Copyright © 2009 by William R. Mistele. All rights reserved.
A Quick and Easy Guide to the Five Elements
[See also many other essays such as Introduction to the Psychology of the Four Elements: lava.net/~pagios/4elmpsy.html]
See Franz Bardon’s book, Initiation into Hermetics, Astral level of Chapter 3, for the exercise.
Think about the implications of being able to move freely into each of the four elements so that you experience each element in its complete purity separate from the others. This essay attempts to describe precisely that experience.
Some individuals may be able to learn to do this in a few years of practice if not sooner. For some, this is the equivalent of two to three years of a college curriculum. For others, a life time will not be enough.
It is an individual thing—
If you compare your self to others, you run the risk of learning nothing.
If you seek to understand yourself in terms of others’ experiences, you may gain a sense of reassurance and confidence; but again, you run the risk of missing the divine gifts that are constantly offered to you through your dreams and hidden within your deepest needs.
Or, as a Zen master might say, “For each individual, the four elements are always the same and yet they are always different.”
Note 1: This essay was inspired by the spirit Achaiah of the sphere of Mercury. He taught me a quick and easy method of sensing the vibration of any spirit or thing within myself on the different levels of consciousness.
Note 2: In rereading this essay, I notice I write more about the fifth element of akasha than I do about the other four elements. Akasha oversees and regulates the four elements.
That is akasha: it supervises and establishes harmony. If something is missing, it demands balance: Either find what you need or create it—the balance must be maintained.
Due to the demands of akasha, I have been spending a lot of time finding and creating within the four elements.
The Water Element
Note 1: I have previously written extensively on the water element in my essay, A Study of Water and the Magnetic Fluid.
Note 2: As much as people attempt to balance the four elements in their rituals and ceremonies, once they step out of their ceremony or ritual they enter a world that has an extremely poor understanding of the water element.
If modern civilization in its psychology and applied technologies understands earth, air, and fire at around eighty per cent of our potential, then our understanding of water is around three to four per cent. We just do not get it.
And so I have spent a great deal of time with the undines in order to present their gifts--a near divine level of empathy, a feeling of being able to heal and to nurture, an inner peace with the universe, a love that dynamic and palpable in its aura and force, and a feeling of direct, heart to heart connection with anyone else on earth in any moment—these things should right now be a part of our civilization and yet they are profoundly missing.
(See for example my articles on the undine Queens Isaphil and Istiphul).
In the physical body, it is possible to sense the fluids of the body in blood, tears, urine, etc.
In nature, we have the waters of the earth in their many expressions. In our quadrant of the galaxy, our planet is one of a very few in which liquid water is so dominant in nature. We live on “the water planet.”
The etheric body for me is vitality, life force, and the energy that is produced by the physical body but more subtle. It is what you use when you do some physical action. The etheric body is primarily sensed as physical sensations as opposed to astral feelings.
If you imagine the inside of your physical body being filled with cool water, you may experience a sense of letting go, of flowing, of the body purifying itself. I often feel like I am floating in a tide pool totally relaxed and experiencing complete release from tension.
The astral body is the ability to feel, to be receptive, and responsive. It is the ability to feel alive through being sensitive and emotionally connected, animated in and through our interactions with our surroundings and other people. It is dream like at times and sensitive to images and the specifics of the situations we enter.
If you imagine the inside of the astral being empty and filled with cool water, you may experience feelings such as peace, serenity, contentment, well-being, and a sense of oneness with all things, etc.
The mental body is the realm of ideas, concepts, analytic thinking, investigations, questions and answers. It is also the clarity of mind that can take in or hold in its gaze many things at once without having to form an opinion.
In the mental body, water produces a stillness of mind. The mind is mirror like, reflective, and receptive. There is a sense of being able to see through time. The undine Isaphil has this quality on a very powerful level.
The akashic body is timeless and spaceless. It has no need of form to express its consciousness. It is the realm of spirit that creates from out nothing according to the purposes it ordains or that it finds within its heart or at the core of its being.
On this level, you get a sense of nourishing all of life, of being within and a part if all living beings. The water inspires and seeks to lead all beings to perfection. The earthzone spirit referred to as Cigila in Pisces has a fabulous sense of this vibration.
Summary: The vibration of cool water produces at least these effects on the different levels within oneself. If you can produce the sensation of cool water on the different levels within your self, if you can then feel and be receptive to the vibration that results, these are the states of awareness open to your experience.
Place it before your mind that you have the ability to create in your self at any time any one of these vibrations and to explore anyone of them or all of them for an entire life time.
There is no end to the exploration and the wonder that is hidden within and at the very edge of our perceptions.
The Earth Element
This is the density and weight of the body. It is the muscles and the bones. You can easily sense these things.
In some meditations it is important to go deep into this level of awareness such as learning to sense the vibration on the cellular level of the body as well as the minerals in the body and bones.
In nature, we have the rocks, the mountains, the trees, the minerals, and everything physical about the earth.
Again, sense the physical body empty inside and imagine it filled this time with dense weight. It is not so much a substance as is with water. Instead it is a feeling of solid mass and gravity, that is, it is heavy.
The result is that you feel rock solid. Your strength is not in acting in and on the external world. It is in your inner cohesion—your strength is the way you hold yourself together. You endure through time regardless of the changes in the world around you.
This is being stable, steadfast, and persevering. The feeling in the astral body that is the equivalent of the sensation of being rock solid in the etheric body: it is a sense of inner silence. This is the seed in the ground during winter waiting for spring to come round.
It is the tree standing still and silent during the night without benefit of light. It is the sun and the moon moving through the sky slow and steady, rhythmic and ready to complete their tasks each and every step of the way.
This stability is being able to last until your goal achieved. You are one hundred per cent focused on what you need to do as you build the foundation for your next move.
All gnomes know how to do this very well. They work for ages and eons without distraction or need for diversion, sometimes working on the same thing—what you start in the beginning is now a little more perfect and complete. Every improvement or advance, no matter how small, is worth the effort.
This is being organized. You fit things together. You design and build a strong foundation. If it were possible, you build so that what you make will outlast time.
About the Great Work. Well, here is the feeling of making something that is so valuable out of or with your life that you know you have used your time in the best possible way to produce the best possible results. Now isn’t that what life is all about?
The earth element in akasha takes the other three elements—air, fire, and water—and weaves and binds them together uniting the best in each so that life is enriched and make complete. Many can not conceive of this thing. But here it is again: the physical plane with its physical wealth has been designated to offer support to all activities of the divine.
If there is anything spiritual to speak about, then from the point of view of earth, it will have to manifest in a physical form in order to show itself. Otherwise, it is not worth speaking about.
Even the highest formless being of divinity needs a space set aside for itself to appear on earth. Earth provides the space, the place, and the context because formlessness needs form, at least as a contrast, in order to manifest itself.
It is seen in the breath, in breathing, in feeling balanced as you walk and at ease as you talk. It is impossible to miss the sensation of getting the air inside your chest as you breathe in and then letting it go again.
In nature, we have the winds, the weather, the atmosphere, the biosphere. Air is everywhere, in the sea, even in rocks and trees.
Air, the opposite of earth, as a sensation is being weightless. In the etheric body, it is this sensation of weightlessness, floating free, free of all gravity.
I will tell you a little secret about the universe that the scientists on earth have not yet discovered and which their theoretical models can not even imagine. Air, that is the sensation and principle of weightlessness, of no gravity, is so powerful it is the equal of earth’s density and gravity.
This principle of air, if it were to get inside even a black hole, a singularity which is so dense even light can not escape, well, that air would dissolve the black hole. In our universe of two hundred or so billion galaxies, this has in fact occurred; though I don’t suppose our astronomers will be getting around to observing it anytime soon.
Just thought I would throw that in for a little spice and insight. It is something to remember when life weighs you down.
The sensation of weightlessness in the astral body is playful and outrageously cheerful and joyous. (Don’t I, in spite of my journey, know this!)
Even if a little oversensitive, its sensitivity makes for great artistic achievement. In an instant it can pass into rapture, that is, it gets carried away with what it perceives or dreams.
Air in the astral feels at ease, balanced, and free. Why this is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony’s Ode to Joy.
The voice of air would like to put in a word here:
Let go of the nightmares of life. Let the sleeper awake.
The essence of the moment right now in its innermost being is freedom.
All enlightened beings know this. I should know. I taught them this.
Air in the mental body is vast, open, and clear like the sky. It is detached and, like a mirror, it neither clings to nor does it flee the desirable or the fearful. It embraces all beings understanding how each has its place and its own way.
But, put simply, air makes the mind perfectly clear. You sense you can understand anything. The knowledge in this clarity is direct, intuitive, and telepathic. It can attune itself to the vibration of whatever it is thinking about. And so air knows things from the inside as well as through external observation.
The wisdom of air on the akashic plane embraces the universe. You could call this The Great Harmony.
Air knows the deep purposes and meanings of life. But more than this, it knows how to pursue the path of life with and in harmony. To every door, a key. To every problem, a solution. To every conflict, a resolution.
The tensions and conflicts of life contain, when viewed from this dimension and this height, release and realization. If you allow your mind to accept all of life—to perceive what is with the clarity of the sky, then the illumination that comes has no beginning or ending.
Fire in the body is quite clear. It is felt in the metabolism—food and air transformed into heat and energy. There is the hot flash, the adrenaline rush, and breaking into a sweat—fire in the body as heat is quite evident.
And then there is sensation of power rising up and seizing control of the body, ready to perform feats of endurance and accomplishment. That is fire instinctual and primordial awakening and focused through our wills.
The nervous system has a massive amount of power hidden within it. Referred to in the Orient as kundalini. Awakened prematurely, it can tear your psyche apart. But a skilled yogi rides this power to realize profound states of consciousness.
In nature, we have the sun above. We have captured the power of fire to work, shape, and transform matter. We still use stored energy from past geologic age to power our cars. We are turning to solar energy but soon will have the nuclear fusion that runs the stars.
But in a simple way, if you recall, wood and coal kept the house warm at night and cooked our food in our cabins on the frontier or in our city dwellings. Coal, oil, gas, and fission still produce our electricity that runs the light or your laptop.
Yet nature knows also the forest fire, the volcano, the hot springs, and the desert.
If you visualize the body as being empty inside, you imagine within it the sensation of heat. This heat sensation leads to a feeling of pressure, of an expanding, even explosive force. It is power ready to be unleashed.
Your alpha males, almost by definition, always have this vibration about them. Whether positive or negative, they communicate and transmit to others their abundance of etheric energy. Like a powerful electric wire, they keep what is around them aligned to their purposes and goals.
This energy can produce a charismatic, inspiring, and dynamic leader. You will notice that all great leaders seem to carefully contain and control great power that they hold in reserve within them.
It is possible to focus this etheric energy inward and practice something like Tumo yoga. Some of the Dalai Lama’s disciples have mastered this fire yoga and can raise their body temperature at will.
But more likely this fiery heat in the body belongs to extroverts. The body needs to act in order to remain balanced and healthy. With this energy, you like to work. You like to do things that impact upon and change the world. It is the nature of fire—it likes to seize and control, if not transform, what is around it.
These are familiar emotions—courage, daring, boldness, and enthusiasm. Electricity causes the light bulb to light up a room. Heat in the astral body causes feelings to become animated and bright so that they seek expression—the desire to feel fully alive. It is exciting, exhilarating, and invigorating.
Fire in the astral body is passion. As expressed in the poem by one who wishes to experience this:
I want burn with your yearning until nothing is left
Except the scent of your love
Carried by the winds of my heart.
Fire knows it is alive within the moment because it is totally ready to seize upon whatever opportunities are available to it to express, confirm, and expand itself. When completely positive, it expands its emotions out and through everyone around itself to make them feel fully alive as well.
Heat in the mental body produces a plan of action. Fire on this level likes to expand its will and power and considers how and what it must do to accomplish this.
Fire as will immediately sets up boundaries to claim what it controls and to defend what it owns. It takes hold. It sustains itself by insuring its needs are satisfied.
If you are a general, you want aides who present you with detailed plans of action. If you are a president, you want cabinet members who see solutions and how to make those solutions happen.
It is to ask, What can we do right now to solve this problem? It is not so much an intellectual concept being applied here. It is will power that is dynamic, effective, and commanding in such a way so as to produce results.
You have to keep in mind the quality or nature of heat and fire. It is not possessive or controlling for its own sake, though we often meet people who do precisely those things. But as an energy, fire comes from a more primordial place than does thinking. It asks, What do I need to do, to have, or to control so that the life that burns within me remains fully alive and bright?
From the point of view of fire, without answering this question, the greatest and the best things in life will never happen.
The heat and fire on this level are far more expansive than what we perhaps will ever encounter in our personal lives. It is a divine level of awareness. From this vantage point, the question is, What level of will and power must an individual have access to so that the deeper purposes of life may be fulfilled on earth.
Prophets in the Old Testament like Elijah sometimes had this energy.
When I was young, I would sometimes have what I called a “wrath of God” experience. It would come upon me at odd times. And then I would feel like the divine was saying to me, “You have messed up. You have failed. You are not on track. You are missing your windows of opportunity. And if you continue on the course that you are on it will lead to your absolute destruction and annihilation.”
But it turned out that I was not the intended recipient of this message. It did not refer to me. What I was hearing was addressed to the nations of the earth. In a sense, I was being asked to access this divine level of fire, of will and power, and somehow find a way through my own initiative to produce a more desirable outcome in regard to the nations.
Maybe General Patton needed this kind of fire in his akashic body when he was leading his troops during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Perhaps General Eisenhower needed it during the invasion of Europe on D Day.
George Washington was certainly being asked by akasha to embody this fire during the War of Independence. But he often felt despair. With this kind of will power, there is no such thing as despair or fear or resentment. If it took time off to look inward, it would do so only to answer its questions about how to move forward.
On this level, fire is the power of a creator who says, This is what needs to be done, what I envision for the future. It shall be so because I possess the energy and will to make it happen.
Like I say, this fire/heat is very expansive. It does not produce emotions and intentions and purposes belonging to one’s everyday personality. It is a transpersonal level of awareness. It belongs to those who serve the purposes of divinity.
Consequently, if it touches you and you do not realize the level from which it arises, you might find your self getting terribly angry or upset. But realize like me that it is not about you or your life at all. It is about a greater purpose seeking to move through you.
As I often quote, if you have the power of fire, you are able to use it to make things happen. If you use it with the wisdom of air, what you do is harmonious. If you use it with the love of water, what you do is healing and nurturing to others.
If you combine it with the solidity of earth, what you make endures.
And if you use power in all these ways and add in the purposes of akasha, then what you make endures, inspires, heals, and transforms others through all ages of the world.
Let us take a look now at the fifth element of akasha.
Note: As I reread this section, it sounds like I am writing in praise of Franz Bardon. Forgive me if I wax poetic. It is the akasha itself that is so ecstatic.
Introduction to Akasha
Bardon could have approached the fifth element as it is presented for example in acupuncture. People write me and argue extensively that this is the way to understand the fifth element. But acupuncture is a system of healing. Its focus is on the physical and etheric body.
Acupuncture does not pursue the creative powers of spirits. It has no need to put aside physical existence and become pure spirit so that one may move among other spirits on the higher planes.
Acupuncture stimulates and sedates the vitality or chi moving within the meridians. It takes the vitality that is there and balances it to enhance health and to remove symptoms of illness.
Acupuncture does not seek to master the ability to create the four elements though divine will—that is, out of nothing. An acupuncturist, taking the pulses in a clinic, will never say, “Oh, you need more fire in your small intestines. Let me just create out of thin air some fiery chi with my hand and place it in your body.”
No, you will never get that from an acupuncturist. True, Taoist masters know exactly how to do that, at least, how to expend some of their own chi to heal.
But in my experience, Taoist masters hoard their own chi more than a dragon hoards its gold. They do not specialize in building up fabulous amounts of vitality which they can use to transform the world. It is not a Taoist thing to do so. They do not possess that morality. They have no such dedication to assisting humanity.
Bardon could have also have presented the fifth element as it is studied in the I-Ching, the book of changes. Akasha is seen in the movements of life both within the individual and as the individual interacts with society.
In other words, the fifth element is understood through the ways the four elements change and transform. But this too is a study of change in our world. It does not pursue introducing new things into the world that never before existed. The I-Ching knows nothing about rewriting or changing one hexagram into another to bring about change through sheer force of will.
Bardon could have also have approached the fifth element by seeking the unity amid the diversity such as is done in the twelve signs of astrology. There are squares, oppositions, sextiles, and conjunctions. Signs develop from the proceeding and are balanced by an opposite. And there are progressions.
Aquarius sees the big picture but Leo brings a community together. Aries acts but Libra finds love in balance. Consider each of the twelve signs and how they interact and balance each other and you perhaps have a sense of the center—the fifth element form which they all arise.
But this too would simply not do. Bardon does not want contemplation, theory, or psychology. He definitely does not want cleverly crafted metaphysics presented in volumes but with only a tidbit or two of method or experience.
He wants a clear and concisely defined, direct and first hand experience with akasha. Something you can begin work on immediately and gradually perfect in your self as it develops through your practice.
So he makes a completely separate fifth element with its own qualities—among these, it is always new. It supervises, watches over, perfects, completes, and enriches life. It offers opportunities.
And it gives feedback as in establishing and maintaining karma that states in brief: if you have a weak or negative element in you, you will have weak or negative experiences with that element in life. If you have strong and positive elements in you, then you will have strong and positive experiences in life.
The Fifth Element as an Exercise
What is this fifth element for Bardon? He has the student imagine that the inside of his body is empty except for a dark, ultraviolet light. The sensation of this light, its vibration, is that it penetrates through space and time.
Next he has the student imagine that this light is being emitted from all the pours of the student’s body filling a vast, empty void around him with its vibration. Then you become the light you are emitting in your awareness. Without referring to your body or a central point, you become the vast void penetrating through space and time.
This practice focuses on mastering this sensation or vibration. There is a visualization of light. There is the tactile sensation of penetrating. There is the use of imagination to extend one’s awareness in time. And there is a very powerful, highly evolved spatial awareness in which you imagine empty space void of any form or material within it.
This is certainly abstract and outside of normal experience. But it is again a sensation. It is something you can practice and learn to sense. Become familiar with it. Play with it endlessly so it is easy to imagine and easy to sense.
And then you can easily work with the spirits of nature or the higher spirits of the earthzone. This state is the precise vibration in which they exist. Enter it and you are right next to the spirits, not just standing outside the door to their homes. You are invited inside as a welcome guest.
In brief, akasha is the element from which the other three elements arise. It creates them and commands them to fulfill its designs. This is its power. But never forget akasha needs the other four elements to accomplish anything it intends.
The word akasha also refers to a plane of existence, the akashic plane, as opposed to the physical, etheric, astral, and mental planes. The akashic plane is not dependent on form to sustain its power or existence.
At the same, we can speak of the element of akasha as it operates in and through each of these denser, form defined planes. Let us pursue akasha as a state of awareness on the different planes as we have done with the other four elements.
Bardon mentions that akasha is represented in the physical body in the blood and reproductive system such as in the sexual fluids. In other works, akasha is an awareness that is able to penetrate into the physical being of the body—the bones, blood, muscles—it is the operating system seen in the metabolism that regulates organic life.
Ultimately, awareness of akasha on a physical level gives an individual the power to materialize and dematerialize matter. Akasha here follows the concept of alchemy: whether through gentle, organic influence or through a powerful will seizing control, akasha seeks to perfect physical being.
In brief, it is a penetrating awareness that is around, inside of, and in control of physical matter. These levels of awareness are most noticeable in practicing the cosmic letters E and OE on a physical level.
In nature, akasha is extremely intense and commanding in that it penetrates and exercises control over the physical being of earth, air, fire, and water. If you can hold in your consciousness all aspects of a particular element in nature, then you begin to sense how to control it with your mind.
Bardon has students spend extensive time among the beings of the four elements—the sylphs, undines, gnomes, and salamanders who regulate these elements in nature. By learning from and observing their activities in nature, the student gains a feel for what they do.
It is one thing to understand the mind of a salamander such as Orudu who can control a volcano. Akasha however also controls the mind of the salamander that controls the volcano. Orudu’s awareness is huge, expansive, and contains within itself the vibration of the hot gasses and magma in the ground. The magician’s awareness is more penetrating.
The magician contains in his consciousness all of Orudu’s awareness. The magician commands a formless, empty, state of awareness penetrating through space and time beyond what Orudu can comprehend.
The etheric body relates to vitality, life force, and health. Akasha as I experience it on this level in the body is extremely dynamic and powerful but it is void of form—it has no substance; it is “empty.” In effect, something can be without form and still contain great tension which is also the power to create.
On this level, akasha contains the other four elements within itself and yet has command over each—it is nurturing and flowing like water; it is balancing and circulating like air; it is metabolizing and sustaining heat like fire; and it is solid and enduring like earth. It is all of these at once.
This emptiness in the form of the body has the ability to contain and sustain immense pressure within itself. And yet at the same time it can maintain sensations of total release, being at ease, relaxed, and floating free. In other words, it can create or dissolve at will the four elements within the etheric body.
I sometimes give the example that anyone can get someone else angry if they try hard and long enough. At the same time, the opposite is true: if someone is the object of anger and they remain totally relaxed, then it is next to impossible to remain angry at them. Anger requires the intensity of conflict to sustain itself. If there is no conflict, no negative response by the other person, the anger dissolves.
We sometimes we see this in daily life. Someone is very angry but the person the woman is sharing her anger with listens carefully, responds with feeling, acknowledges her grievances, and by the time they are done she feels like he has become her friend. He knows how to work with anger.
A highly skilled charismatic figure or a master politician has in his etheric body this akaskic power. He can take negative body energies and emotions in others and make them positive. He can take immense hostility in an opposing figure and restore it to its positive aspect of will. In this case, the other person then chooses his best course of action rather than a course that is destructive to both.
The charismatic figure can take a situation where people are fearful and afraid to act and empower them so they are daring—to take responsibility for making the world a better place rather than allowing bullies and thugs to rule the world.
He can dissolve illusions with truth. He can make tough and difficult decisions to reduce suffering rather than operate with platitudes and ideologies that pretend that others’ suffering are a minor and secondary consideration.
Compassion is active and dynamic. It is not passive and spineless. It definitely does not need to attach itself to some ideological position in order to sustain its efforts. Akasha will create whatever enthusiasm or commitment or intensity of will that is required in order to create a balance within the etheric body.
This awareness does not limit itself to your own body. Its scope is immense. It encompasses all etheric bodies of all people in the world.
Do you understand? This awareness is formless. It does not identify with your body, your name, your personality, or your history. It can extend itself freely anywhere it wishes.
In this sense, akasha does not keep secret its “teachings” about life force; it does not make a franchise of its training curriculum; it does not require others to become disciples of a master before it reveals its carefully guarded knowledge. There is no egocentric, insanely selfish attempt to focus its healing efforts through a lineage, tradition, or institution.
It is doctors without borders and healers without boundaries. Vitality is the blood of divinity. To balance and sustain it, to perfect it is the work of God on earth.
Applied to the astral, once again, akasha is an extremely intense, dynamic, and powerful void. It is the emptiness underlying all form.
Again, the astral refers to our ability to respond, to appreciate, and to feel fully alive. The astral animates things. It has great sensitivity and empathic receptivity.
You can be right in the middle of a business meeting or repairing a car engine and in an instant the astral intervenes and places you within a dream—someone speaks to you and endorphins kick in and you feel an inner connection. There is a surge of emotion and it is like someone is taking a lens and bringing your entire life into focus or else the opposite—blurring everything you understand about yourself. That is the astral. It is our ability to feel. Like I say, it can take over your mind and your perceptions in a moment at any time.
The astral often works with polarity. There is you and me and the chemistry--what we feel about each other. There is a situation we enter and our response to it. There is desire and dream and what we want to happen.
When Bardon has students practice creating and dissolving each of the four elements though imagination and concentration, this exercise is exactly what akasha is able to do. It can take a feeling and make it positive or negative, strong or weak. It can take one emotion and change it into its opposite or back again. Akasha has this power of command over dreams, desires, and feelings.
In this sense, on the astral, akasha sees through time. It sees beginnings and endings. It sees the desire and the outcome, the intention and the result of that intention. It sees a man and a woman, the source from which they both arise, their individuality, their unity, and the children they shall bring into the world.
It sees what is common in opposition and it sees the resolution of conflict. As Solomon would say, “There is a time to be separate and a time to be joined.” Akasha understands the seasons and reasons for both times.
Akasha, we could say, is the enlightenment of the astral body. It is astral immortality. With it and through it, the four elements are perfected so they no longer deteriorate and are not subject to negative influences.
Imagine this: there is no end to your enthusiasm and your passion for your commitments; there is no limit to the depth of your feeling and no end to your compassion; and no writer’s block, no emotional frustration because you lack inspiration—every moment has wonder overflowing from within it; and in each moment you find fulfillment doing exactly what you are doing because there is no where else you would rather be—in this moment you feel free and at the same time engaged in work of value that endures and this you know because your work arises from the depths of your soul.
On the astral plane, these four—fire, water, air, and earth—are renewed and redefined according to your spirit’s designs. This is the awareness of akasha on the astral plane. Shakespeare could taste this but his hand could not reach out and grasp it. The ancient Greek dramatists and Homer imagined this power belonging only to the gods and goddesses.
In India’s Mahabarata, Shiva and Krishna wield this power with great ease. Others, like Arjuna and his brothers, could sustain these powers briefly and only after long journeys of body and spirit. Yet these powers to create feelings to celebrate life are precisely what Bardon expects of each and every one of his students. Do not fail to comprehend the scope and depth of what he intends, of what the exercise offers those who search for and seek to grasp its treasures.
In summary, we might imagine a director or screen play writer thinking akasha’s own thoughts as the writer imagines a character. He asks, “What shall I have my character feel? Why doe he or she feel this? What situation gives rise to this feeling and allows its expression? What other person or people are involved so that the interactions highlight and define the emotions?
“What tension or conflict is present so that the character is motivated to seek resolution, to restore balance and regain a degree of peace and harmony? What then is the emotional development of my character? How does he or she change over the course of time? Is there learning or failure to learn? What then is the outcome? The final act? The realization and dramatic resolution?
“But more importantly, what have I as a writer learned from my creation? What does it tell me about my own life situation? Am I as free to attain transcendence and to live in harmony to the extent I can envision for an imagined person whose conflict is far worse than my own?”
At some point, perhaps like me as I seek, after a very long journey through space and time we come to realize that who we are is our own creation. The ability to feel alive, to live life to its fullest in every moment of time—this ability is within us should we but seek it and claim it as our own.
We arrive at a door. We knock. The door opens. We enter.
It is the Grail Castle. It is a Library of Ancient Wisdom. It is the archetypal chamber for all initiation and transformation. It is the magic university being operated from within the inner planes of our planet. It is the divine workshop of creation. It is found at the edge of our five senses and in the feelings that flow through us in every moment.
Again, akasha is extremely dynamic and contains great tension within it. It is empty, void, there is nothing there—no form, no substance, no images. It is not just an empty mind free of thought. It is an empty mind with the power to create.
This four foundations of the mysteries as “to will, to know, to dare, and to keep silence” as mental vibrations.
You will recall situations when people are talking about ideas and theories, but there is something you sense that is not right. They are too much “in their head.” They are not relating to anything real. They are too abstract. They are using ideas not to say something meaningful but to make themselves feel important.
Akasha on this plane seeks balance. So you ask in terms of earth: What is the actual evidence you have to support this theory? What are the concrete results you expect in the future?
For water you ask, How does this impact real people? How does it make a difference in our lives?
For air, you ask, Can you say it again in terms I can understand? Can you give me some examples so I can understand what you are referring to? In other words, tie the concept to something observable so your generalizations have definition.
And for fire you ask, What is your point? Where are you going with this? What do you expect to achieve?
Ideally, a theory is clear and concise. It builds upon concrete observations that are understandable and accessible to others. It relates to other bodies of commonly accepted knowledge. It makes projections about future results that can be proved or disproved. And it has real applications for the insights that it produces.
The problem with the theory and practice of acupuncture, from this perspective, is not that it is not useful or that it does not work. In spite of all the correlations to biochemistry, to electrical changes in the skin, in spite of all the documented case studies, its theory of life force operates outside of the entire Western medical establishment.
This is not a bad thing in itself. It just means that it is extremely difficult to produce new insights and motivate new research.
If you have had a near death experience, if you have been abducted by a UFO, if you have ghosts talk to you, if you see auras, if you feel the Illuminati or some other organization is controlling the world, etc. what you believe may be true. You may have lots of others who agree with you and form international organizations for investigating these things.
But your statements do not yet correlate to the experience of the general population. And they certainly do not correlate to the established body of scientific data. Atlantis is nice as an idea. But we will not teach about Atlantis in our history textbooks until we have accumulated a body of archeological evidence that authenticates its existence.
I write about mermaids. But mermaids do “not exist” until one washes up on a beach or makes her presence known. Then mermaids will no longer belong to myth and fairy tales but to zoology.
Same with vampires. If they exist for real, then you have a new subspecies of Homo sapiens. But until you do the blood tests and establish a new biological system and metabolism, you are again moving among legends, myths, and fairy tales.
It is not that they do not exist. It is just that in our world you can not claim something is real until you prove that it is real. On the mental plane, the mind upholds clarity. Part of being clear is distinguishing between private and public experience.
Socrates’ attitude toward nature spirits was that “I have more important things to discover.” Buddha’s attitude toward the Hindu gods and goddesses was “They have nothing to teach me about enlightenment and so they are irrelevant.”
The test these masters apply to a doctrine or theory is whether it is significant. What difference does it make? How does it change the world?
You see this all the time. People attach themselves to a doctrine, a theory, or an idea and they believe that it means something in and of itself. Ideas are just tools. You can either use them to do something or else they are collecting dust. They are kept for sentimental reasons or because of an attachment to them but they no longer serve any real purpose.
Akasha on the mental plane annihilates ideas. It dissolves them. It looks at an idea and says, If this idea is going to work, this is what you will need. It looks at a situation in life and says, There are no ideas that comprehend what is occurring here. We need to invent a new concept to explain what is going on.
Akasha views the mental plane in terms of all four planes: from the higher plane it asks, What is your purpose? On the mental plane, it then asks, What is your plan of action for pursuing this purpose?
On the astral plane, it asks, What kind of sensitivity or emotional involvement will you need to persevere in this endeavor and bring it to life?
And for the physical plane, it asks, What is the result you seek in specific and concrete terms and how will you stabilize this so it endures and continues to be of value through time?
From the perspective of akasha, ideas are never static. They connect things. They enable things to happen. They bring the world into focus. They enable self understanding but only if you realize they must be continuously modified so they can accurately and effectively be applied to specific situations.
A good question has the intent of taking you forward in life. It increases your choices, your ability to learn, and to take responsibility for your self.
A bad question has the intent to take you backwards. It is engineered to deny your responsibility for your self. It limits rather than extends your freedom of choice. It assumes there is nothing new to learn, only the need to reaffirm what you already believe so that you do not need to change in any way.
Ask a dumb question of a cop and he will just stare at you until you figure out the answer on your own. Akasha does a lot of staring without answering.
Ask a dumb question of a great group facilitator or teacher and he will automatically reframe the question and view it from a slightly different perspective than what you are asking. In this way, he directly answers your question but also answers other more interesting questions at the same time.
Akasha loves a good question precisely because it can create something out of nothing in order to answer the question.
Akasha loves a good question because akasha likes to pass on its power to others—how to see and how to make the world new. With a good question, akasha is reborn inside of you.
The purpose of the mental body and the purpose of ideas are like akasha itself: it oversees the course of action from conception to completion. It is there during the entire process insuring that the focus is clear and that momentum and motivation are sustained. It supervises.
When necessary, it inspires. If need be, it intervenes. It sees that the job gets done. And then it moves on. It focuses its attention on its priorities. Akasha is where it needs to be to establish harmony.
If you have a good conscience, if akasha is active within you on the mental plane, you will notice when something is missing, when things do not feel right. And then you will add or invent something new to bring about balance and progress.
There is akasha as an exercise which I describe at the beginning of this section. The exercise studies akasha as the fifth element. Akasha is also a level of awareness or a plane of existence as in the physical, astral, mental, and akashic planes.
You can do akasha an exercise but there is also an akashic plane separate from you. You can learn to sense the difference. There is akasha as the element that maintains a balance between the other four elements in your self. And there is the akasha that maintains a balance between the other four elements in the entire planet.
When you meditate with akasha you are entering a kind of trance. And then there is the meditation where you enter the akashic plane of the earth. Here you can sense other beings and vibrations that are independent of your own consciousness. The set of three hundred and sixty spirits of the Earthzone that Bardon describes reside within the akashic plane associated with our planet.
I have already discussed the four elements in terms of the akashic body. For water, you feel for example an inner connection to all beings. It is water on a divine level. You feel within and a part of others’ lives from beginning to end.
With earth, you seek and perform work that enriches the world. Many already do this. Add a divine intent: you seek to do work that will endure in value and enrich life through all age of the world.
With air, you learn to see and you seek to know free of any contamination from bias, from ideology, selfishness, or personal interest. You see life with the clarity of a divine being that has attained complete transcendence and celebrates its ability to act out of joy and freedom.
With fire, you gain access to unlimited energy, will, and power which you are free to use to fulfill a purpose on earth.
What is the fifth element within one’s body on this plane of existence? Obviously, it inspires you to embody in your self the other four elements on their divine levels.
But how? As on the other planes, akasha is an extremely dynamic and intense emptiness. It is like an open space or void that contains the power to create. As such, it can create the divine qualities and powers of the other four elements.
If you are in the Roman Empire with its violence and struggles for power, akasha will create a world teacher who teaches love, that life is sacred, and that we are all one with each other.
If you are India with its countless god and goddesses, akasha will produce a world teacher who is free of all attachment to gods. All of that bright, dazzling light of the gods—the illumination is within the mind and this illumination is boundless. Form can not express it.
Are you in a civilization or among a people who have forgotten about how to manifest the will of the Creator on earth? Akasha will reveal to you the teachings you need so this can be accomplished.
Akasha puts no limitations on will. If you want it, it is there. Just claim it.
Want the keys to all Mysteries? Want to enter the divine workshop so you comprehend first hand the purposes for which this planet was created? Want to read the latest additions to the akashic bulletin of Divine Missions?
Gee, why not? If you like Monty Python’s Holy Grail and The Life of Bryan too, well, perhaps you can also learn to think in terms of long range goals based purely on human needs—for reducing suffering on earth and for those who wish to hold the world within their hearts.
Sure, it reads like science fiction. But the future is imagination. You have to dream it if you wish to experience it and make it happen. Akasha will do this too—it will reveal the future to you and those purposes worth pursuing, not just for a decade or two, but down through the ages.
It is rather easy to get caught up in the struggles of one life time. But some things we do endure through many life times. What you began and made progress with way back then you now get to take up again exactly where you left off.
A noble purpose you intend will continue until it is fulfilled. There is a continuity to life that transcends death. You can bet on this if you have access to akasha. It accepts all dreams and visions and offers odds on their realization. If you pay the price, every single time you will get what you want.
In a nutshell, akasha asks, What are your innermost dreams? What do you envision that would make life complete? Now, let us reverse engineer that so we put in place what needs to be so that what you seek can happen.
With akasha, you become the creator. From out of the vision in your own heart, you recreate the world. For this is what akasha will always do—it will make the world new.
A Few Combinations for Balancing the Elements Instantly If You Have Practiced the Basics
Weak Earth to Strong Air:
Feeling dragged down, in a rut, burdened with life’s responsibilities? The element air will lift you up. You will feel detached, clear, and gain a perspective.
Not only that, you will feel light and playful. Sense humor and delight, that artistic sense of taking an interest out of pure curiosity in the drama of life.
Air will give you five to ten ways to solve a problem when without it you could not even find one.
Weak or Negative Air to Strong Earth:
Feeling flighty, in your head, spaced out, can’t focus, distracted, and scatter brained? How about obsessed no less? Wrapped up in some sort of mental perspective like a program that loops back on itself running the same old routine again and again without end?
The earth element will bring you right back to where you are now in this moment--
Forget all the ideas running through your mind. Focus on something specific right now you can do and get done.
Earth will guide you with a lamp that illuminates your path through the dark mental fog: all that exists right now in this moment is you, the physical world around you, and the specific, concrete, real thing you can do next that allows you to get on with your life.
The weight of the earth element brings you down to the solid ground. What could be more obvious about how to get on?
Weak Air to Strong Water:
Out of touch? Feel alienated, estranged, lonely, isolated, not understood, without social connections, insensitive to other’s feelings, and in need of some feeling of inner peace?
The element of water will take you there in an instant. Let go and flow. Feel a part of everyone you know, like you can sense them from inside and feel connected to the deepest things inspiring their lives.
There is no separation with water. We all live in and through each other. What could be more obvious?
Weak Fire to Strong Fire:
Feeling vulnerable today? A little too sensitive? Your feelings easily hurt? Afraid to get on with the affairs of life? Unable to assert yourself in a fair and straightforward manner?
Not seizing on the opportunities that life places right in front of you so that you look back twenty years later and think, Oh, if I had only ….?
Well, fire is the answer for you. It is true that with water you would have just flowed into the right avenue of life for you and done more than enough daring for more than a few.
But with fire there is power. There is accepting a challenge as a matter of personal honor. There is bold searching for answers, for solutions to problems, to ways to resolve conflicts quickly and decisively.
Fire provides its own light for finding your way through life. Because without the passion and will in fire, without that illumination in its light, there is no insight. You just do not get up and go even when you know what is right.
Power is a divine virtue. Without power, nothing gets done. And there is not as much fun.
Weak akasha (or conscience) to strong akasha (conscience):
Life a mess? Like something is profoundly missing and no one can ever answer your questions?
Got that sense of the furies seeking to track you down? Like the demons consider you the best deal in town?
Got karma from a history of family negativity? Feel like the tour guide showed you the families’ castle dungeon; but when he moved on he locked the door, turned the lights out, forgetting you were even there, leaving you on the wrong side, the dark side, of the tour.
Well, akasha is the way to go if you want to know. It will put you back in the seat that has control. What else does akasha do than make life new?
You get to start over. You get to rewrite you life script because whoever wrote the first one for when you were born obviously forgot to write happiness and peace into your part.
Earth, air, fire, and water—consciousness, knowledge, will, and love—these are created right here in the akasha, in the divine workshop.
So let’s get to work and set things right; bring in some light which would otherwise never enter your life. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you need to be—your feet are already firmly set in the starting blocks. Ready, set, go!
Find and restore your original purpose for entering the world.
To all things a time and a season: there is a time to live life and there is a time, I tell you, to recreate life—to remake it the way it is meant to be. Where else are you going to go to learn the deepest mysteries and to speak the words of power that shall change life so it can fulfill your deepest needs?
Need fire? We can make it up from scratch. Need water, it shall flow through you like a river. Need air, take a breath, there is an ocean air and with divine wings you shall fly through the sky of the mind. Need earth, gee, as solid as a mountain, as stable as eternity—whatever you need, akasha will give you the designs and the time so you can attain freedom.
Wanted--Job Opening Immediately Available: Teach the Mysteries to the Masses in an easy to understand and easy to apply form.
Want a divine mission that is fun and exciting too? Pays well and is a career that will give you fortune and fame leading to you to mingle among the rich and famous? Well, here you are. And I have even outlined the curriculum. Work it. Work it.
Note: I swear, if no one does this divine mission I will do it myself. I like fun and stand up comedy. Come on! I have better things to do with myself than be rich and famous and to hang out with the rich and famous. Someone? Anyone?
Job Title: Lecturer; seminar instructor
Just do the first three chapters of Franz Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics. What could be a more simple, straightforward training than that?
Sure, the first three chapters are, for some, like doing two or three years of college curriculum. Except this is home study stuff. Sure, it takes a little effort. But keep always the end result in mind and you will do fine.
Here it is. Give seminars based on and continuously developing a new psychological and spiritual system of self-transformation based on the five elements.
It is not like people have not done this exact same thing before. Just do it for real this time using the power akasha commands and the wealth of life it would bestow.
First group exercise. Give a brief introduction. Then have the seminar participants form groups based on the strongest element in them. Have them do a skit or two and describe how the element of their group has shaped their lives mentioning also that element’s strengths and weaknesses.
Fire needs fuel to burn to thrive and it often destroys.
Water can freeze up and grow stagnant if there is no flow going on. And it can drown or pull you down if you have too much of it around.
Air can destroy also and it can be very dry as in no water in it and you get a famine, no nurturing there. And it can float so high that you fail to connect anymore.
Earth of course gets bogged down. It will wear you out or burden you if you try to carry too much around. And it can bury life in the ground (how many have found that out?) if it fails to produce things that nurture, are of value, that inspire, or endure. Some things at first appear solid but then they fall apart too quickly.
Now, have the group teach the other groups through role playing and dramatic productions how to learn their element in the quickest way. And have them do stand up comedy? If I were a rich man, dabadabadabado, I would ….” But it is “If I were the air element, la la la la la, I would …. ” That is, say how you would be different than you are now if you had the other element strong in you.
Now, final exercise, everyone writes in brief the life script that was written for them before they were born. And now rewrite it so that there is more elemental balance in it.
Advantages: Like I say, give those guys like Tom Cruise and Travolta a real curriculum to study, one that is understood and practiced by the archangels rather than something invented by New Age teachers drunk on the illusion of overcoming the ego through quick and easy answers that are cheap and shallow rather than as deep as the ages of time. The Mysteries can also be taught in quick and easy forms that endure through all ages of the world. You can bet your bittie on that.
Disadvantages: All that fame and wealth that flows your way, all those lectures paying millions of dollars a year, well, it can lead to stagnation and difficulties in your personal life.
You will actually have to practice what you preach: take the weak and negative elements in your self and make them strong and positive.
Fail to do this and you end up empty inside amid what should be the greatest joys of life.
Let me say that in a slightly different way so the meaning is perfectly clear:
If, for example, you are going to celebrate undines, you need to love water.
And if you are going to give seminars on the five elements, you will need to love being alive—to embrace life both as it is and as it is meant to be. Otherwise, akasha will have disasters waiting to greet you every time you open your closet door and look inside.
Divine Mission Addendum: Living Life to the Fullest
This is a sister or companion seminar to the above. Instead of being hard core self-transformation, its goal is simply to define and empower individuals “to live life to the fullest.” It is similar in that it is based on the five elements; but it also emphasizes the five senses.
It is true, each element offers its own approach and feeling of being alive. Nothing connects to others on a gut level like fire—that is why they call it passion.
But nothing gives that cheerfulness and ability to play in the moment like air—it is pure euphoria, rapport, and rapture.
But if you want love, the real thing, not the passion as intensity and craving and desire gratified, but as oneness with another—well, you will need water. Water will give you the inner peace without which life will never feel complete.
Then again, if you are going to get life right you will need earth—doing what is most important to you from the depths of your heart. It is not always hot and steamy like fire, or sweet like air, or full of tender love like water, but it certainly endures. Nothing really results in life of value unless you care and earth cares enough to work at making its dreams and ideals real.
We already know all of this from the first seminar. But now we throw in also the five senses because to feel alive you need to burn with the fire that each sense reveals and conceals with tremendous skill.
To be in the moment, to be fully alive, you will need your senses as sharp as an assassin’s dagger. That is, always ready to catch the moment as it unfolds with all its beauty and wealth untold. It is not just poets and bards who know this—that your body in each moment is speaking to you endlessly about the mystery of being alive. Teach and explore the five senses as they are and as they are meant to be: doors that open to infinity.
Now, what could be more fun as a seminar than to do just that: take people who are miserable, selfish, and insecure, ridden with anxiety, and work them until they go home with a sense of wonder, awe, and beauty?
I will tell you a little secret about seminars since I have been called a “seminar junkie,” one who is addicted to taking seminars endlessly. Seminars are not just about wealth and success—though those things certainly are worthy if you take the best.
A good seminar you can repeat again and again. This is because when you come back you realize the seminar has equipped you so life is now using you to fulfill its deepest purposes. And in the process you have discovered one of life’s greatest secrets—that She is full of surprises. To this you can testify again and again.
Related Writings on the Four Elements
From the book, Sylphs, Undines, Gnomes, and Salamanders
The four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--are gates and paths leading through the intricacies of nature into the mysteries of spirit. The beings who reside within the elements embody states of awareness and capabilities which, though perhaps strange and mysterious to us, are nevertheless inherent in human nature. We need only open our hearts to the universe around us if we wish to taste divine bliss and to discover the wisdom that has given birth to all worlds and all ages. Here is a brief synopsis of the psychological and spiritual qualities elemental beings possess.
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 modern Czech mage Franz Bardon, though listing the names and sigils of eight sylphs in his book, The Practice of Magical Evocation, refrains from describing them individually. He suggests we go on to the earthzone where the spirits are not so aloof and provide us with the same information.
I, however, grew up spending my summers concentrating daily on wind flowing through sails as I raced sailboats. Every nuance of the wind, wind shifts, temperature, pressure, and humidity became something we learned to observe automatically. So, unlike Bardon, sylphs to me seem friendly. Their domain is familiar.
In the fire element, by contrast, 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 salamanders exist within a realm of fire and those uncomfortable with the sensations of intense heat or the imagery of vast lakes of flames may do well to avoid these beings. But power is a divine virtue though religions often choose to avoid exploring it as a spiritual path. The salamanders are enchanted with the magick within fire to heal, to fuse, to refine, to integrate, to transform, and to electrify according to their individual inclinations.
Questions salamanders sometimes explore are: what is the one fire which burns without consuming and which integrates within itself all other kinds of fire? What is the highest light that exists and what is the state of mind--the intensity of heat and will--from which it arises? What is the nature of sovereignty and absolute power--the ability to command which arises from being one with what it would control? Salamanders are great to work with if you wish to explore the nature of will on astral and etheric levels.
At the other extreme is the element of water--something very easy to relate to as a human being. 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.
In the earth element--through comprehending shape, weight, density, and the molecular vibration of minerals and elements--is the wisdom that banishes depression, sadness, and sorrow. The most powerful gnomes who dwell within the earth perceive time not only in terms of centuries, eons, and geologic ages. Their perception penetrates into the processes through which matter is formed and through which it dissolves.
For gnomes, rocks and mountains do not possess solid and firm edges. Rather, their boundaries and shapes are fluid and liquid. For gnomes, anything in physical existence is constantly transforming, solidifying and dissolving again--in each moment matter and emptiness are flowing through each other like water being poured into water. And if you listen carefully with you heart, you can discover that each moment contains a wonderful silence and a stillness in which you can hear the stars singing. The elements of nature which we perceive as solid have been born in the furnaces of stars and have passed through the emptiness of space.
The greatest of gnomes possess the ability to taste the union of form and emptiness in every mineral and in everything physical. When I began meditating with the gnome Mentifil, he took me through some basic concentration exercises with the various planetary metals. I noticed after working with him that I no longer experienced sadness or depression. He took me to that place where mind begins to probe the roots of matter through the power of intuition. And this is a place where depression and sadness can not go--these feelings have no existence when awareness can penetrate physical being.
I am not going to suggest anyone run out and begin evoking or meditating with elemental beings unless they are sufficiently prepared. But when I write about elementals I am always discussing human nature--what elementals are, all their powers and modes of perception, exist within us as latent abilities which we can develop. And the elemental beings or the etheric and astral energies over which they preside are the connecting link between the realm of mind and that of the physical world. To make our ideals real--to embody them in our lives--we do well to learn all we can from the elementals' way of perceiving and the energies which flow through their wills.
From The Planetary Spheres:
The Planetary Spheres
In this essay, I explore the akasha—the realm of light--surrounding nine different planetary spheres. This is slightly different for me in that I usually first and foremost work with a spirit. In this case, however, I am seeking a more personal understanding of the qualities of the different planets. It is a getting acquainted exercise.
Note: This essay is similar to my series on the Presence of God. I imagine if the Apostle Paul was right, God is someone “in whom we live, move, and have our being,” then each planet’s aura is a kind of outer reflection of God’s aura. Simply meditating in the akasha of different planets, then, not only clarifies and defines the nature of the spiritual beings that dwell there. Studying a planet’s akasha also tells you something about the mind and soul of the Creator--the way studying in a class taught by a world level economist, philosopher, or general tells you something about the individual’s mind and outlook on life.
In this brief essay, I spent about two hours meditating in each of the different planetary spheres, so about four to six hours a day over five different days. What motivated this little venture was I needed some clarification as to what method and perspective I should use to solve two sets of problems. One solution was more personal in nature—I decided to spend some time working with Nith-Haiah of the Mercury sphere, “the Guardian angel” of all magicians on earth according to Bardon.
The second question deals with karma and political evolution. I wanted to double check my perspective and a get a little reassurance before proceeding. In other words, I wanted a stamp of approval from Divine Providence before exercising my magical will. Self-validation is always a highly questionable activity; then again, when using cosmic power you do not seek a second opinion from other people. You are required to go directly to the source and with every ounce of intelligence your brain possesses you have to weigh and measure, draw your own conclusions, and then take full responsibility for your actions.
The Four Elements in Physical Body
This is the place where we begin and to which we return. The body is both the temple of God and the magic mirror that reflects the universe. Working with other planes of awareness, not to mention spirits, takes energy and the body is the source of that energy. In fact, there is nothing to be encountered “out there” in the highways and byways of the four elemental realms that is not already present in latent form within each of us.
Having done some preliminary stretching/yoga I focus on the four elements within my body. The bones of the skeleton and physical mass of the body is like the earth element. I sense the obvious: the solidity, stability, and enduring presence. The body is framed upon the bones and tendons.
Part of my physical being is silent and solid and enduring—a perfect embodiment of the mystery and initiation of silence and all the spiritual qualities of earth. So it is natural for me to sense how the vibration in my body is almost identical to the vibration within that five thousand year old stone circle I wrote about that is in Scotland. The pyramids of Egypt, ancient and forgotten temples, mountains and minerals, geologic strata—the presence of what endures down through the ages—all of these sensations and qualities of the earth element are right here.
There is a little crater near my house—Koko Crater. It is no more than a few thousand years old. This crater will still be around long after I am dead. This island is no more than five million years old. But the solidity I sense within my body—the weight and mass—is an awareness that goes back to the Vishnu schist at the bottom of the Grand Canyon—a billion years old. It goes further—it goes back four billion years to when the planet first formed.
The body is ancient and beyond the knowledge of all religions on earth. In every glass of water we drink, in every breath of air we take in hydrogen atoms that were formed soon after the Big Bang thirteen billion years ago. The elements in our bodies, for example oxygen and carbon, we formed in the nuclear furnaces and through the explosions of stars.
If we were to proceed into the astral/etheric realm of the earth element wherein gnomes dwell, we would certainly want to feel comfortable in advance with doing what gnomes do—they place their minds directly within physical matter to sense its qualities and influence its vibrations. The vibration of zinc, tin, gold, silver, lead, precious jewels, trees, and plants—gnomes can spend hours on end immersed within the vibrations of matter the way dolphins can swim in the waves or eagles can ride the winds.
Each day our consciousness passes through alpha, beta, theta, and delta states of awareness as when our minds are open, problem solving, falling asleep, and in a state of deep, dreamless sleep. Penetrating and encompassing physical matter with our awareness is very similar to being fully alert and awake in a state of deep dreamless sleep. Our bodies contain such knowledge. We just need to learn to sense it.
When dealing with the unknown it is wise to move slowly, systematically, and from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from what you can fully control to what is new and what challenges you with forces that are outside your grasp. It is a gradual process.
Some people want quick results in magic. Why can I not control my thoughts? Why can I not evoke spirits? Many of the higher spirits are quite capable of materializing and dematerializing matter. For these spirits it is nothing to penetrate physical matter with their consciousness, take hold of it, and transmute it at will.
Physical matter contains great energy. Matter is dynamic, powerful, and intense. But all of this is wrapped about in a quiet grace, a silence, and an immense stillness. When God says, “Be still and know that I am God,” he is not referring to water, air, or fire. He is pointing to the gate hidden within the element of earth with its quiet, silent stillness.
Meditating on physical being, the personal fades. You remain aware of the physical and yet in a place of great stillness you move beyond time and space and pass through the gate that leads into akasha and the Divine Presence. Like I say---the body is a temple. Herein are taught the divine arts of creation.
The sensation of water I can pick up from the flow of blood through my body. A doctor told me that some people can feel when there heart skips a beat. With experience, you can feel blood flow into part of your body when you relax it. The blood vessels dilate with the result that there is more blood flow into the area and it becomes warmer.
Some people can sense the pulse of their blood as it surges through the body. It is the liquid, flowing quality of the blood that is emphatically the water element. Water is in tears, sweat, salvia, urine, moisture in the lungs, the eyes, and various body fluids.
As I concentrate on the flow of blood, immersing myself in this sensation and awareness, there are also feelings that arise: a sense of peace, of flowing and letting go. It is purifying, renewing, nurturing, and reviving.
Within water is also a more subtle presence called the magnetic fluid. It is like the flow of blood produces a magnetic field in and around the body. If you can sense or feel auras, you can probably pick this up as well.
Well, here is what I sense of the magnetic fluid in and around my body. It is cool, soothing, and healing. It is nearly incomprehensible receptive—though completely nurturing and life giving, it is also utterly open and empty. It is so encompassing, it can embrace, shelter, and protect anything.
As men are granted a token surcharge of the masculine electric fluid by virtue of their gender, women have a surcharge of the magnetic fluid. It is seen for example in a woman’s ovaries which embody a powerful attracting energy.
As I mention elsewhere, some martial art masters like to marry young, nubile women because the woman’s powerful estrogen based magnetic field automatically draws the energy in his head and arms downward along the front of his body. This feminine essence, yin jing, or magnetic fluid allows him to remain flexible, grounding him and cooling his excessive body heat. It frees him from being a slave to his own mental powers of concentration which would otherwise make him obsessive and dictatorial.
To put it another way, a man might notice that sensing the magnetic field arising from the water element in his own body is like what he may feel after making love to a beautiful and loving woman. For a limited time, something of her feminine essence and beauty are transferred over to him as a purely physical sensation. He then feels blessed, anointed, made whole and complete—the inner unity between body, soul, mind, and spirit are restored and brought into balance.
This magnetic fluid is kind, gentle, and tender. It seeks to heal, complete, and make whole whatever it touches. It is absolutely natural for it to hold things within itself restoring their balance and harmony.
This magnetic fluid is present in men and women, though as I mention women tend to have a much higher and more natural charge of it. Becoming aware of it directly strengthens it and allows us to make it an active part of our consciousness.
Obviously, if a person’s mind is influenced by the magnetic fluid it is easy to try to bring out the best other people. Instead of viewing others from a position of competition and insecurity, a person’s mind is empathic, sensitive, and caring.
Franz Bardon really set up a furor in the magic world by publishing the wrong names for many of the spirits he describes. People write me this about this. They ask me, Do you know the real name of such and such a spirit? This inquiry seems most paradoxical and ironic to me because these people rarely give me their real names and here we are having a nice conversation. So why such a big deal about the names of spirits? You want their email address you have it in the sigils Bardon has published.
If you find the magnetic fluid in your body, I mean look, it is right here under your breath, barely hidden behind your heart beat; it is right here riding the physical sensation of blood through your veins and arteries—find the magnetic fluid in your body and you have found a magic mirror and holy well: in it is reflected the nature and presence of any spirit in the universe. The magnetic fluid is that empathic and full of the mysterious and wonderful magical powers of clairsentience.
Let me say it again, the magnetic fluid is so receptive and utterly open and sensitive it can quite easily produce in itself, (that is you can experience it within your own body and consciousness) the actual presence of any living thing. I tell you that in my experience when a woman really loves you she holds part of your soul and spirit within herself nurturing and sustaining it.
At the same time, her love extends inside of you and is constantly striving to make you whole and complete, to heal your wounds, and unify every fiber of your being. That kind of love employs the powers of the magnetic fluid.
If you go exploring out there into the domains of the elemental beings, the undines and mermaids, the spirits of love on the higher planes and within the sphere of Venus, it is easy to encounter love and attractions which seem beyond human understanding. The beauty of these beings is again nearly incomprehensible.
But that beauty is always a quality and power of the magnetic fluid. Find the magnetic fluid within your self. Then you will be able to see what is in front of you. And then you will not fall victim to other worldly temptations not to mention human lovers with a dark agenda hidden beneath their beauty.
The air element in the body is easy to sense through the lungs and breath. There are the subtle changes in air pressure, lung capacity, moisture, and temperature in the lungs set off by the contracting and release of the diaphragm. This is very similar to sensing the differences in air pressure, temperature, and moisture that move the winds and shape the weather in the sky.
Bardon suggests that the essential quality of the air element is the sensation of weightlessness. Air has a freedom to move without being so closely bound to shape and magnetic attraction. This carries with it a feeling of independence and detachment.
The oxygen in breath is free to travel throughout the atmosphere of the entire planet. Breath also carries a sense of open expanse. The freedom from limitation and capacity for movement are, like the cosmic letter A, a tool for studying enlightenment and cosmic wisdom. The mind, like breath, can become open, free, detached, and expansive.
In breathing we are sharing air with every living being. In breath we gain a taste of enlightenment. In joining our consciousness to the physical sensation of air our consciousness becomes a part of the entire biosphere of the planet. Cosmic wisdom is close behind: it is being aware of a person and an individual thing from the point of view of the whole.
We have emotional disturbances but we can among other things calm our breathing and calm ourselves down in the process. The sky has storms but the sky itself remains undisturbed. In every breath is this knowledge of clarity of mind and balance.
If I “bracket” the sensations of earth, water, and fire in my body and focus only and exclusively on the vibration of air, my body feels like it is make out of air. At this point, I have the sensation of having become a sylph, a spirit that dwells within air.
On the other hand, a basic exercise in magic related to pranayama involves breathing in vitalizing energy with the air. When I focus only on the physical sensation of air, I do not sense this vitalizing or more subtle energy in air. To get that perception, I imagine myself surrounded by a sea of vitalizing and healing energy. Now as I focus on my breath and the actions of breathing I can easily sense this vital energy entering my body. It moves according to where I focus my concentration.
For some individuals, pranayama is quite easy. Others like myself have to use both imagination and psychic perception in order to get the most basic of exercises to work.
The body produces heat. We cook food to prepare it for eating using high temperatures. The body breaks food down at low temperatures using enzymes and catalysts. Without much effort, I can sense the temperature differences on the surface of my body, in my muscles, and to some extent within my body as well.
If I screen out the earth, water, and air sensations in my body (in phenomenology this is called “bracketing.”), I am left with a sensation of fire: blazing fire within my entire body. If I continue and place off to the side all outher distractions, all that exists is fire: a conflagration, a fire storm, and burning and consuming without beginning or end.
You may think that eating your carrots and broccoli and following your vegetarian diet you are being gentle and peace loving. But your stomach is dissolving that physical matter in a pool of acid determined to break it down into its components with the ferocity of the acid in a car battery attempting to strip electrons from metal.
The rapacious, consuming hunger in the body producing heat takes place on a molecular level under the direction of the DNA molecule. Sense something of this process and you are sensing the raging fire that extends throughout the universe. In every heartbeat is the pulse of lightning surging between the earth and the sky.
There is a limit on coldness called absolute zero. There is no limit on the degree of heat or the will that derives from fire. Nonetheless, too much or too little heat and the body shuts down.
Someone was asking advice about a really powerful spirit he had encountered. With all due respect, there are no really powerful spirits. Nothing “out there” even remotely reflects the power you have within your self should you but find it.
Now then, there is a feminine essence. The masculine essence is derived from the electric fluid. Men become electrified when they are aroused. Obviously passion and desire can be overwhelming. But this electrical energy in passion is but a faint reflection of the real thing.
Like male sexuality, the electric fluid is hot, burning, intense, and explosive. It is consuming and commanding. It is more: it carries with it absolute faith and conviction. The adrenal glands kick in: all of conscious and all strength are focused on one task—to overcome any obstacle in its path and to fulfill its mission.
Combine the electric and magnetic in your self? You are fully alert yet relaxed; ready for action but at peace. You have the sensitivity and receptivity to respond to what is in front of you and yet the will to do what needs being done.
Magic is using a little bit of the will of the Creator to create. You initiate something new. But magic also requires the art of the lover who holds in her heart everything involved in what you are undertaking until it finally bears fruit. Magic requires both the electric and magnetic fluids in equal measure.
Akasha seeks to balance the four elements and maximize their development. It is an awareness of the activity of all four elements at once.
In terms of my own nature, akasha has the function of regenerating and balancing my body/health, emotions/astral body, and mind. This akasha that accompanies my spirit is very alchemical: it hermetically seals itself off from the world in order to focus on and transform the elemental materials active within me.
This is again very Aquarian and very unlike Leo that shines outward with light and enthusiasm. The alchemy focuses within, recreating itself from within. It is a very solitary activity and thus is very difficult to share with others because it is a process each individual pursues within himself.
The Elemental Domains within Nature
I am now extending my awareness outside of my body and into the earth element. Basically, I sense dirt all around myself. The primary sensations are density and weight.
Bardon recommends imaginatively filling one’s body with the earth element (not accumulating it but just an even spread throughout one’s body) and then dropping one’s mind down into the ground.
Not much is going on. But after a while I begin identifying my consciousness with the earth element. I become the earth spread out for miles in all directions. At this point, I begin to sense geologic strata and various mineral deposits.
The limestone recalls the skeletons of fish from which it was formed and seas long gone. The sandstone recalls sandy dunes. Coal deposits remember Jurassic forests with the bones of ancient creatures mixed around.
There is the top soil and vegetation from which it is formed. Here is a water table and underground streams. Caves and caverns, magma chambers, and tectonic plates. There are fault lines with their strange twisting and straining like a sculpture of wrestlers striving for an advantage.
There is the sand from mountains long gone; the boulders from rivers that have not flowed for millions of years and the rubble left over from ice ages come and gone. I think the process is fairly clear: if you extend your consciousness into the earth becoming the earth then the memories of the earth begin to download into your brain with images from a book called, “This is the geology of the planet you live on.”
From the point of view of a billion years, all of this is very bubbly and constantly changing like the spray from a wave breaking on a beach. Everything is in motion.
But from the point of view of a few minutes or an hour meditation, it is very quiet and very, very patient. It has exactly the feeling that accompanies some of my meditations which I have been practicing for over thirty years.
I have written about the beings who dwell within the earth element elsewhere. At this point, I suspect one result of acquainting one’s consciousness with the earth element is that you begin to appreciate the physical world. You enjoy working with material things. You find it enjoyable to take something physical into your hands and to change it so it is of more value. Obviously, the earth element is very grounding, very practical, and very down to earth.
I have been writing a book on the water element so let’s see what happens here. I project my consciousness into the water element in nature. I find myself immediately surrounded by the sea, blue green and around me is sea weed. And I am soon within a water fall and a lake—I have become the lake. I am a river flowing to the sea. I am the North Atlantic current, a tsunami, a tide rolling in, a flashflood, a storm surge, a river flooding its banks, rain, a cloud, fog, snow, the North Pole—I am within all of these.
I feel a part and one with the vibration of water across the entire earth—I am the surface of the sea and its depths. I am a billion waves set in motion by ten thousand different winds. I am the glass of water a woman drinks in a five star restaurant. Now I am in her stomach and now within her blood stream.
I absorb and release carbon dioxide. I absorb and release heat. I am fluid, liquid, and malleable. I purify and I give birth to and sustain life.
If I focus exclusively on the vibration and sensations of water, I seem to turn into a merman (the male version of an undine or mermaid). I am committed to preserving, expanding, and clarifying magnetic fields produced by water. This is my vocation and my soul. I celebrate magnetism in all my actions.
In a waterfall, I am sparkling, effervescent, and I renew life. In a river, I let go and go with the flow, following gravity as it walks at my side across the land as we listen for the distant sounds of the sea.
In a mountain lake, the stars’ fiery dance fills my nights with dreams of unending delight. The clouds drop down and as fog caress my skin. In winter I am still as ice; and in spring the warm sun penetrates my depths and I turn that radiance into a song that intoxicates, ravishing the heart and causing the senses to see visions of what shall be.
Again, as I focus exclusively on the air element within my body, I feel as if I have become a sylph, a spirit of the air. Weightless, floating, I stand within the sky just below the jet stream. And a little higher, in the ionosphere, where the blue of the sky changes in the black of outer space.
This is being very detached surrounded by a vast, open expanse. Though my eyes are penetrating, my gaze is calm. I am incredibly relaxed.
If you want to understand the state of mind represented by all those huge stone statutes of the Buddha just put your self into the air element. Light is a subtle nectar that nourishes and gives life. The mind is so open, vast, and expansive it becomes mirror like—its ferocious quest for the truth so joined to stillness that it perceives without distortion or presumption.
This state of mind can think but it has no dependency on thoughts. It is not attached. All conceptual systems depend upon and are limited by their assumptions. In this state of mind, when a thought and its assumption no longer clarify and illuminate a subject that thought and assumption vanish instantly.
What is it like to be a sylph? You know the wind, from where it arises, how it moves, and to where it is going. A thunderstorm is in your mind like a pleasant daydream—it is entertainment like watching a puppy chasing its tail or watching a cat climbing down cautiously from a tree, its claws clasping and scratching the bark as it descends. And as with a playful puppy or a frightened cat, with care you can pick them up and take them somewhere else if you want.
Many scientists have a surcharge of sylph in their astral bodies. The result? The vibration within their minds of an original observation or the birth of pure and new scientific knowledge are for these men and women exquisite pleasure—the mind expanding its clarity and understanding of the surrounding universe are their passion.
Artists and poets also dabble with sylph magic: when a tornado of whirling desire or a hurricane with its upheaval and wild, raging emotions passes through them, they do not run for cover or hunker down to wait out the storm. No, they ask, “Now how did this happen?” as they try to sift through and express every nuance and variable within the phenomenon.
Yes, sylphs in human form or at least temperament have walked among us. We have seen them wearing the disguise of Mozart, Shakespeare, Newton, Einstein, Socrates and Plato.
As for weather control? I have met the Dalai Lama’s weather controller. And the ancient Druids were said to exercise some influence over the winds. But if I asked a sylph about this topic he might say simply, “If you become the sky with your mind and also a hurricane at the same time, then controlling the direction and strength of the hurricane are no more difficult than controlling the depth and rhythm of your own breath.”
In evocation, the idea of a “magical name” for a spirit is that if you possess it and understand it you can control the spirit. But from the point of view of the air element, this is complete nonsense.
Though it may take ten, twenty, or thirty years, the process is more like your mind is the wind that gets inside of a cloud. And then when the two are completely joined, you move as one. It is something very beautiful and profound because one of the most basic secrets of the universe is that there really is no separation.
Again, focusing just on fire within my body it is easy to freely associate in my mind with fire in nature and to enter that fire. Fire in nature: forest fire, lava flow and pyrochastic flow, volcanoes, the heat of deserts and the light of the sun.
I notice that fire changes things: it melts metals, pulverizes mountains, and builds islands from out of the depths of the sea. It both tears things down destroying the form and builds things up shaping new forms.
It can work with the other elements adding depth and passion to love, integrity and urgency to the quest for truth, or purifying and refining physical matter as in producing steel from iron and pure gold from ore.
It can destroy as in killing a human being, burning down a house, or vaporizing a city. Fire in nature just is. It changes things in accordance with the laws of nature. Fire controlled by human beings depends on intention and wisdom to determine whether the outcome is creative or destructive.
Fire may seem rather hostile to human nature. We try not to get burned or have an accident when it is near. But fire is fabulous as a meditation. You can find all sorts of “Ah has” within it. Such as here is the nature of faith and conviction. Here is the birth of new light. Here is the highest illumination. And here the power that rejuvenates and, in combination with the other elements, gives birth to life.
We could talk about the use of fire in your life. Something is not right. And so you decide to change things. A certain amount of will and conviction is required to extricate your self from your limitations. To do this you may have to acquire more of the element of fire within your soul. People imbibe fire sometimes through anger, sometimes by acquiring new faith, and sometimes by being forced into action in order to protect others.
And we also can talk about fire in the life of nations. Occasionally some dictator appears with a strength of will equal to a mountain exploding, to a pyrochastic flow that destroys entire cultures.
But if you know fire well through the depths of your meditations you can become for that dictator the equivalent of an asteroid hitting the earth. The explosion destroys entire mountain ranges in an instant. The dictator with all his formidable power, even when he is under the protection of the dark side—he does not know what hit him. He did not even sense it coming.
Meditating in fire, again, is a strange and seemingly unnatural thing. But if you make its acquaintance, when you encounter others abusing their power and using their wills for malice, you can look at them the way a gnome can look at a tree and determine the depths of its roots, the strength of its wood, and the health of its fruit and leaves.
When you understand the raw material from which the power of will derives, then you are able to see clearly what is in front of you. And you know how to cooperate (to blend) with it, to further it, or to destroy it. Such is the magic of fire and the sacred mission it has been assigned.
Akasha. My ability to penetrate through space and time with my awareness derives in part from gifts various spirits have offered me. These gifts reawakened abilities I developed in previous life times. The task, then, is apply what has been learned before to this world in which I now live so there is some sort of productive, fruitful, and creative action appropriate to these times.
The Planetary Spheres
From the four elements within the body and within nature, we now proceed further into the spheres of light. The vibrations are more subtle. These realms are penetrated not with the astral body but only with the mind and spirit. Of course, all of these following spheric vibrations are present here on earth in some form or another.
It is just that we rarely encounter them as a pure and undiluted vibration. And if we do the experience is often temporary and fleeting. The emotions generated by such encounters are somewhat like the shock wave from a nuclear explosion—we can sense the effects of its presence but its light is too intense for our natural eyes to behold without some form of protection.
To some extent religions have been invented to preserve a small taste of the original experience from when the light touched a soul in earlier age. Rituals and doctrines both protect the mind while attempting to channel a tiny part of that original inspiration to us so it can become a part of our lives. And, from my point of view from experiencing the following spheres, many new religions (and truths of the universe) have yet to find a place in our hearts.
The Earth Zone
The akasha within my self obviously relates to my own body, emotions, mind, and history of personal experience in this life time. That is its immediate are of supervision.
The akasha of the earth in a similar manner relates to the physical, emotional, and mental activities taking place on earth during the life time of this planet. That is its area of activity and supervision.
Obviously, I can go to the earth zone to deepen or explore aspects of my own development on the three lower planes. But the outlook here also encompasses the entire history of the earth. The sensation on a sensory level is that of akasha: of penetrating through space and time and also perceiving the inner spiritual realms of the earth.
The earth zone, which for me is always new whenever I enter it, is at this moment very peaceful and there is that sense of “akashic records,” of a virtual reality recollection of any experience that has ever happened on earth. You can enter anyone or any spirit and see through its eyes and experience what it has experienced. Genghis Khan: I am within him laughing at a comrade’s joke and I can taste his battle lust and virile, wild cruel and insatiable hunger and thirst for power without limit.
Alexander the Great: Within him I feel utterly radiant. There is a classic nobility he exudes on an emotional level. A truly generous person expansive and in many wise while at the same time perhaps the most brilliant military strategist in history. Inside Alexander I feel like I am ten times more powerful and in control of my faculties than is any other person on earth.
Why all these wars and incredible amount of suffering and pain that are a dominant theme in human history? Sitting here in akasha it is plain to see: human beings are under a divine mandate—learn to master your body, emotions, mind, and spirit and the very forces of history so that you can take control of your fate and attain to a destiny of your own choosing.
Take Clinton. How many people get the opportunity to become president of the United States? So it is a personality flaw, a problem with astral equilibrium that leads him to have sex in the Oval Office. It is a temptation/male thing. Totally understandable for a man to screw up in this way. But he should have been working to fight terrorism around the world instead of spending his energy fighting impeachment.
His fate was in control of his life due to his personality flaw so that he did not attain to his destiny. Failing to attain to one’s destiny due to a personality flaw is totally understandable. But what an incredible loss and mistake to expose the nation to so much wasted time and energy due to his out of control passions. A question for the next presidential nominees: “Sir, if you are elected president, will you be able to keep your dick in your pants while you are running the nation so the opposing party does not try to impeach you after you lie about it?”
Jews sometimes say about God (or divine mandates by implication): “It is not necessarily a good thing to be the friend of God. And do not count on God to help you out of a difficult situation.” Or put another way, “We either learn all we can from life and become our own teachers or fate will become our teacher.” Its your choice.
The spiritual power here in akasha can solve any problem on earth. The price for entering and activating akasha within your self to solve these problems in an active and timely manner is very expensive.
Genghis Khan, by utilizing cutting edge military technology, horse cavalry and archers, spread terror across the world. But the horse was a wonderful gift to mankind.
Nuclear energy, esp. fusion which we have not yet learned to apply for electrical power generation, is a wonderful gift to mankind. But I notice small nations spending a hundred billion dollars to develop nuclear weapons solely for the political status and terror they can spread across the world.
Like I say, here in akasha of the earth zone there is no problem that can not be solved on earth. But the cost in terms of training, commitment, time, and energy is very expensive.
It is my position that the human race has more important things to do with itself than rattle nuclear sabers. I would hope some other people can learn to use akasha in doing what akasha does: supervising, inspiring, and also setting limits so that human beings learn in the best way possible, with the highest learning curve rather than though so much pain and suffering.
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares.... neither shall they learn war anymore.” This will happen when more people are comfortable operating from akasha having worked for decades on refining and balancing the elemental energies on the three lower planes within themselves. Then we shall have the peacemakers whom Christ spoke about.
A few more comments on the earth zone. Akasha is so into life on earth. For a sense of wonder, be sure to visit the earth zone.
In my screenplay, The Fall of Atlantis, the Goddess of the Earth says to a woman, “Create a religion without priests, temples, or rituals in which wisdom, power, love, and justice are equally honored and pursued.” Being here in akasha is such a religion.
See also my essay, The Earthzone as a Spiritual University and articles on earth zone spirits such as Melamo. Also the short essay, Visiting the Earthzone. Most of my essays are listed under What’s New if no where else.
There is a wonderful sense of the poetic here: you learn to appreciate every moment of time as something unique and special; and you see each moment as part of the fabric of everything else that has occurred on earth.
From the Cosmic Letter J: (includes descriptions of the four elemental ecstasies)
My only religion is kindness.
. . . the Great Journey does not lead far away,
but instead leads closer in:
to the center which unites us all.
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 of 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 universe is on the verge of exploding because of the joy it contains.
The Sylph Cargoste
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
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.
On the akashic plane, the four elements are seen as four divine qualities—all-love, all power, all wisdom, and all enduring purposes. The four are united in order to fulfill a divine purpose. To practice the J on the akashic plane is to embody these four divine qualities and to offer them freely without ceasing to the entire world.
On the mental plane, the four elements are the ecstasies of will, intellect, love, and consciousness. They do not encompass everything. But they definitely add great light to life. These four ecstasies on the mental plane represent a vast expansion of what you can actually anticipate and experience in life. They are spiritual resources we can draw upon in the here and now to enrich and guide our lives. It is astonishing how much Western man does not know about these resources. The voice of these ecstasies:
Here are the great treasures of life; take hold of them and be transformed—use them freely to fulfill whatever purposes you seek to accomplish.
By contrast, on the astral plane, the four elements become four fundamental attractions. As attracting powers, their expression is more personal, graphic, and concrete. These attractions strengthen our connections to others and, in so doing, heighten our creativity.
In brief, the astral is where the four fundamental qualities of Divine Providence are made real within the realm of our personal emotions. You could say that the reason for practicing the letter J on the astral plane—its job--is to create situations and connections to others that enable us to experience the ecstasies on the mental plane. In doing so, we get to know these great treasures of life better and learn how to apply them.
As you might expect, Bardon packs a whole lot into the letter J on the astral plane. He says the J astral is analogous to all laws of sympathy and attractive power. You learn to increase or diminish these powers.
And further the letter J encompasses all mysteries of love magic not only with human beings. It involves our connections to animals as well as spirits including God. In other words, the four powers of attraction are not just about romance, family, and friendship. They shape how we relate to religion, to our purposes in life, and to our ideals.
The Four Attractions
These four attractions are meant to encompass every kind of emotional attraction or enthrallment and every aspect of desiring to connect to another. Behind these four attractions involving other people lie the vast range of feeling belonging to the elemental beings—sylphs, undines, gnomes, and salamanders. Since the elementals are composed from one element only, the strongest among these nature spirits embody the extreme of what human beings are capable of experiencing within that one element.
For most people, the astral plane is like a dark, empty, and silent room—it is a very scary place. To enter the astral plane when they sleep and dream is like walking alone through a graveyard on a dark night or through a wilderness without signs or landmarks. For this reason, most people accept the limitations of life under which they live. They make due without having their needs fulfilled.
They do not cultivate a dream within themselves that can change them and the world in which they live. Having never read about the ecstasies of the four elements on the mental plane either in Western literature or from their religions, most individuals’ primary focus is to conserve what they have and work with what they know. And so you rarely see shining in another person’s eyes a living vision of what they intend to bring into being.
Nonetheless, the four astral attractions are all around us. We run into them all the time but they are not always positive and very rarely are they supported by the mental plane ecstasies. Relationships are full of these attractions.
Fire is passion, intensity of desire, and wanting. It is mesmerizing. When positive, it is energizing, vitalizing, and engaging. Bit it can be dangerous and violent. It is living on the edge—you put everything you have into it.
We know the songs that express the astral: “I want you so bad…. Its driving me mad” or “What a wicked thing you do to make me dream of you.”
The problem with passion is that like fire it flairs up and it then burns out.
Air is sweet, playful, delightful, and being light hearted. It enables to people to attune to each other. It is innocent. It establishes rapport so that a relationship is almost musical, full of songs. Again, the songs: “Loving her was easier than anything I will ever do again.” “The dizzy, dancing way you feel when every fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at love that way.”
The problem with air is that its delight is capricious and fleeting. It is here giving one hundred per cent of its attention and then it drifts off.
Water is empathy. You feel an inner connection as if you are in and a part of each other. The other’s life is within and flowing through you. This is not a metaphor. If there is anything to learn from undines, it is that literally the other’s astral life can be inside you vitalizing and animating you.
The songs, “Oh love is gentle and love is kind. The sweetest thing when first its new;” “I'll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life;” “You have led me to the sun.”
The problem with water is that it flows. It flows into you and then it gives up, it evaporates, freezes, or flows elsewhere. Water’s bliss is not equal to responsibility. To be touched by its empathy does not mean you have an enduring relationship.
Earth is to revolve around each other like a planet and a moon or two stars. It is being fully connected. There is a deep, on-going support. In Bridges of Madison County, the woman says, “In four days, he gave me a lifetime, a universe, and made the separate parts of me into a whole.” Or the song, “Everything I do, I do it for you.”
Earth unites the other three into something that should endure and involve high quality. Earth is responsibility. But if new seeds are not planted in the right season, then responsibility may be here but the other three attractions disappear.
If you have been around for a while, you have probably seen there four passions at work—you have seen the emotional equivalent of lightning striking, individuals living within a dream, delirious in love, crazy with desire, blinded, haunted, possessed, torn in two, dead and then reborn (or only half alive or worse--a lost soul), reshaped, and transformed.
You may have experienced these things, survived them, and hopefully are wiser for it. Or, to quote Bram Stoker, “The one who has found true love is the luckiest person on earth.” That is to say, among other things, in true love the four astral attractions are alive and well within you without diminishing. This is no small accomplishment.
Bardon mentions the mental and astral matrix. The mental body is joined to the astral body through the mental matrix. The astral body is joined to the physical body through the astral matrix. The connections between mind and soul and soul and body are accomplished through what Bardon calls the four pole magnet.
In other words, the four elements generate an electric and magnetic fluid. These fluids have both active and passive qualities. So in effect the electric and magnetic in both active and passive qualities tie the bodies together. It is through the attraction of the four elements that these different parts, our mental, astral, and physical bodies, are joined.
A relationship, by connecting us to another person’s energies, can dramatically strengthen or weaken these connections between body, soul, and mind. An individual can say, “I was never fully alive until I met you.” And it may be that the relationship has increased the astral physical connection so that indeed the person now feels alive. He or she belongs and has a reason for living that was not there before. The world feels different because your consciousness is now more a part of it.
In summary, through a connection to anther person, a group, an institution, or an ideal or spiritual being our astral life can be enriched. Being connected is healthy.
The external source can provide--
Fire--strength, resolution, and courage. It can vitalize and energize.
Air--It can provide clarity, understanding, and insight. We can gain freedom from worry and anxiety. We are more relaxed, balanced, and at ease.
Water--It can offer happiness, love, affection, contentment, and emotional support. You feel good inside yourself, cleansed and purified.
Earth--And it can help us to feel calm, patient, solid, grounded, with a feeling of being home and belonging. Our life feels more valuable, worthwhile, and important.
Western Art, Literature, and Philosophy
As I mention elsewhere, Shakespeare has been credited with laying the foundation for the modern personality—“Forget religion. Forget theology, tradition, and philosophy. Let’s just look at how people make decisions under difficult circumstances.” This seems to be what Shakespeare is saying.
And what is great about Shakespeare is that he sticks to what he knows. He knows a very great deal about human passions on the astral plane. He is not like Goethe or Dante. He is not chasing after divinity or pursuing a journey that takes him between heaven and hell. For Shakespeare, you create who you are through the choices you make. And those choices take place amid strong and weak passions both positive and negative.
But Shakespeare did not know about the mental plane ecstasies. Listen to him as he strives to describe the ecstasies of the mental plane:
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!
That is Shakespeare sneaking into his dialogues an attempt at presenting our potential as human beings on the mental plane. It is great poetry but it does not give us much to chew on. What is the power of the mind? What is the depth of the human capacity to love? What is the power limit of human will? What purposes are we capable of pursuing?
You will not find the answers to these questions in Shakespeare. He can not find the way to enter and explore the mental plane. But if you want studies of human passions, of love, of desire, of justice, of how people make decisions in both positive and negative polarities directly within the human personality—then this is your man.
It is this failure of Western literature, philosophy, and religion to explore mental plane ecstasies that leads us to modern existentialism. Three hundred years after Shakespeare along come modern thinkers. They finally get around to noticing that the mental plane ecstasies are not well known.
Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, Jaspers, Heidegger—they are complaining about the failure of religion and philosophy to lead anywhere. There is no spiritual, that is, akashic awareness that they can lay hold of. Religion speaks of it, literature strives for it, but you can not get to the spiritual plane without passing through the mental plane. That is, if you want to speak with any clarity and conviction.
But the existentialists are brain dead when it comes to the mental plane ecstasies. They never tasted them. So they conclude we are spiritual bankrupt. Shakespeare would never ever have drawn that conclusion.
Because we do not know something well we can not presume that it is not there. You want it? Then go look for it. Do not for a moment assume that because Christianity does not know about the four ecstasies on the mental plane that you are excused from searching. But that is what Nietzsche did and these other existential clowns—they did not look very hard for the great resources of life that are available to us.
If you have ever met an undine, you can’t write crap like Sartre about human emotions. If you ever met a sylph, you can not worry like Kierkegaard about theologians who forge doctrines like blacksmiths banging away with a hammer on a piece hot metal. You have tasted how the mind itself is free, full of luminous light that shines clear like the sky.
If you ever met a gnome, you can’t ponder like Heidegger on how the early Greeks lost our connection to being. Consciousness is both time and timeless in the same moment.
If you have ever met a salamander, the ennui of Camus is not possible for you. You feel directly within your astral body the force and power of the universe unfolding through you. There is no alienation. Hidden within the human will is the ability to create anything.
Camus’ Zeus may sentence someone to endless repetition. But we are way beyond Greek gods and philosophy. The cosmic language deals with the ability to create something from out of nothing. Greek culture could not understand this. By contrast, the prophets of Israel did understand the nature of divine power—that we are all connected to it.
It is easy enough to describe the four attractions within the context of romantic love. I have already done this. And for more you need only turn on the radio to hear songs about astral emotions.
Religious music has a different problem. It attempts to move between astral emotions—what we feel going on in our lives right now—through the mental plane—where we find resources for living better lives--to the akashic plane where the divine dwells. This is never easy for religion because the four mental plane ecstasies are nearly unknown. Consider the song Amazing Grace:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!
Okay. We have the astral plane about personal feelings—we all know what it is to feel lost and then to feel like we belong. Grace, on the other hand, belongs to the mental plane. This is good. Grace is clearly named as a means for taking us to God or the akashic plane.
What does grace do? How is it a resource that enriches our lives and provides light to our paths? Here in the song it teaches us both what to fear and what not to fear. And it comes through belief.
What else? The song goes on to say it uses God’s promises as a source of hope. That is talking about faith. This is the Apostle Paul’s entire message—God’s promises to Israel are extended to the gentiles through faith and not works or the rules of religious observance.
Do we know anything more about this grace? How about how it creates harmony? How about how it has the power to bless, to enrich life in every aspect? Nope, sorry, this is not within Christianity. With all due respect, you get a salvation experience and a coupon. The coupon is redeemable upon death or maybe when you reach heaven. It is not clear which is intended in the small print.
The song, in a modern version, goes on: “When we have been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun….” That is great poetry but it is poetry written on a coupon to be cashed in later.
The peace that flows like a river from the dawn of time to the ends of eternity, the universe being on fire with wonder, beauty, and ecstasy—that kind of experience with grace—which comes from combing the mental and astral planes--you do not find in Christian music. They do not taste ecstasy. It really, really should be there in their music, art, and rituals but it is not. Amazing Grace is a really strong religious song but it does not quite work for me for the above reasons.
A song like How Great Thou Art does get into naming “awesome wonder” and “through the woods and forest glades I wander” … “look down from lofty mountain grandeur” “hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze”—Okay. Here we have astral experiences with nature—wonder, awe, greatness, the vastness of the universe. These are named.
Then the song talks about Christ dying to take away our sins. You can put these together quite easily within a pagan context—there is a sacrifice made in winter that renews nature in the return of spring. Darkness to light, death to new life. “Except a seed fall to the ground and die it can not bring forth new life.” Gee, Christ understood this perfectly! In pagan rituals, blood is the key because its vitality can easily contain and unite both human and divine energies.
The Catholics try to steal the pagan rites in their Mass and the Protestants almost want nothing to do with it. A Baptist church holds a Lord’s Supper briefly once a month--they are that scared of the power of symbol and ritual.
But in ancient Rome, they did the ritual far better with greater power and meaning—you cut yourself and place some of your blood on an altar. The god’s energy passes into your blood. And then the priest or you yourself finger paint the blood back on your head or face. You have been anointed with the life force of your chosen deity. The vitality in your blood and your emotional force intermingle and the divine finds a way to enter into those two combined.
We do not do animal or blood sacrifices anymore but the symbolism is perfectly clear. Its relevance is for the here and now. No coupon is necessary and the priest does not get the credit for pulling off the transformation. The priest just facilitates the transference. His presence is not a necessity.
In other words, the connection between nature’s beauty and salvation does not work in the song How Great Thou Art. There is no mental plane ecstasy that is intended to be celebrated and deepened through a personal exploration of nature within Christianity. And so one of Billy Graham’s counselors at one of his crusades was so struck by the beauty of nature as she rode her bicycle to the stadium that she quit Christianity and became a druid. Druidism makes a great effort to celebrate and explore the ecstasies of nature that all around us lie.
The first time I ever saw your face I thought the sun rose in your eyes and the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave to the dark and the empty skies my love. ….And the first time ever I lay with you I felt your heart so close to mine I knew our love would fill the earth and last until the end of time, my love.
Why can’t religious people write like that? The personal astral experience becomes religious rapture!
There is movement here. The astral/personal is present—the first time we did such and such. But it expands to the mental plane—our love will the fill the earth. You know, that is precisely what love is supposed to do. And then it touches divinity—and last until the end of time. Okay, that could be just good come on but it is also how people sometimes feel in the moment which seems to go on forever. the first time ever I lay with you
Another song, What Child is This?
What child is this who lays to rest
on Mary’s lap is sleeping,
whom angels greet with anthems sweet
while shepherd’s watch are keeping?
Why lies He in such mean estate
where ox and lamb are feeding?
This song works for me. The image of a child on its mother’s lap—maternal love on the physical plane. Whom angels greet with anthems sweet—well, I know this reference. Here is the quote:
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I not only know this reference. I have seen the entire sky filled with choirs of heavenly angels and I have heard them singing when I evoked the archangel Gabriel with another person. Even the beauty of an undine like Istiphul is no match for that.
Some Christians live on fear. It is an addiction for them. Religion does not exist for them without lots and lots of fear stirred in. It is what keeps them awake during the Sunday service. Well for sure, there is lots to be afraid of in life if you are timid, unsure of yourself, and given to worry.
But the anthem we are referred to here is not for people who enjoy being timid and fearful. It is the opposite. It says, “Fear not.” “On earth peace, good will toward men.” Angels are singing that. And I would join in with them.
Peace on earth is mental plane stuff. It is something you can talk about and plan. You do not say to a crowd on a hillside in a nation occurred by the Romans, “Blessed are the peacemakers ….” Unless you intend human beings to actually think about, plan, and engage in the act of peacemaking.
The song, “Why lies He in such mean estate where ox and lamb are feeding?” It has something to do with humility. To be great is to serve. This song celebrates that. To have all power is to serve without needing to have others bow down to you. The song presents that as basic truth.
And there are questions, What child is this? Why lies he in such mean estate? Questions belong to the mental plane. They are an invitation to do your own thinking, to search for and to find answers.
This song is almost beyond Christian or a truth Christianity has not yet grasped. It is about the birth of new light on earth, about being so empty that you can be filled with the highest light which you freely offer “to all people.”
Do Christians have any idea whatsoever about the kind of light you need in yourself to bring about peace between the nations? I ask this because I have spent twenty eight years seeking to embody that light within myself. It is not easy but it is certainly not impossible.
I should point out that for me the astral body of the performing artist has a lot to do with how the song speaks to me. After listening just now to fifteen renditions of What Child is This? I must say none of these versions work for me. None of the singers are open to the astral plane as they sing.
It was when I heard Melinda Carol sing this song that I was connected through it to the astral and the mental plane ecstasies behind it. I wrote a poem, A Celtic Prayer, when I heard it the first time and sent it to Melinda Carol who wrote back. The song tells me to get active on the mental plane and seize the power I need to accomplish my purposes. Not very Christian but very right.
I have the same problem with Scarborough Fair from the original poem, Elfin Knight. It is a very strong astral song sung by a fairy but you have to be open to the astral plane when you sing it to really make it work. No one who sings this song that I have heard has any connection at all to the astral. They are great artists, nice singing, but no astral awareness. It is like Tom Bombadil in Tolkein who, if I recall, sings into being his lover through the magic power of a song. She is described as
That is the way Scarborough Fair is meant to be sung—it is not a lament. It is calling something into being. Singing the song is meant to be a magical action.
Another song going back six hundred years, from Loreena McKennitt with the words from St. John of the Cross.
See below for songs live by McKennitt along with Youtube.com:
The Dark Night of the Soul
Oh night thou was my guide.
Oh night more loving than the rising sun.
Oh night that joined the lover to the beloved one
Transforming each of them into the other.
I lost myself to him
And laid my face upon my lover’s breast
And care and grief grew dim
As in the morning mist became the light
I am impressed by this song. It works for me. Here is a man really in touch with the feminine on the mental plane—he really knows how to let go. Reading myself into the poem, the darkness is being totally receptive as in being completely empty, open, and silent. It was this open emptiness, the night that guided him.
Here we have specifics about mental plane ecstasies and how to do it. There is a resource here and it involves, like I mentioned, a total willingness to let go and be empty. Care and grief are like the morning mist, like astral emotions, that turn into light.
I like it. This man is describing astonishing rapture in his involvement with God. At great cost to himself, he moves between the astral, mental, and spiritual planes. And yet, as others point out it, it reads just as easily as a love poem written about another.
And finally a song sung by Diana Elaina quoting William Blake:
Hear the voice of the Bard,
Who present, past, and future, sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walk'd among the ancient trees;
Calling the lapsed soul,
And weeping in the evening dew;
That might control
The starry pole,
And fallen, fallen light renew!
William Blake was a druid chief in the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. The song makes great effort to move between the astral, mental, and akashic planes. Blake is weak on the astral. He is not always easy to understand. And he is given to visions involving the mental and akashic planes.
The bard of which he speaks has mental plane magic. He sees through past, present, and future. He hears the Holy Word kind of like the cosmic language in which sounds are magic.
On the astral, trees are alive. You can sense the soul within them. And “that might control the starry pole,”--that is divine level stuff. “And fallen, fallen light renew! This is astral.
When Philip Carr-Gomm, a druid chief in the same order, played this song for a seminar back in the early nineties, I had never heard anything like it. It was put to music and sung by Diana Elaina who was kind enough to write me a personal note when I ordered her album. But at the time a girl in the seminar and I snuck into the conference room at night to make a clandestine copy of Philip’s recording.
Without getting into the specifics, the song almost takes you into an ancient grove of wise men on the astral plane who celebrate the union of heaven and earth. For Ansel Adams, nature has a beauty he would capture in his photography. For William Blake, nature is a gate leading to the astral plane. Its energies and its images are divine poetry.
One last song. Take Silent Night, Holy Night. You can hear Jewel or Sinead sing it or Enya in Irish on Youtube.com. Here are the lyrics from a modern translation of the German.
Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
The ten or so renditions I just listened to on youtube.com do not work for me. What is great about art and the astral plane is that you get to put your personality into it. What you express comes through who you are.
This song requires an internal expression. Look at the images. The writer, Father Josef Mohr, is looking out at the snow at night during winter. It is a silent night, a Holy night. Because in this light of night and white snow shining somehow amid the darkness, he takes us back to a virgin Mother and her Child, tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace. The silence of the night, the white snow, the isolation and quiet of winter, allude to a heavenly peace—something still. It is not just the snow and winter. Almost certainly there is the clarity and vastness of the stars in the night sky.
Glories stream from heaven afar. Yes, perhaps in the starlight or in the silence. Something has to be very still and open and silent for this light to appear.
A savior is born. Hosts sing hallelujah. But the writer goes on. Son of God love’s pure light. He, the child, the son of God, is open and silent and still like this night.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace: Here is the tough part. Where or when do you ever get radiant beams of light? He answers: from Thy holy face. These are emanations from God. And they come like the light of dawn, or the newness of spring in and through redeeming grace.
This priest writes like a druid or a druid writing Christian music. Nature has qualities within it that serve to reflect the divine. Not only do they reflect the divine. If you become like nature in your self, if you become silent, open, still, utterly receptive, then you can sense what the writer senses.
All the same, are we just imagining radiant beams of light, perhaps as wishful thinking, or perhaps we are to accept it as a coupon to be redeemed later when we see face to face? Or is this light available in the here and now to guide our lives?
The song has great connections between night, winter, snow, silence, dawn, and divine light. And a child is born who is to redeem us the way dawn redeems the night. This child is held by a virgin, by the feminine, the way the mother earth gives birth to any world teacher by uniting with the light of the sun or spirit. I take liberties.
If you really want to sing and perform this song you have to do what the writer did when he wrote it—Josef Mohr. You have to do the “be still and know that I am God.” And then when you look at the snow during the stillness of night you realize that all the world is holy. At that moment if you can not see you can nonetheless clearly feel radiant beams of light.
This is because your physical body, your physical situation, your emotions, your mind—they have all become silent, still, and receptive to akasha, to the spiritual world. The light of spirit is then free to pass through you.
When I listened to ten renditions of this song no one got it. They are nice artists. They sing nicely. But what I want is to be able to pass into and through the soul of the artist who sings so that I experience what the artist is experiencing as she sings. If there is no inner silence and no receptivity, no openness to nature, then nothing is communicated. It is just entertainment.
But this is a magical song. For Josef, it has a stillness so vast that you feel a compassion for the whole world arising from it. If you want real redeeming grace?—experience that.
Enya comes closest on youtube.com as she sings this song in Irish. You can feel it as she sings. She can empty herself and she loves nature. She has a passion for being feminine—utterly receptive and giving. But when I try to move through her soul as the song requires me to do if I am to experience the power in her voice, I am stopped dead in my tracks. She has so much pain in her heart. She has not felt love in every cell of her being. She has not united the masculine and feminine in herself in a way that would lead to healing. She is still in the night. Forget the Christian God. She does not even know the dawning of healing light in the druid oak tree and sun. I love Enya but I am asking too much from someone who is not initiated into the mysteries.
Enough of my comments on religious music and those who perform it. The best image I know of the astral plane letter J is a scene at the end of the movie Jacob’s Ladder. After dreaming he would survive, a man on an operating table finally comes to accept that he is going to die. In his dream, he meets his young son who had previously died.
The son is standing on a stairway leading into the light. And the son, as he offers his hand, says “Its Ok.” The meaning is, “It is Ok that I died. It was not your fault. It is Ok that you are dying now. It is time to let go of the pain you have been holding onto and leave your life behind. Come with me and enter the light.”
The voice of J astral says, “Take my hand. Whatever you have been denied by life and what you were not able to find in yourself or through contact with other people—its Okay—I am giving to you now what you need to feel whole and complete.”
In ritual magic, the magician will often open the gates to the four quarters or greet the four elements or four elemental lords and so forth. There is a magic circle, wand, etc.
The J astral is not like that. But then again we are not doing ritual here. The letter J is the highest love on the akashic plane moving through the highest ecstasies on the mental plane. As it enters the astral, it expresses the emotional force of the elemental beings.
I do not recall anything like this experience described anywhere in literature or magic. Like I say, there is no magic circle here. It is as if in the shimmering opal light of blue, red, green, and violet the heads of each of the four elements freely appear before and within you spontaneously. In and through you the four elements and elemental beings are united.
In this state of astral rapture, you and the universe are at ease and one with each other—just as when two people make love they are in and a part of each other. Your energies exchange, blend, and unite.
You may have noticed I took a break from the letter J to work through the letter A again. The letter A deals with clarity of mind among other things. I did that in order to better prepare myself for experiencing this letter J astral ecstasy.
At first, it seems like the J astral breaks all the rules of magic to be so open and to engage such opposites. But now it feels right—we are meant to be radiant with light and overflowing with life. In fact, it is necessary for fulfilling many purposes. Human beings are a unification of opposites.
I have already spent some time describing the four elemental beings in talking about the mental plane. To recap this experience involving the four elementals, the letter J astral can produce an experience in which all four beings are present at once flowing in and through you. And yet this experience is maintained in a state of complete harmony and balance.
There is fiery energy, power expanding, dynamic and commanding. It is intense and ready to explode with exhilaration.
There is love as sweet and intimate as anything you can imagine. You feel the soul of another within you with its entire being focused on being one with you.
You feel free, as free as in any dream you can imagine. You are unfettered and unhindered. You are at ease and every feeling you feel is expressed with harmony.
And you feel silent and solid. You are exactly where you want to be and doing what you want to do. What you feel now in this moment and what you may be about in a thousand years from now—it is all contained within you. Nothing disturbs you. Your peace goes that deep.
These are the four elemental beings appearing freely in and around you. This is astral equilibrium or what it is meant to be. It is the light of Divine Providence uniting the four elements on the astral plane so that its purposes may be expressed through your personality.