Recognising and Fixing Dysfunction
So we came into this life because our Higher Functions require it (see my previous notes on how unity cannot grow and evolve without binary). In order to become everything we are in potential, we must express our inner nature and bring it out into the open where it be recognised and Understood. This is why binary existence was created, because the binary allows for growth, where Unity cannot.
Here we are, then, now as adults. Our mind and body are built upon a perfect model or blueprint that exists in the memory of the world (anima mundi). Then as we were developing as a very young infant our mind was trained how to experience and how to approach the world by people who are close to us (family and friends). Of course, even though each of these people has developed their own way of understanding and surviving in the world, and they are passing on that understanding to us (their memes), those understandings are not entirely accurate, and in some cases contain serious flaws, which is only natural. Along with our inheritance of those flaws, we also stumble across accidents in life, which cause us trauma, and establish dysfunctions in our view of the world and our behaviour. Everyone is subject to these errors in programming … without exception.
Now, the whole point in being alive is to express our inner potential. This means not only our beneficial potential, but also our dysfunctions, and nature has evolved a very interesting way of doing this … and its an mechanism a lot of people struggle with understanding. So I suggest, if you don't get this the first time, re-read it and think about it until you grasp what I'm saying.
Previously I have said that everything we are is stored in our personal unconscious (our personal version of the anima mundi). I also explained that this 'memory' of what we have experienced is part of the mechanism that creates our reality. So, for example, the anima mundi doesn't just tell cells how to grow, but it also actually builds our external reality, based on what we contain in our unconscious.
When we look out at the world around us, that world is like a collective agreement by all living beings about what the world should look like. It is the 'collective unconscious' externalised … literally. So the world around us is like the hardcopy of the software that has stored all of humanities experience. So in a manner, it is like a virtual reality.
We know that when we travel around in this world stuff happens here which everyone agrees upon. There are trees, dogs, fish, taxes, and war, and we hate today's price of oranges. But we also know that within this bigger picture stuff is going on that is personal to ourselves. At this level we might understand that within the collective understanding about what the world is, our personal journey is overlaid … our personal journey modifies our immediate envirinment to cause things to happen to us, which we require for our personal growth.
The way this happens is that, since we cannot (under normal conditions) look inside our mind and see whats there, and what needs fixing, our Nephesch (unconscious mind) projects the content of our unconscious out onto the exterior world. Modern psychology, to a degree, recognises this factor and has its own ways of explaining it. So, for example, it can be said that when we dislike something in someone else, what we are actually seeing in them is a fault in our own mind. In other words, a fault in our own mind is 'projected' on to the exterior person. Another way of saying this is … lets imagine a woman who is afraid of chickens. Every time she sees one she becomes rigid with fear … and in her way of looking at the situation … there is something dangerous about chickens. Of course the rest of us look at checkens and wonder what on earth is wrong with the woman. So what is the difference between the woman with the fear, and everyone else? The difference is the woman with the fear is projecting a problem she personally has, on to something that itself does not express that problem.
This mechanism happens in every area of our lives. I can never really know what you are as a person. What I 'believe' you are is always a matter of personal interpretation, and personal interpretation is always affected by the 'stuff' we have been programmed with in childhood. It decides for us why we buy a blue car instead of a green one. Why we chat-up a particular guy at the night club over some other guy. Why we end up a road worker over a politician. In other words, the way we personally view the word, because of the quirks in our unconscious, defines the nature of our reality … defines how we experience the world.
Also, in this way, we are forced over and over again to face certain types of situation until we recognise what is happening, and attempt to understand the problem, until we can learn how to fix it. Anyone who has lived through many close reationships with partners of the opposite gender will recognise that often we keep falling for the exact same kind of person over and over again, no matter how much we try to avoid repeating our previous mistakes in such relationships.
Thusfar, this is how normal human life unfolds. For most of our existence we are victim to our projections. But at a certain stage in our journey we suddenly click as to what is going on, and we then are urged by an inner desire to fix our dysfunctions, to search for a method which will bring us more harmony. This is the point, whether we know it or not at the time, that the tables have turned and our inner condition is pointing us in the direction of the exit door. For the average person at that point how long it takes them to find a source of guidance that will get them to where they need to be (back in balance) depends on how much garbage they still need to fix, and how co-operative they are with themselves about finding solutions.
Then, when a certain flash-point is reached, the Unity Mind in us takes over a more complete control of our projection onto the world, and it projects Itself onto someone in our environment, and that exterior person becomes (as it were) the vehicle for the drive back toward balance for the individual. In this way the teacher finds the student, not the other way around.
The true process of initiation is not begun, though, until that aspirant has found a teacher who has the ability to re-establish a link between the aspirant's lower functions, and his Higher Functions. Any other situation, of an occult nature, that looks like initiation, but cannot and does not re-establish that link, is simply a prelude to true Hermetic Training. This is because, as only an initiate can really Understand, ultimately the solution to the problem of life is only found through establishing that link with the Higher Functions, the only place where the 'answer' resides.
This can be relatively easily demonstrated, because anyone who is actually in the position of being a true initiator can see, in their mind's eye, (metaphorically) a list of the individuals who are on their way to becoming his students, in the manner of a type of psychological rolodex. At the same time any student of such a teacher is usually taught, early on, how to prove for himself how from an internal level (in the unconscious) the entire 'connection' between teacher and student was already established before the student even became aware of an urge to seek instruction. This aspect of the true initiatory relationship is one that any true student, and any true teacher, are both very much aware of … as much as any average person knows who there family is.
Ok, so all of this is a little airy fairy for most people. There would, at this point, often be the sigh, and the query … well, ok, if all of this is true, so what? … and there is a couple of key points to be made here :)
- That there is a point in being 'average', and that is that we … individually and collectively have a lot of rubbish yet to fix before we can even be ready for the cool stuff.
- That being ready to finish off the fixing process requires 'ripeness', and this is a point that the old alchemical Adepti often made a point of.
- That any attempt at trying to end the game before official time-out only results in a slap in the face from life.
- That once ripeness is reached, even though we can stall 'getting with the program', trying to remain average becomes increasing more uncomfortable as we ourselves slowly become less average ourselves, because of the way we are starting to think and behave.
'Normal' living is a highly addictive behaviour. No matter how much we try to tell ourselves we are going to seek Spiritual Illumination with all of our heart's desire, the 'reality' is that if we try, we find the chocolate of herd existence is hard to walk past in the supermarket of life. For those who try to remain on the fence, and not enter into the alchemical process of life that leads to an extreme Higher expression of self, usually a crisis eventuates which forces the situation.
Either way, when The Great Alchemist Of The Universe recognises you are ripe for the Great Work, you will find yourself facing the Threshold of the Ancient Mysteries, a candidate for Hermetic initiation, and the Guardian checking your credentials of admission. When that happens, the first stage of the training process, exactly as we see in the process of lab alchemy, begins with Death and Putrefaction.
At this stage of this human life we are at the same point in the lab work where the alchemist takes his crude matter, from nature, and begins his Great Work upon it. The aspirant being 'actually' ready for training (as opposed to assuming he is), the alchemist takes him as his crude matter, and begins the inner alchemical Great Work upon him. The student is the subject of the experiment, not some idle by-stander, where the alchemist will now treat him as he would treat his laboratory materia, manipulating his crude state to bring about extreme changes in him, with the purpose of producing a substance which in the final stage of the work will be radically different from the substance as it was taken from nature.
This essay was first published on the Hermetic Alchemy Forum on 23 April 2013, as post #127.
©️ rubaphilos salfluĕre 2022
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