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DANCE OF ECSTASY Dance of Ecstasy results from a project begun in 1980, motivated by a desire to understand personal experiences which

seemed inexplicable by anything I knew at the time. It has been published to paper twice by Alpha O Press, but the web see ms a better way to dissemenate the information contained here. At various times I thought the project was complete, or nearly so, only to discover that I found something unclear or not as well presented as I would like. So the editing and a mmending continues. This is an ongoing project. It is also copyrighted, but may be reproduced in any form. Michael Wassil Last changes made on 09 November, 2002 Synopsis Dance of Ecstasy is several things. First, it is a literary detective story, com plete with elusive characters, hidden mysteries, secret keys, elaborate riddles, misleading clues and deliberate misinformation. Second, it is the analysis of a remarkable work of hellenistic literature, which was the product of multiple mo tives and conflicting ideas, and containing multiple layers of meaning. Third, i t is the comparison of that hellenistic work to others of apparantly similar con tent and purpose, produced more or less contemporaneously in India. Fourth, it i s an attempted reconstruction of a theory of consciousness upon which that ancie nt work was based, although in a concerted effort to repress all evidence of the existence of that theory. And finally, it is an attempt to demonstrate the rele vance of that theory of consciousness to all human beings in all times, includin g, and perhaps especially, our own. I think you will find that Dance of Ecstasy presents compelling evidence for new answers to the perennial questions: Who am I? What am I? What is going on here? You will find that these new answers challenge popular understanding of the nat ure of life, human experience, existence, consciousness, and sexuality. The radi cal reappraisal of these matters may shock some and anger others. Yet, I hope yo u will find the evidence offered in Dance of Ecstasy as thoroughly convincing as it may be controversial. Many hellenistic gnostic sects of the first and second centuries claimed to poss ess secret meanings and esoteric teachings. While few scholars have seriously th ought that the sect which came to be called Christianity also did so, even a cur sory reading reveals a hidden level of teaching hinted at more or less openly th roughout the Christian New Testament. Dance of Ecstasy exposes the presence of t hat secret teaching and lays bare its thoroughly gnostic content. Ironically, th ough orthodox Christianity bitterly opposed its gnostic competitors, it preserve d within its own canon of sacred scriptures one of the most important gnostic do cuments every penned! The key to understanding that hidden teaching lies in the numerical values of certain Greek words used in the final book of the Christian testament, the Apocalypse. With a turn of its numerical key, what is revealed hi dden within the Apocalypse is a gnostic manual of personal salvation, as distinc t from the "Christian" path to salvation as night from day. In addition, Dance of Ecstasy reveals the source from which the gnostic authors derived their esoteric teaching. Although the gnostic authors attempted to disgu ise this source material, usurp and corrupt its meaning when necessary and eradi cate it wherever possible in the text, they could not remove all the clues to it s presence. Again, ironically, in their efforts to preserve their own dubious vi sion of existence, the gnostics inadvertantly preserved within the Christian can on evidence of the most remarkable and holistic theory of consciousness yet envi sioned by mankind. This source, hidden within the Apocalypse under a gnostic vei l of anagrams, riddles, misleading allusions and metaphysical accretions, is a c omprehensive treatise on human consciousness. Stripped of its gnostic overlay an

d disguise, this remarkable source reveals itself to be essentially identical to the tantric path to what in that metaphysical system is termed "self realizatio n." Dance of Ecstasy concludes that the miscontrued "God" of Christian orthodoxy cor responds to the "self," as defined by tantric theory, of every individual man an d woman. The conscious realization of that self is the "kingdom within" to which we are summoned. Dance of Ecstasy presents the evidence for this conclusion and discusses the methodology through which self realization may be sought. Dance o f Ecstasy concludes further that the path to self realization is based firmly an d ultimately upon an ancient, nondual and life-affirming theory of consciousness that predates Christianity by many centuries and upon its methodology of the ma le/female love/sex relationship. I have dubbed this theory of consciousness the Metaphysic of Ecstasy. Dance of Ecstasy reveals clearly the complete complementarity of the Apocalypse, Indian metaphysics in general and that specific branch of it called tantra. I t hink you will find the correspondences and the parallels beyond doubt. To my knowledge, Dance of Ecstasy presents the most detailed, rigorous and conci se comparison between the Apocalypse and Indian metaphysics ever attempted, expl aining the differences between the ideas espoused by the gnostics and the theory of consciousness proposed by the Metaphysic of Ecstasy. Dance of Ecstasy demons trates that the Metaphysic of Ecstasy is profoundly psychological and shares the broad pathway of tantric methodologies and metaphysical speculation. Dance of E cstasy examines in detail the correlations between Indian tantra and the theory of consciousness of the Metaphysic of Ecstasy. And finally, Dance of Ecstasy ill uminates how the Metaphysic of Ecstasy remains free of the medieval corruptions suffered by tantra. You may judge for yourself how successfully I have accomplished my work. PROLOGUE Who am I? What am I? What is going on here? All human beings have been asking th ese three questions since the day we first gained the capacity to ask questions. Ultimately, these three are the only questions that matter. All others derive f rom these three. Everything we do, everything that we think and imagine are really just attempts to find answers for these three questions. Our personal and our communal lives a s social beings depend entirely upon the answers we arrive at. How we see oursel ves and the world around us depends upon our answers. Our inner experience of ourselves as human beings - our feelings, our expectatio ns, our dreams, our fears, our disappointments, our successes, in short everythi ng - derives from the answers we discover for these three questions. Our interac tions and our activities with one another and the impact these have on the plane t and other living species derive from the way we answer these questions. Dance of Ecstasy presents strong and compelling evidence for new and quite excit ing answers to these perennial questions that have vexed every human generation. These new answers will challenge popular understanding of the nature of life, h uman experience, existence, consciousness, and sexuality. In the process of disc overing these new answers, what heretofore has been called the "supernatural and the divine" assumes a revolutionary and startlingly fresh perspective. The radical reappraisal of these matters may shock some and anger others. What y ou are about to read touches upon every facet of human experience and understand ing. Yet, you will find the evidence offered in Dance of Ecstasy as thoroughly c

onvincing as it may be controversial. The theory of consciousness outlined in this essay charts a course towards ultim ate personal meaning and fulfilment. This theory points the way towards a new re solution of the global dilemma of fear, hatred and anxiety faced by humanity. Fo r the problems of the world are in the end problems of the individual human psyc he. They will only be solved in the world at large when they are resolved within each of us. As startling and unexpected as its findings may be, Dance of Ecstasy culminates a century of detailed and tedious scholarship on the secret metaphysical theorie s hidden within the doctrines formulated by early Christianity. This scholarship commenced with the work of James Morgan Pryse. Later and independently, Alan Wa tts further contributed. My own contribution results directly from more than fif teen years of research and investigation, instigated by a need to understand per sonal experiences which seemed inexplicable by anything I knew at the time. This investigation led to conclusions I could never have imagined when I first began my research. I invite you to share with me the excitement that I felt making th ese discoveries! Many hellenistic gnostic sects of the first and second centuries claimed to poss ess secret meanings and esoteric teachings. While few scholars have seriously th ought that the sect which came to be called Christianity did so, even a cursory reading reveals a hidden level of teaching hinted at more or less openly through out the Christian New Testament. Despite this, those who have attempted to pursu e the hints have generally met with hostility from the academic community and th eir work relegated to obscurity. This is more than unfortunate since it has disc ouraged many who could have made a significant and accepted contribution to this investigation unwilling to do so. Understandibly, most scholars are unwilling t o risk their reputations and careers exploring a subject that promises no return for their efforts. Consequently, the work has been left by default to those wit h little or nothing to risk professionally. The cryptic comments scattered throughout the New Testament may allude to an ora l body of orthodox doctrines reserved for a select few, in the same manner of co ntemporary gnostics. They may represent a ruse inserted by the Christian orthodo x to give the impression that they, like their gnostic competitors, had secrets to reveal to those worthy of them. Finally, they may refer to doctrines that the ir gnostic, or other nonorthodox, competitors managed to infiltrate into the Chr istian corpus during an age when few books existed and those that did were copie d by hand by scribes whose ideological allegiance might be in doubt. I make no claim that the metaphysical theories discovered hidden within their ow n sacred writings represent the efforts of orthodox Christians. Indeed, since wi nning the gnostic wars and becoming the official religion of the fading Roman Em pire, Christians have claimed they possess no secrets, that their catholicity le aves no room for elite and secret teaching. So the best I can claim is that the orthodox became the custodians of a body of knowledge that may not be of their o wn making, and if not their own than the making of gnostic and/or nonorthodox Ch ristians with whom the orthodox were in active contention for more than three hu ndred years. The precise "how" and "who" of the hidden theories may never be fully understood . Indeed, the orthodox have taken great pains to liquidate the evidence of their early competitors and to give the impression of doctrinal uniformity. Despite t heir efforts, the fact of the knowledge can not be denied. In the Apocalypse Uns ealed (1910) James Morgan Pryse took the initial steps in bringing to light the secret doctrines hidden within the literal meaning of the words of the New Testa ment. Pryse decoded the gnostic message concealed very skilfully within the fanc iful imagery and symbolism of the Apocalypse. He demonstrated beyond doubt strik

ing parallels with Indian Vedic metaphysics and the hidden gnostic doctrine. With The Restored New Testament (1914) Pryse extended his painstaking work to in clude the three Synoptic Gospels. His work on these Gospels is as thorough and c onsistent as his work on the Apocalypse. The badly mutilated condition of the Go spels, however, renders all interpretation questionable. In fact, most modern bi blical authorities concur on the terrible condition of the Gospels as a whole, a nd write them off as nearly hopeless. That Pryse was able to make sense of them at all is truly remarkable in itself, whether or not one accepts completely his interpretation. Fortunately, the Apocalypse has not suffered corruption to the same extent as th e Gospels. Furthermore, the relatively pristine condition of the Apocalypse can be demonstrated from the text itself without recourse to any other New Testament material. In fact, the Apocalypse provides the key to understanding and properl y interpreting the fragments of hidden doctrines within the remainder of the New Testament. Consequently, Dance of Ecstasy relies upon the Apocalypse for its co nclusions and only draws upon the Gospels secondarily. As detailed by James Pryse, the key to understanding the secret teachings hidden within the Christian scriptures is really quite simple yet ingenious. That key lies in the numerical values of certain Greek words. With a turn of that numeric al key, the esoteric contents of the Apocalypse specifically, and also those of the Christian Gospels, emerge. According to Pryse's work, what is revealed hidden within the literal meaning of the words of the Apocalypse is a gnostic doctrine of self emancipation that is identical to the doctrines of the Indian Yoga School, epitomized by Raja Yoga as elucidated by Patanjali. To my astonishment, it was left to me to discover that the hidden gnostic document is itself the rewriting of an earlier source, eithe r written or oral, which turns out to be a comprehensive theory of consciousness . This source, I was to discover, the gnostic authors took great pains to disgui se and distort to their own purposes. Yet as successful as they were hiding thei r own secret doctrines, they were less successful eradicating the evidence of th eir source. The detailed theory of consciousness which the gnostics corrupted to their own e nds is as totally alien to their secret doctrine of personal emancipation as it is to the many orthodox sects that came bear the name Christian. But it is essen tially identical to the tantric path to what in that metaphysical system is term ed "self realization." Compared to the psychological and metaphysical descriptio n of human consciousness hidden and preserved within the Apocalypse, inadvertant ly by its gnostics authors, the convoluted theology of popular Christianity is p uerile. The childishly anthropomorphic deity and simple dualistic conception of existence pale in the comparison. Indeed, the gnostic theory itself can be seen to be only slightly more sophisticated than that of the orthodox. In The Supreme Identity (Pantheon, 1950) Alan Watts detailed the many correspond ing metaphysical concepts underlying Vedic, Buddhist and Christian terminologies . Watts detailed the inner congruities of these superficially dissimilar doctrin es. The work of Watts complemented and extended the work of Pryse in the Apocaly pse Unsealed and The Restored New Testament and formed a necessary second step i n unlocking the occult doctrines hidden within the Christian documents. The Supr eme Identity introduced a more subtle level of understanding. Although Watts giv es no indication that he was aware of the work of Pryse, his own contribution bu ilt very consistently upon the foundation provided by Pryse. My own investigations centered around kabala, tantra and Taoism, and culminated in the writing of Dance of Ecstasy. My work led to the next and third step to un locking the secret teaching hidden within the Christian writings. Dance of Ecsta

sy reveals clearly the complete complementarity of the Apocalypse, Indian metaph ysics in general and that specific branch of it called tantra. As I hope to demo nstrate, the correspondences and the parallels are beyond doubt. Dance of Ecstasy concludes that the miscontrued "God" of Christian orthodoxy cor responds to the "self," as defined in tantric theory, of every individual man an d woman. The conscious realization of that self is the "kingdom within" to which we are summoned. Dance of Ecstasy concludes further that the path to self reali zation is based firmly and ultimately upon an ancient, nondual and life-affirmin g theory of consciousness that predates "Christianity" by many centuries and upo n its methodology of the male/female love/sex relationship. I have dubbed this t heory of consciousness the Metaphysic of Ecstasy. This ancient theory was clearly both holistic and humanist. It underlay the vene rable goddess religion of antiquity in its various forms. Although it has been n early exterminated by the dualistic and materialistic metaphysic which forcefull y overthrew it, vestiges of its remarkable insight and methodologies survive to this day, most notably in Indian tantra and Taoist yoga, and in the west in kaba la and alchemy. To my knowledge, Dance of Ecstasy presents the most detailed, rigorous and conci se comparison between the Apocalypse and Indian metaphysics ever attempted, expl aining the differences between the ideas espoused by the gnostics and the theory of consciousness of the Metaphysic of Ecstasy. Dance of Ecstasy demonstrates th at the Metaphysic of Ecstasy is profoundly psychological and shares the broad pa thway of tantric methodologies and metaphysical speculation. Dance of Ecstasy ex amines in detail the correlations between Indian tantra and the theory of consci ousness of the Metaphysic of Ecstasy, and enumerates how the latter remains free of the medieval corruptions suffered by the former. Dance of Ecstasy details that subtle, complex yet simple and comprehensive human ist theory of consciousness of antiquity. The theory of consciousness of the Met aphysic of Ecstasy predates the violent institution of the dualistic, materialis tic and life-denying metaphysic that currently underlies western civilization. T his same metaphysical system also underlies all forms of Christian orthodoxy and much of oriental, and particularly Vedic, spirituality. Dance of Ecstasy proposes a return to that humanist theory of consciousness. A r eturn to humanity's holistic spiritual source, wherein the male and female aspec ts of consciousness again complement rather than oppose one another, is presente d as the only way to heal permanently the wounds of the human psyche. The unbala nced and cruelly self destructive materialistic metaphysic is the source of the psychic malaise that the human race suffers. This metaphysic subverts all effort s to integrate the psyche and sets humanity's psychic powers warring against one another. Truly no house could be further divided against itself than the human soul under the sway of this metaphysic. Clearly, it must be abandoned in favour of a more complete theory of consciousness if humanity is to heal itself and evo lve further. As you may now appreciate, the material considered here is both subtle and compl ex. I have attempted to present it in a simple and relatively straight forward m anner. None the less many technical ideas and terms must appear. As a consequence, throughout this essay, I utilize whatever Sanskrit and Greek t erms I feel are helpful to understand the theory of consciousness of the Metaphy sic of Ecstasy. As I do not espouse any particular school of Greek or Indian phi losophy or tantra, the many definitions, understandings, connotations and extrap olations I present do not necessarily represent those of any established system. My use of these terms and my English renderings of them are entirely my own. My

usage, however, is based upon the generally accepted meanings and understanding of Greek and Indian philosophy and metaphysics in their various formulations. Wi th but few exceptions, scholars of Greek philosophy and Sanskrit metaphysics wil l find that Dance of Ecstasy is not based upon the peculiar interpretation of te rms. Nowhere are terms interpreted in a devious or mysterious manner. In fact, m y intention has been to remove the mysterious and the mystical as much as possib le. And I think I have succeeded remarkably well in doing so. I have attempted to use Greek and Sanskrit terms with as much precision as possi ble without being pedantic. I intend the use of Sanskrit terms to make possible direct comparisons between western and Indian doctrines. If the thesis presented here is correct, the New Testament Apocalypse serves as a key to unlocking a hi therto concealed metaphysical understanding and theory hidden within the teachin gs of Christianity. This concealed perspective forms a bridge between east and w est far more extensive than any proponent of religious ecumenism could imagine. The Apocalypse is undeniably one of the canonical scriptures of the Christian tr adition. Admittedly, there was considerable debate about the "orthodoxy" of all the writings attributed to John into the third century due primarily to their "m ystical" style and apparent lack of agreement with the supposedly "historical" n arratives of the synoptic gospels. But this merely indicates that literal minded fundamentalists have always found it difficult to understand anything other tha n the superficial and the simple. Following apparent second and third century editing to render his gospel more pa latable to the growing ecclesiastical powers in Rome, all the writings attribute d to John, including the Apocalypse, have been accepted by Christians as canonic al. In spite of disagreements interpreting it and even some last minute attempts to prevent its inclusion in the official canon of sacred scriptures, the Apocal ypse has been revered and accepted by the majority of Christians. Thus, what can be demonstrated as valid regarding the Apocalypse must be equally valid regardi ng the inclusion of hidden secrets within the Christian teaching as a whole. It may be argued that the majority of Christians have never really understood th e Apocalypse, an argument with which I completely concur. Someone, however, at s ome time understood and took great pains to ensure that this enigmatic book was enshrined in the canon of Christian sacred books in order to preserve it for pos terity, misunderstanding Christians included. Its connection to other Christian writings cannot be denied. It uses the same terms, the same allusions, the same symbols throughout. And that the remainder of the important Christian scriptures , mutiliated as they may be from their original wording, must also at some level of understanding speak to the same issues as those addressed by the Apocalypse is an inevitable conclusion. That the Apocalypse, even superficially, shows gnostic influences is no argument against its validity. Much of orthodox Christianity shows gnostic influence, de spite its official opposition to the main themes of gnostic thought. Indeed, the re is little evidence to suggest that Christianity was not, at least in part, a product of what we now call gnosticism, whose metaphysical and religious specula tions flowered during the the three hundred years from the middle of the first c entury BC to the mid-third century AD. And well into the Middle Ages in the case of Manichaeism and its most famous proponent, "Saint" Augustine. I point this out here, since the temptation may arise for some to dismiss the Ap ocalypse as an aberration. To dismiss it out of hand on the grounds that what it presents is too farfetched to orthodox understanding would be a grave error. In its ingenious composition and subtlety the Apocalypse remains one of the most r emarkable literary works ever written. The Apocalypse, more than any other Chris tian scripture, deserves its place of respect. The time has come finally to perc eive its meaning clearly.

Interestingly enough, the Apocalypse itself was composed as a concise statement of the gnostic doctrine of the dualistic metaphysic, subversive only in its meth ods for attaining personal salvation from this supposed vale of tears. Fortunate ly, however, as I was to discover, its author or authors simply rewrote what was apparently one of the most profound documents of the earlier humanist theory of consciousness, altering its symbols and skewing its meaning to suit their purpo ses. The rewriting resulted in a remarkable piece of literature that encoded a secret doctrine of personal emancipation within the facade of a religious diatribe and cryptic chronicle of the religious and political intrigues of first century Pal estine. The author or authors achieved their purpose, which was apparently to en shrine this secret gnostic doctrine in the canon of Christian orthodoxy, with it s real meaning safely hidden away from the profane gaze of the churchmen who wou ld so faithfully preserve it through the centuries! Their effort also preserved the secrets of the earlier theory of consciousness o f the Metaphysic of Ecstasy, albeit inadvertently. The author or authors sought to obliterate this primordial meaning and replace it with their own. But here th ey met with only partial success. In the rewriting they followed their prototype too closely, left too many clues to its existence and left one character in the drama whose identity would lead ultimately to the solution of the literary puzz le of the millennia! I think that Dance of Ecstasy does full justice to the remarkable achievement of the author or author's of the Apocalypse in committing their gnostic doctrine t o posterity. Further, I think it does justice to that even more secret doctrine from which those authors plagiarized their work and which exposes the pretense o f their dualistic and life-denying metaphysic. For that most wonderful and lifeaffirming theory of consciousness, the Metaphysic of Ecstasy, is the real subjec t matter of this essay and my work. In deference to those readers with little or no background knowledge, I do not e laborate Indian metaphysics or tantra beyond the basics. I feel strongly that a basic understanding of tantra and its concepts can be helpful to a more thorough understanding of the Apocalypse. Beyond that, however, no one need proceed unle ss interested in Indian philosophies and methodologies for their own sake. The l iterature available to do so is enormous. I encourage those who may be so inclined and qualified to pursue the comparisons with Indian ideas and metaphysics examined here in outline in a more detailed a nd technical manner. Certainly, this will prove a fruitful area of research. Those readers with little or no background in the Sanskrit taphysics may find themselves feeling a bit overwhelmed at and, more knowledgeable readers are apt to be disappointed and superficial discussion of Indian concepts. I apologize focus here is the Metaphysic of Ecstasy. language or Indian me times. On the other h in my somewhat brief for this. My primary

In composing this essay I had the choice of dealing with the subject matter in a strictly critical fashion by supporting every assertion and every conclusion wi th appropriate references. I decided not to do so, and have written primarily fo r the general reader. Supporting my several arguments with the necessary barrage of academic references and continual qualifications that such a strictly critic al approach requires would have proven needlessly tedious. So I have decided to defer most such critical support and qualification to another volume. In the body of the text, citations are linked to their specific note or referenc e. If you choose to read the note or reference you can return to your place in t

he text. Conventional biblical criticism has undoubtedly contributed much to tracing the literary and linguistic heritage of the Apocalypse. Its methods, however, have p roven totally useless in understanding anything more than the literal meaning of the text. This results primarily from the religious bias of most of the scholar s involved in biblical work. They look only at the literal meaning and ignore an ything that leads in directions contrary to their religious orthodoxy. Only late ly, due primarily to the controversial theories about the Dead Sea Scrolls publi shed by J. L. Teicher, Robert Eisenman and, most recently, Barbara Thiering, Jes us & the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Doubleday Canada, 1992), have conventio nal scholars been compelled to accept that deeper meanings may underlay the lite ral. I offer the work and theories presented here freely and openly so that others ma y examine them critically. I ask only that the evidence presented be judged on i ts own merits and not by whether or not it conforms precisely to something that has already been expounded elsewhere. The material presented here warrants unbia sed study. Some general readers may wish more background information and/or a more critical argument. In lieu of such supporting references throughout the text I offer tho se general readers the following reading and reference suggestions. For conventional criticism: The Interpreter's Bible, George A. Buttrick, ed, Abi ngdon Press, 1957; Peake's Commentary on the Bible, Black and Rowley, Nelson and Son Ltd, 1963; Jerome Bible Commentary,Brown, Fitzmyer and Murphy, eds, Prentis s Hall, 1968; and, Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hershel Shanks, ed, Rando m House, 1992. For some serious problems regarding orthodox interpretation in the light of the CODEX SINIATICUS: Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, Doubleday, 1986. Altern ative interpretations in the light of the NAG HAMADI texts: The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, Random House, 1979. Insight into the politics of religious doctr ine: Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Elaine Pagels, Random House, 1988. Alternative interpretations in light of the QUMRAN texts: Jesus & the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Barbara Thiering, Doubleday Canada, 1992. For a more detailed elucidation of the metaphysic of nonduality and its relevanc e to Christian doctrines: The Supreme Identity, Alan Watts, Pantheon, 1950. For an introduction to the inner meanings of Christianity and its symbols: The Masks of God: Creative Mythology, Joseph Campbell, Viking, 1968; and, The Kingdom Wit hin, John Sanford, Paulist Press, 1970. For an elaboration of Indian terminology and various systems of thought: Self-Kn owledge (Atmabodha): An English Translation of Sankaracharya's Atmabodha with No tes, Comments and Introduction, Swami Nikhilananda, Ramakrishna Vivekananda Cent er, 1946; and, Yoga and Psychotherapy: The Evolution of Consciousness, Rama, Bal lentine, Ajaya, Himalayan International Institute, 1976. For specifically tantric terminology and concepts: Tantra: The Yoga of Sex, Omar Garrison, Julian, 1964; and, Tantras: Their Philosophy and Occult Secrets, D. N . Bose and Hiralal Haldar, Firma KLM Private, Ltd., 1981. Finally, for recent scientific knowledge and speculation on reality and the natu re and process of consciousness: Order out of Chaos, Prigogine and Stengers, Ban tam, 1984; Beyond the Quantum, Michael Talbot, Bantam, 1986; The Matter Myth, Da vies and Gribbin, Simon and Schuster, 1992; and, The Physics of Immortality, Fra nk J. Tippler, Doubleday, 1994.

The common meanings of all Greek and Sanskrit terms appear in the glossary. For the Sanskrit, they are derived primarily from the following sources: Perennial P sychology of the Bhagavad Gita, Swami Rama, Himalayan International Institute, 1 985; Tantras: Their Philosophy and Occult Secrets; and The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda, Bell Publishing Co., 1960. The common meanings of Greek terms are derived from: The Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell, Scott, Jones and McKenzie, Oxford, 1953; Strong's Exhaustive Concordanc e and Dictionary of Greek Words, Strong, Riverside, n.d.; and, The Interlinear G reek-English New Testament with Lexicon and Synonyms, George Ricker Berry, Zonde rvan Publishing House, n.d. 1.1 THE HOLY BOOK The fundamentalist and literalist Christian generally accepts the New Testament Apocalypse as an accurate record of visions actually seen by its alleged author. The critical Christian scholar has always found the meaning and interpretation of these visions a serious problem. The problem is quite simply, how does one re concile faith and belief with credibility and reality? Most of this stuff when t aken literally is just outrageous. To the unbiased modern reader the fantastic setting of the book, macabre images, and the death and destruction at the hands of God seem farfetched. At best the book seems a farce, like some rather primitive and grotesque pseudo science fict ion fantasy. At worst, it seems the pathological outpouring of a religious bigot and fanatic. Yet, despite its visionary and bizarre superficial appearance, the Apocalypse tu rns out to be a rather straight forward textbook. The subject matter is abstruse , but the presentation is logical and orderly from start to finish. Had the book been written in 1990 in undisguised language we would recognise it instantly fo r what it really is. That is far from being an account of the end of the world, the fantasies of a religious fanatic, or a mere cryptic chronology of political and religious intringue. We would find it rather beside Jung in the Psychology section of any well stocke d bookstore. For it has everything to do with the study of the human psyche. It has nothing to do with religion or politics, except to expose religion for the s uperstitious sham that it is, and to use the religious and political jargon of f irst century Jewish Zealots to diguise its true meanings. Despite its appearance to the contrary, the Apocalypse is a very coherent whole. It is symmetrical in its composition, with every detail fitted into its appropr iate place. In its clear, orderly arrangement and concise statement the book is a model of precise literary workmanship. But the Apocalypse was composed purpose ly to confuse and to mystify. It contains a series of elaborate puzzles, some of which are based upon the numerical values of certain Greek words. These key wor ds serve to verify the correct interpretation of the more important symbols in t he book. As well, these key words provide the necessary clues for interpreting t he remaining symbols. Thus, the book contains all of the elements necessary to u nderstand its hidden meanings and to verify the correctness of that understandin g. Christian literalists have failed to solve these various riddles only because of their dogged insistence on reading the book simply as a straight forward accoun t. To the literalists there are no riddles! They see only what the book appears to be on the surface and nothing more. The literalists insist that the meaning o f the book is simply what their superficial reading can make of it and that ther e are no hidden meanings or interpretations.

Surprisingly, it takes only a little discrimination to recognise clearly that th e visionary style of the book is mere artifice. Whatever his reasons, the author utilized symbols and a rather simple yet ingenious cipher to mystify uncritical readers and to disguise the real meaning of his work. The author's cipher continues to mislead the profane and to protect the author's hidden message from the literal and sentimental churchmen into whose keeping he entrusted it. For two millennia the orthodox have treasured and revered this, t o them, incomprehensible text. They have even enshrined the Apocalypse in their canon of sacred scriptures, a place of reverence to which it above all their sac red books is entitled. Yet this mysterious, metaphysical treatise remains elusive and totally baffling to the orthodox. The author apparently knew that if the narrow minded and litera l understood the true meaning of the Apocalypse they would most certainly have d estroyed it. They would never have permitted its hidden message to see the light of day, since to do so would initiate the beginning of the end of their church and the messianic politics that instituted it. Indeed, the Apocalypse was written for the undoing of that very church which has so carefully preserved it through these many centuries! It was written for the undoing of literalism and fundamentalism. It was written for the undoing of reli gion and theocracy. Furthermore, the author used the churchmen's own superstitio n to ensure that in their messianic zeal they would not tamper with the text and thus inadvertently corrupt the secret message hidden within it! And preserve it faithfully they have done, more so than any other of their "sacred" books. Before the printing press made the mass production of books feasible, all writte n works were at the mercy of copyists. Few books escaped error whether by intent or accident from one tediously handwritten copy to the next. Religious books su ffered particularly at the hands of political zealots trying to foist off on the mostly illiterate and unsuspecting masses their own pet theological opinions. If you think the New Testament has been immune, think again. Most of the books o f the New Testament have suffered extensive corruptions of their original text. As well, there are serious variations between surviving manuscripts.1 As a resul t, only the naive still hold to the notion that the New Testament is anything bu t a theological patchwork. Whatever the original message of the Gospels it has been encrusted many times ov er by contradictory and conflicting religious and political credos and superstit ious nonsense. Indeed, the churchmen themselves are the prime culprits in the re working of the original text of the Gospels to justify their own theological and political agenda. The author of the Apocalypse was justified in disguising his work and thus prote cting it from destruction. His dire warnings to any who would dare tamper with t he text proved extremely effective. Of all the books of the New Testament, the Apocalypse has suffered the least app arent corruption. More ancient manuscripts exist of the Apocalypse than of any o ther New Testament book. Remarkably the many extant versions of the Apocalypse d iffer little from one another. The surviving manuscripts of the Apocalypse differ primarily in rather slight va riations of word order, the omission or inclusion of specific articles and conne ctors, and the substitution of synonyms. Various attempts at "corrections" of su pposed grammatical errors occur as well. These latter are in many instances inco rrect themselves, thus clearly demonstrating the inferior Greek of some Medieval redactors.

The sober assessment of serious biblical scholars concurs that the Apocalypse ha s survived remarkably free of emendation.2 Some apparent substitutions have rend ered a few isolated passages questionable. But these have not affected the overa ll meaning of the work. Properly understanding the deep metaphysical and psychological nature of the Apo calypse eliminates most if not all of the remaining apparent exegetical difficul ties with the text. These problems are repetitions, interruptions and passages o ut of context. When the extremely clever and artful composition of the Apocalypse is appreciate d, the genius of the author shows very clearly. Given the extremely technical na ture of the subject matter and the task of encoding it behind a facade of zodiac al symbols and theological and political fabrications, the literary style of the Apocalypse must suffer at times. Hence, most of the difficulties with the text can be accounted for in this manner. Based on the studied assessment of modern critical scholarship, we can feel a we ll justified assurance that the Apocalypse as we have it today remains essential ly as the author or authors wrote it. Further,we can trust that the author's cip her still remains intact and that the several conclusions drawn from decoding th at cipher remain valid. We can express further confidence in our conclusions from the manner in which th e interpretation here offered presents itself. With a thorough and rigorous cons istency and a detailed coherence each point builds upon what precedes and leads to what follows. Mere speculation or supposition could hardly be expected to exh ibit such complete and specific consistency. 1.2 RIDDLES OF REVELATION 3 In the Apocalypse four well known animal symbols or "beasts" (theria) are conspi cuous dramatis personae. These four famous beasts are: (1) a Lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes, and who is identified as Iesous, who becomes "the Conquero r" (ho nikon); (2) a monster resembling a Leopard, possessing a bear's feet and a lion's mouth, and having seven heads and ten horns; (3) a red Dragon, having s even heads and ten horns, and who is named "the Devil and Satan"; and finally (4 ) a beast having two horns like a Lamb but speaking like a Dragon, who is identi fied as the False Prophet (pseudo-prophetes). Of these four the Leopard is parti cularly referred to as "the Beast." 4 Concerning this specific say. In a key passage he the beast. In the riddle tion, implying that only ut. He says: animal symbol the author of the Apocalypse has much to presents us with a simple riddle as to the identity of he issues a challenge to those who would attempt a solu one who has attained wisdom will be able to figure it o

Here is cleverness [sophia]: he who has wisdom [nous], let him count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. 5 As you may well imagine, solving this riddle as well as the correct interpretati on of these four symbols is crucial to understanding the true meaning of the Apo calypse. So important is the solution of this particular riddle to understanding the Apocalypse as a whole, that the author even gives a clue to its meaning. Th at clue is the very number of the Beast, 666. Here and in two other places in th e book the author offers the numerical solution to a riddle. Another, less obvious clue to solving this riddle is the number of the Lamb, Ies ous, which is 888. A third clue is simply that there are precisely four beasts,

not three, not five or six, but four. And a final clue to solving this particula r riddle is that most famous Christian symbol of them all, namely the cross (sta uros), whose number is 777. Lacking numerals, the classical Greek language (and the Hebrew as well) employed each of the letters of the alphabet to express numerical values. The "number" o f a word then was simply the sum of the numerical values of its individual lette rs. Although this method of numbering was not very useful for even the simplest arithmetic, it made for interesting reading! It also made it relatively easy to encode secret messages. Now if you are thinking that the sequence 666, 777, 888 and the words to which t hey correspond is a mere coincidence, think again. Jesus, the beast and the cros s: the vital significance of these words in the symbology of Christianity can no t be overemphasized. To argue that this is coincidence is to argue the absurd fo r these three numbers are not the end of the sequence by any means, but the clue to its true significance. Many possible combinations of Greek letters will add up to the total of 666. Bec ause the passage speaks of the number being that of a man, the literal minded ha ve taken it to represent some specific historical figure. They have nominated ma ny candidates from the orthodox gallery of rogues for the dubious distinction of being thus symbolically pilloried as the arch enemy of God. Most notable of these was Caesar Nero, the despicable Roman emperor from A.D. 54 - 68 and notoriously cruel and vicious persecutor of the early Christians. Even the Romans themselves found Nero too offensive finally and murdered him. Nero's name transliterated into Hebrew characters yields the required sum. Since Nero died less than a generation prior to the presumed date of the writing of t he Apocalypse his vile memory was undoubtedly still quite fresh in the minds of most late first century Christians. The orthodox in their efforts to identify the "man" fail to see the incongruity of their deduction. The author of the Apocalypse, writing in Greek, used the Heb rew transliteration of a Roman emperor's Latin name to render what is arguably t he most famous and potentially important number in Christian history. To them, p erhaps, no convolution of logic was too complex for the wily Greek mind to indul ge. There are political factors to consider, as well, since the Roman Empire was in Nero's time and later the only serious obstacle to the institution of a univ ersal theocracy by the fledgling Christian Church. None the less efforts such as this simply reinforce the lack of real understandi ng exemplified by a simple literal reading of the text. For if we assume that th e "man" is Nero or some other historical character, what then? Where do we go? The answer is nowhere. All such efforts lead to a dead end. Why did not the author of the Apocalypse just say that Nero, or whoever he had in mi nd, was a skunk? Why disguise it? Certainly the manuscript was meant for Christi an eyes only. Even if the Romans, or members of a rival faction, got their hands on it, the identity of its author could be concealed. The literal minded think that the Apocalypse can only be comprehended against th at historical background which hypothetically occasioned its writing. Like its a pparent Old Testament counterparts Ezechiel, Zachariah and Daniel, as well as th e apocryphal Enoch and other second century apocalypses, it appeared during an e ra of persecution. The literalists like to point out that from 200 B.C. to A.D.200 such apocalyptic writing enjoyed a wide audience in both Jewish and early Christian circles. The

y claim that it represented a sort of resistance literature that was inspired by Roman oppression. This began first with the Jews, culminating finally in the de struction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D.70. The destruction of the Jewish nation and the dispersion of the Jews followed. The Christians then had their share of persecution at the hands of the Romans well into the second century. There can be no denying that this period was undoubtedly both cruel and savage. The brutal Roman crucifix was a common and dreadful sight. Slow and painful deat h became a spectacle staged for the sadistic entertainment of the Roman emperor and the equally barbarous crowds of Rome and other cities of the empire. Christians justifiably viewed the Roman emperor and the power of Rome that he wi elded as their enemies. By logical extension, in Christian minds they also becam e the enemies of God. In this vein, the orthodox see the pagan Rome, situated atop its seven hills, as the harlot Babylon seated upon the seven headed scarlet beast of the Apocalypse . The beast's blasphemous names refer to the divine titles assumed by the Roman emperors. The tribulations are the wrath of God unleashed upon the unrepentant p agans, or the Christians' other rival Jewish factions. For extreme fundamentalists the beast becomes a symbol for an AntiChrist, who at some future date will restore the pagan kingdoms of old which oppressed the anc ient and God fearing Hebrews. And, in the person of Nero, persecuted the Christi ans themselves. These profane kingdoms, which will flourish for a time, will in turn be destroye d at the second and triumphant coming of Christ. Then the faithful and righteous shall stand aside to watch those with the mark of the beast go to their death a nd damnation. The "mark of the beast" to them being lack of adherence to Christi an faith. Then the "millennium" shall commence, during which the Christian faith ful will live upon this earth as though in heaven itself as reward for their fai thfulness in the face of pagan opposition. The Apocalypse then, as a period piece, becomes an exhortation for Christians to stand firm in their faith against persecution first at the hands of the Romans and finally at the hands of the AntiChrist. They are encouraged to await patient ly for the fulfilment of God's promises to them. These are, of course, to reward the faithful with entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem and to punish the wicked as severely as their cruelty deserves. The literalists thus understand the book as simply the product of an era of seve re persecution. It was written in symbolic and allegorical format merely to prot ect its author from Roman retribution. Why this might have been necessary is not clear. Presumably the author of an unsigned manuscript was safe from prosecutio n. Probably few Christians at the time could identify "John", even if he had sig ned a manuscript. The literalists also read into the book continuing validity for Christians of al l times. For although they say its symbols and metaphors had very specific appli cation at the time of the book's writing, they also have universal relevance and are readily and simply interpreted. The repulsive symbols, the vile and vindictive language and repugnant images sup posedly now inspire all the Christian faithful to face evils from within and wit hout with courage. Thus the diatribe of an age of repression attains universal w orth. It inspires Christians to trust in God's promise to remain with the church and his flock of faithful forever. Despite the trials and tribulations of life, even to the point of physical torture and murder, the invisible God remains pre sent to bolster his followers.

Superficially, the perspective of the Apocalypse is the end times. This period r efers to ultimate salvation and victory over evil. It supposedly takes place at the end of the present era with the second coming of Christ. Yet the book presents the decisive struggle of Christ and his followers against Satan and his demonic allies as having already been successfully concluded. Chri st's total defeat of the kingdom of Satan has ushered in the everlasting reign o f God. Still, the forces of evil run amok in the apocalyptic world, apparently somehow and even unwittingly fulfilling a mysterious and secret divine plan! Just what t he secret divine plan may be is never explained. The speculation includes such stuff as the restoration of the kingdom of the Jew s, which many see in the form of the state of Israel. Some see this as an exampl e of evil, and some as good. Then there are those who predict that the United St ates will be recognized as the ten lost tribes. Just what significance that reco gnition might have for Christians in the end times remains unclear. Others see Communism as the modern incarnation of the beast. But few, I suspect, would worship Mikhail Gorbachev as the conqueror of the beast! Some see the Eur opean Common Market as the beast. Or Great Britain. All such interpretations, however convincing any or all may seem to the literali st, completely miss the mark. The Apocalypse is unique. Its images and symbols w hile similar to those used by the Hebrew prophets are not the same in meaning. M ost references to the Old Testament and to the Hebrew tradition in general are m isleading and meant to mislead. While the author of the Apocalypse apparently borrows many symbols and images fr om earlier Hebrew writings and from contemporary messianic politics, he almost i nvariably employs them simply to cloak his real meaning. He endows them with a d ifferent or a variant significance that is readily determined. All those who attempt to follow seeming Old Testament and first century parallel s will generally be misled and confused. The author doubtless intended that they should be. And he succeeded markedly. For the religious and political zealots f rom the first century to our own have been misled by these simple subterfuges fo r two thousand years already! It is the contention of some scholars that the Gospel and Apocalypse of John wer e originally composed in Greek and not translated from earlier Aramaic sources. This is a singularly significant fact, if indeed true. For the parallels between the Apocalypse and the writings of Plato and Greek philosophy in general are nu merous and striking. They are also far more fruitful than the deceptive ones to be found in the Hebrew scriptures. They are in fact the sole basis for accuratel y deciphering the real meaning of the Apocalypse. 1.3 BREAKING THE CODE All attempts by the orthodox to solve the riddle of the number 666 and the remai ning apocalyptic riddles have failed. They have all failed simply because these attempts at solving the various riddles have been based solely upon efforts to m ake of the Apocalypse a work of religious and/or political literature circumscri bed by the old Hebrew tradition and the time period of the early Roman persecuti ons. They have failed further because they have not appreciated the very unique and ingenious quality of the book. The orthodox should have looked beyond their own limited perspective. Had they v

iewed the Apocalypse in the larger context of the classical Greek and Hellenisti c Era the apocalyptic mysteries would have been relatively easy to decipher. The y did not do so, however. Even to this day they continue to not to do so. In consequence, humanity owes a great debt of gratitude to James Morgan Pryse for publishing in 1910 the secret key to decoding the true meaning of the Apocalypse. The knowledge contained ther ein is the birthright of every human being. The "cleverness" (sophia) of the puzzle of the number 666 lies in its very simpl icity. We might think of the "man" referred to in the passage in a more generali zed manner instead of assuming the reference is to a specific individual, whethe r Roman emperor or leader of some competing religious faction. When a well known anthropologist writes of the "evolution of man," we know that the reference is not to a specific man, but rather to mankind as a whole. The sa me could apply to the particular passage in question as well. Recall that the author of the Apocalypse invites "he who has wisdom (the nous)" to count the number of the beast. The words "the nous," happen to be the familia r term in classical Greek philosophy for philosophical insight or intellect. This particular faculty was considered by the ancient philosophers to constitute the higher mind or noble and exalted portion of man, that part capable of intel ligence over and above the mundane concerns of day to day life. To them it was t he highest achievement of mankind to develop the powers of the intellect and thu s to come into direct knowledge of reality, which they viewed as something disti nct and superior to the lower realm of experience. The word nous naturally suggests the correct answer to the riddle. And that answ er is "the phren," which is the cognate term in Greek philosophy for the "lower mind", or the mundane part of man. That part subservient to the requirements of living in an experiential and physical world. The numerical value of he phren is 666. It requires no alphabetical gymnastics n or translations of words in and out of two other languages to produce it. And, a s the author of the Apocalypse implies, anyone with any degree of philosophic in sight, or at least some formal training in philosophy, ought to be able to figur e it out. Let us tentatively identity he phren as the solution to the riddle and see where it leads us. Now, if this were the whole puzzle it would be juvenile. But the number 666 and our tentative indentification of he phren as its solution are, in fact, only a p art of and the clue to an elaborate word puzzle which in its entirety is remarka bly ingenious. It is time now to decode this puzzle. In classical Greek philosophy the physical body of man is considered to be an ob jective microcosm, an epitome of the larger material world. To each aspect of th e material world the human physical organs and their functions correspond and fo rm an intimate and direct relationship. The Greek philosophers understood the body as the organism through which the imm aterial soul, dwelling within every human, contacts and interacts with external nature. Thus, the body's various organs correspond to and are the respective ins truments of the various powers and faculties of the soul. The details of these c orrespondences formed the basis of much speculation. The several schools of thought in classical philosophy and the many specific phi losophers describe and define these various correspondences somewhat differently . There exists, however, a relatively broad area of general agreement.

In brief, according to classical Greek philosophy the human body has four princi ple life centers, which are termed the "somatic divisions." These may be noted a s: 1. The head, or brain, the organ of the nous, or "higher mind." 2. The region of the heart, including all of the organs above the diaphragm, the seat of the "lower mind" (the phren, or thumos). 3. The region of the abdomen or navel, the center of the passional nature (epith umia), comprising all the emotions, desires, appetites and passions. 4. The procreative center, the seat of the vivifying forces on the "lowest," or animal plane of existence (akrasia). From this description of classical Greek philosophy you will notice that the phr en, which we have tentatively identified as the apocalyptic "Beast," is the ruli ng faculty of one of the four somatic divisions of the physical body. From this correlation, we might naturally draw the tentative inference that the three othe r animal symbols described in the Apocalypse likewise correspond to the three re maining somatic divisions. Accordingly, the "Lamb," Iesous, would of course represent the most exalted of t hese, the nous. Now as I noted earlier the word Iesous yields the numerical sum of 888. Curiously, the literalists have long realized this number of Jesus the l amb, yet they consistently failed to make any connection between it and the numb er of the beast. The red "Dragon," "the old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan," 6 fits neatly i nto place as representing the third somatic division, epithumia. This word yield s the number 555. The Greek philosophers generally held the notion that man's passions and natural appetites hindered the ascent of philosophic reason and intellect. With the exc eption of the Epicureans all held varying degrees of contempt for those parts of the body below the diaphragm. The "False Prophet" takes his place in the fourth somatic division as the genera tive principle akrasia, meaning sensuality. Akrasia has the numerical value of 3 33. Plato applies to this principle the word akolasia, which has the same meanin g and the same numerical value. Of note as we shall see, applying the term "fals e prophet" to this life center is significant in the implications aimed at the u nderlying source of the Apocalypse. Incidently, ancient writers often ignore the four fold division of the body, as does Plato himself. Plato assigns the four faculties of the soul to only three s omatic divisions. This does not mean that those philosophers discredited the four physical divisio ns, quite the opposite. They were simply assigning a hierarchy of value. Plato, for one, did not consider akolasia to represent a faculty of the soul at all, bu t rather the animal instincts. Others, however, do give the complete fourfold de scription. Plato does suggest his adherence to the fourfold system in his analogy of the ch ariot. He devotes his philosophical arguments to the charioteer and the horses, but the chariot itself, the physical body and its requirements, remains. Plato's black and white horses, by the way, make their appearance in the Apocalypse onl y thinly disguised.

If we place each of these four names, along with their corresponding numbers, in the form of a simple diagram representing the four somatic divisions of the hum an body, we may note readily that the puzzle is still only partly solved. For ev idently the author of the Apocalypse intended a complete series of numbers. Gnostic Chart Concealed in the Apocalypse A space is left where the diagram, to fill out its meaning, requires the "good s erpent." For its counterpart, "the bad serpent," has already been included. Recall that to the classic Greek philosophers the uncontrolled human passions an d emotions hindered and prevented the ascent of wisdom and philosophic intellige nce. Now if the unbridled passions and emotions of man may be described allegorically as a bad serpent, this serpent then in a metaphysical sense symbolizes ignoranc e and superstitious belief. These are indeed impediments to wisdom and intellige nce. The counterpart of this metaphorical "bad serpent" in a metaphysical sense must be the opposites of ignorance and belief. These are knowledge and experienc e. For knowledge banishes ignorance as experience dispels belief. This second se rpentine force, as I shall explain in due course, turns out to be the fundamenta l creative energy underlying human existence. We shall examine it at length in i ts proper place. For now, it is sufficient to say that in the New Testament this force is called the paraclete (parakletos). It may be described metaphorically as a spiralling e lectric current of an incredible voltage. It reposes nearly dormant near the bas e of the spine supplying the merest trickle of life force sufficient to sustain the basic functions. It awaits silently to be put into conscious activity by the creative person intelligent and brave enough to discover it. Whereupon it sends forth a triple current 7 of creative energy which force serves to awaken the in dividual man or woman to his or her true identity and full potential. The spiralling electric force, "the coil of the serpent," 8 is the speirema. Its number is 444. I shall have much more to say about these "serpents" later. The strong action of this creative tripartite force upon the human brain produce s noetic perception, or direct cognition, as defined by the classical philosophe rs. This power, in terms of modern depth psychology, we would now define and des cribe as the faculty of intuition. Far from being the whimsical perception assig ned by popular modern myth only to women, intuition is a powerful psychic facult y whose development and exercise is prerequisite to any real personal developmen t and integration. To the classical philosophers this faculty is the highest degree of knowledge. T hey called it episteme, and it is beautifully defined by Plato. To express this in the diagram it becomes necessary to insert the word epistemon, the philosophi c and also esoteric equivalent for the religious and exoteric word christos. The numerical value of epistemon is 999. Another space in the diagram then requires the "cross." Recall that Iesous Chris tos (the nous and its faculty epistemon) is crucified in Golgotha, the place cal led a skull.9 This mysterious and unknown place is thought by the literalist ort hodox to have been a low knoll just outside of Jerusalem. Luke renames the place Calvary, a word supposedly derived from the Greek kranion and if so a further c lue to its real meaning. The mysterious Golgotha is located in the middle of the forehead and directly be hind the eyes. It is the location of and corresponds to the pineal gland. And it

is here the triple current of the creative force ascending first through the sy mpathetic nervous system and then through the spine forms a cross of conscious e nergy, stauros, whose number is 777. Further, the individual who has attained the personal experience of this higher degree of self knowledge and understanding forthwith becomes the conqueror and t he experiencer of an expanded awareness. "The Conqueror" and everything that it symbolically represents is the allegorica l hero of the apocalyptic drama. Its name must be placed at the head of the list , as ho nikon, with its number 1,000. We shall discover in due course the true i dentity of the apocalyptic conqueror and its full significance. For the conquero r represents the method without which all else in the theory of consciousness of the Metaphysic of Ecstasy remains meaningless. Finally, two additional terms, which bear indirectly upon the ascent of the spei rema fill out the diagram. These are aisia, meaning auspicious and from which is derived the word Asia, and oikia, meaning home or dwelling. The number for aisi a is 222 and the number for oikia is 111. The two terms taken together refer to an incarnation favourable to self understanding, as is the incarnation described in the Apocalypse. Thus Asia becomes the favourable "homeland of the soul." Oikia is the house that is not divided against itself, the integrated personality. Numbers of the Names The diagram thus completed makes clear in outline the basics of the gnostic teac hing hidden in the Apocalypse. It treats of the speirema and its energizing thro ugh the vital centers of the body as the individual attains consciousness of the m and their many specialized modes of operation. These various mental and psychic faculties and abilities comprise the vehicle of the self expression of consciousness within the individual human being. With ex panded awareness, or realization of self, there results a symbolic rebirth, or " resurrection," of these faculties and abilities, which have been put on the back burner, so to say, during personal evolution. They become transformed into what may best be defined as an unlimited vehicle of self expression. This is described allegorically and somewhat literally in the Apocalypse as the "solar body," (to soma heliakon) because it is both self lumin ous and radiant. Self luminous in the sense of enlightening oneself by the power of intuition. Radiant in the sense of a radiating presence. This unlimited solar vehicle of self expression is symbolized as a city which co mes down out the sky,10 enveloped in the radiance (doxa) of the God. It is portr ayed with poetic imagery of exquisite beauty. The description of the city, with its wealth of detail, should well be enough to show very clearly what the city really is. But the author of the Apocalypse has supplied us conclusive proof of the true meaning of this symbol by inserting wi thin the city's description a puzzle. The angel who was talking with me had for a measure a golden reed, to measure th e city, its gateways, and its wall. The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as the width. He measured the city with the reed, by stadia, twelve tho usand; its length, width and height are equal. And he measured its wall, one hun dred and forty-four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.11

The expression "by stadia" (epi stadion) shows that the measurement should not b e mistaken simply and literally as stadia. It is rather to be understood as in c omparison to stadia. In the authorized version, the very important preposition e pi, "by," is omitted as redundant. This merely demonstrates the untrustworthiness of a purely empirical and literal , as well as uncomprehending, translation. The preposition epi is hardly redunda nt. It is instead the significant clue to the correct solution of the riddle. Ep i indicates that we must make a comparison and not simply take the measurement i n stadia. The comparison intended is to the one other measurement of the time and place of Palestine which could reasonably be substituted for Greek stadia, or to stand " by stadia." We would say "to stand for." That measurement is very simply the anc ient Jewish mile. It naturally follows then that the figure should be reduced to Jewish miles. The refore, by dividing the figure 12,000 by 7 1/2, the number of stadia to the Jewi sh mile, we obtain the quotient 1,600. This represents the numerical value of th e three key words to soma heliakon, "the solar body." The "wall" of the solar body is simply its self luminous aura, or "radiance," he doxa. The letters of that name, however, amount to only a total of 143. As a pu zzle therefore that number would be too transparent. Nor would it have harmonize d with the other numbers given in relation to the celestial city. The twelve thousand stadia, twelve gateways, twelve foundations, etc. all have a real or apparent reference to the zodiac. Therefore the author increased the va lue of he doxa to 144, the square of twelve, by adding another alpha. This addit ional alpha he calls "the measure of a man, that is, of an angel." In the kabali stic formula, "I am the Alpha and the O(mega), the first and the last," alpha is the symbol of the primal man, or naive level of self consciousness, before its long sojourn through phenomenal existence. O(mega) is the cognate symbol of the perfected man, the completed or integrated personality who has passed through th e full cycle of conscious evolution and has attained to the final and mature lev el of self consciousness. The Cubicle City Unfolded The pointed reference to an angel (aggelos) confirms this metaphor. The word is borrowed from the Essenes who used "angel" to refer to their Levite priests. Ang els in the Apocalypse, however, symbolize most of the many powers of the human p syche. These in the naive state are largely unconscious. Only when we have attai ned conscious mastery of these various powers can we consider ourselves to be fu lly mature human beings and responsible for ourselves in a metaphysical sense. The authorized version adds the words "according to" which render the passage me aningless. Even if we grant the existence of angels in the full literal sense, t he passage would remain meaningless because there is no "measure" of immaterial things, angelic or otherwise. The hierarchy of angelic beings, both holy and demonic, began in Essene theocrac y and was elaborated by the orthodox by superstitious fabrication. The powers th at angels symbolize are within ourselves. It is within ourselves that they must be first encountered and then mastered. The heavenly city is described as having the form of a cube. To solve this eleme nt of the puzzle it is only necessary to unfold the cube. Thereby we disclose a Latin cross, which represents symbolically the human form, a man with outstretch ed arms.

Further, although the author also speaks of measuring "the city, its gateways, a nd its wall," he does not give the measure of the gateways. This is for the very obvious reason that it is wholly unnecessary. The word "gateway" (pylon, from p yle, "an orifice") sufficiently indicates the nature of these. They are the twel ve orifices of the body. In the Sanskrit Upanishads the human body is often call ed the twelve (also nine, eleven and more) gated city of God's abode. As we shal l presently see, the name "God" itself is yet another cipher. 2.1 WHAT HAPPENED TO LOVE This essay results directly from my quest for method over the course of many yea rs. I was convinced from the beginning that the Apocalypse included the method f or implementing its secrets. The search for its method, however, led me on a con voluted journey of discovery that revealed even more secrets. According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible12 in the New Testament Gospels and Epistles the word love or beloved occurs over three hundred times. The Gospel and Epistles of the writer John account for 109 of these occurrences. In fact, of the New Testament writers John stands out as the major spokesman fo r love and its powers of transformation. Yet in the Apocalypse, which is also attributed to John, with very convincing su pporting evidence, the word love appears only seven times.13 In each of these se ven instances in the Apocalypse, "love" or "beloved" occurs as merely descriptiv e. Not once does the word appear with any of the strong moral or eschatological connotations which are characteristic of John's usage of the word in both his Go spel and Epistles. In two of these seven usages of the word in the Apocalypse, John even uses the w ord phileo rather than agapao. We would understand phileo better as "like," "pre fer," or "feel affection for," as for a friend. Agapao is a much more serious wo rd with connotations of moral and social "esteem," or rational and intellectual "love." It literally means altruistic, or selfless love. To put this ow that the mes. John's e Gospel of verbal discrepancy into clearer perspective, it may be helpful to kn Apocalypse contains 12,000 words. It mentions the word love seven ti Gospel is one third again as long and contains some 19,000 words. Th John mentions love forty-nine times.

John's "Epistle of love," the first, contains only 2500 words and yet it elabora tes on love fifty-one times. The second and third Epistles of John, which total a mere 600 words together, use the word love nine times. This is twenty times as frequently as the Apocalypse! Clearly, the Apocalypse stands out by its shear bulk and relative scarcity of th e use of the word "love," from the other writings of John. This is so whether yo u make the comparison in terms of absolute word count or relative frequency of u sage. The first question I asked was why? Why were the concept and implications of lov e very clearly so important in John's Gospel and his Epistles and apparently so remarkably unimportant in the Apocalypse? Three very distinct possibilities presented themselves as the potential answer t o this question. First: the author of the Apocalypse was not the same John of th e Gospel and Epistles. Second: the message of the Apocalypse differed from that of John's Gospel and Epistles to such a marked degree that love was not an essen tial part of it. Third: the word love actually did occur in the Apocalypse but w as somehow disguised, or encoded within other terms.

As for the first possibility, enough has been written and argued over the past t wo thousand years to convince me that the author of the Gospel and Epistles of J ohn and the Apocalypse is the same. Tradition confirms this. And stylistic diffe rences between the Gospel and Epistles and the Apocalypse can be readily reconci led by taking into account the much more technical and detailed composition and purpose of the Apocalypse. Some biblical authorities have argued that the writings of John, as we now have them, are not the literary production of one man, but rather a group of writers. This editorial group may have taken as their central inspiration some singular and earlier source. They may have composed the writings attributed to John over a period of some twenty-five to fifty years or more. If this hypothesis proves c orrect, it would account further for stylistic differences between the three gro ups of writings attributed to John. As I shall examine to some extent in this essay, there is much evidence within t he Apocalypse to suggest that it is indeed the production of more than one indiv idual and that it is based upon earlier source material. The evidence that I fol low, however, is not the same as that cited by those who have proposed that a so -called Johannine School is responsible for the writings of John. The evidence t hat I have traced leads to a singular source for the so-called Johannine materia l. It may have consisted of written and oral components from which the Johannine writings selected, edited and embellished. But this earlier source is much earl ier than anything heretofore suggested by conventional scholars. The material ce rtainly predates the Christian era by many centuries. According to Pryse the material was probably current all during the period that the Mystery Schools were influential in ancient Greece. This time period commenc ed as early as the eighth or ninth centuries B.C. And I have been able to trace this source material to a yet even earlier era. Although I touch upon this fascinating matter here, it deserves a much more deta iled account than space permits in the present volume. It is a literary detectiv e story par excellence. Accordingly, I intend to document the literary history ( actually "her"story) of this apocalyptic source material fully elsewhere. At any rate, the evidence in favour of the same author or authors having produce d the works attributed to John remains very convincing. So I abandoned early on the first possible answer to my question. The second possible answer to explaining why there existed a great discrepancy i n the use of the word love in the Apocalypse compared to the other writings of J ohn requires comment. It also requires a brief comparison of what we might call the orthodox and esoteric interpretations of Christian doctrine. Although the simple literal and orthodox interpretation of Christianity differs in various fundamental ways from the esoteric interpretation, in certain respect s the two also correspond. As detailed by Pryse, they differ primarily in their understanding of and methods of attaining "salvation," which for both schools of thought essentially entails the permanent liberation from earthly, carnal exist ence. For the orthodox, method centers on God and divine saving grace. According to or thodoxy the individual has little input other than to surrender to the work of G od, which generally entails adherence to various ritual practices and moral prec epts. The specifics of these rules for behaviour and thought vary from sect to s ect, but all share a basic core belief system grounded in a literal and historic interpretation of Christian scriptures.

For the Christian esotericist, on the other hand, method involves the yogic phys io-psychic and meditative efforts of the individual. For the esotericist, method is founded on the belief that the literal words of scripture are simply symbols encoding secret esoteric instructions. The various esoteric systems, from the f irst century Gnostics to the present day, though varying from one another in spe cifics, all adhere to mystical or symbolic interpretations of scriptures and tea ch or advocate various meditative and physio-psychic practices. In Christian orthodoxy, love plays a significant role throughout. Admittedly, in actual practice many Christians exhibit little love in dealing with their fello w men and women, especially if they are nonchristian. In fact, intolerance and b igotry seem in direct proportion to the degree of fundamentalism and literalism they espouse. Still, many Christians do behave in ways best described as motivat ed by love. And orthodox doctrine of Christianity inculcates love as a fundament al principle. The Gospel and Epistles of John exhibit and expound this core doctrine of love a nd compassion most thoroughly of all New Testament writings. The message is very simply that God is love and through the experience of love the individual comes to knowledge of God and ultimately to salvation. Whatever else Christians may c laim to believe, and however much they may elaborate, complicate or trivialize t heir religious beliefs, this core of love remains. In the esoteric interpretation of Christian doctrine proffered by James Pryse in the Apocalypse Unsealed and also The Restored New Testament14 the message of th e Gospel according to John and the Apocalypse is essentially the same. It is sim ply presented in different formats. According to Pryse, the Gospel of John takes the form of historical romance, while the Apocalypse is a metaphysical textbook . Also, as expounded by gnostic esotericism both ancient and modern, the gospel me ssage and the Apocalypse coincide with each other. Extracts from both are used f reely and interpreted consistently to support the several gnostic versions of Ch ristian doctrine. So, in spite of the various literary differences between the Apocalypse and the Gospel and Epistles of John, I found no apparent reason to discount the importan ce of love in the Apocalypse. From either the orthodox or the esoteric perspecti ve there was no plausible reason to suspect that love played any less significan t a part in the Apocalypse than it did in the other writings of John, where it f ulfils so important a role. So I discarded the second possible answer to my question and concluded that love must appear in the Apocalypse encoded in secret terms. But in answering my firs t question about why there is such a discrepancy in the usage of the word love i n the Apocalypse compared to the other writings of John, a new question arose. W hat were the author's motives for so thoroughly disguising the word and the conc epts included in love? If indeed, as Pryse maintained, the author of the Apocaly pse foresaw the eventual loss of the esoteric doctrine at the hands of the churc hmen, certainly his teaching about love should have been preserved. Did John also foresee the loss of the doctrine of love in the establishment of a church that would soon become more involved in political power than in metaphys ical development? Indeed, there is mounting evidence to suggest the origin of Ch ristianity as a political, theocratic party, in fact a faction of the first cent ury Jewish Zealots. Did such beginnings require love to go into hiding? The Gospels are simple allegories, that is, narrative stories presenting the ide as and principles of the grand human drama as the biography of Jesus Christ. Ort hodoxy readily admits this, despite its emphasis on a literal reading and interp

retation as historical fact.15 Love could be sanitized easily in such a genre. On the other hand, the Apocalypse is a metaphysical treatise. The book is masked by symbolical and zodiacal terms and political and Zealot buzzwords to hide its true meaning. But like the Gospels, it simply and dramatically presents the ide as and principles of the human drama in metaphysical terms. The accounts, therefore, of the Gospels and the Apocalypse must be similar on a fundamental level even if superficially they are dissimilar. In The Restored New Testament, James Pryse demonstrates conclusively the fundamental similarity of the Gospels and the Apocalypse. His work is both thorough and convincing. But in Pryse's restoration of the New Testament, as in his thorough interpretati on of the Apocalypse in the Apocalypse Unsealed, love remains conspicuous by its very absence. In the metaphysical doctrine of yogic self conquest as elucidated by Pryse in both of these studies, there is no mention of love. Only self disci pline and mental and physical mortification to an extreme degree are important. According to the doctrine presented by Pryse, by turning away from the attachmen ts of life, one finds a higher and worthier goal. This goal is the attainment of deathless existence in an ethereal form far removed eternally from the vicissit udes of carnal life. Love apparently has no place here. Yet, the Gospels and Epistles, do speak of love in strong terms that leave no do ubt about its absolute and continuing necessity. Even in the corrupt state in wh ich we now find the New Testament as whole, the very striking significance of lo ve can not be reasonably denied, whatever its implications. The word and ideas of "love" as it appears in the Gospels and Epistles allegoric ally typifies some metaphysical principle. In the Apocalypse the metaphysical pr inciple corresponding to love was for some reason encoded in some other term or terms. This was the simple premise of my search. If it was correct then I knew t hat "love" must appear in the Apocalypse in its real form, not sanitized as it a ppeared elsewhere in the New Testament. In fact, I was very suspicious of the absence of love in the esoteric interpreta tion of the Apocalypse and Christianity offered by James Pryse. I suspected that there was much more beneath the surface of the Apocalypse than that author real ized. In spite of his thorough research, Pryse had either missed something inadv ertently or purposely omitted it. There was another possibility, of course. And that is simply that the author or authors of the Apocalypse intentionally suppressed all references to love in the ir source material, because it undermined their metaphysical bias. Given the ver y technical nature of the Apocalypse, the true meaning of love might become avai lable to any who cared to read the book. The Supreme Identity by Alan Watts inspired me to look deeper into the Apocalyps e. The correspondences in terminology between Christian, Hindu and Buddhist doct rine discussed by Watts reinforced my suspicions that Pryse had missed something . I became convinced that even deeper secrets than those exposed by Pryse lay bu ried in the Apocalypse. Eventually my suspicions were confirmed. In my search for love I discovered a th ird level of understanding that underlay the esoteric second level as explained by Pryse. This third and deepest level of comprehension is grounded firmly upon method and depends upon method. It is really the essence of method itself. I nee ded to get at this method in order to understand the Apocalypse more fully. 2.2 THE CONQUEROR

My quest for method began with James Pryse's assertion that the Apocalypse does not describe its method. He writes in the Apocalypse Unsealed: "Moreover, although the Apocalypse treats very fully of the spiritual and psychi c forces in man, it nowhere gives even a clue to the process by which these forc es can be aroused to action..."16 This remains equally true for the four Gospels as restored by James Pryse. Nowhe re does anything resembling a method appear. In fact, Pryse continually suggests that method cannot be revealed, since to do so would expose it to those who mig ht lack the purity of soul required to utilize it properly. Indeed, to reveal it openly would risk allowing it to fall into the hands of those who would abuse t he power it confers. Less malevolent practitioners would run the risk of harming themselves, even to the point of bringing death unwittingly upon themselves. Po werful stuff this! One day it suddenly occurred to me that the missing method and the lack of the m ention of love in the Apocalypse might be related. Because of the emphasis on lo ve in the orthodox tradition, I got the idea that love itself might be the metho d, but not "love" as understood by orthodoxy. If this were so I would discover simultaneously the reasons for love's apparent absence in the Apocalypse and uncover the hidden method that Pryse claimed the A pocalypse did not reveal! I found out that the two are intimately connected. And if love was indeed the hidden method, what was so dangerous about it that it ha d to be so thoroughly disguised in the Apocalypse? We discover method or we fail to discover method depending on what we look for a nd just how we look for it. Pryse observed that the Apocalypse does not describe a method, if by a method you only mean step by step instructions, like the asse mbly plans that were included with your youngest child's doll house. The Apocaly pse is not an instruction book. When you purchase a camera you get a detailed instruction book with it. The inst ruction book describes all of the various parts and features of the camera and w hat to do with them all. If you read the instruction book carefully and follow its procedures faithfully you will learn just how to operate the new camera properly. You will know where to put the film, how to set the exposure correctly, which end of the camera to p oint at your intended subject and how to release the shutter. When you get your pictures back from the developer you will have no unpleasant surprises. They wil l look like whatever it was you photographed. Now just because you know how to operate the camera and can take pictures that l ook like the subject, does that mean you will then be able to make good photogra phs? Let's be honest about it, probably not. Just knowing how to operate the cam era does not make you a photographer. Of course, to make photographs at all you need to know how operate the camera. T o be a photographer, though, you also need more than simply the technical knowle dge of how to operate the camera correctly. Most of us are not photographers, even though we all have cameras, know how to u se them, and make thousands of photographs with them every year. Our photographs are just snapshots, simple pictorial keepsakes of all the places we have visite d and the people we have met. All the photographs we have made merely help us remember where we have been and

with whom. Those photographs serve no other useful function. No art beckons in a ll those thousands of photos. They are just data: a record of places and faces. Nothing more. Conversely, a photographer sees a picture as art, not just data. We see it as da ta but not art. That makes all the difference in the world. We do not think abou t capturing a mood, composing for emphasis, or trying to juxtapose subject and b ackground for some desired effect. Artists do those sorts of things, but not us ordinary folks. We just do not thin k about it; we just point the camera in the general direction, make sure so-andso is in the view finder and push the shutter release. Well, photographers who m ake good photographs also do those sorts of things the same as other artists. Th ey think about those things all the time. Just knowing how to use a camera correctly does not make you a good photographer . In order to be a good, or artistic, photographer you must also know how to be an artist. To be a good photographer, you must know how to think and feel like an artist. Y ou must know how to see like an artist, how to express your thoughts and your em otions like an artist. Seeing and expressing like an artist is not the same as s eeing and expressing like ordinary people. When you can do all that with a camera, when you know how to be an artist with a camera, then you can be a good photographer and expect to make some good photog raphs. They will not all be good, but some of them will be. James Pryse apparently looked at the Apocalypse and tried to find an instruction book. He concluded that the Apocalypse is not an instruction book. I agree comp letely with him. The Apocalypse is not an instruction book and was not intended to be so. Pryse apparently looked no further for method but I did. Why? I can not guess wh y he did not look deeper. As for me, I just had the strong feeling that the Apoc alypse presented more than mere theory or academic trivia intended for the intel lectual titillation of its readers. Metaphysical instruction books are a dime a dozen. You can find them anywhere. T he Occult, Philosophy and Religion sections of any halfway decent bookstore are filled with them. They range in usefulness from the vague and halfbaked to stepby-step, no questions left unanswered. For example, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is an instruction book. The Atmabodha of Sankaracharya is an instruction book. The Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is an instruction book. The Sex Handbook of the Dark Girl is an instruction book. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. These are instruction books about what? Very simply, the human being, that is wh at. All of these books and far too many more to list here are instruction books on maintaining and operating the human being. They describe all of the various parts and features of the human being and what to do with them. They are just like the instruction book that came with your cam era. They are full of technical data and information about how your human being operates. And I bet you never thought you needed an instruction book! The instruction book that came with your camera describes all of the parts of th e camera. It describes how to use the camera. But remember, just because you kno w how to operate a camera correctly, you are not thereby necessarily a photograp her with a portfolio of good photographs.

Likewise, just knowing the various parts of your human being and how to operate them does not automatically make you a mature human being. You need something mo re than that. This something more does not come from an instruction book. Although you can learn to operate a camera by reading the instruction book, you can not learn to be a photographer by reading a book about photography. A photog rapher is an artist with a camera. To become a photographer, you must first become an artist. How do you do that? Y ou can not become an artist just by reading a book about art. You can not go to art school and be taught how to be an artist. You can not go and live with an ar tist and copy everything he or she does day and night and thereby become an arti st. To become an artist requires that you see in a certain way. It requires that you think in a certain way and feel in a certain way. For the sake of convenience, we may simply term this certain way of seeing, thinking, feeling and expressing yourself the "artistic attitude." Obviously, the artistic attitude includes within it a wide spectrum of individua l behaviours and personal idiosyncrasies. All artists exhibit the artistic attit ude, because, by definition, the artistic attitude is that which characterizes a n artist. Each artist manifests a very unique expression of the artistic attitud e. The artistic attitude is really something an artist is. It is not something the artist possesses. It is part and parcel of the artist's being and not something put on or affected. Although many people try to affect an artistic attitude what they are expressing is not the same thing. Artistic expression, which is something different from artistic attitude, depend s directly upon the technical skills and knowledge one may possess. One artist m ay have a greater technical skill than another artist - for instance, the abilit y to draw realistically - which determines one area of artistic expression in wh ich the two differ. The one may be described as having the ability to draw bette r or more realistically than the other. But the ability to draw something realistically, or the inability to do so, has nothing to do with artistic attitude. The ability to draw in a realistic manner is simply the way in which the one artist expresses his or her artistic attitude . It is merely a technical skill or talent. What I am saying then, is that the artistic attitude is clearly not like a liber al attitude, or a democratic attitude, or a conservative attitude. These various attitudes merely represent specific and limited points of view on social and po litical issues. The artistic attitude is not just a specific point of view on art. The artistic attitude is a way of being, a way experiencing and organizing the world in such a way that art finds expression in the life and work of the artist. In other wor ds, artists consciously create a reality in which art manifests itself. The artist approaches the world and interacts with other people in a distinctly different manner than the non-artist. This distinctive manner is partly what dis tinguishes artists from non-artists. Although it would be difficult to say just exactly what this artistic manner con sists of in so many words, few of us have any difficulty in recognizing it when we see it. It is usually fairly obvious.

We all have the potential to be artists and to express the artistic attitude in our lives. We do not have to go out and "get" it, like attaining success, for in stance. It is not something to be possessed, like a new suit of clothes, but rat her something to be lived. Some of us seem to be born with the artistic attitude, and have an easy time exp eriencing it and being it. Some of us, on the other hand, are not born with it a nd consequently we have to work harder at tuning in to it. But each one of us ha s the potential. We all have the chance to live our lives in a creative and exci ting way. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we do not live creatively. No one else can prevent us from expressing the artistic attitude in our lives if w e really want to do so. Likewise, each one of us has the potential to become a mature human being. tunately, most of us are not yet mature human beings, but very immature or infantile. To become a mature person we must first know how to operate the being. For that information we need an instruction book. But we also need than an instruction book. Unfor even human more

The instruction books only give you basic information - like where to put the fi lm in your new camera, or how to assemble a doll house. They do not tell you wha t to do then. Where do you go from there, once you have learned how to operate t he new camera or have completed assembling the doll house? After the instruction books about operating your human being tell you all sorts of interesting esoteric information about your body and mind, what next? What do you do then to become a mature human being? I am not talking about maturity in the same sense that most people talk about ma turity. Most people seem to think that maturity means getting older. The older y ou get the more mature you get. It's something automatic. According to this notion, if you manage to avoid dying long enough, say for sixt y or seventy years or so, you will be mature. No one says just how this maturity comes about. Many people apparently think it just happens by magic or by some unavoidable nat ural process, like aging. In other words, you do not have to do anything for it to happen. In this vein, people will say that someone who is forty years old is more mature than someone who is just twenty years old. The assumption is that so meone forty years old is more mature because he has the benefit of twenty more y ears of life experience under his belt. This may very well be true, but it is al so irrelevant. I am not talking about that here. Just getting older and accumulating life exper ience is not the maturity I am talking about. I am talking about something more subtle and much more important than chronological age. No one would seriously argue that Rembrandt was a better artist than Degas just because he painted more pictures. He certainly did paint more pictures. But the quantity of artistic output is not necessarily related to its quality. The two a re distinct. Rembrandt might be considered a better painter for other reasons, b ut not just because he painted more than Degas. Similarly, the quantity of human life is not necessarily related to the quality of it. I am talking here about the quality of human being and not the quantity. The maturity I am talking about means quality and has nothing to do with age. Most human beings lead lives of low quality and that is what I mean by immature and infantile. High quality means mature. The reasons why people generally lead

lives of low quality have been discovered and analyzed by the science of psychol ogy. You may consult any standard text on the subject and see for yourself the p sychological baggage we carry around with us that prevents us from maturing full y. Do not misunderstand. The quality I refer to has nothing whatsoever to do with m aterial wealth or social standing. It has nothing to do with formal education or college degrees. It has nothing to do with one's church affiliation, a regular and good-paying job, two weeks in Bermuda, or life insurance. The quality I refer to has nothing to do with being in good health. It has nothi ng to do with being popular, attractive or sophisticated. It does not mean havin g a family or a house in the suburbs. It does not even mean achieving happiness or contentment. These are all quantity concerns. They mean nothing in terms of t he quality that I refer to here. I am talking about attitude here. Attitude determines what you do with your huma n being and how you do it. Attitude is the most important thing. All of the instruction books for being human are, finally, just like the instruc tion book that came with your camera. Remember that simply knowing how to operat e a camera does not make you a photographer. So, too, just knowing how to operat e the human being does not make you mature. All you learn from instruction books is technical information. How you use that information depends on attitude. Unfortunately, that is what the instruction books seldom tell you. For example t he instruction books for being human all say: "Follow the directions and everyth ing will turn out fine. You will become a quality human being." But this is misl eading. Thus misled, many students of so-called spiritual paths mistakenly think that gr owing in human maturity means learning how to perform mental tricks. These are s ometimes called psychic abilities. Many people make the mistake of thinking that such stuff as clairvoyance, telepathy or channelling information from entities from some hypothetical higher plane of existence indicates a greater level of ma turity. Others think that developing mental control over autonomic physical func tions and manipulating the body into various non-ordinary states of consciousnes s indicates maturity. They often think of it in terms of "higher consciousness" or "spiritual growth." But just as you need more than the technical knowledge of how to operate your ca mera to make good photographs, you need more than just the technical knowledge o f how your human being works in order to become mature. Having the technical abi lity to shift in and out of non-ordinary states of consciousness does not make o ne mature. To make good photographs, in addition to technical knowledge, you also need the artistic attitude. Similarly, to become mature you need a certain type of attitu de in addition to some basic technical knowledge. We might call this required at titude the mature attitude. What is the mature attitude? How do you "get" it? Is it even something you can g et? Or is it more like the artistic attitude, something that you must be? Pryse rightly understood that the Apocalypse is not an instruction book telling you how to breathe, or how to sit, or how to hold your tongue, or where to focus your eyes, or where to concentrate your attention. There are no such instructio ns in the book. It was not written to reveal such things. The author of the Apocalypse makes the tacit assumption that the reader already

possesses some knowledge of instruction book methods. So he does not describe ho w to breathe, or how to meditate on the chakras, or how to induce altered states of awareness, etc. The Apocalypse does not teach these things and you will have to look elsewhere to find them. They are omitted, not because they are unimport ant or irrelevant, but simply because they are not the point of this particular book. Within the Apocalypse something of far more importance than any specific instruc tion book method appears. That is: how to develop the mature attitude! Within th e Apocalypse lies the method of how to transform your attitude so that you can c ome to the personal realization of human maturity. Remember that the instruction book that came with your camera can only show you how to operate the camera. It can not show you how to feel and think like an art ist. It can not guarantee that you will be able to make good photographs, only t hat you will know enough to remove the lens cap before trying to snap the pictur e. The same can be said about your human being. The instruction books can only show you how to operate it. They can not guarantee that you will become mature. They do not show you how to be mature with it. This is true with any type of instruction book. Attitude is not something that c an be taught like the assembly of a doll house. Attitude is not like operating i nstructions for a camera. To learn attitude you can not simply do A, do B, and t hen do C. It is more complicated and subtle than that. You might ask, can there even be a method for developing attitude? Any attitude, let alone the mature attitude? If so, it must be different from what is taught in the instruction books. It has to be different. With this in mind, I realized that the method I sought in the Apocalypse must be of extreme subtlety. There could be no step by step instructions, since step by step instructions are precisely what instruction books teach you. What I was lo oking for had to be described in terms of process, rather than procedures. This would mean that the precise method might vary from individual to individual , in fact, probably would. Yet there must be some similarity by which the method could be identified as such whether you or I apply it. Otherwise it would be po intless to speak of any method at all. At this point in my quest, after pondering these matters, I began to understand that each of us is on our own. The precise way in which I might discover the mat ure attitude within myself must be different from the precise way in which you m ight discover it within yourself. That is simply because you and I are two very different human beings. At the same time there must be something common in our w ays, if due only to our shared human nature. I say that we must discover the mature attitude within ourselves. As I intend to detail, the Apocalypse describes the full panorama of human consciousness as a beautiful rainbow of complementary states of awareness to which there is nothing to be added or taken away. The rainbow of human consciousness is complete and w hole. Since human consciousness is complete already, the mature attitude must already exist within each of us as a part of that fullness. It must always have existed and ever will exist as part of that holistic rainbow of consciousness that is us . Since the mature attitude exists within us already, then it is much like the art

istic attitude. You could even say that the mature attitude is us and we are it. It is us and we are it both individually and collectively. This may seem contra dictory and in a strictly logical sense, it is. Yet by a very simple leap of int uition we can easily grasp this fundamental truth about consciousness. Each one of us as a unique person has the task of bringing the mature attitude i nto conscious manifestation in our own way. My manifestation of the attitude wil l be me, and yours will be you. We can not be the same. Yet, because we are both human beings we share a commonality that we can not escape. Indeed, there is no thing else for us to be than human. I was convinced and have always been convinced that the Apocalypse teaches a met hod. But if there are no precise procedures by which an attitude can be taught, at least not in the instruction book way, what form could a method for teaching or learning attitude take? What could I be looking for as the method of the Apoc alypse? And could it really be called a method at all? Fortuitously, at about the time I was beginning to ask how one teaches attitude I began the study of an oriental metaphysical system called tantra. Superficiall y at least, no two doctrines could seem further removed in their respective view s of reality than orthodox Christianity and tantra, with its exaltation of sex. Even the second and deeper level of esoteric Christianity as expounded in the Ap ocalypse Unsealed and The Restored New Testament by James Pryse seems to be inco mpatible with tantra. In accord with much of Indian metaphysics, the esoteric Ch ristianity elaborated by James Pryse places human sexuality in particular and ph enomenal existence as a whole at the bottom of a cosmic scale of value. In fact, they possess negative value. They exist solely to purify human consciousness of its gross physical and psychic attachments on its journey towards a state of di sembodied perfection. The negation of human sexuality and phenomenal existence in general which I enco untered in so much oriental and esoteric metaphysics just did not sit well with me. My own intuition and feelings about myself as a human being would not buy it . Something about it all was just not right. I felt that there must be some deeper meaning about human sexuality and material ity in the Apocalypse underlying the rather negative interpretation expressed in the Apocalypse Unsealed. As I studied tantra and the Apocalypse further I becam e convinced that the negation of the human condition as expressed in the Apocaly pse regarding sex and physical existence was itself erroneous. I began to feel t hat something was being covered up. Pryse had correctly interpreted the Apocalypse at what I am calling its esoteric and second level. This interpretation was certainly much more valid than the si mplistic and literal understanding of Christian orthodoxy. But I began to realiz e that there existed yet a third level of meaning beneath that which Pryse had e xposed. I discovered this third and deeper level of interpretation simply because I did not accept what James Pryse had to say about sex. I just could not accept it. So mething was wrong. I knew it and felt it with every fibre of my heart. Human sexuality seems to me to be a wondrous and beautiful mystery. As an aspect of being human, I felt that our sex must also be a necessary and vivid color of the rainbow of human consciousness that is described so clearly in the Apocalyp se. Sex is inextricably linked to the experience of love in my own personal expe rience and that of most people I know. So I felt that sex must somehow play a mo re positive role than that explained by Pryse.

This is no bold claim. Even in its orthodoxy, Christianity offers itself as the expression of God's love for humanity. Its greatest commandment is love: the lov e of God and the love of mankind for God. Of course, sex has no place in the ort hodox scheme any more than it does in the esoteric order as described by Pryse. The ideal state for both is sexless celibacy. Sex is accepted as a necessity by the orthodox, but that is all. Yet there exist some very interesting incongruiti es. The analogy of the bridegroom and the bride is often used to express the orthodo x understanding of the nature of the relationship between God and the church, an d between God and the individual soul. To this day, Catholic nuns still celebrat e a nuptial ceremony to become fanciful brides of Christ. Many wear wedding ring s to symbolize the relationship. Brought up as a Roman Catholic, I was familiar with the bridegroom and bride ana logy. Yet, I had always thought there was something strange about it. How could a religion which denigrates human sexuality to the degree of Christian orthodoxy use such blatantly sexual symbols to describe its most sublime doctrine? For th e bridegroom/bride analogy is doubtless that of the sexual consummation of the w edding night. In my own personal experience and understanding, human sexuality and love are in timately interconnected. And this is certainly the overwhelming human experience . In terms of psychological growth and health, love and sex are nearly inseparab le. Of course, you can have one without the other. I am not going to deny that. But to divide and separate them invites very grave risk to the human psyche. And this fact is borne out daily in the bedrooms of the world and upon the psychoan alyst's couch. In my opinion, one of the severe and perennial problems of the human condition s eems to be that we have now and have always had so much love and sex without the other. Separated from one another, both are equally diminished. Both are put in danger of being perverted. At the literal, superficial level of understanding Christian orthodoxy, of cours e, asserts that love without sex is the ideal. We must all strive towards this i deal sexless state of altruistic love. In this regard, remember Paul said that m arriage was instituted by God only out of concern for the weakness of the human flesh. Better to allow sex in the context of marriage, so the rationale contends , than to risk losing most of the faithful because they are weak. Chastity, virg inity and celibacy, however, remain the preferred state, even if only the strong and courageous can attain it. With this part of orthodox belief Pryse and his second, esoteric level of Christ ian understanding apparently would agree. For to him, as well as to orthodoxy, v irginity and celibacy are the preferred condition. Indeed for the esotericist it is absolutely mandatory. How we are to manage this sexless state and remain psychologically sound, not si mply functioning, but healthy, is not elaborated upon by either the orthodox or esoteric schools. In fact, maintaining a state of psychological health is not ev en addressed. Suddenly, something occurred to me one day. It was one of those sudden flashes o f insight that helps tidy up loose ends. What occurred to me was that all of the denunciation of human sex and sexual activity from both the literal level and t he esoteric level of interpretation might well be a not so subtle smokescreen hi ding a very great truth. This is the train of thought that occurred to me. I think that all of us would a

gree that sex without love does not amount to much. Sure, it may feel good, but it feels much better when love and mutual affection take place at the same time. Not too startling a concept so far. But the really exciting part of the train of thought was this: "How much does lo ve without sex amount to?" True, many people seem to love greatly without sex. I could go on for page after page describing the wonderful deeds that many unselfish individuals have done f or the benefit of others. They have done so often at great sacrifice and persona l cost to themselves. Most parents, for example, love their children without any thought of sex with them. We are all familiar with examples of such people. I am sure that each of you rea ding this essay has accomplished something unselfishly at least once in your lif e that was totally sexless as well. I did not question that it is possible to do so. I wondered rather: "Is love without sex really any better than sex without love for growth in human maturity?" Remember that sex without love has its good points. At least it feels good. So, too, we might expect love without sex to have its good points as well. At the ve ry least, it probably feels good too. Please do not misunderstand me here. I do not deny that many people have done ma ny loving things without sex entering the equation. I have done so, and you have , too. I merely asked the question: "Of how much real usefulness are sexless act ions to spiritual growth?" May I suggest that "spiritual growth" is an archaic t erm for what we now understand as the process of psychological integration, what I am calling maturity? As I shall demonstrate in this essay this suggestion is not farfetched. In fact such a correlation has been made by many psychologists a nd others for years, Jung and Campbell among them. If "spiritual" growth involves the process of psychic integration and an increas ing realization of creative potential, how do merely sexless acts compare to mer ely loveless acts? Is either one any more useful than the other? Both the orthodox and the esoteric proponents of sexlessness allege very high ut ility to spiritual growth for love without sex. Remember that I am here suggesti ng that spiritual growth is an archaic term for psychological integration and ma turity. The proponents of sexlessness do not, however, document their claims, except to point out individuals who to all intents and purposes present evidence of psycho logical pathology. These so-called "spiritual" athletes demonstrate unbalanced, often deranged, lives. As a group, the sexless saints of the church may have loved God and humanity, or at least the officially proclaimed anthropomorphic image of God. But their pers onal lives were all too frequently filled with self induced and masochistic sorr ow and pain. Often they tortured and mutilated themselves for the purpose of mor tifying the flesh or to punish themselves for failing their high standards of be haviour and thought control. They sometimes decided to include others in their self-abuse, whether or not the others were willing. And as we have discovered recently, very many of these socalled "men of God" have slipped from their path of purity into the arms and gen itals of prostitutes, secretaries and even children. On the other hand, the many journals of psychology are full of case histories do cumenting the subtle and terrible psychic consequences of separating love and se

x in human life. And this separation is the cause of the gravity of sexual malai se among those Christian churchmen who have tried to put themselves above nature . It may very well be the case that as human beings we must learn to act simply fo r the sake of acting. It may be that we must learn to act not for the sake of an y benefit that we might accrue from doing so. In other words, we may need to lea rn to behave altruistically at times. The need to learn altruism may be as true for love and sex as it is for anything else. But benefits can very well accrue from loving without sex just as well as from " sexing" without love. Self satisfaction, feeling needed or wanted, controlling o r manipulating others are but a few. I am not saying that these are necessarily wrong or even undesirable motives. What I am asking is simply, how much personal spiritual or psychological growth can occur if you do something for another human being because you feel needed, o r need to feel needed? I think not much. Your motive should be simply that you d o something because it needs to be done. Not because it makes you feel good to d o it. That is really what altruism is all about. Do not misunderstand me. I am not claiming that altruism is nonsense or a waste of time by any means. I am not saying that altruism is beyond our capacity or th at only superhuman beings can ever act in a truly altruistic manner. And most em phatically, I am not suggesting we stop doing things for the benefit of each oth er for whatever our reasons happen to be. For after all, it is better to do what benefits another than to do nothing at all. I am merely suggesting that attitude is more important than sexlessness in our a ctions. All of the emphasis on sexlessness is misdirected. Sex is not the culpri t. Finally, what occurred to me is this. Remember that I am speaking in terms of "s piritual growth" or psychological integration and maturity, to use the modern te rms. If sex without love does not amount to much. If love without sex does not a mount to much. And since separating love and sex also risks serious psychologica l ill-health. Could love with sex amount to everything? Could love with sex be the big secret? The whole enchilada? The way things are m eant to be? As soon as I asked myself that question, I found that tantra makes t he very claim that indeed it is! Tantra teaches that whenever two human beings approach one another in openness t hey have the chance to enter into a deeper dimension of life than they otherwise could. This is why love - even without sex - and sex - even without love - may lead to growth. It is the openness and the interaction that matters most. You se e, being open is an attitude, just as being closed is the opposite attitude. And it is the attitude of being open, being vulnerable, being able to absorb the un known that leads to growth. It is the attitude that determines the outcome of th e experience. Tantra further suggests that when a man and a woman begin to explore love and se x together they soon open a door within themselves that they never before imagin ed existed. This door opens them up to the possibility of a deeper experience of their human being that without shared sex and love neither on their own could d iscover. Love and sex together are the key. When you open a door, you still have the choice of entering or not. If you enter the door that tantra reveals you will enter into a new dimension of human being . If you do not enter that door, then you will not. You always have the choice.

Many people encounter this tantric door whether or not they learn any specific k nowledge about tantra. Many men and women share love for each other sexually and have never heard of tantra. They begin to experience, too, because the big secr et is not knowing something called tantra. The big secret rather is knowing from your own experience what tantra knows. You may call it whatever you want to cal l it. Remember, you always have a choice. Many people choose r of possibility. For them love and sex do not lead to e people who will say that I am talking utter nonsense ense, because they have closed the door. But they have hemselves, not for anyone else. not to enter this new doo growth. These are the sam here. For them it is nons only closed the door to t

As I studied tantra further I soon found that it examines in detail the nature o f being human. This it shares in common with most other metaphysical systems, bo th oriental and western. The important thing that sets tantra apart from nearly all other metaphysical systems, however, is its enthusiastic acceptance of sex a s part of the process of being fully human. Tantra considers sex to be not the least valuable part of human nature, but the very part in which and through which we can discover all of what being human is and is about. Sex and love together are the vehicle of human transformation into deeper understanding and experience. I began to see certain unexpected similarities between tantra and some of the sy mbolism of Christianity. The bridegroom and bride is one very striking example. These made me start to wonder if the similarities between tantra and Christianit y might run deeper yet. Eventually, a tantalizing idea struck me. Could Christianity actually be a versi on of tantra? My quest for the method of the Apocalypse had taken a fresh turn. I juxtaposed tantra and the many symbols of Christianity as understood first by James Pryse and then in The Supreme Identity by Alan Watts. I ultimately discove red what I am now convinced beyond the shadow of doubt is the method and the hid den teaching underlying the Apocalypse. Further, it is the hidden doctrine under lying all of Christianity itself. What is ironic about the method and hidden teaching is its simplicity and its al most too obvious nature. It had been staring me right in the face the whole time . It has been staring Christians in the face for two thousand years! To understa nd this, let us return again to the analogy of the camera. Suppose that one day you decide to do more with your camera than simply take sna pshots. Let us imagine that you decide you want to become a real photographer an d make good photographs. You know how your camera works. You have studied the instruction book and feel c onfident about the workings of the camera. But what you do not know is how to ex perience the artistic attitude. You do not know how to see and think and feel li ke an artist. You do not know how to be an artist with a camera. So what do you do? How do you learn to be an artist with a camera? You might first enrol in a course that promises to show you how to take better p hotos with your camera. Such a course might teach about proper exposure. It migh t show you how to choose appropriate film for differing conditions of light. You might learn to use filters to enhance contrast or certain colors. You might fin d out how to compose your subject matter to achieve dramatic effect, and how to shoot your photographs from different angles to accentuate or hide certain quali

ties. Such a course might even attempt to teach you in some very rudimentary manner ho w to see and feel like an artist. You would probably study the good photographs of a number of real photographers to see just how each of them handled different subjects and achieved different effects with their photographs. Having completed your course, you now venture out armed with your new knowledge and confidence. Will you make good photographs? Will you even manage just to mak e better pictures than before? Let's be honest, not likely. Before you can expect to make good photographs you must first go out and just make photographs. Lots of them. Most of your photographs will not be particularly good. They will just be the sa me old snapshots. Still you must continue making photographs, and you must exami ne your new photographs with a critical eye. You must begin to see and to think with your camera in a different way than you did when all you wanted to do was take snapshots of the family at the beach. You must stop thinking about merely recording places and faces. You must start tryi ng to express feelings. This is the new way. You must begin to see your pictures as being either successful or not successful in representing this new way. If you always cts to ll get edless do not, then you will still just be taking snapshots. Maybe now you will get the exposure just right. Maybe now you will always compose your subje divide the frame into thirds instead of right in the middle. Maybe you wi close enough to your subject each time now instead of getting all that ne and distracting background in the your pictures.

You will be taking technically better snapshots. Maybe you will be content with that. But you will still not be making good photographs. You are not yet an arti st. To become an artist with a camera you must do more. You must decide that you are going to express yourself with your camera, not just record data. A face is no longer just a face, it is the expression of something. A place is no longer just a place. Remember there is a big difference between data and art. Art expresses feelings and ideas. To become an artist you must decide to express your feelings and idea s. To become an artist with a camera, you must begin to see your feelings as potent ial pictures which can be expressed with a camera. Instead of just perceiving yo ur feelings merely as imprecise sensations within your body, you must begin to s ee them. You must begin to see your ideas manifested in the world around you, wh ere you can capture them with your camera. You must have the attitude that you c an express your feeling and your ideas as photographs with your camera. When you can see your feelings and ideas as pictures, you must start to compose those pictures in the real world that you intend to photograph. You must begin t o see places and objects as external symbolic representations of your inner feel ings and ideas. You must see, for instance, that a certain tree in a certain quality of ambient light from a certain angle might represent a certain feeling you would like to e xpress. Then you must make photographs of that tree in that light at that angle until you manage to make one that does just what you want it to do.

You must make photographs. Lots of them. You must look at them with a critical e ye and keep throwing them away until you finally have one that exactly expresses the feeling you want it to express. Now you are no longer just making photographs of a tree. You are now making phot ographs of your feelings. You are also learning the artistic attitude. You are learning to think and to se e like an artist. The artist sees the outer world as an external representation of his or her inner feelings and ideas. This is what you must learn to do as wel l. There is no precise procedure except doing it. And just how you will do it will be uniquely your own way and no one else's. A book can not show you how to do it . Another person, a real photographer perhaps, can not show you how to do it. A book or a photographer can only point you in the right direction, by showing you how they did it. You can not do it by copying their way. But you can learn by s eeing their way. The photographer or the book will tell you: "Make photographs." They will add: " Study your photographs; learn why some of them work and some of them do not work ; that is the only way." Someday, if you work at it long enough, you may become a photographer and make g ood photographs. Will the course you took have helped you do it? It might have h elped. If you learned what the course had to teach you, it will have helped you. To mak e good photographs it is first necessary to know how to use your photographic me dium, to know its limitations and its strengths. You need to know what is possib le and what is not possible to do with film. But then you will have to go out on your own and do it. No book and no one else can do it for you. You must do it and you must discover it for yourself. Is that a method? Certainly it is. But is it a method you could learn from an in struction book? No, of course not. The method of the Apocalypse is something like what I have just described. The A pocalypse describes the process of the mature attitude. The mature attitude is a process of growth. It is a process of conscious growth, which just means that y ou are consciously aware of it going on. There are some well defined stages in the process of growth. If you know what th ese various stages are and what their characteristics are, then you can examine yourself critically and objectively, then you can discover where you are within the process right now. You can discover what your conscious awareness of the ful lness of consciousness is right now. Maybe your awareness right now of the fullness of consciousness is one per cent. Maybe it is ten per cent. You want your awareness to be one hundred per cent. T hat is the effect you want to have. It is like the photograph that does what you want it to do. It is the awareness of who and what you are in full. There is nothing you have to do in order to become part of the process of consci ous growth. You are in the process now because you are a human being and being h uman is the process. Through self examination, however, you can discover where y ou are in the process, what part of the process is you right now, what went on b efore and what will go on later.

As the inscription of the temple at Delphi says: "Know thyself." That is the fir st part of the method. By discovering just where you are in the process you imme diately become aware of the process itself. It now becomes your conscious experi ence. You are the process. You are the whole process. You always have been and always will be. There is nothing else to be and nowhere else to be it. There is nothing to be done except be what you already are. Be human. That is it. By becoming aware of the process of conscious growth your attitude changes. Your attitude begins to change. You start to mature. The first part of the method is to discover just what your awareness of the proc ess of being human is. But knowledge by itself is not enough. You must do. That is the second part. The second part of the method is to discover what the proces s is by doing it with conscious awareness. You have been doing it unconsciously until now. Wake up! Now is the time for you to wake up. Become consciously aware of being a quality human being. You become a quality hu man being simply because you always have been and always will be a quality human being. You are just not aware of your own quality until you make the discovery of it. What I learned from tantra is that the hidden method of the Apocalypse is love. The process of being human, the true process of psychic integration and the real ization of the full creative potential of being human is love. The method of love hidden in the ove of the celibate and ascetic. efore the Christian world as the Christian society is so obsessed Apocalypse is not the sexless and emasculated l This sexless perversion of love has been held b ideal for two thousand years. It is the reason with sex.

By stubbornly and ignorantly refusing to accept sex for what it really is, Chris tianity has perverted it into an ugly, neurotic obsession. It is time to put thi s ignorant misunderstanding of love and sex to rest permanently. The method hidden in the Apocalypse is the passionate love that expresses the fu llness of the human creative potential. It is the love that burns our hearts wit h desire and longing for one another. It is the love that inflames our deepest n eeds and drives us to one another. The method hidden in the Apocalypse is learni ng to trust and believe in the force of passionate, personal and romantic love. The most powerful and transforming trait of the human personality turns out to b e our very capacity to love one another sexually. That capacity to love one anot her sexually exercised and realized to its fullest extent becomes the real hero of the Apocalypse. The symbolic hero of the apocalyptic drama, "The Conqueror," is our capacity to love one another sexually. By doing so we transform our consc ious attitude from seeing in a limited and circumscribed way to experiencing an unlimited perspective. The conqueror is the doorway to perception. Passionate love opens us up to the u ltimate human adventure. 2.3 PATH OF LOVE Tantra just means method; so we may call it the yoga of how things work. I do no t mean here yoga as a special system of Indian metaphysics such as that expounde d by Patanjali. I mean yoga in its general sense as any practical methodology ba sed upon metaphysical precepts.

The things with whose workings tantra is concerned are, of course, the conscious ness of being human. In this regard tantra shares common ground with many other spiritual disciplines and many philosophies. Tantra teaches not only the usual instruction book methods, but more importantly attitude. Tantra concerns itself more with attitude, rather than any specific p ractice or set of practices. It is quite true that there are specific practices and specific schools of tantr a. These are instruction book methods. They have their place and it is important to learn what they have to say. But the most significant point about tantra is the attitude it demands and expounds. Remember that attitude determines what you do with your knowledge. Methods and techniques mean little without the right attitude. If you get hung u p on technique or on any specific practice, you will miss the point of tantra. T he basic method of tantra is simply being open minded and refusing to hang onto any method. It is a sense of wonder and innocent exploration. It is an opening u p. This reflects the tantric attitude. Tantra also affirms all life and its physical manifestations. Tantra revels in b eing alive and utilizes that very excitement for conscious growth towards maturi ty. Tantra does not condemn physical existence or anything that arises from that exi stence. Tantra rather accepts all experience as part of life whose beauty and wo nder exhibit a marvellous multiplicity. Hence, tantra shares nothing in common w ith those disciplines that negate the physical and advocate chastisement of the body. Neither does tantra teach that the spiritual life is something different and of a more exalted and holy nature than the physical. In tantra, all is holy, all su blime. The physical and the spiritual are not two experiences but only two ways of looking at the same experience. Like modern science, tantra asks the question how? Tantra and science are primar ily concerned about how things work. For both tantra and science the question wh y? is less important. Not unimportant, but less important. Philosophy and religion, on the other hand, ask why? Why are things the way they are? For philosophy why? is the most important question and how? is less so. Th us philosophy differs from tantra and science in the emphasis on the how? and th e why? of existence. Tantra is more like science than philosophy. Tantra does not avoid the why? of e xistence - neither does science - but the how? is primary to tantra and the why? only secondary. The why? and the what? and the where? and the when? that are th e paramount questions for philosophy and religion are only relevant to tantra in so far as they help to answer the question how? To understand philosophy you need only a certain degree of intellectual acuity. If you can understand its language, its terminology and its concepts, then you c an understand philosophy. Nothing else is required. In religion even less is demanded of you because if you can not understand all y ou need to do is believe. In fact, for religion belief is more important than un derstanding. For religion, belief is paramount. What you believe is less importa nt than simply that you believe. You do not have to change who you are to understand philosophy or to believe the

teachings of a religion. You do not have to become someone different. You just have to do a bit of mental juggling. But to understand tantra you need to change. Unless you become someone different you can not understand what tantra has to say. This is because tantra is experi ence, and not just mental juggling. Unless you open up yourself and become receptive to the experience it is not goi ng to happen. If you just remain closed and rejective you can not expect the exp erience to happen. You must allow it to happen. When you approach something from the philosophical or religious point of view al l you do is talk about it, think about it, learn about it. Even though all this may be interesting, from the tantric point of view it is not enough. How many wo nderful and ennobling philosophies have you read about and admired? They remain only beautiful words in a book unless you actually live them. Likewise, how many religions teach beautiful, wonderful and noble truths about h uman relationships only to have them totally ignored by the people who claim to believe those teachings? How many Christians experience compassion and concern f or their fellow human beings and how many express only narrow minded bigotry and intolerance? That is why tantra demands more. Tantra demands the real experience of something , to know it, not just to know about it. For example, if you are thirsty a chemistry textbook describing the physical pro perties and qualities of water will not satisfy your thirst. You may find it fas cinating to learn all kinds of interesting things about water but you still thir st. Until you actually drink water and thereby know it your thirst is not quench ed. Tantra says to drink water is to know water. Reading a book about water is not t he same as drinking it. This is fairly obvious. Yet when it comes to our persona l experience of living, we all tend to delude ourselves into mistaking the chemi stry textbook for real water. We do it something like this. Take the tantric statement "God is love." We find no philosophizing here, just a plain and unambiguous statement of the how? of ex istence. It could not be simpler or more straight forward. Yet, if you are content merely to philosophize then in your mind you will be ask ing why? and not how? As a consequence, you will not see "God is love" as a simp le statement of how? but as a philosophical premise. You will see it not as unam biguous and simple but quite the opposite. If you see "God is love" as a mere philosophical premise, you will next begin to elaborate. By many various logical arguments you will begin to multiply the pos sible ramifications that naturally follow. That is why the statement is not plai n and simple for you but one that is loaded with delicious ambiguity. You may then go on to develop your many arguments into several different schools of thought on the subject. Each school of thought can then go about convincingl y advocating its own particular viewpoint as valid and all others as invalid, a very paradoxical but philosophical situation. From the tantric viewpoint this is all nonsense. It may be interesting and fun b ut it is nonsense all the same. As long as you realize it is only nonsense and indulge in it playfully there is

no harm done. After all, tantra teaches that among other reasons we are also her e to enjoy being alive and that enjoyment takes many forms. But if you do not re alize it is nonsense but instead take it all seriously then you are mistaking th e textbook for the real thing. Just like thinking a chemistry book is real water . Tantra says: to know God, "whom we can not see,"17 you will first have to know l ove. To know love, you will have to love. You have to be in love. You have to be come love, to let love transform you by its power. There is no philosophy here, just experience, the how? What you think or believe does not matter. The experience of love will change you. If you just allow the experience of love to happen you will change. You can not remain the same as bef ore. The moment you love, the instant you experience love, you are a different p erson. The old you has become a new you. The power of love has transformed you. But the transformation of love can not happen just by reading a book, or attendi ng a discussion group. The transformation of love can not happen by taking a cou rse, or listening to a sermon, or sitting alone in your room fantasizing about i t. For the transformation of love to happen you will have to encounter another huma n being. You will have to become open and receptive. You will have to become vul nerable. Otherwise love can not happen and it is nonsense for you to imagine that it can happen. Love requires openness, receptiveness and vulnerability. Nothing else wi ll do. You may find the experience of love frightening just because it is unpredictable . Beforehand, you can not know just how it will turn out. You can not know befor e who you will be afterwards, only that you will be someone different. You have to take a chance with love. You have to risk the unknown and stop cling ing to the comfort and the security of the old you. This is often difficult. You need courage. But to philosophize, to know only about love, is easy. You risk nothing reading a book or attending a public discussion. You risk nothing hearing a Sunday sermo n, or taking a course, or sitting in your room alone and day dreaming. You risk nothing relating to another person in a superficial and shallow way. Finally, yo u take no chances on an unpredictable outcome. If matters start to get uncomfort able you can just walk out. No big deal. You can remain imprisoned within the old you. You can remain safe and comfortabl e in the assurance that you will not change. You will not have to bother getting acquainted with a new you. You will not have to change your way of living or yo ur way of thinking because another person has entered deeply into your life. There are no surprises. But there is no love either. Many people who call themselves a Christian claim to know God. They claim to kno w about God and to love God. In all sincerity many people make the statement, "I love God." But from the tantric viewpoint such a statement is meaningless. This is because the fundamental teaching of Christianity says that God is love and not the mere object of love. I hope you can see the difference. If you can not please read it again. "God is

love" is tantra and it is not philosophy. It is most emphatically not theology. It is a straight forward and totally unambiguous statement about the how? of exi stence. You can not know love by reading about it in a book. You can not know love by go ing to a lecture about it. You can only discover love in the act of loving. That is the how? of love. If you objectify love, that is if you make it into an entity named "God" with wh om you can form a relationship, then God becomes a mere psychological projection . If you are busy loving your own psychological projection that is just narcissi sm. Just the same as loving your own image in a mirror. Narcissism makes it impossible to know love. To have the capacity to love anothe r human being you must first be able to love yourself. But narcissism is patholo gical self love. It is the same thing as mistaking the chemistry textbook for re al water. True knowledge of love can only come from loving. To make love into a psychologi cal projection named "God" will not do. To make love into a philosophical or the ological premise which can be dissected and analyzed will not do. Mental dissection and analysis are merely knowing about something. They enable y ou to avoid the real thing itself. If you do not want to do something, then you talk about it. Your talking about it substitutes for doing it. You can say to yo urself "I am talking about it," or "I am thinking about it." Thereby you can pre tend that you are actually doing it. To make God into a mere object of love is the way you avoid the real experience of love itself. You are merely talking love, not doing love. The viewpoint of tantra says that doing is knowing. Tantra says that doing is th e only knowing. Anything else is just knowing about. Until you actually do somet hing you can not know it. You may know about it and you may ask questions about it, but your questions have no answers until you do it. The doing supplies the a nswers. The questions you ask show not only what you do not know, but more importantly w here you are and who you are. The questions you ask reveal the state of your awa reness of the fullness of consciousness and degree of self realization. This is simply because questions only occur to you when you are ready to answer them. Un til then you already know it all and there are no questions for you. Philosophy tries to answer your questions directly by telling you all about what ever you are asking. But from the tantric point of view no real knowledge can co me this way but only phoney knowing about. Real knowledge can be gained only by doing. So tantra does not give you the answ ers you seek directly. Instead tantra shows you where you are and who you are. T antra reveals the where? and the who? that is asking the question and it shows y ou how to attain the answers to your questions for yourself. Tantra can do nothing more. In fact, no philosophy, no religion and no science c an do more, even though they may think they can. Only you can answer the questio ns you are asking. No one else can breathe for you, or eat for you, or sleep for you. You have to d o these things for yourself. So too, you have to realize who and what you are fo r yourself. In the realization that occurs you will then answer your own questio ns.

The full process of ring yourself. What re not encountering space that you can

being human is described in the Apocalypse. You are encounte you are encountering is not a narcissistic projection. You a some externalized entity "out there" some place beyond outer call God.

You are encountering the who and the what that is really you. For this encounter to occur, for this experience to happen, you have to do more than merely philos ophize or believe in some religion. You have to open up. You have to become open and receptive and take a risk. You have to plunge into the unknown. You have to know love. Then you will begin to understand and to know yourself. Until you know love and allow yourself to be transformed by its power, the exper ience I am talking about can not happen. You are only fooling yourself to think otherwise. Love is the key to the kingdom locked inside each and every one of us. Each one of us must set it free for ourselves. Just like eating, sleeping and breathing, no one else can do it for you. That is what christianity is all about, nothing more and nothing less. All the p hilosophy and theology, all the doctrines and morality, all the ritual and worsh ip of official Christianity are nonsense. They are all just the official way to avoid the real thing. They are the way to talk love instead of loving. They are all about politics and manipulation. They are all about preventing you from maki ng the real discovery that will set you free. They are all about keeping the chu rchmen in charge. Love and sex turn out to be the big secret that is not really all that secret. D eep inside somewhere, perhaps in our heart of hearts, we have always felt that t here had to be something more than we have been told about ourselves and about o ur sex. There has always been a quiet and soft spoken voice whispering about something m agical and hidden within. Something powerful enough to carry us across the myste rious inner sea that surrounds and limits us, that separates us from each other. So there is! We need only grow up a little to find it. For the many of us who have begun to outgrow our childish "image of the beast,"1 8 which is nothing but the anthropomorphic projection of love called "God" by th e orthodox, the message hidden in the Apocalypse beckons to the still hazy yonde r shore. "But strong meat belongs to them that are mature, even those who by reason of us age have their faculties exercised in the discernment of both knowledge and igno rance."19 The conqueror is the doorway to perception. Passionate love opens us up to the u ltimate human adventure. 2.4 THE METAPHYSIC OF ECSTASY Rather early in my study of the Apocalypse I concluded that the so-called seven letters to the churches in Asia20 are descriptions of different types of awarene ss based upon directed meditations on the seven principle chakras. Pryse had cle arly demonstrated their descriptive nature in his work. I expanded upon that bas e. The chakras are often defined merely as "psychic energy centers." A large and ra

ther simplistic literature has sprung up describing them. This body of literatur e describes them as if they are actually quasi-physical organs that can be accur ately located within the physical body. This common misunderstanding results lar gely from a misinterpretation of oriental writings about the chakras. The chakras are much more than simply esoteric nervous centers. The misunderstan ding occurs because oriental writers make much less of the body/mind duality tha n we in the west. The body and mind duality is basically a nonissue for them, wh ile for western writers it looms large. Western readers make the mistake of appl ying the western concept of body/mind where eastern commentators use both almost interchangeably. You may find it less confusing to think of the chakras as symbolic representatio ns. By saying this, I do not mean to imply that they are any less real, but only that they are more than the mere quasi-physical nervous centers commonly associ ated with them. The chakras symbolically typify the seven different types of dyn amic activity that play major roles in the drama of consciousness that constitut es human life.21 These several different types of dynamic conscious activity may best be defined as distinct states of awareness. Each state of awareness represents a related bu t quite characteristic area of conscious orientation and operation, which acts i n coordination with the whole. You may or may not be personally aware of the activities of these various states . Many aspects of consciousness can be active without your direct awareness of t hem. The many autonomous functions of the body are a good example. These various autonomous functions go about their vital operations completely outside of your ordinary conscious awareness. For example, you are not usually aware of the reg ulatory activities of hormones. Yet they modify mood and behaviour continually. The specific descriptions of the seven main chakras as portrayed in the letters to the churches in Asia in the Apocalypse may be termed meditations in a very te chnical sense only. In fact, all states of consciousness can be defined as uniqu e and separate meditations in a strictly technical sense. The technical sense th at I refer to here encompasses the wilful concentration upon a single object to the exclusion of all other considerations. The single objects in the case of the seven letters are the seven specific chakras. Centering one's attention and foc using one's concentration upon the chakras produces a meditative state colored b y the specific chakra which forms the basis of the meditation. But there is a broader process going on here as well. Each of the seven specific meditations on the chakras represents a different and distinct aspect of a much more comprehensive and singular Meditation. This broader and singular Meditation does not refer to your or my sitting down s omewhere quiet and directing our attention within. Sitting quietly and still, or chanting, or directing your creative imagination are all valid types of meditat ions. But I am not talking about any of that here. I am talking about something very different. The seven directed meditations on the seven principle chakras explain how the hu man being operates. They further describe precisely what the human being is in i ts fullness. The specific meditations contained in the Apocalypse describe the seven main cha kras and the range of conscious activity involved in each of them. But this is n ot their sole purpose, or even their primary purpose. At the intermediate, or esoteric, level of understanding, the seven meditations

are simply descriptions of the seven types of conscious activity to which they e ach correspond. However, the overall message of the Apocalypse at its deepest an d most fundamental level of understanding is something far more profound and min d-boggling. At its deepest and most profound level of meaning, the Apocalypse in fact descri bes the very process of being human. What this means very simply is that you and I, in fact, all human beings, and ultimately all of existence, actually are the seven apocalyptic meditations. We individual human beings are not the meditator s, but rather the meditations! This is something very subtle and profound. Human beings, and existence as a who le, are not simply objects, things or entities. We are rather events! Existence in its entirety and everything, including human beings, who are a part of existe nce represent distinct and related aspects of a monumental and ongoing event tha t is taking place as time and space. We human beings, and all other living species, and the universe as a whole are t hat ongoing event in time and space. Taken together, we form a single cosmic eve nt! This cosmic event in its fullness is the Meditation that I am talking about here. Please understand this! This is the single most important idea in this boo k. Recall that the Apocalypse exhibits three levels of interpretation. At its deepe st and most profound level, the Apocalypse does not talk about the meditation th at you or I perform in the privacy of our chambers to achieve yogic mastery over the chakras. James Pryse accurately maintained that the Apocalypse talks about mastering the chakras22 and their energies. But he apparently did not grasp that his was only an intermediate level of understanding. The intermediate, esoteric level of understanding that Pryse revealed is certain ly deeper and more valid than the superficial interpretation of the literalists. But it is not the ultimate meaning of the book, nor of Christianity as he maint ains in his writings. At its most profound level, the Apocalypse does not talk about the physio-psychi c gymnastics of altering states of consciousness. It does not describe the yogic transformation of an individual's level of conscious awareness from mundane to sublime for the purpose of freeing oneself from physical existence. In the Apocalypse Unsealed, James Pryse proves conclusively that the intent of t he Apocalypse at the intermediate and esoteric level of understanding that he de scribes is to indicate the transformation of a particular individual's level of consciousness. Its aim is to show the path to the liberation of individuality fr om the bondage of imperfect existence. But, despite his thoroughness, Pryse fail ed to realize that the understanding he revealed by his scholarship is not the u ltimate meaning of the Apocalypse. Pure and simple, at its deepest and most profound level of meaning the Apocalyps e describes that cosmic Meditation that is us. It describes the process and full ness of human consciousness. And it does so in cosmic terms. As I noted, the seven meditations describe what the human being is and is about. As startling as it may seem, this description of the chakras and the conscious activity involved with them is not intended for the yogic emancipation of any in dividual, you or me or anyone else. It is intended rather for the enlightenment and awakening of that which meditates. Read this over! This is the second most i mportant concept in this book.

At this deepest and most profound level of understanding of the Apocalypse, "you " and "I" are not autonomous entities in any sense that would render emancipatio n or its reverse relevant. You and I are not in bondage to anything, nor can we be liberated from anything to something else. We are part of a process. At the deepest level of meaning, all of our individual personalities simply expr ess tangibly and in unique ways the general state of awareness of that which med itates. We also express in a tangible manner the specific degree of the realizat ion of itself experienced by that which meditates. We are events! We are subeven ts of a much larger ongoing event. Only at the intermediate, esoteric level of understanding described by Pryse and at the shallow, superficial level adhered to by the Christian literalists does individual autonomy become an issue. And only because it is totally misconstrued . (For the moment we need only realize that personal autonomy does exist, but no t in the way we normally think. We are not autonomous entities!) That which meditates is the very thing that manifests itself and experiences its elf as the many personalities that exist. The many human personalities who exist are the tangible manifestations of the process which is that which meditates. T his point is extremely subtle and important. Only one event exists. Pryse and many others, and the many metaphysical systems they represent, mistake nly construe that some myriads of "spiritual," nonphysical entities are somehow entrapped in physical existence. These entities struggle painfully to escape the prison of the imperfect and physical world in order to return to some hypotheti cal state of perfect and nontangible being. This notion is totally incorrect. Only one autonomous event exists: that which meditates. There is no one else her e! We are it! It is us! That which meditates is simply Consciousness itself! Consciousness is all there is here. It is us! We are it! The seven meditations of the Apocalypse describe the abundance of consciousness. Just as the separate and distinct colors of a rainbow blend into its complete s pectrum, so too, the many states of consciousness complement one another in a pa noramic whole. Is the color blue better than the color red? Is green more beautiful than yellow ? Is violet higher than orange? Such questions are meaningless. We know that all of the colors of the spectrum have equal value and equal importance in composin g the wholeness of the rainbow. Remove any color and the whole rainbow is dimini shed. Its spectrum becomes incomplete. Likewise, such comparisons lose meaning when applied to the several states of co nsciousness described in the Apocalypse. After all, yellow is not green. Red is not blue. And like the colors of a rainbow, the different states of consciousnes s are just different. They complement each other. They form the full spectrum of consciousness together. They do not oppose one another. Hence, real spirituality does not mean climbing to "higher and more exalted" sta tes of consciousness. James Pryse correctly argued that the Apocalypse, at the i ntermediate, esoteric level of understanding that he interpreted, advocates that we free ourselves from the "lower levels" of consciousness. This we accomplish by means of asceticism, meditation and various physio-psychic disciplines. According to the esoteric schools, by such methods we free ourselves from incarn ate, imperfect existence. We then take our supposedly rightful places in some di

sembodied and perfect spiritual realm, removed from the vale of tears of physica l life. We are, after all according to their school of thought, spirits condemne d to the prison of sentient existence. We must struggle to return to our true st ate. From this perspective sex, sexual attraction and the dance of desire of male and female becomes the ultimate impediment to liberation. In his writings, Pryse po rtrays them as such vividly, as does much of oriental spirituality as well. For these are viewed as precisely those forces which imprison us. But such a viewpoint fails to see that each one of the various states of conscio usness exists right now and complements all others in harmonious concert. It cou ld not be otherwise. For, at the deepest, most profound level of understanding, there is nothing to become, no "higher" or more "exalted" state to enter. There is only the realization of what is, now and ever. By discovering that the seven meditations describe the beautiful complexity of t he conscious activity of being human, I learned that the Apocalypse, at its deep est level, expounds a very profound and subtle doctrine. Further, I learned that the Apocalypse turns out to be a much more intricate work than even James Pryse realized. Not only does the Apocalypse tell a superficial story - fantastic and surreal as it may seem. This story covers and encodes a secret teaching about personal ema ncipation from physical existence. This second, and esoteric, level James Pryse describes faithfully and thoroughly. Most importantly, the Apocalypse covers and disguises another and deeper meaning . This third and deepest meaning is far more important and significant than even the intermediate level described by Pryse. The writer or writers of the Apocaly pse based their work upon this third and deepest layer of meaning. They sought t o subvert it to suit their own purposes, since it contradicts their own position completely. At this third and deepest level of understanding it becomes clear that only a bl inkered perception sees the physical world and human sexuality as something to b e escaped. At this deepest level it becomes clear that only a limited understand ing beholds the impermanence and great variety of human existence as a tragedy a nd an illusion. At this deepest level it becomes clear that only an unbalanced m etaphysic views the reveries of the pathologically introverted mind as the only real and the true window on reality and condemns the senses and feelings as mere impediments to knowledge. Within its vitriolic description of divine retribution upon sinners, the Apocaly pse encodes not only the intermediate meaning as revealed by James Pryse, but a deeper and more profound message. Concealed in the shadows of the symbolic and f anciful imagery used to disguise an escapist and clearly sexist and life-denying view of human life, the Apocalypse sets forth a very different metaphysical doc trine. This deepest level of meaning reveals the tremendous and beautiful panora ma of consciousness. The metaphysical doctrine that so subtly underlies the intermediate, and esoteri c, level of understanding as described by Pryse sets forth the one method for re alizing the fullness of consciousness in the here and now of physical and person al life. In this acutely life-affirming and uplifting metaphysic, woman and man together share the title roles. This hidden metaphysic concerns itself with the relationship of woman and man. A ccording to this metaphysic the relationship of woman and man in sex and love ty pifies the ecstatic dance of consciousness seeking itself and finding itself and

loving itself. Therefore I have termed this deepest and hidden doctrine the Met aphysic of Ecstasy. In its orthodoxy, Christianity represents itself as the religion of love. It alm ost prides itself and certainly distinguishes itself from other religions for be ing the religion of love. Rightly so. The Gospels and Epistles brim with referen ces to love. One could hardly argue against the notion that love forms the found ation of Christianity, at least in theory if not in practice. Yet, the Apocalyps e hardly mentions the word! And when it does mention love, it lacks the importan ce that the word conveys in the other books of the New Testament. As I noted earlier, this very lack struck me as more than curious and impelled m e to search more deeply into the Apocalypse. Something just did not add up, and I was determined to discover what it was. This search ultimately enabled me to f ind the missing references to love, and also to discover the method I sought. My search also led me to uncover the reasons that the Apocalypse, at its interme diate and esoteric level of understanding, so vehemently and consistently negate s love, sex and the present human condition generally. In so doing, I further un covered a tangled web of intrigue that finally resulted in the Apocalypse taking the form that we now have. This detective story warrants more space than we can spare here, so I shall elaborate in a future volume. My discovery of the method hidden within the Apocalypse rests upon the identity of one of the major apocalyptic characters: nikon. This word, as deciphered by P ryse, is the "conqueror" and represents the symbolic hero of the apocalyptic dra ma. This conqueror appears at each of the seven meditations on the chakras and l ater as the hero of the piece, banishing the beast and its allies. Metaphoricall y, the conqueror represents Iesous and the literalist churchmen equate it with t heir supposedly historical Jesus. Pryse further identifies the character nikon as the author of the Apocalypse who by means of subjecting himself to the systematic ordeals of self conquest emerg es as the self perfected man, liberated from bondage to his carnal nature. Pryse also interprets nikon to represent any specific individual who follows a simila r program of self development. Doubtless the author of the Apocalypse, as we now have it, intended nikon to represent this notion of successful self conquest. I realized, however, that the Apocalypse only at the intermediate level of under standing describes the author's supposed transformation of consciousness. I reco gnised that the identity of nikon had to be a key clue to unlocking a deeper mea ning. This clue proved to be even more rewarding than I had imagined it would be . I supposed that the word nikon typified some trait or characteristic of the huma n personality. The etymology of the word supported this preliminary supposition. Nikon derives from nike, a word that means success or victory. But nike also mea ns, on the more abstract level, the means to success. Knowing this, it seemed lo gical to guess that nikon might very well be, or at least symbolize, the method I had long searched for, by which the doctrines of the Apocalypse could be imple mented. If passionate love was indeed the method hidden within the Apocalypse, as I had suspected, then nikon with its number 1000 had to be the substitute word represe nting love. This made immediate sense in the texts of the seven meditations. In these the conqueror is mentioned specifically. By simply substituting love for c onqueror I instantly revealed the method by which each chakra became conscious. Another riddle now resolved itself as well. In chapter twenty of the Apocalypse

the "thousand years," or millemium, is mentioned six times. Pryse makes no comme nt on what ought to be an obvious connection to nikon in his interpretation of t he Apocalypse. In his only discussion of the millennium at all he contends that it is simply an arbitrary measure of time. He refers the reader to the Phaidros and Republic, where Plato gives the same period as the time between incarnations . Pryse's failure to comment on the possible connection between nikon and the "mil lennium" is puzzling when one realizes the thoroughness of his work otherwise. F or instance, in ferreting out the number 1600 in relation to the key words to so ma heliakon (the solar body), which is mentioned only once, his detective abilit ies show clearly. How did he fail to see the much more obvious correlation betwe en the millennium and nikon? James Pryse, more than anyone else, knew full well that each number, each symbol and allusion mentioned in the Apocalypse is significant. Yet he did not connect the thousand year millennium and nikon whose number is 1000. He may purposely have overlooked the thousand years and its obvious connection t o nikon. The thousand years make no sense in relation to nikon given Pryse's int erpretation of the word. In his interpretation the millennium can only refer to a period of time. If nikon, however, is the secret word for love in the Apocalypse then the thousa nd years have a clear and unmistakable connection to it. That meaning is simply the personal transformation in awareness that occurs when love is realized to it s fullest. From translating the word nikon in the seven meditations as love, I discovered t he metaphysic of ecstasy teaches that only through passionate love between man a nd woman does full self realization occur. In light of the discovery of the connection between passionate love and self rea lization, the meaning of the "millennium" becomes clear. The "thousand years" re fers to the lasting state of ecstasy within which the individual human being abi des. In love and with love we enter the state of ecstasy. The irony is that we a re already there and do not realize it! Orthodox Christianity, of course, has taught a sexless version of love as the go al of human life for nearly two thousand years. Had I, in fact, discovered somet hing far different from Christian agape? To answer that question fully I had to look elsewhere. Remember that the Apocaly pse is not an instruction book. It is a comprehensive treatise, to be sure, but descriptive rather than instructional. In its present form it has been thoroughl y influenced by gnostic dualism and metaphysical escapism. The specifics of the method of the metaphysic of ecstasy are nowhere elaborated upon in the Apocalyps e. They have either been totally expunged by the author or were not there in the original in the first place. If, indeed, the Apocalypse is based on fundamental source material of the earlie r metaphysic of ecstasy, surely it must have contained a description of method. But this is not necessarily so. You may easily imagine that in an era during whi ch the love relation of woman and man was viewed as sublime, any description of it would be seen as superfluous. So it may well have been in the case of the ori ginal source from which the text of the Apocalypse was drawn. But in the orient, the literature of tantra is rich with details on just this to pic. With the help of a lengthy study and detailed understanding of tantra I ult imately identified nikon fully. Specifically, nikon is the capacity we have to l

ove another human being both sexually and personally. This is what I call passio nate love, to distinguish it from its sexless counterpart. By finally identifying nikon as the capacity for experiencing sexual love, I had discovered the method, not of the esoteric Apocalypse that had been described b y Pryse. I had first intended to do just that. But, instead, I had discovered th e method of a better doctrine, far more sublime and whole. For in one respect Pryse had been correct. At the intermediate level of understa nding, the Apocalypse does not explain its method. Whatever the mental and physi o-psychic gymnastics it may involve you will have to look elsewhere to find the method. Instead of what I had set out to find, I had uncovered the method of love. I had fortuitously unearthed the metaphysic of ecstasy. I could not have discovered a more valuable treasure anywhere! And although it did not describe its method in instruction book fashion, it did describe in full detail the process of realiza tion, and is so doing its method. 3.1 THE SOURCE In my quest for method I arrived ultimately, and to my great surprise, at a new and deeper understanding of the Apocalypse. This new view differs dramatically f rom that expressed in the Apocalypse Unsealed by James Pryse. In addition, and again quite unexpectedly, I discovered that the intermediate an d esoteric level of meaning of the Apocalypse as detailed by James Pryse miscons trues this deeper, more subtle level. It does so deliberately and consistently. Of this fact there remains no doubt. Clearly, the superficial, literal interpretation of the orthodox church fully mi sconstrues the inner meaning of the Apocalypse as described by Pryse. It takes a s literal history matters that should be understood as symbols and sees as symbo ls matters that are really literal truths. So too, in its own way the intermediate and esoteric level of understanding inte rpreted by Pryse disguises the more fundamental source material from which it co nstructs its specific metaphysical doctrine! But this misconstruction takes plac e on a very subtle and profound level. For what we see here is a clash between t wo distinct and very contradictory metaphysical systems. The latter system suppl anted the earlier, but in the process attempted to take as its own the world vie w and truths expressed by the earlier, simply adulterating them to suit its purp oses. In my journey of discovery I encountered plain evidence of the suppression of th e earlier source by that which came after. I found the unmistakeable evidence of systematic replacement and inversion of meaning. I saw the subversion of symbol s and the metaphysical truths they embody. I have described the hidden source material of the Apocalypse as the metaphysic of ecstasy. This ancient metaphysic expresses a subtle teaching more profound, a nd at the same time, simpler than that which is propounded by the esoteric and i ntermediate level of the Apocalypse. The metaphysic of ecstasy is more profound I think, because it presents a more m ature perspective on the real nature and the true process of human consciousness . It is simpler because the method it advances, although not easy, is simplicity itself. Although failing to give even a clue to its particular, esoteric method, as Prys

e argues, the Apocalypse reveals a description of the process of human conscious ness clearly and completely, and in doing so also reveals the method of the meta physic of ecstasy hidden within. But it does this only inadvertently. For if James Pryse has interpreted correctly the meaning and intent of the esote ric, and intermediate, level of the Apocalypse, as doubtless he has, then its au thor or authors never intended to divulge the method that is advocated in the hi dden source of their material. In fact, the esoteric and intermediate level of m eaning of the Apocalypse is so totally contrary to the original intention of its source material that its author or authors very obviously exercised great preci sion and skill in distorting that original source. In fact, they made black into white and white into black. The metaphysic of ecstasy and its doctrines were rendered very nearly invisible in the reworking that produced the Apocalypse. A great metaphysical system was p lagiarized and bowdlerized. With its symbols inverted and its meanings misconstr ued, the ancient metaphysic was recast to justify and reinforce the sexist and e scapist doctrines of its usurpers. Unfortunately, the endeavour was successful. That ancient and beautiful metaphys ic of love and vulnerability gave way before the violent and authoritarian metap hysic of its destroyers. Until finally it was relegated to the backwaters of his tory. With relentless consistency and thoroughness James Pryse demonstrates convincing ly that beneath its literal and fanciful facade, the Apocalypse provides the eso teric interpretation of the Christ myth. He shows clearly that it reveals exactl y what "Iesous the Christos" really represents. He proves that it explains the n ature of the "Devil" and "Satan," and totally repudiates the simplistic concept of an anthropomorphic God. It undermines the edifice of orthodoxy. But when Pryse writes that, in his interpretation, the Apocalypse "gives the key to that divine Gnosis which is the same in all ages, and superior to all faiths and philosophies,"23 he is only partly correct. Although the Apocalypse, as he interprets it, does furnish the key, the "divine Gnosis" he refers to has not be en the same in all ages. The very assertion that it is, is itself the big lie of patriarchal metaphysics, its feeble attempt to legitimize its sexist and escapi st world view by claiming that it is really identical to the metaphysic of ecsta sy that it overthrew. The fundamental understanding of metaphysical gnosis as it is expressed by vario us metaphysical and religious doctrines has not been the same in all ages. Quite the reverse! For the gnosis expressed in the yogic metaphysic of the Apocalypse , and so faithfully deciphered by James Pryse, is not the gnosis of that earlier age from which it copied its material. Its proponents would like to have us believe that their biased version of metaph ysical reality is basically the same as what they forcefully and deceptively ove rturned. But it is not now nor ever was the same. The new gnosis of the intermediate Apocalypse is rather a corruption and complet e misrepresentation of the older and more affirmative material of the metaphysic of ecstasy. In its patriarchy, the usuper relegated women to the status of mere chattel. It denounced the material world. It elevated mental reverie to the mos t exalted position. It removed humanity from nature and nature from the divine s cheme. The Apocalypse, at its esoteric and intermediate level of meaning, describes the transformation of the consciousness of its supposed author, John. The task prov es monumental in the extreme. For this transformation takes place not only throu

gh the course of one, but many incarnations! By implied correspondence, any other individual who undertakes to follow the sam e prolonged course of intensive self development and discipline as defined by th is new metaphysic will achieve the same transformation. That is the transition t o an ultimate state of disembodied perfection and complete emancipation from inc arnate, relative existence. James Pryse writes, "This process of transcendental self conquest, the giving bi rth to oneself as a spiritual being, evolving from the concealed essence of one' s own embryonic nature a self luminous immortal body, is the sole subject matter of the Apocalypse."24 The particular school of esoteric science that James Pryse expresses in the Apoc alypse Unsealed has for its goal the liberation of the individual from physical, imperfect existence in the natural world. For that school of esoteric science, human sexuality and the desire for sentient life present the primary obstacles t o that great task of self liberation. That school of thought advocates retreat into a pathologically introverted state of mind as its method. That introverted state of mind is to be achieved by vari ous meditative, physiological and psychological techniques taught very openly in the orient for centuries. Some of these same techniques have been taught secret ly in the west for an equally long period. Granted, this school of esoteric science professes a secret doctrine of personal emancipation. But this esoteric school adheres to, and also shares with orthodo x Christianity, a metaphysical system and doctrine that is no secret. Quite the opposite. Contrary to Pryse's very mistaken assertions otherwise, this shared metaphysical system is itself the "conventional school of thought in the means of acquiring knowledge,"25 that Pryse assails in the Apocalypse Unsealed. Although it has been under steadily stronger attack since the first days of the Renaissance and the development of experimental method, this doctrine remains th e supporting metaphysic of western civilization. It has been the supporting meta physic of western civilization since long before the classical Greek philosopher s first articulated it in the beginning of the fifth century B.C. Surprising as it may seem this metaphysical system underlies all of the so-calle d great religions of the world today. This includes Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam as well as every sect of Christianity. The many religions that are based on thi s metaphysical system differ markedly on the surface. But underneath they are me taphysically the same. This metaphysical system predates the Hellenic philosophers by at least a millen nium and a half or more. In the case of the Indian Vedas, this system dates poss ibly to as early as the first half of the third millennium B.C. It first appears in India at the time of the Indo European conquest; in the Near East during the early second millennium. This metaphysic remains all too familiar. It is the primary source of the malais e from which the western world now suffers. It has also been western civilizatio n's most widespread and pernicious export. Thus it is the primary source of the psychological malaise from which the world as a whole suffers. The western world can not claim to have originated this metaphysic. It apparentl y had its birth somewhere in the steppes of central or northwest Asia. But in th e west it has realized its fullest potential for both psychological and spiritua

l damage. It was the philosopher Parmenides of Elea (c 515-475 B.C.) who in the western wo rld first set forth clearly the fundamental tenets of this, then, relatively nov el metaphysical system. It was certainly around long before Parmenides. For inst ance, in the Middle East a long succession of new male deities from the sky, cul minating in the brutal introduction of the Yahweh cult among the Hebrews, marks its unmistakable entrance into the western world. Parmenides, however, succinctly summarizes this metaphysic for us. In his On Nat ure Parmenides attacks the reality of the changing, physical and sensory world. He makes the claim that the physical world can not be real since it is variable. Parmenides then condemns any and all differences as illusory. He makes the propo sal that fundamental reality can best be described as being wholly invariable. S ince all things that are sensory change, his hypothetical fundamental reality mu st be invisible and intelligible. By this he means that it can be apprehensible only by intellectual abstraction and must remain unavailable to sensory investig ation. For Parmenides, fundamental reality must possess the characteristics of being si ngle, indivisible and totally homogeneous. The multiple, divisible and heterogen eous world of experience pales into illusory insignificance for him. The philosophy of Parmenides rests on a distinct dualism of reality and appearan ce. In this view the realm of reality is qualitatively different from the realm of appearance and also superior to it in all respects. Later, Plato (427-347 B.C.) in the Phaedo, an early work, introduced the concept of the existence of a separate order of abstract or ideal Forms, which possess ontological being. These Plato termed eide. Plato specifically defined these arc hetypes as being accessible only to the mind and its mental powers of abstractio n. He further defined these hypothetical archetypal forms as being more real tha n any type of evidence offered by the mere senses. Throughout his life, Plato co ntinued to refine this theory of forms. The chief characteristic of the metaphysic as described by Parmenides and refine d by Plato may be summed up briefly as follows. The real world is best known and understood by means of the logical investigation of concepts rather than by emp irical experiment and inquiry based on sensory data and evidence. This reliance upon an exclusively intellectual method for getting at a true unde rstanding of reality follows directly upon a relative distrust of the variable, visible and sensible world. In turn, this basic distrust of the world of the sen ses leads to the seeking for a reality that is simple, invariable, invisible and intelligible. This invariable reality is assumed to underlie and give rise to t he illusory world of the senses. It is accessible only through the abstracting p owers of the intellect. Hope for success in understanding and experiencing reality is based on the assum ption of a basic unity of thought and being and of logic and existence. Conseque ntly, only rationally coherent and logically consistent systems of thought can r eveal the way the world really is. Investigation of the world itself as it is perceived by the senses is considered a waste of effort. By its very changeability the world of the senses reveals it self to be illusory, or at best less real than the intelligible world that is pe rceived by the mind and insignificant in comparison. If we analyze such a metaphysical doctrine critically we can readily see that it

implies psychological immaturity. The seeking for a simple and invariable world suggests strongly the childish attachment to the security of the known environm ent of mother, father and home. Furthermore, the immature child fears venturing out from the secure world of its family into the insecure and changing realm of the greater world beyond the imm ediate family. It resists leaving the family until its own inner and maturing ps ychological forces drive it out. Or until other circumstances do the job for it. From the childish perspective, the greater world beyond the immediate family can offer only insecurity. To take on the burden of responsibility for oneself requ ires a big psychological leap. The child, on the other hand, relinquishes the ta sk of personal responsibility to its parents. Individuals who remain psychological children even into the chronological age of adulthood substitute state, culture or religion for their parents and thereby c ontinue to avoid taking on the responsibility for their own lives. As I noted ea rlier, age has nothing to do with maturity. Like the philosophy of Parmenides and Plato, at the intermediate and esoteric le vel of understanding of the Apocalypse, the goal is to "rise above" the insecuri ty of the realm of the senses to the security of the invariable realm of the min d. The mind is regarded as the real man and the mental archetypes regarded as th e only reality. The only real differences between the various esoteric systems, such as Pryse de scribes and espouses, and the conventional systems of orthodox religion, are met hods. The question for all of them is simply this. How is the realization of the perfect mental realm to be brought about? How does one avoid assuming the self responsibility needed to live in the changing world of the senses and phenomena? How does one avoid the necessity of making choices and accepting change? These are the only real questions. The orthodox faithful await death and God's saving grace to transport them to th e promised realm. Theirs is a nearly totally passive transformation. Theirs is t he most childish attitude. The esotericists are slightly more mature in the sense that they at least think that they can hasten the process by their own efforts. They advocate a much more radical transmutation and in the process assume some degree of self responsibil ity for doing so. They do not sit passively. The many esoteric systems do not simply await death, to them death is no liberation at all, but only the l of fate that binds them to physical life. They can of the world just by dying. Thus for them suicide is as do the orthodox. Indeed, next revolution of the whee not escape the variability pointless.

Instead, the esotericists attempt to negate their presence in physical existence totally. In their efforts to negate and detach themselves, they even refer to l ife itself as "death."26 They see the desire for sentient life, the very will to live, as the power that chains man to the wheel of karma and rebirth. Anything that reinforces the will to live or the exuberance of life is viewed by them sim ply as an obstacle to liberation. Since total and radical detachment is their go al. Sexual attraction and intercourse appear as the greatest obstacles to "spiritual " growth for the esotericist. As Pryse points out, "there being a direct and int imate relationship and correspondence between the sacred centers in the brain an d lower procreative centers, it follows that true spirituality can be attained o nly when a pure and virtuous life is led; while for the neophyte who would enter

upon the telestic labour, the task of giving birth to oneself, perfect celibacy is the first and absolute prerequisite."27 Even though the esoteric schools are more mature than the orthodox and literal r eligionists, they are so only because their adherents take some responsibility f or "saving" themselves. The esotericists, however, are still only attempting to escape the insecurity of the world as it really is. Instead of accepting the way the world actually is, the esotericist, like the ch ildish adherent of orthodox religion, only wants it the way he or she thinks it ought to be. That is intellectual and secure. The esotericist simply does not be lieve that death is the way to escape. Otherwise he would seek death by suicide as the simple way out of this world. Th e quick ticket back to the spirit. For this esoteric school of the Apocalypse, true spirituality elicits the "birth from above." What this means is the exercise of an exclusive mental and intelle ctual masculine domain. This notion naturally opposes its correlate, the false s pirituality of "birth from below."28 In addition to the actual physical birth process, the phrase "birth from below" refers also to feelings, sensations, sex and women in general. That it does not refer solely to the supposedly illusory world of the senses is quite apparent fr om its very emphasis on so-called purity, virtuousness and celibacy. This supposedly true spirituality involves the "higher" mind (as defined by anci ent Greek philosophy), sensibilities, aspirations, and consciousness. These agai n refer to a supposedly superior male domain of philosophic intellect. In stark contrast, there is much contempt for the "lower" mind (as defined by ancient Gre ek philosophy) and functions. These refer to the physical body, and its sensory organs and awareness, which are all consigned, with varying degrees of derision, to the supposdly inferior and female arena of existential life. Escape from the allegedly sex and female engendered prison of the physical body and incarnate existence into a sexless and androgynous immaterial state of being is the goal of esoteric and orthodox doctrine alike. This view conveniently ign ores men's sexuality. By it, women are made into mere scapegoats for men's lack of ability to deal effectively with their own sexual drives and needs. According to this sexist school of thought, it is only through the dire atrophy of certain supposed higher mental faculties that the indivisible spirit has beco me trapped in physical imperfection. There, the "spirit" is further chained to s entient life by the sexual lust of women, who seduce from it repeatedly its divi ne creative energy to form more and more bodies that will serve only to enchain more spirit essence to physical imperfection. If you think I am exaggerating, it is pertinent to note in this matter that a gr eat debate raged for many centuries in Christendom about whether or not women ac tually possessed souls like men. That they do indeed bear that minimal similarit y to men has been resolved only in fairly recent times in many places. And if you find this fact difficult to accept, ask yourself why, in the final de cade of the twentieth century A.D., women still fight for recognition of their e quality with men. In a world defined by a patriarchal and sexist metaphysic, wom en can never be the equal partners of men. There will always be some justificati on for inequality and subservience. Trapped in the physical world the indivisible spirit must undergo many lifetimes of suffering before it can learn, mostly by trial and error, how to regain its

rightful place in the immaterial, spiritual realm. This entrapment has been brou ght about by the spirit's ignorance of its true nature. Having recollected is na tural state, the spirit must then endure terrible ordeals in order to break its physical shackles and return. There is no suggestion in this metaphysical view that existence in its entirety might be something good and desirable. Just the opposite, for incarnation in thi s impermanent and imperfect world is seen as a tragedy. In the view of this metaphysic, the physical world and nature become the enemy w hich must be conquered. At best nature and the world become mere playthings and a storehouse of resources, which can be simply used and abused to satisfy the wh ims and fancies of a detached intellect. Nature finds no respect here. The interconnectedness of all life and all things is not seen or comprehended. If the world and nature are trampled by man's effor ts to use them for his own purposes it is of no consequence. If the world is des troyed by man's attempts to escape it, what does it matter? Nature and the physi cal universe are flawed and best destroyed anyway. There is no hint that spiritual might be something akin to physical. Or that the two might have any complementary relationship to one another. Rather the two ar e viewed as diametrically and irrevocably opposed to one another. They are seen as two opposing forces in a cosmic war whose battlefields are the souls of manki nd. In this metaphysic, each human being thus becomes a "kingdom divided against its elf." The inner and invisible spirit wars with the prison of the flesh around it . Psychologically, the intellect wars against the feelings. Sin is invented to s ubdue and subvert the feelings. Sex, not violence, becomes the worst offence. An d since violence fills the inner life, it spills into the outer. Women, because of their different psychological orientation from men, become the embodiment and scapegoat for all ills. Further, they take the blame for fuellin g the fires of sexual desire that keep humanity chained to the wheel of karma an d rebirth. This very lopsidedly escapist and blatantly sexist viewpoint represents the tota l corruption and misunderstanding of the immensely older metaphysic of ecstasy. This corrupt metaphysic offers only mental reverie and self deception as the ult imate goal of human life. This monumental misunderstanding provides a ready excuse for any and every explo itation of nature and one's fellow human beings. It fuels the rationale for dest ructive competition in all endeavours and has brought the human race and the lif e support systems of the planet earth precariously close to the brink of extinct ion. In stunning contrast to the bleak and destructive patriarchal metaphysic, the an cient metaphysic of ecstasy offers construction and equality. It presents a visi on of profound simplicity and beauty. It affirms consciousness and life, for the y are seen as one and the same, in all its forms. It sees existence as a grand t apestry of consciousness/life in activity, creating and dissolving myriad forms of itself for the sole purpose of discovering and loving itself! In the metaphysic of ecstasy, nature embodies the divine. The visible and the in visible, the absolute and the relative form a complementary whole. Significantly, women, sex, love and physical existence constitute the central th emes of the metaphysic of ecstasy. They are blended into a view of human life an

d existence that in its entirety is both majestic and awesome. This view does no t divide life into mutually exclusive and destructive forces, but unites all asp ects of existence into a cohesive, creative event. For the metaphysic of ecstasy, the universe is best known and understood by empi rical experiment and inquiry based upon sensory data and evidence. The logical r eflection upon concepts can only follow experience. This metaphysic is grounded in the real world, not fantasy worlds of the mind. Logic and mental conceptualization divorced from real world experience can and w ill go astray. One need only examine some of the incredibly silly notions held b y philosophers during the Classical era, and long afterwards for that matter, wh ich could easily have been disproved by simple experiment. For example, Aristotle asserted that objects of differing weights fall at differ ing rates, since one is heavier than the other. This assertion was completely lo gical and no one attempted to verify it until the seventeenth century when Galil eo dropped his cannon balls from the leaning tower of Pisa. By this simple exper iment Galileo proved Aristotle was wrong. The same was true about the relative motions of the earth and the sun. Most of t he ancients thought the earth was fixed in space and that the sun, as well as al l other stars and planets, moved around the earth. In fact, the Roman Catholic C hurch officially condemned both Copernicus and Galileo for claiming that the ear th was the one moving. The reliance of the metaphysic of ecstasy upon experience and empirical inquiry for getting at a true understanding of reality follows directly upon a profound trust in the sensible and variable world. In turn, this basic trust in the world of the senses leads to the quest to become a consciously active participant in its multiplicity and variability. This variability of the sensory world is recog nised as an aspect of a twofold reality which is both absolute and relative simu ltaneously. Hope for success in understanding and experiencing is based on the assumption of a unity of life and existence within multiplicity and variability. Success is r ealized in the ecstatic union with the synergy of life itself. In the metaphysic of ecstasy the human race is inextricably woven into the tapes try of nature. To serve one is to serve the other. To destroy one is to destroy the other. All of life is seen to form a great, interconnected web of interactio ns. This notion, in fact, accords precisely with the most recent discoveries of modern science. 3.2 LUST/LOVE/ECSTASY Two women perform pivotal roles in the Apocalypse. The first of these women appe ars "clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."29 The other woman is portrayed as a "mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of har lots and abominations of the earth."30 In the metaphysic of ecstasy both of these women symbolize the creative activity of consciousness. The first woman symblizes that activity in general and the se cond one as specifically enacted in human life. The first woman represents the a s yet unformed, and thus underlying matrix, or primary principle and origin (arc he) of human evolution. The second woman represents the condition of ego conscio us awareness in which humanity now finds itself in this present moment of its ev olution.

Both of these aspects of conscious creative activity are depicted as threefold. The first as the sun, moon and twelve stars. The second as Babylon, Sodom and Eg ypt.31 Their threefold depiction typifies the creative energy of consciousness as manif ested in the individual human being. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, thi s trio of individualized creative energies consists of five faculties of subject ive knowing, that are symbolized by the sun, seven abilities of objective experi encing, that are symbolized by the moon, and the sum of these twelve differentia ted energies combined and under conscious control. This last is symbolized by th e crown of twelve stars (the five plus the seven forming a crown). Babylon, Sodom and Egypt is another cipher. It refers to the triadic nature of t he genitalia of both male and female. The uterus/vagina and ovaries. The prostat e/penis and testicles. In the Upanishads, this threefold creative force, which i s there termed the kundalini shakti, resides in the genitals. Specifically the f orces of pingala and ida repose respectively in the left and right ovaries or te sticles. The third force, sushumna, reposes in the uterus/vagina of the female a nd the prostate/penis of the male. This third location is referred to in the Upanishads as the muladhara chakra, th e "root." It is defined commonly in Sanskrit literature simply as "near the base of the spine." But this wording is euphemistic and even possibly meant to misle ad. For tantra identifies the "muladhara chakra" quite clearly as the root of th e penis and the vagina.32 Technically, the real base of the spine is the coccyx which functions as a pump to lift this creative energy up the spinal column to the brain. There the energy nourishes the intellect and intuition.33 In the Gospel allegory, the ascent of this triple current of energy from the genitals to the brain becomes the story o f the crucifixion of Jesus. The heavy cross that Jesus carries symbolizes the potent energy of the genitals, whose physical array in both genders roughly approximates the shape of a cross. The journey of Jesus up the hill to Golgotha thus symbolizes the passage of thi s sexual energy up the spine to the crossing point in the brain, the pineal glan d. Here Jesus, the apocalyptic code word for intuition (noesis), is impaled on t he cross of vitalizing energies. And thus is human intuition awakened into consc ious activity. Hence, in the doctrines of the metaphysic of ecstasy, both the human genitalia a nd their associated sexual forces represent the physical aspects of the pristine creative energy of consciousness. They are considered as directly analogous to the psychic faculties and abilities of the mind. They are equated in a holistic scheme that includes both the material body and the immaterial mind. In the Apocalypse, as interpreted by James Pryse, Babylon and the evil harlot ar e made to represent the physical body and sexuality. They are both condemned for supposedly diverting creative energy from its intended path from the genitals u p the spinal column to the brain. Physical activity, and sexual activity particu larly, are viewed as dissipating energy in the "lower" levels of consciousness r ather than using that energy to ascend to "higher" levels. The condemnation is understandable only in the context of a limited male sexual experience. This limited and limiting experience sees ejaculation as the emissio n of an irreplaceable vital essence. It sees sexual desire as the dissipation of a limited store of creative energy. This distorted metaphysical view portrays the individual man as living isolated

from the universal source of creative energy. He must husband his limited allotm ent of creative force and vital essence carefully. To allow it to dissipate thro ugh the wiles of women rather than using it to fuel his personal emancipation, c ondemns him to yet another incarnation. In this metaphysical view man can only reconnect himself to the source of creati ve energy by turning away from living in the physical world. He must instead dev ote all of his energy to entering and remaining in what amounts to a state of me ntal narcissism. He must devote himself exclusively to a state of quasi existence that is centere d within his own mind. Thus arises all the emphasis on celibacy and introverted yogic techniques for sublimating sexual energy. This sublimation of sexual energ y is called conquering the chakras. Pryse lays great emphasis on this conquering of the chakras, as does Indian yoga. According to the doctrine of the metaphysi c of ecstasy this view is a perverted understanding. In actual fact, the creativ e energy available to the individual is limitless. And any separation from it is illusory. The great tragedy of human life, in the context of the metaphysic of ecstasy, is not that it is lived both physically and imperfectly, but that so much of human life is experienced ignorantly and immaturely. Ignorance and the immature attit udes it elicits are the real and only culprits of all human suffering and discon tent. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, the infinite and eternal creativity of consciousne ss, the matrix, permeates the entire universe. The energy of the matrix flows fr eely through each individual human being if allowed to do so. Creative energy may be blocked in an individual by rigid attitudes and narrow mi nded thinking. These are the direct and primary products of human ignorance and immaturity. When love and sex are inhibited by ignorant and moralistic attitudes or smothere d by religious pietism, true personal growth comes to a dead stop. Personal, psy chological disaster is virtually guaranteed. Sexual desire and its consummation constitute the tangible manifestation of the underlying fact of universal creative activity. That is simply that consciousnes s takes form in the matrix of thought. The male/female dance of desire expresses the dynamic polarity that is establish ed between consciousness in activity, its kinetic energy and the myriad forms it produces. This is the creative and ecstatic play and interplay of consciousness becoming aware of itself and loving itself. To obstruct or to restrict this cre ative flow of consciousness is the worst of all ignorance. The Apocalypse, in the form that we now have it and as it has been so faithfully interpreted by James Pryse, does condemn human sexuality per se, and unequivoca bly. But what is intended by the metaphysic of ecstasy is rather the condemnatio n of unconscious sexuality. The writer or writers of the Apocalypse very subtly skewed this very important d octrine, but were not quite able to corrupt it completely. It still shows throug h. Nor are the physical body and its psychic capabilities to be condemned. Rather t he unconscious identification with them that characterizes the true ignorance of the ego conscious state must be overcome.

It is only the ignorance of its pervasive presence and the unconscious resistanc e to that presence, which block the free and life enriching flow of creative ene rgy through the individual. This human ignorance and unconscious resistance are called in the Apocalypse the bottomless pit. From the obscuring smoke of ignorance and unconsciousness, the individual must f ree him or herself. This is accomplished by objectifying the inherent psychologi cal powers of the human psyche. In this process of psychological objectification the individual ceases to identi fy his or her consciousness with these psychological powers of the psyche. Inste ad she or he begins to realize that they are the tools and vehicles of conscious expression. Objectifying them immediately renders them conscious and thereby sh atters their unconscious dominion over the individual. Awareness and knowledge b ring power. That bright and beautiful "star which fell from heaven to earth and to which was given the key to the bottomless pit"34 is the enlightening faculty of discrimin ation. By its proper action the unconscious is rendered conscious. The power of the unconscious is subdued. The keeper of the key is named Phosphoros, which means the "bearer of light," or its Latin equivalent Lucifer. This is an apt description of the power that illu minates the contents of the unconscious, and initiates psychic integration. The key to the bottomless pit of the unconscious is also the key to the kingdom. By objectifying that which is unconscious, the individual is freed from his or her ignorant identification with the psyche and its various psychological powers . The self realization that occurs as a direct result of this objectification co nstitutes the "kingdom of heaven." Thus, heaven is not some intangible place of reward to which the Christian virtu ous are granted access after death. It is a state of conscious awareness in the here and now of life. In the Gospel story the "keys" are given to Peter.35 This fact should suffice to identify him and the other apostles as personifications of the various facultie s and abilities of the psyche. Recall that there are 12 of these faculties and a bilities altogether. In the mutilated Gospel allegory Judas corresponds to Lucifer and it is he to wh om the key should be given and not Peter. In the simple literal interpretation o f orthodoxy, however, the role of Judas/Lucifer is totally misconstrued. In fact, the characters of Judas and Lucifer personify very subtle and exalted h uman faculties. Judas is the personification of inspiration. And Lucifer is the personification of the most crucial power of the psychic function of thinking: d iscrimination. Peter personifies the power of the faculty of discursive reason. This, no matter how keen it may be, can neither unlock the bottomless pit of the unconscious no r the kingdom of self realization on its own.36 But the orthodox required an apo stolic founder for their church and decided upon Peter. They did not understand the symbols of either Peter or the key, much less Judas. Peter was an appropriat e choice to demonstrate their ignorance. The irony of orthodox Christianity is not that it is illogical, given its basic premises. It is logical to the extreme. The irony is rather that it lacks the si mple discrimination to see that its underlying literal and historical premises a re totally absurd.

As the apocalyptic bottomless pit symbolizes unconscious material in general, th e prostitute symbolizes unconscious sex. This principle we may here term eros. T his, as the ancient Greek philosophers defined it, is simply the indiscriminate attraction of male and female, the mutual incitement of the phallus and the womb . No selectivity or degree of personal expression is involved in eros precisely be cause the sexual energies are unconscious. Eros in this sense means lust - the u nconscious urge to copulate simply to gratify mutually aroused sexual appetites. Because in the condition of eros sex itself is unconscious, the outlet for sex b ecomes objectified in its place. Thus, in the sexual activity that characterizes eros each partner becomes for the other one merely an object of selfish gratifi cation. The colourful symbol of the prostitute is a stunningly apt description. The sexual act itself, however, is not at fault. It is neither flawed nor debase d. It is both ennobling and enlightening. In fact, in the metaphysic of ecstasy, sexual intercourse is the first and the last and the only sacrament. Rather it is the simply unconscious, and thus ignorant, enactment of sexual intimacy that lies at fault in producing a selfish and limited experience. During the process of maturing, the initially indiscriminate, and hence unconsci ous, attraction of eros yields ultimately to the desire to seek satisfaction in a particular individual. Just anyone of the opposite sex who happens to come alo ng will no longer suffice. At this point in the process of maturing, we look finally at a person of the opp osite sex and (incredibly!) we see now the individual, not just his or her sexua l organs. We see in this person specific traits and qualities that we can either like and want to experience or dislike and want to avoid. This person becomes r eal, not just another prop on the stage of our life. This momentous awakening marks the start of a wonderful process! This process is the beginning of the personalization of sex. The culmination of this vivid proc ess we may here term amor. This is love for that specific individual person, the beloved, whom we recognize as someone precious and valuable, and without whom o ur life would be diminished. Amor is selective because it seeks to satisfy not itself but rather that other w ho is its beloved. The radiant joy and pleasure of amor are in the joy and pleas ure of that other and not merely in the satisfaction of its own desires. For the desire of amor is primarily the pleasuring of that other who is its belo ved. Its goal is not simply to gratify its aroused sexual urges, nor to reproduc e offspring. Its goal is rather to join with the beloved for the sheer joy of jo ining with the beloved!37 In the sexual intercourse of amor each partner becomes for the other the recepto r of affection, joy and bliss. Unlike eros, there is no sense of urgency to achi eve climax. The journey towards sexual climax becomes just as pleasurable as the arrival at its conclusion. In fact, as amor increases within the individual, th e journey of sexual intimacy becomes ever more important and the arrival of clim ax less so. For amor to increase eros must in turn decrease. Thus a dynamic and evolving ten sion becomes established between them. It is in the midst of this lust/love tens ion that humanity in the ego conscious condition finds itself at present. In the Apocalypse, at its deepest level of understanding, the conqueror (nikon)

symbolizes love (amor). That which love conquers, and in conquering thereby tran sforms, is lust (eros). In the rich symbolism of the four mythical horses of the Apocalypse, the conquer or rides upon the white horse in its final conquest. This horse, I shall explain later, typifies sex and the physical body. Thus love (amor) and sex are intimat ely connected in the personal transformation that is described in the deepest le vel of meaning of the Apocalypse. For the metaphysic of ecstasy LOVE AND SEX become the path to a supreme identity , whose realization comes about in no other way! Man and woman loving each other in a state of self realization of the fullness of their own consciousness is th is identity. This being so, it is little wonder then that the intermediate and esoteric level of the Apocalypse sought to subvert the doctrine of the metaphysic of ecstasy. The sexist metaphysic of masculine self conquest, promulgated by that esoteric s chool, was totally contradictory to the metaphysic of ecstasy. For the role of l ove here implies that personal development can have an ultimate meaning and util ity only in the context of the male/female love relationship. All else, and ever y other personal relationship, becomes preparation for this final and self trans forming experience. Sex, prostituted by eros and then ultimately redeemed by amor, becomes finally t he living manifestation of an all encompassing third level of love. In the New T estament, this third level of love is termed agape. Agape, altruistic love, became for the orthodox the appropriate term to describe the sexless love that was their ideal. The social and communal love of agape th ey asserted to be the ultimate goal of human life. I suspect, however, that agape is a substitute word for ekstasis. So, too, the p ious "love feast" became the sanitized Christian version of the Dionysian orgy, which was its most likely forebear and model. Ekstasis means "standing beside or outside of oneself." This is an apt description of the ecstasy of eternal consc iousness recognizing and loving itself as two individual human beings in time an d space. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, the conquest of love over lust symbolizes the comp lete objectification of the unconscious contents of the human psyche. Finally, i t symbolizes the ultimate objectification the psyche itself. This process of objectification is described in the Apocalypse in terms of the c hakras. It is with the many differentiated energies of the seven main chakras th at the individual has become unconsciously identified. Thus, the seven meditatio ns of the Apocalypse serve the dual purpose of description and of reminding cons ciousness of its true identity. In the ultimate objectification of the psyche, the individual human being realiz es the fullness of consciousness. This fullness is the state of ecstasy. This fu llness is self realization. This ultimate state of consciousness is the true mea ning of the symbol of the kingdom. In eros it is the physical body that primarily participates in sexual activity. Because of this fact the activity is perceived as almost entirely external. At this level of consciousness and this degree of self realization the individua l projects the elements of experience onto an imaginary screen of external event s. This imaginary screen is composed of the five senses and the nervous system.

Lust represents sexual activity in its most limited manifestation. This is not t o say that lust is depraved or degraded. Simply limited. Love has much greater p otential. In amor the entire psyche partakes of sexual intimacy. Because of this fact the experience is partially external and partially internal. The proportions of the internal and the external experience vary with the relati ve input of eros and amor. The more lust dominates the activity the more merely physical and hence only sensory the experience remains. The more love dominates the more the feeling and intuitive facets of the psyche enter into the experienc e. By objectifying various aspects of his or her experience the individual ceases t o project them onto the external screen, but experiences them internally. The ph ysical sensations do not disappear, but they are complemented. They are perfecte d by the very intensity of the internal experience. The physical experience of sexual intimacy has certain physiological limitations . The details of these limitations need not detain us here. It is sufficient to note simply that they render it impossible for eros to be maintained for any len gth of time. Although this is a primary fact of sexual experience for the male, it is also true for the female. The nature of eros, as an obvious consequence, is therefore brevity. Eros arouse s quickly, reaches a peak and satisfies quickly. After this is required a period of recovery before the cycle can be repeated. Eros is intimately linked to the physiology of the body. Since this is so, age a nd general health have a significant influence on the period of recovery. Amor transcends all the physical limitations of eros. The nature of love is to b e sustained. It is not physically depleting like lust, but invigorating instead. The bliss and pleasure of amor are not the torpid euphoria of eros. They are ra ther an expansion, an exaltation and a mental alertness. In the experience of th e power of love all sensations become more vivid and intense. Awareness becomes more acute. Mental alertness becomes intensified. The peak experience of eros is physical orgasm. This is the violent explosion of energy intensified to an unstable degree and released outwards suddenly and unc ontrollably. By its very nature such an experience is limited in duration. The d rive to repeat it is correspondingly strong. The real satisfaction of physical orgasm is so fleeting that we seek it again an d again. It is rather like a sip of water to one dying of thirst. It is as thoug h we can never get enough of it. The peak experience of amor, on the other hand, is like an implosion of energy. It is as if the physical orgasm of the genitals bursts inwards rather than outwa rds. Sexual energy becomes intensified rather than depleted, since the energy is not directed away from the individual. In the peak experience of amor the feeling and intuitive aspects of the psyche a re flooded with revitalizing force. Lovers become united in a way that surpasses the merely physical yet also includes it. The satisfaction and pleasure of love endure and increase. Finally the experience continues unceasingly. The transformation of lust into love expands human awareness. This expansion inv olves the chakras since they represent the various states of consciousness whose fullness forms the rainbow of what being human is and is about.

In the level of consciousness that describes lust, awareness centers in the root and genital chakras. In the level of consciousness characterising love, awarene ss expands to include first the solar plexus chakra, then the heart and throat c hakras, and lastly the chakras of the head. By objectifying the many energies of the chakras you bring them into conscious e xperience. Their activity becomes your personal awareness. In this manner the ex perience of sex and love becomes internalized, since all of the chakras above th e solar plexus are predominantly internal in their type and range of activities. Eros and amor can also be likened in a generalized way to the male and female ex periences of sex. Eros characterizes the male sexual experience and amor the fem ale experience. The drive for primarily sensual and outwardly directed satisfact ion in the male (eros) becomes transformed in the bliss of psychic union in the female (amor). Consequently, female sexuality in so far as it expresses love rat her than lust becomes transforming. In so far as the male allows himself to be t ransmuted by his partner's love, he experiences the internalizing of his own sex uality. Thus, woman becomes man's channel to love. In so far as she maintains amor again st the regressive pull of eros, she allows herself to channel the experience of love to her willing partner. At this elementary level of sexual interchange the female partner plays the para mount role. Her ability or her inability, her willingness or her unwillingness t o maintain love (amor) determines the course not only of her own but also that o f her partner's transformation from lust (eros) into love. If this seems unfair or to place an undue burden of responsibility on the female , in reality it does not. In the initial level of sex, in the metaphysic of ecst asy, the female, as the embodiment of amor, is viewed as the superior partner in the love/sex relationship. The female bears the burden of male eros as easily as the entire ocean bears the weight of a row boat. For the capacity of love to absorb and thence transmute l ust is limitless. Correspondingly, the capacity of the female partner to absorb the male far excee ds his capacity to overwhelm her. This, of course, assumes that both partners ar e open and willing to enter the door of possibility that opens up to them. Only male ineptness and fear, and the female's willingness to comply with that f ear, renders the experience of sexual love other than transforming to both.38 In the initial level of relationship the man does not possess the ability to grow on his own. He needs a woman. But he does have the power to torpedo the experien ce by succumbing to his fears or choosing to remain inept. It takes two to grow together, male and female. In part, the male ego resents the need for a woman. This resentment is partly cu ltural and partly biological (I suspect), and the cornerstone of the patriarchal metaphysic. Also, the male ego fears being overwhelmed and possibly devoured by the apparent ly insatiable sexual appetite of the female. He fears turning her into someone w hom he can never fully satisfy. This particular fear has led to the sexual repre ssion of women by men worldwide. Male fears in this matter are often reinforced by sobering experience, even amon g men who wish not to repress their women. With time, with reassurances, and wit

h growing trust in him, she finally lets herself go. She then becomes an awesome sexual experience, the intensity of which is indescribable. Every woman, by the way, has this potential. Meanwhile, her partner slams headfirst into that impenetrable physical barrier t hat allows her to climax repeatedly or continuously while he can only lie there praying to hold out long enough to see her through to the finish! Usually he can not, unless he has become a humble and adept student of lovemaking and has had the benefit of patient lovers. If his sexual training did not extend beyond the locker room he hasn't got a chance. He lies exhausted and spent, thinking that he has satisfied her, while she deman ds more! Can she never get enough, he wonders? He wants nothing but to roll over and fall asleep while she insists upon even more intimacy! In many instances he does not even want to touch her any more, let alone continue being intimate. An d then she gets angry with him because she is frustrated at his apparent unwilli ngness. For she finds it difficult to believe that physiologically he is so diff erent from her that it is virtually impossible for him to continue. A man also fears losing control of himself. And for most men, control is a big i ssue, especially given the context of the patriarchal metaphysic. During sexual arousal, a man can sense a great power stirring within himself. Just what it may be, he knows not, so he holds onto his sense of controlling ever more strongly. But only by overcoming his fears of his female partner and of himself can the ma le get out of the bind he finds himself in. Only by allowing himself to be trans formed, can the man become the lovemaking equal of the woman. "Take my yoke [yoga] upon you and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoga is easy and my burden light."39 Only in surrendering himself and allowing himself to be transformed by the power of love, does the man enable himself and his partner to graduate to the next level of relationship. At this second level of relating, love/sex is expressed in the psychic union of two equal partners. Each of them then shares in the discovery and the excitement of bringing into their conscious awareness the energies that are contained with in both. In other words, each partner now becomes the cooperating instrument of psycholog ical objectification for both. A true sharing of lives and love in unimagined in timacy begins. Only at this point in a relationship does the interaction of the partners become metaphysically significant. Through the union of two equal and sharing partners in love, the psyche is objec tified. Identification with the psyche is transcended. This is a shared experien ce, each partner growing in and with the other. It is also virtually a never end ing process, since we can never really know one another totally. Of course, eros and amor coexist within each of us whether we are male or female . They are the feminine and masculine aspects of our personalities. And the reso lution of eros and amor within the individual's personality constitutes the obje ctification of the psyche. This personal resolution of male and female has been often misconstrued by vario us metaphysical systems to be the ultimate realization. But it is not so. The ob jectification of the psyche opens the door to the supreme identity, but it is no t that identity. Ecstasy, the ultimate realization of the polarity we experience in our shared hu man sexuality, is the real supreme identity. According to the metaphysic of ecst

asy, sexuality is not an accidental quality of physical life, but an essential r eflection of the polarity of all of existence. As I mentioned above, agape, the charity or brotherly love of the orthodox, and the altruistic love of the philosophers, almost certainly substitutes for the wo rd ekstasis. As Joseph Campbell points out, agape, as a form of love and eros sh are the nature of being indiscriminate. Both are essentially selfless and impers onal. "The lights go out, so to say, and whatever is at hand, one loves, either in the angelic way of charity or in the orgiastic, demonic way of a Dionysian orgy; bu t in either case, religiously: in renunciation of ego, ego judgment, and ego cho ice."40 Ecstasy, in contrast, is a very personal matter. It is literally a "jumping out of one's ordinary and habitual state." And exactly that happens! As I shall expl ain later, this jumping out of one's habitual state is precisely what love deman ds of us. And without it there can be no real love. Substituting the word agape for ekstasis instantly corrupts the meaning of the m etaphysic of ecstasy. It covertly substitutes eros for the ultimate expression o f love. Instead of recognizing indiscriminate lust as the form of sexuality that must be transmuted, it simply transposes and renames it! The patriarchal dualism divides the experience of love in two. The inferior mode is earthly and carnal. The superior mode is "spiritual" and ethereal. This divi sion is a misrepresentation of the eros/amor tension expressed by the metaphysic of ecstasy. Into the first mode, patriarchy dumps everything to do with women and sex, sensu ality and birth. The second remains strictly intellectual and culminates in Plat o's entheos, that is, mystical contemplation of the divine. This totally miscons trues the transformation of unconscious to conscious loving. Ecstasy is the realization of self in the individual. It is the full realization of the infinite and the eternal within the finite and the temporal. It has noth ing to do with intellect versus senses or love being "uplifted" from the materia l to the spriritual realm. As I shall clarify in due course, when I speak of self I refer to much more than ego self consciousness. It is necessary to state the distinction here, since in the west we have a rather naive conception of the self. To put it simply we could say that self consciousness is who exists, and the unc onscious and the ego conscious states the path to that realization. Likewise, we could say that ecstasy is what exists, and eros and amor are the path to its re alization. In actual fact, self consciousness and ecstasy are identical. Who and what exists are one and the same. That is, Consciousness coming to the awarenes s of itself. In objectifying his or her psyche, the individual fully internalizes the experie nce of sex. Self realization elicits the experience of everything as being withi n self. Nothing is external. The sexual act of ecstasy becomes the individual act of love and joy that consci ously creates the totality of existence. Ecstasy constitutes the third level of sexual experience. In the state of ecstasy the self experiences the individual and the personal whi le remaining unidentified with the psyche and its various powers. Self expresses

human sexuality in its fullness within each individual human being. Each individual who realizes self identity realizes simultaneously the fullness of consciousness within all other human beings as well. She or he recognises tha t all human beings are one, and the one is all. This becomes the conscious exper ience of life. I am not talking about a philosophical or intellectual recognitio n here. I am talking about what the individual person actually experiences as hi s or her personal reality. I hope this has made it clear that ecstasy is not a peak experience in the norma l sense that we understand the word. Ecstasy is the realization of what is: the underlying structure of reality. Ecstasy is not the abandonment of physical and psychic sexuality but their ultim ate perfecting. All of creation, all of reality, is vividly experienced here and now. And it is experienced within the individual as his or her own conscioiusne ss. In this sense ecstasy is the eternal peak experience. Words could hardly por tray the immensity of this state of awareness. In the Apocalypse, ecstasy appears as the "Holy City, new Jerusalem," which Prys e so conclusively deciphers as the solar body. The intermediate and esoteric lev el of the Apocalypse, however, does not talk about love in this connection. Rath er it talks about a "deathless and ethereal form, a self luminous immortal body" that replaces the perishable physical body and psyche. Ecstasy is indeed an immortal and luminous vehicle of expression. But to imagine that it represents some sort of specific body, even of some rarefied nature, is callow. Such an idea reduces ecstasy to the level of a glorified physical body. Ecstasy is the realization of the infinite and the eternal within the finite and the temporal. It is the awakening of the individual human personality to the re alization of its own integrity and identity as self and love. The symbol "solar body" typifies transcendence. Transcendence means a fuller and more complete realization of human nature. This is very subtle. What is transce nded is the limited point of view, not the physical and temporal world of experi ence. The particular and personal point of view of ego consciousness is a limited and limiting point of view. That is what is transcended. Transcendence of the partic ular and personal, however, does not obliterate the particular and the personal. Self, no longer identified by its individuality with a particular human physica l body, does not then quit the physical body. No longer identified with a partic ular and personal point of view, in other words with a specific human psyche, se lf does not abandon the personal point of view. Self transcends the limitations imposed upon its awareness by the particular and the specific. But it remains both particular and specific. Self, no longer identified with the sex of a particular body, or in other words eros, and a particular personal point of view, or in other words amor, does not obliterate sex in the particular and the personal. Just the opposite. Self realizes in its fullness that its very nature, which is ecstasy, expresses itself in the sexuality of the particular and the personal. It realizes that the polarity of sex is the dynamic mode of its creativity. The sex of ecstasy is the profound joy of self discovering self. In eros the ind ividual unconsciously fused with sex, or literally became sex. In amor the indiv idual objectified sex into self and another, thus forming a relationship. In ecs

tasy, self, as individual, realizes that it alone is the lover, the beloved and the act of love that unites them in ecstatic embrace. With the transcendence of lust by love, lust is elevated to a greater perspectiv e. The physical arousal and attraction of male and female becomes the personal l ove of the lover for the beloved. Likewise in the transcendence that is expresse d by ecstasy, physical and psychic sexuality are elevated to a still greater per spective! And if you think that all of this is just some idealistic rambling, think again. Occasionally we all experience a wonderful but strange occurrence. We meet the eyes of perhaps a perfect stranger, perhaps across a room or across the street. Suddenly there flashes between us a recognition, a knowing that transcends the o rdinary state of knowledge and recognition. Both personalities are left aghast a nd speechless. For in that instant flash they are both seen as the mere gossamer cloaks they really are or not seen at all. For self has seen self. Similarly, in amor it sometimes happens that ecstasy flashes between lovers. If it happens during sexual intimacy, it may seem as though both individuals have d issolved into one body and one psyche. The dissolution is into a state of hyper awareness wherein each partner experiences the other as him or herself. Or both may feel their own as well as the other's sexual experience within themselves. Outside the sexual act ecstasy may sometimes pop suddenly into one's awareness. It may seem as though the lover is within the beloved and feels and experiences just what the beloved feels and experiences at that very moment. Many experiences that are called psychic are really momentary flashes of ecstasy . Self realizes self in another. Such occurrences are not always pleasant, howev er, especially when they involve very sensitive and often disturbed individuals who would rather not share another's feelings and traumas. Many of these events are triggered by very strong emotions, such as anger, grief or terror. To be suddenly and unwillingly subjected to another's traumatic expe rience can be extremely unsettling for anyone. For emotionally sensitive individ uals such an occurrence can be devastating and most such individuals end up atte mpting to desensitize themselves to preserve their sanity. These experiences, and others like them, underscore the ever present and intimat e reality of self realization. Self and ecstasy are in us and around us. How we remain ignorant is a mystery! Furthermore, such experiences as these also confirm the identity of self and ecs tasy. For even though we can say that self is who and ecstasy what exists, they are really one and the same. Self and ecstasy are each equally who and what exis ts. In the ultimate sense there is really no distinction between them. The matrix represents the latent energy of thought from whose virginal or unform ed womb arise all forms. It is also the source of the realization of self/ecstas y. Since the realization of self and ecstasy results from the integration, or compl ete objectification, of the psyche, its advent is portrayed in the Apocalypse vi vidly as a nativity of great travail. As anyone who has shared deep intimacy wit h a beloved well knows, love is simple. But it is not necessarily easy! Furthermore, the familiar and the comfortable ignorance of unconscious identific ation with the psyche and its powers continually rears its head to destroy or im pede the process of integration.

Thus, at its inception, ignorance, symbolized by the red dragon of the Apocalyps e, makes an attempt to consume the first weak and subtle stirring of personal se lf realization.41 The ignorance that is personified by the dragon represents not hing but the desire for continued ego consciousness, those many comfortable memo ries and associations that give to the personality a sense of secure continuity through the constant flux of events. At this point in its personal evolution it is inconceivable to the individual th at only by abandoning identification with the psyche can the psyche be saved. We are so totally identified with the psyche that we think, feel and experience ou r psyche as ourselves. Likewise, only by abandoning eros can eros thereby be transformed into amor. The reason for this is simple. In our identification with the psyche, we seek that which serves to protect and to sustain the psyche and our identification with it. We seek good for ourselves , which we see as the psyche. We avoid as best we can all that threatens the psy che and our identification with it. Eros is an immediate good of the ego conscious state. This state of consciousnes s serves to preserve our sense of identity with the psyche. Amor, totally devoid of eros, is without ego. When love possesses the heart it will do anything for the sake of the beloved. L ove devotes itself to its beloved. Love does not aid or abet the ego conscious s tate, but rather transcends it. Need we wonder at the very graphic image of the ravening prostitute? It is uncon scious identification with the psyche that so totally imprisons the individual. The individual is trapped by himself in the limitations of the ego conscious sta te of awareness, the psyche and eros. Our own ignorance is our personal jailor. Unconscious identification is our prison. And that is one of the reasons it is s o difficult to free ourselves. That unconscious identification is none other than "the great whore that sitteth upon the many waters [meaning the psyche], with whom the kings of the earth hav e committed fornication and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk by the wine of her fornication."42 The kings of the earth, which here refer to sensation generally and the physical body specifically, symbolize the specialized activities of the psychic facultie s. Their fornication is the misdirection of their energies towards sustaining th e ignorance of ego consciousness. The inhabitants of the earth are the specialized activities of the psychic abili ties, whose drunkenness serves to reinforce this ignorance. The faculties and ab ilities are both mentioned since all their actions are always intimately connect ed. Nothing operates entirely on its own. In the broad sense, the faculties and abilities manifesting in all the aspects o f psychic activity partake of the intoxication here described. Hence, the prosti tute is described as the "great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. " The great city is the "old city," meaning simply identification with the psyche, symbolizing the state of ignorance. Thus, the prostitute who has intoxicated th e earth personifies the ignorance of ego consciousness in general and lust speci fically.

The prostitute is depicted sitting upon a scarlet beast which is nothing other t han the red dragon. This beast personifies desire. Note carefully that the red d ragon does not symbolize the physical body and physical sex specifically, nor ma teriality in general. The mistaken interpretation of Pryse and the esoteric leve l of understanding would have us believe that it does so. The terms earth and kings, etc. are the appropriate and real symbols for sensati on, the physical body and its various energies. The red dragon here symbolizes a n attitude. Moreover, just as the old city becomes the new and holy [meaning whole] city, so too the prostitute herself becomes transformed. Lust becomes love. The prostitu te becomes the bride of the lamb. In objectifying the psyche that which was unconscious is transmuted into a far g reater context. It is not destroyed. Lust is not destroyed by love. Ego is not d estroyed by self realization. Only in the intermediate/esoteric and superficial understandings of the Apocalyp se is anything destroyed. The false prophet, the red dragon and the beast which represent the explicit domains of psychic functioning go to their destruction at the hands of the conqueror. The destruction, however, is entirely metaphorical. This is misunderstood at the intermediate and superficial levels of understandi ng. In the metaphysic of ecstasy they are transformed, not destroyed. They are all v ital psychic functions. The human mind could not work without them. Identified with its psyche, the incarnating self is limited to the manifestation possible within the confines of a specific incarnating individual and a particu lar personal point of view. No longer ignorantly identified, self becomes libera ted from the constraints imposed upon its individuality by the ignorance of its own true nature. The individuality remains, however. Self inhabits and utilizes the specific but is not restricted by it any more. Freedom from the prison of self identification with the psyche does not mean the destruction of the ego, sexuality and the psyche. These all remain as the legit imate expression of self consciousness in the finite and the temporal state. With self realization the human being does not depart the physical earth and bod y to be carried away in spirit to some exotic and ethereal paradise. This notion is pure and absolute nonsense and is the product of childishness. Heaven by any name, even solar body, remains simply a psychological projection. The orthodox conception of heaven and hell is merely a reflection of the childis h need to reward good behaviour and punish bad. It was invented by the churchmen to control their flocks. The real heaven and hell are within our own minds. We use them to reward and punish ourselves constantly, and for the most part uncons ciously, using the criteria supplied by the churchmen and society at large. Misconstruing psychic liberation to mean the extrication of self from finite exi stence is just a slightly more sophisticated notion of heaven. It, too, serves o nly to subvert the great, beautiful and eternal truth of consciousness/life. Self realization is here and now, not somewhere or sometime else. The great doct rine of the metaphysic of ecstasy teaches that self realization vivifies finite, temporal existence and physical life. There is nothing else to be and nowhere a nd no time else to be it. Self realization is not something separate and apart from the world of human exp

erience. It is not something to be attained by physio-psychic or meditative gymn astics. It is to be realized in love here and now. Wake up! "The kingdom of God is within you"43 is the truth that will set you fre e. The unconscious becomes conscious. The prostitute of ignorance becomes the bride of wisdom. Love conquers all. The nature of reality is ecstasy! 4.1 ORIGINAL SIN In the apocryphal work entitled the ACTS OF THE APOSTLE THOMAS is to be found a gnostic poem entitled the "Song of the Apostle Judas Thomas in the Land of the I ndians." Most modern translators have dubbed this religious poem the "Hymn of th e Pearl." This title is somewhat inaccurate since the poem is clearly didactic in its inte nt, and narrative in its form. The poem is commonly interpreted as a characteris tic example of the Iranian version of gnosticism. The Iranian gnosis attained to its greatest influence with the dualistic teachin gs of Mani and the religion he founded, Manichaeism. This influence peaked durin g the third and fourth centuries A.D, although the influence of Manichaeism exte nded throughout the Middle Ages. Manichaeism attained so great a stature at its height of popularity that it almo st replaced Christianity as the mass religion offering personal salvation and en gaged in systematic missionary work to promote this goal. Its teachings were qui te contrary to the doctrines of the catholic churchmen, widespread and attractiv e. Until the end of the Middle Ages, in fact, the term heresy was virtually syno nymous with Manichaeism. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the popularity of Manichaeism peaked a sec ond time in the form of Catharism. In fact, Catharism posed such a serious threa t to the Catholic Church that the churchmen felt compelled to suppress it violen tly which they attempted to do with the so-called Albigensian Crusade of the ear ly thirteenth century. Despite the efforts to eradicate it, Catharism continued to flourish until the Reformation. Mani's catholicity even extended beyond the Christian model, which he purposely intended to replace. Where other gnostics appealed to the select few with hidden interpretations of existing scriptures, Mani's goal was nothing less than creat ing a novel revelation, establishing a new body of scripture and founding a new church meant to supersede any and all existing ones. By taking simple Zoroastrian dualism with its two co-eternal principles of oppos ition as his point of departure, Mani obviated most of the theoretical subtletie s that rendered other forms of gnosticism incomprehensible to the masses. In fac t, other gnostics made a point of their theoretical speculation and viewed thems elves as the elite few, divided by a gulf of esoteric knowledge from the mass of Christians of simple faith. By doing away with gnostic elitism of thought and organization, Manichaeism beca me a broad historic force and because of its huge popularity and lasting influen ce one of the major religions of mankind. Mani saw himself as the founder of a u niversal religion, so Manichaeism contained nothing esoteric. In principle, Mani acknowledged the validity of other revelations which had prec eded him. In practice, he made the first deliberate attempt in recorded history to synthesize existing religious elements into a new model. Mani fused with Zoro

astrian principles, Buddhist and Christian elements along with his own teachings . Hence, he could claim to be the fourth and concluding prophet in an historical series and present his teachings as the consummation of that of his predecessor s. This same technique would later be utilized by Mohammed. On the practical level of proselytizing his new religion, Mani could selectively emphasize whatever part of the Manichaean synthesis that best suited the minds of his hearers. His initial success seemed to justify his approach. At its heigh t, Manichaeism spanned Europe, the Middle East and extended into India and centr al Asia. Its missionaries carried its message into the Orient far beyond the ran ge of Christianity where some branches of the Manichaean sect survived for centu ries after its suppression in the west by the victorious Catholic Church. The heart of Manichaean doctrine was Mani's own speculation upon the gnostic myt h of cosmic exile and salvation. Stripped of its mythological detail, it would r eappear again and again in the Christian west in opposition to orthodoxy. Becaus e of this fact, Manichaeism became the most important product of Gnosticism. Mani postulated two primeval natures, one good and the other evil. In his Zoroas trian model these two had actually been named "Good" and "Evil" and also "light and darkness," "god and matter." The two are co-eternal and completely unconnect ed. Light is totally self contained and self sufficient and shines only for itse lf and has no desire to "enlighten" the dark, which left to its own would simply fulfil its purpose, which is to be darkness. Darkness, however, somehow caught a glimpse of the light and thereafter desired it for itself, for the purpose of avoiding its own odious company. The result wa s a protracted cosmic struggle between good and evil whose final battleground is the human soul. At the beginning of this cosmic war darkness managed to capture some of the ligh t. The forces of good developed a strategy to recapture this stolen light. But e vil possesses a devilish intelligence. As the cosmic war progressed evil eventua lly devised the ultimate weapon, by finally creating the human race and by creat ing the device of sexual reproduction to insure the continued captivity of light . Light fights at a disadvantage since it can do no harm. Its only recourse is to dispatch an emissary of itself into the world, come under the sway of darkness f or a while and then banish the darkness from within. This emissary is the Primal Man and much of Manichaean mythology details his misadventures in the realm of darkness, where he is at first stunned into captivity, then revived by the promp ting of inspiration and at last triumphant, although not immediately. In the cosmic war between good and evil three creations came to be. The first wa s that of the creation of Primal Man and his descent and captivity. The second c reation was that of the "Living Spirit" or "Demiurge" who came to inspire Primal Man and secure his release. Up to this point, however, there existed no actual physical universe as we would know it. The liberation of the Primal Man was only partly successful, and as a result the physical universe as we know it came int o existence from the intermingling of the elements of captured light within the dark. The third creation was that of the "Messenger" who set the universe into motion and thereby began the process of extracting the entrapped light. In Manichaean c osmology, the motion of the stars represents the process of extraction of light from darkness. Evil reacted to this stratagem by creating man. The origins of mankind Manichaean mythology expounds in extensive and often disg usting detail. The gist of the story was intended to demonstrate the evil nature

of human existence and sexual procreation. These are viewed as insidious mechan isms created by the powers of darkness to enable them to continue possession of light and prevent its ultimate extraction. The first man, Adam, was enticed by the Primal Man, in the form of the Manichaea n "Luminous Jesus," to eat of the tree of knowledge and learn the truth. But Ada m was then seduced by Eve who was the embodiment of all desire and concupiscence . Due to the resulting fact of sexual reproduction the mission of Luminous Jesus becomes protracted into the history of mankind, necessitating his repeated retu rn with the words of truth. Mani, of course, was the latest of these incarnation s. Due to the mythological story of the Garden of Eden and Luminous Jesus, Christia ns accused the Manichaeans of worshipping Satan. To this accusation the follower s of Mani could assert that in fact the very opposite was true. In the Manichaea n view Christians in their ignorance were the worshippers of evil, since the cre ators of the Garden and the physical world were none other than the forces of da rkness. The "jealous God" had indeed created man in his own image and that image was darkness and depravity. The ensuing history of the world and of the human race becomes a continual proce ss of freeing the light from its entanglement with matter. The good moves inexor ably towards the light, while evil moves towards darkness. And the ultimate end state will be the reinstatement of the beginning, when light and darkness, good and evil co-exist separate and apart from one another. In this view, human beings in their natural state are nothing but the created pa wns of the powers of evil. Sex and the procreation of children serve only the pu rposes of evil. The continued enslavement of light in the prison of matter was t he sole purpose of creation. The ethical and practical conclusions to Mani's cosmology and soteriology are si mple and clear cut. They amount to a rigorous and total asceticism, and the most exaggerated concept of sin ever devised. Eating was restricted to vegetables, f or even though containing entrapped light, they were at least not sentient. Marr iage, love and sex were to be avoided so as to prevent the continued entrapment of divine power in generation after generation of human beings. Poverty was to b e embraced to avoid comfort in this evil world. Realist that he was, however, Mani reserved the full rigours of his teachings fo r a select group known as the "Elect," who must have led a monastic life of extr eme asceticism. This may have been modelled partly on Buddhist monasticism and c ertainly influenced the Christian monasticism that would follow after it. The gr eat mass of Manichaean followers were permitted a less rigorous lifestyle that i ncluded amongst its meritorious actions care for the elect, again very clearly s imilar to Buddhism. In our day of unbridled and unquestioned materialism, one might wonder that such an ascetic religion as Manichaeism could find widespread acceptance. Yet it cer tainly did so and throughout many centuries. What, in fact, was so appealing abo ut this religion that perhaps more so than any before or since repudiated the jo ys and experiences of human life? Finding a complete answer to this question requires a more detailed study than s pace permits here. It is also not particularly relevant to our present examinati on. Suffice it to say that part of Manichaean appeal lay in its simplistic expla nation for the nearly universal human experience of mental and physical dissocia tion, the feeling that your mind and consciousness are something apart from your physical body.

Other systems before and since have attempted to account for this common phenome non. Manichaeism, however, rivals modern Christian fundamentalism in the simplic ity of its explanation and the expectations placed upon its adherents. For if on ly the strong and courageous could live the life of the Elect, the masses could at least by their imperfect emulation of the few aspire to liberate some small a mount of light essence from the world and thereby insure their own salvation in the next incarnation. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430) was himself a Manichaean, and a Neoplatonist, as well. He converted to the Roman sect in the year 387 A.D. after much personal so ul searching, which he recorded in detail in the "Confessions." Augustine public ly repudiated Manichaeism and Neoplatonism, but there can be no serious doubt th at both continued to influence his thought. In fact, it was primarily through th e doctrines of Augustine and his contemporary, Gregory of Nyssa, that Neoplatoni sm influenced Christian orthodoxy. And it almost entirely due to Augustine's eff orts that Manichaean ideas became prevalent. In his understanding of catholicism, Augustine retained Manichaeism's dualism, i ncluding its theory of human depravity, modified by Neoplatonist idealism. He so on proceeded to entrench these ideas in the dogmas of the Roman Church, and in t he process turned it upside down. For the Christian church after Augustine littl e resembled its first and second century ancestors. No one could seriously argue that Augustine's influence on the development of th e doctrines of the Catholic Church was anything less than profound. No other sin gle man, with the possible exception of Paul, has had a greater impact. Augustin e's greatest accomplishment in this task was the introduction of his doctrine of original sin. Of course, Augustine did not invent the concept of original sin. It had been aro und in various guises since the beginning of Christianity, and before amongst th e Hebrews. But Augustine added a new twist to the idea. In fact, so unorthodox a nd so clearly Manichaean were his novel fabrications that Augustine's version of original sin met with opposition on a wide front from his Roman contemporaries. The furore over original sin, with Augustine fulminating at its center, raged th roughout the first half of the fifth century. In this famous and well documented debate, Augustine, in all his eloquence and fury, squared off against both his Pelagian peers and such earlier Christian luminaries as John Chrysostom, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria. These Fathers of the Church had shared the ancient Greek concept of kosmos, that is, that the natural world is an essential harmony and man a part of it possessing free volition. Of course, the classical philosophers attributed kosmos to an inherently logical nature, whereas the Christian Fathers attributed it to the world's creation in the image of God. Yet both schools of thought accepted as a consequent fact that the natural world exhibited coherence to logic and laws, and that human beings exercised free will with which they could choose to do good or ill. The nature of the world and mankind's place in it forms the core of the argument over original sin, a concept which would have been totally alien to the classic al philosophers. In classical theory the human soul shared with divinity the nat ural tendency to do good and to seek the truth. That it might be otherwise incli ned was an oriental, and particularly Near Eastern invention. To the Christian F athers, human nature was "fallen," because of Adam's sin, but was not by its ver y nature corrupt. The battle over original sin began with Augustine's Confessions. There he attack ed the venerable notion that human beings really have a free will. After discoun ting free will, Augustine went on to equate sexual desire with original sin and

sexual procreation as the mechanism through which original sin is transmitted th rough the generations. He painted a vivid picture of a nature turned evil and of humanity enslaved by a depraved nature and the natural impulses. Augustine's theories appalled his contemporaries. Most Christians of the time he ld the conviction of free will and a benign nature. They accepted nature as good because God had created it, and humanity as being morally free because made in God's image. The British monk Pelagius became the first to speak out against Augustine's prep osterous theories and the battle was joined. Essentially, Pelagius argued the cl assical view. The world was kosmos and human beings free agents whose very natur e inclined them to seek God and goodness. Consequently, they required no extraor dinary "grace" from God to move them in the right direction. The sin of Adam had been Adam's only, and not visited upon his children to the nth generation. The disagreements could simply have ended with a compromise on the nature of gra ce and its role in Christian life. But Augustine was not a man to compromise, an d as the theological debate continued he further developed his views into a full blown theory of human depravity. The opposing sides soon became too polarized f or compromise and the debate became a fight to the death. So very radical did Augustine's position ultimately become that, although he eve ntually won out, his theory was never accepted in total by the churchmen. With A ugustine the classical world view of kosmos died. It was replaced by the gnostic concept of cosmic malevolence. The world was no longer man's natural home, but instead his prison. The elder Augustine's obsession with original sin only came to an end with his d eath in 430. Interestingly enough, three years before his demise, Augustine comp leted his Retractions. In this work he criticised his own writings in light of C atholic orthodoxy to which he believed he had progressively conformed over the y ears of his life. He may have convinced himself of his growing conformity, but w hat he had actually accomplished in his lifetime was to conform Catholic orthodo xy to his mould. Augustine's death culminated his num, who very accurately accused ed the classical view of natural tine's theories and demonstrated famous twelve year argument with Julian of Ecla Augustine of heresy. Like Pelagius, Julian argu goodness. Point by point, Julian detailed Augus their Manichaean sources.

To little avail, the Roman church finally accepted Augustine's novel theory of o riginal sin, although not in full. So powerful had Augustine become, that the ch urchmen next proceeded to declare Julian himself to be a heretic and excommunica ted him. Just as they had previously excommunicated his mentor Pelagius. In truth, Julian of Eclanum was a humble and devout Christian in direct spiritua l descent from the first and second century fathers of the church. He had simply tried to defend what had always been the orthodox position on man's free will a nd nature. His condemnation for heresy was about as blatant a case of influence peddling as the sorry records of the Roman church have ever produced. He did not lose the fight because his views were heretical, which they certainly were not, at least not until Augustine's theory was accepted. He lost because he was a ge ntle man who made the mistake of thinking logic and truth were sufficient means to success. Against a man like Augustine, who used every means of persuasion at his disposal , Julian did not stand a chance. Even with two hundred years of orthodoxy on his side and supported by the writings of such men as John Chrysostom, Justin, Iren aeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria, Julian failed. He failed because he

was defending a world view that was passing from the stage of history. Augustine was cruel and fanatic and adept at manipulating those who possessed th e power to decide the case. He was relentless and conniving. Finally, his allies included Jerome, whose influence at the time was enormous. By the time the batt le was over, there was no room for dissent within the ranks of the new orthodoxy . The earlier condemnation of Pelagius had also been a sorry case of political int rigue and bribery. Augustine, at the center of the controversy, lobbied pope and emperor alike to get his way. With Pelagius and his allies disposed of, Augusti ne's version of original sin won the day. Thus, through the zealous obsession of one very troubled man, a gnostic concept that was both pernicious and subtle entered into the mainstream of orthodox Chri stian dogma. Ironically, the very church that had declared the gnostics heretica l came to accept one of the most insidious gnostic ideas. Augustine had found the eschatological theories of Mani convincing. His own tort ured soul as a young man seemed to be locked in mortal combat with itself. His o wn will proved helpless to alleviate the inner conflict he endured. The dualism of Mani seemed to be demonstrated beyond doubt within himself. The feelings of helplessness that Augustine experienced within himself in his st ruggle to control his natural impulses and desires, and especially his apparentl y nearly insatiable sexual appetite, would ultimately forge his excessive theory of original sin. Perhaps Augustine felt that if he could not control his sexual desires, it was not his responsibility. He was merely the victim of a corrupt h uman nature over which no man after Adam could be expected to exercise wilful co ntrol. His very own thoughts were beyond his capacity to control them. Apparently, after his break with Manichaeism the eloquent Augustine was either u nable or unwilling to see the Manichaean undercurrent in his thinking. Yet as Ju lian demonstrated, and anyone who cares to make the comparisons can demonstrate to himself, the Manichaean element was both pervasive and deep. Subsequent Christian luminaries as influential to the church as Thomas Aquinas a nd Martin Luther considered Augustine's doctrine of original sin and the corrupt ion of nature totally accurate. Aquinas, and later John Calvin, argued for the a cceptance of Augustine's doctrines even more fully than the fifth century church men had found palatable. The true meaning of this gnostic view of human nature and its full impact on ort hodox Christianity can scarcely be overestimated. Esoteric Christianity as descr ibed by James Pryse shares a nearly identical viewpoint. As I shall demonstrate later the degradation of the world and human nature is a direct consequence of t he patriarchal metaphysic. Its destruction of the concept of kosmos was the fina l blow to what remained of the metaphysic of ecstasy as a force in world history . Afterwards, the doctrines of the metaphysic of ecstasy survived only in secret . By examining the important "Hymn of the Pearl" we can come to a basic understand ing of this gnostic view of human life. I would also like to shine a different l ight upon the poem, and also upon its alternative version, the biblical parable of the "Prodigal Son," which follows. By doing so I hope to clarify succinctly t he fundamental doctrine expounded by the metaphysic of ecstasy regarding the hum an journey on earth. Both the poem of the Pearl and the parable of the prodigal reveal significant aspects of the metaphysic of ecstasy. They do so because, lik e the Apocalypse, the story is based on earlier source material deriving from th e metaphysic of ecstasy.

4.2 THE HYMN OF THE PEARL I can hardly emphasize enough the enormous importance of understanding the diffe rences between the points of view that follow. To help understand these importan t differences I quote freely in this discussion from The Gnostic Religion,44 by Hans Jonas and The Kingdom Within, by John Sanford. The translation of the Pearl here presented is by A. Bevan and quoted from pages 113 to 116 of The Gnostic Religion. We begin with the "Hymn of the Pearl." When I was a little child and dwelt in the kingdom of my Father's house,and delighted in the wealth and splendour of those who raised me, my parents sent me forth from the East, our homeland, with provisions for the journey. From the riches of our treasure house they tied me a burden: great it was, yet light, so that I might carry it alone. They took off from me the robe of glory which in their love they had made for me, and my purple mantle that was woven to conform exactly to my figure, and made a covenant with me, and wrote it in my heart that I might not forget it: "When thou goest down into Egypt and bringest the One Pearl which lies in the middle of the sea which is encircled by the snorting serpent, thou shalt put on again thy robe of glory and thy mantle over it and with thy brother our next in rank be heir in our kingdom." I left the East and took my way downwards, accompanied by two royal envoys, since the way was dangerous and hard and I was young for such a journey; I passed over the borders of Maishan, the gathering place of the merchants of the East, and came into the land of Babel and entered within the walls of Sarbug. I went down into Egypt and my companions parted from me. I went straightaway to the serpent and settled down close by his inn until he should slumber and sleep so that I might take the Pearl from him. Since I was one and kept to myself, I was a stranger to my fellow dwellers in the inn. Yet saw I there one of my race, a fair and well favoured youth, the son of anointed ones. He came and attached himself to me, and I made him my trusted familiar to whom I imparted my mission. [He?] warned [me?] against the Egyptians and the contact with the unclean ones. Yet I clothed myself in their garments, lest they suspect me as one coming from without to take the Pearl and arouse the serpent against me. But through some cause they marked that I was not their country man and they ingratiated themselves with me, and mixed me [drink] with their cunning, and gave me to taste of their meat; and I forgot that I was a king's son and served their king. I forgot the Pearl for which my parents had sent me. Through the heaviness of their nourishment I sank into deep slumber. All this befell me, my parents marked, and they were grieved for me. It was proclaimed in our kingdom that all should come to our gates. And the kings and grandees of Parthia and all the nobles of the East wove a plan that I must not be left in Egypt. And they wrote a letter to me,and each of the great ones signed it with his name. "From thy father the King of Kings, and from thy mother, mistress of the East, and from thy brother, our next in rank, unto thee, our son

in Egypt, greeting. Awake and rise up out of thy sleep, and perceive the words of our letter. "Remember that thou art a king's son: behold whom thou hast served in bondage. Be mindful of the Pearl, for whose sake thou hast departed into Egypt. "Remember thy robe of glory, recall thy splendid mantle, that thou mayest put them on and deck thyself with them and thy name be read in the book of the heroes and thou become with thy brother, our deputy,heir in our kingdom." Like a messenger was the letter that the King had sealed with his right hand against the evil ones, the children of Babel and the rebellious demons of Sarbug. It rose up in the form of an eagle, the king of all winged fowl, and flew until it alighted beside me and became wholly speech. At its voice and sound I awoke and arose from my sleep, took it up, kissed it, broke its seal, and read. Just as was written on my heart were the words of my letter to read. I remembered that I was a son of kings, and that my freeborn soul desired its own kind. I remembered the Pearl for which I had been sent down into Egypt, and I began to enchant the terrible and snorting serpent. I charmed it to sleep by naming over it my Father's name, the name of our next in rank,and that of my mother, the queen of the East. I seized the Pearl, and turned to repair home to my Father. Their filthy and impure garment I put off, and left it behind in their land, and directed my way that I might come to the light of our homeland, the East. My letter which had awakened me I found before me on my way; and as it had awakened me with its voice, so it guided me with its light that shone before me; with its voice it encouraged my fear, and with its love it drew me on. I went forth ....[the stages of the return correspond to those of the descent]. My robe of glory which I had put off and my mantle which went over it, my parents....sent to meet me by their treasurers who were entrusted therewith. Its splendour I had forgotten, having left it as a child in my Father's house. As I now beheld the robe, it seemed to me suddenly to become a mirror image of myself: myself entire I saw in it, and it entire I saw in myself, that we were two in separateness, and yet again one in the sameness of our forms [we pass over an extensive description of the robe]. And the image of the King of kings was depicted all over it .... I saw also quiver all over it the movements of the gnosis. I saw that it was about to speak, and perceived the sound of its songs which it murmured on its way down: "I am that acted in the acts of him for whom I was brought up in my Father's house," and I perceived in myself how my stature grew in accordance with his labours. And with its regal movements it pours itself wholly out to me, and from the hands of its bringers hastens that I may take it; and me too my love urged on to run towards it and to receive it. And I stretched towards it and took it and decked myself with the beauty of its colors.

And I cast the royal mantle about my entire self. Clothed therein, I ascended to the gate of salutation and adoration. I bowed my head and adored the splendour of my Father who had sent it to me, whose commands I had fulfilled as he too had done what he promised.... He received me joyfully, and I was with him in his kingdom, and all his servants praised him with organ voice, that he had promised that I should journey to the court of the King of kings and having brought my Pearl should appear together with him. Next, let us recount the story of the prodigal son as it is recorded in Luke.45 We might take note of the differences and similarities with the story of the pea rl while reading it. We may suspect rather quickly that both stories have a comm on source. In fact, they do. And he said, A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, "Father give me the portion of goods that falleth to me." And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of they hired servants." And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." But the father said to his servants, put it on him; and put a ring on his hither the fatted calf, and kill it; my son was dead, and is alive again; began to be merry. "Bring forth the best robe, and hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring and let us eat and be merry. For this he was lost and is found." And they

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants,and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, "Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound." And he was angry and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he, answering, said to his father, "Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. "But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf."

And he said unto him, "Son thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Four more very short parables complete the story of the prodigal son and also ou r brief survey. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant, seeking goodly pearls: who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it."46 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, "Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost>."47 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece,doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, "Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost."48 Before interpreting these two stories with the able assistance of Hans Jonas and John Sanford, we need first to examine the meanings of several symbols. These s ymbols appear in both the story of the pearl and of the prodigal son, along with its four companion parables. I shall define first the gnostic meanings of these various symbols as derived in very capable manner by Jonas.49 Then I shall describe their meanings and implications in terms of the more subtl e metaphysic of ecstasy as best I am able to determine. John Sanford casts light on a very significant alternative interpretation of the symbol of the pearl. The first symbol we must consider is that of the Father's house in the east. Thi s was a quite common gnostic symbol for the spiritual realm. As I noted above, g nosticism in most of its various renditions was based upon an absolute dualism b etween a supposed invisible or spiritual world and the visible or material world . Of course, the Gnostics considered the spiritual realm to be the true homeland o f the soul. They naturally envisioned this realm suffused with light and incorru ptible knowledge and bliss. Contrarily, they considered the material realm of th e real world to be a temporary as well as wholly despicable abode into whose car nal clutches the soul had fallen. In keeping with the gnostic notion that light and innocence characterise the spi ritual realm, while ignorance and sensuality suffuse the material, they consider ed the soul symbolized aptly as a little child, the second symbol. Many took the ir lead from the words of Jesus (cf Mk 10, 14) as do many who call themselves Ch ristian today. These latter undoubtedly would cringe at the knowledge that their childlike characterization stems from a purely gnostic interpretation of script ures.

The next symbol to consider is that of the mysterious provisions for the journey . This is the dire journey into the material world, of course. The provisions fo r this journey into the terrible and dangerous realm of matter represent simply the gnosis. Since the soul had originated in the spiritual realm the recollectio n of divine truth remained hidden within the inner heart of man. For gnostics th is inner knowledge was the precious truth that would set man free. The next symbol is the burden the little child carries into the world of matter. This burden consists of five precious substances. These five symbolize the mean s or powers of the soul for conducting its soteriologic struggles on earth. The beautiful robe of glory and its royal mantle symbolized for the gnostics man 's transcendental self. This they envisioned as the spiritual and eternal aspect of the incarnating soul. It was preserved in the upper world of the spirit whil e the soul laboured in the material world below. Egypt symbolizes the material and lower world, the kingdom of the dead. For the gnostics, the material world was the realm of the spiritually and morally dead. Here we find the desire to be free of incarnate existence. The sea represents the many and generally turbulent waters of psychic life into which humanity has become submerged. From the depths of these waters man, in the gnostic view at least, cries out for deliverance. In the Apocalypse these "many waters" also make an appearance. The serpent is the "dragon of desire" for sentient life. To the gnostics,as well as to Buddhists to this day, the dragon of desire is the supreme obstacle to li beration from carnal existence. The inn, a place of impermanent lodging, represents the physical body specifical ly and the material world in general. Although less harsh a symbol than others, the inn suggests the longing for home of the weary traveller. The fellow dweller s of the inn are the other creatures of this world. The next symbol we may examine, the impure garment of the Egyptians, represents again the physical body. This the soul must put on in order to be in the world a nd to carry out its eschatological mission. Having a physical body, in turn, brings about the deep slumber. This symbolizes the soul's ignorance of its true nature and homeland in the spiritual realm. It also alludes to its involuntary involvement in the sentient illusions of the wor ld. The letter represents the divine call to the physically entrapped soul to arise from the slumber of its own ignorance. The letter rekindles the knowledge of the gnosis within the soul. Upon receipt of the divine call, the sleeping soul awakens, charms the dragon an d snatches up the pearl. In essence the awakened soul permits the dragon to devo ur it in order then to vanquish the dragon from within. For it is within the dra gon itself that the pearl lies hidden. Being a child of the divine light, the devoured soul is poisonous to the dragon of darkness. The dragon thus poisoned immediately vomits up the soul in its deat h throws. Whereupon the soul's mission is accomplished. Upon conquering the dragon and capturing the pearl, the soul regains its robe an d mantle. These now become the image of itself. The incarnating soul recognizes itself in the aspect of its transcendental form. And vice versa. The final recog

nition and reunion of the terrestrial man and his spiritual self represent the u ltimate gnostic encounter. This is a kind of dualistic self realization. This brings us finally to the last question and ultimate meaning of the gnostic story. What does the pearl itself symbolize? According to Hans Jonas "in the glossary of gnostic symbolism, pearl is one of t he standing metaphors for the soul in the supernatural sense. It could therefore have been listed simply with the equivalent terms dealt with in the preceding s urvey." Yet the pearl "is more of a secret name than the more direct terms" of the foreg oing enumeration. Those terms are all relatively simple and straight forward sym bols whose meanings are fairly unambiguous. The symbol of the pearl, on the othe r hand, "stands in a category by itself by singling out one particular aspect, o r metaphysical condition, of that transcendent principle [meaning the human soul ]. Whereas almost all the other expressions can apply equally to divinity unimpa ired and to its sunken [i.e., incarnated] part, the pearl denotes specifically t he latter in the fate that has overtaken it. The pearl is essentially the 'lost pearl,'50 and has to be retrieved. The fact of the pearl's being enclosed in an animal shell and hidden in the deep may have been among the associations that or iginally suggested the image. The Naassenes, interpreting in their own way Matt. 7:6, called 'understandings and intelligences and men' (i.e., the 'living' elem ents in the physical cosmos) 'the pearls of that Formless One cast into formatio n' (i.e., the body).(Hippol. Refut. V.8.32)" Its condition of loss, for which we may understand its state of physical incarna tion, is precisely what distinguishes the pearl from the other symbols discussed . Thus, the pearl is more than a symbol. It connotes a metaphysical and psycholo gical experience. "When the soul is addressed as pearl (as happens in a Turfan text), it is to rem ind it of its origin, but also to emphasize its preciousness to the celestial on es who seek for it." Addressing the incarnating soul as pearl serves "also to contrast its worth to t he worthlessness of its present surroundings, its lustre to the darkness in whic h it is immersed. [In the Turfan text] the address is used by the 'Spirit' as th e opening of his message of salvation. In the text referred to he goes on to cal l the soul a 'king' for whose sake war was waged in heaven and earth and the env oys were sent. "'And for thy sake the gods went forth and appeared and destroyed Death and kill ed Darkness...And I have come, who shall deliver from evil...And I shall open be fore thee the gate in every heaven...and show thee the Father, the King for ever ; and lead thee before him in a pure garment'. "... this is the message addressed to the Pearl, the reader, who remembers the s tory from the ACTS OF THOMAS, must be struck by the fact that this is also the m essage addressed to him who went forth to recover the Pearl." Recall that this i s the child prince whose task is to retrieve the pearl from the dragon of darkne ss. The child prince "too is assured that the gods, the great ones in his Father's k ingdom, care about his deliverance, he too is reminded of his kingly origin, and he too is guided upward by the letter, that is, the Spirit or the Truth; finall y he too is led before the Father in pure garments. In other words, the fate of the messenger has drawn to itself all the characteristics which would aptly desc ribe the fate of the Pearl." Meanwhile in the Hymn, the Pearl itself, which you will recall is the object of the tale, remains a mere object. The pearl is not e

ven described. In the Hymn, so much is the pearl "here merely the symbol for a task on whose ex ecution the messenger's own destiny depends that it is all but forgotten in the story of his return, and its handing over to the King is barely mentioned. Thus, if our poem is sometimes called 'The Hymn of the Soul,' its content seems to ju stify this designation in the figure of the Prince alone: whatever it has to tel l about the soul's condition and destiny, it tells through his experiences." Consequently, some interpreters express the opinion that "the Pearl stands here simply for the self or the good life of the envoy which he has to find on his te rrestrial journey." The terrestrial journey becomes a trial to which the envoy i s subjected in order to prove himself. This "means that he himself, and not the Pearl, represents the soul in general, and that the journey was really undertake n not for the Pearl's sake, but for his own. In this case the Pearl, the object of the quest, would have no independent status apart form the quest: it would be rather an expression for the latter, which may then be designated as self integ ration. "Such an interpretation seems to be supported by the symbolism of the heavenly g arment, which grows with the traveller's deeds etc. [But] the allegorical meanin g of the Pearl itself is too firmly established in gnostic myth to allow of its being dissolved into a mere moral function. [And] as undoubtedly as the envoy's experiences can be substituted for those of the Pearl, if [the pearl] is to repr esent the soul, just as undoubtedly is the recovery of the Pearl itself the prim ary concern of the Celestials which prompts the mission of the Son with its othe rwise unnecessary dangers to himself." Clearly, "the Pearl is an entity in its own right; it fell into the power of Dar kness prior to the sending out of the Prince, and for its sake he is ready to as sume the burden of descent and exile, thereby inevitably reproducing some of the features of the pearl's own fate." Yet it remains elusive because of the doubtf ul relationship of the Prince and the pearl. The interpreter's puzzle, the very interchangeability of the Prince and the pear l, turns out to be, in fact, the key to interpreting the true meaning of the poe m. It is, as well, the key to understanding gnostic eschatology in general. We can confidently take the King's Son to be the Saviour, a definite divine figu re [i.e., the historical Jesus], and not just the personification of the human s oul in general. Yet this unique position does not prevent him from undergoing in his own person the full force of human destiny, even to the extent that he the saviour himself has to be saved." This unexpected situation "is an irremissible condition of his saving function. For the parts of divinity lost to the darkness can be reached only down there in the depth in which they are swallowed up; and the power which holds them, that of the world, can be overcome only from within." Consequently, "this means that the saviour god must assimilate himself to the fo rms of cosmic existence and thereby subject himself to its conditions. The Chris tian reader must not confuse this necessity with the orthodox interpretation of Christ's passion. "Since the gnostic concept of salvation has nothing to do with the remission of sin ('sin' itself having no place in gnostic doctrine, which puts 'ignorance' in its place), there is in the saviour's descent nothing of vicarious suffering, o f atonement as a condition for divine forgiveness and, with one exception of Mar cion, nothing even of a ransom by which the captive souls have to be bought back ."

Instead, "the idea is either that of a technical necessity imposed by the condit ions of the mission [to retrieve the pearl], namely, the nature of the [physical earthly] system, far from the divine realm, into which the messenger has to pen etrate and whose laws he cannot cancel for himself, or that of a ruse by which t he Archons are to be deceived. In the latter version the suffering or temporary succumbing of the saviour may not be real at all but merely apparent and part of the deception." A ruse is certainly "not the case in our poem, where the stranger's predicament is quite real; yet even here his trials are an outcome of the inevitable dangers of his mission and not part of its very meaning. To put it differently, they im peril the success of his mission and are triumphantly overcome." Note that in Ch ristian eschatology the many trials of the saviour are themselves the very means and manner by which success of the saviour's mission is assured. His suffering and death are absolutely required for the process of redemption to occur. "With this cardinal difference in mind, we may still say that there is a [real] sacrificial element in the saviour's descent according to [the gnostic] poem, in that he was willing for the Pearl's sake to take upon himself an exile's fate a nd to duplicate in his person the history of that which he came to redeem: the S oul. "If in addition we are right in discerning in the King's Son certain features of the Primal Man [common in] Manichaean doctrine, he also duplicates the fate of that [ancient] precosmic divinity in which the present condition of the Soul, i. e., the Pearl, originated." All "the successive and mutually analogous phases of the world drama [of the Pri mal Man], notwithstanding their cosmic significance, symbolize also the tribulat ions and triumphs of the human soul. The reference to the Primal Man in particul ar supplies a final link in the solution of our riddle. "It is not for nothing that a precosmic (and mediately cosmogonic) eternal divin ity bears the name Man. The souls dispersed in the world are his 'Light Armour,' part of his original substance, which he lost to the Darkness in the primordial fight." Now this Man "is actually present in every human soul, exiled, captive, stunned; and if the Prince as his later representation comes to recover these l ost elements, he in a sense really seeks his own. His work is one of reintegrati on of the divine self, even of his own self, only not in the sense pertaining to an individual person." Further, "if, then, there is this metaphysical, though not numerical, identity b etween the messenger and the Pearl, every hearer of the tale can legitimately, w ithout confounding personal identities, recognize in the adventures of the messe nger the story of his own earthbound soul. [He can] see his own fate as part and analogue of the deity's, yet at the same time also as the latter's object. "Thus in the proper perspective the competing interpretations resolve themselves as not really alternative but complementary."51 So the pearl is identified as the divine spark of life within human beings, the Primal Man captivated by the material world. Prompted by its very uneasiness in its present condition it strives towards liberation and reunification in the spi ritual realm. And with this inner uneasiness and feeling of conflicting forces e very human being can readily identify. In the Christian story of the prodigal son, the gnostic prince has been transfor med into the wastrel son. The mission of recovering the pearl has dropped out al together, as has all mention of the pearl itself. Obviously, in the Christian st

ory the metaphysical implications of the myth of the pearl have decayed into mer e moral precepts. The pearl, however, appears in the other parable fragments. It is also transformed into the lost sheep, coin and treasure. Despite the overall corruption of the story in its Christian version, a signific ant development occurs. Among its various new guises, the pearl has gained the a ppellation of the "kingdom" and with additional meaning. The term puns the antic ipated messianic kingdom of the Essenian Jews. The significance of this term we must now examine thoroughly with the help of John Sanford. The Gospel of Matthew mentions the "kingdom" fifty-two times. That of Mark menti ons it fifteen times, and Luke thirty-nine times. The Gospel of John mentions it five times and uses the expression 'eternal life' as a substitute nine times mo re. "The Acts and the Epistles mention the kingdom or its equivalent term, eternal l ife, forty-three times. In addition, fifteen of the parables speak directly of t he kingdom." If we know what is meant by the kingdom, certainly, we shall have discovered the core of the Christian teaching. For everything attributed to the teachings of J esus relates directly or indirectly to this very important new term "kingdom." Further, by means of getting at a better understanding of the word kingdom, we m ay discover a significant corruption of the older metaphysic of ecstasy. This se rious corruption is expressed in the gnostic myth of the pearl, and also in the intermediate level of the Apocalypse. For at the esoteric and intermediate level of understanding described by Pryse, the Apocalypse rests very solidly upon gno stic foundations. John Sanford explains, "In the thirteenth chapter of Matthew's gospel we find tw o brief parables which point to the paradoxical heart of the mystery of the king dom of heaven. A look at their inner meaning will open the door to this mysterio us reality which was so central to Jesus' teaching. "'The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has fou nd; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the fie ld' (Matthew 13:44)."52 For reasons which Sanford goes into at some length but which do not concern us h ere, Jesus always talks about this mysterious kingdom of his in figures and imag es. This is one very striking feature of his teaching of the kingdom. He never t alks about it directly. Thus, Jesus never speaks of the kingdom as es it always 'like' or 'as' such and such. eaking about the kingdom will become clear significance, it forever buries the simple ace of eternal reward for the righteous. being 'such and such,' but he describ The significance of this manner of sp in short order. Not the least of its notion of the orthodox heaven as a pl

"Here the figure is that of a treasure hidden in a field. The kingdom is, theref ore, something of great value, which, in this parable, the individual may discov er. Once someone has found this treasure, he recognizes it to be so valuable tha t he gives up everything else he has in order to acquire it. "There is an inner reality within each of us which is like a great treasure lyin g hidden in the field of our soul waiting to be discovered. When someone finds t his inner treasure, and recognizes its value, he happily gives up all other goal s and ambitions in order to make it real in his life.

"Now let us compare this with the second parable. "'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it' (M atthew 13: 44-45). "At first glance it looks as if this parable duplicates the parable of the treas ure. But, as Fritz Kunkel has pointed out (Creation Continues, p. 193),in the fi rst parable the kingdom is a treasure which we search for and find; in the secon d parable the kingdom is likened to a merchant who is searching for things of va lue. In this case we are the pearls, found by the kingdom of God. "So the paradox is that the kingdom is both that which we find within ourselves as an inner treasure and also that which is searching to find us, who when found become something of supreme value in the eyes of God. We are the fine pearls if the kingdom can take root within us, and to such a person God gives a place of supreme value in His creation. "Very often in the history of Christianity theologians and teachers have dwelt u pon the unworthiness of man, his proneness to sin, his worthlessness in contrast to God's supreme goodness; they have even laid the responsibility for evil at m an's doorstep. There is none of this in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is often d isappointed in men, of course, but only because man is potentially of the highes t value, the inheritor of God's very own kingdom. He harbours the kingdom within his own soul. God searches for the man who will recognize the kingdom within hi m, and He ascribes to such a man supreme value."53 John Sanford notes further that everything taught by Jesus related either direct ly or indirectly to the kingdom. Its vital importance becomes apparent from even a cursory reading of the Gospels. It forms the keystone of the teachings of Jes us. "This importance of the kingdom of God has not gone unnoticed by scholars and th eologians, and volumes have been written on the subject. Almost all these effort s suffer from two great drawbacks: the determined effort made to relate Jesus' i deas of the kingdom of God to prevailing ideas already in existence before his t ime; and the materialistic point of view of the various scholars, which has blin ded them to the kingdom as an inner, spiritual reality. It is only when we have recognized the uniqueness of Jesus' consciousness and the importance and reality of man's inner world that we can properly appreciate the significance of the ki ngdom of God in Jesus' teachings and in our lives. "We do not find these limitations, however, in the early Church. The early Fathe rs of the Church knew that man experienced both outer physical reality, of which he became aware through the senses, and inner, spiritual reality, known to him directly, intuitively, through the soul and in personal experiences such as drea ms and visions. The kingdom was not something coming upon man from outside of hi mself, but was a reality within himself, the very foundation of his personal exi stence, and something which could be experienced by the individual. "The kingdom of God as a spiritual reality within men must be described as a psy chological reality insofar as it is experienceable by the individual in the deve lopment and unfolding of his personality. When we find and realize the kingdom i n ourselves, we experience a growing wholeness, an increasing sense of the meani ng of our individual personality, a realization of new and creative energies, an d an expanding consciousness. This leads us beyond our individual ego existence to an experience with a transcendant source of life,and to a creative life in th e social sphere. The kingdom involves the realization of our personalities accor ding to the inner plan established within us by God; hence, the unfolding Self w hich predates and transcends the ego."54

"One of the most important images Jesus used to describe the kingdom is the imag e of growth. While this image occurs many times (cf. Mt 13:4-9, 24-30; 7:15-20), the best-known examples are in the two following parables: "'The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the big gest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelt er in its branches' (Mt 13:31-32 / Mk4:30-32 / Lk 13:18-19). "'The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three m easures of flour till it was leavened all through' (Matthew 13:33/ Luke 13:20-21 ). "In the case of the Parable of the Mustard Seed the image is of something which begins as a small, seemingly insignificant thing, but which, through a process o f growth, achieves great strength and stature. (In the Orient the'mustard tree' is quite a large tree.) So the kingdom of heaven begins in a man's life as somet hing seemingly small and insignificant, but through a process of growth becomes a mighty power. The image of the tree is appropriate, for just as a tree is root ed in the earth but reaches up to heaven, so the unfolding of the personality in cludes both our earthly and spiritual natures. "In the case of the Parable of the Yeast, yeast is what causes a loaf of bread t o rise. It is seemingly insignificant in itself, yet without yeast the bread rem ains flat and unfinished. So the kingdom of heaven is the reality in a man's lif e which causes his whole personality, and the outer fabric of his life as well, to achieve completeness. "Those familiar with the workings of the unconscious recognize a process at work within the individual constantly seeking to bring about that person's wholeness and fulfilment. This inner growth potential is regarded by most people as small , insignificant, and valueless, while the important things are said to be outsid e of ourselves. Yet it is through the acceptance of the inner power for growth t hat our lives rise and become fulfilled. It is not surprising in view of this to find that our dreams often reflect this inner growth under the image of a great tree, or stress the importance of a child, who also frequently represents our g rowth potential. A conventional, narrowly scientific attitude toward man cannot take into account man's potential for growth, for it sees only man's outward beh aviour and is blind to his potential selfhood.55 "Because the kingdom is associated with the inner growth of the individual, it i s very much a here-and-now experience. While Jewish apocalyptists before him pro jected the kingdom of heaven into the future and saw it as a great event coming upon man from outside, Jesus saw that the kingdom of heaven begins within a man, and is initiated in this present time. It is also in the future because, althou gh it is here now as a potentiality influencing life, its realization is not com plete. So Jesus can say, "'the kingdom of heaven is close at hand' (Mt 4:17, 10:7, and many parallels). "And in John's Gospel Jesus says to Nicodemus, "'Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God' (John 3:3KJV). "This certainly implies that the kingdom is a present reality to be entered into by the individual when he achieves such a radical transformation of his charact er that it is represented under the image of rebirth." "Jesus was able to preach the imminent presence of the kingdom because man's spi

ritual and psychological development was now such that he could arrive at a new stage of his potentiality. For the first time the individual man could achieve a n inward relatedness to God. While the religion of the priests and prophets befo re him had been largely a matter of relationship of God to his people, the new e xpression of this faith which Jesus gives us is that each individual is to achie ve his own relatedness to God. In this way the individual participates personall y in the kingdom, which he is now ready to receive. For the individual today the kingdom is achieved through the process of inner growth into his own wholeness and creativity."56 4.3 PROCESS OF CONSCIOUSNESS For the sake of our discussion let us agree, at least for now, with Sanford that the term kingdom/pearl refers to a state of conscious awareness in the here and now. This will not do any injustice to the gnostic meaning of the term since in the gnostic understanding our experience of the meaning of the pearl must also be described as a state of awareness. It remains only for us to describe that pa rticular state in order to come to a fuller and deeper understanding of the stor ies of the pearl and the prodigal son. We shall thereby come to a fuller and dee per understanding and appreciation of consciousness itself. In the gnostic version of the tale the pearl is understood as something lost fro m the celestial realm before time began. This loss occurred in some primeval bat tle between light and darkness, when darkness, although defeated by light, carri ed away the spoils of the battle. In this vein, the spiritual realm must regain its lost part through the salvific process, which is the young prince's mission to earth and the individual soul's participation in that endeavour. To accept this interpretation as is, however, we must accept the gnostic dualism that underlies it. But the gnostic dualism is untenable. A brief philosophical diversion is needed here to understand why dualism remains unacceptable. Dualism attempts to answer the following question: how can the ab solute and the relative both exist? The question has been put in other terms, such as being and becoming, mind and m atter, spirit and body. But no matter in what specific terms it is phrased the q uestion remains the same. Absolute, being, mind, spirit are all terms referring to a state or realm of rea lity that must, if it can be described at all, be described as ideal, abstract, invariable and eternal. Relative, becoming, matter, body are all terms referring to a state or realm of reality that can be described as real, tangible, variabl e and measurable in time. In practice, it boils down to asking just how does the intangible of mind/consciousness coexist in/with the tangible material body. Th is turns out to be a loaded question. The question is loaded because it already assumes as a self evident premise a po int of view that renders the only two possible answers to the question absurd.57 That basic underlying assumption states that the absolute and the relative are opposites. Being and becoming, mind and matter, spirit and body, in other words, are fundamentally two different categories of things. They may interact, as ind eed we know they do because we experience their interaction, but they remain ess entially distinct and independent. Here we see the first crack in the gnostic position. If the gnostic absolute and relative, i.e., light and dark, are fundamentally different things with nothing in common between them, what is the cause of their primeval conflict? We should rather expect them to coexist in mutual and benign indifference.

Mani's contention that the darkness desired the light to alleviate the oppressiv eness of its own company is philosophically silly. For if indeed the darkness wa s an independent entity unto itself it would have no way of knowing that its own company was oppressive and no reason to suspect that possession of light would in any manner alleviate the oppression. In fact, logically there is no reason to presume that darkness would ever become aware of the existence of light in the first place. So the hypothetical feud between them is the first clue that light and dark are not simply what they appear to be. They are not as different as the dualistic gnostics would have us believe. This is the fundamental problem with all dualistic philosophies. For there is no logical reason for two elements that are totally independent to interact and no logical manner in which they could even do so, assuming that they wanted to. Th e only argument left to the dualistic position is simply to restate the obvious that we know the absolute and relative interact because we experience that inter action. But this in no way proves the contention of dualism. To consider the absolute and the relative to be opposites requires that they bot h possess ontological being. This simply means that each exists in and of itself and needs nothing else in order to exist. But to assume such an ontological opp osition between the absolute and the relative immediately renders any possible s olution to the question absurd. How do the absolute and the relative both exist? There are only two possible ans wers to this question and both contain self contradictions. The first answer to the question is termed dualism. Dualism states that both the absolute and the relative exist independently of one another. Neither requires the other in order to exist. Both possess ontological being. This is the prevale nt viewpoint of much of ancient gnosticism, not only Manichaeism. But it is phil osophical unsound for three reasons, the first of which we have just examined, t hat there is no logical manner of interaction between the two. The second reason the dualistic contention is untenable is that the relative is so only by comparison with something else. The relative always requires somethin g in addition to itself in order for it to be judged relative. For if there were nothing to compare it to, how could we know that the relative is such? Indeed, how could we even have any notion of relativity at all? Thus,the relative can no t be described as having ontological being, for it requires something other than itself to which it can be compared. The third reason that dualism is untenable is that the absolute is not absolute if something else exists that is not a part of the absolute itself. Something ca n not be an ontological absolute unless it be all that there is. If there happen s to be something, anything, that is not included within it, then it is not abso lute. The absolute can not possess ontological being if a relative exists that i s distinct from it rather than part of it. Thus, dualism founders on the reef of its own internal contradictions. We can no t demonstrate that it is possible to have both an ontological absolute and an on tological relative that are separate and distinct from one another. For this rea son, we must look for another answer to the question. To put the loaded question again. How can the absolute and the relative both exi st? Another answer to this question is termed monism. Monism is really a respons e to the absurdity of dualism. It accepts that we can not have both an ontologic al absolute and an ontological relative that are distinct from one another. So m onism proposes that in fact we do not have both, that either the absolute or the relative possesses ontological being, but both do not.

This is really just relative dualism. For monism does not deny that the absolute and the relative are different categories of things, it simply argues that one of the categories does not really exist in and of itself. According to monism, t he absolute may be just an hallucination of the relative or the relative may be just an hallucination of the absolute. Either way, only one possesses ontologica l being and the other is just a figment of the imagination of the one that does. Monism looks like a good answer at first glance. It seems to avoid the contradic tions inherent in dualism. But monism, attractive as it may appear, does not esc ape self contradiction for two reasons. First, monism can not explain the apparent, and so apparently real, existence of the hallucination which gave rise to the question in the first place. It can no t demonstrate, other than to state that it is so, how the only thing that exists can or would imagine something that is not of itself. There is no such thing as something other than itself. Not even the possibility of something else exists. The second reason monism fails is that the very notion of an absolute oneness ex cludes and thus opposes the possibility of the many. This is just another and sl ightly more subtle way of proposing dualism. Thus, monism fails to answer the question convincingly. It contradicts itself ju st as does dualism. Monism, however, is a little more subtle at doing so than du alism. Because it is more subtle, monism has fooled more people than dualism. He nce, we must look at it more closely in order substantiate its self contradictio ns. Two brands of monism warrant consideration. The first does so because it is so p revalent in our own western culture. The second because it is the basis of many influential spiritual doctrines, particularly of the orient. The first of these two versions of monisn is material monism, which expresses th e viewpoint that only the relative and material universe exists. Anything that i s not material is merely imaginary or derived from the material. Consciousness a nd mind are postulated as epiphenomena of physical processes. If material monism were not so rampant in the world today, we could pass over it with hardly a word, since as a philosophy it is puerile. No serious thinker fro m the age of classical Greece down to the eighteenth century considered it anyth ing but puerile. Its popularity in the last two centuries stems entirely from th e triumph of experimental method and scientific inquiry. In the nineteenth century physical science had attained what it thought to be a complete understanding of the workings of existence based solely on physical law s and movements. This position was called reductionism, for all phenomena had be en reduced to the consequences of simple physical processes. The machine age tha t directly resulted seemed to verify this optimism, although not everyone accept ed the argument. Yet even as materialism seemed to be proving its validity through the miracles w rought by science and technology, it was already beginning to demonstrate its st erility as a philosophy. In the nineteenth century began a nearly universal angs t that intensified in direct proportion to the growing success of materialism. Through science and technology, the western world entered an era of unprecedente d prosperity based on the exploitation of cheap energy and cheap raw materials t hat has continued into the latter half of the twentieth century. No one could de ny that for the first time in recorded history the vast majority of denizens of a civilization shared in the material comforts and conveniences afforded by its

technology. Yet, the fly in the ointment began to become clear rather early on. Even on the relatively simple level of materiality itself, problems appeared. At each advance made by science and technology lethal byproducts resulted. The s ulphur dioxide resulting from the burning of coal rendered most cities of the ni neteenth century nearly unlivable. The age of chemistry, while helping to defeat the ancient diseases of mankind with sulfa drugs and antibiotics, has brought o n an epidemic of cancer and strains of microbes that are virtually indestructibl e. Finally, the nuclear age has introduced the most toxic and long lasting bypro duct imaginable, thousands of tons of radioactive waste, increasing by thousands of tons each year, that will remain toxic for thousands of years to come. Meeting the growing demands of a worldwide community for ever more consumable pr oducts has led to the exploitation of natural resources on a scale that is stagg ering. Indeed, the effects of the scientific and technological age have come pre cariously close to destroying the life support systems of planet earth. And this because materialism can not make the necessary connections between what it does and the effects of what it does. We can see this fact demonstrated daily. We dig holes to bury our ever increasin g mountains of garbage, but no one wants the hole in his back yard. We damn rive rs, burn coal and build nuclear power plants to supply an ever increasing demand for electrical energy, but no one wants to do without any of the myriad electri cal gadgets that fuel this demand. We are poisoning the air we breathe and the v ery plants that create the oxygen that sustains our life by automobile exhaust f umes, but no one wants to give up his car. Our cities have become sprawling wast elands of concrete, asphalt and debris, with cores of glass and steel sterility that die at 5 PM daily but keep their millions of lights burning all night long. The great mass of western humanity lives at level of comfort and security that n ot even the wealthiest kings of the ancient world enjoyed. Yet, it is not enough . The truth of the statement that man lives by more than bread alone has never b een more conclusively demonstrated than in our own time. Obsessed by the ideology of materialism, people scramble to accumulate money, ma terial possessions and status, thinking thereby to purchase happiness and conten tment. They vainly attempt to satisfy psychological and spiritual needs by filli ng their lives with inanimate things. Because they are simply not material, psychological and spiritual needs cannot b e satisfied with the accumulation of things. Human beings require values and mea ning to find any satisfaction in their lives, but since these are not material t hings, they go unrecognised. Blinded by the myopic philosophy of materialism people make the mistake of think ing they can fulfil their lives by possessing things. An empty and soulless expe rience of life results, a life bereft of value and meaning. People die after liv ing superficial and shallow lives. As a consequence, despair and despondency flourish amidst affluence. Hopelessnes s runs rampant. Brutality, insensitivity and selfishness characterize human inte ractions in this age of materialism. Ironically, twentieth century science has come nearly full circle from the mecha nistic underpinnings of materialism and reductionism. As physicists probe ever d eeper into the heart of matter, they discover that it looks less and less like m atter. The mechanical regularity that prompted nineteenth century scientists to assert that they understood fully the workings of the universe is now seen as me rely a small piece in a very large puzzle that does not admit to simple understa nding.

Philosophically, reductionism can not derive such things as attitudes, values, a spirations, judgements, preferences and goals. Psychological behaviorism attempt s to reduce these phenomena to chemical and neurological processes, but its theo ries can not account for differences. For if indeed these phenomena result only from simple chemical reactions then the range of human behaviours and motivation s would be much less or at least much more easily and correctly predicted. And w e know that they are not. Ideal monism, on the other hand, argues the precise opposite point of view of ma terialism. Ideal monism forms the basis of nearly all oriental spiritualism and much western thought. Its influence upon the history of humanity has been enormo us. For ideal monism the finite and relative material world is an hallucination to b e overcome. The material world is viewed merely as an obstacle to coming to the knowledge and experience of true reality. Although human beings appear to exist in material form, this mistaken experience of life must be recognized as illusor y and gone beyond. This task is usually accomplished by some form of introspecti ve meditation and physiological manipulation carried to the point of obvious pat hological fanaticism. According to ideal monism, it is only through the long practice of strict asceti cism and abstemiousness that the flesh is put in its place and subdued. Only by extreme measures of self mortification of the body and mind can the absolute spi rit recover from the disease of mistaken materiality. By self conquest the spiri t frees itself forever from its unwilling bondage to relativity and the flesh. Ideal monism, however, reveals its most basic underlying inconsistency by thus p lacing an inordinate value on the materiality it seeks to overcome. In the view of ideal monism, the relative and material world possesses no real existence, ye t in fact and practice it is accorded an absolute status opposed to the spirit. The idealogy of ideal monism can not explain how, if the material world is reall y only an illusion, it is so difficult to get out of it. Obviously, it is not an illusion in the simple sense of the word. And ideal monism does not take this i nto account. Additionally, ideal monism can not demonstrate just how the absolute spirit came to be trapped in the illusion of materiality in the first place. For to suggest that the absolute is susceptible to self deception requires that we question th e "absoluteness" of the absolute. Upon examination, both brands of monism, material and ideal, reveal their self c ontradictions. Both fail to satisfy the question they seek to answer because the re is no answer to the question, given the underlying premise of opposition. How can the absolute and relative both exist? Dualism and both forms of monism f ail to answer the question satisfactorily. As I noted previously, dualism and mo nism are the only possible answers to the question, given the underlying premise of opposition between the absolute and the relative. Thus,the only possible sol ution to this philosophical dilemma must be to rephrase the original question. The question ought to be: How do the absolute and the relative relate to each ot her? The premise that underlies this rephrased question is simply that absolute and relative do exist and do interact. No opposition is implied yet their distin ctness is accepted. The metaphysic of ecstasy thus restates the question. The metaphysic of ecstasy further asserts that the absolute and the relative are not opposed to each other

. It states rather that reality is neither monistic nor dualistic, but instead n ondual. The metaphysic of ecstasy contends that the absolute and the relative complement each other in a totality that equally encompasses both. Reality is both absolut e and relative at the same time! Both absolute and relative are equally essentia l to the structure of reality! This is a very bold metaphysical assertion that can only be based on empirical e xperience coupled with keen insight. Mere logical deduction could not come to su ch a conclusion, since it appears patently absurd that anything could be both ab solute and relative. Logic asks how anything could possess ontological being and not possess it at the same time? The paradox which defies logic is resolved readily by intuition. In a metaphysic al sense only, the absolute and relative remain apart from and independent of on e another. Yet the absolute permeates every atom and phenomenon of the relative and finds its expression through it. The relative is the absolute in the process of expression and experience. At the same time, the absolute does not exist apa rt from the expression and experience of itself as relative. If we can accept, tentatively at least, the hypothesis of a somehow complementar y relationship between the absolute and the relative, let us then follow this hy pothesis to its conclusion. We are in for some surprises! Instead of the gnostic view, with its psychological and historical premises, let us accept with Sanford an entirely psychological interpretation of the stories of the pearl and the prodigal son. If we do so, the kingdom becomes the term for a process of growth towards wholeness. We avoid the contradictions of dualism and monism. But we are then forced to con clude that the kingdom represents something that is originally lacking. What is originally lacking is such at least in the realization of whatever it is if not in the potentiality of it as well. Thus, the journey and what it must symbolically represent becomes a very real ne cessity for the realization of psychological wholeness. Only by the efficacy of what the journey of the child prince symbolically represents can wholeness be br ought about. In both the gnostic and Christian versions of the story one son makes the journe y and his "brother" remains at home. In the story of the pearl the nature and re lationship of these two brothers is made clear: they are two aspects of but one individuality, participating at different levels in the drama of the quest/searc h for the kingdom/pearl. The jealousy of the brother in the Christian version ca n be disregarded as moralizing. It must be remembered that we are investigating a complex metaphysical doctrine here. Nothing of the real meaning in either vers ion of the story has to do with mere moral preaching. If we can accept the basic premise that we are here dealing with human conscious ness, then the story of the quest/search for the kingdom/pearl becomes the drama of consciousness seeking for wholeness. But we must understand this as the real ization of wholeness. In its unmanifested state, before undertaking the quest/jo urney, consciousness does not recognise or experience its wholeness. Consciousne ss only has the potential for the realization of its wholeness. The manifestation of consciousness in the relative and imperfect world of everyd ay existence becomes the means whereby consciousness comes to a realization of i tself. It is only with the successful conclusion of the quest/journey that consc iousness can actually realize its wholeness. The quest/journey must be understoo

d as the process whereby this realization of wholeness comes about. The father in both versions of the story, therefore, must represent a sort of na ive consciousness as it is before or ulterior to the process of realization. In other words, it typifies the state of consciousness which, although underlying a nd hence constituting the "field" of conscious activity, remains itself unaware of its wholeness. In the story of the pearl, it is the King who sends the Prince on his mission, w hile in the parable of the prodigal the son takes the initiative to leave on his own. As we can see from Sanford's discussion, both versions of the tale express a part of the truth. For both compulsion and an entirely voluntary participatio n are involved in the realization. Something must occur. There is the element of necessity. Consciousness, however, takes the task upon itself willingly. As we shall see in due course, consciousn ess takes this task upon itself eagerly. Upon the son's successful return in both versions, the celebrations symbolically commemorate the newly acquired state of awareness brought about by the consciou s realization of wholeness. This new state of awareness is the kingdom/pearl. It may be tempting to equate this process towards wholeness with the individual human being only. But it must be understood also to be the process of Consciousn ess itself towards ultimate realization of wholeness. For we are not talking her e about any return to the "source" by an individual soul or human being. This is not a return to the center, or the ground, or anything else it may be called. T here is nothing to which to return except that naive state of consciousness from which the process of realization represents a liberating and awakening movement . The material/spiritual journey of the individual human being is simply the awake ning of Consciousness to the realization of itself in a holistic manner that did not exist previously! Hence, relative and imperfect human life represents the m anifestation of absolute Consciousness in the process of discovering and experie ncing the wholeness of itself. The attainment of metaphysical and spiritual knowledge is not a process of reviv ing the clouded memory of the incarnating "spirit" to its life prior to becoming immured in matter. This is the position of many philosophies immersed in dualis tic and/or monistic mysticisms of both oriental and western origin. Consciousness evolves and comes to a knowledge of itself that it did not possess before. There is nothing for consciousness to remember. There was no "before" i ts present existence for it to remember. Consciousness is not something ideal tr apped in the material world. The spiritual and the physical are just two ways of looking at the same event. That event is the process of our realization of the wholeness of consciousness. The process yields a new awareness that brings consciousness into a full realiza tion of itself. As individual human beings, we are the process of discovery! Fur thermore, it is within the experience of our individual human lives that this re alization finds its ultimate expression. 4.4 THE FULLNESS OF LIFE In the othodox Christian doctrine of the creation of souls hides a kernel of tru th. If infinite consciousness is to realize its fullness in the experience of fi nite human life, then each individual human being and life represents a unique a nd heretofore non existent event in the process of that realization.

Hence, the teaching of a singular creation for all human souls, refers in a simp listic way to the unique and unrepeatable nature of every human life. The orthod ox "God" symbolizes consciousness in its ground state, or condition of naivete. Consciousness, in a sense, "creates" the individual human lives that form the ev ents of the process of its self realization. This creation must be understood in the context of a psychological unfolding. Th e simplistic orthodox notion of creation of something from nothing (ex nihilo) m isses the point, because there is no god to create. A helpful analogy is the dre am state. Each character, setting and sequence of events within the dream symbol izes some psychological aspect or aspects of the dreamer. The characters and events of the dream could be considered "creations" of the dr eamer. But they can be so considered only in the very technical sense that they represent momentary manifestations of whatever contents within the dreamer's con sciousness have previously been denied waking state recognition. They are in no way creations in the sense that they have any existence beyond the context of th e dream itself. In a similar manner to the events and characters of a dream, each human personal ity and life symbolizes some psychological aspect of the process of consciousnes s coming to the full realization of itself. Each human life represents a creatio n only in the sense that it manifests a unique event or sequence of events in th e psychological unfolding of true self consciousness. According to the doctrine of the metaphysic of ecstasy, it is simply consciousne ss itself that is in the midst of the process of awakening to the realization of its own fullness. Consciousness is all there is. We individual human beings are the tangible events of that process of realizatio n. Our individual states of conscious awareness and degrees of awareness of self , as human beings, are really the psychic indicators of the progress of consciou sness itself as it advances through the process of realization. The end result o f the entire process is simply the realization of human being in its fullness. The kingdom refers to the state of self awareness of the fullness of our human b eing. In the metaphysic of ecstasy this awareness of personal wholeness is, of c ourse, referred to as ecstasy. Throughout the mutilated scriptures of the New Te stament this seminal doctrine of the metaphysic of ecstasy shows itself. We can see it clearly when we look for it. We can see it clearly if we look with an ope n mind and not with the attitude that everything has been understood totally by orthodoxy. "Be ye therefore complete, as your Father in heaven is complete."58 The kingdom refers to the self conscious awareness of the entire panorama of human being. Th is is one hundred per cent awareness. Our ordinary state of awareness is fragmented. It is like a kingdom that is divi ded against itself.59 We are aware of only a portion of our human being. Maybe i t is only one or two per cent. Maybe it is ten per cent. The "kingdom of God" refers to an awareness that is not fragmented. It represent s the self awareness of the fullness of human being. This is the fullness of lif e. The kingdom refers to self realization. This is subtle. The kingdom does not refer to something that must be attained. W hen you think in terms of attaining you express the attitude of lacking. You lac k something so you want to attain it. As long as you express the attitude of lac king, you will lack. No matter to what lengths you go in your attempts to attain

, your attitude will get in your way. It is the attitude itself that is at fault . If you think in terms of lacking self realization and go out and try to attain i t, your efforts are doomed from the start. If you think "I do not have self real ization now but I want to have it" your very attitude stands in the way. You can not, by any effort, attain self realization. Your very efforts to attain it will prevent you. Your very attitude of trying to attain will prevent you. T his is because you already "have" self realization. Your being human already is a state of self realization. Your personality is now the expression of a state o f conscious awareness and a degree of self realization. Simply, the point is that you as a human personality can not attain self realiza tion because you already are a living expression of it. All striving gets in the way of realizing what you already are. Striving gets in the way of realizing th at you already are an expression of self realization. The point is simply not to strive, not to try to attain, but rather to surrender . Stop striving and stop trying to attain. Just let what is expressing you, express you. Do not get in the way. Do not make up your own agenda. You get in the way of the process by thinking that you know better. You get in t he way by thinking that you can do it better than the way it is happening on its own. You get in the way of the process by thinking that you need to do this or that a ction to expedite it. You get in the way of the process by thinking that you nee d to practice some esoteric technique to speed it up. You are mistaken. You just need to become aware of the process. Self - yourself - is present this your personality on the forge and lf is this very instant hammering into the perfect instrument to do very instant and always, moulding and shaping anvil of experience in life here and now.60 Se you - your malleable and pliant personality its work.61

When each of us personalities is moulded into its perfect instrument, the self w ill realize its fullness within each of us. "I am crucified with Christ: neverth eless I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself f or me."62 Here then in plain and unambiguous language we discover the sole reason for our personal existence. The term "Christ" represents that fullness of human being th at we are discussing here. It is to be brought into living expression in each of us. We must only surrender ourselves over to that end so that the ultimate work in us and through us may be accomplished. That great work that can only be accomplished in us and through us is self reali zation. To enter the inner kingdom means self realization. The kingdom is the recognition of our own true nature as being human. It is the recognition of the fullness of what we are, have ever been and will always be. "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, that you are in me and I in y ou."63 The fullness of self realization occurs when we have made ourselves ready to rec

eive it, when we have surrendered all striving to attain it. "You have not chose n me, but I have chosen you and appointed you to go and bear fruit."64 This is w hat awakening is all about. Instruction book methods are not sufficient. We can not force our way into the k ingdom with mental tricks or physio-psychic gymnastics. We can not bargain, beg or steal our way into it. We can not trick our way into it. Only when we have opened ourselves to it, only when we have s completely to it, shall we realize that self which is us. ealize finally that we are that self, "as Thou, Father, art , that they also may be one in us...that they may be one as m, and Thou in me, that they may be complete in one."65 surrendered ourselve Only then shall we r in me, and I in Thee we are one; I in the

You need no gurus or masters to deliver you or show you the way. No hierarchy of priests or middlemen can intercede. In the work of realization of who and what you really are, the self, your own true and perfected human being, is the only m aster. The personality is the disciple of self. "But the anointing [chrisma] ye have received of him abides in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth and no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in him." 66 The word chrisma, the anointing, derives from the word chrio, to smear or to ano int, as with oil. Likewise Christos derives from chrio, and is the one who is an ointed. Orthodoxy, of course, interprets this anointing figuratively. As a king is anointed over his realm, so too Christ has been anointed Messiah over mankind . But on a metaphysical level the word Christ symbolizes the fullness of being hum an. That is, Christ is a metaphor of self realization. It is the realization of self that teaches all things. Other men, other teachers can only point the way t o you. You must discover the one true master within for yourself. No one else ca n do it for you. No one else can lead you by the hand and deliver you to it. The "anointing" has an additional meaning which relates directly to the method f or realization. This method the author of the Apocalypse, as Pryse has interpret ed it, took great pains to disguise. Recall that in the metaphysic of ecstasy sexual intercourse is sacred. It is the first and the last and only sacrament. And since sacrament simply means "that w hich renders holy (whole)," the literal meaning of the anointing becomes obvious . It is the mutual baptism and absorption of the female and male sexual fluids d uring coitus. The physical act is itself the efficacious means to realization. T his is the first great secret. The second secret of sexual intimacy is learning to become vulnerable, to open u p. You must learn to open up. If you do not become vulnerable and open up, sexua l intimacy remains a closed door. You will not experience anything but physical and emotional sensations. You must also learn to listen and to hear the inner voice that speaks within you . Through love and intimacy we allow that inner voice of self to shape us quickl y into its perfected instruments. When this work of awakening in us is accomplis hed, self realization of the fullness of human being can occur and the work of s elf through us will begin. The work through us is self discovering self in ecstatic embrace. Beneath the or thodox facade, and also beneath the intermediate level of understanding as descr

ibed by the esoteric schools, teachers and gurus and masters have no place. They are superficial things. Beneath the surface, we are each brothers and sisters in this work of self reali zation. We help one another as we are able through love, intimacy and openness t o hear, to recognize and to obey the subtle prompting of that inner voice. For t he fullness of our shared human being speaks to us all, now and ever. It speaks always, teaching us all we need to know and all we seek. Here is the great and marvellous mystery of human being. That which we seek we a lready have. What we desire is already ours. The words we long to hear are spoke n this very instant! Listen! "If we love one another, God dwells in us and His love is perfected in u s...and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him."67 But this love i s not merely a devotional fervour or a sentimental piety directed at our anthrop omorphic concepts of Christ and the divine. This love is not the simple minded w orship of anyone else "out there" some place. Nor is it the abject adoration of supreme powers and beings to whose mercies and good will we owe our continuing e xistence. We share this love as brothers and sisters. By this I do not mean that chastity and virginity characterize our love for each other. Remember that in the metaphy sic of ecstasy the sexual intimacy of man and woman is the means to realization. Orthodoxy misunderstands this statement of fraternal love. For orthodoxy thinks "brothers and sisters" refers to a sexless relationship. What is meant rather i s that we are individual male and female living expressions of the fullness of h uman consciousness. We are the "sons" (and the daughters) of "God68 In other wor ds, each of us is the individual, living expression of the creative polarity of consciousness. We are also brothers and sisters in the sense of peers rather than gurus and dis ciples or masters and students. We all interact on an equal footing. No one is r eally any more human than anyone else. We are all in this together. Some of us m ay be the living expressions of varying degrees of self awareness, but we are al l equally expressions of consciousness. For this reason an adult can be no man's disciple. In complete and total surrender to each other we discover the presence of our hu man being in one another and in ourselves. The perfected self of each of us reve als itself to us only through one another. We all need each other for self reali zation. There is no solitary nor virginal path to realization. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God and knows God."69 This love is a state of being human, wherein ou r strictly personal interests and ego striving have been set aside. We have surr endered them in total abandonment to the process of the realization of self. "Th is is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you."70 Perhaps you have sometimes felt deep within yourself a strange yearning, an achi ng emptiness that nothing seems able to satisfy. This may be a real hunger for t he inner sense of fullness without which life may seem hollow and pointless. Wit hout which life is superficial and trivial. This may be a real longing for the experience of being human fully, for which th ere burns within us a holy desire. Within our hearts, consciousness itself yearn s to awaken and is awakening. Planted within our hearts is the finite seed of in finite growth, the potential to be fully human and "partakers in divine nature." 71

You may be sensing the call to the practice of what we may term interior prayer. Interior prayer is simply the sense and attitude of inner fullness without whic h life feels empty and meaningless. It is herein that the seed of human being is germinated and nourished, to bear fruit in a life of love, intimacy and self re alization. This is the kingdom. The awareness of the eternal fullness of your own human bei ng is the kingdom. It is a way of living in love, "that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."72 When I say that interior prayer is a sense of inner fullness I am not talking ab out opinions and concepts or other mental baggage. You can be full of mental bag gage and still feel empty. In fact, probably the more mental baggage you accumul ate in the course of your life the more likely you are to sense the emptiness th at underlies it all. So this is not the fullness I am talking about. The fullness I am talking about is love. You are full of love. Your very inner e ssence and being is love. Interior prayer is not reciting prayers. Interior prayer is a way of living. It is an attitude. It is an orientation of awareness. It is not the recitation of v erbal or mental formulas. Interior prayer is the process of shedding the superficial, the selfish and the fearful. It is the process of overcoming the pretentious. It is an opening up to the inner depths of our own human being. It is knowing who and what we are. "Ye are the light of the world."73 Interior prayer is opening up to self realizatio n. Interior prayer is not only for the few, those whom we might call spiritual athl etes. It is for all who feel the inward yearning for being human fully. In the o rdinary life of family, friends, job or career most of us are called to self rea lization. We are all called to let self express in us, to do its will in us, to be itself in us. That is the promise and challenge of self realization. To be th at which you are now and always one hundred per cent! The word is living now d to learn all things, to hear. We must only f our own human being, of life. and spoken by that which is ready and waiting to teach an that self within our very own hearts. We must only listen obey to follow and to learn and to become the disciples o and to abide in that inner presence and to bear the fruit

It is through interior prayer and love that we align ourselves with the workings of the self within. That inner voice speaks always, but we do not hear. Our tho ughts and opinions, our imaginings and desires dominate our attention. These dro wn out the subtle voice within our hearts. Through interior prayer and love we open up. We learn to hear that inner voice. "Give us this day our daily bread"74 means that we hear and listen to that inner voice of self calling us to the fullness of our human being. It means that we a sk each day to wake up a little more to the realization of who and what we reall y are. To go beyond what we merely think we are. Love is the big secret. "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, wi th all your soul, and with all your mind...you must love your neighbour as yours elf."75 Loving God is seeking the kingdom with all the strength and determinatio n we have. With all our heart, soul and mind. By seeking the kingdom we each bec ome perfected instruments for the great work of which we are a part. Remember th at seeking does not mean striving to attain. It means to surrender. Loving is no t striving. Loving is surrendering.

Loving God is not any religious devotion. It is not sentimental piety or verbal and mental prayers directed at intellectual images or concepts of God, however f ine or exalted they may be.76 Nor is it proselytizing what we may think or imagi ne to be God's will for mankind while despising others. We are not discussing re ligion here. Religion is nothing but nonsense, the infantile and self destructiv e product of the "grovel" mentality. Loving God is seeking the kingdom. It is cooperating in the process of self real ization. It is becoming a quality human being. It is maturity. Loving ourselves and our brothers and sisters is not a separate and lesser comma nd. It is the key. We can only love God, whom we d our sisters whom we do see. , how can he love God whom he act of loving. To experience . can not see, by being in love with our brothers an "For he that loves not his brother whom he can see can not see?"77 For love is discovered only in the love brings us to the kingdom. The kingdom is love

Self realization presupposes that we first love ourselves, because we cannot rea lly love another human being if we have not first learned to love ourselves. Tru e self love is real humility. True self love is unconditional acceptance of our being human within our own selves, as well as accepting the total human being of all others. It is accepting our shared identity in self. In love we live and move and have our being.78 To know yourself in this way, to know one another in this way, is to perceive a new dimension of reality. Merely to entertain thoughts about "God," is easy. But to do so simply means you are as leep. To awaken you must experience the presence of the infinite within yourself and within all your brothers and sisters. This is real love. This is the way to the kingdom. Your life reflects your growth in self realization. As you mature in self realiz ation you move towards a simplicity in your personal demands and expectations. Y ou realise that it is from within that true fulfilment comes. You exhibit an inc reasing joy and acceptance in yourself, in others and in living, whatever the va garies and vicissitudes of life may bring. You stop trying to manipulate life around you. You stop trying to make life be w hat you think it ought to be. There flowers a fearless generosity to give of you rself and of your talents as they may be needed. You come to accept yourself as you are and all others as they are, to make yourself available as others need yo u and not merely as you find time. You discover that through love true personal growth occurs. You experience a conversion of attitude from the old selfish ways to a new selfl ess way. In surrendering self you find self.79 The state of being that we call interior prayer begins to illuminate constantly the mundane of routine living with total and unconditional love. You begin to un derstand that the absolute is that which vivifies and indwells within the relati ve. You begin to experience that life and existence are both absolute and relati ve simultaneously. This is the presence of God. This is the presence of self. You begin to experien ce love as the center and the true nature of all human beings and of all creatio n. When you arrive at this state of being you have realized that we can only com e to knowing the infinite, the incomprehensible and ineffable through ourselves and through each other.

"We know that the Son of God is come and has given us an understanding that we m ight know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, in His son Jesus Chr ist. He is the true God and life eternal."80 This is an invitation to all to experience the fullness of life, to experience t he consciousness of being fully human. There is nothing mysterious or paranormal . Nothing supernatural. You just have to wake up. This is the call to self reali zation! 5.1 THE DRAMA The allegories of the pearl and the prodigal son introduced us to a basic tenet of the metaphysic of ecstasy. This basic tenet has been adulterated in both the stories in an attempt to change its meaning. None the less it still shows clearl y. We need next to elaborate upon the intended meaning of this theme since the auth or of the Apocalypse imposed his own doctrine upon it. He altered and deleted to suit his own specific requirements. He tampered with the details of the account of the great drama of human consciousness that is the central theme of the meta physic of ecstasy. The author of the Apocalypse has replaced the holistic view of the metaphysic of ecstasy with the very fragmented and escapist vision that inspired Parmenides, Plato and other classical philosophers. This latter escapist and fragmented visi on also forms the foundations of all orthodox versions of Christianity. In more blatant formulations it formed the foundation additionally of many gnostic and o ther nonorthodox Christian sects. To comprehend the full implication of the severe alterations made to it, we need to examine in detail the metaphysic of ecstasy. Its subtle doctrine of consciou sness welcomes our close scrutiny. By doing so, the adulteration made to it will become clear immediately. First, you need to know that I am here talking about consciousness in a much bro ader context than we normally understand. For instance, when I talk about the hu man being as a rainbow of consciousness, I am using the word consciousness in a broader context than that of ordinary parlance. I am not talking about what you happen to be aware of specifically. The new context is so much broader that it r equires considerable elaboration. This broader context of the use of the word consciousness is only partly identic al to that of modern, western psychological understanding. Western psychology re presents only a limited and specialized aspect of the broader context I refer to . In the west, we generally use the word consciousness in a relatively narrow ma nner. By consciousness we usually mean simply that waking state of awareness of ourselves and what is going on around us. When we are aware of these things we s ay that we are conscious. When we are unaware, we say that we are unconscious. In the course of personal life you have experienced specific events and interact ed with certain other people. You have experienced your feelings and emotions. Y ou have absorbed the thoughts of others and have created original thoughts of yo ur own. You have dreamed and have had insights. Many of these events you can rec all at will, others only with difficulty if at all. Your specific life experiences are wholly your own. No one else has ever or will ever duplicate them exactly. No one else can respond and react as you have in t he past and will in the future to your specific chain of life experiences. They are yours alone.

Your personal experiences and your interaction with them are wholly your own and entirely unique. They are in part what makes you a unique person. They help to make you the distinct and individual human personality that you are. No one else can duplicate you. No one else ever has or will duplicate the event that is you . Western psychology has specialized itself in the study of this aspect of conscio usness. Western psychology has specialized in the study of what we may term the ego selfconscious aspect of consciousness. From this intensive study, western ps ychology has learned much of the working of the human mind as it relates to the accumulation of individual experiences. In this study western psychologists have discovered much about the development of the human personality. There is nothing inaccurate about the use of the word consciousness to refer to what you are specifically aware of. But I have been using the word in a little d ifferent way. I have been using the word consciousness to mean not only the ordinary waking st ate of personal awareness and the reflexive mental activity that exemplifies it, but to mean much more as well. You must now understand this broader usage of th e word consciousness before you can understand the full implications of the meta physic of ecstasy. You are consciously aware of your own specific chain of experience. But a great deal is going on around you and within you that you are not aware of in a specif ic way. All of these other ongoing events that you are not specifically aware of may be said to be unconscious, but only in the sense that you are not aware of their going on in and around you. Let me give you a specific example of what I m ean. If you are aware of my presence in the next room, then you are conscious of my p resence. If you are not aware of my presence in the next room, then you are unco nscious of my presence. I do not change. I am still present in the next room whe ther or not you are conscious of it. I am still part of your life whether you kn ow it or not. I may be in the next room on the telephone recommending you highly to a potentia l employer. On the other hand, I may be telling him that you are a complete ninc ompoop and that you could not do any job he has to offer. Either way, I am influ encing you. I am influencing whether or not you get the job. I am part of your c onscious experience even though you are not aware of my being so. This is something like the context of the metaphysic of ecstasy. In this simple example, you and I have acted as two aspects of consciousness. You may be consci ous of my presence or not. I remain an influencing aspect of your consciousness. I exert an influence on you whether or not you are aware of me and whether or n ot you are aware of my influence at the moment. I use the word consciousness in the context of the understanding of the metaphys ic of ecstasy. Although in the metaphysic of ecstasy we may use many of the same terms as those used by western psychology, what we mean by them is different. T he meanings are more inclusive. More expansive. In the much wider context of the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is conside red to be the only thing that possesses ontological being. You may recall our ea rlier discussion of monism, dualism and nondualism. That discussion defined onto logical being to mean simply something that exists in and of itself and requires nothing else in order to exist.

The metaphysic of ecstasy defines consciousness and consciousness alone to posse ss ontological being. Nothing else does so. As a corollary to this premise, all else depends upon consciousness for its existence. Everything else is contingent upon consciousness. There is nothing that does or can exist that is not conting ent upon consciousness for its existence. This simply means that everything requ ires the presence of consciousness for its existence. Furthermore, in the holistic view of the metaphysic of ecstasy there is nothing that is or can be separate from consciousness. Everything that is, or could be, is in some manner an aspect of consciousness. The notion of "dead matter" finds no place here. In the metaphysic of ecstasy everything is considered to be alive in some sense and manifesting consciousness and the transformations of consciousness in some m anner or other. This definition of life is much more inclusive than the narrowly scientific definition we commonly acknowledge. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy there is only life. Death as the opposite of life has no meaning. There are beginnings and endings to the events of life. These we observe as transformations. These may seem to be death when viewed fro m a limited perspective. But they are only endings in a perpetual process in whi ch there is no final end, no before, no after. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, the stupendous panorama of the totality of conscio usness in all its beauty and multiplicity comprises a fullness that manifests it self as life and existence. The Apocalypse describes this conscious fullness. In addition, the Apocalypse describes the process through which consciousness awak ens to the realization of its fullness. What we can say about the fullness of consciousness is only that it is infinite, eternal, omniscient and omnipotent. We must understand these terms, however, in a very precise way. For these terms have been loaded with religious and metaphy sical nonsense since pre-Christian times and Christianity has weighted them even more. Do not think that by this I am simply giving "God" another name. The fullness of consciousness is not simply a way to redefine the anthropomorphic God of religi on. As we shall see shortly there is no God. In particular, the anthropomorphic God of the orthodox does not exist beyond the realm of theological fantasy. Rather, the natural and inherent qualities of consciousness, which have been mis understood, through ignorance and superstition, have been projected onto an imag inary mental screen to produce the image of the anthropomorphic God of the ortho dox. This projection is in fact none other than the image of the beast. As long as men and women bow down before this image they can not know truth. For the tru th is the antithesis of this ignorant projection. Here, however, let us attempt to dispel the image of the beast. Let us examine a s well as we can the real qualities of consciousness as the metaphysic of ecstas y has observed them within ourselves. Let us see the truth of our own consciousn ess. Consider first the term "infinity". You may think of infinity in terms of an inf inite mathematical progression. There a sequence of numbers goes on forever with out end. The decimal value of pi is such a sequence. Pi represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In the real world of circles the value of pi forms an exact ratio, but in the wo rld of mathematics this ratio can not be expressed exactly. Mathematically, the value of pi is 3.14159265... The series continues indefinitely.

In this sequence of numbers that represents the value of pi you may imagine that the one thousandth term or the one millionth term of the sequence of numbers mu st be, in some way, "closer" to the value of infinity than the first or second t erms of the sequence. But you would be mistaken. You would be thinking incorrectly that the series of numbers representing the de cimal value of pi somehow "adds up" to the numerical value of infinity. But this is impossible. No series of numbers, no matter how long it is, even if it is wi thout end, can "add up" to infinity. Nothing adds up to infinity. Nothing possib ly can add up to infinity. Infinity is not something that can be added up to. In finity is not simply an extraordinarily high sum. Infinity is not simply the sum of all possible numbers. Infinity is an entirely different realm. From the finite point of view, where numbers represent distinct relationships to one another, infinity must be totally unapproachable. The sequence of numbers expressing the mathematical value of pi presents a finit e point of view. Each number of the sequence expresses a definite numerical valu e within the overall sequence, each one of which can be related in an exact mann er to every other numerical value in the sequence. Each number, as a consequence , is a finite term which can not approach infinity. Hence, no value expressed in the sequence can be thought of as being any "closer" to infinity than any other . All are equally "near" or "distant". Rather like the relationship of the circu mference of a circle to its center point. All points are equidistant from the ce nter. Infinity is simply that which is not finite. Infinity is not merely the finite w ithout end. This is subtle. No series of numbers, no matter how long it is, can ever "reach" infinity. Infinity is unreachable. Physicists and astronomers often speak of "infinite" time, as in the estimated l ifespan of the universe, for example. But this is technically incorrect. For no matter how long the universe lasts, even "forever," it will not be infinity. For infinity is an entirely different realm of experience. Consider the term "eternity". You might be thinking that eternity, like infinity , means unending time, as in forever. Again, you would be thinking in terms such that a sufficiently long length of time would somehow "add up" to eternity. You would again be mistaken. A billion years are no closer to eternity than one second. No length of time, ho wever extended, adds up to eternity. Nothing adds up to eternity and nothing pos sibly can. Like infinity, eternity is not something that can be "added up" to. Eternity is not simply the sum of all possible time. Eternity is an entirely dif ferent realm. From the temporal point of view, eternity is totally unapproachabl e. Eternity is simply that which is timeless. Eternity is not merely time without e nd. Like finite increments of space, moments in time can be related to each othe r as representing events "before," "during," or "after" each other. Eternity simply "is." No length of time can "reach" eternity. Eternity is unreac hable. It is not something that can be "reached." Consider the term "omniscience." You might think that omniscience implies some u nlimited amount of knowledge. You would again be mistaken. Just as infinity does not represent the finite extended without end nor eternity time without end. So , too, omniscience does not mean the sum total of all possible knowledge.

Rather, omniscience is a different manner of knowing. We could define knowledge as simply information gathered bit by bit and then related and collated. But omn iscience does not consist of the accumulation and collation of information, no m atter how extensive it may be. No amount of information, even if it be all possi ble knowledge, "adds up" to omniscience. Like infinity and eternity, it is not s omething that can be added up to. Omniscience is a completely different manner of knowing. It is a manner of knowi ng directly and completely. Omniscience is not merely knowing "everything." It i s knowing as if whatever is known is all there is to be known. Finally, consider the term "omnipotence". You may think that omnipotence denotes power magnified without limit. Such a notion suggests that sufficient power som ehow "adds up" to omnipotence. But again you would be mistaken, for such is not the case. If every galaxy in the universe exploded in one simultaneous blast, the resultin g explosion would be no "closer" to omnipotence that the pop of a penny firecrac ker. Even the original big bang, assuming it contained all there was that existe d, was not omnipotent. Like omniscience is a different manner of knowing, omnipotence is simply a diffe rent manner of exerting power. It is a manner of producing effects without the e xpenditure of effort. Omnipotence is not merely power without limit. All of these descriptions of the various qualities of consciousness imply that t he terms of space and time perception can not adequately define the fullness of consciousness. All language and all perception are based upon space and time exp erience. Space and time experiences are limited and finite. Since this is so, th e language and perception based upon space and time experiences also are limited and finite. Just as a frame outlines a window or a door, so too, our language can only outli ne the implications of the fullness of consciousness. With a window or a door, i t is the opening that is important. Yet we can only perceive the opening because of the frame around it. The frame helps us to see the opening, but it is not th e opening. Likewise, our descriptions of the fullness of consciousness are not t he fullness consciousness, but frames to help us to see and to understand. We can describe consciousness as dimensionless. You can not say that consciousne ss is as big as a house, or as big as the solar system. You can not say that con sciousness is as big as anything at all. The quality of space simply does not ap ply to consciousness. Consciousness simply is wherever it is in its fullness. We know this is so since each of us as human beings possesses consciousness in its fullness. To say it slightly differently, consciousness has no size. If we attempt to put spatial criteria upon consciousness the attempt is totally meaningless. It would be rather the same as trying to assign value to the colors of the rainbow. The criterion is simply inapplicable. To make this point as clear as possible, it may be of some help to examine consc iousness from both the perspective of limited awareness, which is our ordinary d ay to day experience, and, as much as we can do so, also from the unlimited awar eness of the fullness of consciousness. We can try to understand, even if our la nguage limits us. Let us look at consciousness from the limited point of view of spatial perceptio n, which is our usual way of perceiving things. We understand that consciousness

has no size, since it possesses no spatial dimensions. So we must conclude that consciousness exists in its fullness at every point of space. No matter where you go in space: Times Square, Paris, the moon, some billions of light years away; at each and every point consciousness exists in its fullness. Furthermore, consciousness exists as if each single point were the one and only point of existence. Again, we can know that this is so from our experience as c onscious human beings. I know that I am conscious and you know that you are cons cious. My consciousness does not depend upon yours nor yours upon mine. My exper ience of consciousness and your experience each exist as if they were the one an d only consciousness at all! Now, let us try to look at this from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousn ess, rather than from our limited spatial view. From the point of view of the fu llness of consciousness there is no space! Every single point in "space" is abso lutely here; any where else simply does not exist. Space is merely a perceptual point of view. Consciousness is not stuck inside of your head, although, your personal awarenes s of it may be. Consciousness is not located anywhere, but rather it is present everywhere (according to the limited, temporal viewpoint) and nowhere (according to the unlimited, eternal viewpoint) simultaneously. Space is really the perception of separation. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, cons ciousness is all there is, so there can be no separation. There is just consciou sness itself. There is no thing outside of consciousness from which consciousnes s can be separated, no thing to which it could be related as separate. The perce ption of separation occurs within consciousness as a manner of perceiving itself . Let us examine consciousness from the limited viewpoint of our temporal percepti on, which is also part of our usual way of perceiving things. We understand that consciousness has no time. From this we must conclude that consciousness exists immediately in its fullness at every moment of what we perceive as "time." Ther e is no single moment, present or past or future, when consciousness is not exis ting in its fullness. Since consciousness is eternal, every moment of perceived time must exist within that eternity and thus within the fullness of consciousne ss. This does not mean consciousness is static or inactive. In our usual perception we describe something as static if it does not change over the passage of time. But for consciousness there is no passage of time, simply because consciousness is timeless. Hence, consciousness is not static since the concept of being stati c only has meaning in terms of time. Time is totally inapplicable to the fullnes s of consciousness. Let us try to look at this from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness, rather than from our limited temporal view. From the point of view of the fullne ss of consciousness there is no time! Each and every moment of time is absolutel y now; any when else does not exist. In eternity everything is happening right n ow. Time is really the perception of some duration. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, co nsciousness is always now, so there is no duration. There is no before and no af ter to establish any duration. There is only the timeless instant. There is no s ense of passage of time. The experimental proof of this again comes from our own experience. We know that when we are engrossed in some activity the passage of time seems to disappear. Contrarily, when we are bored, time seems to stop. And there are mom

ents when we seem to be outside of time altogether, as during the instant of org asm, for example. From the limited viewpoint of the finite and temporal, all knowledge represents the accumulation of data and deductions and inferences drawn from that data. You learn this fact and that fact, and over a period of time you learn an enormous number of facts. You have become informed or knowledgeable. When you put all of these facts together into some sort of cohesive picture of reality, you can say that you have a certain degree of knowledge. A fact can be defined as just the perception of some space/time impression. You may perceive it directly through your own experience or you may perceive it indi rectly by reading about it or by talking about it with someone else who has had direct experience. The accumulation of space/time impressions results in informa tion. Your mental and intuitive deductions, inferences and insights about the re lationships of these various impressions forms the basis of your knowledge. Let us try to look at this from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness, rather than from our limited point of view. From the viewpoint of the fullness o f consciousness there are no "data" to acquire, no space/time impressions, since space and time do not exist except as perceptual parameters. There are no unkno wn facts to learn because there are no unknown facts. All that requires doing is simply the realization of what is. Everything knowable already is within the re alm of knowledge. Consciousness is all there is, so all knowledge must be the kn owing of consciousness of itself. Nothing else after all, exists to be known. Consciousness knows itself both immediately and intimately. In a manner analogou s to its perception of the here and now described above, consciousness perceives itself both fully and immanently. As I said before, knowledge consists of acquiring space/time impressions. Since in the fullness of consciousness there are no space and time, there can be no im pressions of them to acquire. The knowing of the here and the now can be only to tal and vivid. Omniscience is immediately and totally knowing. This can only be described as realization. From the limited viewpoint every action requires that some effort be exerted ove r a certain distance and for a certain period of time. The more strenuous the ac tion the greater the exertion required. The force, the distance and the time can all be measured and the product of their combination is what physicists term "w ork." In the realm of space/time, all action requires work. In the realm of space and time, force must be exerted to accomplish movement over distance and through tim e. This is simply the way the physical universe operates. Let us try to look at this "exertion" from the viewpoint of the fullness of cons ciousness. Since all of consciousness is here and now, there is no distance and no period of time over which to exert effort. All activity is totally "internal, " within consciousness itself. There simply is nothing and nowhere to undertake any action that would result in "work" as defined by physics. Consciousness simply is at every possible place and every possible moment alread y. Since this is so, no exertion of any effort is required to undertake any poss ible action. Thus, consciousness may produce any effect without the exertion of any effort. Omnipotence is the accomplishment of activity without effort. The mystery and beauty of human consciousness is that we are not yet aware of ou r own fullness. We must awaken to the experience of it. This awakening is the ma in theme, in fact the sole theme, of the journey of consciousness through existe

nce/life. For it is consciousness itself that is awakening. The process of awakening is the magnificent drama of consciousness in life reali zing its fullness through the personal and individual human experience. For cons ciousness does not exist apart from that which is conscious. In the metaphysic o f ecstasy, there is no concept of an independent realm of ideal archetypes, such as that postulated by Plato, existing in and of itself and totally detached fro m the world of existence. Consciousness is in it and is that which exists. In the doctrine of the metaphysic of ecstasy, there exists no abstract or "ideal " realm independent of or superior to the realm of the senses and experience. Pl ato's realm of ideas is simply a mental construct. Consciousness does not exist separate and apart from the variability and variety of life and existence. For the variability and variety of life and existence ar e consciousness itself in activity. It is important to distinguish the difference between the power of the mind to a bstract and reality itself. We have the mental power to formulate generalities f rom specifics and to form specific ideas based on broad generalities. But the ab stract ideas that may result from such mental activity only possess an existence within our own individual minds. They do not exist separately on some abstract and independent plane of existence as proposed by Plato. Ideas can only find real existence if they are expressed in the world of sense a nd experience. An unexpressed idea is a dead and stillborn idea. It dies with th e individual mind that failed to express it. Mental abstractions depend upon individual minds for their existence. In turn, e very individual human mind depends upon consciousness for its existence. And con sciousness itself only exists as those distinct events which are conscious. Ever ything is intimately interconnected and thus interdependent in the fullness of c onsciousness. Nothing stands alone in an technical autonomous manner. Your own personal awareness of the fullness of consciousness right now is limite d. The degree of your own realization of yourself as the living personal express ion of the fullness of consciousness is restricted. The Apocalypse describes the whole process through which your personal awareness expands. It describes the process whereby the degree of your personal realizati on of yourself as the full expression of consciousness deepens and matures. Beneath the facade of orthodoxy, the expansion of personal awareness and the dee pening of self realization is really all Christianity is about. Awareness and re alization of consciousness are really all there is to be about! Everything else is, at best, simply preparation and, at worst, wasting time, just treading water in the stream of existence/life. How, then, does realization occur? It begins first with knowledge and understand ing of the structure and nature of consciousness. To know and to experience are intimately and inextricably connected. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is not unitary but exhibit s two fundamental states. These are the potential and dynamic states of being. T hese two states are somewhat different from the various states of consciousness I described earlier. The differences will become apparent in due time. The potential and the dynamic states of being are not opposites. Rather, the pot ential and dynamic states complement each other. By this I am trying to say that they are not the same but, at the same time, they are not different from each o

ther either. This is a subtle point. There is a fine distinction here. The description of consciousness asserted by the metaphysic of ecstasy is nondua l, wherein the two states of consciousness (the potential and the dynamic) are a n attempt to describe the process whereby consciousness is absolute and relative simultaneously! According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness does not alternate from ab solute to relative and back again. Consciousness is both absolute and relative a t the same time. If we were to describe consciousness as being unitary, we would fall into the er ror of monism. Describing its two states as independent, we would lapse into dua lism. To say that consciousness exhibits two fundamental states that are neither the same nor different is as close as we can get to describing the nondual natu re of consciousness. When it is in the dynamic state, consciousness can be termed thought. When it is in the potential state, we can term consciousness nonthought. The complementary modes of thought and nonthought together describe the fullness of consciousness . The potential state is similar to the ground state of quantum physics. It repres ents the condition of least activity. It represents the state of equilibrium or relative quiescence. In its potential state, or the mode of nonthought, consciousness possesses no aw areness of itself. Consciousness exhibits no perception or experience of itself either as a subject or an object. Consciousness is centered and still within its elf. This is not to say that consciousness in the potential state experiences no awar eness. Quite the contrary. But it is not awareness of anything. It is simply pur e awareness with no subject or object. In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes t his state as samadhi "without seed." He calls it the great samadhi, as compared to the lesser samadhi, where there is awareness of subject and/or object. Whethe r or not we shall agree with Patanjali's relative assessment of samadhi remains to be seen. This potential state, or the mode of nonthought, we may, along with Patanjali, h ere term pure consciousness. We shall mean by this term the technical condition that can best describe consciousness as not limited or defined by any specific a wareness or activity, or any other conditions. Hence, pure consciousness is pote ntially any type of awareness, condition or level of activity. But it is not yet any specific awareness, condition or level of activity. Because it is not conditioned by any specific, pure consciousness reposes still and formless. It remains centered and motionless within itself. Completely ident ified with the silence and calm of the inactivity of the nonthought mode, pure c onsciousness exhibits a state of awareness that I shall refer to as the hypersta te. The hyperstate, then, is a technical term for pure consciousness, the potent ial state of being and the nonthought mode. The hyperstatic state of awareness has been variously called the void, Tao, Brah man, the ground, Godhead, etc. In this essay, I shall refer to it simply as the hyperstate with no particular theological connotations implied or intended. The hyperstate is beyond existence and ulterior to being itself. Exactly what th e hyperstate is like is not possible to say. This is because to say anything at all requires being out of it. The hyperstate can only be experienced in itself.

It can only be understood by experiencing it. To use such a word as "experience" when discussing the hyperstate can be mislead ing. The "experience" of the hyperstate is unlike any other form of experiencing . In the hyperstate there is no awareness of experiencing nor of being one who e xperiences. The hyperstate is a condition of total and absolute identification and we can no t imagine what it is like. There can be no thinking about it. Out of the hyperst ate there can be no intellectual recollection of it to relate. There can be no w ay in which it could be related even if it could be recalled. Pure consciousness is a condition of nonthought forever and irrevocably closed to all attempts at intellectual investigation, because all intellectual activity takes place in the thought mode. Yet experiencing the hyperstate is as near as falling asleep. Every time we ente r into the dreamless state of deep sleep we enter the vestibule of the hyperstat e. At death our personal awareness subsides into the unknown of the hyperstate. Our nightly sojourn into the gate of the hyperstate reminds us whence we have ev olved. For it is from this dark condition of totally unconscious identification that self realization liberates consciousness. Realization enables consciousness to experience with total cognizance the awareness of the fullness of itself. Wi thout self realization, consciousness would remain forever in the hyperstate, an d ever unaware of itself. Consciousness would never experience nor live in the a wareness and understanding of itself. Life and existence are the process through which self realization can occur. Lif e and existence represent the dynamic vehicle for the growth of the personal exp ression of conscious awareness. Life and existence are the fulfilment and ultima te expression of conscious and personal awareness. The flowering of consciousness is the self consciousness of individual and perso nal life. Only in the wholly conscious individual personality can consciousness realize its fullness. In the view of the metaphysic of ecstasy, metaphysical doctrines that advocate t he annihilation of personal existence or individuality are simply infantile. Suc h doctrines seek merely an infantile regression into the deep sleep of the hyper state. In effect, the adherents of nihilistic thought simply want to sink peacef ully into a dreamless deep sleep and stay forever in blissful and unconscious ir responsibility. Sinking into the amnesia of the hyperstate is only a very temporary possibility. For according to the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is forever becoming a ware of itself and that process of becoming aware is life and existence. The cul mination of existence and of all human life is seen as the individual and person al expression of self consciousness. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, we do not live and exist as individual h uman personalities just to regress again into the unconscious identification of the hyperstate from which we have evolved. We exist to realize the fullness of c onsciousness within the personal expression of human being and individual life. We all possess the possibility of awakening to the fullness. There is no guarant ee that we shall awaken. But there is the possibility of awakening if we prepare ourselves for it. Of all the metaphysical systems I have studied, no other approaches the majestic and remarkable vision of the metaphysic of ecstasy! No other views human life i

n so positive and exalted a manner. The sophistication and the maturity of the u nderstanding of the process of consciousness expressed by the metaphysic of ecst asy rises far above any other of which I know. To perceive itself consciousness moves from the potential state to the dynamic s tate. Just how this movement comes about is unknown and possibly unknowable. Wha t initiates it remains a mystery. Perhaps it is the ultimate and most sublime my stery. We must content ourselves knowing that it happens. We know that it happen s because we are the happening! The movement of consciousness into its dynamic state we may here term thought. I n its most generalized sense, this activity and experiencing of consciousness I shall refer to as the metastate. The metastate gives rise to and encompasses the entire range of conscious activity. All we perceive, think, imagine or can imagine exists as the activity of the met astate. The metastate is the self conscious, and hence limited and specific, exp ression of the fullness of consciousness. The metastate is the psychological vehicle through which consciousness becomes a ware of itself. By means of the metastate consciousness becomes a subject and an object. Consciousness becomes the observer and that which it observes. Its pote ntial becomes the actual. For consciousness the metastate further constitutes the expression of the awaren ess of itself. Thus, the metastate is the vehicle of conscious awareness and equ ally the vehicle of conscious expression. To put it into other words, this metastatic vehicle for the awareness and the ex pression of consciousness is simply existence. Existence in all of its complexit y is the metastate. The metastate constitutes the creativity of consciousness. T hus existence is the great creative act of consciousness. From our perspective as thinking beings, the hyperstate seems to be a region of nothing. It seems much like dreamless deep sleep. Hence many have described it i n terms of void, abyss, emptiness and other such negatives. The hyperstate is si mply indescribable since it remains ulterior to all manner of thought and descri ption. The hyperstate is quite literally "beyond the end of the world" of all thought. It is a mystery. It is the unknown and it is the unknowable, in the sense that w e can not grasp it intellectually and dissect it. We can only experience it. We can not think about it or analyze it. Thought, existence and metastate are three ways of saying essentially the same t hing. That is consciousness in activity. That is consciousness in the act of bec oming aware of and experiencing itself. Ultimately, as I shall describe, it is c onsciousness loving itself. Since all of existence is thought, the hyperstate is beyond existence. It is non existence. We can not even conceive of it since it is beyond all thought. The hy perstate simply is nonthought. Since we perceive nothing and can imagine nothing of the hyperstate, we may conclude that there is nothing. We may think that the hyperstate is nothing at all. And in a strict sense this is correct! In the hyperstate of consciousness there really is no-thing. For every-thing is contained in the metastate. The metastate is the manifestation of the contents of consciousness. In the metastate of consciousness, all of the hyperstatic possibilities become a

ctualized. All of that which is possible in the hyperstate becomes that which ex ists in the metastate. The metastate fulfils all conscious potential. Life and e xistence fulfil all possibilities of consciousness. The hyperstate and the metastate taken together comprise the fullness of conscio usness. The fullness has been termed the pleroma. The fullness consists of both the nonmanifest and the manifest, the nonexistent and the existent, the potentia l and dynamic states of consciousness. These pairs are not opposites. They compl ement. They do not oppose one another. This is very important to remember. Opposites exist only within the limitations of the metastate. In the fullness of consciousness opposites do not exist. Once again I am trying to express the non dual nature of the fullness of consciousness. I mean to say here that the hypers tate and the metastate are not the same but that they are not different either. The fullness of consciousness is not one, but neither is it two. In its fullness consciousness is the mysterious interplay between the absolute a nd the relative. It is the mysterious interchange between all that is manifest a nd that which is nonmanifest. It is that which exists and that which does not ex ist. It is that which is and that which is not. The nature of consciousness is a mystery. It is a great mystery as unfathomable as can be. Yet we are it and it is us! We are the embodiment of that tremendous mystery. In us, and in all of life, it finds expression. That mystery is the hea rt of everything. The metastate is the expression of consciousness. The metastate is also the tang ible manifestation of the self awareness of consciousness. It is the psychologic al powers and the psychological functions that describe consciousness in activit y. It is the means by which consciousness becomes active and living. It is the p rocess through which consciousness discovers itself, and finally loves itself. In the metaphysic of ecstasy the metastatic expression and awareness of consciou sness are referred to in the terms of dance, play and drama. A sense of light he arted joy suffuses this marvellous metaphysical system. We have here the vision of a joyful consciousness pursuing and playing to and with itself! Consciousness performs unceasingly for an audience of itself. It plays in a thea tre of itself. It performs the drama of itself. And finally, it delights itself and in itself. The Sanskrit word for this light hearted play of consciousness is lila. It is no mere artifice on the part of the author of the Apocalypse, as supposed by James Pryse, to have cast his treatise in the form of a Greek drama. By so doing, he gives us a further clue to the true nature and purpose of his work, although ina dvertently. For it is certain beyond doubt that the author of the Apocalypse did not mean to leave any hint of the original meaning of the metaphysic of ecstasy from which he drew his material. Yet in spite of his efforts otherwise, the Apocalypse describes in detail the co smic drama that is consciousness in activity. From this detailed description we can appreciate the thrill and joy of consciousness discovering itself and reveal ing itself. Consciousness seeking, finding and revelling in the wonder and mystery of itself ! This then, is the journey of consciousness in the understanding of the metaphy sic of ecstasy. We find no negation of life and the world here. We find only joy and self discovery. For in the ultimate meaning revealed in the Apocalypse we l earn that life and existence are a cosmic love affair of consciousness with itse lf.

And we are the events of that love affair! We are the first trembling moments, t he resolute consummation, and the final denouement. The first and the last and w hat happens in the middle. We are the lover, the beloved and the act of love tha t unites them in an embrace of cosmic ecstasy. 5.2 PRINCIPLE ROLES In the terms of modern physics and relativity theory specifically, space and tim e form a self contained and self consistent medium. Precisely what this medium c onsists of is not clear. A hundred years ago it was thought of as some type of m aterial, rarefied and certainly different from ordinary matter as we experience it, but matter just the same. More recent ideas suggest that the continuum is really not material at all but r ather more like a network of interconnected events. The interplay of these event s gives to the network the sense of material continuity. Some physicists now are even suggesting that consciousness plays some fundamental role in the structure of reality! Even fifty years ago such an idea would have seemed ludicrous. In t he science of the nineteenth century it would have been totally unthinkable. Whatever it may consist of, physics defines this space/time continuum as the fou r dimensional geometry of the physical universe. The continuum is finite but unb ounded, like the surface of a sphere, but with four dimensions. And although def ined in physical terms, the continuum includes every type of human experience, i ncluding thought. Science, after all, is materialistic and does not admit to any thing nonphysical, or if it does, simply says that anything that is not physical is beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. However, the materiality of quantum physics is a strange type of matter, to be sure. The spatial component of the continuum encompasses three dimensions of extension : which are length, breadth and height. The time component encompasses the fourt h dimension of duration, which might be thought of as extension in time. According to the theory, nothing exists or can exist outside of this space/time continuum. This is because there is simply nothing beyond the finite, unbounded surface of the continuum. The space/time continuum forms the fabric of physical reality. This can only mea n that physical reality is a tangible manifestation of the vibrant activity of t he underlying space/time continuum. Furthermore, even though the continuum is de fined in physical terms, it encompasses more than what we normally think of as p hysical. It encompasses all that either does or can exist. This includes your mi nd, your thinking processes and the many thoughts they produce. You can not think of anything or imagine anything to be outside of the space/tim e continuum. Whatever you might think or conceive, the boundary of the space/tim e continuum expands to include it immediately. Your very process of thinking bri ngs about the expansion. Your process of thinking is part of the space/time cont inuum. All that exists is confined to the space/time continuum. From the modern scienti fic point of view, reality and existence are geometric patterns in the finite bu t unbounded surface of the space/time continuum. From this description, it is re asonable to suppose, at least for argument's sake, that the space/time continuum represents the physicists' specialized word which corresponds to what I have be en here describing as the metastate. For existence and the metastate are one and the same. The interplay of matter an d energy that constitutes the activity of the space/time continuum is one and th

e same as the conscious activity that is the metastate. According to modern physics, beyond the space/time continuum nothing does or can exist. There is nowhere and no way for anything to exist beyond the continuum b ecause there is literally no "beyond." Again, we may reasonably suppose, for arg ument's sake at least, that this concept represents the physicists' way of descr ibing what corresponds to the hyperstate. I must state here that few physicists, if any, would go so far as to accept the position set forth by the metaphysic of ecstasy regarding the role of consciousn ess in the overall scheme of things. Yet their explorations of the physical worl d bear out these assertions consistently. And many scientists are in fact propos ing theories of reality that include consciousness in roles that bear striking r esemblance to that proposed by the metaphysic of ecstasy. We need not be very surprised that recent discoveries in physics seem to support the doctrine of consciousness of the metaphysic of ecstasy. For the physical un iverse is, after all, part of existence, and existence, in the metaphysic of ecs tasy, is the thought mode of consciousness. Unlike orthodox Christianity and all other religions as well, which have always and vehemently opposed the growth of science, knowledge and the free exercise of human intelligence, the metaphysic of ecstasy welcomes them. Of course, the sup erstition and ignorance of orthodoxy could never withstand the light of intellig ence and free inquiry. As their position has become ever more untenable, the Chr istian churchmen have retreated into ever greater nonsense. They now claim that there is no connection at all between the discoveries of science and their view of reality. They have retreated into blatant and simplistic dualism. But in the metaphysic of ecstasy there is no separation between what is physical and what is nonphysical. To paraphrase an orthodox cliche: "The way the heavens go is the way to go to heaven." Everything is consistent with everything else. All things work towards realization of the fullness of consciousness. We may think of space and time in their more generalized meanings as extension a nd duration. As such they not only describe the parameters of the physical unive rse but they also formulate the parameters of thought. In a metaphysical sense we could even assert accurately that thought simply is s pace and time. Conversely, space and time are thought. Thought only exists in te rms of here and not here, which refers to spatial extent, and in terms of now an d not now, which refers to temporal duration. Spatial extension and temporal duration define the dynamic activity of conscious ness which I have termed "thought." How this may be extended to include the full range of creative thinking need not detain us here. Kabala details this process for those who care to pursue it. Extension and duration merely serve to reduce the thinking process to its fundamental elements. The metastate is the thoughts of consciousness. The metastate includes both the physical universe and the nonphysical universes of our own minds. The metastate is the thoughts of consciousness as a whole, or in the universal sense. Your par ticular mind is the thoughts of consciousness limited to the specific, or in the individual sense. In the Sanskrit literature what we are here calling the metastate in its univers al sense is termed maya. Your individual mind and its thoughts are termed samsar a. In Sanskrit the terms maya and samsara precisely correspond to the universal and the individual character of thought. The tangible, actual expressions of the thoughts of consciousness in the universal sense are the multitudinous thoughts

of our individual minds. These two aspects of thought do not exist separately. Many in the west have now adopted oriental spiritual doctrines, or New Age teach ings derived from them. As a result, some people mistakenly think that maya and samsara simply mean illusion. They think that maya and samsara just mean that th is relative and imperfect world of changing forms and thoughts does not really e xist. This, however, is a grave misunderstanding. It is spiritual monism. What maya an d samsara really mean is simply that existence, in both its universal and indivi dual characters, is something that is relative and not absolute. Thought is something that is both empirical and contingent upon the mind and con sciousness that expresses it. Hence, thought is relative and contingent rather t han absolute. It does not possess ontological being. Remember that absolute means the possession of ontological being. If something e xists in and of itself and depends upon no other thing for its existence, it has ontological being. In the metaphysic of ecstasy only consciousness possesses ontological being. The thoughts of consciousness, both in their universal character as the metastate a nd in their individual character as our minds, depend upon consciousness for the ir existence. This is what the illusion of maya and samsara is all about. If you think that th e relative world exists apart from consciousness, you have accepted the illusion that the relative world exists independently. It does not. But it does exist. If you think that the relative world does not really exist at all, then you have just accepted another illusion. This is also the illusion that maya and samsara are all about. The relative world of experience does exist as the expression and the thought of consciousness. It does not exist as something separate and apart from conscious ness. Maya and samsara, the metastate and the mind, are just attempts to describ e the mysterious, dynamic activity of consciousness. Existence and experiencing are real. They are part of consciousness. Because thought is the activity of consciousness in the dynamic state, in a sens e thought constitutes the "work" of consciousness becoming aware of itself. Sinc e this is so, we may further describe the hyperstate and the metastate as the po tential and the dynamic energy states of consciousness. When the energy that is consciousness becomes dynamic, consciousness actualizes, or formulates itself. This metaphysical process of taking form, or becoming "co ncreted," is the psychological metastate of our empirical and contingent existen ce. The energy of consciousness when dynamic is thought and mind. When the energy of consciousness is potential and still it is the hyperstate of no thought and no mind. I want you to understand that we can describe consciousness as energy since it i s doing something. Consciousness creates thought, and thought forms the "work" t hat consciousness performs. Talking about energy rather than psychology helps to remove much of the nebulous ness from trying to understand consciousness. This is one significant way that t he metaphysic of ecstasy differs from western psychology. The metaphysic of ecst

asy studies and understands different states and levels of consciousness in term s of energy. Understood correctly, the metaphysic of ecstasy sounds more like ph ysics than psychology. But you must remember that the subject matter is consciou sness and psychology. What does the word "psychology" mean anyway? It simply means study of the mind. The metaphysic of ecstasy equates mind and thoughts. Thoughts are the products o f the energetic activity of consciousness. Thus, it should be no surprise that w e talk about consciousness as energy. The hyperstate as such, remaining a condition ulterior to existence, represents the potential of consciousness. While the metastate in a sense forms the "stage" within which the drama of consciousness is enacted, the hyperstate forms the "t heatre," the field or ground of potential upon which all conscious possibility u ltimately rests. The "drama" of consciousness itself, which we could define as the coming to the awareness of itself by consciousness, forms the realm of true being. This realm of true being encompasses both metastate and hyperstate. For the drama occurs on the stage within the theatre. We can describe the state of self awareness as the immanent idea. This is the in finite and eternal pattern of all thoughts which are expressed and manifested in the multitudinous phenomena of the metastate. The immanence, or eternal pattern, is ecstasy. Ecstasy manifests the full realiz ation of the potential of consciousness, which is the energy of the hyperstate, as it is actualized within the dynamic and kinetic energy of the metastate. Ecst asy has been variously called satchitananda and nirvana in the east, and the kin gdom in the Christian west. The changing metastatic thought of consciousness is a creative act of love and j oy wherein consciousness recognizes and embraces itself. The finite and temporal expression of the love and joy of consciousness is our personal human experienc e of life. From the conscious energy of ecstasy arises the fundamental polarity underlying all of existence and manifesting in all dynamic states of consciousness. I shall refer to this underlying polarity as ideation and form. They are the process of thought (ideation) and the thought itself (form). You need to understand a subtle distinction here. The process of thinking and th e thoughts it produces are not the same thing. Yet they are not different either . Thinking is a process while thoughts are forms, the products of the process. A t the same time, however, the process of thinking can not occur without the thou ghts that formulate the specific results that the process produces. You can not think without making a thought. Try it! The very process of thinking is the production of thought and idea. When you think, you make thoughts. Yet, there is a distinction between what you are doing and what results from your doi ng. Ordinarily, this distinction is easy to make. For instance, if you sit down to type a letter you engage in activity where the doing is easily separated from the results. Typing produces the letter. But in t he activity of thinking the distinction can not be so readily made. Yet it is th ere, none the less. In the performance of a play, the actions of the various actors make the play. I f no one is out on the stage, no play can happen. You might have the most wonder ful script and talented playwright, but until actors perform you do not have a p

lay. The play remains only possible until the actors make it reality on the stag e. No single actor makes the play. Even all the actors together do not make the pla y. They remain distinct from the play. Their interaction on the stage makes the play. If they do not perform, the play can not occur. The actors and the play ar e not the same, but they are not different. Thinking and its thoughts are like the actors and the play. There is no thinking without thoughts. Thinking and thoughts are not the same thing, but they are no t different either. We could characterize thinking as the dynamic activity of co nsciousness and thoughts as the momentary forms that express that dynamic activi ty. Ideation and form exist in dynamic tension with each other, like the positive an d negative poles of a battery. When the positive and the negative poles of a bat tery connect, electricity flows and the potential energy of the battery becomes kinetic energy. This kinetic energy may then be utilized. To start your car, for instance. This is the manner in which all potential energy becomes actualized, including t he potential energy of consciousness. For any type of energy potential to actual ize a polarity must be established. For as long as the polarity is maintained po tential energy can be actualized. If for any reason the polarity is lost, then t he dynamic activity ceases. The energy returns to its potential state. In the Sanskrit literature, Siva and Shakti personify this polarity of the energ y that is consciousness in activity. Siva represents ideation, which is consciou sness in motion, the process of thought. Shakti represents form, which is the ki netic energy of consciousness in action and the many specific forms that the pro cess of thought produces. In an abstract sense, ideation is the individualized expression of ecstasy. Idea tion embraces the primal thought, the thought that contains all others. This tho ught is the type, or pattern of thought itself. By this I mean that ideation rep resents the unexpressed, and hence the unlimited, capacity for thought in whose mould are cast all specific, and hence limited, thoughts. This thought Plato ass igned to his realm of archetypal ideas, failing to realize that it is mere abstr action and possesses no reality outside of the specific thoughts that concretize it. Form shapes ideation. Form shapes the space/time substance of ideation. This is mind as it formulates all specific thoughts in the space/time fabric of reality. Form fashions the energy of thought, which is the metastate. The specific thoug hts of the metastate are all the phenomena of existence. The forceful and dynamic tension between ideation and form gives rise to every s ingle phenomenon of the metastate. Consciousness seeks to create the perfect exp ression of its potential. But no single expression can possibly contain the full ness of consciousness. Yet in attempting to create the perfect expression consci ousness creates a myriad of finite, temporal, knowing and active expressions of itself. Consciousness seeks to contain itself in its expressions. But it can not be so c ontained. So by default, consciousness creates a multiplicity of finite forms to express its own infinity. It creates a temporal flow to express its eternity. I t creates knowledge to express its omniscience. It creates activity to express i ts omnipotence. Each individual form represents a fleeting manifestation of cons ciousness arising out of the potential of the hyperstate into the actuality of t he metastate, and then subsiding again into the hyperstate.

The rising and subsiding of forms from the potential of the hyperstate into the actuality of the metastate and back again is called, in the Sanskrit literature, the "dance of Siva." It is the perpetual, creative play of consciousness becomi ng aware of itself and loving itself. This is the lila of existence, the drama o f consciousness. In the prologue to the fourth r that what I am here calling eation he uses the term logos che) was the word (logos)..." rocess of thought." Gospel, the author of ideation and form are and for form the term We can translate this the Apocalypse makes it clea coeval. In the Gospel for id arche. "In the beginning (ar as, "In the thought is the p

He also makes it perfectly clear that form becomes, by the energy inherent in th e process of thought, the principle of life itself, which irradiates as energy. He describes it specifically as "light." "Through him (referring to logos) all t hings came into being (referring to arche)..." Further, "in him (logos) was life (arche), and the life was the light of men." In other words, "Through the proce ss of thought all thoughts come to be; in the process of thought is thought, and thought is the energy of life." The "light," of course, should not be taken to mean physical light only, which i s merely its most obvious manifestation. It is the one energy from which differe ntiate all of the energies of existence. This energy is the creativity of consci ousness. The creativity of consciousness is simply its activity. In its universal aspect this creative energy of the thought process and the multitude of thoughts it pro duces is called in the New Testament pneuma. In the Sanskrit it is termed prakri ti shakti. In both contexts it refers to the metastate. Thanks to relativity theory and its confirmation by the researches of nuclear ph ysicists, we can confirm that "matter" and "energy" are just two different aspec ts of the same underlying "stuff." Matter and energy are completely interchangea ble with one another according to the formula E=mc2 where E represents energy an d m represents matter. Further, through quantum theory we have come to a growing understanding of the s ubatomic world that has revealed the intrinsically dynamic nature of what was fo rmerly thought to be lifeless matter. Physicists have discovered that the consti tuents of atoms, the subatomic particles, are more like dynamic patterns than th e isolated entities they were once thought to be. They form integral parts of a totally indivisible network of energy interactions. These interactions consist of the ceaseless flow of energy. The flow manifests i tself as the exchange of "particles." The subatomic world presents itself as the dynamic play by which particles are created and destroyed unceasingly. The suba tomic world yields a kaleidoscope of energy patterns, changing without end. The particle interactions build up what appear to our senses as stable structure s. These in turn form our material world. These structures are not static but in stead oscillate in rhythmic activity. All matter engages in perpetual motion. Th e continual cosmic dance of energy that modern physicists observe is testimony t o the ancient wisdom of the metaphysic of ecstasy. After twenty-five hundred years or more, the mind/matter and spirit/body dualism of western thought, first proposed by Parmenides can be laid to rest forever. M ind and matter, spirit and body are now recognized as merely different aspects o f the same stuff. <>/pre>Quantum theory does not identify the underlying "stuff" of reality but simply refers to it as "quantumstuff." Physicists devote their t

ime to observing and describing the various particle interactions that arise fro m the underlying quantumstuff. They do not hazard more than speculation as to it s real nature. In the light of the metaphysic of ecstasy, you and I may hazard a guess that the nature of the underlying "quantumstuff" is pneuma. Matter and energy are manife stations of the creativity of consciousness. In fact, as I suggested earlier, ma ny physicists already suspect that consciousness and quantumstuff are intimately connected. Some have even made the leap of identifying them as the same phenome non. As individualized within each and every human being the creative energy of consc iousness is termed in the New Testament parakletos. In Sanskrit it is called the kundalini shakti. The creativity of consciousness as it is individualized withi n the personality I call the energy body. What I hope may become apparent to thoughtful and intuitive readers is the resol ution of ecstasy, ideation and form into the orthodox Christian trinity of the " Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Orthodoxy, of course, has ascribed this trinity of terms to the nature of the absolute deity. But in so doing, the churchmen total ly and thoroughly misunderstand the true significance of the trinity. It refers not to any hypothetical deity. Of the true nature of the absolute properly understood as the hyperstate we can not speak, as I have pointed out before. The holy trinity of ecstasy, ideation a nd form, which the orthodox superstitiously attribute to the nature of their ant hropomorphic and hypothetical "God," is of the nature of existence. This trinity describes the nature of the metastate, and of man, the energy body, which is it s personalized expression. In the strictly technical sense of intellectually defining and thence describing the nature of an absolute deity, there is really no such thing as theology. Wha t passes as theology amongst the orthodox represents at best psychology. At its worst it is mere superstitious speculation. By saying this I do not mean to denigrate that which is best and worthy of study in the so-called field of theology. I wish rather to put it into its true persp ective as a study of the profound nature of consciousness and the human being, w hose psychology is more unfathomable and sacred than western science and religio n yet imagine. Metaphysics studies consciousness and its manifestation, which is the psychic wo rld of human life. All life and all existence is part of this grand drama. Super stition and worship of deities have no place here. They belong to an earlier and immature age and are best left there. True theology, if we can use such a word, is the personal experience of the full ness of consciousness. This is gnosis and it can be transmitted by no other mean s than the experience itself. To come to this gnosis is to come to the realizati on of ecstasy. The pure consciousness of the hyperstate is termed in the Sanskrit literature pu rusha. In the Apocalypse it is termed "God," who is referred to also as the "Alm ighty." Thus, in reality the Christian God, the Almighty, does not refer to deit y. No theological connotations are implied here. Pure consciousness represents the underlying field of potential energy of which every dynamic expression, includin g the human personality constitutes the living manifestation.

In individuals who experience a glimpse into what lies beyond their ordinary sta te of conscious awareness there is often developed a feeling of reverence and aw e. This feeling is the source of all truly religious sentiment. But I hope it is clear from what I have said so far that there exists nothing whatever that coul d be called "supernatural" in the conventional meaning and connotation of the wo rd. In the metaphysic of ecstasy there is no suggestion of a deity somewhere beyond human life and existence to whom worship and adoration are due. Everything manif est and that which is not manifest are aspects of consciousness. All is consciou sness. The only "beyond" refers to expanding our awareness of consciousness and deepening our realization of self. The theological deity of orthodox religion is but a childish fantasy. The God of the Apocalypse is not to be misconstrued as the anthropomorphic deity of the or thodox. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, it is the epitome of ignorance t o imagine that any god oversees his/her creation and vents divine wrath upon it because of violations of divine laws. The conception of some almighty god venting divine wrath upon sinning humanity i s silly. That some deity rewards good behaviour and punishes bad is merely child ish. That there is some supernatural entity that human beings must worship and a dore, placate and appease is utter nonsense. Even if there were such a deity, wh at sort of deity would it be that demanded such behaviour and meted out such pun ishment? Certainly, the human origin of such a concept of god is clearly evident . Such ideas and other similar concepts represent the apocalyptic "image of the be ast." Worshipping gods and placating wrathful deities are really just the ways t hat we avoid accepting full responsibility for our lives. Such notions are child ish substitutes for mom and dad telling us what to do and taking care of us if w e please them. They are incompatible with human maturity. The God of the Apocalypse simply symbolizes consciousness itself. It further sym bolizes that underlying unity of the forever concealed, the all-encompassing and all-penetrating hyperstate. The hyperstate remains concealed only because it is not accessible to comprehens ion by thought. It remains all-encompassing because it contains within its poten tial all possibility. It becomes all-penetrating because it is the fertile field upon which and within which every single phenomenon of existence occurs. Please recall that in the process of the metastate consciousness comes to an awa reness of itself. This self consciousness is termed in Sanskrit literature atman . In the Apocalypse self consciousness is termed "Christos," who is also the "lo rd" and "father." In an earlier age self awareness made its appearance as "mothe r," as well. Self consciousness is fully and simultaneously aware of the unseen hyperstatic f ield of potential and its dynamic metastatic expression. This is the self consci ous supreme identity, the ecstasy from which proceed all phenomena, even though it remains nonphenomenal itself. In a sense, self consciousness contemplates in serene joy and calm stillness the simultaneous enactment of every moment of its metastatic drama on the mental/ps ychic stage of space/time. All the while it remains totally aware of its fullnes s. A totally absorbed art lover might contemplate the Mona Lisa while still rema ining aware of himself. So, too, the supreme identity contemplates in detached a bsorption the pleroma of consciousness which is itself.

Self consciousness, Christos, is the first logos or logos endiathetos, the imman ent idea, or ecstasy, which corresponds to the ecstatic union of Siva and Shakti : consciousness and its activity. From the division of this ecstatic union into two cosmic lovers seeking one another arises the fundamental polarity of existen ce. The fundamental polarity manifests the process of thought producing the phenomen a of the metastate. This is the "dance of Siva," the continuous act of cosmic cr eation known as lila, the drama of consciousness. The fundamental polarity expresses itself as male and female and the desire that each experiences for the other. This desire is the metastatic expression of ecs tasy. It represents the symbolic dance of creative energy wherein ideation and f orm seek to re-establish the equilibrium of the hyperstate. This is, in the cosm ic and metaphysical sense, an impossibility. Once the process of individualizati on is set into motion, return to the hyperstate is out of the question. Instead, ideation and form balance the dynamic established between them by their separat ion. The dynamic remains. In the individual sense, however, it is very possible to extinguish an individua l consciousness and submerge into the hyperstate. Many so-called "spiritual" tea chings, particulary in the orient, advocate just this annihilation. To many teac hings, the highest goal is the extinction of individuality and self consciousnes s. The metaphysic of ecstasy recognises that a far greater possibility exists: t he realization of the fullness of consciousness within the individual. For this realization to occur, individuality must be maintained and cultivated. This process of balancing the creative dynamic of consciousness takes place on t wo distinct levels. The first level is that within each personality as a human i ndividuality. The second level is that between two personalities. At each level, both ideation and form manifest themselves symbolically and actually. The first level gives access to the second. For only in establishing a balanced and harmonic integration within the living personality can the individuality of consciousness attain to the second level of experience. It is only through the s econd level of experience that consciousness comes to the full realization of ec stasy as the dynamic activity within itself. In practical terms, this means that the polarity of human sexuality must be main tained and not allowed to subside into a state of androgenous equilibrium. In th e metaphysic of ecstasy, human sexuality becomes the only path to the supreme id entity. For this realization can come about in no other way than the encounter o f two fully sexual human beings, male and female. Ecstasy can be realized only in the dynamic relationship of fully conscious indi viduals, man and woman loving each other fully. The supreme identity can be real ized only in the union of woman and man, each living in a state of self realizat ion of their own inner fullness! The instruction book methods of tantra serve to illustrate how to maintain and e nhance the sexual polarity necessary for realization of ecstasy. But apart from knowing these various techniques, one's attitude is even more important. All of the techniques in the world are nothing without the right attitude. The appropri ate attitude may be described as follows. You may think of human sexuality as plumbing, or you may think of it as architec ture. If you think of human sexuality in terms of animal instincts, chemistry and psyc hological needs that went largely unfulfilled during infancy and childhood, then

your attitude may be described as plumbing. You may be a marvellous plumber and know how to do all kinds of wonderful things in bed. But you will never become an architect. If you think that sex is just sex, meaning by this that it is just a recreationa l alternative to bowling or knitting, you have the plumbing attitude. If think t hat sex is here just to make babies, you have the plumbing attitude. You are right! You are correct! Your attitude determines your level of experienc e. As long as you have the attitude of plumbing, your level of experience will r emain plumbing. Your attitude is in the way of the truth. You have the wrong attitude. To expand your level of experience you must become an architect. You must see human sexua lity and human love as inextricably interconnected in a dynamic creative matrix. You must see that this matrix is the very creative energy of consciousness in d ynamic expression. If you can begin to make this change in your attitude, then y ou are on your way to becoming an architect. You are maturing. The plumber is a technician. He knows his tools and how to use them to keep the plumbing running. On the other hand, the architect thinks like an artist. She us es her tools to create art, not just keep the pipes flowing. The art of being hu man is what consciousness is all about. No wonder the intermediate level of the Apocalypse with its doctrine of solitary self conquest sought to subvert this wonderful teaching. For it states in no un certain terms that personal development can have ultimate meaning and utility on ly in the context of a male/female love relationship. Understood in reference to human individuality and the personality, in the Sansk rit literature ideation is termed buddhi and form prakriti. In the Apocalypse th ese two are termed respectively Iesous (Jesus) and the parakletos. Parakletos/pn euma, the creativity of consciousness in its individual and personal mode, I cal l the energy body. As I shall discuss the energy body in detail later, we may pa ss over it for now. As the "beloved son,"81 Jesus symbolizes ideation in its unlimited aspect. He re presents the unformed thought that contains all specific thoughts. He typifies t he unspoken "word," in its integrity. As a unique, and hence specific, individuality self consciousness enters into th e drama of existence and life as participant on and within the stage of the ener gy body. To do so it must abandon its integrity and identity as the unspoken wor d in order that the word may be spoken. In the process of thought, the unlimited thought must become limited in order to express a specific thought in the matri x, or continuum, of space and time. Jesus also symbolizes the subtle activities of the mind in general as distinct f rom its explicit functions. These explicit functions are termed collectively in the Sanskrit manas. This mental distinction is clearly characterized in the Apoc alypse by the opposition of the lamb to the beast and its allies: the red dragon and false prophet. At the beginning of the Apocalypse we learn that the lamb was slain by the beast . This refers to the loss of integrity when self consciousness became individual ized. This simply means that the subtle faculties of the mind, specifically insi ght and intellect, became dormant, while only the elemental, the autonomous and the instinctual functions of the mind remained operative. This does not refer to any cosmic tragedy but simply to the beginning of the pro

cess of becoming personally self conscious. When consciousness becomes individua lized it must become limited from the very action of rendering itself specific. In the initial phases of this long process the evolving individuality does not d istinguish itself from the thoughts that it continually creates for the benefit of its own perception and experience. It identifies with them instead. This mean s that the evolving consciousness does not distinguish itself from the mental wo rld it continually creates around itself. In this condition, we may go so far as to say that self consciousness itself, un derstood as the awareness of being an observer and participant distinct from spe cific experience, is completely missing. In the metaphysic of ecstasy this lack of awareness of self defines the unconscious state. Thus, in the metaphysic of e cstasy unconscious does not mean unaware, as it does in western psychology, but rather unaware of self. The condition of unconsciousness reflects a degree of self awareness, or rather the lack of such awareness. Thus, according to the metaphysic of ecstasy the mas s of humanity at this stage of its general evolution exists in a state of mostly unconscious or semi conscious sleep. Indeed, the whole point of tantric and ecs tatic self realization is to wake up out of the sleep and trance states that nea rly all of us spend our entire lives in. You may find it helpful to compare the dream state each of us enters every night . In the dream you forget that it is you who is creating and experiencing the dr eam. You simply become the dream. It becomes your world and your reality. The similarity between dreaming and what we call the normal waking state is very similar. In fact, a school of tantra called "Dream Yoga" exploits that very sim ilarity in its methods. By cultivating the ability to dream lucidly, self realiz ation in the waking state is enhanced. If you do not know, lucid dreaming descri bes the experience of first realizing that you are dreaming and second thereby c ontrolling the course of the dream self consciously. Ultimately, with the awakening of its subtle faculties, the evolving individuali ty begins to distinguish itself as separate from the world of experience. It att ains the insight that it is more than the experiences that it endures or enjoys. In this first veiled level of realization individuality begins to distinguish i tself from its many perceptions and experiences as a perceiving and experiencing entity. It gains the ability to reflect upon itself and recognize itself as a r eflective experiencer. The discrimination between the flow of experience and that which experiences it gives rise to a sense of personal identity and continuity through the constant f lux of experiential events. This sense of personal continuity and identity are e go and character respectively. With them individuality begins to build up a pers onality. This first veiled realization is brought about by the quickening of the agency o f intuitive insight. This is called in the Apocalypse the "first-born from the d ead."82 Intuitive insight and integrity are really identical and they are often equated in Sanskrit literature as buddhi. In the Apocalypse they are usually designated separately as the symbols Jesus and the lamb, although the symbol of the lamb is in some cases used interchangeably. For the sake of completeness, I must note here that in common usage the usual me anings of buddhi, intellect and discrimination, are connoted as specific faculti es of the rational operations of the mind. They are used almost interchangeably

in the west with the term "thinking." But buddhi does not refer to any limited r ational faculty. The rational powers of the mind are, in fact, simply the limite d expressions of buddhi. This fact is sometimes overlooked even in the orient, where one might suppose th ey ought to know better. Although buddhi does operate as discrimination, in the sense of selecting an appropriate response or course of action to some incoming impression, I think that it is less confusing to translate the word as insight. This is closer to its Sanskrit meaning than the words intellect and discriminati on. The personality and its multiple permutations from one incarnation to another is termed in Sanskrit jiva. In the Apocalypse, the personality is symbolized by it s alleged "author," Ioannes (John), who is none other than the "prodigal son." H e symbolizes the word as it is spoken. He is now about to transform his metastat ic sleepwalk into personal integrity. For with his full awakening to the realization of himself John, the personality, becomes Jesus the Christ, the integrated personal expression of consciousness. In Sanskrit this self realization is termed moksha and the individual so illumin ated jivamukta. In a technical sense, integrity is never really lost at all. It remains as the " second logos" or the logos prophorikos, the veiled inner essence and identity of the incarnating human personality. As the personality evolves through ever increasing degrees of awareness of itsel f, it begins to realize that it has never really left that inner integrity at al l. It has only veiled the presence of that integrity behind the phenomena of exi stence. Herein lies the significance of the title Apokalypsis, which states quite plainl y that the text treats of an unveiling or uncovering. The title and subtitle are : "The Unveiling of John. The unveiling of Jesus the Christ." Both the incarnating personality and its inner integrity are to be unveiled. The first of its obscuring ignorance, the second of its unseen presence. This is se lf realization of what is and always is, not the mere revelation of things to co me or something to be attained. As the incarnating being, that is the many personalities and their varied experi ences through which the individuality steadily evolves, John symbolizes the "thi rd logos" or the logos phaneros, the manifested or the spoken word. The personal ity is that congeries of experiences from which are distilled the qualities and the energies required to awaken into full personal expression the realization of self consciousness. These then are the principle roles of the grand apocalyptic drama. God symbolize s consciousness and more specifically the pure consciousness of the hyperstate. Christos typifies the self in full command of its many psychic powers. Jesus den otes the individuality and its integrity. And finally, John represents the evolv ing personality. Levels of Consciousness These appear in the "spirit," or parakletos/pneuma, the energy body, that cosmic stage of human being upon which and within which is enacted the drama of consci ousness. In reality these five roles are played by one actor alone. That solitar y actor is the individual man or woman awakening in self realization to the full ness of his/her own consciousness

Each human being thus scripts and choreographs and stars. Each life is a unique and never to be repeated performance in the eternal cosmic and personal drama of existence/life. The many and the one are the same yet different! You and I! We! 6.1 LIBIDO Sigmund Freud coined the word libido to describe the force of human sexual energ y. Freud was certainly not the first western commentator to observe a connection between the sexual drive and human activities. Nor was he the first to publish his findings and opinions. Freud's work was preceded by and to some extent stimu lated by and influenced by the comments and observations of several earlier sexu al writers. These authors included the obscure German physician Adolf Patze, the far better known English psychiatrist Henry Maudsley, and the sexologists Richard von Kraft -Ebing and Havelock Ellis. Freud further owed much to the pioneering work of Iwa n Bloch and Magnus Hirschfeld. Freud himself, in his famous Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, cited what he referred to as the well known writings of no fewer than nine authors. The se xologists featured prominently among them. There can be no doubt that sexual the ories similar to Freud's were not unknown prior to the publication of his writin gs. Those who disagreed with him were quick to attack him with a well prepared a rsenal of criticism. When Freud's Three Essays appeared in 1905, he was immediately labelled a pansex ualist by his critics. His detractors meant by this epithet that Freud thought s ex was the basis of all behaviours. They suggested that Freud's theory sought to demonstrate the universal character of sexual energy and its all pervasive impa ct on human life. Freud denied this. Yet his very generous vision of libido gave his opponents amm unition. His critics, his own student, Carl Jung, included, accused him of reduc tionism and of failing to accept the presence of other psychic forces. Anyone re ading his work with adequate attention might be excused for coming to the same c onclusion. Freud certainly presented himself, by his theory, as a psychological democrat. A ccording to him all human beings share in the erotic life and so under their var ious cultural facades are brothers and sisters in the flesh and the desires that all share. Yet whether his sexual theory could explain human behaviour totally remained an open question throughout his life. That much of human behaviour was a response to sexual impulses could not be deni ed. His critics would, if perhaps reluctantly, accept the extent of the influenc e Freud propounded from the years of adolescence onwards. The greatest resistanc e to Freud's sexual theory, instead, rallied against his contention that sexuall y determined behaviour began in infancy and then continued throughout childhood. This contention was simply too shocking and more than most people of the time c ould accept. Jung objected on more serious grounds which warrant further examina tion on their own. Freud continued to refine his sexual theory over the years, partly in response t o his critics. As late as 1920 he felt it necessary to remind his readers that i t had been Schopenhauer and not he who had first confronted mankind with the ext ent that their sexual impulses determined their aims and actions. Although no ph ilosopher, and to a certain extent opposed to philosophy in general, Freud point

ed out with satisfaction how closely his ideas on the nature of sexuality corres ponded to those of Plato's Eros. He was not above using whatever arguments he co uld to support his own views. To be perfectly fair, Freud always and forcefully rejected the label of pansexua list. Yet the matter remained unresolved. Freud never made it plain just how he was anything else. He and his great student/friend/colleague, Jung, parted on ju st this issue. In 1914, perhaps partly to justify his own contentions that he was not a pansexu alist, Freud introduced the terms ego libido and object libido. By using these t wo terms he attempted to explain clearly the phenomenon of narcissism. But the t wo novel terms immediately threw into doubt Freud's own earlier insistence upon two sharply divided classes of drives: what he had called the ego drives and the sexual drives. The distinction between these two sets of drives he had used to demonstrate that he did not, in fact, claim that sexual impulse was the motivati on for every behaviour. Freud had long maintained that the ego drives provided the urge for self preserv ation and had nothing at all to do with eroticism. He had credited sexual drives with being the sole source of all erotic activity. He had argued that these two complementary but different sets of drives were necessary to explain all human behaviour. By introducing the concept of ego libido Freud suggested that the self too can b e erotically charged. If so, then the ego drives must also be sexual in characte r. Although his psychoanalytical followers saw the implications of this, Freud h imself remained unconcerned at first. Since early in his life, Freud had liked to quote the line from Schiller that lo ve and hunger move the world. This he had attempted to formalize in psychoanalys is through his theory of drives. Still, he was never satisfied with his theory o f drives. He always considered it incomplete, even in its final form. Freud had constructed his theory of drives based on his own observations in the light of whatever biological data was available to him. To his constant irritati on, the available biological data during his lifetime was not much, and certainl y insufficient for his requirements. The absence of a scientific theory on drives resulted from the inability of biol ogists and psychologists to agree on the nature of drives and instincts. This ra nkled Freud, since he realized that to understand drives he needed both discipli nes. For him, drives stood on the border between the physical and the mental. He described them as being biological urges translated into psychological wishes t hat demanded satisfaction. After his writings on narcissism, it eventually became as clear to Freud as it h ad immediately seemed clear to his colleagues that he could not maintain his ear ly separation of two distinct classes of drives. This distinction had served him well for much of his professional practice. But his work on narcissism effectiv ely ruined the simplicity of this earlier scheme of things. Reluctantly, Freud finally had to accept the obvious. That was that the love for self and the love for others differ only in their objects, not in their nature. As soon as 1915, he had essentially repudiated his previous stance on the separ ation of drives into two distinct classes. Freud distinguished four related components in the workings of drives. According to his theory, there is first the source, or that physical process which provid es the initial stimulus for the drive. He considered the physical sources of dri

ves to be outside the proper realm of psychology. Second, Freud defined the pressure as the ceaseless energetic activity of the dr ive to fulfil the biological stimulus of the source. He defined the aim as the r esulting satisfaction felt by fulfilling the need of the stimulus causing the dr ive. Finally, he defined the object as the path or manner by which satisfaction can be derived. Regarding the object, Freud had much to say. The diversity of the object may be extraordinary since almost anything might provide a pathway to satisfying the st imulus. This Freud considered a derivative of the mobility of drives, upon which he took great pains to elaborate. Of particular interest to him was the mobilit y of love/sex, whose complexities could be quite convoluted and seemingly contra ry. Because of the complicated network of interconnected and frequently contradictor y drives involved in love/sex, Freud saw human beings as destined to steer throu gh a labyrinth of conflicting and opposing forces. These included love and hate; love and indifference; loving and being loved. Freud concluded that resolving the various drives was accomplished and determine d by three polarities that dominate psychic life. According to him these are: ac tivity and passivity; perception of the inner and outer world; and the experienc e of pleasure and pain. He would later add to these a fourth: the desire for lif e and the desire for death. By 1916 Freud had come to what would be his final position on the subject of hum an love and sex. He argued that love begins very simply as a form of narcissisti c self absorption. By a complicated series of developments this in turn connects with the sexual instincts of pleasure and racial preservation. These in turn gr atify in various ways what can be defined as primarily self centered interests. These self centered and self serving interests are the various biological source s of the drives. Of interest in Freud's work is his description of energy transformations occurri ng during the operation of the drives. He considered these energies to be strict ly instinctual, that is derived ultimately and simply from biological urges and needs. He found that transformation permitted them to find partial satisfaction even if full gratification is blocked. These blocks resulted from what he referred to as modes of defence against the d rives. He lumped them together under the term repression. The mechanism of repre ssion Freud said was the cornerstone on which the edifice of psychoanalysis rest ed. He described repression as an array of mental maneuvers intended to block fr om awareness some instinctual wish. Why repression arises at all Freud did not attempt to answer in detail. In his v iew of the human mind as a battlefield, conflicting drives could not all be sati sfied. Some must be repressed. For the overall good of the organism, its surviva l and its functioning, some desires can not be fulfilled. Carl Jung split from Freud on the issue of psychic energy. Jung wished to expand the concept of libido. Much as Freud himself had come to realize that his early distinctions were not tenable, Jung contended that Freud's view was too narrow in focus. The two men differed primarily in the manner in which each considered the nature of libido. For Freud, libido remained sexual energy. In the evolution of his th ought, Freud came ultimately to an expanded definition of libido. In fact, he ca me to a position very close to that of tantra which sees everything as derivativ

e of sexual energy. The differences between Freud and tantra, however, are significant. Like western psychology generally, following materialistic reductionism, Freud viewed libido , and all other psychic forces, as deriving from biological functioning. Thus in his theory of drives, the sources of the drives derive from biological stimuli which in turn become transformed into psychic energy. Conversely, tantra sees bi ological functioning as deriving entirely from psychic forces. The western psychological view here expresses a monistic materialism. That which is not material, in this case the human psyche and its psychic energies, must d erive from the material body and its various modes of functioning. Tantra reject s this concept totally. Jung also wished to expand the meaning of libido to include all psychic energy. But unlike Freud, he did not wish to consider all psychic energy as deriving fro m sexual energy. Jung considered that in a general psychological theory it was i mpossible to use purely sexual energy as a full explanation. In part this opposi ng view resulted from a simple misunderstanding both by Jung and by Freud. For b oth men saw sexual energy as something separate and apart from other psychic act ivity. In one way, Jung's position was a retreat from Freud's. In terms of western unde rstanding and metaphysics in general, Freud's position was truly revolutionary. You must recall that since at least the middle of the second millennium B.C. the western metaphysic has denigrated sexuality. This metaphysic has separated sex as something distinct and inferior to mental and intellectual activity. Freud, as his theory developed, suggested finally, to the disbelief of many if n ot most of his contemporaries, Jung included, that at its foundation the human b eing functioned on sexual energy. This energy transformed itself to appear in va rious guises. But it was still sexual all the same. Had Freud not approached the subject from the position of material monism, he wo uld have been pronouncing the most fundamental and basic assertion of the metaph ysic of ecstasy. That is simply that the underlying polarity of human life is se xual. In denying that sexual energy was the sole underlying psychic force, Jung repres ented a reactionary movement. In his On Psychical Energy, Jung sought not to den y the existence of sexual energy, but to "put it in its proper place." He, like the western metaphysic he sought to uphold, could not accept with Freud that its proper place might far exceed the obvious. Jung argued that Freud had erred by reducing all psychic energy to sexual energy . In Jung's view, Freud had followed a mechanistic and causal standpoint. This h e argued always tends to simplify matters to some final and ultimate cause. In t he case of the human psyche, according to Jung, such reductionism did less than justice to the subject. Of course, Jung was correct. Freud, like Jung, came dire ctly from the viewpoint of the western metaphysic. It would have been extraordin ary for him to have exhibited any other viewpoint. By contrast, Jung introduced what he termed the energic and acausal view. He wou ld later elaborate upon this in Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle ( 1952). For our purposes here we need only reiterate Jung's initial definition. In the energic view, what is most significant is the relationships of events. Re lationships develop along a gradient of potential in a manner that is irreversib le. This gives the flow of energy a direction in time leading towards entropy, o r a state of equilibrium.

This view stands in contrast to that of a strict causality which states that an event is the immediate effect of a cause. With causality there are fixed laws th at govern the relationships of things. The distinction may seem subtle. So Jung attempts to clarify this further by arg uing that the energic is a necessary explanatory principle since no explanation of nature can be wholly causal. According to Jung if we had only to deal with si mple moving bodies in space, causality would be sufficient as an explanation. Bu t we have also to deal with the relationships of movement of the bodies and this requires the energic view. If this were not so, we would not have had to invent the concept of energy as a complement to the concept of matter. All else aside, the application of the energic and acausal concept to psychology marked a significant point in the development of psychology. It lifted psycholo gy out of the realm of materialism. Discoveries in quantum physics since Jung fi rst elaborated his acausal principle have justified his concepts. Acausal phenom ena have been observed time and again. As Jung claimed, causality and acausality are necessary to understand the world. Although he does not make a point of it, Jung remarked on the invention of the c oncept of energy. If energy is an invented concept, then matter, too, must be an invented concept. If they are concepts then both are mental constructs that hel p us organize perceptions. This contention is remarkably close to the position o f the metaphysic of ecstasy. Jung wished to enlarge the concept of psychic energy to one of life energy. To d istinguish the strictly psychological usage of the concept he labelled it libido (1912). By using Freud's term in this context, Jung sought to preserve for othe rs working in the fields of biology and the physical sciences the privilege of c oining whatever specialized term they cared to for their own use. In his use of the term libido Jung sought specifically to avoid getting into the problem of the relationship of mind and body. He considered it highly probable that the psychic and physical are essentially connected. Yet early (prior to 192 8) he felt that psychology ought to limit itself to empirically accessible facts . He did not, however, feel so constrained in his later work. Although Jung could accept along with Freud the concept of psychic sublimation, he could not accept that sublimation of sexual energy accounts for all psychic p henomena. He could not include as sexual sublimation such phenomena as will, thi nking and what he termed "the spiritual principle." From the vantage point of knowing something about the metaphysic of ecstasy, we can understand what is going on here with interest. Parmenides and Plato categor ized love into two types you will recall. The first physical, the second nonphys ical. We know that this dualistic view of love and sexuality is based on the male meta physic introduced by the Indo Europeans during the second and third millennia B. C. We also know that it forms a fundamental element of the entire western metaph ysic. The dualism that this division of love expresses is simply that there are two di stinct forces operating in the human psyche. The one serves to elevate man to th e philosophical plane of existence, the other to enthral him to the physical pla ne. A case in point is Jung's concept of the so-called spiritual principle which he distinguishes as something wholly separate from sexuality. To the psyche he admi

ts that the spiritual principle is just as much an instinct as sex. But Jung arg ues that the spiritual principle and sex differ from one another qualitatively, and that the spiritual is superior. This is exactly the position of Parmenides, Plato et al. Jung does not deny that sexual instinct is relevant and important. But he does c laim that the spiritual counterpole serves to elevate mankind from "sheer instin ctuality." This he sees as the positive growth of human personality towards an e ver expanding consciousness. In effect, Jung made the same error that Pryse and the esoteric Christian school he propounds committed by equating the physical and the sexual with the ultimat e human problem. The ultimate human problem is ignorance of itself. The great human problem is not that we are beings both physical and sexual who m ust escape into some immaterial and asexual realm of existence or being. Expandi ng human consciousness does not elevate us to higher levels of spiritual conscio usness. There are no lower levels of consciousness to be done away with, and no higher ones to be attained. Only a fuller realization. Freud's initial position on the nature of libido postulated that there were two basic forces operating in the human psyche. The one was erotic the other not. He later came to revise his view when it became clear to him that it was impossibl e to maintain this simple distinction. Freud's final position asserted that there was only one force active in the psyc he. That force is sexual. Although Freud was a reductionist, he arrived at the h eart of the matter. Both he and Jung, however, failed to understand the signific ance of the discovery. The failure of both Freud and Jung to comprehend fully the nature of the force o f what they termed libido resulted primarily from their too limited understandin g of the nature of sexual energy. Both men viewed sexual energy as strictly geni tally oriented. Neither could see it as the polarizing energy that it really is. Neither of them understood that what we observe as overtly sexual energy is sim ply one of its manifestations. But at least, they were on the right track. After more than 2500 years, someone in the west was talking about sex in a positive light again. 6.2 ENERGY TRANSFORMATIONS As I mentioned in a previous chapter, from the energy polarity of ideation and f orm the metaphysic of ecstasy identifies further five subjective and seven objec tive modes of psychic experiencing. These refer not to any peculiar manners of e xperience, such as the "psychic" experiences of popular parlance, but rather to the normal activities of the human psyche. They include the full range of ordina ry, day to day mental activity experienced by all human beings in normal health. The five subjective modes I have termed the faculties of memory, reason, action, apprehension and inspiration. The seven objective modes I have termed the abili ties of loving, thinking, willing, knowing, inspiring, expressing and forming. In the Sanskrit literature the faculties and abilities are termed the five prana s and the seven shaktis respectively. In the Apocalypse they are termed anemoi ( winds) and brontai (thunders). Readers familiar with Vedic myth and doctrines may object somewhat to this inter pretation of the pranas and the shaktis. You may argue that I have interpreted t hem too mentally, whereas I ignore the traditional role of manas and the indriya

s as they are interpreted by Sankaracharya. In this interpretation of Vedic metaphysics I follow closely that of James Pryse in his Restored New Testament. In general, the Upanishads speak of all these ps ychic functions in a rather simple physical manner. This suggests that all are b eing treated in a straight metaphorical way. Further, Indian metaphysics general ly makes much less a distinction between mind and body than western thinkers. Th us, the western problem of the mind/body dualism hardly arises in the east. If, indeed, mind and matter are merely two ways of looking at the same event, wh ich is one of the basic tenets of the metaphysic of ecstasy, there should be lit tle objection to my use of the terms prana and shakti. This point is further sup ported by the interchangeability of matter and energy as discovered by researche s of modern physics. It is a well known contention in the Vedas themselves. While Sankaracharya includes most mental functions within manas, the Apocalypse itself follows much more closely the interpretations of the Samkhya and Yoga sch ools by treating buddhi, ahankara and chitta as wholly separate. Correspondingly , prana and shakti assume an expanded role. Bear in mind, as well, that the Apoc alypse was composed nearly 800 years prior to the birth of Sankaracharya. So it reflects a much older understanding and interpretation than those of Sankarachar ya. Interestingly, the Hellenistic era corresponded chronologically with the rise of the Yoga school in India, the crowning point of which produced the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The Apocalypse may be legitimately viewed as the metaphysical crow n of the Hellenistic period, when ideas of east and west mingled to produce gnos ticism and Christianity, orthodox and otherwise. As a literary work the Apocalyp se ranks with the best products of classical antiquity in terms of both style an d ingenious composition. While the exact dates of Patanjali remain uncertain, estimates range from 400 B. C. to A.D. 400. Putting aside the extremes as unlikely and judging from the rise of popularity of the Yoga school, which peaked in the first century B.C., a goo d guess would place his lifetime sometime during the years corresponding to the early part of the Hellenistic period, perhaps 300 to 200 B.C. Whatever the preci se dates may be, it is certain that throughout all the centuries of the Hellenis tic period in the west, the practice and ideas of yoga, which Patanjali codified in his system of Raja Yoga, were on the rise in contemporary India. It should come as no surprise that the Apocalypse, written in the latter half of the first century A.D., based upon much earlier source material, shows the infl uence of Raja Yoga. It does so. Pryse has shown this clearly. It also shows the influence of the dualism of Samkhya, as does much of gnostic metaphysics and spe culation. Indeed, the Apocalypse presents an amazing synthesis of east and west in its com bining of the elements of yoga and kabala. Furthermore, at its most profound lev el of understanding, the Apocalypse exhibits an extraordinary similarity to tant ra. Once the many pervasive influences of Indian monism are removed from the tea chings of tantra, that system appears identical to the metaphysic of ecstasy. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, the five faculties enable the human pers onality to internalize psychic reality into subjective observations and experien ces. The seven abilities enable the human personality to externalize psychic rea lity into the experiential events and percepts that comprise its world of experi ence. This is not to say that the external world has no real existence. What it says is that your experience of the world is determined by your perception of it .

Memory refers to the storage of information, which includes not only events but also feelings, conclusions and perceptions. In so far as the individual is conce rned, information may be filed either with ordinary awareness in the active memo ry or in some manner other than with ordinary awareness in the passive memory. I n general, material stored in active memory may be recalled more or less at will . Most information in the active memory is associative and relational, meaning s imply that recalling one item often leads to a chain reaction of other items tha t are related either in meaning, value or form. The art and science of mnemonics makes use of this structure of memory to assist recall. Material stored in the passive memory can seldom be retrieved by a mere act of w ill. Yet apparently the structure of passive memory remains associative and rela tional. Events and chance associations often unearth passive memories. Free asso ciation may also bring material into conscious awareness. The most common means, however, of accessing passive memories is through dreaming. There material ente rs into awareness by means of symbolic images and events. The meanings of the sy mbols are generally personal, although some symbols may possess more universal m eaning. Passive memories may also arise in the form of unconscious behaviours or physica l ailments. Often repressed memories of traumatic or unpleasant experiences show themselves in the form of inappropriate or exaggerated responses to events. Often behaviour patterns or types of attitudes adopted as a young child become e mbedded in the passive memory where they recur in adult life in totally inapprop riate and even self destructive ways. Adults frequently find it difficult to acc ept that the source of much of their behaviour lies in their own infantile past. Western psychology spends most of its time and effort trying to unearth passive memories. As well, most new therapies attempt to help individuals redirect the p sychic energy inappropriately sidetracked by passive memories into more positive and psychologically growth enhancing channels. Memory stores all personal events ntial or important they may seem. t is lost forever. Much of memory ils to support one's current self and experiences, however trivial or inconseque Nothing is ever forgotten, in the sense that i may be repressed, however, especially if it fa image.

Reason refers to the wilful processes of all the logical operations of reflectio n, including deduction, induction and inference. Deduction generally involves dr awing conclusions regarding specific ideas or events based upon universal and/or collective considerations. Induction is the reverse process, moving from the sp ecific to the universal. And inference sees commonalities between ideas or event s which possess similar premises, specific elements or results. Philosophy usually follows the process of deduction, beginning with generalities and concluding with specifics. Science, on the other hand commonly follows indu ction, beginning with the data gathered from specific empirical experiments and leading to general conclusions. Both philosophy and science utilize the process of inference to expand the results of deduction and induction. In common usage the word thinking is often equated with the specific process of rational and logical thinking. But in the metaphysic of ecstasy a sharp distinct ion is drawn. Since all of existence is viewed as the thought process of conscio usness, rational thinking forms only a small and very specific portion of the wh ole. Action refers to the quick and firm assessment of values and their resultant com mitments based upon feelings and the assertion of will. Such action may be illog ical in the sense that logic and reasoning play no role in the decision. It may

also be entirely unconscious in the sense that an individual may act with no per sonal awareness of doing so. In situations involving grave personal risk, such a s accidents, disasters or combat, unconscious action often plays a significant p art. Unconscious action also occurs in common situations almost continually. So-calle d "body language" is really unconscious action. When your words and conscious ac tions say one thing, but unconsciously your body language says the opposite, you will probably find it difficult to get people to believe you. For instance, I am not likely to believe you if you tell me that you sincerely t rust and care about me, while you are unconsciously shaking your head "no." I ma y not even be specifically aware that your head is saying no, but that is what I am hearing. Your shaking head belies your words. That is why we often say that actions speak louder than words. You may say what you please, words come easily, but you must work very hard at controlling your b ody language. It usually speaks the plain truth. Body language speaks from behin d your ego consciousness. When action is tempered by reason, the assessment and commitment may be reached more slowly. But generally, such conclusions and commitments form the basis of b elief or will for the individual for long periods of time and are held very stro ngly. We may get emotionally carried away with something or someone at times. But our enthusiasm may pass as readily as it arose. When that enthusiasm is backed up wi th careful consideration and convincing logic, we will adhere to it fiercely. Apprehension refers to a totally nonlogical or intuitive "grasp" of a situation, idea or necessity to act. It refers also to the discernment of an appropriate c ourse of action when such discernment is unavailable to logical means. In such s ituations, one simply "knows" what to do and does it. In both cases there is generally insufficient information present for reason to be utilized with confidence. Where reason plods and seeks additional information , apprehension leaps. However, reason may be called into play after the fact, ei ther to support the conclusions of apprehension, or to modify or to justify them . When understanding of an idea or concept is involved, there may be an initial le ap of knowing, followed by a logical deduction or inference that supports the in itial conclusion. In a broad sense, apprehension never makes a mistake. But in u sual experience it may. Hence, especially in the realm of ideas and beliefs, we often fall back upon rea son as the final arbiter. This is unfortunate since given sufficient practice an d regular exercise apprehension can be made as reliable as reason. After all, reason is not always correct either. Yet we trust it as if it were. W e are simply more comfortable with it. Inspiration refers to a holistic "leap" of understanding and total commitment to the commencement of appropriate action. It compels one to creation and expressi on. Inspiration infuses one with great enthusiasm and dedication. It is often accomp anied by extraordinary animation and emotional excitement. More subtly, inspiration provides the energizing force to carry out the objectiv

es arising from it. It imbues feelings of commitment and compulsion with fervour and stamina. When you are inspired you tap into a hidden source of energy that you never knew you possessed. You suddenly find yourself capable of things you n ever imagined you could do. Loving refers to all aspects of the experience of the creative force specificall y as love and sex but also in its pure or nondifferentiated state. Nondifferenti ated in its mode of activity, loving underlies the creative force in all its var ious actualized forms. Thinking refers to active thought, reflection and speculation. Thinking includes but is not limited to all rational thought and learning. In the metaphysic of e cstasy, in a general sense all physio psychic activity is considered to be thoug ht. Thus, all such activity is included within the power of thinking even if a s pecific activity is involuntary. Willing refers to the assertion of and the carrying out of a purpose or a plan. Willing implies deliberate choice, but on a more subtle level it may include inv oluntary elements as well, or even exclusively. Often our passive memories provi de the motives for willing, although we will usually attempt to rationalize a co nscious motive as well. Knowing refers to a certitude of knowledge based on personal and first hand expe rience. It is the clear and certain perception of the truth of a thing through k nowledge of the thing itself. Knowing supplies a stronger conviction of knowledg e and certitude than does the hearsay evidence of others, for instance, or logic al deduction, induction and inference. For these may always be contradicted by o ur own experience. Inspiring refers to the infusion of knowledge with intent and purpose to action either in general or in a specific manner. It is the active force utilized to ac tualize an idea or an intention. Expressing refers to the actual manifestation of creative purpose or intention e ither in general or in a specific way. Expressing prepares the way for the actua lization of an idea or intention. Forming refers to wilful intent or purpose in general. It is the force of actual ization in its most general and least differentiated form. In addition, the seven psychic abilities also manifest themselves in seven corre sponding modalities. These seven modalities are: fixed, fluid, expanding, penetr ating, enveloping, balanced and causative. The modalities are termed in the Sanskrit the tattvas. They are termed in the Ap ocalypse the pneumata. Their meanings are fairly straight forward and require no special elaboration here. FACULTIES ABILITIES MODALITIES memory loving fixed reason thinking fluid action willing expanding apprehension knowing penetrating inspiration inspiring enveloping expressing balanced forming causative I do not intend that the foregoing meanings I have ascribed to the five facultie s and seven abilities be taken as more than suggestive. They should certainly no t be taken as complete, limiting and restrictive. A clearer and fuller understan

ding of the full range of meaning of these various psychic operations will in du e course emerge throughout the remainder of this essay. In addition to the five faculties and seven abilities, the personality exhibits four generalized areas or domains of psychic functioning. These generalized doma ins of human psychic functioning have been fully described by Carl Jung and have been termed by him sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition.83 Briefly, in Jung's view, sensation and intuition both pertain to psychic percept ion. This is the gathering of information. Thinking and feeling on the other han d pertain to the drawing of conclusions. This is the making of decisions. These four work together to enable the personality to orient itself and to act both wi thin itself and in the world around it. Sensation, which is often called the "reality function," admits the perception f rom physical stimuli from both inside and outside the physical body. Conversely, intuition perceives stimuli from the immaterial or inner psychic world. Intuiti on comprehends the intangible aspects of relationships, subtle matters and possi bilities in general. Thinking permits one to attain to conclusions based on abstraction and logical t hought or conceptualization. Feelings, on the other hand, guide one in the estab lishing of value and relative importance, allowing one to arrive at accurate and meaningful judgments. Compare these four general areas of psychic functioning as described by Jung wit h Plato's four faculties of the soul and their corresponding degrees of knowledg e.84 According to Plato these are eikasia (sensation), pistis (belief), dianoia (reason) and noesis (intelligence). Despite their slight superficial differences, the four general psychic functions of Jung and the four soul faculties of Plato clearly correspond to each other a nd describe the same human phenomena. The differences are due merely to the diff erent points of view. Plato speaks from the point of view of philosophy, while J ung speaks from the point of view of science. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, these sets of corresponding descriptions of normal human psychic functioning represent the four arenas or domains of the expression of self consciousness in the realm of finite phenomena. This, if you will recall, constitutes the metastate. The five faculties and the seven abilities operate as a group within each of the se four phenomenal domains of expression. To distinguish their operations in the se four generalized ways, I have variously labelled the faculties and abilities. In the domain of sensation I have termed the faculties traits and the abilities functions. In the domain of feeling I refer to each of them respectively as the drives and the impulses. In the domain of thinking I have termed them respective ly the motivations and the motives. In the domain of intuition I have termed the m respectively the dynamics and the forces. As the faculties and the abilities total twelve altogether and are each operativ e in four distinct domains, there are a total of forty-eight differentiated ener gies. If we also include the underlying polarity of consciousness, which is idea tion/form (pneuma), there are forty-nine. In its general sense as the basic underlying force of the metastate, pneuma is t ermed in the Sanskrit prakriti shakti. In its specific role as the underlying fo rce of each individual personality it is termed kundalini shakti. Both of these forces, in turn, are considered derivatives of prakriti, which is the creative f

orce of consciousness. Finally, the four domains of self expression in the phenomenal realm correspond to the four main somatic divisions of the physical body. These are the genitalia , abdomen, thoracic cavity and head.85 Thus, each set of faculties and abilities specialized in the domains of self expression (the traits and functions; drives and impulses; motivations and motives; dynamics and forces) corresponds to a sp ecific somatic division of the physical body. Each set of faculties and abilitie s is said to have its "seat," or centre of activity in the corresponding somatic division of the physical body. The specific activity, however, of each group of faculties and abilities is not limited to any particular area of the physical body, nor even to the physical bo dy itself. The assignment of a physical seat to each group of faculties and abil ities, I suspect, is a carry over from an earlier time when the body/mind dualit y had not yet been introduced. Each of the groups of faculties and abilities serves the specific requirements o f being human. All are necessary. The details of these functionings need not det ain us here.86 Ancient writers often ignore this fourfold division of the body, as does Plato h imself. Plato assigns the four faculties of the soul to only three of the somati c divisions. He has the head corresponding to noesis and dianoia, the thoracic c avity (thumos or phren) corresponding to pistis and eikasia, and the entire regi on below the midriff (epithumia) corresponding to akolasia, comprising the emoti ons, desires, appetites and passions. Akolasia was not considered by Plato to represent a faculty of the soul, but rat her the power of animal instincts. Thus he considered it to be unworthy of serio us philosophical consideration. For him soul was part of the immaterial and supe rior realm far removed from the world of the mere senses. This is not to say that Plato did not adhere strictly to the fourfold system. He certainly did. He simply ignored what he considered unworthy of study. Others s uch as Philolaus,87 however, give the full fourfold account. The four element system of water, earth, fire and air that pervaded most of anci ent Greek philosophy is directly analogous. It is simplistic and erroneous to th ink that these four referred merely to the physical elements from which they dre w their names. They were also metaphors for the human condition, just as their c ounterparts in the Upanishads. The four element system was an attempt by the ancient writers to describe and to relate as directly as possible the microcosm of man, and the macrocosm of the w orld at large. The Emerald Tablet of the Hermetic tradition sums it up as "whate ver is below is like that which is above, and whatever is above is like that whi ch is below." These correspondences may be summarized thus: DOMAIN SOMATIC Sensation Feeling Abdomen Thinking Intuition DIVISION FACULTY Genitalia Traits Drives Impulses Thorax Motivations Head Dynamics ABILITY Functions Motives Forces

The brain is the physical organ commonly associated directly with the ability of thinking. It is, however, the organ utilized to receive and interpret and thus coordinate all incoming information whatever its source and to regulate all outg oing expression. This inclusive function of the brain is readily confirmed by th e deleterious effects on various physical operations of the body and self expres

sion that even relatively minor damage to the brain causes. Metaphysically, the brain is very properly the "seat" of the dynamics and the fo rces of intuition, whose physical analogue it is. The brain's all inclusive rang e of operation demonstrates this analogous nature. Just as the brain functions a s the main control room of the entire physical body, so too intuition operates a s the master faculty of all the psychic functioning. We may understand the domains of sensation, feeling and thinking as simply limit ed aspects of intuition. The hierarchy implied here is not one of value but of f unction. The forces and dynamics of intuition are very nonspecific in their oper ations. When acting in the domains of sensation, feeling or thinking they become more specific. By becoming more specific they become more limited by necessity of operation. The traits and functions may be properly thought of as the dynamics and the forc es of intuition operating in the domain of sensation. Likewise, the drives and i mpulses may be seen as the dynamics and the forces of intuition operating in the domain of feeling. Finally, the motivations and motives may be understood as th e dynamics and forces of intuition operating in the domain of thinking. In an analogous manner, the spine and the physical body appended to it may be un derstood as limited aspects of the brain. Again, I do not refer to a hierarchy o f value here, but to one of function only. The brain acts as the generalist in c ontrol, while the other specific parts of the body act as the specialists in act ion. Please remember that when I say "limited" here I do not mean to say of less valu e or importance. The hierarchy is one of function and not one of value. Recall that when consciousness becomes self conscious it becomes limited, simply because of the very nature of expression. Expression must be limited for the si mple reason that it is specific. The limitlessness and eternity of the fullness of consciousness can only find it s expression within the limitations of space, time, knowledge and specific activ ity. But again, these are limitations of function, and not value. Consciousness without expression would be meaningless. Intuition, which is the experience of the fullness of consciousness, can only fi nd expression in reality in the sensations, feelings, thoughts and insights of b eing human. In the sense that each of these domains is more specific, and only i n that sense of meaning, we may consider them limited. They are all of equal val ue. Similarly, when I say that the physical body is the limited aspect of the brain, I am not concurring with Plato that the body below the head is of less value. I am certainly not advocating that we do away with our bodies and attempt to func tion as severed heads or brains! Or as unfeeling and cold intellects! The physic al body is the expression of the human brain by the same analogy that the comple te human being is the expression and experience of self consciousness. Being specific expressions, both are limited. But without expression consciousne ss, too, is limited, as would be a disembodied brain, which could not live at al l without the life support system of the body. Metaphysically speaking, the chest or heart cavity, the thorax, is the "seat" of the motivations and the motives of rational thinking. On the other hand, howeve r, the heart is commonly associated with the drives and impulses of feeling, who se proper "seat" is the abdomen.

The genitals are the "seat" of the traits and functions of sensation. They are c ommonly so associated. The concept of the "seats" of all these various forces may seem alien to our way of thinking. But such expressions as "opening your heart," "feeling something i n your guts," or "being stuck in your head" hark back to just this notion. It is only our familiarity with science that has rendered expressions such as these a nachronous. And this only because science until the middle of this century was d ominantly mechanistic and dualistic. As I noted in a previous chapter, when consciousness begins the process of indiv idualizing itself through self expression its integrity is set aside. The detail s of this temporary loss of self awareness require no lengthy elaboration here. But a brief outline is necessary in order to gain a more complete understanding of the relationship of the four phenomenal domains of expression and the course of their development. The proper faculty of integrity is intuitive insight. We might define this as th e immediate comprehension of the totality of whatever is under consideration or observation without recourse to thought, sensation or feeling. Intuitive insight is an immediate and spontaneous grasp of a situation that brings with it a flas h of understanding that immediately transcends thinking, sensation and feeling. It may then include them as well in the experience, but may not. Insight will no t contradict any related factual evidence feeling, sensation or thinking may pre sent, although it may contradict any currently held opinions and conclusions. In its deepest and fullest sense, the immediate comprehension grasped by intuiti ve insight applies to the knowledge and awareness that the self has of the fulln ess of consciousness. But of necessity, in order to express itself at all, consc iousness must become limited. What becomes limited is integrity and its psychic power of intuitive insight. Thus, the initial stage of the process of individuation results in the temporary loss of integrity. This in turn brings about an absorption in the process itsel f that is so intense and total that consciousness enters into a state of awarene ss analogous to its condition in the hyperstate. Consciousness exhibits no subje ctive or objective awareness of itself. In the condition of the hyperstate consciousness is simply lost in the unconscio us, in the sense of totally unselfconscious, contemplation of itself. This is th e ground condition of its unlimited and unformed, and as a result, unrealized po tential. In the beginning of the process of personal individuation consciousness becomes lost in the unconscious, but only in the same sense of being totally unselfconsc ious, contemplation of its own thoughts and impressions. These are the dynamic m ental objects it has created for its own experience. In the first phases of the process of individuation, it is as though the power of integrity has been turned in upon itself. This results in bringing about its opposite effect, the total u nawareness of self. This lack of self awareness and the dreamlike condition it produces represents a fusion of consciousness with its thoughts and psychic powers. The metaphysic of ecstasy considers such a state to be unconscious precisely because consciousnes s does not exhibit awareness of itself. Its identity is wholly perceived in the objects and experiences in which it has involved itself. There is a subtle difference here between the state of fusion and the assertion of monistic idealism that existence itself is an illusion, meaning that it is no

thing but an hallucination. Being unselfconscious brings with it the ignorance o f the true nature of things. The "things," however, are still real, simply mispe rceived. The "things" are consciousness, self consciousness and its thoughts and related powers of thought and action. These are not hallucinations at all. Metaphysical realization destroys this ignorance of the way things really are by awakening consciousness to the self conscious awareness of its fullness. This e nlightenment does not strip away the "illusions" that ideal monism postulates. F or these are not really illusions. Instead, reality is perceived as it really is . "Unconsciousness" here does not mean that there is no awareness or experience of involvement. Quite the opposite. During the fusion phase of individuation consc iousness exhibits an intense and intimate awareness and total involvement with t he sensations and feelings of the moment. But very little or no sense of continu ity or objectivity carries over from one moment to the next. This state of unconscious fusion represents what we may term a sensory motor fun ctioning of the mind. I have previously identified this type of functioning as t he Sanskrit manas and the apocalyptic false prophet. This state of fusion of con sciousness and mind simply reflects the ultimate reality that all experience der ives in and of self consciousness and its psychic functioning. It further expres ses the truth that ultimately self is really all there is. As sensory experience accumulates during the process of individuation there come s eventually the dawning recognition that some experiences are pleasant while ot hers are not. There then follows immediately the intent to avoid the unpleasant ones and to seek the pleasant. This tendency results in the very gradual development of memory, which in its in itial stages is simply the association of pleasure and pain with specific experi ences. In the Sanskrit this trait is termed chitta and in the Apocalypse the red dragon. The tendency of self consciousness and the mind to seek out pleasure reflects th e ultimate reality that the nature of self consciousness is unbounded joy and in effable bliss. The tendency to seek pleasure expresses the ultimate truth that s elf is ecstasy. Through the development of memory there soon comes the realization that consciou s identity is not just the sum total of momentary experiences. If some can be av oided and others precipitated by conscious will, then identity must consist of s omething more. Thus, arises a sense of personal continuity within the constant flow of transien t events. This realization of a continuity of conscious identity manifests final ly in the phase of individuation that we may here term ego self consciousness. T his phase marks the beginning of the veiled awakening of the maturing individual ity to its true nature and identity. From this we may conclude that far from being the despicable trait that so many so-called spiritual teachings label it, the development of human ego marks a maj or milestone towards true self realization. In fact, according to the metaphysic of ecstasy, the inability or refusal to develop a strong sense of personal ego actually retards realization. At this stage of its development, the individuality begins to objectify much of its experience as external to itself. The feeling of a personal continuity withi n the flow of events results from the withdrawal of the unconscious identificati on with all experiences. The individuality now begins to identify itself only wi

th the more proximate elements of its awareness - its own psyche and its powers of expression and experiencing. The psyche produces the various psychic faculties and abilities that provide for the individuality the growing sense of personal continuity through the constant flux of seeming random and momentary events. These psychic percepts shape sensa tions, feelings, thoughts, desires and memories. Please recall that memories consist of anticipations and recollections of pleasa nt and unpleasant experiences. By developing the ability to remember, the develo ping individuality takes the first step towards identifying itself. For it begin s the process of separation. The separation of experience into self and not self, and the resulting identific ation of self with its own psychic powers of expressing and of experiencing is w hat we understand in western psychology as the ego. The ego sense of identity br ings with it self reflection. In the Sanskrit this sense of ego identity and res ulting self reflection are termed collectively ahankara and in the Apocalypse th e beast. The identification of self by the individuality with its mental vehicle of expre ssion and experience - the human psyche - and the tenacious sense of I-ness that results from this identification reflect the ultimate reality that self is tota lly unique and individual. This identification expresses the ultimate truth that self consciousness creates all experience. With the development of the state of ego conscious awareness begins the process of what we may term conscious and deliberate thinking. This process we can under stand simply as the wilful discrimination between an experiencing subject and an experienced object. Until the development of the power of discrimination mental functioning has been limited to the autonomous and instinctual workings of the sensory motor mind an d memory. Both of these mental functions operate in the main unconsciously. Both carry on largely in a non self conscious manner. This is precisely why they are considered to be unconscious in the metaphysic of ecstasy. Remember that in the metaphysic of ecstasy it is the lack of self awareness that defines the state o f unconsciousness. By discriminating between a subject and an object, mental activity becomes to a certain extent conscious, or self aware. When we create thoughts consciously we do so with a sense of I-ness. The sense of I-ness brings with it a complementary sense of other-ness. I-ness and other-ness are really all that the subject/object duality represents. They are a perceptual phenomenon. In the understanding of the metaphysic of ecs tasy subject and object are simply different aspects of perception. They represe nt two ways of looking at the same thing. Like the wave/particle duality of the nature of light. When we think we are acutely aware that "I am thinking." When we observe events going on around us we are very much aware that "I am observing," or that "I am s eeing something that is happening." When we feel threatened, we feel that "I may get hurt." When we feel safe or secure, we feel "I am OK. This is the sense of I-ness that I am talking about. This is what ego consciousn ess is all about. What ego consciousness is about is simply this continual refer ence to I or me. The significant questions for ego self consciousness are two. How does something

or someone relate to me? How do I fit into and feel about this specific situati on? We even say about someone who reflects in this manner excessively that she or he is "self-conscious." By this we mean that the person is too acutely aware of se paration or relationship to the immediate object or situation. The "self conscio us" I refer to here is not the same as the self consciousness of the metaphysic of ecstasy. The self conscious I am talking about here is ego conscious. It is a step towards the final self consciousness of realization, but it is not the sam e thing. It is very important to keep in mind that it is not the same. With the development of the power of discrimination between self and not self mo re and more experiential material becomes objectified. In psychological terms, m aterial that is objectified becomes conscious. This is why in the metaphysic of ecstasy the activities of the sensory motor min d and memory are considered to be unconscious. In identifying with its own menta l activities, the maturing individuality renders those activities unconscious. C onversely, in separating itself from them by discriminating between self and not self it renders them conscious and thus creates an objective reality from them. In the state of ego conscious awareness, self consciousness through individualit y continues to identify with the psyche and its developing personality. Because of the self's continued identification with the psyche, which as a vehicle of se lf expression and experience is finite, temporal and impermanent - that is to sa y mortal and perishable - the self as an individual begins to experience fear of annihilation. The first step of self realization, ironically, is the knowledge that the vehicl e of consciousness is only temporary. And because of its identification with its vehicle, consciousness experiences and believes itself to be perishable. The initial consequence, thus, of ego consciousness is the knowledge of personal death. In a vain attempt to protect itself from its inevitable demise, the awak ening individuality struggles for security, power and acceptance. It creates ima ginary scenarios of continued life after death in order to cope with its new kno wledge. The individuality tries to deny its mortality by imagining heavens and hells, re incarnations and states of disembodied immortality. Further, it fabricates gods and religions simply to avoid facing the truth of its own perishable nature. The individuality misconstrues its own infinite and intangible good for that whi ch serves to protect and preserve the psyche, with which it has become identifie d. It also mistakes as good whatever serves to protect its sense of identificati on with the psyche. The self consciousness that underlies the individuality is really beginning to s ense its own infinite nature. But because of its identification with the psyche self consciousness can not yet see itself clearly. Self sees instead its own vei led image in the mirror of the psyche. Yet even this apparent predicament is part of the process of growth. It is a sta ge of development through which self consciousness must pass on its journey to m aturity. Only by knowing first what it is not, can the self finally realize what it really is. Because of the continuing frustrations self experiences trying, always without s uccess, to satisfy its longings for infinite good within the very finite confine s of its psychic capacities, self consciousness gradually awakens further. Final

ly, through the quickening of the agency of intuitive insight, the apocalyptic l amb (arnion), the newly awakening individuality begins to perceive that its dest iny is greater than its own little personal and psychic world and its preoccupat ions with survival. Incidently, for those who believe that the process of awakening brings only happ iness, wealth and health, all the New Age pablum, this will come as a bit of a s hock. The aggravations, frustrations and failures of life drive the self towards awakening. Prior to a certain point in the development of self awareness, conte ntment and success in life serve only to lull the self into a state of deception about its awareness. Thus climaxes the first half of the process of individuation. And at this halfwa y point the human race as a whole now finds itself. Here we stand, then, our psychic powers fully evolved but still only partially u nder conscious control. Intuitive insight stirs within us, awakening from its lo ng slumber. We know and fear death but at the same time sense something greater beyond. We create comforting theories to cope with the fact of personal death, from heav en to reincarnation. On the other hand, the great metaphysical traditions of the orient seek to rob death by annihilating individuality itself. We can not yet accept that death represents a real end, except in the nihilist s ense of the materialists. So we fail to comprehend that only in understanding de ath and accepting it for what it is can we come to true knowledge and realizatio n. But that is no reason for us to despair. For the curtain is only now rising on t he second act of the great drama. We are about to enact the climax of the great drama of self consciousness! Only if we persist in viewing ourselves as entities rather than conscious events can we see any tragedy here. Self consciousness is maturing and coming to a realization of its fullness. That process is us! 6.3 SUPPORTING ROLES The self expression of the domains of sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition apply specifically to the metastatic realm of phenomena. This forms the realm o f the forty-eight differentiated energies. Corresponding to the trinity of ecstasy, ideation and form is a realm of nonphen omenal existence which in a metaphysical sense encompasses and penetrates the fo ur domains of phenomena and forms the field upon which and within which they occ ur. This is the realm of the forty-ninth, or the nondifferentiated creative ener gy of consciousness. I have termed this nonphenomenal fifth domain inspiration. I refer to the nonphe nomenal realm by the same name as the faculty of inspiration purposely. As I sha ll make clear in the next chapter, the two are essentially identical. A fifth wa y of expressing and experiencing corresponds to the domain of inspiration which I refer to as absorption. In Sanskrit, absorption is termed samadhi, and in Gree k manteia. Actually, there are five distinct types of absorption alluded to in the Apocalyp se. These five are described by Patanjali as well in the Yoga Sutras.88 Two of t hese degrees of samadhi correspond to ideation and two correspond to form. Toget her, Patanjali refers to these as the four lesser degrees of samadhi, which he d escribes as being "with seed". He considers them to be only inferior manners of perception compared to the fifth.

The fifth samadhi corresponds to ecstasy. Patanjali refers to it as the great sa madhi, which he describes as being "without seed". The allusion to seed in Patanjali's writings refers to the awareness of being a participant in the experience. In other words, being self aware. And on this spe cific matter the Yoga school of Patanjali and the esoteric school expounded by J ames Pryse differ widely from the understanding presented by the metaphysic of e cstasy. The two former schools of thought consider samadhi to be the ultimate state of a wareness. Both advocate the absorption of personal individuality into the suppos edly unselfconscious void of the great samadhi, where the human being will attai n final and complete liberation from incarnating over and over again in the mate rial and imperfect world. The metaphysic of ecstasy, on the other hand maintains that absorption is simply another faculty of the self expression of consciousness. To use it as an escape from individuality and personal life is no different in kind from using sex, al cohol, work or heroin to achieve the identical goal. The end result is the same. Absorption is really a kind of super intuition. Its four so-called lesser degree s are analogous to and correspond to the four domains of the phenomenal realm: s ensation, feeling, thinking and intuition. Its fifth degree is analogous to and corresponds to the realm of nonphenomenon, inspiration. The metaphysic of ecstas y ranks the five degrees of absorption in a hierarchy of function, not a hierarc hy of value as Patanjali does. Although superficially it appears to be so, the human personality is not an acti ng agent. The personality rather is the character or role within which self cons ciousness, as individuality, performs a specific part or activity in the unfoldi ng drama of its own awakening. The personality is akin to the characters that ea ch of us experiences in our dreams. Self Expression To the degree that self identifies with the personality, it mistakes the persona lity for the acting agent rather than itself. In realization, the self separates and then recognizes itself as the true acting agent utilizing the personality t o enact a necessary part in its psychic integration. Each human personality represents a tangible expression of the one and infinite eternal self as it becomes individualized in finite and temporal form. Hence, ea ch human personality exists as a visible manifestation of the interplay of consc ious energies. Each human personality represents an epitome of that cosmic inter play of psychic energies. The four phenomenal modes of self expression together with the fifth nonphenomen al mode of expression make up the totality of the metastate. In each personality the expressions and their specific energies appear in different proportions acc ording to the degree to which they have each been objectified and made lucid. All individualities exist within a cycle of involution and evolution (the aion). Each of the many distinct personalities that make up that cycle represents the level of conscious awareness and the degree of self realization of that individu ality at various points in the cycle. I shall discuss this in more detail in the next chapter. Much as an actor assumes a role and takes on the costume specific to that role, self projects the specific personality upon the stage of the drama of consciousn

ess. And just as the actor loses his/her own identity within the drama and quite literally becomes the role and the character he/she portrays, so does self lose itself in the personality. This loss of self awareness is the state of unconsci ous identification from which metaphysical realization awakens self consciousnes s. Unconscious identification with the psyche and the personality is termed in Sans krit avidya, ignorance. In the Apocalypse it is called the abyss, or bottomless pit (abyssos). It is from this state of unconscious identification that individu ality must free itself by awakening to the realization of its true identity. By objectifying its psychological powers the individuality thereby renders them conscious. It is then no longer under their unconscious control, but is enabled to redirect them purposely towards the end of its own maturing into self realiza tion. Consequently, these mental powers as specialized in the nonphenomenal and the fo ur phenomenal domains play a significant part in the apocalyptic drama. These po wers appear in the drama as the many "angels" enacting their various roles throu ghout the Apocalypse. This baffling angelic host, which orthodox Christianity ha s elaborated into a preternatural and mythical hierarchy of entities of dubious nature and purpose, readily resolves itself into the specific powers of the psyc he. These powers are simply the five faculties and the seven abilities as operat ive in the four domains of phenomenal and the single domain of nonphenomenal lif e and existence. The single character from which proceed all others is ideation/form, identified as the "strong" angel, or the spirit, pneuma. Pneuma is simply the creative ener gy of consciousness, (prakriti shakti) and specialized in man as the New Testame nt parakletos, and termed in Sanskrit kundalini shakti. This power activates its elf in three general ways termed in the Sanskrit ida, pingala and sushumna. From this fundamental creative energy of consciousness proceed the five facultie s and seven abilities. As I discussed before, these are identified in the Sanskr it literature as the five pranas and the seven shaktis. In the Apocalypse the fa culties are identified as winds (anemoi). The abilities are called thunders (bro ntai), voices (phonai) and lightnings (astrapai). Furthermore, in the Apocalypse, the abilities are identical to the seven angels of the scourges, seals and churches, the harvest and the trumpet-calls. They man ifest as the seven modalities, which in Sanskrit are termed the seven tattvas. I n the Apocalypse these modalities are variously identified as the seven breaths, seven candlesticks, seven stars and seven vials. In the domain of sensation the seven angels of the seven scourges represent the functions.89 The ten kings without a kingdom90 represent the five traits. Each o f these traits possesses a dual negative/positive aspect, hence they are referre d to as being ten in number. These various traits the "conqueror on the white ho rse" eventually subdues in the course of the drama and transforms into his "army ."91 As noted by Pryse, the incarnating personality is in effect an inverted image of the self. Thus, the energies manifesting sensation, the most fixed form of expr ession, reflect the most subtle degrees of self consciousness. The objectification and subsequent transformation of the energies of sensation a re the key to transforming all other psychic energies. This fact is significant in understanding the correct function of sexual energy in its physical manifesta tion.

In the domain of feeling the seven angels of the seven seals92 represent the imp ulses. The four mighty angels standing on the four corners of the earth and the fifth ascending from the rising sun93 are the drives. The emotional energies do indeed seal the entryway to man's understanding of himself. Their transformation is first necessary to commence the work of self knowledge and transformation. In the domain of thinking the seven angels of the harvest typify the motives.94 Two of these motives are specifically identified as self95 and integrity.96 Mich ael and his angels (Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel and Lucifer) personify the motivatio ns. Lucifer is that "star which fell from heaven to earth and to which was given the key to the bottomless pit."97 This passage is interpreted by the orthodox to si gnify that Lucifer is the ruler of hell and thus the dreaded archfiend and enemy of God. In fact, Lucifer personifies that very psychic energy which engendered the sensory motor mind and autonomous and instinctual functionings. It is also t he energy of motivation for intuitive awakening and as such represents one of th e most important psychic powers. As I noted earlier, the "key" referred to is simply discrimination by which the contents of the unconscious mind are rendered conscious through objectification. This key of discrimination appears also as the Gospel "keys" to the kingdom. Th at Peter receives the "keys" and not Judas demonstrates a serious corruption of the texts. In the Gospel allegory the character of Judas corresponds to Lucifer and discrimination, whereas the character of Peter refers to discursive reason. Reason, no matter how acute it may be, is insufficient by itself to unlock the g ates of the kingdom. In the domain of intuition, the seven angels of the seven trumpet calls98 repres ent the forces. The four angels fettered at the River Euphrates99 and fifth stan ding on the earth and sea100 are the dynamics. The remainder of the angelic appearances, with the exception of a few instances which refer to the first logos, are made by the "strong" angel, speaking from th e aura, (the apocalyptic "clouds"). With these few exceptions, the first logos r emains a nonparticipant in the drama. The clouds represent the fifth domain, that of nonphenomenon, and the fifth way of expressing and experiencing. Those are inspiration and absorption. Tantric Energies Thus through a rather convoluted and ingenius riddle the mysterious angelic host s of the orthodox heaven are resolved into the supporting roles of the drama of consciousness. These various angelic beings are the manifested energies of the e xpression of self consciousness. They are active in the five domains throughout the mental creation of the energy body, which is the human psyche. Objectifying and bringing these psychic energies under conscious control is the subject matter of the second act of the drama of consciousness. It is this profo und task that now remains. 7.1 THE THRONE As the vehicle of self expression, or in other words the mental apparatus of ind ividuation, the metastate forms for consciousness its living body. This metastat ic body, because it is simply pure psychic energy - the mental movement of consc iousness in its dynamic, or thought mode - I have termed, in its individual and personal sense, the energy body.

The concept of a psychological energy body introduces a significant point into o ur discussion. We need to examine it carefully. This is a very subtle issue. For it is quite easy to slip into the false notion that the energy body is a mere t angible thing. The energy body is not a body in the ordinary sense that we under stand the word body. It is an energetic event. We must make a subtle and important distinction here between what we normally th ink of as matter and as energy. We commonly think of matter and energy as two di stinct things. This distinction makes sense in our daily lives. After all a ball point pen and electricity are very different things and serve very different fu nctions. Yet, even though at a practical level such a distinction has some merit, we err if we think it is literally true. For as modern science has demonstrated in fact it is not literally true at all. The metaphysic of ecstasy views matter and energy as simply different perception s of an underlying psychic reality. The two are considered not to be different i n nature, but only different in perspective or point of view. The two perspectiv es manifest contrasting and complementary aspects of the underlying pneuma. Interestingly, science has come to a nearly identical understanding of matter an d energy. No longer can the classical duality of matter and energy be maintained . Not in the age of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. The classical duality of New ton and Descartes that reached its height in nineteenth century mechanism has be en shattered irrevocably by the discoveries of relativity theory and quantum phy sics. It has been totally demolished and rendered untenable for nearly ninety ye ars. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, the energy body serves as the specific e xpression of the creative energy of consciousness manifesting as each individual human being. The energy body represents the metastate as it becomes individuali zed in the process of life. As such, the energy body forms an interconnected web, or matrix, of psychic inte ractions. This complex matrix of interrelated activities appears on a superficia l level to exhibit the structure and solidity of an object. Just as the particle interactions of an atom give it the appearance of structure and solidity. But, like the atom, the energy body is really not an object or a thing at all. An ato m is an interconnected pattern of particle interactions, or an extended event. L ikewise, the energy body is a psychological event, and not a mere entity moving about in time and space. Remember that the metastate is the expression of consciousness in the universal sense. Its complex interactions, too, seem on the surface to give it the appeara nce of an objective thing, namely the space/time universe. But in reality, the s pace/time universe, or the metastate, is a cosmic event of interconnected relati onships and not a mere object. This fact becomes ever more clear with each stride made by physicists towards a deeper understanding of the fundamental nature of reality. The researches of qua ntum physics in the twentieth century have demonstrated consistently and convinc ingly that matter and energy are connected in a dance of mutual interactions. Th e closer and more finely physicists examine matter and energy, the more obviousl y they reveal their true nature as events and not objects. The interactions of matter and energy are characterized by a mutual subatomic "particles." When first observed, these various particles n to be solid objects, like very tiny electrically charged marbles. ecome firmly established that they are in fact the momentary traces exchange of were mistake But it has b of ongoing e

vents. The subatomic particle exchanges and the many interactions that they represent p roduce the appearance of what we know as matter and energy in all their various forms. But modern science approaches ever closer to the view expressed by the me taphysic of ecstasy that this is an appearance only. What the world appears to b e is not really what it is. This remains a far cry from saying that the world is illusion. Science has disco vered that the world is not what it appears to be. But it is still very real non e the less. The metaphysic of ecstasy has said virtually the same. It has said that our perc eption determines what our personal reality appears to be. What we look for and how we look for it determines what we see and what we experience. The metaphysic of ecstasy claims that the underlying creative energy of consciou sness, pneuma, unfolds itself into a myriad varying forms. Depending upon our po int of view and perception, we may experience pneuma in any of various states of energy and matter. Our perception affects everything. For instance, if we aim a beam of electrons at a blind with two small holes in i t spaced a certain distance apart, a diffraction pattern will form on a screen b ehind the blind. The diffraction pattern that appears on the screen indicates th at the electrons behave like a series of waves expanding uniformly from the two openings provided by the holes in the blind. If we cover one of the holes, the diffraction pattern will immediately change. T he diffraction pattern that appears on the screen indicates that electrons now b ehave like a continuous stream of separate and independent particles, each one a ppearing as a point on the screen. Just as if we were shooting little machine gu n bullets. Two holes in the blind and we see electron waves. One hole and we see electron p articles. They are all the same electrons but they are behaving in mutually excl usive ways. Particles can not be waves. Waves can not be particles. The only dif ference is how many holes there are in the blind. Do the electrons suddenly change their nature in accordance with our selection o f one or two holes? That seems hardly likely. What has really changed is simply our perception of the electrons. The electrons remain the same as before. We hav e changed the perceptual parameters of the experiment and produced very differen t apparent results. We have not changed the nature of electrons. What have we le arned about the nature of electrons by these two experiments? Only that an elect ron can exhibit mutually exclusive phenomena depending on how we look at it. I use here the example of electron diffraction because, atoms, the electron in most instances is considered to sense of a classical particle with measurable mass and ple experiment, electrons can be perceived to behave in as a constituent part of be matter in the literal size. Yet, in a very sim a quite nonparticle way.

Conversely, light is generally considered to be energy. Yet light can be perceiv ed to behave like a series of minute particles, called photons, in a simple expe riment. If you have ever seen those little black and white foil patches spinning round in a sealed glass bulb in a toy shop window, you have seen light behaving like a stream of photons. Little photons of light strike the foil pads and caus e them to rotate around their axle. Just like throwing tennis balls at a paddlew heel. Does light change its nature in accordance with how we look at it? No more so th

an electrons. What really changes is our perception. We set up different percept ual conditions and perceive light accordingly. Scientists have, at times, and in all earnestness, hypothesized that light and e lectrons do actually alter their natures to suit our experimental viewpoint. Som e have suggested, again seriously, that some form of quantum mechanical communic ation occurs to enable light and electrons to know whether or not to behave like particles or waves to suit the given experimental condition at hand. This amoun ts to suggesting that the light or electrons know when they start out what condi tions will exist at their target when they get there a few nanoseconds later. An d this even if the experimental conditions are changed after the light or electr ons leave their source. A few scientists have suggested that our observations of light and electrons cau se them to behave in whatever way we expect them to because we possess unconscio us psychic power that forces them to behave as we expect. A very few have guesse d that in some manner as yet unknown our own consciousness takes part in shaping the outcome of every experiment since our consciousness is a necessary constitu ent of the experiment. Some have suggested that since our own consciousness is a constituent of every experiment that "objectivity" is merely self-delusion, and that everything is really subjective. By the way, a faster than the speed of light form of communication as suggested by some physicists would prove extraordinarily useful. With it we could know the future, for one thing. Since the universe appears to obey the speed of light li mit, with a faster than light speed method of communication we could zip ahead o f events and transmit their outcomes back in time. In addition to winning horse races some interesting time paradoxes could also result. What can we make of this experimental quandary, the apparent duality of light an d electrons (energy and matter) and the role consciousness plays? In fact, moder n science has discovered the metaphysical matrix. Sooner or later, scientists wi ll learn how to quantify it and measure its transformations with mathematical pr ecision. Just as the practitioners of the science of kabala learned millennia ag o. Kabala forms the topic of the next chapter. So for now let us discuss in some de tail the energy body. In the very fanciful and symbolic terminology of the Apocalypse, the energy body is depicted in a metaphor as a throne.101 Sitting upon this throne is a mysteri ous monarch who is referred to simply as "one." This mysterious and undescribed monarch reveals his identity with but little det ective work. If the throne symbolizes the energy body, which is the expression o f consciousness, then that which sits enthroned represents that aspect of consci ousness which expresses. He is self consciousness. Specifically he is ecstasy, t he first logos, the supreme identity. The first logos forms the eternal pattern or form, of which everything manifeste d in reality is but the extension and limited image. Recall that Plato mistook t his pattern to be something existing in its own right. He named it the eidos. Bu t in the Apocalypse the logos is depicted as seated upon, or rooted in, its vehi cle of expression. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, self consciousness can not be s eparated from self expression. To be self conscious is to be expressing and expe riencing self awareness. In a manner analogous to self consciousness sitting enthroned upon its vehicle o f expression, the human spinal column and appended physical body form the throne upon which sits the brain. The analogy is so close that it can hardly be coinci

dental. Indeed, the physical body is the extension and limited expression of the brain. The brain is itself the main physical organ and the primary vehicle of self cons ciousness. It is the monarch of the body. For self consciousness, the energy body forms the vehicle of expression and perc eption as well as all that is perceived and experienced. The energy body is the effective means by which consciousness becomes equally the observer, the observe d and the act of observation. The energy body represents the activity and moveme nt of consciousness in its dynamic mode. The Apocalypse describes the energy body metaphorically as a throne and details its construction quite literally. Meanwhile, the New Testament enumerates three other bodies specifically. These are the spirit body (soma pneumatikon), the psy chic body (soma psychikon) and the physical body (soma or sarx) also called the flesh.102 How are these other three bodies, which are not described in detail, r elated to the energy body? In the west these three bodies are popularly called the "spirit," the "soul" and the "body" respectively. In Sanskrit these three are termed karana sharira (the causal body), sukshma sharira (the subtle body) and sthula sharira (the gross b ody). These three are really just another way of describing the energy body. The three-fold system of "bodies" represents the simplification of a more compre hensive five-fold system. The five-fold system consists of five "sheaths," namel y the physical, the etheric, the mental, the intellectual and lastly the integra l. The Sanskrit literature describes each of these sheaths (kosas) at length.103 The five sheaths correspond to the five faculties as follows. SHEATH FACULTY physical memory mental reason etheric action intellectual apprehension integral inspiration Vedanta considers that the five sheaths surround and conceal the inner atman, or self. And they are described as layered, one inside the other. The physical she ath is the outermost and the integral sheath the innermost. What is meant by thi s, is that the inner sheaths consist of a finer substance than the outer. The "s ubstance," however, of the inner sheaths is considered to be of a nonphysical na ture but capable of interacting with the physical. In this manner, Indian metaphysics describes a finer sheath as within and permea ting a grosser. The Atman is considered to be the finest of all substance and to permeate all of the surrounding sheaths. According to Vedanta, the sheaths are described as follows. The physical sheath constitutes the physical body of flesh, bones, blood and wat er, etc. Depending upon the ingestion of living food for its survival, it lives only as long as it can assimilate such food. The mental sheath consists of the capacity to discriminate between the experienc ing self and the experienced other. It further associates and recognizes specifi c and differing characteristics of ideas, objects and observations. The mental s heath can function only as long as it remains fluid and adaptable. When it begin s to solidify ideas and attitudes into unchangeable opinions, it begins to die.

Humans usually die first of hardening of the attitudes long before hardening of the arteries. The etheric sheath comprises the field of vital energy which animates the human being and all other living "entities." It becomes active at conception and inact ive at physical death. It provides the connection between the physical and non-p hysical aspects of the human being, forming an energy web of interconnected acti vity. The intellectual sheath consists of the capability of discernment, the perceptio n and insight into ideas, objects and observations where too little information is available for logical processes. Vedanta considers that the intellectual shea th survives personal death and is subject to the cause and effect laws of karma, reincarnating according to its desires and actions in previous lifetimes. The notion that some part of the human psychic vehicle survives death underlies all monistic and dualistic metaphysical systems. Which part survives and in what form it does so varies according to which metaphysical system you examine. It i s just this notion of personal survival in some form or other that justifies end eavours to emancipate the incarnating entity from the karmic necessity of repeat ed incarnations. The metaphysic of ecstasy denies that any part of the psychic vehicle of conscio usness survives death. It does so because according to its doctrine it is consci ousness itself that is incarnating, not autonomous entities. Individual human pe rsonalities are simply the roles of consciousness played in the drama of its own self realization. Consciousness itself is subject to karma and the psychic nece ssity to integrate unconscious elements of itself into awareness. The metaphysic of ecstasy teaches that once the human psyche serves its purpose it disintegrates. But this does not mean that it is lost or that its experiences passed for nothing. Consciousness retains within itself all of the experiences and insights gained by every individual life that is lived. Those lives and thei r experiences which pass in the limited and personal sphere of phenomena remain within the universal and impersonal awareness as part of the process of self awa kening. Even those lives that are lived in ignorance and immaturity serve the purpose of bringing consciousness nearer to self realization. In the grand view of the pro cess of self realization every single life is absolutely necessary, unique and u nrepeatable. Each is a necessary part of the whole. Human ignorance and immaturity manifest unconscious elements that need to be acc epted into conscious awareness. Just as all the painful feelings and repressed m emories that may be dredged up during psychotherapy are necessary for the patien t's recovery, so too all the painful and repressed material of which consciousne ss remains unaware must be brought into active awareness in the process of comin g to conscious self realization. Only the simple minded and naive think that growth in self awareness brings only peace and equanimity. Because of our place in the evolutionary scale of events, growth also brings pain. We are shedding the skin of old life to make way for a new life. It hurts sometimes. The integral sheath constitutes the immediate knowing of the intimate interconne ctedness of all things and experiences. It connects, that is to say integrates, all psychic activity. Faculties and Correspondances

In the Apocalypse the five sheaths are termed "horses." Four of them appear at t he opening of the seven seals.104 The fifth horse appears at the final psychic o bjectification.105 The apocalyptic white horse represents the physical sheath. The red horse stands for the etheric sheath. The black horse depicts the mental sheath. The pale hor se denotes the intellectual sheath. And the white horse of the conqueror represe nts the integral sheath. This duplication of the white horse has much significan ce and I shall detail this significance in its proper place. The first four apocalyptic horses also correspond to the four domains of phenome nal expression. These are termed an "eagle flying"106 (which is a substitute for the zodiacal sign of Scorpio), a "man"107 (the sign Aquarius), a "lion"108 (the sign Leo) and a "calf"109 (the sign Taurus). The four refer to sensation, feeli ng, intuition and thinking respectively. Much of the language of the New Testament, and of the Apocalypse in particular, is borrowed directly from astrology and the zodiac. The eagle, which is the cons tellation Aquila, often substitutes for the scorpion, which is the constellation and the astrological sign Scorpio. The eagle in its own right also represents a nother faculty. Metaphysically, Aquila symbolizes love (amor) while Scorpio symbolizes lust (ero s). In chapter 8 of the Apocalypse it is the eagle which announces the three fin al transformations (the "woes"). For in the metaphysic of ecstasy, it is through love only, that realization comes about. Again, in chapter 12, it is the eagle, whose two wings symbolize ida and pingala, which protects the matrix (sushumna) and the nascent self realization to which the matrix is about to "give birth." Where the eagle substitutes for the scorpion, the faculty of memory is referred to and also the domain of sensation. Where the eagle stands for itself rather th an substituting for the scorpion, it refers instead to the faculty of inspiratio n. This convergence of symbols is yet another clue to the underlying truth of th e metaphysic of ecstasy: that love and sex together represent the method of self realization. The four horses of the Apocalypse also correspond to the four somatic divisions of the physical body: the genitals, abdomen, thoracic cavity and head, and as we ll to their four corresponding faculties. These you will remember are memory, ac tion, reason and apprehension. The fifth horse, that is, the white horse of the conqueror, corresponds to the a ura and the nonphenomenal realm of expression. It corresponds as well to the fac ulty of inspiration. That the horse of the conqueror happens to be white is sing ularly significant, for it confirms the truth of the efficacy of love and sex to gether to bring about realization. From this description it is clear that the various expressions and their corresp ondences represent the specialized operations of the five faculties. As I noted earlier, the five faculties enable the human personality to internalize psychic reality into subjective observations and experiences. Hence, this five fold desc ription of the energy body represents the subjective mode of the expression of c onsciousness in its various aspects, observations and experiences. We may summar ize all of these various correlations as follows. Faculties 1. All five sheaths and their various correspondences considered together as a u nified whole constitute the New Testament "spirit" (soma pneumatikon) and the ca usal body (karana sharira) of Sanskrit literature. Thus, the term "spirit" does

not refer to some immaterial rarefied form divorced in essence from matter and t he physical world. It denotes rather wholeness and psychic integration. 2. The physical, mental, etheric and intellectual sheaths, considered as a group constitute the "soul," or the psychic body (soma psychikon), and the Sanskrit s ubtle body (sukshma sharira). I refer to this group as the psyche, following in the manner of Carl Jung. The psyche encompasses the psychic functions named by Jung as sensation, feeling , thinking and intuition. They each operate essentially as he has described them . 3. The physical sheath and its sundry correspondences considered separately cons titute the physical body, (soma or sarx) the "flesh." This refers to the Sanskri t literature's gross body (sthula sharira). In Vedanta the relationship of the various sheaths is described as many layers w ithin one another, like the layers of an onion, obscuring the atman within. Cont rarily, the Apocalypse instead utilizes a quadrant description to accord with th e zodiacal imagery used throughout the work. A significant difference between these two ways of describing the relationship o f the various sheaths and self consciousness is quickly apparent. This differenc e in point of view helps to illustrate clearly the metaphysical error of ideal m onism. In the concentric or many layered description, the various sheaths are described as covering over and thus obscuring the essential self within. Consequently, to attain the knowledge and realization of that essential self within you must fir st strip away one after another the five obscuring sheaths until only the "true" self, or atman, remains. In this view, the various sheaths serve only to hinder the realization of self. They must finally disappear as that realization matures. Here, then, is the metaphysical rationale for all idealistic monism. That is the concept that only the absolute possesses ontological being and all else is illu sion. This is the concept prevalent throughout all Indian metaphysics, aside fro m the Samkhya and Yoga schools, both of which are dualistic. In the mistaken view of monism, the self, rather than consciousness, is accorded absolute ontological status. Yet the expressions and experiences of self consci ousness are labelled as imaginary and illusory. Hence arises the common misconce ption that the relative world, which is called maya in its universal sense and s amsara in its personal sense, is just an illusion in the literal meaning that it does not really exist except as an hallucination. Ideal monism thus reveals its internal inconsistency. Self consciousness is not self conscious unless it is aware of itself, for that is the very definition and experience of self consciousness. Yet ideal monism claims that such awareness i s merely an illusion, a self induced mental abberation that only impedes the rea lization of self by itself! The point of view expressed by the Apocalypse, on the other hand, varies markedl y. Rather than depicting the five sheaths as obscuring layers to be stripped awa y one by one to reveal the hidden truth of an ontological self, the Apocalypse d escribes the various sheaths as coequal and thus complementary to one another. Furthermore, far from obscuring the self, the Apocalypse pictures the sheaths as the very throne upon which sits self consciousness in all the glory and munific

ence of its varied phenomenal expressions. Whether inadvertently or not, the apo calyptic description of self consciousness and its vehicle of expression and exp erience graphically affirms the nondual and holistic metaphysic of ecstasy upon which it has been grafted. The relative and contingent world of self expression is acknowledged as compleme nting the absolute hyperstate of consciousness. The two are not placed in opposi tion to each other. The relative is not presented as an obstacle to the realizat ion of the absolute, but part and parcel of the whole. The absolute is seen as p ermeating and manifesting by means of the relative, not in spite of it. The expe rience of absolute being is not presented as the ultimate goal of relative exist ence. Nor does absolute experience, when it is realized, then obliterate the rel ative. Thus in a stroke and by a relatively simple and very ingenious word puzzle both dualism and monism are demolished! What remains is a clear and concise statement of the reality of consciousness and its awareness. In addition to the three bodies we have already discussed above, the New Testame nt alludes to a fourth. This fourth body the New Testament writers do not specif ically name. In the Sanskrit this fourth body is termed kama rupa, "desire form. " The Apocalypse refers to this fourth body by the anagram "Armageddon" (or "Arm agedon"). Christian literalists, of course, have misunderstood Armageddon, seeing in its m eaning the final cataclysmic end of the world. It is hardly much of a surprise t hat the literalists have failed to comprehend that the word is an anagram. In the Apocalypse Unsealed, James Pryse resolves this anagram into the words Rhe a 'dagmon, which he then translates as "Rhea of the prurient itchings, or desire s." Pryse uses this epigram to denigrate sex yet one more time, obviously referr ing to the power of sexual attraction. Rhea was one of the many names for the ancient Goddess, whose worship included s exual intercourse. Unlike Pryse, we ought not find this fact of religious practi ce either surprising or scandalous. Its inclusion within the goddess religion wa s necessary and ennobling. The metaphysic of ecstasy after all deemed sexual intimacy to be the most sublim e of sacramental acts. Far more efficacious to spiritual growth than the self de structive practices and deprivations advocated by its detractors. Given Pryse's metaphysical bias, upon which I have already commented sufficientl y, we need not wonder at his negative interpretation of the anagram Armageddon. For him, the mere suggestion of sexuality combined with religion or metaphysics would smack of the greatest of evil. We need not sidetrack ourselves by expending here a great deal of time and effor t in the attempt to decipher this anagram. Pryse may very well be correct, and i t may represent simply the work of the authors who adulterated the metaphysic of ecstasy to produce the Apocalypse. If so, they undoubtedly did intend to condem n sexual attraction. But I would like simply to offer some alternative suggestio ns or directions for interpreting the word on the chance that it originated much earlier. From the Greek perspective, the word in part resembles daimon or even rhadiourgi a enough to suggest some reference to harmful or mischievous power. From this pe rspective, Pryse's interpretation finds some support. Since the word, however, i s referred to specifically as Hebrew, we might find fruitful avenues there.

Conventional scholars, of course, cite the words har and megiddow to arrive at M t. Megiddo, the supposed site of the final battle between good and evil. The pre cise location of this important hill top in Palestine remains in doubt. Furtherm ore, given the nature of the Apocalypse such a simple solution to the anagram is highly unlikely. The words har and megiddow could lead to a more subtle interpretation, however. Armown or harmown means a citadel or castle. As a metaphor, rather than as a lit eral mountaintop fortress, Mt. Megiddo has some interesting possibilities. Meged (meaning eminent, valuable or distinguished) and gadad or gedad (both expr essing variant meanings of cut or cut down) suggest the harvest or gathering and reaping of something valuable. Mag, the shortened form of rabmag, was the offic ial title of the chief magician of the Babylonians. Here we see many possibiliti es for imaginative interpretation. Any of these various words, and many others, could be construed as the meaning or meanings of the anagram armageddon. The ultimate fate of this fourth body, like that of the psyche as a whole, is to tal dissolution.110 Yet its fate is different since, unlike the other parts of t he psyche, it has in fact no real substance at all, but is only an image. Hence, I call it the illusory body. In the average individual this illusory body comes into a quasi existence only a fter the death of the physical body. The illusory body is produced by the image making power of the etheric and mental sheaths of the psyche and generated by th e desire for continued personal existence. The illusory body is simply the phantasm or shade of the physical body. It is a subtle materialization of the desire for individual survival and phenomenal exis tence that lingers on within the metastate of self consciousness after the disin tegration of the specific ego conscious personality to which it corresponded. You could describe the illusory body as analogous to the recollection of and des ire to continue a pleasant dream after awakening. You are awake and the dream is gone, yet it lives on for a time in your imagination and desire as you carry ou t your daily activities. In the individual person maturing in self realization, the illusory body appears with the beginning of the process of the objectification of the psyche. The obj ectification of the psyche "appears" to the personality as a kind of death and t hus gives the illusory body its premature birth. This process of objectification does not occur finally and immediately but over a period of time, sometimes ext ended over many months or years. During this entire period of time there remains the recurring tendency of the personality to slip back into the familiar identi fication with the psyche. This tendency and the necessary will to resist it enga ge in constant struggle, the apocalyptic "battle of Armageddon." It is with such illusory bodies that most so called "contacts" with a hypothetic al world beyond death are established. Illusory bodies survive physical death, s ince they disintegrate more slowly than the other elements of the psyche. They p ersist in the metastate where they may become perceptible to living personalitie s, either due to extreme sensitivity or to great emotional duress. Misguided individuals who present themselves as mediums offer up inadvertently t he psychic elements of their own personalities as food for these psychic parasit es to feed upon. By attempting to communicate with such entities these sensitive persons risk grave emotional and psychological harm to themselves. Their effort s are usually justified by the assumption that they are attempting to communicat e with entities from a "higher" level of consciousness or state of greater menta l power.

To put the matter straight, no personality exhibiting a more expansive degree of consciousness than that possessed by the human race as a whole requires mediums , trances or any other paranormal phenomena to communicate. And just such mental pyrotechnics are good evidence of the real nature of such entities. I am not referring to the outright fraud and deceit perpetrated upon the gullibl e by unscrupulous hucksters. I refer to the actual contacts with illusory bodies that can and do occur through the mediumship of sensitive individuals. Such con tacts can occur inadvertently or intentionally. The entities so contacted are well left alone. They can give absolutely nothing worthwhile to those who so ardently seek them out. Further, they exact from thos e who offer themselves purposely or accidentally as mediums of exchange a terrib le emotional and psychological price. When contacted these psychic entities are purely parasitical. They only prolong their period of decay by feeding upon the emotional and mental energy of still l iving personalities. To encourage such psychic parasitism endangers all who part icipate, the unfortunates who act as mediums and those who engage their services . Some individuals, whether due to their emotional make up or some other cause as yet undiscovered, in whom a relatively large amount of psychic material still re mains unconscious or repressed, sometimes experience what are often called paran ormal events. These may be "revelations," "voices," "automatic writing" and othe r forms of alleged communications. Again, I do not here refer to the frauds inflicted upon the gullible by con arti sts. Many individuals really do experience psychological events whose source see ms outside themselves or at best unknown. These psychic "communications" are often credited to supposedly higher forms of intelligence or immaterial beings or entities from other planes of existence or consciousness. Dramatic changes in physiology and/or tones of voice of the mediu ms which frequently accompany such occurrences are generally cited as irrefutabl e verification of their objective actuality. Such events, however, are nothing more than mental projections of the individual or individuals concerned. Even though frequently produced in quite spectacular manner, their real nature is usually clear. In people who are under very obvious mental or emotional stress such occurrences are rightly considered hallucinatio ns and little or no credence is accorded them. With the relatively normal indivi dual or someone who is not under any overt mental or emotional stress, these eve nts are often given more credence than they warrant. The problem is not that material so disclosed is totally valueless. It may posse ss some value or even some degree of importance as information. Even in the case of outright insanity valuable insights can, and do, occur. The problem lies in misinterpreting the real source of such material and thence failing to react app ropriately in response. Crediting an hallucination, for instance, with objective validity can lead to totally inappropriate actions. Further, the projection of psychic material onto the screen of external events i s simply the psyche's way of avoiding the process of psychological integration. No matter how valuable or insightful such material may be, it impedes personal g rowth. This is one of the ways that we manage to get in the way of the process o f self realization. Real higher intelligences do not require peculiar or paranormal modes of communi

cation. There simply is no separation between "them" and "us" to be overcome. If we accept the view of the metaphysic of ecstasy regarding the nature of conscio usness then we see immediately that we are already connected intimately. "They" have but to think or feel and we experience it as our own. There exists, in fact, a communion of saints, to put it fancifully. Not in the o rthodox sense, of course, but rather a psychological communion or mental unity o f human personalities who have realized a higher degree of self consciousness th an the average of the race. These individuals, as a consequence of their expansi veness of consciousness, constitute a sort of collective overall mind for the hu man race as a whole. The personalities so enlightened, or rather aware, require no strange, spectacul ar or extraordinary methods of communication. In particular they do not have to control anyone's body during trance to channel information to those of us who ar e less aware. We ego conscious personalities who make up the living race of humanity constitut e the limited and hence the restricted expression of that overall mind. In other words, our individual minds are the phenomenal expression of the overall human mind. The many individual expressions are simply manifesting the contents, consc ious and unconscious, of that human mind. But we need not digress in this matter here. When one is ready to be aware of this connection, one then becomes aware of it. In our investigation of the energy body we need also to examine the seven chakra s and their many nadis, or transformations. The seven chakras correspond to the seven abilities. As was proclaimed by all ancient philosophies, the human physical body is itself a microcosm of the entire metastate. To every phenomenon of the metastate the b ody's organs and functions correspond and exist in a direct relationship. The creative energy of parakletos (kundalini shakti) and its various transformat ions (nadis) are myriad. According to Vedic tradition there are 72,000 nadis, of which fourteen possess significant importance for our consideration. Of these f ourteen, ida, pingala and sushumna111 require specific elaboration. The others w e have already encountered in the form of the five faculties and the seven abili ties. According to Sanskrit literature, sushumna represents a channel or pathway that passes from the base of the spinal cord in a direct route up the nerve core of t he spine to the center of the brain. Pingala represents a channel or pathway com mencing in the left ovary or testicle, and running parallel to the spine through the sympathetic nervous system up to the brow ridge where it then exits through the right nostril. Ida duplicates the course of pingala, but running instead in a pathway from the right testicle or ovary to the left nostril. The current of energy that flows through the right nostril, pingala, represents the active or positive polarization of vital force. Hence, pingala has been cons idered masculine traditionally and called the sun breath. The sun is, in fact, t he active principle of life on earth. Western science is beginning to understand the more subtle effects of the sun upon biological systems. The gross effects, of course, have long been known. These gross effects include photosynthesis, the changing rhythm of the seasons and solar radiation. The energy that flows through the left nostril, ida, represents the receptive or negative polarization of the vital force. Hence, ida has been considered tradit ionally as feminine and nourishing, and hence called the moon breath. The moon h as long been recognised as having an effect upon biological systems. The approxi

mate correlation of the menstrual cycle with the lunar month presents the prime example. When the breath flows through both nostrils evenly, sushumna represents the full and unpolarized energy of the vital force. Such equal breathing normally occurs only briefly during the course of the day. Usually, the breath does not flow through both nostrils evenly, but concentrates first in one and then the other. The breath alternates at fairly regular interv als between the left and right nostrils unless some illness or injury prevents i t. You can demonstrate the fact of alternate breathing for yourself at any time by paying attention to your breathing. Once you become accustomed to being aware of your breath, by the way, you will soon find it incredible that you ever were no t aware of it. Normally, only during the crossover from one dominant nostril to the other does equal breathing occur, and then for a brief period of time. The energy of ida differentiates or refracts itself into the seven main states o f consciousness, the chakras. These may be described most easily as the seven ab ilities corresponding to them: loving, thinking, willing, knowing, inspiring, ex pressing and forming. Further, ida thereby energizes the sympathetic nervous system which in turn sust ains the elementary, the autonomous and instinctual operations of the physical b ody. In the sense that the physical body is the "world" of the ego conscious per sonality, ida is known as the world mother, a term that no doubt originated duri ng the ages of the metaphysic of ecstasy. Ida further manifests itself in the seven psychic modalities. These may be most simply described as representing elementary relationships. These elementary rela tionships are fixed, fluid, expanding, penetrating, enveloping, balanced and cau sative. Pingala differentiates or refracts itself into the five states of self conscious ness that correspond to the five psychic faculties. As you may recall, these are memory, reason, action, apprehension and inspiration. Pingala thereby energizes the cerebrospinal nervous system. This activity sustai ns the sense of I-ness and self conscious awareness. Furthermore, the energies of pingala correspond to the five sheaths, the five de grees of absorption (samadhi) and the four somatic divisions of the physical bod y and encompassing aura. As I explained earlier the twelve energies of ida and pingala actualize in each of the four psychic domains of phenomenal existence. The seven differentiations of ida manifest the objective mode of experience. They sustain the specific thou ght forms of self consciousness as the objects of experience and perception. The five differentiations of pingala manifest the subjective mode of experience. Th ey sustain the intellectual and the intuitive faculties of perceiving and expres sing. The union of these twelve energies in sushumna represents transcendence of the s ubject/object duality. It further underscores the reality that phenomenal existe nce is permeated and penetrated by the identity and the presence of the nonpheno menal realm of existence. Faculties and Correspondances

The specialized activities of the vital energies of ida and pingala operate larg ely involuntarily in the average person. That is to say they are still predomina ntly unconscious in their operations. Both the intensity and strength, however, of the action of these vital energies can be greatly enhanced by voluntary effort. This entails merely becoming consci ously aware of them and maintaining that awareness throughout the waking state. Each cycle of respiration reacts dynamically with the creative energy of conscio usness. This energy rests symbolically in near inactivity near the base of the s pine, in the male and female genitals. You might think of this creative force as a great dynamo which in the predominat ely unconscious person is just ticking over but not yet in active power generati on. In such a person respiration is generally very shallow and rapid, and confin ed to only a small portion of the upper lungs. Consequently, the stimulation ava ilable to the reposing, creative force remains weak and feeble. Such stimulation remains insufficient to rouse the creative force into active and conscious move ment. Proper breathing, on the other hand, drives a potent stimulus down into the lowe r somatic center, the genitals. It there manifests as a heating of the lower abd omen. The generation of this heat within the abdomen helps stimulate the creativ e force into conscious activity. To carry on with our metaphor: the great dynamo is thereby thrown into gear. It sends an active current of intense energy ascending the sushumna nadi to the bra in. In passing, this intense current floods the several states of consciousness (the chakras) with revitalizing force. In this manner the activities of the vari ous chakras are made conscious. Incidently, the closest that most people get to this condition occurs during pro longed sexual intercourse. This, of course, is precisely what the metaphysic of ecstasy predicts will occur. The emotional intimacy and intensified breathing br ought on by sexual passion, although for many still relatively shallow, manages to raise the temperature of the body significantly. The increased heat indicates that the creative force is receiving stimulation. The process, however, is usually short circuited by genital orgasm, especially i n the male. In genital orgasm the energy being roused by the combination of brea thing and emotional intimacy is merely discharged explosively outward. The genit al organs thus serve only to diffuse the energy rather than concentrate it and d rive it inward to energize the several chakras and make it available for exchang e and sharing with the partner. During an uncontrolled ejaculation, the man's sexual energy literally floods the woman. Although women can absorb a portion of this inundation, few manage to ab sorb more than a small fraction as it passes through them. Certain techniques ha ve been devised to enable women to absorb a greater amount of this force. Indeed, certain sexual techniques have been devised both in the orient and in th e west to enable one sexual partner to draw off relatively large amounts of ener gy from the other. When such techniques are practised either in the absence of o r against the informed will of the partner and to both the physical and psycholo gical harm of the victim, we have in effect sexual vampirism. At the elementary levels of sexual intimacy energy is both exchanged and shared largely unconsciously between men and women. Neither partner possesses the knowl edge or the ability to do serious harm to the other or to engage in sexual vampi rism. At these levels of experience energy losses result primarily from ignoranc

e and not from malevolent intent. This is especially so in the case of males, wh ose dogged insistence upon ejaculation can lead to marked loss of energy. The ro lling over and falling asleep syndrome exemplifies this problem. At more profound levels of sexual intimacy couples can learn to share and exchan ge energy consciously. This ability enhances their relationship enormously. The conscious exchange and sharing of sexual energy is the method of self realizatio n taught by the metaphysic of ecstasy. Its true efficacy may be judged by the ve hemence of the attacks by its detractors, who have spent the better part of thre e thousand years trying to convince the human race of the perniciousness of sex. Given the context of the sanctity of sexual intimacy as understood by the metaph ysic of ecstasy, sexual vampirism amounts to monumental evil. Such behaviour nev er was nor ever could be condoned. And those who try to make a case for celibacy and sexual abstinence on these grounds are sorely mistaken. Faculties and Correspondances In rousing the creative force into conscious activity, pingala and ida are first intensified by proper breathing. The science of proper breathing is termed in t he Sanskrit pranayama. I must note here that pranayama was devised originally as a method for attempting to rouse the creative force without resorting to sexual intercourse. We must keep in mind that the Indian Vedas are perhaps the best su rviving representatives of the Indo-European metaphysic that overthrew the metap hysic of ecstasy. One of the recurring motifs of this patriarchal metaphysic is, of course, doing without women, which is precisely why it has reduced the role of women to the only thing, in its view, that men can not do without them. In re ality, however, men can do nothing without women, and vice versa. We were made f or each other. This fact forms the fundamental basis for the metaphysic of ecsta sy. Women and men are the complementary halves of consciousness seeking itself. The preliminary result of intensified breathing and emotional intimacy is a pron ounced heating of the abdomen. This in turn arouses the creative force into cons cious activity. When conscious energy begins the ascent of the sushumna nadi thr ough the spinal column, pingala and ida are suspended altogether. Hence, after the abdominal heating caused by the intensification of the action o f pingala and ida succeeds in arousing sushumna all external signs of breathing appear to be suspended completely. This simply means that the breath is being he ld or retained. Breathing then becomes centered within the spine. The practitioner is then said to be "in the breath," or "in the spirit." It is in this condition that the acti on of the Apocalypse commences. "I was in the breath (en pneumati) on the Lord's day..."112 Incidently, the occult expression en pneumati, which may be equally translated a s "in the spirit," refers also to the metaphysical state of wholeness, or integr ation. This state of wholeness makes the understanding of all that follows in th e narration possible. It is thus both a statement of method and of attitude. Yoga and Psychotherapy describes the chakras as representing regions of connecti on between the sheaths. The sheaths do not simply function independently but in a more or less coordinated manner. For instance, the mental sheath, the etheric sheath and the physical sheath interact in an intimate manner. If you focus your thoughts on the solar plexus, your focus increases the concentration of energy. The concentration of energy at the solar plexus increases the action of the dige stive organs and enhances their activity. Focusing on the solar plexus improves the ability of the digestive organs to secrete enzymes and process food. The sol

ar plexus functions as a focal point for interaction between the three sheaths. The solar plexus is a nervous center in the physical body. It also corresponds t o a point in the etheric sheath and in the mental sheath. This particular point represents a center of activity in each of these sheaths. It constitutes a sort of nodal point, or point of intimate connection through which the three sheaths can interact energetically with one another. According to Yoga and Psychotherapy the solar plexus represents one of the "cent ers of consciousness," or chakras, which connect the various sheaths. "The corre spondences and interactions among the sheaths is best understood by studying the centers of consciousness that provide the points of connection between them. "The centers are seven in number and called chakras. Their approximate positions correspond in the physical body to specific points along and/or adjacent to the spinal cord. "The first, known as the root, is located near the base of the spine in the pros tate of the male and the uterus of the female. The second, known as the genitals , is located in the testicles of the male and the ovaries of the female. The thi rd center, which is called the navel, is associated with the solar plexus. The f ourth center is near the heart in the thymus gland. These four centers form a ve rtical line when one sits erectly. "The fifth center is at the base of the throat in the parathyroid and the thyroi d glands. The sixth center is located at the point between the two eyebrows at t he center of the brain. It corresponds to the pineal gland. The seventh and last center is at the topmost point of the skull, at the 'crown' of the head. It is associated with the pituitary gland."113 Although the chakras and their nadis can be localized approximately within the p hysical body it would be a mistake to think of them simply as specific locations or energy centers within the body. They are commonly so depicted, especially by oriental commentators, who, as I noted before, make less a distinction between mind and body than we in the west. Due to the less formal distinction between the mind and body in general in orien tal writings, quite a few misunderstandings have arisen on this matter. Frequent ly in the west the chakras are mistakenly thought to be actually located, as som e sort of psychic and subtle force centers, within the nervous ganglia and organ s that are their physical correlates. The word chakra, which literally means a "wheel," adds somewhat to this confusio n. All of the physical descriptions of the chakras can be misleading if taken to o literally. Remember that even in a traditional description, such as that given in Yoga and Psychotherapy the chakras are defined as "centers of consciousness. " A rather large and simplistic literature has sprung up describing the various ch akras in a much too literal fashion. Many of these books mislead by their simpli city. This has only added fuel to the western confusion about this topic. I can not emphasize too strongly that the chakras represent states of consciousness an d different, but complementary, orientations of conscious activity. They are ana logous to the focal point of a lens. The focal point is not simply a physical lo cation where the concentration of light is directed by the action of the lens, i t is also a locus of concentration and acuity. It is in effect, an event which h as been focused, or caused to happen, in a specific location by the curvature of the lens material.

PHYSICAL CORRELATE ORGAN CHAKRA root uterus/prostate muladhara genitals ovaries/testicles adhisthana navel solar plexus manipuraka heart thymus anahata throat para- /thyroid vishuddi brow pineal ajna crown pituitary sahasrara

I think it is more accurate and certainly much less confusing, especially for we stern readers, to understand the chakras as states of energy.114 rather than as "psychic" centers or any other term that suggests a physical or quasi physical n ature. Corollary to describing the chakras as states of energy, their numerous n adis are more clearly defined as transformations of state, rather than as the "c hannels" or "tubes" of a literal translation of the Sanskrit word. Of course, the chakras and nadis do exhibit physical correspondences, many of wh ich I have enumerated in the accompanying table. Each of them also exhibits ethe ric, mental, intellectual and integral correspondences as well. Because they exh ibit these other nonphysical correspondences in addition to their physical corre spondences, it is very misleading to think of them simply and literally as quasi physical energy centers, as is too frequently done. The chakras function in a m uch more extensive manner. To think of them in such limited fashion is to misund erstand their full significance. Understood as states of energy, each chakra exhibits certain qualities peculiar to itself. Since we are here talking about human consciousness, it follows that the chakras symbolize various states of consciousness. The specific qualities of each chakra are best described by each of the seven ab ilities. The chakras, as a consequence, represent the specific activities of the various abilities. They represent an attempt to describe approximately the rang e of conscious action involved in each of the seven abilities. The states of consciousness that are typified by the various chakras are describ ed at considerable length in the Sanskrit literature. For a more thorough discus sion of the chakras, simple but not simplistic, see Yoga and Psychotherapy. The chakras are most commonly identified and enumerated by means of their physic al correlates. Merely for the sake of convention and easy comparison I shall enu merate them in like manner. But please remember that the chakras are not simply psychic energy centers within the physical body, subtle or otherwise. The chakras represent specific states of consciousness with etheric, mental, int ellectual and integral correlations in addition to their physical correlations. It is all too easy to think of them literally, but misleading to do so. In the A pocalypse the chakras are called the "seven churches which are in Asia."115 Ephe sus represents the muladhara chakra. Smyrna typifies the adhishthana chakra. Per gamos depicts the manipuraka chakra. Thyateira symbolizes the anahata chakra. Sa rdis is the vishuddhi chakra. Philadelphia is the ajna chakra. Lastly, Laodikeia represents the sahasrara chakra.116 The nadis are called the "tribes of the chi ldren of Israel."117 They are numbered 144,000 to accord with the zodiacal image ry used throughout the book.118 CHURCH CHAKRA ABILITY Ephesus root loving

Smyrna genitals thinking Pergamos navel willing Thyateira heart knowing Sardis throat inspiring Philadelphia brow expressing Laodikeia crown forming The constant and uniform flow of creative energy throughout the main chakras and their channels or energy transformations (nadis), and other numerous subsidiary ones as well, sustains phenomenal existence and the various human forms. Conseq uently, any obstructions or blockages to that flow of energy have a devitalizing effect and can lead eventually to physical and psychological disease and even d eath. Indeed, the slow accumulation of such obstructions leads to eventual death and p sychic disintegration. The physical body and other aspects of the psyche become so blocked that they ultimately can no longer serve as a cohesive and functionin g vehicle for self consciousness and consequently must be abandoned. Blocks and obstructions to cohesive functioning can be physical, etheric, mental and intell ectual. Since the various sheaths interact with one another, blockages of energy flow in any one affect all the others as well. Physical injuries affect the emotions an d attitudes. Emotional traumas affect attitudes and manifest in the body. The mo st debilitating and far reaching blockages, however, are intellectual and mental . Opinions and attitudes filter throughout the emotional field of the etheric an d the physical body. Inflexibility of attitudes and ideas produces rigidity of t he body and emotional fixations. The Chinese system of acupuncture that developed from Taoist medicine is based u pon maintaining a uniform flow of vital energy through the chakras and their nad is. In Taoist medicine the chakras and their nadis are termed meridians. Accordi ngly, stimulating certain key points along the many meridians is viewed as assis ting the maintenance of a healthy flow of vital energy. Further, the physical st imulation of the meridians helps to break up and disperse the blockages that man ifest as disease and pain. 7.2 SELF EXPRESSION In chapter four, the author of the Apocalypse describes the throne119 in terms o f five components. These are a rainbow of light (iris), twenty-four elders (pres byteroi), seven breaths or spirits (pneumata), a sea of glass (thalassa hualine) and four living creatures (zoa). The literalists have pictured these elements i n the form of a fantastic royal chamber, rather pagan in appearance, from which their anthropomorphic deity surveys his realm. What they have failed to realize is that here is yet another riddle, the solution of which forever puts an end to their "theology." Faculties and Correspondances We can resolve the riddle of this apparently baffling conglomeration of symbolic al elements into a simple diagram, which will serve as a key to decoding much of the symbology of the Apocalypse. We shall thereby place it firmly in its rightf ul place as a textbook of psychology and remove it from the shelves of religous superstition and theological nonsense where it has been used to justify the most outrageous claims imaginiable. From previous chapters we know that the apocalyptic throne and the energy body a re one and the same. If we simply combine figures #8 and #10 which are diagrams of the energy body in terms of its faculties and abilities we shall have a relia

ble diagram of the throne. The resulting combined diagram of the throne (see figures #11 and #12) consists of seven concentric circles. These circles correspond to the seven abilities. Th ey also represent seven planes of existence and their many subplanes, whose comp lexity does not concern us here. All of these planes may be understood simply as states of consciousness (the chakras) and the modalities (tattvas) through whic h they find manifestation. Faculties and Correspondances We read that "out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunders and voices..." 120 These we can readily identify as the seven abilities. Considered in the aggregate the abilities constitute the substance of the energy body. They do so both in a material and nonmaterial sense, since their various energies operate in both subtle and explicit manners simultaneously. Consequently, the abilities in all their many differentiations of energy form a complex "rainbow round about the throne."121 This beautiful symbol represents wh at I have been calling the rainbow of consciousness, and also the spectrum of en ergy associated with consciousness as it actualizes in the phenomenal realm. The abilities energize the chakras and for all practical purposes are synonymous with them. As a result, the abilities may be understood as states of manifestin g consciousness. Hence, in the description their modes of expression (the modali ties or tattvas) are called "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, whic h are the seven spirits [or breaths] of God."122 Our combined diagram possesses four quadrants to represent the four domains of p henomenal expression of consciousness. You may recall that these four are: sensa tion, feeling, intuition and thinking. The four quadrants also signify the facul ties and somatic divisions of the body to which they correspond. These quadrants are the "four living creatures full of eyes before and behind."1 23 These four are described as being like a "lion," a "calf," a "man" and an "ea gle flying" (which we may here understand as a substitute for the scorpion). As you may know, these four icons symbolize the four quarters of the zodiac. In the aggregate, the twelve signs of the zodiac symbolize all of the faculties and the abilities of consciousness. The four quadrants also represent the four apocalyptic beasts. These are, of cou rse, the false prophet, the red dragon, the beast and the lamb. The quadrants fu rther depict the mental operations to which these animal symbols correspond. You will recall that these four mental operations are: the sensory motor mind, m emory, intuitive insight and discrimination. They correspond to sensation, feeli ng, intuition and thinking respectively. Furthermore, the four quadrants of our diagram represent the four horses or shea ths of the psyche. And finally represent the mysterious "four horns of the golde n altar"124 which I shall explain in due course. The Apocalypse further describes the four living creatures as having six "wings" 125 apiece. These various wings correspond to the twenty-four segments generated by a division of the six inner circles of the diagram into quadrants. We can identify these twenty-four wings as the twenty-four apocalyptic "elders." 126 These symbols simply represent the specific agencies of the operations of th

e four phenomenal expressions of self consciousness. They operate throughout the energy body, and are depicted as six planes or generalized states of conscious activity. In the domain of sensation, or the physical sheath, these six specific agencies of psychic expression may be identified as the physical correlates of the seven chakras and the various organs associated with them. The six agencies may also b e identified with the cerebrospinal and the sympathetic nervous systems which in terconnect the several organs. The correlations are not simply straight forward, but are somewhat condensed. They are depicted in figure #13, which serves as a key to decoding much of the apocalyptic symbology. The seventh and undivided circle of our diagram represents the "sea of glass lik e unto a crystal."127 This beautiful symbol simply corresponds to the nonphenome nal expression of consciousness, the subtle faculty of inspiration, the integral sheath and the aura. This seventh and nonphenomenal realm of expression does not simply encompass the other four. It both penetrates and forms the ground or field within which they exist. Key to Apocalyptic Terms The completeness, the clarity and the elegant beauty of this ingenious apocalypt ic throne could hardly be improved upon. Taken as a whole, the relatively simple diagram depicts the creative energy of consciousness, the pneuma/parakletos, as manifesting in the human being in all its mysterious and majestic splendour. This harmonious and holistic event understood in its fullness is the true meanin g of the term "spirit." It represents the dynamic fullness of the activity of hu man consciousness! 7.3 THE AION Enveloping and penetrating all of the phenomenal forms of expression is the circ umambient aura. In the New Testament this principle is called he doxa (the glory or radiance). The halo of Christian art represents it. The aura is the fundamental and causative principle of emanation from the nonphe nomenal realm. It permeates and generates all of the forces and many elements of the metastate. This pneumatic aura becomes within the individual human being th e mysterious parakletos. The parakletos represents ecstasy in its full and unlimited potential before it involves itself with finite expression. The parakletos is the good serpent of an cient symbology. It functions as the basic driving force of creative energy. Taken together with the enveloping aura the parakletos was also depicted by the familiar symbol of the serpent and the egg. In Sanskrit this force is termed kun dalini shakti and in the Greek speireme. Both words mean the "coiled serpent for ce." As we noted earlier, this force figuratively lies coiled and latent near th e base of the spine, specifically in the genitals. This force, upon awakening into conscious activity, weaves from the auric "subst ance" upon the ideal archetype it contains (which is the energy body) the person al expression of the fullness of consciousness. This unlimited personal vehicle of self expression is termed in Greek the augoeides, the "shining form." In the Apocalypse the augoeides is secretly called the "solar body" (to soma hel iakon). The solar body makes its appearance in a brief but very important allusi

on. "And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepr ess was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."128 Two reapers make their appearance in the apocalyptic harvest scene. The first of these two signifies the first logos. The second symbolizes the second logos. He re, the second reaper gathers the fruit of the five faculties. The vine here referred to is the river Euphrates. Physiologically, it represents the spinal cord, which in the physical sheath connects the chakras. Through the se the faculties find expression. The "wrath" of God refers to the creative potency of consciousness. In its unlim ited aspect, it is the human aura. In this apocalyptic allegory, the five faculties and their forces have here been metamorphosed into bunches of grapes. These forces permeate and energize the au ra, described here as the winepress without the city, a symbol for the physical body and personal consciousness. They produce in turn a reverse flow of energy b ack into the chakras of the four somatic divisions (the bridles of the horses). This then nourishes the awakening solar vehicle, the 1600 or to soma heliakon. The author describes the solar body graphically and fancifully as a "new city." This new city descends from the heavens. "And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, pre pared as a bride adorned for her husband."129 To understand the "new city" we must first understand the "old." We have already examined in brief the process of individuation, the initial stage of which resu lts in a temporary loss of integrity. This brings with it an absorption in the p rocess that is so intense and complete that consciousness exhibits no subjective or objective awareness of itself. The lack of conscious self awareness and the dreamlike condition it produces represents a fusion of consciousness with its th oughts and psychic powers. Individuality identifies completely with its own ment al projections. In this state of psychological fusion the faculties and abilities throughout the energy body have been rendered unconscious. Individuality has identified itself totally with its own psychic vehicle and the chain of experiences generated by it. It does not distinguish itself as a consciousness separate and apart from it s activities and experiences. Please recall that unconsciousness here does not mean that there is no awareness of events or experience of involvement with them. Quite the opposite. During th e fusion phase of individuation consciousness exhibits an intense and intimate a wareness and total involvement with the sensations and the feelings of the momen t. But very little or no sense of continuity or objectivity carries over from on e moment to the next. This first and elementary state of fusion represents the dominance of the sensor y motor functioning of the mind. I have already identified this level of psychic functioning as the Sanskrit manas and the apocalyptic "false prophet." The slow recognition of pleasant and unpleasant experiences and the intent to av oid the unpleasant and seek the pleasant results in the development of memory. T his I have identified as the Sanskrit chitta and the apocalyptic "red dragon." T

hrough the development of memory there eventually develops a growing realization that identity is not just the sum total of momentary experience but something m ore. From this first realization of separation arises a sense of personal continuity within the constant flux of transient events and sensations. This realization of a continuity of conscious identity manifests itself finally in the state of ego consciousness. The first phase of ego conscious identity marks the beginning of the veiled awak ening of the individual to self realization. Ego consciousness enables the indiv idual to separate experience into a self and not self. After the condition of fusion, the second overall phase of individuation we may term separation. This second phase commences with the ego conscious state of awa reness. Individuality at this point begins to objectify the contents of the energy body. It does so through the psychic agency of discrimination. This agency in its mat urity is termed buddhi in Sanskrit and the "lamb" in the Apocalypse. Initially, discrimination enables the evolving individual simply to distinguish between an experiencing self and the experienced not self. At this level of func tioning, the agency of discrimination is alluded to in the New Testament as Luci fer and Judas. In its later development the agency of discrimination evolves int o what I call here intuitive insight. This mature level of discrimination is the apocalyptic lamb. Through discrimination the human individuality no longer identifies with the tot ality of its experiences. Initially, the individual identifies only with the sub jective elements of its psychic experience. These are the physical body and the thoughts, the feelings, the desires, the memories and anticipations that constit ute the remainder of the psyche. Ultimately, from the frustrations and agony endured due to continued identificat ion with the finite psyche individuality comes to a further realization. Through its agency of intuitive insight the individuality begins to realize that its de stiny is not limited to the finite realm. At this point in the maturing of self realization, the first half of the process of individuation comes to an end. The first half of the process of individuation includes the phases of psychologi cal fusion and part of the phase of separation. The second half of the process i ncludes the final stages of separation and the phase of integration. The first half of the process of individuation is termed involution. In this hal f of the psychological process consciousness involves itself with its psychic ve hicle. The second half of the process of individuation is termed evolution. Cons ciousness must now disengage its identity from the psyche. Midway through the phase of ego consciousness, individuality has come to a veile d realization of its true nature and identity. But the most painful and arduous task still lies ahead. Only through objectifying the psyche totally and thus goi ng beyond ego consciousness can the fullness of self realization occur. In the midst of the ego conscious state - in the depths of its terror, insecurit y and loneliness - the incarnating event who is man realizes that the infinite " God" is what he seeks. Because man is now at that point in the cycle of involuti on/evolution directly opposite his origin, it is totally inconceivable to him th at his own self and what he thinks to be a transcendental "God" can be one and t he same. "God," symbolizes all that is absolute and eternal. As such, God seems

utterly remote and totally "other." Because of this misconception, the state of human loneliness and agony becomes a ccentuated. The goal of human life, union with its supreme source, becomes seemi ngly impossible. For if God is indeed totally other, then he, she or it is also totally beyond any kind of meaningful union. The human being is thus condemned t o strive for that which can never be attained, to exist forever in a state of de privation from that which he needs the most. In this predicament, individuality has come to a veiled realization of its own i nfinite and eternal reality. Because of continued identification with its psychi c powers individuality projects this realization onto the screen of external eve nts. The human being thus conceives of a God the creator who is separate and distinct from his human creature. The divine abode in heaven appears as a faraway and ma gical world that is wholly removed in space and time from this earthly vale of t ears. As I noted earlier, it is in this state of veiled self realization that the titl e Apokalypsis has its true significance. Realization is to be unveiled. The Apoc alypse, at its most profound level of understanding, teaches the total unveiling of self realization. It shows the method of realizing the fullness of your huma n being. The Apocalypse "reveals" nothing about history except the personal history of ea ch individual human being as she or he moves through the cycle of involution and evolution of self realization. It reveals not things to come but what the human being is and is about. True liberation frees man from the ignorance of what he thinks himself to be thr ough the realization of what he really is. What human beings think themselves to be are entities. But we really are events in the evolution of consciousness. It is consciousness that is coming to full realization of itself. We are the proce ss. We are the awakening of consciousness to the realization of itself. We are t he discovery of consciousness of itself. We are the recognition, manifestation a nd experience of consciousness of itself. Wherever consciousness is in its evolution, we epitomize that state. Whatever co nfusion or conflict exists within consciousness, we act out upon the cosmic stag e of our lives. No other and more perfect world exists to which we must find our way. Only a mor e perfected realization of the fullness of this world awaits our recognition. The Apocalypse collectively terms all the unconscious psychic material of the in dividual the bottomless pit. It is from this unconscious abyss, which is simply the orthodox "hell," that each individual arises by the process of objectifying and thus rendering conscious its contents. In Christian orthodoxy this vital psychological process is symbolized as the "sa lvation of the soul." Of course, the orthodox do not recognize the symbolic natu re of this statement but take it quite literally. For them the soul is something distinct from the physical body. Something subject to eternal reward for obeyin g the dictates of their god or punishment for failing to do so. But the word soul is simply an archaic term for what we now know as the psyche. The psyche is liberated, or "saved," from the domination and overpowering influe nce of unconscious forces by the simple expedient of rendering them conscious. H ence, the orthodox heaven and hell refer not to ethereal realms of some immateri

al soul substance but rather to two different states of conscious awareness of t he individual of him or herself. One is characterized by self knowledge, the oth er by self ignorance. "Salvation" symbolizes the process of making what is unconscious known to active awareness, and accepting this material as part of one's total human character. This psychological objectification is the true meaning of the term liberation. Mistaking personal liberation to be a deliverance from earthly life or relative existence (which is the goal of most oriental mysticism as well as Christian) is a complete and paralysing misunderstanding. There is nowhere else to go. There is nothing else to be. The first earth and sea of the Apocalypse symbolize ego conscious humanity in it s physical and psychic aspects. The first heaven symbolizes the external project ion of the human being's own infinite reality. This we then call "God" and assig n all manner of parental responsibilities to his or her domain. The replacement in the apocalyptic narrative of the old earth, sea and heaven by their new counterparts indicates clearly that stage of the process when the obj ectification of the psyche has been more or less completed. This objectification ushers in a new phase in the cycle of conscious evolution. The separation has b een completed. With the objectification of the psyche a third and final phase of the cycle of i nvolution/evolution has been entered. This third phase may be termed integration . It signifies true self consciousness. Metaphysical integration is not synonymous with the integration of western psych ology. The two share certain aspects. But integration in terms of western psycho logy refers simply to the coordination and the harmonious relation of perception and psychic functioning to insure a normal and effective day to day life. The integration that I am talking about here has no counterpart in western psych ological understanding. In the comprehension of western psychology man's true id entity is considered to be the psyche. Hence western psychology reflects a level of understanding of human nature that is centered within the ego conscious stat e. Although metaphysical integration and self realization represent a true conditio n beyond the ego conscious state, they do not signify the final obliteration of the personal and finite. Remember that consciousness entered into the process of existence in order to discover and experience itself! Existence is not a cosmic mistake, but rather a cosmic act of love. As a result, the "new" heaven and earth and the holy city do not indicate an obliteration of the old but rather their transformation and fulfilment. The old heaven, which w as simply the ignorant projection of deity, now becomes integral self realizatio n. This means the consciousness of the fullness of itself by the incarnating hum an individuality. Self realization is no longer veiled and obscured by the pheno mena of the finite and the temporal viewpoint. But the realization does not obli terate the finite and temporal either. Individuality knows its fullness within the limited perspective of existence. Th is is the true meaning of self realization. Liberation or "salvation" frees the human being from his or her own ignorance and mistaken sense of identity. The old earth, which was simply a particular physical body, becomes lucid consci ousness. Consciousness realizes, as its personal experience, that it abides in a ll the finite and temporal forms expressed throughout the metastate.

Self remains individualized while now recognizing that it alone exists. Self rea lizes that it alone exists as all the individual personalities who interact with one another in the grand drama of its own consciousness (the Sanskrit lila). This realization occurs within the specific individual. Other living personaliti es continue on as before, all traversing the process of self realization in thei r own time and at their own pace. Consciousness thus finds itself anew within ea ch personality! The sea, which was the individual psyche, becomes transformed into the new and h oly city. For "holy" you may read whole, completed, perfected or fully integrate d. This new city simply symbolizes conscious awareness and self control. The indivi dual personality gains the self knowledge and mastery of itself throughout the m etastate. In this way the human being matures into the full possession of all th e faculties and abilities in their four modes of phenomenal expression and also their underlying creative energy or field of nonphenomenal expression. In the apocalyptic description of this new city, termed new Jerusalem, the facul ties and the abilities are depicted as twelve gateways. Their modes of phenomena l expression are described as the four directions. The underlying energy of crea tivity, and the nonphenomenal mode of expression is designated as the wall.130 Thus, the "solar body" represents the fully conscious realization of the hyperst ate of conscious potential within the metastate of actualized form. Unlike the i ntermediate level of comprehension described by James Pryse, the metaphysic of e cstasy very clearly depicts this as a change of attitude, not a change of form o r essence. What becomes transformed is what we experience, not what we are. Our experience expands. We experience more completely the fullness of our human being. In the Apocalypse the complete circle of conscious development, the cycle of inv olution/evolution, is termed the aion. The aion constitutes the complete period or cycle of growth in awareness during which the psychological maturation of con scious individuality occurs. This process of maturing can be divided into two basic movements or types of ori entation. These two are involution and evolution. As I previously indicated, during the movement of involution, the self, as a par ticipating individuality, involves itself with its own mental activities. It doe s so to the extent that it identifies completely with them. During the reciprocal movement of evolution the self as a participating individu ality evolves its identity as distinct. It disengages itself first from the expe riences it undergoes and second from the psyche with which it experiences. These two reciprocal movements of involvement and disengagement define the basic structure of the aion. The involvement and disengagement refer to identity. The y distinguish the way in which consciousness identifies itself. Involvement and disengagement do not refer to consciousness entering into and ex iting from imperfect and impermanent existence. This is just what the secondary and esoteric level of understanding would have us think. This manner of thinking is a complete misunderstanding of consciousness and life. It subverts the great truth of the metaphysic of ecstasy.

Consciousness and life are one and the same. The multiplicity and the variabilit y of life are the vital activities of consciousness. A second division of the aion into three equal sectors helps to refine further t he basic cycle of conscious involution/evolution. By dividing each of the sector s in turn into four segments we gain further refinement of the nature of the aio n. The states of fusion, separation and integration describe the manner in which in dividuality identifies its sense of self. In turn, these define the general psyc hological states of conscious awareness of individuality as unconscious, ego con scious and self conscious. The Apocalypse describes these three states of conscious awareness and identific ation as the abyss, or bottomless pit, the "old" earth, sea and heaven, and the "new" heaven and earth and new Jerusalem. These all refer to psychological state s. Further, we may divide the aion into eros, amor and ecstasy. These describe the state of relationship of self to itself in the process of self discovery and enc ounter. Eros depicts the most limited and limiting state of self awareness. In the state of eros human sexuality and love are experienced in a restricted and selfish ma nner. Amor depicts the expansion of self awareness into the human experience of person al relationship. In the state of amor human sexuality and love are experienced i n an expansive and self giving manner. Finally, ecstasy represents the ultimate state of self awareness. In the state o f ecstasy human sexuality and love are characterized by total self realization. Self discovers self in one another. 8.1 ROOTS OF CHRISTIANITY Two additional grand constellations of related symbols play significant roles th roughout the apocalyptic drama. These various symbols derive from the ancient sc ience of kabala. The two families of symbols are the temple and the tree of life . Most exoteric scholars who give it any thought at all, consider kabala a mere my stical interpretation of the scriptures. Nearly all credit its origin to Jewish rabbis and certain medieval Christians, dating from the twelfth century onwards. Some equate it with occultism in general. Others with exclusively Jewish mystic ism. On all points they are incorrect. Conventional scholarship traces the direct roots of kabala to a first century Ju daic mystical movement that was known as merkabah. About merkabah and its possib le connections to the Apocalypse and Christianity generally I shall have more to say in a moment. According to these scholars, the earliest written document that can be attribute d to kabala is the Sepher Yetsira. This they date to the period of the third to sixth centuries. Three other major works, the Sephera Bahir, Temuna and Zohar th ey date to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Sepher Bahir is credited with the first overt occurrence of the ten "divine eman ations" (sephiroth), in the form of three upper and seven lower emanations, and also the first mention of the "tree of divine life." Yet Sepher Yetsira clearly

presents a foretaste of the sephiroth with its classification of the Hebrew auti ot (letter signs) into three "mothers," three "fathers" and seven "doubles," and the tree of life with its further designation of the remaining autiot as twelve "simples." Sepher Temuna introduced a series of cosmic cycles, or eons. Each eon possesses its own interpretation of the Hebrew Torah. The human race is purportedly in the midst of the cycle of "justice." Hence, the emphasis on right and wrong behavio ur. By the way there are ten eons, corresponding to and named after each sephira . Sepher Zohar consists of several units, the largest of which deals with the supp osedly inner, mystical meaning of biblical texts. Its main subject matters are d rawn from the Torah and, unexpectedly, the books of Ruth and Song of Songs. It f urther elaborates the sephiroth to great length. Although scholars claim that the kabala is an offshoot of Judaism, at best esote ric mysticism, and at worst rank heresy, this is a superficial reading. Sepher Y etsira, which by their own reckoning is the oldest kabalistic writing, never ref ers to Moses or to his laws. It never refers to the historical Jewish nation or to any of its heros or villains, with the sole exception of Abraham. In its concluding lines, Yetsira speaks of Abraham, but not in terms likely to v erify him as the father of the Jewish race. Stripped of mythic pretence, he is d escribed as the first kabalist and the foundation of kabala not the Jewish natio n. His special covenant of knowledge issues from consciousness/life, not from th e monotheistic Judeo-Christian deity. The unmistakeable appearance of strictly kabalistic symbolism within the Apocaly pse argues forcefully for the dating of its origin by at least a millennium befo re the Middle Ages. Carlo Suares, the French scholar, maintains that Genesis and the Song of Songs are kabalistic literature, as well. If correct, the origins o f kabala must recede even further into the pre-Christian era. Suares gets direct support from an abundance of kabalistic commentaries on the T orah, which includes Genesis. Also, his argument answers the knotty question of why the Zohar devotes so much space to the Song of Songs. Suares asserts convincingly that the Sepher Yetsira is the kabala's fundamental textbook.131 In this, he stands nearly alone. For most present and past kabalist s contend the Zohar possesses that distinction. Suares insists that most, if not all kabalists, are simply mistaken. They find S epher Yetsira baffling, occult and totally incomprehensible simply because they really have no idea what kabala is all about. "In this they are not very differe nt from the general public who has vaguely heard about the Qabala. For the more it is discussed, the more it becomes entangled with the extraordinary complicati ons of medieval Jewish theology whose obsolescence is respected or despised, acc ording to prejudice."132 In the introduction to his essay,The Qabala Trilogy, Suares enumerates eight oth er writers on kabala. He notes his agreement and disagreement with their respect ive viewpoints. In the midst of his brief survey, Suares notes the following piv otal point. The kabalist must become "aware of his own individuality. At the same time he mu st stop reiterating religious or other teachings. The 'game' will reveal itself to him from the way he treats its elements: it is a movement, a vibration of the different living forms which 'come and go' (Yetsira I,8) and the cabalist can b ecome the receiver and transmitter of this cosmic movement. Then the Qabala in a

ll its complexity becomes comprehensible."133 We may muse along with Suares that there is little surprise the kabala became sy nonymous with obscurity. He observes rightly that its source has been adulterate d with every element alien to it. He notes alien elements deriving from Jewish, Christian and scholastic sources.134 To these we may add gnostic as well. In the great melting pot that was the Hellenistic Era and its succeeding centuries we can rightly observe the synthesis of many elements. Kabala was influenced but ha d originated much earlier. The elements of the kabalistic game are its letters and numbers. The numbers def ine the meanings of the letters. The numbers, too, have their meanings, since th ey are letters as well. Sentences become equations. Once cleared of its mythological vestments and its later theological nonsense, n owhere in kabala does the concept of deity appear. Indeed, the concept of monoth eism is as foreign to kabala as it is to the metaphysic of ecstasy. Both share t he basis that life and the universe are a single endogenous phenomenon.135 Among the reasons for the loss of understanding of the Sepher Yetsira Suares not es the legend of the Golem. This mythical entity was supposedly created by heret ical rabbis utilizing secret instructions hidden within the Yetsira. Aside from corrupting all serious study, the story has nothing to do with kabala or Sepher Yetsira. Along with the Sepher Yetsira, Suares ranks Genesis and the Song of Songs as the three great kabalistic works. All three have been equally misunderstood. Indeed , kabalists themselves, for the most part, have overlooked the two latter. The three books have suffered quite different fates. Genesis has been translated into virtually all the languages of the world. As the opening book of the bible , it still sells in the millions of copies annually. A significant portion of hu manity remain mesmerized by its myths pretending history and its fictitious char acters who have never existed. Its letter equations have been thoroughly miscons trued into fairy tales and bogus theology. Song of Songs has been stubbornly and absurdly attributed to Solomon. Yet no one knows just why this rather embarrassingly explicit love story has been included in the bible. Not one of the millions who daily read that tedious tome imagines that the equations of Song of Songs depict the indwelling of consciousness or t hat the sensuous love affair is between consciousness and itself. Sepher Yetsira remains virtually unknown. Only the few who have tried to make a study of kabala have ever heard of it. Only Carlo Suares has ever made of it any thing more than elementary sense. Without fail, all others have attempted to com prehend it in terms of religious myth. Kabala has nothing to do with any religio n or myth, Jewish or otherwise. According to Suares, kabala is a science, every bit as exacting as any we call m odern. The Sepher Yetsira is a precise and accurate treatise of that science on the basic structuring and transformation of cosmic energy. Much like modern sciences, kabala is written in a code. If we did not know the m eaning of the code letters E, M, and C, the equation E=mc2 would be a mystery to all but the initiated few. Kabala remains a mystery only because so few underst and the meaning of its particular code. Primarily, those who presume to understa nd it do not. They merely read into it what they are predisposed to see already. Suares contends that most of those who call themselves kabalists engage merely i n an intellectual diversion, which has no relevance to the real world. They are

like people who think themselves medieval scholars because they read Prince Vali ant in Sunday's comics. According to Suares, kabala offers a chance to unite the disparate parts of huma n experience. Yet it does so in a way that challenges us to think in a new way. We must comprehend each letter symbolically and also actually as permeating a fi eld of conscious energy. We are not used to thinking in this manner. It is stran ge for us. We must shift mental gears. Unlike our own alphabet, which is a mere convention of symbols used to represent sounds and meanings, the letters and numbers of kabala really are what they dep ict. We find this startling and difficult to comprehend because our own language is based on sensory images. We understand only by means of imagery. In our language the word table is not really a table, only a symbolic representa tion that helps us form an image in our mind's eye. Likewise, the word house is not really a house. In kabala, however, aleph not only represents aleph but real ly is aleph. The unknown authors of kabala did They did not compose their texts the memories of those who already if our edification was not their nothing to help us understand its intricacies. to inform the ignorant, but rather to refresh know. We can not fault them for their efforts, purpose.

To ascertain this knowledge we must learn to understand the precise meaning of e ach letter and number. We must learn to decipher certain key combinations of let ters and numbers which have become encrusted with inaccurate religious meanings. As Suares notes, we ought not to be surprised that the authors of the kabala hid themselves with anonymity and disguised their real meaning in a play on words. The knowledge they sought to expound varied markedly from traditional religion. They would have encountered strong opposition and probably death at the hands of those with an interest in preserving the mistruths of religion. Even the masses held in mental subjugation might have risen against them. They have often rewar ded with martyrdom those who have sought to break their religious shackles. As Suares says, every religion is simply the mythological projection of truths m isunderstood. Religion does not express truth, but mistruth. The first step towa rds liberation from religion must be this recognition. To understand kabala we must first free ourselves from our own ingrained religio us myths. We must throw off the misunderstandings of the nature of reality that they embody. If we can not, then we can never penetrate the mysteries of kabala. I have no intention of discussing kabala in detail here. For that a complete vol ume in itself would be needed. Nor is it required for the purpose of examining t he apocalyptic symbols that are pertinent to a valid comparison with kabala. I refer those readers who desire further knowledge of the science of kabala to T he Qabala Trilogy by Carlo Suares. No more informative a volume exists that I am aware of. His work on the subject is thorough. Before proceeding to a discussion of the temple and the tree of life, I must com ment on the merkabah. This refers to a mystical Jewish sect and movement that ha d its beginnings in first century Palestine. Later, from the seventh to eleventh centuries, its principle center of popularity shifted to Babylonia. Merkabah is of particular interest because of its possible connection with the founding of Christianity. Merkabah literally means a chariot but in the mystical sense intended, it referr

ed to the chariot of God, or the heavenly throne, as described in Ezechiel. This throne has some very interesting peculiarities. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst th ereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And th is was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. .And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they wen t every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the fac e of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces; and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward; whither the spirit was to go, they wen t; and they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning c oals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps; it went up and down among the li ving creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightnin g. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightn ing. Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the liv ing creatures, with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl; and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it w ere a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides; and they turned not when they w ent. As for their rings [rims], they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; a nd the wheels were lifted up over against them; for the spirit of the living cre atures was in the wheels... And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creatures was as

the colour of a terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above... And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was t he likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within i t, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightn ess round about. As the appearance of the [rain] bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord... And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me...136 Adherents of merkabah sought to induce mystical visions like this one described by the author of Ezechiel. Their writings described the mystical visionary's asc ent as a dangerous journey through seven spheres guarded by hostile angels, or p owers. Success in the mystic vision quest depended on proper preparation, which include d fasting and the development of certain moral qualities, and the use of magical formulas. These latter were called "seals." They served to appease the seven an gelic guardians of the heavenly gateways. Their use was critical. Using the wron g seal could result in dire disaster or even death. The successful initiate attained contemplation of the divine throne mounted on i ts fiery chariot. He also lived to tell about the experience. The gnostic influences on merkabah are many and obvious. In fact, they are signi ficant enough that we might be justified in calling merkabah a Judaic gnosticism . Despite important gnostic influences, however, merkabah remained thoroughly or thodox, in the Haggadah tradition. This orthodoxy included strict adherence to M osaic law and monotheism. Within Judaism rabbis have always distinguished two very different yet complemen tary traditions. The first of these, the Halakah, consists of commentaries on th e bible of strictly legalistic application. That is, how the laws of Moses must be applied to daily life. The second tradition is that of the Haggadah. This sec ond views the actions of God as recorded in the scriptures as allegories of the development of the life of each individual man and woman. The Jews anticipated the imminent arrival of a messianic kingdom to restore thei r political and religious prestige and to effect their personal salvation. Out o f the tradition of the Haggadah arose a literature that reflected these aspirati ons. Its authors claimed a secret knowledge of the workings of God's plan for th e human race and the Jews. The esoteric knowledge, or gnosis, supposedly came fr om mystical experiences, which included divine revelations. The tradition became influenced by Platonic ideas and gnostic cosmology and its methods of interpretation. It gave birth to such mystical movements as the merka bah. Its writings became known as apocalyptic. Amidst this literary setting the Apocalypse had its origin. But, as I noted earlier, it would be erroneous to con clude that the Apocalypse, because it fits into a particular genre of Jewish, re ligious, mystical writing, can be circumscribed by that genre. That it may have arisen from it, is another matter, and likely. But it can not be defined fully b y it.

That Christianity itself may have arisen from the Haggadah tradition via some su ch vehicle as merkabah is extremely probable. I think that it is quite reasonabl e to suppose that the origin of Christianity represents the oversimplification o f some such apocalyptic eschatology as merkabah, for example, for mass consumpti on. Christian apologists, of course, in general remain oblivious to the possible inf luence of other doctrines on the early development of Christian orthodoxy. Most would have us believe that God revealed their religion as a fait accompli. They pretend ever that theirs is a revelation of undisputed truth and all others but feeble human attempts to approach that truth, with varied degrees of success. Th ey scoff at the notion that ideas prevalent in other men's minds, who made no cl aim to be Christian, entered the early formulation of their specific version of divine truth. They ridicule the evidence of similar if not identical doctrines i n other philosophies and religions, as if they copied their beliefs from Christi anity, even if they existed centuries prior to the alleged birth of Jesus. Yet the evidence is as plain as day to anyone unbiased enough to look for it. Id eas derived from Plato, Greek and Roman mythology, various gnostic sects, many N ear East mystery religions, Hinduism and also Buddhism literally spill from Chri stianity. In their eclecticism its founders drew from any and all available sour ces. In their efforts to attract as many candidates as possible to their new rel igio/political movement they sewed together a patchwork of Hellenistic ideas pai nted in Judaic colours. Mystical as well as Mosaic Judaism influenced Christianity, as did the knowledge of kabala. Christianity in fact grew from Judaic roots and those roots included much that originated beyond Judaism. Every iota of what came to be called Chris tian had its origins in the minds of men, not God. Beneath it all runs the water of the currents of the older metaphysic of ecstasy . That ultimate source of all inner truth was by then encrusted over by later me taphysical constructs inimical to it. But it was still present and clearly trace able in the composition of the Apocalypse, if not so plain in other Christian wr itings. The Apocalypse admittedly bears a striking similarity to other typical Haggadah apocalypses. As I cautioned before,137 however, it is very easy to be misled by comparisons of the Apocalypse with other strictly Hebrew writings, and in partic ular that of Ezechiel. The Apocalypse synthesizes material from a wide range of sources beyond the Judaic. The Apocalypse has direct roots within kabala, as I shall shortly indicate. So i ts relation to merkabah and the Haggadah must remain one of superficial and lite rary similarity only. It remains within the genre of writing, but not of meaning . It talks about the same symbols in the same way, but means something different . Just as in Dance of Ecstasy I talk about all the same old Christian myth and s ymbols, but what I am saying about them is decidedly nonChristian. In trying to establish the are really trying to prove ey can circumscribe kabala rest of Jewish theological origins of kabala within the merkabah, most scholars that kabala simply represents Jewish mysticism. If th in that way, they can then dismiss it along with the nonsense.

Yet the only similarities between kabala and the merkabah occur in the later kab alistic sephera that discuss mystical interpretations of biblical passages. Thes e later texts may very well represent kabala already in its decadence, corrupted by mystical and mythological interpretations. Certainly, Sepher Yetsira does not derive from merkabah. Genesis and the Song of

Songs predate it entirely. Furthermore, kabala derives nothing from gnostic spe culation, but rather represents an alternative cosmology, which is totally nonmy thological. It is more likely that merkabah, if it bears any relation to kabala at all, repr esents a misinterpretation of it. This misunderstanding must be mythological in the manner of later Jewish kabalists who, according to Suares, possess no releva nt knowledge of the real meaning of kabala. As he points out mythical and vision ary experiences have no place in kabala. Such concepts as god, the soul and pers onal salvation are mythology. They are psychic images of what can not be imagine d. They are foreign to kabala and a true understanding of the Apocalypse. To get a better idea of just what I mean, we might examine here the apocalyptic description of the throne and its components. The similarity with the account re ported in Ezechiel is readily apparent. And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, an d one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone; and there wa s a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the mid st of the throne and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes befor e and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the t hird beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within; and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is and is to come.138 I do not compare the passages from Ezechiel and the Apocalypse with the intentio n of demonstrating that the latter was derived from the former. It has certainly drawn some elements from it. The author of the Apocalypse has utilized many oth er symbols and images from the book of Ezechiel, as well. These occur most notab ly in the apocalyptic writer's description of his initial vision139 and the temp le. Literalists see the initial vision of the Apocalypse as a description of the ris en Christ. Esotericists, like James Pryse, see a description of the perfected ma n. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, this is a description of self consciousness as the second logos, or individuality. This vision is contrasted with the descripti on of self consciousness as the first logos seated upon the apocalyptic throne. The Apocalypse utilizes a similar family of mythic symbols, to which it has ever y right, but imbues them with variant meaning. Indeed, the author of the Apocaly pse drew many of his symbols directly from the images of earlier apocalyptic wri tings such as Ezechiel, Daniel and Zachariah. From the two passages quoted above we might note several of these shared symbols

. They are the four living creatures, resembling a man, a lion, an ox (or calf) and an eagle, their wings and many eyes. To these we can add the rainbow, lightn ing (and its accompanying thunder), a crystalline firmament, lamps of fire and a throne of precious stones. In the Hebrew writings, these many symbols represent mystical visions of deity. In other words, they are just psychic images conjured up to fit a preconceived t heological notion. As I detailed in previous chapters, the same symbols are used by the author of the Apocalypse to represent a metaphysical description of cons cious reality, stripped of psychic imagery. If the Apocalypse arose within the Haggadah tradition, in its synthesis of diver se elements it goes beyond the limitations of that tradition. It goes far beyond anything specifically Jewish. The Apocalypse, like kabala itself, stands outsid e all religion and all sectarianism. The Apocalypse and kabala go beyond mere my sticism. The differences with mysticism can be summed up thus. In most mystical endeavour s, the ultimate goal of the visionary is the contemplation of a deity or divine source, which in some ontological sense remains separate from the mystic. In the case of mystics like Eckhart and Patanjali, where the goal of contemplation is the realization of a union with God, the human dimension becomes absorbed in the divine. In other words the mystic becomes God (Patanjali), or one with God (Eck hart). You may rightly think the distinction is subtle, as did the churchmen who condemned Eckhart as a heretic. Mystics frequently bear the label of pantheists, since they experience their god in and as everything. As a result, within orthodox Christianity mystics have al ways lived on the edge of acceptance. If they generally keep their experiences t o themselves then they are tolerated. But if they make too much of their experie nces, they become embarrassments and risk being censured or worse. Metaphysical realization, which is the aim of kabala and the Apocalypse, demolis hes all notion of deity. There is no deity to contemplate or to join in mystical union. There is only the one consciousness/life coming to the realization of it self. Mythological symbolism must be seen through, not lived out in personal exp erience. The Hebrew writings of Ezechiel and others describe in mythic symbols the mystic al experience. They bear no relevance to metaphysical realization other than the symbolic form in which they are clothed. Within them, as within the Gospels, we may find the vestiges of the metaphysic of ecstasy or kabala. But such traces r emain disjointed and incomplete, because the purpose of those writings was mysti cal and not metaphysical. The meanings of the symbols of the Apocalypse differ from those of the Hebrew wr iters. Further, its rigorous completeness makes of the Apocalypse an exceptional and unique work. It stands beyond the Hebrew tradition, indeed beyond religious tradition of any stripe. On the other hand, with its vision of a messianic saviour in the person of Jesus , orthodox Christianity falls distinctly within the limitations of the Judaic, a pocalyptic tradition. As its proponents are anxious to note, Jesus came to perfe ct the law of Moses.140 One of the early debates in the new Christian sect, in f act, was whether or not to admit nonJews to the ranks. And if they were to be ad mitted, whether or not they should be subjected to the law of Moses. After their persecutor Saul became Paul the disciple, the argument was settled a nd the future of the little sect insured. By freeing Christianity of its Mosaic shackles, Paul managed to set it loose into the mainstream of world history. Oth

erwise it may have shared the same fate as the Essenes or merkabah. Christianity did not eschew its Judaic roots entirely. The sect had good reasons to retain as much of its Jewishness as it could. In the world of cosmopolitan R ome Judaism, as a religion if not as a pathologically introverted and selfcenter ed culture, had earned a great deal of respect among the upper classes and the e ducated. Augustus himself had given homage to Jewish religious beliefs when in P alestine. In the mists of time, we forget that it was due primarily to the 100 years war o f the Zealots against the Roman Empire that managed to bring the Jewish nation t o its ruin. But the great Jewish disaster guaranteed the Christian success. 8.2 THE TEMPLE In combining the symbols of both kabala and tantra the Apocalypse provides a syn thesis of these two complementary metaphysical systems. It thus affords us with a unique and marvellous opportunity to compare these two systems. The two come t ogether in the symbolism of the temple and the tree of life. Faculties and Correspondances We are speaking here, of course, of the alleged "temple of Solomon." This temple has been supposed by the literal minded of orthodox religion to refer to an act ual edifice of stone and mortar built in Jerusalem. Its last construction was ac corded forty six years in the Gospel of John. But the temple on whose porch Jesu s walks,141 really represents one of the fundamental doctrines of the secret sci ence of kabala. The esoteric and kabalistic temple symbolizes nothing other than the living huma n being. This is the individual and personal expression of self consciousness. O r what I have been calling the energy body. Whatever actual stone temples may or may not have been constructed in Jerusalem during whatever periods of time, they are irrelevant. All that is relevant is th e human temple. It is the psychological edifice of self consciousness. Even the orthodox refer to the human body as the "temple of the spirit,"142 a se ntiment that reflects the underlying metaphysical truth albeit in a simplistic a nd dualistic manner. As I hope may be plain by now, the supposed dichotomy of th e "spirit" and the "flesh" is one that is artificial and contrived. It only indi cates by simple analogy the true nature of the event of human being. Just as the phenomenon we know as light may be experienced in physics laboratori es as wave or as particle depending upon how we observe it, so too the event of our human being may be experienced as either immaterial or material or both depe nding on how we observe ourselves. These various descriptions merely depict diff erent perspectives. The manner in which we look determines what we see. In the case of light, we know that what we observe as a wave and or as a particl e are two mutually exclusive patterns of behaviour. Light can never exhibit both of these patterns at the same time. We always observe light behaving as either a wave or a particle, but never both. Still, it can be either depending only on how we look at it. By possessing the characteristic of exhibiting two mutually exclusive patterns o f behaviour, light presents us with a mystery. What is the true nature of light? Just what sometimes seems to behave as if it is a wave, and at other times as i f particle?

Light is not schizophrenic, but it presents us with an apparent paradox. About a ll we can say about light is that sometimes it behaves as if it is a wave. At ot her times it behaves as if it is a particle. The patterns of wave and particle a re the only ways we can describe the experience we know as light. Human nature is not schizophrenic any more than light. Yet human nature too pres ents us with an apparent paradox. What is the true nature of our human being? Wh at is it that sometimes seems to be material and at other times immaterial? As with the phenomenon of light, in the phenomenon of human nature we observe an event that can not be seen directly. We perceive the effects of the event, not the event itself. We are like scientists looking at tracks of bubbles in a bubble chamber and tryi ng to figure out what events have caused them to form. We can not see the subato mic particles directly, only their tracks of bubbles in the chamber. From the tr acks we infer the behaviour of the particles that caused them to form. In the bubble chamber of human life we can observe tracks of bubbles and draw in ferences from them. If the tracks curve one way we say something material has oc curred. If the tracks curve another way we say something immaterial has occurred . Of course, we must remember that these two categories tell us nothing about the true nature of human being. Just as wave and particle really tell us nothing abo ut the true nature of light. These are only categories of behaviour. Just what i t is that can behave in seemingly incompatible ways we have no idea. You may find it startling even to suggest that we do not observe our own human n ature directly. But if you think about it awhile you will realize that this is v ery true. Our perception is always filtered through our psychic faculties. It ca n not be otherwise, since our faculties are the very mechanism of perception and observation. Because this is so, we can no more observe our human nature directly than we can see our eyes seeing. We can make inferences only. We can only formulate judgements based on what we can perceive. Yet what we perc eive is already at least once removed from the reality of our own nature. This state of affairs, however, is no tragedy for us. True, we can not observe o urselves directly in the strictly scientific sense. We can not observe ourselves as we could monitor the movements of billiard balls on a pool table. Even though we can not directly observe ourselves we can certainly experience ou rselves directly. In the experience we discover the paradox of being events that are both material and immaterial simultaneously. What we must remember, though, is that our perception is filtered. The paradox i s only a result of filtered perception. The book of Exodus143 describes the building of the Hebrew tabernacle and the in stallation of its priestly attendants. In 2 Chronicles144 the construction of So lomon's monumental temple in the city of Jerusalem is described at great length. The many details of these two projects do not concern us here. What is relevant for our purposes is only the general ground plan of Solomon's temple. This I ha ve diagrammed approximately in figure 15. What is significant for us about the tabernacle and temple are not the specific measurements, the building materials, the ornamentations, etc. The exhaustively

detailed description of these items comprises the bulk of the biblical accounts. Rather, let us notice the temple's various major divisions as indicated schemat ically in the ground plan. First an outer court surrounds the corresponding inner court which in turn const itutes the temple environs. Within the temple proper resides the tabernacle. The tabernacle is itself divided by a veil into two chambers. The first of the cham bers contains the altar. The second of the chambers is called the holy of holies (the adytum or inner sanctum). The adytum contains the ark. This last is, of course, the "ark of the covenant." I shall make note of its spe cial contents shortly. This six fold division of the temple finds expression throughout kabala in vario us guises. In its most significant form it is the basis of the kabalistic Solomo n's seal, or the so-called "star of David." Faculties and Correspondances Far from being the mere emblem of the Jewish nation and race, the star represent s the kabalistic signet for the process of the individualization of self conscio usness. All in all it is a most ingenious symbol. The two superimposed equilateral triangles represent the two different perspecti ves we recognize as being the immaterial and material. They are interlaced in th e human being as the four related domains of phenomenal expression. These four e xpressions together form the "perfect square" of ancient symbology with its four equal sides facing outwards towards the four quarters of the cosmos. Meanwhile, the perfect circle, the one line quidistant at every point from its formless re of self conscious expression. In reality penetrates and forms the ground upon which on and all phenomena are based. Faculties and Correspondances The author of the Apocalypse uses the symbology of the temple as well as its ter minology almost unaltered. The only relevant change he makes is to substitute th e expression "temple of God" (naos tou theou) in place of the holy of holies. Ot herwise, the terms remain identical. The meanings likewise remain the same. In order for us to understand the apocalyptic version of the temple, we must fir st consider somewhat briefly the tetragrammaton. Then we must also examine the s ephirotic tree, or "Tree of Life." These two in addition to the temple itself co nstitute the key symbols of kabala. As Carlo Suares explains fully, the secret science of kabala via the twenty two letter signs (autiot) of the Hebrew alphabet describes the dynamic creativity of consciousness. This we have been here considering in terms of the metastate. According to Suares, it was kabala that originated the autiot as the means of ex pressing the dynamics of conscious activity. It then entrusted the care of this code language to a group of custodians who for the vast majority remained totall y ignorant of the precious treasure they bore. In their ignorance, they even ass umed the kabalistic code word "Jew" to describe themselves as a distinctive raci al group. But in kabala the word Jew does not refer to any racial group at all, but rather to one who possesses the knowledge of kabala. The progression goes: the rock be with neither beginning nor end and e center, encompasses the perfect squa the perfect and nonphenomenal circle and the field in which self expressi

comes a vegetable; the vegetable becomes an animal; the animal becomes a man; th e man becomes a Jew. It is rather ironic that so many think kabala to be a produ ct of the Hebrew race and religion. Kabala itself lays claim to producing the He brew race! In the kabalistic tetragrammaton, which is I H V H = yod-hay-vav-hay or the Chri stian misinterpretation of it called "Jehovah," we discover the fundamental equa tions of the process of phenomenal expression. We have already described these a s sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition, and the movement of energy through these various domains. Kabala quantifies these psychic activities by means of t he tetragrammaton. According to kabala, the movement progresses in the sequence sensation, feeling, thinking, and intuition. The tetragrammaton expresses the movement by the equat ions I H V H. In addition the second equation, H (hay), of the first series I H V H becomes, by a transformation, the initial equation, I (yod) of a second seri es I H V H. The second series of equations then expresses a different dynamic st ate of consciousness. The progression of energy states expressed by the series of equations I H V H re peats itself, working its way through each of the twenty two letter signs (autio t) of the Hebrew alphabet. Each letter sign of that alphabet constitutes what am ounts to a mathematical equation. Hence, in kabala "words" and their combinations are not simply narrative element s. Although the words and the sentences they form may narrate some superficial s tory, they are really mathematical equations and equations within equations. Some of these kabalistic equations are of extreme length. Genesis, for instance, runs to thousands of terms. Some of the equations are similar in content to the equations of modern physics. But in kabala the equations express in a quantifia ble manner the various energy transformations of state of consciousness.145 The symbolic representation of the tetragrammaton takes the form of the equilate ral cross. This four fold figure conformed exactly to the needs of the apocalypt ic writer, i.e. the symbolism of the zodiac. With it he could contrive a concise description of self expression. He simply substituted the temple terminology for that of the four fold tetragram maton. By retaining the form of the tetragrammaton, he produced by simple replac ement an inside out or transposed version of the throne. He had then only to rev erse it. By the very simple expedient of reversing the order of terms in the kabalistic t etragrammaton the author of the Apocalypse reconstructed the heavenly throne of Ezechiel and the mystical merkabah. In his ingenious reconstruction he disguised both the true meaning and the hidden source of his grand symbol. As I have suggested earlier, he did this purposely to disguise his real intentio ns. The heavenly throne is, in fact, the key to decoding much of the apocalyptic symbolism. Briefly, in the inversion of terms the initial equation I (yod) becomes the inne r court or temple, which is the domain of sensation. The first equation H (hay) becomes the holy of holies or adytum, which is the domain of feeling. The equati on V (vav) becomes the altar, which represents the domain of thinking. Finally t he second equation H (hay) becomes the tabernacle, which is the domain of intuit ion.146 The kabalistic formulation of the tetragrammaton is, as I noted above, the equil

ateral cross. Its center connects with the next successive state of conscious ex pression as the series of equations works its way through the twenty-two autiot. That center and focal point of the equilateral cross naturally becomes the ark, which represents the fifth domain of inspiration. From this formless well of ins piration every phenomenal expression has its source. The sacred implements contained in the ark are those items by which its inspirat ion may be actualized in real life. These are the symbols of the covenant betwee n Abraham and God. Recall that this covenant became codified by Moses as the commandments and the v arious Mosaic laws that to this day govern the daily lives of orthodox Jews. Rel igious literalists like to indicate that when the Romans finally pillaged the st one and mortar temple in Jerusalem they carried away the contents of the ark. Th ese were purported to be stone fragments, supposedly of the original tablets bro ught down from Sinai by Moses. But the real ark of creative human potential was not, nor could it ever be sacke d by any invading army. Like the real temple of human being, it can only be appr oached from within. Its sacred contents are the means of creative expression. The covenant between Abraham and God included circumcision and the twenty-two au tiot (Yetsira VI, 4).147 In kabalistic symbolism the word Abraham signifies unde rstanding and the word God consciousness in its dynamic mode. Thus, the understa nding (Abraham) of consciousness (God) encompasses both the genitals and the ton gue. These two are the real contents of the ark. For by them f consciousness becomes actualized in the real world of ech, whether oral or written, and the capacity for love mor) really distinguish human life from all other forms the creative potential o life and experience. Spe in the personal sense (a that we know of so far.

The nonphenomenal domain and realm of inspiration represents the first logos, ov ershadowing and penetrating the phenomenal realm. Individualized it becomes the second logos, which is symbolized as the golden altar of the God (which is consc iousness). Its four horns of phenomenal expression are simply the domains of sen sation, feeling, thinking and intuition. Thus the golden altar and its four horns symbolize self consciousness and its ma ny faculties and powers of expressing and experiencing. It comes from and cradle s within itself the ark of the covenant of consciousness. Finally, one more term completes our description of the equilateral cross and te tragrammaton. The area outside the four arms of the cross represents the outer c ourt. This signifies the screen of objective or "external" events, upon which th e psyche projects its contents. We can show conclusively the mutual identity of the kabalistic tetragrammaton an d the apocalyptic throne, or energy body. All we need to do is to turn the tetra grammaton, with its altered terminology, inside out. Faculties and Correspondances The outer court becomes the center of our new diagram. The ark becomes the encir cling element. Since the ark symbolizes inspiration, which is the creative energ y of consciousness, it is now identical with the integral sheath of the energy b ody. The four phenomenal expressions of consciousness are distinguishable as the four

sheaths of the psyche. These you may recall are the physical, the mental, the e theric and intellectual. As I have described at some length earlier, these five elements comprise in vari ous manner the aura and the seven chakras. The subjective aspect of the chakras is sustained by the cerebrospinal nervous system, which is the physical correlat e of pingala. The objective aspect of the seven chakras is sustained by the activity of the sy mpathetic nervous system, which is the physical correlate of ida. The nondual union of both the subjective and objective aspects of human experien ce is sustained by the aura. This is the mysterious and enigmatic physical, and at the same time nonphysical, correlate of the creative power of sushumna. The various relationships of the tetragrammaton and the energy body may be tabul ated thus: CHAKRA APOCALYPTIC TERM EXPRESSION root & genital the temple sensation navel the temple of God feeling heart the altar thinking throat, brow & crown tabernacle intuition cerebrospinal system

the four horns inspiration sympathetic system the outer court external events 8.3 THE TREE OF LIFE The kabalistic "Tree of Life" conveys the creativity of consciousness and the dy namics of its expression in a diagrammatic format. This symbolic diagram outline s conscious expression from its most abstract to its most concrete. This grand s ymbol consists of two sets of elements. These are the ten sephiroth, which symbo lize dynamic states of consciousness, and twenty two interconnecting pathways, ( the autiot) which symbolize the various types of interactions between the sephir oth. For our purposes here a lengthy discussion of the tree would prove unnecessary. But a brief description of the sephiroth will help to clarify the significance o f this kabalistic symbol. Taken in conjunction with their twenty two interconnecting pathways, the sephiro th describe the panorama of human consciousness and its many transformations of state. The full intricacy of these transformations can be imagined from the open ing words of Genesis. The first code word is Bereshyt. This has been erroneously translated as "In the beginning..." Bereshyt is composed of the letter signs bayt, raysh, aleph, shee n, yod and tav. Each of these is the name of energy acting in specific ways. Eac h of these energies is complex. The name bayt, for instance, includes both yod a nd tav. The name yod includes the names vav and dallet. In dallet is lammed and tav. In lammed is mem and dallet... etc.148 The ten sephiroth are: malkuth, yesod, hod, netsach, tiphereth, geburah, chesed, binah, chokma and kether. The twenty two pathways correspond to the twenty two letter signs (autiot) of the Hebrew alphabet and there is no need to enumerate t hem here. The sephiroth and autiot represent with mathematical precision the ene rgy states and transformations that describe conscious activities. Taken together, these profuse and rich elements symbolically form the grand tape stry of consciousness/life. This ever changing multiple event continuously weave s itself from the matrix of itself. It brings into conscious manifestation the m any and diverse forms that give it actuality. It dissolves them repeatedly back into itself in a never beginning and never ending dance of recognition and reali zation. It is the play (lila) of consciousness/life with its ephemeral projectio n into time and space. Malkuth, the "kingdom," symbolizes the drive of the psyche for survival both phy sically and psychologically. This kabalistic "kingdom" represents the meeting po int of the tangible and intangible within the confines of the human experience o f life.

Malkuth is the very same "kingdom within" of which we must each become conscious ly aware. For even though it occupies the schematic "bottom" of the tree it symb olically duplicates the "top." Just as the root system of an oak duplicates its above ground trunk and branches, so does malkuth represent the whole. Yesod, "foundation," symbolizes the creative energy of consciousness in its most tangible or concretized manifestation. This energy expresses itself both physic ally and erotically in the generation of offspring and psychologically and amoro usly in the maturation of self realization. Hod, the "glory," signifies the power of mental discrimination. Hod is the two e dged sword that severs and binds. It renders the experience of human life fragme ntary while at the same time bestowing upon it the power of self awareness. Nets ach, the "victory," signifies the action of feeling. This power enables us to ar rive at accurate and meaningful judgments based on emotion and value. It guides us to what we find truly valuable and important in our lives. Hod and netsach op erate in intimate relation to one another. Our powers of discrimination and feel ing are often brought to bear simultaneously upon whatever matter requires our c onsideration and subsequent action. Tiphereth, or "beauty," symbolizes the balance of rational thinking and intuitiv e insight. Its position in the center of the tree indicates its great potency fo r establishing and maintaining equilibrium throughout all the states of consciou sness that are represented by the sephiroth. Tiphereth is that quiet and still p oint within that enables us to unite the various and often disparate parts of ou r human nature into harmonious concert. Geburah, or "justice," signifies the cause and effect relationships of events an d actions. Every phenomenon has its cause or causes and in turn becomes the caus e of still other phenomena. No phenomenon stands by itself. This interconnectedness of cause and effect is termed in the Sanskrit karma. An acausal interrelatedness of events and phenomena operates as well. This Jung pos tulated long ago and particle physicists demonstrate daily in their laboratories . This acausal effect is contained within geburah as a sort of counterpoint to i ts causal force. Chesed, or "mercy," known also as Gedulah, "love," signifies the lavish creative outpouring of the dynamic activity of consciousness. Chesed and geburah are dir ectly connected since the creative energy and activity of consciousness produces the cause and effect and interrelatedness of all phenomena and events of life. Binah, "understanding," symbolizes intuitive insight and not simply an intellect ual understanding. Insight produces an intimate involvement that mere intellectu alism lacks. Binah represents the state or the condition of giving form to the many expressio ns of consciousness. Chokma, or "wisdom," symbolizes the eternal archetypes or p atterns of thought of consciousness. These archetypes are the unformed patterns to which binah gives form in the real world of life and experience. Kether, the "crown," symbolizes the actualizing of the full creative potential o f consciousness. Kether is the actual as well as the symbolic "crowning point" o f self expression and its actualized powers. Kether is frequently misunderstood to represent a supposedly "spiritual" state o f human existence, removed in kind from the other aspects of human experience. B ut this line of thought follows the erroneous metaphysical notion that the diffe rent states of consciousness exhibit a hierarchy of value. They do not.

The as yet unformed and unrealized potential of consciousness is termed ain soph .149 Ain soph corresponds to what I have been referring to in this essay as the hyperstate. We can correlate the sephiroth to the chakras thus: malkuth root yesod genitals hod/netsach navel tiphereth heart geburah/chesed throat binah/chokma brow kether crown

In later kabala much emphasis has been placed on the idea of climbing the tree a nd "progressing" through the connecting pathways. This idea of a progression par allels the yogic notion of conquering the chakras that James Pryse advocates in his level of interpretation of the Apocalypse. Underlying the intention of rising to supposedly higher or more exalted states o f consciousness is the common misconception that a hierarchy of value prevails t hroughout the chakra and sephiroth systems. Thus, those states of consciousness symbolized by the chakras and sephiroth at the "lower" (for which read physical) end of this hypothetical scale of value somehow hinder and impede progress towa rds psychic integration (or, if you will, "enlightenment"). As a consequence of this manner of thinking, physical activities, and especially sexual activities, become the bad guys. Thus arises all the misguided emphasis on asceticism and celibacy in the quest for spiritual attainment. But as I noted before and more than once, for it merits repetition, sex and the physical are n ot the bad guys. According to the metaphysic of ecstasy they are really the good guys! From the deeper perspective of the metaphysic of ecstasy, sexuality and its phys ical manifestations are the keys to integrating all of the psyche and realizing the supreme identity. To think of them otherwise is to fall right into the patri archal trap of bogus spirituality. It is precisely from this bogus spirituality that the human race must extricate itself if it is to advance further on its evolutionary journey. Only the metaphy sic of ecstasy, with its holistic vision of human life offers the alternative of real and effective spirituality. That is just the total integration of the psyc he and the mutual discovery by woman and man of the supreme identity within each other. The author of the Apocalypse uses the kabalistic symbol of the tree of life unal tered. He even calls it by the same name!150 And as if this were not sufficient to get his message across plainly, in addition, he also calls it the "fountain o f the water of life."151 Having emphasized the nature of the real meaning of thi s symbol by thus utilizing it twice over, to disguise it somewhat from the liter alists he simply changed the names of the ten sephiroth. Precisely which name co rresponds to each one of the sephiroth remains in some doubt. The exact correlation, however, is unnecessary for the overall meaning of the te xt to present itself clearly and comprehensively. The following list is somewhat tentative. But as well as I can deduce to date, the author of the Apocalypse su bstituted the various terms for the sephiroth in the manner indicated here:

SEPHIROTH

APOCALYPTIC TERMS

malkuth kingdom authority yesod foundation strength hod glory praise netsach victory ruling tiphereth beauty force geburah justice honor chesed mercy deliverance binah understanding wealth chokma wisdom dominion kether crown glory When diagrammed in the symbolic form of the kabalistic tree of life, the ten sep hiroth are arranged in three vertical columns. The columns symbolize the right, left and center of human expression. They correspond to the cerebrospinal and th e left and right sympathetic nervous systems of the body. The four sephiroth of malkuth, yesod, tiphereth and kether signify the central c olumn. The remaining six sephiroth arranged in three pairs make up the left and right columns. The six paired sephiroth are hod and netsach, geburah and chesed, binah and chokma. Faculties and Correspondances The central column corresponds to the sushumna nadi of the Upanishads. The right and left columns correspond respectively to the pingala and ida nadis. The acco mpanying diagram makes these various relationships clear. The apocalyptic tree yields twelve fruits.152 These twelve correspond to the fiv e faculties of memory, action, reason, apprehension, inspiration and the seven c omplementary abilities of loving, thinking, willing, knowing, inspiring, express ing and forming. Together, these twelve fruits make up the psychic activity symb olized by ida, pingala and sushumna and the ten sephiroth. The Gospel allegories personify the fruits as the twelve apostles of Jesus. Rega rding the true nature of the word Jesus and its relation to the faculties and ab ilities, we may examine here briefly two passages from Mark. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, an d of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?"153 "And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John."154 Just who were all these brothers and sisters of Jesus? The orthodox and literali st interpreters admit that Jesus had at least four brothers and several sisters. The Gospels refer directly to siblings in wording that could easily be interpre ted to mean even more. But accounting for all these siblings of Jesus proves rat her difficult. After all, Mary was a virgin. She is still revered by most of Christian orthodox y as the Virgin Mary. We may credit her with one miraculous birth, but surely no t several more! Would not the virgin births of several more children in addition and subsequent to the birth of Jesus warrant some comment in the Gospels? Yet t here is not a word. Those who insist that all these brothers and sisters were born to Mary and Josep h by natural means after the birth of Jesus flounder on the virginity issue. Tho

se who claim the reference is in the general sense of the brotherhood of humanit y rather than in a familial sense beg the question. Both viewpoints have been th oroughly dissected by the orthodox literalists without resolution. The problem is readily resolved as soon as we free ourselves from the literal in terpretation. The brothers total five in number and are each named specifically in the two quoted passages. The five are Simon, James, John, Judas and Andrew. T he name "Joses" is simply a substitute for John. We may reasonably conclude that they personify the five faculties. The sisters are never named, nor referred to by any specific number. However, fr om Matthew 13,56 we can surmise that their number was three or more. If we suppo se that these sisters of Jesus personify the seven abilities and thereby complem ent the five faculties, we may confidently conclude that they total seven. No women are named in the Gospels specifically as the sisters of Jesus. But we m ay conjecture that all of the Marys, Miriams and Marthas (with the exception of Mary, the mother) are the seven sisters. All of these names derive ultimately fr om the name Mary. The Mary who is the "mother" of ow that ida was te the world of the mother of Jesus, by the way, personifies the matrix. She is all phenomenal expression. From earlier discussion we already kn referred to as the "world mother" since the seven chakras genera experience for ego conscious humanity.

Hence, we may conclude that the sisters of Jesus represent the many differentiat ions of ida. These are the seven chakras and the activities they symbolize. The similarity of the several names suggests strongly their derivative status. Jesus the Christ symbolizes self realization of the human personality whose facu lties and abilities enable it to express and experience fully. This condition of awareness becomes the ultimate state of human being. It is totally appropriate to refer to these experiential elements as the "brothers" and "sisters" of human integrity.