A Being of Unity: PART I
by Fr. E.S.Q.S.
Probably it goes without saying, but the idea of unity has always been the most important idea to me. I have devoted a great majority of my (inner) life to the quiet contemplation of the idea of unity; in a sense, I have strived to “Make the seed grow.” In any case, I was already quite aware – right from the very outset of my work at contemplation - that the idea of unity was the germ, or seed, of all worthwhile knowledge and wisdom; hence, I always said things like, “Unity is my lodestar, always and ever guiding me aright” and, “Unity is the source and well-spring of all that is good and virtuous.” The idea of unity is my “Lodestar” in life and it does “Guide me aright” in a darkened world (i.e.: worlds 47-49); likewise, the idea of unity is, undoubtedly, the source of “All that is good and virtuous” – especially when you consider the fact that it is the germ, or seed, of all worthwhile knowledge and wisdom. The seed becomes the flower, and the flower blossoms: the idea of unity reveals the importance of freedom and law, reveals the universal responsibility there is in life, makes us aware of the fact that we “Do not live in a vacuum”, reveals why immortality is a certainty, gives us hope, shows us why we ought to trust in life and trust in law – and so many things besides. The idea of unity contains much.
One such thing that finally “Clicked” just recently concerns the work of man. I had spoken of this matter a number of times now. I had always said that the work of man was two-fold:
1. The work for self-consciousness
2. The work for the consciousness of community
One thing to note is that it had always seemed that the work for self-consciousness was not quite connected with the work for the consciousness of community, or that it was – in some way – at odds with it; after all, part of the work for self-consciousness involves separating oneself from other things (i.e.: separating “Self” and “Not-Self”). It seems, at least superficially, to be at odds with the work for unity. Of course, I had always understood that it was necessary work – and this because I had understood that one must be able to “Find oneself” in one’s own personal envelopes before one would have any hope of “Finding oneself” in collective envelopes. The fact that man does not “Find himself” is why mystics and saints “Lose themselves in the ineffable” (so to speak): they have no hope of it. Causal consciousness is required. Permanent, unlosable self-identity is required.
However, a few days back, I had read the line effectively stating that man’s first and foremost task was to become a “Being of unity.” That is when it “Clicked”: the work for self-conscious is not at odds with the work for unity; in fact, it is a work for unity on a lesser scale. The first task of man is to become a “Being of unity”, which requires self-consciousness. Until such a time as man is self-conscious, man is – more or less – a divided being. Yes, yes – part of the work for self-consciousness involves a certain measure of discrimination (i.e.: sorting out “Self” and “Not-Self”), but all of this is for self-consciousness which is the root of man’s personal unity. Man must be able to say of himself, “I am one” before he will have any hope of experiencing the consciousness of community. And for man to be able to say that, he must have a firm self-identity; he must be self-conscious. The monad must be awake and aware of itself. That is the very foundation of the “Being of unity.”
The work for self-consciousness (and also the work for unity, therefore) begins, perhaps somewhat paradoxically, with discrimination: sorting out “Self” and “Not-Self” (or, “Self” and “self”). We must start by grasping the various (esoteric) “Anatomical” (matter aspect) and “Psychological” (consciousness aspect) divisions of man. We must begin by seeing that “Man is not one”, that man consists of many varied parts. We can begin with what Hylozoics teaches us – namely, that man has a number of envelopes; also, a number of kinds of consciousness. Thus, we have:
1. The “Physical envelope” (so to speak) consisting of both a dense physical organism (49:5-7) and a physical-etheric envelope (49:2-4)
2. The emotional envelope (48:2-7)
3. The mental envelope (47:4-7)
4. The causal envelope (47:1-3)
Likewise, we get:
1. Physical consciousness
2. Emotional consciousness
3. Mental consciousness
4. Causal consciousness
The beginner in this Esoteric Psychology begins by learning to sort between these envelopes and their kinds of consciousness. Physical consciousness relates to sensations via the function of sensing, emotional consciousness relates to emotions via the function of feeling, mental consciousness relates to thoughts via the function of thinking, and causal consciousness relates to ideas via a higher function which is not so easily described (call it “Intuition”, etc.). The beginner in this Esoteric Psychology must begin by learning to sort out what is happening in his inner psychological life (i.e.: This is sensing, this is a function of physical consciousness; this is an emotion, this is an object of emotional consciousness; this is thinking, this is a function of mental consciousness; this is a thought, this is an object of mental consciousness; etc.). To put it all another way, one must learn to discriminate between:
A. The observer
B. The tool of observation
C. The activity
D. The object being observed
E. The world of the object being observed
The first thing we need to become aware of is the observer, or the “Subject.” Who is observing? What is observing? And where is it observing from? These are all pertinent questions. The answer is already quite obvious: the observer must refer to the “Self”, the central evolutionary monad, and it must be observing from the causal envelope, man’s highest envelope.
The Tool of Observation
The tool of observation means the envelope in question. We must always bear in mind that the envelopes are tools for the “Self.” The “Physical envelope” is for activity in the physical world (49) – a tool for speaking, doing, and sensing; the emotional envelope is for activity in the emotional world (48) – a tool for feeling; and the mental envelope is for activity in the mental world (specifically, 47:4-7) – a tool for thinking. When we are engaged in activity, we should always be considering, “Which tool is being used now?” We might also consider, “Am I using the tool, or is the tool using me?”
Every tool has its own kind of activities, its own kind of functions. We must learn to sort out the observer, the tool of observation, and even the activity, for they are not all “One and the same.” People tend to confuse the tool of observation (the envelope) and the activity (the function). They are not the same. The tools remain, but activities are quite impermanent by comparison (i.e.: the activity of sensing, feeling, and thinking comes and goes). Activities, or functions, are the result of motion, of energies, whether started and directed intentionally (willed activity, from an internal center of force i.e.: the “Self”, the central evolutionary monad) or mechanically (unwilled activity, from an external center of force).
The Object Being Observed
And what is the “Object?” Probably some people will find it confusing that I speak about psychological “Objects”; perhaps even some people will consider it a contradiction: “How can you speak about objects when you are referring to the inner psychological life, the life of consciousness?” To understand what I mean, we need to bear in mind the subject/object relationship (i.e.: “I am observing it” an object). Thus, even sensations, emotions, thoughts, and ideas can be called, “Objects.” I am that which observing them; hence, I am the subject, and they are the object. I am something else, I am somewhere else. And that is a part of our work at discrimination: sort out the “Self” from the “Not-Self”, sorting out who we are, what we are, and where we are. The first thing we often notice while observing our inner psychological life is the “Object.” We often notice the sensation, the emotion, the thought, or the idea. Far too often, we do not move on from there. We do not think, “But if I am seeing this, then I cannot be it. I must be something else, somewhere else.” We often get confused and mix things up: we call tools functions, functions objects (or, more precisely, “Products”), etc. Then it is no wonder that we do not get very far in our exercises. We were not careful enough in our discrimination.
CONTINUED IN PART II
Thanks for your time,