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The Imaginal Realm: “As Above So Below”

I just finished listening to an interview with Dr. Becca Tarnas on the blog Rune Soup. She and George, the moderator, have a most interesting conversation on the topic of the “Imaginal Realm.”  If you have an hour or so to spare, have a listen. In the interview Dr. Tarnas focuses on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Carl Jung’s “Red Book” as examples authors who cross over into the “imaginal realm” from which they tell stories that convey messages for our time and civilization.  I would like to delve into this topic a bit in this blog post.

In her evocative and controversial book The Meaning of Mary Magdalene – The Woman at the Heart of Christianity, author and Episcopal prelate Cynthia Bourgeault makes a distinction between the “imaginal realm” and imagination which I feel deserves in-depth consideration. The context of this consideration is the vision Mary Magdalene has of Jesus just after his resurrection when she reportedly mistakes him for the gardner.  In her gospel, Mary Magdalene tells the apostles of Jesus’ resurrection and goes on to describe her remarkable experience with him. 

I saw the Master in a vision and I said to him, “Lord I see you now in a vision.” And he answered me, “You are blessed, Mary, since the sight of me does not disturb you. For where is the nous [the heart] lies the treasure.” Then I said to him: “Lord, when someone meets you in a Moment of vision, is it through the soul [psyche] that they see, or is it through the Spirit [Pneuma] ?”

The Teacher answered: “It is neither through the soul nor the spirit , but the nous between the two that sees the vision….”

The “nous” is the heart, or the “eye of the heart.” It’s our capacity to discern spiritual or vibrational essences. It’s the space between the infinite and the finite, between pure spirit and gross matter – and it is said to belong to Spirit, generated as it is by Spirit for communicating with the physical world and for conveying “images” for the manifestation of “analogues”– the manifest forms.

From Cynthia’s book:

Most of us, reared in the scientific objectivism of our times, tend to think of visions as “subjective.” They belong to the realm of the personal and interior and, while perhaps illuminating the workings of an individual psyche, do not conform to anything in external reality. These, in fact, were precisely the criticisms that began to be raised during the third and fourth centuries, when visionary revelation was rejected as an authentic mode of knowing within the church. But in the original wisdom anthropologies . . . visionary knowledge is not an “experience,” let alone a private or subjective one; it is “of an ontological reality entirely superior to mere possibility” It emanates from an actual realm, a realm that is in fact more subtle and endowed with real Being than our own. In fact, in the reversal of our usual sense of things, it is the place of origin from which what we usually refer to as “reality” is merely the shadow projected into space and time.

Many centuries later, when this implicit anthropology came to maturity in the work of some remarkable Near Eastern Is­lamic mystics, this realm would be given the title “the imaginal realm.” Imaginal does not mean “imaginary”–that is, fictitious or subjective. It means the realm in which the images–the eternal prototypes–reveal themselves in their full authenticity. Remember how, in dialogue I, Jesus introduced the notion of “image” as a kind of primordial template? The imaginal is the realm from which these images emanate. . . . “that in-between zone where spirits become embodied and bod­ies become spiritualized.”

“Pneumaplasm”

The word “pneumaplasm” was coined by Lloyd Meeker (Uranda) eighty some years ago to represent this substance through which Spirit communicates with the material world.  Uranda was the founder of the Attunement service now being offered by attunement practitioners the world over.  I have incorporated sacred sound in my personal attunement service and have written a book about this sacred technology. I would like to share an excerpt from my book, Attunnement With Sacred Sound, from the section “Cellular Replication in a Musical Matrix of Light.”

“Image” and “Analogue” — “As Above so Below”

“From a mystical and metaphysical perspective, the Hermetic teaching ‘as above so below’ is restated by the great mystic Jesus who left a profound teaching himself with his disciples in a stream of dialogue that was recorded in both the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas, manuscripts that were discovered as early as 1896 (the Magdalene text) and as late as the mid twentieth century [1945] when Nag Hammadi material was discovered. In both of these Gospels, Jesus speaks about an ‘Image.’

“In her powerfully compelling and provocative book, The Meaning of MARY MAGADALENE—Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, Episcopal priest and author Cynthia Bourgeault shares teachings of the Master Jesus from The Gospel of Mary Magdalene that transgress lines of traditional orthodoxy. I will excerpt several passages from the fourth chapter of her book that are pertinent to this discussion, starting with a dialogue around ‘image’ and ‘analogue.’

Within the particular metaphysical stream that Jesus seems to be working in, image corresponds to that primordial template mentioned earlier—“the origin” of each created form. Very cautiously, you might label it an archetype. At first glance you may be tempted to transpose this teaching into Platonic categories and assume that Jesus is talking about the “ideal form” of a thing. But be cautious in doing so, for there is a distinctly different dynamism at work here. For Jesus, the “image” is not merely a static blueprint, a preexistent prototype that its earthly analogue mechanically reflects. Between image and analogue there is a dynamic reciprocity as they simultaneously articulate the same reality in two different realms. Image and analogue are in continuously creative tension receiving and fulfilling each other, and it is in the energy exchange that their indivisible wholeness is made manifest.

Images do not arise in this realm, however (their origin is several cosmoses more subtle), and trouble begins when this fundamental cosmic law is forgotten. . . .

“I like her use of the word ‘analogue’ here, which means similar in function but not in origin and structure, as it represents accurately the relationship between Man and his Creator, in whose image and likeness we are made in order to function as creators ourselves. In our energy and attunement work you might say that we seek to facilitate a clarifying, balancing and intensification of this ‘energy exchange’ between image and analogue with the intention that the oneness between them may be made manifest in the person’s experience of life, as well as in our own. . . .

“In ‘Dialogue One,’ a disciple asks Jesus about matter and whether it will ‘survive.'”[This inquisitiveness on the part of the disciple, taking place as this dialogue does in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, makes perfect sense. “Are you really here in the flesh or simply in a vision?” Or, more to the point, “Did the matter of your body live on after death?” the student asks.] 

“Jesus answered: ‘All of nature with its forms and creatures exist together and are interwoven with each other. They will be resolved back, however, to their own proper origin, for the compositions of matter return to the original roots of their nature. Those who have ears, let them hear this.’

“Cynthia Bourgeault expands on this:

But by this . . . he does not mean they dissolve into their component atoms, quarks and/or humors. Instead, they return to an original template—or ‘image’— whose place of arising is in another realm.

“The dialogue suddenly turns into an inquiry about sin and its origin, into which Jesus offers a remarkably clarifying perspective.

Sin as such does not exist. You only bring it into manifestation when you act in ways that are adulterous in nature. It is for this reason that the Good has come among you pursuing its own essence within nature in order to reunite everything to its origin. This is also the reason for sickness and death, because you embrace what deceives you. Consider these matters, then, with your spiritual intellect. Attachment to matter gives birth to passion without an Image of itself because it is drawn from that which is contrary to its higher nature. The result is that confusion and disturbance resonates throughout one’s whole being. It is for this reason that I told you to find contentment at the level of the heart, and if you are discouraged, take heart in the presence of the Image of your true nature. Those with ears, let them hear this.

“A ‘Vertical Axis’

“Cynthia Bourgeault offers that ‘within his particular frame of reference, acting in ways that are ‘adulterous in nature’ will prove to have very specific meaning. It signifies a failure to stay aligned with origin; with that mysterious ‘root’ (or template) of one’s nature he has already alluded to, which, while arising beyond this realm, seeks its full expression here.” . . . [Jesus] quickly assures his students that this world is valuable and precious; indeed, this is the very reason the Good has come among them in the first place—“pursuing its own essence within nature . . . in order to reunite everything to its origin.’ There is important integrative work to be done here. But it all depends upon keeping a right alignment along what wisdom tradition typically refers to as the ‘vertical axis’: the invisible spiritual continuum that joins the realms together. Nearly sixteen centuries later, the German mystic Jacob Boehme would express this cosmological insight with poetic precision and beauty:

‘For you must realize that earth unfolds its properties and powers in union with Heaven aloft above us, and there is one Heart, one Being, one Will, one God, all in all.’

“The author then offers these words of truth and wisdom derived from Jesus’ teaching: 

When the realms are in spontaneous resonance—’One Heart, one Being, one Will, one God, all in all’—the music of the spheres bursts forth. When they are not, disease and disharmony inevitably ensue. As he quickly points out (again, with a contemporary feeling to the teaching), ‘Confusion and disturbance resonate throughout one’s whole being,’ and sickness and death are the inevitable result.

“The heart realm is the ‘secret place’ in which we commune with God; the capacity for spiritual discernment and understanding. It is precisely this ‘vertical axis’ around which we must wrap our hearts in order to attune to the vibration of the Lord of Love, from whence all power to heal and uplift derives. I bring these excerpts into this writing for the profoundly clear light they shine on the core essence and purpose of attunement and energy work, as well as for the perspective and insight they offer into the dynamism at work between inner Reality and outer form—continually giving to and receiving from each other the spiritual energies that generate the pneumaplasmic substance that connects spirit with form and makes possible their manifest wholeness and oneness. I was deeply moved when I first read this chapter, as I was profoundly uplifted—and continue to be—reading and re-reading Cynthia’s book.”

The imaginal realm is precisely the realm that we, as healers and co-creators, must become intimate with in bringing down into the earth the true patterns of life which alone can restore order and harmony to our world. As we make visible the invisible Reality imaged for us in this heaven, our Earth is restored.  

I will leave this consideration at that and continue the discussion in my next post, in which I will open up a consideration of the masculine and feminine energies at work in our human capacities and throughout the “creating universe,” as Walter Russell describes the world in which we live and have our being. Until then, 

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

I invite you to read my Health Light Newsletter at LiftingTones.com.

 

 

 

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“The Secret of Light” page 4

What exactly is consciousness?  Well, breaking the word down into its two derivative parts, we have “con” which is Latin for “with” and “scio” which also comes from Latin and translates “to know.” So we have “to know with.” Consciousness, then, is the capacity with which we know the world and reality — to know as in to experience. Walter Russell equates consciousness with God in the following excerpt from “The Secret of Light.” I resonate with his distinction between “knowing” and “thinking,” which he equates with “sensation.” To know God is not the same as to believe in God. Believing is thinking. Knowing is experiencing. I like and appreciate his explanation of imagination and inspiration as well. This is a very important read – and a short one for a change! Enjoy.

SENSATION AND CONSCIOUSNESS

God is consciousness. Consciousness is static. Con­sciousness is the KNOWING of mind. Knowing is stat­ic.

Consciousness is the spiritual awareness of Being, of all-knowing, all-power and all-presence. Thinking is electric.

God’s thinking is expressed by two-way moving wave extensions from consciousness, like a lever swinging upon a fixed fulcrum, or like waves extending from the calm sea. Thought expression is dynamic. Thinking belongs to the electrically sensed an conditioned
vibrating universe of motion. Thinking is the motionless principle in light which creates the illusion of motion.

The Self of man belongs to the static, invisible, con­scious, unconditioned universe of KNOWING. We express knowing in the dynamic, visible, electrically conditioned universe of sensation.

Sensation is the electrical awareness of motion simu­lating the spiritual QUALITIES of the One Idea by creating imaged QUANTITIES of separate forms which seem to have substance.

Consciousness is real. Sensation simulates reality through motion of interchanging lights, but the mirage of a city is not the city it reflects.

Confusion and misunderstanding as to whether we are thinking consciously from knowledge or sensing electri­cally from memory records stored in our brains have led us to the necessity of distinguishing between the two by the common usage of such terms as “the human mind” and “mortal mind.” We know full well, while using them, that there is but the One Mind of the One Living God of Love.

The universal Mind centers every particle and mass in this universe: animal, vegetable or mineral, electron, atom or sun.

Man is the only unit in Creation who has conscious awareness of the Spirit within him and electrical aware­ness of dually conditioned light acting upon his senses. All other units of Creation have electrical awareness only.

Man alone can be freed from body to think with God, to talk with God and be inspired by His centering Light. All other units of Creation are limited in their actions to automatic reflexes from sensed memories built up through ages of sensing and recording such sensing as instinct.

Likewise the same confusion leads us to the adoption of such terms as “subconscious mind,” and “superconscious mind.”

There is but One Mind functioning universally within all creating things, and that One Mind is not stratified nor divided into the more or less. There are no differing conditions of the One Mind, nor are there different kinds of minds.

IMAGINATION

God is the imaginer of His One Idea. All imagining is God’s imagining.  All creating forms in this thought universe of God’s
imagining are built in the image of His imagining, creat­ing “in His image.”

All forms in this creating universe of imagined forms are but electric recordings of God’s imaginings. They have no existence. Records of Idea are not the idea they record.

They have no substance. They are but black and white lights of sun-centered wave fields of space assembled in vibrating systems to simulate substance in an objective universe which is not, but seems to be.

God’s imagining never began and will never end.

It was not “created” at some remote past time by some vast cosmic event, as commonly believed. Nor is it con­demned to a “heat-death” by expansion into nothing­ness.

This is a creating universe, not a created one.

God did not begin to imagine at some fixed time, for time does not exist. This light-wave universe which records God’s knowing by His thinking and imagining is as eternal as God’s thinking is eternal.

INSPIRATION

Inspiration is the language of Light which man uses to talk with God.

Inspiration is that deep awareness of the conscious­ness of Being which differentiates the genius or mystic from the being of average intelligence.

Inspiration in man is accompanied by an intense men­tal ecstasy which is characteristic of all who become
intensely conscious of their closeness to God.

Inspired geniuses forget their bodies while deeply conscious of their existence as wholly Mind. Their bodies, thus forgotten, act almost automatically in obedi­ence to instinct .and cell memory reflexes.

Inspired geniuses translate God’s knowing into words of man for the soul of man. They uplift all mankind by reinspiring all who listen to their ecstatic words and rhythms.

He who attunes his heart to the messages of genius purifies himself. No impurity can there be in his heart for verily he then is in communion with the Holy One.

I do not experience inspiration as being “accompanied by an intense mental ecstasy,” but rather by a upward surge of spirit that lifts one to blend and merge with the All, with God. The very word “inspire” suggests an infusion of spirit into the mind which brings with it the gift of revelation.  I am still struggling with the concept that there is only one Mind, and that Divine, with no substantial reality to the “human mind.”  I was taught, as perhaps you were, that human consciousness is separate from Divine Consciousness, the former having “fell” from its union with the latter.  The “restoration” sought after, then, has been the ascension of human consciousness to the level of union with Divine Consciousness.  Obviously, Russell is coming from an entirely different level of comprehension of Reality.  Definitely food for thought and meditation.

Until next week when we shall explore further “The Secret of Light” as Walter Russell understands it, I bid you good day!

Anthony

Read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

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