This Essay examines certain psychological foundations relative to
Liber AL vel Legis, The Book of the Law
The State of Ecstasy and Cosmic Unity
The experiences of BPM I typically have strong mystical overtones; they feel sacred or holy. More precise, perhaps, would be the term numinous, which Jung used to avoid religious jargon. When we have experiences of this kind, we feel that we have encountered dimensions of reality that belong to a superior order.
There is an important spiritual aspect of BPM I, often described as a profound feeling of cosmic unity and ecstasy, closely associated with experiences we might have in a good womb, including peace, tranquillity, serenity, joy, and bliss. Our everyday perceptions of space and time seem to fade away and we become "pure being." Language fails to convey the essence of this state, prompting most to remark only that it is "indescribable" or "ineffable."
The State of Claustrophobia
A person experiencing a fully developed BPM II feels caged, caught in a claustrophobic, nightmarish world.
The visual field is dark and ominous and the general atmosphere is that of unbearable emotional and physical torture. At the same time, the connection with linear time is completely lost and whatever is happening seems eternal, as if it will never end.
Under the influence of BPM II, one is tuned selectively into the worst and most hopeless aspects of human existence; ones psyche becomes acutely aware of and preoccupied with the darkest, ugliest, and most evil aspects of the universe. Our entire planet appears to be an apocalyptic place, filled with terror, suffering, wars, epidemics, accidents, and natural disasters. At the same time, it is impossible to see any positive aspects of human life, such as love and friendship, artistic and scientific achievements, or natural beauty.
BPM II connects people in an almost mystical sense with the suffering of the world and makes them feel identified with the victimized, downtrodden, and oppressed. In deep non-ordinary states governed by this matrix, we can actually experience ourselves as the thousands of young men and women who died in all the wars in human history.
We may identify with all the prisoners who ever suffered or died in the dungeons, torture chambers, concentration camps, or insane asylums of the world. Among frequent themes associated with this matrix are scenes of starvation and famine, as well as the discomfort and danger that come from freezing cold, ice, and snow. This seems to be related to the fact that the contractions interrupt the blood supply to the child - the blood that means nourishment and warmth. Another typical aspect of BPM II is the atmosphere of the dehumanized, grotesque, and bizarre world of automata, robots, and mechanical gadgets. The images of human monstrosities and sideshow freaks, as well as the meaningless cardboard world of the honky-tonk also belong to the characteristic symbolism of the second matrix.
BPM II is accompanied by very distinct physical manifestations. These involve tension throughout the body and a posture that expresses a sense of being stuck and/or of futile struggle. One can feel extreme pressures on the head and body, heaviness on the chest, and different combinations of intense physical pains. The head is bent forward with the jaws locked and chin pressed into the chest, the arms are often folded on the breasts, with hands clenched firmly into fists. Often the knees are bent and the legs flexed completing the picture of a fetal position. There can be congestion of blood in the skin capillaries and red blotches can appear in different parts of the body.
People who are especially tuned in to BPM II tend to see human existence as utterly futile. They may feel that because everything is impermanent, life is in a very fundamental way bereft of any meaning; any goal-oriented striving is a naive, empty, and ultimately self-deceptive folly. From this perspective, any effort, ambition, or dream for the future is simply doomed to failure. In extreme cases, humans appear to be nothing but pitiful perennial victims, who fight a quixotic baffle against forces greater than themselves, in which they do not have the least chance of victory.
At birth, we are thrown into this world with no choice in the matter and the only certainty we can find in all of it is that one day we will die. The old Latin saying expresses the human predicament very succinctly: Mon certa, hora incerta (Death is certain, the hour uncertain). The specter of our mortality hangs over our heads, constantly reminding us of the impermanence of all things. We come into this world naked, without any possessions, in pain, and in anguish; and this is very much the way we will leave it. Whatever we do in our life or with our life does not change.
The State of Titanic Struggle
The Titanic Aspect of BPM III is quite understandable in view of the enormity of the forces encountered in this stage of the childbirth. At this time, the frail head of the fetus is wedged into the narrow pelvic opening by the power of uterine contractions that oscillates between fifty and one hundred pounds.
One of the characteristic forms that this experience takes is identification with raging elements of nature, such as volcanoes, electric storms, earthquakes, tidal waves, or tornadoes. Another variety involves scenes of wars and energies generated by high power technology, including thermonuclear reactors, atomic bombs, tanks, spaceships, rockets, lasers, and electric power plants.
A lesser form of the titanic experience includes participation in dangerous adventures, such as hunting wild animals or a physical fight with them, gladiator combats, exciting explorations, and conquest of new frontiers. Related archetypal and mythological themes are images of the Last Judgment, Purgatory *, extraordinary feats of superheroes, and battles of cosmic proportions involving the forces of Light and Darkness ** or Gods and Titans.
* See Dante's Divine Comedy. . . . . . ** See Star Wars.
Frequent themes are scenes of violent murder and suicide, mutilation, torture, execution, ritual sacrifice and self-sacrifice, bloody man-to-man combats, boxing, freestyle wrestling, sadomasochistic practices, and rape. Other themes are the Sabbath of the Witches, satanic orgies, Black Mass rituals, and temptation by evil forces.
The State of Paranoia
The spontaneous emergence of memories involving intrauterine disturbances, or of the onset of delivery from the womb, seems to be among important causes of paranoid *** states. The general atmosphere is that of an apocalyptic event that destroys the peaceful intrauterine world and changes the oceanic and cosmic freedom of the fetus into agonizing entrapment and a sense of being overwhelmed by unknown external forces.
*** Note: It is not paranoia if they are really after you.
The World of Archetypes
It was Jungs belief that the archetypal world has an independent existence. This world is supraordinated to our everyday reality and represents its moving force.
Jung (>) suggested that in our dreams and visions we can experience myths that are not from our own culture and that were previously unknown to us from our readings, viewing of art, or conversations with others. This is the world of the "collective unconscious," an infinite ocean of knowledge from which we can each draw.
In this age of advanced technology, we might compare the collective unconscious to a transmitting station that constantly broadcasts every bit of program material and information ever transmitted by radio and television ****. At any time we can "switch channels," changing from the channel of everyday life to which we normally stay tuned, to an infinite number of other channels, crossing the boundaries of time, space, and even species. It is virtually impossible to imagine that we are always surrounded by this information and that we are able to tap into it whenever we wish. But our analogy of the radio waves gives us an approximation of the immensity of information we can access through the collective unconscious.
**** See the metaphysical concept of the Akashik Records.
The Archetypes or Universal Symbols
For centuries, universal symbols have played important roles in many religions.
The Indo-Iranian swastika, for instance, an armed cross, is an ancient symbol of peace and well-being related to the solar disc. It became the infamous Hackenkreuz, symbol of the German Nazi Party.
The centuries-old Hindu symbols of Shiva lingam and yoni have multiple meanings, ranging from the male and female sexual organs and generative functions to static and dynamic forces of existence, or pure consciousness and the energy of creation.
The cross, a symbol of prehistoric origin, has deep universal meanings in many different cultures. In its most ancient connotation, it points to the sun and through the sun to the creative power of the universe. To others it symbolizes all of existence because it represents the four cardinal points or directions and the center. In the mainstream Christian tradition it symbolizes the historical crucifixion of Jesus, while in esoteric mystical Christianity it refers to different aspects of incarnation, spiritual death, and rebirth.
Its Egyptian variant, the Nile cross or Ankh, was the most sacred symbol of the mysteries of Isis and Osiris, where the neophytes discovered their immortality and eternal life.
The creative force of the universe is perceived as something beyond any form, as pure consciousness endowed with supreme intelligence and the capacity to create any and all experiential worlds, seen and unseen, physical or etheric.
When we experience identification with the cosmic consciousness, we have the feeling of enfolding the totality of existence within us, and of comprehending the Reality that underlies all realities. We have a profound sense that we are in connection with the supreme and ultimate principle of all Being. In this state, it is absolutely clear that this principle is the ultimate and the only mystery; once its existence is accepted, everything else can be understood from it and explained.
The experience of cosmic consciousness is boundless, unfathomable, and beyond expression. Yet, even a short experiential exposure to it satisfies fully our craving for understanding. All questions about the mysteries of life seem to be answered and there is no need to go any further. Communicating this to those who have not had this experience is neither possible nor necessary. It becomes a self-validating and deeply personal experience.
The languages of cultures with ancient spiritual traditions that are based on experiential self-exploration (such as Chinese, Tibetan, or Sanskrit) have a rich and sophisticated vocabulary describing various mystical states of consciousness. However, even then the terms adequately convey the meaning only if we can relate them to a personal experience.
The Supracosmic and Metacosmic Void
One of the most enigmatic of all transpersonal phenomena is the experience of the Void, the encounter with primordial Emptiness, Nothingness, and Silence. This extraordinary spiritual experience is of a highly paradoxical nature. The Void exists beyond form of any kind. While being a source of everything it cannot itself be derived from anything else. It is. beyond space and time. While we can perceive nothing concrete in the Void there is also the profound sense that nothing is missing. This absolute emptiness is simultaneously pregnant with all of existence since it contains everything in a potential form.
The Void transcends all ordinary concepts of causality. People who have experienced it become acutely aware of the fact that various forms can emerge from this Void and take on an existence either in the phenomenal world or as an archetype, and that they can do so without any apparent cause or reason. While the idea that something could occur or take form for no reason at all may seem incomprehensible to us from our everyday state of consciousness, that same idea does not surprise us in the least when we experience the Void. As in the quantum wave theories of modern physics, the Void may be perceived as being made up of an infinite number of "quanta," that is, bits and pieces that make up complete Sets of Possibilities for virtually anything to occur. By choosing a particular reality, that reality is created in consciousness.
It was Jungs recognition of phenomena that exist outside cause and effect that led him to define synchronicity as an "acausal connecting principle." Meaningful coincidences between the inner world (the world of visions and dreams) and the outer world (of objective reality) suggested to Jung that the two worlds were not as clearly separated as we might think.
He began referring to archetypes as having a "psychoid" nature, that is they belonged neither to the realm of the psyche nor to the realm of material reality. Instead they existed within a strange twilight zone between consciousness and matter.
The blurring of boundaries between consciousness and matter challenges everything we are taught in traditional Western thinking.
The first category contains the most common psychoid phenomena - synchronicities. Here we identify inner experiences that are synchronistic with events in the material world. Neither the inner experiences nor the external events are necessarily unusual in themselves; rather, it is the acausal link between them that is striking. The existence of synchronicities of this kind suggests that psyche and matter are not independent of one another but that they can enter into playful interactions where boundaries between them fade or dissolve altogether.
A second category represents an important step beyond the first. Here. we see events in the external world that are associated with inner experiences and that traditional science would deem impossible. Typical examples of events that belong to this category include manifestations witnessed by participants in spirit seances and the so-called Poltergeist phenomena occurring around certain individuals.
These two types of experiences have been thoroughly researched by many outstanding parapsychologists. Similarly, spiritual literature describes "supernatural luminosity" around the bodies of certain saints, while modern athletes occasionally report "Events that fall into the realm of the physically impossible."
Another phenomenon that belongs here is the twilight zone of UFO encounters, which also has distinct psychoid features.
A third category is reserved for the forms of psychoid experiences where mental activity is used to deliberately manipulate consensus reality. This includes psychokinesis, ceremonial magick, healing, hexing by aboriginal people, and supernatural feats of yogis (called siddhis, or "magickal powers").
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