This symbol is ‘Glad Day’, a painting by William Blake. It shows you bursting forth into existence, radiant and full of life, from the ooze at the bottom of the sea. There are two sources of intensity – the head (the mind) and the genitals (the body). We have the sense of joy, of irrepressible life. God created the universe in an expression of exuberance. The posture is one of ‘hineni’ – ‘here am I!’, that occurs so often in the Bible.
DAWN / EAST / SPRING / SATTWA
The Eight Laws fall into two very different categories – the first four – Sunyata, Paradox, Concealment, and Revelation – are of the Absolute, dealing with the eternal invariants, while the last four – Emanation, Sustenance, Dissolution, and Recapitulation – deal with flow, with Nature, with Life, in its most elemental essentials.
The four dynamic Laws can be thought of in the metaphor of the four stages of the sun during a day – DAWN, NOON, EVENING, and MIDNIGHT. Your lifetime can be seen to divide in the same way. We are conceived and born, we attain the crest of our careers, we descend into old age, we die and reform, preparing for rebirth. A day, a year, a lifetime, cosmic aeons, all are shaped of the same pattern.
Nature is a process of ever-flowing im-balance. The ancient sages understood Nature as consisting of the interplay of the three gunas. (Guna is the root of our modern term, gynecology.) The gunas, sattwa, rajas, and tamas, are dynamic principles, always interacting with each other and always out of proportion with each other. Sattwa is the principle of creating, evolution. Rajas is the principle of pure energy, exuberance. And tamas is the principle of destruction and decay. One person may have a dominance of sattwa and rajas, while another, say a terrorist, would be a mixture of tamas and rajas.
This fifth law, therefore, would be the essence of sattwa, birth, creating, causing, and emanation – the Law of Becoming. A popular synonym for emanation nowadays is emergence, meaning emerging from the complexities of Natural processes.
Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock of sheep on the slopes of Mount Horeb in the Sinai desert. He came across a burning bush – burning without being consumed! He was overwhelmed with the experience and took off his shoes and bowed down before it and put his forehead on the ground. After communing together for a while, it was time to go back to tending the sheep and Moses wanted to take back a little of this transcendental experience with him. “What shall I tell them that you are?” he asked. “Ehyeh asher ehyeh,” answered the bush, meaning, in classical Hebrew, “I am becoming that which I am becoming.” – using the present perfect tense of that ultimate verb, “to be.” This is the first occurrence in the Bible of the exalted concept of God as being Yahweh. Earlier conceptions were more limited.
Notice the emphasis on the idea of bringing forth, emanating, manifesting, emerging. This is the idea of birthing something from the abstract Absolute realm into the tangible world of the relative.
It is useful to think of the appearance of life on Earth. Spontaneous generation of every thing – inanimate and living began about thirteen billion years ago in the big bang. From the vacuum emerged energy and spacetime. Some time later, through the cooling action of expansion, matter crystallized into quarks. [spontaneous generation]. A little while later electrons, protons [hydrogen] and neutrons occurred [spontaneously]. Then stars and neutron stars, through gravity. Then heavy elements. Then planetary systems. There was a time in this sequence when there was no life. A little later, say 3.5 billion years ago, there was life on earth. From nothing came something by a totally spontaneous process. Once there was not life then there was. No one says that life pre-existed the big bang. Hence it must have been generated at some point along the time line. It will be extinguished when the stars and planetary systems fall back into the swarm of black holes gathering everywhere around.
Consider the sense that you have, from time to time, of a ‘primal urge.’ We are born with these impulses and carry them throughout our lifetime. One has the impulse to be a lawyer, another a nurse, another a musician, another a scholar, another a mechanic. Each of us has an inborn instinct to be curious – an overwhelming motivation that Freud seems to have overlooked. The word ‘urge’ comes from the Greek ‘erg,’ meaning ‘energy.’ Other primal urges include sex, ego identity, altruism, survival, hunger and friendship. These are all sattwic energies that promote emergence, emanation, the bringing forth of Life in general, and of your personality, of your unique individuality in particular.
The expression of primal urge into an emanation is beautifully conveyed in James Russell Lowell’s poem, The Vision of Sir Launfall.
“And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries Earth if she be in tune,
And over her softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look or whether we listen,
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers.”
The gnostic Gospel of John opens with the phrase egenito logos, ‘in beginning is the word.’ In creating we begin with the idea, then the ‘word,’ then the material. Boulder Dam was once just an abstraction, then ultimately a gigantic mass of concrete and steel. Everything that now exists in manifestation was once just a fresh-formed idea, weightless and without energy. Words are the ultimate reality. God first spoke the world. The magic word ‘abracadabra’ means ‘I create as I speak’ in Aramaic. We cast a spell to invoke magic.
Created things are all different, like fingerprints. No two things are alike. [This is not so in the Absolute – all circles are the same in the abstract.] Twins may be alike in genetics and environment, but they will surely be different in temperament. Every face is the same in society, but every face is different in your personal reality.
In your own true personal reality, you are unique, always sixteen, and always experiencing pure reality, which is pure unalloyed truth. In society, you are a member of a class, as alike as ants swarming in a colony. There are times when you want to be treated as an element in society and other times when you want to be treated as an individual. Both have their value and their legitimacy.
Not only does Nature manifest itself from the Absolute, you and I create by the same process. My mentor taught – “I am cause.” We create at will, first by manipulating our own priorities. Then they are manifested by the support and the flow of the impulses of Nature.
THE SOLUTION TO ANY PROBLEM, A PROCESS
[work / creativity / art]
* be moral = act for the welfare of all beings [a skill]
* keep emotions out of the game [a skill]
* define the goal [a skill]
automatically produces action !
* hold the goal steady in your mind [a skill]
* take control, own what you create [a skill]
accept the help of Nature – use events
questions are answered and instructions are given
in dreams, inspiration, and meditation
* turn over
to the weal of the world [a skill]
PRACTICE [a skill]
|Cosmic Law Home Page|
|How This Book Came to Be||III The Law of Concealment||VII The Law of Dissolution|
|Introduction||IV The Law of Revelation||VIII The Law of Return|
|I The Law of Nothingness||V The Law of Emanation||Epistemology|
|II The Law of the Progression of Contraries||VI The Law of Sustenance||Bibliography|
Cosmic Law is not copyrighted and has been placed in the public domain by the authors on May 4, 2003.
Cosmic Law is available freely to anyone to reprint, post on the Internet, or otherwise distribute in any medium, providing this notice is included.
Website and PDF files produced and contributed by Larry MacDonald, MacDonald Ventures.