Prelude to a New Interpretation of Reality - 6
Elsewhere I have spoken at length of the "process of individualization."
) It is a necessary phase in human evolution, but human evolution itself should be considered merely a phase in a cosmic and metacosmic process which, as I try to formulate it, is all-inclusive. It is the cycle of being
as well as the Movement of Wholeness
. Within this cycle mankind occupies a specific place and fulfills a definable function; but there is no reason why the state of being an individual
should be considered the end of the process of human evolution. As the great French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote: "The individual is but a path: Man only matters who takes that path."(9
) But if the state of being an individual is a means to an end, what then is the end? How can we give that state its true value if we cannot at least imagine what the end is or what it means? Is it only an end in a distant future of the evolution of our planet, or can it be reached by individuals even now?
This book attempts to speak to such questions understandably and consistently. The answers it offers will be based on facts of common human experience rather than on unusual and rarified subjective experiences reached only after arduous practices by persons of apparently special temperaments or through extreme psychological or social pressures. The central answer places in perspective the present-day state of human evolution, which features the realization of "being I" as a separate person independent from birth-conditions, with sovereign rights and an autonomous will jealous of its exclusive characteristics and mostly intent on individual development. This stage represents only a period of transition between two fundamental levels of being — the biological level given characteristically human features through series of local and exclusivistic cultures, and the level of what I call the Pleroma
. To me, the Pleroma is a state of being whose participants have passed successfully through the condition of individualized and (at least relatively) separate selfhood. They then operate together as a planetary whole in a state of mental interpenetration and spiritual integration, a state which allows the safe actualization of powers and faculties latent in present-day human beings.
As far as the average person is concerned, the Pleroma state is still in the future. Yet it is a possibility inherent in Man considered as an archetype of being, and it can be actualized even now through a process of transmutation of energies and transfiguration of consciousness. An individualized
person has to be the actualizer; but the result of the actualization transcends the status of individual selfhood. It confers a planetary status. Beings who have reached such a status constitute, as it were, the soul of the planet Earth. In their togetherness they constitute the progressive, far from completed actualization of the archetype Man in interrelated and interpenetrating fields of consciousness and activity
. They represent humanity in the condition of planetary wholeness.
The one purpose for which this book The Rhythm of Wholeness
is written is to provide an abstract yet experienceable foundation for the realization that such a state exists, and to show that even now it is affecting human evolution, to the extent that a vanguard of human beings is beginning to respond (at least partially and confusedly) to the call for radical transformation. The book is written because a need for it exists — the need for a fundamental philosophical and cosmological reformulation of universal and abstract principles at a level transcending the pluralistic and atomistic nature of the individualism which has dominated Western civilization and has spread all over the globe.
In Part One of this book I shall present the general concepts of wholeness, cyclic activity, and the place of Man as an archetype of being in the cycle of being. The cycle in its cosmic and human aspects has, of course, an immensity of subcycles and sub-subcycles. Yet the basic structure
of any cycle — one might say, the concept of cyclicity
— has permanent features because of the symmetrical and dynamic interplay of two fundamental principles of operation and consciousness, the principle of Unity and the principle of Multiplicity. These principles constantly and symmetrically interact, one waxing as the other wanes, neither ever attaining total control.
In Part Two I shall outline the structure of the total constitution of archetypal Man and Man's function and destiny on this planet. I shall consider Man's entire cycle of objective-physical and subjective-spiritual states of activity and consciousness, and therefore I will also discuss the postmortem state and reincarnation (which through recent popularization has been mostly misunderstood).
In Part Three I shall broadly consider some of the more practical issues implied in the cosmological concepts and the approach to human existence and personal growth outlined in the preceding Parts. I shall deal with the types of relationships that occur between wholes and parts (or rather subwholes) and also the interactions between different levels of consciousness and activity. I shall stress the difference between a positive approach to such interactions — the substance of transpersonal
and truly creative living — and the passive attitude which in its most negative form leads to mediumship. Finally I shall discuss a constructive way of meeting periods of transition between levels of personal growth and the importance of "rites of passage."
The reaction of many readers to all I state in this book may well be that, interesting as it is, it is only my
interpretation. Undoubtedly it is
an interpretation of the facts of human experience. But whether or not it is "mine" is of no great significance. The only valid question is whether or not today's
humanity, or even, a particular section of it whose responses may directly or indirectly influence the course of events, needs
the approach I am presenting in order to deal more serenely and constructively with the crucial problems we now face. These problems must be faced positively, in a spirit of transformation, if we are to survive in a significant manner, either as individuals or collectively.
Especially in times of transition, every solution to a human need is an interpretation of the contemporary situation. It comes at a particular time to particular people who at first may or may not consider it the solution for which they yearn. All systems of philosophy, all religious "revelations," all forms of social organization are interpretations. Even if, as religious and occult doctrines state, a "divine revelation" is the source of human knowledge, the revelation is still an interpretation by a "divine" Being (or Beings) operating at a level transcending the present human state.(10
) It is an interpretation which at a certain time fills the need of mankind as a functional aspect of the all-inclusive activity and wholeness of the Earth — which is a spiritual and mental as well as physical being.
To be a valid answer (or to form part of a valid answer) to a personal or collective need, an interpretation should take into consideration the direction of human evolution. It also should be consistent and applicable even during the process of transition. It should have value as a significant factor during the rite of passage that mankind, in whole or in part, is experiencing.
Whether this book will fill a significant and transformative need of humanity today and in years to come — the need for a basic reinterpretation of human evolution and all aspects of being — is a question I certainly cannot answer. Neither can anyone else a priori
. It may only bring more clarity and a more inclusive and dynamic sense of meaning to a relatively few people whose minds resonate to the quality embodied in the writer's mind. Yet no effort is valueless or lost that aims at extending the scope of human consciousness by presenting a wider, more inclusive picture of reality.
What I mean by the "process of individualization" is very different from what Jung, especially in his later writings, meant by the "process of individuation," by which he referred to the conscious assimilation of the contents of the collective unconscious. My meaning is expressed in my book Beyond Individualism: The Psychology of Transformation
(Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, 1979) and will be restated from a different perspective later in this volume. Return
9. Flight to Arras
(Harcourt Brace, New York, 1969). Return
Moreover, the "divine" interpretation must be interpreted by the human beings who believe in its existence. Such "revealed knowledge" (sruti
in Sanskrit) is more like an integral series of interrelated and abstract formulas establishing principles of organization
and structural relationships
which apply to all levels of being. They may take the form of a series of geometrical symbols which can be, and indeed must be, reinterpreted periodically at different levels, according to mankind's capacity to translate them into solutions for its collective needs. Return
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