Springs of Consciousness
SPRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
By Pamela A. Bennett, D.F.Astrol.S
(revised 2010 by Rev Pam Crane)
From the Astrological Association Journal Summer 1974
“In the last analysis, energy and matter are interchangeable ... The material universe of which we ourselves, our peoples and our planets are phantasmal parts is made up of a single sweeping pulsing force of energy, existing for aeons in the spinning galaxies of the firmament, for minute flashes of time in our physical bodies and questing brains - but all parts of a common throbbing impulse of unimaginable force. The scientist's vision of orderly law, the philosopher's dream of overarching unity, the sage's sense of a single co-operative order are not baseless imaginings. They are facts not dreams. The primal alphabets of being all show a single unified system of interrelated energy and law.”
(Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos - ‘Only One Earth’.)
Astrologers and others are now attempting to explore this unity, and to make adequate translations between the tongues of the diverse alphabets. Time and Structure and Astrology, are all expressions of the total unified system. In effect it is Astrology that best supplies the ‘universal calculus’ that Dr. Jules Eisenbud was calling for in 1968 (The World of Ted Serios) to provide the crucial link between the separated realms of Matter and Mind that he, however, knew to be demonstrably reconcilable.
Astrology teaches us that there is continuity of rhythm and meaning from the highest to the lowest levels within the moving cosmos: not only are we part of this whole, but in a relative sense we are it - though much of our will is subordinate to its highest manifestations. It is said in the Bible that God made Man in his own image; and certainly very much of Man is made in the image ‘in little’ of a key moment in the Universe, a chord struck in the cosmos and its brief series of developments. We are, if you like, the myriad subtle variations on a magnificent theme.
Much has been said of the Music of the Spheres; we experience the notes of that symphony piecemeal on our tight little time-scale as points of barely moving light, unable to appreciate the vibrations that enclose us nor to discern the complex helical dances that mark out our time. If we are made of this, to move in the same pattern from theme to development to recapitulation and coda, where then lies its correspondence in the body? Where are the springs of human consciousness?
The Cosmic Clock
As Joyce Collin-Smith has pointed out, it is in the compact spiral - whether as a conducting coil or as a wound spring - that energy can be most effectively “stored, and released at will, to serve a practical purpose.” If we jump time-scales, as Rodney Collin did, until the planetary orbits become “a spinning cocoon of movement round the central nucleus” similar to a system of orbiting electrons, the Sun would seem to be ringed by coils of dynamic energy where circling moons and rotating fields of planets wind their constantly changing relationships into springs of time.
After birth, the Ascendant of the new-born winds itself once a day through the twelve signs, equivalent to his experience of the Sun's passage in a year of the ‘normal’ scale. The Sun and planets in coelo pass thus from house to house, while advancing a little further themselves along their orbits (the energetic coils that majestically embrace the hub of the Galaxy). Each day the turning Earth offers each meridian to the Sun, advancing the Sun's degree against the sky, and moving the Ascendant round again a little further forward among the signs. Once in about twenty-eight days the Moon is wound fully around the sky. In practice, we know that each of these days represents indeed the passage of a year in a person's life, that the day's developments in the heavens manifest over a corresponding twelve-month.
Come back to the image of the spring; see how somehow time coils tight into the human system, to uncurl at a measured rate 365 times slower than its initial winding. We are beginning to glimpse the works of the Biological Clock, but where are they hidden?
It is possible that the planetary self pervades the entire body, repeated in miniature in every cell, the subtleties of planet and sign and aspect coded into the DNA, in the living helix, as I have suggested. The current of life may well flow in the central axis of that helix. But we are all aware that our self-consciousness presides in the head; from that bone turret we look out upon life, and down upon the obedient or uncooperative body - dependent for half our orientation to the world upon the sea in the shells in our ears.
To begin with, the brain is divided into two hemispheres; within each, the frontal and parietal lobes (motor and sensory lobes) are separated from each other by a deep fissure. However, they possess adjacent bands of active cortex, quite narrow, which, in order from the side of the brain to the centre, control face, eye, neck, thumb, fingers, hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, trunk, hip, knee, ankle and toes. Not only is this sequence logical in terms of bodily order, it also follows extremely closely the appropriate Zodiacal sequence from Aries (on the outside, head first) to Pisces, the most sensitive sign-area tucked safely away in the centre at the meeting-point of the complementary hemispheres confronting left with right, inner with outer, receptive with active perhaps, and Yin with Yang.
Deeply embedded in the mid-brain lies another interesting structure, often ascribed to Neptune, and known in certain circles as the Third Eye, namely the Pineal Gland. Above the centre of the brain lie some of the main sutures of the skull, those ‘seams’ which remain open for a period in early infancy, forming the delicate, palpitating area known as the Fontanelle. During recent years much research has been going on in various laboratories in different countries to further knowledge of the structure and function of the Pineal Gland and its relationship to the rest of the bodily metabolism. Clinically, what emerges is that an enzyme from the Pineal converts a very important body hormone, Serotonin, into a substance called Melatonin, and this has been found to exist in large amounts in both the Mid-brain and the Hypothalamus. Applications of Melatonin to the dark pigment Melanin have been shown to bleach it, to ‘lighten our darkness’ as it were!...
Light and the Pineal
Now. the point is that the production of this initial enzyme in the human being is promoted by light in the environment, and inhibited by the lack of light. And therefore it is necessary for the Pineal Gland to enjoy maximum exposure to light in order to produce a sufficient quantity of Melatonin and in order to develop in size. This is obviously a chicken-and-egg situation in which the more light, the larger the gland, and the larger the gland the greater its capacity to absorb the necessary light, etc.
Why is the Melatonin necessary? ... it stimulates chain reactions of glandular activity throughout the system, via the Adrenals, the Thyroid, and the Pituitary Glands, thus regulating most, if not all, of the bodily cycles of growth and general metabolism. Is the picture becoming clearer? The fact is that there is proof of the prime dependence of life upon light, and its alternation with darkness. (In nocturnal creatures, light is the inhibiting factor and darkness the stimulus.) Light and darkness, through the receptive Pineal, map out for us daily our rhythms, peaks and troughs, of physical and emotional activity.
Might one not also assume that not only light is received into the Third Eye, but also the general electro-dynamic condition of the environment? There is a real possibility that this is so (though one may also assume that the ‘radiation body’ or aura of the person is likewise responsive to cosmic effects) since a recent article in the New Scientist (Vol. 58 No. 850) states that ten to twelve hours before the onset in the Near East of those difficult weather conditions known as the Sharav wind, there is a marked change in the ionisation of the atmosphere, involving both a dramatic increase in the number of ions (charged particles) per cubic centimetre, and a huge jump in the ratio of positive to negative ions. At the same time, weather-sensitive people exhibit symptoms of irritation, nausea, palpitations, tremor, chills, etc., associated with a surfeit of Serotonin in the blood and brain. It is now known that an excessively positive ionisation of the atmosphere aggravates these Serotonin levels, while negative ions in abundance reduce them and alleviate the distress caused. It would seem, says Dr. Krueger in this article, that negative ions accelerate the oxidation of Serotonin in the Mid-brain; and certainly treatment of patients suffering from burns has been notably successful using negative-ion therapy, adding to a growing body of experimental evidence that negatively charged particles are a powerful healing agent. Addition of a high negative-ion ratio to office air in a Swiss bank resulted in a sixteen-fold increase in resistance to respiratory disease. In mice, the death rate from disease was markedly increased by both a very low level of ionisation, and also a high positive-ion ratio, but as soon as the mice were exposed to a high negative charge in the air, the death-rate dropped dramatically.
So here we have, by implication, a strong link between the Mid-brain (and presumably the Pineal Gland, though this is unconfirmed at the time of writing) and the living creature's potential for immortality or death; a link between the state of the Earth's magnetic field (affected by Solar storms and cosmic interrelationships) and the physical/emotional condition of human beings, between the patterns of the sky, and the patterns of the person.
Significance of the Fontanelle
Here, then, is possible proof of the effectiveness of daily cosmic influence; now to my main point, which involves a return to consideration of the other factor mentioned earlier - the Fontanelle, or ‘little fountain’ - for such it must be. This wide gap in the skull of the baby must, for the brain beneath, be a veritable fountain of light. For the first two months after birth, this anterior Fontanelle actually enlarges, of necessity increasing the access of nourishing light to the gland in the Mid-brain as the skull-plates move back. Between the ages of four and twenty-six months, these sutures close again, sealing off the Pineal from its source of growth, so that for the remainder of the life the surrounding radiations have nothing like the initial impact.
And now for the punch-line: the Pineal body is only spurred into growth at the exact moment of birth, neither before nor after, and taking no account of prematurity or delay. Only at that moment of the emergence of the head of the child into the radiant environment does the Pineal Gland start to respond, function and translate the messages of light and darkness and the cosmic state into glandular activity that determines the patterns of physical and emotional response in the individual born at that moment and in that specific environment. The creature that lacks early light grows only a poor little gland, and shows precocious sexual maturation and exaggerated hormonal rhythms, disturbing the balance between the physical and mental. The child whose early days are flooded with light matures slowly as a sexual being, but develops a large Pineal Gland and thus increases markedly in sensitivity to surrounding influences.
Here indeed is the Neptunian principle at work; the Pineal Gland has long been attributed to this planet. The sensitive is so much more at the mercy of the cosmos, but likewise is more a part of it, and the physical, earthly, ‘dark’ drives hold little sway over him or her. The light has entered and purified his being, lifting him to reach out with his every sense and touch the wheel of heaven; darkness drags man down, binds him to the heaviest matter, numbs his senses to all but the immediate and finite. Darkness and light breed the finite and infinite man. As Melatonin with its dependence on light and dark maps a man's unique diurnal rhythm to vary from the purely circadian (approximately 24-hour) rhythm of the earthly environment, which is related to Serotonin, so the light-fed child will lose his dependence on earth-rhythms and attune to the cosmic cycles. Note that it is the early absorption of light that is crucial, and with light presumably, also, cosmic influences; and this is the determinant of the potential of the adult.
The Pineal and Progressions
Progressions ..? Do not the early days after birth have the same effect, according to astrological practice? Could the cosmic windings, the springs of time and of consciousness, be connected with this function of the Pineal ‘eye’? Could this gland, in its infant growth, form the casing and mechanism of the micro-cosmic clock?
For two months from the birth-moment, equivalent to about sixty years by progression, it increasingly absorbs light through the widening Fontanelle. The day-spring/year-spring is wound sixty times into the living case to tick out the years of growth and working maturity, man's greatest time of learning and self-formation. For the next period of sixty days, or years, the skull is closing over, eventually to seal off the light-fountain. Towards the end of sixty years’ life experience the man will be entering his third and probably final Saturn cycle of gradual slowing-down and chilling into physical age, just as at two months this hardening of the skull and alienation from the touch of light began.
Other parallels emerge from the consideration of a curious and intriguing characteristic of the Pineal body; from birth onward, it acquires during its light-stimulated development a mosaic structure (unexplained so far to the best of my knowledge) which is completed by the age of fourteen to twenty-one days, to diminish again by six months and vanish at about nine months after birth (mirroring gestation?), with eventual calcification after puberty. At fourteen years the cycle of growth by lunar progression is half-complete, and the child is entering puberty and adolescence; at twenty-one years by the same measure comes the Moon's third quarter, and ‘coming of age’, when physical development stops in the average adult. (One may assume that the completion of the first Lunar cycle indicates maturity as a whole, and readiness of the adult to begin its real work.) Physical maturity at about 21 years is also matched by the eventual total closure of the skull sutures at the age of 20 or a little after, on the normal time-scale. We are not only looking at the basic physical/emotional development either; for the Pineal is found to be rich in compounds essential to the healthy function of the entire nervous system, including the brain itself, so the mental characteristics and their growth are bound to be as affected by the Pineal cycles as they are detectable in the day/year spiralling cycles of the progressions.
That the mosaic only lasts from six to nine months implies that its function in the gland is limited to that period of earliest infancy. It looks suspiciously as if during this period a pattern for growth is being materially set in the secrecy of the Mid-brain, while the Cosmic Clock is being wound up by the daily evolving pattern. By implication it would seem that the progressed patterns for the first twenty-one days/years are the most important, as that is the phase at which the mosaic itself is completed. Certainly from experience we know how much harder it is to add to or alter the patterns of personality once impressionable youth is past; we become pretty well ‘set in our ways’ - as set as the pattern on the Pineal mosaic before it starts to diminish and disappear.
It seems clear that this feature serves its main purpose during the period of maximum exposure to irradiation, and it makes sense that the pattern for the life's development as a whole must be set during that period to regulate the growth of the individual over the ensuing years: otherwise it would be necessary for maximum light to be available over the entire growing period. Six to nine months at the ratio of a day to a year would supply ample programming for the most extended of lives, with the emphasis on the first sixty years, after which most people begin to retire from necessary duties.
Birth - The Head's Exposure
The fact that it is unnecessary to preserve the pattern in the mosaic (if this should be the case) might be that the imprinting is made initially in the Pineal, and then transmitted hormonally into the multiplying cells of the body and nervous system; it could well be that the baby carries in its DNA only materially inherited characteristics, and that subsequent cell-division, as from the birth-moment, the head's first exposure, accommodates the variations of cosmic individuality in the highly subtle molecular activity involved.
On the other hand, this may apply more to the ‘subtle body’ than to the material; it may be that the springs of lights condensed into the Pineal via the Fontanelle feed, or become, the spirit-body itself, to withdraw into that gland again at death, for its escape upward from its original point of entry - as witnessed on many occasions by sensitive observers.
How, though, do Converse Progressions fit into the picture?
To explain their apparent validity, one must postulate the reality of an impressionable entity that anticipates physical birth, presumably not yet part of the material infant, but waiting to become part of it at the given moment, and preparing throughout the time of gestation for its entry into physical existence in the same way; but with time in a sense reversed, the mirror of the subsequent time, condensing in daily life spirals into the unique consciousness, gathering energy into its springs, setting alarms for crisis or achievement on the spiritual level, just as the springs are wound and the alarms set after birth for the controlled release of energies on to the material plane of being.
Converse Progressions and the Womb
Nine months pass between conception and birth, nine months between the inception and disappearance of the Pineal mosaic. For nine months there is gestation in the womb's darkness, followed by nine months' development in the world of light - although the spiritual entity may be experiencing the reverse, a descent from light into the darkness of the enclosing body. There are nine months of rapid and intensive growth on the physical level, and nine months of critical imprinting on the psyche ... nine months for the corporeal, and nine months for the subtle body.
In a master-helix of compressed time, the Moon winds itself around the moving Earth ten times before and ten times after birth, as 280 times the Ascendant turns itself toward and away from the great eye of the Sun.
For all that we may judge, these turnings, darkenings and illuminations imprint the sensitive gland with our lives' rhythms; they may duplicate themselves in the helices of our genes; they may wind themselves into the Springs of Consciousness. We speak with reverence of the man who has found illumination - that light that blazes at the very centre of being, of all being, and of his own being. Light from the mind has been reported to print images on film (see The World of Ted Serios by Jules Eisenbud). Many men and women can heal others by marshalling and directing something of their own radiance - perhaps a negative charge of energy from the rich store in their life-coils, so hard for us to come by in polluted air, and on a planetary surface which, negatively charged itself and therefore repellent to negative particles as they spiral down the Earth's lines of magnetic force, is an inevitable domain of decay and death.
Harold Saxton Burr has shown that all living things have a body of energy; we know that energy can be most potently created in the coil; we know that the coils of time grow us, and that our bodies are built of coils; we know that man has scarcely begun to apprehend the energies contained within his mind; we know that indeed light is the enemy of darkness, and yet that both are indispensable to the workings of the whole, on whatever scale ... and we know their conflict enters our lives in infancy, irrevocably to mark our progress toward maturity and self-realisation. We have heard that out of the head the light departs from the body; and now we know that there, likewise, light enters it, to grow in us.
What else can we be, in essence, but that light, in its winding patterns? Where else but in the whole of the heavens, and in that mosaic eye, may lie the irradiant Springs of our Consciousness?
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