"The law 'as above, so below' is the same everywhere; it is all one law. We have in us the sun, the moon and the planets, only on a very small scale.. ..and the planets exert a very great influence on the life of the earth and on all existing and living organisms - a far greater influence than our science imagines. The life of individual men, of collective groups, of humanity, depends upon planetary influences in very many things. The planets also live, as we live upon the earth."
The Planets and Us
We are taught much about basic astronomy in school. The earth, the sun, the moon and the planets all have their place in the intellectual system that Humanity has invented to help make the universe intelligible. Somewhere along the line, however, we have lost a true sense of connection to these things. The intellectual approach satisfies the mind, but leaves the body and the heart cold.
For a spiritual experience and understanding of these things, we need all three perceptions... intellectual, emotional and physical. Then, in the middle of these three complementary, but quite different, perceptions something indefinable emerges... a relationship emerges... an experience. We can have a relationship, a sense of connection, with all that we perceive.
This is because, in objective reality, all IS connected. To sense this wordless relationship we have to have a relationship with ourselves first. For this, we need to be in contact with ourselves... all of ourselves. For this we need to try to cultivate two things... awareness and healing.
Awareness and Healing
By awareness I mean conscious attention... attentiveness... self-observation... and, as Gurdjieff puts it, self-remembering. I need to put myself into the picture of anything that I wish to understand. I need to BE there in the midst of my ponderings, trying to be aware of what is going on inside as well as outside. After all, I am a part, albeit small, of everything that I perceive.
Quantum physics is currently delving into just these questions. They are finding that the act of observation (attention and perception) changes the outside world. We and the outside world are integrally connected.
By healing I mean healing with a big "H"; Healing of mind, body and emotions; repair of the human machine on all levels... physical to spiritual; transmutation and transformation of blockages and obstacles; and evolution of the spirit by conscious intention.
Before I can Heal myself, however, I need to Know myself. Otherwise it would be like trying to effect repairs on an automobile without knowing anything about mechanics. So, in the beginning, I need to observe, to watch... to be mindful, as the Buddhists say. After a while I begin to notice things about myself, to see how I really am... it is only when I truly see what I am that real change becomes possible... otherwise I am just swapping one sickness for another.
By cultivating awareness and healing, we can have a different experience of relationship to the outside world... people, places and things. We begin to sense and connect with the aliveness of everything. Structures of theory, explanation and description that were cold and dead suddenly come alive into a living picture.
The famous quotation, "as above, so below," from the Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus is not just an analogy. It is a fact of the objective laws of the cosmos. As Gurdjieff points out in the first quote, we have, each of us, within us, a correspondence with each of the planets, sun, moon and earth. We can connect consciously and directly to the planetary energies, because we have them in us already. When we do this, we realise that we are not just dealing with energies, laws, theories and scientific hypothesise. We realise that we are connected to a living picture... and we are a part of it. The connection was always there, unconsciously, but by making it conscious we begin to participate in the Creation in a manner that is more true to the Universe's plan for us.
So where do we begin? We are mostly cut of from the kind of life described above. Our life lives us. We are taken away by every little thing that happens to us in our lives. Sometimes we 'wake' up and find ourselves in situations and predicaments that we would never have chosen consciously. How did we get here? We didn't mean things to turn out like this. And yet here we are. What does it all mean?
If we are to begin to have something in us that can struggle against this kind of 'sleep', we need to cultivate our spiritual Will. For this, we need to exercise our conscious attention and intention.
Meditation can be useful in this. Group work is also useful. School work of the esoteric kind is even better. Our attention is like a muscle that needs exercise to develop. For this we need effort... conscious effort. To be able to carry out this kind of work, we need a clear, strong Aim. We need help and guidance, too.
Maybe that Aim will change as we grow, so it will need to be refreshed constantly... re-evaluated, re-considered. Otherwise the laws of the cosmos dictate that our impulse will be waylaid again and we will be drifting again. Then we must begin again. This will happen again and again. Each time we must begin again.
Conscious Connection to the Planets
So how can we develop a conscious connection to the planets? Why do we want to do this? Basically, because we can understand a lot about ourselves from the planets. They can be our teachers, our guides. Even without the necessity for the calculation of an astrological birth chart, the planets can practically speak to us. Remember that we have the planetary correspondences within us. However, first we need to be serious about it. We need to set aside time each day to be alone with ourselves with the strong intention to find out about ourselves. Then we begin with the body...
The body is the lowest story of our building... the physical counterpart, the physical vehicle, the physical anchor point or foundation stone for our spirit. First we need to cultivate an awareness of the body... consciously to sense our body. Feel the weight of the body. Try to relax it, one part at a time. Try to consciously be aware of the sensation of each part of the body, adding sensation of each part to an awareness of the whole.
Feel the weight of the body... gravity is our physical connection to Mother Earth. Sense this gravity... it connects us to Her. In the same way, we can sense the gravity of the other planets... it is just a much finer sensation because of the distance.
Begin with Mother Earth and then try the moon... then the sun. Try the other planets, one at a time. Don't be disappointed if you cannot sense these things straight away. Come back to the body... come back the sensation of the weight of the body against Mother Earth. She is there, ready to respond to your awareness.
The next story of our building is our emotional nature—our Feeling. This also has a body. The body of the Feeling and the emotions is sometimes referred to as the astral body, and it corresponds roughly to the physical body in shape and location. Except that it extends further out than the physical body at the same time as interpenetrating it on another octave.
We can Feel our emotional body. Put the attention on the breath, watching the breath come in and go out, without changing the way you breathe. Just watch and Feel the way the air feeds you. The air is not just physical, but it contains higher octave food for the emotional body. Feel the air feeding you... feeding the emotional body... a sense of fullness that extends out from the physical body a little.
The emotional body has a gravity, too, which is connected to Mother Earth. In the same way as you sensed the weight of the physical body in the physical gravity of Mother Earth, Feel the weight of the emotional body in the emotional gravity of Mother Earth. She is connected to you through the emotional body. She has an emotional body that has an emotional gravity... you are connected to that, attracted to that through your emotional body.
In the same way, try this with the moon, the sun and the planets, one at a time. After a time, you will be able to Feel and Sense your connection to each of the celestial bodies. You will feel it within you.
The third story of our building is the body of the intellect, the thinking mind. It is also a body that corresponds to the physical, although it extends much further than the physical or the emotional bodies. This is sometimes referred to as the casual body.
First, try to be aware of the ceaseless thoughts that go on in the head. Try to be a quiet outside observer to your thoughts. Try to detach from them, letting them go without allowing them to take you into daydreams and imagination. When the thoughts begin to quiet a little, as they will do after a time, put your attention on the space above the crown of the head. Listen in this space... like a radio antenna searching for a particular frequency.
Now All Together...
Sense the physical body and try to reconnect with gravity of Mother Earth. Feel the emotional body and try to reconnect with the Feeling gravity of Mother Earth. And listen in the space above the head. All this at the same time... quietly and relaxed. Try this then with the moon, the sun and the planets in the same way. Make a note of your impressions.. you might be surprised!
Mother Earth Needs Us
At this time in history, more than ever, it is necessary for Humanity to connect more and more consciously with Mother Earth. Our inward journey of discovery will connect us with Her. She is in dire straits. She is crying out for help. The more of us that can connect with Her, hear Her message and communicate it to the world, the better chance we have of long-term global survival.
The conscious realisation and experience of the aliveness of Mother Earth and of all the celestial bodies can not only give us a sense of connection and guidance, but it can give us a different appreciation and respect for our precarious position in the cosmos.