24 Nov The Art of True Healing by Israel Regardie
Within every man and woman is a force which directs and controls the entire course of life. Properly used, it can heal every affliction and ailment to which mankind is heir. Every single religion affirms this fact. All forms of mental or spiritual healing, no matter under what name they travel, promise the same thing. Even psychoanalysis employs this power, though indirectly, using the now popular word libido. For the critical insight and understanding which it brings to bear upon the psyche releases tensions of various kinds, and through this release the healing power latent within and natural to the human system operates more freely. Each of these systems undertakes to teach its devotees technical methods of thinking or contemplation or prayer such as will, according to the a priori terms of their own philosophies, renew their bodies and transform their whole environment.
None or few of them, however, actually fulfil in a complete way the high promise made at the outset. There seems but little understanding of the practical means whereby the spiritual forces underlying the universe and permeating the entire nature of man may be utilised and directed towards the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. Naturally, without universal co-operation, such an ideal is impossible for all mankind. Nevertheless, each one for himself may commence the task of reconstruction.
The crucial question, then, is how are we to become aware of this force? What are its nature and properties? What is the mechanism whereby we can use it?
As I have said before, different systems have evolved widely differing processes by which the student might divine the presence of such a power. Meditation, prayer, invocation, emotional exaltation, and demands made at random upon the universe or the Universal Mind, have been a few of such methods. In the last resort, if we ignore petty details of a trivial nature, all have this in common. By turning the fiery penetrating power of the mind inwards upon itself, and exalting the emotional system to a certain pitch, we may become aware of previously unsuspected currents of force. Currents, moreover, almost electric in their interior sensation, healing and integrating in their effect.
It is the willed use of such a force that is capable of bringing health to body and mind. When directed it acts magnet-like. By this I mean that it attracts to whomsoever employs these methods just those necessities of life, material or spiritual, that he urgently requires or which are needed for his further evolution.
Fundamentally, the underlying idea of the mental healing systems is this. In the ambient atmosphere surrounding us and pervading the structure of each minute body-cell is a spiritual force. This force is omnipresent and infinite. It is present in the most infinitesimal object as it is in the most proportion-staggering nebula or island universe. It is this force which is life itself. Nothing in the vast expanse of space is dead. Everything pulsates with vibrant life. Even the ultra-microscopic particles of the atom are alive; in fact the electron is a crystallisation of its electric power.
This life force being infinite it follows that man must be saturated – permeated through and through with spiritual force. It constitutes his higher self, it is his link with godhead, it is God in man. Every molecule in his physical system must be soaked with its dynamic energy. Each cell in the body contains it in its plenitude. Thus we are brought face to face with the enormous problem underlying all disease, the enigmatical problem of nervous depletion.
What is Fatigue?
How can there be depletion if vitality and cosmic currents of force daily pour through man, simply saturating his mind and body with its power? Primarily, it is because he offers so much resistance to its flow through him that he becomes tired and ill, the conflict finally culminating in death. How is puny man able to defy the universe? Nay more, offer resistance and opposition to the very force which underlies, and continually evolves in, the universe? The complacency and confusion of his mental outlook, the moral cowardice by which he was reared, and his false perception of the nature of life – these are the causes of resistance to the inward flow of the spirit. That this is unconscious is no logical obstacle to the force of this argument, as all the depth psychologies have demonstrated. What man is really aware of all the involuntary processes going on within him? Who is conscious of the intricate mechanism of his mental processes, of that by which his food is assimilated and digested, of the circulation of his blood, of the arterial distribution of nourishment to every bodily organ? All these are purely involuntary processes: to a large degree so are his resistance’s to life. Man has surrounded himself with a crystallised shell of prejudices and ill-conceived fantasies, an armour which affords no entrance to light of life without.
What wonder he ails? What wonder he is so ill and impotent, helpless and poor? Why should there be surprise that the average individual is so unable to deal with life?
The First Two Steps to Health
The first step towards freedom and health is a conscious realisation of the vast spiritual reservoir in which we live and move and have our being. Repeated intellectual effort to make this part and parcel of one’s mental outlook upon life automatically breaks down or dissolves something of the hard inflexible shell of the mind. And then life and spirit pour abundantly. Health spontaneously arises, and a new life begins as the point of view undergoes this radical change. Moreover, it would appear that the environment attracts just those people who can help in various ways, and precisely those amenities of life that had been longed for.
The second step lies in a slightly different direction. Regulated breathing – quite a simple process. Its necessity follows from the following postulate. If life is – all about one, all penetrating and all pervasive, what more reasonable than that the very air we breathe from one moment to another should be highly charged with vitality? Our breathing processes we therefore regulate accordingly. We contemplate that life is the active principle in the atmosphere. During the practice of this rhythmical breathing at fixed periods of the day, there should be no strenuous forcing of the mind, no overtaxing of the will. We let the breath flow in while mentally counting very slowly…one, two, three, four. Then we exhale counting the same beat. It is fundamental and important that the initial rhythm, whether it be a four or a ten beat count or any other convenient one, should be maintained. For it is the very rhrythm itself which is responsible for the easy absorption of vitality from without, and the acceleration of the divine power within.
Immutable rhythm is everywhere manifest in the universe. It is a living process whose parts move and are governed in accordance with the cyclic laws. Look at the sun, the stars, and the planets. All move with comparable grace, with a rhythm in their inexorable times. It is only mankind that has wandered, in its ignorance and self-complacency, far from the divine cycles of things. We have interfered with the rhythmic process inherent in nature. And how sadly have we paid for it!
Therefore in attempting to attune ourselves once more to the to the intelligent spiritual power functioning through nature’s mechanism, we attempt, not blindly to copy, but intelligently to adopt her methods. Make, therefore, the breathing rhythmical at certain fixed times of the day, when there is little likelihood of disturbance. Cultivate above all the art of relaxation. Learn to address each tensed muscle from toe to head as you lie flat on you back in bed. Tell it deliberately to loosen its tension and cease from its unconscious contracture. Think of the blood in response to your command flowing copiously to each organ, carrying life and nourishment everywhere, producing a state of glowing radiant health. Only after these preliminary processes have been accomplished should you begin your rhythmic breathing, slowly and without haste. Gradually as the mind accustoms itself to the idea, the lungs will take up the rhythm spontaneously. In a few minutes it will have become automatic. The whole process the becomes extremely simple and pleasureable.
It would be impossible to overestimate its importance or efficacy. As the lungs take up the rhythm, automatically inhaling and exhaling to a measured beat, so do they communicate it and gradually extend it to all the surrounding cells and tissue – just as a stone thrown into a pool sends out widely expanding ripples and concentric circles of motion. In a few minutes the whole body is vibrating in unison with their movement. Every cell seems to vibrate sympathetically. And very soon, the whole organism comes to feel as if it were an inexhaustible storage battery of power. The sensation – and it must be a sensation is unmistakable.
Simple as it is, the exercise is not to be despised. It is upon the mastery of this very easy technique that the rest of this system stands. Master it first. Make sure that you can completely relax and then produce the rhythmic breath in a few seconds.
Mental and Spiritual Centres
I now approach an idea fundamental and highly significant. It is the inability to realise or thoroughly to have grasped its importance which really underlies the frequently observed failure of many mental culture and spiritual healing systems. Just as in the physical body are specialised organs for the performance of specialised functions, so in the mental and spiritual nature exist corresponding centres and organs. Exactly as the teeth, the stomach, liver and intestines are so many mechanisms evolved and devised by nature for the digestion and assimilation of food, so are there similar centres in the other constituents of man’s nature.
The mouth receives food. Digestion occurs in the stomach and small intestines. Likewise there is an apparatus for rejecting waste effete products. In the psychic nature also are focal centres for the absorption of spiritual power from the universe without. Others render its distribution and circulation possible. The dynamic energy and power entering man from without is not uniform or alike in vibratory rate. It may be of too high a voltage, so to say, readily to be endured by him. Within, therefore, is a certain psychic apparatus whereby indiscriminate cosmic currents of energy may be assimilated and digested, their voltage thus becoming stepped down or adjusted to the human level. The process of becoming aware of this psychic apparatus, and using the energy it generates, is an integral part of this healing system.
It is my contention that prayer and contemplative methods unconsciously employ these inner centres. Hence we would be wiser and far more efficient deliberately to employ for our own ends this spiritual power and the centres it flows through. Let us call these latter, for the moment, psycho-spiritual organs, of which there are five major ones. Since name them we must, inasmuch as the human mind loves to classify and tabulate things, let me give them the most non-committal and non-compromising titles imaginable so that no system of prejudice may be erected thereon. For convenience’s sake, the first we may name Spirit, the second Air, the succeeding ones being called Fire, Water and Earth.
To illustrate the concept, I reproduce a simple diagram. It shows the position and location of the centres. Not for one moment do I wish to be understood as stating that these centres are physical in nature and position (though there may be glandular parallelisms). They exist in a subtler spiritual or psychic part of man’s nature. We may even consider them, not as realities themselves, but as symbols of realities, great, redeeming and saving symbols. Under certain conditions we may become aware of them in very much the same way as we may become aware of different organs in our physical bodies. We often speak of reason as being situated in the head, referring emotion to the heart and instinct to the belly. Similarly, there exists a natural correspondence between these centres and various parts of the body.
It is axiomatic to this system that there are three principal engines or means whereby we may become aware of the centres to awaken them from their dormant state so that they may function properly within. Thought, colour, and sound are the three means. The mind must concentrate itself on the assumed position of these centres one by one. Then certain names which are to be considered as vibratory rates must be intoned and vibrated. Finally, each centre is to be visualised as having a particular colour and shape. The combination of these three agencies gradually awakens the centres from their latency. Slowly they become stimulated into functioning each according to its own nature, pouring forth a stream of highly spiritualized energy and power into the body and mind. When, ultimately, their operation becomes habitual and stabilised, the spiritual power they generate may be directed by will to heal various ailments and diseases both of a psychological and physical nature. It can also be communicated by mere laying of hands to another person. Simply by thinking fixedly and with intent, the energy, moreover, can be communicated from mind to mind telepathically or transmitted through space to another person miles away – objects in space affording no interruption or obstacle to its passage.
The Coronal Sphere
First of all, the position of the centres, as shown in the diagram, must be memorised. They are to be stimulated into activity either while sitting upright or whilst lying down flat on the back in a perfectly relaxed state. The hands may be folded in the lap, or else, with fingers interlocked, be permitted to rest loosely below the solar plexus. Calmness of mind should be induced, and several minutes devoted to rhythmic breathing should result in the sensation of a gentle ripple playing over the diaphragm.
Then imagine above the coronal region of the head a ball or sphere of brilliant white light. Do not force the imagination to visualise the light sphere. To force would only result in the development of neuromuscular tension, and this would defeat our end. Let it be done quietly and easily. If the mind wanders, as indeed it will, wait a moment or two and gently lead it back. At the same time vibrate or intone the word Eheieh, pronounced Eh-huh-yeh. After a few days of practice it will become quite easy to imagine the name vibrating above the head in the so called Spirit centre. This is the indwelling or overshadowing divinity in each of us, the basic spiritual self which we can all draw upon. Eheieh means literally I AM, and this centre represents the I AM consciousness within.
The effect of thus mentally directing the vibration is to awaken the centre to dynamic activity. When once it begins to vibrate and rotate light and are felt to emanate downwards upon and into he personality. Enormous charges of spiritual power make their way into the brain, and the entire body feels suffused with vitality and life. Even the finger-tips and toes react to the awakening of the coronal sphere by a faint pricking sensation at first being felt. The name should be intoned during the first few weeks of practice in a moderately audible and sonorous tone of voice. As skill is acquired, then the vibration may be practised in silence, the name being imagined and mentally placed in the centre. If the mind tends to wander, the frequent repetition of the vibration will be found a great help to concentration.
The Air Centre
Having let the mind rest here for some five minutes, when it will be seen to glow and scintillate, imagine that it emits a white shaft downwards through the scull and brain, stopping at the throat. Here it expands to form a second ball of light, which should include a large part of the face, up to and including the eyebrows. If the larynx is conceived to be the centre of the sphere, then the distance from it to the cervical vertebrae at the back of the neck will be approximately the radius. Naturally this dimension will vary with different people. A similar technique should be pursued with this sphere, which we name the Air centre, as obtained with the previous one. It should be strongly and vividly formulated as a scintillating sphere of brilliant white light, shining and glowing from within. The name to be vibrated is Jehovah Elohim – pronounced as Yuh-hoh-voh Eh-loh-heem.
A word or two may not be amiss at this point with regard to the names. In reality they are names ascribed in various part of the Old Testament to God. The variety and variation of these names are attributed to different divine functions. When acting in a certain manner. He is described by the biblical scribes by one name. When doing something else, another name more appropriate to his action is used. The system I am describing now has its roots in the Hebrew mystical tradition. Its ancient innovators were men of exalted religious aspirations and genius. It is only to be expected that a religious bias was projected by them into this scientific psychological system. But it must be explained that for our present-day purposes no religious connotation is implied by my use of these biblical divine names. Anyone can use them without subscribing in the least to the ancient religious views – whether he be a Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist. It is a purely empirical system which is successful despite the scepticism or faith of the operator. We today may consider these sacred names in an entirely different and practical light. They are keynotes of different constituents of man’s nature, doorways to so many levels of that part of the psyche of which normally we are unconscious. They are vibratory rates or symbolic signatures of the psychophysical centres we are describing. Their use as vibratory keynotes awakens into activity the centres with which their rate is in sympathy, conveying to our consciousness some recognition of the several levels of the unconscious spiritual side of our personalities. Hence the actual religious significance does not concern us. Nor their literal translation.
To refer back to the air centre in the throat, let the vibratory sounds be intoned a number of times, until its existence is recognised and clearly felt as a definite sensory experience. There is no mistaking the sensation of its awakening. About the same length of time should be spent formulating it and the succeeding centres as was devoted to the contemplation of the coronal sphere. This period having elapsed, let it thrust downward from itself, with the aid of imagination, a shaft of light.
The Fire Centre
Descending to the region of the solar plexus, just beneath the sternum breast-bone, the shaft expands once again to form a third sphere. This is the position of the Fire centre. The allocation of fire to this centre is particularly appropriate, for the heart is notoriously associated with the emotional nature, with love and the higher feelings. How often do we not speak of ardent passion, and the flame of love, and so forth? The diameter of this ambient cardiac sphere should be such as to extend from the front of the body to the back. Here vibrate the name Jehova Eloah ve-Daas, pronounced as Yuh-hoh-voh Eh-loh ve-Dah-ahs. Take care that the intonation vibrates well within the formulated white sphere. If this is done, at once a radiation of warmth will be felt to emanate from the centre, gently stimulating all the parts and organs about it. Some students have complained that the above divine name is unduly long and difficult to pronounce. After some experimentation, I have substituted the Gnostic name IAO for the Hebrew word. Both are attributed, qabalistically, to the Sephirah of Tiphareth on the Tree of Life, and so are equally valid. I have found it to be every bit as effective as the Hebrew name, and in my own practice of this meditation I have permanently substituted the one for the other.
IAO should be pronounced eee-(as in key) ah-oh, slowly and with vigour. In point of fact, it is simpler to vibrate this name than almost any other, and the vibration it produces is clear and strong.
Since the mind functions in and through the body, being co-extensive with it, the mental and emotional faculties likewise become stimulated by the dynamic flow of energy from the centres. The hard and fast barrier erected between consciousness and the unconscious, an armoured partition which impedes our free expression and hinders spiritual development, slowly becomes dissolved. As time goes on, and the practice continues, it may disappear completely and the personality gradually achieve integration and wholeness. Thus health spreads to every function of mind and body and happiness ensues as a permanent blessing.
The Water Centre
Continue the shaft downwards from the solar plexus to the pelvic region, the region of the generative organs. Here too, a radiant sphere is to be visualised approximately of the same dimensions as the higher one. Here also is a name to be intoned so as to produce a rapid vibration in the cells and molecules of the tissue in that region. Shaddai El Chai is to be pronounced Shah-di El Chi (remember the ch is guttural as in ‘loch’). The mind must be permitted to dwell on the imaginative formulation for some minutes, visualising the sphere as of a white brilliance. And each time the mind wanders from such a brilliance, as at the beginning it is bound to do, let it gently be coaxed back by repeated and powerful vibrations of the name.
It may be feared that this practice could awaken or stimulate sexual feeling and emotion unnecessarily. In those in whom a sexual conflict is raging such an apprehension is just and legitimate. Actually, however, the fear is groundless. For the contemplation of the Water centre as a sphere of white light connected by a shaft to the higher and more spiritual centres acts rather in a more sedative way. And in point of fact sexual stimulation can be removed, not by ignorant and short-sighted repression, but by the circulation of such energies through the system by means of this practice. A thoroughgoing and far-reaching process of sublimation, Alchemical almost in effect, may thus be instigated. This is not to be construed as legitimising the avoidance of the sexual problem.
The Earth Centre
The final step is once more to visualise the shaft descending from the reproductive sphere, moving downwards through the thighs and legs until it strikes the feet. There it expands from a point approximately beneath the ankle, and forms a fifth sphere. We have named this one the Earth centre. Let the mind formulate here exactly as before a brilliant dazzling sphere fop the same size as the others. vibrate the name Adonai ha- Aretz as Ah-doh-ni hah-Ah-retz. Several minutes having been utilised in awakening this centre by fixed and steady thought and by repeated vibration of the name, pause for a short while.
The try to visualise clearly the entire shaft of silvery light, studded as it were with five gorgeous diamonds of incomparable brilliance, stretching from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet. But a few minutes will suffice to give reality to this concept, bringing about a vivid realisation of the powerful forces which, playing upon the personality, are eventually assimilated into the phychophysical system after their transformation and passage through the imaginative centres. The combination of rhythmic breathing with the willed visualisation of the decent of power through the light shaft or Middle Pillar, as it is also called, produces by far the best results.
As skill and familiarity are acquired in the formulation of the centres, an addition to the technique may be made. Earlier I remarked that colour was a very important consideration where this technique was concerned. Each centre has a different colour attribution, though it is wisest for a long period of time to refrain from using any other colour that white. To the Spirit or coronal centre the colour white is attributed. It is the colour of purity, spirit, divinity, and so on. It represents, not so much a human constituent, but a universal and cosmic principle overshadowing the whole of mankind. As we descend the shaft, however, the colours change. Lavender is attributed to the Air or throat centre, and it represents particularly the mental faculties – human consciousness as such.
To the Fire centre, red is an obvious association requiring no further comment. Blue is the colour referred to the Water centre; it is the colour of peace, calmness and tranquillity, concealing enormous strength and virility. In other words, its peace is the peace of strength and power rather than the inertia of mere weakness. Finally, the colour referred to the lowest centre of Earth is russet, the rich deep colour of the earth itself, the foundation upon which we rest.
From this very brief and concise summary it will be seen that each of these centres has a species of affinity or sympathy with a different spiritual constituent. One centre is peculiarly sympathetic to or is associated with the emotions and feelings, whilst another has definitely an intellectual bias. Hence it follows logically, and experience demonstrates this fact, that their equilibrated activity and stimulation evokes a sympathetic reaction from every part of man’s nature. And where disease manifesting in the body is directly due to some psychic maladjustment or infirmity, then the activity of the appropriate centre must be affected somehow in a deleterious way. Its stimulation by sound and colour, tends to stimulate the corresponding psychic principle and thus to disperse the maladjustment. Sooner or later a reaction is induced physically in the disappearance of the disease, and the consequent building up of new cells and tissue – the appearance of health itself.
We approach a further and important stage in the development of the Middle Pillar technique. Having brought power and spiritual energy into the system by means of the psycho-spiritual centres, how best are we to use it? That is to say, use it in such a way that every single cell, every atom, and every organ becomes stimulated and vitalised by that dynamic stream?
To begin with, we throw the mind upwards to the coronal sphere again, imagining it to be in a state of vigorous activity. That is, it revolves rapidly, absorbing spiritual energy from space about it, transforming it in such a way that it becomes available for immediate use in any human activity. Imagine then that such transformed energy flows, stream-like, down the left side of the head, down the left side of the trunk and the left leg. While the current is descending the breath should slowly be exhaled to a convenient rhythm. With the slow inhalation of the breath, imagine that the vital current passes from the sole of the left foot to the right foot, and gradually ascends the right side of the body. In this way it returns to the source from which it issued, the coronal centre, the human source of all energy and vitality, a closed electrical circuit thus being established. Naturally this circulation is visualised as persisting within the body rather than as travelling around the periphery of the physical shape. It is, so to say, and interior psychic circulation rather than a purely physical one.
Let this circulation, once firmly established by the mind, flow evenly to the rhythm of the breath for some seconds so that the circuit has been traversed about half a dozen times – or even more, if you wish. Then repeat it in a slightly different direction. Visualise the vital flow as moving from the coronal centre above the head down the front of the face and body. After having turned backwards under the soles of the feet, it ascends at the back in a fairly wide belt of vibrating energy. This, likewise should accompany the inhalation and exhalation of breath, and should also be persisted in for at least six complete circuits.
The general effect of these two movements will be to establish in and about the physical form an ovoid shape of swiftly circulating substance and power. Since the spiritual energy dealt with by this technique is extremely dynamic and kinetic, it radiates in every direction, spreading outwards to an appreciable distance. It is this radiation which forms, colours and informs the ovoid sphere of sensation which is not conterminous with the shape or dimension of the physical frame. General perception and experience has it that the sphere of luminosity and magnetism extends outwards to a distance more or less identical with the length of the outstretched arm. And it is within this aura, as we call it, that the physical man exists rather like a kernel within a nut. Circulating the force admitted into the system by the former mental exercises is tantamount to charging it to a considerable degree in every department of its nature with life and energy. Naturally this is bound to exert a considerable influence, so far as general health is concerned, upon the enclosed ‘kernel’ within.
The final method of circulation rather resembles the action of a fountain. Just as water is forced or drawn up through a pipe until it jets up above, falling in a spray on all sides, so does the power directed by this last circulation. Throw the mind downwards to the Earth centre, imagining it to be the culmination of all the others, the receptacle of power, the storehouse and terminal of he incoming vital force. The imagine that this power ascends, or is drawn or sucked upwards by the magnetic attraction of the Spirit centre above the crown of the head. The power ascends the shaft and then falls down within the confines of the ovoid aura. When it has descended to the feet it is again gathered together and concentrated in the Earthcentre preparatory to being pushed up the shaft again. As before, the fountain circulation should accompany a definite rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. By these means, the healing force is distributed to every part of the body. No single atom or cell in any organ or limb is omitted from the influence of its healing regenerative power.
The circulation completed, the mind may be permitted to dwell on the idea of the sphere of light, spiritual and healing in quality, surrounding the entire body. The visualisation should be made as vivid and as powerful as possible. The sensation, following the partial or complete formulation of the aura in the manner described, is so marked and definite as to be quite unmistakable. In the first place it is marked by an extreme sense of calmness and vitality and poise, as though the mind was placid and still. The body, completely at rest in a state of relaxation, feels in all parts thoroughly charged and permeated by the vibrant current of life. The skin over all the body will throw up symptoms, caused by the intensification of life within, of a gentle pricking and warmth. The eyes become clear and bright, the skin takes on a fresh healthy glow, and every faculty, mental, emotional and physical, becomes enhanced to a considerable degree.
This is the moment when, should there be any functional disturbances in any organ or limb, the attention should be directed and focused on that part. The result of this focus of attention directs a flow of energy over and above the general equilibrium just established. The diseased organ becomes bathed in a sea of light and power. Diseased tissue and diseased cells, under the stimulus of such power, become gradually broken down and ejected from the personal sphere. The revitalised blood-stream is the able to send to that spot new nourishment and new life so that new tissue, fibre, cells, etc., can easily be built up. In this way, health is restored by the persistent concentration there of the divine power. Carried on for a few days in the case of superficial ailments, and for months in the event of chronic and severe troubles, all symptoms may successfully be banished without others coming to take their place. There is no suppression of symptoms. Elimination is the result of these methods. Even psychogenic eruptions may thus be cured. For the currents of force arise from the deepest strata of the unconscious, where these psychoneuroses have their origin and where the lock up the nervous energy, preventing spontaneous and free expression of the psyche. The upwelling of the libido, as the vital force is called in psychological circles, dissolves the crystallisation’s and armoured barriers which divide the various strata of psychic function.
Where organic disease is the problem to be attacked, the procedure to be followed is slightly different. (One should still be under the care of a competent physician.) In this instance a considerably stronger current of force is required such as will dissolve the lesion and be sufficient to set in motion those systemic and metabolic activities to construct new tissue and cellular structure. To fulfil these conditions in an ideal sense a second person may be requisite to that his vitality added to that of the sufferer may overcome the condition. A useful technique which my experience has discovered supremely successful, and which any student can adopt, is first of all to relax completely every tissue throughout the body before attempting the Middle Pillar technique. The patient is placed in a highly relaxed state, one in which every neuromuscular tension has been tested and called to the attention of the patient. Consciousness is then able to eliminate tension and induce a relaxed state of that muscle or limb. I have found a useful preliminary in the practice of spinal manipulation and massage, with deep kneadings and effleurage, for in this way an enhanced circulation of the blood and lymph is produced – which from the physiological point of view is half the battle won. A suitable degree of relaxation obtained, the patient’s feet are crossed over the ankles and his finger interlaced to rest lightly over the solar plexus. The operator or healer the seats himself on the right side of the person should the patient be right-handed – vice versa for a left- handed patient. Placing his right hand gently on the solar plexus under the patient’s head, at once a form of rapport is established. Within a few minutes a free circulation of magnetism and vitality is set up, readily discernible both by patient and healer.
The patient’s attitude should be one of absolute receptivity to the incoming force – automatic, should he have unwavering confidence and faith in the operator’s integrity and ability. Silence and quiet should be maintained for a short while, following which the operator silently performs the practice of the Middle Pillar, still maintaining his physical contact with the patient. His awakened spiritual centres act on the patient by sympathy. A similar awakening is introduced with the patient’s sphere, and his centres eventually begin to operate and throw an equilibrated stream of energy into his system. Even when the operator does not vibrate the divine name audibly, the power flowing through his fingers sets up an activity which will surely produce some degree of healing activity within the patient. His psycho-spiritual centres are sympathetically stirred into the active assimilation and projection of force so that, without any conscious effort on his part, his sphere is invaded by the divine power of healing and life.
When the operator arrives at the circulation stage, he so employs his inner visualising faculty, a veritable magical power indeed, that the augmented currents ofd energy flow not only through his own sphere but through that of his patient as well. The nature of this rapport now begins to undergo a subtle change. Whereas formerly there existed close sympathy and a harmonious frame of mind, mutually held, during and after the circulation there is an actual union and interblending of the two energy fields. The unite to form a single continuous sphere as the interchange and transference of vital energy proceed. Thus the operator, or his unconscious psyche or spiritual self, is able to divine exactly what potential his projected current should be, and precisely to where it should be directed.
A number of these treatments incorporating the co-operation and training of the patient in the use of mental methods should certainly go far in alleviating the original condition. Occasionally, since fanaticism above all is to be eschewed, medical and manipulative methods may usefully be combined with the mental methods described to facilitate and hasten the cure.
Although I have stressed healing of physical ills in the above, it cannot be insisted upon too strongly that this method is suitable for application to a host of other problems. This description of technique will be found adequate for all other situations which may come before the student . whether it be a problem of poverty, character development, social or marital difficulties – and in fact any other problem type of which one can think.
Recapitulation: The Preliminaries
Repetition is often invaluable both in teaching and in learning new subjects. Hence some recapitulation of he various processes involved in the Middle Pillar practice will help to clarify some of the issues. And I should like to add a further consideration which will help to render the entire method more effectual, lifting it up to a higher plane of spiritual understanding and achievement. This final step will enable the student to call into operation dynamic factors within the human psyche which will aid in the production of the desired result.
The first step, as we have seen, is a psycho-physical exercise. The student must learn how to relax, how to loosen the chronic grip of neuromuscular tensions in his body. Every involuntary tension in any group of muscles or tissues in any area of the body must be brought within the scope of his conscious awareness. Awareness is the magical key by means of which such tension may literally be melted away and dissolved. Only a little practice is necessary for this, and skill is very readily obtained. The important conclusion following upon physical relaxation is that the mind itself in all its departments and ramifications undergoes a similar relaxation.
Psychic tension and somatic inflexibility are the great barriers to realising the omnipresence of the body of God. They actually prevent one from becoming aware of the ever-presence of the life-force, the dependence of the mind upon – even its ultimate identity with – the Universal Mind, the Collective Unconscious. The mind’s petty barriers eliminated, and life flowing through its extensive organisation, almost immediately we become conscious of the dynamic principle pervading and permeating all things. This step is without question the all- important phase in the application of these psycho-spiritual techniques.
Once having become aware of the preceding, the logical procedure is to awaken the inner spiritual centres which can handle, as it were, this high-voltage power and transform it into a unable human quality. Possibly the easiest way to conceive of this is to liken the spiritual part of man to a radio receiving set. The instrument must first be started with power either from the battery or from the main before it will work. Once power is flowing through it, then the rest of the intricate mechanism of wiring, transformers, condensers, tubes and antennae are able to come into operation. So also with man. We can tune ourselves to the Infinite more readily through the mechanism of lighting up the inner centres, man’s own radio tubes. When the radio set is operative, then the divine current can be shot through the set in various ways, until both body and mind become powerfully vitalised and strong with spiritual energy.
But all this is merely preparatory. The radio set may be lighted, the condensers and transformers and antennae in perfect operation – but what do we want to do with it? So also here. We need money. Sickness is present. Or we have undesirable moral or mental traits – or what not. We have so to elevate our minds, in the utilisation of this spiritual energy, that the desire of our heart automatically realises itself with practically no effort at all. The wish, the heart’s desire, the goal to be reached, must be held firmly in mind, vitalised by divine power, but propelled forward into the universe by the fiery intensity of all the emotional exaltation we are capable of. Prayer is therefore indispensable. Prayer, not merely as a petition to some God outside of the universe, but prayer conceived as the spiritual and emotional stimulus calculated to bring about an identification with or realisation of our own Godhead, Prayer, sincerely, undertaken, will mobilise all the qualities of the self, and the inner fervour that it will awaken will reinforce the work previously done. It will render success an almost infallible result. For in such a case, success not because of one’s own human effort, but because God brings about the result. The fervour and the emotional exaltation enable one to realise the divinity within, which is the spiritual factor which brings our desires to immediate and complete fulfilment.
But I question whether prayer of the quite unemotional variety has any value at all here. This cold-blooded petitioning finds no place within the highest conceptions of spiritual achievement. An ancient metaphysician once said, ‘Inflame thyself with prayer.’ Here is the secret. We must so pray that the whole of our being becomes aflame with a spiritual intensity before which nothing can stand. All illusions and all limitations fade away utterly before this fervour. When the soul literally burns up, the spiritual identity with God is attained. Then the heart’s desire is accomplished without effort – because God does it. The wish becomes fact – objective, phenomenal fact, for all to see.
What prayers, then, should be employed to lift the mind to this intensity, to awaken the emotional fervour of which it was said ‘inflame thyself in praying’? That I conceive to be a problem to be solved each one for himself. Every man and woman has some idea about prayer which, when sustained, will inflame him to inward realisation. Some people will use a poem that has always had the effect of exalting them. Others will use the Lord’s prayer, or maybe Psalm 23. And so on for all possible types. For myself, I prefer the use of some archaic hymns known as invocations, but which are prayers nonetheless, which certainly have the desired effect upon me of arousing the necessary emotional potential. In the hope that these might be useful to others, I append herewith a couple of fragments, the first one being composed of vesicles from various scriptures.
I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whosoever believeth on me though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall have everlasting life. I am the First, and I am the Last. I am He that liveth and was dead – but behold! I am alive for evermore, and hold the keys of hell and death. For I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. I am the Purified. I have passed through the gates of darkness unto Light. I have fought upon earth for good. I have finished my work. I have entered into the invisible.
I am the Sun in his rising, passed through the hour of cloud and of night. I am Amoun, the Concealed One, the opener of the day. I am Osiris Onnophris, the Justifed One, the Lord of Life, triumphant over death. There is no part of me which is not of the Gods. I am the preparer of the Pathway, the Rescuer of the Pathway, the Rescuer unto the Light. Let the White Light of the Divine Spirit Descend.
The second fragment is rather different from the above although both have a similar personal effect when slowly repeated, meditated upon and felt intensely. This second prayer consists of two parts – the first one being a sort of petition of the higher divine self, whilst the second part bespeaks of the realisation of identity with it.
Thee I invoke the Bornless One. Thee that didst create the Earth and the Heavens. Thee that didst create the Night and Day. Thee that didst create the Darkness and the Light. Thou art Man- Made-Perfect, whom no man hath seen at any time. Thou art God and very God. Thou hast distinguished between the Just and the Unjust. Thou didst make the female and the male. Thou didst produce the seed and the fruit. Thou didst form men to love one another and to hate one another. Thou didst produce the moist and the dry, and That which nourisheth all created things.
The second half should follow only after a long pause, in which one attempts to realise just what it is that the prayer has asserted, and that it is raising the mind to an appreciation of the hidden secret Godhead within, which is the creator of all things.
This is the Lord of the Gods. This is the Lord of the Universe. This is He whom the winds fear. This is He, who having made voice by his commandment is Lord of all things, king, ruler and helper. Hear me and make all spirits subject unto me, so that every spirit of the firmament and of the ether, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land and in the water, of whirling air, and of rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of God the Vast One may be made obedient unto me.
I am He, the Bornless Spirit, having sight in the feet, strong and the immortal Fire. I am He, the Truth, I am He who hate that evil should be wrought into the world. I am He that lighteneth and thundereth. I am He from whom is the shower of the Life of Earth. I am He whose mouth ever flameth. I am He, the begetter and manifester unto the Light. I am He, the Grace of the World. The Heart Girt with a Serpent is my Name.
The prayer fragments are suggested only and are to be used or rejected as each student feels fit. They operate for me – they may operate in the case of other students, or not, as the case may be.
Quite apart from therapy, there are other uses of the Middle Pillar technique as I have intimated above. The enterprising student will divine his own usage’s for it.
It may be for various reasons that certain necessities of life, either physical or spiritual, have been denied one – with a consequent cramping effect on character and the onset of a sense of frustration. The latter always has a depressing and inhibitory effect on the human mind, producing indecision, inefficiency and inferiority. There is no real necessity why there should be any undue frustration and inhibition in our lives. A certain amount is no doubt inevitable. So long as we remain human it is quite certain that in some measure we are likely to be thwarted in our efforts fully to express the inner self, thus experiencing some degree of frustration. But any abnormal measure of persistent sense of thwarting and frustration may be dealt with and, by these mental and spiritual methods eliminated.
First of all an understanding of life is essential, and an unconditional acceptance of everything in life and every experience that may come one’s way. With understanding will come a love of life and living, for love and understanding are one and the same. It will also foster the determination no longer to frustrate natural processes but by acceptance to cooperate with nature. The methods of spiritual and mental culture have long held out hope that these inhibitory conditions may be alleviated.
Poverty of estate as well as of idea is a life-condition which these techniques have always acknowledged to be menable to treatment. The usual method is one of such deep and prolonged reflection upon just that mental stimulus, moral quality or material thing which is wanted, that the idea of the need sinks into the so-called subconscious mind. If the barriers leading to the subconscious are penetrated so that the latter accepts the idea of the need, then, so it is said, sooner or later life will inevitably attract one of those things required. But, as with all therapeutic methods, there were so many instances where, despite close adherence to the prescribed techniques, success was not forthcoming. It is my contention, therefore, that they fail for very must the same reasons that their healing efforts fail. In short, it was because there was no true understanding of the interior psychodynamic mechanism whereby such effects could be produced. There was no appreciation of the methods by which the dynamic nature of the unconscious could be so stimulated that the human personality became transformed into a powerful magnet attracting to itself whatever it truly desired or was necessary to welfare.
Whether this procedure is morally defensible is a question I do not wish to discuss at length, though I know it will be raised. But the answer is brief. Whatever faculties we have are meant to be used, and used both for our own advantage and that of others. If we are in a state of constant mental friction, emotional frustration, and excessive poverty, I fail to see in what way we can be of service either to ourselves or our fellow men. Eliminate these restrictions first, improve the mental and emotional faculties so that the spiritual nature is able to penetrate through the personality and manifest itself in practical ways, then we are in a position to be of some service to those with whom we come into contact. The preliminary stimulation of the psycho-spiritual centres within, and then formulating clearly and vividly one’s demands upon the universe is capable of attracting almost anything required, so long, naturally, as it exists within the bounds of reason and possibility.
Using the Astrological Structure
First of all, let me preface my further remarks by stating that from the practical point of view the rudiments of the astrological schema are of untold value in that they offer a concise classification of the broad divisions of things. I am not concerned here with astrology as such, merely that it is convenient to use its schema. Its roots are in the seven principal ideas of planets to which most ideas and things may be referred. To each of these root ideas there is attributed a positive and negative colour, and a divine name for the purpose of vibration. I propose naming the planets with their principal attributions as follows:
Saturn. Older people and old plans. Debts and their repayment. Agriculture, real estate, death, wills, stability, inertia. Positive colour indigo; negative black. Jehovah Elo-him, pronounced Yeh-hoh-voh Eh-loh- heem.
Jupiter. Abundance, plenty, growth, expansion, generosity. Spirituality, visions, dreams, long journeys.
Bankers, creditors, debtors, gambling. Positive colour purple; negative blue. El, pronounced exactly as written.
Mars. Energy, haste, anger, construction or destruction (according to application), danger, surgery. Vitality and magnetism. Will-power. Positive and negative colours bright red. Elohim Gibor, pronounced Eh-loh-heem Gibor.
Sun. Superiors, employers, executives, officials. Power and success. Life, money, growth of all kinds. Illumination, imagination, mental power. Health. Positive colour orange; negative colour yellow or gold. Jehovah Eloah ve-Daas, pronounced Yeh-hoh-voh El-loh ve-dah-ahs, IAO as explained previously.
Venus. Social affairs, affections and emotions, women, younger people. All pleasures and the arts, music, beauty, extravagance, luxury, self-indulgence. Both colours emerald green. Jehovah Tzavoös, pronounced Yeh- hoh-voh Tsah-voh-ohs.
Mercury. Business matters, writing, contracts, judgement and short travels. Buying, selling, bargaining. Neighbours, giving and obtaining information. Literary capabilities and intellectual friends. Books, papers. Positive colour yellow; negative colour orange. Elohim Tzavoös.
Moon. General public, women. Sense reactions. Short journeys and removals. Changes and fluctuations.
The personality. The personality. Positive colour blue; negative colour puce. Shah-dai El Chai.
These very briefly are the attributions of the planets under which almost everything and every subject in nature may be classified. This classification is extremely useful because it simplifies enormously one’s task of physical and spiritual development. It may be best if before concluding I instance a few simple and elementary examples to illustrate the function and method of employing these correspondences.
Using Astrological Correspondences
Suppose I am engaged in certain studies requiring books that are not easily obtainable from booksellers. Despite my every demand for them, in spite of widespread advertising and willingness to pay a reasonable price for them, my efforts are unavailing. The result is that for the time my studies are held up. This delay reaches the point when it is excessive and irritating, and I decide to use my own technical methods for ending it. At certain prescribed intervals, preferably upon awakening in the morning and before retiring to sleep at night, I practise the rhythmic breath and the Middle Pillar. By these methods I have made available enormous quantities of spiritual power, and transformed the unconscious into a powerful storage battery, ready to project or attract power to fulfil my need. This I circulate through the auric system.
My next step consists of visualising the negative or passive colour of Mercury, orange, so that meditating upon it changes the surrounding auric colour to that hue. Orange is used because books, which I need, are attributed to Mercury; and I employ the negative colour because it tends to make the sphere of sensation open, passive and receptive. Then I proceed to charge and vitalise the sphere by vibrating the divine name again and again, until it seems to my perceptions that all the mercurial forces of the universe react to the magnetic attraction of that sphere. All the forces of the universe are imagined to converge upon my sphere, attracting to me just those books, documents, critics, friends and so on, needed to further my work. Inevitably, after persistent and concentrated work I hear from friends or booksellers quite by chance, so it would see, that these books are available. Introductions are procured to the right people, and taken by and large my work is assisted. The results occur, however in a perfectly natural way.
One is not to imagine that the use of these methods contravenes the known laws of nature and that miraculous phenomena will occur. Far from it. There is nothing in them that is supernatural. These methods are based upon the use of psychic principles normally latent within man, and which everyone possesses. No individual is unique in this respect. And the use of these psychic principles brings results through quite normal but unsuspected channels.
On the other hand, should I desire to help a colleague who has literary aspirations but at a certain juncture finds his style cramped and the free flow of ideas inhibited, I should alter my method in one particular point only. Instead of using orange as before, I should visualise the aura as of a yellow or golden colour, through the vibratory name would be the same. Again, instead of imagining the universal forces to have a centripetal motion towards my sphere, I should attempt to realise that the mercurial forces awakened within me by the colour visualisation and vibration are being projected from me to my patient. If he, too, becomes quite and meditative at the same hour, my help becomes more powerful since he consciously assists my efforts with a similar meditation. But this need not be insisted upon. For, as shown by telepathy experiments, the greater part of the receiver’s impressions are unconsciously received. Therefore, in the case of the patient, his own unconscious psyche will pick up automatically and of necessity the inspiration and power I have telepathically forwarded to him in absentia.
This system combines telepathic suggestion with the willed communication of vital power. I strenuously oppose those partitive apologists who uphold in theory the one faculty to the detriment of the other. Some deny suggestion or telepathy, and argue overenthusiastically on behalf of vital magnetism. Others refuse categorically to admit the existence of magnetism, pressing their proofs exclusively in favour of telepathy and suggestion. Both, to my mind, are incorrect and dogmatic when insisting upon their idea alone as having universal validity or as being the sole logical mode of explanation. Equally, each is right in some respects and in certain number of cases; there is a place for both in the natural economy of things. The resources of nature are both great and extensive enough to admit the mutual existence of both of them, and innumerable other powers also.
The technical procedure is, as I have shown, extremely simple – even where employed for subjective ends. Suppose the realisation suddenly comes to me that instead of being the magnanimous person I had imagined myself to be I am really mean and stingy. Of course I could go through a course of psychoanalysis to discover why my nature early in life had become warped so that a habit of meanness was engendered. But this is a lengthy and costly business – bad arguments, admittedly, against its necessity. And so much would depend upon the analyst and his relations with myself. Instead, however, I might resort to the following technique. My first steps consist of those described above – rhythmic breathing, the light-shaft formulated from head to foot, and the circulation of force through the aura. Then remembering that a generous outlook upon and an attitude towards life is a Jupiterian quality, I would surround myself with an azure sphere whilst vibrating frequently and powerfully the divine name El. It depends entirely upon one’s skill and familiarity with the system whether the names are vibrated silently or audibly, but by either way, powerful Jupiterian currents would permeate my being. I would even visualise every cell being bathed in an ocean of blueness; and I would attempt to imagine currents invading my sphere from every direction, so that all my thinking and feeling is literally in terms of blueness. Slowly a subtle transformation ensues. That is, it would were I really sincere, desirous of correcting my faults, and if I did attempt to become generous enough as to perform the practice faithfully and often.
Likewise, if a friend or patient complained of a similar vice in him, appealing to me for help, in this instance I would use a positive colour for projection. I would formulate my sphere as an active dynamic purple sphere, rich and royal in colour, and project its generous, healing, and fecund influence upon his mind and personality. With time the fault would be corrected to his satisfaction and thus enhance his spiritual nature.
And so on, with everything else. The few examples will, I am sure, have shown the application of the methods.
It is not enough simply to wish for certain results and idly expect them to follow. Failure only can come from such an idle course. Anything worth while and likely to succeed requires a great deal of work and perseverance. The Middle Pillar technique is certainly no exception. But devotion to it is extremely worthwhile because of the nature and quality of the results which follow. Once a day will demonstrate the efficacy of the method. Twice a day would be much better – especially if there is some illness or psychic difficulty to overcome. After a while, the student who is sincere and in whom the spiritual nature is gradually unfolding, will apply himself to the methods quite apart from the promise which I have here held out. Healing powers, freedom from poverty and worry, happiness – all these are eminently desirable. But over and above all of these is the desirability of knowing and expressing the spiritual self within – though it may be in some cases that this ideal is hardly attainable until some measure of fulfilment in other respects and on other levels has been achieved. When, however, the ideal is realised as desirable, the value of this method will also be realised as supremely effectual to that end.