XIX. The Internal States (5-6)
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.
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