The Albigen system gets its name from a book titled The Albigen Papers by Richard Rose. To understand the system one can begin by first looking at the man.
Richard Rose was an intense seeker who went through a number of different stages before he had a self-realization "experience" at the age of thirty. From a young age he was determined to act on his spiritual tendencies. Over time he became well-grounded in a number of disciplines, but by nature he was an original thinker, always having his own, penetrating and unique way of seeing things, based on personal experience.
In the beginning of his search he was dismayed by the lack of sincerity in the people and systems he encountered, and made a pledge to himself that if he ever found "an answer" he would help other people find it. Years later he developed a system of searching based on the combination of factors he believed had been instrumental in his own life.
- The search for truth is primary. This should be foremost in mind. One's life can become a "vector" pointed at truth.
- "Truth" means the truth about man, his true nature, attributes he may have, his origin, his destiny, his relation to his Creator if there is one, etc.
- It is a mistake to postulate a definition of truth and then try to prove it. As long as the truth is undefined, a vector pointed at the truth can only be a vector pointed away from untruth.
- One must have a rational basis to operate even while one is lead by intuition. Intuition can be clarified by testing it.
- One must tread the dual path of survival in this life while looking for survival beyond it.
- While one is looking, one should understand the capacities and limitations of the physical vehicle, which means one should study energy conservation and transmutation.
- It is a mistake to concentrate on abstract truth at the beginning. One's current lifestyle is the truth one is currently living; this is the first thing to examine. Physical activities such as going to meetings on a regular basis or keeping a journal are very helpful to maintain one's focus. Putting the house in order is a necessary step.
- One does not need to invent a method at the beginning. Methods have been in existence and tested over thousands of years. One can begin with a system that appeals to the intuition and follow it until something better is discovered.
- As with any science, there is a monumental amount of information available. The difficult part is separating the wheat from the chaff; basic guidelines are recommend, which can be used until one's intuition is developed.
- These guidelines by definition are things to avoid:
- Concept structures, appeals to belief and authority, untested imagination.
- Organizational maladies, such as hierarchies, money-orientation, immorality.
- Utilitarian systems which aim at well-being or success while disregarding larger truths.
- Rose advocated working with others as part of the "threefold path": the way, the truth, and the life; the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.
- In the big picture, it is one's ignorance and egoism that must be overcome. The conjunction of ego and inability to respond to truth bears investigation.
In his personal search Mr. Rose studied many systems, including Christian mysticism, spiritualism, raja yoga, magic, theosophy, and the physical sciences. He said his experience later caused him to understand these differently. He did not encounter Zen until after he became enlightened, and he discovered Ramana Maharshi's teachings only much later. But elements from all of the above can be seen in the methods he advocated:
- There is always a theoretical contradiction between what appears to be predestination and what might be accomplished through will. Since one can never prove the determining factor, one must act as though one has a will. One's life becomes an "eternal fact", and if nothing else, a person can make his fact-status one of searching rather than of despair.
- In his system, the path of reversal (the "reverse vector"), which is well known in other forms in eastern mysticism, Rose begins with empirical life and addresses the empirical man. That is, he starts a conversation with man in his ordinary state rather than asking him to accept a concept structure or learn a foreign vocabulary. He begins with the application of common sense and an honest appraisal of one's personal circumstances.
- The human mind is bound to dualistic modes of thinking, so one needs to understand both sides of an argument, either or both of which could be true, while developing an intuition which can see beyond the pairs of opposites.
- An oft-expressed principle in magic is that imagination plus desire plus will equals creation (to know, to dare, to do, and to be silent). This presents a problem for the searcher who wishes to discover the truth rather than create something out of the imagination. Blavatsky said that in order for a spiritual experience to be considered valid "scientifically" it must be unexpected and spontaneous rather than planned.
- The human being is part of the natural aquarium and must be understood as such even if his origin is in the stars. Observations of the zoological aspect of human life will lead one to very different conclusions about the meaning of society and personal activities than is admitted in ordinary culture.
- The forgoing is a theoretical foundation for the "reverse vector" method. A confirming "fact" according to Mr. Rose was that he found in his experience that the world did not exist the way he understood it previously. But the searcher cannot rely on the experience of another for confirmation, and until everything (a final answer) is known, then everything remains unknown.