What follows is an attempt to present as succinctly and clearly as possible the metaphysical concepts on which the picture of the universe and the Galaxy introduced in this book is founded. Some points, only barely touched upon here, are developed further in my book The Planetarization of Consciousness.
When we consider the type of centrality apparent in our solar system, we think of it in three-dimensional terms. A central mass of energy-substance rules over all the component parts of the system in two fundamental ways: it keeps the system integrated by its gravitational pull, but it also unceasingly radiates energy at various frequency levels. The central entity dominates the behavior of the system; it binds, yet it illumines and vivifies. It is the archetype of the beneficent autocrat, the divine Patriarch.
In the usual kind of mandala, the center of the figure is occupied by an entity to which everything in the mandala is related and toward which all more or less diverse, disparate, or conflicting parts of the whole geometrical figure converge. The mandala is used as a means of centering the consciousness, in whose mental field a vast variety of contents and fleeting shapes constantly move, often in a state of aimlessness or disarray. The ideal which all "great religions" seek to embody is the unification of all men living on this mandala globe, the Earth. In order to centralize this process of unification, the theistic religions stress the existence of God, a Supreme One. Because of the level of consciousness at which most of mankind has been operating, at least in recent millennia, this ideal of centrality most of the time has been "physicalized"; the One God has taken a physical appearance, usually in man's "image and likeness." He has also been worshipped as the Sun's disc, Aton; and occultists have spoken of it as the Central Sun or Spiritual Sun. Today, as the mandala-like shape of our Galaxy has become popularized, many hold the idea that a glorious super-Star might exist at the center of the Galaxy. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) hidden from our human eyes by clouds of dust (which may symbolize man's karma-laden state of consciousness) this central super-Star might be the "Spiritual Sun" of Occult and mystical lore, around which all stars within our Galaxy would turn, as courtiers once moved in reverent awe around the throne of the Persian emperor, or of any "king by divine right."
There may be such a super-Star in the bulging core of our spiral Galaxy; but, according to the few available data and various intuitive realizations, there more likely is none. The center is not a particular mass of energy-substance of tremendous power and size, but rather a "white hole" through which energy-substance emerges, or has long ago emerged into the four-dimensional space of the galactic field — a fountainhead, not a huge ball of matter in the plasma state. What therefore keeps the Galaxy integrated as a cosmic whole is not the gravitation generated by an immensely massive center, but the harmonic interplay of the gravitational pull of all galactic stars. It is the holistic power of the galactic Community in which every star participates. And it participates in it because no star is separate from any other stars. They all interpenetrate. They constitute a true cosmic Community.
This does not mean, I repeat, that there is no central area. The principle of centrality is implied in the convergence of the gravitational forces of all the stars. It would also be implied in the periodical emergence of new energy-substance at the central fountainhead. At that place of power, a higher-dimension of existence — of which I have spoken as the fifth dimension of space — exerts a centrifugal force upon the four-dimensional space of the Galaxy, of which we see only a reflection in our three-dimensional consciousness of physicality. It is this reflection which some astronomers tentatively interpret as a "white hole" out of which new hydrogen (or proto-hydrogen) emerges. The "white hole" is polarized by the "black hole" into which old matter is irresistibly drawn by immensely powerful gravitational forces.
When I speak of a fourth dimension of space (which has nothing to do with the Einsteinian fourth dimension, time, used for the purpose of measurement), what is implied is the Principle of Relatedness; and Relatedness implies Form, whether at the physical or the mental level. The concept of a fifth dimension of space is founded upon the principle that a "will to be" has to be postulated at the root of all forms of existence. This can be expressed also by saying that an urge to become circle or sphere inheres in every mathematical point. It is an immensely powerful drive. It implies not only expansion, but creativity.
Creativity is one of the two aspects of cosmic Motion, and at this level of Space there is nothing but Motion, or Force in motion. It was symbolized in ancient India by the Great Breath. A cosmogenic act of creation — the exhalation of energy — is followed by a catacosmic process (inhalation), in which everything is being drawn back to the state of a nearly dimensionless point. "White holes" and "black holes" constitute critical stages in these two processes. In China this dualism of Motion was represented by the Yang and Yin forces contained within a circle; the circle symbolizing the ineffable Tao, the ultimate reality of Space which one might also call its sixth dimension.
With the fifth dimension, we reach a metacosmic state. It is a state of pure energy, however one may imagine it. There is, however, no point in trying to "imagine" it, because it transcends all spatial forms or images. Space at that level is in a condition of "metacosmic" union with Time, considered as infinite duration beyond all possibility of measuring. When the creative drive dominates (when Yang is more powerful than Yin), Time manifests and out of the "love" of Space and Time, a universe is born. During the cosmogenic half of the process Time, in terms of our kind of physical measuring, is flowing very slowly. As the catacosmic drive toward reabsorption into the point becomes the stronger urge (Yin dominance), Space contracts, and Time accelerates, and Consciousness expands. The "timeless" Now corresponds to the mathematical point. According to some astronomers the stars near the galactic center have greater speed than those in the distant arms of the Galaxy. As one comes close to the center of creativity, what we experience as Time, underlying the process of change, can be said to "shorten."
Interpenetration is the basic fact at the fourth-dimensional level of existence in galactic Space. At this level time is a much less rigidly definable factor than in the three-dimensional condition of physical existence and massive centrality. Interpenetrating fields of consciousness — old and young stars — can share their experience. One may assume that group evolution is more basic than individual evolution. The evolution of the whole conditions that of the parts. Community conditions individuality. But conditioning at that level cannot mean control by a centralized power. As we have seen, there is no really "centralized" power; no massive ruler or bureaucracy. The emergent power of fifth-dimensional space does not remain at the center. It operates everywhere. At the reflected level of physicality, it operates as the omnipresence of hydrogen.
An identical center of creativity is power within every star; yet every star performs its role in the harmony of the galactic whole, and there are an immense number of roles — at least it seems so to us as we watch the play of lights on the physical screen of our celestial sphere.
In two-dimensional symbolization, this sphere is a circle whose radius may seem determined by the intensity of the creative drive in the fifth-dimensional "Act of creation." But if this intensity varies, and we see this variation reflected in the difference in size and shape of the galaxies, it is because the cosmogenic release of energy-substance — as far as we can understand it through its effects — operates in a dualistic manner. Whatever is originally released always works its way outward in two directions. At the mechanico-physical level we speak of clockwise and counterclockwise motion or spin; at the more qualitative meta-psychological level, we can state that once a new potentiality of existence becomes actualized, the process of actualization is bound to lead both to "success" and to "failure."
Bipolarity is the law of existence, at least as far as we can imagine existence in concrete fact. Existence is a cyclic process, and at the end of any cyclic manifestation we find both success and failure, or in the symbolism of annual vegetation, both seed and decaying leaves. Every cycle of existence leaves some unfinished business, some leftover or waste products. A new cycle has therefore to be initiated — a new cosmogenic release of energy has to radiate centrifugally from the fifth into the fourth dimension of space — so that the remains of the past cycle (its "karma") may be dealt with. The chemicals constituting the humus produced by the decomposition of once living substances have to be given a "second chance" to participate in the wholeness of organic existence.
If absolute — yet dynamic — Harmony is the supreme foundation of all existence at all levels, the dualism of success and failure at the close of a cosmic cycle cannot possibly last — that is, it cannot last at the level at which time operates. Time operates wherever one can think of existence, in the real sense of the term (ex-istence). Without time there can be no process, no sequence of states or phases in a cyclic type of activity, no activity, no motion. The manner in which men have felt the power of time and measured the serial character of existential events is susceptible of many variations, because human consciousness can experience and interpret change in many ways. But this fact does not affect the fundamental inevitability of time. If the supreme condition of existence can be symbolized by the Great Breath of Brahma, this symbol also implies change, process, and time. The only state that would be "beyond" this would be that of a consciousness able to dwell perpetually and changelessly in the realization of the unchanging equilibrium of these two perfectly compensatory phases. It is to such a state of consciousness that Tao refers.
As there are cycles within cycles, it is logical to postulate the possibility that a supreme all-inclusive Tao — if we wish to conceive a summit to the hierarchy of cosmic wholes — can be reflected in an ever-diminishing degree of intensity or inclusiveness as ever lower levels of existence are reached — each level placing its own limitations upon the realization of cosmic Harmony. To this Tao-consciousness at planetary and cosmic levels I have given the name of "eonic-consciousness." Such a consciousness apprehends a whole cycle (eon) in its totality from alpha to omega states. It must be able to experience every phase of the cyclic process in both the direction of success and that of failure. In this sense such a consciousness would be immanent as well as transcendent. It would be a "divine" consciousness.(1)
1. Beings developing along the path of disintegration, because they fail to relate to the purpose inherent in the creative act, are reaching toward unconsciousness and annihilation. In order to survive they have to feed on weaker lives and minds; but eventually are pulled into whirlpools of darkness.
God is the All-encompassing Eon — and interestingly enough the word "eon" is an anagram of "one." The concept of Eon is dynamic; it encompasses all changes within any cycle. The concept of One is static inasmuch as it implies, in the purest metaphysical sense, "one without a second" (in Hindu metaphysics Advaita, nondual).
The only way an individual center of consciousness could experience in some manner the power of that "One" is by becoming Its (or His) agent in our physical-mental world. This is the way of the avatars, who bring down the fifth-dimensional consciousness of a divine "One" to the third-dimensional level of planetary and human activity. God acts through the avatar — to the extent that the avatar is open, ready, and able to be — the Earth terminal of this descent of creativity and radically transforming power.
In contrast — though the two ways are related at every step — the mystical path leads to the realization of "unity." It may nevertheless be a very high or low level realization, depending on the scope and inclusiveness of the attainment of a conscious state of "wholeness." A true realization of wholeness implies a more or less vivid feeling-intuition of the interpenetration of the parts of the whole. This eventually leads to a constant experience of wholeness and a consciousness of unity. This is fourth-dimensional consciousness.
A reflection of such a consciousness should illumine the mind of the astrologer as he seeks to interpret the birth chart of an individual person at a more-than-physical level. Events are three-dimensional experiences. The Sun-center in the individual may be able to deal forcefully with these events and control them; but unless it realizes that it is also a star it can only operate as an ego bound by physical consciousness. If the individualized Sun in the human being does realize that it is essentially a star, it gradually learns to find its place in the cosmic company of galactic stars, whose physical earthly reflection — alas, so often darkened by clouds or lured by mirages — is humanity. (1974-75)
The Sun is Also a Star