XIX. The Internal States (9-11)
from the book The Inner Look
You must now gain sufficient insight into the various internal states you may find yourself in throughout the course of your life, and particularly in the course of your evolutionary work. I have no way to describe these states except by using images, in this case allegorical ones. These seem to me to have the virtue of “visually” concentrating complex states and moods. The unusual approach of linking these states to one another as if they were distinct moments in a single process introduces a departure from the typically fragmented descriptions to which we have become accustomed from those who normally deal with such things.
1. As I mentioned earlier, in the first state, known as Diffuse Vitality, non-meaning prevails. Here, everything is oriented by physical needs, though these are often confused with contradictory images and desires. Here, both motives and all that is done are shrouded in darkness. In this state you simply vegetate, lost among changing forms. From this point you can evolve only by following one of two paths: the way of Death or the way of Mutation.
2. The path of Death puts you in the presence of a dark and chaotic landscape. The ancients knew this passage and almost always located it “underground” or in the abysmal depths. There are those who visited this kingdom, to later “resurrect” in luminous levels. Understand well that “below” Death lies Diffuse Vitality. Perhaps the human mind relates mortal disintegration to subsequent phenomena of transformation; perhaps it associates this diffuse movement with what takes place before birth. If your direction is that of ascent, “Death” signifies a break with your former stage. By taking the path of Death you ascend to another state.
3. Arriving here you find yourself at the refuge of Regression. Two ways open from here: One is the road of Repentance; the other, which you used for the ascent, is the road of Death. If you take the first road it is because your decision tends to break with your past life. If you go back along the road of Death you fall again into the depths, with the sensation of being trapped in a closed circle.
4. Earlier I told you that there is another path you might take to escape from the abyss of Vitality; it is the path of Mutation. If you choose this road it is because you wish to emerge from your unhappy state, but are unwilling to abandon some of its apparent benefits. It is, then, a false road known as the “Twisted Hand.” Many are the monsters who have emerged from the depths through this tortuous passageway. They have wanted to storm the heavens without abandoning the hells, and consequently have projected infinite contradiction into the middle world.
5. Let us suppose that by ascending from the kingdom of Death and through your conscious Repentance you have now reached the dwelling of Tendency. Two narrow supports, Conservation and Frustration, sustain your dwelling. Conservation is false and unstable; walking along this path you delude yourself with the idea of permanence, but in reality you descend rapidly. Should you take the path of Frustration your ascent is arduous, but this path is the only-one-not-false.
6. After failure upon failure you can reach the next resting place, called the “dwelling of deviation.” Take care in choosing between the two roads now before you. Either you take the road of Resolution, which carries you to Generation, or you take that of Resentment, which causes you to descend once more toward Regression. Here you face another dilemma: Either you choose the labyrinth of conscious life—and you do so with Resolution—or you return, resentfully, to your previous life. There are many who, at this point, unable to surpass themselves, cut off their own possibilities.
7. But you who have ascended with Resolution now find yourself at the dwelling known as Generation. Here you face three doors: one called the Fall, another known as Intent, and the third called Degradation. The Fall carries you directly to the depths, and only an external accident can push you toward it; it is unlikely that you would choose that door. The door of Degradation, however, carries you indirectly to the abyss as you retrace your steps in a sort of turbulent spiral in which you continually reconsider all that you have lost and all that you have sacrificed. This examination of consciousness that leads you to Degradation is surely a false examination in which you underestimate and disproportionately evaluate some of what you are comparing. You compare the effort of the ascent with those “benefits” you have left behind. But if you examine things more closely, you will see that you have not abandoned anything for the ascent, but rather for other reasons. Degradation begins, then, when you misrepresent motives that were not really related to the ascent. I ask you now: What betrays the mind? Perhaps it is the false motives of initial enthusiasm? Perhaps it is the difficulty of the undertaking? Perhaps it is the false memories of sacrifices that never were, or that were made for other reasons? Saying this I ask you now: Some time ago your house burned down, and because it did you chose the ascent. Or do you now think that because of this ascent, your house burned down? Have you perhaps noticed what has happened to the other houses around you? There is no doubt that you must choose the middle door, that of Intent.
8. Climbing the stairway of Intent you will reach an unstable dome. From there, take the narrow, winding passageway known as Volubility until you reach a vast and empty space like a platform, which bears the name Open-Space-of-the-Energy.
9. In that open space you may be frightened by the immense, deserted landscape and the terrifying silence of this night, transfigured by enormous and immobile stars. There, directly over your head, you will see set in the firmament the suggestive form of the Black Moon, a strange, eclipsed moon located exactly opposite the Sun. Here you must await the dawn patiently and with faith, for nothing bad can happen if you remain calm.
10. You may, upon finding yourself in this situation, want to arrange an immediate way out of there. However, should you try to leave instead of prudently awaiting the day, you could end up blindly groping your way anywhere. Remember that all movement here (in the darkness) is false and is generically called Improvisation. If, forgetting what I tell you now, you begin to improvise movements, be certain that you will be dragged by a whirlwind down paths and past dwellings to the darkest depths of Dissolution.
11. How difficult it is to comprehend that the internal states are linked one to another! If you could see what inflexible logic the consciousness has, you would realize that those who blindly improvise in this situation inevitably begin to degrade themselves and others. Then, feelings of Frustration arise in them, and later they fall into Resentment and finally into Death—forgetting all that they had at one moment managed to perceive.
download: XIX. The Internal States