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Seventh Mansion - TO RELATE

In the sixth mansion the cycle of individual selfhood closes. It ends either in surrender of self to a greater Self, or in fulfillment in a work through which the self may reach relative immortality. Farther than this, for the self as a purely individual and unique self, there is no way to go; for in this last mansion the singleness of the individual is surrendered — or else exalted to the point where the individual ceases to be a one, and becomes the One. Should the cycle of individual selfhood have been a failure, then illness or slavery would be the result. In such cases also the self becomes dependent upon other selves; or it loses its hold upon the materials and the organism through which alone it is ever able to actualize itself.

As the seventh mansion is reached one meets an altogether new world. Gone are all values based on individual selfhood. Forgotten is the uniqueness and integrity of that divine spark which sought only to make itself patent and effective, which had no goal save that of demonstrating its powers to itself through alternate series of expansions and concentrations. Vanished is the pride and the singleness of the soul established in the magic circle of its own focalization. In the strange and baffling world that is the seventh mansion there is an eternal wind that fans sparks into flames leaping beyond their singleness; leaping to where they merge and withdraw, and merge again, as if yearning to be what they are not — as if by blending with other flames something miraculous, unutterable, divine were to occur — as if all that had been built through many mansions not only was forgotten, but was passionately left behind as encumbrance and ballast staying some wild ascension through realms that alone were true, alone were radiant, alone held value in their winds and their storms and their amazing mirages.

The magic of love . . . The great mystery which makes the known and the secure worthless, and forces individuals into wild ecstasies in which all individualism, all unique qualities, all originality may be lost — in which ancestral values and universal yearnings alone remain, majestically and meaninglessly tossing upon their vast tides the dissolving remains of what once had claimed to be individuals! The magic of love . . . which kills all separateness and all uniqueness, all purity and all focalization. An ocean that has no peace, no stability, no form; but which moves on from mergings to mergings, blindly, powerfully, eternally . . .

The ancient Hindu philosopher, centered in pure selfhood, named this the mansion of the not-self; the ocean of existences; Samsara, the Great Illusion of ever-renewed desires and ever-renewed embraces that belong to the love that is death. And the formula given to characterize the great Wheel of Life, the drama unfolding through the twelve mansions of being, was: "I am not the not-self". To which the God of the Bible added His majestic pronouncement: "I am that I am".

But the age of such a focalization of consciousness upon the Self, the "I am", passed away, and after the beginnings of our era a vast tide of the ocean of Love swept over the whole world. Vaishnavites in India, Sufis in Persia, Christian mystics in Europe, sang the intoxication of utter surrender of selfhood to the magic of love. The not-self — now seen as the "Other", or as all the others together — came to be recognized as the greater self. In and through the Beloved the whole world was to be reached in an ecstasy of fulfillment, and boundless powers were to surge from the communion of the lovers with eternal Love.

Thus love began to conquer the world of ideals and human dreams. Its ecstasy transfigured saints and lovers, who gave up self to love in joyous abandon. What is the meaning of this ecstasy? What part does it play in the great twelvefold cycle of being? Which attitude holds the greater key to Life's mysteries?

If we follow the trend of thought which considers the individual self as the beginning and the end of all, we might say that as he who would storm a gate draws back to gather momentum, so relationship follows selfhood in order that selfhood may become more truly, more powerfully, more universally the supreme jewel of being that it essentially is. "Lose thyself that thou mayest find thy Self." Surrender the lesser in order to gain the greater. Die to the first birth, in order to be re-born of the second birth. Love is the death of singleness, that out of this death of the lonely one may be born a greater and immortal One.

What is love, relationship, communion, save that which brings together two or more selves? And what can be the meaning of relationship, save that it serves the ultimate purpose of the selves which are related, that each self may emerge more radiant from the relationship? What can be the value of love, save in function of that which love brings to the lovers? The one positive factor is self; from self to Self through love and relationship — such might be the formula. But selfhood is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega of being — and relationship, a crisis of growth. And yet — such an attempt at resolving the fundamental dualism of selfhood and love into a sort of monistic emphasis upon self seems to leave something unsaid. Is the setting less basic than the rising of the sun? Is the sense of relationship less basic than the sense of selfhood? Has an organism more reality because it is a unit than because it is composed of the inter-relationships of many cells which themselves are living entities? And what is a unit?

Questions like these can be asked indefinitely. Philosophers, in their eagerness to escape the fallacy of postulating two absolutes and two infinites, have attempted to reduce all fundamental dualisms to positive and negative, self and not-self, reality and illusion. And men have never ceased to extol alternately one or the other of the cosmic polarities. Surrender love to the self. Surrender self to love . . . Men have lived and died to proclaim either alternative as the only one possible, true and divine. What a foolish game, after all!

Polarities are not to be called good or bad, reality or illusion. They are to be integrated. Reality is in their integratedness; illusion, in accentuation being placed upon one or the other. In the magical Cross of Being symbolically formed by horizon and meridian and by horizontal and vertical, power, significance and life surge neither from right nor left, above nor below, but from the integrated wholeness of the Cross, whose ceaseless swastika-like whirling alone is the source of the livingness of right and left, of above and below. Spirit is a whirling motion, and all motion presupposes two poles: self and relationship, being and becoming, space and time.

In the first mansion the spatial "form" of the self — the magic formula, or "name", of the individual — is intuitively known. In the seventh mansion, the manner in which this formula will, in time, be fulfilled through cyclic becoming is progressively revealed to the experiencer of sensations, and eventually to the thinker. In the silence of the innermost the individual knows what he is. In the constant turmoil of experiencing relationships of all sorts, at all levels, the living Person finds himself fulfilled, slowly, step by step. The fulfillment of this living Person is the becoming of God. God becomes out of the fulfillment of relationship. This is the mystery of the seventh house; and it is the mystery of love.

Before love comes to the individual, life is merely the demonstration by the self to the self of the powers (the "name") of the self. There is no real becoming, no real unfoldment or growth. What occurs is merely the concretization and demonstration of an abstract idea. When an engineer, after thinking out a formula, makes it concrete in the detailed blue-print of an engine, all that he does is to demonstrate to himself the exact workings of the formula. But when he attempts actually to build the engine, a new process begins. He has to get materials, money, a place to build in, and the cooperation of other people. Then things begin to happen; if not to the formula, at least to the blueprints. Changes, compromises to satisfy the financial backer, to adjust the idea to the demands of customers, etc. This is real becoming. This is the living of relationship. Psychology enters upon the stage, with the fact that ideas and selves must be put to the test of usefulness, of service; that they can only be fulfilled through fulfilling the needs of other men, and in general of human society.

Fulfilling the need of other beings; fulfilling the need of the human race ... Is this the core of the mystery of love? Is true love always rooted unconsciously in compassion, that is, in encompassing elements and values not one's own; elements and values which, in ultimate analysis, will be parts of a greater synthesis of living, of which one also will be a part?

We should not forget the message of the sixth mansion. There the individual either surrenders himself to a greater Person, or through mastery of technique identifies himself with a Work. These two alternatives constitute the background of the mystery of the seventh house. In the act of self-surrender the individual sees himself as a part of a host. The greater Person — the Christ-being, or in a more concrete sense the "Church" or apostolic "group" — is not merely a great individual Self. It is a host of selves, a communion of beings. The devotee, through self-abnegation, joins this host, participates as one among many in this mystic communion. This henceforth will constitute his "becoming", his growth through relationship and through love — but a relationship and a love of a psychic-spiritual kind.

He who learns to be an accomplished Worker finds soon that technique is not enough. His accomplishments are stillborn unless they serve a purpose, unless they are stones of some great temple. And, on a more biological plane, of what use is the perfected body of the youth except it serve to maintain the actual presence of the greater entity that is the Human Race?

A small cellular organism, like the amoeba, is an individual unit. But millions of such cells, differentiated through relationship, become a human body. In these words "differentiated through relationship" is the key to the mystery. The will to improve and to be more than one is, flaming forth in the sixth mansion out of the relative failure of self-expression in the fifth, becomes in the seventh mansion the will to play a part in a great drama: the drama of the birth of the greater Person that is God. God is always the "greater Person", at whatever stage of being, the greater Whole. That greater whole is constituted out of the fulfillment of relationship — which is love. Love is fulfillment of relationship. Love is, universally speaking, the birthing of God; the gathering of the host.

At the level of the first birth — the biological level — this host is the tribe, the host that grows through time, generation after generation. It is a host centered in the primeval Two: the first father and first mother. Each tribe is a psychic and biological unit, with its own mode of living, its geographical environment, its religion and culture. It is founded upon biological love and the procreative urge.

At the level of the second birth — the psycho-mental level — the host that is to be gathered through fulfillment of relationship is the greater Person, whom some call God, others the Seed-Manu, others still, Civilization. The devotee speaks of God, or of the Prophet of the Dispensation, because he sees the greater whole, of which he is becoming a part, as a greater self. The worker speaks of Civilization, because what he contributes to the greater whole is his work, rather than his psychic energies. The distinction is one of level of focalization. Ultimately, man will always have to operate at both levels.

Through such contributions the needs of the greater whole are filled. The individual ceases to act as a single self and assumes a functional part within the greater whole, building, as it were, in cooperation with his companions, the mind, soul or body of the greater Person. Thus that which was a whole (individual) acts as a part. In most cases, men act as parts of a greater whole, which they but dimly conceive, only under the compulsion of inner (biological) or outer (social) necessity. When this action is undertaken as a conscious determination, there is conscious love; also conscious partnership of work.

In true love, as well as in true partnership, the individual overcomes the pull of his own exclusive selfhood. He goes willingly into the unknown and the dark — as, symbolically, the sun is seen to set into the underworld. The whole becomes a part; and in this there is a real death. But there is also a radiant birthing of reality. For reality is neither in the whole nor in the parts; neither in selfhood nor in self-surrender to a greater Person or corporate body. It is to be found in the eternal commerging of whole and parts, in the sacrifice of the greater and the communions of the lesser. And this commerging of all there is is life itself — wholly lived.

To be a self while loving; to love while realizing one's innermost selfhood. To be, without the fear of becoming. To be come, yet remain always true to one's own being. This is the play of the opposites; of day and night, of spring and autumn. The "magic of love" can only be used by him who is, in his own selfhood, a magician. In true "personality" and in "mastery", an immortal self plays on every string of his being a song of love. Only the string taut with the intensity of self can release the tonic power of a love that will be a birthing of God.

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

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