esothemes

Reflections, revelations and proposals esoteric: Themes to elucidate the depths of human potential.

Category: General Esoteric Ponderings

A Few Words on Inner Cultivation

This blog specializes in the exposition of arcane/esoteric knowledge. Through the understanding of such information, one can acquire the skill to apply cultivated altered states of awareness toward actualizing ones potential and to affect ones real world experience. Affecting real world experience, as I understand it, includes transforming ourselves, and influencing events, even the people around us, and the world at large.

When these articles have previously touched upon particular esoteric topics, such as the wisdom of QBLH, I have used the term “cultivation” without providing a coherent description of what that means in this context. This installment aims to correct that oversight. I want to make it clear that the material here is not a purist exposition of historic material. It isn’t an eclectic hodgepodge of loosely knit threads, such as one finds in certain types of modern “new age” occultism either.

The material is a synthesis of purist elements. These are weaved together based on the notion that esoteric knowledge is a function of human nature and potential rather than cultural disposition and historic circumstances. It is undeniable that the latter are influential and shape the framework of the wisdom they profess, but this wisdom is still all about our humanity and all that can this can actualize.   

This material, therefore, represents a modern variation on multiple ancient and perennial themes with emphasis on qualities that I have found effective over the years. Specifically, occultism has been an interest of mine for over four decades, while consistent research and application has dominated my approach for over three of those decades. With the advent of the Internet, my acquisition of knowledge increased considerable- something we can assert for most folks seriously interested in esoteric topics. Over the last fifteen years in particular, greater access to translated material, and my own study of Hebrew, Greek and Latin, as well as Sanskrit, have expedited my own understanding while validating many otherwise unconfirmed intuitive explorations in both theory and practice.

Any validation, however, is incomplete without the experience to back it up. It is apparent that progress includes refining the theory to reflect one’s experiences, and making comparisons with how other cultures and time-periods manifested this knowledge. In practical terms the sheer scope of esoteric material is too broad to cover when application is the aim. Anyone can be an occult theoretician, and for most, a little persistence will lead to a degree of success in practice. The question is if that degree is satisfactory, and if we instead end up promoting our own limitations- or misguided exaggerations at the other end of the spectrum- as the nature of the beast itself.

The focus here is on understanding occult themes involving cultivation so as establish general patterns of practice so that the fruits leading to transformations of self and the acquisition of capacities to perform magic can come within the practitioner’s reach. By magic, I refer to the ability to alter reality according to will aside from physical action or psychological manipulation. Practice also can lead to the mastery of levels of perception and expression that we know as “psychic”.

In systems such as yoga, Western and Taoist alchemy, the awakening of such abilities is a natural outcome. Advocates have evaluated these expressions of empowerment in terms ranging from simple symptoms of cultivation practice, to lauding them as the very aim of the work. It all depends on which elements are emphasized and the disposition of those who formulated the particular approach.

In the framework elaborated here, we need not concern ourselves with moral qualifications. This has nothing to do with avoiding or sidestepping the issue. The morality of practicing and teaching occultism has been, after all, one of concern for me in the past. It has everything to do with the fact that healthy and well-balanced cultivation has a transforming effect on the psyche, and is technically far more effective than any brand of therapy modern science can offer. If an aspirant can reflect clear understanding into balanced practice, they can address artifice of moral dictation as the redundant conditioning it is. In that approach, one eventually can see that the benefits of moralistic dictation- in structuring the sustainability of human relations- fall apart in the face of the consequence of its imposed restrictions.  

That being said I want to affirm that one can easily argue morality as a relative conception, with convincing conviction. One is, however, unlikely to manage pushing such a notion regarding the healthy actualization of human potential. All we need is to look at the fruits of that actualization. A sociopath can argue their brand of morality, against all common sense, quite successfully. The art of rhetoric assures us that one need not be moral to come off as logical, and it is common knowledge that sociopaths have been known to be quite charismatic when they choose to be.

One indication that esoteric knowledge is prone to healthy outcomes is the emphasis on love. If love is considered a weakness, outright denied or used as a means to hurt others- knowingly or not- cultivation is most likely full of aberrations. Its corrupt fruits can only thus express the proliferation of pathology instead of realizing evolutionary potential.

All in all human beings, especially the more intellectually competent of the species, can be masters of deception. Healthy cultivation, on the other hand, allows us to strengthen the innate capacity to be aware of human corruption no matter how it is sugarcoated. More to the point, it empowers us to address it effectively. In other words, when done correctly inner cultivation is beneficial across the board, while free of considerations of black, white and gray.

I have already mentioned that the spectrum of esoteric knowledge is too broad to cover in a coherent blog. Even the spectrum of cultivation practices would be nothing but a series of superficial glosses if we wanted to be thorough regarding the available material. By necessity, the chosen esoteric framework here is intended to bring everything I know together into applications that make sense. I find the Western/Hermetic format satisfactory for this, and include occasional excursions to other areas when these can support the chosen theme.     

In this manner, I seek to bring Hermetic wisdom into a modern (post post-modern, if you will) context. Some may find this approach controversial and difficult to substantiate. From my perspective, however, the influences not only of Christianity, but also Neoplatonism, overdressed ceremonial and the more recent Theosophical and New Age ideologies, have stripped western esoteric wisdom from its life-affirming and existentially integrating premises. I find that filtering out certain elements of theoretical complexity and filling the gaps with patterns of esoteric understanding from alternative traditions such as Indian Tantra and the Nei Kung practices of the Far East allows for a more comprehensive and down to earth application potential of cultivation fundamentals.

In future presentations surrounding the general understanding of cultivation practices we will elaborate on some of these patterns. I believe, however, that engaging in the basic premises that form a common thread through more than one framework of cultivation across the globe, the reader can better grasp the presentation, in theory as well as practice.

On a more personal note, there have been some glitches in realizing my expressed plans to be consistent in my posting. This is not because of lack of material, but rather due to demands on my time and ability to access the Internet. Hence, as a review and clarification of the mission statement for this blog, I present this introductory topic. If the reader is to digest the information in a constructive manner devoid of misunderstanding, I feel it is important to present the threads of esoteric knowledge in combination with elaborations of this sort. Next time, we will begin describing the ten phases of cultivation known as the Sephiroth Belimah of the Manual of Shaping in practical detail, two at a time as the aforementioned text implies.  

Love, the Divine Feminine and Moving the Assemblage Point

The paradigms expressed by Castaneda can be applied using a composite understanding resulting from a complementary synthesis of esoteric approaches. Such associations of esoteric models need to be brought together carefully, thoughtfully and with attention to the particular points of emphasis of each paradigmatic approach. Sorcerers, according to Castaneda, fulfill desires by shifting perception to worlds where corresponding events  are hosted so to speak- where reality naturally conforms toward said outcomes. They do this by means of the shifting of an esoteric point that can be identified on the energy body- abstractly in my view- and manipulated through deliberate alterations of awareness rather than trying to move a localized point literally to another area of the energy body. 

This model or reality frame appears more user-friendly to everyday logic in my view. The mind more readily accepts change through displacement to a different part of a broader landscape than change by altering everything in one’s existing frame directly. Its simpler to view change as a result of going to the place where desired change naturally happens then disrupting the current order to impose change upon it, in other words. Its similar to the ease of moving to a different place in a room in contrast to rearranging the furniture to get the same vantage point from one’s original position.

Regardless, paradigm or not, shifting the assemblage point still amounts to changing our  experience of embodiment. Each set of experiences is defined by lines of force encompassed by the current assemblage point. So we can consider a world to be a set of experiences. That being said, the world we appear to share with others has as many matrices of experience as it does aware entities to have them. In addition, the human assemblage point has the capacity to expand beyond its current definitions; to not just change perspective, but to expand or contract it.

In examining the paradigm of Castaneda’s sorcery, the methods appear  limited to the impersonal mind plane of universal awareness and ultimately reflect its workings. There are places of consciousness beyond that, which address the very heart of being, whose nature is Love, beyond conceptions distinguishing personal from impersonal. But the Eagle described in the Way of the Warrior can easily be experienced without that core essence sustaining the process.

Nevertheless, in my experience with esoteric cultivation, for the lines of force to define a strong and flexible assemblage point in full compatibility with the subject, Love is the agent that keeps it all coherent. Any pattern is available without the carrier of Existential Love, but it is invariably more brittle and of less impact unless Love is replaced by negating consciousness, the force or spectrum of being that represents the unraveling of creation and in extreme cases, the annihilation of consciousness. This can manifest as forms of psychopathy, punctuated by expressions of hatred as well as latent hatred masked by indifference. Humans, however, are capable of love at the individual level as well as capable of opening to universal well-being even without the core level experience in any conscious manner.

To avoid psychopathic pitfalls, and without more than the average human capacity for love, ethical conceptions are adopted, with selective restrictions to insure clarity of intention, to avoid energy waste through relationship imbalance and to apply strict discipline to ingrain patterns in the assemblage point that serve as a general guide to maintain personal integrity. Thus if one is a compassionate individual, one still remains unaffected by forces of existential negation.

Core Love on the other hand takes care of things for us, so we may focus energy on changes in a way that always feels right. The result is that deeper layers of desire are brought to the surface so our intent may fertilize them and the shift can become a tangible experience. The difference is that the more Love is established the more unconditional our experience of change is. We need not give up anything to get something, or be the source of anything but benefit to the world in fulfilling ourselves.

Core Love and the matrix of desire (field of Yin, the essence of the divine feminine pole of existence) are two factors the Way of the Warrior described in Castaneda’s works does not address. It primarily appears to address the presence of consciousness of this Universe or the Universal Mind. This is not God or Core Consciousness, but a cosmic expression of mind. For the assemblage point to translate into reality experience, the patterns (Yang essence) flowing into convergence must fertilize the matrix of desire corresponding to them. Energy is stored in direct relation to the receptivity of the matrix of desire to those patterns. Compatibility means living the life one is meant to live, while incompatibility means being subject to forces of fate that determine experience whether one desires it or not.

Core Love is the natural fusion of the dynamics of Yin and Yang as described above. It is also inherent in the states of consciousness transcending the universal mind, and what fosters the fusion that guarantees meaningful manifestation. As such, I mean to examine Sorcery in terms of this expanded existential model, which is a direct reflection of mystical experiences. In this installment, we briefly address the three categories of practice that are supposed to bring about a shift in the assemblage point.

As already mentioned:

1) Intent is the Force of consciousness.

2) Stalking assesses one’s existential topography to identify where the assemblage point is, and what is around it. Then one targets a new position accordingly.

3) Altered States (Dreaming, Meditating etc) involve learning to regain fluidity of the assemblage point.

We elaborated on the meaning of intent in the last discussion. Although it wasn’t mentioned, the discussions of existential landscape and increasing one’s potential energy can be directly applied to the practice of stalking. Finally, altered states change the focus of awareness within the existing assemblage point, which make it flexible and more easily movable. Such changes may also directly move the point to a new position.

When intent is insufficient it is often because one’s presence is diminished, because the assemblage point has become rigid, or because one is in a low energy state. What we may not notice, however, is that the response to our practices is undermined. Introspective examination would reveal the matrix of desire is afflicted somehow and deprived of Core connection, even though the universal mind has a near infinite spectrum of options.

It is beyond the scope of this installment to describe just how to utilize the three categories of practice in the context presented. I am posing the elements of the expanded model in a synthesis with the Norse model of the world tree. The synthesis is anything but arbitrary and in the context of mystical experience maps out the esoteric possibilities in a meaningful and applicable manner.

Castaneda’s system does not take into account the receptive (Yin) medium that represents magnetic desire in the manifesting process. This is the divine feminine as the power of existence and experience as substantial as opposed to being some fluctuation of consciousness. In alchemy this medium is described as the Prima Materia. To help compensate for such limitations we can complement the process with a Norse mythic model. This can establish a more flexible and resourceful context for the field of the Yin to be recognized as a participant in the process of manifest existential unfolding.

Changing the assemblage point means accessing states of awareness that correspond to the structures of the World Tree at the root level where the three wells of Wyrd is located. The processes of the Well correspond to the way the assemblage point moves and the activity of the lines of force it sustains. The state of awareness that allows one to access the well consciousness is the same that allows a corresponding motion of the assemblage point. In this case the motion of the assemblage point would appear moderate, since we are working within a physical world framework. Since we are addressing deep level existential issues, however, the motion is anything but moderate. On the other hand, motion likely occurs along lines undetectable by standards where an expanded paradigm was not adopted.

The result is a state of being where one can pattern the flow of events as one wills, continuously or as desire arises. In that state the environment and the subject are so open to each other that former definitions of self are challenged and a constant communion, if not actual dialog, streams between the two.

The Concept of Energy and Castaneda’s Assemblage Point

I am using the esoteric model popularized by Carlos Castaneda as a springboard to explore the concept of energy. The model revolves around the notion of the assemblage point, and describes sorcery as its manipulation at will.

This seemingly hypothetical point that can be identified on the energy body, dictates what you perceive and therefore what you are. The idea is that all exists from Essence or Source, and that this existence is fostered via lines of force carrying the patterns to feed the medium of all that is. A human has a near infinite spectrum of options of being, but at the conscious physical level the options are severely limited. The entity accesses these options though a mobile center of focus. This is the assemblage point.

A given position of the assemblage point, therefore, corresponds to a bounded and specified spectrum of potential experiences, including responses and expressions of initiative. This spectrum includes thought patterns and physical dispositions. It is, furthermore, still a minute portion of the near- if not outright- infinite tapestry of existential experience available to that entity.

At the most directly accessible level, therefore, you can change your body habits, thought and behavior patterns within the range dictated by the current position of the assemblage point. You can do this by simply applying will power and directed action. Effect then follows cause in a more or less logical and linear manner, in accordance to the potentialities of the assemblage point itself. If the assemblage point emphasizes other variables that conflict with the intended changes changes then we find things either don’t change or events bring conditions back to where they were after a brief shift.

The assemblage point includes the world one inhabits as well as one’s own disposition. The lines of power that pass through the assemblage point involve all experience, inner and outer, from who one is to what world one inhabits. Simply put, the greater the shift in the assemblage point, the greater one’s existential experience alters. Castaneda promoted a threefold practice to activate the ability to manipulate the assemblage point: intent, stalking and dreaming. As this is my take on the matter, the definitions are also my own interpretation:

1) Intent is the Force of consciousness.

2) Stalking assesses one’s existential topography to identify where the assemblage point is, and what is around it. Then one targets a new position accordingly.

3) Altered States (Dreaming, Meditating etc) involve learning to regain fluidity of the assemblage point.

To move the assemblage point we require a measure commonly labeled energy, and without it there would be no force and hence no consciousness that is the cause of change. Energy is a term one finds liberally used in esoteric teachings of all types, but the actual meaning of the word is rarely specified, beyond interpreting the equivalent terms in other languages. If we can look at the term as it is defined scientifically and even mathematically, we can draw parallels with esoteric understanding and perhaps expand our occult model and its possibilities of application.

Let’s look at the notion as it is expressed in classical physics (Newtonian Mechanics). Energy is extrapolated from the meaning of force in physics. The esoteric parallel can be understood in terms of consciousness- as we defined intent in the list above. The comparison between esoteric and scientific meanings of force and energy is allegorical and useful for our esoteric application as mentioned. In classical mechanics, force is defined mathematically as the product of mass x acceleration. Mass is defined in physics as matter’s capacity for inertia, the response of the environment to the presence of the body in mention. Mass determines what it takes to counter the motion of an object, and how the object behaves when we apply acceleration and force. We often associate mass with the force of gravity, and confuse it with weight, but the definition involves any applied force. The esoteric parallel to mass is presence.

To get the esoteric parallel of acceleration, we break it down to its fundamental variable, that of distance or displacement. In terms of esoteric parallels, displacement translates to how much- qualitatively speaking- change has altered the conditions of the application of intent. Force is, therefore, the presence increased by a factor of the rate of acceleration of change that applied consciousness engenders. Without getting into the math, work as an esoteric parallel assesses the extent of change in terms of the intent in combination with the arena of application, or what actually was meant to change. Work is the measure of what the applied force does- in terms of the change it causes. To simplify, when an object is moving work and energy are one and the same. Thus the Energy of Change (Transformation Energy) is the same as the work involved to effect said transformation: the experienced initial intent multiplied by the extent of the arena of application. Thus the force applied amplifies its effect through the arena of transformation- represented by displacement in physics.

The above terms are non-quantifiable, so the mathematical parallels are meaningless if we cannot read them qualitatively. Addition and subtraction are meaningless since they only occur between quantities of the same measure rather than a synthesis of varying conceptions. Multiplication and division, however, the way different types of qualities come into synergy. We can look at the qualitative interpretation geometrically. The product of two variables can be viewed as a two dimensional array the variables as its corresponding dimensions. Thus, energy is an array of influence defined by force in one dimension and displacement in the other. We cannot speak of energy when there is no change in experience because of it, at least not in terms of the above model. Then the energy is in potential. That means the capacity for displacement exists, such as with an object on the edge of a cliff. If it tips and falls, the energy in potential becomes increasingly kinetic- the type previously discussed- as it accelerates falling, until it hits bottom.

From an esoteric perspective, potential energy is a sort of ground intention-state. As an applied force of intention on autopilot, it includes the fulfillment of basic needs so we may be sustained in our environment and during the course of our life. This does not refer to instincts, which are the way such needs are expressed. The needs are inherent in every living body, and in humans are rather more complex for a variety of reasons. We can call this Intrinsic Intention, noting that we are speaking of a state of relative mental health by the standards of modern society.

To extrapolate the esoteric parallel, potential energy is the measure defined by the response of the world to the entity’s capacity for change, when expanded by the inherent space possibility where an entity can engender change with minimal effort. Perhaps the physics conception would make this easier to understand. Potential energy in mechanics has to do with the capacity of a body to fall. Force must be applied in all directions for anything to move except one: down. If you are standing on something then gravity is acting on you, but you do not move because of it. If, however, you apply a horizontal force to move where a cliff ends, then downward motion commences converting potential energy to kinetic until you hit a lower ground. In parallel, the intentions that keep us alive stem from our very relation to our terrestrial environment its relation to us. If those relations are altered we can fall or slide until we reach a state of greater stabilization, but which would require much greater effort to induce change to a more desired and less limited state.

In Castaneda’s context, the more energy at your disposal, the more effective you are at intending the presence and power of essence into the shifting of your assemblage point. In terms of our discussion pertaining to physics, the energy stored is potential energy. The Intrinsic Intention we described results in an Intrinsic Energy that is variable over the probability landscape defined by one’s assemblage point.

These are just a few concepts examine via drawing allegorical parallels expand possibilities of meaning available in a given occult model. For the model to work, it needs to reflect in reality and be positively rooted in the potentials of the one applying it. It also needs to make sense to the user. Models are anything but arbitrary or convenient. They are the conceptual sieves that channel the energies and forces we have been discussing. They structure energy and reflect it into existential experience to shift it accordingly.

The concepts are full of implications. The allegorical parallels when punctuated by handles of experience are useful toward magical practice. Handles of experience are the states of awareness and of magical potency one embodies via internalized experiences that parallel the conceptions of the model. For example, what does it mean to experience presence? How does the force of intent vary in experience? How does on experience one’s existential topography? Can we focus with mind, breath, voice or movement to experience awareness that parallels the meanings of our model? In doing so we may have managed to map a territory toward the ability to change one’s reality state at will, and travel through times, places and states of being in a natural and deliberate grace.

Trees of Eden: A Map of the Fall [Part II]

In the last installment we described the fall in terms of the symbolism of the Tree of Life of QBLH. Of the sephirot, we noted the fourth was the most likely to be displaced- to become the tenth. Correlating the two models- the 2D Tree of Life and the sephirot of the SY- we note that the fourth sphere of the tree map (from the top) is also the fourth reckoning among the list of ten presented in the SY. The fall among the reckonings leaves us with the fourth process becoming the last, leaving a gap between the third account and the fifth where the sealing of the directions of space occurs. The displaced reckoning involved the power of ignition, represented the power of authority (MLKVTh) the aspirant awakens and applies at that point. After the displacement that power was associated with the Kingdom (MLKVTh) itself rather than the power of the throne itself. It’s like saying the world followed its own rules when humans lost the power to cultivate its authority.

The two models I am correlating describe the same thing from differing premises. Because of this, any change in one map correlates with a change in a parallel change in the other. A revealing application is to take a concept from the SY, such as the depths (OVMQ) of the sephirot, and project it onto the 2D Tree mapping. The affliction upon the (human) fabric of existence can be outlined and one can observe how it has distorted and still distorts evolutionary potential.

The immediate result of the disruption is the divorcing of TVB from RO, and the displacement and subsequent misrepresentation of the mystery (depth) of RO. With the latter displacement the sphere of TVB is left without any sort of reference through which to balance the Covenant. Instead, the sphere of ignition and of the depth of RO– according to the SY- is identified with the worldly state of the subject as well as the world itself. RO (Resh.Ayin.) translates as the view-point of another, who can be a shepherd or guide- for better or ill- a friend or a foe. As the depth of the world it describes an alienating and chaotic place. In terms of its associations with the human microcosm it describes self-alienation and internal conflict as the earthly state of awareness.

Depths of Fallen Tree

The aforementioned diagram (above) depicts the veritable gulf between the upper three sephirot and the remaining seven. The former are contemplative stages in the abstract sense, involving the cultivation of the proper frames of awareness and the required themes of focus to do so. The original final six sephirot involve the sealing of the directions of space. This is not viable, however, without the sphere of power associated with the depth of RO, the sephirah that was supposed to precede them. That pivotal sphere of power, unfortunately, was moved outside the original bounds of the Tree-form.

This analysis, by the way, does not involve pathworking practices of popular modern western occultism. Those would have a starting point in the worldly awareness of the fallen tenth sphere, followed by a progression through the twenty two relationships between the ten spheres of the Tree of Life from highest to lowest number. The ten sephirot as reckonings of esoteric wisdom, on the other hand, are serially progressive and do not involve relationships between them outside their sequential order. In addition, they progress from lowest to highest number. The bottom-up model, furthermore, treats the state of awareness that corresponds to the first three sephirot, as the aim of practice rather than its prerequisite. The bottom-up approach of working the tree leads to divine awareness, while the top down approach can access that very awareness we need to ground for the alchemy to lead to powerful magical application potential.

To reiterate, the fall in the context mentioned here involves removing a fundamental part of a ten-fold alchemy, the part where ignition takes place- and place it at the very end of the sequence, misrepresenting the sequence as a whole and either neutralizing or perverting it. Ideally one progresses to the point of applying a high state of contemplative awareness to the sense of one’s life force and mental will so as to directly connect it to structuring the space around one’s body. This subtle energy structure was, furthermore, meant to be the basis for ignition. Being without the latter would akin to sucking on an unlit cigarette and calling it smoking.

Yet, until the real thing is demonstrated or experienced somehow- until one acquires intimate knowing (DOTh) of the act, the faux process can be convincing in its compromising effects. In this case, the simple correction would be to replace the fallen tenth sephirah in its fourth position. However, regarding the SY, there is no correction because there is no fall indicated in that presentation. One simply follows the reckonings in order. We examine the fall because it is theme that reflects the state of current humanity. In that sense taking the sephirot in their original order has the implications of rectification and reclaiming one’s power of divine authority, something that comes along with the requisite mystical states of awareness the contemplative practices in the text strive to actualize.

With that in mind, let us triangulate our correlations with the biblical account regarding The Tree of Life in relation to the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. In the QBLH map the Tree of Life has a sphere displaced, something that alters the very shape of the Tree, so that it can be associated with the very different Tree of the fruit of Knowing TVB and RO. The pivotal statement regarding the relationship between the two Trees is implied with the words of YHVH ALHIM in Gen. 3:22:

“Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…”

It is noteworthy that the word for Tree (OTz) and that for Spinal Column (OTzH) are quite similar, to the point that one might be an allusion to the other. The third and fourth reckonings of restraint are about what the corresponding depths attempt to inspire when subjects of contemplation. In that context, the third depth (TVB) hints at the favorable conditions to establish a medium of containment (a kind of subtle body), whose weaves and flows support the housing of one’s presence. The fourth is about the ignition of that medium to activate the patterns of Ruach (mind-energy) as one’s own friends and allies. After the fall, this ignition never occurs. The impulse has become a dense and stubborn territory known as matter, and all the rest of the sephirot remain unprocessed (to use a potentially misleading yet adequate modern term).

It is tempting to suggest that the cultivation sequence of the reckonings will not be effective unless one somehow addresses the issue of one’s capacity to manifest events in creation- to perform magic in other words. This is not what is being implied. We are rather pointing out a block to higher awareness that can be directly addressed through persistent cultivation practice. The fall tells us that is that we need to forge a path between the state of existence based on worldly experience and the state of grace marking unconditioned human potential. This time, however, the state of grace will not be based on innocence, but on the very experiences that led to being deprived of grace in the first place.

I choose to look at the statement of Gen. 3:22 as prophetic. To move toward the Tree of Life, however, we must place the mysteries of TVB and RO side by side to complement each other. They are not antagonistic in this view. In the world, both states are needed and the awareness of when and how to express or work with one and/or the other is the profound wisdom one needs to first open to primordial consciousness as the SY describes it, and to bring that consciousness into the focused application known as magic.

Trees of Eden: A Map of the Fall [Part I]

[Edit: Realized my image didn’t transfer, so had to figure that out. Now this probably makes a bit more sense.]

The following information was a detour from the more concise instructional outline I intended to follow. However, abstract as it may seem it seeks to bridge the implications of the myth of the biblical fall and the trees of eden with the functional mapping given by the ten sephirot belimah. The topic ended more involved than originally anticipated, making this post the first part of a two part intallment. Although the following diverges from the text we are interpreting (The Earliest Recoverable Text of the Sepher Yetsirah), it is still important to fill in certain blanks, even if those blanks aren’t obvious to the causal observer. The topic of the Trees of Paradise has been approached in a previous series of four installments posted here. A comparison would be interesting, especially since this interpretation takes the theory and seeks to establish a context of practice with it.

By emphasizing the power of ten in relation to its numerical neighbors- nine and eleven- the author of our text identifies the reckonings in a specific manner. We surmised that the chosen number of sephirot makes a statement that the power of Shaping (aka Magic) is free of blasphemous or idolatrous qualities. Given the power attributed to numbers, the ten reckonings are more likely to represent divine inspiration than those quantified as nine or eleven. The revelation of ten is a direct and living experience, and is represented by the reality frame (and corresponding occult model) known as the Tree of Life in QBLH.

The Tree of Knowledge (of TVB and RO), on the other hand, is a kindred representation, but one that is incomplete and deleterious in its effects when its fruits are assimilated alone. Without the Tree of Life, the fruits of having intimate knowledge of TVB and RO imprison an individual in a state of being aware of distinctions without the direct gnosis and grace that complete the process of existential autonomy as promised by the serpent of the biblical account. Previously we identified the two trees as one and the same, since the model of QBLH shows the the domain of Knowledge (HDOTh) as being part of the fallen tree. In this installement we examine the myth in terms of two esoteric models: the two dimensional (2D) tree diagrams and the model of the SY with its ten reckonings, which are traditionally taken to describe the same thing. I would say that the situation is not so black and white, because we are dealing with myths and models of reality frames that are magically alive and are not restricted to a three dimensional conceptual reference frame. The premise is simply that the fall as a biblical event, corresponds to the fall in terms of the Tree of Life diagram of QBLH and correspondingly affects the ten sephirot as well in like manner. This correlation is what we examine.

It is noteworthy that the Tree of Knowledge does not exibit some kind of existential toxicity or danger. It isn’t evil or there to cause damage. It serves a purose in the context of human potential. We can consider it, in other words, as part of an alchemical formula of two steps: dissolve and coagula. The second step involves the Tree of Life, which in the mapping of QBLH can be seen as a rectified Tree of Knowledge. In the Hermetic QBLH of the 19th and 20th centuries, the term DOTh was associated with a gateway to the abyss that formed as a result of the biblical fall from grace or “original sin”. Even as the SPIRVTh are can be seen as stages of some form of internalized alchemy, they are also spheres or domains of revelation and empowerment. Suffice it to say that DOTh is “located” between the third and fourth SPIRVTh of the fallen Tree of Life mapping, well known to students of QBLH. The fall causes the tenth SPIRH. It is known as Malkuth and rendered in English as Kingdom, but it also means Royal Power/Authority. According to one view, this SPIRH fell from its fourth position to the tenth. According to another, all the last seven SPIRVTh– representing the seven planets of antiquity- fell down a notch.

I favor the former model. The true bottom SPIRVTh is called Foundation (YSVD), while Malkuth as Power of Authority is coherent with the fourth position, and where it needs to be to function naturally and free of affliction. Below we diagram the evolution of the fall, from the original Tree of Life (far left) to the version considered to be the way the Tree is because of the Fall (far right). The middle figure shows change, from the sphere with number value four, to that with number value (properly forty if we use the numbering of the Hebrew abjad) adjusted to ten when the whole tree accommodates the difference (far right).

The Fall Sequence.png

In the SY the fourth position is identified by the depth (mystery) of RO, which is usually rendered as simply bad or evil. The concept carries much weight, so to avoid philosophical entanglement, let us first look at the letter analysis of the word. The letters Resh.Ayin describe the head (which may be the god-head, one’s own mind, or that of another) of the eye/fountain. Ayin may be a replacement for another letter that conveyed entanglement, something more aligned with the negative interpretation of the word, while RO also means friend and shepherd, someone who watches out for us. Using a similar analysis, TVB describes a weave (pattern of construction or behavior) that supports the house or clan, a state is understandably considered favorable. Contemplating this information gives the third reckoning additional depth and hence empowering potential. When we are open to the revelation of its juxtaposed term (RO), the fourth becomes accessible. According to Hermetic QBLH it is here that the abyss thwarts us.

Eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge (HDOTh) of TVB and RO had unavoidable consequences. If you eat (identify with) the fruit (results) of having experiences that you clearly distinguish into TVB and RO, then you are a discerning entity, and make choices accordingly. Without the impact of the Tree of Life, however, one ends up in a state disconnected from divine essence and the immortality of true Identity. That individual exists in a closed system of cause and effect because they are crippled.

HDOTh is, moreover, not intellectual knowledge. It refers to intimate experience and involvement with the subject, which can be taken to refer to sexuality, but I think the scope of the myth falls flat if it’s just about sex. The fall from grace was the result of choosing to evaluate and act on one’s own experience. And the move to materialize was a natural outcome of stepping from grace and into autonomous evolution. This awakening to their autonomy- albeit not fully- resulted in the humans wanting to cover their nudity. From an esoteric perspective, we can view the animal skins given by YHVH ALHIM as reference to corporeal embodiment, required to experience the reality of the fruits they imbibed. The insecurity the two humans felt was the sense that they should be clothed (corporeal), and was misrepresented as shame and immodesty.

The point of the above was to outline the nature of Original Sin, while our Tree of Life mapping puts it into a different context. There are two important reflections of that context in the altered mapping. 1) The original fourth sephirah is depicted as dropping out of the former domain of the Tree, to become new tenth and final one. 2) A gap formed between the third and fifth sephirot. When the dust settled, the former fifth became the new fourth and so on.

For the context of a list of cultivation practices the alteration would have far reaching consequences. To add insult to injury the original fourth account was that last of the abstract themes before the focus was on the directions in physical space. Without it the internalization process would be incomplete. With that step bumped to the tenth position, the directions in space a approached prematurely, and never really come into their own. Leaving the tenth account below the actual foundation of the Tree creates a distance from the other steps, which along with the sephirah taken from its natural position, isolates the reckoning whose depth or mystery is identified by RO, and keeps the process from being activated as intended.

In that sense the Fall is one of human potential itself, or rather the readiness at which human potential can actualize. To extrapolate how that translates in terms of esoteric cultivation can lead to adaptations in practices among other things to increase the scope of the results. It also places the fourth account in a position of importance in relation to the others. To insure it succeeds, the domain designated as Kingdom needs to be returned to its prior position as Royal Authority- the authority of self. It is by this authority that anything animates or charges, is sanctified and can be sealed. It appears to be the turn-on switch for the systems power, the prior being preparation of what is to contain the fire of the throne. Then the directions of space can be ignited and sealed. The topic is continued and wrapped up in the next installment.

Blog Reboot: New Path, New Material and Getting Occult Issues Out of the Way

Welcome to a new beginning; a reboot that in principle is the first and last for this blog. In practice, who knows? All I can say is that my intention is to be consistent from now on. I have tons of cool material to back my claim, and the passion to make it stick. In fact, one of the reasons I have been on “hiatus” is because I have been busy working on pathways of occult possibility and immersed in testing and refining theory into practice.

So far, this blog has been about esoteric themes in a rather general and theoretical sense; about principles and points of view. I consider the latter important in esoteric cultivation. Often emphasis is on the mechanics of practice, to the detriment of the meaning of the main current of what works and why in such matters. In addition, many practitioners have been jaded by compromised if not crushed ambitions as their journey wore on. This is, in my view, especially true of twentieth century ceremonial magic (aka “magick”), in its many popularized offshoots of the light spectrum and its right vs. left psycho politics. Indeed the modern media- meant to be a refreshing font of elucidation and enlightenment- has ended up a quagmire of processed bullshit, tart, bitter and sugar-coated in its marketed variety.

As a trained and published scientist- PhD in experimental physics- I attest that occultism is not an empirical field of knowledge and experience. You can explain some occult phenomena with the existing scientific models, stretched to the breaking point of theoretical speculation, but still within the realm of possibility. You also use reason in occult practice, just as you should in science. However, an occultist does not employ the (empirical) scientific method, even though it may appear that way due to the rigor and attention to detail both types of theory and practice demand. There is no such thing as “occult science”, in my view. Science reveals objectified models of “what” and “how”. The occult is concealed in functional ambiguity, starting from one’s own fundamental sense of “why”.

Word-play aside, a notable difference between the two is that science is about objective perception and thinking, even in its most arcane-like theoretical manifestations, while occultism is about subjective experience, even when it is shared. This is why it is also known as “esoteric” (internal) and “meta-physical” (beyond physical objectivism). One can practice science and occultism separately, or used scientific models in occultism. One can use esoteric skills in scientific exploration as well, but that does not make it scientific practice. Occultism is not quantifiable, after all, and that is the hallmark of the scientific method- hand in hand with objectified mentation.

The above are topics of interest to me, but will not be part of the reboot of this blog. I bid them a fond farewell with this summary, and am moving to the next step. This involves expressing the products of several years of exploration, and refinement without second guessing or debating the good, the bad and the ugly of it. Not to mention refining is ongoing, and nothing is absolutely written in a diamond hard medium. The process, in other words, is far from reaching its conclusion.

Esoteric accomplishment is meant to result in wisdom, which implies cultivating the understanding and skill to affect reality without a material medium, to affect events, to affect minds and bodies (including one’s own of course), to affect destinies, and to reach levels of awareness that encompass a maturation of all- relatively speaking- one’s existence truly is. Technically, maturing in such wisdom will transform an individual into a boon for the world as well as themselves. That’s how it’s supposed to be, in my view at least.

In practice, the ideal is not congruent with the real, even taking into account the exceptions. Namely, esoteric exploration and its application is not one thing. There are many paths, and every one of them requires commitment and making space in one’s life. It doesn’t mean you either give up everything or don’t bother trying. It means, consider your returns to be a function of your investment in terms of commitment- energy, time and one’s own sense of self. Also consider that truly empowering esoteric cultivation results in deep changes in the psyche, that must be faced along with every nook and cranny of former self being exposed at some point. The changes tend to also pop up as events in one’s personal life, but also in the stage of the world at large. The latter is still a reflection of one’s true (greater) psyche- far more than just the workings of a little brain, no matter how complex and miraculous it is touted.

I used to be concerned about sharing information that might affect the recipients of it in ways they don’t understand. I now know that life in general does this; that most of us grow and change, evolve and devolve in directions we do not or cannot foresee let alone choose consciously. At a deeper level, however, there is more going on. Any opportunity to make that deeper level conscious and work in it and with it; recognizing it as a layer of one’s own existential identity, is something to be pursued by those who know where their interests lie.

Thus I have decided to organize specific information, regarding specific topics and practices that I have structured, explored and refined for personal application. Make no mistake; this is not a teaching of any sort. It is more a thought experiment in occult possibility. Herein I will share information on Esoteric Alchemy (Eastern and Western), Hermetic themes, Solomonic conjuring, Runes, Yoga/Tantra and other topics of occult interest. There is much ground to cover, so I may not be as thorough as if I were actually teaching the material. This thought experiment will present basics without claiming a thing, but expressing in a fashion of “as if it were true”. Even the well-read armchair occultist, if not the reader of populist literature will recognize most of the themes I plan to share. There is the Sepher Yetsirah (Book of Shaping) for starters, and the Yoga Aphorisms of Patañjali, and the “Goetic Art” of the Lesser Key of Solomon. There is also some interesting restructuring of Geomancy, Runic script and Taoist binary symbolism (such the Hexagrams of the Yi Ching) fused into a single system of symbol magic and contemplation.

The material is anything but purist, but not purely eclectic- made up or the product of media fantasy- either. It is an expression of basic esoteric principles I have tested over the years and continue to refine through all the opportunities and challenges life offers me. My experiment is in sharing it without expectation, or desire for some sort of payback or even recognition. Frankly there is no need, because the material does not lend itself as second hand information. Unless one works with and owns the material something will likely backfire. The reason is that its all tied to deep existential forces, sentient and impersonal that are not objective. Thus, like the quantum systems populist new age mystics like to use as examples, the observer cannot step apart from the observed.

Note I am not saying I need to authorize anything. This is an experiment so there are no guarantees, and free of the luxury of being credited, aside from the content originating from some sort of established tradition, and adapted to my own disposition and needs. It is simply that I consider real occult knowledge to be interactive, and not simply a dead pattern of information. I would say the stories of occultists having “bad endings” or hard lives have roots in a variety of causes. Some are as they should be; challenges of growth. Others are expressions of folly that can just as easily be avoided with a bit of caution and common sense. I don’t believe any occultism is more dangerous than the attitude of the one involved in dabbling or trafficking in it.

All that being said, we start the new material with my translation of the Hebrew text Sepher Yetsirah. This is no canonical text, but a modern experimental version, compiled from existing edits by Dr. A. Peter Hayman. He calls it The Earliest Recoverable Text, but by no means considers it anything but an exercise in scholarship rendering a possibility of such a text. It is, in my view, a useful attitude for an aspirant of esoteric cultivation to have toward such a work. The aim of my translation was also an experiment to answer a question: How well does the information in this text fit in the context of a manual of occult accomplishment? Is the manual of “Shaping”- or “Creation/Formation” if one prefers- a manual of magic? If so, what are its secrets? Suffice it to say that I have yet to see an interpretation of this work quite like the one I have rendered. So stay tuned, and we shall begin the beginning about which we elaborated in this post…next time.

On the Mystical, the Magical, and the Mustering of Manifestation

The solstice occurred on less than half an hour after midnight on the 22nd of December. It’s significant from a celestial viewpoint since it puts the Sun and Earth on the line connecting the galactic equatorial plane with the solar ecliptic plane. The line is also called the Galactic Meridian, and roughly points toward the center of the galaxy. It was thought that departing souls leave the earth in that direction, and enter incarnation from the opposite end of the zodiac; that of the galactic rim, located approximately between the signs of Gemini and Taurus.

On the day following the solstice the moon reached its fullness in the vicinity of the aforementioned area, between the constellations of Taurus and Gemini, and the Moon symbolizes the soul. Apparently, the Sun, the centaur Pholus and the dwarf planet Quaoar were at the Sagittarius/Scorpio end of the zodiac. I looked up the astrological particulars after the fact, and they very much described what I experienced as the solstice passed and moon reached fullness.

I experienced a softening of the energy I felt leading up to it, with a kind of resolution to an internal state of crisis that we very simple. I remembered why I dedicated my life to esoteric cultivation in the first place. It wasn’t to heal or fix myself, or the world. It wasn’t for power or control or even freedom from shackles. It wasn’t for experience of deity or any transcendent state or natural high of well-being. Sure all those are appreciated and accepted, but to make them my primary motive for something as demanding as esoteric cultivation ends up compromising, if not sabotaging, the process when all is said and done.

My real reason is one: to be authentic. It sounds simple. It isn’t. When we desire this or that, and hold a stance (attitude) that specializes that desire as if it were a distinct entity separate from all other desires, we lose the power to actualize it. I believe this is the real reason for the sabotaging of manifesting desires through what is often called “lust for results”. It’s because we treat each desire as an isolate, when it is part of a greater tapestry of magnetizing essence seeking fulfillment. This essence is like a field with which consciousness mates in order to create reality in our experience. If consciousness or spirit is an active agent without substance, as if electric in nature, then the field or magnetic matrix is a receptive agent; one bright and male-like and the other dark and female-like; yang and yin, god and goddess, shiva and shakti in tantric terms. Shakti literally means “power”, and specifically the power of the essence of consciousness or spirit, just as spirit is the consciousness of power. Consciousness of the field of power and identity with that consciousness is authentic being. Everything else like bliss, special abilities and strengths and all around desire fulfillment is a natural expression of being authentic.

Focusing on the specialized desires, however, is like looking for fruits when you have yet to locate the tree. Just walking around staring upward in the hope of finding a fruit is unlikely to get you one. Some probably find a fruit or two that way, if they are already close to the tree, but the rest of us can easily misread how that fruit came to them. So much of esoteric cultivation is placed in terms of abstract idealism that to the layperson it appears as if one just becomes a nicer individual, more like a saint, and why can’t I just act like one instead of having to invest so much or perhaps all my being toward something where reward doesn’t even seem real. Religious, philosophical and even mystical interpretations tend to marginalize if not demonize the matrix of desire, unless turned completely toward the actualization of core consciousness and divine identity.

At the other end is the occult pragmatist. Actually, they are more the practitioner of occult-driven immediacy; those who view power as a sort of tool to fulfill material desires. One interesting individual, for example, summed up their motivation for occult practice as doing it to “get laid, get paid and/or get even”. I have nothing against this ideology, other than my desire matrix does not want to practice methods geared toward those ends directly. Thus I am very weak in that kind of ‘magic’. Again, many modern day occultists and wannabes, especially of a western cultural persuasion, but not only, consider a practitioner to be a failure if they can’t even muster up these three fundamentals of material resource, intimate relationship and the ability to dole out punishment to those who deserve it.

It seems like a lot of work to me. That, at least, was the only answer I could give: laziness. But how can I be lazy and persist on so much seemingly thankless cultivation for decades on end? It’s not laziness. It’s the sense that I am barking up the wrong tree, and who wants to invest time, energy and self for that? I would say that sometimes we tend to conceptually forget our deeper motives, even though they never leave. I myself have years ago put my deeper motive into words, but I have never properly honored it by giving it my full comprehension; by answering why it is my motive and why that motive leaves other seemingly reasonable motives in the dust. Simply put, it includes all other motives and desires, without the added hassle of having to deal with each and every one separately as its own distinct entity.

So yeah, my sense is to refrain from wasting myself on a misconception. I don’t care what that’s called. On the other hand, the simple act of admitting verbally that I just want to be authentic in the deepest and truest existential sense of the word sends a warm flow through me. It establishes a sense of deep meditative well being without even focusing formally that way. Something responds and something smiles; something vibrates profound love and agrees: Yes!

So that is where I find myself a day after the solstice, aligned with my very essence as if finally coming home to parts of my younger self after letting them go temporarily to trudge through a path too rough for them to follow. These were parts of my earlier esoteric experiences, where a sense of power, well being, knowing and understanding flowed and I had tangible experiences of influencing events in my favor. I find myself feeling gratitude for this reunion and expressing sorrow that the split had to occur. Yet I have no regrets. All my parts, and the whole beyond them, will do anything to actualize authenticity as the full potential of embodiment. We/I know beyond the shadow of doubt that anything undertaken toward that end is not only good and right and healthy, but also that it must be done, period, without any further need for justification. That, to me, is successful esoteric cultivation.

Antakarana I: Reality, Ego and the Bridging Organ

In these ponderings, squeezing the products of contemplation and esoteric experience into neat packages of a thousand or so words is not always viable. Many of these posts, therefore, represent parts of more extended and often multifaceted themes that concern the esoteric activities of yours truly. This particular post is the first of a group around the Sanskrit notion of antaḥkaraṇa, which is too esoterically significant and too easy to misunderstand to restrict its interpretation to a single semantic dimension. Thus the blog will return to this topic every so often, as it will take far more than one posting to exhaust it to my satisfaction.

The aforementioned term antaḥkaraṇa is fundamental in Yoga philosophy. It can be translated as “the maker in the middle” or “middle-man making/maker”, but is usually rendered as “the bridge/bridging organ”. Regardless of nomenclature, the dynamic of antaḥkaraṇa embodies the process through which consciousness constructs- or reconstructs and even deconstructs- reality. This “organ” has four expressions or processes according to (my interpretation of) Indian esoteric thought:

  1. Manas is the perception matrix. This is the reality modeling/structuring network. Manas is associated with mind, although technically mind encompasses the full spectrum of the organ.
  2. Citta is the substance or medium of awareness (mind-stuff). It is the field of awareness or mind-field, whose fluctuations represent the other three expressions of the organ.
  3. Buddhi involves the will/initiative and active vectoring property of the organ. It is its discerning and choosing capacity.
  4. Ahaṁkara is the focusing and localizing function that defines the sense of self as a “person” or ego. It is the “I-am-function” aspect; the mind’s handle on itself, a construct of the former, as a handle is a construct of a pot. It is also what some forms of spirituality claim we need to trash- or just realize it doesn’t exist in the first place.

Contrary to Neoplatonic and Hermetic philosophy that claims all is mind, in the metaphysics of yoga, mind is an organ. Even if tradition did not claim this, however, it is still my understanding and conclusions drawn from three decades of practice. As a sort of middle-man of our embodiment dynamic, antaḥkaraṇa is not an objective observable, which we can place outside ourselves and remain true to its nature. It is experienced in the first person, which in the west has been translated as “ego”, probably because the word means “me” in Greek. This is not the ego of Sigmund Freud, nor is it the ego that is characterized in terms of selfishness and deluded pride. It is the first person perspective that is fundamental for the other three dynamics of the organ to work smoothly.

Ahaṁ-kara as the “I-am-function” is a dynamic of our psychic physiology, similar to how a physical organ operates as a dynamic of the body as a whole. This organ may be physically associated with the brain and its working, but the brain is an objective observable, while the bridging organ is first person by definition. That is the realization that places the ego in its proverbial place in my view, not the idea that individuality is somehow an existential flaw or falsehood.

If that were so, we could argue that manas and buddhi are also illusions- and some do, whether they are the wizened corpses of tradition or of a modern or postmodern pretense. On the other hand, all form is a patterning of a fundamental medium, and like the shape of a fluid being arbitrary, everything that can be measured is devoid of fundamental autonomy in terms of what it appears to be. That might be taken as an illusion if we use a movie analogy, but the association is misleading. The grand physical events in an epic flick are simply a play of insubstantial light. The play of light, however, is real. An illusion is all in our heads, and nowhere else. A mirage, on the other hand is a play of temperature in the air masking as a fluid medium. Mirage, however, is not an accurate metaphor for the nature of manifestation either.

I view mind as a function of the organic embodiment of consciousness within and through the equally living medium understood as “power” according to the Tantra traditions of South Central Asia. These traditions view the existentially omnipresent poles of consciousness and power as lovers, and not as a single divine being (consciousness) playing with an inert medium or field. Reality is born of their union and cannot be without both. Power (śakti) is formless chaos without consciousness, and consciousness is an insubstantial corpse without power.

According to the view described above, all that is experienced as reality is the dance of power, while consciousness infuses it with luminous direction and subjective presence. That does not mean the medium that is power is inherently just a random field with no existential sense of its own. It forms a whole with consciousness, which without power has no reference frame, and is not even aware of its own existence. It is consciousness of transparent infinity/eternity, and may as well be nothing. The same applies to power. Without consciousness, it is unconscious, and falls inert without an inkling of reference.

Thus power and consciousness are described in terms of female and male respectively. All that is, is an embodiment of dynamics of both to one degree or another. Power’s inherent existential mode is desire, a magnetic draw upon consciousness qualified in accordance to what is to be birthed with it. Consciousness is thus what is drawn in for birth to take place, and is what marks which directions the vibration of power will go to establish what is to be born from it. The bridging organ is a creation of both consciousness and power, with power in this case being of a subtle dynamic, and consciousness more prominent.

In this installment, we have referred to one of the four expressions of the (human) bridging organ, which is its existentially centralized “I-am” mode. It is a function that serves the purpose of centralizing consciousness so the form of its embodiment can cultivate existential autonomy. When unbalanced it can also promote existential insulation and alienation from all it perceives outside of itself, including its very own potential. In order to understand the “ego”-function, however, the antaḥkaraṇa anatomy needs to be described in greater depth.

Pondering the Tao and Essence of Things

During esoteric ‘work’ (not to be confused with notions of mental and physical labor) I find myself confronting various philosophies and working the light of meditation within their conceptual labyrinths. These threads of esoteric conception are more like islands in the nebulous ocean of conception-free ‘understanding’ in which one who dives within may find themselves after much practice. I reference the islands or threads, if you will, so I may extend the formulating mind into a medium of existential clarity beyond structures of codifying intellect.

This has several advantages, such as bridging the mind to meditative states- so long as one does not confuse the conceptual finger with the direction in which it points. Another advantage is that one can organize philosophical coherence to help structure applications of esoteric representations. In common jargon, one can practice occultism without proverbial risks (a topic for another day). The following diatribe is one such example of deliberation, prompted spontaneously, but also for reasons I have implied above. It is not a work of scholarly study. It is a work of interpreting understandings within the state of esoteric immersion using conceptual building blocks offered by a profound and ancient esoteric perspective.

This writing is an examination of conceptions of Taoist existential cosmology. To begin let us clarify the fundamental concepts of yin and yang. Let’s focus on the original semantic definitions. The analogy used is a mountain in relation to the Sun. The Sun is not yang. The sunny side of the mountain is yang. The shady side of the mountain is yin. Therefore, the mountain is the object of examination, and the Tao is the “Way” of the cyclic change. In that Way, the shady side becomes bright and the bright side shady. The process is the motion of the Sun’s light upon the mountain during the course of a day, but our experience is that of the transformation of the mountain. The essence of the mountain remains the same, but its circumstances change. There are implications with lack of sunlight and implications with its presence. It is the same mountain, the same world, but in one case a fertilizing factor is added. We can see in this cycle that the conditions of the shady side are the default ones, the ones that define the mountain on its own merit.

Yang and yin are both the mountain, the latter unfertilized and in its natural state, and the former fertilized and impregnated with light. It is important to avoid conceptual pitfalls here. Because yin appears to be a needy state and yang a satiated state, we might assume yang is good and yin bad in terms of our usual reactions to those labels: to grasp the good and fight the bad. To clarify, I conceptualize yin as a state of desire, a state receptive and yielding, but also magnetizing that which it receives.

It is desire that drives the cycle. The spirit pole is drawn in, the desire or will pole draws it in. The presence of spirit, of consciousness; that which patterns identity, is immobile as a corpse when existing in isolation. It is powerless because power is desire. It is static because it is homogenous. As such it is no-thing. Yet without it, nothing can be, since it provides patterns with identity-reference and sense of self, making coherence possible.

The forces of yang and yin, on the other hand, are dynamics of the receptive matrix in its default state of desire and its impregnated state of fulfillment. Those terms are inaccurate, however, because fulfillment does not imply the end of a journey or the culmination of all motive in blissful satisfaction. The nature of manifestation is the cycling of Taiji (‘Omnipolar’ existential dynamic), as opposed to Wuji (‘Apolar’ existential dynamic).

The term ‘polar dynamic’ in this context involves interactive structures, whereas the lack of any interaction, or any structure for that matter, is described as apolar. All is dormant, nothing is going on etc. This is rather a purely non-referential state, similar in that respect to spirit and desire, when both are isolated from each other. Spirit naturally requires desire to trigger its movement, and the will requires presence of spirit to trigger the desire that triggers vibration that embraces spirit to move. It moves in three ways, the second being the most natural and ‘pure’: a) It embodies an established pattern; b) It is drawn by desire and c) It rides its own desire, or the desire extending from inherent bonding with desire, like the tip of a tongue extending from closed lips.

In the context of existential energetics, the Wuji is the ‘ground state’ and Taiji the expressive outcome of growth from existential potential to existential kinesis or being/becoming. The pole of potential is apolar and the pole of kinesis is omnipolar. It should be obvious that the word ‘pole’ is used in a very loose sense to convey the referencing from the a-polar to the polar state. Otherwise, it erroneously makes the un-structured and un-patterned appear to be part of a structure. In practice both spirit and power (will/desire) have their inherent states of non-polar potential, and their interactive polar dynamic states. The latter refer to the Taiji or kinetic omnipole of existence. This is what beings of manifestation experience for the most part.

There is a belief that existence involves mechanical cycles of creation destruction or the monotonous oscillation from omnipolar to apolar states. It’s as if existence is exhaled ‘outside’ the apolar state, which then feeds on it or just draws it in to destroy it, and bring its evolved complexity down to its entropic ground state. The idea to me appears contradictory, since breath implies kinesis and potential is the ultimate non-kinetic state. Nourishment, furthermore, implies metabolism (or its metaphysical equivalent), or some dynamic of existential kinesis to say the least even if we pull the “it’s only a metaphor” card. Even metaphors require some consistency or some form of explanation of inconsistency. They are false if they cannot represent what is allegedly beyond direct intellectual rendering.

If we observe the allegorical structure of two poles, one of which is apolar and the other omnipolar, we are encouraged to also posit a center or core dynamic that defines the allegorical references as poles in the first place. This is the state of equilibrium between existential kinesis and existential potential. Tipping toward kinesis leads to a headlong rush into an entropic ground state (death in other words). Tipping toward potential leads to denial of kinetic freedom, which is confinement and suffering. Desire itself regulates this dynamic balance but only if and when spirit is fully accessible to it for both bonding and un-bonding.

Un-bonding in an unbalanced state of limited existential resourcefulness is a process of suffering leading to death. In a balanced and resourceful state it is a process of transformation and renewal, because we experience a release to make space for a deeper of my coherent to one’s existential integrity fulfillment. The dynamic of Tao is that of ultimate balance and resourcefulness. It is the core state wherein that apolar dynamic is accessed and the omnipolar dynamic is free and naturally unconditional.

The core state is itself a state that resembles yang and has been confused with spirit. But its natural archetypal association is that of divine heart. It is both omnipolar and apolar in nature. Rather than being an impregnation of the will (feminine) aspect by spirit as the yang pole of the Taiji, it is an equilateral and intrinsic fusion state, its own basis. Rather than the light falling upon the mountain, nourishing it, it glows from within every atom of the mountain itself, at one with the mountain’s natural essence, metaphorically speaking.

This core is the existential condition where the apolar ground state and the omnipolar spiral of becoming are co-existent (even as their being apart in the first place is also a convenient conception rather than a literal truth). This inherent unity liberates existence to choose from all possibility to create its own matrix of probability upon which to build further aspiration. It sounds cliché, but the essence of it is love. [to be continued, maybe].

Summing Up My Magical Menagerie

I have been going through a minor “crisis”. I place the word in quotation marks and refrain from capitalizing it because it isn’t even an apt description of what was going on. Namely, I was wondering what I should be doing with this blog, if anything. The question was one of structure vs. lack thereof; of planning vs. off-the-cuff ranting and of purpose vs. play.

Even as I was writing down the above conceptual pairs, however, I realized they too were not accurate, and that I was not experiencing a conflict between polarized concepts, but a challenge of embracing their working synthesis. The latter isn’t as simple or easy as mixing and matching or even squishing ingredients together. The conditions and of synthesis carry a lot of weight even when the scenario is one of abstract conception.

I have been writing about the various aspects and facets of my magical menagerie- at least have begun something akin to that process. The long and short of it is that it just isn’t what I want to do here. That’s fine, since the blog itself is something of an experiment in expressing these arcane interests of mine. It’s not as easy as just saying what I know. Many speak of the same things, but with different context and there is some debate regarding what this or that esoteric ideal implies and how useful it is for this that or the other.

So once again I take several steps back, add a few deep breaths and take it from the top, as it were. Assumptions can be more thoroughly discarded for one, especially the limiting ones. Worrying about getting the expression right can also be- more thoroughly- discarded. At the same time, I want to express clearly what does not come easy to translate from experience in combination with the prominent conceptual conventions about it.

For starters, instead of going on about the particular “exhibits” of my proverbial magical menagerie, it might be more economical and useful, as well as more interesting for yours truly to some it all up. In other words, let me address the query of WTF am I doing with occultism. Not so much, why am I doing it, but what I am doing. Specifically, I want to detail the options and elements of arcane application that I am bringing together while filtering, interpreting and redesigning the input. I intend, moreover, to elaborate regarding my motivation for the apparent rearranging of the deck chairs of existing esoteric approaches to come to my own conception.

Given what I expressed above, I have already summed up my magical menagerie as one that I reluctantly would label as revisionist esoteric exposition. Even with the shady reputation of all things “revisionist”, my work involves dynamics of great esoteric potential and meeting the various challenges of the times in which we find ourselves. To put it more plainly, I am forging my own system of magic via the revising of various traditional themes of arcane wisdom.

I am motivated to elaborate because misunderstanding is all too easy when encountering such claims. Those of a more traditionally inclined disposition are suspicious of any sort of revision or adaptation. On the other hand, diversified occultists might not realize how much goes into redesigning the systemics of one’s occult practice because the trend is modern and notorious for being mired in mass marketed pop culture subject matter, in the view of yours truly.

To reiterate, I am engaged in a process of redesigning some traditional elements of occultism and adapting them toward application in the world today. The process has been ongoing for the last fifteen years, whereas I have been exploring western occultism for a decade before that, in addition to eastern (Asian) metaphysics, as well as astrology, tarot, psychic phenomena and trance states for fifteen years before that.

I am currently engaged in a process of formalizing, testing and reformulating esoteric subjects of interest to condense the working principles into a map that can successfully navigate selected territories of esoteric application in a manner meaningful to the one undertaking the journey.

There are those who would reject the idea of revising or adapting perfectly functional systems of esoteric knowledge into a more modern context. Granted, many claims to the effect can be accurately deemed wanting. That does not mean the need is a fabrication.

A simple example would be that of western occult systems using astrological symbolism. Using astronomical data for esoteric applications is a tried and true practice- at least for those of an occult disposition. The planets, for example, are truly potent symbols of deeper truths when interpreted and conceptually concentrated (as archetypes) toward that purpose. The traditional Western astrological bodies known as planets include the sun, the moon and five astronomical planets of this solar system, all visible to the naked eye.

Today the face of the solar system has expanded, meaning the arcane possibilities would be best brought to useful fruition by reflecting the solar system more accurately. And yet, the old system of seven planetary principles has been a powerful map of occult possibility, coinciding with the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet, the seven days of the week as well as other iterations of that sacred number.

Existing revisions have added planets updating at least to the mid to late twentieth century. However, the astronomical face of the solar system has since undergone changes at a pace that far outstrips any occultist capacity to reliably formalize things in addition to thoroughly testing the proposed “upgrade”. Suffice it to say that simply slapping on more variables and shaving off the rough edges might only replace the tried and true (limitations notwithstanding) with a rickety construct held together with snappy jargon and a lot of wishful thinking.

My magical menagerie is, therefore, a collection of esoteric themes and potentials adapted to sustain interlocking parts, or at least mutually supportive and complementary elements. Designing and testing in this manner has been and continues to be an experience beyond measurable value to me. It has shown what works and what doesn’t work as well as what might work if one only invests more than most would be willing to give in terms of time, energy and commitment. Life, after all, is too short to waste on futility.

It is also true, however, that just because two stones slapped together can crack a spark doesn’t guarantee one can light a fire. A certain amount of skill and the correct conditions are needed as well, a combination of nature and nurture in the proper proportions. Even so, anyone clever enough can claim success in occult matters regardless of where the truth lies. Placebo effects and the trickster nature of human consciousness are easy to manipulate even when the perpetrator and victim are one and the same person.

My current minor “crisis” has only been one of many, and quite mild compared to some prior versions. One can say that the elements of the menagerie in mention have been progressively integrating, from “crisis” to “crisis”, just as they have been mutating purposefully for that purpose. I intend to describe some of the process of my evolving understanding, to focus on something that is closer to home for me than the more speculative expressions that have dominated my writings here so far. I might even start teaching the “system” at some point. That, certainly, is a topic for another day.

I have been going through a minor “crisis”. I place the word in quotation marks and refrain from capitalizing it because it isn’t even an apt description of what was going on. Namely, I was wondering what I should be doing with this blog, if anything. The question was one of structure vs. lack thereof; of planning vs. off-the-cuff ranting and of purpose vs. play.

Even as I was writing down the above conceptual pairs, however, I realized they too were not accurate, and that I was not experiencing a conflict between polarized concepts, but a challenge of embracing their working synthesis. The latter isn’t as simple or easy as mixing and matching or even squishing ingredients together. The conditions and of synthesis carry a lot of weight even when the scenario is one of abstract conception.

I have been writing about the various aspects and facets of my magical menagerie- at least have begun something akin to that process. The long and short of it, however, is that it just isn’t what I want to do here. That’s fine, since the blog itself is something of an experiment in expressing these arcane interests of mine. It’s not as easy as just saying what I know. Many speak of the same things, but with different context and there is some debate regarding what this or that esoteric ideal implies and how useful it is for this that or the other.

So once again I take several steps back, add a few deep breaths and take it from the top, as it were. Assumptions can be more thoroughly discarded for one, especially the limiting ones. Worrying about getting the expression right can also be- more thoroughly- discarded. At the same time, I want to express clearly what does not come easy to translate from experience in combination with the prominent conceptual conventions about it.

For starters, instead of going on about the particular “exhibits” of my proverbial magical menagerie, it might be more economical and useful, as well as more interesting for yours truly to some it all up. In other words, let me address the query of WTF am I doing with occultism. Not so much, why am I doing it, but what I am doing. Specifically, I want to detail the options and elements of arcane application that I am bringing together while filtering, interpreting and redesigning the input. I intend, moreover, to elaborate regarding my motivation for the apparent rearranging of the deck chairs of existing esoteric approaches to come to my own conception.

Given what I expressed above, I have already summed up my magical menagerie as one that I reluctantly would label as revisionist esoteric exposition. Even with the shady reputation of all things “revisionist”, my work involves dynamics of great esoteric potential and meeting the various challenges of the times in which we find ourselves. To put it more plainly, I am forging my own system of magic via the revising of various traditional themes of arcane wisdom.

I am motivated to elaborate because misunderstanding is all too easy when encountering such claims. Those of a more traditionally inclined disposition are suspicious of any sort of revision or adaptation. On the other hand, diversified occultists might not realize how much goes into redesigning the systemics of one’s occult practice because the trend is modern and notorious for being mired in mass marketed pop culture subject matter, in the view of yours truly.

To reiterate, I am engaged in a process of redesigning some traditional elements of occultism and adapting them toward application in the world today. The process has been ongoing for the last fifteen years, whereas I have been exploring western occultism for a decade before that, in addition to eastern (Asian) metaphysics, as well as astrology, tarot, psychic phenomena and trance states for fifteen years before that.

I am currently engaged in a process of formalizing, testing and reformulating esoteric subjects of interest to condense the working principles into a map that can successfully navigate selected territories of esoteric application in a manner meaningful to the one undertaking the journey.

There are those who would reject the idea of revising or adapting perfectly functional systems of esoteric knowledge into a more modern context. Granted, many claims to the effect can be accurately deemed wanting. That does not mean the need is a fabrication.

A simple example would be that of western occult systems using astrological symbolism. Using astronomical data for esoteric applications is a tried and true practice- at least for those of an occult disposition. The planets, for example, are truly potent symbols of deeper truths when interpreted and conceptually concentrated (as archetypes) toward that purpose. The traditional Western astrological bodies known as planets include the sun, the moon and five astronomical planets of this solar system, all visible to the naked eye.

Today the face of the solar system has expanded, meaning the arcane possibilities would be best brought to useful fruition by reflecting the solar system more accurately. And yet, the old system of seven planetary principles has been a powerful map of occult possibility, coinciding with the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet, the seven days of the week as well as other iterations of that sacred number.

Existing revisions have added planets updating at least to the mid to late twentieth century. However, the astronomical face of the solar system has since undergone changes at a pace that far outstrips any occultist capacity to reliably formalize things in addition to thoroughly testing the proposed “upgrade”. Suffice it to say that simply slapping on more variables and shaving off the rough edges might only replace the tried and true (limitations notwithstanding) with a rickety construct held together with snappy jargon and a lot of wishful thinking.

My magical menagerie is, therefore, a collection of esoteric themes and potentials adapted to sustain interlocking parts, or at least mutually supportive and complementary elements. Designing and testing in this manner has been and continues to be an experience beyond measurable value to me. It has shown what works and what doesn’t work as well as what might work if one only invests more than most would be willing to give in terms of time, energy and commitment. Life, after all, is too short to waste on futility.

It is also true, however, that just because two stones slapped together can crack a spark doesn’t guarantee one can light a fire. A certain amount of skill and the correct conditions are needed as well, a combination of nature and nurture in the proper proportions. Even so, anyone clever enough can claim success in occult matters regardless of where the truth lies. Placebo effects and the trickster nature of human consciousness are easy to manipulate even when the perpetrator and victim are one and the same person.

My current minor “crisis” has only been one of many, and quite mild compared to some prior versions. One can say that the elements of the menagerie in mention have been progressively integrating, from “crisis” to “crisis”, just as they have been mutating purposefully for that purpose. I intend to describe some of the process of my evolving understanding, to focus on something that is closer to home for me than the more speculative expressions that have dominated my writings here so far. I might even start teaching the “system” at some point. That, certainly, is a topic for another day.