INDIVIDUAL, COLLECTIVE, CREATIVE
AND THE CYCLIC PROCESS
At the close of the last chapter we referred to the Yi King of ancient China and to its "Formula of Change" based on the interplay of the two cosmic polarities Yang and Yin. As already mentioned, such a formula is of special interest to us because it had obvious astrological origins. Moreover it is a characteristic expression of a philosophy of time, such as we postulated in a previous chapter as the necessary background for any consistent and valid astrological thought. Astrology is philosophically meaningless unless it rests on a thorough understanding of cycles and of the creative potency of every moment especially those "seed-moments" which become such by reason of their being the points of departure of cycles. The "Formula of Change" of the Yi King is a cyclic formula, which purports to determine symbolically the universal and essential structure of all cycles; better still, of the Cycle or of cyclicity. As all life-processes are cyclic in essence, if not in outer appearance such a formula becomes the basic law of all life-processes. Thus a truly universal synthesis of being and becoming is reached a synthesis probably grander and more absolute, in its symbolical applicability, than that contemplated by Einstein through his "unified field theory" reducing all natural phenomena to a simple law.
The Chinese formula is not unique in the history of human thought. We shall see presently that the old Hindu civilization also had conceived a universal synthesis of knowledge which could be expressed in terms of a cyclic formula defining the universal life-process whose poles are being and becoming. And we claim that the new civilization, now slowly in the making, will also evolve such a formula on a new basis of life-analysis and at a new level of mental functioning.
The discussion of such matters obviously goes far beyond the scope of this book; and yet we find ourselves obliged to outline them briefly, because the values on which the new formula of the cycle is based are in our estimation the very factors upon which our classification and interpretation of astrological elements will depend. The old Chinese dualism of cosmic polarities does not suffice to interpret our modern approach to being and becoming. As already said, humanity is establishing its consciousness, slowly but steadily, at a new mental level; and therefore it contemplates the universal life-process from another point of vantage. New values must therefore be determined: values which do not, however, negate either the old Chinese or Hindu ones, but which complement and supplement them Western values, which presumably will flower upon the American continent, the seat of an emerging civilization.
In outlining the new cyclic formula we shall have merely to state ideas, rather than discuss them in relation to other more traditional points of view. Our aim is not to write a philosophical treatise, but merely to establish a philosophical background to astrology. The new philosophy of Time, or of the Cycle, is yet to be written. The following will be a mere suggestion of its existence and a mere sketch of those of its aspects which refer more especially to psychology and astrology.
The Cycle: from Seed to Seed
Every cycle can be interpreted structurally as being composed of beginning, middle and end. These three terms, however, are to be understood in a metaphysical sense rather than in the sense of values of time. They represent three essential factors or principles which constitute in their trinity the wholeness of the cycle. The simplest way of approaching a complex subject will be to examine successively each of these three terms and to determine what it refers to, in a general sense.
Beginning. The beginning of every cycle is a One: a monad. By definition we shall say that a monad is the initial point of emanation of any life-cycle. It is the germinating seed, or that point within the seed whence arise root and stem. The beginning of the cycle is the moment of unity, the moment which reveals the actual presence of the One. Absolute unity is a postulate, a desideratum, an abstract goal, a metaphysical concept. It is incompatible with life or manifestation. But the One-that-is-in-the beginning is a representation of this abstract and metaphysical unity an avatar thereof. Unity can be reached in consciousness by devotion to this One the Father-Mother of the whole cycle. Devotion is concentration upon the One as if this One existed.
Actually the One does no longer "exist" as a manifested Father; but the One is as a psychological reality in the memory of those of His sons who become the bearers of His integrative power the hypostases, or avatars, of this power. This power is Tao, and, in another sense, it is the AUM of the Hindus. It is the integrative power which is Life itself; and which alone makes possible the process of integration or individuation spoken of in our last chapter. In the human physiological organism this power is that of blood-circulation rooted in the heart; in the human psyche this power is less well defined, for the psyche is in most persons far from being as yet an "organism." But it is the power which may be called the will to wholeness or the will to sanity and health, with which the psychologist must deal if his analysis is to lead the patient to psychological health and eventually to individuation.
He, therefore, who worships the One as a form or entity, as the All-Father, worships actually a memory, the most primordial of all "primordial images." This worship keeps the memory alive and offers channels through which the energy of this One can flow. The One is no longer there, just as the seed is no longer existent in the growing tree. But the power of growth that was in the seed is active throughout the cycle of the plant's manifestation. This power is an integrative force which constantly "bears witness" to the one Seed.
In other words, once the period of germination is ended, the seed disappears, having sacrificed itself so that the plant might be. But the energy that was in the seed keeps operating. It is the power of operative wholeness. The One, having ceased to be a manifested entity, has now become a process.
Middle. This "process" is the fundamental reality of the "middle" of the cycle. By the term "middle," however, must be understood the whole of the becoming: The entire series of moments that occur between the initial moment of emanation and the final moment of consummation. These two moments (of emanation and consummation) are in a sense unique; they constitute the alpha and the omega of manifestation or rather they represent the two aspects of being, the two aspects of the One. As D. H. Lawrence once wrote in an inspired article, they are the God-of-the-beginning and the God-of-the-end. In The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky refers to these two "Gods" that are one in essense respectively as the Root-Manu and the Seed-Manu. Outside of them, all else belongs to the process of change, to the flux of becoming; that is, to that which men today call "life" the series of activities which constitute living.
However, throughout this process of change a power of integration is more or less evident: a power that gives cohesion and direction to the multitudinous transformations of the becoming. This power is the energy of the Father, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. It is the Life-force that integrates all the multiplicity of parts into organic wholes. It is the power of "holism."
End. The moment of consummation of the cycle is a moment of concentration, conclusion and in-gathering of the fruits of the process of manifestation. It is the "Day-Be-with-Us" of the occultists, the Seventh-Day. As this moment of consummation is reached, all the forces which were the differentiated streams which issued from the Original Source (or Monad) and which animated the many Sons of the one Father, become gathered in a vortex of power and light which constitutes the creative reality of the God-of-the-end creative, because this God will become in turn, by imaging Himself forth, the Creator of the new Cycle's "archetypes" or generic Forms.
Though such a characterization of the three basic terms of the Cycle is most incomplete, it will at any rate help us to define the three fundamental world-viewpoints which gave and are to give rise to three equally fundamental formulas of being and becoming. Each world-viewpoint and its formula emphasizes one of the three terms of the Cycle an emphasis which of course does not negate the other two terms but which either leaves them in the background or gives to them a more or less subaltern, or negative, or illusory valuation. The two first types of emphasis, stressing the "beginning" and the "middle" of the Cycle the original One and the process of becoming are well known to mankind. The former is typical of the old Hindu civilization, and of all religious and spiritual movements which are, more or less dependent upon the old Aryan tradition. The latter received a characteristic formulation in the old Chinese civilization, and is also exemplified by the largest part of the philosophical-psychological and scientific thought of the twentieth century. A third type of emphasis stressing the value of consummation and the end-term of the Cycle is slowly emerging from the general body of modern thought. It is such a type of emphasis that we shall attempt to characterize in a new cyclic formula.
The Aryan-Hindu Formula
India represents typically (but of course not exclusively) the attitude of devotion; that is, the dependence upon the One-that-is-in-the-beginning. It stresses in many ways the First Principle, the alpha of evolution and the yearning toward absolute Unity. The fact that there existed in India a universal synthesis of knowledge is not always recognized; but it can be discovered in the great days of the old Aryavarta, of Aryan civilization, underneath the many accretions and perversions which have marred the pure beauty and simplicity of the ancient system, long antedating Buddhism just as the Yi King long antedated Confucianism. This system seems to have been recovered, in part at least, in a somewhat mysterious way, by Bhagavan Das, and we refer the student to his great work, the Pranava Veda.
India's integration, being based on the original One, is essentially hierarchical much more so than China's, which is equilibrative. All activity and knowledge are seen in their root-relationship to the triune One, which is the AUM, the world-process derived from the absolute unknowable and incomprehensible Unity. In AUM, A stands for the universal monad, U for the world of illusion, M for the relation between both. This relation is a relation of negation. For the old Hindu wisdom, based on the One, denies the Many except as a shadowy objectivication of this One.
Thus the formula of the world-process is given as: "The Self is not the Not-Self." The formula of knowledge is that the object (Not-Self) must be known so that the subject (Self) realizes by seeing the illusory character thereof that there is nothing but the subject. The integration is reached by denial and renunciation. The world-process is seen as an illusion (maya). The personality and change are illusions; and at the end of the cycle, the original One finds himself again what he originally was uncorrupted by change. What has he gained through the process of change? This that he now knows consciously that "I am that I am." Thus consciousness is the end of the process, but a consciousness which identifies itself completely with the subject and withdraws from the object all reality. However, all fire leaves ashes; and so a new cycle is necessary to reincorporate these ashes into a new living and growing tree. Thus the world-process goes on endlessly through incarnation after incarnation of the same Self. Time becomes thus the fatality of being the warp and woof of karma and of misery.
This basic attitude to life follows necessarily a strong emphasis upon the One-that-is-in-the-beginning. For this One, the "process" of the middle cycle means dismemberment, tragedy or sacrifice. The end means return to the integrity of the beginning. Thus the AUM: which is to be repeated in succession; for the M is cessation, deliverance. But it brings again rebirth. And the true AUM is the inaudible one; truth residing in withdrawal and abstraction. A and U are also sounded as 0 to show that the distinction between self and not-self is a mere concept, an illusion. Thus OM is the integrated tone the simplest vocal sound: exhaling of air and closing of lips. A true symbol of the One without a second.
The synthesis of universal knowledge and activity followed upon such concepts. Out of the OM emanated the Gayatri, the sacred invocation to the Sun and the unity of all life. From the Gayatri, and some other basic mantrams, issued forth the four Vedas; from the Vedas came the Vedantas; from those, representing the basic sciences of the self, originated the six schools of Hindu philosophy, synthesized at last in the secret seventh Atma-Vidya the consciousness of the "end," leading to the re-utterance of the AUM in a universal way. All of this is but a most sketchy outline of one of the basic systems of consciousness of mankind, a system which is still the foundation of most religions and of most types of occult philosophies.
The Chinese Formula
This system is of course fundamentally different from the Chinese system, which emphasizes the reality of the "process" and the dualism involved therein. Yang and Yin, the two cosmic polarities, are seen in their cyclic interplay. Time is no longer the fatality that forces the spirit into reincarnation, but is the basic reality of the process of change. All life is a ritual of change, a drama picturing the related activities of Yang and Yin, and featuring their successive permutations. These permutations are symbolized geometrically, first in a threefold scheme of archetypal manifestation (for every relation between two elements involves action, reaction and interaction); then in a six-fold realm of activity, which is the realm of actual drama or outer performance. Thus 64 hexagrams are formed, representing all the possible phases of interaction between the two principles in the six-fold realm of activity. These hexagrams are then distributed in a circle, very much as the signs of the zodiac in modern astrology.
What this cyclic series of hexagrams represents is the universal drama of life, the cosmic pattern of all activity and of all reaction to activity (which is what we call knowledge). More specifically, it stands as the graph of the changing relationship of Sun to Earth during the cycle of the year. But this relationship, which curves along the path of the Earth's orbit, is in fact the very origin of the vital principle in everything. Life does not come from the Sun. Life is the result of the enacted relationship between Sun and Earth, between energy and substance, between Light and Darkness.
At the summer solstice, Yang dominates; at the winter solstice, Yin; at the equinoxes, they are in a state of dynamic equilibrium. But in the Fall, Yin increases; while in the Spring, Yang increases and Yin decreases in intensity. Thus four crucial points, the Cross of activity, the Four Acts of the drama which a Fifth Act may, or may not, synthesize. This Fifth Act is the "Quintessence," of alchemical lore. It is the Fifth Limb the house of the Creative, whether above or below. It is the sacred place where dwells Tao, the Great Meaning, the apex of the pyramid based on the four crucial points of the year, the Symbol of all symbols. Tao is the solution of all conflicts; and therefore it is not a thing or even an essence, but a process. It is the Process in the Head; the going of the Initiate up the steps that lead to the top of the pyramid a flat top, originally, for the apex itself could only be the mystic Fire rising from the exalted altar; the altar where the Four Errors (which are really limited viewpoints) are burnt and are solved, resolved, integrated into the One Meaning.
This One Meaning, resolving all conflicts by equilibrating and transcending them, is embodied in the Chinese Emperor. He is the neutral point where all cosmic energies are balanced, the Great Empty, the hub of the wheel. This, within the State. But, for the mystic, there was potentially in every man an "imperial palace." There, within the head, Tao reached completion as a process, the process of "circulation of the Light," and the "Diamond Body" was born the Emperor: the God-of-the-end, the Light-Seed.
The word Tao can be symbolically analyzed so that each of its three letters refers to one term of the Cycle. A refers to the One-that-is-in-the-beginning, the monad; 0 connotes the ultimate consummation which in man means integrated Personality centered around the Self (and not only the merely conscious ego) and, at a later stage of abstraction, the quintessence of Selfhood; and T stands for the world-process of change in man, for that state of being which is a continual flux of thoughts, feelings, intuitions and sensations; the state of the evolving ever-changing personality. The letter T came first, in this sacred word of China, because Chinese civilization emphasized the element of "process"; and the letter T, in universal symbology, signifies the life-power that flows through the process of becoming, the power born of the "crucifixion" of the One into the realm of duality. However, this life-power, when controlled by man in equilibrium of action, becomes the energy that leads inward along the "Conscious way" which is Tao.
Thus the goal of the Sage was to equilibrate within himself the opposite polarities, to reach a point of balance from which all conflicts could be symbolically resolved through objectivizing and transcending them, and to draw within the creative center of his ultimate selfhood the quintessence of the entire process of change so as to build therewith the spiritual vehicle for a relative type of individual immortality as one of the true "Celestials" i.e., as the spiritual manifestation of one of the archetypal Principles within the realm of Universals.
The "New World" Formula
Thus the Chinese and the Hindu Weltanschauungen, or world-viewpoints. We claim that a third type of universal integration is possible, which would emphasize neither the One-in-the-beginning, nor the "process" which we call "life" but the ultimate sum total, the consummation, the ingathering of all elements within the "circle of wholeness." Such a system would obviously integrate some of the features of the Chinese and the Hindu typical philosophies. It would, moreover, incorporate the particular stress laid by Christianity upon "personality" and the process of crucifixion a stress seemingly absent from the Chinese system. Finally, it would have to give hospitality to the new scientific mentality, insofar as it involves a critical and analytical approach to the world of natural phenomena, and an attempt at thus deepening the understanding of the process of change.
Such a system, such an attitude to life, is slowly in the making under our very eyes. It lacks only some basic coordinating factors, a larger vision free from European bias, a truly esthetical and creative temperament and a collective spiritual impulsion which even now may be gathering its momentum out of the collapse of the old European civilization. To the building of such a new world-viewpoint pioneers in practically all spheres of human activity are contributing. Perhaps the term "Holism" is as good as any to characterize this new attitude to life, if the meaning of the term is broadened beyond General Smuts' definition. We have used the phrase "philosophy of operative wholeness." We defined in our last chapter the truly "esthetical" approach to life and its relation to the new psychology, especially as formulated by Jung. We touched in an earlier chapter upon the new attitude of science, whose findings will do perhaps more than any other factor toward establishing the new philosophy of living and being. We must mention not only those movements in the field of social organization, politics and jurisprudence which stammer the first sentences of the new human language, but above all, the momentous pressure of economic factors, the influence of our machines and our technology, which will be the practical determining factor of material changes.
Then, there is the new religious consciousness and the power of movements which deal with occultism and mysticism even spiritualism. In Alice A. Bailey's books the characteristics of the new type of consciousness, emerging here and there everywhere, and the broadest implications of the idea of group-work on a worldwide basis, are stated with unimpeachable clarity. Her study of the activities of what she calls the New Group of World-Servers, even though made on the basis of occult ideas which may disconcert not a few, is a masterly expression of a vision which encompasses the whole of mankind.
What is needed, however, is a simple symbolic presentation of life-principles such as we find in the old Yi King: a general formula which relates, centers and crystallizes all the new ideas and ideals; which brings to formulation in a new and significant manner the basic forces which in every field seek a new type of adjustment. Realizing the apparent magnitude of the task, it would seem presumptuous even to attempt it. Yet what is more simple than the basic principles of the Yi King? Our civilization is overburdened with complexities. What it needs is a few simple and synthesizing ideas, which at last can structurally coordinate the bewildering maze of our intellectual knowledge. It needs one, or a few, significant symbols to integrate the whole mass of materials, data and sciences which are crowding our encyclopedias. Can such be found, at this present moment? It is hard to say. But we may at any rate contribute a suggestion toward the eventual solution. On the other hand, the following concepts will be of essential value to us in determining the bases of astrological symbolism. And let us not forget, astrological symbolism, as symbolism, may yet play a most important part in making concrete and intelligible some of the deepest ideas involved in the philosophy of the new civilization.
Individual and Collective
All manifestations of life can be seen to involve a dualism of elements or tendencies. Where the Chinese spoke of Yang and Yin we shall use the terms: "individual" and "collective"; and we shall presently see that this dualism is resolved through the operation of a third principle: the "creative." The words themselves, of course, are not new. They have been used especially in psychology and in relation to social organization, politics and even, of late, have been implied in the recent theories of modern physics (especially in the dualism of "particle" and "wave"). What, however, has not yet been done as far as we know is to use these basic concepts in an attempt at integrating the whole of human knowledge and at offering a consistent interpretation of being and becoming. Again, we must repeat that we are here barely suggesting how such an attempt could be made, and this in order to establish our reinterpretation of astrological symbols on a foundation truly all-inclusive in its scope.
The philosophy of Holism, to which General Smuts gave a most interesting though not by any means complete formulation, will help us greatly in showing how the evolutionary life-process and its contributive factors can be re-interpreted in a way that is true to the spirit of the future civilization. Whole and parts are presented as the two terms of the life-process. And the introduction of these two terms as cosmic ultimates is a tremendous step even though General Smuts appears somewhat shy of truly metaphysical and cosmic generalizations. However, he characterizes the nature of the World-process thus:
"This is a universe of whole-making. . . The ultimate reality of the universe is neither matter nor spirit but wholes. . . Holism as an active creative process means the movement of the universe towards ever more and deeper wholeness. This is the essential process, and all organic and psychic activities and relations have to be understood as elements and forms of this process. . . The rise and self-protection of wholes in the Whole is the slow but unerring process and goal of this Holistic universe." (Holism and Evolution, 1926)
Such a picture, when completed by the idea that soul or self must be understood as the wholeness of the wholes (cf. Chapter 2), constitutes a revolutionary revaluation of man's attitude to life. The dualism of spirit and matter, which was another form of physiological dualism, as it meant originally that of motion and inertia, is replaced by that of wholeness and parts. And the unity of the process is stressed in that "Holism is a process of creative synthesis . . . the movement of the universe towards ever more and deeper wholeness."
We cannot here thoroughly discuss the metaphysical implications and some of the metaphysical weaknesses of the picture General Smuts presents. All that we may say is that in such an idea of infinite progression, apparently from chaos to perfect wholeness, as well as in the opposite idea, held by many contemporary scientists, of a universe running down to a neutral level, we find lacking a conception of the cyclic nature of time, and of the relation of time to wholeness. We do not see how a formula of universal integration can have real validity unless it is cyclic unless the beginning and the end, as it were, meet; and that point of meeting can be considered as absolute and timeless the Eternal Now.
In other words: 1) the life-process is not a mere progression 2) it involves two complementary motions which, seen separately, operate in opposite directions; yet which can be integrated into a third term. This term is not a motion. There is no progress involved in it.
The first motion can be termed "individuation" provided the word is taken in a much more general sense than the one given to it by Jung.
The second motion can be termed "collectivation."
The third term is "the creative." The crux of the whole matter lies in the correct understanding of this third term. To grasp the somewhat difficult significance of it, we shall have to see how the two motions which it synthesizes and equilibrates operate.
Individuation. This is the process through which elements, which are relatively unrelated (absolute unrelatedness being inconceivable), gather or are gathered together and constitute a whole. So defined, the term is synonymous with "integration."
Collectivation. This is the process through which characteristic features, faculties or energies which had been acquired by individuals as individuals become by direct or indirect transmission the property of groups.
In order to grasp these definitions clearly it will be necessary to analyze the two concepts philosophically individual and collective and thus to get a well-defined picture of what these terms, often loosely used, signify.
An individual is an entity in which are integrated in a unique manner a number of elements. These elements are inherited from the linear ancestors of that individual, or assimilated by him in one way or another since he began to exist in a state of relative independence. What constitutes individual-hood is the fact that the manner in which those inherited and assimilated elements are combined is unique.
This uniqueness, however, may not be absolute. It may be relative to a certain fortuitous grouping of entities, or to the possession of characteristics fortuitously singled out. For instance, if in the midst of a group of fish going in one direction in the stream, you see one fish swimming in the opposite direction, this fish acts as an individual. His behavior has a characteristic which is unique. If three fishes behave in one way and thousands of fishes behave in another, the three fishes still can be said to have relatively individual behavior. Yet considered as entities in themselves, they are probably fish just in the same way as the other fishes; and thus cannot be said to be "individuals."
Then, if you look at a brick wall, you may say that all the bricks are alike. Yet you may say that they hold individual places, for each brick, in terms of the fact that it occupies one definite place, is unique. No two bricks occupy the same place.
On the other hand, the word "collective" refers to aggregates which, at least relatively speaking, have no uniquely defined characteristics or basis in time and space; or to attributes which are found to be possessed in common by many entities. Blue eyes are collective factors; but the eyes of my friend Mr. X. are individual for they are unique and one of the characteristics of the unique constellation of human factors which is known as Mr. X. In other words, the relation between individual and collective is somewhat analogous to that between particular and universal; only the word "universal" has various connotations and an etymological sense which are beside the point which we are making now. It must be added also that the strict meaning of individual and collective varies according to the type of entities to which they are applied. The general meaning, however, remains the same.
Every living entity can be said to possess both individual and collective elements. As with any basic dualism of principles, the two are never separated. What counts and what can be measured is the relative proportion in which the two coexist. In the Chinese yearly cycle of transformation no day was found in which either Yang or Yin was not operating. But as Yang increased in potency, Yin decreased; and vice versa. Likewise from the standpoint of Holism there is no whole that cannot be considered as part of a greater whole (at least potentially), and no part which is not the whole for lesser parts of which it is the sum total and synthesis.
As we deal with complex beings, with organisms which hold together myriads of cells and lives by means of a more or less well-defined structural arrangement, we find ourselves confronted with the necessity of using the terms individual and collective as adjectives qualifying the constituent elements of these complex wholes. Individual and collective are forever qualifying everything that is. Everything that is forever pulled by the two mighty powers toward the individual qualification or toward the collective qualification. This is the great universal drama of being.
It is naturally in man that the drama is the most significant and the most complete to men at least. Thus, by watching it operate within our total being, we shall be better able to see it operate in simpler or in more grandiose ways, in atoms or galaxies.
The Formula of Cyclic Transformation
The following cyclic formula is evidently but the simplest kind of framework, which has to be supplemented in every particular case by a much more complete one; but it parallels the equally simple Yang-Yin formula of China, and we claim that it has the same universal validity. Its value lies in that it gives us a new perspective on psychological factors (conscious and unconscious) and enables us to interpret all life-processes at the psycho-mental level.
We begin the cycle with the individual, that is, with a unique entity wherein are integrated a number of collective elements. From this individual emanate, through an operation which we shall study presently, new elements which are the exteriorization of his individual selfhood.
These elements, once released by the individual, become collective elements. They register upon the minds of other individuals who may or may not assimilate them; they become the common property of all men. Such collective elements, emanated by individuals, are all added to the store of collective experience and collective knowledge. They accumulate and constitute the racial-memory, out of which emerges a culture, or in general, civilization.
Civilization, in its highest sense (and not as pictured by Spengler who sees only its shadow), is really a process. It is the process of integration of collective elements. Each generation of men pushes the process a step further, insofar as individuals within this generation emanate out of their own individual selfhood new elements. Civilization, as a process, culminates in the formation of what mystics have called the "Holy City," the "New Jerusalem" and in one sense, at least, the "White Lodge." That is to say, it ends in the building of an individual formation or entity at the psycho-mental level which we can call, with H. P. Blavatsky, the "Seed-Manu." It is the seed of the psycho-mental plant of civilization.
This seed, as a psycho-mental and, in a sense, cosmic Individual, emanates at the beginning of a new cycle collective elements. These collective elements constitute the "primordial images of the unconscious" of which Jung speaks. Also they are the "primeval revelation" of theosophy, the "sum total of innate ideas" of other philosophical systems. These, combining with a new earth, or generally speaking new substantial materials, constitute in turn the archetypal structures ("the astral selves") of a new race-type. Out of the matrix, which this new race-type constitutes, will emerge, by the process of evolution or individuation, individuals. And the cycle begins again.
The phase of the cyclic process during which the individual emanates elements which become the collective psycho-mental "stuff" of civilization is the phase of collectivation. The phase during which this "stuff" becomes integrated into the "Seed-Manu" or "Holy City" is the phase of individuation. It reproduces on a larger scale the process following which a particular man integrates all the psycho-mental energies of his being and becomes "individuated," in Jung's sense of the term. A similar process is that which modern science calls "evolution" from the amoeba to man; but instead of this process being a straight progressing line, it is cyclic.
What is liable to confuse the reader is the simultaneous development of man as a species and of a multitude of men as relatively individuated personalities. We must therefore distinguish between generic man and personal man, between the "lesser individual" and the "Greater Individual." Generic man is the emanated image (or "shadow") of the "Seed-Manu" of the preceding cosmic cycle; and this Seed-Manu represents the "Greater Individual" who is an "emergent Whole" made up of the quintessence of "lesser individuals" viz., human personalities. This "Greater Individual" of the end of the cycle manifests as the "Creator" of the beginning of the cycle. He "creates" a new species: his own image. Thus "God" created man in his own image; but "God" is the individuated sum total of all collective psycho-mental elements emanated by the individuals of the preceding cycle. Individuals among men today are emanating "ideas" and "energies" which, once individuated at some distant time into the end-synthesis of all human civilizations, will be the "God" that will "create" some new species of "men" at the beginning of the future cosmic cycle on Earth (or perhaps elsewhere).
We must not forget, however, that generic man, being thus the creation or emanation of the "Greater Individual," is originally a mass of collective elements. Generic man is not an individual, but the matrix out of which the individual will arise after a long process of individuation. Still more important perhaps, we must realize that this process takes place, first at the physiological, and then at the psycho-mental level. Thus ancient mythologies speak of several "Creations"; thus The Secret Doctrine mentions first the projection of the "astral shadows" (i.e., the archetypal forms) of men, then that of the "sparks of Mind" the nuclei whence germinates and develops man's psycho-mental being. The two are one, in a sense, but they operate at different levels of being and by organizing a different kind of "substance."
Without entering into the discussion of difficult points of "occult" cosmogony, we can say, however, that no creation is born out of, or emanated by, its creator, as an individual it is born only with a potentiality (more or less compelling) of individual selfhood. Thus we have to differentiate in every man between race-self and (potential or fulfilled) individual-self. The former is collective in nature; the latter, individual. In other words the generic type of man (homo sapiens) reaches first a certain point of crystallization, which is generic individuation; then the process of personal integration begins from such a generic foundation.
Generic individuation is a process affecting the sum total of human beings which belong to a more or less clearly determined group. It operates by gathering together in a definite geographical environment human beings which have been projected (as "emigrants") out of several relatively individuated groups and thus have become, from the race's standpoint, "collective elements." These collective elements of various descriptions become slowly homogenized. That which homogenizes them into a generic type (or later "culture") is a series of common experiences and the common assimilation of certain ideas and "creations" emanated by the creative individuals of the group. And by the terms "creative individuals" we do not mean only "creative artists." Anyone who has a new idea and discovers a new significance in any experience, or relates together certain facts of experience in a new, and especially in a symbolic way is a creator. As what he has thus created is assimilated by several men of his group, a new step is taken toward group-integration or generic individuation.
Our bodies have been built, and their type and functions set, just in this way but through millions of years of generic individuation. The common inheritance of mankind has accumulated for thousands of millennia. This common inheritance is the "collective unconscious" formulated by Jung. It has tremendous formative power. And its formations set the generic type both of our bodies and our psyches. But, let us not forget, these energies-formations of the collective unconscious are not only the result of the assimilation of the "lesser individuals'" creations (as above defined); they are also connected causally with those "primordial images" or "innate ideas" which emanated at the beginning of the cycle of our present humanity from the "Greater Individual," the "Seed-Manu" of the preceding cycle.
Again, what makes matters rather complex is that individuation and collectivation operate at various levels and dovetail into each other. But if we grasp the following formula, an Ariadne thread may lead us safely through the labyrinth of the cyclic life-process: this life process is from collective to collective through the individual. But we might also say: from any level of individuation to next higher level through the creative. The first formulation is from the standpoint of substance; the second, from that of spirit, or unity.
If we take the formulation according to spirit, we have the cyclic formula mentioned at the beginning of this chapter; beginning-middle-end; or God-of-the-beginning the dualistic life-process God-of-the-end; or Seed-plant-seed; or monad-personality-Self, psychologically speaking. Using the alpha and omega symbolism, we could symbolize the formula by the word amo, which means in Latin "I love." Comparing it to the Latin Amen, the Sanskrit Aum and the Chinese Omi, may prove interesting to the student of symbolism. According to our present alphabet, the symbolic formation ought to be Amz; M stands for the collective which is of course analogical to the mother-element ma, and the sea (mar in Latin); A and Z represent the two stages of the Seed or the Individual, the initial and the culminal or synthetic. A stands psychologically for the monad; M for the personality (in our sense of the term, the equivalent of the Sanskrit manas); Z for what we call, with Jung, the Self (in Sanskrit Sva; S being the Sanskrit equivalent for Z; a root found with slight difference in practically all Indo-European languages).
If we accept, however, the formula: from collective to collective through the individual, we posit as primordial the world-process of change, the vast sea of cosmic elements, forming into more or less individual wholes which break again into parts. The individual is then merely the momentary flowering of a process, the crest of the waves of an ever restless ocean.
Quality, Structure and Substance
Collective elements (whether cosmic or human) represent always the pole of substance, as opposed to the individual which stands for spirit. As there are elements of all kinds and at all levels of being, substance may be of many types. Thus we speak of physical and of psycho-mental substance. Substance is the result of the process of collectivation (whether as disintegration or as creation). The substance which results from disintegration is the humus made of decaying leaves which will provide the new Spring vegetation with chemicals. The substance which results from creation is symbolically of the nature of the seed-substance.
In her exceedingly valuable book, attempting to effect a reconciliation between Oriental and occidental psychologies, Alice Bailey writes: "The keyword 'substance' with its suggestion of materiality is a misnomer. It is helpful, however, to reduce this word to its Latin roots: 'sub' under, and 'stare' to stand. So substance is that which stands underneath, or underlies." Substance, in its philosophical sense, means substratum. It is defined in Webster's dictionary as "That which underlies all outward manifestations; that in which properties inhere." On philosophical grounds of logical consistency we have to postulate a "psychomental substance" as a substratum to the psycho-mental activities of spirit (or in man, the individual "quality" which is his spiritual reality). Every realm of manifestation of spirit must have a corresponding type of substance, spirit and matter being absolutely correlated. Psycho-mental substance may be considered an emanation, and a refined product of physical substance. Or it may be that physical substance is the condensation of a universal "mindstuff."
If such an argument is to be dismissed because of its being "metaphysical" and not based on experience, then let us dismiss all the new atomic physics. The ether, or the curvature of space, or electrons and photons, are all postulated as the substrata of recorded activities. The activities are recorded, but no eye may ever see the ether, or the electron, and still less "curved space."
There is as much evidence, in fact much more, for the existence of a "psycho-mental" substance as there is for the existence of electrons, which are only logical necessities. Besides, any concept of survival of consciousness, or immortality a concept which Jung considers a normal requirement for psychological health requires of course a psycho-mental substance. For once physical substance is gone; there must obviously be some other kind to serve as a substratum for the consciousness. If this is denied, then the denial is merely a quibbling over words, and an archaic attachment of the consciousness to the "primordial image" of a tangible substance.
It must be added, however, that the question whether or not such a postulated psycho-mental substance can be actually experienced by man depends on whether or not man is susceptible of developing super-physical senses, or organs of direct perception. Even if he cannot, there is such a thing as "inferential evidence."
In opposition to substance, what we call "quality" represents the spiritual identity of the living whole. In our discussion of the philosophy of time in Chapter 2 and at the beginning of Chapter 3 we saw that every moment of time is creative of a particular quality which is, figuratively, stamped upon any whole reaching the condition of independent existence at that moment. The quality of the moment and the quality of the wholeness of the whole are identical. This quality as it is projected out of time, so to speak, is the monad of the particular whole considered. It is the One-in-the-beginning. It represents the individual pole.
Quality, or monad, may refer to a species, or to a single human person. It should be evident from what was said previously that at the physiological level quality is generic, not personal. In other words, physiologically speaking, there is but one monad for the whole of mankind, just as there is only one monad for the cat or the dog species or genus. Individual-hood resides in the species or sub-species, not in the particular specimen thereof, a particular cat or a particular dog. There are, however, an infinite number of gradations. Individualization, the becoming different from the norm, has some place at the physiological level. But, and this is the important point, only insofar as it provides a basis for (substantial viewpoint), or is the expression of (spiritual viewpoint), psycho-mental factors.
What might be better to say is that physiological individuation is of a lower order than psycho-mental individuation. The former represents a collective, the latter, an individual emphasis. This will be clear if we remember that the beginning of the cycle of humanity (of any cycle, in fact) is a creative act releasing collective elements, which have only the potentiality of individual selfhood. To repeat ourselves: The Seed-being of the end of the preceding cycle emanates creatively at the beginning of the human cycle a prototypal form (or structure). This form, plus the energy with which it is endowed, is the exteriorization of the quality or Idea which, within the Seed-being, conditioned the creative act. This quality is the monad of the genus homo; the noumenon archetype thereof. It is exteriorized in the creative act as both energy and structure. The structure remains unchanging, as the blueprint does during a building operation. But the energy undergoes a process of differentiation and transformation; that is to say, the money (social energy) put aside for the building at the beginning of the operations becomes wood, brick, plumbing and the salary of the builders.
In other words, the idea of the building is the archetype. It conditions the building-operations the creative act. The latter involves the exteriorization of the "idea of the building" as a blueprint; and also the release of a sum of money-energy to pay for the construction. When the building-operations are completed, the blueprint has become substantialized into a concrete body. The energy has become transformed into work and the gathering of materials; but as the building (let us say an apartment-house) is rented, the money expended in building it will, at the end of the cycle of business, return to its source, with a profit (if everything goes well!).
This illustration shows that the "creative act" releases collective elements (that is, money a strictly collective value), but with the potentiality of individuality (the blueprint, as an exteriorization of the "idea"). The finished apartment-house will have a certain amount of generic selfhood. It will have a certain quality, in terms of the amount of money (energy) expended as well as of its structure. It will thus call to itself a certain class of people as tenants. These tenants, by living together and interacting, will (if we are allowed to force a point) build up a community of interests, of thoughts and behavior which might be described as the psycho-mental entity of the apartment-house. Within the generic structure of the house will develop a psycho-mental individual structure. The latter will of course be molded somewhat by the former. Yet this house-structure will have been "created" by the owner-architect with a view to attracting by special features a certain class of people.
If you would add that the owner-architect may be a co-operative group of persons building the house in order to live in it, you might have a more complete picture, from the spiritual point of view. That co-operative group represents now the Seed-being of the preceding cycle. It is its own energy-money which is being spent for the house in which, as a group, it will live, and from which it will draw new benefits and a further sense of integration. The house can be said to be built during the summer time, when the co-operative group is having a vacation from the city; or perhaps the whole group is living still in another city, while the house in the new city is being built. The fact is, at any rate, that the group does not move into the house, as tenants, until it is completed even though minor alterations and the interior furnishing of the several apartments follow their taking possession of the apartments.
The illustration is obviously only an illustration, not to be taken too literally; but it may help to focalize (we hope not crystallize) some of the abstract ideas previously stated. We may pursue it further by considering the behavior of the co-operative group as tenants. The structure of the house, i.e., the way apartments are laid out, determines a great many of their daily activities, such as going from bed to bath, and from bath to breakfast room, etc. These activities are unconscious: they depend on the generic structure of the house. They are powerful and set, determined by unchangeable structure, by "primordial images," that is, by the original blueprint of the house (prototype of genus homo) which in turn was the exteriorization of the "idea" of the building, which again was conditioned by the former habits, consciousness and wealth of the co-operative group projecting this "idea." In other words, they are the end-results of a very, very long past.
On the other hand, the type of thinking which the men do at desks in their studies and all the emotional activities that go on between the tenants in their respective apartments, or as they visit one another, are not very much bound or conditioned by the plan of the house. Many different things can be done in the living room or in the studio from making love to serving tea and playing bridge, or having a recital. The more psychological and conscious activities of the tenants are relatively free from the house-structure; whereas their physiological and quasi-unconscious movements are more regulated thereby.
The illustration becomes quite awkward at this point; but it may still serve some purpose. What it attempts to convey is the difference between permanent structures which are generic, in man, and impermanent structures which are more personal. The former refer to the unconscious; the latter to the conscious. The generic is the collective inasmuch as it represents features and attributes which are the common properties of the many. On the other hand, these generic features can be traced, not only to common experiences and reactions under the same prolonged geographical and environmental conditions (as Jung claims, being a modern scientist); but must be said, from the spiritual viewpoint, to have their origin in the creative act of a "Greater Individual," the "God-of-the-end" of the preceding cycle.
Thus "generic unconscious" would be a better term insofar as elements involving basic common structures are concerned, such as "primordial images." On the other hand, the term "collective unconscious" would mean more specifically the results of the process of civilization, on the psycho-mental plane the slow-forming ideals of mankind which, step by step, integrate the souls or minds of all men into the Seed-being of the end of the cycle at the psycho-mental level. "Generic" refers more to that which results from physiological structures common to all men; whereas "collective" applies more strictly to those psycho-mental elements which in the course of human evolution are being released by creative individuals, and, after having been assimilated by many generations, become the common inheritance of all mankind.
Generic and Individual Structures in the Body
Lest we be too severely accused of separating the physiological from the psycho-mental, the body from the psyche, we shall differentiate within the body the individual and the generic structures, and briefly show their relationship, which parallels at the physiological level the psychological relationship between conscious and unconscious upon which Jung's psychological method is founded.
Such a differentiation is of course relative, not absolute. Any part of the body can present features which are characteristics of a particular individual and of no other. All physiological functions are basically generic, yet the total functioning of every body could be described by a formula which would present a certain character of uniqueness. Here we come again upon the fundamental idea that elements are collective, but combining in complex ways each of which is to some extent individual. In any such basic dualism as Yang and Yin, positive and negative, individual and collective we witness always a process of combination of the two polarities. This process may mean a ruthless conflict, or it may mean a harmonious adjustment based on the law of compensation and cyclic permutation.
Considering the dualism of collective and individual, we find a constant shift of emphasis between: 1) faithfulness to the generic type; and 2) stress upon individual variations. Between these two attitudes the pendulum of life swings constantly as a study of past civilizations obviously shows. The swing manifests first in relation to the physiological nature of man. As this body-nature becomes relatively set, and a race-type is produced which exteriorizes in physical bodies the "creative" archetypal "idea" to a degree of relative perfection, the principle of individualization (i.e., the stressing of individual differences) increases in power. Then it is as if "Life" attempted to extract from the smallest individual variations in the generic physiological structure all the possibilities there were to release individuality in another direction, or at another level. For instance, while the structure of the skull was relatively set, racially, there came the possibility of developing brain-convolutions in depth, or inwardly. The brain grew in importance within the relatively set bone-structure: the brain, the medium through which individual differences could be stressed, against the bone-structural conformity to the generic type. Thus the conscious elements, based on the brain and on the cerebrospinal nervous system, became more and more emphasized; while the unconscious elements, based on the ganglions of the sympathetic nervous system (the solar plexus, principally) and the cerebellum, were placed somewhat in the background.
The Great Sympathetic system, with its nerve-plexuses, is essentially the seat of generic physiological behavior (instinct) and of collective unconscious images or impulses. It is the matrix from which or through which the "primordial images" of the unconscious operate. This was stated, as early as 1904 (before Jung's important works), by Edward Carpenter in his book, The Art of Creation (Ch. VI to XI). Carpenter, drawing his information partly at least from South-Indian psychology, describes the progressive formation of race-images through the experience of countless generations, and claims that these race-images become associated with the nerve-plexus governing the related instinctual activities and feelings in the human body. He considers these nerve-plexuses as the sources of great instinctual collective emotions. The Great Sympathetic system is then viewed as "a kind of organ of the Emotions, in something the same way as the Brain is regarded as the organ of Thought." This view has been taken by many psychologists; however, we would use the term "feelings" here rather than "emotions."
As we saw already, feeling-judgments are like instincts, immediate information as to the vital value of a situation or relationship. Feelings in the more or less individualized man are strongly related to thoughts, but they are, just the same, most obvious developments of the collective instincts. Feelings may thus be called individualized instincts. They are individualized in proportion as the cerebro-spinal system dominates the Great Sympathetic; especially as the cerebrum dominates the solar plexus, which is the brain, or center of the Great Sympathetic system and is thus the gate for the "messages" of the collective unconscious and its more or less individualized primordial images.(1)
The cerebro-spinal system and the brain are the seats or organs of the conscious ego the individual factor per se in man. The ego is, according to Jung, "a complex of representations which constitutes the centrum of my field of consciousness and appears to possess a very high degree of continuity and identity. Hence I also speak of an "ego-complex" (Psychological Types). It is defined by S. Radhakrishnan (quoted by Alice Bailey in The Soul and Its Mechanism) as "the psychological unity of that stream of conscious experiencing which constitutes what we know as the inner life of an empirical self."
The ego is the "principle of separateness," symbolized in astrology by Saturn. It is that which says, "I am this particular unique entity and no other." It is the organ of variability from the generic type. It rules over the first phase of the process of individuation. Generally speaking we can divide the process of individuation into two phases: The phase of differentiation during which the potential individual emphasizes his own differences from the generic norm, and the phase of assimilation during which the differentiated individual assimilates the contents of the collective unconscious, very much as the body grows by assimilating the food-stuff provided by the "collective" earth.
These two processes operate to some extent synchronously, but the emphasis upon the one or the other characterizes the "age" of the individual selfhood. The stage of assimilation presupposes an advanced development of the psycho-mental nature of man that is, in fact, a vast collective memory in the human race, the inherited memory of all the achievements of many and varied civilizations.
Here again we find a reason for differentiating between the generic collective factors and those psycho-mental attributes which are the accumulated products of civilization after civilization, and constitute the collective inheritance of later mankind. It may be said, in passing, that the nerve-plexuses of the Great Sympathetic system (and cerebellum) are the gateways or agencies for the influx of generic energies (instincts and the most primordial of "primordial images"); whereas the brain's lobes (which are the cotyledons of that human seed: the head) are potential storehouses for the collective fruits of past civilizations. In other words, what is called in its totality the brain has to be subdivided into two basic sets of parts: those that are (figuratively speaking) storehouses of the past, and those that take out of these storehouses the collective elements, and recombine them into individual formations. A third set may even be mentioned (according to Oriental traditions), which refers to the later stage of individuation and to the final integration of all life-factors. This was called in China "The House of the Creative": and seems to refer to such parts as the pituitary and pineal glands and the Fourth Ventricle and other "cavities." The book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, deals with som of the "occult" processes which are said to occur at the very center of the head and back of the root of the nose. Likewise books on the Hindu Kundalini Yoga.
Kundalini Yoga is a system of integration of collective and individual at the physiological level. At least it was undoubtedly so in archaic times, as part of the Tantrik system, at the time when mankind was hardly functioning at all at the psycho-mental level. Integration could therefore not be a really psychological, and still less a mental process. Yet it was a reality just the same. The energies of the collective (locked in the chakras or centers of the Great Sympathetic system) were progressively assimilated, by means of special breathing exercises and postures, by the center of individual will in man (presumably at the center of the head, or "between the eyebrows"). All the generic energies and instincts of the bodies were drawn to the head and made subject to the individual will of the ego (or perhaps even more, of the monad). This was called the "turn-back process"; the differentiated monadic energies were, as it were, reunified by an act of will.
The more recent type of Kundalini Yoga, since 600 B.C. or later, emphasizes psychological integration of collective elements by the individual ego. But, much still depends upon the physiological factors. This is however, in India, pervaded as yet by the devotional attitude which preserves, by spiritual will and concentration upon absolute unity, the living memory-image of the God-of-the-beginning. But it seems that a new technique of integration is developing (or about to develop in the West in preparation for the "new era") which will throw the almost complete emphasis of the process at the psycho-mental level. In a series of lectures given in student classes by Jung on Kundalini Yoga, an attempt was apparently made to interpret the system strictly as a technique of psychological individuation or as a system of symbolism. In Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, and still more in Alice Bailey's books on meditation and the treatises on Cosmic Fire and White Magic, much invaluable information is given about the new location of the chakras (now connected with the spine, because of the new individual and psycho-mental emphasis); also about new methods of development in what might be called "occult" psychology.
Whether we speak of the oldest form of physiological Tantrika, of the more psychological type of Kundalini Yoga, of the process of individuation in Jung's psychology, or of new forms of meditation used in various "esoteric schools" in every case we are dealing with interpretations and techniques of integration, which usually mean the same thing at different levels: the assimilation of collective elements by the individual, toward the building of the perfect Self, or Soul-body, the "Temple of Solomon," or the "Christ-Body," or the "Diamond-Body." Thus always the process of individuation, the working out of the essential relationship between individual and collective.
This process consists in a gradual shifting of the center of gravity of the human "personality." Kundalini is raised from the lowest sacral plexus (Muladhara chakra) to the center between the eyebrows (Ajna chakra): the seat of the conscious ego. Each chakra represents a stage of the process. Through the intermediary of the heart, the solar plexus (and the lower plexuses it synthesizes) and the conscious center in the head are integrated. This is the "mystical marriage"; not so much of the "man" and "woman" within each person rather of the "individual" (ego) and the "collective" (the generic self in the solar plexus).
In the Chinese Secret of the Golden Flower the union is between "essence" (individual) and ''life'' (collective). The essence without the life is pure abstraction the "I" devoid of qualities. The life without the essence is mere instinct, or perfectly adequate generic behavior. The essence must therefore assimilate the life. The Empty must be filled by the Waters of Life. This is the synthesis. The true individual does not stand against the collective, as a conscious ego opposing with his will the generic energies. The true individual is the flowering and the fruition of the collective, which finds itself fulfilled in and through him. He is the collectivity become conscious and significant. He is the drop who has assimilated the wholeness of the ocean's characteristic being, and thus is a perfect exemplar of "sea-water-hood."
This is "operative wholeness" wholeness operating as and through a particular whole. An individual man acting as the agent of Man-the-whole acting, however, according to his own particular destiny as an individual. The path of operative wholeness is Tao. It is the path of relationship; the "middle path" integrating individual and collective, thinking and feeling, esthetics and ethics. It is the path of Kundalini which is "serpentine," because cyclic. It is the Via dolorosa of Christian mysticism, each station of which is one of the spinal chakras, up to the "Mount of Skull" Golgotha. In the lower chakras, the collective dominates (as in sex); in the higher, the individual, until the Cross is reached, at the base of the cranium (where the nerves actually cross). Then Jesus is crucified between the two thieves in the center of the head. But after the Third Day (or ventricle) He rises and is seen in his "Risen Body" in the glory that is the Thousand-petalled Lotus, above the crown of the head, the Sahasrara chakra, the "Halo" of Western Saints as well as of Oriental Buddhas; the radiance of operative Wholeness.
The Nature of the Personality
We may now ask: What is the fundamental difference between the "occult" approach and the "psychological" (in Jung's sense)? It is that the latter occupies itself solely with the ''life-process," with the development of the "personality"; while the former deals with this "process" mostly in terms of its being a creative (or disintegrative) interlude between the "beginning" and the "end" of the cycle, of which the "process" is the middle as we saw in the first part of this chapter.
We shall define the term "personality" as the exteriorization of the ever-changing pattern produced by the interplay of collective and individual in the whole human entity (body and psyche). It represents the daily "balance-sheet" of the "process" of living a balance-sheet which, with many of us, remains in the red most insistently! The personality is therefore the human being as it appears from day to day, with its behavior, thoughts and feelings. It is the "front" which the total man presents to the outer world. Back of it are the numerous currents and conflicts of unconscious and conscious, the bodily as well as psychological tendencies; all of which are more or less amalgamated in that complex of representations, the personality. Many cases are possible according as the emphasis is laid on this or that factor in the life-process of the total being. The center or ruler of the personality may be the conscious ego, if and when individual values dominate; but it may just as well be a "primordial image" of the unconscious, or a powerful instinct. Fear or sex can and often do rule our personality; or the yearning for utter surrender to a "primordial image," or a "god" or a spook.
The personality, near the end of the true process of individuation, is fully integrated by and centered around the Self. At the very dawn of the process, the personality is normally divided into two parts: the physiological part ruled by instincts and inherited impulses (or the power of the environment), and the psychomental part, which is potential rather than actual, and one with the monad and "primordial images." This stage is that of primordial man, a bodily animal and a "spiritual" psyche. Thus we find in him both the finest devotional aspirations and the most violent instinctual passions natural, not individualized or neutralized passions. At a later stage, and for various reasons, the personality may split off into "partial souls": we have cases of double or multiple personality operating in and through one body.
The process of development of the personality is analogical to the Kundalini process, insofar as we deal in both cases with the progressive shift of the balance of individual and collective forces, toward integration or disintegration. But strictly speaking, the "raising of Kundalini" is an occult process in a sense, a forced process; hence, the great danger involved in it. In the new psychological sense, the process is that of individuation (in Jung's sense); and it presupposes at the start a conscious development of the psyche, a relatively strong emphasis on the individual ego. For this ego is the focal point for the assimilation of the collective energies. Without such a focal point, and a strong one, the inflow of collective energies would overwhelm the consciousness, and the splitting off of the personality would undoubtedly occur. It would be a case of putting a dynamite-like gasoline into a weakly built automobile engine. The engine would explode. It is therefore necessary to build first a strong individual engine, steel-like in its resistance and resilience, before pouring in it collective energies. In other words: one does not feed meat to babes!
We shall interpret this astrologically when we study the effects of such planets as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which symbolize collective or unconscious forces. Unless the individual ego of the native is strong, these forces are bound to be destructive of the unity of the personality. Otherwise they act as high-powered gasoline in Rolls-Royce engines. The functioning is formidably enhanced. We shall see also that the pattern constituted by all the planets represents the personality the balance-sheet of the collective-individual relationship. This balance-sheet is not a static one: thus the idea of "progressions" in this case, secondary progressions. These measure the movements of the balance-sheet throughout the life. The progression of the axes of the chart refers to the development of the individual factors; the planetary "transits" refer to the strictly collective factors. But of this, more later.
Complexes and in general what Jung calls "the personal unconscious" (the Freudian "unconscious" also) are the manifestations of a balance at least temporarily "in the red," the results of the inability to relate integratively and properly to adjust collective and individual. (Inherited tendencies toward such maladjustments are shown in retrograde planets. The relationship between the planetary pattern especially the Sun and the two axes of the birth-chart indicate future potentialities of successful or unsuccessful adjustment.)
The adjustment of collective to individual, and vice versa, is the psychological "marriage." The individual per se is solely an abstract structure a formula. It must be filled with life and light with collective elements. In the first stage of the process of development of the personality, "life" flows in; viz., the generic energies of the physiological nature. As psychomental growth really begins and the conscious ego asserts itself, it is "light" that should flow into the abstract structure of individual selfhood. By "light" is meant the essence of civilization in the spiritual sense of the term the synthesis of the gift of all truly creative individuals to mankind as a whole.
Out of this "light" is built the permanent psychomental organism of the individual human being: the synthesis and Seed of a whole cycle of life-development the "Diamond Body." This strictly individual body (which is presumably what theosophical teachings call the "Causal Body") is what we would call the "Soul" The vast majority of men are only potential Souls. The structure or form is there inasmuch and insofar as they function as "individuals"; but there is usually very little in this structure; and so we would say that the Soul is only potential. It does not function as an "organism." There is no real actual vitality in it. The Light does not shine, because the mystic "Circulation of the Light" (cf. The Secret of the Golden Flower) does not yet operate.
It is only when the monad (the God-in-beginning) which had, in a sense, become the life-process (or personality) is reborn within the structure of the individual conscious ego that the Soul begins to function as an actual organism. Before that, it was only the remembrance or reminiscence of the monad, the ancient and primordial Archetype, "watching," as it were, from the deepest within or the highest above which seemed to be the Soul. But it is only as the Monad-of-the-beginning is reborn within the ego as the Self-of-the-end that the Soul becomes an actual organism of psychomental substance, vibrating with light as the physiological organism pulsates with blood.
As this occurs the ego "loses itself" into the Self. But this is obviously no loss. The ego was merely the center of the phase of individual differentiation somewhat like a scaffolding. As the Self assimilates fully the collective energies it becomes the whole of the psyche. The distinction between unconscious and conscious ceases (at least as far as this cycle is concerned). Man becomes totally conscious: an Awakened One a buddha (figuratively speaking). He need not give himself up to the unconscious in sleep, or even in death. The body may disintegrate; but as the individual has now built his "body of immortality" made out of psycho-mental substance, he will not lose his individual selfhood as long as mankind lives. For, remember, this psycho-mental substance is made up of the essence of human civilization; it is made up of the "Light of Man-the-whole" and can last only as long as Man-the-whole lasts.
Thus the merely individual ego becomes the individualplus-collective Self, a focalized expression and an agent of Man-the-whole. The light of Man-the-whole is the very substance of his being and it may even radiate as a particular vibration down to and out of the physical body. But this light becomes differentiated according to the type of individual selfhood structurally conditioning and focalizing it which, in turn, depends on the original monad. Thus the occultist speaks of "Seven Rays": seven large groups of monads in the beginning (and Souls or Selves after individuation) which are to the spiritual reality of Man-the-whole what colors are to the white light.
What must be stressed is, first, that the fundamental structure of the individual selfhood is not changed as the ego becomes the Self and individuation is reached. It becomes filled with light. Then, we must grasp the difference between, on one hand, the personality who becomes ruled by an entitized "primordial image" or "god," and acts as a mere medium; and on the other, the individuated being who becomes, as a Self, an individual focus for Man-the-whole an operative agent with a work to perform in terms of the activity and the need of the whole. The wisdom of the former is always more or less separative (even where it appears to unify); the wisdom of the latter is a focalized expression of the wisdom and civilization of the whole of past and present mankind, differentiated only for a particular and conscious use. The realm of the conscious is that of opinions and of theories. The realm of the unconscious is that of instincts, of the immediate and incontrovertible feeling-apprehension of needs. The realm of Self is that of consciously self-evident truths perceived unanimously by all those who are fully one with the ultimate Whole the Seed-men (in Sanskrit, Shistas) who constitute in their sum total the God-of-the-end; not a single entity, but a unanimous Host, to whom some fifteen years ago we gave the name of Synanthropy.
It may be well at this point to go over the ground which we have covered so far; after which it will be easier to draw this chapter to a close with a very brief sketch of some of the possibilities of extension and application of our cyclic Formula.
First of all we inferred that, as the philosophy of Time which is the necessary background to a vital and holistic presentation of astrology, finds its expression essentially in two factors: viz., the Moment and the Cycle; and as, moreover, we had already discussed in the two preceding chapters the creative essence of the moment therefore our task was to study the Cycle. We then stated that, in past civilizations, formulas defining the essence and structure of the Cycle had been produced; and that such formulas, based as they were upon the respective characteristic world-viewpoints of the civilizations considered, served as quasi-algebraic means of integrating all the knowledge possessed by such civilizations. We analyzed briefly the essence of the Cycle and isolated the three terms which in their trinity constitute its wholeness: beginning, middle, end or the One-that-is-in-the-beginning, the process of becoming, the Seed-Synthesis of the End. We found that three basic types of world-viewpoints could be determined, each of which emphasizes one of the three components of the Cycle, and we studied briefly the cyclic Formulas which expressed the typical world-viewpoint of Hindu civilization, with its devotional emphasis on the monad or original One, and of the Chinese civilization, with its ethical emphasis on the dualistic process of becoming which, under the condition of equilibratedness, becomes the "conscious Way" that is Tao, the Way that leads to fulfillment in and through perfect Harmony.
We then defined the three terms of the new cyclic Formula: individual, collective and creative; and their inter-relationship at the various stages of the cycle. We emphasized especially the view which considers the Cycle as a process leading from the "lesser individual" to the "Greater Individual" through the operation of the creative, releasing collective elements which become integrated into the larger synthesis which is the substantial foundation of the "Greater Individual" who in turn projects creatively the monadic structures of the future "lesser individuals."
Complexity arises because the creative operates in several ways according as this or that phase of the total Cycle is considered. Thus it may refer to various subsequent factors, which may not appear at first to be analogical. In order to bring the matter of the creative to a psychological focalization, we discussed various types of "creative integration," through which the conflict between individual and collective is solved. The concept of "personality" as the balance-sheet of individual and collective tendencies, also as the creative whole of the harmonized human being; the concept of Kundalini as the physio-psychological process through which the generic or collective centers of the body and the individual or conscious centers of the cerebro-spinal system are integrated; the concept of "individuation" as presented by Jung, viz., as a series of assimilations by the conscious ego of unconscious life-contents . . . these and many others refer to the basic term: the creative.
Whereas we spoke of the end of the cycle as the moment of summation and synthesis, we must also realize that it is the phase of the greatest manifestation of the creative. In another sense the creative is that factor which links the end and the beginning of all cycles. And as cycles are within cycles, every moment can be considered as that creative moment when the end of a cycle gives birth to the beginning of a new cycle. This is the Creative Now living in which, man becomes god-like, an agent for the creativeness of the "Greater Individual" who, at the limit, is the universal God the Supreme Wholeness of the absolute Whole.
We may bring this chapter to a close by adding that the three terms of the Cyclic Formula (individual, collective, creative) as well as the three phases of the Cycle (beginning, middle and end) can readily be correlated with three basic types of human beings and also with three fundamental types of attitude to the universe and its problems, i.e., three fundamental types of knowledge.
The typical devotee looks back to the One-that-is-in-the-beginning. He yearns for unity; but this yearning takes the form of a longing for the glorious and spiritual past, for the Golden Age which is the first period of the cycle, when the "first-born" the divine Ancestors lived, still bathed in the glowing remembrance of the One. By worship and concentration the devotee preserves the Image of this One. Thus he keeps alive not only the memory of the Original Source, but as a result, also the fact of the life-process being a monistic, because rooted-in-a-One, process.
The scientist and the psychologist (also the philosopher of the Bergsonian type) study the process and attempt either to bring order into its apparent confusion or to help men to go safely through it until the end is reached the nature of which they only surmise by general inference. The occultist, if he be a true one, is a combination of devotee and scientist. Because he knows in varying degrees the reality and form of the One-in-the-beginning or Monad, he can also know the result of the process which will have for its consummation the integrated sum total uniting in an organic synthesis the successful fruits of the entire process.
The artist and the philosopher, in different ways, are operating in terms of this ideal of consummation; the former by producing works of art which are prophetic symbols of the organic synthesis of the Last Day; the latter by presenting to men pictures of the goal, purpose and significance of the whole life-process.
The devotee merges with the original One who is the "Greater Individual," his Creator, his Father-Mother; this merging, when not direct, is accomplished through the intermediary of guru, spiritual teacher, priest or hierophant who are supposed to have accomplished such an identification with the original One. The scientist in a positive, analytical way and the ordinary toiler in a passive, helpless way deal with the process of becoming; the latter being truly immerged in and a tool of it. As for the creative personality whether creative of forms or creative of meanings such a one gathers into and within himself the needs and the yearnings of the collective and fulfills them creatively, uttering prophetically that which will become the seed and archetype of the next phase of the cycle the next "Dispensation:"
The Three Great Approaches to Knowledge
A similar analysis can be made concerning the three basic approaches to knowledge. Usually such approaches would probably be defined as religion, science and philosophy. We believe, however, that in the future the new and undoubtedly to most people very puzzling classification should be: the astrological, the psychological and the esthetical approaches. We shall define these terms as follows:
The astrological approach deals with the beginning of all things and of all cycles. The psychological approach refers to the study of the life-process the so-called "middle" of all cycles, the world of change. The esthetical approach deals with the ultimate significance and ultimate synthesis of all that is.
Such a new classification may be justified by the fact that during the last thirty years religion, science, and philosophy have experienced deep and vital transformations. Religion, insofar as it is a practical approach to life based on unity and identification with the life of "God," should refer to the Monad, to the beginning and principle of all things. Science is of course attempting to analyze and discover the laws of the world-process of change, of universal life and its myriads of transformations. We claim, though this is not the place to try to substantiate such a claim, that science will have to use more and more psychological methods as it finds that atoms and universes behave more and more like personalities. Psychology, by the use of scientific methods, is being prepared for the task of "assimilating" the collective data of modern science. As for philosophy, we believe that its real function is to reveal the ultimate significance of all things and all processes, and to lead to the great synthesis of the end of the cycle to the Wisdom that is the sum total, quintessence and perfume of all civilization to the Beautiful. For Beauty is the supreme "body of significance," the body of glory and perfection.
By the foregoing we do not mean that astrology will turn into a "religion of the stars." Far from it we hope! What we mean is that in its search for the "first Cause" (that is, for the God-of-the-beginning or the universal Monad) religion will use a method and a basis of thought not unlike those on which a revaluated astrology will be founded. The birth-chart of Humanity may eventually be a known fact; and when the cycles of precession of the equinoxes, and other large cycles are really studied, man may be able to behold the symbol of his generic being and destiny the Archetype of Man. To behold this Archetype has always been held to be one of the experiences of that mysterious process called by the true occultists "initiation." But even initiation may become an experience of Man-the-whole; and as this occurs "the old-fashioned religion" will evidently become worthless. A symbolic intuition of the reality and destiny of Man, and perhaps of our entire solar system (at least from the human standpoint) may then become possible. This would be "religion" and at the same time the highest possible form of astrology. Our work is polarized toward this distant goal. First, we must learn to know the archetypal symbol of every human being and destiny. Then, our children or great-grandchildren may glimpse some day the Archetype of Man-the-whole not in mystical ecstasy or through occult initiations, but in the clear and individual consciousness of a mind fully awakened to the reality of symbols and one with the Self. A mind "pellucid as crystal," the mind of fully individuated Personalities of Seed-Men.
In closing, we shall add that the dualism of individual and collective and its reconciling operative principle, the creative can be traced at the roots of most, and possibly all, philosophical and psychological problems. Our claim is that it could serve as a basic formula underlying the more specialized formulas of all branches of knowledge, and thus as the keystone of an attempt at universal integration.
The relationship of individual to collective is obviously the foundation of all the branches of the science and art of social organization including politics, sociology, jurisprudence, and, we would add, economics. In all of these fields the goal is a satisfactory adjustment of individual and collectivity, of the respective rights and duty of the individual and the State. In economics, the basic specialized dualism is that of production and consumption; but an equally important factor is distribution. Consumption is a species of individuation; distribution, of collectivation; production standing here for the creative. All economic ills come from the undue relative prominence of one or two of these factors; in some cases, as at the present, a crisis is really caused by an over-stimulation of all three factors and their operation at a new level. The advent of machines caused a deep change in the vital meaning of "production" or work. Thus humanity has to readjust itself to a new concept of the significance of work from the physiological-muscular to the mental level. To grasp this is we believe, to grasp the whole pattern of social changes since the eighteenth century.
Democracy was of course a novel emphasis on the individual factor in human society; but because the creative duty and responsibility of the individual was not properly stressed, the individual factor dominated unduly in the attitude of "rugged individualism" and individual profit at the expense of proper collectivation (distribution of goods); thus trusts and monopolies came to exist. In reaction against the individual's predominance, we see, in Communism, Fascism, Nazism the stressing of collective and generic factors.
The emphasis on the creative is found in such movements as those for the use of leisure, for community music, and for all those activities which reconcile individual and collectivity. Modern law is also being founded on a new concept of the relation of the individual to the collective, shifting to the collectivity much of the guilt which once belonged exclusively to the individual, and emphasizing the value of the creative even in jail.
In the study of history the same shift is clearly recognizable, and individual heroes give way to collective trends, to economics and to the significance of this or that type of work and production. On the other hand, the collectivating tendencies of later years react in mass psychology by making biographies the most popular among books. The study of past cultures shows an alternation of individual and collective emphasis. Alexandria follows Athens, Christianity the Greek culture. From the broadest possible standpoint we might say that in old Asia, India represents the individual focus; China, the collective; Indo-China (Khmer civilization especially), the creative.
Such generalizations are evidently dangerous; but they may bring to man a sense of order and a broad vision which are of great value psychologically, and which are needed to compensate the attitude and mentality of the man lost in the analysis of minute phenomena within the endless and apparently formless tide of change. Form comes only from the perception of beginnings of cycles, and from the intuition of their ultimate goal and significance.
Perhaps the most fascinating instance of the application of the principle of relationship inherent in the trinity of individual, creative and collective is, however, to be found in the new physics. We refer especially to the dualism of wave and particle which seems to be the essence of light as well as of matter (photons and electrons). We consider light as representing the creative. Time-Space-Light parallel Individual-Collective-Creative, as we have already seen. The unit of light, the photon, acts under certain conditions as wave, under others as particle. The photon is the unit of release of energy which refers obviously to the creative. Interestingly enough, all occult philosophies speak of the primordial Light, and of the human monads as sparkles within this Light. Thus photons. "Fohat," in Tibet, is the name of the universal Creative, whose primordial emanation is Light.
The atom is constituted by a nucleus and circling electrons. At first it was thought that the nucleus was strictly positive and the electrons negative. But this old Yang-Yin dualism is giving way to a new kind: the nucleus represents the collective, the electron, the individual. The photon is the creative, and the quantum the law of creative emanation. Once released, the unit of energy deteriorates into various types of rays, just as the emanated image, or idea, becomes a collective element assimilated by other units. It may be that such a formulation is not the correct one, and that intra-atomic physics is still to a large extent terra incognita. Yet we believe that the basic dualism which we present can find its place as a philosophical (ultimate) interpretation of atomic structure.
Another important point is that the new physics seems, at least, to lead us to infer that no science of the individual is possible, only statistical science of groups. It may even be better to say, science of the interaction of individual and group which is what we called the life-process. All empirical science, we believe, deals with, and deals only with, the life-process and the essence of this process is the constant adjustment of individual and collective. In this sense, the life-process deals always with "personalities" that is, balance-sheets. Our universe is a credit universe. Death is bankruptcy. Entropy and the "running down of the universe" are concepts of the Depression!
We could go on and on dealing with similar philosophical interpretations; but space (the collective preoccupation!) forbids us this (individual) pleasure. As a last thought, and as a fitting coda to a study which dealt primarily with the establishment of a universal Formula of the Cycle, we shall refer the reader to the beautiful archaic invocation heard throughout Tibet: OM MANI PADME HUM. This "magical formula" is a formula of the whole life-process, as sketched out in this chapter. OM is the monad of the beginning the Original Impulse of the cycle. MANI refers to the creative mind, to that central "jewel" which is the creative principle. PADME means ''lotus,'' and symbolizes completion, synthesis, individuation, the brotherhood of the end from which emanates "perfume" or the quintessence of the life-process in a sense, consciousness. HUM is the emanated perfume, the withdrawal of the completed body into the quintessence and the abstract. In all 14, or twice 7 letters; 7 being the number of the life-process which is twofold.
Thus: OM, the Jewel within the Lotus, HUM! That is: In the One arises the Creative; and through the operation of the Creative, the collective is gathered into the synthesis; and from the synthesis, emanates the quintessence, the Idea, whose energy is again the One.
1. Thus concentration on the solar plexus is practiced where man is willing to become a more or less passive agent to a "primordial image" or "god." The solar plexus is ruled astrologically by Jupiter, which symbolizes religious worship, contact with the "gods," and in general is the reflection of the universally collective Parabrahman or the Para condition of consciousness in Hindu philosophy.
The Astrology of Personality