By looking into the energetic science of astrology, we find a powerful key to a systematic structure which can reduce and finally eliminate the need for our therapist/guru/teacher. The process-centered astrology of Dane Rudhyar integrates our life processes of involution, evolution and devolution with a psychological astrology. Through integrating and synthesizing this process-centered astrology with the initiatory spiritual growth process and transpersonal psychology, a truly Aquarian Age spiritual Path of Individuation can be created.
An Aquarian Spiritual Path of Individuation
The core of depth psychology is focused on helping us become a whole balanced individuated Personality. This equates to becoming Wilber's Centauric Self. On the other hand, a spiritualizing Path to Mastery focuses on an individual transmuting their humanness to become a spiritualized Being. Effectively, we become able to live in and express both energies and states of consciousness which are typically defined as spiritual in nature rather than personal in nature. Through both systems, we attain higher states described as intuitional, inspirational, illuminative, archetypical, transcendent, boundless and formless self-realization. These states and energies comprise key parts of what is typically defined as the spiritual realms or planes. Defining a "spiritual" path to individuation assumes not only psychological transformation, but also transmutation of the various energies and matter within our Personality and bodies. Therefore, the various activities and practices on a spiritual Path of Individuation will go beyond bringing about psychological integration and transcendence. They will include disciplines and spiritualizing exercises which will literally transmute our lower vibratory energies (i.e. aggression, anger, jealousy, envy, sympathy, vanity and uncharitableness, to name a few) into spiritual love, compassion, faith, will, knowing, etc. What will make this an individualized spiritual path is by building in the ability for one to self-direct one's growth and transformation (i.e. be self responsible). This is the energetic influence of the Aquarian age rather than the world savior influence of the Piscean age. In addition, this Path will not eliminate the need for objective feedback from time to time. Besides utilizing a therapist for dream analysis and during certain phases of growth, periodic objective feedback (mentoring) will greatly help by being a catalyst for change at times of difficulty and to guard against an inflated spiritual ego. Consistent in transpersonal psychology, astrology and metaphysics, growth comes in phases with fairly clear transitions and boundaries. Therefore, a Spiritual Path of Individuation is most naturally defined as spiritualizing practices within phases of growth. For lack of prior definitions, they can be labeled Personality Development, Egoic Individuation, Mana Personality and Self Individuation.
Regardless of our past soul or spiritual
development (i.e. past embodiments), we must
repeatedly build a personality in each lifetime.
This personality includes various levels of
consciousness and a number of different matter (devic) bodies from our physicality up through our higher mentality. Wilber does an excellent job in describing these various personal selves that become differentiated, integrated and transcended. Simultaneously, our various matter bodies are developed and expressed including two physical bodies, an instinctual, emotional, imaginative and lower and higher mental bodies.
For individuals who have already completed this Personality Development phase in the past, this repeated objective expression precedes rapidly during the first 21 years or so. This process is accelerated by the conditioning and assumption of matter from one's parents and society during childhood and adolescence. This is why one of the first major steps in spiritual growth is to separate from this collective/parental conditioning. Once completed, we have a fully functioning instinctual nature, animal soul and shadow, a duel emotional and desire nature including our dream ego, a vibrant imagination and ego (mental-Egoic self). The totality of this mental, imaginative, emotional, instinctual and physical entity is what metaphysics terms our Personality. Beyond our Personality, Personality Development also includes the building of our superego as a part of our Centauric Self and the beginning of "balancing the pairs of opposites." This growth involves transmuting and transcending key fears and security issues in life; beginning to understand and balance both our masculine and feminine natures; gaining sobriety through facing our herd instinct, emotional structures and shadow expressions. Completing this phase involves defining our own set of values to live by and recapitulating our life experiences and parental issues to date.
Transitioning fully into a Centauric Self encompasses the first half of Egoic Individuation. As Wilber explains it: "The existential centaur, then, is not only the higher-order integration of ego, body, persona, and shadow, it is also the major transition towards the higher subtle and transpersonal realms of being." "... this mature centaur is the point, I believe, that higher energies begin to rush into the organism, even transfiguring it physiologically." In this phase of growth, we are challenged to internalize our shadow and our lower anima/animus. Before internalization, our shadow represents the negative or repressed parts of our un-transformed Personality. As we become aware and transform the shadow, we truly begin taking responsibility for our life. We never eliminate the shadow, but transform it into a subconscious ally regarding living our own values and fully detaching from our conditioning in life. During Egoic Individuation, we identify our internal contra sexual self (anima/animus) and begin to remove the projections of it from those in our life. This more internal processing is helped along by an outer focus in dealing with our self-indulgences, egotism and superego conditioning. Here's where we transition from a personal orientation to an other orientation in life including generosity toward those we share life with. In the process, we learn to live outwardly based on principles and inwardly based on numinous archetypical symbols. The last part of Egoic Individuation involves beginning to move our center of consciousness into a Low Subtle Self characterized by intuitive cognition and mental discrimination. A primary focus of this phase of growth is to transcend and begin disintegrating the balanced perfected Personality we have so carefully built. On our psychological mandala of life, we fully embrace accelerated evolution of consciousness and devolution of our inherited matter bodies. This place in growth is where many become entangled in regression rather than embracing a whole new level of orientation. Some of the ways that we make this transition is by dealing with various archetypes conditioning, especially the mother archetype. We are challenged to deal with our physical body and remaining family issues in life. Finally, by intensely focusing on resolving our projection process in life, we begin living life based on daily conscious qualification of spiritual energies and a higher creativity.
Becoming fully focused as a Low-Subtle Self is the first major step beyond living as a Personality. Fully transitioning our center of consciousness into the spiritual Planes/Realms begins the most arduous part of the psychological/ spiritual growth process. With spiritual insights and energies flowing more freely throughout our entire existence, we face the dangers of an inflated spiritual ego (mana-personality) fueled by powerful spiritual influences. This phase begins when our integrated ego-consciousness is expanding and transcending to become the Self. It is characterized by “ego inflation and a sense that one is already the Self.” This “resonance of the Ego with the Self creates an amplified reverberation and feedback loop that can destroy the Ego.” This phase of growth is for careful non-identification with higher energies, but a willingness and surrender to allow these energies to transform the Ego. Unless we are careful, the death and regeneration of our Ego and Personality during this phase will result in death. Various spiritual practices can assist our surrender including cultivating the virtues of obedience, balance, gratitude, humility, purity, compassion and equanimity. Within Wilber’s system, we transition to the High-Subtle Self and begin to demonstrate a cognitive style including literal inspiration, audible illuminations, revelations of light and sound with experiences of both bliss and rapture. A key part of the arduousness of this phase of growth involves resolving our "Achilles' heel" or greatest psychological wound from the past. In addition, we are faced with our second Saturn return astrologically which challenges our growing freedom from the influences of society and the structures we have maintained to feel secure in life.
Allegorically having spent our 40 years in the
desert, we come to another place of reorientation.
This change in perspective is fully moving from an
Ego-centered joyfulness in life to living all of life
based on purpose. The Personality must now become a vehicle for expressing our destiny in all life activities. This "promised land" is full of spiritual abundance which requires fortitude and a willingness to live in divine justice.
During this process, we face and internalize any remaining conditioning from the collective Id/Shadow of society and our earth evolution (Humanity). We become focused on living our service to others while determining what our next spiritual service will be. In addition, we are now able to identify and internalize our higher anima/animus which has been our grace (lifeline) from the totality of the Self (God). As our center of consciousness settles into the transcendent function (Low-Causal Self), we actualize our embryonic abilities (senses) of synthesis, comprehension, discernment and perfection. As described by Jung, we become the “Wise Old Man.” Needless to say, this phase of growth is no less arduous than previous phases. The difference is that we have various virtues at our disposal to remain motivated during this phase. By the end of Self Individuation we have fully transcended into the Low-Causal Self. As Wilber identifies it, we have reached the "pinnacle of God-consciousness" which is the "ground or essence of all the archetypal and lesser-God manifestations were evoked -- and then identified with -- in the subtle realms." Our motivating factor becomes a transcendent love for all of life as God's creativity. Completing this phase is equivalent to becoming a Buddha and/or “Divine Hermaphrodite.” Although growth does not end here, rarely does it involve remaining in this evolutionary environment. If so, it means a specific job assignment to help our Earth evolution in its time and place of difficulty.
A Spiritual Path of Individuation
Psychology as a independent field of study is a fairly recent addition to the theologies, arts, sciences and philosophies of antiquity. A number of key individuals in the 20th century helped transform this field of study into a genuine process for growth. Three stand out in providing a fairly comprehensive structure for psychological transformation. Both C.G. Jung and Abraham Maslow defined a genuine path of growth to individuation. Ken Wilber has gone even further in integrating a psychological path of growth with various Eastern and Western philosophies. The “Spiritual Path” is most assuredly a path of psychological transformation and human transmutation until we each become our potential as a spiritual Being. Within psychology, our guide is usually the therapist. Wilber’s system currently relies on a traditional guru/teacher to make his "theories" pragmatic and attainable. As we fully move into the Gemini (communication/education) phase of the Aquarian Age, we have an ideal opportunity to replace the Piscean guru/master/savior with an integrated structure and process for psychological/spiritual growth to individuation and beyond. The process for spiritual growth in the past would seem to be very different depending on which Eastern or Western philosophy/theology one embraces. In actuality, they can all be synthesized by what has been defined as the " Initiatory Process" (accelerated growth vs. evolution) within metaphysics. Insightfully documented by Alice A. Bailey during the first half of the 20th century, the Initiatory Process does not utilize symbols or terms from what is now called transpersonal psychology. In addition, neither metaphysics nor transpersonal psychology have been able to provide a systematic structure for accomplishing individuation and/or conscious attainment of higher spiritual "Selves" within the parameters of normal day-to-day life and life expectancy.
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