Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Dweller on the Threshold

A paper tiger? or a demon Sentry who guards the gate to the subconscious self and the veil of illusions.
Who is the guardian at the gate? what lies behind that elusive Threshold of power and dreams? fears and hopes? Immortality in the freedom from all Fears (of death, destituteness).
What is the Threshold? an Astral gate? the Rainbow Bridge between the watcher and the thinker? the fusion of all opposites and the endlessly retorting voices of possibility and impossibility in a never ending co - supportive denial of the other's rhetoric?

Leave all tendencies to Name the objects of your perceptions, and see a thing for what it is not, for this is the way to see things indeed. With the eyes of a Child, you must learn how to see.

I wish to recount a tale of my encounters with the Dweller on the Threshold in my early 20s; at this time, i was severely involved with the Occult, especially the teachings and works of Solomon and also of Aleister Crowley, the Rosicrucians and the schools of thought taught by Dione Fortune and Alice Bailey.

In the course of my practises, i encountered the Threshold of the mind and ceme into contact with my aintimatter self - the Dweller on the Threshold.
This self is not only a dark and malevolent seeming entity, buts (and this is much less commented in documented text), rather, can also assume a benevolent and inviting aspect that beckons to cross the threshold and enter a paradise that knows no suffering.
This is the grand question, and the reason i never entered more than a few times before becoming afraid and meeting only the malevolent guardian of that elusive place, known as the Threshold.
The projection of this Dweller was approaching my soul with ever nearing stamping feet - marching with the terrible sound of a herd of elephants. What was more fearful than anything was the fact that the Dweller seemed somehow familiar, a nagging thought began to prevale in my mind. "I've seen his face before somewhere" i think to myself - "where have i seen him? before".
As the thought arises, the answer becomes clear in my mind; "This Dweller is Anger, and is a distortion of my own face", i thought - "Let you be recognized oh Anger - guardian of the gate to compassion preventing the evil from entering.
The portal is thus a series of dwellers thrown at me, one after the other, and i spend my time recognizing the name and nature of each dweller and annihilate them one by one, using that very recognition as my weapon to smite them with.
Jealousy, The 7 Sons of belial and mistrust - all these did i smite with my weapon of truth - that there is no one outside the mind - the illusion of self permits not that we be an inhabitant of the house of the Great Architect. To this, the Earth Bore witness to the truth of a Great Lord - and the House Builder was thwarted in the face of his merciless tempest of his illusions.

Wikipedia definition;
The Dweller on the Threshold refers to an invisible malevolent entity that attaches to a human being. The term was first used by Bulwer-Lytton in his novel Zanoni.

In theosophical literature, Helena P. Blavatsky affirms that the Dweller is not a fictitious entity. It is the discarded astral double of an individual in a previous life that may not have fully disintegrated yet when that individual is reborn. Thus the dweller will be drawn to the new incarnated personality due to their affinity. Sometimes this entity is also called Guardian of the Threshold.

Another explanation is that provided by Alice Bailey on Esoteric astrology, "From ancient recesses of the memory, from a deeply rooted past, which is definitely recalled, and from the racial and the individual subconscious (or founded and established thought reservoirs and desires, inherited and inherent) there emerges from individual past lives and experience, that which is the sumtotal of all instinctual tendencies, of all inherited glamours, and of all phases of wrong mental attitudes; to these, (as they constitute a blended whole) we give the name of the Dweller on the Threshold. This Dweller is the sumtotal of all the personality characteristics which have remained unconquered and unsubtle, and which must be finally overcome before initiation can be taken. Each life sees some progress made; some personality defects straightened out, and some real advance effected. But the unconquered residue, and the ancient liabilities are numerous, and excessively potent, and - when the soul contact's adequately established - there eventuates a life wherein the highly developed and powerful personality becomes, in itself, the Dweller on the Threshold. Then the Angel of the Presence and the Dweller stand face to face, and something must then be done. Eventually, the light of the personal self fades out and wanes in the blaze of glory which emanates from the Angel. Then the greater glory obliterates the lesser. This is, however, only possible when the personality eagerly enters into this relation with the Angel, recognises itself as the Dweller, and - as a disciple - begins the battle between the pairs of opposites, and enters into the tests of Scorpio. These tests and trials are ever self-initiated; the disciple puts himself into the positive or conditioning environment wherein the trials and the discipline are unavoidable and inevitable. When the mind has reached a relatively high stage of development, the memory aspect is evoked in a new and conscious manner, and then every latent predisposition, every racial and national instinct, every unconquered situation, and every controlling fault, rises to the surface of consciousness, and then - the fight is on.


"Two factors tend to bring this about: the slow moving forward of the innate conscience into greater control, and the steady development of the 'fiery aspiration' to which Patanjali (The Light of the Soul, Book II, Sutra I, Page 119) makes reference. These two factors, when brought into living activity, bring the disciple into the center of the burning ground which separates the Angel of the Presence from the Dweller on the Threshold. The burning ground is found upon the threshold of every new advance, until the third initiation has been taken." - The Rays and the Initiations, Alice Bailey

It is interesting in this light that Hugh Shearman in a rather interesting article draws a colleration between the dweller and the mythical dragon that hides some kind of aspirational figure, like a beauty, an imprisoned princess or even a hidden treasure. He goes on to suggest that the dweller is some kind of vanity, spiritual or otherwise, that precedes a fall. This view perhaps minimises the import of the dweller and its impact upon the disciple approaching the gate of initiation.

Nevertheless the Dweller on the Threshold is seen in contrast to the Solar Angel, both of which need to be cast aside for the disciple to walk through the gate of initiation. It is said that the dweller arrives at full potency prior to taking the third initiation. this makes sense as it is in the third initiation that the disciple enters into life and also overcomes illusion.

According to Bailey, triumph over the dweller leads to initiation, or an entry into a greater measure of life. This is referred to as lifting the first veil.



The Shadow

This is analogous to Carl Jung's idea of the shadow. In Analytical psychology the purpose of Shadow work is individuation. The parallels to initiation being the result of overcoming the dweller on the threshold are obvious. Where Jungian work doesn't look however is at the angel of the presence. The disciple needing to walk between both the dweller and the angel needs to equally confront his aspirations as well as the unconscious repressions.

The term "Dweller on the Threshold" is also spoken of in the seminal TV show, Twin Peaks, towards the conclusion of the series. It is mentioned in the context of discussion relating to the "black lodge" and the "white lodge". Particularly, the character Hawk in Twin Peaks Season 2, refers to the Dweller on the Threshold when discussing the inhabitants of the black lodge.



Astrological Indications

Astrologer Liz Greene, in "Saturn a New Look at an Old Devil", offers her opinion that Saturn rules the dweller on the threshold experience. Alice Bailey in Esoteric Astrology suggests that Mars and Saturn are involved in the third initiation, the initiation where illusion is finally overcome.

The three signs that are said to deal with the fusion of the dweller and the angel of the presence are Scorpio, Capricorn and Sagittarius. Scorpio is particularly interesting in this light for a couple of reasons. Firstly Scorpio is related to Sirius and secondly it is ruled by Mars esoterically and exoterically. Scorpio governs the disciple for the first, second and third initiations. So it makes sense to look to Scorpio to get some insight into dealing with the dweller.

Quotes;
Innerlight.Org
Here Dion Fortune achieves a striking finish when a budding occultist, who is also a singularly nasty piece of work, at his own presumptuous request has his psychic faculties prematurely opened for him by Dr. Taverner. He is immediately confronted with the horrifying vision of the shadow side of his own soul, which Taverner casually refers to as the Guardian of the Threshold. As a result, the man runs screaming into the night although the story omits to say whether it was "a dark and stormy" one! And fortunately, it has to be said, this is not the usual result of an esoteric initiation.

The Dweller on the Threshold - by Van Morrison

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

I have seen without perceiving
I have been another man
Let me pierce the realm of glamour
So I know just what I am

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

Feel the angel of the present
In the mighty crystal fire
Lift me up consume my darkness
Let me travel even higher

I'm a dweller on the threshold
As I cross the burning ground
Let me go down to the water
Watch the great illusion drown

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

I'm gonna turn and face the music
The music of the spheres
Lift me up consume my darkness
When the midnight disappears

I will walk out of the darkness
And I'll walk into the light
And I'll sing the song of ages
And the dawn will end the night

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I cross some burning ground
And I'll go down to the water
Let the great illusion drown

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

I'm a dweller on the threshold
Dweller on the threshold
I'm a dweller on the threshold




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