Thursday, February 23, 2017

Theory of Knowledge - The Archdruid and Parmenides

When I first started writing the Hermetic Lessons, I assumed the readers would have a great deal of knowledge that simply isn't there.  Subject knowledge that I thought was effectively required by the WMT, namely Mathematics, Science and Philosophy, isn't there at all or is way below the level that one would need to seriously navigate the field.  The adage of ''What they do not know they fear and what they fear they destroy'' explains a lot of the bizarre animosity against science and mathematics that occasionally emerges as anti-intellectualism in our community and is further revealed by the way these topics are assiduously avoided in mainstream occulture.

On that note over at the Archdruid Report JMG is taking his readers through a powerful introduction to  Philosophy of Mind and I highly recommend reading his work as a refresher if you are well grounded in the topic and as a solid foundation if you are not.

For those who are reading it there are a couple of points I'd like to address.  A lot of the arguments that JMG is discussing, and partially critiquing, are based on a development of core ideas in philosophy that may or may not have been fundamentally misunderstood at the outset - similar to the way in which errors and misinterpretations totally destroyed understanding of the Kabbalah in the WMT.  For instance to be able to distinguish between Plato and Socrates is itself a challenging task and to interpret exactly what either of them meant is problematic due to translation. Compounding this the problem with working with the Pre-Socratics, for example Parmenides, is that the work that has been passed down to us is extremely fragmentary.

In a book called ''To Think Like God: Parmenides and Pythagoras, the Origins of Philosophy'' Arnold Hermann argues that Parmenides was actually a lawyer so that when he was distinguishing between Truth and Opinion in ''On Nature'' he was not developing a metaphysical argument but a legal one. To what extent Socrates/Plato knew or did not know that is up for dispute (they may have reinterpreted this for their own needs) but all the way up to Popper etc we have been reading this [fragment of a] text as metaphysical in nature.

As Hermann argues, in Elea, Parmenides' home town, they enjoyed legal disputes and had a bizarre method of legislation by hanging, where the legislator stood with a noose around their neck and if the court didn't like the legislation then they would immediately be hanged.  Situated on this litigious peninsula what Parmenides was really talking about was what really happened (i,e. the truth) in a given crime as opposed to what witnesses thought they observed (i.e. opinion).  In his discussion of the logic that follows what he is really doing is laying the foundation for the cross examination of witnesses and the way in which lawyers will attempt to expose logical loopholes in their testimonies to disprove their worthiness.  In the final sections of the fragments we have he discusses how science (as it was back then) is still in the realm of opinion - this is why scientists etc at court are referred to as expert witnesses.

We can, and many Gnostics and Kabbalists do, believe the universe is a crime scene or at least the aftermath of some tragic accident or catastrophe.  Here I think there is mileage in continuing to transfer the legal explorations of Parmenides to a more universal metaphysics and indeed the system of Cellular Consciousness and the Metabolism of Time  relies heavily on his work ''On Nature''.  JMG argues that to suggest there is no such thing as movement or size, as Parmenides does, is fairly ''questionable'' but when you connect with Cellular Consciousness and understand that the universal substrate is Thought (like Anaxagoras) then you can easily show that the representations are made of one immobile undifferentiated substance.  The system of MoT then builds on this as its foundation, in fact the Allegory of the Cave does too.

The truly tricky problem is what we mean by thought, or mind or consciousness and by focusing on Schopenhauer JMG is certainly pointing us in a good direction to a more advanced discussion of the topic even though based on the Archdruid's other posts I don't think I am necessarily going to agree with his conclusions.  Although I agree that there is a ''thing out there'' I do not believe that it is ''matter'' persay but an interstitial fluid existing between the cells of consciousness, a bloodstream of time, which is co-created consensually from the stuff of the cells themselves  i.e. according to his definition I am a reductive or possibly an eliminative idealist.

I must admit though that the work with Raziel and fully grasping that matter and consciousness can be best understood as time and anti-time (which is in fact the same thing, going forwards and backwards simultaneously) may shift my position as it unveils itself - probably ending in something truly esoteric like Zurvanism, which, in the way JMG is suggesting this all results in high end mysticism, I may in fact be proving his final point.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Small Movements in Time - Response to Golem Builder

At the starting of the week
At summit talks you'll hear them speak
Its only Monday
Negotiations breaking down
See those leaders start to frown
Its sword and gun day
Tomorrow never comes until its too late

Six Days, DJ Shadow

As explained in the Metabolism of Time the human being/body is quite literally the expression of the necessary steps in the Metabolism of Time.  From this perspective the head is located in the future, planning and anticipating, the torso is located in the present (heartbeat, breathing and appetite) and the lower abdomen and genitalia located in the past (digestion, excretion and reproduction).*

By placing the diagram of Feelix the Perfect Helix next to the diagram of the Metabolism of Time one gets a sense of exactly how this breaks down - for instance it relates the function of the immune system (and the position of the thymus gland) in our reaction to the present, or the action of the kidneys (salt retention, cleaning the blood) in our ''forgetting and remembering'' of the past.  In Secret Powers of Time posted by Trainee Golem Builder, the presenter discusses six archetypes of time-based personality (2 present, 2 future, 2 past) and argues for differentiation of type being largely the result of culture, education and to some extent exposure to technology.  As you can see above, the system espoused in the Metabolism of Time differs in that it is based on ten archetypes (3 future, 3 past, 2 present and 2 bridges - the inner mind, and the experience of the moment) and that differentiation between types occurs mainly as a result of genetic and ultimately temporal factors.**

In the quote from Abraham Abulafia in Small Movements in Time we see that the great Kabbalist believes that the body, cycle and world are created with 10 sefirot each and that these are scales reflected in the 4 worlds model of Kabbalah.  The total of 30 Sefirot discussed in the quote are 10 x 3 so we have a Tree of Life of Atziluth, a Tree of Briah, a Tree of Yetzirah etc but if we included Assiah this would correctly be 40.  As time is the primary axis of the Saadia Tree (Depth of the Future, Depth of the Past) I relate the property of time to Atziluth and understanding time in the way explored in the diagram is an attempt to understand the activity of the so-called ''highest world''.

The world of Briah (Self/Consciousness - Depth of Good, Depth of Evil)) is populated by the ten character archetypes that are derived from the ten temporal archetypes of Atziluth so we have the character of the Altered Future (known as the Ignorant Genius) or the character of the Altered Past (known as the Many Mannered Mind Man).  This idea of them being derived is important in Kabbalah - temporal factors first, then genetic factors, then social factors - in the same way Atzilith can be considered the highest or perhaps more accurately deepest world which the other worlds emerge from.

The world of Yetzirah (space) is where we have this sense of characters interacting and therefore building into communities, or if we want to use a more Kabbalistic term from the world of Yetzirah - hosts.  For the purposes of getting closer to understanding the population can be split into ten, with a host of people gravitating towards one of these archetypes, and another host gravitating towards another, the range of the host and the specific distance individuals are from the pure type, spawning the 22 paths or spectra.  In the 3rd Act of the Metabolism we look at the way in which communities of differentiated individuals work together in order to complete their metabolism.  Any group - a company, a military division, a country - can be expected to contain all of the archetypes although not always in equal measure and this may lead to problems.***

In Assiah we have these three components (time, self/consciousness and space) working together to form our personal sense of the world.  In the final act of the Metabolism of Time we discuss the way in which the individual can both complete their metabolism as a part of the host and how to begin to seek the whole within themselves and begin rectification, Tikkun, and ultimately achieve return, Teshuvah.

To conclude Time is indeed the fundamental property of the four worlds and the only property that runs throughout them all.  The spiral of our DNA is in fact the literal expression of the world of Briah, derived from Atziluth, the root of consciousness as a crystallisation of the principles of time which then goes on to form individuals and populations that interact with each other in space or Yetzirah.

Ten Sefirot of Nothingness
Their end is embedded in their beginning
And their beginning in their end
Like a flame in a burning coal
For the Master is singular
He has no second
And before one what do you count?

1:7 Sefer Yetzirah, Gra Version

*Your experience of your body is in fact a map of the mind that contains it.  Thus your memory is located in the physical sense of your gonads, your ''present awareness'' is located in your breathing your heart beat etc.  In the same way you never feel anything only feel the feeling.
**There are some overlaps in type between the video and the MoT - for instance present based hedonist translates to ''Shellfish'' * (archetype of Chesed or ''reaction to the moment'') although I would argue that the tendency to be that way comes from an underactive immune system which will come with a whole host of other problems, advantages and physiognomic qualifiers.
***Certain groups like the police would be expected to have more ''Confused Venutians'' (immune cells with a ''crime detection'' speciality) than other types and in fact a shortage of Confused Venutians in the police force would be considered a bad thing.  Similarly an athletics team may be expected to have more ''Jays'' (i.e. adrenaline based characters) than average - maybe even exclusively ''Jay''.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Teaching the Metabolism of Time

Last year I presented a three part series of lectures on the Metabolism of Time at a local teahouse with a reputation for hosting esoteric speakers.  The lectures were very well attended and I learned about the various challenges presented by delivering this material and also reflected on the idea of teaching and learning within the community and to the public at large.  Although a number of people expressed an interest in wanting to study the material further I decided that no candidate was suitable. As I embark on more student hunting this year its useful for me to go over exactly what it is that I am offering.

When I first received the Metabolism of Time, it appeared to me as a vision of characters living alongside a double helical river (perhaps the Euphrates and the Tigris) and as I contemplated the dream language of this vision and related it to the world around me it began to reveal its secrets.  I learned the cosmogony and the outer edges of the physiognomy.  During university I encountered the Western Mystery Tradition alongside my studies in Genetics and Biochemistry and began working towards a grand fusion of the ideas that culminated in a channelling of the text in 2001. This appeared in the form of 4 Acts, mirroring the notion of the 4 Kabbalistic worlds.  Over the last 15 years I have studied QBL in depth and harmonised a rectified Tree of Life with these discoveries through the use of the Sefer Yetzirah and the consultation of Raziel.

In Act 1 (Atziluth) - The Metabolism of Time - we find the explanations of the hyper-spheres of cellular consciousness: the sensation of the physical body, the sensation of physical reach, the sphere of perception and the sphere of consciousness which completes the occupying being.  Closely examining the occupant we discover how each individual moment of time has to pass through ten steps in order to be understood and how these steps differentiate into characters.


In Act 2 (Briah) - The Book of Fantastic Lies - we find the physiognomical descriptions of the characters, i.e. The Cast, their underlying associations with the endocrine system and also various details of how those characters interact with other characters, i.e. the Scenes. The Scenes describe a shattering of the primal self (the Fool) into a collection of characters that seek unification through dialogue around the two rivers which are the personification of the Metabolism of Time itself.

The Cast
  • The Ignorant Genius - Pituitary
  • The Ignorant Fool - Pineal (serotonin)
  • Mr Fernando, the Bloodless Being - Pineal (melatonin)
  • Bobblepin the Treefrog and her woolly unicorn - Thyroid/Parathyroid*
  • The Shellfish - Thymus (immune recognition of self)
  • The Confused Venutian - Thymus (immune recognition of foreign bodies)
  • The Prisoner and Anarchist - Pancreas (insulin and glucagon)
  • The Mime - Adrenal Cortex (cortisol)
  • The Semi-psychic Jay - Adrenal Medulla (adrenaline)
  • The Many Mannnered Mind Man - Gonads*

The Scenes**
  • The Early Works of an Ignorant Genius
  • The Treefrog's Hopeless Quest
  • The Observations of the Shellfish and the Principles of Trade
  • From Conversations with Mr Fernando
  • The Prisoner's Voice
  • Compassion in the Face of the Jay
  • The Final Works of an Ignorant Genius

In Act 3 (Yetzirah) - Conflux and the Zeitgeist - we find descriptions of the processes that all spheres of consciousness undergo (on any scale) and how the occupants now differentiated into characters interact with other characters to acquire nutrition and to complete the metabolism.  We also encounter the concept of masks and how through spoiling/abuse a small percentage of the population do not have ''masks'' that fit with their underlying genetic structure.  We learn how to identify this and to provide healing.

The Processes

  • Flux - Change, Energy, Fuel - glucose, Experience, Cycling
  • Shards - Stored Energy, Fat, Memory
  • Rifts - Imbalance, disharmony, exhaustion, starvation, stress, infection, breach
  • Veil - Mortality, finitude, apoptosis
  • Colour - Infinite experience derived from the finite, archetypes derived from mortality 

The (natural) Masks

  • The Director - The Ignorant Genius
  • The Angel - The Ignorant Fool
  • The Timelord - The Bloodless Being
  • The Magus - The Shellfish
  • The Demon - The Confused Venutian
  • The Dreamer - The Prisoner
  • The Lover - The Mime
  • The Immortal - The Jay
  • The Vampire - The Many Mannered Mind Man
  • The Gambler  The Treefrog

In Act 4 (Assiah) - Interactive Theatre and Strategic Drama - we find a selection of various practical activities based in the idea of removing/countering blockages or knots in the soul (similar to the Yogic concept of Granthis).  The magickal applications discussed in this section are almost entirely medical, in the sense that they seek to heal the self/other people and the approach is firstly bio-psychological building towards the psychic as we move people from a material model towards a Mind model***.  The idea of initiation as healing is discussed and we see that as ''blockages'' are removed various powers are released, unlocked or tapped.  These powers include charm/magnetism, enhanced memory and referencing from ''outside the mind'', discernment, mind control/telepathy, remote viewing, astral projection and time travel.

I think the material contained in the lessons is useful for a number of reasons a) It provides an illustration as to how spirits and/or magickal memory can communicate ideas/abilities across time and between incarnations and b) it updates a lot of the material we have with the modern findings of endocrinology and biopsychology providing unique bridges in understanding and solutions for problems in healing.

*In the crossover to The Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The Treefrog (Thyroid) occupies the position of Daath because of where Briah (the 2nd world) is in relation to the Shattering, i.e. ''Malkuth'' has not ''fallen''.  In Yetzirah there is no position for Daath and the mask of the Gambler, the Natural mask of the Treefrog is in the position of Malkuth.  This is complicated :-)
**The scene list was incomplete in that it did not deal with all possible interactions between the characters leading to the idea of ''secret paths''.  Some interactions are highly unlikely in natural conditions although various strange hybrids and distortions of nature can be created in synthetic ''high pressure'' environments.
***I don't mean psychological I mean panpsychic.