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
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
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]