Further notes on “The Razor’s Edge”

by Michael Maciel

sound barrier

The principle of the Razor’s Edge is a simple one: breakthroughs require focused energy, which makes them inherently dangerous.

The first person to break the sound barrier, Chuck Yeager, feared for his life when his plane, the X1, started vibrating violently as it approached the maximum compression of the air in front of it. This is analogous to the maximum resistance to change that we experience just before we break through into “higher” states of awareness. This is what Jesus was talking about when he told his disciples that they must follow “unto death.” It’s the same kind of “death” as the egg experiences when the chick breaks it from within.

chicken

The mind is the most entropic component of a human being. It has to be in order to preserve continuity of awareness. Therefore, spiritual development is largely about hacking the mind, making it do what it doesn’t want to do, namely change. This is why candidates for mystery training are screened so rigorously—students have to be relatively stable before they can do the exercises safely.

The brain (which includes the entire nervous system) is the physical counterpart of the mind, so as the mind changes, so does the brain. When a teacher encounters a student who is erratic, either mentally, emotionally, or physically, he will automatically slow down the rate of change, meaning that he will give the student time to adjust to the changes that are taking place within him.

This is why Jesus said, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables, so that they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!” “Forgiven,” in this sense, is to be released from the process of pressurization that is required for change. People “on the outside” are those who haven’t reached the point of maximum compression in their spiritual development; they haven’t come face-to-face with their “crisis,” or “cruces,” their “cross.” So to let them off the hook prematurely would not be in anyone’s best interest.

yeager

“Golgotha,” the site of the crucifixion, means “place of the skull.” Yeager reached his “golgotha” right before the X1 broke the sound barrier. It scared the shit out of him. He had never experienced anything like that before, even though he had been a test pilot for many years. The violent shaking made him think that his plane would disintegrate at any moment.

This is analogous to the way we sometimes feel like our life is falling apart as we approach a major shift in our spiritual awareness. People tend to find God at the end of their rope. And any significant breakthrough feels like “finding God,” because the change is so dramatic, and therefore “ultimate.”

If we resist the change, our head can feel like it’s going to explode, and many ill-prepared students experience this (metaphorically) and abort their spiritual quest, sometimes for the remainder of that lifetime—yet another reason for caution in vetting candidates for spiritual training.

This is why Jesus is portrayed as a passive victim in the story of the crucifixion. The lesson is one of non-resistance, not violent struggle. Spiritual students will often resist at different intervals in their training, but it’s the letting go that will slingshot them into some rather spectacular experiences—not insights, which are intellectual in nature, but real somatic and visionary experiences. In short, they get their minds blown. Insights come later.

These are just more things to consider while contemplating this idea of “I am God.” Spiritual realization is both an art and a science. We don’t “get there” by simply saying the words, just as a chick doesn’t hatch by simply visualizing itself on the outside of its shell. It takes work, and lots of it.

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3 Responses to Further notes on “The Razor’s Edge”

  1. Keith Heiss says:

    The undeniable variable seemingly omitted from this perspective is the process of sustenance. A person can gain all the spiritual awareness in the world and still starve to death. The needs of the spirit and of the temple only become paralleled when a voice is found. Unless, of course, there is an external means of support. Not that this is an attempt to be combative. There is much wisdom in this text. Find truth thru the strengthening the senses and growth of truth not from submitting to a system of false manipulation. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Matthias Indra says:

    Love it! Great correlation!

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