Jan 032014
 

chariot-romanDear Unknown Friend

Like the preceding Arcana, The Arcanum ‘The Chariot’ has a twofold aspect. It represents, from one side, he who – having triumped over the three temptations – remains faithful to the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity; and it represents, from another side, the danger of the fourth temptation, which is the most subtle and intimate temptation, and is the invisible synthesis of the three temptations: the spiritual temptation of the victorious through his victory itself. It is the temptation to act ‘in one’s own name’, to act as master instead of as servant….

When you resist a temptation or renounce something desired below, you set in motion by this very fact forces of realisation of that which corresponds above to that which you came to renounce below. It is this that the Master designates by the word ‘reward’ when he says, for example, that it is necessary to guard against practising righteousness before other people in order to gain their regard, ‘for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven’. (Matthew, vi, 1). Reward is therefore the action that one sets in motion above by the renunciation of desire for things below. It is the ‘yes’ from above corresponding to the ‘no’ from below. And this correspondence constitutes a basis for magical realisation and for the fundamental law of Christian Hermeticism. Let us guard ourselves from taking it lightly, for here is given to us one of the principle keys of sacred magic. It is not desire which bears magical realisation, but rather the renunciation of desire (that you have formerly experienced, of course). For renunciation through indifference has no moral – and therefore no magical – value.
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The charioteer of the Arcanum is the victor over trials, ie, the temptations, and if he is a master, then it is thanks to himself He is alone, standing in his chariot; no one is present to applaud him or to pay homage to him; he has no weapons….The victory achieved in solitude….what glory and what danger it comprises at one and the same time! It is the only real glory, for it in no way depends on human favour and judgement;it is intrinsic glory – the real radiance of the aura becoming luminous. It is, however, at the same time the most real and the most serious spiritual danger which exists. ‘Pride’ and ‘vaingloriousness’, the traditional names which one gives to it, do not suffice to characterise it in an adequate way. It is more than this. It is, rather, a kind of mystical megalomania, where one deifies the regulating centre of one’s own being, one’s ego, and where one sees the divine only within oneself and becomes blind to the divine above and outside oneself. The ‘higher Self’ is then experienced as the supreme and it is far from the supreme and unique being….far from being God, in other words.

It would be as well, now, to dwell on the problem of identification of the self with the higher Self and of the higher Self with God.

C.G. Jung who, having explored the sexual or ‘Freudian’ layer, and then that of the will-to-power or the ‘Adlerian’ layer, of the unconscious (ie, latent or occult consciousness) of the human being, encountered a spiritual (mystical, gnostic and magical) layer during the course of his clinical and psychotherapeutic experience. Instead of drawing back from it or extricating himself from it through a corrosive ‘explanation’, he had the courage and honest to set himself to the laborious study of the phenomenology of this layer of the unconscious. Now, this work proved fruitful. Jung discovered here not only the causes of certain psychic disorders, but also the profound and intimate process that he designated as the ‘process of individuation’, which is nothing other than the gradual birth of another self (Jung called it the ‘Self’) higher to oneself or one’s ordinary ego. The discover of the process of the ‘second birth’ prompted him to extend the range of his exploratory work considerably notably to include symbolism, mystery rituals and the comparative study of contemporary and ancient religions.

Now, this broadening of his field of exploration also proved fruitful. Jung’s arrival at his discovery (which at first racked him, preventing him from speaking of it to a living soul for fifteen years) had its train of consequences, including the knowledge and description of some dangers or temptations belonging to the way of initiation and the process of individuation which corresponds to it, One of these dangers – which are at the same time trials or temptations – is that which Jung designated by the term ‘inflation’, which signifies the state of consciousness of the self inflated to excess, and which is known in psychiatry in its extreme manifestation by the term ‘megalomania’.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VII, The Chariot

Dec 262013
 

sunthroughcloudsThe true Master is felt; He is not seen.
When He who was unseen is seen, He disappears.
Then the Spiritual Presences are gathered into the
unity; they know not one another, but they are the
One Self.
In that darkness there is but One.
In that silence there is no knowledge, but Being –
which is all – is fulfilled.
This is the path of the true disciple.
Before man can find the true Master, he must lose
Him. That loss is pure gain; to lose Him thus is
to find Him indeed.

This should be known: the disciple who finds
Him on the plane of the senses has objectivised his
Karma; he loses the Master after a higher fashion.
Know that there is only the One Self, the Master,
and lose thyself also to find Him who is never found
until He has been lost.
When He is lost to every sense then the One
Flame arises, pure as before the beginning of worlds.
Thou shalt never know it: thou art It.

D.N. Dunlop, The Path of Initiation

 

Aug 172013
 

lazarusThe revival of hermeticism in Christianity that, as we said, was foreign to the spirit of the religion of Israel – the latter being based wholly on family and community – was not in any way the result of an ‘Indian influence’ on Christianity. Neither St Anthony of Thebes nor St Paul the Hermit had been influenced at all by India. The same is true for St Jerome and all the other hermits (the Irish Anglo-Saxon hermits included)of whom history has related anything definite.

Christian hermeticism arose out of a profound need of the soul – namely, the need to personally experience the truth of the tradition. And the fact that this need is at the same time the living core of Hindu Buddhist spiritual life, only makes it more plausible that the eternally valid kernel of Hinduism and Buddhism reappeared in transfigured form – that is to say, was resurrected.

Its transfiguration consists in this: the ideal of redemption of the self from the world became the ideal of the redemption of the world: the striving for eternal rest in nirvana became a striving after unity with the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and the  yearning for deathlessness in the world became the hope for resurrection in this world.

The Christianity of the hermits, as the essential core of Indian spiritual life resurrected within Christianity, was no passing phenomenon limited to a few centuries only. Today it still lives with all the intensity of its youth. Though it may not be deserts and thick forests into which one can retire into an undisturbed solitude nowadays, there are still people who have found or created in the deserts of the great cities and among the thickets of the crowds a solitude and stillness of life for the spirit.

And as before, their striving is devoted toward becoming a witness for the truth of Christianity. The way into the depths has not led them to an individualistic brand of belief, but has given them unshakable security in the truth of the Christian revelation as transmitted and taught by the Church.

They know the truth of the following: Extra Ecciesiam non est salus (‘there is no salvation outside the Church’); the Holy Father is not and cannot be the mouthpiece of an ecumenical council; the Holy See alone can make decisions in questions of faith and of morals – a majority of bishops cannot do so, and even less can a majority of priests or congregations do so; the Church is hierarchic theocratic – not democratic, aristocratic, or monarchic – and will be so in future times; the Church is the Civitas Dei (‘the City of God’) and not a superstructure of the will of people belonging to the Church; as little as the shepherd follow the will of the herd does the Holy Father of the Church merely carry out the collective will of his flock; the Shepherd of the Church is St. Peter, representing  Christ – his pronouncements ex cathedra are infallible, and the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven belongs to him, and him alone.

In other words, those who become solitary in order to seek profundity may reach on their path of spiritual experience to the unshakable insight that the dogmas of the Church are absolutely true. And so it can happen that, as they did at the time of the Arian darkening of the Church, the ‘hermits’ of today may again come to the assistance of the Holy See, leaving their solitude to appear in witness to the truth of Peter’s Throne and its infallible teaching.

In those times it happened that St Anthony of Thebes left the desert and hurried to Alexandria to support St Athanasius with the weight of his moral authority – St Athanasius who became the standard-bearer for the divinity of Christ. The darkening that today is described as ‘the present crisis of the Catholic Church’ can lead to the necessity for the solitary sons of the Church to hurry to the aid of the Holy Father, the most solitary of solitaries, in order to save the Church from the abyss toward which she is moving.

Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus Come Forth!

 

Feb 092013
 

The aim of conscious love is to bring about rebirth, or spiritual childhood. Everybody with perceptions beyond those of male and female must be aware of the change that comes over the man or woman, however old in years, who loves.

It is usually instinctive; yet it symbolizes the still more marvelous change occurring  when a man or woman loves consciously or is aware of being consciously loved. The youth in such cases has all the air of eternity, and it is, indeed, the divine youth.

The creations of such a spiritual child in each of the two lovers is the peculiar function of conscious love; and it depends neither upon marriage nor upon children. There are other creations proper to still higher degrees of love, but they must remain until we have become as little children.

A R Orage, Psychological Exercises, Love

Nov 232012
 

The Fall of Man was not a once for all thing in some historical past but is repeated over and over again by every individual who fails to live according to his or her own creative spiritual integrity. This causes more unbalance and suffering but at the same time gives the opportunity for further intercession of God’s redeeming love.

The Redemption of Sin brought by Christ at the Incarnation is often too narrowly understood. It was, and is, a mark of the forgiveness and redemption of all human error, past, present and yet to come. By our sin we make the universe a prison house for ourselves. But this is transformed by God’s redeeming love into a school for godhead, with the earth as a classroom and the angels and saints of God as the teachers.

The curriculum of the school is the realisation and acceptance of the reality of our own sinfulness, and the seeking with all our heart, mind and strength for the love of the God whom we have rejected. This is not a matter of learning ‘obedience’ in its usual submissive or authoritarian sense, but the learning of love, from which obedience, or common purpose, naturally follows.

Gareth Knight, Experience of the Inner Worlds

Oct 182012
 

The balance of karmic justice is an exact balance; nothing remains unpunished, nothing unrewarded.

Jacob recognised this and separated himself from his family so that they might remain unscathed. He waited alone on this side of the river, because he knew that he was destined to death. But he did not succumb to the temptation of fatalism; he defended himself against death.

He did not allow himself to be led astray by the spiritual falsehood of fatalism, but set love against the knowledge of inevitable death. The power that preserved his breathing is expressed in the words indicating the successful issue of his wrestling: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32.26).

If he had yielded to the knowledge of death, his breathing would have ceased, and he would have died. The balance of the first principles of breathing – knowledge and love – would have been overthrown in favour of knowledge. But as he resisted knowledge with the whole force of love, at the “breaking of the day” the angel of death, the archai being, surrendered. Love proved itself stronger than death.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia

Oct 082012
 

How then is a new spring, a new source of living water to be found? How the rock struck? With which wand, and under what mandate?

It is by the gathering of a few friends with a common purpose. And with a faith in the reality and good will of those in the spiritual world whom they seek to make contact, and from whom they will receive protection, enlightenment and teaching. This gathering of friends in common purpose and respect is the  natural warmth that is spoken of in alchemy.

To warm the alchemical still of the ‘first matter’, the prima materia. To hatch the cosmic egg so that a live chick shall be born. The alchemical bird, that at first needs careful nourishing, but which will grow by due care and process into a powerful creature indeed, an immortal phoenix.

And this element of the alchemical bird being a phoenix is further indication of how the spark of the Mysteries, once lit, is passed on. For the original fire, even if largely smothered, banked up by its own ash so that it hardly gives out further light of heat or living flame, can burst forth again. Any ember from that source of inner fire can be fanned by those who know and care, into a new manifestation of the phoenix – which will rise in a blaze of wonder and glory as powerful as ever it was when first hatched, induced and evoked.

This is a natural path of progress in the Mysteries over the course of time.

Gareth Knight, The Abbey Papers

 

Sep 232012
 

The Catholic Church, strongly influenced by the remains of the impulse emanating from Jundi-Shapur, decreed as a dogma at the Eighth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in AD 869 that men were not to believe in the spirit. … This was because the Church did not desire that everybody should be enlightened about the Mystery of Golgotha, but that it should be kept hidden. In the year AD 869, belief in the spirit was abolished by the Catholic Church.

The dogma then decreed was to the effect that men must not believe in man as spirit, but only as body and soul, the soul possessing certain spiritual qualities. Thus the truth that man is a being of body, soul and spirit was abolished by the Catholic Church, acting directly under the influence of the impulse of Jundi-Shapur. History often presents a different spectacle from the one in which it is presented for the ordinary use of those whom one party or another would like to control.

Through the Mystery of Golgotha, however, man was related more closely to the spirit. Consequently there are two forces in him: the force whereby in his soul he is allied to death, and the force which liberates him from death and leads him inwardly to the spirit.

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When we can experience powerlessness and recovery from it, the benediction of actual relationship with Christ Jesus is vouchsafed to us. For this experience is the recovery of what we experienced in the spiritual world hundreds of years before our birth. We must seek here, on the physical plane, for its mirror-image in the soul. Seek within yourselves and you will discover the powerlessness! Seek, and you will find, after the experience of powerlessness, the redemption from it, the resurrection of the soul to the spirit….

The Christ experience does not consist of the unitary realisation of the Divine, but of the twofold experience of the death in the soul wrought by the body and the resurrection of the soul wrought by the spirit. A man who can say that he feels not only the Divine within him — as mystical theosophists eloquently assert — but can speak of the two experiences — of powerlessness and the resurrection from it — such a man is speaking of the true Christ experience

Rudolf Steiner, How do I find the Christ

Jul 262012
 

Today people divide Christ into aspects such as “historical,” “cosmic,” “mystical” and so on. But Christ in his essence is one and indivisible.

There is only one Christ – the living Christ who is the manifestation of God, the manifestation of Love. Christ is God revealing Himself to the world. As a manifestation of God, Christ cannot be separated from Him, cannot be considered apart from Him.

And when I speak of Christ, I do not mean an abstract principle, but rather an actual incarnation of Love. Love is the greatest reality and not an abstraction. It has form, content and meaning. Christ – whatever conception people have of him as “historical,” as “cosmic,” as “mystical,” – gave to the earth the fullest expression of Love.

This is because as an historic personality, as a cosmic essence, and as a mystical experience, Christ is and remains the most perfect expression of Love. Indeed, no other man on earth before Christ had greater love than His. There is neither in the cosmos without, nor in the mystic depths of the soul within, a fuller expression of Love than that which we personify in Christ.

Therefore, how are the words “historical,” “cosmic,” and “mystical” to be understood?

Manifested on the earth at a certain historical moment as the ideal man, as an example of the real man, Christ is “historical.” And the times in which he lived record an bear witness to Him: “Behold, the man! Behold, the true man in whom Love, Wisdom, and Truth live, and who applies them.”

When he is experienced in the inward depths, he is “mystical,” and when he is comprehended and known as God manifested in the world, he is “cosmic.”

The physical side of Christ is all of humanity united in one body. All human souls in which Christ lives, united into one – this is the physical aspect of Christ. All angels, gathered into the heart of Christ, represent his spiritual aspect. And all divine beings, united in the mind of Christ, are his divine aspect.

This is the “cosmic” Christ, God manifested in the world.

Beinsa Douno, Christ, Manifestation of Love

Jun 222012
 

May I endeavour to explain the origin and working of what I have referred to as the Blended Ray.

Spiritual and metaphysical realities can only be interpreted symbolically, and sometimes allegorically. Do not try, therefore, to materialise in your minds these conceptions to the point where they lose all power to uplift or enlighten.

This Blended Ray has been brought into being by the joint efforts of Great Masters adn Initiates gathered together as a Hierarchy, under Divine Guidance, for this very purpose. For nearly half a century now it has been possible, standing afar off from a very modest stance, to watch the activities of this important gathering.

They are engaged in harmonising all that is best in the wisdom teaching that has already been given to the world in the past through the Masters and Prophets who have descended into our human midst.

This Radiation is now approaching the fringes of human consciousness, and already many among us are beginning to feel its inspiring, revitalising and cleansing influence.

Within this immense Spiritual Outpouring there is enshrined a quality of Deity never before made available to humanity in this Round of evolution, and for which we have no name. It is a wonderful gift from our Creator sent to provide us with spiritual ammunition at this grave moment in human  history. In itself it is the preparer of the way for One, or for Those who are destined, under Divine Grace, to lead us into the light of a new age and a new dispensation.

Put in the simplest terms, this Ray or Spiritual Outpouring represents the child of the union between cosmic and primeval Divine wisdom, and the equally potent power of eternal and all-embracing love.

Wellesley Tudor Pole, Message for the Coming Time