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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Epistemology; Part 2: Sauron´s Eye

The Red Eye Of Sauron Atop Barad-Dur By Alan Lee

This post is a part of the online book Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien.

It sounds scandalous to any rationalist, classical or modern, but sometimes it is “better not to know” (LOTR, p. 448). Sometimes knowing is dangerous. “Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves” (LOTR, p. 583). We can control the world but we cannot control our own control; and if we do not know ourselves, we will not know that truth. 

As explained in the introduction: after my two kundalini cycles I moved to Rold Forest in order to go totally into the spiritual practice. Below I will describe a certain aspect of spiritual awakening, which has an astonishing similarity with Sauron´s Eye and the power of the Ring.

Today I consider my own experience of healing as a reverse form of Kundalini yoga: a downwards movement instead of an upwards movement. Said in relation to Indian religion: a Luciferian movement. This has to do with what I now have started to call a top-down kundalini awakening, because that is the most precise description of the kundalini awakening which I, like many other people in spiritual crises, has been caught up in. You can also have a top-down psychic awakening, a top-down shamanic awakening, etc., etc.

A top-down awakening can manifest either as suffering (anxiety, the Dark Night of the Soul) or as intellectual, identifical or euphorical ego-inflation. The intellectual and identifical ego-inflation can happen without the top-down awakening, but have very similar symptoms, which I will describe below. Especially the euphorical ego-inflation is followed by a top-down awakening, and often alternates between ego-inflation and the Dark Night of the Soul: a so-called “negative” and “positive” side. Both the “negative” and “positive” side can last for a short time, or a whole life. They can alternate between each other, or they can be fixed in one side of the poles. A false guru can live an entire life in the believe that he is Jesus or Buddha. He can be characterized as a megalomaniac, but often he (or she) can´t be diagnosed with a mental disease; that is: he or she is still able to lead a normal life.

I have found the concept of top-down awakening in a book by the spiritual teacher Mary Shutan called The Spiritual Awakening Guide: Kundalini, Psychic Abilities, and the Conditioned Layers of Reality. The theoretical insight in this book is fully comparable to Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof´s work on spiritual crises, but in the same way as I can´t recommend the Grofs´s therapeutic practice Holotropic Breathwork, I can´t recommend Shutan´s large amount of visualization exercises. In the following though, I will follow Shutan´s theory (because it precisely describes what I myself have experienced.

A top-down awakening in simple terms means that your crown and third eye chakras are open and that you have quite a bit of energy surrounding your head and shoulders. Basically, you are receiving input from the heaven/sky but not the earth. This is figuratively speaking though. The heaven/sky is more akin to what I call the dangerous areas of the collective time. And the earth is the heart (love) and Hara (existence). As I have said many times: heart and Hara must in this description not be confused with psychic chakras, but rather with love and existence.

Due to genetics, spiritual pursuits, or other reasons you have opened yourself to what you might interpret as the divine, spirit, and different and hidden layers of reality. It is fairly easy actually to open to what you think is spirit and to begin to be more connected to what you might interpret as spiritual matters. In reality it is the collective time you have opened up to.

Many people end up with this type of awakening because they became interested in spiritual pursuits, started attending classes, doing drugs, reading literature, and finding gurus and other teachers who show them how to seek outside of themselves. Others begin life with a top-down awakening due to family history of psychic abilities or previous life abilities carried forward into this life. In Karen Blixen´s case it is my opinion that it started with her fateful experiences of crises in relation to unhappy love, losing her dream of Africa, as well as the lifelong illness (siphylis) that destroyed her sexuality.

The issue with this type of awakening is that it is not grounded in anything. It is not required to do much personal work or to open your first three chakras to have this type of awakening. The person experiencing this type of awakening begins to separate from this earth, this reality. They often will claim to not want to be here, or to originate from elsewhere. This very much may be true, but a recognition of the human body, the body that you are carrying this lifetime, and a desire to be grounded and do personal work which is often quite difficult is necessary for a full awakening or to come to a state of balance if you are experiencing this type of awakening.

The person undergoing a top-down awakening will have immense energy circulating into their crown, third eye, and around their head and shoulders. Unfortunately for the experiencer of this, the energy is not able to move much further down because the throat chakra and heart chakra require the lower chakras to be open to open themselves.

As an author, Karen Blixen maintained her image as a charismatic, mysterious, old baroness with an insightful third eye. In certain dharmic spiritual traditions, the third eye refers to the ajna, or brow, chakra. The third eye refers to the gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness.

People who are claimed to have the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers. In some traditions such as Hinduism, the third eye is said to be located around the middle of the forehead, slightly above the junction of the eyebrows.

In Taoism and many traditional Chinese religious sects such as Chan (called Zen in Japanese), "third eye training" involves focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed, and while the body is in various qigong postures. The goal of this training is to allow students to tune into the correct "vibration" of the universe and gain a solid foundation on which to reach more advanced meditation levels. Taoism teaches that the third eye, also called the mind's eye, is situated between the two physical eyes, and expands up to the middle of the forehead when opened. Taoism claims that the third eye is one of the main energy centers of the body located at the sixth Chakra, forming a part of the main meridian, the line separating left and right hemispheres of the body. In Taoist alchemical traditions, the third eye is the frontal part of the "Upper Tan Tien" (upper cinnabar field) and is given the evocative name "muddy pellet". (the lower Tan Tien is Hara).

According to the Christian teaching of Father Richard Rohr, the concept of the third eye is a metaphor for non-dualistic thinking; the way the mystics see. In Rohr's concept, mystics employ the first eye (sensory input such as sight) and the second eye (the eye of reason, meditation, and reflection), "but they know not to confuse knowledge with depth, or mere correct information with the transformation of consciousness itself. The mystical gaze builds upon the first two eyes—and yet goes further." Rohr refers to this level of awareness as "having the mind of Christ".

According to the neo-gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor, the third eye is referenced symbolically and functionally several times in the Book of Revelation 3:7-13, a work which, as a whole, he believes describes Kundalini and its progression upwards through three and a half turns and seven chakras. This interpretation equates the third eye with the sixth of the seven churches of Asia detailed therein, the Church of Philadelphia.

In New Age spirituality, the third eye often symbolizes a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with religious visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe chakras and auras, precognition, and out-of-body experiences.

It should now be easy to see how deceptive the traditional Indian descriptions of the Kundalini awakening can be. It is not because they are wrong, but because the upward pointing symbolism is deceptive. You get a sense of that you must move your energy upwards, and this can actually also happen in the top-down awakening. You can have an actual experience of the energy moving in your body, from your feet (often the left big toe) up through your legs, your abdomen, your breast, throat, head and out of the top of the head. I have certainly experienced that, without any realization happening. But this is not what is meant by a successfull kundalini awakening, though deceptively described precisely like that. You can have the experience of the energy moving up without that your chakras are opening. This is experience without realization. The realization is first happening when the chakras are open, and an opening of a chakra is an opening of the essence of the chakra.

So, the energy is stuck in the upper body- leading to a bottleneck of energy, headaches, neck pain, disassociation, ego issues (these are some of the people who tell others how awakened they are or that they are enlightened but still are quite judgmental and lack focus on their own issues), and significant mental health issues including mania and depression can develop.

It is also quite common for the top-down awakened to be in a great deal of physical pain. Hip, back, foot, and leg pain are prevalent, but the all-over pain that comes with issues such as Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and other Autoimmune and Connective Tissue disorders are common in this category. It is also common for the experiencer to carry weight around the mid-section but have thin legs, and a constant raising of the shoulders towards the ears.

Other symptoms include: being open to spiritual guidance, psychic abilities, mediumship and channeling capabilities, understanding of patterns and concepts from a different vantage point (which is due to many of these individuals being halfway out of their body so they really do have a different perspective), headaches, sinus pain, closed off feelings in the throat, thyroid issues, cravings for meat, chocolate, carbohydrates, or other grounding foods, delusions, paranoia, and feelings of heaviness or stuckness in the shoulders, upper back, heart, neck, and head.

Alcohol became my grounding substitute for heart and Hara. Blixen´s substitute for heart and Hara was her attempt of controlling the male sexual energy of her young students. This resulted in a strange demonical tantra game.

What is happening energetically to the top-down awakened? This is a significant energetic imbalance, and the energetic field of the experiencer often appears to look like an inverted cone. It can also be seen a reverse bottle standing on its bottleneck. The unbalance is the same as the one who experiencing a top-down awakening. It can be hard for them to stand firm on the ground without having a feeling of “tipping over”.

Often the experiencer is partially or fully out of their bodies/disassociated, and often they prefer to remain this way (especially when they are ego-inflated). They feel different and separate from everyone else, and some remain in elaborately set up illusions of their own creation. This is because the ego-inflated awakened has awakened enough to be able to create in reality, but for this group it is rarely on a conscious level- so the creation of significant blocks, illusions, and other issues of a spiritual and physical nature is quite common due a relay of unprocessed personal and emotional material creating reality for them.

Shutan claims that top-down awakening is BY FAR the most common spiritual awakening to get stuck in. It also can be the most dangerous because it creates an environment energetically where you are not quite a part of any reality. With the ability to easily shift through dimensions, times, perspectives, and being fully or partially out of your body, it creates opportunity for other energies to attach, and for you to lose a sense of identity or purpose. Without the support that earth and grounding offer (heart and Hara, love and existence), it is difficult to filter the intense energies that are coming through. The more the lower chakras are blocked the worse the imbalance is.

With this type of awakening it is common to see people keep their spiritual lives and their physical lives quite separate. By this, Shutan means that they may be all about love, light, angels, and awakening in workshops or online, but in their daily lives they are often quite miserable and do not want to participate in life. Shutan says that she often works with people struggling with depression and anxiety who put on an outward appearance, a mask of being spiritual and enlightened but in their daily lives they are struggling to function, to engage with others, or to want to be on Earth. This is an incredible common symptom in New Age circles due to the immensity of spiritual misguiding; spiritual misguiding which precisely are caused by the inflammatory awakened (here Karen Blixen is a paradoxical exception). It is all about role-playing: through courses and spiritual educations you can buy yourself new levels and titles, just like in a role-playing game. It is not good to be on the low level where most people are.

Indeed, I think we can speak about a collective top-down awakening within the enormous movement of New Age, which expresses itself in a variety of intellectual, identifical and euphorical ego-inflations (and the long wake of psychic wrecks who have ended up in The Dark Night of the Soul). I guess this is what New Agers are speaking about when they are talking about the “global spiritual awakening” which shall lead to the prophesized New Age: the Age of the Aquarius. Just try to google “how to open your third eye” and you´ll get 19.800.000 results (when I tried). Most of the techniques given are in my view examples of spiritual vampirism and directly criminal if there were any way of proving it.

A top-down awakening of the third eye can easily be seen in relation to Sauron´s burning eye, which precisely describes what is going wrong. The Eye of Sauron was a symbol adopted by the Dark Lord during the Second Age and the Third Age. It was said that few could endure the eye's terrible gaze. The Eye was used on armor and banners of Mordor as a symbol of Sauron's quasi-omnipotence, and was adopted as something of an insignia by Sauron's forces in general.

The most scary about this development is that there seems to be a thought behind it. I have called this the 666 conspiracy. The 666 conspiracy is about Evil´s plot against mankind. Is the third Antichrist among us, and will our worship of him be a sign of Judgment Day? It is clear that the Antichrist must be about anti-love and anti-existence. The techniques of “how to open your third eye”, will, if you actually succeed, without question lead to a top-down awakening, which will block the opening down towards the heart and hara; that is: it will block the possibility for love and existence.

The most significant example of this teaching is the New Thought movement. The New Thought movement is all about the positive side of top-down awakening, about success, ecstasy, power, sex, money. Energy is blocked in the throat area. Love (which the movement deceivable talk about all the time) is blocked through the teaching of moral subjectivism (which is difficult to discriminate from nihilism) and existence is blocked through philosophical idealism, which teaches that existence is an illusion. The most direct satanic teaching is to be found in New Thought´s self-proclaimed “Third Testament” A Course in Miracles (see my articles The New Thought Movement and the Law of Attraction and A Course in Miracles).

Another thought-provoking thing is: In my first book Meditation as an art of life – a basic reader I presented what I call the four philosophical hindrances and openings in towards the Source. I presented them in order to show what I think characterizes the spiritual practice, as it exists in all the traditional wisdom traditions. Ever since I have become increasingly puzzled over, how the self-help industry - which claims to work in accordance with spirituality - is turning this upside down. They teach the hindrances as positive and the openings as negative. Let me explain.

The paradox is that while the self-help industry is claiming to create the authentic, autonomous, resource-filled and competent human being, at the same time is doing the exact opposite: it is making people dependent of therapists, coaches, others ideas and ideals; making them modeling and imitating so-called successful people, etc., etc.

The one face of this paradoxical Janus head is the empowerment culture, the other face is the victimization culture (and the connected recovery movement).

The self-help industry is today often calling its method positive psychology. It has especially three sources of inspiration:

1) The American New Thought movement, which is the subjectivistic belief, that your thoughts are creating reality, and that by focusing on what you find positive, and avoiding what you find negative, you can create your life in accordance with your wishes, feelings and needs. The “positive” is identified as success, money, sex, personal power, material glory, etc.

2) Humanistic psychology is the belief, that if you focus on your emotional experiences, needs, will and wishes, you will find your authentic self, which is claimed to be more or less divine. Religion has in that way been reduced to psychology. Humanistic psychology is a central inspiration for management theory.

3) The postmodern intellectualism, which supports the subjectivistic and relativistic idea, that there doesn´t exist any objective truth. Truth is something we create ourselves, either as individuals or as cultures, and since there doesn´t exist any objective truth, there doesn´t exist any objective scale of truth. Therewith it also says, that we live in a Matrix, a dream/fantasy, a kind of virtual reality, we have created ourselves, and that there is no chance of getting out of this. Therefore the best is to be interested in finding ways of getting on in this world, rather being interested in finding ways of discovering the truth.

This conspiracy is characterized by what you could call The Mythology of Authenticity. It has two world-images, which are closely connected: humanistic psychology and constructivism. And the two methods used by these world-images are psychotherapy (humanistic psychology) and coaching (constructivism). It is a “mythology” in the negative sense of the word meaning that it isn´t something real, it is the dream about becoming another, a life in a constant state of in-authenticity; in contrast to true spirituality, which you could call the reality of authenticity, because it here is about being precisely what you are, no matter how insignificant, or negative, it might seem in relation to your own or others´ ideals.

The five main programming technologies of the Matrix Conspiracy are Management theory, New Age, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), The law of attraction.

It is on the background of these sources of inspiration, that the self-help industry is turning the philosophical hindrances and openings upside down, so that the hindrances are considered as positive, and the openings are considered as negative. I call this the 666 aspect of the Matrix conspiracy.

The philosophical hindrances are (the mythology of authenticity is written in italic):

1) A rational where you take your assumptions, conceptions and values for absolute truths (hereunder the subjectivistic and relativistic point of view that the power of thought can create reality as it fits you) and hereby end up in a contradiction between your thoughts and lived live. 

2) A life-philosophical, where you are circling around your own past and future (the idea that you should get in contact with your hidden resources to either becoming yourself as you once were: humanistic psychology and the idea about your inner core, and its method: psychotherapy and the dream of a lost past – or to become the other, you want to become: the constructivistic idea about your potentials, and its method: coaching and the hope for a richer future) and hereby are creating a closed attitude, inattation, absent-mindedness and ennui.

3) An existence-philosophical, where you in your opinion formation and identity formation strive towards being something else than what you are (the dream about that you in reality are another (humanistic psychology) – or that you always can become another (constructivism)), where you imitate others, are a slave of other´s ideas and ideals (life is about becoming something fantastic and/or becoming a success; you ought to model fantastic and/or successful people; the conception of Man as chronical in-authentic, a victim who constantly has to heal - humanistic psychology and psychotherapy - or form - constructivism and coaching - himself in the therapeutic practice; psychotherapists and coaches as the new authorities), and where your actions are characterized by irresoluteness and doubt.

4) A spiritual where you are identified with your lifesituation, are dependent on political or religious ideologies (the supreme good is lying out in the future, and the end therefore justifies the means; you ought to find ways of getting on in the world rather than finding ways of discovering the truth; it is alright to use thought distortions in this quest) and where you hereby exist on a future salvation. And this evaluating fragmentation is the separation of the observer and the observed.

According to the traditional wisdomtraditions these four hindrances constitute a malfunction in the human mind. And it is this malfunction, which is the cause of the ignorance of the source of life. Ignorance is again the cause of suffering. In this way spiritual practice becomes a practice, which seeks to correct this malfunction. And therefore the two main concepts in spiritual practice are ignorance and suffering. In that way you get the four philosophical openings in towards the source:

1) A rational, where you examine the validity of your assumptions, conceptions and values, and search for coherency between your thoughts and your lived life.

2) A life-philosophical where you are present in the Now, and hereby achieve that self-forgetful openness and absorption in the world, which is a condition for love, spontaneity, joy of life and wisdom.

3) An existence-philosophical, where you in your opinion and identity formation are yourself in the sense of being precisely what you are here and now (no matter how insignificant, or negative, it might seem in relation to your own or others´ ideals), live in accordance with your own essence, and thereby achieve authenticity, autonomy, decisiveness and power of action.

4) A spiritual, where you aren´t identified with your lifesituation, and where you, independent of religious or political ideologies, live from something deeper: The source itself; the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Said in another way: where essence (the form of consciousness, meditation, the divine source) is one and the same with existence (being precisely what you are, existential presence in the now, life itself, the otherness). And this realized oneness is the Wholeness of the Oberserver and the Observed.

I am well aware that the self-help industry is using the concepts of the openings as positive concepts (especially the existence-philosophical opening with its concept of authenticity; that it is good to work with yourself, and realize your illusions, etc.), and therefore would disagree with my claim that they see them as negative. The use of the concepts of the openings is also the reason why it can be hard to discover the paradoxes. But the problem arises because they see them as future-oriented goals or ideals. And in order to reach these ideals you need therapy or coaching. And it is in this "practice" they end in the hindrances. That should be easy to see, when looking at the concepts of the hindrances. What they misunderstand is that the openings precisely are a practice in themselves: the true spiritual practice. In the New Age movement you can find a lot of true theory (which they often have copied and pasted from the original wisdom traditions). The failure shows in their practices (psychotherapy and coaching).

A spiritual practice can again be said to contain three aspects of spiritual practice which I explained in the Introduction. Let me just repeat:

1) Critical thinking.

2) Investigating the shadow.

3) The spiritual practice.

The reason why the self-help industry considers these three aspects, and therefore the four philosophical openings, as negative, is as follows:

1) There is no objective scale of truth that can decide whether something is positive or negative; it is entirely your own subjective feelings, that decide what is positive or negative. Therefore thought distortions can be seen as positive means of getting on in the world, and critical thinking is seen as something negative, since it postulates objective truth.

2) The positive psychology of the self-help industry is avoiding and ignoring all negative; that is: your shadow, your ignorance, your painbody, your suffering, your dark side.

3) It is not possible to go beyond your ideas and images, since everything is a mind construct. The only thing you can do is to change them into what you find positive.

In my article Humanistic Psychology, Self-help, and the Danger of Reducing Religion to Psychology, I explain how the self-help industry, unknowingly, is supporting a kind of black magic, or satanism, which shows the essence in the 666 conspiracy, namely that the ego has become an object for “spiritual” worship. This will end in spiritual crises, especially the “positive” aspect of the spiritual crisis called ego-inflation, which is the main background for a top-down awakening.  

The central difficulty with the top-down awakening is therefore that it is difficult for people to want to do their personal work. Or rather: what they believe is personal work is controlled by the Mythology of Authenticity: the Dungeon Master of the Scientology Game (my expression “The Scientology Game” has only figuratively something to do with the actual movement called Scientology).

It can be entertaining to go to workshops, to visit gurus, to spiritually seek. For the experiencer to be healed, to come to a state of balance, or to progress further in their spiritual path, they must begin to do the personal work that they have been avoiding (art of life). But the New Thought movement directly teaches people to avoid their dark personal baggage. So, to let go of the ego, the Facebook memes that tell you what awakening is supposed to be like, and go internally to find out is a scary proposition. You must be completely alone in this quest. By working through personal baggage and reestablishing a personal connection with the Earth (heart and Hara, love and existence), with ancestry (the dark, ancient inertia), and by dropping the mask that comes with being spiritual comes a state of balance, strength, power, and full realization. To do this I suggest that people find a religion to support them, and an accept of that the divine eventually is an external source you can´t control.

As mentioned in the Introduction, then I can only attribute the solution to my own two dramatic kundalini cycles to an intervention from the source, symbolized with the meeting with a Dream Master, or a guardian angel (an external source, not a product of my mind). Especially the solution to the ego-inflation and the alcohol abuse was something completely unsought and unintended. I guess that no one would want to end either in The Dark Night of the Soul, or with a liver disease. But still these events were necessary for my further spiritual development. This thought is reinforced by the fact that I after the dramatic cycles is beginning to experience progressive karma, or divine providence.

Thus knowledge (as distinct from wisdom) cannot be the supreme good, for it is compatible with evil, just as power is.

Especially when the knowledge is only by analysis, by breaking the things into parts. “He that breaks a thing in order to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom” (Letters, no. 346, p. 424) This is Gollum´s path:

He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunneled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air: his head and his eyes were downward…[H]e used [the ring] to find out secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses…The ring had given him power according to his stature…All the great “secrets” under the mountains had turned out to be just empty night: there was nothing more to find out, nothing worth doing (LOTR, pp. 51-52, 54).

One wonders how much of the above is a description of our own culture´s Gollum-like exchange of ancient wisdom for modern knowledge. One also suspects that we all really know this, in our unconscious, for that is where language comes from, and our language does not say “modern wisdom”.

The ranks of literary critics of fantasy are full of Gollums. Tolkien says of Faerie, “Its very riches and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveler who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost” (“On Fairy-Stories”, p. 33). “Faërie…has many ingredients, but analysis will not necessarily discover the secret of the whole” (ibid., p. 30).

Tolkien says, “As a story, I think it is good that there should be a lot of unexplained (especially if an explanation actually exists…There must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)” (Letters, no. 144, p. 174). Any good storyteller always suggests more than he says, or even knows, to give us a sense of a vast sea of wisdom underlying the story, and a sense of our own smallness, and these two senses together elicit wonder. Fantasy does this better than science fiction, because science fiction deals with the scientifically possible, thus with problems and puzzles that could in principle be solved and some day probably will, while fantasy deals with things beyond the capacity of natural science to explain or control.

Kreeft says that any theist could explain and justify the wisdom of ignorance. As C.S. Lewis put it, “[H]ow can the characters in a play guess the plot? We are not the playwright, we are not the producer, we are not even the audience. We are on the stage. To play well the scenes in which we are ‘on’ concerns us much more than to guess about the scenes that follow it.”

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