To continue and extrapolate on something in part one:
Interestingly there is no anchor from the spiritual to the physical. They are divided and yet connected. The Self is pretty much the only anchor the Spiritual aspect has to the Physical. Unfortunately people often think of the spirit and body as two totally separate things but they really aren’t, they are just indirectly connected. In a future part of this series I can get into what develops after the Spiritual ect and how that relates to the physical.
The Dualism of the Gap
Mind-body dualism is something I’m not particularly a fan of. Despite that, it’s true that there is no direct connection of the body and spirit. However, as I had explained in Part One, the theory is based off the idea of increasing complexity as new parts are added. The Physical gives rise to Drive, which gives rise to emotion and individuated Self, which gives rise to complex thought, which gives rise to the “Spiritual”:
In earlier versions of my theory, as will be explained in Part Three, I explored the possibility of creating a 6th aspect to replace the body, based on the Spiritual, that could survive death. I had even theorized about a 7th aspect to replace the physically based Drive, so that the Self aspect would then be the foundation of the rest, bringing the aspects back to five when the body was gone. Even still, I had made conjecture about even larger numbers and what they mean for types of spirits.
I still think those branches of the theory may be valid, but these days I focus more on making a direct connection, bridging the gap between the spiritual and the physical. On one level the spirit and body are dual in practice, but they also are not due to the path below and the interconnection from the lines of the pentagram (the self directs energy at drive, for example, as well as the Self).
The Web of Interconnection
The lines of the pentagram are not just there for aesthetics, they actually communicate “connective tissue” between the aspects, if we hold the semi-circle to be more akin to “bones”. There is any range of possible connections, although only one direction at a time, which is which one influences the other, at least predominantly:
Different people will have different focuses, and people typically have one of four archetypal configurations of directional influence. Under certain circumstances or situations one or more of these connections may become temporarily reversed and reflect in the person’s change of thought-patterns and behavior. By contrast the lines that follow the semi-circle are much more rarely reversed, and in some cases it may even be disastrous and result in death. In other words the “connective tissue” of the pentagram are much more malleable and safe to reverse, although it’s worth noting that it may not always be desirable to do so.
While any combination of directions is possible, there are 4 archetypal configurations that represent all the possible “extremes”; people will tend to be a mix of some of these, as opposed to identical to one.
Someone’s main archetype can usually be ascertained based on their temperament and personality, but meditation and self reflection work as well to find dormant connections. I believe that this is a more complete theory of personality than the Hindu theory of the three Gunas defining personality, although that too can infer someone’s overall direction (Tamas being Left, Sattva being Right and Rajas being center).
As mentioned before, the relations and influence arrows may change based on situation, circumstance or even swap in different states of consciousness. So it is possible to for the specific configuration to reflect someone’s current mood or inclination. It’s worth noting though that normally someone will have a “default” configuration that’s their normal resting state. This too can change over one’s lifetime or by intentional methods through psychology or spiritual practices including magic. A person may also consider an Aspect to be their “main” one depending on their personality. It’s also worth noting that while some configurations tend to be healthy or unhealthy, any configuration has the potential for either depending on the exact context and person’s personality, since Aspects are not one dimensional but more so a generalized simplification (using the Shaivia 36 tattva system would complicate this by a factor of 6 or 7, hence my favoring the Satanic model).
I also believe that most magic will at least temporarily swap or change the relations, unless someone is trying to utilize or strengthen an existing one that brings them what they are after.
Right (side) Focus of the Soul
Curiously the way I had designed this, by accident or grace, fits well with how I understand the Left Hand Path and Right Hand Path. Those who would be known as Right Hand Path, either traditionally or in the modern pejorative sense, tend to focus on continuing the path on the right side of the pentagram. If they are a nondualist, they seek to close the gap with or without the creation of new aspects. If they are a dualist, they seek to create another aspect which will ensure “heaven” or whatever concept they have of the afterlife.
Since the Spiritual forces energy onto the Self and Drive, those focusing on this method tend to be self-denying, celibate, ect. Indulgence may be seen as sinful and of course we all know how much they don’t like fun. The danger of this is that the Spiritual aspect may overpower the individualization and instinct, thus making the person a slave to the guides and rules not just of the religion but of one part of themselves. It’s this potential danger that I think makes many Right Hand Path people stagnant and for some religions, prone to spiritual enslavement of institutions and dogmatic religion.
Here is a map of the Normative, Right Focus that many Right Hand Path adherents would tend to have, as well as a typical pattern of the average human:
These “normal” souls I believe tend to not dissolve, but also don’t really have much in the way of surviving as spirits beyond death. I would assume most reincarnate in the “normal” way, in that there is a stream of consciousness with some lingering ego that for some reason tends to bring karmic debt. Many traditions seek to shed the parts of the Self Aspect which bring that debt, although some may consider that throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
In the cases where the Right Focus is overbearing, to the pejorative sense of the Right Hand Path would have their semi-circle reversed and constitutes the “Reversed Right Focus”:
Here, the Self Aspect is at it’s weakest, and the Spiritual forces on all else with the Mental (through rationalization of dogma and rampant idealism) reinforcing it to “collapse” the physical portion of the soul. Such a focus can potentially result in death due to health issues, if not outright self deprivation of bodily functions. This soul is prone to disintegration into Wisps upon death. I do not know, but suspect, that this could result in a loss of stream of consciousness (according to scripture souls are Eternal but I’m not 100% convinced this is always the case).
A possible flip side of this configuration is that one can gain a very high degree of control over the body or gain a high degree of magical skill, as purported to certain religious figures.
Right Focuses are not exclusively optimized for Right Hand Path orientations, however. A good example is a variant of Right Focus where one has flipped the Drive influence arrows towards the Mental and Spiritual, thus gaining mastery over the Physical through sheer force of will, that is being channeled through the Spirit and Mind. Such a focus is technically Right focused but powered by a Left aspect, and any force applied to the Self Aspect is still coming from the Drive/Desire (Will) just with the Spiritual and Mental as conduits. Likewise the Self pushing on the Self is simply the Will refining itself. This can be practiced as either Right Hand Path or Left Hand Path.
Left (side) Focus of the Soul
A Left Focus isn’t without it’s own dangers or downsides either. Normally, the Self projects energy back onto the desire and body, but focusing on the instincts of the body and spirit can cause this relationship to backfire and the person becomes a slave to their impulses. People who use just the Left Focus in this way may not seek any kind of advancement of the soul or bridging of gaps. That kind of person may end up as what they loved; just matter, and their souls prone to disintegration into wisps upon death. From ashes, they will return to ashes with no afterlife.
Such a Normative, Left Focus Soul would look as such:
The pure hedonist, one who denies the spiritual, or the materialist and any others who don’t believe in the Spiritual may very well have a soul like this. However, it is also possible to use this Soul configuration as as Left hand Practice wherein one is channeling their drive, supported by the physical, to shape their Mind and Spirit to suit their needs. While prone to Karmic attachment, this configuration is not necessarily a determinant.
Notice that the Self in this configuration however has no real autonomy of its own except as a filter for pure instinct and desire. While the variant Right Focus mentioned before uses the Self to refine the Drive, in the Normative Left Focus this is not the case and all is hinged on physicality. This is the Darkest possible configuration and thus the most deterministic.
This leaves one last possible configuration, the Reversed, Left Soul Focus:
I believe this is one of the most balanced configurations one can have, particularly for those walking the Left Hand Path. The primary advantage of this configuration is that It’s nature is cyclic but based on the Self and Drive churning it. The Self is only influenced by the mind and body, but that is influenced by the Desire, which is only influenced by the Self. The Drive and Self projects onto the Spiritual, which is channeled into the Mental, back into the Self. In this way The Spiritual is augmented by the carnal in a way that expands the consciousness and individuation.
From this configuration, one can bridge the gap and/or creating new aspects by focusing on the Carnal, rather than the reverse typical approach of focusing on the Spiritual as the starting point. I am not sure how this soul configuration could be espoused as desirable by a RHP tradition, and I can only really imagine it as desirable to a LHP mode of thinking.
Part of the balance of this configuration is how no single aspect is the single source nor the endpoint of everything. Hence the cyclic nature. Cyclic systems fit well within Dharmic and Hindu-esque systems, and generally anything based on balance. This is also a flexible configuration as you can take any aspect to focus on to change the influence map as needed, making the one with this configuration more adept at magic.
Conclusion of the Four Archetypes
The Normative Right Focus is a kind of average, “default” state so to speak wherein the increased complexity folds back onto the previous one (or two) aspects that gave rise to it. This is the normal progression of the increasing complexity and doesn’t necessarily reflect personality given it’s “averaged” quality. It’s without any particular value, orientation or focus. It is balanced in it’s own right without any effort and is probably ideal or desirable for the average person and can work for RHP, LHP, or anyone outside of those labels.
The Reversed Right Focus is a spiritualist, physical denying configuration that values Light over Darkness to the point of possibly destroying it’s own foundation. On the flip, it can be very skilled at mastering the physical through concentration and greater magic. It is less concerned with who it personally is and more so with an ideal. This is a configuration common among those that LHP folks might pejoratively refer to as RHP, and is a configuration often present in the most extreme and unhealthy versions of the RHP.
The Normative, Left Focus is the other side of the Reversed Right Focus. It is the extreme of hedonists and certain types of materialists. It puts Darkness above all to the point of possibly neglecting self evolution and mastery of self. In some ways it can be seen as the most extreme version of a LHP soul. Like the Reversed Right Focus, this state can be used for something constructive in various contexts, but the archetypal configuration of it is fraught with dangers. It does befit from being in touch with innate nature however, which can assist in some forms of directed self evolution.
The Reverse Left Focus is the reflection of the Normative Right Focus. Similarly balanced, but not as common. An ideal for many LHP adherents as it avoids the potential pitfalls of the Normative Left Focus while positioning the Self as the filter and decider of both Will and Spiritual. It is that which auguments the Spiritual through Will, has Willpower mastery over the Physical/body, while also allowing the Physical/Body to naturally have impact and foundation of the Self. The Mind becomes a tool as a filter of reason and insight from all other aspects except the Self which it feeds those experiences, information and stimuli through. It is not just experienced but that those things are mindfully examined as they are experienced. It is not just the Self, but also the Physical which act as foundation while also cycling off each other.
It is the balance of Light and Darkness, Connection and Individualization, while acknowledging Darkness as the foundation for Light, Left before Right, and Satan as the Source of everything.
My Soul, Personally (as an example)
This I am unsure of, but at least as of this writing, my soul probably looks like this:
I am a self-centered type of person, prone to impulse or desire. In the past I would of said my Emotional Aspect was my dominant one, however now days my Drive/Desire is, as I am in better control of my emotions through willpower. My desire for bettering myself had over time inched out over my more negative, harmful emotions.
I am also a very analytical person, prone to thinking often about my own nature, the nature of others and giving a lot of attention to detail. Thus my intellectual understanding of myself informs and transforms me as I become more aware and also incorporate that understanding into how I should spirituality direct myself in an attempt to counteract how powerful my Drive is.
Thus making me very Left Focused although I am perfectly split between a Normative and Reverse Left Focus.
It’s my hope that this gives a clear view of Souls and how they can be configured. It is up to each person to figure out how theirs is, and how they might go about through various practices morphing it to something they find more desirable if what’s currently going on in themselves is counterproductive or self destructive. Recognize that this is just one possible model, and that nothing in a configuration if necessarily always “fixed”. The semi-circle connections are much harder to change than the “connective tissue” influence connections, which should be kept in mind when attempting to change anything.
In Part Three, I will address the mechanisms and roles of the Soul in Reincarnation and the “after”life…