It is necessary to distinguish in order to comprehend. When one is progressing in the initiatory process it is unavoidable to put this postulate in practice.
Esoterists can distinguish and recognize between immanent and transcendent because they are taught how to recognize what is commonly not understood. Therefore they are sharp observers and they study principles outside the reach of the physical reason.
There are countless examples of this ability to "see" and it is possible to get in touch with countless ideas, with the help of the superior conscience that enlightens the physical reason, turning it into an enlightened mind.
Amongst the subjects treated by esoterism the one regarding the progress of the "states of crisis" is perhaps the most suitable to demonstrate the validity of the occult axiom "As above, so below".
Here follows a short essay.
Ancient cosmogonies which are fundaments to the hermetic tradition used the expression "Great Ritual" to describe the rhythms of evolution in its several (subtle) aspects and (material) appearances.
It's a kind of evolutionary calendar and at its apex we find the Great cosmic Ritual which contains and moves any lower Great Ritual.
Amongst the closest we find the Great systemic Ritual (symbolized by the candelabra with seven branches called Menorah in addition to the one with nine branches called Chanukah) and the Great planetary Ritual. Regarding the planet which we are part of, the latter contains the Great Book of Nature (see the published essay).
Therefore the Great Rituals are "symbolic containers" that illustrate the operative aspect of the evolutionary motion. In other words they are the calendars which follow the cyclicity, the cadence and the rhythm of the events that express the cosmic progress.
Incidentally, it is a system based on cycles, cadences and rhythms that joins the occult aspect of "sound" to the evolution of the creation, both in the subtle and natural aspect. Furthermore the most esoteric combination joins the sound to the "calendar" of one's destiny. As a matter of fact, if in the musical harmony the change is given by the interval of the quaver (the silent note) in the karmic sphere the change is given by the state of crisis (the silence of life).
Leaving aside the most subtle aspect of our subject we get close again to the human environment with the cycles, cadences and rhythms that mark our existence and destiny.
It is written that: "from the signs given we can draw our omens…".
To the initiate this means the ability to forecast the signs of the imminent destiny, or karma, from which it is not possible to escape. But we can "harmoniously direct" towards these signs so that we can create a balance between the past and the destiny we're building. We can create the possibility to give and receive, because like any other phenomenon that appears consequent to previous causes every decision made and accomplished moves events and creates opportunities, opening "windows of giving" or "windows of receiving".
The initiate knows if what is arising is a movement of life to which is better not to object, but let it go towards its natural aim without resisting to it or trying to force it towards what seems egoistically important. This is reminded in the aphorism "in the same way we don't have limits in taking we shouldn't have limits in giving".
Following the cycles of the inner progress means disregarding many personal propositions (extraneousness of the personal sense). This is very hard to do, so the "windows" open and close rhythmically allowing to physically re-charge and inwardly re-structure ourselves (see the ritual step:…go from labour to refreshment and from refreshment to labour again *) [* the author alludes to the Cycle or Law of rebirth: to the passage from the labour of evolution to the refreshment of periodic rest and vice versa].
It is difficult for those who are not introduced to the mysteries to recognize the signs of destiny. They see them only in their last form which is the form of crisis which cannot be avoided unless it is overcome. This is possible only by transforming (transmutation) the tension of Pain in tension of Power and Will.
Very few are prepared to this "act" which starts with a patient work. One must recognize oneself (Know Thyself) from the confusion of "coloured threads" of desires, passions and emotional tensions which dim the inner sight (see cardiac vision). In other words the inner journey starts through clearing oneself up and distinguishing what is true from what is transient. This is the utility for the Instructor who guides the traveller on the initiation Mountain. He makes easier the disavowal (dis-integration) of the physical-animal part (profane being) and the acknowledgement of the more noble and subtle part of the initiatory conscience.
What is a crisis
The crisis is the "visible result" of a transfer of conscience which from a backward point (the past) tends to turn into a forward point (the future). It regards an aspect that we can call of "wearing out" and that alters the previous status quo (the past).
The crisis is the last sign of a chain of changes that eventually become exterior in the physical conscience. It is a forced crisis because one is normally not used to accept the transformations that we cause ourselves and tends to defend the status quo.
This resistance "to the approaching new" is the main source of internal conflicts. If there is a part which resists there is another which pushes and this will, sooner or later, turn into a breaking point or interior crisis.
How to react to crisis
Often a crisis is a mirror where one doesn't recognize oneself and this disavowal creates conflict. We may not be able to recognize ourselves because of the way we used to be or the way we are becoming or because we don't correspond to the model we want to be or we think we are.
The acknowledgment or denial is attributed to the way we think we are or the way we would like to become or not, calculating an ideal (reasonable) model or only an idealized (dreamed of) one.
Some can suffer because they feel inadequate compared to an ideal, unrealizable model because it is too high, advanced or subtle.
However, besides the distinction between the essence of the model that one wants (I want to become this) or that one would like to interpret (I would like to become this) the decisive factor is how to cope with the imminent change, that is the transformation proceeding from inside ourselves. We can either react in a negative way (refusal, fear) in the hope that the change won't happen, but it will happen anyway, or react in a positive way (acceptance, trust) helping with the "delivery": the birth of a new oneself. The former act of taking a position causes insoluble pains, self reproach and feelings of extreme lack of esteem. The latter causes pain as well, but it will be a "birth" pain which will end in the relief of the new self-recognition as a better person.
The song to Life
The struggle of existence is, therefore, the commitment to inner growth. This is the cause of pain but also of joy and gratitude for a "life" full of new opportunities. It means, then, to harmoniously offer oneself to life and play with it inwardly.
The song of death
The pain of life on the contrary is the refusal of inner growth. It causes disharmony with oneself and others, who are seen as rivals to knock down, and discordance with life itself. It means to deny oneself to life missing the opportunity of being taken by its waves; to sing to the death that threatens to destroy the covering of what hasn't been transformed.
What to decide
The dilemma of existence is about deciding either to offer oneself to the struggle of existing, ignoring the pain of living or run into the pain of living, to escape the struggle of existing.
Many get lost in the illusion of refusing to transform themselves thinking that in this way they will stay the same. Doing so they lose the best part of themselves and of their life.