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by Dane Rudhyar, 1985

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A New Frame of Reference:
The Earth-being & the Function of Humanity within It - 7

While humanity's function is to instill the noosphere with the quality of meaning, in the undeveloped state of personhood still conditioned by biological needs and their psychic overtones, many of the meanings extracted from human experiences are drawn toward the psychosphere rather than to the higher regions of the noosphere. The meanings have to be attuned to (or reflect) the realities of the archetypal level if the higher regions of the noosphere are to be developed. A mind that reveals such meanings acts as builder of a foundation for the beyond-the-human level of being which I have called the Pleroma.
       In terms of the Earth-being, one can refer to the field of activity of Pleroma beings as the pneumosphere. But it may be confusing and unwise to imagine this "sphere" in terms of position and spatial extension. If one does, one might think of the pneumosphere as the whole orbit of the earth. This orbit, like those of all the planets, is an ellipse; and an ellipse has two foci. At one of them the sun the common focus of the orbits of all the planets is located. The position of the other focus differs in each planetary system. In terms of a geometric kind of symbolism, this second focus may represent the individualizing subjectivity factor in each planetary system; and it should be related in a super-physical manner to the center of the planet's globe. A planet's orbit its precise shape and position in the series of planets refers to the function it is fulfilling in the whole solar system (the heliocosm). This solar system represents in symbolic terms the next greater frame of reference for beings whose experience already transcends the planetary and metacultural level.
       The Pleroma state to which I am referring operates within the Earth-being; one might speak of it as the "Soul" of the planet. But the word soul is quite ambiguous. If one thinks of the Soul as incarnating in a living human organism, the process is involutionary. It refers to the descent of a spiritual entity able to operate in and theoretically to control the biological energies of the body and their psychic derivatives or overtones. As an organization of consciousness and releasable willpower, the Soul is also the result of an evolutionary process, the consummation of personal efforts. Similarly, the activities taking place in the field of operation represented by the archetypal level of the noosphere and the pneumosphere have an involutionary and an evolutionary character. In the first case these activities deal with the impressing and the maintaining of structural patterns of organization (archetypes); in the second case, an evolutionary process is at work through human cultures and individual persons. Its aim is the neutralization of karma and the realization of "meaning." Such an evolution in consciousness is organized in response to the ascendency of the principle of Unity.
       When students of quasi-esoteric doctrines speak of the "occult Hierarchy" of the planet, they refer to an involutionary process the embodiment of the many archetypal aspects of the great Solution envisioned by the Godhead at the symbolic Midnight, and concretized at an "etheric" level in the Supreme Person. The Hierarchy should be thought of as a series of "Offices." Each Office is concerned with a specific kind of structural process through which an archetype is stamped, as it were, upon the development of homo sapiens. A certain type of energy (often called a "Ray") is managed by the beings "performing" functionally in such Offices. In biological terms, the Hierarchy as a whole might be compared to the genetic code directing the activity of molecules within a living cell, or even more to what the biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls a "morphogenetic field." The beings operating in the fulfillment of these hierarchical offices are normally invisible structuring powers, not persons; they are "personages" performing an archetypal role in a completely impersonal sense.
       In order to perform such roles, these personages should have reached a level of development beyond that of earth-born mankind barely emerging from the biological state of the animal kingdom. Therefore this development had to take place in a pre-terrestrial scheme of evolution which may mean on another planet or during a cycle antedating that of our present humanity. I tend to believe that at any particular time in a solar system, only one planet provides the conditions necessary for the development of life and later of personhood. The beings who at first perform involutionary archetypal roles as the occult Hierarchy of our present humanity therefore had to be pre-terrestrial beings. A time presumably came, however, when a few individuals who, as products of mankind, had reached on this earth the planetary Pleroma state, were able to perform these archetypal roles or similar functions related to the maintenance and further development of human evolution and thus to the growth of the Earth-being as a whole.
       Reaching the Pleroma state is essentially an evolutionary process. This process takes place over many millennia within a series of cultures; and it involves the succession of many persons, all linked in an increasingly effective degree to a particular "spiritual Quality" which constitutes one of the myriad Letters of the creative Word. It involves going through the difficult and stressful process of reorganization usually called the Path of discipleship, because it implies a two-way process in which the determined conscious aspiration (and imagination) of an individualized person becomes related to the compassionate guidance of a being having already reached the Pleroma state. All Pleroma beings form a partly objective but predominantly subjective "Communion of being," the White Lodge a Communion in consciousness in which individuality and unanimity are combined.
       The White Lodge is not the product of an involutionary process of structured differentiation. Its gradual formation is conditioned by the ascendancy of the principle of Unity. Century after century, culture after culture, human being after human being having successfully undergone the tests of the Path the rite of passage leading to the Pleroma state the White Lodge is being "built" (an inadequate term!) as an integrated Company of radiant centers of consciousness and compassionate activity. When considered as the Soul of the Earth-being, the Pleroma may include more than our "human, all too human" minds can comprehend today. As the great cycle of the Movement of Wholeness reaches the symbolic Sunset phase, a new type of situation develops beyond the present state of materiality which generates predominantly subjective experiences transcending what we know today as the condition of planethood.
       We can call such a predominantly subjective level of experience "divine"; and we can speak of a state of "starhood" transcending that of planethood. These are speculations and the imagery of minds for which even a planetary frame of reference is too narrow. The basic difference between the type of vision evoked by the all-inclusive Movement of Wholeness and the characteristically religious interpretation of reality is that, in the philosophy of Operative Wholeness, the "divine" state is an integral part of the whole cycle of being, but not an external utterly transcendent reality. The human state evolves into the divine. The immense multiplicity of human persons becomes increasingly unified. This unification process always has some kind of material basis, but as previously stated, matter is a stabilized form of energy, and energy exists at many levels as do the formative processes of mind.
       The human mind interprets the factor of subjectivity as "spirit" in contrast with objectively perceptible "matter." Subjectivity is related to unity (or the experience of oneness), because when the principle of Unity becomes more powerful than that of Multiplicity (after the symbolic Sunset phase when the two principles are of equal strength) the objective world vanishes into predominantly subjective states. To embodied human beings, these states are "spiritual."
       In its spiritual state the Earth-being is the planetary Subject. Wherever this subject operates, there is the pneumosphere the field of Spirit at the level of consciousness of planethood. It is a field of radiant energy beyond the normal capacity of perception of the human senses. Yet one does not have to infer from such a transcendent condition that the Earth-being is a god, or even less, the only God. The subjective factor in the experience of the Earth-being has the potentiality of reaching the divine state as it remains attuned to the momentum of the Movement of Wholeness; but so ha the subjective factor in a human being. Of course, a human person operates at a lower level of wholeness than the Earth-being; yet both are "lesser wholes" participating in the field of existence of "greater wholes," and both fulfill a function as participant in the vaster organism. For the human individual this organism is the Earth-being. For the Earth-being it is the solar system or the Milky Way galaxy as an organization of stars.
       The factor of size is not what determines the spiritual or divine state. The passage from the condition of individual person to that of Pleroma being does not mean that the person becomes a bigger human being. He or she reaches a state representing a more advanced phase in the cycle of Wholeness one in which the principle of Unity is more powerful, more able to balance the influence of the principle of Multiplicity. This phase is more responsive to the principle of Unity in the sense that it implies a more profound feeling-realization of relatedness to other beings operating not only at the same level, but at levels below and above personhood. The divine state is not reached as a separate individual, even if the traveler on the Path that leads to the Pleroma feels that he or she is tragically alone. The whole Earth-being is involved in his or her success or failure. Yet at the human stage as a subject having gained the power to detach itself from experienced situations, the success or failure is his or her own, because it is related to some ancient individual karma.
       This karma had also involved other beings. A mystic may dream of the return of "a one" to "the One"; but this is only the subjective aspect of the process of transcendence. In its full meaning for a human being, transcendence requires that a more inclusive level of being actually be reached a phase of the Movement of Wholeness in which the principle of Unity is more powerfully at work.
       The concept of levels of reality is indeed basic in the whole picture of the cycle I am presenting. Reality is not to be defined only in terms of the factor of subjectivity and the desire for absolute oneness. It is the product of the full triune experience of being, at whatever level an experienceable situation has taken form as one of the many phases of the Movement of Wholeness.

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1986 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
All Rights Reserved.

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