Anyone who thinks that Tantric imagery was not part of European medieval and Renaissance tradition should take another look.
The Divine Force of Heaven.
We always think of this as something outside of us; something out there, which is a fantasy, conceptualization, and idea, a concept. It belongs to philosophy, it belongs to metaphysics. It belongs to religions. But it's always out there, belonging to something else, to someone else, somewhere else. It may be out there in books, music, or art work; it can even be out there and dance. But it is always out there.
Except it isn't out there.
It's clear enough — Jesus Christ Himself told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is within. But this Kingdom of Heaven is only created by the inflow of the divine, the higher energy that Jeanne de Salzmann, Sri Anirvan, and other great yogis remind us of. And only by coming into relationship with it, by making it a living property of the spirit that dwells within ourselves, can any such Kingdom arise or be expressed.
It is a domain, indeed, but it is a domain of the inner self, not a domain that we locate somewhere other than here, where we are, and now, when we are. Its existence, which is eternally expressing itself through all of the matter that exists — every single manifestation of matter begins, on and of the instant, with an emanation from the divine that literally creates its existence — is dependent upon the expression of Being.
What is the reality of Being? All manifested reality is Being; and yet conscious Being, which is what mankind has the opportunity to express, is Being that knows itself in a new way.
This is the responsibility of mankind — to become available to a higher force, which can express itself through him. The whole point of understanding levels is that there are higher forces that influence material reality as we experience it. Everything related to the sacred, the holy, something bigger and more meaningful to man, is actually an intuition of this fact. Mankind ignores this fact at his peril, which is why things go so terribly wrong on this planet. When men live only at the level of the material, the self-reflexive nature of the action causes it to consume itself.
A man or woman who recognizes the living nature of this question within their own lives already acquires a responsibility to it. If one begins to know that something higher ought to be expressed in life, and one does not work hard to make that possible through one's efforts, one commits a sin. It is, in fact, criminal to abrogate this responsibility if one sees it; it is a betrayal not only of one's self, but God.
The Divine Force of Heaven only manifests through the conscious efforts of beings who work to receive it. Anywhere that this Divine Force is not received, things automatically slide downwards towards Hell. Hell is not anything more than a place without the influence of divinity; it isn't, in point of fact, a place of punishment. Unfortunately, things tend to go in that direction just by doing nothing. No actual evil action is necessary; just a failure to make effort. More bad things happen by passivity and accident than will ever take place by conspiracy.
If one ends up in Hell, one has done so not only voluntarily, but in a certain sense, intentionally, since any intention that does not go towards the Divine automatically slides away from it. You'll note that Gurdjieff himself said to Ouspensky that souls go to hell. Swedenborg noted that souls end up in Hell because that's where they want to be; not because God has rejected them. In fact, God cannot reject souls. Souls can only reject God.
The only reason that there is weeping and gnashing of teeth in Hell is because that is the way souls who reject God prefer to behave. They create their own conditions in Hell, not conditions imposed upon them by devils or an uncaring God. The weeping and gnashing of teeth exists simply because that's how people carry on when they have no influence of divinity, or the good, in them. Their action produces terrible things, and they tolerate these conditions, because it is the way they believe things ought to be. They are even willing to take action to keep conditions around them this way, because in their mind, those conditions are good and right.
It's fairly easy, if you think about this for a minute, to identify people like this all around you, living life in exactly this way, today. These are the exact individuals that Gurdjieff referred to as Hasnamuss individuals.
The need for divine influences is evident to every right-thinking human being, and we will be exploring this question in the next series of posts. It is probably one of the most important questions facing mankind today, which makes it deserving of extended treatment.
May your soul be filled with light.