Cramer’s Emblems

October 4th, 2011

Six of forty emblems from Daniel Cramer’s 1617 The Rosicrucian Emblems of Daniel Cramer, each presenting a contemplative exercise working upon the heart process of a Rosicrucian meditator. Prefaces Cramer:

“And so, Reader, you have the work of death and life,
The embossings of the Holy page, and a short epigram.
These will be able to show and teach your mind
What your state was once and what it may become today” (p16).

Emblem 2: I INCREASE

“‘But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience.’ (Luke 8:15)

“I am not a road, or a thorn, or a stone, but the best earth;
And sweet ears of corn will rise from the bossom of my heart” (p25).


“‘In thy light shall we see light.’ (Psalms 36:9)

“I see the light in your light, let darkness be far away,
He is wise who gains wisdom from the book of the Lord” (p29).

Emblem 15: I MEDITATE

“‘As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men.’ (Galatians 6:9)

“The centuries fly by, the days pass away,
Every man must work for the good, while there is an hour of time” (p40).


“‘The words of the Lord are pure words as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.’ (Psalms 12:6)

“The brick and hearth witness to the quality of gold;
The same may testify to the goodness of the mind” (p62).


“‘…we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left.’ (Numbers 20:17)

“Not in this place, not in that;
The heart will go more safely in the middle.
He who rushes from the mean, runs to destruction” (p63).


“‘By ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.’ (Matthew 10:16)

“He whose heart is saved by simplicity, whose eye by wisdom,
Will be both serpent and dove to God” (p64).

Nicholas on Cogito

April 4th, 2011

A diagram by J. W. Nicholas, from an appendix of his 1977 Psience (see previous post).

Cogito means ‘I think,’ but I interpret Descartes’s famous dictum as a contraction of, ‘I think about the I which thinks, therefore I am.’ Thinking requires an object. To think at all, one must think about something. The mystal no-mind is not achieved by suspending mental process but by eliminating mental content. The cogitating Descartes thought about thinking in a way that proved his existence as a thinker. I believe he thought about the I which thinks.

“Philosophers know the syllogistic conjunction ergo/therefore requires two premises to balance a conclusion, but Descarte presented only one premise—‘I think.’ His statement either fails as logic or transcends logic. I believe it transcends.

“The view that all knowledge is logically derivable gets one into a limitless proliferation of prior premises, an infinite regress, a reverse martingale, unacceptable to the practical cogitator. We need some premises that are not prior conclusions, or there will be no base on which to build the logical structure. I judge Descartes’s sum/I-am to be one such fundamental premise, needing no antecedent. As Ouroboros swallows his tails, so:” (p65)

Two diagrams from J. W. Nicholas’ 1977 Psience: A General Theory of Existence.

Self-realization of the universe (p59)*. Click for larger version.

“Psience posits four frames of reference [as shown in the figure above], two real and two imaginary. (If it were not for mathematical convention, these might be called the material and immaterial.) One real and one imaginary frame of reference are linear; I call them spaces; their dimensions are of interval. The other two frames are non-linear; I call them fields; their dimensions are of regular recurrence, here called frequence” (p13).

“The real and imaginary frames are formally orthogonal… Thought, spirit, the immaterial or massless in general exist as recurrent pattern in the imaginary field. The imaginary pattern induces its realization in the real field, which is reflected in turn in the real space. Symbols existing in the real field have a magical power to affect the phenomenal world, or real space, in a manner that recalls the power the three-dimensional beings to produce miracles in Flatland. The geometric inversion of linearity is held to be a closed loop, that is, a regular recurrence; induction between imaginary and real fields takes places between closed loops, as with electric current and magnetic flux. The real field (and perhaps also the real space) has more than three dimensions; the imaginary field and space have unlimited dimensions.” (p15).

“As the unlimited dimensionality of temporal interval is disclosed by the statistical independence of different relative likelihoods, so the unlimited dimensionality of temporal frequence is disclosed by the harmonies of recurrent pattern. Though the pattern is imaginary, it may still be useful. For example, we could define the structure of a chord in such a schema without reference to the key in which the chord were played… what Globus (1976) called ‘relatedness per se’. Such a pattern is perpetual rather than eternal, qualitative rather than quantitative, imaginary rather than material. It is defined by its own harmonies” (p27).

Outward and inward departures from Origin (p39).

“…As the point of access to 3d space, τ space, r field, or ψ field, Origin displays four respective facets: Here/Now/Everywhere/Always. [The figure above] depicts outward departures from Here and Now, inward departures from Everywhere and Always. Unlike Here and Now, which serve as zero points for quantification, Always and Everywhere confound and nullify all measurements. Qualitative rather than quantitative, the ψ and r fields disallow direct measurements but still provide a frame of reference in which to consider relatedness per se” (p38).

“Psience proposes an inductive coupling between the orthogonal ψ and s fields—between the domain of imaginary, immaterial pattern and the domain of its symbolic representation. What is symbolically represented is relatedness per se. We can label the two arcs of this interactive feedback loop ‘expression’ and ‘communication’ [as figured above] (p58)”.

Hence “creation is the self-realization in the real field of relatedness per se in the imaginary field” (p62).

* I believe the top figure mislabels linear to the left of u-space, implying that both u-space and s-field are linear, whereas it is u-space and τ-space that are linear (as dimensions of interval). Perhaps a correct label would be spatial, as opposed to temporal, though this blurs the denomination of dimensions of interval as -spaces.

Three diagrams from Nahum Stiskin’s 1972 The Looking-Glass God.

“The principle of dualistic monism is based on the intuition common to all men that things, phenomena, and beings are in a dynamic state of change and that life is process. Plants, men, and ideas all bloom in their season and wither in their season. Day changes into night, and night returns to day; the seasons run their course; Time, the enumeration of this change, stops for no man. In daily life we find no constant.

“The course of this change, however, is not erratic. We find ourselves living in a world of extremes. From midnight to midday, from the heat of summer to the cold of winter, from joy to sadness, all movement is along a continuum from one extreme to its opposite. Judging from our experience, we deduce that the universe is constructed on a plan of polarity: beginning and end, male and female, expansion and contraction, ascent and descent, life and death. Process occurs as movement between these poles of the universe.

“Although at first view nature’s poles present themselves as opposite and mutually antagonistic, on closer inspection we realize that they are complimentary; one cannot exist with the other… If movement in either direction were to stop, life would cease… The universe and our knowledge of it are therefore constituted of the endless to-and-fro movement of life from any pole to its complimentary opposite…

“Let us devise a practical language to use in discussing the structure and inner workings of polarity within the universe… that of yin and yang, derived from ancient China. But this is not to say we are simply expropriating that ancient philosophy as it was defined and used by Fu Hsi some five thousand years ago. We can and must redefine this terminology in such a way that modern man can make rational sense of it. This ancient principle of relativity is not a mysticism but a paradoxical logic of the universe.

“We shall designate as yin all phenomena, beings, and things that are dominated by centrifugal force, and as yang those dominated by centripetal force. Centrifugality can be most easily imagined as the tendency to move from a center toward a periphery; centripetality is movement from a periphery toward a center” (p20-21).

Yang centripetality and yin centrifugality (p21).

“Using our newly defined principle, we will categorize density as a yang phenomenon in comparison to expansive airiness, which we shall consider a yin phenomenon. By extension, a proton, having weight and density, will be classified as yang in comparison to an electron, which, having relatively little weight and density, will be classified as yin. Movement away from the center of the earth would express the yin tendency; movement toward the center, the yang. Verticality with reference to the earth may be considered an expression of yinness, horizontality an expression of yangness. Based on this latter concept, colors may be classified as a series of changes along the continuum from red to violet. Red describes an electromagnetic wave of low amplitude and frequency that may be said to be dominated by centripetal force. Violet describes a wave of much higher amplitude and frequency and, in comparison, may be said to be dominated by centrifugal force [see the figure below]. Heat and light are ‘centered’ phenomena: their existence presupposes a point of concentration in space and thus may be said to be yang. Cold and darkness are ‘dispersed’ phenomena: they originate at a peripheral nowhere and permeate space, and therefore may be said to be yin. Fire is yang; water, its antagonist, is yin. Shapes, too, may be classified. Shapes like △ contain their greatest bulk toward the bottom. Their movement is downward, and they are thus dominated by the yang tendency. Shapes like ▽ express a centrifugal movement upward and are dominated by the yin” (p21-22).

The continuum from yang red to yin violet (p22).

“If, then, the operation of yin and yang is at the core of nature, what fundamental shape will all entities and processes share? A symbolic representation of the principle of dualistic monism would have to fulfill the following seven requirements: first, it must display a polar structure of the relative world by indicating such things as beginning and end, above and below, periphery and center; second, it must link the two poles of existence indissolubly by showing them to be but the two complementary ends of one continuum; third, it must indicate the stages of change; fourth, it must show the variations of yin and yang within each stage; fifth, it must indicate the change of velocity within the process of change itself; sixth, it must demonstrate the potentiality for simultaneous movement in opposite directions between any two antagonistic poles; and seventh, it must indicate the original source of evolution and show that all evolved entities ultimately return to that source. In so doing, it must reveal the connectedness of the absolute and relative worlds, thereby demonstrating that all dualities are only modifications of an originally unified essence” (p28).

The logarithmic spiral (p29).

“The only pictorial symbol that can fulfill all seven conditions is the logarithmic spiral and its three-dimensional analogue, the helix. The spiral is a two-dimensional structure; the helix is its three-dimensional extension into space. The coils that curve along the ordinary screw exemplify helical structure. Thus, [the figure above] may be viewed in depth, with the periphery near to and the center far from the eye.

“We see in [this figure] that the polarities of both beginning-end and above-below are clearly expressed. We further note that in a logarithmic spiral the center is dense compared to the expanded periphery. The movement from beginning to end within any process follows the line of the spiral from periphery to center. The coils are thus the continuum. All things, phenomena, and beings begin at the periphery and move toward the center.

“The spiral may be portrayed with six or seven coils; each represents either a different stage from inception to conclusion of a process or different elements in the structure of an entity. Analysis into seven or eight parts is usually sufficient for an adequate explanation of the structures and processes within nature… By drawing a line through the spiral and dividing it in half, we see the variation of yin and yang within each stage.

“Since the distance between coils decreases logarithmically, it requires less time to travel from points C to D than from points A to B. This is equivalent to saying that processes speed up toward their conclusion or, in terms of entities, that density is a characteristic of center.

“If we take the empty space between the spiral’s coils to constitute another spiral—this one originating at the center and moving toward the periphery—we shall have indicated the simultaneity of antagonistic tendencies. We shall have also shown the dialectical identity of beginning and end, for the end point of one spiral is the origin of the other.

“Finally, the empty space surrounding and leading into the spiral may be conceived to be the invisible, infinite sea of energy. The world of polarity splits into being at the first point along the periphery of the coil and returns to its origin along the inner spiral” (p28-30).

The Double-Triadic Hexagram

September 30th, 2010

Eight glyphs from Barbara Walker‘s The I Ching of the Goddess whose sequence derives the hexagram.

Figure 1 (p17).

“The original triangle stood for the Goddess’s trinity of Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, she of a thousand names, such as Maya the birth-giving Virgin, Durga the preserving Mother, and Kali Ma the death-dealing Crone. Her primary symbol was a downward-pointing triangle, the Yoni Yantra, sometimes called Kali Yantra. This represented a vulva (Sanskrit yoni), and femaleness in general: by extension, a womb, motherhood, female sexuality, the life spirit embodied in menstrual blood, or the world-activating power of the Goddess herself. The same symbol stood for ‘woman’ and ‘Goddess’ among ancient Egyptians, pre-Hellenic Greeks, Tantric Buddhists, and the gypsies who migrated westward from Hindustan. The primordial female triangle became a male-female hexagram by eight stages, graphically represented as follows.

“At first there was only the Goddess alone, containing within herself all the elements in a fluid, unformed state (Fig. 1)” (p16-17).

Figure 2 (p17).

“With the passage of ages and by her will, eventually a spark of life was formed within her core, represented by a dot (Fig. 2). Tantric sages called this spark the bindu, and one of the Goddess’s titles was Bindumati, Mother of the Bindu. Among Cabalists it became Bina, the Womb of Earth” (p17).

Figure 3 (p17).

“The bindu grew and slowly became a separate being within the Mother (Fig. 3), though it still lay wholly inside her borders. At this early stage of the divine creation, the sages said, darkness (the god) was still enveloped in a greater Darkness (his Mother). The god was still one with the author of his being, Maha-Kali, the Great Power” (p17).

Figure 4 (p17).

“At the fourth stage, the god was born. Represented by an upward-pointing triangle—which often symbolized the masculine principle of fire—the god broke through the boundaries of the primordial maternal triangle (Fig. 4). Here, at the moment of ‘birth,’ the idea of the male deity was conveyed by three solid lines, while that of the female deity became three broken lines. Thus was the design taken apart, and its components utilized as trigrams and hexagrams in the I Ching” (p17).

Figure 5 (p19).

“In allowing her boundaries to be penetrated from within by an emerging Other, the Goddess demonstrated her true creativity. She became the universal Mother. This crucial moment of birth was synonymous with creation, according to the ancient concept. This was the moment when the Goddess (not the emerging God) said, ‘Let there be light,’ because the eyes of her newborn first perceived the light of existence, as he himself might become the light of fire or the sun. In the classical world, the Goddess had names like Juno Lucina or Diana Lucifera, the Bringer of Light. From her the biblical Yahweh copied his Fiat lux.

“The god’s birth was celebrated each year at midwinter. The nocturnal festival was known as the Night of the Mother to pre-Christian Britons, which may explain why Christmas Eve (the time of the actual birth) carried even more significance in Old England than Christmas Day. In Alexandria, the god’s birth was hailed by joyful shouts: ‘The Virgin (Kore) has given birth! The light grows!’ The naked image of the divine birth-giving Virgin was decorated with gold stars and carried seven times around the temple.

“Just as, in pagan belief, creation was a birth, so every birth was a new creation. Each year the Aeon or year-god was reborn from the eternally virgin, eternally maternal Goddess. Thus, at the mystic point of creation itself, the graphic symbol of the Mother became three broken lines, while that of her son-spouse was three solid lines.

“Male and female triangles, one separated, came together again in a very ancient figure that later rounded off to the mathematical symbol of infinity in so-called Arabic numerals, which were actually Hindu in origin. The two tangential circles or teardrop shapes of this sign meant the same as two tangential triangles: the two sexes in contact (Fig. 5). The female triangle above now took on the aspect of a nourishing breast, while the male received her nourishment.

“This was also taken as a sexual sign, in unconscious but nevertheless real recognition of the connection between adult sexuality and bond between mother and infant. According to Tantric symbolism, the female triangle was placed above the male, who then assumed all forms of relationship with her: offspring, twin, spouse, and eventually sacrificial victim, as he became the eternally dying-and-reborn god, similar to Osiris, Attis, Dionysus, Adonis, Orpheus, Yama, and so on. Therefore Tantric yogis and their shaktis (priestesses) favored female-superior sexual positions, which Vedic and Confucian patriarchs condemned because of their association with the Old Religion that they wanted to erase. Though this style of lovemaking was instituted by Shiva as Universal God and the original ‘daughters of the sages’ (shaktis), patriarchal Brahman priests insisted that it was a perversion” (p17-18).

Figure 6 (p19).

“However, Tantric yogis continued to hold that sexual union in true love was an intimation of divinity, giving the partners a sense of merging ‘like pouring of water into water’ (Fig. 6). Similarly in Egypt, the Goddess and her god were represented by vessels of water, their conjunction by a combination of the two waters, as in the sacred talisman known as menat. In the Middle East, a sacrificial god was preceded by a vessel of water in procession to his place of execution, a tradition that was followed even in the story of Jesus (Mark 14:13). Like Shiva, the Christian God also was born of the same Mother on whom, as a divine spouse, he begot himself” (p18-19).

Figure 7 (p19).

“By penetrating each other to the farthest boundary, god and Goddess formed between them the ancient Tantric symbol of the world and also the yoni: a diamond (Fig. 7), flanked by four new triangles that were assimilated to the elements, the four directions, the four corners of the earth (when the earth was supposed to be square), the four winds, the four divisions of the zodiac, the four Sons of Horus, or the Norsemen’s related spirits of north, east, south, and west that upheld the heavens. Sometimes this symbol represented a family or clan. All these ideas could be expressed in a simple glyph of six lines” (p19).

Figure 8 (p19).

“Finally, the ultimate interpenetration was shown by the full hexagram (Fig. 8). Male and female principles extended even beyond each other’s boundaries, becoming ‘one’ in sixfold symmetry. This was the union proposed by cabalists as well as Tantric sages: the symbol of eternal conception and re-creation. This was the hidden reason for the rabbinic traditions claiming that the Ark of the Covenant contained male and female images sexually joined, ‘in the form of a hexagram,’ and that the triple six of Solomon’s golden talents (1 Kings 10:14) represented the king’s sexual union with his goddess, who gave him his great wisdom.

“This explains also the early Christian’s horror of the sixfold symbol of Aphrodite, similarly united with Hermes as the first ‘hermaphrodite,’ and their insistence that three sixes made a devilish number (666) and six was the ‘number of sin.’ However, such sexual joining was envisioned for the male-female Primal Androgyne common to ancient India, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Even Jewish patriarchs declared that Adam and Eve were androgynously united in one body until God separated them.

“The ultimate absorption of the god into the Yoni Yantra (Goddess) was his immolation, usually conceived as a voluntary sacrifice of his life for salvation of the earthly world, which needed the life-force inherent in divine blood. As Kali the Destroyer, the Goddess devoured her consort and returned to the original solitary female form of the Yantra (Fig. 1). Thus the cycles of creation and destruction were carried on throughout the life of universe” (p19-20).

Various Forms in Play

June 23rd, 2010

A diagram from Rawson’s The Art of Tantra (see previous post) delineating “the essential process… whereby man’s world of reality is developed… as it is conceived in the… Sankhya philosophy of Tantra” (p181).

“Sankhya Tattva diagram, illustrating the manifestation processes of creation” (p182), cf. earlier post on the three gunas. Click for larger version.

“Many Hindu Tantrik images represent the first division of the creative urge into male and female, white and red… Without the division there can be no love, no activity or field of action, no puja can be made… Since the time of the oldest Upanisads, subject and object have been called ‘I’ and ‘This’… equated with male and female, Siva and Sakti, male and female dancer…

“The lower levels of the Sankhya diagram define all the various sub-functions and categories through which the original flow of Being-energy is channelled and subdivided to make up the experienced world of forms and time. It is, in fact, a full phenomenological ‘synthetic a priori‘ system, and it matches the pattern of the subtle body remarkably… An important point has always to be remembered. In every experience of every objective ‘This’ by every experiencer the female quantifier is absolutely necessary; but so too is the male reservoir of energy, which supplies the ‘Being’ from the side of the objective, the unitary consciousness of self from the side of the experiencer. Within every yoni, every active world-as-woman, is buried the lingam, the phallus, without which there would be no energy to inflate her pattern. To a primary male spark of Being (Prakasa) the Goddess offers Herself as the ‘Pure Mirror in which He reflects Himself’ (Vimarsa). There are innumerable icons in India which represent the Divine Pair either as a male and a female, He with erect organ, She holding a mirror, or as a single double-sexed being, divided down the centre, the right half male, again with an erect organ, the left half female.

“Philosophy, however, must not be allowed to delude itself with its own constructions. Whilst it may theoretically assume an original spark within the reflection, the moment it seeks to attribute to that spark any character or form it falls into delusion. For: ‘Whatever power anything possesses, that is Goddess… Into the hollows of her hair-pores millions of cosmic eggs constantly disappear… She grants the desires of sadhakas by assuming various forms in play.’ But ‘She who is absolute Being, Bliss, and Consciousness may be thought of as female, male or pure [neuter] Brahman; in reality she is none of these.’ Even these are simply forms She assumes to make sadhana possible” (p181-183).

A Pair of Snakes

June 11th, 2010

Speaking of caducei in Tibetan Tantrism (see previous post), a Basohli painting collected in Rawson’s The Art of Tantra.

A ca. 1700 (in one part, invisible) caduceus (p84). Click for larger version.

The Colors of Asana

October 25th, 2009

A painting collected in Ajit Mookerjee’s 1971 Tantra Asana (also see previous post).

Gunatraya Chakrasana,  from a ca. 17th century Nepali manuscript (plate 95). Click for full version.

Tantra asana is a “yogic practice of transcending the human condition. Tantra itself is unique for being a synthesis of bhoga and yoga, enjoyment and liberation. There is no place for renunciation or denial in Tantra. Instead, we must involve ourselves in all the life processes which surround us. The spiritual is not something that descends from above, rather it is an illumination that is to be discovered within.

“Also fundamental in Tantrism is the notion of identity of the human body (anda), the microcosm, with the universe or macrocosm (brahmanda). Tantra holds that the body is the abode of truth, the epitome of the universe; and so man contains within himself, the truth of the whole cosmos. Therefore, the body, with its physiological and physical processes, becomes the perfect medium (yantra) to attain truth. ‘He who realizes the truth of the body can then come to know the truth of the universe’, says Ratnasara” (p15-16).

“Asana is visualized [in the painting above] as the pattern of forces sattva, rajas, and tamas [the three gunas], symbolized by the colours yellow, red and black along with the colourless white of cosmic consciousness — that principle which stays forever motionless, yet acts through its own radiation —, generates all forms of manifestation. The squares complete the suggestion that all this is ‘within'” (p136).

Compare with the coloration of the Classical four elemental processes (see previous post):

Color Classical Tantric
yellow water, liquefaction, movement, “the functional principle of the earth planet and all its creatures” (Benson, p33) sattva, essence, purity, calmness, creativity, “…the illuminating force which releases consciousness” (p17)
red air, rarefaction, animation, life force rajas, activity, atmosphere, motion, energy, dynamicism, passion, “…the activity of attraction and repulsion” (p17)
black earth, condensation, stability, corporeality tamas, inertia, inactivity, darkness, obscurity, “…the condensation of energy in matter” (p17)
white fire, combustion, illumination, invisible connective, the goal of nous “The trilogy becomes energized for the sake of creation. Dynamic forces are released strirring all latent existence in Brahmanda, the embryonic state of the universe.” (p17)

Mouravieff’s Correction

October 21st, 2009

A diagram by Boris Mouravieff from his 1958 monograph, Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and the Work (translated by the Praxis Research Institute).

Mouravieff corrects Ouspensky’s diagram (see previous post), “which is the most important diagram for all who begin studying esotericism. We can see at first glance that it is not complete, and in addition, it contains grave errors” (p27).

Mouravieff’s correction, p31.

In the corrected diagram above, “the [black] arrows represent the influences created in life by life itself. This is the first kind of influence, called ‘A’ influence. It should be noted that the black arrows cover the surface of the circle of life almost evenly.

“Their effect, as with all radiant forces of nature, is inversely proportional to the square of the distance; that is why man is mainly influenced by the arrows closest to him, so that he find himself drawn at any moment by the result of the present moment. The influence of the ‘A’ arrows on involving man is compulsive; driven by them, he wanders within the circle of his life from birth until death.

“The totality of these ‘A’ influences forms the law of accident, and human fate comes under its rule. But if we examine the diagram more closely we will see that each black arrow is neutralised or counterbalanced by another arrow elsewhere that is equal in force and diametrically opposite in direction, so that had the arrows been left to neutralize each other, the general result would equal zero. This means that, taken as a whole, the ‘A’ influences are of an illusory nature, though their effect is real, and for this reason involving man generally takes them for the only reality in life” (p31).

‘E’ represents “the esoteric center, outside the general laws of life” (p32).

‘B’ influences “are thrown into the turmoil of life by the Esoteric Center. These different influences, which have been created outside life are represented in the diagram by white arrows. They are all oriented towards the same direction. Taken together they form a kind of magnetic field.

“Since the ‘A’ influences neutralise each other, the ‘B’ influences form the only reality in life.

“A man taken in isolation… is represented in the schematic diagram by a finely partitioned circle the surface area of which is crossed by fine diagonal lines except for the small clear area. This means that involving man’s nature is not homogeneous; it is a mixture.

“If a man spends his life without distinguishing between ‘A’ and ‘B’ influences, he will end it in the same way as he began — that is to say, mechanically, moved by the law of accident” (p32).

“Every individual is subject to a kind of preparatory test in life. If he is able to discern the ‘B’ influences and their existence, if he enjoys the taste of gathering them and absorbing them, and if he aspires to assimilate them more and more, then his interior nature, which began as a mixture, will, step by step, begin to undergo a certain evolution. Then, if his efforts to absorb the ‘B’ influences are constant and strong enough, a magnetic center begins to form inside him. That magnetic center is represented in the diagram by the small white area.

“If, once born in him and carefully developed, that center embodies itself, then it will exert an influence on the action of the ‘A’ arrows which are, of course, still functioning. This will lead to a change of direction. This deviation may be violent. It normally goes against the general laws of life, provoking conflicts in and around him. If he loses this battle he will emerge with the conviction that the ‘B’ influences are only an illusion, and that the only reality is represented by the ‘A’ influences. Step by step, the magnetic center that has been formed inside him will be re-absorbed and disappear. After this, his new situation will be worse than it was before he had first begun to discern the ‘B’ influences.

“But if he wins that first fight, his magnetic center, consolidated and reinforced, will attract him to a man of ‘C’ influence — stronger than he is and in possession of a stronger magnetic center than his own. Thus, by way of succession, since the man he had met has a relationship with a man of ‘D’ influence, he in his turn will be linked with the Esoteric Center ‘E’.

“From then on, that man will no longer be isolated in life. He will, of course, continue to live as he did before subject to the action of the ‘A’ influences, which will still exert their dominance upon him for a long time; yet, step by step, and thanks to the effect of the chain of influences B-C-D-E, his magnetic center will develop more and more and to the degree that his magnetic center grows he will evade the domination of the law of accident to enter the domain of consciousness” (p32-33).

A diagram by R. G. H. Siu from his 1974 neo-daoist Ch’i.

“Wouldn’t it be interesting, if the world were structured according to the diagram [above]…

“Light itself consists of energy and ch’i.

“Quantum properties of Light are the refractions of its mass-energy component. Continua are the refractors of its massless ch’i.

“It’s no wonder that a Sanskrit root for Time is Light.

“Energy and mass, inanimate — we call it visible, existent, actual.

Ch’i, our animate — we call invisible and nonexistent, useful.

“Organism is the active unity. Serenity reflects the active harmony.

“Life is an ongoing metabolism modifying ch’i.

“Evolution trends toward ever greater elegance of function.

“Mental illness follows the uncoupling, shunting, or deranging of selected pathways. Death ensues upon the loss of such a metabolic capability, as remnants then revert to inanimate dust.

“The origin of Life does not lie in the synthesis of a specific molecule, which has been arbitrarily defined to be organic.

“Such a change remains inanimate.

“Life arose with the first separation of the ch’i from Light in an assimilable form.

“Every species possesses a characteristic range of capacities for transforming ch’i.

“Normal offspring are endowed at birth with the lower threshold values; the ability to absorb and transform ch’i then increases with experience and with maturity. There is a steady change in the amount and variety of ch’i available from outside sources; and this, in turn, transmutes the former baseline for metabolism, giving rise to yet another series of resulting ch’i. The new ch’i then serves as the raw material for the succeeding process. Each exposure to a novel form of ch’i increases the proficiency of the inherited metabolizing apparatus.

“The metabolizing apparatus thereby constitutes one’s personality; its metabolic scope prescribes the fullness of one’s livingness; the extension of its scope accounts for creativity.

“There is a wide assortment of means by which the ch’i may enter into the being of the living.

“Primitive forms are continually incarnated in the tissues of green plants in photosynthesis, and these subsequently enter through the mouth as food.

“More sophisticated forms come through the ear, eye, mind, and a multitude of diverse and simultaneous communication channels, as compatibility allows.

“There is no past ch’i or future ch’i.

“Just as former states of energy exist in energy, so former states of ch’i exist in ch’i. And just as later states of energy exist in energy, so later states of ch’i exist in ch’i.

“There is only ch’i with hysteresis and potentiality.

“Men speak of the id, the ego, and the superego.

“Id reminds us of the transporting of ch’i through multimedia among the organisms. Ego, of the processing of ch’i internally in organisms. Superego, of the forming of the virtual presences as higher forms of ch’i by man.

“Wholesomeness of living seems dependent on continuing adjustments of a multitude of delicate coherences with the Whole.

“When the animals evolved the talent to produce a virtual presence, they acquired a soul.

“Then there was a God to be adored.

“And an Adam was created.

“As production of virtual presences increases, man’s tie to the Real decreases.

“Soon, he praises innovation and inhuman courage. He invents thrills and excitements. He relies on myths and mysteries. He downgrades Nature with a reckless chisel.

“Life becomes the Grand Illusion.

“With facility in the manipulation of the virtual presences, the primal Superman was born.

“With perfection in the art, a second Lucifer took charge.

“It was then that man came to defy the Lord.

“The interminable conflict thrusting the virtual presences against the real intensifies.

“As the power of the virtual grows, human values ineluctably turn phony. As the rate of change accelerates they turn ephemeral. And doubt in self and gods both virtual and real then takes its toll.

“The twilight of a great civilization is at hand” (p16-20).