Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer:
The Path to Reality Through the Self
by John Kent

Definition of Terms

Following is a listing of many of the key terms and principles in Rose's work, with brief definitions. This also serves as a general outline or overview of his system. Each of these points is elaborated upon and tied together in the study.

Advaita Vedanta: the teaching that one's true self is the Self behind all things, which is Reality, and that the path to realizing this is one of non-duality, of seeing the unicity of all things and how all is an extension of oneself. When committed to truth, all opposites and divisions are reconciled in oneself, and one is found to be the very path to the Beingness one has never left.

Albigen: Rose named his system after the Gnostic mystical sect of the Middle Ages, the Albigensians, as his philosophical views and lifestyle values are similar to theirs, and also as a tribute of respect for their commitment to their spiritual convictions, for which they encountered violent opposition from the ruling forces of the time, that killed them all.

Albigen System: Rose's esoteric teaching, also referred to as The Psychology of the Observer, which he developed after decades of search and experimentation, that resulted in an experience of Self-Realization.

Awareness: makes crucial distinction from consciousness: consciousness is the somatic mind's apprehension of its experience, while awareness is of the spiritual Mind behind this and is what sees this consciousness of experience; consciousness can alter, while awareness does not.

Backing Away From Untruth: that the process is not of postulating what the truth is, based upon desire, fear, rationalization, or conditioning, and then simulating it, but rather of retreating from error and backing into a condition of lesser error and truer or more comprehensive understanding.

Becoming: the main principle in this level of inquiry that Rose teaches: that one does not find, learn, or acquire spiritual knowledge, but must become the truth of it; also referred to as "change of being"; it is action that transforms insight into being.

Betweenness: the mental attitude or perspective of non-duality, of "running between the raindrops", of "holding the head" a special way that makes Direct-Mind capability possible, allowing one to tap into a miraculous dimension.

Commitment: that one must make a commitment to oneself (or "God") to having this path as one's priority in life, and that there is magic in this: it sets into motion a process of help and influence larger than the individual that would not happen if this promise had not first been made.

Conservation of Energy: that energy is of various kinds and is not unlimited; that a high level of quantum energy is needed for realization or healing to occur, and thus, the vital energies must be conserved and their use redirected.

Curiosity & Desire: two forces of natural programming that are implanted into all creatures to promote organic life and which can be willfully inverted and used by the seeker instead to find ultimate self-definition.

Death: the promise--or threat!--that the truth about the Self is on the other side of zero; that the work is fundamentally the preparation for death, in the proper state of readiness, and the deliberate bringing about of this premature death-state (while living).

Direct-Mind: a quality of mind, freed of dualistic, conceptual thought and ego, in which the functioning of the higher intuition brings about holistic insight into the nature of the self and of life, and in which various psychic or even miraculous phenomena can occur.

Ego: by this is meant the false sense of identity with which the, as yet undefined and undiscovered, real Self mistakenly identifies in its mental projection. Not the same meaning as in Freud's usage, and has a largely negative connotation.

Enlightenment: the Realization of the true Self behind all manifestations, the source of all being, and the answer to all questions. This is said to follow the death of the ego-mind when one dies consciously and properly prepared.

Forces of Adversity: that there is some agency of opposition built into life on every level, and especially in spiritual work; that this force has an intelligence and a will that is counter to the ultimate best interests of the seeker, and that this influence must be recognized and out-witted.

The Fourth Way: Gurdjieff's term for the philosophical or "becoming" level of inquiry, above the instinctual, emotional, and intellectual levels of living or searching; involves the harmonious development of these centers while developing ways and means of self-transformation.

Intuition: neither reason nor feeling alone are sufficient to guide one to the truth, and through all the delusion that blocks one's way; the living of a moral lifestyle (conservation of energy and psychic purification thereby) is largely what allows this wholistic intuitional sense and discernment to develop.

Jacob's Ladder: Rose's "map" describing the different aspects and functions of the mental dimension, which one ascends from the personal to the transpersonal; this is the framework for his entire system of meditation and transmutation of energy.

The Law of the Ladder: relates to above: that people exist on different rungs of the ladder of spiritual maturity; that the rungs below us are visible while the ones above us are not; and that helping the person on one's rung or one below it is an integral part of one's own process of ascension, as is being helped in kind by someone or some agency above us.

Laws: Rose describes a number of laws that he has found in regards to mental functioning and spiritual mechanisms, as well as aspects of the Path that are universal; knowledge and implementation of these principles involved in the search help the student to accelerate progress and overcome obstacles.

Manifested & Unmanifested Minds: the former is the universal mind-matrix that creates the relative world of experience; the latter is the unparticularized spiritual Mind of awareness that contains this vision, this seeing of the real nature of the contents of the Manifested Mind being "the mountain experience"; the Unmanifested Mind itself cannot be witnessed, but can be known by entering it.

Meditation: the finding of reality by finding the real part of oneself; involves psychological insight, philosophical inquiry, witnessing of mental processes, discerning between self and not-self, and refining one's point of reference from what is observed to that of the observer.

Milk From Thorns: related to Curiosity and Desire and to Transmutation: the deliberate using of some of the forces and urges being projected through us by Nature for mundane purposes, for our own ends, which require this extra energy and impetus.

Mind: makes important (and rare) differentiation between somatic mind, with which the Self is erroneously identified, and anterior Mind--which is a dimension and not an extension of the brain, and which contains the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions that are the somatic mind.

Moods: a coloration of experience based on prior experience and a determinate of motivations in living; seduction, fear, and nostalgia being the three fundamental moods from which all other feelings, attitudes, values, and desires derive; nostalgia is the soul's memory of prior experience as well as its emotional homing signal to the mundane ego.

Mountain Experience: a level of spiritual realization where one sees the manifested universe to be a illusory mental projection; it is not the final Enlightenment, as one does not yet know who the seer of this mirage is nor has realized the anterior Self that contains both seer and seen.

Observation: the key principle in meditation: the continued direction of attention towards observation of the self's workings and experiences leads to freedom from identification with this projection and arrival at the real Self; Rose claims observation is the secret of immortality.

The Observer: the central theme throughout the teaching: that the view is not the viewer; whatever can be observed--even the thoughts and feelings "inside" ourselves--is not the real anterior Self, and is only a derivation of this final, observing Self.

Paradigm: the notion that we are never experiencing life in a state of clarity and comprehension, but always through a filter of distortive conditioning and projected beliefs, and that the recognition of all of one's paradigms--massive and subtle--and stepping out of them is essential to arriving at the true state-of-mind (which is no state-of-mind).

Paradox: the curse of duality that qualifies all subjective inquiry of a psychological, philosophical, and religious nature with its complementary perspective; much of Zen involves recognizing and reconciling both sides of a polarity of views; this work requires walking the razor's edge in a state of Betweenness.

Point of Reference: perhaps the essential principle of the teaching: that the work is to refine one's point of reference of identity and perspective through all lesser identifications, until the true state and comprehensive vantage point on existence is achieved.

Process Observer: the superior point of vision on Jacob's Ladder that watches the workings of the Umpire, as well as all the other processes of mental functioning within the individual's experience; it also notes intuitive input from outside the somatic mind; it is above duality and is the intersecting point with the real Mind or Self.

Projection: the process by which our world, our experience of life, and our sense of selfhood all emanate from an anterior mind-source; the recognition of and backing away from this complex projection is much of the work; a key point that is emphasized more than in its conventional usage.

The Pyramid: Rose's term relating to the Law of the Ladder: that humanity is pyramid in shape in regards to all forms of effort and attainment, whether material or spiritual; the base is broad, while the Fourth Way is not heavily traveled...and fewer still are those who finally graduate from it.

Quantum Energy: the highest form of human energy, refined and transmuted from food into physical, then glandular, then neural, and then finally into quantum, or spiritual energy, which can be used for creation, healing, or realization.

Rapport: involved in direct-mind communication or transmission, whether between teacher and student, therapist and client, or between peers; the conscious sharing of a state-of-mind or gestaltic understanding that is direct and without words or concepts.

Reconciliatory Principle: in recognizing that the paradox permeates all relative inquiry and that the identification with either side of a polarity results in an incomplete perspective, one must ascend to the top of the triangulation of duality to see the whole picture; this ascension being a major aspect of Jacob's Ladder.

The Relative: all that we experience and know is seen as being within the relative matrix or dimension; all factors are conditional, fluctuating, and particularized, and related to everything else; this is the realm of polarity and paradox; as contrasted with the Absolute, which is entirely outside of relativity and is unchanging validity.

Reversing the Vector: or retroversing the projected ray of life: meaning this vector of attention and energy is not to be aimed at external achievement or creating one's desired goal-state, but rather pulled back into one's anterior, unknown source of being, from which the rest is projected.

Robot: regards the realization that we do not "do" anything, but are done to and identify with what happens to us; seeing the mechanicalness of the processes of thought, feeling, perception, and motion, and the beliefs that condition them, helps to correct their flaws and automatically backs one away from identifying with this automaton and into the true observing self.

Self-Definition: the central aim of the work: that what is most important is not so much philosophical speculation, theological faith, metaphysical postulations, socially-utilitarian psychology, or pseudo-spiritual simulations, but to accurately define the self--answering "Who am I?"; this when fully realized, results in the knowledge of everything.

State-of-Mind: an assumption about and identification with a view of life from a point of reference that is incorrectly located, a range of perspective that is incomplete, and through a filter that distorts whatever much is seen from that vantage point; a state of conviction or personal paradigm based on prior moods and the energy projected into them; we have varying states-of-mind.

Subliminal State-of-Consciousness: similar to above, but more pervasive and harder to recognize; all of one's life may well be processed and experienced through such a subliminal state without one's being aware of the distortion; rationality, religiosity, and love are three major examples Rose mentions.

Tension: has a positive connotation: it is life-energy held in suspension between opposite poles of force or influence; it is this vital quantum, when utilized in a state of Betweenness, that pulls one's reverse vector back into its source of awareness, or ultimate at-tension.

Thought: briefly defined as an associative chain of impressions imposed upon the mind from outside of it; all of relative experience is finally discovered to be some form of mind-stuff that is witnessable; studying the content, functioning, and nature of thought is much of Rose's meditation system, which aims at transcending thought.

Three-Fold Path: one must work in three domains at once for this process to work optimally: A) to manifest the Truth in all aspects of living and being, B) to employ a Way of searching that brings about transformation, and C) to live a Life of mutual aid with one's associates.

The Three Questions: what Rose set out to answer in his search, and what he said must be answered by any true philosophical system: Who am I (ultimately)? Where did I come from (before birth)? and Where am I going (after death)? He claims to have found out.

Transmission: the Zen principle that when one has attained some measure of knowledge or power, he can convey this state to a student who is ready to receive it, through direct mental rapport, and influence the mind of the student along certain lines, if the student is willing.

Transmutation: the conservation, sublimation, and redirection of the life-force upward into neural and quantum energy, through efforts along psychological and philosophical lines; the real meaning of alchemy; also referred to as Kundalini.

Transpersonal Psychology: the domain of psychological inquiry dealing with philosophical issues such as meaning in life, psychic/occult phenomena, spiritual identity, and preparation for death; these also have therapeutic implications; Rose has not used this term, but partially founded the field.

The Truth: ah yes--what is it? Rose uses the term to mean the undefined-in-advance goal-state as well as the dependable criteria for progressively working towards it; he calls this final state--which can only be experienced and not known--the Absolute, which he prefers to use instead of "God", which he finds has been culturally perverted into meaninglessness.

Umpire: a principle on Jacob's Ladder describing the function programmed into the somatic mind towards promoting organic well-being for the individual; this operates largely on reason rather than intuition, monitors ceaseless fluctuations between polarities of experience, and is aimed strictly at the physical-scene.

Validity: the state of true knowing, seeing, and being; the condition of absolute fact, from which all error has been removed; the final contentment; is claimed to be synonymous with Self-Realization.

Vector: the physics principle of a unit of energy moving in a particular direction; that one must make of oneself an undivided vector towards self-definition, rather than remaining a robot moved by forces not of one's choosing, towards conventional or destructive ends.

Visualization: the ability of the mind to create, project, and perceive its own forms, as versus the validity of direct-mind apperception; this is considered a potentially negative quality and is an automatic faculty of the mundane mind, although meditation will free one from the traps of its added egocentric distortions, interpretations, and imaginings.

Zen: the chosen form of Rose's teaching in which the mind is used to overcome the mind through the duality transcending attention to one's philosophical "koan"; it emphasizes the direct inquiry into the source of selfhood and the experiencing of this original state of Beingness, without dogma, belief, or concept-building.