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ESOTERIC LIBRA   2015-2017

Labor of Hercules
Capturing the Erymanthian Boar
Capture the wild boar, save a ravaged country, but take time to eat — Kills 2 Centaurs during orgy & brawl over consecrated group cask, after leaving Apollo’s bow behind; drives Boar down mountain by its hind legs, laughing.
Motto:   I choose the way which leads between the two great lines of force.

(Libra relates the two in Gemini)

Libra's Three Planetary Rulers and the Path

[ This article (and the recent one on esoteric Pisces) is the beginning of a series attempting to bring clarity to the comparison of Alice Bailey and the Tibetan Djwal Khul's (Jvala kula) work together – clearly a dzogchen and tantra master – and the formal schools of Yogacara, Tantra, and Dzogchen.   I intend to bring out many illustrative passages from Bailey to illustrate these distinctions and similarities in points of view.
Though specific reference is made to various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly to the resurgence of Dzogchen contemplation in the west, Bailey's works would at first seem to fall under the category of Yogacara (consciousness-only) and Abhidharma (commentarial) literature in terms of formal Buddhism (as understood by academic buddhologists).   However, to a friend of both traditions (Tibetan Buddhism and Bailey), the more deeply esoteric teachings of trans-Himalayan Buddhism shine through the outer form. ]

Libra is encountered at each turn of the spiral of life, whether during one or in hundreds of incarnations.   Libra Is said to rule the “hub of the Wheel” as well as the turning point in the Reversal of the Wheel.   Once the lower-aspect Venus default conventions of Libra are subdued or overcome (aesthetic comforts, glamours of unearned (therefore unsatisfactory) peace and harmony, self-serving fence-sitting strategems, passive aggression or control), Libra is faced with the razor-edged Path among extremes — the opposites, dichotomies, nihilisms, relativisms, fanatic attachment to conventional refuges or retreat into self-defense ploys through the complexities of emotional or rhetorical relativisms.   This equilibrium, homeostasis and basic equanimity and poise enables and is superseded by nondual awareness...   [Nonduality is not the balance or unity of duality as in dichotomies or oppositions, perceived or labeled.   Nonduality is the essential sameness of everything;   empty of self and empty of other.]   Unlike all the other signs, which evolve through facing self-imposed crises stage-managed by the soul’s increasing influence, Libra faces (with the help of its opposite sign Aries) a ‘crisis’ of Decision and Direction arising out of a life phase of self-engineered balance or stasis.   This brings in the influence of Uranus on the head of Venus Uraniae.

This Decisiveness or Direction is a higher correspondence to the ambition found in the average non-aspiring human.   Its lower aspect is to be found on the mundane wheel, especially in the “ambitious” signs (Aquarius, Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpio) where one sees and pursues self-interested advantage in society (Aquarius), an ambition to monopolize and control persons as well as resources (Capricorn), to gamble what one has accumulated — as well as one's sanity — for even greater returns (Sagittarius), and to fight, kill or wage war for self-interest (Scorpio).   On the Reversed Wheel (forward through the signs) ambition is transmuted into aspiration, and impetus grows instinctively selfless through recognition of others and the Greater Life within which one “lives, moves and has one’s being” (St. Paul).   With the reversal in direction of the zodiacal Wheel to forward, Scorpio represents the fight for greater knowledge, better values and more humanistic and universal principles, with a greater emphasis on a will and desire to teach and share, whether esoterically or 'teaching a man to fish';   perseverance is maintained in the quest for a better world as knowledge is transmuted into wisdom through the intuition (Sagittarius);   governing norms and ethical policies evolved through group interaction and individual initiative on national and international levels supersede habitual political bickering and conflict as individual humanistic service initiatives grow in appeal (Capricorn);   Recognition of the power of group consciousness enables service ethics and initiatives to flourish on a planetary level (Aquarius);   and the recognition of sacrifice as simply the other side of free-will choice enables the work to go forward with resolution and stamina (Pisces).   All the qualities of the above-mentioned signs can be expressed simultaneously by innate nature or — via quantum theory applied to neuro-psychology — by understanding the nature and reality of omnipresence through recognizing and facilitating the transcendence of karma by virtue of intrinsic awareness of infinite interdependent causation in all directions (see article on Pisces).

Libra’s three esoteric planetary rulers (Venus, Uranus, Saturn) illustrate its Path.   Venus, the kama-manasic mind using ‘name and form’ to construct its cartoon of reality from memory, hopes and fears, fabricates a world of self-referencing to a non-existent Self (i.e., a soul, self, or esoteric 'Ego' that is ceaselessly altering, changing and adapting to hastily perceived circumstance and to a physically and materially oriented experiential perception of cause and effect, or karma).   Uranus brings into activity the spark of buddhi at the center of every atom and life form, at first mistakenly construed as self-will, and later known as transmuting will (which naturally creates a ‘circle of limitation’), and on into the science of spiritual will with its many modes of expression in relation to the Life aspect.   Saturn brings the discipleship of a truly disciplined mind placing one on the path to self-mastery in the context of increased apprehension and understanding of Universal Life (implicating recognition of situation/position within planetary, solar and cosmic Logoic Lives).

Interestingly, Libra (Venus personality ruler) governs the mental unit at the base of the causal body or Lotus, which in the human constitution is meant to govern the 18 subplanes of the Three Worlds of the Desire Realm (the three highest of the 21 subplanes constituting the causal body itself as the Form Realm).   Since the gross physical body (solid, liquid, gaseous) is not a principle, being in essence the karmic residue of previous lives (51 skandhas in Buddhism) conditioning the flesh provided by the human animal body of the mother, the true human body must be recognized as etheric in nature.   The physical permanent atom is etheric, not physical in a conventional sense, except perhaps in relation to the lowest ‘chemical’ etheric plasma, all ethers malleable to the influences of Vulcan, Mercury, and the Sun itself in terms of fluid intercommunication among the various vehicles (physical, astral, mental, buddhic, etc.) and among the Creative Hierarchies within which we carry out our lived experience.   The physical permanent atom is governed by Aquarius. EA 302-303   Taurus (Venus personality ruler) supervises the long drawn out transmutation (Vulcan) of the physical body into light.   Uranus is exalted in Scorpio (Mercury hierarchic ruler) and falls in Taurus (Vulcan), as does humanity en masse.

Here we are presented with the dual aspect of human self-will – astral/emotional or mental – and hence the two approaches of human will to spiritual will on the atmic plane and on to the monad/triad.   As I have pointed out in previous articles (citing Schneidman, modified), this lower mind of the mental unit is essentially composed of the four lower ‘logical’ subplanes of the mental plane, using the term ‘logic’ in a much broader psychological sense as the basis of cognitive rationality, and as distinct from the Pure Reason of buddhi [the Formless Realm].   These four lower mental subplanes are associated with the four higher physical ethers and the four lower astral or emotional subplanes.   Will can evolve –depending on astral or mental polarization– through idio-logic [name and form attachment] (idiosyncratic);   contra-logic [attachment to dualities] (comparative analysis);   psycho-logic [attachment to {linear} causality] (grasp of human psychology);   and paeda-logic [degree of grasp of interdependent causation {to 4th init.}] (identification of learning and instructional modalities, or “multiple intelligences”);   all combined with a parallel cognizance of logical fallacies and cognitive biases.   All in all, dependent upon capacity of the mind that illuminates and perceives;   as distinct from the standard (and thoroughly unexamined) cartoon concept of 'mental capacity' used in school-system vernacular.

Will can also evolve along the ‘soft’ rays through the Four Immeasurable meditations or contemplations of Mahayana Buddhism — loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.   These Four Immeasurable Meditations or contemplations were introduced to western students by DK as the four meditations on Light, the Attitude of the Observer, Joy, and Divine Indifference presented to his discipleship groups.

This apparent dichotomy of polarization (astral, mental) in relation to the development of Will is a lower reflection of that between the mystical and occult paths, which merge at the third or solar initiation.   Human meditation up to and including samadhi states will always experience (or acknowledge and observe) a continuum of karmic impressions or flow of the display of consciousness illuminated by the capacity of the mind which experiences.   The exception to this is attachment to samadhi-like states that simply anchor one in deva realms which are also ultimately impermanent and are exhausted along with the karma that sustains them.   Why is this the case?   The majority of humanity lives within the 18 subplanes of our Three Worlds (Desire realm) which implicate planetary and solar Lives and the flow of Their karmic continua.   These subplanes parallel our apparent individual relationship to the correspondence of the threefold personality aspect or nature of the 'lesser Heavenly Man' Who expresses through atmic, buddhic, and mental planes.   Our minds are not impervious to these (group), planetary, and solar karmic imprints and predispositions.   Even though the ‘prisoners of the planet’ are said to be related to Creative Hierarchies below the human, those hierarchies compose our vehicles of manifestation.   Humanity as a unit expresses the lesser Heavenly Man’s physical nature, and it is experienced (admittedly not realized) by the vast majority as composed entirely of Mind or consciousness.   The 18 subplanes relate directly to the mental unit (Libra) on the 4th subplane which is called ‘devachan’ in older theosophical and dharma books, and which is said to be the realm and point of ‘specific karmic gravity’ from which one reincarnates through appropriaton of the three lower vehicles.

As the soul and causal body increase in influence through buddhic and triadic coordination, more diverse forms of will come into play.   The strength, intention, and determination commonly experienced as self-will have little to do with the nature of spiritual will, which is ultimately atmic and formless in nature.   Spiritual will must seem either effortless or inaccessible until realized or accurately recognized to some extent through meditative insight.   Discrimination, discernment, equanimity (Libra) and the 'esoteric sense' are prerequisite.

7 Ray Glamours — GWP 116-123
7 Ray Expressions (soul, personality) — EP-1. 200-212
7 Rays of Will — EA 594-607
7 Rays of Individualized Spirit — EP-2. 39-44
7 Rays of Logoic Expression — EA 596-601

With the substitution of the four ethers (TEV 156) facilitated by Virgo comes the cultivation and development of seven modes of will associated with the Rays (EA 594-607) associated with antahkarana work.   While the antahkarana is generally visualized as a ‘rainbow bridge’ in sanatana dharma and in the west, in Tantra and in Dzogchen it takes the form of a Great Sphere (Thigle Chenpo) associated with a tutelary deity or with primordial mind itself (dharmadhatu);   this contemplative discipline has a yogic component.   Tsalung thigle (root-wind [prana] drops [bindu]) is the Tibetan term for the Kundalini shakti.   This is the reason Kundalini Shakti, the matter aspect (symbolized by water and the astral plane [Mars and CH VI] in DK's Table of Creative Hierarchies [EA]), is associated with Jnanashakti on the atmic plane (Saturn and CH III) with the word 'water'.   This gives a clue why Saturn and Mars are directly associated with Sirius, when one 'crosses the line' on to the Path of Discipleship (199).
There are three ‘series’ of transmissions of dzogchen — Mind series (nature of the mind as spontaneous presence/light/emptiness/bliss), Space series (yogic approach of direct experience), and Direct Pointing Out (oral or direct transmission by a lineage master).   DK expressed one of the yogic tenets of this tradition beautifully for JWK-P in DINA-1 (157-8)
"Out of the lotus in the head springs the flower of bliss.   Its earliest form is joy.
Out of the lotus in the heart springs the flower of love.   Its earliest indication, wisdom is.
Out of the lotus in the throat emerges the flower of living forms.   The earliest sign is understanding of the Plan."
In aesthetics, particularly in relation to the west's discovery of the eastern arts in the 19th century, it was noted that it is 'negative space' ('emptiness') in artistic expression that reveals, animates, and makes vivid the 'form'.

The Cardinal Cross (governed by Jupiter and the Law of Synthesis) is mounted in Libra via Saturn.   This implicates the 20/60-year cycle of the Grand Trigon.
Vigilance or alertness to the intrinsic awareness of essential Being is the only Beacon on the narrow Path.   All that we derive from this lifetime is what we have paid Attention to — Think Fast!
“I would ask you to remember that, in our planetary development, the emphasis of the entire evolutionary process is upon the MIND and on the various aspects of the mind — intelligence, mental perception, the Son of Mind, the lower mind, the abstract mind, the mind as will, the Universal Mind.” (TEV 71)
"Manas is, really WILL working itself out on the physical plane..." (CF 353).
Intrinsic Awareness (focused in Being or in the Life current) opens the door to the formless realms and their fresh flow of spiritual incentive and nondual impulses of Purpose and Plan.   This renewed recognition of the formless worlds is of vital relevance to “post-meditation” recognition of outer life service opportunities as well as to inner life work on the inner planes and thoughtform building in relation to the three worlds of the desire realm, addressing its illusions and the confusion of its ambitious but often non-aspiring ‘inhabitants’ ― all sentient planetary life.

Beside consideration of all of the above, we as humanity exist in planetary and solar vehicles which we can barely apprehend as the Creative Hierarchies;     and yet, on the Cardinal Cross, the doors to all these hierarchies are said to be “open” to incarnating humanity — to those Fixed on the Cardinal Cross. EA 105, EA 163-4, ExH 524, CF 400

Upon minimal reflection, the awareness or Presence approach to an Attitude of Observation takes nerve and courage in the face of the phantasmagoric march of worldly events and appearances.   Illusion can be formally understood from two angles ― as the effects of distorted mental constructions and resultant illusory appearances, but also in the seven modes of distortion in relation to ‘Illusion’. (GWP 53-65)   These seven modes can also be seen to set out just how effectively to step down spiritual insight and impulse from formless and buddhic levels into ideas and into positive thoughtform building.   The discipline of intensely focused observation does not obviate the necessity of handling worldly affairs or the generation and implementation of compassionate service.   This service is not separate from the ceaseless flow of karmic consciousness, and yet can be free from its automatic reflexive conditioning.   There is such a thing as choiceless choice, just as there is the 'usefulness of uselessness', or the 'non-action of precise action' (and vice versa!).

There is no clear understanding of humanity and circumstance without compassionate empathy, just as there can be no will-to-love or well-placed compassion without intelligent discernment.   At some point it becomes clear that generating the four immeasurable meditations is like energetically materializing a dharma protector, or a ‘vajra tent’ for sadhana (spiritual practice) in the midst of worldly phenomena — a 'Protector' in the webwork of interdependent causation.   Pure naked awareness ‘shines a light’, engenders equanimity, compassionate love, and illuminates a Vision and a Path (Plan).

In terms of daily contemplative practice while remaining fully engaged in life ('engagement with life' being one of Libra’s keynotes, especially in relation to Saturn) it is said that repetitive return to the state of Rigpa (intrinsic awareness, nondual empty Presence, stabilizing bliss) from post-meditation (which could be states of samadhi or daily affairs) stabilizes the Rigpa state, or what AAB might call Light thrown on circumstance by the Attitude of the Observer, in the context of Dzogchen.

And what is to be observed?   The ceaseless flow of karmic traces and impacts arising from the essential Being of the Life aspect which is ultimately nondual ― empty of self, and empty of the Other perceived as external in an objective world.   This 'emptiness of other' (shen-tong) is not granting others the privilege of Emptiness in a private bubble of one's individual lucidity.   The intensity of the experience of individuality runs very deep in subconscious and Unconscious strata, but a discussion of that is the province of Aries, Libra's opposite sign, ruled by three planets of conflict — Mars (physical), Mercury (mental), and Uranus (societal/egoic groups).   This 'emptiness of self and (perceived) other' can be identified in DK’s work as the ceaseless flow of the 18 subplanes of the mental unit.   Handling of this ceaseless continuum of consciousness in meditation through Shamata and Vipasyana has its higher correspondence in relation to Rigpa ― the focus on Presence and intrinsic awareness in Dzogchen, facilitated by a higher correspondence to shamata and vipassana practice.   To put this in a way slightly unpalatable to many western practitioners, there is no 'present moment' to 'be' in (an atomistic viewpoint [lta-wa]) — there is only Presence (from a point of view beyond states of consciousness).   Dzogchen points to the vivid state of Rigpa (dharmadhatu) which erases all doubts as to a nondual and vivid "state beyond consciousness".

As regards Libra’s third planetary ruler, Saturn (ruling the IIIrd Creative Hierarchy) and the disciplined mind of discipleship, we have the DINA books as a superb reference.   The six stages of probation and discipleship mentioned in the first volume of Discipleship in the New Age can be compared to the standard four initiations found in all tantric liturgies of lamai naljor (guru yoga).   These four tantric liturgical initiations correspond to the last three of DINA’s six stages, plus the seventh, which DK mentions but does not elaborate upon.   Namkhai Norbu points out that Tantra is the path of transformation, as distinct from Dzogchen (or highest yoga tantra) which is the path of Spontaneous Presence, of primordial purity, nondual intrinsic awareness and Light.

One facet of the path of transformation is meant to cultivate and develop ‘mayavirupas’ by way of identification with tutelary deities that will ensure continuity of consciousness between lives and particularly during the bardo of death through the Yoga of Clear Light.   The larger Tibetan “book of the dead” —which sets out the relationship of what we can understand as Dzogchen with what we can understand as Tantra— can be found in John Myrdhin Reynolds’ translation of Karma Lingpa’s “Self-Liberation Through Seeing With Naked Awareness” (Snow Lion 2010) and which includes a foreword by Namkhai Norbu and commentary on all the bardo states, as well as comments on Evan-Wentz’ theosophical ‘adaptations’ to Sarat Chandra Das’ translation of the Tibetan (Evans-Wentz had no knowledge of the Tibetan language) and other topics of interest to western-oriented conceptualizations and interpretations of Buddhist philosophy and tradition.   HPB's relation to Tibet and its meditative tradition and practices was much more direct!

It appears that DK and Alice Bailey set out the most thorough (and extensive) English-language rendition of Buddhist esoteric terms in Tantra and Dzogchen that had existed for the Forerunners of the past cycle after Blavatsky — before the great increase in Tibetan Buddhist translation projects post-WWII.   There is no question that these works stand and will continue to be a dharma door for millions more in the West for decades, if not centuries, to come.

Afterword These teachings will not be superceded by rank intellectual academic linear narratives or by excited tech-talk.   Indeed, technological and academic jargon and 'external' examples are already being used to illustrate the 'inner' realities of the esoteric human constitution (acknowledged by humanity for millennia).   This narrative approach through advances in technological and neurological sciences is particularly embraced by the undeveloped Aquarius type who is incapable of examining its own inner essential human nature and constitution via reflective reasoning, self-observation, or deep absorptive meditation.   After a prolonged stint of 'new age entrepreneurs', I imagine we should next expect a corporatist business model for a new 'mindfulness' (slave) marketplace.   Why is this wonderful and horrifying at the same time?   So many today seem to celebrate and take delight in cyborgs, golem, and zombies in media infotainment.   The latest eruption from the collective unconscious(?) before the past election was the appearance of 'killer clowns'.   Sometimes it seems this is a fearful and defensive automatic reaction to the horrendous damage done to human bodies in our brutal, warring, and predatory societies;   perhaps we can eventually replace all body parts, including the brain(!)   Perhaps we can trash Earth and populate the Moon or Mars!   To some extent, perhaps these sci-fi 'groups' of enthusiasts, peripherally associated with the lower expression of the 'default' fifth ray of mind, will pass out of manifestation with that ray, perchance after an automated remote-control WW3 spectacular... precipitated by infantilist morons tolerated by national governments and running the world Mediocracy or 'kindergarten regime' of present-day unconditionally-special rubbishy economic predator elites with their lack of mental and social capacity or any explicitly expressed distinction between political rabble-rousing and intelligent, informed government. (October 2017 here)

Inspiration:   Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, and her 24 books on esoteric philosophy.   NY: Lucis Publishing Company – website (http://www.lucistrust.org/en/publications_store).

Peter Kubaska © 2017 rev.       Sevensuns.org   AWE   TS in Boston 2017 July 4