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From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 20:09:41 -0500

To Richard Roberts,

You wrote ,
>The tableau depicts my
>secret theory that alchemy is in reality Tantra Yoga, or rather the form
>it took when reaching the West in order to prevent its practioners from
>persecution at the hands of the Judeo-Christian religion, which despised
>the body and sexuality as invitations to damnation. However, the
>crowned couple on my cover are in Tantric embrace.

I am really excited hearing you say this because I fully agree.
I have always believed that the union of the great opposites, Sun and Moon
is truly the mysterium coniunctionis of our Royal Queen, the Divine
Goddess Shakti with our Royal King, the Hindu God Shiva . Both of
which are aspects of Brahman, who is the one God, the absolute, the
ultimate reality, or pure consciousness.The Eastern method of Tantra Yoga
shares the same common problem with Western Alchemy. Union with the
Brahman ( to achieve the STONE ) cannot be so long as Shiva and Shakti,
King and Queen , Sun and Moon are separated. They need each other
in order to be activated, quickened and become the One Brahman again.
The whole man, masculine and feminine energies , conscious and
unconscious selves united in Oneness of consciousness.

To me, the western methods of raising the inner Secret Fire is the
very pranayama method along with visualization and concentration method
of the raising of the inner divine psychic and cosmic energies of the
Kundalini Serpent. Which salamanders , serpents or dragons are very often
seen as the vital mercurial forces in Western Alchemy.I have often dared to
state this to Western Alchemists and I have very often received the cold
shoulder for it. So I was very glad to see your statement. Thank you.

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997

From : Steve Kalec

I was once very much struck by what my alchemy
teacher told me. He said that for the alchemists to succeed
in the art they must be able to find within themselves the
subtle, passive, feminine,nurturing creative energies. He said
that many alchemists were aided in finding this goddess
within by working with a female companion in very close
and intimate relationship. The principle behind the technique
is the projection of one's anima on the lady alchemist. We
know that Nicholas Flamel had Pernell and if we look at the
Mutus Liber we see the alchemist working in conjunction
with his lady friend or soror mystica. We know how powerful
this projection of one's soul on one's wife or partner is. It
has been seen many a times over that when one's other
half has died the other one very soon follows for he or she
has literally lost a part of himself that he cannot live without.
Especially if they had lived a close, loving , harmonious long
life together.

To me the Tantric embrace depicted in many of the
beautiful statues, plates, and other Buddhist and Hindu
art works reveal this same very principle. Union with the
Goddess anima within. Although some Tantric practice
actually involves sexual rituals with one's Tantric lady, there
are Tantric practices that don't necessitate this and are strictly
of the practice of the inner nature, very much like our western
alchemy. This union sought after with our inner queen is seen
everywhere in our alchemy.We see the king and queen naked
in flasks and baths dissolving together. We even see this Tantric
embrace by the king and queen in sexual coupling in the
famous Rosarium of the Philosophers as can be seen at
http://www.levity.com/alchemy/rosary2.html .

The caption reads

O Luna, by means of my embracing and sweet kisses,
Thou art made beautiful, strong and mighty like as I am.

O Sol, thou art to be preferred before all light,
But yet thou needest me, as the cock does the hen.

To me, we should very much be able to see the similarities
between Alchemy and Tantra yoga. In fact they are both
alchemy.They both seek transmutation of consciousness and
union with the divine within.I have always believed that the union
of the great opposites, Sun and Moon is truly the mysterium
coniunctionis of our Royal Queen, the Divine Goddess Shakti
with our Royal King, the Hindu God Shiva . The Eastern method
of Tantra Yoga shares the same common problem with Western
Alchemy. Union with the Brahman ( to achieve the STONE )
cannot be so long as Shiva and Shakti, King and Queen , Sun
and Moon are separated. They need each other in order to be
activated, quickened and become the One Brahman again. The
whole man, masculine and feminine energies , conscious and
unconscious selves united in Oneness of consciousness.

To me, the western methods of raising the inner Secret Fire
along with visualization and concentration techniques is very
similar to the raising of the inner divine psychic and cosmic
energies of the Kundalini Serpent. Which salamanders, serpents
or dragons are very often seen as the vital mercurial energies in
Western Alchemy.


Date: Sun, 13 Apr 97
From: MIKE DICKMAN

Steve and Dimitris

Hi!

If I can be permitted to blather on yet further, I'd just like to come back to
this if I may, my recent offerings having been that touch dogmatic and heavy
(for which I humbly beg pardon of both those at whom they were directed and
the entire group) (or those of you who bother to read this kind of nonsense
anyway)... Alors...
The fact that union-practices as a valid path of yoga and alchemy do in fact
exist (although, as pointed out before, only for certain types of
practitioner, and only to redress certain tendencies toward extreme views,
either pro or anti) is not in question. They do, and they are valid, and they
do work. What's bothering me, however, is their susceptibility to an
ascription of 'quasi-concrete reality' when, in fact, they are rather
extremely subtle, and finally totally non-existent, processes...
I'm very clear on the fact that I'm not - by a long chalk! - speaking to
fools. I really love this forum, and all that it stands for...
So let me try again...
... The strange presence of an apparent body-mind and context seems to be
continually organising itself into ongoing (though often on/off) and
ever-changing structures... These - at least in the unenlightened - tend to
seem to centre on an any given 'here', generally referred to as 'me' although
the vastness encompassed by this somewhat global - and finally unrootable -
term is fairly mind-boggling. It also doesn't seem to split off all that well
from its opposite pole, the 'there and that', with which it seems to
continually be confounding itself and to be pervaded, right down to the point
where this 'me', itself, is often dealt with as if it were a 'something', a
'something else than what is knowing it', an ob-ject, or - if you prefer - an
hors sujet...
Not only that. This 'hereness' is also infinitely divisible, its right, left
and centre also having a front, back, upper an lower, within and without, as
does every particle of all of these, sujet ET hors sujet, ad infinitum. There
is absolutely nothing in it that one could finally and ultimately point to and
say 'this is real it'.
Yes, but it apparently persists in time, you may object. However, time,too, is
equally sucsceptible to exactly the same analysis: If time past is what is
gone and time future what has not yet come, no matter what their apparent
resonance on the instant of change that is their interface (and, let's face
it, nobody lives there, but ONLY in the interference-pattern that is their
resonance), when would any of this ever be able to come into existence?
And yet, here their existence is - totally undeniable... But what is it the
existence of?
Further... it is not the structure itself that is important to us as
lived-through beings, or, rather, shall we say 'not the structure as and in
itself - in vacuo'? Rather, it is the fact of the movement and change of this
'spatial structure' (the left/right axis, if you will) along the
forward/backward axis of time that is vital to us - that is vital in us. This
movement - this 'motility' - is what animates and renders 'real' the deadness
of the mere fact of extension in the more or less vastness of space...
So let's go further still... Any and all of the above are useless to us - in
fact totally non-existent for us - unless we are aware of them. They do not
come into being in any way at all without there being a concomitant awareness,
in fact, and awareness itself is equally interesting to examine... Let's at
least have a bash at it, because - if there is a root to all there is - it's
probably somewhere in awareness that it's actually residing... But where? In
which aspect of awareness?
Awareness, as we know, is a term even broader than references to what one
inuits as being the 'owner of awareness and the situation in which it finds
itself', inasmuch as it ranges from total blank indifference and profound
ignorance on the one hand, all the way to perfect and unobstructable (not to
mention only vaguely guess-at-able) omniscience, on the other... It seems, in
fact, when one really goes into it, to actually 'precede' and to comprehend
(in the sense of 'contain' rather than 'understand') all of the rest of it.
And yet... when one looks into it... into trying to lay hold of some essence
to it... what is it?
It would seem that - if it does have an essence at all - that this essence
must in fact be its very ungraspable 'emptiness' inasmuch as it can never be
established, lain hold of, or actually demonstrated as a 'this' or a 'that'...
It seems to have no other fundamental characteristic. And yet, that it is (a)
'illumining' - voir meme 'creative' - seems to go without saying. Awareness
DOES exist, as do its objects - at any rate 'apparently'... And there does not
seem to be (b) any point in the universe or even out of it where it does not
or cannot exist, to the very point where it could be claimed to be absolutely
all-embracing... relatively...
So there seem to be two truths, or two levels on which truth appears to be
operating: an 'absolute' one where nothing exists as such, and a 'relative'
one on which everything does exist in all-embracing interplay, ad infinitum,
each thing containing all other things, and all of them reflecting all of
everything else unto eternity... And neither of these poles is any 'better'
than the other... As the Praj˝aparamitahridayasutra - the famous 'Heart Sutra'
- says in the well-known (but infamously misconstrued) quote:

'Form is void
Void is form
Form is in no wise different from void
Nor void in any way separate from form...'
(my own transl. from the Tibetan)

This, at any rate, is how it seems to me, and it is probably the basis from
which I'm arguing, because it is this - in my (very) humble opinion - that is
the universe referred to in the Lao-tse lines from Tao Te Ching, 29, quoted
in one of my recent postings...
I just want to cite one or two texts from some pretty profound systems and
I'll then shut up:

The first is Chang Po-tuan and Liu I-ming's Chin tan ssu pai tzu chieh, 'The
Four Hundred Words on the Golden Elixir', translated by Cleary as 'The Inner
Teachings of Taoism' (Shambhala, 1986), the text by Chang and a fairly
enlightened commentary on it by Liu (these two were highly important in
'Complete Reality School' Taoism, Chang being founder of its southern branch,
and Liu, member of its more austere northern branch, one of Taoist alchemy's
foremost interpreters)...

"... Although... annotated and explained many times... these interpretations
are either in terms of material alchemy or in terms of psychosomatic
exercises; it is impossible to find a single text that conveys the reality,
expresses the spirit, and reveals the hidden dimension...
"I could not bear to let this precious work... be buried away, so I have made
a detailed explanation... clearly pointing out what the 'crucible', 'furnace',
'medicines', 'firing', 'doing' and 'nondoing' are..." (Cleary op. cit., pp.
xv-xvi)

"People of later times... just stuck on the symbols: Confucians took them as
superstitious nonsense, while Taoists took them in a superficial manner... and
arbitrarily invented all sorts of practices, getting caught up in
side-tracks... and (harming) themselves mentally and physically... Surely this
was not the intent of the ancients when they evoked images in symbolic
language." (op. cit., p. xviii)

"The other is not a person;
If you mistake it for another, you are already way off.
Your child has wandered outside -
Give it a call; when it sees your face it will follow its parent."

"The classics speak of other and self to distinguish yin and yang;
This is the realm of purity, neither material nor void.
Those who practise deviant techniques of sexual alchemy
Destroy their natural innocence in the brothels"

"Doing is not manipulation of the physical body;
Forced gymnastics all result in injury.
How can you understand the true secret mentally transmitted?
Unfathomable by ghosts and spirits, one resolves yin and yang."

"Nondoing is not sticking to indifferent emptiness;
When you are able to avoid negligence and obssession both,
Rooting out the seeds of repeated birth and death,
Right in the centre there is just one spiritual youth."
(op. cit., pp 110 and 115)

Actually, for all the fact that Cleary's stuff has been criticised for being
lightly interprative, I cannot too strongly recommend a reading of this text
and of his translation of Chang and Liu's Wu chen p'ien, or 'Understanding
Reality', (University of Hawaii Press, 1987)... Inasmuch as they cut through
screeds of 'misplaced materialism', both occidental and oriental, they are
invaluable to the serious practitioner of both operational and internal
alchemy, and will also go a long way to destroying the myth of the fundamental
difference in goal between the alchemeys of east and west.
As Goethe so rightly said

Orient und Occident
Sind nicht mehr zu trennen.

('East and West
Can no longer be held apart.')

I think I'm actually going to leave it at that.

My love,
m


Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997
From: Michal Pober

mike:

ki/chi.

best,
michal


From: Marcella Gillick
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997


> From : Steve Kalec
> I was once very much struck by what my alchemy
> teacher told me. He said that for the alchemists to succeed
> in the art they must be able to find within themselves the
> subtle, passive, feminine,nurturing creative energies. He said
> that many alchemists were aided in finding this goddess
> within by working with a female companion in very close
> and intimate relationship. The principle behind the technique
> is the projection of one's anima on the lady alchemist.

This is something that has been puzzling me for the last couple of months.
I'm picking bits and pieces from different places, different angles etc, which
have rankled or irritated me, even making allowances for 'generics', vis where
women really fit into the picture - not alchemical stuff, but along the same
lines as the above. I would be interested in others' views.

(I don't have any books here to quote from, so am going by memory).
For example:-

- G Gurdjieff is quoted as saying, in Fritz Peter's biography, something to
the effect that men must aspire and strive for knowledge and self discovery
whereas women don't need to strive because they already have the knowledge,
but that it is useless to them and they cannot use it..... He also implied
that it was possible for women to achieve self development, but only
alongside a man, whereas a man could achieve this on his own.....

- In the Gospel of Thomas there is a scenario where Mary Magdelene
enters a room full of men. On hearing one of the apostles complaining that
a woman should not be party to their conversations, Jesus replied that he
would 'make of her a man'.....

- In the White Goddess, Robert Graves argues that women cannot be true
poets or artists by virtue of the fact that the muse, being a feminine
principle, cannot inspire them.

- And then, biologically, men have the XY chromosome, and women have the
XX chromosome, so going back to Steve's comments above, I suppose it would
be possible for a man to find his feminine 'X' side, whereas women don't have
a masculine 'Y' side to find?


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997
From: George Leake

>From: MIKE DICKMAN [heavily edited for brevity]
>What's bothering me, however, is their susceptibility to an
>ascription of 'quasi-concrete reality' when, in fact, they are rather
>extremely subtle, and finally totally non-existent, processes...

True nuff but you know what some skeptics say--why bother with all that
lab equipment?

>Not only that. This 'hereness' is also infinitely divisible, its right, left
>and centre also having a front, back, upper an lower, within and without, as
>does every particle of all of these, sujet ET hors sujet, ad infinitum.

In other words our imaginations can manifest three dimensional images?

Perhaps its the sheer length of the posting or its seeming off the cuff
nature of that narrative, but frankly I'm not sure what the point is of the
rest of the posting. A summary of some aspects of Eastern thought but to
what purpose?

George Leake


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997
From Bernard Bovasso

Steve Kalec writes:

> I was once very much struck by what my alchemy
>teacher told me. He said that for the alchemists to succeed
>in the art they must be able to find within themselves the
>subtle, passive, feminine,nurturing creative energies. He said
>that many alchemists were aided in finding this goddess
>within by working with a female companion in very close
>and intimate relationship. The principle behind the technique
>is the projection of one's anima on the lady alchemist. We
>know that Nicholas Flamel had Pernell and if we look at the
>Mutus Liber we see the alchemist working in conjunction
>with his lady friend or soror mystica. We know how powerful
>this projection of one's soul on one's wife or partner is. It
>has been seen many a times over that when one's other
>half has died the other one very soon follows for he or she
>has literally lost a part of himself that he cannot live without.
>Especially if they had lived a close, loving , harmonious long
>life together.

Steve:
Be that as it may, the possibility of the anima projection conjoined
as an actual sexual partner runs the risk of dissipating both the
meaning and intention of the opus. There are psychological as well as
alchemical misgivings in this or their would have been no need to refer
to such an anima as both *soror* and *mystica,* and by which
notice such a feminine image is defined in its relation to
the worker. Sexual lover she cannot be and maintain the integrity of the
process.
Bernard
(BXBovasso)


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997
From: George Matchette

Marcella writes:

>This is something that has been puzzling me for the last couple of months.
>I'm picking bits and pieces from different places, different angles etc, which
>have rankled or irritated me, even making allowances for 'generics', vis where
>women really fit into the picture - not alchemical stuff, but along the same
>lines as the above. I would be interested in others' views.


As a rule, I think it's a mistake to confuse literal gender which
consciousness; i.e., I just don't buy that your biology determines to that
large an extent how you think and feel. Conditioning does, but that's
another issue. I'm not fond of generalization anyway, but I've met plenty
of women with more masculine principle than I, etc., etc.,

I know we live in a microscopic era where all differences between genders
are duly noted, but experientially I think we're tons more alike than
different and I can think of no thought or emotion that is not experienced
by both genders.

Respecfully,

George


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997

Dear Bernard Bovasso

>Be that as it may, the possibility of the anima projection conjoined
>as an actual sexual partner runs the risk of dissipating both the
>meaning and intention of the opus. There are psychological as well as
>alchemical misgivings in this or their would have been no need to refer
>to such an anima as both *soror* and *mystica,* and by which
>notice such a feminine image is defined in its relation to
>the worker. Sexual lover she cannot be and maintain the integrity of the
>process.

I don't disagree with you but on the other hand sex regarded
in a higher attitude as a beautiful and blessed sacred union
cannot hurt the process. I myself never have been involved in
sexual Tantric practice , my practice is strictly of mystical inner
nature. If anything I can attest that serious inner practice involving
the true raising of the subtle yet very vital and powerful mercurial
forces is sexual in nature because these forces are allied with the
sexual. I am not alone saying this.This is well proved and accepted.
I say I can attest because I have found that these inner excersises
truly diminish my outer sex urge. The awesome vital nature of this
energy gets translated and transmuted into the higher aspects,
chakras, or psychic centers till it expresses itself at the top of
one's head in true spiritual splendor. It receives power from above,
from the higher spiritual SELF . Then descends back down with its
alchemical tincturing effect, rejuvenating, healing, purifying one's
being. This ascending and descending gradually transmutes
one's darkness to light ( lead to gold ), unconscious with conscious.

What I meant by, some alchemists were aided by projecting
their anima on a lady partner I didn't mean it that this must be in
sexual acts. Although if one has a partner this can happen in a healthy
way. I meant it truly as a projection. I work with men, lots of men ,
airplane mechanics. When there are no women around they can
be very vulgar, crude, impolite ect . It always amazes me how when
a woman comes down to the hangar floors for something, how the
men change from beasts to princes. They stop all four letter words,
they stop all vulgarities and indecencies all because a woman
walked in. This is true projection. Their best is brought out of them
in an instant transformation. There are a many times, especially
during the full moon cycles that I can feel a woman's aura so
powerfully and magnetically that I get enchanted in a wonderful way.
This I know is a projection of something that is so enchanting within
me. I know this to be the power of the all embracing and nurturing
archetype of my beloved Sophia. This projection is eventually
recognized and assimilated into consciousness through the inner
wedding to be afterwards always there felt within as a true realized
aspect of one's self. As Richard has said " I think the projection has
to be withdrawn long before the *hierosgamos* can be attained ".

What I meant by the Tantric embrace,
I meant that as a symbol of inner union. But I would like to say that
my mind is very open to the fact that there is such a thing as sacred
outer sex. By this I don't mean an unhealthy abuse of sex. I mean
a true spiritual kind of as much as possible total union with a partner
at the level where their individualities disappear into a bliss of oneness.
Even Ouspenski in Tertium Organum speaks of a true sexual act
with true love behind it as a powerful spiritual close encounters.
Remember that spirit and mater are one, heaven is on and in earth.
Accepted or not, during sex we are very much projecting our anima.
It involves the uniting of one's inner female divine Shakti with one's
inner male divine Shiva to become the one Brahma in consciousness.
I know that such practice exists and it is not easy because it is a
kind of sex that is using the vital forces that are allied with sex as
I stated before. I say hard because the animal sex drive will want to
take over and we know how strong that is. But I do get your drift and
I understand what you are saying. There are many practices and one
of them is the complete opposite as is celibacy. In any case be it outer
practical laboratory practice or inner spiritual introversion and
meditation, or sacred sex , or devotional celibacy and prayer,
they all ignite the
Secret Fire.

" Above all, seek ye the secret fire, for without it nothing can be
attained in our art. "

Best Regards

Steve Kalec


Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997
From: Deanna Herrera

To: Steve Kalec

Hi Steve, Here are some not so well thought out lunch hour random
thoughts. I have been reading some of your replies and so forth and we may
be looking in the same direction. One thing that strikes me from the
recent conversation about the feminine or feminine principle is that we
presently live in a male/animus dominated world and women have
internalized this perspective to the extent that some aspects of the anima
have been repressed or become part of the collective shadow of both men and
women. The intuitive has been lost for many women. It is not, in my
opinion necessary to find an "object" to project the shadow/anima (in the
tantric sense) onto. Gay men project the anima onto their own lovers
because it is the spiritual union of love that invokes the feminine
principle. There are many other ways to invoke the projection of the
anima other than sexual union. Any mindful spiritual practice can bring one
closer to the "sacred marriage". For me it is being in nature. When I
rock climb I am hugging the earth and that awakens my own intuitive aspect
where my thoughts, emotions and body become integrated. And at the same
time I am taking a small princely journey that rekindles the energy of the
animus. And I agree with George Leake (was it George?) when he stated
that men and women share similar emotional experiences. I am not refuting
the spiritual practice of tantra for the purposes of self development. I
simply believe that there is a lot to be said for sublimation and conscious
redirection of sexual energy and that for gay, lesbian and bi folks their
tantric experiences are not limited by the gender of their partners. Having
a hard time being articulate here so I hope you get the gyst of what I am
attempting to communicate here.


Dr. Deanna Herrera (Counseling Psychologist, Stevenson College, UCSC)


Date: Wed, 16 Apr 97
From: MIKE DICKMAN

In response to George Leake's posting of 14th April.

>From: MIKE DICKMAN [heavily edited for brevity]

Thank you for this kindness, I'm sure I don't know what I'd do without you...
You might try not to totally misrepresent, though... It does help.

>some skeptics say--why bother with all that lab equipment?

One bothers with the practice so as not to become too absorbed with one's own
interpretations based on total lack of experience surely? It's a good way of
spotting where the idiot actually is.

>>Not only that. This 'hereness' is also infinitely divisible, its right, left
>>and centre also having a front, back, upper an lower, within and without, as
>>does every particle of all of these, sujet ET hors sujet, ad infinitum.

>In other words our imaginations can manifest three dimensional images?

Oh yes, surely - Pity you managed to edit this down only to what you finally
managed to get out of it, though. Try turning your hearing-aid up a bit.

>Perhaps its the sheer length of the posting or its seeming off the cuff
>nature of that narrative, but frankly I'm not sure what the point is of the
>rest of the posting.

Well, one might equally well say, instead of telling us all what you don't
like about the way we go about it (which seems to be your chosen technique,
echoed here by way of illustration), why don't you come out of the closet and
give us your version? We're here to share...aren't we?... Cutting off other
peoples' heads so as to remain the tallest in the room strikes me as a trifle
Napoleonic. It's easy to show up other people as fools.

The point - in words of as few syllables as possible - is to show that, no
matter what one's grasp, since one's capacities for understanding are more or
less limited, but limited all the same, perhaps 'reality' (with the
appropriate quotation marks) is a little less so ... Perhaps it goes just a
little beyond one's ability to spot the loopholes in others' arguments...

>A summary of some aspects of Eastern thought but to what purpose?

Gosh! The profundity of this observation really floors one!... And to think I
thought I'd finally and painstakingly worked it all out myself.

I guess one of us is going to have to change his guide-dog.

Love 'n' all
m


Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997
From: Bernard Bovasso

Steve Kalec,

I appreciate and agree with most of what you posted. As a small boy I read in
one of my mother's collection of books on psychology that a man falls in love
with love before he falls in love with a woman. This impressed me enormously,
autoerotic little devil that I was. As I matured, I realized that to remain
in love with love to the preclusion of a woman endures a man in autoerotic
exclusivity and absorbed thereby in a state of mystical participation. Such
uroboric participation may be the necessity of a small boy or an old man
for whom the necessity of the woman as sovereign *other* may be either
premature to experience or no longer relevant. Short of that the anima,
as endopsychic soul image, remains the mistress of *participation mistique*
and all libidinal necessities. But since we cannot remain little boys and do
not endure forever as old men the proscription for an adult male is to cease
and desist in the love of love and self love, especially where the juices are
concerned. In this way you may keep your mystical house in order and yet
indulge your mate as something more than a spectre.

Sincerely,

Bernard

BXBovasso


Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997
From: Hil Cato

Deanna,

I am a woman dealing with my image of animus attached to a man... I do
believe that the spiritual union of love invokes the anima, but what
invokes the animus? My loneliness grows greater when attached to him,
but in meditation I seem to find reflections of tender space, and I
cannot seem to manifest animus within that space. Anima on its own,
cares not what happens, anima will dare anything, will eat, will die,
but will not choose or decide. My initial thought is simply that it is
the eternal tension between dragon and lion, between what must be and
what one wills to be, and of course I find myself deficient in the area
of will. Thoughts please on animus/will/whatever.

Hil


From: B X Bovasso
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997

> One thing that strikes me from the
> recent conversation about the feminine or feminine principle is
> that we presently live in a male/animus dominated world and
> women have internalized this perspective to the extent that some
> aspects of the anima have been repressed or become part of the
> collective shadow of both men and women.

Dear Dr. Herrera :

If I read you right, are you saying that the *animus of the anima* has
become the major predicate of the contemporary *zeitgeist?* This
would infer that women, because intrinsiclly a passive victim, have
become the recipients of a split off aspect of the masculine psychology.
That is an overdrawn conclusion.

Otherwise, I have missed your point. It is not possible for both the
male and the animus to dominate (anything) at the same time unless
it is a case of the the male dominating the animus. Would that be
another way of saying that the male identified in the animus is
the dominating factor of womankind? Or is the woman self-dominated
by an animus that is only nominally male!

Such a tautological, *circulus in probando* manner of self relation is
imaginable only in uroboric, or what I otherwise call "matricentric
consciousness." In that case it would follow:

>The intuitive has been lost for many women. It is not, in my
> opinion necessary to find an "object" to project the shadow/anima
>(in the tantric sense) onto. Gay men project the anima onto their
>own lovers because it is the spiritual union of love that invokes the
>feminine principle.

Then what you have described indicates the object as no less an
object but an inner object since the terms shadow or anima are
non-sequitor outside the agency of (unconscious) projection.
The "inner object" projected onto, in this case, would be the animus
as the endopsyhic complement to both the shadow and the anima.
As you note "Gay men project the anima onto their own lovers"
and which amounts to saying they project it onto themselves
(since their love object is in the gender image of themselves).
In this way, such Gay men become the anima of the animus. The next
question would then be; "Whose animus? At that point the object-person
as external object looms apparent.

>There are many other ways to invoke the
>projection of the anima other than sexual union. Any mindful spiritual
>practice can bring one closer to the "sacred marriage". For me it is
>being in nature. When I
> rock climb I am hugging the earth and that awakens my own intuitive >aspect
where my thoughts, emotions and body become integrated.
>And at the same time I am taking a small princely journey that rekindles
>the energy of the animus.

But in this case the external object required was the earth. Without
this external object to receive the projection would not the integration
be foreclosed in a tautological conundrum, and thus uroborically
self-consummed?

> I am not refuting the spiritual practice of tantra for the purposes
> of self development. I simply believe that there is a lot to be said for
>sublimation and conscious redirection of sexual energy and that
>for gay, lesbian and bi folks their tantric experiences are not limited
>by the gender of their partners.

Yet however sublimated, redirected or channeled, the sexual energy
objectified is still retained in the heterosexual paradigm (e.g., "because
it is the spiritual union of love that invokes the feminine principle). That
leaves us with an "as if" feminine principle suggesting that a same sex
love is not something in its own right and qualified only as if something
else. But here we must fall back on the relation of the *soror mystica*
where there is absolutely no *as if* feminine principle involved but
the nature of gender unconditionally qualified as that which is interior
(in distinction to the exteriority of maleness). The factor of interiority
and its esoteric reality is what qualifies "feminine principle" and quite
divested of all distraction in secondary sexual characteristics. In other
words, the archetype of "feminine principle" is not imagically a person
adorned with a vagina but symbolically in fact THE PRINCIPLE OF
INTERIORITY and by which alchemy takes its meaning of the *vas*
and alembic, or the cucurbita in which the sacred maraige takes place.

Sincerely,
Bernard

(BXBovasso)


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997
From: Deanna Herrera

>Hi Hill

I got your posting. Going out of town, when I return I will reply sometime
next week. I am just unclear about a one thing... Please be patient. I have
a concrete mind.

>I am a woman dealing with my image of animus attached to a man...

Do you mean a real man, the breathing kind? or is this a metaphorical reference?

>believe that the spiritual union of love invokes the anima, but what
>invokes the animus? My loneliness grows greater when attached to him,
>but in meditation I seem to find reflections of tender space, and I
>cannot seem to manifest animus within that space. Anima on its own,
>cares not what happens, anima will dare anything, will eat, will die,
>but will not choose or decide. My initial thought is simply that it is
>the eternal tension between dragon and lion, between what must be and
>what one wills to be, and of course I find myself deficient in the area
>of will. Thoughts please on animus/will/whatever.

This part I understand and will give it some thought while I am away. I
have lots of ideas on this.
Have a wonderful weekend!! Deanna

Dr. Deanna Herrera (Counseling Psychologist, Stevenson College, UCSC)


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997
From: Hil Cato

Hey Deanna,

(>I am a woman dealing with my image of animus attached to a man...
>Do you mean a real man, the breathing kind? or is this a metaphorical reference?

A real man.

but here is a pre-dream i had the other nite:
i am sliding thru a clear tunnel or tube in space. it is deep blue all
around the tube, but i'm moving horizontallyand very quickly, a door
opens at the end of the tube and shows light blue sky , green grass and
a tree. the tree is very large but very sick. i think it is an oak
tree. i land on the grass and begin to chant sounds and stomp my feet.
i stomp in a circle around the tree, i can feel the tree getting well. a
root from it rises out of the earth and i make love to it and come
ecstatically while holding on to the sides of the tree. a rainbow is
emanating from the tree all around.

hear from you soon,

hil.


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997
From: Jeff

Dear Hill:
Anima and animus are very misunderstood concepts today. The animus is not so
much about will and strength in the world-this actually in the Jungian system
belongs to the notion of ego strength. Animus is actually conceived as a
bridge that connects the woman to her own inner world in such a way that she
is able to access that inner world easily and profoundly. It is also serves
as a bridge to the outer world as inner sense of center and power that allows
the woman to express herself and her own creativity in form. The equation of
the animus with supposedly masculine forms of power such as will and
decisiveness misses the profound inner meaning of the archetype, and its true
role in formation of creative and spiritual processes. Jeff


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997

To : Bernard Bovasso

Thank you for your response. I am not a psychologist
or a psychiatrist. I am however a student of mysticism, alchemy
and I dabble a bit in Jungian psychology. I would like to express
that when the divine fire of this love burns within the heart and
soul of the alchemist it is more than just a small boy's love of love.
It is much more than just the love of self. It is the love of the higher
Self within, to which he is aspiring to become one with, being whole
and integrated. It is love of what is divine within him. It is the love of
the divine presence of the angelic within. The love of God and the
love of the world. This is not a one way affair, it is a harmonious
relationship and attunement with what is of the cosmic within.
This love is reciprocal and a communication channel is established.
As one attunes and gives attention and becomes aware of these
higher more noble forces, likewise this higher gives to the lower.
Every step man makes towards the divine the divine makes a step
towards man.

I am in love with the world, and I am thankful for this
great gift of God called Life and Consciousness. My love for this
endopsychic image of the soul, as you call it, ( I like the word very
much ), is also the fire of the alchemists and I shall tend to this
fire always that its flames not die out. I will keep its heat just
right and even that my baser metals stay molten for the alchemical
process. Rightly you say that this love is uroboric. This fire is Eros
and Desire. It is the very life force in man, the divine consciousness
in every human being. It is the cosmic energy of life that in its
ceaseless striving and effort to be is the very source of being itself
with all its consciousness unfolding itself into infinite levels of being.
It belongs to everyone and yet so few know it. It is life's desire for
itself. Allegorically, it is this eternal life itself that tempted Eve to
indulge in the forbidden fruit of the fullness of the Self.

The alchemist's relationship with his anima leads him to the
chemical wedding. This marriage is to be consummated .On the
archetypal and universal level this eternal feminine is the reproductive
power of the world, She is Eve or the celestial Isis. Through their
perfect union, the Father and the ineffable Mother form the Son, the
Living Word which creates the universe. There is a secret here that is
revealed to those who truly seek. Through union with his unconscious
the alchemist magician knows how to impregnate the cosmic mind
with his visualized seed thought. Through the esoteric technique of the
release, the seed is accepted and conception is had. When all
conditions meet and time is at hand, mind stuff manifests on the
material plane. Man becomes a co-creator with God . I have had
many wonderful events and effects happen this way, some of them
of the miraculous.

I will conclude here Bernard and say again that to me this
desire and love for the divine within is a little more than just a
little boys love of love , or self love. It is a limitless longing of
the heart for the Beloved.

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997

To: Deanna Herrera,

> .. men and women share similar emotional experiences .

Absolutely ! we are all humans, no one here in this
forum doubts that. I hope that my posts did not allude to
the contrary. Women have a soul too < smile >.

> I simply believe that there is a lot to be said for sublimation
>and conscious redirection of sexual energy and that for gay,
>lesbian and bi folks their tantric experiences are not limited
>by the gender of their partners.

I don't doubt that, we all have our active and passive
natures and we each have our way of seeing them reflected
in others.

> It is not, in my opinion necessary to find an "object" to project
>the shadow/anima (in the tantric sense) onto.

I agree with you. As I say many times, ( each his own
way and in his own time ). But let us not deny that there are
very serious and advanced proven methods that are sometimes
exactly what one is in need of for his next quantum leap. Of
course knowledge and teachings must be well grasped and
one needs to dare to do, to change and to die ( to the old self ).
This is not for everyone. I really do hope that I am not being
misunderstood by this tantra stuff and the sexual energy thing.
I have said that there are many tantric concentration and
visualization exercises involving pranajamic methods that
raise and transmute this vital energy ( Kundalini ) or call it
whatever into higher, finer and purer energies that are needed
for the art of transformation. These exercises are called tantric
because they involve the sexual energy or energies that are
allied with the sexual. Not all tantric practices are involving
a partner. As I said my method is inner and not involving
a outside partner. I have found my inner partner through
mystical inner alchemical exercises.

I am not a psychologist, I am an alchemist and a mystic.
I know it that there is more to all these energies within than
just a psychological awareness. They are real powerful and
conscious energies that can move mountains. Scientifically
all is Energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Energy can only be transformed from one state to an other.
Nothing is ever lost and all is preserved and contained.
"As above so below, as below so above ". An alchemist seeks
to find , master and transmute these energies within himself.
An example of transmutation of these energies are in creativity.
We all have within us this primordial energy we call sex energy.
We should really call it life energy, it would get greater respect.
It has to do with consciousness wanting to become. In man this
energy can manifests itself in several different stratas or levels
of expressions. The lowest of these is that of the animal sexual
drive which expresses itself in the striving for self preservation.
As man looks higher and becomes more consciousness of his
spiritual nature this energy is transmuted and it finds expression
of itself in the creative aspects of man, as in the arts, literature,
architecture, music ect.The fires of our higher aspirations and
creativity feed upon our lower fires. It is proven that a man ,
woman, or gay or whatever, when on a creative endeavor and is
pouring the creative energies of his soul into his creation his
animal sex drive is diminished in direct proportion. It is also
proven that one who is over indulging in the pleasures of sex,
his creative energies diminish in direct proportions. This is
an automatic example of vital inner energies being transmuted.
As man's being evolves yet higher on the rungs of the ladder
of consciousness he begins to get glimmers of the Light of his
Cosmic Self. He slowly becomes aware of the All within him.
The higher fires within his soul become an all consuming fire
in which his whole being is burning with an all powerful desire
greater than any sexual desire. The energies are now energies
of the Heart. You know what the next eventual step is, I'm sure.
The union in the Anja Chakra, harmonious interplay between the
Pituitary and the Pineal gland. The appearance of the diamond
Light, a most beautiful sight. But what is most beautiful is the
ecstatic feelings of unconditional love generated by this union
of the inner and the outer, the conscious and the unconscious.
Of course there are still other steps as the appearance of the
spiritual Sun above one's head radiating down its soothing
beneficial rays, manna, the fat of the land, generating the living
blessed heavenly regenerating and rejuvenating dew. These
mystical and spiritual exercise when mastered can be done
in an hour 's sitting. With the grace of God and with such daily
inner attunements wonders and miracles will be produced in
one's life and are sure to lead to the Stone .

As Jung has said,
" Our highest spiritual understandings are rooted in that which
is the lowest in us ".

With this understanding in mind maybe this sexual energy
thing can be seen in a higher light.

Best Regards

Steve Kalec


Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997
From: Bernard Bovasso

> I will conclude here Bernard and say again that to me this
> desire and love for the divine within is a little more than just a
> little boys love of love , or self love. It is a limitless longing of
> the heart for the Beloved.

Dear Steve:
Your post was extremely illuminating with regard to process and the
symbolical reality. I enjoyed it very much.

I cannot, however, hold incomparable the limitless longing of the heart
and a little boy's love of love. That self-predicating love I cherish from my
boyhood just as I enjoy it now in my old age. In either case we are talking
about an abstraction that dwells in tautological self-predication. It is the
fundament of Being from which we begin and to which we arrive at again
toward the end of life.

My concern was for the *inbetween* which traffics in the medium of the
object, in this case the anima which remains still-born if not met in the
actual woman. I find it difficult to read the material plane as a mere
epiphenomenon of inner and spiritual process. That would diminish
the meaning of the Incarnation and its necessities if not subsume the
Body of Christ.

It would also preclude all necessity the alchemist had for dirtying his
hands in actual and material substances. You see, Steve, I am not a
psychologist but a painter for whom objectification through pigment and
canvas provide the object-reality by which the symbolical reality may
unfold. Without this object reality and participation of the senses
much is lost or abrogated since in the creative traffic with the material
object come those "accidents" of events that may be unmet if the closed
circuit of spiritual process is not opened to the world. Because of this,
it is my view-- and if only my view-- that the anima experience, *sans*
the actual woman, denies the potential of experience. Indeed, the
(unconscious) projection without its recipient object remains unconscious.

Sincerely,

Bernard


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997

Dear Bernard :

It is always a pleasure hearing from you .

> I cannot, however, hold incomparable the limitless longing
>of the heart and a little boy's love of love.

I agree, very comparable and more. That is why I said,
" It is much more than just the love of self. It is the love of the
higher Self within. " Forgive my mysticism, I only meant to
elevate the love of your little boy as being rooted in something
higher. I remember when I was in grade four in school at the
age ten, my heart was beating for a most beautiful little girl.
I was shy and never dared to talk to her. One day we were
exiting the classroom row by row. When I was passing her
at her desk, unconsciously I gently placed my hand on her's
as she had her palm down resting on her desk.We were both
shocked. I couldn't believe I did that. I mean, I had to reach out
to her desk .It seemed as if something had forced my hand.
Something did, it was something deeper than just a ten year
old boy's love of Love. I wasn't even in my puberty yet, but a
flame inside me was burning. I suppose today that would be
considered sexual harassment.

>Because of this, it is my view-- and if only my view-- that
>the anima experience, *sans* the actual woman, denies the
>potential of experience. Indeed, the (unconscious) projection
>without its recipient object remains unconscious.

I believe, Bernard, that we are really saying the same
things. In one of my posts I said " This projection is eventually
recognized and assimilated into consciousness through the
inner wedding to be afterwards always there felt within as a true
realized aspect of one's self ". That is why my alchemy teacher
said that those who do not recognize the feminine within, should
practice with a soror alchemist.

>It would also preclude all necessity the alchemist had for dirtying
>his hands in actual and material substances.

I remember calcining the residue of the Melissa plant
to obtain the salts. The heat that was being collected inside the
formed bunch was revealing itself in red hot fire. A glow was
forming in the center of the bunch and it was shining through layers
of the salts though cracks and openings to its center. For some
reason this became a most beautiful sight. I could have stared a
very long time.It attracted me very much,and I realized that there was
something within me that was in harmonious attunement with what
was happening outside.I realized that an inner fire and heat was being
manifested within the center of my being. This has never faded and it
is still with me always. I often see this same picture appearing to me
at certain points of my inner meditations and its always a most
beautiful attracting sight. It is always immediately followed by an
elevating and ecstatic feeling. If when I am able to hold and
concentrate on this calcination scene , the whole picture develops
into an awesome scene of infinite power and energy. This in reality
was an alchemical transmutation of energies. So I share
with you when you say ...

" Without this object reality and
participation of the senses much is lost or abrogated since in the
creative traffic with the material object come those "accidents"
of events that may be unmet if the closed circuit of spiritual
process is not opened to the world "..

Very well said !

I cannot resist posting a Sufi saying here that fits in well with
the love of love of the small boy and the self - predicating love you
so cherish since your boyhood.

" I am He whom I love, and He whom I love is I
We are two spirits dwelling in one body,
If thou seest me, thou seest Him ;
And if thou seest Him, thou seest us both. "

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec