The Three Factors in Experience
and Their Cyclic Transformation - 4
At the sociocultural level,
the process of negentropy assumes the character of "information." In childhood one may refer to it as the process of education; but what is usually called education is actually instruction. To be "in-structed" is to be fed informational data, operational formulae, and officially tested and validated techniques. At the level of the collective mind, the nature of such an intellectual "food" conditions the character and quality of the energy which the culture is using. Yet at the very core of the collective societal organism, a little-understood kind of energy is also operating. It has been developing and making itself felt through the simple fact of human togetherness and cooperation. It is the energy of psychism
Psychism operates in terms of often rigid principles of organization, and through the binding power of great myths, symbols, and deeply rooted common feelings. It may be compared to the energy which keeps the activities of many types of cells functionally integrated and consistent; yet a basic difference exists between the life-force and the power of collective psychism. The former belongs to the involutionary
arc of the cycle of being; the latter to the evolutionary
process characterizing the development of humanity, a development which (at the symbolic Noon) follows the great reversal of the Movement of Wholeness and the manifestation of the Supreme Person in whom the Solution for the ancient karma is embodied. Yet at first the power of biological instincts is still so compelling that the energy of psychism is hardly distinguishable from the power of the life-force. Similarly, the subjectivity factor which, in the experiences of prehuman organisms, was centered in the whole species rather than in any particular specimen, remains identified with the entire tribe. It is often projected upon a superphysical realm assumed to be "spiritual" (though it is only psychic or "astral") as the god of the tribe.
This god is endowed with the attributes of personhood, but it is the kind of personhood which the collective mind of human beings, still so close to the biological level, is able to picture; and the picture is at first very crude. In it the balanced cyclic Motion of the Movement of Wholeness can only be experienced as "emotion," and the energy produced by the harmonic tension between the opposite and complementary principles of Unity and Multiplicity is interpreted as the Will of a personal god.
According to the religious approach to existence, the means to effect a degree of repotentialization of energy are identification with the divine will, total devotion to the ideal of personhood spiritually manifested as a god, and a rigid control of the expenditure of energy through simplification of interpersonal relationship and even asceticism. The process of neutralization or absorption of ancient karmic failures does not demand an expenditure of energy; instead it implies a repotentialization of energy. This process inevitably acquires a stronger momentum when, at the symbolic Sunset, the strength of the principle of Unity begins to overcome that of the trend toward Multiplicity, which by then is in retreat and in a defensive role. In the Pleroma type of organization the process of repotentialization leads to an increasing condensation of energy.
Space itself is being condensed. This condensation process is the polar opposite of the cosmic scattering and differentiation of energy which followed the "Creation" of the universe, now given a new form (perhaps as mythological!) as modern science's Big Bang. The repotentialization of energy through a hierarchical series of metacosmic and predominantly subjective Pleroma states leads to an almost
total concentration of energy and space. Space is condensed into an increasingly small area, yet can never be reduced to a mathematical point. Moreover, all quantitative values and the possibility of measurement are evidently not applicable to such a "divine" state. In this Godhead state everything may seem possible, and potential energy might be considered infinite. Yet as immense Compassion arises, the Solution envisioned has to balance and exactly fit the karmic remains of the by then concluded cycle. Everything is possible that is needed
Energy is always there, available; but the character of that available energy is determined by the balance of power of the two principles of Unity and Multiplicity in that particular phase of the Movement of Wholeness. The availability of the power is also related to the nature and material characteristics of the locality at which energy is to be used. What we call "matter" is a condition in which energy has reached a degree of stability. Matter (or in a more general sense, substance, whether or not it is "physical") is energy in form; and as we shall presently see, form (in the true sense of the word) is the basic product of the mind factor. However, this is mind operating at a cosmogenetic, biogenetic level and, during the human period of evolution, as builder of the complex structures of a vast series of cultures. Each culture is intended to stress a particular aspect of the supreme ideal of personhood which the Godhead had envisioned during the Midnight phase of the great cycle.
What is needed of the infinite potential of energy available to the Godhead at that Midnight moment of reversal of cyclic motion is used by the divine Mind, acting through what past mythologies have called "celestial Hierarchies" of Builders of the Cosmos. However, the mobilized energy is operating within the divine Mind, of which these Hierarchies are differentiated aspects. Each Hierarchy releases a specific type of energy which eventually, during the evolutionary development of humanity, will be characteristically available to a particular series of cultures. Human persons may become "agents" for the release of the energy or the basic archetypal structures that a Hierarchy, with which the persons are in tune, has created.
True "creativity" is the ability to reflect and concretize an archetype existing at the higher level of mind. Creativity should not mean merely or essentially personal "self-expression." If it does it has to be considered the release of internal tensions. Most of the time, however, it refers to the making of a product which answers the desire of a group of human beings, and may bring some kind of profit. But productivity should not be confused with creativity.
Internal psychological tensions do undoubtedly generate some kind of energy-but emotions operate at a level essentially different from that of cosmic or evolutionary movements.(4
) These are attuned to what is intended and possible in terms of the karma-neutralizing process. They work through
personhood, but they acquire the particular character and often inconsistent rhythm of emotional releases (perhaps interpreted as self-expression) engendered by the desires of a subject (I, myself) having separated itself from the cyclic process and intent on proving its freedom of choice. When this occurs, personhood becomes a means which insists on being an end in itself. This happens when mind provides a rationalized interpretation and justification for the desires of the subject of whom it has become a servant. That mind, however, may refer to a collective type of mentality superimposed upon the individual situation, whether this mentality is traditional and religion-based or the product of a generation's revolt against past standards. Mind can indeed be a tyrant after having begun as a servant.
ln my earliest work Art as Release of Power
(1930) I stressed this distinction between Cyclic (or Cosmic) Motions and personal emotions, particularly in the chapter "Art of Gestures and Art of Patterns." A few copies of this essay are still available, though the whole book has long been out of print. . Return
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