To understand the extent of man's possible evolution, we must first discover the place that man occupies in The Ray of Creation. In previous posts, we have learned that there are two places where the octave encounters difficulty in any ascending or descending octave. In the terminology of The Tradition, these difficult places are called 'Shocks,' and they occur between the notes Mi-Fa and Si-Do.
To allow the passage of force through the Mi-Fa or Si-Do intervals, some influence or force from the outside is required. We saw examples of this in the three-foods diagram, where the introduction of air allowed the digestion of food to continue. Consider now the following diagram:
What outside influence allows the passage of force from the higher orders of The Ray of Creation to flow to the earth and her moon? Organic life! Without organic life, she would be a cold and barren wasteland. Every form of life on this planet is a receiver of extra-planetary forces. Life processes refines and distributes them to the planet and moon. In this regard, organic life acts similarly as enzymes do in the digestion of food in our bodies.
However, if an outside influence is required to fill the shock, from where does it originate? The planet cannot fill the missing semitone on its own. For reasons that will become clear later, it is through the will of our sun that the missing semitone is bridged. Our sun, sounding the note 'Do,' creates a lateral octave, known as organic life, to allow the passage of force from higher to lower (and vice versa).
As can be seen in the above diagram, organic life on earth fills this interval in The Ray of Creation by sounding the notes 'Fa', 'Sol', and 'La' in the place of the shock. These notes give us a significant clue as to the types of forces that organic life processes. Recall that the note 'Fa' corresponds to the level of "All Planets" in our solar system. The note 'Sol' corresponds to our sun, and the note 'La' corresponds to our Milky Way galaxy. By way of the tuning fork principle, life on earth is designed to process planetary, solar, and galactic forces.
The Tuning Fork Principle
The tuning fork principle simply states that "things of kind resonate on the same frequency." For example, if I hand you a tuning fork tuned to the musical note 'A' and sound the note of 'A' on a piano or some other musical instrument, your tuning fork will begin to vibrate in sympathy, even at quite some distance.
Similarly, organic life on earth is constructed of the 'stuff' of the planets, our sun, and our galaxy. As such, organic life resonates with and attracts to itself those frequencies. We vibrate in sympathy with the signals of the universe!
One can find, in this notion, a strong connection to astrology. In ancient times, when man was more in tune with the cosmos, he could sense which animals, plants, and minerals responded to planetary and starry influences. This is why for example, the sign of Aries became associated with the ram, the wolf, honeysuckle, etc... These were not arbitrary assignments but actual observations of the forces being processed.
Levels of Consciousness
Each note in the lateral octave corresponds not only to a type of life on the planet but also to its level of consciousness. Below the note 'Fa' on the lateral octave, we find 'Mi' which corresponds to the mineral life of our planet. Lower still, at the note of 'Re,' we find metallic life, which is also associated with the moon. At the note 'Do,' we find the heavy, radioactive elements which offer only death to organic life.
From a psychological standpoint, the notes 'Mi' and 'Re' correspond to the waking-sleep and the nocturnal-sleep states (respectively) that nearly all of mankind lives in. The note 'Fa' of the lateral octave represents consciousness at the level of "All Planets," "The First Awakening," and the formation of the Astral Body. The level of 'Fa' is the lowest level of consciousness that man was meant to occupy.
Based on this understanding, we can now see that just as the "will of the sun" creates a lateral octave in The Ray of Creation, the "will of man," through the practice of self-remembering, bridges the Mi-Fa interval in the "Ray of Consciousness":
Thus, we now understand our place in the cosmic Ray of Creation. We can also begin to see the kind of effort required to awaken. From a technical standpoint, our effort of will in self-remembering allows us to collect the finer Hydrogens that resonate with planetary, solar, and galactic influences in the universe. This is the tuning fork principle at work.
This, however, is only a part of what is required to awaken. In the following few sections, we will take a deeper look at the energetic structure of man's design to shed more light on the requirements of awakening.
The First Awakening
In the last heading, we explored the mechanics of evolution within the context of the three foods. We discovered that certain higher hydrogens correspond to higher functions within the human complex. We also discovered that the third food, impressions, only sounds like a weak 'Do' in the organism:
The reason that the octave of impressions only sounds a weak 'Do' in our organism is that we do not make the effort, to digest the impressions we receive consciously. By analogy, we simply 'taste' the impressions but never chew or swallow them.
Except in rare circumstances, the impressions we receive through our five senses are absorbed passively. We pass from moment to moment, hour to hour, and day to day, with very little memory of what our senses have absorbed. This is because nearly all of the energy received through our impressions is used to fill the shock in the air octave. Nothing is left over for us.
Sometimes, an impression enters our organism so strongly that not all the energy it contains is used up in filling the air shock. The common term for this is a "lasting impression." Most of us have a hand full of vivid memories, usually from our childhood when these strong impressions imprinted on us. Why do some memories make a lasting impression while others simply pass unnoticed? It has to do with our inner state.
If you carefully examine your most vivid memories, you will find that they all have one thing in common; you were simultaneously aware of yourself and your environment.
Whether it was a moment of danger, embarrassment, novelty, or joy, the memory is vivid because you sensed yourself at the moment. Herein lies the secret to the first awakening - remembering yourself!
Let us now try an experiment: Pick an object to observe in your immediate environment. Any object will do, although a natural one may be more beneficial. Now, study it carefully, and once you feel that you could visualize it with your eyes closed, shift your attention to yourself.
While still looking at the object, begin to observe yourself - observe your posture, movements, facial expression, and thoughts and feelings... Now, join the two observations together. Observe the object as well as yourself at the same time. Merge your external impressions with your internal impressions. Try to maintain the sense of "I" and "It" in combination for as long as possible.
If you have done this exercise according to the instructions above, you may have experienced a vivid intensity that transcends ordinary awareness. If you've experimented correctly, you can recall that moment vividly many years from now. The difference is that you have done so intentionally!
Cautionary Note: It is always your choice to do or not do the experiments suggested on this site. However, one of the most dangerous things you can do is simply imagine the results without actually trying the experiment. This is dangerous to your development because you reinforce the illusion of consciousness by simply imagining the experiment without actually doing it. This is the sheep imagining he is a magician. Instead, make up your mind to either try it or not and leave it there. Only your experience in this work counts, not your imagination.
The point of the self-remembering exercise is not simply to create a strong memory. That is only a side-effect. The action of self-remembering reinforces the 'Do' of the impressions octave and creates additional Hydrogens in your organism:
When you remember yourself at the moment you receive impressions; you effectively double the number of impressions received (i.e., yourself and the object instead of just the object). This turns the passive reception of impressions into an active process of digestion.
There is nothing complicated about this exercise! If in a week, a month, or in a year, you can recall the event with the same clarity as if you did it moments ago, you are doing this exercise correctly. The only difficulty is in remembering to remember yourself.
After practicing the self-remembering exercise for some time, you will notice several things. Due to the increase of higher Hydrogens in your organism, both the clarity and power of your thoughts (H48), emotions (H24), and creativity (H12) become greatly enhanced.
Recall that everything is material, including these Hydrogens. With consistent practice, every cell in your organism becomes permeated and infused with these higher Hydrogens until they crystallize in you at a certain point. The crystallization event also marks the point of the first awakening and the formation of one's Astral Body or second self. We will return to this topic in the coming posts, but first, we must say something about practice.
Remembering to Remember
By far, one of the most challenging things to do when trying to introduce the practice of self-remembering is remembering to remember! The strong magnetic pull towards unconsciousness from the general habits of life is more potent than you may expect.
You will probably find the practice easy in the beginning because it's such a novel activity. However, as time goes on, you will likely notice that you forget to remember for days, weeks, or even months at a time! You may also notice that even though you remember to practice the exercise, the results lack the vividness they once had. This is because it's become a habit. You must always strive to find ways to keep it fresh and new!
These writings will offer many ideas and supplementary exercises to help keep your practice new. For now, it is enough just to begin and be observant of the results and difficulties you encounter.
We will spend more time laying the foundation for more advanced work in upcoming writings.
The Nature of Consciousness
According to certain esoteric traditions, everything is material and quantifiable. For example, just as a coffee cup is composed of a finite number of particles, so is a thought or an emotion! The only difference is in scale. Just as one cannot catch a pea in a cargo net, the 'particles' of thought are so rarefied that our scientific equipment cannot measure them. We manufacture the 'stuff' of thought and emotion daily.
The Concept of Scale
Each note or "world" of The Ray of Creation can be regarded as an inner octave. To understand this, consider what science already knows about the physical universe. The lightest element found on earth is hydrogen. A hydrogen atom simply consists of a single electron orbiting a single proton. If you break apart a hydrogen atom, it releases much energy and no longer maintains its original properties. It is transformed.
In The Tradition, we use "Hydrogen" to describe the smallest, indivisible particle of any octave that retains all its chemical, physical and cosmic properties.
For example, as we move from the octave of the atom to the octave of the molecule, we find that the smallest molecule is H2 (diatomic hydrogen). That is, H2 is the smallest particle in the molecular world. If one were to split it, it would no longer retain the physical, chemical, and cosmic properties it once had.
Similarly, the smallest particle of the organic world is the cell, consisting of cytoplasm and a nucleus surrounded by a membrane. A cell is the "Hydrogen" of the organic octave. From a particular standpoint, man himself can be considered a "Hydrogen" of the solar octave. If a man is divided (in any way), he no longer retains all of a man's physical, chemical, and COSMIC properties.
For all that follows, the concept of scale is of paramount importance. We represent the scale we are addressing by the density of the hydrogen that comprises it. For example, H1 would be a single particle of God-Absolute in The Ray of Creation, whereas H1536 would be something like iron, 1536 times denser or less energetic than a particle of God-Absolute.
The Ray of Creation in Man
How is the energy of a thought or an emotion manufactured in onesef? It happens through the process of evolution on the microcosmic scale. Recall that everything is material - it is just a matter of how dense (physical) or rarefied (energetic) something is.
Man is a complete microcosm of the universe; one of his natural mechanical functions is to transform coarse matter into fine energy. An example of this evolutionary transformation can be found in the process of digestion. In the scale of hydrogens, consider that if iron corresponds to H1536 ( i.e., not food for man) then H768, which is exactly one octave higher, can be considered "food."
Understanding that these numbers are only chosen out of mathematical convenience to explain the process is essential. Therefore, don't get lost in the numbers, but try to understand the underlying concept being presented.
Food enters the organism at the level of Hydrogen 768. Through the mechanical process of chewing and the chemical action of saliva, it releases some of its energy. It is transformed into Hydrogen 384, a more energetic and less physical substance than before. It evolves!
The food then enters the stomach in the form of Hydrogen 384, where it encounters various acids, alkalines, and enzymes, which allows it to release even more energy and evolve into Hydrogen 192.
Hydrogen 192 enters the bloodstream through the intestinal wall and is acted upon by oxygen, wherein it releases still more energy in the form of heat and becomes Hydrogen 96. At this point, science 'loses track of the process because the matter of Hydrogen 96 is more rarefied than our scientific equipment can register. It can be described as bio-magnetism.
Next, Hydrogen 96 enters the brain, where it is acted upon by the force of one's impressions (i.e., the energy of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) and once again releases energy into the organism and becomes Hydrogen 48, the energy of thought.
Hydrogen 48 then moves to the region of the solar plexus, where it is acted upon by what could be called one's 'sentiment' or 'attitude' to evolve into Hydrogen 24, the energy of emotion.
From there, the energy passes into the region of the genitals, where it is acted upon by what could be called one's 'inspiration' to become the sexual energy of creativity or procreation. It is at this place that the outer octave of the digestion of food comes to an end. Consider now the following diagram:
In the fourth column above, labeled "Acted upon by," you will note two forces - 'Air' and 'Impressions'- highlighted in blue. This is because they do not occur naturally in the body but come from outside the organism. The reason why this is important will become apparent shortly, but first, we must discuss what is meant by the term "Shock."
Shocks and Missing Intervals
The musical scale plays a dominant role in the cosmology of The Eminent Way. This is because it is an esoteric representation of natural laws that comes to us from ancient times.
The solfège (Do, Re, Mi...) is more than just an annotation system for musical composition.
Hidden within it are many profound secrets. One of these secrets has to do with the missing semitones or intervals. Consider the keys of a piano for a moment and pay special attention to the missing sharps and flats, represented by the black keys:
An octave is defined as the seven-stage progression of a fundamental frequency with the ratio of 1:2. Thus, if the note "C" vibrates at 256 cycles per second, the note "C" one octave above would have a frequency of 512 cycles per second, a ratio of 1:2.
The frequency does not increase linearly when dividing an octave into its seven fundamental notes. There are no natural semitones between E-F and B-C of the next octave. In the solfège, these gaps occur between Mi-Fa and Si-Do.
In The Ray of Creation, these missing semitones imply that something must be added from the outside to bridge the intervals. In the digestion diagram presented above, we see that the first missing semitone between Mi and Fa enters the organism from the outside in the form of air.
From the diagram presented above, it becomes easy to see why the introduction of air, an outside force, is necessary. It bridges the missing semitone. What about impressions? There is no missing semitone between Sol and Fa, so why is the external force of sensory impressions required at this point?
Air, The Second Food
Just as physical food enters the organism as Hydrogen 768, sounding the note "Do," air enters the organism as Hydrogen 192, also sounding the note "Do" in its octave. To illustrate, consider the following expanded diagram:
Food enters the organism by sounding the note "Do" as Hydrogen 768. The body already contains everything it requires in the form of saliva and gastric juices to allow it to evolve naturally into Hydrogen 384 (Re) and Hydrogen 192 (Mi). At this stage in its evolution, it requires an external force to bridge the missing interval and continue its journey to its highest potential state, Hydrogen 12 (Si).
Air is the second food that is supplied to man by nature. Breathing is automatic. Under normal circumstances, we do not have to work at all for this food. As we inhale, this second food enters the organism as Hydrogen 192, sounding the note "Do." Like the evolution of physical food in our organism, our bodies already contain everything required to allow the air we breathe to evolve into biomagnetism (Hydrogen 96) and thought (Hydrogen 48). If it were not for the third food, the evolution of the octave of air would halt at this point. Fortunately, nature supplies just enough of the third type of food for the air octave to evolve to its highest potential state:
As seen in the above diagram, the introduction of the third food, impressions, bridges the missing interval of the air octave, allowing it to evolve into its highest potential state, Hydrogen 3 (Si).
But what about the octave of impressions? Why does it not naturally evolve through Do-Re-Mi to the first shock? In our sleeping state, we receive all impressions passively, and thus, they lack the power to proceed past a very weak sounding "Do" in our organism. Herein lies the first clue to awakening!
Man is a Self-Evolving Organism
Man is not only asleep, but he is also incomplete. The diagram above shows a complete map of all of the Hydrogens or energies that are naturally produced automatically, not only in man but in every animal.
No conscious effort is required to produce these energies; therefore, they don't belong to us! They are manufactured in us, and upon our death, they go to feed the planet and the moon.
Man-asleep is nothing more than an energy-processing machine. Referring to the story of the evil magician and his sheep, man-asleep dreams that he is immortal, dreams of being an eagle, a lion, or even a magician, and happily awaits his day of reaping. The planet and her moon do not require fully conscious humans more than an evil magician needs conscious sheep.
Fortunately, a part of man is of a higher order and allows the potential for evolution. Unlike sheep, he has the possibility of becoming conscious.
In the next section, we will explore this aspect and offer some practical exercises for your verification.
Cosmology and Consciousness
"To appreciate one's purpose, one must first understand one's position."
We live in an ordered, intelligent, evolving, and conscious universe. We are but a part of the whole, and just as a painting cannot come to be without a painter, consciousness cannot proceed from unconsciousness. If one part is conscious - all must be conscious, albeit to varying degrees.
Consider now the entirety of the universe, from the smallest subatomic particle to the sum total of all galaxies, and appreciate the grandeur and innate symmetry therein. Is the atom, with its nucleus and surrounding electrons, not unlike our sun with its attendant planets? Is man, with his senses of taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell, not unlike the sensitive film of organic life that enshrouds the earth? Is not a flock of birds, taken as a whole, like the loosely scattered stars of our Milky Way galaxy?
The ancient adage, "As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul..." from the Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes, the thrice-great), rings true throughout all eternity.
The Ray of Creation
According to certain esoteric teachings, everything in the universe is issued from an unknown source in successive stages of increasing complexity and density, in which each level is imbued with its consciousness. From the most vivifying power and intelligence of our God-Absolute to the absolute darkness of unconsciousness, the universe can be likened to a descending octave of a musical scale. Thus, consider the following diagram in its simplest form:
From the order of God-Absolute at the note "si" proceeds the world of all galaxies, the universe, subject only to the will of the Absolute. Within the universe of countless galaxies can be found our galaxy, the Milky Way, at the note "la." Within our galaxy, we find countless stars, one of which is our sun at the note "sol." Our sun is host to many planets, taken together as a whole, sounding the note "fa." We find our home, the earth, among these planets, at the note "mi." Our planet, teaming with organic life, is host to our moon at the note "re"; beyond this, there is Absolute-Nothing.
Man's Possible Evolution
In the introduction, we briefly touched on the "Five Awakenings." We can add some color and context to The Ray of Creation diagram. As one can see from the above diagram, man living on this planet resides at the 'dark end' of the universe under a great many laws.
At this end of The Ray of Creation, far removed from the light of The Absolute, everything is solid, dense, and physical. Man-asleep, as he is, unconsciously serves the planet upon which he lives and her child, the moon. An unconscious man is incapable of being rational, incapable of acting from the true will, and cannot 'do' anything in the strictest sense of the word. Just as the moon does not choose to orbit the earth, in unconscious man, although there is the illusion of choice, things are done through him, not by him. Yet, there is the possibility of escape, for man is made in the image of God, and as such, he is a microcosm of all universal possibilities. Though dormant, within man lies the seed of consciousness and the possibility of evolution.
However, before one can begin the process of awakening, one must become convinced that he is indeed asleep. This is the most challenging task because the hypnotic trance of unconsciousness causes us to dream that we are awake.
There is an ancient tale that speaks about a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. At the same time, this magician was very miserly. He did not want to hire shepherds to tend his flock, nor did he want to construct a fence to contain them. Consequently, the sheep often wandered into the forest, knowing that the magician only wanted their flesh and skin.
At last, the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized the sheep and suggested that they were immortal and that no harm would come to them, even when they were being skinned. On the contrary, it would be very good for them and even quite pleasant. Furthermore, he suggested to them that he was a good master that loved his flock so much that he would do anything for them, even die if necessary. Moreover, he suggested that if anything were to happen to them, it would not be now, not today anyway, and therefore they had no need to worry about it. Lastly, the magician suggested to the sheep that they were not sheep at all; to some of them, he suggested that they were lions; to others, he suggested that they were eagles and to others, he suggested that they were men and others were even told that they were magicians! Finally, the magician's troubles were over, for the sheep never ran away again. They quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and skins.
This tale is a very good illustration of the position man-asleep is in. Man-asleep is under the influence of the moon, the power of the imagination, and the hypnosis of fantasy. Only a man who can come to see this has the possibility of escape. But how does one awaken instead of shifting from one illusion to another? One must find someone already awake, for the sleeping cannot awaken the sleeping.
Although we will return to The Ray of Creation diagram many times throughout our studies, a few things should be carefully noted:
1. Although there are many "rays" of creation that proceed from the level of "All Worlds" (si), we are primarily concerned with our particular ray.
2. Each successive level of The Ray of Creation, taken as a descending octave, represents more physicality and restriction. Taken literally, this can be observed in the fact that our moon's orbit is under the complete dominion of the planet, which is under the dominion of our sun, which orbits around our Milky Way galaxy, which orbits around the universe. Thus, the moon, subject to the laws of the six "worlds" above it represents the most significant degree of restriction, whereas the level of "All Worlds" is only subject to one law, the will of The Absolute.
3. Taken psychologically, The Ray of Creation diagram can be viewed as a roadmap toward conscious evolution. Descending The Ray of Creation implies more significant restriction and a loss of consciousness. Ascending The Ray of Creation implies greater freedom of perception and an increase in consciousness.
Levels of Awakening
Consider now the following diagram, which correlates the levels of conscious awakening to the levels of The Ray of Creation:
Although the "Shocks" will not be discussed in-depth in this chapter, it will be necessary for our studies to understand that the station of mankind, by birthright, should exist at the level of the "Shock" that occurs between our planet and the planets of our solar system. However, due to circumstances that will become clear later, most of humanity's actual level of consciousness is at the level of the moon (re).
When a man senses that he is asleep, he may begin to suspect that there is also the possibility of awakening—a possibility of escaping the prison of eternal slumber.
How can man awaken?
To answer this, we must first ask the question: What is consciousness?