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The Mandala is an important symbol of the self; a wonderful expression of the self as the highest value, the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists. It is often called numinous which means it is charged with an enormous amount of psychic energy and can occur as an overpowering religious experience.

The self is the ordering and unifying centre of the total psyche … the ego is the seat of subjective identity while the self is the seat of objective identity. The self is thus the supreme psychic authority and subordinates the ego to it. The true self, in contrast, holds knowledge gained and passed on over the generations from earliest human beginnings. The development of our true deeper nature is much like creating a sculpture from a living tree.

In 1945, in Upper Egypt, a collection of 13 ancient codices was discovered. These contained over 50 Gnostic texts which constituted the Nag Hammadi Library, the discovery and translation of which was completed in the 1970s. It gave a vast amount of information about early Gnostic thinking and theology. This was largely unknown to Jung; most of his work was done before this discovery. In his forward to the second edition of his commentary on, ‘the Secret of the Golden Flower’, he pointed out he had depended upon Christian opponents of Gnosticism for information (CW 13, p. iii). There is no doubt he considered alchemy more important than Gnosticism as a prefiguration of his psychology; the entire Collected Works contain only one small essay on Gnosticism where he discussed its parallels with alchemy:

the Gnostics were too remote for me to establish any link with them in regard to the questions that were confronting me. As far as I could see, the tradition which might have connected Gnosis with the present seemed to have been severed and for a long time it proved impossible to find any bridge that led from Gnosticism . . . to the contemporary world. But when I began to understand alchemy I realised that it represented the historical link with Gnosticism, and that continuity therefore existed between past and present. Grounded in the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages, Alchemy formed the bridge on the one hand into the past — to Gnosticism and on the other into the future, to the modern psychology of the uncon-scious (Jung, 1977, pp. 226-227).

Projection of the self Alchemists believed in a process by which gold could be produced from base metals; Gnostics believed immaterial sparks of spirit could be released from the body to enable them to reunite with the g-dhead. Psychologically, that which is sought after is not in the outer world but in the inner world of the psyche; an inner human process was simply projected onto the outside world, the process Jung called `the individuation process’, which is why alchemy became the core of his work. In Jung’s model of the psyche the highest value is the self.

We are entirely unconscious at birth and consciousness emerges slowly as we grow older. The unconscious is the natural state which Jung called ‘Reality in potentia’ (CW 9i, para. 498), all that we could be and have ever been. Consciousness is the aware-ness of oneself as a subject, an ‘I’, separate from the world and the unconscious. Jung called that first centre of consciousness the ego. Also, just as there is an ‘I’, which is the centre of consciousness, there is also a greater ‘I’, namely the ‘I which is unconscious’. This is the central archetype, which Jung called the self. Edward Edinger (founding member of the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in New York) followed on in the line of his predecessor Eric Neumann (who studied with Jung at Zurich in the 1930s and wrote extensively developing Jung’s ideas). Edinger described it:

The self is the ordering and unifying centre of the total psyche … the ego is the seat of subjective identity while the self is the seat of objective identity. The self is thus the supreme psychic authority and subordinates the ego to it. .. . It is identical with the imago Dei [the image of G-d.] … it is expressed by certain typical symbolic images called Mandalas. (Edinger, 1992, p. 3)

The Mandala is an important symbol of the self; a wonderful expression of the self as the highest value, the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists. It is often called numinous which means it is charged with an enormous amount of psychic energy and can occur as an overpowering religious experience.

Jung said;

we have a similar modulation of themes in alchemy — in the synonyms for the lapis. As the materia prima, it is the lapis exilis et vilis (stone poor and vile. Jung takes this from an alchemical work called The Rosarium Philosophorum, a famous series of 20 woodcuts first printed in 1550). As a substance in process of transformation it is servers rubeus or fugitivus (lit. Red man/slave. Red being the rubedo); and finally, in its true apotheosis it attains the dignity of afilius sapientiae (lit. Child of wisdom. Sometimes this is equated with the philosopher’s stone, for Jung the essence of the Individuation Process) or clews terrenus (The image of the sun in the earth, the image of G-d appearing in gold), a “light above all lights,” a power which contains in itself all the power of the upper and nether regions. It becomes a corpus glorificatum (The incorruptible body of resurrection in the Christian tradition) which enjoys everlasting incorruptibility and is therefore a panacea (bringer of healing). (Jung and Kerenyi, 1969, p. 90)

This brings to mind the primordial light described by the Hebrew mystics, mentioned earlier. It was a light with the power of both sun and moon in the sky, from which everything was created, hidden by G-d shortly after its creation only to reappear for the tiniest fragment of time at the birth of Moses. The ego is called upon to surrender to the self but fights and struggles against relinquishing any of its power and autonomy. It does not want to let go; its function is to control. We resist letting go and finding the panacea, the light for which we search. The motif of the archetype of the Divine Child expresses this particularly well. It can be seen in the many stories where a king has an intuition or dream of the imminent birth of a new king or redeemer. He sends out all his armies to destroy this threat to his authority. The Divine Child is a symbol of the awakening of the self in all its tremendous potential. It is the paradox of the trauma of dying and living where it is the dying that makes the living. Auroleus Phillipus Theostratus Bombastus von Hohenheim, immortalised as Paracelsus, was born in 1493, the son of a well-known physician described as a Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, from whom he took his first instruction in medicine. At 16 he entered the University of Basle where he studied alchemy, surgery and medicine. In alchemy he is often referred to as Paracelsus the Great and is quoted extensively by Jung. Paracelsus expressed this very simply: Decay is the beginning of all birth (Jacobi, 1995, p. 143).

For as putrefaction in the bowel reduces all foods into dung, so also without the belly, putrefaction in glass transmutes all things from one form to another … since then, putrefaction is the first step and com-mencement of generation, it is of the highest degree necessary that we should understand this process (Anon, 1992, p. 120).

Jung found what for many might be a great religious, philosophical and psychological understanding of the nature of being, namely the paradox of the self. His life’s journey led him to see that there is no such thing as uniformity of meaning; all meaning rests upon paradox. For many this is a great gift, an answer to the question of the meaning of our lives; the opposites we endure and enjoy, the nature of the Divine and the question of suffering.

Conclusion

The alchemists regarded alchemy as the greatest unknown and the greater the unknown the more it will attract projections. Alchemists projected the deepest layers of their unconscious into their experiments and processes. For this reason Jung understood its symbols to be closer to the unconscious than any other expression, dream or myth. We owe a debt to him for many discoveries and insights, but it seems to me we owe him most for his discovery of alchemy as the metaphor for life in all its mysteries and struggles, its beauty and its ugliness, its pleasures and its pains — in other words its paradox. Of course we all know that no one could make gold from base metal, but at the same time it is equally true and certain that in our ability to form and use symbols we can make gold — and we do.

Alchemy reveals what is shrouded in mystery. It mirrors deep life processes, providing a symbolic language of perception for some and a vehicle through which to engage with mystery for others. For Carl Gustav Jung it reflected a profound journey to establish a relationship with the archetypal psyche through encounter, discrimination and incorporation.

The true self, in contrast, holds knowledge gained and passed on over the generations from earliest human beginnings. The development of our true deeper nature is much like creating a sculpture from a living tree. The sculpted form gradually emerges as wood is chipped away to reveal the true individual essence. We can see this impulse towards manifesting a true inner essence in young people’s instinctive urge to live life for its own sake and in so doing, become rooted in reality, their limits and their abilities.

Our collective world is out of balance. Continuing advances in technology and encroaching materialistic influences disrupt authentic patterns of human life. Some people perceive the era of scientific rationalism as wakening humanity from an age-old dream state, as if the power to distinguish ‘real’ from ‘unreal’ is itself subject to biological evolution (Burckhardt, 1974, pp. 7-8). Far from taking us into an increased capacity to differentiate ‘real’ from ‘unreal’, scientific rationalism leads us into a parallel world.

Against this bleak backdrop, a cry is rising from the human soul, the cri de Merlin — a cry for water in the desert of dehumanisation. Jung pioneered the way beyond the biological and medical when he separated from Freud. What followed was a profound encounter with the unconscious recorded and published as the Red Book. This pivotal work is the foundation of his unique psychological orientation and all his later writings. He began by asking himself, ‘Why is myself a desert?’ and answering, ‘I have avoided the place of my soul’ (Jung, 2009, p. 237).

He endured the death of the heroic ego and emerged into a new reality — a psychic reality mirrored by the ancient art of alchemy. Jung’s methodology can be criticised for being nearly non-existent when perceived only through the lens of rationality with its blindness to the ways of mystery. However, Jung and his methods belong to a new post ‘scientific materialism’, `Weltanschauung’, and can best be accessed and understood within this new world view, as the subtle mysteries of new physics cannot be perceived from within a Newtonian paradigm. To cultivate an empathic grasp of how medieval alchemy resonates with the psyche, it is necessary to set aside post-Enlightenment rationality and pre-conceived notions about the nature of things. Imagine being a medieval alchemist. You see all things in the universe as inter-related following the Hermetic law of correspondences described in the Emerald Tablet (Hauck, 1999, p. 51):

Man can be changed rapidly by the Divine Alchemy of meditation, a process whereby Solar Fire is consciously brought to bear on the personality and on the mental, emotional, and physical bodies of which it is composed. Man is prepared for entry into the Fifth Kingdom and moves from mortality to immortality, from transience to permanence.

Many so-called authorities of yoga rate kundalini fire as the highest possible manifestation of the spirit; it is nothing of the sort. Kundalini, a negatively charged energy, is aroused by the influx of the positively charged energy, we call Electric Fire, which is found in the central spiritual sun. When Electric Fire (Fohat) pours through Sahasrara, the crown chakra, kundalini hears the call of her mate and rises from her cave in the base of the spine to meet Him. In the same way, it can be truthfully said that the release of the energy of nuclear fission represents arousal of planetary kundalini. For the first time in the history of the planet, its kundalini is being released consciously and under the control of a higher centre.

That higher chakra or force centre in the planet, which we call the human kingdom, is stimulating that centre at the base of the spine of the Planetary Logos (the mineral kingdom) in the production of atomic energy. As a result, we have the flow of planetary kundalini to higher force centres or chakras, which is Yoga on a planetary scale. The Fire of kundalini, (the inner fire of matter), is aroused as a final step in man’s spiritual development.

There is much misapprehension about the raising of kundalini, but let us assure you, it is most difficult to raise. Only when it progresses geometrically up all three spinal tracts, ida, pingala, and sushumna, with simultaneous action and uniform vibration, is true kundalini fire aroused, and it can only be done by the Higher Self.

Then, when all three fires merge and blend in man’s highest chakras, will he emerge as a perfected Being, and the powers latent within him will be full expressed. In this way, man is slowly changed by solar fire through the long process of earthly evolution and persistent rebirth.

But man can be changed rapidly by the Divine Alchemy of meditation, a process whereby Solar Fire is consciously brought to bear on the personality and on the mental, emotional, and physical bodies of which it is composed. Man is prepared for entry into the Fifth Kingdom and moves from mortality to immortality, from transience to permanence.

When released , it is said to transport an individual to unfathomable heights of spiritual ecstasy. Bliss or superconsciousness is achieved only when the Kundalini rises from its resting place

The fifth kingdom is reqognized as the selfrealized human souls.

The fifth kingdom is; The freeing ofconsciousness by resolution of opposites, and from the thrall of the unconscious, constitutes the inevitable path for the disciple seeking the superconscious, the Fifth Kingdom.

The resolution of the pairs of opposites leads to the integration of personality and its orientation to the soul. The reiteration of this statement in suitably altered language each day could well form the catechism of every disciple. The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi shows clearly that problems related to the unconscious can be resolved by action or outer expression of the opposites of the inner stressors. The prayer ends with a description of the rewards that come from the superconscious when resolution of the opposites is attained.

The more powerful and independent consciousness becomes, and with it the conscious will, the more is the unconscious forced into the background. When this happens, it becomes easily possible for the conscious structures to be detached from the unconscious images. Gaining thus in freedom, they break the chains of mere instinctiveness, and finally arrive at a state that is deprived of, or contrary to instinct. Consciousness thus torn from its roots and no longer able to appeal to the authority of the primordial images, possesses a Promethean freedom.

Jung shows that only the strong can break the anchor-holds of the collective unconscious.

When this is done a condition is produced in the Promethean, in which he is receptive to new ideas. He is, as it were, brainwashed of old concepts, old patterns of activity and old idols. He is not an iconoclast, for he is ready for new ideas and new idols. It is then that the inner Self gains its real opportunity to take hold and direct its lower triad, the personality. New anchors are now established by the aspirant with the Fifth Kingdom, the hierarchy of Masters.

This new realm complements the lower primordial archetypes described in Jung’s collective unconscious. It is the higher counterpart of those lower anchors which, hitherto, bound the man to primordial images.

These anchors may be regarded as the strands of a psychic path, a sort of rope ladder up which, in the manner of Jacob’s ladder, the disciple must mount to enter a new kingdom. Part of it may be described as the antakarana of meditation, or the Rainbow Bridge between the upper and lower triads.*

The link is already faintly established by the initiates of old, or, to put it into modem terminology, within its morphogenic fields which, in their turn, were evolved through the first-born of mankind, those who have fought their way into a greater measure of light than average man knows. The rope, the ladder or the thread is there, for all who would take it. We merely need to unveil it for it is hidden beneath the cobwebs of ritual and religious dogma.

To mount it, we need, in the early stages, to practise traditional methods of focus and self-discipline. This is the path of initiation, and it can be hard and cruel. But its rewards are commensurate with the new vistas and the new polarisations which occur as one mounts the cliff face.

The disciple learns to cooperate actively with the forces of the collective unconsciousness in order to resolve problems within his own framework, to remove repressions and to open channels for the input of energies from the collective superconscious. He must not only perform these disciplines but recognise that he is being assisted by Beings Who inhabit the world of the superconscious as ordinary Man does that of the waking consciousness.

They, the Masters, can do much for the disciple, but, because of the very nature of consciousness, as we have here described it, the disciple must do most of the hard work himself. There is no other way.

This is especially true when energies are being directed into Sahasrara chakra, the crowning glory of Man. In the spiral of consciousness, the disciple becomes aware of other schemes of evolution, of hierarchies of life, invisible to ordinary eyes who are not only using this planet as much as we do for their own expression, but whose very nature and materials constitute the same energy reservoirs that we have been considering here.

This means that the disciple must open his awareness to the vibrations of atma-buddhi-manas, must learn to fashion the antakarana out of his own spiritual substance so that the same three energies will descend into his aura.

He must also practise a way of life that will ensure the flow of spiritualising energies, thus described, will become a permanent and ever-increasing feature of his nature. Discipleship is not impossible without integration of personality but the sharing of hierarchical work is restricted without it.

Massive plans burden the Masters during the present time of change from one age into another and They seek help. But They will not entrust a portion of the Plan to those who have not yet been able to prove that they can manage their own emotional bodies, let alone that of the Planetary Logos!

The inner world of man, his consciousness, which will be directly affected by this great test and which will lead those who pass it successfully from the Fourth to the Fifth Kingdom, to the Kingdom of God, or genuine spiritual consciousness…..and transformation, not to outer ones; to the opening up of the unconscious and the superconscious.

The Fifth Kingdom THE FIFTH KINGDOM (The Kingdom of God)

(1) In the fifth kingdom … the outer phenomenal appearance will be retained, as far as the form is concerned, though refinement and quality will be intensified. The kingdom of God materialises in and through huma-nity. But in the realm of consciousness, a very different state of affairs will be found.

A Master of the Wisdom appears phenomenally to be a human being. He has the physical attributes, functions and habits, and mechanism of the fourth kingdom in nature, but within the form, the consciousness is entirely changed. … In the past each great unfoldment of consciousness, has precipitated new forms. This will no longer occur. … Under the divine plan for this solar system, this form-differentiation has its limitations, and cannot proceed beyond a certain point. This point was reached in the human kingdom for this world cycle.

Now, in the future, the consciousness aspect of Deity will continue to perfect the forms in the fourth kingdom in nature, through the instrumentality of those whose consciousness is that of the fifth kingdom. This is the task of the Hierarchy of Masters.

This is the delegated task of the New Group of World Servers who, upon the physical plane, can become the instrument of Their will. Through this group, the inner divine qualities of goodwill, peace and love, can increase and express them-selves through human beings, functioning in the forms of the fourth kingdom.

From stage to stage, from crisis to crisis, from point to point and from centre to centre, the life of God progresses, leaving greater beauty behind it as it moves through one form after another, and from kingdom to king-dom. One attainment leads to another; out of the lower kingdoms man has emerged, and (as a result of human struggle) the kingdom of God will also appear. The bringing in of that kingdom is all that truely concerns humanity today, and all living processes in mankind are bent towards preparing each individual human being to pass into that kingdom.

The knowledge that there may be greater manifestations than even the kingdom of God, may be inspiring, but that is all. The manifestation of the Kingdom of God on Earth, the preparing of the way for its great Inaugurator, the Christ, the making possible the externalisation of the Hierarchy upon Earth, give us each and all a fully adequate task, and something for which to live and work, to dream and to aspire.

Many of the Initiates of the Hierarchy will work openly , outwardly , on the physical plane , known to all men . … This will become the aim of advanced humanity in this coming age . … The human kingdom is the Fourth Kingdom ; the Masters and the Initiates of the Hierarchy make up the fifth , the emerging Spiritual Kingdom …

Kundalini is our basic evolutionary energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine in the first chakra called Mooladhara, or the root chakra. When consciousness attains a certain stage of development, Kundalini rises to accelerate the process. It marks the shift from the fourth human kingdom to the fifth spiritual kingdom. First, there is mineral, then plant, then animal, finally human; and then we move into the spiritual through the vehicle of Kundalini.

Kundalini is only concerned with truth and authenticity. When we have the courage to face the truth about ourselves and our lives, the Truth sets us free. Kundalini can then work the way it was designed to. Without self-awareness work, Kundalini continues to affect the nervous system in various ways without reaching its ultimate goal of spiritual awakening and self-realization.

In the fifth and final stage, the meaninglessness of life becomes paramount in his consciousness. … in the Bhagavad Gita and Lord Jesus Christ referred to when he said, “Blessed are the persecuted because they will see the Kingdom of God .

We have said that the Power that created the eye can see and the Power that created the ear can hear. If this Power is not in need of a physical eye to be able to see, or a physical ear to hear, it is reasonable to assume that this Power or Energy would not need a vehicle as human beings do at the present stage of evolution.

We must take our hypothesis a step further. If consciousness is energy and energy is indestructible, what happens to that vortex of energy-consciousness when its vehicle of expression, the body, is gone? Will we have bodiless consciousness? What can those forces do? Will they affect anyone? If so, in what way?

What happens to those forces and where do they “reside”? What power can such bodiless consciousness exercise? Is that power inexhaustible? Does it generate itself by itself, or through something else? If we assume that there are bodiless mind-consciousnesses (forces) and if the energy of these forces is lim-ited, where and how might such regeneration take place?

Could these bodiless consciousnesses be termed “extraterrestrial” consciousness, being outside the orbit of the Earth? Can they influence those forces that are still in a body, or use a body as a vehicle, and therefore also use emotional energy?

Can the human mind and its emotional energy become the fuel or recharger of the bodiless consciousness? These thoughts are not as outrageous as they will first appear. Physically, humans feed on the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Emotionally and mentally, people feed on each other. There is no reason to assume that there is not something that would feed on us.

The Archons is said to feed of fear and negativity from Mankind and news bombardning the human mind with just negativity, fear, sorrow and panic in and endless circle.

What is behind the saying, “Ye are gods”? It might indeed be that the accumulation of intelligences makes a demand of enlarging consciousness and that this evolution of humankind is still going on. Perhaps this process was somewhat immature when curiosity brought these young gods down to Earth. Their bodies are described as being ethereal, which means of such fine stuff that it is invisible to sight. Obviously these young gods who stayed around on the Earth for too long lost some of that quality. We are told that their bodies hardened. We must conclude, therefore, that living on Earth would depend on the use of a body, while a center of consciousness that is unencumbered by the heaviness of the body might be able to spend some time on other stars or planets for development, or for the purpose of increasing energy from those who do not care to have it. Energy is available for anyone who wants to make use of it. Pursuing higher consciousness, or increasing our level of consciousness.

In one’s personal worship, a spiritual image may be created and visualized by the power of imagination. This imagery serves a certain purpose only. It is an appearance. The practice of the Divine Light Invocation will make it transitory. Intuitive perception will take proper care of the transition. The image is there-fore a provisional concept of three levels of power: self-mastery; concentration-contemplation; and pure consciousness. Meditation on Light is one of the most subtle ways to start. It sets some seekers free from religious aspects that may be undesirable. At the same time, substitutions of various gods and goddesses is avoided, once the practice of concentration has been mastered. Worship is a process of self-awareness and the seat of what is reflected is somewhere else. It cannot be touched or taken away. Like the fragrance of a flower traveling on the airwaves, it cannot be picked up and placed elsewhere. It is intangible and yet it has a reality of its own. It has a presence.

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