Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Primal Principles Of Reality
PRIMAL PRINCIPLES OF REALITY
This second procedure, which in the case of the periodic table is valid only for the material plane, we shall now apply to the whole of reality. Here again we start from the realization that behind manifold reality lies a limited number of units. But as we wish to encompass the whole of reality with our system, we must find units which apply to all realms: animal, vegetable and mineral, and to all planes: material and psychic. We spoke in the first chapter about how matter always needs information in order to acquire form. Thus it is the idea rather than the form which is primal and real.
Unfortunately, in our materialistic age it is the opposite view which has established itself. Thus it is believed that the stone comes first and that subsequently mankind, in observing it, develops the concept and invents the world “stone”. In reality the reverse is true. Without the idea of stone a tangible stone can never manifest itself. Concepts and language are always present much earlier than their material representatives. (“In the beginning was the word...”)
An artist wishing to paint a picture first forms an idea and then translates it into material reality. It is not the picture which creates the idea but the idea that condenses into the picture. Thus if we wish to design a “periodic table of reality” our hypothetical units must be archetypal ideas.
Such primal images must exist as the basic constituents of reality, but access to the world of pure concepts is very difficult for man. So for the time being, what we have to do is to formulate purely hypothetical units and give them abstract symbols. It is not important at this stage which symbols we choose. The symbols x, y, z for example, would be appropriate for our time. Here x stands for a certain basic concept in the realm of ideas. But since this realm of ideas is reflected in our visible and perceptible reality the primal concept x must also be present in the manifest world.
To put it more precisely, our primal idea x must have a particular representative on every level of reality. Thus we shall find among animals, plants, minerals and human beings some concrete example that represents x on the plane of reality. If x cannot be found on every plane then it does not deserve the title “primal idea”. On this basis we can construct a matrix consisting of the various levels which run vertically from the primal ideas or principles.
nature of principle structure, hindrance energy, impulse
sky ? ?
mineral lead, calcium iron
plant ivy, thistle, horsetail stinging nettle
animal raven, goat predator, rodent
body skeleton, teeth muscles, arterial blood
illnesses hardening of the arteries inflammation, injuries
locality prison, monastery smithy, battlefield
old people's home, cemetery
area mountain, cold desert volcanic area
social category miner, old person soldier
colour black, dark blue red
In this matrix we already find some representatives of x and y on different levels of reality. The sense or justification of this arrangement will not yet at this stage be clear. For the time being it will be enough to accept these correlations, for their accuracy is not yet the subject of our consideration.
Rather let me make it clear that a primal principle runs vertically through all levels of manifest form. The number of planes is, in fact, unlimited; those shown here are only a tiny selection and can be extended almost indefinitely by the addition of other categories such as types of vegetable, shares in the brewery companies, musical instruments, architectural styles ans so on. Returning to the questions posed earlier in the chapter, some readers will have already recognized the examples from question (b) in the column x of our table.
Now it will be apparent how questions (a) and (b) differ from each other. Question (b), however, contains various examples from a single plane, namely the animal kingdom. This is something that all of us have been trained to recognize. Question (b), however, contains concepts arranged in a vertical chain of principles whose common factor lies in the as yet undefined principle that we are provisionally calling x. In trying to answer question (b) we should recognize that we are not accustomed to thinking vertically and are therefore not aware of any common factor although such a factor is present, as we shall discover by and by.
It is important to understand that there are horizontal categories as well as a vertical chain of principles. The first is used almost exclusively in science, the second almost equally exclusively in esotericism, for the axiom “as above so below” leads inevitably to a vertical way of thinking. Thus the scientific and esoteric systems of thought diverge from each other by exactly 90 degrees, which is why we should not be surprised that both parties almost invariably talk at cross purposes.
Further conclusions can be drawn from the matrix which we have outlined. For instance: if a primal principle were to be modified in some way then this modification would have to become apparent in all its representatives on the different levels of reality. Similarly any interaction or mutual influence between the principles would have its analogical effect on all planes of the physical world. Just as we can observe representatives of a given principle on any level of reality so, by the reverse process, these correlations make it possible for us to draw conclusions about otherwise inaccessible primal principles.
To be more concrete, every primal concept must have its counterpart in the world of animals. If I know the correlations I can take an animal representing each principle and put all the animals together in a zoo. By observing how animals behave towards each other we can learn about the plane of primal principles and about all other planes.
The prerequisite for such a procedure are an exact knowledge of the vertical correspondence and the ability to translate concrete observation analogically from one plane to another. Thus theoretically one could from observing draw conclusions about plants, social conditions or the fluctuation of brewery shares. This way of thinking we call deduction by analogy and it has absolutely nothing to do with causality.
To put it in terms of a banal example: if I know from experience that every Sunday I must go to church an that every Sunday there is roast pork for lunch, then I can deduce that if today is a day for going to church then it is also a day for roast pork. This conclusion is correct although the going to church has nothing whatsoever to do with lunch and there is no causal connection between the two things. In fact, the correctness of the conclusion has to do with a common factor, namely that both events are linked with Sunday.
Let us return to our “matrix of reality”. Basically it does not matter which plane I take as the point of departure for an observation and onto what plane I translate it analogically. In practice, however, not all planes are equally suitable. So, for most practical purposes, I would not advise anyone to carry out the experiment with the zoo which I mentioned earlier as an example. But we shall see later that there is hardly any plane of reality where such correlations have not been explored at some time of history.
One plane, however, that seemed particularly suitable when man was looking for the ideal plane to observe, was the starry sky. The celestial plane is not mixed up with other planes, and the behaviour of the heavenly bodies, being mathematically calculable, offers a reference for past and future without necessitating constant observation. As the sky with its stars and planets is a plane of reality like any other it was concluded that there, too, could be found representatives of all primal principles. Therefore the heavenly bodies were given names corresponding to the principles they represented.
We now return to the principles that we provisionally called x and y. Ancient man did not, of course, use x, y and z; he employed signs that were not chosen at random but already existed as hieroglyphs representing the principles.
To understand how these hieroglyphs were framed we must remember what was said at the outset, namely that everything in nature consists of three components: body, soul and spirit. In antiquity the circle was used as the symbol for spirit, since it was felt to represent the unity and perfection of the spiritual principle. For soul the ancients chose a semi-circle or cup, suggesting the receptivity and retaining quality of the soul principle. Finally for body they used the cross which, being a four-fold symbol, represented the essence of matter. By putting these three basic symbols (circle, cup, cross) together in different ways it was possible to form the glyphs representing the primal principles.
The wise men of antiquity were able, through considered observation, to discern seven primal principles. It would be a digression to discuss here how these seven were arrived at, but it is worth remembering that there are seven colours in the rainbow, seven days in the week, seven parts in the Lord's Prayer and so on, and the people of antiquity knew seven heavenly bodies. Although in more recent times these have been extended to ten, this has not devalued the classical seven.
The Sun has come to represent the spiritual principle and has been given the symbol of a circle with a dot in the middle: (). The Moon represents the receptive soul principle: (). The cross +, as the symbol for matter, does not stand alone, as matter is not viable without the other two principles. The symbol for Mercury, () shows us that all three principles are here united in harmonious balance. The symbol for Mars, (), (this is the original glyph although today the cross has been replaced by an arrow to avoid confusion with Venus: () ) shows us matter dominating spirit but being motivated by spirit from below. Venus is exactly the reverse: (), with spirit clearly dominating matter. In the case of Jupiter, (), the soul dominates matter, but the Saturn glyph, (), clearly shows matter weighing down on the soul.
Thus we know that in ancient times the seven primal principles were assigned to Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Each of these seven principles was linked with a heavenly body which was given the same name. Furthermore they were personified and depicted as deities. Therefore we must fill out our matrix as follows.
Definition structure, hindrance, energy, impulse
of principle resistance, time
Sky Saturn Mars