Tatcho Drom
Journeying Journals of a Jolly Journeyman

Duality, Eurocentrism and Spiritual Practice

The Duality of it All

Our reality is filtered through our minds. Our mental states and thought forms highly define who we are, and what we create from our world. It may be said that our minds project our reality. This concept was captured by the old axiom and Hermetic principle that states, “As above, so below. As below, so above.” An Alchemist would also understand that to mean, “As within, so without. As without, so within.” Or, “As the macrocosm, so the microcosm. As the microcosm, so the macrocosm.” Much could be said about these principles, however I want to jump to the underlying principle of the binding of supposed polarities into one. That is the Great Work of an Alchemist, to unify duality and seek the Prima Materia*.

By our human mental projections, we have created ourselves a great lesson, one that involves a Great Work**. A great lesson that involves unifying duality. And as past and present Alchemists attempt to bring Duality into Oneness, so it is our human lesson to bring balance, even unity, between the two. As the sperm enters the ovum to create a single being, so our polarities must unite to create the true essence of creative expression, magic or life.

 

In Two Minds

And what greater duality is there than our left and right brain hemisphere tendencies? The left and right hemispheres of our brains have attributes that may be (grossly) simplified as:

Left Brain Right Brain
  • Lineal
  • Analytic
  • Objective
  • Rational
  • Aggressive
  • Reason
  • Father
  • Non-lineal
  • Relational
  • Subjective
  • Intuitive
  • Yielding
  • Emotion
  • Mother

We do use our whole minds to make our decisions. And yet, there are influences that force us to lean towards one polarity; rather than use the balance of our whole mind. Having an imbalanced mind may lead to all sorts of mental diseases, even effect our spirituality. Consider the following excerpt:

The Father and Mother may be said to correspond to the two pillars of the temple, to the two extremes or opposites. In this sense are the tendencies exhibited by all the phenomena of nature [including our mental processes]. They are the extremes of spirit and matter, love and hate, life and death, ebb and flow, systole and diastole. Nature itself is the embodiment of the two extremes…. Man, unenlightened man, one in whom neither wisdom nor understanding has been brought to birth, likewise fashions his life in the way of these two extremes. Or rather, these extremes fashion his life for him. For he is, as though by compulsion, driven by some external force he knows not of, between the poles of extreme love and hate, swinging from kindness and maudlin generosity to bursts of uncontrolled anger, hate and meanness. His actions, almost without a single exception, are so many semi-hysterical flights from pole to pole of his emotions. He is, as it were, under the dominion of the Father and the Mother. To the student of the psyche, to the one who seeks wisdom and the knowledge of the higher self, the counsel has always been given to avoid the opposites. His task is to refrain from the compulsion of the extreme actions (The Middle Pillar – The Balance Between Mind and Magic by Israel Regardie, emphasis mine).

Eurocentrism and Duality

In the above quote, Israel Regardie explains that we may be fashioned by external forces that we may not know of. Let us look into one of these mysterious forces that influence the design of our minds. An influence that forces us to have imbalanced minds is Eurocentrism+. This influence leads our minds to extreme polarities of thought. It exults the rational mind, over the intuitive mind. It values reason, over emotion. And for decades, the pinnacle of our mind’s prowess was valued in our IQ levels. The analytical mind, which included mathematical and lingual intelligence, was highly regarded – undermining the many other intelligences we also possess that are not recorded by IQ levels, including social, spiritual and emotional intelligence.

Eurocentrism is an Egregore++ that is tightly bound by the culture of religious dominance and Imperialism. When Eurocentrism attempted to appraise its dominance over the world, it juxtaposed indigenous and pagan practices as inferior to its superior technological and scientific advances. The Industrial Revolution brought a huge change on Earth, and an age of magic was inundated by the Age of Reason.

As Eurocentrism focused on the dominance of the left hemisphere values of the brain, so it degraded the female archetypal principles which belong to the right hemispheres of the brain, the “heart” of the mind. And the Early Modern European witch hunts in the 15th to the 17th Centuries were a precursor for the male dominated Industrial Revolution and Age of Reason in the 18th Century. Indigenous paganism, the Old Ways, was all but wiped out of society. Its only remnants, hid and withdrew from maintream attention, to survive the oppressive ratchet of scientific and technological advancement that accompanies Eurocentrism.

 

Eurocentrism and Our Spiritual Path

We hope that we have escaped the witch hunts. We hope we are safe from the Eurocentric Egregore that dominates with chauvinistic fervor. And in many ways, we are learning to unshackle ourselves from Eurocentric oppression, thank goodness for the age of information we are living in! And yet, with so much information we may miss what’s right in front of us. And that is, Eurocentrism isn’t a thing of the past, it has only become such a part of our daily lives that we most often don’t even realise its influence. Let us unveil some ways on how the nature of Eurocentrism may influence our behaviour:

Dominance: Eurocentrism, through its Imperialistic endeavours, scoured the Earth of any spirituality that differed from its own. How many times have you seen people, no matter be they Pagan or Christian, doing the same? Looking at another persons religion or spirituality and destroying it with negativity? What drives us to exult our beliefs over the beliefs of others? Whatever happened to being free to believe as we will?

Ownership: Eurocentrism, at its heart, aims to own. When Eurocentrics invaded India, Africa, China, North and South America, Australasia, etc; they came with the intent of possessing and controlling everything in these continents. This included possessing and controlling the land, the people, the cultures, and even their God/Goddesses. The reality is that God/Goddess is not owned by anyone. It belongs to itself. We don’t own God/Goddess. We only can learn more about God/Goddess in the journey of our lives, and allow others the right to do likewise.

Reason Over Heart: Eurocentrism annihilated hundreds of cultures because of its scientific reasoning. Reason declared that any person that didn’t look or think like they did must be racially inferior, therefore, okay to slaughter. Genocide followed the wake of Eurocentrism.

Indeed, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reason. Using reason is a skill we all must develop to reach a mature mindset. However, our minds and thought process involve a lot more than using only reason. Our thinking also involves our “hearts”. If a parent’s child was in danger of its life, by reason the parent would attempt to save the child due to the need to propagate the genetic code. But it is the “heart” that would save the child because of love. How are we dealing with other people? Are we allowing our hearts to feel for people? Are we allowing love to guide our judgments?

Eurocentrism feeds and nourishes the disease of imbalance in our minds. Our two minds that may include on one side, reason; and on the other, emotion, are in constant flux. Eurocentrism may influence us to use reason above all our other mental faculties. On the other hand, emotions may mar our intellectual processes. Hence, it is crucial for any practitioner of the occult to bring balance between the left and right pillars of our minds. It is not the intent of this article to illustrate methods to bring balance of the mind. But to simply recognise certain influences and tendencies of the mind. The first step in growth is recognition of the facts.

To the student of the psyche, to the one who seeks wisdom and the knowledge of the higher self, the counsel has always been given to avoid the opposites. His task is to refrain from the compulsion of the extreme actions (Israel Regardie).

 

Glossary

* Prima Materia – “the ‘first matter.’ is the divine principle, the absolute, the goal of the alchemist, the one thing that he or she wants to find, to perfect, to become” (Francis Melville).

** Great Work – “The Great Work, or Opus Magnum, is the term used by alchemists to describe the conscious effort to achieve the highest state of purity. The term is applied both to the Outer Work, the perfection of the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Inner Work, the achievement of the divine consciousness. In order to proceed along this path, the initiate must understand, intellectually at first, the nature of cosmic reality. The Great Work also refers to Creation itself…” (Francis Melville).

+ Eurocentrism -“is the practice of viewing the world from a European perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture” (Wikipedia). It includes the practice of Imperialism and Capitalism.

++ Egregore – “Aurum Solis… define an egregore as: ‘An energized astral form produced consciously or unconsciously by human agency. In particular, (a) a strongly characterized form, usually an archetypal image, produced by the imaginative and emotional energies of a religious or magical group collectively, or (b) an astral shape of any kind, deliberately formulated by a magician to carry a specific force.’ The statement ‘some ideas take on a life of their own’ is the quintessential concept underlying the existence of egregores. Egregores are not restricted to magical societies… but [also emcompass] political parties, environmental activist groups, churches, families, and even clubs and clique” (Catalogue of Spirits and Entities by Marcus Cordey).

Unpublished Work © 2010 Jimmy Galindo

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