Chapter 12

Betweenness, Direct-Mind, and the Psychology of Miracles

It is time to more expressly discuss some interrelated topics that have been mentioned in passing several times thus far: betweenness, direct-mind, tension, and miracles.

A student of Rose's, Keith M., once picked up from his assorted comments a certain inkling of an unspecifiable attitude that enables one's spiritual quest to enter the realm of magic. He wondered aloud: "Is it true that everything is already perfect, including the course of our paths–only our understanding or perspective of it is wrong?" Rose patiently replied: "Now you're starting to get the idea." He broadens this perspective when he goes ahead to describe the next-to-last stop on the spiritual path: There is an exaltation that comes out of the experience called Cosmic Consciousness in which a person becomes one with the evenness and the constancy of the creation as he sees it. Everything becomes beautiful, and he realizes that whatever it is out there, it's in Good Hands. (Rose, lecture, 1986). This aforementioned attitude has some personal applications while on one's way to this larger realization. It is difficult to define betweenness precisely, but describing the various avenues leading to its manifestation can give a sense of what the term means.

After discussing this subject in several writings and lectures, Rose later made the comment to a student privately that he wished he had never mentioned betweenness in the first place: "People are trying to do this." This does not work; it defeats the possibility of magic. The secret lies somewhere between doing and not-doing. He has said: "Do not try to learn betweenness. It will happen to you. Work like hell, but don't get an ego about what you are doing." There is a key formula for success, mundane or spiritual, in this statement.

The ego-as-obstacle is a common theme running through many of his comments that infer the nature of betweenness. He has said: "You quit and things happen; you let the door open, you stop the obstruction, you eliminate the ego. The ego is one of the biggest obstructions to the achievement of anything" (Rose, 1982, p. 147). By ego, he means the vain belief in oneself as an independent, self-determined "doer" who stands apart from the interconnected flow of life-events and feels as the proud recipient of some exclusive benefit resulting from one's victories. This is contrasted with the selfless giving of oneself to the process of inquiry and fellowship as it manifests; recognizing oneself to be only a point-of-view within the mass-gestalt of factors in collective experience–yet, paradoxically developing a greater appreciation of oneself as the whole. He adds: "You learn sooner or later that you are not running the show and that if you relax, the show runs better. Things will happen better if you just relax; many things are under control in many respects" (Rose, 1982, p. 147). This is a broader form of the more specialized principle that the entire path may well be set up for us by our anterior Self, implying that the truer we are to our inner self and live from it, the more sure and graceful our paths become.

I was once talking with Rose about my conviction of wanting to make efforts on the path, figure things out, solve my problems, not rely on the benevolence of fate, and so on. He related having had a similar attitude during his earlier years of search, but that he finally learned an important lesson. He used the familiar metaphor of life's being a river and our needing to give in to its flow; to not hold on to our ego-generated efforts at trying to make things happen: "You fear that if you let go, you will crash on the sides of the bank or everything will fall apart, but you find that everything keeps moving as it should, even better than you expected, or than it would if you were still trying to control it." This also brings to mind the Zen aphorism: Don't push the river (yet, in all this, keeping in mind that he also says we must make determined efforts in order to succeed–thus: to do without being the doer). It should go without saying, of course, that the flow he was referring to was not just the indiscriminate acceptance of mundane, organic functioning, but the special quality of guidance offered by life to one who has made a commitment towards a spiritual objective.

Ramana Maharshi used another metaphor to make a similar point. He said that once one is riding on the train, there is no need to carry one's suitcase on top of one's head, but may as well place the baggage on the floor and let the train carry that as well. From the Advaitic perspective, all of life is recognized to be one interconnected whole that happens at once, and the so-called "person" is carried along with it as an integral part, not something separate that makes choices and efforts, and is responsible for itself (the baggage). The train moves everything along equally as one unit, and we are along for the ride (Rose, 1988, p. 1-93). Appreciating this fact (and making certain one is on the right train!) is a key to betweenness.

I had also asked Rose about why the path takes so long; why, once we turn to "God" and ask for the answer, the answer is not immediately forthcoming, despite all our best efforts to do the right thing. He replied that the vast majority of the myriad of factors comprising our paths are beyond our understanding or control, that we are only "doing" a small part of the total process for ourselves (if at all), and the rest occurs behind the scenes, so to speak, orchestrated by intelligences and according to a schedule we know nothing about. He said that so many things are involved that have to come into proper alignment and readiness, including the status of our chakras, that the culmination of the quest cannot occur quickly, however much we may feel we deserve it. The incomprehensibly complex interrelation of factors determining our spiritual fate has to reach its moment of ripeness in its own good time.

Rose offers assorted tips on how to walk the path most effectively, with a minimum of wasted energy. The key is to remove the sense of "self" from the activity. In fact, he had once defined sanity as "egoless action." In line with the Fourth Way principle of one's having to work on several levels simultaneously, he has said: "You can't do one thing; you must do all things at once. Do everything, but don't insert yourself into what you are doing" (Rose, 1982, p. 139). This is a lesson many people eventually learn on the way to success in any endeavor: we have to get out of our own road.

Another aspect of this egolessness in betweenness is the deference to proper timing. Although Rose urges the seeker to take determined action, one has to also acknowledge the reality of circumstances and intuit when they arrange themselves to invite an expedient move: "Don't knock your head against the wall, but when you see an opening, work like hell." His emphasis upon proper tension is qualified by the need for poise and flexibility: "Relax–then work when the light is green."

There is a corollary to Rose's instruction about not postulating in advance the desired goal-state of one's efforts: it is necessary to work to be a vector in one's chosen direction, but to not have concern for the results. To want something without wanting it. To desire with indifference. The seeker must do, directly, without care, fear, or vanity–there is magic in this. As Rose promises: "Work for nothing, and you get surprises." There is then a final necessary step in this procedure to enable the magic of serendipity to work; one that many also stumble upon accidentally: giving up. One must first apply oneself to the work 100%–then give up, turn away, and rest the ego-mind. The door swings open when the mind stops trying. The results come about, if they are supposed to, when one's attention is no longer staring at the issue at hand but has relegated it to fate, or to some nameless process in a deeper part of oneself. To want, to do, to let go, and to forget: this is the formula.

Yet, one cannot cheat. The "contraction" of egoity only ends when one has reached the point of realizing the futility of all effort. It does no good to "give up," due to laziness, resentment, frustration, or seduction by lesser motives, before one has genuinely exhausted all of one's efforts. This surrender to egolessness is not exactly even voluntary, as such a choice to quit would be made by the still existent ego, who would then remain to be identified with the relief of non-action. This collapse into transparent unicity is an innately spontaneous happening when one is finished.

With these varied aspects in mind, it is now possible to appreciate an indirect definition of betweenness: it is a methodicity of holding the head in balance; "...the ability to hold the mind on a dead standstill, in order to effect certain changes" (Rose, 1985, p. 205). It means finding the neutral point between extremes of polarity and eliminating all ego interference in the mental processing of life experience, thereby enabling one to place one's will under the influence of a higher power.

This frictionless state of unicity, which is neither here nor there, cannot be comprehended nor implemented–but can be experienced. Rose cautions:

The exertion of the ego negates the magic of betweenness. When a person tolerates surges of pride or ego, he is no longer in the "Swing Point," but has named the mechanics of manipulation incorrectly. There can be no definition of [the] source [of influences] unless that definition remains forever mysterious and unknowable. For once a man proclaims his power, he invites powerlessness which surely must follow. So that magic shall always be in the realm of magic. We must not be willful. But we must know that it will happen. (Rose, 1985, p. 272).

This warning relates to the attractive metaphysical notions of positive thinking, visualization, and creating one's own reality. Rose is saying that these practices can have only a limited effectiveness, and even then only on a certain level. Each desire born of ego sets the opposite force into motion, stopping the individual. Some have stumbled upon the discovery that the physical dimension is not entirely fixed and is influenceable by projections of the mind. Yet, to create something, as versus seeing and merging into what is, inevitably creates its opposite too in compensation in the realm of polarity, as does moving any component of a well-balanced, complex mobile. This methodology is not a complete formula nor philosophy of life that would lead to freedom from identification with relative existence. In true spirituality, one should not "create reality"–but uncreate fiction, and be the pure watching of what is.

This intention of changing the status of things according to one's wishes is not only futile in the long run, due to our ignorance of all the factors involved in the whole picture of life, it is also meaningless in regards to what is truly important, spiritually. Rose offers this testimony:

In the face of Reality, or from the viewpoint of Absolute Reality, our efforts to affect the nightmare are comic and pathetic, except for one effort–a better understanding of the possibility of betweenness. This effort sees for man the possibility of surmounting the world of illusion, consciously. (Rose, 1985, p. 261).

Rose is attempting to describe a procedure of search that is strategically deliberate, yet not aggressively willful. The "action" which he so often stresses throughout his teaching actually means this subtle, sly form of maneuvering that lies between doing and not-doing. He explains why this is necessary:

Perhaps the only solution to a paradox is another paradox. The human spiritual quest must become a vector, with all of that human's energy behind that vector. And the shortest distance between aim and objective is supposed to be a straight line. But success in a spiritual venture requires the ability to run between the raindrops, which may appear to be a zig-zag course–which may include dynamic feints and matched states of high indifference. (Rose, 1986a, p. 36).

This running between the raindrops is similar to what Christ may have been attempting to illustrate by walking on water. The Fourth Way seeker does not arrogantly try to break down the gates of Heaven, but rather artfully passes through the keyhole.

This notion of betweenness also applies to one's getting by the adversity inherent on the path, whether it be the forces of Nature that would counter one's spiritual aspirations, parasitical entities that would usurp one's energy for their own purposes, or the impersonal law of reaction elicited when attempting to bring about some advantageous change while identifying with any one aspect within a dualistic system. Rose explains: "Psychological or mental betweenness is a form of navigation in the slip-streams of the mind between the gravitational fields of massive gestalts" (Rose, 1985, p. 285). He adds a specific note of caution:

Keep to the business of observing. When observation turns into a course of action in regard to adversity, then a religion emerges. And when a religion is formed, dichotomy of the mind follows. Do not ignore the forces of adversity. This could be as damaging as increasing their substance by giving them a distinct relative form. Be concerned chiefly with identifying their effects and in circumventing such effects. The solution shall always remain paradoxical. We should ignore the elements of adversity, yet we should never ignore them. (Rose, 1979c, p. 85-6).

Rose once composed an invigorating proclamation that confronted the defects in human character in which these above influences manifest and how they were to be outwitted, using their own means:

Re: the forces of adversity–lust, laziness, pride, weakness, procrastination (and the rationalizations for their maintenance): Let it be known that force and non-force shall be used against them, that they shall be neutralized by recognition and non-recognition. Know that it is important to recognize a negative quality, but it is likewise being negative to recognize them as being important. Let it be known that to overcome these criminals of our fifty states of mind, that incessant action shall be used forthwith, but that he who acts, shall not be an actor of action-processes. Let it be known that our strategy will be to use the powers of these criminals against themselves. We shall procrastinate lust, and employ procrastination to the urges of voices, and we shall use pride to temporarily fuel the fires of determination, by rejoicing in our successes against our wasters. (Rose, unpublished group papers).

This is an added strategic twist on the principle of using mechanicalness to defeat mechanicalness, in which a particular positive state-of-mind or conviction is summoned to counter an existent aversive one. In this astute form of mental "aikido," the enemies' forces are skillfully made to check and negate each other.

One should be alerted that betweenness does not mean the path of least resistance, in the usual sense of this term. Sometimes one can take this route in working through various obstructive factors; life's circumstances showing us the most expedient way to proceed. But at other times, this course would be to compromise with mediocrity and in order to do the right thing, one would have to do what is more difficult.

A pertinent example would be the already discussed need to curb one's sexual expression, to give the kundalini energy a chance to rise. This is not an easy task; certainly not as easy as giving in to its every prompting, as being the path of least resistance. Yet, grimly enforced repression only invites further resistance and a never-ending battle that consumes one's energy and poise. Another approach would be to learn to reside in that part of oneself that is true: the calmness of aware being and, assuming one's commitment to the spiritual path is genuine, to allow the human being before one's view to come into alignment with what is felt to be truthful; in this case, honest sexuality. Ideally, when the hindrance of the ego is removed, the cybernetic process of self-correction operates to alter the factors in one's psychology from within itself, along with its pattern of false needs meant to compensate for a mistaken sense of lack, rather than our engaging in the dualistic tangle of having one source of will struggling to overcome another.

The sexuality issue is just one clear illustration of what it means to become the truth. Betweenness in this application can thus be seen to be a form of non-dualistic mentation and non-volitional action in the commitment to truth. Jean Klein's teaching is essentially that of pure betweenness, although perhaps handicapped by his not fully acknowledging the reality of the paradox. Because of this, he does not sufficiently stress the practical details of the necessary efforts people must make in order to work out their inquiry on a personal level (until the very end of the path, we have no choice but to experience our point-of-reference as being "people," whether we really are or not, and act accordingly), thereby running the risk of a misunderstood imbalance towards the pole of strict non-action. One can pretend to identify with the stillness of the Real Self (as a concept) and become a mental ego that is disassociated from the human self with its numerous errors and defects, while still really being a troubled, ignorant person beneath this attempted fraud. When Klein's teaching of betweenness is implemented by a mature, honest seeker, it describes the complete process of transformation which Rose refers to as "becoming."

The mystical act of surrender to the guidance of a higher power or the wisdom of the path to which one is committed is also related to this theme of betweenness and becoming the truth. The conviction of there being a "me" as a discrete causative agent is relinquished and one throws in one's lot with a larger, holistic process; the workings of which are in accordance with what is objectively valid. The gap between "God's will" and "my will" narrows, until there is only "that which is." One surrenders to this becoming of truth. It is in this innocent wishing where betweenness is found. Rose encourages the seeker with the claim: "With each exercise of betweenness, we feel the power within us grow; goaded on by the magical magnetism, and by the certainty that All is for man to know" (Rose, 1985, p. 286).

This reference to power brings up a further consideration: betweenness implies a state that is in between two opposing or complementary poles. This opposition in forces results in tension between them, like that of two magnets of the same charge placed facing each other. It is the energy from this tension that Zen wishes to exploit in the work on the koan, which, when reaching its culmination of intensity, explodes, leaving behind a stillness that is the doorway to a higher level of being.

Rose has said that life itself is tension at work; life being a force resulting from less sophisticated elements in interaction. Our very existence issues from this magic of betweenness. He adds that with each new form of life generated from the energy of this interaction, a more subtle life-form is developed (Rose, 1975, p. 30). Much of spiritual work is the deliberate intensification of this process of transmutation.

He claims that to achieve anything significant in life, especially spiritual attainment, this tension is essential. Despite our perpetual, nostalgic longing for a world of harmony and beauty, he says that discord and frustration can be more propitious for promoting inner work. He states: "Brotherhood and peace on Earth are not good (for attainment). Strife and conflict are." Not only does he say: "Nothing of importance happens without tension," he adds: "There is no tension without polarity, and there is no real understanding or wisdom without tension" (Rose, 1985, p. 265). In fact, one revealing definition of spiritual capacity Rose has given is: how much tension one can maintain (without dissipating it in some form). He has described spiritual work as being, in part: "Continuing to bang your head against the wall. This prepares you to bang your head against bigger and bigger walls."

This attitude requires a particular quality of self-sufficiency and containment, freedom from projection, and singleness of purpose. Rose has bluntly stated: "If you need entertainment or escape, you are asleep." He repeatedly points out that we must learn to live without the dream: about ourselves, about life, and about spiritual imaginings. He has defined "stature" to mean being able to stand alone without pride or egos, and being one with proper action. Peace of mind means: "Refuse to be troubled by what happens to you–don't identify with it." He again conjures up the image of the Zen warrior when he states: "To be free of the need for security is security."

What is the composition of this special quality of tension which Rose is encouraging? Quite simply: it is the gap between knowing and unknowing. Between longing and emptiness. Being and non-being. Life and death. Hope and despair. He explains its significance:

The uncompromisable point in the center between opposites leads to a dead stop; this tension creating the third force. To generate this vector of power, we need to insure that this catalytic midpoint is unvarying. Like the two lovers, never let them touch, yet allow them to be close enough to insure that both are equally aware of the other. The apex of the triangle will be limited to the power of the two opposite directions of force, meaning the importance or anxiety that these directions make in the mind of the seeker. (Rose, 1985, p. 265).

He has said that one of the keys to continued movement along the path is to always be dissatisfied with what one is doing and experiencing. However, as always, he has indicated the opposite attitude as well: that one should "Love being–rejoice in the work and signs of progress." This latter paradox in attitude results in a highly focused individual; one who is solid as a rock yet light and transparent as air, and whose identity is finally that of an unanswered question, living without relative, psychological need.

The way of betweenness on the path can be succinctly defined by an elaboration on the famous old soliloquy: "To be or not to be–that is the question." In response: "To be and not to be–that is the answer".

The kind of tension to which Rose is referring is not to be confused with nervous anxiety, irritability, or emotional turmoil. This is refined, focused, directed energy, much like that of a superb athlete who is strong without being rigid, and graceful without being weak. It is movement without friction, inner or outer. It is in between polarities, where the greatest energy lies. He has said that this tension of unfulfilled desire and the drawing towards its resolution may be accumulated and even unconsciously maintained by the individual for a prolonged period of time. It is not unendurable. Yet, keeping in mind Ecclesiastes' observation that there is a time for every season, Rose qualifies this by adding: "You need tension–but continued tension without rest might be negative."

These comments on energy and tension can be summarized like this:

  1. Energy has quantum, and possibly also a quality and difference in types; some energy being usable only in certain limited directions or applications.
  2. When we adopt a way of thinking, our whole being changes, and this includes the body, even though the process is slow.
  3. All upward growth is the result of crises.
  4. The accumulation of an increase in Mental or Neural Energy beyond that which is needed for ordinary cerebration is brought about by various disciplines and exercises.
  5. To act properly, the act should be of the duration of a lifetime.

Betweenness has several major extensions that are significant. Two of the primary aspects which Rose addresses in the Albigen System are: direct-mind ability and the psychology of miracles.

In introduction, Rose ties together much of his teaching with this statement:

The system has to do with preparing someone for the experience (of Realization). Two things are practiced: one is the arrival at a knowledge of the mundane self, or personality–the elimination of the discrepancies in the personality, false beliefs, etc. The second aims at direct-mind communication. (Rose, 1985, p. 106).

He adds: "Years of accurate intuitional observation leads to direct-mind apprehension and communication. This is the end product of the mystical life (lecture, 1986)."

The first category of work has been partially described so far and will be gone into further in the section on meditation. By "direct-mind," Rose means a quality of mentation that derives from one's being in the state of betweenness in which one can intuit, perceive, and transmit meanings directly, without their being processed through (or distorted by) the rational, linear, dualistic ego-mind. Especially in regards to intuition, this goes beyond its definition presented in earlier contexts. Intuition as a function of the higher mind is where the complex raw data of experience is fed into the computer, but all the mechanistic, high-speed calculations and correlations are not consciously monitored–only the end result is read out. Direct-mind means apperception that side-steps or passes through all relative mental functioning. It is of the spiritual Mind dimension and not only the refinement of the individual mundane mind.

Rose has said that we are born in this state, but then quickly lose it, or have it taken away: "Every child is seduced into taking part in our game of life. He loses direct-mind ability when he identifies with and participates in this dimension, and tries to manipulate it for his own petulant form of counter-seduction" (Rose, 1982, p. 141). As will be explained in detail in a later section, Rose regards the somatic, human mind as an inferior, entangled dimension, acting like a stultifying, kaleidoscopic fog through which the spiritual Mind can only opaquely perceive reality. He laments: "We have traded direct-mind ability for relative thought," adding: "Conceptual thought is the enemy of wisdom."

The principle of direct-mind has three main implications: A) the faculty of intuition, clear discernment, truthful perception, etc., B) rapport or direct communion with other people or sources of knowledge, and C) direct realization or becoming.

Intuition is developed by obeying it. In regards to this, Rose has described spiritual potential as being the ability to have one's head in the right place, and the main obstacle to achieving this is: "Getting hit on the head with a hammer too many times," hence the emphasis in his teaching on healing the nervous system and perfecting the mind's functioning.

Rose makes an important distinction between E.S.P. and this direct-mind intuition. He claims that E.S.P. abilities function from within the somatic mind, whereas genuine or spiritual intuition comes from beyond this mind. He adds: "E.S.P. comes from an empty head; intuition comes directly from an awake self or Mind."

This relates to direct-mind communication in one's ability to know directly the nature of one's subjective experience without processing it through thought, as well as to instantaneously convey a holistic understanding to another without translating it into language. This is a higher psychological version of the old Indian adage: "Walk in another man's moccasins and you will never have an argument with him." This is similar to Ouspensky's claim that if two people truly, fully understand each other, filtering out all egoistic distortions, they CANNOT disagree, as they would both be plugged into the same reality.

This faculty, in its most refined form, is the happening of transmission, in which one who has attained is able to convey the Realization without words to a student whose capability for such reception has been sufficiently readied. He states: "You may be able to transmit that state of awareness or being by the singular process of direct-mind contact, and a skillful control of your own mind, so that nothing else but nothing will permeate your mind...and his" (Rose, 1979c, p. 91). When this occurs, "The student is able to go inside the head of the teacher, and witness, and experience by this catalytic process, the state of Enlightenment that is always with the teacher" (Rose, 1975, p. 55).

To help this kind of transpersonal sensitivity to develop, Rose has encouraged what he calls "rapport sessions" among seekers who are living moral lives. In this, people sit together quietly and remain open to impressions from each other or the group mind. The phenomenon of rapport is not self-directed meditation, devotional prayer, or philosophical contemplation, but rather a one-pointed attention in a still awareness, combined with the automatic habit of sharing energy in social gatherings. Tying in the earlier comments about celibacy, he has made the claim: "The formula for magic is to stay 10 feet away from people–love your friends, but don't touch them." What this function causes in a rapport session is that the tension of this natural desire to be in communion with others having been denied any physical expression, the only possible form of contact remaining is psychic or direct mental rapport (Rose, 1975, p. 57-8). In its deeper aspect, the intention is to be in tune on a level which is no longer exclusively personal; to share in a quality of consciousness where there is not a "you" or "me."

He explains further what the direct-mind experience involves in working with others:

My psychological system is scientific. Its basic message is that, in a certain state of mind, the healer (not just the mimic of trade terms) can diagnose and alter environmental influences that afflict a subject. In this state of mind, he can also see distant sights or people, predict the future, transcend his present mind-state–and assist another person to transcend his mind-state or environmental dimension, or quickly, without material means, bring a person to painlessness, to sleep, or to exceptional mental faculty. The tools are predominately the ability for rapport and induction of a rapport in another...and betweenness, a state of mindlessness that proves to be creative. Many lives have been changed by the insights pointed out in this manner. (personal correspondence, 1989).

The relevance of direct-mind ability towards spiritual realization is most important of all. Many of the principles already discussed–commitment, tension, reversing the vector, point-of-reference, non-duality, transmutation, betweenness, and becoming–are drawn together in this comment by Rose about the process of self-transformation:

You find your Source with perfected intuition and perfected reason. By this, I mean the intuition has to be tempered with the reason (and vice-versa). This causes, through wisdom–a change of being. What changes you is this word: betweenness... By the use of triangulation, you will discover things. (Rose, 1985, p. 257).

Triangulation refers to the mental procedure of reconciling polarities in relative experience, in this way ascending to a higher vantage point of comprehension or holistic perception. This is an exceedingly important principle and will be discussed further in the section on Jacob's Ladder.

Rose goes on to explain why this mental ability results in such a change in perspective: "The direct-mind experience leads to a change of being because you develop a direct-mind contact with–more than yourself" (Rose, lecture, 1986). This "more" can be regarded as Brunton's Overself, a higher power, a deeper part of oneself, or the anterior Mind. However it is conceived, one is no longer strictly an ego living in a body functioning in a dualistic world, forever looking for some elusive satisfaction. One has tapped into the realm of magic; a dimension that is alive and aware.

Again, anticipating the material on Jacob's Ladder, Rose elaborates on how the process of inquiry he recommends brings about this change in being: "In betweenness, we have the utilization of mental concern and mental stress to propel the mind into a solid, non-relative Reality, if we use opposite factors which deal with our questions on Being" (Rose, 1985, p. 265-6). Our energetically attending to the personal and philosophical koans which urgently confront us is what develops our essential "being," which, through the direct-mind experience–and catalyzed by some fortuitous shock–is finally realized to be one with Reality.

He points out that the path cannot possibly be envisioned in linear, quantifiable, mechanistic terms. The paradox is evident at every step. One sees the limitation of all self-generated, rational effort, yet must exhaust all efforts nevertheless. All knowledge and points-of-view are seen to be relative and conditional, but one can only intuit that a more complete, direct view is somewhere above or behind us. Rose describes the exaltation achieved in Zen this way: "Satori is the betweenness that results from the intense contemplation of sense as being equal to nonsense and nonsense as being equal to sense" (Rose, 1985, p. 294).

He explains that the exercise of the mind in this qualified state of Intuition provides access to the magical state of betweenness, which is an accidental discovery of a method to bring out a computation from the mind for which the mind had no symbols in the memory bank. It not only produces a new wisdom, but also phenomena, or miracles (Rose, 1985, p. 304). The study of this following material helps the seeker to better understand some of the factors comprising inner work and the different rungs of the ladder of spiritual potential. The objective of such study is not for one to work miracles, but to attain that state of being where one could.

Rose discusses three classes of magic: 1) the magician who uses illusion (legerdemain), 2) those who dispel illusion (taking the path of wisdom), and 3) the Magus (the one who can create things). These start with the physical level and go upward to mental forms of magic. These mental forms include: hypnosis, direct-mind influence, creation, belief, and telepathy. One also shifts from operating from a lower to a higher ego: that of wanting wisdom instead of selfish power.

He also lists several categories of systems that approach power for use either in healing or magic:

  1. Belief: although there are various qualifications of this lever, belief can make things happen, especially if the intent is honest and unselfish. However, belief by itself does not make something objectively true unless God believes it too! (Brilliant, Potshots).
  2. Moral purification: this is a primary aspect of transmuting energy.
  3. Surrender of egos: one can attain tremendous awareness and ability from surrendering egos (in the proper order).
  4. Invocation: this involves temporary help from entities in exchange for one's vital energy (definitely not recommended).
  5. Mechanical formulae: spells, curses, witchcraft.
  6. Kundalini: this is the outstanding one.
  7. Prayer: whether it be to "God" or to a deeper part of oneself.
  8. Betweenness.

In regards to healing, Rose makes an important distinction between two types of healing: 1) Healings can occur through the use of one's own stored energy or from the collective energy of a concerned group who believe in the healer who serves as this "funnel" or "magnifying glass" for the group's projected light. This is done with personal energy, by a selfless ego. However, the healer or other human source will eventually burn out from the expenditure. 2) Healings can also occur through betweenness, or a stance of "non-ego," with no loss of physical energy. In this, the healer is a neutral agent; a pivoting point between dimensions by which an influence can pass–if it is supposed to happen. This form might be what, in some spiritualist and mind-science teachings, is poetically called "divine energy."

He elaborates further on the different levels and categories of energy involved in magic:

  1. The use of physical energy (chi) to accomplish superhuman feats. He considers it wasteful to downgrade a very sacred energy for mundane, egotistical purposes. Taking this one step upward, it becomes neural energy for intelligence. Another step up from that is the use of neural energy for healings.
  2. The miracle of faith (witchcraft is also related to this). This has little to do with quantum energy. Most of the mechanics of faith are unknown.
  3. Mental forms: hypnosis, zapping (a form of hypnosis in which a trained yogi can "zap" someone with energy, called "shakti"), psychokinesis, etc.: Rose claims this is a specialized skill that is not spiritual and has nothing to do with finding God.
  4. The magic of entities: unholy, symbiotic alliances with lower forces in Nature, utilizing misused sex energy.
  5. Supramental forms of magic: spiritual quantum energy or creation.

His main purpose in outlining this material is to arouse the seeker's curiosity about the possibly of there being a common denominator somewhere underneath all these factors. He claims this common root is the transmutation of vital energy and the refinement of direct-mind ability to where the position of betweenness is attained. This betweenness is what brings about one's "becoming the truth," if this goal is indeed the seeker's highest commitment.

Rose dismisses all the lower forms of phenomenal manipulation and feels one's energy should only be used for one ultimate purpose: attaining Self-Realization. Since we do not know what this really means or the certain method of achieving it, we have to do everything we can, in every aspect of our lives, to serve the call of this truth. Knowledge of these various mechanisms and their relationships can help one to use one's energy for the optimum benefit. To this end, he expands the salesman's proverb like this: "If you throw enough mud at the ceiling, some of it will stick. If you throw it with the right attitude of conviction, it will stick more properly. If you throw it with betweenness, it might ALL stick."

Although the inner nature of the magic can never be fully explained, we can understand something about what conditions bring it about. The significance of the Albigen System's emphasis on this is that the entire teaching aims at placing the seeker into the state of betweenness, in order to make possible a radical shift in being and consequently the awareness of (or from) Reality. Rose's discussion of the lower forms of magic are meant to illustrate this underlying "X-factor" at the core of such phenomena, as well as to stimulate one's intuition about the real nature of the apparent world in relation to the observing self.

The suggestion picked up from these comments is that our world is a dream-projection or reflection of essences from a superior or more "real" dimension; the actuality of this "dream nature" being the basis of betweenness. One may gain access to this source of creation and produce an alteration on our level of existence. It is as if the script is changed in the dream-realm, and something new manifests on this plane.

Rose's stress upon doubt and the constant examination of all relative factors from multiple perspectives is directly tied in to this process. If one's being wholly identified with the paradigm of "normality" restricts the mind's paranormal abilities, anything that weakens or makes less exclusive this paradigm may facilitate these abilities' expression, thereby allowing a new paradigm–or the realization of the true one (which would be a non-paradigm)–to be born. In fact, the purpose of much of his teaching, as well as his manner of teaching, is to stretch people's "finite" minds and poke holes through their paradigms.

However, there must be no conscious attempt to produce a new paradigm of one's choosing, hence Rose's repeated warnings against any kind of belief-projection, visualization, conceptualization, etc. in searching for the truth. Objective reality begins to be revealed as an automatic consequence of one's escaping or denying the strict validity of normal reality. This requires an attitude between acceptance and disbelief. Whether one's goal is spiritual discovery or some miraculous happening on the mundane level, there is a proper way to "hold the head" in betweenness. One must be mentally relaxed and interested, but not too interested; serious, but not too serious. There must be an alert ambiguousness, effortless intention, passive volition. This is a mind-set characterized by one's "allowing it to happen." Conscious striving will produce no results, as ego-caused inhibition in reaction will interfere with the magic. It is a state between trying and not trying.

This may be the actual net value of all religious disciplines consisting of rituals, mantras, chanting, devotion, exercises, etc., in that they occupy the conscious mind with a certain controlled meaninglessness, meanwhile allowing a deeper non-ego function to manifest. This leaves us open for something-we-do-not-yet-know to come about. We are caught between normal reality ("Earth") on one hand and the yearning for an undefined "something else" ("Heaven") on the other. We are positioned in a crucial state of balanced tension between the gravity of the known and the consideration of the "impossible" or miraculous.

This balance is a unique posture: it is not achieved by synthesis or compromise, nor is it a static condition achieved by resolving opposition. Rather, it is the state of the acute tension which exists when two unqualified forces confront each other and cannot be reconciled, but are held teetering on the verge of chaos; not in theory, but in experience. (Much of this section from Jaqua, 1985).

While I hesitate to rely too heavily in this paper on repeated quotations from Rose's work, some of his instructions are so eloquently stated that they approach poetry, and could not be said any better by anyone else. The subject of betweenness being so central to his entire teaching, it is worth devoting extra attention here to his description of the requisite mental attitude of the mature seeker.

To crack the cosmic egg, to transcend relative thinking, to achieve this greatest reward which is the finding of the Self, and simultaneously finding the expansiveness of that Self–and finding the Reality of the Self in relation to Time and Cosmos–you have to hitch up your harness for a long pull. Yet, it will only take you as long as it takes to master betweenness (Rose, 1985, p. 305).

We learn to fear sleep. We know that sleep is an ever-present reminder that we may be asleep while we think we are awake. We fear we will not detect and thwart the change in states-of-mind, and we carry on internal meditation and endless monitoring of the mental clockwork to be on the alert for new enslavements that we have not yet dreamed of, and new forms of bait that nature dangles before us.

By the time we are no longer afraid of fear, we will have built into our robot-nature the programming to perpetually search for a solution, and to employ the capacity for fear, and fear itself to drive us along the path. We have to be afraid that we will not get this "automatic pilot" working in time–before death or lethargy, or rationalization sets in. Then, once the automatic pilot becomes a guarantee of being a vector for us, we must once more employ betweenness. This is a way in which the head is held with the conviction that it will never wish to stray from dynamic action, while at the same time knowing that you are beyond all fear. You know that a process has been well established that is one in which for you there is no wobble. You will be a vector. You will know it, but will pay no attention to the accomplishment (Rose, 1985, p. 275-6).

The Universal nature is one with our motion, and things happen according to our will, which is just a whim caring little for fruition, which is just an idle thought, which we no longer own because it has happened and will happen. It is born between the thighs of dynamic mobility and inertia (Rose, 1985, p. 286-7).

Once you have found your peace of mind, and have found you can synthetically upset or destroy your peace of mind, you will have reached a point where neither peace of mind, nor the catalytic upsetting of that state are necessary. At that time, you will be beyond states of mind...both the most pleasant and the most objectionable ones. And at these moments, you will have power (Rose, 1985, p. 288-9).

To exercise power, we must use betweenness. We succeed when we have risen above the desire for success and the fear of failure. You cannot just make up your mind to do these things. You have to grow into a creature that can move without desire and make decisions without fear...while caring little about the whole operation. And while caring little, you continue the task, knowing that everything will go the right way. You relax and watch, as the forces of nature and the forces behind nature diligently solve the problem, by combinations of otherwise unpredictable factors. (Rose, 1985, p. 289).

You must will to find the Truth, or die trying. Then when your will is set in the matter, forget about the Will and allow anything to happen that does not jeopardize your Search. And you thus become a Will-less Will-ful vector (Rose, 1985, p. 305-6).

The Taoist saying: "The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences" alludes to this recognition and acceptance of the wholeness and rightness of the life that is dedicated to Truth. Once one's path is certain, the ego becomes servant to the wisdom of events as they unfold, with no reactive interpretations of positive and negative.

Following is Rose's dramatic declaration of the actuality of this betweenness on the path. It is chilling in its depiction of the intensity this work demands:

How do we do it? We do it by carrying water on both shoulders, but by not allowing it to touch either shoulder. We stagger soberly between the blades of the gauntlet with recklessness and conviction, but we pick our way through the tulips with fear and trepidation, because the trap of the latter is sweet. We charge the gates of Heaven by urinating our way through Hell, all the while sitting for forty years on the banks of the Ganges, doing nothing. We sit on the banks of the Ganges, not from laziness, but from an anger at angriness, a fury against our inner fury for wasted activity. And we pull back a terrible arrow...but never let it go. And by so holding, with the universe as our target, the universe is filled with terror at our threat. (Rose, 1985, p. 286).