Thursday, February 21, 2013

Metabolism VI - The Masks of the Thymus, the Demon, the Magi and the Conflux

We will now focus on the middle section of the Metabolism of Time, namely the Inner Mind (associated with the pancreas, enteric nervous system) and the Analysis and Reaction of/to the Moment (associated with the thymus gland and by extension to the immune system).


The natural characters of the Thymus gland are the Confused Venutian (highly analytical, tendency towards destructive, deconstructive - immune system recognising foriegn bodies) and the Shellfish (highly social - immune system recognising self cells), which have the masks of the Demon and the Magi associated with them.  The Demon is the natural mask of the immune system on the attack, the Magi the natural mask of the immune system recognising the self.

Demons typically feed on Shards (or strong memories - see Conflux II - Processes) and as such these masks are involved in generating situations where those Shards will form.  They may do this by engaging in group/solo extreme activities such as war, bungee jumping, surfing, etc or it might take the form of intense relationships.  Remember that generally individuals lie on a path so for example you might be encountering a Confused Venutian (thymus - foriegn) --> Jay (adrenaline) - in which case the memory forming may be centred on sport or war.  Alternately you may be encountering an individual on the path between Confused Venutian (thymus - foriegn) --> Treefrog (thyroid) in which the memory forming pursuits will be centred on art (normally art criticism, or deconstruction, because of the tendencies of the Confused Venutian) or travel/tourism (typically something more like backpacking for months than a quick weekend break is preferable).

Just like in our other descriptions of the masks positive attention (compliments, praise) and negative attention (criticism, slander) will cause the mask to alter its type depending on the position on the diagram.  Negative attention will change the mask of the Demon (natural mask of the Confused Venutian) into the mask of the Dreamer - the visible effects of this are under the influence of negative attention the person will retreat into themselves and feed on the Shards (memories) they have already stored.  Typically the negative attention will be brought about by a failed attempt at creating another Shard (by the methods described above).  Under the influence of positive attention the Demon will transform to the Mask of the Gambler (the natural mask of the Treefrog/Thyroid) - the successful attempt to generate a shard makes the natural character incline to take more and more risks and generate more and more of them.  At some point this increasingly risky behaviour fails and negative attention is accrued.


The mask associated with the natural character of the Shellfish is the Magi - it is loud, highly social, entertaining and attention-seeking.  It requires vast amounts of attention to maintain itself, and develops its varous 'party tricks' (story telling, juggling, pub games, jokes, sleight-of-hand, etc) in order to milk out more attention than is possible in normal transactions.  Also the 'party trick' approach allows the Magi to tap the attention of many individuals at once.  The Magi takes centre stage in social settings such as parties (which they normally create themselves being fantastic hosts and social butterflies) and increases the flow of attention diverting much of it to themselves.  Sometimes if this is overzealously carried out they will causes Rifts (Rifts are obviously more likely to happen at parties).


Similar to the Confused Venutian, the natural mask of the Shellfish - the Magi, transforms into a Gambler under positive attention and a Dreamer under negative attention.  Again looking at the diagram it is easier to turn a Magi into a Gambler and a Demon into a Dreamer because of the natural tendencies of the individual.  You can always force a reaction to occur (through pressure, catalysts, etc) against these tendencies but its much harder.  A Magi is much more likely to recieve positive attention for their entertainment value than a Demon, and so therefore more likely to become a Gambler when distorted.  The behaviour of the Gambler is such that the successful Magi will take greater and greater risks to get more attention from the central stage and as such is much more likely to end up making a fool of themselves - since the tendency of a Shellfish is towards indulgence and intoxication (recognising the 'self' in others, 'love') this making a fool of themselves is often the result of alcohol.  A Magi will generally only become a Dreamer if their initial attempts to 'entertain' fall flat and is so they will often retreat to the perimeter of the group nursing their ego and just feeding on 'background radiation' of the social environment.


The above information relates to individuals whose 'root-soul' or 'natural-character' lies on or around Gevurah (Confused Venutian, Analysis of the Moment, Thymus, Demon) and Chesed (Shellfish, Response to the Moment, Thymus, Magi).

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Metabolism VI - The Mask of the Genitals, the Vampyr and the Conflux

 The astute reader will notice that the character of the Many Mannered Mind Man lies at the bottom of the result of negative attention on the Metabolism of Time.  What happens then when negative attention is applied to a Many Mannered Mind Man? - in short virtually nothing.    The Many Mannered Mind Man is nearly immune to negative attention.  The only time it will really have an effect is after the result of extensive positive attention which will have changed their mask from Vampyr to Immortal/Lover* and then negative attention will rapidly restore the natural mask.

 The Many Mannered Mind Man is almost entirely negative - one of the reasons is their association with the genitals.  Their primary concern, mostly unconcious, is with the survival of the species not the survival of the individual self - they don't think with their dicks, they think with their sperm and eggs!  Any positive attention moves them away from their formless ego to a more concrete form of ego (identified with Tifereth and the Inner Mind) and they will fairly immediatly take steps to do something which will cause them to recieve negative attention.  Think back to the section on Physiognomy - Genitals where we were talking about the propensity for characters high in testosterone to break boundaries.  In this instant then the negative attention seeking behaviour will almost certainly take the form of saying something inappropriate or breaking some kind of taboo - maybe even physical violence as a punch in the face is generally concieved as fairly negative.  Bear in mind also that since their natural character is at the bottom of this 'attention' Tree this kind of behaviour is perfectly natural and actually I would argue 'healthy' for them.

The mask of the Vampyr and the previous description of it seems rather nasty - well there are a lot of nasty images in this work and that's because I have tried to face humanity full on when I have been making my observations - I am not looking through rose-coloured spectacles.  The behaviour of high testosterone individuals in their relationship with other people is typically of the mask of the Vampyr.  In relationships, they can obsess, stalk, mesmerise  and be very sexually aggressive (male and female) and lets not forget that some people *like* this behaviour for whatever reason.  Success in individual relationships can lead to an attempt to form a herd of thralls that are in awe of the central Vampyr - typically massive success in this area is prevented by other characters.  The Vampyr is a symbol which is frankly not human - and not limited by the mores of human civilization - this ties in nicely with their love of breaking boundaries and going against the 'herd of humanity.'  Do not forget your own knowledge of the array of different kinds of vampyrs when it comes to spotting and managing this kind of behaviour in your own Conflux or others.  They can be urbane and sophisticated (remember shape-shifting/adaptability is a key ability of theirs) as much as they can be wild creatures of the night.

A distorted Many Mannered Mind Man in the form of an Immortal (the natural mask of the Jay and adrenaline) - a 'positively charged' Mind Man if you will can a be a *more* dangerous force, or seem so to the rest of humanity.  This distortion is typical of soldiers that go 'wrong'.  The Immortal is associated with the identity of the group and protecting that identity, and forming this kind of mask is the result of induction of patriotism and loyalty to fellow soldiers typical of the military - combine this with the high testosterone and violent instinct of a Many Mannered Mind Man and you have the various massacres and atrocities that come with war on an individual level.  If a Many Mannered Mind Man is seeking negative attention because their mask has been posiitvely distorted giving them that negative attention stops them from becoming this - which is worse.

*It is far more likely that positive attention on the Many Mannered Mind Man will change the mask from Vampyr to Immortal than Vampyr to Lover although it does happen if conditions are favourable - normally it requires lots of strong drugs - not alcohol.


The above information pertains to Yesod.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What went wrong? Mistranslations and Charlatanism

'The  many books written on the subject in the 19th and 20th centuries by various theosophists and mystics lacked any basic knowledge of the sources and very rarely contributed to the field, while at times they even hindered the development of a historical approach.  Similarly, the activities of French and English occultists contributed nothing and only served to create considerable confusion between the teachings of the Kabbalah and their own totally unrelated inventions, such as the alleged kabbalistic origin of the Tarot.  To this category of supreme charlatanism belong the many and widely read books of Eliphas Levi, Papus and Aleister Crowley, all of whom had an infinitessimal knowledge of Kabbalah that did not prevent them from drawing freely on their own imaginations instead.  The comprehensive works of A.E. Waite, S. Karppe and P. Vuillaud, on the other hand, were essentially rather confused compilations made from second hand sources.'

Wider Influences, Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem - p 203

Metabolism VI - The Mask of Adrenaline, the Immortal and the Conflux

An example which can provide more insight into how this works is the Jay and his natural masks as compared and contrasted with the Mime.

The Mime is at the 'Forgetting' stage of the Metabolism of Time and the Jay is at the 'Remembering' stage.  As I mentioned in the previous post on Masks, positive attention (praise, compliments) drives the mask up the diagram and negative attention (criticism, slander) drive the mask down the diagram.  The mask changes to be the one associated with the new position and as such is not the natural mask of the character in question; this can cause problems if an unnatural mask is maintained for a long period of time.  Normally however, the underlying character takes action to restore the mask to its natural state - by seeking either negative or positive attention to address the inbalance.

y looking at the diagram we see that the flow of 'Time' is naturally negative for the Mime (as forgetting), and naturally positive for the Jay (as remembering).  In practical terms this means that the Mime is more responsive or sensitive to negative attention (more likely to take criticism to heart) and the Jay is more responsive to positive attention (more likely to take praise to heart).  This is an important practical point and once a character has been recognised by their physiognomy, the specific attention required to solve problems (inspire, motivate, comfort, advise, etc) can be easily discovered.

The natural mask of the Jay is the mask of the Immortal - this behaviour is the opposite of the natural mask of the Mime which is the Lover.  Its a stoic mask which does not particularly like to be touched (the adrenaline of the underlying character makes tempers flare easily, and makes the person quite jumpy),  and it feeds off the buzz of shared identity - typical behaviour is the resistance to any kind of alien invasion of the group, and reiteration of group identity amongst others - i.e. sports team, business or company, patriotism, etc.  It will also continuously reaffirm its own role or status in the group and gain attention this way.

The astute reader will then note it is easier to transform an Immortal into a Dreamer (the natural mask of the Prisoner/inner mind) and to transform a Lover into a Vampyr (the natural mask of the Many Mannered Mind Man/Altered Past) than vice versa, through the application of attention.

Both of these characters become Dreamers when excessive positive attention is applied - the unnatural mask of the Dreamer here will be corrected in typically one of two ways.  Either, saited, the Dreamer will literally digest the positive attention and just not seek out any more positive attention until the effects of the excess have worn off *OR* the Dreamer will manifest messianic hubris, bouts of egocentrism that are so *ugly* that they attract negative attention from other characters.

Both of these characters become Vampyrs when excessive negative attention is applied - this unnatural mask is typically corrected in one of two ways also.  Either, hurt by the criticism or slander, the character retreats, lurks and finds a suitable individual for obsession and mesmerism - they will lock eyes with such a person and feed on their attention and focus specifically to restore the balance *OR* they will attempt to use a kind of 'Vampiric' glamour to create a 'herd' of 'thralls'.  Again this fairly pathological behaviour will cease when the mask is restored to one natural to the underlying character.

These are fairly extreme descriptions (forgive the hyperbole) and the reality is that most individuals do not encounter such excess on a day to day basis and the behaviours and the swing between states as attention fluctuates is much more mild in its manifestation but it is of this nature.


Information relating to the Jay is associated with Hod.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Metabolism VI - The Mask of Cortisol, the Lover and the Conflux

A mask refers to the behaviour expressed by the physiognomical characters in order to acquire attention, each character then has a particular mask associated with it.  Positive attention (praise, compliments) drives the mask type worn up the Metabolism of Time diagram and negative attention (criticism, slander) drives it down.  For instance the natural mask of the Mime is the 'Lover', when a Mime recieves too much negative attention they begin to wear the natural mask of the Many Mannered Mind Man instead, the mask of the Vampire, and when they recieve too much positive attention they wear the natural mask of the Prisoner, the mask of the Dreamer.


The mask typically fluctuates around the natural mask of the underlying character as they go through the various types of attention they recieve throughout the day, the sign of a healthy individual is the action they take to restore their natural state, i.e. if a character  recieves excessive praise they will seek criticism and vice versa.  This seeking of the opposite can be active or passive, conscious or subconscious.

Too much positive or negative attention can distort the mask and longer exposures will extend this distortion's duration.  Wearing a mask that is not suited to the underlying genetics is a source of suffering - this mask will begin to dissociate from the character and manifest self-hate or self-harming, hubris, low self-esteem, etc.



While the individual is typically resilient to exposure to extreme forms of attention and can return to health, these distortions cause rifts and have a wear and tear effect on the mind - they can also push an individual past their elastic limit where they begin to lose flxibility and adaptability regarding the type of attention they can handle and ultimately their plastic limits, where the mind fragments completely.

We will systematically list the masks that are associated with the characters in subsequent posts but lets just zoom in on the masks of our first example with the Mime.  The Mime typically wears the mask of the Lover - this mask essentially feeds on the attention drawn from actual physical contact - they are very touchy-feelie, seeking excuses to pat people's backs, shake hands, kiss cheeks, dance close together - social butterflies.  


When they recieve too much positive attention they will assume the mask of the Dreamer and become more introspective and not seek out physical attention, they will also lose concentration in conversation.  When they recieve negative attention, they will become aggressively predatory with the mask of the Vampyr - they will become obsessive over one individual and use their eyes to lock them into mesmeric trances as opposed to their generally flirty flitty butterfly behaviour.  The natural effect of assuming the mask of the Dreamer is that the glut of positive attention will naturally recede as they become introspective and so gently revert to their previous state of the Lover.  Conversely the mask of the Vampyr allows them to forcibly acquire positive attention to again restore the balance to nature.  This is in essence a description of an attention based negative feedback loop similar to and derived from endocrinology.


Information relating to the Mime is associated with Netzach.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Metabolism VI - Processes, the Conflux

In order to sustain its existence Feelix and the Conflux are involved in a number of processes.


FLUX - For a conflux to remain in existence there must be a continuous flow through it.  Time must flow, as must energy in the form of nutrition, but more importantly in the case of our existence as social animals information or 'attention' must flow.  Attention, positive and negative, is a form of nutrition which is necessary for the maintainence of character and personality.  Throughout the day the actions we take meet with the approval or criticism of those around us - whether it be in the completing of physical tasks or the making of jokes.  Different types of physiognomical characters require different types or amounts of attention and typically when someone recieves too much positive attention they will personally seek out negative attention to counterbalance it.  There are some situations where the character cannnot restore the balance and in these cases the overload of positive or negative attention can lead to a warping or fragmenting effect (rifts) on the healthy individual - these are cases of abuse, and abuse can come in both positive and negative forms.


SHARDS- Shards are moments of concentrated meaning - intense memories that can be fed upon when the flow of attention through the cell is running low.  If Feelix is not recieving attention, it can free up some stored attention from the memories they have in the same way you can survive by burning fat deposits.  Some people can make the stored attention in memories last longer than others, some actively engage in intense experiences to create them for the purposes of storage and later use - this relates to the Metabolism of Time diagram, the physiognomical characters and their accompanying natural behaviours.  Creating too many shards can lead to inflexibility in the 'cell membrane' - the third sphere of consciousness, the sphere of thought.


RIFTS - Recieving too much attention, or food, can cause rifts - dangerous breaches in the integrity of the cell and which allow potentially harmful entities to enter.  In real terms over exposure to positive or negative attention causes the Conflux and Feelix with it to break apart.  Attention that causes rifts is abuse - be it  positive or negative.  Some Rifts result in the warping of the expressed personality (the mask), some can actually fragment the mind altogether but most are typically repaired by the Conflux and whatever 'entities' have entered are disposed of.


VEIL - The process of recycling 'flux' causes damage to the structure of the Conflux, regardless of whether it is excessive or not (e.g. simply breathing causes oxidative damage).  This attrition ultimately results in the extinction of the individual conflux* - the brain and body will eventully die and the Conflux will be popped and returned to the Flux itself.  Increasing the rate of flow of attention will increase the attritive damage caused by it.


COLOUR - Colour is a term applied to the 'background radiation' of existence.  In order for colour to be there, there must be Flux, Shards, Rifts and Veil.  Colour (or story) is what is sustained by the processes of the Conflux.  It is a state that can be experienced by meditating on the self as Feelix (infinite)** as opposed to character (near-infinite) or individual conflux (finite).

*Time itself does not have a beginning and an end (nor does the Metabolism of Time).  Time did not 'start'.  Start is a reference to time, you can't have 'before' time, you can't have 'after' it - Objects *within* time must have a beginning and an end in order that they may be percieved as objects, the same way they must have 'edges'.  Therefore objects are finite, their finity is a necessary quality in their manifestation.  See the post on 'Metabolism - Physiognomy (Pituitary) in the Qabalah section on the meaning of 'B' in Berashith.

**Zurvanism is an extinct branch of Zoroastrianism that has Zurvan, an immortal principle of Time, as the 'one God' and Ahura Mazda and Ahriman as his twin sons.  In many ways the Metabolism of Time outlaid in the book is Zurvanistic.  It postulates The Metabolism of Time itself as immortal in that 'Feelix' is Zurvan, whereas individual confluxes derived from Feelix are mortal in that they are dual, experience good and evil (positive and negative attention), beginning and end - in order that they may be experienced.  To what extent then that you are 'an immortal' is a matter of perspective.  That Time is experienced by Identity is an immortal process - by stripping oneself back to pure identity one can experience colour but one must sacrifice their individual ego in order to do that I am Roger, or I am Peter must be reduced to 'I', Roger or Peter being the ego that is 'ammed' by the I.  That Time is experienced in the ways outlaid in the Metabolism of Time through a series of ten stages is also immortal but those interpretations are influenced by cultural interpretation - 'Character' or 'amming' then is immortal, but the various styles of different characters are not.  Individual human egos such as Peter or Roger are not immortal.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Metabolism VI - Feelix, the Conflux


Feelix then, composed of the physical body* and the three spheres of his consciousness ('reach', perception, and thought) is a Conflux, a place where the rivers of time flow together and into each other.  The Metabolism of Time diagram can be overlaid directly on the figure of Feelix himself - so that 'the Altered Future' overlays the head, the Experience of the Moment, the throat, the Inner Mind, the Solar plexus and the Altered Past, the genitals.  Feelix then is this great Conflux of thoughts, emotions, feelings and experience.

We have detailed characteristics, physiognomical and psychological, for the various 'characters' that arise when an individual is more concentrated on or genetically determined towards, for example, the experience of the moment or the altered future - just like in the body there are cells which contain all DNA but express only the portion needed to be a liver cell or a skin cell so there are in society people who contain the whole Metabolism of Time but only express a portion of it.

An important aspect of the Great Work is to unlock the other characters within yourself systematically.  Perhaps you are a 'Treefrog' in that you have prominent eyes, an obsession with the aesthetic experience, an urge to travel and explore and are potentially clairvoyant.  But you are also, or at least contain within you the potential to be, all the other characters, in the same way you not only have a thyroid gland, but you have pineal, pituitary, pancreas, etc as well.  Once these characters have been explored completely you will be able to do the work of the Treefrog, or whatever character you are, more effectively, as your actions will be in tune with the whole.  You will find that the other characters in the world will be supportive of your 'story'**.

How does one explore these characters then? 

- One can meditate upon them as archetypes (and the various other forms of them that have come to us over the centuries in the forms of Gods, heroes, patriarchs, saints, etc) and journey into oneself to encounter them, communicate with them and 'unlock' (or rectify) them.

- One can see their reflections in the people of the 'outside' world (which actually for all intents and purposes occurs within consciousness); using the physiognomical system one can navigate social space and resolve 'internal' disputes 'externally' using psychodrama.  For instance, if one wants to 'unlock' the Treefrog and one is not a Treefrog, one needs to find a Treefrog and explore its being through conversation and dialogue and shared adventure or projects.  By actively listening to another being as a part of yourself as opposed to a different creature altogether one can learn about oneself through dialogue.

The advantage of pursuing these paths systematically cannot be overstated.  The universe, qabalistically, is built on a strong foundation and in rectifying your own being it is wise to approach it like an architect looking primarily for support and balance and then make decisions based on this as opposed to entirely randomly.

Physically, genetically moreover, I am on the paths between the Mime (adrenal cortex), the Many Mannered Mind Man (genitals), and the Prisoner (pancreas).  This combination of imagination, mimesis, stress control and adaptability makes me suited to the environment of entertainment, theatre and film but it could apply to other areas equally usefully.  Perhaps the memory of the Jay would be more useful when it comes to learning lines, but actually 'forgetting' the lines so scripts are played more naturally as opposed to hearing the lines being 'remembered' is an important part of suspending audience's belief.  Here then a potential disadvantage of the Mime, her forgetfulness, can be turned into a strength (as looking at the Metabolism of Time one sees that we 'forget' into memory.  The problems I have are typical of those characters and include some propensity to weight gain, urticaria (my skin condition) which flares up in response to way too much work (which I bring upon myself by being able to handle a lot), and a hazily configured ego***.

Through my work I am endeavouring to seek out the characters/archetypes within and outside of myself through meditation and 'pathwalking'****.  As they are 'rectified' I note that I acquire their skills and talents to some extent alongside my own natural talents but actually what is happening is I am unlocking their potential within me.*****

*A concept which includes the DNA that makes you up as much as the blood, bones and sinew derived from it.

**If your story happens to be Dionysian self-destruction they will be more supportive of that too.  Bear that in mind.

***Lower triad characters typically have a less concrete idea of themselves than middle triad, and upper triad 'objectify' themselves more easily.  Certainty in these areas increases 'up' the tree.

****More on this special form of theurgy later.

*****'Every person, whatever his grade in the Order, has also a "natural" grade appropriate to his intrinsic virtue. He may expect to be "cast out" into that grade when he becomes 8'=3'. Thus one man, throughout his career, may be essentially of the type of Netzach; another, of Hod. In the same way Rembrandt and Raphael retained their respective points of view in all stages of their art. The practical consideration is that some aspirants may find it unusually difficult to attain certain grades; or, worse, allow their inherent predispositions to influence them to neglect antipathetic, and indulge sympathetic, types of work. They may thus become more unbalanced than ever, with disastrous results. Success in one's favourite pursuit is a temptress; whose yields to her wiles limits his own growth. True, every Will is partial; but, even so, it can only fulfill itself by symmetrical expansion. It must be adjusted to the Universe, or fail of perfection.' Book 4, Chapter 7