The sole task of the mental section of Step Seven is the attainment of a mental Equilibrium of the Elements. This is somewhat similar to the early work of attaining an astral Equilibrium of the Elements but at a much deeper level. Here, you must make changes to your fundamental self, instead of your superficial character.
The astral self transformation was all about positivizing your astral character. With the mental transformation however, it’s all about balancing the Elemental qualities or regions of your mental body so that no aspect of your awareness is stronger than any other. This is not accomplished by weakening or transforming your strongest traits, but rather by building up your weaker traits until they are equal in strength to your strongest trait. For example, if the Fire region is weak in relation to the Air region, which is to say if your intellect is stronger than your will, then you must build up your will until it is equal to the strength of your intellect.
This is a fairly straight forward concept, however, we must not think in terms of the mundane meaning of the words Bardon used in describing the qualities of the mental body. Here, in the context of Step Seven, the terms ‘will’, ‘intellect’, ‘feeling’ and ‘consciousness’ indicate much more fundamental aspects of awareness than their mundane meanings imply.
Here, ‘will’ refers to the Fire region of your mental body and your awareness of, and expression of, your own unique essential nature. ‘Intellect’ refers to the Air region of your mental body and your ability to perceive, assimilate and express essential meaning. ‘Feeling’ of course, refers to the Water region of your mental body and your ability to perceive, experience and express emotional significance. And ‘consciousness’ refers to the Earth region of your mental body and the degree to which you are able to fully integrate your mental and astral awareness into your mundane existence.
As with the astral transformation, our work begins with introspective self-analysis, except that here you are not making a list of positive and negative character traits. Instead, you are simply analyzing the relative strength of each aspect or region of your mental body. You must determine which of the Elements are strongest and which are weakest and rank them in relative order from strongest to weakest.
With our mental Equilibrium we must take into account an additional factor beyond the four Elements; namely, the Akasha. Bardon used the term ‘conscience’ to describe the fundamental quality of the mental body in relation to Akasha. And in terms of exercises to strengthen this quality he listed “realizing realities”. These are very telling clues, so to speak, meant to point us in the right direction, just like the words ‘will’, ‘intellect’, ‘feeling’ and ‘consciousness’ led us to a deeper understanding.
With the word ‘conscience’ Bardon referred to our inner sense of knowing ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ and thereby leads us to understand that he is really speaking of our connection with our own Greater Self or eternal mental body, through the agency of our Guardian Genius or directly through merging with the Akasha itself.
Our Greater Self is the eternal aspect of our mental body or spirit and resides, so to speak, within the eternal, non-sequential realm. It’s the causal source of our central spark of self, the Fire region of our temporal mental body. As such, our essential nature, manifest as our central spark of self, is an emanation of our Greater Self Awareness into the sequential realm. Our temporal mental body is thus the vehicle of our Greater Self Awareness and in order to fully manifest our Greater Self within the temporal realm our mental vehicle must be Equilibrated.
The question then, in terms of the mental Equilibrium, is how strong is our perception and expression of the emanation from our Greater Self? How aware are we of the voice of our conscience from moment to moment, and how completely do we implement its influence? How strong is our connection with our Guardian Genius? How completely are we able to merge with the Akasha and thus with our Greater Self? And perhaps most importantly, how thoroughly do we manifest our Greater Self through our Individual Self and our personality?
Once you have completed the introspective self-analysis of your mental body and have determined which Element or Elements are strongest, you must then devise a regimen of exercises that will strengthen the weaker Elements of your awareness. Bardon described these exercises to a very limited extent and also provided a simple table of associations to guide us. But again, his words here are meant to point and lead us and shouldn’t be taken at face value. Above all, we must remember that the context here is Step Seven.
So, let’s review what Bardon really meant regarding exercises to be undertaken in the strengthening of the mental body’s Elemental regions:
With the Fire region, Bardon wrote about the relationship between Fire, light, eyesight and ‘will’ and suggested ‘optic’ or visualization exercises to strengthen this region. In the context of what you accomplished in Step Six, ‘visualization exercises’ really means that you should increase or strengthen your tri-polar perception of essential meaning through your eyes. Furthermore, his comments about ‘light’ indicate that to strengthen the Fire region of your mental body, you must work more thoroughly with the ‘light’ in the manner of Step Six’s instructions regarding the creation of an Elemental -- which is to say, you must exercise your ability to impress your will upon undifferentiated essential meaning and thus give it differentiation and specificity. Additionally, you must exercise your mundane will power in your daily life because each strengthening within the mental awareness must be reflected in your mundane existence in order for it to truly take hold as a permanent feature.
With the Air region, Bardon wrote of the relationship between Air and hearing and suggested ‘acoustic exercises’ but this doesn’t mean the Step Two style exercises as his words imply. Instead, this is a reference to increasing or strengthening your tri-polar perception of essential meaning through your ears. In other words, practice your tri-polar hearing. Furthermore, to truly strengthen your intellectual capacity you must actively increase your exposure to and consideration of new ideas and concepts.
With the Water region, Bardon wrote about the relationship between Water and feeling and suggested ‘emotional exercises’ to “render your spirit more emotional”. What this really means is two-fold. First, that you must exercise your tri-polar perception of emotional significance through all your senses, but especially through your tactile sense. Secondly, that you must pursue Step Two style exercises in which you create various emotional states within your astral body. And of course, in your mundane life you must strive to be more sensitive to the emotions of others and more expressive of your own emotions.
With the Earth region, Bardon mentioned the senses of taste and smell and the overall consciousness and suggested exercises that “expand the consciousness”. What this really means is that you must practice your tri-polar state of awareness and activity since this integrates your mental and astral bodies with your physical existence. Working tri-polarly with your senses of taste and smell will increase this integration, so these exercises are also advisable. Ultimately, it’s a matter of becoming more and more aware of your physical existence, more and more holistically connected with your moment-to-moment life.
And finally, in regard to the Akasha, practice of the Step Five passive communication with your Guardian Genius and pursuing the Step Six work of merging your central spark of self with the Akasha, will both increase the influence of this aspect of your awareness. Bardon suggested exercises in “realizing realities” which means manifesting the Greater Self influx within every plane of your existence; mental, astral and physical.
So, having discerned which aspects of your mental body need to be developed more fully, you must pursue the appropriate exercises until you have successfully strengthened them to the point where all Four Elemental regions are perfectly balanced and thus equal in strength. This mental Equilibrium of the Elements must be attained before beginning the work of Step Eight and mental wandering, so do give it your all.
In regard to the Akasha, you do not have to bring this up to equal strength with the four Elemental regions at this point, although this will be necessary further on. For now, you must commit to always continuously develop and pursue this aspect of your awareness.
Once attained, the mental Equilibrium of the Elements requires very little in the way of the kind of continuous monitoring and maintenance that the astral Equilibrium requires. At the most, what one must guard against is an imbalanced increase of one Elemental region over the others. This can happen unintentionally in association with the Element you experience the greatest affinity with. For example, if you are naturally Watery, then you must be sure that the natural growth of the Water region of your mental body does not out-pace the growth of the other regions. In this event, you would need to intentionally strengthen the other regions through pursuit of relevant exercises.
As Bardon pointed out, odds are that your astral senses will have already been developed to a greater or lesser degree depending upon your natural abilities combined with the training you’ve undergone thus far. However, it is important that no matter how well developed you might feel they are at this point, you develop them further with these exercises.
The true astral senses are an amplification of the mental senses which, as we already have discovered, allow us to perceive the essential meaning and emotional significance of all that we experience through our physical senses. The astral senses give these mental perceptions a more concrete form as images and sounds in addition to the underlying mental understanding.
You will, no doubt have already experienced this phenomenon, for example when you are wielding an Element or the Vital Energy and you actually see it. This is a form of clairvoyance. Similarly, you might actually hear the thoughts of the person into whom you have transferred your consciousness. This is a form of clairhearing. Likewise when you explore the depth-point of a person or object and you perceive images, sounds, emotional states, etc. from their past or present experience. This is a form of clairfeeling.
In each case, the astral images, sounds and feelings are informed by your concurrent perception of their mental essential meaning and emotional significance.
Our mental senses function on all three levels of existence, mental, astral and physical, and yet we use them exclusively to navigate, as it were, the mental realm itself. Our astral senses on the other hand, are functional on only the astral and physical planes and are used in conjunction with our mental senses when we move about the astral plane. Likewise, our physical senses are functional only on the physical plane and we naturally use them in conjunction with our mental and astral senses to navigate the physical plane.
Therefore, in the development of our astral senses we must consider their dependence upon the information gleaned by our mental senses and their connection with our physical sensory organs. Thus Bardon incorporates mental, astral and physical components in each of the exercises he describes for their development. With clairvoyance, he involves the physical eyes, the astral Fire Element and the mental Light. With clairhearing, he incorporates the physical ears, the astral Air Element and the mental ether-Akasha. And with clairfeeling, we employ an individually appropriate area of the physical body, the astral Water Element and the mental Magnetic Fluid.
Bardon also encourages the use of physical fluid condensers as containers for the Elements but these are optional tools whose functions can easily be supplanted by simple accumulations of the Elements.
So, let’s examine the methods themselves, starting with clairvoyance, the astral sight.
First, you must adopt a tri-polar state of awareness in which you are conscious of all three bodies simultaneously. In fact, all of these exercises with the astral senses must be performed while in a tri-polar state.
Next, focus your awareness within your depth-point, your central spark of self, and connect with the universal Light upon the mental plane. This is the same Light or radiance of undifferentiated essential meaning that was dealt with in the Step Six creation of an Elemental. Now you must draw the entire body of this light into your physical body, so that it is evenly and densely accumulated throughout your whole body.
I should note here that guiding or drawing this Light from the mental plane, into your physical body is a task that you will not have encountered before but with just a little bit of experimentation and thought, you will quickly master it.
Once the condensed Light fills your physical body, you must impress upon it the idea that, as Bardon described, “The light is penetrating everything, seeing everything and looking through everything. Neither space nor time is any hindrance to this light.”
Then you must guide all of the Light into your two eyes. This further condenses the Light so that by the time all of it has moved into your eyes, each eyeball is like a radiant sun. Now spend several minutes focused upon the idea that the penetrating, all-seeing power of the Light permeates your astral and physical eyes, transferring to them the power of clairvoyance. When you are finished with the exercise, let go of the accumulated Light and let it completely dissipate until none at all remains in your eyes or in your body.
Repeat this accumulation of the all-seeing Light into your eyes as frequently as possible, all the while confident of the fact that the Light is rapidly transforming your astral and physical eyes and rendering them capable of clairvoyance.
To supplement and perhaps hasten this transformation of your physical and astral eyes, you may incorporate the Fire Element into your work. This can be done as Bardon described, with the use of cotton balls, soaked with a simple Fluid condenser which has been loaded with the Fire Element, and then applied over your eyes. Or, the exact same effect can be attained by simply creating an accumulation of the Fire Element that rests upon the surface of your eyeballs, a feat that should be very simple by this point in your training.
In time, this practice will transform your astra-physical eyes and render them capable of astral sight. Then, to use your astral vision all you have to do is shift your awareness to your astral eyes. In other words, you won’t need to accumulate the Light into your physical eyeballs in order to use your astral sight.
Now let’s deal with clairhearing:
Prepare in advance a couple of Fluid condenser loaded cotton plugs into which you have accumulated the Air Element and impressed your desire for the faculty of clairhearing in your astral and physical bodies. Cram the prepared cotton plugs into your ears as tightly as possible. Alternately, you can simply create two suitably sized accumulations of the Air Element, onto which you have impressed your desire, and transfer them to your ear canals.
Now adopt a tri-polar awareness and then focus your consciousness into your depth-point, your central spark of self and connect with the Akasha. Draw the higher Akasha down the continuum and fill your entire head with the Akasha-ether. This means that the physical ether, along with the higher Akasha fills your entire head.
Then transfer or focus your awareness into both of your ears and spend several minutes focused upon the idea that the Akasha-ether permeates your astral and physical ears, transferring to them the power of clairhearing. When you are finished with the exercise, let go of the Akasha-ether and let it completely dissipate until none at all remains in your ears or in your body. Also, either disperse the accumulated Air Element or remove the cotton plugs from your ears.
As with the clairvoyance exercise, repeat as often as you can, with the constant assurance that this is transforming your astral and physical ears, rendering them capable of clairhearing. In time, your astral hearing will open and once fully developed, all you will have to do is focus your awareness upon your astral ears in order to activate and make use of your clairhearing; but prior to this point, you can activate your clairhearing for use by simply inducing the Akasha into the inner acoustic duct of either one or both ears.
Before I begin to discuss the clairfeeling exercises itself, I want to quote what Bardon wrote about the faculty of clairfeeling since it’s important to keep this in mind while performing the exercise.
“The term clairfeeling means the faculty of perceiving and feeling all phenomena and powers occurring in the Elements and in Akasha. To this field also belongs the faculty of psychometry, that is the clear perception of present, past and future of any object, letter and so forth. Even the power of materialization of any thought, any being, no matter whether the point in question is a self-created being, or an entity already existing in the Akasha, belongs to this domain. Other faculties connected with sense perception and touch sensation can also be registered in the category of clairfeeling. Intuition, too, is originating in clairfeeling.”
At first, this description may seem like a mish-mash of various faculties but if you meditate deeply on all the ideas presented in Bardon’s words, you will come to understand the root which connects them all.
Before beginning the exercise, you must first determine which Element you experience the most affinity with. Bardon suggested that you look back to your original soul mirror and see which Element predominated at that time and in most cases this is likely a good method; however, during the course of pursuing the work of the six Steps between that past moment and the present moment, your Elemental affinity may have changed, so it’s a good idea to base your choice of Elemental affinity more on your present state than your past.
The Element determines the area of your physical body you will work with in the exercise. Thus, if your affinity is with the Fire Element, then you will work with your head region, the forehead specifically; if it is the Air Element, then you work with your chest region in the area over your heart; with the Water Element, your abdominal region at your solar-plexus; and, if it’s the Earth Element, your hands or thighs are used.
You must also prepare a Fluid Condenser soaked pad, into which you must accumulate the Water Element along with the conviction that the Element contains the power of clairfeeling and will convey this power to the astra-physical body area you’ve chosen to work with. Alternately, you can simply accumulate the Water Element atop the designated area as I’ve mentioned before.
For this exercise, you must lie down flat on your back, place the prepared Fluid Condenser soaked pad over the area in which you’re going to develop clairfeeling (or accumulate the Water Element there and impress upon it the same ideas that were mentioned earlier in regard to loading the pad).
Next, adopt a tri-polar state of awareness and focus your consciousness within your depth-point, the Fire region of your mental body. Within the mental plane you must now imagine that you are completely surrounded by an infinite ocean of Water and then draw this Water from the mental plane to the physical plane and cause it to entirely fill your whole physical body.
Now transfer your tri-polar awareness into the designated sensory area of your physical body and, as Bardon wrote: “Imagine that the magnetic power of the water you have accumulated within yourself will enliven the finest particles of your sensation-field and produce the astral clairfeeling. You must be able to imagine the magnetic attractive power of the water so intensively that it becomes an incontestable reality.”
When you’re finished, you must, as usual, rid yourself of the Element and remove the Fluid Condenser pad. Once your sensory region is fully developed, all you will need to do to activate your clairfeeling is to focus your tri-polar awareness into the designated region.
If you perform these exercises correctly and especially with a firm conviction, then they will develop your astral senses to a very high degree and the world will open itself to you in ways you’ve never before experienced. You must always however, remain in absolute control over whether or not your astral senses are active and be able to turn them on and off at will.
As with the last Step and all future Steps, the physical section no longer presents “exercises” per se, but rather examples of magical practice. Nonetheless, they do need to be pursued because of the techniques revealed, what you will learn from their performance and the changes that this new knowledge will induce within you.
This section deals with four basic techniques for creating Elementaries, which are astral beings intentionally created by the magician out of the Elements. Bardon’s instructions are so explicit that there’s nothing that I can find to add that would be of any actual value other than to say that I personally have found working with Elementaries quite pleasurable and rewarding.