life, because it is "life and ever more life" that is the goal of life. Were tension, aggravation, irritation, resistance, etc., not needed by the soul, then indeed it would be true, as some people think, that the inertia of the material world is the mother of all evil. But inertia is actually the absolutely necessary springboard for reaching for greater heights. Without it we could not get off the ground at all. Were it not for that someone or something that resists us we would not have to make any effort toward Self Will at all. The magical will grows out of the soil of suffering. Teachers such as Gurdjieff and my own teacher, and many others, too, serve to exacerbate our personal karma if they see that we are trying to avoid it. And who of us but tries to avoid it? But it is only by "intentional suffering" that we can overcome unconscious suffering. Karma Yoga might be called the "common Yoga" because everyone is involved in the reaction to actions set going in the past, but very few of us when choosing a path will deliberately make the choice of Karma Yoga. We need a teacher to force it on us.
The aim of psychoanalysis is to raise the unconscious contents to conscious awareness and to then deal with them at this level. However, this still does not give any means for dealing with the contents so raised. Or, as the man said after years of psychoanalysis, "I still wet the bed, but it doesnít bother me anymore." Just being aware of something does not always solve the problem. The Qabalah has always maintained that there is a balance in every formula, particularly in those which involve the manipulation of energy. It is not sufficient to release energy; it must be redirected as well. This is the crux of all magical formulae: to liberate a certain amount of energy from one form, and then through concentration (an operation of Hod) to utilize it for a specific purpose. This is also the method of Alchemy with its solve et coagula formula, and is also the process the human body uses when breaking down food and releasing its "locked-in energy" and then utilizing this energy to maintain the structure of the organism. In this sense we begin to see a "natural law" emerging, that the Qabalah has long represented with the spheres of Chesed and Geburah, which face each other across the Tree of Life. A magical operation can be represented as an interplay of forces between these spheres, where Geburah, the destructive or de-structuring (anabolic) aspect breaks down a form into its energy components and hands it to Chesed, the constructive or catabolic aspect, for reformulation, and then back to Geburah, etc. Although this may sound simple (and why shouldnít it be?) this type of energy flow is an observable "universal" phenomenon.
Because this is so, the Qabalah (and the Alchemists) continually warn against performing only one half of such an operation. An old Alchemist might say that psychoanalysis without re-integration, or social revolution without a precise plan for a new order, is evil. Today we might not use the word "evil," but we would at least say that it is dangerous, for we see that nature will always maintain a balance, and that therefore the second half of the formula will be served automatically by the unconscious. A new neurosis will replace the old one, a new dictator will replace the one we overthrew, a new establishment replaces the old. This will always continue to occur unless we consciously choose to integrate the released energy on a higher level according to a specific plan. It is this form of directed will that is the distinguishing feature of the techniques for spiritual development-Yoga and Alchemy. It is, therefore, Jungís postulation of the process of Integration that sets his system out of the range of run-of-the-mill psychology. Only modern ignorance could have spawned psychoanalysis and the atomic bomb, which are similar in that they both seek to liberate energy while providing no means for the control and the redirection of the forces set loose.
Ancient science, though it may appear "primitive" to modern minds, never made such an error. Solve and Coagula were always considered together, just as in nature, and no operation was complete unless both aspects had been activated. Eastern Yoga, for example, places great stress on control..... a very high degree of control over the functions of body and mind. This may appear at odds with our schools of psychology which seek to "unrepress" us and imply total lack of control as the way to health (this attitude is in fact fundamental in some schools of child psychology). Yet the two are just exhibiting the two sides of the solve et coagula formula. In fact, there is a gulf of difference between the unconscious control, or the rule of us by the Unconscious, which we seek to depotentialize, and the conscious control, or New Covenant, which places the released energy at the disposal of the awakened Self. In Eastern Yoga, this "control" is exercised even from the beginning of the process (the solve portion). That is, in the East, the Yogin takes a commanding, aggressive attitude toward his "psychoanalysis," and forces the "unconscious" to respond (so different from our passive stream-of-consciousness techniques). One example: By means of Mudra (a Hatha Yoga exercise not considered to be essential by the adherents of Raja Yoga) energy is driven out of the unconscious, checked by the retention of the breath, and then consciously directed into whatever sphere (center) is chosen for the operation. It is not nearly so difficult as it may sound and the results can be more rewarding than by just letting the energy flow in its natural channel, although this also is done on occasion. It is quite as possible to use an image system to evoke energy from the unconscious, after which it may be directed likewise. The idea to be stressed here is, however, that concept held by the Easterners that God is Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer and that these three are not separate in time and space despite the evidence of our senses to the contrary. In fact, it is the concurrent breaking down and building up principles that give us the illusion of preservation. If we comply with this law in nature, we, too, will preserve-our life. It has nothing to do with preserving the appearance of things.
This Yoga practice correlates with Jungís finalist regression, which is a sort of sublimation whereby, as he says, "the development from a sexual system into a spiritual system may be built up." If we are dealing with the magical images (or any other Yoga practice) consciously and deliberately, in place of just letting them happen to us, or forcing them by drugs, then we see that we can translate the energy thereof back into spiritual potencies; that is, we can translate the energy called up by the images or by whatever method we are using. This is true integration. Of this, Dion Fortune says that "...by taking these completed forms and sacrificing them we can translate them back into spiritual potencies." When force is translated from one center (Fortune says "form" because she used an image system in place of concentrating on the centers) to a higher center, it is sacrificed. That is to say, the energy of one center is made to do the work of another center, or energy may be lifted totally out of the form-making principle of the mind so that "consciousness beholds consciousness" face to face, sans image of any kind. This would be the true or highest degree of samaddhi. In the mysteries the term "sacrifice" does not mean what it does in Christian thought anyway. In the mysteries "sacrifice" means sacerficare, to make sacred, i.e., to raise a "common" thing into a "holy" one. As Crowley wrote of the Eucharist, "It consists in taking common things, transmuting them into things divine, and consuming them." If one is using an image system one may do this by changing images. This depends, of course, on whether one is using a bonafide image system. Energy will not just transfer from any image held in the mindís eye to just any other image. There is a graduated scale that allows energy to easily pass over from one image to one that corresponds to it, but in a "higher" world. In the chakra system one just shifts levels from one center to another, but there is also a regulated way to do this. Trying to do this without understanding its modus operandi will at best achieve no results, but it may result in serious psychological and physical reactions.
The Qabalah tells us that force changes type on the side pillars (Ida-Pingala), whereas it remains the same in the middle pillar (shushumna). If, for instance, we are working an image system on the side pillars, whether we change the image consciously or not, it will change automatically as we rise on the planes. This is why we need to know something about the four worlds and the color scale of each world, so we will know, by the images, which world we are "in." If we do not know this we cannot smoothly rise on the planes, and smoothly and safely return. This practice is as much a withdrawal and return as the greater cycles of withdrawal and return and therefore requires as much attention to the laws respecting cycles. The practitioner must, in fact, set a clock in his mind to determine the length of time he will stay "out" on the inner planes. To fail to do this can be disastrous. If we are using a chakra system then we must adhere to the regulated practice of lifting force without jumping centers. The forms must be completed before they can be sacrificed, however, if one is using an image system. The image systems are very complete and are, as referred to before, the secrets of the occult lodges. Without an understanding of how to safely ground energy it is better not to tap the energy in the unconscious by means of images.
Jung let the mandala serve as ground for a studentís energy, and, as he applied this it was safe enough. He applied the mandala as a psychological means for attaining individuation by means of "self incubation," and he says that he just let the psychic process drive itself. He does, however, have a list of key-words that he uses to stimulate the process that activates the forces that drive the psychological opposites by means of the "circular movement" (the mandala). He says that these mandala pictures are phenomena that occur spontaneously, which we find in most instances of psychological disturbance is all too true! Jung does mention, however, that in Eastern Yoga systems the students use already prepared mandalas, for the purpose of getting required results.
This is the beauty of the Qabalistic system of integration and/or individuation, that it gives the student a composite glyph: the Tree of Life, and a set of associated symbols. Meditation on these symbols acts like a psychoanalysis, whereby the subconscious is set to work to direct our thinking for us, giving rise to mental concepts concerning the potencies the symbols represent, as well as the conscious registry of the forces themselves. The result is a conscious participation (a cooperation with the unconscious), rather than a participation mystique. This is self-incubation by means of a proven system, rather than by just letting it happen and then, if a psychological accident occurs, trying to pick up the pieces afterward. The whole process requires a fine sense of balance between freedom and control, and should not be undertaken lightly (except that in most cases, people are "forced" into the process by either a recapitulation, or from external circumstances- either the environment or their own unconscious-and thus do not consciously choose the Path).
It is all very much like the yearly drive of cattle or horses from their pasture in the valley to the summer pasture in the mountains. First you gather the beasts (unbridled energy or Kundalini) into a corral (concentration within a center), you open the corral, then you stir them up and excite them so they will stop grazing and start running, and then you steer them along the trail. Once going, you do not need to push or pull or drag them, only to control their direction and speed. At the end of the journey you must stop the movement of the herd, again corral the animals and establish them in the new pasture. The whole operation is one single process and requires a great deal of expertise at each step of the journey. To stir the animals up in the corral without opening the corral will only mean explosion (which is what happens in so--called nervous breakdown). To let them loose but not direct their path will only disperse the herd--eventual loss of all the energy. If you do not stop them at the place you have chosen as destination, they will just run right over the mountain and into the valley on the other side, defeating your purpose. This analogy is appropriate, for the bull is one of the classical symbols of Kundalini, dating back at least to the realm of Minos. It is an apt symbol, representing tremendous unbridled force which is yet capable of semi--domestication. If you ignore the bull and are passive, he may run right over you; if you try to whip and beat him into submission he may turn and rend you. The only proper attitude is one of respect and judicious control.
Control of Kundalini does not mean you tie it down and lock it up. It means that you steer it in the right direction, if you can, and you feed it and give it good care. The process of Individuation, of spiritual growth, requires constant attention to the energy dynamics of the psycho-physical organism, and a finely tuned sense of balance between unfettered freedom and repressive control. Undertaken thus, it is a rewarding adventure, this journey into Self; a never-ending source of joy and pain, yielding results that cannot be measured by ordinary human values.
This longest journey, this via dolorosa cannot be taken sitting in an arm chair contemplating oneís navel and counting oneís breath, for "who, by taking thought, can add one cubit to his stature?"