6.3 SUPPORTING ROLES

The self expression of the domains of sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition apply specifically to the metastatic realm of phenomena. This forms the realm of the forty-eight differentiated energies.

Corresponding to the trinity of ecstasy, ideation and form is a realm of nonphenomenal existence which in a metaphysical sense encompasses and penetrates the four domains of phenomena and forms the field upon which and within which they occur. This is the realm of the forty-ninth, or the nondifferentiated creative energy of consciousness.

I have termed this nonphenomenal fifth domain inspiration. I refer to the nonphenomenal realm by the same name as the faculty of inspiration purposely. As I shall make clear in the next chapter, the two are essentially identical. A fifth way of expressing and experiencing corresponds to the domain of inspiration which I refer to as absorption. In Sanskrit, absorption is termed samadhi, and in Greek manteia.

Actually, there are five distinct types of absorption alluded to in the Apocalypse. These five are described by Patanjali as well in the Yoga Sutras.88 Two of these degrees of samadhi correspond to ideation and two correspond to form. Together, Patanjali refers to these as the four lesser degrees of samadhi, which he describes as being "with seed". He considers them to be only inferior manners of perception compared to the fifth.

The fifth samadhi corresponds to ecstasy. Patanjali refers to it as the great samadhi, which he describes as being "without seed".

The allusion to seed in Patanjali's writings refers to the awareness of being a participant in the experience. In other words, being self aware. And on this specific matter the Yoga school of Patanjali and the esoteric school expounded by James Pryse differ widely from the understanding presented by the metaphysic of ecstasy.

The two former schools of thought consider samadhi to be the ultimate state of awareness. Both advocate the absorption of personal individuality into the supposedly unselfconscious void of the great samadhi, where the human being will attain final and complete liberation from incarnating over and over again in the material and imperfect world.

The metaphysic of ecstasy, on the other hand maintains that absorption is simply another faculty of the self expression of consciousness. To use it as an escape from individuality and personal life is no different in kind from using sex, alcohol, work or heroin to achieve the identical goal. The end result is the same.

Absorption is really a kind of super intuition. Its four so-called lesser degrees are analogous to and correspond to the four domains of the phenomenal realm: sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition. Its fifth degree is analogous to and corresponds to the realm of nonphenomenon, inspiration. The metaphysic of ecstasy ranks the five degrees of absorption in a hierarchy of function, not a hierarchy of value as Patanjali does.

Although superficially it appears to be so, the human personality is not an acting agent. The personality rather is the character or role within which self consciousness, as individuality, performs a specific part or activity in the unfolding drama of its own awakening. The personality is akin to the characters that each of us experiences in our dreams.

Self Expression

To the degree that self identifies with the personality, it mistakes the personality for the acting agent rather than itself. In realization, the self separates and then recognizes itself as the true acting agent utilizing the personality to enact a necessary part in its psychic integration.

Each human personality represents a tangible expression of the one and infinite eternal self as it becomes individualized in finite and temporal form. Hence, each human personality exists as a visible manifestation of the interplay of conscious energies. Each human personality represents an epitome of that cosmic interplay of psychic energies.

The four phenomenal modes of self expression together with the fifth nonphenomenal mode of expression make up the totality of the metastate. In each personality the expressions and their specific energies appear in different proportions according to the degree to which they have each been objectified and made lucid.

All individualities exist within a cycle of involution and evolution (the aion). Each of the many distinct personalities that make up that cycle represents the level of conscious awareness and the degree of self realization of that individuality at various points in the cycle. I shall discuss this in more detail in the next chapter.

Much as an actor assumes a role and takes on the costume specific to that role, self projects the specific personality upon the stage of the drama of consciousness. And just as the actor loses his/her own identity within the drama and quite literally becomes the role and the character he/she portrays, so does self lose itself in the personality. This loss of self awareness is the state of unconscious identification from which metaphysical realization awakens self consciousness.

Unconscious identification with the psyche and the personality is termed in Sanskrit avidya, ignorance. In the Apocalypse it is called the abyss, or bottomless pit (abyssos). It is from this state of unconscious identification that individuality must free itself by awakening to the realization of its true identity.

By objectifying its psychological powers the individuality thereby renders them conscious. It is then no longer under their unconscious control, but is enabled to redirect them purposely towards the end of its own maturing into self realization.

Consequently, these mental powers as specialized in the nonphenomenal and the four phenomenal domains play a significant part in the apocalyptic drama. These powers appear in the drama as the many "angels" enacting their various roles throughout the Apocalypse. This baffling angelic host, which orthodox Christianity has elaborated into a preternatural and mythical hierarchy of entities of dubious nature and purpose, readily resolves itself into the specific powers of the psyche. These powers are simply the five faculties and the seven abilities as operative in the four domains of phenomenal and the single domain of nonphenomenal life and existence.

The single character from which proceed all others is ideation/form, identified as the "strong" angel, or the spirit, pneuma. Pneuma is simply the creative energy of consciousness, (prakriti shakti) and specialized in man as the New Testament parakletos, and termed in Sanskrit kundalini shakti. This power activates itself in three general ways termed in the Sanskrit ida, pingala and sushumna.

From this fundamental creative energy of consciousness proceed the five faculties and seven abilities. As I discussed before, these are identified in the Sanskrit literature as the five pranas and the seven shaktis. In the Apocalypse the faculties are identified as winds (anemoi). The abilities are called thunders (brontai), voices (phonai) and lightnings (astrapai).

Furthermore, in the Apocalypse, the abilities are identical to the seven angels of the scourges, seals and churches, the harvest and the trumpet-calls. They manifest as the seven modalities, which in Sanskrit are termed the seven tattvas. In the Apocalypse these modalities are variously identified as the seven breaths, seven candlesticks, seven stars and seven vials.

In the domain of sensation the seven angels of the seven scourges represent the functions.89 The ten kings without a kingdom90 represent the five traits. Each of these traits possesses a dual negative/positive aspect, hence they are referred to as being ten in number. These various traits the "conqueror on the white horse" eventually subdues in the course of the drama and transforms into his "army."91

As noted by Pryse, the incarnating personality is in effect an inverted image of the self. Thus, the energies manifesting sensation, the most fixed form of expression, reflect the most subtle degrees of self consciousness.

The objectification and subsequent transformation of the energies of sensation are the key to transforming all other psychic energies. This fact is significant in understanding the correct function of sexual energy in its physical manifestation.

In the domain of feeling the seven angels of the seven seals92 represent the impulses. The four mighty angels standing on the four corners of the earth and the fifth ascending from the rising sun93 are the drives. The emotional energies do indeed seal the entryway to man's understanding of himself. Their transformation is first necessary to commence the work of self knowledge and transformation.

In the domain of thinking the seven angels of the harvest typify the motives.94 Two of these motives are specifically identified as self95 and integrity.96 Michael and his angels (Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel and Lucifer) personify the motivations.

Lucifer is that "star which fell from heaven to earth and to which was given the key to the bottomless pit."97 This passage is interpreted by the orthodox to signify that Lucifer is the ruler of hell and thus the dreaded archfiend and enemy of God. In fact, Lucifer personifies that very psychic energy which engendered the sensory motor mind and autonomous and instinctual functionings. It is also the energy of motivation for intuitive awakening and as such represents one of the most important psychic powers.

As I noted earlier, the "key" referred to is simply discrimination by which the contents of the unconscious mind are rendered conscious through objectification. This key of discrimination appears also as the Gospel "keys" to the kingdom. That Peter receives the "keys" and not Judas demonstrates a serious corruption of the texts. In the Gospel allegory the character of Judas corresponds to Lucifer and discrimination, whereas the character of Peter refers to discursive reason. Reason, no matter how acute it may be, is insufficient by itself to unlock the gates of the kingdom.

In the domain of intuition, the seven angels of the seven trumpet calls98 represent the forces. The four angels fettered at the River Euphrates99 and fifth standing on the earth and sea100 are the dynamics.

The remainder of the angelic appearances, with the exception of a few instances which refer to the first logos, are made by the "strong" angel, speaking from the aura, (the apocalyptic "clouds"). With these few exceptions, the first logos remains a nonparticipant in the drama.

The clouds represent the fifth domain, that of nonphenomenon, and the fifth way of expressing and experiencing. Those are inspiration and absorption.

Tantric Energies

Thus through a rather convoluted and ingenius riddle the mysterious angelic hosts of the orthodox heaven are resolved into the supporting roles of the drama of consciousness. These various angelic beings are the manifested energies of the expression of self consciousness. They are active in the five domains throughout the mental creation of the energy body, which is the human psyche.

Objectifying and bringing these psychic energies under conscious control is the subject matter of the second act of the drama of consciousness. It is this profound task that now remains.

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