Taking again the symbol of the cross we see there is a horizontal line and a vertical line. If we look at our lives and the choices we have to employ our consciousness we see a similar dichotomy which is lost on many of us. Looking out at the world of duality is the horizontal path which is linear time and life in the mundane world, the world of gain and loss, good and evil. Learning about and opening to the vertical aspect of our nature is not mere navel gazing or “purification” but rather opening the vertical door to spiritual evolution.
Meditation is the premier tool for spiritual evolution because in one practice we learn to stop time (looking at the horizontal), purify the vertical channel and begin to evolve into that vertical channel. When we are starting out we cannot even hope to stop time let alone imagine a truly purified vertical channel. Any words that are handed down from those who explore this vertical channel are cryptic and indecipherable to us because we are judging their validity through our wholly unsuitable horizontal perspective and do not yet have access to the vertical path of evolution. Even those of us who have long meditated in traditions which stop short of exploring the vertical channel can fail to ask the right questions and can remain stuck in Nowheresville for this reason. What is the right question?
“Man’s energetic shape has uniformity in the sense that every human being on earth has the form of a ball or an egg. And the fact that man’s energy holds itself together as a ball or an egg proves it has cohesion. An example of a new uniformity and cohesion is the old sorcerers’ energetic shape when it became a line: every one of them uniformly became a line and cohesively remained a line. Uniformity and cohesion at a line level permitted those old sorcerers to perceive a homogeneous new world.
“The key to acquiring uniformity and cohesion is the position of the assemblage point, or rather the fixation of the assemblage point.
“Those old sorcerers could have reverted to being egglike but they did not. And then the line cohesion set in and made it impossible for them to go back. What really crystallized that line cohesion and prevented them but making the journey back was a matter of choice and greed. The scope of what those sorcerers were able to perceive and do as lines of energy was astronomically greater than what an average man or any average sorcerer can do or perceive.
“The human domain when one is an energy ball is whatever energy filaments pass through the space within the ball’s boundaries. Normally, we perceive not all the human domain but perhaps only one thousandth of it. If we take this into consideration, the enormity of what the old sorcerers did becomes apparent; they extended themselves into a line a thousand times the size of a man as an energy ball and perceived all the energy filaments that passed through that line.
“Make a giant effort to understand the new model of energy configuration I am outlining for you.”
– Carlos Castaneda, ‘The Art of Dreaming’
The unlearning of ignorance can be described as the seeing of temporary assemblage points rather than solid reality. This is the realization of impermanence and interdependence, emptiness, in Buddhism. As meditation reveals the illusion it also cools the self-referencing prison of delusion and frees consciousness from horizontal self, time and world. With this consciousness we are able to explore a vertical channel that has made its appearance because we have been purified to a certain extent. Again, emptiness does not mean nothingness – it is simply a higher level way of seeing reality which serves to unstick us from the horizontal and begin to intuit and grow into the vertical without limiting beliefs or delusions about the nature of reality.
What we become is upright, honest and more functional within the horizontal because we ‘stop time’ in the sense of rather than seeing the river we see the water – we see assemblage points rather than solidity, the empty nature of existence. The very shape of our energy becomes vertical as we begin to recognize and grow into this principle. Moreover by intuitively growing into the vertical channel we learn to “grow roots in the beyond,” (Anadi) which, by its very nature, is beyond our current reference points, language and meaning. We learn to “hold our heads” in a different, vertically surrendered way and become something different altogether, as Richard Rose put it. We understand that “we cannot solve our problems with the same (horizontal) thinking we used when we created them,” (Einstein).
This is the near universal concept of the Sephirot in Kabbalah, realms of existence in Buddhism, Ascension in Christianity and the 14 Lokas or worlds in Hinduism. Do you think Buddha Boy, Ram Bahadur Bomjon, is sitting under a tree for his whole life practicing mindfulness and trying to achieve ‘flow state’ so he can become a better goalie in his next life? Thousands of years ahead of modern science were the insights of the ancient Rishis discovered through the technology of meditation and the development of Sattva guna or spiritual quality. Our existence is our particular riddle and the questions we ask are up to us. If we do not find the answers in the horizontal plane then we may look to open and explore the vertical plane and the only reliable tool we have to develop this capability is meditation.
(See Also: Why Meditate? Structure)