One of the things I like about an account that distinguishes different sorts of klippoth is that it provides me with a simple but well-structured model of the ‘physics’ of the gnostic fall and the sorts of existence it made possible. I am not big on ‘results centered’ magic, but I do like my models to be as actionable as possible. Here, when I say ‘actionable,’ I mean it to refer to action in its rich, ethical dimensions, not just to its practical, ‘can I do it?’ sense.
At several points in the lifetime of this blog, I have opened a new post page with the intent of trying to talk about the ‘species’ of spiritual beings. They all went nowhere. As soon as I tried to establish some sort of reasonable pattern of distinguishing spiritual beings, I realized that my terms were too sloppy, too inarticulate to be useful. I would either just delete the draft then and there, or shelve it and delete it later.
All of the terms I tried to speak with in those posts were alien to my experience. Whether it was calling something an angel or a hero, a god or an ancestor, orisha or egun, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was using these words in an utterly ad hoc manner, as a matter of convenience and of having no better terms with which to work. They rested, however, on cosmologies which didn’t suit my work all that well. Those terms often do rest on real distinctions, but they are properly suited to tightly-knit ritual protocols, not open discussions of the structures of creation.
Interestingly, the closest I had come to finding terms that fit previous to this were derived from Buddhist discussions about the sorts of beings in the world. Like those, this one rests upon distinctions in what is taken to be a universal and cosmic consciousness. I don’t know; I haven’t thought about it overmuch. I would really have to have a better understanding of the entire Asian continent to speak to that with much weight and I doubt that is in the cards.
The three sorts of klippoth, though? Those nailed my experience. When I apply them to the smooth planes of work, they start to hold together. I start to get tables, chairs, and coffins, not just wobbly bits of wood stacked to look like tables, chairs, and coffins. I can see a kinship between each sort of klippoth in the spiritual dynamics of consciousness itself as well as their differentiation from those same dynamics. It helps me to grasp that it is all husks in much the same way as material things are all material (which gets me back to Daniel Dennett and evolution).
It also lets me talk about there being multiple exit strategies to our gnostic predicament and to root those strategies in what amount to understandings of spiritually ‘physiological’ patterns. We are all here, together, but we aren’t all going in the same direction and, even when we share a common direction, we don’t all share the same faculties for proceeding in that direction.
Okay, but I started this post talking about actionable models. How does that apply?
Because the different sorts of klippoth develop according to different processes, the work of rectifying them is similarly variable. The klippoth that develop as a natural consequence of emanation, don’t require all that much attention. They are what Ibn Arabi would call barzakhi, or waystations. They are the veils that structure and prepare us to experience a purer stratum of consciousness. We can even think of our entire life as one such waystation.
The klippoth that develop as a result of fracture are a different matter. Our own, personal, form of consciousness seems to be derived from that fracture and so we can appreciate the many forms of fractured consciousnesses as like our own in some way, even if different in scale and focus. We can negotiate with these, we can work together or at odds with them, but in the end each of us will have to go our own way in relationship to consciousness as such. We can cling or open toward it only from within our respective frames. At best, we can hope to model for them what we take to be a healthy relationship to consciousness as such.
In some cases, to be sure, it is a relatively simple matter to pull from a fragment a muddled and confused fragment of consciousness. However, these are the low-hanging fruit of the spiritualizing work and the hard work entangles us with intelligences that can equal and exceed our own.
In short, as the spiritualists say, we can undertake the task of ‘giving light’ to these spirits. We can invite them to see a better relationship to the world that allows them to depart from a more limited and collapsed waystation toward a more open and expansive one. We can only do that according to our own relationship to other waystations, hence the need for self-perfection to be part of the spiritualist task, too.
Having spoken of Buddhism above, it seems like this is another point at which my understanding seems to intersect with some Buddhist ones. Bodhisattvas are exceptionally perfected forms of consciousness operating within this waystation, operating after a fashion like klippoth of emanation (which is how you would expect the more perfected fractured klippoth to function). Again, take this with a grain of salt; I know only a little of the intimate details.
The alien klippoth, though? Those are more complex. The factors that trouble our interactions with the fractured klippoth manifest here. These things possess their own independent consciousness, but to it is added that it seems to be a consciousness of a different species than the one that permeates emanation. It cannot simply be offered light, because it is not of the light, or not quite of the light, or not of the same light.
Because they may open toward waystations of their own, they can be somewhat treated as klippoth of emanation, but here we face the problem in reverse. Those operating within the system of emanation are not of the alien’s ‘light,’ either. Working with these spirits entails becoming more integrated with their consciousness, whether that is intended to open the door toward their light or allow them to interact with our light. Here things start to sound like the asura and the deva working the churn, doesn’t it? Or, perhaps, like Adam and the Serpent in contest for the tree-Eve-Asherah?