THE MEANING OF LIFE
BY LARS ADELSKOGH
PART THREE OF THREE
The Superphysical Reality
Hylozoics speaks of a reality beyond the physical, the superphysical existence. With superphysical senses (as in clairvoyance, remote viewing, etc.) one can observe superphysical forms, which penetrate the physical visible matter. Around living beings, a kind of psychic atmosphere is observed, the so-called aura. An American medical doctor, Shafica Karagulla, was interested in the aura and its medical significance. She met several colleagues, who could observe the aura as a “field of life energy” around their patients. They had learned to use the clairvoyant ability to make diagnoses. They said that they could often “see” a disease as a “defect” in the field of life, before it manifested itself pathologically in the physical organism.
In her book Breakthrough to Creativity, Professor Karagulla summarized these findings thus: Man has a life field of physical energy, which is on the verge of visibility. It expresses itself as a “light aura” and extends several centimeters outside the body. Furthermore, he has an emotional field, which reaches several decimeters up to half a meter outside the body. And finally, he has a mental or intellectual field, which reaches more than half a meter out. Dr Edward Aubert has commented on her book as follows:
“It seems like we lived in a sea of interacting energies. These energies move in and out of our individual fields in a way, that is reminiscent of breathing. Each person seems to have their own way of absorbing his energy. Some do it primarily through intellectual stimulation, while others do it through emotional arousal. Depression and self-absorption greatly diminish the ability to absorb the energies.”
This clearly shows that also the superphysical reality has the three aspects of matter, consciousness and motion. The aura is no effect of the organism, no radiation of it. It has an independent existence. In out-of-body experiences, man finds himself living and conscious in his “spirit body” (that is, the superphysical body), when he has left the organism for the moment. Superphysical bodies have their own structure, independent of the organism, and diseases usually appear first in the superphysical and then affect the organism.
A Multiplicity of Worlds
According to hylozoics, there are many kinds of superphysical matter. These matter penetrates completely through the physical, are in the same room as the physical. The aura penetrates the organism and also reaches a distance outside it.
The entire physical world, not just our planet, but the entire solar system and outer space beyond, is filled and permeated with superphysical matter of various kinds. This is possible because even the most solid physical matter mostly consists of voids between and even within the atoms. In this void there is a seemingly unlimited space for the ever finer atoms, which the superphysical matter consists of.
In this way, the different superphysical kinds of matter form different worlds in the same room as the physical world. When people in hylozoics talk about worlds, they do not mean different planets or the like, but different states of matter or dimensions in the same room. For the sake of clarity and to distinguish the world concept of hylozoics from other concepts, one can speak of “atomic worlds”.
Each atomic world has its own kind of atoms, its own kind of matter composed of these, its own kind of characteristic consciousness, its own kind of motion (energy, vibrations). The three aspects exist in all the worlds but are expressed in completely different ways in each one.
The atoms of the physical world are the largest or coarsest. The next finer ones are the ones that build up the emotional world. Next degree in fineness is the matter of the mental world. Then follows a long series of ever finer kinds of atoms.
The atoms of the finest kind are the primordial atoms, the monads. The emotional world gets its name from the fact that the emotions or feelings are the typical consciousness of this kind of matter. The “emotional field” in the aura consists of emotional matter. Through its emotional aura, all organisms (humans, animals and plants) are connected to each other. “We live in a vast sea of interacting energies.” The individual emotional aura is a densification of the surrounding emotional “sea” and has a constant exchange of matter, energy and consciousness with this. The same applies to the interaction of the “intellectual field” with the mental world. Its typical consciousness is thoughts and ideas.
Where does it all come from?
The ultimate basis of everything is primordial matter. The primordial matter is not atomic, does not consist of small parts (atoms, particles) but is completely homogeneous (uniform), absolutely dense and absolutely elastic. The primordial matter has no limit. It is the truly infinite space.
The primordial matter is eternal in time. It has never arisen and will never be destroyed. It is eternally the same. It never changes.
In primordial matter potentially, all the properties that appear in atomic matter, exists. The primordial matter is eternally unconscious. In this homogeneous and unchanging matter no consciousness can arise. Only in the primordial atoms and in the matter composed of these, does the development of consciousness become possible.
In primordial matter, its own primordial force acts without interruption. This primordial force Pythagoras called dynamis (the word is pronounced dy’namis). Just as primordial matter is the substance of all other matter, so dynamism is the cause of all motion, change, force, energy in the whole universe. Dynamis has never arisen and will never cease. Dynamis is eternal, unlimited and unchanging. Dynamis is omnipotent. But dynamis is also blind, eternally unconscious like primordial matter.
Dynamis’ omnipotence is shown by the fact that it creates the primordial atoms. No other force in the universe can do this. In every moment, countless primordial atoms in the limitless primordial matter are created in this way. The primordial force “digs a hole” in the primordial matter, makes a “bubble” in it. The primordial atoms are thus voids in the primordial matter.
Dynamis acts in every primordial atom it has created. If the primordial force ceased, if only for a fraction of a second, the primordial atoms would dissolve and the “bubbles” would fuse with the homogeneous primordial matter. As long as dynamis acts in the primordial atom, the primordial atom also remains as an individual. No external force can dissolve the primordial atom, but it is indestructible.
Primordial atoms (The Monads)
Primordial matter with its dynamic energy is the cause of the monads (primordial atoms). And the monads are, in their turn, the building blocks of all other matter, composite matter. The monads are the least possible parts of matter. We might conceive of them as exceedingly small points of force.
The monads manifest the three aspects of existence. The primordial atoms, or monads, have originated from primordial matter, they contain and express omnipotent primordial force, and they have the potential of consciousness.
The monad is eternal and indestructible. All material forms dissolve. They break up into their constituent parts. The monad, however, is simple, uncompounded, and indivisible. What should it break up into? The monad has within itself an exhaustless energy. It is the primordial force of the monad, its own force. It is eternal, dynamic (self-active), omnipotent. However, dynamis is in itself blind, has in itself no purposive or intelligent control.
The monad has within itself the possibility of all qualities and faculties. Its potentiality is the basis of everything that eventually manifests itself in the cosmos.
The monad has the potentiality of consciousness. In the cosmos, the monad’s potential consciousness is sooner or later roused to life, is actualized. Once actual, consciousness will develop more and more. The monad eventually becomes a conscious being, an individual that feels, thinks, and acts. The monad thereby becomes a self.
Now we are ready for the complete hylozoic definition of the monad: The monad, or primordial atom, is the least possible part of matter and the least possible firm point for an individual consciousness.
The free state of the monads in primordial matter was called “chaos” by Pythagoras. The opposite of it he called the cosmos, an ordered whole of primordial atoms. Chaos is unlimited in space and time. The cosmos has a limited extension in space and a limited duration in time. It has the form of a globe.
The cosmos comes into being, grows to reach a definite extension, exists as long as is necessary for the complete development of the consciousness of the primordial atoms. Then the cosmos is dissolved. All this is ruled by immutable laws.
There is a generic term for all these processes that make up the life-cycle of the cosmos: manifestation. Besides the building and dismantling of the cosmos, manifestation includes all greater and lesser processes within the cosmos, all formation and dissolution of matter, all transference of energy.
Most important in the process of manifestation is that consciousness, existing potentially in every monad, is roused to life (actualized), subsequently to reach ever greater clarity. When the monad finally has knowledge of all the laws in the whole cosmos, it is omniscient in cosmic respect. Then it has also learnt how to apply all the laws with perfect precision, which makes the monad cosmically omnipotent. When all monads in the cosmos have reached cosmic omniscience and omnipotence, then the cosmos has achieved its purpose and is dissolved.
In our cosmos there are monads (primordial atoms) at all stages of the development of consciousness – from dormant to cosmically omniscient and omnipotent. The highest developed monads in the cosmos form that collective being which directs the process of manifestation towards its intended final goal.
Our cosmos is already a perfect organization.
The manifestation of the monads begins when they are introduced into the cosmos from infinite chaos. When, after (to our human minds) an incomprehensibly long period, they reach the conclusion of manifestation, then the monads will have gone through four major processes of manifestation, one after another, and will have entered into an unsurveyable number of compositions of matter in all cosmic worlds.
Thanks to its participation in these energy processes and material compositions, the monad is able to develop its consciousness and thereby to realize the meaning of its individual life. Its consciousness development is divided according to the four processes of manifestation.
During the processes of involvation and evolvation after their introduction from chaos, the monads have only potential consciousness. Then they are unconscious like primordial matter.
In the subsequent process of involution, monads are further involved in such a manner that forms are made of ever lower atomic and molecular kinds from world 43 down to the lowest world, the physical world. Thereby the consciousness of the monad is actualized, or awakened. Once actualized, the consciousness of the monad is at first passive, that is: active only under external influence.
The process of evolution begins in the physical world. The monads now liberate themselves from lower matter by gradual stages, simultaneously gaining self-active consciousness in higher matter. In continuously renewed forms the monad passes in succession through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. After the monad has passed from the animal to the human kingdom (the fourth natural kingdom), it eventually becomes self-conscious. Through evolution in these lower four natural kingdoms, monad consciousness in the physical, emotional, and causal-mental worlds is eventually activated.
The transition from the fourth to the fifth natural kingdom (the superhuman kingdom), marks the monad’s entry into the process of expansion. In this process, the monad attains ever higher kinds of self-consciousness and simultaneously learns to expand its self-consciousness to embrace ever more monads in a common consciousness. This takes place in the essential and superessential worlds, which constitute the continuation of the atomic worlds beyond the causal world.
This common consciousness has been described as a union of love and wisdom. Love means inseparable unity with all, without isolation, without “me” and “you”, with only “us”, true brotherhood realized. Wisdom means immensely greater insight than what is possible for the isolated consciousness in the human kingdom, since the experiences and memories of all are at the disposal of everybody who has entered the common consciousness: the planetary total consciousness.
In the fifth natural kingdom and in even higher natural kingdoms, so-called divine kingdoms, this common consciousness is gradually further expanded and more profoundly experienced. This process is the meaning of the term “expansion”.
In the highest divine kingdom, the monad, with its self-identity preserved, is one with the whole cosmos. The monad has reached cosmic omniscience and omnipotence. This is its goal in manifestation. The cosmos has been built in order to make it possible for the monads in chaos to develop their consciousness from first potentiality, through all the intermediate stages, into cosmic omniscience and omnipotence. All processes in the cosmos serve this aim, directly or indirectly. They all enter into the great process of manifestation.
The monad works its way forward through the various stages of manifestation, from total unconsciousness to omniscience, from isolation to unity with all life, from impotence to omnipotence, from total bondage to the greatest possible freedom under those laws of life which all monads must obey.
Subjective and objective consciousness
Subjective reality is consciousness. Objective reality is matter. There are no exclusively “subjective worlds” as contrasted with the objective physical world. All worlds are both objective and subjective, since they all have both aspects: matter and consciousness.
Consciousness is able to apprehend all kinds of reality: matter, consciousness, and motion. The content of consciousness thus can be both subjective and objective. Consciousness has a subjective content when it is occupied with itself: with feelings, thoughts, memories and so on. This is called subjective consciousness. Consciousness is also able to observe matter. It does so, for instance, when using our senses we perceive what is happening in the physical. This is called objective consciousness.
Normal man has objective consciousness of physical matter only. Objective consciousness of emotional and mental matter means that you can “see” material forms in these worlds, for example the auras surrounding living organisms. Emotional clairvoyance is far more common than mental.
Except for sense perceptions of the physical world, man’s consciousness is subjective only. His emotional and mental consciousness so far developed is subjective. This is the reason why most people reject the idea of superphysical (“spiritual”) worlds. The idea that feelings and thoughts are not only subjective states of consciousness but also objective things that have extension in space, force fields that have definable rates of vibrations, must seem strange to them. Not so to people with higher (super-physical) objective consciousness.
Every thought is the consciousness of a particular mental form, every feeling is carried by an emotional material form. Man fills up the mental and emotional worlds surrounding him with such mental and emotional forms. They can be observed by the objectively conscious, and their meaning can be deciphered by those who have learnt their language.
The Self and Its Envelopes
Casually examined your inner life, your consciousness, may seem unitary enough. After some self-observation, however, you see that you have consciousness on three different planes simultaneously: on the physical plane by your sense impressions and will impulses to the muscles, on the emotional plane by your desires and feelings, and on the mental plane by your thoughts and ideas. Thus it is possible to be simultaneously aware of the fact that you feel cold, are excited, and are occupied with intellectual work, for example calculation or planning a journey. Your consciousness is momentarily more concentrated on some one of the three planes. It is constantly changing levels and is unceasingly, restlessly active.
Sometimes, when your attention is not entirely caught by the physical external world, nor entirely engrossed in your inner emotional or mental world, the self becomes aware. Perhaps it then observes, like a detached onlooker, your perpetually changing consciousness of three kinds. This can be experienced through some self-observation. Feelings and thoughts appear to come and go freely according to their own laws of association, but the self can intervene and control them if it wants to. What observes and controls must be different from what is observed and controlled. The self is sense perceptions, feelings, and thoughts but is also different from, above and beyond them. It can identify with these kinds of consciousness, but it can also renounce identification consciously. The self, as such, appears to be a centre of observing self-consciousness and a centre of will.
According to the prevalent physicalist psychology, the brain produces every kind of consciousness. According to hylozoic psychology, the brain does not produce any consciousness but merely conveys the expressions of consciousness to the physical. The brain has very little consciousness in itself. The brain certainly is a condition of consciousness in the organism. But neither body nor brain is a condition of consciousness, as projection phenomena demonstrate. To give an analogy: A radio receiver is necessary to listen to a transmission in the physical world. But the transmission – and the radio station for that matter – is not dependent on the function nor even existence of the receiver.
Only physical consciousness is produced in the physical body. Hylozoics teaches, however, that all consciousness has a material basis. Then man’s various kinds of consciousness must have another material basis than the organism. According to hylozoics, that basis is the monad (the self-atom) as well as the monad’s envelopes in the different worlds with their entirely different kinds of consciousness.
Man’s envelope in the visible physical world is the organism. He also has envelopes in the emotional and mental world. There are in all five envelopes, since man has two physical envelopes and two mental envelopes, one each of coarser and finer matter.
Enumerating them in the order of increasing subtlety, we call man’s five envelopes:
(1) the coarse physical – the organism
(2) the subtle physical – the etheric envelope
(3) the emotional envelope
(4) the (relatively) coarse mental envelope
(5) the subtle mental, the causal envelope, the “soul”
The presence of four subtle envelopes in the organism enables man to lead his life in the physical world, at the same time having emotional and mental consciousness. Without his emotional envelope he would lack desires and feelings, and without his mental envelope he would be unable to think.
Consciousness in the causal envelope is as yet undeveloped in most people. Fully developed, the causal consciousness affords immediate correct perception of everything it is directed at in the three worlds of man, clarifying the causes and effects of things irrespectively of distances on the planet or time past. The ancients (teachers of the old esoteric schools) called this “intuition” or “beholding the ideas in the world of ideas” (the causal world).
The etheric envelope is actually the most important of the two physical bodies. It conveys various life-sustaining energies (“vital force”) to the organism. Defects in the functions of the etheric envelope act upon the organism as decreased vitality and disease. Many people can discern their own and other people’s etheric envelopes as a thin, faintly luminous film surrounding the entire body. The etheric envelope penetrates the organism. It forms, as it were, a perfect replica of it, so that every cell has its own etheric counterpart, its own etheric envelope. Actually it is the other way round: the organism is a replica of the etheric envelope, which is its basic form or “blueprint”. Therefore, the etheric is sometimes called the morphogenetic or formative envelope.
The Three Aspects of Consciousness Expressions
Reality is a unity of matter, consciousness, and motion. If we consider any one of the three life aspects in isolation, then our view will always be imperfect and misleading. Biology views evolution just as development of forms and does not heed consciousness in the forms. Psychology studies consciousness as such but knows nothing of man’s emotional and mental envelopes and the monad.
Everything in the cosmos has three aspects, and so have the expressions of consciousness. The feelings we have and the thoughts we think are not mere subjective states of consciousness. Feelings and thoughts are also material forms. Finally they are also forces; they are effects of causes and, in their turn, become causes of new effects.
Two esoteric sayings of immemorial age illustrate this: “Thoughts are things” and “energy follows thought”.
There is a universal parallelism of matter, consciousness, and motion (force). Physical matter consists of the grossest atoms in the cosmos, emotional matter is made up of finer atoms, and mental matter of finer atoms still, and so on. Matter is the carrier, the medium of motion, of the vibrations that fill up the whole cosmos. The finer the atoms, the more rapid, intensive, penetrating are the vibrations conveyed by them. This parallelism between matter and motion is vitally important also for consciousness, since every content of consciousness corresponds to a particular rate of vibration in a particular kind of matter. There are physical, emotional, mental, etc., vibrations.
This is perhaps easier to understand if we first study things in the physical world. As physical matter vibrates, a wave goes out in all directions. Depending on its frequency the vibration conveys, say, the colour blue, or (at a lower frequency) the note of do. Vibrations hit the respective sense organs in man. There they produce electrical nerve-impulses corresponding to them. These are discharged in the brain, but the recording organ is the etheric brain, not the gross physical brain. The self-atom, the monad, with its vast experience of the import of perpetually changing vibrations, interprets the impression immediately and correctly.
The possibilities of differentiation appear inexhaustible. We can think of however many nuances of colour, musical notes, smells, etc. The same is true of emotional vibrations, various moods and feelings without end.
A man’s feeling, be it strong or faint, lasting or fleeting, heeded by himself or unnoticed, gives rise to a characteristic vibration in his emotional envelope. The envelope is in direct contact with the emotional world. The vibration reaches out in all directions. It travels faster than light and is weakened only at an immense distance from its source. All emotional envelopes that are in its way are affected by it. If the vibration is sufficiently strong, if the envelope is in a receptive condition and if the self is not occupied with some particular business, then a feeling is recorded as though it were the individual’s own. This is how telepathy works, a universal phenomenon in the cosmos.
We are more telepathic than we suspect. Much of what we think are our own feelings and thoughts are suggestions from without. They are more for evil than for good: the unprovoked depression you feel in the throngs of a big city is one instance. This shows the importance of being active, attentive in our consciousness. It is in passive states that we most easily receive bad influences from without. We human beings are still far from being able to exercise conscious telepathy, purposive transference of thoughts. We must first learn to be positive, not to burden other people with our negative emotionality, our depressive feelings.
Our five envelopes in three worlds are hit by innumerable vibrations every second. Our senses record an exceedingly tiny fraction of all kinds of vibrations in the physical world. The corresponding is true of subjective consciousness in our superphysical envelopes. Less than a millionth part of all vibrations is apprehended by us. Everything else passes us by unnoticed. If we could apprehend and correctly interpret all vibrations that reach us over immense distances, then we would be all but omniscient.
Experience and memory
There is no ignorance in the absolute sense of the word “ignorance”. Even in the mineral kingdom the monad has experiences and learns from them. This is possible since the monad has an indestructible memory. All the experiences of the monad, all vibrations that have ever hit the primordial atom, are engraved in it for ever. This memory becomes latent, it is true. We experience that every day, when practically everything we live through fades from our actual memory. In fact, however, we never forget anything. What we have experienced once, we can experience again, which happens when the monad is again affected by similar vibrations, confronted by similar impressions, put into similar situations. We know that a memory from early childhood can suddenly reappear with overwhelming clarity.
Therefore, “knowledge is remembrance” (Plato). Everything we have experienced, learnt, mastered – in this life or in a previous life – is preserved in latent state. By far the most of it we never remember anew: fragmented impressions, memory details, primitive insights which we have outgrown long ago in never-ceasing evolution. There are also very many tendencies and habits, qualities and abilities, which have been repeated and have become firmly established in the monad during countless incarnations. Man has quite a lot of such powers, functions, and qualities as were developed already in the animal kingdom: locomotion, three-dimensional vision, sexuality, aggressiveness, vanity, playfulness, etc. Specifically human characteristics are self-consciousness, language, abstract thought, imagination, idealism, among others. Such qualities and abilities as are called innate have in fact been acquired in previous lives. Then they have become latent and have been reacquired perhaps many times over. At each new occasion they are actualized more easily than before.
Man thus carries his past to a much greater extent than he may imagine. Since he goes forward in his consciousness development, this means that he latently carries a worse person than he actually is, all the primitive tendencies that he believes he has left behind long ago. It depends on himself, on his intentional control of attention and interests, whether this latency will have opportunities of resuscitation. The power of latency and man’s inability or unwillingness to control his consciousness are part of the explanation for the problem of evil. For man is neither good nor evil in any absolute sense of the words “good” and “evil”. He is on the level he has attained and has both the good and the bad qualities of that level. Moreover, he has, in a latent state, all the ever worse qualities of ever lower levels.
Therefore, it is very important that man tries to resuscitate those positive qualities and valuable abilities which belong to his present level of understanding. This latent experience of life extends over several recent incarnations. But his actual consciousness concerns only his present incarnation. This must mean that whatever man expresses in his actual state – in knowledge, insight and understanding, qualities and abilities, versatile competence and interests – in some certain life is a mere fraction of his true, latent capacity. Therefore, the two concepts of personality and individuality are distinguished in esoterics. Individuality is the total man; personality is the tiny part that is actualized in this particular incarnation. The actual personality consists partly of former experience remembered anew (including habits, tendencies, etc.), partly the small amount of new experience that man manages to collect during his present physical life. By far the greater portion of man’s ability and understanding thus is remembrance. Only a tiny portion he acquires as entirely new in his present life.
Waking Consciousness and Unconsciousness
In all natural kingdoms the monad has a waking life and an unconscious life. The waking consciousness is whatever the self apprehends in every instant. Man’s waking consciousness consists of sense perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and perceptions of the will. Attention is the centre, the focus of waking consciousness. Attention indicates the presence of the self. The waking consciousness is just an infinitesimal fraction of man’s total possible consciousness. The incomparably greater portion of what man’s physical senses and superphysical envelopes record passes the self by unnoticed. Thus it is hardly an exaggeration to call the unconscious the true man.
The unconscious is partly subconscious, partly superconscious. The subconscious is latency. It contains everything that ever passed through the waking consciousness; everything the monad has seen, tasted, and done; all experiences it has worked up, everything ever since its consciousness was awakened, thus all experiences of the monad even long before its entry into the mineral kingdom. Each incarnation deposits, as it were, its own layer of consciousness. All this is preserved, for the subconscious forgets nothing. It is preserved as predispositions for qualities and abilities and expresses itself in the personality as character traits, prospects of understanding, instincts for the most varied things.
Direct understanding of something means that you have worked it up in previous lives. Whatever you have not experienced previously you can with difficulty learn to comprehend. Comprehension must work its way forward slowly, step by step. You can learn to comprehend things which you really do not understand, cannot yet understand until several incarnations hence. Anyone who understands and anyone who merely comprehends “do not speak the same language”. Whatever you understand you can also, as a rule, apply and realize. Not so what you only comprehend. All this has to do with different depths in the experience of life.
The superconscious is potentiality. It embraces all those higher kinds of consciousness which the monad has not yet activated in evolution.
The superconscious does not include only the normally superhuman, causal consciousness and higher, but also layers in man’s typical kinds of consciousness as yet unknown to the majority. Examples of the latter are: emotionally, the mystics’ experience of the unity of all life and the “peace which passeth all understanding”; mentally, the great thinkers’ experience of the synthesis of ideas, a preparatory stage before contacting the causal consciousness.
Waking man is in contact with his unconscious. He is constantly receiving impulses from his subconscious. They can instil feelings, moods, thoughts into him, apparently out of nothing. They can impel him to speak and act without his understanding why or even his being aware of his action. More seldom he receives inspirations from his superconscious, for example in the form of an intuition. In hylozoics, intuition means a direct correct perception of a major causal context. It is an expression of causal consciousness.
Evolution means that the monad activates ever higher kinds of consciousness. Expressed differently, the monad successively moves the boundary between its waking consciousness and superconscious. Our present waking consciousness was once our superconscious. Correspondingly, our present waking consciousness will belong to our subconscious and parts of our present superconscious will be our waking consciousness some time in the future. What we sporadically and uncontrolledly contact when we are at our best, in unforgettable moments of profound peace and unity with life, or when we summon up unsuspected powers within us and courageously attack the most difficult problems and situations, or when we reach a sudden insight and make an intellectual conquest, all this which we for lack of knowledge call “our better self” (as though we were more selves than one) will in the future be our normal, our everyday consciousness.
Hylozoics enumerates three specifically different causes of motion: dynamis, material energy, and will. Dynamis acts directly in primordial atoms. Material energy is the indirect action of dynamis in the composite matter. This action weakens in each lower atomic kind, at each step of increasing composition of primordial atoms. This explains why motion apparently ceases in the lowest kind of matter, solid physical matter.
Thus material energy is the expression of dynamis through the matter aspect. Correspondingly, will is dynamis expressing itself through the consciousness aspect. Dynamis is in itself blind, lacks consciousness and can never have consciousness, for motion and consciousness eternally remain different aspects. Consciousness can develop, however, so that it eventually learns to control dynamis in matter, learns to use energies and to direct them towards a goal. This ability is called active consciousness. It lies potential in the monads and must, like all faculties, be developed. This is not done at once but only in evolution.
Involution is the actualization of monad consciousness. Evolution is the activation of monad consciousness. Actualization means that consciousness is awakened, roused to life; activation means that consciousness, awakening more and more, gradually learns to control energies.
There are as many kinds of will and active consciousness as there are kinds of matter. Activation starts in evolution from below, from the lowest matter, the physical. Man has three main kinds of will: physical will, emotional will, and mental will. Since emotional consciousness is the most activated at the present stage of mankind’s development, emotional will (desire) is almost always stronger than mental will (intellectual resolution), except in the few who have developed mental consciousness so that it dominates emotionality. But a higher kind of will is potentially always stronger than a lower kind. In the future, when mankind has activated mentality as much as it has today activated emotionality, mental will will dominate emotional will, just as today emotional will dominates physical will. And only then will man live up to his name of rational creature.
Will acts on matter directly. Man demonstrates this innumerable times every day by his physical will, whenever he moves a muscle. Emotional and mental will act on their respective kinds of matter, give rise to vibrations in the emotional and mental envelopes as well as in their surrounding material worlds. Will is still just faintly developed in most people.
When finally man has completely developed emotional, mental, and causal subjective and objective consciousness, then he has also mastered the corresponding kinds of will to perfection. By the aid of his higher causal and mental will, he will then be able to control etheric physical matter and achieve the effects he desires also in visible physical matter. This is the magic of immemorial age: the power of mind over matter. Magic will remain a secret, unattainable for all but the very few who have overcome any temptation to abuse the tremendous power and who have placed all their capacity at the service of evolution for all time to come.
Passive and Active Consciousness
Consciousness can be passive or active. Passive consciousness does not imply inactivity; so far the term ”passive” is misleading. It means, however, that consciousness lacks the power of activity of its own, lacks a will of its own. Such consciousness must be activated from without. As soon as outer influence ceases, passive consciousness becomes latent (dormant). In contradistinction, active consciousness has the power of spontaneous activity, has a will of its own.
Man has both passive and active consciousness in his physical, emotional, and mental envelopes. Sense impressions are passive when attention is not present. Emotions and thoughts are passive when they just come about, as it were, without the control, will, attention of the self; when mental and emotional associations unceasingly chase each other without our conscious controlling or willing them. No consciousness “just comes about”, however. All consciousness is activated consciousness. If it is not activated from within, by the monad, then it is activated from without: from the surrounding emotional and mental worlds or through robot functions (habits), which the monad has established in its envelopes on various occasions and which subsequently act without the control of the monad.
Thus there is a great difference between “I think” and “it thinks in me”. Everybody can convince himself of that truth by some self-observation. Indeed, the envelopes of man act as robots more than 90 per cent of the time. They pick up surrounding vibrations and reproduce them reinforced, while the monad, or self, passively observes, often not even that. Less than 10 per cent of man’s consciousness is determined by himself – by the monad. The greater part is robot consciousness: physical, emotional, and mental.
Man is a monad that has gone through involution and has worked its way through the lowest three kingdoms of evolution. He has, the passive consciousness of the entire involution. It is quite natural that this latency must characterize his life to a great extent, all the more as his active consciousness is relatively little developed. Thus when it is said that man is an evolutionary monad, this does not automatically imply that he is self-active in his consciousness all the time, only that he has the possibility. How active he will be he decides himself.
Monad and Envelope in Co-Operation
Every form of nature has life, some sort of consciousness. All life has a form, from atoms and molecules to aggregates of these. Examples of aggregates are organic life-forms in the physical world and superphysical envelopes in higher worlds. Also planets and solar systems are aggregates, living forms.
Most aggregates of superphysical material kinds belong to involution. These life-forms are called elementals and have passive consciousness. Examples are man’s envelopes of superphysical matter.
Most aggregates of physical matter belong to evolution. These life-forms, for example minerals and organisms – vegetable, animal, and human – as well as their etheric envelopes, have a faint active consciousness. This appears in their capacity of auto-formation and expedient adaptation to the surrounding world.
The elementals of involution have no possibility of self-active consciousness. When influenced from without, however, they are unfailingly activated.
Through their various kingdoms the elementals learn to pick up all the vibrations that hit them and to reproduce them reinforced. In every higher kingdom (in a lower material world!) they become ever more accomplished reproducers of vibrations, ever more perfectly docile robots.
The monads of evolution need envelopes in order to be able to activate ever higher kinds of consciousness from the physical world and up. Without his two physical envelopes man would lack sense perceptions, without his emotional envelope he would be without desires and feelings, and without his mental envelope he would not be able to think. The monad’s own vibrations are all too faint to be apprehended by the monad as they are. But its envelopes reproduce them many times reinforced. Envelopes therefore function like some sort of sounding-board, where the monad might be likened to the vibrating string. At the same time as the monad must have its envelopes, the monad as an evolutionary being is necessary for its envelopes, in order to activate the otherwise passive elementals. Monads and envelopes need each other equally for their consciousness development.
The monads of expansion have envelopes of evolutionary matter. This matter is self-active to a certain extent, but this self-activity is insignificant in comparison with that of the monad and wholly dominated by it.
Self-Activation as the Meaning of Life
The meaning of life is consciousness development. This is true of all monads, irrespective of their stage of manifestation, of their being monads of involution or evolution. For monads of evolution, and thus also for us human beings, development is the same as increased self- activation of the consciousness we have got: physical, emotional, and mental; particularly the higher subdivisions of these kinds of consciousness. This lays the necessary basis for the self- activation of ever higher kinds of consciousness: causal, essential, etc.
Whenever man is thinking thoughts that he does not want to acknowledge, whenever he is experiencing feelings that he understands to be below his true level, then the passive consciousness of his envelopes and not the monad determines the content of his consciousness. Whenever man does not keep his attention directed at some definite object – either in the inner subjective world or in the outer objective world – then the monad is inactive, the self absent. And when the self is absent, the envelopes are masters.
The envelopes are good servants but bad masters. Ninety per cent of all your suffering depends on the simple fact that you do not want to control your envelopes, and “you” means the monad. The envelopes pick up telepathically the negative emotions of the surrounding world and reinforce them. The monad can refuse to attend to them, if it wants to. The envelopes preserve countless memories of negative emotions and (often imaginary) wrongs, injuries, shame, depressions. The least association the monad makes calls those memories to life, and the monad unresistingly allows itself to be led through the same emotions again.
The only possibility of getting rid of this suffering, the only path to enduring happiness is for man to learn to control his envelope consciousnesses. That he does by being self-active in his consciousness as often and as much as he is able to. He can step up his power of choosing consciousness himself: “This I will keep, that I won’t.” Control of consciousness is possible and will finally be understood to be necessary. Man practises this by learning to be attentive, more and more attentive, and finally attentive all the time. He will keep his attention on his inner subjective world and on the outer objective world simultaneously. The higher, noble feelings, which everybody wants to possess instead of the lower, negative ones, do not appear by themselves. They must be cultivated consciously by being attended to constantly, by being inculcated in consciousness. The liberating ideas, new insights, new individual elaborations and other valuable mental consciousness must be firmly retained in consciousness in order to become living powers of our inner life. All this the self does by a conscious, deliberate act of mental and emotional will. Whatever we call this – self-activation, concentration, meditation – it is the same thing. It is also the quickest and surest path to higher consciousness.
I end this presentation by showing how hylozoics clarifies one of humanity’s truly great problems. I am referring to the world religions – unequivocally the monotheistic ones – which have made people show their very best but also very worst sides. At the heart of these religions is the notion of “god”, an alleged lone supreme being in the universe, an infinite being that has always existed. Hence the requirement for all of us to obey “god” unconditionally. Furthermore, the notion that disobedience to “god” is the worst crime, which must be punished most severely; violation of an infinite being requires an infinite punishment. The doctrine of eternal punishment in unimaginably painful hell then comes naturally. This “god” in his unfathomable exaltation above all other beings can arbitrarily demand anything, for example that his “own people” make “foreign people” their slaves or exterminate them altogether. Read in the Bible, in many places, but above all Deuteronomy 20:10-18!
According to hylozoics, there is no such “god”. At this point, as at many others, there is complete agreement between what Pythagoras and the Buddha taught. Infinite in time and space are only primordial matter and primordial force, and they are not beings, for they are eternally unconscious. The only beings that exist are monads at all the different stages – the realms of nature – in the development of their consciousness. We humans are basically monads, and we are at about the same stage. In animals, plants and minerals, there are monads at lower stages – but they are our brothers nonetheless, younger brothers. Certainly there are monads, which have reached much, much further in their development than man. Of course, we can call these “gods”, if we want. But it is more correct to call them “older brothers”. And the most important thing to know about them is that they have reached where they are now by obeying the laws of life for freedom, unity, development, self-realization, etc. If they are “perfect beings”, then they are only by virtue of following the laws of life in a perfect way. It would not occur to any of them to command or forbid anything, to judge, threaten and at the very least punish any living being. Doctrines about such things are only human inventions, conceived for the purpose of frightening people into obedience to power- and money-hungry clergy.
Hylozoics instead claims the inviolability of the individual as a logical consequence of his potential “divinity”. For all monads shall at once reach the highest stage. Only the timing of this is different for everyone. Those who are now at the highest stage also know that they themselves would never have been able to get there without this sovereign right to freedom.
Copyright © 1999 by Lars Adelskogh. Posted on the internet on February 14, 2007. www.veidos.se