The Seven Rungs of Jacobís Ladder
As long as man is still an unconscious creature, his logos-powers operate in him at an unconscious level, automatically and in accordance with the laws of Nature, as in the case of animals. His sexual energy manifests itself within him as a purely animalphysical urge, driving him to rid himself of the unpleasant nervous tension caused by accumulated potency. Accordingly, his state of consciousness is nothing but an animal urge for release. He has no inkling of love, for he is still unable spiritually to experience and manifest his unconscio-us, dormant desire for it. His higher centres are still in a latent condition, his heart is dead. From this apparent death he is awakened by his sexual urge. In a state of physical excitement, stimulated by his sexual energy, he instinctively seeks a partner. Nature deceives him. For sexual excitement serves the sole purpose of procreation, of propagating the vast current of life in order to attain the great goal, the spiritualisztion of the earth.Primitive man is ignorant of all this. He pursues his sexual desires for gratification, Usually, however, the laws of human civilization and general moral codes prevent gratification immediat-ely the sex drive makes itself felt. Whether he likes it or not, he is compelled to postpone fulfilment for some time. Even among the primitive Negro and bushman tribes, the young men who have just reached maturity must restrain their healthy sexuality until the great ceremony. Only then are they initiated into the secrets of sexuality.
Whether in other parts of the world or with the white races of the West, it is a fact that man must first wait with his urge until he event- ually finds an opportunity of gratify his sexual desires, while an animal assailed by sexual desire seeks a suitable partner and usually finds one straight away. Man is required, then, to wait some time. During this waiting period the tension mounts within him and, since it does not find immediate release, this energy tries to discharge itself in another way, through the nerve channels. The unreleased tension builds up and thus man is charged with ever-quickening vibrations and frequencies. If, however, the frequencies of an ener-gy increase, the energy is also no longer what it was previously. Thus the first transformation of sexual energy, however small, has already occurred!
The new tension, increased by accumulation, with its higher frequencies now no longer operates solely on his sexual organs, but also on his higher organs which are able to sustain and manifest the increased frequencies. The drive has the added effect of rousing his intellect, he recks his brains for an idea, a solution. Physical desire wakens his consciousness and thus the first glimmer, however faint, in the dawn of awareness has been achieved. Sooner or later he also finds the chance to release his sexual desire, so he is not required to repress it, and yet, at the same time, the first step in the transformation of sexual energy has been taken. Of course, this does not happen as simply and quickly as appears from this description, and although the effect too varies with each individual, the result is the same.
As has been said already, man can develop certain pathologically nervous, often very dangerous inner states, known in modern psychiatry as ‘repres-sions’. This happens when his higher nerve centres have not yet been activated and he is consequently still unable to transform his sexual energies into creative power, yet leads a continent life. But in the same state of development he restrains his sex drive only for a short period and than gives it free rein, he will not cause repression. In his yet unconscious state he has taken the first steps on the path of transforming sexual energy, quite unintentionally. What compelled him to do so? Unsatisfied sexual energy. We can therefore say that the very sexual energy within us helps to transform – sexual energy. Through the very lack of gratification it has heightened its tension, and by a mental effort has already elevated and expanded the consciousness in some small measure. In this way, whenever a person is unable to fulfil his sexual desires on the first inpulse he climbs the next rung on the ladder of growing consciouness. He ascends step by step till he reaches the stage where he becomes inwardly conscious, not only of his physical desire, but also of his Self. Yet the driving force does not cease to work in him; it urges him on with its ever-recurring, heightened tension, assisting and compelling him to experience by degrees correspondingly higher states of consciousness. Gradually he wil reach the level, where, in state of sexual excitment, he will not feel a purely animal desire to spend himself, but will experience and manifest the first intimation of a human togetherness, even if it is merely in the still primitive form of physical devotion. Even though this may be no more than impassioned possessiveness and subjection, there nevertheless exists a new human relationship between himself and the partner whom he has got to know more closely through sexual intercourse. The first tokens of tenderness, the first symptoms of love appear. Thus his dead heart is in time warmed through and wakened. The purely sexual urge gives way to the desire for fulfilment at higher level, at the second level of manifestation – that of being in love. And since, moreover, he begins to emerge from the nondescript masses as an individual, he is thus also no longer indiscriminately content with any partner, but seeks one more suited to him and to his developing taste. Several lives may pass during the course of this development from an uncouth, unconscious, primitive man to the attainment of this level. Eternity is long enough. . . .
The primitive man, still trapped in the prison of slow, natural development over eons, may start at the third level of consciousness only in some future life. Then he no longer gratifies his sex urge indiscriminately. He becomes more selective and also tries to please his partner. His relationship to the member of the opposite sex changes to a mixture of sexual desire and sense of togetherness coupled with possessiveness, which altough primitive and selfish, is already an inferior form of love. His originally purely sexual urge has turned into amorousness, which ties him to a particular person.
This amorousness is further fanned by the fire of his sexual energy, which through waiting has intensified. On the other hand, his sexual desire is heightened by the hope of winning this one person of his choice.
Such sexual energies, having been raised to a higher level, act with an intensified effect on he higher centres if, in discharging, they encounter obstacles. We could list numerous intances from the history of mankind which prove what ingenious and cunning feats lovers can be made to perform by their frustrated sexual desires if, in spite of all obsatcles, they are determined to win the unattainable partner. Frustrated sexual energy has a very stimulating effect on the higher centres, above all on the intellect. The kindled intellect promises the lovers the highest happiness through gratification of their sexual desires. Thus their amorousness is further enhanced, and for reasons of love, if nothing else, they get married. If a man has attained his goal and married, sexual energy finds its outlet free of restraint. Usually, however, sharpwitted heroes and heroines of love then turn into satisfied, boring philistines, till such time as providence compels them to renewed transformation of energy. The husband – caught in Nature’s trap – begins to think more about his work in order to ensure a better life for his family, if not entirely because of the pleasure work affords him. He seeks to achieve more. In so doing he is impelled to direct more energy into the higher channels, through which he discharges a greater proportion of these creative energies. Thus the average man is compelled by his sexual energy and his amorousness to direct part of his driving force to the intellectual level and to convert it into mental effort. He gradually comes to know the pleasure of creative work, and thus, for the first time, he experiences a kind of self-confidence. His self awareness grows and expands. Time and habit transform his possessiveness and lust for his life-partner, who by this time has become the mother of his children, into a spiritual-human bond, a loving, domestic harmony, an already higher, more selfless form of love.
Thus unconsciously, and without noticing it, he directs his sexual energies increasingly into higher centres, and gradually attains the next, the fourth level in the development of consciousness. He begins to receive and emit ever higher frequencies. These rouse and open still other higher nerve centres; he begins to think even more, and no longer merely about how better to gratify his impulses and how to obtain yet further sensual-sexual pleasures and delights. He also starts taking an interest in higher things. He seeks to give his life more substance, he gradually becomes more individual, he knows that in physical love, too, only an understanding partner with whom he shares a spiritual affinity can give him gratification. He looks for, and expects from his lover a similar way of thinking and similar taste. But his increased demands in love narrow the choice of suitable partners, and thus too his chances of full sexual gratification. The more refined his taste, the less easy his gratification. His frustrated and pent-up sexual energies force his consciousness to climb faster, even higher, and also to perceive higher frequencies. In so doing, he activates the next highest nerve centre. His interest turns to knowledge! Thus he reaches the fourth level and grows into it. He begins to study, to learn, he wishes to unravel the mysteries of the world. His mental horizon widens. His creative powers no longer manifest themselves solely through the body as sexual energy, but as emotional and intellectual powers and as strengthened will-power. He ‘gets on’ in his career, he may hold a leading position, he stands out from the masses. Through carrying a higher vital tension, and becoming conscious at higher frequencies, he also directs higher vibrations into his sexual organs, causing a correspondingly large increase in his physical-sexual potency! The higher his level of consciousness, the higher and more powerful the energies which man is also able to direct to his lower nerve centres and organs, and correspondingly greater the pleasures of sexual union! For this, however, he requires a partner as superior as himself. In his love-life he seeks an understanding, exceptional woman, who is equal, and with whom he can form a close spiritual and intellectual relationship. He already has the experience, and knows that perfect gratification of mind and body and the joy of genuine happiness are only possible with a worthy and equal partner. She must have the ability to follow him into the greatly increased frequencies, and, fired by a passionate yet sublime love, to reciprocate these with her whole being! He is already awareof the vast difference between quantity and quality and also lives accordingly, because he can no longer live in any other way!
It is extremely sad indeed if a person of a higher level of development is capable of expending and imparting very high tensions in loving and yet his partner is unable to follow him. How dreadfully alone such a person feels!
On the shore at low tide one finds countless mussels lying around, which have been washed up by the waves and dried by the sun. As a child I used to try and piece these halves together to make them one again. There were many simple ones, quite smooth and with a smooth, flat rim. Even if two halves did not belong to the same mussel, they were usually a good match and I could close them. Less comon were the mussels which were not flat, but corrugated on the outside and the rim. They were much more beautiful and individualized. I could only put these together properly if the two halves were of the same mussel, only if they belonged together. They did not harmonize with the half of another mussel....
People, too, are like this. The primitive man could find many partners with whom he could share a peaceful life. The husband earns the living, the wife looks after husband and children, together they bear the burdens of life in peace. Habit, their children and the family unite them, but without deep spiritual harmony, for the very reason that they are not yet spiritual, not yet individual. The more spiritual, the more unique and individual a person becomes, the more important it is for him that his marriage-partner matches his level of development in every respect. The more defined a person’s character, the less possible it is for him to live together with a lover who does not suit him, and there can be no peace between the two. The higher a man’s level the more essential it is for him that his partner’s intellectual level, her intelligence, way of thinking , taste, right down to every detail of their love-making, indeed her whole nature, suit him perfectly. Only with this woman can he also have a pleasurable, gratifying sexual encounter, in which both parties experience perfect oneness in body, mind and soul.
Thus man slowly grows into the fifth level. At this level of consciousness he has reached the point where he can manifest his creative powers in the form of sexual, as well as spiritual, mental and intellectual energies, and beyond that, as ever-increasing iron will-power. He radiates his powers, partly already in a purely intellectual, partly in a spiritual and partly in a physical form, in the direction of his current interest, according to his state of consciousness. He has activated his nerve and brain centres which are capable of bearing higher, purely intellectual energies and high tensions. The resistance of his nerves and body has so increased that he can sustain the high intellectual frequencies without detriment, and also manifest them as sexual energy through his body. He is passionate in his love – it emanates from an inner, spiritual harmony. His sexual organs, powerful and resistant from birth, are also correspondingly capable of manifesting high, passionate tensions. He has become creative; all the valves at five levels, from intellectuality to physical manifestations, are open. Only two further brain centres, which will at some time in the future bear and manifest the very highest, divine frequencies, remain in a latent condition.
If a person radiates all his power uniformly, then there has automatically also been a uniform development of his organs of manifestation, and consequently, a supremely intellectual person lives in a beautifully formed, helathy, strong body. This is the level, at which for the first time – if he so whishes – man is able to give up his sexual manifestation without resulting harm, pathological nervousness and other difficulties, because he is able to manifest his power at the higher levels free from restraint. Wherever he turns his interest, that is to say, his consciousness, his high creative power manifests itself through corre-sponding nerve or brain centres and through the suitable organs. He can mani-fest his sexual energy and experience it as love, he can beget children, or, if he turns his interest to the world of ideas, he can manifest supremely intellectual, creative-suggestive thoughts and scatter them as fertile seeds. He has become intuitive and suggestive, his hypnotic-magical abilities unfold and come into play. We have only to remember those great geniuses who were not only sex-ually very potent and experienced passionate love, but also penetrated the whole of mankind with their high, creative ideas born of inspiration. They begot intellectual children with mankind, they created new worlds and altered the course of history, just as they could give a woman happiness with their physi-cal powers and beget children with her.
We know from history that during creative work great geniuses have often abstained from manifestations of love for many months. They expended all their energies in intellectual manifestation; afterwards, however, they again manifested passionate love and devotion with unchanged potency. These men, at the fifth level in the development of consciousness, already experience creative power as state of being. They experience it as pleasure in work, as existence, and their influence is magical-creative in every respect. It does not matter whether such a man manifests his energies as a scholar, politician, statesman, ruler, philosopher, or as a performer, composer, painter, sculptor or author. The impact of his influence is the measure of his greatness. It is of no consequence where and when these men lived and worked – or are living and working at the present time. They are above time and space! Their work shines as divine light over the whole earth at all times, and this light diffiuses its brightness over the world of finiteness and transience. An Aristotle, a Pythagoras, Plato or Plotinus is as much above time and space as a Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Shakespeare, Goethe, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens or a Beethoven, Mozart, Bach or a Galileo, Edison, Marconi, Paracelsus, Hahnemann and other titans of this world. They looked into creation, brought down to us and revealed what they had experienced at the higher levels. ‘There is no greater happiness than to approach the Godhead and bring it down to men,’ wrote Beethoven in a latter to the Wegelers. How great his spiritual love that for him the highest happiness was to bring down happiness to men!
Many of these great geniuses experienced physical love and enjoyed it to the full. It is, however, neither necessary nor possible to list here the number of titanic men who have transformed human love in to divine love. I recall for instance Plato – it is after him that we term ideal love ‘Platonic’ – and Dante, who created an image of pure, heavenly love in Beatrice, in his Divine Comedy. We obsereve too that many of these men were deeply religious – without bigotry – and yearned for God. And we know that many of these giants could abstain from manifesting sexual energy over a long period and remain harmo - nious and healthy, free from repression. Beethoven was once asked why he did not marry: ‘How could I write my music if I were to expend my energies in con- jugal life; was his reply.
Man just cannot serve two masters. He must decide whether to direct his creative powers into the higher or the lower centres. Truly great men have never lived licentiously. On the other hand, incarnations of The Rake never have , nor will, become great men. We find this truth very graphically symbo- lized in the biblical account of Samson: Samson possessed incomperable and invincible magical power, which radiated from his higher brain centres, thus from his skull, like a thick mane of hair. This power, which also endowed him with his legendary physical strength, vanished like shaved hair when he directetd his magical-creative powers into the lowest centres and used them up in sexual intercourse with Delilah. At the same time he was ‘blinded’, he lost his spiritual vision and spiritual freedom: he was put in ‘prison’, locked up in himself, and isolated. Because he found the way back to himself in ‘prison’, and retained his energies for himself, he was able to tranform them once more into creative-magical powers which the reactivated higher centres once again emitted. His strength-giving hair began to grow again, grew long, and he once more became capable of superhuman feats and was able to destroy the royal palace – the indentification of consciousness with the realm of matter. In this way he was released from his suffering.
Thus human consciousness gradually raises itself to the sixth step of Jacob’s ladder. At this level we find the prophets, the saints, the great teachers of the West and the great masters and rishis of the Orient. They have become familiar with creative power at each level and obtained complete mastery over it. They know that to expend this divine power in the body would undeniably be a sad loss to those who use vital energy as creative power and are consequen-tly able to know and experience the joys and happiness of the spirit. Sexual desire has fallen away from them like a ripe fruit from a tree. Their sexual organs are as strong and healthy as those of other men, since it is the spirit that builds the body, and the power of the spirit revals itself in a perfect body. Since, however, the body obeys the spirit, the sexual organs work for their own body, providing it with the hormones necessery to maintain its health and strength and keep it supplied with ever-renewed energy. In the bodies of these people sexual potency is in a state of dormancy. The energies which would stimulate these organs to procreation are directed into higher nerve and brain centres and expended in a divine-creative way as spiritual energies. These men give up human-creative activity, they neither write literary works nor compose music for the public, nor do they strive after glory or worldly success; instead, they radiate their creative energy purely as divine-spiritual intelligence, as universal, divine love: This is the highest, most irresistable, all-penatrating power – the power of God. The sole activity of earthly prophets is to show the way to liberation and ressurection to those people who still dwell and suffer in the darkness or semi-twilight, and who are already fighting with all their might to escape from their suffering. These men are the servants of God. Most of them already have a vocation when they come into the world. But there have been, and will be, many others who attain this level only in the course of their lives. There have been, and still are, many such great men among us. In the West we call them saints, mystics, prophets, in the East, great masters, rishis. It is difficult to find them, for in appearance they are no different from other men, and they are recognized and understood only by those who are at the level immediately below their own. Others may worship them because they feel their greatness, but they cannot understand them. Some even hate them be-cause they feel their greatness and imperviousness to all temptation, and therefore feel inferior and insignificant beside them. And yet he who seeks God from the depths of his heart finds these men, for ‘by their fruits ye shall know them...’ (Matt. 7:20).
At the seventh level man has developed his consciousness to such an extent that he is able to control all these forms of energy of creative-divine power from the highest frequencies, and can use them in each form without descending to the lower levels with his consciousness. He experiences life consciously within him, that is to say, in his consciousness he is life itself. In perfect self-recognition, in a divine state of self-awarness, in an absolute state of being, in which not an atom of his being has remained unconscious, he has become consciously indentical, consciously one, with God. He understands, and can himself say what Moses said, because he too spoke face to face with God, that the name of God is: ‘I AM THAT I AM’.
God is eternal being. And if in reality I am – the part of the verb ‘to be’ in the first person – thus, in my consciousness I have become being itself, God.
This is the very highest level of consciousness, at which
man and his Creator cease to face each other as separate entities and
the human Self becomes one with God in a monistic universal consciousness.
Those who have attained this level, we call God-men.