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Eleventh Mansion - TO TRANSFIGURE

After the individual has established his participation in the activities of the greater whole — be it his village-community, his nation or total humanity — after he has become able to perform a socially significant work, he can expect to receive a reward for such a participation and such a work. Likewise, the cell of the leg muscle which participated in the work of carrying the whole body from one place to another will receive from the whole body a reward — in the substance of a new blood supply. This new blood supply means both new building materials to repair the wear and tear of cell activity, and a new charge of the mysterious energy which the Hindu philosopher calls prana and to which the modern scientist vaguely refers as electro-magnetism, vital force, biochemical action, and the like.

In astrological symbolism this energy, which flows from the heart of the whole to those parts who have fulfilled their organic destiny (karma), is represented by the mysterious "Waters" which pour from the urn of the Water-bearer, symbolizing the zodiacal sign Aquarius. The urn may in a sense stand for the left ventricle of the physical heart and the great artery, the aorta, through which the red blood flows into the body. In a more occult sense, it stands for certain cavities or sinuses in the head from which drops the mysterious "nectar of the gods" — the Hindu Amrita, the Greek Ambrosia — which revivifies the psycho-physiological organism of the man who has surrendered the flower of his individual fulfillment, in a total and spiritual sense, to, and for the benefit of the "greater Whole".

This fluid or "liquor vitae", more mysterious still than the mysterious blood, is truly the polar opposite of this blood — just as Aquarius is the polar opposite of Leo in astrological symbolism. And while blood is the result of physiological integration, which it in turn sustains and makes permanent throughout the span of life of the organism, so the Aquarian "Waters" are the products of psychic and mental integration, and in turn sustain the life of the immortal or "Christ" body mentioned in Christian as well as in Oriental esoteric philosophy.

In and through blood the body as an organic whole exerts its creative activity upon its many cells and organs. At the beat of the heart, man as a concrete personality goes forth as lover, creator and conqueror through the gates of the fifth mansion. This takes place in the hemicycle of purely individual expression. But after man has been initiated into the mysteries of love and of sacrifice and, on the foundation of the understanding thus gained, has established himself as a socially potent and significant citizen — then, as he goes forth through the portals of the eleventh mansion, it is no longer in the capacity of lover, creator and conqueror. He has now assumed a different — yet complementary — role. He is friend, civilizer, reformer.

The tenth mansion is that of "achievement"; but in the eleventh, man is confronted with a new mode of activity, which may be best expressed by the word "transfiguration" — or perhaps as well, "metamorphosis". What this signifies must be clear to one who realizes that in the tenth mansion the individual reaches fulfillment; this, because his individual selfhood is now solidly established, not apart from the whole, but as a part of the whole. There is thus nothing more for him to do as an individual. But there is much indeed to do as a part of the greater whole to which he now rightfully belongs and in which he functions as a vital cell.

What is to be done is no longer to be done as a separate individual, but as a responsible citizen of a community. He must, first of all, prove himself a good citizen, a good neighbor, a good friend. And this is self-transfiguration — which means that he must "figure out" things differently, from a communalistic, and no longer from an individualistic basis; also that he must "cut a figure" full of social implications and guided by a social or group purpose. This indeed is nothing short of a metamorphosis. Out of the chrysalis the butterfly now emerges. And the butterfly feeds upon the nectar of flowers, the ambrosia of the gods — of those who live fully in terms of the cosmic or planetary whole.

The erstwhile individual personality is now seen in a new role. He is the "friend of man" — the friend of all creatures, the compassionate One who encompasses in his love all his companions; that is, all those who "eat of the same bread" (etymologically speaking), the bread of participation in the greater whole which is, cosmically, the Body of the cosmic Christ in whom "we live and move and have our being". A friend of man; a companion in the midst of all companions who form the sacred apostolic brotherhood. Indeed — but also at the more ordinary level a clubman or clubwoman active in cultural and social affairs, keeping and improving the standards of class and culture, helping to reform old conditions and abuses; a crusader for the right, a man or woman of ideals who attempts to mould his or her group — small or large — into the likeness of his or her vision. In the real sense of the word: a civilizer.

Civilization, rightly understood in its positive aspect, and not as perceived by a Spengler and by many contemporary thinkers seduced by his facile ideas, is world-metamorphosis in terms of the recognition of the reality of a planetary whole. Culture proper is always bound to racial and geographical differentiations, to particular customs, particular environments, and particular ancestral characters. Culture is born of earth and blood — and thus belongs to the realm of the fifth mansion. It differentiates and individualizes human collectivities. It creates or develops national languages, traditions, and religions, which lead to misunderstanding and enmity between races. Culture creates compartments and relatively narrow forms. At its apex, in the so-called classical periods, it is only understandable by those born within a particular cultural unit. It creates solid barriers, which only world-communications and world-wide travels can slowly thin out and eradicate.

It is true that for the single personality, man or woman, the culture of his or her nation constitutes at first the greater whole within which he or she has to function as a responsible citizen and as a trustee of cultural traditions. And the boundaries of this cultural whole are indeed as far removed from his narrow selfhood as he can possibly see or experience vitally. But beyond the cultural and national whole there is a still greater whole, planetary in scope. This greater Whole is the world-brotherhood of Man. It is organic Humanity — what we have named already the Synanthropy. Civilization, in its true sense, is the great effort toward a planetary organization of mankind.

A magnificent effort, and a tragic one; one which, in proportion as it is successful, "transfigures" the face of the globe. Indeed, civilization will eventually lead to the metamorphosis of Mankind. It will reform, change the form of human ideals and human relationships. It will make of all men friends and companions — this, through the glorious portals of the eleventh mansion; for all will then participate in the great planetary Whole which will be the culmination of this physical earth. A great, a distant ideal.

But such is the reality of the eleventh mansion: that men therein make ideals, see great visions, become aflame with the noble determination to transfigure themselves and their world. And the power that compels them to do so is the electric Aquarian "Water" which is the gift of the whole to those of its parts who have well achieved; who have received the mantle of power from the collectivity of their great ancestors. It is that collectivity of the liberated thinkers and doers of the past which inspires the man of the present to work toward the future. Some call such a collectivity the "Council of the Great Ancestors"; others, the great "White Lodge"; still others, the "Church Triumphant" or the "Assembly of the Saints". Names matter little. What such names veil is the reality of the successful past of planetary Man — the living memory of great moments of civilization, which sands and storms may obliterate in their physical evidence — yet which can never die spiritually.

In every one of us that is born to this earth such a vast planetary pan-human Memory operates — that which the psychologist Jung calls the "collective unconscious". Our own individual thoughts, feelings and endeavors emerge as faint sprouts out of this vast and vital soil of instincts, of collective and unconscious urges, which force us toward goals often mysterious to ourselves. And it may very well be that this vast soil of the "collective unconscious" is not left to operate unguided; that there is also what might be called a "collective conscious", or better a "planetary conscious", a multifarious yet unified Power which guides the cyclic efforts of humanity, in all times and in all climes, toward the great world-civilization which is the end and the purpose of human life on this earth.

This is the reality of the "White Lodge" to which so many thinkers now refer and toward which ever more searching souls are irresistibly and gloriously drawn. And it is this "White Lodge" which must be called the transfiguring agency of mankind. For it bestows upon man illumination; such an illumination as came to the man Jesus on the mount of Transfiguration. Because he had achieved as a flower and as a trustee of humanity, because he had become heavy with the seed of a future era, Jesus became transfigured by the power and the light of Holy Spirit. And this Holy Spirit is the spiritual blood of the greater whole, the divine Ambrosia, the Aquarian Waters that are "light and life" for those who have become Companions — civilizers — in the brotherhood of the great dreamers, the great idealists, the great friends of mankind.

Yet many are those who dream, yet whose dreams are not founded upon the rock of social-cultural achievement. Many are those who make wishes without end, yet who have not captured by inner will the power to fecundate wishes into actualities. And many also are those who merely go on wishing and dreaming traditional and superficial images, merely repeating the worn out patterns used by their parents and grandparents. Because participation in what is to them the greater whole has been merely a matter of routine behavior, they have not been quickened by the living waters of the Great Ancestors, but have merely followed after the patterns, the classical forms and traditions from which this living substance departed long ago.

Also there are those who cling to their individualism and refuse to be renewed by love, sacrifice and understanding. What they achieve, but too often, are those accomplishments which spell out spiritual death. They become the cancerous cells of the body of mankind. They feed on noble dreams which they twist and thwart to satisfy their greed and to maintain at all cost the structure of their glorified egoism. If they have achieved social power, they waste it. If they are great thinkers, their thoughts may poison the human atmosphere and make of civilization a dreary death. They too, as imperialists and ruthless conquistadores, may transfigure the world of man. But the result of the metamorphosis is ugliness, crime, world-misery and war after war.

Alas! that our vaunted Western civilization should have known so many "chiefs" of destruction, so many dreamers of materialistic dreams! Yet even such a kind is playing its part in the great ritual of the world-life of humanity. Humanity at the level of the first birth is too immersed in matter to dream much beyond his material instincts; and the man of the second birth has often too much individual pride willingly to surrender his achievements to the service of the greater whole. Therefore men must learn the sacred and unselfish use of achievements by seeing these achievements caricatured or pushed to their most extreme nefarious consequences.

Thus they learn, by imprinting upon the "collective unconscious", which is the vast Memory of the race, the tragic remembrance of failures and of lost ideals . . . While, serene and secure in the realization of the divine Pattern of Perfection which is the immortal heritage of Man, there are Those who everlastingly dream and fashion ideals after ideals for the generations of men to embody in their sand castles on the beach of time. And their mystic Waters ever flow upon the souls of men who, having won the solar Crown of the tenth mansion, can now go forth into the night and darkness of the ages, bearers of Light, seeds of civilization, exemplars for lesser man.

This edition copyright © 2008 Michael R. Meyer
All Rights Reserved.

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