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ETH Lectures

Lecture IX January 1939

We began the second phase of our text in the last lecture.

The important statement in the first phase, which is laid down as a thesis, is that the Yogin is identical with the eternal Buddha essence.

This statement is supported by active imagination and by the analysis of the functions.

The text alters suddenly, the thesis comes to an end and the anti-thesis presents itself.

There is no indication of this in the outer form of the M. S.

It is not divided into chapters but runs straight through .

An incisive change, however, appears in the point of view. In the first phase Heruka was spoken of as entirely positive and now quite suddenly we hear that his eyes are delusion, his ears anger, his nose miserliness, his mouth greed and his whole body jealousy.

This is the quintessence and all his senses are Vajra-shvara.

It is just the senses and the sense organs which bind us to the earth .

They belong to the Nidanas, the chain of causation, which entangles us in life and makes us take part in the world, in the life which ends in death.

This chain appears later in the text and I shall speak of it then.

We meet something here which is wholly negative, so we can say that the statement: “I am Buddha” comes up against the narrow limitations of the body of the individual.

The body revolts against such an unheard of statement, and says it is monstrous.

We find, therefore, that the beautiful idea of identity with Buddha has been checked.

The second phase begins with a denial of this idea and a threatening denial.

The text continues:

“(The five constituent elements of the body should then be meditated up on as five female Devatas). The Earth element is “She who causes fall’; the water element is ‘She who kills ‘;the fire element’ She who summons ‘;the air element ‘The Lady of Dances’ and the ether element is ‘She who has the net of Lotuses’.”

We meet the four elements here, every component of matter.

In the Middle Ages we too thought in these terms .

Everything which lives and moves is composed of the four elements, so they are the four exponents of the physical reality of things.

These four are feminine in our text and so is the ether element which is the quintessence and embraces the other four.

Everything was explained by the scientific concept of ether when I was a student, and everyone was convinced that we had advanced far beyond the old alchemists who spoke of the quinta essentia, but ether is really the metaphysical quinta essentia of physics.

The alchemists speak of it as the blue ether, the Lapis aetherius, the Philosopher’s Buddha’s Sermon: Nidana Samyutta. Lecture XIII, p. 83.

Stone, and so on. It is described here as “she who has the net of Lotuses”.

This is a difficult idea, one supposes that the purpose of a net is to catch something.

Alchemistic philosophy also sees the apparent world, matter, as a trap .

This idea is to be found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo Thodol, as well, according to which the soul is in the Bardo for an interval of 49 days, after which sexual phantasies attract it to some place where it gets caught by a uterus.

There is an interesting legend in one of the b o oks of Madame David-Nee!.

A young girl was fetching water at a spring when a man suddenly approached her and tried to have intercourse with her.

She was very much frightened and escaping from him ran back to her mother.

The mother listened to her story and asked her to des crib e the man.

The girl did so and the mother said:

“That was a Holy Man, you should have done as he asked. Put on your best dress and run back to the spring and offer yourself to him.”

The girl obeyed but when she got back the Holy Man replied:

“It is too late now, it has already happened. A rich lama who was lazy and ignorant has just died in complete darkness. His soul immediately sought for reincarnation and I wanted to give him a better Karma with you. But you refused, and while you were away the male donkey in that field covered a female donkey and the lama’s soul was caught in that uterus, so now he will be born as a donkey . ”

This story is exceedingly typical of the e astern point of view.

Souls have sexual phantasies and by that they are attracted to the places where such things are happening and then they are caught in the life which
the East calls Maya.

Easterners think of the visible world as an illusion, a sort of thought stuff.

The lady with the lotus net is the mistress of that prison.

The Yogin sees the visible world as the distinctness of divine thought.

The text continues:

“As one desires a precious object by means of which only one can acquire merits the purification and mental transmutation of all the aggregates the elements, and the functions of the various organs of the senses into Devata furnish such an object.”

The meaning of this passage is that through active imagination the Yogin succeeds in making his senses and functions independent.

It is the purification of th e senses.

They are Devatas, autonomous beings, it is no longer my act but a divine being.

There is enormous psychological merit in such a procedure.

We saw before that the functions became “each a Tathagata”, a Buddha.

It is possible, through active imagination, to make all the psychic activities into separate entities, in this way they are removed from oneself.

One’s thinking, for instance, becomes a separate being, you see it no longer as your own action but as a daemon.

If all the parts of myself are outside myself I become helpless, I cannot think.

I must say to Mr. A: “Think please.”

Or if feeling is called for I must ask Miss B: “Smile a little please.”

Through delegating the functions I become a whole theatrical comp any, instead of one person, who act me to myself.

I am emptied of them, and then I find that I am Shunyata, the Void, everything is outside me.

We, in the West, do the same thing but not in the same way, we simply naively project.

We keep a best enemy who acts us to ourselves !

Every neurotic does this, but in this case we need make no such distinction, the “normal” do it just as much.

Projection can even lead to ideas of persecution.

Everything which we do not want to see in ourselves is there all the same and we must get excited about it, so we excite ours elves about someone else, he does it, anything in order not to see it in ourselves.

We can see this process everywhere, the generous person with the miserly friend, the spendthrift who saves matches, etc., etc.

This process is entirely unconscious with us, the things leave us, and we are free of them but we are bound to the people who do them for us.

Our family, friends, and whole social circle are all put to this unconscious use.

The process, which we are considering in our text, simply makes this mechanism conscious.

The burden is taken off other people, everything is projected, not on to human beings, but on to Devatas which are then set up all round the Yogin.

They have Devatas or gods in Tibet and elsewhere for these projections.

Heruka is such a god, he mirrors all the negative things which lead to sickness and death.

Everything is personified here, if such a process is successful it results in entirely emptying the human being, my sight, my eye, for instance, is an autonomous Devati.

The Yogin no longer does anything himself, he no longer has any direct connection with any object because there is another there.

The Yogin wishes to cut himself off from reality, he is an infinite distance from objective reality, you feel you could never reach such people, they look right through you.

Through taking endless pains, and by the utmost perseverance, they obtain eternal peace through these personifications, and they do not even feel the pain of separation any longer.

This is how the eternal repose which we see portrayed in the images of Buddha is obtained.

The Yogin in our text obtains great merit in attaining this personification and purification.

“Again with the beams of light shooting forth from the ‘Him’ in the heart, let the worshipper invoke his Vajra-guru” His immortal, spiritual guide.

“surrounded by the line of Gurus in the upper Heavens before him.

Below them is the principal Devata surrounded by the sixty-two Devatas of the Shri:-Chakra-Sambhara.”

This is our mandala, and a multitude of Devatas have come round him, a whole theatrical company.

“Then having imagined that the above Divinities are seated on the fronting Heavens let the worshipper think that he is himself multiplied innumerably.”

This is exactly what I was saying before.

“Each of his counterparts should repeat salutation to the Gurus and salutation of the Mandala of Shri-Cakra-Sambhara in honour of the Guru and the Devatas respectively and let each bow down to them.”

Here the Yogin has dissolved into innumerable counterparts, a whole chorus, and each one of these figures is himself and every one of these must salute the Gurus and the Mandala.

When he himself salutes, he must, through active imagination, see that every one of his counterparts does the same.

This repetition is very typical of Tibet, they write mantras on their flags which flutter in the wind.

And they have wheels, wind and water wheel, which endlessly turn round repeating the mantras.

I have brought a picture to show you of Tibetan origin. (See sketch p . 61)

It depicts the Yogin, sitting as Buddha on the Lotus, with his figures round him.

The picture must be thought of as streaming with light.

The Yogin is multiplied in numerable times, all the figures are himself and yet different; he is empty, entirely empty.

The question is what remains when the whole personality is dissolved in such figures?

When you try to touch such a person, you only touch one of the figures, you are aware that there is a great deal more in the personality, but it is not
affected, it does not respond to you.

The disintegration of schizophrenia is somewhere on the same path, it is analogous, but there the process is left to the unconscious, and then it is no multiplication, but a split.

Disintegration is consciously undertaken in our text with the purpose of emptying the ego consciousness and integrating a central consciousness, the totality of the personality; it is undertaken because the problem of the body has come up.

All this means that in time and space I am only here in my body, I cannot be identical with Buddha, but if I can rid myself of all my personal contents, if I can distribute them as Devatis all over the universe, I can sit in the heaven of the gods and reach eternal peace.

We come now to the Sacrifice and Worship.

“Then let him offer the offerings in their order … Saying the following Mantra ‘Om Sarva-Tathagata-Shri:-Chakra-Sambhara-Mandala-ChakraSarva-Vira-Yogin!’.”

This is an invocation to the Tathagatha.

It means: Om, Sarva=all, Tathagatha=perfect, Shri:=holy, Chakra=wheel, Sambhara=collection, Mandala, Chakra=wheel, Sarva=all, Vira=man, Yogini=woman.

So translated roughly the sentence runs: “Om all-perfect-holy-wheel-collection-Mandala-wheel-all-manwoman.”

So the Tathagatha who is invoked is the wheel, the mandala and the male and female Devatas, a totality, a hermaphroditic being – Ardhanarishvara.

We find the symbol of the hermaphrodite very often in mediaeval alchemy representing the Conjunctio.

There is such a close conjunctio in our text that it is practically a hermaphrodite.

This is the Buddha, the universal wheel, the circle, the totality.

Of all the opposites the male and female are the hardest to reconcile and this symbol means that the Yogin has overcome these opposites.
“This (Mantra) should be repeated before each of the offerings.”

The elements are sacrificed here.

Water is poured into a silver bowl in such rituals, flowers are showered on the image, fans are set in movement and wind wheels in order to sacrifice air, a fire is lit so as to sacrifice fire.

The senses are also sacrificed: I dedicate my vision to you, music is made on drums in order to sacrifice tone. Incense is burnt and fragrant smells, such as the scent of sandalwood, are made in order to sacrifice the sense of smell, and food is sacrificed for the sense of taste.

In order to sacrifice the sense of touch the worshippers touch the Image, they smear it with ghee or rub it.

We can see this also in the West, the pilgrims to the shrine of St Anthony of Padua, for instance, rub themselves against it in the hope of obtaining the mana of the saint and with the idea of sacrificing their body to him.

The prostrations which one sees in India mean: “Here is also my body, take it” and in our text the Yogin goes further and says: Take all these figures around me, they all belong to you.

If we do this and dedicate every piece of our personality to the gods, these pieces are ruled by the gods, we can no longer give them orders or even say what we want to say.

We find something of the same idea in the West, in the astrology of the Middle Ages, in the Aderlassmensch (the bleeding man).

Physicians consulted the position of the stars when they bled their patients, for they held that every part of the body was influenced or ruled by a sign of the Zodiac.

They believed that the stars themselves ruled the destiny of man.

We find people now with the same psychology, pieces of themselves are projected all over the universe.

This is a remnant of a state of primordial nature, an uncivilized state, and is totally different to the super culture displayed in our text.

The Lama takes infinite pains and his production is a work of art.

We have nothing in the West which can be compared to it. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture, 20 Jan. 1059

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