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Advanced alchemical 'body as temple' or 'body as castle' meditations

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posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 06:10 PM
This is a post regarding meditations that involve creatively visualizing oneself inside of a castle or other structure as a metaphor for consciousness housed inside of a body.

A review of the book "The Tower of Alchemy" summarizes the common idea:

In Western mystical teachings, the analogy of the soul as a castle or palace with myriad chambers has long antecedents. St. Teresa de Avila drew upon this comparison when writing her classic The Interior Castle, and the early mystics of the Kabbalah wrote of journeying in the series of “Heilkhalot” or palaces of the upper worlds. Likewise, in the Western alchemical tradition, there are allusions to towers and castles, which contain important symbolic information about spiritual work.

The key to this form of alchemy is that one does not work directly on the physical body, but instead projects the etheric or subtle body in the form of a castle or tower and works within the edifice’s many rooms and grounds by means of visualization. These rooms correlate to the different sephirot or energy centers on the kabbalistic glyph of the Tree of Life, which in turn correspond to the chakras. After each practice, the subtle body is drawn back into the physical. Goddard notes: “[W]e use an indirect route to make the necessary changes within the astro-etheric body, so that the subconscious will proceed to implement those alterations . . .as it continually builds and maintains the physical body.” The author notes that “no work is done directly upon the physical body—except for relaxation, posture (asana), and breath (pranayama)—because direct concentration on the organs . . . of the body can easily lead to an imbalance of the fine electrical and chemical functions and result in disease.” Working with kundalini energy to transform the body (or arousing the dragon, to use Western terminology) is safely done within this mode.

According to the author, “The principal alchemical operation is thus to transmute a transient, mortal and gross body into a deathless, physical body of pure Enlightenment.”

As mentioned, the common feature here is a metaphor of an artificial structure, whether it be a castle, temple, mansion, etc., as the symbolic representation of the body. When the practitioner wants to work with their heart, in their meditation they may leave their throne room, go through a specific hall with specific emotional connotations, perform some simple ritual and then enter a specifically-designed room representing the heart to perform the work with it there. Thus symbolically (and very dramatically) bringing both conscious and unconscious awareness to the heart.

This is my innovation on the technique, that I plan to continue to work with, to make more sensitive and powerful:

Instead of visualizing the body itself as an artificial structure, it is visualized as a social network of organs, cells, and energies, including creative structures existing within your body, all over it, on various levels, to allow it to operate. The "creative structures" (like important buildings) you visualize become the psychological interface between "you" (your awareness) and your body. Focusing your body's own awareness on the appropriate part of the body (for example using Robert Bruce's techniques for "mobile body awareness" or MBA) is very important when focusing your awareness within your body.

The ego fools itself and the mind into believing that it IS the body. But YOU, which happens to be your conscious awareness, does not meticulously designate all cellular reproduction, oxidation, any real metabolism at all on that deliberate of a level. That is all controlled subconsciously by your body, by its many "social" networks that work together and support each other. So this is where these psychological interfaces come into play, through which your AWARENESS (which is truly all YOU are and all that exists in the universe!) can interface otherwise subconscious parts of your body and communicate with them.

"You," as the conscious and aware representative of your entire body, descend in meditation consciously to these other parts of your body, form a means by which to communicate with them, very much like a President or other head-of-state visiting a town or city within his/her country (or maybe even outside of it). And your job is usually to learn how to best accommodate that part of who you are, to get the most out of it by giving it the best working conditions from a macroscopic level, and direct awareness and healing energies to it. And your job is also to reach as much of your body as possible in this way, and to serve your body well so that it may serve you well in return and elevate your throne, so to speak.

The tools for this creative visualization are present in modern biology, and your imagination. Learn how the various parts of your body work! How your blood flows, all your metabolism works, what proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and vitamins are used for in your body and how they are changed chemically, how your neurotransmitters are produced and how different ones make you feel and all those sorts of things. You owe at least as much to your body, and if your body doesn't get it, then there will be lots of things you also won't receive in return.

Common to all technical sciences are ideas of shapes, structures, and patterns that only occur together or fit together in certain ways. These shapes, structures and patterns are your intuitive clues to the construction of the various creative structures within your body.

For example, the gateway to your memory in your body can be imagined as a non-local "space port" into which you dock, that is constantly receiving non-local magnetic energies from timeless realms. If you had "business" with your memory, you might consider "going" here and speaking with someone, which is the creative psychological interface to dealing with whatever neuron patterns are relevant to your memory capacity. There are associations and connections in this visualization to very real events intrinsic to human memory that I would be willing to discuss with anyone interested. But the point is that the creative structure created as a proxy between awareness and body can serve its purpose for bringing more light/conscious energy to the body's mass, and modern science was used as a tool to aid in this visualization, to make it more powerful.

I would like feedback on this, especially from those already familiar with these types of meditations, because I am constantly seeking feedback and refinement on what is ultimately "me."

[edit on 5-8-2009 by bsbray11]

posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 06:27 PM
The thing about meditation is that it is intensely personal. Whatever works for you is the right way to do it.

For me, working with the etheric body has always worked better, so I'm going to try the original mediation you posted. Especially since I wouldn't be able to get into a deep mediation because I would be more fixated on visualizing the organs correctly and in their correct places.
But, again, that's just me.

I think this is a wonderful concept and appreciate that you shared it with us.

posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 06:43 PM
The book mentioned in the summary uses the same technique to develop the etheric body. The idea is that the most subtle body of all, that ultimately directs ALL the others, IS your imagination and awareness in its most pure sense. So by guiding your imagination the other energies fall into better coherence in relation to it, eventually and with proper attention. That is why working on the physical body itself is discouraged by the author of that book.

The correct position of the organs, now that is a tricky one. In "feeling" myself, I can account for strong feelings around where my chakras are supposed to be, but I still can't feel a whole lot else as far as individual organs and things in there, and I don't really worry about where exactly they are. Just remember that it isn't actually "you" doing 90% of this, it's your body's natural abilities once its over-all coherence level starts increasing. And your subconscious is extremely intelligent, really every bit as intelligent as your consciousness is (and MORE intelligent) and it holds a lot more information at any given point in time, it just isn't "lit up" by conscious awareness. All this is pre-wired into you and just waiting to be activated. Your body knows where all its own parts are, and heals them and moves them around automatically.


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