Pay attention to that which comes to guide and protect you. Do your part to make your life whole and pleasant, fulfilling and meaningful, remaining aware that you are responsible at all times, every day, for how things unfold. But don’t forget that you also have helpers and guides, and your own High Self, all of whom wish you only the best.
How is one not broken open listening to some version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah? Halle means praise, and jah, as the Rasta’s confirm, is God. Praise God!
The emotions aroused in listening to Hallelujah are transcendent bliss and love. These emotions, as reflected in Cohen’s lyrics (which evolved over many years), are refined from hungry sexuality and sensuality to the most expansive level of sublime spiritual union at a soul level.
The soul is the subtle dimension of a human being, which animates the physical body. The soul is composed of elemental emotional substance, as well as mental substance. Emotions are the soul’s passionately magnetic agents of desire that attract to it the substance and body of the human being we become.
The life we enter is constructed to fulfill our High Self’s karmic quest. That which must be fulfilled is the mission of the soul’s desire body, replete with its active body of elemental emotions. Part of that karmic mission is to refine its raw emotional substance to the pure innocence of mature love in human endeavors, attachments and relationships throughout life.
At the primal level of physical life, emotions are the desires that serve our instinctual imperatives to eat, protect and reproduce. Refined through the vicissitudes of human life, emotions draw us into spiritual communion with our source in infinity.
The active elemental energies present in human emotion are latent elemental forces in all of nature. Fire, for instance, is a consuming elemental of nature that enacts necessary change, as old life is cleared to prepare the ground for new. Human beings have refined nature’s fire to produce warmth and edible food.
Within the human soul the latent elemental of fire is passion, a highly charged emotion that at a base level can lead to violence or simply gruff carnal union. At a more refined level, passion can motivate a great technological advance, such as AI (artificial intelligence), a revolution currently descending upon us.
Actually, our technological advances, while fueled by elemental passion, are largely accomplished through the rational thinking of the mind, also housed in the human soul, in the mental body.
Our ability to reason is quite advanced, hence we are readily capable of sussing out the subtle elemental properties of the elements in nature, then recombining them to our seemingly unlimited material advantage.
Unfortunately, the ego’s refinement of elemental emotions has not kept pace with its refinement of its mental acuity. Thus greed and dominance have infused our technological advance with irresponsible intent.
The Hindu technology of yoga offers a clear path for the maturation of elemental emotions through the intentional rising of kundalini energy along the progressive energy centers, called chakras, that connect the soul body to the physical body.
Kundalini is the ultimate elemental life force energy that rises from the base of the spine, the root of our stability, through our sexual core to the solar plexus, the center of ego power.
As we align with the guidance of our Higher Self, at the heart center, our ability to speak our deepest truth opens at the throat, then travels to our intuitive center at the third eye. The crowning achievement of spiritual refinement is enlightenment and deep empathy at the seventh chakra, at the top of the head.
Oftentimes, we might notice our throat tighten if we have an intense emotion and want to speak. Energetically we are experiencing an unrefined elemental emotion, too dense for transmission through the higher chakra channels.
In this case, the emotion might require further processing at a physical level, perhaps through belly screaming at the level of the solar plexus before it can move upward to the compassion center at the heart and then be calmly communicated through the larynx.
A psychological approach to elemental maturity involves similar dynamics at different centers of the soul. The subconscious mind is the base energy center of the soul that has the raw materials, desires and knowhow to manifest anything. The subconscious does not think, it follows orders via suggestions.
The ego, at the mental body center of the soul, has the power of consciousness and free will. The ego is the main character in a human life, orphaned by, yet on its assigned mission from, its High Self.
The ego must struggle to develop confidence and rise above its narcissistic infatuation with power. The ego’s charge, the hero’s journey, is to refine the desire body’s elemental emotions into love, its highest possible development.
The supra-conscious center of the soul houses the High Self, which supports the ego through its suffering journey of human life to transform its karmic elemental roots into the heights of spiritual purity and transcendental love.
Human life unfolds as a growing interaction between these tripartite centers of the soul—the subconscious, the ego, and the supra-conscious—as ego gradually wakes up and moves toward greater acquiescence to the mission of its High Self in this life. And with that accomplishment we truly can sing Hallelujah!
Ever-present in the background of ego consciousness is the archetypal human, that which, with its accumulated wisdom from having lived the entirety of human history, lives inside us and reacts along with us as we think, imagine, and encounter the phenomenal world.
Imagine standing at the edge of a tall mountain, flying in a plane, or crossing a turbulent river. The immediate instinctual reaction of our inner archetypal human might be anxiety, as it accents its knowing of potential danger. Archetypal triggers are the emotional downloads of ancient wisdom, gleaned from prior human experience, that automatically react to similar stimuli that appear in present-day life.
Our ego reaction to these same imaginary scenes might be to quickly rationalize the overwhelming statistics of the safety of flying and the ability to stay calm and in control in challenging situations. These efforts are attempts to minimize archetypal fears and master the challenges presented.
Ultimately, ego is tasked with becoming the Hero, who finds the means to surmount the archetypal challenges being presented. Ego does well to begin with humility. Instinctual reactions are automatic; there is no blame in the reaction of terror.
The thought of giving a speech or performing before an audience might provoke immediate terror. It’s a completely valid instinctive response. This is the archetypal mind scanning the power of groups in myriads of human encounters throughout history and delivering its verdict—terror.
The lowered consciousness of group mind in such experiences has resulted in many tragic consequences in the course of human history. The ego does well to acknowledge this truth and to consider how it might best prepare itself for such a challenging event.
Sometimes ego might attempt to puff itself up to feel equal to or greater than the power of the archetypal trigger. Positive self-talk in such circumstances may be helpful but is not likely to maintain the confidence needed for true mastery.
The Hero’s journey is its own archetypal journey of ego development. First and foremost, one must heed the call to action. The call originates from our High Self or Spirit, informing us that it is time to grow: “Yes, you must meet with this person whom you experience as the archetypal bully or harpy.”
The instinctive reaction to freeze or retreat is respected but not chosen for this challenge to be successfully met. One might engage in yoga, breath work, meditation, neurofeedback, or any body-centered technique to increase conscious control over the instinctual reactions of the central nervous system generated by the archetypal mind.
The home of the archetypal human is the subconscious mind, which responds immediately to triggers or suggestions by generating chemical and electrical reactions in the body. The use of conscious positive suggestions to the body present new behavioral options to the subconscious mind. Just as the subconscious mind reacts to instinct, it also reacts to consciously generated suggestions.
Thus, regular self-hypnosis that suggests actions of calm and mastery can give the ego greater control over the habitual, instinctive reactions of the archetypal mind. The calmer we can be in an archetypal encounter the greater will be our ability to remain present and to respond quickly and thoughtfully to rapidly changing conditions.
Practice, practice, practice! This is the guidance given to all music students. Its wisdom can be generalized to prepare all of us for all kinds of archetypal encounters.
For instance, visualizing the scene and the myriad of possible permutations of an event, accompanied by the bilateral recapitulation breath as you live those scenes, allows you to gain greater clarity, fluidity and calm over the actual event.
Ego is also free to ask for help and support from its High Self, who appreciates ego’s efforts to meet its appointed task. In particular, one might ask the High Self for help in gaining access to the appropriate words and ideas that would be helpful as it navigates the challenge before it. Memorization has its place, but a quickness of mind is best suited to be fully present and responsive to an unfolding challenge.
Ultimately, the archetypal human is extremely conservative. Its aim is to keep us safe and alive. In fact, in actual life-threatening circumstances this ancient human can take possession of the ego and the body and perform superhuman feats. Don’t leave home without your archetypal human self!
On the other hand, realize that consciousness was evolved at the behest of the archetypal mind, who saw the wisdom of being able to change course on a dime, rather than suffer the consequences of habitual patterns ill-fitted to changing circumstances.
The ego is the child of the archetypal human who must truly become the adult to the personality, working respectfully with its archetypal partner and cohort.
Archetypal triggers are merely necessary tests meant to be mastered. Also, life always provides many makeup tests!
In the solid world of everyday life a coin is an agreed upon object of stored energy for commerce. Our saved coin is our buying power.
Even in this most physical world, abstraction, or subtle reality, animates the value in coin. Without an agreed upon reality amongst humans—that assigns and allows coin to ‘contain’ a spirit energy—coin would hold no value.
At the soul level of reality, the appearance of a coin in a dream is a type of mandala, the outer attire of one’s High Self. Essentially, the High Self is affirming that this dream theme, accented by the coin’s appearance, is the next step on one’s path of individuation.
The use of a single coin throw for guidance is a very early predecessor to the I Ching, an oracle which uses three coins tossed six times to create a highly differentiated hexagram of oracular wisdom. A single coin represents wholeness, via its circular shape, a shape that includes all that is. The two sides, heads and tails, give equal representation to Yang and Yin, the building blocks of everything.
Heads is assigned Yang. It is the masculine, active principle. When it appears, it says Yes to taking action. Tails is the feminine, receptive principle. When it appears, it says No, the time for action has not yet arrived, as things are still in utero. A single coin toss is only capable of reflecting a gross answer of either Yes or No, with no further elaboration.
Who is it that answers the question? The answer is, one’s High Self, or Spirit. In effect, one’s ego self poses its question to its High Self, which in turn answers Yes or No to the question posed. Sounds pretty straightforward, but actually much consideration and preparation are required to benefit from this oracle of the single coin.
Firstly, ego must assume full responsibility for its life. Ego can’t simply turn over this responsibility and sheepishly ask the High Self, as parent, to tell it what to do. High Self is the center of personality that insists ego evolve and expand consciousness through its thoughtful suffering of the travails of a human life. High Self will provide support and guidance but not the answers that ego must rightly figure out.
It’s not beneath the High Self to give a wrong answer if the ego is evading its responsibility in asking, or persists in over-asking. Even the I Ching has a reading, called Youthful Folly (hexagram #4), which reacts rather sternly to perseverating questioning:
“It is not I who seek the young fool;
The young fool seeks me.
At the first oracle I inform him.
If he asks two or three times, it is importunity.
If he importunes, I give him no information.”*
The expectation is that ego sit in the tension of the opposite possibilities inherent in the question it struggles with and, as objectively as possible, come to a tentative decision of what truly is right action.
Right action is action free of prejudice or secret motive, action truly in alignment with what is right to do in the situation being considered. This of course would be action in alignment with the High Self.
Having done this preparatory work, ego is in a position to say to High Self, “I’ve done my due diligence. Are you in agreement with my conclusion?”
If the answer is No, it gives ego the opportunity to go back to the drawing board and to look further into its shadow, asking itself, “What am I missing?”
I personally have benefited much over the years by being directed to reflect again, shedding greater light upon the blindspot of shadow’s hidden influences.
Of equal importance is the reverence one assumes for the feedback received. If ego has already decided what it will do, and then rejects the contrary council of the coin, ego is truly guilty of insincerity in asking its question.
For true guidance, when approaching the coin, one must be open to the possibility of not doing what one has already decided to do.
This may mean returning to the drawing board to deeply consider why one feels so certain of getting a No answer. Of course, it could be possible that ego must go it alone and make a decision that defies even the Law of the High Self.
Was this not the situation in the Garden of Eden, where a law being broken gave birth to human consciousness and free will, the essential building blocks of planetary growth?
Indeed, this may be one of the High Self’s greatest tests for ego—to take responsibility for right action, even in the absence of any support.
The bottom line is that an oracle is really only helpful if used as a support to ego growth in its refinement of subjective motives, as they are transformed into service to the underlying truth of its being.
The real power of the coin rests in the sincerity of the seeker who turns to it for guidance. And though of great support, nothing replaces the primacy of ego assuming full responsibility for its growth in its sojourn in a human life.
Valuing the correct use of the coin, Chuck
*The I Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm edition, pp. 20-21
In every life a chain of events can be revealed as showing the unfolding of life. Circumstances do not suddenly appear; they are, more often than not, expected. When one looks back at how things unfolded this is seen to be true. To be aware every day of the unfolding in process is to be in alignment with life, aware of the signs and synchronicities that bring change. Become alert to your own life’s unfolding so that you are prepared for everything, at least in the intention to go with the flow rather than to be overwhelmed. Things do not happen, they unfold.