February 28, 2006 at 7:21 am #11043
Hi. Is there something aking to a dweller/guardian on the threshold in any of the taoist cultivation systems that you people are aware of.
It’s just very interesting to compare various systems and their paths of ascent.
I know there are something called “Ru Ding” in chinese which is the fear of ego death. But are these two phenomena comparable?
Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this.
IOMarch 1, 2006 at 12:34 am #11044
you sound like my cousin in new jersey.March 1, 2006 at 7:55 am #11046
Thanx but I’m not your cousin. 🙂March 1, 2006 at 3:00 pm #11048
There was a guardian on threshold in one of Castaneda’s books (A Separate Reality), but that was fictional.March 1, 2006 at 8:06 pm #11050
I’ve really only come across this in Western esoterism, particularly in the works of Eliphas Levi who describes it in detail. the four he concerns himself most with are the gaurdians of the four elements–earth, air, water, and fire. he describes the tests at length. subsequent schools and sects that follow the same framework as levi use them too.
they may serve a useful purpose, personifications of one’s own ego, in order to deal with them and move along on the path. in the integration work i’ve done so far with daoism, i’ve never encountered any that i’m aware of, and i don’t think i’m couageous enuff or blase’ enuff to have passed idley by them.
i’m not well studied enuff in the ancients to know if they describe them or not. one translation of eva wong’s describes similiar critters, but they are more like demons than guardians. nevrhteless, dealing with them is part of the initiatic process according to the text. there were like 10 of this one family of demons and then anotehr number of some other family of demons.
i don’t really care what the texts say anyway. i only care about my own integration and the journey that takes me on. it may or may not have guardians. so what.March 2, 2006 at 7:12 am #11052
Well I just find it interesting. It was this Gareth Knight article that made me start to wonder whether there is a similar phenomenon within all traditons. Within some strands of the WMT there seems to be such a fixed and almost scientific understanding of what comprises the various stages on the road to enlightenment. Something that feels highly missing if you’re trying to be a solitary wandering taoist without a teacher. http://www.innerlight.org.uk/journals/Vol22No4/dweller.htm
I personally tend to believe that most of the traditional religio-mystical paths lead to the same goal although some may lead one step higher than others on the ladder(e.g. the sufis often do stress the fact that one should past the exstatic meditation phases once they have been reached, stabilised and learnt from)
Well I’m not good at giving examples. A lot of people have tried to compare systems. Like “The Meditative Mind” by Daniel Goldman etc.
A book that personally gave me a lot of major insights into all this, at a time when I couldn’t possibly see how Buddhism and Christianity could share the same cosmological structure, was “Qabalah – The mystical heritage of the Children of Abraham” published by a small organisation called “Work of the Chariot”. I belive the book is out of print, but you can download it for free or read the parts that interest you on their webpage. http://www.workofthechariot.com
Especially interesting was their distinction of Attaining Small face (tipareth, meeting jesus, enter heaven etc.) and Vast face cosnciousness (Attaining Kether and then exiting the world to the negative substatum of Ayn Soph/Ayn Soph Aur, Emptiness Tao, Nirvana) (you better check it out yourself because my understanding and summary from memory is not very precise)
They also talked about the distincitons of ascending the tree along the middle pillar as opposed to the side pillars, the difference between the way magicians, sorcerers and mystics climb the tree. Furthermore they compare this mystical qabalism to different traditions such as tantra, sufism and alchemical taoism in a respectful manner, acknowledging that all paths are valid vehicles for attainment.
I urge you all to give it a read, if you have the time. Since I myself enjoyed it immensely. 🙂
HOWEVER, I still wonder if one can straight off compare different traditons various stages with eachother. Is sufi stage 2 comparable with buddhist stage 2? etc. Maybe some paths don’t have any fixed stages of attainment but there is a lot that seems to speak for this phenomenon from what I’ve read and heard.
So, If Final Enlightenmnet/Nirvana/The Great Work/Ephemeral Tao/ is compared to the summit of a mountain, then the reason I’m asking is because I’m curious whether the various stages in different systems are in any way similar to eachother or not along the way to the final destination. And if so, if it is possible to pick a pathway(tradition) up the mountain that is less rocky and perilous up to the summit. Both from an objective and a subjective viewpoint. Or do you get it all, just in a differnt order, no matter what road you pick?
Well I know I’m ranting away but.. 🙂
Not really sure where I wanna go with all this, but I guess I’m just interested in hearing your personal viewpoints about this.
IOMarch 2, 2006 at 8:17 pm #11054
Rudolf Steiner talks a lot about the guardian of the threshold and pretty much says that if you don’t encounter it in your path then your path is not complete. In my estimation the po soul is like the lesser guardian of the threshold. The lesser guardian is the shadow objectively encountered as an image and mirror of what needs to be overcome in oneself. The greater guardian is an objective meeting with a real human being with fully actualized potential.March 2, 2006 at 9:15 pm #11056
yeah, but who cares what rudolf steiner says?March 2, 2006 at 10:01 pm #11058
Trying to do these comparisins is fun and fascinating stuff, like my cousin in new jersey and i do whenever we’re together. but it is futile. don’t lose sleep over it.March 3, 2006 at 1:09 am #11060
from the wording of the question it sounded like IO had asked after reading a bit of steiner. Hey IO, did you ask after reaing Steiner?March 3, 2006 at 6:33 am #11062
Tumoessence: Not specifically Steiner, sice the guardian on the threshold is wellknown phenomenon within the WMT. I do look upon Rudolf Steiner as a man of attainment and thus value his words and opinions and insights even though I might not always agree with them.
If you look in my ramblings post you’ll find a link to an article by Gareth Knight that spawned my original question.
Spongebob: You are so right. It’s a rather pointless intellectual habit of mine to develop these theories. I should get back to practice.
But I will still continue to post stupid questions like these now and then in the future.March 3, 2006 at 6:36 am #11064
Thanx for your answer Tumo! 🙂 It’s always interesting to hear other people’s opinion on these matters.
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