Friday, April 04, 2008

Macrocosm and Microcosm

There are two paths, the path of ecstacy and the path of the mystic. The ecstatic might be said to be lunar and thus learn lessons (saturn) in a haphazard nonlinear manner. The mystic may be said to be solar, that is, fixed in dedication, and thus the saturnian impacts are pure and clear.

The solar mystic feels more keenly the true nature of suffering as his own karma. The lunar ecstatic experiences rapture as release from the ego, and a loss of distinct self as well as distinction between true and false, fact and fancy.

The ecstatic in ecstacy penetrates his astral body tightly and feels himself to become a lunar mirror, illuminated with reflections of pure and indistinct consciousness. Like a sleeping person he forgets his ego in the feeling body of the astral. Like a sleeping person - since in sleep a man forgets both ego and astral body - he is disadvantaged in that he cannot distinguish true from false whilst in the state of rapture.

The microcosm is the objective real world of sustances and worldly meanings as experienced by the etheric body and the physical body. It can be languaged as earth, air, fire, water, and spirit, but as Plato points out in the Timaeus, these are just processes of one single substance in constant flow. In this sense it is the archetypal lunar sense of actuality, of felt experience as quality in and of itself.

The macrocosm is the objective energetic kosmos of integral structure, pattern, and flow: ego and astral body engage it. The ecstatic penetrates and grips the astral and the ego is made rarified; the mystic penetrates the etheric and the ego is made dense. Thus one might see the spheres of Geburah and Chesed exemplified. Or one might see Ken Wilber's clarifying pictures as the solar imperative, making sense of the universe.

To summarize: in expanding into the Macrocosm, the ecstatic's Ego becomes evanescent or rarified, whereas in shrinking into the Microcosm, the mystic's Ego becomes concentrated or densified through impacts with reality.

The hermetic four cherubim are the sins of omission. The eagle is omissions of thought, the lion omissions of feeling, and the bull omissions of will. Finally at the boundary of the microcosm itself stands the human, omissions of spirit, who is the Lesser Guardian of the Threshold.

One might visualise the pentagram with the accretions of past actions, errors of omission and comission, which slow down the flow of energy through the corners and back out into the macrocosm. The angles of the pentagram symbolise the sensory-nervous-hormonal reality of the bodymind, which can only generally focus on about five inputs at once. At one focuses attention on an input to the bodymind, it holds back the free flow of invisible spiritual energy and creates or forms an organ.

The senses hold back the flows which created them, forming the eye from light. The body holds back the flow which created it, creating matter from energy. The microcosm is the holding pattern of the macrocosm which created it, creating the individualised consciousness of the microcosm, the ego-I.

But it operates in reverse too. What the eye holds back from light effects in turn the source of light. Thus what I as microcosm hold back from freely flowing is what the macrocosmic spirits also hold back. The spiritual realm responds directly to our restraint from natural action. This concurs with the Kaballistic teaching, and also wtih the 12 step teaching of steps 6 and 7 of "doing what you don't want to do, and not doing what you do want to do."

Here is the process: through discernment, one notes a tendency to lie, or to steal, or to hate a certain kind of person. So when the tendency arises, instead of acting out of the tendency, one surrenders the urge and the satisfaction associated with the urge to the spiritual urge, the macrocosmic field. You turn it over to God. Thus the lower nature of the microcosm is denied free action, and the higher nature of the macrocosm is stimulated to act on our behalf. Through perseverance in practice the microcosm becomes transformed to more accurately carry the light of the macrocosm. All this arises through the simple process of surrendering self-centered actions, thoughts and feelings to a higher power.

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