It is possible to classify the study of psychology into two broad areas: normal and abnormal psychology. Unfortunately, the study of abnormal psychology is beyond the scope of this course. If you are interested in this particular field from an occult viewpoint, you will enjoy the book The Secrets of Dr. Taverner by Dion Fortune.
Let us look at normal psychology, starting with Freud. Besides being brought up at the end of the Victorian Age, a fact which colored his entire outlook on life, he also came from a Jewish background. From his writings, it is clear to even the most casual reader the harmony which exists between his thoughts and a rather simple version of psychology as described in the Kabalah. In fact, although the Kabalah and Freud argued for the idea of a subconscious or unconscious, many of Freud's contemporaries did not believe such a thing existed! In his later years, Freud said that if he had his life to live over again he would spend it in the study of parapsychology rather than psychology. I think it is safe to assume that Freud was either consciously or unconsciously influenced by the Kabalah.
As shown in an earlier lesson, Freud divided the mind into three categories: Id, Ego and Superego. In the 1970's a simplified form of Freudianism known as Transactional Analysis (as popularized in the book, I'm Okay, You're Okay) tried to put the abstract Freudian ideas into terms understandable by lay people. Thus, id, ego and superego were replaced with child, parent and adult, respectively. And it is true that most people can relate better to the idea of a child wanting its way and throwing tantrums if he or she doesn't get it, than to the word "id" which has no easy picture in most people's minds. But the Kabalah goes so much further in its understanding of the mind, that Freud and Jung seem like beginners.
One of the biggest problems with standard psychological theory is that it begins with birth or slightly before. Thus, it must fail to answer some basic questions such as, "What was my mind doing before the inception of my body? If reincarnation is a fact, why do I have trouble remembering past lives? And if it is not a fact, why do I have fleeting memories of past lives?" Why is there such a desire by people in cultures all over the world to reunite with God, to be more than they are?" (Jung saw this and called it a desire for religion, a basic human instinct which Freud did not acknowledge.) The Kabalah answers this and more. Some of this discussion will have to be saved for a later discussion of reincarnation, the most complete analysis of which has been hidden for centuries within the Kabalah. But for now we must merely look at that change known as death.
Let us assume that you have died and been reincarnated into a new-born infant. According to the Kabalah, the soul enters the body with the first breath the infant takes. Perhaps you want to finish that good book you were reading or see that movie you missed just before you died. Unfortunately, you discover that your muscles do not work the way you remembered they worked. This is not psychological, it's physiological. Nerves and bones have not finished developing. Various muscular activity cannot take place due to this lack of development. You can no longer feed yourself. You can't communicate through speech or writing. You cannot even control your bowels or bladder. After a short while, things which were part of your normal existence are now part of a terrifyingly new world.
In order to cope, you must quickly develop new modes of communication. You learn that cooing brings smiling, happy faces and warm protective bodies. You learn that crying brings worried looks, your mother's breast or a needed change of diapers. In order to sur vive, your real consciousness submerges and a false consciousness arises. Eventually, this false consciousness takes over. It becomes the consciousness or ego. It is a covering which is developed so that we can exist. It is necessary, but it is not our true self.
And what of our true self? It has submerged to a point where most people rarely if ever allow it to come out. This is especially true in so-called civilized societies. Is it any wonder that there is so much rebellion in the world? So many people, instinctively trying to release their true, inner selves, seem like rebels without causes.
But, in fact, there is a cause. The true self, the part of us which survives what is called death, is not material. Our true self is spiritual and non-material in nature. It is our higher self, our direct link to the Divine. It becomes hidden compared to our false, outer self Our true self, our link to the Divine, is our unconscious. And there have been so many fights, disagreements and wars caused by people who didn't know what they really wanted: communion with the Godhead. That is, what is really desired is a link between the conscious and the unconscious. This is a main focus of our magickal work. It is the very essence of White Magick.
As you have probably guessed, the Kabalah does not divide the mind into three main categories, but into ten. On the next page you will see how the ten aspects of mind relate to the Tree of Life. The first thing you will notice is the dividing line at the abyss, the space between the upper three Sephiroht and the lower seven. The three above are immortal and last for as long as the Divine Source wishes them to exist. The seven below are mortal and cease to exist when the body dies. A quick glance will show that the memory is mortal. Thus, it is obvious that our memory of past lives will tend to be very minimal at best. Here, then, is an easy explanation as to why we tend not to remember much more than hints of our past lives.
The Yechidah is our True Self, our Link to the Divine, our transcendental ego. It relates to what Freud called the "superego." The Chiah is our True Will. It is the creative and inquisitive inner impulse (from the Divine) which causes us to reach outside and inside of ourselves to become better than we are. It makes us try harder, to want to be the best and do better than we have done before. This does not imply competition. We all can advance together. Sometimes this impulse is subdued, but it always comes back in force. This was exemplified by the age of exploration which followed the Dark Ages, and by our current reach into the vastness of space. It also explains the
The Mind on the Tree of Life
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.