Seeking spirit vision: Essays on developing imagination

Published: January 12, 1998

ISBN: 0945803338

Available at
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Seeking Spirit Vision: if you are willing to take it up and work with it, will change your life, as much perhaps as the most significant person you have ever met did. This book, if you wish, can become a lifetime friend—a very wise friend.

This work, through and through, is a text of practices. The specific essays concerned with techniques are at the center of the book. Work with these meditations can, I’m convinced, lead to capacities of sustained concentration on and receptivity to the spiritual worlds.

Perhaps only a jazz musician could match the improvisational ability shown in this writing. To improvise in this fashion, one must know a great deal, and then give up what is known and step out into the unknown, discovering what is there rather than imposing knowledge based upon previous information.

—Robert Sardello, PhD

This book is a must for any serious student of esoteric training and for those who are searching for an understanding of how the development of spiritual faculties impacts human physiology. The logic is gentle, yet compelling, and shows great respect for the traditions of the past and the future nature of humankind.

—Mark Eisen, MD

Contents

Foreword by Robert Sardello

  1. Imagination: Creativity or Innovation?
    Hypotheses in science and their sources. The difference between creative thinking and fantasy. Onlooker consciousness. Willed thinking and the creation of a new future. The cosmic function of the intellect in modern scientific methods. The error of the intellect. Goethe’s distinction between intellect and reason. Exact images in connection to phenomena of the soul life. The open hypothesis.
  2. Hypothesis, Apocalypse, Apotheosis
    The polar forces of sympathy and antipathy and the sentient soul. Mental images, anxiety, and confusion. The capacity for recognition of the truth in the realm of concepts. Intellect and intuition. Modern technical science and its cornerstone. Metaphysics and the materialistic bias of the sixteenth century. Thoughtless thinking at the wall of light. Meditative efforts in spiritual research. The basic symptom of the onset of apocalypse. Moral imagination. The spiritual beings who wish to help human beings.
  3. The Abstract Predicament
    Abstraction and the prejudice against beauty. Abstractionists and expressionists. The shift in values between the Renaissance and the modern period. The symptom of the mind soul in esoteric development. Véron’s categories of art criticism. The search into primitive cultures for a counter balance to personal vision. The artist’s descent into the persona is that faced by the shaman. Ancient shamanism and the power of image. The predicament of abstraction. Resolving the predicament. The movement toward the New Jerusalem and contact with the I-being. Innovation and mass production values. Manas culture and the experience of the I Am. Stages in the development of an artist: realist, shaman, alchemist. The release of the senses to the bondage of matter.
  4. The Transformation of Sympathy
    Young children’s mystical oneness as sympathy. The basis for the ability to think in images. Transcendence. Fanaticism. Fundamentalism. Medieval mysticism. Grasping and releasing concepts through willed activity. Goethe’s distinction between reason and intellect. The archetypal Idea. The witness in the realm of angelic hosts. The experience of the I. The unfolding of consciousness in the entire human race.
  5. The Black Madonna and the Mysteries of Dionysos
    Madonna and Child through the ages. The dark knowing of ancient cultures. The total dark idea of Goethe and Schiller. Dionysos Zagreus (the Elder). Dionysos the Younger. Dionysos as corn hero. The transformation of ancient seership into science and the arts. The transformed Dionysos in Christian Art. Dionysos Jaccus. The Jaccus Madonna and Black Madonna. Patron of women giving birth. Midwife between the higher self and the soul. Transcending the rigidity of the ancient binding ritual.
  6. From Image to Vision
    The seer as someone able to transform images. The periodic table of Mendeleev as harmonic ordering. Shamanism and animal totems. Sophia Achamoth and the belt of lies. Mistrust in the realm of the senses. Lifting the natural world order into a moral world order.
  7. The Place of the North
    The simulacrum and the archeus. Achterberg’s qualities of shamanistic symbols. Imaginative power in western esotericism. Imagination and imagination. The Native American Sun Dance Wheel. Cooking and eating the shadow. The double. The intelligence of the heart. The Place of the North, give-away. The task of the new mystery teachings.
  8. The World of Imagination
    The hidden observer. The purpose of esoteric training. The path to the underworld in shamanism. Hypnotic states and shamanistic consciousness. The limits of the active alert hypnotic state. Alchemists and imaginal attention. Conditions for a new culture to arise out of esotericism.
  9. From Dowsing to Divining
    Brain anatomy as a picture of the dowsing process. The two pillars in alchemy. The transformation of the salt and sulfur in the soul into the mercury of love and freedom. The pineal gland and its anatomical environment as an alchemical mythic Imagination. Jacob Boehme’s inverted flaming heart. The heart as a sense organ. The mystery of Imagination. The vortexial field of consciousness and the development of the higher heart.
  10. The Development of the Heart Soul: A modern Path
    The anatomy of the human being seen through the mythology of the Golden Legend. The alchemy of distillation. Working with the two boundaries of knowledge. The path through the pituitary unites art and science with a religious veneration for all of creation. The path of the pineal opens the heart of the soul to rhythmic movement into and out of the spiritual world. Conscious surrender to the guardian angel and higher Imagination.
  11. Imagination: The Sacred Door
    What is a mental image? Dynamic forgetting and Buddhist mindfulness. Alchemical transformation of the imaginal into Imagination. Jacob’s Ladder. The alchemical substantia and the key to Imagination. Working with dreams. Unconscious addiction to unlawful images and violence in society.
  12. The Great Tree
    Alchemical work and the transformation of the soul. The three levels of polarity. The Great Tree and alchemical mediation. The first phase of alchemical meditation: concentration. Saturn, its image and symbol. The Moon. Exercise: moving an image. Mars. Exercise: exact sense perception. The Sun. Exercise: acred sleep. Venus. Exercise: breathing images. Jupiter. Mercury. The method of analogy. Meditation and homeopathy.
  13. Preparation for Meditation
    Alchemical separation and marriage. The analog of the atmosphere. Putting fire below earth. Alchemy and the inner training of Rudolf Steiner. Exact sense perception of the plant. The purification of images. Loosening the salt body.
  14. Contemplation
    Living outside the body. Rudolf Steiner’s protection exercises. Being awake where we normally sleep. The analog of the capacitor. The two spinal cords. The transformation of materialistic thinking into imaginative cognition.
  15. The New Yoga
    Schooling ourselves to be awake where we are normally asleep. Rudolf Steiner’s six basic exercises and their protections. The concentration exercise. The will exercise. Using exact sense perception to nourish the chakras.
  16. The Alchemy of Goethe’s Fairy Tale
    The transformation of metals and of the soul. Mercury. The four kings. Rosicrucian image of the snake and the skull. The Logos. Cosmic nutrition. The mission of the Archangel Michael.
  17. Seeing the Double
    Possible dangers of the path. The challenge of the adept. Forming the stone. Multiplication and projection. Demeter and Persephone and two phases of the life force. The battery as an image of Bios. Technology and sub-nature. Organ clairvoyance. The double. Warmth as the vehicle of the True Self in contrast to the space around the organs. Thinking backwards and inner silence.