|Drowned women, by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885 – 1939)|
According to the alchemists, the products of our imagination are not immaterial, vaporous phantoms, but are something corporeal, having a “subtle body” all their own. The alchemists were realizing that the philosophers’ stone was a subtle energy body, a super-celestial body, the “star” in humanity, which is the interface between mind and matter. The imaginal, subtle body is a transcendental idea that is neither purely physical nor spiritual, but rather, is a hybrid in that it partakes in, encompasses and is comprised of both the spiritual and material. The subtle body is both the same as and different from each of the two sides that define it, as it is more than the sum of its parts. To quote Jung, “Imagination is therefore a concentrated extract of the life forces, both physical and psychic.” A hyper-dimensional portal and mercurial medium, the subtle body is a magical elixir, the product of the imagination that influences, bridges, links, and connects the spiritual and the material worlds. Jung comments, “Somewhere our unconscious becomes material, because the body is the living unit, and our conscious and our unconscious are embedded in it; they contact the body. Somewhere there is a place where the two ends meet and become interlocked. And that is the place where one cannot say whether it is matter, or what one calls ‘psyche.’ (God the Imagination, by Paul Levy).
We have been mistaken for such a long time concerning matter. Even though we think the opposite of material reality is immaterial reality, we are confused. The Universe is homogeneous, but there are varying rates of vibration. Imaginations and dreams, which take place “in” the mundus imaginalis, are not immaterial; they have their own form of what we call “matter.” We are so accustomed to the kind of matter we experience with our physical senses that we are blind to any other forms. Humanity once relied on more than just its senses to operate in this world. At one time, we possessed another set of senses that corresponded to higher levels of consciousness. We were more attuned to a more subtle plane of existence than simply the empirical.
In my article, The Mandorla: Eye of Soul, I discuss the mandorla symbol, which is the intersection of two circles. The two circles, to the human mind, represent two realities (which are actually one reality); the intersecting area is Soul. This intersection is the “hyper-dimensional portal and mercurial medium,” spoken of by Jung in the above quote. This region is both spiritual and material. The mandorla is the mundus imaginalis, the realm of the Imaginal. This symbol is one of the most remarkable Soul images I have come across. It possesses myriad meanings, e.g. “As above, so below.” It ties together and interlocks all polarities into one energic Field called Soul. Like the serpents of the Caduceus intertwining, the mandorla is the metaxical locale where Spirit and Body meet and intertwine.
In our everyday life, we think of material things that we can touch and see as being hard and solid, but that’s not the case at all. In reality, as physicists tell us, matter is mostly empty space. Actually, matter has more to do with consciousness that what most people suspect.
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter (Max Planck).
This is from the man who was the founder of quantum theory.
There are different forms of matter, all relating to corresponding levels of consciousness. We experience forms of these levels on a daily basis. Dreaming is the most obvious example. There are many things in our lives that bring higher levels of consciousness, such as music, art, and theater; there are also things that can lower our level of consciousness, such as anger, resentment, greed, and jealousy. Most likely, the original intention behind eschewing these so-called “sins” was the desire for as many people as possible to experience the higher levels of consciousness.
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