SOUL-FIELD, MIND & REINCARNATION
In outlining the most essential factors in the world-process it was necessary to omit many things so as not to make the picture too complex. The difficulty in such an attempt is that the definition of every term depends to a large extent on the meaning given to other related words. Any world-picture of existence is like a vast polyphony of concepts, each melodic line acquiring its real meaning only in the ever-changing, dynamic relationship of all other lines. It is also like a tapestry revealing abstract forms and a vibrant interplay of colors which change to a large extent according to the angle of vision of the onlooker and the quality of the light which illumines the tapestry. As we shall see in another chapter, what is to be sought is not a kind of analytical and fully objective "Truth" but the development of a capacity to "see" reality in its multifarious and interdependent aspects; to be a conscious witness to the immense, rhythmic process of unfoldment of potentiality into actuality, which is what we experience as existence.
Such a capacity for vision is a matter of no small importance. It is at the very root of our everyday approach to interpersonal relationships and to life in general. This approach depends not only on the quality of our consciousness and the power of assimilation and organization of our mind, but also, and indeed primarily, upon the data and the ideas made available to our image-making and intuitive faculties. The average person in any culture and under the influence of any particular religious organization is introduced through his education to but a relatively narrow range of concepts. These are conditioned by definite socio-psychological pressures and based on rigid methods of thinking, feeling, and observing through the senses. Even modern science, at least in its most academic and popularized aspects, operates under some very definite presuppositions and postulates. Perhaps the most basic of these undemonstrable hypotheses is that the laws and the universal constants it has discovered and successfully applied within a limited space-time environment are always and everywhere true and unchanging. Another limiting attitude is science's exclusive dependence upon empirical procedures which are not considered conclusive or even acceptable unless every trained researcher can repeat them and obtain the same results at any time.
In contrast to such an attitude I have stressed the concepts of an infinity of potentialities and of an ever-changing process of cyclic transformation which, during its many phases, reacts to always new needs by important changes of rhythm. The attitude taken is therefore basically open to change. There is, it is true, in the world-picture I present, a basic factor which remains permanent throughout a particular cyclocosm of existence; this factor is the Creative Word, which impresses itself upon the original release of potentiality at the beginning of the cycle and which controls the process of actualization of this set of potentialities from the alpha to the omega states of the cyclic process. However this creative word is a "constant" in a sense which differs from the one given to the constants of modern physics. It is a constant in terms of goal rather than in terms of method — a very important distinction.
What the Pleroma-Mind of the old universe had "envisioned" and impressed upon the Eternal Virgin (the Infinite Potential) will be actualized at the omega state of the new universe; but (1) the scope of this actualization is, I believe, not determined; that is, the group of Perfected Beings who constitute this omega-actualization may be relatively small or large depending on the success of the entire cyclocosmic scheme, and (2) the methods used during the cyclic process can change considerably at any time. In other words even if the basic character of the end-results is predetermined when the process begins at the level of actual, concrete existence, the conditions of the actualization are not necessarily determined.
This must be so if the idea that potentiality and actuality are two polar principles which, like the Yin and Yang of Chinese philosphy, are present in ever-varying proportions in any state either of existence or of what we call non-existence. In a sense we could say that this is the basic metaphysical Fact. These two polarities, potentiality and actuality, are contained (a very awkward term) within what I mean by ONE, the Principle of Wholeness; and this "containment" is symbolized in the Chinese Tai Chi figure by the circle within which the two forms, Yang and Yin, white and black, interact, waxing and waning in relation to each other.
Practically speaking this means that the potentiality of change is never absent at any time. We do not live in a universe of only law and order; it is also a universe in which the dominant fact of the capacity of a divinely created Image-logos to reach perfect actualization at the end of the universal cycle does not preclude the possibility of important variations in the methods used at any time to produce this result. These variations may be required because existence is relatedness, and the possibilities of interrelationship between the multitude of existents is so vast, though not exactly infinite, that the results are never fated. They are indeed at least partially unpredictable except for the fact that at the end of the cycle, the omega state, what was potentiality in the beginning will be actualized in a group of successful Beings. What is at stake here is a qualitative result i.e., there will be a Pleroma of perfect Beings in the omega state but not a quantitative fact — i.e., the exact number of Beings having reached perfection or full actualization of the logos-potentiality.
What this implies should be clearly stated: If we consider the two factors in existence spoken of in Part One of this book, "selfhood" and "relatedness," the fact of selfhood constitutes the permanent changeless polarity in a cyclic development, while that of relatedness refers to the nearly infinite possibilities of change. Relatedness therefore introduces the factor of unpredictability into what, according to the principle of selfhood, would be a totally expectable end-result. In selfhood there is determinism; in relatedness, that indeterminacy which leads to what we usually call freedom. I am what I am as a self; the fundamental Tone of my field-of-existence remains identical from birth to death — and, in a sense at least, beyond the death of the physical body. It is the unity aspect of my existence. But the consciousness of the whole organism of personality which operates on the basis of this individual selfhood is at all times affected by the multiplicity of relationships to which I am at first subjected, and into which I later enter more or less freely.
Thus unpredictability and predictability are co-existing facts during the whole cyclic process of existence. They can be abstracted into the concept of the polarized co-existence of order and randomness. No process of existence is ever totally and rigidly ordered and pre-determined; chance is an ever-present reality. Yet chance is not the basic fact of existence as modern scientists seem to believe. Chance is only the result of the nearly infinite complexity of interactions between existents. Because of this complexity many, if not most, existential situations cannot be plotted down exactly and quantitatively expressed. Some people might say that the human mind cannot do it, but that God's Mind, being omnipotent and omnipresent, can know precisely and at any time, past, present and future, the total situation of every atom in the universe. This, however, does not fit into the world-picture which I am presenting, because it creates an idea of God which seems unnecessary, unwarranted and actually unacceptable at the present stage of the evolution of human consciousness — unless it be today the consciousness of human beings at its least developed level. Because such a level represents a condition of almost complete mental passivity and of feeling-subservience to the overwhelming power of Life, the consciousness operating in such conditions has to deify and personalize this Life-power.
Mind and its Multilevel Operation
In the ever-changing polar relationship between polarity and actuality mind occupies a most important role which, so far, I have not sufficiently discussed. I have spoken of mind as "formed consciousness," but this was only a temporary statement which lacked precision. Let me now try to define the different aspects of mind, and to state how mind operates at the various levels of the process of actualization of potentialities of existence. Mind is indeed a crucial factor in this process of actualization.
Mind is the capacity to hold images of existence in a coherently interrelated, consistent and formal state of consciousness. The character of a mind depends therefore on the nature of the images which it is its function to interrelate and more or less formally to integrate into a system. It is at some level of existence a system of concepts; but we should be able to think of a mind which operates at a level at which we can no longer speak precisely of concepts, but rather of "images."
In terms of existential facts, the word, mind, refers normally to a more or less well organized field of activities which transcends the sense-perceived activities of what we call the human "body." The activities referred to the field of "mind" include all types of thinking processes: memory and anticipation, generalization and abstraction of data of perception, the formation of concepts or mental images and the formulation of goals through the use of words or other kinds of symbols.
Also mind is able to move back and forth as it were in time sequence; it remembers, and it projects what it knows into the future. Indeed mind and time are closely interrelated. A mind is a whole of consciousness; it is the structured field of consciousness of any existential whole — and not only of a human being. Wherever there is consciousness there is, structuring it, some kind of mind, and it is unfortunate that most people and even many eminent philosophers speak of a type of consciousness transcending mind. The intellectual, conceptual mind is only one kind of mind. Sri Aurobindo's "supermind" is still mind though it transcends what we ordinarily call mind; it is a mind that "sees" rather than a mind that cogitates and argues pro and con in dualistic terms. But it is mind in that it integrates images of reality, even though it be a supersensorial and superconceptual reality, the experience of which can hardly be formulated in words. It is the Pleroma-mind.
Many modern psychologists of the academic type are bent upon proving that mind can be entirely reduced to the activities of the nerves and particularly of the brain of the physical body. That such activities, explainable in electrical and chemical terms, exist is evident. The question is whether they may not be the end-results of the operation of a formative principle inhering in the total field-of-existence which constitutes a human person.
Mind also operates in a whole species which manifests through a myriad of organisms of the same type, and not merely through the nervous systems of these organisms. If it could be demonstrated that a conscious individual person is still able to think and perform certain kinds of mental operations after the disintegration of his physical body, the position taken by materialistically inclined scientists would become untenable. For some individuals today it is already untenable for this very reason.
There are on the other hand philosophers and even eminent scientists who are reductionists in the opposite sense. For them a body is but a projection, concretization, or sensorial interpretation of a mind. All is mind, some say; God, too, is Mind — divine or cosmic Mind.
The position I am taking resolves this dualism of mind and body by stating that the Principle of Wholeness, ONE, operates at three basic levels of existence, that is, at the levels of Materiality, of Life and of "Ideity." We saw that consciousness is inseparable fromwholeness, therefore consciousness must also operate at these three levels. Mind can likewise exist at these levels, but with a fundamentally different character at each level. And I repeat that by mind I mean the capacity inherent in any existential whole to hold images of existence in a coherent, interrelated and structured field of consciousness.
We can only speculate on what form consciousness and mind take at the level of Materiality. Yet in view of recent developments in atomic physics — and of what scientists like the French professor at the Paris University, Robert Tournaire, and the Director of the Superior Institute of Sciences and Philosophies in Brussels, Robert Linssen, have written (cf. Linssen's book La Spiritualite de Materiere, and works by the Roumanian philosopher, Lupasco, and other European scientists) — I do not think it at all fantastic to speak of the atom's mind. Wherever there is consciousness there is at least some rudimentary type of mind, The potentiality of mind, that is, of coherent forms of consciousness, is implied in any field-of-existence; and it is the structure of this field which determines, or at least conditions, the structural directives of the mind.
Obviously the question one should answer then is: What is it that determines the structure of fields-of-existence? The answer is: the multitudinous aspects of the Creative Word, which is "imagined" by the Pleroma of the previous universe. Through this Word the release of the original creative Power pours forth, starting the World-process — somewhat, I repeat, as the light of a motion picture projector pours through a film. This Creative Word has, symbolically speaking, a multitude of Letters. Each Letter is a Soul Image. Because this Image is invested with power, we should rather speak of a Soul-field.
At first the Soul Image is very broad, referring to the form of vast cosmic movements, like the form of spiral nebulae; and the power integrally associated with it is only slightly differentiated, producing tremendous whorls of energy sucking in the inert dust of cosmic space barely emerging from a state of negative potentiality (i.e., of nearly total indifference to existence) and indeed resisting integration out of sheer inertia. But even then a diffuse, unitarian, cosmic kind of consciousness can be imagined, which passively reflects the most primary aspect of the consciousness of the creative Logos. This creative consciousness, in its focalized condition, can be called the Divine Mind. It constitutes the transcendental aspect of mind — mind beyond existence, yet mind as the structuring power of a new cycle of existence.
Mind always acts as a formative power; it gives form to consciousness. Any active, dynamic type of consciousness needs to be focused through a mind-structure. It is always consciousness which changes potency into power, but consciousness can only achieve this in its focused state as mind. It is mind rather than consciousness which acts. Consciousness is inherent in an existential whole just because it is whole; consciousness is wholeness reflected upon the field-of-existence. It is in this sense a feed-back process, but a process inherent in existence. What can be blocked is not consciousness itself but its operative aspect as mind. Consciousness can be unfocused; then it produces no definable mental activity.*
*Mind structures whatever is available in terms of experience and more generally in terms of the contents of consciousness. But if there is nothing or very little to structure, mind turns as it were upon itself and tries to refine its methods of operation; it acts for instance as logic and epistemology. It matters little what it operates upon provided the operation is done perfectly; and we have excellent examples of this in modern art, in academic philosophy and even in surgery heart-transplants and the like, which are essentially an excuse for the demonstration and improvement of surgical virtuosity, an excuse camouflaged under humanitarian motives needed to rouse the emotional thirst for existence of egos of prospective patients. The ego enjoys its intellectual virtuosity which bolsters its prestige; and in a strictly egocentric society, and a consumer society, this is the stuff of which success, fame and wealth are made.
Thus, the answer to the question "What is it that determines the structure of a field-of-existence?" should be: a mind inherent in a Soul-Image and active within the Soul-field. But we should not confuse Soul-field with field-of-existence. What I mean by field-of-existence is simply the field of electro-magnetic energies, (and no doubt ofother as yet unknown types of energies,) which both pervade and surround a material entity and a living organism; and in the case of a living organism we can speak of the "auric field" — even though the word, aura, when used by clairvoyants or pseudo-clairvoyants, has received varied and confusing interpretations.
A Soul-field, on the other hand, is the field of energies of a spiritual type which are differentiations of the unitarian release of power originating in the Creative Act that started the cycle of existence. In a basic sense all types of energies originate in this creative release of power; but when we reach the level of Life much of this initial stream of energy has become, as it were, "locked" in the atoms of the realm of Materiality. We might illustrate this fact by referring to the locking in of electrical power in a car battery. The kinetic energy of the current which charges the battery becomes potential energy in the battery. In this sense every atom is a charged battery which can be used by existential wholes at the levels of Life and Ideity.
As we shall presently see, such a process of transformation of kinetic into potential energy operates in a human body in terms of the type of energy specific to the realm of Life. It operates also when the process of individualization of a human being reaches a more concrete phase; that is, when a one-to-one relationship is established, even if only tentatively, between a Soul-field and the field-of-existence of a particular person.
The Soul-Field and the Self
I may not have made sufficiently clear the relationship between the Soul-field and the self of a human individual, for at first I could only hint at the existence of three levels of operation of ONE, the very principle of existence. I spoke of these three levels as Materiality, Life and Ideity without elaborating upon the meaning I gave to the last term. The realm of Materiality refers basically to atoms and molecules; the realm of Life to living cells and organisms, human bodies included; and the realm of Ideity refers to the operation of individually conscious minds and to the integration of these individual minds into groups — groups which reach an ultimate integration in the unanimistic activities of the multiune Pleroma, spiritual Seed of a vast existential cycle.
I used the neologism, Ideity, because minds operating at this level do so in terms of "ideas" to which the human being relates himself (theoretically at least) as an individual thinker. Even the division of the word into "I" and "deity" evokes the possibility, inherent at that level of existence, of eventually reaching a "divine" state of consciousness and being. Such a state has its root-beginning in the establishment of a steady and increasingly pervasive and effectual one-to-one relationship between a Soul and the living organism of a particular man — a relationship which normally can only become totally encompassing through a series of ever-closer contacts between the Soul-field and a succession of human persons. This is of course the basis of the concept of "reincarnation." The term, reincarnation, is however a vague term to which various meanings can be given; and I shall try briefly to elucidate what the process refers to and presumably implies.
In order to do so I must, first, try to clearly define what I mean by "self." The self within a human being is the Fundamental Tone (a basic rhythm of existence) which powers and sustains the entire field of existence of this human being. This Tone resounds throughout the auric field. It is the AUM-tone of the existential cycle. In this Tone the presence or catalytic action of ONE is operative. It is basically unchanging throughout the existential cycle.
What complicates the human situation and the character of the self in man is the fact that man — who first is a mere unit in the vast entity we call mankind belonging to the realm of Life — can become and is destined to become "individualized" and, through the process of individualization, operative at the level of Ideity. This means, as we have already seen, that the individual person actually operates at two levels: the level of Life and the level of Ideity. Moreover, the operations of Life are dependent to a large extent, but not exclusively upon the energy locked in material atoms. Thus, briefly stated, a fully individualized human person operates as matter, as life and as an individualized mind.
As a living body, man is a field-of-existence in which inheres a "vital" type of consciousness and mind. For the sake of clarity I should call this vital mind a proto-mind or organic mind; and the quasi-instinctual biopsychic type of consciousness it structures is to modern man sub-consciousness. Through this human field-of-existence a self vibrates. This self is the fundamental Tone of the human organism as a whole; and this organism-as-a-whole includes many overtones constituted by feelings, emotions and various psychic activities. It includes even the proto-mind which man shares with animals and even plants, according to recent experiments already mentioned.
Life is not Ideity; the two levels are distinct and become increasingly so as evolution progresses toward the Pleroma-state at which Life presumably ceases to operate, except perhaps in a transformed and reflected sense. Nevertheless Life is the" root"-foundation of the human "plant"; and it is only when the "seed" is completely mature and leaves the old slowly disintegrating plant that this root-foundation ceases to be operative, its potential energy having been locked within the seed. This means that the self which is the Root-tone of the living organism of human beings is only the foundation of developments which will pertain to the process of individualization. Without deep foundations a soaring tower cannot exist; neither can there be in man individualization, and individual mental development at the level of Ideity, without the steady vibration of the Root-tone in man's auric field. When this vibration ceases, death immediately ensues.
However, this fundamental Tone of selfhood has overtones. The power inherent in this tone spreads through these overtones; and the main focus of this power can be transferred to one of these overtones, particularly to the second overtone the frequency of which is, in relation to the fundamental Tone, in the proportion of 3 to 1. This refers in acoustics and music to the interval of the twelfth — an octave plus a fifth. If the fundamental Tone has a frequency of 100 vibrations per second, the first overtone has a frequency of 200 (it is the octave above) and the second overtone a frequency of 300 (the fifth above this octave-sound).
This musical illustration is most valuable because it explains, I believe accurately, the process that takes place when a man who is truly individualized and autonomous sees the Root-power of his existence re-focused at the level of the "individual soul" — which means, at least symbolically, in the region of the heart. Such a refocusing does not mean that the fundamental Tone, the self, no longer operates. What it means is that the power of self is now focused at the level of the second overtone, the heart center to which we already referred (page 85, chapter IV).
The self was originally focused in what the Hindu yogi calls the Muladhara chakra at the base of the spine, that is, in the pelvic region. There too (more forward in the body and a little below the navel) is what is known in Japan as the Hara region. "Mula" means root. In that pelvic region the Root-power of Life is focused; within it the seed of man develops. The vital-physical seed moves downward through the sexual organs; on the other hand, the full process of individualization in its more occult sense represents a moving upward of the seed-power toward the heart, then toward the cranial region in which, according to Hindu yoga, the descending light of the divine consciousness, Shiva, becomes united with the ascending energy of the vital organism totally concentrating in the Ajna center — the center between and back of the two eyebrows.
In the Hindu Kundalini Yoga, kundalini which is to be raised from the pelvic root-level to that of the frontal region (Ajna chakra) is the fundamental power of Life. The Hatha Yogi deals with Life-energies. He gathers into a thin stream of light the energies of all the cells of the body and focuses them in Ajna. This utter integration of Life-energies normally dispersed through the physical organism callsfor a response from the Soul; but this is Soul at the level of Life, non-individualized Soul. What occurs is not super-individual, but "preindividual." The type of consciousness and power which is released is consciousness and power at the level of Life — Life being experienced then in a cosmic sense. The Tantrik officiants who perform the sexual rites experience the sexual power, basic in the realm of Life, also in a cosmic sense. We may call these experiences spiritual for they deal with pure potentiality and immediacy of response to ONE, the Principle of Wholeness; but they are not spiritual at the level of Ideity. At that level the experience of pure potentiality and unity is only reached in the Pleroma, that is in the unanimous consecration of perfected Beings to ONE, a consecration which manifests actively as pure Compassion.*
*Actually the pelvic region should be symbolized by the interval of an octave separating or, one could also say, linking the fundamental tone and the first overtone — thus the relation 1 to 2. The region between the solar plexus and the heart center is symbolized by the interval of fifth (the relation 2 to 3); that between the heart region and the throat center, the "creative" center from which words are uttered, by the fourth above (relation 3 to 4). Above the throat center we find the Ajna center which represents No.5, producing the musical interval of natural third; and above Ajna the Sahasrara center, the multi-petalled Lotus, corresponds to No.6, an octave above the No.3 of the heart center.
As the Root-tone of the human organism, the self contains only the potentiality of full, conscious individualization; it is an expression of Life. A man is at first only a "human" being, a member of the human species — a species which fulfills a particular function in the planetary organism of the Earth. And when I speak thus of the Earth I am not thinking only of a mass of matter but of a field of activities extending far beyond the physical level. It extends beyond the physical because Man (and undoubtedly Beings above the level of present-day mankind) are active within this Earth-field, and are indeed integral parts of it.
The development of a fully conscious and autonomous individual is potential in the self; it becomes actualized only when a one-to-one relationship between a human organism and a particular, differentiated Soul-Image is established. As this occurs ONE operates in a new way, bringing together Soul and human organism. It operates at the level of Ideity — at the level of what in India is called karana sharira, usually translated as "Causal body," though the term, body, is quite confusing. It should more correctly be called the "Causal Field."
It is this operation of ONE at a new level which sooner or later causes the re-focusing of the power of self from the pelvic to the Heart region. As this refocusing process (or musically speaking, "modulation") occurs, the energy of the differentiated Soul-field can also flow into the field-of-existence of the individualized human being, and this can produce almost miraculous effects. Unfortunately, as we have seen in previous chapters, in most cases the individualization process at first passes through a negative phase. The individualization of consciousness has to move through the phase of ego-formation, and the ego gets hold of the new power and uses it to its own purposes. This ego-centric and ego-glorifying phase cuts off the human organism from the power of the Soul-field. The Soul can only "watch and wait" until, through crises and catharsis, the ego collapses and finally realizes that its only function was to provide some sort of "scaffolding" for the development of a truly autonomous consciousness, structured by a mind widely open to the possibility of unceasing renewal, and thus able to respond to the vibrations of the Soul-field.
The consciousness of a human being at first cannot respond effectively to such Soul-vibrations, or at least it cannot reach a state in which focused activity is possible unless a mind is developed to allow such a focused activity. In its first phase, the building of the mind requires subservience to the collective patterns of a particular family, culture, and society. As we have previously seen, these constitute "matrices" for the development of a conscious mind. As long as such matrices feature egocentricity as a constant fact of existence and are based on acquisitiveness, aggressiveness and competitive drives toward financial or political power, the child and adolescent can only develop minds that are also ego-controlled — or that react violently and confusedly against this ego-control and the hypocritical procedures of their society.
As long as this is the existential situation, the one-to-one relationship of the Soul to the personality can only remain mostly ineffective. A link is formed between the Soul-field and the field-of-existence of the human being, and the Soul tries to reach, at least on critical occasions, the consciousness of the person. But as long as the ego is dominant such inner promptings — the "voice of the conscience" and various hunches — can easily be blocked or misinterpreted.
During such an egocentric phase, which covers probably many millennia of human evolution, man operates in a state of inner conflicts as well as in a society rent by the struggles between classes, groups and ambitious individuals. The inner conflicts are essentially the results of the fact that the human field of existence is oscillating between two foci of power — the pelvic and the heart centers. The circle with one center has become an ellipse with two foci. Men speak of lower and higher selves. Yet self is always one power; whatfluctuates is the place and character of the focusing of this power a fluctuation which reflects itself in the state of the consciousness and the concentration of the mind.*
*For the Christian mystics, particularly those related to the tradition of Mount Athos monasteries, the focus of the unitive life and of meditation is the Heart, or the Rose-Cross center already mentioned. The focus of selfhood is already established there potentially; it is the meditator's purpose to center it vividly and effectively in that region. Thus the mystic may concentrate on visualizing Christ in the Heart and repeating the great Christian mantram, the Kyrie Eleison, imprinting it as it were upon this Heart center. However there is another Christian way of the spirit: the exercise of compassion or real "charity" — that is, living a life which no longer concentrates on the raising of the Life-force, kundalini, but rather on raising the consciousness of other human beings. This way is the Western equivalent, at a new level, of the Indian Karma Yoga, the yoga of works accomplished for the sake of "the One" without any thought of ego-satisfying results, or even of ego-destroying results; for thinking of any result or goal, or of success or failure, would be a deterrent to dedication to the One Actor, God-Ishvara.
The blame for such a difficult situation in terms of the relationship between Soul and physical organism is however not to be laid upon the human individual alone. The situation, tragic as one might think it to be, is a seemingly inevitable result of the evolutionary process which, as we have already seen, operates in two directions. There is the involutionary movement of the Soul towards the kind of precise qualitative differentiation which will make it possible for the one-to-one relationship with a particular human organism to work out; and there is the opposite evolutionary movement within the Earth's biosphere which manifests as gradually more complex, refined and clearly conscious biological species, and eventually as ever more intelligent and sensitive human races and social groupings. Both of these movements can probably be partially frustrated for a time; and the frustrating factor is what we call "evil."
In many mythological traditions Wars in Heaven are spoken of. These Wars refer to a struggle between opposing factors in the realm of Soul-involution. One may well assume that an antagonism of cosmic forces can operate at the level of the solar system and especially of the galaxy, because every release of potentiality can andindeed must, lead to both positive and negative results. This is a fundamental principle in a cyclocosmic approach to existence. Besides, as stated in H.P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, various cosmogonical traditions imply that the origin of evil on this Earth was due to the failure of many Souls to incarnate in the primitive human forms at the time when such a process was needed according to the pattern of development of the planetary cycle. This is no doubt a mythical way of saying that a certain kind of inertia can develop concerning the process of gradual differentiation of the Soul.
What such a differentiation means is that the "Oversoul" of the human species, which operates strictly at the level of Life and overshadows and controls the whole of mankind, may resist being differentiated into Souls able to establish a one-to-one relationship with only one human being. There is a relationship between this Oversoul, Man, and the human species — or, in Biblical terms, between Yahveh (Ruler of the Life-forces of the Earth's biosphere) and the collectivity of mankind; and if one thinks of Yahveh as a "tribal god," this god rules with compulsive power over the tribe, whose Soulfield he represents. But when the process of individualization actually begins, this compulsive power is challenged by the development of more and more differentiated and, from the Soul point of view, individualized Soul-images and Soul-fields.
The basic "Image of Man" (which is what the concept of a Manu essentially means in Hindu mythology) differentiates into a multitude of Variations on this one Theme, Man. Each Soul is such a particular unique Variation. The basic Theme, Man, remains; but much of its power is transferred to the many individual Soul-Variations — a process which parallels that of the "modulation" of the fundamental Tone of the self in a human organism to its overtone related to the Heart center.
The Theme that was being reiterated unceasingly in every specimen of the human species can "resist" its being transformed into individual Soul-Variations. It is such a resistance which we find mythified in the story of the conflict between the god Jupiter and Prometheus. By giving to all human beings the fire of individualized selfhood Prometheus actually differentiated the unitarian power of the deity into a multitude of at least potential power-centers, one for every individual. Because, at that remote time in history, it was only a potential gift Prometheus was chained to a rock by Jupiter. His liver was devoured by a vulture; but was immediately reconstituted and re-devoured — the liver here symbolizing man's capacity for assimilating and metabolizing as an individual the results of his relationship with other individuals.
In other words Jupiter managed to defeat the process initiated by Prometheus, or in India by the Kumara Host — but not forever. Prometheus was to be delivered from his chains and his torments by a hero. This hero was the Christ. In Wagner's Tetralogy he is Siegfried who frees the Walkure condemned to lie asleep, imprisoned by her divine father, Wotan, within a ring of fire because she showed compassion for human beings; thus thwarting Wotan's "law."
As Prometheus is freed, the long frustrated process of individualization starts again on a larger scale. An increasing number of Souls achieve a more differentiated state through their successive relationships with a series of human individuals born in societies which embody in their increasingly more open institutions the ideal of individualism.
Karmic Patterns or Monads
At this point it is necessary to bring into our study of the process of individualization a factor which I did not want to introduce earlier so as not to make the evolutionary picture too complicated. I hinted at it however in a previous footnote. In a sense, considering the present-day mentality of human beings, it is a most important factor; yet its existence does not actually alter anything that has been said thus far.
What this factor refers to is the apparent and logical, or perhaps I should say "cyclo-logical," problem posed by the concept that a vast cosmic cycle of existence should end in only two extreme conditions: that of total "success" (the Seed Pleroma of Beings having actualized perfectly the potentialities released at the beginning of the cycle by the Creative Word) and that of total "failure" (the disintegrating remains of all that dropped by the wayside during the evolutionary process and furnishing "manure" for a new universe). It seems necessary to believe that there are also intermediate states of actualization of potentiality between these two extremes of success and failure.
This does not alter the idea that all releases of cosmic potentiality imply the inevitability of a negative as well as a positive outcome, and that therefore a cosmic cycle of existence ends in a dualistic success-failure situation. What it refers to is the realization that, when in the process of evolution, a one-to-one relationship between a Soul and a living human organism has been reached, something has happened which must have special consequences. The action or presence of ONE at the very core of that relationship constitutes a new type of integration. A field of relationship is established which encompasses and gradually integrates the Soul-field and the field-of-existence of the human being becoming linked with the individualizing Soul. This field of relationship is presumably what some Hindu philosophical systems spoke of as Hiranyagarbha, also spoken of in Western occultism as "the Auric Egg." It could be called the "Ideity field" because it represents the manifestation of ONE at a new level, the level of what I have called Ideity.
In a merely living organism, a plant or an animal, ONE is also present, but in a lesser form of integration and at a less explicit stage of the universal Principle of individual existence. Life is compulsive and ruthless in its operation, for it must deal with multitudes of specimen of the same basic archetypal structure; thus there can be no individual freedom of choice in its realm. By contrast, at the level of Ideity, individuality is a basic fact. The presence of ONE operates in its most precisely focused condition. It not only brings Soul and human organism together as interrelated factors within the field of their one-to-one relationship — even though for a long time the human consciousness has a very vague and distorted picture of such a relationship — but it is "present" as the definite potentiality of a fully individualized selfhood. It is present and focused in the Heart of man.
When the level of this manifestation of ONE is reached, the deciding factor is what takes place within and through this "Ideity field" — thus between the Soul-field and the human field-of-existence. Not the Soul alone, not individual man alone, but their relationship.
This relationship however is not something entirely "new"; it has back of it a karmic inheritance. It is conditioned from the very moment it was established by the karma of a relationship which, in its place and function in the past universe, corresponded to it. This must be so because this entire present universe is karmically related to the past universe. The present universe exists in order to take care of the "unfinished business" of the past one. As individual persons related to a particular Soul, you and I exist in order to take care of a tiny part of the vast unfinished business of the past universe.
Let us put it very crudely to stress the point: If at the hour of 11:00 in the "Day" of a past planetary or cosmic evolutionary process a failure in relationship occurred involving a Soul and a "human" being, at the same hour in the "Day" of this present universe, that failure can be neutralized and transmuted into success. What failed during the past universe has now a "second chance" to achieve success.
This can be interpreted by saying that "I" lived at that time in the past universe and now "I" have to deal with this karma; and, if successful, I shall then contribute to the success aspect of this present universe in however microscopic a manner it may be. This would be the popular attitude generally accepted in India and among our present-day "esotericists." But one could also take the 'I'-concept out of the karmic picture and simply say that a small pattern of karma — a failure in relationship in certain existential conditions led automatically to the present emergence of a particular human being having reached the stage of individualization, such an emergence being necessary in order to reestablish the Harmony of the universal whole. This would be more like the official Buddhist view of the matter.
In terms of the first-mentioned approach, we can speak of "monads" that partially failed in past cycles and that now once more have incarnated in order to better "learn their lesson." This term, monad, was popularized by the German philosopher Leibnitz in the seventeenth century and adopted by the Theosophists two centuries later. A monad is simply a "one." It is one number in the infinite series of whole numbers. If we consider such a series, then No. 1 is the first monad, from which all others have derived, as overtones derive from a fundamental tone. This No. 1 monad is of course "the One," the One God, the Logos, Ishvara, the Supreme Identity of the cosmos; and to that No. 1 all theistic religions pray. The No. 1 of our universe is "karmically related" to the No. 1 of the past universe, in that the original Creative Word of this universe was conditioned by the overall type of failure of the past universe.
However when I speak of ONE I have in mind a Principle, not a Being. I speak of That which manifests in and through every number, whether it be No. 1 or No. 365,432. ONE is the Principle of Existence — existence as a whole of activity in an unceasing state of relationship to other wholes. Any whole that has reached the human state of conscious individualization and has failed to meet fully the challenge of relationship with other human wholes can be said to "generate karma"; that is to say, he has acted "against" ONE. He has repudiated the presence of ONE in his field-of-existence and his mentally focused consciousness. To that extent he is at least a partial "failure" however much he may be successful in other modes of activities. He is thus given another chance of neutralizing this failure in a future cycle.
The question is whether one has to say that the "he" who failed actually reappears in the future cycle as the same "he"! When the phase No. 365,432 appears in the new cycle, its appearance carries the karmic imprint (in Buddhism, the skandhas) of the failure that occurred at this very point in the development of the past cycle. It is this failure which in a sense "reappears" and has to be met and dealt with. It is dealt with in the Ideity-field linking a new Soul-Image and a new human organism. As both are "new" so is therefore the Ideity-field new. Yet while the Ideity-field is new, it is also conditioned in its structure by the karma produced by the failure that occurred in the past cycle. It is existentially new but structurally conditioned by an event in a past cycle.
It is to such a "structural conditioning" that the believer in the popular process of reincarnation refers when he says that a monad that partially failed in the past is now — the same monad — reincarnating in the present cycle. Should we speak of "the same monad"? This is the question. If we do, we personalize (or at least "entitize") what can as well be considered an impersonal conditioning factor in a vast process. This personalizing produces a simpler picture of what is happening; and at a time when man tends to personalize or individualize everything it is easier to think of the reincarnation of "the same monad." Modern science nevertheless has been trying to "dis-entitize" what we normally consider objects with fixed characteristics; the concept of process is superseding that of set entities. Instead of speaking of an entity having a particular form, the progressive physicist speaks simply of "form," that is of the successive aspects or phases of a structured process. What structures the process, in occult terms, is the karmic imprint of a previous cycle during which, as it reached a parallel or "synchronistic" phase, some basic event occurred affecting the success-failure balance of the process. There is "good" as well as "bad" karma. Success leaves its structural mark as well as failure.
In other words, in thinking of such matters one can focus the attention on the cyclic process as a whole and its many phases, or else one can "entitize" the balance of success and failure at any stage of the process and speak of it as a monad — an entity which is partially successful and partially a failure. I repeat that success (or "good") means allowing ONE to operate as the Principle of integration without fearing or obstructing this operation; whereas failure (or "evil") means hindering or perverting the integrative process within which ONE is a constant presence. At the human level ONE, as the Principle of Integration, can be called "Love" — but Love in a universal sense rather than the emotional and inherently possessive love found in the relationship between two or more mainly egocentric individuals.
In the cyclo-cosmic World-picture which I am presenting, I emphasize processes and cycles rather than entities with fixed characteristics. I stress the flow of existence rather than any particular snapshot taken of it and given a definite particular name. I am speaking of "fields" in order to present a more modern picture of reality — a picture in which the most basic factor is relationship rather than entities related to each other yet never quite losing their essential character as "entities" — which means, at the individualized human level, single persons and, beyond the personal realm, single monads. Nineteenth century occultism and Theosophy emphasized most strongly the individualistic approach, indeed very often the "rugged individual" at even supposedly spiritual levels. The original concept of "the Brothers" in early theosophical books later gave way to one of "Masters" — of the powerful Adept, either white or black. The "White Lodge" ideal was largely replaced by that of a Hierarchy of Super-Individuals having personal names and performing very definite personalized functions.
The two types of pictures are in a sense complementary. ONE focuses itself at the level of Ideity in individual persons — persons who, when completely attuned to and integrated with a particular Soul-Image, fulfill indeed particular functions within the planetary field of Man. But these particular Soul-Images and functions are actually parts of a vast process of existence. They are all derived from the One Word in the beginning, the One Logos, Ishvara. In terms of activities they have their individual fields of operation; but in terms of consciousness and purpose, they all commune in an integral Whole of which I speak as the Pleroma — the fullness of perfected "being-ness". We might say that at close range they appear as "individuals"; but in their wholeness they constitute a sphere of white light — which is what one should understand when thinking of the "White Lodge." In this white light all colors are interrelated. Indeed this light is the relatedness of all the component illumined Souls.
At a much lower level — if we are individuals qualifying for the New Age — we should concentrate in our thinking upon the Ideity-field within which the Soul-field and the human field-of-existence gradually interact more consciously, rather than upon an individualistic monad that keeps reincarnating from time to time. The monad is the Ideity-field conceived as an entity. It is a "snapshot" of one brief phase (a human life) in the development of the Ideity-field.
In atomic physics light is described at times as a "wave"; at other times as a stream of "particles" called photons; and many scientists still think of an atom as a kind of sub-microscopic solar system with electrons revolving around the proton as planets do revolve around the sun. But this model of the atom, described by the physicist Bohr, is no longer valid in terms of the most recent concepts of physics.* It may be that the picture we make of the solar system is also not a truly correct one in an absolute sense; it is "true" only because our sense-perceptions operate the way they do and our intellect organizes them in a manner adapted to our state of consciousness.
*"By atomic particle we mean a manifestation of energy or of an amount of motion localized in a very small volume and susceptible of displacing itself with a finite speed. The electron. . . is a particle only to the extent to which it can manifest its presence in a locality with its total energy. The wave associated with the electron is not the physical vibration of something; it is only a field of probabilities." (Louis de Broglie, Continu et Discontinu, page 56).
In ancient astrology the "real" planet was not the mass of physical matter on which man may land someday, but the orbital space defined by the revolution of that physical mass around the sun; in other words the "field" of the relationship of that planet to the sun. Likewise most people think of the zodiac as a circular sequence of actual groups of stars called constellations, whereas it is rather the field of the yearly relationship of the earth to the sun. Constellations are only symbols — symbols of the cyclic relation of the earth's biosphere to the solar source of the energies which in their totality we call Life. In the same way the monad, considered as a fixed single entity, is a "myth" which expresses by means of a convenient Image the operation of a universal Principle of integration, ONE, at the level of the one-to-one relationship of Soul to the individual human person.
It is a very valuable myth, a powerful Image-symbol, which at the particular level of evolution of most human beings in this individualistic Age is most effective as an incentive for individual integration. But a New Age will soon open — it has presumably beenopened potentially since the days of Gautama, the Buddha. This New Age will demand new Images and symbols. A snapshot of a person in the midst of a series of operations can indeed be most valuable if we only want to study analytically that person's features and movements; but we are now in an age of motion pictures. The whole life of a person from birth to death is to be seen if we want to know the real "eonic" meaning of any single event or any single action of this person. We are at the dawn of the development of eonic consciousness.
This eonic consciousness can be applied not only to the total process of actualization of the set of birth-potentialities in the life of an individual person, but to a far more extensive process which, starting at the very beginning of the evolutionary process of individualization of "Man," will lead to a generalized state of Divine Marriage — the omega state of Man's evolution on this planet, Earth. If we consider only one Soul-Image and its relationship to human organisms, the process of individualization begins when the Ideity-field is first actualized. Yet it was a potentiality the moment the process of individualization began for Man as a whole, i.e., the moment symbolized by the "gift of fire" made to mankind by Prometheus.
This actualization of the Ideity-field begins when the human being reaches a point in his development at which he is able to give at least a faint, intuitive but conscious response to the near-presence of the Soul-field. We may also say that then the monad, which is the developing energy of the Ideity-field, is able to focus this energy upon the Heart center of the human being. Then the "modulation" of which we spoke early in this chapter also begins to take place, transferring the focus of the self from the pelvic center to the Heart center. Only then can we speak of the beginning of a reincarnation process, a process which is but one phase of the larger planetary or cosmic process of actualization of the potentialities released into existence by the creative Word.
The Process of "Reincarnation"
The essential purpose of this process is the full actualization and concretization of a Soul-Image in and through a fully responsive individual person, so that this whole person — by which I mean a total field-of-existence with its activities at several levels — becomes transfigured and transsubstantiated. The "transfiguration" refers to the mind, within and through which the Light of the Ideity-field pours; and the "transsubstantiation," to the very substance of the material organism.
We should not limit this purpose, to any one aspect of the human person; the culmination of the process must change every factor within the Ideity-field. It changes the existential person. It changes the Soul-field which, symbolically speaking, has "assimilated" the existential person making it relatively immortal. It changes the Ideity-field inasmuch as it brings "success" to the monad that had failed in the distant past — thus removing one very small block from the path of Man's total evolution toward the omega state of fulfillment. It affects not only an individual person but as well Man because the individual is only one small aspect of Man, one Variation on the planetary or cosmic Theme of Man.
The process of individualization operating within one Ideity-field cannot be isolated from what is happening to mankind-as-a-whole. The geographical location, the period, the culture and the society within which the process unfolds are important factors which our individualistic Western mentality, alas, is only too prone to ignore or dismiss as unimportant. Races and societies have cycles of reappearance which normally condition the individual cycle of reincarnation of a monad. And as I said before, rather than speak of the reappearance of a monad, one should study the periodical rhythm of activation and inactivation of the Ideity-field.
This Ideity-field, (or "Auric Egg") is the limited and apparently ovoidal space within which the Soul-to-person relationship has to work out. The relationship operates on an active basis as long as the human person lives, exceptions notwithstanding. When the man or woman dies, the Ideity-field becomes inactive; it enters into a condition of obscuration or latency. When a new human being is conceived or born, with whom the Soul enters into relationship, the field is reactivated. But the person who had previously died and the new one are not the same person. The Ideity-field (and thus the monad) is the same; the Soul-field is also the same — but a new human organism is drawn into the Ideity-field, and the social-cultural environment of the new birth differs in most cases from the one in which the first person was born.
Thus, what we have to consider is a succession of human persons, each completely new, who constitute the negative ever-renewed pole of the Ideity-field, of which the Soul-field is the permanent positive pole. Individual persons born at more or less lengthy intervals succeed one another in assuming the negative pole of the Soul-to-person relationship. During the period between the death of one of these persons and the birth of his "successor" the Ideity-field is, as stated above, inactive.
When this field is inactive the monad, which simply represented the focusing of the universal Principle ONE upon that field, is also in a state of relative latency — a state confusingly and variously described according to the metaphysical School speaking of it. It is evidently a "subjective" state. In that state, or more likely series of states, the monad presumably gravitates toward the positive pole of the Ideity field. This positive pole is the Soul-field; and in that field the 'spiritual harvest' of the experiences of the disintegrating individual person is gathered. This harvest is an "ideistic" factor the seed product of the activities of the individualized mind during the person's recently terminated lifespan.
The Ideity-field is of the nature of mind; but as used here, the word mind does not refer to the cogitating, arguing, dichotomizingand classifying intellect. It is mind as a creative power of consciousness — mind, as the "stuff" of which the Ideity-field is composed, mind as the result of the interplay of the Soul-field and the biopsychic human organism while the latter was alive.
Many students of modern American "metaphysics" as well as Theosophists, Kabbalists and the like teach that in the individual person mind exists at two levels; thus they speak of a "higher mind" and a "lower mind." The latter is still closely affected by the compulsive energies and drives of the level of Life; it refers also to the type of mental activities over which the ego rules. The "higher mind" on the other hand is the mind that is open to whatever comes to it from the Soul-field. It is the truly intuitive mind able to resonate to the large rhythms of the all-human and planetary evolution. It also can become infused with "eonic consciousness" as well as with promptings and Images emanating from the Soul-field with which it is definitely connected within the Ideity-field. And when the "Divine Marriage" occurs — which is the spiritual culmination of the Soul-to-person relationship — this higher mind reaches the state of the Pleroma-mind, focusing a fully developed eonic type of consciousness.
As this Divine Marriage occurs, the Soul-field and the human field-of-existence become one — and also one with the Ideity-field. The human individual reaches a state of personal immortality, which is "personal" only in the sense that the personality is then absorbed in the Soul-field while at the same time retaining its structural identity, its form. This is possible because this form has become the likeness of the Soul-Image. What was once a bio-psychic organism of Life-power is now an "organism of mind "power" — the Diamond Body of Asiatic lore, the "Resurrected Body of Christ." In it the Presence of ONE glows in a condition of perfect Pleromic consciousness. This is the goal of human evolution; and, if the term "Man" is used in its most cosmic sense, the goal of all evolutionary processes.The belief in reincarnation usually does not consider the complex process discussed in the preceding pages. It is based on the desire innate in most human beings to escape what seems to be an inevitable process of disintegration in and after death. It may be bolstered also by what are usually called memories of past lives; and of late various procedures more or less involving hypnotic suggestion have been widely used, claiming to lead to regression to past lives.
In most discussions concerning reincarnation and past lives the question of what is meant by the "I" that has lived before and that is supposed to remember is almost never asked. It is taken for granted that there is an "I" — a spiritual superphysical entity — that incarnates in various bodies. This "entity," as Edgar Cayce called it, is even said to select its parents as well as the life-circumstances into which it will be born. If there is such an entity it would be, in the world-picture I have outlined, the monad; but when most persons say "I" they actually refer only to the ego which was gradually formed out of the contacts between a human organism, operating at the level of Life, and its family and social-cultural environment. They know nothing but this ego and the name given them by their parents. Ego and name define what so many modern psychologists unfortunately call the self, meaning really the person-as-a- whole. It is this "self" and all its idiosyncrasies which most men today want to see perpetuated. They try to accomplish this physically in the organisms of their children, or in some work that will bring them a social kind of immortality; but this does not work too well in most cases, so they yearn for a more personal kind of permanence. And the modern movement of Spiritualism which began in the Forties of last century provides them with rather vague, but at times seemingly comforting proofs of such a permanence of the personality-self after death. But are such "proofs" valid and convincing? And if memories of past lives register in the consciousness of the now living person, are these truly "memories" — except in rather special and unduly publicized cases, especially those of children who recall events in the life of another child who died at a very early age?
I do not mean to say that events of past human lives may not somehow register in the consciousness of now living persons under certain critical circumstances and perhaps particularly under quasi-hypnotic states which do away temporarily with the ego-mind and its more or less rigid structures of consciousness. The real problem is whether or not the registering of such past events, scenes and surroundings is to be considered as the 'remembering' by a now living entity of what took place in a previous existence of this same entity. Is it really the same entity or do we assume it to be "the same" because our life-philosophy, or our deep unconscious desire, wants it to be the same?
The Ideity-field, or Auric Egg, most likely records events and responses which affect the relationship between the Soul-field and the living human person; it is these records in the Ideity-field which can be activated to impress the consciousness of the new human being. But the fact that this new human being is able in some circumstances or special states of consciousness to be impressed by these records does not mean that the recorded events happened to "him." They may have happened to a person who, centuries or years before, occupied the place which he now occupies in this Ideity-field, and who therefore should be considered his predecessor.
If we speak of a monad that is the integrating power of the Ideity-field, the life-events recorded did not happen to this monad; they happened to the living person who constituted only one pole of the field. One might say of course that the monad was in some way "involved" in these events; yet they really happened to the living person, not to the monad as such. I would rather think of these events as being recorded in the Ideity-field because of their importance to the relationship between the Soul and the human being, and that later they are reanimated at significant times in the life of the new individual so as to warn him or to enlarge his consciousness of the process of existence. Through such experiences with the reanimated past a person may be led to develop at least the first stage of "eonic consciousness" — a type of consciousness not limited by the ego-boundaries of its present field-of-existence but able to feel or intuitively sense the cyclic tides of the process of individualization.
The process is tidal, because it includes periods of activation and periods of inactivation or latency of the Ideity-field. Each onsurging tide takes for a time the form of an individual monad — an "I am" which transcends the ego-sense and becomes focused in the Heart center of the existent. Each receding tide dissipates this feeling of individuality-in-existence; but the seed harvest of the existential cycle is nevertheless gathered within the Soul-field (the Buddhi of early Theosophical writings — a kind of Soul granary). It is not only gathered, it is assimilated. It assists the Soul in its final stages of individualization and sharp focusing. Faculties are built into the Soul-field which call for a new and higher type of human organism to be drawn into the Ideity-field when the time for re-activation comes.
Humanity as a whole, and indeed the entire Life-field of the Earth, strive to be able to answer such a 'call' of the Soul-field, so that the very living substance of the planet may evolve and sensitize itself further in a symmetrical effort. This effort is symmetrical to the involutionary "descent" of the Soul-Image, which, as it comes closer to the human Earth-level, becomes more differentiated and sharper in its outlines. We have to consider in existence a two-fold movement of descent and ascent; yet it is but one process. To feel this process slowly and rhythmically unfolding in essential harmony in spite of all temporary set-backs is to develop eonic consciousness. But such a consciousness has no need to entitize or personalize every phase of the process. It is gradually becoming one with the process, one with the Eon. It exists in the constant presence of ONE.
The ldeity-field (the monad, in a sense) draws to itself a human organism about to be born which will be able to resonate to the vibrations of the Soul-field in such a way that the next stage in the differentiation and focalization-process of the soul Image can best be fulfilled. It is not really a matter of "selecting" parents and a particular environment, except perhaps at the most advanced stages of the process of individualization. It is much more a matter of "karma," that is, of dealing at a certain time, first, with the evolution of humanity and of a particular racial group and culture, then, with a particular phase of the process of individualization of a particular Soul-Image — a "Letter" of the Creative Word. That phase is conditioning the state of the Ideity-field to which a new human organism will be drawn.
As it is drawn into such a field, the human organism finds itself, unknowingly in nearly all cases, the "successor" of the person who previously occupied the negative pole of the relationship operating within that field. That is to say, the development of the new human being is structured as much by the fact that it occurs within a particular dynamic ideity-field as by its occurring within a certain family and social environment. Nevertheless the new human organism is first of all "human." It is an expression of trends in the Life-field of mankind. Only later on in its development will the human being become individualized. Of course, it is already potentially individualized by virtue of its presence within an Ideity-field; and the more nearly the Soul-field is ready for the Divine Marriage, the closer this potentiality of individualization is to actual individualization.
The very young child may already seem to be an individual; but this appearance merely reveals the influence of the ideity-field which he then passively reflects in pure "innocence." The reflection may, and usually does, fade out when, toward puberty, the specific energies of Life forcibly assert their power, or even before puberty under the psychological pressures of school and comrades. Likewise, even at the very beginning of its existence, a discordant family-situation may incite the nascent ego to become a positive, aggressive or neurotic force in order to hide the shock of disparateness between the inner situation (the condition of the Ideity-field) and the outer family environment.
The development of a human person is indeed a complex matter. It is already complex at the level at which the ordinary psychologist operates when he deals in the child with the transition from a state of instinctive subservience to life-energies to a state of more or less effective individualization in terms of ego-development. But many things cannot be accounted for or understood in their true basic meaning if another dimension of existence is not considered.
One might say that the realm of Life is three-dimensional; and that any organized state of Society is four-dimensional because it includes the sharing of experiences and of concerns and ideals with many other human beings. It includes also the capacity of "time binding" — to use the well-known phrase of Korzybski in his early book The Manhood of Humanity. The vegetable kingdom displays a "chemistry binding" capacity in transmuting solar energy into potential food for other lives; and the animal kingdom displays a "space binding" capacity as it brings out in the evolutionary picture the factor of displacement in space, of migration, of roaming in search of its food and water, of adventuring. Man "binds time" because he is able to transfer the harvest of his experiences to future generations by means of symbols, words and in terms of values. And this is a "fourth dimension" of existence.
There is, as already suggested, still another kind of "binding" — and we could speak of it as a fifth dimension of activity and consciousness. It refers to the "personality binding" power of the Soul-field. The permanent Soul is, as we saw, the positive pole of the Ideity-field, while a succession of many human persons occupies the negative pole. The Soul "binds" the spiritual harvest of all these personalities somewhat as a human civilization or culture gathers the knowledge of past generations of men in vast Libraries and Encyclopedias. As a result the Soul-field gradually becomes filled with the quintessence of an immense variety of human experiences; and it is by integrating and assimilating these harvested products of individual lives in the Earth's biosphere that the Soul-field gradually becomes more differentiated and individualized; that is to say, the Soul-Image which was at first essentially but a general "quality" let us say, a broadly defined aspect of LOVE or INTELLIGENCE or CREATIVITY — differentiates this "quality" until it becomes precisely defined in such a way that one single human being can respond to it totally. As this takes place, the Divine Marriage becomes possible. Philosophically speaking, the Divine Marriage constitutes the total and perfect actualization of this precisely defined Soul-quality in the very substance of living materials of the Earth integrated in a human field-of-existence.
In the beginning of the evolution of the universe this Soul-quality or Soul-Image was inherent in the Creative Word or Logos. It was, symbolically, one Letter of this cosmos-engendering Word. But as it had been "envisioned" by the Pleroma of the past universe, it was only a most broadly and universally defined quality of existence. It had to pass through a long series of cosmic and planetary stages in order to acquire definiteness and the capacity to focus its precise character upon one single human organism sensitive enough to act and think as an individual.
Even at this stage of its one-to-one relationship with an individual man, the Soul should not be considered as "a being." It is rather a quality of being-ness. It is an "ideal" to which the "reality" of the human individual is called upon to attune itself. Unfortunately most religions have given to the realm of Soul-Images attributes which make it appear to be a separate world of "being" essentially distinct from the realm of "becoming" — that is, of actual existence. It is we, human beings, who give to the Soul — and to what we personalize as gods — this character of "being." We personalize Soul-qualities, giving them almost human features. We ought to recognize that an ideal is not a "real" fact of exsitence; it is the potentiality of a multitude of real existential developments.
This potentiality is nevertheless affected by human efforts to actualize it existentially. The reality does react upon the ideal, or at least upon the possibility of the future substantiation of this ideal as a perfect manifestation of the creative intent of the ancient Pleroma. For this reason, the relationship between the Soul-field and the individualized person is to some extent a two-way relationship. The two poles interact; and their interaction determines what happens tothe Ideity-field. In extreme cases this field can be completely sundered, and as a result the individual is truly "soulless." Eventually he totally disintegrates. But the karma of that failure, which can be interpreted as the failure of a particular monad, remains. It will have to be faced in a new universe; but it is not necessary to believe that it will be the same monad, reawakened from a latent state within the Infinite Potential, which will have to do the facing. Such a belief is no doubt of value at a certain stage of human evolution. However, an increasing number of human beings should now be reaching a state of consciousness beyond that stage.
It may be worth while, in concluding this discussion of the character of the relationship between Soul and human person, to picture a Soul-Image as a kind of "Office" — an Office which is assumed successively by a series of individual persons. He who occupies the Office can add luster and prestige to the Office, or he can discredit and disgrace it. The Office does not "exist" without an officiant who gives it existential reality; yet in a sense "it is there" as an ideal or mind-structure, and it remains regardless of the person who occupies it and who defines its meaning by his behavior.
Let us consider the Office of the President of the United States — that is, the Presidency. One individual person after another seeks, is elected to and assumes this Office. He becomes President; which means that a one-to-one relationship is established between the Presidency and a human being, the President. The Presidency is an "ideal." Ideally, i.e., legally and constitutionally, it has certain functions to be performed by a particular man to whom is given the power to discharge them. He may do well, indifferently or badly. This will affect to some extent the power and prestige of the Presidency as an Office, perhaps not crucially however, and after the President's term is over another man will assume the Office. As a successor to the first-mentioned President the new man may inherit a heavy load of unsolved problems, of unfinished business, thus of karma. But he may act brilliantly and perhaps restore the temporarily tarnished prestige of the Presidency.
Now if we say that a Soul 'incarnates' in a human body, can we also say, in terms of our illustration, that the Presidency incarnates into Mr. Hoover, later Mr. Roosevelt, then Truman, Eisenhower, etc.? This would not give a revealing picture of the situation. It would be even less significant to say that Hoover reincarnated into Roosevelt, Roosevelt into Truman, etc.; this kind of reincarnation applies only to the Tibetan belief that a Dalai Lama actually reincarnates into the next child to which the Office will be given after a few years of preparation. Each President of the U.S. is the "successor" of the previous one, and the "predecessor" of the one who will follow him into the White House.
In this illustration the White House in a sense symbolizes the Ideity-field within which the Office and the man who holds the Office operates. The President "chooses" his Administration; according to this choice and to his actions when confronted with crises, the particular relationship between Office and the holder of the Office will be a success or a failure — or half-way between success and failure, as is usually the case under present-day circumstances. Each President's Administration will have to bear the karma of the preceding one.
Can one say, then, that the Presidency "chooses" a President? It sounds rather absurd to say so, and yet in a subtle sense this is true. The Office, at a particular time in history, tends to require a certain type of Officiant. The requirements for the Presidency of the U.S. today are not the same as they were in the days of President Jackson. The Office of executive Head of a large business firm, like General Motors, demands intellectual, social and personal qualities very different from those needed for the presidency of a small and local firm. In this sense, the Office chooses at least the type of person who will succeed in getting the job and satisfactorily performing the required work, either directly or through his Administration and the bureaucracy. It has often been remarked how an individual man changes once he assumes the responsibility of the Presidency — and often of any office which brings to him social power.Such a type of illustration is obviously not to be taken literally, but it may show more clearly what I have meant all the while by Soul-Image and Soul-field. In an often strange way the organization of society and the social factors which derive from it can illustrate rather effectively the type of relationships operating at a cosmic level. This may be because we give a "sociomorphic" character to the cosmic patterns of organization, just as most people today give an "anthropomorphic" character to their conception of God and Soul; but if so, it implies that man has reached a stage of consciousness at which social and cultural problems are in need of broader and more cosmic principles of organization.
The very concept of the coming of a New Age implies such a need, as it seems quite obvious that the main fact which will characterize the New Age is the planetarization of human society, which, if effectively pursued, would require the planetarization of human consciousness and the rise of a new type of human being. Global man — man in the fullness of actualization of the potential inherent in the archetypal Image of Man — is the Man of Plenitude of whom I have spoken for many years and to whom a number of progressive thinkers have referred in different terms, each term stressing a particular ideal aspect of the future reality.
As we face the possibility of emergence of such a new type of human being we should realize how valuable the concept of fields which has been developed here indeed is. It is a deeply needed concept because the more one thinks of individual entities, of monads and the like, the more difficult it is to integrate these individual entities in some all-encompassing Whole — Man, or the Earth-as-a-whole. We have been living through a period of intense and acute individualism; and a change must occur if the process of planetarization is to take place in a harmonious manner, and not in a totalitarian and anarchistic way — totalitarianism and anarchy being two sides of the same coin.
The change from the concept of rigidly defined and more or less static entitiesto that fields of energies would make far easier the integration of mankind, and also of knowledge. A field can more readily be seen as a limited zone of operation within a vaster field, than an individual person can be understood to constitute but one unit within a larger social and planetary Entity. The consciousness of Man is entering the realm of forces and force-fields. This realm used to be known and feared as that of the occult. We have now reached a point in evolution at which a "disocculting" of the occult is possible, nay inevitable, at least in a relative sense.
It is rather evident that this step can be dangerous one. We have a symbolic evidence of this in the possibilities inherent in the processes of nuclear fission and fusion — and in the atom bomb. Yet the real danger does not reside in taking the new step, but rather in taking it in terms of man's old concepts of the meaning of existence; existence as an insulated and competitive individual still motivated by the compulsive drives of the Life-field, to which must be added the sense of fear and alienation inherent in egocentricity. Crucially needed today are a new concept of what individualism (and at the social level, democracy) should mean in the global world of tomorrow — a new approach to knowledge — a new sense of value — a new ethics to supersede the still persistent puritanism of the past and its negative aspect, the recent anti-puritan reaction. Humanity needs new symbols, new ideals, a new vision, and a new type of man to substantiate and make real this new vision.
This new type of man is coming. It is beginning to appear here and there, everywhere, in strange forms and often in unlikely places. The unfamiliar always seems strange and even repugnant to the sclerotic minds of defeatists and fear-riddled men. We must have faith in tomorrow — even more in the day after tomorrow. We must have faith in Man, and act out this faith.
The Planetarization of Consciousness