“The Meditating Scholar” part two
Some years ago I wrote an article on “A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception”, where a main aspect was a look at the contents pages of Steiner’s GA-2, GA-3, and GA-4, which three books are in effect a gospel of the science of knowing. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/lrsew.html Owen Barfield had called that book, “the least read most important book Steiner ever wrote”.
A contents page is an opportunity for the author to give organization to the basic riddles and mysteries they hope to illuminate. For the Meditating Scholar, such thought-forms – which an author uses – supply any number of basic conceptions, that are suitable for esoteric contemplation.
In Initiation Into Hermetics, the index serves as contents page, providing page numbers for the locations of various major Ideas, such that for Step I, for example, we get not just the leading ideas of magical mental training, but the same for the psychic and physical training, all mixed together.
During a complete rereading of IIH, done over Easter two years ago, I created separate pages for the whole of the leading ideas of each type of training. Keep in mind that the Franz Bardon practices develop the will, thus the use of the word “training”. The next is the Ten Steps of the leading ideas of magical mental training, thus providing the wonderful overview that true scholarship requires:
Vertical integration Magical Mental Training
Step I: 1. Thought control, discipline of thoughts, subordination of thoughts
Step II: 1. Autosuggestion or the secret of the unconscious 2. Concentration exercises: a) visual/optical. b) auditory. c) sensory. d) olfactory. e) taste.
Step III: 1. Concentration of thoughts with two or three senses. 2. Concentration on objects, landscapes, places. 3. Concentration on animals and human beings.
Step IV: Transplantation of consciousness: a) into objects, b) into animals, c) into human beings.
Step V: Space-Magic
Step VI: 1. Meditation on the own spirit. 2. Becoming conscious of the senses of the spirit.
Step VII: Analysis of the spirit with respect to the practice.
Step VIII: 1. Preparation to mental wandering. 2. Practice of the mental wandering. a) in the room, b) short distances, c) visits to friends, relatives etc.
Step IX: Practice of clairvoyance with the help of magic mirrors: a) seeing through space and time, b) distant effect through the magic mirrors, 3) different tasks of projection through magic mirror.
Step X: Elevation of spirit to higher levels.
Let me says a few words about Step V: “Space Magic”, which I hope will allow the attentive reader an opportunity to “play” with that idea.
Any place where your body is at rest can be an asana locus. We are in that moment, in terms of the visible sense world, enclosed by our surroundings, even if in one “direction”- the mysterious horizon – seems far away.
There is also above and below. One of the divisions of the enclosed sphere, if seen as horizontal, divides the upper and lower into two realms. Below the dark Earth, into which we can travel moon-wise, and sunless. Above, the great light of the Day, and at Night, with the moon, all the star-homes for all the children of the creation, of whatever nature and kind.
This is a practical application of the principle in the Emerald Tablet: As above, so below, and as below, so above, for the miracle of the one.
Everywhichway&when, we also have the inner sunlight of thought. We name the world, and in various degrees, are today taught names that are not the true-name. Thunder names itself with its song. Sometimes we love the low rumble, and other times we are touched to our core, via a Majesty that almost knocks us off our feet.
I wrote a short book on “naming”: “The Father at Rest – magical and mystical dark-matter physics in the Age of Technological Chaos.”
In magical psychic training, this is Step: V …
Step V: Projection of the elements outwards: a) through the own body, accumulated through the solar plexus, b) accumulated through the hands, specially dynamically through the fingers.
Sounds complicated … yet there is a design, from the Mother. We are all the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
Most of us carry some form of the idea that we should be something more or other/different in some fashion. It is true that we ourselves, or intimate others, or worse… want us to be or do something, which we are not yet. The Mystery finds all that “work” sterile. They don’t know what we are going to do next. To them we are the Mystery, and every unexpected aspect of self-creation a surprise.
It is the “work” part that is a distraction. This is why the elaboration of the Emerald Tablet, in the first book: The Tarot, begins with Play (the Magician) and ends in Dance (the World).
The song of change is built into our lives. Don’t have to go looking for it. Yet, the children, being children, liked to explore and we were given a universe in which to Play, … though, … run to fast fall down go boom.
Tomberg, in Meditations, has this wonderful way of “naming” “play”: “concentration without effort”. /// lest ye become again as little children./// Hard for a child to be bored, if left to their own devices.
Bardon teaches in Step I, physical training, that substances can be impregnated with thought. Some substances hold this influence more strongly, such as semen and blood. In getting ready for the asana thinking/perceiving, we through self-care, awaken the skin. We gently brush the body to open the pores, then wash it with cold water, after which we dry it with a towel, by strongly rubbing all our skin.
Obviously, for most of us, this would happen in the morning, but doesn’t have to be done except that when wanting to play in your mind, waking up is helpful. Although, just throwing some water on your face, and breathing in some fresh air also does wonders.
In the asana, when the skin (the largest sense organ) is freshened, we imagine light being breathed in and out of our whole organism. The key is to leave the rhythm of the breath is own instincts. While he doesn’t say this, elsewhere I learned that some ancient Eastern ways described us as not so much breathing, but being breathed.
As I wrote in The Father at Rest, try to stop breathing. There may be someplace on a mountain top in Tibet, where wise men or women can, but for most of us leaving the breathing to itself … easier, so it is still play.
It is possible to think of the skin topology as capable of being laid out in the shape of a sphere. Kind of gross, until we name what you are going to feel, as did Steiner: the ethereal or life body. Our inner picture of the pore breathing play can be thought of in any geometrical form our imagination wishes, although I suspect the easiest is a ball shape, or maybe an egg.
As with breathing in&out this “light”, we can add thought to its nature. We impregnate the light with a self-chosen idea. It seems best to pick something limited in nature, in a sense. No complexity. I started out with breathing in health, and exhaling disease. It is helpful to imagine the in-breathing as coming through the skin, and the out-breathing as going through the elimination tract.
Experience will reveal that this in-breathing and out-breathing can cause physical substance to move, since it sets up a current in the ethereal body. So if we want to out-breathe disease, we need to guide the current to where metabolic processes of elimination are already active. The bowels, obviously, and there is in the skin a metabolic process, so it is a question of what “idea” we have of where the out-breathing is to go.
As I got older and more aware of my mortality, I changed from the idea of health to the idea of life. “In It (the Word) was Life and the Life was the Light of the World”, is not just religious poetry, … it is good physics.
The Moody Blues wrote a song: “On Step Into the Light”, which has this phrase: “The river of Living Breath is flowing through the Sun. He was there before the earth began”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hprKBU9btN8&ab_channel=illuminatedEntity
From magical physical training: Step III: 1. Retaining of Step I which has to become habit. 2. Accumulation of vital power: a) by breathing through the lungs and pores in the whole body. b) in the different parts of the body. 3. Impregnation of space for reasons of health, success etc. 4. Bio-magnetism
Note item 2. “Accumulation of the vital power”. Breath is this vital power, seen from a certain direction.
When the Covid Mystery appeared, I wrote this: https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2020/03/23/the-magic-of-breathing-as-a-possible-aide-for-an-individual-with-the-flu/
Keep in mind that the Meditating Scholar is playing with ideas. Ideas that are as real, in themselves, as is our own spirit. Once we admit the “otherness”, we can find out how to “dance” with the Ideas as a partner.
Here is a list of the names of the ideas of the 22 Symbolic Pictures of the Tarot book, as appears in St. Germain’s “Practical Astrology”. It helps to recognize that we are microcosm, an exact analogue of the Macrocosm. These names then describe us, and Them as well:
I. The Magus. II. Gate of the Sanctuary. III. Iris-Urania. IV. The Cubic Stone. V. Master of Arcanes. VI. The Two Ways. VII. Chariot of Osiris. VIII. Balance and Sword. IX. The Veiled Lamp. X. The Sphinx. XI. The Tamed Lion. XII. The Sacrifice. XIII. The Reaping Skeleton. XIV. The Two Urns. XV. Typhon. XVI. The Thunder Struck Tower. XVII. The Star of the Magi. XVIII. The Twilight. XIX. The Dazzling Light. XX. The Rising of the Dead. XXI. The Crown of the Magi. XXII. The Crocodile.
In St. Germain’s book, each Arcane has a picture, and some more detailed “ideas” as to meaning. Many readers of this will perhaps have their own “deck”, that can be fun to compare. Next is Tomberg’s “names”:
I. The Magician. II. The High Priestess. III. The Empress. IV. The Emperor. V. The Pope. VI. The Lover. VII. The Chariot. VIII. Justice. IX. The Hermit. X. The Wheel of Fortune. XI. Force. XII. The Hanged Man. XIII. Death. XIV. Temperance. XV. The Devil. XVI. The Tower of Destruction. XVII. The Star. XVIII. The Moon. XIX. The Sun. XX. The Judgment. XXI. The Fool. XXII. The World.
Notice the shift of XXI and XXII. Tomberg gives a long dissertation as to why he places the Fool where he does, also giving it this name: Amor, or Love.
Steiner’s “The Philosophy of Freedom” (GA-4) concerns inner or spiritual freedom in the face of the ideas we absorb from our given cultural life. Who doesn’t want freedom? In the last sentence to the original preface, Steiner writes: “One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage.”
Is the world in bondage to the Idea of the Pandemic?
In magical physical training: Step V: Preparation to the passive communication with the invisible ones: a) release of the own hand, b) preparation of the fingers with the help of the pendulum, the pencil, and planchette, etc. Passive communication: a) with the own guardian genius, b) with deceased people and other beings.
In magical mental training: Step VIII: 1. Preparation to mental wandering. 2. Practice of the mental wandering. a) in the room, b) short distances, c) visits to friends, relatives etc.
In magical psychic training: Step VIII: 1. The great Now. 2. No clinging to the past. 3. Concentration disturbances as a compass of magic equilibrium. 4. The astral body and the light. 5. Mastering of the electrical and magnetic fluids.
Consider that each Step, in whatever realm, displays fundamental ideas. We don’t have to master the practice, as a Meditating Scholar, but it helps to form pictures, and look for relationships … i.e. to “think”, “cognize”, and “reflect”.
A principle Idea is the four-poled magnet, which is what consciousness (Earth) is, when will (Fire), intellect (Air), and feeling (Water) are married to each other, which for all of us is the normal state. The electrical fluid is the fire-will, and the magnetic fluid is the water-feeling.
Sitting in the asana is an opportunity to self observe, and discover how to apply the magical name aspects of the totality which we constantly experience.
Next we will examine the ideas of good and evil, which in Hermetic Science are named: positive and negative. Our mental landscape is polluted by the idea of sin, for example. Or, that there are all manner of horrible and dangerous beings in our environment. Bardon makes it simple: “There is nothing unclean in the whole of the Creation”. Every Being has its rightful place, including us.
Given that we are looking at the situation, in the context of various ideas, in IIH the theoretical aspect with which the book begins, should be read often, for while the practices prove, the Theory guides, and gives all the crucial “names”.