7.3 THE AION

Enveloping and penetrating all of the phenomenal forms of expression is the circumambient aura. In the New Testament this principle is called he doxa (the glory or radiance). The halo of Christian art represents it.

The aura is the fundamental and causative principle of emanation from the nonphenomenal realm. It permeates and generates all of the forces and many elements of the metastate. This pneumatic aura becomes within the individual human being the mysterious parakletos.

The parakletos represents ecstasy in its full and unlimited potential before it involves itself with finite expression. The parakletos is the good serpent of ancient symbology. It functions as the basic driving force of creative energy.

Taken together with the enveloping aura the parakletos was also depicted by the familiar symbol of the serpent and the egg. In Sanskrit this force is termed kundalini shakti and in the Greek speireme. Both words mean the "coiled serpent force." As we noted earlier, this force figuratively lies coiled and latent near the base of the spine, specifically in the genitals.

This force, upon awakening into conscious activity, weaves from the auric "substance" upon the ideal archetype it contains (which is the energy body) the personal expression of the fullness of consciousness. This unlimited personal vehicle of self expression is termed in Greek the augoeides, the "shining form."

In the Apocalypse the augoeides is secretly called the "solar body" (to soma heliakon). The solar body makes its appearance in a brief but very important allusion.

"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."128

Two reapers make their appearance in the apocalyptic harvest scene. The first of these two signifies the first logos. The second symbolizes the second logos. Here, the second reaper gathers the fruit of the five faculties.

The vine here referred to is the river Euphrates. Physiologically, it represents the spinal cord, which in the physical sheath connects the chakras. Through these the faculties find expression.

The "wrath" of God refers to the creative potency of consciousness. In its unlimited aspect, it is the human aura.

In this apocalyptic allegory, the five faculties and their forces have here been metamorphosed into bunches of grapes. These forces permeate and energize the aura, described here as the winepress without the city, a symbol for the physical body and personal consciousness. They produce in turn a reverse flow of energy back into the chakras of the four somatic divisions (the bridles of the horses). This then nourishes the awakening solar vehicle, the 1600 or to soma heliakon.

The author describes the solar body graphically and fancifully as a "new city." This new city descends from the heavens.

"And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."129

To understand the "new city" we must first understand the "old." We have already examined in brief the process of individuation, the initial stage of which results in a temporary loss of integrity. This brings with it an absorption in the process that is so intense and complete that consciousness exhibits no subjective or objective awareness of itself. The lack of conscious self awareness and the dreamlike condition it produces represents a fusion of consciousness with its thoughts and psychic powers. Individuality identifies completely with its own mental projections.

In this state of psychological fusion the faculties and abilities throughout the energy body have been rendered unconscious. Individuality has identified itself totally with its own psychic vehicle and the chain of experiences generated by it. It does not distinguish itself as a consciousness separate and apart from its activities and experiences.

Please recall that unconsciousness here does not mean that there is no awareness of events or experience of involvement with them. Quite the opposite. During the fusion phase of individuation consciousness exhibits an intense and intimate awareness and total involvement with the sensations and the feelings of the moment. But very little or no sense of continuity or objectivity carries over from one moment to the next.

This first and elementary state of fusion represents the dominance of the sensory motor functioning of the mind. I have already identified this level of psychic functioning as the Sanskrit manas and the apocalyptic "false prophet."

The slow recognition of pleasant and unpleasant experiences and the intent to avoid the unpleasant and seek the pleasant results in the development of memory. This I have identified as the Sanskrit chitta and the apocalyptic "red dragon." Through the development of memory there eventually develops a growing realization that identity is not just the sum total of momentary experience but something more.

From this first realization of separation arises a sense of personal continuity within the constant flux of transient events and sensations. This realization of a continuity of conscious identity manifests itself finally in the state of ego consciousness.

The first phase of ego conscious identity marks the beginning of the veiled awakening of the individual to self realization. Ego consciousness enables the individual to separate experience into a self and not self.

After the condition of fusion, the second overall phase of individuation we may term separation. This second phase commences with the ego conscious state of awareness.

Individuality at this point begins to objectify the contents of the energy body. It does so through the psychic agency of discrimination. This agency in its maturity is termed buddhi in Sanskrit and the "lamb" in the Apocalypse.

Initially, discrimination enables the evolving individual simply to distinguish between an experiencing self and the experienced not self. At this level of functioning, the agency of discrimination is alluded to in the New Testament as Lucifer and Judas. In its later development the agency of discrimination evolves into what I call here intuitive insight. This mature level of discrimination is the apocalyptic lamb.

Through discrimination the human individuality no longer identifies with the totality of its experiences. Initially, the individual identifies only with the subjective elements of its psychic experience. These are the physical body and the thoughts, the feelings, the desires, the memories and anticipations that constitute the remainder of the psyche.

Ultimately, from the frustrations and agony endured due to continued identification with the finite psyche individuality comes to a further realization. Through its agency of intuitive insight the individuality begins to realize that its destiny is not limited to the finite realm. At this point in the maturing of self realization, the first half of the process of individuation comes to an end.

The first half of the process of individuation includes the phases of psychological fusion and part of the phase of separation. The second half of the process includes the final stages of separation and the phase of integration.

The first half of the process of individuation is termed involution. In this half of the psychological process consciousness involves itself with its psychic vehicle. The second half of the process of individuation is termed evolution. Consciousness must now disengage its identity from the psyche.

Midway through the phase of ego consciousness, individuality has come to a veiled realization of its true nature and identity. But the most painful and arduous task still lies ahead. Only through objectifying the psyche totally and thus going beyond ego consciousness can the fullness of self realization occur.

In the midst of the ego conscious state - in the depths of its terror, insecurity and loneliness - the incarnating event who is man realizes that the infinite "God" is what he seeks. Because man is now at that point in the cycle of involution/evolution directly opposite his origin, it is totally inconceivable to him that his own self and what he thinks to be a transcendental "God" can be one and the same. "God," symbolizes all that is absolute and eternal. As such, God seems utterly remote and totally "other."

Because of this misconception, the state of human loneliness and agony becomes accentuated. The goal of human life, union with its supreme source, becomes seemingly impossible. For if God is indeed totally other, then he, she or it is also totally beyond any kind of meaningful union. The human being is thus condemned to strive for that which can never be attained, to exist forever in a state of deprivation from that which he needs the most.

In this predicament, individuality has come to a veiled realization of its own infinite and eternal reality. Because of continued identification with its psychic powers individuality projects this realization onto the screen of external events.

The human being thus conceives of a God the creator who is separate and distinct from his human creature. The divine abode in heaven appears as a faraway and magical world that is wholly removed in space and time from this earthly vale of tears.

As I noted earlier, it is in this state of veiled self realization that the title Apokalypsis has its true significance. Realization is to be unveiled. The Apocalypse, at its most profound level of understanding, teaches the total unveiling of self realization. It shows the method of realizing the fullness of your human being.

The Apocalypse "reveals" nothing about history except the personal history of each individual human being as she or he moves through the cycle of involution and evolution of self realization. It reveals not things to come but what the human being is and is about.

True liberation frees man from the ignorance of what he thinks himself to be through the realization of what he really is. What human beings think themselves to be are entities. But we really are events in the evolution of consciousness. It is consciousness that is coming to full realization of itself. We are the process. We are the awakening of consciousness to the realization of itself. We are the discovery of consciousness of itself. We are the recognition, manifestation and experience of consciousness of itself.

Wherever consciousness is in its evolution, we epitomize that state. Whatever confusion or conflict exists within consciousness, we act out upon the cosmic stage of our lives.

No other and more perfect world exists to which we must find our way. Only a more perfected realization of the fullness of this world awaits our recognition.

The Apocalypse collectively terms all the unconscious psychic material of the individual the bottomless pit. It is from this unconscious abyss, which is simply the orthodox "hell," that each individual arises by the process of objectifying and thus rendering conscious its contents.

In Christian orthodoxy this vital psychological process is symbolized as the "salvation of the soul." Of course, the orthodox do not recognize the symbolic nature of this statement but take it quite literally. For them the soul is something distinct from the physical body. Something subject to eternal reward for obeying the dictates of their god or punishment for failing to do so.

But the word soul is simply an archaic term for what we now know as the psyche. The psyche is liberated, or "saved," from the domination and overpowering influence of unconscious forces by the simple expedient of rendering them conscious. Hence, the orthodox heaven and hell refer not to ethereal realms of some immaterial soul substance but rather to two different states of conscious awareness of the individual of him or herself. One is characterized by self knowledge, the other by self ignorance.

"Salvation" symbolizes the process of making what is unconscious known to active awareness, and accepting this material as part of one's total human character. This psychological objectification is the true meaning of the term liberation.

Mistaking personal liberation to be a deliverance from earthly life or relative existence (which is the goal of most oriental mysticism as well as Christian) is a complete and paralysing misunderstanding. There is nowhere else to go. There is nothing else to be.

The first earth and sea of the Apocalypse symbolize ego conscious humanity in its physical and psychic aspects. The first heaven symbolizes the external projection of the human being's own infinite reality. This we then call "God" and assign all manner of parental responsibilities to his or her domain.

The replacement in the apocalyptic narrative of the old earth, sea and heaven by their new counterparts indicates clearly that stage of the process when the objectification of the psyche has been more or less completed. This objectification ushers in a new phase in the cycle of conscious evolution. The separation has been completed.

With the objectification of the psyche a third and final phase of the cycle of involution/evolution has been entered. This third phase may be termed integration. It signifies true self consciousness.

Metaphysical integration is not synonymous with the integration of western psychology. The two share certain aspects. But integration in terms of western psychology refers simply to the coordination and the harmonious relation of perception and psychic functioning to insure a normal and effective day to day life.

The integration that I am talking about here has no counterpart in western psychological understanding. In the comprehension of western psychology man's true identity is considered to be the psyche. Hence western psychology reflects a level of understanding of human nature that is centered within the ego conscious state.

Although metaphysical integration and self realization represent a true condition beyond the ego conscious state, they do not signify the final obliteration of the personal and finite. Remember that consciousness entered into the process of existence in order to discover and experience itself!

Existence is not a cosmic mistake, but rather a cosmic act of love. As a result, the "new" heaven and earth and the holy city do not indicate an obliteration of the old but rather their transformation and fulfilment. The old heaven, which was simply the ignorant projection of deity, now becomes integral self realization. This means the consciousness of the fullness of itself by the incarnating human individuality. Self realization is no longer veiled and obscured by the phenomena of the finite and the temporal viewpoint. But the realization does not obliterate the finite and temporal either.

Individuality knows its fullness within the limited perspective of existence. This is the true meaning of self realization. Liberation or "salvation" frees the human being from his or her own ignorance and mistaken sense of identity.

The old earth, which was simply a particular physical body, becomes lucid consciousness. Consciousness realizes, as its personal experience, that it abides in all the finite and temporal forms expressed throughout the metastate.

Self remains individualized while now recognizing that it alone exists. Self realizes that it alone exists as all the individual personalities who interact with one another in the grand drama of its own consciousness (the Sanskrit lila).

This realization occurs within the specific individual. Other living personalities continue on as before, all traversing the process of self realization in their own time and at their own pace. Consciousness thus finds itself anew within each personality!

The sea, which was the individual psyche, becomes transformed into the new and holy city. For "holy" you may read whole, completed, perfected or fully integrated.

This new city simply symbolizes conscious awareness and self control. The individual personality gains the self knowledge and mastery of itself throughout the metastate. In this way the human being matures into the full possession of all the faculties and abilities in their four modes of phenomenal expression and also their underlying creative energy or field of nonphenomenal expression.

In the apocalyptic description of this new city, termed new Jerusalem, the faculties and the abilities are depicted as twelve gateways. Their modes of phenomenal expression are described as the four directions. The underlying energy of creativity, and the nonphenomenal mode of expression is designated as the wall.130

Thus, the "solar body" represents the fully conscious realization of the hyperstate of conscious potential within the metastate of actualized form. Unlike the intermediate level of comprehension described by James Pryse, the metaphysic of ecstasy very clearly depicts this as a change of attitude, not a change of form or essence.

What becomes transformed is what we experience, not what we are. Our experience expands. We experience more completely the fullness of our human being.

In the Apocalypse the complete circle of conscious development, the cycle of involution/evolution, is termed the aion. The aion constitutes the complete period or cycle of growth in awareness during which the psychological maturation of conscious individuality occurs.

This process of maturing can be divided into two basic movements or types of orientation. These two are involution and evolution.

As I previously indicated, during the movement of involution, the self, as a participating individuality, involves itself with its own mental activities. It does so to the extent that it identifies completely with them.

During the reciprocal movement of evolution the self as a participating individuality evolves its identity as distinct. It disengages itself first from the experiences it undergoes and second from the psyche with which it experiences.

These two reciprocal movements of involvement and disengagement define the basic structure of the aion. The involvement and disengagement refer to identity. They distinguish the way in which consciousness identifies itself.

Involvement and disengagement do not refer to consciousness entering into and exiting from imperfect and impermanent existence. This is just what the secondary and esoteric level of understanding would have us think. This manner of thinking is a complete misunderstanding of consciousness and life. It subverts the great truth of the metaphysic of ecstasy.

Consciousness and life are one and the same. The multiplicity and the variability of life are the vital activities of consciousness.

A second division of the aion into three equal sectors helps to refine further the basic cycle of conscious involution/evolution. By dividing each of the sectors in turn into four segments we gain further refinement of the nature of the aion.

The states of fusion, separation and integration describe the manner in which individuality identifies its sense of self. In turn, these define the general psychological states of conscious awareness of individuality as unconscious, ego conscious and self conscious.

The Apocalypse describes these three states of conscious awareness and identification as the abyss, or bottomless pit, the "old" earth, sea and heaven, and the "new" heaven and earth and new Jerusalem. These all refer to psychological states.

Further, we may divide the aion into eros, amor and ecstasy. These describe the state of relationship of self to itself in the process of self discovery and encounter.

Eros depicts the most limited and limiting state of self awareness. In the state of eros human sexuality and love are experienced in a restricted and selfish manner.

Amor depicts the expansion of self awareness into the human experience of personal relationship. In the state of amor human sexuality and love are experienced in an expansive and self giving manner.

Finally, ecstasy represents the ultimate state of self awareness. In the state of ecstasy human sexuality and love are characterized by total self realization. Self discovers self in one another.

Faculties and Correspondances











Click here to continue
Click here to return to beginning of this chapter
Click here to go back to previous chapter
Click here to return to table of contents