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Fourth Mansion - TO ESTABLISH

The first three mansions through which the individual proceeds in his long journey toward the goal of fulfillment and personality-integration constitute the first act of the drama of individuation. Within these mansions the "I am" becomes aware of being what he is. To breathe — to own — to know — are the three basic stages of this awareness of self. Everything that occurs is directed toward the building of the realization: "I am". Every value is subjective. Even possessions, while they are objects, are seen merely as means to project or consolidate the sense of self. The world is really a dream dreamt by the eternal dreamer, the "I". It is a dream because everything that appears in it is apprehended as a confirmation of or an obstacle to the sense of being "I". It is a purely subjective world, apparently made for the self and by the self — even when, as a hindrance to self, it serves to test and consolidate the power of the self.

In every human life this is the cycle of early childhood; for the child is absolutely rapt in self, even though his is not yet a formed selfhood. His toys, his parents, his comrades are things with which to prove his own sense of being "I". The child has absolutely no intrinsic morality and no real sense of objective valuation. He acts and reacts only in terms of how much of his self the present moment allows him to become aware of. All his actions and reactions are tentative questions he asks of life: What am I? How much do I own? How can I know what "life" — all that causes me pleasure or pain — will do to me when I act one way or another? How can I get what I want?

Then, around the crucial seventh year, a new phase begins. A new mansion opens its gates. The "I am" has become quite aware of his selfhood, of his powers, of the means to extend them in the neighborhood of the body. He must now go a step further. He must establish himself. The fourth mansion is characterized by the urge to establish, to build foundations, to become a concrete manifestation.

Every abstract idea has the tendency eventually to become a concrete objective reality. The abstract "Word" must ever become "flesh". This is the fatality of the Spirit, that it must take embodiment in some earth-substance. All Spirit tends toward the condition of Body. All concepts yearn to be formulated into sentences. Everywhere the supreme power of life is that power inherent in Spirit which compels it to become "form and name" — as the Hindu philosophers used to say. This compulsion is the essence of life. It is the desire-to-be, the eternal Eros. And it is also the desire to remain permanently what one is. It is the urge to become established.

At the normal human stage this urge leads man to build a home, to establish a foundation for his activities as an individual self. It is the urge to take root; to found a family; and, at a more mental level, to establish a doctrine. It is the spiritual striving toward the formation of an immortal Soul that will be the permanent shrine of the "I am"; the effort toward personal immortality, whose shadow is the fear of death, of ceasing to be. Until this urge asserts itself all living is only dreaming, and outer circumstances are mere stimuli which stir the imagination of the dreamer. The self awakens only as he contacts the earth and marries objectivity. The true "waking consciousness" is consciousness established in a body and operating in an objective world.

"Reality" is that in which consciousness can establish itself and prove itself to itself. In "reality" the self can actually experience. An experience is distinct from a dream insofar as it is something in which the self can establish itself. The dream may mean increased awareness of self; but the experience is always a deeper, broader or more steady establishment of self in reality. Reality, objectivity, experience, self-establishment are all correlated terms. Insofar as dream is opposed to reality, reality is always objective and dream always subjective.

But there may be various levels or types of reality, of objectivity, of concreteness. Spirit always tends to formulate itself in and through a "body". But there may be various levels or types of "bodies". A great symphony and a great poem are "bodies", as much as any physiological organisms — provided they can reproduce and perpetuate themselves in the minds of men. If they are merely the dreams of a youthful "I am", they have no objective reality. But if the "I am" that created them is actually established in them, if they have become his home and their foundations are solidly built into the soil of the race, then the symphony and the poem are to be considered as "bodies" of this creative "I am".

Here we must differentiate "body" from "form". The term form denotes merely an abstract pattern, a concept which has become exteriorized so as to be communicable to other minds. Form, organizing substance under the impact of a central will, or self, becomes body. But substance may exist at various levels. One should not apply the term only to physical substance perceptible to our normal senses. "Substance" is that which is a basis, a substratum for the objective manifestation of life in and through "bodies". This substance for self-establishment in a body is found in the second mansion. But it is only in the fourth phase of development of the individual being that it reaches a relatively permanent identity. Man's body is what he, as an abstract self, has made out of his heredity under certain conditions of environment. It may be a success, or a failure — at least a relative one. The self, as a divine Idea or archetype, may be a wondrous formula of being; yet the race may not offer either hereditary materials or an environment adequate for its successful incorporation — and so the "body" may be a poor objective manifestation of a great but premature or belated Idea.

For the man of the first birth, centered at the physiological level, to be established in objectivity means first of all to operate in and through an integrated physical body. This does not occur at birth. To be born means only to have developed a mechanism of self-awareness through independent breathing. In these studies we are not considering the human being from the standpoint of the biologist, but from that of the psychologist. We are dealing with the growth of consciousness from mere awareness of self to total fulfillment of individual selfhood — which really means universal consciousness.

It is only around the seventh year that the conscious ego establishes itself in the body. It is only after some months or years during which the ego yearns to find himself established, and thus powerful, that this ego actually becomes the dweller in the body. To own hands and feet by means of which one may become aware of an objective world and of limitations to the instinct of flowing outward in space (which is the primordial instinct of every self) is one thing. To be established and concretely conscious in and through a body is another thing. Inherited possessions constitute merely an aggregation of energies to be used; but a body — or later a home — is not a mere aggregation of energies. It is a centralized organism in and through which the "I am" can be positively and powerfully active. A body is selfhood become concrete. It is a base for operations. It is the foundation for self-expression; the foundation for release of power.

He who does not realize this significance of "body" has not realized as yet the meaning of power. Identification with "body" is necessary if self is to be powerful and creative. A self not thus identified is a dreamer. It has not yet taken root in objectivity. It is Spirit unmarried to Substance: unestabished Spirit.

But it is only for the man of the first birth that "body" signifies no more than a physiological organism. He who has passed through the portals of the second birth finds himself established in a new type of "body": an individual soul-organism. The symbol for such a soul-organism, at our material level, is the home.

What is the home? The interaction of a masculine and feminine polarity made concrete and operative within a structure of earth-materials. While a physiological body is polarized, that is, either male or female, the home is the projection of a nexus of bi-polar (that is, male and female) psychic energies. The home thus requires three things: a male and a female center of life-radiations, a constant rhythmical pulsation between these two psychic poles, and a projection in concrete materials of this pulsation. If these three things are present a home is established, whether it is a palace of marble or a desert tent.

The home becomes thus a symbolical "body". It is symbolical, and not absolutely real, because the pulsation of two inter-related psychic poles, man and woman, is not a constant and indissoluble one. Thus the significance of monogamous indissoluble marriage. It is an attempt to transform the home from a symbol into an absolute reality. Yet it is not absolutely real, for the union can be broken by the death of one of the partners, or by psychological changes in the individuality of the partners. It is as a result of the yearning — conscious or subconscious — to make of the man-woman union an absolutely real unit, that the concept of "soul-mates" has arisen. Through it the pulsation between the two psychic polarities is seen as an immortal and transcendental reality. Because physical and biological polarities are obviously as impermanent as the flesh of our bodies, the absolutely valid "mating" is transferred to the psychic level. "Soul-mating" thus can be understood as a subliminal concept, a borderline realization — just as, in another sense, the devotional self-surrender of the devotee to the Christ-image (or the Oriental Guru) is a transitional process. Both are attempts at objectiving a reality which eventually the individuated human personality must find at the core of his selfhood. Thus the true mystic experiences Christ within, and the teachers of old India said "Thou art that" . . . "Thou art Buddha". Thus also the Sufi wrote of the "Beloved" that is known in the inmost chamber of the soul.

The home is a symbol and a prophecy: the symbol and the prophecy of the individual soul-organism, of the immortal Christ-body. The latter is also the projection of a rhythmical and constant pulsation between two psychic poles; but these two poles are active within one single individual. They are the psychic man and psychic woman to some extent operative within every human being who is more than a mere human male or female; in other words, within every individual who is a partaker in some degree of the quality and reality of the second birth of selfhood. This means, within every creative individual.

No individual can be creative as an individual if a rhythmical — if not constant — pulsation between the two poles of his psychological nature is not established. This pulsation begins to manifest in the third mansion through the operation of the formative energies of the intellect. The typical intellectual operation, the Aristotelian syllogism on which all logic is based, is a sort of pulsation between two conceptual poles. All intellectual thinking is based upon such an oscillation between thesis and antithesis, which finds itself harmonized in the synthesis; even though in some cases the oscillation is so rapid that the act of synthesis appears to be instantaneous. Whether it can ever be absolutely instantaneous is a problem difficult to solve; yet one of great interest, because on its solution depends the possibility of a type of thinking beyond ordinary logic.

The psychological soul-organism may be said to pattern itself upon such an intellectual framework. It is a dynamic synthesis of "soul-forces" which pulsate rhythmically and eventually release power in creative works — just as the rhythmical sex-pulsation established between the man and the woman eventually releases the child, who becomes the center of the home, the seed of the man-woman flower.

Thus the home is a symbol and a prophecy — and marriage is a sacrament. It foreshadows (and, in the present biological and psychological condition of mankind, may help to produce) the formation of the individual soul-organism — that great reality of the truly human level of being to which all ancient Scriptures symbolically referred.

Such an individual soul-organism must not be confused with what modern writers call the "astral body" or "mental body". These are not actually "bodies". They are rather phases in the gestation of the soul-organism. They deal as it were with the embryology of the soul-organism, but are not "organisms" in themselves. The soul-organism is a true "body" because in it the self establishes itself at the psycho-mental level, and, through such an act of establishment, gains relative immortality. In this soul-organism the second birth is fulfilled. It is the true "home" of the Individual, the body of the indwelling God.

The Bible refers to it in the symbolism of the Temple of Solomon; while the "Ark in the Wilderness" represents the phase of psycho-spiritual development during which only the "seed" of true individual selfhood is objective and manifest. The "Wilderness" symbolizes the state of chaotic being and of homeless wandering when the soul-forces or component energies of the psyche are not organically correlated, and not even completely subservient to the central will of the self — to the integrative "law" or pattern of individual selfhood. These soul-forces are the substance, or rather the raw material, of the future soul-organism. They have been in the past parts of the psyche of many men, just as the molecules composing our bodies have been parts of the bodies of trees, animals and men. Each has a will of its own; each strives for power, for the possession of the "Ark of the Covenant", trying to usurp the authority of the true "Priests of the Most-High", until Solomon, son of David — the overcomer of the giant — succeeds in bringing all the unruly elements under the sway of his power and wisdom; until the Temple is built from materials gathered from all lands, an organic synthesis of being, a "home" for the sacred Ark, the "seed" of individual selfhood now fulfilled as a majestic tree.

What comes after this fulfillment of the stage of the second birth is not so clearly definable. But we know that with the coming of Jesus the Christ — of the house of David — the gates of the third birth open. This coming leads eventually to the descent from heaven of the "New Jerusalem". The Holy City symbolizes the reality of the fourth mansion at the third level of being. It is an organism of spirit and of light. It is more than individual, in the sense that it comes down from the universal realm, from heaven. It is a celestial host focused in and through a man acting upon this earth. It is a complete manifestation of deity in and through personality.

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

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