#alchemy Man, the Microcosm; Part 2
At Man's present evolutionary stage, his consciousness is polarized in the Astral body, the seat of his emotions. Average people function with their emotional-desire nature predominating over all of their thoughts and actions--the desires of which are detrimental to the health of the physical body. It is by treading the spiritual Path that will repolarize Man to the Mental sheath and the Ego.
The Mental sheath in the microcosm of the average person, is not considered a body as yet for it is still in the developing stages--it is still loosely structured and is embryonic. In this world there is much abuse, misuse and even non-use of the mental faculty, and this does not in the least assist the Mental sheath to grow and improve in its quality. When spiritual emanations of the Ego are allowed to impregnate the lower mind, then the Mental sheath will steadily become a creative body for the true Man to function in.
In the Pyramidal Mysteries, the four sides of the base of the pyramid represent the personality. The Ego is signified by the missing capstone which has an all-seeing eye in its center. This is graphically illustrated in the American dollar, in the picture of the pyramid. Egyptian Initiates of bygone days called the Ego, "the Eye of Horus." By examining this Divine Eye, certain elements of Man's occult anatomy may be discerned. This is shown in Figure 2. Not only are the Monad, Atma, Buddhi and Higher Mental present, but other occult structures, such as the Causal body, the Sutratma, and the Antahkarana are also indicated in the All-Seeing Eye of Ra or Horus. This piece of information was revealed intuitively to the writer of this paper.
The capstone of the Pyramid is a symbol of Christ. In the Christian Mysteries, Christ is referred to as the "head of the corner stone." This description fits only to an edifice of a pyramidal structure. The head-corner stone is the capstone of a pyramid. Also keep in mind that the Spiritual Triad, or Ego is also referred to as the "Christ Self." Thus we see in this arcana the unity of Egyptian and Christian esotericism. It is interesting to note that whenever a candidate of the Mysteries makes a vow, he makes it before the presence of the Star (Monad), the Sun (Ego), and the Moon (Quarternary). The candidate is made aware of the symbolism of these celestial bodies by the hierophant during initiation. In ancient Egypt, the sacred eye was worn as an amulet. It was called "Usa" by the people. They believed that the wearing of the amulet brought them health and protection. Esoterically, it is Egoic energy functioning within the Quarternary that is the promoter of vitality and the talismanic power behind the above condition.
Of all the principles of Man, modern science is gradually acknowledging the existence of the etheric body, called "Pranamayakosha" by the Hindu mystics. Experimentation with the magnetic force of man, with such phenomena as healing and psychokinesis is now engaging the minds of open-minded, scientific researchers. The etheric body is sometimes known as the "vital body" for it is the battery that runs the physical vehicle. It is also the matrix which the dense physical structure patterns itself after. The etheric body is composed of four etheric substances:
1) The chemical ether--its major function is to direct the metabolism of the body.
2) The life ether--its purpose is to vitalize the body and to direct propagation.
3) The light ether--its function is to cause sense perception.
4) The mental reflecting--this ether is the medium for memory and thought.
This vital body, also called "eidolon," has a dual function, as implied by the above:
1) It conveys the pranic life-force and the three other ethers into the physical body via the energy-centers called "chakras." It acts through the nervous system, the endocrine glands and the blood system.
2) It is an intermediary for the conveyance of higher forces emanating from the Ego and the Monad. Man's consciousness is impressed from the Mental force-field and into the brain cells via the mental reflecting ether.
The etheric body possesses the Vishnu-force. It preserves the integrity of the physical body. It vitalizes this dense body with life essence. The Astral body and Mental sheath, with their destructive feelings and thoughts are constantly imposing a strain upon the physical temple of Man. Negative emotions and thoughts harm tissues; they deplete energy and destroy cells; they cause an imbalance in the glandular system--decrepitude and a weakened body is the result of this onslaught. Harmful emotions cause blockages in the chakras, preventing streams of pranic-energy from penetrating the physical body. Thus the etheric body and the Astral-Mental bodies are constantly at war with each other--one is anabolic--a builder of the gross body; while the other two are predominantly catabolic--destroyers of the physical form. When there is turmoil in the lower bodies, the Ego's influence is minimized and curtailed. This is one reason why aspirants on the Path are admonished to still the mind and emotions. When there is inharmony among the lower principles, the Voice of Silence--the whisperings of the Ego--does not make an impression upon the brain and objective consciousness. The brain is deaf and dumb to spiritual promptings.
It is important for selfish inclinations of the Astral body to be transmuted into spiritual aspiration--self-centeredness into Self-Allness, before spiritual guidance from the microcosmic trinity is placed at our disposal in conscious awareness. Once the Ego is in full control over the Personality--when the lower bodies are coordinated and functioning in accord with the will of the Higher Self, the Monad is stirred into activity and it makes a greater contact with the lower principles than heretofore.
Within the etheric bodies, are seven major energy-centers called "chakras," which means "wheel' in Sanskrit. Christian mystics call them the "interior stars." Actually, psychic centers are to be found in all of the seven principles. They are the means whereby spiritual forces flow from one principle to another. Hindu metaphysicians liken the etheric chakras to lotuses in the process of blooming in the average person, or already displaying their unfolded petals in the Master-Adept. The unopened chakras droop downwards, away from the face of God, or the face of the Monad. Some species of flowers have this strange characteristic. They simply will not face the sun. It is as though they turned antagonistic towards their life-giver--some people live and behave in a similar manner. Hindu esotericism assigns certain gods and goddesses as rulers of the chakras. "Bijas," or seed-sounds invoke the energies of those rulers into the chakras.
When awakened and stimulated by the serpent fire, by Kundalini--of which we will deal later--the chakras blossom, and are vivified. Unfolded, active, and developed chakras bestow certain faculties, virtues, and abilities. Hindu metaphysicians call these "siddhis."
The seven chakras are the magnetic-field vortex of the plexuses of etheric nerves, or "nadi." They are found in the following locations: at the base of the spine, below the navel, at the solar plexus, in the heart area, at the throat, between the eyebrows, and in the area of the fontanel. In Sanskrit, their names are, respectively: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudha, Ajna, and Sahasrara.. Each of the chakra, when fully develop, vibrate in high frequencies and with its own specific rate. Vibrating chakras causes a manifestation of certain sounds and colours which, at present, can only be perceived clairvoyantly. In the future, the real technology to capture these images including the aura on screen will be developed--and this would be based on direct electronic conversion of the energies of ultra-light, and not an indirect and unreliable capture through the acupuncture points of the hands.
In an unevolved individual, chakras appear muddied and grayish. In a Master-Adept, chakras are luminous and resplendently brilliant. In the Temple of Solomon, the psychic centers are represented by sacred objects used in various rites and rituals, these objects are: the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, the altar of incense, the altar of sacrifice, the sea of brass, and the Urim and Thummim.
Associated with the chakras in the physical body are the endocrine glands. These glands are, starting with the one linked with the Muladhara: gonads, pancreas/spleen, adrenals, thymus, thyroid, pituitary, and pineal. The endocrine glands are crystallizations of the chakras. Each chakra conveys a certain force necessary for the sustenance of the physical organism. Chakras are portals for the influx of etheric forces into the glands. Should a chakra be sluggish in its function, should it be blocked by certain impurities, or should the inflow of etheric forces be impeded in some way, the physical body will consequently feel the effects--it will suffer glandular imbalances and inharmony in some manner. Glands are, therefore, instruments of Man's karma and they are his "Book of Judgment."
The spleen center, or svadishthana plays an important role in distributing pranic force throughout the chakral system. It accepts pranic energy and breaks them into a septenary force which are sent to the various chakras--and from thence to the organs of the body via the glandular and autonomic nervous system. Pranic forces flowing into the energy-centers are nullified by negative emotions. Negative attitudes of the mind likewise disrupt spiritual forces flowing into the chakras, especially Sahasrara, the crown center. Narrow-mindedness, animal-curiosity, cynicism, aggression, a judgmental outlook, and other expressions that characterizes a low mentality--these all restrict the ingress of spiritual manna.
The glands, when functioning harmoniously, produces substances that spiritualizes a person's attitude and appearance. The thymus is often designated as the "youth-sustaining gland." The hormones that it secretes preserve the cells and prevents them from losing the memory-pattern embodied in their DNA. Divine Love is a thymus stimulant. It is said that those who do not love grow old quickly; on the other hand, the loving are youthfully radiant.
One of the most important endocrine gland in the body is the pituitary. It orchestrates most of the functions of the other hormone-producers. One of its secretions, called "pituitrin," has an effect of producing the feeling of bliss and love. It transmutes aggression into good-will. If a hormone may manifest the love aspect of the kingdom of God within man, it is in all probability that other substances representing the Will and Intelligence-aspect of the Divine Creator exist, although yet to be discovered by the modern researcher. The possibility of the existence of an "intelligence-hormone" is implied specifically in the effects of a certain Buddhist mantra. Mantras are structured sounds that stimulate the chakras and glands. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the mantra of the bodhisattva Manjushri has the power to awaken or increase one's intelligence. This might occur through the activation of certain chakras and glands by the sound vibrations of the mantra which stimulates the release of the appropriate hormones.
It is not only the etheric body that possesses chakras as mentioned before; the higher principles--the Astral body, for example, have them too, and they function in an analogous manner--they channel forces from a higher principle or source to a lower body. Chakras of the astral body are not to be found in the same location as the etheric centers, however. Etheric chakras are located on the surface of the etheric body, whereas astral chakras lie more in the interior. When the chakral-systems of the various principles are aligned and functioning in harmony, then a channel for the inflow of Egoic force is established. This means that contact with the higher worlds and with one's Higher Self is made feasible. Intuitive impressions are more regular and less vague. One regularly hears the voice of the Master and the group of his Egoic Ray.
Chakras are vivified and vitalized as Man unfolds and purifies his nature; as he expands and refines the quality of his consciousness. This vitalization and stimulation cause a reciprocative response by the glands as they secrete hormones of a higher nature and quality. These spiritual secretions restructure the physical body and facial features into a thing of strength, beauty, and youth. They awaken dormant brain cells and form faculty centers in the cerebrum; they improve sense perception. Our thoughts and emotions arouses the glands, and they mould not only our temperament, but our physical manifestation as well. A soul of beauty, purity, strength, and determination produces a divine countenance--a luster in the eyes, and a sweetness in the smile.
Symbolically speaking, the chakras are represented by astrological ruling bodies--Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the Sun; they are also represented by the elements--earth, water, fire and air--including ether and Azoth, which represents the head centers. In Revelation, they are the "seven seals" and the "seven churches." In Greek mythology, "Olympus," the abode of the gods, represents the higher centers, whereas "Hades," the abode of the shades of the dead, represents the lower centers. Tibetan Buddhism embody the chakral-system in structures called "chorten." These structures are monuments that are supposed to preserve the relics of the founding Father of Buddhism, or other venerated personages. In the Egyptian Mysteries, the King and Queen's chamber of the Great Pyramid symbolizes the head centers. Each candidate for initiation is directed therein for certain psychic experiences. Esoterically, this is the focusing and polarizing of the consciousness in the head chakras--a manner of functioning of which the average person is unaccustomed. The seven chakras correspond to the seven kingdoms in Nature. Man as a collective, is the fourth kingdom and is associated with the heart chakra. In the present stage of his soul-development, he is to unfold this center, or the expression of unconditional, divine love.
The man on the street polarizes his consciousness in the solar-plexus center, the seat of the lower emotions in the chakral-system--the center associated with the third, or animal kingdom. This chakra in its negative aspect, is the expression of self-centeredness, selfish ambition, and all sordid desires; the individual who is polarized in this chakra lives like an animal; he is carnally-minded. The spiritual work of an aspirant, or disciple is to redirect the focus and polarization of his consciousness from the lower centers, to the heart and throat chakras--the centers of Divine Love and Creativity, and later to the head centers--the focus of Divine Will. The heart center, once active, stimulates the head chakras through that channel called the "vagus nerve." This nerve, anatomically, commences in the medulla oblongata and midbrain, and extends downwards to embrace the heart, lungs, and other parts of the thorax. Esoterically, it connects the brain in the heart to the heart in the brain. The vagus nerve is the pathway for the inner breath.
In the advance stages of the practice of "Pranayama," or the art of controlling the life-force in the breath, the yogic practitioner ceases to breathe through the nostrils. The yogic cessation or stoppage of the breathing cycle activates the intake of prana through the medulla oblongata and the vagus nerve. The control of involuntary functionings of the body is made possible by the mastering of this very important nerve.
Many occultists believe the ajna chakra to be the "third-eye," symbolised by the horn of the unicorn. When the mechanism of this receptor is functioning, Man would be able to perceive impressions emanating from the spectrum of energies of the higher dimensions; perceiving the distant past, the distant present, and the distant future would be a common thing--the Akashic records of life would be opened to his view. It is probable that the Cyclops of Greek mythology, with their famed single eye between the brows, represents a race of spiritual giants whose third-eye was in the active mode; however, this psychic eye gradually atrophied because of misuse and abuse--this is, esoterically, the tale of the people of Atlantis, the land of the Titans and the Rakshashas.
The third-eye actually is a psychic function and not a particular organ. It embraces the head centers and their glandular counterparts, the third and fourth ventricles of the brain, the medulla oblongata, and the optic thalamus. It is formed and actuated by Egoic energy and the kundalini. Thus to open the third-eye, one has to evoke this Shivaic and Shakti force into the holy chamber of the brain for a spiritual embrace which would give birth to the god of Wisdom--represented by Ganesha. The three aspects of the Ego--Will, Love, and Intelligence--would have to be exercised within Man's waking consciousness. This is accomplished by the following:
1) The living of a high moral code
2) Service to humanity
4) The study, practice, and obedience to the laws of the Universe
5) Thinking and expressing in a creative manner
6) The harmonization and coordination of the four lower bodies
7) The occult practice of Trataka, or intense concentration of the eyes upon an object