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YANTRA AND SYNCHRONICITY
Samten de Wet.
The emerging hunger of our time, the lack of faith in institutions, and the projection of a new vision into our psychic lives - these few 'reasons' have stimulated a series of papers.
C.G.Jung stated in his Memorial Address, 'In Memory of Richard Wilhelm':
"We have today a Gnostic movement in the anonymous masses which exactly corresponds psychologically with the Gnostic movement nineteen hundreds years ago."
Gnosis, is in this sense, Higher Knowledge, or Insight, basically transcendental in frequency.
Many streams of esoteric Wisdom were amalgamated within the Gnostic movement, which historically reached its height during the great Alexandrine renaissance, and continued through the Grandeurs and the Fall of Rome, to eventually submerge as a system of the Wisdom of Transcendence under the growing power of Christian Dogma fused to the State.
Gnosticism was replaced by a carefully controlled and manipulated psychic censorship which has held sway right up to the 20th Century.
This inner, 'psychic war' continued on the surface of European history through its many Crusades, iconoclastic outbursts, Inquisitions and Heresies. The work of Peter Abelard, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Copernicus, Galileo and many others fell victim to this repression of Gnostic Knowledge, which was bred and maintained over so many centuries. In Astrological terms, the Gnostic revival of today is said to correspond with the incoming energies of the Age of Aquarius - the Key Word of which is: I KNOW. (Gnosis.)
But in order to survive the persecution of the enemies of Wisdom, the Gnostic Teachings and its Deeper Knowledge, were coded into secret forms and ciphers. Crystalized into Architecture (Chartres and Notre Dame) were Alchemical Teachings rich in symbolic meaning. The forces who profit from the maintenance of ignorance (avidya) have never been in total control. An immense secret documentation, a transmission of Inner Wisdom, took place in the interior psychic landscape of Europe. It surfaced during the 15th century as the Tarot cards. Alchemical literature and symbols flourished under the shadow of the gallows and the stake. Hermetic and Rosicrucian systems emerged in the writings of Bacon, Shakespeare and Isaac Newton.
It is only recently that certain Keys to this Gnostic Wisdom made an external, or exoteric appearance.
Evans-Wentz, in his Tibetan Book of the Dead, writes:
"Some of the more learned lamas, including the late Lama Kazi Samdup have believed that since very early times there has been a secret international symbol-code in common use among the initiates, which affords a key to the meaning of such occult doctrines as are still jealously guarded by religious fraternities in India, as in Tibet, and in China, Mongolia and Japan."
Among the many KEYS that have put in an external appearance, is the Theory of Synchronicity, as evident in the work of C.J.Jung and Arthur Koestler. This theory is related to the pattern-process of YANTRA, and the tradition of the Yantras it is transmitted in the Tibetan and Hindu visual ciphers.
These unveiled mysteries reveal the interface between astrology and psychology. As C.J. Jung writes:
"...astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity."
In preparing to discover the meaning of YANTRA is thus connected to the scientific discoveries of the modern child of astrology and alchemy, Psychology. A term rarely used is ASTRO-GNOSIS.
(In preparing ) or: Our preparation to discover the meaning of YANTRA is thus connected to the scientific discoveries and massive documentation of astrology-alchemy (which I term ASTROGNOSIS) and its modern child, psychology.
Let us now consider this definition of YANTRA by Ajit Mookerjee:
"YANTRA is essentially a geometric composition, but to understand its true nature one has to go beyond the notions of geometry into those of dynamics. A YANTRA then represents particular force whose power or energy increases in proportion to the abstraction or precision of the diagram. Through such YANTRAS or power diagrams, creation and control of ideas and physical forces are supposed to be possible. The dynamic graph of the diagram of forces by which anything can be represented - the picture of its functional constitution - is called the YANTRA of that thing. It is not an arbitrary invention but a revealed image of an aspect of cosmic structure."
(It is necessary to outline briefly that often immense systems of STORAGE are condensed, coagulated into symbolic systems, ciphers, mnemonic devices for the use of future generations.
[See the work of J.L.Borjes, and the novel "Dune' by Frank Herbert.
This field of research is ignored in current academic trends, except perhaps in the field of Psychology. These Storage Systems are being released through the appearance of the KEYS in the present 'Gnostic Movement', or as we call it 'The Spiritual Revolution' thus vivifying the psychic bankruptcy and creative cul-de-sac of so-called Western Civilization, and its think tanks, the Universities.
In the last sentence of the above definition of YANTRA as "...revealed image of an aspect of cosmic structure" we have a perfect definition of the science of astrology which pertains exactly to the revelations of the functioning of the modern mind which modern psychology is supposed to reveal.
For example, a revealed aspect of the psyche (or the psychological archetype) or an image of an aspect of psychological structure, is illustrated perfectly in Diagram No. 1 which is our main example of YANTRA.The Diagram is of the Fourth Stage of Meditation: "The centre in the midst of the conditions", seen in 'The Secret of the Golden Flower."
The KEY is now beginning to operate in its function of Revelation.
From one perspective, this image/picture-idea is classified and recognized as a psychological state - the splitting up from the Centre - the One, into the Many. The path into differentiation or disintegration. The same process has its organic parallel in the differentiation of cell structures, veins, and arteries, the delta mouths of rivers, the nervous system, the branching of tress etc. I have called this phenomenon:
THE BRANCHING ARCHETYPE, or THE DELTA EFFECT.
Our task is to establish a visual catalogue of all the correspondences and analogies of this Branching archetype, in whatever form it may manifest, on whatever level of reality, or state of consciousness.
From such a constellation of images, we would be able to begin seeing organic structures in YANTRIC terms.
By analogy, we begin to perceive (to SEE), unfolding patterns, which reveal dynamic aspects of cosmic design. When this revealed image of cosmic structure is before us, or within us, when the enciphered architecture of the 'universe' is 'DECIPHERED', we are aesthetically empowered to deal with the situations of reality, and the Mysteries of Being.
Just as suffering is said to be the fruit of ignorance, so the revelation of the Yantra bears fruit. The eating of this fruit allows us to see the weave of existence in forms that are intuitively realized as being 'meta-organic', and relatively /true in the context of Samsara, the magical display of Illusion.
This brings us to the of the Nyingmapa realization of the Tibetan Buddhist Tantras, that the entire spectrum of reality is itself a meaningful cipher and a Divine Mandala.
"One should regard oneself and all that is visible as a divine mandala, every audible sound to be regarded as mantra and every thought arising in one's mind as a magic manifestation of the Great Wisdom."
Here, we are prematurely approaching the esoteric subject of the Mandala. This has to be dealt with separately in the section on Texture and Aesthetics. Another chasm of meanings unfold when we contemplate the relationship between the YANTRA and the MANDALA.
To return to theBRANCHING ARCHETY[PE In the present time, the mass of humanity has been brutalized into accepting a particular state of reality and value conditioning. This appears on one level, as the relative differentiation of ROLE situations and GAME conditions, the world of THINGS. We each become, man or woman, brother, master or servant, father, mother, politician, capitalist or communist, hetero or homosexual, in order to define exactly how far away we are from the integrated, non-conditioned Centre. It is interesting to note that according to the more progressive Tibetan Teachings, the term SUNYATA is not defined by the word "nothingness" or "void" but by:
NO - "thing" - ness.
a great difference indeed.
The quality of most mystical states of merging with All That Is, results in the fading away of the role conditions of Life, and the AT-ONE-MENT, or ATONEMENT.
Thus we can see this "Key' in operation in the last sentence of the above definition of Yantra as "...a revealed image of cosmic structure" which is a perfect definition of the science of astrology and should also pertain to the revelations of the human mind which modern psychology is supposed to reveal.
Unless we subscribe to the destructive programmes of Dualistic and separative tendencies, we must see that there is a THREAD between the programmed STORAGE SYSTEMS, CIPHERS, KEYS, SYMBOL-CODE LANGUAGES, &c. of the Gnostic, Astrological, Alchemical, Psychological and Tibetan Metaphysical systems, in that they all REVEAL IMAGES AS ASPECTS OF COSMIC STRUCTURE. YANTRA is, in this sense, the revealed pattern between the relative and the Absolute, the Golden Thread with which we weave Force Field Patterns of Energy (MIND) and relate the Micro to the Macro Cosmic.
Here it is time to delve into the functional aspects of Yantra through examples. But before doing so we must relate Yantra to the concept of Syncronicity. In the words of the Master:
"The science of the I CHING, indeed is not based on the causality principle (hitherto unnamed because not met with among us) which I have called the syncronistic principle. My occupation with the psychology of unconscious processes long ago necessitated my casting around for another explanatory principle, because the causality principle seemed to me inadequate for the explanation of certain remarkable phenomena of the unconscious. Thus I found that there are psychic parallelisms which cannot be related to each other causally, but which must stand in another sort of connectedness. This connection seemed to me to lie mainly in the relative simultaneity of the events, therefore the expression 'syncronistic'.It seems, indeed, as though time. far from being an abstraction is a concrete continuum which contains qualities or basic conditions manifesting themselves simultaneously in various places in a way not to be explained by causal parallelism, as , for example, in cases of the coincident appearance of identical thoughts, symbols or psychic states. Another example would be the simultaneity of Chinese and European periods of style, a fact pointed out by Wilhelm. They could not have been causally related to one another. Astrology would be another example of manifest syncronicity if it had at its disposal thoroughly tested findings."
This brings us to the final statement that "...astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity." Jung again...
Here Jung reveals the 'dynamics' of Yantra, in that "...a Yantra represents particular forces whose power or energy increases in proportion to the abstraction or precision in the diagram". This energy increasing in proportion, is the same as 'syncronistic psychic parallels' which manifest simultaneously in various places without any causal connection. This is also called co-incidence in the metaphysical terminology of Tantra and in particular the Teachings of Naropa.
'The Glass Bead Game' by Hesse deals with an advanced system of aesthetic perception with which analogies are discovered, or created, the Yantric value of all known Art Forms are seen to correspond to cosmic force filed patterns and an overall Universal Pattern, or MANDALA is thus revealed. This is the basis for the foundation of a Glass Bead Game.
YANTRA - GLASS BEAD GAME NUMBER ONE.
Recommended reading matter: Chapters 1-6, Part Two: The Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, by Lama Anagarika Govinda, Rider.
Lama Govinda writes:
"While mantric sounds have their origin within the cultural realms of a certain language or civilization, there are other symbols of figurative and conceptual nature, the origin of which cannot be traced to any particular place, tribe, or race, and which are not bound to any particular period of human civilization or to any religion, but which are the common property of humanity. These symbols may disappear in one place - in fact, they may be buried for centuries - only to reappear at another place, and to rise resurrected in a new and brilliant garb. They may change their names or even their meaning, according to the emphasis laid upon the one or the other of their aspects, without loosing their original direction: because it is in the nature of the symbol to be as manifold as the life from which it grew, and yet to retain its character, its organic unity within the diversity of its aspects."
Lama Govinda is here dealing with synchronicity and with YANTRA:
"The most popular of these symbols are those which assume visible form, either as abstract (geometrical) figures or designs, or as objects of religious cult. But there are also invisible symbols which exist also as mental pictures, i.e. as ideas."
DIAGRAM No. 1 is a picture - idea, which has analogies with DIAGRAM NO. 2 of a Branching Effect. In No. 1 we see what is recognized as a psychological state - the splitting up from the Centre, the One, into the Many. The Path into Differentiation or disintegration. The same process has its organic parallel in the differentiation of cell structures, delta river mouths, veins and arteries, the nervous system, tree branches, etc.
This is a way of seeing organic structures in YANTRIC terms. By analogy, we see patterns unfolding which reveal the dynamic aspects of cosmic design. When the deciphered image of cosmic structure is before us, when the cipher is DECIPHERED, we are in a a greater aesthetic situation to deal with reality and the mysteries of Being. Suffering is said to be the Fruit of Ignorance and with YANTRA we see the web of existence in forms which intuitively we realize as meta-organic and thus TRUE in a relative, samsaric sense. This brings us to the latter realization of Buddhist Tantras, that the entire spectrum of Reality is in itself a meaningful cipher and a DivineMANDALA.
We have been brutalized into one particular state of reality values. This is the absolute differentiation of 'role situations' and 'game conditions' and 'things' which we become, e.g. man, brother, boss, father, politician, communist - in order to define the exact length we are away from the integrated non-conditioned centre. It is interesting to note that according to the more avant garde Tibetan Lamas - the term 'sunyata' is not defined by the word 'nothing' or 'void' but by 'NO- 'THING' NESS' a difference indeed.
Most mystical states are connect to merging with all that IS, the role conditions of life fade away and we become ONE or, as it is written we ATONE (AT-ONE.)
The VAJRA, is the Yantric symbol we shall now consider. Diagram No. 2 shows theVAJRA which is a form of YANTRA in that it can be used on multiple levels to reveal aspects of cosmic structure.
The Vajra is exactly the same ideograph of the Diagram No. 1 because they both reveal the process from the centre into differentiation. One definition comes from Lama Govinda who writes:
"As a visible symbol the vajra takes the shape of a sceptre (the emblem of supreme, sovereign power), and therefore it is correct to call it 'diamond sceptre.' This sceptre assumes a form corresponding to its function. Its centre is a sphere which represents the seed or germ of the universe in its undifferentiated form as 'bindu' (dot, zero, drop, smallest unit). Its potential force is indicated in pictorial representations by a spiral issuing from the centre of the sphere. From the undifferentiated unity of the centre grow the two opposite poles of unfoldment in form of lotus-blossoms, which represent the polarity of all conscious existence."
end of p.22.
In the Stupa or Chorten of Mystic Architecture, the 'seed-dot' is always at/on the top of the structure. Thus if we see the spiral as an ascending circumambulato, the Seed-Dot represents the Goal of the Process-Path.
The Seed is matter, packed into its most compact form. From this Bindu Seed Dot, manifest 'things' emerge in relative proportion to the knots of energy, or karmic residue that initially programmed them.
Around the Seed-Dot-Bindu we have the petals of the Lotus, the calyx of the Padma, Seat and Birthplace of the Gods. The Padma or Lotus usually has a feminine significance. It is thus no co-incidence that the chakra of focal psyche that corresponds to the womb or cervix is symbolically represented as a six petaled Lotus, or in some instances - the Double Triangled Star (Six-pointed). Chogyam Trungpa writes:
"In some Tantric writings, the double-triangle star is referred to as the originator of all dharmas. It is like a cervix, the gate of all birth. The mother principle is productive, constantly churning out the display of the phenomenal world."
The symbolic significance of the seed, dot, bindu, tigle, germinal vesicle, or sperm is obvious when related to the cervix, uterus of the Lotus as the matrix in which the seed unfolds.
In 'Psychology and Alchemy' by C.G. Jung, specifically the series of dreams under the title 'The Symbolism of the Mandala' we read of the dream of the subject/patient in which the spiral suggests, by means of the circumambulo, the reaching of a point designated as a 'uterus', or the centre, the bindu, or dot, 'seed'.
The spiral is followed from outside (the without, the 'otherness) into the Centre, the Within, perhaps as an ascent into integration, a regression but not in derogatory terms into the womb. The movement is clockwise.
The spiral is form the centre, OUT and thus represents the descent into Matter of Differentiation. The movement is anti-clockwise.
The 'dot' in the centre is called by Jung, the "protoplasmic life-seed" or also 'the germinal vesicle'. This seed-dot is the central point of most Yantric diagrams and represents an entire programme of emanation packed into a condensed and 'calligraphic dot' which when fanned with the right conditions bursts forth into its programmed manifestation, i.e. bird, tree, elephant or human being.The process of Birth, or, the Developing Stage (Kerim in Tibetan), Formation, the entry into differentiation - means total Sacrifice of the previous form and slow transformation into the new. This seen in psychic terms is the initial emanation from the 'new' centre - the temenos. This is represented in the Vajra Yantra as the "...polarity of all conscious experience" seen as the unfolding lotus blossoms.
"The new state is referred to in symbols, since only symbols can convey a glimpse of the richness that constitutes this unity of being and awareness. Examples of such symbols are 'citadel of Vajradhara' and 'Mahamudra'. 'Citadel' aptly illustrates the powerfulness of the locality which is here the centre of the personality which in itself acts as an integrator, and 'Vajradhara' the Sceptre-Bearer, is the Lord of the 'Indestructible' which is the very mystery of being."
As process, the SEED represents the highest point of the process, in that it is the most condensed and secured aspect of the programme. It is thus the 'citadel' and/or the MICROFORM.
It is interesting to note that in the Vajra, the Centre spirals out clockwise into differentiation. From within to without, the movement is /clockwise.
One could elaborate endlessly - there is no limit to the amount of data that could be related to the schema of Yantra.The recurrence of a 'pattern or diagram of revealed cosmic structure', is called SYNCRONICITY, the ultilization of this series of process-patterns, or archetypes is termed YANTRA. These are a few 'ideas' on the subject offered in all humility to stimulate interest in this enormous and highly potent field of research, which I believe is the foundation for a new and UNITIVE VISION, the ESSENCE of which will precipitate us into the manifestation of a total renaissance of culture and consciousness.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC GUIDE from which GLASS BEAD GAMES can be constructed:
This paper is presented by Samten de Wet, and offered with devotion to the Ocean of Tantric Teachings and Transmitters working in the dark Age.
We are now approaching a philosophical synthesis of sacred literature, music and mathematics. Science has also entered the holistic field. As an example, we could take the Eranos conferences from which some of the greatest thought of this century emanated - with such participators as D.T. Suzuki, Gershom Scholem, C.G.Jung, K.Kerenyi, Erich Neumann and so on. More recently, Arthur Koestler organized the Alpbach Symposium, the purpose of which "...was to define the common denominators, the general pattern underlying these critical attitudes in widely varying disciplines, as a first step towards a new scientific synthesis."
'Main Currents in Modern Thought' was another publication of intense vision. It seems necessary to quote the purpose of Main Currents, which was:
"...to present significant contributions to contemporary thought which point toward a unified vision of the world, by bringing into view the universal principles and modes of knowing in terms of which all cultures, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, find their unique expressions."
Hermann Hesse presents us with his pure vision of 'The Glass Bead Game':
"There was a passionate craving among all the intellectuals of his age for a means to express their new concepts. They longed for philosophy, for synthesis. The erstwhile happiness of pure withdrawal each into his own discipline was now felt to be inadequate..."
"Some dreamed of a new alphabet, a new language of symbols through which they could formulate and exchange their new intellectual experiences."
In another context, Evanz-Wentz in his 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' writes:
"Some of the more learned lamas, including the late Lama Kazi Samdup have believed that since very early times there has been a secret international symbol-code in common use among the initiates..."
There are codes transmitted via the Kabala which have been seen to correspond to atomic structures. And C.G. Jung revealed archetypal patterns of the psyche in the operations of the Alchemists.
So on one level one can be intimidated by the data explosion. Confusion can arise. But with a clear holistic vision, each facet can be woven into the tapestry of a Greater Reality.
It is possible that immense storage systems of knowledge are condensed and codified into symbolic systems, ciphers, mnemonic devices for the use of future generations. This idea is beautifully expressed in esoteric Tibetan Buddhism as TERMA (gTerma). In simple terms,, a sacred book of knowledge can be hidden by a saint and only discovered centuries later. These discoverers are called TERTONS.They unearth the stored knowledge by higher means. There are deeper levels to this operation, which operate through a variation of telepathy and the Collective Mind. A similar idea can be found in the implanting of Myth in 'Dune', the science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. The work of Jorge Luis Borjes, and especially his story 'The Gods' Script' shows the codification of information into the patterns of a jaguar.
Though this holistic vision is still ignored by current academics, the art theorist, Jack Burnham finds kabalistic and alchemical codes in the work of Marcel Duchamp and states:
"...all forms of organic growth and morphogenisis, ranging from human life and human speech to the evolution of planetary systems. In other words the code of nature maintains consistency and flexibility by repeating itself from one level to the next."
Mircea Eliade calls this a "...solidarity of structure."
In his work on vibrational effects,
"The forms and configurations resulting from experiments in varying the pitch of vibration often bear so strong a resemblance with structural patterns found in nature, be it plant of animal life or the world of minerals, that one is tempted to see here some fundamental law governing the creation of all forms in our universe."
From various angles, all these great men are saying the same thing. Borjes sees this as a "...hieroglyphical world" - which is his own version of a deep kabalistic teaching, that the entire world is made up of the letters of the Torah, i.e. a finite series in a spectral code.
From this vantage point, how do we now relate to Astrology? Or the Tarot cards? And the I Ching? All three so shockingly commercialized in the spiritual supermarkets and mostly seen in a literal sense, and thus firmly ensconced in the materialistic world view.
Certainly there is a data explosion. But I for one, see it as a "...divine writing" or an "...angelic cryptography."
We cannot force the issue, but in natural time - this emerging world vision will be woven. And if one considers the consequences, this would also be the total foundation of a new approach to Education. It would be "whole" - i.e. Holy. For only then will Science, Religion and Art, once again be reunited. The Three in One, perhaps?