The Tarot Tableau is one of the many arrangements of the 22 Major Arcana cards. At the top is The Fool and the remaining 21 cards are in seven columns of three cards each. Each of the three rows represents an attribute. The top row contains seven principles, or dominate mental states. The second row represents agencies, or activities. In the bottom row are the conditions or expressions of the principles of the upper row manifesting through the agencies of the middle row.
Each of the seven columns represents a level or stage of spiritual unfoldment; each stage a foundation or preparation for the next. From left to right the columns represent Bondage, Awakening, Revelation, Organization, Regeneration, Realization, and Cosmic Consciousness. So far we’ve covered the first three stages of unfoldment called Bondage, Awakening and Revelation.
In this fourth stage of spiritual unfoldment called Organization we are concerned with Corporal Intelligence, body consciousness, the mental quality of the cell groups in your body. With the experience acquired through using meditation during the third stage of unfoldment, you realize that all phases of your consciousness are expressions of the mental quality that pervades all nature. In the fourth stage you become more concerned with the forms assumed by this universal mental activity as it flows through the various groups of cells that make up your body.
Let’s look at the three Keys involved in this fourth column of the Tarot Tableau. The Emperor Key 4 as the active principle is at the top. Below the Emperor is Justice Key 11, the agency through which the active principle represented by the Emperor moves. And below Justice is the condition, or expression, of the fourth stage of unfoldment called Organization, as represented by the Moon Key 18. In this stage the seeker of light begins to learn the secret of right action. I would suggest that you review these three Keys individually when you have a chance. Then come back and reread this post.
Let’s begin by looking at the Moon Key. The Hebrew letter associated with The Moon Key 18 is Qoph. It corresponds to the back of the head, where we find the medulla oblongata part of the brain. Note the small picture in the lower right hand corner of the Key. This Key is both a representation of Organization and of Sleep. On the Tree of Life this Key is called the Corporal Intelligence and is located between sphere #7 Victory and sphere #10 The Kingdom.
In the medulla oblongata are cell structures through which the subjective mind controls breathing, swallowing and other automatic functions. In this part of the brain are the instruments that the Life Power has developed through the ages of evolution whereby we may come in touch with ancient race memories. It is also like a bridge between the objective and subjective modes of mental activity.
We learn to control the breath as a means of re-establishing self control of the whole cell-consciousness. Breathing exercises used to establish this self control modify the action of the cells in the medulla, establishing in them new habits of action which, in turn, modify the habits of many groups of cells in other parts of the body. By impressing suggestions directly upon the cells of the medulla, much may be accomplished.
Thus, when learning rhythmic breathing, hold in mind the idea of the cleansing office of the breath, while formulating a clear-cut suggestion addressed directly to the cells of the medulla. Progress is certain to be more rapid. Speak to the cells as you would an intelligent animal that you’re trying to train. They will respond to kind, but firm commands created by the objective mind.
The sight-center is also found in the back of the head. It is active in ordinary vision, but in addition, all visual imagination is dependent upon the cells of this part of the brain. To improve ordinary vision, or to develop a more definite power of visual imagery, it is most useful to stimulate these cells directly by suggestion.
Be careful not to prolong your concentration on the cell-group. Concentration on any part of the body stimulates the flow of blood to that part. Overdoing it brings congestion. Long concentration is not needed. The cells are centers of consciousness. They are not things, but living beings. The kind of consciousness they have is always amenable to the control of your objective mind.
How do you prepare yourself to do this work? First establish a thorough intellectual grasp of the Law of Suggestion. The Law of Suggestion is symbolized by Key 8 Strength as being applied through the directive activity of attention typified by Key 1 the Magician. Then learn the exact location of whatever cell-group you wish to influence. Then deliberately arouse the mood of calm expectation that your suggestion will be obeyed. This should be done in a single, concise and definite command. It should only be done once a day. Too much repetition will only send too much blood to the cell-group, and is, as a rule, a symptom that you doubt your ability to control the cells. This doubt acts as a counter-suggestion to your command.
Another attribution of the letter Qoph is Sleep. It is while we sleep that the commands we give cell-groups are executed. Hence the best time to do your work is just before you go to sleep! Just as you are about to doze off, give your commands. If sleep comes to you quickly, then give your suggestions just before going to bed, while sitting in a straight backed chair. Prepare your suggestions by sitting still and deliberately inducing a state of reverie. Let the mind-images troop past before your mental vision, but expect them to slow down, until they come almost to a standstill.
No iron will effort is required. At all times you are master of your mental imagery, but until you know that you are master, and practice the exercise of this birth right for specific ends, you will achieve no constructive results. Always remember that you do not have to acquire power to control your thoughts. You simply have to learn the technique of exercising that control effectively. It’s like driving a car. It takes no “iron will” to drive a car, and none to gain control of your mental imagery. Information and practice are the two essentials. Herein is the information. It’s up to you to do the practicing!
Now, by merely expecting your mental images to slow down, you are doing exactly what is needed to make them seem to go slower and slower until a single image seems to stay a long time before your gaze. What really happens is that a single image is being reproduced over and over again. The stream of consciousness flows on, but you seem to be “holding the thought” because the image does not change form. It is the effect that Patanjali had in mind when he wrote: “The binding at the perceiving consciousness to a certain region is attention.”
So as I expressed above, the fourth stage of spiritual unfoldment is Corporal Intelligence, or body consciousness. So at this point, as a beginner to this process, it is better and safer to think of the medulla as the “office” of the subjective mind. It can be depended upon to carry out whatever instructions you give. It knows, far better than you do, just what groups of cells in your body are doing each specific kind of work. Therefore, you will get excellent results if you simply create your commands to the subconscious mind, and drop them off at the office by a brief concentration upon the medulla as you give the command.
Sight, as you will recall, is one of the attributions of of the Hebrew letter Heh, to which the Emperor Key 4 corresponds. In its esoteric meaning Sight is not only the physical faculty and its psychic counterpart, the power to visualize, but it is also the most important aspect of the discriminative faculty. The preliminary to right discrimination is the ability to see things as they are. This requires organization. We must be able to do this before we can attain any real measure of success in our efforts to classify our experiences according to their similarities or differences.
Meditation has been compared to fishing in the ocean of the universal subjective consciousness. Classification is the right discrimination, founded upon clear physical and mental vision, which allows you to know which “fish” you catch are good for food! This vision is just clear seeing. It is neither supernatural nor miraculous. So long as we are unable to make use of this interior wisdom, we are deluded by the illusion of separateness. As we passed through the third stage of unfoldment the Light began to shine through us. Jesus said that he judged nothing of himself, that all his decisions were based on the instruction of the Father. What he did he promised that we would do, to distinguish truth from error once we have grown sufficiently ripe.
By directing our attention to the sight-center, fully expecting that it will be an effective instrument for the objective consciousness of the Life Power, you will begin to exercise clear vision. Our aim is to apply cosmic laws that may bring about a quicker ripening of your spiritual awareness. This demands patience, courage, and more than anything else, persistent practice on your part. Daily practice. Daily retrospection before retiring at night. By this we may advance more rapidly, through intelligent cooperation with the Life Power’s method of self-expression.
Look at the Tree of Life, also known as the Tree of the Living Ones. It represents the 32 paths of wisdom, or aspects of universal consciousness, which are part of your mental equipment. It’s made up of the 10 Sephiroth, or emanations of Light, and the 22 Tarot cards which join the 10. The one that is intensified in this fourth stage of unfoldment is the Constituting Intelligence, represented by Key 4, the Emperor. Part of our practice is to continually remind ourselves that the constructive and regulative tendency of the Life Power is an immediate presence in our daily lives. The Life Power knows itself perfectly.
The Emperor is seated on his throne in Aries, and remember, the ram represents Aries. The part of the body ruled by Aries is the brain. The human body is the temple of the Life Power, and in the brain is the throne of the mode of universal consciousness which constitutes creation “in the darkness of the world.” The “world” is the microcosm. Man and its darkness is the inertia (the Tamas quality) of the physical organism. This Constituting Intelligence enthroned in the brain is one with the power which makes everything in the universe what it is. That power works always to establish in the realm of name and form an image of the perfect balance and symmetry of the inner life.
In the fourth stage the seeker of light begins to perceive the work of the Constituting Intelligence.This perception comes by a vivid personal experience. The seeker realizes that the Life Power is not far away, but immanent in human life, and is expressing itself through groups of living cells located in the head. From its throne of living flesh, it directs the work of all the cell-groups in the temple of the human body. The same power that flung the world into space, that holds the stars in their courses, the same directive intelligence which builds up every form that we know, from crystal up to man, is now expressing its perfect knowledge of itself and of its method of self-expression (the Kingdom) through every human brain.
The raising of the level of cell-consciousness is gradual. The change it brings about may be likened to what happens when a stream of clear water is poured into a tank of dirty water. If there is an outlet for the dirty water, a time will come when all the water in the tank is clean. The natural processes of elimination are like the outlet for the dirty water. It is written that new wine cannot be put into old bottles.
This means that cells which have embodied the old error-consciousness cannot contain the new truth-consciousness. Some cells can be raised in consciousness without being destroyed, but many are actually killed by this change in thought. Some die because they are no longer used, others perish in the fire of the new order of knowing. Their bodies pass into the blood stream and are cast off through the various channels of elimination. Hence the wise insist that all the eliminative functions of the body must be kept at the greatest point of efficiency. Hence we have the practices of purification such as fasting and the various methods of what Hindus call Hatha Yoga.
The sword of Justice on Key 11 symbolizes at once the cutting off of mind images of error and the destruction of the cells embodying these mind images. Yet this killing of the useless cells is not done all at once. Hence Justice carries her scales. The dirty water must not run out faster than the pure water flows in, or else the tank will be emptied. To pull up the tares before the crop of wheat is ripe is to run the risk of destroying the crop along with the weeds.
You can avoid this danger by surrendering the whole work to the One Self. When you begin to really understand what the real presence of the Constituting Intelligence means, you will be rid of the impatience that leads to wasteful hurry and over strain. The Life Power knows just what to do. We need only to recognize its operation on our lives, and let the work be done, gradually and gently, yet surely and perfectly.
In the fourth stage of unfoldment the seeker for light begins to learn the secret of right action. Now he finds that personality is the instrument of a power which not only knows just what it is doing with that instrument, but knows also just what must be done in order to keep the instrument in good repair. As we move along the Path, we better understand that the secret of right action is the giving up of all attachments to results. Attachment is the desire to see a particular manifestation of name and form. It is a phase of the delusion of separateness. Do whatever comes to hand with no thought but that the doing shall be your very best. That is the secret of right action.
In this fourth stage of unfoldment the plan-making power of the Life Power begins to find personal expression. Specific images enter our field of mental vision. Patterns are given us for our work. In the book of Exodus we find an example of this. Moses received minute descriptions of the tabernacle and its furniture according to patterns shown to Moses “in the mount.” On the surface they refer to Moses on the heights of Mt. Sinai, “in order to speak to the Lord.” In esoteric psychology they direct attention to the actual place in the human body through which the Life Power transmits its plans to us. The “mount” is the highest of the seven groups of nerve-cells energized by what Hindus call the Kundalini. It is a cone shaped body in the brain, filled with little stones or minute crystalline bodies, which physiologists call “brain-sand”.
Through your body the Life Power finds expression as interior vision. Here it shows us , step by step, what lies ahead of us on the journey along the path which leads upwards from the plain of sense-life and third-dimensional consciousness to the height beyond. As we approach the mountain peak, we shall see as a whole what now we see only in part.
On The Moon Tarot card the 18 Yods are referred to as drops of blood. The number 18 expresses the potency of the number 8 working through 1. Thus, as mentioned above, the number 18 represents the Law of Suggestion symbolized by Key 8 Strength as being applied through the directive activity of attention typified by Key 1 the Magician. The powers of subconsciousness are developed as actual physical structure through changes in blood chemistry. The Grail is your blood, controlled by subconscious. The body is built from elements contained in the bloodstream. All of this is expressed and symbolized in Key 18 the Moon, the fourth stage of spiritual unfoldment called Organization.