Manifesting Joy

In this post-industrial information society we are ingrained from a young age to value metrics. Such metrics may reflect how punctual you are or how quickly you can pluck the feathers from a chicken. But the most important metric reflects how well you are tracking toward the completion of your goals within a fixed time frame. So then, is it even possible to track our progress toward experiencing joy?

We program ourselves like computers and then we wonder why we aren’t happy. While task-oriented, utilitarian approaches to time management may be beneficial for improving the efficiency with which routine tasks are completed, these methods do not serve to improve the experience of anything in life that matters. Happiness cannot be scheduled. Inspiration doesn’t abide timelines.

Emotional Momentum

So when we consider a question like: “When was the last time I had an experience that I would describe as ‘pure joy’?”

If you are now lost in thought and counting numbers of years in your head, then you can relate to the challenge posed by the quest for joy. The biggest stumbling block for most people is that they continue using a metrics-based approach to monitoring their progress toward their goal: Joy.

The most glaring problem with this sort of approach is that it assumes from the beginning that you know enough about your overall goal to be able to define a set of milestones by which to judge your progress.

The second biggest issue lies in not being capable of recognizing joy when you are directly in the presence of it. This is a result of a lack of personal self-development (alchemy & yoga). Without some intentional efforts made to consciously retain the wonder of youth, such joyous optimism in the mysteries of the unknown fades. Over time, that optimism is replaced with its opposite: pessimism.

Perspective

Being pessimistic about the mysteries of the unknown leads people to double-down on behavior patterns that are not working, such as endeavoring to attain some modicum of control over their lives or, even worse: create and maintain a sense (illusion) of personal safety.

It is wildly arrogant of us to imagine that we know ourselves and the world well enough to prescribe ourselves a potion for joy. To do so would require us to know everything about every possible way of experiencing joy and also be able to determine which way of experiencing joy is best for ourselves.

This same pattern is more commonly called out in discussions about finding a romantic partner and the self-defeating practice of creating a mental image of your “ideal mate”, against which all suitors are to be measured and judged.

Expectations

If it’s impractical, if not impossible, to know which form joy may take to reveal itself to us, the only other option is to introduce some element of uncertainty or randomness. In this case, it is a matter of letting go of a portion of the iron-clad control we love to rule our lives with. Of course, the goal isn’t to throw your life into complete chaos; instead just open the valve a little bit and see what drips in.

The biggest problems with attempting to exert control over every nuance of your life is not only that it is exhausting, but also that control is an illusion. To make matters worse, in our efforts to exert control over our environment, we are actually closing ourselves off to the one thing most people say they want most in life.

Childlike

Being optimistic about the mysteries of the unknown opens doors that no one who has not experienced them first-hand can ever truly appreciate. To open the door to the unknown is to take the first step in the path of true enlightenment. It represents an acceptance of one’s own limitations and a desire to grow that is so intense we are willing to leave the presumed safety of our comfort zone.

Joy is the result of one’s appreciation of the vast complexity of the Universe, which is reflected within the soul of every human, combined with an intense desire to explore oneself through interaction with the environment. Once the reality has taken hold that everything you see is a reflection of who you are at some fundamental level, it is no longer any wonder why the Buddha is laughing.

The Theosophical Model of Astral Worlds


[Note: The following are my notes from a work-in-progress research into the model of astral worlds employed by certain members of the Theosophical Society. In my research, these magicians – Charles Leadbeater, William Walker Atkinson, Annie Besant, Alice Bailey, and Rudolf Steiner – explored further into the realms of the Universe-Mind than any before them. Sadly, I know of no one today (myself included) who is even close to the same depth of experience in these matters. Therefore, we would be wise to closely study their work and avoid reinventing the wheel over and over again.]


Reality is comprised of 7 “Worlds” of existence, with each world divided into 7 planes (Note that the original text uses the terms “planes” / “subdivisions” instead of “worlds” / “planes”. The word choice has been updated to make the model less confusing for the modern reader).

World#World Name“Solar” World NamePlane#Plane NameDescription
1PhysicalPhysical7Bose-Einstein CondensatesA form of matter with almost no kinetic energy.
   6Solid 
   5Liquid 
   4Gas 
   3Plasma 
   2[Unknown]
“Ether 1”
 
   1[Unknown]
“Ether 2”
 
2AstralEmotional7  
   6Out-of-Body experienceThe most common subdivision for astral projection experiences.
   5ClairvoyanceMind reading. Includes premonitions.
   4  
   3  
   2  
   1  
3Devachanic
Manastic
Mental7MindThe conceptual plane of imagination.
   6 
   5  
   4  
   3  
   2  
   1  
4Sushuptic
Buddhic
Intuitional7BuddhicConditionally Immortal Plane.
   6  
   5  
   4  
   3  
   2  
   1  
5Nirvanic
Atmic
Spiritual7Spirit WillFirst Immortal Plane.
   6  
   5  
   4  
   3  
   2  
   1  
6AnupadakaMonadic7 – 1Will / WisdomThis plane has been sensed, but no one has ever been able to communicate the nature of a visitation.
[Most likely, this plane is the first world where the concept of “self” ceases to exist. One might imagine the self as a raindrop having just fallen upon the surface of an ocean. The subdivisions of this plane correlate to currents within that ocean.]
7Adi
Logos
Divine7 – 1 This plane has been sensed, but no one has ever been able to communicate the nature of a visitation.
[Most likely, this plane is where the ocean of spirits dissolve into a form of energy that occupies infinite space. This is often referred to as “The Logos”. This plane exists outside of time and outside of all frame of mortal reference.]
Table 1: 7 Worlds and 49 Planes

Man is comprised of the following projections within the context of each corresponding world of existence:

World#World NameProjection TypeProjection Class
1PhysicalDense BodyMortal
2AstralEtheric DoubleMortal
3DevachanicPranaMortal
4SushupticKama-ManasConditionally Immortal
5NirvanicHigher ManasImmortal
6AnupadakaBuddhiImmortal
7LogosAtmaImmortal
Table 2: Forms of Projections

In an effort to keep this information rooted in the familiar, here is how these 7 worlds would roughly map to the classic Kabbalistic 4-world model:

Kabbalistic WorldPart of the SoulWorld#World Name
AssiahNephesh1Physical
YetzirahRuach2Astral
BriahNeshamah3-4Devachanic – Sushuptic
AtziluthChiah5-7Nirvanic – Logos
Table 3 : Kabbalistic 4-World Model Correspondence

The following image is Alice Bailey’s early sketch of the Theosophical Model. Scanned from her book, “Initiation, Human and Solar”.

References

  1. The Astral Plane” by C.W. Leadbeater
  2. The Astral Plane: Its Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena” by C.W. Leadbeater
  3. The Astral World: Its Scenery, Dwellers And Phenomena” [Hardcopy] by William Walker Atkinson
  4. How to Know Higher Worlds” by Rudolf Steiner
  5. The Devachanic Plane, Or, the Heaven World: Its Characteristics and Inhabitants” by C.W. Leadbeater
  6. The Devachanic Plane” by Annie Besant
  7. The Astral Body: And Other Astral Phenomena” by A.E. Powell
  8. Thought Forms” by Annie Besant & C.W. Leadbeater
  9. The Masters and the Path” by C.W. Leadbeater
  10. Initiation, Human & Solar” by Alice Bailey
  11. Invisible Helpers” by C.W. Leadbeater
  12. How Clairvoyance is Developed” by C.W. Leadbeater

Determining One’s Will (Flowchart)

Commentary:

  1. Achieving K&C is the only appropriate Will to have until that operation is complete. All else is prerequisite work toward that single-minded goal.
  2. “What my ego wants to achieve” should probably read “what my ego + HGA agree to achieve” (but that didn’t fit in the box).
  3. Many people assume that whatever you come up with in conjunction with your HGA will be your Will, but that is not always the case. Some Adepts come straight out the gate wanting to do anything they can to improve the living conditions on this plane of existence. But many others decide to instead focus the work either inwards or on amassing a large personal power reserve. The difference is whether you decide to start disavowing the ego at this time or whether you decide to double-down and fortify it. I recommend the former. The latter is a surefire way to become a “black brother”.
  4. While everyone’s Will is unique and no other person can say what exactly your Will is, it can’t be just anything. There are certain parameters it must fall within in order to logically avoid conflicts between people who are honestly doing their Wills.
  5. The general characterization of the Will as being something one does to benefit the world outside themselves is rooted in certain mysteries of the Supernals. But these mysteries are reflected in our understanding of the Monad and of the Hermetic Principle of Correspondence (5=6). Since there is ultimately no distinction between any thing and any other thing, improving the world is the ultimate initiatory act (aimed at improving oneself).

Magical Experimentation

When I was first becoming interested in the occult and studying practical magick, one of the biggest questions I had was “What is possible?”

It became one of the driving forces of my early work to determine what things could be done and what couldn’t. To that end, I explored with great interest people’s claims about being able to evoke physical entities that touched, burned, or scarred them. Also, I wanted to cast lightning bolts from my fingers as much as the next guy.

But over time, as I tracked these claims and tried to reproduce their results, I realized that most of those things aren’t possible and a lot of people talk a lot of BS that isn’t true to make themselves sound “powerful” to others. Almost always, this is really just a ploy to sleep with young women and/or men.

At a certain point, one can question what “real” means. Certainly, not all of the things I consider real are things that one could document with a video camera. However, my criteria was that it must be possible to derive a method which multiple people can follow, independently, and achieve similar results. With that criteria, I found several very interesting things to be ‘real’.

There have also been cases where a philosopher has made a seemingly impossible assertion about the nature of the world and/or mind, only to have it later proven correct. One such example can be found in Madame Blavatsky’s seminal work “Isis Unveiled” (1877) where she claimed that it was possible to change the structure of your DNA through meditation. I remember being disheartened when I read that and thinking “…and she was doing so well up to this point”. However, in just a few years’ time, she was vindicated. Recent research into the workings of DNA has shown that many organs in your body do not contain all identical DNA, as was previously believed. In particular, neurons seem to have very different gene patterns from one another and there is evidence to suggest that thoughts can influence the DNA in newly-produced neurons.

Of course, this begs another question: How did she know?!