Monday, November 18, 2013

further notes on the astral body and sacrifice- reaching the note sol

 In order to continue our discussion of the meaning of the transition from fa to sol- from the material to the spiritual, from identification to being — we're going to go back to one of my old favorites, Hieronymus Bosch.

 To underscore the idea that the transition from fa to sol has been known since ancient times, and has always carried the same meaning, let's take a look at the way it's encoded in  The adoration of the Magi.  

As we move around the circle from the top to the right, progressing downwards, we pass through the material realm, completely populated with self-important figures, richly dressed, who all think they are kings. It's only after one has reached the bottom of the circle in the clockwise rotation and begins to move up towards the top of the circle again, in the position of the note sol, that we encounter the penitent, who has adopted an appropriate kneeling position and discarded all of the elegant finery we see on the right, or material, side of the painting. Readers can peruse my commentary in more detail to see about all of the symbolic significance encoded in this progression; the important point is that something has to be given up at the moment one reaches the spiritual side of development. 

The ego is in a different position on the left-hand side of this painting; and the companions of ego are not self inflated monarchs, but lowly animals — what you would find in a manger, that is, where Christ was born.

It may seem counterintuitive to place animals in this position, rather than Angels or more refined human beings, but the animals have a more powerful symbolic content. Bosch made sound pictorial choices here which emphasize the fact that the spiritual side of the inner path, the left side of the Tantric Circle, require submission and humility, and an ability to see oneself as lower.

Let's remember that there are, as we have discussed in earlier essays, four levels of being bodies: physical, astral, mental, and causal. Because each one of them comprises two triads and one individual octave in themselves, there is an act of sacrifice required at each level in order to shear oneself of what has been acquired from the lower levels and move upwards. 

So the surrender, the giving up, the intelligent and inexorable progression towards the higher requires an act of sacrifice not once, but over and over again; and each time, the sacrifice is greater, because what has been gained at the astral level seems much greater than that of the physical level; yet that has to be given up in order to help the mental body develop, and in the case of the mental body, it, too, carries an ego of its own which must be overcome and surrendered in the progress towards the causal body.

Perhaps this helps readers to begin to understand that the act of sacrifice is a perpetual act that takes place on multiple levels and in an ascending order; but all of it is necessary simultaneously. That is to say, it is a complex and perhaps even bewildering environment; so if we have difficulty negotiating the inner path and understanding what we are, it's no surprise.

May your soul be filled with light.

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