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We have outlined the way in which the vertical polarity of man comes into being along the axis of the spine with its seven levels of consciousness. In addition to this vertical polarity, man's constitution also provides a horizontal polarity. This gives a positive and negative polarity to the two sides of his body.

Thus man is really a quadripolar magnet and all the laws of electricity and magnetism which are known to modern physics apply to his system. In any system, a potential difference between two poles gives rise to a flow between them. In electrical terms this potential difference is a voltage and the amount of flow between the poles can be measured as current. Where there is a flow of current there is always a magnetic field surrounding it and at right angles to it.

This law also applies to the system in Man: in Man there is a voltage and current between his basic polarity of crown and root. This flow gives rise to a magnetic field which surrounds him. This magnetic field is what is very often termed the aura and is visible to those who have a sufficiently sensitive and delicate sense of sight. Thus in man's occult anatomy there are two currents of energy which flow on the right and left sides and which are positive and negative.

These positive and negative currents of energy seem to cross at nodes or points between the chakras. In this way the pattern of the Caduceus or Staff of Hermes is built up. In Hindu terminology this is called the Meru Danda.


The Caduceus.

There are several interesting features concerning this pattern of forces which we will now discuss:

Each chakra is a vortex of energy which revolves under the influence of a positive and negative current acting upon it in just the same way as the rotor of an electric motor revolves when positive and negative electric currents are applied to it.

When the polarity of the current is reversed so that the positive and negative currents are each changed to the opposite pole, the electric motor will of course change the direction of its revolution.

An identical process takes place at each chakra.

The current flowing on one side of the body is positive and on the other is negative. As these currents cross at the nodes the positive one being dominant causes the chakra to revolve in its own direction. In effect, therefore, each chakra appears to revolve in the opposite direction to the one above and below it. These points lead to a further conclusion based upon the laws of electricity known to modern science. A conductor placed within an electric coil through which current is flowing will conduct a current along its length in one direction. When the flow is reversed in the coil so also is the flow revered in the conductor.

Likewise, the energy at the hub of the chakra will be outgoing or incoming according to the direction in which it is revolving. The direction of its revolution is itself determined by the influence of the positive and negative currents through the right and left sides of the body.


Alternating Currents.

However, these currents are not direct but are alternating ones. Here again the alternation of the currents is a similar process to that occurring when electricity is generated. As the rotor of the dynamo revolves between the poles of the fixed magnet it cuts the lines of force first in one direction and then in the other so that a current is produced which alternates in its direction of flow. This is the alternating current which we use in our present-day electric power system.

This process also relates to the flow of energy round the surface of the earth due to the diurnal rotation of the earth on its axis.

As the earth revolves between midday and midnight the current flows towards the sun, but during the other half of its revolution between midnight and midday the current (also sweeping towards the sun) will flow in the opposite direction. Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm and this process is similarly reflected in his system. Therefore his energy currents also alternate between his polarities; north-south, east-west. These energy currents are in fact the breath. This is the reason why the breath is of vital importance, and we deal with this in greater detail later in the book. At various times the breath predominates through one nostril or the other. The alternation of the breath in this way produces the change of direction in the flow of energy currents and the revolution of the chakras. We have seen that each level of consciousness is a basic vibration and these vibrations are called tattwas in Hindu terminology. In western terms they may be called elements, temperaments or humours. As the currents flow in various ways, different tattwas or elements manifest more or less strongly in the system. Our systems, therefore, are subject to continuous change and a continuous flow of humours as one element runs its course and gives place to another. The whole principle of this flow of changing vibrations is often known as the Tattwic Tides.

Tattwic Tides.

The flow of tattwic tides in the human system corresponds to the flow of tattwic tides in the universal system. This is the basis of the hermetic adage 'As above so below'. The flow of tattwas in the universal system manifests as the planetary influences, the signs of the zodiac and as the seasons. Within the human system too there are seasons, solar and lunar cycles and zodiacal changes in a corresponding pattern. Thus the outer and the inner life reflect each other. The tattwic tides are the working out of the periodic or cyclic law in manifestation. All manifestation is a vibration between poles as we have seen in Chapter One. The actual rhythms, the detailed courses of the flow of the energies, and the different levels at which they flow are the tattwic tides. It is a fascinating thought that with a knowledge of the forces which are at work in both the universal and human systems and the directions in which they flow one is actually able to calculate the course of future events.



It therefore follows from this that any particular activity which has to be undertaken will be more economically and therefore more effectively performed if it fits in with the prevailing energy flow or tattwic tides at that time and place. This is to say that there is an optimum time and place for every activity. The art of ritual is really the magic of making use uf energy to achieve a specific goal. It should be performed in accordance with the prevailing energy tides in order to achieve the most effective results. So that in the widest sense the whole of life can be lived as a ritual in which one is continually making the best use of the forces which are dominant to secure the most creative results. Actions are always more effective if performed when the appropriate tattwa relative to that action is manifesting strongly. The direction in which one faces or sleeps, the colours one wears or uses at different times, and in fact every activity in life, is subject to the flow of the tattwas. This is a vast subject which we can only touch on and which it would be out of place to go into more deeply in this work.


The Sign of the Cross.

One of the most widely used rituals in the Christian world is the sign of the cross. If one makes the sign of the cross and at the same time has in mind some associations with the crucifixion, one will promote some religious feeling which may be very beneficial.

But if one realizes the significance of the ritual in relation to the four pole nature of man and performs it with this knowledge in mind, it becomes a powerful ritual. As the hand moves up and down on the vertical axis and then to the two poles of the horizontal axis the effect is to balance the forces in the system. The ritual should end with a junction of the two hands in the centre and this has the effect of maintaining the equilibrium.

We shall see in later chapters the practical significance of balancing the forces in relation to the expansion of consciousness. It is also not generally known that the ritualistic effect of the sign of the cross may be greatly enhanced by combining it with a certain control of the breath. One of the great conclusions that is to be drawn from this knowledge of the tattwic tides is that in the whole scheme of life every part has its proper function.

One should avoid the danger of regarding any centre or level in oneself as being bad. No energy is ever bad in the absolute sense, but only it may be used at the wrong time or place. In other words, it may be relatively bad, that it is unbalanced or maladjusted in relation to the whole. We have compared the seven levels of vibration to the musical scale. No note is bad in itself, but if played out of time and place it becomes discordant. Timing is vital, and the right hote must be in the right place. We have to learn to play with all the notes in order to have whole music.


Organs of Action and Sensing.

If the four poles of the human system are a fixed magnet and the chakras are the rotors, then the overall pattern is one of seven force fields caused by the quadripolar action at each chakra. As the polarities are reversed, the direction of rotation of the force fields is also reversed. The experience which we have at any of these levels will depend upon whether the energy is incoming or outgoing through that particular chakra. The outgoing energy through a chakra provides us with the organ of activity. That is to say that when the energy is outgoing we have the experience of action at that level; when the energy is incoming we have the experience of sensing at that level.

The Human Ear - Corresponds to the Throat Chakra - Visuddha Chakra.

At each of the five lower chakras, therefore, we have an experience of sense which gives us our five senses. We also have five organs of action which are the same energies in their outgoing aspect.


At first sight it is not very easy to understand the relationship between these organs of action and sensing. But here let us echo our introductory remarks which point out the limitations of attempted intellectual understanding alone. Through practice and self observation one may come to realize the validity of these abstruse-seeming principles in one's own experience. More comment will be made on the qualities associated with each chakra in the following chapters.

Link: A Table of the Chakras and their corresponding associations.


The Middle Pillar.

There is another factor of enormous significance in the human system. This is the third force which is known as the sushumna in Hindu terminology. The positive and negative currents are termed Pingala or Ida respectively.

Energy Channels: Ida, Pingala, and the middle channel - sushumna

All manifestation gives rise to a polarity as we have seen in earlier chapters. It is when the positive and negative forces of this polarity are balanced that manifestation ceases. This third force is called the middle pillar in Qabalistic terminology. It is the channel in the centre of the spine through which the energies flow only when the other two forces are balanced. Later we shall examine the practical application of this principle more fully.


Rates of Vibration.

The Indian tradition sometimes describes the chakras as lotuses and allocates a certain number of petals to each one. This notion is often confusing to the student until he realizes that this is merely another way of describing the rate of vibration or frequency of the energy at that chakra. The number of petals in each lotus is the same as the number of spokes which each wheel of force has. To illustrate this principle experiments could be made with revolving discs: these would appear to have a varying number of spokes according to the speed at which they revolve. Similarly the colours which the chakras would throw off also depend upon the speed of their revolution. Colours are light vibrating at different frequencies. Looking at a colour will tend to produce in the viewer a corresponding vibration to that colour. By careful self-observation one may notice the level at which this vibration is scated in oneself. Each chakra has a colour relative to it and will be affected by that colour. What has been said above concerning light also applies equally to the field of sound. Each chakra has a sound relativc to it and will be affetted by that sound. Starting at the root chakra and working up to the crown these vibrations are given by the Indian tradition as: 4, 6, 10, 12, 16, 96, 960.


Right- and Left-Sidedness.

A subject of interest which opens out from the study of these positive and negative currents is the incidence of right- and left-sidedness in people. Most people have one hand, foot or eye stronger than the other. The reason for this, in effect, is that they have either the positive outgoing or negative receptive side of their nature more highly developed at that level. It may he that in the very highly evolved person these positive and negative forces are equally balanced. It is recounted, for example, of the great adept St Germain, that he could write equally well and at the same time, with both hands.


Attraction and Repulsion.

The well-known laws of attraction and repulsion in electricity and magnetism are that like repels like and opposites attract each other. These laws apply to the positive and negative currents in the human system. Sensing and acting are negative and positive. Therefore action in one person is always attracted to receptivity or sensing in another. We see this in the male-female relationship where the active outgoing male nature is paired with the receptive passive female nature. Through the balancing or mating of two opposite poles a third quality is always born. Each new element or tattwa is formed from the interaction of the positive and negative phases of the preceding one.

One may compare this process to that of stirring two ingredients together to produce a third one from their combination. Any new manifestation must always come from the interaction of a positive and negativc force, as for example the incarnation of a soul through the union of male and female. In this connection some light is thrown on the sex of children born; the relative dominance of the positive and ncgativc factors in both mother and father at the time of conception will determine whether the incarnating soul comes in a male or female body.