~ Lesson Three ~
The Complete Awareness and Integration of the Mental Body
The physical body senses things and the astral body feels them, but it is the mental body that perceives these sensations and feelings. Your mental body is your conscious awareness. Wherever your awareness is focused is where your mental body is. For example when your awareness is focused in your feet, your mental body is concentrated around your feet. When your awareness is spread throughout your entire body, your mental body is likewise spread throughout your entire body. In the preceding two lessons, it was your mental body that was directing the entire exercise.
The mental body is the most pliable and fluid of our three bodies. It alone can assume any shape, size, color, or tone and can transfer itself to any place or time. It can even be all of these things simultaneously and exist every where and every when, simultaneously. The mental body or conscious awareness, is our link to higher levels of Self and to the Unity of all Self.
The mental body has two aspects, one temporal and one eternal. Our temporal mental body is what we use here and now, within the realm of time and space. This is the mental body that incarnates and which, through repeated incarnation, evolves. In its purest form, this is the Individual Self or Solar, Tiphareth Self. It's this level of Self that descends into the physical realm and is the causal agent behind the formation of the astral body. In other words, our conscious awareness or mental body, permeates our physical body and our astral body simultaneously. The temporal mental body is what gives life to our astral and physical bodies.
The eternal mental body, on the other hand, is what gives life to our temporal mental body. This is the Greater Self or Binah Self which exists within the eternal or supernal realm. There are an infinite number of these Greater Selves, each one of which projects countless temporal mental bodies into the temporal realm. This projection of Individual elves or temporal mental bodies into the temporal realm is what continuously creates our temporal reality.
Our temporal mental body is continuously fed and sustained by an influx descending from our own Greater Self. This is most readily perceived as the inner voice of one's conscience. In occult literature, the conscious awareness of this influx is often called the Holy Guardian Angel. Its counsel is always with us whether we recognize it as such or not.
Paul Foster Case best described this relationship between the eternal Binah, or Greater Self and the temporal, Individual Self, in his Pattern On The Trestleboard statement for number three, corresponding to Binah. Quote: "Three. Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation."
Since this lesson of the Archaeous concerns only the temporal mental body, I will not go further into this complex subject of the eternal mental body. If you wish to learn more about this, then I invite you to read a piece I wrote several years ago, titled, "Sowantha". [Which I have included as an Appendix.]
So, getting back to the main subject of this lesson of the Archaeous -our temporal mental body. This is our conscious awareness.
Our conscious awareness is composed of the four Elements, just like our astral and physical bodies. The four Elemental regions of the physical body, correspond to the physical functions and sensations of those areas of our physical body. The leg region supports us, our abdominal region is where the rhythmic and fluid processes of digestion occur, the chest where the airy respiration occurs, and the head where the finer senses and brain reside. With the astral body, on the other hand, the regions correspond to the quality of emotional energy and to the significance we attach to physical sensory perceptions.
The division of the mental body into Elemental regions is even more subtle than emotional significance. Here, the Elemental regions correspond to the quality of awareness and perception. As I said at the outset, it is the mental body that perceives sensation. Without perception, sensation means nothing. The point being, that each perception by our senses means something. The perception of meaning that is hidden within sensation, occurs at four essential levels and this is what defines the Elemental regions of the mental body.
Corresponding to the Fire region is the direct perception of essential meaning. This is perception of the universal, objective and impersonal meaning behind each sensation.
Corresponding to the Air region is the perception of ideas and thoughts. This is the first layer of clothing given to essential meaning by our cognitive process. It is the beginning of our subjectification and personalization of essential meaning.
Corresponding to the Water region is the perception of personal significance or emotion. This is the heart of our personalization of essential meaning and is the most subjectifying component of our mechanism of perception. Here also is the sub-conscious aspect of the psyche, a realm where essential meaning is densely clothed with highly personalized symbols.
And finally, corresponding to the Earth region is the mundane awareness. This level of awareness is the active combination of the Fire, Air and Water aspects, processed through the physical brain, seated firmly in time and space. Its focus is primarily the physical realm. Here also is the influence of the rudimentary biologic consciousness of the physical body itself --the inherited, cellular memory of human instinct.
In the practice of lesson three, we will explore the Elemental regions of our mental bodies in a unique way. We will begin as usual with the relaxation and complete awareness of the physical body, firmly planting us in the Earth region of our mental body. Here we will focus upon perceiving the emotional significance hidden within our perception of physical sensation.
Next we will extend our awareness outward and sense our astral bodies, planting ourselves firmly in the Water region of our mental body. Here we will focus upon perceiving the thoughts and ideas hidden within our perception of emotional significance.
This will lead us to the Air region of thoughts and ideas, independent of the astral and physical sensations. Here we will focus upon perceiving the essential meaning hidden within our perception of thoughts.
This will lead to the Fire region of our mental bodies where we will focus upon the direct perception of the naked, unfiltered essential meaning. This will be a form of the emptiness or vacancy of mind exercise from Step One of IIH.
So, let's turn now to the practice of lesson three, the complete awareness and integration of the mental body.
Situate yourself comfortably, sitting upright, with your hands resting gently on your thighs, and clear your mind of all unwanted, mundane concerns and thoughts.
Now focus your awareness in the Earth region of your physical body and quickly relax all of the muscles in this region. Release every bit of tension.
Now move your awareness upwards to your Water region and relax all of the muscles in this region. Release every bit of tension.
Now move your awareness upwards to your Air region and relax all of the muscles in this region. Release every bit of tension.
Now move your awareness upwards to your Fire region and relax all of the muscles in this region. Release every bit of tension.
Now sense your entire head region as a whole.
Add to this your chest region and sense both together.
Add to this your abdominal region and sense all three together.
And finally, add your leg region and sense your entire physical body as a whole.
Project your roots down into the soil below you and release every bit of negativity you might be holding.
Now return your focus to sensing your entire physical body as a whole. Feel the solidity of the Earth region, the fluidity of the Water region, the lightness of the Air region and the electricity of the head region. Sense how these four regions penetrate each other and are a single, inseparable whole.
Focus intently upon the physical sensation of your entire body. This perception of pure physical sensation is the Earth region of your mental body.
Now let go of your perception of physical sensation itself and focus upon the emotional significance communicated to your consciousness by these sensations. How do these sensations make you feel? Happy? Sad? Neutral? Energized? Tired?
2 minutes silence
Now shift your awareness to your astral body. Sense the Earth region of your astral body. Its Water region, Air region and Fire region. Sense your astral body as a whole. Focus your awareness upon the direct perception of emotional significance. This perception of pure emotional significance is the Water region of your mental body.
Now let go of your perception of emotional significance and focus upon the thoughts and ideas that compose that significance. What thoughts and ideas serve as the building blocks of the emotional significance you perceive?
2 minutes silence
Now shift your awareness entirely away from the perception of sensations of any kind. Isolate just the thoughts and ideas that fill your awareness and perceive them directly. This perception of pure thought and idea is the Air region of your mental body.
Now let go of your perception of thoughts and ideas and focus upon the essential meaning they express. Look beyond the clothing of thought and seek the pearl of essential meaning that gives birth to thought and idea.
2 minutes silence
Now release all thoughts from your mind and submerse your awareness in the essential meaning itself. This direct perception of essential meaning is the Fire region of your mental body.
3 minutes silence
Now gently allow your perception of essential meaning to take form as thought. Perceive how the Air region of your mental body unites with the Fire region, giving it its first degree of substance.
1 minute silence
Now gently allow the thoughts which express your perception of essential meaning to take form as emotional significance. Perceive how the Water region of your mental body naturally adheres to the combined Fire and Air, uniting to give personal significance to your perception of essential meaning.
1 minute silence
Sense your entire astral body and gently allow the emotional significance you perceive to sink down into the sensation of your entire physical body. Perceive how the Earth region of your mental body is a natural consequence of the unification of Fire, Air and Water.
1 minute silence
Sense your entire physical body.
Spread your awareness to encompass your astral body and your physical body simultaneously.
Spread your awareness to encompass your perception of essential meaning in its three forms of thought, emotional significance and physical sensation. Perceive the common link of essential meaning which unites your three bodies.
2 minutes silence
Now restrict your awareness to just the sensing of your physical body. Sense the Fire region of your physical body. Its Air region, Water region and Earth region. Sense the unification of these four regions.
Now send your roots deep down into the soil below and release any excess of energy that you may feel.
Turn your attention away from your roots and back to the sensing of your physical body.
Now begin your return to normal awareness. Before opening your eyes or moving your body, take a moment to listen to the noises around you, to smell the air, etc.
Now take a deep breath and exhale it gently.
Now move your hands up along your thighs and up your abdomen and chest, up to your face and back down again, awakening your body to normal sensation.
Now gently open your eyes and slowly begin to physically move about.
When this technique becomes easy for you to perform, you may move on to lesson four.