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A Total Affirmation of Being
by Dane Rudhyar, 1983

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Transpersonal Activity versus Mediumship - 2

While the materialistic reductionist cannot see farther than his senses and analytical intellectual processes allow, the Spiritualist has not yet left the stage of subservience to forces belonging to the level of collective psychism and emotional mass-vibrations collective hopes, fears, or expectations, which take control of the all-too-open "medium." In the past these forces may have been associated with the thought-forms, psychological tensions, or emotions of a once living, now deceased personality; but they also may be direct or inverted projections of inner confusion and longing with which the passive, undeveloped mind is unable to deal frontally and to integrate within an individualized structure of selfhood. Once the process of individualization is definitely under way, the vertical interaction of ascending and descending movements should be discernible in any situation which can be called ever so slightly creative, transformative, or revelatory. The two levels may not be ready for full interpenetration yet, but one should speak of interaction rather than action and reaction; for evolution is essentially a two-way process.
      Several levels of activity can be distinguished in a present-day, developed human being; and all interact in various ways according to the particular person's stage of development. The two extreme levels may be succinctly called "spirit" and "matter," but the whole situation involves a definite spiritual Quality seeking precise and concrete actualization in a differentiated form (a person) of the material substance of our planet, according to a fundamental archetypal structure. To human beings with limited senses, the earthly substance is "physical"; but senses capable of responding to more subtle and differentiated vibrations would perceive finer substances, material formations, and vibratory energies. Theoretically, these exist in everyone already but are mostly latent; eventually the entire planet may experience a transmutation resulting in their concrete actualization. Thus the matter referred to instatements about the concluding omega stage of a great planetary cycle, when spirit and matter are to be integrated in a perfect form of being, is not the kind of substance that can be perceived or touched by today's gross senses or coarse hands. It will have to be a materiality so sensitive and attuned to the vibrations of spiritual Qualities that a process of total harmonization and interpenetration can be consummated at least partially.
      This consummation can occur only within and through an adequate form or structure; otherwise, however valuable the results may be, one can speak only of mediumship. Thus a process of form-building is required. It is a process that unfolds in two phases: first, in terms of collective structuring (a culture and systems of social organization), then in terms of the individualization of persons from the collective cultural matrices. The building of the form (or alchemical vessel) required for the harmonization and interpenetration of a spiritual Quality and a particular type of earth-materials is the work of mind. The human mind operates at two levels: the level of archetypes (formulas of organization, which are not concrete entities until human beings imagine them that way), and the level of collective cultural and personal (or egocentric) structuring.
      Initially, personhood is merely a particularization of a culture-whole's collective structures (symbols, myths, traditional beliefs, modes of thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating). Persons are differentiated cultural structures adequate for performing communal functions. They are what they do, and the nature of the doing is determined primarily by biological particularities (physique, temperament, ancestral lineage). Yet individual selfhood is a potentiality present in every specimen of homo sapiens; what at first was only an "overtone" contained in the inclusive "fundamental tone" of a culture can become itself a fundamental tone a creative origin. But with rare, super-normal exceptions, this potentiality can develop only through an arduous process of individualization involving personal experiences of cathartic dissatisfaction (or "divine discontent"), reorientation, and self-induced mental and emotional repolarization. It is analogous to the musical operation of "modulating" to another level of structural organization (a new "key"). Psychologically speaking, the individual-in-the-making must modulate to the level of a centralized will and a truly autonomous selfhood. Only at that level can spirit and matter be harmonized and a spiritual Quality be able to irradiate and radiate through a physical human organism. The individual having his or her biological roots in that body then can "per-form" transpersonal actions or think transpersonal thoughts. In addition, such an individual can experience transpersonal inner movements registering in the consciousness as a certain kind of nonpersonal "feeling" and emotion for example, what Buddhists call compassion and presumably was meant by the Greek word attributed to Jesus, agape (which has been mistranslated as charity in English).
      Any activity that can be called transpersonal (in the sense in which I use this term) has to occur through and by the intermediary of an adequately structured individualized person. Nevertheless, the person may not necessarily be conscious, or fully conscious, of what is occurring through him or her. When consciousness is still pervaded with the residual characteristics of both the culture's collective mind and the person's ego-mind, the transpersonal movement has to bypass the brain consciousness and operate by controlling nerve pathways in the body of the apparent performer of the action. On the other hand, generally speaking the Avatar type of human being (whatever his or her level of consciousness may be at the time) is conscious in the action thus, as he or she performs it. For a brief moment, activity and consciousness are fused in a transpersonal "movement," through and during which spirit penetrates the matter of the performing material system the human body.
      This, however, does not imply that the person through whom the spirit-induced action is performed is "nothing but" what is now popularly acclaimed as a "channel" for communications from a superior Being or "Master." Channeling usually implies an almost entirely passive or mechanical operation in which the structure and quality of being of the self-proclaimed channel are negligible factors, Whenever such an interpretation is correct, the process is mediumistic, not transpersonal.
      Transpersonal activity implies a definite interaction between the performer of the transpersonal act and its spiritual source transcending the strictly human level of consciousness; the quality of the interaction conditions the form of the communication or the release of transhuman power. The Bible was not "dictated" by the God of the Hebrew people, nor the Koran by the Angel Gabriel. Relatively exact transpersonal communications from a Pleroma being to a "disciple" occur only to the extent the receiving human personality has made himself or herself steadily attuned to the vibration and power of the spiritual Source, and also to the extent the motive for accepting the role as intermediary has been entirely free from ego, pride, and subtle self-glorification. In any case, the mind of the human pole in such a polarized interaction provides at least the formulation (the words and forms of speech) of whatever the vertical communication or transmission intends to convey.
      More specifically, the human receiver acts as a focalizing agent for the need of his people and his culture. Though he or she may be unaware of it, the entire inner being of such an agent takes the form of a "prayer" to the Pleroma the greater planetary whole operating at a higher level of the hierarchy of being. In the case of a potential "genius" in the arts, in literature, or even in science, the creative person becomes at least to some extent, even if perhaps not obviously, a "representative" man or woman of his or her culture and of the people molded by the culture. As such, the "representative" man or woman is at the same time the problem and the solution the spirit offers. The transpersonal action or communication answers not only a personal need, but, even more, the need of the community.
      Unfortunately, in a great many instances the creative person is so stirred and exalted by the experience of creativity (and perhaps by fame) that the ego pounces on the experience and makes it a pedestal for self-glorification. This is to be expected of many great creative persons, for often even they do not realize that the source of their inspiration and power transcends their personhood; they can consider creative work only as "self-expression" or in Nietzschean Romantic terms, as the "release of the torment of plenitude." More disturbing and misleading is the "spiritual teacher" whose ego colors or even alters a transpersonal transmission or act. Such a situation almost inevitably leads disciples or the general public to vulgarize or disparage their image of spiritual realities.

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1983 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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