THE HUMAN CONSTITUTION
A Mystical Synopsis
All the mystics, in all the ages, have expressed the same
truth. Man is a soul. In his inner being, in his essence, man
is a drop of the Divine Ocean, the Supreme Being,
Universal Consciousness. Traveling outward from this
Source — outward, not in terms of space, but rather in the
quality and complexity of vibration and manifestation —
the soul becomes clothed in bodies or vehicles of increasingly complex and dense energy patterns, his attention
becoming more and more outward. In the human condition, this outward direction of mental attention has become habitual to such an extent that at this far pole of the
creation, the physical universe, he is so encumbered and
entrapped in the outworking of the attributes of Universal
Mind and matter that he is quite unable to know who or
what he is. Indeed, in the majority of cases, he is hardly
aware, in a real sense, that he is alive. The central, burning
question as to what he is and what he is doing in this world
is smothered by the incessant demands of his senses and his
involvement with the outward show of motion and activity.
More specifically, in its descent, the soul first encounters
the Universal Mind, where the qualities and attributes of
energy and matter as they appear in our familiar physical
world are first manifested. Sanskrit, as well as modern
mystical understanding, talks of three sets of energy-plexi
related to qualities within the vibrational fields of existence. These qualities are also known as the tattwas, roughly
translatable as the elements.
They are, in descending vibrational fineness: akash, air,
fire, water and earth.
These five tattwas first arise in the Causal region of the Universal Mind, where they are the highly subtle essence
or blueprint of those found in the true Astral region or
region of Sahans Dal Kanwal. This is the Thousand Petalled
Lotus or Sahasra, the glittering and entrancing powerhouse
from which all creation below takes its existence and form.
These five states then reflect once again within the physical
form with which we are familiar, though indeed I would
say that we are only partially aware of its real constitution.
Man's physical form is thus constructed of the five tattwas
in both their gross and subtle aspects.
The naming of these tattwas by their material, outwardly physical manifestation — though common practice
—can be misleading. So let it be said right away that all
energy substance is of the tattwas. This we experience,
through our physical form, not only as the material phases
of matter, but also as the energetic substrate of our
emotions, our sensory perceptions and our motor
responses. This will be discussed more fully, as we
As in all coherent energy systems, order and organization is required for its maintenance and existence, and this
we see most clearly in the superbly structured, yet adaptable, nature of living organisms, where these tattwas are
merged one with another into the highly intricate matrix
of interconnections that is observed from without by
western biological science. One should not, however,
make the mistake of discounting these eastern ideas as
quaint; but possessing no practical application, for reasons
we shall discover in the ensuing chapters. They represent a
fundamental and essential understanding of energy interchanges within both inert matter and living organisms.
Indeed, while western science has no fundamental
answer as to how a body holds together and why it should
suddenly die and its processes almost immediately cease,
the eastern wisdom is replete with understanding that is in
no way incompatible with scientific descriptions. Eastern
wisdom, does in fact provide an underlying conceptual
framework, without which much of western science
appears haphazard and almost meaningless. Certainly, the
intense analysis characteristic of our western idiom holds
out very little hope of providing answers to the fundamental questions of life, consciousness and what happens before and after death.
Pranas, Chakras & Tattwas
Our living human form, then, is constituted of an intricately
woven fabric of the five tattwas in gross and subtle state.
The weaver and integrator of this fabric is ultimately our
soul, our consciousness or real life, deep within, but in
physical manifestation its cohering and life-giving power
flows out as the vibration that patterns and organizes these
tattwas. The Sanskrit term for this subtle, vibrational pattern-
maker is prana, roughly translated as life energy or life breath.
Flowing like a complex wave through water, prana
flows through the tattwas in their subtle state, creating the
energetic blueprint out of which the gross physical body is
formed. This subtle blueprint has been called the etheric
body and contains within it six major centres of resonance,
organizational plexi, five of which relate to the energetic
density and quality of the five tattwas in their subtle form,
plus one higher control point.
These six plexi are known as the chakras and the pranic
vibration, being modulated by the quality of the tattwa
within which it is vibrating, also takes on the appearance
of possessing five states. The pranas are therefore also
stated to be five in number.
Because of the life-giving qualities of the pranas, related
to the higher intelligence or consciousness within, these
chakras are more than just the primary nodes in a wave-
form, but are spinning wheels of organizational power.
The Indian yogis and mystics, therefore, describing these
centers in the way attuned to their own nature and
according to the understanding and idiom of their culture
have ascribed a named, controlling deity or deva to each
chakra and it is from here that the thousand lesser 'gods'
of Hinduism have come into being. Brahma, for example, is
the deity of the watery quality or state of matter, expressing itself in the physical body at the sacral or sex center,
responsible for the creation of physical bodies and the
control of the watery 'humours' within the body. The
embryo, for example, develops in the amniotic fluid,
while the kidneys — part of the water controlling system of
the body — are also partly under its influence.
The pranas, flowing out from the level of the physical
mind, just above the sixth chakra at the eye level, provide
the energy and organizational qualities required to weave
these tattwas into a functioning living body. Impressed
from within by the energy of our karmas, the effects of
previous actions, thoughts and desires etched into the
fabric of the Antashkarans or organ of physical mind and
thought, and enlivened by the higher mind and soul, the
pranas are the life-giving vibration that intricately moulds
the tattwas into the form of our physical body, familiar to
(1) Andrew Rawlinson Ph.D., writing in a 1986 edition of Religion,
provides an excellent appreciation of these devas and subtle tattwas
when he writes, "The physical world is a coagulation of subtle or
essential elements. All physical forms are as they are because they exist
within, and are held together by, these subtle energies. 'Physical forms'
here means not only the properties of individual things (for example,
the shape of a tree or the behavioural pattern of an animal) but also the
characteristics of physical locations (eg. a pool and its banks, a forest on
a hillside). There are in fact no individual entities as such; they only
appear individual when the field of which they are a part is ignored.
"This worldview, however, is not quasi-scientific. That is, it does
not attempt to relate individual things to their environment as if all the
factors that are being related are on the same level. On the contrary, it is
a hierarchical worldview. The elements or energies which imbue, or
give rise to, physical forms exist at a higher level. And more than that,
they are both living and intelligent — in a word, they are conscious. Or,
in the terminology of Indian religion, they are devas.
"Let us restate this principle — and then extend it somewhat. The
physical universe cannot be understood apart from the living, conscious
forces — the devas — that have given rise to it. A deva is therefore both a
being and a principle. The word 'being' implies a personal force and
the word 'principle' implies an impersonal force, but there is no real
distinction between the two. A deva expresses itself (both consciously,
which is the 'being' side, and automatically and lawfully, which is the
'principle' side) according to its place in the hierarchy of devas. Thus a
'high' deva has a large range of influence and a 'low' deva has a more
restricted range. Whatever exists within a deva's range is in effect under
its protection and control.
"Now we must link this hierarchical model of devas with the idea of
the elements that make up the world. Different devas have different
qualities. When they 'express' themselves, so to speak, they naturally
give rise to different physical forms (in both the senses that we
mentioned earlier) that embody these qualities. The Indian religious
tradition has a number of terms for these subtle qualities: guna, dhatu,
bhuta, tattwa, rasa."
This physical mind (antashkarans), the subtle organ of
thought, is found in a sub-astral chakra, the lowest of the
astral set, located above the six physical chakras.
In this respect, it is easy to see how, at death, in the
absence of the complex, vibrational pranic patterning,
containing a reflection of the higher creative life principle of
Shabda, the subtle and gross tattwas that once constituted a
living body, degenerate into a far simpler form of manifestation. Complex molecules break down, integrated
biochemical networks lose vitality and coherence, electro-
biological activity ceases and — given time — the five basic
elements or constituents merge back and separate out into
the relatively still and simple tattvic reservoirs of inert matter.
Just look about you at the non-living substance of the
physical world. See how, in the absence of an inner life
force, its molecular structure has simplified and become,
comparatively speaking, still. How earth, water and air
have largely separated out. Perceive the sharp demarcation
in vibrational and energetic quality between your living
body and the dead matter surrounding it. Being aware of
your own being, mind and consciousness, expand your
understanding of how life is not just a fortuitous and
temporarily self-sustaining conglomeration of molecules
and electricity, but has inner dimensions beyond the most
powerful of microscopes. And how that inner life force is
the most important aspect of your being.
Prana, however, is not consciousness itself, but a step-
down or derivative, thereof. In addition, consciousness or
soul is entangled in the human being with the physical
mind or organ of thought. Mystics describe the soul and
mind as being "knotted together at the eye centre" — the
two-petalled lotus of the ajna chakra. Consciousness, in its
pure form, does not descend below this eye centre. We
experience this mixture of mind and soul as our attention
and without deep meditation and mystic experience, it is
not possible for us to know easily which is which, with the
exception that it is the mind which pulls us out to the
senses and the physical world and it is the soul, together
with the higher aspects of the more inward mind — beyond
thought processes — which draws us within.
In subsequent chapters we embark upon a specific
description of these chakras and tattwas, but firstly let us
continue with certain fundamentals of universal philosophy.
A considerably fuller description of the higher mystic
energy patterns is given in the book, Subtle Energy, as well
as other literature. I am attempting here simply to introduce the concepts of the tattwas, the pranas, the chakras
and the antashkarans, as the primary energy patterns
covering the soul and higher mind in the human constitution, so that we may later see how they reveal themselves
in the discoveries of modern physiology.
But first we need to examine some fundamentals.
Polarity & Duality
The great, essential principle underlying all energy manifestation in the universe, both within and without, is that
of duality or separation. Every aspect of life, every pattern
of creation, every particle of matter, every movement of
energy is held in existence by duality or polarity — by
fundamental and opposing forces. There cannot be an
'up' without a 'down', a 'yes' without a 'no', 'a left'
without a 'right', a 'positive' without a 'negative'.
In nature, we have a continuous panorama of patterns,
of ebb and flow. Growth gives way to decay as spring and
summer move into autumn and winter. Energy turns
from the outward to the inward. Who has not experienced
the sweet in-drawing nostalgia of the first autumn days?
Wet and dry, heat and cold, light and darkness all alternate
and while nature is able to adapt itself, the changes become
the basis for continued life cycles amongst the species.
In science, we have electrons and protons, acceleration
and deceleration, anabolism and catabolism. Whenever a
force is found either in physics or the life sciences that
performs one function, scientists know that there has to be
another equal and opposite force for the maintenance of
balance and equilibrium. And this is true at the more
outward grosser levels, just as it is true in molecular,
atomic and subatomic levels. There is acid (H+) balanced
by alkaline (OH-), which together form the balance in
H+OH — or H20, water, the universal substrate of organic
life on earth.
There are molecules which are the mirror image
of each other, left and right-handed molecules so to
speak. In nature, for example, almost all amino acids (of
which all proteins are made) are laevorotatory, while artificially produced, laboratory amino acids are both dextro-
and laevo-rotatory. The DNA helical molecule, the genetic encoder itself, is only found in a right-handed form,
though there is no known scientific reason why this should
be so. In many instances, the two kinds of otherwise
apparently identical molecule have different properties,
even experienced as sweet and bitter, in flavor. The exact
role played by this aspect of polarity is not by any means
understood, but their effect on electromagnetic radiation,
such as light, is to rotate its plane of vibration — hence the
terms laevo- (left) and dextro- (right) rotatory.
Male and female aspects are polarized, sometimes into
separate bodies, as we find in humans and mammals,
while some of the lower species are either hermaphrodite
or can even change sex according to the needs of their
community. Certain fish, for example, are led as females
by one dominant male. But when the male dies, one of the
females becomes male, complete with a change to the
brightly colored, outward male characteristics and social
role. The social factors here stimulate, via endocrine
secretions, or hormones, a change in basic sexual polarity.
Psychological traits amongst humans are also understandable in terms of their essential polarity, which is
usually complex. Thus the characterization of all aspects of
male and female as opposing polarities is incorrect. The
man may not be the positive, outgoing, expressive partner
in a male-female relationship, nor may the woman play
the passive, receptive, indrawn role. But what is required
for harmony is balance.
In Indian thinking, the polarity or dualism inherent in
nature is expressed as the gunas or attributes of mind and
matter. In Chinese Taoist philosophy they are thought of
as the balance of yin and yang. Rajas guna or yang is the
positive, outgoing, expanding polarity while tamas guna or
yin is the negative, receptive, in-drawing, cohesive quality.
The balance is the sattvas guna, also known as truth or
harmony. It is the zero point of origin from which arise
the plus and minus of rajas and tamas. In place of the
sattvas guna, the Chinese simply talk of the balance of yin
and yang. This zero balance point is, however, a real state,
with the constituents of the substructure which result in
the zero or balanced condition being of great importance
in influencing the nature of that balance. In more general
terms, the same harmony can be achieved in many ways.
In any rajas or yang activity there comes a point where
the outward energy is expended and an in-drawing must
occur. Thus the tamas or yin state is a time of consolidation, of building up of resources, of apparent inertia and
decay. After which the energy is reversed in action and
flows outward once again.
On the downswing of a pendulum, for instance, energy
is being expended and the motion is rajas or yang. Then on the upswing, energy is conserved, condensed and stored.
When the 'storage' is complete, then this potential energy
is expressed outwardly once again — and down falls the
pendulum in its arc. These cycles may be long or short;
and there will be cycles within cycles, within cycles, too,
almost ad infinitum.
This duality and cyclic patterning is apparent in all the
universe. The evolution of the Big Bang and the Expanding Universe concepts into one of an expanding and
contracting universe would mirror exactly the ancient
Sanskrit writings concerning pralaya or dissolution.
Everything comes into being (rajas, yang) and goes out of
being (tamas, yin) and in the process provides the framework or the energy for the next becoming. How avidly we
gardeners spread the rotten, dead remains of plants onto
the ground so that the new generation of plants may be
strong, healthy and vibrant. But how does the dead give
rise to life? Because energy is conserved and recoiled,
ready for the next spring into existence. And so it is with
universal activities — our bodies, too, undergo pralaya or
dissolution after their alloted span.
Planets and suns coalese, providing the warmth and
nourishment necessary for life, and then expand and explode.
Then, once again, they condense (it is said) even to the extent
of becoming a black hole from which little, if anything, can
escape. But ultimately, even the intense concentration of
energy in a black hole must give rise to an instability and a
need to move outward once again. That is unless a black hole
ultimately becomes a point of suction or dematerialization
of energy back into the subtle state, part of the mechanism
of pralaya. Nothing in the universes of mind and matter is
eternal. Ebb and flow are an intrinsic part of the pattern.
In the world of subatomic energies, we find the same
principles at work. Within the atom, electrons are paired
with protons, 'up-quarks' with 'down-quarks', and so on.
Electrons, too are paired with each other in terms of their
equal and opposing spin, making an effective zero or
balance in their magnetic field. And all other characteristics are balanced, so that existence may continue.
At subtle levels of energy, in pranic, tattvic, emotional
and mental energies, the patterning of polarity is also
intrinsic and essential. There must be a point, therefore,
where the subtle becomes the physical. And this point will
lie in the movement, the charge, the mass, the electromagnetic force and other properties of both subatomic and
subtle energy. The subatomic, being created out of the
subtle, will carry the polarity aspects through the 'curtain' into physical manifestation. And the harmony or balance
of these energy fields will be of great importance in the
overall balance or harmony of the gross physical matter
thus projected or manifested. In our environment therefore, we will perceive good and nourishing vibrations or
atmospheres, whilst in our bodies we will experience them
as good health and harmony.
The world of the subatomic, therefore, being so close to
the subtle, carries within it the necessary seeds of energy
which, when rearranged correctly, can bring about a cure
of both simple and complex disorders.
Life Patterns & the Chinese Elements
The Chinese understanding of yin and yang is further
expanded in their system of elements. Unlike the Sanskrit
and tantric descriptions of the tattwas, which represent
real energies, the Chinese elements are understood as the
manner of expression or essential attributes of energies in
manifestation. They represent the patterning and mode of
activity of energy, like an analysis of waveform according
Thus their elements of water, wood, fire, metal and earth
can best be understood through the example of the seasons, through the swing of a pendulum or through the
process of purification of metals - a process known to
Chinese chemists long before it was discovered by our
Water energy is winter, the extreme of the yin condition.
It is full of stored, potential energy, the dampener of all
activity, the receptive medium of all substances, the universal solvent. It is the resting phase of in-drawn tranquility, the meditation before action, the point of motionlessness at the highest level in the swing of the pendulum. It is
the potential in a seed, the core of being, ready to expand
Emotionally, and mentally, water energy is our center
point, our inner potential, our will to continue in existence
and to care for ourselves; it is our point of stillness and
balance, of quiet self control.
Physiologically, it is the power inherent in the sperm
and the ovum, the biochemical potential locked into the
DNA genetic coding, significantly coiled, potential energy
ready to spring.
It is physical strength and endurance, representing the
solids and fluids of our body, where energy is condensed
into material form. It is the strength of the spine that gives
the body its focal point of energy distribution. Upon the
spine, the head and major sense organs are situated; within
the spine lies the bodily messenger system of the nervous
system and subtle energy administration centers of the
chakras. From the spine are articulated the arms and legs
which permit us movement in the physical world, without
which we are paralyzed. And from the spine are 'hung' all
the major bodily organs, while along its length runs the
aorta — the conveyor belt through which blood and
nutrients are passed to the vibrating tissues of our physical
When in balance and conserved, water energy provides
the springboard for the next cycle of activity; when
deficient, the next cycle lacks tone, quality or flair. It goes
off with a fizz, not a bang. A hard, dry winter brings a
vibrant and glorious spring, while a warm, wet winter
allows rot and disease to penetrate. Low water energy
results in physiological, emotional and mental insufficiency and weakness — fear, suspicion, lack of resistance,
premature aging and a general absence of vitality. Vitality
itself is not of the water energy, but its expression requires
the cyclic in-drawing and potential coiling of the full yin
This potential for energy storage is dissipated by unbalanced activity in the yang phases — excess in all its
manifestations, emotional, mental and physical, such that
it becomes difficult to withdraw into a resting or water
condition. The key to health and happiness lies in balance
and a control of the mind and senses by the inner essence
of our soul or consciousness.
Water energy, then, represents the state of rest, the full
height of the pendulum swing, the quiescence of winter. Quite suddenly, however, movement occurs. The inner
potential seeks expression and a new cycle of being
manifests. This is the energy of wood. Wood is new yang,
the first flush of coming into being. It is Spring and Birth.
It is the rapid development of the embryo and the newly-
born, the first irrepressible growth of green shoots and
leaves from root or branch.
It is the energy of the first movements from rest, the
initial acceleration of the pendulum, the expansion into
being. Life flourishes carrying all of nature with it. It is the
energy behind the procreative urge, the vital power in the
early period of creative thought or action; the elation of
new growth, the bursting forth of potential, the reawakening of our inner beings. It is both vigorous and
invigorating. Who has not felt the special joy of Spring,
the energy of new ideas, the expansive expression of
freshness? Even the birds sing as they do at no other time
and the spring pageant of flowers seems to have a vibrancy
of life and color that passes after the first buxom flourish
of the early rise to life.
In desert climates, it is the rainy season when all of life,
forced into quiescence by the heat and dryness of high
summer, is suddenly released. Here we see that the term
water can be misleading if taken literally, for it is absence
of the watery substance that forces the withdrawal into
the yin or resting state. Similarly, with all the other
descriptions of the Chinese elements, one has to perceive
the meaning through relation to one's own experience.
Over-intellectualism and conceptualization will prevent
the deeper understanding from breaking through.
Suppression of our woody nature leads to frustration,
anger, and even violent emotion manifesting ultimately as
dullness, lethargy, depression and toxic conditions within
body tissues. Dammed water becomes stagnant. Energy needs to flow for its healthful expression in all the phases
of life, or else it becomes destructive. This we see in sociological circumstances where a person's creative talents
remain unutilized. One whose work does not permit their
expression must find an outlet for them in other areas of
their life if their emotional and physical well-being is to be
nourished and remain truly healthy. This is the energy
patterning and manifestation inherent in 'job satisfaction'
and in feelings of fulfilment in one's daily life.
Different natures and personalities have tendencies at
various points on the swing of the elemental forces of yin and yang. Some are more 'watery', stay-at-home, quiescent, receptive, sensitive, placid; some are more active,
creative, 'woody' or 'fiery'. Each of us is endowed with all
of the aspects, but we manifest more of some parts of this
spectrum than others. And this is essential for the balanced
expression of life: together we make one whole, and life
continues. There are those who are meant to be the
creators, those who sustain and those who take apart or
condense, bringing activity to a state of rest once more,
before its energies are dissipated and lost. Nature has
places for all the fine divisions of activity within this
spectrum, all of which are necessary for the continued
well-being and balanced life of our planetary ecology. The
diversity of species is, energetically speaking, quite essential, one of the reasons why destruction of natural habitats
and species will sooner or later rebound back upon us with
an equal and opposite force. It is inevitable, though it may
be channeled, if action is not left until it is too late.
After spring, comes deep summer, full yang, fire energy,
the on-going outward expression of growth and life. It is
the summer garden of Delius with the constant and busy
hum of insects, the vibrant flowering and growth of plants,
the waving grasses, the joy of being alive, the fullness of
being. It is cooperative and balanced interchange; the busy
market place; the urge to give, to care and to love. It
nourishes our beings, as well as our biochemistry; it is the
full flood of life — peaceful, flowing activity.
When inhibited or blocked it leads to tension, manifesting itself in emotional and bodily disorders. Energy is often blocked in the neck, shoulders and head leading to
soreness; the mind is unquiet and runs riot. It is the tension
and over-excitement of the creative person who either
cannot give, or is blocked in his giving by a refusal to
accept in those around him or her. It can be a direct
personal selfishness or an obstruction in the need to give.
More frequently it is a combination of both. Giving is thus
its own reward, for we thereby nourish ourselves, in a
very real and energetic sense. If the full and wholesome
cycle of our fire energy does not find adequate expression,
then hyperactivity and a tendency to overextend ourselves
is the end result, with symptoms of sleeplessness, hysteria
and emotional problems, with a feeling of the head about
to burst. Physiologically it is 'living on adrenaline', a
hyperactive metabolism, an acid system and much more
The solution lies in balancing one's life, finding ways to
give of oneself, of cooperative activity with one's family
and associates, of finding points of harmony and expanding them across the structure of one's life. And physiologically one can give release to pent up energies by taking
exercise, seeking appropriate therapy, careful adjustment
of diet, modifying one's living patterns and, if one can, meditation.
The high speed and the pressures of our modern life
have made imbalance in the outgoing expression of the
'fire' energy, a symptom of our times, something we all
need to be aware of and bring into balance.
Metal energy is the time of fruitfulness, of harvest, of the
achievement of objectives. In ancient Chinese chemistry,
gold and other metals were first subjected to fire, to intense heat, in the process of their purification. Fire itself
is created out of wood, which is burnt. As the metal runs
out into ingots, it is cooled with water, thus stabilizing the
metal energy. So this cycle, common to the ancient
Chinese mind, may perhaps be the basis for the terms used
to describe the changing flow of yin and yang.
Metal is the nostalgia of autumn, when energy is
moving inwards once again. There is an automatic shedding of that which has served its purpose. The leaf has
drawn the energy of sunlight into the heart of the plant and
now dies. The seed and fruit come to fullness, potential
energy for the next cycle. Frequently, seeds require the hard frost of winter before they can sprout: the cycle has
reached completion, but the energy needs deep recoiling
and maturation before it can burst forth once again into
vigorous new growth. The time of metal energy allows us
to draw in our resources, letting go of what is useless — discarded autumn leaves — before entering the water phase
of deep stillness, receptivity and potential. If we are not
nourished by our activities, we become tired and lacking
in energy. Neither our mental, emotional nor physical life
possess vibrancy or tone. We drift from day to day, feeling
over-stretched by our creative, yang or busy phases and
depressed or lethargic during the quiet times. If we better
understood the patterns of our life, we would respond
with greater awareness to the processes and live in harmony with the changing seasons of our being.
Similarly, would we better understand both nature and
our fellow humans, allowing life the space it needs when
called for and being on hand to provide support when our
own input is required. Blind adherence to conditioned,
sociological patterns and expectations leave us without the
inner strength of adaptability to changing circumstances
and moods, and lacking in intuition, finesse and timing in
our most essential interactions and activities. Metal energy
allows us to let go of emotional attachments that no longer
carry meaning or relevance. Autumn, therefore, holds the
pangs of nostalgia, even occasioning fits of grief or melancholy as we try to hold on to what is passing from us; but
this mood, when correctly understood, can lead to inner
sweetness as we follow the current within, without resistance, to peaceful receptivity and calm.
Often, we are afraid to enter within ourselves in meditative repose, but keep ourselves unnecessarily occupied,
frittering away our precious life in trifles, failing to follow
the call of our inner being as we follow the ingrained
habits of a million or more lifetimes. Perhaps we think that life' will pass us by, if we take time out for achieving
inward composure and letting go. Tensions develop as we
hold onto what is gone and the frustrated emotion is
stored as blocked energy patterns in the chest and upper
thoracic areas of our body and spine, causing pain and
respiratory difficulties. Over-release is exemplified by a
flood of self-indulgent emotion, often accompanied by
sobbing. These are the tears that are a part of the drama of
the emotionally insecure, peeping through weeping
fingers to gauge the effect of the scene.
Within all these four major phases, there lies a balance.
Each one, when manifest in harmony with the others and
in its due season, fulfils an essential role in the outworking
of life's energies. This essence or balance is known to the
Chinese as the earth element. It is akin to the sattvas guna
of Indian thought. It is that which maintains all that is positive and healthful in each of the four phases. It is the
center of being within /each, where energy in not wasted
but used or conserved according to the best requirements
of the moment. It is a pendulum in regular swing, not
disturbed, wobbling or out of synchronization. Rigorously, it is the still point of suspension which permits the
pendulum to swing in harmonious activity and without
which tamas and rajas, or yin and yang, oscillating motion
Earth, therefore, is the energy of healthful ease, the
bodily harmony that manifests as well-being, at all levels.
It is a well-toned musculature, a clear mind, a vibrant circulation of blood and body nutrients accompanied by
the easy elimination of waste products. It is the steady inbreathing and out-breathing that accompanies a peaceful heart. The earth energy gives one a broad and tolerant
outlook on all of life, a balanced perspective that sees one
through the changing tides with an easy and understanding mind. Overabundance of apparent balance leads to nit-
picking and obsessive concern over detail in an egocentric
attempt to achieve equilibrium, while under-activity is
manifested in an over-tolerance to that which is clearly
unhealthy or incorrect.
It is quite clear, therefore, that these Chinese 'elements'
represent very real states of life, a more intricate mapping
of the ebb and flow of yin and yang than is expressed in
simple terms of duality. Within all life and energetic
processes, these patterns are inherent; the one is present
within the other. All energy is movement and all life is
energy and consciousness. Creation means activity and
polarity, and these elemental patterns are found as the
intrinsic, essential 'beingness' of motion, from the smallest
particles of the subatomic realm, to the in-breathing and
out-breathing of the universe; from the inner regions of the
higher mental domains to the vagaries of our human
thought and emotion; from the primal, first created energy
to the subtle essences that maintain our bodies as expressions of that inner life force.
Sattvas Guna — The Zero Point of Balanced
It may need to be emphasized that the nature of the sattvas
guna is not exactly that of the harmonious sum of the rajas
and tamas aspects. Rather, it is the point of balance that
gives rise to these creative and inertial principles. It is not so
much the product or result of the combination of the two,
but more the balanced potential out of which tamas and
rajas both manifest. The harmony of sattvas is therefore
more real than the activity and inertia of rajas and tamas,
though it is itself created — and therefore ultimately unreal.
In the step-down process of creation from within, the
sattvas guna is seen in the zero points of the inner skies, or
akash, which we find as the physical vacuum giving rise to
the grossly manifest physical world. It is also the point of
suspension in a pendulum and the fulcrum of a balance or
In mathematics, it means that the zero occupies a more
primary point of reality than its expansion into those factors
which arise from that zero. In science and electronics, it tells
us that balanced potential energy of any kind occupies a point
of creation for many possibilities and that if we can draw on
that potential directly — without the need to first express it in
action — then our system will provide us with cleaner and
finer energy. It would be akin to extracting or transforming
the potential energy present in a body of water because of its
height and gravitational attraction, without adopting the
grosser approach of pouring it down a hole to drive a turbine,
(i.e., hydroelectric power stations). It also means that we could
extract energy directly from the creative vacuum rather
than naively wasting a difference in electrical potential to
pump electrons along wires, (the flow of current electricity).
In this regard, one can see that the yin (tamas) and yang
(rajas) of the Chinese must be understood within the
context of Tao as the inward creative essence. Tao — when
expressed as the balance point in the world of duality — also
represents the same as the sattvas guna. It is only when
balance exists as something underlying and relatively more
real that the play of duality (yin-yang or tamas-rajas) can be
manifest. The important presence of this balance is often
forgotten or misunderstood in modern Western interpretations where yin and yang are seen in a more conceptual
fashion. The three gunas are three real energy currents in
creation, not as rivers of moving substance, but as patterners of the Divine, Uncreated potential into the worlds of
form, both within and without. The primary creative
principle being that of the Word, the Logos, the Name or
Thus, in the Chinese elemental model, the sattvas guna is
also expressed as earth, the balanced potential within all
states. Actually, Chinese mysticism is said to have been
derived from Indian sources, just as Buddhism was adopted
in China and modified according to their local idiom. This
explains why the Indian manner of understanding is
(generally speaking) more deeply mystical, because it
relates directly to the inward energetic structure of things,
while the Chinese manner of thinking is more conceptual.
Karma, Energy & Reincarnation
Everything is created from within itself. The ancient
Hermetic (2) axiom: "As above, so below", holds true under
all circumstances. 'Within' and 'above', are equivalent,
both meaning the same: vibrationally and in essence,
closer to the Source. The Source, being one, is beyond
duality. It is eternal, complete and self-existent. The idea
of causality is totally absent, there being no differentiation.
In all lower or outward manifestations, however, the
prime law is of cause and effect — both horizontally at the
same level of energy vibration and vertically from within
to without, and without to within.
(2)Hermes Trismegistus is a Greek name for the Egyptian god, Thoth, who
is credited with various mystical works.
This law of cause and effect is known to Indian philosophy as karma. Karma means 'action' or 'doing'. Concomitant with duality and polarity is motion and difference,
and in the causative links between all motion and action
lies this law of karma. Karma is the 'interstitial' law
governing all activity and inherent in the manifestations of
all matter and energy, which exist only because it is
moving, causally, between opposites. Even apparently
motionless matter around us is known by modern physics
to consist of moving 'particles' and vibrating energy fields.
In our life, we perform actions, both physical and
mental/emotional. All our actions make a groove or
impression upon our organ of thought, or antashkarans.
Severe actions make a strong groove; minute and inconsequential actions make a groove of a light nature. Our
thoughts, emotions and desires — fulfiled or unfulfiled — make a similar mark upon our mental apparatus.
When we die, this record of our life — impressed upon
our mind — remains with the soul. The body returns to the
earth, the pranas and subtle energies 'evaporate' like waves
from agitated water when it becomes still; but the record
remains, a unique fingerprint of all our activities, thoughts
This 'black box', the energy plexus, then becomes the
energy center out of which our next life is fabricated. It is
the source of our destiny, our pralabdh karma, the inner
design of our outer life. At our death, if there are too many
seeds of actions from the past life to be accommodated in
the next lifetime, then the resultant energy or karmic
pattern is transposed to a higher level of energy within the
higher mind structure. It becomes our store of karmas, our
sinchit karma. Thus, in future lives, our destiny is drawn
partially from the immediately preceding life and partially
from the sinchit karmas, being the sum total of unworked-
out karma from a multitude of previous lives.
As life succeeds life, the complexity of this energy
patterning becomes so immense and so clouding to the
higher energies of the Universal Mind and hence of the
soul deeper still within, that we become slaves of our
karma, our destiny. Contrary to much western thinking
upon this subject, this does not imply a fatalistic approach
to life; quite the reverse. Man is given arms and legs and is
'expected' — has the capacity — to act according to the
highest ideals, but behind it all is a deterministic "order and
If man really had free-will, this world would be utter
chaos. Every desire and whimsy would be fulfiled without
delay. We would be masters of our lives. Nothing would
be unexpected — no illness, no unhappiness, no death — at
least not for ourselves! What we may wish upon other
people would be another matter! We appear to have a free
will because of our illusory sense of ego, of self, and as
long as that sense of self-identity remains, then we have to
make decisions according to our best discrimination. This
world is the plane of action, and act we must, whether we
like it or not. And somewhere within the plexus of action
and reaction, we have enough conditioned free-will to be
responsible for our actions and thoughts, which — making
new or kryaman karmas — provides the mechanism for
rebirth on this plane of existence, after our death.
This subject has innumerable ramifications, beyond the
scope of this book, but the aspect which interests us here is
that all our health and state of bodily harmony and
disharmony is conditioned, through our mental apparatus,
into our emotional and physical layers of being. It is
destined. And we are also destined and meant to struggle
with it. This is a part of the game of life.
So, all our illness or health, come — in a very real sense —
from within ourselves. The vibrations of our karmas are
reflected and molded into every cell of our body and
every action we perform. Not only that, but everything
that happens to us is a manifestation of what lies within
our minds. We have created the pattern of our so-called
outer lives. Our lives reflect our mind and personality in
How often do we observe that the same patterns happen
to ourselves, our friends and associates, time and time
again? Some are born lucky, some contented, some are
driven, some always attract misfortune. How? Psychologists are right when they say that it is the function of our
personality and subconscious mind that makes things
happen to us. But without an understanding of the inner
processes of karma and its outworking through the energy
fields of the physical plane, the picture is incomplete.
Our bodies and state of health, therefore, are vibrationally patterned by our inner karmas, or the energy patterning which provides the character of our life, from
within. All understanding, therefore, of these processes
must bear in mind that the underlying pattern which
makes an individual unique cannot be totally changed
(unless that is also destined, karmically!). It can only be
brought into a greater or lesser degree of balance, also
according to the destiny of that soul.
All approaches to health, therefore, are those of the
philanthropist who attempts to make life better for the
inhabitants of the prison. They are attempts to achieve
balance. This effort is of great importance, to relieve
suffering in the world and in one's own individual life. But
the greatest philanthropist of all is the one with the key to
, the prison, who lets all the prisoners escape from harsh
justice. But this is the role of the deepest mystic and its
discussion is, once again, beyond the scope of this small
The Web of Life