The Structure of Self
>> Why then are new spirits created? <<
The span of time is infinite and in order to fill that infinite span, there must be infinite variety. This infinite variety cannot fit into a temporal moment all at once so it must be spread throughout the infinite passage of time-space. So Individualized spirits come and go -- they are temporal. However, there are higher, more inclusive levels of spirit that are eternal. It is from this eternal root that the temporal, Individualized spirits spring forth. I call this level of Self the "Greater Self". It is subordinate (i.e., not as all-inclusive) to the Unity. These Greater Selves are eternal. This means that they have no temporal beginning or ending. Only the Individualized spirits (mental bodies) that spring forth from them have beginning and end.
>> Now I'm confused, I thought the mental body or spirit was eternal? <<
I think the confusion lies solely in words. The most difficult one is "individuality". At every level of BEing, there is the experience of individuality, even the Unity experiences this sense of individuality. However, only some forms of individuality are eternal. The physical and the astral individuality are temporal and only the mental individuality is eternal. However, the "Individual Self", corresponding to Tiphareth is temporal. This Individual Self is primarily a mental body but it is a transitional phase which only exists in relation to incarnation into physicality.
The Greater Self (corresponding to Binah) is the truly eternal mental body. In order for the Greater Self to incarnate into the temporal realm, it must split itself (as an eternal and therefore infinite thing, it cannot fit its entirety into the physical present moment all at once). It therefore splits its wholeness into Individual Selves and projects these into the upper (mental) reaches of the temporal realm. The Individualized mental body is what actually incarnates into physicality.
It is VERY long lived, but it is still temporal. Once it self-realizes as its Greater Self, it retreats into the Greater Self and stops incarnating into physicality. It does not die, per se, but it does lose its coherence. In this sense, the Individual Self attains Unity since the Greater Self is inseparable from Unity.
It is the non-eternal Individual Self mental body that rises after astra-physical death to the "spiritual planes" (the various planetary spheres) where it resides until reincarnation. This is repeated over and over (a sequential, non-eternal process) until it is purified sufficiently and self-realizes. These planetary spheres are a (mental) part of the sequentialized temporal realm.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
28 April 2002
>> Specifically, and if I understand you correctly, we always do retain that level of "own existence" or "autonomy" or "conscious awareness" throughout? Or to put it another way - we never cease to be aware of ourselves and status, analogous to losing conscious awareness, regardless of where we are in our spiritual status or ascent? <<
>> Also, and if I understand you correctly, even if one achieves "Divine Unity", then one still retains "awareness" or "consciousness" but no longer "individuality" - which in itself is quite a concept to grasp! <<
No, one does still retain that sense of individuality. The difference is that the individuality experienced by The Unity is infinitely encompassing.
>> If I understand you correctly as well, of the multitude of "selves" projected into the temporal mental planes awaiting incarnation to the physical world once again, only one of those "selves" will actually be incarnated, the remainder continuing to exist in the temporal mental plane? <<
No. The Individual Selves projected by the Greater Self are each autonomous units of awareness. The Greater Self splits itself into these many parts.
>> I further assume that the incarnated self is the one we are aware for the time being in the physical plane? <<
Each Individual Self projects a single incarnation at a time. This is the self we are normally aware of while incarnate. However, through the process of self-realization, we raise our conscious awareness to, first the Individual Self (Tiphareth), and then by degrees to the Greater Self (Binah). At the level of Greater Self, we become directly conscious of the other Individual Selves projected by our Greater Self. While experiencing the Greater level of our awareness, we are cognizant of all these projected Individual Selves simultaneously and that becomes the definition of our sense of individuality. In other words, each step "up" opens us to a more inclusive sense of self.
>> Between incarnations, there will be multiple copies of "self" in the temporal mental/spiritual plane. Presumably though we are only aware of one of these instances as our present "awareness" or "consciousness" at any one time - otherwise we have multiple "awarenesses" concurrently, which would be most confusing? But what determines which awareness or consciousness we are aware of at any moment in time of being? <<
As it descends, consciousness splits itself over and over, increasing its diversity. With initiation or self-realization, we are following that splitting in reverse and in effect reuniting this split consciousness. At the level of physical corporeality, consciousness exists in its most specific, smallest, least encompassing form. As we rise "upwards", we integrate consciousness. The first level is that of the Individual Self and here we unite all of our Individual incarnations throughout the stream of time. This is the first level of re-unification of Self.
The next significant level is the Greater Self which encompasses a nearly infinite number of Individual Selves, each of which encompasses a very large number of personal incarnations. This is the second level of re-unification.
The third significant level is Unity. The Unity encompasses ALL of the infinite number of Greater Selves and all of their projected Individuals, with all of their incarnated personas.
So, when a person dies and their astral body disintegrates, they are released to the mental level corresponding to their Individual Self, not their Greater Self. Since the Individual Self projects only one persona at a time, the awareness experienced is solely that of the Individual Self. There are no "multiple copies" as you suggest.
The Individual Self includes the memories and experiences of all the past incarnations and it is this inclusive aspect of self that then plans the next incarnation.
When in the course of incarnating, the personal self self-realizes as the Individual Self, it is the same as dying and reaching the mental level of the Individual Self, but without the loss of the personal self. Then, the personal and Individual levels of Self become united. It is only this unified persona-Individuality that is capable of self-realizing as the Greater Self.
When the persona-Individuality unites with awareness of its Greater Self, this indicates the temporal end of the necessity for incarnation *of that particular Individual Self*. This Individual Self is then either blended with the Greater, adding its consciousness to the Greater whole; or it is preserved by the Greater in order to serve a specific purpose.
>> Is attaining "greater self" the same as attaining "Divine Unity"? Or is it one step removed? <<
When an Individual Self self-realizes as its Greater Self, it is simultaneously at one with the Unity. This is so because the Greater Self is an eternal BEing and therefore fully conscious of the Unity at all times. There is, in fact, no separation (no sequence) between the
Unity and the Greater Self except from the perspective of those of us looking "upwards" from "below".
>> What determines which planetary sphere, or spiritual realm or plane, we will reside in after this and subsequent incarnations? <<
This is a determined by the vibratory rate or mental density of the Individual mental body itself.
>> What level do the Masters, e.g, the subordinates of Urgaya, the spirits of such as Franz Bardon, exist at? <<
"Urgaya" would equate with a Greater Self and his "subordinates" would equate to his projected Individual Selves.
>> I am awaiting my copy of Frabato (and PME and KTQ), but I assume that reincarnation at that Master level is discretionary rather than mandatory? <<
At this level, discretionary and mandatory are the same thing. Both are aspects of the Greater Self's own will. When one reaches "mastery" and unites the Individual Self with the Greater Self, the Individual will becomes one with the Greater will and there is no longer the need for separating between these two levels of will.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
29 April 2002