Spirit and Mind - 3
Mind as the formative
agent inherent in relationship
In its most fundamental aspect, the concept of Wholeness includes that of relatedness, and the essential relationship implied in Wholeness is that of the principles of Unity and Multiplicity. This relationship is dynamic and ever-altering, but it is a structured relationship taking the form of a cyclic process, the Movement of Wholeness. The structuring, form-giving factor is mind. In its primordial and universal aspect, it is the "mind of Wholeness." Less metaphysically, at any level of being, the phrase "mind of wholeness" essentially refers to the mind that realizes in every situation, perceived and experienced as a whole, the interplay of the two great powers active in being. Unity and Multiplicity. Such a mind is able to assess (as it were) their relative intensity, which defines the state of being in which the particular situation operates.
The philosophy of operative Wholeness presented in this book recognizes and fully accepts a dualism of opposite and complementary trends in every manifestation and at every level of being; but it is not a dualistic philosophy because its essential reality is the relationship between any two polarities — or, more abstractly, their relatedness. Wholeness is relatedness considered as the supreme, all-inclusive reality of being. As mind is implied in all dualistic relationships as a third factor because of which the relationship has "form," mind can be considered the direct agent of Wholeness. At every moment of the cyclic continuum of change — the foundation of what human consciousness interprets as time — mind gives a theoretically definable form to the relationship between the principles of Unity and Multiplicity. The particular form is made possible by the balance of the two great principles at that moment; a human mind's perception of it also is conditioned by the kind of frame of reference that mind is able to use.
As the ratio between the drives toward Unity and Multiplicity unceasingly changes, and as this changing relationship engenders predominantly subjective and predominantly objective realms and conditions of being, mind operates in ceaselessly differing ways. The activity of mind during the period between the symbolic Midnight and Sunrise does not resemble mind as it develops, culture after culture, throughout the history of mankind on earth; yet there is a polar relationship between these two types of mind — the first "divine," the second "human." Similarly, the operations of mind at work between the symbolic Sunrise and Noon — from the beginning of the physical universe to the appearance of Natural Man and the beginning of the avataric process — evidently are most unlike the activity of mind within the series of planetary and cosmic Pleroma formed after the symbolic Sunset, the point of Illumination. Each period, subperiod, and sub-subperiod of the cycle of being witnesses and requires the operation of a different kind of mind; but at all times mind gives form to the then effectual relationship between any pair of opposites. What then is form?
In the most basic sense of the term, form is the more or less complex interweaving of relationships linking more or less numerous elements within the field of activity and/or consciousness of a whole. The whole may be a concrete, physical organism, a musical sonata composed of many notes arranged in a specific order according to a system of organization (tonality in Western culture), a mathematical theorem, the constitution and legal system of a nation, or any other organization of multiple elements, entities, or concepts. The terms form and shape often are used carelessly and interchangeably, but the word shape should be used only with reference to an entity's external appearance. The shape of an object or a body can be described objectively and in terms pf physical sensations; it can also, at least in principle, be measured. But one cannot measure the form of a concept or a metaphysical system. One can claim that form exists in space; but if one means only the space of the physical, material world, one ignores the fact that a system of closely interrelated ideas has form (but one might also say "structure") yet exists only in a mental kind of space. It is "mental" because the system is a complex organization of relations which are not necessarily embodied in material entities, though the creator of the system may use concrete images or physical experiences as symbols to evoke his or her meaning.
Today we are well aware of the principle of inertia, which states that any object at rest or in uniform motion in a particular direction will remain at rest or continue in motion unless acted upon by some external force. Inertia, in the broadest sense of the term, is resistance to change. The speed and direction of a moving object resist change; similarly the basic character of any form is to resist change, that is, to perpetuate the particular set of relationships which made it what it is. All religious, social, and cultural institutions have intense inertia. Once formed and set into operation, usually they can be transformed only with great difficulty. A culture as a whole slowly — or in some instances rapidly — changes; it "evolves" generation after generation insofar as its outer modes of operations, fashions, and even some of its ideals are concerned. Yet its basic assumptions, religious beliefs, and fundamental symbols and characteristics of living are extremely tenacious; violent crises or disasters may be needed before a really new beginning can occur. The same can be said of a person's ego which, in a sense, operates as a private institution with its own routine, long held beliefs, and resistance to transformation.
If mind (at whatever level it operates) is the formative agent that produces form out of sets of relationships, what then transforms mental organizations or physical organisms? What is it that overcomes the inertia inherent in formations once they are stabilized? It is the momentum of the Movement of Wholeness manifesting as the continuum of change — the foundation of what we call time. Again we encounter a dualism: continuous change and the tendency in forms (complexes of relations) to persist and perpetuate themselves. Such a dualism is not essentially different from that of Multiplicity and Unity; for just as human beings have sought and still seek inner psychological security in imagining and deifying a Supreme One, beyond and impervious to multiplicity, they have conceived of Him (or It) as changeless — often as the Perfect Form of being.
The acceptance of both constant change and permanent forms of being gives rise to the concept of a divine (or quasi-divine) realm of persistent archetypal forms and the world of ever-changing earthly existence in physical substance. Mind operates at both levels, the archetypal and the existential, but it operates differently at each because the types of forms it produces at each have different functions in the cycle of being. In both cases the function of mind is to give form to the energy of spirit; yet mind also can act in the service of the forces that work against spirit.
Mind indeed is neutral. So is the principle of relatedness, as is Wholeness itself — because forever unconcerned with Unity or Multiplicity as such. Wholeness is the perfect though dynamic and ever-changing relatedness of all there is and can ever be. In Wholeness form and movement stand in contrast, but not in conflict. Contrast means form; and form, mind. Mind therefore is inherent in Wholeness; yet it acts in a different, particularized manner in every form or category of forms.
During the period of the Movement of Wholeness between Midnight and Sunrise, mind acts by giving a cosmic outline to the supreme release of divine Compassion — the spirit radiating from the Godhead. This cosmic outline is the "Form" needed to make divine compassion effectual and therefore to meet the need of the many types of failures of the once human past. The "creative Hierarchies" at work between Midnight and Sunrise operate as aspects of the divine Mind. They become increasingly defined and relatively individualized as the principle of Multiplicity waxes. Yet they are held together as a divine "Host" by the power of the still dominant principle of Unity, and the vast number of archetypes they create are forms in (rather than of) the divine Mind.
These archetypal forms retain their power during the immensely long period of evolution from Creation to the coming of what I have called Natural Man. They act, one might say, as "guiding fields" for the development and activities of biological orders, families, genera, and species — thus for the operation of "life," which (as we have seen) is a new manifestation of the integrative activity of spirit acting upon a multitude of material elements. In any particular life species, instinct results from the combination of the energy of life intent upon perpetuating its specific rhythm and the persistent presence of the archetypal form built by the divine Mind for a particular manifestation of life.
During the last part of the period between Sunrise and Noon, protohuman races may be considered extreme manifestations of the dominance of the principle of Multiplicity, because in them the power of archetypal forms is as weak as it can be. In Occult cosmogonies they are called "mindless," not only because the truly human mind has not yet appeared, but because their forms apparently were unsteady, indefinite, and often altered by interracial mixtures.
At this Noon point in the cycle, the power of Unity is at its lowest ebb. It is reenergized by the "descent" (or projection) of the archetype Man through, yet also in, the person of the Avatar or series of Avatars. The Compassion radiating from the Godhead state vibrates wherever beings of a new and truly human type appear on our planet. Because the balance between the principles of Multiplicity and Unity is definitely altered after the symbolic Noon, Wholeness assumes a new form of manifestation; a new mind begins to develop in what has really become "humanity." Out of the operation of this human mind, cultures take form. A culture is a complex form of mind "inspirited" by the energy released by the Avatar at his death. (During the Avatar's life this energy was focused and "condensed" in a potential mode in his total person.)
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1983 by Dane Rudhyar
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