The Process of Collectivization
ACT III: GROUP-INTEGRATION
SCENE THIRTEEN: TRANSFIGURATION
(Libra 1° to Libra 15°)
FIRST LEVEL: ACTIONAL
PHASE 181 (LIBRA 1°): IN A COLLECTION OF PERFECT SPECIMENS OF MANY BIOLOGICAL FORMS, A BUTTERFLY DISPLAYS THE BEAUTY OF ITS WINGS, ITS BODY IMPALED BY A FINE DART.
KEYNOTE: The immortal archetypal reality that a perfect and dedicated life reveals.
Just as the symbol for Aries 1° evoked the keynote of the entire first half of the cycle, i.e. differentiation out of the undifferentiated "Ocean of potentiality," this symbol for Libra 1° reveals to the intuitive consciousness the essential character of the second hemicycle. In the yearly cycle we have reached the fall equinox, the symbolic time -of bringing in the harvest in preparation for winter. It is the time consecrated to the seed, just as the spring equinox is consecrated to the germ, the new rise of life which in-forms the growth of individual organisms.
At this autumnal point, the drive toward individualization and self-assertion has lost much of its momentum, while a new trend is successfully and dynamically challenging its hegemony — the trend toward the formation of collectivities of individuals. But this new trend can be misunderstood if seen only superficially as the mere gathering together of individual persons. The process has a much deeper meaning, and indeed an inner source of power, for what is at stake is not merely an aggregation of separate units (simple or already complex, as in the case of "families"). At the core of this "coming together," the "descent" or externalization of archetypal realities is gradually occurring. At the Libra stage, these archetypal realities are "Forms"; at the Scorpio stage they will be "Powers." The symbol for this degree of the fall equinox thus describes a "perfect form" — the result of the metamorphosis of "worm" into butterfly, a process the symbolism of which has so often been used to indicate to man the possibility of his being transformed into "more-than-man," the transhuman being, the true Initiate, the Adept, the Perfect. The perfect butterfly is impaled by a fine dart; the symbol of "dart of wisdom" was used in Marc Jones's mimeographed course, while the original notation of what the clairvoyant had seen indicated "a butterfly made perfect by a dart through it," suggesting a process of perfection through sacrifice.
As I see it, the dart can hardly be said to have made the butterfly perfect, but it keeps it perfect by killing the living organism. The impaled butterfly is preserved by the dart which "fixes" it in perfection for a whole cycle, i.e. it makes an archetype of it. By thus escaping the normal process of dying and decay, the butterfly form (the "perfection") is kept. It is kept in the mystical Shamballah, where it is said that the Pattern of Man is kept, just as the perfect bar measuring exactly one meter is (or was) kept in a crypt in Paris, where the metric system was originally devised.
The perfect butterfly thus represents the outcome of the process of occult discipleship symbolized by the sign Virgo.
From then on, a new process begins, that of collectivization; at the very core of that new process the perfect Form of Man must remain as a standard of value if this process is to be valid and meaningful.
This is the first statement in the thirteenth scene of the great ritual drama. It is an actional phase because in it the perfection of individual activity is revealed and immortalized. This is the symbolical Transfiguration; at the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus, the Son of Man, was "impaled" by the ray of Divine Light, making of him a Son of God. It was at this very moment that he learned of the Crucifixion awaiting him. Thus the merely human individual is MADE SACRED, becoming the pure embodiment of an archetype.
PHASE 182 (LIBRA 2°): THE TRANSMUTATION OF THE
FRUITS OF PAST EXPERIENCES INTO THE SEED-REALIZATIONS OF THE FOREVER CREATIVE SPIRIT.
KEYNOTE: A repolarization of inner energies leading to a creative centralization of consciousness.
The original formulation of this symbol was both "occult" and,
I believe, confusing; "The light of the sixth Race transmuted to the seventh." It could be interpreted in terms of the process of mankind's development through the seven great Races (or evolutionary periods) outlined in the second volume of H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, but there are no other symbols in the series having such a frame of reference. What seems more likely to be implied in the revealed image is a reference to the numerological and occult meaning of Number 6 and Number 7, especially geometrically expressed in the diagram (on page 32) in which seven circles, contiguous and of the same size, fill a larger circle whose diameter is three times that of the smaller one. The six circles touching the circumference of the larger
one represent the six basic approaches to Truth and Reality possible to man's developing intelligence — thus the well-known Six Schools of Hindu philosophy, and at the level of energy the six fundamental colors, or "Rays." But central to this six-fold system is the hidden or occult "Seventh," the Atma Vidya of Hinduism, the unformulatable Truth of the Self which both includes and transcends the six approaches. Schools or Rays.
Number 6 (also Solomon's Seal) represents the synthesis of descending spirit and ascending matter. It represents the fruition of all past efforts; within the six-fold fruition the seed may be found, the seventh. Outer activity is fulfilled (the Six Days of Creation in the first chapter of Genesis); and the Supreme Actor can be seen in His changelessness and therefore his transcending all-inclusiveness.
All that was manifested in the plant is gathered in the hidden seed, which in due time becomes the foundation of a new cycle of existence. The fruit decays. For a brief moment the released seed may be seen; this is the "seventh" period that becomes the creative power fathering a new cycle. This symbol for Libra 2° refers to the process of centralization in the Self (the creative Reality) after the experience of fulfillment in the perfect Form of manifestation.
This is the second stage of the thirty-seventh five-fold sequence of symbols and phases. It refers to a dynamic process in contrast to the picture representing the first stage — a picture of maintained and immortalized, thus static, perfection of form. Formal perfection is now
transcended through a process of CREATIVE CENTRALIZATION.
PHASE 183 (LIBRA 3°): THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY REVEALS
KEYNOTE: The ever-present possibility of beginning again on a new foundation of values.
This symbol hardly needs to be interpreted, except for pointing out that these first three symbols beginning the second hemicycle of the cyclic process should be seen as a basic trinity. It can be related to the process of true Initiation: (1) The experience of the undying Form of perfection; (2) The release of the energy incorporated in the Form in order to reach "That-which-is-beyond-form-and-name"; (3) The re-embodiment of energy in a new creative Act.
The third stage of this thirty-seventh sequence leads us to a vision of the fulfilled purpose of the first half of the cycle. What emerged hesitantly from the ocean of infinite potentiality (Aries 1°) now faces a totally new world in a truly individualized form of existence. He or she is ready to act significantly in the sphere of culture and social togetherness, the sphere in which an individual, aware of his archetypal essence and planetary function, can play his true role (dharma). In a basic sense it is always a new role, for no cycle repeats itself as far as its contents are concerned. The person who plays this role is always potentially an INNOVATOR.
PHASE 184 (LIBRA 4°): AROUND A CAMPFIRE A GROUP OF
YOUNG PEOPLE SIT IN SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.
KEYNOTE: The necessity to unite with kindred spirits as one enters unbeaten paths illumined by the still-insecure light of a dawning intuition of new values.
As one partially visionary leader said a few years ago: "Beaten paths are for beaten men." The urge to create a new society and respond to new values leads the pioneer to the wilds, which represent the state of planetary possibility — i.e. the as-yet-uncultured, the virgin forest. Around the fire of a common dedication (or at least a common hope!) minds and bodies can commune, forming a "chalice" or Grail for the reception of creative inspiration.
At this fourth stage of this five-fold sequence of phases of development we find, as usual, a hint of technique. If a new society is to be built, those who yearn for it, or perhaps who have envisioned its outlines, should commune. But communion is useless where no central "fire" burns, IN-SPIRITING the group,
PHASE 185 (LIBRA 5°): A MAN REVEALING TO HIS STUDENTS
THE FOUNDATION OF AN INNER KNOWLEDGE UPON WHICH A "NEW WORLD" COULD BE BUILT.
KEYNOTE: The necessity for the youthful spirits to learn from a Teacher who through his long experience has been able to reach solid and illuminating truths, i.e. "seed ideas."
An old saying is just as valid today as ever: When the pupil is
ready, the Master appears. But he may appear in many disguises. What matters is not the Master, but the Mastery he "re-veals." It is veiled in his person. It has to be contacted through his person, rather than in his person. Devotion to a guru may be the way, but sooner or later it should be transmuted into reverence: the truth within the disciple saluting in true humility the truth in the Teacher.
This is the last stage of the thirty-seventh five-fold sequence and it marks the culmination of the four preceding stages. What is evoked by the symbol is the essential, withal rather mysterious, process of TRANSMISSION. What is transmitted, if the situation is really adequate and understood (at least tentatively) by all participants, is not merely knowledge. It is actually "being-ness."
SECOND LEVEL: EMOTIONAL/CULTURAL
PHASE 186 (LIBRA 6°): A MAN WATCHES HIS IDEALS TAKING A CONCRETE FORM BEFORE HIS INNER VISION.
KEYNOTE: The need to visualize clearly one's dreams or ideals in order to make them truly effectual.
According to a French proverb, "What is well conceived can
easily be formulated." The process of interior visualization can be quite essential, except in the case of a creative individual who has become a totally pure channel for the descent of spiritual Power, and a clear lens through which the Archetype in the Mind of Man (or God) can be projected without distortion wherever needed. In other cases the creative act is less direct: a man projects into the world what he has "seen" reflected on the screen of his individualized consciousness.
This is the first stage of the thirty-eighth five-fold sequence of symbolized phases in the process of individualized existence. It is a phase of INTERIOR FORMULATION in preparation for a creative projection of one's ideals or concepts.
PHASE 187 (LIBRA 7°): A WOMAN FEEDING CHICKENS AND
PROTECTING THEM FROM THE HAWKS.
KEYNOTE: The need to face the antagonism of "powers of darkness" as one attempts to feed the mind of as yet helpless and frightened apprentices.
The most basic "Law" of our universe is that every release of new potentialities (or modes of energy) brings about a polarization of effects — that is, the new potentiality will be used both for construction and destruction. It will arouse individuals (or groups and nations) to take a series of steps which will lead some to greater success, others to deeper failure. Whoever makes possible this new release has to accept the karma of both the success and the failure. When Jesus showered his immense love upon lukewarm, self-centered individuals, it inevitably came to be turned into violent hatred when these soul-minds were unable to cope with its frightening intensity. Jesus had to accept spiritual responsibility for those who crucified him.
At this second stage we witness the contrast between the ideal situation envisioned clearly by the creative consciousness (first stage) and what it will be in actual operation; thus the forever-present struggle involved in making it possible for the future-oriented actualizers of an ideal to survive the attacks of tradition-worshiping minds that can only follow the lines of automatic response. The keynote is GUARDIANSHIP.
PHASE 188 (LIBRA 8°): A BLAZING FIREPLACE IN A DESERTED HOME.
KEYNOTE: The need to realize that even through the most empty hours a spiritual power is ever ready to welcome and warm up the wayward consciousness returning to center.
Until the fire of the Soul within the human psyche totally dies
out — a rare and tragic occurrence — there's always hope of recovery and rebeginning. Many disciples find themselves compelled to abandon their spiritual quest, even after having had sense of essential being. Yet "the home" that once received them — the guru's love — remains ready to welcome the return of the "prodigal sons."
This is the third stage in the thirty-eighth sequence of five symbols. In a sense it links the vision, catalyzed by the contact with an inspirer, with the possible reaction of fear or shock that arises from such a contact. Within the abandoned great dream, some intangible and warm "presence" remains: the ever renascent HOPE for a rebeginning.
PHASE 189 (LIBRA 9°): THREE "OLD MASTERS" HANGING ON THE WALL OF A SPECIAL ROOM IN AN ART GALLERY.
KEYNOTE: The need to return to source during a confused
search for new value in a chaotic society.
There are always moments which focus in our minds the longing to re-ground ourselves in the great achievements of the past. The number 3 suggests completeness; esoteric traditions speak of the three-fold Soul, or of three fundamental "Rays" — of Power, of Love-Wisdom, and of Intelligence-in-action. Meditation, in its deepest sense, is a return to Source — an attempt to re-identify oneself with one's archetypal essence of being, which is triune in manifestation, and now) after confused but challenging wanderings, to identify oneself consciously with this "essence." The finer forms of one's culture provide the means to do this. The great moments of the collective past become an inspiration for new, yet sound, beginnings. The seed of tomorrow salutes the seed of yesteryear.
At this fourth stage of the thirty-eighth sequence it is suggested that in the process of "Transfiguration" the presence of the greatest moments of the past is called upon, as Moses and Elijah were invoked in Jesus' Transfiguration. The seed of the new day depends upon the seed of yesteryear for an experience of the cyclic continuity of spirit. This is the basis for the institutionalized ideal of APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION, the guruampara (an uninterrupted chain of gurus) of Indian tradition.
PHASE 190 (LIBRA 10°): HAVING PASSED SAFELY THROUGH
NARROW RAPIDS, A CANOE REACHES CALM WATERS.
KEYNOTE: The self-control and poise necessary to reach a steady state of inner stability.
This symbol hardly needs to be commented upon. It could be
related to the fifth symbol of the preceding five-fold sequence referring to guru-chela relationship at the actional level. Here we are dealing essentially with the emotional life and its crises. At the next — mental and individual — level, the concluding symbol will suggest the perfect and smooth working of the intellect ruled by logic and simplicity of means.
This is the fifth stage of the thirty-eighth sequence; it concludes what was begun at the first stage. The inner "revelation" which brought about dramatic confrontations can now be meditated upon as it is reflected on the calm waters of the mind. As a Keyword one may use the term RELIEF.
THIRD LEVEL: INDIVIDUAL/MENTAL
PHASE 191 (LIBRA 11°): A PROFESSOR PEERING OVER HIS
GLASSES AT HIS STUDENTS.
KEYNOTE: Problems attending the transmission of knowledge in a special cultural setup.
This is a rather peculiar symbol for this phase of the process, and it reveals a rather humorous approach to what man's mind can
accomplish at this stage. However, there seems to be no valid reason to make the image into some kind of a caricature, or to sentimentalize it by referring to a "kind old professor." Rather one should analyze the picture in order to discover its basic elements. The professor has dealt so much with books that he has greatly strained his eyes; in days when bifocal lenses were not widely used, he had to peer over his glasses in order to see his students. The symbol thus simply reveals two aspects of the condition of "professor-ship" — that is, of being able to transfer to the young generation the vast sum of knowledge accumulated by the past. The need to absorb this enormous amount of book knowledge affects the mind as well as the eyes; in order to meet the demands of the turbulent youth, the teacher in a sense has to look above this knowledge and to see his students simply as human beings.
This is the first symbol in the thirty-ninth five-fold sequence. It deals at the intellectual level with the teaching of accumulated collective knowledge, and the problem posed by the acquisition of that knowledge. This is what INSTRUCTION means — a process not to be confused with "education."
PHASE 192 (LIBRA 12°): MINERS ARE SURFACING FROM A
DEEP COAL MINE.
KEYNOTE: The need to carry on at ever-deeper levels the quest for knowledge which keeps burning the fires of the collective mind of a society.
The search for knowledge demands the dedication of many minds digging ever deeper into the realities of our earthly existence. It is a hard, often dark pursuit amidst great difficulties and the possibility of being spiritually asphyxiated by the constant intellectual effort and tension. When a person is confronted by this symbol it could be interpreted as showing the need for such an intellectual dedication but also as pointing to the advisability of emerging from it and leading a more natural life.
This second stage symbol is related to the first in that in both we see conditions of existence dealing with work for the sake of the collectivity. The opposition between intellectual and manual work is evident; less so is the fact that both classes of workers experience definite physical consequences as a result of their occupation: the eyes of the professor, the lungs of the coal miner. The professor digs in the intellectual past of mankind to find what may warm up the mental processes of his students; the coal miner brings to the surface the ancient remains of what once was living substance. Keyword: EXTRACTION.
PHASE 193 (LIBRA 13°): CHILDREN BLOWING SOAP BUBBLES.
KEYNOTE: The cultural fantasies through which young minds dream of perfect fulfillment.
This seems to refer to the use of the imagination and the value of fantasy in a collective setup. Men dream together as a preparation for acting together. Rituals related to the great aspirations of mankind are both sacred ceremonies and playthings for young minds; so also are court ceremonies and operas for the social elite, or baseball games for the crowds. Some men work hard at acquiring knowledge and providing society with what it needs to enjoy warmth and lighted palaces; others play at imagining themselves perfect spheres of multicolored radiance — soap bubbles so soon proven evanescent!
At this third stage of the thirty-ninth sequence we deal with another aspect of the cultural life made possible, in a sense, by the two just symbolized. It is a symbol of IMAGINATIVE PLAY, which foreshadows the idea of "global man," the man of plenitude.
PHASE I94 (LIBRA 14°): IN THE HEAT OF THE NOON HOUR A MAN TAKES A SIESTA.
KEYNOTE: The need for recuperation within the social pattern of everyday activity.
At the emotional-cultural level man today is not able to sustain
constant activity. There must be rest periods, siestas or coffee breaks, during which the individual withdraws within his own sphere of selfhood, not only for physical relaxation but for allowing the strange, but evidently necessary play of dream fantasies. Social structuring cannot be maintained healthfully without breaks, in whatever climate man may live. Besides, the body needs quiet and relaxation from nervous tension after what is often the main meal of the day.
This fourth stage symbol can be seen as emphasizing the need for techniques of RELAXATION, and the need to allow the functions of body and psyche to "digest," free from external pressures, the complex experiences of social living and particularly of business.
PHASE 195 (LIBRA 15°): CIRCULAR PATHS.
KEYNOTE: Coming to terms with the inevitability of establishing steady rhythms of social activity.
In his early course, "Symbolical Astrology," Marc Jones sought to concretize this abstract image by speaking of "machinery parts, new and circular." It is far better, however, to face the image in its most general sense, as he himself did later on. It is because everyday activities, whether in the home or in business, inevitably tend to repeat themselves in circular fashion that it is necessary for the individual to have rest times during which he can be released from repetitive patterns. It is only when the individual has become fully attuned to, and in a sense identified with the vast planetary and cosmic rhythms of the universe, and thus free from emotional and group tensions, that he can act serenely and at peace along "circular paths."
At this last stage of the thirty-ninth sequence of five symbols we find an abstract image which can be interpreted in a positive or negative manner. We deal with repetitive activity; but that activity may either bind or free the consciousness of the actor. It can mean BOREDOM or TRANSPERSONAL PEACE in action.
An Astrological Mandala