About how to use evil as a mirror for your subconsciousness

Today I was discussing with a colleague of mine and I asked him what the function of evil was according to him. We quickly realized that this depends on where you come from. For example a devout Christian would most likely shy away from all sorts of evil. He has the 10 commandments and the 7 virtues and when he sins he will go to hell instead of the aspired heaven. The role of evil is clear: stay away! But for the Freemason the role of evil different. A Freemason lives by the credo ‘know thyself’. He tries to become aware of his vices and tries to transform them into virtues. Different than for the Christian, evil for the Freemason is a mirror of things in himself which he still needs to develop. Many spiritual development paths have a similar approach: find and integrate your dark side with the light.

An interesting analogy is Hercules’ work when he fights the Hydra. The Hydra is a nine headed monster, which, when you cut of one head, it grows three heads back. Hercules finally defeats the monster by raising it up to the sun. All heads, except one, dry out and perish. The last head is buried in the ground. In this analogy the Hydra stands for the impure passions within us which we normally try to suppress. But the way to deal with these impure urges is to integrate them into our consciousness. Then we can make choices and deal with them. This work of Hercules is assigned to the constellation Scorpio: it is interesting that this topic comes up at this time of the year.

William Blake in his Proverbs of Hell puts it rightly: ‘He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence’. And it is true. Not only for big topics such as evil. But also for more mundane items. When you have a problem, you can best address it as soon as possible otherwise it grows well out of proportion. Try to not pay a traffic bill in the Netherlands: within a couple of months it will be quadrupled!

But how to use evil as a tool and not to become identified by it? Here the example of Persues slaying Medusa might be inspiring. Medusa is a Gorgon with snakes as hair. Everyone who will look at her will be turned into stone. Luckily, Persues received a polished shield from the goddess Athene. Using this shield to approach the sleeping Medusa, he was able to cut her head of.

 

The trick is to know thyself and not to become identified with your lower self. When you can investigate your vice instead of becoming your vice, then you can slay the Medusa inside of you.

Caravaggio_-_Medusa_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

How Yoda created Darth Vader

This weekend I have been watching the Star Wars trilogy 1-3. Part 3 ‘ Revenge of the Sith’ describes how Anakin became Darth Vader in a very interesting way. Before accepting Anakin for the Jedi training, Yoda raises his doubts about the boy. He was passionate and had fear in him. The movie gives the impression that the dark side was always present in Anakin. And as a result he was unstable and not suitable to handle the powers of a Jedi and he had to turn the dark side. Obi Wan has always believed he was the one who would restore balance in the force, but Yoda thinks that perhaps the prophecy was interpreted incorrectly. But perhaps, the tragedy of Anakin says more about Yoda and his school than about Anakin himself. Anakin was trained by Jedi’s for at least ten years, but they were not able to teach him how to deal with his emotions and passions. And this is where the confusion comes in. The passions and the emotions are seen by the Jedi as the path to the dark side. Mental stability and wisdom is seen as the door to force. In their final fight between Obi Wan and Anakin, Obi Wan says to Anakin: ‘only a Sith dealt in absolutes!’. This is not dark per se, this is passion. Obi Wan’s limitation is that he is not able to be passionate back and counteract the argument. This Anakin would be able to understand and then he would be able to change. But all the wise Jedi teachings do not address the multitude of feelings which Anakin had to face within himself. And this is the core of the issue: it is because of the absolute identification of passion as the path to the dark side by the Jedi, that Anakin’s training is incomplete. Anakin did not become Darth Vader overnight. Lord Sidious had a huge challenge to convince Anakin to the dark side. It was only because of Anakin’s love for Padme and the trauma of losing his mother that he finally chose for the dark side. When he would have had better training by Yoda, he would have been able to accept the inevitable loss of a loved one. After watching the movie, I feel much more compassionate about Anakin. He was the one who was daring to accept his emotions, not push them away and wanting to be human. If the Yoda would have been able to integrate passion in the Jedi teachings, Anakin surely would have been able to bring balance to the force.

Over helderziendheid

 

Over het begrip helderziendheid bestaat ironisch genoeg nogal wat onduidelijkheid.

In tegenstelling van wat veel mensen denken is helderziendheid niet zozeer dat je in trance of droomtoestand bepaalde beelden tot je krijgt.

Helderziendheid is geen zigeunerin die in een glazen bol kijkt. Helderziendheid kan inderdaad gepaard gaan met visioenen. Maar met visioenen alleen val je gemakkelijk ten prooi aan de wereld van de illusies.

Wat is helderziendheid dan wel? Helderziendheid is de mentale capaciteit om door de chaos van alledag patronen (orde) te kunnen herkennen. Daardoor weet je hoe dingen werken en kun je voorspellen hoe iets in de toekomst uit zal pakken. De helderziendheid van vroeger was niet zozeer in glazen bollen kijken, maar meer van naar de sterren kijken. De wijsheren van Egypte en Babylonië analyseerden de patronen van de sterren, constellaties en planeten en aan de hand van die patronen (astrologie) richtten zij hun hele maatschappij in. Zij kenden de verborgen invloeden van de hemelse sferen, stemden zich daarop af en konden aan de hand van kosmische patronen de toekomst voorspellen.

Een mooi voorbeeld hiervan is het Bijbelse voorbeeld van de droom van de farao en de zeven goede en slechte jaren. In de Bijbel staat dat Joseph de droom juist interpreteerde van de naderende hongersnood. Ikzelf denk echter dat de Egyptenaren de hongersnood aan zagen komen door kosmische patronen.

Deze vorm van helderziendheid ziet men in onze moderne maatschappij terug in de vorm van computeranalyses en scenario planning. Denk aan het voorspellen van zaken zoals het weer, beurzen ect. Ook al is dit voorspellen ontdaan van haar spirituele kant, het doel is hetzelfde: orde scheppen in de chaos. En dat kan alleen wanneer je oorzaken en gevolgen kent.

Een zigeunerin die echt helderziend is, doet twee dingen. Zij is in eerste instantie in staat om contact met de astrale wereld. Maar in tweede instantie weet zij daar hoofdzaken van bijzaken elkaar te onderscheiden en orde in de chaos te scheppen. Op deze manier is helderziendheid niet zweverig, maar juist heel concreet. Zij verbindt de hemel met de aarde. En dit is een van der verklaringen waarom sommige culturen zo succesvol zijn geworden.

Towards a new Rosicrucian impulse: alchemy of the body

The story of the Chemical Wedding is about combining the ruling male aspects of yourself (the King) with the sleeping, or suppressed Venus, inside of you. It is an alchemical tale about recombining polarities (f.e. body and spirit, male and the female) in order to create new balances. And the ultimate goal is to achieve the stone of the wise.

When you read the story at first glance, the challenge is far from easy. Actually, the story is a bit moralistic and perfectionistic. In order to complete the alchemical procedure you must have attained a purity and perfection which is almost beyond measure. For example, first you must be able to survive a weighing ceremony of seven weights which are based on the seven sins. Who can say that he / she will be able to pass such a test? If you would say, you would fail the test of vanity! When you pass this test, you will need to complete complicated alchemical activities in the higher spiritual realm. In short: you will have to become an adept magician with an extensive laboratory. Only Christian Rosenkreuz was able to attain this high ideal.

Last weekend I was attending a conference about the Chemical Wedding. I was surprised about how the insights of this work were shared. At one side of the room, a person was telling a complicated, insightful and intellectual story. At the other side of the room, about 100 listeners were sitting in chairs silently absorbing the information. Many had their eyes closed and quite some of them (including myself sometimes, i must admit), nodded of in small sleeps.

I was wondering how these insights would be integrated into the daily lives of the attendants by merely listening to the speaker. Most likely the insights would not go much deeper than an intellectual understanding. The question arose to me how the Chemical Wedding could be integrated in daily life.

All of a sudden it struck me: the mission of the Chemical Wedding was to free and integrate Lady Venus with the King. This could not be done by listening alone! When I was watching the audience during the lectures, looking at all the sleeping bodies on the chairs, I thought: this is Lady Venus! Sleeping, suppressed in the cellar. For me it became clear that this goal has to be achieved with the aid of our greatest alchemical instrument which we all have: our own body.
Connecting spirit and matter cannot be done without the body which is spirit in matter. The body can be seen as a sacred vessel with the most wondrous alchemical processes such as sensations and feelings. The Chemical Wedding makes one thing clear: these alchemical processes are to be understood and transmuted instead of rejected or suppressed.

For me, the best way to integrate my body with my spirituality is through dance with a sacred intention. When dance becomes a form of prayer, the wisdom of the body will guide you and give you feedback and insights of how to implement and understand certain knowledge. This is an experimental process with ups and downs. But there is no shame or sin in that. When understood and freed, the wisdom of the body, Lady Venus, will guide us towards a heavenly marriage of the body and spirit.

How alchemy integrates both spirit and matter

Afgelopen weekend was ik bij een conferentie over Christian Rosenkreutz en het 400 jarig bestaan van het boek ‘Chymische hochzeit’. Vanuit verschillende kanten werd er ingegaan en gekeken naar de Christelijke alchemie. Een interessante lezing heette ‘Mytho-Alchemie zwischen Verschlusseling in Imagination’ van Rainer Wertmann. Hij is jaren lang chemist geweest bij een groot bedrijf en heeft zich later bezig gehouden met alchemie. Een van zijn stellingen van alchemie was dat alchemie zowel een beschrijving is van innerlijke processen als een daadwerkelijke receptuur van chemische processen. Dit kwam dan met name naar voren in de alchemistische tekeningen, die vaak geheimzinnig en fantastisch zijn. Een voorbeeld hiervan was een grafure van een wolf die aan een dode naakte koning vreet. Op de achtergrond ziet met de wolf branden en de koning is tot leven gekomen met prachtige kleren aan. Naast dat dit een innerlijk proces weergeeft, geeft het ook heel duidelijk een chemisch proces aan. De koning in de alchemie staat voor metaal en in dit geval voor goud. Een dode en naakte koning staat voor onzuiver of vervuild goud. De wolf staat voor antimonen. Wanneer je antimonen bij goud voegt, vreet dat het goud aan. Wanneer je vervolgens beide verhit, hecht al het vuil uit het goud zich aan de antimonen en wordt het goud weer zuiver.

Integrating the sacred and the profane

As above, so below. As sacred, so profane.
Sacrifice means to make sacred. This does not mean that you no longer can do certain things, but it means that the intention in which you do certain things changes. The challenge is to integrate the profane inside you with the sacred inside you. For example, you still can eat a burger at McDonalds. But if you pray before eating the burger, it becomes a lot more meaningful experience. As a result of making the profane sacred your behavior might change. So instead of eating a burger at McDonalds you might decide to start eating bio burgers. But in the process of sacrificing it is important to include all aspects of you as they are: your senses, feelings and thoughts. Only by seeing and accepting who you truly are, you can start the process of making yourself sacred. Next, you would investigate what aspects are integral parts of yourself and you will start by honoring them. Sexuality, for example, is then no longer a something profane (a sin or something dirty). Instead your sexuality becomes something sacred by making love or even praying (tantra). Only when your above is aligned with your below, then sacredness within yourself is achieved.

De herrijzenis van de masochrist

De herrijzenis van de masochrist.
Ecstatic Dance met Pasen stond voor mij in het teken van wedergeboorte. Door middel van ecstatische dans, heb ik het ego laten sterven om vervolgens te ontdekken dat de ziel dan op staat. Dat lijkt masochisme, maar het is masochristisch. Dat is de Passie. Jezelf doelbewust aan het kruis nagelen en jezelf opofferen voor iets groters. Dus gooi alles eruit wat je in je hebt en ontdek dan dan je een oneindige bron van liefde blijkt te zijn. Offer jezelf op als druppel en ontdek dat je de zee bent. Het offer is fysiek zijn, maar Jezus is ook niet voor niets fysiek gestorven. Maar wees niet bang: je sterft, maar je zult nog mooier herrijzen.