Aura and universal conscience
...Walking the initiatory path we come across many metaphors, whose deep teaching
we should understand. It is said that man can make his own life hell or he can
know heaven on earth. Of course these metaphors don’t refer to physical
places, but models of life, of being and feeling.
Walking the initiatory path we come across many metaphors,
whose deep teaching we should understand.
It is said that man can make his own life hell
or he can know heaven on earth.
Of course these metaphors don’t refer to physical places, but
models of life, of being and feeling.
We have already mentioned the idea of ‘heaven and hell’
as allegories of states of conscience and mental conditions where man
can confine himself in suffering or free himself from earthly unhappiness.
We’ve also said how, according to old metaphors, hell is a dark
place inhabited by demons and destined to pain. Such dramatic description
was meant to sound like an anathema to chaotic and impulsive masses, in
order to frighten them and bring them back to order.
Anathemas are not used any more, because fear can’t replace moral conduct;
today we must add that ‘hell’ is inside us. It is the subtle thought
forced to live in the darkness of matter, bearer of the hallucinations of the
lower nature (animal body) and ephemeral illusions of human conditions.
Some metaphors say that illusion rules on the material world and that they
are the dreams of the physical (un)consciousness separate from the soul. The
soul is the subtlest element investing the aura and it ‘stays in sleep’
until the awakening of the part of self that animates the physical man. The
soul is so called because, by animating the human substance, it
allows him to live, whilst the conscience allows him
to realize he exists. We can now understand, then, the reason
why it is said that the true human principle is the soul and the physical man
is his material shadow. If true man is the ‘spiritual breath’ and
not his flesh, it is obvious why it is said that he ‘sleeps’ until
the conscience doesn’t illuminate his mind.
The physical and the spiritual man are two faces of human reality. At first
they are in conflict in order to prevail on each other and they are represented
as two litigious brothers like in the myth of Cain and Abel.
Once they acquire some similarities, the two brothers become complementary and
twins, like in the myth of Castor and Pollux, joined
in heroic adventures.
The conflict between the earthly nature of man (physical reason) and the subtle
essence (soul) occurs because they belong to different kingdoms. It produces
a theorem that the initiate must realize in himself,
and try and complement the tensions deriving from the two different drives.
This can happen only by building a third element
that works as a means (*) between the physical and the subtle aspects. This
is the hidden function of the intelligent will, called free will.
Not to be confused with the faculty of choice, result
of casualty and uncertainty.
Intelligent will is the closest status to illumination and it is the only aspect
able to modify the mental form of physical conscience
(see process of metamorphosis). Since it is not part of the physical nature,
man must be able to build it if he wants to reach the initiatory goal; he can
then use it in the process of metamorphosis that occurs entirely in his mind,
growing in the union between mind and conscience.
(*) according to the principle of the excluded third by Aristotle,
there can’t be a middle term between two contradictions, because only
one can be true and the other false.
This theory, referred to finite ideas and unchangeable statements in the form
of crystallized concepts, doesn’t exclude that something different can
happen by manipulating a plastic element like the mind.
In our case the completely new existence of a third element (a bridge between
the physical and the metaphysical parts) is given by the fusion
of elements of both aspects.
Given its extreme adaptability, intelligence can mix different elements; physical
reason can’t do that, because it’s impervious to innovation and
it strongly resists to any change.
Intelligence is an extremely adaptable mercurial element, able to modify and
absorb elements of different nature. Intelligence (not to be confused with memory
and sciolism) is a pole of balance that doesn’t exclude but amalgamates
diversities. It eliminates only useless or harmful ideas (see ability to discriminate).
The importance of mental development acknowledged by old schools is due to
the ability of the psyche to be transformed into an athanor,
where unbalanced elements can mix (up) with precious elements (see the allegory
of transmutation of vulgar metals into subtle metals).
Some philosophies such as Raja yoga, spiritual alchemy and hermeticism, teach
that the psyche can revive the coarse components with the fire of
subtle elements (see energetic tension). The allegory has not
been contradicted. Perhaps its terms have been changed, saying that in the mind
the lower nature can be reached by the impulses of the subtle conscience, in
the form of aspirations and intuitions.
If the goal of the ‘Traveler’ is inner illumination, he has certainly
grasped the meaning of heaven. This condition must be sought and built with
strength and wisdom. The first thing to do is to abandon the metaphors used
to hide the probationary journey; its first trial is to distinguish the truth
from the mask used to cover it.
We must stop considering heaven the miraculous place where physical man finds
shelter from any earthly pain; a new concept must be found, measured to the
person who is conscious of living the life of the soul. The man who recognizes
himself in this life principle will soon conclude that the heaven
on earth is in the light of the soul. This means, by deduction,
that the way to heaven goes through the illumination.
The illumination is a cognition existing in every
initiatory criteria, being the prerequisite for the condition called universal
conscience (see hidden idea in the metaphor of the Holy Grail).
If the initiate’s heaven is the approach to universal conscience, this
condition must be sought and planned thoroughly; starting with the long process
of inner change that acts on the mental structure, with deeds and not only words.
A fundamental factor of metamorphosis is detachment. To say it more clearly,
to detach from the world or from the matter means to dis-integrate
from the influx of instincts. This means to escape the integration (the embrace)
with the lower nature; the latter must be deprived of its predominance and brought
back to the dimension of its exterior use.
We go back to the metaphor where the thought is prisoner of the matter of the
physical body; the transformation of the mind frees the thought (which has a
subtle nature) ‘from hell’ that takes it as a hostage and from the
chore to transport passion. In order to do this, we must find out where the
roots of hell thrive and in which level of conscience they find the ‘soil’
to absorb the energies that allow it to live.
This point is important because the most suitable means to decrease the power
of one’s own ‘hell’ is, so to speak, to cut its supplies.
We must avoid that the attention of the mind turns to ideas, words and actions
that brings new energy; without the latter, ‘hell’ quickly shrivels
The intelligent will directed to the ‘inner underground’ (unconsciousness)
becomes the light that illuminates it, dispersing the ghosts who live there
and the fogs that darken it.
Therefore it is necessary to know the different graduations of conscience in
order to easily face its different densities. Sometimes even facing experiences
of the top (the peaks of the subtle conscience) is more difficult than descending
one’s own underground.
We will conclude this short essay with the last metaphor.
It is said that God doesn’t live in the material world and that in the
matter the divine conscience becomes an ‘obscured principle’.
The condition of the physical man is the same. He is the son of the matter
and hidden son of the divine spirit; in order to reach the light where he comes
from, he must face the ‘journey’ in the search for his origins,
forgetting the animal origin that generated his physical body.
This journey and the chance necessary to approach the goal are represented
with the construction of a Temple. It is placed in
the cardiac center.
The Temple is the holy space where the Light of the divine inner
inhabitant arrives. The latter is the atom of God that is inside
man and supports his life by enlightening his progress.
The Temple erected to the Glory of God is the metaphor of the status
of grace which the initiate aspires to.
It is said that such state of grace is in the destiny of the humankind.
Athos A. Altomonte