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An Introduction to Existence

There is an essence that permeates all of existence. Indeed, the Universe is comprised of nothing else. It takes all shapes, becomes all forms; it is at once all forces and all powers that be. It is the energy of the Cosmos.

There is nothing but this one thing, regardless of the consciousness, regardless of the power, regardless of the character, the shape or the form into which it has settled.

The stones washed smooth in the bed of a stream are made of it. Likewise, the burbling waters of the stream. The trees that line the banks owe their girth and their height to it, for it is their physical form. The life-force in them, too, is of this same one thing, though after another fashion.

The birds that nest in the branches are made of nothing other than that same, singular essence. They fly through skies of that same essence, beneath a sun of that same essence, and the world is at one with itself and in harmony.

Just as the sun is of that essence, so are the rays of warmth it casts across the ground. There is only the one thing, though it takes all forms.

The force of wind upon the sail of a boat is not made from a different root substance than the sail, the boat, nor the sea upon which it travels. All things are of that one essence.

In the beginning of our Time, the Creator determined to make manifest the Universe. To that end and purpose, the living, conscious energy of the Creator was focused into and concentrated within a single point.

That point, having no dimension, could not contain the intensity, and so burst forth into expansion, opening within itself dimensions, driven by the great force from within.

Time and Space were born in the expansion, and moment succeeded moment for the first time in our Universe. Yet, the Universe in its entirety was the one thing, and that one thing was the Being of the Creator. The living, conscious energy of the Creator, which is Spirit, is the essence behind all of Creation.

As moment succeeded moment, the ever-existing essence gathered together within itself concentrations of Being, or literally "Beings", in whom types of consciousness were generalized. The establishment of these specific forces required that they be condensed from the pure energy of the Creator, which is without specifics, without limitation (for defining a thing limits it). Thus, these concentrations of Being (or Beings) were established on a plane "beneath" (or more properly within) that realm where the living, conscious energy of the Creator exists in Its pure state. In this manner, the continuing Creation proceeded from the One through the Many. These "Beings", or these aspects of the Being of the Creator, are expressions of the Creator in the manifest universe.

With the concentration of Being, Spirit becomes less "free", less without limit, and begins to assume the nature and character intended. In this way are the planes of existence generated. Successive concentrations of Spirit produce successive planes. They descend from the exceedingly Divine, wherein the first principles of the Creation make ingress from the existence beyond our own, wherein the Creator is at home in a world of pure existence (without form) finishing with the physical world in which Spirit becomes matter. It can not be otherwise, for there is no-thing in this universe outside of the Being of the Creator.

It is well known that energy and matter are but opposing poles of a single phenomenon. And, it is equally well known that all energy is of the Ancient One, the Creator. There is truly no thing in existence that is not "of" the Creator, for there is no other thing by which any thing could be made.

Thus are the planes of existence condensed, each from the one above, from the One through the Many. They are crystallized in descending, concentric emanations, from the pure Spirit of the Creator, down to the physical world where energy is bound up in matter, where Spirit is locked up in form.

Those descending emanations are of extreme importance; for, not only did the wave of life that ultimately became human originate there, in them the entire creative process is revealed. Further, the currents of force, and the powers that shape our world, move downward through those same planes. The keys to how those forces operate, and the ways in which we unknowingly participate in the process, are of utmost importance to all humankind. The hidden side of the human being includes various aspects of being that function on those planes. It is there that we help to shape our world, for good or ill.

One by one we must gain understanding of the planes of existence and the way that we, as human beings, help to create our tomorrows through our intentions, thoughts, emotions and our actions. We must learn to control those higher aspects of ourselves, just as we control our bodies. We must learn to utilize them, learn to be in them, and then participate willingly, and in full awareness, with the continuing process of Creation. The Christ said that we are co-creators with God. He also said that we shall be as gods. These statements are true, and our very purpose is to become conscious participants in the creative process. One might say it is training for the times to come, when we shall in fact occupy a much higher station than we do at present. Many find it strange that the "off-spring" of the Creator should become gods themselves. I find it strange that it isnít obvious to everyone.

When the life wave that was to become human was brought down through the planes, there was a nadir, of sorts. It was the point when the consciousness of the energy of our collective spirit was most deeply enmeshed in matter. The dim consciousness that remained to us, eclipsed as we were from the ever-present Light of the Creator, was no more than the flicker of a firefly, compared to the many-sunned brilliance of the consciousness of the entire Cosmos. Yet, that eclipse was absolutely necessary, if the coming human consciousness was to be truly "individual". That final plunge into matter, into bodies of physical existence, was necessary in order to isolate the flickering firefly consciousness in humankind, from the consciousness of the Cosmos. Without that isolation, the dim consciousness of the fledgling human could not possibly have perceived its own existence. That is, it could not have become self-aware.

Legends of that last descent, into the world of form, have been distorted over the many millennia since. One such legend is recorded in Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. In that story, the fall of man is errantly recorded as a kind of punishment, due to original sin. Considering the aeons having passed between the event and its recording, it isnít difficult to understand a certain degree of infidelity creeping into the tale. However, this has caused a misunderstanding of the nature of Creation, of Humankind, and of the Creator. This and other misconceptions must be rooted out, if we are to get a correct understanding of the Creator, and our relation with Divinity.

The Genesis account places Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where they have the companionship of God. This, plainly, is a reference to the time before the eclipse we just mentioned. We had the companionship of "God" because we were not yet "individualized", not yet cut off from Cosmic Consciousness. Being a collective then, rather than individuals, the entire race of Man is given the pair of names Adam and Eve. Some have said that Adam simply means male, while Eve means female. That is true in a sense, as we shall see.

The authors of the story mention four rivers. Those four rivers are actually the four flowing forces of Creation (known as the Elements of the Wise, being Fire, Air, Water, and Earth) in a plane of existence supernal to the physical world, where to clairvoyant sight, they have the appearance of rivers. Indeed, "Adam and Eve" (who are allegories, not real individuals) represent all of humankind, but more specifically the consciousness (male/Adam) and sub-consciousness (female/Eve) of humankind. They were without physical bodies. For, not until the "fall" did the Creator "make coats of skin" and clothe them (Genesis 3:21).

The addition of the serpent in the story is of interest. The Serpent is charged with having caused the fall. This he does by showing the way to "knowledge". Of course, the serpent was revered in ancient times as a symbol of wisdom, and is therefore intimately associated with the "Light Bearer", Lucifer (for that is the meaning of his name). Now, by the most incredible folly of logic, this Holy Being has been reduced to some beastly tormentor of the faithful, and is blamed for a "fall from grace" that never took place.

Yet, there were "serpents", so to speak. They were the Light Bearing (or Luciferian) Spirits who came to early humans in order to work on the as yet very dim consciousness of those early "men". In fact, all of the ancient civilizations have their version of these ancient teachers. The legends that record the serpentís alleged deception are merely fragments of a tale that is far older than the written word. The records we have of that long distant time, if dated and then placed on a time line, old as they are, fall much nearer the present than they do that storied past.

As was said before, aeons had passed between the event and its recording. Taking that into account, the amazing thing isnít that so much has been distorted. Indeed, the amazing thing is that so many essential elements are still there. They are jumbled, scrambled and distorted, but still there. Like much myth, there is a kernel of truth at the heart of the tale. Like much myth, the truth is so veiled by the passing of time that the modern version is almost a complete fabrication.

Even so, nearly all ancient cultures have had their tales of ancient "gods" and "angels" and "wise men" who came to early man as teachers. They have been called many names. From the Egyptian Thoth and the Greek Hermes, to the Viracochas of the ancient Central American peoples. Likewise, the symbolism of the serpent can be found attached to most of these teacher beings, either directly or indirectly. Some are simply described as Serpentine. Snake-men. Others carry or wear the serpent as a symbol (for example, the serpent entwined caduceus wand of Hermes).

The Adam and Eve tale goes back to the first moment of individualized existence among our life wave. There has been no darker time in all the aeons of our slow development. Our consciousness was buried in bodies of physical matter, cutting us off from and concealing from us those realms supernal to the physical world. Yet, when we elevate our awareness into supernal realms, our vision clears (Clear Seeing, the definition of Clairvoyance).

Penumbra,the name of my work - many years of research into various aspects of the esoteric and arcane - was chosen to indicate our relation to that darkest time. We see that final descent into matter as an eclipse in which the Light of the Creator is cut off from humankind by the matter into which human consciousness is rooted. As happens in an eclipse, the intervening "body" continues along its course, and in a little at a time, the light begins to return. The area just alongside the darkest shadow, or "umbra", wherein some small, diffused light is able to penetrate, is the near umbra - "penumbra". This eclipse is far from over. We have a very long way to go, but light is ever on the increase.

Normally, we take little time to consider where humanity will be in some nondescript future. We consider our current age the height of civilization, culture, knowledge, and spirituality. Yet, if our analogy is a true one, the light of knowledge will continue to increase. The consciousness of humankind will increase. Our capacity to relate to Divinity will increase. Indeed, with the passage of time, the evolution of the human spirit will take us far beyond Penumbra. Then may we know, even as we are known.

Having rounded the turn, we now unfold the potential of the human being. It is this which we call evolution of the human spirit. All that preceded would be involution. Involution got us down here, and evolution will take us back - but not as we are, and not as we were. There are developments we are meant to make, and those developments have to do with the potencies latent in us that await our development.

Let us take a very brief look at the involutionary process.

As was said, the origin of the life wave that was to become humanity was in the planes of existence. "We" began when the Creator poured out from Its Being a wave of life energy, conscious and purposive. Beings already established throughout the planes were given charge over our group life as we descended. In us were instilled the germs of will, of mind, and of desire. Each was added unto our group in the appropriate plane, by the appropriate Intelligences. It takes only a moment to say it, yet the process, like all of those in nature, was exceedingly slow. Nature does not hurry.

Our germ of will was first conditioned. The will itself is of the Creator, and was not at first parceled out to each of us individually. Rather, it was processed in order that we might assume presidency over portions of it individually when we were ready. The Will of which we speak is actually an aspect of Spirit itself, and is a subject that goes rather deeper than is appropriate at this point in our discussion. Realization of those aspects of our True Selves is, in fact, the crux of the entire edifice of "spirituality".

It was this period of our group development that we experienced a type of consciousness like unto that of the current mineral world. Consider the rock or crystal. It is that which it is. It is not an other thing. It is instructive that Will was conditioned in the exercise of expressing being-ness. Being, by design. Being by design describes the manifest creation - the Being of the I AM That I AM.

Next, the germ of mind was prepared for us. The type of consciousness attributed to our current vegetation is roughly equal to the consciousness we developed during that period. Plants are aware, as any botanist or gardener can tell you. They respond, quite perceptibly, to certain stimuli. It is instructive that the development of mind took place through response to stimulus.

The desire character was developed during the period of our involution when our consciousness was very similar to that of certain animals now on Earth. Not those of the higher type, however. Rather, we speak of those who live by pure instinct and are driven entirely by the appetites of desire. Necessity, then, is not only the mother of invention. She is also the mother of desire.

I make these comparisons so that those who have heard the doctrine concerning man evolving literally from stone can see where the notion originated, even as the truth behind it releases them from the misconception.

When we had been thus prepared, it was time for the nadir of which we have already spoken. It was time for the descent into matter. Time to be immersed in physical form, so that the tiny portion of consciousness we had been given could perceive its existence. For, previous to that final descent, our consciousness was entirely overshadowed by the vastly greater and more powerful energies of those beings who had our charge. Indeed, we were yet subject to the immense energy and influence of the consciousness of the entire Cosmos. It was absolutely essential that we be separated from those much more powerful minds, if we were to ever perceive our own being.

Yet, why should we have been individualized in the first place? If, as many suggest, we will all be assimilated back "into God" at the conclusion of this vast exercise, why go through the trouble of a universe? What is the harvest, if our mission is to abolish self and achieve union with the Cosmos?

The anihilation of the True Self is not possible - but nether is union with the Cosmos possible until that sleeper has awakened.

The point to individualization is individualization. Each of us has a unique opportunity to develop. Each of us will develop our own type of genius and creativity. Over the course of many lives in manifestation, none of us will experience the same set of events, nor develop the same set of responses. The creative side of any two of us will be as different as the sums of the experiences by which we learned and grew. This is a subject best left off for another time. But getting a right understanding of it could be very beneficial to ourselves, and a blessing to all those we encounter in our lives.

As was said only a moment ago, we have rounded the turn. Our development is now in our own hands. We must learn about and develop those aspects of our nature that are supernal to the physical world. Therein we shall find the means by which we take part in the creative process in full awareness, and begin the climb upward from clay formed simian creatures of dull wit and dim consciousness to purposive and force-wielding god-men. Amen.


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