While there are many ways to look at what’s referred to as the 4 Elements, which represent the material realm, one of it’s most primary interpretations is as the very substance of what we think of as the material world as the experience produced by the mind that becomes the basis for memory. Memory, which comes from a reality, has the full building blocks or interactive components of an actual reality even when it exists in it potential or unformed state. The information it’s comprised of and the active force that brings it to life, are the basic “seed” necessary to produce a living reality. A seed as a series of encoded information contains strands of DNA that provide the material as a regenerative process and the spatial blueprints for creating a living form.
The 4 Elements as we’ve come to know them represent Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. These seemingly 4 components only signify 2 actual Elements of Fire and Water, which combined produces Air, and Earth represents the whole combination as a physical reality. In its original depiction, Water and Earth were considered one element, representing three Elements of the Triad or Triangle as the symbol of the 3 aspects of the mind that create an internal reality as the combination of Fire and Water, that was then reflected to produce the outward reality, symbolized by the number 4, or the Tetrad. Fire and Water are symbolic of the masculine and feminine polar aspects of Spirit as a unification. Spirit is traditionally represented as Air or breath. All of Life as we know it is comprised of the 2 Elements of “Yin and Yang”, and the 2 correspondences they form as their offspring which is the combination of them to produce material form.The 4 Elements also form the Tetragrammaton, as the sacred name of God, commonly spelled “YHVH”, or YOD-HE-VAU-HE, where Yod represents Fire or Will, He represents Air as intellect, Vau represents Water as Feeling, and the second He represents Earth as the manifestation of will. This spelling, where only two letters are different or unique, though similar in structure to each other (Y V), and two are repeats (H H), is significant of the idea that only 2 true Elements exist as the single or unified constitution of the One- Spirit, and the other two are correspondences as the inner and outer reflection. These can also be seen as representing idea, thought, feeling, and action, which are always unified and create an experience of reality, both internally and externally. They are also always comprised to form a memory which either comes as the result of the manifested idea as the end result, or as the basis used for creating the outer experience as a material reality. Memory is both the beginning and the end, the creator, the outer experience as an event, and the one having the experience. We create our present experiences out of the accumulation of our past experiences as memory. Everything we learn, we acquire as a memory either as an imagined concept of an idea that forms it into an inner reality as a memory, or as an actual experience that contained a lesson and came about by experimenting. Notice that experiment and experience are almost the same word.
When we contemplate an idea and begin thinking about it, we form it into an internal conceptualization as an actual experience of the idea as a reality, or we form an internal representation as a metaphor that serves as a symbolic correspondence. Both of these are formed in our mind in much the same way we construct an actual memory, or replay it as a way of reliving it. There’s no actual difference between a memory created in the imagination of an idea, or one created through an actual event, outside of the fact that the actual event had significantly intense feelings and emotions associated with them. The only memories we attain in a detailed manner from our life experiences, are ones that had a significant emotional impact. The emotion is what forms the structure of the memory in terms of how we interpret it to form a story that we tell ourselves about why it happened and what it means.
Memories are formed out of a combination of feeling sensations, emotions, and thoughts that produced distinct actions based on them. The memory, which is in reality a personalized interpretation of an outer neutral event, is activated by the emotion associated with it, or the same sensory content, that then activates the behavioral pattern of the memory, setting into motion a whole automatic pattern that repeats the past in the present, creating more of the same type of memories. This is why 5, as the pentagram or Pentad, symbolic of the etheric Element as “mind over matter”, operates by the principle of “regeneration”, further symbolized by the Fibonacci Sequence of reproduction in which the most recent past brought into the present produces the future, and the holographic affect also called fractal patterns, where the mind simply reproduces more patterns that are of the same nature (memory) as it is.
A memory can be thought of as a state of mind or vibration that contains the pattern as a blueprint for producing a reality in a completely unconscious and automatic fashion. How we create our experiences is based on our state of mind or our soul mood. Memories are living thought-forms shaped by the mind out of the Elements that are viewed and replayed – kept alive – in the imagination as the invisible patterns we picture in our mind over top of actual reality as an invisible or translucent story that we use to restructure our current reality to be of the same nature. We use memory to make our current situation mean the same thing as our past situation did.
This reality that we form in our imagination is shaped out of the Elements as the etheric substance, or Astral Light. Just as light in the material world is actually invisible and only illuminates the atmosphere because it’s being both absorbed and reflected by dust and water particles in the air, is used inwardly by the mind of the individual to form an internal reality, even though it has the “feeling” of an actual visible picture, it’s translucent and invisible and can be viewed by superimposing it over or in front of the outer reality as our perceptual lens that we look through that determines what we see (that matches it and is being absorbed) and what we don’t see (what’s not a part of the same idea and is being reflected. Ideas exist in us in exactly the same way actual memories do, and can be used by the mind to form internal realities by picturing, sensationalizing, and thinking about them.
A thought is an active memory. While thoughts seem to be generated by the mind, they’re actually “tuned into and received” out of the invisible space around us, which is actually light intermingling with water and matter. The light of the material world that’s basically invisible in the physical world, comes from a star (our sun), and is therefore called “Astral Light”. Stars are the only living entities that are a true source of light. Everything else gets its material existence as matter, which is also light as photons, in its condensed form, by either absorbing or reflecting certain aspects or rays of light, which appears to us as colors or solid objects. This Astral Light that forms the Etheric body of all living forms, exists in four primary states as a gradient condensation as; electrified plasma (same substance as stars), gas, liquid, and solid. It’s used by the mind as a gas that behaves like a liquid, and can be shaped instantly into form by thinking. The power of the spoken Word (vibration), spoken both in silence to ourselves as thoughts, and outwardly as talking, comes through it’s ability to form images out of the words as the shapes they represent. As our mind thinks about something, it creates a reality out of it. The inner realities become the basis for outer realities of the same nature. As we think, we become. All of our experiences are our sole creation, produced by how we use our mind to perceive, interpret and tell ourselves a story about things. We shape, grow, and develop ourselves by way of our own story-telling and thought-forms.
The 5th Element, represented by the Star or Pentad, represents the quintessence as the Ether body produced by how the mind shapes the 4 Elements into imagined and therefore “willed” realities. The Etheric body exists as a form of memory, or etheric substance that’s an (invisible) double or twin to the material body. The masculine (active and invisible) and feminine (passive and visible) aspects inherent in any physical body as the unification of dual yet complementary opposites. The etheric body forms the memory of the body, evolved by the soul through thinking, emoting, and imagining. The soul is the Astral Body, represented by 6, as another “star” image. The Astral Body is similar to the Air Element, and is the correspondence produced by the combination of Spirit as archetypal memory, and the body as individual memory, or Fire and Water. The soul is composed of accumulated memory acquired by combining archetypal memory to produce a variation as personal memory. As it acquires experiences from the body, it transposes them into personalized memory as the essence of the body, and absorbs and synthesizes it, evolving itself through the memory it attains.
The soul is the medium or intermediary between the Mental or Causal body and the physical – etheric body. Between pure spirit as unadulterated memory and its denser aspect as coagulated, specialized, and concentrated light as matter. Spirit exists in pure essence as archetypes and principles that are drawn on by the soul to bring into the body as a modified interpretation to create a specific experience by way of it. When the universal idea comes into physical expression, it has to come as an introduction of thought as suggestion into the individual form that’s a specialized combination of both physical-genetic and soul memory, that modifies it to fit the container of the individual mind necessary in order to conceive it, where it’s turned into a personalized version of the original. A thought or idea is drawn into the individual soul as a seeded reality that the soul-mind grows and shapes into a possible reality by imagining it that provides the subconscious mind of the body with a pattern for creating a reality out of. Likewise, the human soul, which has the power to create through thinking, feeling, and imagining as the will, creates thought forms as imagined realities formed out of intense emotional states that it dwells in an thinks about over and over, developing it with more detail and variations each time it thinks about it, infusing them with the souls life-force, that creates a form of virtual memory that populates the Astral Plane of the Earth, as our atmosphere or instinctual field of the subconscious mind, and acts the same as universal memory and is “picked up on” by other humans in much the same way they attract and acquire archetypal thoughts and ideas.
This ability to create artificial memory as illusions born out of emotional states and fantasizing about them, is what’s referred to as the collective unconscious, or mass consciousness of the group mind. We can literally tune into and draw into our mind the thoughts of others around us, which come to us in the same way as any thought or memory, out of the clear blue, as a feeling we get or something we just start thinking about as a part of our continuous stream of thoughts. Most of the time we have no idea that we’re thinking someone else’s thoughts, because we only resonate – attract and act as a receiver for – those who have similar thoughts or are vibrating at a similar frequency. Because they’re similar to ours, we mistake them for our own, and often allow them to take hold in us by continuing to think about them. This is also the basis for telepathy and clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience, all of which come as transmissions in the Astral Plane.
So simply allow yourself to start recognizing the role memory plays as the very foundation for your thinking and imagining. As you think, observe yourself in terms of what it means to think. What is thought? What activities are you engaging in as you form thoughts as imagined concepts and scenarios? How is this similar or different from how you think about actual memories? Allow yourself to realize that all knowledge learned comes through memory of some form, whether simply imagined, memorized through repetition, imagined or conceptualized, or as an actual experience.
Allow yourself to notice that what you’re thinking about today is very similar if not exactly the same as what you thought about yesterday, last week, or last year. Notice, that all you’re ever really doing, for the most part, is thinking the same type of thoughts born out of the same attitude and temperament consistently throughout our lives, evolving and varying them only slightly through different applications of the same basic ideas. Notice, especially as you get older, that even though your outer circumstances may be quite different today than they were five years ago, that inside, as a person, your nature has remained consistent, and in some cases unchanged. That all we’re ever really doing is growing ourselves by expanding and acquiring new kinds of memory, that evolve us into new ways of thinking, perceiving, and experiencing ourselves and the world around us. That while we believe our thoughts and memories were acquired neutrally or objectively by the events of our life that happened to us beyond our control, and that we’re the “way we are” because of what happened to us along the way, the fact is our life is the way it is because it’s a direct reflection of how we think about it. That what we call our experiences and memories are actually our own creation, and are completely subjective in nature.
While we don’t control the outer events and circumstances of our life, especially as children, how we interpret them internally creating our experience of them, is something we do all by ourselves, to ourselves. It comes completely by how we use the elements to first create an internal experience as feelings, emotion, thoughts, and meaning that form a story about what happened, and why, that forms how we experience and remember it. Long after that events gone, and no longer exists as real, and we’ve grown more mature through years, we still live out of and replay in our mind the same basic group of memories, creating more of the same type of experiences, and living out of the same type of story which becomes a life theme. Stories we told ourselves as children, are still the realities we’re living out of as adults. We shaped our identity as our sense of self out of our own stories about things. We completely live and die by way of our own mind that thinks and feels through our body, producing our experience of reality.
All reality is a product of memory.
Dr. Linda Gadbois
Personal Transformation Coach and Integrative Mind-Body Health Consultant
About the author:
Dr. Linda is a Spiritual Scientist and scholar of Hermetic Sciences and Ancient Wisdom traditions. She’s a professional educator and trainer for all areas of personal transformation, self-creation, mind development, and soul/spiritual evolution. She practices Integrative Medicine with a special emphasis on Psychology and Creative therapies. She conducts ongoing classes, Playshops, and Adventure Seminars, and is available for private or group training, mentoring, and speaking engagements.
To inquire, click here