Archetype of Man: Ideal and Not Ideal

“We have to examine the question whether there exists an ideal archetype of individuals, in other words whether I and every other human human being go back to the Intellectual, every (living) thing having origin and principle there.

“If Socrates, Socrates’ soul, is external then the Authentic Socrates—to adapt the term—must be there; that is to say, the individual soul has an existence in the Supreme as well as in this world. If there is no such permanent endurance and what Socrates may with change of time become another soul and be Pythagoras or someone else—then the individual Socrates has not that existence in the divine.

“But if the soul of the individual contains the Reason-Principle of all that it transverses, once more all men have their (archetypic) existence there; and it is our doctrine that every soul contains all the Reason-Principle exist in the Cosmos: since then the Cosmos contains the Reason-Principles that exist in the Cosmos: since then the Cosmos contain the Reason-Principles not merely of man, but also of all living things, so must the soul. Its content of Reason-Principles, then, must be limitless, unless there be a periodical renovation bounding the boundless by the return of a former series.” ~Plotinus

Ideal Archetype

For most spiritual people and in most spiritual schools there is no question that there is indeed an ideal archetype Man (which include women). This archetype is what we were originally, that is, before the Great Fall. It is what we desire to be again. Becoming that archetype Man is possible if we are willing to work at it and develop ourselves. Michelangelo didn’t create David or any of his other great statues by just wishing and hoping for it. He formed the idea in his mind, then worked to make it reality. And he didn’t expect to get his projects done overnight. He knew it took time to get good results.

Intellect and Consciousness

One difficulty with trying to understand the philosophy of Plotinus is that he doesn’t distinguish between intellect and consciousness. As a result, he relates both mind and soul to intellect. In reality, intellect is purely a mind thing and the soul deals with consciousness, which is not the same. The intellect deals only with the physical world. It can speculate on things beyond the physical, but can’t really know them. The soul, on the other hand, connects to universal consciousness that exists in all dimensions, spiritual as well as physical. And the principle of everything living comes from consciousness. Only the physical body is a product of intellect. The realization of the ideal archetype means fully developing both intellect and consciousness, with the emphasis on consciousness. Continue reading “Archetype of Man: Ideal and Not Ideal”

oscillating consciousness

Oscillating Consciousness and an Infinite God

Oscillating Consciousness and God

“To say that God is infinite is to say that He may be apprehended and described in an infinity of ways. That circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, may be approached from every angle with a certainty of being found. Mystical history, particularly that which deals with the Illuminative Way is a demonstration of this fact. Here is the establishment of the ‘first mystic life,’ of conscious correspondences with Reality, the self which has oscillated between two forms of consciousness, has alternatively opposed and embraced its growing intuitions of the Absolute, comes for a time to rest.

“To a large extent, the discordant elements of character have been purged away. Temporarily at least the mind has ‘unified itself’ upon high levels, and attained , as it believes, a genuine consciousness of the divine and veritable worlds. The depth and richness of its own nature will determine how intense that consciousness shall be.

“Whatever its scope, however, this new apprehension of reality generally appears to the illuminated Self as final and complete. As the true lover is always convinced that he has found in his bride the one Rose of the World, so the mystic, in the first glow of his illumination, is sure that his quest is now fulfilled. … He has yet to pass through that ‘night of the senses’ in which he learns to distinguish the substance of reality from the accidents under which it is perceived; to discover that the heavenly food here given cannot satisfy his ‘hunger for the Absolute’.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Infinite God

I’m not sure I can agree with Underhill that saying God is Infinite means He can be be “described in an infinity of ways.” It is more like God is so complex that in order to make Him somewhat comprehensible, we describe a limited part of Him, a single aspect. In this way, we can comprehend, to some degree, that one aspect, but it is not a true and accurate description of God. Describing a brick is not an accurate description of a brick wall. Even describing each and every brick in the wall is not accurate, for the whole is more than the sum of the parts. That is even more true of God.

Circle Center

To tell you the truth, I am not fond of this Zen description of God as a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. Turning God into riddles does not, in my opinion, aid understanding. Besides, I think it would be more accurate, since the rules of space and time do not apply to God at all, to say that He is a circle with a center everywhere and a circumference everywhere. In other words, all of God is everywhere, yet He is not in one location only, not in the physical sense of location. Continue reading “Oscillating Consciousness and an Infinite God”

world of becoming

World of Becoming Mystical and Spiritual

“We have seen that a vast tract of experience—all the experience which results from contact between a purged and heightened consciousness and the World of Becoming in which it is immersed; and much, too, of that which results from contact set up between such a consciousness and the Absolute Itself—is included in that stage of growth which the mystics call the Illuminated Way. This is the largest and most densely populated province of the mystic kingdom. Such different visionaries as Suso and Blake, Boehme and Angela of Foligno, Mechthilde of Magdeburg, Fox, Rolle, St. Teresa, and countless others have left us the record of their sojourn therein. Among those who cannot be called pure mystics we can detect in the works of Plato and Heracleitus, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Walt Whitman indicate that they too were acquainted, beyond most poets and seers, with the phenomena of the illuminated life. In studying it then, we shall be confronted by a mass of apparently irreconcilable material: the results of the relation set up between every degree of lucidity, every kind of character, and the suprasensible world.” ~Evelyn Underhill

World of Becoming

The World of Becoming is all about achieving higher and higher states of consciousness. It is also about awakening and developing the spirit and soul. Those are not really two different things. The awakening and development of the spiritual faculties is the only way to really reach higher states of consciousness and enter the world of becoming.

Between Consciousness and the Absolute

Contact between our own conscious and the Divine Consciousness of the Absolute (God) is indeed the goal of the world of becoming. Real spiritual development isn’t about self-interest or education. It isn’t about making ourselves better than others so we can lord over them. Neither is it a panacea that will make us happy and wealthy without having to work for it. It is all about awakening the spirit and soul, then developing them into higher and higher states of consciousness until they become linked to the Divine Consciousness of God. This absolute consciousness may be looked at as a massive temple of consciousness in which each of our individual consciousnesses is but one small stone. Individually, those consciousnesses are not much, but when billions of them are working together, you have a very powerful force. Continue reading “World of Becoming Mystical and Spiritual”

group thinking

Group Thinking Makes Complex Lifeforms Possible

“Each atom is to the yogi a living thing, leading its own independent life. These atoms combine into groups for some end and the group manifests a group intelligence, as long as it remains a group; these groups again combining in turn, and forming bodies of a more complex nature, which serves as a vehicle for for higher forms of consciousness. When death comes to the physical body the cells separate and scatter and that which we call decay sets in. The force which has held the cells together is withdrawn, and it becomes free to go its own way and form new combinations. Some go into the body of the plants in the vivinity, and eventually find themselves again in the body of an animal; others remain in the organism of the plant; others remain in the ground for a time, but the life of the atom means incessant and constsnt change. As a leading writer has said: ‘Deat is but an aspect of life, and the destruction of one material form is but a prelude to the building up of another.’” ~William Walker Atkinson

Living Thing

I’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth repeating for this post. When we say that a life form is living, we know what we mean, yet we cannot locate the life in that being. Life exists in it at the cellular level for sure and probably at the atomic level. I’ve also discussed that we are a hierarchy of life, at least on the physical level. We are not a single living entity but a conglomeration of billions of living beings. And that is true of all complex beings.

Start of Life

On the physical level, we know that single-celled lifeforms came first. At least that is the prevailing theory of science. That theory doesn’t explain how and why non-living atoms came together to form those living beings, but we will accept the theory at this point.

The next level of complexity in life came when some of these single cells began to cling together and form a multi-celled being. That most primitive form of multi-celled life

Sponge near diver

is the sponge still found today in the oceans (and bearing little resemblance to Spongebob Squarepants). In a sponge, there are no specialized cells of any kind. Each cell is the same, like bricks in a brick wall. And yet the spange is able to function as a true multi-celled animal in many ways. It serves as a good example, though, for the point that even in the most complex of beings, each cell is an independent lifeform.

Group Thinking

Each of those cells thinks independently, yet they are also engaging in group thinking an multiple levels, as Atkinson notes in the quote. Group thinking has been given a negative connotation today. That is because many see it as the same thing as herd mentality and crowd mentality, but each of those things is slightly different and the first two have more positive aspects than negative ones.

One of the best examples to illustrate positive group thinking is to watch a large flock of birds in flight. The leader of the flock can make a turn and all the others follow with collisions being very rare. In essence, their tiny bird minds are linked together while in flight so the thoughts of one are the thoughts of all. You might call it flock consciousness.


While crowd mentality can certainly be a negative thing, the type of group thinking, or group consciousness, Atkinson is talking about is a positive thing. But whether positive or negative, it is a reality. Individual cells of living beings are conscious on the most basic level. When they group together for a specific purpose, they have a group mentality that is generally useful. We would not live long, for example, if each of our blood cells decided on its own what it was going to do. The fact that all red blood cells carry food and oxygen to all cells in the body makes living possible. The fact that all white cells fight disease, among other things, helps us stay alive and healthy. So even though the cells remain separate, they still engage in a primitive group thinking that allows them to function as if they made up an organ of the body.

Group Thinking in Man

In other cases, different cells form organs like the heart, liver, and longs in more complex beings. Each organ has a group mentality that allows it to perform its function. And all the organs and other parts of a complex lifeform like a human engage in group thinking as a total being so when we want to walk forward, we don’t have one leg trying to go forward and the other going in reverse. While it might be argued that the brain is controlling all of this, there is growing evidence that the mind, especially the subconscious mind that handles such thing as walking and breathing, is not completely in the brain but is spread out and may function separate from the body entirely. In other words, the complete consciousness of a person is not just the brain-mind, but also the group thinking of every cell in the body.

Group Thinking of Spirit and Soul

Is group thinking limited to the physical world? Probably not. In fact, most spiritual and mystery schools have taught for ages that a form of group thinking does function in the spiritual realms. The primary goal of spiritual development is to unite the soul with God or the Universal Consciousness. Forst, of course, we have to awaken the soul. Then we can start developing group thinking on the spiritual level as well as the physical. Then one day we may again be a single Consciousness of All mad up of many individual bits of consciousness.