Hanbledzoin and the Supersubstantial

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Fire feeds being, and being feeds fire.

The idea of different kinds of fire that nourish or are fed by different orderings of being may have originated with Zarathushtra, but was kept alive in various esoteric traditions for long after. Finally it was Remanifested in the teachings of Gurdjieff, before being once again called down from the sky by the Second Beast of Revelation Ra En Set.

The 20th Century philosopher and spiritual entrepreneur G.I. Gurdjieff taught that man’s existence occurs largely in a state of relative sleep, and that to awaken to a state of being that is able to perceive truth, it is necessary to aright the flow of energies within his internal system. With a background in esoteric teachings and techniques, Gurdjieff attracted a body of sincere students – ‘seekers of truth’ – and expounded upon these ideas via literature, music, and movements.

Gurdjieff utilized a variety of tools, models, and terms; but one central theme is that different forms of energy ‘feed’ different aspects of being. In a man’s ordinary state of relative sleep, most parts of being are cut-off from certain higher sources of nourishment. Much of the work of ‘awakening’ comes down to reconnecting with those higher sources; reopening those channels so dormant and higher-functioning aspects of being can be re-booted and begin functioning with a more conscious aim.

So there are really three things that must come together for man’s awakening: 1) the man, 2) his desire to awaken, or his hunger for higher being, and 3) the energy, or source of food for higher being. The man is Substance, the food is Energy, and the desire is Telos = S.:E::T

Reflect for a moment on that: the idea that there is a special kind of food for higher being – this manifests to us a parallel to our concept of the Black Flame – that Supersubstantial source of energy and purpose that Lucifer delivered to the human race in pre-historic times that led to man’s awakening and exodus from the paradise of simple mammalian existence. Two of the most outstanding terms for this energy are found in Gurdjieff’s magnum opus ‘Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson’: “Hanbledzoin,” and “Aiessakhladonn.” Both refer to significant aspects of a substantial form of energy, manifesting in different forms as it travels through different worlds of magnitude. One energy form is food for what is called the Emotional (or Kesdjan) Body, the other feeds what is called the Spiritual Body. As Beelzebub states in his Tales to His Grandson:

“Now, my boy, I find it necessary for the given case and also perhaps for my further explanations to inform you in more detail about the cosmic substance called ‘being-hanbledzoin.’

“’Hanbledzoin’ is nothing else than the ‘blood’ of the ‘kesdjan body’ of the being; and just as the sum total of cosmic substances called ‘blood’ serves for the nourishment and renewal of the planetary body of the being, so in the same way ‘hanblezoin’ serves for nourishing and perfecting the kesdjan body.”

An external or higher source for something that is or could also be a part of the individual body and being.

“You should know that in general the quality of the composition of the blood in the common presence of your favorites, as in all three-brained beings, depends on the number of being-bodies already completely formed in them.”

In other words man must first form within himself something able to receive, process, and contain those higher substances.

“Blood, in the presence of three-brained beings, may be composed of substances arising from the transformation of three distinct and independent ‘cosmic sources of actualization.’

Three cosmic substances the feed three aspects of the internal being-complex –  compare with the idea of different kinds of fire.

“The substances of that part of the being-blood designed by Nature for serving the planetary body arise from the transformation of substances of that planet on which the given being is formed and exists.

“But the substances designed for serving the kesdjan body of the being, which in their totality are called ‘hanblezoin,’ are obtained from the transformation of elements of other planets and of the sun itself of that system where this tree-brained being has the place of his arising and existence.

The kesdjan body is also called the Emotional Body and it grows in fact out of the Emotional Center. It is possible for the Kesdjan Body to linger after the death of the Physical Body, even for a relatively undeveloped person, do to the extreme emotional energy spike that can occur with – especially a violent or unexpected – death. This explains the superstitions about ‘ghosts’ and many other so-called paranormal phenomena.

“Finally, that part of the being-blood which almost everywhere is called the sacred ‘aiessakhladonn,’ and which serves the highest part of the being called the ‘soul,’ derives from the direct emanations of our Most Holy Sun Absolute.”

This is the highest substance, or SuperSubstance, what Ouspensky called Influences C, or what Zarathushtra called Mainyu Athra, or Holy Fire. The fire-aspects are acknowledged in Beelzebub’s Tales with the symbolism of the Most Holy Sun Absolute.

And how do we receive these various substances?

“Substances required for the blood of the planetary body of beings enter into them through their ‘first being-food’ or what your favorites simply call ‘food.’

“But the substances needed both for coating and for perfecting the ‘higher being-body,’ that is, the ‘kesdjan body,’ enter into their common presence through their ‘breathing,’ and through certain what are called ‘pores’ of the skin.

Recalling the connection of the Kesdjan Body to the Emotional Center, we might note the calming of emotions that can occur through moderated breathing, or the extreme disruption or loss of breath that can occur in heightened emotional states, like crying, laughing, or feeling terror. Regarding pores of the skin consider the effects of sun on mood – sunshine being associated with happiness, a lack of sunshine associated with its opposite.

“As for the sacred cosmic substances required for the coating of the ‘highest being-body,’ which they call the ‘soul,’ these substances can be assimilated and correspondingly transformed and coated in them, just as in us, only through the process of what is called ‘aisirtoorassian contemplation,’ actualized in their common presence with the conscious participation of their three independent spiritualized parts.”

It is through self-consciousness that the highest SuperSubstance is accessed. An act called self-remembering, or perhaps something akin to what Plato referred to as the state of Noesis. The act causes a certain ‘opening’ in one’s being that allows for the reception of something that is ordinarily by-passed.

Like the Black Flame, these things wind through the cosmos and touch man in ways that effect his evolution – personally, culturally, and genetically. They are ‘fiery’ for their transformational potentials, the are black for they are mostly hidden and generally forbidden by the powers that be.

For us the most tangible aspect of Gurdjieff’s life-force energy is what comes to us through the emotions – Hanbledzoin. This is the manifestation focused on largely by Wilhelm Reich and his study of the ‘Orgone’ energy. Reich claimed that the emanations from the passions could be quantified, studied, and observed through waves and heat-signatures. This is the Fire that emanates from the passions and may be passed easily from one person to another.

The Aiessakhladonn is the aspect of the fire that feeds the soul and originates in the absolute. Awakening to it further opens up possibilities well beyond the limitations of this solar system, and connects us with a much higher source. We awaken to it by learning to receive impressions consciously. In order to do this, we first make certain efforts to streamline the flow of the more tangible energy forms like Hanbledzoin, and then an effort to be fully conscious of our being in the moment. Then the higher-being aspects of our energy-environment become not only visible, but digestible.

Even the simplest organ must do two things to continue existing – move, and eat. The same principle endures, even as we discover new and higher bodies of existence.

 

 

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The Six Kinds of Fire

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Fire has a central role in Setian philosophy and practice, from the central flame source in ceremonial magic, to the conceptual Black Flame of consciousness spoken of in the Diabolicon.

But a religious focus on fire goes back much further to at least the 4th century BCE to the prophet Zarathushtra. In the most ancient times, before Zoroastrians built temples, and possessed no religious imagery and had no books on the teachings of the faith, light served as the focus of their religious practices. Fire – or Athra – was a means of producing light.

Eventually Fire Temples appeared as central pillars to early communities where Zoroastrian Priests – or Magi – would tend the fire to ensure it never died out. In addition to the spiritual focus, the Fire Temple also served a practical function to the community ensuring the incredibly valuable resource of fire was always available. It would have been quite a claim of technological success for a community to be able to boast they had kept their fire going without interruption for decades, or perhaps centuries. Event today Fire Temples exist in Persia and India claiming to have fire that is thousands of years old, for instance the city of Yazd in central Iraq.

Zarathushtra mentions fire eight times in his hymns, the gathas: Yasna 31.3, 31.19, 34.4, 43.4, 43.9, 46.7, 47.6 and 51.9. In Zoroastrian scriptures and literature, the word ‘athra’ (later adar and azar) is sometimes used to mean a flame and at other times to mean the energy within an entity. It is also the agency that produces energy. The same sort of multiplicity is found in the Setian conception of The Black Flame, where it can refer to consciousness, the agency that inspires consciousness, or the energy that fuels and feeds consciousness.

Different Kinds of Fire

In Zoroastrianism there are further found different qualities or ‘degrees’ of fire which can be identified by their different functions. There are five kinds of what I would call Substantial Fire, and then two kinds of what I would call Supersubstantial Fire.

The idea that the fire itself can change through a process of qualitative evolution is also represented in the Diabolicon where it is said that the Black Flame might become Red signaling a state of perfection.

From the Statement of Belial:

To council with Satan I also was called, and the Lord of Light said to me, Into thy charge, Daemon of essence, I give the essence of my own being, the Black Fire whose power alone can effect creation by force of Will. Against thee who wield the Black magic no law shall stand, and thus I call thee Belial, who art One Without Master. And as I have bequeathed this essence to thee, so let it come finally to man, who shall overcome the great balance and bring to the Flame a change, for in supremacy it shall become Red with the perfection of the Will of man.

Eternal Flame

The Four Substantial Fires

The five fires or energies mentioned in the Avesta’s Yasna 17.11 and described further in Zoroastrian texts such as the Chapter 17 of the Lesser Bundahishn and Chapter 18 of the Greater Bundahishn, are:

  • Vohu-Frayan (good propagator): Such as that found within the bodies of humans and animals. This energy or ‘fire’ requires both food and water in order to be sustained. This can also be understood as Life-Force Energy, or in Setian terms may correspond with Arkte. It is the fire that binds man and animal together. It is also connected with the first kind of Food in Gurdjieff’s food diagram.
  • Urvazisht (most useful): Such as that found in plants. This energy or ‘fire’ requires water but no food in order to be sustained. Urvazisht is connected with the Second Kind of Food in the Food Diagram, and can manifest in carbon dioxide and oxygen.
  • Vazisht (most supporting): Such as that found in clouds (manifest as lightning). This energy or ‘fire’ requires neither water nor food in order to be sustained. Corresponds with ‘heavenly’ fire.
  • Spenisht (most brilliant and beneficent): Such as that found in a flame – the temporal fires. This energy or ‘fire’ requires ‘food’ (fuel) but no water in order to be sustained.

The Two Supersubstantial Fires

Spiritual Fire – Mainyu Athra – The Black Flame

In Yasna / Gatha 31.3, Zarathushtra makes reference to the Mainyu Athra – the spiritual fire – as one that illuminates the path of asha (truth). The universal laws of asha govern and bring order to the spiritual and material existences. Asha is available, through individual choice, to bring order to human thoughts, words and deeds. As an ethical choice, asha represents principled, honest, beneficent, ordered, and  lawful living.

A study of Mainyu Athra takes us back to the origins of man in the universe, and man’s current place in the universe.

In the Diabolicon it is represented in the Statement of Azazel:

And before our sight Satan lost shape and became again the essence of Lucifer, and we beheld a brilliance that infused all of Hell and sent great bolts of prismic light into the surrounding void. And the brilliance said, I am Lucifer revealed, who am the Eternal Flame. I go now to Earth, for no longer shall man be confounded in Godly ignorance. And then the brilliance became as a flash of fire in the vastness of space, and we knew that Satan had departed from Hell.

But on Earth, where man wandered in mindless bliss, the firmament blazed forth with fiery tongues, and all the land was covered by the Black Flame, which burned not, though it bewildered the eye to see it.

Mainyu Athra corresponds to the highest frequency of the Black Flame, Epiousios the Supersubstantial, and Holy Fire. Mainyu Ahtra also corresponds to Gurdjieff’s Influences C – the Higher Impressions that also serve as food for higher being. This conception of Higher Impressions also correspond with the Zoroastrian mantra of Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. It is ultimately not for the good of others that you practice these, but for the good of you own soul as the practice helps to complete, refine, and feed you soul. Strong is the soul that is nourished with Holy Fire.

Fire of Creation – Barezi-Savangh – The Red Flame

As the study of Mainyu Athra takes us back to the origins of man in the universe and man’s current place in the universe; Barezi-Savangh takes us back to the origins of the universe itself.

The fire of the original creation is the only element of creation that is called the ‘child’ of God (Athro Ahurahe Mazda puthra* cf. Atash Niayesh**, Litany to Fire, verse 5).

In Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh Zarathushtra held up a censer containing a flame and said to King Vishtasp “Look upon the heavens and the earth. God made them not with dust and water. Look upon the fire and behold therein how they were created.”

In the Avesta, fire as the cosmic fire of creation is intimately connected with asha, the cosmic laws through which order in the universe is maintained. The temporal fire is seen as a symbol of asha.

While Zarathushtra does not refer to fire as God’s child, Zarathushtra does refer to the fire of creation as God’s fire or “Thwa athra sukhra” meaning ‘Your radiant / brilliant (all pervading?) fire’ (of creation).

One possible interpretation of these quotes is that the fire or energy of creation (referred to as Barezi-Savangh in the Bundahishn), is a direct creation of God, Ahura Mazda, and that the material universe (gaetha / getig) coalesced from the ‘fire’ or energy of creation. Further, the energy of this original creation continues to pervade the material and living creation through the other forms of energy listed above. While they are different degrees they are all fire in essence, the way different people can have common DNA strains.

From a perspective of modern science we could equate Barezi-Savangh with the Big Bang – the huge explosion from which our universe sprang. Finding clues to its existence takes us back in time through a universe that is in constant motion.

Recalling the Statement of Leviathan, that ‘Heaven and Hell must perish, and man alone must remain for the Black Flame to become Red in the glory of its perfection’ we see that in the conception of perfection is an idea of return to the fundamental nature of the cosmos, as well as the ability to remake the cosmos from a new perspective.

This may be seen to correspond with the Avestan word “Frashokereti” which is the idea that there will be a final renovation to the universe after evil – mechanicalness and ignorance – is dispelled from the world.

All of this points to a return to – or Remanifestation of – the original cosmic fire of creation – the Red Flame.

Eternal Flame 

In Zoroastrian ritual, the passing of esoteric ideas and values from one person to the next is symbolized by a new flame being lit from an existing one. When these ideas and values are passed from one generation to another without interruption, we have the notion of an ‘eternal’ flame, one that will endure the passage of time. The ancient system of maintaining an ever-burning fire in a community-centre and from which household fires were lit also contributed to the notion of an eternal flame.

This is also commonly acted out in Setian practice, in lighting the flame, and in passing the flame around to others. The idea of wisdom spreading mouth-to-ear by oral tradition is also represented in the symbolism of the Black Flame. This is also illustrated througout the Daibolicon as the Daimons pass the flame along to each other.

Epiousios

Just as the word itself moves through different forms to to highlight various subtleties – Epiousios, Supersubstantial, Holy Fire, Black Flame – so does the ancient conception of fire acknowledge various qualities or frequencies of manifestation.

The most immediate emergence from Holy Fire is the duality of Black Flame/Red Flame; Mainyu Athra/Barezi-Savangh; Isolate Intelligence/Creative Continuity; the soul/creation;  These two fires are essential in understanding Epiousios, and are linked with each other. This is why when we connect with the Principle of Isolate Intelligence (Synesis) we may also catch a glimpse of the birth of the universe via the omnipresent Red Flame of continuity.