Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Pancreas)

Before we go on to discuss the pancreas and its role in the Metabolism of Time I would like to recap what we have established so far.

You as a being are in many ways a conscious spiral of DNA - as the embryo develops one of the ends becomes a 'head' end and one becomes a 'tail' end, one side becomes the 'front' and another the 'back' - therefore latent within the idea of DNA is a head, a tail, a front and a back.  Cells express only the information relevant to their position in the body, thus liver cells express liver information, retinal cells retinal information. 



As spirals of 'consciousness' we are in the process of digesting time/experience and this metabolism of time can be overlaid on our spiral structure such that the 'head' is in the future (in that it is anticipating), and the genitals are in the past (in that they preserve history in the form of the genes they propagate).

Individuals are often concentrated, in terms of the type of consciousness they experience, on one area of this metabolism or another - in that some are future oriented, some are past oriented, some people experience their world through their belly, some through their eyes - although we as individuals contain all of these different faculties we typicaly focus on one (or the path between two).

The next character we will look at it is the physiognomical character of the pancreas - the one which relates to the inner mind in the Metabolism of Time and the one I call the Prisoner.  The character of the pancreas is all about energy storage (and release) and so obviously here the issue of fat storage in the abdomen comes up along with diabetes.  These characters have a tendency to store fat, and regardless of their personal quests to battle it their build will inevitably be stockier at best than the other characters. High carbohydrate intake and the subsequent storage as glycogen and fat is often a sleep inducing process and I have noted that these characters are often dreamers (day-dreamers) - linked directly as they are to the 'inner mind'*, they will easily sink into fanciful reverie and reflection - often they are fantasy prone.

There is a flip side though - insulin has its antithesis and partner in the form of glucagon, the hormone designed to release the energy that has been stored and often the prisoner has its flipside in the form of the anarchist whose sudden release of that stored energy can lead to a violent mood swing, flipped tables and armed revolt.

Qabalistically this character relates to Tifereth and therefore 'beauty' so why choose such an image as a fat pig on a toilet, an ugly image at best, to connect with this idea?  Appetite, greed, digestion and defecation - pigs being considered particularly taboo in Jewish diet - seem highly inappropriate associations for the 'messianic' Sefira, but a closer study reveals messiahs get themselves involved in breaking taboo all the time.  Looking past the superficial, as we must, energy storage in the liver as glycogen and subsequently in fat cells has seen our species and animal kind preserved for a long time - this activity is quite literally the Saviour.  And what is it saving exactly?

GLUCOSE!  The divine *hexagon* of our metabolism, the source of energy, *photosynthesised* by the plants in the beginning of its journey from the sun to our solar plexus.

One of the reasons I wanted to recap at the beginning is because we now have enough information to start considering 'the paths' and zooming in a little more on some characteristics.  Thus far we have examined, the Many Mannered Mind Man (genitals), the Prisoner (pancreas) and The Treefrog (thyroid) which relate to Yesod, Tifereth and Daat respectively and so map out part of a physiognomic 'middle pillar' path.  We can therefore have people with some of the traits of Prisoners blended with Mind Men, or alternately blend the characteristics of the Prisoner with the Treefrog - if we memorise those traits and learn to identify them, they can be very revealing about the resulting moods and behaviour of such an individual.

*enteric nervous system - the 'brain' of the stomach.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Adrenals)

We will now discuss two of the physiognomical characters in tandem as they arise from the same gland but from different hormones - namely adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline and cortisol are two important hormones secreted by the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys - they mediate the flight or fight response (in the case of adrenaline) and 'stress-control' (in the case of cortisol).  The gland is split into two sections the medulla and the cortex with each responsible for one hormone.


This is the Jay - (the original title was Semi-Psychic Jay) - the physiognomical character of adrenaline.  These people typically have the lithe bodies of hunters, bodies shaped by their adrenaline, are very quick to lose their temper, and have some kind of avian face (although bear in mind that there are 'owl' forms of this face as well as narrow beaky forms). 

As you will recall from the diagram of the metabolism of Time, the Jay character is associated with 'remembering' - an interesting correspondence here is that adrenaline enhances memory recall.  Now what are the effects on the personality - in my observations Jay characters are very keen to not be 'forgotten' - they remind their friends that they are constantly there and they can be quite jealous in their relationships - they do not let go of grudges easily and are tempted to revenge.

Qabalistically this character relates to Hod, the Sefira of 'Logic', traditionally associated with Mercury (note the adrenaline link with the winged feet and speed in general) - and these characters, gifted with the power of remembering often appear as intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals.  If not an academic, they will remain on the ball by reading critical essays or popular science, and of course commenting on it to their friends.


The Mime on the other hand is the physiognomical representation of the hormone cortisol.  Cortisol rises in response to stress and causes a whole host of problems - these characters are fairly easy to identify by them.  Typically cortisol causes skin conditions when it rises (inflammatory), but these characters will take on vast amounts of stress because they are naturally designed to handle it - normally this stress will be acquired by heroic multi-tasking on the part of the individual.  This 'multi-tasking' is represented by the Mime on the pillar juggling (the reference is to the stoa of the stoics).  The side effects of rising cortisol can seen in the two Mime characters at the base of the pillar, where the vast stress taken on by these characters results in an eventual emotional breakdown and typically some kind of 'smoking' like behaviour (or something else associated with 'relaxation') after the blowout.  Physically the Mime tends to be 'fleshy' in opposition to the lithe build of the Jay, but not fat persay.

In the Metabolism of Time, The Mime is related to the principle of 'forgetting' and as a correspondence cortisol is involved in 'forgetting' in the brain - high cortisol levels which occur in trauma (because of the stress) cause damage to the architecture of the memory (a kind of scarring) and impair its recall.  What kind of behaviour can we expect from someone who is more typically likely to forget than remember?  The learning of such an individual is often intuitive or natural and comes from mimicking behaviour as opposed to dedicated book learning and rote memorization - they recover from relationships more quickly as the cortisol helps blot the recall that so curses the Jay.

Qabalistically, the Mime is related to the Sefira of Netzach traditionally associated with the path of Venus - the patron of artists.  The Mime has a gift in representational art, art which involves copying or mimicking nature as opposed to interpreting it - it should also be noted how much she likes to dance.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomical Characters

The last two posts have been about the physiognomy of characters produced by a genetic distortion in the Metabolism of Time.  Characters who emphasised 'the Experience of the Moment' (Daath) were called Treefrogs and some of the physical traits of overactive/underactive thyroid were listed, characters who emphasised the Altered Past (Yesod) were called Many Mannered Mind Men and some of the physical traits associated with testosterone were listed.

The entire list of characters is as follows:

  • The Ignorant Genius - The Altered Future - The Pituitary - KETHER
  • The Ignorant Fool - Reducing the Future - The Pineal (Serotonin) - CHOKMAH
  • The Bloodless Being - Changing the Future - The Pineal (melatonin) - BINAH
  • The Treefrog - Experience of the Moment - The Thyroid - DAATH
  • The Shellfish - Reaction to the Moment - The Thymus - CHESED
  • The Confused Venutian - Analysis of the Moment - The Thymus - GEVURAH
  • The Prisoner - The Inner Mind - The Pancreas - TIFERETH
  • The Mime - Forgetting - The Adrenals (cortisol) - NETZACH
  • The Jay - Remembering - The Adrenals (adrenaline) - HOD
  • The Many Mannered Mind Man - The Genitals (sex hormones) - YESOD

Each of these characters will express the hormone that is associated with it more or less than average and as a result of this certain moods and various physical attributes will be displayed. From analysis of the mood and attributes one can come to a knowledge of the 'root-character' of an individual that one meets and so help them more effectively.

There are important points to remember here though that will be dealt with more thoroughly later on: 
  • Psychological damage from abuse or spoiling someone can distort the 'natural' root-character, such that they will present a 'mask' to the world that does not match up with that root character. 
  • The root-character may lie between these archetypes - typically on a 'path' between the two - but before one can contemplate the paths between the characters and how they are expressed one must learn the fundamental archetypes themselves. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Genitals)

Today we'll look at another character from the vision of the Rivers of Time (Tree of Life).  This image is the physiognomical image of the character which results from concentration in the genitals.  Again, I'll detail some of the features of this character and please feel free to ask any questions if you want me to be more specific.

This is the Many Mannered Mind Man - the helmet whose breathing tube reaches down into the depths of the White Sea (genetic soup) is reminiscent of both the ovaries and the testes.  People who overexpress sex hormone tend towards a focus on survival of the cell line or species as opposed to the individual ego.  They have high sex drive and often with some kind of strong fetish (high testosterone is linked with paraphilias) - this may be the simple urge to reproduce and a lot.  There is an interesting relationship between testosterone and breaking boundaries.  High testosterone levels generally lead to the shrinking of the frontal cortex and a lack of control over impulsive action - therefore people with high testosterone are more likely to be risk-taskers, aggressive and also buck the system.  The character lying in front of the Many Mannered Mind Man is called the Ignorant Fool and characterizes the opposite of testosterone, in this case serotonin which allows an individual to work within, as opposed to against, societal boundaries.

Psychologically, the Many Mannered Mind Man does not have a particularly defined identity - his lack of concrete ego tends to make him a versatile actor (or at least he will enjoy roleplaying in some form or another... it may be as simple as dressing up, or a propensity to adopt characters in order to make people laugh, cry, etc) - this has at its roots a desire to *adapt* to and take adavantage of his surroundings in order to ensure survival of the line, a chameleonic quality about them.  The association with the ID or R complex is abundantly clear (especially bearing in mind the lmiiting effect that high testosterone has on the frontal cortex, what we think of as our conscience or super ego).  Although the Many Mannered Mind Man is driven by the primal instinct this does not mean that they are not intelligent.

Physiognomically spotting pure high testosterone characters is fairly easy, like the frogs their features are revealing.  The standard receding hairline, hairy body, perhaps a low brow ridge are all good starting points for identification - although it is not always that clear.  These characters are not there to pigeon hole all individuals you meet but to guide you in zooming in on some of those features which may produce characteristics which you can deal with better if you know them in advance.  It may be that an individual is a cross-blend of types, that they have a strong Many Mannered Mind Man component and perhaps another character or two in the mix as well.  Typically though most Metabolisms of Time are distorted in some way.

Qabalistically the Many Mannered Mind Man relates to Yesod.  Yesod as the foundation and the memory is traditionally associated with the genitals.  Sexual reproduction is demonstrably the foundation of our species and the genetic soup that we are charged to transmit is the very stuff of memory - its code contains within all our instincts for life, and the memory of the many incarnations through mammal, lizard, frog that brought us here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Thyroid)

One useful and applicable technique to be derived from the theories explored in the Metabolism of Time is physiognomy. 

The alchemical principle of 'as above, so below' ties together the world of genetics with the world of characters in society.

Meet Bobblepin the Treefrog - she was one of the characters I was introduced to in my vision of the Tree of Life as this double helical river that ran into the White Sea (my artist father made the images from my vision into these pictures at my direction). The information contained in this image is physiognomical - the character expresses both people who are more concentrated in 'experience of the moment', and by way of relation the thyroid/parathyroid gland as well and I'll just provide a few notes for this character to explain a little about how all of this works. 

The Frog character (remember the expression 'I have a frog in my throat'), by way of example as how this physiognomical system works, can easily be spotted by the eyes and size of the individual.  If the eyes of the individual are protruding, or sunken, this can be indicative of the various foms of thyroidism (it may not be a medical problem but is an insight into underlying genetic influence), if the individual's size reigns to extremes (and I don't mean fat storage as this is related to a different gland) then you have an insight into growth hormone which is produced in the thyroid as well.  The thyroid has a great effect on metabolism so you often see that these character's energy levels range to various extremes as well - typically if the eyes protrude the metabolism will be rapid and vice-versa.  These types are normally visual artists (or enjoy images to a great degree) or travellers (tourism is a great way of stressing that 'experience of the moment', but also more local adventuring and 'missioning about' is observed - this desire to travel is what is partially symbolized by the woolly unicorn).  They often feel very different from other people (sometimes very much desiring to 'leave home') and this is why art is very attractive to them as it is a great way of expressing that level.  On a more esoteric level some of the best mediums and clairvoyants I have met have these physical attributes.

On a deeper level 'the experience of the moment', and the thyroid gland relate to the cytoplasm of the cell.  One of the functions of the parathyroid (attached to the thyroid) is the monitoring of calcium in the body (blood and cells) - as it detects low calcium it endeavours to increase the concentration of it.  Aside from the functions of calcium we are all aware of such as healthy bones* and teeth, etc, calcium mediates cell to cell signalling or communication - - so there is an intriguing correspondence between the location of the parathyroid near the vocal chords and the way in which the cells of your body literally talk to each other and also how these froggy/toady characters very much love to communicate.

The vision of the beings living along the Rivers of Time contains many such correspondences and one of the practical applications of this knowledge is our esoteric role as healers as it allows us to diagnose and suggest treatment**.

*The relatonship beween the bones and the parathyroid indicates another relationship, or expression of the relationship between Daath and Malkuth.

**I do not mean medical prescription - my main form of treatment is the use of logotherapy. :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Metabolism IV - As Above, So Below

During the day our consciousness lingers in certain stages of the various moments that pass through us  - we spend time dreaming of the future, engaged in the appreciation of an image, trying to forget, or tied up in the analysis of a particular problem.  We still experience each moment with the whole of our being, its just that the moment takes on a specific characteristic depending what it was doing.  The Metabolism of Time is continuous but at times there are moments that are difficult to digest.

Since the whole of society is digesting time - the people that make that society up come to epitomise certain stages within that metabolism.  Thus there are inventive futuristic people alongside the inventive futuristic moments of your life.  There are people caught in forever recounting their memories, others forgetting and losing them in the dance, others sifting through and dwelling on them - just as you recount, forget, and sift.   There are the critics of the moment, that deconstruct, that seek a different meaning through analysis of the parts, and there are the entertainers of that moment, the speakers, the doers that are caught in their reaction to it.

Just as you are made up of a society of differentiated cells that handle digestion, defence, storage, etc, so you in your turn are a cell in the larger human being of our species and you in your turn fulfil your role(s) in that society.  Each cell contains within its nucleus the seed of the greater being - all the information - so that whilst you are a part you are also the whole.  This extends through time.  Following the spine of your existence back through the ages, the information you carry once was frog, shark, coral, sponge.

Metabolism Summary - I

I thought I would post a summary of the important learning points so far:
  • You exist in consciousness at all times, you experience your consciousness of the world not the world itself.  You do not look through your eyes, you look at your eyes from somewhere inside your mind.
  • This consciousness has a fourfold structure - 1) the consciousness of your physical body itself and its 'insides', 2) the consciousness of your physical limits (or reach), 3) the consciousness of your perception (and its limits) and 4) the consciousness of consciousness itself which encloses the other structures
  • This consciousness undergoes a series of processes as it digests time in the form of moments - the moment must emerge from a future*, be reduced into perception, be percieved, interpreted, reflected upon, responded to, and ultimately feed back into the current of time itself by altering the next moment - alongside this information must be retrieved from and replaced back into the memory in order to effectively deal with the moment at hand.
  • The qabalistic Tree of Life can be used to map this conciousness and its metabolism, both in the vertical ToL which overlays the body, and the horizontal ToL which overlays consciousness, leading to associations like -Yesod, the altered past, memory, genitals (as the store of genetic memory) or Kether, the altered future, the consciousness of consciousness and the pituitary gland.
*'Does the altered future (Kether**) exist in consciousness?' is a question which we will return to later in the course.  We certainly have an idea of the future in our consciousness, and our consciousness is also capable of predicting that future and is endeavouring to anticipate it at all times.

**Isaac the Blind's alternative name for Kether was Machashavah - Thought.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Metabolism III - Qabalah

The ToL can be overlaid on the structures outlined in Metabolism I and II to create a 'vertical' ToL one that most practitioners of the WMT are familiar with in that it overlaps with the body, and a 'horizontal' ToL which overlaps with the way in which consciousness processes moments.  These two ToLs are interelated as we must remember that the body is a map of the mind, and the mind is a map of the body.  I will outline the way in which these ToLs operate and interact.


The 'vertical' ToL is fairly well understood - Malkuth is positioned at the feet, Yesod at the genitalia, Hod and Netzach at the top of the hips (and more importantly the kidneys and adrenal glands), Tifereth at the solar plexus (often misattributed to the heart), Gevurah and Chesed around the heart (again more importantly the Thymus gland), Daat at the throat (and thyroid/parathyroid), Chokmah/Binah at the pineal (serotonin/melatonin) and Kether with the pituitary.  As a student of Biochemistry and Genetics, endocrinology formed an important part of my degree and I feel confident that these are the correct positions for the vertical ToL overlapping the body.  Later on in this blog, I will provide important specific technical details on these associations.  The 'horizontal' ToL is less well understood in the WMT and is related to the explanation of the structure of consciousness discussed in Metabolism II and the three spheres of influence, perception and thought outlined in Metabolism I.  In this ToL the vertical 'ToL' above to this paragraph relates to Yesod in the horizontal.


There is an interaction between the physical body and its sphere of direct physical influence, i.e. the reach of your arms (and the effective range of the cloud of pheremones you emit).  This first sphere relates to both your physical influence and the Inner mind, where you believe yourself to think, i.e. the front of your head.  Feelix himself remember represents the 'memory' or 'altered past' that you contain within you, not only on the psychological level of the actual memories that you have but on a physical level as the memory of the genes you carry.  Hod and Netzach, as 'remembering' and 'forgetting' respectively, represent the pathways of interaction between your body and your physical influence, and your memory and inner mind.

 The next phase of the 'horizontal' ToL is the interaction between the 'inner mind' and the 'perception/experience of the moment'.  There are two pathways here.  Between the perception of the moment (Daat) and the inner mind where we typically think we think (Tifereth) there is the interpretation or analysis (Gevurah) and between the inner mind and the perception is the response (Chesed).  The arrows obviously indicate the way in which this process happens.  Experience, Analysis, Reflection (in the inner mind), Response.

The final phase of the 'horizontal' ToL is the interaction between the 'experience of the moment' and the 'altered future'.  Each experience of a moment, must emerge from the '(altered) future' into the '(percieved) present'.  This 'altered future' relates to Keter* and as described in the earlier posts on Metabolism each moment must be 'reduced' (Chokmah) from this source, reduced into perceptual experience.  Our choices on how to interact with the moment go on to 'change the future' (Binah).

What follows is a list of the associations necessary for understanding this part of the Metabolism of Time, and is a list of the name of the Sefira, and its association in the vertical and the horizontal.  Please memorise and explore these associations:

  • Keter / Pituitary / Altered Future
  • Chokmah / Pineal / Reducing the Future
  • Binah / Pineal / Changing the Future
  • Daat / Thyroid / Experience (perception) of the Moment 
  • Chesed / Thymus / Reaction to the Moment
  • Gevurah / Thymus / Analysis of the Moment
  • Tifereth / Solar Plexus (pancreas) / The Inner Mind
  • Netzach / Adrenal / Forgetting
  • Hod / Adrenal / Remembering
  • Yesod / Genitals / Altered Past
These correspondences are absolutely fundamental in understanding how the vertical ToL relates to the horizontal ToL in the Metabolism of Time and whilst the details would take up far more space than is comfortable for a blog post, I will provide a few supplementary points here.  Lets look at the genital's relationship with the concept of the altered past - the genitals are the store of the genetic soup in the form of eggs and sperm depending on the individual and the store of the transmissible genetic information which originally fused from the parents of that individual - they represent the past in that they contain the long history of the evolution of DNA based organisms on this planet, they represent the 'altered' past in the sense that they potentially can unite with another individual and so collectively alter the past that is stored in future generations.  Now when we look at the relationship with the genitals and the position of Feelix in the horizontal ToL, we see that our conscious idea of our own body, the Feelix that exists at the centre of the spheres of influence, perception and thought is related to Yesod and hence to the genitals - do I imply that in this sense our whole body is a giant walking sex gland?  No.  But what I do imply is that we, in the sense of our consciousness of self, are a walking spiral of DNA, an information pattern, and this feeling of a physical body that exists at the centre of our mental cell is congruent with the DNA that exists in the nucleus in the middle of a typical cell**.   By way of elaboration lets look at some of the molecular developmental biology of the fruit fly drosophila:

As the DNA fuses in the initial phases of the generation of any new organism and the cells begin to divide, the emerging creature begins to generate a 'head' end and a 'tail' end, a front and a back.  Therefore there is a 'head' end and a 'tail' end within the DNA itself.  The cells of your head are expressing the head section of your DNA, the cells in your liver are expressing the liver section of your DNA, etc, each cell containing all the DNA of the individual but only expressing certain parts of it.  Your physical idea of yourself then, when we look past the personality you have acquired as a result of your social interactions, etc is, for want of a better name, Feelix.  We are all, at the level of Yesod, Feelix.

*Keter as the 'fifth world' or 'the world to come' in Qabalah.  This also relates to the fifth world of Adam Kadmon and the tip of the Yod.   The savvy Qabalist will see also how this entire structure relates to the Lurianic model of emanation in that the outermost 'sphere' is related to Keter and emanation occurs within according to the tzimtzum. 

**Red blood cells are an important exception and will be discussed in length later in this thesis.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Metabolism II - The Metabolism of Time

The substance of our mental cell - Feelix and his spheres of influence, perception and thought - is time.  Time in the form of moments, enter and leave our cell in a constant stream.  Time is the Blood of Consciouness.  Every single moment that enters our cell is digested, and like the structure of our consciousness this digestion occurs in a similarly universal way.  All of us - however individually distorted - experience, respond, reflect, remember and forget.  Like the cell has pathways in its metabolism of sugar, so our consciousness has pathways in its metabolism of time.

Each moment that is experienced in our lives emerges from the well spring of the future, but it's considered the altered future because to some extent what happens next is determined by the outcome of the previous moment. This moment, freshly drawn, is 'reduced' into percieved consciousness.  When we experience any individual moment we have the capacity to experience a lot more of it than we do.  For instance a patterned carpet can be experienced as a swirling mixture of faces and images but our experience of it is 'reduced' to patterned carpet.  Similarly we know a great deal and have a great many feelings for our friend Tom, but he is reduced to 'Tom'.  This filtering or reduction of the moment keeps things simple.

Reduced, this moment enters our perception, we 'see' it, we 'feel' it, we 'percieve' it.  There it is, Tom standing on a patterned carpet*.  This moment is then analyzed or interpreted by our 'inner mind' - the place where we believe ourselves to be thinking from, typically just behind the forehead - and then reacted to accordingly - in this case perhaps to say 'hi' to Tom.  Our choices in this moment, our response to it, then goes on to change the future - for what has been done has been done, words cannot be unsaid - etc**.

This inner mind, the place where we think we think, draws on the memory in order to answer the questions provided by the currently experienced moment.  It maybe as simple as remembering Tom's name, or language used, but in more complex moments more complex memories are drawn on in order to successfully engaged with the challenge or question of that particular moment.  Similarly once remembered, such information must be forgotten into the memory, in the same way that a library requires us to put the books back after use.  All of the information we have stored in our memories cannot be present in our 'inner mind' - where we percieve ourselves to think - because it would be overwhelmed and flooded, so it must be stored and 'brought to mind' when neccessary.  The inner mind 'interface', if you like, can't be cluttered by having everything we know present there all the time.  The moment itself, when experienced, contributes to the memory and thus to the altered past.

Qabalists will see how this diagram of the Metabolism of Time relates to the ToL - we have ten sefirot, or positions in our mental metabolism.  What is analytical or deconstructive about Gevurah?  What is generous or merciful about our response to the moment?  Why is Hod associated with 'remembering' why Yesod associated with the altered past?  Are these titles descriptive of the phases or applicable to them - should we be more Gevurah in our analysis, more Chesed in our response?  For anyone with a basic understanding of the Qabalah as used in the Western Mystery Tradition there is much of worth to meditate on here.

*Qabalists, note how the 'perception of the moment' would relate to Daat if the above diagram was placed over the ToL and how there would be no Malkuth.  Understanding this is important when understanding why Malkuth is pendulant to the Tree of Life and why it fell.  The reason is that people do not percieve the moment as their perception of the moment, but they believe it is the actual thing itself.  They believe that they look *through* their eyes, hear *through* their ears, as opposed to experiencing a hologram of sights and sounds from somewhere in the mind.  Acknowledging this fallacious thinking and living in the reality of your consciousness, goes someway to remedying this 'fall'.

**Qabalists, one of the alternate names for Binah in the Kabbalistic traditions is Teshuvah or 'return'.  Also speculate on how the decisions of the previous moment, and the way they affect the subsequent one, literally 'birth' the future.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Metabolism I - The Structure of Consciousness

As magicians we know our subject merges with the principles of science.  As magicians we know that science as we know it today emerged from our alchemy, and the sacrifices those alchemists made.  We see the connections between the modern notion of atoms and our own ideas on how emptiness provides substance, between the modern notion of genes and our own ideas on an immortal life principle that we all share.  The doublestranded helix of DNA we find particularly compelling as it resembles the Caduceus and the Ankh, its swirling reminiscent of the Yin Yang.

As a student of Biochemisty and Genetics I studied Kabbalah and the esoteric sciences alongside it, often notes of one subject spilling into the margins of my notes on the other.  As I progressed in both it became clear to me that the structure of the cell shared similarities with the structure of the mind.  Not simply the psychology of our individual selves but the larger structure of a consciousness we all shared.

We all exist in our minds.  Its the only reality we know really.  We believe in the existence of a physical world beyond our mind but the only way we have of gathering data about that world is through the mind - we cannot know one without the other.  Most people life their life in the fallacy that they see through their eyes to the world, as opposed to 'at their eyes' from somewhere else in their mind. They believe that the structures and people they see around them are the physical objects themselves and not the representation of those objects within the mind.  The light that lights up the room we assume is physical light, but we actually only see the mental light.  Look into a bright light and look away - the fuzzy blob of colours provoked on the retina is not actually there in the world even though we see it.  Its made of mental light.  So is all other perception.  Sound is mental sound.  Taste is mental taste.

There is a big difference between knowing this truth and living it.  Once you accept the primary nature of your existence is mental rather than physical various possibilities being to open up, consciousness indeed begins to open up.  What follows is an explanation of the structure of consciousness or at least a model of that consciousness through the use of diagrams.

This is Feelix.  This is the mental object that exists at the centre of the sphere of the consciousness - it is the consciousness of your body as you sit in the chair, or look at your hands.  Not only is it consciousness of the brains, blood and tissue that make you up, although you can limit it to this and many do, - it is also the consciousness of the genes that sing that body into existence, the genes that go back in an unbroken lineage for untold epochs.  When properly understood the consciousness of your body allows you to explore this ancestry.

This is Feelix within his physical limits - the stretch of his arms, and legs, the reach of his neck.  From this confine, Feelix operates the various tools of the world and wields its influence. Similarly the genes are contained within a nucleus and their 'physical' powers - the ordering and manufacturing of proteins and other cellular structures occuring within it and at its limits.

This is Feelix within his perceptual limits - the limits set on vision and hearing by walls and other blocks, and in the final analysis the distance at which the eyes and ears fail.  Like the perceptual limits of consciousness which typically define a sphere or oval, the nucleus of the cell is in turn surrounded by the environment of the cell, the cytoplasm.  This cytoplasm is the environment the genes percieve, it contains a bewildering mixture of objects all for which fulfil the function of the metabolism of the cell, like the tools, furniture, food etc of our perceived environment fulfil the function of the metabolism of our mind.

This is Feelix within his mental limit - the confine of his mind.  Once we accept the original idea that the reality we experience is entirely mental, we see that all of our perceptions and experience of our physicality are actually composed of thought.  This final boundary is like the membrane of the cell, which separates it from other cells and the blood that feeds them all.  All kinds of objects and food are passed around the 'blood of society' and end up in the perceived environment of our mental cell.

This structure of consciousness, the awareness of our insides, our blood and organs, our genes and memories; the physical awareness of the reach of our limbs; the perceptual awareness of the limit of our senses; and finally the mental awareness that this entire experience happens in consciousness - is a structure that all human beings share.  Meditating on this structure can bring us closer to our universal ancestor  - the caduceus, the Ankh, the Tree of Life - and let us share of its fruit.