If you get rid of all the more trivial qualities and aspects of so-called normal people, and pick out what is left, then a person would appear to have two basic abilities that are of value to God, and these are the abilities to transform energy, and then to conduct it to the different Levels of Being. Man is a transformer and conductor of the energies of every different level, and that is the entirety of his role in the world order of Being.
Being an open, multilayered system, man is constantly giving off and receiving energy. This energy is not uniform—every human Level of Being has a corresponding energy with a different frequency of vibration. For example, the energy that is given off by the physical body is predominantly warm; it is the crudest and most tangible. The energy of emotions is subtler, though it is also characterized by a low frequency vibration. As such, every one of us can easily see the difference between the energies of anger and sorrow—they differ both in their manifestation, and in their frequency of vibration. Man’s senses, from the point of view of energy, are also quite crude, because the energy of desire, though it appears as a life force, and at the same time a force in and of itself, being a part of the Downward Stream of Creation, does not have a very high frequency vibration.
This is the Truth: man is woven into a system of energy connections, outside of which he cannot exist. Whether that is a single person or all humanity combined—we cannot escape this system of connections, because we are a part of it, part of these mutually supporting, mutually nourishing elements of Creation. It is not only man who cannot exist outside of this system, but all living things.
Physics was formed and founded on the premise that the entire Universe is held together by a gravitational connection, which exerts influence over the orbit and rotation of the planets and, essentially, over everything. Following the rule of simplification, astrologers came up with a range of laws based on this connection, with varying degrees of severity and began predicting people’s fates, but anyone who knows will tell you how mechanical, blind and arbitrary this system of “knowledge” really is.
It is clear that the warm energy generated by the physical body remains here on the physical plane. All the remaining energy is involved in one way or another in what you might call the universal processes. The way a transformer works is that it receives energy in one form and returns it in another. And this is what people are constantly doing, without knowing it. Gurdjieff said that humanity feeds and supports the Moon with its vibrations. This is yet another vivid example of an obvious simplification and a simplified presentation of Truth. In fact, as ever, it is all a little more complex.
If we break away from the physical plane of Reality, we discover hundreds of other planes, many of which are directly or indirectly concerned with human existence and interact with it. People receive energy from these planes and return that energy to those planes in a different form. This give-and-take is carried out through special channels, which in Russian esotericism we normally refer to as egregors. Many things have been written about egregors that do not have a lot to do with the reality. Some authors make give egregors a soul, and teach readers how they need to communicate with them, for example, to get more money. The problem is that it is impossible to communicate with egregors, because their consciousness is close to that of, for instance, a slug, and they do not have a mind at all. Egregors are subject to the laws of interaction between the different levels of reality and are connecting channels along which energy flows back and forth. There is no point in currying favor with one egregor or another, as it will be unable to perceive any of your actions, except those which deliver a particular kind of energy to its channel. When you give off this energy to the channel of the corresponding egregor, you will receive a response in the form of making progress in whatever you are doing. The egregor itself has nothing to do with this, because the response comes from whatever level of Reality you happen to be connected to, and which you essentially know nothing about. The egregor is merely a conductor, nothing more.
It has to be said that a lot also gets written about specific egregors—especially pecuniary—and this also drastically simplifies and distorts things. The thing is, there are a great many egregors connected to humankind. Most of them have not been given names, because talking about them is no way to make money. But every Sufi order has its own egregor, and one will also appear sooner or later in every stable social group involved in a particular kind of activity and vibrating energy into it. The emergence of an egregor is necessarily accompanied by the appearance of a specific symbol (cross, crescent moon, sword etc.) Creating symbols always comes before the emergence of an egregor, because until the activity is fixed in a particular form on the mental plane, the egregor will not emerge. Any group of people that is actively vibrating energy appears at first on the mental plane, but the mental plane requires symbols, or a brand, and only then does the opportunity arise for that group to acquire its own egregor.
Having your own egregor is like having your own separate high-speed internet connection—it gives you access to an entirely different order of growth. In spiritual work this is very important because it is through the egregor that you gain the possibility of transitioning into the field of mystical work.
In principle this is true of all forms of human activity, but it is in spiritual work that this rule possesses an especially important meaning, as the transition from spiritual to mystical work is a direct illustration of the well-known law of dialectics on the transition from a quantity into a quality. The quality of mystical work is higher by several orders of magnitude and the possibilities it brings are immeasurably greater.
Of course, communicating with God or gods is also facilitated by egregors, each of which conducts energy of a defined “hue” and quality. It is not entirely understood where the energy given off by people goes, for example when they are performing prayers; but we can never obtain this knowledge directly, only intuitively, and only obliquely. There is a knowledge that can never be absorbed or perceived by man, due to the limitations of its form of existence and being. Therefore, those who seek Truth gradually leave the confines of what is human, though this is also not an endless process, but one that is limited by the framework and the laws according to which one may live within the body.
Because desires are the main source of so many feelings and emotions, ensuring a perpetual vibration of energy, clearly when a person refuses his desires, he is refusing to vibrate, and he must turn his back on the system—in other words, he must die and move on to another quality of being. Accepting the Will helps shift the process of vibration onto a different course and a different quality.
There is always some opposition to this vibration from people whose egos are seeking compensation in independence from everyone else. They feel that having people give something away some other place is degrading to the whole of humanity. Their outrage is understandable. But just imagine for a moment we started getting outraged by the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and that we were opposed to the fact that it was due to radiation from the Sun that life on Earth was possible. We wouldn’t even think of that, because the Sun is obviously useful, and its light is simply necessary for the continuation of life on Earth. Almost the same could be said about the involvement of egregors in energy exchange. Both the Sun and the egregors are subject to the laws of this world, and we have no other choice. The conditions within which Creation occurs are what they are, and there is no way of getting around them. You can find out what those conditions are and learn to work with the laws as we know them—which is what both scientists and mystics do—and there is no other path for anyone who wants to understand the world in which they are living.
Imagine there is no God. There is no force directing the movement of this world, and our civilization is the peripheral effect of certain unnamed processes of evolution, where all these processes, contrary to common sense and the principle of energy conservation, move in an upward spiral. Then our very existence, with all its protuberances, with all its triumphs over our internal and external nature becomes absolutely meaningless. You cannot present evolution with a bill for time spent in vain. The survival of the fittest or the best adapted could never help humanity overcome the difficulties they are faced with. Prophets and geniuses were always the weakest and most vulnerable figures, suffering more than the rest. As such, whether or not he wants to, every person senses a connection that cannot be expressed in words. A connection to that which is bigger than him, which cannot be explained, and which connects him to everything, or gives him a sense of the inexpressibility of his own being. Atheism is a diversion for the mind for intellectuals and a reaction of that mind to the pressures of theism... to the raising of a child as Russian Orthodox or Protestant. You can run from Truth your whole life, but you cannot escape it—a part of it awaits us just the other side of that barrier we call death. The Divine Presence can be experienced here and now—we have only to allow our own sensitivity to reveal itself. And then the answers to questions that have not been asked, and have not been formulated, will come of their own accord. And, as has been said many times before, the question of God is not a question of philosophy, it is a question of experience.
We need egregors. They connect the various different Levels of Being which otherwise would not come into contact with each other, and it is thanks to them, for example, that it is possible for God’s grace to converge upon believers. Connection is a crucial word in the world’s design, and there is no point denying its significance. The energy that is given off by people is a different matter and has a different weight and significance. And a saint is always valued more highly than a sinner because the frequency of energy he produces is many times purer and stronger than that which is produced by so-called sinners.
There is a clear and simple story behind this. People spend a great deal of energy more or less in vain, suffering the whole while over nothing. They experience all these different emotions and feelings in simply thinking about some event that may never happen. They are almost always giving off energy from their emotions and feelings. However, this energy is not of the highest quality; its vibrations are crude. People suffer, and in the sense that mutual support between the various levels of Reality is necessary, indeed they must suffer. They must give off what energy they can. But just imagine you have ten people at your command, who perform their work mechanically, but only under pressure, or you have one decent, diligent worker who understand the essence of the task at hand. Ten people may well be able to do more work than one, but the quality of that work and the amount that is spent maintaining their motivation will ultimately devalue the result. Something like the same thing happens with energy—one person who is consciously vibrating energy transcends hundreds and thousands of people involved in a vibration unconsciously. For the ego, of course, this situation seems degrading. It fights for its own freedom and independence, while keeping the world going and working for the common good does not even come into it. In this, the ego is steeped in the illusion of separateness and craves power, and this is why, for it, servitude is only possible when protection and special privileges are promised in payment.
In ancient times, religious cults existed in which they held festivals where the inhabitants of the town had to weep and wail. In other words, to give off a particular quality of energy. They could be quite certain that over the next year they would have less cause to weep and wail than those who did not perform these practices. These cultures had the right attitude towards the inevitable. And this is another aspect of Truth—those who do not try to avoid suffering alleviate their own share of suffering. Those who willingly move towards conscious suffering alleviate not only their own suffering, but that of those around them.
Spiritual work always involves conscious suffering, and the seeker moves towards this for the sake of changing, and for the sake of opening up the possibility of another mode of being. By moving towards conscious suffering, the seeker spares himself the unconscious suffering in which people normally live. If you try to run from your own fear, that fear will become even greater. If you try to run from suffering, you extend the space in which you shall find it in ever newer forms. So, in terms of releasing energy with particular properties, conscious suffering is valued far more highly than unconscious suffering, and it ensures that certain invisible processes are carried out more completely. Therefore, one true seeker may alleviate suffering around him, liberating people from constantly having to vibrate the energy of negative emotions. The external situation levels out for a while so that people have far fewer causes of discomfort and suffering.
Anyone who is working on himself changes his own opportunities for transformation. He moves on from conducting crude vibrations, ceasing, for example, to experience negative emotions, and by developing and opening up the energy centers—for instance the Heart—he becomes capable of radiating a far subtler energy. Desires come to us as a part of the Downward Stream of Creation. The Will of God manifests itself as a part of the Upward Stream, in which a person loses both desires and attachments to the world and its temptations. Shifting from the influence of the Downward Stream to that of the Upward Stream, man also shifts into the spectrum of the energies that it transforms. So what is called spiritual transformation has more to it than is commonly thought.
The ability to transform energy cannot be separated from the ability to conduct it. This point becomes instantly clear, as soon as you realize the complexity of man’s design and the system of connections into which he is encoded. The physical body is the final point at which the energies of different bodies converge and manifest themselves. Moreover, there is nothing to take him from the physical plane to the higher planes (not counting the energy that egregors give off, but that also has to come from at least the level of the ethereal body). So, in becoming a mystic, a person gradually transforms into a conductor of energies of a higher order to the physical plane of Reality. This is yet another mystery—how grace comes not to man, but through him: such phenomena are widely known in all mystical traditions; in Sufi orders, the sheikhs are normally the ones who conduct the barakah.
Looking at the bigger picture, you could say that man is almost always conducting some sort of energy through himself—be it the energy of anger, fear, desire, or some higher feeling—and he conducts it to the egregors, as well, in part, as to the surrounding physical space. The only difference is in the fact that you may conduct the energy of terror, or the energy of Consciousness; but for this type of conduction one requires an internal channel that is far purer than people have who do not work on themselves. With an open Heart, a person is capable of conducting energy from the Higher Levels of Being into the world, including energy that emanates directly from the Source of Everything. Thus a balance is achieved; and thus the energies vibrate on both sides. It is precisely for this reason that the presence of a holy person in a particular place will always enable a greater harmony than usual to be established there.
The Downward Stream of Creation is powerful, and the force of life in the physical plane is plain to see—a single battle for survival is all that it amounts to. The force of the Upward Stream is not so plain. The Downward Stream reduces Consciousness to matter, the Upward Stream returns it to the Source. The Downward Stream immerses people into an unconscious state, and when it becomes too unconscious, and passions and desires too strong, then people start to kill each other. At the point of an unnatural death, a specific kind of energy is released, stronger than a person is able to release in his normal state. And here is another paradox for you—when people slip into unconsciousness with the force of impact from the energies of the Downward Stream, they begin to destroy one another, the number of deaths increases, and death is a return, an entering into the Upward Stream. So the climax of the force in the Downward Stream leads, ultimately, to the strengthening of the Upward Stream and a balance is reached. Death, as an unavoidable aspect of being, and in particular its closeness, is disillusioning, and to a certain extent it may lead to the conscious awakening of even the most unconscious people. We have only to recall how the invention of the atomic bomb put an end the world wars, disillusioning the crazed politicians and their no less crazed citizenry.
People working on their awareness and gradually entering the Upward Stream counterbalance the unconsciousness of those around them in their work, no less than death does. But there are not normally enough of them to radically alter the situation. Furthermore, the specific energy that is released at the point of an unnatural death by the person who has been killed, is always much needed, and therefore localized wars (or in our time, mass killings) will continue for as long as humanity continues to exist. This truth may shock someone who is prone to humanitarian ideals, but for the mystic it is simply self-evident, and moreover he has experience that enables him not to fear death. This experience with transition through the different stages of spiritual transfiguration, and through it different aspects of Truth are opened up.