Our bodies, in the conventional view, are our personal vessels of thinking mind, will and life force but the secret is that they are vessels, as well, of eternal consciousness and infinite energy. As eternal and infinite being reveals itself so does the immortality of the body’s substance. This idea has been transmitted to us over the centuries by the world’s most profound and radical visionaries.
The glorious body can be discerned in the perennial teachings of all great cultures. Seers, whether yogis, kabbalists, alchemists or shamans have always known about the glorious body as an achievable actuality or at least a golden ideal.
Thanks to the great teachers, we are able to present the glorious body here as a holographic paradigm, in which each component of the matrix is a channel that feeds every other component with its specific consciousness, energy and matter and the whole with infinite possibilities.
Living mostly in the delusion of separation means we live with apparently separate minds, lives and bodies. The body obscures or conceals from us the truth, knowledge and bliss encoded in its consciousness energy and substance as long as we remain cut off from the source of our consciousness, energy and substance,_ satchitananda_, and immersed in the limitations of distracted mind, agitated life and dull body. By what alchemy may we transform mental distraction into conscious presence, nervous agitation into powerful energy, dullness into physical clarity and well being?
THE SPIRITUALIZATION OF MIND AND LIFE AND MATTER
Tantra and Integral Yoga, Kabalah, Astrology, Ayurveda and Polarity Therapy, Alchemy, Shamanic practice, Meditation-Dance and Individual Psychology: these very different transformational teachings have one great theme in common: the inevitable spiritualization of mind, life and matter, in other words, the unfolding of the body of light, which is the glorious body, here on earth in humanity’s individual and collective being.
THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM
The holographic paradigm is emerging today in scientific, philosophical, sociological and environmental fields; modern thought and discourse is overflowing with the idea of an integral whole greater the the sum of its parts To engage with the idea and actual nature of the holographic realm is to call upon the power of alchemy that resides within the holographic matrix of the glorious body.
Being-consciousness-bliss ( Sanskrit, satchitananda) is essence that creates and dwells in everything, hiding and revealing itself. There is an inevitable unfolding of this light, as we consciously participate in the evolution of our being. By cooperating with the evolutionary movement, we can intensify and accelerate the uncovering of this mystery.
The invisible core of our being, what we call soul within or spirit above, is that luminous essence, quite different from the tangible manifestation of mind, life and body. In general, people are strongly inclined to involve themselves with intellectual, emotional and material concerns to the exclusion of awareness of essential being or, if mystically inclined, may fall the other way into world-negating fantasy. Neither of these directions will bring us integration. The oneness of truth-consciousness is always present and poised to permeate the mental, emotional and physical layers of our being. Oneness is inclusive and division holds no sway in it. Above-below, within-without, active-receptive and light-dark, are simultaneous and inseparable, and manifestation and essence are one.
Within esoteric traditions and disciplines we find two related ideas: that there can be a harmonized and liberated physical existence, sometimes called the “glorious body”, and that the human body, unsatisfactory as it is in so many ways, is the vessel for the cultivation of a spiritually awakened existence .
I’ve been fortunate enough to have received guidance directly from exceptional teachers to whom I am forever grateful. As healer, counselor and educator, I devote my time to the study and practice of these disciplines, in quest of a living expression of the glorious body. My work is a wonderful process of exploration and exchange. and sessions, whether individual or group, are a moment-by-moment adventure for all involved.
SOURCE TEACHINGS AND TRADITIONS
The great teachings inspire us constantly. They clarify the aim, give us a place to start and provide detailed guidance on how to cultivate the glorious body, both ritually and in the stream of life.
Dance for me has always been ecstatic communion. When I began to practise meditation I soon learned that the wonder that dance opened to me had its source in the stillness and fullness of being. Since this awakening, the journey has been one of constant discovery propelling me into an ever deepening study of the above mentioned teachings. It is in mediation and dance that I find a theme common to them all, called in kabalah, the activity of the merkava, also called the glorious body.
Dancing and meditating awaken us to the unity of soul and body. When these two primal activities are brought together, as they have been throughout the human story, healing, transformation and communion with spirit take place.
In group sessions meditation is an exercise in allowing our being to be. When dancing, we exercise becoming that which our being both holds in itself in concentration and radiates in the delight of expression. In Meditation- Dance we experience a radical shift in breathing, posture and metabolism and in the relationship between body and environment and between self and others.
Allowing oneself not to do anything but rather to become the movement in the style in which it emerges and to be the stillness it emerges from, allowing a physical state of differentiated oneness to unfold: space, ground, body, breath, people, music, emotion, will, soul and spirit are a single, open field.
Rather than focusing on correcting our posture, movements or attitude we observe the habitual grooves of the separated self and allow the consciousness and energy of being to come through and overtake us.
Chances are you know what your sun sign is. You were born when the sun was in Taurus, or maybe in Pisces or Sagittarius, and thus you identify yourself, or are identified with, particular qualities. If we look more deeply into what is actually going on, we find that our bodies and energy fields are composed of the multi-facetted consciousness of all twelve sun signs. The apportioning of these potentialities is unique to each individual, but in body, heart and mind, we can all know ourselves as, and realize the potential of, every one of the twelve signs.
The seers of old had the ability to perceive the links between the Self, the structures of the human body and the rhythms of the cosmos. In states of heightened awareness they were able, not only to experience these relationships but also to describe them systematically due to countless centuries of this research, we today can enter and know in ourselves the holographic matrix of the glorious body.
The components of the twelvefold holographic matrix are:
|eyes & brow||—||Impetus-Aries||neck & brain stem||—||Poise-Taurus||face arms & lungs||—||Speech-Gemini|
|hands & breast||—||Provision-Cancer||solar plexus & heart||—||Strength-Leo||belly & bowels||—||Measure-Virgo|
|kidneys & waist||—||Balance-Libra||hips & genitals||—||Stimulus-Scorpio||thighs & circulation||—||Direction-Sagittarius|
|knees||—||Structure-Capricorn||ankles & calves||—||Freedom-Aquarius||feet & crown||—||Unity-Pisces|
THE ALCHEMICAL CODE
There is an alchemical code that opens to us the twelve realms of the holographic matrix and shows us how consciousness, energy and substance are made of these. Instead of the single element traditionally ascribed to each realm of the zodiac and to the area of the body corresponding to that realm, there is a partnership of elements at play in each realm and therefore in each of the twelve parts of the body. For example, if we know that Scorpio, the realm of stimulus at the hips, is made of water alone then we don’t know what makes water in Scorpio different from water in Cancer at the breast, or from water in Pisces, at the feet and crown.
The code of the partnership of elements shows that each of the four elements: air, fire, water, earth, must interact with each of the other three in the twelvefold matrix. So water in Scorpio has fire as partner, in Cancer, water has earth as partner and water in Pisces is partnered by air.Thus air, fire, earth and water have three partners each The fact that there are two elements, one playing the lead as substance and the other the supporting role as energy, for us to coordinate makes for a precise tuning of our consciousness throughout the whole of our physical being and energy field.For example, if we want to tune our consciousness to the attribute and realm of strength, we locate the centre of watery fire at the solar plexus and explore how these two elements, fire as substance and water as energy, permeate the being and the environment we are in.
JOHFRA AND HIS ZODIAC PAINTINGS
Jofhra (1919-1998) was a visionary painter who richly and knowledgably portrayed the Twelve Realms of the Zodiac, revealing the unified complexity of the consciousness energy and substance of each realm. Versed in hermetic occultism, Tarot tradition and Kabbala, Joffra created masterpieces that alter our awareness and give us access to other dimensions. Look at Joffra’s depiction of Virgo, for instance, and see how every detail pertains to the qualities of Virgo, and how the picture holds the complexity in dynamic unity.
THE INTEGRAL YOGA OF SRI AUROBINDO AND THE MOTHER
In his immense body of writings, Sri Aurobindo reveals a unique vision of human evolution, which, he says, is still in process. As we are now, with our developed minds, we are not a finished product of evolution but rather transitional beings engaged upon the adventure of bringing into being divine life on earth in a divinized body.
Sri Aurobindo does away with the idea, solidified over centuries, that the spiritual and the material are separate domains with separate authorities and rules. The Integral Yoga is known as the yoga of everyday life because every moment of our existence, no matter what we may be engaged upon, is an opportunity to grow in truth-consciousness. Oneness, far beyond the illusion of separation is the operative principle of that consciousness in living experience.
Behind mind, life and body there is inner mind, inner life and inner body and the innermost being, the psyche, or soul. The soul is the support of all that we are and, as our true centre, our Self, it guides us to evolve into its likeness.
Above the rational, thinking mind there are levels of mentality from higher, to illumined, to intuitive, to the overmind at the zenith. Beyond all mentality shines the supramental consciousness, unified, complex, uncompromised; it is this consciousness alone that can close the gulf between the dark inconscient that pulls us downwards to ignorance, suffering and death, and the divine glory, eternal, immortal and infinite.
We can identify our soul, Sri Aurobindo says, and submit mind, life and body awareness to its guidance: this is the first step towards integration through which the being is “psychisized”.
The next step is the raising of our mind to its own higher dimensions, with life and body necessarily undergoing the same transformation: this is the spiritualisation of the being.
The culminating phase of the Integral Yoga is the supramental transformation of the being, possible only through the conversion of both our consciousness and our nature, by means of a total surrender of that consciousness and nature to the light, love and power of the divine Shakti, Mother in her highest and widest aspect, simultaneously individual, universal and transcendent. In his writings on the relationship between matter, mind and spirit, Sri Aurobindo presents a unique and comprehensive view of the glorious body as destination and as path.
The Tantric tradition is aimed at revealing and making real to us the occult power of Sakti, and of her cosmic forces that create the human structure and the universe. The practice brings the individual, the jiva, into identitification with, Sakti, the creatrix, and with her partner, Siva, the transcendental source.
This is achieved by raising energy and consciousness through the seven chakras in the subtle body. The chakras are a ladder of seven wheels of the manifesting energy of the Sakti, descending from pure being, Siva, with his consciousness and his bliss, to soul or psyche, and to mind, life and body. The evolution of the being, from mineral existence through the vegetable and animal to the human level and proceeding to the spiritual is accelerated when the aspirant recognizes, assumes responsibility for, and surrenders to, the evolutionary urge of Sakti. Substance, energy and consciousness are then revealed in their integrated glory.
Ayurveda, the knowledge of well being, teaches that the constituents of the universe, the five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth, combine in specific ways to produce both balanced and imbalanced conditions of body, heart and mind. A comprehensive examination of the workings of the elements and of their many sided play gives the seeker and healing practitioner the lens through which to observe the causes of imbalance and bring forth the combinations of elements that will remedy the situation and restore peace, vitality and the unobstructed awareness of real health. The three _gunas: sattva, rajas and tamas stand for luminosity, intensity and density, are the inseparable aspects of manifestation in its continual balancing act.
The three doshas: vatta, pitta, kapha are imbalanced conditions of the being, derived from this threefold balance. The natural tendency in nature to divide and separate leads ultimately to the state of fragmentation and disintegration which, in the separated human consciousness called ahamkara or “ego” is expressed through distraction in place of luminosity, agitation in place of intensity and inertia in place of density.
The healing process overcomes the urge towards separation by reestablishing the harmonic play of the five elements.
The founder of Polarity Therapy and Wellness Education, Randolph Stone (1890-1981) was a pioneer of alternative medicine through a synthesis of disciplines with Ayurveda as the main influence, and including Alopathy (he was an MD), Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Chinese medicine, Native American medicine, Chiropractic, Kabala and Christian Science. He was an initiate in and practitioner of the Santmath mystical Tantric tradition.
The neutral, positive and negative charges of energy are discerned throughout the human body with its anatomy and subtle energy field.
The polarity therapist promotes an unobstructed flow of abundant energy through hands-on physical bodywork guided by an understanding of how mental, emotional and sensory currents flow through the body and mind of the patient and how these currents are blocked. When the flow of energy is established and pervasive, the organism with all its parts is re-polarized with its “ultrasonic core” and well being shines through.
A series of treatments, or even a single treatment, working directly on the chemistry of the body, can penetrate the armour of habitual attitudes, behaviour and physical response, liberating the individual from the adverse conditions he or she has been stuck with, whether physical or psychological.
Central to mainstream Kabalah is the Tree of Life. The Tree, through ten, and sometimes eleven or twelve, spheres, spans the four worlds of Light, Love, Power and Substance that are the partnership of the Essential and Manifest, called YHVH (yod-hey-vav-hey).
Our awakening to these levels of being: Emanation (air), Creation (water), Formation (fire) and Action (earth), is understood to be a subjective process taking place in the subjective mind and emotions of the initiate, sometimes called “the Activation of the Merkava”.
Thought, feeling and action come to be imbued with:
- light of the infinite
- unity of the crown
- light of foundation
- fullness of the kingdom
In our invocation of the glorious body, activating the Merkava involves working directly on the very substance and structures of the human body. This is made possible by understanding the correspondence between the power of the names of the twelve attributes and the attributes themselves in their dynamic presence within the twelve spheres of the human body.
There is a startling lack of information available about this unique and innovative philosopher the titles alone of his books are enough to arouse interest: The Absolute Collective; The Body of God; Choose Life. These books, currently out of print, are collector’s items and be found in libraries and on line. They are well worth the effort for those interested in the relationship between spirituality, society and the regeneration of the body. Gutkind’s writing is powerful and charged with compelling insights that make us aware of the importance of speech in elevating individual and collective consciousness and of how crucial the body is in realizing higher consciousness. Body and soul are presented as a complex whole and meaningless when considered separately. Gutkind’s work is, among other things, a very modern rendering of the principles of Kabalah, making divinity, humanity and worldliness the inseparable components in the life of “the people”, that is to say, of us all.
MAX THEON AND THE COSMIC PHILOSOPHY
The occultist Max Theon (1848-1927) developed a sophisticated cosmology, incorporating Lurianic Kabbalah. The cosmology describes a number of divine and material worlds, and four or eight “states” (equivalent to the Theosophical Planes), each divided into degrees, each of which are in turn subdivided into sub-degrees. The details of these various occult worlds, their beings, recognisable colours, and so on, were all laid out, but very little of this material has yet been published. He founded The Cosmic Movement and was the Grand Master of the Holy Brotherhood of Luxor. His most illustrious student was Mira Alfassa, later the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Sri Aurobindo’s symbol was taken directly from Theon’s symbol and Theon’s influence is very apparent in Sri Aurobindo’s teachings and in the Mother’s manner of carrying out Sri Aurobindo’s work.
The Mother spoke of the “glorious body”, mentioning that the term had been introduced by Max Theon and his wife “Alma” who was the medium in the highly evolved partnership necessary for the channeling of the higher spiritual dimensions. The ideal partnership between woman and man was central to their lives and philosophy.
In the Chaldean occult tradition of which Theon was a master transmitter, the universe is now in the lat of seven epochs. Each of the six preceding epochs is a pulsation manifesting a principle which lasts for only that epoch and then dissolves and ceases to exist. Each epoch contains the previous ones. The seventh epoch contains all of them and gives them perpetuity because the power of seven is complete to the extent that the epoch ripens and need not be undone.
Shamanism, as taught to Carlos Castanada (1927-1998) by Don Juan and other masters, aims to lead from confusion, through power, to knowledge and freedom. The right (_tonal_) and left (_nagual_) sides of the being must be distinguished from each other so that the power operating on either side may be known and claimed. On the right are all the items of which we are aware: people, objects, movements and environment, as well as personality, ideas, ideals, flaws and problems. All these are part of the ongoing narrative we all agree to uphold in order to sustain our awareness of the day to day world. On the left we do not find behavior, beliefs or thoughts but rather the flow of energy, directly perceived as all encompassing.
Confusion results from the natural mixture of the two modes which prevents us from differentiating what is really going on in the depths and heights from what appears to be happening on the surface. The Shaman warrior, through the art of “stalking” (right side) and “dreaming” (left), masters “intent”, the power that wills and creates differently on either side. Awakening the knowledge stored in our bodies annuls the separation between the mode of the right and that of the left and allows the energy within us to merge with the energy outside – what the Shamans call the “emanations at large”. When the entire being is lit up through this integration, all our faculties come into their full power and “intent” is revealed as freedom in action which is the governing principle of the glorious body.
THE INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY OF ALFRED ADLER
Individual Psychology, founded by Alfred Adler, sees the human being as indivisible, a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The individual is self-determining and the body, life, mind and the very meaning of existence are shaped by the individual’s chosen purpose. Adler’s main contribution to the field of holistic psychology was the understanding that the individual’s potential is best realized when he or she develops social interest. According to this view, focusing on oneself as separate and therefore superior or inferior and, in either case striving for power, is a mistake that holds the individual back from self fulfillment through contribution and equality.
We soon see, when we work in a large or small group and include other souls and bodies in our process of awakening, that the vitality and spirituality of the individual depends upon the wider collective process.