The Law of Correspondences used in Western Esoteric Schools is the operation of the higher discernment faculty of the Superconscious mind. We call it mandalic reasoning. It is comprised of the following aspects.
(1) Location of a form in the environing matrix of its inner vehicles, a Subplane, Plane, or Major Division of the Great Continuum of Consciousness
(2) Analysis of the subcenters making up that form, including
- (a) Centers (e.g., chakras, vortices)
- (b) Sub-centers (e.g., petals of the chakras, deities dwelling in the center of the chakra, mantras associated with the chakra)
- (c) Locating the seed atom of the vehicle
- (d) Parsing the relationship between the lighted, conscious portion of the vehicle and is darkened, unconscious portion
(3) Measuring the distance of the seed atom of the vehicle from a selected reference point, such as the top of a Subplane, the top of a Plane, or the top of a Major Division of the Great Continuum of Consciousness.
This may also assess the distance to the origin of a particular Path or to the origin of that seed atom.
This faculty can be used to compare the development of two or more individuals relative to each other, a reference point, or a highly advanced individual who has completed the Path (e.g., a Guru, Master, or Initiate).
(4) Discernment of the major organizing principles of spirituality, including:
- (a) The ensouling entity
- (b) The individual spirit
- (c) A nucleus of identity
- (d) The attentional principle
- (e) The focal point of attention
(5) Noting the tracks or paths upon which the ensouling entity, the spirit and a nucleus of identity are nested and noting the relative development along that path to a reference point or to a highly advanced individual who has completed that path
(6) Assigning a category within a known symbolic or descriptive array.
Symbolic arrays include astrological signs, tarot card minor or major arcana cards, or stations on the Kabala or Tree of Life.
Descriptive arrays include description of major landmarks on a path and grouping certain powers, virtues, merits, or wisdom to an individual reaching that stage.
(7) Creating a scale for measurement by designating a value or rank to each element on the path. The end closest to the material or earthy aspect may be held to be of lower value, e.g., denser, more filled with “sin,” less illumined than the anchor on the scale’s spiritual pole.
Scales of good and evil, holiness and devilishness, etc. derive from this valuing and ranking.
When the individual compares themselves to another, they may find they are more advanced than another on one measurement, which may lead to pride, self-satisfaction, or self-righteousness. Concomitantly, they may find themselves less advanced on that measure, which may lead to envy, jealousy, or self-criticism.
(8) Creating descriptors of Subplanes, Planes, or Major Divisions of the Great Continuum of Consciousness based on a summary of the phenomena that can be discerned at discrete bands along that Continuum.
For example, on this Plane in the Transplanetary Realm there are the angels (which may be further differentiated into types of angels). On the next Plane, there are the Logoi, who are the ensouling entities of planets, solar systems, networks of solar systems, galaxies, and the entire physical universe.
Mandalic reasoning imposes a filter on perception relative to where an individual perceives the path. We can differentiate three types of perspectives on a path:
(1) On the Path – the individual’s ensouling entity, nucleus of identity and/or spirit are established on that Continuum and describes the path from that perspective
(2) Noetic Slices – one of an individual’s vehicles is established on a Plane, and uses mandalic reasoning to make correspondences to higher vehicles up to the station of their ensouling entity.
(3) Spiritual Visitor – the individual travels to that realm as the focus of attention and/or as the attentional principle and describes what they see. They do not dwell there and do not make correspondences, but simply note what is there and try to describe as best they can.
Views from On the Path
Those traversing a path perceive what is on their path, and usually little else.
- They may identify as a spirit, as in the primarily Nadamic-focused paths of the Transcendental Sphere.
- They may know themselves as a nucleus of identity, as in some of the Judeo-Christian sects (Moon Soul), followers of Yogi Preceptors (Cosmic Consciousness), and some of the Supracosmic Paths (Supracosmic Seed Atom).
- They may realize themselves as an ensouling entity.
- They may blend these visions into a syncretic or Integral system.
But unless the path is open, which means that those sojourning there can see into other Divisions of the Great Continuum [see endnote one], those traversing a path, are sealed into a closed cosmology.
A closed cosmology admits only the reality that is visible from their point on their path to its apparent horizon. At this horizon, their Initiate who guides and teaches them dwells, and the form of the Divine they know and worship abides. Beyond that horizon, they cannot see, and presume that there is nothing more.
Descriptions of the Great Continuum of Consciousness that are derived from those locked into these insular systems describe the phenomena of their path, often in exquisite detail, and uncover profound and rich insights from them.
Many world scriptures have come from these sources; the inspiration of these scriptures has guided the development of culture, art, science, politics, and the laws and institutions of their people.
These have held up ideals for morality, motivated self-sacrifice and character reform, and inspired great charity and works of benevolence.
But these insular systems can only take the sojourner to the origin of their path, and no further. They have lost the keys to final freedom.
Noetic Slicing: Multi-Dimensional Views of Reality
Unlike the unitive approach of “on the path” views of reality, Noetic Slicing permits the viewing of multiple realms at once. The ensouling entity dwells in one domain, but through its awakened discerning wisdom, it can utilize the viewpoints of the seed atoms for each of its vehicles of consciousness on other Planes.
It is as if a beam of Light is turned back upon the path the individual has traversed, illumining not only the nodal points opened by the Soul, but also the track of each vehicle of consciousness.
In this multi-dimensional matrix, the individual can construct associations or links between related phenomena on different Planes, allowing them to find analogies or correspondences between them. For example, a pyramid encountered on the path of the ensouling entity may yield correspondences to
- Numerological and astrological symbols
- Principles of sacred geometry
- Etheric power centers on the world grid
- Motifs of the Egyptian mystery religion
- Related themes in Babylonian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Persian religions
Noetic Slicing is utilized in the Mystery School traditions of the First Esoteric Planetary Initiations, and also typifies the multidimensional intuitive knowledge of the Fourth and Seventh Transcendental Paths.
Noetic Slicing, which is central to mandalic reasoning, can be done in a number of ways. These include:
(1) Essential Vertical Plumb Line – In this type, the ensouling entity intuits its own current station on the path, and where each of the its vehicles nests, relative to their origins on their respective Planes.
(2) Nodal Point Plumb Line – The ensouling entity mines by intuition, a nodal point on the path already opened, for insights and knowledge; a similar intuitive contemplation is performed through each of its vehicles at a corresponding point on their level
(3) Trans-liminal Remembrance – Here the individual “feels into” the depths of the unawakened, unconscious portion of the mind the deeper aspects of progressive development on this path.
This “felt sense” is variously called faith, belief in God, or Divine Remembrance. This is a sensing of potential development—the path not yet awakened—as contrasted with the observation of actual development in the first two types of Noetic Slicing. Many religious groups use faith as an anchor.
Types of Trans-liminal Remembrance include:
- (a) To sense the goal of the Path, e.g., Spiritual Mastery or Liberation
- (b) To identify the form or forms of the Divine, to which they pray, worship or invoke
- (c) To connect with the Initiate, e.g., the Master, Guru, Avatar, or Savior, who supervises and aids their spiritual development
While faith is typically utilized in these unitary ways by insular paths, Noetic Slicing does this “feeling into the unconscious” in a multi-dimensional fashion: it finds the origins of each track, the presence of God, or the form of the Initiate behind each vehicle.
(4) Horizontal Spanning – at discrete levels of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, it becomes possible to intuit parallel development on different Rays.
While the first three methods of Noetic Slicing are bound to the Ray coloring the individual’s development, those who have developed the ability to use Horizontal Spanning can perceive and compare corresponding motifs, themes, or phenomena on different Rays [see endnote two].
(5) Universal Node, Intra-Divisional Plumb Line – At certain stages of spiritual development on the Great Continuum of Consciousness, the individual reaches a universal nexus where the spiritual developmental paths of millions of individuals unite.
From this vantage point, the Initiate established in this universal nexus can gain penetrating insights into each of the developmental tracks for each of those millions of individuals.
The Initiate may discern information about their stage of spiritual evolution, the Rays coloring their perception, and the particular needs and challenges that individual may have at their particular station on the path.
(6) Universal Node, Inter-Divisional Plumb Line – If individuals progressively develop themselves through Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, and Cosmic bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, they may maintain a continuity of consciousness between these realms.
As they move to a universal nexus in the Cosmic Sphere, they are able to simultaneously perceive development in each of these lower realms, up to their own station on the path.
If progressive development continues into the Supracosmic and Transcendental Spheres, this Inter-Divisional intuition can be extended into these yet higher realms.
(7) Universal Node, Global Continuum Plumb Line – This perspective permits insight into all 12 spiritual domains to sense the development of the spirit, discernment of each nucleus of identity and ensouling entity and each vehicle of consciousness for the whole spectrum of the Great Continuum of Consciousness.
This penetrating intuition accesses the Conscious, Subconscious, Metaconscious and Superconscious levels of the mind.
It has multi-dimensional insight into the Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and all eight tracks crossing into the Transcendental Sphere.
This profound perspective we call the Interpenetrating Awareness.
This state of global discernment is achieved during the intermediate stages of accepted discipleship in the Mudrashram® lineage, when the disciple reaches the Mahatma Stage on the Bridge Path. It is one of the cornerstones on the Path to attain Multiplane Mastery.
Viewing the Path as a Spiritual Visitor
This approach uses the attentional principle to contemplate the nodal points of each path. The corresponding points in each vehicle of consciousness can be also contemplated through this method. This approach was utilized in the development of the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course, which maps the Great Continuum of Consciousness.
This approach is not subject to the apparent horizon seen in insular paths, and is not subject to the barriers of the unconscious band of the mind—the attentional principle can readily pass beyond the horizon to survey higher spheres and pass through the unconscious barrier to the other side.
One of the downsides of this approach, however, is that the focalizing circumference of the attentional principle is narrow, and it is limited to localized perception of the object of contemplation.
Additionally, the object contemplated may be subject to distortion by:
- (1) Misinterpretation of the object’s meaning
- (2) Lack of perspective on the context in which it is perceived
- (3) Misidentification (e.g., an image of goddess Lakshmi is misidentified as Parvati)
- (4) Projection of unconscious material onto the image, which may alter it the way it is interpreted
- (5) Lack of knowledge about the historical, psychological, and anthropological data available about the image, which may provide greater understanding of the meaning of the image perceived
- (6) Imposition of the perceiver’s values or judgments upon the image
- (7) Figure ground illusions – seeing only one perspective of the object, when several other ways of seeing it may exist
Utilizing the global perspective of the Noetic Slicing approach can augment the focal perspective of the attentional principle.
More accurate data, moreover, can be obtained when a spiritual visitor has also been initiated into a path, has learned of its beliefs, philosophy, and practices, and has an intimate understanding of the contexts through which it understands and interprets the phenomena encountered at this level of the Continuum.
Schemas for Comparison
When individuals map and compare states of consciousness, they use their own station on the path as a starting point.
From this vantage point, they may compare alternate cosmologies to determine what stage on path A corresponds to a known station on their own path.
They may overlay these alternate models, attempting to discern whether path A is merely an alternate description of stages of their own path, or whether their path is superior, distinct or unique.
They may alternately “cut and paste” correspondences drawn from one band of the Continuum and equate it to another.
We suggest that these attempts at deriving a scale or measure that compares schemas that come from different bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness may introduce an erroneous correlation between these disparate elements. This leads to identification of a spiritual object in multiple ways, leading to confusion as to the actual nature of the spiritual entity.
For example, in the teachings of the Second Transcendental Path (T2), a level colonized by groups promulgating the Sant Mat teachings, the God of the Judeo-Christian is described from different perspectives.
This vision of the Divine is natively imbedded at the Exoteric and Mesoteric bands of the First Planetary Initiation. The correspondences derived from this analysis place the God of the Bible at different stages of the Sant Mat Path, depending on the way God—the selfsame God of the Bible—is viewed.
|Sant Mat Deity||Level||Plane||Vision of God|
|The God of Glory surrounded by angels and saints||Adi Niranjan||Astral Plane||1st Plane|
|The angry God of the Bible, the God of War||Kal Purusha||Causal Plane||2nd Plane|
|The God of Love described by Jesus||Sat Purusha||Pure Spiritual Plane||5th Plane|
This leads us to inquire, are they talking about the same God? If so, which is the actual God of the Bible? Or are we dealing with descriptions of the Divine as it can be known at different stages of the path—in which case, all of the above are true?
You can see how distortion and confusion can creep in when we “cut and paste” from one cosmology to another. We suggest it may be better to “map it where it lays” instead of trying to subsume it within our own model. [See end note three.]
Categories and their Shortcomings
One of the functions of mandalic reasoning is to place spiritual objects into similar categories. These similarities or analogies form the basis of correspondence—this object above is like this object below—they correspond with one another; they are at the same point on parallel Planes.
The categorization function of Noetic Slicing may group together these corresponding objects in different ways, using interesting permutations of logic.
|Type of categorization||Example|
|Matches similar features||The angry God of the Bible has features that resemble Kal Purusha, they therefore are the same Being|
|Puts similar qualities in the same category||Saints in the heavenly city surrounding Adi Niranjan have the virtues of holiness and purity seen in saints of the First Mesoteric Initiation, so saints of the First Mesoteric Initiation must have traveled on T2 to the top of the First Plane|
|Places concepts with similar meanings into similar categories||The God of the Bible has Infinite Love, like Sat Purusha. The concept of “Infinite Love” is attributed to Sat Purusha. Therefore, anything that has Infinite Love is Sat Purusha—so the God of the Bible is Sat Purusha.|
|Attributes similar qualities to phenomena occurring at corresponding levels||Saints at the level of the First Mesoteric Initiation and those in the courts surrounding Adi Niranjan both show purity and holiness, therefore these two levels correspond.|
|Compares similar themes and equates them||Quotes from the Bible, Koran, Upanishads, Granth Sahib (the Sikh Scripture) are compared to the Sant Mat teachings about the Sound Current. Sant Mat teachings concludes that all references to the Sound Current in these scriptures drawn from different bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness are identical to the same segment of the Nada they contact on T2.|
|Generalizes common values or ideals it reveres and holds sacred||Non-injury is a common ideal of the Sant Mat, different sects within Hinduism and Buddhism, the Yogic traditions, and the Sikh Dharma. All true saints, therefore, practice this virtue.|
|Presumes that a Noetic Slice through one band of the Continuum is directly equivalent to another||A Sant on the Fifth Plane in Sant Mat [Noetic Slice on T2, with native imbedding of the ensouling entity on T2] is by correspondence at the same level as a Saint in the Courts of the Lord in the First Mesoteric Initiation [Noetic Slice through First Planetary Initiation].|
Categorization within Noetic Slicing can impose a selective filter on perception of objects on the Inner Planes. It is this filtering, together with the assumption that the two corresponding schemas refer to identical phenomena, that produces the distortions shown here. We propose that it is very important to be sensitive to the context in which spiritual ideas are encapsulated to avoid these enthusiastic leaps to erroneous conclusions.
Contexts for Viewing the Continuum
The attention can be associated one of the spiritual essences—attentional principle, spirit, nucleus of identity, or ensouling entity. Continued contemplation by the attention upon this spiritual essence can lead to identification with it.
These states of identification may be aligned with the cutting edge of spirituality, or outside of it. Regular meditation, religious conversion, or sustained hypnotic trance states seen in cults and terrorist groups may induce these states of identification; alternately, an individual may natively dwell in them without noticing, like a fish is unaware of the water in which it swims.
We believe it is important for consciousness studies researchers and those that pore over alternate models of spiritual reality to identify the essences with they have become identified.
This will help them identify the perspective from which they are viewing the Great Continuum of Consciousness, and uncover the filters or limitations this may impose on their vision. As they continue to explore beyond these limits, their knowledge will continue to expand and their understanding of the Great Continuum of Consciousness will become ever clearer.
(1) The three open paths are in the Transcendental Sphere: the Bridge Path, on which the Mudrashram® lineage is established, and Transcendental Paths six and seven.
(2) The disciples in the Western Work are trained to work with multiple Rays during the Third and Fourth Planetary Initiations. In the preparation to work as a Maha Chohan, the disciple actually opens each of the all seven Rays to the vortex in which the Maha Chohan dwells. This grants not only the ability to perceive and know the content of other Ray Paths, but to minister and Initiate upon them.
(3) We have used the Sant Mat Path, into which the author was initiated and immersed for over two years, as an example only. We suggest that these enthusiastic logical leaps are widespread. Many spiritual groups use this type of categorization to justify their beliefs, and to enhance the perception that their cosmology includes all other paths. They may also be utilized to account for data derived from other bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness outside the band they colonize.