“We recognize no ‘decent into matter’, as the gorgeous arabesque forms and kaleidoscopic patterns comprising THIS material world are celebrated with us! The crying down of materiality is THE source of much destruction to our planet, much psychological trauma to individuals who have been taught to hate their bodies and ultimately the kind of embodied evil that would war against another—mascerating the flesh, over religious ideologies.”
Katharismos Degree, Order of the Three-fold Path (OTP)
The above quote comes from the Study and Practice Materials for the First Degree of Katharismos in the OTP. It follows a very brief description of the Planetary Intelligences that are called upon within that degree for the further Purification of the Candidate. In the Neo-Platonic School of Philosophy, the concept of the soul is that it descends from the Archetypal Realms through the Planetary Spheres on its journey towards physicality.
Whether we are dealing with Inner Space or Outer space—there is really no such thing as an “up” or “down” and so the motif of the soul’s descending can be misleading and has, as a result of the impact of Greek Philosophy upon Early Christian Writers such as Augustine of Hippo, led to all sorts of dualisms and spirit/matter conflicts that give rise to body hating and a generalized lack of appreciation of the glorious experience of the physical world. And it is this line of thinking that perpetuates a lack of respect for the environment and which would ultimately lead individuals to believe more in an idea than in the Sacredness of a human life and body. But here I would pause and in the spirit of the Buddha, ask you to…Show me your idea! Place it in my hand. The insistence on the Realm of Ideas, the Spiritual World, Heaven, etc., as being higher than physicality can so grossly be misconstrued that a new mother could look at a perfect newborn child and accept a teaching like Original Sin. This is why the Eastern Orthodox Church does not recognize Augustine as a Saint…it follows its sister, Judaism and sees birth as a Blessing. The Divine ever penetrates the material! Even on the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah, which looks as though it is a lineal descent from the higher realms, we realize that one Tree gives rise to another, that the topmost Sephira—Kether, is in Malkuth on a different arc and so what we are REALLY dealing with is not a descent at all! It is instead, a deepening.
In our Order, the Planetary Angels and Intelligences are invoked as psychological states of Being that are Equilibrated through the experience of Initiation. For instance, Saturn answers to Intuition, Jupiter to Memory, Mars to Volition, the Sun to Imagination, Venus to Desire, Mercury to the Intellect and the Moon to the Sub-conscious. Other correspondences are equally entertained in our Work~ but in a holistic manner that celebrates THIS life, THIS body and THIS planet…for the Earth is also amongst the stars and as the Scientist Brian Swimme suggests—like a raisin in a loaf of bread, Heaven is in every direction from us whether we are in New Zealand or Antarctica.
"You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste the afterlife?" Modest Mouse, Ocean Breathes Salty