Copyright © 2007 by William R. Mistele. All rights reserved.
Problems in the Study of Magic, Part V
In the following essay, I am describing the akashic and mental planes of the cosmic letter J. This material also deals directly with the question of what constitutes a genuine cosmic religion. As such, it pertains to a major problem in the study of magic—namely, how do you share magic with other people? How do you build a community with it? What values would that community have? What kind of people would it contain and what would bind them together?
The mental plane presents a description of what might inspire such a community to share and work together.
The Cosmic Letter J
One who has the wings of a man and the wings of a woman also is in himself a womb of the world; and being a womb of the world he continuously, unendingly gives birth.
In the following essay, much of what I am writing is summary and review. Some of it appears in other essays. It is the level of integration that is different.
On the mental level, for example, I attempt to correlate the ecstasies of the four elements with the practice of magical equilibrium. This presentation is identical to laying the foundation for a genuine cosmic relation. This may seem like a glamorous activity, something to present on youtube.com or a talk show like Oprah. But it is not. There is just too much hard work involved extending over a life time. Consequently, other than to satisfy curiosity, it will neither appeal to nor be of use to anyone except those who are already highly dedicated and committed to mastering the basic exercises.
Franz Bardon describes the cosmic letter J on the akashic plane as being the expression of the highest, all-embracing love. He also says that practicing the J on this plane enables an individual to understand and to experience this love.
As with the other cosmic letters, it is helpful to ask questions and do some thinking about these letters before, during, and after practicing with them. This action attunes our consciousness to these cosmic vibrations. It sets us up to gain insight and to understand their meaning and application.
The questions we might immediately ask about the letter J are:
What is the highest, all-embracing love? Have I felt it? Can I imagine it?
I have pursued these themes in some of my writings (see Mystical Fables, not yet out). A young man has a moral conflict. He can’t decide between his wife and his mistress. His attempt to solicit the help of an old wizard fails. But he is told to ask the old wizard this question in order to solicit the wizard’s help: What can you tell me about the mysterious love that underlies the universe? The wizard can not resist and spend weeks telling the young man stories about the spiritual evolution of the human race. The stories start with the beginning of the universe and end with an answer to the question—what is the ultimate destiny of mankind and how is it found?
It is said that human beings are a microcosm reflecting in themselves the greater macrocosm, that is, the universe. If you look at the universe from the point of view of science, it is vast, very physical, but governed by the laws of physics. When you gaze at the stars at night, and the two hundred billion galaxies beyond, do you think that the universe is cold and hostile or is it teaming with life? Do you think like Beethoven in quoting Schiller in the 9th symphony, “Brothers—beyond the starry vault must dwell a loving father.”
And so we might ask,
What is the mysterious love that underlies the universe and what part might it play in revealing the destiny of the human race? In other words, how is love woven into the elements of nature—earth, air, fire, and water? How about chemistry, physics, electro-magnetism, astrophysics, etc.
In another book I am writing there is an ancient practice called The Great Rite which celebrates the act of creation in which god and the goddess were joined. The high priest and a young woman unite during the Great Rite to reenact this celebration. The young woman is trained and selected based on her ability to embody the Goddess of the Earth both through sacred dance and in performing sex magic with the high priest. This rite stands at the center of this civilization and is inspired by a spirit of the earthzone referred to as Ubarim after whom the kingdom is named.
A young warrior magician, however, comes to believe that the young priestess belongs to him and not the high priest. The Great Rite is better celebrated as an act of love between two people rather than as a sacred ritual uniting a society. The question then is:
What would our society be like if it were founded and shaped by the love that stands behind the creation of the universe? How might such an attempt go wrong if fanatics or self serving or even the most devote high priests tried to use high magic to fulfill this vision? How might it be done right?
In other writing, I refer to the great world teachers as those who have entered the sphere of the sun with their consciousness. They know what it is like to be one with the universe. Consequently, when they assume human form to teach mankind they often do so by accepting great limitations on their powers in order to enact a drama that conveys a particular spiritual theme to mankind. If you follow Joseph Campbell’s understanding of mythology, he describes those like Buddha, Christ, Moses, Krishna, etc. as doing precisely this. The question then becomes--
For what purpose have I entered life? What story does my life tell? If I were inspired by the highest love, what purpose would my life reveal?
The cosmic letter J on the akashic level is about love, union, conception, and completion. Like another cosmic letter—UE—its voice says, “I create, I inspire, I guide/I make all things new in the fullness of time.”
Imagine that in the moment you die your soul mate, your spiritual and divine consort, appears to you and he or she says, “I have always been with you and beside you ever step of the way. All you needed to do was to use your spiritual senses to realize that at the center of your heart I have been, am, and will be one with you forever.” The cosmic letter J is saturated with this kind of inspiration.
Some die for the touch of love because it is so rare. Others’ hearts grow bitter, hard, or cold because their love has grown old. By contrast, the cosmic letter J envisions a sea of love that embraces the universe. Its depths can not be measured. It is everywhere. It is in the air, in water, in earth, in fire—in every element is hidden the taste of its presence. Every sensation bears witness to its existence. The letter J gives you a different perspective, one not based on intellect but on experience.
Investors in the United States want to believe that there is a benevolent Federal Reserve Chairman, (now Bernanke), watching over the U.S. economy. Investing, like life, always embodies risk. But to assume risk it is very helpful to imagine that the risk you take will prove to be worthwhile in the end.
The global market, however, is best served when each investor makes his or her own informed and intelligent decisions. When you are good, you oversee your own investments. When you get better, you oversee others’ investments. When you get very good, you run a mutual fund or other investment vehicle containing billions of dollars. When you are wise, hopefully, you become something like Bernanke who is the chairman of the Federal Reserve and whose decisions to some extent influence the global economy.
The same applies to life. You can be benevolent but others still have to make their own choices. According to the story we have, one of the great moments in the history of prophecy on earth occurred with the Oracle of Delphi told the Spartan king, in response to his inquiry, that either Greece would be conquered or the king of Sparta would be mourned. And so we have the story of battle of Thermopylae.
You can give others council, wisdom, and inspiration, but they still have to make their own choices. King Leonidas chose to sacrifice himself. Life often involves sacrifice and in this case, against staggering odds, the Oracle and King Leonidas turned out to be right about how to protect Greece.
We all oversee our own lives. We watch over and to some extent do our best to protect those who are close to us. When you get very good and truly wise, there are, no doubt, many openings in this universe for those who are willing to oversee, guide, and inspire entire planetary civilizations. You can be very loving and, indeed, embody the highest love. But unless you wish to become a spiritual dictator you have to allow people to make their own choices. Without risk, choice, and experience, learning is not possible and life has no opportunity to flourish.
The four aspects of the Mysteries are to will, to know, to dare, and to keep silence. To love is to dare. It often requires great courage. To dare is to accept the world as it is and also to strive to turn it into what it can be. The question then is,
What kind of courage is employed by those who are inspired by the highest love? What motivates them to be willing to give of themselves? How do they pull it off?
At the risk of boring some of my readers, I write about the letter J as it is used in the magic formula J-CH-W by a magician in long ago Atlantis:
EXT. SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ROOFTOP—MOMENTS LATER
(speaking word of power)
With the sound of “Jaaa” an opal light of dark violet, red, blue, and green intermingling expands across the sky.
All manner of spirits from all seven planetary spheres including the Angel of Death, arch demons, the 49 judges of Saturn, the elementals, and many other spirits from many realms and domains are surprised and astonished as they are held captive and bound by He’ad’ra’s voice.
The spirits turned their faces toward the third planet from the sun and to the continent of Atlantis and then to He’ad’ra.
Hurled and caught by a cosmic power of concentration, like the swirling tides of a cosmic whirlpool in a cosmic sea, their voices join. The united spirits appear before He’ad’ra as a bright flame with a whirlwind of colors whirling within it. These cast a dark red glow that melts, twists, and cracks the columns of marble and the floor.
As they presented themselves in front of He'adra in a column of light, they speak as one in an unearthly calm, in an eerie, quiet, and childlike voice:
For what purpose are we called?
On the akashic level, the cosmic letter J involves a great union and joining of all beings under the law of love in order to fulfill a divine purpose. In order to do this, the character called He’ad’ra was granted a gift from God earlier in his life:
MONTAGE: INT. BEDROOM—LATE NIGHT
He’ad’ra sits up in bed amid a lucid dream. Blurry lights around him transform into myriads of stars, nebula, and galaxies. He gets out of bed and stands up as the walls disappear. M100, at first appearing as a small spiral galaxy, expands into a gigantic galaxy of white, blue, and red stars that rotates beneath him and then drifts through his legs.
EXT. AMONG GALAXIES—NIGHT
He’ad’ra’s room seen faintly illuminated amid the stars.
GOD (off screen)
Of all those who dwell on the earth, it is only within your heart I am free to appear.
Ask of me, therefore, whatsoever you will in the heavens above, upon the earth, or beneath the earth and I will grant it to you.
May my will be in harmony with Your own--that all my actions in service to others may arise from the One Light and serve the purposes of Divine Providence.
GOD (off screen)
Because you ask for neither wealth, fame, nor anything for yourself at all but only to benefit others, your power shall be without limitation--your voice shall be like My own. There shall be none like you, neither before you nor after you in the history of the world.
The above is part of a dramatic presentation involving the cosmic letter J. My story is fiction but the magic I describe in the story is not.
In practicing a cosmic letter on the akashic level, the task is to first place one’s consciousness on the akashic plane, that is, penetrating through space and time. And then one identifies with Divine Providence in accordance with the specific qualities of the cosmic letter.
Through experience, we gain a sense of what our individual purpose is in life. But here on the akashic plane, we put aside our personal identity. We imagine ourselves to be pure spiritual being.
The cosmic letter J on the akashic level is a divine celebration. It is the union of the God and Goddess. It is a union of everything that exists throughout the universe.
It is the union and bliss by which the universe was created. And it is on-going. There is no end to it. Creation is taking place in every moment.
Whether it is the Hindu Swami mastering his chakras, the Tibetan Lama practicing his yidams, or the Zohar and the Quabbalah with the name of the Elohim that is a masculine noun with a feminine plural ending—the divine is seen in union with its opposite, with its consort, in every moment. This is one way to comprehend this kind of love.
In his work on ritual magic, Bardon describes the symbolism and use of the magic circle and wand. By standing at the center of the magic circle, the magician unites the four elements and joins his will to God. At the end of his book on basic practices, Bardon has the student imagine that he embodies the four divine qualities of spirit. He practices uniting his consciousness to these four qualities both in an impersonal way and by also identifying with them in the form of a personal deity. These practices are prior in Bardon’s system for working with the cosmic letters.
With the letter J, the three sense concentration involves the note of G#, a cold watery sensation, and dark opal with the colors of red, green, violet, and blue. The red is power in all aspects. The green is very similar to what I describe in the cosmic letter G--it is personal harmony, satisfaction, wealth, and success along with the blessing of Divine Providence.
The blue is Jupiter’s sense of generosity, an expansion of life possibilities, and the enlightened mind. It is all aspects of wisdom and knowledge. The color of violet is cosmic consciousness. It is being everywhere and within everything. It is the original purposes of life in their purest forms.
The cold watery sensation is like the magnetic fluid that holds and unites these four divine qualities of spirit. Like the magnetic fluid, it is utterly receptive, open, and empty. It easily can contain anything within itself--nurturing, preserving, and animating it.
(Note: The cosmic letters often employ a dynamic tension between the three sense concentrations in order to produce their creative power. For example, with the letter D the cool color of blue is combined with the hot sensation of fire. Or, with the letter N, the hot color of red is combined with the sensation of cold water.
With the letter J, the water cold sensation acts like the magnetic fluid that encompasses and joins four different colors. You have oneness amid diversity. The note of G# also occurs with the cosmic letter S. As I sense it, the note produces a steady state and balance in a vast space. It embodies equilibrium. This is in dynamic contrast to the fire in the letter S which is expanding and explosive in power. With the letter J in combination with the water, the G# assists in uniting and stabilizing the diverse qualities of the four elements.)
In practicing the cosmic letter J on the akashic plane, there is a sense of uniting oneself with the essence, the life, and the spirit at the core of every being. It is uniting oneself with every deep purpose in life.
You can probably understand then that in mastering the cosmic letter J there is no need of magic circle or wand, no need for ritual or ceremony. No need of priest or temple. In one of my stories, the Goddess of the Earth says to Le’ah’e,
GODDESS OF THE EARTH
(walking toward them)
Four billion years I have watched over and tended this planet. I created life. No religion comprehends Who I Am, though it is I who grant permission before each appears.
(walking up to Le’ah’e)
Your innermost desires are the same as my dreams:
To have children who can see through the eyes of the stars,
who unite all opposites, the constellations themselves, into one song of love.
Will you shine with my light?
Be anointed with my beauty?
Speak with my voice?
GODDESS OF THE EARTH
Two things I require:
Establish justice upon the earth
And do as my Beloved and I do—
make the world new.
How do I do this?
GODDESS OF THE EARTH
Create a religion without rituals, priests, or temples in which love, wisdom, power, and justice are equally honored and pursued.
You could say that those who practice the cosmic letter J on the akashic plane are indeed practicing a genuine cosmic religion, one in harmony with the universe, one that embraces all divine purposes, and one that seeks to master omnipresence—to be an all-embracing love that senses, joins with, protects, and celebrates the original inspiration and inner spirit that is at the core of every being.
On such a level as this, like I say, there is no need of wand or magic circle. When you speak, your words speak from and with the force of the life that is at the core of any being. Under this law of love, you are free to join with any being in the universe to fulfill a divine purpose. Such is the nature of Divine Providence and all-embracing love.
There are jokes on Wall Street such as if the Federal Reserve Chairman—Bernanke--were to get in a car accident on his way to work the stock markets around the world would close three to five per cent lower at the end of the day. Like I say, businessmen need to feel that their economies are stable and that if there are problems a benevolent presence will protect them.
A teacher in a classroom sets the tone and the quality of the classroom by the power of her voice. It is not just done by command and authority. It is through sympathy, empathy, and persuasion. When she is good, the students are convinced that she looks out for their best interests. If she is very good she actually cares about them in that way.
You can practice the letter J on the akashic plane. This level of awareness penetrating space and time can be practiced in your own spiritual space—the J in this case expands your aura but it is only your own aura that is involved. You can also practice the cosmic letter J on the akashic plane of the earthzone--within the aura of the planet earth. Here the J is slightly different. You can get a sense of how the higher spirits channel the influences that reach the earth from certain degrees of the Zodiac. That is how Bardon describe the 360 spirits of the earthzone in his book on evocation. In their meditations, these spirits extend their influence across the entire planet. They are inspiring, protecting, and benevolent.
There may not be very many on earth who are listening. But the inspiration is there. Practicing the cosmic letter J in the earthzone you can get a feeling of what it is like to be one of these spirits and one with all life on earth.
There are three more levels--the mental, astral, and physical levels- for practicing the letter J. What I wrote today came out of four hours of meditating on the J on the akashic plane. Obviously my procedure involves a lot of meditation and a small amount of writing. Over the next few weeks I will try to describe my experiences with these other planes as well.
As you notice, I am making an effort to find connections between personal love and cosmic love and also between intellect and intuition. In other writings, I describe in detail the difference between the electric and magnetic fluids. These are primal and spiritual energies analogous to masculine and feminine. With the cosmic letter J we find the creativity and vision that derives not from the separation but from the union of these opposites. Or, as William Blake would say, to taste this ecstasy is to taste divinity.
Bardon says that the letter J on the mental plane “expresses the mystery of rapture or ecstasy in its highest form.” Practice enables one to master the ecstasies that belong to each of the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water—seen in consciousness, intellect, will, and in love. An individual learns how to evoke one or all of these ecstasies at will.
From Bardon’s other writings we know how important attaining magical equilibrium is—that is, arriving at a balance of the four elements in one’s astral body. In working toward magical equilibrium, we get to know the elements as they already exist within us. We study their operations with great care.
The practice of magical equilibrium involves, for example, associating negative emotions such as anger, revenge, arrogance, depression, laziness, etc. with a particular element. And then one conscientiously works to turn that negative quality into something positive.
(Note: There is a certain leeway in ascribing a specific quality to one element. Insensitivity for example is a weakness in the water element but an individual can be insensitive because he is too intellectual, too willful, or too focused on the material world to notice what other people are feeling. You have to use your own discretion in deciding which element goes with which quality.
Also, some of the qualities listed belong more to the astral plane and others belong more to the mental plane. In discussing astral equilibrium, we are discussing emotions that belong to an individual’s personality. If someone says, “I love you,” it is possible he is speaking of an astral feeling as in “I am overwhelmed with awe and longing whenever I think about you.” This is an astral response as is typical of falling in love.
The “I love you” could also be a mental body response as in “In so many ways we are like each other—we are completely compatible, in sync, and in harmony with each other.” In other words, the person is saying, “I like the idea of our relationship. It works. It makes sense to me.”
But when the mental plane becomes very strong, there is always going to be an astral effect. If you feel ecstasy on the mental plane, you will almost always experience very powerful feelings on an astral level as well. Using one’s mind to change negative astral qualities to positive qualities is basically using the mental plane to change the astral. In this sense, the practice of attaining magical equilibrium involves equally the mental and astral planes. For this reason, I am linking the description of the ecstasies on the mental plane to the process of changing the astral qualities of the elements.)
There are various methods Bardon recommends for developing astral equilibrium. You can use autosuggestion—you repeat to yourself as in an affirmation that you have the positive quality you are after. You can use will power to simply stop a certain kind of action. And you can mediate on the opposite quality.
In terms of methods, autosuggestion and affirmations seem to belong to the air element. It is cognitive psychology—you remind yourself with words and ideas of the way you want to be. This method is more intellectual. Using will belongs to the fire element. Meditation is more like the water element.
Behavioral methods seem to belong more to the earth element. If you are trying to eat less sweets you can modify your behavior by simply eating a little less each day. You do not have to do much in the way of thinking, feeling, or using your will. You simply focus on changing your behavior in a slow way that does not cause pain but inevitably brings about change.
In a book I am doing on undines, I summarize various ways to mediate on an element:
“There are different ways of making a feeling, a spiritual presence, or an inner truth our own. You can use the method of focusing—notice the feelings that a description of an experience awakens in your body as you read or speak the words. Open to the feelings and let them transform as they vibrate, echo, and expand within you.
You can use contemplation—let the words be your guide as you let them sink into your mind leading to you a place of dream and vision beyond the limitations of thought and reason.
You can the method of dialoguing—let the feeling within the words appear to you as a person with whom you can speak and who speaks as you listen. Discuss your different perspectives and ask the tough questions.
You can use invocation—let the words raise your awareness to a higher level so that you feel closer to something greater than your self and that now has greater access to you.
You can use evocation—speak the words as if you are the one who wrote them and that what they mean rises from the core of your being.
You can use meditation—open your mind with care and concentration so that the vibration of the words (their essence, the light and life within them) become a part of your mind, your body, and your soul.
You can treat them like poetry (as poetry and words of power existed in ancient times)—the sounds and imagery speak to your heart and imagination of and with the primordial powers of creation. How? Similar to meditation, you become very still like a mirror, like the surface of a still lake, like open space through which sun and moon light appear. And then with more feeling than is typical of meditation you let what is in front of you appear within you so that you overcome the separation.
You can use path working—somewhere between daydreaming and waking up within a dream begin an imaginative journey that moves between who and where you are and what you wish the world to be.
Or, to sum it all up, you just become the thing you are concentrating on.”
If we meditate on the opposite quality of a weakness in an element, we are focusing on a positive quality of another element. It might be helpful, therefore, to discuss the elements in terms of when they are positive and quite strong. This also leads us toward a discussion of the ecstasy of the individual elements.
Some spirits of the earthzone such as the spirit referred to as Jvar specialize in magical equilibrium. Jvar may have an individual who has trouble with a certain element practice embodying a strong, positive quality of that element or of another element that has an influence over the first
If you feel oppressed and obsessed, Jvar may have you meditate on the element of air. The air sensation in this case may be an astral energy that feels light, weightless, at ease, balanced, and free. Its emotional qualities are feeling playful, happy, content, sensitive, alive to each moment—appreciative and full of wonder, looking at life as if you back in time at Stratford watching the first showing of one of Shakespeare’s plays. This is touching on the air element in its ecstasy—in this case, artistic inspiration.
In other words, Jvar is attuned to overcoming the negative quality not only by working with the opposite positive quality. He is also advising an individual to become familiar with the ecstasy within each element.
The negative often has a hold upon us because we have not yet become familiar with the genuine beauty and pleasure that each element contains. Our limited experience keeps us in bondage or in a jail. The key to freedom is to understand and experience the creative magic that is a part of the positive qualities of each element.
In a sense, then, practicing the cosmic letter J on the mental plane involves many different things. It is as study of four elements in their ecstasies, true. It is also a study of magical equilibrium, of turning negative to positive. And it is a study of the ideals that motivate and inspire human beings. The individual ecstasies are something sacred—they take us out and beyond our individual identities and unite us with something greater and more powerful than ourselves. In this sense, the letter J on the mental plane is an introduction to a genuine cosmic religion.
Different religions have grown up around these elemental experiences and turned them into spiritual ideals—love and compassion, enlightenment and wisdom, divine will and justice, and divine purpose and accomplishing works that are of enduring value. Religions, however, rely heavily upon tradition. For example, it takes religions hundreds if not thousands of years to form a consensus about what is sacred. This is important because the members of a particular religion feel a compelling need to agree on what is at the center of their tradition. In the process, religions have been shaped by historical, cultural, philosophical, economic, and political considerations. And as a result they have rituals, doctrines, lineages, hierarchies, and priests.
In pursuing magical equilibrium, by contrast, our concern is not with belief, doctrines, or traditions. Our primary focus is on the activity of the elements in our personalities. Our daily lives are the spiritual training ground.
We ask questions such as: How does my mind work? What is the depth and richness of my feelings? What are my goals and what strengths and virtues do I need to acquire in order to attain and to maintain them? Where am I with my intellect, will, feeling, and consciousness? What might these become if I deepen and transform them?
In studying the ecstasies of the four elements in our own astral and mental bodies, we are exploring the connections between our individual microcosm and the greater macrocosm. We are bringing ourselves into harmony with the laws of the universe. The feeling of completion that arises is not just personal and satisfying. It is a magical action. The depth of this vision of what life is capable of being takes us beyond our cultural traditions to a universal, global, and finally to a cosmic level of awareness.
(Note: I often get questions about the difference between the elements in Chinese acupuncture and the elements in hermetic magic. And one scientist used me as an example of a modern person who still uses an archaic system that approaches nature in terms of four elements rather than viewing it from the perspective of modern science.
I have no objections to science. I love science. Scientists, however, seem very unaware of the capabilities of the mind. As a spiritual anthropologist, I have been studying the varieties of spiritual and psychic experience for the last thirty five years. The most creative research in telepathy is taking place not among psychics but by the U.S. military. With so much technology at our fingertips we barely need to refine our senses to attain mind to mind contact. Scientists have already attained direct, wireless communication between the brain and computers. Some would like a computer chip inserted in each person at birth so a government can tack the whereabouts of each person. Who needs telepathy? You can call just about anyone on a cell phone and ask them what they are thinking.
There is actually no need to refer to four elements. Mentifil, the gnome, for example, studies the electronic oscillation in most of the elements found in the periodic table. Nonetheless, physical matter, liquids, gas, and fire have certain general characteristics which make them convenient reference points.
We could just as easily say that modern scientists use an archaic and childlike system of classification--one unified field of matter, energy, and life are separated in arbitrary ways and then referred to as biology, zoology, physics, chemistry, astrophysics, astronomy, meteorology, oceanography, etc. Everything that exists has an electronic vibration. When you are clairsentient, you can perceive this directly with your mind. Scientists simply have not developed this kind of sensitivity. If they did, the process of discovery would be accelerated as direct perception is added to scientific observation.
The undines are specialists not just in the H2O molecule or water as it exists in nature. They can increase or modify the qualities of a magnetic field at will. All the same, it took a great number of astrological variables acting in just the right way to produce water as it exists on our planet--a very rare occurrence among the billions of stars in our galaxy. Alien scientists arriving at earth would probably exclaim, “Look at how the water element penetrates and shapes every aspect of this planet’s life, geology, and atmosphere.” I think the ancient scientists might have had an edge in understanding the uniqueness of the water element on earth by assigning it a primary place in their system of classification.
The salamander Itumo can do the same with electricity and lightning as undines do with water. The entire biosphere is receptive and subject to being modified by an awareness that penetrates it with the powers of the mind. A sylph like Cargoste can put back the onset of an ice age by twenty to fifty years by altering the route of the jet stream and other atmospheric phenomena.
Scientists along with politicians and businessmen often employ high levels of intuition as well as psychic powers as they go about their professions. They simply are unaware of when they are using these “magical” powers. Instead, they are considered to be brilliant, gifted, charismatic, or inspired. I find that using the four elements to describe heightened states of awareness is a very useful tool. It seems far richer and more complete in its explanatory power than anything I have yet found in modern psychology.)
The Ecstasy of Fire
Do you know what it is like to explode
From the core of your being—
To be a flame of white light
Reaching down from the sky
And up from the earth
And to celebrate this art within your heart?
I will tell you:
It is bliss unafraid of emptiness
It is love unafraid of loss
It is desire burning so hot
It annihilates the shadows within the lover’s heart.
Wherever there is an abyss, a chasm, or a gulf
Within nature, between one heart and another,
Or separating mankind from the divine—
My joy and delight will suffice
To pierce and shatter the darkness of any night
So you may find the path across.
From the salamander Itumo
In regard to transforming the negative qualities of fire into something positive, consider anger. There are entire curriculums relating to anger management. Individuals can be ordered to anger management by a judge who then reviews the individual’s degree of participation in the court ordered program. Part of the training is to become aware of a series of increasingly intense sensations and emotions that lead one to act without thinking. In other words, you simply train to be more conscious by observing what you experience rather than remaining unconscious.
Another aspect of the training is to learn to intervene on your own behalf. When you notice you are about to act with anger you take a time out. You break the otherwise automatic sequence of behaviors which amount to preprogrammed actions. You think make a conscious decision about the outcome you wish to happen.
In Honolulu, every divorcing couple who has children is ordered to divorce meditation. The mediators make the well-being of the children the central issue in the divorce process. In both these cases, society has institutionalized and demanded that individuals work to transform themselves by, in effect, striving toward greater balance in their emotional life and mental attitudes.
Before even practicing the cosmic letter J we can ask questions and explore the universal aspects of the four elements in terms of the treasures of life and spirit they contain. Again, consider anger. Anger may flair up unexpectedly for an individual. Like road rage, someone is driving down the highway completely relaxed and at ease and someone suddenly cuts him off. He may overreact and do something completely foolish or even dangerous. In another situation, he may feel threatened when another individual simply expresses a genuine feeling of doubt or anxiety about something affecting both of them.
The anger can be ascribed to the fire element. You could say it appears because the individual’s will power is weak or deficient—the fire element is underdeveloped so that he feels he has to overreact in order to compensate. You see this all the time with individuals whose minds are already made up. They are obstinate and inflexible—they blindly assert themselves to appear to be firm and decisive.
Or, you could also say that the anger results because the fire element is too strong and unrefined—the individual feels compelled to act. He has lots of fiery energy. But in this case also he lacks the experience necessary to make a good choice.
In a sense, the anger is a signpost, a warning, and an invitation. It is saying, “Consider how much more dynamic and in charge of your life you would be if you actually embodied more will and power. Right now you feel impotent in certain situations. You are out of control. What if you had more direction and your sense of purpose were more powerful and profound? Would you waste a moment of your time in on being angry when you have such great things to do with yourself?”
What is it like to experience the ecstasy of the fire element in terms of will? What would it be like to feel that you have a will power equal to if not far greater than anyone you have ever met?
In literature and drama, this issue about will power is often at the center of a story’s conflict. The bad guy is striving to have power over others. Now a screenplay writer has to love all his characters or they just don’t come across well.
Rowling in her series on Harry Potter has a bad guy called Lord Voltmort. But this bad guy is one-dimensional. There is no room to feel any sympathy for him. He is a cliché. He just wants power and the power he wants serves no purpose.
The problem with this presentation is that the bad guy only exists to spur the good guys to act. Without him, there is no story. He exists so that everyone else can run around discovering who they really are and doing heroic things in order to defeat him.
One of my very favorite characters in literature is Senator Palaptine/the Sith Lord in Star Wars. The Sith Lord can disguise his power so that even Jedi can not sense who he is. And he does something right: he feels that the galaxy should be organized and run more efficiently. The Jedi seem incapable of such vision.
The problem with great bad guys is that they all seem to have the same character flaws. They are manic depressive or schizophrenic. One moment the Sith Lord disguised as Senator Palpatine is the height of reason, diplomacy, consideration, and even handedness. The next moment in one of his video conferences he is nearly hissing with rage, arrogance, and hostility.
The bad guys are impatient. They rarely wait till just the right moment to make their move. They are arrogant which leads them to overreact or underestimate the opposition. They just do not see the world clearly.
And above all else the bad guys have the character flaw of needing to be recognized. They want to show the world or the galaxy just how great they really are to make up for all the suffering they have gone through or all those years of being in hiding and unappreciated.
So what if the bad guy did not have these character flaws? What if he was consistent, patient, and judicial in his temperament so that he always strives to see the world clearly? And what if he was actually humble so that he realized holding power is a sacred honor and great responsibility—so that he is content to accomplish all his purposes by remaining hidden and acting from behind the scenes?
I ran this by one of my consultants and he said, “Then you would have a good guy instead of a bad guy.” And there it is. To make an interesting and convincing bad guy you have to give him some good qualities. Similarly, to make an interesting and convincing good character you have to mix in some weaknesses, failure, and bad attitudes.
And there you have life. Sometimes the good guys with one or two character flaws are as dangerous as the bad guys. Nixon could establish détente with China and Russian but he was paranoid. He was willing to cheat when it came to maintaining the democratic process.
Some people loved Bill Clinton. But while he knew that Al-Qaeda was training 25,000 terrorists in Afghanistan, his government was unable to act because he was undergoing the process of impeachment. A weakness for women brought about 9/11. I ask seriously, who is worse? Those with malice and a tiny bit of power who seek to kill and to destroy or someone running the most powerful army, intelligence organization, and economy on earth but whose political impotency enables 9/11 to happen?
The Sith Lord is dangerous because he makes a great attempt using his psychic powers to empathically understand others. He likes to use force. But he absolutely loves to control others from within by actually understanding what motivates them.
Look at how he turned the young Anakin, soon to be Darth Vader, to the dark side. “We will be following your career with great interest,” says the Sith Lord in the guise of Senator Palpatine. Did the kid ever have a chance? The Sith Lord was more interested in Anakin, understood him far better, and monitored his inner and outer movements more carefully than Anakin’s own Jedi master.
Using empathy to understand others is a good thing except in the hands of someone with evil designs. What is great about Palpatine is that he is more empathic than anyone else in the galaxy. He actually runs his organization through an inner psychic connection to his followers. What is bad is that he abuses the power.
One of the actors who played the Sith Lord said the Sith Lord was hard to play because all he wanted was pure power and so he was pure evil. This misses the point. Power is itself a divine virtue. It grants you the ability to change the world. Instead of being helpless or possessed by good intentions (well meaning, devote, sincere, etc.) but otherwise completely impotent, you actually get to make a difference. And making a difference in life is part of what being alive is all about.
As I have said elsewhere, if you have power you can change things. If you act with wisdom, the changes you make are harmonious and fair. If you act with love, what you do heals others and allows them to feel more alive. And if you act with divine purpose your works endure through all ages of the world.
Back to the question of anger. If you make the fire element positive by developing your will power you do not remain angry for long. This is because being dynamic and in charge of your self means you strive to make the best of every situation you enter. So you do not waste time on non productive emotions.
On the other hand, if you work with the opposite of anger and fire, namely, water and feeling you possess more empathy for others and more inner serenity. You do not experience anger because you are no longer impatient. You do not become hostile because a person or situation does not match your expectations. Instead, you accept life as it is before you start to change it.
I am capable of great anger. But it is hard for me to remain angry because of my empathy. I can actually understand the point of view, feelings, and experiences of anyone. Immediately seeing both sides of a conflict tends to reduce the amount tension.
If you combine both fire and water in good measure, then you have sympathy for others and you remain focused on accomplishing the most and getting the most out of a situation. Great leaders do not avoid asking others for sacrifice. They simply convince others that what they are asking for serves an important purpose and it is being done for the greater good. And even when you are the one being asked to make the sacrifice, the individual with power will convey to you some of his fire and water: he will show you that he understands what you feel and he will transform your feelings by making you feel appreciated and valuable.
In the books written by Carlos Castaneda, the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan said that in order to face the unknown, the Nagual, a young apprentice often must undergo servitude to a petite dictator. The petite dictator is anyone who tries to totally dominate others and subject them to his will. In fighting to be free of this dominating individual, a student of magic learns to develop his own will power. He is witness to power in its negative aspect and must in turn exert tremendous will in a positive way to overcome it.
But this is not just about developing one’s will power and distinguishing positive from negative. It is about a requirement necessary for facing the unknown. To face the unknown, a student needs to be bring all the resources of his being into play in order to overcome an obstacle. Similarly, to enter the divine world, you need to have total will power and conviction at your disposal so as not to rely upon the support of society and the rules relating to custom and conformity.
The positive fire element will at some point ask of us if we are ready to gather all your resources and focus them through our wills so that we are ready to accomplish a spiritual purpose. The petite dictator—your boss, your spouse, your parent, your religion, a gang/organization/group of some kind—will attempt to control every aspect of your life. This attempt at control is not just accomplished through external pressures. It will use bribes, bait, rewards, or a job offer as well as coercion, threats, blackmail, guilt, shame, and whatever else it can use to take advantage of your weaknesses.
In a similar way, a religion may try to act as a jailer, warden, judge, policeman, prosecutor, and parole officer. If you show any guilt, uncertainty, doubt, or fear they will grab hold of you for your own good. They offer safety and a community, friendship and solace, so you can get on with your life. In their own eyes, they exist to protect you from your self.
You are free of the petite dictator when you are able to just walk away. It is not easy but you have decided to pay the price that is required to be in charge of your self. You no longer feel tempted, threatened, or afraid. You have come to understand the dictator’s limitations. Sometimes the petite dictator plays the role of guarding you from the unknown. They are the “guardian of the threshold” to the mysteries.
These guardian/priests/ministers/evangelists/religious teachers are in the depths of their hearts terrified of the unknown. They have stood at the boundaries separating conventional wisdom from the mysteries of life and they turned back because their fear was too great. But if in fact you are free of fear and you embody a purpose that empowers you to go where they can not go, they will no longer attempt to interfere. They glance into your eyes; they will listen to your voice; and with a body to body, soul to soul, heart to heart exchange of on a subliminal level, they will say in effect, “You may pass. Go with God speed. What you attempt to do will never even enter my dreams.”
In a nutshell, you can take all the struggles in your life involving will power and consider them to be tests offered to you so that you will be ready to enter akasha, the fifth element. It will take all of your will power to enter the divine world but this is as it should be. Those who take into their hands the powers of creation should fully understand both the positive and the negative and the purposes that are served by each.
Bardon gives examples of the fire element in its negative aspect to which I add a few. They are anger, rage, jealousy, hatred, hostility, animosity, vindictiveness, irascibility, gluttony, insatiable, irritability, intemperance, bent to destruction, oppression, intolerance, aggression, accusing, blaming, self-righteousness, fanaticism, passive-aggressive, manipulative, controlling, domineering, etc.
In the positive qualities of fire are activity, enthusiasm, firmness, courage, eagerness, foresight, assertive, direct, spontaneous, and resolution.
We might explore the ecstasy of the fire element by referring to its more refined aspect—the electric fluid: In brief, the electric fluid is hot, burning, expansive, dynamic, intense, powerful, and explosive in sensation. It has the capacity to produce great light.
This can also be expressed in a negative fashion. As such its burning and consuming power acts to dominate the wills of others. It tortures and torments, hazes and subjugates. It absorbs others’ wills into itself. It utilizes every means possible to corrupt, divide, undermine, and enslave others to its purposes.
For the negative electrical fluid, the light is there but it lacks purity and clarity—the vision is distorted and twisted. The faith and conviction are there but are often expressed in a degraded form as arrogance and self-righteousness.
In terms of the positive, you could say that independence, strength, courage, conviction, faith, will, determination, dedication, self-reliance, self-mastery, uprightness, clarity, order, adaptability, practicality, planning, productivity, excitement, exhilaration, creativity, and vision are qualities that are present when the electrical fluid is operating successfully. (For more on the electric and magnetic fluids, see lava.net/~pagios/archetypes3.htm --The electric and magnetic fluids/Four feminine archetypes/the story of Eros and Psyche)
Put briefly, then, part of the ecstasy of fire is exhilaration, excitement, enthusiasm, conviction, and a profound sense of purpose. The ecstasy of will is feeling that you are aligned with the forces of life. The momentum unfolding the universe is flowing through your will.
A man does what he needs to do. The ecstasy here is being in touch with the deepest and greater power within you. Without this you can not be who you are meant to be. With it, something of the radiance, brilliance, and life giving power of the sun is shining through you.
Think about the sun for a moment. If its light were a song, the sun is singing in concert with every other star in the universe. Yet its song is original and arises from the depths of its being. If you can get inside this, if you can sense what the spirits of the sphere of the sun feel, the level of joy is incomprehensible. I would be willing to call this joy ecstasy.
Looking back, when I experienced the height of my despair when I was in a Tibetan monastery or living by myself in the Rocky Mountains, there were these odd moments that came to me. I felt my life was totally without meaning or significance. And then I would stop at Baskin Robins and have a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream. And this astonishing feeling would overcome me—I sensed how incredibly beautiful life was. It was like being for a brief instant transported to the sphere of the sun where the joy is beyond comprehension.
This did not explain my despair or depression to me. But it did help me keep my priorities straight. I had certain questions I wanted answered about the divine world and I felt empowered to keep searching—that the price was worth paying to find those answers.
A Jew I knew who was a psychic asked me about the question of suffering. But this is not an academic question. For the spirits of the sphere of the sun you either become healed if you are hurt or you seek to heal those who are still suffering. For the sphere of the sun, anything can be recreated new. Despair, for example, when it is really profound is almost identical to cosmic consciousness. This is because you are experiencing total detachment from individual identity and an emptiness that is so open it can embrace anything. St. Columba, for example, talked about the degree of his despair before he experienced the presence of God. (see my story on St. Columba: lava.net/~pagios/columba.htm)
Like I say, the ecstasy of fire enables you to set your priorities. You focus on your goals. You try not to allow the small things to disturb you. The point is to accomplish your mission and this you can do if you feel this ecstasy within you. It accompanies you every step of the way.
Of course, I realize my discussion about the ecstasy of fire is rather metaphysical and refined. We can talk about ecstasy in more prosaic terms. Contrast my approach to the ancient Greeks. The Greek city states had a habit of fighting each other during the summer and taking a break during the winter.
It is no surprise, then, for the Greeks to have this saying, “Men love war more than food, sleep, or women.” In modern times, some say the task of a man is to find some sort of productive work that is as exciting and captivating as sex. When he does so he attains a balance between his instincts and his role in society.
Consider those activities that engage a 100% of your attention and which are exhilarating, giving you that thrill of power that arises from the core of your being. The question then is
Can you find a productive activity through which you can focus the deepest primal powers in your self and also the full force of your personal and spiritual will?
If you can do so then you know something of the ecstasy of fire.
Though I am not discussing the elementals in this essay, in passing I would like to quote from my book on nature spirits. The elementals are rather unique in that, being composed of only one element, they clearly embody the primary qualities of that element:
In the fire element is an exuberant power. The beings who reside in fire, the salamanders, seize each moment with zeal in order to dissolve the obstacles blocking their path to fulfillment. Such fiery will destroys all fear and apprehension. For the salamanders, each moment presents the opportunity to purify, strengthen, and expand the power of will.
The Ecstasy of Air
My mind is the sky--
Pure, clear, and open.
Its air flows through my chest,
Its winds are my breath.
In the air element is found clarity of mind and the attainment of
freedom. The air element is so vast and expansive, so
encompassing, those who are illuminated by its wisdom vanquish all confusion and overcome all attachment. The beings who reside in the sky, the sylphs, enter each moment seeking to attain and to abide in complete harmony.
The Zen master knows when a student gets a koan right. He witnesses a new flower blossoming. The air is filled with the fragrance of light.
Franz Bardon says there is an ecstasy of intellect created by the cosmic letter J. Some of us are given a taste this ecstasy in college. If we are lucky, a few of our college professors strove with diligence to teach us how to think clearly. They promoted a love of scholarship. They demonstrated through example how to be concise, to the point, and persuasive. They illustrated how to argue both sides of a question in order to assess and understand different points of view. They showed us how to weight evidence in support of a theory. They taught the value of observation and experimentation.
If you were really lucky, you may have run into one of those individuals like the man who discovered how to splice genes. He said something interesting in regard to our topic: “There is no greater pleasure than the thrill of scientific discovery.” Now that man was anointed with the ecstasy of the air element.
In the Western world, we have scientists whose passion enables them to dedicate themselves for a life time to scientific research. And their research transforms the world.
But we are after magical equilibrium. We want to know how to make the air element stronger, more positive and refined. The element of air on the mental plane is the object of our study. Again, Bardon wants the beginnings student to carefully analyze and describe his strengths and weaknesses with the each element. And then the student is to use autosuggestion and will power to slowly change each of the negative qualities into positive qualities.
This is a good approach. In addition, as with the element of fire, we will want to understand and experience the ecstasy of air so we can use this also on focusing on our negative qualities in order to better understand and to transform them.
I occasionally have a conversation with someone I know who is smoking a cigarette. The nicotine is obviously addicting. But there is also a psychological component to the addiction. The smoke affects the lung meridian, the vitality in the chest region. In acupuncture, the lung meridian relates to the feeling of moving into the future with balance and harmony. On the other hand if you are experiencing anxiety rather than harmony in regard to the future, smoking has this fascinating effect. It is like placing around your self a force shield that isolated you and protects you—for a brief while you are detached from the world and your anxiety temporarily ceases. This is acquiring a small dose of the air element procured through a rather destructive habit.
Some people refer to how teenagers are obsessed with music. One of the developmental tasks for a teenager is to find his or her way in the world. The wisdom of the order generation may not seem sufficient or relevant. This kind of life transition can be very confusing, especially on an emotional level. Music, the notes and harmonies, often have a calming influence on one’s emotions. They can define, refine, and give expression to what we are feeling. Music and songs can increase our energy at the same moment as we shrug off our tension, relaxing and letting go. Music is also a taste of the ecstasy of air.
Bardon has students practice imagining they are surrounded by the air element so they are floating weightless and free in a vast space. This is experiencing the air element directly through imagination and magical concentration. If you practice enough, you can reproduce at will a feeling and sensation of being harmonious, detached, and completely free anytime you wish. But this takes a whole lot of work. Lighting up a cigarette or turning on your Ipod is much easier and provides instant gratification. On the other hand, if you love nature, the universe, and the idea of developing the spirit within you so that you can help others, then you will probably commit to some form of training.
Bardon offers a list of positive qualities belonging to the air element to which I have added a few in relation to the intellect: Diligence, cheerfulness, independence, familiarity, optimism, wonder, dexterity, attentiveness, friendly, harmonious, judicial temperament, tolerant and a tolerance for ambiguity, negotiation, temperance, fair, honest, impartial, even handed, even tempered, buoyant, sense of humor, rapport, attunement, truthful, open-minded, objective, detached, aware, alert, positive, curious, articulate, concise, thoughtful, reasonable, considerate, analytical, self-reflective, and wise.
On the negative side we find qualities such as squandering, boasting, gossiping, trivial, lustful, vulnerable, oversensitive, easily offended, feeling wronged, disconnected, inattentive, distracted, off-balance, vacillating, indecisive, anxious, self-doubting, conflicted, entangled, confused, alienated, paranoid, ambiguous, enabling, aloof, impersonal, narrow-minded, closed-minded, opinionated, ideological, bigotry, racist, biased, prejudiced, argumentative, presumptuous, skeptical, sarcastic, cynical, disdainful, contemptuous, sly, fickle, foolish, over familiar, frivolous, facetious, dishonest, deceptive, wistful, and dreamy.
Again, an individual can have a negative air quality because he is weak in the air element. He is foolish—getting himself in over his head and making terrible mistakes--because he lacks knowledge, experience, and training. They say this in a humorous way about investing. You can not become truly great until you have made every kind of mistake. For example, you can make bundles trading with paper money—using a program that pretends you are actually investing. But this has almost nothing in common with using real money. It is a totally different game.
Lots of beginning investors will say to themselves something like, “If I can just make 1% return per week I will have over a 50% return per year.” “Dream on,” says the demon to the protagonist in the movie, Jacob’s Ladder.
The same applies to someone starting the Bardon system. He may say, “Why I am going to master this system and have all sorts of magical powers within a few years.” And a similar demon whispers in his ear when he is sleeping, “Dream on.”
An individual can have a negative quality of the air element because he has a lot of air element but has never learned to apply it in a positive way. You see this at the extreme with stalkers. They are not just over familiar. They assume they know what is going on inside of another person’s mind. A man or woman acts as if the object of desire is a lover and best friend when he or she may never have met this person or having anything that constitutes a relationship.
That is a huge dose of the air element causing him to feel that he has knowledge when there is only ignorance. As was said of the prosecutor down in Atlanta—he was a perfect example of self-interest meeting self-deception. He proceeded to prosecute in order to get reelected. But there was not only no credible evidence; he concealed evidence that would have exonerated the defendants.
When I trained as a mediator in Honolulu, the entrance exam was a verbal set of questions. The examiner wanted to determine if I could listen, remain impartial, and tolerate ambiguity. It all came down to whether I could oversee a process that empowers others to discover their own mutually satisfying solutions.
In addition to a well designed curriculum and negotiating abilities, there were two primary skills of meditation that we employed. These are familiar to many people but you rarely witness them being used in ordinary life. The first is active listening.
In active listening, you occasionally summarize what the other person is saying. You summarize the facts and ideas being mentioned. And you also summarize the emotions with which this person is presenting these facts or ideas. In the process, you can also point out or ask about any incongruities between what is saidand the feelings the person is presenting.
For example, “You are saying your husband is constantly demanding your time and energy. You also seem fairly comfortable caring for him in this way except when it wears you out.” This gives the other person a chance to think about and clarify her own statements. Maybe she is bothered by giving so much or maybe she has reasons for doing what she does but has never thought about them.
The other skill is called reframing. It has vast applications. In meditation, it is used to reduce tension. If someone says he is angry, you summarize his point of view but you rephrase his emotion, “His loud music has been a constant problem on the weekends and this has been bothering you.” On a scale of one to ten, “anger” may be a seven. “Being bothered” may be a three. You have just shifted the intensity of a described emotion from a seven four notches down to a three.
Or someone says, “I am terribly upset.” And you summarize, “And so this problem has been interfering with your life.” Again, you have just taken an emotionally charged phrase, “terribly upset,” and replaced it with a phrase that redirects the person toward what is desired—“no longer being interfered with.”
You would think an individual would not let you get away with this. But in meditation something amazing happens. The participants do not notice what you are doing because you are supplying them with a huge amount of the air element--it is bright; it is clear; it is positive; it is hopeful. It strives to take into consideration every detail and aspect of the situation, both facts and emotions. Rarely does one person listen to another person with total attention to thought and feeling. And without prejudiced or bias, the mediators present the bottom line—the set of choices that must be made in order to resolve the conflict.
I occasionally use a spirit of the sphere of Mercury, Achaiah, to help in a situation of conflict. This spirit is amazing. The most negative person will start acting and thinking in a totally completely manner. They are exposed to the ecstasy of the intellect and this ecstasy is more captivating and satisfying than being negative.
The problem with intervening in this way is that you can solve problems temporarily. But you can not interfere with someone’s free will. If he or she really wants to be negative, it is their right to make that choice. You can intervene to limit their negativity in regard to how it affects others. You can give a taste of life in its beauty and power. But at some point a person has to decide if he really wants to make the effort necessary to take his life in a direction opposite to where he is currently going.
For any number of reasons besides magical ones, an individual can experience a large dose of the air element. He may suddenly find himself artistically inspired (think Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with its vision of harmony). He may feel transcendent (think Krishnamurti who renounced theosophy and decided that there is no reason enlightenment can not occur spontaneously).
He may experience an intellectual breakthrough (like the scientist who had a cold and stayed home and as he was peeling an orange suddenly envisioned that the way to pattern the DNA molecule is as a double spiral). He may experience beauty (Dante catches a glimpse of a young girl on one occasion and writes the Divine Comedy from that vision). The ecstasy of air grants artistic inspiration, insight, feeling transcendent, enlightenment, intellectual breakthrough, the desire for discovery, etc.
It is said that the enlightened mind is open, clear, luminous, and free. I woke up from a nap one day and spontaneously wrote a poem called, The Voice of Enlightenment (see lava.net/~pagios/lettera.htm). The voice says in the poem,
I am a mirror so clear
I am in this moment right here—
It’s a moment so rich, so filled with bliss
So endless, so infinite
Only compassion can touch it.
There are moments when I experience this. I can evoke it using the cosmic letter A for example. (see lava.net/~pagios/a.html). I know a young woman who has a strong, inborn connection to the yidam described in Buddhism as Amitabha Buddha. If I meditate with her, I experience without any effort a boundless realm of light. It is like saying, “My mind is the sky/pure, clear, and open.” There are moments when I feel this spontaneously. But most of the time I must strive with great effort to find it again. She takes what she has for granted and fails to strengthen her connection to it.
Life presents us with situations that are very confusing. We find ourselves trying to manage under great restrictions, high levels of conflict, and with very limited knowledge. And furthermore, our brain chemistry may not be working to our benefit. Who knows, cell phones destroy brain cells, wireless networks suppress neurological activity, and all sorts of food additives interfere with our genes and our nervous systems. And here we are trying to transform our negative air qualities into positive ones.
Under conditions like this it is helpful to remind ourselves of the ecstasy of air element in its full power—that the mind is open, clear, and luminous like the sky. And each moment conceals within it treasures of bliss, wonder, and a freedom and harmony that know no limitation. If there is a genuine cosmic religion, then it should assist and empower us to find and develop these qualities in ourselves.
The Ecstasy of Water
In water are love and sharing--the experience of life
giving birth to life and of flowing in and through another. In water is the absolute destruction of
loneliness, separation, and isolation.
For the beings who dwell within water, the undines, each moment is a
magnetic sea containing the dreams and the taste of ecstasy--each moment arises
from and resonates with the love sustaining all life on earth.
There is a peace in the soul as deep as the ocean, as flowing as water, as still and clear as a mirror, and as vast as the starry night. Isaphil
Are human beings brain dead? How can anyone miss wanting to taste the incomprehensible bliss that this planet creates? Let me put this another way. Does it take a poor poet such as me to deliver such an obvious message?
From the undines—to humanity:
The universe is on fire with wonder, beauty, and ecstasy.
If we understand that water is itself a sacrament, a sensation, feeling, and symbol given to us that bears witness to omnipresent love, then we shall know “a well-being that flows like a stream from the dawn of time to the ends of eternity.
At night I dream that I have become a silver chalice. And within this chalice is gathered the purest essence of all the stars. When I dream this dream, though I am but the sea, I feel I have become one with the universe. (The goddess of the sea from the story, Isaphil)
In terms of magical equilibrium, examples of the positive astral qualities of the water element as modesty, humility, abstemiousness, fervency, compassion, meditation, insight, calmness, tranquility, serenity, peaceful, vivacious, scintillating, tenderness, and forgiving.
The negative qualities are indifference, apathy, laziness, frigidity, compliance, conformity, complacent, insensitive, negligent, shyness, insolence, instability, narcissistic, licentious, etc.
As with fire, we can also review the refined aspect of the water element or the magnetic fluid. The magnetic fluid is cool, cold, magnetic, and contracting. It is attractive, soothing, and calming. It is receptive as in utterly empty of form and completely open—able to receive and contain anything in itself, preserving, nurturing, and animating it with life.
In psychological terms, it is empathic, sensitive and responsive. It draws together, bonds, joins, and unites. It accepts and affirms. In spiritual terms, it reaches towards an all-encompassing, all-embracing love.
We could say that peace, repose, calmness, happiness, contentment, serenity, well-being, delight, kindness, gentleness, affection, empathy, sensuality, pleasure, bliss, and love are qualities that are present when the magnetic fluid is operating successfully.
The magnetic fluid has this receptivity, sensitivity, and encompassing power. It reaches into inner recesses of your soul, the secret chambers of your heart, and extends further through space and time. It embraces all visions that life is meant to fulfill.
It is bliss, wonder, ecstasy, love, rapture, pleasure, enchantment, dream, and vision-- mysterious, vast, and utterly gratifying. We might describe the magnetic fluid as having a wild serenity, an engaging peace, and an enticing stillness.
By contrast, the negative of the magnetic fluid acts to undermine, dissolve, and reabsorb into itself the inner life of the individual throughout his or her entire life.
It is like an undertow, a whirlpool, or a riptide subjecting the individual’s conscious identity to a force that acts to dissolve its integrity. It sucks consciousness out and down into a sea of the unconscious in which the individual experience no longer has meaning. It destroys the individual’s vitality and poisons his or her motivation.
The negative paralyzes, seduces, wastes, and numbs consciousness. It induces insanity—that is, it destroys consciousness with guilt, shame, fear, terror, illusions, delusions, obsessions, fascinations, depressions, nightmares, and false visions.
In brief, the negative aspect of the magnetic fluid is that it absorbs and contains without releasing or giving birth. It shelters without enabling growth. Instead of healing, it poisons. Instead of nurturing, it denies.
“Beware of sweetness” said the poet, for you know not whether it will refresh and make you more alive or whether, like cocaine and heroin, its “high” is subtly designed to drag you down into the depths.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to walk into a psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s office, explain what you wanted in terms of feeling different, and walk out an hour later feeling exactly the way you wanted? I consulted one time with a therapist about an individual I wanted to help. She was on the list of therapists recommended to deal with specific problems. Sitting in the therapist’s office I felt like I was in a kind of hell as described by Jean Paul Sartre in his play, No Exit. There is no hope. The therapist had no knowledge, no wisdom, no understanding, and no intuitive skills. Why was I wasting my money consulting a “professional?”
Of course it did not help that the therapist had not resolved her own insecurities. She was not in a loving relationship. She did not know what it is to care for and love children. She lacked curiosity. She had no passion for knowledge. She blindly accepted the assumptions of her profession without any questions. She had no wonder, no awe, and no awareness of the variety of human experience. She was distracted, tired, and unorganized. How can someone like that think she is in a position to offer assistance to others? She had no energy to give.
The following example belongs to the description of the cosmic letter W operating on the mental plane. It deals with the clairsentient ability to not only sense but to create feelings in others. It also relates to the ecstasy of water.
This is a therapist who is clairsentient: You walk into her office. You say something like, “I want to be self-confident and feel clear in my mind. I want this strong enough that I can offer genuine emotional support and affection to the people in my life.” Of course, personal history is important. How you think about your self and the way you have solved problems in the past are important.
But this therapist is different. She says, “Okay. Let’s work on that. Relax and focus just on the feeling of being self-confident. She senses the client’s mental and astral bodies. Then she says, “Feel that you are in charge of your life and that the choices you making are the best choices.” She observes again his internal feelings. She works with him until he is focusing in a completely positive manner.
And then she uses the active side of her clair-feeling: she slowly introduces directly into his mental body a slightly warm and fiery energy that supports and creates self-confidence. He can feel this energy within himself. He says to her, “I have never felt quite like this before. I like it.” And they proceed to talk and meditate together for the rest of the hour.
By the time he leaves, it not just the ideas in his mind that are different. It is not just that by changing a few of his ideas he slowly begins to change how he feels about himself. It is not like visiting a barber and talking about the kind of haircut you want or visiting a dentist and talking about having a cavity filled. You want to get the haircut and have the dental work finished by the time you leave. With this therapist, you walk out the door and you feel self-confident, clear, and able to offer support and affection to others. The energy of the astral and mental bodies has actually changed to match what you desire.
Even in the above example, the charge transmitted from the therapist to the client will slowly fade. He will have to return and experience this again and she will strive to teach him how to reproduce in himself what he wants without visiting her. But the magic of water is here—clair-feeling or the ability in this case to focus on an idea and reproduce in your self the precise vibration and feeling that goes with it.
There is a similar to the process occurring in the practice of magical equilibrium. You define your negative traits and focus on exchanging them for positive ones. Through a variety of ways you change your vibration. You no longer have the negative vibration of an element. You change it into the positive.
Direct amplification and transforming of feelings with thoughts may not seem to be a part of real life. But these things occur all the time. There is for example the natural chemistry in interpersonal relationships. You meet someone and you feel completely different. It is not uncommon to hear lovers say things like, “I never felt fully alive until I met you.” “I feel like I have known you my entire life.” “I can not imagine living my life without you.” “No one makes me feel the way you do.” A personal encounter and there is an awakening of feelings you may never have felt before; and these feelings at times may be nearly impossible to recreate without the connection to this specific person.
Consider the feeling of happiness. For some individuals happiness is a warm feeling of being loved, accepted, and affirmed. Given an individual’s personal, social, and family history, this kind of feeling may be extremely difficult to experience. There is so much in the person’s memory and reactions to past events that stand as obstacles to be overcome before happiness can even be felt.
But our unhappy person walks into the office of a globally certified clairsentient therapist and presents what he wants. She again attunes her mind to his mental and astral bodies. She trains him to focus on reproducing in himself the feeling of being loved, accepted, and affirmed.
In her presence, he puts off to the side everything else in his mind. He temporarily is free of distractions. All that exists for him as they meditate together is the idea of being happy. She talks to him getting him to alter his focus in minor ways. She notes the changes he is producing in himself through his own mind. She checks to insure that he is registering the changes occurring in his own feelings. And then she again works with her clairsentience. She reproduces in him a surcharge of the feeling, sensation, and energy of happiness.
He says, “This is unbelievable.” It takes until the next morning before his usual state of unhappiness begins to reassert itself. But she has assigned him homework. His task is to spend some time each day focusing on being happy without her presence. When he returns he is more conscious of what is involved in making a change in the water element in his astral and mental bodies.
Experiencing happiness for the first time in a rich and compelling manner does not require a globally certified clairsentient therapist. There are seminars you can attend. I have been to a few. Find some internationally famous and gifted individual who gives seminars in these kinds of things. I went to one where we formed “families” the first day--a group of five individuals who we remained with over a period of four days.
The group became a substitute family. We reenacted the primary feelings that a family involves—trust, talking about and to some extent revisiting the things that had affected us the deepest in life, solving problems involving us in confrontations and talking about things we had never revealed before.
You can do the seminar and through a series of carefully supervised role playing and psychological theater arrive at feelings you have never felt before—the things you have missed out in life because circumstances did not take you in the right directions. Or, you can also learn to work at magical equilibrium and slowly make your own progress.
I often mention the work of Eugene Gendlin with his book called Focusing. Gendlin teaches a method called focusing and in it he may have a client ask himself, “What is keeping me from feeling happy right now?” Gendlin did a careful study of the skills that successful clients have used in the past in order to complete their therapy. Gendlin uses words to guide his clients.
I think Gendlin really deserves a lot of recognition for his work. But again, as a magician I have to ask myself, “Why do these psychologists fail to develop their intuition so they can observe directly what is going on inside of other people’s minds and feelings?” Carl Jung discussed “transference” between therapist and client as a way of accounting for the influence a therapist has on his client. Was Carl Jung brain dead that he was unable to observe the actual energy that transfers between two individuals when they are in close association? What is a matter with these people that they are not aware of energy?
Gendlin one time expressed surprise that a client could perform focusing so much better when Gendlin was at the other end of the phone--even through all that Gendlin did was remain silent and listened. Is Gendlin unaware that there is a direct mental to mental and astral to astral body connection when you are on the phone with someone? Scientific observation is a good thing. Being unaware is not.
When I was young I noticed the degree of well-being felt by different people. The opposite of well-being is feeling that things can, have, or will go bad. You are always on the edge of uncertainty—something terrible may happen. And if you grow up in a city like Detroit terrible things do happen. It is a reasonable expectation and a self-fulfilling prophesy.
So imagine my surprise when I met three women who had an astonishing feeling of well-being. I took the time to interview these women and observe them over a number of years. When you have certain feelings, you are able to live in a different way. You think different and see things that others do not see.
These three individuals shared certain things in common. They remembered their childhood dreams and felt those dreams were still important. They were amazingly free of worry. They did not define themselves by their social identity. They made mistakes but those mistakes did not limit or define their subsequent courses of action. They could take risks and seek new and unknown experiences without feeling regret or loss at what they were leaving behind.
More specific was their sense of time. They had a feeling of timelessness—that they were a part of the flowing of time like a river. Everything good in life that is going to happen will occur naturally and inevitably. Life felt good, in spite of its suffering, and that basic goodness extends in all directions without limitation.
Over the decades I tried very hard to reproduce this feeling of well-being in myself. I did this partly because I felt it was so incredibly wonderful to have. And in part I was constantly leaving the past behind and so I wanted to be able to move into the future with that same unhindered feeling of freedom.
There were times when with other women I found meditations that would temporarily reproduce in myself the level of well-being the three women possessed. But it was temporary.
Being out in nature helped a lot. Well-being is like floating on a raft down the Little Colorado River. The walls of the canyons as they go by are pretty much the same ten years, ten thousand years, a hundred thousand, or a million years ago. You get that feeling of the continuity of life so that the little things that bother you no longer seem of any importance.
For me, the planet earth is like a living being. It has a physical body, an astral plane, a mental plane, and an amazing spiritual level of awareness surrounding it. And the earth has a dream—the earth is determined that one day a race shall appear that shall, like the earth, feel one with the universe.
This is her dream. And sensing this: feeling the deeper purpose underlying all life on this planet gives me a sense of well-being similar to what those women once introduced to me. In this case, I had to go on a very long spiritual quest in order to reproduce in myself that quality or ecstasy of the water element. But it was worth the effort.
The ecstasy of water? Is it so difficult?
It is to feel love saturating every cell in your body. It is to feel one with another, a secret sharing heart to heart. It is peace, well-being, and serenity. It is the joy of giving, of sharing, and receiving.
It is also sensing the life that animates all beings and the way you are part of this one life. You feel that each moment arises from and resonates with the love sustaining all life on earth. And it is an inner contentment that allows you to feel one with the universe.
I meet people who have experienced all of the above things. But they almost always fail to retain their experiences in their memories. They forget. They let the sacred enter their souls and then vanish almost without a trace. When you train for magical equilibrium, you strive to remember ecstasies such as these. They are signposts indicating the path we are to take and also elixirs that enable us to transform and to attain our destinies.
The Ecstasy of Earth
In the earth element is the wisdom that banishes depression, sadness, and sorrow.
From Introduction to Faery Tales and Elemental Beings
So few of you listen to your dreams
Or bother to enter
The gates that lead into the silences of the heart.
But I feed on silence.
It is who I am
It is my home and my dwelling.
And its transformations are my wisdom.
The gnome Muscar
I sometimes fool deer into thinking I am one of them
Because I can stand perfectly still for a half hour
Listening to the wind.
I sometimes fool gnomes into thinking I am one of their own
Because like for them the earth is my home.
I sometimes fool spirits of the earthzone into thinking
That I am like unto them--a guardian of the world--
Because in my heart is a silence so deep, a stillness so complete,
I hear the songs the stars sing
And see the inner light shining in all things.
One of my poems
As long as suffering remains to sentient beings
I will remain to serve.
For those who are unprepared or insincere, silence is a country whose borders are guarded by nightmares, terror, and whirlwinds of despair. But those who cross over and explore these unknown lands find wealth beyond compare. Master silence and you will have channels of communication that open to all realms. You will be able to commune with any spiritual being. You will understand the meaning when a spirit speaks.
You will discover there is nothing within you that you need deny or fear. All desires become clear. Silence is where dreams originate, visions are born, and passions enter to be transformed.
May silence fill you with infinite light
May the heart of life dwell within your heart
May the peace that embraces the universe and all its stars
Abide with you and guide you wherever you are.
Earthzone spirit referred to as Alosom
Positive qualities relating to the earth element are being respectful, solid, grounded, conscientious, thorough, sober, punctual, responsible, reliable, circumspect, concentration, firm, serious, hard working, industrious, experienced, discerning, adaptable, practical, straightforward, dedicated, strong, solid, enduring, preserving, attention to detail, and consistent.
Negative qualities of earth are being phlegmatic, insipid, tardy, unreliable, unscrupulous, lazy, conscienceless, melancholy, irregular, dull, idiosyncratic, anomalous, eccentric, fixated, stuck, inert, oppressed, hedonistic, carnal, and greedy.
Bardon says the earth element integrates the other three elements. Consciousness unites will, feeling, and intellect. Let us review.
Will is analogous to fire. In nature, fire is in sunlight, volcanoes exploding, magma flowing, lightning striking, and the fires of the hearth. Fire is hot and intense. It expands, consumes, and transforms. Will takes hold of life overcoming obstacles and accomplishing its purposes.
Air is analogous to intellect. In nature it is the atmosphere and it is in our breath. In its vastness and relative weightlessness, it maintains a balance between hot and cold, moist and dry. It protects the earth from the intensity of cosmic radiation while enabling sunlight to pass and heat the earth. It carries the clouds bringing rain to fertilize the earth.
Intellect has air’s clarity, detachment, and oversight. Through knowledge and understanding, we solve our problems and resolve our conflicts.
Water is analogous to feeling. In nature, it is rain, clouds, rivers, lakes, water tables, and seas. It responds to the environment, molding itself to the situation, flowing, letting go, absorbing, releasing, purifying--it sustains and animates life. Feeling has water’s responsiveness—its sensitivity, empathy, affection, and love give life to relationships, families, and communities.
The earth element is analogous to consciousness. In nature, it is the forests, vegetation, mountains, plateaus, plains—the planet earth in its physical being. It provides stability, minerals, building materials, resources, shelter, and food.
Consciousness also provides stability and continuity to our lives through work, enduring purposes, and a sense of identity. Consciousness comprehends history. To be born into the world is to enter a family of origin, a location, and a tradition. There is language, gender, religion, nation, ethnicity, and race. Each of these comes with advantages and disadvantages. And each contributes in some way to our sense of who we are.
One of the tasks of an adolescent is to find a productive role in society. You find a place in the world where you belong and where you can make contributions through work, relationships, community, and family. Your presence makes a difference.
To do this you need skills acquired in various ways. They often involve the use of knowledge and intellect.
To succeed requires will. You have to make an effort. This can require courage, daring, risk taking, foresight, and ambition.
And to find where you belong you have to answer for your self questions about what makes you happy, who you will love, and what feels right to you. Your feelings are every bit as important as your intellect and will.
The three together--will, intellect, and feeling--enable us to be fully conscious. If we think too much, we may not act or we may fail to listen to our conscience when it speaks. If we are too ambitious, we may act too quickly without considering the cost or laying the proper foundation necessary for accomplishing our purposes.
There are times to just will. There are times to just think. And there are times to just feel. Being conscious is moving freely between each and all of these at once putting them together in the way that our conscience reveals.
A question we might ask pertaining to the earth element is
What are my deepest core values and how do I express them through the activities of my life?
The earth element when strong makes an individual solid, grounded, stable, steady, and enduring. The individual loves to work. He takes something and he makes it more valuable. He fixes it. He makes it better. It makes it last longer. He makes it more useful. He transforms it. The world is a better place because of what he accomplishes. We could say this person is down to earth.
The writer of the 90th Psalm was very solid and down to earth. But he was aware of a problem with the earth element.
He noticed that human actions tend to fade away and lose their significance. We are like grass that grows, flourishes, and then is cut down and withers. Our lives are like a dream for all that we labor at, all of our accomplishments, can easily turn to sorrow and be undone in a moment. What can we actually do or work at that will amount to anything and be of any enduring significance? This is an earth element question.
The earth element comprehends shape, weight, density, and the form and mass of minerals. These grant a degree of permanence. The emperor Vespasian began work on the Coliseum in 70 AD. Perhaps the greatest structure built in the Roman Empire, it remained in use for 500 years. And its design has not been surpassed in 2,000 years. Unlike the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, or the Parthenon of Athens, the design of the coliseum is still in use all over the world.
For the writer of the 90th Psalm, however, a thousand or two thousand years is nothing at all. It is as yesterday when it is past or as a watch in the night. How is the writer going to get himself out of this mess? Why is he so depressed and obsessed with the issue of what endures and what passes away?
As I read the psalm his discussion is with the Creator. And it goes like this: “You create the heavens and the earth and yet you are formless and timeless in your being. Anything we do by comparison amounts to nothing. All our works are destined to be destroyed. Therefore, I make this request: grant us a small part of your ability—let us work at things that are of enduring value. Let your beauty be upon us.”
This is a man who does not hold back. He employs his full will. He knows what he wants and he asks for it. But he uses the full powers of his intellect and a profound level of empathy. He actually rises up in his feeling and with his mind to express persuasively and in detail God’s point of view.
He says to God, “I know very well how you perceive time and history. I know very well how you constantly test human beings to discover if there are any who are willing to pursue the values and purposes that arise from eternity. Very bad things have happened to humanity and to me as well. And my time is very short. Therefore, grant me the wisdom and the opportunity to live life in the best way possible. Let me accomplish your work on earth so that your wisdom and your beauty might become a permanent part of human history.”
That is my paraphrase of the writer’s words to God. This is a man who wants to taste the ecstasy of the earth element. He is saying to God, “My cup is empty. Fill it that I might taste and celebrate your creativity while I am yet alive upon the earth.” I have always been impressed by this psalm.
The ecstasy of the earth element has something to do with the mystery of silence. Within your self, you sense your connection to something of enduring and of transcendent value. This inner silence empowers you. It protects you. It shelters you. It separates your from those whose values are transient and of little consequence. You are part of a great work that is being accomplished by Divine Providence upon this planet.
You belong to this world because you were born here. You live here. You love here. You work here and you die here. You also belong to a timeless and spiritual world that oversees all transformations of matter, of life, and of spirit. You belong equally to both and you join the needs and purposes of both through your actions. This is not at all easy to explain to those who have no direct awareness of the inner worlds. Nonetheless, the ecstasy of the earth element is being a part of the Great Work—the transformation of humanity and the world.
I quote the Dalai Lama at the beginning of this section: “As long as suffering remains to sentient beings, I will remain to serve.” That statement of intent has two aspects. There is compassion. He offers his assistance to those who are suffering.
But the other aspect derives from either a fantastically inflated ego or from the consciousness of someone who has tasted enlightenment. His words mean he will incarnate again and again, forever if need be--as long as there are those who suffer so that he might offer assistance to them. His statement of intent could be one of the mottos of a cosmic religion. You can place this man anywhere in the universe and he will offer assistance to the sentient beings until they are ready to ascend and attain the absolute freedom of pure spiritual being.
This man knows the ecstasy of the earth element. If you are able to project with your mind directly into his heart chakra, you might agree with me that his cup is not empty. His purposes are timeless and he is on the side of Divine Providence.
The ecstasy of the earth element gives us a sense of accomplishing work that is of enduring value. With this inner sense of worth comes a great feeling of honor and dignity.
The silence of the earth element in itself contains many ecstasies: at its height, you feel that all spiritual beings are sitting next to you when you meditate. They are a part of same great work to which you are joined.
I will take the liberty of quoting the spirit Bardon calls Alosom since he specializes in silence and I spent some time working with him to express his art:
“To have inner silence is never to be separate from your ideals, your dreams, your visions, your hopes, and all that you would make real. It is to have these things alive within you in every moment. Like a knight in the legend of King Arthur who sits at the round table, you represent the kingdom of the heart. It surrounds you and when you speak you speak with its power.
“Avatars and world teachers enter history to remind us that divinity is everywhere. Those with inner silence join the spiritual world and earthly existence. This is because amid the routines and activities of life silence maintains an open space inside them. In this space the highest ideal can be present without being contaminated, compromised, or put off to the side. Silence strengthens inner visions so there is never any doubt or uncertainty about their reality.”
Silence is prophecy. Words fashioned in silence become reality. Through silence, the most secret and intractable of passions are transformed into visions. When you follow desires to their source, you discover that the four elements conceal divinity--the lion, the ox, the eagle, and the angel. They sit in peace and speak of what shall be. To enter the center of stillness and yet feel the turning of the wheel of time around you--to be open and receptive and yet transparent and luminous--this is the gift of silence.
“To keep silence is to be blessed by Divine Providence. It is the ability to take the most difficult of fates and karmas and turn them into something wonderful because you see the beauty within them. Law and limitation bind things giving them weight, shape, and place. But silence grants freedom because it knows how to wait. In the greatest darkness and the loneliest prison, silence finds gates leading to liberation.
“Who can stand against you, oppress or oppose you, when you have measured and crossed the abysses of silence hidden within them? What army, what empire, what wall, or weapon shall protect them? When you are silence, you are the vibration, the matrix, and the substance from which their thoughts arise. You are the eyes, the forge, and the hammer that has shaped their will. Its design is an imprint of your mind.
“To possess the virtue of silence is to command a treasure sharper and more beautiful than the largest diamond. As fire to light, as emptiness to form, silence is to wisdom, will, and love.”
The Four Ecstasies at Once
I wrote most of the previous material by drawing upon what I had already experienced with the four elements. When I evoke the ecstasies of the four elements on the mental plane by actually using the cosmic letter J, I sense a vast variety of things.
With fire, there is a feeling of expanding power—you where you are supposed to be. You embody unhindered movement in your actions and creativity activity.
There is no limit to the self—everywhere there is power you are there within it. You have tremendous vitality. There is the feeling of another cosmic letter, the letter N. You have tremendous resilience and a sense of astral immortality. You also manifesting through your consciousness the highest light as in the letter SH that reveals the original purposes of creation in the past, in the present, and as they are yet to be revealed.
With air, everything is clear and lit up. You feel you can understand anything. The mind extends without limit. As one character in a mythological story of mine complains:
I am haunted by moments of enlightenment:
I see the world with perfect clarity—
All that has been and all that shall be,
Nothing is hidden from me.
But then this character goes on to describe how when this haunting departs he is left with the feelings of being shipwreck, abandoned, and alone which seem to pervade his life. He is passive in his experience with ecstasy. The idea is to become acquainted with it so you can produce it at will and to some extent make it part of your life.
At a seminar I attended, someone asked the Dalai Lama if was enlightened. He replied, “I have the taste of enlightenment.” For me, the taste of enlightenment is the taste of absolute freedom. Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are freedom.
With water, there is a similarity to fire and air. Fire feels it is a part of all power everywhere. Air feels that all that illuminates the mind is the same light within its mind.
Water feels that everywhere there is love, affection, trust, compassion, caring, kindness, and tenderness—you are within and a part of that love animating it, sustaining it, supporting, renewing, purifying, fulfilling, and inspiring it. Everywhere there is love you are flowing through it. This is the ecstasy of omnipresence.
You also feel a sense of oneness with everything alive—you feel its inner life, its vitality, its consciousness, and its drives. If you focus on anyone from this state of ecstasy, you feel a part of that person. Their inner life is your own without separation.
With earth, these words enter my mind as I experience the ecstasy:
I was not just conscious.
My consciousness rose up
And attained a universal level of awareness.
I did what needed to be done--
For those I loved
And for all of mankind
Because my purposes were joined to the divine.
I am the union of heaven and earth
The circling of the stars
The illumination of lights
The turning of the seasons
The changing of day and night
They are not only joined in me
I am the stillness at the center—
For they were able to speak freely through my voice.
If we put the four elements together, experiencing them all at once, any variety of things may occur. For my self, it is as if the four elements are saying with one voice,
I am the sacred cup whose waters are passed freely between those who celebrate the creation of the universe. Drink and be healed. Drink and be fulfilled.
On the akashic plane of another cosmic letter, OE, is the vision of separation and reunion. It encompasses anything that has to undergo separation in order to become transformed. Almost all religions contain mythology or themes involving spiritual journeys, quests, and a search for union with one’s divine parents.
Experiencing the ecstasies of the four elements is like finding your way home to the divine world where you belong.
As I mentioned in the Preface to this section, much of this is review and summary. When I write, however, the ideas become clearer to me. I put things together in new ways and learn in the process.
I have puzzled over this idea of a cosmic religion. How do you take a system like Bardon’s and turn it into something that has a social life? How do you build a community with it? What values would that community share? What kind of people would it contain and what would bind them together?
Many religions claim to be universal but the hatred, fear, or insecurity are thick in the air. How do you find people who are compassionate, who strive for balance and virtue, and whose purpose is to serve without that service being contaminated by selfishness?
When I review what I have written, it encourages me to be more organized. It inspires me to make my energy stronger and to use it more efficiently. And it brings into focus the importance of remaining close to my ideals—of keeping a balance between masculine and feminine, between the four elements, and between the activities of my daily and my spiritual commitments.
As I mentioned, daily life is the cauldron and training ground for spiritual awareness. Working to attain magical equilibrium in our personalities is very hard work and takes tremendous dedication. Hopefully, I have presented some of the inspiration that will assist others in this endeavor.