Tuesday, December 1, 2015
''An Education: Grades'' - A Response
The human body is divided into a variety of different cell types in the same way humanity is divided into a variety of different psycho-social types. For ease I divide these into types using the spectrum of the endocrine system, the glands, as they provide a useful general field of purpose (control, perception, communication, immunity, energy, engines, reproduction) and also a fairly easy set of physiognomical cues to identify them. Using these archetypal forms i.e. high testosterone character or high adrenaline character etc, I can zoom in more closely using the paths and identify where an individual might lie *between* these archetypes, I can determine the genetic ''alchemical'' mix at the essence of a person and subsequently diagnose the disease (or spectrum of disease), both physical and mental, that they are likely to struggle with.
The discussion on Disrupt and Repair is about the usefulness of making a grade system out of this and learning systematically about characters other than one's own or trying to replicate them within yourself. In this sense the process of initiation leads you away from yourself only to return to your ''natural grade'' when you achieve a certain level of enlightenment (8 = 3), and it also suggests that some grades are naturally superior than others. The natural grades we are discussing do relate to the intiatory grades that have been associated with them for example a Practicus is using adrenaline to fuel their recall ability when learning and utilizing systems of correspondences, an Adeptus Minor is using insulin and glucagon to store and release energy. This means that if one is an insulin/glucagon character their natural grade is Adeptus Minor. However this in no sense means that an Adeptus Minor is more important than a Practicus in this understanding.
Think about occupations in the real world such as the police force, associated with the immune system and Mars. There are some people with a certain set of natural skills that make them good police officers. There are other influences (spoiling, neglect, abuse) that can reduce their quality as police officers. Within the police there are a variety of different types of jobs that require different skills - armed response is different from detective work, in the same way an eosinophil immune cell is different from a B memory cell. Within these jobs themselves there are different levels of achievement and recognition, different ranks etc which are accessible, technically, by different displays of virtue and excellence. You can earn more money and respect as a highly ranked detective (Mars) than a lowly ranked government official (typically Jupiter or Saturn types) or teacher (typically Solar or Venutian). So I don't think there is anything inherent in a natural grade that makes one more important than the other, a skin cell or hair cell is equally important to a nerve cell in the grand scheme of things. When I look at the Tree of Life, I use it in its 2d upright form to find position within the body and don't automatically equate that to status - if we take people's misconceptions as someone whose character lies around cortisol and testosterone (or Netzach and Yesod), kidneys and gonads, I would be considered quite lowly. The head can't work on its own though - at least not yet - and even when it can it will be linked to things that are doing the equivalent of cleaning its blood, etc.
I do work ''up the Tree'' through initiations after a manner - when stepping onto a certain path or Sefira an individual of the physiognomical type enters my life, they are summoned as a spirit, and I learn about the Sefira by learning about them. I explore their traits both negative and positive and try to apply the most useful ones to myself. For example I have been working between Solar and Martian initiations for some time now and would reject the Pride and Aggression but try to absorb the Inspiration and Discipline.
Bear in mind that an individual is automatically a gestalt of the people they have met: an ex-girlfriend's smile, a father's frown, a mother's nod of assent - this gestalt forming a mask of memory or acquired behaviour, harmonious or otherwise, over a genetic core identity. We naturally acquire this mask of messily acquired other ''grades'', initiation simply applies some system of undertsanding that - we acquire experience of other cells this way and come to know ourself in the body as opposed to just ourselves in the cell. Without this tour of the inner space, which has beene expressed out into the world, we can't fully know what the point of it all is, although we may good at doing it.
When this process of discovery is complete the mask comes off (or is integrated and internalized) and the individual is revealed in their fullest glory as their archetype - this is the 8 = 3 grade - and in life this is where one is really good at doing what they do and what they have true will for be it artist or scholar alongside knowledge of the entire system - they are a real human being. Typically the artists, scholars, scientists, mothers, fathers, etc who are renowned are the ones who have achieved this understanding, they understand how their part contributes to the greatness of the whole, as opposed to those who labour in their various cells without that knowledge.
To give a practical example for my Netzach initiation, I conjured various forces - ended up working in Taurean and Libran spheres - my Taurean intiation was handling the FMD crisis in 2001, my Libran working as a waiter, balancing plates in an extremely fancy green restaurant. Due to excellence I was promoted and became the manager of this literal green sphere, outside of which were two statues of women one black (exposed to rain and pollution) the other white (less exposed). During these spheres and the pathwalking that followed them - which were mainly in either caring (Alzheimers, Schizophrenia) or entertainment (restaurants, pubs, shows) leading to teaching in the end as the Solar sphere - I formed close relationships with Mime types, listening to the transactions on the sod level. For my Solar initiation, I conjured various forces and went to work in a big yellow building numbered 320, I worked with and encountered many Prisoner types and again paid attention to them on the sod level. These experiences have not just yielded qualities of personality but esoteric abilities as well. As I said above I think there is substantial correlation between the physiongnomical archetypes and the grades of the A.A. and can go through it in another post.