Regeneration

by Raghavan Iyer @ Theosophy Trust


REGENERATION


 Expansion from within without, from the subjective to the objective, may be seen at many levels, from the smallest bud, moistened by the dew, gently opening in the dawn, to the gestation and emergence of a human vesture for the incarnating ray of an immortal soul. It is expressed archetypally in the mysterious birth that takes place within cosmic matter, giving rise to new centres of energy, planets and systems of worlds, initiating varied cycles spanning vast periods of time. Creative expansion is central to the sacred process of self-regeneration through spiritual wisdom. To understand this metaphysically, at the highest level of homogeneity one may begin by drawing a circle in the mind and then dissolve its boundary through visualizing a series of ever-expanding concentric circles that extend as far as possible in every direction. To do this intently in thought is effectively to change one's state of consciousness as well as the corresponding grade of matter. Having withdrawn from the outer sheaths to the subtler vestures, one becomes completely absorbed and concentrated in a steady, serene state upon that which is without any differentiation, without any beginning, alteration or end. Once established in this equipoise, one might calmly reflect upon the bare sky, without boundaries, seeing all the stars as one belt of light but absorbed back into the primordial darkness.

 Primordial matter is coeval with infinite space and eternal duration – indestructible, impartite and without conceivable division. In deep contemplation, the mind becomes absorbed into it and empties everything into the divine darkness, and one experiences a complete voidness of the sense of self. Those who persist in this will find that they become aware of noumenal light and of myriads of scintillating sparks streaming forth between different forms in nature. There is a palpable fullness to this void, an inexhaustible potentiality. Most of it will never be tapped because beings in incarnation have become limited through identification with fluttering shadows and fleeting events, leaving them wholly absorbed with bubbles of foam that drift amidst the flotsam and jetsam on the surface of the shallower parts of the ocean of being. To plunge one's mind as far as possible into the very depths, and to do this again and again, is to generate a sense of reality which is so potent that one readily discerns that this subjectivity is without limit and can be objectified only on the noumenal plane at the subtlest level. To touch this plane is to awaken an awareness of non-being. This occurs on an objective plane of noumenal matter where there is a reflection and a radiation. Yet that objectivity would seem like darkness to the spiritually blind, since it has neither relevance nor reference to those who are habituated to limited sense-perceptions and who abide in the light and shadow of the physical sun. The range of perception of human beings in general is enormously narrowed, and this is the price they pay for taking an inordinate interest in the detail and furniture of the physical world.

 Limitless subjectivity can never become limitless objectivity on this plane. But if one has experienced the rapid transformation of limitless subjectivity into limitless objectivity on the noumenal plane, one can then come out into the everyday world and perceive many possibilities which are commonly overlooked. One can enlarge the perspectives of other human beings simply by the noetic power of concentrated thought. Pinched views of existence, fear of physical pain or the moment of death, and narrow notions of success or failure are all the offspring of personal consciousness which obscures the true life of the immortal soul. For the soul there is no "mine" and "thine", no success and failure as understood in ordinary terms, and no significance in the effusions of other beings which are called opinions and sometimes aspire to be judgements. All of these are irrelevant because the immortal soul has come through an immense pilgrimage in which it feels at home with the spiritual solidarity of all beings. The ineffable experience in meditation of this boundless subjectivity would be akin to the feeling of a mountaineer upon an exalted promontory, who sees the manifold activities of human beings as part of one great and single enterprise. He can understand and identify with all of them because he is in a state of silence which is closer to what is abstract and undifferentiated.

 The more unconfined one's sense of subjectivity, the profounder one's sense of objectivity. Though people wish to come closer to the Mahatmas, this is impossible if one's mind does not to some extent share in the ideation of the Mahatmas, who do not see past, present and future, and do not function in terms of physical changes and clock-time. Similarly, one cannot come closer to the Mahatmas if one's heart is unable to show love to the person next door, for the Mahatmas" heart pulses with a constant and controlled compassion for everything that lives. They continually emanate powerful and beneficent ideas into the Akasa at that level of the astral light where there can be mirrorings accessible to human beings who are struggling in confusion and desperation. Many human beings have experienced the feeling that they cannot go on any further, yet surprisingly, they do. It is because of the compassion and the ideation of the Mahatmas that the will to survive becomes feasible for vast numbers of human beings who find Fate inscrutable and life unbearable. If they go on, it is because of the compassionate outpouring from the Mahatmas who, from the limitless subjectivity of the plane of consciousness which they inhabit, are able to give hope, energy and the will to persevere to all human beings imprisoned within the Orphic tomb of the personality. The Mahatmas live continuously upon the subjective plane of the immortal Triad, which most people contact only in deep sleep. Without this daily contact, existence would be impossible. The hum in the heart would cease if a person went through a sufficient period without sleep because the person would be denied sushupti. There would be no way of continuing in the astral form that is bound up with the physical body. This is why sleep, which "knits up the ravelled sleeve of care", is the ordinary person's approach to meditation. It is possible to enrich the quality of sleep through conscious contemplation every day. One can make significant connections, heighten self-consciousness, and in waking life change the ratios of the objective and the subjective. One can take that which is abstract and make it a focal point for a matrix which maybe deposited into the astral light and thus serve as a friend, philosopher and guide to other beings in need. It is possible, by making a difference to one's capacity to connect daily meditations with nightly sushupti, to become more self-conscious, and that self-consciousness will in time become more universal. This means that subject and object as ordinarily understood are radically altered.

 Initially a person is a disordered subject in a chaotic world of changing objects. There seems to be a harsh and hostile gap between the individual mind which is fatigued and bewildered, and the external world which is like a great track on which there are many fast-moving beings caught up in grossly objective sensations. Where one experiences the closeness between limitless subjectivity and limitless objectivity, one has no sense of separate existence as normally understood. One merely confers an appropriate sense of transferred reality to living in a body, growing up, moving from birth to death. One maintains this sense of relative reality out of compassion and for the sake of communication with other beings. The ability to do this is perfected in the Mahatmas, who over myriads of lives have woven out of the subtlest matter living matrices that can channel the electric energy of compassion. Those grateful individuals who are quickened by the life-giving ideation of the Mahatmas and who wish to gain conscious control over their lives on the path of selfless service to humanity, can begin by learning about the subjective and objective correlations of Fohat.

 Prior to the appearance of the objective cosmos, Fohat in its purely subjective aspect is said to "harden and scatter" the atoms. Primordial electricity galvanizes into life and separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms, the source of all life. There is at the highest level of abstraction an intensely charged field of cosmic electricity, wherein the spiritual life-atoms are quickened. This dynamic field is so different from what we call electrical currents that it is extremely difficult for one to imagine. Nonetheless, the effort to do so is directly analogous to what is involved in visualizing the physical vesture of an enlightened being, which is so highly charged that it will make an ordinary person's astral body disintegrate unless protective shields are provided. The Adept does this, yet minimizes physical contact so as to specialize his magnetism. The whole way of life of the Adept is based upon exact knowledge of the nature of electrical activity on the highest cosmic plane where there is the possibility of scattering a homogeneous field, separating it out into seemingly separate points of life-energy. Linked with this subjective activity of Fohat is its objective capacity to gather clusters of cosmic matter and give them an impulse to set them in motion, developing the required heat and then leaving them to their own growth. This is followed by the expanding and contracting of the web – the world-stuff – from within without and from without within, the pulsatory motion of the infinite, shoreless ocean of the noumenon of matter which causes the universal vibration of atoms. The objective activity that is centred upon the physical sun is a pale reflection of the deeper subjective activity involving the Spiritual Sun and cosmic consciousness. That activity represents the possibility of maintaining the universal vibration of atoms ceaselessly in motion during an immense period of evolution. This is why it is possible for there to be growth, transformation and the beneficent dispersion of atoms that human beings call death. All these are only changes of state that enable beings to assume new vestures to continue the spiritual pilgrimage of the immortal soul.

 All objective change corresponds to this ceaseless subjective vibration or pulsation taking place upon a noumenal plane. Since all beings have degrees of intelligence, and since all participate at the most causal level in that noumenal plane, there are sparks of divine light in the eyes not only of human beings but also of all other beings. Because this light is capable of charging and benefiting everything that is seen, one must be careful to shield it and to keep it unpolluted by negative forces. On the plane of manifestation everything is dual. One cannot have the positive without the negative because the universal vibration of atoms produces its corresponding and very complicated repercussions in molecular motion which are responsible for change, growth and decay. On an even more fundamental and pregenetic level there is the possibility of sundering the homogeneous into the heterogeneous, which involves the subtlest concept of cosmic electricity. A perfected being who has gained the knowledge pertaining to this would be able at will to send forth as many mayavi rupas as he wishes out of his astral form. This has been symbolized in accounts of how, when the Buddha sat in profound meditation under the Kumbum tree, every leaf of the tree received the imprint of the Buddha's form, so potent is that cosmic ideation.

 A person who cherishes this teaching will seek to intensify and purify his or her own field of ideation. One of the purposes of the Theosophical Movement, especially at this point in the early dawn of the Aquarian Age, is to teach people the exacting sense of moral responsibility that they will need if they are not to be pulverized at higher levels of noumenal action. To come into the stronger field one has to become far more sensitive, far more deliberate, far more responsible than before. Otherwise, if one enters this higher field and brings into it any selfish concern, the polarity of its intense energy will be reversed, becoming the messenger of death. The dual aspects, active and passive, positive and negative, of the universal agent are always mixed with each other in manifestation. "Od is the pure life-giving Light, or magnetic fluid; Ob the messenger of death used by the sorcerers, the nefarious evil fluid." A person can become charged with life-giving magnetic energy through intense meditation and continuous contact with the Divine Wisdom which is consubstantial with the formless Akasa. If a person came in contact with the azure empyrean of pure thought, it is essential to maintain a profound calm and serene freedom from self-concern. Where there is a deep oceanic calm, one can hold that energy level, but if one becomes excited or mixes the atmosphere with hostile or anxious thoughts, there will be an explosion, leaving an aperture open to the nefarious evil fluid that may be sent by sorcerers or spiritual vampires. Human beings live in a dangerous universe which is both life-giving and death-dealing. When individuals become capable through deep meditation of tapping the electromagnetic field of their subtler vestures and the planes to which they correspond, they could disperse the lunar form at will, extracting the essence out of all experiences and summoning creative combinations, thereby giving a forward impulse to human evolution.

 The progressive unfoldment of the powers of Manas involves not only the shifting boundaries of selfhood but also the primordial feeling of self-consciousness. This is rooted in unbroken awareness of the "Incorporeal man who contains in himself the divine Idea – the generator of Light and Life.... He is called the "Blazing Dragon of Wisdom"... the Logos, the Verbum of the Thought Divine." Every immortal soul is a spark of the Central Fire. Close to the Central Fire there is the possibility of self-conscious synthesis of the septenates that emanate out of the third Logos, for every human being derives his divine spark of immortal awareness from that hebdomadal heart. The principle of continuity in a human being is the sutratman, which enables one to know that one is essentially the same person through a lifetime. This sense of continuity must be strengthened through meditation and tested during the subjective phases of sleep, until it becomes profound and powerful. When one can experience what it means to pass through myriads of lives, one can effortlessly put oneself in the position of vast varieties of beings whose states of consciousness correspond to whatever one has already experienced. To attain such a high level of continuity requires great detachment and mastery over the art of non-involvement, pancha shila. One must learn the art of non-interference because one knows that global Karma is vast and one is determined to add to the sum of human good by the power of meditation. To walk unobtrusively through life, minimizing the creation of karma, is a mark of wisdom. If the sutratman becomes activated, then one comes closer to Oeaohoo, who "contains in himself the Seven Creative Hosts... and is thus the essence of manifested Wisdom". One comes closer to what sometimes is called the Ancient of Days, to the primordial givers of wisdom. And therefore it is said, "He who bathes in the light of Oeaohoo will never be deceived by the veil of Maya."

 The objective world constantly entices one to exaggerate the sense of reality that belongs to what is only partially alive. People make a great deal of fuss over minor detail relevant only to the instrumentality of the physical body and are much deceived by the glamour of maya. If one thinks that the main factors in life are likes and dislikes, one is going to be agitated by antipathies and sympathies. One will live not as a noetic, discriminating, immortal individuality, but as a vociferating, volatile persona. If one knows this danger at the moment of birth because one has already glimpsed the light and entered the stream of spiritual wisdom, one has gained self-consciousness in reference to the sutratman at the moment of death in a previous life. If one could bring this knowledge through the subjective phases of existence between lives to the moment of birth, then one can readily recognize that one cannot really participate in the maya that people mistake for the real world. One would develop devices to leave people's illusions undisturbed wherever possible, and keep oneself undistracted by those illusions. One would create a magnetic orbit in which it is possible to move with ears attuned, as Thoreau said, to another drummer, to the music of the spheres, to Brahma Vach, the Verbum. Then one could become conscious of the sacred company of the Men of the Word. The Vedic Hymn to Vach makes reference to the extraordinary companionship of those who have knowledge of what is and give measure to worship:

When, O Lord of the Word, the Wise established
Name-giving, the first principle of language,
Their inmost excellence, pristine and pure,
Hidden deep within, was brought to light through love.

When the Wise created language with the mind,
As winnowing ground barley with a sieve,
Friends acknowledged the essence of friendship;
Upon their speech was impressed the mark of grace.

With devotion they walked the path of the Word
Which they saw abiding within the Seers.
They drew it out, ordering it all ways,
The Word which the Seven Sages exalt.

 The mysteries of initiation intimated here are hidden through many veils and are genuinely accessible only to those who have sought through deep meditation to open the eye of Wisdom. Divine discrimination requires us to look upon seeming events, not from the locus of the perishable personality, but from the impartial standpoint of the immortal soul. Each experience must be assimilated not only in terms of its present meaning, but also in its relation to the moment of death. Those privileged to hear the Word must understand all things in relation to the ability to summon it to consciousness at the moment of death. To live in this way is to cherish the constant aim of selfless regeneration. Those who do so in any appreciable measure will in time develop an unspoken awareness of the sacred meaning of the mysterious Serpents and Dragons of Wisdom:

 The primitive symbol of the serpent symbolised divine Wisdom and Perfection, and had always stood for psychical Regeneration and Immortality. Hence – Hermes, calling the serpent the most spiritual of all beings; Moses, initiated in the wisdom of Hermes, following suit in Genesis; thc Gnostic's Serpent with the seven vowels over its head, being the emblem of the seven hierarchies of the Septenary or Planetary Creators. Hence, also, the Hindu serpent Sesha or Ananta, "the Infinite," a name of Vishnu, whose first Vahan or vehicle on the primordial waters is this serpent.

 Within the subjective vestures of awakened spiritual consciousness the neophyte will begin to understand and experience the different aspects of the process of regeneration. "The mystery of apparent self-generation and evolution through its own creative power repeating in miniature the process of Cosmic evolution in the egg, both being due to heat and moisture under the efflux of the unseen creative spirit..." Heat on a purely subjective level would refer to the spiritual fire activated by meditation, and moisture would pertain to the compassion of the Bodhisattvas, the archetypal equivalent of rain falling upon the earth. The serpent in philosophical and religious symbolism is "an emblem of eternity, infinitude, regeneration, and rejuvenation, as well as of wisdom". If a person deeply meditates upon this idea, it will provide the basis for raising the simple process of sifting through experience to a refined art whereby, in the alembic of ideation and imagination, one may burn out the dross in life and alchemize what may be transmuted into potent energies that are capable of reproducing benefit for all living beings.

Hermes, May 1980
by Raghavan Iyer