The Psychodynamics of Worship

Worship as it affects the various
levels of the human organism

.. .. 

Although this page is read in the normal downward direction, the concepts described should be considered to proceed from a lower level ever rising to higher levels.  (i.e. a progression from the mundane realms of outward experience via the senses initially, rising to the higher realms of the inner-planes and, therefore, becoming more and more ethereal.

Where the numbers 1 to 5 appear in the text to classify, these numbers refer to the elemental subdivision of the main element.  e.g.:-

1. EARTH - earth
2. EARTH - water
3. EARTH - fire
4. EARTH - air
5. EARTH - spirit

The contents are quite liberal from a religious point of view, surveying facets of most religions.

PLANE OF THE SENSES (Earth)

1. KINAESTHETIC (PHYSICAL)

Movement: processions, dance, asana, sacred drama, sound creation (speech & singing)

Touch:      ritual objects
                 prayer wheels
                 mantra/rosary beads
                 books or scrolls
                 kiss of peace
                 sound creation (musical instruments) purification by water (or fire - vide
                 Hindu & Kurdish rites), anointing

2. GUSTATORY (TASTE)

ritual meal - bread, salt, wine, mead, beer (Egyptian Rites), actual meal.

3. VISUAL (SIGHT)

a. the sacred enclosure in general: paleolithic cave, grove, temple, synagogue,
    church, mosque etc.
b. the design of the enclosure.
c. windows - e.g. Gothic 'rose' window (sun in the east).
d. glyphs - an adjunct to ideation (e.g. Otz Chiim in Rabbinical traditions).
e. mandalas.
f.  paintings - sacred drama in 'still' form providing a visual continuum of the
    religious year.  (or festival - e.g. the Stations of The Cross)
g. statues - aid to the construction of group telesmic images.  (eidetic imagery)
h. vestments/robes.
i.  colours in general.
j.  ritual objects and furnishings:

        fylfot cross, crux ansata, solar/Keltic cross
        Calvary cross, flail
        menorah, candlesticks
        paten (grail), drinking horn, chalice
        sanctuary lamp
        stang, lance, wand, rod, buckler, cetel, bishop's crozier, sistrum etc.
        monstrance, thurible, shofar
        candles - as luminaries, votive, Paschal etc.
        altar, tabernacle, scrolls
        Rood screen, lectern, pulpit, font et al.
        Facets of enclosure - pillars, fan tracery, castle walls, gates, moat, crenellations

4. OLFACTORY (SMELL)

a. scent of flowers, trees
b. incense (natural) - herbs & sweet woods
c. incense (compounded) - e.g. Basilica, Priory, Kyphi
d. oils - e.g. Mount Sanai, bay myrtle, patchouli

5. AUDITORY (HEARING)

rhythmic

Mantra, chanted prayer, litany, psalm, canticle, hymn, poetic reading. Music - especially via instruments related to worship and those with a high vibrational timbre e.g.: human voice, natural sounds (sea, wind, waterfall, birds etc.), harp, sitar, various drums, shofar, sistrum, bells, organ.

non-rhythmic

prose readings, instruction (sermon), prayer, silence (usually forgotten & ignored).

THE INSTINCTUAL PLANE (Water)

1. GREGARIOUS

a. regard for the sacred enclosure
b. group worship

2. REPRODUCTIVE

a. rudimentary - sacred prostitution in primitive cults
b. overt - love of a Deity
c. sublimated - appreciation of the creative artistry in and surrounding worship plus active creation in areas of worship e.g. prayers, poetry, music, art, craftsmanship in stone, wood, metal etc.

3. SELF PRESERVATION

instinctual leanings toward reincarnation, salvation, concepts of eternal life. etc.

4. MENTATION

internalised positivity (via active & passive meditation) + emotional feedback = states of exalted consciousness such as: trances of beatitude/suffering, creativity, all with direct effect on No.5 below - spiritual evolution.

5. SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION

    inner-plane activity via:-

a. initiatory rites of rebirth (adult baptism)
b. initiatory rites of death & rebirth (confirmation is a loose Christian equivalent)
c. sacramental nature of:-

        communion (Egyptian, Mithraic, Essene, Christian)
        true communion with divinity
        marriage
        unction
        holy orders
        worship in general (if performed and led properly)

All the above influence the Emotional Plane.

EMOTIONAL PLANE (Fire)

1. contentment (through being part of a group mind).
2. love/compassion (love of a deity and one's comrades in religion, compassion to petitioners in
    need.)
3. aggression/militancy (aggressive proselytising of the "Christian soldier" variety, war against
    evil - which is seldom waged by orthodox religionists on an actual inner plane battle field,
    Islamic jihad.)
4. enthusiasm (hope, trust, faith etc.)
5. altruism (the "good Samaritan" syndrome)

All influence the Concrete Mental Plane.

CONCRETE MENTAL PLANE (Air)

1. finiteness (ability to cope with life's situations)
2. psychism (sensitivity & mediumship)
3. will (determination and character building)
4. intellect ( appreciation of man's place in creation as a small but necessary cosmic link)
5. inspiration (prophetic/devotional creativity, e.g. writing, inspired by Spirit)

All influence the Abstract Mental Plane

ABSTRACT MENTAL PLANE (the four Zodiacal triplicities)

This is the plane where manifests the typification of the mind of the individual - the human personality itself which grows accordingly with religious input & experience, influencing the Concrete Spiritual Plane.  (one would hope to sublimate the -ve qualities and enhance the +ve aspects via one's chosen religion.)

CONCRETE SPIRITUAL PLANE (spirit of spirit)

The spiritual tendency of the individual - leanings to:

        atheism
        agnosticism
        monotheism
        polytheism - make your own gods and heroes.

This plane influences the growth of the Abstract Spiritual Plane.

ABSTRACT SPIRITUAL PLANE (ex Absolute)

the Divine nucleus in each human - the monad; that which is destined to reunite with total Divinity.   (where the final impact of religious experiences should manifest.)

Granted we have presented the above with each plane influencing that immediately above, but there is always a two-way fertilisation with the influences of spirit and one's on-going growth in mental processes moulding the planes below.

copyright Gareth Pengwerin 1972
 
Music - "Wedding Song"//////////
from the album 'Plight of The Redman'
by the ethnic American group XIT////
....
Gareth//////////////////////////
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