The 'Middle Way' is an aphorism used to represent the 'tension thread' caused by the superior Self (Ego) to push the physical conscience (personal identity, transitory personality) to find its Unity in spiritual communion again. The unity is built by the link (Bridge of conscience) between the physical and metaphysical aspect of the real identity of the human being, expressing once more its perfect composition. It then overcomes the primitive conflict between 'spirit and matter'.
We need to make a distinction on composition of the real human essence, though.
According to the exoteric teaching the human being's identity includes the physical body as well (see Quaternary). The more refined view of the esoteric Doctrine is different; according to it, the exoteric interpretation is anthropocentric ('Ptolemaic' view of the lesser philosophies, which place the physical man at the center of the universe). According to the esoteric Doctrine the scale of physical vitality has a substantial (from Latin sub-stanzia , nature, the intrinsic value of things) value depending on the intervention of the conscious life . Physical life, then, has a value if it can reflect a deeply conscious thought. This is how the esoteric Doctrine identifies a scale of values in the human being, according to the thought that it is able to reflect, such that it builds (see Triad) a physical mind first, then a superior mind (abstract) and finally a spiritual mind (spiritual idea).
The Middle Way represents an inner status that escapes the attraction of the conflicts between opposite elements (see principle of duality). In other words, the aspect of balance and equidistance allows to realize the inner metamorphosis called White Work.
The White Work has two learning fields. The first involves the lesser Mysteries and the second studies the greater Mysteries.
The so-called 'lesser' Mysteries relate to the individual aspect of the being and they represent a valuable instrument to realize the inner consciousness that is the 'threshold' of access to the individual Work of the initiate. The conscience of the superior Self belongs to the so-called 'greater' Mysteries; it is the 'access' to the universal Work.
The Adept consecrates himself to a Work of inner transmutation walking on the Middle Way, which represents the divide in his duality. It is a very thin line between Black and White in a physical as well as a divine individuality. This path is exoterically represented in the mosaic on the floors of the Temples.
Black and white, good and evil, Yin and Yang are all meanings that draw the natural complementariness of the planet and therefore of every living creature. In all cases, despite the different expressions, all initiatory systems tend to cancel any kind of dualism, source of conflicts that prevents the manifestation of the spiritual conscience in the physicality as well.
The conflict between the two parts is never permanent, though; this means that we must not demonize our physicality, which has a precise and irreplaceable purpose.
The right approach is to consider duality as two different 'dimensions' of the same conscience. That is different ways of considering and recognizing oneself.
One can consider himself as a physical body concentrated on his material needs; or he can recognize himself as a divine essence concentrated on the highest spiritual thoughts; these are two sides of the same coin. Despite being different, these two realities will appear entirely true at the time when they occur.
What we believe of ourselves always appears realistic, without deceit or abnormality. The idea that we have of ourselves changes depending on how we look at it, viz. our point of view.
In the view of the physical thought it will be realistic to see oneself as a physical body, although through the view of the metaphysical and spiritual thought it will be more realistic to view oneself as a soul.
In both cases we will believe or recognize what we can see from those dimensions. In order to distinguish the 'different normalities' that make ourselves, such as relative and permanent ones, we must educate the mind to recognize them so that we can recognize ourselves in the reflections of both. This ability has a great advantage; it helps to distinguish all the different truths reflected in our conscience.
This 'knowledge of self' annihilates every form of inner conflict that used to separate the different aspects of our 'inner spaces'. They are different truths and realities that appear opposite and conflicting, but we know that they are actually linked to the same spiritual principle. We can assume that the Union in the contraposition is the esoteric sense of duality.
The physical conscience joined to the material aspect undergoes a contraposition with the spiritual aspect; ancient peoples knew this concept and represented it with two intertwined Snakes that face each other.
This conflict, though, is a distortion born and bred in the individual sphere. Nowhere else but in the individual conscience we must work to transform the mind's view, until it is able to recognize itself in both aspects. For this to happen, we must build a point of mental balance (egoic barycenter) that can interact with both aspects.
This new point of observation, the egoic barycenter , is a third synthetic mental pole that cancels any identity conflict in the initiate.
Summarizing, the Middle way, also called 'the Path of the Disciple' is the metamorphosis that leads the initiate to cross the different aspects or level of his nature. The purpose is to join the inner and subtle side to the coarser part of its external 'shell'.
The egoic barycenter is the most subtle point of the physical conscience. It is a mental 'apex' that contains an invisible point of psychic gravity that comes from the superior Ego, around which the whole Work of the initiate revolves. By widening this mental pole, the initiate ends up recognizing himself as an individual entity as well as a micro-unit of the universal Work.
From this point of psychic balance the initiate continues his inner ascent and concludes the sublimation of his emotional sphere.
Sexual and emotional energy is the great force of the physical substance that goes from the stage of material condensation to the stage of psychic synthesis and it realizes the Principle that Plato called Psichè (not to be confused with Psyche, the physical mind). It is an aspect of the higher conscience that reflects the archetypical model called spiritual Monad, called by the mystics the inner revelation of God.
Spiritual principle is the key to resolve most of the problems of the human conscience, which is physically divided from the spiritual Unity that it belongs to.
In order to show that this separation is only formal, we can use Plato's postulate: 'Since unity exists before duality, the coincidence of the opposite existed before their separation. Therefore the opposites are opposite to each other, but not opposite to the unity'.
This postulate demonstrates that two antithetical aspects can be resolved and overcome in their synthesis. In the human being this synthesis is the spiritual Principle.
The best method for the advanced Pupils is to detach from the mental nucleus that is subject to the impulse of 'attraction or rejection'. That is to the human aspect of 'sympathy or antipathy' (I like, I don't like; I want it, I don't want it, etc.); they must grasp steadily and responsibly an impartial view that gives the physical mind the right sense of balance and self-control.
Physical and mental self-control silences the confused emotions of the lower nature, which will be replaced by more and more frequent moments of silence and inner peace.
This silence is the 'emptiness in the mind' where the conscience (the image is the silent eye of the storm) receives in the physical essence the 'precipitation' of spiritual comprehension.
The requirement for spiritual precipitation has to be connected to what Kant called moral conscience (the Socratic syneìdesis): 'originated by the consciousness of the existence of a tribunal inside man', which he calls 'God's voice'.
To illustrate this aspect, the German archaeologist Bertoleth quotes part of an ancient Egyptian parchment:
'I met God that lives inside man,
I recognized him,
and I distinguished this Path from the other'.