A Cosmic Initiation: Adeptus Major
This grade concerns our concept of the body--particularly the human body and its need to retain health and efficiency.
One might ask why? In his THE TRUE AND INVISIBLE ROSICRUCIAN ORDER Case expounds that the "One Reality is the field of its own manifestation, the vehicle of its own existence; and that the One Reality is the directive principle in human beings." Case continues, stressing balance. Speaking of past Rosicrucians, he notes that "unanimously, seers report that the powers around us are working toward a beautifully symmetrical result, that balance is maintained in both the moral and the physical worlds.
As for those past Rosicrucian "seers," I found some mention of these men who lived from the 16th into the 19th centuries--in Willy Schroeder's A ROSICRUCIAN NOTEBOOK: THE SECRET SCIENCES USED BY MEMBERS OF THE ORDER.
Schroeder presents these Rosicrucian healers in almost superhuman terms, in very mystical terms. I shall proceed with some of Schroeder's quotes:
"The Rosicrucians allowed themselves sufficient time to experience a sense of peace and, since they were so saturated with it, they enjoyed superabundant health and 'infected' their suffering fellow men with health, so to speak, triggering self-healing in the sick person."
From what I could glean, these earlier Rosicrucians engaged in homeopathic healing wherein "likes are cured by likes." They worked in an area called magnetic healing, which not only pursued the treatment of disease with sympathetic remedies, but called for the "assimilation of the subtle radiations of the primal force in the body, thus making it more spiritual." Some of the Rosicrucian methods of magnetizing involved "laying on of hands" and "psychic exercises invented by Indian Yogas."
According to Schroeder, "Paracelsus understood this too." Paracelsus--a Rosicrucian (?)--wrote that "True self- consciousness is attended by a spiritual power which is transmitted from the doctor to his patient if the former possesses it. "By this means, the presence of the doctor in itself will do more good to the sick man than any medicine.*"
Today a whole new medical field is emerging, but one wonders historically--considering the earlier Rosicrucians-- whether this area called "Modern Alternative Medicine" is really so new after all?
Regardless, I will refer to Larry Dossey, M.D., who had been connected with the Alternative Medicines Division of the US National Institutes of Health--and also I will borrow from some of John Sanford's work on "wholeness and healing."
Dossey almost sounds like one of those earlier Rosicrucians: "Going with the flow...recognizing that there is a natural order of things we would do best to honor at all times, which includes sickness and health, mind and body, strength and weakness."
Sanford sounds like a "seer," when he states that "illness is a malfunctioning of consciousness, and health is wholeness, which means an organic unity and balance of all the forces within a person."
As for "wholeness," Sanford seems very Rosicrucian as he describes this term: "Deep inside each organism is something that knows what that organism's true nature and life goal is. It is as though there is within each person an inner Center that knows what constitutes health."
Continuing, Sanford says: "If our conscious personality becomes related to this inner Center, the whole person may begin to emerge, even though this may not bring either peace or social adaptation, and the demands from the inner Center for wholeness may result in painful symptomatology as a necessary, inevitable prelude to a development toward health. The movement toward health may look more like a crucifixion than adaptation or peace of mind."
Sanford, in relation to his above-expressed theory, has some reasonable techniques--which involve biorythm and diet and exercise.
From a dictionary explanation, biorythm is a regulated pattern, a nonrandom variation or a regular variation pertaining to that process of the living organism. But Sanford talks about this in much more coherent terms. He labels his biorythmic approach as "Directed Thinking."
For Sanford "Directed thinking is the thought process that we more or less directly control. It is willed thinking, the kind of concentrated thought process we direct, for instance, when solving a problem. Our capacity for this kind of thinking is limited, so says Sanford.
Yet--Sanford believes that Directed Thinking can help us psychosomatically. Directed Thinking helps us develop the "valuable qualities of psychological reflection and self-honesty." And, in turn, we can employ the psyche to help heal the body.
This process can even work in an opposite fashion. Directed Thinking can help us become more aware that perhaps we can cure psychic ills by using the body. "It should not surprise us that the body has an effect upon the psyche, just as the psyche has an effect upon the body, for both are part of one organism and make up a remarkable energy system."
Now, it is this idea of an *energy system* that I find appealing. This is the area where Sanford employs his opinion about energy organization, diet, and exercise.
Energy Organization: "The body is a fantastic organism designed to produce energy. The food we eat is the basic fuel and, acting upon this, the remarkable biochemical system of the human body produces a flow of life that becomes available to us in the form of useable psychic energy. These things are of central importance: diet and exercise."
Diet: "The diet of primitive man consisted of lean meat, fish, and vegetables and fruits that grew wild. Later man added cultivated plant food to his diet, especially grains." Thus, "to respect the body means to live in the natural way, which includes a natural diet."
Exercise: "A healthy body...is especially designed for exercise. Primitive people were capable of extraordinary feats of endurance." Today, "such feats of endurance are matched by modern athletes, showing that the human body is still capable of remarkable achievements given the right conditions." For starters, we must begin to *plan* our exercise. In our modern world we need to factor in the exercise that proves best for our individual condition or situation--such as running, jogging, walking, bicycling, gardening, and even games.
Now let us return to Paul Foster Case, who provides a "weighter" approach to the issue of the body. Repeating Case, the "One Reality is the field of its own manifestation, the vehicle of its own existence; and that One Reality is the directive principle in human beings." This doctrine "emphasizes the idea that the substance from which all forms are built is the Life Power's own nature."
Case continues, "We are Spirit, not only in mind but in body!" He puts it thus: "That One sees through our eyes, hears through our ears, speaks through our lips."
Continuing the discussion on the body, Case, in THE TRUE AND INVISIBLE ROSICRUCIAN ORDER, notes that "Since the Life Power at work and through any given form perfectly knows itself and its powers, it also knows that even an incomplete or unperfected form is not a failure. The One Identity knows all truth because it is...and therefore knows... the beginning, middle of all creatures."
This lack of equality is basic to the "theodicy" problem. Some people have better genes, some better minds, some better cultural circumstances, some better luck. It's an obvious fact in not only the material, but the spiritual world as well. As for the worst fear of all, Death, Case does address this issue--declaring "no form is permanent, nor does any form separate a portion of the One Identity from the Whole of that Identity."
Cases goes on: "The Greater Adept recognizes the necessity for the continual transformation of the outer vehicles of the Life Power. He understands the real significance of the appearance that Man calls death. He is no longer the victim of that appearance, because he has become identified with the power that produces it. Thus, he maintains self-conscious identity through all the transformations. He has overcome death."
Proceeding, "That same Self is at once the substance and the integrating and disintegrating power that manifests itself as our environment, beginning with that aspect of our environment that we call mind, and continuing...outward from mind, the body, and out to the most distant galaxies in the heaven."
Now I will move ahead into Hegel's wisdom.
Hegel carried forth about the evolution of *matter.* I will not allude to his biological explanations about animals, fish, etc.; but, rather, I will focus on what I glean to be his perception of physical matter in general--and how matter ultimately evolves into a universality. This will be a difficult undertaking, trying to understand Hegel's conceptions of Matter, Form, Body.
From his PHENOMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT Hegel says that there is a realm "where the universal is undetermined, where particularization approximates again to *singleness*...here, at the boundry-line of the universal where an immense field is opened up for that instinct, it can have found not an immeasurable wealth, but instead the bounds of Nature and its own activity."
"Eventually Reason...reaches the stage of looking for the determinateness as something which essentially is not for itself, but which passes over into its opposite, it seeks for the *law* and the *Notion* of the determinateness. True, it seeks for them equally as an actuality in the form of *immediate being.*"
Hegel returns--to give detail to this progression. "The law as it first appears exhibits itself in an impure form, enveloped in single, sensuous forms of being, and the Notion constituting its nature is immersed in empirical material." And, "In its experiments the instinct of Reason sets out to find what happens in such and such circumstances. The result is that the law seems only to be all the more immersed in sensous being...[thus] the inner significance of this investigation is to find the *pure conditions* of the law: and this means nothing else than to raise the law into the form of Notion."
Hegel is declaring that *Matter* is not independent, not an *existent thing,* but is being in the form of an *universal,* or in the form of a Notion.
For Hegel organic Nature basks in freedom..."a freedom opposed to the *simple Notion* of organic Nature." There is a loosely connected determinateness in which the individual forms of Nature are dissolved and which at the same time, breaking away from their continuity, exist on their own account."
From the common human viewpoint, Nature does not need us, Nature is Free, and the individual objects of Nature are free and independent. Nonetheless, discussing this process, Hegel declares that there is no total break. "Neither the individuality, nor the universal element, is absolutely in and for intself; on the contrary, though they appear to observation as free and independent, they behave at the same time as *essentially connected,* but in such a way that their independence and mutual indifference are the predominant feature, and only in part become abstractions. Here, then we have law as the connection of a [universal] element within the formative process of the organism."
Hegel nicely declares that whereas "the instinct of the animal seeks and consumes food, but thereby brings forth nothing other than itself, so too the instinct of Reason in its quest finds only Reason itself."
Now focusing more sharply on this process, Hegel probes into the *Inner and Outer* of being. As he puts it, "The *inner* to which the manifested universality belongs, and the *outer,* to which belong the parts of the inert shape, were supposed to constitute the corresponding aspects of the law; but as thus held apart, they lose their organic significance, and what lies at the base of the idea of law is precisely this, that each of its two aspects should have an independent, indifferent substance of its own, the relation of the aspects being shared between them as a twofold determinateness corresponding to that relation."
Continuing, "The fact is that each aspect of the organism is in its own self just this: to be a simple universality in which all determinations are dissolved and to be the movement of this process."
Hegel defines the two aspects, the Outer and the Inner, more expressly. "The *outer,* considered by itself, is the *structured shape* in general, the system of life articulating itself in the *element of being, and at the same time essentially the being *for an other* of the organism...objective being in its *being-for-self.* This *other * appears, in the first instance, as its outer inorganic nature."
Hegel goes on: "The extreme of being-for-self is, however, the inner as an Infinite One which takes back into itself, out of their subsistence and connection outer Nature, the moments of shape itself; it is that which, without a content of its own, gives itself a content in its shape and appears in shape as its *process.*"
In conclusion--Hegel stresses the importance of individuality in this progression of Matter towards universality. "True universality is here only an *inner essence,* as *determinates as species.* But this individual is not at the same time a universal individual, i.e.,. one in which the universality would have an outer actual existence as well, the universal falls outside of the living organism. This *universal* individual, however, as *immediately* the individual of natural structured shapes, is not consciousness itself; its existence as a *single organic living individual* must not fall outside of it if it is to be consciousness."
From what I can discern from Case, in his THE TRUE AND INVISIBLE ROSICRUCIAN ORDER, the grade of Adeptus Major is meant to make the student more aware not only of the individual's body but also to understand better the importance of the Great Body--Physical Mainifestation from the most minute expressions to the great galactic levels.
In shorthand, re-examing the PHENEMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT and Hegel's presentation on the evolution of Matter/Form-- the organism--there is a realm where the Universe is undetermined, undifferentiated. Differentation begins to occur and results as an actuality in the form of immediate being, in cyclical fashion.
1.) The essence of Reason--Mind/Spirit--is a kernel present, enveloped in single, senuous forms of being.
2.) While the organic nature of being continues to bask in freedom, Reason begins to experiment, to grope into awareness.
3.) In due course the instinct of Reason embarks upon its quest for itself. Self-awareness, consciousness of a "within," has arrived.
4.) Eventually full-blown consciousness comes to *know* that there is an Inner and an Outer of its being.
5.) Over time it works into relationship these two aspects of its being, realizing that the "Outer" is the structured shape of life articulating itself and that the "Inner" gives content to the process.
6.) Grasping and re-grasping, spiraling forth, the ultimate goal of the organism is to become a single universality.
Now to some commentary! Why this particular process? If Mind has always been, is infinite, why the necessity for this "game" we call the Universe? Why the Cosmic Body, the Other, why the pluriform of individuality and specialization within the Body? Why differentiation? Why the media of the organism? What's the point? Experimentation? A learning process?
It remains difficult to consider an unlimited, all-knowing Infinite Mind that must run the gantlet of experimentation and learning in order to become itself into complete awareness. What's the reasoning between an Alpha, a Middle, and an Omega all at once, playing in the realm of space-time within the media of biological form?
Perhaps it's all in the Play?
What to do but to return to a more immediate level, that of better appreciating the maintenance of our organism at peak efficiency for as long as possible.
Assuming that we reach and accept the "core" awareness that the Greater Mind--the Essence, the Notion, Cosmic Reason, the universality--*is* the "field of its own manifestation," than we become more properly motivated to treat our body with utmost respect. It will have become a necessity.
I would approach this in two ways: Ease and Disease. "Ease" would really be more about health maintenance, about a holistic approach to the organism. This could apply to a whole spectrum of organic formations--galactic, planetary, eco-systems, animals and plants, human.
Sanford's idea that we are an "energy system" is useful in the context of health maintenance. Such a system is a feedback, self-contained system. It requires balance. It is a *whole* system. And we are better at ease when we recognize all this. We are better at ease when we intelligently plan, use Directed Thinking, the techniques (such as diet and exercise) to maintain this system at peak efficiency.
Successfully living in biological ease will allow us to emit the universality which we are--in whatever ways we deem right. With body ease we can live more fully, more active, more conscious, more whole, and more happy.
But always--when we talk of the body, we must discuss Death! Perhaps Case rightly declares that we must come to understand that no form is permanent, that somehow the cycle of manifestation-disintegration-manifestation is a necessary and correct process in the Universe.
Coming to understand the life-death-life cycle, ingesting it in a comprehensive way, will help us to overcome our fear of Death. Even so, this comprehension implies only an "intellectual" knowledge. I can know this information, my reason will accept it, but if my body is threatened it will instinctively go into a survival mode. Our organisms are built this way.
The big concern here--not only to overcome our fear, but to hopefully have a "good" death--boils down to Mind over Matter. No laughing situation really. Somehow we must come to accept innately--down to the core of our being--the comprehension of Death as a cosmic necessity and thus ultimately to the good.
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