>> This brings up a whole slew of questions about how to use 8TM. Given that you have facility entering each temple, can anyone say more about the ways the temples can be used for self expansion? <<
Well, at the end of each meditation ritual there's a section titled "follow-up work" which fairly well explains the initiatic work of each Temple/Sephirot. This is work that integrates the lessons learned within each Temple into the "lower" levels of Self. This integration is vitally important since it's what constitutes "initiation"
One can also combine the working of the "231 Gates of Initiation" into the 8T to great benefit.
>> I mostly use them to answer questions, and I find them very effective tools for this, but what about in combination with other exercises- like transferring consciousness, perception of essential meaning, mental wandering etc.? <<
You *can* practice the transference of consciousness into the various entities you meet in the Temples (although some of them will object to this) and into the body of the Temple itself.
These are VERY good places to engage in the direct perception of essential meaning, especially in regard to the entities you meet within the Temples.
You can mentally wander each of the realms represented by the Temples by using the Temples themselves as a starting point. It would be wise to fill your mental body with Light that is the color of the realm at hand.
These are also good "locations" in which to perform certain exercises. For example, the Malkuth Temple is an excellent place to work with the astral Elements, your accumulation and projection exercises, etc. The Yesod Temple is a great place for refining your introspection and Soul Mirror work. And so on.
>> Actually, now that I get going, what the heck are these temples anyway? I understand that they are astral places, but how do they work, and what are their limitations, you know? <<
The Temples themselves exist within the astral Zone Girdling the Earth and are composed of astral and mental materia. Each of the 7 planetary Temples of Yesod through Binah, exist with the Earth Zone at the "place" where the planetary Zones (which are themselves aspects of the mental plane) intersect the astral Earth Zone. Thus these Temples are directly connected to their relevant planetary Zones. Since the Temples have an astral density, they can be visited with either the astra-mental body or the solitary mental body. However, travel beyond these Temples (other than Malkuth) into the planetary Zones themselves must be pursued with the solitary mental body alone.
Each Temple is an astral doorway into their respective Zones and as such, they focus and condense the mental essences of each Zone, making them more accessible and more comprehensible to the novice.
The greatest limitation inherent in work such as the 8T is that it places one *within* the Sephirot which implies a separation between the Sephirot and the individual. This is why so much of the follow-up work is aimed toward integrating what is learned in the context of this separateness, into the "lower" levels of self awareness. Through integration of one's experience, the "lower" self is transformed and one gradually *becomes* or encompasses the Sephirot, instead of standing *within* it.
>> When I get info from them it always seems to be 'right on target', so I assume you are connecting with your HGA or higher levels of consciousness through using them. <<
Usually (especially when it's right on target), you're receiving information fed to you by your HGA, filtered through the Temple/Zone symbolism and most often filtered through your own psyche. At other times, you will make contact with the beings of the relevant Zone itself and receive information directly from them.
As Peter pointed out, the Temples make for a good astra-mental interface with the beings of the Zones. They experience an easy access since each Temple mimics the astral atmosphere in which they can exist and the practitioner experiences an easy access because the Temples are constructed to reflect a specifically human mind.
Discerning between what is a projection of one's own psyche and what is not, how much filtering is going on, etc., is a function of the quality of your self-knowledge and of your ability to directly perceive a thing's essential meaning.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
09 Oct 2003