Incense burners, Saigon
''...the beings of other planets await the action of Solioonensius with impatience because thanks to it the need for evolving, in the sense of acquiring Objective Reason, increases in them by itself."
—Beelzebub's Tales, page 571
In ancient times, priesthoods had to undertake complex astronomical calculations (especially if they lacked sensitive adepts) to advise their kings, religious organizations, and populations of the best times to conduct intensified religious efforts. Nowadays, we have the benefit of sophisticated solar telescopes to achieve the same results. Only knowing the precise nature, however, of the sun's actions can enable us to understand what potentials lie here—potentials deeply tied to cosmological law and the laws of world-creation and world-maintenance.
Gurdjieff once said he was "in the solar energy business," and although we may, in this day and age, see it as a technologically prescient witticism of one kind or another (it's tempting to see humor in it) he meant it quite literally. It is, you see, certain that like ancient priests, he felt the emanations of the sun directly and organically, which is a capacity the organism can, and will, develop if enough inner work is done.
As in Patanjali's sutras on the various methods of acquiring yogic power, the ability to sense solar emanations can be acquired in several different ways. It can be conferred through long and arduous inner work effort; or it can be given as a Grace (much less common) or acquired temporarily through the use of drugs, principally psychedelics. In the first case the principal vehicle through which one can acquire the capacity for such receptivity is suffering; and the various traditions, including Gurdjieff's Fourth Way, have certain levels of understanding on this matter—some allegorical, some quite literal and still others which (as in Gurdjieff's case) are metaphysically correct, if extraordinary and challenging.
In any event, these abilities can be acquired; and once they are, an adept working under the influences becomes organically sensitive to solar emanations, which are (to us) primarily electromagnetic in nature. I say "to us" and "primarily" largely because emanations, which are of a different class entirely than radiations, are not electromagnetic and cannot be sensed using ordinary physical instrumentation, since they are spiritual in nature and made of materials too fine to measure using ordinary physical tools. As it happens emissions from the sun always include a perfect balance of natural and spiritual parts, only one of which (the natural part, radiation) can be detected and measured using natural (scientific) instruments.
We'll continue this discussion in the next post.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.