The Marriage of Mind and Soul - 3
We have seen that the principle of individual selfhood, the "I", is the center of the mandala of personality — the birth-chart. As this center looks up to the sky, it should be able to discover the galactic star it potentially is. The star is therefore symbolically the one exactly at the zenith. The transpersonal way is the pathway that leads from the center of the chart to this star at the zenith. On this pathway, the divine power and light of this "star" come down to meet the individual as the individual ascends toward it. A two-way, broadly symmetrical process is at work. In religious terms, God comes toward Man as human beings who have become conscious individuals aspire and reach toward God, in ardent prayer and all-consuming love.
Seen from a purely psychological point of view, this process takes the form of a coming together and interpenetration of soul and mind. The mind dominates the entire field of consciousness whose center is the individualized self, "I". Thus, as I have already stated, to this conscious I-center the soul at first inevitably appears to be outside of the field of consciousness. Whether this soul is said to be "in the depth" of the psyche or the highest part of it, it is still outside of the field whose contents can be referred to the I-center in conscious and more or less rationally formulatable terms — or if not entirely outside, then in an area that joins the field of consciousness to the unconscious.
What Carl Jung called the anima is defined as a function of mediation between the conscious and the unconscious — an intermediary, a link. In a limited sense, it corresponds to what I have called the soul here; but where Jung and I radically differ is in our conception of what operates through the soul — what is beyond it. He speaks of the Collective Unconscious and the realm of Archetypes; Goethe before him mentioned in a somewhat similar sense the realm of "the Mothers". On the other hand, according to the cosmic concept of "holarchy" I present, what is beyond the soul and uses it to serve as a base of operation at the level of individualized human personalities, is Humanity as a spiritual Being encompassing all individuals — a Pleroma of consciousness and activity existing at a transindividual level. All individualized persons can reach this level, but only if their minds not only become aware of the reality of the soul, but accept to include this reality in the field of consciousness and persuade the I-center to open itself and welcome the unfamiliar and often disturbing experiences resulting from the admission of the soul into the field of consciousness. When this occurs, a psychologically transforming process which Jung calls "the assimilation of the contents of the Unconscious" and "the process of individuation" begins to operate.
It may operate relatively smoothly, but most of the time it requires a series of crises. In some instances, the mind may open itself readily to let the newcomer enter the field of consciousness, but feeling the resistance of the individual center to the implications of the soul's messages, the mind often subtly intellectualizes or personalizes the transcendent soul-revelations of a higher, "divine" state of existence so as to make them acceptable to the "I". The I-center might be willing to reverently bow before a higher, more powerful kind of individual person, but only if by doing so it still remains "I", king in its own realm. A king may bow to a still greater emperor, if his station as a king remains officially recognized. Likewise, a human being may devote himself or herself to a great guru, provided he or she is not asked irrevocably to give up his or her essential status as an individual, especially in relation to the other chelas of the guru.
When the mind and the soul fully interpenetrate, the light and power of the greater whole, the pleroma of Humanity, can fully illumine the field of consciousness. The I-center accepts to surrender its central station - its "throne". However beautiful and fulfilled the individual self was, it remained a solid and substantial reality with a physical base, the body. The mandala of personality with an enthroned "I" as its center is a closed-center mandala. It becomes an open-center mandala when the throne of the "I" dissolves, as it were, under the Neptunian light of the spiritual Pleroma of Man. Through that central void, the light of the "star" — which our consciousness interprets as our transindividual self — can be seen. Its rays transfigure the mind now united with the soul, and the power of the vast galactic communion of stars reaches down into the biological roots of the human being to gradually trans-substantiate the matter of the cells that life had bound and the mind had often perverted or filled with toxins produced by social ambition or individual vices.
When this process of trans-substantiation is completed, or at least nears completion, a transindividual being emerges from the metamorphosis. Such a being operates at a "transphysical" level. Biological forces no longer operate, or at least not in the way we today think of and observe their operations. The type of "matter" our senses perceive and our intellect categorizes as "physical" is transmuted into a subtler kind, to which the imprecise name "etheric" has often been given. This subtler matter may also refer to what the traditions of India called akasha — a word which has recently become popularized in our Western world, but which seems to be used improperly in many instances.
The existence of transindividual beings can be experienced once an unrestricted openness of the I-consciousness has been achieved, and the karma of the physical and emotional-mental personality makes such an experience possible and safe. It would be neither safe nor possible in a concrete manner if the individual had not first passed through a process of biological and "magnetic" purification, and if the mind were not fully open to and welcoming the experience without fear. There are, however, various levels of realization — various kinds of experiences that provide an increasingly solid and indisputable foundation for what, at the level of a strictly individual and I centered consciousness, is at first only an "intuition".
When I refer to a transpersonal individual, I am not speaking of a transindividual being, but only of an individual person who has definitely taken steps on the path of radical and total transformation. The transpersonal way refers to this path which symbolizes a long and arduous process that can take a great variety of forms, yet which has a definite, nearly universal structure — just as the embryonic development of a future human being, within the mother's womb, takes place according to a series of clearly marked phases. This process of rebirth is difficult and often requires intense phases of catharsis because of the inertia of the biological past and the sociocultural and individual karma that must be overcome.
All individuals whose minds have opened themselves to the messages or visions that the soul reveals in symbolic forms, and who have accepted the challenge of total transformation, have to undergo such a process of rebirth. In the life of any truly individualized person, a moment always comes when the implications of a basic choice are more or less clearly presented to the I-center. The "I" has to choose between self-fulfillment as an end in itself, or open-ended transformation. The choice is between straining after greater perfection of form through which the self would be glorified and perhaps immortalized among men, and entering an unfamiliar "mountainous" path whose end seems always to recede beyond the horizon, and whose challenges are so complex or elusive that the mind is never able precisely to formulate them and deal directly with the problems they pose.
On that path of radical transformation, faith is needed — a faith requiring humility, as well as the courage which can only be born of an inner realization of the irrevocable character of a decision whose source is more than merely mental, because it is in fact the progeny of the psychic "marriage" of the soul and the mind. The union of mind and soul is a marriage in the true and spiritual sense of a union consecrated by God, for it occurs in the presence, intuitively felt if not clearly perceived, of the star, symbol of the divine state that is latent in every human being. Yet the I-centered consciousness may still be so reluctant to give up its prerogatives that it may refuse to accept the new life-situation for what it is. It is therefore the mind's task to interpret this situation in such a way that the I-consciousness, seeing itself but a phase of a vast cosmic process, will serenely accept being absorbed, yet not dissolved, into a consciousness that encompasses the entire process and all its temporary phases and achievements — biological, cultural, and individual — yet does not repudiate or negate any of them.
This new task of the mind in union with the soul can be performed in several ways. I think of a transpersonal astrology simply as a significant way for modern individuals to gain a more objective, non-glamorous, and non-devotional understanding of the process of total transformation. In this kind of astrology, every astrological factor has to be referred, not to the individual "I" enthroned at the closed center of the mandala of personality, but to the process of transformation. Transpersonal astrology is therefore an essentially dynamic kind of astrology.
The birth-chart still remains a fundamental factor for it reveals what the process of transformation starts from and what conditions this process — thus the individual's karma and innate capacities. It also suggests by implication the order in which basic changes and crises are likely to occur and how they are interrelated. However, in terms of the relationship of the astrologer and the client, a greater importance is usually given to "progressions" and "transits", that is, to the process of change itself. The purpose of astrological interpretation at the transpersonal level is not to give precise information concerning events in themselves, or to solve problems of interpersonal relationships in themselves, but to reveal how everything in daily living can be consciously and understandingly used as a step forward in the, transpersonal process.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1980; by Dane Rudhyar
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